The Ninth Commandment (3) Loving with Our Words

Read: Exodus 20:16
Ephesians 4:17-32
Text: verse 29

God’s desire is for people to live together in harmony and love and a big part of that picture is people using their words to bless and serve one another rather than to hate and to harm one another. And this is something that he is working towards by means of his great plan of salvation. The words of our text are an exhortation that is addressed to followers of Jesus – to those who have been and are being saved from their sins.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Ninth Commandment (2) Speak the Truth

This is one of the things that it means to be a Christian. As the outworking of the new life in Christ, Christians are to put off their old self and put on the new self and the new self is like God. One of the things that the new life in Christ enables us to do is to begin to reflect the character of God in our lives. One of the great goals of our salvation is that we will reflect the character of God in the way that we live our lives. This is perfected only when we are glorified, but it begins in the here and now, and it involves the power of the Holy Spirit working in us and our own efforts by means of that power.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Troubler of Israel?

Read: 1 Kings 18:1-19
Text: Verse 17

The word of the Lord is a profoundly disturbing word to those who are unwilling to submit to the authority of God. The word of God promises peace and fulness of life to those who believe in Jesus and submit to him as Lord, but that is always on the far side of submission to the authority of God, repentance for sin and dying to self. And the call to repentance is offensive to those who think they have nothing to repent of. And so there will always be something about the message of God’s word that is troublesome for sinners.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Lord’s Supper

The Lord’s Supper is about Jesus reassuring us of his love and his grace by the repetition of these simple words and actions. “This is my body, which is for you.” Do not forget this! This is at the center. This is at the core of our spiritual wellbeing. This is what Jesus wants us to be reminded of again and again and again. This is what we are prone to forget. This is what the devil wants us to forget. The natural drift of our hearts is to forget this truth and to begin to think in terms of earning God’s favor.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Profession of Faith and Church Membership

Church membership is not intended to be a peripheral part of our lives. It is not intended to take up a few hours of our lives each week. That is very clear from the biblical teaching and that is what is reflected in the vowed for profession of faith and the explanation of them in our Form of Government. One verse that sums this all up is all up is 2 Corinthians 5:15 which says that Jesus “died for all that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” The rest of the New Testament spells this out in considerable detail when it describes the life that is to flow from the saving grace of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

How to Give Thanks for Greig’s 54 Years of Service as an Elder

It is right and proper for us to give thanks to God for the graces he has worked in other people’s lives. It is right and proper to give thanks to God for the service people have rendered to the church. But we do this in such a way as to exult in the grace of God in the gospel. Leaders are a gift to the church. God enables leaders and others in the church to serve with zeal and self-denial and love and faithfulness. But we are all sinners saved by grace. We are all worthy only of death. Our most holy acts are mixed with sin so that they alone are sufficient to condemn us. The reality is that in ourselves we are all capable of nothing but sin. We depend completely and absolutely on the forgiveness and righteousness of Christ. Anything that we do that is good and beneficial is the direct result of the grace and power of Christ through his Spirit.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra