Protestant Reformed Fellowship
Lord’s Day, 7
"I was glad when they said unto me, Let
us go into the house of the Lord"
Morning Service - 11:00 AM
The Calling of Elders
Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 31, Titus 1:9f.
I. Hold Fast!
Psalms: 111:1-2, 7-10; 78:42-48; 119:33-40; 112:1-4
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
The New Birth (2)
The Agent of the New Birth
I. The False Views
II. The True Views
III. The Vital Implications
Psalms: 146:1-7; 78:49-54; 51:6-12; 92:1-6
Quote to Consider:
John Calvin on Titus 1:9: "Holding fast the faithful word.
This is the chief gift in a bishop [or elder] ... a bishop [or
elder] should hold it fast, so as not only to be well instructed in
it, but to be constant in maintaining it. There are some fickle
persons who easily suffer themselves to be carried away to various
kinds of doctrine; while others are cast down by fear, or moved by
any occurrence to forsake the defence of the truth. Paul therefore
enjoins that those persons shall be chosen who, having cordially
embraced the truth of God, and holding it firmly, never allow it to
be wrested from them, or can be torn from it. And, indeed, nothing
is more dangerous than that fickleness of which I have spoken, when
a pastor [or elder] does not stedfastly adhere to that doctrine of
which he ought to be the unshaken defender. In short, in a pastor
[or elder] there is demanded not only learning, but such zeal for
pure doctrine as never to depart from it."
Catechism and Bible Study start this week (DV).
Catechism begins with Essentials Lesson 16A on Monday, 7:30 PM, at
the Crossetts. Bible Study will be at the manse on Wednesday at 8
PM. We will study Eschatology & Time.
To coincide with the beginning of catechism, there are copies of a
Standard Bearer article, "Feed My Lambs—Command to Catechize,"
by Prof. Engelsma on the back table. Everyone is encouraged to pick
5-a-side football is planned for this Friday, at Antrim Forum,
The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day, 14 September,
(8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846AM/MW) is "Holy Scripture #6—It’s
Clarity" (Deut. 30:11-14).
Friday, 26 September, 8 PM, Ballymena Protestant Hall: "Why Did God
Create the World?"—A Tercentenary Appreciation of Jonathan Edwards"
Thursday, 30 October, 8 PM, Omagh Community House: "Does God Desire
to Save the Reprobate?—Calvin Versus Pighius"
Friday, 31 October, 8 PM, Ballymena Protestant Hall: "Does God
Desire to Save the Reprobate?—Calvin Versus Pighius"
Prof. & Mrs. Hanko plan to be in N. Ireland from Saturday, 29
November to Monday, 15 December. More details later.
Last Week’s Offerings: £664.40.
PRC News: Faith PRC called Rev. Cammenga (Southwest). Classis
East meets this Wednesday. Classis will examine Bill Langerak who
has accepted the call to Southeast PRC. In harmony with the decision
of Synod 2002 regarding confession of faith on the mission field,
the consistory of Southwest PRC has approved the confessions of
faith of 10 individuals of the Pittsburgh Mission. Barring lawful
objections, the public confessions of faith will take place 21
September. We rejoice in the fruit of the mission labors in
Pittsburgh as is evidenced in the confessions of these brothers and
calling of elders regarding false teachers and false teaching:
"If the wolves of whom Paul speaks really looked like wolves there
would be little trouble in spotting them. The threat of theological
wolves lies in their appearing in sheep’s attire. Just as the Devil
may either play dead (though he never is!) or don the garb of ‘an
angel of light’ (II Cor. 11:14).
Therefore, the Apostle admonishes elders to be always on guard
against enemies of the Church, from without and especially those
from within ...
Never lose sight of one fundamental principle: error is overcome
only by truth. What the true Church stands for remains her strongest
bulwark against doctrinal deviation. Keep before yourselves as
elders, and before the congregation through sound preaching and
instruction, the fundamentals summarized in your creeds and
confessions. These are the foundation stones of a strong and healthy
congregation, and the touchstones of departure from orthodoxy.
Examine "new" doctrines, and different emphases, in the light of
your doctrinal standards—and the wolves will not escape detection
for very long. The Church falls prey to heresy only after she has
first dulled her sensitivity to the truth of her confessions. A
creed or confession gathering dust on the shelf, or glass-enclosed
in the Church’s trophy case, threatens no wolves. You must be
determined and persistent in creating a high degree of doctrinal
awareness in your congregation. This will ever be the strongest
antidote against infection by theological error.
Wolves invade the Church, or arise within her, on two fronts: in
doctrine and in life. What is believed may be corrupted, or what is
done may be perverted. Against both—and they are intimately
related—the eldership must be on guard ...
The error that concerns Paul most of all in his two letters to
Timothy is speculation and idle disputation. These are carried on,
of course, under the guise of ‘understanding’ the truth. They may be
detected for the wolves they are by contrast with the very practical
character of Biblical truth. The Bible is not given to fuel gossip,
inspire speculation, or stimulate talk ...
Be alert, then to the dangers inherent in talk which only issues in
more talk. Suspect theological ideas which are simply entertained as
interesting possibilities ... All these fall under Paul’s
condemnation of ‘forever learning and never coming to a knowledge of
the truth’ (II Tim. 3:7), that is talk which never issues in
obedient behavior. Worst of all, speculation presumes itself to be
high service of God and the Church. Discourage it.
It is, moreover, of the nature of speculation never to reach
certainty. It thus always impedes action for God in the world. One
problem seemingly resolved opens upon two or more problems yet to be
tackled, a fact which shows God’s own abhorrence of the idle
speculation which Paul condemns—and so must you!"
(Berghof & DeKoster, The Elders Handbook, A Practical Guide for
Church Leaders, pp. 241-243)