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Showing posts from October, 2016

The Atonement

Belgic Confession Article 21: The Atonement We believe that Jesus Christ is a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek-- made such by an oath-- and that he presented himself in our name before his Father, to appease his wrath with full satisfaction by offering himself on the tree of the cross and pouring out his precious blood for the cleansing of our sins, as the prophets had predicted. For it is written that "the chastisement of our peace" was placed on the Son of God and that "we are healed by his wounds." He was "led to death as a lamb"; he was "numbered among sinners"^45 and condemned as a criminal by Pontius Pilate, though Pilate had declared that he was innocent. So he paid back what he had not stolen,^46 and he suffered-- the "just for the unjust,"^47 in both his body and his soul-- in such a way that when he senses the horrible punishment required by our sins his sweat became like "big drops of blood fal

The Justice and Mercy of God in Christ

The Belgic Confession: Article 20: The Justice and Mercy of God in Christ We believe that God-- who is perfectly merciful and also very just-- sent his Son to assume the nature in which the disobedience had been committed, in order to bear in it the punishment of sin by his most bitter passion and death. So God made known his justice toward his Son, who was charged with our sin, and he poured out his goodness and mercy on us, who are guilty and worthy of damnation, giving to us his Son to die, by a most perfect love, and raising him to life for our justification, in order that by him we might have immortality and eternal life. Source:  http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html

The Two Natures of Christ

The Belgic Confession Article 19: The Two Natures of Christ We believe that by being thus conceived the person of the Son has been inseparably united and joined together with human nature, in such a way that there are not two Sons of God, nor two persons, but two natures united in a single person, with each nature retaining its own distinct properties. Thus his divine nature has always remained uncreated, without beginning of days or end of life,^44 filling heaven and earth. His human nature has not lost its properties but continues to have those of a creature-- it has a beginning of days; it is of a finite nature and retains all that belongs to a real body. And even though he, by his resurrection, gave it immortality, that nonetheless did not change the reality of his human nature; for our salvation and resurrection depend also on the reality of his body. But these two natures are so united together in one person that they are not even separated by his death. So then, what he committ

The Incarnation

The Belgic Confession Article 18: The Incarnation So then we confess that God fulfilled the promise which he had made to the early fathers by the mouth of his holy prophets when he sent his only and eternal Son into the world at the time set by him. The Son took the "form of a servant" and was made in the "likeness of man,"^33 truly assuming a real human nature, with all its weaknesses, except for sin; being conceived in the womb of the blessed virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, without male participation. And he not only assumed human nature as far as the body is concerned but also a real human soul, in order that he might be a real human being. For since the soul had been lost as well as the body he had to assume them both to save them both together. Therefore we confess, against the heresy of the Anabaptists who deny that Christ assumed human flesh from his mother, that he "shared the very flesh and blood of children";^34 that he is "f

The Recovery of Fallen Man

The Belgic Confession Article 17: The Recovery of Fallen Man We believe that our good God, by his marvelous wisdom and goodness, seeing that man had plunged himself in this manner into both physical and spiritual death and made himself completely miserable, set out to find him, though man, trembling all over, was fleeing from him. And he comforted him, promising to give him his Son, "born of a woman,"^31 to crush the head of the serpent,^32 and to make him blessed. ^31 Gal. 4:4 ^32 Gen. 3:15 Source:  http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html

The Doctrine of Election

The Belgic Confession Article 16: The Doctrine of Election We believe that-- all Adam's descendants having thus fallen into perdition and ruin by the sin of the first man-- God showed himself to be as he is: merciful and just. He is merciful in withdrawing and saving from this perdition those whom he, in his eternal and unchangeable counsel, has elected and chosen in Jesus Christ our Lord by his pure goodness, without any consideration of their works. He is just in leaving the others in their ruin and fall into which they plunged themselves. Source:  http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html

The Doctrine of Original Sin

The Belgic Confession Article 15: The Doctrine of Original Sin We believe that by the disobedience of Adam original sin has been spread through the whole human race. It is a corruption of all nature-- an inherited depravity which even infects small infants in their mother's womb, and the root which produces in man every sort of sin. It is therefore so vile and enormous in God's sight that it is enough to condemn the human race, and it is not abolished or wholly uprooted even by baptism, seeing that sin constantly boils forth as though from a contaminated spring. Nevertheless, it is not imputed to God's children for their condemnation but is forgiven by his grace and mercy-- not to put them to sleep but so that the awareness of this corruption might often make believers groan as they long to be set free from the "body of this death."^30 Therefore we reject the error of the Pelagians who say that this sin is nothing else than a matter of imitation. ^30 Rom. 7:24

The Creation and Fall of Man

The Belgic Confession Article 14: The Creation and Fall of Man We believe that God created man from the dust of the earth and made and formed him in his image and likeness-- good, just, and holy; able by his own will to conform in all things to the will of God. But when he was in honor he did not understand it^21 and did not recognize his excellence. But he subjected himself willingly to sin and consequently to death and the curse, lending his ear to the word of the devil. For he transgressed the commandment of life, which he had received, and by his sin he separated himself from God, who was his true life, having corrupted his entire nature. So he made himself guilty and subject to physical and spiritual death, having become wicked, perverse, and corrupt in all his ways. He lost all his excellent gifts which he had received from God, and he retained none of them except for small traces which are enough to make him inexcusable. Moreover, all the light in us is turned to dark

The Doctrine of God's Providence

The Belgic Confession Article 13: The Doctrine of God's Providence We believe that this good God, after he created all things, did not abandon them to chance or fortune but leads and governs them according to his holy will, in such a way that nothing happens in this world without his orderly arrangement. Yet God is not the author of, nor can he be charged with, the sin that occurs. For his power and goodness are so great and incomprehensible that he arranges and does his work very well and justly even when the devils and wicked men act unjustly. We do not wish to inquire with undue curiosity into what he does that surpasses human understanding and is beyond our ability to comprehend. But in all humility and reverence we adore the just judgments of God, which are hidden from us, being content to be Christ's disciples, so as to learn only what he shows us in his Word, without going beyond those limits. This doctrine gives us unspeakable comfort since it teaches us that nothing

The Creation of All Things

The Belgic Confession Article 12: The Creation of All Things We believe that the Father created heaven and earth and all other creatures from nothing, when it seemed good to him, by his Word-- that is to say, by his Son. He has given all creatures their being, form, and appearance, and their various functions for serving their Creator. Even now he also sustains and governs them all, according to his eternal providence, and by his infinite power, that they may serve man, in order that man may serve God. He has also created the angels good, that they might be his messengers and serve his elect. Some of them have fallen from the excellence in which God created them into eternal perdition; and the others have persisted and remained in their orginal state, by the grace of God. The devils and evil spirits are so corrupt that they are enemies of God and of everything good. They lie in wait for the church and every member of it like thieves, with all their power, to destroy and s

The Deity of the Holy Spirit

The Belgic Confession Article 11: The Deity of the Holy Spirit We believe and confess also that the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son-- neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but only proceeding from the two of them. In regard to order, he is the third person of the Trinity-- of one and the same essence, and majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son. He is true and eternal God, as the Holy Scriptures teach us. Source:  http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html

The Deity of Christ

The Belgic Confession Article 10: The Deity of Christ We believe that Jesus Christ, according to his divine nature, is the only Son of God-- eternally begotten, not made nor created, for then he would be a creature. He is one in essence with the Father; coeternal; the exact image of the person of the Father and the "reflection of his glory,"^13 being in all things like him. He is the Son of God not only from the time he assumed our nature but from all eternity, as the following testimonies teach us when they are taken together. Moses says that God "created the world";^14 and John says that "all things were created by the Word,"^15 which he calls God. The apostle says that "God made the world by his Son."^16 He also says that "God created all things by Jesus Christ."^17 And so it must follow that he who is called God, the Word, the Son, and Jesus Christ already existed when all things were created by him. Therefore the prophet Micah say

The Scriptural Witness on the Trinity

The Belgic Confession Article 9: The Scriptural Witness on the Trinity All these things we know from the testimonies of Holy Scripture as well as from the effects of the persons, especially from those we feel within ourselves. The testimonies of the Holy Scriptures, which teach us to believe in this Holy Trinity, are written in many places of the Old Testament, which need not be enumerated but only chosen with discretion. In the book of Genesis God says, "Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness." So "God created man in his own image"-- indeed, "male and female he created them."^6 "Behold, man has become like one of us."^7 It appears from this that there is a plurality of persons within the Deity, when he says, "Let us make man in our image"-- and afterwards he indicates the unity when he says, "God created." It is true that he does not say here how many persons there are-- but what is somewhat obscure to us in

The Trinity

The Belgic Confession Article 8: The Trinity In keeping with this truth and Word of God we believe in one God, who is one single essence, in whom there are three persons, really, truly, and eternally distinct according to their incommunicable properties-- namely, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Father is the cause, origin, and source of all things, visible as well as invisible. The Son is the Word, the Wisdom, and the image of the Father. The Holy Spirit is the eternal power and might, proceeding from the Father and the Son. Nevertheless, this distinction does not divide God into three, since Scripture teaches us that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit each has his own subsistence distinguished by characteristics-- yet in such a way that these three persons are only one God. It is evident then that the Father is not the Son and that the Son is not the Father, and that likewise the Holy Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son. Nevertheless, these persons, thus di

The Sufficiency of Scripture

The Belgic Confession Article 7: The Sufficiency of Scripture We believe that this Holy Scripture contains the will of God completely and that everything one must believe to be saved is sufficiently taught in it. For since the entire manner of service which God requires of us is described in it at great length, no one-- even an apostle or an angel from heaven, as Paul says--^2 ought to teach other than what the Holy Scriptures have already taught us. For since it is forbidden to add to or subtract from the Word of God,^3 this plainly demonstrates that the teaching is perfect and complete in all respects. Therefore we must not consider human writings-- no matter how holy their authors may have been-- equal to the divine writings; nor may we put custom, nor the majority, nor age, nor the passage of time or persons, nor councils, decrees, or official decisions above the truth of God, for truth is above everything else. For all human beings are liars by nature and more vain than vanity

Do we really fear God?

Scripture Text: Job 1:9 (KJV): Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Link: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=82816174166

The Difference Between Canonical and Apocryphal Books

The Belgic Confession Article 6: The Difference Between Canonical and Apocryphal Books We distinguish between these holy books and the apocryphal ones, which are the third and fourth books of Esdras; the books of Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Jesus Sirach, Baruch; what was added to the Story of Esther; the Song of the Three Children in the Furnace; the Story of Susannah; the Story of Bell and the Dragon; the Prayer of Manasseh; and the two books of Maccabees. The church may certainly read these books and learn from them as far as they agree with the canonical books. But they do not have such power and virtue that one could confirm from their testimony any point of faith or of the Christian religion. Much less can they detract from the authority of the other holy books. Source:  http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html

The Authority of Scripture

The Belgic Confession Article 5: The Authority of Scripture We receive all these books and these only as holy and canonical, for the regulating, founding, and establishing of our faith.  And we believe without a doubt all things contained in them-- not so much because the church receives and approves them as such but above all because the Holy Spirit testifies in our hearts that they are from God, and also because they prove themselves to be from God. For even the blind themselves are able to see that the things predicted in them do happen. Source:  http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html

The Canonical Books

The Belgic Confession Article 4: The Canonical Books We include in the Holy Scripture the two volumes of the Old and New Testaments. They are canonical books with which there can be no quarrel at all. In the church of God the list is as follows: In the Old Testament, the five books of Moses-- Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; the books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth; the two books of Samuel, and two of Kings; the two books of Chronicles, called Paralipomenon; the first book of Ezra; Nehemiah, Esther, Job; the Psalms of David; the three books of Solomon-- Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song; the four major prophets-- Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel; and then the other twelve minor prophets-- Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. In the New Testament, the four gospels-- Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; the Acts of the Apostles; the fourteen letters of Paul-- to the Romans; the two letters to the Corinthians; to

The Written Word of God

The Belgic Confession Article 3: The Written Word of God We confess that this Word of God was not sent nor delivered by the will of men, but that holy men of God spoke, being moved by the Holy Spirit, as Peter says.^1 Afterwards our God-- because of the special care he has for us and our salvation-- commanded his servants, the prophets and apostles, to commit this revealed Word to writing. He himself wrote with his own finger the two tables of the law. Therefore we call such writings holy and divine Scriptures. ^1 2 Pet. 1:21 Source:  http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html

The Means by Which We Know God

The Belgic Confession Article 2: The Means by Which We Know God We know him by two means: First, by the creation, preservation, and government of the universe, since that universe is before our eyes like a beautiful book in which all creatures, great and small, are as letters to make us ponder the invisible things of God: his eternal power and his divinity, as the apostle Paul says in Romans 1:20 . All these things are enough to convict men and to leave them without excuse. Second, he makes himself known to us more openly by his holy and divine Word, as much as we need in this life, for his glory and for the salvation of his own. Source: http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html

The Only God

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The Belgic Confession Article One: The Only God We all believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that there is a single and simple spiritual being, whom we call God -- eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, unchangeable, infinite, almighty; completely wise, just, and good, and the overflowing source of all good. Source:  http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html

The Belgic Confession

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Guido de Bräs Posted at Reformed.org: THE oldest of the doctrinal standards of the Christian Reformed Church is the Confession of Faith, popularly known as the Belgic Confession, following the seventeenth-century Latin designation "Confessio Belgica." "Belgica" referred to the whole of the Netherlands, both north and south, which today is divided into the Netherlands and Belgium. The confession's chief author was Guido de Bräs, a preacher of the Reformed churches of the Netherlands, who died a martyr to the faith in the year 1567. During the sixteenth century the churches in this country were exposed to the most terrible persecution by the Roman Catholic government. To protest against this cruel oppression, and to prove to the persecutors that the adherents of the Reformed faith were not rebels, as was laid to their charge, but law-abiding citizens who professed the true Christian doctrine according to the Holy Scriptures, de Bräs prepared this confessio

Here We Stand, On the Word of God.

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Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History: “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand forever.”—Isaiah 40:8. The following brief editorial served as an introduction to the first issue of THE PRESBYTERIAN GUARDIAN, a periodical which began on October 7, 1935 and ran up until its merger with THE PRESBYTERIAN JOURNAL in October of 1979. So much of Dr. Machen’s writing remains prescient and timely even for our day and age. Not much in the world has changed over the last eighty-one years. Humanity is still born in sin and still desperately needs a Savior. And the Word of God has not changed either. It remains the very Word of God, infallible and inerrant, our only rule of faith and life. The Changing Scene and the Unchanging Word by the Rev. J. Gresham Machen The Presbyterian Guardian, Vol. 1, No. 1 (7 October 1935) We certainly have before us today a changing scene, and very ominous are the figures that stalk across it. Twenty years after a war whi

THE Text of the Reformation

By Dr. Sinclair Ferguson - Preached August, 2014 at the Knox 500 Conference: Scripture Text: Romans 1:17 (ESV) 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Link: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=929142028311

The Primacy of Scripture

By Dr. Sinclair Ferguson - Preached August, 2014 at the Knox 500 Conference: Link: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=92914207407

The Kind of Preaching God Blesses

By Dr. Steven J. Lawson - Preached August, 2014 at the Knox 500 Conference: Link: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=92914195310

The Five Solas of the Reformation

By Dr. Steven J. Lawson - Preached August, 2014 at the Knox 500 Conference: Link: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=92914203914

Signs, Seasons and Survivors! Isaiah 37:30-32

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By Rev. Bob McEvoy - Posted at The Salty Scrivener: Signs, Seasons and Survivors! (Communion Sunday) Text . Isaiah 27:30-32 This part of Isaiah is narrative – history unfolding. God has spoken again through Isaiah, describing the nature of those who ‘rage against God’ and the terrible fate that awaits them. In conclusion to that divine message, Isaiah tells Hezekiah that God will give him a sign… 1. Signs? 30a “And this shall be the sign for you: Now there is no doubt that the bible is full of signs and references to signs. But biblical signs always point us to something specific, Exodus 4:8; Joshua 24:17, Matthew 12:38; John 2:18; Acts 2:22 Should we seek signs? Jesus said, Matthew 16:4 An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed. Signs in Isaiah: Certainly Isaiah has a fair ration of signs…. Isaiah 7:14 Isaiah 8:18. Isaiah 19:20. Isaiah 20:3. Isaiah 55:13. Do you remember the names

Am I a Christian?

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Bass Rock - Wikipedia Posted at Reformation Scotland: Some people never ask this question, it doesn’t really occur to them. Others feel they never should ask it, though the inclination exists. Still others never get beyond only asking themselves this question. They don’t get to an answer that satisfies. Contrary to the opinions of many, it is both biblical and helpful to ask this question (2 Corinthians 13:5). But only if we arrive at biblical answers. One person who asked themselves this question carefully in various ways was James Fraser of Brea (1639-1698). In fact he addresses 20 different doubts he has about his spiritual state. They are along the lines of: “If I really am a Christian then why do/don’t I…?” He also answers each concern fully to his satisfaction. After this, he gives 27 evidences of true conversion in the soul. It is extremely helpful to read the careful, spiritual way in which Fraser handles these problems. The questions and answers were recently published b