Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 29 September, 2013
"But thou, O Lord, art a God
full of compassion, and gracious,
longsuffering, and plenteous in
mercy and truth" (Psalm 86:15)
Morning Service - 11:00 AM
Administration of the Lord’s Supper
Christ at God’s Right Hand in Heaven
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 19
I. The Glory of Our Heavenly Head
II. The Power of His Heavenly Rule
III. The Riches of His Heavenly Graces
Psalms: 2:4-11; 46:1-6; 110:1-6; 72:1-8
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
Thanksgiving for God’s Enduring Mercy
Scripture Reading: Psalm 136
Text: Psalm 136:1-4
I. The Thanksgiving
II. The Meaning
III. The Confidence
Psalms: 30:1-7a; 46:7-11; 106:1-7a; 136:1-12
For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of
the worship services, contact
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart or the elders
CPRC website: www.cprc.co.uk
CPRC YouTube: www.youtube.com/cprcni
Quote to Consider
John Calvin: "If, however,
thou aspirest after the righteousness of God with the
earnest desire of thy mind, and, trembled under a view of
thy misery, dost wholly lean upon Christ’s grace, and rest
upon it, know that thou art a worthy guest to approach the
table—worthy I mean in this respect, that the Lord does not
exclude thee, though in another point of view there is
something in thee that is not as it ought to be. For faith,
when it is but begun, makes those worthy who were unworthy."
Announcements (subject to God’s
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
On the back table are
Standard Bearers for subscribers, RFPA Updates, and the
new Hoeksema book,
All Glory to the Only Good God,
for book club members.
Samuel (Beginners NT) - 5:30PM
Alex, Nathan (Juniors OT) -
Jacob, Joseph (Seniors OT) -
Timothy (Essentials of Reformed
Doctrine) - 7:45PM
Tuesday Bible study meets
at 11 AM to study Christ’s Sabbath arguments involving
animals, the cermonial law and His identity.
Belgic Confession Class
meets this Wednesday at 7:45 PM to continue with article
21b, especially where Christ made His atonement.
Ladies’ Bible Study meets
this Friday at 10 AM at church to discuss Rebekah.
The Reformed Witness Hour
broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) is
entitled "Waiting Upon Our Everlasting God" (Isa. 40:27-28).
Philip Hall’s installation
as deacon is planned for next Lord’s Day, 6 October.
With thanksgiving to God, the
CPRC Council approved the LRF membership and baptism request
of René Kuhs. René met with Revs. Stewart and McGeown
and gave a good confession of his knowledge of and love for
the truth of the Reformed faith. René’s baptism is planned
for next Lord’s Day in the LRF.
The Council will meet
Thursday, 10 October at 7:30 PM at the church.
S. Wales Lecture: Rev.
Stewart will speak on "Original Sin" on Thursday, 7
November, 7:15 PM, at a new venue, the Round Chapel, Margam,
Offerings: General Fund -
£699.41. Donation: £200
Website Additions: 2 Portuguese, 1 Hiligaynon, 1
Dutch and 2 Hungarian.
(Standard Bearer, Vol. 86, Issue 1)
In the beginning God created
the heaven (Gen. 1:1). Actually, He created three (II Cor.
12:2). He fashioned two physical heavens called firmament
(Gen. 1:8)—the first, an inner atmosphere or sky (Deut.
33:26), and the second, a vast outer space. No chaotic
wreckage from a big bang, they are the glorious artistry of
the Lord’s fingers, which carefully measured and spread them
out the second day (Job 9:8; Isa. 40:12). The heavens praise
God, declare His righteousness, and continually tower over
earth as an irrefutable witness to His glory and handiwork
(Ps. 89:5; 50:6; 19:1). They are also important pedagogues,
especially concerning the third heaven, a spiritual space
called Paradise or the heaven of heavens (II Cor. 12:4; Neh.
9:6), i.e., the arch-typical, superlative heaven.
Able tutors are these physical
heavens in the school of wisdom (Ps. 19:1-3). They teach
that, as to its quality, heaven is transcendent to
everything earthly. Its place is higher and glory far above
(Eph. 4:10; Job 22:12). Its space is immeasurable, its
inhabitants innumerable (Heb. 11:12). Its substance is
better and more enduring (Heb. 10:34). Its darkness is
absolute (Ex. 10:21), yet its light brightens the world
(Gen. 1:15). And its life is everlasting (John 6:51). Even
more so is the transcendence of its Creator, who makes
heaven His holy habitation (Ps. 19:6). The Lord measures it
with a span, numbers its creatures, and calls them by name
(Ps. 147:4). He travels its length (Ps. 19:6), fills its
immensity (Jer. 23:24), but it cannot contain Him (I Kings
8:27). Though His mercy is as high as heaven is above the
earth, His glory is higher still (Ps. 103:11; 148:13).
Yet, wonderfully near is
heaven. Even with feet firmly planted on earth, one can
breathe its life, see its light, feel its warmth, hear its
testimony, and enjoy its blessings. Though in heaven, God is
not very far from us (Acts 17:27). From heaven, He speaks
often to men (Mark 3:17). In an instant, His heavenly hosts
can appear (Luke 2:13-15). Through windows in heaven, the
Lord pours out precious things from His treasure—rain, snow,
dew, bread, even mercy and truth (Mal. 3:10; Deut. 28:12;
33:13; Ps. 57:3). But from those same windows, He also sends
judgment. Heaven hears, witnesses, and records the iniquity
of men, whose sins reach up unto it (Ex. 17:14; Deut. 4:26;
Rev. 18:5). In righteousness, the Lord looks down under the
whole heaven and tries the children of men (Job 28:24; Ps.
85:11; 11:4). He hears their blasphemy against Him, His
home, and them that dwell in heaven (Rev. 13:6). Especially,
the Lord hears the cries of His own oppressed children. He
rides upon the heaven to their aid (Deut. 33:26), sees their
hands lifted up toward Him, smells the sweet savour of their
heavenly conversation, and delivers them (Neh. 9:27; I Kings
8:22, 30; Phil. 3:20). So, from heaven His voice thunders
down and He sends darkness, tempest, flood, hail, fire and
brimstone (II Sam. 22:14).
Although very near, there is a
thick veil and impassible gulf fixed between heaven and
earth (Heb. 9:3; Luke 16:26). It is the dark shroud of man’s
flesh, foolishness, sin, and guilt under the law (Rom. 1:23;
Eph. 2:14-15). It is the deep chasm between mortality and
immortality, corruption and incorruption, natural and
spiritual, dishonour and glory (I Cor. 15:43ff.). Thus, one
can stare a lifetime into space, soar through the clouds,
and launch a thousand rockets, but never see heaven (John
3:3). He can have righteousness like the Pharisees, own the
whole world, and be greatest among men, but never enter
heaven (Matt. 18:1; 19:23). In fact, no man has ascended up
to heaven, for flesh and blood cannot live there (John
To see heaven a man must be
born from above. To enter, he must become as a little child.
To receive its blessings, feel its power, bear its image,
and enjoy its life, a man must be changed, heaven must come
down, the gulf bridged, and veil rent. So from the windows
of heaven, God has sent His Son, who is Lord above all (I
Cor. 15:47-51; John 3:31). The stairway to heaven, passage
to the Father, and heavenly bread of life, He blesses us
with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places (John 1:51;
6:33; 14:6; Eph. 1:3). Jesus has not only come down, but by
His own blood broken down the partition and entered through
the veil, having obtained eternal redemption, and again
passed into the heavens to appear now in the presence of God
for us (Heb. 4:14; 9:24).