Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 27
after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep
of thy mouth" (Ps. 119:88)
- 11:00 AM
Administration of the Lord’s Supper
"He Descended Into Hell"
Reading: Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Catechism, Lord’s Day 16
I. Its Meaning
II. Its Author
III. Its Comfort
37:15-20; 22:13-20; 88:1-9
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
Zealous in a Good Cause
Reading: Galatians 4
I. The Occasion
for This Word
Application of This Word
37:21-25; 119:97-104; 116:9-19
CPRC YouTube Site:
Quote to Consider:
Homer C. Hoeksema: "[Christ’s] trespass offering
was pleasing to God because a pure, sinless soul was placed on the altar
of God’s justice, for the servant of Jehovah is the person of the Son of
God in human nature. At the cross the Son of God in our flesh cried out
to God, ‘Why hast thou forsaken me?’ What an amazing mystery!" (Redeemed
with Judgment, vol. 2, p. 351).
Announcements (subject to God’s will):
After a week of self-examination, confessing members
in good standing are called to partake of the sacrament of the Lord’s
Supper. Your participation in the Lord’s Supper is in part a witness
that you repent of your sins, believe that Jesus Christ is your
righteousness, and desire to live a new and godly life. As this heavenly
food can be taken to one’s judgment (I Cor. 11:28-30) and as the common
reception of this food is a confession of doctrinal unity (Acts 2:42),
the elders supervise the partaking of the sacrament. Visitors from other
denominations must request permission from the Council.
Standard Bearer and Rev. Stewart’s bi-monthly letter to
the PRC are available on the back table.
The bookstore has copies of
Cracks in the Crescent by Hussein Wario, a converted Muslim,
available for £7. This book was reviewed in a recent Standard Bearer.
PM - Campbells at the manse
Tuesday, 7 PM
- Jacob and Nathan at the Buchanans
Tuesday, 8 PM
- Mark & Lauren at the Hamills
PM - Beginners OT Class at the manse
Midweek Bible study meets on Wednesday at 7:45 PM
at the manse. We continue I Peter 3:5-6, on wives submitting (and what
to do if your husband errs).
This Thursday at 7:30 PM, Rev. Stewart is to give a
lecture on divorce and remarriage at Abbots Cross Congregational
The Reformed Witness
Hour next Lord’s Day (8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW), is
entitled "In Praise of Sovereign Grace (2): Total Depravity" (John
The Council meets next week Monday, 5 October,
at 7:30 PM at the manse.
Wales, Thursday, 15 October, 7:15 PM - Calvin on Justification
Friday, 30 October, 7:30 PM - Calvin on Justification
Friday, 6 November, 7:30 PM - Calvin vs. Darwin
Offerings: General Fund: £497.66. Donations:
£500 (building), £300 (DVDs), £25 (building), £42.30 (building), £200
(building), £18 (Limerick).
PRC News: Rev. T. Miersma accepted the call to Lacombe (Alberta,
Canada). Holland called Rev. Haak (Georgetown, MI). Trinity called Rev.
Slopsema (First, MI). Bethel PRC has a trio consisting of Revs. Koole
(Grandville, MI), Kuiper (Randolph, WI), and Vander Wal (Redlands, CA).
Martin Luther on Assurance (Excerpts from his
Commentary on Galatians 4:6)
VERSE 6. And because ye are sons, God hath sent
forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts. ... the Holy Ghost is
sent forth into the hearts of the believers, as here stated, "God sent
the Spirit of his Son into your hearts." This sending is accomplished by
the preaching of the Gospel through which the Holy Spirit inspires us
with fervour and light, with new judgment, new desires, and new motives.
This happy innovation is not a derivative of reason or personal
development, but solely the gift and operation of the Holy Ghost.
We ought to have no misgivings about whether the Holy
Ghost dwells in us. We are "the temple of the Holy Ghost" (I Cor. 3:16).
When we have a love for the Word of God, and gladly hear, talk, write,
and think of Christ, we are to know that this inclination toward Christ
is the gift and work of the Holy Ghost. Where you come across contempt
for the Word of God, there is the devil. We meet with such contempt for
the Word of God mostly among the common people. They act as though the
Word of God does not concern them. Wherever you find a love for the
Word, thank God for the Holy Spirit who infuses this love into the
hearts of men. We never come by this love naturally, neither can it be
enforced by laws. It is the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The Roman theologians teach that no man can know for
a certainty whether he stands in the favour of God or not. This teaching
forms one of the chief articles of their faith. With this teaching they
tormented men’s consciences, excommunicated Christ from the Church, and
limited the operations of the Holy Ghost.
St. Augustine observed that "every man is certain of
his faith, if he has faith." This the Romanists deny. "God forbid," they
exclaim piously, "that I should ever be so arrogant as to think that I
stand in grace, that I am holy, or that I have the Holy Ghost." We ought
to feel sure that we stand in the grace of God, not in view of our own
worthiness, but through the good services of Christ. As certain as we
are that Christ pleases God, so sure ought we to be that we also please
God, because Christ is in us. And although we daily offend God by our
sins, yet as often as we sin, God’s mercy bends over us. Therefore sin
cannot get us to doubt the grace of God. Our certainty is of Christ,
that mighty Hero who overcame the Law, sin, death, and all evils. So
long as He sits at the right hand of God to intercede for us, we have
nothing to fear from the anger of God.
This inner assurance of the grace of God is
accompanied by outward indications such as gladly to hear, preach,
praise, and to confess Christ, to do one’s duty in the station in which
God has placed us, to aid the needy, and to comfort the sorrowing. These
are the affidavits of the Holy Spirit testifying to our favourable
standing with God.
If we could be fully persuaded that we are in the
good grace of God, that our sins are forgiven, that we have the Spirit
of Christ, that we are the beloved children of God, we would be ever so
happy and grateful to God. But because we often feel fear and doubt we
cannot come to that happy certainty.
Train your conscience to believe that God approves of
you. Fight it out with doubt. Gain assurance through the Word of God.
Say: "I am all right with God. I have the Holy Ghost. Christ, in whom I
do believe, makes me worthy. I gladly hear, read, sing, and write of
Him. I would like nothing better than that Christ’s Gospel be known
throughout the world and that many, many be brought to faith in Him."
VERSE 6. Crying, Abba, Father. The fact that
the Spirit of Christ in our hearts cries unto God and makes intercession
for us with groanings should reassure us greatly. However, there are
many factors that prevent such full reassurance on our part. We are born
in sin. To doubt the good will of God is an inborn suspicion of God with
all of us. Besides, the devil, our adversary, goeth about seeking to
devour us by roaring: "God is angry at you and is going to destroy you
forever." In all these difficulties we have only one support, the Gospel
of Christ. To hold on to it, that is the trick. Christ cannot be
perceived with the senses. We cannot see Him. The heart does not feel
His helpful presence. Especially in times of trials a Christian feels
the power of sin, the infirmity of his flesh, the goading darts of the
devil, the agues of death, the scowl and judgment of God. All these
things cry out against us. The Law scolds us, sin screams at us, death
thunders at us, the devil roars at us. In the midst of the clamour the
Spirit of Christ cries in our hearts: "Abba, Father." And this little
cry of the Spirit transcends the hullabaloo of the Law, sin, death, and
the devil, and finds a hearing with God.
Let the Law, sin, and the devil cry out against us
until their outcry fills heaven and earth. The Spirit of God outcries
them all. Our feeble groans, "Abba, Father," will be heard of God sooner
than the combined racket of hell, sin, and the Law.
The Spirit intercedes for us not in many words or
long prayers, but with groanings, with little sounds like "Abba." Small
as this word is, it says ever so much. It says, "My Father, I am in
great trouble and you seem so far away. But I know I am your child,
because you are my Father for Christ’s sake. I am loved by you because
of the Beloved." This one little word "Abba" surpasses the eloquence of
a Demosthenes and a Cicero.
I have spent much time on this verse in order to
combat the cruel teaching of the Roman church, that a person ought to be
kept in a state of uncertainty concerning his status with God. The
monasteries recruit the youth on the plea that their "holy" orders will
assuredly recruit them for heaven. But once inside the monastery the
recruits are told to doubt the promises of God.
On every page the Scriptures urge us to believe that
God is merciful, loving, and patient; that He is faithful and true, and
that He keeps His promises. All the promises of God were fulfilled in
the gift of His only-begotten Son, that "whosoever believeth in him
should not perish, but have everlasting life." The Gospel is reassurance
If our opponents are so uncertain about their status
with God, and even go so far as to say that the conscience ought to be
kept in a state of doubt, why is it that they persecute us as vile
heretics? When it comes to persecuting us they do not seem to be in
doubt and uncertainty one minute.
Let us not fail to thank God for delivering us from
the doctrine of doubt. The Gospel commands us to look away from our own
good works to the promises of God in Christ, the Mediator. The pope
commands us to look away from the promises of God in Christ to our own
merit. No wonder they are the eternal prey of doubt and despair. We
depend upon God for salvation. No wonder that our doctrine is certified,
because it does not rest in our own strength, our own conscience, our
own feelings, our own person, our own works. It is built on a better
foundation. It is built on the promises and truth of God.
Let us never doubt the mercy of God in Christ Jesus,
but make up our minds that God is pleased with us, that He looks after
us, and that we have the Holy Spirit who prays for us.
(For more from Luther on assurance, go to