A lecture series, entitled “The Covenant of Grace as Manifested in the Marks of the Church,” was sponsored by Hope’s Reformed Witness Committee. The series was divided into three parts, and it examined how God’s covenant is manifested with a true church of Jesus Christ, specifically by the marks of a true church. In Reformed theology, these marks are identified as 1) the pure preaching of the gospel, 2) the pure administration of the sacraments instituted by Christ, and 3) the exercising of Christian discipline in response to sin (Belgic Confession Article 29). David Engelsma, Ronald Cammenga, and Barry Gritters, professors at the Protestant Reformed Seminary, provide clear instruction on this unique topic.
By: Professor David Engelsma
What is the relationship between the preaching of the Word and the covenant? Paul instructs in 1 Corinthians 1:23, “We preach Christ crucified.” Hebrews 9:15 tells us that Jesus Christ “is the mediator of the new testament (covenant).” The Bible proclaims that Jesus is central in both the preaching and the covenant of grace. In this lecture David Engelsma, an emeritus professor of the Protestant Reformed Seminary, delves into the elements of this relationship between the covenant and the preaching. He also instructs us on what the preaching must make know about the covenant and what implications these truths have on the Christian’s obligations towards church membership.
By: Professor Ronald Cammenga
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the two sacraments required of the New Testament church to administer. These sacraments confirm and assure God’s promise to His people that they are in His covenant. Therefore, the covenant is closely related to the sacraments. Ronald Cammenga, professor in the Protestant Reformed Seminary, examines in this lecture the meaning of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, how they function as seals of God’s covenant to His people, and the importance that they hold in the life of the true church.
By: Professor Barry Gritters
Life in the covenant is fellowship with God in His holiness, by His holiness, promoting His holiness, and loving His holiness. This fellowship is not undermined by Christian discipline which removes someone living in impenitent sin from church fellowship. How can this be? Many in the world today would see the exercising of Christian discipline as a manifestation of hatred. But in 1 Corinthians 5, Paul examines a case of gross sin in the church and commands the Corinthians to “put away from yourselves that wicked person” (vs. 13). Barry Gritters, professor in the Protestant Reformed Seminary, instructs us in this very important subject and shows us how Christian discipline is a servant of the covenant of grace to maintain fellowship with a holy God in the church.