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What My Society Means To Me – December 1970

Another young people’s society season has begun. In fact, most of our societies have been meeting for several months by this time.
What is your reason for attending society meetings? How important is young people’s society to you? Are you an active, participating member? Do you hope to benefit in any way? I hope to answer these questions in this article and to show that we, as Protestant Reformed young people need to belong to a society and to be willing participants.
I am a member of the Senior Young People’s Society of the First Protectant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The constitution of our society states, “…the purpose of this society is mutual edification through the study of the Word of God and presentation of programs.”
Edification means to build up and instruct in spiritual things. God tells us to seek edification and to instruct one another. In Romans 14:19 we read, “let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” And also in I Thess. 5:11, “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.”
We can edify one another through the study of the Word of God at society meetings. This is a good opportunity. We can meet with fellow Christians in our own peer group to discuss God’s Word. Society opens the way for study of the Bible. If there weren’t society meetings, how much would we study the Bible?
At society meetings, seemingly difficult passages can be discussed and explained. Also proof texts for the doctrines of the Church are found. In the times that we live, it is important to know God’s Word and to know it well. Our Bibles may be taken away, but he wicked cannot steal what is locked away in our minds and hearts. Our society meetings are a privilege of which we must take advantage. The wicked world allows us to worship God as we please. But how much longer will we have this opportunity?
As members of young people’s societies, we have certain responsibilities. The success of a society meeting depends on participation by the members. Does most of the discussion come from the Bible leader? To have interesting discussion and profitable Bible study, there must be preparation. Do you come to society not knowing the contents of the passage to be discussed, or worse yet, not even knowing the Bible passage? Preparation includes reading of the chapter, studying commentaries, and asking questions. Good preparation means lively, interesting discussions.
As citizens of the U.S. we have a responsibility to learn about is history, government, and so on. But as Christians, we are citizens of the Kingdom of God. How much more shouldn’t we learn about our coming eternal home? Through the study of the Bible we learn more about God and His Kingdom.
Ephesians 6:11-17 states, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil…that he may be able to withstand in the evil day…stand therefore, having you loins gird about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness: and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace and take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”
These are the weapons we must use to protect ourselves. But to stand up and defend ourselves against the sneak attack and powerful force of the devil, we must know how to use our armour. What good is that sword, if we don’t know how to use it? What help is a Bible, if we don’t know what truths it contains? Knowledge of God’s Word is essential, and a good way to obtain it is through society meetings.
Another means of edification at society meetings is the program. This is another responsibility of society members. Are you willing to volunteer? Do you willingly give a program when asked? Young people have no problem talking about current events, such as, the war and the draft, or the big date last night. But when it comes to talking about spiritual things, which are the most important part of our lives, there seems to be no desire to speak up. The program is a continuation of the Bible discussion. We can help each other by discussing common problems and searching the Scriptures together for answers.
Young people’s societies will continue to meet week after week. Are these meeting going to become just something routine or will they mean something more? Where is your sword – hidden in some dark, corner, dull and rusty? Or are you armed and ready with that sharp sword of the Word of God, waiting for the battle?

Originally Published in:
Vol. 30 No. 10 February 1971