Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 7 September, 2014

“But our God is in the heavens: he hath done
whatsoever he hath pleased” (Psalm 115:3)

Morning Service - 11:00 AM - Rev. M. McGeown

Counting Jehovah’s Enemies as Mine  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:1-16, 38-48
Text: Psalm 139:19-22

I. Who They Are
II. My Attitude Toward Them
III. My Reason for This
Psalms: 5:1-8; 78:36-41; 59:5-11; 139:1-6, 21-24

Evening Service - 6:00 PM - Rev. M. McGeown

Seeking First God’s Kingdom  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:19-34
Text: Matthew 6:33

I. The Kingdom Which We Seek
II. Our Diligent Seeking of It
III. The Promise to Such Seekers
Psalms: 148:7-14; 78:42-48; 63:1-8; 27:4-8

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

C. H. Spurgeon: “Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? He was a good hater, for he hated only those who hated good. Of this hatred he is not ashamed, but he sets it forth as a virtue to which he would have the Lord bear testimony. To love all men with benevolence is our duty; but to love any wicked man with complacency would be a crime. To hate a man for his own sake, or for any evil done to us, would be wrong; but to hate a man, because he is the foe of all goodness and the enemy of all righteousness, is nothing more nor less than an obligation. The more we love God, the more indignant shall we grow with those who refuse Him their affection. If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ let him be Anathema Maranatha” (The Treasury of David, vol. 3, p. 265).

James Montgomery Boice: “We say, ‘Hate the sin, but love the sinner!’ It is nice advice, but it is also hard to do since love of the sinner, if we are not extremely careful, leads first to a love of the sinner’s sinful ways and then to a participation in them. David was not at all sure that he could successfully love one and hate the other. So his decision was to separate from evil persons entirely. This separation does not mean that David never had anything to do with sinful people; he himself was one. It only means that he did not want to be with those who were openly marked by evil” (Expositional Commentary on the Psalms, vol. 3, p. 1211).

John Calvin: “This is another argument for restraining excessive anxiety about food. It argues a gross and indolent neglect of the soul and of the heavenly life. Christ reminds us that there is the greatest inconsistency in men, who are born to a better life, being wholly employed about earthly objects. He who assigns the first rank to the kingdom of God will not carry beyond moderation his anxiety about food. Nothing is better adapted to restrain the wantonness of the flesh from breaking out in the course of this present life than meditation on the life of the heavens” (Comm. on Matt. 6:33).

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

We welcome Rev. McGeown who will be preaching for the CPRC today. Rev. Stewart is leading the worship services in the LRF.

Last Sunday evening, Ivan Reid was approved to serve another term as elder and Julian Kennedy was elected to a 3-year term as deacon. The installation/ordination service for these men is planned for next Lord’s Day evening.

Monday Catechism:
Taylor, Josh, Corey, Bradley & Samuel (Beginners OT, book 1) - 5:30PM
Alex, Nathan, Jacob & Joseph (Seniors NT) - 6:15PM
Timothy & Chris (Essentials of Reformed Doctrine, Lesson 13) - 7:00PM

The Tuesday Bible study meets at 11 AM to study further the development of the kingdom of God.

The Belgic Confession Class held this Wednesday at 7:45 PM, will study the relationship between sanctification and justification in connection with Article 24.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) is entitled “A Sinful Response to Sovereign Mercy” (Jonah 4:1-5).

The council will meet on Thursday, 25 September at 7:30 PM.

Offerings: General Fund - £775.90.

Wisdom’s Ways

Brian D. Dykstra


Proverbs 3:16–18: “Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.”

The preceding verses told us of the happiness of the man who finds wisdom and understanding. The joy of possessing wisdom is because of its great value. It is more profitable than gold, more precious than rubies and, of all things which can be desired, nothing can be compared to wisdom. In these verses we learn why wisdom gives happiness and why it is so valuable.

When we meet wisdom, she has something in each of her hands. There are times when this can be bad news. When Ehud greeted Eglon, he too had both hands full. He had a gift for the king in one hand, while in the other he held a dagger. We are suspicious sometimes of those who have a gift in one hand. Perhaps we are concerned that this person just wants to flatter us to get something they want in return. Those with gifts do not always have our best interests in mind.

Wisdom has our benefit in mind. In her right hand, she holds length of days. When we follow the ways of wisdom, it can lead to long life. Foolishness leads to the excesses of the sinful things which this world has to offer. How often don’t the ways of indulgence, in its various forms, lead to sickness and an untimely death? Walking in wisdom preserves us from the physically damaging ways of sin. We understand, of course, that living a godly life does not guarantee a long life. Solomon witnessed this himself and wrote in Ecclesiastes 7:15, “All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.”

The real keeping of the promise of the length of days is the everlasting life God’s elect will enjoy in heaven. Wisdom shows the way to God’s heavenly kingdom. It is the way of obedience to God’s good law. Wisdom shows we are not able to save ourselves. We do not earn our way into heaven by good works. We do not help God deliver us by accepting His kind offer of salvation. By the wisdom of God’s Word, we realize we will have length of days only because of the cross of Christ.

In her left hand, wisdom holds riches and honour. The believer’s goal in life is not to acquire as much of the world’s goods as possible. We do not seek wisdom because of some future payoff. We do, however, look to God to provide us with what we need for daily living. Using the direction of the wisdom of God’s Word, we will be careful stewards of what God puts in our hands and we will not waste what we have in an attempt to get more.

Wisdom does not hold in her hand the honour which the world has for its celebrities. Nor is this the honour given to the rich or political elite. This is the honour which has some weight or heaviness to it. This is not the honour of the world which can be so vain and empty. Great attention is given to the beautiful and handsome of Hollywood. What happens when such beauty fades and the plastic surgery doesn’t quite meet expectations? This is the honour which is given to those who have spiritual substance. Godly wisdom is not limited to the grey-headed. We all have people in our lives whom we honour because of the wise counsel they give.

In verse seventeen, we read of wisdom’s ways and paths. These paths, which are well worn, are not ways which appeal to our carnal nature. We find God’s ways too restrictive. The old man of sin feels hemmed in and denied of what would make life exciting. To our flesh, religion seems to prevent the enjoyment of life. Religion results in long faces and no hours of pleasure. God is nothing more than the speaker of loud “Thou shalt nots!”

The ways of wisdom are pleasant, spiritually pleasant. We know the pleasure of God’s covenant fellowship. We have Him to comfort us and assure us that He will work all things for our good. In the time we spend alone, we are not plagued in conscience nor fearful of what will become of us. In the quiet of the night, we are assured of the forgiveness of sins and of God’s dealing with us as His children, even in our loneliness and affliction.

Wisdom is a tree of life. Now our thoughts go back to Paradise. The tree of life would sustain man and preserve his physical life and strength. However, because of our fall, the way to the tree of life is barred. The way to true everlasting life, as pictured in the tree of life, is once again opened in the way of the cross. We must lay hold on wisdom is a way which will not allow her to get away.

Those who retain wisdom are happy. We are to keep wisdom in our possession and not allow her to go elsewhere. There are companies which place lawyers on retainer so their services are available to them should some type of legal trouble arise. These companies want to make sure skilled lawyers are available to them, so they pay them a sum of money each year just in case they are needed. They don’t want these lawyers to be unavailable if an emergency arises. We should value wisdom in a similar way. The company hopes a legal situation does not arise. Would there be a time in our lives when we do not have a need for wisdom?

May God be pleased to give us this wisdom which will give us riches both in this life and as we look forward to the life to come.