Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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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  [download]  [youtube]
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  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 5
Text: Hebrews 5:8-9

I. What?
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, contact Stephen Murray
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart or the elders

CPRC Website: • Live Webcast:
CPRC YouTube:
CPRC Facebook:

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 will cater.

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 value.

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 confess.

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 having them.

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 them.

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 Books, 1998).
3 John Knox, The History of the Reformation in Scotland (Fleming H. Revell, 1905), p. 342.