All Articles For Vol 94 Issue 03 11/1/2017

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Trivia question How many living original (1924) members of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America are there in our churches today? Answer later in this column…or not? Sister-church activities Prof. D. Engelsma lectured in Covenant Protestant Reformed Church of Ballymena, Northern Ireland October 21st on “Martin Luther: Theologian of the Glory of God” (11 a.m.) and “Justification in Paul and James” (1 p.m.); October 27th on “Martin Luther: Man of Conviction” and on November 3 on “Calvin’s Doctrine of the Covenant.” For those unable to attend, the speeches were streamed live on CPRC’s website and recorded (audio and video). Prof....

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One of the less familiar treasures—and yet a great treasure—of our Reformation heritage is expressed in the theme, “Reformed and always being reformed.” Abbreviated in Latin, the expression is Semper Reformanda.1 Even if it is less familiar than some other themes like Sola Scriptura or Sola Gratia, “Always being reformed” is a fundamental aspect of our Reformation heritage. But the expression is less familiar because it did not develop until after the Reformation. Yet, without it we are not fully or genuinely Reformed. The historical origin of the motto is unclear. An otherwise obscure preacher, the Dutchman Jocodus van Lodenstein,...

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God wills the family. By creation, commandment, and covenant, God declares that His will for humans is family life. Creation: The first human institution God created was the family, making Eve from the rib of Adam and bringing the woman to the man in the first wedding and marriage. Commandment: God’s law addresses spouses, that they commit no adultery. God’s law addresses children, that they honor father and mother. God’s law addresses generations, that God will show His mercy unto thousands of them that love Him and keep His commandments. Covenant: God’s covenant promise, oft repeated, is that He will...

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Our title could just as well have been “The Restoration of the Priesthood of All Believers.” It was this gift that the church of Rome, the church as she went apostate, stole from her members and placed in the hands of a select few, namely, the church’s clergy—priests, bishops, cardinals, and popes. And it was this that God used the Reformation and the Reformers to restore to the common, unordained members of the church. The common, unordained members of Christ’s church were, as labeled by Rome, just the ‘laity.’ And by ‘laity’ Rome’s prelates were telling her members that they...

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We miss in the Reformers not only missionary action, but even the idea of missions, in the sense in which we understand them today.—Gustav Warneck1 Instead of saying ‘We ought to have missions, and we will have them, as soon as the Lord opens the door,’ the Protestants tended to say ‘Missions are neither obligatory nor desirable, and our lack of them cannot be held against us as blindness or unfaithfulness.—Stephen Neill2 One would naturally expect that the spiritual forces released by the Reformation would have prompted the Protestant churches of Europe to take the gospel to the ends of...

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Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead). But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach. Romans 10:6-8 Christ’s presence in worship In Zechariah 2:4, the prophet prophesies to Israel of a time when “Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein.” This prophesy is ultimately fulfilled...

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It is not claiming too much to say that the great Reformation of the church included a battle over the very nature of the church of Christ itself!1 1) The battle against Rome The Reformers fought against the false definition of the church that was deeply entrenched in the corrupt medieval church in Western Europe. According to Rome, the church is (well-nigh exclusively) an institutional church, that hierarchical organization with the pope as her visible head. Moreover, the church is not even her people but her “clergy”—priests, bishops, archbishops, and cardinals. Besides defining the church institutionally, Rome proclaimed herself as...

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When you think about the Reformation, what comes to mind? Perhaps your mind drifts to Germany and a humble monk, hammer in hand, pounding ninety-five theses into a church door. Or maybe you remember that same monk making a courageous cry before the Diet of Worms: “Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.” Perhaps your mind drifts south to the Swiss Alps and the great Reformer of Geneva, whose powerful preaching and voluminous writing did more to advance the cause of reform than the work of any other. Perhaps your mind drifts across the...

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Welcome to the second 2017 commemorative issue of the Reformation. Some 500 years ago, Luther posted his 95 theses for discussion and debate, and so began the great sixteenth-century Reformation. This was God’s work of forming His seriously deformed church back to the Bible in doctrine, worship, church polity, and walk of life. As beneficiaries of that mighty work of grace, we consider it sufficiently important to have two issues of the Standard Bearer commemorating it. We trust that in this issue you will find more fresh, researched, and currently applicable articles for the instruction and encouragement of Reformed believers...

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