Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 12
after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep
of thy mouth" (Ps. 119:88)
Morning Service -
Keeping the Sabbath in
Sabbath Desecration in Babylon [download]
I. The Attacks of Ungodly
II. The Failures of Church
III. The Ravages of Wild
Psalms: 31:19-24; 22:15-21;
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
Moses’ Fall [download]
I. The Situation at Kadesh
II. The Sin of Moses
III. The Judgment of God
Psalms: 138:1-6; 22:22-26;
Contact Sean Courtney
(firstname.lastname@example.org) for CDs of the sermons and
DVDs of the worship services.
CPRC website: www.cprc.co.uk
Quote to Consider:
Homer C. Hoeksema: "The Sabbath does not mean a
thing to the Babylonians; they cannot care less. Yet in that land where
the heathen do not know anything of the Sabbath, and where they do not
care about it, Israel must keep the Sabbath. As if all of this is not
bad enough, Israel has another handicap. Their watchmen, their leaders
who are responsible for guarding and protecting God’s people, have all
thrown themselves into the world" (Redeemed
with Judgment, vol. 2, p. 392).
Announcements (subject to God’s will):
We welcome Sam, Manuel and Emily-Kate from
Limerick to our worship services. All are welcome to stay for tea after
the evening service
Standard Bearers are available on the back table today.
With the successful recording of last Sunday’s
services using the new camcorder, DVDs of the services are now
available from Sean Courtney.
PM - Murrays
PM - Hamills
1:00 PM - Beginners OT Class at the manse
Midweek Bible Study meets on Wednesday, 7:45 PM
at the manse. We will consider I Peter 2:13-16 on submission to civil
The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day
(8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW), is entitled "Marvel at the Power of the
Risen Lord" (Philippians 3:20-21).
Ladies’ Bible Study will meet next Tuesday, 21
April, 10:15 AM, at the Murrays.
Lectures: Limerick, Thurs, 23
April, 7:30 PM - Calvin’s Battle for the Reformation (II)
S. Wales, Thurs, 7 May, 7:15 PM - Calvin’s Battle for the
Town Hall, Fri., 12 June, 8:15 PM - Calvin vs. Darwin: Anniversaries,
Origins and Worldviews
Fri., 10 July, 8 PM - Calvin’s Battle for the Reformation (I)
Fri., 17 July, 8 PM - Calvin’s Battle for the Reformation (II)
Jonathan & Caragh Moore are hosting a
home-schooling open house at their home (BT34 1SD) on Saturday, 2
May, from 11AM-6PM. Families interested in home-schooling and
home-schooling resources may come and go as they wish. Tea will be
provided, but bring your own pack lunch. Contact Caragh for more details
Martyn McGeown will be home from 27 May - 29
June. On 31 May, 7, 14 & 21 June, he will be preaching for us, and Rev.
Stewart will preach in Limerick.
Offerings: General Fund - £478.32. Building Fund
Website Additions: Two Italian translations were added.
This is part 1 of the 31st e-mail by Prof. Engelsma on
Dear European Forum,
In the divine act of justification the believing
sinner becomes truly, personally righteous.
This is due simply to the nature of the act of
justification: the righteousness of Another, Jesus Christ, is imputed to
the account of the believer so that it is now his own—his own
personally, really his own personally, his own as truly as if he himself
died for his sins and fulfilled all the demand of the law.
But this is and can be the nature of the divine act
of justification only because of the basis, or ground, of justification:
Christ’s death in the stead of all those who now by the power of the
cross believe. Christ died as the representative, the legal
representative, of others—the elect church out of all nations. To Him,
to His account, as the one now responsible for the sins of those in
whose stead He died, God imputed our sins. Although personally He was
sinless, the guilt of the others became His own on the cross, by God’s
imputation of them to Him, so that God held Him responsible for those
sins and dealt with Him accordingly, cursing and damning Him.
I referred to II Corinthians 5:21 as teaching the
basis in the cross of the act of justification that constitutes us truly
righteous: "he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we
might be made the righteousness of God in him." Calvin’s comment on the
text both explains what the cross was—God’s imputation of our sins to
Christ—and that the cross was the basis of God’s justification of us.
The text declares the wonder of grace of the great, legal "exchange."
Listen to Calvin: "Do you observe that, according to Paul, there is no
return to favour with God, except what is founded on the sacrifice of
Christ alone? ... How are we righteous in the sight of God? It is
assuredly in the same respect in which Christ was a sinner. For he
assumed ... our place, that he might be a criminal in our room, and
might be dealt with as a sinner, not for his own offences, but for those
of others ... and might endure the punishment that was due to us—not to
himself. It is in the same manner, assuredly, that we are now righteous
in him—not in respect of our rendering satisfaction to the justice of
God by our own works, but because we are judged of in connection with
Christ’s righteousness, which we have put on by faith, that it might
Note particularly Calvin’s strong statement: "in
which Christ was a sinner." He was. He was the greatest and worst sinner
that ever lived. The proof is that God punished Him with the worst
punishment that any sinner ever endured. Nothing less than the "worst
punishment" could have pressed from the eternal Son of God in our flesh
the pathetic plea in Gethsemane, "Let this cup pass from me." I know
very well, He added, in the vehemence of His love of His heavenly Father
and of us, "nevertheless not my will but thine be done." Still, He
prayed, "If it be possible, let this cup pass from me." The worst
sinner, not actually, by any fault of His own. But legally, by virtue of
representing a countless throng of sinners. And thus truly.
Now we are ready to penetrate more deeply into the
wondrous mystery, and mysterious wonder, of justification.
The basis of justification is Christ’s death as the
covenant head of His church. This is the meaning of Christ’s dying (and
living, of course, but I embrace Christ’s entire ministry in my
reference to the cross in this context) as our representative.
Justification can and does constitute us truly and personally righteous,
contrary to Rome’s charge that justification is merely a "legal
fiction," because in the cross Christ truly and personally became guilty
with our guilt. Christ could and did become guilty with our guilt
inasmuch as He was our representative before God the judge. And He could
be and was our representative before God the judge because He was our
Covenant headship, in the end, is the rock-bottom
justification of justification by faith only.
I demonstrate this by playing the devil’s advocate
for a moment.
I challenge your justification!
You respond, "God imputes to me the righteousness of
I challenge the justice of any such action on God’s
part, God who is and must be righteous Himself. "Who ever heard of such
a thing, that a guilty sinner is accounted righteous with the obedience
of another person?"
You respond, "He was my substitute." I challenge such
substitution. "What gives another person the right to be your
You respond, "Christ was my representative."
I challenge the justice of such a thing. I challenge
it, of course, by appeal to God Himself who is righteousness and the
standard of righteousness—the only appeal that can possibly carry the
day. "Granted the love of Christ, that He was willing to be the
representative of such a worthless creature as you, God cannot allow
another to be the representative of you. Suppose I had a dear child, who
committed a capital offence, and who was sentenced to death. Were I to
appear in court offering to die in the place of my child, the judge
would disallow my offer, even though I pleaded one of the closest human
bonds, father and child. If he were a Christian judge and dared to
mention God’s name in court, he would kindly tell me, ‘God, who
appointed me judge, does not permit me to sentence a father to die for a
child. It is not just.’ The sinner shall die for his own iniquity. God
Here we come to the deepest ground, and, therefore,
to the justification, of justification by faith alone.
To this the faith that justifies, instrumentally,
must come in believing in Jesus Christ for justification.
Jesus had the right to be our representative because
He was the head of the elect church in the covenant, or simply, the
covenant head of the new human race of the elect from all nations.
Not everyone or anyone could be the representative of
Not even Jesus as a perfectly sinless human and the
Second Person of the Godhead could have been our representative, apart
from His covenant headship. As a sinless man and God Himself, He would
have had the ability to die for our sins, but without being our head He
would not have had the right to die as our representative, and the cross
was very much a matter of right.
The Triune God appointed the incarnate Son of God as
covenant head of the elect church in His eternal counsel. This
established His right to be the representative of the church in His
lifelong obedience to the law and especially in His death. His covenant
headship is the reason why our guilt could become His, by imputation,
and why His righteousness can become ours, by imputation. The head may
and does act representatively for the body, and the body may and does
receive the benefit of this action of the head as its own.
To my final challenge above, you must reply, "Christ
was rightly my representative because He was and is my head in the
covenant of grace, according to God’s own eternal, gracious, but also
End of all challenges to justification by faith alone!
to be continued ...