Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 30
"But I will
hope continually, and will yet praise thee
more and more"
- 11:00 AM
Our Calling in the Fifth Commandment [download]
Reading: Romans 13
Catechism, Lord’s Day 39
I. Honour Those
II. Submit to
Their Good Instruction
Patiently With Their Weaknesses
67:1-7; 106:11-16; 75:2-10
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
Contentment and Joy (4)
Paul’s Great Joy and the Philippians’ Gift [download]
Reading: Philippians 4
I. The Gift and
II. The Gift and
the Philippians’ Fruit
III. The Gift
and God’s Approval
68:1-6; 33:1-7; 23:1-6
Stephen Murray for CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship
Quotes to Consider:
R. C. H. Lenski: "Rejoice—Rejoice! Thus Bengel
sums up the Epistle to the Philippians. Joy is, however, not the theme
of this letter as justification is the theme of Romans and the church of
Ephesians. Joy is the music that runs through this epistle, the sunshine
that spreads over all of it. The whole epistle radiates joy and
happiness. In addition to studying Paul’s logic and his rhetoric one of
the student’s delights should be the study of his emotions. Ephesians is
filled with lofty serenity as it contemplates the Una Sancta
through a prisoner’s eyes. Romans is filled with apostolic dignity as it
unfolds the blessedness of justification by faith alone and rises to
exalted admiration in the presence of the wisdom and the unsearchable
judgments of God (Rom. 11:33-36). Galatians throbs with intensity in its
battle for Christian liberty. It ranges from restrained calmness
(1:11-2:21) to indignation, from cold and crushing logic to unquestioned
victory. Second Corinthians is also an interesting study in emotions:
depression of spirit so deep, triumphant joy so high, a fool compelled
to use what he deems folly, a victor who scorns his despicable enemies.
And now Philippians, which shows us a prisoner whose appeal to the
emperor is finally in process of being heard, and this prisoner ringing
all the joy bells in the cathedral! So we might go on."
Announcements (subject to God’s will):
New Standard Bearers are available on the back
Family visitation finishes today with Janet
Napier after this evening’s service.
Rev. & Mary Stewart and Francesco travel to Italy
tomorrow. Rev. Stewart will be giving two lectures (one on
predestination and another on assurance), with Francesco translating, to
a small group there. They plan to return on Friday.
Some BRF Conference attendees are planning to visit
N. Ireland this summer for the opening of our church building. If you
are able to host anyone before or after the BRF conference (7-14
August), please contact Rev. or Mary Stewart.
The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day
(8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW) is entitled "God Did Not Spare His Own
Son" (Romans 8:31-32).
Friday, 11 June - "The Valley of Dry Bones" (Eze. 37)
Friday, 2 July - "What About Israel?"
Offerings: General Fund: £399.29. Donations:
£200, £20 (DVDs), £50 (CR News).
PRC News: Rev. J. Laning (Hope, MI) accepted the call to Hull
PRC. Rev. Eriks (Hudsonville, MI) declined the call to Cornerstone.
Edgerton called Rev. Eriks. Trinity called Rev. Marcus (Edmonton, CAN).
Rev. A Brummel is to be installed as pastor of Heritage PRC (Sioux
Falls, SD) today.
Dear brethren in the CPRC!
It seems such a long time since I have written but a
letter is appropriate as my four years at Seminary draw to a close. As
you all know, Dan Holstege and I shall be examined before Synod from 8th
to 10th June, and our graduation is set for Monday 14th June. Dan and I
have been relieved of pulpit duties for a few weeks before Synod so we
can concentrate on the exam.
The exam will be gruelling, but I thank God for that
for this reason: it shows how seriously we take the orthodoxy of our
office-bearers. We can be very thankful for such a thorough and public
examination of all prospective ministers’ doctrinal convictions. That
does not mean that it will be easy: a sermon (Ps. 89:1), two exegesis
papers (Ps. 24:3-5; John 10:28-30) and a total of 8.5 hours of public
questioning by Professors and synodical delegates.
I trust that God will equip me for this just as He
has surpassed my expectations (Eph. 3:20-21) in giving me the grace to
do all the other seminary work. I can still remember my first days of
Seminary, learning Greek and Hebrew; my first practice preaching; my
first word of edification in the churches; my first day teaching
catechism. What a lot I have learned in four years and I have a lifetime
(God willing) to grow in that knowledge.
I have mixed feelings as the end approaches. First,
there is excitement that a new phase of life is about to begin. I have
followed with interest the developments in Limerick, and in God’s
providence these have occurred just as I am ready to graduate (DV). I am
looking forward to taking up my work. Coupled with that is sadness that
I am going to leave so many dear friends in the PRC behind. I have had
the privilege of meeting believers from congregations throughout the US
(I did not manage to get into all the pulpits of the PRC, but who knows
what opportunities I may have later?).
Francesco will discover, as I have done, the
overwhelming kindness of the saints here. The Seminary is excited to
continue teaching an international student body: one foreigner leaves
and one comes to take his place. Watch out for the Michigan winters,
Francesco! On the plus side, we have high 80’s Fahrenheit right now with
The last public holiday before Synod is coming up. I
already have two invitations for Memorial Day (31st May), so that will
be my last break before the exam. Brian, Prof. Cammenga is looking
forward to seeing you again, as am I, and he hopes (as we all do) that
he will be sufficiently well recovered from his back surgery to spend
some time with you.
My flights home have been booked, and assuming the
ash cloud stays away, I should be arriving home on 30th June (DV).
The Lord bless you and cause you to grow in grace and
in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Thank you for your prayerful support,
Dear brothers and sisters of the CPRC,
Greetings again from Chennai! It has been around a
month (or perhaps more) since my last update, so I thought it high time
to send another. I hope that this letter finds you all well and in good
spirits. Anga and I are both very thankful for the updates and e-mails
that we receive from you and we ask that you continue to pray for us as
we stay here.
The chaos and culture shock that is Chennai City
would seem almost lost on us now, though not quite. We are getting quite
used to the numbers of people, the strange food and a variety of
peculiar sights, smells and general goings on! (Perhaps we’ll get
another culture shock whenever we return to Northern Ireland.) At the
same time, we do find it necessary to get away from the chaos and noise
every once in a while, and so we found time at the end of April to
travel and see the Taj Mahal in Agra. As a piece of architecture, it is
highly impressive (actually, stunning), full of optical illusions,
intricate carvings and marble work—it even changes colours depending on
the intensity of light! Many times we heard it said that this was the
greatest and most extravagant testament to love (the Mughal emperor
building the mausoleum for his deceased wife)—yet as believers, we
rejoice that the beauty of some of the greatest human achievements fall
into insignificance when we consider the marvellous works of our Creator
God and the redemptive work of His Son. He has quickened dead sinners,
and so renewed our hearts and preserved us that we in turn love Him.
There is no greater testament to love.
Furthermore, we do not love a dead memory, but we
know and have faith that Christ is risen and intercedes for us before
the Father. We behold and see with the eyes of faith when we pray and
when we read His Word, when we spend time at the worship services or
enjoy godly conversation and fellowship, and look forward to that day
when we will dwell with Him in heaven.
In Agra, we were also treated to a brief introduction
in the art of "marble inlay." Slabs of marble are delicately chipped
out, and inlayed with semi-precious stones including jaspers, turquoise,
agates, corals, amethyst, onyx and many more. The work is intricate, and
many artists slave for hours over pieces so small they have to hold them
with tweezers. With so many of these stones mentioned in the Old
Testament, it reminded me especially of the construction of the temple
in Solomon’s day. How ornate and beautiful a building that must have
As far as my work is concerned, things have been
going quite well. I am working with a translator and am about sixty
percent done. Another good month’s work would see me close to
completion. Having recently listened to the sermon on Philippians 4:6-7,
I am endeavouring not to worry about these things, knowing that with
prayer and supplications comes the "peace of God, which passeth all
understanding"—what a comfort this is to the child of God! There have
been one or two trials in the way, including bouts of food poisoning and
a dying laptop, but, on the whole, I am enjoying and finding the
experience profitable. Anga’s work has almost finished. She has only one
week left before she enjoys herself with a little travelling. Her
internship has had her meeting a variety of people in a quite a number
of places throughout Southern India which I believe she has found
profitable and enjoyed. She is however looking forward to a little more
free time, the conference and her impending move to Northern Ireland
We are each glad to see that work on the church
building is progressing. We look forward to the day when we return, and
are able to worship with you there.
David and Anga