Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 11 September, 2011
"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
The Word and His Own [download]
Scripture Reading: John 1:1-18
Meaning of His Own
The Rejection by His Own
Psalms: 100:1-5; 106:32-39; 48:1-2, 11-14; 87:1-7
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
The Word and His Children [download]
Scripture Reading: John 8:28-59
Right to Be His Children
Our Birth as His Children
Psalms: 147:1-8; 106:40-48; 103:8-15; 87:1-7
CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services, contact
desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
We welcome Marco Barone to our
worship services today. Marco will be with us until the 27 September.
Rev. Stewart’s bimonthly letter to
the PRC is on the back table.
Catechism begins tomorrow: 6 PM - O.T.
Beginners (Alex & Nathan) 6:45 PM - O.T. Juniors (Jacob & Joseph)
Our Tuesday morning Bible study
meets this week at 11 AM. We will be studying the Antichrist in the book
of Revelation. All are welcome.
Tuesday at 7 PM - Heidelberg Catechism
(Timothy, Zoe, Amy & Lea). This class will normally meet at 7:30 PM on
Belgic Confession Class starts this
Wednesday at 7:45 PM. We will look at Belgic Confession 12 on
creation. All are welcome. CDs of the Belgic Confession Class
introduction from last year are free on the back table.
The men’s meeting will be held this
Saturday, 17 September, at 8 PM at the Kennedy’s to study Daniel 6.
The Council heard the confession of faith
of Anga Dyck on 1 September. We rejoice in our sister’s good confession.
Unless any lawful objections are made, Anga’s public confession of
faith will take place next Lord’s Day, 18 September.
At the congregational meeting, Ivan Reid
was approved as elder, William Graham was elected for a 3-year term as
deacon and Philip Hall was elected for a 2-year term as deacon. Unless
there are any lawful objections, the installation/ordination of
these office-bearers will be held next Lord’s Day, 18 September
Go-karting is being organized for
Thursday evening, 22 September. A sign-up sheet will be on the back
table. Contact William Graham with any questions.
A second CPRC/LRF "overnighter" is
planned for Friday and Saturday, 23- 24 September. The venue is the Foy
Centre, Carlingford, Co. Louth on the Cooley Peninsula, just south of
the border. So far, twenty people have signed up, and more are welcome.
A sign-up sheet is on the back table.
Due to the "overnighter," Rev. Stewart and
Rev. McGeown will exchange pulpits on 25 September. Rev. McGeown
will do a preparatory service that evening with a view to having the
Lord’s Supper on 2 October.
Offerings: General Fund: £394.92,
Building Fund: £494.96. Donations: £24.30 (DVDs), £200 (DVDs).
Upcoming Lecture: S. Wales, Thursday, 6
October on "The Unchangeable God"
PRC News: Rev. A. Lanning (Faith, MI) received the call to Hope
PRC. Candidate Mahtani received calls from Edgerton PRC and Cornerstone
PRC. Pastor-elect Huizinga successfully sustained his examination by
Classis West this past week and will be ordained in Redlands,
California, next Lord’s Day. Pastor-elect Decker will be examined by
Classis East this week. Mr. Vernon Ibe has been licensed by the seminary
to give a word of edification.
The Divine Record-Book
Prof. David J. Engelsma
(an excerpt from an article in The
Standard Bearer, vol. 75, issue 20)
Then they that feared the Lord spake often
one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of
remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and
that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of
hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a
man spareth his own son that serveth him (Malachi 3:16-17).
... Always the names of men and women are
put into record-books for certain outstanding acts that they have done,
for memorable feats. Similarly, the Lord puts in His record-book the
names of those who are distinguished for a certain act: "(they) spake
often one to another." This seems not to be any glorious, noteworthy
thing, worthy of a record-book, or everlasting remembrance. It is no
glorious earthly deed: winning a war; conquering a dreaded disease;
writing a classic book; or even getting the most base hits. Nor, for
that matter, does it seem to be any glorious spiritual achievement. They
did not reform the church, or expose some heresy, or sacrifice
themselves as missionaries, or lose their lives as martyrs.
This is important, for if it takes some
heroic act to be written in this book most of us will never be included.
Their deed was just this, that they spoke
one to another. They came together and talked with each other.
Obviously, what they spoke is the reason
why the Lord records their names in His book. The content of their
speech, although not stated, is clearly implied in the descriptions of
them: "they that feared the Lord"; "that thought upon his name." They
spoke about the Lord whom they feared. They spoke about God as their
Father, whom they loved, and all His fatherly care for and salvation of
them, e.g., the redemption from Egypt. They spoke about God as their
sovereign, whom they reverenced, and all His wonderful acts of power on
their behalf, e.g., the deliverance from Babylon.
The subject of their conversation,
inevitably, was that upon which they were always thinking: the name of
God. This was the revelation of God to them in the prophetic Word and,
in the light of the prophetic Word, in creation and history. Centrally,
it was the revelation of God as the faithful covenant God of His chosen
people in the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ, as proclaimed in His
proper name, Jehovah (translated Lord in the KJV). In one word, they
Their speaking was not a confession to the
heathen. Nor was it the evangelism of the straying. It was simply the
people of God talking to each other of that which lived in their heart
and filled their mind.
This goes in the divine record-book: that
men and women speak to each other about the Lord and His truth. This act
and these people, God will remember.
The book is figurative, of course, for
God’s remembering such with favour for a worthy deed.
Still today, God is recording in His book
our speaking with each other of His name. We do this in our gatherings
for public worship. Not only does God speak to us of His name in the
preaching, but we also speak with each other of His name in our singing
of the Psalms and in our confession of the faith (Col. 3:16). Twice
every Lord’s Day! Like the saints of Malachi’s time, we speak with each
other "often." Daily, we speak with each other in our covenant homes,
reading and discussing Holy Scripture, praying, singing. We do this in
our visiting on a Sunday evening. When we get together and speak, not
about politics and work, not about sports, not about all the faults of
the brothers and sisters in the congregation but about God and His
truth, God puts it in the book. We are doing this in our Protestant
Reformed Christian Schools. What goes on there, often, but this, that
one—the teacher—speaks on our behalf with the others—the covenant
children—of God’s name?
We have the opportunity to do this in our
societies and classes for Bible-study that now begin another season.
These are worthwhile aspects of our church-life. There is the
fellowship, which is also suggested in the text. There is the learning
of the name of God. There is also the speaking with companions about
God’s truth. We have our reasons for not attending: we are busy; we get
nothing out of it; we dislike the leader. A reason for attending
remains: speaking to each other about the Lord our God.
This is worthwhile!
Speaking the truth of God with each other
is a worthy activity!
Only rare, weighty, significant deeds are
noted in a book of records. Even earthly record-books do not record the
ordinary, the commonplace, the insignificant. Jehovah God certainly
keeps only the memorable in His book. He remembers in this way only that
which is worth remembering. Our speaking about Him is worth remembering.
The remarkable character of this speaking
is indicated when the prophet says that Jehovah "hearkened and heard."
He paid attention to it. He listened. Something was going on in Judah
that was worthy of God, that pleased Him greatly. God does not so
hearken to the bombast in Washington, DC; to the international
conferences at Geneva; to the fanatical roaring in Wrigley Field or the
United Center; or to the religious talk in the Vatican. But He pays
attention to the discussion of sound doctrine by Reformed men, women,
young people, and children in their meetings for Bible study. He notices
the meeting, listens to the conversation, and puts names in the book.
For this speaking is rare.
How much is it done? How much is it done in
the professing church? How much is the Lord God the subject of our talk?
How much speaking about the truth is there today?
It was a rare thing in the Judah of
Malachi’s day. The book of Malachi is a rebuke of Judah for forgetting
the Lord and despising His name. Judah—the Old Testament church!—forgot
the name of God in their public worship, in the official teaching by the
priests, in their marriages, and in their giving. The result was that
most spoke against the Lord, as verse 13 charges: "Your words have been
stout against me, saith the Lord." In the midst of that apostasy, a
remnant—a very few—spoke with each other about God’s precious name.
Speaking to each other the truth about God
is rare today. It is rare in the nominally Christian churches. In
perfect harmony with the fact that much preaching is either blasphemy
(lies about God) or entertainment of the people, the singing at church
either echoes the blasphemy or celebrates the people. The hideous din of
the television set accompanies the family meal, rather than the reading
of the Bible. When the members get together, it is for games and
physical exercises, not for study of the Word.
Speaking to each other about God is also a
weighty activity. It is not light, frivolous, and empty, like making
money, sports, politics, winning wars, and establishing empires. This
speaking concerns the name of God. That’s heavy! That’s glorious for a
human! That’s the reason for the creation of the world! ...