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Covenant PRC, N. Ireland Newsletter - August 2019

CPRC NI building

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Ballymena, NI
29 August 2019

Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,

New CPRC Website

Our website has always been a vital means of spreading the truth and, with its extensive content, it has benefitted many and gotten us contacts throughout the world. However, as technology and the internet changed, some weaknesses with our older website became evident. Because the website was created when we were the Covenant Protestant Reformed Fellowship, we still used the url with the “f” ( www.cprf.co.uk ). The site was not properly smart phone compatible, which also resulted in a drop down external search engine listings. The software that Mary used to set up and maintain the website was obsolete, for the company that produced it had stopped making it and was no longer going to upgrade it. The ability to download audios from the website was difficult for some to understand and was not easy to do on smart phones and tablets. The internal search engine on the old website was not working properly and gave only one result. Clearly, a change was needed.

Since outside companies charge a lot to design and convert even small websites, Mary volunteered to do the work, ably assisted by Carol Nienhuis of Hope PRC. Be-cause the website is large (5,000 pages, plus PDFs and about 2,000 audio files), we needed the new program to be able to import our old web pages and audios easily, and with-out losing all the formatting. After checking out five or six platforms, Mary decided that WordPress was the best fit. According to Wikipedia, WordPress is the world’s most popular website management system, being used by more than 60 million websites, including over a third of the top 10 million websites (as of April 2019). Even with the ability to import much of our old website, it has taken about two years to get the new site up and running.

Besides solving the problems (mentioned above), our new style website ( www.cprc.co.uk ), which has all the content of the earlier one, has a number of helpful features: it has a Bible reference tagger (placing the cursor over the Scripture cited will automatically bring up the text), related webpages and books pop up on the right side of the page, it is printer-friendly, etc. The new website is so easy to work that I can add and modify its content too on my computer.

However, more has to be done with our new website. Some glitches must be fixed. The books and box sets of CDs and DVDs need to be displayed better. We also want to set things up so that people can order and pay for books and box sets online. At least until these things are sorted, we intend to keep our old website up as well.

Our new look website was first uploaded on 12 June, so that people could see it at our congregation’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) that night. Other reports covered our audio-visual witness (Stephen Murray does a lot of fine work), our finances (the CPRC has had a very good year), and the Limerick Reformed Fellowship or LRF (covering its families, individuals and potential). As is our custom, the AGM comes after Family Visitation, which, this year, focused on I Peter 2.

U.S. Trip

During our biennial holiday in America (17 June-15 July), Mary and I had a week of camping with many of her family in Tellu-ride, SW Colorado, and another week of camping in the Black Hills of South Dakota, etc. I preached 7 sermons in 5 different churches in 4 states (Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa, and Michigan), and gave 3 Power-Point presentations on the British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) and its conferences (espe-cially the upcoming one in Castlewellan Castle, Northern Ireland, on 11-18 July,
2020) in Loveland, Edgerton, and Hudson-ville Protestant Reformed Churches.

In Loveland PRC, I officiated at the wedding of our nephew, Eric Hanko, who married Molly Moore (21 June) and gave a lecture with slides on “Are Unbelievers in God’s Image?” (29 June). In Hull PRC, I baptized little Aubrey Westra, our great-niece (7 July).
Making it on a Lord’s day to Edgerton PRC—leaving the best to last!—meant that, finally, after over 18 years, I have preached in all of the 33 Protestant Reformed Churches in the US and Canada. That Sunday (7 July) also marked the first services of the group seeking to become Unity Protestant Reformed Church, a daughter church of Byron Center PRC. So it looks like I should visit number 34 when next in Michigan, Lord willing!

Our thanks to family and friends in the PRC for their hospitality and fellowship during our time in America. While we were away, Rev. and Nancy Key stayed in our house. This was their first visit to Northern Ireland, and Rev. Key was the obvious choice for pulpit supply in the CPRC, since my schedule meant that I would be spending 2 Lord’s days in Loveland.

[To continue reading the newsletter, download the attached pdf with the full report.]

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Reformed News Asia - August 2019

 
Issue 55 - August 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!
What It Means to be Reformed
By Rev. Barry Gritters

Covenant. The reality of covenant friendship with the triune God whom we love because He first loved us, is the heart of the Christian and Reformed faith.

Calvinism. That covenant relationship must be understood properly—Calvinistically. How and why God entered into friendship with a people, and whether that relationship can ever end, are answered by the Calvinistic doctrines of the sovereignty, efficacy, and particularity of grace; and the unconditional character of double predestination.

Church. Those whom God befriends will join themselves to a true Church. Reformed believers are not individualistic in thinking or living, but ecclesiastical because Christ is (Eph. 1:21-23). To be Reformed is to understand church membership, the church’s worship, her government, her discipline, and more.

Confessional. A Reformed church is Confessional. That is, she adopts and teaches creeds as official and binding expressions of the faith of the Scripture. An integral part of her church life is using these confessions. Inseparably involved with being confessional is that she has a sense of, and deep appreciation for, history and tradition.

Christian life. At this date in church history, it is also necessary to say that Reformed believers and Reformed churches have a unique perspective on the Christian life. Especially some New Calvinists, and all neo-Calvinists, have a view of the Christian life that is not historically Reformed.

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.
The Royal Sufferer
by Herman Hoeksema
 

From the RFPA website:

Christ is and was the king…
…whose kingdom is not of this world, and who rejected all the glory that this world offers.
…who refused to allow the Jews to crown him king, though he was the King of the Jews.
…who fought alone, without an army.
…who was arrested by his own people, and mocked by the representatives of the Roman Empire, the great earthly kingdom of that day.
…who was crucified because he was King, and remained King when he died.
…who, being risen and ascended, is the King of kings and Lord of lords.
To this divinely anointed King, this book is witness. Behold your King, and worship him!

 
Audio Recordings
Click to listen to the series of sermons on Daniel by Rev Jonathan Mahtani
 
Daniel Carried Into Babylon
The Resistance Of Babylonian Assimilation
Nebuchadnezzar's Dream Of Kingdoms Crushed
 
Upcoming Events!
 
Save the dates!

22 Sep 2019 - CERC 32nd Anniversary Celebration

Sep 2019 - Gospel Meeting

Nov 2019 - CERC Reformation Day Conference

More details coming soon!
 
Past Events...
 
Ordination and Installation of Office Bearers

We give thanks to God for providing CERC with willing men who serve in the offices of Elder and Deacon. This year, the Ordination of an Elder and the Installation of a deacon was conducted. We pray for the Lord's blessings as these new office-bearers undertake their respective callings.
 
 
Tang Yoon Chuan ordinated into the office of Elder
 
 
Rev. Jonathan Mahtani

We were glad to receive Rev. Jonathan Mahtani, his 2 sons and his mum into our midst for about 2 weeks. We enjoyed his presence and we thank God for his sermons and speeches. Rev Mahtani gave 2 speeches for a mission seminar and a family seminar. The speeches can be found here:

Experience & Challenges Of Local Church in Evangelism 
Christ Centred Parenting
 
Farewell picture
 
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 ~ Pastor: Rev Andy Lanning  ~ www.cerc.org.sg 
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Covenant Reformed News - August 2019

Covenant Reformed News


August 2019 • Volume XVII, Issue 16



Confessing Christ as “The Lord Our Righteousness”

This is our third and final instalment on Jeremiah 23:5-6: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness.”

In the last two issues of the News, we have seen that Jeremiah’s prophecy of the “Branch” (5) is fulfilled in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is “The Lord Our Righteousness” (6), as regards the imputed righteousness of justification. Now we shall turn to the true confession of Christ as “The Lord Our Righteousness.”

Whereas Jeremiah writes, “this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness,” there are various groups that do not like this name of Christ and cannot truly ascribe it to Him. The Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy and liberal Protestantism trust in man’s own will and works for justification.

Similarly, classic Arminianism teaches the heresy of justification on the basis of man’s own free will and works (Canons I:R:3; II:R:4). Arminius (1560-1609) himself wrote that “justification is ascribed to faith, not because it accepts, but because it is accepted [as righteousness].” Amyraldianism, a false theology that arose in seventeenth-century France and still has advocates today, likewise claims that God reckons or esteems man’s faith as if it were righteousness. The heretical Federal Vision proclaims that man’s works which arise out of faith constitute part of his justifying righteousness before God, especially on the last day.

To whose righteousness do the child of God and the true church look? “The angels our righteousness”? No, our righteousness must be provided by one who is both God and man, as the Heidelberg Catechism explains,

Q. 16. Why must He be very man, and also perfectly righteous?
A. Because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which hath sinned should likewise make satisfaction for sin; and one who is himself a sinner cannot satisfy for others.
Q. 17. Why must He in one person be also very God?
A.  That He might, by the power of His Godhead, sustain in His human nature the burden of God’s wrath; and might obtain for, and restore to us, righteousness and life.

“Mary and the saints our righteousness”? No, their righteousnesses do not form any part of the believer’s justification, contrary to Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. “Our works our righteousness”? The gospel says, “No!” to this false doctrine of Rome, Eastern Orthodoxy, liberal Protestantism and the Federal Vision. “Our free will our righteousness”? The heresy of Arminius and Arminianism must be rejected. “Our faith our righteousness”? The Amyraldian teaching is also false.

This is the truth: “The Lord Our Righteousness.” “The Lord Our Righteousness” alone and nothing else! This is our confession, along with Jeremiah and Christ’s true church!

This beautiful message involving “The Lord Our Righteousness” is in sharp contrast to the message of the false prophets later in Jeremiah 23 and through the ages. “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord” (16). So do not listen to those who peddle a “gospel” of man’s works righteousness (Prov. 19:27)!

“They say still unto them that despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you” (Jer. 23:17). Not peace but only God’s wrath is upon all who refuse to trust in Christ’s righteousness alone (Rom. 2:8-9)!

“For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord , and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?” (Jer. 23:18). Certainly not those who reject “The Lord Our Righteousness”!

“Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” (29). This is what the mighty gospel of justification in Christ alone does (Rom. 1:16; I Cor. 1:18, 24)!

“Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one from his neighbour” (Jer. 23:30). The Almighty is resolutely opposed to all who teach contrary to “The Lord Our Righteousness” and thereby rob people of the true gospel, as Paul’s inspired epistle to the Galatians shows.

All of God’s people believe in, and feel the need of, “The Lord Our Righteousness.” This righteousness is a divine righteousness, “the righteousness of God” (Rom. 1:17; 3:21-22; 10:3; II Cor. 5:21; II Pet. 1:1), because of the Person who wrought it, “The Lord Our Righteousness.” Jesus obtained this wonderful gift for us in a human nature like ours (Heb. 2:14-18) so that it is beautifully fitted for us. This is a perfect righteousness: Christ’s lifelong, flawless, loving obedience of His Father, unlike our sinful efforts which are as “filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6). Daniel calls this our “everlasting righteousness” (9:24).

This truth of “The Lord Our Righteousness” is required for our complete salvation. What is known as Christ’s “passive” obedience is His lifelong suffering for our sins, especially on the cross. Jesus’ “active” obedience refers to His keeping God’s law for us during all His time on earth. Our deliverance from all our trespasses and to eternal bliss requires both Christ’s substitutionary death and His substitutionary life.

Thus Jeremiah 23:6 inseparably joins Christ’s righteousness (which is imputed to us) and our salvation: “In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness.”

This is vital for the believer in response to his accusing conscience and as he approaches God in prayer and on the great judgment day. It also serves to preserve us from all the damnable notions of man’s works righteousness! Rev. Stewart

 

The Idea of the Organic in Scripture (1)

After having written in the News for over twenty years, I am convinced that the most questions I answered have dealt with some aspect of the on-going struggle between Arminianism and the Reformed faith. The fierce warfare between these two systems of doctrine has generated many different questions regarding crucial doctrines of Scripture.

The most fundamental doctrine at issue is, as most know, whether God’s work of salvation is in all respects sovereign and for the elect alone, or whether it is universal and dependent in part on the free will of man.

But, as I said, other doctrines are involved. Sometimes the controversy is over the interpretation of biblical verses. Examples are John 3:16, Ezekiel 33:11, II Peter 3:9 and others.

The question is: Are these texts referring to the elect only or are they referring to all men absolutely (cf. www.cprc.co.uk/calvinism-resources)? For example, does John 3:16 (probably the most used text by Arminians) refer to every man, woman and child in the world? Or does it refer to the elect only—along with God’s entire cosmos—in Christ, “the last Adam” (I Cor. 15:45), who is the head of the new creation (Eph. 1:10)?

Is the Arminian claim true that the gospel is God’s well-meaning offer to absolutely all who hear? Or is the preaching of the gospel the power of God unto salvation to all who believe (Rom. 1:16)? Does God passionately want all men to be saved? Or does He desire the salvation of the elect only (Luke 10:21-22)?

Does God love all men? Or does He love only His elect (Rom. 9:13)? Did Christ die for all men? Or did He die only for the elect (John 10:14-15)? Is God gracious to all men? Or is He gracious only to His elect in Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:2-4)?

Does God save by knocking at the door of the hearts of all men head for head desperately seeking admission (though failing in the majority of cases)? Or does He save by irresistibly entering the heart of the sinner, who naturally resists Him, and sweetly renewing his will (Canons III/IV:11)?

The issue of sovereign grace is even involved in the debate between those who hold to believers’ baptism only and those who maintain that the Scriptures demand that the children of believers also be baptized (Gen. 17:7; Acts 16:15, 33).

As I have pondered these questions, attempted to answer them again and again, and considered and reconsidered the biblical passages involved, I have come to the conclusion that one of the most important issues involved in the controversy is the scriptural teaching that God, in all His dealings with man, deals “organically” with man and His creation.

The difficulty is that very few seem to know what the term “organically” or “organic” means. It is a term seldom heard, almost never defined, and rarely considered in any of the discussions involved in the differences between Arminians and those who profess the Reformed faith.

It is my contention that this issue is absolutely essential to the debate. Arminians are individualistic; the Reformed hold fast to the organic teaching of Scripture. Arminianism says, so to speak, “God only ever deals personally with individuals all by themselves. God takes the position in His dealings with men that ‘It is every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.’”

The Reformed teach that God never deals with anyone individualistically without any other consideration. Jehovah deals with every individual, and with all men, organically. That is, God deals with every man in his relation to other men and, ultimately, with every man in the whole world. He deals with them in relation to their family (into which they were born and/or which they themselves establish), with those with whom they work, with those with whom they study in school and with those with whom they worship. Jehovah deals with men in connection with the nation in which they live and even, ultimately, in their relation to all men everywhere and throughout the whole of history. He even deals with men in their relation to the creation in which they live and in connection with their care for His creation.

One cannot understand Jehovah’s work of salvation in the history of Israel and Judah, as well as throughout the whole of history, unless one understands this important truth of God’s Word. In a way, it is understandable that Arminians want to ascribe salvation partly to man’s work; they do not see the grand truth that the Bible sets forth, namely, that God is interested in the individual man only as he stands related to the whole human race—and, indeed, as he is a part of His entire world.

I hope to discuss this teaching of Scripture in some detail in future issues of the News. I will take great pains to define what I mean by the “organic” and I will refer to many biblical passages in which this glorious truth is taught, 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,
5 September, 2019
 7:15 PM


Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart

(pastor of the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church, N. Ireland)

Subject:
The Peace Offering


What is the key idea of the peace offering? What is its distinctive teaching regarding the work of Jesus Christ? What does the peace offering teach about our salvation and our experience of it?

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


Reformation Day
Lecture


William Tyndale: 
English Bible Translator


William Tyndale (c. 1494-1536) was a great English preacher, Bible translator, theologian, Reformer and martyr. Born in Gloucestershire, studied at Oxford University, and pursued by his enemies through Germany and the Lowlands, Tyndale was burned at the stake near Brussels for the truth of God’s Word.

Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart


Date:
Friday, 25 October
 
7:30 PM

Venue: 
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence St. 
Ballymena BT43 5DR

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

All are invited! 
www.cprc.co.uk
 

The Belgic Confession, Vol. 2
David J. Engelsma 
(400 pp., hardback) 

With the publication of volume 2 is completed a full-scale, Reformed commentary on the Belgic Confession, of which there are only a few in English today. This book is not a summary of the Confession, nor a compilation of sermons loosely based on the Confession, but a commentary. It explains the Confession, article by article, doctrine by doctrine. Volume 2 begins with the Confession’s opening article on the doctrine of salvation, continues with the Confession’s lengthy treatment of the doctrine of the church and concludes with the Confession’s explanation of the doctrine of the last things—eschatology. Volume 2 covers Articles 22-37 of the Belgic Confession and includes indexes for both volumes.

£22.00 (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!


Celebrating 400 Years of the Synod of Dordt 

A box set of 4 lectures
and 5 sermons
on CD or DVD 
by Prof. David J. Engelsma 


At the Synod of Dordt (1618-1619), the Reformed churches of Europe united to condemn the Aminian heresies and set forth the truth of God’s sovereign grace in Jesus Christ, often called the five points of Calvinism!

Lectures on Dordt
1) The Onset of the Great War: Ecclesiastical and Doctrinal
2) The Confession of the Gospel (of Grace): The “Five Points of 
Calvinism” (as the Content of the Canons of Dordt)
3) The Defence of the Gospel: Rejection of Errors
4) The Other Decisions of the Dordt Synod

Sermons on Romans 7, etc. 
(Arminius’ sermons on this chapter especially revealed his heresies)
1) Remarried! (Rom. 7:1-4)
2) Delivered From the Law
(Rom. 7:5-6)
3) Is the Law Sin? (Rom. 7:7-13)
4) The Spiritual Law for a Carnal Christian (Rom. 7:14-16)
5) Jesus’ Pardon of the Adulteress (John 8:2-11)

£10/box set (inc. P&P)

Listen or watch 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!
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Covenant Reformed News - August 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Covenant Reformed News


July 2019 • Volume XVII, Issue 15



“The Lord Our Righteousness”

Jeremiah 23:5-6 proclaims, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness.”

In the last issue of the News, we saw how Jeremiah’s prophecy of the “Branch” (5) is fulfilled in our Lord Jesus Christ. Now we turn to what is probably the most distinctive and amazing thing about this passage of Holy Scripture: it calls our Saviour “The Lord Our Righteousness” (6).

First, He is our righteousness as One who is God according to His Person, namely, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. In our text, Christ is called “Lord” (6), that is, Jehovah, the “I am that I am” (Ex. 3:14), the eternal and unchangeable One. This is a clear proof of the Deity of Jesus Christ, for “this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness” (Jer. 23:6).

This is not the only passage to speak directly and explicitly of Christ’s divinity, even in the Old Testament. In Psalm 45:6, Christ is addressed thus: “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.” Isaiah 9:6 calls Him “the mighty God” (cf. 10:21).

But what is more striking is that Jeremiah 23:6 confesses that Jesus Christ is not only Jehovah but that he is “The Lord Our Righteousness.” That is astounding and it comes in the Old Testament too!

Second, He who is our righteousness is not only God according to His Person but also a man according to His human nature. Jeremiah 23:6 teaches our Saviour’s humanity in that it presents Him as a descendant of David, of his family, which presupposes His birth and human nature (Matt. 1:1; Acts 2:29-30; II Tim. 2:8).

Thus the full picture of our text, in keeping with the rest of God’s Word (e.g., John 1:1-3, 14; Rom. 1:3-4; 9:5), is that Jesus Christ is both God and man, for He is both Jehovah and a descendant of David (Jer. 23:5-6).

Now the question is, How is He “The Lord Our Righteousness”? First, is this a reference to Christ’s righteous character? After all, He is called “a righteous Branch” (5). However, this is His personal righteousness, not “The Lord Our Righteousness.” Jesus’ personal righteousness is the basis and presupposition of His being “The Lord Our Righteousness.”

Second, does this title of Christ speak of His righteous rule? Does not Jeremiah say He “shall execute judgment [or righteousness]” (5)? But this is the exercise of our Saviour’s righteousness in His reign of grace over us. It is not what is meant by His being “The Lord Our Righteousness.”

Third, does “The Lord Our Righteousness” refer to His righteousness infused or poured into us by the Holy Spirit? This is a biblical truth but it is not the idea of our text, for nowhere in Scripture is Christ called “The Lord Our Righteousness” (or anything like this) with respect to infused righteousness, the inwardly transforming righteousness of sanctification.

Instead, “The Lord Our Righteousness” speaks of the imputed righteousness of justification. To impute means to reckon to one’s account. It is a legal or accounting term. In our justification, Christ’s righteousness is made over to our account as belonging to us. Thus God the judge declares us righteous. This is our legal standing because Jesus is “The Lord Our Righteousness.”

Here are four simple proofs that “The Lord Our Righteousness” refers to the imputed righteousness of justification. First, we note the similarity between this name for our Saviour and “the righteousness of God” (Rom. 1:17; 3:21-22; 10:3; II Cor. 5:21; II Pet. 1:1; cf. Phil. 3:9), a key phrase in the biblical teaching regarding justification. Both “The Lord Our Righteousness” and “the righteousness of God” speak of righteousness, a divine righteousness and a divine righteousness that is ours, because “the righteousness of God” is graciously imputed to us and received by us through faith alone.

Second, II Corinthians 5:21 explains how Jesus is “The Lord Our Righteousness”: “For he [i.e., God] hath made him [i.e., Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Likewise, third, I Corinthians 1:30’s statement that “Christ … is made unto us … righteousness,” that is, righteousness in justification, gives the reason why the incarnate, obedient, crucified and risen Son of God is called “The Lord Our Righteousness.”

Fourth, Romans 3:21-22 teaches the same precious truth: “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe.” “The righteousness of God” (21, 22) is in “Jesus Christ” (22). This is “witnessed by … the prophets” (21), including Jeremiah, who calls Christ “The Lord Our Righteousness” (23:6)! Rev. A. Stewart


Martin Luther: “Therefore a man can with confidence boast in Christ and say: ‘Mine are Christ’s living, doing, and speaking, his suffering and dying, mine as much as if I had lived, done, spoken, suffered, and died as he did’ … Through faith in Christ, therefore, Christ’s righteousness becomes our righteousness and all that he has becomes ours; rather, he himself becomes ours.”

 

The “World” and Arminian Universalism

A reader writes, “In John 17:9, Jesus is praying for His disciples: ‘I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.’ But, later in that same chapter, He prays for the salvation of the world: ‘that the world may believe that thou hast sent me’ (21).”

The questioner continues, “Also Christ’s prayer in Gethsemane (Mark 14:36) is used as a refutation of our claim that all of His prayers are heard and granted by the Father: ‘See,’ it is asserted, ‘Jesus prays for something that doesn’t come to pass or is not granted by the Father. Surely this allows for other unanswered prayers … such as, Christ praying ‘that the world may believe that thou hast sent me’?”

I do not know exactly how long I have written in the News but it has got to be over twenty years. I suspect that in that time questions involving the “world” have been asked more than any other in a vain attempt to prove from Scripture a universal atonement made by our Lord and Saviour. (Christ’s priestly office includes both His sacrifice and His prayers on the basis of His sacrifice, so all efforts to prove a universal intercession of Jesus necessarily involve universal atonement.)

Arminians have no conception of the emphasis on organisms in Scripture and, therefore, will never be convinced that the “world” means anything other than every individual head for head. I shall try again. When I speak of “organisms,” I refer to the fact that, in the work of salvation, God does not deal with individuals isolated from other people in the creation. Perhaps it would be well if I would write some articles on this very truth, without which the Scriptures cannot be interpreted correctly.

At any rate, here is another attempt to deal with the same question of the universality of the cross and atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ. First of all, a few remarks are in order concerning the prayers of Christ in which He supposedly prays for all men absolutely and thus He sometimes prays to the Father with petitions that are not answered.

I really find it difficult to imagine that anyone could possibly believe that our Lord Jesus Christ could pray to the Triune God and make a request that He refused to answer. It is wrong on the very surface.

Besides, the Arminian position calls Christ a liar, for it contradicts His express words: “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always” (John 11:41-42).

Moreover, if it were true that Christ was turned away from His Father, because He asked for something that His Father refused to grant, Christ is no longer the eternal Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity. Does Christ, personally the eternal Son, not know all the will of the Triune God? Of course, He knows. Why then would He ask for something He knows He will not receive? The Arminian denies the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ when he teaches that He ever made a prayer to the Father that is unanswered.

Let the Arminian give that some serious thought, for to deny Christ, in fact or by implication, puts one in the camp of the Antichrist: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world” (I John 4:1-3).

But the Arminian commits the same deadly error when he claims that Christ died for all men, because the word “world,” so he says, means every man, woman and child; every aborted baby and every monster of iniquity (e.g., Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot). But I do not know of anyone, save a few ardent universalists, who believes that everyone is saved.

Of course, if the word “world” means every person that ever lived or will live in the world or in his mother’s womb, then it is also true, as has been shown by theologians since the time of Augustine (354-430), that Christ’s cross was ineffectual for the majority of people. And if it is ineffective for the majority of people, then why is it not also ineffectual for the elect—for you and for me?

The Arminian gets around this obvious truth by saying, “Jesus only died to make salvation available or possible, but salvation ultimately depends on the will of man and his acceptance of Christ.”

The Roman Catholic Church heartily embraces the heresy of free will because it is compelled to protect its awful doctrine of meriting with God. Erasmus, an enemy of the Reformation, wrote a book defending free will. Luther utterly destroyed its teachings in his The Bondage of the Will (1525). The German Reformer considered it, along with his commentary on Galatians, to be the two books he would most want to preserve, if all his other books were destroyed. In his preface to The Bondage of the Will, Luther complimented Erasmus for underscoring the most fundamental point of the many differences between Rome and Wittenberg.

Earlier, the doctrine of free will was emphatically repudiated by Augustine when he refuted the heresies of the Pelagians and Semi-Pelagians. The Synod of Dordt rightly said of free will that it is the old Pelagian error brought once again out of hell (II:R:3).

Why do so many today embrace this terrible error that has been rejected for centuries by the church of Christ? The only answer is that they do not want God to have all the glory for His mighty work of grace in Jesus Christ, but want to retain some tattered rags of their own pride by insisting that they and/or the unconverted are able to do something towards their salvation.

The answer to such nonsense is what an old and uneducated farmer in the Netherlands, who had more theological sense than all the Arminians, said to his pastor, Rev. Hendrik De Cock: “If I had to contribute even so much as one sigh to my salvation, I would be lost.”

Arminianism is ungodly heresy. I wish that the Arminians would stop twisting Scripture to try to make God’s Word say what it does not say (II Pet. 3:16), and humble themselves before the great glory of the infinitely blessed Trinity to whom alone be praise forever and ever. Prof. H. 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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Philippines Mission Newsletter - July 2019

PRCA FOREIGN MISSIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES
JULY 2019 NEWSLETTER

Rev. D. Holstege (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) – Rev. D. Kleyn (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) – Rev. R. Smit (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
PO Box 1173 ACPO, Antipolo City, Rizal 1870, Philippines

DHolstege family 2019RSmit family 2019DKleyns 2019

Greetings from the Philippines to the members of our Protestant Reformed Churches and Sister Churches.

At the time of my writing this newsletter, my wife Sharon and I have been back in the Philippines from our extended furlough (5 ½ months) for just under two weeks. We were warmly welcomed home, first of all by a good dose of tropical heat and humidity. It may take us a while to get used to it again. One thing in our favor, at least, is that the cooler rainy season has now started. But more importantly, we were also warmly welcomed back by the Smits and Holsteges as well as by the saints in the churches here. It has been good to see everyone again. And it is good to be home again. We are thankful to be here and grateful for the opportunity we continue to have to serve the Lord and His church in this part of His kingdom.

The furlough began in January. Most striking to us, at first, was the cold of winter. After a few days of constant shivering, we realized we needed to put on more layers. Many more layers. In spite of the cold, we did enjoy winter again and were able to appreciate the beauty of that season.

The longer furlough also gave us plenty time to be with our families. We both appreciated this very much. We had ample time to reconnect with them all, including many nephews and nieces whom we hardly knew. A special aspect was the amount of time we could have with our parents – time we will always treasure. Other furlough activity included the following: preaching in many of our churches (15 of them), spending two Sundays in our calling church (Doon PRC), promoting the mission field through presentations in our Protestant Reformed schools, sorting through and shipping books we still had in storage, attending the annual Synod, etc. Through all these activities and more, we were impressed by the overwhelming show of support for the work in the Philippines. It was also good to hear of the excitement for the start of a seminary in the Philippines. All of this support is heartwarming and a great encouragement to us all.

Going into the furlough, my plan was to begin working on an advanced degree (a Masters in Theology). This is something which the FMC and Doon have encouraged us as missionaries to pursue, if at all possible. I was able to make a good beginning, but soon needed to switch gears. The change came about when the Classis of the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines made some decisions in February, 2019 that allowed for theological training in the PRCP to begin already in 2019. This meant that I needed to work instead on preparing the courses that I would be teaching in the PRCP’s seminary. That then became my focus during the remainder of the furlough. And the furlough was very helpful in that regard, not only because I was able to meet with and receive much helpful advice from our seminary professors, but also because I had more uninterrupted study time than I would on the mission field. I was also able to purchase the resources I will need for the classes I will be teaching as well as for the classes that the other missionaries plan to teach.

On behalf of my wife and myself, I take this opportunity to express our thanks to the churches for allowing us to take this furlough. We were able to accomplish many things during our time in the USA, and we were also rejuvenated for the work. Through the Lord’s blessing, the furlough served us very well. But now we are back in the Philippines. Time, therefore, to turn to some news from here.

While we were on furlough, Rev. Holstege and Rev. Smit were able to divide up the work in such a way that, for the most part, the work could continue as normal. This included providing pulpit supply in the PRCP churches, serving as advisors to consistories, standing committees and the Classis, continuing with the monthly visits to and lectures for the pastors in Southern Negros Occidental, hosting the annual delegation (Rev. J. Engelsma and Rev. N. Decker who came in February), teaching catechism classes, leading Bible studies, preaching and teaching among some of the newer groups/contacts, etc. Their workload did increase while I was gone, but the presence of three missionaries certainly helps a lot with furloughs, ensuring that ordinarily there are at least two of us here at any given time. That’s a good thing and very helpful as regards both the work and companionship.

I can also report concerning three significant developments in the churches here in the Philippines.

First of all, the PRCP now has a second sister church. As you know, a sister church relationship was established between the PRCP and PRCA in 2018. Now in 2019 a sister church relationship has been established between the PRCP and the CERCS (Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church in Singapore). These denominations are close to each other geographically (a 3 ½ hour flight from Manila to Singapore), and even culturally (both are in southeast Asian countries). More significant, however, is their closeness to each other doctrinally. By means of correspondence and visits, both denominations became convinced of their unity in the truth and thus of the need to become sisters. We rejoice with them at this important development and hope and pray they may be of mutual help and encouragement to each other.

 ProvidentCC 2

Secondly, the PRCP now has a new member church. That new member is Provident Protestant Reformed Church (PPRC) in Marikina (picture above). Provident is a congregation of some 12 families. In addition to the families who are members, PPRC also has many regular attendees. The consistory consists of two elders and two deacons. This church has been a part of our labors since November, 2012. Through the work of Rev. Kleyn and then Rev. Holstege, the congregation has, over the years, become well established in the Reformed faith. For a good while, their desire had been to join the PRCP and this past February they eagerly applied for membership. The Contact Committee of the PRCP then met a number of times with the Consistory of PPRC, and as a fruit of these meetings, the CC recommended to Classis that PPRC be accepted into the churches. The Classis, at its June meeting, joyfully approved this recommendation. And so the churches have now grown from three to four. Those four are as follows: Berean PRC, PRC in Bulacan, Maranatha PRC, and Provident PRC. We thank the Lord for His blessing on the churches through the addition of this congregation. Christ does build His church. He continues to gather together the faithful remnant.

Thirdly, the PRCP plans soon to begin providing theological training for men who aspire to the gospel ministry. In fact, seminary instruction is set to begin on Tuesday, August 13. The Lord willing, we will have one student starting this year (2019), and perhaps three or more next year (2020). The students who hope to start next year are currently completing their pre-seminary requirements, which are very similar to the pre-seminary requirements in the PRCA.

As regards the instruction that will be given, the Classis of the PRCP has requested that we three PRCA missionaries provide that instruction for now. This does not mean, however, that we will be professors. For one thing, we have not been and will not be called and ordained as professors. But secondly, the seminary is being established by and belongs to the PRCP. As missionaries, we simply provide advice and assistance in this process. And the goal is that eventually the PRCP will be able to call its own men to be the professors. In the meantime, we missionaries will serve as the instructors.

The PRCP plans to provide instruction, for the most part, in the same subjects as are taught in the theological school of the PRCA. They also plan to incorporate a six-month internship in the training program. The total program will be 4 ½ years, mainly because Greek has been included as a seminary subject (not a pre-seminary subject). The courses we have each been asked to teach in the first year are as follows: Rev. Smit will teach Dogmatics and Greek Grammar, Rev. Kleyn will teach Church History/History of Dogma and Homiletics, and Rev. Holstege will teach Hermeneutics.

As we approach the start date, the work before us is daunting. But we are also excited about it and confident of the Lord’s guidance and blessing. We are thankful that the churches here will be able to train men for the gospel ministry, for that is indeed the need of the hour. And we covet your prayers for this significant and crucially important aspect of our labors here. May God be pleased to bless and prosper this work.

In Christian love,
Rev. Daniel Kleyn

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Reformed News Asia - June 2019

 
Issue 55 - June 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!
Pure and Undefiled Religion
By Prof Robert D. Decker

The theme or central thought of this Letter is to be found in James 1:26, 27. Here the "holy man of God, James, as moved by the Holy Spirit" (II Peter 1:21) draws a basic distinction. He writes: "If any man among you seem to be religious . . ."; literally, if any man among you thinks or imagines himself to be religious; "and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."

There are three characteristics of true religion, "pure and undefiled," in these verses. One who is truly religious bridles his tongue. It's that little member, the tongue, by which one expresses the boasting of his heart of pride (James 3:5). Controlling the tongue is the key to the humility of obedience to the perfect Law of Liberty (James 1:25). The second characteristic of true religion is "to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction." This is the highest expression of obedience to the second table of the law, "love thy neighbour as thyself." The third characteristic of pure and undefiled religion is: "and to keep himself unspotted from the world." This is to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind, soul, and strength, having no other gods before Him.
 

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.
The Royal Sufferer
by Herman Hoeksema

From the RFPA website:

Christ is and was the king…
…whose kingdom is not of this world, and who rejected all the glory that this world offers.
…who refused to allow the Jews to crown him king, though he was the King of the Jews.
…who fought alone, without an army.
…who was arrested by his own people, and mocked by the representatives of the Roman Empire, the great earthly kingdom of that day.
…who was crucified because he was King, and remained King when he died.
…who, being risen and ascended, is the King of kings and Lord of lords.
To this divinely anointed King, this book is witness. Behold your King, and worship him!

 
Audio Recordings
Click to listen to the sermons by Rev Arie Den Hartog on Lord's Day 12
 
Christ Our Chief Prophet And Teacher
Christ Our Only High Priest
Jesus Christ Is Our Eternal King
What It Means To Be A True Christian
 
Upcoming Events!
 
Save the date!

9 Aug 19 - Fellowship Outing

More details coming soon!
 
Past Events...
 
Sports Day 

This year, we enjoyed a variety of sports as we learned some new sports such as lacrosse and handball, as well as played some familiar sports. We had a good time of coaching, a fun time of games and especially good fellowship.
Group shot with our old and young lacrosse coaches!
Winner of the competitive handball match!
Kid's size lacrosse stick for children to enjoy as well
Oops, the ball went in..
 
CERC Church Camp 2019

June marks the return of our annual Church Camp! Always an exciting time, we thank God for the good speeches by Rev Den Hartog, the beneficial discussions and the enjoyable time of fellowship among the campers. 
Group photo!
Rev Den Hartog - our camp speaker
One of the group discussions
One of the many intense games we had
Meet our youngest campers (and more)!
 
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 both Reformed 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 ~ Pastor: Rev Andy Lanning  ~ www.cerc.org.sg 
 
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