Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 24 January, 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 (5)
The Day of the Lord’s Anger: Its Imperatives
Scripture Reading: Zephaniah 2
Text: Zephaniah 2:1-3
I. Gather Together!
Psalms: 147:1-8; 120:1-7; 105:1-7; 27:4-8
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
God’s Requirements in the Fifth Commandment
Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:12-4:6
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 39
Psalms: 149:1-6; 121:1-8; 78:4-8; 113:1-9
For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services,
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart
or the elders
CPRC Website: www.cprc.co.uk • Live Webcast: www.cprf.co.uk/live.html
CPRC YouTube: www.youtube.com/cprcni
CPRC Facebook: www.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
Quote to Consider
John Calvin: “Grant, Almighty God, that as we continue in
various ways to provoke thy wrath, we may at length be
awakened by the blasting of that trumpet which sounds in our
ears, when thou proclaimest that thou wilt be the judge of
the world, and testifiest also the same so plainly in the
gospel, so that we may, with our minds raised up to thee,
learn to renounce all the depraved lusts of the world, and
that having shaken off our torpidity, we may so hasten to
repent, that we may anticipate thy judgment, and so find
that we are reconciled to thee, as to enjoy thy goodness,
and ever to retain the taste of it, in order that we may be
enabled to renounce all the allurements and pleasures of
this world, until we shall at length come to that blessed
rest, where we shall be filled with that unspeakable joy,
which thou hast promised to us, and which we hope for in
Christ our Lord. Amen” (prayer after Comm. on Zeph. 2:1-2).
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
On the back table today are
Studies in James, a newly
published study guide available from the CPRC Bookstore for
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 kingship.
The Belgic Confession Class meets this Wednesday at 7:45 PM
to continue our consideration of the holiness of the church
in connection with article 27.
Rev. Stewart lectures in S. Wales this Thursday, 28 January,
at 7:15 PM on “Our Identity in Christ.” Please remember this
witness in your prayers.
Men’s Bible Study meets this Saturday at 8 PM at the
Kennedys to study the last two chapters of Respectable Sins
dealing with worldliness, etc.
The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel
846MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. Bruinsma is entitled “Healing the
Nobleman’s Son” (John 4:46-54).
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: £577.81. Donations: £1,500
(Australia), £8.25 (CR News), £89 (books).
Website Additions: 5 Afrikaans translations.
Delivered From the Evil Man’s Path
Brian D. Dykstra
Proverbs 2:12-15: “To deliver thee from the way of the evil
man, from the man that speaketh froward things; (13) Who
leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of
darkness; (14) Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the
frowardness of the wicked; (15) Whose ways are crooked, and
they froward in their paths.”
In Proverbs 2:10-19, Solomon instructs us from what sinful
ways true wisdom will preserve us. In these four verses, we
are told from what type of man wisdom will keep us.
Verse twelve says God’s wisdom will prevent us from joining
the wicked in his customary manner of living, his “way.”
Evil living has become this man’s habit. This way has been
walked so often by him and by others similar in heart that
it can be easily distinguished from the surrounding terrain.
The same ground has been travelled by countless feet so that
either nothing green grows there or the earth there is
packed hard. We are also told here that the man who walks
this path can be recognized by his speech. His speech is
described as being froward, that is, proud and disobedient.
He does not care to follow God’s good law and defies God to
do anything about it. Either he feels there will be no
consequences for his sin or he does not care what those
consequences might be.
My Bible commentary mentions that in verse thirteen the
subject “who” is now plural. This wicked man now has
companions. They have left the paths of uprightness. They
appear to have known the way that was right and just before
God but they forsook that way. Perhaps they were brought up
in homes which had God-fearing parents but the way of sin
was far more appealing to them. The works of darkness became
more appealing to the flesh. There was no longer any benefit
for avoiding the path of the wicked. The ways of darkness
had more to offer them.
This temptation to leave the paths of uprightness has not
diminished. We are, to varying degrees, social creatures. It
can become difficult to walk the godly way when that way
appears to be so solitary at times and ridiculed by so many.
The wicked seem to have plenty of companionship and enjoy
life. They are not sitting around with long faces as they
contemplate their ultimate fate. They look happy. They have
good times with their friends. They laugh and live
care-free. Occasionally, the truth that the way of the evil
man is darkness is not recognized by us. The well-watered
plain of Jordan, the area of Sodom and Gomorrah, had
something to offer Lot. Jacob’s daughter Dinah kept company
with the people of Canaan. There is a real temptation for
our young people to do what it takes to be financially
successful or socially acceptable.
The wicked also rejoice to do evil, according to verse
fourteen. That can appear shocking to us. How often don’t we
feel sorrow and shame because our thoughts and desires are
sinful! How quickly something hurtful to say can spring into
our hearts, even if it does not bubble from our mouths! How
dreadful it would be if others were able to read every
thought we have in our minds! We see the darkness of our
nature and are driven to our knees to ask forgiveness. Yet
the wicked not only think such things; they actually do
them. Then, when they do these things, they show no effect
of guilt or shame. They are happy! They live care-free, and
their only concern in life is how to satisfy their next
Young people might wonder about what point there is to the
godly life. Why do we have to deal with all that guilt? Why
go through life with a long face when the world seems to
provide such happiness? Only godly wisdom can reveal to us
the end of rejoicing to do evil.
These evil men also delight in the frowardness of the
wicked. I have read the word translated here as froward is
sometimes translated “perverse.” That certainly speaks of
our time. Hollywood and our popular culture like to “push
the envelope” of what is portrayed in entertainment or what
is thought of as being funny. Entertainers who make the most
money are often those who dare to say and do what others
have not dared to say or do as yet. While there are some in
our nation who bemoan the condition of our popular culture,
their voices are easily drowned out by many others insisting
on their First Amendment rights to sin. We can see how much
our society delights in what is perverse by how profitable
such enterprises are.
Verse fifteen states that the ways of the wicked are crooked
and they are proud of it. They will say that what is good is
evil and that which is evil is good. They have convinced
themselves that God will do neither good nor evil to them.
They are like carnal Israel which grew ripe for the judgment
of God. The wicked believe their way is pleasant because its
very crookedness prevents them from seeing the certain
destruction which lies at its end.
As teachers and parents, we must warn our students and
children about the way of the evil man. That way is
appealing to our flesh. May God be pleased to use the
instruction of this school and the homes represented here to
cause His wisdom to enter the hearts of His people. Only He
can preserve us in the straight way which leads to
fellowship with Him in Jesus Christ.