Anko Scholtens: Lay Leader of Reformational Movement (10)

Continuation of translation of Anko Scholten's Verbond en Kenmerken Prediking.

In this way the life of sanctification can blossom. We are no longer always preoccupied with ourselves, but with the object of our faith, our Lord Jesus Christ, who becomes increasingly precious to us, and with whom we increasingly concern ourselves until we are compelled outward to disseminate the rich treasures of the gospel of grace for sinners.

As eager children of God we listen to the Father’s call of duty, as it comes to us from His Word and we pray daily for diligence to fulfill our callings. Our self-examination in preparation for the Lord’s Supper, then, won’t begin with us doubting our status as children, but will involve us asking whether we’re attending to our responsibilities as covenant children and whether we’re producing the fruit of the Spirit. We don’t do this, I repeat, in order thereby to ascertain whether we belong— God has said we do —but to be encouraged in the strength of our Covenant-God, in whom we trust, to persevere until the consummation.

It seems fitting here to address some objections. In the first place, it is asked whether this line of thought doesn’t lead to misunderstanding and whether specifically it doesn’t devalue the work of the Holy Spirit? Isn’t faith a gift of God’s worked through the Holy Spirit? Doesn’t one forget with this line of thought that people, including covenant members, are incapable of doing any good and powerless to believe?

Let me begin by saying that I of course accept that the work of salvation is completely God’s work and that the Holy Spirit works faith through the preaching of the Word, through the covenant-rich preaching of the Word. That word comes to all covenant members with God’s demands, especially the demand of faith. Can the covenant member fulfill this "by himself"? In no way. Nor can anyone’s hand or foot move without the power God provides

But at the same time, the calling comes to us, God’s covenant children, through God’s appointed office-bearers, to fulfil our daily work and to covenant-obedience. In fact, we cannot separate these two. We are, as covenant members, as office-bearers called in all faithfulness to fulfill our offices. This applies to all our lives. And God, who calls us, is faithful. With the demand he also gives the ability, when we in faith anticipate this of Him

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