Standard Bearer Digital Index for Volumes 1-95 Now Available!

 

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Indexes included in this file: Subject, Textual, Book Reviews, and Title.

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October 15, 2019 Standard Bearer preview article

In a world that has perverted and idolized sex, we need to have a proper attitude toward sex. God has made each of us a sexual being, either male or female, and each of us will either use or abuse the gift of sex.

Only the Scriptures can give us a proper perspective on human sexuality. God created us with this gift, and God knows our sinful inclinations with regard to sex. The Scriptures speak plainly and purely about sex, powerfully warning us against the dangers of its abuse, as well as extolling its blessedness when used as God in­tends.

Because there is not a word in Scripture that can be harmful to the believer, and because Scripture speaks openly about sex, we must also discuss this subject openly and biblically with our children. If we do not do this, then they will inevitably learn the wrong lessons about sex from peers and culture.

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October 1, 2019 Standard Bearer preview article

The author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye repudiates the Christian faith

Joshua Eugene Harris (b. 1974) was a leading figure in the “Christian Purity” movement. His father, Greg Harris, was a leader among Christian homeschoolers in the 1980s and 1990s, a movement that his son, Joshua, enthusiastically embraced. At the age of 17 Harris began to speak at his father’s homeschooling events, and from 1994–1997 he published New Attitude Magazine, a resource for homeschooled teenagers. In 1997 without any formal theological training, Harris moved from Oregon to Maryland to place himself under the mentorship of Charles Joseph (C. J.) Mahaney, pastor of Covenant Life Church and Sovereign Grace Ministries.

The same year, Harris published his bestseller I Kissed Dating Goodbye at the age of twenty-two or twenty-three. A year later, 1998, he married Shannon Boone with whom he has three children. His second book, Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship (2000), recounts the history of his relationship with Shannon.

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September 15, 2019 Standard Bearer preview article

The covenant and Dordt: Election, the foundation

The doctrine of election is the foundation of the Reformed truth of salvation by grace alone. The first head of the Canons of Dordt establishes the doctrine of double predestination in answer to the first point of the Remonstrants. The Arminians placed this doctrine first in their five objections (remonstrances), knowing that if they could successfully change the Reformed teaching of election to a conditional election, the rest of their teaching (errors) would follow logically. If election (and therefore, salvation) depended on man’s choosing it, then Christ died for all to make that choice a possibility, and fallen man is not dead, and grace is resistible, and perseverance unto eternal life depends on man.

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September 1, 2019 Standard Bearer preview article

Evil things are happening in homes and families in our land. Daily media reports are sometimes shocking, even unimaginable. There is the shameful abuse of women and children, sexual sins, sometimes committed by fathers violating their own children. We read of the most horrible atrocities imaginable, such as parents murdering their own children, and children their own parents. Even natural affection in the home seems in some cases to be utterly absent. All of these things are clear evidences that we are living in the last days, days of increasing wickedness in the world in which we live. May the Lord in His great mercy preserve us in this evil world, for sometimes these sins come close to us, and we know we are capable of committing them.

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Afraid of the Gospel - 3

Seeds germinate.

Such is the process of life.

And if you do not root up or choke that which sprouts forth from the seed, the plant will soon come to that degree of growth that you can distinguish the plant from other types of plants.

You plant your flower seeds, and they grow. But in the soil are also the seeds of several obnoxious plants, the seeds of weeds. They also germinate. And as both that which your flower seeds send forth grows and that which these seeds of the not-wanted plants send forth grows, you are for a brief period of time at a loss to decide which must be uprooted.

So it is with the seed of the truth and the seed of the lie.

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Further Critique of Graham's Teachings

The reader will remember that some months ago [Issue 3, 11/1/1965] I criticized an essay by Dr. Billy Graham on "The New Birth." This essay was published by Christianity Today as one of a series of essays on "Fundamentals of Faith." But the essay itself was excerpted from Dr. Graham's recent book, "World Aflame." 

Partly through some correspondence with a Calvinist friend in England who was also interested in this book of Graham, and partly, I suppose, out of a certain innate curiosity and desire "to see for myself", I purchased the book. I wanted to see whether the entire book was like the sample given in the essay on "The New Birth." 

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Thankfulness

Our communion form delineates the walk of gratitude of the Christian as the laying aside unfeignedly of all enmity, hatred, and envy and a firm resolution to walk in true love and peace with the neighbor. Such conduct evidences true thankfulness to God because it is only the regenerated child of God who can and will do these things and in the practice of them he is deeply conscious that "by the grace of God I am what I am and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain" (1 Cor. 15:10). Human nature cannot and will not submit to God's ordinance of love for "the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Rom. 8:7). All the works of the flesh are characterized by "enmity, hatred, and envy", the very things which the child of God strives by grace to put off. Thankfulness, which is the fruit of regeneration, springs to manifestation in a life of uprightness before God. 

The essence of that life is love and in the concrete manifestation of the love of God in our walk therefore lies the proof that we are born of God and are made partakers of his communion and that of his saints. In the living experience of that love lies the conscious enjoyment of all the blessings of salvation while the absence of that love creates total spiritual vacuum in the consciousness of man. 

It is not particularly striking then that the word of God in countless places emphasizes the importance of love in the conversation of the saints. Jesus tells us that it constitutes the core of the entire law of God in that well known summary: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first and the great commandment; and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy self. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matt. 22:37–40).

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Gone to Prepare a Place

 

"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am there ye may be also." John 14:2, 3

Saying good-bye is always hard. 

That's especially true for those who love each other. 

It's part of dying, it's separation. 

The bleakness of such a moment is felt when you leave loved ones behind and move away. A congregation and minister encounter that pain when it's time for farewell. Parents stand helplessly silent as their son boards the plane for battle. The tension is most acute at the bedside of our dying loved ones. 

It's hard to say goodbye. We desire the presence of the person whom we love. We're afraid that we may never see them on earth again. 

Our text could be called a lover's farewell. 

Jesus was saying goodbye to his bride. That little band of eleven represented his church. Since he knew the pains of farewell, Jesus also knew that only one promise would console her, "I go…I will come again." To make certain that she understood, he sent angels at the triumphant moment of his ascension to re-affirm his promise, "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." 

The Bridegroom was saying goodbye to his bride. 

He was about to leave her to get everything ready for the wedding. 

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The Ark's Return from Philistia

And the men did so; and took two milch kine, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home: And they laid the ark of the LORD upon the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images of their emerods, And the kine took the straight way to the way of Bethshemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left; and the lords of the Philistines went after them unto the border of Bethshemesh. 1 Samuel 6:10-12

For seven months the ark of Israel's God had been in the land of the Philistines, and there was no longer any question with the Philistines that he was not under their power but that they were under his. The God of Israel had smitten them with the pestilence much in the same way he had smitten the Egyptians many years before. Everyone was covered with boils, open, sore and draining; many had died. It happened wherever the ark was brought, whether Ashdod, Gath or Ekron. No one could escape it. With swift destruction the hand of the God of Israel descended upon them. No incantation could drive it away. No form of medicine was able to heal. The invasion of mice which had gone before seemed bad at the time; but this was far worse. The damage done to Dagon in his temple was now all but forgotten because of the suffering that filled the land. The people cowered in fear. 

At last the priests and diviners, the wise men of the Philistines, were called together to do something to save the nation. There was no longer any question what the trouble was. Everyone knew and took it for granted, as much as they disliked the thought. The ark of Israel's God had proved to be for them, not a great victory as they had first expected, but their curse. The only question for these learned men was, "What shall we do to the ark of the Lord? tell us wherewith we shall send it to his place." The ark of Jehovah had to be sent away. The only thing they feared was that they might not do it in the right way so that still greater judgments might descend upon them. 

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