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Reformed Witness Hour Messages for October 2016

First PRC of Grand Rapids, MI and the Reformed Witness Hour Committee announce the messages scheduled for October 2016 on the RWH radio program.

WBruinsma 2Rev. Wilbur (Bill) Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC) begins his four-month service for the RWH program. He will open with a special series on the godly woman.

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, celebrating in 2016 its 75th year of broadcasting the truths of God's sovereign particular grace!

To find a station in your area, visit the RWH website.  Or visit the RWH Sermonaudio channel.

Below is the schedule of messages, which you will also find below in flyer form and attached in pdf form.

October 2 - Proverbs 31:30: “The Woman That Fears Jehovah”
October 9 - I Corinthians 7:34: “Unmarried and Devoted to God”
October 16 - I Timothy 2: 9, 10: “The Adornment of a Godly Woman”
October 23 - Proverbs 18:22: “Finding a God-Fearing Wife”
October 30 - Proverbs 31:11, 12: “She Does her Husband Good”

October 2016 flyer Page 1

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Keeping the Sword Drawn - Public Lecture at Grace Community Church (Hudsonville, MI), Sept.30, 2016

The following public announcement is sponsored by the Southwest PRC’s Evangelism Committee:

The true church is under vicious assault in these last days. Satan, having great wrath because he knows his time is short, is determined to destroy the divine truth that the church loves, believes, confesses and lives. False teachers with their damnable heresies are on every side. Pressures to sell the truth for the sake of unholy alliances mount. Iniquity of the vilest sort is sanctioned and celebrated in society. What shall the church do as she awaits the triumphant return of her head Christ Jesus? 

We are planning a lecture by Rev. Brian Huizinga titled Keeping the Sword Drawn: Our Calling as the Church of the Militant Christ to be held at Grace Community Church in Hudsonville, MI on Friday September 30 at 7:30PM.  This lecture will address these issues,  demonstrating the church’s urgent calling to take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and keep it drawn.  We will also live stream this event.

Below is the flyer for the event SW PRC EC has provided (also attached as a pdf):

Keeping Sword Drawn SWPRC 2016 Page 1

You may also find notice of this event on this special Facebook page.

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RFPA Annual Meeting, Thursday Sept.29, 2016

RFPA Annual Meeting - 
"Lord Grant Boldness":
The RFPA's Witness in the Sexual Revolution

Western society is presently in the grips of a powerful revolution. This is a revolution of massive scope and earth-shaking consequences. It is a sexual revolution, a revolution proudly trumpeting fornication, homosexuality, transgenderism, and the like. What are the origins of this revolution? How does it show itself in the present? What is the future of it? And then, what is the calling of the RFPA in the face of this revolution?

Plan to attend the Reformed Free Publishing Association Annual meeting this week and hear Rev. Joshua Engelsma speak on "'Lord Grant Boldness': The RFPA's Witness in the Sexual Revolution."

Date: Thursday, September 29, 2016
Time: 7:30 pm
Place: Providence Protestant Reformed Church
1569 44th St SW, Hudsonville MI 49426
 

Men, women, and young people are welcome!

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New Issue of "Salt Shakers" Magazine - September 2016

SS logo"Covenant Keepers", the youth ministry of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (our sister church), recently released the September 2016 issue of "Salt Shakers" (#39),their youth magazine.

Once again, the "SS" is filled with interesting and profitable articles, and our PRC young people especially are invited and 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.

Beloved Readers,

The Salt Shakers is pleased to bring you Issue 39 of Salt Shakers! 
Join us as we continue our consideration of this year's theme: A Pilgrim's Path. Look out for part 6 of the series on Charismaticism, where we look into the renewalist claim of performing miracles today. In the latest articles in the Guidance for Youth rubric, we have Honouring God in Our Studies by Chang Zi Hui, and Break-Ups in the Church by Josiah Tan. We are especially thankful to all our writers for their excellent contributions to this Reformed magazine. 
Once again, we are thankful for the Lord' grace in sustaining the continued publishing of Salt Shakers.
Pro Rege, Chua Lee Yang
On Behalf of the Salt Shakers Committee
SS 39 ecopy Page 1
SS 39 ecopy Page 2
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SW PRC Forms Trio

SW PRC 2012With the approved emeritation of her current pastor (Rev. Arie den Hartog) set for the end of this year, Southwest PRC (Wyoming, MI) has formed a trio from which to call a new pastor.

Its consists of Revs. B. Huizinga (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA), W. Langerak (SE PRC, Grand Rapids, MI), and M. McGeown (Missionary-pastor, Limerick, Ireland).

The congregation plans to call on October 9, 2016.

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Classis West Meeting, Sept.28, 2016 (Updated with Clerk's Report)

RandolphChurchCLASSIS WEST met in regular session on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at Randolph (WI) PRC.

An Officebearers' Conference on Biblical Counseling was held the day before the meeting, Tuesday. Sept.27, in the church (cf. the flyer below and attached).

The professors and students of the PRC Seminary also attended the Tuesday conference.

May the Lord give His blessing to the conference and the meeting of Classis.

Official report:

Classis West met in regular session on September 28, 2016, in Randolph, WI.

    Rev. S. Key opened the meeting with devotions and an exhortation based on 1 Thessalonians 2:1-6.  He reminded the delegates that God has entrusted us with the gospel.  This becomes a source of confidence for us who minister the word, as well as a reason for commitment and the power of divine commission. 
    Rev. R. Kleyn chaired this meeting of Classis.  The agenda was brief.  The stated clerk, classical committee, and reading sermon committee all reported routine labors.  The expenses of this meeting totaled $6,871.73.  Classis adjourned before 11:00, after hearing Rev. Kleyn give a brief parting exhortation based on 1 Corinthians 15:58.  Classis is scheduled to meet next on March 1, 2017 in Redlands.
    The day before Classis, the delegates and several visitors enjoyed fellowship and instruction at an officebearers’ conference on the topic of “Biblical Counseling.”   The two morning sessions were led by Rev. Jeff Doll, pastor of biblical counseling at Cornerstone United Reformed Church, and director of the Institute for Reformed Biblical Counseling.  Rev. Doll’s first presentation set forth seven foundational principles for Reformed Biblical counseling.  In his second speech he laid out seven steps to follow in counseling God’s people.  The afternoon sessions were led by Rev. Garry Eriks and Rev. Rodney Kleyn.  Rev. Eriks spoke on
“The Practice and Goal of Biblical Counseling,” and Rev. Kleyn on “Implementing Biblical Counseling in the Local Church.”  The instruction was timely and the fellowship pleasant.
 
Rev. Douglas Kuiper

Stated Clerk, Classis West  

biblicalcounseling CW sept 2016 Page 1

Covenant Reformed News - September 2016

Covenant Reformed News

September 2016  •  Volume XVI, Issue 5


God’s Longsuffering in the New Testament

In the last two issues of the News, we looked at God’s longsuffering in the Old Testament. Now we turn to the seven New Testament instances.

The first reference to God’s longsuffering in the New Testament is Luke 18:7: “And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?” The object of Jehovah’s bearing or suffering long in this text is “his own elect,” those whom He chose in Christ before the foundation of the world (0. 1:4).

The last biblical references to the longsuffering of the Most High are found in Peter’s two canonical epistles. In I Peter 3:20, we read that “the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.” Here Jehovah’s longsuffering is directed not to the wicked world He destroyed by the flood but to the “eight souls” (Noah and his three sons with their four wives) who were “saved” by water, as a picture of their eternal salvation.

The apostle Peter next speaks of God’s longsuffering in II Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Here we are told that God’s “longsuffering [is] to us-ward,” namely, the “beloved” (1), those who “have obtained like precious faith” with Peter and all the saints (1:1), and who are the objects of Jehovah’s “calling and election” (10), as opposed to the “scoffers” (3:3).

Those to whom the Almighty is longsuffering are the ones whom He wills, wishes, wants and desires not to “perish” but to “come to repentance” (9). The sovereign and unchangeable Lord, in His infinite wisdom, power and grace, effectually calls all of His own, for “who hath resisted his will?” (Rom. 9:19). Notice that II Peter 3 explains why Christ has not yet returned. It is not that the Lord is “slack concerning His promise” (9), as the scoffers claimed, but that all of God’s elect church, all the stones in Jehovah’s spiritual temple, all the members of the body of Christ, must be brought to salvation before He comes back to judge the world.

This fits perfectly with Peter’s third and final reference to the Lord’s longsuffering: “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you” (15).

Notice three things in this text. First, the apostle asserts that “the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation,” for those to whom the sovereign and omnipotent God is longsuffering are always saved! Second, this is to be a theological first principle with Christians in their thinking regarding Jehovah’s longsuffering: “account [i.e., consider, deem, think or reckon with deliberate and careful judgment] that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation.” Third, the effectual and saving power of God’s longsuffering is also the inspired teaching of the great apostle of grace: “even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you.”

In Romans 9:22, that great theologian asks, “What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction …?”

Here we are taught that Jehovah “endured … the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction [i.e., the reprobate].” He puts up with them for a while because He shall display His glory through His holy “wrath” and awesome “power” in His “destruction” of them as “vessels of wrath” for all their sin and rebellion. This is what God desires, wishes and wants: “God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known.” Reprobation (22) serves God’s election of both Jews and Gentiles, whereby he “make[s] known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory” (23).

We need carefully to distinguish between God’s enduring or putting up with the reprobate (cf. Matt. 17:17; Mark 9:19; Luke 9:41) and His being longsuffering towards His elect (Luke 18:7). The Almighty “endured ... the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction [i.e., the reprobate]” (Rom. 9:22). How did He do this? The answer is found in the subordinate clause: “with much longsuffering” towards His elect (22). Remember that “the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation” (II Pet. 3:15).

This is Paul’s other reference to God’s longsuffering in Romans: “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (2:4). This does not refer to a “goodness” or “longsuffering” of God for the reprobate. First, the text does not say that Jehovah’s goodness or longsuffering merely tries (but fails) to lead the reprobate to repentance; it says that “the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance.” Second, the verse speaks not of merely a bit of common grace for the reprobate, as some allege, but of “the riches of his goodness.”

Romans 2:4 is not addressed to man as elect or reprobate but to generic and undifferentiated man. Thus he is addressed in the context as “O man” (1, 3). If we come to differentiation, God’s “forbearance” is for the reprobate, as in Romans 9:22; His longsuffering is for the elect (Luke 18:7) and is always salvific (II Pet. 3:15).

The very same apostle Paul is the great biblical example of Jehovah’s longsuffering to an elect sinner: “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting” (I Tim. 1:16).

Paul says that God was longsuffering to him “first,” not chronologically but preeminently, since he viewed himself as the “chief” of sinners (15) for he blasphemed Christ and persecuted His church (13). No wonder the apostle speaks of the Lord Jesus manifesting “all longsuffering” towards him, before breaking forth with a doxology: “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen” (17).

In God’s longsuffering to him in his gross wickedness before his conversion, Paul says he is a “pattern” (16). No one is too sinful to be saved, if God wills it. If the Lord can convert Paul who ravaged Christ’s church (Acts 8:1-4), then nobody is too difficult for Him. All must repent of their sins and trust in the crucified and risen Lord Jesus, the only Saviour!  Rev. Stewart

 

Our Saviour’s Weakened Human Nature


A reader asks, “Could Christ have contracted disease while on earth? He had no original sin and had He not had our sins imputed to Him would never have died. Correct?” There are really two questions in what the reader writes. I will try to answer both of them in turn.

Our answer to the first one, “Could Christ have contracted disease while on earth?” must be in the affirmative. We never read that our Lord was sick but Paul does write, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:3-4).

Christ came not in the likeness of sinless flesh but in the likeness of sinful flesh. We must not take this to mean that Christ could sin for He most emphatically could not. Scripture is clear on that. He is the Second Person of the Trinity who possesses the entire divine nature and He united to it His human nature. He was God in our flesh and God cannot sin: “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man” (James 1:13).

That He came in the likeness of sinful flesh means that He did not come in the strong and powerful human nature that Adam possessed before he fell but in the likeness of our flesh: weak, subject to trouble and disease, easily wearied (for our Lord was weary, hungry and thirsty) and eroded by 6,000 years of sinning. This is why, for example, Hebrews can tell us that He was tempted, even as we are tempted. He knew from experience the power and attractiveness of temptations. As such, He is a sympathetic high priest to whom we may boldly come to seek forgiveness and strength to stand against the wiles of the devil (Heb. 4:15-16).

I remember that long ago my pastor, Rev. Herman Hoeksema, began a sermon on Hebrews 4:15-16 with these words: “Beloved, this is such a beautiful and comforting text that I thought about reading it several times and then sending you home. I am afraid I might spoil it.” He then preached a sermon that was gripping, comforting and spiritually encouraging. The text is possible only because our Lord was born in the likeness of sinful flesh.

Christ was born a baby, weak, helpless, dependent on His mother and crying when He was hungry, yet without any sinful petulance. He did not have a halo on His head, any more than any of us has a halo—even though in our pride we sometimes think we do.

Finally, Psalm 103:3 reads, “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.” Our Lord could not heal our diseases without experiencing them Himself. He was indeed like us in all things—except sin.

The second question cannot be answered. It is like asking: If Adam and Eve had not eaten of the forbidden tree, and they had lived forever, how many children would they have had? Or, if Adam and Eve had not sinned, would everyone now born have also been born, only in a state of moral perfection?

The fact of the matter is that Christ came into the world in order that sin might be imputed to Him. If one looks at the matter from the historical viewpoint, one would say that Adam and the whole human race sinned, and God provided Christ in order that He might save His elect from the fallen human race through the imputation of their sin to Christ. God sent Christ into the world to bear the sins and guilt of His people. If God had determined not to save a people for Himself, He would never have sent Christ into the world. The moment Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit the sin of the elect was imputed to Him. It was the very purpose for His coming into the world. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (II Cor. 5:21).

Paul calls this the “great” “mystery” (I Tim. 3:16), for God’s purpose is profound and glorious, and the way of salvation is a wonder of which no mere creature could possibly have thought. Here is where the Arminian, with his heresy of a universal, ineffectual atonement, comes to disaster—with all his false theology. God imputed our sin to Christ. That means that Christ suffered the full penalty of sin for all those whose sin was imputed to Him. He bore the penalty of sin that consisted of death when God drives man from the world and assigns him an eternity of punishment in hell: “To live apart from God is death!”

If God imputed to Christ the sin of all men absolutely, no man any longer can or will perish in hell; all will be saved. But if God chose to glorify Himself through Christ (Eph. 1:3-14), and through Christ by imputing to Him the sins of the elect, then Christ had to die and go to hell for the elect alone.

Blessed gospel! “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (II Cor. 5:19).  Prof. Hanko

_________________________________

For more on Christ’s real, complete, sinless, individual and weakened human nature, plus His virgin birth, temptations and His fulfilment of God’s covenant prophecies, listen to the 8 CDs on “The Incarnation of the Son of God.” The cost for this attractive box set on Belgic Confession 17-18 is £10 (inc. P&P) or listen free on our website.
 


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/cprcni • www.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
 

 


South Wales Lecture

Friday, 30 September, 2016
at 7:15 PM

The Round Chapel
274 Margam Road, Port Talbot, SA13 2DB

Are Unbelievers in God's Image?

Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart

All welcome!
_______

Reformation Day Lecture

Friday, 28 October, 2016
at 7:30 PM

at the CPRC
Ballymena, BT43 5DR

John Owen and the Death of Christ

Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart

All welcome!
www.cprc.co.uk

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

 

“Behold, I Come Quickly”: The Reformed, Biblical Truth of the End

11 lectures/sermons on CD or DVD
in an attractive box set

These are the speeches at the excellent British Reformed
Fellowship Conference at Castlewellan, N. Ireland, in July

£12/box set (inc. P&P)

Watch free on YouTube or
Order from the CPRC Bookstore
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851.

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

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Pittsburgh PRC Updates - September 2016

Pittsburgh PRC logo 2016

From our newest congregation - Pittsburgh PRC - and her faithful "reporter", Many Tolsma, comes this newsletter update. The full newsletter is attached as a pdf. The first part is posted here.

Pittsburgh Updates

  • Our summer began with the annual Memorial Day church picnic. We gathered at a park in Monroeville. We had a delicious spread of hamburgers and hotdogs and many sides to go with them. We played baseball and also everyone, even the adults, enjoyed the toys at the park!
  • As you know, we experienced the organization of our church in June. Since then, we have picked a name for our church. We are know the Pittsburgh Protestant Reformed Church.
  • We also have called our own minister, who graciously accepted our call, and who was installed into office by Rev. Ken Koole in August.
  • Several of the young adults in our congregation have gathered at the park to play tennis this summer. Many have discovered that they need much more practice! We hope to continue getting together and working on this.
  • We continue to have our fellowship dinners the second Sunday afternoon of every month. No one walks away hungry!
  • Our NOC committee continues to work very hard on many projects. One of them includes our new website. Check it out! www.prcpittsburgh.org
  • Our fall lecture is being planned for November 11 with the theme: "The Church in the Last Days: Continuing in Things Learned". Our speaker is Rev. W. Bruinsma.

Special notice: In connection with the organization of Pittsburgh PRC, the Domestic Mission Committee of the PRCA has sent out the following notice:

The Domestic Mission Committee (DMC) wishes to inform the churches that with the organization of the Pittsburgh mission field and with their missionary, Rev. W. Bruinsma, accepting the call to become Pittsburgh’s first pastor, Southwest PRC has asked to be relieved of its responsibilities of being a calling church for domestic missions. With deep appreciation for Southwest’s work the DMC has approved this request and will so inform Synod. 

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