All Articles For Taking Heed to the Doctrine

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Rev. Key is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Randolph, Wisconsin. As we make the transition in our doctrinal studies from Christology to soteriology, or the doctrine of salvation, we consider together the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. That is fitting, because soteriology is the work of the Holy Spirit in applying the benefits of Christ to the elect. We read in Acts 2:1 that the Holy Spirit was poured out when the day of Pentecost was fully come, that is, when the day of the Old Testament Pentecost was fulfilled. It was therefore the morning of the next day, the...

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Rev. Laning is pastor of Hope Protestant Reformed Chruch in Walker, Michigan. Previous article in this series: September 1, 2008, p. 474. False teachers often take advantage of other false teachings to promote themselves. They start by pointing out what is unbiblical about what others are saying, and this prepares their listeners or readers to listen to them when they suggest their own theological system as an alternative. With this in mind we turn to consider some of the false teachings that were on the rise at the same time that dispensationalism became popular. More people began listening to the...

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Rev. Laning is pastor of Hope Protestant Reformed Church in Walker, Michigan. Previous article in this series: November 1, 2008, p. 61. Central to dispensationalism is the dispensationalists’ view of unfulfilled prophecy. They insist that many of God’s covenant promises made to Israel in the old dispensation have yet to be fulfilled. These promises, the dispensationalists argue, will not be fulfilled unless Christ returns to earth, sits on David’s throne, and reigns in Palestine over Israel for many years prior to the final judgment. In their view, if God’s covenant promises are literally true—and dispensationalists insist that they are—then such a carnal...

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Rev. Laning is pastor of Hope Protestant Reformed Church in Walker, Michigan. Before going into the specific saving works of the Holy Spirit, such as regeneration, calling, justification, and sanctification, we take some time to consider the Spirit’s work as a whole. There are many who deny the fundamental truths of the Reformed faith, who nevertheless claim that a mighty work of the Spirit is going on in their midst. One such group, known as the Charismatics, claims to be the only group that has actually been baptized in the Holy Spirit. They call their gospel the full gospel, and...

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Rev. Laning is pastor of Hope Protestant Reformed Church in Walker, Michigan. The subject of good works is often considered under the heading of sanctification. Article 24 of the Belgic Confession, for example, is entitled “Of Man’s Sanctification and Good Works.” When God sanctifies us, He causes us willingly to perform good works. In fact, if God did not sanctify us, we would be completely unable to do good works. It is only by the sanctifying grace of God that we are able to begin to perform the works that are pleasing to our God. This truth concerning the inseparable...

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Rev. Laning is pastor of Hope Protestant Reformed Church in Walker, Michigan. The truth that God rewards us according to our works does not contradict the truth that salvation is entirely of God’s grace. We must not be afraid to confess that God does indeed reward us for the good works that we perform. We simply must go on and state, as we do in Lord’s Day 24 of the Heidelberg Catechism, that “This reward is not of merit, but of grace.” God does reward us, but this reward is entirely of His sovereign and particular grace. Although this subject...

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Rev. Key is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Hull, Iowa. One of the most beautiful and comforting truths of Holy Scripture is that pertaining to the preservation of the saints and their perseverance in the faith. It is a truth that permeates the entire Word of God. On the one hand, it is drawn forth by God as the inspired confession of the psalmist in Psalm 16. Christ stands in the loins of David, as the New Testament quotations of this passage make clear. And because Christ was in him, David confessed (and we do with him), “I have...

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God has promised that He will save all Israel. What, exactly, does this promise mean? Many have taken this to mean that at some point in the future the earthly nation of Israel is going to be converted. The earthly nation as we know it today remains in unbelief. But those who hold to such a position say that a radical change is someday going to take place, and the nation of Israel is going to repent of their sins and turn to God in faith. Is this really true? Are we to expect such a conversion? This would be unlike anything...

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Rev. Laning is pastor of Hope Protestant Reformed Church in Walker, Michigan. We now move on to the fifth section of Reformed dogmatics, known as ecclesiology. Ecclesiology is the study of the church. It includes a study of what the church is and of how she grows and is governed. It can be distinguished from soteriology, which we have just considered. Soteriology is the study of how God saves an individual believer; ecclesiology is the study of how God saves the church as a whole. The church is an object of faith. We confess that we “believe an holy, catholic...

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Rev. Laning is pastor of Hope Protestant Reformed Church in Walker, Michigan. The unity of the church is an organic unity. It is not the mechanical unity of a machine, but the organic unity of a body, in which the many members together live one life. It is not the external, hierarchical unity of the Romish church, but the internal, spiritual union of those who are of like faith. It is a spiritual unity, a unity of faith, in which the Spirit of Christ unites together the various members of the body, so that they together live one life, having...

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