Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 18
generation shall praise thy works to another,
declare thy mighty acts" (Ps. 145:4)
- 11:00 AM
The Famine of the Hearing of God’s Word [download]
Reading: Amos 7:10-8:14
I. The Meaning
II. The Cause
III. The Effect
71:7-13; 74:7-12; 19:7-10
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
Remembering Jehovah Who Prospers Us [download]
Reading: Deuteronomy 8
That Jehovah Prospers Us
in What Jehovah Prospers Us
Why Jehovah Prospers Us
71:14-19; 124:1-8; 16:5-9
Stephen Murray for CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship
Quotes to Consider:
Prof. H. Hanko: "But to be faithful ... is also
to have a deep appreciation for that heritage [of the truth]. We always,
as is true of the church of all ages, are in peril of forgetting it. Or,
which is worse, we are in danger of becoming so accustomed to it that we
begin to take it for granted and fail to realize its worth ... A church
can make herself unworthy of being the beneficiary of a great treasure.
God sent in judgment upon the nation of Israel a famine of the Word
because Israel no longer considered it the priceless treasure it was.
Thankful appreciation is always the key to faithfulness. And such
thankful appreciation is humble recognition that what we receive is
given in grace" ("The Much That Is Required," Standard Bearer,
vol. 65, issue 2).
Announcements (subject to God’s will):
Missionary-elect McGeown will preach for us at
both services today, while Rev. Stewart preaches for the Limerick
Mr. Callender returned home from hospital this
past Wednesday. Let us continue to remember our brother and his family
in our prayers. [Since the bulletin was produced, Mr. Callender is back
in the hospital—this time the Royal Victoria. He has had a heart-attack
and acute kidney failure.]
The Beacon Lights are available for
The Council will meet this Wednesday, 21 July,
at 7 PM at the manse.
Missionary-elect McGeown has bought a car and plans
to move to Limerick this week and take the Limerick Reformed Fellowship
(LRF) services next Lord’s Day, 25 July. He and Sam Watterson (of the
LRF) are renting a house together. The house is well positioned, being
near the centre of Limerick, shops and the University of Limerick and
central for the people in the Limerick Reformed Fellowship (LRF). It has
5 (or 6 bedrooms) and 3 bathrooms so it is ideal for having people stay
over (e.g., PRC church visitors and friends) and has enough other rooms
for Mr. McGeown to have a study and be able to hold LRF Bible studies
and catechism classes, etc. Let us thank God for the provision of an
"able minister of the new testament [i.e., covenant]" (II Cor. 3:6) and
pray for our brother, the LRF and their witness in the days ahead.
The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day
(8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW) is entitled "The Golden Key of Prayer"
The ordination of Missionary McGeown is
scheduled for Friday, 30 July, at 7:30 PM in the new CPRC church
Our church dedication service is scheduled for
Thursday, 5 August, at 7:00 PM beginning with the tape-cutting ceremony.
Offerings: General Fund: £555.76. Donations:
Website Additions: 1 German translation was
PRC News: Trinity called Rev. Spronk (Peace, IL). Edgerton called
Rev. A. Lanning (Faith, MI). Cornerstone will call from a trio of Revs.
Bruinsma (Pittsburgh, PA), A. Lanning and Spronk.
This is part 2 of the 39 e-mail by Prof. Engelsma
Last week’s instalment ended with this paragraph:
All elect, justified Christians will receive the same salvation and
eternal life. All will be perfectly blessed and blissful. All will be
glorious. But there will be differences of degrees of glory, just as
also there will be degrees of shame and suffering in hell. And in both
cases, the degrees of bliss and glory in the new creation and the
degrees of suffering and shame in hell will correspond to the works the
glorified or shamed persons did in this life. The apostles will be more
glorious than we. The minister who worked sacrificially and diligently
in the ministry will be more glorious than the one who too much sought
his own ease and comfort, giving his works of making sermons, teaching
catechism and visiting the needy a "lick-and-a-promise."
For the rest, I dare not make specific application.
For there will be surprises as Christ equitably distributes His rewards.
The first here will be last there and the last here will be first there.
Rewarding His people will be part of the great work of Christ as judge.
Only He has the knowledge and only He has the wisdom rightly to reward.
Of this I am sure, many laymen and laywomen who received little
attention in the church in this life will be more glorious than many a
minister who did receive the praise of men (and not necessarily wrongly)
here. The wife and mother who bore patiently with a rough husband (or
even an unbelieving husband) raised her children in the fear of God and
prayed night and day, though taken for granted by her fellow saints,
will be more glorious than many a professor of theology.
Because the quality and the circumstances of the work
count for much with Christ, and not simply the quantity, the malefactor
on the cross who confessed Christ—who alone confessed Christ—at that
crucial moment—though he had but one good work may be more glorious than
many who rather matter-of-factly, but not insincerely, confessed Christ
their life long.
An example that illustrates the idea of degrees of
glory is that of glasses filled with wine (I choose wine because the
parable of the talents in Matthew 25:21 represents the reward of eternal
life as entrance into the joy of our Lord and wine is a symbol of that
joy). When the multitude no man can number receive eternal life in body
and soul in the day of Christ, all the glasses will be full of wine. But
the glasses are not of the same size. Some are larger and more capacious
That the reward includes the degrees of glory is
clearly taught by the Bible. This is taught by all those passages that
promise a reward according to one’s works. Not only does this refer to
the basic nature of the works, that is, that eternal life itself accords
with the basic nature of the works of one’s life (their goodness), but
it also refers to the quality and number of the works, that is, that the
degree of the glory of eternal life that each receives accords with the
quality and number of his works.
In Luke 19:11ff., the faithful servant who gained ten
pounds for the king is rewarded with rule over ten cities and the
faithful servant who gained five pounds gets a reward of rule over five
cities. These are degrees of the glory of ruling with Christ in the new
And I Corinthians 3:8 promises faithful ministers
that each one will receive not the same reward in every respect but his
own unique reward according to his own unique labour.
This then is the truth about the reward of good
works: There certainly will be a reward of our good works. The reward
will be eternal life itself in varying degrees of bliss and glory. And
the varying degrees of glory will correspond to, and marvellously accord
with, the good works that the elect believers did in their earthly life.
The reward, however, is not of merit, as I
demonstrated in the previous instalment. When we receive the reward, we
will not receive it as something we deserve by virtue of our works. This
includes as well the degree of glory we receive. When the apostle Paul
sits high up, very near the Lord Jesus Himself, at the table of the
great marriage supper of the Lamb and His bride, he will not say, or
think, I deserve this by all my apostolic labours. Nor did the apostle
ever work with this notion or purpose. Nor do we work now with the
notion and purpose that we earn eternal life and a future glorious
When Christ bestows the reward, He will not be paying
wages for which we obligated him by our working.
What then is the explanation of the reward of works?
If the explanation is not merit, what is it?
When the Heidelberg Catechism considers the
Romish argument against justification by faith alone and for
justification and salvation by meritorious works in Question 63 (which I
also referred to in the previous instalment), "What! Do not our good
works merit, which yet God will reward in this and in a future life?"
Its response is, "This reward is not of merit."
The Catechism does not deny, or in wise
minimize the importance of, the truth of the reward of our good works.
It only denies that this reward is a meritorious
Then the Catechism completes its response to
Rome’s argument for justification by meritorious works: "... but of
The reward is a gracious reward, a reward, therefore,
that is in harmony with the biblical teaching of justification by faith
alone and salvation by grace alone.
This, I take up, finishing my explanation of the
reward of good works, in the next instalment, God willing.
Cordially in Christ,