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August 2019 Standard Bearer preview article

“As to our good works” (2): The nature of good works as works

Works occupy a prominent place in Scripture; in fact, Scripture is from beginning to end a book of works. Scripture attributes works to the triune God, Christ, angels—wicked and holy, and men—wicked and holy. We begin our examination of the good works of the believer by considering the nature of good works and noting five general characteristics of our good works as works.

A conscious, acting subject

First, works are those deeds consciously and volitionally performed by rational, moral beings. Strictly speaking, a creature like the sky is not capable of performing works. Psalm 19:1 teaches, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” The visible expanse of the heavens above us gives glory to God; however, it is not an intelligent creature consciously and willingly producing “works” of praise unto God as holy men and holy angels can do. We men are different than the creatures in the heavens above and in the earth beneath and in the waters under the earth, for God created us as personal beings with an intellect and will so that we are able to live consciously before His face performing works of service in love for Him and our neighbor. In marriage, a husband and wife are called to love each other and show it in word and deed, but if a whole week has gone by and they have not consciously performed even one considerate act towards each other, living as intimately as two stars twinkling side by side in the heavens, something is dreadfully amiss. God created us, and in Jesus Christ has recreated us, as new creatures able to do good. Consciously! Willingly! Cheerfully! Lovingly!

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God’s armor for us: The sword

God’s armor for us: The sword

The sword is necessary for the advance of God’s kingdom, first of all, because the true, instituted church of Christ and her youth are surrounded by false doctrines, vain philosophies, and wicked lifestyles. Dangerous are the heretics with their heresies, the crafty false teachers with their honeycomb tongues in influential speeches and cunning literature, and the pleasure-seekers attractively promoting their ungodly lifestyles. No one is more dangerous than the seducer who takes the name “Christian” and, like his father Satan, tries...

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To teach them war (20) God’s armor for us: The Shield

From all eternity God determined to bestow the gift of faith as a shield upon His elect people in Jesus Christ. When we sinners are begotten again and sovereignly grafted into our living Savior, we receive all the benefits of salvation, including the ability to believe and trust in God and His word. Faith then is the powerful, conscious activity of the believer whereby he holds for truth all that God has revealed in His Word, confidently persuaded that the promises...

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God’s Armor for Us: The footwear

Our spiritual footwear that allows us to move about in battle is “the preparedness or readiness of the gospel of peace.” The gospel of peace makes us prepared and ready to fight. When God declares peace in the gospel, and the Spirit applies that peace to the heart of the believer so that he enjoys peace with God and is determined to live in peace with his neighbor, he is prepared for war. If you have peace with God and to...

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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...

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RFPA Annual Meeting Recap

What a wonderful evening! We are excited to report a great turnout and an edifying assembly for our annual association meeting, held last night at Georgetown Protestant Reformed Church in Hudsonville, MI. In addition to a large crowd of readers, families, and friends, last night also marked record high attendance in the last 10 years for Association members with 86 present and, by God's grace, we experienced the encouraging growth of 14, mostly young, new members. What an encouragement to see...

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