Baptism

Hebrews 8

Read: Hebrews 8

That is what is promised to us in the new covenant and sealed to us in our baptism. Our baptism reminds us and confirms to us that through faith our sins are actually dealt with once and for all time. The forgiveness that is signified and sealed to us in our baptism is based on the reality of Jesus fully and finally paying the penalty for our sins. Because God’s justice has been served by Jesus’s death, that same justice requires that our sins can never be counted against us. And that registers in our own consciences so that the peace that we experience is much deeper and more profound than what was possible under the old covenant relationship between God and his people.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Genesis 17

Remembering and forgetting are spiritually significant in Scripture – at least when it comes to remembering or forgetting that we are in a relationship with God – that God is our God and that we are his people. We are to live consciously in the light of God’s promises and of his requirements for us. We are not to forget that we belong to God with all that that means for our lives. One of the purposes for the sign of the covenant is to keep our covenant relationship with God top-of-mind.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Genesis 15

And one of the promises that is most difficult to believe is that how God could ever forgive us for our sins and accept us as his people. Once the grace of God shows us even a little bit of how incredibly evil our sins really are, the thing that will seem to be most impossible of all is how God could ever do anything else but banish us from his presence forever. That God is willing to forgive us and embrace us as his beloved people is perhaps the most impossible thing of all once we understand even a little bit of what our sin must look like to God.
And then the covenant oath becomes very precious. And then our baptism becomes very precious because our baptism is the sign and seal of the covenant for those who have fled to Jesus for refuge.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Truths of the Reformation (11) The Sacraments

Jesus says that we are to do this in remembrance of him. We remember so that we do not forget. But remembering in the Bible is much more profound than that. By remembering we are actually taking part in the giving and receiving of the gospel. The past becomes a reality in the present. Jesus himself is with us offering himself and we are with him in receiving him by faith. It is symbolism, but it is pointing to something that is very real and very present.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Truths of the Reformation (10) Union With Christ

Separation between God and man is the reason for all that is wrong in the world and all that is wrong in our lives and the reason for that separation is sin. The biblical teaching about union with Christ is how that separation is overcome; it is about how we can have a close and intimate relationship with God. Union has to do with being united. It has to do with being one. And being one with God is at the heart of having a good life. It is at the heart of all blessing. This is what it means to be saved.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra