Classis West met in South Holland on March 5 and 6. Eleven ministers and eleven elders attended as delegates. Rev. B. Woudenberg opened the meeting by speaking on Ephesians 4:7, 8. Rev. W. Bekkering presided over the sessions of Classis.
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Most churches have a door marked, “Consistory”. Outside that door many a child has stood and peeked inside wondering with child-like curiosity as to what was going on inside. The clink of money, the clearing of throats, the quiet conversation, the smell of stale smoke—all made up a rather strange combination. Before that door many a young elder or deacon paused with second thoughts, weighing his future with some degree of trepidation. Before that door many a sinner bowed with humble submission, burning with shame, but more, so longing for the forgiveness of Christ and His church.
If someone asked you what is the single, most important factor in the life of our Protestant Reformed Churches which has served to keep us what we were from our beginning and which still distinguishes us as a denomination today, what would you answer?
We concluded our preceding article with the statement that we would again quote Justin Martyr in which he even stigmatizes as heretical the doctrine that souls are received into heaven immediately after death. Chapter 80 of his dialogue with Trypho, the Jew, reads as follows (in this quotation he also reveals his millennial tendencies):
A committee for conferences scheduled a denominational officebearers conference for the day before Classis in South Holland. A sizeable number, about 100, attended the all-day conference on the diaconate. Rev. G. Lubbers gave a paper on “Ministering to the Saints,” and M. Alsum, a former deacon of the Loveland church, gave a paper on “A Layman’s Observation of the Office of Mercy.” A lively discussion of the deacon and his calling followed. The papers and discussion were profitable, and the fellowship of the saints was enriching.
It would be expected of a man who had such rich promises as Abram that he would do a great deal of thinking about them. And Abram did do exactly that. He lived in the hope of their fulfillment, and these promises were with him every day. The evidence of this is found in Genesis 15 when God appears to him and tells him that He is his shield and great reward.
THE MEDIATOR OF THE NEW COVENANT—JESUS (vs. 24) The greatest and climactic detail concerning the glory of the heavenly Jerusalem is that we have now “come to” the Mediator of the new covenant. We have not come to the law-giver, Moses, who was faithful in all of God’s house as a servant (Hebrews 3:3); but we have come to Jesus, the High Priest of our profession, Who is the Son, and Who is the builder of the house.
I recall studying in the history of our country the account of peoples of many lands emigrating to this land “of freedom.” It seemed to me a moving event when these individuals entered the harbor at New York and beheld the Statue of Liberty welcoming them to their new homeland. The poem affixed to that Statue contains the stirring lines, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. . . .” Today, however, one might suggest that these lines could be modified to suit the situation of our own day.