THE CANONS OF DORT
(THE DECISION OF THE SYNOD OF DORT ON THE FIVE MAIN POINTS OF DOCTRINE IN DISPUTE IN THE NETHERLANDS)

All Christians in our country should know the difference between the Reformed Faith and Arminianism. Below are eight sermons of a series preached by Rev. Greg Lubbers at the Covenant Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa.

The Doctrinal standards of Reformed churches in Europe are The Belgic Confession of Faith, The Heidelberg Catechism, and The Canons of Dort. These are sometimes referred to as the Three Forms of Unity. For there to be unity in practice, there must be unity in belief.

The Belgic Confession of Faith 1561 and The Heidelberg Catechism 1563 produced in Europe are in full agreement with the Westminster Confession of Faith 1647, the Westminster Larger 1648, and the shorter Catechism 1647 produced in English-speaking countries.

These all teach the same Reformed faith. Between 1560 and 1609, Jacob Arminius, a theological professor at Leiden University, differed from the Reformed faith in several important ways.

WEEK 1 – March 17, 2024

Sovereignty in Salvation: An Intro to the Canons
Rev. Greg Lubbers

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 12
I. The Purpose of the Canons
     A. To Defend the Faith
     B. To Pastor the Persons
II. The Focus of the Canons
     A. The Relationship between God and Man
     B. The Reconciliation of God and Man
III. The Emphasis in the Canons
     A. The Sovereignty of God
     B. The Work of Christ

WEEK 2 – March 24, 2024

Sovereignty in Salvation: Redemption Planned
Rev. Greg Lubbers

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1:1-14, Page 1342
Sermon Text: Canons of Dordt, 1.7, Forms & Prayers, 260
I. The Occasion for Redemption Planned
     A. A Historical Humanity
     B. An Eternal Decree
II. The Focus in Redemption Planned
     A. The Explanation of the Focus
     B. The Proclamation of the Focus
III. The Display in Redemption Planned
    A. The Attributes in the Display
    B. The Response to the Display
Rev. Greg Lubbers

WEEK 3 – April 7, 2024

God’s Calling of Young Out of This Life
Rev. Greg Lubbers

Scripture Reading: Matthew 19:13-15
Sermon Text: Canons of Dort, 1.17
I. The Question
     A. A Controversial Question
     B. A Practical Question
II. The Answer
     A. A Biblical Answer
     B. A Covenantal Answer
III. The Implications
     A. For Our Actions as Christian Parents
     B. For Our Comfort as Grieving Parents
 

Article 17: The Salvation of Deceased Infants of Believers
Since we must make judgments about God’s will from his Word, which testifies that the children of believers are holy, not by nature but by virtue of the gracious covenant in which they together with their parents are included, godly parents ought not to doubt the election and salvation of their children whom God calls out of this life in infancy.

WEEK 4  – April 21, 2024

Sovereignty in Salvation: Redemption Accomplished
Rev. Greg Lubbers

Scripture Reading: Romans 3:21-26
Sermon Text: Canons of Dort, 11.8
I. By a Necessary Satisfaction
     A. In Light of Man’s Sin
     B. In Light of God’s Justice
II. By a Sufficient Satisfaction
     A. The Sufficiency Explained
     B. The Sufficiency Proclaimed
III. By a Particular Satisfaction
     A. For Elect Persons
     B. For Worshipping Congregations
 

Article 8: The Saving Effectiveness of Christ’s Death
For it was the entirely free plan and very gracious will and intention of God the Father that the enlivening and saving effectiveness of his Son’s costly death should work itself out in all his chosen ones, in order that he might grant justifying faith to them only and thereby lead them without fail to salvation. In other words, it was God’s will that Christ through the blood of the cross (by which he confirmed the new covenant) should effectively redeem from every people, tribe, nation, and language all those and only those who were chosen from eternity to salvation and given to him by the Father; that he should grant them faith (which, like the Holy Spirit’s other saving gifts, he acquired for them by his death); that he should cleanse them by his blood from all their sins, both original and actual, whether committed before or after their coming to faith;p that he should faithfully preserve them to the very end; and that he should finally present them to himself, a glorious people, without spot or wrinkle.

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WEEK 5  – April 28, 2024

Sovereignty in Salvation: Redemption Applied Pt.1
Rev. Greg Lubbers

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 2:1-10
Sermon Text: Canons of Dort, III/IV
I. The Universal Corruption of Humanity
     A. The Object of the Universal Corruption
     B. The Cause of the Universal Corruption
II. The Condemned Corruption of Humanity
     A. The Explanation of the Condemned Corruption
     B. The Reason for the Condemned Corruption
III. The Paralyzing Corruption of Humanity
     A. The Description of the Paralyzing Condition
     B. The Remedy for the Paralyzing Condition
 

Article 3: Total Inability
Therefore, all people are conceived in sin and are born children of wrath, unfit for any saving good, inclined to evil, dead in their sins, and slaves to sin; without the grace of the regenerating Holy Spirit, they are neither willing nor able to return to God, to reform their distorted nature, or even to dispose themselves to such reform.

Article 4: The Inadequacy of the Light of Nature
There is, to be sure, a certain light of nature remaining in man after the fall, by virtue of which he retains some notions about God, natural things, and the difference between what is moral and immoral, and demonstrates a certain eagerness for virtue and for good outward behavior. But this light of nature is far from enabling man to come to a saving knowledge of God and conversion to him – so far, in fact, that man does not use it rightly even in matters of nature and society. Instead, in various ways he completely distorts this light, whatever its precise character and suppresses it in unrighteousness. In doing so he renders himself without excuse before God.

WEEK 6  – May 5, 2024

Sovereignty in Salvation: Redemption Applied Pt.2
Rev. Greg Lubbers

Sermon Text: Canons of Dort, III/IV.11
I. The Means of Regeneration
     A. The External Proclamation of the Gospel
     B. The Internal Operation of the Spirit
II. The Effect of Regeneration
     A. Within the Soul
     B. Upon the Person
III. The Result of Regeneration
     A. The Exercise of Faith
     B. The Attitude of Humility
 

Article II: The Holy Spirit’s Work in Conversion

Moreover, when God carries out this good pleasure in his chosen ones, or works true conversion in them, he not only sees to it that the gospel is proclaimed to them outwardly, and enlightens their minds powerfully by the Holy Spirit so that they may rightly understand and discern the things of the Spirit of God, but, bu the effective operation of the same regenerating Spirit, he also penetrates into the inmost being of man, opens the closed heart, softens the hard heart, and circumcises the heart that is uncircumcised. He infuses new qualities into the will, making the dead will alive, the evil one good, the unwilling one willing, and the stubborn one compliant; he activates and strengthens the will so that, like a good tree, it may be enabled to produce the fruits of good deeds.

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