Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 31 March, 2013

"But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious,
longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth" (Psalm 86:15).

Morning Service - 11:00 AM

Administration of the Lord’s Supper
Fairer Than the Children of Men!  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Psalm 45
Text: Psalm 45:1-2

I. A Great Theme
II. A Beautiful King
III. A Song of Loves
Psalms: 95:1-6; 30:6-12; 116:9-19; 45:1-6

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

Anointed With the Oil of Gladness  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 1
Text: Psalm 45:7

I. The Holy Reason
II. The Wonderful Meaning
Psalms: 93:1-5; 31:1-6; 5:4-11; 45:6-11

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

CPRC website:
CPRC YouTube:
CPRC Facebook:

Quote to Consider

Gerrit Vos: "Oil, in God’s Word, is a figure of the Holy Ghost. Thus the oil in the candlestick in the Temple. Thus in the vision of the golden candlestick in Zechariah 4:1-6. And thus in Isaiah 61:3. The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord hath anointed me. It is rather clear why this should be so, for oil is the source of light and light is the very life of God. Thus the Holy Ghost is Workmaster of all the light and the life which is from God and which is transposed to the whole Church of Christ. That life of the Spirit is very fragrant. It has the power and capacity to make one glad. For instance, read Psalm 45:7: ‘therefore, God, thy God, hath anointed me with the oil of gladness’" (Standard Bearer, vol. 35, issue 8).

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.

Monday Catechism:
6 PM - O.T. Beginners (Bradley & Alex)
6:45 PM - N.T. Juniors (Nathan, Jacob & Joseph)
7:30 PM - Heidelberg (Timothy)

The Tuesday morning Bible study will be held this week at 11 AM. We will continue with our study of eschatology and time by looking at preterism.

The Belgic Confession Class will meet this Wednesday, at 7:45 PM, to study article 20 on "God Hath Manifested His Justice and Mercy in Christ."

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) is entitled "Now is Christ Risen" (I Corinthians 15:20) by Rev. R. Kleyn.

S. Wales Lecture: Rev. Stewart will speak on "The Spirit of the Age and the Church" in Porthcawl at 7:15 PM on Thursday, 18 April.

Offerings: General Fund - £511.70. Donations: £10 (CR News), £12 (DVDs).

Website Additions: 1 Portuguese, 3 Hungarian and 32 Burmese translations.

PRC News: Doon PRC called Rev. Spronk. Pastor Lau Chin Kwee of the Covenant ERC in Singapore passed away last weekend after a lengthy struggle with heart, lung and liver problems. The Contact Committee sent Rev. Den Hartog to Singapore for the funeral services which were held this past week.

John Owen on Psalm 45


There is no love like to the love between Christ and the souls of believers.

There are flaming loves in some to their lusts, — in others to the world, that even devour them; but yet I will say again, upon ten thousand accounts, there is no love like to the love between Christ and the souls of believers.

Should we go to speak now of the love of Christ, on the one side, it is an ocean, — we cannot fathom it. The best act of our souls towards Christ’s love is admiration, astonishing admiration, till the heart is quite overwhelmed with it, — till our thoughts and understandings are, as it were, lost; the soul is taken out of itself, and laid in the dust as nothing, to be swallowed up in a holy contemplation of the unspeakable, inconceivable love of Jesus Christ.

I will name three heads of it, that may help us, in this admiration, to see that it is a love that is inimitable: the fiery loves of men, after this world and their lusts, are not to be named the same day with it: — 1. Consider it in its condescension. Now, I think we shall all confess that this love is inimitable, because nothing but infinite, divine power and wisdom could work such an effect as was the condescension of the Son of God, — out of his love to take our nature upon him, to become flesh as we are; and God never wrought it, nor will, but in that instance, to all eternity: and therefore, this love hath the preeminence above all other loves whatsoever. In Philippians 2:6-8, it is there set forth, where he unites those things that are set at an infinite distance of being. He stoops so low, that he saith, Psalm 22:6, "I am a worm, and no man;" he comes to the lowest condition mankind can be reduced unto in this condescension: and surely this hath a pre-eminence above all other loves whatsoever. 2. The love of Christ was manifested in his suffering in that condition. You know what he suffered, and what he suffered for. He suffered to bear the guilt of our sins, so to take away the wrath of God; he suffered to wash away the filth of our sins, so to take away shame and confusion from our souls; he suffered to redeem us from the world, poor captive creatures as we were, that we might be his own: and therefore, God gives us the type of it in the prophet Hosea, Hosea 3, by a harlot; and Christ bought us when we were harlots with the world (our hearts going after sin and Satan), that we might be his property. He suffered for us, so as to bear the guilt of our iniquities, that there may be no wrath from God upon us. "I will pay," saith Christ, "what I never took away." "For a good man," it is possible, "some would even dare to die," Romans 5:7; but saith he, "Here is love, Christ died for us when we were sinners, when we were enemies.’’ "He loved us, and washed us in his own blood," that we may be purified from the filth of our sins; he loved us, and redeemed us out of every kindred and nation in the world. Here lay all misery; — the guilt of sin, that rendered us obnoxious to the curse of God; and the filth of sin, that made us odious to God, and kept us under the power of the world.

This love hath suffered on purpose to redeem us from all this. 3. The care and tenderness which the Lord Jesus Christ continues to manifest towards us, now he is in heaven, while we are upon the earth, is another fruit of this love. Hebrews 5:2, this high priest knows how to "have compassion on the ignorant, and them that are out of the way."

Chapter 4:15, He hath been "touched with the feeling of our infirmities," and "in all points tempted like as we;" and "he ever liveth to make intercession for us." In these things he expresses his love to, and care for, his people.

On the other side, I say, the love of believers to Christ is inexpressible, or beyond all other love whatsoever. 1. In a way of value. Matthew 13:45, when the merchant-man had found the precious pearl, he sells all he hath to buy it. Believers will part with all they have to obtain Christ; for they prefer him above all. What will they not part with, and what do they not part with and deny, for Christ? Whereby you may see it is a love that is transcendent to all other loves. (1.) They part with their sin, lust, and corruption. There is not a believer in the world but hath naturally as great a love of, and adherence to, sin, lust, and corruption, as the highest debauched person upon the face of the earth; but a believer will part with them all, subdue them all, so that he might win Christ: which manifests it to be a transcendent love. And they that will not do this are not believers. If our hearts are not engaged to the mortifying of all sin, lust, and corruption, as he enables us, we are not married to Christ; for "they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts,’" Galatians 5:24. (2.) They will part with their righteousness for Christ. This was that the Jews would not give up, that they might obtain justification. They had a righteousness which was according to the law; and, saith the apostle, Romans 10:3, "They will not submit to the righteousness of God, but go about to establish their own righteousness." All the righteousness which is in the world, that the men of the world value before Christ, while they are engaged in their lusts and pleasures, they will not part with it for Christ; — yea, even when they are wrought off their lusts and pleasures by conviction to some duties, yet they will not part with their own righteousness for Christ. But believers will part with theirs, and count it all as loss and dung.

If corruption be subdued, and righteousness be given up, what remains?

Truly, — (3.) Self remains. If a man denies not himself in lawful things, in any thing that will hinder his walking with God and living unto God, which will make him unfaithful in his place or unfruitful, to please God, he is not worthy of him. If he cannot deny his ease, liberty, peace, profit, or pleasure, he is not, worthy of Jesus Christ. Now, that love which will carry a man out to deny all ungodliness and lust, to renounce all his own righteousness, to lose all he hath wrought in his own strength, to deny himself upon every instance wherein Christ requires him; — this is a transcendent love, above all other love whatsoever. 2. The love of believers manifests itself also in suffering for Christ; and O who can tell what the martyrs endured from love to the Lord Jesus!

So that this psalm, which treats of the espousals of Christ and believers, may well have this title, — "A Song of loves;" it being the most excellent love.

Two things, from hence, are incumbent upon us: — First. To labour to get a sense of this love of Christ upon our hearts. If we are believers, all this love of Christ, who is "King of kings, and Lord of lords," is fixed upon every one of our souls; and it is our great duty to labour to let in a sense of this love of Christ into them. Out of his abundant love and grace, and for no other reason in the world, he loved us when we were strangers, — he reconciled us to himself when we were enemies, and engaged in enmity against him; give him, then, the glory of his sovereign grace with respect to your own souls. And, — Secondly. Let us examine ourselves whether we have this transcendent love to Jesus Christ in our hearts. If we have, it will continually keep us up to the mortification of lust and corruption, to the renouncing of all self-righteousness, to the denying ourselves; and it will make us continually ready for all the service and suffering Christ shall call us unto.