Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Bookmark and Share

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 23 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

Rest for God’s People (4)
New Testament Rest   [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 3:7-4:11
Text: Hebrews 4:9-11

I. The Scriptural Argument
II. The Messiah’s Mission
III. The Christian’s Calling
Psalms: 100:1-5; 37:35-40; 16:6-11; 95:6-11

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

The History of Divine Sonship   [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Galatians 4:1-7; Romans 8:13-31
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 13

I. In the Old Testament
II. In the New Testament
Psalms: 103:8-15; 38:1-7; 89:24-30; 2:6-12

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:

Quotes to Consider

John Gill on Hebrews 4:10: "For he that is entered into his rest, &c. This is to be understood not of believers, nor of their entrance into the Gospel rest, or into eternal rest, but of the Lord Jesus Christ; for a single person is only spoken of, and not many, as in Hebrews 4:3 and the rest entered into is his own, which cannot be said of any other; and besides, a comparison is run between his entrance into rest, and ceasing from his works, and God's resting the seventh day, and ceasing from his, which can only agree with him ... Now he entered into his rest, not when he was laid in the grave, but when he rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God, as having done his work; and this is the ground and foundation of the saints' rest under the Gospel dispensation; for these words are a reason of the former, as appears by the causal particle 'for': and now being at rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his; Christ had works to do, as preaching the Gospel, performing miracles, and obtaining the redemption and salvation of his people: these were given him to do, and he undertook them, and he has finished them; and so ceases from them, as never to repeat them more; they being done effectually, stand in no need of it; and so as to take delight and complacency in them; the pleasure of the Lord prospering in, his hand, the effects of his labour answering his designs; just as God ceased from the works of creation, when he had finished them."

A. W. Pink on Hebrews 4:10: "The reference to Christ in v. 10 (remember the section begins at 3:1 and concludes with 4:14-16) completes the positive side of the apostle's proof of His superiority over Joshua. In v. 8 he had pointed out that Joshua did not lead Israel into the perfect rest of God; now he affirms that Christ, our Apostle, has entered it, and His entrance is the pledge and proof that His people shall—'whither the Forerunner is for us entered' (Heb. 6:20). But more: what is said of Christ in v. 10 clinches our interpretation of v. 9 and gives beautiful completeness to what is there said: 'There remaineth therefore a sabbath-keeping to the people of God. For He that is entered into His rest, He also hath ceased from his own works, as God from His.' Thus, the Holy Spirit here teaches us to view Christ's rest from his work of Redemption as parallel with God's work in creation. They are spoken of as parallel in this respect: the relation which each 'work' has to the keeping of a sabbath! The opening 'for' of v. 10 shows that what follows furnishes a reason why God's people, now, must keep the sabbath. That reason invests the sabbath with a fuller meaning than it had in O.T. times. It is now not only a memorial of God's work of creation, and a recognition of the Creator as our Proprietor, but it is also an emblem of the rest which Christ entered as an eternal memorial of His finished work; and inasmuch as Christ ended His work and entered upon His 'rest' by rising again on the first day of the week, we are thereby notified that the Christian's six work-days must run from Monday to Saturday, and that his sabbath must be observed on Sunday. This is confirmed by the additional fact that the N.T. shows that after the crucifixion of Christ the first day of the week was the one set apart for Divine worship" (Exposition of Hebrews, pp. 210-211).

John Owen: "He had proved before that there could be no such rest but what was founded in the works of God, and his rest that ensued thereon. Such a foundation therefore, he saith, this new rest must have; and it hath it. Now this is, and must be, in the works and rest of him by whom the church was built, that is Christ, who is God, as it is expressly argued (3:3-4). For as that rest which all the world was to observe was founded in his works and rest who built or made the world and all things in it; so the rest of the church of the gospel is to be founded in his works and rest by whom the church itself was built, that is Jesus Christ; for he, on the account of his works and rest, is also Lord of the Sabbath, to abrogate one day of rest and to institute another" (Hebrews, vol. 4, pp. 332-333).

Francis Nigel Lee: "The Son of man entered into His glory after cessation from His earthly life's work and death on Calvary, so that now He 'entered into His rest (and) He also hath ceased from His own works as God did from His.' And He entered into His glory and His rest on that first Lord's day of Resurrection Sunday (Luke 24:1-7, 21-26, 46, 49) ... even after the Son of man has entered His rest, His glory, His children are to follow Him and to do the same. 'There remaineth therefore a keeping of a sabbath to the people of God' who must therefore strive to enter into that rest. The believer in the post-Calvary dispensation is nonetheless enjoined to enter into the rest of God, even though Christ has already (in principle) done this for him" (The Covenantal Sabbath, p. 235).

John Gill on Hebrews 4:11: "... the Gospel rest is here meant, that rest which believers now enter into, and is at this present time for them (Heb. 4:3) and though true believers are entered into it, yet their rest, peace, and joy in Christ, are not full; they enter by degrees into it, and by believing enjoy more of it: and this is to be laboured for by prayer, hearing the word, and attendance on ordinances; and this requires strength, diligence, and industry; and supposes difficulties and discouragements, through the corruptions of the heart, and the temptations of Satan; and this is designed to quicken and awaken a godly jealousy in God’s people, over themselves."

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

We welcome Kristin Prins, fiancée of David Crossett, who has moved here from the US. Kristin is a member of Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, Michigan.

A letter from the Philippines and Rev. McGeown’s bi-monthly letter are on the back table today.

A draft of the new CPRC address and telephone list is also on the back table. Please correct or add to your entry or place a tick by it if it is accurate.

This evening will be a preparatory service with a view to celebrating the Lord’s Supper next Sunday, 30 June.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) is entitled "Husbands, Love as Christ" (Ephesians 5:25-27).

All are invited to a barbecue at the manse on Friday, 5 July, rain or shine. Also present will be many of the Americans over for David and Kristin’s wedding (9 July).

Offerings: General Fund - £571.12. Donations: £40 (DVDs), £15 (pamphlets).

Website Additions: 2 Hungarian translations were added.

PRC News: Randolph PRC has extended a call to Rev. R. Kleyn (Spokane, WA). Faith PRC called Rev. Spronk (Peace, IL). Doon PRC has a new trio consisting of Revs. Haak, R. Kleyn and W. Langerak.


by Rev. C. Hanko (Standard Bearer, vol. 60, issue 20)


Who is the true partaker of the Lord’s Supper? Am I? In confronting this question we are in full harmony with the Scriptures, in which we are admonished: "But let every man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread [still examining himself], and drink of that cup, for he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lords body" (I Cor. 11:28-29).

This accounts for our customary preparatory services. In the week of preparation, we face the question: Who examines whom? And, of what does this true examination consist?

Well may we ask: Who am I that is called to do the examining? Immediately the unbeliever is ruled out. Since partaking of the Lord’s Supper is an act of faith, he cannot partake without eating and drinking condemnation to himself. Nor can he be honest with himself and with an examination of himself. Our Catechism also rules out the hypocrite and any one who does not turn to God with a sincere heart.

The hypocrite belongs to the carnal element in the church. Likely he is baptized and reared in the church. He attends the public worship, even as he was instructed in the catechism classes and made confession of faith. He prays. He reads the Bible. He may even be thoroughly acquainted with the content of the Scriptures, so that he knows sound doctrine. He may be able to discuss fluently the truths of God’s Word, may become an elder or deacon, or even a minister. To all appearances he is sincere in his confession and walk, so that he is considered a sincere child of God. He also wants to make that impression upon others. Possibly the question arises in your heart: Might that be true of me? Actually, anyone who is afraid that he might be wearing a mask of hypocrisy need have no concern. The hypocrite knows very well that he is not sincere, not in his prayers, nor in his church attendance, nor in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. He may deceive others, but he does not deceive himself. Judas is the perfect example of the hypocrite. He could spend three years with Jesus and the disciples. He could listen as Peter was the spokesman, declaring, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." He could hold out even after Jesus’ word of warning, "One of you is a devil." He continued to play the hypocrite right up to the last greeting and kiss in the garden. Hypocrites are warned that they have no place at the Lord’s Table.

Scripture also warns against those who do not turn to God with sincere hearts. These are ungodly persons within the church. They love the things of this world and the service of sin, yet they want to keep a back door open to heaven. Maybe they sleep in church. Maybe they allow their thoughts to wander. They are not singing from the heart, even though they may be very good singers. They only close their eyes and wait out the congregational prayer, which never touches them. They are not edified by the preaching, but they either blame the minister for this, or it is no great concern to them. They never feel a need for celebrating the holy Supper, but they do so anyway from some ulterior motive. They do experience a certain remorse for their sins. Either they are afraid of being discovered, or they are sorry for the consequences they experience from their sins. They may even pretend to turn to God, yet not with sincere hearts. Theirs is an Esau’s sorrow, which has nothing in common with a true repentance. Conversion is a sincere sorrow that we have offended God with our sins, even as David cried out, "Against thee, against thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight" (Psalm 51:4). Conversion brings us on our knees in true repentance, confessing and forsaking our sin, and pleading for forgiving mercies. For the sincere child of God there is a continual sorrow for sin, guilt, and depravity, with a seeking after God and a longing for perfection. Those who do not experience this true conversion are admonished to refrain from celebrating the Supper, lest they bring greater condemnation on themselves.

The sincere examiner is the child of God, who lives by faith and seeks to be strengthened in the faith.

Whom does he examine? Himself. Does this mean that he stands off at a distance, as it were, to take an objective look at himself? Does this self-examination imply that I begin by asking myself: Am I a Christian? Am I a child of God? Does this mean that I look to myself for some virtues, good works or even a bit of perfection? If that were the case, I might despair of myself, be filled with doubts and fears, or else assume the Pharisee’s position: "I thank thee, Lord, that I am not as other men are." Scripture nowhere admonishes this, since I cannot look at myself objectively, any more than I would get up in the morning, look in the mirror and ask myself whether I am the same person who retired in sleep last night.

Scripture does admonish us to examine ourselves whether we are in the faith (II Cor. 13:5). That is something quite different. Then we ask ourselves, first of all, whether we are sound in doctrine, whether we believe the truth of the holy Scriptures, and, moreover, whether our daily walk of life is in harmony with our profession. Do we desire, will and think, speak and act as children of God? As our Form for the Lord’s Supper expresses it, "Considering that we seek our life outside of ourselves in Jesus Christ, we acknowledge that we lie in the midst of death; therefore, notwithstanding we feel many infirmities in ourselves, as namely, that we have not perfect faith, and that we do not give ourselves to serve God with that zeal as we are bound, but have daily to strive with the weakness of our faith, and the evil lusts of our flesh; yet, since we are (by the grace of the Holy Spirit) sorry for these weaknesses and earnestly desirous to fight against our unbelief, and to live according to all the commandments of God: therefore we rest assured, that no sin or infirmity, which still remains in us against our will, can hinder us from being received of God in mercy, and from being made worthy partakers of this heavenly meat and drink."

That leaves us with the question: Of what does this self-examination consist? After taking an honest inward look at ourselves, we might ask: What do the other members of my family think of me? What impression do I leave with my fellow church members? Do my friends and acquaintances speak well of me as a child of God? On the other hand, does the world hate me? In one word, am I a friend and companion of those who fear the Lord?

Yet, this examination of ourselves includes more than that. The Form for the Administration of the Lord’s Supper leads us in the right direction, informing us that the true examination of ourselves consists of three parts. It is interesting to note that these three parts are also the basis for the division of our Heidelberg Catechism and are found in the first part of our Baptism Form. They are drawn from many passages in the Psalms, such as Psalm 51, 116, 130, as well as from the three parts of Paul’s epistle to the Romans.

I must know how great are my sins and miseries. I must realize that I am conceived and born in sin, and therefore am subject to all misery, yea, to condemnation itself. We must consider our sins and the curse due to us for them, so that we abhor and humble ourselves before God. With the Psalmist we cry from the depths of our sin and misery: Lord, hear my voice. If Thou shouldst mark my iniquities, Lord, how could I ever stand before Thee? (Psalm 130:1-3).

Moreover, we must know how we are delivered from all our sins and miseries. We must examine our hearts whether we believe this faithful promise of God, that all our sins are forgiven us for the sake of the passion and death of Christ, so that His perfect righteousness is imputed to us so perfectly as if we in our own persons had satisfied for all our sins, and fulfilled all righteousness. We must have the song in our hearts: "Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered, in whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, in whose spirit there is no guile" (Psalm 32:1-2).

Finally, we must purpose henceforth to show true gratitude to God in our whole lives, and to walk uprightly before Him, laying aside all enmity, hatred and envy, resolved to walk in true love and peace with our neighbour.

All those God will certainly receive in mercy and count them worthy partakers of the Table of His Son Jesus Christ (Form for the Administration of the Lord’s Supper).