Encouraging Church Members to Study (Read!) Theology – David Garner

Theological Fidelity: An Interview with David Garner by David Garner | Reformed Theology Articles at Ligonier.org.

300x467 Interview_GarnerThe interview feature in the June Tabletalk is with Dr. David Garner, associate professor of systematic theology at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia. The entire interview (linked above here) is profitable, but I found this section especially encouraging. Here Garner talks about the importance of church leaders encouraging their members to study theology – including recommending reading resources.

Read on and be encouraged to study theology by reading good books! Don’t forget, your Seminary library is here to serve you too in this endeavor!

TT: What are some practical ways church leaders can encourage laypeople in their congregations to study theology?

DG: Due to the blessing of education and the accessibility of digital and print materials, congregation members can study Scripture in ways unprecedented in earlier generations. This privileged task bears a double edge. Accessibility and opportunity create accountability. With vast resources at our fingertips, should not this generation of believers imbibe the deep things of God and evidence unrivaled love and obedience to the Lord Jesus?

As church leaders, we must read and then recommend certain readings energetically and discerningly. We can vet and stock church libraries and encourage church reading groups. We can commend resources when teaching or preaching and pen our own theological and pastoral reflections for our congregations, aiming to whet their appetites.

Further, we should aid our congregations in cultivating biblically contoured minds and hearts. We should pray with the Apostle Paul “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him” (Eph. 1:17). As part of this call to spiritual recalibration, we should expound how theology speaks into all spheres of life. Christ’s lordship is comprehensive (Eph. 1:15–23), and God’s people must come to know, love, and delight in this precious, poignant, and piercing reality.

Honoring the Lord’s Holy Name – Iain Campbell

You Shall Not Take the Lord’s Name in Vain by Iain Campbell | Reformed Theology Articles at Ligonier.org.

TT-June 2015This month’s issue of Tabletalk (Ligonier Ministries devotional magazine) is devoted to the theme of keeping the law of God (ten commandments – more on this in another post this week).

Last week I read two more of the feature articles on the first four commandments, those which define our relationship of love to our loving, redeeming Father in Christ Jesus. One of these explained the third commandment, where God calls us not to take His glorious name in vain but rather to honor and magnify it.

Here is part of Dr.Iain Campbell’s explanation of it as found in this issue (for the full article, use the link above):

The ethic of Jesus is the ethic of the Ten Commandments. He taught His people to live by that rule, and He did so Himself. He is the very embodiment of obedience to God; nowhere are the Ten Commandments personified and manifested in their fullness as they are in the life of Jesus.

As the law of God requires of us not to take His name in vain, so Jesus teaches us to pray, “Hallowed be your name” (Matt. 6:9). Prayer expresses our desire to keep the third commandment. It also expresses our need for the grace of God to that end. Prayer is a recognition that what God requires of us, He also provides for us.

…John Calvin is correct, therefore, when he comments on the third commandment that “it becomes us to regulate our minds and our tongues, so as never to think or speak of God and his mysteries without reverence and great soberness, and never, in estimating his works, to have any feeling toward him but one of deep veneration” (Institutes 2.8.22). That sense of veneration in connection with God’s name is what characterizes a life of holiness and a worship that is genuine. Both in our service and in our worship, we are to think on the things of God with adoration and reverence, knowing that the fact that God has revealed Himself to us by name is itself a great act of grace.

By naming Himself, God not only discloses who He is, but He does so in such a way that we might know Him personally. To live by the terms of the third commandment is to recognize and confess that God deserves the highest honor; that He has singled us out by putting His name on us; that we would be entirely lost were it not that for the sake of His name He keeps and protects us; and that He calls us to live after the example of Jesus, glorifying God on earth. We are the bearers of the name of God; may all our conduct show it.

Good things for us to ponder on this Lord’s Day, as we come into our Father’s presence and use His Name in our worship. And good things for us to remember as we enter the work-week with that great and gracious Name on us and in us.

“…All of that eternal life will be concentrated upon the everlasting praise of God….” – Rev. H.Hoeksema

Last Sunday our pastor at Faith PRC preached a wonderful sermon on Lord’s Day 22 of the Heidelberg Catechism, where this Reformed teacher is explaining the last articles of the Apostles’ Creed (the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting).

Image result for i believe the life everlastingSince every Sunday is a foretaste of that future glory of the church with her great God and Savior, this morning we post an excerpt from Rev. Herman Hoeksema’s exposition of this Lord’s Day. It is taken from vol.5, Abundant Mercy (Eerdmans, 1949), p.148( now being reprinted by the RFPA in the original ten volumes). These are his final paragraphs on “the life everlasting.”

But the essence of all the blessedness and glory of that new world will, nevertheless, be the perfect fellowship of friendship with the living God in Christ. Everywhere in that new world we shall see Christ, and, in Him, the Father. We shall see Him face to face. All our knowledge will then be theology, in the highest sense of the word. This is eternal life, to know Thee, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent!

Of that glory we can only form a faint conception as long as we are in this life.

For, as the Catechism reminds us, that perfect salvation belongs to the things ‘which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive.’

But when it shall be revealed, all of that eternal life will be concentrated upon the everlasting praise of God, of Whom, and through Whom, and unto Whom are all things.

To Him be glory forever!

If that is the essence and ultimate purpose of our glorious future, and if today is another preview of that “life everlasting”, shall we not seek to see the face of Christ and glorify our God in our worship and in all our activities this day? May God grant us grace so to do.

Calvinism is Militant! – Prof.B.Gritters

SB-May15-2015In the latest issue of the Standard Bearer (May 15, 2015) Prof. B.Gritters continues his series on “What It Means to be Reformed” (on Calvinism and its implications) with an important reminder that Calvinism is also militant. We let him explain the meaning of this aspect of our Reformed faith.

Calvinism is also militant. In fact, militancy is not so much an implication of Calvinism as it is an essential aspect of it. If a Christian is a Calvinist, he is a warrior for truth. This does not surprise anyone who knows even a little bit about Calvinism.

To be militant is to be polemical. Polemics is the activity of exposing, opposing, resisting, and ultimately (by the power and grace of God) eliminating error – error of teaching, or error of conduct. Polemics is being militant.

Reformed Christians must be willing to fight for the truth of God – His name and reputation, His works, and centrally His work in Jesus Christ to save His covenant people. Answer the questions: How did God save His people? How today does He accomplish that wonder-work? Why does He save them? The answer to those questions is truth. And for that truth, Reformed Christians are willing to fight. Lies about God’s work must be exposed. Spades must be called spades. And if Pelagianism is again resurrected out of hell in 2015, we must be willing to call it so, to expose and eliminate it, just as our fathers did at Dordt 400 years ago (365).

To read more about this militant side of Calvinism, read your May 15, 2015 “SB.” To become a subscriber, visit the “SB” link above and let the RFPA know.

How Do I Teach Doctrine to My Family? – Jon Payne

How Do I Teach My Family? by Jon Payne | Reformed Theology Articles at Ligonier.org.

TT May 2015Another excellent article on the subject of doctrine in this month’s Tabletalk is the one linked above by Dr. Jon Payne (see bio information below). Payne addresses the practical question of teaching doctrine in our homes.

There are three good thoughts for us as husbands and fathers (who are called to lead in this calling, but you also who are wives and mothers must assist us!). I include the opening one, in part because we may be surprised that Payne placed this one first. Yet it is so crucial for the sound doctrinal foundation of our families. Do not take it for granted.

Every Christian home is meant to be a school of Christ—a place of spiritual nurture, loving discipline, sound doctrine, and biblical piety. This is not a reference to Victorian-era portraits of the Christian family; it is the clear teaching of Scripture and the Reformed tradition. Even so, our hectic schedules, ubiquitous gadgets, and misplaced priorities often make our homes similar to those of our unbelieving neighbors. God becomes an afterthought. Here are three things to remember as we seek to build God-centered homes where sound doctrine is the foundation and our Lord Jesus Christ is the cornerstone.

First, we must be committed to the ministry of the local church. Every Christian family needs God’s appointed means of grace and the shepherding care of godly elders (Acts 20:28Heb. 13:171 Tim. 3:1–7). The ministry of the visible church is a nonnegotiable for believers and their children. The first Christian families were “devoted to the apostles’ teaching [doctrine] and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). They were under the loving spiritual oversight of elders—men who were called to “shepherd the flock of God” and “give instruction in sound doctrineand also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9, emphasis added; see 1 Peter 5:2Titus 2:1). The church was central to their Christian identity. It is inside, not outside, the divinely ordained structure of a biblical church that Christian families are grounded in the gospel. A faithful church is where families mature in their knowledge, understanding, and practice of sound doctrine. Therefore, Christian households are encouraged to submit joyfully to the ministry of a local church body and to learn from pastors who labor “to present everyone mature in Christ” (Col. 1:28–29; seeEph. 4:11–16).

Rev. Jon D. Payne is senior minister of Christ Church Presbyterian in Charleston, S.C., and visiting lecturer at Reformed Theological Seminary in Atlanta. He is author of several books, including John Owen on the Lord’s Supper.

Ascension Thoughts: Seeing Jesus Crowned – Rev.M.De Vries

The May 15, 2015 issue of the Standard Bearer is out, and the meditation this time focuses our attention on the glorification of Jesus Christ in His ascension to heaven and sitting at God’s right hand. Rev.Michael DeVries, pastor of Kalamazoo PRC, is the author of this instructive and comforting article.

To view more of the content of this latest issue of the “SB”, click on the image to the left. For information about subscribing to this solidly Reformed periodical published by the RFPA, visit the link above.

Here are a few of Rev.M. DeVries’ thoughts on the glory of our ascended Savior-King:

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” Hebrews 2:9

Like the multitudes of Jesus’ day many today want an earthly Jesus who will satisfy their carnal desires by creating an earthly kingdom of peace and prosperity. They minimize and ignore His ascension and its significance. But by grace we rejoice in the ascension and exaltation of Christ. We see how necessary it was for the salvation of the church. We understand that were Christ to have remained here on this earth, His coming in our flesh would contain no advantage for us at all.

But even more, by faith we see Jesus crowned with glory and honor at God’s right hand! No, we could not be there with the disciples to see this side of the ascension. But by faith we see Christ exalted on the glorious, heavenly side! We behold His coronation and see Him set at God’s right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, (Ephesians 1:20, 21). The very sight of Him in His glory ought to fill our hearts with joy and peace. And see Him we do according to this Word of God!

And then, after explaining the nature of this exaltation and its purpose in the plan of God for our salvation, Rev. DeVries closes a note of comfort:

What comfort the exaltation of Christ affords us! We may face the future with courage and confidence. With the natural eye what we see is frightening and discouraging. For as we note from the preceding verse, “But now we see not yet all things put under him.” We see man far, far lower than the angels, yea, in the depths of depravity. We see abounding iniquity and immorality. We see a generation of the ungodly having apparent control in this world, committing horrible atrocities. We see the faithful church hated and persecuted as never before. We see the powers of darkness increasing in their bold and wicked attempt to destroy the church of God. We see our place in this world becoming smaller and smaller.

…But let us not despair! For we see Jesus, crowned with glory and honor!

With the eye of faith we see Him in perfect control over all these enemies of the church. We see Him with the Book of the seven seals of God’s counsel. He faithfully and powerfully causes all things to come to pass which must shortly occur in order that He may return to glorify His Church. By faith we see that we are secure and that our salvation is absolutely sure. Seeing Jesus crowned with glory and honor means that the victory is already ours! We are now more than conquerors!

As long as we see Him there all is well. How blessed it is to look into heaven by faith and see Jesus there in His glory and honor, working all things for our good! Make no mistake, all things work together for good exactly because Christ was crowned with glory and honor for all those for whom He tasted death.

Common Grace and the Gospel (and H.Hoeksema) – C.Van Til

CommonGrace&Gospel-CVanTilDid you know that P&R Publishing recently republished Cornelius Van Til’s book Common Grace and the Gospel? First published in 1972, this second edition contains the full text of the first edition but with added foreword and annotations by K.Scott Oliphint. This too is a “new” title in the PRC Seminary library (We also have the first edition – and with good reason – keep reading!).

Van Tils’ book is a significant work on common grace and was widely recognized as such when it was first published. And we suspect that with the recent rise in interest in the doctrine because of the renewed interest in Abraham Kuyper (especially by the neo-Calvinists and “new Calvinists” – the “young, restless, and Reformed” crowd), the publisher saw the need for this new edition. And we may guess that it will have a wide reception.

If you are unfamiliar with the author, you will find this information about him on the P&R website:

Cornelius Van Til (1895–1987) was born in Grootegast, the Netherlands, and immigrated with his family to America in 1905. He attended Calvin College and Calvin Seminary before completing his studies at Princeton Theological Seminary and Princeton University with the ThM and PhD degrees. Drawn to the pastorate, Van Til spent one year in the ministry before taking a leave of absence to teach apologetics at Princeton Seminary. When the seminary reorganized, he was persuaded to join the faculty of the newly founded Westminster Theological Seminary. He remained there as professor of apologetics until his retirement in 1975. Van Til wrote more than twenty books, in addition to more than thirty syllabi. Among his best-known titles are The Defense of the Faith, A Christian Theory of Knowledge, and An Introduction to Systematic Theology.

In this work Van Til does indeed interact with A.Kuyper’s view of common grace as set forth in his De Gemeene Gratie (3 vols, 1902 – a work now being translated and published in English for the first time.). But, of special interest to our PRC readers, Van Til also interacts with Herman Hoeksema and the PRC. In fact, in the initial chapter on Kuyper’s view of common grace, Van Til brings up the Three Points of Common Grace adopted in 1924 by the Christian Reformed Church and mentions Hoeksema’s opposition to this Kuyperian form of the doctrine:

Kuyper’s statement of the doctrine of common grace has not gone unchallenged. In a number of pamphlets and books, as well as in a monthly magazine, The Standard Bearer, the Rev. Herman Hoeksema, the Rev. Henry Danhof and others have vigorously denied the existence of any form of common grace.

Hoeksema and Danhof argue that it is inconceivable that God should be in any sense, and at any point, graciously inclined to those who are not His elect. The wicked do, to be sure, receive gifts from God. But rain and sunshine are not, as such, evidences of God’s favor (p.25).

And Van Til continues to treat Hoeksema’s views on this doctrine throughout the book (a quick glance at the index will tell you he does so in over twenty places).

But Van Til also has a special chapter (8) on Hoeksema and his Reformed Dogmatics, which makes for good reading. While acknowledging the power of Hoeksema’s preaching and agreeing with some of his theology, Van Til is critical of “HH’s” defense of particular grace over against common grace. This is how chapter 8 ends:

There is, of course, much else in Hoeksema’s work that could be discussed with profit. There is, indeed, much very valuable material in his work. We have, however, used our space to deal with what was most important to him.

With all our great admiration for Hoeksema as a preacher and as a teacher of theology, we must, nonetheless, maintain that however true he was to the idea of the sovereignty of the grace of God, he did not advance its proper form of expression in his works on theology (p.252).

As you can see, you would do well to read Van Til on this significant doctrine, especially as he deals with Kuyper and Hoeksema. And now, you have a new edition with which to do that.

M.Luther on the Genesis Account of Creation – W.VanDoodewaard

One of the new books purchased for and now processed for use by patrons of the PRC Seminary library is the title The Quest for the Historical Adam: Genesis, Hermeneutics, and Human Origins (Reformation Heritage, 2015). This significant study by Dr. William VanDoodewaard, professor of church history at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, MI, is a survey of historical theology and ecclesiastical interpretation of the Bible’s account of creation, particularly the creation of man (Adam).

This is the description the publisher provides:

Was Adam really a historical person, and can we trust the biblical story of human origins? Or is the story of Eden simply a metaphor, leaving scientists the job to correctly reconstruct the truth of how humanity began? Although the church currently faces these pressing questions—exacerbated as they are by scientific and philosophical developments of our age—we must not think that they are completely new. In The Quest for the Historical Adam, William VanDoodewaard recovers and assesses the teaching of those who have gone before us, providing a historical survey of Genesis commentary on human origins from the patristic era to the present. Reacquainting the reader with a long line of theologians, exegetes, and thinkers, VanDoodewaard traces the roots, development, and, at times, disappearance of hermeneutical approaches and exegetical insights relevant to discussions on human origins. This survey not only informs us of how we came to this point in the conversation but also equips us to recognize the significance of the various alternatives on human origins.

And here is the Table of Contents, which gives you some idea of what the author covers and how he handles the vast material:

Introduction

  1. Finding Adam and His Origin in Scripture
  2. The Patristic and Medieval Quest for Adam
  3. Adam in the Reformation and Post-Reformation Eras
  4. Adam in the Enlightenment Era
  5. Adam in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries
  6. The Quest for Adam: From the 1950s to the Present
  7. What Difference Does It Make?

Epilogue: Literal Genesis and Science?

For my purposes today, I give you a couple of quote from that third chapter, which treats the view of the church during the period of the Reformation and post-Reformation periods. VanDoodewaard points to an important shift that was taking place in the way the church interpreted Scripture, moving from an allegorical approach (which characterized the Medieval period) to a literal approach. And VanDoodewaard takes us to none other than the father of the Reformation, Martin Luther, as the first to make this important shift (while also acknowledging W.Tyndale’s contribution).

So our quotes today are ones VanDoodewaard has from Luther, showing plainly where this church father stood on the issue of the historicity of Genesis and the accuracy of its record. In this first one Luther is describing God’s works as set forth in Genesis 1 and 2:

These, then, are all historical facts. This is something to which I carefully call attention, lest the wary reader be led astray by the authority of the fathers, who give up the idea that this is history and look for allegories. For this reason I like Lyra and rank him among the best, because throughout he carefully adheres to, and concerns himself with, the historical account. Nevertheless, he allows himself to be swayed by the authority of the fathers and occasionally, because of their example, turns away from the real meaning to silly allegories (p.52 – taken from Luther’s Lectures on Genesis).

The second quote relates specifically to God’s creation of Adam and Eve as recorded in Genesis 1. Here again is Luther:

Here our opinion is supported: that the six days were truly six natural days, because here Moses says that Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day. One may not use sophistries with reference to this text. But concerning the order of creation he will state in the following chapter that Eve was created sometime after Adam, not like Adam, from a clod of earth, but from his rib, which God took out of the side of Adam while he slept. These are all works of time, that is works that require time. They were not performed in one moment; neither were these acts: that God brings to Adam every animal and there was none found like him, etc. These are acts requiring time, and they were performed on the sixth day. Here Moses touches on them briefly by anticipation. Later on he will explain them at greater length (p.53).

May 1, 2015 Standard Bearer: Second Helvetic Confession on Holy Scripture – Prof.R.Cammenga

SB-May-1-2015The May 1, 2015 issue of the Standard Bearer, the semi-monthly Reformed magazine published by the RFPA (rfpa.org), is now published and being distributed. This issue too contains a variety of edifying articles – from a meditation on Ps.55:22, to another editorial on “What It Means to Be Reformed”, to matters “all around us” of interest to Christians, to an article on raising children in a covenant home – and an important book review (By Faith Alone).

One of the new series of articles is on the historic Reformed confession, the Second Helvetic (Swiss) Confession. In this issue Prof.R.Cammenga begins to treat the specific articles of this creed, starting with Art.1 on the doctrine of holy Scripture. Today, I take a brief quote from this article to show you how significant a confession this is and why you and I ought to become better acquainted with it.

First, Prof.Cammenga quotes from the first article itself, which reads this way:

We believe and confess the canonical Scriptures of the holy prophets and apostles of both Testaments to be the true Word of God, and to have sufficient authority of themselves, not of men.  For God himself spoke to the fathers, prophets, apostles, and still speaks to us through the Holy Scriptures.

And in this Holy Scripture, the universal Church of Christ has the most complete exposition of all that pertains to a saving faith, and also to the framing of a life acceptable to God; and in this respect it is expressly commanded by God that nothing be either added to or taken from the same.

Then he adds this opening commentary:

The Second Helvetic Confession begins its exposition of the Reformed faith with the doctrine of Scripture.  This is altogether proper.  This is necessary.  Everything depends on one’s view of Scripture.  More than anything else, this is what distinguishes the Reformed faith.  What distinguished the Reformed faith at the time of the Reformation was its view of Scripture. This is what set the Reformed apart from the Roman Catholics, on the one hand, and the Anabaptists and enthusiasts, on the other hand.   Both Rome and the Anabaptists erred in their view of Scripture. That aberrant view of Scripture affected everything.  And as different as they were from each other, both Rome and the Anabaptists were alike in that they denied the sufficiency of Scripture, that in Scripture “the Church of Christ has the most complete exposition of all that pertains to a saving faith, and also to the framing of a life acceptable to God.”  Rome denied the sufficiency of Scripture by adding to Scripture, as an equal authority alongside of Scripture, tradition. That tradition consisted of the writings of the church fathers, the decisions of the church councils, and the Apocrypha.  The Anabaptists denied the sufficiency of Scripture by adding direct revelations and immediate promptings of the Spirit.  The Reformers said, “A plague on both your houses.”  And they affirmed the sole authority and complete sufficiency of Holy Scripture, with appeal to Revelation 22:18 and 19, where “it is expressly commanded by God that nothing be either added to or taken from” the Word of God.

And finally, he makes this application to us today:

Still today, this is the issue and still today this is what distinguishes the Reformed faith, at least the Reformed faith properly understood.  Scripture alone is the arbiter of truth.  Scripture alone is the authority for faith and life.  Scripture alone is determinative in the life of the church, both the local congregation and the broader assemblies.  And Scripture is determinative for the walk of the individual believer in the midst of the world. The method employed by Bullinger in the Second Helvetic Confession of beginning with the doctrine of Scripture is the distinctively Reformed method.  All the truth that we confess and that is summarized in the confession is revealed in Holy Scripture.  The Reformed view of Scripture is that it is “the true Word of God.”  Fundamental to the Reformed faith is its view of Scripture.

To receive a sample of this Reformed magazine, or to subscribe, visit this SB page on the RFPA website.

May 2015 “Tabletalk”: The Heresy of Indifference to Doctrine – B.Parsons

The Heresy of Indifference by Burk Parsons | Reformed Theology Articles at Ligonier.org.

TT May 2015A new month is here and that means a new issue of Tabletalk to preview. The May 2015 issue is about doctrine – “Doctrine for All of Life” is the theme – with ten (10) shorter featured articles breaking the subject down. I dug into the issue yesterday, and it looks to be another great one.

As usual, editor Burk Parsons introduces the theme with the above-linked article, explaining why doctrine matters and why indifference to doctrine is itself heresy. You will find his full introduction at the link above, but here is a portion of it to give you a start.

When people tell me they are into Jesus but not into doctrine, I tell them that if they are not into doctrine, they are, in fact, not into Jesus. We cannot know Jesus without knowing doctrine, and we cannot love God without knowing God, and the way we know God is by studying His Word. Doctrine comes from God, it teaches us about God, and by faith it leads us back to God in worship, service, and love. Indifference to doctrine is indifference to God, and indifference to God is indifference to our own eternity. Pastors who think it is relevant and cool to be indifferent about doctrine—who play down the necessity and importance of doctrine and who fail to preach and explain doctrine in their sermons—are in fact failing to give their people that which will save their souls. For us to downplay doctrine or to be intentionally fuzzy in preaching doctrine isn’t cool or humble or relevant, it’s outright arrogant. There is nothing more relevant than doctrine, there is nothing more humbling than doctrine, and there is nothing that more quickly gets our eyes off ourselves and fixes them on our loving and gracious God than doctrine that proceeds from God.

I also read the first two featured articles – “What is Doctrine” by Scott Swain, and “Whom Do I Trust” by Jeffrey Jue. I provide a brief quote from Swain’s article for our interest as well. Follow the links provided to read these articles as well.

The End of Sound Doctrine

Doctrine promotes a number of ends. Sound doctrine delivers us from the snare of false teaching (2 Tim. 2:24–26; Titus 1:9-11), which otherwise threatens to arrest spiritual development (Eph. 4:14) and to foster ecclesiastical discord (Rom. 16:17). Doctrine serves God’s saving work both inside (1 Tim. 4:16) and outside the church (Matt. 5:13-16; Titus 2:9–10; 1 Peter 3:1–6). Above all, doctrine promotes God’s glory. Doctrine shines forth as one of the glorious rays of the gospel of God (1 Tim. 1:10–11) and, by directing our faith and love toward God in Christ, it enables us to walk in His presence and give Him the glory He deserves (1 Peter 4:11; 2 Peter 3:18).

God loves us; and in His goodness He has given us the good gift of doctrine (Ps. 119:68) that we might learn of Him and of His gospel, and that we might please Him in our walk. Doctrine is the teaching of our heavenly Father, revealed in Jesus Christ, and transmitted to us by the Holy Spirit in Holy Scripture, and it is to be received, confessed, and followed in the church, to the glory of God’s name.

 

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