Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church



Rev. Angus Stewart

Lord’s Day, 28 November, 2010


"One generation shall praise thy works to another,

and shall declare thy mighty acts" (Ps. 145:4)


Morning Service - 11:00 AM

Christian Discipleship (5)

Forsaking All    [download]   [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Matthew 19:1-30

Text: Luke 14:33

I. The Meaning

II. The Necessity

Psalms: 84:1-6; 80:7-12; 37:3-9; 63:1-8


Evening Service - 6:00 PM

Concluding Our Prayer   [download]   [youtube[

Scripture Reading: I Chronicles 29:1-25

Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 52

I. The Powerful Doxology

II. The Significant "Amen"

Psalms: 111:1-6; 80:13-19; 103:17-22; 72:15-19


Contact Stephen Murray for CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services.


CPRC website:

CPRC YouTube:

CPRC Facebook:


Quotes to Consider

John Calvin on Luke 14:33: "‘So then every one of you’ This clause shows what is meant by the calculation of expenses, with which Christ enjoins his followers to begin: it is to lead them to consider that they must forsake all. In vain do persons who are delighted with an easy, indolent life, and with exemption from the cross, undertake a profession of Christianity. Those persons are said to forsake all who prefer Christ so greatly, both to their own life, and to all the wishes of the flesh, that nothing deters them from the right course. It would be absurd to insist on a literal interpretation of the phrase, as if no man were a disciple of Christ, till he threw into the sea all that he possessed, divorced his wife, and bade farewell to his children. Such idle dreams led foolish people to adopt a monastic life, as if those who intend to come to Christ must leave off humanity. Yet no man truly forsakes all that he possesses till he is prepared at every instant to leave all, gives himself free and unconstrained to the Lord, and, rising above every hindrance, pursues his calling. Thus the true self-denial which the Lord demands from his followers does not consist so much in outward conduct as in the affections; so that every one must employ the time which is passing over him without allowing the objects which he directs by his hand to hold a place in his heart."

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

On the back table are free devotional booklets for the month of December.

Catechism classes:

Monday, 6:00 PM - Joseph, Jacob, Nathan & Alex

Monday, 6:45 PM - Zoe, Amy & Lea

Tuesday, 12:15 AM - Beginners NT Class

Tuesday Bible study: 11 AM. We will study II Thess. 2:3f. on "the man of sin."

Membership class: Tuesday, 8 PM on Canons of Dordt III/IV:1f.

Wednesday Belgic Confession class: 7:45 PM. We will study Article 7 on the sufficiency of Scripture.

The council will hold their monthly meeting this Thursday at 7 PM.

The Reformed Witness Hour is on Gospel 846MW at 8:30-9:00 AM every Lord’s Day. Be sure to tune in and tell others.

On Wednesday, 12 January, Rev. Doug Kuiper will be giving a public lecture here at 7:45 PM on "Grieve Not the Spirit: Sins Against the Holy Spirit."

Please reserve Friday, 14 January, for our annual congregational dinner.

Offerings: General Fund - £412.90. Donation: £100. Gift Aid Refund: £5,521.16.

Website Additions: Two German translations were added.

PRC News: Wingham PRC called Rev. Overway. Trinity PRC’s new trio is Revs. Eriks, Koole and Van Overloop.

This is part 1 of Prof. Engelsma’s 43rd e-mail on justification:

Dear European Forum,

No treatment of the biblical and Reformation gospel-truth of justification by faith alone is complete without a consideration of the close, necessary and significant relation of justification and election.

By election is meant God’s eternal, unconditional, gracious choice in Christ of a definite number of certain persons (as the body and bride of Christ) unto salvation, accompanied by God’s eternal and equally unconditional appointment of the others unto damnation (which damnation, or punishment, is on account of their unbelief and other sins). Election is the truth taught in Ephesians 1:4: "According as he [i.e., God] hath chosen us in him [i.e., Jesus Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him." The Reformed creed, the Canons of Dordt, confesses the truth of election in I:7: "Election is the unchangeable purpose of God whereby, before the foundation of the world, He hath out of mere grace, according to the sovereign good pleasure of His own will, chosen, from the whole human race, which had fallen through their own fault from their primitive state of rectitude into sin and destruction, a certain number of persons to redemption in Christ, whom He from eternity appointed the Mediator and Head of the elect, and the foundation of salvation."

The Reformed confessions teach the close, necessary and significant relation of justification and election. Canons I:7, quoted in part above, goes on to affirm that in the eternal decree of election God "hath decreed ... to bestow upon them [i.e., those whom He elected] true faith, justification ..." Canons I:9 teaches that "election is the fountain of every saving good, from which proceed faith, holiness, and the other gifts of salvation" (which include justification).

With specific reference to the important relation of justification and election, the Westminster Confession of Faith states, in the chapter on "Justification": "God did, from all eternity, decree to justify all the elect" (WC 11:4).

The close and significant relation between justification and election affirmed by the Reformed confessions is based on Scripture.

In Ephesians 1:5, Paul looks at the relation from the point of view of eternal election, or the predestination unto salvation: "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ unto himself." Adoption unto children is a legal act of God in the consciousness of the believer immediately following, but dependent on, the forgiveness of sins or justification, if it is not the legal act of God implicit in the verdict of justification itself. However adoption is viewed, adoption implies justification, so that the apostle here makes justification the purpose of God in His predestination, or election, of His people in eternity.

The apostle teaches the same in Romans 8:30: Predestination purposes the justification of those predestinated.

The close relation of justification and election is indicated in Romans 8:33, the rhetorical question, "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect?" immediately followed by the reminder, "It is God that justifieth."

The relation of justification and election is indicated from the point of view of justification in the very structure of the book of Romans. In chapters 3-5, the apostle sets forth, explains and defends the gospel-truth of justification by faith alone, the great theme of the epistle. In chapters 8-11, he grounds this gospel-truth, and finds its source, in God’s eternal election.

According to Scripture, then, as faithfully expressed by the Reformed confessions, the relation of justification and election is, first, that justification, rightly understood, implies and demands God’s eternal election as its source. If, as I have demonstrated in the preceding instalments in this series, justification is by faith alone, apart from any and all works of the sinner; if justification by faith means that faith is the instrument of justification, not the cause or the condition; and if faith itself, both as the power of believing and as the activity itself of believing on Christ for pardon, is the gift of God to the sinner who believes, the sole explanation of the justifying of sinners (in distinction from others who do not believe and who are not justified, though they hear the same gospel) is God’s prior purpose of grace towards the sinners who believe and justified, that is, God’s eternal election.

The explanation of the justification of a sinner cannot be anything in him himself, for he is guilty, totally depraved as the just judgment upon his guilt, and thus incapable of believing, as also lacking all right to believe.

The source and explanation of the sinner’s faith itself as of the justifying verdict of God through this faith is God’s eternal election of this sinner. With regard to the faith that justifies, the Canons of Dordt express this dependency of faith on election in I:6: "That some receive the gift of faith from God and others do not receive it proceeds from God’s eternal decree." The Canons appeal to Acts 15:18 and Ephesians 1:11).

Locating the source of his justification necessarily in God’s eternal, gracious election is a matter of the justified sinner’s own experience and consciousness and of the greatest importance for his assurance of the love of God for him and of his salvation. At the moment of his justification, the forgiven sinner, marvellously freed from the guilt and shame of his sinfulness and all his transgressions, liberated from the wrath of God, the curse of the law and the bondage of Satan, to whom the doors of heaven and the fellowship of God in Jesus Christ swing open, asks, indeed, cries out, "To whom and to what am I indebted for this grace of justification? whence comes to me this forgiveness and the faith by which I am forgiven?" And the answer, in his own consciousness, is, and can only be, "From the prior gracious purposes of God towards me in His eternal election."

This lively, experiential knowledge of his own election in Christ is, thus, a necessary aspect of justification itself. Not only is the justified sinner conscious of his forgiveness, as of the death of Christ for him upon which the verdict of justification rests (as I have shown), but also he knows, experientially, God’s election of him. In the way of being justified by faith alone, the justified sinner is assured, not only of present forgiveness, but also of his own eternal election, as the source of his justification.

God wills that His justified people, for whom Christ died, be assured of their eternal election, that is, of His eternal love for them.  ... to be continued