Does the principle of sola scriptura lead to anarchy, where everyone believes what seems right to them and clai that their beliefs are scriptural? This article addresses this question by considering how the Bible was regarded by the Reformers, in contrast to the Anabaptists and the Roman Catholics. The Reformation indicated that the Bible is its own interpreter, as opposed to tradition determining Scripture's meaning.
The Reformation should be understood as the work of God’s Spirit for the maintaining of the church and preparing it for Christ's return. Through these eyes the article explains what the Reformation is, its necessity, and its success.
To live a life in the kingdom of God that is focused on his glory calls for sacrificial love and a heart committed to service. This article explains what this means for family and church life, and how Christians can be servants to the world they live in.
Where does your certainty about life comes from? In Deuteronomy 33:27 Moses pointed Israel to the everlasting arms of God. This article points the believer in the everlasting arms of Christ where there is full confidence that our life is eternally secure.
Does covenant membership itself provide an assurance of salvation? This article reiterates that salvation is by faith alone. This article explains what implications this has for life in the covenant of grace.
Is the preaching of the law still necessary today? Lord’s Day 44 of the Heidelberg Catechism calls for the need to the strict preaching of the law. Why? Because it helps the believer to look inward, outward, upward and onward.
Worship is a meeting with our holy, gracious God. This understanding of the worship service requires a preparation of heart and mind. It also impacts how we approach and work through the worship service.
In 1 Corinthians 12 God compares his church to a body. Why is this important? This article explains that it calls believers as members of the church to act locally, and to follow God’s leadership where he places them. It then applies these principles to two scenarios for deciding on church membership.
The regulative principle of worship states that God disapproves of all modes of worship not expressly sanctioned by his word. Does this mean that there should be no musical instruments in public worship? This article examines reasons why Calvin and others were against musical instruments and why the church today can make use of musical instrument during worship.
In a Reformed worship service there are three prayers offered: the prayer before the sermon, after the sermon, and the congregational prayer through singing. This article explains their relevance and content.
How would you define "Reformed"? This article clarifies what the term is all about, that it has to do with re-forming according to the teachings of Scripture, in all aspects of life, including worship and church government.
How can young people be taught to know the Lord? This article shows that such teaching to the youth must depend on God, be based on God’s Word, and make use of the means God provides—home, church, and school.
Should the consistory continue with the steps of church discipline when there is withdrawal of membership? This article shows that withdrawal can be used as an escape route, in which case a withdrawal request can be denied.
This article suggests that the introduction of mentors and [[mentorship] programs in the church for ministers has the danger of leading to an erosion of the offices that Christ has given to his church, including the office of all believers.
This article shows that the seeker-sensitive call has changed the target of worship services. The worship service is to be a meeting between God and his covenant people. Therefore, the primary target audience is God.
This article shows that a misunderstanding of Proverbs 22:6 can result in great guilt to many parents. Good parenting does not save children, so if parents did their work but their children make bad choices, they should not blame themselves.
This article shows how the church should think about the aged members, but also how those in old age should think about their retirement. It encourages them to consider their prophetic call within God’s church.
Love for Christ's church, educating yourself, guarding against errors and abuse, getting engaged in church life, and keeping your promise are the reasons that must make you read the Acts of Synod, since a synod is a gathering of churches of which you are a member.
This article examines the claims that behind the Bible lies many a conspiracy. Such conspiracies are meant to undermine the canon of Scripture, from the claim about the role of Constantine to the Da Vinci Code.
This article shows that though the Apocrypha are not and were not regarded as part of Scripture because of their teachings, they can still be of great help in sharing some knowledge on the inter-testament history.
Looking at different reasons given to question the historical reliability of Scripture, this article shows that the historical events referred to in the Bible can be proven to be true. Though archaeology cannot prove everything, it does help in pointing to the reliability of Scripture.
This article shows that though the Old Testament was put together with dependence on many copies of the original manuscripts, that this does not nullify the trustworthiness of the Old Testament. This article explains why.
This article shows that the biblical testimony about inspiration is not limited to ideas the Bible teaches or to God’s intentions, but to every written word that comes from God. This is important for the reliability of scripture.
This article is an appeal to Christians to see death and the funeral in light of Christ's victory. In this way the funeral service will be a declaration of Christ's victory and a witness to his compassion.
Is the shortage of organists an indication that the churches must think of alternatives? This article gives some thoughts on what to consider in thinking about music and musical instruments in worship.
The instilling of faith language should be the same as that of the mother tongue. From Deuteronomy 6, this article shows that this must be the case in every Christian home. It warns that the illiteracy facing the church may be the result of secular influence within Christian homes, which are supposed to be the arena of Christian education.
The danger facing many churches today is the focus they give to the messenger. This article shows that the focus of the churches when they consider calling a minister is not his preaching, but his own "pulpit power." This article issues a warning for the church.
This article shows that evangelism and mission work are fundamental to the life of the church. Hence it is crucial for parents to teach children to share the gospel. This can be done by teaching the children to live their Christian life where they are, and to share the gospel verbally.
Though Lutherans and Reformed believers may have their differences, this article shows that there was a time when they were close allies. It does this by looking at the effort of Guido de Brès in trying to unite the Reformed and Lutherans together, pointing out that when he wrote Article 29 of the Belgic Confession about the false church, Lutherans were not considered as part of this category.
This article looks at adoption from the perspective of how God worked from the Old Testament in bringing in Gentiles, making them part of Israel, through the spread of the gospel. This understanding shapes how we understand the Old Testament and our personal adoption by God.
In light of the reality of self-proclaimed leaders in the church, this article looks at what it means to have a calling to the ministry by looking at the relationship between internal calling and external calling.
To understand the position of a woman in the church one must consider the story of creation, fall, and recreation. This is the direction God gives in 1 Timothy 2:11-15. Hence this article shows that in salvation Christ saves also the womanhood of a woman, placing her in a submissive position and not in leadership.
It is in the church that the reality of sin and the fight against sin is acknowledged. This article shows that this makes the church a home for those struggling with same-sex attraction. The right attitude and the desire to express Christ’s love are what is needed to help those struggling with homosexuality.
Infant baptism should not be treated as a minor issue, because it speaks about God and His work, God’s people, and the covenant. It is also a source of comfort for parents of children who pass away before they have a chance to express their faith in Christ.
After Pentecost, the role of angels changed from being messengers of God’s salvation to being hearers of the gospel. Therefore, worship takes place in the presence of angels as they witness the gospel preached.
The fact that churches work with so many committees poses the danger that the church may be ruled by these committees. This can happen when church councils neglect their duty and when information is manipulated by the church committee members. However, when committees remember that they are servants and are accountable to the church council, their service will be of benefit to the church.
Understanding the worship service to be a privilege of God’s grace will create joy, so much so that the second service will not be a burden, but rather a joyful time of worshiping God together with His people.
This article supports the proposal to change the text of Lord’s Day 44 of the Heidelberg Catechism Q/A 115. The author maintains that the current text creates confusion as to who it is that renews us to God's image.
In the Old Testament, gatekeepers played a big role in guarding the holiness of the tabernacle and temple in reference to those who were coming to worship. This role was fulfilled in Christ. Today, officebearers serve as gatekeepers, and Christians can be gatekeepers as citizens of their country.
This article mourns the sad reality of abortion which occurs among Christians. The desire for pleasure and the feeling of fear can lead young people to abortion. By creating a Christian home which is saturated by grace, there can be room for honesty, confession, repentance and genuine forgiveness.
When the church needs to find new officebearers, she must focus on the spiritual qualifications as stipulated in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. She must also understand the nature of the work of the elder - that he is called to be an overseer, shepherd, steward, and leader.
When the church needs to find new officebearers, she must remember that God is the One who calls to office, and that He simply uses the church to call officebearers. The church shows her dependence on God through prayer. This has implications for the church in regard to the method used in calling officebearers.
In seeking to know God’s will, we must distinguish between God’s secret will and His revealed will. God’s secret will has to do with God’s plan for our lives, and this is not revealed to us. His revealed will is His plan regarding our godliness. This we can know from His word.
Sexting – the act of sending sexually explicit photos or messages between cell phones - is becoming a trend among young people in the church. Sext is against God’s command for purity. This article shows that parents can play a role by guiding their children in using texting, and by holding them accountable.
This article shows that evolution and the biblical truth of creation cannot live together. Accepting evolution means denying scripture. The author demonstrates this by looking at the theory around the beginning of Adam.
This article shows how Christian women can enjoy the freedom from their sins that they receive in Christ by learning to live a life that is pleasing to Christ. This frees them from any pressure to impress or false guilt, and allows them to live out their calling at home and church.
Looking at the food laws from Deuteronomy 14:3, this article shows that unclean and clean animals have nothing to do with health. God gave these laws to teach Israel that they were a people belonging to him.
The emphasis on ecumenism, the culture of subjectivism, and consumerism have had a great impact on church membership. These have brought in a divorce between membership and the church, where people no longer value loyalty to a church. This should not be. Biblically, being a Christian and being a member of the church are related concepts; one cannot be without the other.
Numbers 6:24-26 records the priestly blessing. This article shows that the priestly blessing functioned both as a declaration and a prayer. Through the blessing God declares His presence to His people. This article looks at the meaning of this blessing, how it was fulfilled in Christ, and the significance of its modern use at the end of the worship service.
Looking at the biblical texts inscribed on the Martyrs’ Monument, this article shows that the encouragement to remain faithful unto death is still relevant for the church today, since it continues to face persecution. The martyrs serve as a encouragement to hold fast to the promise of Christ that He will dress us in white robes of salvation.
Infant baptism is rooted in the covenant of God. The covenant of the Old and New Testament share the same structure; namely, it is a spiritual covenant which points to God's grace and embodies promise and responsibility. This understanding of the covenant necessitates infant baptism.
Should women be alowed to vote for officebearers? This author maintains that only men should vote. The decision not to let women vote should not be taken personally. Voting men in the church represent the whole church; this is in line with our biblical example.
Technological change cannot be ignored in the society we live in; however, simply embracing it is not a good thing either. In relation to Christian education, schools must consider the change technolgy brings to determine its use in the classroom.
Looking at the difference positions held by credobaptists and paedobaptists, this article examines whether there is a possibility of uniting together while maintaining differences. The author concludes that "agreeing to disagree" is not the way to go. Infant baptism is a major doctrine, is intricately related to many other doctrines, and cannot be compromised.
This article gives a Christian perspective on the struggle of weight, eating habits and health. This is not only a physical struggle, but also a spiritual one. Healthy weight loss or gain should be motivated by stewardship of the body.
Working from Psalm 121:2, this article shows what it means that God preserves our lives. Not only does God preserve and protect us here on earth, but He also preserves our life by bringing us into eternity.
One of the legacies of the Reformation was the restoration of congregational singing in worship. This article shows the criteria which was used for music in the Genevan Psalter; namely, that it had to be suitable for worship, should not requiring special training, and music and lyrics should match well.
Looking at 1 Peter 3:15, this article maintains that every Christian should be engaged in the activity of apologetics. Apologetics should be done in such a way that Christ is exalted and our firm hope in Him is expressed.
Looking at 1 Corinthians 6:11, this article shows how the church can help those struggling with homosexuality. The author calls all those struggling with homosexuality to Christ as the true deliverer of every sinner.
This article looks at the history of the Catechism as commissioned by Frederick III and undertaken by Ursinus and Olevianus. The purpose of the writing of the Heidelberg Catechism was for the instruction of the youth.
This article give pointers to young ministers about beginning well in the ministry. Understanding the nature of Christian spirituality means that the pastor will begin well by giving priority to preaching. In order to do this well, the minister must have a clear understanding of the nature of preaching. Then the pastor must know where to draw margins.
This article is about every believer's task in evangelism and witnessing. The author discusses witnessing in your direct vicinity, stressing that the church must be preserved, but also increase in size.
How should a Christian teacher deal with the environmentalism movement and its influence on the curriculum and classroom? This article is written in the context of Canada, but will help all Christian teachers facing this situation.
This article is about the phrase "punishing the children for the sin of the parents," found in Exodus 20:5. The author discusses the effect of parents' sin and parenting upon the lives of their children.
Discipline and correction is important for society and in the church, but is frowned upon in our post-modern society which values tolerance. The author of this article describes when and how to rebuke others.
Should we love the sinner and hate the sin? What does God do in this regard? This article looks at the love of God and the hate of God, how God reacts to sin and to the sinner, and shows us how we should love and hate.
"What a great sermon!" Did you ever say such a thing? I hope so! Or, do you more often say: "What a boring sermon. His preaching is so irrelevant; it does nothing for me. I don't get anything out of it."
This article looks at the question if there is two or three offices in the church. The author discusses the relation between the task of the minister and the elder, and focuses on the preacher as minister of the Word, the administration of the sacraments and the blessing in the worship service. 1 Timothy 5:17 is also discussed in this article.
Doubting the truths of the Bible is seen as normal these days. One can read this in books and articles. Doubt and not-believing (the next step) are considered fully human in a time in which people no longer believe that anyone can know the truth.
This article is about what we can learn from the tithing in the Old Testament as New Testament believers. It also discusses tithing in the New Testament. The author also looks at the question whether there was two or three tithes required in the Old Testament.
Should a Christian school have a confession as its basis? This article also discusses the vows of parents at the baptism of their children and what this means for the education of the children, as well as the relation of school, church and home.
Should you love yourself? If you would listen to the advice of many teachers, counselors, writers, and ministers, your answer would be, "Yes, I should love myself – deeply, completely and without reservations." This article discusses self-esteem and Christ-esteem, Matthew 22:7, self-image, and detesting yourself.
On the day which we call Good Friday, at noon, suddenly the light of day faded away. The darkness at noon was specifically for Jesus Christ. Or rather, it was an act of God against Him. This article is about the darkness at the crucifixion and Jesus Christ being forsaken by God. The author also looks at Jesus Christ as our righteousness and Psalm 22.
It is certainly a strange combination which heads this meditation. Pharisees and Herodians do not go together. The two parties are essentially different from each other, archenemies even. The one party rivals the other, and normally they would not be on speaking terms. Yet here they are holding counsel together!
It is evident from the teaching of the Scriptures that Christ comes to us and gives Himself to us, placing us in His fellowship, in and through His Word. This article is about Jesus Christ as the central focus of our preaching, the relation of law and gospel, and Jesus Christ and the believer's new life.
Is it a serious issue that the virgin birth is only mentioned explicitly in two of the four Gospels? This article considers why this great miracle is not mentioned by Mark and John, or for that matter by the apostle Paul.
This article is about the human nature of Jesus Christ, and the comprehensive knowledge Jesus had about his task and the future of this world. But there were also things that he had to learn and did not know. This article looks at the question: How much did Jesus Christ know?
This article reflects on what motivates children to dress as they do. There is often a degree of peer pressure, and a desire to fit in. The author makes a call for being stewardly and godly in our clothing.
We should always be thinking about the implications of doing what we do. This article discusses the value of a school's vision statement, and how a school community needs to think about what it is doing and why it is doing that.
This article is about the idea that people have the right to interpret Scripture for themselves (private interpretation), and that they can form their own message from the text, without judgment from others. The author looks at Scripture and the teaching of Martin Luther if this is true.
This article is about the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. This world is under the curse, but it received the blessing from our Lord before he ascended to heaven. Luke 24:50-51 is an important passage in this article.