Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church



Rev. Angus Stewart

Lord’s Day, 26 February, 2012


"Those that be planted in the house of the Lord

shall flourish in the courts of our God" (Ps. 92:13)


Morning Service - 11:00 AM

Zechariah’s Night Visions (3)

The Man With a Measuring Line   [download]   [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Zechariah 2

Text: Zechariah 2

I. The Meaning of the Vision

II. The Calling of God’s People

III. The Fulfilment in Jesus Christ

Psalms: 87:1-7; 119:145-152; 17:3-9; 67:1-7


Evening Service - 6:00 PM

The Lord’s Supper—A Full Meal!  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: I Corinthians 11:17-34

Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 29

I. What This Does Not Mean

II. What This Does Mean

Psalms: 84:4-12; 119:153-160; 34:8-16; 92:10-15


For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services, contact Stephen Murray

If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart


CPRC website:

CPRC YouTube:

CPRC Facebook:


Quote to Consider:

John Calvin on Zechariah 2: "It hence appears as from the whole of what the Prophet says, how carefully God provides for the safety of his Church; for he has ever angels as his emissaries, who hasten at his nod, and aid the Church in its necessities. Since then angels thus unite to secure the wellbeing of the Church, we hence perceive who dear to God are the faithful, in whose favour he thus employs all his angels ..."

Meredith Kline on Zechariah 2:13: "So, hush! Silence all flesh (Zech. 2:13). The summons sounds and the kings of the earth shut their mouths, speechless, awe-struck before the exalted Servant (Isa. 52:15b). His mission is authenticated as divine, for they, Gentiles deceived by the devil, now hear and understand what had been unheard-of, what the prince of darkness had kept from them, The gospel tidings of peace with God through the sacrifice and intercession of this amazing Servant. He has come and overcome Beelzebub. He has rescued the prey from many nations. He has been exalted and his claim to be Christ, sent forth by the lord of hosts, has been validated (Isa. 52:13-53:12)."

From John Calvin's commentary on I Corinthians 11:17-34

20. This is not to eat the Lord’s supper. He now reproves the abuse that had crept in among the Corinthians as to the Lord’s Supper, in respect of their mixing up profane banquets with the sacred and spiritual feast, and that too with contempt of the poor. Paul says, that in this way it is not the Lord’s supper that is partaken of—not that a single abuse altogether set aside the sacred institution of Christ, and reduced it to nothing, but that they polluted the sacrament by observing it in a wrong way. For we are accustomed to say, in common conversation, that a thing is not done at all, if it is not done aright. Now this was no trivial abuse, as we shall afterwards see. If you understand the words is not as meaning, is not allowable, the meaning will amount to the same thing—that the Corinthians were not in a state of preparation for partaking of the Lord’s supper, as being in so divided a state. What I stated a little ago, however, is more simple—that he condemns that profane admixture, which had nothing in it akin to the Lord’s Supper.

21. For every one of you taketh before others his own supper. It is truly wonderful, and next to a miracle, that Satan could have accomplished so much in so short a time. We are, however, admonished by this instance, how much antiquity, without reason on its side, can effect, or, in other words, how much influence a long continued custom has, while not sanctioned by a single declaration of the word of God. This, having become customary, was looked upon as lawful. Paul was then at hand to interfere. What then must have been the state of matters after the death of the Apostles? With what liberty Satan must have sported himself. Yet here is the great strength of Papists: "The thing is ancient—it was done long ago—let it, therefore, have the weight of a revelation from heaven."

It is uncertain, however, what was the origin of this abuse, or what was the occasion of its springing up so soon. Chrysostom is of opinion, that it originated in the love-feasts, (ἀπὸ τῶν ἀγαπῶν) and that, while the rich had been accustomed to bring with them from their houses the means of feasting with the poor indiscriminately and in common, they afterwards began to exclude the poor, and to guzzle over their delicacies by themselves. And, certainly, it appears from Tertullian, that that custom was a very ancient one.  Now they gave the name of Agapae to those common entertainments, which they contrived among themselves, as being tokens of fraternal affection, and consisted of alms. Nor have I any doubt, that it took its rise from sacrificial rites commonly observed both by Jews and Gentiles. For I observe that Christians, for the most part, corrected the faults connected with those rites, in such a manner, as to retain at the same time some resemblance. Hence it is probable, that, on observing that both Jews and Gentiles added a feast to their sacrifice, as an appendage to it, but that both of them sinned in respect of ambition, luxury, and intemperance, they instituted a kind of banquet, which might accustom them rather to sobriety and frugality, and might, at the same time, be in accordance with a spiritual entertainment in respect of mutual fellowship. For in it the poor were entertained at the expense of the rich, and the table was open to all. But, whether they had from the very first fallen into this profane abuse, or whether an institution, otherwise not so objectionable, had in this way degenerated in process of time, Paul would have them in no way mix up this spiritual banquet with common feasts. "This, indeed, looks well—that the poor along with the rich partake in common of the provisions that have been brought, and that the rich share of their abundance along with the needy, but nothing ought to have such weight with us as to lead us to profane the holy sacrament."

And one is hungry. This was one evil in the case, that while the rich indulged themselves sumptuously, they appeared, in a manner, to reproach the poor for their poverty. The inequality he describes hyperbolically, when he says, that some are drunken and others are hungry, for some had the means of stuffing themselves well, while others had slender fare. Thus the poor were exposed to the derision of the rich, or at least they were exposed to shame. It was, therefore, an unseemly spectacle, and not in accordance with the Lord’s supper.

22. Have ye not houses? From this we see that the Apostle was utterly dissatisfied with this custom of feasting, even though the abuse formerly mentioned had not existed. For, though it seems allowable for the whole Church to partake at one common table, yet this, on the other hand, is wrong—to convert a sacred assembly to purposes foreign to its nature. We know for what exercises a Church should assemble — to hear doctrine, to pour forth prayers, and sing hymns to God, to observe the sacraments, to make confession of their faith, and to engage in pious observances, and other exercises of piety. If anything else is done there, it is out of place. Every one has his own house appointed him for eating and drinking, and hence that is an unseemly thing in a sacred assembly.

What shall I say to you? Having fitly stated the case, he now calls them to consider, whether they are worthy to be praised, for they could not defend an abuse that was so manifest. He presses them still further, by asking—"What else could I do? Will you say that you are unjustly reproved?"

23-29. Hitherto he has been exposing the abuse; now he proceeds to show what is the proper method of rectifying it. For the institution of Christ is a sure rule, so that if you turn aside from it but a very little, you are out of the right course. Hence, as the Corinthians had deviated from this rule, he calls them back to it. It is a passage that ought to be carefully observed, as showing that there is no remedy for correcting and purging out abuses, short of a return to God’s pure institution.

23. I received from the Lord. In these words he intimates, that there is no authority that is of any avail in the Church, but that of the Lord alone. "I have not delivered to you an invention of my own: I had not, when I came to you, contrived a new kind of Supper, according to my own humour, but have Christ as my authority, from whom I received what I have delivered unto you, in the way of handing it over." Return, then, to the original source. Thus, bidding adieu to human laws, the authority of Christ will be maintained in its stability.

33. Wherefore, my brethren From the discussion of a general doctrine, he returns to the particular subject with which he had set out, and comes to this conclusion, that equality must be observed in the Lord’s Supper, that there may be a real participation, as there ought to be, and that they may not celebrate every one his own supper; and farther, that this sacrament ought not to be mixed up with common feasts.

From Charles Hodge's commentary on I Corinthians 11:17-34

22. What! have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them which have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise (you) not. The two grounds on which the apostle condemned this conduct of the Corinthians were, first, that it was a perversion of the Lord’s supper; and secondly, that it was disrespectful and mortifying to their poorer brethren. It was a perversion of the Lord’s supper, because it made it an ordinary meal designed to satisfy hunger. For that purpose they had their own houses. The church comes together to worship God and to celebrate his ordinances, not for the purpose of eating and drinking. It is important that the church, as the church, should confine itself to its own appropriate work, and not as such undertake to do what its members, as citizens or members of families, may appropriately do. The church does not come together to do what can better be done at home. Or despise ye the church of God? This was the second ground of condemnation. Their conduct evinced contempt of their brethren. They treated them as unfit to eat with them. Yet the poor were constituent members of the church of God. They were his people; those whom he had chosen, whom he had made kings and priests unto himself. These persons, thus highly honoured of God, the richer Corinthians treated with contempt; and that too at the Lord’s table, where all external distinctions are done away, and the master is not a hair’s breadth above his slave. And shame those who have not. To shame, i.e. to mortify and humble, by rendering conscious of inferiority. Those who have not may mean, either those who have not houses to eat or drink in, or simply the poor. Those who have, are the rich; those who have not, are the poor. The latter interpretation is not only consistent with the Greek idiom, but gives a better sense. Even the poorer members of the church did not, and ought not, come to the Lord’s table for the sake of food. Much as Paul was disposed to praise the Corinthians, in this matter he could not praise them.

23. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus, the (same) night in which he was betrayed, took bread: ‘I cannot praise you, for your manner of celebrating the Lord’s supper is utterly inconsistent with its original institution.’ They were the more inexcusable in departing from the original mode of celebrating this ordinance, first, because the account of its original institution had been received by Paul from the Lord himself; and secondly, because he had delivered it to them. Their sin was therefore one of irreverent disobedience, without the excuse of ignorance. For I have received of the Lord. Paul asserts that he received from the Lord the account here given. The whole context shows that he intends to claim for this narrative the direct authority of the Lord himself. As with regard to his doctrines generally, so with regard to the institution and design of this ordinance, he disclaims all indebtedness to tradition or to the instructions of men, and asserts the fact of a direct revelation to himself.

33, 34. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come. The two great evils connected with the observance of the Lord’s supper at Corinth were, first, that it was not a communion, one took his supper before another, v. 21; and secondly, that they came to the Lord’s table to satisfy their hunger. That is, they made it an ordinary meal. They thus sinned against their brethren, v. 22, and they sinned against Christ, v. 27. In the conclusion, therefore, of the whole discussion, he exhorts them to correct these evils; to wait for each other, and make it a joint service; and to satisfy their hunger at home, and come together only to commemorate the Lord’s death. Mildly as this exhortation is expressed, it is enforced by the solemn warning already given, that ye come not together to condemnation, that is, so as to incur the displeasure of God. The rest will I set in order when (whenever) I may come . There were, it seems, other irregularities of less importance than those above mentioned, which the apostle leaves to be corrected until he should again visit Corinth. The epistles of Paul abound in evidence of the plenary authority exercised by the apostles over the churches. The word diatassoo, to set in order, implies authoritative direction; see 7:17; 16:1; Matt. 11:1. The apostles were rendered infallible, as the representatives of Christ, to teach his doctrines, to organize the church and determine its form of government, and to regulate its worship. And what they ordained has binding force on the church to this day. What Paul teaches in this chapter concerning the nature and mode of celebrating the Lord’s supper, has determined the views and practice of evangelical Christians in every part of the world. It is not at all wonderful, considering that the festivals of the Jews, and especially the Passover, as well as the sacrificial feasts of the Gentiles, were social repasts, and especially considering that our Lord instituted this ordinance in connection with the Paschal supper, that the early Christians should have so generally combined it with a social meal; or that this custom should have continued so long in the church. Nor is it a matter of surprise, that the social element in this combined service should so often have prevailed over the religious one. That this was to a lamentable degree the case in Corinth, is evident from this chapter; and it is probable from Jude 12, that the evil was by no means confined to Corinth. That apostle, speaking of certain sensual persons, says, "These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you without fear." Hence the unspeakable importance of the instructions and directions given by St. Paul, which are specially designed to separate the Lord’s supper as a religious rite from the social element with which it was combined. The apostle urges that neither the sacrament itself, nor any feast with which it might be connected, should be regarded as the occasion of satisfying hunger. The communion of saints and the commemoration of the death of Christ as a sacrifice for our sins, are the only legitimate objects which could be contemplated in the service. And by exhibiting the intimate fellowship with the Lord involved in the right use of this ordinance, and the dreadful consequences of unworthily participating, he has raised it to a purely religious service, and made it the highest act of worship.

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

The February Covenant Reformed News is on the back table. There is also a new tri-fold pamphlet introducing the CPRC for use in your witnessing to others. Feel free to take as many as you can distribute.

Sunday Catechism: 10 AM - O.T. Juniors

Monday Catechism: 6 PM - O.T. Beginners (Alex & Nathan) 6:45 PM - O.T. Juniors (Jacob & Joseph) 7:30 PM - Heidelberg (Timothy, Zoe, Amy & Lea)

Our Tuesday morning Bible study meets at 11 AM on "Eschatology and Time." We will look at the "two ages."

Belgic Confession Class meets Wednesday at 7:45 PM to study Article 13—"God is not the author of sin!"

This Friday, the wedding of Sam Watterson and Anga Dyck will take place at 1 PM at the CPRC. We wish them the Lord’s blessing as they begin their married life together as a reflection of the mystery of Christ and His church.

Men’s Bible study will meet this Saturday, 3 March, to study Daniel 11, part 2, at the Kennedys at 8 PM.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) will be "May God Bless your Marriage!" (Ruth 4:11-12) by Rev. R. Kleyn.


S. Wales, 12 April, Rev. Stewart, "God’s Sovereignty & Man’s Responsibility"

Ballymena, 20 April, Rev. Stewart, "God’s Sovereignty & Man’s Responsibility"

Offerings: General Fund: £663.00.

Encouraging Quotes:

"I started going through your sermons on ‘The Holy Spirit in Ephesians’ which is refreshing to my soul. We have many, many churches in this small town and so far I know not of one where I would hear this kind of teaching, far less even believe in the doctrines of grace. May God bless you as you continue to teach." - Texas, USA

"Having just completed listening to the CDs of the recordings made at these sessions [Belgic Confession classes on ‘The Creation and the Angels’], I am very grateful indeed that they were made available to me. I have read and listened to some other men on the subject, most as you mention and have made clear from Scripture, do err in one way or another. I thank you sincerely for the privilege of listening in to your classes on this fascinating subject. It’s the first I’ve heard you out of the pulpit and must say your teaching manner is as excellent as your preaching. May the Lord Jesus Christ continue to bless the CPRC at Ballymena." - Hampshire, England

"I would like to thank you very much for all the sermons I received in 2011. I thank the Lord for your faithfulness to Him and His Word. I pray that the Lord will bless your ministry in the coming year." - Co. Antrim

"Thank you very much for sending me Hoeksema’s exposition of the book of Revelation. I look forward to reading it greatly as I have been searching for a good amillennial commentary for some time. I was brought up in American Pre-millennial Dispensationalism in an apostate church, so hopefully this will be a breath of fresh air at long last! May God bless you and your ministry." - S. Wales

"I am a member of the Berean PRC. My friend informed me of the sermon links you have on your Bible study series about the devil, angels, creation, etc., and it is very informative. I have been listening to it on my cell phone ... God’s blessing to the saints there in the UK." - Philippines

"May I have a catalogue of books and tapes please? I am a Baptist Calvinist but I appreciate your stand on the truth of the Word of God in these days of compromise and decay within the church. I am enjoying studying Rev. Hoeksema’s books on Revelation and Romans." - Liverpool, England

"Thank you very much for the pamphlets, and, yes, I am very much interested in the CR News. I would also like to thank you for taking the time to respond to my e-mail. You did a great job on the YouTube debates as well, and that is how I found your website, which I am sure will be a blessing to me." - Georgia, USA

"The sermons on Matthew 24 are excellent. [Rev. McGeown] makes it very clear and simple." - Co. Antrim

"Thank you for sending your article ... your labour in Ireland and sermons have always been an example for me to follow with the little work I do here in Singapore. [In my own church when] I felt I was not as well fed, your sermons were the only thing that really kept me going. I used to listen to up to four sermons a week by you. I feel sometimes that I am almost a part of your congregation ... To God be the glory." - Singapore

"Would you please send a box set of Belgic Confession class, volume 4 [on the angels]? We have really appreciated listening to articles 1-11 and are keenly looking forward to receiving this further volume of CDs." - Australia

"I am reading through Prof. Hanko’s commentary on Galatians and am enjoying it. I had a little dip into [Prof. Engelsma’s] Covenant and Election book and had to put it down quickly as I knew that if I read on I would neglect to finish Galatians, so I’m looking forward to getting it started proper." - Co. Tyrone

"Many thanks for the book of meditations [Communion with God]. The first volume [Peace for the Troubled Heart] has been a great blessing. It has helped me to see past present situations—all providential, yet that can sorely try us, cause us such frustration pain, grief of various kinds. I look forward to the comfort and encouragement of volume 2 ... As for the CDs [on Matthew 24] ... Rev. McGeown gets to grips with what has become a confusing and perplexing problem regarding eschatology. I’ve always felt that the pre- and post- mill., together with the dispensationalist idea of a rapture, to be a bit like walking across a rickety bridge: you are never quite sure of your footing ... But the way Rev. McGeown ties in Daniel and Revelation with Matthew 24, and so helpfully exposes from Scripture the intrinsic absurdity of post-millennialism and the pre-mill. rapture ideas is solid ground. Just what I needed to hear. No wonder our Lord’s return is called that blessed hope and glorious appearing whereby we are comforted. Thanks again for your kindness and fellowship in the gospel." - Wolverhampton, England

"I heard your [Belgic Confession 12] study on Genesis 6. Let me tell you, it was a blessing. I learned a lot. Thank God, now I understand the true meaning of Genesis 6." - Florida, USA

"I came across your [YouTube] channels a few weeks ago. Absolutely great sermons you have on your two channels. I have linked your two channels on my own channel page." - South Australia

"I have really enjoyed your church’s ministry over the past year and wondered if you had the time to answer a few of my questions ..." - Coventry, England

"Recently I found your website and I consider it very useful with a great amount of good Reformed materials. It was interesting to see your foreign language section ... We wish and pray that God might bless your attempts to spread His Word!" - Romania