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NEW BOOK on Preacher and Reformer Simon van Velzen (1809-1896)

Watchman on the Walls of Zion: The Life and Influence of Simon van Velzen, by Rev Joshua Engelsma Simon van Velzen was a powerful preacher of the gospel. He was a reformer of the church of Christ in the Netherlands in the Secession of 1834. He was a seminary professor who influenced hundreds of future Reformed ministers....

March 1, 2021 Standard Bearer preview article

What sin destroyed, grace restores. In the fullness of time, He sent the eternal Word, Jesus Christ, to take our flesh and to atone for our sins. As our chief Prophet and Teacher, He “fully revealed to us the secret counsel and will of God concerning our redemption” by His death on the cross (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 12). Now from heaven, He speaks to us the glad tidings of our salvation and gives us ears to hear and hearts to believe. He speaks to us words of instruction, rebuke, exhortation, comfort, and encouragement. Wonder of wonders, the Shepherd speaks and the sheep hear His voice!

By His work in us, Christ sanctifies our tongues and teaches us to use them rightly, to God’s glory and our neighbor’s edification. As His covenant friends, we delight to hear His voice and listen to His Word, and we also respond by speaking to Him in prayer and song. Such communication is at the heart of our daily experience of covenant friendship with God.

Consider two applications in closing. First, while learning to communicate rightly with others is important, most important is our communication with God. Imagine what one of your friends would think if you never listened to him and never spoke to him. That friend might think that you are not really friends. Now think about your friendship with God.

Do you love to listen to Him speak in the preaching and in the Bible? Do you speak to Him often in prayer? Second, what we have said about the gift of communication ought to make us grateful for it and motivated to make sanctified use of it.

Whosoever Will, by Herman Hoeksema

O, indeed, we must come to God. Whosoever will may come, means "whosoever will come to GOD may come to Him." We must come to God, not merely in order to obtain salvation, but to come to Him is salvation. It is not merely a means to an end, it is the end itself. We must come to God who is GOD, that is, not to a god of our own imagination, which is always an idol, but to the true and living God, as He reveals Himself to us in His Word. To God we must come, who dwelleth in the light that no man can approach unto; who is a light, and there is no darkness in Him at all; who is good, that is, the fullness of all infinite perfections, righteousness, holiness, truth, and grace, and in whose presence there is fullness of joy, pleasures forevermore! To God we must come, who is too pure of eyes to behold iniquity, who loveth the righteous, but who is angry with the wicked every day, and who is a consuming fire, the great, the glorious, the terrible God! We must come to Him, that is, we must enter into His blessed fellowship, into the secrets of his friendship, into his most intimate communion, so that we dwell in his house as friends with their Friend, taste that He is good, know Him as we are known, see Him face to face, walk with Him and talk with Him, love Him as we are loved, have our delight in His will, and glorify His name forevermore. Oh yes, to be saved is to be delivered from hell, provided you understand that the torture of hell is exactly that there one feels the wrath of God, and his being utterly forsaken by Him! To be saved, to be sure, is to go to heaven, and heaven is a beautiful place, a glorious house with many mansions, a new creation, and a new Jerusalem, with streets of gold and pearly gates, provided you understand that the heart of it all, and the very essence of it all is that God is there, the Father, and that there we shall forever walk in the light of the glory of God that fills the city! For to know God is life eternal (John 17:3). To come to God: that is our salvation!
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