Missions of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America

Sister and Other Church Relationships

In harmony with the principles of holy Scripture and our Three Forms of Unity (Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, Canons of Dordt), the PRC through its Committee for Contact with Other Churches maintain full sister church relationships with three foreign churches and a corresponding relationship with one other foreign denomination.

Covenant PRC Ballymena, Northern Ireland

Covenant PRC Ballymena, Northern Ireland (102)

Website

83 Clarence Street,

Ballymena BT42 3NR, Northern Ireland

Services: 11:00 A.M. & 6:00 P.M.

RevAStewart

Pastor: Rev. Angus Stewart

7 Lislunnan Rd.

Kells, Ballymena, Co. Antrim

Northern Ireland BT42 3NR

Phone: (from U.S.A.) 011 (44) 28 25 891 851

pastor@cprc.co.uk

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Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (105)

CERCS 30thanniv 2017 group

Website

11, Jalan Mesin #04-00

Standard Industrial Building

Singapore 368813

Worship Services: 9:30 A.M. & 2:00 P.M. 

AdenHartog

Pastor (Interim): Rev. Arie denHartog

148 Bishan Street 11 #06-113 

Singapore  570148

pastor@cerc.org.sg

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Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia (EPC) (2)

For information on this small Presbyterian denomination in Australia with whom the PRCA have a "corresponding relationship", visit their website.

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Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines (11)

PRCP Organization Banner 4 9 2014

Berean PRC, Antipolo City - Pastor: Rev. V. Ibe
PRC in Bulacan - Pastor: Rev. J. Flores
Maranatha PRC, Valenzuela City - Pastor: Rev. L. Trinidad
View items...

Covenant Reformed News - November 2019

Covenant Reformed News


November 2019 • Volume XVII, Issue 19



Christ’s Triumph Over the Demonic Powers (3)

In the last two issue of the News, we have been considering this inspired statement by the apostle Paul: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:14-15).

This is not the only Scripture to speak of Christ’s blessed victory over Satan at the cross. The author of the epistle to the Hebrews writes, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (2:14-15).

Likewise, the apostle John declares, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (I John 3:8).

Before the cross and with a view to its accomplishment, our Lord Jesus proclaimed, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out” (John 12:31).

Not long after the fall, God Almighty promised, “I will put enmity between thee [i.e., Satan] and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed [i.e., Christ]; it [i.e., He] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15). 

All this helps us answer two crucial questions. First, for whom were Satan and his host defeated, disarmed and made a public spectacle at the cross? Not for all men head for head. The devil and his demons rule over many, even most, people. He is not disarmed regarding his abuse of the law against them or rule over them through sin. He is even called “the god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4; John 12:31).

The truth is that Jesus Christ’s sacrifice is particular, for the elect alone. He made atonement for His chosen people’s iniquities, making satisfaction to God’s law for us. In this way, He disarmed Satan of these weapons so that he cannot condemn us. Thus Isaiah exults in our Lord’s victory: “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (53:11-12).

Second, in what way were the devil and his demons defeated, disarmed and made a public spectacle at the cross? Christ’s atonement justifies His elect before Jehovah, dealing with our sin and God’s law, so that Satan is disarmed regarding us in these crucial areas. With respect to our sanctification, we add that our flesh is dethroned and not dominant, and Jesus is Lord over us.

However, it is also true that Satan and his demons tempt us and even seduce us into sin, for our “adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Pet. 5:8).

We must keep praying the sixth petition of the Lord’s prayer: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; that is, since we are so weak in ourselves that we cannot stand a moment; and besides this, since our mortal enemies, the devil, the world, and our own flesh cease not to assault us, do Thou therefore preserve and strengthen us by the power of Thy Holy Spirit, that we may not be overcome in this spiritual warfare, but constantly and strenuously may resist our foes, till at last we obtain a complete victory” (Heidelberg Catechism, A. 127).

But Satan does not rule over us and he is a defeated foe. At the judgment day, he will be made a public spectacle, even before the wicked, and he shall be cast into the lake of fire as he deserves (Rev. 20:10)!

All of this is good news for the Christian! First, in Christ we are “more than conquerors” over the demonic powers (Rom. 8:37-39). We triumph over the guilt of sin and have victory over the law as a condemning power!

Second, we are also “hyper-conquerors,” another translation of the famous phrase in Romans 8:37, over the (ungodly) world. We are victors over the world which stands in the service of Satan and sin, the world as it works through humanism and false religion to make righteousness appear wicked, sin look good, truth seem foolishness and the lie to be veracity itself.

Rejoice in this testimony of sacred Scripture: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (I John 5:4-5). Rev. Stewart


For further study on this subject, listen to “The Devil and His Demons,” on-line or order the box set of 10 CDs from the CPRC Bookstore for just £10 (including P&P in the UK). We now have 93 titles of box sets of CDs and/or DVDs for sale.

 

The Idea of the Organic in Scripture (4)

How does God reveal Himself in the salvation of His church? What does it mean that He works His great work of salvation organically? That is the question we now face.

I have written about the idea of God’s organic working in a world of sin, beginning with the sin of Adam. Adam’s sin brought the guilt and the pollution of sin upon the whole human race. Death was the punishment for sin, and all the grief and sorrow we witness in the world today is God’s punishment upon a sinful human race. The awful wickedness of the idol worship of the heathen, the cruelty of Islam and the debauchery of Western civilization are all due to the evil development of Adam’s one sin of disobeying God.

But it is not and never was God’s ultimate purpose to abandon a sinful world to its own depravity. We are now talking about the counsel of God: His eternal purpose in all His works. What is the highest and final purpose of the living God in His eternal counsel?

God is sovereign in all things—or He is not God! He does all His good pleasure, and does not purposelessly or arbitrarily exercise His sovereignty. He is not fickle in the exercise of His sovereign rule. Nor does He abdicate His throne or share His sovereignty with foolish and depraved man. He is God! There is none else!

Scripture tells us that the eternal purpose of God’s eternal counsel is His own great glory, the glory of His infinite majesty, His holiness, His perfections, His blessedness, His supreme joy in Himself and all His virtues as the Triune God. The Bible tells us that He has chosen to reveal all His glory in the highest possible way. What is this highest possible way? Again, according to Scripture, the highest possible way for God to reveal Himself is through Jesus Christ, His eternal Son, the perfect and full manifestation of God.

The opening words of Hebrews declare this astounding truth: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (1:1-3).

Colossians 1:14-19 and Proverbs 8:22-36 teach the same ideas as Hebrews 1. In this chapter, we have enough scriptural truth to occupy all our time throughout our entire life. This passage is so profound and wonderful that I have never dared to preach on it lest I do it injustice by making our God and His Christ less glorious than they are.

A few obvious truths found in these three passages are important for us now.

God’s eternal counsel to reveal His glory makes it clear that He determined to reveal Himself through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the purpose of the counsel, the goal of the God who has determined to reveal Himself in the highest and best way. Everything in His counsel is subservient to this purpose. Everything must serve this goal. All God determined to do, which is all He does, serves the revelation of His glory in Jesus.

Christ is, therefore, before Adam in the counsel of God—if I may speak of one thing as “before” another, given that God’s counsel is eternal, that is, timeless, not made in the framework of time’s succession of moments.

That this is true is evident from Paradise itself. The whole of the original garden pictured the tabernacle and temple, where sacrifices were made: the Garden of Eden = the outer court; Paradise itself = the holy place; the holy of holies = the tree of life.

The carnivorous animals were created with jaws and digestive systems fit to eat meat, when there was no death. The immune system was created in man, when there was no disease. Most important of all, Christ Himself was created in Adam and Eve, as was the entire human race, which was born from Adam and of which Christ is a part.

In other words, in His creation God had another organism as the goal of His eternal purpose. Not the organism of the creation with all its sub-organisms, and not the organism of the human race with Adam at its head, is God’s eternal purpose, but Christ who was destined to be head over all in this new organism through which God would reveal His great glory.

Christ is God’s only begotten Son, who was made like us in all things except sin. He had no sin because the Triune God was His Father and He was born of the virgin Mary by the miracle of conception without a man. The Holy Ghost came upon Mary and “the power of the Highest” overshadowed her (Luke 1:35). He was, and is, the Son of Man. He is also the Son of God, “Light of Light, true God of true God,” to use the words of the Nicene Creed.

Does this all mean that the first Paradise and the first Adam mean nothing? No, they were “the shadow of things to come” and thus serve the purpose of achieving the goal of God’s counsel in Christ, “the last Adam” (I Cor. 15:45).

Was the original creation with Adam at its head spoiled by Adam’s transgression such that God had to reformulate His counsel because Adam made it impossible for Him to realize His purpose in the original Paradise? No, the first Adam was “the figure of him that was to come” (Rom. 5:14).

One more significant point. The Scriptures teach that Christ is the one true organic head of all things and people in this universe. But Christ is also the organic head of heaven and all the heavenly creation and its inhabitants, including the angels. This is clearly taught in Colossians 1:20: “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him [i.e., Christ] to reconcile all things to himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

This is a startling verse. Paul is concerned that the readers of this passage (or the listeners in Colosse who heard their minister read Paul’s letter) might mistakenly assume that he meant merely everything here on earth. So he repeats himself: “I mean ‘all things,’ and that includes everything in this earth all right but also all things in heaven.” This statement by Paul quite naturally raises questions for Christ died for SIN!—and there is no sin in heaven.

But we shall discuss this problem a bit later. Indeed, we will discuss the whole idea further in future issues. Prof. Hanko


Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: https://cprc.co.uk/ • Live broadcast: cprc.co.uk/live-streaming/
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.youtube.com/cprcniwww.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
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South Wales
Lecture


William Tyndale: 
English Bible Translator


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

Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart


Date:
Thursday, 23 January, 2020
 
7:15 PM

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

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

All are invited! 

cprc.co.uk/south-wales-lectures

Jehovah’s
Mighty Acts

by Nathan Langerak
(100 pp. Hardback)  
 
This Bible story book for primary school children consists of 31 Old Testament Bible stories about Jehovah’s saving acts toward His covenant people. Each story is paired with beautiful full-colour illustrations. The stories and accompanying illustrations in Jehovah’s Mighty Acts are a tool for parents to use in instructing their children in the truth of God’s saving wonders in the Old Testament, which point to the mightiest act of all—our salvation in Jesus Christ! 

£16.50 (inc. P&P)

Order on-line from the 
CPRC Bookstore
or by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells,
N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

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


For God's Glory & the Church's Consolation
edited by
Ronald Cammenga
(320 pp. Softback)  
 
This powerful book defends and promotes the Bible’s teachings on particular salvation as systematized in the Canons of Dordt (1618-1619) with special focus on the gospel call, the covenant, reprobation and assurance. It also covers the significance, polemics, sessions and church polity of Dordt. The chapters of this book were written by Prof. Douglas Kuiper, Rev. Angus Stewart, Prof. Brian Huizinga, Rev. Mark Shand, Rev. William Langerak, Prof. Ronald Cammenga and Prof. Barry Gritters.   

£14.30 (inc. P&P) 

Order on-line from the 
CPRC Bookstore
or 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 Issue of Salt Shakers - November 2019

SS genl pic"Covenant Keepers", the youth ministry of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (our sister church), has now released the November 2019 issue of "Salt Shakers" (#57), their youth magazine.

The November 2019 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 issue and a note from the editor summarizing the contents of this issue. The entire issue is also attached here in pdf form.

Dear readers,

As we reach the end of the year, we present to you our fifth issue of 2019! You may have wondered why this e-publication has been delayed. The magazine was released in conjunction with our church's celebration of Reformation Day on 9 November. In such an occasion, we pray the content of this issue reflects not only what it means to be Reformed, but also the glory of our covenant God.
DV, we hope to release our final issue of the year near Christmas. Stay tuned!
In Christ,
Lim Yang Zhi, On Behalf of the Salt Shakers Committee

Welcome to the 57th issue of Salt Shakers!

Dear Reader, 

The Salt Shakers committee presents another issue of the Salt Shakers. We are pleased to present this issue at CERC’s Reformation Day Conference (RDC). The RDC commemorates the wondrous work of God in preserving the Reformed church in the truth, over against the errors that abounded during the great Synod of Dordt. These errors are ever present in the church today — old errors dressed in new garments. The church is therefore called to do battle constantly, on behalf of God’s truth and His precious church. She fights a valiant warfare, counting all but loss for the excellency of the truth that is in Jesus Christ. 

In this issue we have Prof. David Engelsma explaining the nature, necessity and history of polemics in the church. Prof. Engelsma demonstrates that polemics have long been a characteristic of faithful Reformed churches. Failure on the part of Reformed churches today to do polemics is failure to recognise that glorious history and confession that they possess. Polemics is a bloody warfare, according to Prof. Engelsma; it requires great sacrifice and will involve suffering and persecution on the part of the faithful church. 

Prof. Herman Hanko relates the concept of wisdom and helping others in his article. He explains how the concept of love is involved in the wisdom of helping our neighbour, which seeks his salvation ultimately. Our neighbours are not those out there in the world, but those whom we come into contact with every day, especially our neighbour in church. Wisdom seeks the salvation of those we come into contact with. This is the nature of true love. 

Dr. Matthias Wee also pens an enlightening article on the griefs of miscarriage, a grief not uncommon to couples in the church. He explains its impact on the couple and to those around them, and offers biblical suggestions for coping with this tragedy. 

We pray that you will be edified by these articles, and remember to pass the salt. 

Blessings,

Aaron

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Reformed News Asia - October 2019

Issue 56 - October 2019
Pamphlets

We print pamphlets written by our members and those from other Reformed churches of like-minded faith. They include a wide range of topics from doctrines to church history and practical Christian living. These pamphlets serve to promote knowledge of the true God as expressed in the Reformed faith.
NEWPamphlet!
The Christian and Work
By Various Authors

"Labour is an institution of God. Like marriage and government, labour is a creation ordinance. The God who made man, made man to work. We ought to work. Work is good for us. We should be thankful that we can work. We can be sure that we will work in heaven, in the new creation of God."

"Each of us must consider his work a calling from the Lord, whether that's mother in the home, teacher in the school, worker in the factory, businessman, farmer, doctor, lawyer, minister of the Word. God assigns to each his or her own position. God is the one Who gives to us the gifts and talents that are ours for the work which we are called to do. Since our work itself is provided us by God, since our strength and ability to do the work comes from God, our work itself ought to be done to the glory of God."

Click hereto view our catalogue of pamphlets.

Click here to make an order.

All pamphlets are free. CERC reserves some discretion regarding large orders and/or orders from those outside Singapore.
 
Featured Book
For local orders (S'pore), please contact Ms Daisy Lim at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For international orders, click here.
The Royal Sufferer
by Herman Hoeksema

From the RFPA website:

Among Reformed Christians, the celebration of the anniversary of the Synod of Dordt (1618–19) is second only to the commemoration of the Reformation of the sixteenth century. Indeed, marking the anniversary of the “great synod,” as it soon was called, is commemoration of the Reformation. For mainly Dordt’s accomplishment was the preservation of the gospel of God’s sovereign grace, which was restored to the church through the Reformation.

The Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary held a conference to celebrate the four hundredth anniversary of the Synod of Dordt. For God’s Glory and the Church’s Consolation includes all the presentations made at this conference, plus a bit more. The book explores the heritage that faithful Reformed churches ought to esteem, as that heritage was defended and handed down by the Synod of Dordt.

 
Audio Recordings
Click to listen to the sermons on Lord's Day 21 by Rev Arie Den Hartog
 
The Church Of Jesus Christ
The Church As The Communion Of The Saints
I Believe In The Forgiveness Of Sins
 
Upcoming Events!
 
Save the date!

17 Nov 2019 - CERC 32nd Anniversary Celebration
 
 
Reformation Day Conference 2019

Come join us in commemorating Reformation day this November!

Details in the poster below:
 
Past Events...
 
Mooncake Gospel Meeting 2019

We Thank God for having Elder Chew who gave a talk on 这就是爱了 (This is Love), taken from 1 John 4:9-10 for this year's mooncake gospel meeting. The talk can be found here.
 
Notes
 
Salt Shakers

Salt Shakers is a bi-monthly magazine published by the youth in Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC). Included in each issue are writings pertaining to bothReformed doctrine and practical theology. Contributors to Salt Shakers include our pastor, youth and members of CERC, and pastors and professors from the Protestant Reformed Churches in America. Salt Shakers also features articles from the Standard Bearer and other Reformed publications. Click here to access.

 
Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church
We are a Reformed Church that holds to the doctrines of the Reformation as they are expressed in the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dordt.

Lord's Day services on Sunday at 930 am & 2 pm ~ 11 Jalan Mesin, #04-00, Standard Industrial Building, Singapore 368813 ~ Pastor: Rev Andy Lanning  ~ www.cerc.org.sg 
 
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Covenant Reformed News - October 2019

Covenant Reformed News


October 2019 • Volume XVII, Issue 18



Christ’s Triumph Over the Demonic Powers (2)

In the last issue of the News, we rejoiced in the glorious victory over Satan and his fallen angels gained through the cross of Jesus Christ: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:14-15).

However, you may not have gotten this impression from reading only the narratives of our Lord’s crucifixion in the four gospel accounts. In the records of Christ’s arrest, His trials before the Sanhedrin and Pontius Pilate, His scourging and being nailed to the cross, the first three hours of His crucifixion and then the three hours of darkness, where do Matthew, Mark, Luke or John speak of our Saviour’s disarming the demonic hosts and triumphing over them openly?

We also have Christ’s famous seven words on the cross: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34); “I thirst” (John 19:28); “It is finished” (30); “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46); etc. But none of them explicitly mentions the “principalities and powers,” never mind Christ’s making a public spectacle of them.

At the time of the cross, none of the key parties involved understood the truth of Colossians 2:14-15. The Jewish rulers thought that they had disposed of their biggest adversary and threat. Satan believed that he had defeated the Son of God. The eleven disciples saw no victory; all their hopes were dashed! Paul, before his conversion, reckoned Jesus’ crucifixion as God’s judgment and curse upon Him, as a false Messiah and blasphemer (cf. Gal. 3:13).

The Roman centurion, however, recognized that Jesus was “a righteous man” and even “the Son of God” (Mark 15:39; Luke 23:47). The penitent thief understood that Christ was entering His heavenly kingdom and so he asked to be remembered by Him (40-42). But we have no indication that either the centurion or the thief saw the cross as Christ’s disarming and triumphing over the demonic host.

Here we need to grasp the relationship between the four gospel accounts and the New Testament epistles. By divine inspiration, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John relate the events of the cross and how these were understood by various parties at that time. The God-breathed letters of Paul, Peter, John and others, instead of narrating Jesus’ passion week, set forth the true meaning and theological interpretation of the cross.

Thus it is a matter of true faith: faith in God’s Word, faith in the Lord Jesus, faith in Christ crucified. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, we believe the four gospel accounts, which contain the events leading up to, and culminating in, the crucifixion, and the New Testament letters, which especially explain the spiritual significance of the cross.

So how did Jesus conquer the principalities and powers of the fallen angels at the cross? Obviously, this was not a physical battle and Christ was in no condition to fight such. His hands were bound at His arrest, He was imprisoned and He was nailed to the cross.

Christ did not physically disarm Satan and his host. What material weapons does the devil, who is a spirit, carry anyway? At the cross, Jesus was stripped of most of His clothes; Satan was stripped of nothing physical.

Christ did not make the demonic principalities and powers a visible spectacle at Golgotha. Indeed, Satan thought that he had won a public victory over the Son of God. It was Jesus Himself who was displayed before the masses, for the crowds jeered and mocked Him! Apparently, the false church and the wicked state triumphed over Christ, as if He were a vile criminal, a capital offender.

So how did Jesus Christ defeat, disarm and triumph over the demonic hosts at the cross? The answer involves the law, as Colossians 2:14 states, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”

The law issues commands and prohibitions, hundreds and hundreds of them. We have broken that law millions of times. The “handwriting of ordinances” is very badly “against us,” so, of ourselves, we are guilty and condemned.

What did Jesus Christ do with “the handwriting of ordinances that was against us”? The gospel of our salvation is that He “took it out of the way” by “nailing it to his cross.” In other words, there were two entities nailed to that wooden cross: Jesus Christ (physically and according to the wickedness of man) and “the handwriting of ordinances that was against us” (spiritually and according to the grace of God).

We could even say that the handwriting of ordinances against us was nailed to the cross in that Jesus Christ our representative was nailed to the cross. There He bore God’s punishment due to us for our transgressions as our substitute and sin-bearer!

There is another image dealing with what God did in Christ regarding the handwriting of ordinances that accused and condemned us. Not only did He take it out of the way by nailing it to the cross but He also blotted it out (14).

This is good news for every believer. You cannot read the accusations of God’s law against you, because this extremely lengthy list has been taken away and nailed to your Saviour’s cross. Even if you had that paper in your hand, it would still be illegible, for it has been totally and permanently blotted out by the blood of the cross!

How does this explain Christ’s defeating, disarming and triumphing over the demonic powers? Satan uses sin and the law as his weapons to destroy and slay people. Guilty sinners are enslaved by the devil through transgressions and the law. But once the law is satisfied and sin is blotted out, we are free of Satan’s bondage.

Thus the defeat of sin and the law at the cross is Jesus’ defeat of Satan, disarming of Satan (who uses sin and the law as his weapons) and public triumph over Satan.

Colossians 2 magnifies Christ’s atonement—“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross” (14)—as a glorious victory over the devil and his minions—“having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (15)! Let us be glad in Him! Rev. Stewart

 

The Idea of the Organic in Scripture (3)

Scientists are increasingly finding that the creation itself is an organism. Every part of the creation is related to every other part and what happens in one part affects every part. It is becoming more clear that radical changes made in one part of our world affect other parts in sometimes surprising ways. While such unity among all parts of creation is often most apparent in living creatures, the same unity can be found among non-living creatures as well. A forest fire can rejuvenate the entire burned area. Modifications in the weather ultimately affect life in every part of the world. Volcanic eruptions leave behind rock that, over the years, can and does become fertile soil for crops.

Within the larger organism of the creation, individual organisms, such as a tree, a grape vine, a bed of roses or an individual rose, a bird, etc., are composed of many different creatures. What happens to one affects all the other creatures—for good or ill.

To fertilize a rose is to give food to the roots and the entire plant benefits from it. But blight in one part of the rose bush will spread and ultimately destroy the entire plant.

In the vineyards of France, a rose bush is often planted at the end of a row of a particular kind of grapevine. If some deadly disease begins to show itself in the roses, some time later the vines will be struck with the same blight. This early warning system gives the vigneron time to save the vine by spraying some cure.

In the creation as a whole, the curse of God came down when Adam sinned. That curse came from God’s curse upon Adam because he was created head of the creation. The disease of sin entered into Adam and killed him spiritually; it also entered into the creation in which Adam lived and upon which he was dependent.

Do good to a healthy plant, and it will grow and flourish. Do serious harm to it, even one part of it, and it will die.

So it is in all of life. A nation is an organism. When the government declares war, you may be fiercely opposed to it, but your sons are going to have to go to war and perhaps be killed. Your house may be bombed and you will suffer the shortages that war brings. The whole nation is responsible for the war as an organism.

A family is an organism. A father who is a drunk harms himself and the whole family suffers. In a school classroom, 90% of the children may generally be obedient and attentive to the teacher, but one or two or three can be so disruptive that teaching is difficult or even impossible. The whole class suffers by not being able to learn as much as normal, for all in the class bear the consequences of the conduct of a few.

A congregation or a denomination of churches is an organism. If false doctrine or wicked living enters one congregation, and the biblical surgery of the discipline of the rebel or heretic in the congregation is not performed, the whole denomination is affected. In time, it will go astray and the entire denomination will be corrupted, for the false doctrine or godless living of one part (I Cor. 5:6; Gal. 5:9).

A man or woman or family may claim that he or she or it will remain faithful to the truth, when they leave a faithful church for another congregation less than pure in doctrine. But that family, even if some in the family wish to remain where the truth is preached, is guilty of tolerating false doctrine and will bear the consequences. All are responsible for the false doctrine and all will suffer—as Israel did when Achan stole forbidden things from Jericho (Josh. 7). The family goes the dreary and fatal way of apostasy in its generations, and its children are lost to the church.

I do not know how many times I have dealt with this problem in my own ministry. Parents who depart from a true church or refuse to leave an erring church lose their children and successive generations because of their sin. Even the law says that God visits the “iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate” Him (Ex. 20:5). Parental failure to bring up their children in the ways of God’s covenant often means that they see their children and children’s children leave the church and walk in the world.

In Reformed theology, this is called “corporate responsibility.” How little is this accepted in today’s individualistic world where it is every man for himself. As I have said before, Arminianism, in all its different kinds, is individualistic, having no room for organic relationships and corporate responsibility.

The proponents of the well-meant or gracious offer of the gospel to the reprobate have no understanding of the organic either, as we saw in the last News.

God has provided a way to escape corporate responsibility for one in an organism who does not want the sin of the organism. He must make his disagreement known; he must refuse to follow his leaders when they lead into sin; he must leave the organism, if possible.

For example, a member of a family, who does not want to leave a true church with his close relatives, must confess his family’s guilt, as Daniel confessed the sin of Israel as his own (Dan. 9), and he must make his refusal known. In this way, he is pardoned. To give another instance, although the Christian is guilty, for example, of his nation’s sin of abortion, God will forgive him in Jesus, and out of faith he will raise his testimony against the terrible practice of murdering unborn children.

In the next issue, I hope, the Lord willing, to demonstrate from Scripture what these organic relationships mean in the work of salvation and how organic relationships are an integral part of God’s gathering His church. Prof. Hanko


Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: https://cprc.co.uk/ • Live broadcast: cprc.co.uk/live-streaming/
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.youtube.com/cprcniwww.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
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Reformation Day
Lecture


William Tyndale: 
English Bible Translator


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

Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart


Date:
Friday, 25 October
 
7:30 PM

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

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

All are invited! 
www.cprc.co.uk
 

Unfolding Covenant History

Homer C. Hoeksema &
David J. Engelsma
 

Unfolding Covenant History is an exposition of the Old Testament from a covenantal perspective. Volumes 1-4 by Prof. Homer C. Hoeksema cover Creation to the Conquest of Canaan. Volume 5 by Prof. David J. Engelsma treats Judges & Ruth. These volumes contain solid, satisfying interpretation of Old Testament history; exalt God’s glorious, sovereign grace; and demonstrate that Jehovah’s covenant is the unifying principle of Old Testament history and of the very gospel itself. Order individually or save over £5 by ordering all five.

Volume 1: From Creation to the Flood - Hardback, 367 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
   Volume 2: From the Flood to Isaac - Hardback, 327 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
    Volume 3: From Jacob to the Exodus - Hardback, 325 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
   Volume 4: Through the Wilderness Into Canaan - Hdbk, 394 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
  Volume 5: Judges & Ruth - Hardback, 213 pp.,
£16.50 (inc. P&P)
  ALL FIVE VOLUMES for the special price of £90.00 (inc. P&P)


Order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells,
N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

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


NEW WEBSITE!

Have you seen our new website at cprc.co.uk

We have redone our website so it is more mobile/smart phone compatible ... same content but a fresh new look!

• watch worship services and lectures live
(https://cprc.co.uk/live-streaming
• listen to some 2,000 audio sermons, speeches, interviews, classes, debates, etc.   
• read on-line or order from our list of some 130 free pamphlets 
• read hundreds of quotes and articles on biblical and
practical subjects 
• learn about upcoming lectures 
• make purchases from our
website bookstore 
• receive information on Reformed Witness Hour broadcasts on Radio North (846 AM or MW) on Sundays (8:30-9:00AM)
• check out our foreign languages pages with over 2,500 pieces in 128 foreign tongues

Check it out at
www.cprc.co.uk
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Covenant Reformed News - September 2019

Covenant Reformed News


September 2019 • Volume XVII, Issue 17



Christ’s Triumph Over the Demonic Powers (1)

Many people earnestly seek victory and go to great lengths to avoid defeat. In sport, this involves intense training and careful planning. Modern warfare is carried out with high-powered plotting and expensive technology. Think of all the frantic effort and skilful marketing that goes into political elections!

The Christian too is vitally interested in victory or triumph, and pained and left desolate by loss. We seek victory over sin, the flesh, the world and the devil. Sadly, in our lives, we too often transgress, and experience the shame and misery of defeat.

Colossians 2:14-15 proclaims the great victory of our Saviour and the triumph of His cross. It describes Christ’s work as that of “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

In some places in Scripture, “principalities” and “powers” (15) are used of civil rulers (Rom. 13:1-3; Titus 3:1). Usually, they refer to ranks of angels, as in Ephesians 3:10, where “the principalities and powers in heavenly places” marvel at God’s “manifold wisdom.” Speaking of our Lord Jesus, Colossians 1:16 declares that “all things were created by him, and for him,” both “in heaven” and “in earth,” whether “visible” or “invisible” (to us currently), including the angels: “thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers.” Christ is “the head of all principality and power” (2:10) or, more simply, “angels” (18).

Colossians 2 speaks of a cosmic battle between Jesus Christ and the demonic powers (15), headed by Satan, at the cross (14). This cosmic battle is presented in terms taken from human warfare and military victory, especially Roman triumph.

Let us follow the progress of the battle in Colossians 2:15. First, and presupposed in this verse, is victory in the conflict itself. Our Saviour defeated the demonic hordes at the cross conclusively and decisively.

Second, there is the disarming of the conquered enemy. An earthly example of this is recorded in I Samuel 31, where the Philistines defeated the Israelites on Mount Gilboa, and proceeded to strip the slain and take their armour. At the cross, Christ “spoiled” (Col. 2:15) or disarmed Satan and his demons of their weapons.

Third, and this is an especially Roman feature, there is the triumphal procession. The leading survivor of the forces defeated by the Romans would be kept alive. He and his men would be transported to the imperial capital. Leading the victory parade through its thronged streets would be the Roman general in his war chariot. Behind him would come the leader of the conquered army and his wretched men in chains, with the Roman crowds cheering wildly.

Colossians 2:15 declares that our Redeemer “made a shew of [the fallen angels] openly, triumphing over them.” In other words, Jesus Christ so routed the demonic hosts at the cross that He made a public spectacle of them in His triumph! Rev. Stewart

 

The Idea of the Organic in Scripture (2)

I have, over the years, received many questions that deal with Bible texts supposedly teaching the well-meant and gracious offer of the gospel. As I said in my last article, the problem is often that people do not take into consideration nor understand that God deals with mankind “organically.” Since I wrote the first article, I received two letters dealing with matters that concern the truth of God’s organic dealings with man. I will address the Scripture verses that they cite as evidence of how important it is to know and understand the organic dealings of God with the world He has created.

(1) The first text contains words Jesus uttered concerning Jerusalem: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!” (Luke 13:34; Matt. 23:37).

The relation here to the reality of organisms is the important relationship of the family. Parents, the God-appointed leaders of the family, are responsible for their children and for their conduct. What parents do and how they conduct themselves have implications for their children.

Bearing that in mind, one can easily understand that the text does not even begin to say that, though Christ wanted to gather the wicked Jews under His wings, they refused. Hence, so men argue, men thwart Jesus’ will. His desire is not realized because of the wickedness of the Jews.

But the text does not say that. The wicked Jewish leaders, especially “the Pharisees” (Luke 13:31), are not the ones whom Jesus desires to save but their “children.” This desire was not wholly realized in Jesus’ earthly ministry. It was not carried out because the wicked Jews not only rejected His ministry but they refused to permit their children to be gathered by Christ. They opposed Jesus with such bitter hatred that they also did all that they could to stop their children from following Christ.

Yet there is another “organism” referred to here. It is the organism of the Jewish nation as a whole, called, as it often is in Scripture, “Jerusalem.” The entire nation named after its capital city. Jerusalem was the centre of the nation politically and spiritually, for there was the throne of David and the temple in which God dwelt with His people. The Jewish nation as a whole is called “Jerusalem” (as America is sometimes referred to as Washington DC or the UK as London). The nation as a whole had wickedly rejected Christ. That is why the nation was destroyed in AD 70, when Jerusalem was demolished by the Roman armies under Titus.

Parents, for example, who will not worship in a sound church on the Lord’s day commit a grave sin. But if they refuse to allow their children to go to church (perhaps with a grandmother or grandfather) their sin is multiplied. The same is true of churches and nations, such as America or those in Europe, that forsake the gospel. The church or nation as a whole is forsaken by God and terrible judgments await it.

Yet in them now are people of God, as there were in the nation of Israel, and these people are saved. They are a part of the organism but they are elect. The organism of the fig tree of Israel (which Jesus cursed), though dead, still had some living branches.

Those are “thy children” referred to in Luke 13:34. Jesus desired to save them, though the nation was doomed to destruction. Moreover, He not only wanted to save them; He did save them. After Pentecost, thousands of Jerusalem’s children were saved (Acts 2:41; 4:4). Before the destruction of Israel, God took His people out of the nation, as He took Lot and his daughters out of the homosexual Sodom and Gomorrah before He rained fire and brimstone on them (Gen. 19:1-26)—as God will do also when the elect are taken out of wicked Europe and N. America.

There is not even a hint in the text that can support so God-degrading a heresy as the bizarre notion of the well-meant offer of the gospel, a weak and ineffectual desire of the Almighty and unchangeable Jehovah to save those whom He has eternally reprobated!

For more, see “Quotes on Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34.”

(2) Another text is Matthew 11:21: “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.”

First of all, Chorazin and Bethsaida were two cities in Israel, which here represent the entire nation, even though there were elect in both cities and in the nation. The cities are organisms as cities, and the cities in the nation represent the entire nation. The nation and its cities had rejected Christ: “He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11).

Second, the same is true of Tyre and Sidon. As the two chief cities in Phoenicia, they represented the entire nation. (Whether there were elect in those cities or not, we do not know, although in Israel’s history occasional references are made to believers there, such as the widow with whom Elijah stayed in I Kings 17:8-24 and the lady whose daughter Jesus healed in Matthew 15:21-28. Isaiah 23 pronounces God’s judgments on Tyre but it also contains a promise of salvation in verse 18.) But, as nations, the Phoenicians had not had the gospel and so could not reject it.

Third, the sin of Israel was, therefore, far greater than the sin of Tyre and Sidon. This is Jesus’ point. Never to have had the gospel and to live in sin is not nearly as dreadful a sin as having had Christ in one’s land, seeing Him, beholding His miracles and hearing His preaching, yet rejecting Him. Yet not only would the Jews not believe in the Messiah but they killed Him for who He was. That is Europe and America today! And this was true and is true always.

(3) John 3:16, the favourite text of the Arminians, also speaks of the whole creation as the “world.” God created the entire creation as an organism: the heavens and their heavenly bodies, the earth and all its contents, and the human race in Adam. As man is finding out more and more, the whole creation is intimately related so that no part of it exists independently from any other part. Further, man was created as the head of the creation and what he does in relation to God affects the whole. When Adam fell, the curse of God came on all the creation.

That creation God loves. His love is revealed in making His own Son the new head of the creation, which head redeems it by delivering it from the curse. That is the organism of John 3:16. Well, as that final organism is formed by God, the dead and useless parts of it are pruned away. That is, the devils (for even the heavenly creation and its inhabitants will belong to the new creation with Christ at its head) and reprobate humans will be pruned away and destroyed forever. But the organism will be saved and the elect people in it will be saved as believers who belong to Christ, the head of all.

For more on John 3:16, ask us for the free pamphlet, “God So Loved the World (John 3:16),” by Prof. Homer C. Hoeksema or read it on-line.

(4) One more text was sent to me, the answer to which is dependent on the sovereign God’s organic dealings with men. What about the destruction of forty-two youths by two she bears in response to Elisha’s cursing them for mocking him as God’s prophet (II Kings 2:23-24)? This occurred in Bethel, the location of the major shrine for one of the two golden calves (I Kings 12:26-13:32). It seemed to my correspondent (and others) that no prophet would ever do that.

The answer to this question is that the family is created by God as an organic unity. This is why the second commandment of the Decalogue says that God visits “the iniquity of the fathers upon the children” (Ex. 20:5).

For example, a man leaves a faithful church and takes his children with him to a false or departing church. Then his children eventually quit going to church at all, and are lost in unbelief and worldliness. The head of a home cannot live unrepentant in sin without it having consequences for his whole family. A drunkard’s sins destroy his family. It is like the root of a tree being killed with the whole tree dying.

Israel had forsaken the worship of God and turned to idols. The Lord is showing Israel that their terrible sin will result in the spiritual death of their children. This happened as well. Although in Elijah’s day there were still 7,000 who did not bow knee to Baal, in Hezekiah’s day the few remaining worshippers of God in the Northern Kingdom were called out of the nation and the nation, with its children, was destroyed. Prof. Hanko


Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: https://cprc.co.uk/ • Live broadcast: cprc.co.uk/live-streaming/
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.youtube.com/cprcniwww.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
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South Wales Lecture

Thursday,
10 October, 2019
 7:15 PM


Speaker:
Rev. Martyn McGeown

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

Subject:
The Development of God’s Covenant (7): Joseph and the Bondage in Egypt

So far we have traced God’s covenant in six speeches from Adam to Jacob. In our seventh lecture, we continue that development with Joseph, who was instrumental in bringing Jacob’s descendants into Egypt, whence centuries later they would be delivered. Come to hear about God’s grace and faithfulness with respect to this fascinating subject. 


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

Book Table (including DVDs, CDs & free pamphlets) 
Coffee & tea provided afterward

www.cprc.co.uk

cprc.co.uk/south-wales-lectures


Reformation Day
Lecture


William Tyndale: 
English Bible Translator


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

Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart


Date:
Friday, 25 October
 
7:30 PM

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

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

All are invited! 
www.cprc.co.uk
 

Unfolding Covenant History

Homer C. Hoeksema &
David J. Engelsma
 

Unfolding Covenant History is an exposition of the Old Testament from a covenantal perspective. Volumes 1-4 by Prof. Homer C. Hoeksema cover Creation to the Conquest of Canaan. Volume 5 by Prof. David J. Engelsma treats Judges & Ruth. These volumes contain solid, satisfying interpretation of Old Testament history; exalt God’s glorious, sovereign grace; and demonstrate that Jehovah’s covenant is the unifying principle of Old Testament history and of the very gospel itself. Order individually or save over £5 by ordering all five.

Volume 1: From Creation to the Flood - Hardback, 367 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
   Volume 2: From the Flood to Isaac - Hardback, 327 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
    Volume 3: From Jacob to the Exodus - Hardback, 325 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
   Volume 4: Through the Wilderness Into Canaan - Hdbk, 394 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
  Volume 5: Judges & Ruth - Hardback, 213 pp.,
£16.50 (inc. P&P)
  ALL FIVE VOLUMES for the special price of £90.00 (inc. P&P)


Order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells,
N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

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


Rome’s Sacrifice of the Mass

11 classes on Belgic Confession 35
(Vol. XXX) on CD in
an attractive box set 


Eye-opening doctrine classes explaining the false doctrine of the mass, especially as taught at Rome’s Council of Trent (1545-1563), as opposed to God’s grace in Christ and His cross alone!

(1) Introducing the Mass
(Heb. 9:13-10:4)
(2) The “Sacrifice” of the Mass
(Heb. 7:11-28)
(3) The “Beneficiaries” of the Mass
(I Pet. 1:17-25)
(4) The Offering and Offerers of the Mass (Heb. 9:11-14)
(5) “Christ Alone” Versus the Mass (John 19:19-30)
(6) Christ’s “Once and for All” Sacrifice (Heb. 9:24-10:4)
(7) The Mass and the 5 Solas
(Eph. 2:1-10)
(8) Trent on the Institution of
the Mass (1) (Heb. 7:11-28)
(9) Trent on the Institution of
the Mass (2) (Mal. 1)
(10) Trent’s Second Chapter
on the Mass (Heb. 1)
(11) Trent’s Remaining Chapters
on the Mass (Ps. 26:6-12)

£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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Covenant PRC, N. Ireland Newsletter - August 2019

CPRC NI building

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Ballymena, NI
29 August 2019

Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,

New CPRC Website

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

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

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

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

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

U.S. Trip

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

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

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

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

Read more...

Reformed News Asia - August 2019

 
Issue 55 - August 2019
Pamphlets

We print pamphlets written by our members and those from other Reformed churches of like-minded faith. They include a wide range of topics from doctrines to church history and practical Christian living. These pamphlets serve to promote knowledge of the true God as expressed in the Reformed faith.
NEWPamphlet!
What It Means to be Reformed
By Rev. Barry Gritters

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

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

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

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

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

Click hereto view our catalogue of pamphlets.

Click here to make an order.

All pamphlets are free. CERC reserves some discretion regarding large orders and/or orders from those outside Singapore.
 
Featured Book
For local orders (S'pore), please contact Ms Daisy Lim at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For international orders, click here.
The Royal Sufferer
by Herman Hoeksema
 

From the RFPA website:

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

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

22 Sep 2019 - CERC 32nd Anniversary Celebration

Sep 2019 - Gospel Meeting

Nov 2019 - CERC Reformation Day Conference

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

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

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

Experience & Challenges Of Local Church in Evangelism 
Christ Centred Parenting
 
Farewell picture
 
Notes
 
Salt Shakers
 

Salt Shakers is a bi-monthly magazine published by the youth in Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC). Included in each issue are writings pertaining to bothReformed doctrine and practical theology. Contributors to Salt Shakers include our pastor, youth and members of CERC, and pastors and professors from the Protestant Reformed Churches in America. Salt Shakers also features articles from the Standard Bearer and other Reformed publications. Click here to access.

 
Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church
We are a Reformed Church that holds to the doctrines of the Reformation as they are expressed in the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dordt.

Lord's Day services on Sunday at 930 am & 2 pm ~ 11 Jalan Mesin, #04-00, Standard Industrial Building, Singapore 368813 ~ Pastor: Rev Andy Lanning  ~ www.cerc.org.sg 
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Covenant Reformed News - August 2019

Covenant Reformed News


August 2019 • Volume XVII, Issue 16



Confessing Christ as “The Lord Our Righteousness”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Idea of the Organic in Scripture (1)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope to discuss this teaching of Scripture in some detail in future issues of the News. I will take great pains to define what I mean by the “organic” and I will refer to many biblical passages in which this glorious truth is taught, DV. Prof. Hanko


Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: https://cprc.co.uk/ • Live broadcast: cprc.co.uk/live-streaming/
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.youtube.com/cprcniwww.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
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South Wales Lecture

Thursday,
5 September, 2019
 7:15 PM


Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart

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

Subject:
The Peace Offering


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

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

Book Table (including DVDs, CDs & free pamphlets) 
Coffee & tea provided afterward

www.cprc.co.uk

cprc.co.uk/south-wales-lectures


Reformation Day
Lecture


William Tyndale: 
English Bible Translator


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

Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart


Date:
Friday, 25 October
 
7:30 PM

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

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

All are invited! 
www.cprc.co.uk
 

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

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

£22.00 (inc. P&P)

Order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells,
N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

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


Celebrating 400 Years of the Synod of Dordt 

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


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

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

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

£10/box set (inc. P&P)

Listen or watch free on-line
or order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells,
N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!
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Covenant Reformed News - August 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Covenant Reformed News


July 2019 • Volume XVII, Issue 15



“The Lord Our Righteousness”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

 

The “World” and Arminian Universalism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: https://cprc.co.uk/ • Live broadcast: cprc.co.uk/live-streaming/
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.youtube.com/cprcniwww.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
 
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Reformed News Asia - June 2019

 
Issue 55 - June 2019
Pamphlets

We print pamphlets written by our members and those from other Reformed churches of like-minded faith. They include a wide range of topics from doctrines to church history and practical Christian living. These pamphlets serve to promote knowledge of the true God as expressed in the Reformed faith.
NEWPamphlet!
Pure and Undefiled Religion
By Prof Robert D. Decker

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

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

Click hereto view our catalogue of pamphlets.

Click here to make an order.

All pamphlets are free. CERC reserves some discretion regarding large orders and/or orders from those outside Singapore.
 
Featured Book
For local orders (S'pore), please contact Ms Daisy Lim at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For international orders, click here.
The Royal Sufferer
by Herman Hoeksema

From the RFPA website:

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

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

9 Aug 19 - Fellowship Outing

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

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

June marks the return of our annual Church Camp! Always an exciting time, we thank God for the good speeches by Rev Den Hartog, the beneficial discussions and the enjoyable time of fellowship among the campers. 
Group photo!
Rev Den Hartog - our camp speaker
One of the group discussions
One of the many intense games we had
Meet our youngest campers (and more)!
 
Notes
 
Salt Shakers

Salt Shakers is a bi-monthly magazine published by the youth in Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC). Included in each issue are writings pertaining to both Reformed doctrine and practical theology. Contributors to Salt Shakers include our pastor, youth and members of CERC, and pastors and professors from the Protestant Reformed Churches in America. Salt Shakers also features articles from the Standard Bearer and other Reformed publications. Click here to access.

 
Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church
We are a Reformed Church that holds to the doctrines of the Reformation as they are expressed in the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dordt.

Lord's Day services on Sunday at 930 am & 2 pm ~ 11 Jalan Mesin, #04-00, Standard Industrial Building, Singapore 368813 ~ Pastor: Rev Andy Lanning  ~ www.cerc.org.sg 
 
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