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WHICH MET IN SESSION, OCTOBER 5, 1949 Classis East met in the new church building of our congregation at Kalamazoo on the morning of October 5, 1949. Classis was called to order by Rev. G. Vos, the president of our last Classical meeting. Classis sings No. 374:1, 5 from the Psalter. Rev. Vos then reads Eph. 4 and leads in prayer.
In a previous connection it was stated, as you may recall, that the subject of “common grace” was also among those which was being discussed in the Netherlands before the war and concerning which there was difference of opinion. In 1942 the Synod of Sneek-Utrecht, also made certain dogmatic expressions regarding this theory. Although the declarations which were delivered by this same Synod regarding the Covenant of Grace became the greater issue, many protests were also delivered against the decisions relative to “common grace”.
In our consideration of the passage from Ephesians 5:14 we should bear in mind, that the context is very helpful in determining not only the proper relationship of the command and the promise which is here added, but that it is also helpful in understanding the implication of the terms here used.
You write (Concordia for Sept. 29): “In our previous article we ended by saying that the danger toward Arminianism in the Liberated presentation of the covenant lay in the fact that election is not given the proper place.” This is strange language, brother. If words have meaning, then the thrust of your statement is this: “The Liberated presentation of the covenant is not Arminian, but it inclines toward Arminianism.”
We turn to the verses 3, 4, and 5 of Isaiah 53 and read the word of God as follows, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely, our sickness he bore; our pains, he carried them. But we considered him plagued, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and by his stripes we were...
We were busy, in our preceding article, with a discussion of the significance (for us) of the concept, “truth”. We noted in that article that, generally speaking, we may speak of the truth in a metaphysical, ethical, and logical sense of the word. In this series of articles we are discussing the attributes of the Lord. Veracity, truth, is, therefore, also a virtue of the Lord. This implies that the Lord Himself is truth.
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Rom. 6:14 The sinner, apart from Christ, is under the law; and in that state sin has dominion over him. It is his master and lord, and he is its slave.
As the reader knows there has been, for the last year or so, a controversy in our papers about the question of conditions in the covenant of God. The question was really whether the term “condition” could be used properly in Reformed theology, and especially whether it could be used to express Protestant Reformed thought.