Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 1 October, 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 (7)
The Logic of Faith Alone  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Galatians 3:6-29
Text: Romans 4:14-16

I. The Impossibility of the Law
II. The Impossibility of All Alternatives
Psalms: 72:1-8; 52:6-9; 2:6-12; 37:8-14

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

Ruining or Honouring the Lord’s Day?  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 58
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Days 38

I. Before the Day
II. At Church
III. During the Day
Psalms: 122:1-9; 53:1-6; 92:1-8; 118:17-26

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:

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

A letter by Rev. McGeown to the PRC is on the back table.

A pamphlet by Prof. Engelsma entitled “A.D. 2000: Year of Jubilee by Papal Indulgence or Reformation Gospel?” is on the back table. It deals with justification, the Reformation, indulgences and the jubilee, issues we have been looking at in the preaching and Bible studies of late.

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 8:00 PM.

Tuesday Bible Study meets this week at 11 AM to start a study of the Passover.

Belgic Confession Class meets on Wednesday at 7:45 PM at church to continue our consideration of Article 33 on the sacraments.

Men’s Bible Study meets this Saturday at 8 PM at the Kennedys to discuss War of Words, chapter 8, “Citizens in Need of Help.”

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846 MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. Bruinsma is “Followers of the Lord” (I Thess. 1:6-8).

CPRC Reformation speeches by Prof. Engelsma:
Saturday, 21 October, 11 AM - “Martin Luther: Theologian of the Glory of God”
(lunch will be served between the two lectures)
Saturday, 21 October, 1 PM - “Justification in Paul and in James”
Friday, 27 October, 7:30 PM - “Martin Luther: Man of Conviction”
Friday, 3 November, 7:30 PM - “Calvin’s Doctrine of the Covenant”

Prof. Engelsma is also to preach at both CPRC services on Lord’s Days 22 & 29 October and 5 November.

Rev. Stewart will be preaching in the LRF on 29 October and 5 November, while Rev. McGeown is in the US to speak at Reformation conferences there. Rev. Stewart will also be giving a lecture on “Martin Luther and God’s Saving Righteousness” in Limerick on Saturday, 28 October.

Offerings: General Fund: £898.80. Donations: £300 (England), $593.10 (Hudsonville PRC).

PRC News: Byron Center PRC will call from a trio of Revs. Eriks, Griess and A. Lanning. Classis West of the PRC met last week. (1) Matthew De Boer successfully sustained his classical examination and was ordained into the ministry in Edgerton PRC, Minnesota. (2) Classis also granted emeritation to Rev. Ron Hanko, effective 15 October. We thank God for the many years of faithful service of this labourer in God’s harvest and pray that He would continue to use him during his retirement for the profit of the churches.

The PCI's Strange Reformation Commemoration

Rev. Angus Stewart

(published in the Belfast News Letter, 29 September, 2017)


In inviting Roman Catholic leaders to speak at its autumn seminars commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, Union Theological College of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) raises a number of serious historical, doctrinal, confessional and spiritual issues.

Rome excommunicated the Reformers, slew the martyrs and repeatedly anathematized (i.e., cursed) the blessed Reformation gospel of Jesus Christ at its Council of Trent (1545-1563). In the last five centuries, Rome has continued to promulgate the same false doctrines—without reforming any of them!—that Martin Luther in Germany, and others throughout Europe and the British Isles, faithfully exposed: its money-grubbing indulgences; its sacramental system, which dispenses well-nigh automatic grace to all partakers and adds unscriptural sacraments; its soul-destroying heresy of justification before God by man's own will and works; its idolatry, including praying to angels and saints; its Christ-dishonouring papacy; etc.

Rome has even increased its heresies since the Reformation through its unbiblical claim that Mary was conceived without original sin (1854) and its pretense that the pope is infallible (1870). Moreover, modern Rome is filled with higher criticism of Holy Scripture, liberal theology, evolutionism and political correctness. Its scandalous failure in church discipline regarding priests who sexually abused children, particularly boys, in countries all around the world for decades is well-known.

If the PCI is really interested in the Reformation, it should imitate Luther and the other Reformers by courageously setting forth in pulpit and print the truth of the Bible, and refuting the lie (including Rome), without any compromise. The power of God's authoritative Word must be elevated far above man's vain words, and the liberating fear of God must drive out the crippling fear of man. The PCI, like Luther, must teach the truth of original sin, including man's radical inward sinfulness, lust and pride; the bondage of man's will and its freedom by sovereign grace alone; the non-imputation of sins and the reckoning of those ungodly in themselves as righteous before God, based only upon Christ's substitutionary sufferings and perfect obedience, and received by faith alone; God's eternal, unconditional predestination; etc.

The PCI must follow Luther's insistence on thorough instruction of the children of the church so that they know the Holy Scriptures, and memorize the catechism and know what it means. The Reformation honoured God's infallible Word and was creedal, so it called parents to keep their baptismal vows to train their children in the Christian faith.

Also church discipline should be exercised upon all in the PCI who remain impenitent in their sins, including false ecumenists with Rome; female ministers, elders and deacons; modernists; theistic evolutionists; etc. Holy Scripture, as summed in the Westminster Confession and Catechisms, must be its standard not only for church discipline but also for doctrine, worship, sacraments, church unity, seminary training, etc.

Martin Luther, who wrote the 95 Theses which began the Reformation, was a hard-working, highly gifted professor of the theological faculty at the University of Wittenberg. As such, he laboured to bring biblical reform not only to theology, preaching, catechizing, the church, marriage, the home, etc., but also to the university.

The Reformation was of the same spirit as Professor Luther, who declared in his Heidelberg Disputation (1518), “A theologian of glory calls evil good and good evil. A theologian of the cross calls the thing what it actually is” (Thesis 21). In academia, at university and before students for the ministry too!

So why does Union Theological College give a platform to Roman Catholic speakers at its seminars on the Reformation? Is it merely window dressing? And/or a matter of academic respectability? And/or an exercise in political correctness? And/or to satisfy the PCI's false ecumenists? Is one to suppose that presentations by the subjects of the pope will promote the biblical doctrines of Martin Luther or encourage a thorough-going, scriptural reformation of the PCI? Will this really serve to rally people to the truth of the Reformation or will it simply further the fudge and deformation of the denomination, and confuse Presbyterians? “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (I Cor. 14:8).

Furthermore, what does this say about the biblical and Reformed gospel to those in Roman Catholicism? Will they not conclude that, if the PCI's Union Theological College invites speakers who reject the Reformation, the theological and spiritual differences between Rome and Protestantism cannot be very many or very serious?

The crucial issue is the same now as it was half a millennium ago. Fatally, Rome encourages and requires its people to trust in themselves, their own works, Mary, the saints, the Roman church and its sacraments for salvation, rather than the sovereign grace of God in Jesus Christ alone—the incarnate, crucified and risen Son of God! Thus it presents a deceptive substitute for the God-given, all-sufficient Redeemer, making salvation and its comforting assurance impossible, and opening wide the gates of hell.