Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 4 October, 2015

“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

Word and Sacraments  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: I Corinthians 1:10-31
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 25

I. Their Appointment
II. Their Similarity
III. Their Differences
Psalms: 149:1-6; 114:1-8; 36:5-11; 130:1-8

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

The Intercession of the Spirit  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Romans 8:18-39
Text: Romans 8:26-27

I. The Meaning
II. The Need
III. The Answer
Psalms: 119:169-176; 115:1-9; 102:1-7; 143:6-12

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)

The second offering this morning is for the building fund.

Beacon Lights subscriptions are due. To renew your subscription or to subscribe for the first time, please pay £10 to Susan.

Monday evening’s Catechism classes:
5:45 PM - Taylor, Josh, Corey, Bradley & Samuel (Beginners OT, book 2)
6:30 PM - Alex & Nathan (Seniors OT)
7:15 PM - Jacob, Joseph & Chris (Heidelberg Catechism, book 1)

The Council meets this Monday, 5 October, at 8 PM.

The Tuesday Bible study will meet at 11 AM to study Hosea’s references to Israel in the promised land.

The Belgic Confession Class will meet this week Wednesday at 7:45 PM to study Article 26, looking at the content of Christ’s prayers for us.

Rev Stewart will give a lecture in Margam, South Wales, this Thursday on “Jan Hus: His Martyrdom and Ecclesiology.” Please remember this witness in your prayers.

Prof. Cammenga will address the topic of theistic evolution and the Christian’s response to theistic evolution at a lecture this Friday entitled, “Theistic Evolution: Should the Church Make Peace or War?” Southwest PRC will live-stream the lecture at 7:30 PM (+5 hours for UK time) (

Men’s Bible Study meets this Saturday at the Kennedys at 8 PM to discuss chapters 8 and 9 of Respectable Sins.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. Bruinsma is entitled “Contending for the Faith (I)” (Jude 3-4).

There will be tea after the evening service next Lord’s Day. Group C will cater.

Upcoming Reformation Lecture:
Ballymena - “Jan Hus: His Martyrdom and Ecclesiology,” Friday, 30 October.

Offerings: General Fund: £774.82.

Website Additions: 1 Indonesian, 1 Portuguese (“The Unconditional Covenant in Contemporary Debate” by Prof. Engelsma) and 2 Chinese.

PRC News: This past week, Classis West examined Ryan Barnhill with a view to admitting him to the ministry. Classis approved his exam and advised Peace PRC to proceed to his ordination. Classis also treated one appeal of a brother against the decision of his consistory; Classis did not sustain that appeal.

Preserved By Discretion

Brian D. Dykstra


As grandparents, parents, school board and teachers, we are preparing to add a fifty-fourth picture to the display of Hope School’s graduating classes which is in our school’s main entrance. It is a good time to reflect on the purpose of our school and to encourage our graduates as they move to the next stage in their lives. The following two verses from Proverbs serve well.

Proverbs 2:10-11: “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee ...”

Earlier in his book, Solomon told us the purpose of the Proverbs, warned youths of the enticement of sin, spoke of the result of scorning the call of wisdom and expressed the value of wisdom. Now we are told what is needed to be preserved from the evils of which we read in the verses following. We need wisdom and knowledge.

Wisdom, the knowledge of God’s Word, must enter into the heart. The verse does not say anything about inviting wisdom into our hearts. Our hearts are not being approached by a beggar who seeks entrance, as if we hold all the power and nothing happens to our hearts without our permission. We are not told that we must make a choice to allow wisdom in our hearts. Apart from God’s grace, we are dead in sin and not able to do any good. Inviting or allowing wisdom to enter our hearts is impossible for corrupt sinners.

Wisdom enters our hearts. She does not have to wait for an invitation. She does not have to wait for us to open our heart’s door. She is not waiting pensively for us to make the right choice. God speaks and His wisdom enters. It is irresistible.

The location of wisdom is important also. If our knowledge of God and His Word is only in our heads, He will not be pleased. It is out of the heart, not the head, that are the issues of life. Wisdom in the head will do nothing to change the corruption of the heart, though it may change the outward behaviour.

This wisdom must not merely enter our mouth, either. If all we do is speak of what we know of God, but His wisdom is not in our hearts, we will not truly live out of the faith He has given to us. It would not take much temptation or trial to cause us to change what we say and then live in a way that brings us more earthly convenience.

When God’s wisdom is in our hearts, we are changed. The law, which once seemed only to prevent us from doing everything that was fun, will become the way to express our gratitude for all that God has done for us. Such wisdom will seem to us to be sweeter than honey.

When wisdom enters our hearts, the knowledge of God will be pleasant to us and the results given to us in verse eleven are sure to follow. God will give us the discretion we need to recognize the difference between good and evil. This wisdom is not merely an external rule which keeps us from what is not proper in the eyes of men. It will not just prevent us from making a bad career move or cost us social standing among those who matter to us. It is a discretion which will preserve or keep us. This discretion will be as a bodyguard to keep us from the harm of the foolish way of sin.

Now we realize our total dependence upon God to keep His promises to us. All of us associated with Hope School—grandparents, parents, school board and faculty—care deeply for the graduates and all the students here. There are many things we would like to do for those about whom we care. We are concerned about their health and physical well-being. We want them to develop mentally and do their work properly. They need to be prepared to take up whatever work God will give them to do.

However, that which is most important to us, that they grow in the wisdom of God and walk in His way, is something we can never do for them. No matter how much we love them, we cannot put life into their spiritually dead hearts. We cannot write God’s law there so they live antithetically.

Once more we are humbled and are forced to confess our inability to change what so desperately needs changing. We depend completely upon our covenant God to keep His promises with us. We cannot pray well enough so that God will decide our students are worthy of allowing His wisdom to enter their hearts. We cannot be so pious that God is almost forced to shower blessings on us. We cannot rely on what we are but we can safely rely on the God of Scripture who has revealed Himself to be merciful to His covenant people in Jesus Christ.

May our Lord be pleased to use this school, and all of our schools, to cause His wisdom to enter the hearts of our students so they are preserved by godly discretion and live for Him.