All Articles For Vol 94 Issue 02 10/15/2017

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September 13, 2017 at Grandville PRC Classis East met in regular session on the morning of Wednesday, September 13, 2017. The churches were each represented by two delegates. Rev. J. Mahtani was the chairman for this session. Rev. W. Langerak was appointed as the moderator of Byron Center PRC in their vacancy. Holland PRC, Southwest PRC, and Zion PRC were granted classical pulpit supply for evening services during their vacancies. Most of the morning was spent on an appeal by a brother against his consistory. This was appointed to a pre-advice committee for recommendations. After thorough deliberations Classis declared that...

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Mr. VanDerSchaaf is a member of and an elder in Faith Protestant Reformed Church in Jenison, Michigan. The Lord’s Supper and the “Popish Mass”: A Study of Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 80, Cornelis P. Venema, Grand Rapids MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2015, 96 pages. [Reviewed by Peter VanderSchaaf.] Dr. Venema set himself to the task of answering an important question. The question is this, “Should Q&A 80 of the Heidelberg Catechism be retained in the creed?” The question comes up because many, also in the Reformed church world, find the language of Q&A 80 abrasive and inconsistent with the pastoral tone...

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There are two men to whom Reformed churches and believers owe gratitude for their doctrine of the sacraments: Martin Luther and John Calvin. The debt of gratitude owed to Calvin is obvious. It is not so clear that Luther must be thanked. There cannot be serious thanks given for the Reformation’s recovery of the gospel of the sacraments, however, without noticing Calvin and Luther.1 This is especially true with regard to the contentious doctrine of the Lord’s supper. The controversy rocked the European continent during the Reformation. Furious exchanges of tracts, treatises, and letters, and intense face-to-face discussions did not...

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In the Reformation’s recovery of the gospel of grace, the truth of the bondage of the will was fundamental. “Fundamental” means that without the confession of this bondage, the gospel of grace could not be proclaimed. “Fundamental” means also that the Reformation proclaimed the gospel only by a confession of the bondage of the will. Without the doctrine of the bondage of the will, there had been no Reformation of the church. Accordingly, loss or denial of the bondage of the will by the churches today is the loss or denial of the gospel. Denial of the bondage of the...

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Q. 70 What is justification? A. Justification is an act of God’s free grace unto sinners, in which He pardons all their sins, accepts and accounts their persons righteous in His sight; not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them, but only for the perfect obedience and full satisfaction of Christ, by God imputed to them, and received by faith alone. Q. 71 How is justification an act of His free grace? A. Although Christ, by His obedience and death, did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God’s justice in the behalf of them that...

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Introduction In the end, one little word divided the churches of the Reformation and the Roman Catholic of the sixteenth century. To borrow Luther’s language in his great Reformation hymn, “one little word felled” the corrupt Roman Catholic institute of his day. That one little word was “only,” or as it is in Latin, sola. The Reformers said “only” or “alone,” while Rome consistently said “and.” The Reformers included the word “only” in especially five important doctrines that they taught. These five statements gradually became known as the “five solas.” The Reformers said that the authority in the church is...

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Our house We love our house. Our house is the collection of confessions in which we live. Confessions or creeds are the church’s officially adopted statements of faith summarizing the essential teachings of Scripture. Our confessions are our statements concerning what God says about Himself and His works. Our collection consists of the Ecumenical Creeds: the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and the Creed of Chalcedon; as well as the Three Forms of Unity: the Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism and Canons of Dordt. As a house affords protection from outside danger, so in our life as a...

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The sixteenth-century Reformation is one of the most significant events in the history of the world. Its far-reaching impact was manifest not only in the church, but on nations, cultures, governments, and economies. The world changed in 1517. These broad changes make it important to investigate the context of a movement that could have such drastic effects. Obviously, a brief article on this topic cannot be exhaustive. It can only skim the surface of this fascinating topic. The purpose of the article is not merely to list historical facts and circumstances. Rather, we desire to set forth God’s sovereign control...

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In this issue, we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the great Reformation begun in 1517. We acknowledge that we must not be guilty of garnishing the sepulchers of the prophets, while despising the Word of God that they brought. We must not arrogantly imagine that we are the only ones who rightly celebrate the Reformation. May God preserve us from both evils. Yet celebrate, we must! We commemorate God’s work of reformation. Five hundred years ago God delivered His beloved bride from chains of error, hierarchy, and false worship. He lifted her to new heights of understanding in His truth....

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The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. This means that the words were spoken by the Holy Spirit. Christ does not want to give you the right to run to and fro in search of the Spirit, to lose yourself in reverie and say: “I have this by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.” Actually, it may be the devil who inspired you! Thus they alleged in the edict issued at the Diet of Augsburg: “The church is holy; therefore it follows that its proclamations are holy and given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.” Christ...

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