Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 12
generation shall praise thy works to another,
declare thy mighty acts" (Ps. 145:4)
- 11:00 AM
Chastening Our Children [download]
Reading: Hebrews 12:1-17
I. The Nature of
II. The Source
III. The Goal of
82:1-8; 103:8-15; 128:1-6
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
Turning to the Lord [download]
Reading: Hosea 14
Text: Hosea 14
I. The Sincere
33:12-20; 83:1-8; 68:3-8; 52:3-9
Stephen Murray for CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship
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
This evening, we will have preparatory with a
view to celebrating the Lord’s Supper next Lord’s Day morning, 19
Rev. McGeown’s bi-monthly letter is on the
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.
PM - Joseph, Jacob, Nathan & Alex
PM - Zoe, Amy & Lea
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
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
This is part 1 of Prof. Engelsma’s 44th e-mail
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
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
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
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 ...)