The “Grievous Sin” of Neglecting the Church (Ames)

 The Lord Jesus has a special love and care for his church (Eph. 1:22-23, 5:25ff).  He is the good Shepherd who carefully watches over his flock (Ps. 23) and unselfishly gave up his life to save her (Jn. 10:11).  He loves his bride (the church) so much that he promised to build her up, beautify her,… Continue reading The “Grievous Sin” of Neglecting the Church (Ames)

Can We Worship God However We Want? (Ames)

Why are the worship services of Reformed churches different from the worship services of most evangelical churches?  Why won't you find props, balloons, skits, films, lights, projectors,* and rock/pop music at confessional Reformed churches? And why aren't worship services in Reformed churches a Sunday morning free-for-all where we can just wing it? It's not simply… Continue reading Can We Worship God However We Want? (Ames)

Sabbath: The First Day of the Week

Why has the Christian church historically called Sunday “the Lord’s Day” or “The Christian Sabbath?”  Why do we meet for worship on the first day of the week, and rest on it?  William Ames explains this well in his Marrow of Theology (II.XV.27-29): “Divine not human authority has now changed the last day of the… Continue reading Sabbath: The First Day of the Week

Preaching the Catechism(?)

In the confessional German and Dutch Reformed traditions ministers typically preach what is called a catechetical sermon for one of the two Lord’s Day services.  This is a helpful way to keep God’s people rooted in the main truths of the Christian faith as outlined by Romans and echoed in the Heidelberg Catechism: 1) Guilt/Sin,… Continue reading Preaching the Catechism(?)

The Christian’s Highest Good

 In William Ames’ commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, he opens by quoting Psalm 4:6-8, which includes these words: “I will lay down and sleep in peace: because Thou alone, O Jehovah, wilt act so that I will dwell securely.”  He says the Psalmist writes these words so that he may show that his highest good… Continue reading The Christian’s Highest Good