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The Fruit of the Spirit: Longsuffering

The Queen of Virtues Longsuffering begins, Rev. Smit writes in chapter five of The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, “the second main group” of the fruit of the Spirit. The first group of three virtues is inward looking, while this second group of three “seems to highlight virtues that are evident in our outward dealings and communication, especially with those of our church families and covenant homes.” Just as the importance of love is highlighted by its position at...

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What do Handel's Messiah and the Heidelberg Catechism have in common?

  What do Handel's Messiah and the Heidelberg Catechism have in common? The proclamation of the gospel of Christ, of course! And we here in West Michigan were blessed to be able to hear and proclaim the gospel in many different ways this past weekend in connection with both the catechism and the Messiah. We were able to participate in the Our Only Comfort conference, celebrating the 450th anniversary of the Heidelberg Catechism, that beautiful, confessional, Reformed creed we hold so dear....

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Fruit of the Spirit: Peace

Am I Pursuing Peace? True peace is the fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.  Rev. Smit explains what this true peace is in chapter 4 of The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Rev. Smit begins the chapter with a description of false peace, the peace the world strives for and claims it can achieve through man’s “own wisdom, goodness, and righteousness (pg. 52).”  But this manmade peace is “illusive” (pg. 51).  There is no peace in the world...

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Synods and General Assemblies: The Reformed Church in America (part 4)

The Homosexual Agenda Advances, Too Like the proponents of women’s ordination (which I examined here), proponents of accepting homosexuality have a goal too. Homosexuality will not be condemned as sin. It will be viewed as a legitimate (preferable?) “alternative lifestyle.” And it will receive the complete acceptance of every congregation and member in the denomination. The RCA is not there . . . yet. But Synod 2013 made three decisions that move in that direction. First, the Synod rescinded the following...

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Synods and General Assemblies: The Reformed Church in America (part 3)

A Brief Introduction to the Belhar Confession and Its Criticism In response to a previous post I received a suggestion to give a brief introduction to the Belhar Confession. The text of the Belhar Confession can be found here and a longer article I wrote on the subject originally appeared in the Standard Bearer and can be found here. The Origin and Adoption of the Belhar Confession The Belhar Confession was drafted in 1982 and then adopted by the Dutch Reformed Mission...

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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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Synods and General Assemblies: The Reformed Church in America (part 2)

The Women-in-Office Agenda Takes Another Step in the RCA The Reformed Church in America (RCA) Synod 2013’s decision to advance the women-in-office agenda is part of a long process by which proponents of women in office are working towards their goal. The goal of those who want women to be ordained as ministers, elders, and deacons is to force women’s ordination on every congregation and member in the denomination. It takes a long time to achieve that goal. The RCA has...

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RFPA Update Fall 2013

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Schism of 1953 within the Protestant Reformed Churches. In the newest issue of the RFPA Update, learn about the role of the Standard Bearer throughout the schism and read a review of our most recent book publication which also details much of the history of the schism. Click here for to view the entire Update as a PDF.     The SB and the PRC: A Trumpet Blast and Reformed Testimony by Prof....

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Synods and General Assemblies: The Reformed Church in America (part 1)

The RCA’s Commitment to the Belhar Confession The summer vacation season is over. That means school is about to begin or has begun. It also means that meetings of synods and general assemblies have convened and adjourned. Since the idea of this blog is to write about a variety of topics, not just books, I have decided to write some posts about several of these synods and general assemblies. My purpose is not to write a thorough summary of the activities...

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Perversion, Praise, and Promises: Sneak Peak at the Next Issue of the Standard Bearer

Looking forward to receiving the September 1 issue of the Standard Bearer? Here's a taste of what's to come in the next issue of our Reformed magazine: Editorial | The Persistent Sanctioning of Sexual Sins by Reformed Churches "Our stand on sexual intimacy and marital faithfulness has direct bearing on our view of the church's relationship to Christ, and of his relationship to us." O Come Let Us Worship | Praising the Lord in the Congregation:The Element of Singing    ...

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Coming soon! Book #3 in the Reformed Spirituality series....

  All Glory to the Only Good God Available early September 2013!    The third book in the Reformed Spirituality series, this book again consists of meditations by Protestant Reformed minister and theologian, Herman Hoeksema. The meditations in this volume have in common their living, breathing zeal for the glory of the good God. God is only good-- good in himself; good in creation; good in salvation; good in Christ; good to his elect people. Hoeksema warns against two misconceptions concerning...

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Fruit of the Spirit: Joy

Love, Joy... If you were making a list of Christian virtues, where would you put joy? Where would you expect a Calvinist to put joy? Somewhere after orthodoxy, sobriety, and humility…right? Or maybe joy doesn’t belong on the list at all. Christianity and joy just do not seem to go together. But in the inspired order of the fruit of the Spirit Rev. Smit explains, “Significantly, joy...is near the beginning of the list…right beside love.”  Joy is a gift of the...

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Encouraging the Next Generation to Read

RFPA Annual Meeting September 19, 2013  |  Georgetown Protestant Reformed Church  |  7:30 p.m. Save the date for the RFPA Annual Meeting! This year's keynote address will be given by Rev. Brian Huizinga, pastor of Hope Protestant Reformed Church in Redlands, California. Rev. Huizinga will present Encouraging the Next Generation to Read "Reading has a significant place in the covenant of grace as an instrument of God for the fulfilling of His promises," said Rev. Huizinga. "We must share the conviction...

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Fruit of the Spirit: Love

“According to . . . Christ’s love toward you, so love one another (pg. 27).”  The quote standing at the head of this post is a command.  However, toward the beginning of this chapter Rev. Smit explains that Galatians 5:22 is not a command to love.  Galatians 5:22 simply speaks of love as the fruit (or part of the fruit) of the Spirit.  Rev. Smit explains why this is significant: What is the significance that Galatians 5:22 speaks of love as...

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