What is it that characterizes true worship? A sense of the greatness of God, a love and hunger for truth, a true understanding of human unworthiness, reverence and awe, and an orderly manner of worship.
The purpose of this article is to provide information about addiction to support the office bearers in their work. The author defines what addiction is, identifies signs of various addictions, and describes how to support those struggling with addiction.
This article on Numbers 15:37-41 looks at all the symbols God gave to his people to remind them of His commands and of the fact that they belong to Him. The author then applies this to the church today by discussing tradition and our following of Christ.
This is an article on church music. In the first place, the author discusses the foundation of liturgy and spirituality which is key to church music. Secondly, the author maintains that church music is a form of art, and discusses what we can learn from modern art in relation to church music.
One of the causes of the decline of churches is that members lack the experience of their faith. This article discusses symptoms of this spiritual decline. The author goes on to outline, based on lessons from the Reformers, what we need in terms of our life of faith.
Does God's word tell us anything about holding a funeral service? This article shows that the funeral service should keep God at the centre, should glory in God's work through the dead, and should include a focus on the gospel.
For the pastor to be able to exercise gospel-centred pastoral counselling, he must have a conviction of the authority of scripture over daily life. Belief in Scripture's teaching about God, man, salvation, church, and the future guides pastoral counselling.
This article looks at the relationship between the preacher and the Holy Spirit. This relationship is crucial, because the Holy Spirit is the Author of scripture, is the One who gives understanding, and is the One who empowers the preaching.
This article calls for the return of preaching from the Heidelberg Catechism. The author looks at the relationship between Catechism and textual preaching, and gives one approach to preaching the Catechism.
This article highlights the importance of preaching on the laws of the Old Testament, and provides some hermeneutical principles for understanding this part of Scripture. The author concludes with some practice suggestions for ministers in this regard.
Why is the preaching of the law essential to the life of the church? The preaching of the law helps believers to examine themselves to see their sinful nature. It encourages them to trust in Christ for their salvation, and makes them realise their dependence upon the Holy Spirit.
Despite the fact that He was perfect, our Lord was still criticized. How much more can an imperfect pastor expect criticism from an imperfect congregation? This article identifies the source of criticism, and shows how the minister can deal with criticism through prayer, self-examination, and seeking advice.
This series of articles calls Christians to display the works of mercy described in Matthew 25:31-46. This article looks at the relationship between God's mercy in Christ and this call to the works of mercy.
This series of articles calls Christians to display the works of mercy described in Matthew 25:31-46. This article focuses on the call to care for prisoners. The author discusses the importance of prison ministry.
How does the believer experience God in preaching? This article looks at different responses to this question, settling on the explanation of covenantal preaching. Covenantal preaching states that in preaching, the speaking God reaches the hearts of His people.
This article looks at different challenges that deacons face in the congregation, which include personal challenges, church challenges, and support challenges. The author gives guidelines for how the diaconate can deal with these challenges.
Preaching from the Canons of Dort is important for the continual education of members of the church. Such preaching can make the doctrine of grace known, and can defend the church against false teaching.
This article looks at John Calvin's sermons on the fourth commandment and the context in which they were preached. The author highlights the shortcomings of Calvin's preaching on the Sabbath, highlighting an alternative way of preaching about the fourth commandment.
Reformed theology is a faithfulness to the universal faith as God has expressed it in the scriptures. This article looks at the reality of achieving such an ideal. Reformed theology is only possible when we continually search God's word and act in obedience to this word.
This article looks at the relationship between the Christian faith and depression. Can some Christian doctrines induce depression? The author maintains that even difficult doctrine (such as the doctrine of sin, depravity, and predestination), when preached within the biblical context, cannot cause depression.
This article discusses continuing education and teaching as important for the church today. Christians are called to a life of continual learning. This article proposes structures that can facilitate learning which continues after profession of faith.
The work of family visitation is crucial to the task of the elders, so that they can have a better knowledge of the congregation members. This article gives the biblical grounds for the home visit, discussing the purpose of the visit, the relationship between the elder and the family, and how to relate to different members in different circumstances.
This article shows the relationship between the Sabbath and Sunday. The author also discusses challenges which face Christians in regard to keeping the Lord's Day, which have arisen as a result of secularization and economic changes.
Preaching is the proclamation of the gospel and the promise of forgiveness. In this context, the minister can preach God's judgment. Preaching judgment is also crucial for promoting holiness and the hate of sin. This is discussed in light of Lord's Day 31 of the Heidelberg Catechism.
In parentingteens, parents should trust in the Lord to provide what is needed. This article guides parents in fulfilling this responsibility. The author discusses pitfalls to avoid, how to set goals for teens, how to help teens with their doubts, and how to impress in them the fear of the Lord.
In preaching God directs His word to His people. With this in mind, to what extent should the preacher think about the listener in his preaching? Does the minister need to think about what is relevant to the listener?
This article explores the relationship between the Sabbath, the fourth commandment, and the Sunday. How should we celebrate and rest on Sunday? The author deals with challenges facing Christians in regard to keeping the fourth commandment, calling for tolerance among believers.
Does Genesis 1 record true history? This article looks at Genesis 1 from the perspective of different theories which deny its historicity. The author critiques these theories, maintaining that Genesis 1 does record true history.
Grief is a human response to loss. Looking at 1 Thessalonians 4:13, this article states that Christians should be encouraged to express their grief in hope. The author highlights the importance of understanding the social, emotional, and spiritual side of grief in order to provide pastoral care.
This article discusses how the church should view and deal with homosexuality. Church members must have a biblical perspective on sin and redemption, as well as a proper understanding of the difference between homosexuality and homophilia. The author outlines a way the church can show genuine love and friendship to the believer struggling with homophilia.
This article discusses three questions raised around the work of the diaconate: Should the church make use of welfare?; Should deacons wait for members in need to approach them, or should they be pro-active?; Should deacons demand budgets from members who ask for assistance?
This article looks at the task of the elder in the home visit. The author looks at the biblical ground and historical development of this practice, as well as its nature and purpose. The author also provides some guidelines for organizing the home visit.
The Christian's attitude towards material possessions is guided by the call to stewardship, a love for God and neighbour, and the understanding of how sin has affected our relationship with God and others. Our attitude toward possessions should be directed by a life of pilgrimage, thankfulness, and sharing, with an eye to the coming of the Lord.
Self-examination can only be done in the presence of Christ, resting in the trustworthiness of God, under the work of the Holy Spirit. This article gives attention to the purpose of self-examination, and its relationship with the Lord's Supper.
This article calls the consistory to consider their core responsibilities (proclamation, pastorate, catechism instruction, and diaconate). The author gives guidelines for how the church council can deal with other non-priority issues through delegation.
This article looks at faith and election. The author emphasizes the assurance of one's election, which results from the work of the Holy Spirit in convincing the believer of God's trustworthiness. The article focuses on the teaching of predestination in the Canons of Dort.
The biblical call to Christians to obey the government is rooted in the reality that government is instituted by God and should serve in cleaning the world of injustices. This article looks at what Christians should do when government abuses this power, as well as the responsibility Christians have toward government.
Both the Old and New Testament show that God delights in seeing children be part of the assembly of His people. Parents therefore have a responsibility to nurture children in the faith and guide them through the worship service. The church also carries this responsibility.
This article calls for good quality church music. This article argues that God instituted church music in the Old Testament temple, and that this command of God on music is relevant for the church today. Therefore, there must be norm to govern church music and a regulation that applies this norm. The author also discusses the place of singing and the use of the organ.
This article argues that home visits should only have one theme, which is the members of the congregation. By this the author means that the priority is knowing how members are doing in their life with the Lord.
The effectiveness of the sermon cannot be separated from what the preacher thinks about the listener. The listener is someone who is moving toward God or away from God, or even a mixture of both. This article clarifies the meaning of preaching to such an audience.
Individualism, subjectivism, and consumerism threaten the communal nature of church life. Church community and fellowship does not destroy the individual; rather, it is through the community that the individual experiences himself and his potential. Diversity in the body of Christ points to the relationship of the individual to the community.
What does "preaching with the listener in mind" mean? This is a preaching which is textual, directed to the heart, and rooted in the relationship of God to his people, as he comes to them and they to him. This kind of preaching is also shaped by the image the preacher has of the listener.
When God's voice is heard in sound preaching, there is an opposing voice which seeks to hinder the hearer from responding in faith to God's call. This article looks at the nature of this opposition and shows how Christians can overcome such a temptation so that preaching can produce the intended response.
The gospel and the law are both an expression of God's desire to commune with His people. This article shows how preaching the law should embody the gospel. These two things should not be separated from each other. The author draws attention to the connection between preaching the law, the knowledge of sin, and the wrath of God.
This article looks at marriage and divorce with a focus on the relationship between civil judgement and church judgement. Should the church accept a divorce verdict from the civil judge, or should it still aim for reconciliation?
Preaching is influenced by the situation of the congregation. This article outlines means for understanding the situation of the congregation, stating that recognizing the congregation's situation and concerns can benefit preaching.
This article looks at the issue of suicide. The author looks at the causes of suicide, and evaluates suicide from a biblical and historical perpective. He provides some guidance around preventing suicide and providing pastoral care to those affected by the suicide of loved ones.
This article looks at ways of making Bible study groups an effective means of equipping the communion of saints. Examining the elements of participation, objectives, programs, procedure and methodology, this article shows why Bible study groups often fail to achieve their goal.
Office bearers (pastors, elders, and deacons) are appointed on behalf of Christ to render service to the congregation. Does this make them special? This article looks at the authority of office bearers, concluding that their authority is limited by the word of God and the service they render to His church.