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PRC Weekly Congregational, Denominational, and Sister-Church News - November 19, 2017

Ps 147 5 6On this third Lord's Day of November 2017 (Nov.19) we note the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, mission fields, and sister churches.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • Thanksgiving Day services will be held in the U.S. congregations of the PRC this Thursday morning, Nov.23. You are cordially invited to join us in worship of the living God who gives us richly all things to enjoy (1 Tim.6:17).
  • Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC) continues to consider the call from  SW PRC (Wyoming, MI - received Nov.5). He plans to answer on Nov.26.
  • Rev. B. Huizinga (Hope PRC (Redlands, CA) is considering the call from First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI (received Oct.29).
  • Cand.J. Langerak is supplying our Lynden PRC for a few weeks, until the examination and ordination of pastor-elect S. Regnerus.
  • Cand. D. Noorman continues to assist in our Hudsonville PRC while he waits for a call.

DENOMINATIONAL and SISTER-CHURCH NEWS

  • Mrs. Stephanie Lanning did a post on her blog ("Stories from Singapore") this week about the PRC church visitors, Rev. R. Smit and Mr. David Kregel, who were there this month. Here is one picture of the session together with them and Rev. E. Singh, CERC missionary in India. Visit the post for more pictures and information!

CERC session prc visitors nov 2017

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SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • Are you a Standard Bearer subscriber and an RFPA Book Club member? If not, isn't it time you became one? Visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website for more information on having and reading solid Reformed literature in your home.
  • THE SECOND/FINAL INSTALLMENT of Prof. David Engelsma's response to questions submitted after his speech regarding spousal abuse is now available. Please visit Byron Center's website to find the appropriate link: byronprc.org.
  • Reformed Book Outlet: November special: RBO has a special offer for the month of November. When you purchase $35.00 worth of goods, before tax, you can pick out a free Protestant Reformed Psalm Singing Choir CD. We carry all 19 volumes of these CDs (the earlier ones are called Fitting Praises).

  • NEW Psalter CD Available! The Covenant Christian High School Choirs (Grand Rapids, MI) have recently recorded their 3rd Psalm CD "Teach Me to Pray", which will be available in time for Christmas! Watch for a sign-up sheet at your church or contact the school office.
  • THE HOPE HERALDS 2017 CD ENTITLED, “OUR GOD IS GOD” is available for $10 in the main offices of Covenant Chr. High School and Heritage Christian School and also at the Reformed Book Outlet and the PR Seminary bookstore. If you are not able to pick up your copy at any of these locations, please call or text Karen Daling (616-662-0784) or Dan VanDyke (616-610-3276) and we will mail the CD for $12. Thank you!

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  • Don't forget to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday! Todays' message by radio pastor Rev. W. Bruinsma is titled "Thanks Be to God" based on 2 Cor.9:15.
    • NEW RWH Station - The Cornerstone PRC Word and Deed committee has partnered with the Reformed Witness Hour to air their messages on the radio in the Chicago area. Beginning today, September 10, the broadcast can be heard every Sunday at 4:00PM on WYLL 1160AM or on the internet at www.1160hope.com. Please tune in and encourage others to do so as opportunity arises in your personal witnessing.

 MISSION NEWS:

  • From Byron Center PRC comes this note re the labors of her (and our!) home missionary in the pst week and today, Rev. A. Spriensma: Our home missionary is in Franklin, PA to spend a week trying to make contacts there and preaching for the group on Sunday.
  • INDIA: A delegation of Rev. Ron and Sue VanOverloop and Rick and Ronda Wieringa have been sent by Georgetown PRC to visit the PRC of Vellore, India for three weeks (Nov. 15-Dec. 4). Pastor VanOverloop will be preaching in both the Tamil and English congregations, assisting in the training of Pastors in the Sola Gratia Program, holding seminars on Reformed Doctrine, speaking at a retreat for Doctors and medical students of the CMC of Vellore, and preaching in area village outreaches. The delegation plans to conduct Church Visitation with the VPRC while there, participate in congregational Bible Studies, and visit with many of the members of the VPRC in their homes. Pray for the Lord’s blessing.
  • On Oct.1 Rev. R. Smit (First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI) ACCEPTED the call of Doon PRC to serve as a third missionary to the Philippines. According to Doon's bulletin "[Rev. Smit] will be installed as our missionary on November 26. The Smits plan to move to the Philippines on December 25. All this, the Lord willing."We give thanks to the Lord of the harvest for providing this next foreign missionary for this abundant field of labor.

 Philippine Ref conf 2017 1
Picture from Mrs. D. Kleyn's blog post on the recent Reformation conference.
A Reformation Day Conference was held in Provident Christian Church on Tuesday, October 30, 2017 to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of The Reformation.  We had a thrilling day remembering the great heritage God has given us through men that He raised up to return His church to the truths of the Bible.  

  • From the Nov.19 bulletins of the Berean PRC in Manila and the Provident Christian Church in Marikina, the Philippines we find the following notes concerning their pastors as well as concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:
    • Berean PRC:
      • We are celebrating our 11th anniversary today as an instituted Protestant Reformed church. To God be all the Glory! ‘Ye are the salt of the earth….Ye are the light of the world…glorify your Father which is in heaven’ (Matthew 5:13,14 & 16).
      • Our pastor and Elder Peñaverde visited the saints in Sitio Karugang, Gabaldon NE on Friday (Nov. 17, 2017). Rev. Ibe led them in their study of the Essentials of Reformed doctrine on lesson #17.
      • The PRFA (Protestant Reformed Fellowship in Albuera, Leyte) is now an official mission work of the PRCP. In view of the same, PRC in Bulacan was appointed as the calling church for PRFA and thus instructed by the Classis to arrange and to send a monthly delegation, pending the availability of the funds through special collections that all our PRCP congregations have been asked to take for mission work.
    • Provident CC:

      • Rev. Kleyn will preach in the first service today and Rev. Holstege in the second. Next Sunday, Lord willing, Rev. Holstege will preach both times.

      • Rev. and Sharon Kleyn will travel to Negros this week to teach the pastors in Sipalay. May the Lord be with them in their travels and teaching.

      • Listen again or for the first time to the speeches from the Reformation 500th Anniversary Conference at prcaphilippinesaudio.wordpress.com/speeches

  • Let's remember these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines in our prayers daily. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace for all their labors.
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Covenant Reformed News - November 2017

 

Covenant Reformed News

November 2017  •  Volume XVI, Issue 19


What Is a Protestant? (5)

Having seen what a Protestant is historically, theologically, creedally and ecclesiastically, we now need to consider this question: What is a son or daughter of the Reformation ethically? How does Protestantism influence one’s lifestyle? Many things could be said here but I will highlight just two points.

First, a Protestant loves and speaks the truth. Part of the background for this is historical. It is Jesuit teaching that it is okay, even virtuous, to tell a lie, if it serves the Roman Catholic Church. A degree of this moral ambiguity concerning the ninth commandment has hung over Roman Catholicism for many centuries. Think of the lies and cover-up in the Roman church, especially over the last several decades, regarding their homosexual priests who sexually abuse little boys.

Protestantism’s concern for truth flows from its solas or “onlys.” Sola Scriptura declares, “thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Salvation is solus Christus for He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Jehovah alone is glorified (soli Deo gloria) as the “God of truth” (Deut. 32:4) by our keeping the ninth commandment: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Ex. 20:16).

Also the gospel truth of justification by faith alone (sola fide) also promotes honesty. In Psalm 32, David rejoices in the forgiveness or non-imputation of his sins: “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile” (1-2). For believers, the non-imputation of sins and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness always go hand in hand (Rom. 4:6-8). Now notice what Psalm 32:2 adds: “Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” One who is truly blessed because of the non-imputation of his sins and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to him by faith alone is honest before God, through the work of the Holy Spirit. Whereas fallen man instinctively and wickedly covers and hides his transgressions, the true believer confesses his sins, both for the first time and throughout his Christian life. Therefore, the child of God is honest, speaking the truth both to himself and to others, for in his “spirit there is no guile.”

Second, there is what has been called the Protestant work ethic. This too flows from the Five Solas or “onlys” of the Reformation. According to sola Scriptura, we must keep the fourth commandment out of gratitude, and so we labour for six days and rest upon the Christian Sabbath, which is called the Lord’s Day (Rev. 1:10), by spending the day in the private and public worship of God. We emulate our Saviour, Christ alone (solus Christus), who did the work His Father gave Him (John 4:34; 17:4). We are justified by faith alone (sola fide) and the faith which alone receives the imputed righteousness of God is also a faith that works, for we are justified by faith alone but not a faith that is alone. We are saved by grace alone (sola gratia) and so we do our work out of gratitude for a wholly gracious salvation. In keeping with the Reformation principle of soli Deo gloria, we labour to honour and serve the Triune God, and not merely man.

True Protestants believe that they ought to do honest and hard work, and they engage in it. Think of the French Huguenots and the terrible negative effect on France economically when they were persecuted and driven out of that country, especially through evil King Louis XIV’s Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685).

The Protestant work ethic is based on two other biblical and Protestant truths. The first is the priesthood of all believers. It is not only the case that the Christian minister’s faithful work is of value in God’s eyes; the work of all His people is holy when it is done out of faith and to please Him in Jesus Christ. The second biblical and Reformation truth that supports the Protestant work ethic is that of calling. It is not only preachers or elders or deacons who are called to their church offices. Instead, all Christians are called by God to work in whatever lawful employment He has given them in His providence. So it does not matter to the Lord how low paid your job may be or how menial and supposedly humble it is. No work is “beneath” you, when it is done to the glory of God. Our Saviour laboured manually for many years as a carpenter! This is an important point to make in our day when Western secularist ideas are degrading the good creation ordinance of work, and many people foolishly think that there is more dignity in being unemployed than in a low-paid job.

Listen to the refreshing biblical teaching of Colossians 3:22-24: “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” The motto of the Protestant work ethic is, in effect, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might” (Ecc. 9:10).

So are you a Protestant? Doctrinally, do you hold to the Five Solas of the Reformation (Scripture alone, Christ alone, faith alone, grace alone and the glory of God alone) and to the great Protestant creeds? Practically, do you speak the truth, and believe and engage in hard, honest work? Historically, are you rooted in the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation, which is pure, apostolic Christianity? Then keep on witnessing to the truth of God, working for the ongoing reformation of the church and fighting the good fight of faith!  Rev. Stewart
 

The Christian’s Financial Giving


Question: “I would like to ask a question regarding giving to pastors and giving to the poor. As for pastors, the Scriptures repeatedly quote Deuteronomy 25:4: ‘Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn’ (Matt. 10:10; I Cor. 9:9; I Tim. 5:18). As for the poor, the Bible speaks of giving cheerfully and according to our ability (Deut. 16:17; I Cor. 16:2; II Cor. 9:7). Does Scripture apply the same principle to the two or are they different? If they are the same, how can it be proved? If the two are different, how is the pastor to live from the gospel (I Cor. 9:14)? What is the practical implication of this principle? I have read that Presbyterian churches in the seventeenth century (and other times as well) used obligatory church taxes. Is this in conformity with the Bible?”

I have quoted the entire question because the reader gives his reasoning in it, and because the question is important. Disagreement over the answer is not uncommon.

The only offices Christ has ordained in His church are minister, elder and deacon. This is agreed upon by almost all Reformed and Presbyterian churches, although some reckon that the office of minister of the Word and sacraments is a sub-division of the office of elder. The result of this view is that Christ has ordained teaching elders and ruling elders in the church, but two groups with differing responsibilities.     

We do not intend to argue the point here, although Scripture makes clear that the three offices in the Old Testament are all carried over into the new dispensation when the church received its New Testament form. The prophetic office became the office of pastor-teacher; the kingly office became the office of elder in the New Testament church; and the priestly office became the office of deacon. These new dispensational offices in the church are the special offices that arise out of, and are responsible to, the office of  believer. All God’s people are prophets, priests and kings. 

The duties of each office are basically the same in one respect. Ministers preach the gospel, elders rule in the church and deacons care for the poor (Acts 6), but all three offices bring the Word of God to His people. These offices and duties in turn reflect the three-fold office of Christ who is our chief Prophet, our only high Priest and our exalted King.

Hence, without going into any more detail on this beautiful structure Christ has given to the church, and by means of which He Himself is present in the church, let us note that the office of deacon is established by Christ for the care of the poor. 

It is a special gift of God that He Himself gives to the church the poor. Christ reminds us of this in His statement: “ye have the poor with you always” (Mark 14:7). The Bible speaks often of God’s special care of His poor. The care of the poor is the highest manifestation in the church of the communion of the saints, and the highest fulfilment of Scripture’s injunction to bear each other’s burdens “and so fulfil the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). To give to the poor is a blessed activity because it is more blessed to give than to receive. The congregation that is without the poor loses something of the blessedness of the Saviour’s presence in the church and it ought to find other ways to care for the poor in sister churches or in other congregations in their own denomination.

Ministers of the gospel are not among the poor, nor are their wives and children. They are not the objects of benevolence. They are not to be cared for by the deacons. They are not given to the church as part of Christ’s promise: “ye have the poor with you always.” In fact, the office of deacon was instituted in the church, not to care for ministers but because ministers are (and ought to be) too busy to do the work of caring for the poor. 

Ministers have no time to engage in secular work either. Pastors ought to be giving themselves over to the study of God’s Word and prayer (Acts 6:4). If a minister has to take another job to provide for his wife and family, the congregation will suffer. This is not to say that so-called tent-making ministers are sinning. But I have talked with a few and, with one accord, each agreed that it would help his church or mission work, if he could labour full time as a minister.

The principle that “The labourer is worthy of his hire” (Luke 10:7) is what the law meant when Israel was commanded not to muzzle the ox that treads out the corn. An ox did work for the family that owned it and thus had a claim on some of its master’s earthly possessions. It was, after all, due to the ox’s work that the family had enough to obtain the necessities of life. The family owed the ox its living. It was not benevolence that prompted Israel to give the ox free access to the food that it had helped to produce. 

That principle was carried over into the new dispensational church, and the relation between an ox and its owner is the same as the relation between the minister and his congregation. To refuse the minister material support forces him to spend valuable time in earthly things and the congregation suffers spiritually. 

It is true that in most congregations deacons take collections for other causes than help for the poor: Christian schools, congregational or denominational kingdom causes, etc. But none of this is benevolence. These other financial matters are taken care of by the diaconate for convenience but they need not be done in this way.

The last question asked was concerning the rightness or wrongness of “obligatory church taxes.” The word “taxes” is inappropriate to ecclesiastical giving. In the Protestant Reformed Churches in the U.S. and Canada, we call this the annual budget. The budget covers all the expenses of a local congregation at a certain rate per family, per-week. It is not an obligatory tax; it is an amount that informs the congregation what the costs of the church are outside the benevolent fund. In this matter also the principle holds: One must give as he has been blessed. Budgeting is an excellent way to give systematically to cover the expenses of the church. It is not benevolence.

It is necessary for people to determine how much to give to each kingdom cause, including the schools. In our congregation and, I think, in most, two collections are taken every Sunday, besides the budget and benevolence. As good stewards in God’s house, every family must decide how much to give to every need in the church. That amount is determined by the need of each cause in relation to all the other causes. 

Giving is never an obligation; it is always a privilege. And the widow’s mite is more in God’s sight than a thousand dollars or pounds. 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

Thursday, 23 November
 7:15 PM


Speaker:
Rev. Martyn McGeown

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

Subject:
The Reformation’s Recovery of Right Worship

 
NEW VENUE:
Margam Community Centre

Bertha Road, Margam, Port Talbot, SA13 2AP 

www.cprc.co.uk
www.cprf.co.uk/swales.htm
www.limerickreformed.com
Covenant and Election in the Reformed Tradition
by David J. Engelsma
(288 pp., hardback) 

Covenant and election are two of the most prominent and most important truths in Scripture. They run through the Bible like two grand, harmonious themes in symphony. These two doctrines and their relation are the twofold subject of this book.
In Covenant and Election, Prof. Engelsma traces these themes in the confessional documents of the Reformed churches and from John Calvin in the sixteenth-century through the fathers of the Secession churches in the nineteenth-century Netherlands to the twentieth-century theologians Herman Bavinck and Herman Hoeksema. With his usual penetrating scriptural analysis, Engelsma also exposes the contemporary and spreading heresy of the Federal Vision.
 
£16.50 (inc. P&P)

Order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
on-line, 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 500 Years of the Reformation

A box set of 4 lectures & 
6 sermons on CD or DVD 
by Prof. David Engelsma 


These 10 Reformation speeches in the CPRC by Prof. Engelsma (USA) cover the Reformers (Luther and Calvin), the Five Solas (the glory of God alone, faith alone, Scripture alone, Christ alone and grace alone) and Reformation subjects (justification and sanctification; covenant, election and reprobation; and hard choices and providence)

1) Martin Luther: Theologian of the Glory of God
2) Justification in Paul and in James
3) Jesus’ Pardon of the Adulteress
4) The Origin of Scripture 
5) Martin Luther: Man of Conviction
6) The Choice of the Young Man Moses
7) Created Unto Good Works
8) Calvin’s Doctrine of the Covenant
9) The Doctrine of Reprobation in the Gospel of Jesus
10) A Thorn in the Flesh

£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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PRC Weekly Congregational, Denominational, and Sister-Church News - November 12, 2017

Psalms 91 2On this second Lord's Day of November 2017 (Nov.12) we note the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, mission fields, and sister churches.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • On Nov.5 Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC) received the call from  SW PRC (Wyoming, MI).
  • Rev. B. Huizinga (Hope PRC (Redlands, CA) is considering the call from First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI (received Oct.29).
  • Cand.J. Langerak is supplying our Lynden PRC for a few weeks, until the examination and ordination of pastor-elect S. Regnerus.

DENOMINATIONAL and SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • The delegation of Rev. R. Smit and D. Kregel are concluding their trip to the Philippines and to the Covenant ERC in Singapore today and plan to return home this week.
  • Rev. G. Eriks and Rev. K. Koole will be attending the meeting of NAPARC (North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council) Tuesday through Thursday in Grand Rapids, on behalf of the Contact Committee of our churches.

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SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • Are you a Standard Bearer subscriber and an RFPA Book Club member? If not, isn't it time you became one? Visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website for more information on having and reading solid Reformed literature in your home.
  • INTERVIEW:  Prof. David Engelsma will be interviewed by Christopher Arnzen on his radio program “Iron Sharpens Iron” this Friday, November 17, 4-6 pm EST. He will also be interviewed on Monday, November 27, 4-6 pm EST. The subject for both of these interviews will be his recent book, The Gospel Truth Of Justification, and they will build on Mr. Arnzen’s previous interview of Professor Engelsma this past September.  Go to ironsharpensironradio.com and click on the livestream box to tune in and listen from any device. The program can also be listened to by phone at (563)999-9206; press #3 for Christian Radio when prompted.
  • Reformed Book Outlet: November special: RBO has a special offer for the month of November. When you purchase $35.00 worth of goods, before tax, you can pick out a free Protestant Reformed Psalm Singing Choir CD. We carry all 19 volumes of these CDs (the earlier ones are called Fitting Praises).

  • NEW Psalter CD Available! The Covenant Christian High School Choirs (Grand Rapids, MI) have recently recorded their 3rd Psalm CD "Teach Me to Pray", which will be available in time for Christmas! Watch for a sign-up sheet at your church or contact the school office.

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  • Don't forget to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday! Todays' message by radio pastor Rev. W. Bruinsma is titled "Abounding in Love (2)," based on 1 Thess.3:11-13.
    • NEW RWH Station - The Cornerstone PRC Word and Deed committee has partnered with the Reformed Witness Hour to air their messages on the radio in the Chicago area. Beginning today, September 10, the broadcast can be heard every Sunday at 4:00PM on WYLL 1160AM or on the internet at www.1160hope.com. Please tune in and encourage others to do so as opportunity arises in your personal witnessing.

 MISSION NEWS:

  • From Byron Center PRC comes this note re the labors of her (and our!) home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma: Our home missionary will be going to Franklin, PA this coming Wednesday to spend a week trying to make contacts there and preaching for the group on Sunday.

Myanmar map 2

  • HOPE PRC’S REFORMED WITNESS COMMITTEE invites you to Covenant CHS this Sunday, November 12, at 8:00 pm to attend an informative program concerning Hope’s work in Myanmar with the PRC of Yangon, Myanmar. Rev. Titus Sanceuluai, pastor of the church in Myanmar, along with his wife Certi, will be part of the program. This will be a great way to learn more about the work there, the fellow saints in Myanmar, and get to know Rev. Titus and Certi personally. We look forward to seeing you there.
  • INDIA: A delegation of Rev. Ron and Sue VanOverloop and Rick and Ronda Wieringa will be sent by Georgetown PRC this Wednesday to visit the PRC of Vellore, India for three weeks (Nov. 15-Dec. 4). Pastor VanOverloop will be preaching in both the Tamil and English congregations, assisting in the training of Pastors in the Sola Gratia Program, holding seminars on Reformed Doctrine, speaking at a retreat for Doctors and medical students of the CMC of Vellore, and preaching in area village outreaches. The delegation plans to conduct Church Visitation with the VPRC while there, participate in congregational Bible Studies, and visit with many of the members of the VPRC in their homes. Pray for the Lord’s blessing.
  • On Oct.1 Rev. R. Smit (First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI) ACCEPTED the call of Doon PRC to serve as a third missionary to the Philippines. According to Doon's bulletin "[Rev. Smit] will be installed as our missionary on November 26. The Smits plan to move to the Philippines on December 25. All this, the Lord willing."We give thanks to the Lord of the harvest for providing this next foreign missionary for this abundant field of labor.

Leyte July 2017 1

The newly declared PRCP mission in Albuera, Leyte (July, 2017)

  • From the Nov.12 bulletins of Provident Christian Church in Marikina, the Philippines, the Maranatha PRC in Valenzuela, and the Berean PRC in Manila we find the following notes concerning their pastors as well as concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:
    • Provident CC:

      • Rev. Holstege will preach both times today. Rev.Kleyn will be in Maranatha PRC today. Next Sunday, Lord willing, Rev. Holstege and Rev. Kleyn will each preach once here at PCC.

      • Listen again or for the first time to the speeches from the Reformation 500th Anniversary Conference at prcaphilippinesaudio.wordpress.com/speeches.

    • Maranatha PRC: Today, our Missionary, Rev. D. Kleyn will lead our first and second services after the Second Service he will continue the Lesson 74 of the Church Order.
    • Berean PRC:

      • Our pastor [V.Ibe] is also scheduled to preach at Kerusso Community church in Tondo at 3PM today and will lead them in their study of the Essentials of Reformed doctrine at 5:30 PM, the Lord willing.

      • Our pastor and Elder Peñaverde rescheduled their visit with the saints in Sitio Karugang, Gabaldon NE on Friday (Nov. 17, 2017). Rev. Ibe will lead them in their study of the Essentials of Reformed doctrine on lesson #16, D.V.
      • The Classis of the PRCP convened on Wednesday [Nov.1]; the two important matters at classis were:1) The presence of and meetings of the delegation of the Contact Committee of the PRCA (Rev. R. Smit and Mr. David Kregel), and 2) Classis declaring the PRFA (Protestant Reformed Fellowship in Albuera, Leyte) as an official mission work of the PRCP. In view of the same, PRC in Bulacan was appointed as the calling church for PRFA and thus instructed by the Classis to arrange and to send a monthly delegation, pending the availability of the funds through special collections that all our PRCP congregations have been asked to take for mission work.

  • Let's remember these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines in our prayers daily. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace for all their labors.
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PRC Weekly Congregational, Denominational, and Sister-Church News - November 5, 2017 *(Updated)

Psalms 150 1On this first Lord's Day of November 2017 (Nov.5) we note the following news and information from PRC congregations, mission fields, and sister churches.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • On Oct.29 the congregation of First PRC (GR) voted to extend a call to Rev. B. Huizinga, currently pastor of Hope PRC (Redlands, CA).
  • The Council of SW PRC (Wyoming, MI) announces a new trio from which to call a pastor: Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC), Rev. W. Langerak (Southeast PRC), and Candidate David Noorman.  A special congregational meeting has been scheduled for TODAY immediately following the evening worship service. *UPDATE: Rev. J. Engelsma has received this call.
  • From Lynden PRC's bulletin of Oct.29 we find these details concerning pastors-elect B. Feenstra and S. Regnerus:
    • As was announced last week, Stephan Regnerus has accepted our call as our next minister. His Classical examination, along with Brian Feenstra’s, will be held in Lynden, starting with Stephan’s specimen sermon on Tuesday, November 28 at 7:00 p.m. Classis will convene at 8:30 on Wednesday, November 29 with Brian’s specimen sermon and examination to follow. The Lord willing, Stephan’s Installation/Ordination will be on Friday, December 1, at 7:00 p.m.

DENOMINATIONAL and SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • The following special note was found in Grandville PRC's bulletin concerning the PRC Contact Committe delegation currently visiting Singapore and the Philippines:
    • This past Wednesday Dave Kregel and Rev. Smit met with the PRC Classis of the Philippines and read Synod's letter expressing a desire for and approving of a sister church relationship with them. Final implementation of the relationship waits the approval of our two other sister churches. Brother Kregel writes from the Philippines: "This Sunday I plan to worship with the Berean congregation and then with Provident (the church which hopes to join the federation in the near future-Rev Holstege works there mostly). And then, next on the agenda, on to Singapore on Monday D.V. On a personal note: I would never in my wildest dreams (as a Dutchman from GR) have expected to have had opportunity to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation with fellow believers from the Philippines at their own conference. Amazing. Please continue to pray for our work, but especially for the saints here and for our missionaries.".

  • From the Covenant ERC in Singapore's bulletin for today we find these specials notices:
    • "This week we welcome Rev. Singh and Sonali to Singapore. Our missionary and his wife will be attending the Reformation Day Conference, they will be joining us for worship next Sunday, and enjoying fellowship with their fellow saints in CERC.
    • This week we also welcome the church visitors from the PRCA. Rev. Richard Smit and Elder Dave Kregel will be arriving early this week, and will be conducting church visitation with CERC’s Session on 8 Nov (Wed) at 8pm at church. Please see our Church Order, Article 44 for more information on church visitation. Rev. Smit will also be speaking at our Reformation Day Conference, as well as preaching for us next Sunday. We thank God that we can welcome these visitors, and we also welcome anyone else who may be in our midst today and the weeks to come.
    • Pastor Lanning will be leaving for Brisbane, Australia on Thursday night, returning Monday morning. He will be speaking for the Reformation Day Conference in Brisbane on Saturday and preaching both services on Sunday in the Brisbane EPCA. Let us pray that the RDCs both in Singapore and Brisbane are profitable for God’s people and for the promotion of God’s eternal truth."
  • Prof. D. Engelsma and his wife are currently visiting our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, where he has given four Reformation lectures, as well as preached on the three Sundays he is there (including today yet). Covenant PRC's bulletin included this note: "Rev. Stewart will be preaching in the LRF on 29 October and 5 & 12 November. Our pastor will also be giving a lecture on “Martin Luther’s Great Discovery” in Limerick on Saturday, 28 October. Rev. McGeown will be speaking in the U.S. at Reformation conferences there and will be returning on Thursday, 9 November. He will preach for the CPRC on 12 November."
  • The PRC Seminary Reformation 500th Anniversary Conference, which was held the weekend of Oct.27-28 in Faith PRC (Jenison, MI), was repeated this past weekend in Hull, IA and Loveland, CO, with three speakers giving their lectures again in each place. The speeches as given in Faith PRC are now posted on her Sermonaudio page and may be found together below:

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • From Byron Center PRC: PART 1 of Prof. D. Engelsma's Q & A regarding spousal abuse is now available on Byron Center's website, ( www.byronprc.net ). Scroll down the right side of cover page and click on "Part 1". We will announce when the remaining questions are answered and available for viewing.
  • If you wish to see pictures of the recent Seniors' Retreat held at Gull Lake in Michigan (Sept.26-29), sponsored by Grandville and First PRCs (Holland), visit the bulletin page for this link: 2017 Seniors' Retreat Pictures - Gull Lake, MI (registered users only).
  • Reformed Book Outlet: November special:

    RBO has a special offer for the month of November. When you purchase $35.00 worth of goods, before tax, you can pick out a free Protestant Reformed Psalm Singing Choir CD. We carry all 19 volumes of these CDs (the earlier ones are called Fitting Praises).

RWH logo 1

  • Don't forget to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday! Todays' message by radio pastor Rev. W. Bruinsma is titled "Abounding in Love (1)," based on 1 Thess.3:11-13.
    • NEW RWH Station - The Cornerstone PRC Word and Deed committee has partnered with the Reformed Witness Hour to air their messages on the radio in the Chicago area. Beginning today, September 10, the broadcast can be heard every Sunday at 4:00PM on WYLL 1160AM or on the internet at www.1160hope.com. Please tune in and encourage others to do so as opportunity arises in your personal witnessing.

 MISSION NEWS:

Myanmar map 2

  • From Hull PRC's bulletin and Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) bulletin for this Sunday we note the following special announcement concerning Rev. Titus and their work in Myanmar:
    • Myanmar Presentation: This Sunday (Nov.5) after the evening service we plan to have a presentation on mission work being done in Myanmar. Rev. Titus and his wife Cer te from Myanmar are scheduled to be in this area from November 3– 6.
    • HOPE PRC’S REFORMED WITNESS COMMITTEE invites you to Covenant CHS Sunday, November 12, at 8:00 pm to attend an informative program concerning Hope’s work in Myanmar with the PRC of Yangon, Myanmar. Rev. Titus Sanceuluai, pastor of the church in Myanmar, along with his wife Certi, will be part of the program. This will be a great way to learn more about the work there, the fellow saints in Myanmar, and get to know Rev. Titus and Certi personally. We look forward to seeing you there.
  • On Oct.1 Rev. R. Smit (First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI) ACCEPTED the call of Doon PRC to serve as a third missionary to the Philippines. According to Doon's bulletin "[Rev. Smit] will be installed as our missionary on November 26. The Smits plan to move to the Philippines on December 25. All this, the Lord willing."We give thanks to the Lord of the harvest for providing this next foreign missionary for this abundant field of labor.

 Leyte March 2017 2The newly declared PRCP mission in Albuera, Leyte (March, 2017)

  • From the Nov.5 bulletins of Provident Christian Church in Marikina, the Philippines and the Maranatha PRC in Valenzuela we find the following notes concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:
    • Rev. Holstege will preach in the first service today, while Rev. Smit preaches in Berean PRC. Rev. Smit will then preach for us in our second service. Rev. Kleyn will be in Maranatha PRC today.

    • [Maranatha PRC] Today, our Missionary, Rev. D. Kleyn will lead our first service and Rev. L. Trinidad will lead the second service. After the Second Service Rev. D. Kleyn will continue the Lesson # 72-73 of the Church Order, while Rev. L. Trinidad will be teaching the children Catechism.
    • The Classis of the PRCP met last Wednesday at Maranatha PRC. At the meeting, the delegates from the Contact Committee of the PRCA spoke words of joy and encouragement regarding the new sister church relationship approved last summer at the PRCA Synod. The PRCP Classis also declared their first official mission field in Albuera, Leyte. Classis appointed the PRC in Bulacan as calling church. Until a missionary can be called, they advised sending monthly delegations to Albuera.

    • The delegates of the Contact Committee of the PRCA (Rev. Smit and Mr. D. Kregel) met with Committee 2 of the PRCP after Classis. Rev. Smit and Elder Kregel plan to fly to Singapore tomorrow to meet with the CERCS, another sister church of the PRCA.

  • Let's remember these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines in our prayers daily. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace for all their labors.
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Covenant Reformed News - October 2017

Covenant Reformed News

October 2017  •  Volume XVI, Issue 18


What Is a Protestant? (4)

After summarizing the origin and the meaning of the name Protestant, and briefly explaining the biblical and Reformation truth that salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone through grace alone to the glory of God alone according to Scripture alone (the Five Solas), in the first three articles, we now need to fill out other important aspects of Protestantism.

First, Protestantism is creedal. This is a much misunderstood issue in our day. The popular misconception is that, since Protestants believe in sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), they do not hold to the creeds. Wrong! It was the Anabaptists, whom the Protestants opposed just as much as the Roman Catholics, who believed that sola Scriptura meant no creeds.

At the Diet of Speyer in 1529, the first Protestants protested (hence their name) against the ungodly decisions of the Roman Catholic majority on the basis of Scripture alone. In 1530, the very next year, they agreed to the Augsburg Confession—a creed!

In the specifically Reformed (rather than Lutheran) branch of the Protestant Reformation, many more creeds were written by those who held sola Scriptura. In fact, the four volumes of James T. Dennison, Jr.’s Reformed Confessions of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries in English Translation contain 127 creeds in the 173-year period from 1523 to 1695. That is a new creed on average every 16 months or so!

So here we have two facts regarding the foundational period of Protestantism: first, it contains the clearest statements of Scripture alone in church history and, second, it has the highest rate of production of confessions in church history. How are these two things to be reconciled and understood? 

It is not difficult. Sola Scriptura means that the Bible alone is the written Word of God and is, therefore, the supreme judge of faith and morals. The creeds summarize what the inspired, infallible and supremely authoritative Word of God teaches.

Not only do faithful Protestants today have confessions; they also maintain and uphold them, and teach the biblical doctrines that they summarize.

Second, Protestants are true churchmen and love Christ’s church. Protestants are not individualistic, with everyone going off on his own and doing his own thing. 

The Protestant Reformation was the reformation of an organization or body of believers, the church. This means it was a reformation of church doctrine (including the Five Solas), church creeds, church preaching, church sacraments, church discipline, church government and church worship. This is the desire, goal and result of godly Protestantism: biblical and Protestant churches, governed by biblical and Protestant principles, with members convicted of biblical and Protestant truth, so that glory is given to the Triune God alone in Jesus Christ!

Third, Protestants and Protestant churches protest against the lie and for the truth. The history of faithful Protestantism is a history of the church militant. This is what has happened over the last 500 years, going back to the Diet of Speyer (1529), and Martin Luther’s “Here I stand” at Worms (1521) and his Ninety-Five Theses (1517).

In reality, though not in terminology, the faithful witnessing of Protestantism goes back to Jan Hus in Bohemia, John Wycliffe in England, the Waldensians in and around the Alps, Gottschalk in various parts of Europe, Augustine in North Africa, etc.

This same fight for the faith is evident in the pages of the Bible in the battles of the apostles against the Sadducess and Judaizers in Acts and the epistles, in the ministry of the Lord Jesus versus the scribes and Pharisees in the gospel accounts, and in the labours of the faithful prophets, like Elijah, in the Old Testament.

In our day, out of love for the truth and in order to gain others to it by God’s grace, faithful Protestant people and churches protest against apostasy: liberal theology, Arminianism, women in church office, false ecumenism (with Roman Catholicism, other false or departing churches and the cults), sodomy and lesbianism in church office-bearers and members, syncretism with pagan religions, etc.

The child of God also has a right and a calling to protest unbiblical teaching and practice in his own church because of his office of believer, for he is a prophet, priest and king through sharing in the spiritual anointing of Jesus Christ. His protest should be made in an orderly, ecclesiastical fashion, according to the Reformed confessions and the church’s code or church order. Such a protest should be made humbly and yet boldly, with much prayer and fortified with the Holy Scriptures to God’s glory.

Psalm 119 superbly sums up the spirit of biblical Protestantism: “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way” (104); “Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (127-128). 

Next time, we shall conclude by considering some of the major ethical teachings of Protestantism, DV.  Rev. Stewart

 

Emotions


A reader writes, “I have a question concerning love and emotions. I have read some materials on the topic, including Herman Hoeksema’s explanation of God’s love. He defines love as a ‘bond’ and he also speaks of it as a ‘desire.’ Some argue that love is a feeling, while others that the nature of love is volitional. My question is: What is the relation between love and feelings or emotions? By feelings or emotions, I mean affective states of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate or the like is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness?”

This question from a reader of the News in Hungary taps into a long debate that has been ongoing in the church ever since the time of Augustine (354-430). The discussion concerns the feelings or emotions and how the emotions of a person relate to his mind and his will. The debate has, for the most part, revolved around the question whether the emotions are a separate faculty of the soul or are a part of another faculty.

This presupposes, of course, that man has a soul and is not merely the product of blind evolutionary processes. The soul in man is immaterial and pervades the whole of man’s being. The Bible itself speaks of the soul or spirit.

The faculties of the soul are the facultas intelligendi and the facultas volendi—the faculty of the mind and the faculty of the will. The debate has centred on the question whether the emotions (if such exist) are a separate power of the soul or belong to one of the two faculties, that is, to the mind or to the will.

The issue is an interesting one and it is also an important one. Herman Bavinck wrote a book entitled Biblical and Religious Psychology. Unfortunately, it is written in Dutch. I translated it into English for a theological class I taught and the Protestant Reformed Seminary in Wyoming, Michigan, produces copies of it.

Bavinck is adamant that the emotions are part of the activity of the will. He points out, and correctly so, that, if the emotions are a separate faculty, and are thus outside the intellectual and volitional life of a man, emotions are outside man’s moral responsibility.

What I have to say about the emotions, I learned chiefly from Bavinck, although Hoeksema in his instruction would refer from time to time to the emotions, as the questioner pointed out.

We live in a world in which people seem to think that emotions are the dominant psychical activity in our lives. Many wrongly reckon that feelings that arise out of nowhere drive everyone to do what they do. The idea is that, because emotions are independent of our minds and wills, we have no control over them. It is all summed up in the terrible motto, “If it feels good, do it.” 

The fact is that the emotions are part of the will. The will is dependent, in turn, on the mind. God has so created us that we stand in relation to the creation around us, primarily with our minds. We know the creation. We also know the Bible, God’s inspired Word. The will cannot act upon that which the mind does not know.

The emotions are one aspect of the activity of the will that chooses between various options which a man confronts. I hope no one deduces from this remark that man can choose for God or Christ without irresistible grace. Man is totally depraved. But he retains the power of choice in natural things. For example, he chooses the road on which to drive to his destination. Life consists in making choices every moment of the day. What a man chooses depends on what he likes or dislikes, what he wants or despises, what he loves or hates. Without faith, all a man’s choices are sinful (Rom. 14:23) but some decisions are more sinful than others.

Man is neither the master of his fate nor the captain of his soul. God determines the path that he walks. Things happen to him that he hoped would never happen, like being diagnosed with cancer. In his heart, he knows that he cannot control his life. There are even atheists in fox holes, who, through fear of death, have a sudden inclination to pray. Yet they cannot really pray, for true prayer comes only from a regenerated heart and must be offered on the basis of Christ’s substitutionary death and intercession.

A man’s emotions are his reactions to the totality of his experiences in life. He likes them or he dislikes them. Every emotion is a sense of like or dislike.

Bavinck points out that some emotions are very strong and some relatively weak. He gives different names to different emotions, depending on their strength.

The eternal and unchangeable God has, according to Scripture, emotions. God perfectly loves His people and hates the wicked (e.g., Ps. 5:5; Prov. 3:32-33). How the eternal God can have emotions is far beyond our understanding. But He does and for this we must be thankful. He is not cold, impersonal or unmoved by anything in this life. He is not the Mohammedan’s Allah.

It seems to me that love and hate are the most basic emotions. This is certainly true from an ethical viewpoint, for the moral law is summed up in the command to love God and our neighbour. God loves His people with an eternal love and hates the wicked with an eternal hatred. He does not love them all and bend every effort to save them, only to hate them at the end of their life and cast them into hell.

So with man: man’s most basic emotions are love and hate. The elect love God and their neighbour; the wicked hate God and their neighbour.

The believer still has a depraved nature. God is pleased to send him many afflictions. He may dislike intensely the fact that he has cancer, but he receives it from the Lord and in humble submission to His will. He loves his God and willingly submits to His way, although there remains the battle between his old man and his new man in Christ.

Man is responsible for his emotions. He must answer for them before Christ’s judgment throne. The believer is called to live a life of temperance, self-discipline and self-control by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). This is part of the kingly office of the Christian: his ruling over himself by God’s grace. He never simply has emotions that overcome him. He must not live by the slogan, “If it feels good, do it.” The child of God is the object of Jehovah’s mercy, love, grace and longsuffering. He is moved by this to bring to his heavenly Father a humble prayer of thanksgiving, all the while weeping for his sins. Prof. Hanko
 


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Celebrating
500 Years
of the Reformation

----
Reformation
Lecture

Friday, 3 November, 2017, 7:30 PM 
“Calvin’s Doctrine of the Covenant”

Speaker
 Prof. David J. Engelsma 

emeritus Professor of Dogmatics at the Protestant Reformed Seminary, USA

Venue
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence St., Ballymena, N. Ireland BT43 5DR

Prof. Engelsma is also to preach at both CPRC services,
11 AM & 6 PM, on Lord’s Day, 5 November

The lecture will be streamed live at www.cprf.co.uk/live.html 
 



South Wales Lecture

Thursday, 23 November
 7:15 PM

Speaker:
Rev. Martyn McGeown

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

Subject:
The Reformation’s Recovery of Right Worship

 
NEW VENUE:
Margam Community Centre

Bertha Road, Margam, Port Talbot, SA13 2AP 

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

Knowing God & Man
Herman Hoeksema
(144 pp., softback)

The key to understanding all Reformed doctrine is found in the title of the first chapter in this book: “God is God.” This truth sets the beautiful tone for all thirteen chapters—six on God and seven on man. Each chapter on God directs the reader’s attention to a different biblical aspect of the Sovereign of the universe: God as God, as Creator, as Lord, as good, as the living God and as love. The seven chapters about man clearly explain man’s covenantal relationship to God, his creation in the image of God, his fall and his totally depraved nature. Like the chapters in part one, these also emphasize that God is God!
 
£6.50 (inc. P&P)


Order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
on-line, by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851
.
Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.” Thank you!

The Conclusion to Christ’s Farewell Discourse

9 sermons on CD or DVD in an attractive box set
 
In that Upper Room in Jerusalem on the night before the cross, the Lord Jesus spoke of His “going away” in a “little while” so that His 11 disciples would “not see” Him, though in another “little while” they would “see” Him. These sermons explain the massive changes in the New Testament age that Christ would soon usher in!
  
(1) Christ’s Prophecy of Excommunication and Martyrdom (John 16:1-4a)
(2) The Spirit Convicting the World (John 16:4b-11)
(3) The Work of the Spirit of Truth (John 16:12-13)
(4) Glorifying Christ—The Spirit’s Work (John 16:14-15)
(5) Two Little Whiles (John 16:16-22)
(6) Praying in Christ’s Name
(John 16:23-24)
(7) Knowing the Father in the New Testament Age (John 16:25-27)
(8) The Weaknesses of the Disciples’ Knowledge
(John 16:28-32)
(9) Christ’s Victory Over the World (John 16:33)

£10/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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Reformed Witness Hour Messages for November 2017

First PRC of Grand Rapids, MI and the Reformed Witness Hour Committee announce the messages scheduled for November 2017 on the RWH radio program.

Rev. Bill Bruinsma, pastor of Pittsburgh PRC (Pennsylvania) continues his four-month service for the RWH program, as he works through a new series on Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians and brings a special Thanksgiving Day message (cf. schedule of messages below).

November  5 -Abounding in Love (1) - 1 Thess.3:11-13

November 12 -Abounding in Love (2) - 1 Thess. 3:11-13

November 19 -Thanks Be to God - 2 Corinthians 9:15

November 26 -Called unto Holiness - 1 Thess. 4:3-5, 7,8

You are encouraged to listen to these important messages and to let others know about them too. Help spread the word about the Reformed Witness Hour, now in its 77th year of broadcasting the truths of God's sovereign, particular, efficacious grace!

Use the attached flyer (pdf) to spread the news of these important gospel messages!

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RWH Flyer November 2017 Page 1

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