Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Bookmark and Share

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church



Rev. Angus Stewart

Lord’s Day, 13 July, 2008


"Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help,

whose hope is in the Lord his God" (Ps. 146:5)



Morning Service - 11:00 AM   -  Sem. McGeown

Dead in Trespasses and Sins

Ephesians 2:1-3

I. The Dreadful Condition

II. The Resultant Activity

III. The Only Escape

Psalms: 46:1-7; 135:1-7; 58:3-8; 32:1-5


Evening Service - 6:00 PM   -  Sem. McGeown

Job’s Hope of the Resurrection of the Body

Job 19:25-27

I. The Hope

II. The Possibility

III. The Certainty

Psalms: 8:1-7; 135:8-14; 103:13-19; 16:7-11


For audio cassettes of the worship services or CDs of the sermons, contact Sean Courtney (


CPRC website:

Quotes to Consider:

Belgic Confession 14: "We believe that God created man out of the dust of the earth, and made and formed him after his own image and likeness, good, righteous, and holy, capable in all things to will, agreeably to the will of God. But being in honour, he understood it not, neither knew his excellency, but wilfully subjected himself to sin, and consequently to death, and the curse, giving ear to the words of the devil. For the commandment of life, which he had received, he transgressed; and by sin separated himself from God, who was his true life, having corrupted his whole nature; whereby he made himself liable to corporal and spiritual death."

Canons of Dordt III/IV:1: "Man was originally formed after the image of God. His understanding was adorned with a true and saving knowledge of his Creator, and of spiritual things; his heart and will were upright; all his affections pure; and the whole man was holy; but revolting from God by the instigation of the devil, and abusing the freedom of his own will, he forfeited these excellent gifts; and on the contrary entailed on himself blindness of mind, horrible darkness, vanity and perverseness of judgment, became wicked, rebellious, and obdurate in heart and will, and impure in his affections."

Announcements (subject to God’s will):

We welcome all visitors who are worshipping with us. Seminarian McGeown will lead the worship services today while Rev. Stewart is preaching in Limerick. Sem. McGeown will lead our worship services next week as well.

On the back table today are the July issue of the C. R. News, a BRF Conference Programme, and some new CPRC brochures (useful when witnessing).

Philip Rainey’s term as elder finishes in August. The Council puts forward the following nominations for the congregation’s approval: Ivan Reid as elder (3-year term), and William Graham as deacon (3-year term). A congregational meeting and vote will be held after the worship service on 17 August.

The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day (8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW), is "Job’s Confession" (Job 1:20-22) by Rev. Bruinsma.

Sean Courtney has new e-mail address. Please change his address on your computers to

Offering: General Fund - £622.80. Building Fund - £365.10. Donations: £60, £20 (C. R. News).

Website Additions: 3 Filipino (the pamphlet "The Christ of Arminianism," and "Polycarp" and "Gotteschalk" from Portraits of Faithful Saints), 4 German (including the Lord’s Supper form and the Declaration of Principles), 1 Spanish (the pamphlet, "Evangelism and the Reformed Faith"), and 1 Italian ("The Covenant with Adam," a chapter from Hoeksema’s Reformed Dogmatics).

This is part 2 of the 21st e-mail from Prof. Engelsma on justification.

On the other hand (and here the grossness and wickedness of the heresy of justification by faith and works are exposed), the false doctrine of justification by faith and by works teaches that the righteousness of the justified sinner is partly Christ’s obedience and partly the sinner’s own obedience. According to the false doctrine, that which renders the sinner acceptable to God, that which atones for the sinner’s guilt, that which is the basis of God’s favourable verdict, that which makes the sinner worthy of the blessings of salvation, and that upon which entrance into heaven will depend is something the sinner himself has done. Indeed, what the sinner himself has done, or must do, is fundamental. Without this, the obedience of Christ is of no avail. Christ’s work may be the greater part of the sinner’s righteousness, but the sinner’s own work is necessary, indeed, decisive.

Justification by faith only answers the question, "How can a sinner be right with God?"

It also answers the question, "Whose is the work and working that constitutes the sinner’s righteousness with God?" The answer of justification by faith only is: only the work and working of Jesus Christ for and in the place of the elect sinner.

Our good works add nothing to our righteousness. Our sins take nothing from our righteousness.

We do not perform good works in order to add anything to our righteousness. We do not avoid sins lest we detract from our righteousness.

The gospel-truth of justification by faith only honours Jesus Christ and His great and glorious work. What folly to suppose that what the Son of God in sinless human flesh did was not enough for righteousness with God! What arrogance to propose that we sinful people add a little something to the righteousness worked out by God in Jesus Christ!

The gospel-truth of justification by faith only glorifies God. He Himself became our righteousness in the person and work of His incarnate Son. As the prophet said, He looked and saw there was no man; therefore, His arm brought salvation unto Him; and His righteousness, it sustained Him (Isa. 59:16). The perfect work of Christ satisfies Him. The one who believes only, declining to work, comes to Him empty, guilty, and ungodly, supplicating and magnifying His grace.

The gospel-truth of justification by faith only is a message of hope and comfort to the sinner made to know his guilt and shame by the Holy Spirit through the gospel. It is the only message of hope and comfort. A message that sets him to work for righteousness and that causes him to depend on his own works for righteousness with God is a message of despair. Who can work his way into the favour of God? How can our tainted works satisfy the holy God?

Only the message of justification by faith only gives peace with God (Rom. 5:1).

In light of the fundamental importance of justification by faith only to the gospel of grace, the glory of God, the honour of Christ, and the comfort of the people of God, to say nothing of the well-known importance of this truth to the Reformation, the bold appearance of the heresy of justification by faith and works in reputedly conservative Reformed and Presbyterian churches is a clear evidence of the appalling apostasy of these churches.

Something is dreadfully wrong in churches where this heresy—this heresy—can appear, and gain headway. 500 years after the Reformation! Where the Reformed confessions make everything plain!

Why is there not loud and insistent outcry on the part of the leaders, until the heresy is removed, root and branch?

Recent decisions by synods and general assemblies of these denominations defending justification by faith only (in themselves welcome) by no means indicate a serious reformation. For the decisions are merely that: decisions on the books of the assemblies. There were no instructions to classes, or presbyteries, or to consistories, or sessions, to get to the root of the heresy in the churches, or to take action to clean up the seminaries where the heresy is being taught.

In addition, the assemblies did not themselves take action to assure that the doctrine that today is at the root of the error of justification by works is condemned and rooted out from the churches, namely, the doctrine of a conditional covenant with all the children of believing parents, and to assure that the truth of the covenant of grace is taught and defended throughout the denominations, beginning with the seminaries.

Nothing of the kind.

Failing in this, the denominations show they do not take the truth of justification by faith only with the seriousness it deserves, regardless that they go on record favouring the doctrine.

The Reformation defended it, though the visible church was rent asunder, though nations went to war, and though the result was persecution and death.

The Bible confesses justification by faith only in such a way as to damn the error opposed to it, and the errorists. With reference to this error and to the teachers who were teaching it, Paul expressed the apostolic curse in Galatians 1:8-9.

Where is this hatred of the error today?

Where is this love of the truth of justification today?

As the truth basic to the broader, deeper gospel of grace?

Cordially in Christ,

Prof. Engelsma