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Seek ye first the kingdom of God

The world we live in is fast-paced and filled with distractions. As technology advances, there are more and more ways to distract Christians as they walk on this earth. In our culture there is a serious danger for the Christian to forget about heavenly things. As difficult as it is to focus our minds on […]

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Unfolding of the Covenant in the Old Testament

The Old Testament is full of the covenant. Beginning early in Genesis and continuing all the way to the book of Malachi, the word covenant appears over two hundred and fifty times. This might not surprise us. God’s covenant, his bond of friendship with his people for Christ’s sake, is a major theme of the […]

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Life with God

This month’s edition of Beacon Lights is our final issue for 2022. As the title indicates, our final topic for this year is the doctrine of the covenant, which can be summarized very simply as “life with God.” We thought it would be fitting to close out the year by focusing on the covenant for […]

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Covenant and Evangelism

The promise of the covenant is a wonderful and glorious truth. This promise of friendship with God is one which we, as members of the Protestant Reformed Churches, have heard in the preaching and the instruction of our parents growing up. There are many good applications that can be made from the doctrine of the […]

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Covenant and family life

The baptismal promise that Christian parents make is just one of a handful of vows that a believer may take in his or her lifetime. The fact that this vow is taken is a testimony to the importance that believers place on the godly rearing of their children. We baptize our children because we view […]

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Understanding the Covenant

In the early days of my graduate school training at the University of Michigan, I had a research mentor who found out I was a Calvinist. As a Catholic, he was amused to tell me that he had once sat in John Calvin’s chair in Geneva during his training in Switzerland. His comment to me […]

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Covenant Breaking

The very worst sin of which a person can make himself guilty is the sin of covenant breaking. Adultery, murder, drunkenness, homosexuality—these are not the worst sins that a person can commit. Although we can be rightfully horrified over these sins of the flesh, the sin that ought to cause us to be especially horrified […]

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Perhaps the church father Augustine said it best: “Men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty billows of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, and pass themselves by.”1  There are many beautiful and astounding aspects of creation, such as the […]

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Covenant young people, friends and lovers of Jehovah’s covenant: I’m delighted to have the opportunity to address you at this your convention, especially in light of your theme: “Jehovah’s Covenant With Us.”  How unspeakably beautiful is God’s Covenant—that intimate bond of love and fellowship that God Himself makes with His own children.  How utterly amazing […]

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Adopted Children

Are adopted (rather than biological) children in a Christian family part of the covenant? What Bible references can you suggest for your view?   The short answer is, “Yes! Absolutely!” Salvation in neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament is biological. Sin is biological, that is, it is passed from father to son on […]

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Covenant Courtship (10) The Church Our Mother

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18) The goal of God’s covenant friendship with us is his glory. He befriends us for his glory. He saves us for his glory. The church is his glory. For her he gives himself; loves, cherishes and nourishes her according to his marvelous perfection. We experience […]

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Covenant Courtship (9) The Role of Parents

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6). The blessedness of covenant truth is that God’s covenant friendship extends to believers and their seed. God purposes to save not only individuals but families in their organic lines as well. He […]

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Covenant Courtship (8) With a View to Marriage

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Eph 5:31-32). The covenant God who establishes the institution of marriage purposed it to be a reflection […]

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Covenant Courtship (7) Subjection to the Head

“Being in subjection refers to the inner attitude of a wife’s heart, according to which she knows her husband to be in authority over her and freely wills it.” —Prof. David Engelsma In the covenant marriage between Christ and the Church, He calls his bride to be in subjection to him. Christ is the faithful […]

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Covenant Courtship (6) The Head of the Woman

“The head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man” (1 Cor. 11:3). In the miracle of God’s work of salvation, he promises to save families and their generations after them. As he establishes his covenant with a man and a woman in marriage, he establishes a system in […]

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Covenant Courtship (5) Godliness in Courtship

As God establishes his covenant friendship with his elect in Christ, he draws them closer to him in a spiritual bond of love. His love attracts and compels them to union with him. He teaches them in his ways so that they know how to obey and love him rightly. His Word instructs while his […]

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Covenant Courtship (4) Surrendering

“Submit yourselves therefore to God” (Jas 4:7). In the covenant of grace, God extends his friendship to sinners who are by nature totally depraved. He does so by his Spirit, accompanied by the preaching of his Word, drawing his elect people out of darkness into the marvelous light of his fellowship. And although the hearts […]

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Covenant Courtship (3) Spiritual Unity

“God in his wisdom brings together two young people who are sufficiently alike, yet also sufficiently different, that they complement each other, forming one whole, forming a balance wheel for each other as well.” (Rev. Cornelius Hanko) The covenant of God is unity. It is the unity between the perfectly righteous One and fallen, elect sinners […]

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Covenant Courtship (2) Choosing Wisely

“God-fearing men seek God-fearing wives” (Prof. H. Hanko). In God’s counsel of election he chose a specific group of people to be his own. Leaving the rest of mankind to perish in the way of their sin, God chose a group of people unto salvation in Christ. Upon them he sets his favour and love, […]

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Covenant Courtship (1) A Proper Perspective

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). If Christian courtship is to be properly approached, then it demands first of all a proper definition. Our young people and their parents must know what covenant courtship involves. They must believe in their hearts the spiritual nature of a covenant relationship and seek to apply […]

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Trinity and Covenant

Trinity and Covenant: God as Holy Family, by Professor David Engelsma, published by The Reformed Free Publishing Association, 2006. Reformed Free Publishing Association 1894 Georgetown Center Drive Jenison, Michigan 49428-7137 Phone: 616-457-5970 Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. (EST) Fax: 616-457-5980 Website: www.rfpa.org E-Mail: mail@rfpa.org Are you contemplating marriage? Making confession of faith? […]

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The Covenant of God and the Children of Believers: Sovereign Grace in the Covenant, by David J. Engelsma. Jenison, MI: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 2005. 239 pages. As the title expresses, the covenant of God and the place of the children of believers in that covenant are the central contents of this book. As the […]

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Parental Involvement In Christian Education

Rodney is a member of Southwest Protestant Reformed Church in Grandville, Michigan. 1999 scholarship essay. Parental involvement in every aspect of the Christian education of children is crucially important. It is so crucially important because of the covenant. Christian education is covenant education. It is also important because Christian education, properly understood, is parental education. […]

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