By Rev. Michael DeVries in the upcoming Standard Bearer. __________ Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7 Many of us who live in northern climes have what we might call a ‘love-hate’ relationship with snow. What beauty there is on a cold, sunny morning after a new fallen snow! Snow means fun for the children—making a snowman or sledding on a nice hill. Many enjoy winter recreation in...
Walking in the light is necessary. It is essential. It is indispensable. It is the necessary way of fellowship. It is the only sphere in which fellowship is enjoyed. Yet we do not by our good works of obedience maintain fellowship. We cannot. The fellowship is maintained only through the grace of God. That is why John writes, “and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Read More
What, then, does a walk in the light look like? It is a life of faith and repentance, a life of obedience, a life of honoring God, a life of keeping God’s commandments, a life of devotion to God, a life of love for God and the neighbor, a life of prayer and Bible study. It is a life of faithfulness in marriage or in single life, a life of diligence in one’s calling, a life of obedience and honor for parents, and a life of faithful attendance at public worship.Read More
The following book is reviewed by Rev. Daniel Holstege, pastor of Wingham PRC in Wingham, Ontario, Canada. _____________ Say Among the Heathen the Lord Reigns, by Mrs. Jean Kortering, Reformed Free Publishing Association, 2022, 368 pages, $24.95 paper. [Originally self-published in 2007.] In 1992, after serving as a pastor for thirty-two years in Protestant Reformed churches throughout America, Rev. Jason Kortering and his wife Jean moved around the world to Singapore and served God throughout Asia for the next ten years....
Darkness is a figure. In the Bible darkness is not only the absence of light. We turn off the light, and it becomes dark. Darkness is more than absence. Darkness is the opposite of light, the antithesis of light, and the enemy of light. If light is purity and holiness, darkness is impurity, depravity, and the defilement of sin. If light is warmth, joy, gladness, and comfort, darkness is gloom, misery, and despair. If light is life and vitality, darkness is death. If light is truth and clarity, darkness is obscurity, confusion, and error. If light is glory, darkness is shame. Darkness engulfs, it oppresses, it obscures, it hides, it covers and conceals, and it destroys.Read More
A man who walks in the light enjoys fellowship. He does not lie; he speaks, and he lives the truth. If we walk in the light, we enjoy fellowship: first, with God in Jesus Christ; and second, with other believers, who also walk in the light. Light is the sphere of blessedness, of communion, of fellowship, and of affinity. In the light God shares his life with us; in the light we delight in him; in the light we taste and see that he is good; in the light we experience his favor. Read More
Born for Our Salvation: The Nativity and Childhood of Jesus Christ Follow the inspired evangelists, Matthew and Luke, as they relate the wonderful events that surround the birth and early childhood of Jesus Christ. Marvel at the announcement of the angel Gabriel. Rejoice with Mary, Elizabeth, the unborn John, and Joseph. Trace the steps of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, where the Savior is born. Listen to the heavenly song of the angelic host as they announce the gospel to lowly...
The fellowship in 1 John 1 is fellowship with God and, therefore, fellowship with fellow believers. Such fellowship is enjoyed through faith and in the church, where God is worshipped, confessed, loved, and obeyed. John begins in verse 3 with the message of the apostles, which is the message of the incarnation of the Son of God. The apostles (among them John) have seen, heard, and handled Jesus Christ. That message they declare unto you, the readers. That message we receive as we read it and as we hear it preached. The purpose of that declaration of Jesus Christ is “[so that] ye also may have fellowship with us [the apostles]” (v. 3). We have fellowship with the apostles by believing and receiving the gospel that they preached. Through faith in the apostolic message, and in no other message, we have fellowship also with God: “And truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (v. 3). Read More
“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows” (Matt. 10:29-31). We do well to remember more often the cosmic scope of God's covenant, that it embraces the four corners of the earth and every living creature therein, and reaches out to the farthest bounds of the universe, to the astonishingly vast galaxies with their billions of stars and all the hosts of the highest heaven. For Christ, God’s own Son, shed his blood to reconcile all things to God and bring them into his covenant (Col. 1:20). Read More
An article by Mrs. Margaret Laning Praying for our prodigals “We lift up our child in prayer, Lord. Help us, for we do not know what to do. Our child is walking in sin, will not meet to talk with us about it, and is listening to and giving in to spiritual enemies. We cry out for Thy mercy. Thou alone hast power to change the heart….” Such is a prayer of Christian parents who have a wayward child. Who else...
We deserve to be drowned under the flood of the wrath of God in hell with the unbelieving and unrepentant world. But God has sent Christ into this world to suffer the outpouring of that flood on the cross in our place. Our baptism is a sign and seal to us that his blood has cleansed us of all our sins and will carry us out of this filthy and doomed world into a heavenly paradise. Read More
We need to articulate the truth about the flood clearly and adamantly today in our battle against the secular worldview of evolutionism that would inundate us and our children. The so-called experts today, including many who profess Christianity, refuse to allow even the suggestion that the Bible is true in its record of the worldwide flood and this explains the existence of many of the mighty mountains and canyons of the earth, as well as the extraordinary phenomena of fossils around the world. Our children and young people can be sorely troubled by the persistent claim of modern man that this world is billions of years old and was fashioned by merely natural processes over long eons of time. We must diligently teach our children and all who ask us a reason of the hope that is in us about the wonder of the flood. Read More
Grace motivated him to build because he knew that he didn’t have to build in order to obtain that grace, but he already had it and would never lose it! What soul-liberating and heart-motivating gratitude that gives to the believer! Grace empowered him to build because if left to himself he could not have cut a single gopher tree or set one board upon another, but God was perpetually there in his heart working and preserving his faith.Read More
In her book, I Belong, Joyce Holstege takes the smallest incremental steps to teach your child the Heidelberg Catechism Question and Answer 1. That’s it. A whole book – 50 pages – for one catechism question and answer. You can be assured, though, by the time you finish this book with your child, he or she will be able to recite the question and answer and explain what it means.Read More