Missions of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, September 1-7, 2019

Ps48 14On this thirty-fifth Lord's Day of 2019, September, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be mentioned.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • Last evening emeritus PRC minister Rev. Gise Van Baren was delivered from his earthly afflictions and translated into everlasting glory. He was ordained in 1956 and served these PRC's until 1999, when he became emeritus: Doon, IA - 1956; Randolph, WI - 1962; First, Grand Rapids, MI - 1965; Hudsonville, MI - 1977; Loveland, CO - 1994-99. We thank God for the faithful service and godly example of this servant in our churches for many years and rejoice in his heavenly reward by the pure grace of God. May God comfort his wife and family in this time of personal and earthly loss for them. "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them." (Rev.14:13) Funeral arrangements are as follows: Visitation for the family will be Tuesday, Sept.3 from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at Trinity PRC (Hudsonville, MI) The funeral will be Wednesday Sept.4 at 3 p.m. in Trinity PRC.

  • Cand. M. Kortus has been considering calls to Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB, received July 14) and to Hope PRC (Redlands, CA, received July 21). Today he anounced his acceptance of the call to Hope PRC and therefore his decline of the call to Immanuel.
  • Cand. J. Maatman has been considering the call to Southeast PRC (Grand Rapids, MI, received July 21). Today he announced his acceptance of this call.

  • Southeast PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) extended a call to Candidate J. Maatman (July 21). Today, Prof. R. Cammenga and Rev. J. Holstege are leading her worship services. And a reminder: The congregation is currently worshiping at Adams Christian School in Wyoming, MI, while she looks for a new location.

  • Rev. T. Miermsa is leading Immanuel PRC in worship today. For the next two weeks Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC) will.
  • Rev. J. Langerak is supplying the pulpit of Hope PRC Redlands today and next week.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

PRC Synod 2019:

  • On June 30 Rev. Brian Huizinga (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA) accepted Synod 2019's call to serve as Professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament (replacing Prof. R. Cammenga within five years). His installation as professor of theology is set for Wednesday Sept.4 during a divine worship service at Grandville PRC (7 pm).
  • The PRC Synod of 2019 declared Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman candidates for the ministry of the Word and sacraments in the PRC. They are eligible for a call on or after July 13, 2019.
  • Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Nine of our 39 active ministers are 63 years of age and older. The next prospect for seminary graduates in our churches is not for another four years. Then those nine ministers will be 67 and older. 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.

Opening chapel 2019
Opening chapel at PRC Seminary, Monday morning August 26, 2019

PRC Seminary News:

  • This past week seminary began its first semester of the new school year. Monday morning August 26 was chapel/introduction/assignment day, while classes began on Tuesday August 27. The schedule for the first semester has been posted on the seminary's website. While most of the building is put "back together" after the renovation project this summer, there are still some things pending (library furniture and archives room shelving, workspace, etc.). Pray for the faculty, students, and staff as we have made a new beginning. The seminary is open daily (M-F, 8-5) and staff is available to assist with any needs.

  • Note for seminary course auditors: Seminary classes began for the first semester on Tuesday, August 27. Three classes are open for auditors. For Prof. R. Cammenga: NT History (the intertestamental period to the Passion Week) and Dogmatics (Ecclesiology, the doctrine of the church). For Prof. R. Dykstra: Reformation Church History.  If you are interested in attending, please contact the seminary secretary for the meeting times, at 616-531-1490.

  • On June 30 Rev. Brian Huizinga (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA) accepted Synod 2019's call to serve as Professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament (replacing Prof. R. Cammenga within five years). His installation as professor of theology is set for this Wednesday Sept.4 during a divine worship service at Grandville PRC (7 pm). This will also be the seminary's convocation, marking the beginning of a new season of instruction, with the returning and new students introduced. Those in West Michigan are encouraged to join us at this special evening. For those outside of the Grand Rapids, MI area, the service will be live-streamed on Grandville PRC's Sermonaudio channel.

  • The seminary's two 2019 graduates, Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman, sustained their synodical examinations at the PRC 2019 Synod and were declared candidates for the ministry of the Word and sacraments in the PRC, eligible for a call on or after July 13, 2019. Both have now received calls from vacant PRC congregations. We praise God for this evidence of His confirmation of the call they felt when they began seminary.

  • The Spring 2019 issue of the PR Theological Journal is currently available! For back issues, visit the seminary journal page. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, contact the seminary's secretary. In addition, a new index to all past issues has been posted on the Journal's archives page.
  • Be sure to visit the new PRC seminary website! Visit the site and check out the various pages, including the new blog - and sign up to receive seminary news by email! The library is also online there (under Resources). If you are looking for a particular book to read or use, or just want to browse, visit the library page.

Chr education 1b

PR Christian Schools:

In the past few weeks our PR Christian schools opened their doors for a new year of instructing the children of God's covenant. For more information on these schools and their foundational principles, visit this section of the PRC website. To learn more about the Federation of PR Christian Schools, visit this page. Let us commit to praying for our children, teachers, administrators, staffs, and Boards during this coming year. To read a profitable introduction to why PRC parents maintain Christian day schools, read this short resource.

RefdNewsAsia Banner
*See note below for latest issue

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
    • Rev. L. Trinidad is scheduled to supply preaching and teaching to the CERC on Sept.8. After that, Rev. A. denHartog will return.
    • Her latest newsletter (August 2019) - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently posted and may be found on this page.
  • Concerning our newest sister, 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. Smit will lead us in our worship services today.
    • Provident CC: Rev. D. Holstege will preach both times for PPRC today.\
    • Missions: Let us uphold Rev. Ibe and his family in our prayers as they prepare to move and begin mission work with the saints in PRFA, Albuera, Leyte. The installation of Rev. Ibe as Missionary/pastor is scheduled on November 17, 2019 at 3P.M. at PRC in Bulacan, the Lord willing.
    • And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions (bulletins).
  • *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.

The Sovereign God and Mans Will 180x300
Who really is sovereign in this world, God or man? Read this helpful resource!

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • You can now listen to the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dordt on audio! Visit the links provided to hear the Catechism, the Confession, and the Canons. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.

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!
    • This week (September 1, 2019) we are airing "Whosoever Will May Come" by Herman Hoeksema to celebrate 4000 broadcasts of the RWH. This is the original audio from October 15, 1944. Be sure to tune in on September 1 to hear this great message on salvation by sovereign grace! (or visit the RWH website linked here to listen anytime).
    • From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee: Have you checked out our newsletters? If you would like to receive them digitally in your emailbox, please sign up for our bimonthly newsletter here: ehttp://epurl.com/gikNsL.

    • 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!

 BL April 2014 Page 1
Do you receive and read the Beacon Lights? Do you visit their website?

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • The 2019 PRYP's Convention is now history (held Aug.12-16 at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI.). Southwest and Providence PRCs hosted this years' event. For pictures and more visit this YouTube channel.

  • The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted (August 2019 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.

Lim city center table 2019
*An aspect of the missions/evangelism work in Limerick, Ireland

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 Byron Center PRC's bulletin today we find this note: "The Dorr Bible Study meets this Thursday, September 5, at 7:30 PM. Our discussion will begin at John 7:40. Join us at the Dorr library with your friends and neighbors to study God's Word."

United Kingdom:

  • *Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown is preaching today and will lead the Bible study Tuesday 8 PM in Corbally.
    • The March 2019 newsletter of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship mission station was received and posted recently.

Philippine Missions:

  • PRC in Bulacan, (the calling church of the mission work in Albuera, Leyte) extended the call to Rev. Ibe (Berean PRC) to serve as missionary/pastor to this field. Rev. Ibe has accepted this call, which means that the PRCP will have its first missionary as a denomination. We rejoice with them in God's good provision of a man for this work. The installation of Rev. Ibe as Missionary/pastor is scheduled on November 17, 2019 at 3P.M. at PRC in Bulacan, the Lord willing.
  • The last Philippines mission newsletter was received and posted in July 2019 and may be found on this PRC webpage.
  • 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...

Reformed News Asia - August 2019

 
Issue 55 - August 2019
Pamphlets

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click hereto view our catalogue of pamphlets.

Click here to make an order.

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

From the RFPA website:

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

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

22 Sep 2019 - CERC 32nd Anniversary Celebration

Sep 2019 - Gospel Meeting

Nov 2019 - CERC Reformation Day Conference

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Covenant Reformed News - August 2019

Covenant Reformed News


August 2019 • Volume XVII, Issue 16



Confessing Christ as “The Lord Our Righteousness”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Idea of the Organic in Scripture (1)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Thursday,
5 September, 2019
 7:15 PM


Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart

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

Subject:
The Peace Offering


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

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

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

www.cprc.co.uk

cprc.co.uk/south-wales-lectures


Reformation Day
Lecture


William Tyndale: 
English Bible Translator


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

Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart


Date:
Friday, 25 October
 
7:30 PM

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

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

All are invited! 
www.cprc.co.uk
 

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

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

£22.00 (inc. P&P)

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

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


Celebrating 400 Years of the Synod of Dordt 

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


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

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

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

£10/box set (inc. P&P)

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

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!
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Reformed Witness Hour Messages for September 2019

RWH Logo 2019

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

HoeksemaThis month is unique in that we have three different speakers on our program. For our first program this month we are celebrating our 4000th broadcast and rebroadcasting a message our first radio pastor delivered on the program in October of 1944. It is a powerful sovereign grace message, and we pray you are edified by it and see that we are still committed to that same gospel message. Second, Rev. C. Griess, pastor of First PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) concludes his series on the five-points of Calvinism in connection with the 400th anniversary of the Synod of Dordt. And third, we are replaying some classic messages from our long-time radio voice, Rev. C. Haak.

September 1 - Whosoever Will May Come, Rev.22:17 - Rev. Herman Hoeksema

September 8 - Preservation of the Saints (2), John 10:27-29 - Rev. Cory Griess (conclusion of series)

September 15 - Youth, Remember, Ecclesiastes 12:1 - Rev. Carl Haak

September 22 - Spiritual Lethargy, Song of Solomon 5 - Rev. Carl Haak

September 29 - The True Christian Life, 2 Timothy 4:7,8 - Rev. Carl Haak

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 78th 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!

*We also have a new station in southern California on which we are broadcasting! Here are the details and website: Saturday’s 9:30p – PST on KPRZ 1210 AM & 106.1 FM.  San Diego’s # 1 Christian Teaching Talk station - www.kprz.com

Spread the word and listen in if you are in that area!

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.

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The Carefully Weighed Step

The Carefully Weighed Step

Brian D. Dykstra, teacher at Hope PR Christian School in Walker, MI

“Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil” (Prov. 4:26-27).

Because out of the heart are the issues of life, Solomon has warned his children to keep it with all diligence. To do that, he has instructed us to put away a froward mouth and keep our eyes looking right on the goal of serving God. He finishes his admonitions on how to keep the heart by telling us that we must ponder the path of our feet.

Scripture often compares our lives to walking a path. We do not walk any random path, nor is God pleased when we walk a path because we believe this way will provide us with earthly pleasures. God has clearly told us the goal of our path is to love Him and the neighbour. Our path is not easy; however, we walk this path to show our gratitude to our Saviour.

Having this goal before our eyes, we may now ponder the best path of achieving the goal. It does not do us any good to weigh which would be the best path after the journey is finished. God also warns us there are dangers to the right and left of this path; therefore, we must be vigilant.

My wife and I camped in northern Arizona recently. We had rented a Ford Expedition which a clever handyman had converted to have a bed in the back. We took public transportation from the airport to pick up the vehicle. We were conspicuous to the locals as we were the only passengers with luggage. Once a fellow passenger discovered our plans to camp at the Grand Canyon, he warned us that in the past months two tourists had fallen to their deaths from the canyon’s rim. Clearly, while hiking the rim of the Grand Canyon, we would do well to ponder the path of our feet.

During my years of summer employment, there were times I served as the road inspector when a new subdivision was built. Excavators removed trees, rocks and other obstacles. They scraped away the high places and used the removed dirt to fill in the low places. Workers compacted the subsurface. Finally, after the blacktop was laid, a steamroller smoothed and compacted the surface. Knowing something of all the planning and work which went into those newly-finished roads, I thought they were beautiful.

We have many obstacles in our spiritual path. Our pastors send us away from God’s house each Sunday with the benediction of our Lord’s peace. Are we then anxious about the cares of daily living? Do we desire the things of this earth to the extent we have our treasures here instead of in heaven? Does our faith waver? Yes, God has given us great promises and we love them, but, you know, there are all of these factors to consider which seem to make these promises impossible to fulfil! We must remove these trees of anxiousness and rocks of doubt. God’s grace rolls smooth the way of faith. The way of faith, marked out by God, is truly beautiful, and we must not forget that God blessed us with peace through Christ crucified when we left His presence in public worship.

We now come to the word, “let.” It is a command. This is not to allow something to happen, as in “Let me help you.” This “let” will cause some action, as in “Let there be light!” When we ponder our path, our ways will be established, that is, erect, upright in the eyes of God. We will have no doubt about the end of the path. We are assured that just as God’s effectual Word created light, the path we walk leads to everlasting fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ. This will be true of all our ways.

We have thought about our path and it is established. Now we must not turn from it to the right or the left. God has given His Word to us. We may not take away nor add anything to it. Which way is more dangerous? Ignoring portions of God’s Word leads us to careless, ungodly living. Adding to God’s law leads us to Pharisaism. We see the dangers of both in our first parents. We can almost see this beautiful, young couple at the dawn of life. They had one commandment, do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So, they thought, just to be safe, let us make a rule for ourselves that we will not even touch the tree. Then eating it will not be a problem. However, at the instigation of Satan, Eve soon ignored the rule about touching the tree. Experiencing no punishment for breaking their rule, she soon advanced to disobeying the one prohibition God had given and the punishment was great.

Finally, we are commanded to “remove thy foot from evil.” Foot is singular. We must not take even the first step off the good path which God marks out for us. We must not ever underestimate the power of sin. How often has that first step into evil proven to be more disastrous than the last misstep which led to the plunge off the edge of the Grand Canyon? The first taste of the forbidden fruit, the first touch of the coveted Babylonian garment, the first hearing of the flattering lie from the wicked woman on her street corner, the first lustful look at Bathsheba and the first smell of the sacrifice offered to the golden calves have led to great spiritual consequences. The danger to us, and especially our young people, is constant. Satan never gives us a day off, so we must always be pondering the path of our feet.

May God be pleased to use our Christian schools to give His covenant children the wisdom they need to ponder the path of their feet and remove their foot from evil. God will establish their ways, ways which lead to everlasting fellowship with Christ in heaven, where the paths are paved with gold.

Read more...

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, August 25-31, 2019

Prov9 10On this thirty-fourth Lord's Day of 2019, August 25, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be mentioned.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • On August 18 Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon IA PRC) declined the call from Grandville PRC (received July 11) to serve as minister on loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore.

  • Cand. M. Kortus continues to consider the calls to Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB, received July 14) and to Hope PRC (Redlands, CA, received July 21).
  • Cand. J. Maatman is considering the call to Southeast PRC (Grand Rapids, MI, received July 21).

  • Southeast PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) extended a call to Candidate J. Maatman (July 21). Today, Prof. R. Cammenga and Rev. W. Langerak are leading her worship services. And a reminder: The congregation is currently worshiping at Adams Christian School in Wyoming, MI, while she looks for a new location.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

PRC Synod 2019:

  • On June 30 Rev. Brian Huizinga (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA) accepted Synod 2019's call to serve as Professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament (replacing Prof. R. Cammenga within five years). His installation as professor of theology is set for Wednesday Sept.4 during a divine worship service at Grandville PRC (7 pm).
  • The PRC Synod of 2019 declared Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman candidates for the ministry of the Word and sacraments in the PRC. They are eligible for a call on or after July 13, 2019.
  • Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Nine of our 39 active ministers are 63 years of age and older. The next prospect for seminary graduates in our churches is not for another four years. Then those nine ministers will be 67 and older. 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.

SemCornerstone 2
PRC Seminary cornerstone

library reset Aug 2019
Seminary library after its move back in place

PRC Seminary News:

  • This week seminary begins its first semester of the new school year. Monday morning August 26 is chapel/introduction/assignment day, while classes begin on Tuesday August 27. The schedule for the first semester has been posted on the seminary's website. While most of the building is put "back together" after the renovation project this summer (see picture above), there are still some things pending (student study carrels, furniture, and archives room shelving). Pray for the faculty, students, and staff as we make a new beginning. The seminary is open daily (M-F, 8-5) and staff is available to assist with any needs.

  • Note for seminary course auditors: Seminary classes begin for the first semester on Tuesday, August 27. Three classes are open for auditors. For Prof. R. Cammenga: NT History (the intertestamental period to the Passion Week) and Dogmatics (Ecclesiology, the doctrine of the church). For Prof. R. Dykstra: Reformation Church History.  If you are interested in attending, please contact the seminary secretary for the meeting times, at 616-531-1490.

  • On June 30 Rev. Brian Huizinga (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA) accepted Synod 2019's call to serve as Professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament (replacing Prof. R. Cammenga within five years). His installation as professor of theology is set for Wednesday Sept.4 during a divine worship service at Grandville PRC (7 pm). This will also be the seminary's convocation, marking the beginning of a new season of instruction, with the returning and new students introduced. Those in West Michigan are encouraged to join us at this special evening. For those outside of the Grand Rapids, MI area, the service will be live-streamed on Grandville PRC's Sermonaudio channel.

  • The seminary's two 2019 graduates, Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman, sustained their synodical examinations at the PRC 2019 Synod and were declared candidates for the ministry of the Word and sacraments in the PRC, eligible for a call on or after July 13, 2019. Both have now received calls from vacant congregations. We praise God for this evidence of His confirmation of the call they felt when they began seminary.

  • The Spring 2019 issue of the PR Theological Journal is currently available! For back issues, visit the seminary journal page. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, contact the seminary's secretary. In addition, a new index to all past issues has been posted on the Journal's archives page.
  • Be sure to visit the new PRC seminary website! There are many new features and updates, including a blog. Visit the site and check out the various pages - and sign up to receive seminary news by email! The library is also online there (under Resources). If you are looking for a particular book to read or use, or just want to browse, visit the library page.

In view of the start of the new semester, work has progressed rapidly on the seminary addition/library renovation project (new archives and offices). This past week the moving of the moving of the books and shelves was completed (see photo above) and the rest of the rooms were given a good cleaning and rest for classes and other seminary functions.

Chr education 1b

PR Christian Schools:

This past week and this week most of our PR Christian schools opened their doors for a new year of instrcuting the children of God's covenant. For more information on these schools and their foundational principles, visit this section of the PRC website. To learn more about the Federation of PR Christian Schools, visit this page. Let us commit to praying for our children, teachers, administrators, staffs, and Boards during this coming year. To read a profitable introduction to why PRC parents maintain Christian day schools, read this short resource.

PRCP Seminary opening day Aug 2019
*Opening day of the new PRC-Philippines' seminary this past week. The young man in the middle (Jeremiah) is the full time student. The other two are taking Greek for now.

Our three missionaries are functioning as instructors. May God richly bless this humble beginning of the PRCP's seminary training.

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
    • Today's bulletin contains these important notices: "As you are aware by now that that Rev Joshua Engelsma has declined the call to serve as MOL in CERC. Though we are disappointed, but we must not grow weary to wait upon the Lord to provide us a Minister to serve in CERC. We have prayed and we trust that this is His will for us at this time. We continue to search out His ways for us. “Isaiah 55:8-11: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.“
    • Rev. L. Trinidad is scheduled to supply preaching and teaching to the CERC on Sept.8. After that, Rev. A. denHartog will return.
    • Her latest newsletter (June 2019) - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently posted and may be found on this page.
  • Concerning our newest sister, 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. Ibe will lead us in our worship services today. Rev. Smit will lead us in our worship services next Sunday, the Lord willing. ...Today, Elder Eric Mescallādo will lead the saints in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija in their worship service. We pray for God’s continued blessings as they hear and receive the proclamation of His Word!"
    • Provident CC: "Rev. Kleyn will preach both times for us today. Next Sunday, Lord willing, Rev. Holstege will preach both times for PPRC. Today Rev. Holstege will teach the Heidelberg Catechism for BLCC in Guiguinto and lead them in a Reformed worship service for the first time. After lunch, he will begin teaching them the Church Order. Deacon Jun Armas will accompany him."
    • PRCP Seminary: "Beginning this Tuesday (August 27), the following classes at our seminary will be open to visitors: Hermeneutics (taught by Rev. Holstege), Church History (taught by Rev. Kleyn), and Dogmatics (taught by Rev. Smit). Visitors should be punctual, reserve class time for the students, and notify the instructors a day or two in advance before attending."
    • Missions: Let us uphold Rev. Ibe and his family in our prayers as they prepare to move and begin mission work with the saints in PRFA, Albuera, Leyte. The installation of Rev. Ibe as Missionary/pastor is scheduled on November 17, 2019 at 3P.M. at PRC in Bulacan, the Lord willing.
    • And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions (bulletins).
  • *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.

2SundayServices 1
Why does the PRCA have two worship services on Sunday? Read this helpful resource!

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • You can now listen to the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dordt on audio! Visit the links provided to hear the Catechism, the Confession, and the Canons. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.

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!
    • This week Rev. C. Griess (pastor of First PRC in Grand Rapids, MI) continues a three-month commitment to the program with a special series on the Five Points of Calvinism (for Dordt400) under the theme"Preservation of the Saints" (1)(which you may listen to at this link).
    • From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee: Have you checked out our newsletters? If you would like to receive them digitally in your emailbox, please sign up for our bimonthly newsletter here: ehttp://epurl.com/gikNsL. The latest newsletter contained this interesting information: *Mark your calendar for our 4000th broadcast! On September 1, 2019 we will be airing "Whosoever Will May Come," by Rev. Herman Hoeksema to celebrate 4000 broadcasts of the RWH. This is the original audio from October 1944. Be sure to tune in on September 1 to hear this great message on salvation by sovereign grace!

    • 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!

 Yg Calvinists
Do you follow the blog of "Young Calvinists"?

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • The 2019 PRYP's Convention is now history (held Aug.12-16 at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI.). Southwest and Providence PRCs hosted this years' event. For pictures and more visit this YouTube channel.

  • The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted (August 2019 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.

Myanmar map 2
*Are you praying for Rev. Titus and his labors in this country? (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 Byron Center PRC's bulletin today we find this note: "This weekend, Pastor and Alva Spriensma are visiting a contact that we have in Ohio."

United Kingdom:

  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • After a pulpit exchange with Rev. A. Stewart last week, Rev. M. McGeown is preaching today and will lead the Bible study Tuesday 8 PM in Corbally.
    • The March 2019 newsletter of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship mission station was received and posted recently.

Philippine Missions:

  • PRC in Bulacan, (the calling church of the mission work in Albuera, Leyte) extended the call to Rev. Ibe (Berean PRC) to serve as missionary/pastor to this field. Rev. Ibe has accepted this call, which means that the PRCP will have its first missionary as a denomination. We rejoice with them in God's good provision of a man for this work. The installation of Rev. Ibe as Missionary/pastor is scheduled on November 17, 2019 at 3P.M. at PRC in Bulacan, the Lord willing.
  • The last Philippines mission newsletter was received and posted in July 2019 and may be found on this PRC webpage.
  • 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:

  • Let us remember to pray for the Lord's blessing on Georgetown PRC's labor in Vellore, India.
  • And we remember our sister church's work (Covenant ERC in Singapore) in Kolkata, through Rev. E. Singh. From her bulletin today we find this special notice: "Another very significant milestone in the development of the CERC Fellowship [in Kolkata] is the approval by the Indian Government to officially recognize them as the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of India, CERCI with effect from 1 April 2019. Praise and thanks to God for His doing! We rejoice immensely at this wonderful news! Let’s continue to pray that the Lord will guide CERCI and bless them as they seek to establish themselves as a Church Institute in the near future, the Lord willing."

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, August 18-24, 2019

Colossians 1 16On this thirty-third Lord's Day of 2019, August 18, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be mentioned.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon IA PRC) has been considering the call from Grandville PRC (received July 11) to serve as minister on loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore. Today he announced his decline of this call..

  • Cand. M. Kortus continues to consider the calls to Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB, received July 14) and to Hope PRC (Redlands, CA, received July 21). May the King of the church give him clear guidance with regard to these calls.
  • Cand. J. Maatman is considering the call to Southeast PRC (Grand Rapids, MI, received July 21). May the Lord make plain to him His will.

  • Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) has extended a call to Cand. M. Kortus (July 14). Today her pulpit will be supplied again by Rev. J. Laning of Hull PRC (Iowa).

  • Southeast PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) extended a call to Candidate J. Maatman (July 21). Today, Prof. R. Cammenga and Rev. C. Griess are leading her worship services. And a reminder: The congregation is currently worshiping at Adams Christian School in Wyoming, MI, while she looks for a new location.

  • The delegation sent to Mexico on behalf of First PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) returned this past week. The following note was found in First's bulletin today: "Along with the rest of the team, Rev. Griess, Bryan Pastoor, Lydia Monsma, and Madelyn Monsma returned safely home and to our congregation this past Monday.  The trip was very profitable and enjoyable.  A presentation has already been given to the young people at the convention in Hillsdale.  A report will be given to the council of First PRC and a presentation will be given in due time.  We give thanks to First PRC for supporting this work financially and with prayer."

  • From Byron Center PRC's Council we find this significant note in a recent bulletin: "At the meeting this past Wednesday our Council approved the request of those desiring to organize a daughter church and is forwarding this request to Classis East which will meet on September 11. There are 55 families, 17 individuals and a total of 215 souls that have signed to be part of this new church which, if the Lord wills to be organized, will be named Unity Protestant Reformed Church. We thank our heavenly Father for His blessing upon this work. To God be the glory!"

  • This past week was the PRC Young People's Convention, hosted by Providence and Southwest PRC's. The convention will be held at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI. In SW-PRC's bulletin today we fine this special note: "The 2019 Protestant Reformed Young People’s Convention was a great success! Many thanks to the members of the steering committee, the various subcommittees, helpers, and all who donated or participated in one way or another from both Southwest and Providence. It takes a lot of time and hard work to organize a weeklong event like this, both in years of preparation and in the convention week itself, and all week long the work was carried out with great attitudes. Young people, chaperones, and observers alike have expressed over and over again their appreciation for your service of hosting a week of edifying Christian fellowship for our Young People. THANK YOU!"

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

PRC Synod 2019:

  • On June 30 Rev. Brian Huizinga (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA) accepted Synod 2019's call to serve as Professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament (replacing Prof. R. Cammenga within five years). His installation as professor of theology is set for Wednesday Sept.4 during a divine worship service at Grandville PRC (7 pm).
  • The PRC Synod of 2019 declared Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman candidates for the ministry of the Word and sacraments in the PRC. They are eligible for a call on or after July 13, 2019.
  • Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Nine of our 39 active ministers are 63 years of age and older. The next prospect for seminary graduates in our churches is not for another four years. Then those nine ministers will be 67 and older. 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.

sem sign moon set oct 2018 2

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary's summer break is nearly over, as the second semester begins in just one week - August 26 (freshman orientation is this week Friday, Aug.23) In addition to all the other activities and the renovation project of the summer, faculty and staff continue preparing for the new semester, the schedule for which has been posted on the seminary's website. The seminary is open daily (M-F, 8-5) and staff is available to assist with any needs.

  • Note for seminary course auditors: Seminary classes begin for the first semester on Tuesday, August 27. Three classes are open for auditors. For Prof. R. Cammenga: NT History (the intertestamental period to the Passion Week) and Dogmatics (Ecclesiology, the doctrine of the church). For Prof. R. Dykstra: Reformation Church History.  If you are interested in attending, please contact the seminary secretary for the meeting times, at 616-531-1490.
  • On June 30 Rev. Brian Huizinga (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA) accepted Synod 2019's call to serve as Professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament (replacing Prof. R. Cammenga within five years). His installation as professor of theology is set for Wednesday Sept.4 during a divine worship service at Grandville PRC (7 pm). This will also be the seminary's convocation, marking the beginning of a new season of instruction, with the returning and new students introduced. Those in West Michigan are encouraged to join us at this special evening. For those outside of the Grand Rapids, MI area, the service will be live-streamed on Grandville PRC's Sermonaudio channel.

  • The seminary's two 2019 graduates, Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman, sustained their synodical examinations at the PRC 2019 Synod and were declared candidates for the ministry of the Word and sacraments in the PRC, eligible for a call on or after July 13, 2019. Both have now received calls from vacant congregations. We praise God for this evidence of His confirmation of the call they felt when they began seminary.

  • The Spring 2019 issue of the PR Theological Journal is currently available! For back issues, visit the seminary journal page. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, contact the seminary's secretary. In addition, a new index to all past issues has been posted on the Journal's archives page.
  • Be sure to visit the new PRC seminary website! There are many new features and updates, including a blog. Visit the site and check out the various pages - and sign up to receive seminary news by email! The library is also online there (under Resources). If you are looking for a particular book to read or use, or just want to browse, visit the library page.

library books back Aug 2019

In view of the start of the new semester, work progresses rapidly on the seminary addition/library renovation project (new archives and offices). This past week the carpeting was installed in the library, new offices, and hallways, the books and shelves began to be moved back into the library, Prof. R. Dykstra was moved into his new office, and Rev. B. Huizinga's office further prepared.

PRCP Seminary opening day Aug 2019
*Opening day of the new PRC-Philippines' seminary this past week. The young man in the middle (Jeremiah) is the full time student. The other two are taking Greek for now.

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
    • Today's bulletin contains these important notices: "This past Thursday, 15 August, we bade farewell to Josiah, Hui Qi & family and Marcus, Tze Yan & family. May God bless them richly in their labours as they study for the work of the ministry. Coming Monday, 19 August, we will also be bidding fond farewell to Rev Jonathan Mahtani and his two sons, Levi and Shane. ...We are very grateful to God for them, esp. for Rev Jonathan Mahtani, for his lively preaching of God’s word and also the wonderful time of fellowship we could have with them."
    • Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon, IA PRC) has declined the call to sevre as minister on loan to the CERC (Auhust 18).
    • Her latest newsletter (June 2019) - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently posted and may be found on this page.
  • Concerning our newest sister, 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 has accepted the call to serve as PRCP missionary in Albuera, Leyte. They are making plans to move to that area. Pray for them as they make this transition in terms oflocation and labors.
  • PRC in Bulacan:
  • Maranatha PRC:
  • Provident CC:
    • "Rev. Holstege will preach both times today. Next Sunday, Rev. Kleyn is scheduled to preach both times for PPRC since Rev. Holstege will teach and preach for the Bearers of Light Church in Guiguinto. At their request, he will lead them (for the first time) in a full Reformed worship service. Deacon Jun Armas will accompany him."
    • And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions (bulletins).
  • *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.

sin of gambling
Should Christians gamble? Read this helpful resource!

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • You can now listen to the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dordt on audio! Visit the links provided to hear the Catechism, the Confession, and the Canons read by Elijah Roberts. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.

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!
    • This week Rev. C. Griess (pastor of First PRC in Grand Rapids, MI) continues a three-month commitment to the program with a special series on the Five Points of Calvinism (for Dordt400) under the theme "Irresistible Grace (2)" (which you may listen to at this link).
    • From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee: Have you checked out our newsletters? If you would like to receive them digitally in your emailbox, please sign up for our bimonthly newsletter here: ehttp://epurl.com/gikNsL. The latest newsletter contained this interesting information: *Mark your calendar for our 4000th broadcast! On September 1, 2019 we will be airing "Whosoever Will May Come," by Rev. Herman Hoeksema to celebrate 4000 broadcasts of the RWH. This is the original audio from October 1944. Be sure to tune in on September 1 to hear this great message on salvation by sovereign grace!

    • 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!

 Yg Calvinists

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • The 2019 PRYP's Convention is now history (held Aug.12-16 at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI.). Southwest and Providence PRCs hosted this years' event. For pictures and more visit this YouTube channel.

  • The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted (August 2019 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.

Kolkata camp 2017 1
*CERC Fellowship Camp in Kolkata, India (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 Byron Center PRC's bulletin today we find this note: "Missionary Spriensma is filling the pulpit at Cornerstone PRC."

United Kingdom:

  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown is preaching today and will lead the Bible study Tuesday 8 PM in Corbally.
    • The March 2019 newsletter of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship mission station was received and posted recently.

Philippine Missions:

  • PRC in Bulacan, (the calling church of the mission work in Albuera, Leyte) extended the call to Rev. Ibe (Berean PRC) to serve as missionary/pastor to this field. Rev. Ibe has accepted this call, which means that the PRCP will have its first missionary as a denomination. We rejoice with them in God's good provision of a man for this work.
  • The last Philippines mission newsletter was received and posted in July 2019 and may be found on this PRC webpage.
  • 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:

  • Let us remember to pray for the Lord's blessing on Georgetown PRC's labor in Vellore, India.
  • *And we remember our sister church's work (Covenant ERC in Singapore) in Kolkata, through Rev. E. Singh. From her bulletin today we find this special notice: "Another very significant milestone in the development of the CERC Fellowship [in Kolkata] is the approval by the Indian Government to officially recognize them as the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of India, CERCI with effect from 1 April 2019. Praise and thanks to God for His doing! We rejoice immensely at this wonderful news! Let’s continue to pray that the Lord will guide CERCI and bless them as they seek to establish themselves as a Church Institute in the near future, the Lord willing."

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.
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Covenant Reformed News - August 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Covenant Reformed News


July 2019 • Volume XVII, Issue 15



“The Lord Our Righteousness”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

 

The “World” and Arminian Universalism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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