British Reformed Fellowship conference, Hebron Hall, near Cardiff, Wales 21-28th July 2018
Notes of speeches and devotions. Links to U tube messages.
Zech.3:1-8 Joshua, like us, is instituted into the holy priesthood by being given the robes of imputed righteousness. We are all priests to offer up spiritual sacrifices-first ourselves and also our praise, thanks, giving and intercessory prayers. Abraham, Joshua and Job led their families as priestly heads in devotion.
Hating Family Rev. McGeown
Luke 14:25-35 Believers must have a holy hatred of family as David spoke about in Psalm 139,which includes forsaking (rejecting) their influence and even their company if required, though it is not necessarily physical separation. We have no fellowship (spiritual) with those who hate the Lord when what they say, do or advise conflicts with devotion to Christ. They must not be allowed to lead us into sin. The cross mentioned in these verses is a painful self-denial for Christ’s sake-he may send a sword to sever ties. Our real family is the family of God, as was Jesus’.
All speeches plus Q/AS on U tube. Click on 1/18 top left to view them all.
Ps.92:12-15 (Gen.17:6) Kings shall come from our families, indeed as believers we are all kings and priests (Rev.1:6).
God of the Living Rev.Andrew Lanning
Matthew 22:32 Jesus teaches that earthly marriage which is only a type will give place to the greater and more blessed heavenly marriage between Christ and his bride. The Sadducees’ unbelief made them materialistic political agitators. Today their like do not believe in a spiritual beginning of all things (by God) and a spiritual ending (to all human lives). God has an eye on all the dust that we will become to fashion it into resurrection bodies. Marriage must be dissolved to make way for the greater reality. What Christ describes is covenant life which is eternal as he is, the great I AM of the burning bush. Because HE IS, we are! We are already resurrected to new life in Christ, our souls will be resurrected into heaven at death and on the last day our souls will be reunited with resurrected body. The astonishment of the people was like a knock down blow. Remember Christ IS the resurrection.
Family and Education Pete Adams
Deut. 6:7 School at home We want to instill: respect for authority, work ethic, love for neighbour, manners and devotion(s). Formal school is supported in Scripture Gal.4:2 tutors appointed by fathers. Being in a true church vital to children (Ps.128:5)-blessed out of Zion.
The Blessed Eunuch Rev. Angus Stewart
Isaiah 56 Resting in Christ (the real Sabbath keeping) the eunuch belonged to him and this ultimately is more important that having children. These eunuchs are believers who cannot have children. They are either born eunuchs, made eunuchs, make themselves eunuchs (either by divorce or being divorced and staying unmarried), remaining single, or being a barren man or woman. Deut. 23:1 is rescinded. They are forbidden to indulge in self-pity. God knows best. Think of Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8) likely the tool used to bring many of his countrymen into the catholic church. Eunuchs have a place and a name in God’s eternal kingdom.
Devotions John 14:1-26 As disciples we have a place in God’s family-adopted as children by our Father with Jesus as our elder brother in the family love of the comforting Holy Spirit.
Devotions– Romans 1:7-12 and Phil.1:3-10. Paul addresses two church families emphasising fellowship with them and the fact he prays regularly for them.
Trip to Raglan Castle and Gloucester
Divine Origin of the Family Rev. Andrew Lanning
Origin determines authority and origin directs honour.
Gen.1:1-3, 26-28, 2:18-25
God makes the rules as the creator.
- Family…In the divine being, the trinity is a family that is complete.
- Regarding the church he is husband and the church his wife and the mother of his children (including Jesus)
- Families are generally God’s will (society opposes this) as is being fruitful I Tim.5:14
- God’s idea of sex-male and female and man needing a helper
Marriage is a civil ordinance-the state has a role.
Devotions-Isaiah 42-43:13. The gathering of the whole church family.
Devotions Psalm 111
Note verse 9, God keeps his covenant (to save families in O.T. and N.T) for ever!
Defence of the Gospel (being about marriage and the family) Prof. David Engelsma
Marriage and the family is gospel truth. Errors about the family are errors about the gospel (e.g. allowing divorce and remarriage)
The family promotes the gospel and is the means of extending the kingdom. The witness of loving husband and submissive wife promotes the gospel and covenant children brought up in nurture and admonition of the Lord extends the kingdom in families. The gospel saves families. The gospel proclaims family-marriage is at the heart of the gospel (Christ loving the church and giving himself for her). And marriage to Christ after being dead to the law (Rom.7:2,3). Conversely it is a scandal (stumbling block) when Christians divorce.
Defining marriage -one man, one woman for life plus or minus children (Matt.19:5, Eph.5:25).
Baptists offend the little ones. Paedobaptism is believers bringing their infants to Christ as in gospel (Matt.19:3,4). Nurture and admonition only possible if children are regenerate (spiritually alive). Promise of salvation still is to believers and their seed (Acts 2:38-39).
Malformed marriages as in polygamy in O.T. do not promote gospel.
Our real, lasting spiritual family is the church.
Basis for all this is the fact God is family
All attacks on the family are attacks on God and these are destructive of society, reason for gangs etc. (80% families in Chicago one parent).
God blesses the Christian family Psalm 128.
The God-fearing man and his virtuous wife Rev. Andrew lanning
Psalm 128/Proverbs 31:10-31
The calling of the Christian husband-to fear the Lord (a reverential awe and love for eternal, unchangeable, self-sufficient Jehovah Jesus), in all paths of obedience, be the loving head of his wife with sacrificial love, understanding her, honouring and protecting her especially against the threat of being deceived-so needs to know the truth, lead her to a true church and have daily Bible-based devotions with her.
The calling of the Christian wife-to fear the Lord, not seek favour of others or external beauty(wrong aims) but rather seek God’s favour, submission (hence not ruling over men in church or family), because she sees Christ working through him. She is the unique helper who complements him (therefore need to communicate freely), this all applies even to the wife of an unbeleiving spouse.
All in all this relationship reflects Christ’s relationship with his church.
Other insights: evolutionism, the feminist movement and the false gospel of Arminianism (free-willism in which Christ is impotent) have all contributed to the erosion of all authority (no absolute standard) and the emasculation of men in society and church.
Isaiah 55:5 The calling of the catholic (universal) church.
Psalm 116 Communion with God including Christ on the cross (vv3,15) and the hope of resurrection (v9). Importance of communication in the family and prayer for individual children.
Trip to St. Fagan’s castle and museum of Welsh Life.
Spousal Abuse Prof. Engelsma
Song of Solomon 1:15-2:15
Fact is it is happening in Reformed churches.
Nature: deliberate relentless pattern of destructive behaviour towards wife soul and body. Often cyclical. Physical or emotional/verbal. Note sex is a debt to please the other. Abuser characterised by claiming entitlement, threats and control. Abuse must be dealt with in the churches. Abuse is murder (Heidelberg LD40) I Cor.5 and 6 speaks of reviling and railing. It violates marriage oath.
Church’s calling: preach truth on marriage, confront abuser, wife’s submission should be response to love. Family visitation should examine spiritual condition of family and help. Pastor needs to be involved. Separation may be necessary.
Deliverance: prevention best-women check out future spouse, parents ditto. Men-determine to love. Consistory involvement and counselling. If guilty must be genuine repentance. Abuser may be a hypocrite.
Free booklet available from CPRC bookshop.
Devotions: Psalm 45 (marriage psalm). Ephesians 4 note especially “forgiving one another” (v32).
Devotions Psalm 133 Ed Bos noted how he has seen unity in the conference grow over the years.
Psalm 124 God delivers his people from the persecution or through it.
Decisions: Next conference July 11-18th 2018 Castlewellan Castle, County Down, Northern Ireland
Speakers Prof. Engelsma and Rev Lanning
Topic: Union with Christ
Parents and Children Prof. Engelsma
The destruction of the family is the cause of much of the ills of society and governments actively contribute to this. The family is not only fundamental to society but also the kingdom of God. God is angry against all attacks on the family. E.g.
Marriage with unbelievers
Provoking children to wrath by favouritism, unfair discipline etc
Neglect by husband
Fellowship is sharing one life.
Eph.1:1-12 note adoption by Father God.
Psalm 110 The ascended Christ, David’s son takes his power to reign, triumphing by his Spirit to save his church and destroy his enemies. Quoted in Acts 2:23-39.
It’s good to be single Rev. Lanning
1 Cor.7:1-9, 17-24
- it may mean virginity (like Paul
- you may be divorced or a widow(er)
- it is good/even better than marrying (in some ways)
- famous OT singles e.g.Miriam
- NT single John the Baptist
- It is a covenant calling for some and a gift (they are able to contain sexual urges)
- It promotes covenant service with undistracted devotion e.g. Anna in Luke 2
- It is covenant satisfaction and contentment
Unbiblical divorce and adulterous remarriage Prof. Engelsma
Matt.19:1-5, Mark 10:11-12, Luke 16:18.
The cause of the Reformed faith and Biblical marriage is God’s and his the power to promote it.
Our authority in this as in all matters of faith and practice is Scripture. Genesis and Jesus’ interpretation of it teaches one man and one woman for life and no divorce. Only God by the power of death divides. Divorce destroys families. The call to the married is be faithful. “Commits” adultery is on-going present tense!
Ephesians 3-speaks of the mystery of the catholicity (universality) of the church and Paul’s faithful prayers for the Ephesians. May we continue to faithfully to pray for each other.
Roll on BRF 2020.
BRF Fun Run (5K) Results
- Emily Feenstra F25 19m 28s 75.85%
- Carleen Dykstra F31 21m 33s 68.53%
- Bruce Feenstra M22 19m 08s 67.85%
- Joshua Harris M18 19m 11s 67.70%
- Brian Buiter M25 19m 45s 65.23%
- Dr Julian Kennedy M65 26m 52s 61.98%
- Patrick Duerr M9 26m 23s 61.65%
- David Smit M28 26m 20s 49.31% well done all who took part.