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All Articles For Ministering to the Saints

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Rev. Kuiper is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church in Randolph, Wisconsin. Just as our heavenly Father always supplies the needs of His children, and just as Jesus Christ our Good Shepherd never fails to bestow upon His sheep that which we lack, so must the church of Jesus Christ always be willing and ready to relieve the needs of the poor. Therefore, the deacons, having been informed of a need, having determined it to be genuine, and having procured the means to supply it, are required to distribute the alms accordingly. That God expects deacons to distribute the alms...

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Mr. Gritters is a member of Hope Protestant Reformed Church in Redlands, California. By the time this article appears in print, letters will have again been sent by our various consistories to certain confessing male members somewhat as follows: “The Consistory informs you that your name has been placed on nomination for the office of Elder. Please let us know if you have valid reasons why you would beunable to serve….” Unable to serve? Sometimes the nomination comes as a surprise, especially to those who receive it for the first time. But as you ponder your answer, you may already have...

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Prof. Decker is professor of Practical Theology in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. In the passage from which the title of this rubric is taken (II Corinthians 8:1-7) the apostle Paul exhorts the saints in Corinth to give liberally to the relief of the poor. Paul begins by holding before the Corinthian saints the example of the saints of the churches in Macedonia, i.e., the churches in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea. The saints in Macedonia in the midst of great affliction, and we take affliction to mean persecution and extreme poverty, had exceeded their ability in the contributions they had made...

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Mr. Gritters is a member of the Protestant Reformed Church in Redlands, California. In our first article concerning the office of elder (Nov. 15, 1994), we briefly reviewed the biblical meaning of the office of elder (bishop), and also traced the history of the office from the times of the “elders of Israel” to the Reformed concept of the office as we know it today. Before entering upon a more practical, personal discussion of the office, we must look at the qualifications Christ has placed upon those whom He places in this office. Our discussion of these qualifications, however, need...

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Mr. Schipper is a deacon in Southwest Protestant Reformed Church. The office of deacon is a vital office in the church. The church calls men to be officebearers. These men are ordained to be the official representatives of Christ. When these men, equipped by the Holy Spirit, bring the Word (and only when they bring the Word!), Christ is with His church. In light of this vital truth, it is not surprising that there is a wealth of material that deals with the offices in the church. In preparing to discuss the office of deacon, I made use of several...

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Prof. Decker is professor of Practical Theology in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. There are two questions of an introductory nature which must be answered before we discuss Articles 72, 73, and 74, which deal with the discipline of those who have committed secret sins. Those questions are: May non-communicant members (members by baptism) be disciplined? And, Is it possible for impenitent members to avoid being disciplined by leaving the fellowship of the church before discipline is applied? The latter question could be put this way: May a consistory refuse to grant a person who is under discipline his/her membership papers...

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Prof. Decker is professor of Practical Theology in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Article 74 of the Church Order of the Protestant Reformed Churches speaks of the last step required by Christ in Matthew 18:15-17: “If anyone, having been admonished in love concerning a secret sin by two or three persons, does not give heed … the matter shall be reported to the consistory.” This article also stipulates that “public sins” must be reported to the consistory. It is possible that the sin is so public that the consistory is aware of it even before someone reports the matter. In any...

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Mr. Schipper is a member and former deacon of Southwest Protestant Reformed Church in Grandville, MI. The diaconate functions as an integral part of congregational life. The deacons have a visible part in every worship service. The congregation interacts with the diaconate at every worship service. The deacons regularly visit appropriate members of the congregation. All in the congregation know that they can seek the assistance of Christ for their physical needs. Each member should reflect on his calling to support the diaconate in its work, and on his calling to seek financial assistance when he has true physical needs....

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Mr. Schipper is a deacon in Southwest Protestant Reformed Church. “Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.”  Psalm 41:1 Our first article concerning the office of deacon noted that deacons stand in the office of Christ in the church. In particular, deacons represent Christ as He is our merciful High Priest. It is instructive to ask why the office of mercy is connected to the high priestly aspect of Christ’s office. The first thought we usually have in connection with the high priest concerns the sacrifices. We think especially of his...

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Prof. Decker is professor of Practical Theology in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. In the previous article we discussed who and what the congregation is. The congregation is the blood-bought, precious gathering of believers and their children. In this connection we presented some of the implications of this truth as regards the elders’ care of the congregation. Before moving to a discussion of more specific aspects of the elders’ calling, we digress to a consideration of the subject of this article, “Ministering to Our Ministers.” There are many passages of Scripture which speak to this subject. The apostle Paul praises the...

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