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All Articles For The Church At Worship

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The second part of the Form for the Ordination of Elders and Deacons deals with the office of the deacon. This Form is rather brief, dealing with just two matters. First of all the origin and institution of the office is recorded, and this is followed by a brief description of the office itself. To these matters we will return presently, but let us first make some general observations.

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Worship is the highest of all the functions of man. There is nothing physical or mundane in it, although it can and frequently is performed through the use of many physical media derived from the present world, Worship in its essential character is a thoroughly spiritual function of the entire nature of man in which he transcends the temporal and earthly and is consciously overwhelmed by the eternal realities of God. The creature who has been created in the very image and likeness of God Himself is brought into experiential fellowship with the Creator for the duration of worship.

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The above caption is a partial quotation taken from the third question that is asked by the church of parents when they present their children for baptism. It clearly defines the limitation of the sacred vow in which promise is made that we will arduously and faithfully instruct the children God entrusts to our care “in the aforesaid doctrine,” which, for us Protestant Reformed parents, can only mean the faith or way of life set forth in the Protestant Reformed credo! We will spare no effort.

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Instructing our children in harmony with the truths of our confession is not an optional matter. It is a most solemn duty imposed upon us by God and, involving a grave responsibility. This responsibility is voluntarily assumed by us, the parents, in the baptism of our children; and its application is not limited to any given sphere of our or our children’s lives. It embraces the church, the home and the school. God Himself defines the limitation of this duty when He commands us in His Word:

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The Form for the Baptism of Infant Children that is used in our churches contains two significant prayers. The first of these is uttered at the conclusion of the reading of the form proper and just before the parents are asked to answer the questions. The other one occurs at the conclusion of the ceremony and is a prayer of thanksgiving. To these two prayers we now give our attention because they also are an integral part of the administration of the sacrament. 

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