Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 26 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

Righteousness by Faith Alone (11)
Abraham’s Unwavering Faith  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Genesis 15
Text: Romans 4:20-22

I. What It Was
II. What It Gave
III. What It Received
Psalms: 136:1-12; 58:1-6; 89:1-6; 130:1-8

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

Sexual Ethics  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: I Corinthians 6:9-7:13
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 41

I. The World’s Ethics
II. The Christian’s Ethics
Psalms: 139:1-6, 11-12; 58:7-11; 128:1-6; 24:1-6

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:

Quotes to Consider

Prof. David Engelsma: “According to our Lord’s teaching that unclean thoughts and desire are adultery, all of us are guilty of violating the seventh commandment. All of us have the shamefully depraved nature that consists, in part, of unchastity, or sexual filthiness. ‘I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart’ (Matt. 5:28). It is grace that saves us from the guilt and shame of sexual sin—our guilt and our shame of sexual sin. But this grace works repentance for sexual transgression and sexual corruption of nature. This grace bestows forgiveness. And this grace cleanses, so that the Reformed Christian acknowledges the seventh commandment of the law of God as good and right, resists temptation, and certainly does not go on practising sexual immorality ... Because God has made sex an aspect of marriage, every teaching, every law, every advertisement, every song, and every picture that permit or promote sex outside of marriage is, not only a lie about sex, but also an assault on marriage” (The Reformed Worldview, pp. 81-82, 87).

Prof. David Engelsma: “In all this sexual revolution, we observe a strange, contradictory thing. On the one hand, rebellious society makes a god of sex ... The fundamental idolatry in the twenty-first century is the worship of Man, and always idolatry is attended and promoted by sexual immorality. Baal and Asherah were obscene gods, allowing and encouraging sexual licence. On the other hand, rebellious society makes of sex an ordinary thing, no different from eating and drinking. That was the notion in Corinth when the gospel arrived. Paul denied the notion: ‘Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats ... Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord’ (I Cor. 6:13). Sex is not God, but neither is it an ordinary bodily function, like eating and drinking. It is special, belonging to the mystery of marriage. This is its meaning, and this meaning determines its use and enjoyment. So, the true church is called to teach, and, so, believers and their children are to live, in the midst of, and in opposition to, the sexual revolution” (The Reformed Worldview, pp. 97-98).

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

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

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

Radio Interview: Prof. Engelsma will be interviewed about justification on the radio program “Iron Sharpens Iron” tomorrow evening from 4-6 PM EST (9-10 PM UK time). Go to and click on the livestream box.

Tuesday Bible Study meets at 11 AM to study the Passover in the New Testament.

Belgic Confession Class meets this Wednesday night at 7:45 PM to continue our study of article 34 on the sacrament of baptism.

Ladies Bible study meets this Friday 10:30 AM at church to discuss discretion and prudence in the Proverbs study guide.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846 MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. Bruinsma is “Studying to Be Quiet” (I Thess. 4:11-12).

The church visitors, Rev. Decker and Sid Miedema, will be in N. Ireland from Thursday 18 January to the morning of Thursday 25 January. The congregational dinner will be held on Friday, 19 January. On Wednesday, 24 January, Rev. Decker is planning to give a lecture on “Living Wisely in a Digital Age.” They will be with the LRF from 25-29 January.

Website Translations: 4 Hungarian and 3 Danish.

Martin Luther on faith giving glory to God

“Paul by these words, ‘Abraham believed,’ of faith in God, maketh the chiefest worship, the chiefest duty, the chiefest obedience, and the chiefest sacrifice. Let him that is a rhetorician, amplify this place, and he shall see that faith is an almighty thing, and that the power thereof is infinite and inestimable; for it giveth glory unto God, which is the highest thing that can be given unto him. Now, to give glory unto God, is to believe in him, to count him true, wise, righteous, merciful, almighty: briefly, to acknowledge him to be the author and giver of all goodness. This reason doth not, but faith. That is it which maketh us divine people, and (as a man would say) it is the creator of divinity, not in the substance of God, but in us. For without faith God loseth in us his glory, wisdom, righteousness, truth, mercy, &c. To conclude, no majesty or divinity remaineth unto God, where faith is not. And the chiefest thing that God requireth of man is, that he giveth unto him his glory and his divinity: that is to say, that he taketh him not for an idol, but for God; who regardeth him, heareth him, sheweth mercy unto him, helpeth him, &c. This being done, God hath his full and perfect divinity, that is, he hath whatsoever a faithful heart can attribute unto him. To be able therefore to give that glory unto God, it is the wisdom of wisdoms, the righteousness of righteousnesses, the religion of religions, and sacrifice of sacrifices. Hereby we may perceive, what an high and excellent righteousness faith is, and so by the contrary, what an horrible and grievous sin infidelity is.

Whosoever then believeth the Word of God, as Abraham did, is righteous before God, because he hath faith, which giveth glory unto God; that is, he giveth to God that which is due to him (for thus do the jurists define the just man, namely, that he is he which rendereth to every man his due). For faith saith thus: I believe thee, O God, when thou speakest. And what saith God? Impossible things, lies, foolish, weak, absurd, abominable, heretical, and devilish things, if ye believe reason. For what is more absurd, foolish, and impossible, than when God saith unto Abraham that he should have a son of the barren and dead body of his wife Sarah? …

But faith killeth reason, and slayeth that beast which the whole world and all creatures cannot kill. So Abraham killed it by faith in the Word of God, whereby seed was promised unto him of Sarah, who was barren and now past child-bearing. Unto this Word, reason yielded not straightway in Abraham, but it fought against faith in him, judging it to be an absurd, a foolish, and impossible thing, that Sarah, who was now not only ninety years old, but was also barren by nature, should bring forth a son. Thus faith wrestled with reason in Abraham: but herein faith got the victory, killed and sacrificed reason, that most cruel and pestilent enemy of God. So all the godly, entering with Abraham into the darkness of faith, do kill reason, saying: Reason, thou art foolish, thou dost not savour those things which belong unto God; therefore speak not against me, but hold thy peace; judge not, but hear the Word of God and believe it. So the godly by faith kill such a beast as is greater than the whole world, and thereby do offer to God a most acceptable sacrifice and service.

And in comparison of this sacrifice and service of the faithful, all the religions of all nations, and all the works of all monks and merit mongers are nothing at all.”

A Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians, trans. Erasmus Middleton et al (London: James Clarke & Co., 1961), pp. 221-223.