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2000 Issue 2

We read in the New Testament that our heavenly Father highly values a meek spirit in his children. Contrary to the modern focus upon asserting, vindicating, and glorifying the self, God calls us to a life of humble submission to him and self-abasement before men. Because meekness is such an important aspect of the godly man's character, its development must become a priority for all who call upon the name of Jesus Christ. In order to ascertain the nature, qualities, and rewards of meekness, we may turn to our Lord's famous statement in Matthew 5:5: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

The description of the Christian man as meek is the third beatitude in the opening section of Christ's famous sermon. It follows consequentially from the previous two. Meekness is present in the man who has come to know something of his sinfulness before God (poor in spirit) and is thus broken and contrite. Meekness, therefore, has a fundamental Godward reference, the effect of personal honesty respecting man's sinful condition and thankfulness for the grace of God revealed through Jesus Christ. Meekness leads us to accept humbly whatever circumstances he is pleased to bring our way, good or evil, without complaining, bitterness, or rebellion. Then, viewing himself biblically, the meek man is thus able to bear all manner of injury inflicted upon him by others with a patient, gentle, and forgiving spirit.

One of the most often neglected church activities is a weekly prayer meeting; This is a tragic omission, one which actually impedes the health and mission of the local church. In comparison to preaching services and Bible studies, a weekly prayer meeting's attendance is significantly less in many churches.

In truly Reformed churches, emphasis is placed upon the preaching and teaching of God's Word. While this is proper, corporate prayer meetings should likewise be given a place of prominence in the church's overall ministry. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. It is imperative, therefore, for church leadership to encourage its congregation to attend weekly prayer meetings. The congregation must be taught the vital importance that corporate prayer has in the life of the Christian.

First there is assigned to me the consideration of the doctrinal contents of the Confession, with its fundamental and regulative ideas. Should I attempt an examination of these heads at doctrine in the limited time allowed for these addresses, the result could be little more than a table of contents, dry and uninstructive to educated Christians. The Shorter Catechism already gives us such a summary of most of the heads treated in the Confession, and superior to anything which one man could now produce. All admit that the Confession embodies that system of revealed theology sometimes termed the Pauline, sometimes the Augustinian, and popularly the Calvinistic. Should we question prevalent public opinion as to the peculiar and dominant features of that system, it would point us to what are popularly termed the five points of Calvinism. But these propositions are themselves consequences or conclusions drawn from more ultimate principles. It is among these, then, that the fundamental and regulative ideas of the Confession are to be sought. These I conceive to be two: the supreme end of God's dispensations revealed in Scripture, and the constitution and attributes of the Godhead.

According to Roman Catholicism the main cause of misery, fragmentation and lawlessness in the world is the rejection of the infallibility of the Roman Catholic Church,the claim that the Roman Catholic Church has supreme, infallible, unaccountable judgment in matters of faith to which every person is bound to submit himself without question and in blind obedience. The living voice of the infallible Church is heard in the infallible Vicar of Christ, i.e., the pope in Rome.