Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 13 April, 2014

“But our God is in the heavens: he hath done
whatsoever he hath pleased” (Psalm 115:3)

Morning Service - 11:00 AM

Taking God’s Name in Vain  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: II Corinthians 1
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Days 36-37

I. The General Meaning
II. A Particular Instance
III. The Practical Implications
Psalms: 20:1-7; 69:31-36; 44:1-8; 66:1-7

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

Why Did the Jews Not Believe in Christ?  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: John 12:20-50
Text: John 12:37-43

I. The Prophetic Reason
II. The Decretal Reason
III. The Moral Reason
Psalms: 146:1-8; 70:1-5; 2:1-8; 25:4-10

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

A. W. Pink: “It has become almost impossible to walk the streets or to enter mixed company without hearing the sacred Name of God treated with blasphemous contempt. The novels of the day, the stage, and even radio (and more lately television, the cinema, and the press) are terrible offenders, and without doubt this is one of the fearful sins against Himself, for which God is now pouring out His judgments upon us. God is dreadfully incensed by this sin, and in the common commission of this Heaven-insulting crime, our country has incurred terrible guilt! ‘The Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes His Name in vain.’ Sore punishment shall be his portion, if not in this life, then most assuredly so, eternally so, in the life to come!”

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

Rev. & Mary Stewart leave tomorrow, for our pastor to speak at an EPC family camp in Tasmania (17-21 April), preach at Brisbane EPC (27 April) and lecture and preach in Singapore (29 April - 6 May). May the Lord watch between us when we are absent one from another (Gen. 31:49).

Rev. McGeown will speak in S. Wales this Tuesday on “The Christian as Prophet, Priest and King.” Please remember this witness in your prayers.

Rev. & Sherry den Hartog arrive this Friday. Rev. den Hartog’s schedule is:
Sunday, 20 April, preaching in the CPRC
Wed., 23 April, CPRC lecture on “The Importance of the Historical Adam”
Sunday, 27 April, preaching in the LRF (Rev. McGeown in the CPRC)
Monday, 28 April, LRF lecture on “Living in Perilous Times”
Fri., 2 May, CPRC lecture on “The Role of the Father in the Christian Home”
Sunday, 4 May, preaching in CPRC

On the back table are flyers advertising Rev. den Hartog’s lectures to give to family and friends or to distribute more widely.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) is entitled “Risen According to the Scriptures” (I Cor. 15:4).

The Tuesday Bible study will resume on 13 May.

The Belgic Confession Class will be held again on Wednesday, 14 May, at 7:45 PM studying article 23 on “Justification by Faith Alone.”

Rev. McGeown will speak in Port Talbot, S. Wales, on “The Perfections of Holy Scripture” on Wednesday, 7 May.

Offerings: General - £697.96. Building - £177.12.

Website Additions: 4 Italian and 2 Hungarian translations.

PRC News: Rev. Huizinga (Redlands, CA) declined the call to Doon PRC. Their new trio consists of Revs. Holstege (Holland, MI), N. Langerak (Crete, IL) and Spronk (Peace, IL).

Mercy and Truth

Brian D. Dykstra


Proverbs 3:3-4: “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about they neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding the sight of God and man.”

In Proverbs 3, Solomon continues giving instruction to his son. The son is instructed in various duties in a godly life. Here Solomon is concerned with mercy and truth, two attributes of God which can be reflected by man.

Mercy is God’s will that His people are blessed by Him so they experience His covenant fellowship. Mercy is shown to those who do not deserve it. Think of a miserable prisoner who deserves a terrible punishment for a crime, who knows the judge would be totally just in executing a terrible punishment upon him, but who finds himself to be spared for no other reason than that it is the judge’s will. Mercy is also shown by those who stand in authority. It is the judge who shows mercy toward the condemned, not the condemned who shows mercy toward the judge.

Truth is what is right. Reality is accurately and completely stated with no desire to bend or twist the facts for one’s advantage. A truthful man will not use words in a way to deceive or deny the meaning of words. Getting an accurate answer from a truthful man will not require a careful definition of the word “is.”

Mercy and truth go together. A judge who disregards the fact of the committing of a crime, who pays no attention to the established laws and the punishments due to be given to those who break them, or who pays no attention to the facts or evidence in a case so he can allow the prisoner to go free, will not be called merciful. He will be thought of as negligent of his duties. A judge who pays strict attention to law, stridently executes punishment upon the guilty and passes out the maximum penalty at every opportunity, will be known as truthful but also as being hard as flint.

God is a different kind of judge. When God sets the guilty free, He can do so without being negligent. The Lord’s justice has not been violated or ignored. Jehovah has provided His Son who is able to suffer the most terrible punishment on our behalf. God can show His mercy without disregarding the truth of our guilt.

We are not to allow mercy and truth to forsake us. We cannot let them leave, just as Jacob wrestled with the Angel of the Lord and would not let him go until the Angel blessed him. As members of God’s church, we can only experience the blessing of fellowship within the bounds of mercy and truth. What would church life be without them?

Far from letting mercy and truth forsake us, we are told to bind them about our neck. This is a tight binding too. It is the type of binding you would use on a man who was a conspirator and you have captured him. He is a valuable prisoner because if he would escape, the safety of the king is in peril. A conspirator is bound or imprisoned in such a way as to make his getting away impossible. That is the value of mercy and truth to us.

We are to bind them about our neck. Some neck bindings are symbols of servitude. A slave has his chains of bondage, a prisoner has his chains of punishment and a dog has a collar as a symbol of being owned. Mercy and truth are a beautiful ornament, an expensive and valuable necklace. Those who wear such an ornament are seen to possess something of beauty and great value. An ornament of mercy and truth makes us attractive.

To have mercy and truth as an ornament on the outside, as mere decoration, is not enough. We are to write them upon the table of the heart. When we write things on paper, we have the purpose of giving them permanence. Quality paper can last for a long time. However, we are not to write mercy and truth on paper, permanent as it is. We must write them on tables, as of stone. The inscription on a properly maintained stone marker will last for a long time. This is the table of the heart. Mercy and truth must have a permanent impression on our hearts. Our lives, pictured by the heart, must be recognized as reflecting God’s mercy and truth.

When we live our lives this way, we will have favour and good understanding (success) in the sight of God and man. Even in the courts of the ungodly, Joseph, David and Daniel found favour in the eyes of men. When, at the age of twelve, Jesus was found in the temple, He had favour with those who spoke with Him. What can we say about favour in the sight of God? There is nothing better than to experience the blessing of His fellowship.

May God be pleased to use this school and the instruction of covenant parents to write His mercy and truth on the hearts of His children here.