Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 6
generation shall praise thy works to another,
declare thy mighty acts" (Ps. 145:4)
- 11:00 AM
The Blessed Family Man [download]
Reading: Psalms 127-128
Text: Psalm 128
I. The Way of
II. The Spheres
of His Blessedness
III. The Channel
of His Blessedness
89:1-6; 127:1-5; 128:1-6
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
House for God’s Church (6)
Naomi Returns to the Church [download]
Reading: Hebrews 12:1-17
Question at Her Return
Confession at Her Return
Providential Timing of Her Return
89:7-12; 107:31-38; 25:6-12
Stephen Murray for CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship
Quotes to Consider:
J. C. Ryle: "Tell your children of the duty and
privilege of going to church, and joining in the prayers of the
congregation. Tell them that wherever the Lord’s people are gathered
together, there the Lord Jesus is present in a special way, and that
those who are absent must expect, like the Apostle Thomas, to miss out
on a blessing. Tell them of the importance of hearing the Word of God
preached, and that it is God’s ordained way of converting, sanctifying,
and building up the souls of men. Tell them how the Apostle Paul
commands us not to ‘forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the
manner of some is; but exhorting one another’ (Heb. 10:25)."
Matthew Henry on Psalm 128:6: "A good man can
have little comfort in seeing his children’s children, unless withal he
see peace upon Israel, and have hopes of transmitting the entail of
religion pure and entire to those that shall come after him, for that is
the best inheritance."
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
We welcome Marilyn Adams to our worship
This morning we witness the baptism of Katelyn Joy
Hall. May the Lord give grace and wisdom to Philip & Susan and all
the parents in the congregation as they raise their covenant children in
the fear and admonition of the Lord.
Standard Bearer subscriptions are due—£16.50.
This can be paid to Rev. Stewart, who will then pay the RFPA for you.
PM - Joseph, Jacob, Nathan & Alex
PM - Zoe, Amy & Lea
12:15 PM - Beginners NT Class
Tuesday Bible study: 11 AM. We’ll consider II
Thessalonians 2:8f. on the man of sin’s destruction, miracles and
Belgic Confession class: 7:45 PM. We’ll continue Article 8 on
the vestiges/footprints of the Holy Trinity.
Thursday’s Membership class is at 7:30 PM.
The Council will hold their monthly meeting
this Friday evening at 7:30 PM.
The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day
(8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW) is entitled "True Love" (I Corinthians
13:4-8) by Rev. R. Kleyn.
Offerings: General Fund - £1,280.75.
£200, £200, £34 (Lurgan lecture).
Website Additions: Two German translations were
PRC News: Wingham PRC will call from a trio of Revs. Bruinsma,
denHartog, and Vanderwal. Hope PRC and Edgerton PRC have called Rev. W.
Langerak. Cornerstone have called Rev. Van Overloop. Trinity PRC will
call from a trio of Revs. Bleyenberg, Koole, and A. Lanning.
Bound to Join:
A Review and Defence (Excerpt 3)
Rev. A. Stewart
Calvin teaches "outside the church there is no
salvation" in his Catechism of the Church of Geneva (1545),
designed for the covenant children of that great Reformation city:
Why do you subjoin forgiveness of sins to the Church?
Because no man obtains it without being previously united to the
people of God, maintaining unity with the body of Christ perseveringly
to the end, and thereby attesting that he is a true member of the
M. - In
this way you conclude that out of the Church is nought but ruin and
Certainly. Those who make a departure from the body of Christ, and
rend its unity by faction, are cut off from all hope of salvation
during the time they remain in this schism, be it however short.
Philip Schaff points out that Calvin’s Genevan
catechism was written in French and Latin and was soon translated into
Italian, Spanish, English, German, Dutch, Hungarian, Greek and Hebrew,
before adding, "It was used for a long time in the Reformed Churches and
schools, especially in France and Scotland."
Near the start of the first chapter of his treatment
of the church in Book 4 of his Institutes, Calvin writes,
But because it is now our intention to discuss the
visible church, let us learn even from the simple title "mother" how
useful, indeed how necessary, it is that we should know her. For there
is no other way to enter into life unless this mother conceive us in
her womb, give us birth, nourish us at her breast, and lastly, unless
she keep us under her care and guidance until, putting off mortal
flesh, we become like the angels [Matt. 22:30]. Our weakness does not
allow us to be dismissed from her school until we have been pupils all
our lives. Furthermore, away from her bosom one cannot hope for any
forgiveness of sins or any salvation, as Isaiah [Isa. 37:32] and Joel
[Joel 2:32] testify. Ezekiel agrees with them when he declares that
those whom God rejects form heavenly life will not be enrolled among
God’s people [Ezek. 13:9]. On the other hand, those who turn to the
cultivation of true godliness are said to inscribe their names among
the citizens of Jerusalem [cf. Isa. 56:5; Ps. 87:6]. For this reason,
it is said in another psalm: "Remember me, O Jehovah, with favor
toward thy people; visit me with salvation: that I may see the
well-doing of thy chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the joy of thy
nation, that I may be glad with thine inheritance" [Ps. 106:4-5 p.;
cf. Ps. 105:4, Vg., etc.]. By these words God’s fatherly favor and the
especial witness of spiritual life are limited to his flock, so that
it is always disastrous to leave the church (4.1.4).1
A few pages later the French Reformer declares,
... no one is permitted to spurn its [i.e., a true
church’s] authority, flout its warnings, resist its counsels, or make
light of its chastisements—much less to desert it and break its unity.
For the Lord esteems the communion of his church so highly that he
counts as a traitor and apostate from Christianity anyone who
arrogantly leaves any Christian society, provided it cherishes the
true ministry of Word and sacraments. He so esteems the authority of
the church that when it is violated he believes his own diminished ...
From this it follows that separation from the church is the denial of
God and Christ. Hence, we must even more avoid so wicked a separation.
For when with all our might we are attempting the overthrow of God’s
truth, we deserve to have him hurl the whole thunderbolt of his wrath
to crush us (4.1.10).2
Theodore Beza (1519-1605), Calvin’s successor in
Geneva, held the same position:
Finally, we must necessarily confess, since outside
of Jesus Christ there is no salvation at all, that anyone who dies
without being a member of this assembly [i.e., a true church] is
excluded from Jesus Christ and from salvation, for the power to save
which is in Jesus Christ belongs only to those who recognize him as
their God and only Saviour.
This statement occurs in Beza’s confession, a "very
popular" document according to Nicolaas Gootjes. Gootjes argues
persuasively that Guido de Brès utilised this part of Beza’s confession
in writing Belgic Confession 28.
Zacharias Ursinus (1534-1583) was a German Reformed
theologian, born in Breslau (now Wrocław, Poland), who became the
leading theologian of the Reformed movement of the Palatinate. As the
principal author and interpreter of the Heidelberg Catechism
(1563), his exposition of "the holy, catholic church" (Q. & A. 54) is
especially important. A treatment of extra ecclesiam nulla salus
concludes his discussion of this question and answer on the church:
Is there any salvation out of the Church? No one
can be saved out of the Church: 1. Because out of the church there is
no Saviour, and hence no salvation. "Without me ye can do nothing."
(John 15:5). 2. Because those whom God has chosen to the end, which is
eternal life, them he has also chosen to the means, which consist in
the inward and outward call. Hence although the elect are not always
members of the visible church, yet they all become such before they
die. Obj. Therefore the election of God is not free. Ans. It is free,
because God chooses freely both to the end and the means, all those
whom he has determined to save. He never changes his decree however,
after he has chosen, and ordained to the end and the means. Infants
born in the church are also of the church, notwithstanding all the
cant of the Anabaptists to the contrary.
is it to believe the Holy Catholic Church? It is to believe that there
always has been, is, and ever will be, to the end of time such a
church in the world, and that in the congregation composing the
visible church there are always some who are truly converted, and that
I am one of this number; and therefore a member of both the visible
and invisible church, and shall forever remain such.
A few pages earlier (4.1.1), Calvin uses the biblical imagery of the
church as our mother (Gal. 4:26), developed by Cyprian: "You cannot have
God for your Father unless you have the church for your Mother."
Calvin also states that "no one escapes the just penalty of this unholy
separation [from the true church] without bewitching himself with
pestilent errors and foulest delusions" (4.1.5).