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, the PRC through its Committee for Contact with Other Churches maintain full sister church relationships with two foreign churches and a corresponding relationship with one other foreign denomination.

Covenant PRC Ballymena, Northern Ireland

Covenant PRC Ballymena, Northern Ireland (57)

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 (71)

CERC-August-2014

Website

11, Jalan Mesin #04-00

Standard Industrial Building

Singapore 368813

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

AndrewLanning

Pastor: Rev.Andrew Lanning

148 Bishan Street 11 #06-113 

Singapore  570148

lanning.andy@gmail.com

pastor@cerc.org.sg

Blog: "Stories from Singapore"

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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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Covenant PRC, N.Ireland Newsletter - February 2017

CPRC News Header

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Ballymena, NI

16 February, 2017

Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,


Church Visitors

CC visitors CPRC 2017Rev. and Sue VanOverloop (Grace PRC) and Sid and Lisa Miedema (Byron Center PRC) stayed with us at the CPRC manse from Friday 12-Saturday 21 January. It is especially enjoyable when our annual church visitors come with their wives!

As well as preaching at both Lord’s Day services, Pastor VanOverloop led a Tuesday morning Bible study on “Paul’s Prayers for the Ephesians” and gave a Wednesday night lecture on “Content With Who I Am in Christ.” The Ballymena Guardian and the Belfast News Letter carried articles promoting this speech. The congregation and visitors appreciated Rev. VanOverloop’s ministry.

Building the wall in Nehemiah 3 was the theme of this year’s official church visitation with the CPRC Council (Monday, 16 January). What a great example to the church of all ages: In Nehemiah’s day, everyone joined in the work despite the opposition of the ungodly!

Our congregational dinner in the Ross Park Hotel was a good night of fellowship (Friday, 20 January). Our thanks to William Graham for his fine work as the after-dinner quizmaster. Besides our four church visitors, most of the congregation, and a good number of friends, our nephew Travis Hanko (Grace PRC) was also present at the dinner, having flown to Northern Ireland for a couple of days during a university course in the Netherlands.

Alicia Prins and Dana VanDyke (Trinity PRC) were in Northern Ireland in late December, staying with David and Kirstin Crossett. Our thanks to them and the church visitors for bringing over a good number of books for our church.

Rev. McGeown’s New Book

The CPRC Bookstore has been getting out a lot of RFPA literature of late, including Prof. Hanko’s excellent book, Corrupting the Word of God: The History of the Well-Meant Offer.

McGeown Called Watch 2016Our current bestseller is Rev. McGeown’s Called to Watch for Christ’s Return (www.cprf.co.uk/bookstore/ calledtowatch.html). Apart from our BRF Conference books, which we sell at a very low cost, no other book has sold so many copies in such a relatively short period.

Our biggest difficulty lies in keeping up a stock of them through couriers travelling from Grand Rapids to the CPRC or the Limerick Reformed Fellowship (LRF). For the present, I am holding off sending articles on Called to Watch for Christ’s Return to the Ballymena press because we are running low.

Three weeks ago, I e-mailed a piece to newspapers in the Cookstown area of Northern Ireland, where Pastor McGeown was brought up and where most of his family live. The Mid-Ulster Mail put it on their website and linked to it from their Facebook account. They also published it in full and prominently in their weekly printed version, along with two photos of the author and his book (2 February). This garnered more sales than any such article we have had published in any (secular) newspaper before. Hopefully, some of the new people reading this superb book on Matthew 24-25 and the end times will develop a spiritual taste for the truth of the biblical and Reformed faith, and will want other materials from the CPRC Bookstore in the future.

Others

The ministry of the blessed Word continues in the CPRC in various forms. On Tuesday mornings, we have been tracing the Old Testament’s teaching on holy wars from the Pentateuch through the historical books, especially Joshua and Judges.

We recently concluded six Wednesday night classes on “The Government of and Offices in the Church” (Belgic Confession 30). We refuted Charismaticism, Episcopalianism, and Anabaptism by insisting on only and all the three permanent, ordinary, and biblical church offices: pastors, elders, and deacons. On this scriptural basis, we then considered church office-bearers in connection with the Spirit of Christ, good order, and broader assemblies (www.cprf.co.uk/audio/belgic confessionclass.htm). It was good to have with us in the class two visitors from the Republic of Ireland, one from Co. Wexford and one from Co. Limerick, Colm Ring of the LRF.

Last Sunday's services included the 31st sermon on “The Life of Jacob,” the longest series I have preached (www.cprf.co.uk/ audio/OTseries.htm). Stephen Murray has already produced two of the three box sets on Jacob (CD or DVD), covering sermons 1-12 entitled “Jacob’s Birth, Blessing, and Young Family” (Gen. 25-31) and sermons 13-22 on “Jacob’s Enemies: Laban, Esau, and the Canaanites” (Gen. 31-35).

Jacob sermons CPRC 2017

The last two months have been very quiet on the translation front, with just 10 added to our website: 5 Spanish, 2 Hungarian, 2 Indonesian, and 1 Portuguese (www.cprf.co.uk/languages.htm). However, we have also received our first ever subtitled video. Tibor Bognár, who was at the 2016 British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) Conference, added Hungarian subtitles to a YouTube video of my sermon on “The Sovereignty of God (I).” This video is atop our special Hungarian page, which contains some 185 translations (www.cprf.co.uk/ languages/hungarian.htm).

With 2017 being the 500th anniversary of the great Protestant Reformation, the CPRC is delighted that Prof. Engelsma has agreed to come to Northern Ireland to give some speeches in October and early November, and to preach on three Lord’s Days. We are holding a mini-conference on Saturday, 21 October, DV, the week before the PR Seminary conference in Grand Rapids. This also means that I am released to preach for the LRF on Sundays 29 October and 5 November, when Rev. McGeown is to be in the US to speak at Reformation conferences in Michigan and Colorado, respectively.

May the Lord be with all His believing children, the children of the Reformation,
Rev. & Mary Stewart

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Reformed News Asia - January 2017

 
Issue 37 - January 2017
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.
FEATURED Pamphlet!
Hating Your Own Life
By Rev Angus Stewart

"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26 

Jesus instructs us to hate ourselves and even our family. What does this mean? It means to hate our sins and sinfulness! God's children hate themselves as those who are sinful and sin! A believer hates his own life because he loves Jesus Christ who has saved him from destruction and has given him the knowledge of God.

Three biblical examples are cited in this pamphlet. Read to find out more!


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.
Called to Watch for Christ's Return
by Rev Martyn McGeown

From the RFPA website:

"Christ had two concerns. First, his disciples must know the signs of his coming, which are footsteps of his approach. But Christ is not satisfied with mere “sign-gazing,” which can lead to speculation and idle, foolish living. He did not give signs to satisfy our curiosities, but so that we will be ready for him when he returns. Therefore, Christ’s second concern was the readiness of his disciples, which is expressed in his urgent and repeated warnings to watch for his coming in light of the signs."
 
Audio Recordings
In connection with 2 significant events that happened in CERC in the past month, Rev Lanning preached the following sermons:

1) Installation of Rev Emmanuel Singh as CERC's missionary to Kolkta, India:
Gentiles Hearing And Believing

2) Confession of Faith, Adult Baptism and Infant Baptism of a family
The Blessed Covenant Family

Click to listen to the sermons!

 
Upcoming Events!
 
Church Camp 2017

Here's some early publicity for our annual church camp! In case you're making plans to attend, here are the details:

Dates: 12-15 June 2017
Location: Awana, Genting Highlands (Malaysia)
Speaker: Rev Andy Lanning

For more information, please contact Boaz Leong at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Straight off the website: "At Awana, comfort is rivalled only by the view. Indulge in five-star luxury while enjoying the breathtaking view of a majestic mountain range, and make full use of our 18-hole golf course, heated swimming pool, and other sports facilities."

http://www.rwgenting.com/hotel/awana-hotel/

 
Past Events...
 
Wedding of Cornelius and Jemima Joy
CERC started off the year with a very joyous event -  the marriage of Cornelius Boon and Jemima Joy Yeow! On 7 Jan 17, a simple wedding ceremony was held at First Evangelical Reformed Church, uniting the couple in holy matrimony.

We pray the Lord's blessings upon them as they begin their married life, desiring that their lives may be as described in their wedding text (Phil 4:6-7):

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 
Installation of Rev Emmanuel Singh
On 8 Jan, Rev Emmanuel Singh was installed as CERC's missionary pastor to Kolkata, India. We are thankful for Rev Emmanuel's acceptance of the call and his willingness to labour on the mission field. We pray that the Lord may gather His people through the faithful preaching of His Word.

Acts 15:7b "Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe."

Rev Emmanuel Singh (on a previous trip for his examination)
 
Confession of Faith, Adult Baptism and Infant Baptism!
On 22 Jan, CERC had more cause for rejoicing as we witnessed a family joining the church through COF, adult baptism AND infant baptism! This was the final group from the 2016 membership class - the Lehnert family. Curtis made COF, while his wife, Esther, and 2 children were baptised.

We thank the Lord for the growth of the church and the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of these hearers of the Word. We pray for His continued blessings upon the 2017 membership class.

Confession of Faith of Curtis
Baptism of Esther
Baptism of Gabriella
Baptism of Roman
 
Visitors from USA!
You may have heard that we in CERC love having visitors - especially fellow saints from our sister churches. Imagine our delight then we we heard of the Lentings and Bodbyls coming to visit!

Mark, Bethanne and Nicole Lenting were here over the Christmas and New Year period, while Tom and Gretine Bodbyl arrived not too long after. Here are some snippets from their stay here.

[Lentings] Pulau Ubin! Looking fresh, but ready to collapse after 4 hours of cycling.
[Lentings] Christmas dinner! Minus the snow and cold (:
[Lentings] Sunday Farewell dinner!
[Bodbyls] Supper with some church members after Sunday worship
[Bodbyls] MORE food and fellowship with a couple of families from church
[Bodbyls] Sunday Farewell dinner!
What a wonderful time of fellowship. Do holler if you plan to visit; we'd love to have you!

Psalter #27, Stanza 2:

I love Thy saints, who fear Thy Name
And walk as in Thy sight;
They are the excellent of earth,
In them is my delight.

 
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 - January 2017

Covenant Reformed News

January 2017  •  Volume XVI, Issue 9


God’s Longsuffering and the Sins of His Elect

Having considered the reprobate ungodly in the last issue of the Covenant Reformed News, we now turn to Scripture’s teaching on the divine attribute of longsuffering with regard to the sins of God’s people in Jesus Christ.

Think of the terrible transgressions of the nation of Israel in the Old Testament! These included their lewd idolatry with the golden calf at Mount Sinai (Ex. 32-34) and their stubborn refusal at Kadesh to enter the promised land (Num. 13-14). We read of God’s being longsuffering or slow to anger at both of these low points, both at the time (Ex. 34:6; Num. 14:18) and later (Neh. 9:17).

This last verse occurs in a review of Israel’s history that highlights Jehovah’s mighty acts for the salvation of His people despite their terrible sins. Nehemiah 9 begins with the children of Israel coming together for a fast, covered with “sackclothes” and with dust upon their heads (1), confessing “their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers” (2).

Listen to their lament: “our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments, And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks” (16-17). Moreover, “they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations” (26). Repeatedly, “they did evil again before thee ... they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments … and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear” (28, 29).

Thus the Levites declare on behalf of Israel, “we have done wickedly: Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them. For they have not served thee in their kingdom” (33-35). Yet there was hope because God was longsuffering or “slow to anger” (17)!

No wonder that holy David, who meditated in God’s law day and night, celebrated this divine virtue (Ps. 86:15; 103:8; 145:8) in connection with the forgiveness of sins (Ps. 86:5; 103: 3, 10, 12).

God also magnified His longsuffering in His salvation of elect Gentiles, including the Ninevites (Jonah 4:2) and the New Testament church (II Pet. 3:9, 15), most of which is not ethnically Jewish (Rom. 9:22-24). What a multitude of sins of former pagans are covered in the blood of Jesus Christ in the longsuffering of God!

Jehovah is “longsuffering” to predestinated individuals, including Paul, the “chief” of sinners, who persecuted the church before God showed His rich “grace” to him (I Tim. 1:13-16).

All of this speaks to us, beloved! How longsuffering has God been to us regarding our original sins! What about all of the sins of our youth (Ps. 25:7)? Many of us can recall our horrible iniquities before we came to Christ. There are also our sins as Christians, some of which seem to us to be even worse than our pre-conversion sins because they were committed against far greater light. We have transgressed God’s holy law as His children, as church members, as earthly sons or daughters, as husbands or wives, as fathers or mothers, at home and at work, in our thoughts and words and deeds!

But our covenant God comes to us in Scripture, reminding us of His longsuffering! Through the preaching of the holy gospel, He declares to us that He is longsuffering, as the One who is patient, gracious and slow to anger. Jehovah’s longsuffering is symbolized and sealed in the sacrament of holy baptism (I Pet. 3:20-21).

God’s longsuffering is an instance of what are often called His communicable attributes, that is, those divine perfections that He works into the hearts and lives of His people so that they reflect His virtues in a creaturely way.

Think of the parable of the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18:23-35, which could also be called the parable of the unlongsuffering servant! Regarding the slave and his master, we read, “The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with [i.e., be longsuffering towards] me, and I will pay thee all” (26). Regarding the slave and his fellow slave, we read, “And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with [i.e., be longsuffering towards] me, and I will pay thee all” (29).

The point of the parable is that we should be longsuffering towards and forgive those who have wronged us, if they ask for our forgiveness (and we should be willing to forgive those who wrong us, if they do not ask for our pardon). After all, Scripture itself tells us the lesson regarding forgiveness that Christ’s parable is designed to teach: “Jesus saith unto him [i.e., Peter], I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (22).

Forgive others! After all, God has been, and is, longsuffering towards you and has forgiven you billions of sins, like the servant who owes an unpayable debt in the parable. Thus we must be longsuffering and forgive others. The truth of God’s longsuffering is very practical and for some this is a hard spiritual lesson to learn. By meditating upon, and rejoicing in, God’s longsuffering in Himself and towards us miserable offenders, the Holy Spirit enables us to be longsuffering and forgiving to those who have sinned against us.

What Christ teaches in one of His inimitable parables, the apostle Paul states in one of his canonical epistles: “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved … longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye” (Col. 3:12-13). This is our calling as the undeserving objects of God’s longsuffering!  Rev. Stewart

 

False Prophets


“And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him” (Eze. 14:9-10).

A reader of the News from Uganda asked to have this passage explained.

God spoke to His people Israel in different ways. Sometimes He spoke directly to them, as at Sinai; sometimes through miracles He performed for them, which miracles were signs of spiritual truths; very frequently, God spoke to His people through prophets whom He anointed with His Spirit. Moses himself was a prophet through whom God spoke, more frequently, it seems, than any other prophet. But all the prophets spoke the Word that God gave them to speak. That was their glorious calling.

Just as a priest was a mediator between God and His people, and just as a king ruled over God’s people in His name, so a prophet spoke the Word of God. Even the word “prophet” means one who “bubbles over” with the Word of God. When Jeremiah, because he suffered much and was repeatedly rejected by Judah, wanted to resign his office and told God so, he could not resign because, as he put it, the Word of God was “as a burning fire” within him (Jer. 20:9). But where there were true prophets, there were also false prophets. They put themselves in an office to which they were not called by God. They falsely claimed to be sent by God and to speak on His behalf.

Even before Israel entered Canaan, while they were in the plains of Moab ready to cross the River Jordan, God through Moses spoke long to them. Among the things He said to them was His warning against false prophets and how Israel could distinguish them from the true prophets of God (e.g., Deut. 13; 18).

Perhaps, the clearest instance of false prophets as distinguished from a true prophet is found in II Chronicles 18. (The reader is urged to read the entire chapter and especially verses 4-27.) Let us take a close look at this chapter for it answers the questions of the reader.

II Chronicles 18 describes the wicked agreement between godless Ahab and God-fearing Jehoshaphat to go to war together against Syria. As the prophet Jehu told him, this was very wrong of Jehoshaphat: “Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord” (19:2). The righteous should never join with the wicked for any reason.

Ahab and Jehoshaphat were sitting at the entrance of the city of Samaria, where in most cities in Israel was a huge gathering place, a sort of public square. The false prophets that claimed to speak in God’s name were prophesying before the two kings, proclaiming and saying that the kings should indeed fight against the Syrians because Jehovah said they would be victorious.

Jehoshaphat asked for a prophet of the Lord and Ahab knew only of one, Micaiah by name, but Ahab did not like Micaiah because he always spoke evil of wicked Ahab. It is a strange conversation that revealed Ahab’s twisted mind. Micaiah prophesied the same as the prophets of Baal. Ahab demanded that he speak Jehovah’s word. Micaiah did so and was imprisoned by Ahab for doing it.

In the course of Micaiah’s prophesy of the defeat that Israel would suffer, he explained why the false prophets prophesied falsely. Some of the demons were in heaven (as was possible for them in the old dispensation) and God asked the assembly for volunteers to deceive Ahab. Some demons said they could deceive the king by being a lying spirit in Ahab’s false prophets and God gave them permission to do this.

This answers the question of the reader why the text quoted speaks of God deceiving wicked prophets. God is sovereign also over the demons. Yet, as the text makes clear, those who prophesy falsely, as well as those who listen to and act on the wicked prophesies that lead people astray, are all guilty. For they all commit their sin wilfully.

In other words, the people who listen to false prophets know that the prophet to whom they listen is a wicked prophet who does not come with the Word of God. They listen to him anyway and do what he says. They are enticed by the false prophet’s flattering words and like the predictions that suit them. (I do not know why good King Jehoshaphat did what the false prophets said and ignored what he knew to be the Word of God. He must have been so enamoured by his desire to cooperate with wicked Israel that he was blind to what he knew he ought to do.)

In the old dispensation, the Lord gave guidelines for Israel to distinguish between a false prophet and a true prophet. For one thing, they were to see whether the predictions the prophets made actually took place.

Today’s false prophets swarm like bees in the church world. Jesus said this would happen as a sign of His coming (Matt. 24:4-5, 11, 23-28). They claim to speak the Word of God but instead they speak seducing words, words that men like to hear. All the false prophets who emerge throughout the whole history of the church will culminate with the greatest of all false prophets, the Antichrist. The whole world will accept him not only as a prophet but as if he were Christ Himself, the great prophet of God (II Thess. 2:1-12; Rev. 13:3-8).

In the new dispensation, God has given to His church an infallible canon by which every prophet, whether true or false, can be evaluated or tested. That canon is the sacred Scriptures. Let us not be deceived: those who follow false prophets know they are false; they follow them anyway, but they walk contrary to God’s righteous ways and will be destroyed. We must listen to prophets who bring to us the Word of God as found in the holy Scriptures alone. Prof. Hanko

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

Thursday, 2 March, 2017
at 7:15 PM

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

The New Calvinism and the Reformation Compared

What is the New Calvinism? How does it differ from (old) Calvinism? What is its relation to the Reformation (which is in its 500th anniversary year)? And what is our calling as Calvinists and Reformed people?

Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart

All welcome!
www.cprc.co.uk

Corrupting the Word of God

The History of
the Free Offer

by Herman Hanko
(272 pp, hardback)

Emeritus professor of church history, Herman Hanko, guides us through fascinating doctrinal controversies in the early, Reformation and modern eras of the church, emphasizing the teaching of the great theologians, such as Augustine and John Calvin, on God’s particular grace, which is always irresistible and never fails or is frustrated. In dealing with the historical perspective of God’s absolutely sovereign grace versus the well-meant offer, this book fills a gap in the literature, and does so in a way that is warm and easily understood.

£16.50 (inc. 10% P&P)

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

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.” Thank you!
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New Issue of "Salt Shakers" Magazine - January 2017

SS 41 Jan 2017 Page 1

"Covenant Keepers", the youth ministry of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (our sister church), has just released the January 2017 issue of "Salt Shakers" (#41),their youth magazine.

Once again, this issue of "SS" is filled with interesting and profitable articles, and our PRC young people especially are invited and encouraged to make it part of their reading content.

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

Beloved Readers,

The Salt Shakers Committee is pleased to bring you Issue 41 of Salt Shakers!

In this issue, we begin our consideration of the theme for the first half of this year: "Dare to Stand". It has never been easy for God's people to stand for the truth, and 2017 will be no different. This year, we also mark the 500th anniversary of the 1517 Reformation and the preserving of God's church through the centuries. Though the way may oftentimes appear bleak, the cause is God's alone, and it will never fail!

Once again, we are thankful for the Lord' grace in sustaining the continued publishing of Salt Shakers, and for all our writers and their excellent contributions. 

Pro Rege,
Chua Lee Yang, On Behalf of the Salt Shakers Committee

SS 41 Jan 2017 Page 2

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Reformed News Asia - December 2016

Issue 36 - December 2016
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.
FEATURED Pamphlet!
Hating Your Own Life
By Rev Angus Stewart

"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26 

Jesus instructs us to hate ourselves and even our family. What does this mean? It means to hate our sins and sinfulness! God's children hate themselves as those who are sinful and sin! A believer hates his own life because he loves Jesus Christ who has saved him from destruction and has given him the knowledge of God.

Three biblical examples are cited in this pamphlet. Read to find out more!


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.
Be Ye Holy: The Reformed Doctrine of Sanctification 
by Profs David Engelsma and Herman Hanko

Extracted from the Foreword:

"The goal is that we might know the truth of sanctification—which biblical doctrine, like all other aspects of God’s truth, makes us free (John 8:32)—and obey the gospel call to holiness in heart and life, by God’s grace. Some 2,000 years ago, on the day before His crucifixion    for us, our Saviour prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Christ’s prayer on that momentous night    and His continuous intercession for His church embraces not only the billions of God’s elect over the millennia and the innumerable    occasions whereby He uses His truth in various ways; it also includes this humble book and all the saints who shall read it."

Click here to read the book online!

 
Audio Recordings
At our 2016 annual Reformation Day Conference, Rev Bruinsma (from Pittsburg PRC) was invited to deliver 3 speeches on the theme "The Church in the Last Days: Reforming or Deforming?"

Speech 1: Perilous Days are Coming
Speech 2: The Godly Shall Suffer Persecution
Speech 3: Continuing in the Things Learned

Click to listen to or view the speeches!

 
Upcoming Events!
 
Stay tuned for...

Chinese New Year visitation (4 Feb 17)

 
Past Events...
 
Vacation Bible School 2016
From Dec 6-8, CERC held its annual Vacation Bible School. This time, it was a day camp with 2 of the days' activities held in church, and the last one at the Singapore Science Centre. Much teaching and learning were accomplished over the 3 days, with lessons taught under the theme "Elisha's God is our God!" Of course, there was also plenty of time for fun, games and laughter. We are grateful to our Heavenly Father who makes it possible to instruct our children in His ways in such a manner.
Captain's ball on butt/knees
One of the classes
Finished art product - Personalised candles
Very wet version of "duck duck goose" - drip drip drop!
Group photo of the children that attended VBS 2016
 
CERC concluded the year with a few more Confessions of Faith and a Baptism. Thanking the Lord for the testimony of His grace in these individuals' lives.

Acts 2:47b "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."

 
Confessions of Faith
Confession of Faith of Mr & Mrs Chew, and Joy Wee (L-R).
 
Baptism
Baptism of Meryl.
 
CK/CKS Camp 2016
The much anticipated CK/CKS Camp passed by all too quickly from 14-17 Dec. Under the theme "Ask for the Old Paths",  speeches dealt with the old paths concerning doctrine, worship, church government, and our personal lives.

We were also privileged to have Grace Huizenga and Jillian DeBoer join us for the camp, having come all the way from the US. See if you can spot them!

Getting ready for a speech
Setting sail! Fun & games on Pulau Ubin - an offshore, rustic island
One of the groups in serious discussion
Another group's battle stance with colourful war paint on their faces
Group photo!
 
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 - December 2016

CPRC News Header

Covenant Reformed News

December 2016  •  Volume XVI, Issue 8


God’s Longsuffering and the Reprobate Ungodly

In the last five issues of the Covenant Reformed News, we have been setting forth the Bible’s teaching concerning the divine attribute of longsuffering. Now we shall consider this perfection of God in connection with the impenitent wicked.

We start with the founder and first ruler of the Northern Kingdom, Jeroboam I, whom Scripture repeatedly calls the man who “made Israel to sin” (e.g., I Kings 14:16; 15:26, 30, 34; 16:2, 26; 22:52; II Kings 3:3; 10:29; 13:2, 11; 14:24; 15:9, 18, 24, 28). This wicked man rebelled against the house of David and, hence, against Jesus Christ, the sole king and head of the church, whom David typified. Jeroboam forsook Jerusalem (a picture of the true church), its temple (where Almighty God especially dwelt), its altar and sacrifices (which pointed to Christ’s satisfaction for sin) and the Aaronitic priesthood (which God had ordained). Instead, Jeroboam began a new dynasty over the northern tribes and established idolatrous shrines at Dan and Bethel, where non-Levitical priests offered sacrifices to the two golden calves that he had made, in keeping with his new religious calendar (I Kings 12:28-33).

Given the height of Jeroboam’s abominations, why did not the Holy One of Israel cut him off sooner? It was certainly not that there was any divine love for him!

One factor is that God willed the development of the false church in the Northern Kingdom over against the true church in the Southern Kingdom, also called Judah. This served to heighten the antithesis and to provide New Testament Christians with an Old Testament example of the true church and the false church existing side-by-side at the same time (Belgic Confession 29). Another reason is that Jeroboam had to live long enough to have a regenerate son, Abijah, of whom was “found some good thing toward the Lord God of Israel” (I Kings 14:13).

Our second example is King Ahaz, ruler of the Southern Kingdom of Judah (rather than the Northern Kingdom of Israel, established by Jeroboam). You can read about Ahaz’s gross idolatry at God’s temple in Jerusalem in II Kings 16 and II Chronicles 28. Again the question arises, Why did God not slay him earlier? It was not that God was longsuffering towards him and desperately tried to convert him! Rather, Ahaz must be succeeded by the son of his own loins, the pious Hezekiah, who would begin cleansing the pollutions of the temple on the very first day of the first month of the first year of his reign (II Chron. 29:3, 17).

Our third individual is found in the New Testament Scriptures: Jezebel, that wicked woman in the church at Thyatira (Rev. 2:18-29). She was a false prophetess, who promoted fornication and idolatry in the church, which she defended by her antinomianism. Her deceitful claim was that, unless one knows “the depths of Satan,” one can never fully appreciate the greatness of God’s rich grace of forgiveness (24)!

Concerning Jezebel, Christ declared, “I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not” (21). Was this because God loved her and was longsuffering to her and her reprobate followers? No! The Lord Jesus promised to “cast her into a bed [of sickness]” (22), adding, “I will kill her children with death,” so that “all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts” (23).

Turning from these three individuals (Jeroboam, Ahaz and the prophetess Jezebel), we will next consider a group of people: the false teachers mentioned in II Peter 2 and Jude. Do either of these holy men speak of those reprobate church leaders (Jude 4) as the recipients of God’s longsuffering or grace? No! Instead, they stress the certainty of their punishment (II Pet. 2:1, 3-6, 9, 12-13, 17; Jude 5-7, 13-15). God will execute His severe judgment upon these false teachers in accordance with His eternal plan! As Moses says, “their foot shall slide in due time” (Deut. 32:35).

Our last biblical example is Judas, whose eternal reprobation is underscored by Scripture (John 6:64, 70-71; 13:18, 21, 26-27; 17:12). Judas was a thief; he had the bag and was pilfering all along (John 12:6; 13:29)! So why did God not cast him into hell even then? First, Judas’ betrayal of Christ was predicted in the Old Testament (Ps. 41:9; 55:12-14, 20-21; 109:6ff.) and so in the providence of God this had to come to pass. Second, God had appointed Judas’ treachery as a crucial part of the way in which the Lord Jesus would go to the cross, where He would die for all the sins of His people.

Christ did not speak of any divine love or longsuffering for Judas that desired his salvation. Instead, the Son of God proclaimed regarding the traitor, “The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born” (Matt. 26:24). This is true of all who die in impenitence. All those in hell wish that they had never existed!

Christ declared this judgment upon Judas (and all who lead others into sin): “It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones” (Luke 17:1-2; cf. Matt. 18:6; Mark 9:42).

God does not immediately cut off the reprobate not because He is longsuffering to them but because, in His inscrutable justice, He is giving them more time and opportunity to heap up wrath unto themselves (Rom. 2:5). Jehovah’s purpose with the impenitent ungodly is “to shew his wrath, and to make his power known” (9:22).

Whereas God puts up with or forbears or “endure[s] … the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction,” He does this “with much longsuffering” towards His elect “that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles” (22-24). Reprobation and forbearance serve God’s election and longsuffering towards His beloved people in Jesus Christ!    Rev. Angus Stewart

 

Christ, Original Sin and Pain


Our readers will recall that in the last News we discussed whether our Lord could be sick. I answered in the affirmative for He was like us in all things, sin excepted (Heb. 4:15). The thought occurred to me that the fact that our Lord was without sin, even though He was born into our human race, requires some further explanation. In fact, one reader asked me personally how that could be: How could the Lord escape original sin and original corruption, for He was born of Mary and in the line of Adam?

The answer to this question is not stated in so many words in Scripture. The answer must be deduced from other truths the Bible tells us about our Lord Jesus Christ.

So that all our readers may know what original sin (consisting of original guilt and original corruption) is, a short explanation will assist us.

Original guilt is the guilt imputed by God to the whole human race for the sin Adam committed. That is, Adam was guilty before God for eating of the forbidden tree and he transgressed this divine command as the federal head of all who descended from him. What then of Christ Himself, for He was born a member of the human race?

The central proof for original guilt is found in Romans 5:12-14: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.”

Although the truth of the above text is denied almost universally, it stands firm against all enemy attacks. Adam sinned. Death came into the world because of Adam’s sin. Why did death come on all men, even though they had not sinned as Adam did? Death came on all because all have sinned in Adam. People go to hell because mankind is guilty in Adam of eating of the forbidden tree. God also, of course, punishes the impenitent for their actual sins, the sins they commit personally.

Furthermore, Adam was a “figure” of our Lord, for Christ was eternally appointed to be the federal head of the elect. The result is that the righteousness that our Lord earned on the cross is imputed to all the elect for whom Christ is head and for whom He died.

Original corruption is the lot of all men, for death, which is the penalty for sin, came on all men. Paul reminds the Ephesians that they were “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). All men are totally depraved (which is what death in sin means) who carry in them the corruption of sin. Total depravity is the punishment on guilty sinners that comes on all from guilty Adam.

Our Lord escaped original guilt because, although He was a part of the human race, His Person is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit who preserved Him from the corruption that is passed on from parents to children through conception (Luke 1:35). And so our Lord was like us in all things except sin.

Some also use the following argument: guilt is transmitted through the father; our Lord had no earthly father; God was His Father; therefore, Christ was without original guilt and corruption. In this argument, the last three statements are true but where is the proof that “guilt is transmitted through the father”?

In connection with this discussion, another reader wrote asking the following: “Could Christ feel pain? Could He have an accident?” I take the last question to mean, Was Christ subject to unintended injuries through some mishap?

In answer to the first question, yes, of course, He could, and did, feel pain. He could feel the slap in the face during His trial by the Sanhedrin. He could feel the crown of thorns pressed into His head. He could feel the whipping by the Roman soldiers. He could feel the excruciating pain of being nailed to a cross and hanging from those nails in the heat of the blazing sun. He felt the wrath of God as the very torments of hell, a pain we shall never have to feel, if we believe in Him who suffered for us. He suffered terribly in both body and soul.

The question about “accidents” is somewhat different. The reader should understand, first of all, that there is no such thing as an accident. We might be hurt if something happens to us that we did not expect. But God’s providence determines all things down to the smallest detail (Eph. 1:11).

Nothing could happen to Christ without His will as the eternal Son of God. He could not drown in a ship sunk by a storm on the Sea of Galilee. He could not be killed when the wicked tried to push Him off a cliff in Nazareth. Because He was “true God of true God” (as our beautiful Nicene Creed expresses it), nothing could take Him by surprise or happen to Him without His will.

But whether Christ’s divine nature, which is omniscient, always revealed all He knew to His human nature, I do not know. He knew, without being told, what His disciples were thinking. He knew that the cross lay at the end of His ministry. He knew what the Jews would do to Him, what Pilate would do to Him and what God would do to Him.

But did He know the identity of the woman who touched the hem of His robe? He asked, “Who touched me?” (Mark 5:31). Was that merely to bring the person forward? Or did He really not know? His divine nature did but did it always reveal things to His human mind? I do not know.

This is part of the great mystery of Immanuel, God with us. I know what the Creed of Chalcedon confessed: that Christ united in His divine Person both the divine and human natures without separation, without confusion, without mixture and without change. And I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day (II Tim. 1:12). This is enough and this is my salvation!    Prof. Herman Hanko, emeritus PRC Seminary
 
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: www.cprc.co.uk • Live broadcast: www.cprf.co.uk/live
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.youtube.com/cprcniwww.facebook.com/CovenantPRC

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Covenant PRC, N.Ireland Newsletter - December 2016

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Ballymena, NI


16 December, 2016

Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,


John Owen Lecture

jowen 1

2016 marked the 400th anniversary of the birth of John Owen (1616-1683), perhaps the greatest theologian ever produced in the British Isles. His excellent book, “The Death of Death in the Death of Christ,” is the most significant treatise in the history of the Christian church on the particularity of our Lord's atonement. Interestingly, while refuting Arminianism and Amyraldianism on the cross, Owen also superbly confounds their arguments for a desire of God to save the reprobate.

Since we typically choose a historical subject for the annual Reformation Day lecture in the CPRC, I spoke on “John Owen and the Death of Christ” (28 October), summarizing Owen's eventful ministry and setting forth his arguments for Christ's laying down His life for His elect sheep alone. We advertised this meeting through articles placed in Chatterbox (October) and the Ballymena Guardian (27 October), a trailer after our Sunday morning Reformed Witness Hour broadcast, flyers, etc.

We used similar methods, including a piece in the Portadown Times, to get the word out when this speech was given in Portadown (11 November), about an hour south of Ballymena. Though a number of people had told us that they were planning to attend, they and others were put off by a day of very heavy rain. Though they were few, the saints listened attentively and were encouraged by the truth of Christ's efficacious redemption.

The lecture on “John Owen and the Death of Christ” was given for the third time in South Wales (8 December). Earlier that day, Mary and I made three visits with some of the Lord's people—a young family, an elderly couple, and a young man—making the flight to mainland Britain even more worthwhile.

After the third delivery of the speech, we put it on-line on audio ( www.cprc. co.uk/owenlecture2.mp3 ) and video, along with the slides  (www.youtube.com/watch? v=7avtiihk_xw ). Already a lot more people have watched or listened to the lecture on the internet than were at all of the three meetings!

Church Meetings

Our Tuesday morning classes this year have been dealing with the Old Testament law. Recently, we treated the ashes of the red heifer (Num. 19) which were used in the Mosaic dispensation to cleanse those who had been in contact with a dead human body—the worst form of ceremonial uncleanness! This is the powerful New Testament argument from the lesser to the greater: “if...the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:13-14).

Belgic Confession 29, “The Marks of the True Church, and Wherein She Differs From the False Church,” was the subject of nine Wednesday night classes in the CPRC. We began with the unavoidability of a test for churches and our calling in this regard, before looking at each of the three marks (faithfulness in preaching, sacramental administration, and church discipline) in turn and collectively. After treating the marks of a true church, we looked at the marks of a true Christian and the marks of a false church. Such teaching is so important in our day! One visitor to our classes went through seminary training for the ministry and he said that he had never even heard of the three marks! Many professing believers have little or no idea as to what they should be looking for in a church and so are confused or easily led astray. These nine CDs on “The Marks of the True Church” are the latest CPRC box set. The recordings of our Belgic Confession classes are the most listened to audios on our website ( www.cprf.co.uk/audio/belgicconfessionclass.htm ).

We have been enjoying “The Life of Jacob” in the book of Genesis over the last few months (www.cprf.co.uk/audio/ OTseries.htm). The patriarch has now fled from Haran, wrestled with Christ at Peniel, embraced his formerly murderous twin, experienced the shame of Shechem, returned to Bethel, and been bereaved of three of his closest friends (Gen. 31-35). Now, with the installation of a hearing loop in our sanctuary, any physical impediment to hearing the Word of God has been lessened!

We have found Facebook to be a free and helpful means to circulate our online material, whether written or on audio or video. In the last few weeks, the CPRC Facebook page has increased by some 28% ( www.facebook.com/CovenantPRC ) and it has been used to gain about 120 new subscribers to the Covenant Reformed News.

Others

By God's rich grace, the congregation is enjoying unity and fellowship with God. We are very thankful for the support we receive from all of you in the Protestant Reformed Churches and, indeed, from other saints around the world. Below are just two of many such encouragements:


“We’ve enjoyed a couple of your live [Sunday evening] services which we watch here at noon [ www.cprf.co.uk/live.html ]. The a cappella psalm singing is particularly beautiful in worship. The sermons on Colossians 2 are well received and we are learning much from them. The learning curve for Reformed theology is so large that I think sometimes my brain will melt...”—Minnesota, USA


“As an Augustinian Calvinist, but a ‘poor lonesome Calvinist’ in a country dominated by apostasy in the major so-called Protestant churches and, of course, in the ‘Satan synagogue’ (the Roman Church) and atheism in the governing bodies, I am very interested by the CPRC website. I should be glad if I could receive your Covenant Reformed News.”—France

The English Churchman (14 & 21 October) carried a report on this summer's British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) conference (http://britishreformed.org). The Belfast News Letter published a letter I sent in explaining that the false ecumenism of the Lutheran World Federation with the Church of Rome is due to the awful apostasy of the former and not the gracious work of the Holy Spirit, as a Roman priest had claimed (www.cprf.co.uk/articles/lutheransandrome.html)!

The last two months have been something of a lean period with regard to new translations on the CPRC website with just 12 additions: 6 Hungarian, 3 Marathi (ecumenical creeds in this Indian language), 2 Portuguese, and 1 Spanish. However, this section of our website is still growing and gets a lot of hits (www.cprf.co. uk/languages.htm).

Our thanks to all those who send us cards or letters! Because our work already includes a lot of mailing, I trust that you will all understand that we are unable to send replies and that you will be satisfied with this note of appreciation.

This is the confession of the child of God: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever” (Ps. 23:6). May the Lord be with you all in 2017!

In Christ,
Pastor and Mary Stewart

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Reformed News Asia - November 2016 (Issue 35)

Issue 35 - November 2016
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.
FEATURED Pamphlet!
Hating Your Own Life
By Rev Angus Stewart

"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26 

Jesus instructs us to hate ourselves and even our family. What does this mean? It means to hate our sins and sinfulness! God's children hate themselves as those who are sinful and sin! A believer hates his own life because he loves Jesus Christ who has saved him from destruction and has given him the knowledge of God.

Three biblical examples are cited in this pamphlet. Read to find out more!


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.
Be Ye Holy: The Reformed Doctrine of Sanctification 
by Profs David Engelsma and Herman Hanko

Extracted from the Foreword:

"The goal is that we might know the truth of sanctification—which biblical doctrine, like all other aspects of God’s truth, makes us free (John 8:32)—and obey the gospel call to holiness in heart and life, by God’s grace. Some 2,000 years ago, on the day before His crucifixion    for us, our Saviour prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Christ’s prayer on that momentous night    and His continuous intercession for His church embraces not only the billions of God’s elect over the millennia and the innumerable    occasions whereby He uses His truth in various ways; it also includes this humble book and all the saints who shall read it."

Click here to read the book online!

 
Audio Recordings
At our 2016 annual Reformation Day Conference, Rev Bruinsma (from Pittsburg PRC) was invited to deliver 3 speeches on the theme "The Church in the Last Days: Reforming or Deforming?"

Speech 1: Perilous Days are Coming
Speech 2: The Godly Shall Suffer Persecution
Speech 3: Continuing in the Things Learned

Click to listen to or view the speeches!

 
Upcoming Events!
 
Vacation Bible School 2016
Details for VBS 2016 are out!

Dates: 6-8 Dec 2016 (no stayover)
Location: CERC (6-7 Dec) and Singapore Science Centre (8 Dec)
Participants: Children from K2 to Pri 6

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register!

 
CKCKS Camp 2016
Our annual youth camp is here again!

Theme: Ask for the Old Paths (Jer 6:16)
Dates: 14-17 Dec 2016
Location: Aloha Changi, FP Chalet 7
Speaker: Rev Andy Lanning

Visit http://ckckscamp.weebly.com/ for more details and to register!
 
Past Events...
 
Reformation Day Conference 2016
On the 4th and 5th of November, CERC held its annual Reformation Day Conference to commemorate the 16th century church reformation. We were privileged to have Rev Bruinsma deliver 3 messages for us on the theme "The Church in the Last Days: Reforming or Deforming?" There were also multiple exhibits showcasing events related to the Reformation such as periods of intense persecution and the lives of various martyrs. All in all, it was a profitable time of learning and fellowshipping with visitors.
Rev Bruinsma delivering one of his messages
Answering questions that came in fast and furious
Emmanuel and Sonali at the book sale
Visitors browsing through Salt Shakers magazine and other pamphlets
 
After close to a year of instruction in the pre-confession class, the Lord has richly blessed CERC with new members who joined through Confession of Faith and Baptism. We rejoice in the growth of the church and the profession of faith of these brothers and sisters in Christ.

Acts 2:47b "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."

 
Confessions of Faith
Confession of Faith of Grace, Rachel, Jemima and Stephen (L-R).
 
Baptisms
Baptism of Celina, Millie, Jia Chin and Zhi Leng (L-R).
 
CK/CKS Year End Outing
School's out! The youth committee planned an exciting outing to the indoor trampoline park where close to 20 youths let their hair down and jumped their hearts out.
Girls vs Boys........ Trampoline Dodgeball!
 
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 - November 2016

 

Covenant Reformed News

November 2016  •  Volume XVI, Issue 7


God’s Longsuffering and the History of Sin

In the last four issues of the News, we surveyed all the references to God’s longsuffering in both the Old and the New Testaments, emphasizing that the exercise of this divine attribute is particular, for the elect alone. But what about how this works out in the history of sin?

Let us start with the beginning of the history of sin: the fall in Genesis 3. Why did the Most High not cast Adam and Eve into hell immediately after their eating the forbidden fruit? Surely, this is what their sin deserved? However, in God’s eternal decree, He had a wonderful plan to glorify His great name through the salvation of an elect church in Jesus Christ. The immediate death and damnation of the first two human beings would have stopped the propagation of mankind! What then of the history of the world? What about the coming of the Messiah?

Moving forward many centuries, we come to the flood. Why did God tell Noah that 120 years would pass before the global deluge (Gen. 6:3)? It was not because the Almighty was longsuffering to the reprobate in that age. Rather, time was needed to build the ark and for Noah to preach about God’s coming judgment (II Pet. 2:5). Also within these twelve decades, other elect saints, like Methuselah, died. They could not perish in the flood because it was a picture of Jehovah’s avenging wrath against the ungodly! The longsuffering of God saved the eight souls in the ark; it was not trying to save the impenitent reprobate who drowned under the judgment of the Most High (I Pet. 3:20).

Why did the Lord not destroy Sodom earlier? It was not that God loves, and is longsuffering towards, everybody head for head. Instead, the Sodomites had to fill up the cup of their iniquity. The development of their wickedness even reached to their attempted, homosexual gang rape of two strangers (Gen. 19:1-11). Until the departure of believing Lot, the only elect person in Sodom, the Almighty could not burn up the city, as Abraham well understood: “That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (18:25). After all, the fire and brimstone are a picture of the “eternal fire” of hell (Jude 7; II Pet. 2:6)!

What about the Egyptians in the book of Exodus? Was the Almighty longsuffering towards them? No. Through the words and miracles of Moses, God hardened the hearts of Pharaoh (Ex. 4:21; 7:3, 13; 9:12; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10; 14:4, 8), his servants (10:1) and his people (14:17). Jehovah’s hardening of the Egyptians issued from His eternal reprobation and holy hatred of them (Rom. 9:10-24; 11:7-10). Moreover, the Egyptians were destroyed for the sake of His beloved Israel: “For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life” (Isa. 43:3-4).

Why did God not destroy the inhabitants of Canaan earlier? Was this because they were the objects of His longsuffering? No. In the days recorded in Genesis 12-50, there simply were not enough descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to possess the promised land. Besides, the people in Canaan had not yet sufficiently developed in their sin. As Jehovah told Abraham centuries before the conquest of the holy land, “But in the fourth generation they [i.e., Abraham’s descendants] shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full” (Gen. 15:16). Then the Most High would use the sword of Joshua and the nation of Israel to inflict His judgment upon the wicked inhabitants of Canaan (cf. Lev. 18).

After the Jews crucified His Son, why did Jehovah not devastate Jerusalem and its temple sooner? Why did He wait four decades until AD 70? Christ explains that the Jews must commit other sins, especially persecuting His followers, so as to be fully ripe for their inescapable judgment: “Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar” (Matt. 23:32-35). Furthermore, elect Jews in and around Jerusalem needed to be saved first, as we read in the early chapters of Acts (e.g., 2:41; 4:4; 6:1, 7).

Does the sparing of the Gentile world for many hundreds of years before the Holy One of Israel began to gather a catholic or universal church (cf. Acts 14:16; 17:30) prove that He was longsuffering to these reprobate people? Of course not! How could the Triune God save elect Gentiles in the New Testament age, if He had wiped out their ancestors centuries before? The Lord had His elect among the subsequent generations and numerous descendants of ancient idolaters, including the (largely Gentile) readers of the Covenant Reformed News!

Finally, does the “delay” of the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for the final judgment indicate that God is longsuffering to the reprobate? No. Revelation 6:9-11 records “the fifth seal.” John “saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.” This is the loud cry he heard: “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” John beheld that “white robes were given unto every one of them.” Then we read of the answer to their earnest cry: “it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”

In short, the scriptural explanation of the delay of the great judgment day is that more saints must be martyred and the ungodly world must fully manifest its wickedness. Only then will all things be ready for the glorified Christ to return to deliver His beloved people and punish those who rebel against Him. “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32)!  Rev. Stewart

 

Could Christ Be Sick?


This is a reader’s response to my last article: “Jesus would have had to have sinned in order to become ill and to know sickness by experience, because the weakness of the body is through sin.

First, Matthew 26:38 and Romans 8:10 make clear that sin makes the body weak, in fact, dead. But Christ’s body was neither dead nor weak.

Second, Jesus did not defeat, and did not know illness; He only commanded illness in others to depart. What sense would it make for Him to be sick, if He needed only say a word in order to be healed?

Third, the lamb for the sacrifices in Israel had to be without blemish. This pointed to Jesus (I Pet. 1:19). If He had His own weaknesses and sickness, then it would have been good for Him to take care of His own blemishes.

Roman 8:3 states, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” The body of Jesus was not weak, and that was true until God left Him and burdened Him with our sins. He was even then able to bear the punishment and say, “It is finished.” Then He gave up His soul.

I understand that the article’s point was that Christ was tempted in all things but did not sin, yet I find the approach rather objectionable. He was sick so that He could heal! With the same logic, was it true that He was possessed so that He could exorcise demons? In addition, He must have first sinned, if He could be sick, yet He was not sinful!

The article is not based on God’s glory but on a human approach.

Finally, Jesus bore our weaknesses and our sicknesses. If He had His own, He could have bore only His own weaknesses and sicknesses.”
 

*********************
 
I have provided the lengthy question above because its author was kind enough to give the reasons for his disagreement with what I wrote in a recent article, namely, that, although we do not read in Scripture that the Lord was ever sick, He could have been sick because He was like us in all things, except sin.

The questioner is from Hungary and I have summarized his arguments. I have also improved the English translation to make it clearer for readers of the News. I hope that I have accurately represented his ideas. If I have not, he can let me know.

I appreciate the fact that the questioner took the time to argue his case in some detail and, therefore, it will take a few issues to answer the brother adequately. This is worth our time and effort, for we are dealing with the great “mystery” of Scripture: “God was manifest in the flesh” (I Tim. 3:16). The brother’s arguments concerning this great truth must be answered.

I take issue with the questioner, however, when he charges me with using human logic instead of Scripture. It would be terrible if I did this, for I would be slandering our only Lord and Saviour if I used only logic to explain the mystery of His incarnation. The charge is doubly serious given that I have been preaching and teaching for over 60 years, and have always preached and maintained that our Saviour was like us in all things, sin excepted. That includes our sicknesses and diseases.

I will limit my answer in this issue of the News to underscoring and developing parts of two statements in our Reformed confessions. Belgic Confession 18, entitled “The Incarnation of Jesus Christ,” declares that God’s “only-begotten and eternal Son ... took upon Him the form of a servant, and became like unto man, really assuming the true human nature, with all its infirmities, sin excepted.” Notice the word “all,” in the phrase “all [our] infirmities.” That must include sicknesses for it is one of our infirmities.

The texts referred to in Belgic Confession 18 include Hebrews 2:14-15: “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.”

Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 14, in explaining part of the Apostles’ Creed, says, “That God’s eternal Son, who is and continueth true and eternal God, took upon Him the very nature of man, of the flesh and blood of the Virgin Mary, by the operation of the Holy Ghost; that He might also be the true seed of David, like unto His brethren in all things, sin excepted.” One verse quoted is Philippians 2:7: “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” The next text Lord’s Day 14 cites is Hebrews 4:15: “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

What I have explained in the News has been the teaching of the churches of the Reformation for the last 500 years. It is not my idea, but part of the heritage of the truth.

The truth of Christ’s federal headship and organic headship brings up the question of how our Lord could be like us in all things, except sin, but remain free from the guilt of sin and the pollution of sin. An explanation of this would take up more space than is available in this issue of the News, so I intend to deal with this next time, God willing.  Prof. Hanko

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

Thursday, 8 December, 2016
at 7:15 PM

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

John Owen and the Death of Christ

Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart

All welcome!
www.cprc.co.uk

 

Bound to Join a Faithful Church

8 classes on Belgic Confession 28 (Vol. XX)
on CD in an
attractive box set

Is it important to be a member of a (faithful) church? Is it historic, Christian, Reformed and creedal teaching that there is no salvation outside the (institute) church? Is this doctrine true? Why? What does it mean? What about exceptions? Why do we need to separate from false and departing churches? What practical steps are involved in leaving such churches and joining true churches?

£10/box set (inc. P&P)

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

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

 

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New Issue of "Salt Shakers" Magazine - November 2016

SS 40 Nov 2016 Page 1"Covenant Keepers", the youth ministry of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (our sister church), has just released the November 2016 issue of "Salt Shakers" (#40),their youth magazine.

Once again, this issue of "SS" is filled with interesting and profitable articles, and our PRC young people especially are invited and encouraged to make it part of their reading content.

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

Beloved Readers,

The Salt Shakers is pleased to bring you Issue 40 of Salt Shakers!

In this issue, we wrap up our consideration of this year's theme: A Pilgrim's Path. Look out for the theme article A Pilgrim's Path: A Stranger in the World by Boaz Leong! Also in the same vein there is Preparing for Persecution by Cheryl Lim. In this issue, we also begin a series on practical eschatology, based on notes from a seminary class given by Prof. David Engelsma. Josiah continues his series on dating with his latest article on Intimacy in a Courting Relationship. We are thankful to all our writers for their excellent contributions to this Reformed magazine.

Once again, we are thankful for the Lord' grace in sustaining the continued publishing of Salt Shakers.

Pro Rege,
Chua Lee Yang
On Behalf of the Salt Shakers Committee

SS 40 Nov 2016 Page 2

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