All Articles For Vanden, Berg G

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In four distinct phases the task of the ministry of the Word is spelled out in the Form of Ordination. He must (1) preach the Word of God, (2) lead the congregation in public prayer, (3) administer the sacraments, and (4) together with the elders, exercise Christian discipline. Two things are to be immediately observed here. First of all, it ought to be evident to us that although our Form distinguishes a four-fold labor, the task of the minister of the Word is really one. All of these aspects of his labor constitute a form of the preaching of the...

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“Afterwards He suffered innumerable reproaches, that we might never be confounded . . .”  “Afterwards He was innocently condemned to death, that we might be acquitted at the judgment seat of God . . .”  “Afterwards, yea, He suffered His blessed body to be nailed on the cross—that He might fix thereon the handwriting of our sins; and hath taken upon Himself the curse due to us, that He might fill us with His blessings . . .” 

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We concluded our previous article with the observation that to the task of the ministry of the Word belongs the labor of publicly calling upon the name of the Lord in behalf of the whole congregation. The minister is also a priest. He must carry the needs and the burdens, as well as the thanksgivings, of the congregation to the throne of grace. Continuous prayers and intercessions must be made, for, as we saw, this task is not an occasional% one but a perpetual one. The minister of the Word carries the church in his heart, .and, seeking her welfare,...

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We have been considering the purpose of the institution of the Lord’s Supper from the viewpoint of its objective significance, as set forth in the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. This all-important aspect of the sacrament may not in any way be minimized. In all that takes place in this celebration we must be brought to see the Christ of Scripture as He executes the eternal counsel of redemption. The aim of this ordinance of God is to “remember Him by it.” 

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Having considered the matter of self-examination as it is, the indispensable, spiritual preparation for participation in the Lord’s Supper and having seriously pondered the purpose or end unto which this means of grace has been instituted in the church, namely, to commemorate the death of our Lord as the only ground and foundation of our salvation, the church is readied for the solemn act of prayer. 

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The celebration of the Lord’s Supper is throughout aspiritual exercise. This must be emphasized because, unless we eat and drink at the communion table in a spiritual way, our celebration is nothing but an empty formalism. If we in a physical way only partake of the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper, we eat and drink condemnation unto ourselves, for we have not then discerned the Lord’s body.

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Following the ceremony in which the broken bread and the poured out wine is received by, the communicants, there are yet two things in which the church must take an active and conscious part before the commemoration of the death of the Lord is complete. The importance of this post-communion service must not be minimized, nor should it be omitted as though it were non-essential in instances where the Lord’s Supper is celebrated in both the worship services of a given Lord’s Day.

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