Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 5
generation shall praise thy works to another,
declare thy mighty acts" (Ps. 145:4)
- 11:00 AM
The Salt That Lost Its Savour [download]
Reading: Hebrews 6:1-12; 10:19-34
I. The Meaning
II. The Warning
81:1-8; 78:5-11; 94:5-13
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
The Believer’s Only Comfort [download]
Reading: I Corinthians 6
Catechism, Lord’s Day 1
I. I Am Not My
II. I Belong to
81:9-16; 25:1-7; 23:1-6
Stephen Murray for CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship
Quotes to Consider
Heinrich Bullinger (Swiss Reformer) on the Heidelberg
Catechism: "I have read with great eagerness the Catechism that
was produced with the encouragement of the eminent Elector Frederick III
of the Palatinate, and while reading it I sincerely thanked God, who
initiated and prospered this work. The structure of this book is clear,
its content pure truth; everything is very easy to follow, devout and
effective. In succinct conciseness it contains the fullness of the most
important doctrines. I consider it to be the best catechism that has
ever been published. Thanks be to God! May He crown it with His
blessing" (The Church’s Book of Comfort, p. 252).
Martin Luther: "Let us act with humility, cast
ourselves at one another’s feet, join hands with each other, and help
one another. For here we battle not against pope or emperor, but against
the devil, and do you imagine that he is asleep?"
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
On the back table are new
Standard Bearers, the December
Covenant Reformed News, and a
Reformed Perspectives on "Behold He Cometh" (1).
The second offering this morning is for our
The council received and granted a request from
Cherith Carmichael to have her two sons, Taylor and Joshua, baptized.
is scheduled for next Lord’s Day morning, 12 December, weather
Next Lord’s Day evening, we will have preparatory
with a view to celebrating the Lord’s Supper on 19 December.
PM - Joseph, Jacob, Nathan & Alex
PM - Zoe, Amy & Lea
12:15 AM - Beginners NT Class
Tuesday Bible study: 11 AM. We will study II
Thess. 2:3f. on "the man of sin."
Belgic Confession class: 7:45 PM. We will continue our study of
Article 7 on the sufficiency of Scripture.
Membership class: Thursday, 8 PM on Canons of
Ladies Discussion Group will meet this Friday, 10
December, at 11 AM to discuss "Teaching Our Children to Pray."
The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day
(8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW) is entitled "The Blessing Upon Ruth’s
Seed" (Ruth 4:11-12) by Rev. Bruinsma.
Please reserve Friday, 14 January, for our annual
Offerings: General Fund - £494.40.
PRC News: Edgerton PRC called Rev. Spronk (Peace,
This is part 2 of Prof. Engelsma’s 43rd e-mail
It belongs to this consciousness of his election that
the justified sinner realizes that his justification is due to electing
love that was (and is) particular and discriminating. The election that
is the eternal source of the faith and justification of some sovereignly
rejects the others, appointing them to perish in their unbelief and
other sins, unforgiven and unrighteous. This illumines to the justified
sinner the sheer grace of the election that accounts for his faith and
righteousness, humbles him and increases his gratitude to the electing
No confessing Christian can avoid this aspect of the
relation of justification and election, although many try to do so. If,
in fact, justification depends solely upon election, if election is the
source of justification, if the explanation of the forgiveness of some
sinners is God’s election of them, then that some humans do not believe
and are not justified proceeds from God’s counsel. God has not elected
them, but reprobated them. God has decided that He will not give them
faith and, by that faith, the righteousness of Christ. This is the
reality—the "awesome" reality, as Calvin expressed it—of eternal
The only possible way to deny eternal reprobation is
by affirming that faith lies within the ability of every sinner and that
justification does depend upon something in the sinner himself who is
forgiven, whether his work of believing or his other works. Denial of
reprobation necessarily implies a teaching of justification by works.
A second way in which justification is related to
election is that justification magnifies the grace of election. God
Himself has bound justification to election in such a way that election
is the source of justification in order that the true church in
preaching justification and the believer in experiencing justification
will declare, proclaim, extol and defend eternal election.
God wills that the church do more than faithfully
proclaim justification by faith alone. God wills that forgiven sinners
do more than praise His justifying grace. God wills that church and
believer do more than glory in the cross of Christ, which is the basis
of justification, important as this is. God wills that church and
justified believer know, confess and magnify His election as the
fountain of faith, justification and cross.
God did not stop the inspiration of Romans after
chapter 5, or even after chapter 7. He inspired chapters 8-11 so that
church and believer would know and confess that justification is the
benefit of predestination. He wills that the believer ask, not, "Who
shall lay anything to the charge of the believer?" true as this question
may be, but, "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?"
Only when justification is traced to God’s eternal
election is the grace of God in the salvation of His people fully,
thoroughly and solidly confessed and celebrated, to the glory of the
Regardless that a church or confessing believer
begins by affirming justification by faith alone, if this church or
confessing believer refuses or fails to preach and confess election as
the source of justification, that church or confessing believer will in
the end be unable to maintain justification by faith alone. They will in
time fall into the heresy of justification by faith and works. Reluctant
for whatever reason, boldly and continually to preach and confess
justification by faith of which the source and fountain and explanation
is God’s eternal election, they will eventually preach and confess that
the source and fountain and explanation of justification is the sinner
himself—his work of believing and his other good works.
Although the main doctrine of the Reformation, for
Calvin as for Luther, was justification by faith alone, the deepest
concern of the Reformation, for Luther as for Calvin, was not
justification by faith alone, but salvation in Christ by the sovereign
grace of God having its source in eternal election, accompanied by
The reason for the heresy of the Roman Catholic and
Arminian doctrines of justification is their detestation of sovereign
grace having its source only in the eternal election of God.
The reason for the contemporary heresy of the Federal
(Covenant) Vision teaching justification on the basis of faith and the
possibility of losing the grace of justification is its opposition to
biblical and creedal predestination.
The reason why the covenant doctrine of the Reformed
Churches in the Netherlands ("liberated") implies justification by faith
and works and is, therefore, presently being developed by the Federal
(Covenant) Vision into an open, bold denial of justification by faith
alone is the aversion of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands
("liberated") and their daughter churches, including the Canadian
Reformed Churches and the Free Reformed Churches (in Australia) to
predestination, especially predestination as the source of justification
in the covenant.
The reason why many reputedly conservative Reformed
and Presbyterian churches are wide open to the teaching of the Federal
(Covenant) Vision about justification is that they too have long been
uneasy about election, have long been almost entirely silent about
election, have long viewed election (mind you!) as a dangerous doctrine
to Reformed Christians.
I say once more: no church can maintain justification
by faith alone that does not see, and embrace and preach, the close,
necessary and significant relation of justification and election.
Election is indeed a dangerous doctrine, even fatal.
But it is dangerous, indeed fatal, to justification on the basis of
faith and (what is the same) justification by faith and works.
There is one thing more that lives in the
consciousness of the justified sinner who knows with amazement,
gratitude and certainty that his justification comes to him from the
election of God: God did not choose him because God had justified him or
because God foresaw that he would be justified; rather, God chose him to
be justified. That is, election did not depend upon justification but
justification depends squarely upon election.
What grace is the grace of election! Not only does
God justify the ungodly (Rom. 4:5) and not only does God commend his
love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us
(Rom. 5:8), but also the grace of election is that God chose in love us
who did not appear before Him as righteous when He chose, but as
unrighteous, that is, as those who had to be justified at the cost of
the deliverance of His own Son to the death of the cross.
This examination of the relation of justification and
election does not exhaust the subject. The question remains: Is the
relation of election and justification such that God justified the elect
in eternity? This is the controversial question of eternal
justification. I will take this issue up in the instalment, God willing.
Cordially in Christ,