Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church



Rev. Angus Stewart

Lord’s Day, 12 December, 2010


"One generation shall praise thy works to another,

and shall declare thy mighty acts" (Ps. 145:4)



Morning Service - 11:00 AM

Sacrament of Baptism

Chastening Our Children    [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 12:1-17

Text: Hebrews 12:5-11

I. The Nature of Chastening

II. The Source of Chastening

III. The Goal of Chastening

Psalms: 122:1-9; 82:1-8; 103:8-15; 128:1-6


Evening Service - 6:00 PM


Turning to the Lord   [download]   [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Hosea 14

Text: Hosea 14

I. The Sincere Prayer

II. The Beautiful Promises

III. The Thoughtful Pondering

Psalms: 33:12-20; 83:1-8; 68:3-8; 52:3-9


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


CPRC website:

CPRC YouTube:

CPRC Facebook:


Quotes to Consider

J. Miller: "What we want to do with our children, is not merely to control them and keep them in order—but to implant true principles deep in their hearts which shall rule their whole lives ... They are to be trained rather than governed. Growth of character, not merely good behaviour—is the object of all home governing and teaching. Therefore the home influence is far more important than the home laws; and the parents’ lives are of more significance than their teachings. Whatever may be done in the way of governing, teaching or training—theories are not half as important as the parents’ lives. They may teach the most beautiful things—but if the child does not see these things modelled in the life of the parent—he will not consider them important enough to be adopted in his own life."

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

This morning we witness the baptisms of Taylor and Joshua Carmichael.

This evening, we will have preparatory with a view to celebrating the Lord’s Supper next Lord’s Day morning, 19 December.

Rev. McGeown’s bi-monthly letter is on the back table.

A sign-up sheet for the congregational dinner is on the back table. The dinner will be held at Leighinmohr Hotel in Ballymena on Friday, 14 January, at 7:00 PM.

Catechism classes: 

Monday, 6:00 PM - Joseph, Jacob, Nathan & Alex 

Monday, 6:45 PM - Zoe, Amy & Lea 

Tuesday, 12:15 AM - Beginners NT Class

Tuesday Bible study: 11 AM. We’ll continue II Thess. 2:3f. on "the man of sin."

Wednesday Belgic Confession class: 7:45 PM. We will continue our study of Article 7, this time looking at Scripture alone ("sola Scriptura").

Ladies Discussion Group will meet this Wednesday, 15 December, to discuss "Managing Stress" using Jesus’ example and teaching in Mark 3-5.

Membership class: Thursday, 8 PM on Canons of Dordt III/IV:10f.

The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day (8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW) is entitled "Mary’s Miraculous Conception" (Matthew 1:18) by Rev. Bruinsma.

Plan to stay for tea next Sunday after the evening worship service. There will be a presentation to Tommy Hamill for his work on our church building. Jessie Li from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship will also be with us.

Offerings: General Fund - £696.60. Building Fund - £413.30. Donation: £200.

Website Additions: 1 Portuguese and 2 German translations were added.

Loveland Adult Retreat for ages 27 & up will be held in beautiful Glenwood Springs in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado, USA from 22-25 August, 2011 (DV). Contact Anita Brands for details.

PRC News: Rev. Eriks declined the call to Hope PRC.

This is part 1 of Prof. Engelsma’s 44th e-mail on justification:

Dear European Forum,

God’s justification of the guilty and ungodly, but elect, sinner is His imputation of the righteousness of Christ to the account of this sinner, in the sinner’s own consciousness, by means of faith alone.

Justification is a saving act of God through the gospel of the righteousness of Christ in time.

As I demonstrated in the previous instalment, this gracious act of God is closely related to election. It implies election; it is the benefit of election; it magnifies election.

Such is the relation of justification and election that justification can be maintained only by the church that proclaims election.

About this there may be no controversy among Reformed churches and Christians.

But the question whether the relation between justification and election includes eternal justification, or justification from eternity, is controversial among Reformed theologians and churches.

We must be clear about the issue.

The issue is not whether God has eternally decreed the justification of the elect in time through faith in Jesus Christ. All truly Reformed and Presbyterian believers confess this. The decree of election not only appoints those whom God has chosen to eternal life and glory but also all the means to that end, including the Spirit’s gift to them of faith in Christ and God’s justifying of them through this faith. Just as God has decreed the regeneration, sanctification, and preservation of the elect, so He has decreed their justification.

But the issue is whether God has justified the elect in the decree, whether He has pronounced upon the elect the verdict declaring them righteous in eternity, whether He has imputed the righteousness of Christ to them already in eternity, whether the elect are righteous in Christ in the decree of God, as they are righteous in Christ by faith.

Over this issue, Reformed theologians, churches, and informed believers (and all believers should be doctrinally informed) differ, sometimes sharply.

Some deny eternal justification. They contend that the only justification that the Bible knows of is justification by faith, that is, justification as the saving act of God in time—the time of the earthly life and experience of the elect child of God. Usually those who deny eternal justification are fearful that the doctrine of eternal justification will detract from justification by faith alone, upon which the Bible lays such heavy emphasis. They do not deny the close relation between eternal election and justification, but they deny that God justified the elect in eternity, anymore than He created them in eternity, sanctified them in eternity, or raised their body from the grave in eternity.

Some who deny eternal justification become very vehement and charge that the doctrine of eternal justification is heretical. The heresy which it is supposed to teach, whether explicitly or implicitly, is antinomism. Antinomism is the heresy generally of denying man’s responsibility and excusing, if not justifying, and even encouraging, carelessness of life. More specifically, it is the false doctrine that teaches that, since God has justified the elect sinner in eternity, he need not concern himself with being justified by faith and therefore may lead a careless life of unbelief and disobedience.

On the other hand, some Reformed theologians, churches, and believers confess eternal justification. They emphasize that God’s saving works in time are the execution of His decree and that God always viewed the elect as they are in Christ, namely, righteous before Him as the divine judge.

Some of those who confess eternal justification become vehement and charge those who deny eternal justification with error, or, at the very least, view those who deny eternal justification with suspicion as weaker Reformed brothers and sisters.

This controversy over eternal justification is of long standing in the Reformed churches. Because this particular expression of the controversy resulted in a synodical decision on the matter, I refer to one instance of the controversy. In the late 1800s and early 1900s in the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, there was sharp difference over eternal justification. The renowned Reformed theologian Abraham Kuyper taught eternal justification, and he had his disciples in the Churches. The equally renowned Reformed theologian Herman Bavinck denied eternal justification, and he also had his disciples. The difference between the two doctrinal positions became so sharp that it threatened strife and division in the one denomination. What was happening was the raising of the teaching of eternal justification to the status of either a truth necessary to be believed, so that those who denied it were judged heretical, or a false doctrine necessary to be rejected, so that those who confessed it were judged heretical. (to be continued ...)