Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Bookmark and Share

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 29 October, 2017

“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 - Prof. Engelsma

The Choice of the Young Man Moses  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Exodus 2
Text: Hebrews 11:24-26

I. What It Was
II. How Possible
III. With What Incentive
Psalms: 144:11-15; 119:9-16; 102:12-17; 17:7-9, 13-15

Evening Service - 6:00 PM - Prof. Engelsma

Created Unto Good Works  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 2
Text: Ephesians 2:10

I. Our Creation
II. The Purpose in Good Works
III. Our Walk in Good Works
Psalms: 48:1-2, 10-14; 116:9-19; 139:13-17; 100:1-5

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

John Calvin on Ephesians 2:10:For we are his work. By setting aside the contrary supposition, he proves his statement, that by grace we are saved, — that we have no remaining works by which we can merit salvation; for all the good works which we possess are the fruit of regeneration. Hence it follows, that works themselves are a part of grace. When he says, that ‘we are the work of God,’ this does not refer to ordinary creation, by which we are made men. We are declared to be new creatures, because, not by our own power, but by the Spirit of Christ, we have been formed to righteousness. This applies to none but believers. As the descendants of Adam, they were wicked and depraved; but by the grace of Christ, they are spiritually renewed, and become new men. Everything in us, therefore, that is good, is the supernatural gift of God. The context explains his meaning. We are his work, because we have been created, — not in Adam, but in Christ Jesus, — not to every kind of life, but to good works. What remains now for free-will, if all the good works which proceed from us are acknowledged to have been the gifts of the Spirit of God?”

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

Prof. Engelsma will be preaching for us today and next Lord’s Day, while our pastor preaches for the Limerick Reformed Fellowship.

Monday catechism classes:
5:45 PM - Corey & Katelyn (Beginners OT, Book 1)
6:30 PM - Taylor, Josh, Bradley & Samuel (Juniors NT)
7:15 PM - Jacob, Alex & Nathan (Heidelberg Catechism, Book 1)

Tuesday Bible Study meets this week at 11 AM to study the Passover before and during the monarchy.

Belgic Confession Class will not meet this week due to the lecture on Friday. We will resume our study of article 33 on next week, 8 November.

CPRC Reformation speech by Prof. Engelsma:
Friday, 3 November, 7:30 PM - “Calvin’s Doctrine of the Covenant”

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846 MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. Bruinsma is “Abounding in Love (Part 1)” (I Thess. 3:11-13).

We will have tea after the evening service next Lord's Day when we say farewell to the Engelsmas.

Rev. McGeown is in the US to speak at Reformation conferences there and will be returning on Thursday, 9 November. He will preach for the CPRC on 12 November. Rev. Stewart will be preaching in the LRF on 5 & 12 November.

Offerings: General Fund: £835. Donation: £300.

Translations: 2 Hungarian.

PRC News: Rev. Andy Lanning (CERC, Singapore) accepted the call to Byron Center PRC. Candidate Regnerus accepted the call to Lynden PRC, declining the call the Southwest PRC. Southwest’s new trio is Cand. Noorman, Rev. J. Engelsma and Rev. W. Langerak.

Empty Desks

Brian D. Dykstra


“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thess. 5:16-18).

Many years ago when I was a member of Hope Church, our pastor, Rev. VanOverloop, preached a series of sermons from I Thessalonians. I do not remember how long this series of sermons lasted, but I did look forward to the series being finished. This was not because I found the sermons to be dull or to have little bearing on life. It was the impatience of youth. Even though one’s situation is pleasant and interesting, when one is young, nothing is more interesting than what might be around the next corner.

During the preaching of this series, we read from I Thessalonians quite often. I distinctly remember sitting in the pew, noticing how short some of the concluding verses of Paul’s letter were and thinking, “Well, he will certainly be able to finish this series in a hurry because he could lump a bunch of these short verses together for a couple of sermons.” I was already anticipating what would be next.

I recall realizing how much I had to learn when each of the verses quoted above was the text of a sermon. How could that be? There were only two or three words to work with! What could Rev. VanOverloop do with that? Would he give each word its own individual point in the sermon? Many years have passed, yet the sermon on the verse, “Pray without ceasing,” is still clear in my memory and, during the hardships of life, I consider these three words often.

We have experienced hardships recently at Hope School. Two have been obvious. It has been more than three weeks since Kevin Schipper’s fall and hospitalization. Mr. Kalsbeek also has been hospitalized during this same time. Their desks have been empty now for more than three weeks.

The early Christians in Thessalonica faced hardships too. They were new Christians. They discovered that the Christian life was not easy. Many could not receive instruction, encouragement or guidance from parents and grandparents who had gained much wisdom through experience with life’s spiritual struggles. The Thessalonians also had their doubts about the resurrection of the dead and the return of Christ. Paul was concerned.

Through Paul, God admonished His people to rejoice evermore. Life’s hardships can make this nearly impossible. Our physical strength diminishes. Our beauty quickly fades. Our mental faculties are no longer so acute. In spite of life’s tribulations, however, we will always have the blessings which are ours in Christ. The forgiveness of sins, the promise of the resurrection and everlasting life with God as members of Christ’s perfect, unified body are reasons why we can always rejoice.

Being mindful of the reasons we have to rejoice, we are directed to pray without ceasing. Even in our most difficult days, we still have cause to give thanks and ask for God’s continued blessing. Praying without ceasing does not mean we must be continuously on our knees with folded hands and closed eyes. Rather, we are to live in such a way that nothing will hinder our formal prayers. Prayers can be offered while walking down a school hallway and carrying a handful of papers. When I pass Mr. Kalsbeek’s room and he is not there to “pester” me and I cannot “give him a hard time,” a silent prayer for his recovery and return is made. When Kevin’s empty desk is seen in the classroom, a prayer for God’s grace and patience for Kevin’s continuing recovery is made, even if it appears that all I am doing is passing out new assignments to the 5th graders.

Living a life of prayer makes it possible for us to give thanks in everything. All that happens is our heavenly Father’s will for us and all His Church. God does not command us to understand or figure out how everything is for our good but Jehovah does command us to trust Him. We must humbly and obediently take Him for His word. We are admonished to give thanks “in” everything, not “for” everything. Though we are not thankful for injury or illness in themselves, by God’s grace we do find we are able to express gratitude to God even while He brings such distresses to the members of Christ’s body.

We have all learned from the experiences of the past three weeks. Although I have acquired more knowledge about modern medicine and various forms of therapy, the most worthwhile lessons have been spiritual ones. We must wait patiently as God unfolds His will to us. We rejoice in the testimony of those closely touched by these events of the greatness of God’s gift of salvation and the comfort of His fatherly providence. During visits we sometimes find ourselves wondering who is encouraging whom. Our children have learned the importance of bringing the needs of other members of Christ’s body to God in prayer.

Finally, Rev. VanOverloop wrote a Meditation, “Patient in Tribulation,” for the 15 March, 2006 Standard Bearer. His text, Romans 12:12, “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer” has many parallels with I Thessalonians 5:16-18. It is not a coincidence that an article such as this appears for our edification during this time of need. Make sure you read it. When I read it, in a way I felt as though I were young once more and sitting in a pew in Hope Church.