The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, October 31, the forty-fourth Lord's Day of this year 2021.
Today is Reformation Sunday, the day we remember and celebrate God's glorious restoration of His church in the sixteenth century on the basis of His infallible Word. May we treasure the pure worship and the pure Word we have received from the Lord's hand through the Reformers. And may we recommit to maintaining these blessings of His pure grace.
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 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: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (Romans 3:20-26)
- If you are new to this website and are interested in the PRC, we invite you to join us at any of our services (morning and afternoon/evening). For congregations, locations and times, visit this page.
- Last Sunday Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA) extended a call to Rev. C. Spronk (Faith PRC). He plans to answer this call by Nov.14.
- Last Sunday Wingham PRC (Ontario, Can.) called Rev. D. Holstege (missionary to the Philippines). He plans to answer this call by Nov.14.
- Rev. D. Lee will be installed as pastor of Kalamazoo PRC next Sunday, Nov.7, D.V. Rev. C. Griess will lead the service. Her bullletin today contained this note of appreciation: "Today marks the last time Prof. Huizinga will be leading us in worship on a regular basis. We thank him for his faithfulness in bringing to us the word of life each Sunday morning this past year. May God continue to bless Prof. Huizinga in all of his labors at the seminary, in our denomination, and as co-editor of the Standard Bearer."
- The consistory of Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) reports in her bulletin that the congregation of First PRC, Edmonton, AB, will be reorganized and the consistory reconstituted on Wednesday Nov.10. Rev. A. Brummel (church visitor of Classis West) will lead the worship service and Rev. H.Bleyenberg will chair the congregational meeting afterward. We rejoice in this news and pray for the Lord's blessing on these plans and preparations.
- Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. D.Lee in Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA); Rev. J.Marcus in Doon (IA) PRC; Prof. B.Gritters and Rev. D.Holstege in Grace PRC; Prof. R.Cammenga and Rev. D.Noorman in Hudsonville PRC; Prof. B.Huizinga and Rev. R.Kleyn in Kalamazoo PRC (the last Sunday for stated supply!); Rev. W.Langerak in Wingham PRC. We thank the Lord for this blessing of our church federation and the privilege to be able to help one another in this need.
- For those who may still be limited to house worship, whether completely or partially, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found. Or you may visit the selected audio sermon page and listen to one of your choice there.
- Did you know that...
- these congregations are having Reformation Day lectures yet this week?
- Covenant ERC-Singapore: Please note that this year’s Reformation Day Conference 2021 will be held on 3 and 4 November 2021 (Wednesday and Thursday). Due to the COVID restrictions, this will be conducted online via Zoom. Pastor Josiah Tan will deliver 2 speeches on the theme: “Always Reforming in Me”. After the 2nd speech, there will be a Q&A and Quiz Session.
- Pittsburgh (PA) PRC: Friday, November 5, 7 p.m. Rev. W. Bruinsma, on the life and labors of Augustine of Hippo.
- Randolph PRC: Friday evening, November 5, 7:30 P.M. Rev. Guichelaar plans to give a presentation on the CRC split from the RCA in 1857.
- the church visitors from Classis East and Classis West are busy with their annual visits this time of year? Let's remember them in prayer in their special labors too, especially in these difficult times. May they be a source of encouragement to our councils and consistories.
- these congregations are having Reformation Day lectures yet this week?
PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:
- Classis East: The churches of Classis East will gather this Tuesday night, Nov.2, for a special day of prayer. Classis East has judged that such a special day in which we humble ourselves before God and implore His grace will be very fitting in light of the troubles in our churches, as well as the great need we have for ministers of the Word. This decision was taken in accordance with Article 66 of the Church Order: "In time of war, pestilence, national calamities, and other great afflictions, the pressure of which is felt throughout the churches, it is fitting that the classes proclaim a day of prayer."
- Next week Revs. W.Bruinsma and K.Koole will attend the 46th meeting of NAPARC on Nov.9-10 at Shiloh OPC in Raleigh, NC.
PRC Seminary Notices:
- This past week the seminary completed its ninth week of the first semester. Remember to pray for faculty, students, and staff as they carry out their day-to-day work. You will find the semester schedule and calendar posted on the seminary's website.
- The seminary's special conference on preaching was held this past Thursday and Friday, Oct.28-29, at Trinity PRC. The faculty is appreciative of those who attended and who participated through the livestream. The speeches will be available online this week.
- The Spring PRT Journal is currently available in its digital forms on the seminary's website and in print. The printed copies have been mailed out. If you wish to pick up a copy, stop in at the seminary. If you want to be added to our mailing list, contact Sharon, the seminary secretary. Work has begun on the fall issue as well.
- The seminary library and bookstore are open daily (M-F, 8-5) for any of your book and Bible needs. The staff is available to assist with any other needs you may have as well. Feel free to call in advance for help with any questions.
- For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.
The PRC-Philippines Classis will meet tomorrow (see note below).
- Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
- Today's bulletin ("Pastoral Voice"): To understand what evangelism is we must look at the Covenant. The covenant in one word is friendship. God was Abraham’s friend and He is our friend. God walked with Enoch and God walks with us. God even shares His secrets with us His people! Every day, our friendship with God is like an adventure. It is thrilling! Every day, we cannot wait what he is going to say to us when we read His word. Every Lord’s Day, we can't wait to hear what Christ will speak to us in the preaching - Words of love, Words of comfort. Words of the wonderful works of God, especially of the Cross! Words of life.
- The latest issue of "Reformed News Asia" is October 2021 - #64. Be sure to check it out for the latest news from our sister!
- Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
- Rev. A.Stewart continues to minister the Word faithfully to his flock in Ballymena.
- Pastor Stewart gave his Reformation Day Lecture this past Friday, October 29., If you missed it, you may watch it here: “Fulgentius of Ruspe, the Sixth-Century N. African Church and God’s Saving Will.”
- Be sure to check out the newest edition of "Covenant Reformed News" - October 2021. Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles.
- PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
- Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. D.Kleyn led the services today.Rev. Ibe and elder Umali are scheduled to visit the saints in All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship (AGPRF), Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija today. Rev. Ibe will lead them in their worship service and bible study on the book of Ephesians 4.
- Provident PRC bulletin: Rev. R. Smit led her worship services today.
- Classis of the congregations of the PRCP is scheduled to convene on Monday (Nov. 1, 2021) at 9:00 A.M. at BPRC Antipolo City, the Lord willing. We pray for God’s blessings upon the labors of the Classis.
- Currently, Rev. W.Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC, Pennsylvania) is the featured speaker, with focus on a series on Hebrews 11. Today's message is based on Hebrews 11:7 and titled "By Faith Noah Prepares an Ark."
- Listen to the broadcast on the station near you, on your favorite podcast (Google Music, Spotify, and iTunes), or visit the links provided here to listen to this program. Are you are regular listener? If not, why not begin today!
REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM
What are you reading for Reformation month? This special issue of the Standard Bearer focuses on Luther's stand at the Diet of Worms in 1521. If you do not already receive this magazine, visit the SB website to sign up to do so.
- Are you interested in learning more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.
- Do you need some catechism materials for use in your church or family? The PRC publishes catechism materials on Bible history and Reformed doctrine, for children of all ages. Visit this page for more information.
- For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including church history and Bible study materials - visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.
- The Reformed Book Outlet is open and you are welcome to shop the store in downtown Hudsonville (MI). Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday (10-5), and Saturday (10-1).
This Week's Thought for Contemplation
But why dwell on this? There is no point which is more keenly contested, none in which our adversaries are more inveterate in their opposition, than that of justification, namely, as to whether we obtain it by faith or by works. On no account will they allow us to give Christ the honor of being called our righteousness, unless their works come in at the same time for a share of the merit. The dispute is not, whether good works ought to be performed by the pious, and whether they are accepted by God and rewarded by him, but whether, by their own worth, they reconcile us to God; whether we acquire eternal life at their price, whether they are compensations which are made to the justice of God, so as to take away guilt, and whether they are to be confided in as a ground of salvation. We condemn the error which enjoins men to have more respect to their own works than to Christ, as a means of rendering God propitious, of meriting His favor, and obtaining the inheritance of eternal life; in short, as a means of becoming righteous in His sight. First, they plume themselves on the merit of works, as if they laid God under obligations to them. Pride such as this, what is it but a fatal intoxication of soul? For instead of Christ, they adore themselves, and dream of possessing life while they are immersed in the profound abyss of death.
It may be said that I am exaggerating on this head, but no man can deny the trite doctrine of the schools and churches to be, that it is by works we must merit the favor of God, and by works acquire eternal life — that any hope of salvation unpropped by good works is rash and presumptuous — that we are reconciled to God by the satisfaction of good works, and not by a gratuitous remission of sins — that good works are meritorious of eternal salvation, not because they are freely imputed for righteousness through the merits of Christ, but in terms of law; and that men, as often as they lose the grace of God, are reconciled to Him, not by a free pardon, but by what they term works of satisfaction, these works being supplemented by the merits of Christ and martyrs, provided only the sinner deserves to be so assisted. It is certain, that before Luther became known to the world, all men were fascinated by these impious dogmas; and even in the present day, there is no part of our doctrine which our opponents impugn with greater earnestness and obstinacy.
Taken from John Calvin's important work "The Necessity of Reforming the Church"