Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church



Rev. Angus Stewart

Lord’s Day, 24 April, 2011


"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

The Prayer of the Church in Babylon (6)

Jehovah’s Hardening His Church’s Heart   [download]   [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 32:1-25

Text: Isaiah 63:17-19

I. The Meaning

II. The Reason

III. The Plea

Psalms: 74:1-2, 5-7; 96:1-7; 95:6-11; 79:1-6


Evening Service - 6:00 PM

The Works of the Triune God   [download]   [youtube]

Scripture Reading: I Peter 1

Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 8

I. God the Father and Our Creation

II. God the Son and Our Redemption

III. God the Spirit and Our Sanctification

Psalms: 104:1-7; 96:8-13; 2:1-8; 143:6-12


Contact Stephen Murray for CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services.


CPRC website:

CPRC YouTube:

CPRC Facebook:


Quote to Consider:

John Calvin on Isaiah 63:17: "Those who say that God leads us into error by privation, that is, by depriving us of his Spirit, do not perceive the actual design; for God himself is said to harden and to blind, when he gives up men to be blinded by Satan, who is the minister and executioner of his wrath. Without this we would be exposed to the rage of Satan; but, since he can do nothing without the command of God, to whose dominion he is subject, there will be no impropriety in saying that God is the author of blinding and hardening, as Scripture also affirms in many passages (Rom. 9:18). And yet, it cannot be said or declared that God is the author of sin, because he punishes the ingratitude of men by blinding them in this manner."

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

Copies of the Standard Bearer and the C. R. News are on the back table today.

End of season catechism tests:

Monday, 10:00 AM - Joseph, Jacob, Nathan & Alex

Monday, 10:45 AM - Zoe, Amy & Lea

Tuesday Bible study: 11 AM, on II Thessalonians 3:6f. on withdrawing from disorderly brethren.

Wednesday Belgic Confession class: 7:45 PM. We’ll continue our study of Article 10 on the eternal generation of the Son, including Psalm 2:7.

Thursday membership class: 7:30 PM on eschatology, the last times.

The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day (8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW) is entitled "Kept By God" (Philippians 1:6) by Rev. R. Kleyn.

Offerings: General Fund - £489.90. Donation: £25, $1,500.

The Council will hold their monthly meeting on Monday, 2 May, at 8 PM.

Everyone is invited to a CPRC/LRF Overnighter at the Newcastle Youth Hostel in Co. Down on Friday, 6 May. Directions can be found on the hostel website (

Mens Fellowship: The next meeting will be on Saturday, 14 May, at 8 PM at the Kennedys. We will study Daniel 2. Question sheet/resumé of Daniel 1 will be available soon on the back table.

Lurgan Lecture: Rev. Stewart will speak on "For Whom Did Christ Die?" on Friday, 24 June, at 7:30 PM in Lurgan Town Hall.

Rev. Heath Bleyenberg will preach for the CPRC this summer (24 & 31 July and 14 August) while Rev. Stewart is in N. America. He will also be preaching for the LRF on one Lord’s Day (7 August) while Rev. McGeown is in the US.

PRC News: Redlands called Rev. A. Lanning (Faith, MI); Edgerton called Rev. Kuiper (Randolph, WI); Hope called Rev. Marcus (Edmonton, AB, Canada). Trinity’s new trio is Revs. Haak, Koole and W. Langerak.

This is part 1 of the 46th e-mail in Prof. Engelsma’s justification forum:

Dear European Forum,

There awaits the elect of God in Christ yet one more, dramatic expression and manifestation of their justification, as there also awaits the reprobate ungodly yet one more, dramatic expression of their condemnation.

This is the justification and the condemnation of the final judgment.

The Bible teaches, and the creeds of the Reformation confess, a future final judgment of all humans and of all angels. Matthew 25:31-46 and Revelation 20:11-15 describe the event. II Corinthians 5:10 teaches the reality and nature of the event: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."

The Belgic Confession confesses the final judgment in Article 37: "Our Lord Jesus Christ will come from heaven, corporally and visibly, as He ascended, with great glory and majesty to declare Himself Judge of the quick and the dead ... Then all men will personally appear before this great Judge, both men and women and children, that have been from the beginning of the world to the end thereof ... Then the books ... shall be opened, and the dead judged according to what they shall have done in this world, whether it be good or evil."

The Westminster Confession of Faith sets forth the truth of the final judgment according to the Reformed understanding of it in Chapter 33: "God hath appointed a day wherein he will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ ... In which day, not only the apostate angels shall be judged, but likewise all persons that have lived upon earth shall appear before the tribunal of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds, and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil" (WCF 33:1).

This event will be an expression and manifestation by God in Christ of the verdict of justification that the elect now hears in the gospel by faith alone in Jesus Christ. The final judgment will be justification of the elect believer. The full truth of justification, therefore, includes the final judgment. That the truth of the final judgment of the elect believer is an aspect of the doctrine of justification is established simply by the nature of the final judgment: It will be divine judgment—the thorough examination of those who are judged with a view to righteousness or unrighteousness; a verdict from the Judge, whether of innocence or guilt; and the execution of the sentence in life and glory or in death and shame.

Such is the relation of the final judgment and present justification by faith that, if the final judgment of men takes the works of believers into account as the basis of God’s judgment of believers, and as the content of their righteousness, even in part, the truth of the final judgment nullifies all that I have taught thus far concerning justification by faith alone. In this case, in the end, decisively, justification is by works, not by faith alone.

Our concern in this instalment of our study of justification, it must be noted, is the truth of the final judgment only with regard to the issue of justification. Other aspects of this grand, future event, important and interesting as they are, are outside our purview here.

According to Scripture and the Reformed creeds, the final judgment will be a real event. It will be a wonder. It will occur immediately upon the bodily coming of Christ. It will be the main purpose of Christ in His coming, and the goal of God with history. Even the resurrection of the bodies of all men will be subservient to the purpose of God that He judge the world in righteousness. The Apostles’ Creed indicates that the judgment is the main purpose of Christ at His coming: "He shall come again to judge the quick and the dead." The Belgic Confession, quoted above, makes the resurrection of the dead the divine summons to appear in the courtroom. The Judge will be the incarnate Son of God, the man Jesus Christ. In the judgment the deeds of all men will be exposed, including things done in secret, idle words, the thoughts of the mind, and the hidden motives of the heart. Christ will conduct the judgment, pronounce the verdict, and carry out the sentence according to men’s works.

Especially this last, judgment according to works, is significant for the gospel-truth of justification. That the judgment will be according to works is clearly taught by Scripture. II Corinthians 5:10: "every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." Jesus has the Judge (Himself) saying to the sheep on His right hand, "Inherit the kingdom ... for I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat," etc. (Matt. 25:34ff.). All men, says the Belgic Confession, shall be "judged according to what they shall have done in this world, whether it be good or evil."

The Roman Catholic Church has always appealed to this aspect of the truth of the final judgment in support of its teaching that justification, now and always, is by faith and by the good works of the sinner himself. Rome’s explanation of the biblical teaching that the final judgment of those who are saved will be "according to works" is that God’s verdict upon them, "Forgiven and righteous!" is based in part on the good works that they themselves did (with the help of grace, of course) and that the righteousness that earns eternal life and glory for them is partly their own inherent obedience to the law of God. Since this is exactly Rome’s explanation of the justification of these people during their life, there is harmony between present justification and the justification of the final judgment. Always and in every expression of it, according to the Roman Catholic Church, justification is by faith and by works.

And always the Roman Catholic must live in terror concerning the outcome of his judgment: he is forever unsure of his righteousness and salvation in this life; he is unsure of the verdict upon him at the moment of death; he faces the coming final judgment with uncertainty. What will the Judge pronounce upon him? What will the sentence be?   ... to be continued.