Service information for August 18

Theme: Become as little children
1. Be converted
2. As children
3. Offend them not
Psalter 80:1-4
Matthew 18:1-14 (2-3)
Psalter 426:1-4
Psalter 33:1-5
Psalter 72:1-4

Theme: A true believer in doubt
1. Reasons of doubt
2. Remedy in doubt
3. Faith conquering doubt
Psalter 30:1-3
Psalm 73:1-28 (2)
Psalter 159:1-4
Psalter 202:1-3
Psalter 439:3-4

Meditation for Sunday, August 18.

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed—but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides forever.” 1 Peter 1:23.

Regeneration is a real, thorough change, whereby the man is made a new creature, 2 Cor. 5:17. The Lord God makes the creature a new creature, as the goldsmith melts down a vessel of dishonor, and makes it a vessel of honor. Man is, in respect of his spiritual state, altogether disjointed by the fall; every faculty of the soul is, as it were, dislocated. In regeneration, the Lord loosens every joint, and sets it right again. Now this change made in regeneration, is,

  1. A change of qualities or DISPOSITIONS. It is not a change of the substance—but of the qualities of the soul. Vicious qualities are removed, and the contrary dispositions are brought in, in their place. “The old man is put off,” Eph. 4:22; “the new man is put on,” ver. 24. Man lost none of the rational faculties of his soul by sin. He had an understanding still— but it was darkened; he had still a will—but it was contrary to the will of God. So in regeneration, there is not a new substance created—but new qualities or dispositions are infused; light instead of darkness, righteousness instead of unrighteousness.
  2. It is a SUPERNATURAL change. He who is born again, is born of the Spirit, John 3:5. Great changes may be made by the power of nature, especially when assisted by external revelation. Nature may be so elevated by the common influences of the Spirit, that a person may thereby be turned into another man, as Saul was, 1 Sam. 10:6, who yet never becomes a new man. But in regeneration, nature itself is changed, and we become partakers of the divine nature; and this must needs be a supernatural change. How can we, who are dead in trespasses and sins, renew ourselves, any more than a dead man can raise himself out of his grave? Who but the sanctifying Spirit of Christ can form Christ in a soul, changing it into his same image? Who but the Spirit of sanctification can give the new heart? Well may we say, when we see a man thus changed, “This is the finger of God!”
  3. It is a change into the LIKENESS OF GOD. 2 Cor. 3:18, “We beholding, as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord—are changed into the same image.” Everything generates its like: the child bears the image of the parent; and they who are born of God, bear God’s image. Christ himself, who is the brightness of his Father’s glory, is the pattern after which the new creature is made, Rom. 8:29, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.” Hence Christ is said to be formed in the regenerate.
  4. It is a UNIVERSAL change. “All things become new,” 2 Cor. 5:17. It is a blessed leaven—which leavens the whole lump—the whole spirit, and soul, and body. Original sin infects the whole man; and regenerating grace, which is the cure, goes as far as the disease. There can be, as it were, pieces of new cloth put into an old garment; new life to an old heart: but the gracious change is a thorough change; a change both of heart and life.  Thomas Boston

Announcements for Sunday, August 18.

  • The mission collection for the month of August will be for the Hudson Taylor Ministries. We plan to hear a presentation about the work of Hudson Taylor Ministries by Rev. A. Vergunst this Tuesday evening. Pastor Vergunst is intimately connected with this ministry and will be able to give us up-to-date information regarding current needs of the church in China.
  • Pastor Vanden Berg plans to preach his last sermon as our pastor at the evening service next Sunday. Refreshments will be served after the service in the lower level. The Vanden Bergs plan to travel to the Netherlands the following day, Monday, August 26.
  • The Choral Ambassadors will present a program on God’s Wondrous Love. This new choir is made up of 40 post high adults from area churches. The concert will be Saturday, August 24th at 7:00 at Providence ReformedChurch. A freewill offering will be taken for The Family Life Center.

Announcements for Sunday, August 11.

  • Neal Boerkoel plans to celebrate his 88thbirthday this Tuesday. “Now also when I am old and gray headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have showed Thy strength to this generation.” Ps. 71:18.
  • Pastor Vanden Berg plans to preach his last sermon as our pastor at the evening service on Sunday, August 25. The consistory will arrange to have refreshments, and say goodbye after the service in the lower level. The Vanden Bergs plan to travel to the Netherlands the following day, Monday, August 26.

Meditation for Sunday, August 11.

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed—but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides forever.” 1 Peter 1:23.

For the better understanding of the nature of regeneration, take this along with you, that as there are false conceptions in nature, so there are also in grace: by these many are deluded, mistaking some partial changes made upon them, for this great and thorough change. To remove such mistakes, let these few things be considered:

  • ) Many call the church their mother, whom God will not own to be his children, Cant. 1:6, “My mother’s children,” that is, false brethren, “were angry with me.” All that are baptized, are not born again. Simon was baptized—yet still “in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity,” Acts 8:13, 23.

(2.) Good education is not regeneration. Education may chain up men’s lusts—but cannot change their hearts. A wolf is still a ravenous beast, though it be in chains. Joash was very devout during the life of his good tutor Jehoiada; but afterwards he quickly showed what spirit he was of, by his sudden apostasy, 2 Chron. 24:2-18. Good example is of mighty influence to change the outward man: but that change often goes off, when a man changes his company; of which the world affords many sad instances.

(3.) A turning from open profanity, to civility and sobriety, falls short of this saving change. Some are, for a while, very loose, especially in their younger years; but at length they reform, and leave their profane courses.

(4.) One may engage in all the outward duties of religion, and yet not be born again. Though lead be cast into various shapes, it remains still but a base metal. Men may escape the pollution of the world, and yet be but dogs and swine, 2 Pet. 2:20-22. All the external acts of religion are within the compass of natural abilities. Yes, hypocrites may have the counterfeit of all the graces of the Spirit: for we read of “true holiness,” Eph. 4:24, and “sincere faith,” 1 Tim. 1:5; which shows us that there is counterfeit holiness, and a feigned faith.

(5.) Men may advance to a great deal of strictness in their own way of religion, and yet be strangers to the new birth, Acts 26:5, “After the most straitest sect of our religion, I lived a Pharisee.” Nature has its own unsanctified strictness in religion. The Pharisees had so much of it, that they looked on Christ as little better than a mere libertine. A man whose conscience has been awakened, and who lives under the felt influence of the covenant of works, what will he not do that is within the compass of natural abilities?

(6.) A person may have sharp soul-exercises and pangs, and yet die in the birth. Many “have been in pain,” that have but, “as it were, brought forth wind.” There may be sore pangs of conscience, which turn to nothing at last. Pharaoh and Simon Magus had such convictions, as made them to desire the prayers of others for them. Trees may blossom fairly in the spring, on which no fruit is to be found in the harvest: and some have sharp soul-exercises, which are nothing but foretastes of hell.      Thomas Boston

Service Information for August 11

Sunday AM Worship:

Theme: Chastisement and return
1. Crying out of the depths
2. The author of conversion
3. The need of daily conversion
Psalter 140:1-4
Jeremiah 31:2-20 (18)
Psalter 362:1-3
Psalter 221:1-3
Psalter 444:4-5

Sunday PM Worship:

Theme: To count all things loss for Christ
1. The loss of all things
2. The knowledge of Christ
3. The righteousness of God
Psalter 298:1-3
Philippians 3:1-21 (7)
Psalter 32:1-4
Psalter 232:1-3
Psalter 415:1-2

Service information for August 4

AM Service: 9:15am

Theme: A Standing Intercessor
1. Who was Stephen?
2. Stephen’s Defense
3. The Reaction
Psalter 264
Acts 7
Psalter 47 vs 6-11
Psalter 387
Psalter 439

PM Service: 6pm

Theme: Has Something Happened in Your Life?
1. Paul’s Confidence
2. Paul’s Confidence Shattered
Psalter 447
Acts 9
Psalter 278
Psalter 292
Psalter 89

Meditation for Sunday, August 4.

I come now to show you how the Sabbath is to be sanctified. The (Westminster) Catechism tells us, “It is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; and spending the whole time in public and private exercises of God’s worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.”

Grace must be stirred up to exercise, otherwise the Sabbath will be a burden. The heart should be withdrawn from all earthly things, and intent upon the duty of the day. We must leave the ass at the foot of the mount, that we may converse with God. Love and admiration are special ingredients here. The two great works of creation and redemption, which we are particularly called to mind on the Lord’s Day, are calculated to excite our love and admiration. We should have a peculiar delight in the day, and the duties of it, exchanging our lawful pleasures on other days with spiritual pleasures on this.

The Sabbath rest resembles that of heaven, which is a rest without a rest, wherein the soul is most busy and active, serving the Lord without weariness. If it were enough, we were obliged to sanctify the Sabbath no more than beasts, who only rest that day. The rest enjoined is not commanded for itself, but for the holy exercises of the day.

Now, it is the whole day that is thus to be spent; i.e. the natural day. Not that people are bound to be in these exercises without intermission all the twenty-four hours; for God has not made the Sabbath to be a burden to man, but that we should continue God’s work as we do our own on other days, where we are allowed necessary rest and refreshment by sleep in the night.

Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. This note is put upon it.

  1. Because of the great weight of the thing, the Sabbath being the bond of all religion. It is God’s deal-day, wherein his people may expect furniture for all the week.
  2. Because we are very apt to forget it, Ezek. 22:26. There is less light of nature for this than other commands. It restrains our liberty in those things that we do all the week. And Satan, knowing the importance of it for our souls, that it is a day of blessing, sets on us to forget it. If you would then sanctify the Sabbath, (1.) Remember it before it come; on the last day of the week, on the Saturday’s evening, laying by work in a timely mannerto prepare for it, Luke 23:54. (2.) Remember it when it is come; rise early on the Sabbath morning, Ps. 92:2. The morning hath enough ado: worship God secretly and privately: prepare yourselves for ordinances, wrestle with God for His presence thereto, that He may graciously assist the minister in preaching, and you in hearing, and may bless the word to you. Remember it while it is going on, that it is God’s day, a day of blessing, and ply diligently the work of the day, not only in time of the public work, but after, till the day be finished. (3.) Remember it when it is over, to see what good you have got by it; to bless Him for any smiles of His face, or manifestations of His grace; and to mourn over your failures, and apply to the blood of Christ for pardon and cleansing. Thomas Boston

Announcements for Sunday, August 4.

  • The Reformed Interdenominational Conference is Friday, August 9, 7 – 9pm, and Saturday August 10, 9am – 1pm, with outdoor activities until 5pm. The attendance age is now 18 and older. The new deadline to register isAugust 6. Contact Kristen Bazen  616-551-7122/
  • The offerings for July 2019 are as follows:

General $10,547.00

Benevolent $     968.00

CEF $     629.00

Building $  1,447.00

Family Camp $       99.00

Faculte De Theologie Evangelique $  3,046.00

Announcements for July 28, 2019.

  • A baptism service will be held during the service this morning.

The following children will be baptized:

Gerrit Benjamin, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Kersten,

Isabelle Faith, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Case VerBeek.

“Let Thy work appear to Thy servants, and Thy glory to their children.” Ps. 90:16.

  • John Rademaker hopes to celebrate his 91stbirthday tomorrow. “Cast me not off n the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.” Ps. 92:14.
  • The mission collection next Sunday is for FaculteDe Theologie Évangelique, a French speaking reformed seminary in Montreal, Canada. This is one of the only reformed seminaries in the world in the French language. Dr. Rev. Meine Veldman serves as Dean and Professor in the seminary.
  • Give thanks for traveling mercies, as many of the young people have traveled for activities in the last weeks and have returned home safely.