Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 27 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

Knowing Our Misery by the Law  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Romans 7
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 2

I. The Law Exposes Sin
II. The Law Provokes Sin
Psalms: 30:1-7a; 22:27-31; 6:1-10; 102:4-10

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

John the Baptist’s Public Ministry (6)
John and the Delegation From Jerusalem  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: John 1:1-28
Text: John 1:19-28

I. Who Are You?
II. Why Do You Baptize?
Psalms: 146:1-8; 23:1-6; 75:3-10; 131:1-3

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

Leon Morris on John 1:21: "... whereas the Synoptists give something of a biography of the Baptist, this Evangelist does not. Instead he concentrates on John’s theological significance, and derives this rigorously from his relationship to Jesus. Jesus confers on John his true significance. No man is what he himself thinks he is. He is only what Jesus knows him to be."

John Calvin on John 1:21: "But the question is founded on a false opinion which they had long held; for ... when the Prophet Malachi announced that Elijah would be sent, they imagined that the same Elijah, who lived under the reign of king Ahab (I Kings 17:1), was to come. It is therefore a just and true reply which John makes, that he is not Elijah; for he speaks according to the opinion which they attached to the words; but Christ, giving the true interpretation of the Prophet, affirms that John is Elijah (Matt. 11:14; Mark 9:13)."

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

We welcome Marilyn Adams from First PRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to our worship services today.

Lucas Hall is still in Antrim Hospital but is continuing to grow and gain weight. Philip & Susan hope to be able to take him home tomorrow.

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

The Tuesday morning Bible study will be held this week at 11 AM. We will continue our discussion of "The Nearness of Christ’s Coming."

The Belgic Confession Class will meet this Wednesday, at 7:45 PM, to continue article 19 on the two natures of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) will be "Authority in the Sphere of Labour" (Eph. 6:5-9) by Rev. Bruinsma.

The council’s next meeting will be Monday, 4 February, at 8:15 PM.

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

Offerings: General Fund - £277.94.

Website Additions: 1 Czech, 1 Spanish and 4 Italian translations were added along with the Heidelberg Catechism in 5 other languages (Arabic, Esperanto, Finnish, Greek and Romanian).

The new book, The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, by Rev. Smit is now in stock in the bookstore and available for just £5.

PRC News: Rev. Brummel declined the call to Randolph PRC. Hope PRC called Rev. Overway (Doon, IA).

Family Worship (4)

by J. H. Merle D’Aubigne
(preached in Brussels and published in Paris in 1827)


What abundant consolation have all troubled and afflicted but faithful souls derived always from the Psalms of the Royal Prophet! It is well to read throughout some book of the Scriptures, but it is not necessary to follow the order in which the different books are placed in the Sacred Volume. On the contrary, it is, perhaps, best to turn from the New Testament to the Old, and from the Old to the New; from one of the Prophets to one of the Epistles of the Apostles, and then to one of the historical books of the Old Testament. It is desirable that the person who reads should make some remarks on the passage read. You know how to speak about any other book that you read; is it only here that thoughts and words are wanting? Do you find nothing there that is applicable to the state of your heart, to the situation of your family, to the character of some one of your children? Read that book always, not as a history of past times, but as a book written for you, addressed to you now; you will readily find circumstances and occasions which render it suitable. Nevertheless, if nothing has been given to you, be content with asking the Holy Spirit to impart to every heart the fruits which he has promised for his word. "As the rain cometh down, and the snow, from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void; but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereunto I sent it."

Another act of worship is, prayer in common, or together. It is true that there are good written prayers; but can you not pray to God aloud yourself? You know very well how to speak to a friend; why should you not know how to speak to God? Is He not your greatest and most intimate friend? How easy is it to approach Him when it is in the name of Christ crucified that we come! "Thou art near, O Lord," says David. "While they are yet speaking," God has said, "I will hear." If you can pray in secret, can you not pray aloud? Do not be so anxious about what you shall say; "Prayer requires more of the heart than the tongue, more faith than reasoning." How can it be otherwise than salutary, when, for instance, a father or a mother prays aloud for the children who are present, and enters into detail respecting their sins before God, asking Him to give His help and His grace. And how often a family is in a situation in which it is called upon to offer up prayer unto God, for deliverance, for assistance, for consolation! "Ye shall seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart," saith the Lord. A third act of worship which ought, if possible, to form part of domestic devotion, is singing. In these days man has associated singing with his occupations, and especially with his pleasures; but to praise God was certainly its primitive object. It is to this that the Royal Prophet consecrated it, and shall not we do likewise? If so many profane things are sung in some houses, why should we not sing to the honour of the God who has created and redeemed us? Still more, if sacred hymns are sometimes sung for the sake of the beauty of the sound, shall they not be sung with humility and fervour to celebrate the Lord? "Admonish one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

But some will perhaps say, At what time ought we thus to think of God and approach him together? I answer, whenever you choose, at the most convenient hour, when you will be least disturbed by your other business. This is generally in the evening; perhaps it were better, on account of the fatigue of the day, that it should be in the morning; and best of all both morning and evening. When you have eaten your morning meal, or even while you are eating it, could you not spend that time which is usually spent either in saying nothing or in talking of trifles, in reading a few words which would raise your thoughts to God, or in hearing them read? I am about to begin the day by the first function of the animal being; but wilt not thou, O my spiritual and immortal soul, do any thing or receive any thing now? I am about to feed my body with that which God has created; but do thou, O my soul, awake and receive thy food from the Creator! O God! thou art my portion forever! O God! thou art my God; early will I seek thee! What a blessing, my brethren, will such a beginning bring down upon the whole day, and what a happy disposition of mind it will give you!

And to you, Christian parents, let the evening of the Lord’s day, that season when the children of irreligious parents run to places of dissipation, be peculiarly precious and sacred. Instruct your household in the way of the Lord, and your instructions at that time will be particularly blessed, provided your children see that you are really in earnest in the work which you are performing.

To all this, my brethren, add the essential thing: a life in accordance with the sacredness of the worship which you offer unto God. Be not one man before the altar of God and another in the world, but be truly one man at all times. Let your behaviour throughout the day be a living commentary upon what you have read, heard, or said in the hour of devotion. "Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves; for the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord; but He loveth him that followeth after righteousness."

Such is Family Worship. We would remind you, my dear hearers, of all the motives which ought to hasten its establishment in your families, and we entreat you, and particularly those of you who are husbands or wives, fathers or mothers, to put your hands to the plough.

But do you say, "This is so strange a thing"? What, my brethren! Is it not more strange that a family professing to be Christian, professing to have a firm hope for eternity, should advance toward that eternity without giving any sign of that hope, without any preparation, without any conversation, perhaps, alas! without any thought concerning it? Ah! this is very strange! Do you say, "This is a thing of very little repute or glory, and to which a certain degree of shame is attached"? And who, then, is the greatest: that father who, in former and happier days, was the high priest of God in his own house, and who increased his paternal authority and gave it a divine unction by kneeling down with his children before his Father and the Father of them all; or that worldly man in our days, whose mind is engaged only in vain pursuits, who forgets his eternal destiny and that of his children, and in whose house God is not? O what a shame is this!

But perhaps you say, "Different times have different customs; those things were well enough then, but all has changed now"? It is precisely because all has changed that we must make haste and raise up the family altar in the midst of families, lest the feeble tie that still holds back these families should be broken, and they drag both Church and State into ruin. It is not when the disease has spread with great violence that remedies become useless; and before a man’s life is despaired of, the most powerful preservatives are given to him.   to be concluded ...