All Articles For Miersma, Thomas C

Results 31 to 40 of 111

The Pelagian conflict arose in the church when Augustine was in his sixties. God ordained that it be so, in his wisdom, to prepare Augustine to be the man who defended the truth of God’s Word. The issue that confronted Augustine was at the heart of the Christian faith—the truth of sin and grace. Augustine’s study of the Word had led him to see the depravity of man from the viewpoint of his own sin and to see his own salvation in the light of God’s sovereign grace. God used Augustine’s pathway to salvation in his own life to open...

Continue reading

Previous article in this series: September 15, 2012, p. 493. Ecclesiastes 5:1-7 The Word of God in Ecclesiastes 5 turns from considering the general vanity of men to their worship of God, for in that worship of God the folly of sin also manifests itself. Before describing that folly, the text turns to an exhortation, “Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God” (Eccl. 5:1). God’s house, the temple, was the visible manifestation of God’s presence with His people, His covenant dwelling place. It is today the gathering of the body of Christ, the church, which is...

Continue reading

Previous article in this series: May 1, 2012, p. 343 “Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.” Ecclesiastes 4:13 The contrast in the text is introduced by the word “better.” This is an indication that Solomon is drawing another conclusion from what he has seen under the sun and drawing also from his own life and experience. He is giving expression to this “better,” not as a mere human opinion, but as the testimony of God’s Word. It is important that we keep this in mind. In this latter...

Continue reading

So I returned and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun:. . . Ecclesiastes 4:1a. Oppression of a man by his neighbor is a vast subject with the many different forms of evil done under the sun. Solomon has pointed out that, in the place of judgment, evil is found among men. This works the oppression of the neighbor. He calls to mind all the oppression that he sees in its vari­ous forms, but rather than going into detail, he distills it down to one basic reality when he looks at it. There is the one who is...

Continue reading

In Chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes, Solomon contemplates God’s sovereign providence, God’s counsel in time, as it shapes the life of men under the sun. Man senses that work of God, but walks over against it in darkness. This is brought out yet more fully in what he says in this section. Verse 15 ends on the note, “God requireth that which is past,” or more literally “seeks what is pursued.” In the activities of men, God is a righteous judge. In His counsel and purpose, and in His providence, God judges the works of men in time and eternity. Seeing...

Continue reading

We have been considering the reformers’ doctrine of Scripture and its interpretation. Rome taught that Scripture was a dark book which would not be understood by the ordinary believer. According to Rome, Scripture needed to be supplemented by the traditions of the church which served as an additional revelation alongside of Scripture. Moreover, Rome taught that only the hierarchy of the church, popes, and councils could explain that Word of God. The believer therefore might not draw his own interpretation and understanding out of the Word of God but must trust in the pronouncements of the church, even if they...

Continue reading

For the believing child of God who clings to Christ by faith, the truth that he is accounted righteous before God is of the greatest significance. The principle that he whom God declares to be righteous is righteous, is a matter of pure grace to him. The believer knows himself to be a guilty sinner as he is in himself. The truth that God justifies the ungodly in Christ affords him a rich comfort and an unshakeable confidence. It is a confidence which he has, not of himself, but of grace. 

Continue reading

Thus far in considering the early church’s approach to Scripture, we have treated the church as a unity. This it was fundamentally, both in doctrine and in its approach to Scripture. The difference between the eastern Greek-speaking churches and the western Latin-speaking churches were matters of temperament and character, not doctrine. Both branches received the doctrines of the Trinity formulated at Nicea and the Christology of Chalcedon.

Continue reading

God gave us the book of Ecclesiastes to instruct us in spiritual wisdom as those living in a world fallen in sin and under the curse. He gave it by one who was old and endued not only with the wisdom of age and experience, but with the wisdom that only the Spirit of God can give. The Preacher searches the life of man under the sun, giving us to see with spiritual understanding the way of that life and its value and meaning in a world subject to vanity because of sin. In many ways the book addresses especially...

Continue reading