Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 15 April, 2012

"Those that be planted in the house of the Lord
shall flourish in the courts of our God" (Ps. 92:13)

Morning Service - 11:00 AM

Zealous of Good Works  [download[youtube]
Scripture Reading: Titus 2
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 32
I. The Meaning of It
II. The Source of It
III. The Preaching of It
Psalms: 136:1-12; 130:1-8; 116:9-19; 119:1-8

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

Zechariah’s Night Visions (10)
The Four Chariots  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Zechariah 6
Text: Zechariah 6:1-8
I. The Vision
II. The Interpretation
Psalms: 104:1-7; 131:1-3; 68:17-21; 103:17-22

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

CPRC website:
CPRC YouTube:
CPRC Facebook:

Quote to Consider:

John Calvin on Zechariah 6:4: "The Prophet asks the angel again; and by his example we are taught to shake off every indifference, and to render ourselves both teachable and attentive to God if we desire to make progress in the knowledge of these predictions; for if Zechariah, who had separated himself from the world and raised up his eyes and his mind to heaven, stood in need of the teaching and guidance of the angel to instruct him, how much folly and arrogance is it in us to trust in ourselves and to despise the gift of interpretation. But as angels are not sent to us from heaven to explain to us the prophecies, let us avail ourselves of those helps which we know is offered to us by God. There is here prescribed to us both docility, and reverence, and attention. Let us also remember, that as soon as men submit themselves to God, the gift of revelation is prepared for them; for it is not in vain that God is often called the teacher of babes. Whosoever then shall be disposed to learn with real meekness and humility, shall not be disappointed of his desire; for we see here that the angel performed his part in teaching Zechariah."

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

We welcome Hank and Barb DeVries, who were also with us last week, to our worship services again today.

On the back table are new Reformed Perspectives with an article on "The Beast Out of the Sea (II)."

The Council will hold its monthly meeting tomorrow night at 7 PM.

Our Tuesday morning Bible study meets at 11 AM on "Eschatology and Time." We will discuss the nature of the last days.

Belgic Confession Class meets Wednesday at 7:45 PM to study Article 14 on the result of man’s fall.

Don’t forget to come and invite friends to this Friday’s lecture, here at 7:30 PM on "God’s Sovereignty & Man’s Responsibility." Those who would like to help distribute flyers for the lecture should talk with Rev. Stewart.

Men’s Bible Study will be (DV) held on Saturday, 21 April, at the Kennedys. We will begin our discussion on the first chapter of Disciplines of a Godly Man. Question sheets will be on the back table.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) will be "Assurance through Obedience" (I John 2:3-6) by Rev. R. Kleyn.

CPRC Website: 8 Hungarian and 5 Afrikaans translations were added.

Offerings: General Fund: £647.40. Donations: £250, £25 (DVDs).

PRC News: Edgerton PRC has a new trio consisting of Revs. W. Langerak, Kuiper and Marcus.

Created Unto Good Works

Rev. Steven R. Key (Standard Bearer, vol 79, issue 17)

We have seen that our salvation, which focuses on our justification with God, is entirely of grace, the gift of God. All boasting is excluded. We cannot even boast of our faith, as if faith is our work. It isn’t. Faith is not our act as a determined cause of our justification, but is the instrument and channel by which God unites us with Christ. Salvation is of the Lord, from beginning to end. He it is who quickens the dead. He alone is the one who calls the things that are not as if they were. He alone has established us in Christ. He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Divinely Ordained

But we have also seen that this work of God’s grace surely bears evidence in the lives of His people. As earnestly as the apostle Paul proclaims the gospel of sovereign grace, so earnestly he maintains that the work of sovereign grace bears fruit in the lives of God’s people. It bears fruits in our sanctification.

Has God chosen His people in Christ before the foundation of the world? Indeed He has—"that we should be holy" (Eph. 1:4). Did Christ give Himself for us? He certainly did—"that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14).

Salvation by grace is confirmed and evidenced by holy conduct. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:10).

Such is the holy ordinance of God Himself, His purpose and design. It is God’s purpose that the life of Christ be seen in His workmanship. That is the necessity of good works. It is a divine necessity.

We are not taken into Christ of works, or because of works, or by works. Salvation is first. Sanctification and works follow.

Necessary for the Christian

The Christian does good works. Of necessity the Christian does good works. God has given us to enter into His service. He made us rational, living creatures, who consciously perform our deeds, and who as His children perform works to His glory. The necessity of good works is not that I might attain blessedness for myself. The motive is not that I might reach heaven. Good works are necessary—in the words of Lord’s Day 32 of the Heidelberg Catechism—"Because Christ, having redeemed and delivered us by His blood, also renews us by His Holy Spirit after His own image."

Never can good works be separated from redemption.

In this connection it is important for us to remember that we are not the ones who set the standard for defining "good." God does. And in the light of Romans 14:23, I Corinthians 10:31, Deuteronomy 12:32, and other texts, we learn that good works are "only those which proceed from a true faith, are performed according to the law of God, and to His glory; and not such as are founded on our imaginations or the institutions of men" (Heidelberg Catechism, Q. & A. 91).

It is a fundamental flaw, indeed, a denial of the biblical doctrine of total depravity, to teach that the unregenerated man is able to do good works.

Good works are the fruits of Christ’s life as those fruits come to expression in His people, expressive of their faith and serving to glorify their Redeemer. They are expressions of the thankfulness of the redeemed. We who are the people of God do good works exactly because we are saved by grace. "I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Gal. 2:20). Such is the Christian life. That I do a single good work is only because God has chosen me as a little piece of mirror to reflect His own glory, and because Christ now lives in me by His Holy Spirit, who shines His light in and through me.

A Tremendous Blessing

What a glorious place God has given us! The Bible speaks of us in terms of a "new creation." The child of God is a new creature in Christ. That’s an astounding figure!

... God has given us to enter into His service. He made us rational, moral, living creatures, capable of reflecting the very virtues of Him our Creator. Consciously, with mind and heart and will, we perform our deeds. Willingly we do the good, working out our own salvation with fear and trembling, God working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2:12-13). God does not just drag ungodly but justified sinners to heaven. He draws them, so that they enter into the joy of salvation. We behold the works of God in the light of our thinking minds, interpreting them according to what God tells us about them in His Word, and standing in awe before Him. We sing and pray, rejoice and weep, love and hate—as rational, moral creatures. We do so to the glory of God! For we are His workmanship.

That is not to say that when we have been created unto good works, we do those works perfectly. We are not yet perfected. Those good works still must come to expression through sinful flesh.

But as those who are justified in Christ, we are most certainly created unto good works. That is the divine purpose in our salvation.

Not only are we ordained unto good works, but our very good works are before prepared for us. Every specific work that we do to God’s glory was ordained by Him from eternity for that purpose. That means that we fit the good works that God has ordained for us. He so creates us, forms us after the image of His Son, that we are moulded upon those works, so that they become a part of us.

... We don’t bring them to Him, except He first brings them to us. And when we perform them, He does not become obliged to us. Rather, we owe to Him our everlasting gratitude for the privilege that we may perform them! That is our blessed life as the children of God.

That is also why the man who has no desire to be holy is a man who has no right to think that he is a Christian. Those who think that they can separate forgiveness from a life of holiness, claiming the first while having no interest in the latter, have no spiritual understanding of what it is to be a Christian.

There is no such thing as justification without sanctification. There is no such thing as faith without works. Faith without works is dead, is no faith, writes James. For faith, God’s gift, certainly bears fruits, unto His glory.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. So He has made us. And so we walk—in all of our life.

That in turn leads to this, that we become more and more aware of the new creation God has made of us in Christ Jesus. And in that consciousness, we have a new outlook. That new outlook isn’t always so pleasant for our flesh. It runs contrary to our old man, because we see that certain things must change in our lives.

We can no longer remain comfortable with old habits, and perhaps with old companions. We understand what the psalmist meant in Psalm 119:63, "I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts." And we desire in all things to express our gratitude to God for His work in us.

In short, we desire to be more and more like Jesus, holy and pure, separate from the world and from sin, that we might serve the God who so saved us by His grace.

When you so understand your place as a Christian, and see yourself as God’s handiwork, then you realize that your whole life belongs to this work of God ...