The Wolf’s Teeth-Feminism

 

What To Do?

What should you do as elders of the flock? Allow me to be specific.

1. Teach Biblical principles about gender relationships. Don’t expend all your energies reacting negatively to feminist agitators in your local church or community or even in your denomination; rather, as elders you must teach positively and clearly, and insist that your preacher do so from the pulpit as well. The fundamental Biblical truths regarding male and female role relationships in marriage, home, church and society. Of course, from the distortions evident in the way feminists rework crucial Biblical doctrines, it becomes clear that accurate and foundational knowledge of Biblical doctrine is essential to combat this and every attack of Satan. The prophet was right: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” So, teach your people a full and balanced diet of Biblical Truth!

2. Don’t overreact. Not all of God’s people who have been influenced by a feminist agenda embrace all of the planks of the platform of Gender Feminism. In fact, some are righteously caught up in a pursuit of Biblical justice; they have merely adopted dangerous words and concepts because these folks; each currency of today’s debate. Be patient with these folks; teach that that “ideas have legs,” that much of today’s rhetoric arises from thoroughly unbiblical notions. Express those invisible notions.

3. Use women and their God given gifts Biblically and appropriately in the life of the church. One theologian once observed that “cults are the unpaid debts of the church,” that cults arise where the church has failed to be thorough in her obedience. If that is true of cults, it is surely true of feminism. It has arisen in no small measure because appropriate ministry by women in the life of the church has been stymied, often by mere tradition and certainly in conflict with Scripture. For instance, 1 Cor. 14:33 clearly prohibits women from preaching (the literal meaning of the verse suggests a prohibition, not of speech itself, but of “being the speaker” i.e., the preacher. See also 1Pet. 4:11). That does not mean that a woman may not be used wisely and appropriately to speak or teach under the Biblical supervision of the eldership within a Sunday School class. Again, the 1 Tim 2:12 prohibition against a woman “having authority over a man” does not require men to chair every single committee within a local church, nursery committee included! Rather, the text prohibits the usurping of authority, particularly within the context of authoritative teaching.

4. Make sure the “careers” of wives and mothers are honoured within your home and your church fellowship. Nothing combats feminism in our society and within our churches more effectively then the careful articulation of the high view of these roles in Scripture. To be sure, you may not convert a rabid Gender Feminist by referring to Eph. 5:22, but you will surely encourage godly women (and instruct godly men!) when you hold high the role of a wife as a gift of God who is a life-partner in the work of the kingdom, and that of a mother as a precious instrument in God’s hand for the nurture and shaping of the next generation of His own servants, complete with prophetic, priestly and royal duties.

 “With a Shephard’s Heart” Reclaiming the Pastoral Office of Elder
by John R. Sittema (PP.75-76) 

 

Please Contniue

 

 

Should I Attend a Homosexual Wedding?

by Kevin DeYoung 

Kevin DeYoung is an American Reformed Evangelical theologian and author. He is currently the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church.Wikipedia

Born1977 (age 41 years), South Holland, Illinois, United States

SpouseTrisha DeYoung

ChurchChrist Covenant Church (Matthews, North Carolina)

ChildrenJacob DeYoungIan DeYoungMary DeYoungElizabeth DeYoungPaul DeYoungBenjamin DeYoung

ParentsLee DeYoungSheri DeYoung


_________________________

PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE

Why might a Christian refuse to attend, cater, or participate in a same-sex marriage ceremony? For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume this is a discussion among traditional Christians who believe—as the church has always believed and as most of the global church still believes—that same-sex behavior is sinful and that marriage is a covenantal, conjugal union of a man and a woman.

With that clarifying comment, we can address the question head-on: Why would a Christian feel conscience bound not to attend or participate in a gay wedding? It’s not because of bigotry or fear or because we are unaware that Jesus spent time with sinners that leads us to this conclusion. It’s because of our desire to be obedient to Christ and because of the nature of the wedding event itself.

A wedding ceremony, in the Christian tradition, is first of all a worship service. So if the union being celebrated in the service cannot be biblically sanctioned as an act of worship, we believe the service lends credence to a lie. We cannot in good conscience participate in a service of false worship. I understand that does not sound very nice, but the conclusion follows from the premise, namely, that the “marriage” being celebrated is not in fact a marriage and should not be celebrated.

Moreover, there has long been an understanding that those present at a marriage ceremony are not just casual observers, but they are witnesses who are granting their approval and support for the vows that are to be made. That’s why the traditional language speaks of gathering “here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation.” That’s why one of the sample marriage services in the Presbyterian Church in America still has the minister say:

If any man can show just cause why they may not lawfully be wedded, let him now declare it, or else hereafter forever hold his peace.

Quite explicitly, the wedding is not a party for friends and family. It’s not a mere ceremonial formality. It is a divine event in which those gathered celebrate and honor the “solemnization of matrimony.”

Which is why—as much as I might want to build bridges with a lesbian friend or reassure a gay family member that I care for him and want to have a relationship with him—I would not attend a same-sex wedding ceremony. I cannot help with my cake, with my flowers, or with my presence to solemnize what is not holy.

In taking such a position, I’ve often heard things like this in response:

But Jesus hung out with sinners. He wasn’t worried about being contaminated by the world. He didn’t want to turn people off to God’s love. He was always throwing open the floodgates of God’s mercy. He would say to us, “If someone forces you to bake one cake, bake for him two.”

Okay, let’s think through these objections. I mean actually think for a few sentences, and not just with slogans and vague sentimentality.

Jesus hung out with sinners. True, sort of (depends on what you mean by “hung out”). But Jesus believed marriage was between a man and a woman (Matt. 19:3–9). The example of Christ in the Gospels teaches us that we should not be afraid to spend time with sinners. If a gay couple next door invites you over for dinner, don’t turn them down.

He wasn’t worried about being contaminated by the world. That’s not the concern here. This isn’t about cooties or sin germs. We have plenty of those ourselves.

He didn’t want to turn people off to God’s love. But Jesus did so all the time. He acted in ways that could be unintentionally, and more often deliberately, antagonistic (Matt. 7:6, 13–27; 11:20–24; 13:10–17; 19:16–30). Jesus turned people off all the time. This is no excuse for us to be unthinking and unkind. But it should put to rest the unbiblical notion that says if someone feels hurt by your words or unloved by your actions that you were ipso facto sinfully and foolishly unloving.

He was always throwing open the floodgates of God’s mercy. Amen. Let’s keep preaching Christ and preach as He did, calling all people to “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).

If someone forces to you bake one cake, bake for him two. This is, of course, a true and beautiful principle about how Christians, when reviled, must not revile in return. But it hardly can mean that we do whatever people demand no matter our rights (Acts 4:18–20; 16:35–40; 22:22–29) and no matter what is right in God’s eyes.

A wedding is not a dinner invitation or a graduation open house or retirement party. Even in a completely secular environment, there is still a sense—and sometimes the wedding invitations say as much—that our presence at the event would honor the couple and their marriage. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to attend a wedding (let alone cater it or provide the culinary centerpiece) without your presence communicating celebration and support for what is taking place. And, as painful as it may be for us and for those we love, celebrating and supporting homosexual unions is not something God or His Word will allow us to do.

Rev. Kevin DeYoung is senior minister of Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, N.C., and assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, N.C. He blogs at The Gospel Coalition and is author of numerous books, including What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?

Taken from:  Tabletalk Magazine 

“Excitement for the Lord’s House”

When we look at the world there are many things that frighten us. Tornadoes, wars, earthquakes, hurricanes, AIDS, cancer and many other disasters and diseases cause untold amounts of suffering for thousands of people all over the world.  Homosexuality and transgenderism are rising in popularity and their advocates are screaming out for our hearty approval and endorsement of their wicked lifestyle, branding anyone who speaks out against it an “intolerant bigot,” “homophobe,” “transphobe” and worse. Feminists cry out for more abortion funding and call anyone who doesn’t jump on their bandwagon “sexist.” Then there are the problems in the church. Many of the same evils found in the world around us are also found in the church. Then there is our own sin. We all have sins of various sorts whether it be anger, pride, laziness or not putting spiritual matters at the front and center of our lives. As we begin 2018, we may wonder, is there any place for refuge? Is there anywhere we can go to escape from these and other troubling thoughts? The answer is yes. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him will I trust” (Psalm 91:1, 2). God provides us refuge in the storms of life. “He shall cover thee with His feathers and under his wings shalt thou trust” (Psalm 91:4). The remaining verses of this Psalm talk about the “pestilence” and “destruction” that rage around us like a tornado, the great wickedness in both the world and the church that seeks to overwhelm us. Despite all of the wickedness and apostasy around us, God watches over us and protects us in His sovereign providence. This doesn’t mean that life will be an easy, affliction-free breeze, but it does mean that somehow, in some way that we won’t always completely understand, He is working all things out for our good. We’ll still get sick, lose our jobs, break bones, and maybe even have family members or friends turn on us and leave the church. There will be great pain in our lives, but when we look by faith at what God has planned for us, we know that He is watching over every step we take and that when we feel alone, He is always there to guide us. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help? My help cometh from the Lord which made Heaven and Earth” (Psalm 121:1, 2). May God grant us this comfort in the year that lies before us!

Kevin Rau

JANUARY 16, 2018 / YOUNGCALVINISTS


He can’t contain himself – as it gets closer and closer, that’s all he can talk about. Friends exchange knowing glances when the occasion comes up, knowing that just the mention of it will cause a huge smile to break out on his face, and his words will trip over themselves as he gushes about what he expects and looks forward to on that day. What is this man looking forward to? It must be a pretty big event – it seems to be taking up his whole mind. Maybe his wedding, or the vacation he’s been planning for months? No, what this man is looking forward to is worshipping His God on the Sabbath.

This man is the psalmist in Psalm 84 – he starts out his song by shouting out “How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!” His joy in coming to the Lord’s house can’t wait another minute – it’s been on his mind and he must express it right away. He loves to be there, loves to “behold the beauty of the LORD” (Psalm 27:4).

In fact, this man loves the house of the Lord so much, the once or twice weekly visit is not enough for him. Psalm 42 compares this longing to that of a deer for water. A deer’s most innate instinct is to find water – it can’t survive without it. This man knows that what water is to a deer, fellowship with the Lord is to him. Personal devotions during the week satisfy him somewhat, but by Saturday, he finds himself weak, needing replenishment from the preaching on Sunday.

I think we can all confess our emotions and thoughts on Saturday night and Sunday morning aren’t always quite in line with the man described here. Saturdays are full of housework and chores, piles of homework, and then maybe hanging out with our friends at night. We head to bed and fall asleep as soon as we hit the pillow. Sunday morning comes and we wake up as late as we can while still getting to church on time and looking decent. We don’t wake up with smiles on our face that today is the day we can worship our Lord in His house. But how can we make our attitudes line up with the psalmist’s?

A great place to start is consciousness. It’s easy to go through our normal Sunday activities without thinking – after all, most of us have been doing the same types of things each Sunday since we were children. It’s a comfortable routine. But I encourage you to look at it with new eyes. When we go to our respective churches each Sunday, it’s more than just a routine – we are entering in to the very house of God. The almighty, omnipotent God, Creator of heaven and earth, the One who planned your whole life before time began, allows us into His house, the place in which He dwells. This isn’t any grudging invitation either – He chose each of us specifically to come to His house. If it was up to us, we would be running the opposite way. But by His grace, we can confess with the psalmist of Psalm 65, “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts.”

So tonight, when you set your alarm for the morning – probably earlier than you would like – think about where exactly you’re going tomorrow. Meditate on the words of Psalm 84. Mark the bulwarks of your church as the psalmist does in Psalm 48. Ask God to give you the same joy and longing expressed in so many Psalms, overflowing joy and thankfulness to be able to worship at His house.

Kenzie Kuiper

Young Calvinist

In God’s Arms (Poetry)

The Christian’s Rest
Christian Poetry
by Nancy Moelker
(Jenison, MI)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Christian’s Rest

Resting in the arms of God –
Oh, what joy divine,
Just to know that I am His
And He is mine!

Resting in the arms of God,
I’ve no cause for fear.
Satan may assail me,
But my sovereign God is near.

Resting in the arms of God,
Submissive to His will,
Knowing He’ll work good for me
Through times of good or ill.

Resting in the arms of God,
Doubts and strivings cease.
Christ is all my righteousness,
And I have perfect peace.

Resting in the arms of God
Through life’s pilgrim way,
Trusting in His promises,
He leads me day by day.

Resting in the arms of God
At my final breath –
Christ has won the victory!
“Where’s thy sting, O death?”

Resting in the arms of God,
Heaven’s gates unfold.
Forever with my Savior
I’ll have joy and peace untold!

Resting in the arms of God –
Oh, what joy divine,
Just to know that I am His
And He is mine!
Resting in the arms of God
At my final breath –
Christ has won the victory!
“Where’s thy sting, O death?”

Resting in the arms of God,
Heaven’s gates unfold.
Forever with my Savior
I’ll have joy and peace untold!

Resting in the arms of God –
Oh, what joy divine,
Just to know that I am His
And He is mine!

Three R’s Blog

The True Manner of Keeping the Lord’s day.

Now the Third of Duties after the holy Assembly.

As thou returnest home, or when thou art entered into thy house, meditate a little while upon those things which thou hast heard. And as the clean beasts which chew the cud (Lev. xi. 3), so must thou bring again to thy remembrance that which thou heard in the church. And kneeling down, turn all to prayer, beseeching God to give such a blessing to those things which thou hast heard, that they may be direction to life, and a consolation unto thy soul (Psal. cxix. 11.) For till the word be thus made our own, and, as it were, close hidden in our hearts, we are in danger lest Satan steal it away, and we shall receive no profit thereby (Matt. xiii.19.) And when thou goest to dinner, in that reverent and thankful manner before prescribed, remember, according to thy ability, to have one more poor Christians, whose hungry bowels may be refreshed with thy meat; imitating holy Job, who protested that he did never eat his morsel alone, without the good company of the poor and fatherless (Job xxxi.17, 18:) that is the commandment of Christ our Master (Luke xiv. 13,) Or at leastwise, send some part of thy dinner to the poor who lies sick in the back-lane, without any food (Esth. Ix. 22;) for this will bring a blessing upon all thy works and labours (Deut. xv. 10, &c.;) and it will one day more rejoice thy soul than it doth now refresh his body, when Christ shall say unto thee, “O blessed child of God! I was an hungered, and thou gavest me meat,” &c. And, “forasmuch as thou hast done it for my sake to the least of these my brethren, I take it in as good part as if thou hadst done it to my own self.”

When dinner is ended, and the Lord praised, call thy family together:* examine what they have heard in the sermon (Acts xvii. 11; Heb. v. 14;) commend them that do well, yet discourage not them whose memories or capacities are weaker, but rather help them, for their wills and minds may be as good. Turn to the proofs which the preacher alleged, and rub those good things over their memories again (Deut. vi. 7.) Then sing a psalm or more (Matt. xxvi. 30; Jam. V. 13.) If time permit, thou mayest teach and examine them in some part of the catechism (Heb. vi. 1), conferring every point with proofs of the holy Scripture. This will both increase our knowledge and sharpen our memory; seeing by experience we find, that in every trade they who are most exercised are ever most expert (Heb. v. 14.) But in anywise, remember so to dispose all these private exercise, as that thou mayest be with the first in the holy congregation at the evening exercise; where behave thyself in the like devotion and reverence as was prescribed for the holy exercise of the morning.

After evening prayer, and at thy supper, behave thyself in the like religious and holy manner as was formerly prescribed. And either before or after supper, if the season of the year and weather do serve.

1. Walk into the fields and meditate upon the works of God; for in every creature thou mayest read, as in an open book, the wisdom, power, providence, and goodness of Almighty God (Psal. xcii. 5; xix. 1 &c.; vii. 1, 3, &c.; Rom. i. 19, 20;) and that none is able to make all these things in the variety of their forms, virtues, beauties, life, motions, and qualities, but our most glorious God (Isa. xl. 26.)

2. Consider how gracious he is that made all these things to serve us (Psal. viii.)

3. Take occasion hereby to stir up both thyself and others to admire and adore his power, wisdom, and goodness; and to think what ungrateful wretches we are, if we will not, in all obedience, serve and honour him.

4. If any neighbour be sick, or in any heaviness, go to visit him (Jam. v. 14, &c.) If any be fallen at variance, help to reconcile them.

To conclude, three sorts of works may lawfully be done on the Sabbath day.

1. Works of piety, which either directly concern the service of God, though they be performed by bodily labour; as, under the law, the priests laboured in killing and dressing of sacrifices, and burning them on the alter (Matt. xii. 5.) And Christians under the Gospel when they travel far to the places of God’s worship, it is but a Sabbath day’s journey (Acts i. 12), like to that of the Shunamite, who travelled from home to hear the prophet on the Sabbath day, because she had no teaching near her own dwelling 2 Kings iv. 22.) And the preacher, though he labours in the sweet of his brow to the wearying of his body, yet he doth but a Sabbath day’s work. For the holy end sanctifieth the work, as the temple did the gold, or the alter the gift thereon;-or else such bodily labour, whereby the people of God are assembled to his worship, as the sounding of trumpets under the law (Numb. X. 2, 3), or he ringing of bells under the gospel. 

2. Works of charity, as to save the life of a man (John v. 9; Mark iii. 4), or of a beast (Matt. xii. 11;) to fodder, water, and dress cattle (Luke xiii. 15;) to make honest provision of meat and drink (Matt. xii. 1;) to refresh ourselves, and to relieve the poor, to visit the sick, to make collection for the poor, and such like (1 Cor. xvi. 1.) 

3. Works of necessity, not feigned, but present and imminent, and such as could not be prevented before, nor can be deferred to another day-as to resist the invasion of enemies, or the robberies of thieves; to quench the rage of fire, and for physicians to stanch or let blood, or to cure any other desperate disease; and for midwives to help women in labour; mariners may do their labour; soldiers, being assailed, may fight; and such like. On these or the like occasions, a man may lawfully work. Yea, and when they are called, they may, upon any of these occasions, go out of the church, and from the holy exercises of the word and sacraments; provided always, that they be humbled that such occasions fall out upon that day and time; and that they take no money for their pains on that day, but only for their stuff, as in the fear of God, and conscience of his commandment.

When the time approaches, retire thyself to some private place; and knowing that in the state of corruption on man living can sanctify a Sabbath in that spiritual manner that he should, but that he commits many breaches thereof, in his thoughts, words, and deeds, humbly crave pardon for thy defects, and reconcile thyself to God, with this or the like evening sacrifice:-    

*If thou be a private man, either perform these holy duties by thyself, or join with some godly family in the performance of them.

The Practice of Piety 
by Lewis Bayly. 
A Puritan Devotional Manual. 
(pp. 200-203) 

Please Contniue

The Lord Makes Good Wine

BEACON LIGHTS: –

Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed. Jeremiah 48:11

The word of God has a fair amount to say about wine. We read throughout scripture warnings against consuming wine in excess. We are familiar with these passages concerning the danger of alcohol. However, we may be unfamiliar with the Bible’s teaching of the Lord’s making wine. I refer not to the first miracle our Lord Jesus performed here on this earth by turning water in wine (John 2:1–11).  Instead, we will consider an Old Testament passage concerning the Lord’s work in making wine— good wine.

The prophet Jeremiah labored in the midst of Judah for forty years, from the time of King Josiah to the carrying away of Jerusalem into captivity (Jer. 1:2–4). The book of Jeremiah repeatedly proclaims God’s forthcoming judgment on his chosen people, calling them to turn from idol worship and repent. However, in the final chapters of the book, we read of the judgment of God reserved for the heathen nations that surrounded Judah. Specifically we consider the proclamation of God against Moab in Jeremiah 48.

Moab, as you remember, was one of the two sons born to Lot, the nephew of Abraham, when his daughters sinfully conspired to make Lot drunk with wine and then lie with him (Genesis 19:37). The resulting child gave rise to the nation of Moab who therefore had blood relations with the children of Israel. However, despite this common ancestry, these two nations stood at enmity with each other throughout their histories.  Moab exerted great effort to plot against Israel. For example, recall the efforts of Balak, king of Moab, to summon Balaam in order to curse the Israelites as they journeyed to the doorstep of Canaan (Numbers 22:6).

In spite of their efforts to aggravate God’s people, Moab enjoyed peace and prosperity throughout most of its history. The prophet indicates this in Jeremiah 48:11: “Moab hath been at ease from his youth.” Evidently Moab did not experience times of great difficulty. All seemed well for this people despite their departure from serving the Lord. Thus Jeremiah can say they “have not been emptied from vessel to vessel.” What does the prophet mean by these words? In declaring God’s judgment on the nation of Moab, Jeremiah uses the illustration of making wine. In order to understand this text, we will need to explore this process.

To make wine, yeast is added to grape pulp to convert the sugars within the grapes to alcohol, a process known as fermentation. During the fermenting process, the yeast slowly collects along the sides of the barrel or vessel containing the wine. This yeast that collects on the side of the vessel is referred to as “lees.” If the wine remains in that same barrel or vessel for too long, the lees slowly begin to impart a bitter or sour taste to the wine. In addition, the lees hinder the wine from developing a sweet and pleasant aroma.

To prevent the wine from taking on these undesirable qualities, a skilled winemaker will pour the wine into a new barrel or vessel after a certain amount of time. This process serves to agitate the wine and unsettle the yeast. In addition, the wine no longer contacts any yeast that did collect on the side of the previous barrel.  Therefore by emptying the wine from one vessel to another, a winemaker prevents the wine from becoming bitter or sour because it settled on the lees for too long. This process of emptying the wine from one vessel into another vessel must be repeated several times, until the wine has matured and can be placed in a glass bottle.

Now that we understand the process for making wine, we can return to God’s judgment on Moab. The prophet Jeremiah proclaimed that Moab “hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel.” In this figure the skilled winemaker that we described depicts Jehovah, the vessels represent the different states or conditions of our lives, and the wine refers to the nation of Moab. We read that God did not go through the trouble of pouring the nation of Moab from one vessel and into another vessel. God did not utilize his might and skill to prevent Moab from becoming bitter or sour to the taste. Instead he sovereignly determined to let Moab “settle on his lees.”

What then do the lees refer to? The lees here refer to sins in general, but more specifically, to the sin of spiritual indifference and complacency. Therefore settling on one’s own lees represents our natural tendency to allow sin to remain undisturbed within our own hearts. This settling on the lees refers to times in our lives that we lose the sense of true sorrow for our sins that we ought to have, and instead become unconcerned about and even comfortable in our spiritual lethargy. This figure depicts the power of sin to cleave to the inner walls of our hearts, just as the lees to inner walls of the wine barrel, resulting in the whole of our life, as with the wine, becoming unpleasant both in taste and smell to God.  This sin characterized the nation of Moab, which left off the service of the Lord because they grew comfortable in their spiritual indifference. God allowed this to happen; he allowed Moab to “settle on his lees.” Therefore Jeremiah brings a word of judgment against the nation in this chapter, for God will punish those who settle on their lees (Zephaniah 1:12).

            In contrast to Moab, God did not allow his chosen people to settle on their lees. Throughout the Old Testament, we see God busy in the work of emptying his people from vessel to vessel. God used a famine to empty his people into Egypt; after delivering them from bondage, he poured them into the wilderness; once his people were brought safely into the promised land, God repeatedly emptied his people from vessel to vessel during the time of the judges. As the master winemaker, God did not allow Israel to be at ease for an extended period of time. In doing this, God prevented Israel from settling on the lees of spiritual apathy. God repeatedly emptied his people from a vessel that had become lined with the sins of idolatry and mixed marriages into a vessel that brought out the sweet scent of true repentance and faith in Jehovah.

That God dealt differently with Israel compared to Moab is brought out in the text when Jeremiah draws attention to the fact that Moab has not gone into captivity. Remember that Jeremiah lived and prophesied during the time of the captivity. No doubt, Jeremiah recognized the sovereign hand of the Lord in leading Judah into captivity as his handiwork in keeping his people from becoming bitter and distasteful. By leading Judah into the Babylonian captivity, God once again emptied his people from one vessel into another.

God continues his work as a master winemaker in the lives of all his elect children. He empties us by sending sickness and disease; he turns our plans for the future upside down through financial struggles; he upsets our way of life in the death of a loved one. When God sends trials, afflictions, or hardships, he is emptying his people from one vessel and into another. God does this repeatedly. Time after time the Lord disturbs our lives so that it seems to us that he will not let us catch a break. Therein lies the temptation to wish in our hearts that God would just leave us alone for a time. By nature we long for the ease and relaxation that Moab experienced. We say to God: do not upset my life; just leave it alone. However, we must recognize the purpose of God in all of this.

What then is God’s purpose in emptying his people from vessel to vessel? Negatively, he does not do this in his wrath and judgment upon us. This must be stated, because these massive upheavals that God sends upon us are very painful and unsettling. Thus, we are inclined to perceive this process as God’s disfavor toward us. However, in emptying us from vessel to vessel, God exhibits his grace. Remember, Jehovah does not do this for the Moabites, but only for his people. God displays his wrath and judgment by not performing this work. Therefore we must see that as God’s elect people, he desires to keep us from settling on the lees. God seeks to purify us from the sins of spiritual apathy and indifference. More clearly, in sending us trials Jehovah aims to sanctify his people. Figuratively, God desires that we taste and smell good to him.

The ultimate purpose of God in emptying his people from one vessel into another is to make us more Christ-like. All of our trials and afflictions serve this purpose: to make us more and more like God’s beloved Son, in whom he is well pleased. To use the figure of the text, Christ represents the finished and complete product of the winemaking process. The tribunal of God perceives the work of Christ on the cross as a sweet taste and a pleasant aroma. God desires that we also become desirable to the mouth and the nose. Therefore he faithfully prevents us from settling on the lees of spiritual complacency by emptying us from vessel to vessel through hardships of life.

The figure in this passage serves to remind us of God’s purpose in sending trials. Thus we are called to evaluate our lives in times when we recognize God’s sovereign and gracious hand emptying us from vessel to vessel. It may be that we have settled down onto certain sins. If so, this word calls us to repent and turn from them. This passage also provides great comfort to the believer. We know that the master winemaker, having begun a good work in us, will see through to our purification so we are made as good wine, pleasing to the Lord.

B. Lights Publication date: January, 2014 | Author: Matt Kortus

 

Young Calvinists!

YOUNG CALVINISTS

 Scripture: Article 7 of the Belgic Confession-

calls the Holy Scripture “the only rule of faith.” Lord’s Day 33 of the Heidelberg Catechism, when speaking of good works, describes these works in part as only those that are “performed according to the law of God,” that is, the Scriptures. Sola Scriptura, as we were reminded in the recent celebration of the Protestant Reformation’s 500th anniversary, means that Scripture alone gives us everything we need to know for life and faith. II Timothy 3:15 teaches us that Scripture is “able to make us wise unto salvation.” Scripture indeed is important and should occupy an important place in our lives.

Why is Scripture so important? First, it is God’s Word. What could ever be more important and worth our time than the Word of our covenant Father to us? By it God reveals Himself to us so that we can know Him and live with Him in sweet fellowship.

Second, God’s Word is Jesus Christ our Savior. He made the perfect sacrifice to satisfy for the sins of all His people. Therefore when we appear before God in the final judgment, we are not condemned, but have Christ’s perfect righteousness counted as ours. There can certainly be no greater gift, no more amazing grace than that Word!

Third, Scripture gives us everything we need to live and die happily: knowledge of our sin and misery, how we can be delivered from our sin and misery, and how we can show our gratitude to God for that deliverance (Lord’s Day 1). We can only know those three things through God’s Word, which shows us our sin through the law, reveals Christ’s work on the cross for us, and instructs us in our lives of thankful obedience.

Scripture is everything for the child of God. There is never an hour or circumstance in which God’s Word is not there for us. In joy, it directs us to praise the One from whom all blessings flow. In sin, it rebukes us, calls us to repentance, and assures us of forgiveness. In sorrow, it gives us the only comfort there can ever be in life or in death, that we are not our own but belong to our faithful Savior Jesus Christ. In doubt, it shows us God’s unchanging love and faithfulness and gives us hope for the future. The following poem, by Amos R. Wells, says it nicely.

When I am tired, the Bible is my bed;
Or in the dark, the Bible is my light;
When I am hungry, it is vital bread;
Or fearful, it is armour for the fight;
Or lonely, thronging friends I find therein.

If I would work, the Bible is my tool,
Or play, it is a harp of happy sound.
If I am ignorant, it is my school;
If I am sinking, it is solid ground.
If I am cold, the Bible is my fire;
And wings, if boldy I aspire.

Should I be lost, the Bible is my guide;
Or naked, it is raiment, rich and warm.
Am I imprisoned, it is ranges wide;
Or tempest-tossed, a shelter from the storm.
Would I adventure, ‘tis a gallant sea;
Or would I rest, it is a flowery lea.

Scripture indeed is everything for the child of God, and the study of Scripture is infinitely profitable. Let us now be faithful and diligent in our use of this great gift.

Emily Feenstra 
Young Calvinists

Adultery Is Near! (1)
Every day we go about seeking to fulfill the chief end of man: to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever (Westminster Shorter Catechism Q.&. A.1). In this walk we must have the meekness to realize that within us Satan tempts us to conform to the wickedness of the world and to forsake the call to “put on the mind of Christ” (I Cor. 2:16). A great temptation is the sin of adultery which Satan has filled the world with. He desires that we forsake God by breaking His seventh command, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” (Ex. 20:14).

In this twenty-first century the world is so full of filth. Adultery is everywhere. Innumerable ways present themselves to fall into this sin. I only list a few: advertisements are increasingly abundant that appeal towards these sinful lusts, television programs and movies find little fault including scenes showing this sin, pornography is almost accepted as a normal form to find pleasure, walking out of the grocery store there are magazines which can tempt a passerby to look through with lust, and taking part in sexting. The devil is taking best advantage of technology to saturate the world with this age-old temptation.

What do I scroll through on Instagram, what stories do I watch on Snapchat, and what do I post? It is important we all consider these questions and meditate on them. We must even ask if there is something we liked or commented under that could be a temptation for others. We hear these warnings and we must heed to them! We are called to be blameless and our use of social media must reflect this calling (Phil. 2:15). The warnings are repeated because the temptations are repeated and grow stronger. Do not excuse this article saying, “I have already recently read something telling me of this danger.” It cannot be ignored. The devil wants you to think that you do not need a reminder. As soon as we start to think we are good enough on our own the devil strikes.

We must remain strong and “posses [our] vessel in sanctification and honour;” (I Thess. 4:3-5). This sin is not far from our church, nor is it far from us personally. It is not far from you! Each one us of must realize its danger and flee to God from this sin. We are not capable of living perfectly of ourselves. We are weak on our own and, if left to ourselves, will most definitely fall into all the snares of the devil. Many times, we try to rely on ourselves and quickly realize we have no strength. We must confess our confidence and strength is in God not of ourselves with David in Psalm 28:7, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.”

It is God’s will for our sanctification that we abstain from fornication. May we ever realize its danger in our lives. I urge you never to give occasion to this sin for yourself or for another by any action. When we do fall and find ourselves amid trouble may we not give up hope but trust in God who will stretch forth his hand and save us (Ps. 138:7).

Luke Christian Potjer

Taken from: APRIL 2, 2018 /Young Calvinists


“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matt. 11:28-30).

How comforting these words of our Lord Jesus Christ are to all his elect! Come unto me and I will give you rest. It seems that sometimes that is all we wish for in our busy lives – just a little rest. We can find ourselves so caught up in the stress and business of life that it can be so hard to find even a small window of time to enjoy some peace and quiet. The pile of papers continues to grow, deadlines loom nearer and nearer, and the to-do list seems to go on endlessly. When will you ever find the time to just relax?

But that’s not the kind of rest that Christ is speaking of here. “Come unto me… and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” The rest our Lord promises is rest in the truest sense – not a mere break from physical labor that replenishes our earthly energy for a brief time, but a lasting spiritual relief for the soul from the constant battle it wages in this life. Daily we struggle with fierce spiritual enemies that attack us from every side as we fight the good fight of faith. Satan and his hosts lurk around every corner, poised with fiery darts to hurl at us when we are least expecting it. The world tempts us to abandon the straight and narrow path, sweetly inviting us to “have a little fun.” But when, by the grace of God, their invitation holds no appeal to us and we refuse to join in their revelings, we are faced with hateful mocking and ridicule. And perhaps most taxing on the soul is the sin residing within ourselves. Daily we must fight against our own sinful natures that are part of who we are. A constant war wages within our own beings – the old man of sin versus the new man of regeneration,  so that we confess with the apostle Paul, “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do” (Rom. 7:19). Truly we need rest!

And truly our Savior Jesus Christ is the only place we can truly find rest. He is our High Priest who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities.  He was “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). He is the sole source of our rest and comfort for He made Himself a propitiatory sacrifice on account of our sins and imputes His perfect righteousness to our account before the Almighty Judge of heaven and earth. He gave us the ultimate victory over all our spiritual enemies and daily gives us the strength to fight the battle of faith through His poured-out Spirit. And one day He will bring us to be with Him in everlasting heavenly rest and covenant fellowship with God in heaven. That final reality is not ours yet, but we do have a small foretaste of that heavenly rest here on this earth. Every week when we enter God’s house of worship, we receive a small glimpse of the perfection that is to come. We sing His praises with fellow saints, come before the throne of God in prayer, and hear the voice of our Lord through the preaching of the gospel. When we hear and receive the preaching, we hear Christ. And doing so, we come unto Him and receive rest for our weary and heavy-laden souls. So let’s prepare ourselves to enter into that rest tomorrow. Prepare yourself to lay your burden at the cross and be comforted. Come unto Him and you will find rest for your soul. YoungCalvinists

Anna Langerak