Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 13
"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
III. The Only
Psalms: 46:1-7; 135:1-7; 58:3-8; 32:1-5
Service - 6:00 PM - Sem. McGeown
Job’s Hope of the Resurrection of the Body
I. The Hope
Psalms: 8:1-7; 135:8-14; 103:13-19; 16:7-11
cassettes of the worship services or CDs of the sermons, contact Sean
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
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
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
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
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
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
As the truth basic to the broader, deeper gospel of
Cordially in Christ,