Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 10
generation shall praise thy works to another,
declare thy mighty acts" (Ps. 145:4)
- 11:00 AM - Rev. M. McGeown
Reconciled to God [download]
Reading: II Corinthians 5:9-6:3
I. The Meaning
78:1-6; 133:1-3; 32:1-5
Evening Service - 6:00 PM - Rev. M. McGeown
The Absolute Security of Christ’s Sheep [download]
Reading: John 10:1-30
I. The Meaning
III. The Reason
78:7-13; 66:8-17; 121:1-8
Murray (email@example.com) for CDs of the sermons and DVDs
of the worship services.
Quote to Consider:
John Brown: "[Christ] mentions the reason why
none can pluck them out of the Father’s hand,—because He is the
Almighty, and no created power is able to resist Him. The thing spoken
of is power, power irresistible. And in order to prove that none can
pluck them out of His hand, He adds, ‘I and the Father are one.’ One in
what? Unquestionably in the work of power whereby He protects His sheep
and does not suffer them to be plucked out of His hand. What the Father
is, that the Son is. What the work of the Father is, that the work of
the Son is. As the Father is almighty, so is the Son likewise. As
nothing can resist the Father, so nothing can resist the Son. Whatever
the Father hath, the Son hath likewise. The Father is in the Son and the
Son in the Father. These two are one—in nature, perfection and glory."
Announcements (subject to God’s will):
We welcome Rev. McGeown today. He will be
preaching both services while Rev. Stewart preaches for the Limerick
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 look at II
Thessalonians 1:4f. on love enabling perseverance.
Wednesday Belgic Confession class: 7:45 PM. We
will look at Article 2, "By what means God is made known unto us." The
audio of the last class is on-line.
Thursday membership class: 7:30 PM.
Rev. & Mary Stewart travel to S. Wales this
week Friday where Rev. Stewart will give a lecture on "Charismaticism."
They will return on Saturday.
The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day
(8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW) is entitled "The Rise of Counterfeit
Christianity" by Rev. Bruinsma.
Ladies Discussion will be at 11 AM next
week Wednesday, 20 October.
Future S. Wales Lectures: 3 December by Rev.
McGeown and 21 January by Rev. Stewart.
Offerings: General Fund - £610.90. Building Fund
If you would like to purchase a bound volume of
the past year’s Standard Bearers (volume 86) for £20, contact Rev.
Stewart by the end of October.
PRC News: Edgerton PRC called Rev. Bruinsma
This is part 1 of the 41st
email from Prof. Engelsma on justification:
Dear European Forum,
At this point in my instruction concerning
justification, I explain the relationship between justification and
I have already touched on this relationship several
times in the course of our study, for instance, in refuting the heresy
of justification by faith and good works, which confuses the two works
of the Spirit of Christ, and in my harmonizing of Romans 3-5 and James
2. Therefore, I can be brief in this instalment.
Even though the subject has come up earlier, it will
be helpful that I make this topic the specific focus of our attention.
You will keep in mind that our interest here is not
sanctification, but justification. I will not, therefore, be giving
anything like a thorough explanation of sanctification.
There are reasons for making the relation between
justification and sanctification a specific part of our study of
justification. First, the Bible and the Reformation creeds teach that
there is a relation between the two saving works of Christ. Second, the
great heresy concerning justification confuses the relation between the
two works of Christ in the elect child of God. In fact, in an important
respect the heresy consists of confusing the two. I refer to the
teaching of the Roman Catholic Church (hereafter, RCC) that a man is
justified by faith in Christ and by his own good works, which heresy is
today being spread in reputedly conservative Reformed and Presbyterian
churches by the movement known as the Federal (Covenant) Vision
Let us be clear about the terms.
Justification (the root being "just" or "righteous")
is the act of God in Christ forgiving the elect sinner’s sins and
sinfulness and reckoning him righteous before God the judge by imputing
to his account all the obedience of Christ in his place and on his
behalf during all His life but especially by His suffering at the end of
His life and ministry, culminating in His death on the cross. This work
of Christ is the subject of Romans 3-5 and 8 and of the book of
Sanctification is the work of the Spirit of Christ in
the elect, believing, and justified sinner making him holy. The root of
the Latin-based term, "sanctification," is "holiness." Holiness consists
of cleansing from the defilement and power of sin and of consecrating
one to God in love for Him so that one obeys God’s law and performs good
works. Sanctification is the subject of II Thessalonians 2:13, Romans
12-16, Ephesians 4-6, and many other places in Scripture.
These two works of God in Christ by the Holy Spirit
have in common that both are works of salvation from sin.
But the two saving works are and must be sharply
distinguished. What distinguishes them includes the following.
First, justification is a legal act of Christ in the
consciousness of the believing sinner, declaring him righteous before
God by a verdict; sanctification is a work of spiritual power in the
believing sinner’s heart, mind, soul, and body making him righteous, or
Second, justification imputes, or reckons, Christ’s
righteousness to the sinner’s account, or standing before God the judge;
sanctification infuses Christ’s righteousness into the sinner. (Take
careful note of the two different words for the act of justification and
the work of sanctification: "imputes" and "infuses".)
Third, justification reckons to the sinner’s account
Christ’s obedience to the law in that sinner’s stead; sanctification
writes the law of God upon the sinner’s heart, so that he himself begins
victoriously to obey the law.
Four, justification delivers the sinner from the
guilt of sin, that is, the liability to divine punishment and the sense
of shame; sanctification delivers the sinner from the ruling power of
sin and thus from the pollution of sin. The forgiven adulterer is freed
from the punishment of death and the haunting shame of his deed; the
sanctified adulterer is no longer ruled by lust, fights against lust
whenever it arises from his sinful nature, and wills never again to
commit the deed.
Five, justification gives the sinner peace with God
in his conscience; sanctification gives the sinner power to love God and
the neighbour according to the law of God.
Six, justification is a perfect act of Christ with
regard to the elect sinner in this life, and in his own consciousness;
sanctification, although a victorious work of Christ in the sinner, is
never perfected in this life, but is progressive. That is, when Christ
justifies the believing sinner through his faith, He fully pardons all
his sins and decisively reckons to him all His own obedience to God for
him, so that the justified sinner is conscious and assured of a perfect
righteousness with God. He consciously stands before God the judge as
one who has never had or committed any sin, but is perfectly innocent
with the innocence of Christ Himself. One is not increasingly, or
progressively, justified. One is not justified more and more. When the
judge declares concerning one on trial that the defendant is not guilty,
the verdict is, in the nature of the case, a perfectly accomplished
verdict and the consciousness of the one acquitted accordingly is that
of perfect innocence with regard to the demands of the law.
Sanctification, by contrast, is never perfect in this
life. The sanctified sinner is never completely delivered from the power
and pollution of sin in this life (contrary to the false teaching of the
perfectionists). Sin no longer rules in him, according to Romans 6, but
sin does remain in him, powerfully so, so that he has a sinful nature
(which is sin), commits sins (contrary to his will, as Paul teaches in
Romans 7), and corrupts even his best works with sin as long as he
lives. Nevertheless, there is progress, and should be progress, in
holiness in the life of every child of God throughout his life. The
Heidelberg Catechism teaches this progression in Q. and A. 115 in
explanation of the necessity of sharply preaching the ten commandments
to the congregation: "That we may become more and more conformable to
the image of God, till we arrive at the perfection proposed to us in a
life to come." This confessional statement indicates that perfection
comes at death and ultimately at the resurrection of the body, when the
body shares with the soul the perfect holiness of Christ. In Q. and A.
42, the Catechism teaches that one reason why the believer does
not fear, but even in a way longs for, death is that at his death the
Spirit of Christ finally abolishes his sinful nature and the power of
sin in him.
The Reformation confessions thus sharply distinguish
these two grand works of salvation. I refer you to the Westminster
Confession of Faith, Chapters 11 (on justification) and 13 (on
sanctification), and to the Belgic Confession, Articles 23
(justification) and 24 (sanctification).
... to be continued