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Eyes and Ears, Hands and Feet

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the communion of the saints? Often we think about things that other people have done for us. Sometimes you will hear a person say when they are sick or going through some trial that they have really experienced the communion of the saints through the care of other believers. And this is a good thing. But when we think about the communion of the saints, we ought not think...

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Fellowship in the Body

Fellowship. The word often produces one of two responses. Some respond with gratitude, as in, “I’m thankful for the fellowship we have in our church.” Others respond with dissatisfaction, as in, “We don’t have any fellowship in our church.” What is implied in both responses is that fellowship is important. And, indeed, fellowship is central to the life of the church and is one of the important responsibilities that we have as members of her. To understand what we mean by...

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Echoing the Word

For many of us, one of the more daunting responsibilities that we face as church members is the calling to witness. Just the thought of doing so might make our heart race, our anxiety level shoot through the roof, and our mouth feel like cotton. Yet, this is our calling. There are many passages of God’s word that make this plain. 1 Peter 3:15 is well-known: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an...

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A Cheerful Giver

One of the ways in which church members support the building of the spiritual house of God is through giving. This is certainly not the only way that the church is gathered and built up, but it is an important means. Consider all the causes of God’s kingdom that are promoted through the financial support of members. In the Protestant Reformed Churches, each congregation takes a weekly collection for the “General Fund.” Through this fund the preaching of the gospel in...

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Reformed…and always Reforming

Recently we celebrated the five-hundredth anniversary of the great Reformation of the sixteenth century. Through this powerful work of God, the church was placed back on the foundations of the scriptures and anchored in the cornerstone, Jesus Christ. This highlights another responsibility that we have as active members of the church militant. Our responsibility is, when necessary, to engage in the reformation of the church. One of the principles that we hold dear as Reformed believers is semper reformanda: the church...

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Noble Bereans

It’s been some time now since I addressed the subject of active church membership, but I’d like to return to a consideration of those basic responsibilities that fall to us as members of the church of Christ. So far we’ve established two duties: becoming (and remaining) a member of a true, instituted church; and faithfully attending the worship services of that local congregation. Another responsibility of church membership is that we listen carefully to the preaching. It almost goes without saying...

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Book(let) Alert! - 'The Necessity of Membership in a True Church' by David J. Engelsma

Most readers of the RFPA blog are familiar with Prof. David Engelsma. For sixteen years he was editor of the Standard Bearer and he has written numerous books which the RFPA has published, including two which treat the topic of church membership: Bound to Join and A Defense of the Church Institute. Those who read and profited from these two books will be interested in knowing that the Reformed Witness Committee (RWC) of Hope Protestant Reformed Church of Walker, Michigan has...

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A Hard Day’s Rest

For six days out of the week, we are called to labor faithfully in the specific station and calling into which God has placed us. From Monday to Saturday we put in a hard day’s work. Throughout the week we look forward to Sunday, the day of rest. On this day we are able to lay aside the work and play of the other days. But the rest of the Sabbath does not mean that we may be idle and inactive....

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Bound to Join

In previous posts I’ve introduced the calling of active church membership. Now we begin to spell out concretely what responsibilities are given to us by King Jesus. Perhaps you’re an adult who’s thinking, “I’ve never given much thought to my church membership. What responsibilities are there?” Perhaps you’re a young person who’s considering making confession of faith and wondering, “What’s all involved with my church membership?” Whatever the case may be, it’s beneficial for us to be reminded of what our...

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Time To Build!

In the initial post in this series I merely stated the fact that Christ calls us to be active in the work of the church. In this post I want to prove that from the Word of God, and in so doing to impress upon us the blessed privilege and high calling that we have. I want to do so by using one of the important figures that the Bible employs to describe the church. The scriptures use a number of...

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Lively Stones in God’s House

What’s your attitude toward the church? How highly do you value your membership in her? How seriously do you take the responsibilities that you have as a member of her? I intend with this post to begin a series of articles on church membership, in particular the callings that we have as active, living members of the body of Christ. The subject is significant because the calling is significant. Christ, as King of the church, has given to us important callings...

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RFPA Update Winter 2013

Wondering about RFPA book distributors, the success of the warehouse sale, or what books are on special this spring? Read about it all in the newest issue of the RFPA Update! Click here for to view the Update as a PDF.   Spreading the Truth...One Book at a Time Do you imagine the woman in Europe studying the truth of God’s word, whose bookshelf of RFPA publications is her most prized possession? Or the man in Asia just hearing about the...

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Save the Date!

RFPA Annual Meeting September 27, 2012  |  Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church  |  7:30 p.m. Save the date for the RFPA Annual Meeting! This year's keynote address will be given by book author and co-editor of the Standard Bearer Prof. Barry Gritters, professor of practical theology and New Testament studies at the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Gritters will present Church Membership in a Postmodern Era in connection with a conference on postmodernism given by Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church this past winter and in...

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New Release Responds to Critics of Its Prequel

The newest book release, titled A Defense of the Church Institute by David J. Engelsma, is a defense of the author's controversial book (Bound to Join) that took issue with the deteriorating view of church membership in the 21st century. Criticism of the position Engelsma takes in Bound to Join has come from Christians who reject the idea of church membership, preferring to live apart from other saints. Surprisingly, criticism has also come from Reformed and Presbyterian Christians who claim that...

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