Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Bookmark and Share

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 14 February, 2016

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind ...” (Rom. 12:2)

Morning Service - 11:00 AM

Zephaniah and the Day of the Lord (9)
Instruction, Destruction and Confession  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Zephaniah 3
Text: Zephaniah 3:6-10

I. The Divine Lesson
II. The Fiery Day
III. The Pure Lip
Psalms: 34:1-10; 126:1-6; 33:13-22; 68:30-34

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

Adultery Forbidden  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: I Corinthians 7:1-24
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 41

I. The Two States of Our Life
II. The Two Parts of Our Nature
III. The Two Sides of Our Calling
Psalms: 122:1-9; 127:1-5; 45:9-14; 50:18-23

For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services, contact Stephen Murray
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart or the elders

CPRC Website: • Live Webcast:
CPRC YouTube:
CPRC Facebook:

Quotes to Consider

John Calvin on Zephaniah 3:9: “As to the world all, it is to be referred to nations, not to each individual; for it has not been that every one has called on God; but there have been some of all nations, as Paul also says in the first chapter of the first Epistle to the Corinthians: for in addressing the faithful, he adds, ‘With all who call on the name of the Lord in every place’—that is, not only in Judea; and elsewhere he says, ‘I would that men would stretch forth hands to heaven in every place’ (I Tim. 2:8).”

John Calvin: “Therefore, while the Lord forbids fornication, he at the same time forbids us to lay snares for our neighbor’s chastity by lascivious attire, obscene gestures, and impure conversation ... If the Lord requires modesty of us, he condemns whatever opposes it.  Therefore, if you aspire to obedience, let neither your heart burn with wicked lust within, nor your eyes wantonly run into corrupt desires, nor your body be decked for allurements, nor your tongue seduce your mind to like thoughts with filthy words, nor your appetite inflame it with intemperance.  For all vices of this sort are like stains that despoil chastity of its purity” (Institutes 2.8.45).

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

On the back table today is Rev. Stewart’s bimonthly letter to the PRC.

The Rock Whence We Are Hewn is now available for RFPA Bookclub members. If you would like Rev. Stewart to pay this for you, give him £21.

Monday evening’s Catechism classes
5:45 PM - Taylor, Josh, Corey, Bradley & Samuel (Beginners OT, book 2)
6:30 PM - Alex & Nathan (Seniors OT)
7:15 PM - Jacob & Joseph (Heidelberg Catechism, book 1)

The Tuesday Bible study meets this Tuesday at 11 AM to study Hosea on the covenant.

The Belgic Confession Class meets this Wednesday at 7:45 PM to continue our study of Article 27, looking at attacks on the holiness, beauty and glory of Christ’s church.

Ladies Bible Study meets this Friday at church at 10:30 AM. We will be discussing lesson 10 in Studies in I Peter.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. R. Kleyn is entitled “Signs of Jesus’ Coming” (Matt. 24:8).

Upcoming Lectures:
S. Wales, Thursday, 25 Feb., 7:15 PM, Rev. McGeown on “The Love of the World”
CPRC, Friday, 18 March, 7:30 PM, Rev. Stewart on “Our Identity in Christ”

Offerings: General Fund: £900.01. Building Fund: £241.55. Donations: £200 (DVDs).

Website Additions: 1 Italian and 1 Spanish translations.

PRC News: The new trio for the second missionary to the Philippines is Revs. Griess, Holstege and Huizinga.

Who? Us?

Brian D. Dykstra


I John 5:4: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”

Of course, it does not happen very often for me, and it seems to be happening with less frequency, but every now and then some stray thoughts, events and memories fall into place. You would think the accumulating years would give the mind more raw materials of facts and memories to combine. With enough facts and memories floating around up there, shouldn’t some combinations of thought spontaneously combust? Unfortunately, there seems to be some statute of limitations on the laws of probability which prevents such occurrences. With that in mind, here we go.

One of the thoughts caused by the September 11 attacks was a desire for the heavenly kingdom to come. Wouldn’t it be nice to be rid of this world of hate for, and rebellion against, God and live in the realm of His peace? While having such thoughts, I read the passage cited above. I realized the coming of God’s kingdom would not send this world to oblivion. This world will be cleansed by fire and a new heaven and earth would be made. We, God’s people, will overcome this world. From an earthly point of view, our overcoming this world appears improbable at best.

While musing about our overcoming this world, I remembered a little event from my halcyon days of study at Hope College. I was working on a research paper which I no longer remember, and I was staking my claim to a study carrel adjacent to a window on the second floor of the old library. On the desktop some unknown earlier researcher had left a message in light pencil. It read, “The meek shall inherit the earth, if that’s all right with you.” It appears others recognize the paradox as well. Yes, indeed, when it comes to overcoming or inheriting something which is desired by many, the meek would not be likely to come out on top.

There are those who have overcome some aspect of this world. The business world has Bill Gates and Microsoft. There’s a man who has the ability to anticipate uses for computers before others, then capitalize on the opportunity. How far do the meek advance in the business world?

Championship athletic teams have athletes recognized for their superior talent. I remember reading about a right fielder for the New York Yankees during their great seasons in the 1930’s and 40’s. He said that whenever he was in a game which the Yankees needed to win to keep their place at the top of the baseball world, he always liked to look over to centre field and see Joe DiMaggio standing there. He felt confident about the game’s outcome. Athletic competition does not favour the meek either.

There is also the world of the military. The weapons of the United States have overcome the Taliban more quickly than I thought possible. It was eye-opening to read of the advances in our nation’s weapons since the Persian Gulf War. Do you suppose meekness is the dominant personality trait of pilots catapulting off the decks of aircraft carriers?

From an earthly perspective, do we possess the needed characteristics to overcome the world? I know we all have our unique personalities and abilities, but I don’t feel poised to overcome the world.

If the civil government during a previous administration had been able to break Bill Gates’ Microsoft into several divisions, Mr. Gates would not have been pleased to hear that I had been put in charge of part of his company. He would immediately run to the stock room and check his supply of red ink.

In my earlier years, I spent a bit of time chasing baseballs and softballs in centre field. I really enjoyed soaking in the warmth of the sun while defending the green turf. However, if I were to appear in center field wearing Yankee pinstripes, the owner and manager would not experience the calm confidence Mr. DiMaggio inspired.

Back in my Hope College days, I was walking on the outskirts of campus when two Marine recruiters stopped me and asked when I was going to come to their office and enlist. Although their uniforms looked very sharp, little did they know the tremendous guilt I felt when, while hiking on the old family farm with my father, I shot and killed a chickadee. I had taken a friend’s dare because I knew I couldn’t possibly hit such a small and flitting target. I can still see both halves of the feathered fellow lying on the snow. I am no warrior.

How is it possible for us to overcome this world? It won’t happen because of our abilities and strengths as individuals. Such a victory is not possible even if we were to rely on our collective abilities and strengths.

Such a victory is ours only because of our faith, which we know is a gift from God. Our children have been singing of the Church’s ultimate victory in the last two Songs of the Week. Psalter #20 stanza three says, “The wicked His anger will drive from their place, The upright in rapture shall gaze on His face.” Verse three of Psalter #21 reads, “Tho’ base men walk on ev’ry side, His saints are safe, what-e’er betide, Protected by His Name.”

God has been pleased to give us the faith needed to know, of a certainty, that Christ shall return as Judge to punish the wicked and reward those who have been imputed His righteousness. We have the sure hope of our Father’s protection until He gives the victory because His name, Jehovah, tells us that He never changes.

We live as those who expect to overcome the world. By living for His kingdom and being governed by His Word, our children learn to expect the final victory. For as long as they can remember, our children have seen father and mother praying to the God nobody at the table can see. They learn there must be something real about the unseen spiritual realm. There must be more in existence than what we can see with our eyes. Though the power of the anti-christian world grows and iniquity increases, “when the time appointed is come ... our Lord Jesus Christ will come from heaven ... to declare himself judge of the quick and the dead ...” (Belgic Confession 37)

Overcome and inherit the earth? Who? Us? Yes, us! We, our faithful forefathers and the covenant seed God has been pleased to give us will overcome the world and inherit the earth through the humiliation and exaltation of our Lord Jesus Christ!