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Trusting and Not Fearing (A Special Message)

duck on waterFrom the Reformed Witness Hour Committee:

This is part of a special message of hope and peace as we live in these unsettling days and weeks, when fear is real and faith grows weak. Below is an excerpt from a radio message of Rev. Carl Haak, pastor of Georgetown PRC, which he delivered on January 23, 2005 for the Reformed Witness Hour radio program.

Below the excerpt is a link to the entire message - print and audio.

You are encouraged to read and meditate on this Word of God and on these words of exposition and application.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Trusting and Not Fearing

Psalm 56:3-4

The Scriptures say, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” There is something very touching and profoundly comforting in the simplicity of this statement. God speaks in simple, powerful words. Very plainly, this is the theme of the whole psalm. Repeatedly it comes back: Not fear, but trust! Trust in God. With a true and living faith, depend only upon Him. Cry out to Him. Bring your fears to Him.

That solves it all. Whatever that fear may be for you, whether that is surgery, or your child’s health, or your daughter’s soul, or your son’s married life, or your personal fear—here is the simple, the conquering, the never-failing answer: trust in God.

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word; in God have I put my trust.” There is the answer. Put your trust in God. God here is commanding us to an activity. He works faith in our hearts and He commands that which He works into action. He says, “I have given to you a heavenly grace of trust. Not something that proceeded from your will but something that proceeded from Me. Something that is now implanted in a new heart and in a new will within you. And I call you, by My grace, to be active in that trust.”

 
Read or listen to Rev. Haak’s full message here: https://bit.ly/3ahJmol
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Here is also part of a pastoral letter Rev. C. Haak wrote to his congregation on Tuesday, March 24, 2020:

As measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus increase, so also our anxieties for the future increase.

Today all of us are feeling the direct impact of the governor’s order [in Michigan] to quarantine ourselves for the next few weeks. Our jobs and income are directly threatened and we wonder about the future economy. Just how far will this go? Will our livelihood be lost? Is our hard made personal business going under? Where exactly is all of this heading? How many of our plans for the next months will be lost? The second week of schooling our children at home is proving harder than we thought, will our schools open again? When do we get our old life back?

Our minds become a factory of worries and mass produce questions we can’t answer.

Instead we need to ask ourselves these questions: Are we listening to God? Did we come apart to the secret chamber of prayer today? As we observe how the world is acting are we, who have eyes of faith to see Him on the throne, acting differently? Do we feel the peace of God ruling in our hearts in this very day, even as God promised us? (Phil. 4:6, 7, Col. 3:15, Isaiah 26: 3, 4) Do you believe and experience that His grace is sufficient for you today?  (II Corinthians 12: 7-10)

As in every spiritual battle for the heart, faith must not lie inactive within us. We are called to a spiritual warfare in these days (Ephesians 6:10-18). We wrestle against fear, boredom, anxiety, hopelessness, fatalism, anger, depression, loneliness, and others. If you can’t get up to fight today, call the elders, kneel right now in prayer, read the promises of God. Better yet, “Be still! and know that I am God”, the God who has never failed you in the past and is not going to do so today. Read Psalm 46.

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Reformed News Asia - February 2020

 
Issue 58
Pamphlets

We print pamphlets written by our members and those from other Reformed churches of like-minded faith. They include a wide range of topics from doctrines to church history and practical Christian living. These pamphlets serve to promote knowledge of the true God as expressed in the Reformed faith.
NEWPamphlet!
The Law of God
By Rev Rodney Kleyn

"Psalm 119:97ff:

O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
 
Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.
 
I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
 
I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.
 
I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.
 
I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.
 
How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
 
Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way."

Click hereto view our catalogue of pamphlets.

Click here to make an order.

All pamphlets are free. CERC reserves some discretion regarding large orders and/or orders from those outside Singapore.
 
Featured Book
For local orders (S'pore), please contact Ms Daisy Lim at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For international orders, click here.
Born For Our Salvation
by Martyn McGeown

From the RFPA website:

The nativity story is the message of salvation, for in the words of the Nicene Creed, “Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God…for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man.” Jesus was born for our salvation!

Follow the inspired evangelists, Matthew and Luke, as they relate the wonderful events that surround the birth and early childhood of Jesus Christ. Marvel at the announcement of the angel Gabriel. Rejoice with Mary, Elizabeth, the unborn John, and Joseph. Trace the steps of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, where the Savior is born. Listen to the heavenly song of the angelic host as they announce the gospel to lowly shepherds. Meet patient Simeon and aged Anna in the temple, and hear Simeon’s mysterious prophecy of the Savior’s rejection. Make the long trek from the east with the wise men who eagerly seek him that is born King of the Jews. Enter the palace of ruthless King Herod and witness his satanic enmity against the newborn Savior. Flee with Mary, Joseph, and Jesus to Egypt to escape the king’s wrath. Observe Jesus’ childhood development in Nazareth, and, finally, accompany Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem in his twelfth year, where he must be about his Father’s business. 

 
Audio Recordings
Click to listen to the sermon by Rev Kenneth Koole as we face the current situation of the virus outbreak:

Brought To Jesus For Healing
 
Upcoming Events!
 
Save the date!

April 2020 - Good Friday Gospel Meeting

15-18 Jun 2020 - Church Camp 2020
 
 
Past Events...
 
Church Retreat 2020

CERC began the year with a retreat held at our church organised by BS group - Glowing Candles. This year's theme is "Keeping the Unity of the Spirit" taken from Ephesians 4:1-3. Rev Arie Den Hartog gave a speech on on Unity, from Philippians 2:1-11 that can be found here. Everyone had a good time of fellowship while working it out - doing something different as they make their own form of healthy icecream! We pray that the Church will continue to grow in love and unity. 
Demo on how to make ice cream
Happy and satisfied smiles (:
 
CNY Visitation 2020

This year, three homes were opened for CNY visitation - Milton & Celina, Lee Yang & Joanna and Yang Zhi & Nicole. We thank them for their hospitality. There were some simple snacks and overall a good time of bonding and sharing. 
Milton & Celina's home
Lee Yang & Joanna's home
 
Baptism

We were blessed to witness the Infant Baptism of 3 children - Hayson, son of Aaron and Iva; Joy, daughter of Zong Jie and Julia; and Luke, son of Cornelius and Jemima! We were also joyful to see the Baptism of one of our older member - Sarah, grandmother of Anthea and Beverly. We rejoice to witness this Baptism of both the old and the young as we give thanks to God for His mercies and for adding to the church!
Baptism of Hayson
Baptism of Joy
Baptism of Luke
Baptism of Sarah
 
Notes
 
Salt Shakers

Salt Shakers is a bi-monthly magazine published by the youth in Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC). Included in each issue are writings pertaining to bothReformed doctrine and practical theology. Contributors to Salt Shakers include our pastor, youth and members of CERC, and pastors and professors from the Protestant Reformed Churches in America. Salt Shakers also features articles from the Standard Bearer and other Reformed publications. Click here to access.

 
Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church
We are a Reformed Church that holds to the doctrines of the Reformation as they are expressed in the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dordt.

Lord’s Day services on Sunday at 930 am & 2 pm • 11 Jalan Mesin, #04-00, Standard Industrial Building, Singapore 368813 • www.cerc.org.sg 
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Covenant PRC, N. Ireland Newsletter - February 2020

 CPRC News Header

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church Ballymena, NI

February 20, 2020

Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,

Due to the pressure of work—mostly good, beneficial, and rewarding work—it is now six months since my last letter. The bimonthly epistle is now biannual!

Congregational News

The new church season began in early September with ten catechumens, eight boys and two girls, in three classes: Old Testament Juniors, New Testament Seniors and Essentials of Reformed Doctrine. The covenant children are doing well.

“Saving Faith: A Biblical and Theological Analysis” is the current subject of our Tuesday morning meetings. So far we have treated the significance, necessity, source, subject, object, bond, and knowledge of faith. Our heavenly Father uses our increased understanding of faith to build up our faith in His Son (Eph. 4:13)!

Our Belgic Confession classes concluded their treatment of Article 35 with six classes on “The Holy Supper of Our Lord Jesus Christ,” now in a handy box set entitled, “Who Is to Eat and Drink What?” The subjects addressed are controversial in our day: “Open, Close, or Closed Communion?” “Paedocommunion?” “Private Communion?” “Five Issues Regarding the Wine,” “Leavened or Unleavened Bread?” and “The Partaking of Unbelievers and Believers.”

Our twelve classes so far on “The Magistrates” (Belgic Confession 36) have especially considered the Bible’s teaching against civil rebellion plus Anabaptist political theory, both revolutionary (e.g., the Münster rebellion of 15341535) and pacifist (e.g., the Schleitheim Confession of 1527).

Almost 300 of these wide-ranging doctrine classes on 36 of the 37 articles of the Belgic Confession can be listened to free on-line (https://cprc.co.uk/belgic-confession-class). These are among our website’s most hit audios.

The last two Lord’s day series were “The Idolatry of Micah and Dan” (seven sermons on Judges 17-18, a deeply unsettling passage) and “Practical Christianity” (13 sermons on James 1), treating especially temptation (vv. 2-17) and regeneration with its calling (vv. 18-27). Currently, I am preaching through the wonderful book of Daniel, with its gripping narratives and fascinating eschatology.

David Crossett was installed as a new deacon (15 September, 2019). The Lord in His mercy continues to provide us with faithful officebearers.

“William Tyndale: English Bible Translator” was the subject of this year’s CPRC Reformation day lecture (25 October, 2019). The day before, the Ballymena Guardian carried an advertisement and an article we sent them on this great Reformer who laboured diligently so that the ploughboy would know more of the Scriptures than the corrupt priests. Tyndale was eventually betrayed and martyred for the truth of God’s Word outside Brussels. The speech was accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation (www.youtube.com/ watch?v=np7Bxbspl00).

Various improvements have been made to our church property. Our overflow car park was levelled with road plainings (crushed tarmac)—a very nice job. The inside of the church building was repainted, and we purchased new tables for congregational tea and sandwiches, etc.

New CPRC Website

Mary continues to make a lot of important improvements to our new and secure website (http://cprc.co.uk). She has added “redirects” from all of the 5,000 or so webpages of our old website (apart from the old Sunday bulletins), bringing many more people to the updated and improved version.

On 21 November, Mary added a new statistics plug-in. Since then, these are the top ten countries in terms of people on our website: 1) United States, 2) Indonesia, 3) Hong Kong, 4) Singapore, 5) Brazil, 6) China, 7) United Kingdom, 8) South Africa, 9) Germany, and 10) Philippines. Interestingly, four of the sister churches of our communion are in the top 10: USA, Singapore, UK, and the Philippines. Canada used to be number 10 but it has dropped to number 11.

Various factors are involved in a nation’s hits and, therefore, its ranking, including a combination of the following: the population of a country (e.g., China, USA, and Indonesia have hundreds of millions of people); the number of its professing Christians (e.g., there are many in USA, China, South Africa, and the Philippines); its internet usage (e.g., it is very high in Hong Kong and Singapore); its peoples’ knowledge of English (e.g., it is the main language in USA, UK, and Singapore, and about half of Hong Kongers speak it); and the number of CPRC translations in the language(s) of a country (e.g., we have over 500 articles in Portuguese, the language of Brazil, and a good number in Indonesian, Afrikaans, and German).

At the other end of the scale, we have had three days on which someone from the British Antarctic Territory has had his or her heart warmed by the materials on our website. Someone from the Vatican was on www.cprc.co.uk. Perhaps it was the Pope?

Those in the UK can now order excellent RFPA books, our CD and DVD box sets, and free pamphlets, and make payments by bank transfer, on the CPRC website. Mary is researching the best way to enable orders (including calculating postage) and receive payments from those in the rest of the world.

The CPRC Sunday services and lectures are now available on a podcast on video and audio. This is not yet the case with our Wednesday night Belgic Confession classes—one of many things to be sorted out in the days ahead.

Others

Mary’s dad, Fred Hanko, went to glory on 28 December, 2019. Her mother, Ruth, was called home earlier in the year (8 February). They were (and are) wonderful people and are sorely missed. Mary and I joined family and friends for Dad’s funeral in Michigan, ably led by Rev. Clay Spronk in Faith PRC (3 January, 2020). Thank you for your prayers and cards.On Sunday, 5 January, I preached twice in Cornerstone PRC— good to see the saints there again—before flying back home from O’Hare Airport the next day.

Rev. Ken Koole kindly preached for the CPRC on 5 January, when we were in Indiana, and 12 January, when we were in the Limerick Reformed Fellowship, for Rev. Martyn McGeown was in Australia speaking in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brisbane and at their youth camp.

I delivered two lectures in South Wales: “The Peace Offering” (5 September, 2019) and “William Tyndale: English Bible Translator” (23 January, 2020). It is always good to bring the truth to, and fellowship with, the saints in Wales.

Since my last letter, we have added 100 translations to our website, including 68 ecumenical creeds in Bulgarian, Haitian Creole, Kazakh, Maori, Mongolian, etc. (https://cprc. co.uk/languages). The others are 11 Hungarian, 7 Tamil (our Reformed forms); 7 Spanish (including those by a pastor in Lima, Peru, who is translating articles on the development of the doctrine of the covenant); 3 German; 3 Russian (the last chapters of Be Ye Holy, so that now all of this BRF book is on-line in Russian); and 1 Romanian (Saved by Grace, an excellent RFPA book by Prof. Cammenga and Rev. Hanko).

The CPRC YouTube page has now reached 300,000 hits (www.youtube.com/cprcni). Stephen Murray has put a lot of work into this over many years. We are adding the Scripture texts in parentheses after the sermon titles for search engine optimization. So far this has been done for the last 600 videos but there are many more yet to do!

The British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) conference booking forms are now available (www.brfconference.weebly.com/booking.html). “Union With Christ” is the theme that will be developed by Prof. David Engelsma and Rev. Andy Lanning in the six main addresses at Castlewellan Castle, Northern Ireland (11-18 July). John William Perkins is to give a special lecture on “Union with the Free Will of Christ in the English Puritans.” Already we have had about 80 confirmed bookings, a lot more than we have had at this stage for any of the 15 previous BRF conferences. A good number of countries will be represented, and it promises to be an enriching time of Christian teaching and fellowship.

May the Lord be with you all,

Rev. & Mary Stewart

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Covenant Reformed News - February 2020

Covenant Reformed News


February 2020 • Volume XVII, Issue 22



Justification and Romans 4

A clear understanding and a deep love of the gospel truth of justification is even more necessary in our day than before, because now there are three main views of justification and not just two.

According to (1) Reformation Protestantism, which sets forth the truth of the inspired Scriptures, justification is God’s declaring someone righteous (through faith alone in the Person and work of Jesus Christ). According to (2) Roman Catholicism, justification is making someone righteous. According to (3) the New Perspective on Paul and the Federal Vision (heresies arising in nominally Protestant churches), justification is declaring someone a member of the covenant community. The person’s good works constitute the grounds for his or her acceptance before God.

You will notice that this third position is a strange amalgam of parts of the first two views. The New Perspective on Paul and the Federal Vision, like Protestantism, see justification as involving a declaration but, unlike Protestantism, it is not a declaration that someone is righteous in the sight of God on the basis of the righteousness of Christ; it is a declaration that someone is a member of the covenant community or church. The New Perspective on Paul and the Federal Vision are like Rome in that they see justification as involving making the person righteous. New Perspectivism, Federal Visionism and Roman Catholicism are also alike in that they preach the false gospel of justification and salvation by man’s works.

Though various places in Scripture could have been chosen, especially in Romans or Galatians, Romans 4 is a particularly good chapter on the gospel of justification, over against the heresies of the New Perspective on Paul, the Federal Vision and the Church of Rome.

First, Romans 4 contains many of the key subjects and themes that are so closely related to justification, such as, Abraham and David, faith and the promise, works and the law, circumcision and the covenant, and Jews and Gentiles.

Second, Romans 4 has many references to God’s imputation: His counting or reckoning righteousness to believers. Imputation is an accounting term that refers to something being reckoned to a person’s account. Perhaps never before has imputation been so viciously attacked, denied and mocked, not only by Rome but also by the New Perspective on Paul and the Federal Vision. Out of the 25 verses in Romans 4, a full 11 of them speak of God’s act of imputing, counting or reckoning righteousness (and not sin) to believers. These 11 verses occur in three clusters (3, 4, 5, 6; 8, 9, 10, 11; 22, 23, 24).

Third, Romans 4 especially demonstrates that the five solas of the Reformation are biblical. Justification is (1) by faith alone (sola fide), (2) through grace alone (sola gratia), (3) in Christ alone (solus Christus), (4) according to Scripture alone (sola Scriptura) and (5) to the glory of God alone (soli Deo gloria). “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin” (Rom. 4:8). Blessed be God’s great name for His gracious reckoning of Christ’s righteousness to us unworthy sinners! Rev. Stewart

 

The Idea of the Organic in Scripture (7)

It is time to return to answering questions. More particularly, we shall deal with questions that imply that common grace and the well-meant offer of salvation can be reconciled with the Bible’s teaching on the organic unity of the human race.

All ideas connected to the well-meant offer of the gospel run up against this important teaching of Scripture. Arminianism, as I have said before, is individualistic; Scripture’s teachings are the opposite of this. According to Arminianism, man must accept God’s offer of love so that Christ can enter his heart. However, Scripture teaches that the elect church is the body of Christ. God saves a body, predestined from eternity as Christ’s body, by grace alone and through faith alone.

Salvation is of a body. I believe I am saved, that is, part of Christ’s body. But I am such only because of fellow saints who are also part of Christ’s body. I cannot and will not go to heaven except the whole body is saved. I am a part of the predetermined whole. Only if the whole body is saved can I be saved. The body of Christ, composed of the elect, can only be saved in its entirety—not simply parts of it. The body of Christ is perfect.

The history of the world is the history of God’s work of separating the chaff (the reprobate and impenitent wicked) from the wheat (Ps. 1); the bad fish from the good fish (Matt. 13:47-48); the wheat from the tares (Matt. 13:24-30, 36-40).

Jehovah prunes the vine (John 15:1-8). In the broadest sense of the word, one could speak of the whole human race as a vine, many branches of which are pruned off so that the grapes may grow and flourish. The vine in John 15, in the narrow and strict sense, is the Jewish nation and later the visible Christian church with the branches of that vine being cut off, while only those who abide in Christ are saved.

While the tares are left to grow with the wheat in history, the separation begins while men live on earth and is completed at the time of the harvest. A corn plant is one plant with roots, stalk, tassel, pollen, cob and the corn kernels. The whole plant is necessary for the growth of the kernels. When the corn is ripe, the entire plant, except for the kernels, is destroyed. It has served its purpose.

The reprobate are for the purpose of the elect, as scaffolding is necessary for building the temple of God (Eph. 2:20-22). Even Cyrus, ungodly king of Persia, is called God’s “shepherd” in Isaiah 44:28. Though he was a reprobate, God used him to bring Judah’s captive people back to Canaan at the end of 70 years. There is, in fact, an old tradition that claims that this passage in Isaiah was communicated to King Cyrus by the Jews, which passage prompted him to release the captives for their return.

Question 1: “I heard a sermon on Hosea 9:15 that explains the text as if it teaches that the immutable God changes.”

The verse reads, “All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.”

It is important to note that the explanation of this text as referring to a change in God is a heresy that is necessary in order to defend the well-meant offer of the gospel. God loves all men, but, after all, comes to hate them and sends them to hell. That is a massive change!

To deny God’s immutability is a direct repudiation of Scripture: “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed” (Mal. 3:6). With “the Father of lights,” there “is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

The question assumes, of course, that once God loved these wicked people whom God says He hates. There is no proof in the text that this is so.

Nevertheless, the question does bring up an important point that relates directly to our discussion of the organic dealings of God with men.

Gilgal, Where God Hated Israel,” a sermon on Hosea 9:15, is available free on-line.

The same reader sends in other passages cited by Arminians who appeal to them as if they proved a divine love for all men. Many of the texts are totally irrelevant to our discussion and I cannot use this column to answer the irrelevant ones.

Question 2: “II Corinthians 5:19-20 and 6:1-2 speak of the apostles (and, by extension, the church) being entrusted with the ‘word of reconciliation.’ The passage says that we are to ‘beseech’ men to be ‘reconciled to God.’ Preachers are called ‘ambassadors’ who pray in ‘Christ’s stead,’ pleading for his hearers ‘to receive not the grace of God in vain’ and informing them that ‘now is the day of salvation.’ How are we to understand these verses without referring to a well-meant offer of grace and reconciliation through Christ on the part of God to all who outwardly hear the gospel?”

This question brings us to the heart of the issue, the preaching of the gospel, and must be carefully considered.

The first point that must be made is that the heresy of the well-meant gospel offer confuses a command of God to all men to believe in Christ with a gracious offer to everybody. The Bible has many commands to all who hear the gospel, for they must forsake sin and believe in Christ.

It seems to me that this distinction is, as my seminary professor was wont to say, as clear as the sun in the heavens. I cannot see why anyone not bent on teaching heresy can possibly confuse God’s command to believe with a loving offer to the reprobate of an available salvation that He will give to him if only he believes. The only sense one can make of it is a denial of total depravity: man can of his own power of will accept the offer Christ makes to them. A denial of total depravity is a fatal error that ultimately destroys the whole truth of sovereign grace.

Wherever we preach the gospel, we are commanded to confront everyone with the command to believe. We tell them that they are under solemn obligation to trust in Christ or else they will earn for themselves everlasting hell. It is a fact that God is in dead earnest when He tells man that he must trust in Christ crucified and risen.

The reason why God commands all men to believe is this: He created man capable of perfect obedience. Man’s loss of the ability to believe is not God’s fault but man’s own fault. God is just and still requires that men obey Him; His command is that man, even in his fallen state, obey God. God does not say, as it were, “Oh, you poor man. You disobeyed me but that’s alright. I still love you and I will save you, if you want to be saved.”

The Heidelberg Catechism faces this question already in Lord’s Day 4: “Doth not God then do injustice to man, by requiring from him in His law that which he cannot perform?” The Catechism tells us that this is not true for the Most High is just. The sinner must still do what God commands.

In The Triple Knowledge, his commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, Herman Hoeksema uses an apt illustration. It goes like this. I contract with a builder to build me a house. He wants his money before starting the project and I give it to him. If he takes this cash, squanders it on an around-the-world cruise with his family and comes back broke, he is still under obligation to build me a house. If he refuses to do the job, pleading a lack of money, I may take him to court so that he fulfils his promise. He may not plead inability, for I made him able to build the house. By his sin, he put himself in a position that he cannot do it. Certainly, that sin of his does not release him from his obligation.

The Synod of Dordt, in its battle against the Arminians of its day, who also taught a well-meant offer of the gospel rooted in an alleged divine love for all men, specifically enjoined upon the Reformed churches the calling to preach the gospel of the cross to all men with two parts to that gospel: (1) everyone who hears the gospel is under solemn obligation to believe in Christ and (2) the promise of salvation is that God will save all who believe.

I am not fond of the word “plead,” which the questioner uses (although the text does not use it) but God is serious when He commands men to believe in Christ. He is not playing games; He is not “teasing” men; He is not playing a joke. It is the will of His command that man do indeed believe in Christ. God, after all, created him in such a way that he was capable of obeying God in all things. God does not ever release him from this solemn obligation. The decisions of the Synod of Dordt make this clear too. They can be found in Canons III/IV:8-9.

But what I said in this article in the News is not the whole story. The rest of the story is also necessary. But that must wait until next time, DV. Prof. Hanko


Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: https://cprc.co.uk/ • Live broadcast: cprc.co.uk/live-streaming/
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.youtube.com/cprcniwww.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
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South Wales Lecture

Thursday,
27 February, 2020
 7:15 PM


Speaker:
Rev. Martyn McGeown

(pastor of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship, Rep. of Ireland)

Subject:
The Canon of Sacred Scripture

All Christians view the Bible as the Word of God but where did the 66 books of Scripture come from? How do we know that these books, and no others, belong in the Bible? Who decided which books are the Word of God? Did the church determine this? Does the Bible derive its authority from the church or from somewhere else? Come to hear an explanation of the Bible, its authority and its relationship to the church! 


Margam Community Centre
Bertha Road, Margam,
Port Talbot, SA13 2AP 

Book Table (including DVDs, CDs & free pamphlets) 
Coffee & tea provided afterward

www.cprc.co.uk

cprc.co.uk/south-wales-lectures



2020
British Reformed Fellowship Family Conference


11-18 July, 2020

in Castlewellan Castle, 
Co. Down, N. Ireland


Theme:
Union With Christ


Main Speakers:
Prof. David J. Engelsma &
Rev. Andrew Lanning


Join Reformed believers from many countries around the world for a week of edifying lectures, enjoyable day trips and plenty of free time for fellowship. For more information and booking forms, see the website below.

http://brfconference.weebly.com/

For God’s Glory & the Church’s Consolation

edited by
Ronald Cammenga

(320 pp. Softback)

This powerful book defends and promotes the Bible’s teachings on particular salvation as systematized in the Canons of Dordt (1618-1619) with special focus on the gospel call, the covenant, reprobation and assurance. It also covers the significance, polemics, sessions and church polity of Dordt.The chapters of this book were written by Prof. Douglas Kuiper, Rev. Angus Stewart, Prof. Brian Huizinga, Rev. Mark Shand, Rev. William Langerak, Prof. Ronald Cammenga and Prof. Barry Gritters.  

£14.30 (inc. P&P) 

Order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells,
N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!


Who Is to Eat What?
 

6 classes on
Belgic Confession 35 (Vol. XXXI)
on CD in an
attractive box set
 

Who is to partake of the Lord’s Supper? Children? A man in a bed in hospital? A stranger who turns up at communion service, unknown to anybody? Will Ribena do instead of wine? Ought the bread of the Lord’s Supper be unleavened? These 6 classes deal with practical issues arising in connection with the second sacrament that Christ gave His beloved church.

(1) Open, Close or Closed Communion? (II Cor. 3:1-8)
(2) Paedocommunion?
(I Cor. 11:17-34)
(3) Private Communion?
(I Cor. 11:17-34)
(4) Five Issues Regarding the Wine (Matt. 26:26-29)
(5) Leavened or Unleavened Bread? (John 6:5-13, 35-41)
(6) The Partaking of Unbelievers and Believers (John 6:53-71)

£6/box set (inc. P&P)

Listen free on-line
or order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells,
N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!
Read more...

Covenant Reformed News - January 2020

Covenant Reformed News


January 2020 • Volume XVII, Issue 21



The Two Aspects of Regeneration

We may biblically and helpfully distinguish two stages or aspects or senses of regeneration, also known as the new birth or our being spiritually begotten.

First, there is immediate regeneration. At the very start of His applying to us the salvation the Lord Jesus purchased for us, God plants the seed of the new life of Christ in us sovereignly by the Holy Spirit and apart from any means.

Second, there is mediate regeneration. Jehovah sovereignly uses the means of His Word to bring to manifestation the new life already planted in us. Through the power of the gospel, God brings us to conscious faith in the Lord Jesus and causes us to repent of our sins against His holy law.

Both of these aspects or stages or senses of regeneration are taught in I Peter 1:23: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”

The prepositions in this Scripture are crucial. First, there is “of”—we were “born again, not [out] of corruptible seed, but [out] of incorruptible.” God places the incorruptible seed of life deep inside us. The second preposition is “by”—we were “born again … by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”

Both aspects or stages go together in the elect who come to the age of discretion. We were “born again … [1] [out] of [the] incorruptible [seed], [2] by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”

Herman Hoeksema makes the following fine remarks on I Peter 1:23, explaining its highly significant use of two different Greek prepositions: “The apostle makes a very careful distinction here. This is especially plain from the use of the different prepositions. We are born again, ‘not of [ek] corruptible seed, but of incorruptible,’ and we are born again ‘by [dia] the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.’ By this distinction the apostle means to describe carefully the mode of regeneration. The seed of regeneration, that is, the principle of the new life, is implanted by the Holy Spirit in the heart. From that seed or principle sprouts forth the life of regeneration … through the … living and abiding Word of God [that is] proclaimed” (Reformed Dogmatics, vol. 2, pp. 30, 31).

Let me now show you four New Testament Scriptures on mediate regeneration, the second stage or aspect of the new birth: God’s use of the means of the gospel to bring to manifestation the inner life immediately implanted in us by the Spirit of Christ.

First, we have Paul’s moving words to the church at Corinth: “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel” (I Cor. 4:15). It is asserted here that the means of our spiritual birth is “the gospel.” The apostle emphasizes the role of the preacher who first brought the regenerating Word to the Corinthians. Paul’s point is powerful: since, by God’s grace, he was the agent whom Jehovah used to declare the gospel which was the means of their regeneration, he ought to have a special, even unique, place in their hearts as their spiritual father: “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”

Second, Paul speaks similarly to Philemon regarding his escaped slave, Onesimus: “I beseech thee [i.e., Philemon] for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds” (Phile. 10). Again we see the role of Paul the preacher who, while he was in prison in Rome, proclaimed the gospel to Onesimus which was the means that the Triune God used to bring to manifestation the living seed which He had placed in him.

Besides these two references from Paul, we have the statement from Peter quoted earlier: “Being born again … by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (I Pet. 1:23). What is meant by “the word of God”? The preached gospel: “And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (25).

Fourth, from these three texts penned by Paul and Peter, we now turn to James 1:18, which we considered in the last issue of the News. It also underscores the second aspect or stage of regeneration, God’s mediate regeneration of us by His Word: “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.”

To explain things further, we should understand the two images presented in the verses of Scripture quoted above. First, there is the idea of the “seed” (I Pet. 1:23). With His fingers or Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:28; Luke 11:20), God sovereignly sows the new life of Christ into the heart of His elect (immediate regeneration). Continuing the imagery, the Word of God or the preaching of the gospel acts like the heat of the sun upon the seed, causing it to germinate and manifest its life (mediate regeneration).

Besides the horticultural imagery of the “seed” of regeneration, we have, second, the idea of the spiritual begetting or new birth of a human being. The gospel is like an amazing spiritual midwife. When God’s Word is preached to those in whom the Holy Spirit has implanted new life (immediate regeneration), they are brought to birth in Christ. For the first time, as spiritual newborns and by faith, they hear the gospel of their gracious salvation, they see their glorious Saviour crucified for their sins, they taste that their covenant God is good and they become conscious of their blessed new life in Jesus (mediate regeneration). As baby Christians, “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Cor. 5:17).

What a blessed role for the gospel of sovereign grace! It is a spiritual midwife present at the birth, helping the birth and effecting the birth of each new child of God! Rev. Angus Stewart

 

The Idea of the Organic in Scripture (6)

The Holy Scriptures frequently deal with the whole human race as a distinct part of an organic unity. Some examples of this organic unity can easily be found.

The human race is an organic unity with Adam at its head since the whole human race is guilty for Adam’s sin (Rom 5:12). The law specifically assumed the organic unity of the family when, in the second commandment, God said that He visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children (Deut. 5:8-10). The armies of Israel were soundly defeated by a small group of soldiers from Ai, because in Achan’s sin the whole nation had become guilty, although, in all likelihood, they did not even know of his transgression (Josh. 7). The sin of one man, David, brought God’s judgment upon Israel (II Sam. 24; I Chron. 21).

This organism of the nation is the object of God’s wrath when some in the organism sin and the object of God’s blessing when some live in obedience to Him. In the times when good kings sat on Israel’s throne, God richly blessed the land, even though there were many wicked, something evident from the rebellions of Absalom and Adonijah.

When wicked kings sat on Israel’s throne, God brought famine and destruction from enemy nations; even though in the terrible days of Ahab, there were seven thousand who had not bowed the knee to Baal (I Kings 19:18). The wicked received outwardly the good things Jehovah sent upon the land when the righteous ruled, and the people of God suffered dreadfully when drought and disease destroyed the crops in days of apostasy. God deals organically with nations.

In Psalm 80, the nation of Israel, elect and reprobate alike, is pictured as a vine that God brought out of Egypt and blessed richly. But when they sinned, the wicked brought destruction upon the whole nation, a judgment bemoaned by the psalmist.

In the New Testament, the nation of Israel is once again compared to a vine in John 15. Christ is the vine; God is the husbandman. The entire nation constitutes the branches. The branches that do not abide in Christ are cut off, while the branches that remain in Him bear more fruit because the fruitless branches are pruned away.

This figure is picked up again in Romans 11:16-24. Paul speaks there of the nation of Israel as a “good” olive tree. With the exaltation of Christ, God grafts branches from a “wild” olive tree so that these branches bear fruit. They are the Gentiles, born in a wild olive tree but grafted into the good olive tree.

If I may stray from the main point for a moment, the “natural” olive tree, the nation of Israel, is natural because Christ is the principle of its life. Israel carried Christ within her from the beginning of her existence. This great truth was the hope and blessedness of believing Israel, and explains why Israel’s mothers desperately wanted children, for they then participate in the coming of the promised seed. Compare the prayer of Hannah (I Sam. 2:1-10) with the similar praise of Mary (Luke 1:46-55).

To return to the main idea: Gentiles can be, and are, grafted into the good olive tree from which most of its natural branches were cut out; while believing Jews throughout the entire new dispensation can be regrafted into their “own” olive tree, while Gentile branches, once grafted into the olive tree, can be cut out if they refuse to believe. The important truth here is that the branches are not individuals but generations.

For example, Jews are present in the church of the new dispensation throughout history, if they believe in Christ. But once a “branch” of Gentiles falls away, they are lost in their generations. God does not return to His work once those who were the objects of His grace have, in their generations, forsaken the truth.

North America and Europe once had the gospel as continents. In these modern times, in the majority of their people and their leaders, both have forsaken the gospel and are now in the process of deliberately rejecting the whole of God’s law in approving the most abominable sins. God is taking away His Word in these continents, because they had it and rejected it. He is removing the gospel as the apostate church works more and more with the wicked civil governments, while the number of the faithful grows smaller and smaller, until at last they are only a scattered remnant.

That is why, in our day, by and large, God is removing His gospel from America and Europe, and is moving especially to the Orient to gather His church there.

My wife and I have a daughter and son-in-law working in the Philippines. Cries come from so many places that he and his fellow missionaries cannot answer them all: “Come and teach us the Reformed faith.” Can you imagine hosts of people in America crying out to the Protestant Reformed Churches like this? or the CPRC in Northern Ireland receiving so many calls from groups of people in the British Isles who are begging to be taught the pure Reformation truth of Scripture?

As we have said, the final organism of God’s purpose, realized at the end of time, has as its head Christ, who is the second Adam. Scripture teaches that the new organism has our Lord Jesus, exalted in the highest heaven, as ruler over all (e.g., Col. 1:13-20; I Cor. 15:24-28). Under Him, as the whole human race was once under Adam, are all the elect, who are His body. To this organism belongs the whole world of elect angels, who are under the elect and redeemed church as “ministering spirits” (Heb. 1:14).

The new heavens and the new earth will be delivered from the curse, transformed by Christ’s atoning sacrifice and given to the elect as their everlasting inheritance. Christ is the head of the creation as the second Adam, whose place He took.

By the resurrection of Christ, heaven and earth are made one. Christ’s resurrection took place both in heaven and on earth—united at the same time. For although He arose from a tomb in a garden, He did not come back to this world—as a misguided minister once said, who wished he had been present with a camera to take a photo—for He broke a new door from the grave that opened in heaven, for all His brothers do follow Him. By the great miracle of the resurrection, He made possible the union of the new heavens and the new earth delivered from the curse.

The history of the world is the history of God in His providence and grace working to attain this purpose. And this purpose is achieved fundamentally through the preaching of the gospel. Prof. Herman Hanko


Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: https://cprc.co.uk/ • Live broadcast: cprc.co.uk/live-streaming/
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
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South Wales
Lecture


The Canon of
Sacred Scripture


All Christians view the Bible as the Word of God but where did the 66 books of Scripture come from? How do we know that these books, and no others, belong in the Bible? Who decided which books are the Word of God? Did the church determine this? Does the Bible derive its authority from the church or from somewhere else? Come to hear an explanation of the Bible, its authority and its relationship to the church!

Speaker:
Rev. Martyn McGeown


Date:
Thursday, 27 February
 
7:15 PM

Venue: 
Margam Community Centre
Bertha Road, Margam, Port Talbot, SA13 2AP

Books, CDs and DVDs available at the lecture
Coffee and tea provided after the lecture

All are invited! 

cprc.co.uk/south-wales-lectures
limerickreformed.com

Born for Our Salvation

by Martyn McGeown
(288 pp. Hardback)

 
The nativity story is the message of salvation for, in the words of the Nicene Creed, “Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God … for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man.” Jesus was born for our salvation!

£16.50 (inc. P&P)

Order on-line from the 
CPRC Bookstore
or by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells,
N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!


Practical Christianity: Temptation
 
6 sermons on
James 1:2-17
on CD or DVD in an attractive box set 


How are temptations and trials related? What is their source? Is God the author of tempation? What is our heavenly Father’s 
purpose with our trials and temptations? How does James 1 teach us to deal with them and endure them? Why is wisdom necessary in this regard? Learn from these sermons about practical Christianity!

(1) How to Handle Our Various Trials
(2) Asking God for Wisdom
(3) Paradoxical Boasting
(4) Enduring Temptation
(5) The Origin & Goal of Temptation
(6) Every Good and Perfect Gift

£6/box set (inc. P&P)

Listen free on-line or
order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells,
N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!
Read more...

Reformed News Asia - December 2019

 
Issue 57 - December 2019
Pamphlets

We print pamphlets written by our members and those from other Reformed churches of like-minded faith. They include a wide range of topics from doctrines to church history and practical Christian living. These pamphlets serve to promote knowledge of the true God as expressed in the Reformed faith.
NEWPamphlet!
The Law of God
By Rev Rodney Kleyn

"Psalm 119:97ff:

O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
 
Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.
 
I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
 
I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.
 
I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.
 
I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.
 
How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
 
Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way."

Click hereto view our catalogue of pamphlets.

Click here to make an order.

All pamphlets are free. CERC reserves some discretion regarding large orders and/or orders from those outside Singapore.
 
Featured Book
For local orders (S'pore), please contact Ms Daisy Lim at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For international orders, click here.
Born For Our Salvation
by Martyn McGeown
 

From the RFPA website:

The nativity story is the message of salvation, for in the words of the Nicene Creed, “Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God…for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man.” Jesus was born for our salvation!

Follow the inspired evangelists, Matthew and Luke, as they relate the wonderful events that surround the birth and early childhood of Jesus Christ. Marvel at the announcement of the angel Gabriel. Rejoice with Mary, Elizabeth, the unborn John, and Joseph. Trace the steps of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, where the Savior is born. Listen to the heavenly song of the angelic host as they announce the gospel to lowly shepherds. Meet patient Simeon and aged Anna in the temple, and hear Simeon’s mysterious prophecy of the Savior’s rejection. Make the long trek from the east with the wise men who eagerly seek him that is born King of the Jews. Enter the palace of ruthless King Herod and witness his satanic enmity against the newborn Savior. Flee with Mary, Joseph, and Jesus to Egypt to escape the king’s wrath. Observe Jesus’ childhood development in Nazareth, and, finally, accompany Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem in his twelfth year, where he must be about his Father’s business. 

 
Audio Recordings
Click to listen to the series of sermons from Thessalonians by Rev Arie Den Hartog
 
Paul's Thanksgiving For The Thessalonian Christians
Thanksgiving For The Saving Power Of The Word Of God
Abound More And More In Love
Walk Pleasing to God
Armed As We Await The Coming Of The Lord
 
Upcoming Events!
 
Save the date!

1 Feb 2020 - CNY Visitation

15-18 Jun 2020 - Church Camp 2020
 
 
Past Events...
 
Reformation Day Conference 2019

On the 9th of November 2019, CERC held its Reformation Day Conference under the theme "Personal, Practical, Profitable: The "Other" Work of the Syod of Dordt". The theme was chosen to target the more practical application of the Synod of Dordt. We were privileged to have Rev Den Hartog who delivered the speeches. We were blessed by the speeches and may we apply what we have learnt in our daily lives.

RDC 2019 Speech 1 : The Synod and Church Life
RDC 2019 Speech 2: The Synod and Personal Life
 
Rev Den Hartog giving a speech
 
 
Book sale
Artwork all the way from Kolkata
 
Christmas Caroling 2019

The Christmas Caroling was held at Brother Ishu's and Brother Yoon Chuan's house this year. We are thankful to them for opening their house as well as their hospitality. Everyone had an enjoyable time of singing and fellowship!
 
 
Notes
 
Salt Shakers
 

Salt Shakers is a bi-monthly magazine published by the youth in Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC). Included in each issue are writings pertaining to bothReformed doctrine and practical theology. Contributors to Salt Shakers include our pastor, youth and members of CERC, and pastors and professors from the Protestant Reformed Churches in America. Salt Shakers also features articles from the Standard Bearer and other Reformed publications. Click here to access.

 
Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church
We are a Reformed Church that holds to the doctrines of the Reformation as they are expressed in the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dordt.

Lord’s Day services on Sunday at 930 am & 2 pm • 11 Jalan Mesin, #04-00, Standard Industrial Building, Singapore 368813 • www.cerc.org.sg 
 
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