All Articles For Vol 79 Issue 02 10/15/2002

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Mr. Wigger is an elder in the Protestant Reformed Church of Hudsonville, Michigan. Denomination Activities   The Convocation of the Theological School of our churches took place on Wednesday, September 4, in the auditorium of the Grandville, MI PRC. Prof. D. Engelsma spoke on the theme, “The Unconditional Covenant in Contemporary Debate — and the Protestant Reformed Seminary.” We hope that plans are in the works to include the text of that timely and interesting speech in the pages of this magazine at some future date. I believe the majority of those there that night would agree that the topic...

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Prof. Dykstra is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Among the many monumental tasks confronting the church of the Reformation was that of restoring godly living to the members of the church. The people had learned immorality in the Romish church from the clergy. The Semi-Pelagian error of works righteousness taught that man’s works could merit with God. That naturally led to a stress on extraordinary, “holy” works, to the neglect of true godliness. Gradually a whole system grew up with church sanction. It was said that although all God’s people must keep the...

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Prof. Hanko is professor emeritus of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Introduction It is one of the great sorrows of our age that apostasy has seized the churches of our land as well as those of foreign countries. We need not catalogue the lengthy list of departures from the rule of the sacred Scriptures. They are present in doctrine and confession, liturgy and worship, and the rule and discipline of the church. The sad fact is that such departures characterize those very churches that claim the sixteenth century Reformation in general and the Calvin Reformation...

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Rev. Koole is pastor of Faith Protestant Reformed Church in Jenison, Michigan. O for godly pastors. It was the apostle Peter, no less (are you listening, Rome?), who wrote, Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, … not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock. I Pet. 5:2, 3 How the church needs godly pastors who can function as examples to the flock, especially to its youth (John 21:15), and in particular in the area of sexual purity and faithfulness...

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Rev. Bruinsma is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Is the law of any use in the life of the child of God today? Now that Christ has come and fulfilled the law, has not the New Testament church entered into the age of grace without law? In other words, does not Christ through faith now reign in us so that there is no real and substantial need for the law? By the law, of course, is meant God’s moral law, the law of the Ten Commandments. The outward ceremony of the laws of Moses which ruled...

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Rev. Terpstra is pastor of First Protestant Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan. The gospel that the great Reformation of the sixteenth century recovered and proclaimed included the gospel of sanctification. That is, the Reformation restored to the church the great doctrine and practice of holiness as a work of sovereign, divine grace worked in the hearts of God’s elect people and brought to manifestation in their lives. No doubt you are familiar with the fact that God used this mighty movement in His church at that time to recover the biblical truth of justification by faith alone. This is often...

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Rev. Slopsema is pastor of First Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The life of the Reformed Christian is a life full of rich experience. The person whose faith is void of experience has a dead faith. He is neither Reformed nor Christian. The experience of the Reformed Christian is described especially in the creeds of the Reformation. The creeds of the Reformation describe the experience of true faith as taught by Holy Scripture. This rich experience of faith was the experience of the Reformers themselves, as their faith was controlled and directed by Scripture. The experience of the...

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Prof. Engelsma is professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. If we were to understand Christian piety merely as decent behavior, we would have to say that the sixteenth century Reformation of the church did not have piety as its purpose. This is startling because the conduct of the members of the church was scandalous. Both laity and clergy were worldly and immoral. The holiness the church boasted of was foolish and worthless: pilgrimages, crusades, worship of relics, celibacy (rejection of marriage for fornication and concubinage), and indulgences. The Reformation was not a reformation of morals....

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Reprinted from Luther’s Works, vol. 51, edited by John Doberstein, copyright © 1959 Fortress Press. Used by permission of Augsburg Fortress. Sermon on Soberness and Moderation against Gluttony and Drunkenness I Pet. 4:7-11 May 18, 1539 This part of [the first] Epistle [of Peter] is an exhortation to good conduct. Those who are Christians are to see to it that they are grateful for grace and redemption and conduct themselves modestly, moderately, and soberly, so that one does not go on living the swinish life that goes on in the filthy world. For this Epistle was written to the Greeks,...

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As look at past issues of the Standard Bearer will show that at least since 1990 without fail every October 15 issue has been a special issue devoted to some aspect of the reformation of the church. Most of the issues have treated in depth some aspect of the sixteenth century Reformation. Subjects include “The Reformed Conflict with Rome”; “The Anabaptist Controversy”; “The Reformation and Freedom”; “Reformation and Scripture”; “The Reformation and Worship”; “The Reformation of 1924”; “The Reformation of 1953”; “The Synod of Dordt”; “Abraham Kuyper and the Reformation of 1886”; “The Reformation and the Last Things”; “John Knox”;...

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