News

News from All Churches

Reformed News Asia - August 2018

Issue 50 - August 2018
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!
Ageing
By Rev. den Hartog Arie & MaryBeth Lubbers

"Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not..."  
Psalm 71:18 

"For I know [Abraham], that he will command his children and his household after him...."
Genesis 18:19 

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.
Grace and Assurance
by Martyn McGeown

From the RFPA website:

In 1618-19 the great Synod of Dordt met to counter the Arminian error that was threatening the peace and welfare of the Reformed churches in the Netherlands. The fruit of their deliberations was the Canons of Dordt, a creed which has defined the Calvinist, Reformed faith for centuries.

This accessible commentary on the Canons leads readers through the comforting message of the creed: being wholly saved by God’s grace—not one’s own merit—comes with the steadfast assurance of eternal and unchangeable election.

 
Audio Recordings
Series of Sermons on The Last Days by Prof Russell Dykstra from 2 Peter 3:

The Coming Of Scoffers In The Last Days 
The Willing Ignorance Of The Scoffers
God's Longsuffering To Usward
What Manner Of People?


 
 
Upcoming Events!
 
Mooncake Gospel Meeting 

Speaker : Elder Lap Meng
Date : 29 Sep 18, Sat
Venue : CERC
Time: 5.30pm to 7.30pm
 
23 Sep    31st CERC Church Anniversary
Oct    Mission Seminar
 
Past Events...
 
Infant Baptism

In July, we were again blessed to witness the Infant Baptism of Sonya, daughter of Ivan Chew and Elisa; and Asaph, son of Marcus Wee and Tze Yan! We rejoice with their parents, thanking God and praying for God's blessings upon them as they bring up their covenant child in the fear of the Lord. 
Baptism of Sonya
Baptism of Asaph
 
Farewell for Pastor & Sherry Den Hartog

A number of farewell meals were planned for Pastor & Sherry Den Hartog who had been in our midst for 25 Sundays since January 2018. We bid farewell to them on 16 July. We thank God for them for their dedicated labours in our congregation for the past months, through the preaching and the counsels. We praise God for His goodness and love for CERC. 
Farewell lunch for Pastor Den Hartog and Sherry organised by Glowing Candles Bible Study Group
 
Prof & Carol Dykstra

We were glad to receive Prof & Carol Dykstra into our midst for 5 Sundays. We are very grateful to God for providing for our needs and for the supply of pulpit till the end of this year. May we trust and be thankful to God in all matters.
Prof Dykstra in one of his speeches
 
Installation of Office Bearers

On 22nd July, we witnessed the installation of Elder elect Wee Gim Theng and Elder Leong Fai Chong to the office of Elder as well as Deacon elect Paul Liu to the ofiice of Deacon. We thank God for His care and faithfulness for His church and we pray for the Lord's blessings upon them as they diligently undertake their respective callings. 
 
Family Seminar

This year's national day on 9 August, we were privileged to have a speech by Prof Dykstra under the theme: Dealing With Technology - Seeking Wisely To Live Wisely With Screen. The speech can be found here. Let us consider the usage of technology in our lives and in our homes. 

Fellowship Outing

On 22 September, we had another fellowship outing under the theme: Dwelling Together in Unity. The outing started of with devotions by Paul Liu followed by an activity of arts and crafts.
3D structures based on verses. Can you guess the verse?
 
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 
Read more...

Rejoicing in the Successful Examination and Ordination of J. Langerak

JLangerak CWexam 8 29 18
Pastor-elect Jonathan Langerak during his examination at the meeting of Classis West (held at Crete PRC)

Pastor-elect Jonathan Langerak successfully sustained his classical examination this past Wednesday August 29, at the meeting of Classis West held at Crete (IL) PRC (hosted by Peace PRC).

JLangerak RKleyn Ord 8 31 2018
Rev. Jonathan Langerak and Rev. Rodney Kleyn at the ordination service held at Heritage PRC.

Friday evening, August 31, he was ordained and installed in Heritage PRC, Sioux Falls, as her second pastor. Rev. R. Kleyn led the service, expounding the Word from I Cor.5.

JLangerak Sarah Aug 2018
Newly ordained pastor, Rev. J. Langerak and his fiance, Sarah Kleyn.

We rejoice with Rev. Langerak and Sarah and their familes, as well as with Heritage PRC, and pray that God bless him with many years of faithful and fruitful ministry.

Read more...

Covenant Reformed News - August 2018

 
 

Covenant Reformed News


August 2018 • Volume XVII, Issue 4



God’s Wisdom (3)

The two previous instalments explained the basic idea of wisdom and showed how it is manifest in God’s Persons, perfections, decree and works of creation and providence.
Jehovah displayed His rich wisdom through the whole history of Old Testament Israel, involving Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the exodus, the wilderness wanderings and the conquest of Canaan; the periods of the judges and the united monarchy of Saul, David and Solomon; the divided kingdoms of Israel in the north and Judah in the south; the conquests by the Assyrians and the Babylonians; the return from the captivity and the 400 silent years.
Turning to the pages of the New Testament, who can fail to be impressed by the profound wisdom of the Triune God? It begins with John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Messiah, the prophesied “Elijah” (Mal. 4:5; Matt. 11:14; Luke 1:17), who ushered in Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God. Though never did a man teach as He taught, the wicked Jewish leaders conspired to have Him crucified. However, His sacrificial death is the atonement for all the sins of His elect church, and it was swiftly followed by His victorious resurrection and the outpouring of the blessed Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Much of the rest of New Testament Scripture is occupied with the gathering of the catholic or universal church of Jews and Gentiles.
Regarding this wonder, Paul exclaims, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:8-11).
In Romans 11, the same apostle explains how Jehovah uses believing Jews and Gentiles to provoke each other to a holy jealousy (11-15), until all of elect Israel and “the fulness of the Gentiles” are brought to salvation immediately prior to the Lord’s second coming (25-26; II Pet. 3:9). No wonder that Paul cried out, “O the depth of the riches ... of the wisdom ... of God!” (Rom. 11:33). Rev. Stewart
 

Did God Pray to God? (2)

In the last issue of the News, I answered the question of whether Christ prayed to Himself in Gethsemane (and elsewhere) in the affirmative. He, who personally was God in our flesh, prayed to His Father who was the Triune God, not the First Person of the Trinity. We also saw that this question involves the great mystery of the Trinity and the marvellous wonder of God becoming flesh in the Person of the eternal Son.
We ought to provide more detail to this answer, though we shall understand it only in a small measure. God is so infinitely great in His Being and in His works, that we shall never understand His greatness though we have eternity to contemplate His majesty. Our knowledge of Jehovah, even when we will be sinlessly perfect, will always be a smidgen, compared to His unsearchable riches because of our limited human minds.
But we must come to some knowledge of what the Scriptures teach for they instruct us in a very wonderful truth.
In short, the truth is that all the works of God are done by the holy Trinity. Never is one work solely the business of the First Person; another work, the business of the Second Person; and a third work, the business of the Third Person.
I already mentioned God’s work of creation. That work was not performed by the First Person of the holy Trinity to the exclusion of the Second and Third Persons. Already in Genesis 1, creation is described as the First Person speaking His powerful and creative word. That personal Creator Word is identified in other parts of Scripture as God’s Son (John 1:1-3, 18). Also, in Genesis 1:2, the Holy Spirit is specifically mentioned as brooding upon the face of the deep.
Scripture says more than this. It designates God’s Word as Christ, that is, Immanuel, God with us in the flesh (Matt. 1:23; John 1:14). John 1:1 declares that the Word “was with God” and “was God.” Both are true. He was Himself God but also “with” God, that is, distinct from God (the Father) yet with Him. Colossians 1 speaks of the One “in whom we have redemption through his blood” (14), who is also “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth ... all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (15-17).
Hebrews 1:2, in an equally marvellous passage that proclaims the excellency of Christ far above all the Old Testament types and shadows, extols Him as the One “by whom also he [i.e., God] made the worlds.”
In Proverbs 8, in what is one of my favourite passages in the Bible, where Christ is given the name “wisdom,” Scripture puts in the mouth of wisdom these words: “The Lord [i.e., the Triune God] possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old ... When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above ... Then I was by him, as one brought up before him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him” (22, 27-28, 30).
These passages of Holy Writ are so profound that they will not be fully understood by the church until the Lord Himself returns. But they do teach that even eternally, as well as in God’s work of creation, Christ had a significance distinct from that of the Triune God.
The same is true of our Lord’s birth. We use the active voice when we confess such truths as Christ entered our flesh, the Son came into the world to take on Himself our human nature and the guilt of our sins, etc. The Scriptures make clear that the incarnation was not the work of the Second Person alone but is also the work of the other divine Persons. Gabriel told Mary how it was that she would be the mother of the Lord: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). The incarnation of our Saviour was the work of the Triune God!
God is the Father of Christ. Thus Christ (according to His divine nature) is His own Father (with respect to His human nature).
So it is with Christ’s resurrection. Scripture uses both expressions to describe it: Christ “rose” (active) and He “was raised” (passive) from the grave (e.g., I Cor. 15:4; Rom. 4:25). When the angels at His sepulchre announced to the women the glad tidings of the resurrection, they said, “He is not here: for he is risen” (Matt. 28:6). The text does not say He “was raised” (passive) but it states He “is risen” (active).
In Psalm 2:7, we read, “I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” Paul, in his sermon at Antioch in Pisidia, quotes this verse as proof that Jehovah raised Christ from the grave: “God ... hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee” (Acts 13:33). The Triune God raised Christ and He arose by His own divine power.
One truth of Scripture that we ought never to forget is that the Bible is the infallibly inspired record of the revelation of God. Jehovah reveals Himself in all His works and purposes. Primary in this revelation is God’s purpose to glorify Himself in all He does, for He alone is worthy of all praise and honour, now and forever. His revelation is not a revelation in which bits and pieces of His glory are revealed, here a little and there a little, so that we have to sift through the works of God that we may know Him. God is one, so also is His revelation one. Nor does the First Person of the holy Trinity reveal Himself here, the Second Person there and the Third Person in yet a third place.
The Triune God reveals Himself in all His glory and infinite blessedness in Jesus Christ. One revelation; one mighty work. As far as the present issue is concerned, the Triune God reveals Himself in the incarnation, the ministry, the suffering and death, the burial and resurrection, the ascension and glorification, and the second coming of Christ, when He will make all things new and execute God’s fierce judgments against the ungodly. It is not one Person of the Trinity but the Triune God who says, “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11).
I do not hesitate to say that the name “Father” refers always in Scripture to the Triune God. But, as I said in the previous article, the Trinity itself is revealed to us in the fact that each work of God is performed with one Person in the foreground: God as Father in creation, God as Son in redemption and God as Holy Spirit in sanctification (Heidelberg Catechism, Q. & A. 8).
Christ came in a state of humiliation to be followed by His state of glorification. Even as He walked among us, in all respects like us (except that He was totally without sin), the glory of His divine nature shone through the veil of His human nature like a flash of lightning, in His words and especially in His miracles. The disciples saw it and knew He was “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16; John 2:11).
But the Scriptures teach us that the surpassing glory of our Saviour is especially in the cross. While Christ was in His state of humiliation, in His life and ministry, and while on the cross doing battle with the powers of darkness and earning our everlasting salvation, His divine nature was hidden behind His human nature—except, perhaps, when He died. Even the centurion saw His divinity flash through His human nature at the moment when He died (Mark 15:39). There were those who could see His divinity in His state of humiliation but it was by faith only, for it was hidden to the unbelieving eye.
All the work of Christ is summed up in Psalm 40:6-8, quoted and explained in Hebrews 10:5-9. God Triune came into the world in the Second Person of the Trinity who lay as a baby in the manger in Bethlehem. God Triune was a man in the Person of the Son. God Triune suffered and died in the incarnate Second Person. God Triune arose in the Person of the Son for God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.
In glory, when we shall see Christ, we shall, in fact, see the Triune God. Jesus said to Philip, “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also” (John 14:7).
The glory and blessedness of being united by faith to Christ is that we shall not only see God in Him, but really and truly live with the holy Trinity in covenant fellowship through Christ into whom we are engrafted by faith.
In other words, Yes, Christ did always pray—in Gethsemane, as well as all the other times in His life—to His Father, the Triune God. In a sense, therefore, He prayed to Himself. Yet it is also clear that He was conscious of Himself, and prayed, as the Son in our flesh, and not as the Second Person of the Trinity only, as we saw last time in our explanation of “not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matt. 26:39).
Hebrews 5:7-9 reveals something of this: “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son [i.e., ‘Though he were Son’], yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.”
For many years I did not dare to preach on this text in Hebrews 5, though I wanted to do so. Finally, I did. Afterwards, I regretted that I had tried. I felt as though I had failed. It was too profound for me. We stand before a mystery, the great mystery of our salvation!  Prof. Hanko

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: www.cprc.co.uk • Live broadcast: www.cprf.co.uk/live
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

FRIDAY, 31 August, 2018
 7:15 PM


Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart


Subject:
Christ Our Sacrifice in Isaiah 53
 
Leviticus 1-7 sets forth 4 bloody sacrifices and the 6 stages in offering them. Isaiah 53 extols God’s suffering servant using sacrificial language and ideas. Come to learn more of our Saviour’s redemptive work, fulfilling the Old Testament sacrificial system!

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

www.cprc.co.uk
www.cprf.co.uk/swales.htm

 
 
Behold, I Come Quickly

by David J. Engelsma
& Andrew Lanning
(174 pp., softback)


This superb new book sets forth the Reformed and biblical truth of the end in ten relatively short chapters!
1. The Second and Quick Coming of Christ: The Signs 
2. The Reformed Belief Concerning the Rapture and the Antichrist
3. The Coming World-Conquest of the Beast From the Sea
4. Jesus’ Coming as a Thief in View of Great Apostasy and Abounding Lawlessness
5. The 2 Witnesses of Revelation 11
6. The Final Judgment
7. Methuselah
8. The Hope of Creation for Christ’s Coming
9. Disorderliness and the Second Coming of Christ
10. Dispensationalism, J. N. Darby and Powerscourt
Only £5.50 (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!

Earnestly Contending for the Faith (Vol. 2)

8 sermons on Jude 12-25 on CD or DVD in an attractive box set 

 What terrifying imagery does Jude use regarding heretics? What has Enoch to do with the Lord’s second coming? How should we witness to those ensnared in filthy errors? There is lots to learn from the second half of Jude!

1. Images of False Teachers (12-13)
2. Enoch’s Prophecy (14-15)
3. Complainers! (16)
4. Mockers in the Last Time (17-18)
5. Dividers! (19)
6. Keep Yourselves in the Love of God (20-21)
7. Two Ways of Witnessing (22-23)
8. Jude’s Concluding Doxology (24-25)

£8/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!
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New Salt Shakers Magazine - July 2018 (#50)

SS July 2018

"Covenant Keepers", the youth ministry of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (our sister church), has now released the July 2018 issue of "Salt Shakers" (#50),their youth magazine.

The JULY 2018 issue of "SS" is once again filled with interesting and instructive articles, and our PRC young people especially are encouraged to make it part of their reading content.

Below you will find a note from the "SS" Committee introducing the contents of this issue and images of the cover and table of contents. The entire issue is also attached here in pdf form.

CONTENTS

Editorial: A Reflection on Christian Liberty (I) - Chua Lee Yang
Scripture's Covenant Youth (XII) Joash - Prof. Herman Hanko
Are Unbelievers in God's Image? (VIII) - Rev. Angus Stewart  
Holiness as Young Adults (III) - Wee Gim Theng
Quit You Like Men (II) - Woon Tian Loong
Marriage is Not For Me (II) - Marcus and Tze Yan Wee
Thy Might Sets Fast The Mountains - Jemima Joy Boon
The Importance of Reading for Every Christian (I) - Rev. Arie Den Hartog
The Care of This World (I) - Jean Lim
The Christian in The World (I) Beverly Tan
A Succourer of Many - Daisy Lim
The Life of Rev. Herman Hoeksema - Prof. David J. Engelsma
The Deposition of Elders - Rev. Nathan Langerak


Dear Readers,
Welcome to another edition of the Salt Shakers! We thank our writers for contributing to another worthwhile edition
of this distinctively Reformed magazine, as well as the staff who have put the magazine together. The Salt Shakers
maintains a good balance of younger and older writers, local and foreign. We believe that this practice uniquely
expresses our diversity and unity in the Reformed faith, and manifests the catholicity of the church of Jesus Christ.
In this issue, Prof. David Engelsma pens an intriguing account of the PRC’s founding father – Rev. Herman Hoeksema.
Besides developing the truth of God’s gracious and unconditional covenant with His people in Jesus Christ, Hoeksema
was also instrumental in developing the truth of the unbreakable bond of marriage. Hoeksema saw the deeply
erroneous view of divorce and remarriage, held in many Reformed and Presbyterian churches, that allowed the socalled
“innocent party” of a divorce to remarry. Maintaining his conviction on Scripture’s instruction, Hoeksema
insisted that only physical death breaks the marriage bond because marriage is a picture of God’s unbreakable covenant
of grace with His people in Jesus Christ. The young people in CERC and her sister churches marry in the conviction
of this truth today. We have much to be grateful for Rev. Hoeksema.

It may interest our readers to know that Rev. Hoeksema died in the same year that Singapore became an independent
nation: 1965. Slightly over fifty years since the Lord’s servant went to glory, not many people today would know about
him. But every member of CERC ought to be familiar with his writings. His Reformed Dogmatics, for example, ought
to be standard reading for every office-bearer of CERC.

Rev. den Hartog presses the necessity of reading for every Reformed believer in another article. Where smartphones,
tablets and the mobile internet reign in everyday life today, it is imperative for the Reformed believer to make reading
a vital habit in his life. Satan, the world, and our sinful flesh strive ferociously to extinguish this duty. Our enemies
know that God’s people will be destroyed for lack of knowledge. Let it never be said that it was because we rejected
knowledge (Hos. 4:6).

Parents are instructed to read, and to pass on their reading habits to their children. Covenant children must know
and see that their parents are readers of habit. There is every reason for joy when children know that their parents
enjoy reading, and through reading, are knowledgeable parents. Only by habitual and disciplined reading can parents
faithfully and effectively instruct their covenant children in the Reformed faith.

The Reformed Free Publishing Association (RFPA) is an excellent source of distinctively Reformed literature. Parents
must be encouraged to be book club members so that they an excellent source of reading material for themselves and
their children.

Blessed reading!
Aaron

Read more...

Covenant PRC, N. Ireland Newsletter - August 2018

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Ballymena, NI

17 August, 2018

Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,

BRF Conference

The British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) Conference at Hebron Hall, Cardiff in Wales (21-28 July) was the most international of the 15 biennial conferences to date. Apart from those from the various parts of the British Isles, saints flew in from Canada, the US, Brazil, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Singapore, and Australia, meaning that the only continent that was not included was Africa.

We were delighted that as many as 116 people booked in for the conference and we had 11 day visitors, most of whom came back again and again! The size and catholicity of the gathering, plus the fine Welsh venue, made for what many thought was the best BRF conference yet for fellowship. The Lord also gave us sunny and warm weather.

BRF Conf 2018 group

Prof. David Engelsma and Rev. Andy Lanning were warmly welcomed back as our main speakers. Because of her recent cancer operation, sadly Mrs. Ruth Engelsma was unable to be with us.

Our two American brethren developed the conference theme of “The Reformed Family—According to the Word of God” in their 6 main conference addresses: “The Divine Origin of the Family” (Rev. Lanning), “The Authoritative Content of the Gospel” (Prof. Engelsma), “The God-Fearing Man and His Virtuous Wife” (Rev. Lanning), “The Reformed Family: Parents and Children” (Prof. Engelsma), “It Is Good to Be Single” (Rev. Lanning), and “Unbiblical Divorce and Adulterous Remarriage: A Scandal” (Prof. Engelsma). The family is a beautiful, biblical subject that is often unfolded in preaching and writing in our circles, yet the speeches were marked not only by their depth but also by their freshness!

Rev. Martyn McGeown's opening address (“Hating Our Family: Necessary for Christian Discipleship”), the Sunday sermons by Rev. Lanning and myself (“The God of the Living” and “The Eunuchs Who Keep God's Sabbaths”), Mr. Pete Adams' presentation (“The Family and Education”), and Prof. Engelsma's special lecture (“Spousal Abuse in the Christian Community”) developed important aspects of the grand theme of the family.

Thanks to the sterling work of Stephen Murray, all of these 11 presentations can be watched free online, along with the videos of the 7 question and answer sessions that followed the 6 main speeches and the special lecture by Rev. Lanning and Prof. Engelsma ( www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2Y5Eq5r6y2EGXxIszbEuErsISIdc4Uvd ).

These 11 addresses will soon be made into attractive box sets of CDs and DVDs that will be available for sale at £12 in the UK (inc. P&P). The cost is $20 for those in America. Mary and I will be traveling to the US on 24 September, DV. If you place an order with us before then (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), we can bring your box set with us in our luggage. Otherwise, we will post/mail it to you from Northern Ireland. You can pay us through Mary's US bank account (check payable to “Mary Stewart” and mail it (with your name and address) to Mr. Fred Hanko, 7341 Pinegrove Dr., Jenison, MI 49428) or the Reformed Free Publishing Association (RFPA), which will take your payment from the CPRC Bookstore's bill.

Despite the difficulty of getting a proper range of books, box sets, and pamphlets from the CPRC Bookstore in Northern Ireland across the Irish Sea to the conference on Wales, we still managed to sell almost $1,000 of Reformed materials. Beside this, a number of people bought individual issues of the British Reformed Journal and/or subscribed to this semi-annual periodical (for ways of doing the latter, see www.britishreformed.org/membership).

The membership of the British Reformed Fellowship voted to hold the next conference in Castlewellan Castle, Northern Ireland (11-18 July, 2020). The glorious subject is to be union with Jesus Christ. Having served the BRF conferences so well in the past, Prof. Engelsma and Rev. Lanning were chosen as the two main speakers. Bear this in mind over the next two years, for hopefully we may see you there!

CPRC

A number of this year's conferees from outside Europe spent time in Northern Ireland before and/or after the week in Wales. Thus the CPRC had Brazilian, American, Singaporean, Canadian, and Australian visitors on the three Lord's days before, and the two Sundays after, the conference. Some of our international guests were also able to join us at the congregational barbecue at the CPRC manse (3 August). Communion with Reformed believers from various parts of the world is always very encouraging for the members of the CPRC!

Behold I Come CPRC 2018

The latest addition to the CPRC Bookstore, with its more than 150 titles, is Behold, I Come Quickly (www.cprf.co.uk/bookstore.htm). This excellent little volume by Prof. Engelsma and Rev. Lanning consists of the ten main speeches at the previous BRF conference in 2016 and costs just £5. It is also available from various Protestant Reformed congregations in America and Canada, especially Byron Center PRC, the main distributor in North America; the RFPA; the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC) in Singapore; the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines (PRCP); and (soon) Launceston Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of Australia.

The youngest member of the CPRC is now little Grace Mae Crossett, daughter of David and Kristin (née Prins). Grace was baptized on Sunday, 8 July, with members of the Prins family from Michigan being present for the occasion.

The last couple of months have been a somewhat lean period for translations (www.cprf.co.uk/languages.htm). Our thanks to Ivan Ortu in Sardinia (6 Italian), and Raoul and Tania Valeev in Belgium (1 Russian). Currently, Carol Nienhuis is helping Mary by linking our many hundreds of translations. When these and many other links and webpages are converted to the new style, the whole CPRC website will be mobile friendly and have a new look (www.cprc.co.uk).

I am to speak at the RFPA Annual Meeting on “The RFPA, the CPRC, and the Spread of the Truth” in Grace PRC, Grand Rapids on Thursday, 27 September at 7:30 P.M. I will be preaching at both of the Sunday services in Wingham PRC in Ontario (30 September) and at the evening Lord's day service in Zion PRC (7 October), D.V. It will be good to meet the saints in both of these churches for the first time. Other speaking details of the trip have not yet been finalized. Rev. Ken Koole will be preaching in Ballymena in our absence, and for the Limerick Reformed Fellowship (LRF).

Thank you for your support and prayers. May the Lord continue to bless and keep you, your families and your churches!

Rev. Angus & Mary Stewart

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Covenant Reformed News - July 2018

 

Covenant Reformed News


July 2018 • Volume XVII, Issue 3



God’s Wisdom (2)

In the previous instalment, we saw from Romans 11:33-36 that God’s wisdom is both infinite and self-sufficient, just as He is both infinite and self-sufficient. Now we shall turn to Proverbs 8 to make four additional points regarding this divine perfection.

First, God’s wisdom is eternal. Wisdom declares, “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world” (22-26). This is a poetic description of God’s only begotten Son, the eternal wisdom of God (Belgic Confession 8). God never was without His wisdom!

Second, God’s wisdom is omnipotent. Thus He proclaims, “Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength” (Prov. 8:14). God’s wisdom never fails, nor is it ever impotent or weak. The divine wisdom never desires an end without obtaining that end by using the most appropriate means.

Third, God’s wisdom is true. He professes, “For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips” (7). Jehovah never lies as a means to attain His end. The all-wise God never adapts Himself to uttering falsehood.

Fourth, God’s wisdom is righteous. The divine wisdom states, “All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them” (8), for “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate” (13). God’s wisdom is always virtuous and perfectly good; it never resorts to wickedness.

In keeping with this, we read in Proverbs 6, “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren” (16-19). Here we learn that the Most High hates and abominates iniquity, the bodily parts employed in sin and wicked people.

The God who is wise in His Persons and perfections is also wise in His eternal decree. The purpose or goal of the whole created universe is that infinite majesty is ascribed to God through all eternity: “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever” (Rom. 11:36). Absolutely “all things,” “yea, even the wicked,” are means to that supreme end (Prov. 16:4). Everything is decreed, created, preserved and used by Jehovah for His honour, “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen”!

In God’s eternal wisdom, all things are adapted to the highest end: His glory! Jesus Christ serves Jehovah’s honour. The elect church serves the Lord Jesus, the great servant of the Trinity, and so God’s glory. Reprobation serves the elect church which serves Christ and so God’s praise, as do “all things” in creation and providence, in heaven and in earth. All of this is according to God’s wisdom in His eternal decree or counsel.

God’s first work outside Himself is that of creation—the product of astounding wisdom! “The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens” (Prov. 3:19).

No wonder the divine wisdom confesses, “When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men” (8:27-31).

Genesis 1 describes the all-wise God’s preparation of the world for man. He created the sky on day two for man needs air to breathe. The dry land and vegetation of day three provided terra firma and food for humanity. The sun, moon and stars of day four give us light. The fish, birds and animals made on days five and six serve mankind in many ways. All these things are perfectly adapted as means to serve man as the subordinate end, so that man may serve God his Creator (Belgic Confession 12).

Yet foolish man claims that the universe is not the product of the wisdom of God. Instead, it is a random occurrence involving trillions of accidents merely according to lucky chance and going all the way back to a gigantic explosion. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good” (Ps. 14:1; 53:1). 

Let us also consider Jehovah’s great work of providence: His upholding, governing and directing of all things, according to His eternal purpose. Think of all the stars in the heavens, the myriad fish in the depths of the sea and the many nations of the earth. What infinite and omnipotent divine wisdom is required to sustain and rule over 7 billion people every second of every day! We sing with the psalmist, “O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches” (104:24).

Of all the figures in the Old Testament, it is perhaps Joseph’s life that most displays God’s wisdom. Delivering the family of Israel from the famine in Canaan was the end for which Jehovah employed him: “God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive” (Gen. 50:20; cf. 45:5, 7-8). The strange means to achieve that wise end included the sin of Joseph’s ten brothers in selling him into slavery; his imprisonment for a crime that he did not commit; his interpretation of the dreams of the butler, the baker and Pharaoh; etc.  Rev. Stewart
 

Did God Pray to God? (1)

A reader asks, “In the garden of Gethsemane, did Christ pray to the Triune God and thus to Himself, as the Second Person? Or is it wrong for us to say that He who is God prayed to God?”

The question the reader asks is a difficult one. It deals with the great mystery of the Trinity, that God is three in Person and one in essence or Being. It also deals with the doctrine of Christ, the eternal Son of God in our human nature, a nature that was like us in all things except our sin. The creeds of the church have defined this doctrine thus: The Second Person of the holy Trinity, namely the Son, united in His Person the fulness of the divine nature and a complete, though sinless, human nature. Our Lord Jesus Christ was as much a human as any of us. In fact, Paul tells us in Romans 8:3 that Christ came “in the likeness of sinful flesh:” not in sinful flesh but in the likeness of sinful flesh. He came with all the weaknesses of our flesh, the powers of which were eroded by sin and subject to death.

It feels here as if one ought to take off his shoes for he is standing on holy ground. About all we can do is bow in awe and wonder at the marvel of Immanuel: God with us. One hears the voice of the Canons of Dordt warning us that we ought not inquire too far into the deep things of God. Our minds are so small, our understanding so limited and our thought so under the curse of death that we, it seems, should put our hands on our mouth lest we say something foolish and thus put a blemish on our infinitely holy God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Yet the Bible tells us that our Lord prayed. He prayed often and He sometimes prayed all night. He prayed to God and addressed God as His Father. How are we to explain this?

The explanation that Christ prayed only to the First Person of the Trinity will not do, for that position makes a division between God the Father (and the Holy Spirit) and God the Son. Israel must learn to say, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” (Deut. 6:4). The Scriptures teach us everywhere that the Triune God is one God. Not the First Person of the Trinity to the exclusion of the Second and Third; not the Second Person of the Trinity to the exclusion of the First and Third. God is eternally three Persons in one divine nature—always and in all He does.

He, as the Triune God, is Father. He is the Father of all His elect family. The Triune God begets them through regeneration. He loves them eternally. Not one of the three Persons love the church; not two of the three Persons loves the church. All three Persons in the union of one nature or essence unchangeably and eternally love the church.

On the other hand, the Triune God did not become man. The First Person, the Father, did not become flesh. There was an old heresy condemned by the church as Patripassianism, the notion that the Father suffered on the cross. The ancient church father, Tertullian, explained that to mean that those heretics put to flight the Holy Spirit and crucified the Father (Against Praxeas 1).

Because the Lord our God is one Lord, it is impossible that one Person of the holy Trinity does some work to the exclusion of the other two Persons. Yet there is a certain priority of Person in each work. The Heidelberg Catechism in Lord’s Day 8 speaks of God the Father especially in connection with our creation, God the Son and our redemption, and God the Holy Spirit and our sanctification. Thus the revelation of God includes the truth of three Persons in God united in their essence and work.

The key is the word “revealed.” God reveals Himself through these works as the God who is three in Person and one in essence.

That Christ is divine need not be proved here. Every creed of the Christian church, beginning with Nicea in AD 325, teaches this biblical doctrine emphatically. Nicea even says of Christ that He is “true God of true God.” Not to be overlooked is our Lord’s emphatic statement to the Jews: “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30).  Our Saviour cannot possibly mean that the First Person of the Trinity and Christ, to the exclusion of the Holy Spirit, are one.

John 1:1-3 speaks of the logos, another name for Christ, as the One through whom God, the Triune God, created all things. The same is true of Colossians 1:16 and Hebrews 1:2. Even in the Old Testament, Christ, called by the name “wisdom,” is spoken of the One through whom the world was made (Prov. 8).

Nor is the Holy Spirit neglected in the work of creation (Gen. 1:2).

The Second Person of the Trinity was not the author of redemption alone. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” (II Cor. 5:19). Nor is God spoken of here as the First Person of the holy Trinity. The Triune God reconciled the world to Himself through Christ.

Did Christ, in His human nature, pray to the Triune God, addressing Him as His Father? Of course, He did. Moreover, when He prayed to the Triune God, calling Him “my Father,” Christ said, “not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matt. 26:39). The first will here is Christ’s human will and the second will is that of the Triune God.

It is at this point that the miracle of the incarnation becomes very deep and Scripture has very little to say about it, for our understanding is very limited. Most probably the Bible is silent because we are too lacking in understanding to grasp the mystery of God become flesh (I Tim. 3:16).

When our Lord asked who touched Him, after a woman was healed by making contact with the hem of His robe unbeknownst to Him, Christ’s human nature was reflected in this consciousness, according to which He, in fact, did not know who touched Him. The same is true of Jesus when He said that He did not know the time of His second coming (Matt. 24:36), where Christ refers to the Triune God as “my Father.” However, according to His divine nature, He knew all things!  Prof. Hanko

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

FRIDAY, 31 August, 2018
 7:15 PM


Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart


Subject:
Christ Our Sacrifice in Isaiah 53
 
Leviticus 1-7 sets forth 4 bloody sacrifices and the 6 stages in offering them. Isaiah 53 extols God’s suffering servant using sacrificial language and ideas. Come to learn more of our Saviour’s redemptive work, fulfilling the Old Testament sacrificial system!

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

www.cprc.co.uk
www.cprf.co.uk/swales.htm

 
Behold, I Come Quickly

by David J. Engelsma
& Andrew Lanning
(174 pp., softback)


This superb new book sets forth the Reformed and biblical truth of the end in ten relatively short chapters!
1. The Second and Quick Coming of Christ: The Signs 
2. The Reformed Belief Concerning the Rapture and the Antichrist
3. The Coming World-Conquest of the Beast From the Sea
4. Jesus’ Coming as a Thief in View of Great Apostasy and Abounding Lawlessness
5. The 2 Witnesses of Revelation 11
6. The Final Judgment
7. Methuselah
8. The Hope of Creation for Christ’s Coming
9. Disorderliness and the Second Coming of Christ
10. Dispensationalism, J. N. Darby and Powerscourt
Only £5.50 (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!

Earnestly Contending for the Faith (Vol. 2)

8 sermons on Jude 12-25 on CD or DVD in an attractive box set 

 What terrifying imagery does Jude use regarding heretics? What has Enoch to do with the Lord’s second coming? How should we witness to those ensnared in filthy errors? There is lots to learn from the second half of Jude!

1. Images of False Teachers (12-13)
2. Enoch’s Prophecy (14-15)
3. Complainers! (16)
4. Mockers in the Last Time (17-18)
5. Dividers! (19)
6. Keep Yourselves in the Love of God (20-21)
7. Two Ways of Witnessing (22-23)
8. Jude’s Concluding Doxology (24-25)

£8/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.”
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