Missions of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America

Sister and Other Church Relationships

In harmony with the principles of holy Scripture and our Three Forms of Unity, the PRC through its Committee for Contact with Other Churches maintain full sister church relationships with two foreign churches and a corresponding relationship with one other foreign denomination.

Covenant PRC Ballymena, Northern Ireland

Covenant PRC Ballymena, Northern Ireland (71)

Website

83 Clarence Street,

Ballymena BT42 3NR, Northern Ireland

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

RevAStewart

Pastor: Rev. Angus Stewart

7 Lislunnan Rd.

Kells, Ballymena, Co. Antrim

Northern Ireland BT42 3NR

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

pastor@cprc.co.uk

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Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (82)

CERCS 30thanniv 2017 group

Website

11, Jalan Mesin #04-00

Standard Industrial Building

Singapore 368813

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

AndrewLanning

Pastor: Rev.Andrew Lanning

148 Bishan Street 11 #06-113 

Singapore  570148

lanning.andy@gmail.com

pastor@cerc.org.sg

Blog: "Stories from Singapore"

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Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia (EPC) (2)

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

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Reformed News Asia - Issue #4

RefdNewsAsia-Banner

The fourth issue of "Reformed News Asia" has been released by the Christian Literature Ministry of our sister church in Singapore, the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church, and this issue too is filled with informative and edifying content (for information on Issue #3, click on this link)!

DailyMeds-BC-April-2014Worthy of special mention is the fact that this issue contains the fourth set of devotions on the Belgic Confession by various PRCA ministers, covering Articles 13-14 on the doctrines of God's providence, and on the creation and fall of man. Written by Revs.A.den Hartog and D.Holstege, these devotions on the BC take you through the month of April (April 2 - May 6) You will find great spiritual profit in using these devotions.

In addition, the newsletter also contains information about the CLM's pamphlet and book ministries and about activities going on in the CERC. You will want to read about the recent visits of CERC young people to the Philippines, to fellowship with the young people of the Berean PRC.

CERC YP with BPRC YP-1

To receive your own digital copy of this newsletter and those to come, visit the Christian Literature Ministry page at the CERCS' website and click on the subscribe button. There you will also find a downloadable digital copy of the devotional booklet for April. Or see below for the attached pdf.

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March 2014 Salt Shakers Issue!

"Covenant Keepers", the youth ministry of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (our sister church), has just published issue #25 of "Salt Shakers", their youth magazine.

This is another issue packed with interesting and edifying articles - such as a review of the new movie "Noah", a Christian perspective on travelling, the importance of creeds for Reformed youth, public confession of faith, lessons from church history, and a new "word of the day" feature!

Below you will find the first two pages of the magazine, including its table of contents. You are encouraged to visit the "SS" webpage where you will find a downloadable e-copy for your reading and spiritual growth.

SS 25 ecopy Page 1

SS 25 ecopy Page 2

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"Covenant Reformed News" - March 2014 Issue

The Covenant PRC of Ballymena, N.Ireland has just released the third issue of their "Covenant Reformed News" for 2014. This issue also contains two articles, one by Rev.Angus Stewart and one by Prof.Herman Hanko (emeritus professor of the PR Seminary). Both articles are included below, and you may find them separately on the website at the links provided. In addition, you may find the pdf version attached here (go the bottom of this news item to find the link for that).

Both of these articles address timely and important subjects - the priesthood of Christ and the Biblical doctrine of the covenant. You will want to make these items part of your reading.

CR News head

March 2014  •  Volume XIV, Issue 23


Many things are asserted of Melchizedek in the subordinate clauses of Hebrews 7:1-3. But this is the main statement of that long sentence: “For this Melchisedec ... made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually” (1, 3). To put it simply, Melchizedek is a type of Jesus Christ in that God “made [him] like unto the Son of God.” Melchizedek is a type of Jesus Christ not with regard to His divine and human natures, nor His prophetic office (Moses is the great type of Christ as prophet, according to Deuteronomy 18:15-19). Melchizedek is a type of Christ in His priestly office, for he was “made like unto the Son of God; [and] abideth a priest continually.”

This turns the argument of the Jews against Christ’s priesthood on its head. First, Christ has the office of priest according to the Torah or the five books of Moses (Gen. 14:18-20) and the Psalms (Ps. 110:4), so His priesthood is in accordance with Old Testament prophecy and typology. Second, Christ’s priesthood is more ancient than the Aaronitic priesthood, for the latter came about 400 years later. Third, Christ’s priesthood is a much better priesthood in so many ways, as Hebrews 7 makes clear.

We are not impressed with the fidelity of the Jewish priesthood (cf. Mal. 2:8-9). Just think of the biblical record of their sins! Aaron made the golden calf (Ex. 32). His two oldest sons, Nadab and Abihu, offered strange fire and were consumed by the Lord (Lev. 10). Eli failed to discipline his two sons effectively (I Sam. 2-3). These two priests, Hophni and Phinehas, fornicated at the tabernacle, oppressed the people and stole from God’s offerings (I Sam. 2-3). Time and time again, the priests were idolatrous, especially in the days of King Ahaz and King Manasseh, and opposed God’s true prophets. Finally, Caiaphas, the high priest, with the chief priests, condemned Jesus Christ and saw to it that He was crucified. Then they persecuted the apostolic church.

The Jews did not faithfully adhere to their priesthood. Instead, they often joined in with the sins of the priests and loved “to have it so” (Jer. 5:31). From Jeroboam onwards, the ten northern tribes rejected the Aaronitic priesthood (I Kings 12:26-33). Even Judah did not always pay tithes to the priests and Levites (Neh. 13:10-11; Mal. 3:7-9). During the wilderness wanderings, the Israelites frequently complained against Moses and Aaron, their first high priest. On one notorious occasion, they claimed that the sons of Levi took “too much upon” themselves (Num. 16:7). Numbers 16-17 records how God put down their wicked rebellion against the house of Aaron.

When the Messiah came, Israel crucified Him, claiming instead that they were faithful to the priests in the line of Aaron according to Jehovah’s law! Thus they rejected Christ’s superior Melchizedekian priesthood and the only sacrifice for sin!    Rev. Stewart



A reader asks, “What are the implications of Jeremiah 31:34 for the church today? Concerning the new covenant it says, ‘And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.’ Does it teach, as I have heard, that under the new covenant the church is to be a purer institution than it was under the old covenant, made up only of those who ‘know the Lord,’ i.e., truly born again believers?”

No, the text in Jeremiah 31:34 does not teach that the New Testament church is a purer church than the church of the old dispensation. One need only read Hebrews 11 and one cannot help but marvel at the strength of the faith of Old Testament saints, whose faith so often surpasses ours.

By the way, the entire passage in Jeremiah 31:31-34 is quoted in Hebrews 8:8-12 and partly in Hebrews 10:16-17. Somewhat similar language is also found in Ezekiel 16:60-62.

The text teaches a profound truth concerning God’s gracious covenant with His people. We must remember that the passing away of the old covenant and the establishment of the new covenant took place with the work of our Lord Jesus Christ when He suffered and died and rose again from the dead. The climax of His work was the outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost. And, if I may insert a parenthetical point here, Pentecost was not the first New Testament revival. It had nothing to do with revivals. Nor was it the second blessing, as Pentecostals claim. It was far more wonderful than that. It was the gift of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of the ascended Lord to the church!

In a certain sense of the word, the Old Testament saints did not possess the Spirit. I know that my statement evokes a gasp from many, but it is nevertheless true. Consider, for example, what Jesus Himself said in John 7:39. On the great day of the feast, Jesus cried out in the temple, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (37). John explains what Jesus meant in verse 39: “But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.”

You have probably noticed that in my quotation of John 7:39, I omitted the word “given.” But this is necessary. In our AV, the word is in italics, which means that it does not appear in the original, but was added by the translators. The translators often did this, for Greek and English are two quite different languages. And most of the time, the English additions are helpful. But here the word “given” ought not to appear in the text, so the clause should read: “For the Holy Ghost was not yet.” In other words, He did not exist.

It is striking that John should say this under infallible inspiration, and we certainly know from all Scripture that the Holy Ghost is eternal, along with the Father and the Son. Furthermore, we know that the Holy Spirit was present in the Old Testament, for David prayed, “Take not thy Holy Spirit from me” (Ps. 51:11). (The AV does not capitalize “Holy Spirit” in this verse, although it should have.) Further, the Holy Spirit was given to those who were anointed as prophets, priests and kings.

What then does John mean in John 7:39?

The answer is that John is referring to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of the exalted Christ, for John himself adds that there was as yet no Holy Spirit, because “Jesus was not yet glorified.” This truth is the reason why Peter tells us in his great Pentecostal sermon, “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear” (Acts 2:33).

What a difference the presence of the Spirit made in the church! Peter himself, along with the other disciples, did not understand Christ’s work. They asked at the time of His ascension, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). But immediately after the Spirit was poured out on the 120 members of the church, Peter could preach a sermon in which he showed that he understood all the work of Christ. He understood the cross, the resurrection and the ascension. He even understood the passages in the Old Testament that spoke of Christ and His work. It was all quite amazing and it was due to nothing but the presence of the Spirit in the church. This points us to the difference between the old and the new covenants. The difference between the old and the new covenants is the very great difference made in the church by the outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost.

The first and most important difference was that, while in the old dispensation the offices of prophet, priest and king were limited to special men whom God designated by the pouring on of oil, in the new dispensation all the people of God are anointed. Oil was a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was given to Saul, David, Nathan, Isaiah, Malachi, Jehoiada, Aaron, Elijah, etc. These men were designated as prophets, priests or kings. The prophets brought the Word of God to Israel; the priests made sacrifices for the people; the kings ruled over the nation.

The people of God who did not hold an office could not perform the work of the office. They could not know the will of God, but had to go to a prophet (I Sam. 9:6-10; II Sam. 7:1-17; II Kings 22:12-20). The people could not obtain forgiveness of sins by themselves, but had to go to a priest, leading a cow or a sheep. The people could not rule themselves—as the period of the judges proved—but had to have a king, and the moral state of the nation was determined largely by the moral condition of the king.

But in the new dispensation when the Spirit is poured out, He is not poured out on specially chosen men, but on all believers. By His powerful presence, He brings Christ to us, who is our only prophet, priest and king. He, by His Spirit, makes all believers prophets, priests and kings. We need not go to a prophet anymore, for we all know the Lord. We have the Scriptures and we can know God by the Spirit through them. The Roman Catholic Church denied this truth: they refused to let the people have the Word of God. They reserved the right to interpret the Scriptures to the clergy. It was Luther who restored the office of believers to the saints, in Jehovah’s mercy.

We have the Spirit of Christ and we are now all, by God’s grace, priests. We can come to God through Jesus Christ our mediator and intercessor. We need not come with a cow in tow for Christ made the perfect sacrifice that opened the way into the holy of holies (Heb. 9:24). We need not a Roman Catholic priest to whom we must make confession. We have our great high priest in heaven, and we are all priests in Him. We are all priests who bring the sacrifice of praise, obedience and thanksgiving (Rom. 12:1-2; I Pet. 2:9).

We need no king to rule over us—other than Christ Himself, whose slaves we are. We rule over our lives through the power of the Spirit and we do so by the Word of God which is our guide. And, by the way, this truth is the basis for Christian liberty.

The Heidelberg Catechism puts it beautifully when it claims that we bear the name of Christ when we are called Christians. “But why art thou called a Christian? Because I am a member of Christ by faith, and thus am partaker of His anointing; that so I may confess His name, and present myself a living sacrifice of thankfulness to Him; and also that with a free and good conscience I may fight against sin and Satan in this life, and afterwards reign with Him eternally over all creatures” (Q. & A. 32).

But there is more. The text also says, “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jer. 31:34). This too is a blessing of the new covenant. The meaning is not that the Old Testament people of God did not know the forgiveness of sins, for the Psalms testify to the opposite (e.g., Ps. 32). But Christ had not come as yet to make the sacrifice for sin, and so their knowledge of the forgiveness of their sin was less complete and less clear than after Christ’s sacrifice was made.

Hebrews 10:1-18 teaches this very plainly. (We keep going back to Hebrews for it is the great book of the Bible that tells us how much better the new covenant is than the old.) The author tells us that sacrifices had to be made continually because the people continued to have conscience of sins. But Christ’s sacrifice is perfect and there is no more conscience of sin because our exalted Lord gives us the Spirit and assures us that the debt of our transgressions has been paid at the cross so that our consciences are purged in the blood of Christ. That too is part of the new covenant.
We will return to this great subject in the next issue of the News.    Prof. Hanko


NOW BROADCASTING LIVE! The CPRC is now video streaming both its Sunday  worship services live and free on the internet.
Just go to www.cprf.co.uk/live.html each Lord’s Day at 11 AM and 6 PM (GMT) and join us on-line!


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

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March Newsletter from Covenant PRC, N.Ireland

Our sister church in Northern Ireland, Covenant PRC, Ballymena, has just published her latest newsletter. This one covers the recent visit of the men from the Contact Committee of the PRC, the latest activities in and outside the congregation, and the upcoming BRF Conference.

Be sure to read this newsletter to be better aware of what our "sister" is doing and has planned. This newsletter is also attached here in pdf form (see below). 

March-2014 Page 1March-2014 Page 2

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Issue #3 of Reformed News Asia

RefdNewsAsia-BannerThe third issue of "Reformed News Asia" has been released by the Christian Literature Ministry of our sister church in Singapore, the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church, and this issue too is filled with informative and edifying content (for information on Issue #2, click on this link)!

DailyMeds-BC-March2014Of special significance is the fact that this issue contains the third set of devotions on the Belgic Confession by various PRCA ministers, covering Articles 10-12 on the doctrines of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and creation. Written by Rev.J.Kortering and Prof.R.Dykstra, these devotions on the BC take you through the month of March (5- April 1) You will find great spiritual profit in these devotions.

In addition to this noteworthy item, the newsletter also contains information about the CLM's pamphlet and book ministries and about activities going on in the CERC. Of special interest is notice of two new pamphlets the CLM has produced from material written by emeritus Prof.H.Hanko on Christian Education and on the Antithesis (Christian living). You will want to check these items out.

To receive your own digital copy of this newsletter and those to come, visit the Christian Literature Ministry page at the CERCS' website and click on the subscribe button. There you will also find a downloadable digital copy of the devotional booklet for March.

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"Covenant Reformed News" - February 2014 Issue

The Covenant PRC of Ballymena, N.Ireland has just released their second issue of the "Covenant Reformed News" for 2014. This issue also contains two articles, one by Rev.Angus Stewart and one by Prof.Herman Hanko (emeritus professor of the PR Seminary). Both articles are included below, and you may find them separately on the website at the links provided. In addition, you may find the pdf version attached here (go the bottom of this news item to find the link for that).

Both of these articles address timely and important subjects. You will want to make them part of your spiritual growth reading.

CR News head

February 2014  •  Volume XIV, Issue 22

Melchizedek is a mysterious figure in the Old Testament. He pops up in the life of Abraham and then he is not mentioned until one of the Psalms some 1,000 years later. Moses gives him three verses (Gen. 14:18-20) and David only one verse (Ps. 110:4). This makes just four verses in two passages in all the 39 books of the Old Testament.

In the New Testament, Melchizedek is mentioned frequently in the book of Hebrews. There are three references to him in Hebrews 5-6 (5:6, 10-11; 6:20). Hebrews 7 explains the significance of Melchizedek in Genesis 14 and Psalm 110, giving us, perhaps, the fullest exposition of any two Old Testament passages anywhere in the New Testament. Some identify Hebrews 7 on Christ’s Melchizedekian priesthood as the heart of the epistle. We may compare Hebrews 7 with other chapters in this inspired letter. If Hebrews 5 treats the nature of Christ’s priesthood and Hebrews 9 explains the use of Christ’s priesthood, then Hebrews 7 extols the excellency of Christ’s priesthood. He is not just any mere priest: He is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

Hebrews 7 touches upon contemporary issues for both Gentile and Jewish Christians. First, Roman Catholicism uses the bread and wine which Melchizedek brought to Abraham (Gen. 14:18) as a proof for its mass, the chief work of its own priesthood. Second, Christian Reconstructionism seeks to reintroduce the Old Testament civil law into nations today. Third, premillennialism teaches the return of Aaronic priests and bloody sacrifices during a future, literal, thousand-year reign of Christ on earth. None of these views are supported by Hebrews 7 on Christ’s Melchizedekian priesthood.

Hebrews 7 also helps the believer better to understand the Old Testament, the larger of the two testaments which constitute God’s written Word to us. This chapter also reveals to us the glory of Christ’s priesthood: a unique, untransferable, everlasting priesthood, a priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. Understanding and believing in Christ’s glorious Melchizedekian priesthood serves the edification and comfort of the child of God. “For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God” (19).

Unbelieving first-century Judaism had a host of objections to Jesus Christ. You see this time and time again in the four gospel accounts. The Jews (wrongly) criticized the Lord for fellowshipping with sinners, breaking the Sabbath, blaspheming by claiming to be the Son of God, etc. In the pages of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, we read of Christ’s battles with the Pharisees, Sadducees and scribes who tried to trip Him up.

Attacks on Christ and His kingdom continued after His ascension into heaven. Just read of the persecution of the church in Acts. The New Testament epistles also speak of this struggle. Of all the 27 New Testament books, Hebrews especially addresses the biblical and theological objections of unbelieving Jews to the Christian faith.

The background to Hebrews 7 involves a Jewish attack, specifically on Christ’s office as priest: “You Christians say that Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice for sin and that forgiveness comes only through His shed blood. But I don’t see that the Messiah spoken of in the law and the prophets is to be a priest. Find me a passage in Moses or the prophets which speaks of the coming deliverer as a priest!”

The Jews argued that their sacrifices were offered by priests who descended from the house of Aaron and the tribe of Levi. All this was according to God’s Word, from Exodus to Deuteronomy and throughout the Scriptures. Their priesthood was hoary with antiquity, and God preserved it for some 1,500 years before Jesus came along. The Jews boasted in their glorious temple in which God dwelt, an imposing edifice with huge stones, an impressive courtyard and a divinely appointed altar. The priests and high priests were clothed with beautiful garments and they officiated at wonderful feasts and religious ceremonies. You can hear the siren call to Jewish Christians from their unbelieving kinsmen: “Return to the old paths, God’s ancient ways, revealed to our fathers! Leave this newfangled cult of Jesus with its plain and barren worship!” Many did just that and others were tempted to apostatize, including those to whom Hebrews was first written.

The Jews had another argument, based on God’s words to Aaron in Numbers 18:7: “Therefore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest’s office for every thing of the altar, and within the vail; and ye shall serve: I have given your priest’s office unto you as a service of gift: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.” “Don’t you Christians claim that Jesus descended from David, so He is of the tribe of Judah (cf. Heb. 7:14)? But one of the line of Judah cannot be a priest according to God’s law, and he who attempts it ‘shall be put to death’ (Num. 18:7)!”

How would you respond? Remember that I Peter 3:15 states that we must “be ready always to give an answer” for our hope, including to unbelieving Jews. In Christian history, from the Dialogue With Trypho by Justin Martyr in the second century and through two millennia, Jews and Christians have been debating such issues. This is difficult work since, “when Moses is read,” the Jews have a veil “upon their heart” (II Cor. 3:15). But by His grace, the Triune God has converted Jews, such as Alfred Edersheim, throughout the New Testament era. Jehovah brings them to trust in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our “priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek” (Ps. 110:4)!   Rev. Stewart


For more on Melchizedek and the Lord Jesus, listen to “Christ’s Priestly Office” (Belgic Confession Class, vol. X: Articles 20-21a), 6 Christian doctrine classes on 6 CDs in an attractive box set: (1) God Hath Manifested His Justice and Mercy in Christ, (2) Christ’s Threefold Office, (3) Introducing Christ’s Melchizedekian Priesthood, (4) Christ’s Melchizedekian Priesthood, (5) Christ’s Melchizedekian Priesthood and Time, and (6) Christ’s Priesthood Outside Hebrews. Cost £8 (inc. P&P, plus 1 class handout).


“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13)
.
A reader asks, “We are taught in the Heidelberg Catechism that we as believers have ‘only a small beginning’ of the new obedience. If this is so and continues throughout our lives, why does Paul speak of us reaching the ‘measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ’ in Ephesians 4:13?”

Before I answer the question, I urge our readers, if it is at all possible, to attend the British Reformed Fellowship Family Conference to be held this summer (26 July - 2 August) in Scotland (http://brfconference.weebly.com). It will be on the subject of sanctification and many such questions as the above will be answered.

The quote from the Heidelberg Catechism reads:

Q. 113. What doth the tenth commandment require of us?
A. That even the smallest inclination or thought contrary to any of God’s commandments never rise in our hearts; but that at all times we hate all sin with our whole heart, and delight in all righteousness.
Q. 114. But can those who are converted to God perfectly keep these commandments?
A. No; but even the holiest men, while in this life, have only a small beginning of this obedience; yet so, that with a sincere resolution they begin to live not only according to some, but all the commandments of God.

It is interesting to note that, although the Catechism is discussing the tenth commandment, “Thou shalt not covet,” the answer says nothing about covetousness, but rather concentrates on the incompleteness of sanctification in this life.

There is, however, good reason for this. The tenth commandment is the only one of all the commandments that specifically speaks of the inner requirements of the law. The other commandments, at first reading, address themselves to our outward conformity to Jehovah’s will. The tenth commandment tells us that outward conformity to the law of God is not enough; we must be without sin in our hearts and minds and souls. This is an extremely important truth, forgotten or ignored by those who speak so glibly about an entirely sanctified life and who are satisfied with only external observance of the law, whereas Jesus tells us that love is the keeping of the whole law.

The fact of the matter is that in this life we do not attain the perfection we shall have in heaven in the life to come. And Paul is speaking of that final perfection in Ephesians 4:13. Only in heaven will we possess the full unity of the faith, the knowledge of the Son of God, the perfect man, the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.

We have only a small beginning of the new obedience. In another place, discussing our justification, the Catechism gives as a reason why our good works cannot be the ground of our justification: “Our best works in this life are all imperfect and defiled with sin” (A. 62). It is the towering arrogance of proud man who boasts of his good works as the ground of justification—as does Rome and as do those who teach the views of the Federal Vision.

Our hearts are regenerated. By regeneration, we are born again. The new man is created by the work of the Spirit of Christ. To help us understand this, we could call the heart of man the entire nature of man (body and soul) in microcosm, something like an oak tree is, in its entirety, in an acorn. Our natures, including our bodies and our souls (minds and wills), remain depraved, totally so. But our regenerated hearts exert great and powerful influences, through the work of the Holy Spirit, on our entire natures. We know God with our minds (while we also know sin); we desire to serve the Lord according to His holy law (although we also desire sin); we pray, sing Psalms, confess Christ’s name, submit to God’s will, etc. (although very imperfectly).

This is the struggle between the flesh and the Spirit (Gal. 5:17), the struggle that Paul describes so eloquently in Romans 7:13-25.

Yet we must remember:
1) We are justified, that is, we are completely without sin in the mind and heart of God on the basis of Christ’s perfect work.
2) Though the struggle within us is long and bitter, we are always victorious over sin when we confess our sins, find forgiveness and walk in a new and holy life.
3) We do keep God’s law. We keep it so well that we can even command God to examine us, knowing He will find righteousness there. Read Psalm 139:23, although we pray at the same time, the prayer of verse 24. Read Psalm 26. In fact, this truth is almost a major theme in the Psalms. The Psalmist repeatedly pleads his righteousness as a reason why God should bless him. He is not boasting like the Pharisee; he is conscious of Christ’s righteousness imputed to him. But he is also confessing how he has walked and does walk according to God’s will by the Holy Spirit’s saving power.
4) Every moment, we come nearer the full sanctification that is ours when we come to glory. Our sanctification is like the painting of a picture. Gradually it nears its completing and perfection. Each brush stroke brings it closer. The artist may be using inferior paints and poor brushes; he may be working on a dirty canvas. But he overcomes by his great skill every obstacle until the painting is so good that it hangs in a special place in the Louvre.

The Triune God is the skilled artist who, we are told by Scripture, will complete the good work He has begun in us.


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

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Issue #2 of Reformed News Asia

RefdNewsAsia-BannerThe second issue of "Reformed News Asia" has been released by the Christian Literature Ministry of our sister church in Singapore, the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church , and this issue too is filled with informative and edifying content (for information on Issue #1, click on this link)!

 

Of special significance is the fact that this issue contains the second set of devotions on the Belgic Confession by various PRCA ministers, covering Articles 7-9 on the doctrine of holy Scripture. Written by Prof.H.Hanko, Rev.A.Brummel, Rev.A.den Hartog, and Rev.J.Kortering these devotions on the BC take you through the month of February. You will find great spiritual profit in these devotions.

 

In addition to this noteworthy item, the newsletter also contains information about the CLM's pamphlet and book ministries and about activities going on in the CERC. Of special interest is notice of two new pamphlets the CLM has produced from material written by Mrs. Connie Meyer, one a treatment of TULIP (doctrines of grace) for children and another containing snapshots of Reformed church history. You will want to check these items out.

 

BC Meditations - Feb2014-coverTo receive your own digital copy of this newsletter and those to come, visit the Christian Literature Ministry page at the CERCS ' website and click on the subscribe button. There you will also find a downloadable digital copy of these devotions.

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"Covenant Reformed News" - January 2014 Issue

CR News head

The Covenant PRC of Ballymena, N.Ireland has just released their first issue of the "Covenant Reformed News" for 2014. This issue also contains two articles, one by Rev.Angus Stewart and one by Prof.Herman Hanko (ermitus professor of the PR Seminary).

Rev.Stewart's article explains the truth concerning the effectual rasom of Jesus Christ for His elect people under the title "Christ Our Ransom".

Prof.Hanko's article addresses a question from a reader about the relation between revivals and earthly magistrates under the title "Revivals and Magistrates (2)".

Both of these articles address timely and important subjects. You will want to make them part of your spiritual growth reading.

You may find each of these articles at the link provided. You will also find the pdf version of the "CR News" attached here.

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Issue #24 of "Salt Shakers" (January 2014)

The newest issue of "Salt Shakers" (#24 - January 2014) has been released! This is the magazine of the young people of Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore, our sister church in that part of the world.

This issue too is packed with great articles of spiritual value for our young people, but also for all PRC members! Below are the first two pages of this issue, which include the table of contents. Attached here you may also find the full pdf version. Or you may visit the Salt Shaker's website to read it online.

This is the greeting that came with this new issue:

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!
 
We thank the Lord that we are able to release our 24th issue of Salt Shakers! As we begin a new year, may we remember God’s mercy and grace to us through this past year, and walk close to Him this year as well.
 
With many trials ahead this new year, this issue of Salt Shakers goes back to the source and origin of our salvation, God. We explore God's Golden Chain of Salvation for us, with articles such as “God’s Foreknowing, Predestined to be Conformed” and “Glorified in Heaven”. Included inside is also a special feature, Amazing Grace”, a compilation of conversion testimonies by members of Covenant ERC. (Read to find out who!)
 
In light of the coming Chinese New Year which many of us here in Singapore celebrate, we also have an article titled “Is Gambling Wrong? Dealing with Chinese New Year Gambling” to address the gambling which commonly takes place during Chinese New Year visitations.
 
Read, Pray, Grow!
 
We wish our Chinese readers a very blessed Chinese New Year!
 
 
For the King,
Huiqi
On behalf of the Salt Shakers committee
 
"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." - Hebrews 13:20-21

SS 24-Jan2014 Page 1

SS 24-Jan2014 Page 2

 

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January 2014 Newsletter from Our Sister Church in N.Ireland

Covenant PRC in Ballymena, N.Ireland has published their latest newsletter, the January 2014 edition. Once again pastor Angus Stewart fills this report with many interesting and exciting news items on this congregation's labors in the British Isles. We imbed it here (see below) for you to read, but you may also find it attached in pdf form, as well as on the sister church page. Take the time to read through this newsletter; you will be inspired to support in prayer this energetic pastor and flock.

Gartmore House-Scotland-2014 BRFConfSpecial mention should also be made of the upcoming British Reformed Fellowship Conference. This is the advertisement we received from the BRF for those in the U.S.:

Join Reformed believers from around the world at the British Reformed Fellowship family conference in Scotland, Saturday July 26 - Saturday August 2, 2014. Profs. Engelsma and Hanko will be speaking on the vital subject of "Be Ye Holy: The Reformed Truth of Sanctification." For travel information and booking forms, see the conference website (http://brfconference.weebly.com) or contact Cyndi Kalsbeek (1-616-724-4290; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Kristin Crossett (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

 

In this connection we may also mention that the official, annual visit of the PRC to this sister church through our Contact Committee will take place in the next week. Here's the notice we have received from the "CC":

Rev. Gary Eriks and Mr. Sid Miedema, representing the Contact Committee of our churches, will be visiting our sister-church in N.Ireland and their mission in Limerick from January 23 to February 4.  This is an annual visit to conduct church visitation with the consistory of the Covenant PRC in NI and to strengthen our relationship together.  The denomination is asked to pray that God would use the trip for the furtherance of the truth which unites our denominations.

Shall we be sure to do this?

CPRCNI-Newsletter-Jan2014 Page 1CPRCNI-Newsletter-Jan2014 Page 2

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