Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 9 October, 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 (9)
How Jacob Came to Marry Rachel and Leah  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Genesis 29:1-30
Text: Genesis 29:1-30

I. A Providential Meeting
II. A Paternal Deal
III. A Crafty Substitution
Psalms: 146:1-8; 13:1-6; 119:33-40; 128:1-6

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

Installation of a Deacon
The First Deacons  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Acts 6
Text: Acts 6:1-7

I. The Historical Origin of the Office
II. The Apostolic Institution of the Office
III. The Lord’s Blessing on the Office
Psalms: 104:1-7; 14:1-7; 75:3-10; 132:11-18

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

Matthew Henry on Genesis 29: “Love makes long and hard services short and easy; hence we read of the labour of love (Heb. 6:10). If we know how to value the happiness of heaven, the sufferings of this present time will be as nothing to us in comparison of it. An age of work will be but as a few days to those that love God and long for Christ’s appearing.

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

The group photo of July’s BRF Conference is available free in two sizes on the back table, compliments of John VanBaren.

Philip Hall’s installation into the office of deacon will be held at this evening’s service.

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, Joseph, Alex & Nathan (Heidelberg Catechism, book 2)

The council meets tomorrow evening at 8 PM.

The Tuesday Bible study meets at 11 AM to study continue our study of the OT law by looking at the ashes of the red heifer (Num. 19).

Belgic Confession Class meets this Wednesday at 7:45 PM to begin our discussion of Article 29, the marks of a true church.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. Bruinsma is “The Adornment of a Godly Woman” (I Tim. 2:9-10).

S. Wales Lecture: Rev. McGeown will speak on “Christian Contentment” on Thursday, 27 October, in The Round Chapel, Margam, at 7:15 PM.

CPRC Reformation Day Lectures on “John Owen and the Death of Christ”
Friday, 28 October, 7:30 PM on at the CPRC. Flyers available on the back table.
Friday, 11 November, 7:30 PM at Portadown Town Hall.

Offerings: General Fund: £580.46. Building Fund: £288.60. Donations: £1,000 (Scotland), £200 (England).

New translation: 1 Thai.

PRC news: Southwest PRC will call tonight from a trio of Revs. Huizinga, W. Langerak and McGeown. Rev. Decker is considering the call to be third missionary to the Philippines. First Holland PRC will call from a trio of Revs. Decker, Key and R. Kleyn. Byron Center PRC plans to call a home/domestic missionary from a trio of Revs. Griess, Huizinga and Spronk.

The Relationship of the Diaconate
to the Other Special Offices

Rev. Douglas J. Kuiper
(an excerpt of an article in the Standard Bearer, vol. 75, issue 6)


Of the three special offices in the church of Jesus Christ (those of pastor, elder and deacon), that of deacon seems to receive the least attention. One man, writing on the subject of the diaconate, says that throughout the history of the church this office “has not found the recognition and appreciation to which it is entitled. It has been either totally discarded or else corrupted, because its true character was lost sight of.” In some denominations, the office does not exist. In others, although the office exists, its character and the work assigned to it are not in accord with Scripture’s requirements for the office. Even in Reformed churches, in which the office exists and in which sincere effort is made to see that the deacons carry out their work in accordance with Scripture, the very real danger is that the office is denigrated either in practice or in thinking. In practice, perhaps the council of the church denigrates the office by expecting the deacons to focus more on the general finances of the church than on the work of distributing alms and caring for those in need. Also in practice, perhaps, the people of the church denigrate the office by being reluctant to avail themselves of the mercies of Christ which the deacons administer. In thinking, perhaps, the people of the church denigrate the office by viewing the diaconate as inferior to the eldership, and by thinking that a good deacon “graduates” to become an elder as he grows older.

We ought not—we must not—denigrate the office in such a way. The office of deacon is an important office in the church of Jesus Christ. It must be held in high esteem and must be regulated according to the Word of God. The deacons must be faithful in doing the work which pertains particularly to their office. The people must be faithful in supporting the deacons with their alms and in calling upon the deacons when legitimate needs require it. The office must not be viewed as being subordinate to, but on a par with, that of elder and pastor.

... In the first place we must stress that both Scripture and the Reformed churches officially teach the parity or equality of the office of deacon with that of pastor and elder.

It is a fact that Scripture neither refers to the office of deacon nor uses the word “deacon” as often as it refers to the other special offices or uses the word “pastor” or “elder” (or “bishop”). In fact, the word “deacon” occurs only five times in our King James Version. Four of these five instances are in I Timothy 3:8-13, which lists the qualifications which God requires of a deacon. The other instance is in Philippians 1:1, in which Paul addresses the saints at Philippi “with the bishops and deacons.” Scripture explicitly refers to the office one other time, although the word “deacon” is not used. Acts 6:1-6 records the institution of the office in the New Testament church. Other passages of Scripture imply the office of deacon by referring to the saints’ duty to give for the relief of the poor but nowhere else is explicit reference made to the office of deacon.

Nevertheless, the Word of God does set the office of deacon on a par with that of elder. In both I Timothy 3:8-13 and Philippians 1:1 the office of deacon is mentioned in connection with that of elder (bishop). Many of the qualifications for the offices of deacon and elder are the same (I Tim. 3). That Paul’s letter to the Philippians is addressed to the saints with the bishops and deacons indicates the equality of these two offices and implies that both offices are essential for the organized congregation of saints in the new dispensation.

That the Reformed churches officially teach the parity of this office and the other offices is evident from several documents. First, one of our major creeds, the Belgic Confession, makes this clear. In Article 30, the diaconate is specifically mentioned in connection with the other two offices as being necessary for the proper government of the church. We read that, in addition to the elders and pastors, also the deacons “form the council of the church.” Article 31 explains that deacons, as well as ministers and elders, must be put into office only after an election by the church for no man may take the office of deacon to himself.

Second, although the Form of Ordination of Elders and Deacons does not explicitly state the fact of the equality of the offices of elder and deacon, it assumes this equality, inasmuch as the same form is used for both offices.

Third, the Church Order of the Reformed churches makes this parity of office clear. Article 2 teaches that the diaconate is, in fact, one of the special offices in the Reformed churches. Articles 16, 17 and 27 mention “elders and deacons” in one breath, showing the equality of the two offices.

This being the official teaching of Reformed churches and the teaching of Scripture, we are obliged to view and treat the diaconate as being equal to the other special offices.

This parity is due to two basic similarities between the office of deacon and the offices of pastor and elder.

The first similarity is that all offices are fundamentally positions of service to God in the church. Herman Hoeksema defined an office as “the position in which man is authorized and qualified to function in the name of God and in behalf of God’s covenant and kingdom, to serve Him and to rule under Him.” This is true fundamentally of the office of Mediator which Jesus Christ holds. Secondarily, it is true of the offices of elder, deacon and pastor in the church to which Jesus Christ calls men.

... The second similarity is that in every special office, that of deacon included, the exalted Jesus Christ continues to function as Mediator of His church. Therefore, each office-bearer, whether minister, elder, or deacon, is the personal representative of Jesus Christ to the people.

... Because Jesus Christ continues to work in His church through each of the offices, those offices are equal. The saints of the church must remember that the deacons are as much representatives of Christ to them, for their salvation, as are elders and pastors.