Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 27 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 - Rev. M. McGeown

Administration of the Lord’s Supper
Knowing Jehovah’s Secret   [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Psalm 25
Text: Psalm 25:14

I. The Beautiful Relationship
II. The Intimate Secret
III. The Favoured Recipients
Psalms: 23:1-6; 135:15-21; 55:12-19; 25:10-14

Evening Service - 6:00 PM - Rev. M. McGeown

Rejoicing With Unspeakable Joy  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: I Peter 1
Text: I Peter 1:8

I. What?
II. In Whom?
III. Who?
Psalms: 5:7-11; 136:1-8; 21:1-6; 98:1-6

For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services, contact Stephen Murray
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart or the elders

CPRC Website: • Live Webcast:
CPRC YouTube:
CPRC Facebook:

Quote to Consider

A. W. Pink: “’Rejoice evermore’ (1 Thess. 5:16). It surely cannot be unsafe to do what God has commanded us. The Lord has placed no embargo on rejoicing. No, it is Satan who strives to make us hang up our harps. There is no precept in Scripture bidding us ‘Grieve in the Lord always: and again I say, Grieve;’ but there is an exhortation which bids us, ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous: for praise is comely for the upright’ (Ps. 33:1). Reader, if you are a real Christian … then Christ is yours, all that is in Him is yours. He bids you ‘Eat, O friends; drink, yes, drink abundantly, O beloved’ (Song of Sol. 5:1): the only sin you may commit against His banquet of love is to stint yourself. ‘Let your soul delight itself in fatness’ (Isa. 55:2) is spoken not to those already in heaven but to saints still on earth…. ‘Joy in the Holy Spirit’ is altogether different from a natural buoyancy of Spirit. It is the product of the Comforter dwelling in our hearts and bodies, revealing Christ to us, answering all our need for pardon and cleansing, and so setting us at peace with God; and forming Christ in us, so that He reigns in our souls, subduing us to His control. There are no circumstances of trial and temptation in which we may refrain from it, for the command is, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always.’ He who gave this command knows all about the dark side of our lives, the sins and sorrows which beset us, the ‘much tribulation’ through which we must enter the kingdom of God. Natural hilarity leaves the woes of our earthly lot out of its reckoning. It soon relaxes in the presence of life’s hard-ships: it cannot survive the loss of friends or health. But the joy to which we are exhorted is not limited to any set of circumstances or type of temperament; nor does it fluctuate with our varying moods and fortunes” (Profiting from the Word, pp. 104-105).

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 who are members of other denominations must request permission from the Council.

We welcome Rev. McGeown who will be taking both services today, while Rev. Stewart preaches for the LRF.

On the back table are free CDs and DVDs of the lecture, “Our Identity in Christ.”

There will be no catechism classes tomorrow night but all three classes will meet the following Monday, 4 April, with end of year tests for the first two classes.

The Tuesday Bible study meets at 11 AM to study Hosea’s teaching on the law of God.

The Belgic Confession Class will meet this Wednesday at 7:45 PM to look at the election of the church (in connection with Article 27).

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. R. Kleyn is entitled “The Great Falling Away” (II Thess. 2:3).

The Council’s next meeting is Monday, 4 April at 8 PM.

Upcoming Lecture:
S. Wales, Thursday, 7 April, 7:15 PM, Rev. Stewart on “Who Is in the Image of God?”

Offerings: General Fund: £680.26. Donation: £200.

Website Additions: 1 Czech and 1 Indonesian (Prof. Engelsma’s pamphlet, “As a Father Pitieth His Children: Reformed Child-Rearing”) translations.

PRC News: Rev. Dan Holstege (Holland, MI) accepted the call to be the second missionary to the Philippines.

Mutiny on the Sunfish

Brian D. Dykstra


“Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set” (Proverbs 22:28).

At the end of the driveway which led to my uncle’s cottage was a sign which said, “Even Rusten.” I had no clue. My curiosity finally got the better of me, so I asked my father what the sign meant. He told me it was Dutch for “Rest awhile.” Now, I suppose such a name makes sense for a cottage, yet it did not seem to fit.

My uncle, who was a teacher, still worked many hours and would return each evening with flakes of paint in his hair and speckles of colour on his overalls. In fact, the summer I spent with my cousins was the year I decided not to become a teacher. There was no way I was going to take a job which would require me to paint houses for three months of the year. I had helped just enough on some painting projects to learn I could not stand painting. My aunt also worked just as many hours when we stayed at the cottage. Mothers do not ever really go on vacation. They just do most of the same things in a different location. About the only “resting” I witnessed was done by the washing machine. When all us kids spent the major part of each day in swimsuits, there was not as much washing to be done.

One part of beach life which interested me was how far out on Lake Michigan would one have to sail until land could not be seen. My cousin had a little Sunfish sailboat, which was not much more than today’s sailboards. One day the wind was from the north so the water was too cold even for us youngsters. I did not know much about sailing but I did know you could sail west, and then back east, with a north wind. I made my desire known to my cousin. As usual, he was willing to participate in an adventure. He was the captain and I could ably perform my responsibility of ducking whenever he changed course, causing the boom to swing across the deck.

Being fifth and seventh graders, my cousin and I carefully made our plans, thoroughly considered every need and conscientiously contemplated everything which could cause calamity. Okay, I admit it. Actually, we just draped two life jackets on the mast, threw the boat in the water and headed west.

Finding our way back, of course, would not be a problem. I could recognize “our beach.” Each morning, we would go to the beach to check the water. We would then put on our swimsuits, go to the beach and play until lunch. Having eaten, we would go to the beach and swim until dinner. After dinner, we would go to the beach to check the sunset. There was no way I could not recognize the beach after all these visits. Our beach had the landmarks of a sandy path to the shore; an A-frame cottage, including red steps, to the south; a white cottage with white steps to the north and large oak trees at the top of the bluff. These landmarks would be easy to recognize.

Our voyage began well enough. The land, and our beach, quickly took up less of the horizon. After a while, however, we could sail quite some time with no discernible change in the view. I became concerned. Also, I began to realize our beach was not as unique as I had imagined. It was all beginning to look disconcertingly the same but mostly I could tell this voyage was going to take much more time than I had thought. “Let’s go back. This is gonna take forever,” I said.

My statement was met with expected disbelief as my cousin replied, “What? We can still see land!” We successfully picked out the correct section of the shore and went back. As I recall, we were not even late for dinner. My curiosity about sailing out of the sight of land remained unsatisfied.

Landmarks are important in life’s journey. In biblical days, landmarks were used to establish boundaries. In Deuteronomy, the moving of a landmark is forbidden. The temptation was to move a landmark to gain more property from a neighbour. That is stealing. Landmarks also picture the law. The law marks off the boundary between what is good and what is evil. Moving landmarks then means declaring what was evil is now good. God is robbed of the obedient service due to Him.

We and our children need landmarks. A boundary establishes what land is ours, the land where we can live safely and the place where we belong. God’s law also establishes a boundary. At times, we feel the commandments are limiting, too constrictive and narrow. Actually, God’s law establishes where we can dwell in spiritual safety.

By nature, we would live carelessly and feel we can be at ease on this earth. Of ourselves, we lack the spiritual discretion needed to recognize temptation and sin’s consequences. To how many people does the world appear fun, a harmless place which provides pleasure? Many in the world do not recognize God’s established landmark. They have no spiritual bearings as they make their way through life. The result is the dreadful confusion we see in society. The lives of the wicked become shipwrecks.

For us, even as we make our way through life under God’s grace, landmarks are essential. Has God changed the course of your life or the lives of those whom you know from what you calculated? As God turns the pages of our lives, does the story always read the way we would foresee? How often does not God direct the course of our lives in ways which we would never have anticipated? During such times, we must submit to the guidance of God’s landmark.

There are times when we are tempted to move the landmark. From our point of view, changing God’s law to suit an unexpected situation might allow us to pass through waters less stormy than those His law delineates. Removing landmarks is the way of much of today’s church. Stormy seas might have been avoided, yet one cannot help but wonder what will be the final port of call.

Our children must learn of God’s landmark by our instruction at home and school. Especially we must teach by example. May God be pleased to use our efforts to give His covenant seed a landmark for their daily living.