Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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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  [download]  [youtube]

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  [download]  [youtube]

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 Stephen Murray
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart or the elders

CPRC website:
CPRC YouTube:
CPRC Facebook:

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 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.

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.

Monday Catechism:
Bradley, Samuel (Beginners NT) - 5:30PM
Alex, Nathan (Juniors OT) - 6:15PM
Jacob, Joseph (Seniors OT) - 7:00PM
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, Port Talbot.

Offerings: General Fund - £699.41. Donation: £200

Website Additions: 2 Portuguese, 1 Hiligaynon, 1 Dutch and 2 Hungarian.

Heaven (1)

Rev. William Langerak
(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 3:13).

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).