Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church



Rev. Angus Stewart

Lord’s Day, 19 April, 2009


"Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep

the testimony of thy mouth" (Ps. 119:88)


Morning Service - 11:00 AM

The Two Mountains (1)

Mount Sinai      [download]

Hebrews 12:18-21

I. The Religious Idea of Mount Sinai

II. The Terrible Phenomena at Mount Sinai

III. The Fearful Responses at Mount Sinai

Psalms: 65:1-5; 22:27-31; 97:1-7; 16:6-11


Evening Service - 6:00 PM

The Revelation of the Mediator in Moses’ Writings    [download]

Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 6, John 5:46

I. The Natures of the Mediator

II. The Offices of the Mediator

III. The Suffering of the Mediator

Psalms: 47:1-9; 23:1-6; 45:1-6; 40:6-10

Contact Sean Courtney ( for CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services.

CPRC website:

Quote to Consider:

John Owen: "It must be observed, that the great honour and privilege of the Judaical church-state, whereon all particular advantages did depend, was their coming unto and station at mount Sinai, at the giving of the law. There were they taken into covenant with God, to be his peculiar people above all the world; there were they formed into a national church; there had they all the privileges of divine worship committed unto them. Hereon theirs was ‘the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises,’ as the apostle speaks (Rom. 9:4). This is that glory which they boast of unto this day, and whereon they rely in their unbelief and rejection of the gospel" (Hebrews, vol. 7, pp. 306-307).

Announcements (subject to God’s will):

Ladies’ Bible Study will meet this Tuesday, 21 April, 10:15 AM, at the Murrays.


Tuesday, 6:00 PM - Murrays

Tuesday, 7:00 PM - Hamills

Midweek Bible Study meets on Wednesday, 7:45 PM at the manse. We will consider I Peter 2:13-16 on submission to civil authority.

Rev. & Mary Stewart travel to Limerick this Thursday. Rev. Stewart will give a lecture on Calvin’s Battle for the Reformation (II) - The Geneva Years.

The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day (8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW), is entitled "Let No Man Despise Covenant Youth" (I Tim. 4:12).

Nuno & Alina Pinheiro from Portugal plan to be with us from Thursday, 30 April to Monday, 4 May. Everyone is invited to the manse on Friday, 1 May, for a barbecue and fellowship with the Pinheiros.

Upcoming Lectures:

S. Wales, Thurs, 7 May, 7:15 PM - Calvin’s Battle for the Reformation (II)

Portadown Town Hall, Fri., 12 June, 8:15 PM - Calvin vs. Darwin: Anniversaries, Origins and Worldviews

Ballymena, Fri., 10 July, 8 PM - Calvin’s Battle for the Reformation (I)

Ballymena, Fri., 17 July, 8 PM - Calvin’s Battle for the Reformation (II)

Offerings: General Fund - £506.65. Donations: £100 (building fund), £200 (DVDs).

Website Additions: Eight Portuguese translations were added.

PRC News: The newly organized Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane) has formed a trio of Revs. Haak (Georgetown, MI), Key and R. Kleyn (Trinity, MI). Calvary PRC has formed a trio of Revs. D. Kleyn (Holland, MI), Kuiper (Randolph, WI) and W. Langerak (Southeast, MI). Prof. Hanko and his wife will be leaving for Singapore this Thursday (April 23) to labour in the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church there. They plan to be gone for six weeks.

This is part 2 of the 31st e-mail by Prof. Engelsma on justification.

You and I obeyed, truly and personally, all the obedient life of Jesus Christ, in our covenant head. You and I suffered and died for our sins in the cross of Christ, in our head. By faith in Him, only by faith in Him, all that obedience truly and personally becomes ours in our consciousness, by divine imputation, because it is the obedience of our covenant head, according to the eternal ordination of God the righteous judge.

This covenant headship of Jesus Christ is set forth prominently, right in the midst of the teaching of the truth of justification by faith alone (because this passage is the ground of the truth of justification by faith alone) in Romans 5. Romans 5! In any and every discussion of justification by faith alone, do not overlook Romans 5! The subject is the death of Christ. The subject is the death of Christ as the substitute for others. The subject is the death of Christ as the basis of justification by faith alone. By no means, however, is this all of the subject of Romans 5. The subject of Romans 5 is the death of Christ as the covenant head of the "all" who are justified by that death, as Adam was the covenant head of the "all" who were condemned by Adam’s disobedience.

Even though the word "covenant" does not occur in Romans 5, the headship—the representative, legal headship—in the chapter is covenant headship both with regard to Adam and with regard to Christ.

This reminds us that there is another judgment similar to that of justification.

This is the condemnation of all humans without exception by God the judge by way of imputing to us all the deed of another. According to Romans 5:12ff., God imputes to the account of all the disobedience of Adam in Paradise: "by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation" (v. 18). The reason is that "all sinned" in that one man (v. 12). The explanation is that Adam too was a covenant head of the human race, by virtue of God’s appointment. As a covenant head, he represented us all. He represented us all in such a way, as covenant head, that I truly, personally disobeyed in his disobedience, legally. Therefore, God is just in imputing Adam’s deed with the forbidden fruit to me. This imputation of Adam’s sin to me is no "legal fiction." It is rather a legal reality, as my being a dying man proves: "death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all sinned" (v. 12).

Does Rome want also to charge the imputation of Adam’s disobedience to the entire race as a "legal fiction"?

There are two, and only two, such covenant headships: Adam’s and Christ’s. Romans 5:12ff. teaches this; so also does I Corinthians 15:21-22 teach this.

Were not Adam our natural covenant head, he could not have represented us in his disobedience, and God could not then reckon his disobedience to our account.

Were not Christ our covenant head in grace, He could not have represented us in His obedience, and God could not now reckon His obedience to our account through faith.

Romans 5, placed strategically in the grand proclamation of justification by faith in the book of Romans, teaches Christ’s covenant headship: As in Adam, those whom he represented became guilty and condemned, so in Christ, those whom He represented become innocent and justified.

How important then is the covenant headship of Christ!

And how serious is the denial of this headship.

Nevertheless, Reformed men and churches deny the covenant headship of Christ, in the face of the clear teaching of Romans 5.

The Reformed Churches in the Netherlands ("liberated") deny the covenant headship of Christ. The reason is that they are determined that the covenant of grace be established with all the physical children of believing parents, and not with the elect only. If Christ is head of the covenant of grace, the covenant is established with the elect only. Therefore, Christ must not be head of the covenant. So the "liberated." But many, indeed most, of the conservative Reformed and Calvinistic churches agree with the "liberated." They teach that the covenant is with all who are baptized. They deny the covenant headship of Christ. He is only "mediator" of the covenant.

The questions naturally arise: "Who then is head of the covenant? Does this covenant have no head? Does each one of us stand on his own in the covenant?"

But Romans 5 teaches the headship of Christ as clearly and powerfully as it teaches the headship of Adam in the covenant of creation in Paradise.

And how serious is the denial of Christ’s headship.

It is the deepest ground of our justification: Christ could represent us because He was and is our head—our federal head, that is, covenant head: "As by one man," so also by Christ (Rom. 5:12ff.).

Was not the death of Christ, according to Romans 5, the death of the head of the covenant of grace? Why then do the Canons of Dordt in the crucial article on the atonement declare that "it was the will of God that Christ by the blood of the cross, whereby He confirmed the new covenant, should effectually redeem, out of every people, tribe, nation, and language all those, and those only, who were from eternity chosen to salvation and given to Him by the Father" (Canons II:8)?

Developing the covenant doctrine of the "liberated" Reformed Churches, and indeed the covenant doctrine of most of the reputedly conservative Reformed and Presbyterian churches today, which denies that Christ is head of the covenant of grace, the men of the Federal Vision are teaching, not only that the covenant is established with all the children alike, but also that Christ died for all the children, that Christ’s Spirit unites all the children to Christ, that Christ gives the blessings of salvation to all the children, that the covenant is conditioned on the children’s faith and obedience, that many for whom Christ died and who are united to Christ fall away and perish, and that justification is by faith and by works.

This heresy is the fruit, in part, of denying the covenant headship of Christ. It is the necessary, inevitable development of the "liberated" doctrine of the covenant.

But our main interest is the benefit of the headship of Christ for us who believe on Him for righteousness.

Consciously, we believe on Him, as our head in the covenant of grace, for a righteousness that in one important sense is that of Another—Jesus Christ—not our own, but in another equally important sense is our own—our own righteousness in our head, this Jesus Christ.

This shuts the mouth of the great accuser of the brothers in our own conscience.

This assures us that the righteousness of justification is truly our own personally—as if we had obeyed and as if we had died.

Thank God for the mediator and head of the covenant of grace.

And confess Him!

Cordially in Christ,

Prof. Engelsma