Doctrine

The Hebrew word for doctrine means "to take, receive, seize"; then it means that which is received mentally: instruction. The Greek has a whole family of words relating to our topic: one means that which is taught; another refers to the one doing the teaching, the doctor or master; the verb form simply means to instruct or indoctrinate. The word doctrine appears fifty-two times in scripture, good evidence of its importance. Strikingly, when we read of doctrines in the plural the reference is always to strange doctrines, the doctrines of men, or the doctrines of devils. False doctrines are legion and contradictory, but true doctrine is one, for it has its unity in Jesus Christ. 

The doctrine of God drops from heaven as rain (Deut. 32:2), it is pure and good (Job 11:4). The people were amazed at the teaching of Jesus, saying, "What thing is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority commandeth he . . ." (Mark 1:27). But Jesus did not teach new doctrine; it was not his but the Father's, and it agreed with the teaching of Moses (John 7:16–19). The children of God obey from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered unto them (Rom. 6:17). Since all scripture is given by inspiration of God, it has the primary profit of giving us doctrine (2 Tim. 3:16). Adding to the peril of the times in which we live is the fact that men "will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers; having itching ears" (2 Tim. 4:3). The purpose of God in giving ministers to the church is "that henceforth we be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine . . ." (Eph. 4:14). Of such central importance is the truth that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is come in the flesh that the denial of this is antichrist, and "if there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed" (2 John 10). 

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The Importance of Doctrine

Doctrine is not highly regarded anymore. In many evangelical churches there is such ignorance of doctrine that even the fundamentals of Christianity are not well understood. Even in churches that remain faithful in their teaching and preaching, there is often little interest in learning and understanding doctrine. The youth are, for the most part, bored by it, and their elders are content with a superficial knowledge of the doctrines of the Reformed faith.

Very often the symptom of this lack of doctrine is a constant agitation for more “practical” preaching and teaching along with a greater emphasis on liturgy and on the other parts of the worship service until the sermon is all but squeezed out. On the part of the preachers themselves, one finds less and less biblical exposition and more and more illustration, storytelling, and entertainment.

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"The best symbolical statement of the Calvinistic system of doctrine"

An orthodox commentary on the confession, that is, one that is in wholehearted accord with the teachings of the confession, and resolutely faithful to them, will be profitable to Reformed Christians and churches in the twenty-first century, not only for invaluable instruction in the Reformed faith, but also for the maintenance and defense of Reformed orthodoxy. Founded on holy scripture, the Belgic Confession determines sound doctrine for Reformed churches and believers. This doctrine is rich, lovely, and powerful. The confession also authoritatively exposes contemporary heresies. As they read this commentary which proclaims the doctrine and authority of the confession, all believers who love the Reformed faith will be faithfully guided in the truth of the “old paths.”

THE BELGIC CONFESSION
a commentary
(volume 1)

$31.95 retail  |  368 pages  |  hardcover
$20.77 Book Club

Click the pdf to read the opening preface to the book. 

ORDER

 

Another handsome book cover design by Christopher Tobias, tobiasdesign.com.

L-R: Jared, Mrs. Kuiper, Daniel, our superb packers for today!

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Belgic Confession (volume 1) by David J. Engelsma

An orthodox commentary on the confession, that is, one that is in wholehearted accord with the teachings of the confession, and resolutely faithful to them, will be profitable to Reformed Christians and churches in the twenty-first century, not only for invaluable instruction in the Reformed faith, but also for the maintenance and defense of Reformed orthodoxy. Founded on holy scripture, the Belgic Confession determines sound doctrine for Reformed churches and believers. This doctrine is rich, lovely, and powerful. The confession also authoritatively exposes contemporary heresies. As they read this commentary which proclaims the doctrine and authority of the confession, all believers who love the Reformed faith will be faithfully guided in the truth of the “old paths.”

THE BELGIC CONFESSION
a commentary
(volume 1)

$31.95 retail  |  368 pages  |  hardcover
Coming early June 2018...

 

 

Click the pdf to read the opening preface to the book.

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Why Take Heed to Doctrine?

“If your doctrine is that the whole or part of your righteousness with God is founded upon your good works, then you live your life arrogantly, trying to merit with God and, consequently, have a poor conscience that is continually vexed. If your doctrine is that doctrine is evil, then you, ironically, criticize people who maintain doctrine.

But if your doctrine is the doctrine of Christ that you hear preached, believe by faith, and confess in sincerity, then the Spirit will see to it that you live an active, antithetical, fruitful life. For example, sovereign, eternal election is a lofty subject. When you begin to grasp the truth of your own election by faith, then you do not believe you may safely perpetuate every species of the most atrocious crimes under the sun, but your heart is be overwhelmed, you adore the depths of God’s mercies, cleanse yourself, and walk with a humble heart and willing hands.

We take heed to doctrine. Why? Right doctrine is the foundation for the Christian life.”

—Read more in the upcoming ‘Taking Heed to Doctrine’ rubric by Rev. Brian Huizinga entitled ‘Why?’ in the upcoming March 15, 2018 issue of the Standard Bearer.    

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The Amazing Cross

T H E   A M A Z I N G   C R O S S

 

"The vicarious suffering of the Lord must occupy a central place in the consciousness of faith and in the preaching of the gospel. On the death and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ depends all of salvation.”

So states the author of these powerful meditations on the passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, giving us all the reason we need to read them and digest them, to believe on the Christ presented in them and magnify the God of our salvation whose work is set forth in them.

Take up and read, and be led to feed on Christ crucified and raised!

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The RFPA has decided to put When I Survey back into its original published form, in six separate books. The plan is to publish one volume a year over the next six years starting with book number one, The Amazing Cross, which will be available around the end of March 2018.

$17.95 retail  |  160 pages  |  hardcover

(This will NOT be automatically sent to book club members)

PREORDER

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READ KNOW GROW

READ KNOW GROW
“Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” 1 Timothy 4:13.

#ReadRFPAbooks

“In his inscrutable wisdom God determined from all eternity that he would be revealed to his people through the Bible, his written revelation, the entirety of which we new dispensation believers now have in our hands. And the Bible as a written revelation must be read. God could have revealed himself savingly in Jesus Christ through some other means, but he determined that he would be revealed through a written revelation that must be read. That the revelation of God comes to us in a book with words that are written and must be read is the proof that reading has a significant place in God’s covenant… The necessity and urgency of reading in the covenant is indisputable and could not be emphasized too strongly” (Rev. Brian Huizinga, Standard Bearer, Vol 90, Issue 6, 12/15/2014).

The world we live in is filled with digital technology that can easily distract us and quickly consume much of our time. Using digital technology requires very little effort of our minds, shrinking our attention spans and discouraging us from reading anything which is not brief or easily skimmed. But we are called to read scripture and good, Reformed literature—reading that requires deep and critical thinking. Therefore we must constantly remind one another to read! We must encourage each other to persevere in our reading! May we be a people who understand the importance of reading good Reformed literature and who actively encourage our friends and family members to read! See our complete book selection at rfpa.org.

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"I wrote the book for the believer"

Rev. Nathan Langerak, a new author for the RFPA, was interviewed on his book, Walking in the Way of Love: A Practical Commentary on 1 Corinithains

"Sit down" with Rev. Langerak as he talks about his new book and why he chose to write a book on 1 Corinthians. 

 

PURCHASE

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Love: "A More Excellent Way"

 

First Corinthians is scripture's detailed treatment of Christian love. According to the theme text of the epistle (12:21), love is a "more excellent way." It is more excellent in itself, and it is more excellent for all who walk on that way. In that more excellent way the believer, saved by grace alone, is called to walk. 

Walking in the Way of Love is a commentary on and application of the words  of 1 Corinthians for the believer and the true church of Jesus Christ to teach them about the vitally important way of love, as that contradicts the chatter of the world and apostate church about love.

The commentary is laid out with believers in mind. Each chapter of the book focuses on a single aspect of the main theme of love. The chapters are designed to stand alone. Each chapter begins with an introduction to help the reader see the particular subject of the chapter in its immediate and larger context in the epistle of 1 Corinthians.

by Nathan J. Langerak (New Author!)

432 pages, Hardcover

Retail: $39.95 | Book Club USA: $25.97
Book Club International: $27.53

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Nathan Langerak is a minister in the Protestant Reformed Churches in America. He lives in Crete, Illinois, with his wife, Carrie, and six children. He has served as pastor of Crete Protestant Reformed Church since 2007.

 

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Walking in the Way of Love

                           

Walking in the Way of Love: A Practical Commentary on 1 Corinthians for the Believer (Volume 1)

by Nathan J. Langerak (New Author!)

432 pages, Hardcover

Coming January 2018!

A love that disciplines impenitent sinners; a love that will not fellowship with the impenitent sinner; a love that will not endure false doctrine or those who teach it; a love that suffers the loss of all earthly things, including earthly friendships, goods, and standing for the sake of the truth; a love that says what the apostle Paul says at the end of his great book on love, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha,” is true love. It is God’s love and Christ’s love manifesting itself in the believer. These and many other hard things belong to the way of love as revealed by the Holy Spirit and in which 1 Corinthians calls the believer to walk.

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Nathan Langerak is a minister in the Protestant Reformed Churches in America. He lives in Crete, Illinois, with his wife, Carrie, and six children. He has served as pastor of Crete Protestant Reformed Church since 2007.

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