Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 5 November, 2017

“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 - Prof. Engelsma

The Doctrine of Reprobation in the Gospel of Jesus  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Matthew 15:1-20
Text: Matthew 15:13

I. What It Is
II. The Manifestation
III. The Benefit of Knowing This
Psalms: 90:1-7; 119:153-160; 80:7-12; 65:1-5

Evening Service - 6:00 PM - Prof. Engelsma

A Thorn in the Flesh  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: II Corinthians 12
Text: II Corinthians 12:7-10

I. What It Is
II. The Request for Its Removal
III. The Purpose of It
Psalms: 121:1-8; 102:1-8; 73:1-9; 61:1-6

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

Canons of Dordt I:15: “What peculiarly tends to illustrate and recommend to us the eternal and unmerited grace of election is the express testimony of sacred Scripture that not all, but some only, are elected, while others are passed by in the eternal election of God; whom God, out of His sovereign, most just, irreprehensible, and unchangeable good pleasure, hath decreed to leave in the common misery into which they have wilfully plunged themselves, and not to bestow upon them saving faith and the grace of conversion; but leaving them in His just judgment to follow their own ways, at last for the declaration of His justice, to condemn and punish them forever, not only on account of their unbelief, but also for all their other sins. And this is the decree of reprobation which by no means makes God the author of sin (the very thought of which is blasphemy), but declares Him to be an awful, irreprehensible, and righteous judge and avenger thereof.”

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

Prof. Engelsma will be preaching for us today, while our pastor preaches for the Limerick Reformed Fellowship (LRF).

Everyone is welcome to stay for tea after the evening service today as we say farewell to the Engelsmas who return to their home in the US tomorrow. Tea rota: Group B.

Monday catechism classes:
5:45 PM - Corey & Katelyn (Beginners OT, Book 1)
6:30 PM - Taylor, Josh, Bradley & Samuel (Juniors NT)
7:15 PM - Jacob, Alex & Nathan (Heidelberg Catechism, Book 1)

The Council meets tomorrow evening at 8 PM.

Tuesday Bible Study meets at 11 AM to study the Passover during the monarchy.

Belgic Confession Class meets this week Wednesday night at 7:45 PM when we will resume our study of article 33 on the Christian sacraments.

Men’s Bible Study meets this Saturday at 8 PM at the Kennedys to discuss War of Words, chapter 11, entitled “First Things First.”

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846 MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. Bruinsma is “Abounding in Love (Part 2)” (I Thess. 3:11-13).

Rev. McGeown spoke at a Reformation conference in Loveland, Colorado, yesterday, where he will preach today. He will be returning on Thursday (9 November) and will preach for the CPRC next Lord’s Day, while Rev. Stewart preaches in the LRF.

Offerings: General Fund: £752.39. Donation: £95.

Translations: 1 Russian and 2 Hungarian.

PRC News: First PRC called Rev. Huizinga (Redlands, CA). Southwest’s new trio is Cand. Noorman, Rev. J. Engelsma and Rev. W. Langerak.

Unapologetically Asserting Reformation Truth

(a letter sent to the News Letter on 16 October, 2017)

Rev. Angus Stewart


In his famous book, The Bondage of the Will (1525), Martin Luther declared, “one must delight in assertions to be a Christian at all … by ‘assertion’ I mean staunchly holding your ground, stating your position, confessing it, defending it and persevering in it unvanquished … I am talking about the assertion of what has been delivered to us from above in the Sacred Scriptures … Take the Apostle Paul—how often does he call for that ‘full assurance’ which is, simply, an assertion of conscience, of the highest degree of certainty and conviction … Take away assertions, and you take away Christianity. Why, the Holy Spirit is given to Christians from heaven in order that He may glorify Christ and in them confess Him even unto death—and is this not assertion, to die for what you confess and assert?”

Minister in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) and adjunct member of its faculty at Union Theological College (UTC) teaching church history, Rev. Mark Wilson is of a very different mind from the great German, whose work launched the Protestant Reformation 500 years ago this very month.

After his obfuscations and vague generalities (13 October), under which a whole range of heresies could find shelter, readers still do not know what Rev. Wilson believes concerning God’s infallible Word and wherein he disagrees with the Westminster Standards, the definitive, lengthy, detailed and antithetical creeds of Presbyterianism. Perhaps this was his purpose?

Paul proclaims, “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written [in Psalm 116:10], I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak” (II Corinthians 4:13). Where in the PCI are the faith, boldness, clarity and forthrightness of the psalmist, the apostle and the Reformation?

The Reformation glories in the only God who graciously declares those who are ungodly in themselves to be righteous, through the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone received by faith alone (Romans 4:5). We trust in the “God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were” (v. 17). It is biblical and Reformation teaching that “Whoever wishes to be righteous before God through his ethical achievement assumes the place of the creator. Creating righteousness, destroying sin, and giving life—these are all the work of the creator alone” (Paul Althaus, The Theology of Martin Luther, p. 125).

Thus Martin Luther identified the Roman papacy as “the synagogue of Satan,” “the dregs of all abominable heresies,” “Antichrist” and “the Devil’s church.” He called people to flee from this Babylon because there is no communion between Christ and Belial. He denounced all who tried to make him and the pope agree or who sought to undo or compromise or tone down the Reformation.

Yet UTC invites opponents of the Reformation to speak at a purported “thanksgiving for the Reformation” and Rev. Wilson bizarrely invites me to attend! “A double minded man [or denomination or theological seminary] is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8).

Our church is hosting a single-hearted Reformation conference this Saturday (21 October) and unapologetic Reformation lectures on the following two Fridays (27 October and 3 November) by an American theological professor. I wholeheartedly recommend these meetings to Rev. Wilson and cordially invite him and all others.