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Herman Bavinck – Now, We Walk by Faith

28 May

The fact that we will one day walk by sight does not cancel out the necessity of walking by faith in this dispensation. Although the church militant and the church triumphant are fundamentally one, there is nevertheless a difference between them in position and life in the present. The boundary line cannot and may not be erased. We will never achieve a heavenly life while we are here on earth. We walk by faith, not by sight. Now we see in a mirror dimly; in the hereafter, and not before, we will see face to face and will know as we are known. The vision of God has been reserved for heaven. On earth we will never be self-reliant and independent.

~Herman Bavinck~




Reformed Dogmatics Vol. 1: Prolegomena (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Academic; 2003) p. 474.

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Herman Bavinck – Taking Our Stand on Scripture

30 Apr

Now Rome, with its infallible pope, can assert that Scripture is not necessary; the infalliblity of the church indeed renders Scripture superfluous. But Protestantism has no such infallible organ, neither in the institution, nor in the organism, nor in the individual members of the church. If Protestantism should deny the necessity of Scripture, it would weaken itself, strengthen Rome, and lose the truth, which is an indispensable element of religion. For that reason the Reformation insisted so firmly on the necessity of Holy Scripture. Scripture was the place for the Reformation to stand. It succeeded because, against the authority of church councils and the pope, it could pose the authority of God’s Holy Word. One who abandons this position of the Reformation unintentionally works for the upbuilding of Rome. For if not Scripture but the church is necessary to the knowledge of religious truth, then the church becomes the indispensable means of grace. The Word loses its central place and only retains a preparatory or pedagogical role. While Scripture may be useful and good, it is not necessary, neither for the church as a whole, nor for believers individually.

~Herman Bavinck~




Reformed Dogmatics Vol. 1: Prolegomena (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Academic; 2003) p. 469.

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Herman Bavinck – Scripture is Necessary for the Being of the Church

23 Apr

Scripture, like revelation, is an organic whole that has gradually come into being; the mature plant was already enclosed in the seed, the fruit was present in the germ. Revelation and Scripture both kept pace with the state of the church, and vice versa. For that reason one can never draw conclusions for the present based on conditions prevailing in the church in the past. Granted, the church before Moses was without Scripture, and before the completion of revelation the church was never in possession of the whole Bible. But this does not prove anything for the dispensation of the church in which we now live, one in which revelation has ceased and Scripture is complete. For this dispensation Scripture is not only useful and good but also decidedly necessary for the being (esse) of the church.

~Herman Bavinck~




Reformed Dogmatics Vol. 1: Prolegomena (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Academic; 2003) p. 471.

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Martyn Lloyd-Jones – Addressing Man’s Greatest Need

31 Mar

If this is the greatest need of man, if his ultimate need is something that arises out of this ignorance of his which, in turn, is the result of rebellion against God, well then, what he needs first and foremost is to be told about this, to be told the truth about himself, and to be told of the only way in which this can be dealt with. So I assert that it is the peculiar task of the Church, and of the preacher, to make all this known.

~Martyn Lloyd-Jones~


Preaching & Preachers (Grand Rapids, MI; Zondervan; 2011) p. 39

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Martyn Lloyd-Jones – The Primary Task of the Church

17 Mar

The primary task of the Church and of the Christian minister is the preaching of the Word of God.

~Martyn Lloyd-Jones~








Preaching & Preachers (Grand Rapids, MI; Zondervan; 2011) p. 26

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Herman Bavinck – Without It There is No Comfort in Life or Death

16 Feb

A historical, i.e., a human and fallible authority is not sufficient. Because religion pertains to our salvation and is related to our eternal interests, we can be satisfied with nothing less than divine authority. We must not only know that Scripture is the historical record of our knowledge of Christianity and that it most accurately contains and reproduces the original Christian ideas, but in religion we must know that Scripture is the word and truth of God. Without this certainty there is [for us] no comfort either in life or death. And not only does every Christian need this assurance, but the church itself as institution cannot dispense with this certainty either. For if a minister is not convinced of the divine truth of the word he preaches, his preaching loses all authority, influence, and power. If he is not able to bring a message from God, who then gives him the right to act on behalf of people of like nature with himself? Who gives him the freedom to put himself on a pulpit [a few feet] above them, to speak to them about the highest interests of their soul and life and even to procalim to them their eternal weal or woe? Who would dare, who would be able to do this, unless he has a word of God to proclaim? Both the Christian faith and Christian preaching require divine authority as their foundation. “Faith will totter if the authority of the divine Scriptures begins to waver.”

~Herman Bavinck~


Reformed Dogmatics Vol. 1: Prolegomena (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Academic; 2003) p. 461.

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John Calvin – The Church as the Orchestra of God’s Goodness

5 Jan

The whole world is a theatre for the display of the divine goodness, wisdom, justice, and power, but the Church is the orchestra, as it were—the most conspicuous part of it; and the nearer the approaches are that God makes to us, the more intimate and condescending the communication of his benefits, the more attentively are we called to consider them.

~John Calvin~



Calvin’s Commentaries – Psalms (Spokane, WA; Olive Tree Bible Software; http://www.olivetree.com) Commentary on Psalm 135:13.

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Herman Bavinck – The Unity Christians Have

9 Nov

Protestantism, on the other hand, associates the unity of the church first of all with the oneness of the head of the church (Eph. 1:10; 5:23), with the communion of all believers through one and the same Spirit (1 Cor. 6:17,19; 12:13; 2Cor. 12:18; Eph. 4:4), with Christ and with each other (John 10:16; 15:1; Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:12-13; Eph. 1:22), and further, with the unity of faith, hope, and love, and of baptism, and so forth (Eph. 4:3-5). This unity, though primarily spiritual in character, nevertheless exists objectively and really, and it does not remain completely invisible. It manifests itself outwardly—-albeit in a very imperfect way—-and at least to some degree comes to light in that which all Christian churches have in common. No Christianity exists above or beneath religious differences, but there is indeed a Christianity present amid religious differences. Because we tend to be most aware of the differences and schisms in Christianity, we constantly run the danger of disregarding this–nevertheless truly existing–unity. That which unites all true Christians is always more than that which separates them.

~Herman Bavinck~


Reformed Dogmatics Vol. 4: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Academic; 2003) p. 321.

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Charles Spurgeon – Life Proved by Love

17 Sep

So, Brothers and Sisters, if we can say that we love God’s people, as God’s people, because they are God’s people, that is a mark that we have passed from death unto life! Do you love them for Christ’s sake? Do you say to yourself, “That is one of Christ’s people. That is one who bears Christ’s Cross. That is one of the children of God and, therefore, I love him and take delight in his company”? Then that is an evidence that you are not of the world. If you were, you would love the world, but, belonging to Christ, you love those who are Christ’s and you love them for Christ’s sake.

~Charles Spurgeon~


Spurgeon’s Sermons (Spokane, Washington; Olive Tree Bible Software; 2010) eBook. Vol. 44, Sermon No. 2556; Titled: Life Proved by Love; Delivered on Thursday Evening, January 18, 1883.

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Herman Bavinck – The Local Church

16 Sep

Every local church is the people of God, the body of Christ, built upon the foundation of Christ (1 Cor. 3:11, 16; 12:27), because in that location it is the same as what the church is in its entirety, and Christ is for that local church what he is for the universal church.

In the various local gatherings of believers, it is the one church of Christ that comes to expression.

~Herman Bavinck~


Reformed Dogmatics Vol. 4: Prolegomena (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Academic; 2008) p. 281.

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