October 2007

Let us remember God’s mighty acts in the history of Redemption. Use today to reflect on God’s Word, His Son, and the full sufficiency of the Scriptures to teach what man is to believe concerning God as well as what man is to do to glorify and enjoy God. Join the Reformed faith in praying that God would move again to shake the world and to bring men, women, and children back to God’s Word. On this day, be a TRUE LUTHERAN.

One generation shall praise thy works to another,

and shall declare thy mighty acts.
I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.
And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts:
and I will declare thy greatness.
They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness,
and shall sing of thy righteousness.
The LORD is gracious,
and full of compassion;
slow to anger,
and of great mercy.
The LORD is good to all:
and his tender mercies are over all his works.

Psalm 145:4-9


Here is a photo of the newly (re)formed, First Reformed Presbyterian Church. Friday we were covenanted into the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America. Below is the Covenant of Church membership that every member is to covenant to uphold. We look forward to participating in the life and work of the RPCNA.

Covenant of Communicant Membership

1. Do you believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, the only infallible rule for faith and life?
2. Do you believe in the one living and true God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as revealed in the Scriptures?
3. Do you repent of your sin; confess your guilt and helplessness as a sinner against God; profess Jesus Christ, Son of God, as your Saviour and Lord; and dedicate yourself to His service: Do you promise that you will endeavor to forsake all sin, and to conform your life to His teaching and example?
4. Do you promise to submit in the Lord to the teaching and government of this church as being based upon the Scriptures and described in substance in the Constitution of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America? Do you recognize your responsibility to work with others in the church and do you promise to support and encourage them in their service to the Lord? In case you should need correction in doctrine or life, do you promise to respect the authority and discipline of the church?
5. To the end that you may grow in the Christian life, do you promise that you will diligently read the Bible, engage in private prayer, keep the Lord’s Day, regularly attend the worship services, observe the appointed sacraments, and give to the Lord’s work as He shall prosper you?
6. Do you purpose to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness in all the relationships of life, faithfully to perform your whole duty as a true servant of Jesus Christ, and seek to win others to Him?
7. Do you make this profession of faith and purpose in the presence of God, in humble reliance upon His grace, as you desire to give your account with joy at the Last Great Day?

The effects of meekness are:

(1) a being congenial, so that it is a pleasant and effortless task to interact with the meek person.

(2) a relinquishing of one’s rights. A meek person is a wise person; his wisdom is of a meek nature, and he is neither witless nor insensitive. He can indeed judge what is his right, and he is capable of standing up for his rights. He will do so if this is God’s will and he is under obligation to do so. However, he does so with quiet earnestness, freedom, and in a noble manner–always in such a manner that his meekness shines forth. If, however, there are matters in which he may yield, then he would rather do so than to gain that which is his ultimate right by fighting for it.

(3) enduring injustice. A meek person neither wishes to get even nor avenge himself–even if he were able to do so.

(4) a forgiving of the committed injustice. Forgiveness does not merely consist in a refraining from taking vengeance, meanwhile harboring animosity and hatred in the heart. Instead, it consists in not holding the offender accountable and in loving him no less than before. It means that the offender must be treated as if he had not committed the deed.

(5) the rewarding of evil with good. To render evil for evil is carnal, to reward good with evil is devilish, but to reward evil with good is Christian (IV: 83-84).

As we approach the 490th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, we need to remember that the heart of the matter was this question: ‘How can a man be made right with a holy and just God?” This is a question that we need to be asking ourselves, our families, and those with whom we come into contact. The doctrine of justification by faith alone is as important, and misunderstood, as it was before the dawn of the Protestant Reformation. May the Lord again send Reformation to His Bride.

Habakkuk 2:4 “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.

Romans 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

“The precious and momentous doctrine of justification by faith alone, when biblically preached and rightly balanced, is not a denominational or sectarian peculiarity. It is not a mere species of Christianity. It is the heart of the evangel, the kernel of the glorious gospel of the blessed triune God, and the key to the kingdom of heaven.

“Justification by faith,” John Murray writes, ” is the jubilee trumpet of the gospel because it proclaims the gospel to the poor and destitute whose only door of hope is to roll themselves in total helplessness upon the grace and power and righteousness of the Redeemer of the lost.” In our decadent and desperate day there is a crying need to reestablish and defend, with prayer and hope, in the power of the Spirit, the scriptural proclamation of this doctrine. The relevance and urgency of this doctrine relate to the identity of the church, the essence of Christian theology, the proclamation of the gospel, as well as to the scriptural-experiential foundations of the Christian faith for every one of us. Not only is justification by faith still, in Luther’s words, “the article by which the church stands or falls” (articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae), but by this doctrine each of us shall personally stand of fall before God. Justification by faith alone must be confessed and experienced by you and me; it is a matter of eternal life or eternal death.”
-Dr. Joel Beeke.

Whether you like it or not, today may be the real ‘Earth Day’. The famous Arch Bishop James Ussher Chronology states that God created the world on the evening before October 23, 4004 BC. This date is followed by many in the Reformed faith as well as many evangelical Christians.

So, if you are a big-time creation science person- happy earth day. Almost all of creation science dating is based on Arch Bishop Ussher’s work.

On a personal note, I do not think that we should be too dogmatic about 4004 BC, and definitely not dogmatic about October 23rd… nevertheless, it is fun part of our Christian heritage to note that men have spent substantial time and energy attempting to figure out when God created the world.

Buy Ussher’s work here.

The propriety of such assemblies is first of all evident when considering the need for such assemblies. It is naturally evident to man that there can be no republic or society without having an assembly of those who have been appointed as rulers. This is particularly true when such republics and societies include various provinces, cities, and villages. It is thus also a requisite in the church that her elders assemble, not only in each individual church, but also in the provinces. In turn, there must be assemblies representing several and/or many provinces. If need be, there must also be assemblies consisting of delegates from all churches throughout the world, for there is but one church. In this manner the unity of doctrine will be preserved, and the church will be delivered from confusion (II:157).

I went through a number of boxes in a closet today. I found a number of old pictures and my old brown leather Bible cover that I was given when I first became a Christian. Looking back in reflection through those old pictures I wonder about the zeal that I had back then. I was not afraid to talk to anyone about the love of Christ, the free offer of grace, and the realities of life without God.

We ebb and flow in our Christian experience, but with the Lord’s help we should not lose our zeal for Christ or what the book of Revelation calls ‘our first love’. We should all examine ourselves and see where our allegiance lies. At times, for me, the fear of man, holds me back. Other times I feel spiritually empowered to speak of the great things of God. We should strive for perseverance, for growth in grace and knowledge, and above all, a greater dependence on the Lord Jesus Christ. As the song we used to sing in the praise circles went- more of you Lord, less of me.

For the sake of Christ and the next generation of believers, do not lose your first love. I have some praying to do.

“The lush green color of springtime in the congregation [at Ephesus] has disappeared, and the fading shades… of Autumn are now prevalent. To put it differently, the church that Jesus addressed no longer consisted of first generation believers but of second and third generation Christians. These people lacked the enthusiasm their parents and grandparents had demonstrated. They functioned not as propagators of the faith but as caretakers and custodians. There was an obvious deficiency in evangelistic outreach as a result of a status quo mode of thought. They loved the Lord, but no longer with heart, mind, and soul.” –Simon Kistemaker

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