Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 20
"Those that be
planted in the house of the Lord
in the courts of our God" (Ps. 92:13)
- 11:00 AM
The Prayer of the Church in Babylon (4)
God’s Remembering the Days of Old [download]
Reading: Exodus 14
I. The Meaning
91:6-11; 114:1-8; 143:5-11
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
Judge Not! [download]
Reading: Matthew 7
I. The Judging
That Is Not Forbidden
II. The Judging
That Is Forbidden
III. Why It Is
91:12-16; 16:1-7; 119:57-64
Stephen Murray for CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship
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
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
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.
PM - Joseph, Jacob, Nathan & Alex
PM - Zoe, Amy & Lea
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.
£200, £100 (website), £150 (CR News), £20 (S. Wales), £200
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
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bulletins are sent out only once or twice a month, offering a quick look
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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
This is part 1 of Prof. Engelsma’s 45th e-mail
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
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
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
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