Covenant Reformed News - September 2018

 

Covenant Reformed News


September 2018 • Volume XVII, Issue 5



God’s Wisdom (4)

The wisdom of God was personally manifested in our Lord Jesus. According to His human nature, Christ grew in wisdom as He developed as a boy: “the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him” (Luke 2:40). As a teenager, “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (52).
He is the fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah 11:2: “the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.” He was wiser than Solomon (Matt. 12:42; Luke 11:31), for in Him “are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). Yea, He is the very “wisdom of God” (I Cor. 1:24)!
The wisdom of God in Christ is declared in the gospel. The last verse in the most systematic presentation of the good news of salvation closes with this fitting doxology: “To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen” (Rom. 16:27). This is entirely appropriate, since Romans sets forth man’s terrible sin and God’s justifying righteousness (ch. 1-5); the marvel of sanctification and assurance (ch. 6-8); double predestination, and the salvation of believing Jews and Gentiles (ch. 9-11); and rich ethical teaching on godly living, including in church and state (ch. 12-16).
I Corinthians 1:17-31 explains that the gospel proclaims salvation through the crucified Messiah, which is foolishness and weakness to the world, but the wisdom and power of God. Jehovah has chosen the foolishness of preaching to save His people and to confound those who think themselves to be wise. The Triune God hides these things from “the wise and prudent,” but reveals them to “babes” (Matt. 11:25; Luke 10:21).
Saul of Tarsus is a prime biblical example of God’s wisdom in conversion. Remember what he used to be: he “was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious” (I Tim. 1:13), yet the Most High transformed him into the apostle Paul (1, 11-12)! No wonder he exclaimed, “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen” (17)! In Jehovah’s wisdom, He made Paul a model to display His longsuffering: “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting” (16).
Consider the wonder of God’s wisdom in preserving all whom He saves—billions of us, in all ages and all around the world; each with his or her own particular sins and weaknesses; and all under attack from the world, the flesh and the devil! Thus the penultimate book of the Bible concludes with this paean of praise: “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” (Jude 24-25).
What about God’s wisdom in sacred Scripture? No other book can compare to it! We have the inspired, inerrant and infallible Bible, which has been preserved faithfully to all generations. It is complete, all-sufficient and supremely authoritative. These “holy scriptures,” Paul states, “are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (II Tim. 3:15).
Whether they like it or not, all the world will be utterly convinced of God’s wisdom at the final judgment. The last day will be the great theodicy, when Jehovah’s wisdom will be displayed publicly to all men and angels, elect or reprobate, holy or wicked. In all His works and ways, the Triune God will be seen as just and wise and good—undeniably! On that glorious day, “at the name of Jesus every knee [shall] bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And ... every tongue [shall] confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:10-11). Be wise and bow now in repentance and faith in Christ crucified and risen! Rev. Stewart
 

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Does the Bible Merely Contain Men’s Opinions?

Question: “In I Corinthians 7:6, where Paul speaks of the due benevolence that spouses owe each other sexually, he explicitly says that it is not a direct commandment from the Lord, but rather something he states ‘by permission’: ‘But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.’ What do we make of this?”
There has been, over the years, a great deal of discussion over such a text as this. The problem includes verse 12 of this same chapter, as well as II Corinthians 8:8. These texts have been used by the enemies of divine inspiration to attempt to prove that the Bible frequently contains merely men’s personal opinions.
However, we believe in the Bible’s verbal inspiration. Every word in Scripture is directly inspired by God and is not to be considered merely as an opinion or word which the writer inserted in addition to what the Holy Spirit breathed forth.
The battle with the critics is not to be construed as an argument or debate in which each party attempts to come up with superior proof that is totally convincing. We believe without any question at all that Scripture is verbally inspired by God by means of the Holy Spirit: every word is His word. The basis for our firm belief is the testimony of Scripture itself; it is not merely our private conviction. While I dare say that the proof for the infallible inspiration of the Bible is to be found in every page of Holy Writ, the two main texts are II Timothy 3:16 and II Peter 1:20-21.
This means that we are to explain the text to which the questioner refers (as well as similar texts) as part of the infallibly inspired Word. Let me be clear on this point. When I say that this text is part of the infallibly inspired Scripture, I do not mean that God infallibly inspired Paul to tell those to whom he wrote that God inspired Paul to say that these words were Paul’s words and not God’s words, that is, that these words were formally inspired but not materially, i.e., inspired in what they say. I mean that they were inspired materially as well as formally. What Paul writes is also the truth of God.
Prof. Engelsma states, “Single life is good inasmuch as marriage is not an absolute requirement for Christians. This is the apostle’s point in verse 6: ‘But I speak this by permission, and not by commandment.’ He has just exhorted men and women in the church to marry and to live together sexually (vv. 2-5). Someone might suppose that this was a command to all without exception. Not so, says Paul in verse 6. To marry is permitted, not commanded. Therefore, single life is an option for the Christian. Singleness is an earthly way of life in which the believer may serve the Lord as much as is marriage” (Better to Marry, pp. 43-44; available from the CPRC Bookstore for £8.80, inc. P&P).
With this question, I am prompted to mention an element of inspiration that requires further explanation. Often the appeal is made, as I said, to this and similar passages to prove that there is a “human side” to inspiration in which the “secondary authors” were permitted to express their own opinions. They claim that the opinions of men that are not inspired by God are to be found throughout Scripture. God is said to be the primary Author and men the “secondary authors.”
Dutch theologian, Herman Bavinck (1854-1921), made this distinction between “secondary authors” and a primary Author. But let it be underscored: Bavinck did not mean that the so-called “secondary authors” were permitted to express their own opinions. He believed firmly in the infallible inspiration of the whole of Scripture. He believed that God was the Author of the Bible but that He used men to write the Scripture, men with their own personalities, abilities, places in history and knowledge of God’s creation. Their personalities give the Bible a human flavour, for the identity of the penmen God used to write different parts is impressed on their writings. But God breathed forth every word by His Spirit (II Tim. 3:16). That was Bavinck’s position.
While I do not disagree with what Bavinck said, I prefer not to use the distinction he used. God is the Author of Scripture, the sole Author. There were no “secondary authors.” God used men but they did not function as mere secretaries who were taking down dictation. Gordon Clark, in his book God’s Hammer, calls attention to the fact that Jehovah is in sovereign control of all things as He works out His eternal plan (Eph. 1:11). God eternally ordained that He would prepare a book, inspired by Himself, in which He would tell His beloved church of all His mighty works, especially salvation by grace alone through the cross of Christ.
God ordained all the men He would use over some 1,500 years: Moses, David, Isaiah, Paul, etc. He eternally determined their gifts and abilities so that they were perfectly qualified to write the parts of Scripture He assigned to them. In God’s mighty providence, all that He determined was carried out: the times of the births of the Bible’s penmen; the circumstances of their upbringing; and their roles in their homes, their societies and their nations (e.g., Paul was born a Roman according to God’s decree).
Thus God is the Author. The writing of Scripture was a miracle so that all the qualities and experiences of those whom He used to write the Bible lie on the surface of their writings, but they were “moved the Holy Ghost” (II Pet. 1:21). The word “moved” in this verse is the same word as is used to describe how a ship at sea is borne along by the wind, as it goes from its point of departure to its point of arrival.
Fallen man finds God’s Word distasteful for it proclaims that he is a hell-worthy sinner. Scripture declares the glorious “good news” that God saves His elect through the wonder of the cross of Jesus Christ and His resurrection from the dead.
It tells of what God requires of His regenerate children. These demands are contrary to the sinful nature that we carry with us to the grave. We are comforted by our victory in Christ, the forgiveness of our sins in His blood and the hope of glory when we join the church of all ages in heaven.
To mess around with the Word in order to justify one’s own desires and longings is to slap God in the face, deny the infallible Scriptures and continue to revel in sin. This is what much of the church does today with its approval of homosexuality, women in church office, transgenderism, feminism, abortion and other abominable practices.
Thank God for the gospel found in the pages of His infallible Word that is our strength and guide through all of life. Prof. Hanko

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

Thursday, 27 September
 7:15 PM


Speaker:
Rev. Martyn McGeown


Subject:
The Development of God’s Covenant (3): Abraham
 
The last two speeches traced the revelation of God’s one everlasting covenant of grace from Adam through Noah. This lecture will follow that history through the line of Shem to Abraham. What continuity is there in the Abrahamic covenant with the covenants with Adam and with Noah? What development is there? With whom is the Abrahamic covenant established, what is its sign and what does the covenant with Abraham reveal about our Lord Jesus Christ?

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

www.limerickreformed.com
www.cprf.co.uk/swales.htm
 

CPRC Reformation Day Lecture

Two Men From Trier:
Karl Marx (and Communism) and Caspar Olevianus (and the Heidelberg Catechism)


2018 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx from Trier, NW Germany. Trier is also the city of Caspar Olevianus, one of the principal authors of the Heidelberg Catechism. This speech will compare and contrast these two men from Trier: their lives, their main works, their ideas and the results of their ideas. Key issues in the clash of worldviews between Marx’s communism and Olevianus’ Reformed faith include origins, alienation, work, private property, class struggle, the good life, marriage, history and the end times!

Speaker: Rev. Angus Stewart

Date: Friday, 26 October, at 7:30 PM

at Covenant Protestant
Reformed Church

(83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR)

All are welcome! 

www.cprc.co.uk


Unable to join us in Ballymena? The lecture will be streamed live at http://www.cprf.co.uk/live.html
 
The Belgic Confession 
Volume 1


by David J. Engelsma
(368 pp., hardback)


Founded on holy Scripture, the Belgic Confession defines sound, health-giving doctrine for Reformed churches and believers. This truth is rich, lovely and powerful. The Confession also authoritatively exposes contemporary heresies. As they read this commentary, all believers who love the biblical and Reformed faith will be guided in the beautiful truth of the “old paths.” Volume 1 covers Articles 1-21 of the Belgic Confession.
Only £19.80 (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!

The Reformed Family—According to the Word of God

11 British Reformed Fellowship Family Conference addresses
at Hebron Hall, Wales
(21-28 July, 2018)
on CD or DVD in an attractive box set

 
6 Main Conference Addresses
1. The Divine Origin of the Family (Rev. A. Lanning)
2. The Authoritative Content of the Gospel (Prof. D. Engelsma)
3. The God-Fearing Man and His Virtuous Wife (Rev. A. Lanning)
4. The Reformed Family: Parents and Children (Prof. D. Engelsma)
5. It Is Good to Be Single
(Rev. A. Lanning)
6. Unbiblical Divorce and Adulterous Remarriage: A Scandal (Prof. D. Engelsma)

5 Other addresses
7. Hating Our Family: Necessary for Christian Discipleship
(Rev. M. McGeown)
8. The God of the Living
 (Rev. A. Lanning)
9. The Family and Education
(Mr. Pete Adams)
10. The Eunuchs Who Keep God’s Sabbaths (Rev. A. Stewart)
11. Spousal Abuse in the Christian Community (Prof. D. Engelsma) 

£12/box set
(inc. P&P)

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

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!
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News from the PRC and Sister-Churches for the Week of September 16, 2018 (*Updated)

On this thirty-seventh Lord's Day of 2018, September 16, we provide the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, mission fields, and sister churches.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

Peace PRC 2018 2
New worship location of Peace PRC in Dyer, IN

  • Today Peace PRC begins worshiping in her new building at 14864 101st Avenue, Dyer, IN 46311 (cf. photo above). May God bless their witness in this new community.

  • On Sept.9 Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC, Spokane, WA) announced his DECLINE of the call from Grandville PRC to serve as minister on loan in our sister church in Singapore.

  • On August 26 the congregation of Grandville PRC voted to extend a call to Rev. N. Decker (pastor of Trinity PRC). He plans to answer by Sept.23.

  • *UPDATE: From Immanuel PRC in Lacombe, AB comes this news: "Consistory presents to the congregation the following trio from which we will be calling a new minister for our congregation. Rev. E. Guichelaar (Randolph, WI), Rev. N. Langerak (Crete, IL), and Rev. M. VanderWal (Wingham, ON). Voting will take place on Sunday, Sept. 23rd after the afternoon service."
  • From Heritage PRC (Sioux Falls, SD) comes this special note of congratulations to her new pastor and his wife:
    • "We rejoice with Rev. & Mrs. Langerak who were united in marriage Saturday, September 15. May God richly bless them as they begin their married life"
    • And related to that is this: Rev. Tom Miersma will supply our pulpit today and next Sunday. Rev. Miersma is Emeriti Minister from Immanuel PRC, Lacombe, Alberta, Canada. We welcome him and his wife Janice into our fellowship.

  • Having recently sold and vacated her former building, Southeast PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) has begun worshiping for the time being at Adams Christian School in Wyoming, MI.

  • From Georgetown PRC comes this special note of an upcoming event: "'Foster of Grace' the documentary on the India mission created by Brad Kamminga will be shown at Georgetown PRC on Sunday, Sep. 23 at 8pm.  This documentary will give you a better understanding of the background of the mission work and the Grace Foster Home as well as life in India and the struggles and challenges of abandoned children and women in India. This is a public showing for all, so please invite your friends and family from other churches."

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS

  • Classis East: The September meeting of Classis East took place this past Wednesday at Grace PRC. One congregation requested and received the concurrence of classis to increase discipline for one of its members. Four previous cases that came to the May classis that were previously judged to be illegally before classis were now judged legally before classis. In the judgement of classis each protest has been answered by Synod 2018. The expenses for this meeting of Classis was $904.28  

Dordt400LogoRightMargin2
Logo for the 2019 Dordt400 Conference (see note below)

PRC Seminary News:

  • Seminary is now in its fourth week of classses in this first semester. Continue to pray for the professors, students, and staff as they busy themselves in the work of training men for the gospel ministry.

  • The internships of Seminarians Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman officially began July 1. Sem. Kortus is interning at Trinity PRC under Rev. N. Decker and his Council. Sem. Maatman is interning at Hudsonville PRC under Rev. G. Eriks and his Council. The internship program runs from July 1 to December 31.

  • The PRC Synod 2018 took a decision urging “the churches and the pastors in particular in their public prayers to pray the Lord of the harvest for able, faithful, and devoted pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11) for us and our children, as well as for the gathering of the elect out of the nations (Matthew 28:19).” A number of ministers are nearing the age of emeritation, and the number of students in the seminary at this time will not be sufficient to fill the upcoming needs of our churches either in our own congregations or in the work of missions. Please remember this urgent need in your prayers and encourage young men whom you observe to have the gifts to consider the ministry.

  • The Seminary faculty along with Trinity PRC Evangelism Committee are working on plans for a Spring 2019 conference to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the great Synod of Dordt, 1618-19-2018-19. The following details have been announced:

    Dordt 400: On behalf of the PRC Seminary, Trinity PRC is hosting a 3-day conference for the 400th anniversary of the Synod of Dordt on April 25-27.   Mark your calendars and visit our website at dordt400.org

    The Dordt 400 Conference includes a Writing Contest with great prizes.  If you are looking for a way to use your writing skills, visit our website at dordt400.org and start working on your essay.



 PRC Bulacan
One of our sister congregations in the Philippines (cf. *note below)

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following items (from her bulletin today):
    • "By now most of us are already aware that Rev Rodney Kleyn has declined the call to be our Minister-On-Loan (MOL). Let us not be discouraged but continue to pray and wait patiently as we seek the will of the Lord to send the man of His choice to serve in our midst. Psalm 27: 14 "Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say on the Lord."
    • This week we are thankful to God for bringing Rev. Spriensma into our midst to bring us the precious word of God. Rev. Audred and Mrs Alva Spriensma will be with us for 3 Sundays until 1 Oct. Rev Spriensma is no stranger to us. He was in
      Singapore in 2012 to assist us with the pulpit supply. He has pastored in Grandville, Kalamazoo and Byron Center PRCs prior to his current calling as the home missionary. Rev Spriensma did foreign mission work in the Philippines for 5 years leading to the organisation of the Berean Protestant Reformed Church of the Philippines. Rev and Mrs Spriensma are the parents of 5 married children and grandparents of 21 grandchildren! Do welcome them warmly and spend time fellowshipping with them."

    • Her latest newsletter (AUGUST 2018) - Reformed News Asia - was recently posted and may be found on this page.

    • The latest young peoples' magazine, Salt Shakers, was received and posted recently (JULY 2018 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.

  • Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, we call attention to the following:
  • *The PRC now has an official sister-church relationship with the PRC in the Philippines, confirmed at this year's synod! We rejoice in this evidence of the Lord's blessing on the work in the Philippines and of the unity of Christ's church, which He gathers from all nations, tribes, and tongues. May the Lord grant us a mutually edifying and God-honoring relationship.
  • 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 too.

 Grace and Assurance mcgeown 2018
The new book available from the RFPA - in time for the 400th anniversary of the "great" Synod of Dordt!

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • The RFPA Annual Meeting will be held on Thursday, September 27th, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. Rev. Angus Stewart will speak on “The RFPA, the CPRC, and the Spread of the Truth” at Grace PR Church in Grand Rapids, MI. This speech will address the role of RFPA literature from the perspective of a PR sister church running a bookstore and doing missionary work in another country, showing how these Reformed materials edify the CPRC’s members and assist in reaching its contacts. Men, women, and young people are all cordially invited to attend the meeting!

  • Looking for Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine to read? 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.
  • If you are in need of some pamphlets 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.
  • If you or a friend are interested in spiritually edifying music as well as in Bibles and other Reformed literature, visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville, MI or visit their website.

RWH logo 1

  • Don't forget to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday! Today Rev. C. Haak (Georgetown PRC, Hudsonville, MI) continues his series on the OT prophecy of Jonah. The title of today's message is "A Sinful Response to Sovereign Mercy" based on Jonah 4:1-5.

  • From the Reformed Witness Hour (RWH) Committee: the RWH has a new, updated website! Please visit reformedwitnesshour.org to watch our introduction video, view pictures and audio from our history, and read and listen to almost 20 years of past radio broadcasts! If you haven’t visited the RWH website recently, now is an excellent time to familiarize yourself with this important radio-internet ministry of the Reformed faith.

  • A new Spanish edition of the RWH is being produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Look for new messages each week - and help spread the word!

BL April 2014 Page 1

ESPECIALLY FOR THE YOUTH OF THE PRC:

  • Are YOU a subscriber to the PR Young People's magazine, the Beacon Lights? Visit the website and find out why you ought to be.

  • The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted recently (JULY 2018 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.

  • Girls Conference at Georgetown PRC:  "Shine as Lights in the World" (Grades 9-Post High/College) Nov. 10, 2018.  Good Speakers - Music - Q&A Panel.  Be inspired to live for Jesus boldly by shining His light!  Take a friend or two!  Register: https://shineaslights2018.eventbrite.com   

  • The 2018 PRYP's Convention was held the week of August 13-17, at Lake Geneva Christian Center in Alexandria, MN. Pictures from the week can be found on Facebook and at the following link: Rev. Langerak’s Pictures
  • Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat updates: We have secured a location for our retreat during July 1-5, 2019! It will take place at Mt. Baker Bibleway Camp. Check it out at http://www.mtbakercamp.org/home.do. We hope to include activities such as a day trip to beautiful Artist Point, white water rafting, and more. Registration is set to open in February 2019, so don’t miss out! We encourage any young adults post-high school age to attend. Further details have been posted to our Facebook page: Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat 2019. Request an invite to see these details, or message the group if you have any questions!

SNegrosOccidental 1
Missionary D. Kleyn teaching pastors in S. Negros (*cf. note below)

 MISSION NEWS:

  • Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond. For the next three weeks he and his wife are in Singapore serving our sister church, Covenant ERC.

  • The August 2018 newsletter of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship mission station is now posted on this page.

  • To read Rev. Titus' most recent report on the work going on in Myanmar (May 2018), visit this page.

  • The latest Philippines mission newsletter was received and recently posted (July 2018) and may be found on this PRC webpage.
  • Don't forget to follow the Kleyn's blog on life and activities in the Philippines. And that also includes the Holstege's! And the Smits once again too!

  • From this Sunday's bulletins of the Provident Christian Church in Marikina and the Maranatha PRC in Valenzuela, the Philippines we find the following notes concerning their pastors as well as concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:

    • Provident CC:
      • Rev. Holstege will preach both times today.

      • Rev. Kleyn will preach for the Bearers of Light Community Church today in Guiguinto, Bulacan.

      • After the first service, Rev. Holstege will teach Lesson 2 in the Essentials of Reformed Doctrine: The doctrine of Holy Scripture. We will have a short merienda after class.

      • *This Monday and Tuesday, Revs. Kleyn and Holstege will travel to Negros Occidental for the monthly pastors’ classes in Sipalay.

    • Maranatha PRC:
      • Our Pastor, Rev. L. Trinidad will lead us in both services and after the second service he will teach the children the Catechism.
      • Our Missionary, Rev. D. Kleyn will lead us in both Services. He will continue the Belgic Confession lesson.
      • Our Missionaries and PRCP are planning to conduct a Conference in commemoration with the Synod of Dordt, dated November 1618 to May 1619.

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.
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PRC and Sister-Church News for the Week of September 9, 2018

Micah 6 8On this thirty-sixth Lord's Day of 2018, September 9, we provide the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, mission fields, and sister churches.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC, Spokane, WA) has been considering the call from Grandville PRC to serve as minister on loan in our sister church in Singapore. Today, Rev. Kleyn informed Covenant ERC and his own congregation that he DECLINED this call.

  • On August 26 the congregation of Grandville PRC voted to extend a call to Rev. N. Decker (pastor of Trinity PRC). He plans to answer by Sept.23.

  • Today is the day Southeast PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) begins worshiping at Adams Christian School in Wyoming, MI, having recently sold and vacated her former building.

  • From our Pittsburgh (PA) PRC comes this special announcement of an upcoming event: "Save the evening of October 5 at 7:30 pm. Rev. A. Stewart from our sister church in Ireland will be here to give a speech about Martin Luther and his wife Katie."

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS

  • Classis West: We have now received the official public report of the Aug.29-30 meeting from the stated clerk:

    Classis West met in regular session on August 29-30, 2018.  The meeting was hosted by Peace PRC (Lansing, IL), but all sessions were held in the facilities of the neighboring Crete PRC since Peace is in the process of transitioning to a new building.  Rev. John Marcus chaired the meeting.

    The highlight of this meeting was the examination of Pastor-elect Jonathan Langerak who had received and accepted the call extended to him by Heritage PRC (Sioux Falls, SD).  Mr. Langerak led a worship service on the night before Classis, expounding God's Word from Proverbs 3:5-6.  He was then examined the following day in the six loci of Dogmatics, Knowledge of Scripture, Knowledge of the Confessions, Controversy, and Practica.  With the concurrence of the synodical deputies from Classis East, Classis unanimously approved his examination and advised Heritage PRC to proceed to his ordination into the ministry.  Mr. Langerak was ordained in a special worship service held on August 31.  We give thanks to God for supplying another under-shepherd, and pray for God's blessings upon the ministry of Rev. Jonathan Langerak.
    In closed session, Classis dealt with the request of a consistory to increase censure on an impenitent member.  After hearing evidence of the member's impenitence and the consistory's careful labor, Classis advised them to proceed to making the second announcement of the second step of discipline.
    Classis was also informed by a consistory that it had, with the concurrence of a neighboring consistory, suspended its pastor from exercising his office, and that it sought Classis' approval to proceed with his deposition.  With great sadness, Classis voted unanimously to advise the consistory to proceed, and the synodical deputies concurred.
    On its agenda Classis also had an appeal from a member of a congregation against the decisions of his consistory.  Classis declared two parts of the appeal not legally before it as it was not finished at the consistory level.  Classis did enter into one part of the appeal and gave careful instruction to both the appellant and the consistory concerning the procedural issues which were raised.  By decision Classis also reminded the appellant of the importance of brevity in submitting materials and the importance of being patient with his consistory as they work through the issues.
    Classis also approved an overture from Hull PRC to Synod 2019 to add a statement to the bylaws of the denomination regarding our stance on marriage and homosexuality and to write policies regarding this issue that might be adopted by local consistories to aid them in the legal protection of their property against lawsuits. Classis judged that the overture made compelling arguments for the legal protection afforded by such an action and that it would be helpful to local consistories.
    The following classical appointment schedule for Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) was drawn up:  Rev. N. Langerak (September 16 and 23), Rev. R. Barnhill (October 7 and 14), Rev. S. Regnerus (October 21 and 28), Rev. E. Guichelaar (December 9 and 16), Rev. B. Huizinga (January 13 and 20), Rev. M. De Boer (January 27 and February 3), Rev. J. Laning (February 17 and 24), Rev. J. Engelsma (March 17 and 24), Rev. S. Key (March 31 and April 7), Rev. D. Lee (April 21 and 28), and Rev. A. Brummel (May 12 and 19).
    The expenses of Classis totaled $9,350.47.
    The next meeting of Classis West is scheduled for March 6, 2019, in Heritage PRC, the Lord willing.
    Rev. Joshua Engelsma, Stated Clerk, Classis West

  • Classis East will meet in regular session this week Wednesday, September 12th, beginning at 8 AM in Grace Protestant Reformed Church.

Sem students Sept 2018 2
This year's PRC Seminary students (photo taken at this year's PRC Seminary Convocation (see note below)

PRC Seminary News:

  • Seminary Convocation was held this past Wednesday, September 5, at Providence PRC. For more on this event (including pictures and a short video clip of the special music), visit this webpage.

  • Seminary began its classes on Wednesday, Aug.29. Besides our seniors (Matt K. and Jacob M. - internships - cf.. note below), we have two other seminary students this year: third-year student Josiah Tan and first-year student Marcus Wee (who arrived this week with his wife and son), both from our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC. In addition, four young men are taking different levels of pre-seminary Greek from Profs. R. Dykstra and B. Gritters at the seminary.

  • The internships of Seminarians Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman officially began July 1. Sem. Kortus is interning at Trinity PRC under Rev. N. Decker and his Council. Sem. Maatman is interning at Hudsonville PRC under Rev. G. Eriks and his Council. The internship program runs from July 1 to December 31.

  • The PRC Synod 2018 took a decision urging “the churches and the pastors in particular in their public prayers to pray the Lord of the harvest for able, faithful, and devoted pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11) for us and our children, as well as for the gathering of the elect out of the nations (Matthew 28:19).” A number of ministers are nearing the age of emeritation, and the number of students in the seminary at this time will not be sufficient to fill the upcoming needs of our churches either in our own congregations or in the work of missions. Please remember this urgent need in your prayers and encourage young men whom you observe to have the gifts to consider the ministry.

  • The Seminary faculty along with Trinity PRC Evangelism Committee are working on plans for a Spring 2019 conference to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the great Synod of Dordt, 1618-19-2018-19. The following announcement is now being publicized:

    Dordt 400: On behalf of the PRC Seminary, Trinity PRC is hosting a 3-day conference for the 400th anniversary of the Synod of Dordt on April 25-27.   Mark your calendars and visit our website at dordt400.org

    The Dordt 400 Conference includes a Writing Contest with great prizes.  If you are looking for a way to use your writing skills, visit our website at dordt400.org and start working on your essay.



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Read the latest newsletter of Covenant ERC
(*cf. note below)

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following items:
    • Synod 2018 gave approval to the request of Covenant ERC in Singapore that a minister-on-loan be called to labor in their midst during their present vacancy, and appointed Grandville PRC the calling church. On August 5 the congregation voted to call Rev. R. Kleyn from a trio that also included Rev. G. Eriks and Rev. S. Key. He plans to answer this call by Sept.9 (TODAY). *Note: Rev. Kleyn has DECLINED this call.
    • Rev. D. Kleyn and his wife are in the CERC yet today, as our missionary to the Philippines assists in preaching and teaching. This is the note in her bulletin today - including news of her next helper:
      "This week we bid farewell to Rev Daniel Kleyn and Sharon after he peaches in this Lord’s Day. Rev Daniel Kleyn and Sharon will be heading back to the Philippines on Tuesday 11 September.... We thank Rev Daniel Kleyn for taking time off from his busy schedule in the Philippines to minister to us for the past week. We thank God for maintaining the supply for our pulpit during the times while we wait for His appointed MOL.

      We look forward to have Rev. Audred Spriensma and his wife, Alva, to arrive next Saturday 15 September.... Rev. Spriensma and Alva will be with us for three Sundays. Besides preaching, Rev Spriensma will be teaching the secondary level Catechism class and the Pre-Confession the class."

    • Also, from her bulletin today we find another note about her mission work in India: "We thank God for a fruitful trip to Kolkata by Eld Leong and Eld Wee as they supervised the baptism of ten saints and the public confession of faith of six saints in last Lord’s Day. This marked a significant development for CERC (Fellowship) Kolkata. We rejoice with the saints of Kolkata in this milestone as we see the Lord establishing the work of our hands (Psa 90:17) and give us fruits through the labours of our missionary pastor, Rev Singh. Pray that the saints in Kolkata show their love for God by forsaking the world and walking in a godly and holy life."

    • Her latest newsletter (AUGUST 2018) - Reformed News Asia - was recently posted and may be found on this page.

    • The latest young peoples' magazine, Salt Shakers, was received and posted recently (JULY 2018 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.

  • Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, we call attention to the following:
  • The PRC now has an official sister-church relationship with the PRC in the Philippines, confirmed at this year's synod! We rejoice in this evidence of the Lord's blessing on the work in the Philippines and of the unity of Christ's church, which He gathers from all nations, tribes, and tongues. May the Lord grant us a mutually edifying and God-honoring relationship.
  • 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 too.

 Behold I Come CPRC 2018
The new book available from our sister church in N. Ireland and from PRC Evangelism Committees.
Contact yours to obtain your copy. Here's the description: "This superb new book sets forth the Reformed and biblical truth of the end in ten relatively short chapters!"

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • The RFPA Annual Meeting will be held on Thursday, September 27th, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. Rev. Angus Stewart will speak on “The RFPA, the CPRC, and the Spread of the Truth” at Grace PR Church in Grand Rapids, MI. This speech will address the role of RFPA literature from the perspective of a PR sister church running a bookstore and doing missionary work in another country, showing how these Reformed materials edify the CPRC’s members and assist in reaching its contacts. Men, women, and young people are all cordially invited to attend the meeting!

  • Looking for Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine to read? 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.
  • If you are in need of some pamphlets 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.
  • If you aor a friend are interested in spiritually edifying music as well as in Bibles and other Reformed literature, visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville, MI or visit their website.

  • The PRC Denominational Directory is now for sale for just $15.00. To order please fill out an order form or by emailing Laura Huizinga @ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • The Psalter App is now available for Android as well as for IOS (Apple) devices. For more info visit: https://psalterapp.weebly.com

RWH logo 1

  • Don't forget to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday! Today Rev. C. Haak (Georgetown PRC, Hudsonville, MI) brings part 3 a series on the OT prophecy of Jonah. The title of today's message is "God's Mercy with Repentant Sinners", Jonah 3:10.

  • From the Reformed Witness Hour (RWH) Committee: the RWH has a new, updated website! Please visit reformedwitnesshour.org to watch our introduction video, view pictures and audio from our history, and read and listen to almost 20 years of past radio broadcasts! If you haven’t visited the RWH website recently, now is an excellent time to familiarize yourself with this important radio-internet ministry of the Reformed faith.

ESPECIALLY FOR THE YOUTH OF THE PRC:

  • Girls Conference at Georgetown PRC:  Shine as Lights in the World (Grades 9-Post High/College) Nov. 10, 2018.  Good Speakers - Music - Q&A Panel.  Be inspired to live for Jesus boldly by shining His light!  Take a friend or two!  Register: https://shineaslights2018.eventbrite.com   

  • The 2018 PRYP's Convention was held the week of August 13-17, at Lake Geneva Christian Center in Alexandria, MN. Pictures from the week can be found on Facebook and at the following link:

    Rev. Langerak’s Pictures

  • Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat updates: We have secured a location for our retreat during July 1-5, 2019! It will take place at Mt. Baker Bibleway Camp. Check it out at http://www.mtbakercamp.org/home.do. We hope to include activities such as a day trip to beautiful Artist Point, white water rafting, and more. Registration is set to open in February 2019, so don’t miss out! We encourage any young adults post-high school age to attend. Further details have been posted to our Facebook page: Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat 2019. Request an invite to see these details, or message the group if you have any questions!

  • The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted recently (JULY 2018 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.
  • BL header lighthouse
    Are YOU a subscriber to the PR Young People's magazine, the Beacon Lights? Visit the website and find out why you ought to be.

Gospel to all nations

 MISSION NEWS:

  • Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond. Today, he is preaching in Georgetown PRC. Over the next three weeks he and his wife will be traveling to Singapore to serve our sister church, Covenant ERC.

  • The August 2018 newsletter of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship mission station is now posted on this page.

  • To read Rev. Titus' most recent report on the work going on in Myanmar (May 2018), visit this page.

  • The latest Philippines mission newsletter was received and recently posted (July 2018) and may be found on this PRC webpage.
  • Don't forget to follow the Kleyn's blog on life and activities in the Philippines. And that also includes the Holstege's! And the Smits once again too!

  • From this Sunday's bulletins of the Provident Christian Church in Marikina and the Maranatha PRC in Valenzuela, the Philippines we find the following notes concerning their pastors as well as concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:

    • Provident CC:
      • Rev. Holstege will preach both times today.

      • After the first service today, Rev. Holstege will begin teaching Essentials of Reformed Doctrine. Today we will consider Lesson 1: The Knowledge of God. We will have a short merienda after class.

      • This Wednesday at 7:30, Lord willing, Rev. Holstege will continue to teach Hermeneutics (Rules of Bible Interpretation). All are welcome to join.

      • Rev. and Sharon Kleyn are still in Singapore today. They plan to return to the Philippines this week, DV. We pray that the Lord will watch over them in their travels.

    • Maranatha PRC:
      • Our Missionary, Rev. R. Smit will lead us in both services.
      • Our Missionaries and PRCP are planning to conduct a Conference in commemoration with the Synod of Dordt, dated November 1618 to May 1619.

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.
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Reformed News Asia - August 2018

Issue 50 - August 2018
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!
Ageing
By Rev. den Hartog Arie & MaryBeth Lubbers

"Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not..."  
Psalm 71:18 

"For I know [Abraham], that he will command his children and his household after him...."
Genesis 18:19 

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.
Grace and Assurance
by Martyn McGeown

From the RFPA website:

In 1618-19 the great Synod of Dordt met to counter the Arminian error that was threatening the peace and welfare of the Reformed churches in the Netherlands. The fruit of their deliberations was the Canons of Dordt, a creed which has defined the Calvinist, Reformed faith for centuries.

This accessible commentary on the Canons leads readers through the comforting message of the creed: being wholly saved by God’s grace—not one’s own merit—comes with the steadfast assurance of eternal and unchangeable election.

 
Audio Recordings
Series of Sermons on The Last Days by Prof Russell Dykstra from 2 Peter 3:

The Coming Of Scoffers In The Last Days 
The Willing Ignorance Of The Scoffers
God's Longsuffering To Usward
What Manner Of People?


 
 
Upcoming Events!
 
Mooncake Gospel Meeting 

Speaker : Elder Lap Meng
Date : 29 Sep 18, Sat
Venue : CERC
Time: 5.30pm to 7.30pm
 
23 Sep    31st CERC Church Anniversary
Oct    Mission Seminar
 
Past Events...
 
Infant Baptism

In July, we were again blessed to witness the Infant Baptism of Sonya, daughter of Ivan Chew and Elisa; and Asaph, son of Marcus Wee and Tze Yan! We rejoice with their parents, thanking God and praying for God's blessings upon them as they bring up their covenant child in the fear of the Lord. 
Baptism of Sonya
Baptism of Asaph
 
Farewell for Pastor & Sherry Den Hartog

A number of farewell meals were planned for Pastor & Sherry Den Hartog who had been in our midst for 25 Sundays since January 2018. We bid farewell to them on 16 July. We thank God for them for their dedicated labours in our congregation for the past months, through the preaching and the counsels. We praise God for His goodness and love for CERC. 
Farewell lunch for Pastor Den Hartog and Sherry organised by Glowing Candles Bible Study Group
 
Prof & Carol Dykstra

We were glad to receive Prof & Carol Dykstra into our midst for 5 Sundays. We are very grateful to God for providing for our needs and for the supply of pulpit till the end of this year. May we trust and be thankful to God in all matters.
Prof Dykstra in one of his speeches
 
Installation of Office Bearers

On 22nd July, we witnessed the installation of Elder elect Wee Gim Theng and Elder Leong Fai Chong to the office of Elder as well as Deacon elect Paul Liu to the ofiice of Deacon. We thank God for His care and faithfulness for His church and we pray for the Lord's blessings upon them as they diligently undertake their respective callings. 
 
Family Seminar

This year's national day on 9 August, we were privileged to have a speech by Prof Dykstra under the theme: Dealing With Technology - Seeking Wisely To Live Wisely With Screen. The speech can be found here. Let us consider the usage of technology in our lives and in our homes. 

Fellowship Outing

On 22 September, we had another fellowship outing under the theme: Dwelling Together in Unity. The outing started of with devotions by Paul Liu followed by an activity of arts and crafts.
3D structures based on verses. Can you guess the verse?
 
Notes
 
Salt Shakers

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

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

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