Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church



Rev. Angus Stewart

Lord’s Day, 19 July, 2009


"Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep

the testimony of thy mouth" (Ps. 119:88)


Morning Service - 11:00 AM

Administration of Infant Baptism

All Thy Children Taught of the Lord!    [download]

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 54

Text: Isaiah 54:11-13

I. The Meaning of It

II. The Reality of It

III. The Comfort of It

Psalms: 8:1-7; 33:15-22; 34:11-18; 105:4-9


Evening Service - 6:00 PM

The Glorious Name "Christian"    [download]

Scripture Reading: Acts 11:19-30; 12:25-13:4; 14:26-28

Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 12

I. The Profound Meaning of It

II. The First Use of It

III. Walking Worthy of It

Psalms: 145:1-8; 34:1-9; 119:1-8; 118:15-23


Contact Sean Courtney ( for CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services.

CPRC website:

CPRC YouTube Site:

Quotes to Consider:

Prof. David Engelsma: "God’s purpose in the chastisement of His children establishes what our purpose must be in the chastisement of our children. Our purpose in chastising our children must be their profit. But their profit is not their pleasure, but their holiness. Thus our purpose in disciplining our children is nothing less than their life. Do we want our children to live? Do we want them to live spiritually? ... Then we discipline, because discipline maintains and preserves and increases holiness" (Keeping God’s Covenant, p. 73).

Herman Witsius: "Nor, indeed, is it surprising, that the followers of Jesus put so high a value on this name of Christian; for it comprehends almost every relation in which they stand to Christ, the communication of his mystical unction, and the participation of his offices; and it binds its professors to a contempt of the world, and to more than human undertakings. Each of these things must now be considered with some attention" (The Apostle’s Creed, vol. 1, p. 300).

Announcements (subject to God’s will):

This morning we witness the baptism of Corey Jonathan Hall. May the Lord bless Philip & Susan as they raise Corey in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

DVDs of both Calvin lectures as well as the hand-out given at the last Calvin lecture are available. A newsletter from Heritage PRF is also on the back table.

Rev. & Mary Stewart travel to S. Wales this Thursday where Rev. Stewart will give a lecture on "Calvin vs. Darwin: Anniversaries, Origins and Worldviews."

The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day (8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW), is entitled "The Grace of Giving" (II Corinthians 9:5-8).

Brian Crossett’s term as elder expires this August. The Council nominates Brian for an additional 3-year term. This will be voted upon at a congregational meeting after the evening service on Sunday, 2 August (Church Order 22).

Upcoming Lectures:

Limerick, Thursday, 30 July, 7:30 PM - The 4 Horsemen of Revelation 6

Limerick, Thursday, 24 September, 7:30 PM - Guidance: How Do I Know God's Will for My Life?

Portadown, Friday, 30 October, 7:30 PM - Calvin on Justification: Considering the Judgment Day with Singular Delight

Ballymena, Friday, 6 November, 7:30 PM - Calvin vs. Darwin: Anniversaries, Origins and Worldviews

Offerings: General Fund - £458.23. Donations: £200 (building fund), £5 (building fund), £50 (CR News), £6.50 (CDs), £10.30 (books).

Website: 1 German translation was added as were two book reviews by Martyn McGeown on The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church, vols. 1 & 4.

PRC News: Byron Center called Candidate Griess. Holland’s new trio is Cand. Griess, Rev. Hanko (Lynden, WA) and Rev. Key (Hull, IA). Lacombe’s new trio is Rev. den Hartog (Southwest, MI), Cand. Griess, and Rev. Key. Rev. Bill Langerak (Southeast, MI) declined the call to Trinity PRC.

John Calvin on Isaiah 54:13:

"It deserves attention, that all that belongs to the ornament of the Church, proceeds from no other source than from the grace of God; for if we are "carbuncles" and "sapphires" in consequence of our being taught by the Lord, it follows that this does not proceed from nature. Now there are two ways in which the Lord teaches us; by external preaching, and by the secret revelation of the Holy Spirit. What kind of teaching the Prophet means is explained by Christ, when he quotes this passage; and therefore we ought not to seek a better interpreter. "It is written in the prophets," says he, "All shall be taught by God. Every man who hath heard and learned from the Father cometh to me" (John 6:45). If this passage were to be understood as relating to external preaching, the conclusion which Christ draws from it would not be well founded; for it does not follow, "The Gospel is preached, and therefore all believe." Many oppose, others openly scorn, and others are hypocrites. Those only "who have been foreordained to life" (Acts 13:48) are sincerely teachable, and are entitled to be ranked among the disciples. The Gospel is preached indiscriminately to the elect and the reprobate; but the elect alone come to Christ, because they have been "taught by God," and therefore to them the Prophet undoubtedly refers.

This makes it evident in what way we become living and precious stones for building the temple of God. It is when the Lord has formed and polished us by his Spirit, and has added to the external preaching of the word the internal efficacy of the Spirit. Hence we learn how great is the depravity of the human mind, which cannot be bent and formed anew, unless the Lord move it by the power and efficacy of his Spirit. Isaiah has connected both modes of teaching, the internal and the external; for he gives the appellation of "children of the Church" to those who are "taught by the Lord." If they are her children, they must then have been conceived in her womb and nourished by her, first "with milk, and next with solid food," as Paul says (I Corinthians 3:2) till they "grow up and arrive at manhood" (Ephesians 4:13).

Thus the external administration of the word is necessary if we wish to be disciples; and this shows the extreme madness of fanatics, who abuse this passage for the purpose of overturning the preaching of the word and the ministry which the Church enjoys; for they cannot be "the children" of the Church, if they do not allow themselves to be educated in her. In vain will they boast of secret revelations; for the Spirit does not teach any but those who submit to the ministry of the Church, and consequently they are the disciples of the devil, and not of God, who reject the order which he has appointed; for we see that these two things, "Children of the Church" and "Taught by God," are united in such a manner that they cannot be God's disciples who refuse to be taught in the Church. They ought likewise to be properly distinguished, as Isaiah also distinguishes them, that we may not apply to men what ought to be ascribed to the efficacy of the Spirit; but at the same time they ought to be joined together, so that we may know that in this matter God chooses to employ the agency of men."

Dear CPRC,


The internship in SW PRC is proving to be very interesting and enjoyable. The saints there have welcomed me into their hearts and homes and made me feel part of the church. It is not easy to go from one huge church (Hudsonville) to another large (albeit, somewhat smaller) church and try to learn who everyone is, but I am enjoying the attempt! The people are very understanding that I cannot be expected to know everyone in a few weeks and when I forget their name they are not offended although I am making a huge effort. I am studying the picture directory every time I meet a new person.

The internship started on 1 July. I go on about 3 visits a week with Rev. den Hartog. We have been to nursing homes to visit the elderly and infirmed; we have been to the homes of widows and to homes of people with illnesses, and it is wonderful to see the strong faith these saints have in affliction. I have been moved, too, to see what a caring pastor Rev. den Hartog is as he brings the Word (which is our comfort) to bear upon the lives of these dear people.

SW PRC have started a lunch rota. On my first Sunday there (5 July) we had a welcome program after the evening service at which I was asked to introduce myself and describe how I came to be a member of the CPRC and a seminarian. Some members of the church played a special number on the violin and Rev. den Hartog asked me to explain to the people how to pronounce my name (I said it is "McGeown" and then tried to explain: the best explanation I have found was by Rev. Rodney Kleyn who wrote "Mig-Yone" on the board in the consistory room. I don’t have too many high hopes. It took the Profs. three years to get it right!)

On 7 July, I attended (with Rev. den Hartog) the pastor’s breakfast and we bade farewell to Rev. Rodney Kleyn who is now at the other side of America in Spokane, Washington.

My first sermon was on 12 July on I John 2:1-2 ("Jesus Christ, Our Advocate") which was graciously received. Rev. den Hartog gave me some feedback and I am now working on number 2 (which, DV, I will deliver on 2 August in the evening service on Titus 2:14).

I have also attended two consistory meetings at SW (although technically the second was a continuation of the first). Both went on to after 11:30 PM. Consistory meetings are strictly confidential and it has been very useful to my training to see how they are conducted. SW is also blessed to have godly and wise elders who love the sheep!

Things will get a lot busier when the season of catechism and society begins. That will be a blessed time too.

Love and prayers,