As To Conditions (2)

According to the Heidelberg Catechism, as we have seen, faith is never presented as a condition unto salvation, or as a condition which we must fulfill in order to enter into or remain in the covenant of God. Always it is presented as a means or instrument which is wrought in us by God and given us of him, by which we are ingrafted into Christ, become one body with him, and thus receive all his benefits.

Instrument and condition certainly do not belong to the same category of conceptions.

If faith is a condition it certainly is something man must do in order to and before he can obtain salvation. Unless we attach that meaning to the word it has no sense at all. And as I wrote before, in the minds of the people the term condition undoubtedly stands for some notion that makes salvation dependent on something man must do.


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As To Conditions (1)

In his editorial in the March 15, 2020 issue of the Standard Bearer, Prof. Russell Dykstra recommended reading ‘As to Conditions,’ a series of Standard Bearer articles written by Rev. Herman Hoeksema in 1949. Over the next eleven weeks, we will be posting one article from the series each week.

This first article in the series 'As to Conditions' was written by Herman Hoeksema in the October 15, 1949 issue of the Standard Bearer.


As the reader knows there has been, for the last year or so, a controversy in our papers about the question of conditions in the covenant of God. The question was really whether the term “condition” could be used properly in Reformed theology, and especially whether it could be used to express Protestant Reformed thought.

The controversy was introduced by the Rev. A. Petter who defended the use of the term and evidently conceived of the possibility of its being used in a sound Reformed sense. He even thinks that we need the term in order to express a necessary element in the Reformed conception of the covenant, the element of the responsibility of man.


A book by Herman Hoeksema on prayer

I must know him, the only true God, in order to be able to pray at all. But I cannot know him out of myself, I cannot find him out...Only he can make known to me who he is, and what he is. Hence I must begin to let him speak to me before I can even begin to speak to him. This he does in his word, in the holy scriptures.—In the Sanctuary, p. 12

Using the perfect model prayer given by Jesus, this book teaches the requirements of a true prayer. The author explains that because prayer is given to us by the Holy Spirit and because it is a time of fellowship with God in his sanctuary, we must pray in a God-honoring way.


NEW ebook—a Lenten devotional

Rejected of Men

“Who did not know Jesus of Nazareth? Throughout the land his fame was spread abroad. His name was on the lips of high and low, of rich and poor, of the common people and of those that sat in high places.

But he was despised of men. He was considered a worthless fellow, a good for nothing, who was not fit to live in decent and civilized society. No one would offer him a place in the world, or furnish him with a recommendation.”

Rejected of Men is the third part of Rev. Herman Hoeksema’s Lenten anthology, 'When I Survey.' This book lays out the sufferings of Jesus Christ at the hands of sinners. He became a stranger to his brethren, and he was reproached by the ungodly, cast out by his own, and even denied by his disciples.

The Son of God bore innumerable reproaches at the hands of men in order that we might have life with him.


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God’s Goodness Always Particular

This book is Rev. Herman Hoeksema’s defense of particular grace over against the teaching of common grace, set forward by the Rev. Daniel Zwier in the periodical De Wachter. In the 1930s Rev. Zwier attempted to show how a denial of common grace was unscriptural. He charged that Rev. Hoeksema and those who followed him were guilty of rationalism, faulty exegesis, and bad theology.

Read and gain new appreciation for the truth that God’s goodness is always particular.


Is this book on your shelf? Do you want it on your shelf? Then let us know and get your like-minded friends to preorder too.

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The Amazing Cross: a short book of Lenten meditations

“Hoeksema unfolds the sovereign workings of the triune God through his Son and by his Spirit before and at the cross of Calvary, in judgment and in salvation.”—Charles Terpstra in the foreword to the second edition.

All of salvation depends on the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. In this Lenten season take up and read this devotional on God’s amazing judgment and Christ’s amazing obedience.


Peace for the Troubled Heart devotional

Looking for a good devotional?

Consider Peace for the Troubled Heart. Made up of meditations on scripture texts, it’s different from other devotionals. These meditations breathe a Christian experience that is drawn from scripture, formed and regulated by sound doctrine, and realistic in a world of sin, suffering, and struggle.

Each chapter is divided into sections, so you can read it in parts—morning, noon, and evening. This is a great way to thoroughly meditate on the chapter throughout the day.


The Antithesis in Paradise

Scripture teaches no dualism, but an antithesis. There are no two primal causes and eternal principles, constantly warring with each other, but God is one. He alone is eternal and the primal cause and there is no other eternal principle or primal cause next to him. Neither is he both good and evil, nor are the principles of good and evil to be traced to his being, for he is a light and there is no darkness in him. But this good and glorious God according to his eternal and sovereign good pleasure wills to reveal his praises, his eternally adorable virtue antithetically, that is, in opposition to darkness. Darkness, evil, sin are not primal principles, eternally coordinate with light, goodness, righteousness, but the former are subservient to the latter, darkness must serve to bring out the glory of the light, the devil serves to enhance the unsearchable riches of God's being and virtues and works.

In the light of this idea of an antithesis we can under­stand the placing of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” in paradise. By means of it, God carries the antithesis into the life and before the consciousness of man, made after his image.


Jehovah’s Goodness

The Lord is good to all…but all the wicked will he destroy. Ps. 145:9a, 20b

Emphatically, according to the Hebrew original, the poet, who is the inspired author of this psalm, puts it: “Good is Jehovah.”

The Lord is goodness essentially.

Apart from any relation to his creatures, conceived all by himself, in himself, for himself, as the absolutely self-existent, self-sufficient, independent one, the Lord is good. His essence is goodness, his eternally adorable divine being is only good. Could we enter into the amazing profundity and explore the fathomless depths of his infinite being, the deepest depths of the incompre­hensible divine essence would reveal nothing but good­ness.

He is the light and there is no darkness in him. He is truth, righteousness, holiness, purity, love, grace, mercy and eternal life, and there is no lie, unrighteous­ness, defilement, corruption and death in him.


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