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Regeneration and Total Depravity

Regeneration and Total Depravity
The spiritual knowledge of our sin and misery belongs to the fruit of regeneration, wrought by the preaching of the Word, and God’s grace working by the law upon the regenerated heart. The result is that while the regenerated child of God is no more dead, nor is he totally depraved, yet we may well feel as if we were so, for sin is present with us and depravity, though not total, cleaves to us, for in our old man of the flesh dwelleth no good thing (Romans 7:18). It is important therefore in this matter of regeneration carefully to distinguish the reality of it and our experience of its fruit. Failure to do so can lead to and has lead to the error of antinomianism, to the idea that the blessings of salvation are only imputed unto us legally but leave our nature unchanged so that we remain totally depraved and dead in sin. It can lead also to spiritual discouragement in the Christian life because we behold continually the greatness of our sin and seem to see so little of the life of Christ within us. We are not to confuse, therefore, total depravity with the knowledge of our depravity by nature in our regenerated experience. Read More

The Peace of God

The Peace of God

This is an extract from chapter 4 of the book The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, by Richard J. Smit, pages 59-64, published by the Reformed Free Publishing Association.  _______________ There is only one true peace, and that is the peace of God. This peace cannot be found in the world and this peace the world will never have. The peace of God is the peace that Christ leaves with us and gives unto us by his Spirit on the basis of...

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Psalm 136 Beautifully Illustrated

Psalm 136 Beautifully Illustrated

O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.—Psalm 136:3–5 (KJV) God’s mercy endures forever. And the same mercy he displayed in the creation of the world and to his people Israel, he also reveals to his children in Jesus Christ. The words of this psalm and illustrator Kathleen...

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Depravity and Regeneration (4): A Battleground Within the Regenerated Believer

Depravity and Regeneration (4): A Battleground Within the Regenerated Believer

The life of a regenerated sinner is a battle ground. This is true because he carries with him a sinful flesh. There is a law in his members seeking to pull him down into captivity to the law of sin. Though the regenerated sinner is yet the old man of sin, the old man is no longer in control. Being redeemed in the blood of Christ the regenerated believer is become a new creature. Through the work of regeneration, faith, and sanctification he is recreated. His spiritual identity is now the new man in Christ. According to Ephesians 4:24, the regenerated man and woman have the image of God restored to them: “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” According to Colossians 3:10, this image of God also includes a true knowledge of God: “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” This new man renewed in the image of God is now who we are. Not the old man, but the new man dominates our hearts and therefore our thoughts and desires. The old man is not in control! There is not even a 50/50 relationship between the old and new man as if the control of who we are is up for grabs! The new man, the inward man of the heart (Romans 7:22) is in control of our hearts, thoughts and desires. I am the new man in Christ.

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Watch your mouth (2)

Watch your mouth (2)

By the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit in us, we have been given new hearts. Those new hearts beat with love for Him who has first loved us, with holy fear and reverence of the all-seeing God, and with gratitude for His gracious saving of us from sin. Out of love, holy fear, and gratitude, we sing praises to Him and confess His name. Out of love, holy fear, and gratitude, we speak the truth in love to our neighbor, to instruct, comfort, encourage, or correct him. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things!

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Bavinck on Sovereign, Covenant Grace (+BOOK SALE!)

Bavinck on Sovereign, Covenant Grace (+BOOK SALE!)
This is an extract from chapter 11 of Covenant and Election in the Reformed Tradition, by David J. Engelsma, pages 163-167, published by the Reformed Free Publishing Association. This passage is offered as a commentary to a previous blog post published in April 5, 2021 titled Herman Bavinck on God's Covenant of Grace. Read More

Depravity and Regeneration (3): The Freedom of the Regenerated Believer

Depravity and Regeneration (3): The Freedom of the Regenerated Believer

To insist that a regenerated child of God is still given over totally to sin, therefore, denies the work of Jesus Christ both in his death and resurrection. What did Christ actually accomplish on the cross if we as God’s children are still lost in our sin? It simply is not true that we only do evil and when any good comes out in us we are not doing it, but Christ is doing it for us.

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Update on "The Church Order Commentary," by van Dellen and Monsma

Update on "The Church Order Commentary," by van Dellen and Monsma

The Church Order Commentary, by Idzerd van Dellen and Martin Monsma, will be sent to the printer soon. Please make sure to pre-order your copy by May 5, if you have not already done so. Click on the link below to do it.     Please send us a message with the number of copies you would like to preorder and your name and address. Gold Star Book Club members will receive this book automatically. _______________ Also, don't forget to enter our book giveaway by clicking on the picture...

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"Be clothed with humility"

"Be clothed with humility"

God’s people have their sinful natures with which to contend, and pride gains the upper hand in their lives as well. When pride raises its ugly head in the lives of God’s people, God resists them as well. He causes them to experience his anger, brings their purposes to nothing, and uses his anger and resistance to bring them to see their sin and repent. They humble themselves before the throne of God’s grace.

When God’s people walk in humility (something an unregenerate person is never able to do), God gives such people his grace. He bestows on them all the blessings of his favor and love. He causes them to know his divine approval. He prospers them in their spiritual way. And he gives the humble the power of grace to walk in obedience to him, so that they grow in grace and in the knowledge of him as their God.

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Depravity and Regeneration (2): "Except we are Regenerated"

Depravity and Regeneration (2): "Except we are Regenerated"

What follows is the second entry of a series of articles written by Rev. Wilbur Bruinsma. The first entry is Depravity and Regeneration (1): Understanding Total Depravity. _______________ In our last blog we ended with a truth with which every Reformed believer agrees: since the fall of Adam every person conceived and born into this world is totally depraved. Every person is conceived and born dead in sins and trespasses. The Heidelberg Catechism asks in Question 8, “Are we then so corrupt that...

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The Saving Nature of True Faith

The Saving Nature of True Faith

"Such is the saving nature of true faith that faith is a most wonderful spiritual faculty and activity. In the language of the Confession, faith 'embraces Jesus Christ with all his merits, appropriates him.' 'Through faith,' believers 'possess Jesus Christ [and]…complete salvation.' True faith takes hold of the risen Jesus Christ himself and all of the salvation that is in him, all his merits and all his benefits, justification but also sanctification. The Confession is at pains to guard against the...

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Sardis: Dead Orthodoxy

Sardis: Dead Orthodoxy

This article was written by Rev. Audred Spriensma and will be published in the May 1, 2021 issue of The Standard Bearer.  Click to read a pdf as printed in the May 15, 2021 issue. _______________ Dead orthodoxy: Following the church of Ephesus who had lost their first love, Sardis continued in this sad state. Unless she would repent, she would continue downwards to the state of the church of Laodicea, whom the Lord said He will spew out of His mouth. From all that men could see, Sardis might...

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John Calvin, Predestination, and Means

John Calvin, Predestination, and Means

"We must also carefully bear in mind the principle that I have laid down before, that when God displays his power through means (media) and secondary causes, that power of his is never to be separated from those means or inferior causes. It is the excess of a drunkard to say, 'God has decreed all that is to come to pass and that must come to pass; therefore, to interpose any care, study, or endeavor of ours is superfluous and vain.'...

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Depravity and Regeneration (1): Understanding Total Depravity

Depravity and Regeneration (1): Understanding Total Depravity

What follows is the first entry of a series of articles written by Rev. Wilbur Bruinsma. _______________ I am not a blogger. I seldom read blogs and am not really all that interested in the world of social media. The technology of today has left me behind. But I was asked by the RFPA to share with its readers on its blog what I wrote in a number of personal letters to my family. This was not my intention but somehow the...

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