Anko Scholtens: Lay Leader of Reformational Movement (13)

Continuation of my translation of Scholtens' Verbond en Kenmerken Prediking.

. . . At this point in my understanding, after reading several different commentaries, I do not find Holy Scripture enjoining self-examination so as to facilitate answering the question, "Am I a believer, or not; am I regenerate, or not?" I’m now convinced that this way of seeking assurance is not the way of Scripture.

Needless to say I still want to note here that I don’t deny that there are covenant-breakers in church, under the preaching of the Word. Nor do I deny that the insistence on the requirement of covenant obedience accompanies the warning against the disobedient life that leads to perdition. I also have no opposition to the clear preaching of this covenant-threat now and then. I mean to suggest, quite apart from this, that covenantal preaching should exclude the insistence on investigating marks which prove that one is a believer.

Covenantal preaching will always, in the first place, pursue the right of the Covenant God and shall therefore endeavor to give the full, rich revelation of this God. It will not, therefore, concentrate on the question, "whether we’ll get there, " but it will mobilize us to be Christians, to be office-bearers, in order to fulfill our calling as covenant children.

Someone has said, "This preaching makes it very easy." Another has talked in this connection about "the imagined heaven" in which one really goes to hell. This accusation is both severe and untrue. Easy? To live in covenant-obedience? To deny oneself, completely? Not even being able to look for marks which then would still give one a little support? An imagined heaven which rests on the promises of God? Can one really say this? . . .

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