Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Bookmark and Share

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church



Rev. Angus Stewart

Lord’s Day, 27 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

Administration of the Lord’s Supper

Christ’s Glorious Transfiguration (1)

Christ’s Glorious Transfiguration    [download]   [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Luke 9:18-45

Text: Luke 9:29

I. The Meaning of This Wonder

II. The Timing of This Wonder

Psalms: 98:1-6; 92:1-6; 34:1-10; 50:1-6


Evening Service - 6:00 PM


Christ’s Glorious Transfiguration (2)

The Two Old Testament Representatives at the Transfiguration    [download]   [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Matthew 16:13-17:13

Text: Luke 9:30-31

I. Their Identity

II. Their Message

Psalms: 99:1-7; 92:7-11; 78:4-8; 22:27-31


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


CPRC website:

CPRC YouTube:

CPRC Facebook:


Quotes to Consider:

J. C. Ryle: "But the hour cometh, and will soon be here, when Christ shall take to Himself His great power and reign, and put down every enemy under His feet. And then the glory which was first seen for a few minutes, by three witnesses on the Mount of Transfiguration, shall be seen by all the world, and never hidden to all eternity" (Expository Thoughts on Luke, vol. 1, p. 315).

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

After a week of self-examination, confessing members in good standing are called to partake of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Your participation in the Lord’s Supper is in part a witness that you repent of your sins, believe that Jesus Christ is your righteousness and desire to live a new and godly life. As this heavenly food can be taken to one’s judgment (I Cor. 11:28-30) and as the common reception of this food is a confession of doctrinal unity (Acts 2:42), the elders supervise the partaking of the sacrament. Visitors from other denominations must request permission from the Council.

The Standard Bearers, daily meditation booklets for April and a newsletter from the Philippines are on the back table.

Catechism classes: Monday, 6:00 PM - Joseph, Jacob, Nathan & Alex

Monday, 6:45 PM - Zoe, Amy & Lea

Tuesday Bible study: 11 AM, on II Thessalonians 2:15 on holding the traditions.

Wednesday Belgic Confession class: 7:45 PM. We’ll continue our study of Article 9 on knowing the Holy Trinity from observation and church teaching.

Thursday membership class: 7:30 PM.

The Council will hold their monthly meeting this Friday, 1 April at 7:30 PM.

Men’s Society: the first meeting is planned for this Saturday, 2 April at 8 PM at the Kennedys (77 Murob Park). Study sheets are on the back table.

Rev. McGeown will preach for the CPRC next Lord’s Day, 3 April, while Rev. Stewart preaches for the Limerick Reformed Fellowship.

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

Offerings: General Fund £425.32. Donations: £52 (books).

Everyone is invited to a CPRC/LRF Overnighter at the Newcastle Youth Hostel in Co. Down on Friday, 6 May. Bible study, fellowship, games, and hiking are planned. Dinner on Friday evening, breakfast on Saturday and a pack lunch will be provided. Cost is £15 per person. A sign-up sheet is on the back table. For more information or to help organize food, contact Mary Stewart.

Website Additions: 1 Spanish and 2 German translations were added.

PRC News: Edgerton will call from its trio of Revs. Kuiper, Marcus and denHartog.

This is part 2 of Prof. Engelsma’s 45th e-mail on justification:

The cross of Christ was our justification, before we ever believed, indeed, before we were born.

And this is significant in at least two, important respects. First, this explains God’s saving us by uniting us to Christ by the bond of faith and regenerating us before we ever are justified consciously by faith in Christ. Union with Christ and regeneration precede faith and therefore also justification by faith alone. But God will not and may not bless anyone except on the basis of a person’s being righteous. The righteous God will not, indeed cannot, bless the unrighteous. This would be to deny His own righteousness. We must be righteous before God unites us to Christ and gives us the faith by which we are justified in our consciousness. And we are: Christ justified us by His death, and God made His justification of Christ and us public in the resurrection of Christ.

There must be an objective justification of us, apart from and before our faith, if we are to receive the blessing of the new birth and the blessing of the gift of faith.

Second, only this truth of the justification of the elect at the cross explains the salvation of elect infants who die in infancy, as well as the salvation of severely retarded children of God. The Reformed churches have devoted some time and energy debating the possibility and reality of the salvation of infants of believers, which infants died in infancy. Canons I:17 affirms the salvation of these infants, and Reformed theologians have posited the regeneration of these infants. But another question has not so frequently been raised: How is it possible that infants be saved in view of the truth that there is no salvation apart from justification. Blessed is the one whose sins are forgiven, the psalmist declares, and the apostle repeats this truth in Romans 4:1ff. But infants dying in infancy do not consciously believe and therefore are not justified by faith in Jesus Christ, whom they know for the first time when they open their eyes upon His face at the moment of death. The answer to the question is that God justified them at the cross of Christ.

Justification in the cross of Christ is the answer, the conclusive answer, to the question, whether God also justified the elect in eternity. The truth of justification in the cross gives a positive answer to the question, for the cross is a reality in the eternal counsel of God. It is not a reality in the sense that it renders the death of Christ in time unnecessary, or in the sense that it detracts in the least from the reality and necessity of the death of Christ in time and history. Rather, it establishes the historical reality of the cross. But the cross is a reality in the counsel. Romans 13:8 teaches that the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world. God decreed that death, and He decreed it as the justifying of the elect. In that decree, He justified the elect. On the basis of the decreed cross and in the fulfilment of His eternal love, He declared, in the decree, "Not guilty! Innocent! Righteous in Christ!"

The decree, the cross, and the justification that takes place by faith are not different justifying acts of God. They are all one. We may add the public justification that will take place at the final judgment. Justification is the gracious divine verdict forgiving the elect sinners in Christ, sounding out from eternity as its source, establishing itself historically in the cross, manifesting and confirming itself in the resurrection of Christ, realizing itself in the consciousness and experience of the believer by faith alone, and making itself public one day in the final judgment.

Eternal justification and the objective justification at the cross do not render justification by faith alone superfluous, or even of little importance. Rather, they have justification by faith alone—a real and necessary justification—as their very goal and end. Does the decreed cross render the historical cross reared up outside Jerusalem during the judgeship of Pilate superfluous or of little importance?

Eternal justification cannot make men careless concerning justification by faith because the only way one can know his eternal justification is by faith, living faith, in Christ crucified. The truth of eternal justification, though abused by some worthless, unbelieving members of the church, as little leads to carelessness of life as does the knowledge of one’s election, or the truth of justification by faith alone.

The truth of eternal justification is of more than theoretical importance.

Consider: Just as God could only have blessed you and me by uniting us to Christ and regenerating us, which preceded our faith and justification by faith alone, on the basis of His prior justification of us in the cross of Christ, so also God could have given His only begotten Son to the death of the cross for us—certainly a blessing of us—on the basis of His justification of us in eternity.

And this leads to another consideration of great, practical benefit: God never beheld and judged us as we are in and of ourselves, that is, guilty and damn-worthy. He never hated us, as some Reformed theologians insist He once did, as though Christ’s death, or even our being justified by faith alone, changed God’s attitude towards us from hatred to love. This is contrary to Romans 5:8. Christ’s death did not change God’s attitude towards us from hatred to love. But the death of Christ commends God’s love to us. He loved us from eternity in Christ. In that love, by a free decision of His own, the necessary judicial basis of which is the cross of Christ, which death God gave in His love for us, He declared us righteous and viewed us accordingly from eternity. God never behold iniquity in His Jacob (Num. 23:21).

With this eternal decree of the justification of us goes another decree, really another aspect of the same decree, namely, the foreordination of the Christ to be the guilty and accursed one in our stead (I Peter 1:19-20).

Justified in Christ, by Christ, and for the sake of Christ!

Ah, the worth of Christ to us from eternity, as our righteousness! the compassion of Christ for us, who willingly became surety for us! and the love of God triune for us, who justifies us by the condemnation of His own Son.

Cordially in Christ,

Prof. Engelsma