Archives for August 14, 2012

The Beauty and Glory of the Father

We are days away from this year’s Puritan Reformed Conference (August 23–25, at Calvin Prince Center, Grand Rapids, Michigan), and I cannot express how excited we are about this year’s theme, The Beauty and Glory of the Father.

Spurgeon once said, “Nothing will so enlarge the intellect and magnify the whole soul of man as a devout, earnest, continued investigation of the whole subject of the Trinity. The proper study of the Christian is the Godhead. The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls the Father.”

Here are the topics and speakers:

—Jerry Bilkes, Father and Son in the Exodus (Hos.11:1, etc.)

—Derek Thomas, The Holiness of the Father in the Old Testament and Seeing the Father in the Face of Jesus (Jn.14:9)

—Bart Elshout, The Father’s Love for His Son (Jn.3:35)

—Burk Parsons, The Father’s Beautiful Hand of Blessed Chastisement (Heb.12:4-13)

—Ryan McGraw – The Need for a Trinitarian Piety

—Joel Beeke, The Apostle John and the Puritans on the Father’s Adopting, Transforming Love

—William VanDoodewaard, The Father’s Mercy (1Pet.1:3-5)

Breakout Sessions:

  • David Murray, Counseling and the Fatherhood of God
  • Burk Parsons, The Glory of the Father in the High-Priestly Prayer of Christ (Jn.17)
  • Paul Smalley, Richard Sibbes on the Mercy and Faithfulness of the Father
  • William VanDoodewaard, Your Father in Heaven (Mt.5-7)

If you have not signed up for the conference, please do so now. Whether it is the entire conference or just one day, you will not want to miss this wonderful opportunity to learn more about God, the Father. Whether you are young or old, single or married, you will not want to miss this year’s conference. Call Chris Hanna at the seminary soon to register. He may be reached at 616.977.0599 ext.138. You may also register online, or at the door. The entire three-day event is only $90 per person; a one-day registration is just $30 per person and you can even mix and match your sessions.

Consider Christ in Affliction (II): The Passion of Christ

In the midst of your sufferings—whether the heart-grinding pain of the worst of days, or the ordinary disappointments and sadness of everyday—through it all, consider Christ. He is the heartbeat of Christianity, and the strength of the sufferer.

First and foremost, consider the passion of Christ. What greater source of strength for living through and profiting from affliction can be had than frequent meditation on the sufferings of the Lord Jesus? Think much on these things: If Jesus suffered so much on behalf of His people, shouldn’t I be able to endure in His strength the daily afflictions I must bear? What are my afflictions compared to His? Besides, was He not the Sufferer par excellence while wholly innocent, and am I not, at best, a sufferer in His footsteps while wholly guilty?

Moreover (and this may be most encouraging), is there one affliction that I must endure that He has not already endured? Is He not the Breaker to go before His flock both in opening all our paths (Micah 2:13) and in being tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15)? All paths, all points. Jesus not only knows your affliction, He has identified himself with it. He has borne it. And He will sanctify it. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13).