Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 13
"O Lord, open
thou my lips; and my mouth
forth thy praise" (Ps. 51:15)
- 11:00 AM - Rev. M. McGeown
Desire the Word! [download]
Reading: I Peter 1:1-2:3
Text: I Peter
I. The Meaning
II. The Manner
III. The Reason
148:7-14; 90:13-17; 12:3-8; 119:97-104
Evening Service - 6:00 PM - Rev. M. McGeown
Noah Builds by Faith [download]
Reading: Genesis 6:1-22
III. The Great
91:1-5; 79:9-13; 46:6-11
Stephen Murray for CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship
Quotes to Consider:
Gordon Clark: "When a true Christian opposes the
introduction of unbelief … the modernist is quick to complain of a lack
of love … If the true believer had love, so he is told, he would not be
so cantankerous, always objecting to sweet-souled writers of innocuous
platitudes spiced with denials of Scriptural truth. What the modernists
do not mention, and what they hope no one will notice, is that the
‘cantankerous’ Christian is showing a sincere love to the children who
are in danger of being poisoned. The pure food and drug law may not seem
lovely to one who wishes to cheapen and to adulterate; to the consumer,
on the other hand, it is the essence of brotherly love" (Commentary
on First Peter).
John Calvin: "For we ought to consider the assaults
of temptation to which his [i.e., Noah’s] breast was continually
exposed. First, the prodigious size of the ark might have overwhelmed
all his senses, so as to prevent him from raising a finger to begin the
work. Let the reader reflect on the multitude of trees to be felled, on
the great labour of conveying them, and the difficulty of joining them
together. The matter was also long deferred; for the holy man was
required to be engaged more than a hundred years in most troublesome
labour … Certainly, unless they had been restrained by the mighty hand
of God, they would have stoned the holy man a hundred times … I even
think, that they did not restrain their hands from disturbing his work.
Therefore, although he may have addressed himself with alacrity to the
work committed to him; yet his constancy might have failed more than a
thousand times …" (Commentary on Genesis).
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
We welcome Rev. McGeown today. He will be
preaching both services for us. Rev. Stewart is preaching for the
Limerick Reformed Fellowship.
Catechism classes: Monday, 6:00 PM - Joseph,
Jacob, Nathan & Alex
Monday, 6:45 PM - Zoe, Amy & Lea
Tuesday, 12:15 PM - Beginners NT Class
Tuesday Bible study: 11 AM, on II
Thessalonians 2:11-12 on God’s sending strong delusion upon the
followers of the man of sin.
Wednesday Belgic Confession class: 7:45 PM.
We’ll look at Article 9 on the proof of the doctrine of the Trinity.
Thursday’s Membership class is at 7:30 PM.
The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day
(8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW) is entitled "Jesus’ Prayer for His Own"
(John 17:6-10) by Rev. R. Kleyn.
Next Lord’s Day evening, we will have preparatory with a view
to partaking of the Lord’s Supper on 27 March.
Letter to the English Churchman (28 January &
4 February, 2011)
The raising of the subject of modesty is timely
(Letter, EC 7809). Indeed, the whole matter of a
believer's dress is worthy of more attention than we generally give
The tendency seems to be to view dress as a matter
of little importance. It is largely a question of personal taste,
fashion, or perhaps Christian liberty, with an appeal to I Samuel 16:7
for some Scriptural backing. But is the Lord really as unconcerned
about these things as we might be led to believe? As I read I
Corinthians 11:1-16, I Timothy 2:9-10 and I Peter 3:3, I find the Holy
Spirit not only giving us quite detailed instructions as to how we are
to appear outwardly, but basing that instruction on profound doctrinal
principles, such as the headship of Christ. Young people in the
churches are under immense pressure from their peers and their own
flesh to conform to the fashions of this world, and it seems to me
that we are happy to let them go that way, but Scripture says we are
all to present our bodies as "a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable
unto God ... and be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:1-2).
Part of the problem may well be that we think of
salvation purely in terms of the soul, forgetting that Christ is also
the Saviour of the body and that His saving work in us will not be
complete until our bodies are glorified. Even now, the body is "for
the Lord" and is the temple of the Holy Ghost (I Cor. 6:13, 19), and
surely one consequence of this is that we may not treat our bodies as
though they were our own, perhaps by clothing them according to the
vulgar fashions of this fallen world. We must not forget, either, that
our need for clothing stems from our fall and the shame before God
that it brought upon us. Clothes are a daily reminder to us of our
need for a covering for our sin.
And what a covering God has given us: the sinless
beauty and righteousness of Christ. "I clothed thee also with
broidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skin, and I girded thee
with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk" (Eze. 16:10). "The
king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought
gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework"
(Ps. 45:13-14). "He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he
hath covered me with the robe of righteousness" (Isa. 61:10). How that
beautiful picture is stripped of its meaning and helpfulness when we
see even professing believers clothed in the unseemly garb of the cat
There is something rather perverse about the
fashions of our present age. King Solomon wrote, "For the drunkard and
the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man
in rags" (Prov. 23:21), but today people will work very hard earning
enough money to buy expensive designer clothes that look as though
they are ready to be turned into dusters. Scruffy, slovenly dress is
something to be gloried in, or so it would appear. One can buy
garments ready frayed and ripped. God has clothed the world in
beauty, even the grass "which is today in the field, and tomorrow is
cast into the oven" (Luke 12:28), but man, the very crown of creation,
prefers to clothe himself in rags.
In our evangelical and Reformed churches we must
confess that things can be little better with standards of dress and
modesty being challenged even in worship services. There is a fashion
these days for low-slung jeans and I remember being in a meeting with
a number of young men and women sitting in front of me, who, as they
leaned over to pray, exposed flesh that would be considered
embarrassing even in the street. I am sure it was a great affront to
God, but to my shame I let the matter pass.
Does not the concept of modesty extend beyond the
question of how much of the body is covered to include also the manner
in which it is covered? A person may be fully covered but the fashion
for close fitting, figure-hugging clothes means that while they might
be adhering to the letter of Christian modesty they are straining the
spirit of it. Is it right for us to draw attention to our bodies in
this way when we should be drawing attention to the Saviour?
So what can we do about it? If we are "apt to
teach" we can instruct from the Scriptures. If we are older women we
can draw alongside the girls and younger women to teach them sobriety
(Titus 2:3-5). And all of us can set a more godly example and be
encouragers in the way of the Lord.
Letter to the English Churchman (28 January &
4 February, 2011)
The Covenant of Grace
In EC 7810, your Dutch correspondent referred to
the covenant view of the Protestant Reformed Churches (PRC).
In keeping with the biblical and Reformed doctrines
of Calvinism, we believe that the covenant of grace is a covenant of
sovereign, particular and irresistible grace rooted in eternal,
unconditional election in Jesus Christ, for "election is the fountain
of every saving good, from which proceed faith, holiness, and the
other gifts of salvation, and finally eternal life itself, as its
fruits and effects" (Canons of Dordt I:9; Eph. 1:4). The Triune
God "confirmed the new covenant" by "the most precious death of his
Son" for "all those, and those only, who were from eternity chosen to
salvation and given him by the Father" (Canons II:8; John
10:14-15, 26). As Westminster Larger Catechism Answer 31
states, "The covenant of grace was made with Christ as the second Adam
and in him with all the elect as his seed" (cf. Gal. 3:16, 29).
God's covenant grace, covenant promise, covenant salvation and
covenant blessings are most fully treated in the Scriptures in Romans
9:6-24, that great passage on sovereign, unconditional, double
predestination, consisting of eternal election and reprobation, in the
covenant line of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the covenant nation of
Israel. "So then," the apostle concludes, salvation—covenant
salvation—is not of him that willeth [i.e., man's alleged free will],
nor of him that runneth [i.e., man's strenuous efforts and works], but
of God that sheweth mercy" (Rom. 9:16; cf. Rom. 4:16; Eph. 2:8-9).
The covenant formula identifies the covenant with Jehovah's being our
God (to save, succour, glorify and dwell with us forever) and our
being His people (to trust, walk and dwell with Him in blessedness and
peace). Jehovah portrays His covenant with us as His tabernacling with
us and as the relationships of husband to wife and of father to son.
Abraham, the father of all believers (Rom. 4:11-18), with whom God
magnified His covenant (Gen. 15; 17; Gal. 3), is called God's "friend"
(II Chron, 20:9; Isa. 41:8; James 2:23). Thus God's covenant is
wonderful union, communion and fellowship with Him in Jesus Christ by
the Holy Spirit, so that by grace we believe in Him, repent of our
sins, love Him, worship Him and do good works and keep His
commandments from the heart and out of gratitude (Isa. 55:3-5; Jer.
31:31-34; 32:40; Eze. 36:25-28).
For free articles, audios and videos on God's covenant or to order
books or free pamphlets on the covenant of grace, check out this
Protestant Reformed Church