This article unfolds the meaning of the confession found in the Second Helvetic Confession: “The preaching of the Word of God is the Word of God.” Is the sermon the Word of God, or is God’s Word found in man’s word?
This article explains that while visitation in the congregation is first of all a task of the office-bearers, it is by no means a task limited to them. The congregation as a whole shares this calling, in the office of all believers. The author outlines key elements that need to characterize a house visit, whether done by office-bearers or members in general.
This article considers the kind of leadership that needs to come from the office-bearers in the congregation. A congregation is in need of a vision, yet above all it needs faithfulness in order to grow in spiritual maturity.
Is the Bible a book full of violence? This article shows that indeed, the Bible abounds with stories of violence. It also explains that this is more bothersome to today's Christians than it was to earlier generations of Christians.
How is a Christian to engage with the culture? This article explores the concept of culture, and the kinds of spiritual influences working in culture. The occult and the work of Satan are discussed in this regard. The article stresses that the Christian needs to understand his place in the culture, and lean upon the Lord to remain faithful.
What is the character of the office of minister? Should his work be considered a profession? This article shows that it is an office, and provides some characteristics of the office: Christ instituted it, he provides the way in which it should be fulfilled, and he gives the grace and gifts to fulfill the office. All ministerial service, therefore, should constantly point to Christ.
What should be said in response to arguments for re-baptism? This article explains that baptism can only happen once, since God's name can never be erased from one's forehead. Further, baptism calls for living altogether for the Lord, in true love for him.
Does preaching today lack the aspect of the struggle of faith, where church members are nurtured in the idea that they can take everything for granted? This article raises the concern that there can be stagnation in a congregation, and emphasizes the value in warnings in the preaching, when appropriate.
Is it possible to be a child of God and yet be lost? This article considers the various ways in which one can live as a child of God. All those who are baptized are children of God by virtue of the covenant, yet among them are those who do not want to know about the God of the covenant. Yet the Father does not want to lose any of his children, and so he urges all to repent and believe.
This article explains from the Psalms and the life of Joseph that sometimes God’s children can struggle with the providence of God. It underlines that in every way we are dependent upon the leading of God and are to surrender ourselves to him in faith.
How does God lead our lives? This article raises the question in several different ways whether God really has his hand in all things. It wrestles through whether God leads through very difficult circumstances.
This article shows that although there is a limit to how well other people can understand what we go through, God has created us in such a way that we can nevertheless still share our joys and sorrows and suffering with one another. It is important that we share our lives with one another in fellowship.
What are we doing in the house of God? What are our minds busy with in worship? This article considers this matter by highlighting the action of the Lord Jesus in Mark 2:16, 17, where he shows his zeal for the house of the Lord that had been turned into a marketplace.
According to Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6 the work of the Holy Spirit is to help the believer raise their cries to God in prayer. The article explains that the Spirit points the believer to the Father and the future, and it shows how the Spirit does this in our weaknesses.
What is the difference between the Roman Catholic way of celebrating the Lord’s Supper and the Reformed way? Looking at Lord’s Day 30, this article shows that the concept of the Eucharist from the Roman Catholic perspective is based on the continual sacrifice of Christ. Therefore, the Reformed believer cannot participate in the Roman Catholic celebration of the Eucharist.
How can pastors give guidance to young people? This article explains the double image of the good Shepherd and the men of Emmaus to show the kind of guidance that needs to be given to young people. Pastoral guidance needs to come from a pastoral heart, it has to search out the wandering sheep, and it has to protect the youth.
What role ought the return of Christ to play in our Christian life? This article explores this question and shows that his return is an essential part of his work of salvation, and thus we cannot afford to neglect thinking about it as well as living in light of it.
This article discusses the problem of loneliness in the church. It shows how the Scriptures, particularly the Gospel of John, advocate for living in community. It also reflects on how the lifting of loneliness always goes together with the removal of guilt from the past.
The Great Shepherd uses shepherds to care for his flock. This article looks at what it means to be a shepherd. It shows that shepherding the church means having a heart for the flock, and being there for and with the flock.
The resurrection of Jesus is of greater significance than we often imagine. This article looks at the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection in relation to creation. It argues that Jesus’ resurrection points to a certain hope of the new heaven and earth, which is brought by the power of the Spirit for the glory of the Father.
The death of Jesus is of greater significance than we often imagine. This article looks at the signs surrounding Jesus' death, as recorded in Matthew 27:51ff.—the signs of the torn curtain, the earthquake, the open tombs, and the confession of the centurion—and how they relate to creation.
Jesus’ suffering has an impact on the mourning of creation. This article is based on Romans 8 and argues that just as Adam’s sin affected creation, Jesus’ suffering brings reconciliation and renewal. This article shows how the curse has been dealt with.
Can Christianity advance through the use of violence? The answer is "No." Then why is there so much violence in the Old Testament? This article answers the question by pointing to principles that must govern our thinking about violence in the Old Testament.
There is a process in backsliding. This article explains that this process starts with devaluing the treasures of the Word of God. It thus encourages a struggle against spiritual sluggishness by hearing and interacting with the Word of Christ.