Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 20 November, 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

The Life of Jacob (18)
Jacob Meets Esau  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Genesis 33:1-16
Text: Genesis 33:1-16

I. The Main Lesson
II. The Brotherly Meeting
Psalms: 125:1-5; 18:36-42; 33:10-17; 34:12-19

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

Faith Receiving All the Blessings of Salvation  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Galatians 3:6-29
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 7

I. What Faith Receives
II. Why Faith Receives
Psalms: 122:1-9; 18:43-50; 36:5-11; 103:1-7

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:

Quotes to Consider

John Owen: “Surely when Jacob wrestled with God on the strength of such promise, Gen. xxxii. 12, he little thought of any question whether it were in the power of God to perform it. Yea, and the event showed that there ought to be no such question, chap. xxxiii.; for the Lord turned the heart of his brother Esau, as he doth of others when he makes them pity his servants when at any time they have carried them away captives, Ps. cvi. 46. See, also, the same powerful operation required to the execution of his judgments, Job xii. 17, xx. 21, etc. In brief, there is no prophecy nor prediction in the whole Scripture, no promise to the church or faithful, to whose accomplishment the free actions and concurrence of men are required, but evidently declareth that God disposeth of the hearts of men, ruleth their wills, inclineth their affections, and determines them freely to choose and do what he in his good pleasure hath decreed shall be performed; — such as were the prophecies of deliverance from the Babylonish captivity by Cyrus, Isa. xlv.; of the conversion of the Gentiles; of the stability of the church, Matt. xvi.; of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, chap. xxiv.; with innumerable others” (A Display of Arminianism,” The Works of John Owen, vol. 10, p. 42).

Herman Hoeksema on Lord’s Day 7: “... the power of faith can be in the heart of the smallest infant as well as in the adult. Although we cannot establish a general rule, it is safe to say that usually God bestows the gift of the power of faith in his elect, covenantal children in their infancy. Why would the all-wise God place his elect within the sphere of his covenant and of the preaching of the word when they are deaf, blind, and dumb?” (God’s Way Out, p. 112).

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

The Covenant Reformed News for November is on the back table.

Monday evening’s Catechism Classes:
5:45 PM - Taylor, Josh, Corey & Katelyn (Beginners NT)
6:30 PM - Bradley & Samuel (Juniors OT)
7:15 PM - Jacob, Alex & Nathan (Heidelberg Catechism, book 2)

The Tuesday Bible Study meets at 11 AM to continue our study of the holy war in OT law.

Belgic Confession Class meets this Wednesday at 7:45 PM to continue our study of Article 29 looking at the three marks of a true church (collectively considered).

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. Bruinsma is “Aged Women: Holy Teachers” (Titus 2:3-5).

The next S. Wales Lecture in The Round Chapel, Margam, is on Thursday, 8 December, at 7:15 PM, by Rev. Stewart on “John Owen and the Death of Christ.”

Offerings: General Fund: £717.40.

PRC News: Rev. Huizinga declined the call to Southwest PRC. First Holland PRC is planning to call from a trio of Revs. Brummel, Haak and R. Kleyn.


Brian D. Dykstra


“I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it” (Psalm 81:10).

I spent a lot of time with my cousins while I was growing up. It was fun. Several of us were about the same age which allowed us plenty of opportunities for play. An advantage for me in this situation was that I came as close as an only child could to having brothers and sisters, but, since I was not always with them, we did not have to go through the arguments which are mandatory for siblings.

One of our favourite activities was playing basketball. I learned a few things during those contests. The calendar said my cousin Bob was two years older than I, but while he was above average in size and strength, I was below average in those two categories. He seemed four years older. I learned strength is an advantage in athletic competition. I also learned that quickness is overrated because although my quickness allowed me to reach the best spot under the basket first, his strength decreed I was not going to stay there long. My winning percentage against him was not high.

Yet, sometimes, you “just gotta win!” So, one morning during breakfast, I asked, “What’s the record here for eating toast?” I do not remember the answer but it might have been eight or ten. I was determined not to leave the table until I had set a new record and not by just one measly piece of toast either! By applying only a thin layer of butter on each piece of toast and progressively loosening my belt one hole at a time, I consumed thirteen pieces of toast, shattering the old record. I felt firmly ensconced as the toast-eating champ! Desire and appetite had produced astounding results.

Psalm 81:10 causes us to consider our spiritual appetites. The Psalm begins by reminding us of God’s grace in the deliverance of Israel from the cruel bondage of Egypt. The events at the waters of Meribah gave evidence of Israel’s unworthiness to be called God’s people. Their rebellion and stubbornness demonstrated that Israel did not deserve to experience God’s favour. Israel’s history also makes clear that their deliverance could not be attributed to any other god. Israel would give no excuse for idolatry.

God uses His covenant name in verse 10. He is the God who is able to keep all the promises He has spoken to His people. His purposes will not be frustrated by Satan nor by the weak and sinful flesh of His own people. Sacred history affirms God’s ability to save His people.

Regarding the future, we are told to open our mouths wide and God will fill it. If we find ourselves hungry, God is not at fault. He has plenty to give. Those who hunger either have their mouths open only a little or find the bread of the Word disgusting, so they keep their mouths clamped shut. Those who have their mouths open wide by the faith given to them by God, will find their desire for bread completely satisfied.

Our children have that opportunity in our Christian schools. I know the Word is not preached here, nor are the sacraments administered here. Yet, in large part our schools exist because of the preaching of the gospel to His covenant people and our commitment to keep the vows spoken at the sacrament of baptism. Also God’s Word is brought to His people in covenant schools when instruction is given in the light of His truth.

The question is, what appetite do our children have in school? Are mouths open wide because the Triune God has been pleased to allow us to have our own schools? How great is the desire to learn of God’s work in time and creation? If the appetite is small, that which is eaten will be as well.

However, Psalm 81 does not end on a positive note: “But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me.” God had given Israel over to their own sinful lusts. They walked in the ways their earthly wisdom dictated were best. The result was disastrous.

May God give His grace so we learn from what happened to Israel. He is not mocked. As parents must do what we can to send to school children with healthy appetites. As the years of instruction go by, we had better tell them to keep loosening their belts. God will use our schools as part of the means to fill the wide open mouths of His covenant children. By a hearty desire to learn how God’s Word applies to different areas of life and an appetite for the Word which is our guide on earth, God accomplishes the great work of having His people live in covenant fellowship with Him in Jesus Christ.