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Showing posts from October, 2015

Of the Last Judgment

Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) Chapter XXXIII I. God has appointed a day, wherein He will judge the world, in righteousness, by Jesus Christ , [1] to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father. [2] In which day, not only the apostate angels shall be judged, [3] but likewise all persons that have lived upon earth shall appear before the tribunal of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds; and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil. [4] II. The end of God's appointing this day is for the manifestation of the glory of His mercy, in the eternal salvation of the elect; and of His justice, in the damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient. For then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fulness of joy and refreshing, which shall come from the presence of the Lord; but the wicked who know not God, and obey not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into eternal to

“Then Luther arose” by John Calvin

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Posted at Tolle Lege: “At the time when divine truth lay buried under this vast and dense cloud of darkness; when religion was sullied by so many impious superstitions; when by horrid blasphemies the worship of God was corrupted, and His glory laid prostrate; when by a multitude of perverse opinions, the benefit of redemption was frustrated, and men, intoxicated with a fatal confidence in works, sought salvation anywhere rather than in Christ; when the administration of the sacraments was partly maimed and torn asunder, partly adulterated by the admixture of numerous fictions, and partly profaned by traffickings for gain; ... Read more here...

Archive Recording of Dr. Ian Paisley: Richard Cameron (Covenanter)

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(32 minutes) Source: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=321121815453 Covenanter Martyr Richard Cameron

Of the State of Men after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead

Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) Chapter XXXII I. The bodies of men, after death, return to dust, and see corruption: [1] but their souls, which neither die nor sleep, having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them : [2] the souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God, in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies. [3] And the souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day. [4] Beside these two places, for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledges none. II. At the last day, such as are found alive shall not die, but be changed : [5] and all the dead shall be raised up, with the selfsame bodies, and none other (although with different qualities), which shall be united again to their souls forever. [6] III. The bodies of the unjust shall

Mrs. Janet (Mure) Carstairs: 'A Dearest and Most Kind Friend'

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By Angela Wittman " I desire to bless Him that ever He was pleased to cast our lot together, that He found you out a help meet for me: you were never a temptation to me, nor an obstruction to me either in my ministerial or Christian course… " (Written by Mr. John Carstairs to his wife Janet in November of 1662.) Janet Mure was born in February of 1625 in Scotland; she was the sister of Margaret Durham, who was married to James Durham, the well known theologian and respected minister of the Presbyterian Church. Janet married Mr. John Carstairs, who became one of the persecuted non-conformist ministers of the Gospel, at the age of 22 or 23 years. Together they had seven children: three sons and four daughters. Most of what we know about Janet Carstairs is derived from the letters she and her husband wrote to each other during the period of time when he was forced to flee Scotland due to persecution for his adherence to the Presbyterian faith. Their letters reveal a strong, hero

Of Synods and Councils

Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) Chapter XXXI I. For the better government, and further edification of the Church, there ought to be such assemblies as are commonly called synods or councils. [1] II. As magistrates may lawfully call a synod of ministers, and other fit persons, to consult and advise with, about matters of religion ; [2] so, if magistrates be open enemies to the Church, the ministers of Christ, of themselves, by virtue of their office, or they, with other fit persons upon delegation from their Churches, may meet together in such assemblies. [3] III. It belongs to synods and councils, ministerially to determine controversies of faith, and cases of conscience; to set down rules and directions for the better ordering of the public worship of God, and government of his Church; to receive complaints in cases of maladministration, and authoritatively to determine the same; which decrees and determinations, if consonant to the Word of God, are to be received with rever

Katherine Parr: Reformation Queen of England and Ireland

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By Diane Bucknell - Posted at Out of the Ordinary : “To be useful in all I do.” Queen Katherine Parr The year was 1512. Michelangelo’s magnificent Sistine Chapel frescos were unveiled. Twenty-nine year old Martin Luther earned his Doctorate in Theology at Wittenberg U, but didn’t understand justification by faith. And a precocious three year old named Jehan Cauvin was busy exploring his world in northern France. God was setting the stage for a Reformation that would soon rock the world. Sir Thomas Parr and his wife Maud Greene, a prominent couple from Westmoreland, welcomed their baby daughter into the world that year. Katherine, named after King Henry VIII’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon, received a fine education learning several languages fluently. But by the age of twenty-one, she had lost both parents and her first husband. The Parr family was acquainted with some of the early Reformers and Katherine zealously embraced this “New Rel

Devotional: 'Sins of Ignorance'

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By C.H. Spurgeon - Posted at Daily Checkbook/ Sermon Audio: "And it shall be forgiven them; for it is ignorance" — Numbers 15:25 Because of our ignorance we are not fully aware of our sins of ignorance. Yet we may be sure they are many, in the form both of commission and omission. We may be doing in all sincerity, as a service to God, that which He has never commanded and can never accept. The LORD knows these sins of ignorance every one. This may well alarm us, since in justice He will require these trespasses at our hand; but on the other hand, faith spies comfort in this fact, for the LORD will see to it that stains unseen by us shall yet be washed away. He sees the sin that He may cease to see it by casting it behind His back. Our great comfort is that Jesus, the true priest, has made atonement for all the congregation of the children of Israel. That atonement secures the pardon of unknown sins. His precious blood cleanses us from all sin. Whether our eyes have seen

Of Church Censures

Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) Chapter XXX I. The Lord Jesus, as king and head of His Church , has therein appointed a government, in the hand of Church officers, distinct from the civil magistrate. [1] II. To these officers the keys of the kingdom of heaven are committed ; by virtue whereof, they have power, respectively, to retain, and remit sins; to shut that kingdom against the impenitent, both by the Word, and censures; and to open it unto penitent sinners, by the ministry of the Gospel; and by absolution from censures, as occasion shall require. [2] III. Church censures are necessary, for the reclaiming and gaining of offending brethren , for deterring of others from the like offenses, for purging out of that leaven which might infect the whole lump, for vindicating the honor of Christ, and the holy profession of the Gospel, and for preventing the wrath of God, which might justly fall upon the Church, if they should suffer His covenant, and the seals thereof, to

Of the Lord's Supper

Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) Chapter XXIX I. Our Lord Jesus, in the night wherein He was betrayed, instituted the sacrament of His body and blood, called the Lord's Supper, to be observed in His Church, unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice of Himself in His death; the sealing all benefits thereof unto true believers, their spiritual nourishment and growth in Him, their further engagement in and to all duties which they owe unto Him; and, to be a bond and pledge of their communion with Him, and with each other, as members of His mystical body. [1] II. In this sacrament, Christ is not offered up to His Father; nor any real sacrifice made at all, for remission of sins of the quick or dead ; [2] but only a commemoration of that one offering up of Himself, by Himself, upon the cross, once for all: and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God, for the same: [3] so that the popish sacrifice of the mass (as they call it) is most

Of Baptism

Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) Chapter XXVIII I. Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ , [1] not only for the solemn admission of the party baptized into the visible Church; [2] but also to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace, [3] of his ingrafting into Christ, [4] of regeneration, [5] of remission of sins, [6] and of his giving up unto God, through Jesus Christ, to walk in the newness of life. [7] Which sacrament is, by Christ's own appointment, to be continued in His Church until the end of the world. [8] II. The outward element to be used in this sacrament is water, wherewith the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by a minister of the Gospel, lawfully called thereunto. [9] III. Dipping of the person into the water is not necessary; but Baptism is rightly administered by pouring, or sprinkling water upon the person. [10] IV. Not only those that do actually pro

John Knox: Reformer of Scotland and Father of Presbyterianism

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Posted at Continuing Reformation: John Knox – Preaching at St. Giles Cathedral – Stained Glass from St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland. John Knox stands as a giant of the Protestant faith. A former sword-bearing body guard and a former slave captured by the French; a man who sparred with a Queen, accused of heresy, and lived to tell the tale. John Knox lived a life as turbulent and fierce as the highlands of Scotland itself. Knox’s life serves as an example of how the actions of a few good men can change the fortunes of an entire nation. Read more here...

The Second Part - Of Man's Deliverance (Continued)

Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note. This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. 6. Lord's day  Q. 16. Why must he be very man, and also perfectly righteous?  A. Because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which has sinned, should likewise make satisfaction for sin; (a) and one, who is himself a sinner, cannot satisfy for others. (b)  (a) Ezek.18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. Ezek.18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son:

Of the Sacraments

Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) Chapter XXVII I. Sacraments are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace , [1] immediately instituted by God, [2] to represent Christ and His benefits; and to confirm our interest in Him: [3] as also, to put a visible difference between those that belong unto the Church and the rest of the world; [4] and solemnly to engage them to the service of God in Christ, according to His Word. [5] II. There is, in every sacrament, a spiritual relation, or sacramental union, between the sign and the thing signified : whence it comes to pass, that the names and effects of the one are attributed to the other. [6] III. The grace which is exhibited in or by the sacraments rightly used, is not conferred by any power in them; neither does the efficacy of a sacrament depend upon the piety or intention of him that does administer it : [7] but upon the work of the Spirit, [8] and the word of institution, which contains, together with a precept authorizing

Of the Communion of Saints

Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) Chapter XXVI I. All saints, that are united to Jesus Christ their Head, by His Spirit, and by faith, have fellowship with Him in His grace, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory : [1] and, being united to one another in love, they have communion in each other's gifts and graces, [2] and are obliged to the performance of such duties, public and private, as do conduce to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man. [3] II. Saints by profession are bound to maintain an holy fellowship and communion in the worship of God, and in performing such other spiritual services as tend to their mutual edification ; [4] as also in relieving each other in outward things, according to their several abilities and necessities. Which communion, as God offers opportunity, is to be extended unto all those who, in every place, call upon the name of the Lord Jesus. [5] III. This communion which the saints have with Christ, does not make them in any

Of the Church

Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) Chapter XXV I. The catholic or universal Church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of Him that fills all in all. [1] II. The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the Gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion; [2] and of their children: [3] and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, [4] the house and family of God, [5] out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation. [6] III. Unto this catholic visible Church Christ has given the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints, in this life, to the end of the world: and does, by His own presence and Spirit, according to His promise, make them effectual thereunto. [7] IV.

The Reformation & the Rediscovery of Christian Assurance

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By Eric Davis - Posted at The Cripplegate: It was a saying frequently heard in those days. As they would make their way up to the doors of the monastery, history records that those daring to enter the Augustinian ranks chanted the following: “In thy holy name we have clad in the habit of a monk, that he may continue with thy help faithful in thy Church and merit eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” With the hope of accumulating that merit, the monk candidate then stepped foot into a life of austere devotion to Roman Catholic tradition. It would not be easy, but with enough rigor and exertion, the candidate could move himself that much closer to the possibility of heaven. There was one such man who dared enter the Augustinian ranks at the age of 22. After nearly being struck by lightning, Martin Luther vowed to abandon his secular studies to become a monk. Two weeks later, on July 17, 1505, Luther presented himself at the monastery of Erfurt. Read more here...

Of Marriage and Divorce

Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) Chapter XXIV I. Marriage is to be between one man and one woman: neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband, at the same time. [1] II. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife, [2] for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, and of the Church with an holy seed; [3] and for preventing of uncleanness. [4] III. It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry, who are able with judgment to give their consent. [5] Yet it is the duty of Christians to marry only in the Lord. [6] And therefore such as profess the true reformed religion should not marry with infidels, papists, or other idolaters: neither should such as are godly be unequally yoked, by marrying with such as are notoriously wicked in their life, or maintain damnable heresies. [7] IV. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity forbidden by the Word. [8] Nor

Of the Civil Magistrate

Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) Chapter XXIII I. God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, has ordained civil magistrates, to be, under Him, over the people, for His own glory, and the public good: and, to this end, has armed them with the power of the sword, for the defence and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evil doers. [1] II. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate, when called thereunto: [2] in the managing whereof, as they ought especially to maintain piety, justice, and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each commonwealth; [3] so, for that end, they may lawfully, now under the New Testament, wage war, upon just and necessary occasion. [4] III. Civil magistrates may not assume to themselves the administration of the Word and sacraments; or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven; [5] yet he has authority, and it is his duty, to take order that unity and peace be preserved in the

What is thy only comfort in life and death?: The Life and Significance of Zacharias Ursinus and the Heidelberg Catechism

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Posted at Continuing Reformation : A student and friend of many great Protestant Reformers, Zacharias Ursinus is remembered along with his mentors for his work as the principle author of the Heidelberg Catechism, one of the best-loved catechisms within the Reformed Protestant tradition. Ursinus, born Zacharias Bear (he later Latinized his name to Ursinus) was born in the town of Breslau, modern-day Wrocaw, Poland in the year 1534. His father was a tutor, and Ursinus grew up surrounded by learning and education. (“Ursinus and Olevianus”) At the age of 15, Ursinus entered Wittenberg University, the great institution at which Martin Luther had ignited the first sparks of Reformation in Europe. Here he befriended Phillip Melanchthon and studied under his teaching, opening his mind to a moderate view of the Lord’s Supper, which eventually led him to a Reformed way of thinking. Melanchthon recommended Ursinus to the finest minds in Protestant Christendom, and he met with Jean Mercie

The Second Part - Of Man's Deliverance

Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note. This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. 5. Lord's Day  Q. 12. Since then, by the righteous judgment of God, we deserve temporal and eternal punishment, is there no way by which we may escape that punishment, and be again received into favour?   A. God will have his justice satisfied: (a) and therefore we must make this full satisfaction, either by ourselves, or by another. (b)  (a) Gen.2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Exod.20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the

A Righteousness Apart from the Law That Is Not against the Law: The Story and Message of The Marrow of Modern Divinity

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Christian Focus By Andy Wilson - Posted at The Ordained Servant : The Story of The Marrow of Modern Divinity The Marrow of Modern Divinity is a book with an interesting history and an important message. The title is indicative of the book’s content: it is filled with choice quotations from key Reformers, including Luther, Calvin, Bullinger, Ursinus, and Ames. First published in 1645 by an English bookseller/barber/surgeon named Edward Fisher, it was also at the heart of a controversy in the eighteenth-century Scottish church. In the midst of that controversy, a minister named Thomas Boston published an edition of The Marrow that contained extensive explanatory notes on Fisher’s text. A 2009 edition published by Christian Focus presents Boston’s helpful, but sometimes cumbersome, notes in a reader-friendly format. [1] The Marrow is written as a dialogue among four characters: Evangelista (a minister of the gospel); Nomista (a legalist); Antinomista (an antinomian); and Neo

What Is Reformation Day All About?

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By Robert Rothwell - Posted at Ligonier Ministries : (Oct. 29, 2014) On Friday, much of the culture will be focused on candy and things that go bump in the night. Protestants, however, have something far more significant to celebrate on October 31. Friday is Reformation day, which commemorates what was perhaps the greatest move of God’s Spirit since the days of the Apostles. But what is the significance of Reformation Day, and how should we consider the events it commemorates? At the time, few would have suspected that the sound of a hammer striking the castle church door in Wittenberg, Germany, would soon be heard around the world and lead ultimately to the greatest transformation of Western society since the apostles first preached the Gospel throughout the Roman empire. Martin Luther’s nailing of his ninety-five theses to the church door on October 31, 1517, provoked a debate that culminated finally in what we now call the Protestant Reformation. Read more here...

Of Lawful Oaths and Vows

Westminster Confession of Faith  (1646) Chapter XXII I. A lawful oath is part of religious worship , [1] wherein, upon just occasion, the person swearing solemnly calls God to witness what he asserts, or promises, and to judge him according to the truth or falsehood of what he swears. [2] II. The name of God only is that by which men ought to swear, and therein it is to be used with all holy fear and reverence. [3] Therefore, to swear vainly, or rashly, by that glorious and dreadful Name; or, to swear at all by any other thing, is sinful, and to be abhorred. [4] Yet, as in matters of weight and moment, an oath is warranted by the Word of God, under the New Testament as well as under the old; [5] so a lawful oath, being imposed by lawful authority, in such matters, ought to be taken. [6] III. Whosoever takes an oath ought duly to consider the weightiness of so solemn an act, and therein to avouch nothing but what he is fully persuaded is the truth : [7] neither may any man bind

In Loving Memory of Pierre Viret: The Forgotten Reformer, Counselor, Angel, and the “Smiling Face” to the Reformation

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By Michael Pursley - Posted at Regeneration, Repentance and Reformation : This is a short biography of Pierre Viret (1511 – 4 May 1571), a Swiss Reformed theologian, who is as obscure now as his tiny native village. However, he was without a doubt, the most sought after Reformed minister of the Sixteenth Century. As, one great scholar and professor has pointed out.. No tourist in Geneva can miss the impressive Reformation Monument with its four towering figures: John Calvin, Guillaume Farel, Theodore Beza, and John Knox. Some visitors might even notice a series of reliefs on the statue’s base, which depict various scenes from the Genevan Reformation. Yet only a sharp-eyed observer is likely to spot in one of the reliefs a spare man with a long beard preaching to a crowd of intent listeners: that man is Pierre Viret. Viret is now virtually forgotten among the major reformers. But if we can say that Calvin systematized the theology of the Reformation, it would be equally just to

Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day

Westminster Confession of Faith  (1646) Chapter XXI I. The light of nature shows that there is a God, who has lordship and sovereignty over all, is good, and does good unto all, and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the might. [1] But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture. [2] II. Religious worship is to be given to God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and to Him alone ; [3] not to angels, saints, or any other creature: [4] and, since the fall, not without a Mediator; nor in the mediation of any other but of Christ alone. [5] III. Prayer, with thanksgiving, being one special part of religious worship , [6] is

Of Christian Liberty, and Liberty of Conscience

Westminster Confession of Faith  (1646) Chapter XX I. The liberty which Christ has purchased for believers under the Gospel consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, and condemning wrath of God, the curse of the moral law; [1] and, in their being delivered from this present evil world, bondage to Satan, and dominion of sin; [2] from the evil of afflictions, the sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation; [3] as also, in their free access to God, [4] and their yielding obedience unto Him, not out of slavish fear, but a child-like love and willing mind. [5] All which were common also to believers under the law. [6] But, under the New Testament, the liberty of Christians is further enlarged, in their freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law, to which the Jewish Church was subjected; [7] and in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace, [8] and in fuller communications of the free Spirit of God, than believers under the law did ordinaril