Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 9 June, 2013

"But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious,
longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth" (Psalm 86:15)

Morning Service - 11:00 AM

The Believer’s Anointing  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: I John 2
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 12

I. The Meaning
II. The Preservation
Psalms: 45:1-6; 37:8-14; 133:1-3; 119:33-40

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

Rest for God’s People (3)
The Land of Rest  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 12:5-12; 8:7-20
Text: Hebrews 4:5-8

I. Rest From ...
II. Rest in ...
III. Rest on ...
Psalms: 4:3-8; 37:15-21; 44:1-8; 95:1-2, 7-11

For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services, contact Stephen Murray
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart

CPRC website:
CPRC YouTube:
CPRC Facebook:

Quote to Consider

Robert Candlish on I John 2: "This anointing is permanent; ‘it abideth in you.’ It is not a fitful emotion or wayward impulse, a rapture of excitement, alternating perhaps with deep depression. It partakes more of the nature of a calm, constant, settled conviction. Frames, feelings, fancies, are all fluctuating; they are like the surface waters of the ocean, agitated by every wind. But this inward anointing is far down in the still depths beneath. It ‘abideth in us;’ the same always in its own inherent stillness and strength, amid whatever tossings its contact with the upper air may cause."

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

Standard Bearers are available for subscribers today. The June issue of the CR News is also on the back table.

Due to a recent instance of an intoxicated man outside our building during a church service and attacks on people in churches, the council has decided that from next Sunday, the main entrance to the church building will be locked during the singing of the first psalm and for the remainder of the service. We realise that this may bring a certain inconvenience, but it is standard policy in many churches and is aimed at the personal security of all of us and our children.

Philip Hall’s term as deacon expires in August. If any member would like to put forward a name for consideration for this office, please mention it to Rev. Stewart or another elder.

Rev. & Mary Stewart will be in Scotland this week to visit the 2014 BRF Conference centre and make arrangements for the conference. Please contact Elder Crossett if any pastoral needs arise. In case of an emergency, Rev. Stewart can be contacted on his mobile (07510654244).

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) is entitled "God’s Rule of Conduct for Marriage" (Col. 3:12-13).

Rev. McGeown will be preaching for us next Lord’s Day, while Rev. Stewart takes the services in the LRF.

Offerings: General Fund - £540.36. Building Fund - £288.22.

S. Wales Lecture: Rev. Stewart will give the next lecture in Porthcawl on Wednesday, 19 June, on "Rest for the People of God."

PRC News: Synod begins this week. Rev. Key is to take the presynodical service tomorrow evening. Beginning Tuesday, Seminarian Erik Guichelaar will be examined. Ivan Reid will be attending and bringing greetings from the CPRC. Please remember the Synod and its deliberations in your prayers. Randolph PRC announces a trio of Revs. Haak, Bleyenberg and R. Kleyn.

Proper Sabbath Observance (The Sojourner’s Sabbath), Part 2

Rev. Herman Hoeksema

Idea of the Sabbath

That the Sabbath in its deepest sense has to do with the Lord’s rest is abundantly proven from the Holy Scriptures. It has its beginning in the rest of the Lord on the seventh day after the six days of creative work in which the heavens and the earth were finished. For on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made (Gen. 2:2). Because of this rest from all His work which He had made on that seventh day, He blessed and sanctified it (Gen. 2:3). It is, in the Ten Commandments, called "the Sabbath of the Lord, thy God" (Ex. 20:10; Deut. 5:14). In Leviticus 23:3 we read: "Six days shall work be done; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, and holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings." And in Isaiah 58:13: "If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shall honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words, then shalt thou delight in the Lord." Psalm 95:11 reads: "Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest."

Although it is true that in this latter passage the original does not use the word "sabbath" for rest, and although it is equally true that the first reference of the phrase "my rest" is to the land of Canaan, yet it is evident from Hebrews 4 that this "my rest" has also a higher, an ultimate meaning, and that essentially it is expressing the very idea of the Sabbath. For the author of the epistle to the Hebrews applies the text from Psalm 95 directly to the final rest of the Sabbath that remaineth for the people of God. They, the unbelievers in the desert, could not enter into God’s rest because of their unbelief (Heb. 3:19). Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it (Heb. 4:1). And when finally the author writes: "There remaineth therefore a rest for the people of God," he uses the very word, Sabbath, for what is translated "rest" in our language. The Sabbath, therefore, is God’s rest, God’s holy day, the Sabbath of the Lord thy God, His rest, for which we are admonished to labour in order to enter therein (Heb. 4:11).

This must necessarily determine the true implication of the notion of rest. The word Sabbath means literally rest, and the primary notion appears to be that of ceasing and desisting from work. However, we should not make the mistake of confusing the idea of sabbatic rest with that of complete idleness. Idleness and rest are by no means identical. The former is necessarily sinful and always condemned in the Word of God. Strictly speaking, man that is created after the image of God, cannot be really idle in the sense that he ceases from all activity and labour. Even though he should stretch his body on a bed, so that he refrains from all physical labour, he would be still busy thinking and willing, planning and desiring, and it would prove to be an absolute impossibility for him to force himself into a state of complete inactivity.

Neither is it the chief purpose of the Sabbath that we refrain from all earthly labour, nor is there anything especially meritorious or holy in the mere fact that on the Sabbath-day we cease from our weekly toil. To raise this notion of desisting from work to the primary and main idea of the Sabbath is the error of Phariseeism, always severely condemned by the Lord. It is very evident that one may completely refrain from doing any work on the first day of the week and yet so crowd the day with his own work, with speaking his own words and following after his own pleasure, that for him the day becomes of all days most unholy. It is, therefore, important that we bear in mind from the outset that rest and idleness are not identical. In fact, that we desist from daily labour on the first day of the week has its purpose in the positive notion that we should fill the day with other activities, with the work of and for the rest.

Rest is the entering into and the enjoyment of a finished and perfected work. In this sense the rest is absolutely of the Lord. God is not an idle God. He is never idle. He is unceasingly, from eternity to eternity, active. As the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three in Person, one in Being, He lives the life of infinitely perfect action. Yet in God is the rest. There is in Him no labour, no toil, no struggle and strife to reach a certain end, to accomplish a certain work. For, His work is eternally finished and perfect. From everlasting to everlasting He lives the infinitely perfect life of covenant-fellowship and divine friendship within Himself. From eternity to eternity the Father generates and gives life to the Son, yet this divine activity of eternal generation is eternally perfect; from everlasting to everlasting the Son is generated by the Father, yet, with infinitely perfect love, the Son cries eternally: Abba, Father! Eternally the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, yet this procession is eternally finished and perfect. God is infinite action and perfect rest. His action is His rest. And in this eternal rest of perfect action, in the which there is never a moment of idleness, He rejoices with the divine joy of eternally entering into the perfect covenant-fellowship with Himself. This divine covenant-life of God is the rest of God, the divine and eternal Sabbath of the Lord.

Now, it is God’s eternal good pleasure to prepare a rest for His people in Christ Jesus, which should be a reflection, a manifestation, of the rest of His own divine covenant life. This rest of God’s perfected covenant with us is the Sabbath that remaineth for the people of God; it is the essential idea of the Sabbath of the Lord our God with respect to us. For it is His eternal purpose that He ordained them whom He foreknew to be conformed according to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren, to call, to justify, to glorify them (Rom. 8:29-30). Yea, the glory of the exceeding great promises, which God gave unto His people, is so great, that by these they even are made partakers of the divine nature (II Pet. 1:4). According to this purpose they are chosen, in order that they should be holy and unblamable before Him in love (Eph. 1:4); that they should be renewed after the image of God in knowledge of Him (Col. 3:10), in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:24); that they might have fellowship with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ (I John 1:4), might be in the Father and in the Son (I John 2:14), might know Him, love Him, walk with Him, and talk with Him, enter into His secrets, eat with Him and drink with Him, dwell in His house, yea, know Him as they are known, see Him face to face, and be like Him in perfection (John 17:3, 21-23; I Cor. 13:12; I John 3:2; Matt. 5:8; Ps. 17:15, 25:14).