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IV. The Professor continues. Preaching of the ele­ments III 1, 2, 3, (as stated in the previous is­sue) form the key that open the Kingdom to believers and shuts the Kingdom to unbe­lievers.

  1. God justified His People in His counsel from all eternity by choosing them in Christ and imputing to them His satisfaction and right­eousness, thus opened to them the Kingdom.
  2. God opens to them the Kingdom through the faculty of their minds. The preaching of the Word, namely applying it to the indivi­dual, opens the Kingdom to the Child of God, by awakening in them the consciousness thru the Holy Spirit, that they are robed with the righteousness of Christ and sprinkled with His blood.
  3. By this preaching the Kingdom being opened to the Children of God, thru the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and they being con­scious of their justification in Christ, emerge with a glorious faith, confidence and a conscious conviction that to them the Kingdom is opened in Jesus Christ their Redeemer.
  4. Thru this same preaching Christ shuts the Kingdom to unbelievers. To their own con­sciousness. And being hardened through the preaching of the Word, they rise in rebellion and hatred against Christ, and in their con­sciousness know that eternal desolation is be­ing opened up to them.

V. The Gospel, the Word, thus being applied or ad­ministered to the flock we come to the conclu­sion as embodied in Lord’s Day 31, III, 3, a/ 1/ 2/. The preaching of the promise is thus a sa­vor of life unto life for the penitent, the weak and heavy laden ones, the elect, and, a savor of death unto death for the ungodly, the repro­bate. And by this same preaching every man judge his own heart. Whether he belongs to the Believers or the Unbelievers, by the fact, (if he believes) or (if he believes not).

Now the main thrust of Rev. Ophoff’s article is that the gospel must be preached as to its three elements shown under III, 1, 2, 3. The 2nd and 3rd elements being very important for these open the Kingdom to the Believers and shut the Kingdom to the Unbelie­vers. Such preaching properly applied sends the Be­lievers home with the conscious conviction that they are in Christ reconciled to God, by the fact that they believe, have faith, which is wrought upon and streng­thened by the Holy Spirit in their hearts. And the unbeliever is left exposed to the wrath of God, by the fact that in his own consciousness he knows that he does not believe, he despises Christ, and wants nothing of Him.

In this plain teaching of Rev. Ophoff as he wrote it in his article, I fail to see any connection with the conditional theology that Rev. Kok tries to read into Rev. Ophoff’s work, by quoting from it at random in his article published in Concordia Sept. 11th, 1952.

As I see it, the main tenet of the Liberated Teach­ing is that faith is a condition. Around that tenet the Liberated theology of the promise is built. Their preaching is directed to the false notion that faith be­ing a condition, faith is an action, something that is done, or, something that must be performed, the pre­requisite of which is action. Hence the preaching is directed, and the attempt made to get this action from its hearers. This conception cannot consistently be maintained without being Arminian.

Our Theological Professors are teaching and have always taught the Reformed conception of faith. Faith is an instrument or bond. The means by which something is believed. Not an action but a belief. A conviction or living consciousness in the soul that the righteousness of Christ is imputed unto us. That we are one with Christ in His suffering, death and re­surrection, therefore justified and guiltless before God. This faith is nourished in the Children of God, by the preaching of the gospel, when the gospel is preached as to its true elements set forth by our Professors, as shown from the article above written by Rev. Ophoff back in 1936.

Preaching based on the doctrinally wrong notion that faith is a condition, and directed to the hearers with the idea of getting action based on something that must be performed, rather, than applying the gospel to the hearers by the preaching, which the Holy Spirit uses to establish confidence and conviction in the hearts of God’s Children that the curse of the law is removed and the righteousness of Christ belongs to them, is, “Doctrinal in the Wrong Sense”.

J.H. Kortering