Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 6 January, 2013

"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

John the Baptist’s Public Ministry (3)
The Baptism of John   [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Mark 1:1-8; Acts 10:34-48
Text: Mark 1:4-5

I. The Meaning of the Word Baptism
II. The Real Baptism John Preached
III. The Ritual Baptism John Administered
Psalms: 113:1-9; 21:1-6; 114:1-8; 51:1-7

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

Enveloped by Comfort  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Psalm 71
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1

I. The Need for Comfort
II. The Nature of Comfort
III. The Way of Comfort
Psalms: 23:1-6; 21:7-13; 119:49-56; 71:18-23

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

CPRC website:
CPRC YouTube:
CPRC Facebook:

Quote to Consider

James Montgomery Boice: "Here we gain a great deal of help from classical Greek literature, for there is evidence that the Greek classical writers used the word baptizo from about 400 B.C. to the second century after Christ. In their writings, baptizo always points to a change of identity by any means. Thus, to give a few quite general examples, it can refer to a change having taken place by immersing an object in a liquid, as in dying cloth; by drinking too much wine and getting drunk; by overexertion; and by other causes" (The Gospel of John, vol. 1, p. 134).

James W. Dale: "It is a moral impossibility that the ministry of the Forerunner heralding the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ should consist in the proclamation of a mere ritual ordinance ... Under Judaism rite and ceremonial had a prime importance. It was by and through them that truth was reached. Under Christianity truth is brought into the foreground and directly taught; while the observance of rite, as such, is not taught at all by Christianity" (Johannic Baptism, p. 248).

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

A new Reformed Perspectives is available. It’s not too late to start the Bible reading programme for 2013. Copies are on the back table.

Lucas Joshua Hall remains in Royal Victoria Hospital and is slowly gaining weight. None of the tests run have shown any problems. We are thankful for the Lord’s care of this little one. Continue to remember the Halls in prayer.

Our thanks to the congregation for your words of encouragement and many prayers on our behalf in this past year. We have been blessed to work among you for the glory of His name and spread of the gospel. In this new year, "let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith" (Heb. 12:1-2). Rev. & Mary Stewart

Monday Catechism:
6 PM - O.T. Beginners (Bradley, Alex & Kirstin)
6:45 PM - N.T. Juniors (Nathan, Jacob & Joseph)
7:30 PM - Heidelberg (Timothy & Jackie)

The Tuesday morning Bible study will be held this week at 11 AM. We will continue the new section on "The Nearness of Christ’s Coming."

The Belgic Confession Class will meet this Wednesday, at 7:45 PM, to continue article 18 on our Lord’s virgin conception and birth.

The congregational dinner is this Friday at 7 PM at Leighinmohr Hotel off the Galgorm Road in Ballymena. Today is the last day to sign up.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) will be "Nurturing Our Children" (Eph. 6:4) by Rev. Bruinsma.

The council will meet next Monday (14 Jan.) at 8:15 PM, with Rev. McGeown in attendance.

Ballymena Lecture: Friday, 8 February at 7:30 PM, Rev. Stewart will speak on "Calvinism, Hyper-Calvinism and Hypo-Calvinism."

Offerings: General Fund - £381.50 (23 Dec.), £549.55 (30 Dec.). Donations: £1,230,70 ($2,000), £61.50 ($100).

Website Additions: 2 Hungarian, 1 Portuguese, 2 Afrikaans and 2 Italian translations.

PRC News: Rev. Haak (Georgetown, MI) declined both Faith PRC and Hope PRC. Randolph PRC called Rev. A. Brummel (Sioux Falls, SD).

Baptism Does Not Mean Immersion

(1) Baptism cannot mean immersion if immersion does not make sense grammatically.

Matthew 20:22-23: "But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father."
Matthew 28:19: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in [i.e., into] the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
I Corinthians 1:13: "Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in [i.e., into] the name of Paul?"
I Corinthians 10:1-2: "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea."
I Corinthians 12:13: "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."

(2) Baptism cannot mean immersion if the object to be baptized is too large to be immersed.

Mark 7:4: "And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing [baptismos] of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables."

(3) Baptism cannot mean immersion if there are too many people to be immersed.

Acts 2:41: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."

(4) Baptism cannot mean immersion if the one baptized is in a position unsuitable for immersion.

Acts 22:16: "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."
Acts 9:18: "And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized."

(5) Baptism cannot mean immersion if one party is described as baptized, while another party is immersed.

I Corinthians 10:1-2: "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea."
I Peter 3:20-21: "Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."

(6) Baptism cannot mean immersion if a baptism is effected by pouring.

Acts 1:5: "For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence."
Acts 2:17-18: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy."
Acts 2:33: "Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear."
Acts 8:16: "(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)"
Acts 10:44-45, 47-48: "While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost ... Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days."
Acts 11:15-16: "And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost."

(7) Baptism cannot mean immersion if a baptism is effected by sprinkling.

Hebrews 9:10, 13, 19-21: "Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings [baptismos], and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation ... For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh ... For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry."