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All Articles For Vanden, Berg G

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We wrote the last time that everyone is duty bound to consider by himself the matter of his sin in connection with the preparatory self-examination that is to precede the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. We stressed the personal or individualistic character of this self -examination. In the experiential sense of the word each one of us must be brought to self-knowledge of sin in order that we may consciously realize the real need of the Saviour and Mediator whose death we celebrate in the sacrament. 

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The covenant of grace, signified and sealed in holy baptism, is established, realized, maintained, and ultimately perfected by GOD alone. In His eternal counsel He foreknew and predestinated His covenant people unto the adoption of children according to the good pleasure of His sovereign and unchangeable will. In time He purchased them with the blood of His own Son Jesus Christ, which was shed on the cross of Calvary and is the perfect and effective atonement for sm.

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We are not yet ready to discuss our order of worship and to consider its various elements step by step. There are other matters pertaining to the idea and meaning of worship ‘that’ come first. It is imperative that before we try to understand what we do in our acts of worship, we realize the nature of worship itself. Without this our study cannot be meaningful. Worship must be scrutinized and carefully examined from its most profound motivation in the heart to its visible expression in the act.

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The next part of our Baptism Form deals with the subject of infant baptisin. It must be mentioned in this connection that the purpose of this rubric is not to develop the doctrines that are mentioned in our liturgical forms. For the reader who is interested in such a development we may refer to the Standard Bearer rubric, “Our Doctrine,” where in recent issues, beginning with the February 15th issue, our editor, Rev. H. Hoeksema, has been treating this very subject.

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THE FORM FOR EXCOMMUNICATION  The ministers and the elders perform the act of excommunication not only as the official organs of the church but also as the representatives of Christ Himself. Insofar as they function in the former capacity the whole congregation, as represented in them, participates in this disagreeable but necessary work. The church, as the bride of Christ, acts to preserve her purity when, through her official organs, she severs from her fellowship those who are guilty of gross sin and remain impenitent.

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