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Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,  I want to thank you for your answer to Jeff Andringa in the ”Letters” of the October issue of the Beacon Lights. I agree with you that the decision of Synod 2018 requires further study because differences linger in the churches.  You quote a small part of the decision of synod, which reads, […]

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Editor Response to Letter

Dear Mr. Hoekstra,   From a certain perspective, my answer could be very brief. Assurance of salvation belongs to salvation itself, which is by faith alone. Therefore, to say that we enjoy assurance of our salvation by working is to say we are saved by faith and works. When we speak of our justification, namely that […]

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How Is It that We Obey?

There is an idea that has circulated among different Christian groups through different times and ages. It involves the question of how it is that we obey and also then how we do good works. The Christians who hold to this idea commendably exert great emphasis on the importance of grace and the importance of […]

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The Meaning of Necessary Good Works

You have always been taught that good works are necessary. What does “necessary good works” mean? Those who promote error give the word necessary just their one meaning that is often the first meaning listed in many dictionaries. We are called sometimes to explain the proper meaning of terms that have been corralled into one […]

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Ever So Little or Three Travelers

A man stood before the porter of the gate. The weight of the sack on his shoulder bent him over. His shoes were dusty and worn. He slid the sack on the ground and took out a heavy wooden stool. “What allows thee to enter this gate, Traveler?” the porter asked. The man pointed to […]

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Our Good Works and Degrees of Reward and Punishment (2)

In the previous article, I began to respond to a letter from Laurel Lotterman in which she asked the following interesting questions: If our good works profit us nothing, then why do we believe that there will be different levels in heaven? What kind of levels are the levels of heaven? If heaven is perfect […]

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Good Works (2)

We ended the last article hoping to look at several areas related to how we perform good works. We saw in the last article how the standard for good works is spiritual and that God judges our deepest motives and thoughts. Now, we will move on and take note of how all of the activities […]

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Good Works (1)

The topic of “good works” is very broad. There are many aspects of good works that can be discussed. Certain questions involving good works are: What exactly are good works? Who are able to perform good works? Who or what is the source of good works? What is the purpose of good works? Are good […]

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Good Works

In this present day and age, we tend to consider the world in which we live to be a totally depraved society, and rightfully so. We always see in the newspapers the stories of brutal slayings and the rebellious attitudes of many people today. We hear many reports of wars and at present we are […]

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Our Call to Witness

The third part of our Heidelberg Cate­chism speaks about our gratitude to God for our great salvation. This gratitude is expressed by our good works. These serve a dual purpose: that each person may be assured of his own faith and that by our godly conversation (good works) others may be gained to Christ. We […]

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God’s Workmanship

Ephesians 2:10: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Salvation is by grace alone. That theme has resounded through the ages within the church of Jesus Christ. It could be no other way. No dead sinner could save himself. […]

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Good Works

In 1960 Cawdray said, “As the apple is not the cause of the apple tree, but a fruit of it: even so good works are not the cause of our salvation, but a sign and a fruit of the same.” Likewise did Luther write, “If so be that a Christian doth good works, whereby he […]

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Living Out of Good Work (5)

We have seen that the relation between salvation and good works is not that good works are conditions to our salvation. We now face the question, What then is that relation? How are the good works of the child of God related to the salvation which He possesses? But before we answer this question we […]

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Living Out of Good Works (4)

We have discussed at length in our former article that faith can in no wise be constructed as a condition to our salvation. In no sense of the word is our salvation ever dependent upon our act of believing. But we are directly concerned with good works. We are busy with the Christian living of […]

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Living Out of Good Works (2)

Last time we pointed out that this discussion (the discussion of good works) must underlie any discussion we may have concerning the practical life of a Christian here below. We also pointed out that it was only a Christian that could really discuss these things. And that for the reason that our rubric is entitled […]

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What is True Thankfulness?

Thankful for what? This question is often placed before us at this time of the year. We are warned against being thankful for material gifts only. We are reminded that, above all, we should be thankful for God’s grace which has been imparted to us through the death of His only begotten Son; that we […]

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Question Box

Question: “Is it proper for the minister to take communion at both services?  If so, why do not the elders do this also?” Answer: We should consider that there is no rule which tells us that we may not celebrate communion every Sabbath or every time we worship.  The number of times we celebrate communion […]

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Its Spiritual Necessity (2)

We ended our previous article on this sub-topic by stating: “Only the pure, Reformed conception gives the correct answer to the question: Why is Christian living necessary at all?”  In this article we shall try to give that answer. That conversion and good works are necessary, that a child of God must live a Christian […]

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Its Spiritual Necessity

What is “Christian Living”?  What, in broad outline, has Scripture to say about it?  What is its prime requisite?  And what is the standard according to which man’s entire conduct must be judged?  These and other questions, essential to a somewhat adequate understanding of the subject have been answered. Before we proceed to the more […]

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