Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 5 April, 2015

“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

Listen and Wake Up! (1) 
The Rock Whence We Are Hewn
  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 50:1-51:3
Text: Isaiah 51:1-3

I. The Address
II. The Command
III. The Promise
Psalms: 47:1-9a; 102:15-21; 105:1-7; 105:8-14

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

The Spirit Searching the Deep Things of God  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: I Corinthians 2
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 8

I. The Searching Spirit
II. The Revealing Spirit
Psalms: 84:1-6; 102:22-28; 119:33-40; 143:6-11

For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services, contact Stephen Murray
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart or the elders

CPRC Website: • Live Webcast:
CPRC YouTube:
CPRC Facebook:

Quote to Consider

John Calvin on Isaiah 51:2: “How needful this consolation was to the Jews has been remarked by me a little before, and may be easily learned from their condition, which history plainly declares to have been wretched and unhappy. To us also, in the present day, amidst this distracted condition of the Church, it is highly necessary, that we may not be discouraged because our number is small, and that we may hope that God will increase his Church by unexpected methods. We behold a very clear and striking testimony of this in the blessing by which the Lord increased, even to extreme old age, the posterity of Abraham, who was childless and solitary. That promise relates not to the Jews only, but to other nations; and on this account also he ‘was no longer called Abram, but Abraham’ (Gen. 17:5).”

John Calvin: “There is no doubt that if our faith is properly founded on God, and strikes its roots deep in His Word, and if it is made thoroughly secure by the protection of the Spirit, as it ought to be, it will foster peace and spiritual joy in our minds even with the whole world in an uproar.”

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

We welcome Henry & Barb DeVries from Randolph PRC to our worship services.

John McAuley was admitted to Antrim Hospital on Friday due to chest pains. He has since been moved to Belfast City Hospital. Please remember John and the Murrays in your prayers.

The Tuesday Bible study and the Wednesday Belgic Confession Class will not meet this week. Rev. & Mary Stewart plan to attend the funeral of Mr. Willie Whitten in Scotland on Tuesday. Mr. Whitten was an attendee at the last BRF Conference, as well as previous conferences.

Lurgan Lecture: Rev. Stewart will speak at the Lurgan Town Hall on “The Threat of Rome to Protestant Churches Today” on Friday, 10 April, at 7:30 PM.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. R. Kleyn is entitled “Our Greatest Privilege” (Hebrews 10:19-21).

S. Wales Lecture: On Thursday, 23 April, Rev. McGeown will give a lecture on “Christian Comfort” at the Round Chapel in Port Talbot.

Offerings: General Fund - £795.88. Donations: £180 (DVDs), £84 (DVDs), £40 (CR News), $1,000 (£670.30).

Website Additions: 1 Russian, 2 Indonesian, and 4 Chinese translations.

PRC News: Rev. Decker (Trinity, MI) received the call to the Philippines.

“Shoulder Pressing Close to Shoulder”

Brian D. Dykstra


It is 3 July, 1863. The time is nearly three o’clock in the afternoon in what was, until the last three days, the quiet little town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. South of town rises Cemetery Hill. From this hill runs a ridge, Cemetery Ridge. This ridge runs south for about a mile before it finally dissipates. Two hills then rise. The smaller hill, Little Round Top, has a rocky summit which is clear of trees. Earlier in the battle soldiers described the fighting near this hill as being so bitter that blood stood in puddles on the ground.

The several thousand blue-clad men on Cemetery Ridge have just endured a two-hour artillery duel with the Confederate army, which lies about a mile to the west on a slight rise called Seminary Ridge. A shallow, open valley, bathed in sunshine and containing gentle rises and slopes, is between the armies. The Confederate guns have fallen silent as the Rebels prepare to attack.

Confederate colour bearers take their flags out of their cases. There is no wind to unfurl the red and blue flags, but sewn on them are the names of regiments from North Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. On command the men begin their march across the valley.

One spring, I stood on Cemetery Ridge and could not help but imagine the scene that day. I cannot say which I think took more courage, to march across that valley under fierce fire or to lay behind a low stone wall near some 5,000 men in blue as they waited for the arrival of some 11,000 men dressed in gray. Certainly, though, all the men there had to depend upon their comrades with whom, as the line from Dixie in the title of this article expresses, they were pressing shoulder to shoulder. If too many men sheltered along the low stone wall or advancing over the valley were to break rank and run, the fate of those left behind would be sealed.


Today, we stand in the ranks of an army facing a battle which is no less fierce than that of Gettysburg. There is a spiritual battle being waged. We are reminded of this, our constant struggle, in the Form for Baptism in the prayer of thanksgiving. There we beseech God to govern our baptized children that they might “... manfully fight against, and overcome sin, the devil and his whole dominion ...”

One of the fronts of this great spiritual struggle is entertainment. For the purpose of this analogy, and with apologies to my southern friends, we are on the ridge and under attack from a powerful host which seeks to destroy us. The enemy’s battle flags are out, and the dominion of Satan marches boldly beneath them. As their colourful banners unfurl they reveal regiments under ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. The banners of Disney and movie production companies are prominent in their ranks also. Among their drum and bugle corps are the acclaimed talents of the musical world.

In the face of this onslaught, we must stand shoulder to shoulder. We cannot leave the back door open slightly to allow the Back Street Boys to “enlighten” our youth about “love” with their lyrics. We cannot allow Tinkerbell to flit into covenant homes over the air waves or on DVD to “illuminate” covenant children on society’s morals.

If Robert E. Lee knew how to win victories in the face of long odds, Satan knows even better how to probe his enemy and penetrate defences. We do not live on isolated islands as families. We live as part of a community of believers as the body of Christ. What happens in each of our homes will have an effect on other homes. The battle is fierce and hot. We must help and be able to depend upon those serving in the lines with us. Are there openings in our lines because of the temptation to conform to the world? Then we had better be transformed to the will of God (Rom. 12:2). Are we in danger of being swept from the field on a rising tide of worldliness? Then we must heed our Commander’s call: “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (I Thess. 5:22). In Christ, the victory is ours.