The spring meeting of the Ladies League of the Protestant Reformed Churches was held on the evening of May 11, 1955. The meeting was opened by singing Psalter number 194 and Psalm 98, verse 1 and 8, after which our president, Mrs. F. Harbin read I Corinthians 12 and led us in prayer. A word of welcome was extended to all the ladies gathered at our Fourth Protestant Reformed Church. The first number on the program consisted of a quartet from our First Church. The president them introduced the speaker, Seminarian Herman Hanko, who spoke on The Multiformity of the Church:
I. The Idea of the Church—The Church is the body of Christ, a living organism with Christ the head, the Church composing the other members of that body—receiving its life from its head. Each member was chosen from before the foundations of the world by God eternally in His counsel according to His own sovereign good pleasure—chosen and prepared to occupy his own particular place in that harmonious unity of the body of Christ. Various denominations do not make up the true Church. No, she is spiritual and her members who are gathered in time from all the nations of the world, of every tribe and tongue, of every race and people, are united to Christ by the spiritual bond of faith.
II. Multiformity of the Church: There is a many formedness to its members, a many sidedness of the saints that compose the membership of the body of Christ. There are differences in physical and psychological characteristics; also, there is a diversity as td natural gifts, spiritual gifts, and even the measure of these gifts. No individual has any significance in himself; each member is incomplete, so they have need of one another—they supplement one another and thus constitute a real communion of saints. Each member has its own peculiar virtue, place, and function, and the total membership forms one beautiful harmonious organism living in Jesus Christ to show forth eternally the praises of the divine author, the triune God.
III. Manifestation in Time: The true Church in the world is known by three distinguishing marks—1. The pure preaching of the gospel; 2. The pure administration of the sacraments; 3. The exercise of Christian discipline. Although she is not pure as to walk, she is pure in doctrine insofar as the Spirit has guided the Church into the truth as it has been developed up to that time. So the same multiformity that will exist in heaven comes to manifestation in time. Yet, because of sin and the physical nature of its members, it is revealed only in part. In how far must we seek the unity of the Church of Christ? We must seek unity, not in compromise but only upon the basis of the pure preaching of the Word. For Christ speaks where His Word is proclaimed according to the Scripture, and where Christ speaks, there we find the Church.
It is the calling of every child of God to exercise and develop the talents God has given him so that in the home, school, or social life he may use them to the advantage and welfare of his fellow members.
(Mr. Hanko’s interpretation of the relationship of the true Church and the various denominations must be quoted in its entirety to do it justice, and as space does not permit this, we have omitted it altogether.)
After this instructive and edifying speech, we sang Psalter number 124 and a collection was taken for theStandard Bearer. Minutes of previous meetings were read. Next we were favored with a well worked out panel discussion on the subject of prayer, after which we enjoyed another number from the quartet. The treasurer gave her report and Mrs. D. Jonker closed with prayer.
Surely after an evening in Christian fellowship, we feel that God has blessed us beyond our expectations. So we pray that He will keep us faithful in the Church militant until He takes us to be the Church triumphant where we will enjoy the perfect communion of saints.
Mrs. Dewey Engelsma, Reporter