IN ONE MONTH volume two of The Belgic Confession commentary will be printed, completing the two-volume set written by Professor David J. Engelsma.
We provide you with an excerpt from Chapter 17: Justification as Experience.
Justification by faith alone, without works, not only excludes works from God’s justifying act, but also from the believer’s knowledge and certainty of righteousness with God. If this were not the case, “we should always be in doubt, tossed to and fro without any certainty, and our poor consciences would be continually vexed.”
Therefore, to teach that in the end the experience and assurance of righteousness with God are realized by the sinner’s good works, or are somehow dependent upon the good works of the sinner, is the denial of justification by faith alone. In that case, faith would need the help of the sinner’s works to give the blessing of justification. Union with Christ and his work would not be enough.
This editorial is written by Rev. Jon Mahtani and will be published in the April 1, 2019 issue of the Standard Bearer.
Click to read pdf as printed in the April 1, 2019 issue.
Who Am I?
“…God, whose I am, and whom I serve.” Acts 27:23b.
“Who am I?” This is the second most important question to ask and answer. Now and throughout all of life, every morning when you awake, every night before you go to sleep, and before every decision you make between waking and sleeping, you should be answering this question of self-identity.1But before asking ourselves this, we must be aware of thefirstmost important question, which is “Who is God?”Catechism students studying the “Essentials of Reformed Doctrine” will recognize this if they remember the six loci of Reformed doctrine, thefirstbeing Theology, which answers this question. Let us be sure to start here. Begin with this question every day, for if you do not first know who God is, you will “mess up” the knowledge of who you are. Only in keeping that crucial knowledge of God’s identity in mind will one rightly answer thesecondmost important question—number two of the six loci (Anthropology)—“Who am I?”
Even secular, modern psychology today recognizes the critical necessity of self-awareness. The world and its professional (and unprofessional) counselors say things such as, “He’s just trying to figure out who he is”; or “Give her a break. She’s still searching for what her identity is”; or “Be yourself. Don’t try to be someone else.” There is some truth to these claims. Major social and emotional problems arise when young people grow physically but lag in their knowledge of who they are. Self-identity affects your direction in life, your pursuits of higher education and occupation, major decisions about whom to date and marry, your confidence level, happiness, friendships, and overall behavior.
While the world and today’s psychologists realize the need to answer this crucial question, most have erroneous methods of finding an answer. To the question “Who am I?” the answer is often determined this way: “Whatever my feelings tell me.” The result is confusion. One extreme example of this is the LGBTQ movement. “Who am I? Man, Woman, or something else?” And the answer given is essentially, “You are what you feel.” Feeling autonomous, man foolishly imagines that he determines his own gender by his feelings.
Each September, at the beginning of the new fiscal year, the Reformed Free Publishing Association members and friends gather to hear about the importance of our work and to see where that work has taken us in the past year. This meeting is an opportunity to thank the association for their membership and support in the cause of witnessing to the truth of God’s Word and to encourage the RFPA board, editors, and authors in their diligent work.
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"Lord Grant Boldness: The RFPA's Witness in the Sexual Revolution"
Rev. Joshua Engelsma
Date given: 09-29-2016
Location: Providence Protestant Reformed Church (Hudsonville, MI)
NOTE:At 57:12 the audio recording cuts off and goes straight into the secretary's report by Josh Hoekstra. The beginning of the secretary's report starts out like this:
The Truth Never Begs: The Necessary Voice of the Reformed Free Publishing Association. In 1953 Herman Hoeksema penned an editorial titled "Why We Should Read the Standard Bearer." He stated: Mark you well...