Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 7
generation shall praise thy works to another,
declare thy mighty acts" (Ps. 145:4)
- 11:00 AM
Hating Your Own Life [download]
Reading: Matthew 10:16-42
Text: Luke 14:26
I. The Meaning
Necessity of It
78:55-60; 27:9-14; 36:5-11
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
Thy Will, Not Mine! [download]
Reading: Romans 7
Catechism, Lord’s Day 49
I. The Meaning
II. The Calling
148:1-10; 78:61-67; 40:6-10; 103:17-22
Stephen Murray for CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship
Quotes to Consider:
Martin Luther: "94. Christians should be exhorted
to be zealous to follow Christ, their head, through penalties, deaths
and hells. 95. And let them thus be more confident of entering heaven
through many tribulations rather than through a false assurance of
peace" (The 95 Theses).
J. C. Ryle: "There is a common worldly kind of
Christianity in this day, which many have, and think they have enough—a
cheap Christianity which offends nobody, requires no sacrifice, which
costs nothing, and is worth nothing. Remember, you must choose whom you
will serve. You cannot serve God and mammon. You cannot be on two sides
at once. You cannot be a friend of Christ, and a friend of the world at
the same time. You must come out from the children of this world and be
separate. You must put up with much ridicule, trouble, and opposition
... You must be willing to think and do things which the world considers
foolish and to hold opinions which are only held by a few. It will cost
you something. The stream is strong and you have to stem it. The way is
narrow and steep, and it is no use saying it is not. But depend on it,
there can be no saving religion without sacrifice and self-denial ... I
put to your conscience in all affection and tenderness, are you, like
Moses, preferring God to the world, or not?"
Announcements (subject to God’s will):
On the back table are a new free PRC pamphlet
Forth Children in an Age of Selfishness," a new
CR News, and a missions newsletter from Pittsburgh.
PM - Joseph, Jacob, Nathan & Alex
PM - Zoe, Amy & Lea
12:15 AM - Beginners NT Class
Tuesday Bible study: 11 AM. We will start II
Thessalonians 2, the famous chapter on the man of sin.
Wednesday Belgic Confession class: 7:45 PM. We
will study Article 4 on the 66 books in the canon of Holy Scripture.
Thursday membership class: 7:30 PM, beginning
with Canons of Dordt II:8.
The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day
(8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW) is entitled "The Great Tribulation"
(Matthew 24:9-10, 21-22) by Rev. Bruinsma.
Offerings: General Fund - £842.60. Donation:
Website Additions: 1 Portuguese translation and 1
German translation were added. A resources page on
church government was also put on-line.
PRC News: Rev. Bruinsma declined the call to
Edgerton so Edgerton PRC’s new trio is Revs. Kuiper (Randolph, WI), Haak
(Georgetown, MI) and Sponk (Peace, IL).
This is part 1 of the 42nd
e-mail by Prof. Engelsma on justification:
Dear European Forum,
Before I conclude my study with you of the
fundamental gospel-truth of justification by faith alone, considering
the relation of justification and election, the future public
justification of the final judgment and the contemporary attack on
justification from within the Reformed churches by the heresy of the
Federal (Covenant) Vision, I briefly take note of an aspect of
justification that is overlooked: the assurance of justification by the
one whom God justifies.
The glorious truth of justification includes that the
Spirit of Christ assures every one whom He justifies by the word of the
gospel that he is justified. He assures the justified sinner when He
justifies him. He assures him as an aspect of the activity of
Not only is the elect, believing sinner justified,
but he also knows that he is justified.
It is false doctrine, a denial of the biblical truth
of justification, to teach that Christ justifies many through faith in
Himself who nevertheless remain in doubt whether they are justified and
therefore in doubt whether they are saved. It is false doctrine, a
denial of the biblical truth of justification, to teach that assurance
of justification comes much later in time than justification itself and
that this is the happy possession only of a few believers in this life.
It is false doctrine, a denial of the biblical truth of justification,
to teach that, whereas justification is a gift of God to His people,
assurance of justification is something that only a few believers obtain
by their strenuous spiritual work usually over a long period of time. It
is false doctrine, a denial of justification by faith, to teach that,
whereas justification is a gift to the elect, obtaining assurance is a
matter of the believer’s "quest" for it, usually over many years and by
dint of arduous struggle.
The error that I am describing, and combatting, is
real and widespread in the Reformed churches. It afflicts many
confessing Reformed and Presbyterian Christians. The effect of this
error is to cast many confessing Reformed Christians into doubt of their
salvation for many years, some as long as they live. Another effect of
this error is to cause many to rely for assurance of forgiveness and
therefore salvation upon a special, extraordinary, mystical "experience"
that they desperately long to have. For many, this experience never
comes, and they die in the terror that death may usher them into eternal
perdition. For a few others, they suppose that they have the
"experience" and rely on it, which is worse than the honest doubt of
those who lack the experience.
Denial that justification by faith alone includes
assurance of justification is the false doctrine that prevails in the
Reformed churches in the Dutch tradition that are influenced by the
nadere reformatie ("further reformation"). This is a distinct
theological movement, which entered the Netherlands in the 17th century
from England, that supposes that the sixteenth-century Reformation did
not go far enough. Specifically, it did not do justice to "experience."
The "further reformation" would complete the Reformation by emphasizing
experience. Fundamental to this experience is the mystical experience
upon which assurance of salvation must be based and which believers must
seek, as a "quest" for years by way of hard spiritual efforts. This
movement dominates in such denominations as the Gereformeerde Gemeenten
(Reformed Congregations) and related churches in the Netherlands and in
the Netherlands Reformed Congregations and Heritage Netherlands Reformed
Churches in North America.
Certain Presbyterian churches in Scotland are also
heavily influenced by this error. The Banner of Truth promotes this
false doctrine, especially (but by no means exclusively) by its
promotion of the theology of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, a zealous advocate of
What the Dutch churches influenced by the "further
reformation" and the Presbyterian churches in Scotland and the Banner of
Truth have in common is their embrace of Puritan theology. The Puritans,
in their leading representatives, taught that assurance of justification
is not part of justification, but is to be obtained by the vigorous
quest for assurance.
This teaching is the cause of the wretched, sinful
doubt of salvation on the part of multitudes, who profess to believe in
Christ, who profess even to be justified (oddly enough), who confess the
truths of the Reformed faith, who live godly lives, but who are never
certain that they are forgiven and saved and who die in this condition
(which is the condition of unbelief).
The evidence of this doubt is that large numbers of
church members do not partake of the Lord’s Supper.
I give one statement of this error by a leading
Puritan to prove that this was indeed the teaching of the Puritan
mainstream, as it is the doctrine today of the disciples of the
Puritans, particularly those who promote the "further reformation."
The first conclusion we will begin with and
premise as a foundation to what follows, is, that that act of faith
which justifies a sinner, is distinct from knowing he hath eternal
life, and may therefore be without it, because it doth not
necessarily contain prevailing assurance in it. By prevailing
assurance, I mean such an assurance as overpowereth doubts and sense
to the contrary, so as, in the believer’s knowledge, he is able to
say, Christ is mine, and my sins are forgiven; such an assurance
whereby a man is a conqueror, as Paul speaks, Rom. 8:37, when he
expresseth such strong assurance.
The author of this statement, and ardent promoter of
its doctrine, is the Puritan Thomas Goodwin, in his treatise, "The
Object and Acts of Justifying Faith." to be continued ...