Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 10 July, 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

Infant Baptism
Knowing the Holy Scriptures From Infancy  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: II Timothy 3
Text: II Timothy 3:15

I. The Meaning
II. The Lessons
III. The Benefits
Psalms: 78:2-7; 149:1-5; 127:1-5; 128:1-6

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

Complete in Christ (9)
Angelolatry!   [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Colossians 2
Text: Colossians 2:18-19

I. The Spurious Arguments
II. The Underlying Problem
III. The Terrible Loss
Psalms: 148:1-8; 149:5-9; 89:2-7; 45:1-6

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

CPRC Website: • Live Webcast:
CPRC YouTube:
CPRC Facebook:

Quote to Consider

J. Miller: “What we want to do with our children, is not merely to control them and keep them in order—but to implant true principles deep in their hearts which shall rule their whole lives ... They are to be trained rather than governed. Growth of character, not merely good behavior, is the object of all home governing and teaching. Therefore the home influence is far more important than the home laws; and the parents’ lives are of more significance than their teachings. Whatever may be done in the way of governing, teaching or training—theories are not half as important as the parents’ lives. They may teach the most beautiful things, but if the child does not see these things modeled in the life of the parent, he will not consider them important enough to be adopted in his own life.”

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

We welcome the visitors to our worship services today. May the Lord bless us together as we hear Him speak to us through the preaching of the Word.

This morning we witness the baptism of Sophie Lyn Crossett. May the Lord give wisdom and strength to David and Kristin as they raise this covenant child according to the vows they take this morning.

The July issue of the Covenant Reformed News is on the back table. British Reformed Journals are available on the back table for subscribers. Those interested in subscribing (£10 for 4 issues), please talk to Brian Crossett.

Four new books have arrived in the bookstore! Be Ye Holy (£5) by Profs. Engelsma and Hanko, God’s Goodness Always Particular (£7) by Herman Hoeksema, Christianizing the World (£9) by Prof. Engelsma and A Spiritual House Preserved (£22) edited by Calvin Kalsbeek. Copies of these are available on the back table.

The Tuesday Bible study will not meet this week but will resume on 2 August.

Everyone is invited to a barbecue at the manse on Friday, 15 July, at 6:30 PM or as soon as you can come thereafter. Some saints from Limerick, the US, Australia and the Philippines will be joining us. Please let Pastor or Mary know if you are coming.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. Haak is “Except Ye Be Converted” (Matt. 18:1-5).

Rev. McGeown will preach for the CPRC at both services next Sunday, 17 July. This is the Sunday of the BRF Conference. Note, the worship services at Castlewellan start at 10 AM and 7 PM (not 11 AM and 6 PM, as in the CPRC).

We will be having tea after the evening service on Sunday, 24 July. Because this is the Lord’s Day immediately following the conference, we are expecting about 50 visitors. Groups A and B on the rota are asked to bring food.

Offerings: General Fund: £681.66. Building Fund: £265.05. Donation: £100.

New translations: 2 Hungarian.

PRC news: As per the 2016 synodical decision, Doon PRC’s trio for a third missionary to the Philippines is Revs. Brummel, Griess and Huizinga.

What a Relief!

Brian D. Dykstra


Have you ever been given a book, a large book, as a gift? What is one to think? I suppose in a way such a gift is a compliment. The giver assumes enough intelligence to read and comprehend things. On the other hand, does the big book imply that the giver believes the receiver has a lot to learn?

A relative gave me such a book last year. A great deal of effort was exerted to read it. The effort was not the result of the book being boring. It was quite interesting, similar to listening to a good college professor deliver a fascinating lecture. The effort was in the daily discipline required to finish it. The chapters were not very long, but there were eighty-two of them in a 684-page volume. I had seen promotions for this book before and I had wanted to read it. However, I did not wish to buy it and I could not endure the shame of the repeated renewals at the public library which would be necessary if I were to finish it.

The book, The Discoverers: A History of Man’s Search to Know His World and Himself, was written by Daniel Boorstin. My relative’s warning was correct. It is a very humanistic book. However, for those who have an interest in science and history, there is a lot to learn. It does give the believer an appreciation of the Creator’s handiwork and how much we have come to understand about it.

There were two parts of the book which struck me because recent Heidelberg Catechism preaching had caused me to think about life and doctrine. Doctrine is not merely something for “clergy” to debate in a scholastic setting but what you believe determines how you live. Wouldn’t it be sad to live by a false creed?

One part of Boorstin’s book dealt with a monk who copied a book. This was before the invention of the printing press, when books had to be copied by hand. Boorstin wrote of an abbot who lived about one thousand years ago. The abbot “encouraged his congregation by his tale of a sinful Brother who had been saved by his industry in the scriptorium. At his death the Devil was about to take him to hell. But when the notorious Brother came before the Judgment Seat, God saw the beautiful large folio of holy texts he had transcribed. It was decided that for each letter he had written in the book, he would be pardoned one sin. Since it was a very big book, when the angels reckoned up his sins they found that even after all his sins were forgiven, one letter was left over. The divine Judge then mercifully decreed that the soul of this monk should be allowed to reenter his body on earth so that he could set his life straight. And then not enter life eternal with only one little merit to his name!”

There is the effect of Rome’s position on atonement. God’s people are not saved by God’s sovereign grace alone. Christ’s lifetime of suffering, especially what He endured upon the cross, is not enough to deliver us from all our sins. We must add to His work. A monk could have a sin blotted out not by Christ’s blood but by a letter he copied on a page. Can you imagine what our lives would be if we believed we had to do such things to be saved? Busy parents already feel there are not enough hours in a day to complete all that needs to be done. How many bleary, baggy and dark-circled eyes would we witness in our sanctuaries, if we felt we had to do meritorious good works to avoid purgatory?

Then there is what I learned about the men who survived the first voyage around the world. Consider these few facts. Magellan and his crew set sail on 20 September, 1519. The expedition consisted of five ships and 241 men. They had already endured mutinies and winter storms by the time they reached the southern tip of South America. Now they had to cross the Pacific, which was much larger than they had imagined. They sailed for 98 days without seeing any land except for two uninhabited islands. By that time their food had given out, their water was contaminated, and the men ate rats, ox hides and sawdust. Most of the crew suffered from scurvy, a disease marked by spongy gums, loosened teeth and bleeding under the skin. They faced sharp conflicts on the islands of Guam and the Philippines where Magellan was killed. Space restricts me from relating more of the suffering faced by these men, but on 6 September, 1522, almost three years after leaving, one ship returned to Spain with 18 sailors on board. That is a survival rate of about seven percent.

Here’s how Boorstin finished his treatment of this dreadful voyage. “The semi-seaworthy Victoria, under Juan Sebastian del Cano, took the western route around the Cape of Good Hope. To the already familiar trials of hunger, thirst, and scurvy now was added the hostility of the Portuguese, who imprisoned nearly half of Del Cano’s crew when they put in at the Cape Verde Islands in the Atlantic.”

Had I survived such a trip, I would have believed I had already endured enough physical suffering. I wouldn’t see the need for any penance. I’d already done it! Not the eighteen! They still felt they had penance to perform! Boorstin writes, “The next day, to fulfil their penitential vows all eighteen walked barefoot, wearing only their shirts, each carrying a lighted candle, the mile from the waterfront to the Cathedral shrine of Santa Maria del’Antigua.”

What a relief not to have to teach such examples to our children of what we should do to earn salvation! How blessed to do good works not for merit but as the proper fruits of thankfulness for God’s saving grace! “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 15:57).