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A book to read this advent

A book to read this advent

Born For Our Salvation: The Nativity and Childhood of Jesus Christ

In his clear and easy-to-read style, Rev. Martyn McGeown demonstrates that Jesus’ birth is the first step in Christ’s humiliation, the first step that would lead to the cross, and therefore the first step to our salvation.

This biblical account of Jesus’ nativity and childhood explains the significances behind the angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary, humble shepherds worshiping newborn Christ, the boy Jesus being about his father’s business, and more. In all of these events Rev. McGeown demonstrates  one great truth especially: Jesus, the Son of God, was born for our salvation.

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Angels

Angels
Angels are mentioned in thirty-six of the sixty-six books of the Bible. The Hebrew and Greek words both mean messenger; they are means by whom God reveals himself and his salvation to us. Indeed, angels are the servants of the elect, “sent forth to minister for those who shall be the heirs of salvation” (Heb. 1:14). Angels are invisible, non-corporeal creatures who owe their existence to God. “He also created the angels good, to be his messengers and to serve the elect” (Belgic Confession, art. 12). Although the Bible does not inform us of the exact time of their creation, some theologians assign the creation of angels to the first day of the week, finding their support in Job 38:4, 7:“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? . . . When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” Read More

December 1, 2020 Standard Bearer preview article

December 1, 2020 Standard Bearer preview article

John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California is embroiled in a legal battle with the County of Los Angeles (LA County) over the right to worship indoors during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Grace Community Church (GCC) is a nondenominational, evangelical congregation with an average weekly attendance in excess of 8,000 people.

On March 4, 2020 Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a State of Emergency in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and has since issued a number of executive orders to curtail public gatherings in the State of California. An order on March 19, 2020, required almost all establishments, including places of worship, to close. On June 18, 2020 the LA County Health Officer, Dr. Muntu Davis, issued an order “allowing reduced-capacity indoor operations at houses of worship,” but subsequent orders prohibited “indoor operations at a variety of establishments, including houses of worship.” Those orders are still in force at the time of writing. In California, therefore, churches may worship only outdoors.1

 

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Particular Grace: A Defense of God’s Sovereignty in Salvation

Particular Grace: A Defense of God’s Sovereignty in Salvation

Originally published in Dutch at the end of the nineteenth century, Particular Grace is an explanation and development of the gospel of salvation by the grace of God in Jesus Christ.

Abraham Kuyper's main purpose in this volume is to expose the error of general grace and to present a sold, biblical defense of the Calvinistic doctrine of particular grace.

"Reformed believers will surely be impressed with the power of the author's language and argument, the breadth of this acquaintance with past and contemporary discussion, and the cumulative weight of his case. They will also find Kuyper surprisingly fresh and pointed. Many contemporary denials of particular grace are anticipated by his arguments." —Mid-America Journal of Theology

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Grace

Grace

Simply amazing, grace is. More glorious than the sun (Ps. 36:9), but few can see it (John 9:39). Exceedingly precious, but free (Eph. 2:7; Rom. 5:15). A gift; you cannot buy it (Rom. 5:15; Acts 8:20). More valuable than gold, but unwanted until received (Prov. 22:1John 4:10). If you work for grace, you cannot have it; but without grace, you cannot work (Rom. 11:6; 2 Cor. 9:8). Most abundant, yet uncommon (2 Cor. 4:15Ex. 33:19). Gentle, yet irresistible (Acts. 4:33). It makes the dead alive, the weak strong, the blind see, the ugly beautiful, and the humble glorious.

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"It will not only help your children...it will also challenge you in your own marriage"

"It will not only help your children...it will also challenge you in your own marriage"

Preparing for Dating and Marriage by Cory Griess. Reviewed by Dr. Sacha Walicord, pastor of Walker United Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, visiting Professor Akademie fuer Reformatorische Theologie (Reformed Theological Seminary), Giessen, Germany.


Many Christian parents have lost countless nights’ sleep over their child’s unwise dating or marriage decisions. Much heartache has been caused by covenant children who entered the “dating game” or even marriage in an unprepared way. Much of this heartache and many tears could have been avoided if parents just had had a tool that helped them teach their children how to look for a godly spouse. Cory Griess’ very readable devotional seeks to fill exactly this gap as it is not only written from a sound biblical perspective but also in a warm and easy-to-understand tone. This is not your classical self-help book, but it is written for an audience 7th grade and up to be used as a family devotional guide in thirty-one brief and straightforward lessons.

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Are you interested in owning a copy of the Church Order Commentary by Van Dellen and Monsma?

Are you interested in owning a copy of the Church Order Commentary by Van Dellen and Monsma?

Are you interested in owning a hard copy of the Church Order Commentary by Van Dellen and Monsma? This commentary is authoritative, time-tested, and a very timely source of instruction on the need for biblical consistency in Reformed and Presbyterian church government today.

We currently offer the Church Order Commentary as an ebook but would like to determine if there is enough interest to print hard copies. If we receive enough preorders, we will move forward with the project and print the book.

Our plan is to produce the commentary as a soft-cover book at a retail price between $20 and $25.

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November 15, 2020 Standard Bearer preview article

November 15, 2020 Standard Bearer preview article

The instrumental cause of our salvation

However, to speak more clearly, we do not mean, that faith itself justifies us, for it is only an instrument with which we embrace Christ our righteousness. But Jesus Christ, imputing to us all His merits and so many holy works which He has done for us and in our stead, is our righteousness. And faith is an instrument that keeps us in communion with Him in all His benefits, which, when become ours, are more than sufficient to acquit us of our sin.

—Belgic Confession, Article 22

Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification; yet is it not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love.

—Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 11.2

In the theology of salvation, the instrumental cause refers to the tool God uses to grant His elect and regenerated people their salvation. Faith alone is this instrumental cause.

To understand this further, we need to go back 300 years before Christ was born, when the ancient philosopher Aristotle attempted to describe how a change occurs in time. (I know I am losing some of us already, but hang on, it’s not too hard to grasp!). Aristotle said there are four types of causes to any event. He used the illustration of a sculptor making a sculpture to explain the notion. First, Aristotle said, there is the efficient cause of the sculpture. The efficient cause is the man who will carry out the project. Second, there is the formal cause. This is the idea for the sculpture that the person has in his head, the form that he intends the block of granite to take. Third, he said, there is the material cause. This is the block of granite, the actual material that will be the substance of the sculpture. Fourth, there is the final cause. This is the purpose for which the whole project was conceived: to adorn a landscape, to create something beautiful, to express the talent of the artist, etc. These are obviously not all causes in the same sense, but the word “cause” was applied to all four aspects because without any one of them the sculpture would not exist.

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“Let those roar at us who will”

“Let those roar at us who will”

This treatise presents Calvin’s mature thoughts on two important doctrines: predestination and providence. In this second edition from the RFPA these related topics are placed together, the way Calvin himself addressed them in his original.
 
Also included in this edition:

a historical introduction to the treatise by the editor

Calvin's response to a former friend who wrote against the treatise

      “Let those roar at us who will. We will ever brighten forth with all our power of language the doctrine that we hold concerning the free election of God, since it is only by it that the faithful can understand how great that goodness of God is that effectually called them to salvation.”—John Calvin

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      Boldness

      Boldness

      In the Old Testament the word “boldness” is found but a few times. The root meaning is a place of refuge; then to take refuge; then to be confident, sure, without care. In the New Testament the word comes from two smaller words having the meaning of “all” and “to flow, to run like water.” Together this compound word has the meaning to be outspoken, frank, even blunt; to be confident in utterance, and bold in spirit and demeanor. Sometimes the King James translates this word as confident.

      The Lord Jesus was always bold in his preaching and teaching. “For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matt. 7:29). Jesus even said, “I spake openly (boldly) to the world: I ever taught in the synagogue and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing” (John 18:20). There were times when Jesus spoke in parables (John 16:25) and did not walk openly or boldly among the Jews (John 11:54) because his hour was not yet come. But Jesus always insisted that he told them openly that he was the Christ, and that the works which he did bore witness of him, even though the Jews complained that he made them doubt because he did not teach plainly, boldly, without ambiguity (John 10:24–25). When Jesus died on the cross, taking our sins out of the way, and spoiling principalities and powers, “He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them personally” (Col. 2:15). The work of Jesus was not performed in a corner, but openly, publicly, boldly, without any concealment, hesitancy, or ambiguity.

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      Should we print the church order commentary?

      Should we print the church order commentary?

      Are you interested in owning a hard copy of the Church Order Commentary by Van Dellen and Monsma? This commentary is authoritative, time-tested, and a very timely source of instruction on the need for biblical consistency in Reformed and Presbyterian church government today.

      We currently offer the Church Order Commentary as an ebook but would like to determine if there is enough interest to print hard copies. If we receive enough preorders, we will move forward with the project and print the book.

      Our plan is to produce the commentary as a soft-cover book at a retail price between $20 and $25.

      Read More

      A Reformation Day read for kids and adults

      A Reformation Day read for kids and adults

      Are you looking for a book to teach your kids about the Reformation? Letters from Katie Luther tells the story of the wife of the most famous reformer of all time.

      Katie’s story is also an important lesson for all of God’s children: trust in the Lord in times of joy and in times of struggle; he strengthens the hearts of all who hope in him.

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      Only 2 more days left to get a great deal on these titles!

      Only 2 more days left to get a great deal on these titles!

      In an effort to free up some space in our warehouse for the new books we continue to publish, the RFPA is offering older titles with a large inventory for 70% off the retail price.* This month’s sale books are: Prosperous Wicked and Plagued Saints: An Exposition of Psalm 73  (Retail $10.95 - SALE $3.29) Prosperous Wicked and Plagued Saints is a commentary on Psalm 73 that sets forth the truth of God’s goodness to his people in their trouble and of...

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      Reconciliation

      Article originally published in the October 1,1990 issue of the Standard Bearer, written by Rev. Dale Kuiper. __________________ The two great passages that set forth the concept of reconciliation are Romans 5:10 and 2 Corinthians 5:18–21. The word translated reconciliation, a word used only by Paul, sets forth our salvation in a very rich, broad way. Three ideas are implied in reconciliation: 1) There is a relationship between persons that has brought them very close. 2) This relationship is disturbed so that the persons have become alienated....

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