Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 11 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
The Promise of Baptism
Scripture Reading: I Peter 1
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 26
I. The Importance of the Promise
II. The Content of the Promise
III. The Recipients of the Promise
Psalms: 124:1-8; 115:10-18; 105:38-45; 103:1-7
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
The Son’s Amazing Condescension
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 5
Text: Hebrews 5:8-9
II. With What Result?
III. For Whom?
Psalms: 93:1-5; 116:1-8; 22:6-12; 119:105-112
For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services,
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart
or the elders
CPRC Website: www.cprc.co.uk • Live Webcast:
CPRC YouTube: www.youtube.com/cprcni
CPRC Facebook: www.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
Quote to Consider
Herman Hoeksema on Lord’s Day 26: “And thus baptism has a
rich practical significance for the believer. Through it God
seals unto us His promise and assures us that we are as
certainly washed by the blood and Spirit from all the
pollution of our soul, that is, from all our sins, as we are
washed externally with water, by which the filthiness of the
body is commonly washed away. And thus baptism serves to
strengthen our faith in Christ Jesus our Lord ... On the
other hand, baptism also implies a very serious calling. For
our part of the covenant is that we love the Lord our God
with our whole heart and our whole being, that we cleanse
ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the
spirit, that we walk in newness of life, fight the good
fight, and thus reveal ourselves as those that are of the
party of the living God in the midst of the world” (The
Triple Knowledge, vol. 2, pp. 492-493).
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
We welcome Henry & Barb DeVries and Philip & Julie Rainey to
our worship services today.
There will be tea after the evening service today. Group C
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 Tuesday Bible study will meet at 11 AM to study Hosea’s
references to Israel in Judges.
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.
Ladies’ Bible Study meets this Friday at 10:30 AM at church
to discuss lesson 3 of the I Peter study guide.
The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel
846MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. Bruinsma is entitled “Contending
for the Faith (II)” (Jude 3-4).
Rev. McGeown will preach for the CPRC next Lord’s Day while
Rev. Stewart leads services in the LRF.
Ballymena Reformation Lecture: Rev. Stewart will lecture on
“Jan Hus: His Martyrdom and Ecclesiology,” on Friday, 30
October, here at the CPRC. Flyers are available on the back
table to pass out to family and friends, etc.
The Council’s next meeting is Monday, 9 November, at 8 PM.
Offerings: General Fund: £937.77. Building Fund: £313.80.
Website Additions: 1 Spanish and 2 Hungarian translations.
PRC News: Rev. Eriks received the call to be the second
missionary to the Philippines.
A Plea for Creeds
Rev. Ron Hanko
(slightly modified from an article in the
British Reformed Journal, Issue no. 21, January-March 1998)
Creed or Chaos
There is an essay by a well-known, twentieth-century British
author entitled, “Creed or Chaos.”1 While not agreeing with
much of the content of the essay, the title very nicely
describes the urgency of having and using the historic
creeds of the church. We are convinced that the only
alternative to creeds is ecclesiastical chaos. History has
proved that, especially in this century. In refusing to have
creeds or in moving away from her creeds, the church has
exposed herself to the chaos that the floods and winds of
doctrinal change, spiritual ignorance and worldliness bring.
Some have begun to realize this and to return to the creeds,
and for this we are profoundly thankful. Others, however,
continue to neglect and despise the creeds, and it is to
them especially that this article is addressed in the hope
they will reconsider, and see both the scriptural basis and
the need for creeds in the church.
It is that biblical basis that we hope to establish first of
all. Then we wish also to address some of the objections
that are raised against creeds. Finally, having established
and defended the necessity of creeds, we wish to point out
some of the specific uses of creeds in the church for,
unless the creeds are known and used, having them is of no
Confessing Our Faith
In order to see that the use of creeds is biblical, we must
remember that “creed” is from a Latin word which means, “I
believe.” That tells us what creeds are. They are an
expression of the faith that lives in the hearts of God’s
people. In the creeds, believers, usually as a body, tell
the world what they believe the Word of God teaches. Creeds,
then, do not exist apart from Scripture or over against it,
but are simply a confession of what believers find in the
Word of God. And what they find in the Word of God, they
In having creeds, therefore, believers are only doing what
the Word of God itself commands them to do—confessing their
faith. For this reason the creeds are often called
“confessions.” So it is here, first of all, in the fact that
creeds are confessions, that we find a biblical basis for
There are any number of passages that command believers to
confess their faith. In Matthew 10:32, Jesus makes this very
necessary when He says, “Whosoever therefore shall confess
me before men, him will I confess also before my Father
which is in heaven.” Romans 10:9-10 connect our confessing
Christ with salvation: “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth
the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God
hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with
the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the
mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
In confessing their faith in creeds, believers are only
doing in unison what Nathanael did when he said, “Rabbi,
thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel” (John
1:49), or what Peter did when he said, “Thou art the Christ,
the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16). In recording their
confession, they are only doing what Scripture itself does
in recording such confessions as these.
That they are required by Scripture to make a common
confession is also clear. In Romans 15:6, the Apostle Paul
prays that the members of the church in Rome might “with one
mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord
Jesus Christ.” In I Corinthians 1:10, the Word of God
commands believers that they all “speak the same thing.” Not
only that, but in the context they are commanded to do this
“with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus
Christ our Lord” (v. 2). This, as far as we are able to see,
can only be done by way of creeds.2
This is exactly the way in which creeds are justified by
those who have written them. In the preface to his
“Confession,” for example, John Knox says, “For we are most
certainly persuaded that whosoever denies Christ Jesus, or
is ashamed of Him, in the presence of men, shall be denied
before the Father, and before His holy angels.”3
It is really impossible to be without creeds. Every believer
believes something about what the Word of God teaches.
Insofar as that faith is precious to him, he confesses it.
He really cannot do otherwise, if he loves Christ and loves
the Word. Everyone and every church has a creed whether it
is written down or not. Even in those churches that reject
creeds, there is a creed which has there as much force and
authority as the written creeds do in churches that have
Likewise, those who use the slogan, “No creed but Christ,”
will very quickly be found to have quite an extensive
“creed” or belief, not only about Christ. Ask them, for
example, which Christ they confess—the Christ of the
liberals who is only an example to believers and who did not
shed His blood for their sins, the Christ of the Mormons or
of the Jews or of the Romish church. Thankfully, you will
find that their creeds includes a great deal of sound
biblical teaching about Christ and His work.
You also find that their creed, their belief, includes much
more than a confession of Christ. Though they have no
written creeds and say “No creed but Christ,” they do not
really hold to what they say. Try, for example, to teach the
biblical doctrines of election or of limited atonement in
many such churches. You will be politely but firmly told,
“We do not believe that here,” that is, “It is not part of
our creed.” Or, ask to have an infant baptized in most such
churches, and you will be shown the door. “We do not
believe,” you will hear as you leave, “in infant baptism.”
(to be continued)
1 Dorothy Sayers, Christian Letters to a
Post-Christian World (Eerdmans, 1969), pp. 31-45.
2 Cf. John Hooper, Biblical Church Unity (K & M
3 John Knox, The History of the Reformation in Scotland
(Fleming H. Revell, 1905), p. 342.