Anko Scholtens: Lay Leader of Reformational Movement (5)

Herewith I continue my translation of Anko Scholten's Verbond en Kenmerken Prediking (Kampen, 1936):

"That’s why self-examination is necessary—daily self-examination—so that we constantly question whether we indeed live for our God as we must live, whether we give Him, as the faithful covenant God, the honor due His Name. We must have a holy walk and live in godliness through faith. That is the requirement of "childlike obedience." But never—no, never—do we have the right to doubt God’s faithfulness or the truth of His Word. Such doubt is a great sin.

This holy walk or the internal state of the heart, therefore, must never, ever be set forth as a condition for the reception of God’s promises. The same applies to our repentance, our acknowledgment of sin. We must not say, "we’re first going to examine ourselves to determine whether our spiritual life is aright in order thereafter, if we have found this —and who in truth would ever find that?—to believe God at his Word."

Our objective is not first to see sanctification in order then to exalt in justification. We must not first examine ourselves in order to determine whether our faith is genuine. Rather, we must begin by simply resting in God’s truth, first by acknowledging Him as Father and then in that faith fighting against all sin in the power of Him who gave His Word, His promise.

Isn’t it the case, however, that we often go to the requirement of the covenant only after we have examined ourselves whether we belong in the covenant. I can’t see this in any other way than a shortchanging of the trust and truth of God."

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