Covenant Protestant Reformed
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena
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
Scripture Reading: Titus 2
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s
I. The Meaning of It
II. The Source of It
III. The Preaching of It
Psalms: 136:1-12; 130:1-8;
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
Zechariah’s Night Visions (10)
The Four Chariots
Scripture Reading: Zechariah 6
Text: Zechariah 6:1-8
I. The Vision
II. The Interpretation
Psalms: 104:1-7; 131:1-3;
For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of
the worship services, contact
If you desire a pastoral visit,
please contact Rev. Stewart
CPRC website: www.cprc.co.uk
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
Announcements (subject to God’s
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
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.
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.
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
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 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
... 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
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 ...