All Articles For Contending for the Faith

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What is the language and meaning of our Confessions when they speak of the marks of the true church, and that these marks distinguish the true church from the false church? What do the Confessions mean when they say that the true church can easily be distinguished from the false church? Does this mean that our Protestant Reformed Churches are the only true church and that all other churches in this country are wholly false? Then it would surely be easy to distinguish these two churches. This was also the stand that was taken by the Liberated. The undersigned recalls...

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Rev. Woudenberg is a minister emeritus in the Protestant Reformed Churches. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. John 1:17 To Dr. Schilder, the covenant of grace was forensic, a matter of law. He saw it as being founded on the fact that children of believing parents are set before the promises of God, but only and always in connection with God’s legal demands, warnings, and threats, which are related to the promises conditionally. Every child born from a circumcised father was—even as any baptized child today is—to be raised under the...

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The spark that ignited that great movement in the history of the Church of God which is known as the Reformation was Luther’s nailing of the ninety-five theses to the church door at Wittenberg. And the incident which led to this act of the German Reformer was the shameless sale of indulgences as practiced by Tetzel, an eloquent Dominican Friar who peddled indulgences in an unusually scandalous and shameless manner near the Saxony border in the neighborhood of Wittenberg.

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In our preceding article we called attention to the breadth and scope of the doctrine of Common Grace as set forth by John Calvin in his Institutes of the Christian Religion. In this article we will call attention to the fact that Calvin’s doctrine of a common grace, although broad in its content, is nevertheless also very limited. We realize that we are now calling attention to the writings of Calvin and that the question is more important as to what appears in our reformed confessions.

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We concluded our preceding article with the remark that the fundamental principle, as within the German Reformer, was this: Justification by faith and completely without works. This is also the fundamental principle of justification which prompted the movement of the Reformation. Now it is a striking phenomenon that Roman Catholic scholars today boldly declare that this fundamental principle: justification by faith and completely without works, no longer characterizes the Protestantism of today, that the Protestantism of today has repudiated the teachings of Luther and Calvin.

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Indeed, Calvin teaches emphatically that the deepest reason why the gospel is a savor of death unto death is that the Lord does not attempt to save them. How numerous are the passages in Calvin’s Calvinism in which the reformer emphasizes the sovereignly particular character of the mercy of the Lord as bestowed upon the elect and withheld from the reprobate. It is true that these passages appear in that part of Calvin’s Calvinism which stresses Divine predestination, and to quote these passages at length would lead us too far upstream, inasmuch as we are treating the doctrine of sin.

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Having instituted the feast of the Passover in the land of Egypt the Lord further instructed Israel through His servant, Moses, that this feast be observed as a memorial, every year, in the land of Canaan. Certain changes marked the observance of this feast in the land of Canaan in distinction from its institution and celebration in the land of Egypt. The lamb was now brought to the temple and slain there. The blood was not struck upon the doorposts. And the element of haste was absent. Essentially, however, the feast remained unchanged.

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