Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 3 April, 2016
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind ...” (Rom. 12:2)
Morning Service - 11:00 AM
God's Attributes of Goodness (6)
God’s Love (I)
Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 7:1-16
Text: Deuteronomy 7:7-8
I. The Meaning of It
II. The Expression of It
III. The Response to It
Psalms: 87:1-7; 136:9-18; 11:1-7; 37:28-36
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
God's Attributes of Goodness (7)
God’s Love (II)
Scripture Reading: Romans 5:1-11
Text: Romans 5:5, 8
I. Its Holy Character
II. Its Chief Manifestation
III. Its Shedding Abroad
Psalms: 116:1-8; 136:19-26; 26:1-8; 119:113-120
For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services,
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart
or the elders
CPRC Website: www.cprc.co.uk • Live Webcast:
CPRC YouTube: www.youtube.com/cprcni
CPRC Facebook: www.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
Quote to Consider
Francis Turretin: “A threefold love of God is commonly held;
or rather there are three degrees of one and the same love.
First, there is the love of benevolence by which God willed
good to the creature from eternity; second, the love of
beneficence by which he does good to the creature in time
according to his good will; third, the love of complacency
by which he delights himself in the creature on account of
the rays of his image seen in them. The two former precede
every act of the creature; the latter follows (not as an
effect its cause, but as a consequent its antecedent). By
the love of benevolence, he loved us before we were; by the
love of beneficence, he loves us as we are; and by the love
of complacency, he loves us when we are (viz., renewed after
his image). By the first he elects us; by the second, he
redeems and sanctifies us; but by the third, he gratuitously
rewards us as holy and just. John 3:16 refers to the first;
Eph. 5:25 and Rev. 1:5 to the second; Is. 62:3 and Heb. 11:6
to the third” (Institutes of Elenctic Theology, vol. 1, p.
Herman Hoeksema: “A thousand voices from within loudly
clamor that we are corrupt, that we cannot stand in
judgment, that we sin and increase our guilt daily, that we
must be condemned ... But God commended his love toward us.
In the inky darkness that envelopes us there shines a light
that will never be extinguished, we know. It is the light of
the all-enduring love of God, shining from the face of the
man of sorrows on Calvary” (All Glory to the Only Good God,
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
Rev. McGeown’s letter to the PRC is on the back table today.
Monday evening’s Catechism classes - end of year tests for the first two classes
5:45 PM - Taylor, Josh, Corey, Bradley & Samuel (Beginners OT, book 2)
6:30 PM - Alex & Nathan (Seniors OT)
7:15 PM - Jacob & Joseph (Heidelberg Catechism, book 1)
The Council meets tomorrow evening, 4 April, at 8 PM.
The Tuesday Bible study meets at 11 AM to study Israel’s food laws.
The Belgic Confession Class will meet this Wednesday at 7:45
PM to look at the gathering of Christ’s church (in
connection with Article 27).
Rev. Stewart lectures in Port Talbot,
S. Wales this Thursday
at 7:15 PM on “Who Is in the Image of God?” Please remember
this witness in your prayers.
Ladies’ Bible Study meets this Friday at 10:30 AM at the
The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel
846MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. R. Kleyn is entitled “Last Days’
Pleasure Madness” (II Tim. 3:1-5).
S. Wales, Thursday, 12 May, 7:15 PM, Rev. McGeown on “Christian Wisdom.”
Offerings: General Fund: £711.85.
Website Additions: 2 Hungarian and 2 Italian translations.
Programs and Preservation
Brian D. Dykstra
Proverbs 2:8-9: “He keepeth the paths of judgment, and
preserveth the way of his saints. Then shalt thou understand
righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good
While walking into Grandville High School’s Auditorium last
Friday, I happened to meet Miss A. Lubbers and Miss W. Koole.
I expressed some surprise at seeing them coming to Hope
School’s Program. Miss Lubbers joked about checking to see
if we were maintaining valued traditions. Becoming earnest,
which she often does about covenant education, she then
wondered whether the fathers and grandfathers who started
Hope School more than fifty years ago could imagine their
tiny school presenting a program with more than 240 students
participating. Indeed, God has been good. He has preserved
us, and three other area grade schools, in His faithfulness.
But are we always totally confident of the future? The shots
being fired on the spiritual battle lines will not be fired
with less anger. The hatred of the wicked will not transform
from burning flames to ash-covered embers. The world’s
judgment of true Christianity will not be one that will
accommodate us and leave us a place in which to live.
Earthly peace and security would not appear to be our future
lots in life.
Remember, God kept all His promises to His Old Testament
saints. He brought them to the promised land, while driving
out the enemy. He brought them back from captivity. He
realized the promise of the coming of the long-awaited
Messiah. However, what if He fails to keep just one of His
promises—the promise to preserve His church and saints even
to the end? What if those saints dressed in white robes and
found beneath the altar waiting for God to avenge their
deaths never see that great day?
In Proverbs 2:8, God promises to keep the paths of judgment.
My concordance tells me the path mentioned here is the
customary road, the road usually travelled. God will watch
over and reserve this path for us. He is not suddenly going
to change the manner in which His judgment is given by using
a new and different path. At the end of time, He will not
suddenly change the law so that the evil are now good in His
eyes and the righteous are now evil. The world does this but
not the unchanging God. He walks the customary road.
The judgment of God is coming. The wicked try to deny this.
They turn to their drugs, adultery and entertainment to dull
or busy their minds so they do not have opportunity to think
of God’s judgment. Nevertheless, His judgment will come. God
will form an opinion of each man. He will compare each man
to the perfect standard of His law and discern whether that
man is good or evil. He will then reward each man according
to his works.
We give thanks that we will not stand before this great
Judge as our own lawyers, trying to prove our innocence. No
silver-tongued oratory will get us out of this bind. Christ
will plead for His elect. Our guilt is taken away and His
perfect obedience is made ours through the gift of faith.
The “way” mentioned near the end of verse eight is the
trodden path. It is not the path used by the same person day
after day as he goes to the same field to tend his crops or
flocks. This is a path which is used by many. We have
company on this path, though it sometimes may seem not to be
so. God watches over this path to keep us in safety because
this is the way of His saints, not the path of every man.
The way of the wicked will not be preserved. Their way will
be destroyed in His judgment. Their path of evil and deceit
disgusts Him. The perfect One will not allow such a way to
exist in His presence after the last of His saints has been
We will understand what righteousness is when God preserves
the way of His saints. It is not the way of toleration which
the world praises so highly. Anything can be tolerated
today, except the truth. Our culture praises diversity, as
long as none of these diverse paths is the way of godliness.
We will know equity as well. Equity is not fairness, at
least not as man often uses the term. Equity is what is
upright. Again, the standard God uses for equity is His own
perfection which is revealed to us in His law.
We are encouraged to learn that God will keep the path of
judgment and preserve our way. How long we will be allowed
to maintain our own schools is uncertain. On the other hand,
we must also be careful not to take these blessings for
granted or to think our schools are no longer worth the
sacrifices necessary. It will not become easier.
Our children need to be reminded also that although Christ’s
church will number only a relative few in the last days, yet
we have the hope of the final victory of God’s cause. Press
forward on the way of the saints. Never doubt that it is the
good path. At the end of that path we will hear our Father
tell us, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant ...
enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”