New edition of Better to Marry

Better to Marry, 2nd edition is now available for purchase!

Order your copy today!

$12.95 Retail

$8.42 Book Club

This small paperback book provides straightforward, practical instruction for     single and married believers alike, taken directly from the classic Bible passages on sex and marriage. Two appendices treat the remarriage and prohibition of the remarriage of the "innocent party".

 

 * The 2nd edition ebook version will be available soon in .mobi format (for   Kindle users) and .epub (all other devices).

 

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Did you know?

The RFPA published the 1st issue of the RFPA Update in Sept. 1998.

 

View the very 1st issue here: 

 


Its purpose, as stated in the very 1st RFPA Update issue: "...to inform subscribers to its Standard Bearer, buyers of its books, and members of the RFPA about the association and its many endeavors. 
"Another purpose is to encourage men who live in the area of Grand Rapids, MI to become members of the RFPA at the annual meeting.
"In the interim between RFPA catalogs, the newsletter will keep readers abreast of publication news."

Look for the Spring Update (Issue #25) in your mailboxes next month!

 

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1834 Has Arrived!

Anxiously awaiting the book to be carefully unloaded!

 

The new author, excited that his new book has finally arrived.

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Special Issue on Psalm Singing

Singing the Psalms

There are in brief three things that our Lord has commanded us to
observe in our spiritual assemblies, namely, the Preaching of his Word, the
public and solemn prayers, and the administration of his sacraments. As to
the public prayers, these are of two kinds: some are offered by means of
words alone, the others with song.... We know by experience that song has
great force and vigor to move and inflame the hearts of men to invoke and
praise God with a more vehement and ardent zeal. It must always be looked
to that the song be not light and frivolous, but have weight and majesty
as Saint Augustine says, and there is likewise a great difference between
the music one makes to entertain men at the table and in their homes, and
the psalms which are sung in the Church in the presence of God and his
angels.... Wherefore, although we look far and wide and search on every
hand, we shall not find better songs nor songs better suited to that end than
the Psalms of David which the Holy Spirit made and uttered through him.
And for this reason, when we sing them we may be certain that God puts the
words in our mouths as if he himself sang in us to exalt his glory.
—John Calvin

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Did you know?

Did you know that in 1999 the total # of Book Club members was 780.

The Goal? 1,000!

Now in 2014, we have a total of 1,227 Book Club members!


Become an RFPA Book Club member today and build your library!

 

Books

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What's in the the March 15 Standard Bearer?

Read these articles and more in the upcoming March 15 issue of The Standard Bearer.

Not a subscriber? Purchase an eSubscription or a hard copy subscription today!

 

Meditation | Godliness for Officebearers


 
"Officebearers must be able to say: Do as I do. Follow my example."

O Come Let Us Worship | The Reading of the Law in Worship


 

"...in the covenantal dialogue, God is speaking to us, declaring His sovereignty over us. He is placing upon us His holy Law in order that we might be humbled before Him."

 

God's Wonderful Works | Calling (1): Fishing for Men


 
"Preaching is fishing. It is the means God uses not to create the fish, but to draw out the fish that He has already created. God uses the preaching of the gospel to draw out those whom He has already regenerated."

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Know the standard, and follow it - Read the Standard Bearer.

Are you a subscriber to The Standard Bearer?

If not, subscribe today for $10.50 at the new subscriber rate! 

What other readers are saying:

"...we cherish [the] magazine."

"I love reading the Standard Bearer. Many articles I read twice. I always look forward to seeing the next one come in the mail box."

"The Standard Bearer is a must-read for any individual interested in the truth of the gospel, and is a staple of my reading diet."

 

 

Also take the time to visit the Standard Bearer Archives to peruse past issues!

 

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The Fruit of the Spirit: Some Concluding Thoughts

This is the last post about Rev. Smit’s book, The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Rev. Smit closes the book with 5 concluding thoughts. Here is a summary of these thoughts.

1. God’s eternal decree of election is the ultimate source of the fruit of the Spirit.

2. The Holy Spirit produces and cultivates the fruit of the Spirit by the means of grace found in the church. 

3. Those who produce the fruit of the Spirit enjoy “true freedom.”

4. Humble dependence upon Jesus Christ is necessary for producing the fruit of the Spirit.

5. The hope of the elect is that they will one day “attain perfection in the fruit of the Spirit.”

This last chapter also includes helpful questions for discussion.

Although this last chapter does not treat any of the 9 aspects of the fruit of the Spirit, I think it is an important part of the book. It gives Rev. Smit opportunity to treat the last phrase in Galatians 5:23, “against such there is no law.” Though the explanation is brief it is helpful. I’ll leave it up to you to read the explanation for yourself.

I also found Rev. Smit’s point that we will “attain perfection in the fruit of the Spirit” in heaven fascinating. This point made me think of 1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity (love), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (love).” Rev. Smit explained in the beginning of the book that love is “fundamental” for all of the other aspects of the fruit of the Spirit. So if love abides forever that means that joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and temperance abide forever also. The fruit of the Spirit is a heavenly treasure! Moth and rust will not corrupt it. It is a heavenly blessings that comes from Jesus Christ through the outpouring of his Spirit. And when the end comes on the day of the return of Jesus Christ, the fruit of the Spirit will abide forever and be perfected in God’s elect. What encouragement for believers to work diligently to produce and cultivate the fruit of the Spirit!

I highly recommend the chapter and the entire book. Enjoy it by yourself. Use it for a discussion group. Lend or give a copy to a friend. May God grant the grace to produce the fruit of the Spirit.

 

Other articles by Rev. Spronk on The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ:

The Fruit of the Spirit: An Introduction

The Fruit of the Spirit: Love

The Fruit of the Spirit: Joy

The Fruit of the Spirit: Peace

The Fruit of the Spirit: Longsuffering

The Fruit of the Spirit: Gentleness

The Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness

The Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness

The Fruit of the Spirit: Meekness

The Fruit of the Spirit: Temperance

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This article was written by guest blogger Rev. Clayton Spronk, pastor of Peace Protestant Reformed Church in Lansing, IL. Rev. Spronk blogs for us several times a month, taking us first through a brief study of Richard Smit's newly released book, The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. If there is a topic you'd like to Rev. Spronk to address, please contact us.

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The Fruit of the Spirit: Temperance

Christians can learn temperance from the example of Olympic athletes. By observing the athletes Christians can learn not only what temperance is, but why it is important. Rev. Smit writes, “If temperance is vital for the success of a worldly athlete for the prize of an Olympic gold medal, should it not be regarded by us as more than vital for the prize for which we press forward by faith? That it ought to be highly valued by the believer is emphasized by Paul when he writes, ‘But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.’”

Rev. Smit uses the examples of a boxer and a marathon runner to illustrate the virtue of temperance. Perhaps he wrote the sermon that serves as the basis for this chapter during the summer months so that summer Olympic events came to his mind. Winter Olympic events also require temperance. The snowboarders, skiers, and skaters all have finely honed bodies as a result of the self-control or discipline they exercised in preparation for the games. I happened to see a clip on NBC that explained how hard snowboarder Kelly Clark worked to reach peak condition. This is necessary because Clark is considered old for her sport. Her disciplined use of time for strenuous exercise and self-controlled diet helped her win the bronze medal in the women's half-pipe.

What do we learn from these Olympic athletes? Rev. Smit writes, these “athletes do everything necessary, governing all aspects of their life, mind, and body meticulously, in order to obtain the sole objective of [winning the prize].” So temperance for Christians is “that spiritual ability to bring themselves under control for godly and faithful lives unto the Lord.” Temperance is then a broad subject–it requires governing all of one’s life. 

Rev. Smit helpfully provides specific applications of temperance to use of time, use of food, use of our bodies in single life and married life, and other areas of life.

But is Christian temperance merely self-control in these areas of life? Olympic athletes practice strict control over what they eat. Does this mean they are practicing the Christian virtue of temperance? Driven business men practice strict control over how they use time and spend money. Are they practicing the Christian virtue of temperance? 

Rev. Smit warns against the danger using the words self-government, self-control, and self-discipline in an inappropriate way. He writes, “He who is truly temperate does not wish to be governed by his self.” Christian temperance is a work of God’s grace that puts Christians “under the regulation of Christ and his word.” Thus in Gal. 5:21 the Apostle Paul is speaking of temperance as a fruit of the Spirit in which “the Spirit of Christ teaches us to be willing and ready to live in submission to him.” Here Rev. Smit teaches us, I believe, the key to temperance that is very important practically—to be temperate is to be Christ-controlled!

This means that there is application here to more than only those who overindulge. Yes, those who overindulge in food or alcohol or in other things need to learn temperance. They need to learn say no to their own desires to please themselves and submit to the Lord. But there is application also to those who are able to practice strict control over their lives.  If that strict control is not exercised in loving obedience to Christ, it is not Christian temperance, it is sin. The use of alcohol comes to mind here because the movement to outlaw alcohol is often referred to as the Temperance Movement. Those who refuse alcohol are called temperate. But if we apply Rev. Smit’s explanation of temperance to teetotalers we must conclude that those who refuse alcohol for purely carnal reasons (that have nothing to do with Jesus Christ) are not truly temperate. Their refusal of alcohol is sinful. Another example of sinful self-control is the case of an anorexic. Anorexics practice strict control over their food intake.  But they are motivate by purely selfish reasons for restricting their diets. To them comes the call to Christian temperance in which they must give up self-control and place their food intake under Christ’s control.    

Other applications could be made. But the point is that the call to Christian temperance comes to every one of us. I recommend that you take the time to read chapter 10 of The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ and examine yourself.  

Other articles by Rev. Spronk on The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ:

The Fruit of the Spirit: An Introduction

The Fruit of the Spirit: Love

The Fruit of the Spirit: Joy

The Fruit of the Spirit: Peace

The Fruit of the Spirit: Longsuffering

The Fruit of the Spirit: Gentleness

The Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness

The Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness

The Fruit of the Spirit: Meekness

______________________________________________________________________________________

This article was written by guest blogger Rev. Clayton Spronk, pastor of Peace Protestant Reformed Church in Lansing, IL. Rev. Spronk blogs for us several times a month, taking us first through a brief study of Richard Smit's newly released book, The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. If there is a topic you'd like to Rev. Spronk to address, please contact us.

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Covenant, Antithesis and the Secession: A Response to Rev. Nathan Langerak

We thought this response to a recent Standard Bearer article written by Rev. Nathan Langerak, "The Juggernaut of Apostasy" (December 1, 2013 SB issue) would be of interest to our readers.
Click on the link below to read the response:

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