Incoraggiamento & conforto


“Perciò, fratelli miei carissimi, state saldi, incrollabili, sempre abbondanti nell’opera del Signore, sapendo che la vostra fatica non è vana nel Signore” (I Corinzi 15:58).

Come cristiani, non stiamo riparando una macchina che deve essere rottamata, non stiamo restaurando un dipinto che sarà gettato nel fuoco, né piantiamo fiori e piante in un giardino sul quale verrà edificato un palazzo. Piuttosto, le nostre fatiche contribuiscono a qualcosa di ciò che a suo tempo sarà parte della nuova creazione.

Ogni atto d’amore, gratitudine e gentilezza; ogni poesia o brano musicale sull’amore di Dio e sulla bellezza della creazione; ogni minuto speso per aiutare un bimbo disabile a leggere o a camminare; ogni gesto per curare, confortare e sorreggere un altro essere umano e qualsiasi altra creatura; e naturalmente ogni preghiera, ogni insegnamento in Spirito e in verità, ogni opera per l’annuncio del vangelo e per l’edificazione della chiesa, ogni sforzo per abbracciare e incarnare la santità invece che la corruzione affinché il nome di Gesù sia onorato nel mondo : tutto questo perdurerà nella vita della nuova creazione di Dio, mediante la potenza divina della risurrezione.

Grazie alla risurrezione di Cristo, tutto ciò che di buono facciamo per mezzo dello Spirito non è né vano né andrà perduto.

Buona giornata nel Signore :)

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Make theology great again !!!


You may be asking yourself – as I am asking myself today – what are we to do in 2017 ?

The late John B. Webster helps us to think : “One thing we might do is to try day by day to grasp something which is the simplest and yet the hardest thing for any of us to grasp: that the gospel is true; that growth in the Christian life is simply growth in seeing that the gospel is true; that Jesus Christ is the preeminent reality of all things. There’s no technique here, no special insight for which we must hope, no extra illumination which we might expect. It’s simply a matter of listening to the gospel often enough and hard enough until it comes to take up residence in our hearts and minds and desires. More than anything, we need to ask God to help us steady our lives around what the gospel declares to us: that we, the damned, have been delivered from hell, that we have been set free for life and liberty in the kingdom of Jesus Christ” (Confronted by Grace, pp. 20-21).

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Make theology great again !!!


In an essay on the place of the doctrine of justification, the late John Bainbridge Webster recalls Luther’s beginning of the Schmalkald Articles, where the Reformer points briefly to “the lofty articles of the divine majesty”. Webster comments that “it is the recovery of just these lofty articles which is required for a good ordering of the church’s confession about justification: there is nowhere else to begin”.

Then, looking at these softly articles, Webster makes the following observation about justification. “God’s righteousness in se is made known ad extra not in delivering the creature over to the penalty of the law but in the supreme act of fellowship, in which he takes the creature’s penalty upon himself”.

Is that not lofty and great ?

May God assist us to recover the lofty articles of our faith and make theology great again in our Western world, both in Italy and North America !!!

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Rev. Micheal Brown’s visit


On occasion of our annual Conference on the Reformation for 2016 we benefited from the teaching of pastor Michael Brown from San Diego.

Pastor Brown spoke on Benedetto Fontanini from Mantua and of his precious gem “The Benefit of Christ’s Death”. After a biographical sketch, we considered the central theme of the book, namely the distinction between law (covenant of works) and gospel (covenant of grace). In the last session we thought about some pastoral applications on the importance of keeping focussed this distinction in the life of the church and in our Christian daily walk. In the two Lord’s Days he spent with us, pastor Brown expounded the book of Jonah, the hardened prophet, exhorting us to us to have a merciful attitude towards others as God himself. Since all of us are more or less like Jonah, we learn not to despise those who do not know the grace of God or those believers who think differently from us. Moreover, with the participation of elder Dan Palmer who came along pastor Brown for a week, we had two meetings with our elders and deacon reasoning on the life of our own church Filadelfia and on our future plans.

We repeated the conference on Benedetto from Mantua in Turin in the Turin Reformed Church. Moreover, in Turin we had a meeting in an evangelical bookshop in which we considered the book “Sacred Bond”, an introduction to covenant theology written by pastor Brown (along with Z. Keele).

Besides Milan and Turin we also visited Perugia, where we encouraged a group of reformed believers of that city in central Italy. We reasoned with them about the best ways to serve them more constantly and concretely until God will call a pastor for them.

Lastly, we spent four days in Bucharest, Romania, where we encouraged Rev Mihai Corcea and the other believers of the group. On the Lord’s Day our brother Cludiu Stefu was ordained as the first elder of what we pray will be soon fully organized as the reformed church of Bucharest.

We are grateful for the strength God gave us to do much in a few days and we ask you to remember in your prayers Milan, Turin, Perugia in Italy and Bucharest in Romania.


Your brother in Christ,
Andrea Ferrari.

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Just a note for my American brothers and sisters in the Lord !!!

On occasion of Thanksgiving your brothers and sisters in Italy – in Milan, Turin, Perugia and Lecce, – express their thankfulness to God for all of you.

We are especially grateful for your continuing in prayer on our behalf.

Even though we are far away, we are united spiritually and we rejoice with a sense of privilege as we bow down with you recognizing God’s merciful provisions.

Most of all, we are grateful because all the blessings and provisions we received show us God’s greatest provision, namely the grace we received in Christ thorough the gospel and we are strengthened as we think that “he who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will also with him graciously give us all things”.


Your fellow pilgrim,

Pastor Andrea Ferrari.

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Let us Pray for Youths to Study Sacred Letters

 The Italian reformer Peter Martyr Vermigli trained a good number of ministers and theologians in Strasbourg, at Oxford University, and in Zurich. Vermigli had a passion for teaching the youth and in one of the few of his surviving sermons he exhorts a gathering of students by saying: “I congratulate you, my fine audience, on your zeal in gathering together so often to listen to the interpretation of sacred letters” (Peter Martyr Vermigli, “Exhortation for Youths to Study Sacred Letters”, The Peter Martyr Library, V, p. 277). Towards the end of his exhortation, Vermigli urges the students in the following manner: “By God immortal, I beg you, let us pull together our work, I by teaching, you by listening. Let us apply ourselves with supreme diligence to the word of God. We are called theologians and that is how we want to be known. Let us live up to our name and profession unless we should prefer being patrologists instead of theologians. Our profession absolutely requires us to deal with the words of God. In this matter we pay the highest honor to God” (Peter Martyr Vermigli, “Exhortation for Youths to Study Sacred Letters”, The Peter Martyr Library, V, p. 284).

As we think about the importance of the sacred ministry of word and sacraments, and that in it we pay the highest honor to God, let us pray for two young man who are studying at Westminster Theological Seminary in California with the view to come back to Italy to labor as pastors/church planters.

YI WANG came to Italy from China and became a Christian in Italy. Before attending Seminary Yi spent four years as a member of Chiesa Riformata Filadelfia of Milan, Italy. He is 27, he is married with Huimin, and is in his second year at Seminary.

VINCENZO COLUCCIA comes from a reforming evangelical church in Turin, Italy. A former engineer, he is 35 and is attending his first year at Seminary.

We deeply appreciate your praying with us, with the same passion of Vermigli, for more laborers in Italy.

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“Peace be with you”: Vermigli on John 20:19

If we look deeply at the world or at ourselves, there is never any reason for joy. Indeed, they rather furnish reason for weeping. We are often so sad both because of our guilty consciences and because of the darkness of our mind and the weakness of our will. The fear of hell draws near, and besides many calamities attack us, and unless Christ is present, our lives turn sour. But he comes to us, and if we embrace him with faith, then everything becomes peaceful, and like the apostles we are filled with joy at the sight of the Lord. Since the gospel is the joyous news, through it Christ comes to us and makes us happy. Christ our Lord is not like the lords of this world. If they come, they bring oppression, exact tribute and never come empty-handed. Let us see, what will he bring? The peace, and joy, and the certainty of resurrection. Peace has two aspects. One removes things that disturb and foster trouble. The other allows things which cause affliction still to remain but consoles and strengthens our souls so that they are strong and not passive but happy and joyous. The first is the peace of the world, the second is the peace of God.


Peter Martyr Vermigli, “A Sermon on a passage in John, Chapter 20:19-23”, The Peter Martyr Library, V, pp. 229-230).

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On the recent earthquake in Italy

You put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?”

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,

As you have known about the earthquake that yesterday hit Central Italy, I write to assure you that all the people of our church Filadelfia and the groups associated with it in Turin and Perugia are doing well. Also PCA missionary Mike Cuneo and the people of the church plant in Viterbo are well. The epicenter of the earthquake was located in the area between the cities of Rieti and Ascoli, only 50 miles North of L’Aquila in the Abruzzo region, which was badly hit by another earthquake seven years ago.

Even though we are grateful that our closest Christian friends are safe, we deeply grieve for another tragedy as we look at human suffering. And yet, our deepest mourning arises from the fact that very few Italians are looking to the hope of the gospel to find comfort in life and death. We therefore ask you to join us in prayer for the Italian people, asking God that in their sorrow they may find consolation in the God of all comfort.

And as we pray in this valley of tears, in the days of our earthly pilgrimage, let us receive assurance that God is keeping all of our tears in bottle, keeping record of them, in view of the day in which He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, when death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

With warm Christian greetings,
Pastor Andrea Ferrari.

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From Budapest to Milan and Back Again

Being part of the Chiesa Filadelfia in Milan was one of the greatest blessing from God in the last few months.

My name is Judit and I am a 23 years old student from Hungary. I spent the last six months in Milan with the Erasmus Exchange Program. During the summer while I was preparing for the journey, I was looking for a Reformed Church in Milan and at one point I found the web page of Filadelfia. I have been going to a Reformed Church in Budapest since my childhood, but ever since I came to faith in Christ, it has been very important to me to be a member of a community where the Word of God is at the center. My church in
Budapest is like this, but I knew that such churches are hard to find. I had some doubts about finding a biblical Reformed Church in Italy, but I was sure, that God would prepare a place. I was praying for the following months to meet some other Christians, so that I could grow in faith. I was sure, that God prepared my journey to Italy and I was sure that He would take care of my every step I had to take. When I read the web page of this church, I became hopeful because, among all the other churches I found, it seemed to be the most faithful. I wrote an email to Pastor Andrea Ferrari telling him that I was planning to visit their community during the semester, and I also asked for some help to find accommodations. The way he helped and responded assured me that God had guided me to the right place.

I will never forget the first day I arrived to Milan. I spent the first few days in the home of the Ferraris before I could move into my apartment. From the very beginning I knew that one of the best gift of God during these months would be to know them and live near their place. It was really a great blessing spending time with their dear family: I learned so much from them! I didn’t know yet that they would be for me like a second family.

The first time I went to the church was a Thursday evening prayer meeting. Before praying, we read the 23th Psalm. It was very encouraging to meditate on the psalm, and then listen to the prayers of the brothers and sisters in the church. It is not easy to become a member of a community. Even though I was shy in the beginning and I couldn’t speak Italian very well, the way the brothers and sisters prayed for me and the way they welcomed me was so significant that I felt at home among them. I partook of the Lord’s Supper knowing that we are one in Christ and that our fellowship is a wonderful gift from God.

It was also interesting to see how the things went while Pastor Andrea was away in the USA; how he wrote pastoral letters during that period, and how the elders led the worship services. I am not sure that it would be like this in other churches. When I heard the elders talking about the Gospel, it was in harmony with the sermons of Pastor Andrea. I wish it would be like this in every church, where Elders support and help their Pastor!

I am inexpressibly grateful to God for getting to know the members of the church one by one. Everyone was always very kind to me and I remember all of them in my prayers even now while I am at home in Budapest. I have so many beautiful memories of the Thursday evenings and Sundays I spent among these dear brothers and sisters: their kindness, their jokes, the love they expressed towards me from the beginning, the monthly agape meal, the hymns we sang together. The families of the church were a very good example for me. I learned a lot during this period by seeing the lives of the elders. I have many Christian friends in Hungary and I know a lot of Christian families, so this was not a knew experience, but it was wonderful to meet new people from the other parts of the world – Italians, Americans, and also Chinese – who believe in the same Savior, adore the same God and base their lives on the same Word.

When I think back to this semester I spent in Italy, before all the other beautiful memories I had at university and on my trips with the other friends, the first thing that comes into my mind, and the thing for which I am the most grateful is that I had the opportunity to fellowship with this church, even for a short time, which passed too quickly. The communion of those dear saints is what I miss the most. Lords Supper

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Watch and Pray, that You May Not Enter into Temptation


In 1556 – fourteen years after he fled from Lucca to save his life – Vermigli wrote a letter to the Brethren at Lucca with a broken heart. The reason for his extreme sadness was that with the election of Giampiero Carafa as pope Paul IV, the Counter-Reformation in Italy became intensely violent and repressive. Instead of showing a brave Christian heart, Vermigli’s former fellow pilgrims in Lucca renounced the faith. Writing as a faithful pastor, Vermigli tried to make them think about the cause of their sin. It seems that the people belonged to the upper society of Lucca. They owned homes and villas and had connections with the urban nobility and rich merchants (“Letter No. 152, To the Brethren at Lucca”, The Peter Martyr Library, V, pp. 159, 167).

For this reason, Vermigli made plain to them what follows: “I judge that nothing draws people from an initial desire for faith except the love of riches, that is, wealth and honors are either obtained or are preserved after they have been obtained. These are the rocky soil on which the good seeds of the word of God can neither send down roots nor hold fast; these are the thorns which suffocate and destroy holy doctrine” (“Letter No. 152, To the Brethren at Lucca”, The Peter Martyr Library, V, p. 158).

Then, urging them to repentance, he denounced the sins of procrastination and laziness in times of peace: “You did not prepare your hearts for dealing with the dangers that were becoming more threatening every day. […] For what purpose do you think that God our excellent Father sometimes gives us peace? So that we can dissipate our flesh in the delights and pleasures of this world? So that for a time, indeed for too long, we can put aside zeal for divine worship, the exercises of our faith, good deeds, and prayers and devote ourselves to the accumulation of gold, silver, possession, and riches? […] God sometimes grants tranquil times so that we can weigh in comfort the Holy Spirit has granted us and how prepared we are for bearing the crosses that threaten” (“Letter No. 152, To the Brethren at Lucca”, The Peter Martyr Library, V, p. 161).

In our own days, we must be prepared to suffer for Jesus, for “our identity with Jesus will win for us from the world the same response the world has for Jesus” (Donald A. Carson, The Intolerance of Tolerance, p. 175). May our triune God help us to live wisely in these days of relative peace and freedom!

~ Pastor Andrea Ferrari

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