Report of Classis East held April 5, 1961, at Hope Church: Rev. M. Schipper, chairman of the January Classis, led in opening devotions, and declared the Classis properly constituted after all the Credentials were received. All the Churches were represented by two delegates, except Grand Haven. Rev. R. Veldman served as chairman for this session. Most of the work of Classis was routine, and handled with dispatch. Classis adopted the following schedule for Classical appointments: Creston, April 23—G. Vos, April 30—H. Hanko, May 14— C. Hanko, May 28—G. Lanting, June 11—M.
Adult Baptism A practical problem that arises in connection with the administration of adult baptism concerns the age limit where infant baptism ceases and the subject of baptism must be treated as an adult. A very significant difference in infant and adult baptism lies in the fact that in the former the parents assume the responsibility for the covenant instruction and training of the child that is baptized while in the latter the subject of baptismhimself assumes these baptismal obligations. His baptism follows upon his confession of faith.
God-centered Confession The chief subject of this first article is God, His Being and His attributes. This is uniquely Reformed, and it is indeed important. It means that the entire outlook of our confession is theological; our faith and our confession is theocentric, God-centered. And this is characteristically Reformed. Lutheranism has always been rather anthropological and soteriological in its outlook. It is concerned mainly with the question of man and his salvation: how is man saved? The Reformed faith considers the doctrine of God all-important.
We will now continue with our quotation of Chapter VII of the Sixth Session of the Roman Catholic Council of Trent, devoted to the subject of Justification: “Of this Justification the causes are these: the final cause indeed is the glory of God and of Jesus Christ, and life everlasting; while the efficient cause is a merciful God who washes and sanctifies gratuitously, signing, and anointing with the holy Spirit of promise, who is the pledge of our inheritance; but the meritorious cause is his most beloved only-begotten, otir Lord Jesus Christ, who, when we were
Silence does not always mean consent. A man who votes neither for nor against a matter in effect does give consent by his silence. At any rate he does not register a vote against the matter and does not prevent it from taking place. However there are times when silence is entirely wrong, yea the revelation of great wickedness. How wicked when the prophet of God keeps silent!
The truth that Paul received mercy from Christ, being counted faithful unto the ministry, certainly supports the thesis that salvation is not of works of law which we perform, but is simply a matter of sovereign grace and mercy. This is abundantly evident from Paul’s calling unto the ministry. According to the rule of the works of the law Paul could never rate. He was not simply not faithful, but he was a blasphemer, a persecutor of the church, and an injurious person.
“And the Lord said unto Moses, God in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him: And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son’s son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my vigor which I have done among them; that ye may know that I am the Lord.” Exodus 10:1, 2
The devil, therefore, is very securely bound. And he is bound with respect to these heathen nations as such in the passage we are now discussing. The passage teaches, therefore, that the devil is bound in such a way that he cannot marshal the nations of Gog and Magog to battle against the church, the beloved city, or, if you please, against the Christian nations. He may in this very period of his restraint do many things, both among the nominally Christian nations and the people that are called Gog and Magog.
Schism and Schismatic Someone asked me the question what is the meaning of the term schism and why I usually called those that, in 1953, left our churches schismatics. My answer to the latter part of this question is that it is the simple truth.