Inventory Reduction Sale!

The Reformed Free Publishing Association is hosting an online inventory reduction sale now through the end of the year. This is your opportunity to get distinctive Reformed literature at a discounted price just in time for the holidays. Do the young people on your Christmas list have all these titles? Help us clean out some of our excess inventory today!  

Book Club members save even more! Log into your online account before you start making your order.

 

30% OFF!

Bound to Join .......... Now $12.57
Common Grace Revisited .......... Now $2.45
Leaving Father and Mother .......... Now $4.17
Saved by Grace .......... Now $12.57
Sixteenth-Century Reformation .......... Now $8.37
Trinity and Covenant .......... Now $13.97

Whosoever Will .......... Now $9.07

45% OFF!

Always Reforming .......... Now $11.87
Knowing God and Man .......... Now $6.57
Mysteries of the Kingdom .......... Now $18.12
Peace for the Troubled Heart .......... Now $20.27

Unfolding Covenant History (Vol. 5) .......... Now $8.79

60% OFF!

Battle for Sovereign Grace .......... Now $11.58
Communion with God .......... Now $11.58
Contending for the Faith .......... Now $11.58
Covenant and Election .......... Now $11.58
Defense of the Church Institute .......... Now $7.18
Justified unto Liberty .......... Now $15.18
Redeemed with Judgment (Vol. 1) .......... Now $12.80
Redeemed with Judgment (Vol. 2) .......... Now $12.80
Reformed Worship .......... Now $2.78
Sin and Grace .......... Now $6.78

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October 1, 2016 Standard Bearer Issue

The October 1, 2016 Standard Bearer issue (Issue #1 in the new volume year 93), is on it's way to hard copy subscribers and esubscribers mailboxes worldwide!

If you are not a current subscriber start a subscription TODAY!

 

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Philippines Book Order

The first part of a large book order placed by the Philippines Bookstore, run by Rev. Daniel Kleyn and his wife Sharon.
 

The books in the previous photo filled up 2 of these large shipping boxes. The second part of the order sits on top waiting to be packed into a smaller half-size box. These 3 boxes were filled with 254 Reformed books. They were shipped this past Tuesday and go by sea freight which usually takes 2 months for the boxes to arrive at their destination.
 
It is always quite something to see this many books being sent to this part of the world. The printed page is being spread to the four corners of the world!
We recall to mind the speech that Rev. Smit gave this past year at the RFPA Annual Meeting, "The Role of Reformed Literature in Foreign Missions". Read the full speech here as published in the Standard Bearer magazine.

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Our new book has arrived!

The Coming of Zion's Redeemer by Ronald Hanko

Order your copy today or join the Book Club to receive books automatically (3-4 times per year).

 

 

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The Coming of Zion's Redeemer

 
The Coming of Zion's Redeemer is written by returning author Ronald Hanko on the prophecies of Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
These prophecies, though not always easy to understand, are as much needed today as when they were written. Written for those living at the end of the Old Testament and looking forward to the first coming of Christ, they speak with authority and promise to those who are looking forward to the second coming of Christ and who live near the end of this present age. Very different in style, they have a unity of theme and purpose in Christ, the great king, priest, and prophet of his people.

Coming Soon....!

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What's in the the March 15 Standard Bearer?

Read these articles and more in the upcoming March 15 issue of The Standard Bearer.

Not a subscriber? Purchase an eSubscription or a hard copy subscription today!

 

Meditation | Godliness for Officebearers


 
"Officebearers must be able to say: Do as I do. Follow my example."

O Come Let Us Worship | The Reading of the Law in Worship


 

"...in the covenantal dialogue, God is speaking to us, declaring His sovereignty over us. He is placing upon us His holy Law in order that we might be humbled before Him."

 

God's Wonderful Works | Calling (1): Fishing for Men


 
"Preaching is fishing. It is the means God uses not to create the fish, but to draw out the fish that He has already created. God uses the preaching of the gospel to draw out those whom He has already regenerated."

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Know the standard, and follow it - Read the Standard Bearer.

Are you a subscriber to The Standard Bearer?

If not, subscribe today for $10.50 at the new subscriber rate! 

What other readers are saying:

"...we cherish [the] magazine."

"I love reading the Standard Bearer. Many articles I read twice. I always look forward to seeing the next one come in the mail box."

"The Standard Bearer is a must-read for any individual interested in the truth of the gospel, and is a staple of my reading diet."

 

 

Also take the time to visit the Standard Bearer Archives to peruse past issues!

 

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The Fruit of the Spirit: Some Concluding Thoughts

This is the last post about Rev. Smit’s book, The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Rev. Smit closes the book with 5 concluding thoughts. Here is a summary of these thoughts.

1. God’s eternal decree of election is the ultimate source of the fruit of the Spirit.

2. The Holy Spirit produces and cultivates the fruit of the Spirit by the means of grace found in the church. 

3. Those who produce the fruit of the Spirit enjoy “true freedom.”

4. Humble dependence upon Jesus Christ is necessary for producing the fruit of the Spirit.

5. The hope of the elect is that they will one day “attain perfection in the fruit of the Spirit.”

This last chapter also includes helpful questions for discussion.

Although this last chapter does not treat any of the 9 aspects of the fruit of the Spirit, I think it is an important part of the book. It gives Rev. Smit opportunity to treat the last phrase in Galatians 5:23, “against such there is no law.” Though the explanation is brief it is helpful. I’ll leave it up to you to read the explanation for yourself.

I also found Rev. Smit’s point that we will “attain perfection in the fruit of the Spirit” in heaven fascinating. This point made me think of 1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity (love), these three; but the greatest of these is charity (love).” Rev. Smit explained in the beginning of the book that love is “fundamental” for all of the other aspects of the fruit of the Spirit. So if love abides forever that means that joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and temperance abide forever also. The fruit of the Spirit is a heavenly treasure! Moth and rust will not corrupt it. It is a heavenly blessings that comes from Jesus Christ through the outpouring of his Spirit. And when the end comes on the day of the return of Jesus Christ, the fruit of the Spirit will abide forever and be perfected in God’s elect. What encouragement for believers to work diligently to produce and cultivate the fruit of the Spirit!

I highly recommend the chapter and the entire book. Enjoy it by yourself. Use it for a discussion group. Lend or give a copy to a friend. May God grant the grace to produce the fruit of the Spirit.

 

Other articles by Rev. Spronk on The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ:

The Fruit of the Spirit: An Introduction

The Fruit of the Spirit: Love

The Fruit of the Spirit: Joy

The Fruit of the Spirit: Peace

The Fruit of the Spirit: Longsuffering

The Fruit of the Spirit: Gentleness

The Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness

The Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness

The Fruit of the Spirit: Meekness

The Fruit of the Spirit: Temperance

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This article was written by guest blogger Rev. Clayton Spronk, pastor of Peace Protestant Reformed Church in Lansing, IL. Rev. Spronk blogs for us several times a month, taking us first through a brief study of Richard Smit's newly released book, The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. If there is a topic you'd like to Rev. Spronk to address, please contact us.

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The Fruit of the Spirit: Temperance

Christians can learn temperance from the example of Olympic athletes. By observing the athletes Christians can learn not only what temperance is, but why it is important. Rev. Smit writes, “If temperance is vital for the success of a worldly athlete for the prize of an Olympic gold medal, should it not be regarded by us as more than vital for the prize for which we press forward by faith? That it ought to be highly valued by the believer is emphasized by Paul when he writes, ‘But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.’”

Rev. Smit uses the examples of a boxer and a marathon runner to illustrate the virtue of temperance. Perhaps he wrote the sermon that serves as the basis for this chapter during the summer months so that summer Olympic events came to his mind. Winter Olympic events also require temperance. The snowboarders, skiers, and skaters all have finely honed bodies as a result of the self-control or discipline they exercised in preparation for the games. I happened to see a clip on NBC that explained how hard snowboarder Kelly Clark worked to reach peak condition. This is necessary because Clark is considered old for her sport. Her disciplined use of time for strenuous exercise and self-controlled diet helped her win the bronze medal in the women's half-pipe.

What do we learn from these Olympic athletes? Rev. Smit writes, these “athletes do everything necessary, governing all aspects of their life, mind, and body meticulously, in order to obtain the sole objective of [winning the prize].” So temperance for Christians is “that spiritual ability to bring themselves under control for godly and faithful lives unto the Lord.” Temperance is then a broad subject–it requires governing all of one’s life. 

Rev. Smit helpfully provides specific applications of temperance to use of time, use of food, use of our bodies in single life and married life, and other areas of life.

But is Christian temperance merely self-control in these areas of life? Olympic athletes practice strict control over what they eat. Does this mean they are practicing the Christian virtue of temperance? Driven business men practice strict control over how they use time and spend money. Are they practicing the Christian virtue of temperance? 

Rev. Smit warns against the danger using the words self-government, self-control, and self-discipline in an inappropriate way. He writes, “He who is truly temperate does not wish to be governed by his self.” Christian temperance is a work of God’s grace that puts Christians “under the regulation of Christ and his word.” Thus in Gal. 5:21 the Apostle Paul is speaking of temperance as a fruit of the Spirit in which “the Spirit of Christ teaches us to be willing and ready to live in submission to him.” Here Rev. Smit teaches us, I believe, the key to temperance that is very important practically—to be temperate is to be Christ-controlled!

This means that there is application here to more than only those who overindulge. Yes, those who overindulge in food or alcohol or in other things need to learn temperance. They need to learn say no to their own desires to please themselves and submit to the Lord. But there is application also to those who are able to practice strict control over their lives.  If that strict control is not exercised in loving obedience to Christ, it is not Christian temperance, it is sin. The use of alcohol comes to mind here because the movement to outlaw alcohol is often referred to as the Temperance Movement. Those who refuse alcohol are called temperate. But if we apply Rev. Smit’s explanation of temperance to teetotalers we must conclude that those who refuse alcohol for purely carnal reasons (that have nothing to do with Jesus Christ) are not truly temperate. Their refusal of alcohol is sinful. Another example of sinful self-control is the case of an anorexic. Anorexics practice strict control over their food intake.  But they are motivate by purely selfish reasons for restricting their diets. To them comes the call to Christian temperance in which they must give up self-control and place their food intake under Christ’s control.    

Other applications could be made. But the point is that the call to Christian temperance comes to every one of us. I recommend that you take the time to read chapter 10 of The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ and examine yourself.  

Other articles by Rev. Spronk on The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ:

The Fruit of the Spirit: An Introduction

The Fruit of the Spirit: Love

The Fruit of the Spirit: Joy

The Fruit of the Spirit: Peace

The Fruit of the Spirit: Longsuffering

The Fruit of the Spirit: Gentleness

The Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness

The Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness

The Fruit of the Spirit: Meekness

______________________________________________________________________________________

This article was written by guest blogger Rev. Clayton Spronk, pastor of Peace Protestant Reformed Church in Lansing, IL. Rev. Spronk blogs for us several times a month, taking us first through a brief study of Richard Smit's newly released book, The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. If there is a topic you'd like to Rev. Spronk to address, please contact us.

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The Fruit of the Spirit: Meekness

Meekness

Rev. Smit opens chapter 9 of The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ by explaining that Holy Spirit works meekness in the hearts of all the elect upon whom he bestows the gift of salvation.  All who are saved become meek.  It is a virtue that was exhibited, as Rev. Smit explains, by Moses, John the Baptist, Paul, and many other saints (pg. 128).  Saints are meek because they are renewed in the image of Jesus Christ, who was meek.  Rev. Smit connects the humility of Christ to the meekness of saints when he defines meekness.  “As Christ was humble, and demonstrated that humility in his work of redemption, so must we be of the same mind and in that lowliness of mind esteem others better than ourselves (pg. 129).”

Rev. Smit helpfully contrasts meekness and humility with the sins of selfishness, vainglory, and pride (pg. 129-131).  Against that backdrop of sin Rev. Smit holds up a beautiful description of meekness: “Meekness is a matter of how lowly we value ourselves – before God chiefly and also in comparison with others" (pg. 131).  Rev. Smit writes that a meek person “concludes” that “he is the least of all God’s saints" (pg. 131).  That is a powerful statement!  Do you esteem all other saints better than yourself?  Not some – all?  Not only the minister, the office bearers, or those who are known for their spiritual maturity, but even those who seem to be less comely – do you see them all as better that yourself?  And because it is a tendency to elevate certain people in the congregation, such as office bearers, it is good that they too be reminded to see themselves as the least of all God’s saints.  If we are struggling to be esteem ourselves of less than others we need to look to Christ and see that as sinners the only worth and value “we have is of, in, by, and because of Christ alone" (pg. 131-132).

That attitude of meekness before God and others must come to expression.   Do you display meekness in your life?  Rev. Smit gives good direction for displaying meekness in the last part of the chapter.  I encourage you to find 15 minutes in your day (that’s all it takes!) to read this chapter and think about how to put the Christian virtue of meekness into practice.  

Other articles by Rev. Spronk on The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ:

The Fruit of the Spirit: An Introduction

The Fruit of the Spirit: Love

The Fruit of the Spirit: Joy

The Fruit of the Spirit: Peace

The Fruit of the Spirit: Longsuffering

The Fruit of the Spirit: Gentleness

The Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness

The Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness

______________________________________________________________________________________

This article was written by guest blogger Rev. Clayton Spronk, pastor of Peace Protestant Reformed Church in Lansing, IL. Rev. Spronk blogs for us several times a month, taking us first through a brief study of Richard Smit's newly released book, The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. If there is a topic you'd like to Rev. Spronk to address, please contact us.

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