Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 18 September, 2016
“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
The Life of Jacob (7)
Jacob’s Dream at Bethel
Scripture Reading: Genesis 28:10-22
Text: Genesis 28:10-15
I. What Jacob Heard
II. What Jacob Saw
Psalms: 66:1-7; 9:15-20; 4:3-8; 84:4-11
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
God’s Just Mercy
Scripture Reading: Romans 3:9-28
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 4
I. Mercy Without Justice
II. Justice Without Mercy
III. Mercy With Justice
Psalms: 36:5-11; 10:1-6; 99:1-7; 85:5-13
For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services,
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart
or the elders
CPRC Website: www.cprc.co.uk • Live Webcast:
CPRC YouTube: www.youtube.com/cprcni
CPRC Facebook: www.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
Quote to Consider
Homer C. Hoeksema: “[Jacob] had indeed sought the blessing
of God’s covenant, and that was good and praiseworthy.
Although the blessing was his by God’s promise, Jacob had
sought that blessing by an arm of flesh. In effect, what he
expressed at Bethel after his dream had been the dominating
note of his life: ‘the Lord is in this place; and I knew it
not.’ He had trusted his own ingenuity and cleverness. Twice
he had followed his own head, first by buying the
birthright, and then by deceiving his father. It was all his
own work. And what fruit did he have? ... the final result
was that Jacob was now a fugitive, an exile from the land of
promise” (Unfolding Covenant History, vol. 3, p. 11).
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
On the back table is the most recent RFPA book, a commentary
on The Reformed Baptism Form. It is available from the
bookstore for £18.
Beacon Lights subscriptions are due. To renew your
subscription or to become a new subscriber for just £10,
speak with Susan.
This evening will be a preparatory service with the view to
partaking of the Lord’s Supper next Sunday morning, 25
Monday evening’s Catechism classes:
5:45 PM - Taylor, Josh, Corey & Katelyn (Beginners NT)
6:30 PM - Bradley & Samuel (Juniors OT)
7:15 PM - Jacob, Joseph, Alex & Nathan (Heidelberg
Catechism, book 2)
The Tuesday Bible study meets at 11 AM to study Leviticus 15
in connection with the rest of the Bible.
Belgic Confession Class meets this Wednesday at 7:45 PM to
study the need to join the instituted church in connection
with Article 28.
The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel
846MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. Haak is “Grace for Today” (Matt.
Philip Hall’s term as deacon has expired. Philip has been
nominated for an additional 3-year term. A vote by male
confessing members to approve/disapprove of this will be
held next Sunday after the evening service (Church Order
S. Wales Lecture: Rev. Stewart will speak on Friday, 30
September, 7:15 PM on “Are Unbelievers in God’s Image?”
Rev. McGeown will preach in the CPRC on 2 October. Rev.
Stewart will be in the LRF.
CPRC Reformation Day Lecture: Friday, 28 October, 7:30 PM on
“John Owen and the Death of Christ.” Flyers are on the back
Offerings: General Fund: £624.04.
New translations: 1 Spanish, 1 Hungarian and 1 Czech.
PRC news: First Holland PRC called Rev. Huizinga (Redlands, CA).
Turn From the Way of Evil
Brian D. Dykstra
Proverbs 4:14-17: “Enter not into the path of the wicked,
and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it,
turn from it, and pass away. For they sleep not, except they
have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away unless
they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of
wickedness and drink the wine of violence.”
Solomon has just urged his listener to hold fast to godly
instruction because it is life, the true spiritual life of
fellowship with God. However, what happens once Solomon’s
school is out for the day and the student goes his own way;
what then? Solomon is not naive but is very aware of what
awaits his young listener.
Solomon understands the world is not basically good, with
its inhabitants desiring to live virtuous lives of harmony,
peace and self-improvement. The world is not neutral so one
can influence it for the better by one’s own good example.
Solomon has observed life and has discerned the dominance of
the paths of the wicked and the ways of evil men. The deeply
rutted path, the path whose soil is compacted by many
footfalls so there is no longer any vegetation, the path
which is wide to accommodate large numbers of travellers
does not lead to heaven. The heavenly path is strait, narrow
and relatively unpopulated. The broad way, whose many
travellers raise a cloud of dust as they pass, is the path
Solomon leaves no doubt as to the character of those on the
path. This path belongs to the wicked and the evil. Solomon
does his listener a service by carefully describing whose
path this is because appearances are deceiving. The sole
occupants of the path are not the dregs of society. They are
not a motley crew dressed in rags. The path does not flow
with blood because of murder and violence. We do not hear
screams of terror or the tumult of fighting. These people
appear quite normal, perhaps even pleasant. We would hear
the murmur of pleasant conversation and laughter among
Yet these people are wicked and evil. Although they would
claim to be good people, and their companions would concur,
God declares them to be wicked. They are not moral in the
biblical sense of the word. They do not seek the glory of
God, nor are they interested in serving Him. Their outward
keeping of God’s law does not please Him because their deeds
do not originate from hearts where faith resides. Although
they may feel some regret for some of their past actions,
they do not confess, repent and seek forgiveness for their
sins. They do not extol the God of salvation in Jesus Christ
who saves His people by grace alone.
What is Solomon’s listener to do? Solomon does not direct
his son to sit in a little corner with a little book. He is
not to hike to the top of a distant hill and live an
ascetic life. The son knows the wicked path exists because
he lives as a member of society and, as a result, must
interact with the wicked as he makes his living, but he is
not even to enter that path in fellowship.
Solomon understands the organic nature of sin. Sin grows.
Unless we quickly repent and recognize the nature of the way
we have just entered, we all too easily continue on the path
of the wicked and are swept along with the evil. Do not
imagine one may only go down the path a certain distance,
only just so far, then quickly and effortlessly return to
God’s way. Solomon knows life does not work that way. One
must avoid the wicked way as one had to avoid those unclean
with leprosy. Just pass by. Solomon knows the weakness of
the flesh. A curious glance at the evil way too often
arouses sinful longing for abandoning the restricted way of
God, the constant denying of the flesh through
self-sacrifice. Remember, Lot’s wife took a forbidden, yet
longing, look back at the way of evil. Solomon knows the
danger of us imagining ourselves to be stronger than we are.
Turn from that evil way and pass by it.
We must turn from the evil way because of the nature of
those who walk it. An often overlooked necessity of life is
sleep. We do not appreciate sleep as we should until it
becomes illusive. Then we know its value. Solomon teaches
that the wicked will not sleep until they have done
mischief. When the wicked lays his head on his pillow, he
does not investigate his life and ask whom he has helped
that day. He will not sleep unless he has done mischief, to
make someone good for nothing or do them harm. He would
never seek to help a companion develop a closer life with
God. His goal is the opposite.
They have to make someone fall. To see someone upright in
their walk with God is intolerable to them. Such a person
must be brought down. Get the crowd to entice the upright to
join with them. Exhibit the fun and good times available if
the upright would just let their hair down for once. Join us
and there are opportunities to advance socially and
materially. They lie as did their spiritual father, the
source of lies.
Bread is the staple of life, basic necessary food. The
world’s bread is wickedness. They feed off of it. It
sustains their ungodly lives. They must have their
wickedness or life is finished. That is not the company
Solomon would have his son join.
Wine is a luxury, an added delight when enjoyed properly.
Violence is like wine to those who are evil: a bit extra to
be enjoyed when opportunity arises. They enjoy as a sweet
treat the use of underhanded, subtle dealings to enrich
themselves materially or delve more deeply into depravity.
May God give us and our children discretion to turn from the
way of evil, and the wisdom we need to walk in fellowship
with Him and His saints.