Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 17 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
The Works of the Flesh [download]
Scripture Reading: Galatians 5
Psalms: 63:1-8; 105:15-20; 36:1-7; 1:1-6
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
The Fruit of the Spirit [download]
Scripture Reading: Galatians 5:13-6:18
Its Relationship to the Law
Psalms: 103:1-7; 105:21-25; 36:5-11; 143:5-11
Stephen Murray for
CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services.
Quotes to Consider:
Herman Hanko on Galatians 5:19-26:
"Neither the list of the works of the flesh nor the list of the fruits
of the Spirit is exhaustive. Many other lists can be found in Scripture,
although it is striking that every list contains evils to be shunned by
the people of God. The exception is Ephesians 5:9, which mentions three
fruits of the Spirit. The lists of sins in an epistle are usually chosen
because of a particular sin or sins present in the congregation(s) to
which the letter is written. However, at times the list includes sins
that in a special way threaten the keeping of an admonition to which the
list is added. Thus Peter lists sins that are especially a hindrance to
‘desiring the pure milk of the word’ (I Pet. 2:1-3). These works of the
flesh, Paul says, are manifest; that is, they are obviously works of the
flesh and not fruits of the Spirit. Everyone knows that the sins listed
in Galatians 5:19-21 are indeed sins. There is no need to prove it. The
case is clear-cut. All men know what the law of God requires of them,
and all men know what sin is. Especially the Galatians knew, because
they had had the additional instruction of the apostle: ‘they which do
such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God’" (Justified
Unto Liberty, pp. 386-387).
Albert Barnes on Galatians 5:22-23:
"It is not without design, evidently, that the apostle uses the word
‘Spirit’ here, as denoting that these things do not flow from our own
nature. The vices above enumerated are the proper ‘works’ or result of
the operations of the human heart; the virtues which he enumerates are
produced by a foreign influence—the agency of the Holy Spirit. Hence,
Paul does not trace them to our own hearts, even when renewed. He says
that they are to be regarded as the proper result of the Spirit’s
operations on the soul."
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
Rev. Stewart’s bi-monthly letter
to the PRC is available on the back table.
Rev. & Mary Stewart leave tomorrow for the
US. They will be away for 4 weeks. Rev. Heath Bleyenberg and his wife,
Deb, will be arriving this Saturday. Rev. Bleyenberg will be preaching
for us on 24, 31 July and the 14 August. He will be preaching for the
LRF on 7 August while the CPRC has reading services. There will be no
bulletins for the next four weeks. May the Lord watch between us when we
are absent one from another (Gen. 31:49).
The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast
next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) will be "The God Who Would Not
Let Go" (Jonah 1:4-17) by Rev. Haak.
Offerings: General Fund - £951.53.
Website Addition: 1 Spanish
PRC News: Rev. den Hartog declined the
call to Edgerton PRC and they have a new trio of Candidates Decker,
Huizinga and Mahtani. Redlands will call from a trio of Candidates
Huizinga and Decker and Rev. W. Langerak.
This is part 2 of the 47th e-mail by Prof.
Engelsma on justification:
Third, two of the outstanding passages on
the final judgment of the believers, Matthew 25 and Revelation 20, are
at pains to teach that the public justification of the elect believers
will be gracious, and not based on the good works they performed, even
though these works come up in the judgment. In Matthew 25, the King
separates the people who are judged into sheep and goats before the
judgment even begins (vv. 32-33). "Sheep" in Scripture is the name for
those given by God to Jesus Christ in the decree of election, for whom
He also died, to secure their salvation. And when the King calls the
sheep into eternal life and glory, every phrase of the call expresses
that their entrance into perfect salvation is mere grace: "blessed of my
Father"; "inherit the kingdom" (the everlasting kingdom is an
inheritance freely given us by the gracious will of the "testator," not
a good we earned, obtained by our worth, or achieved by our merit);
"prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (this is election,
which is unconditional, sovereignly gracious—when we go in, it lives in
our consciousness, and will live in our consciousness to endless ages,
"God gave me this; this, He gave me").
In Revelation 20, without any minimizing,
much less denial, of the truth that the dead will be judged "according
to their works (v. 13), verse 12 emphatically says that the book of life
will be decisive for the judgment of some. The book of life is eternal
election, which is not based on foreseen faith and good works, but is
gracious, that is, unconditional.
"According to works" refers to a standard,
not a basis. Christ’s verdict upon the believer, "Not guilty! Perfectly
righteous!" will be in accord with the fundamental nature of the
believer’s life in the world by virtue of the sanctifying work of the
Spirit within him: a life of love for God and the neighbour; a life of
living unto Christ. To say it differently, the good works of the child
of God will come up in the judgment, not as entering into the verdict of
righteousness, but as demonstration and evidence of justification.
And, it may not be forgotten, the good
works of the believers will be rewarded by the grace of God.
The sinful deeds of the believer will also
be brought to light, but only as covered with the blood of Christ,
atoned for, and forgiven. As the Catechism teaches in Q. & A. 52,
Christ removed all curse from the believer, including shame, regarding
his sinfulness and sins. Therefore, neither does the prospect of the
disclosure of his sinfulness in the judgment disquiet the believing
child of God.
Thus, the purpose of the final judgment
will be achieved. God will be vindicated, that is, publicly declared and
shown to be just, particularly now in the justification and salvation of
the elect church of Christ. He displays the elect saints as righteous
with a perfect righteousness—Christ’s obedience—and worthy of
everlasting life. He demonstrates the reality of their righteousness by
its fruit in good works, especially, as Matthew 25 emphasizes, love of
Christ in His needy people. And as the forgiven sins of the saints will
prove, their righteousness and salvation is by grace alone.
God will be glorified in us, as He will
also be glorified in His condemnation of the unbelievers, who did not
obey the gospel, and those who held under in unrighteousness the truth
of God they knew from creation.
In the final judgment, we will hear the
same verdict that we now hear through the gospel by faith alone, only
louder, directly from the mouth of God in Christ, and with the whole
world listening: "Righteous for the sake of Christ!"
And we must hear it one more time, in its
final expression, before we step into the new world with its bliss and
glory. For although the final judgment has the vindication of God as its
main purpose, it has also a purpose with regard to us. As we enter into
the things that eye has not seen, ear has not heard, and it never
entered into the mind of man to imagine—unimaginable blessedness—we must
be confident that we have a right to it, absolutely confident. The word
of Christ ringing in our ears, "Righteous for my sake," will give us
We must also be convinced that Christ is
our righteousness. The verdict on that day will convince us, especially
as we see our sins as we never saw them before, including the
imperfection of even our best works.
And we must go into the new world, and live
there, with this confession in our hearts and on our lips: God has been
gracious, in justifying the ungodly.
Cordially in Christ,
P. S. With this instalment, I conclude my study with you of the
doctrine of justification. I have now paid the debt I incurred when I
agreed several years ago now to give some instruction concerning
justification to several, mainly European participants in the British
Reformed Conference. I trust that God has blessed the study.