Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 13 March, 2016
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind ...” (Rom. 12:2)
Morning Service - 11:00 AM
God's Attributes of Goodness (3)
Scripture Reading: I Peter 5
Text: I Peter 5:10
I. The Idea and Meaning of God’s Grace
II. The Attitude and Power of God’s Grace
III. Our Thanksgiving and Rejoicing for God’s Grace
Psalms: 86:10-15; 133:1-3; 45:1-6; 84:4-11
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
The Tenth of the Ten Commandments
Scripture Reading: I Timothy 1
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 44
I. The Smallest Inclination
II. The Small Beginning
III. The Strict Preaching
Psalms: 1:1-6; 134:1-3; 119:169-176; 119:1-8
For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services,
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart
or the elders
CPRC Website: www.cprc.co.uk • Live Webcast:
CPRC YouTube: www.youtube.com/cprcni
CPRC Facebook: www.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
Quote to Consider
Rev. Ron Hanko: “... God’s grace as it is revealed in our
salvation is the gift of his own beauty to us, so that we
become like him and thus find favor in his sight. That
loveliness of God, which he grants to his people when he
saves them, becomes evident in all their conduct and speech.
It is impossible for one who has received grace not to
reflect something of the loveliness of God. This is one of
the reasons that the teaching of common grace should be
rejected. It is a repulsive thought that the wicked and
unbelieving should find favor in God’s sight or have
anything of his own loveliness. Nor could it ever be, then,
that God would judge them and send them to hell, for he
would be sending someone who had received something of his
own beauty to the place of eternal darkness” (Doctrine
According to Godliness, p. 50).
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
Monday evening’s Catechism classes
5:45 PM - Taylor, Josh, Corey, Bradley & Samuel (Beginners OT, book 2)
6:30 PM - Alex & Nathan (Seniors OT)
7:15 PM - Jacob & Joseph (Heidelberg Catechism, book 1)
The Tuesday Bible study meets this Tuesday at 11 AM to study
the knowledge of God in Hosea.
The Belgic Confession Class will meet this Wednesday at 7:45
PM to look at attacks on the apostolicity of the church in
connection with Article 27.
Volunteers who would like to help with the CPRC stall at
Mount Slemish on St. Patrick’s Day, this Thursday, 17 March,
should contact Julian.
This Friday, 18 March, at 7:30 PM, Rev. Stewart will give a
lecture on “Our Identity in Christ” here at the CPRC. Flyers
are available on the back table to pass on to family and
The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel
846MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. R. Kleyn is entitled “Abounding
Lawlessness” (Matt. 24:12-13).
The Lord’s Supper is scheduled for the morning service of
Sunday, 27 March. Rev. McGeown will be taking both services
that day. We will have a preparatory service next Lord’s Day
S. Wales, Thursday, 7 April, 7:15 PM, Rev. Stewart on “Who Is in the Image of God?”
Offerings: General Fund: £1,013.52. Building Fund: £220.35.
Website Additions: 1 Spanish translation.
The CERC in Singapore will be holding their annual Church
Camp 13-16 (Monday to Thursday) June in Melaka, a small town
in Malaysia (about 2 1/2 hrs drive from Singapore). Prof.
Dykstra will be speaking on the theme “The Christian and the
Church.” If you are interested and would like more details,
kindly email Ishu Mahtani (email@example.com).
Brian D. Dykstra
Psalm 119:130: “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it
giveth understanding to the simple.”
In fifth grade, we have just finished our study of
astronomy. When we studied the moon and the planets,
students could understand how scientists know of what those
heavenly bodies are made. Astronauts and various space
probes have gone to the moon returning with rocks and soil.
These samples have then been examined in laboratories. Other
probes have been sent to all the planets except Pluto.
Yet, students often wonder how scientists know so much about
the stars. No probes have ever gone to the sun and certainly
we have not gone anywhere near any other star. How, then, do
we know so much about them? In fact, there was a time in the
twentieth century when astronomers knew more about stars
than the other planets of the solar system! Scientists were
able to gain knowledge about stars by studying the light
which comes from them.
The tool astronomers use to study starlight is the
spectroscope. Spectroscopes might have changed since my
source of information was published in 1978. The
spectroscope takes starlight and spreads it out into a
spectrum. The most familiar example of a spectrum is the
rainbow. In a spectroscope, first, the light is passed
through a narrow slit, generally less than 1/500 inch in
width, and then through a prism or series of prisms. The
resulting spectrum may be directed into an eye-lens for
actual viewing or projected onto a photographic plate.
Rather than seeing a continuous band of color, as in the
rainbow, the spectroscope revealed bands, either dark or
light, with the colours of the rainbow as a backdrop.
Scientists then learned that these lines were as
fingerprints. Each element, such as hydrogen, helium,
oxygen, carbon, etc., when heated enough produces its own
peculiar pattern of lines. By examining the lines in the
spectra of stars, scientists were able to determine what
elements were in stars.
This information was used to determine many things about
stars. By studying starlight, astronomers could determine
the temperature of stars. They learned that the cooler stars
were red, while the hotter stars were blue. The light could
also be used to find the distance to the stars. Light
entering a spectroscope can reveal much about stars.
The verse at the top of this page speaks of a different
light. This is the light of truth by which we can discern
the difference between what God says is right and what He
says is wrong.
I always find it interesting that in Acts, where we read of
the work of missions, and here in this verse, there is no
room for the “free will” of man. We read that God’s Word
enters. We do not read that we must “accept” the light, nor
do we read that we “choose” the light. Those two words, so
valued and used by today’s “evangelists,” are conspicuously
Instead, we are reminded of the sovereignty of God. When He
is so pleased, His Light will enter the hearts of His
people. The Almighty does not wait until we give Him
In our day and age, it must also be noted that the Word in
this verse is exclusively Jehovah’s. We are not speaking of
Allah’s word or the word of the Hindu god. Those gods have
no true word to enter men’s hearts. The word of such gods
cannot give knowledge in the ways which please God. Nor do
such words instruct in the only way of salvation, the cross
of the only Son of God.
How much do the spectra reveal to us about stars? I cannot
recognize one pattern of lines from another. They tell me
nothing. What of the entering of God’s light? It gives
understanding to the simple. Even the smallest of our
children, as they learn Bible stories and the Ten
Commandments, become able to discern between what is
pleasing to God and what is not.
Scientists have gained much knowledge of the stars. Yet,
because for so many there is no faith in their hearts,
although they are very intelligent, they have no
understanding of things spiritual. The evolutionist will not
get down on his knees before the God of creation who makes
Himself so evident in His handiwork. We, the simple,
however, can be found daily at the foot of the cross
beseeching God to be merciful to us and blot out our sins in
Yes, the spectroscope can use physical light to give
knowledge of the heavens. How much better is the light of
the Word which will lead us and our covenant children to the
experience of heaven!
As Charles Spurgeon says in his commentary of this verse,
“Oh, that Thy words, like the beams of the sun, may enter
through the window of my understanding and dispel the
darkness of my mind!” May our gracious God make it so by His
grace for all His children.