Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church



Rev. Angus Stewart

Lord’s Day, 20 March, 2011


"Those that be planted in the house of the Lord

shall flourish in the courts of our God" (Ps. 92:13)


Morning Service - 11:00 AM

The Prayer of the Church in Babylon (4)

God’s Remembering the Days of Old   [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Exodus 14

Text: Isaiah 63:11-14

I. The Meaning

II. The Significance

Psalms: 36:5-11; 91:6-11; 114:1-8; 143:5-11


Evening Service - 6:00 PM


Judge Not!    [download]   [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Matthew 7

Text: Matthew 7:1-2

I. The Judging That Is Not Forbidden

II. The Judging That Is Forbidden

III. Why It Is Forbidden

Psalms: 122:1-9; 91:12-16; 16:1-7; 119:57-64


Contact Stephen Murray for CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services.


CPRC website:

CPRC YouTube:

CPRC Facebook:


Quotes to Consider:

Herman Hoeksema: "… if a man really comes to repentance, he talks about himself alone … He says: ‘Be merciful to me a sinner.’ But as long as he talks about others, he means to say, ‘I am better.’ Before himself, this means deceit. He deceives himself. Before others, it is conceit. Before God, it is self-righteousness. And this man, who so judges, will never be receptive to the gospel."

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

We welcome Stephanie Adams to our services today.

The March issue of the CR News is on the back table, along with Rev. Stewart’s bi-monthly letter to the PRC and a newsletter from Heritage PRC.

This evening, we will have preparatory with a view to partaking of the Lord’s Supper next Sunday, 27 March.

Everyone is welcome to stay for tea after the evening service.

Those interested in a monthly men’s meeting, go to Julian or Philip in the Bible Study room after the evening service to discuss what and when to study, etc.

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 2:12-14 on the only preservation from falling for the deception of the Antichristian kingdom.

Wednesday Belgic Confession class: 7:45 PM. We’ll continue our study of Article 9 on the New Testament proof of the doctrine of the Trinity.

Rev. & Mary Stewart travel to S. Wales this Thursday where Rev. Stewart will give a lecture on "The Election of God’s Church." They will return home on Friday morning. Please remember this witness in your prayers.

The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day (8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW) is entitled "Jesus’ Prayer for Our Preservation" by Rev. R. Kleyn.

Offerings: General Fund (6 March) - £464.90. Building Fund (6 March) - £434.30. General Fund (13 March) - £632.60. Donations: £200, £100 (website), £150 (CR News), £20 (S. Wales), £200 (DVDs).

Rev. McGeown will preach for the CPRC on 3 April, while Rev. Stewart preaches for the Limerick Reformed Fellowship.

Would you like to receive the RFPA e-news about new books, specials, gift ideas, and more? These brief e-news bulletins are sent out only once or twice a month, offering a quick look at what’s new at the RFPA. Submit your email address to to subscribe!

PRC News: Rev. A. Lanning declined the call to Trinity PRC. Rev. VanderWal (Redlands, CA) accepted the call to Wingham PRC in Canada. Hope PRC will call from a trio of Revs. Hanko, Koole and Marcus.

This is part 1 of Prof. Engelsma’s 45th e-mail on justification:

Dear European Forum,

This instalment in our study of justification by faith alone concludes our consideration of the question, and controversial issue, whether God justified (or, justifies) the elect in eternity. The preceding instalment precisely described the issue, noted the controversy, and issued certain preliminary cautions concerning the proper view and handling of the subject.

The right approach to eternal justification is not a leap directly from justification by faith alone (in the believer’s consciousness) into the eternal counsel. Rather, the way, the only way, from present justification by faith back to the eternal decree is through Jesus Christ and him crucified. Always, the way to the eternal counsel for the believer is through Christ. An outstanding instance is knowledge of personal election. No one can know his own election by a direct investigation of the eternal counsel. As Calvin reminds us, Christ is the mirror of our election. We know, and are assured of, our election by believing in Jesus Christ and thus seeing the loving face of the triune God who has been favourable to us from eternity in the decree.

The Bible teaches that the death of Jesus Christ was God’s justification of Christ and of all the elect, in whose stead He died. The cross of Christ was the justification of all the elect church. Usually, those who oppose eternal justification contend that justification by faith alone is the only justification, or phase of justification, that the Bible teaches. They are mistaken. The Bible teaches a justification at the cross.

Like the justification that is by faith alone (for it was a phase of the one, great, multifaceted act of God of justifying the elect), the justification at the cross was a verdict of God the judge upon the elect forgiving their sins and declaring them righteous with the righteousness of Christ. Apart from their faith, and before the faith of the saints of the New Testament church, God justified the elect.

That the cross was the justification of the elect is the teaching of Romans 4:25: "[Jesus our Lord] was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." The meaning of the text is not, as is usually supposed, that Jesus was raised for our justification in the sense that after He is raised He will be able to justify us. The grammar of the text is correctly translated this way: "Who was delivered on account of our offences, and was raised again on account of our justification." The meaning is that just as our offences were the cause of Christ’s death, so our justification, as an accomplished fact at the end of His crucifixion, was the cause of His resurrection. Christ went to the cross because of our sins; Christ rose the third day because the cross had brought about our justification. Had His cross failed to bring about our justification, then and there, God would not have raised Jesus.

Verse 25 of Romans 4 leads into the apostle’s explanation of the cross of Christ as the basis of justification by faith alone in Romans 5. Romans 5:9 teaches that Christ’s death, as the basis of our justification by faith alone, was itself the justification of the elect. The text reads, "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." Once more, the more exact English translation of the Greek original is important for the correct understanding of the meaning of the text: "Much more then, now having been justified by his blood," etc. The text is teaching what Christ did in His death by crucifixion: He justified us. Not only is this the sense especially of the Greek original of the text, but also both the preceding and following contexts describe Christ’s death itself and what it accomplished in and of itself: Christ died for us when we were yet sinners (v. 8), and His death reconciled us to God (v. 10). Verse 9 teaches that that death justified us. We are justified by faith, but we were also justified two thousand years ago "by his blood," and we are justified now by our faith in Him, because we were once justified by His blood.

This justification at the cross, or to be precise, at the very last instant of the cross, that instant when Christ cried out triumphantly, "It is finished," which is taught expressly by Romans 4:25 and Romans 5:9, is in accordance with the apostle’s teaching concerning the similarity of Adam and Christ with respect to guilt and righteousness in Romans 5:12-21. At the moment Adam disobeyed in the garden, before any other human knew his guilt consciously, the divine verdict sounded over the entire human race, "Guilty! Worthy of death!" This verdict thundered over Eden and all the earth at the instant Adam ate the fruit, God then carried out upon the whole human race by inflicting total depravity of nature and death.

At the instant Christ fulfilled all righteousness for His own on Golgotha, there sounded from heaven the divine verdict over the new human race of the elect: "Forgiven! Innocent! Righteous! Worthy of eternal, immortal life!" This verdict was the echo from heaven of the declaration of Jesus from the cross, "It is finished." This verdict thundered out over Golgotha and the crucified one, God then carried out, and still carries out, by giving new life to all who are Christ’s.

The resurrection of Christ on the third day then was the manifestation of the justifying verdict of God at the cross—the visible Word of justification. Since Jesus could only be raised from the dead by God if He had obeyed fully and perfectly the mandate of His Father that He atone for God’s elect as their head and mediator, the resurrection of Jesus was based on the justification of the elect and demonstrated that by His lifelong obedience and especially by His atoning blood He had indeed justified His own ("raised on account of our justification," Rom. 4:25).

Jesus’ justification of all those given Him in election and for whom He made Himself responsible as their head and mediator is the meaning of the otherwise puzzling declaration of I Timothy 3:16, that Jesus, who is "God manifest in the flesh," was "justified in the Spirit." The reference is to the resurrection, specifically to the bodily resurrection with regard to what Jesus accomplished in His death. In the resurrection, God publicly and dramatically justified Jesus, that is, declared Him righteous. But this He did, not on Jesus’ own account, who knew no sin personally. Rather, God justified Jesus with regard to all His guilty people, declaring by the wonder of resurrection into new, eternal life that Jesus as the representative of a guilty people, and, therefore, all His guilty people, are free from all guilt and shame and are righteous before Him.  ... to be continued