Deep scriptural instruction for husbands and wives and singles preparing or waiting for marriage.
Rev. Ron VanOverloop, Grace Protestant Reformed Church Summer 2013.
Deep scriptural instruction for husbands and wives and singles preparing or waiting for marriage.
Rev. Ron VanOverloop, Grace Protestant Reformed Church Summer 2013.
Subordination within a family structure is not a result of the fall but exists in the very nature of things because this is how the Creator lives within Himself. The Bible explicitly and clearly teaches that females are to be subordinate to their male heads within the context of the family. This means that wives are to be submissive to their husbands and that daughters are to be submissive to their fathers (as should sons too showing that authority structures in the Bible and this relate are not simply gender based). How does this relate to the question of ordination in the church? Male headship in the family directly and necessarily implies male leadership in the church· It has already been noted how, in early New Testament times, the church was really an extension of the Christian household. Just as several congregations come together in association now to form a “denomination,” so then the local church was a conglomeration of various families who united for the purpose of forming the institution of a church. To view the matter like this helps us to understand the non–arbitrary nature of God’s clear instructions that only males should serve as elders
and deacons. When female ordination is opposed by us – as it should be –it is not opposed just because “the Bible says so” (although this should be sufficient, even if we understood no further). Rather, when the church is
placed in its familial background, as an outgrowth and continuation of the covenant Christian family, our refusal to ordain females makes perfect Biblical sense. What would be the logic of insisting upon male headship in the home only to deny it in that corporate extension of the home that is the Christian church? Conversely, we can see why denying the headship of man in the church will always lead back to an eroding away of the headship of man in the family, and thus to all others areas of society.
From editorial in British Reformed Fellowship Journal by Dr Allen Baird.
Genevan Book of Church Order (1556): “[Covenant children are] contained under the name of God’s people … Remission of sins in the blood of Christ Jesus doth appertain unto them by God’s promise … Paul … pronounceth the children begotten and born (either of the parents being faithful) to be clean and holy [I Cor. 7:14] … The Holy Ghost assures us that infants be of the number of God’s people and that remission of sins doth also appertain to them in Christ … Almighty God [is] their Father. [They are] His children bought with the blood of His dear Son.”
Belgic Confession (1561): “Therefore we detest the error of the Anabaptists, who are not content with the one only baptism they have once received, and moreover condemn the baptism of the infants of believers, who we believe ought to be baptized and sealed with the sign of the covenant,
as the children in Israel formerly were circumcised upon the same promises which are made unto our children. And indeed Christ shed His blood no less for the washing of the children of believers than for adult persons; and therefore they ought to receive the sign and sacrament of that which Christ has done for them; as the Lord commanded in the law that they should be made partakers of the sacrament of Christ’s suffering and death shortly after they were born, by offering for them a lamb, which was a sacrament of Jesus Christ. Moreover, what circumcision was to the Jews, baptism is to our children. And for this reason St. Paul calls baptism the circumcision of Christ” (article 34).
Heidelberg Catechism (1563): “Are infants also to be baptized? Yes, for since they, as well as their parents, belong to the covenant and people of God, and through the blood of Christ both redemption from sin and the Holy Ghost, who works faith, are promised to them no less than to their parents, they are also by baptism, as a sign of the covenant, to be ingrafted into the Christian church, and distinguished from the children of unbelievers, as was done in the Old Testament by circumcision, in place of which in the New Testament baptism is appointed” (Q. & A. 74).
Second Helvetic Confession (1566): “We condemn the Anabaptists, who deny that newborn infants of the faithful are to be baptized. For according to evangelical teaching, of such is the Kingdom of God (Luke 18:16), and they are in the covenant of God (Acts 3:25). Why, then, should the sign of God’s covenant not be given to them? Why should those who belong to God and are in his Church not be initiated by holy baptism?” (chapter 20).
Canons of Dordt (1618-1619): “… the children of believers are holy not by nature but by virtue of the covenant of grace in which they, together with the parents, are comprehended. Godly parents have no reason to doubt the election and salvation of those their children whom it pleases God to call out of this life in their infancy (I Cor. 7:14; Gen. 17:7; Isa. 59:21; Acts 2:39)” (I:17).
God’s sovereign election governs the salvation of all whether they die in the womb or shortly after birth or of a good old age. The elect are saved and the reprobate lost as with Esau and Jacob chosen before birth. We have every right to expect the children of believers to be elect if they die at a young age-JK
So I challenge you: What legacy are you leaving behind? Are you leaving a legacy that will long outlive you and be felt in subsequent generations? Will your legacy impact your immediate family, local believers, unbelievers, or even the body of Christ around the world?
A strong spiritual legacy doesn’t just happen by accident. Be intentional about what kind of legacy you want to leave behind. Let how you spend your time and money speak clearly to what that legacy will be. If you have children and grandchildren, pour into them. Spend time with them. Engage in meaningful, spiritual conversations. Encourage them; share your story; offer wisdom; always point them to Christ and God’s Word.
Too many grandparents waste the precious years they have with their grandchildren. Instead of recognising that their race is not yet finished, they leave the spiritual instruction of their grandchildren completely up to the child’s parents or church and instead focus solely on building memories or retirement. But God doesn’t say age 65 is when our race is run! We have a calling to declare God’s works to our children and their children (Deuteronomy 4:9). You have a unique perspective and wisdom you can pass along to encourage the next generation. Don’t waste your latter years!
What will your legacy be?
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children. (Proverbs 13:22)
Ken Ham (Answers in Genesis)
Further thoughts from John Owen on temptation or trial:
1.God can send an affliction that shall put to death some sin of the flesh in your heart in the matter of temptation, whatever it be, that that which was before a sweet morsel under the tongue shall neither have taste or relish in it unto thee,—thy desire to it shall be killed.
2.Or he can, by some providence, alter that whole state of things from whence thy temptation doth arise, so taking fuel from the fire, causing it to go out by itself.
3. Or he can tread down Satan under thy feet, that he shall not dare to suggest any thing any more to thy disadvantage (the God of peace shall do it), that thou shalt hear of him no more (Romans 16:20).
4. Or he can give thee such supply of grace as that thou mayst be freed, though not from the temptation itself, yet from the tendency and danger of it;
5. Or he can give thee such a comfortable persuasion of good success in the issue as that thou shalt have refreshment in thy trials, and be kept from the trouble of the temptation.
6. Or he can utterly remove it, and make thee a complete conqueror.
Consider where the temptation wherewith thou art surprised hath made its entrance, and by what means, and with all speed make up the breach. Stop that passage which the waters have made to enter in at. Deal with thy soul like a wise physician. Inquire when, how, by what means, thou fellest into this sin; and if thou findest negligence, carelessness, want of keeping watch over thyself, to have lain at the bottom of it, fix thy soul there,—bewail that before the Lord,—make up that breach,—and then proceed to the work that lies before thee (adapted)
In any and every case there is NEVER AN EXCUSE TO SIN BY ENTERING INTO TEMPTATION AND BEING OVERCOME BY IT.
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.
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).
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
Origin determines authority and origin directs honour.
Gen.1:1-3, 26-28, 2:18-25
God makes the rules as the creator.
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!
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.
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.
1 Cor.7:1-9, 17-24
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
Malachi warns people that if they are unrepentant, divorced and remarried their worship is unacceptable to God.
“ And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping, and with crying out (the tears of the abandoned spouse and children-JK), insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand. Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant (Malachi 2;13,14). Futhermore marrying for a second time while the first spouse lives is adultery (Matthew 5:31, Romans 7:2,3) and adulterers shall not inherit the kingdom of God (I Cor.6:9). How many friends, even among professing Christians do you know in this position?
In case, as a Christian, you are getting swept along by the royal wedding euphoria surrounding Harry and Meghan please be aware that this couple, along with Charles and Camilla and Ann and Timothy are, or will be participants in on-going adultery which bars them from the kingdom of heaven. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,” (I Cor.6:9). What is an adulterer? Among other things it is someone married to another who has divorced and whose first spouse still lives (and so is still married in God’s eyes). “So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.” (Romans 7:3). “But I say unto you, whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” (Matthew 5:32). The word of God is clear, even though the law of the land allows divorce and remarriage, in God’s eyes only death ends the marriage bond.