April 2007

Closed until the semester ends on May 12th. Please go read a good book.


The Holy Spirit, igniting love in the hearts of God’s children, operates in harmony with man’s nature. Man cannot love what he does not know and his love cannot go beyond that which he knows. The Holy Spirit thus also works this love by the medium of knowledge. God gives enlightened eyes of understanding to His children. He reveals Himself to them, they know His perfections, and the love of God is thus ignited in them. “Every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8); “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Mat. 22:37) [III: 265].

Here is a helpful website to sort out all of the peas in the soup. We Presbyterians have a reputation for dividing a lot; but the truth is we are in as much as sin as the next band of Protestants:

  • Who can tell all of those Baptists apart? Regular. Particular. Primitive. Calvinistic. Reformed. Southern.
  • How about the Reformed? Heritage, Free, Christian, Canadian, Netherlands, German, United, Independent, US, etc.

Point being, we all have things to work on. We are a long way to being faithful to John 17 that is for sure! But, here is a road map to help you through the section of the body of Christ called Presbyterians- split and united. It includes the Reformed as well. So it is Split R and P soup.

Split P Organizer

Cotton Mather was dealing with a type of seeker-sensitive church in his day. He thought that the introduction of musical instruments (especially the organ) was a ploy to entertain the people and steal them out of the Reformed churches.

He saw the organ in the same way that many in today’s churches see guitars and a drum set. I guess that many of us, upon reflection, need to reconsider our positions on these things. What is the difference between a guitar and an organ? Is there any difference?

If we believe in doing what God tells us to do in worship, should we not have all of the instruments that God says to use in the Old Testament and not one that was invented in the 1600s? Or should we reconsider the whole thing? Why did ALL of the Reformed churches sing a capella? What does God want from us?

“Attempts to propagate the Church of England among us, by a most conspicuous and marvelous blast of heaven upon them, do very much come to nothing. Even the organs introduced into the chapel in this metropolis of the English America, signify very little to draw over our people unto them.” -Cotton Mather, in a letter to John Stirling, 1714.

Q. 33. What is justification?

A. Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein he pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.
Q. 34. What is adoption?
A. Adoption is an act of God’s free grace,a whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges, of the sons of God.

My catechumens are working on these two questions for the week. I have taken this opportunity to discuss the necessity of conversion and the need for all men (including covenant children) to have their sins pardoned.

I have given them a homework assignment that requires them to interview their believing parents and grandparents and ask them to tell the story of their justification by faith alone. As a Calvinist, I believe that one can have a testimony that says “I have never known a day when I did not love the Lord Jesus”. This is my prayer for my children, that they would know and love Christ from their very youth.

With that in mind, even covenant children can discuss and write out their testimony. I hope that this exercise proves to be beneficial to my catechumens as they again hear of how their families fell in love with the Lord Jesus Christ. I would challenge you write out yours as well. Someday you may be asked to talk about your Christian experience while sharing the good news.

There is no sin from which a regenerated person is safeguarded in an absolute sense. Nobody can say: “I shall never fall into that sin.” A person will never be delivered from the indwelling corruption of his nature. It will always prevent and defile that which is good, always stir up lusts, and daily cause a man to offend in many things, doing so either out of carelessness, or due to the sudden occurrence of an event (IV: 255).

This year the Banner of Truth Conference will focus on being ‘set apart for God’. I have linked the online brochure for you to check it out. I would love to meet up with anyone that is planning on attending. I have heard that in years past the ARP and the RPCNA people have gotten together for a Psalm sing. I am up for that! The dates are May 29-31. Is anyone interested in attending?
Online Brochure

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