All Articles For Vol 96 Issue 04 11/15/2019

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Trivia question To our knowledge, there are only three Protestant Reformed ministers who are now deceased and who were born after 1924. Can you name them? Answer later in this column. Minister activities Pastor-elect Matthew Kortus (a Loveland, CO native) sustained his examination at the meeting of Classis West in September. He was ordained as our newest minister of the Word and sacraments in Hope PRC (Redlands) congregation on October 6. We thank our God for this gift and pray that he will have a long and fruitful ministry. The Council of Grandville PRC announced a new trio for calling...

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“As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to a heavy heart.” Proverbs 25:20 “For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord God.” Jeremiah 2:22 Vinegar upon nitre?? Washing with nitre?? Too often, I fear, we read over such texts, without giving due attention to their Spirit-inspired symbolism. And in this case we will not understand the symbolism without some knowledge of what nitre is (also spelled niter). It is a mineral, yes,...

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Previous article in this series: May 15, 2019, p. 382. The zealous Christian witness who would reprove the man of this world, with the desire that he might be gained to Christ, must learn about that man and his religion before reproving him. “It is clear,” writes the Reformed missiologist J. H. Bavinck, “that elenctics must first of all begin with the precise and calm knowledge of the nature of the religion with which it is concerned.”1 The Presbyterian mission­ary John Young writes, “Such a refutation [of a false religion] will of course entail a knowledge of the native religion, not...

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Previous article in this series: August 2019, p. 475. Scripture is a book of works, the works of God and the works of many other creatures that the sovereign God works together to serve His glorious purpose in Jesus Christ throughout history. In understanding our good works as works, it is helpful to survey the whole Bible in its presentation of works and then relate our good works to all other kinds of works. 1. The works of Christ In briefly outlining the vast biblical category of works, we begin with the works of God. The entire Bible, beginning with...

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Madness in British Columbia We live in an age in which there is a new hierarchy of rights, with transgender rights currently at the apex. Because of the perceived rights of “sexual minorities,” more and more small business owners feel the pressure. We have already seen Christian bakers, florists, and photographers harassed for declining to service same-sex weddings. Transgender activists are now targeting small businesses also to demand official recognition of their “gender identity.” One controversial case came to light recently, and although Christians will not be affected in this case, for they would not practice such a profession, a...

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Having waited in vain for response to one of the editors’ calling Herman Hoeksema’s denial that faith is a work “nonsense,” with an exclamation point (see the Standard Bearer, vol. 95, no. 12, p. 279), I am compelled to write in protest. (I confess that I hesitate still, even though my name has been raised, because the entire, ongoing debate over good works is a “red herring” among us. The debate over works in the Christian life was occasioned by a sermon on John 14:6 that was not in error on the matter of antinomism, indeed had nothing whatever to...

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The Reformed, which is to say, biblical doctrine of salvation maintains that God sovereignly saves His chosen people. The Canons of Dordt set forth this truth beautifully. The Canons demonstrate that the race of man fell in Adam and every individual is born guilty and polluted with sin. Everyone is in fact dead in sin, hates God, and rejects His Son, Jesus. And yet, some out of this fallen race do come to love God and do believe in Jesus as Savior. What explains this difference? These are the people chosen (before time) by God unto salvation in Christ. Christ...

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“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11 God is pleased to use the preaching of His Word to work faith (Rom. 10:17). God is pleased to use weak, sinful men to preach, which calls the hearers to focus on the voice of their Shepherd and not so much on the Shepherd’s instru­ment, the preacher. God declares that the preaching of Christ crucified is the power and the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:23–24). The great importance...

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