Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church



Rev. Angus Stewart

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]   [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Galatians 5

Text: Galatians 5:19-21

I. Evil Works

II. Excluding Works

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

Text: Galatians 5:22-23

I. Its Various Elements

II. Its Relationship to the Law

Psalms: 103:1-7; 105:21-25; 36:5-11; 143:5-11


Contact Stephen Murray for CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services.


CPRC website:

CPRC YouTube:

CPRC Facebook:


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. Donations: £50 (website).

Website Addition: 1 Spanish translation.

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 this confidence.

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,

Prof. Engelsma

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.