The Planks of the Faith: Remembering for Re-Membering, Part 25
Many, many thanks to all of you disciples of Jesus Christ running the good race: You are not only tightly, reliably grasping the Feast of the Heart baton of REFORMATION, REVIVAL, AND CONSTRUCTIVE REVOLUTION, but your willingness to faithfully and sacrificially release your grasp and pass that baton onto others whom God has providentially placed in your life is most admirable and reflective of the Spirit working in and through you!
If there's something I need to be reminded of everyday, it's this: As much as we’ve been acculturated to believe that “it’s all about me”, “every man IS an island” (RE: John Donne), or “I’m only as good as my own bootstraps can handle”… being a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), and “running the good race” is NOT a solo event.
We are naturally born of a Trinitarian Community (Genesis 1, 2; Psalm 139), and re-born by grace of a Trinitarian Community (John 3:3)… to flourish in, by, and through community.
The “Solo Christian” is an untenable oxymoron that is mitigated by (among other things) how God has set up the community of the institutional church to support and grow to maturity and increasing effectiveness The Body of Christ: The Supernatural Church.
Given that today’s menu consists of the 25th part of a series to help us remember as individuals and re-member as community God’s foundational “Planks of the Faith”, you have done a most admirable job at being patient, teachable, gracious, and willing to pass along God’s True Truth and Love to those in your circle of concern and/or circle of influence. Bless you!
We have five “Planks of the Faith” in the series to go:
Article 33: The Sacraments
Article 34: The Sacrament of Baptism
Article 35: The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper
Article 36: The Civil Government
Article 37: The Last Judgment
A Simple Preface of Preparedness, Prudence, and Patience
Please prepare… and consider that the feastalicious content we have been blessed enough to sup’ on (RE: the oldest of the doctrinal standards of the Christian Reformed Church is the Confession of Faith, popularly known as the Belgic Confession) was written by outlandishly devoted, wise, and sold-out followers of Jesus Christ. Undoubtedly the content is well worth your preparing your heart for being affected by God’s Love and True Truth contained herein.
Please be prudent… and circumspect… dig deep into the reserves of your reason, wisdom, and urgency to apply God’s Love and True Truth to your heart (core beliefs), spirit (emotions), and faith life lived out… for the advancement of God’s Kingdom and redemptive plan.
Please be patient… and when the language, meaning, and richness of the content so loving provided by the authors requires slowing down, chewing well, ingesting deeply, and compelling you to share with others… don’t rush the process of how the Holy Spirit transforms our hearts of stone into a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19; 36:26; 2 Corinthians 3:3).
How we treat God’s Love and True Truth today (Psalm 95:7-8) not only determines how purposeful we spend our present time on earth… but will have a direct bearing on how we spend our time for eternity in heaven—RE: earth restored to its original and perfect state!
Plank of the Faith: Article 33: The Sacraments (making the invisible visible)
“We believe that our good God, mindful of our crudeness and weakness, has ordained sacraments for us to seal His promises in us, to pledge His good will and grace toward us, and also to nourish and sustain our faith.
He has added these to the Word of the gospel to represent better to our external senses both what He enables us to understand by His Word and what He does inwardly in our hearts, confirming in us the salvation He imparts to us.
For they are visible signs and seals of something internal and invisible, by means of which God works in us through the power of the Holy Spirit. So they are not empty and hollow signs to fool and deceive us, for their truth is Jesus Christ, without Whom they would be nothing.
Moreover, we are satisfied with the number of sacraments that Christ our Master has ordained for us. There are only two: The sacrament of Baptism and the Holy Supper of Jesus Christ.” (Articles 30, 31, 32, The Belgic Confession of Faith, 1561—emphasis added)
I'm looking forward to a delicious and heart-nourishing meal of Article 34: The Sacrament of Baptism when we meet at The Training Table again!