Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 28 October, 2012

"Those that be planted in the house of the Lord
shall flourish in the courts of our God" (Ps. 92:13)

Morning Service - 11:00 AM

Sanctifying God’s Name   [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Philippians 1
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 47

I. The Meaning
II. The Prayer
III. The Reasons
Psalms: 96:8-13; 12:1-8; 149:1-6; 66:1-7

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

Christ Cleansing the Temple   [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: John 2
Text: John 2:13-22

I. His Zealous Actions
II. His Profound Defence
Psalms: 122:1-9; 13:1-6; 69:4-9; 16:6-11

For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services, contact Stephen Murray
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart

CPRC website:
CPRC YouTube:
CPRC Facebook:

Quote to Consider

Herman Hoeksema on Lord’s Day 47: "It means, first of all, that we are taught to beseech our Father in heaven that He will so govern all things, the affairs of the whole world,—social, economic, political, national, and international,—the affairs of the church in the world, and all things that concern us personally, and our whole life in the world, in such a way that, first of all and above all, His name may receive all the glory and praise. For the passive form of the petition, ‘Hallowed be thy name,’ implies undoubtedly that the Most High, that our Father in heaven will glorify His own name through us and through all things. And this is very significant. It means the we approach God with the prayer on our lips, ‘Father, glorify Thy name regardless of what becomes of us, even though this should require that we be led in the ways of suffering and death. Glorify thy name, O Father, no matter what becomes of our name’ ... That is why this petition stands at the head of the whole series of requests. The glory of God is first. The petition means that it is also first in our hearts and minds. We seek it above all. In this petition we profess that we are not chiefly and first of all concerned about the question of what becomes of us and our earthly existence and life ... It means that we earnestly implore our Father in heaven so to reveal Himself in all things in the world, particularly too in all things that concern us and our present life in the world, that His name may be hallowed, whether it be in health or in sickness, in life or in death, in joy or in sorrow, in prosperity or in adversity, in peace or in war" (Triple Knowledge, vol. 3, pp. 507-508).

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

A letter from Heritage PRC in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is on the back table.

Monday Catechism: 6 PM - O.T. Beginners (Bradley, Alex & Kirstin) 6:45 PM - N.T. Juniors (Nathan, Jacob & Joseph) 7:30 PM - Heidelberg (Timothy & Jackie)

The Tuesday morning Bible study will be held this week at 11 AM. We will look at life in the heavenly millennium.

The Belgic Confession Class will meet this Wednesday, at 7:45 PM, to discuss supra- and infralapsarianism in connection with God’s eternal decree.

Men’s Bible Study will meet this Saturday, 3 November, at the Kennedys at 8pm on the "Discipline of Prayer."

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) will be "Endeavouring to Keep the Unity" (Ephesians 4:1-3).

The Ladies Discussion Group’s next meeting will be Friday, 9 November.

Offerings: General Fund - £573.09. Donations: £20 (pamphlets).

Website Additions: 1 Hungarian translation and 1 Afrikaans translation.

PRC News: Rev. Bruinsma declined the call to Hope PRC. Rev. Marcus declined the call to Randolph PRC. Faith PRC called Rev. Eriks (Hudsonville, MI).

John Calvin on John 2:12-17:

To obtain a general view of the passage, it will be necessary briefly to examine the details in their order. That oxen, and sheep, and doves, were exposed to sale in the temple, and that money-changers were sitting there, was not without a plausible excuse. For they might allege that the merchandise transacted there was not irreligious, but, on the contrary, related to the sacred worship of God, that every person might obtain, without difficulty, what he might offer to the Lord; and, certainly, it was exceedingly convenient for godly persons to find oblations of any sort laid ready to their hand, and in this way to be freed from the trouble of running about in various directions to obtain them. We are apt to wonder, therefore, why Christ was so highly displeased with it. But there are two reasons which deserve our attention. First, as the Priests abused this merchandise for their own gain and avarice, such a mockery of God could not be endured. Secondly, whatever excuse men may plead, as soon as they depart, however slightly, from the command of God, they deserve reproof and need correction. And this is the chief reason why Christ undertook to purify the temple; for he distinctly states that the temple of God is not a place of merchandise

But it may be asked, Why did he not rather begin with doctrine? For it seems to be a disorderly and improper method to apply the hand for correcting faults, before the remedy of doctrine has been applied. But Christ had a different object in view: for the time being now at hand when he would publicly discharge the office assigned to him by the Father, he wished in some way to take possession of the temple, and to give a proof of his divine authority. And that all might be attentive to his doctrine, it was necessary that something new and strange should be done to awaken their sluggish and drowsy minds. Now, the temple was a sanctuary of heavenly doctrine and of true religion. Since he wished to restore purity of doctrine, it was of great importance that he should prove himself to be the Lord of the temple. Besides, there was no other way in which he could bring back sacrifices and the other exercises of religion to their spiritual design than by removing the abuse of them. What he did at that time was, therefore, a sort of preface to that reformation which the Father had sent him to accomplish. In a word, it was proper that the Jews should be aroused by this example to expect from Christ something that was unusual and out of the ordinary course; and it was also necessary to remind them that the worship of God had been corrupted and perverted, that they might not object to the reformation of those abuses ...

... Christ went up at that time, in order to celebrate the passover at Jerusalem. There were two reasons why he did so; for since the Son of God became subject to the Law on our account, he intended, by observing with exactness all the precepts of the Law, to present in his own person a pattern of entire subjection and obedience. Again, as he could do more good, when there was a multitude of people, he almost always availed himself of such an occasion. Whenever, therefore, we shall afterwards find it said that Christ came to Jerusalem at the feast, let the reader observe that he did so, first, that along with others he might observe the exercises of religion which God had appointed, and, next, that he might publish his doctrine amidst a larger concourse of people.

... At the second time that he drove the traders out of the Temple, the Evangelists relate that he used sharper and more severe language; for he said, that they had made the Temple of God a den of robbers (Matthew 21:13) and this was proper to be done, when a milder chastisement was of no avail. At present, he merely warns them not to profane the Temple of God by applying it to improper uses. The Temple was called the house of God; because it was the will of God that there He should be peculiarly invoked; because there He displayed his power; because, finally, he had set it apart to spiritual and holy services.

"My Father’s house." Christ declares himself to be the Son of God, in order to show that he has a right and authority to cleanse the Temple. As Christ here assigns a reason for what he did, if we wish to derive any advantage from it, we must attend chiefly to this sentence. Why, then, does he drive the buyers and sellers out of the Temple? It is that he may bring back to its original purity the worship of God, which had been corrupted by the wickedness of men, and in this way may restore and maintain the holiness of the Temple. Now that temple, we know, was erected, that it might be a shadow of those things the lively image of which is to be found in Christ. That it might continue to be devoted to God, it was necessary that it should be applied exclusively to spiritual purposes. For this reason he pronounces it to be unlawful that it should be converted into a market-place; for he founds his statement on the command of God, which we ought always to observe. Whatever deceptions Satan may employ, let us know that any departure—however small—from the command of God is wicked. It was a plausible and imposing disguise, that; the worship of God was aided and promoted, when the sacrifices which were to be offered by believers were laid ready to their hand; but as God had appropriated his Temple to different purposes, Christ disregards the objections that might be offered against the order which God had appointed.

The same arguments do not apply, in the present day, to our buildings for public worship; but what is said about the ancient Temple applies properly and strictly to the Church, for it is the heavenly sanctuary of God on earth. We ought always, therefore, to keep before our eyes the majesty of God, which dwells in the Church, that it may not be defiled by any pollutions; and the only way in which its holiness can remain unimpaired is, that nothing shall be admitted into it that is at variance with the word of God.

... Accordingly, the Evangelist says, that this was one of the marks by which the disciples knew that it was Jesus who protected and restored the kingdom of God. Now observe that they followed the guidance of Scripture, in order to form such an opinion concerning Christ as they ought to entertain; and, indeed, no man will ever learn what Christ is, or the object of what he did and suffered, unless he has been taught and guided by Scripture. So far, then, as each of us shall desire to make progress in the knowledge of Christ, it will be necessary that Scripture shall be the subject of our diligent and constant meditation. Nor is it without a good reason that David mentions the house of God, when the divine glory is concerned; for though God is sufficient for himself, and needs not the services of any, yet he wishes that his glory should be displayed in the Church. In this way he gives a remarkable proof of his love towards us, because he unites his glory—as it were, by an indissoluble link—with our salvation.