Announcements for Sunday, April 11.

  • Christian education classes will be held today, but not next week due to the commemoration of the Lord’s Supper.
  • Mrs. Jo Boerkoel plans to celebrate her birthday this Thursday.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide

under the shadow of the Almighty. Ps. 91:1.

  • There are 3 cards and 3 envelopes downstairs for the bridal shower on May 1. They will be there until after the evening service tonight.
  • Please pray for those who are not able to gather with us today due to the weakness of old age, studies, work, or travel.
  • Tropical cyclone Seroja affected a number of islands in the country of Indonesia last week including the island of Sumba. The mission collection in April will be for the orphanage in Sumba as they recover from the damage inflicted by the cyclone.

Meditation for Sunday, April 11.

He is not here; for he is risen, as he said: come, see the place where the Lord lay. Matt. 28:6.

Christ’s body was marvelously improved by the resurrection, and so will ours. It fell in weakness, but was raised in power; no more capable of sorrows, pains and dishonors. In like manner our bodies are “sown in weakness, but raised in strength, sown in dishonor, raised in glory. Sown natural bodies, raised spiritual bodies,” as the apostle speaks, 1 Cor. 15: 43, 44. Spiritual bodies, not properly, but analogically. No distemper hang about glorified bodies, nor are they henceforth subject to any of those natural necessities, to which they are now tied. There are no flaw, defects, or deformities, in the children of the resurrection. What members are now defective or deformed, will then be restored to their perfect being and beauty; as Tertullian speaks, and from thenceforth they are free from the law of mortality, “They can die no more,” Luke 20: 35, 36. Thus shall they be improved by their resurrection.

Christ’s body was raised from the dead to be glorified and crowned with honor. Oh it was a joyful day to him; and so will the resurrection of the saints be to them, the day of the gladness of their hearts. It will be said to them in that morning, “Awake, and sing, ye that dwell in the dust,” as Isa. 26: 19. O how comfortable will be the meeting betwixt the glorified soul, and its new raised body. Much more comfortable than that of Jacob’s and Joseph’s, after twenty years absence, Gen. 46: 29.

For glorified souls in heaven have such an appetite and desire of reunion with their own body. Indeed, the angels, who are pure spirits, as they never had union with, so they have no inclination to matter; but souls are otherwise tempered and disposed. We are all sensible of its affection to the body now, in its compounded state, we feel the tender care it has for the body, the sympathy with it, and lothness to be separated from it. It is said, 2 Cor. 5: 6. “to be at home in the body.” And had not God implanted such an inclination to this its tabernacle in it, it would not have paid that due respect it owes the body while it inhabited in it, nor have regarded what became of it when it left it. This inclination remains still with it in heaven, it reckons not itself completely happy till its old dear companion and partner be with it, and in that sense some understand those words, Job 14: 14. “All the days of my appointed time,” i.e. of the time appointed for my body to remain in the grave, will I wait till my change (viz. that which will be made by the resurrection) come; for it is manifest enough he speaks there of the resurrection. Now, when this its inclination to its own body, its longings and hankerings after it, are gratified with a sight and enjoyment of it again, oh what a comfortable meeting will this make it!       John Flavel

Announcements for Sunday, April 4.

  • No Christian education classes will be held today.
  • There are 3 cards and 3 envelopes downstairs for the bridal shower on May 1. They will be there until Sunday, April 11 after the evening service. The shower will be at 5:30pm on May 1 and will be held in the church basement meeting room.
  • I would like to thank the church and the Titus 2 women’s group for their prayers and concerns during my recent surgery.  Psalm 91.
    Robert Boerkoel

Meditation for Sunday, April 4.

He is not here; for he is risen, as he said: come, see the place where the Lord lay. Matt. 28:6.

We infer, that if Christ was thus raised from the dead, then death is fairly overcome, and swallowed up in victory. Were it not so, it had never let Christ escape out of the grave. The prey of the terrible had never been thus rescued out of its paws. Death is a dreadful enemy, it defies all the sons and daughters of Adam. None durst cope with this king of terrors but Christ, and he, by dying, went into the very den of this dragon, fought with it, and foiled it in the grave, its own territories and dominions, and came off a conqueror. For, as the apostle speaks, Acts 2:24. “It was impossible it should hold or detain him.” Never did death meet with its over match before it met with Christ, and he conquering it for us, and in our names, rising as our representative, now every single saint triumphs over it as a vanquished enemy, 1 Cor. 15:55. “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Thanks be to God, who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Thus, like Joshua, they set the foot of faith upon the neck of that king, and, with an holy scorn, deride its power. “O death, where is thy sting?” If it be objected that it is said, 1 Cor. 15: 26. “The last enemy that is to be destroyed is death.” And if so, then it should seem the victory is not yet achieved, and so we do but boast before the victory; it is at hand to reply that the victory over death, obtained by Christ’s resurrection, is twofold, either personal and incomplete, or general and complete. He actually overcame it at his resurrection, in his own person, perfectly and virtually for us, as our head; but at the general resurrection of the saints (which his resurrection, as the first-fruits, assures them of) then it will be utterly vanquished and destroyed. Till then, it will exercise some little power over the bodies of the saints, in which respect it is called the last enemy. For sin, the chief enemy that let it in, that was conquered utterly and eradicated when they died; but death holds their bodies in the grave till the coming of Christ, and then it is utterly to be vanquished. For after that they can die no more, 1 Cor. 15:54. “And then shall be brought to pass that saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” Then, and not till then, will that conquest be fully completed in our persons, though it be already so in Christ’s; now incompletely in ours, and then completely and fully for ever. For the same word which signifies victory does also signify perpetuity, and in this place a final or perpetual conquest. And, indeed, now it smites only with its dart, not with its sting, and that but the believer’s body only, and the body but for a time remains under it neither. So that there is no reason why a believer should stand in a slavish fear of it.      Isaac Ambrose

Announcements for Sunday, March 28.

  • Dan Schipper attended the consistory meeting last Monday and expressed to the consistory his sense of call to the ministry. The consistory attested to this call and recommended Dan to the Great Lakes City Classis for supervision and to apply for seminary training. Please pray for Dan with his wife and children as they follow this call.
  • The mission collection today is for the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. Investing in PRTS means supporting a seminary that is biblical, experiential, and practical.Learn more about PRTS at prts.edu.
  • The Foundation Brass Band has scheduled a concert for Saturday evening, April 17 at 7 pm. (Note the date change.)
  • The consistory no longer asks that attendees wear masks for singing and for moving about in the church. We do still ask that our socially distanced seating remain. Please do not come to church activities if you feel sick.

Meditation for Sunday, March 28.

For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds,” Heb. 12:3

Consider, that your looking on Jesus will strengthen patience under the cross of Christ. This is the very particular motive of the text.. It is storied of a martyr, that, having offered him a cup of spirits to sustain him, when he seemed to faint under his greatest trial, he returned this answer, “My Lord and Master had gall and vinegar given him to drink;” as if he had been astonished to see himself fare better than Jesus Christ. How may it strengthen your patience in sufferings, to think of Christ’s patience? What, are you served ill? Ay, but Jesus Christ was not served so well. Can you suffer so much as he hath done? “I tell you nay.” O then do you stay your murmurings and repining, bear with patience the little you endure; and, to this end, “Consider him that hath endured the contradiction of sinners.”

Consider that a thorough sight of Christ will increase your outward joy in Christ. “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it, and was glad,” (John 8:56). A right sight of Christ will make a right sighted Christian glad at heart. I wonder not that you walk uncomfortably, if you never tried this art of Christ-contemplation; can you have comfort from Christ, and never think of Christ? Doth anything in the world gladden you, when you do not remember it? If you were possessed of all the treasure in the earth, if you had title to the highest dignities, and never thought of them, sure they would never rejoice you. Come, look up unto Jesus; fix your eyes, thoughts, and hearts on that blessed object, and then you may expect David’s experience, “My mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips, when I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night-watches,” (Psalm 63:5-6). A frequent access to Christ, in a way of meditation, cannot but warm the soul in spiritual comforts. When the sun in the spring draws near our part of the earth, how do all things congratulate its approach The earth looks green, the trees shoot forth, the plants revive, the birds sing sweetly, the face of all things smiles upon us, and all the creatures below rejoice. Christians! if you would but draw near, and look on this Sun of righteousness, Jesus Christ, what a spring of joy would it be within you? How would your graces be fresh and green? How would you forget your winter-sorrows? How early would you rise (as those birds in the spring) to sing the praise of our great Creator, and dear Redeemer?      Isaac Ambrose

Announcements for Sunday, March 21.

  • Jane Heikoop was admitted to the hospital this past week with a serious skin infection. Give thanks to the Lord that she was able to return home and is recovering well.
  • Chris Engelsma is scheduled to be received as a specialized minister in the Great Lakes City Classis of the RCA at the spring classis meeting on Tuesday evening. Please pray for Rev. Engelsma and his family as he preaches the word in various churches from Sunday to Sunday.
  • The mission collection for March will be held next Sunday for the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary.Investing in PRTS means supporting a seminary that is biblical, experiential, and practical. Learn more about PRTS at prts.edu.
  • The Foundation Brass Band has scheduled a concert for Saturday evening, April 10 at 7 pm in Providence Reformed Church.

Meditation for Sunday, March 21.

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Isa. 53:5

Objection: God was not angry towards men, but rather loved them (John 3:16; Titus 3:4). God is also not said to be reconciled, but rather that man is reconciled, which is the result of 1) man‟s conversion to God, 2) gracious acquittal, and 3) the intervention of a Mediator—and thus not due to the bearing of punishment, satisfaction of divine justice, and removal of wrath.

Answer:

  • It is clearly contrary to the Word of God to say that He is not angry with sin. “God is angry with the wicked every day” (Ps. 7:11); “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness” (Rom. 1:18); “We … were by nature the children of wrath, even as others” (Eph. 2:3).
  • God loves humanity, but not with a love of delight, for in men there is nothing but sin, and they are the enemies of God (Rom 5:10). Rather He loves men with a love of benevolence which He manifested in the giving of the Mediator. As sinners, His elect were children of wrath; but as His elect, God loved them with benevolent love.
  • It is contrary to God‟s Word to maintain that not God but man was reconciled. Did man receive something from God so that man in turn could have God be reconciled with him? Is man the one who has been satisfied? Instead, God was provoked to anger (man being the cause of this), God‟s wrath was appeased, God received the ransom, and the appeasement of God‟s wrath was to the benefit of the elect, who due to this paid ransom are received in reconciliation.
  • It is nowhere recorded in Scripture that this reconciliation comes about by way of conversion. It is self-evident that conversion is not the same as atonement. Everywhere in Scripture reconciliation is attributed to the passion of Christ, as we have abundantly shown above. Acquittal does not occur apart from the satisfaction of divine justice, but on the basis of satisfaction. This acquittal and manifestation of grace take place toward men who have contributed nothing towards this satisfaction.
  • Reconciliation does not come about by mere intercession and intervention, since the satisfaction made by the bearing of punishment is the basis for intercession. In order for Christ to enter into the sanctuary, He had to do so by His own blood (Heb 9:12). John therefore joins these two principles together. “We have an Advocate with the Father, … and He is the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:1-2). Wilhelmus a Brakel

Service Information for March 21

AM Service Information 9:15am: student Chris Mourik

Sermon: True Conversion

Scripture: Eph. 4:17-32
Text: Eph. 4:22-24; Catechism Lord’s Day 33
1. Identifying True Conversion
2. Putting to Death the Old Man
3. Making Alive the New Man
4. Producing Good Works

Psalter 94:1-4
Psalter 271
Psalter 111
Psalter 342

Meditation for Sunday, March 14.

.And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son,…. Zech. 12:10

Is this the way to get a truly broken heart? Then let those that have attained brokenness of heart this way, bless the Lord whilst they live, for so choice a mercy; and that upon a double account.

  1. For as much as a heart so affected and melted, is not attainable by any natural or unrenewed person; if they would give all they have in the world, it cannot purchase one such tear, or groan over Christ; mark, what characters of special grace it bears, in the description that is made of it. Such a frame as this is not born with us, or to be acquired by us; for it is there said to be poured out by the Lord upon us, “I will pour upon them,” &c. There is no hypocrisy or dissimulation in these mournings, they being compared to the mourning of a man for his only son: an sure parents hearts are not untouched when they behold such sights. Nature is not the principle of it, but faith; for it is there said, they shall look on me; i.e. believe and mourn. Self is not the end and center of these sorrows; it is not so much for damning ourselves, as for piercing Christ: “They shall look on me whom they have pierced, and shall mourn;” so that this is sorrow after God, and not a flesh of nature, as discoursed in the former point. Therefore you have cause to bless the Lord, whilst you live for such a special mercy as this is.

And 2. As it is the right, so it is the choicest, and most precious gift that can be given you; for it is ranked among the prime mercies of the new covenant, Ezek. 36: 26. This shall be the covenant; “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” What wouldest thou have given sometimes for such a heart as now thou hast, though it be not yet as thou wouldest have it? And however you value and esteem it, God himself sets no common value on it: for mark what he saith of it, Ps. 51:17. “The sacrifices of God are a broken heart: a broken and a contrite spirit, O God, thou wilt not despise;” i. e. God is more delighted with such a heart, than with all the sacrifices in the world; one groan, one tear, flowing from faith, and the spirit of adoption, are more to him, than the cattle upon a thousand hills. And to the same sense he speaks again, Isa. 66:1, 2. “Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool, Where is the house that ye build to me? And where is the place of my rest? – But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word;” q. d. All the magnificent temples and glorious structures in the world, give me no pleasure in comparison of such a broken heart as this.

O then, for ever bless the Lord, that has done that for you, which none else could do, and which he has done but for few besides you. John Flavel