Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 10 July, 2011
"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
Son’s Messianic Kingdom (5)
The Gospel Call [download]
Scripture Reading: Proverbs 1
Kiss the Son
Serve the Lord
Psalms: 119:89-96; 105:1-7; 5:7-12; 2:6-12
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
The Only Begotten Son of God [download]
Scripture Reading: John 1:1-18
Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 13
Psalms: 136:1-10; 105:8-14; 89:23-28; 2:4-11
Stephen Murray for
CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services.
Quotes to Consider:
Matthew Henry on Psalm 2:12: "Kiss the
Son; enter into a covenant of friendship with him, and let him be very
dear and precious to you; love him above all, love him in sincerity,
love him much, as she did to whom much was forgiven, and, in token of
it, kissed his feet (Luke 7:38). With a kiss of allegiance and loyalty,
as Samuel kissed Saul (I Sam. 10:1). Swear fealty and homage to him,
submit to his government, take his yoke upon you, and give up yourselves
to be governed by his laws, disposed of by his providence, and entirely
devoted to his interest."
Belgic Confession, Article 10, That Jesus
Christ is true and eternal God: "We believe that Jesus Christ,
according to his divine nature, is the only begotten Son of God,
begotten from eternity, not made nor created (for then he should be a
creature), but co-essential and co-eternal with the Father, the express
image of his person, and the brightness of his glory, equal unto him in
all things. He is the Son of God, not only from the time that he assumed
our nature, but from all eternity, as these testimonies, when compared
together, teach us. Moses saith, that God created the world; and John
saith, that all things were made by that Word, which he calleth God. And
the apostle saith, that God make the worlds by his Son; likewise, that
God created all things by Jesus Christ. Therefore it must needs follow,
that he, who is called God, the Word, the Son, and Jesus Christ, did
exist at that time, when all things were created by him. Therefore the
prophet Micah saith, His goings forth have been from of old, from
everlasting. And the apostle: He hath neither beginning of days, nor end
of life. He therefore is that true, eternal, and almighty God, whom we
invoke, worship and serve."
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
The July CR
News is on the back table and a new British Reformed Journal
is available for subscribers.
With sadness, the membership papers
of Francesco De Lucia and the Hamills have been sent to their homes at
Thank-you to those who recently helped
clean the church building, doing the windows, etc. Thanks also to those
who helped with the barbecue on Friday and those who helped with
gardening at the manse beforehand.
Membership Class: Thursday, 7:00 PM on
The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast
next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) will be "The Prophet Who Ran
Away" (Jonah 1:3) by Rev. Haak.
Offerings: General Fund - £389.30.
Building Fund - £568.30. Donations: £100 (CDs), £25 (DVDs), £200,
Website Addition: 1 Italian
PRC News: Cornerstone PRC’s new trio
consists of Candidates Huizinga, N. Decker and Jonathan Mahtani. Rev. N.
Langerak declined the call to Hope PRC.
This is part 1 of the 47th and final e-mail by
Prof. Engelsma on justification:
Dear European Forum,
The final judgment will be the public
expression of the elect believer’s justification by God through His
Judge, Jesus Christ. It will also be the public expression of
condemnation upon the reprobate unbeliever.
This coming public justification of the
elect believer will be according to his works: "We must all appear
before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the
things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be
good or bad" (II Cor. 5:10). The Belgic Confession does full
justice to the biblical teaching that all men will be judged according
to their works: "The dead [shall be] judged according to what they shall
have done in this world, whether it be good or evil" (37).
Because judgment of the believer according
to his works seemed to them to compromise the gospel of justification by
grace alone, a number of Reformed theologians in the past, including
such luminaries as Turretin, denied that believers will be judged at all
in the final judgment. They argued that it would be improper for the
sins of the believers to be brought to public view, inasmuch as they
have been blotted out by the blood of Christ, and that it contradicts
justification by faith alone, apart from works, to teach that believers
will be judged according to their works. Therefore, they concluded that
only the reprobate, ungodly unbelievers will be judged in the final
judgment according to their works.
These theologians and their followers
erred. The Bible clearly teaches that "we," that is, believers, must
appear before the judgment seat of Christ, and that there we will be
judged according to our works (II Cor. 5:10). Also, Christ’s account of
the final judgment in Matthew 25 has the sheep appearing in judgment as
well as the goat. And the sheep are justified according to their good
works, specifically, feeding the hungry Christ, giving drink to the
thirsty Christ, etc. (vv. 35-40).
Those who deny that the elect believer must
appear in the judgment are guilty of several mistakes. They do not
understand the main purpose of the final judgment, which is the public
vindication of God in the salvation of Christ’s church and in the
damnation of Christ’s and the church’s enemies—the "theodicy."
They do not understand the nature of the
final judgment of the elect believer. It is not at all terrifying, an
ordeal to be dreaded, a huge embarrassment before the whole world.
Rather, it is an event that the believer desires and looks forward
to—his "day in court" for one who is righteous, and is confident of his
unassailable righteousness, and who desires that the world shall
recognize and acknowledge his righteousness.
The Heidelberg Catechism expresses
the attitude of the believer regarding the final judgment: "What comfort
is it to thee that ‘Christ shall come again to judge the quick and the
dead?" The prospect of the judgment is not a terror, but a comfort. The
comfort is not that the believer will be exempted from the judgment, but
that "the very same person who before offered Himself for my sake to the
tribunal of God, and removed all curse from me" will be the Judge (Q. &
Those who deny that the believer will
appear in the final judgment, probably thinking that they do the
believer a favour, are in fact depriving him of a great good.
Also, those orthodox Reformed theologians,
big or little, who deny that the believer will appear in the judgment
misunderstand completely what it means that the believer will be judged
according to his works. They suspect that this is a form of
works-righteousness. (It may also be the case that some professing
Reformed Christians have been motivated to deny a coming judgment
according to works because their whole life was evil; they were
thorough-going, fully developed antinomians, and had good reason to
shrink from judgment.)
Judgment according to works is
fundamentally different from judgment on the basis of works.
Scripture does not teach that the final judgment of the elect believer
will be "on the basis of" works. That would be the doctrine of
justification by works. That would make the good works of the believer
his righteousness with God, at least in part. That would mean that
entrance into eternal life and glory would be based on the believer’s
own deeds, at least in part.
The final judgment of the elect believer
will be based on the obedience of Christ in the place of and on behalf
of the believer, and on the substitutionary obedience of Christ only,
exactly as is the case regarding the believer’s justification now. The
only work that will be the believer’s righteousness before God the Judge
in Christ will be Christ’s lifelong obedience to the law and Christ’s
atoning death in the believer’s stead, precisely as is the case
regarding the believer’s righteousness before God now. The justification
of the believer in the final judgment will be gracious—purely gracious.
That this will be the nature of the final
judgment of the believer is abundantly evident from Scripture. First, it
will be justification, and justification is by faith alone, apart from
works, as Romans 3-5, the book of Galatians, and many other passages of
Scripture teach. God will not, indeed cannot, justify in one way now—by
faith—and in another way then—by works. Were my justification in the
final judgment to be by my own works, I would accuse God of deceiving me
all my life long, when He justified me by faith alone.
Second, that the coming justification will
be purely gracious, not based on the works of the believer, is indicated
by the order of events on Judgment Day. The first event will be the
resurrection of the dead. The elect believers will be raised in their
new, glorious bodies, made like the body of Jesus Christ, and will stand
in the judgment in these bodies, as perfected saints, ready to inhabit
the new world. Before they are judged according to their works, they
have received the great good that was their hope all their life, namely,
the resurrection of the body. Whatever role the good works play in the
judgment, it cannot be that of the basis of their salvation, for they
are perfectly saved before these good works ever come up.
... to be continued