We have been enjoying messages on the Covenant of Grace by Rev. Audred Spriensma in our weekly Reformed Witness Hour broadcasts. Rev. Spriensma was kind enough to share a bit about himself, his ministry and why the topic of the covenant of grace is so important to him.
I have been a minister of the Gospel for almost forty years. Like Elisha of old, I was taken from the fields of the farm to bring God’s Word. My first twelve years as a pastor were in the Christian Reformed Denomination serving the Atwood CRC in MI and then Bethany CRC in South Holland, Illinois. In 1992, I underwent a classical exam to enter the Protestant Reformed Churches. I have served the Grandville PRC, Foreign Missionary to the Philippines, Kalamazoo PRC, Byron Center PRC, and currently am the domestic missionary for the churches.
One of the reasons that I switched denominations was the doctrine of the covenant. This is a most glorious and comforting doctrine. Most Reformed churches teach the covenant as an alliance, pact, or an agreement between God and man, a means whereby God saves his own. The Protestant Reformed Churches teach that the Covenant of Grace is a relationship of friendship that God alone establishes with his elect people in Jesus Christ. The goal of salvation is that we might be taken up into fellowship with God, now already by faith, and one day in the new heavens and new earth. It is a unilateral, unconditional, eternal relationship which is unbreakable. It is a covenant of grace. We do not deserve it or earn it in any way. Rather God sees our desperate sin and misery and helps and delivers us by the blood of Jesus which washes away our sins. We are made righteous in Christ’s atonement. He is the only way to the Father.
Our faith and obedience is the fruit of God’s work within us. Faith and obedience are our obligation in the covenant, not conditions of it. God saves us that we might be “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people: that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (I Pet. 2:9).
I desire that others may have a better understanding of this beautiful truth of the covenant. This is the reason that I accepted the call to become a missionary again. It is also why I have chosen to do a series of sermons on the Covenant of Grace. Radio ministry had been a part of my work already in the CRC, each Sunday broadcasting our worship services on radio and later preparing shorter messages for Family Radio. I am delighted to speak now on the Reformed Witness Hour. May the Lord bless this ministry for the gathering and equipping of his people.
Pastor Missionary Audred Spriensma