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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Grace or Work?

“And if by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” Romans 11:6 

What do you desire? To be saved by grace or by works?

That is the question. Shakespeare would say: To be or not to be, that is the question. And it fits here too. To be or not to be in the arms of God unto all eternity. Tremendous question.

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January 15, 2020 Standard Bearer preview article

Marital communication—The sweetest words

Let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice.—Song of Solomon 2:14

There are many interpretations on the Song of Solomon, yet most would agree it contains lovely communication between a bridegroom and his bride. The two sing one another’s praise. They speak with love and respect. Their speech involves sharing personal thoughts, including inmost longings, in safety. There is mutual trust. This level of communication is a giving of oneself, a way of saying, “I want to know you and I want you to know me.” There are no substitutes for heart to heart talks in marriage.

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Afraid of the Gospel (11)

“The pedagogical approach.”

The apostle Paul never heard of such a thing!

How could he have heard of it? It is a twentieth century discovery. Indeed the apostle was not ignorant of pedagogy.* How could he be? The Holy Spirit, the all-wise and divine teacher who leads us into all the truth, the Master of all pedagogy, by means of organic inspiration, used the apostle Paul to teach the church the truth. A more able teacher, one whose pedagogical approach is superior to that of the apostle Paul, you will not find in the world today. But “the pedagogical approach”—please note the quotation marks—which requires conditional theology as its principle and method of instruction was not known to the apostle Paul. 

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January 1, 2020 Standard Bearer preview article

Witness

Our Lord calls all of us to witness to Him and the gospel of salvation from sin and death by Him; and calls not only those who hold the office of minister, but all who hold the office of Christian; and to do that not only passively but actively; not only by mouth but by deed; and not only some days but every day of our life. This calling is not optional, something to choose to do or not do, accept or reject. If we are a Christian in whom the Spirit of Jesus dwells by faith, we must and will witness to our Christ and His salvation.

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Afraid of the Gospel (9)

Conditional theology.

Christless preaching.

These, we wrote last time, go hand in hand.

And, then, we do not mean that in sermons which are based on conditional theology the name of Christ is not mentioned. The use of the name of Christ does not save a sermon from being Christless. Even the modernist will mention the name of Christ repeatedly in his “sermons.” And yet the Christ is not in his “sermons” at all! The Christ of the modernist is the imagination of man’s mind, not the atoning Christ of God’s counsel.

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December 15, 2019 Standard Bearer preview article

Protestant Reformed Missions: The War Years

Mission Work Flounders (1940-1946): 5

There are various legitimate means evangelism committees and mission committees use to spread the gospel. One such means already faithfully used by the PRC Mission Committee was that of the printed page. During the years that war was being waged in Europe and the south Pacific, various churches, especially First PRC in Grand Rapids, published pamphlets addressing diverse doctrinal and practical issues—many of them written by Rev. Herman Hoeksema.

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Afraid of the Gospel (8)

Conditional theology!

Christless sermons!

These go hand in hand. Hand in hand they must go. For conditional theology wants us to believe that there are works of men that precede the works of God and for which God waits, either before saving us or before he can and will give us the next installment of salvation. We must believe, so the particular phase of conditional theology which was smuggled into the Protestant Reformed churches declares, before the promise of God to save us will go into effect. 

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Afraid of the Gospel (7)

Christ or conditions.

That is the issue! Either Christ and his work is the prerequisite for my entrance into the kingdom of heaven or else my act of converting myself is the prerequisite. Either Christ and his atonement is the basis for my salvation or else I am saved on the condi­tion of faith, and perhaps on the condition of a few other things demanded of me.

Christ and conditions?

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December 1, 2019 Standard Bearer preview article

Protect young eyes on capitol hill

Chairman Graham, Senator Blumenthal, and members of the Committee, thank you for allowing all of us to speak today. I cannot think of a more noble cause for all of us to be spending our time on today than the safety and protection of our children. I began Protect Young Eyes five years ago because the internet is complex and even diligent parents are overwhelmed by the digital choices their children are facing. Through thousands of hours of research, hundreds of presentations at schools around the country, and dozens of articles examining digital trends, we have witnessed both the wonderful potential and the troubling and pervasive darkness that exists in the pockets of millions of young people today. I’m certain that in the course of today’s discussion, we will hear difficult stories. I wish they were uncommon.1

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