Missions of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America

Limerick Reformed Fellowship Newsletter - December 2019

Limerickmeetingplace

Limerick Reformed Fellowship

Rev. Martyn McGeown, missionary
38 Abbeyvale, Corbally Co. Limerick, Ireland

http://www.limerickreformed.com/

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

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,

The young man whom I mentioned in the last newsletter has not returned. In fact, he has not responded to my emails and messages to explain his decision to return to the bosom of Rome. Nor did he come to the special lecture on “The Canon of Sacred Scripture: Which Books Belong in the Bible and Who Decides?” which I gave on November 23. I did not actually expect him to come, but maybe he listened online. My comfort is the truth that God’s Word does not return to him void, but “it shall accomplish that which [he pleases], and it shall prosper in the thing whereunto [he] sent it” (Isa. 55:11). Since coming to Limerick in July 2010, I have seen that twofold effect: the Word quickens, enlivens, strengthens, and blesses some, while it hardens and offends others, and who, as the apostle exclaims in II Corinthians 2:16, “is sufficient for these things?”

I have been continuing a series of sermons on texts related to the authority of Scripture, such as “Taking Heed to the More Sure Word of Scripture” (II Pet. 1:19-21); “The Bereans’ Reception of the Word” (Acts 17:11); “The Apostles Speaking Words that the Spirit Teaches” (I Cor. 2:12-13); and “Receiving the Word as the Word of God” (I Thess. 2:13). In the Heidelberg Catechism we are in the second section, having just finished three sermons on LD 12: Christ as our chief prophet, our only high priest, and our eternal king. In our Bible study we finished II Peter on November 12, and since Noel is our most faithful Bible study attendee, I let him choose the next topic, James. Noel, as you might recall, is blind, but despite that hindrance, participates enthusiastically in the Bible studies and rare-ly misses a meeting. We do enjoy his positive, upbeat attitude as he rejoices in the Lord despite his afflictions. He recently remarked that he has almost reached his two-year anniversary in the LRF: he came on December 31, 2017, and the first sermon he heard (I looked it up) was “Jehovah Turning Our Mourning into Dancing” (Ps. 30:11-12). The first chapter of the epistle of James teaches us a lot about trials and temptations and about our calling to count such things “all joy,” something for which we need wisdom, which is obtained through prayer.

Our catechism classes continue with the children—three children in Limerick studying New Testament History for Beginners, and three children via video link (my nieces) studying three different books, New Testament History for Beginners, New Testament History for Juniors, and Old Testament history for Seniors. The classes are enjoyable and the children’s participation enthusiastic. This week we will be studying Lesson 15. In addition, I teach an adult class on Essentials of Reformed Doctrine, which recently finished Soteriology, the doctrine of salvation, and transitioned into Ecclesiology, the doctrine of the church.

Speaking of Ecclesiology, not only did we have a special lecture on “The Canon of Scripture” and its relationship to the church (November 23), but also Rev. Stewart plans a special lecture on “The Reformation’s Teaching on the Church” in Limerick on January 10, 2020. Flyers are being designed and ordered, and advertising is being organized, as I write this. Samuel Watterson designs attractive flyers, and my wife liaises with the Limerick Post newspaper.

The Limerick Post also published a letter that I submitted on October 26, the occasion of which was the recent canonisation of John Henry (Cardinal) Newman (1801-1890), an apostate Anglican, who joined the Roman Church and was awarded a cardinalship for his contribution to ecumenism. Newman was declared “Venerable” or “mighty in virtue” in 1991; then, he was declared “Blessed” in 2010 because a miracle was attributed to his intercession; finally, Newman was canonised in October (a second miracle being attributed to his intercession) and declared a “saint,” although not infallibly pronounced to be in paradise. In my letter, I criticised Rome’s theology of saints and her dogma of purgatory. An atheist wrote a response, mocking Rome and my letter, but I did not respond to him. In addition, a Roman Catholic lady responded privately to my “attack on purgatory,” appealing to “saved as by fire” in I Corinthians 3:15. Therefore, I preached on that text (December 1) and wrote a blog post on the subject (December 3, https://www.limerick re-formed.com/blog/2019/12/3/purgatory).

We always enjoy visitors. First, we had a visit from Mary Gaastra and Denise Haan (Redlands, CA) at the end of October. Mary is the mother-in-law of my brother-in-law (Jeremy), while Denise is the aunt of Kristin Crossett (CPRC). We had enjoyed fellowship with them in Redlands, CA, when we visited there during our honey-moon in April 2018, so it was good to show them a little bit of Ireland when they were here. They also participated in—and en-joyed—our Bible study on October 29. Sadly, they were not here for a Sunday, but there is always a next time, we hope! Second, Rev. and Mary Stewart and Ivan and Lily Reid came at the beginning of November. Rev. and Ivan were here for the annual family visitation in which they visited all the families and regular attendees in the group, which greatly encouraged the people here. Their wives also came, which encouraged my wife. Third, Julian Kennedy (CPRC) and Jonathan and Daniel Moore (Reformed Presbyterian Church) were here towards the end of November, so, as a bonus, they were able to attend the lecture on the Canon of Scripture. Julian and Daniel participated in the Indoor Rowing Championships held at the University of Limerick.

The LRF also had time for a social event. A group of us attended the performance by the Limerick Choral Union of Handel’s Messiah on December 7. My wife would like to join that choir, but sadly they perform masses. She sang in the Messiah for many years in the Zeeland Civic Chorus. Unlike her, I am tone deaf—she was trying to explain to me the nuances in the performance, but I did not pick such things up. Still, I greatly enjoyed the performance, as did Noel, who had never heard the Messiah before. He was raving about how magnificent it was.

Larisa and I are making final preparations for our journey to Australia. We (especially I) are trying to figure out how to survive the long flights, the jetlag, and the heat (for it is high summer in Australia). We will arrive, DV, on the evening of December 24 and land in Dublin again on the morning of January 16. I will be speaking at the Youth Camp of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia (EPCA), having been asked to speak there by my good friend and former fellow seminarian, (Rev. Dr.) David Torlach (Brisbane EPC). We look forward to fellowship with David and Ruth Torlach and the other saints of God “Down Under.” In my absence, Rev. Stewart will preach for the Fellowship on January 5 and 12.

BornForOurSalvation MMG 2019

My latest book, Born for Our Salvation, was just published. I probably won’t see it until the end of January, however. Such is life when the author lives so far away from the publisher. Finally, we thank you for the cards and messages that are beginning to arrive here.

In Christian love,

Rev. Martyn and Larisa McGeown

Read more...

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, December 15-21, 2019 *(Updated)

Is11 1 2On this fiftieth Lord's Day of 2019, December 15, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be reported.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

We confess, therefore, that God did fulfill the promise, which he made to the fathers, by the mouth of his holy prophets, when he sent into the world, at the time appointed by him, his own, only-begotten and eternal Son, who 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, being conceived in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary, by the power of the Holy Ghost, without the means of man, and did not only assume human nature as to the body, but also a true human soul, that he might be a real man. For since the soul was lost as well as the body, it was necessary that he should take both upon him, to save both. Therefore we confess (in opposition to the heresy of the Anabaptists, who deny that Christ assumed human flesh of his mother) that Christ is become a partaker of the flesh and blood of the children; that he is a fruit of the loins of David after the flesh; made of the seed of David according to the flesh; a fruit of the womb of the Virgin Mary, made of a woman, a branch of David; a shoot of the root of Jesse; sprung from the tribe of Judah; descended from the Jews according to the flesh; of the seed of Abraham, since he took on him the seed of Abraham, and became like unto his brethren in all things, sin excepted, so that in truth he is our Immanuel, that is to say, God with us. (Belgic Confession, Article 18, "Of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ"

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • Rev. E. Guichelaar (Randolph, WI PRC) is considering the call to Kalamazoo PRC (received Dec.1). May the Lord make plain His will for him in this call. Rev. M. DeVries (current pastor) plans to become emeritus at the end of the year.

  • The Consistory of Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) has formed a new trio from which to call a pastor: Revs. H.Bleyenberg (Providence PRC), N.Langerak (Crete PRC), and A.Stewart (Covenant PRC, N.Ireland). The congregation was votoing today after the second service. Rev. R. Barnhill is bringing the Word there again today. *UPDATE: Rev. H. Bleyenberg has received the call to Immanuel PRC.

  • The Council of the newly organized Unity PRC has formed a trio of Revs. J. Engelsma, E. Guichelaar, and R. Van Overloop.  The congregation plans to call this Wednesday, December 18. *UPDATE: Rev. R. Van Overloop has received this call.

  • Last Sunday (Dec.8) Rev. J. Mahtani preached his farewell sermon at Cornerstone PRC (Dyer, IN). He has accepted the call from Grandvillle PRC to serve as minister on loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore and plans to be installed in that position on Sunday morning, December 29. The Mahtanis are hoping to leave for Singapore shortly after the new year but are awaiting approval from the Singapore government. May the Lord be pleased to grant this soon according to His sovereign plan and purpose. (*see the update under CERC news below).

  • The congregation of Cornerstone PRC will vote on Jan.5 for a new pastor from the Council's trio:  Revs. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC), G. Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), and R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC, Spokane, WA).

  • Rev. T. Miersma is leading the services in First PRC, Edmonton while Rev. J. Marcus takes a leave of absence following his restoration to the ministry there in the last week.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

sem front Nov 2019 1

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary has now completed its regular class schedule in the first semester and exams will be held this week. It is a busy time for faculty, students, and staff. Continue to pray for the seminary in your daily prayers.

  • The Fall 2019 issue of the PRT Journal has been sent to the printer and the pdf and ePub editions are now available online. Watch for an excerpt from Prof. D. Kuiper's thesis on G. Ophoff and 1953, articles based on presentations given in Mexico this past summer, and plenty of profitable book reviews.

  • Sem. Josiah Tan (CERC-Singapore) has been licensed to speak a word of edification in the churches. Contact Prof. B. Gritters (rector) for scheduling.

  • Remember the Seminary's Dordt400 Conference in April of this year? The speeches and presentations given at this event have now been compiled, expanded, and edited (by Prof. R. Cammenga) and form the newly published RFPA book, For God's Glory and the Church's Consolation: 400 Years of the Synod of Dordt. Visit the website to order your copy, or come to the seminary bookstore to find one! And if you are looking for the videos and audios of the speeches, visit this page.

  • Looking for some good Reformed books to read, Bible study materials or seminary publications to use, or perhaps some gifts for the holiday season? Come and visit the seminary's bookstore! We have a variety of Bibles, commentaries, and good books - used and new - for our members and friends. And you may also make use of our library - here's the link to our online catalog if you wish to search for something to read or use.

  • Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Please remember in your prayers to petition the Lord of the harvest for pastors, and please encourage young men, whom you observe to have the gifts, to consider the ministry. If you wish to listen to a couple of sermons by our professors that address this need, listen to "The (Suffering) Minister's Steadfast Confession" and "The Beautiful Feet of the Gospel Preacher."

ephesians 4 3

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
    • Rev. A. denHartog and his wife continue to serve the CERC while she is vacant. They plan to be there until Sunday, January 12, 2020.
    • Concerning Rev. J. Mahtani's application to serve in CERC (today's bulletin update): "MOM [a government agency] has advised us to write a separate appeal directly to CMPB, which we have submitted on this past Friday. It may take up to two weeks for CMPB to response to our appeal. May we continue to trust in God to provide for our need for a shepherd in CERC, for our God whose name is Jehovah; He is the most high and reigned over all the earth. We urge you to keep this matter in your daily prayer to seek the Lord’s gracious provision for CERC."
    • Her latest newsletter (October 2019) - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently and may be found on this page. 
  • Concerning the PRC in the Philippines, we may note the following from the bulletins of the Berean PRC, PRC in Bulacan, Maranatha PRC, and Provident CC:
    • Denominational News:

~ The PRCP Classis finished its work last November 30. "Among other things, Classis decided to add two new standing committees so that there are now four. Elders Bien and Alex were both appointed to Committee 3 (Finances, Emeritus, Seminary Student Aid). Elder Bien was also appointed to Committee 2 (Missions and Contact with Other Churches). Elder Alex was also elected as the new treasurer of the PRCP. Classis adopted a budget for the operations of the PRCP for 2020 and increased the classical assessment to P150 per family per month."

~ The most recent mission newsletter was published and distributed this Fall. You may find that October 2019 update here.

~ And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions.

  • The PRC also has a "corresponding relationship" with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of Australia. We remember these brothers and sisters in our prayers and labors also.

ReformedBookOutlet
Don't forget to include the Reformed Book Outlet in your gift-giving ideas this month! They have a special sale going on in December according to Hudsonville PRC's bulletin:

The Reformed Book Outlet is having their annual December sale. We have books, Bibles and Bible covers all 25%
off MSRP. This is a great time to add a few good reads to your religious library or help someone to build theirs!
Check us out on Facebook and Instagram to see highlights of some of the books we carry.

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • Do you have an interest in good Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine? Visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association's website (www.rfpa.org), where you will find information on books in all major Christian categories, as well as on the bi-monthly periodical, the Standard Bearer.  Don't forget that these books and magazine make for great gifts!

  • If you are in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing, visit the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

RWH Logo 2019

  • Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
    • Currently, Rev. W. Bruinsma of our Pittsburgh PRC is speaking for the RWH. He is doing a series on women in the Bible, with today's message being "Abigail Pleads with David" based on 1 Samuel 25:28-31. Listen to the broadcast on the station near you or visit the links provided here to listen to this program.
    • From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee:

~ Have you seen our recent flyer passed out last month in the PRC? If you haven't, you may find a copy attached to this news post.
~ Special RWH newsletter note:
Did you know that Reformed Witness Hour messages are downloaded each month by saints all over the world—saints living in South Africa, Cambodia, Nigeria, and China? If you would like to stay informed about the reach of this distinctly Reformed radio and internet ministry and about ways you can support this witness, sign up at http://eepurl.com/gikNsL for a bimonthly newsletter.A new Spanish edition of the RWH has been produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Why not check it out - and help spread the word!

 adult bible 1

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • Please make note of next year's Protestant Reformed Young People's Convention date and location to be hosted by Georgetown PRC. The convention will be held Aug 10-14, 2020 at the Lake Williamson Camp in Carlinville, IL. Visit prcconvention.com for more information. Chaperone registration will open January 1, and conventioneer registration opens March 15.
  • THE EVANGELICAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA would love to invite any young people and young adults, aged 13 and up, to their biennial youth camp. This youth camp will be held in Brisbane, Australia from the 28th of December 2019 – 3rd January 2020. Rev. Martyn McGeown from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship of the Republic of Ireland will be our guest speaker, taking the camp on the topic of ‘The Christian’s Armour’ (From Ephesians 6). Amongst other activities, the theme night will be on the “Australian Bush”. The cost for the camp is $250 AUD (approx $170 USD). This is a great time to meet other young people, fellowship with them and learn about our Saviour. Please contact Megan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the full flyer + registration form, or for any additional questions/information.

Dorr library 2
Do you want to be part of a Reformed Bible study in Dorr, MI? (*see note below)

PRC MISSION NEWS:

Domestic Labors:

  • Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond through Byron Center PRC, the calling church. *From BC-PRC's bulletin today we find this reminder: "The Dorr Bible Study meets this Thursday, December 19, at 7:30 PM. We plan to take up our discussion beginning at John 9:16. Please join us and bring friends or neighbors along to the library in Dorr!"
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown is preaching the gospel in the LRF today.
    • From the LRF bulletin: "Pastor will speak at the Youth Camp of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia, which shall take place from Saturday 28th December to Friday 3rd January. He will give seven speeches/sermons and then preach in Brisbane EPC on Sundays 5th and 12th January."
    • The last mission newsletter from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship - The September 2019 edition - may be found here.

Philippine Missions:

Let us continue in prayer to the Lord for the fulfillment of the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful and encouraged in all their labors.

India:

The Council will be sending Rev. and Mary Haak and Deane and Donna Wassink for a three week visit to the PRCV of India during this first part of the new-year. (Haaks, Sundays of Jan 19, 26, and Feb. 2., Wassinks, Jan. 26, Feb. 2 and Feb. 9)  Their work includes meeting with the Tamil and English Church, working with the GFH, visiting with members of the church and the Consistory of the PRCV, etc. The Council has asked Rev. Wilbur and Mary Bruinsma to also go to India (Sundays of Feb. 2, 9, 16). Pastor Haak and Rev. Bruinsma hope to provide training for area ministers and students of the PRCV for a five week period, and hopefully follow up these classes with regular Skype classes throughout the coming year. Pray for the Lord’s blessing.

  • And we remember our sister church's work (Covenant ERC in Singapore) in Kolkata, through Rev. E. Singh. From Byron Center PRC's bulletin today we learn about this upcoming involvement of Rev. A. Lanning: "The consistory has granted Rev. Lanning permission to speak at the annual mission conference in Kolkata, India. The conference theme is, "Ye Are My Witnesses," and will include five speeches and Sunday worship. Rev. Lanning will be gone January 21-28."

Myanmar:

  • Let us also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar; for his latest report, visit this page.
Read more...

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, December 8-14, 2019

Isaiah 7 14On this forty-ninth Lord's Day of 2019, December 8, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be reported.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

Q. 35.  What is the meaning of these words — “He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary”?
A.  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.

Q. 36.  What profit dost thou receive by Christ’s holy conception and nativity?
A.  That He is our Mediator, and, with His innocence and perfect holiness, covers in the sight of God my sins, wherein I was conceived and brought forth.

Heidelberg Catechism, Lord's Day 14

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • On December 1 Kalamazoo PRC extended a call to Rev. E. Guichelaar (Randolph, WI PRC). May the Lord make plain His will for him in this call. Rev. M. DeVries (current pastor) plans to become emeritus at the end of the year.

  • Today Rev. J. Mahtani preaches his farewell sermon at Cornerstone PRC (Dyer, IN). He has accepted the call from Grandvillle PRC to serve as minister on loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore and plans to be installed in that position on Sunday morning, December 29. The Mahtanis hope to leave for Singapore shortly after the new year. May the Lord bless all these plans and preparations (*see the update under CERC news below).

  • The congregation of Cornerstone PRC will vote on Jan.5 for a new pastor from the Council's trio:  Revs. J. Engelsma (Doon PRC), G. Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), and R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC, Spokane, WA).

  • The Consistory of Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) has formed a new trio form which to call a pastor: Revs. H.Bleyenberg (Providence PRC), N.Langerak (Crete PRC), and A.Stewart (Covenant PRC, N.Ireland). Rev. R. Barnhill is bringing the Word there today and next Sunday.
  • The Council of the newly organized Unity PRC has formed a trio of Revs. J. Engelsma, E. Guichelaar, and R. Van Overloop.  The congregation plans to call on Wednesday, December 18.

  • Rev. M. Kortus (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA) is again leading the services in First PRC, Edmonton while Rev. A. Spriensma (PRC home missionary) is in Hope PRC (Redlands, CA) bringing the Word.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

NDecker chapel Dec 2019
Rev. N. Decker (Grandville PRC) leading chapel at seminary this past week.

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary is now entering its fifteenth and final week of regular classes in the first semester in the school year. Next week exams will be held (Dec.16-20). It is a busy time for faculty and students. Continue to pray for the seminary in your daily prayers.
  • The faculty announces that Sem. Josiah Tan (CERC-Singapore) has been licensed to speak a word of edification in the churches. Contact Prof. B. Gritters (rector) for scheduling.

  • The Fall 2019 issue of the PRT Journal is being completed and should be available later this month. Watch for articles based on presentations given in Mexico this past summer and plenty of profitable book reviews.

  • Remember the Seminary's Dordt400 Conference in April of this year? The speeches and presentations given at this event have now been compiled, expanded, and edited (by Prof. R. Cammenga) and form the newly published RFPA book, For God's Glory and the Church's Consolation: 400 Years of the Synod of Dordt. Visit the website to order your copy, or come to the seminary bookstore to find one! And if you are looking for the videos and audios of the speeches, visit this page.

  • Looking for some good Reformed books to read, Bible study materials or seminary publications to use, or perhaps some gifts for the holiday season? Come and visit the seminary's bookstore! We have a variety of Bibles, commentaries, and good books - used and new (including Reformation titles!) - for our members and friends. And you may also make use of our library - here's the link to our online catalog if you wish to search for something to read or use.

  • Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Please remember in your prayers to petition the Lord of the harvest for pastors, and please encourage young men, whom you observe to have the gifts, to consider the ministry. If you wish to listen to a couple of sermons by our professors that address this need, listen to "The (Suffering) Minister's Steadfast Confession" and "The Beautiful Feet of the Gospel Preacher."

Maranatha PRC logo
*Who is the pastor of this PRCP? (see below)

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
    • Rev. A. denHartog and his wife continue to serve the CERC while she is vacant. They plan to be there until Sunday, January 12, 2020.
    • Concerning Rev. J. Mahtani's application to serve in CERC (today's bulletin update): "By now you would have received the news that the application of the Employment Pass for Rev J. Mahtani has been rejected. Though we are sad to receive this reply from MOM, yet we continue to trust in the Lord to direct and lead us in our needs. We have submitted an appeal to MOM to re-access our request. This would take two to three weeks or even longer. We urge you to bring this petition before the Lord to seek His gracious provision for Covenant."
    • Her latest newsletter (October 2019) - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently and may be found on this page. 
  • Concerning the PRC in the Philippines, we may note the following from the bulletins of the Berean PRC, PRC in Bulacan, Maranatha PRC, and Provident CC:
    • Berean PRC: Rev. V. Ibe led the worship services today.
    • *Maranatha PRC: "Rev. R. Smit, our Missionary, will lead us in both services. He will continue teaching the Belgic Confession Lesson 28. D.V."
    • Provident PRC: Rev. D. Holstege led her services today.
    • Denominational News:

~ The PRCP Classis finished its work last November 30. "Among other things, Classis decided to add two new standing committees so that there are now four. Elders Bien and Alex were both appointed to Committee 3 (Finances, Emeritus, Seminary Student Aid). Elder Bien was also appointed to Committee 2 (Missions and Contact with Other Churches). Elder Alex was also elected as the new treasurer of the PRCP. Classis adopted a budget for the operations of the PRCP for 2020 and increased the classical assessment to P150 per family per month."

~ A new mission newsletter was published and distributed this Fall. You may find that October 2019 update here.

~ And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions.

  • The PRC also has a "corresponding relationship" with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of Australia. We remember these brothers and sisters in our prayers and labors also.
    • This year the EPC has a new student attending the PRC seminary. Isaac Peters along with his wife Rebeka and four children are living in West Michigan and Isaac is in the first year of a three-year program.

ReformedBookOutlet
Don't forget to include the Reformed Book Outlet in your gift-giving ideas this month! They have a special sale going on in December according to Hudsonville PRC's bulletin:

The Reformed Book Outlet is having their annual December sale. We have books, Bibles and Bible covers all 25%
off MSRP. This is a great time to add a few good reads to your religious library or help someone to build theirs!
Check us out on Facebook and Instagram to see highlights of some of the books we carry.

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • Do you have an interest in good Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine? Visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association's website (www.rfpa.org), where you will find information on books in all major Christian categories, as well as on the bi-monthly periodical, the Standard Bearer.  Don't forget that these books and magazine make for great gifts!

  • If you are in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing, visit the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

RWH Logo 2019

  • Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
    • From October to January (2020) the RWH welcomes Rev. W. Bruinsma of our Pittsburgh PRC to the microphone. He is doing a series on women in the Bible, with today's message being "Hannah's Prayer for a Son," based on 1 Samuel 1:9-18. Listen to the broadcast on the station near you or visit the links provided here to listen to this program.
    • From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee:

~ Have you seen our recent flyer passed out last month in the PRC? If you haven't, you may find a copy attached to this news post.
~ Special RWH newsletter note:
Did you know that Reformed Witness Hour messages are downloaded each month by saints all over the world—saints living in South Africa, Cambodia, Nigeria, and China? If you would like to stay informed about the reach of this distinctly Reformed radio and internet ministry and about ways you can support this witness, sign up at http://eepurl.com/gikNsL for a bimonthly newsletter.A new Spanish edition of the RWH has been produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Why not check it out - and help spread the word!

 adult bible 1

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • December 15: The Young Calvinists will be host a Christmas singspiration for young people and young adults in Trinity Protestant Reformed Church at 7:45 p.m. There will be food in the narthex afterwards. Come celebrate the birth of our Savior with us!

  • Please make note of next year's Protestant Reformed Young People's Convention date and location to be hosted by Georgetown PRC. The convention will be held Aug 10-14, 2020 at the Lake Williamson Camp in Carlinville, IL. Visit prcconvention.com for more information. Chaperone registration will open January 1, and conventioneer registration opens March 15.
  • THE EVANGELICAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA would love to invite any young people and young adults, aged 13 and up, to their biennial youth camp. This youth camp will be held in Brisbane, Australia from the 28th of December 2019 – 3rd January 2020. Rev. Martyn McGeown from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship of the Republic of Ireland will be our guest speaker, taking the camp on the topic of ‘The Christian’s Armour’ (From Ephesians 6). Amongst other activities, the theme night will be on the “Australian Bush”. The cost for the camp is $250 AUD (approx $170 USD). This is a great time to meet other young people, fellowship with them and learn about our Saviour. Please contact Megan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the full flyer + registration form, or for any additional questions/information.

cog members 2018
Photo of part of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship (2018)

PRC MISSION NEWS:

Domestic Labors:

  • Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond through Byron Center PRC, the calling church. Currently he is bringing the Word in Hope PRC, Redlands, CA.
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown is preaching the gospel in the LRF today.
    • From the LRF bulletin: "Pastor will speak at the Youth Camp of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia, which shall take place from Saturday 28th December to Friday 3rd January. He will give seven speeches/sermons and then preach in Brisbane EPC on Sundays 5th and 12th January."
    • The last mission newsletter from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship - The September 2019 edition - may be found here.

Philippine Missions:

  • From Maranatha PRC bulletin today re the work in S. Negros Occidental:

    Let us pray for Rev. Daniel and Sharon Kleyn, our Missionary couple who visits in Sipalay, Negros Occidental monthly. They have spent the day with the congregations of two of the pastors who normally attend the monthly classes: the Reformed Free Church in Inayauan (Pastor Ezekias Rosal) and the Reformed Church in Sialay, near Sipalay (Pastor Eduardo Donasco). The plan is to expand the work in Negros from teaching pastors to also preaching in their congregations and guiding them to organize properly as Reformed churches. All are very excited about this development because the SNO pastors are very enthusiastic and committed brethren who are eager to develop their churches.

  • The newest Philippines mission newsletter has been published and posted! The October 2019 issue may be read here.
  • For more on life and activities in the Philippines from the personal perspective of the missionary's, visit the Kleyn's blog, the Holstege's, and the Smits!

Let us continue in prayer to the Lord for the fulfillment of the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful and encouraged in all their labors.

India:

Myanmar:

  • Let us also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar; for his latest report, visit this page.
Read more...

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, December 1-7, 2019 *(Updated)

John 1 1On this forty-eighth Lord's Day of 2019, December 1, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be reported.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

…So Jesus Christ is said to be their consolation, signifying that although the world may hate and detest us, although we may be poor simpletons whom others rob, devour, and gobble up, although men may abuse and revile us, Christ alone is sufficient to console us. Every sadness will vanish when we understand that God sent his Son so that we might share in his blessings. That is the meaning of the word ‘consolation’. ~ John Calvin, Sermon "Christ Our Consolation" (Luke 2:25-28)

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • On November 24 Rev. R. Barnhill (Peace PRC) declined the call from Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB). Today Rev. T. Miersma is once again bringing the Word in Immanuel PRC.

  • The Consistory of Kalamazoo PRC has formed a trio for calling a new pastor (with a view to Rev. M. DeVries approaching emeritation): Rev. Ryan Barnhill, Rev. Heath Bleyenberg, Rev. Erik Guichelaar. A congregational meeting is scheduled for today after the evening service D.V. UPDATE: Rev. E. Guichelaar has received this call.

  • On Nov.3, Rev. J. Mahtani (Cornerstone PRC) accepted the call from Grandvillle PRC to serve as minister on loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore. Next Sunday (Dec.8) he will preach his farewell sermon at Cornerstone. Grandville PRC will install Rev. Mahtani as minister-on-loan to Singapore on Sunday morning, December 29 and he will preach at the evening service. The Mahtanis hope to leave for Singapore shortly after the new year. May the Lord bless all these plans and preparations.

  • The Council of Cornerstone PRC has formed a trio from which to call a new pastor, now that Rev. J. Mahtani has accepted the call to serve in our sister church in Singapore:  Revs. J. Engelsma, G. Eriks, and R. Kleyn. The congregational meeting is planned for December 8.
  • The Council of the newly organized Unity PRC has formed a trio of Revs. J. Engelsma, E. Guichelaar, and R. Van Overloop.  The congregation plans to call on December 18.

  • Rev. M. Kortus (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA) is leading the services in First PRC, Edmonton while Rev. A. Spriensma (PRC home missionary) is in Hope PRC (Redlands, CA) bringing the Word.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

RickN teacher talk Nov 2019
A recent seminary Friday lunch discussion centered on PR Christian School teacher training with administrator Rick Noorman

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary is now entering its fourteenth week of the first semester in the school year, and faculty, students, and staff remain busy with their various tasks. The students had the first draft of their maor papers due this past week, as the semester winds down and exams loom. Continue to pray for the seminary in your daily prayers.
  • The faculty announces that Sem. Josiah Tan (CERC-Singapore) has been licensed to speak a word of edification in the churches. Contact Prof. B. Gritters (rector) for scheduling.

  • The Fall 2019 issue of the PRT Journal is being completed and should be available in December. Watch for articles based on presentations given in Mexico this past summer and plenty of profitable book reviews.

  • Remember the Seminary's Dordt400 Conference in April of this year? The speeches and presentations given at this event have now been compiled, expanded, and edited (by Prof. R. Cammenga) and form the newly published RFPA book, For God's Glory and the Church's Consolation: 400 Years of the Synod of Dordt. Visit the website to order your copy, or come to the seminary bookstore to find one! And if you are looking for the videos and audios of the speeches, visit this page.

  • Looking for some good Reformed books to read, Bible study materials or seminary publications to use, or perhaps some gifts for the holiday season? Come and visit the seminary's bookstore! We have a variety of Bibles, commentaries, and good books - used and new (including Reformation titles!) - for our members and friends. And you may also make use of our library - here's the link to our online catalog if you wish to search for something to read or use.

  • Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Please remember in your prayers to petition the Lord of the harvest for pastors, and please encourage young men, whom you observe to have the gifts, to consider the ministry. If you wish to listen to a couple of sermons by our professors that address this need, listen to "The (Suffering) Minister's Steadfast Confession" and "The Beautiful Feet of the Gospel Preacher."

CPRC News Header
*The November issue of "Covenant Reformed News" was published this week - be sure to read it! (see below)

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
    • Rev. A. denHartog and his wife continue to serve the CERC while she is vacant. They plan to be there until Sunday, January 12, 2020.
    • Concerning Rev. J. Mahtani's acceptance of the call to serve them: "Please continue to keep Rev Mahtani and his family in prayer as they make the necessary preparation to relocate from the US to Singapore. There are many changes that the Mahtanis need to make, in order to adapt and adjust to the life in Singapore. But first and foremost, pray that the local authorities in Singapore will grant a favourable reply to Rev Mahtani’s Employment Pass application."
    • Her latest newsletter (October 2019) - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently and may be found on this page. 
  • Concerning the PRC in the Philippines, we may note the following from the bulletins of the Berean PRC, PRC in Bulacan, Maranatha PRC, and Provident CC:
    • Berean PRC: Rev. R. Smit (PRC missionary) led the worship services today. "Rev. Ibe will lead our brothers and sisters in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija in their worship service today."
    • Maranatha PRC: "Rev. L. Trinidad, our Pastor will lead us in both services. He will teach us the Canons of Dordt. D. V."
    • Denominational News:

~ The PRCP Classis held their continued meeting yesterday (November 30) in Provident PRC.

~ A new mission newsletter was published and distributed this month. You may find that October 2019 update here.

~ And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions.

  • *The PRC also has a "corresponding relationship" with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of Australia. We remember these brothers and sisters in our prayers and labors also.
    • This year the EPC has a new student attending the PRC seminary. Isaac Peters along with his wife Rebeka and four children are living in West Michigan and Isaac is in the first year of a three-year program.

ReformedBookOutlet
Don't forget to include the Reformed Book Outlet in your gift-giving this month!

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • Do you have an interest in good Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine? Visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association's website (www.rfpa.org), where you will find information on books in all major Christian categories, as well as on the bi-monthly periodical, the Standard Bearer.  Don't forget that these books and magazine make for great gifts!

  • If you are in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing, visit the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.
  • Looking for a study Bible or Bible study resources this Fall? What about ideas for the holiday season? Visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville! The bookstore has plenty of other good reading materials too, as well as music and cards.

RWH Logo 2019

  • Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
    • From October to January (2020) the RWH welcomes Rev. W. Bruinsma of our Pittsburgh PRC to the microphone. He is doing a series on women in the Bible, with today's message being "Ruth's Vow," based on Ruth 1:16,17. Listen to the broadcast on the station near you or visit the links provided here to listen to this program.
    • From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee:

~ Have you seen our recent flyer passed out last month in the PRC? If you haven't, you may find a copy attached to this news post.
~ Special RWH newsletter note:
Did you know that Reformed Witness Hour messages are downloaded each month by saints all over the world—saints living in South Africa, Cambodia, Nigeria, and China? If you would like to stay informed about the reach of this distinctly Reformed radio and internet ministry and about ways you can support this witness, sign up at http://eepurl.com/gikNsL for a bimonthly newsletter.A new Spanish edition of the RWH has been produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Why not check it out - and help spread the word!

 SS logo
There's a new issue of Salt Shakers out - November 2019! Have you started reading it yet?

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • December 15: The Young Calvinists will be host a Christmas singspiration for young people and young adults in Trinity Protestant Reformed Church at 7:45 p.m. There will be food in the narthex afterwards. Come celebrate the birth of our Savior with us!

  • Please make note of next year's Protestant Reformed Young People's Convention date and location to be hosted by Georgetown PRC. The convention will be held Aug 10-14, 2020 at the Lake Williamson Camp in Carlinville, IL. Visit prcconvention.com for more information. Chaperone registration will open January 1, and conventioneer registration opens March 15.
  • THE EVANGELICAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA would love to invite any young people and young adults, aged 13 and up, to their biennial youth camp. This youth camp will be held in Brisbane, Australia from the 28th of December 2019 – 3rd January 2020. Rev. Martyn McGeown from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship of the Republic of Ireland will be our guest speaker, taking the camp on the topic of ‘The Christian’s Armour’ (From Ephesians 6). Amongst other activities, the theme night will be on the “Australian Bush”. The cost for the camp is $250 AUD (approx $170 USD). This is a great time to meet other young people, fellowship with them and learn about our Saviour. Please contact Megan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the full flyer + registration form, or for any additional questions/information.

fellowship dinner SNegros Oct 2019
Fellowship dinner with saints in Southern Negros Occidental on a recent visit of the Kleyns (Ocotber 2019)

PRC MISSION NEWS:

Domestic Labors:

  • Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond through Byron Center PRC, the calling church. According to BC-PRC's bulletin this week, "The Dorr Bible Study meets this Thursday, December 5, at 7:30 PM. We plan to take up our discussion beginning at John 9:8. Please join us and bring friends or neighbors along to the library in Dorr!"
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown is preaching the gospel in the LRF today.
    • From the LRF bulletin: "The special lecture on "The Canon of Sacred Scripture" is now available on our website."
    • The latest mission newsletter from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship is now available! The September 2019 edition may be found here.

Philippine Missions:

Let us continue in prayer to the Lord for the fulfillment of the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful and encouraged in all their labors.

India:

Myanmar:

  • Let us also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar; for his latest report, visit this page.
Read more...

Reformed Witness Hour Messages for December 2019

RWH Logo 2019

First PRC of Grand Rapids, MI and the Reformed Witness Hour Committee announce the messages scheduled for December 2019 on the RWH radio/Internet program.

This month we are blessed to have once again Rev. W. Bruinsma, pastor of Pittsburgh PRC (PA). He continues a special series on "Women in the Bible," beginning this month with Ruth. Also included are special Christmas and Old Year's messages. Be sure to tune in for these important messages. The schedule for this month is laid out below and also attached in pdf form.

WBruinsma 2017

December 1 - Ruth's Vow, Ruth 1:16,17

December 8 - Hannah's Prayer for a Son, 1 Samuel 1:9-18

December 15 - Abigail Pleads with David, 1 Samuel 25:28-31

December 22 - Elizabeth's Inspired Revelation, Luke 1:39-45

December 29 - God's Faithfulness, 1 Thessalonians 5:24

You are encouraged to listen to these important messages and to let others know about them too. Help spread the word about the Reformed Witness Hour, now in its 79th year of broadcasting the truths of God's sovereign, particular, efficacious grace!

Visit our website for the latest podcast and for other news and information!

And don't forget our Spanish programs on YouTube!

RWH Facebook image

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

PO Box 1230, Grand Rapids MI, 49501 | reformedwitnesshour.org | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you wish to be added to the mailing list to receive the printed booklet of the messages each month, send an email to Judi Doezema at doezema at prca.org.

*Special RWH newsletter note: Did you know that Reformed Witness Hour messages are downloaded each month by saints all over the world—saints living in South Africa, Cambodia, Nigeria, and China? If you would like to stay informed about the reach of this distinctly Reformed radio and internet ministry and about ways you can support this witness, sign up at http://eepurl.com/gikNsL for a bimonthly newsletter.

Read more...

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

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Contact Details

Denomination

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  • Reading Sermon Library
  • Taped Sermon Library

Synodical Officers

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Synodical Committees

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  • Emeritus Committee
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Contact/Missions

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Classical Officers

Classis East
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Classis West
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