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Reformed News Asia - December 2019

 
Issue 57 - December 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!
The Law of God
By Rev Rodney Kleyn

"Psalm 119:97ff:

O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
 
Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.
 
I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
 
I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.
 
I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.
 
I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.
 
How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
 
Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way."

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.
Born For Our Salvation
by Martyn McGeown
 

From the RFPA website:

The nativity story is the message of salvation, for in the words of the Nicene Creed, “Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God…for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man.” Jesus was born for our salvation!

Follow the inspired evangelists, Matthew and Luke, as they relate the wonderful events that surround the birth and early childhood of Jesus Christ. Marvel at the announcement of the angel Gabriel. Rejoice with Mary, Elizabeth, the unborn John, and Joseph. Trace the steps of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, where the Savior is born. Listen to the heavenly song of the angelic host as they announce the gospel to lowly shepherds. Meet patient Simeon and aged Anna in the temple, and hear Simeon’s mysterious prophecy of the Savior’s rejection. Make the long trek from the east with the wise men who eagerly seek him that is born King of the Jews. Enter the palace of ruthless King Herod and witness his satanic enmity against the newborn Savior. Flee with Mary, Joseph, and Jesus to Egypt to escape the king’s wrath. Observe Jesus’ childhood development in Nazareth, and, finally, accompany Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem in his twelfth year, where he must be about his Father’s business. 

 
Audio Recordings
Click to listen to the series of sermons from Thessalonians by Rev Arie Den Hartog
 
Paul's Thanksgiving For The Thessalonian Christians
Thanksgiving For The Saving Power Of The Word Of God
Abound More And More In Love
Walk Pleasing to God
Armed As We Await The Coming Of The Lord
 
Upcoming Events!
 
Save the date!

1 Feb 2020 - CNY Visitation

15-18 Jun 2020 - Church Camp 2020
 
 
Past Events...
 
Reformation Day Conference 2019

On the 9th of November 2019, CERC held its Reformation Day Conference under the theme "Personal, Practical, Profitable: The "Other" Work of the Syod of Dordt". The theme was chosen to target the more practical application of the Synod of Dordt. We were privileged to have Rev Den Hartog who delivered the speeches. We were blessed by the speeches and may we apply what we have learnt in our daily lives.

RDC 2019 Speech 1 : The Synod and Church Life
RDC 2019 Speech 2: The Synod and Personal Life
 
Rev Den Hartog giving a speech
 
 
Book sale
Artwork all the way from Kolkata
 
Christmas Caroling 2019

The Christmas Caroling was held at Brother Ishu's and Brother Yoon Chuan's house this year. We are thankful to them for opening their house as well as their hospitality. Everyone had an enjoyable time of singing and fellowship!
 
 
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 • www.cerc.org.sg 
 
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Covenant Reformed News - December 2019

Covenant Reformed News


December 2020 • Volume XVII, Issue 20



Begotten by God’s Own Will

Holy Scripture speaks of regeneration as a new or spiritual birth. It is being born (or begotten) again or born from above or born of the Spirit or born of God. Thus James 1:18 states, “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.”

What is regeneration? Regeneration is God’s granting new, spiritual and heavenly life—the resurrection life of Jesus Christ—to an elect but totally depraved sinner, so that his inner transformation is truly a new, spiritual and heavenly birth or begetting.

Who would have expected regeneration to have been mentioned in James 1:18 in the midst of James’ very practical first chapter? Very few, yet it fits the context really well. The previous verse begins, “Every good gift [including regeneration] and every perfect gift [including regeneration] is from above” (17). Moreover, the new birth is especially “from above” for all true Christians are “born again” or, as it may also be translated, “born from above” (John 3:3, 7). James 1:17 continues, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father.” How does God become our Father? By His begetting or regenerating us!

The previous verse commands, “Do not err, my beloved brethren” (16). How do we become brothers and sisters of each other? By regeneration, for we are begotten by the same spiritual and heavenly Father!

Regeneration is a “good” and “perfect” spiritual “gift,” and we also receive “good” and “perfect” earthly and temporal gifts (17). Regeneration is the first spiritual gift in the life of God’s elect because our fellowship with our heavenly Father begins with our being born again. It is only through our regeneration that we know the truth of James 1:17, that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights.”

So what is the first thing that James teaches us about regeneration? That it originates solely in the sovereign good pleasure of Almighty God: “Of his own will begat he us” (18)! The emphasis of the original Greek is captured in the word order of our English translation: “Of his own will begat he us.”

James 1:18 is not the only New Testament text on God’s sovereign will as the source of our new birth. John 1:13 declares that the regenerate “were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” This is the first reference to regeneration in the Gospel According to John and in the New Testament canon as arranged in our Bibles. It even occurs in John’s celebrated prologue (John 1:1-18).

Notice how emphatically antithetical John 1:13 is. It states that the origin of our regeneration is not any of these three things, for we “were born, [1] not of blood, [2] nor of the will of the flesh, [3] nor of the will of man.” Instead, we “were born … of God.” Our regeneration is of God, not man; of God’s will, not man’s will; of God’s will alone!

Two chapters later, we read, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). Here Christ uses the wind as an image to convey the sovereignty of God in regeneration. Jesus speaks of the wind blowing wherever it wants, so that we do not know where it came from or where it is going next.

The lesson that the Lord is teaching us is that the Holy Spirit in regeneration is like the sovereign wind. The Spirit regenerates whom He wills or wishes or wants or desires. We do not know where He was last when He regenerated someone or where He is going next to regenerate another.

Christ was not afraid to instruct people in the absolute sovereignty of God the Spirit in regenerating whom He wants (and also not regenerating according to His own free and sovereign will). Here in John 3, Jesus is explaining the truth to an unbeliever, an unbeliever who was a leader in the institute church: Nicodemus the Pharisee.

Clearly, our Saviour did not think that this truth was too hard or sharp, or that it would blunt the seriousness of the call to repent and believe, or kill evangelism. After teaching Nicodemus about regeneration (1-13), Christ speaks about God’s love demonstrated in the cross bringing everlasting life to all who believe (14-17), and warns of God’s condemnation of all who love darkness and so do not trust the Son (18-21).

Now let us put two parts of James 1 together: “Do not err, my beloved brethren” (16) and “Of his own will begat he us” (18). How do people “err” (16) in opposition to the truth of God’s sovereign regeneration (18)?

First, many teach and believe baptismal regeneration that people are born again through the water that is applied by the church in the sacrament of baptism. Everyone who is dunked in, or sprinkled with, water by an ecclesiastical official in the name of the Triune God is born again so that new spiritual life is given to him or her. This is the position of Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Lutheranism, high church Anglicanism and many others.

Second, many teach and believe decisional regeneration that people are born again through the exercise of their own free will. Whereas baptismal regeneration locates the power to effect the new birth in the church (with its sacrament), decisional regeneration places this might in the sinner himself (and his own supposed free will). According to the latter heresy, though God assists him, the final say always lies with man and his free will: man decides to believe and then (in response) God regenerates him. This is preached and believed in Arminianism and Methodism, and in most of fundamentalism and evangelicalism.

“Do not err, my beloved brethren” (16), not only regarding our practice, especially as concerns our temptations (2-15), but also regarding our doctrine. There is a massive theological error that most in Christendom actually embrace. Instead of the Bible’s doctrine of sovereign regeneration, they teach and trust in baptismal regeneration and/or decisional regeneration. I say, “and/or” because some, like John Wesley, believed or believe both of these heresies!

But what does James 1 say? “Of his own will begat he us” (18), so “Do not err, my beloved brethren” (16). As those who are “of the truth,” let us hear the “voice” of Him who bears “witness unto the truth” in the Bible (John 18:37)! Rev. Angus Stewart

 

The Idea of the Organic in Scripture (5)

Adam was the head of all God’s work in the universe—not only of mankind but also of the creation. He fell and plunged the entire human race into the darkness and hopelessness of total depravity. The curse of God came also on the creation itself. The curse fell on the ground because Adam sinned (Gen. 3:17), but in Romans 8:19-22 Paul tells us that the whole creation groans and travails under the curse, waiting for the salvation of the children of God.

This is important because it means, as the passage in Romans makes clear, that the creation that is under the curse shall be delivered with the sons of God, that is, in the redemption of the elect accomplished by Christ. We often forget that. Christ bore our curse but He also bore the curse of God on the creation. The result is that Christ’s headship over His elect people, who were “chosen ... in him before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4), extends also over the whole universe so that He is head of all.

But there is more. Colossians 1:20 insists that Christ is the head of all things “in heaven,” as well as all things on earth. It is almost as if the apostle thinks we might doubt his statement that Christ is also the head of heavenly things and the heavenly creation. But so it is. Scripture teaches that Christ is Lord of all, including the new heavens and the new earth.

That, quite obviously, brings up a problem. Christ becomes head of the heavenly things by dying for them and redeeming them with His blood. But, if this is true, then the angels too now look to Christ as their head because He died for them, as well as elect humans. How is that possible?

It is possible because God created the angels also, probably on the sixth day when He created man—although Scripture does not tell us specifically. But the angels also were created as a corporate unity with the angel that is now the devil at the head—as Adam was in the original creation. When the devil rebelled against God, he took a large number of angels with him into his depravity, but the entire angelic world was responsible for his sin and became guilty in him.

Scripture refers to “elect angels” (I Tim. 5:21). Election and reprobation took place in heaven as well as on earth. In heaven, it took place immediately at the fall of Satan, though Satan was permitted in heaven until Christ’s ascension when He threw him out. In the old dispensation, Satan could still enter heaven, as during his tirades against Job (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-6; cf. Jude 9; Rev. 12:7-12). The last passage also explains why Christ is also the head of the elect angels. So it is clear that Christ died, and through His death and resurrection became the head of all the earthly and heavenly creation.

We must understand this. When originally God created the heavens and the earth, He created them as two separate creations. They were different in that the earth was physical and material, while the heavenly creation was spiritual. They were so different that the two could have no contact with each other, nor could angels come to earth and men go to heaven. But when the fall came, God began to work His eternal and highest purpose by making His own eternal Son head over all. He gave many indications of His plan and purpose. He promised Adam the “seed” who would crush the head of the serpent (Gen. 3:15). The Old Testament is the story of Christ and Satan in their bitter warfare that would culminate in the cross (Rev. 12:1-5). God kept reminding His people of His purpose by His miracles, prophecies and laws, as well as the visits of angels and the words of outstanding men who spoke of Christ’s coming.

When Christ was born of Mary, God came in our flesh in the greatest miracle that took place in all of history, for Christ came to die for both creations and for the elect in the angelic word and the elect here on earth. His resurrection from the dead shattered the barrier that had existed in the old dispensation. Christ startled, so to speak, heaven and earth. He arose from Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb—an event that is part of the history of this world. But He went through a door that He created and that opened in heaven. His resurrection was visible only in heaven and was seen there. And there He became head over all!

And so, in this new organism that will finally be perfected when Christ comes again, this earth is destroyed with fire, the elect are saved and all things, including heavenly things, are made new. Christ will be acknowledged as Lord of all. He will be the head of all. The old world will be burned with fire, elect humans and angels will be delivered from sin and death, and the whole creation will be united as one great organism to the eternal glory of God.

That is Scripture’s teaching on the great works of our God. We cannot celebrate His greatness without seeing how He has revealed Himself in His mighty works in His beloved Son: Christ, head over all; the elect, Christ’s own body; the elect angels, their “ministering spirits” (Heb. 1:14); and the whole new creation, heaven and earth, the everlasting possession of Christ and His church. The old organism will serve its purpose and be swept away in order to make room for this glorious organism.

How easy it is to lose sight of God’s glory in our preoccupation with earthly problems and things. How great is the glory of our God revealed in Christ and His cosmic work. How beautifully biblical revelation portrays all God’s works united to bring praise eternally to Him who has done it all. Let us lift up our eyes on high and worship Him whose works are past finding out. Prof. Herman 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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Dating Differently
A Guide to
Reformed Dating

by Joshua Engelsma
(160 pp. Softback)  
 
 
We’re bombarded with antichristian messages everywhere in life. From casual hookups to recreational sex, our culture’s messages on dating are no different. But Christians don’t have to follow these wicked societal norms. The Bible gives us a better way. It’s a way of chastity and wisdom, a way that understands that marriage—the end goal of dating—is for life. The person you marry will shape who you become spiritually. That person will also be the father or mother to the children God is pleased to give you some day. Pastorally and accessibly, Joshua Engelsma answers the practical questions of Reformed, Christian dating based on the truth that we must date differently—with marriage as the goal and Scripture as the guide.


£8.80 (inc. P&P)

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

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

South Wales
Lecture


William Tyndale: 
English Bible Translator


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

Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart


Date:
Thursday, 23 January
 
7:15 PM

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

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

All are invited! 

cprc.co.uk/south-wales-lectures
 


Reserve the date for
an additional
 

S. Wales Lecture

The Canon of Sacred Scripture

Speaker:
Rev. M. McGeown

Date:
Thursday, 27 February, 2020

cprc.co.uk/south-wales-lectures


For God's Glory & the Church's Consolation
edited by
Ronald Cammenga
(320 pp. Softback)  
 
This powerful book defends and promotes the Bible’s teachings on particular salvation as systematized in the Canons of Dordt (1618-1619) with special focus on the gospel call, the covenant, reprobation and assurance. It also covers the significance, polemics, sessions and church polity of Dordt. The chapters of this book were written by Prof. Douglas Kuiper, Rev. Angus Stewart, Prof. Brian Huizinga, Rev. Mark Shand, Rev. William Langerak, Prof. Ronald Cammenga and Prof. Barry Gritters.   

£14.30 (inc. P&P) 

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

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!
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Limerick Reformed Fellowship Newsletter - December 2019

Limerickmeetingplace

Limerick Reformed Fellowship

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

http://www.limerickreformed.com/

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

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BornForOurSalvation MMG 2019

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

In Christian love,

Rev. Martyn and Larisa McGeown

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Covenant Reformed News - November 2019

Covenant Reformed News


November 2019 • Volume XVII, Issue 19



Christ’s Triumph Over the Demonic Powers (3)

In the last two issue of the News, we have been considering this inspired statement by the apostle Paul: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:14-15).

This is not the only Scripture to speak of Christ’s blessed victory over Satan at the cross. The author of the epistle to the Hebrews writes, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (2:14-15).

Likewise, the apostle John declares, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (I John 3:8).

Before the cross and with a view to its accomplishment, our Lord Jesus proclaimed, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out” (John 12:31).

Not long after the fall, God Almighty promised, “I will put enmity between thee [i.e., Satan] and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed [i.e., Christ]; it [i.e., He] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15). 

All this helps us answer two crucial questions. First, for whom were Satan and his host defeated, disarmed and made a public spectacle at the cross? Not for all men head for head. The devil and his demons rule over many, even most, people. He is not disarmed regarding his abuse of the law against them or rule over them through sin. He is even called “the god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4; John 12:31).

The truth is that Jesus Christ’s sacrifice is particular, for the elect alone. He made atonement for His chosen people’s iniquities, making satisfaction to God’s law for us. In this way, He disarmed Satan of these weapons so that he cannot condemn us. Thus Isaiah exults in our Lord’s victory: “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (53:11-12).

Second, in what way were the devil and his demons defeated, disarmed and made a public spectacle at the cross? Christ’s atonement justifies His elect before Jehovah, dealing with our sin and God’s law, so that Satan is disarmed regarding us in these crucial areas. With respect to our sanctification, we add that our flesh is dethroned and not dominant, and Jesus is Lord over us.

However, it is also true that Satan and his demons tempt us and even seduce us into sin, for our “adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Pet. 5:8).

We must keep praying the sixth petition of the Lord’s prayer: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; that is, since we are so weak in ourselves that we cannot stand a moment; and besides this, since our mortal enemies, the devil, the world, and our own flesh cease not to assault us, do Thou therefore preserve and strengthen us by the power of Thy Holy Spirit, that we may not be overcome in this spiritual warfare, but constantly and strenuously may resist our foes, till at last we obtain a complete victory” (Heidelberg Catechism, A. 127).

But Satan does not rule over us and he is a defeated foe. At the judgment day, he will be made a public spectacle, even before the wicked, and he shall be cast into the lake of fire as he deserves (Rev. 20:10)!

All of this is good news for the Christian! First, in Christ we are “more than conquerors” over the demonic powers (Rom. 8:37-39). We triumph over the guilt of sin and have victory over the law as a condemning power!

Second, we are also “hyper-conquerors,” another translation of the famous phrase in Romans 8:37, over the (ungodly) world. We are victors over the world which stands in the service of Satan and sin, the world as it works through humanism and false religion to make righteousness appear wicked, sin look good, truth seem foolishness and the lie to be veracity itself.

Rejoice in this testimony of sacred Scripture: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (I John 5:4-5). Rev. Stewart


For further study on this subject, listen to “The Devil and His Demons,” on-line or order the box set of 10 CDs from the CPRC Bookstore for just £10 (including P&P in the UK). We now have 93 titles of box sets of CDs and/or DVDs for sale.

 

The Idea of the Organic in Scripture (4)

How does God reveal Himself in the salvation of His church? What does it mean that He works His great work of salvation organically? That is the question we now face.

I have written about the idea of God’s organic working in a world of sin, beginning with the sin of Adam. Adam’s sin brought the guilt and the pollution of sin upon the whole human race. Death was the punishment for sin, and all the grief and sorrow we witness in the world today is God’s punishment upon a sinful human race. The awful wickedness of the idol worship of the heathen, the cruelty of Islam and the debauchery of Western civilization are all due to the evil development of Adam’s one sin of disobeying God.

But it is not and never was God’s ultimate purpose to abandon a sinful world to its own depravity. We are now talking about the counsel of God: His eternal purpose in all His works. What is the highest and final purpose of the living God in His eternal counsel?

God is sovereign in all things—or He is not God! He does all His good pleasure, and does not purposelessly or arbitrarily exercise His sovereignty. He is not fickle in the exercise of His sovereign rule. Nor does He abdicate His throne or share His sovereignty with foolish and depraved man. He is God! There is none else!

Scripture tells us that the eternal purpose of God’s eternal counsel is His own great glory, the glory of His infinite majesty, His holiness, His perfections, His blessedness, His supreme joy in Himself and all His virtues as the Triune God. The Bible tells us that He has chosen to reveal all His glory in the highest possible way. What is this highest possible way? Again, according to Scripture, the highest possible way for God to reveal Himself is through Jesus Christ, His eternal Son, the perfect and full manifestation of God.

The opening words of Hebrews declare this astounding truth: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (1:1-3).

Colossians 1:14-19 and Proverbs 8:22-36 teach the same ideas as Hebrews 1. In this chapter, we have enough scriptural truth to occupy all our time throughout our entire life. This passage is so profound and wonderful that I have never dared to preach on it lest I do it injustice by making our God and His Christ less glorious than they are.

A few obvious truths found in these three passages are important for us now.

God’s eternal counsel to reveal His glory makes it clear that He determined to reveal Himself through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the purpose of the counsel, the goal of the God who has determined to reveal Himself in the highest and best way. Everything in His counsel is subservient to this purpose. Everything must serve this goal. All God determined to do, which is all He does, serves the revelation of His glory in Jesus.

Christ is, therefore, before Adam in the counsel of God—if I may speak of one thing as “before” another, given that God’s counsel is eternal, that is, timeless, not made in the framework of time’s succession of moments.

That this is true is evident from Paradise itself. The whole of the original garden pictured the tabernacle and temple, where sacrifices were made: the Garden of Eden = the outer court; Paradise itself = the holy place; the holy of holies = the tree of life.

The carnivorous animals were created with jaws and digestive systems fit to eat meat, when there was no death. The immune system was created in man, when there was no disease. Most important of all, Christ Himself was created in Adam and Eve, as was the entire human race, which was born from Adam and of which Christ is a part.

In other words, in His creation God had another organism as the goal of His eternal purpose. Not the organism of the creation with all its sub-organisms, and not the organism of the human race with Adam at its head, is God’s eternal purpose, but Christ who was destined to be head over all in this new organism through which God would reveal His great glory.

Christ is God’s only begotten Son, who was made like us in all things except sin. He had no sin because the Triune God was His Father and He was born of the virgin Mary by the miracle of conception without a man. The Holy Ghost came upon Mary and “the power of the Highest” overshadowed her (Luke 1:35). He was, and is, the Son of Man. He is also the Son of God, “Light of Light, true God of true God,” to use the words of the Nicene Creed.

Does this all mean that the first Paradise and the first Adam mean nothing? No, they were “the shadow of things to come” and thus serve the purpose of achieving the goal of God’s counsel in Christ, “the last Adam” (I Cor. 15:45).

Was the original creation with Adam at its head spoiled by Adam’s transgression such that God had to reformulate His counsel because Adam made it impossible for Him to realize His purpose in the original Paradise? No, the first Adam was “the figure of him that was to come” (Rom. 5:14).

One more significant point. The Scriptures teach that Christ is the one true organic head of all things and people in this universe. But Christ is also the organic head of heaven and all the heavenly creation and its inhabitants, including the angels. This is clearly taught in Colossians 1:20: “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him [i.e., Christ] to reconcile all things to himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

This is a startling verse. Paul is concerned that the readers of this passage (or the listeners in Colosse who heard their minister read Paul’s letter) might mistakenly assume that he meant merely everything here on earth. So he repeats himself: “I mean ‘all things,’ and that includes everything in this earth all right but also all things in heaven.” This statement by Paul quite naturally raises questions for Christ died for SIN!—and there is no sin in heaven.

But we shall discuss this problem a bit later. Indeed, we will discuss the whole idea further in future issues. Prof. Hanko


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


William Tyndale: 
English Bible Translator


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

Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart


Date:
Thursday, 23 January, 2020
 
7:15 PM

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

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

All are invited! 

cprc.co.uk/south-wales-lectures

Jehovah’s
Mighty Acts

by Nathan Langerak
(100 pp. Hardback)  
 
This Bible story book for primary school children consists of 31 Old Testament Bible stories about Jehovah’s saving acts toward His covenant people. Each story is paired with beautiful full-colour illustrations. The stories and accompanying illustrations in Jehovah’s Mighty Acts are a tool for parents to use in instructing their children in the truth of God’s saving wonders in the Old Testament, which point to the mightiest act of all—our salvation in Jesus Christ! 

£16.50 (inc. P&P)

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

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


For God's Glory & the Church's Consolation
edited by
Ronald Cammenga
(320 pp. Softback)  
 
This powerful book defends and promotes the Bible’s teachings on particular salvation as systematized in the Canons of Dordt (1618-1619) with special focus on the gospel call, the covenant, reprobation and assurance. It also covers the significance, polemics, sessions and church polity of Dordt. The chapters of this book were written by Prof. Douglas Kuiper, Rev. Angus Stewart, Prof. Brian Huizinga, Rev. Mark Shand, Rev. William Langerak, Prof. Ronald Cammenga and Prof. Barry Gritters.   

£14.30 (inc. P&P) 

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

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!
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New Issue of Salt Shakers - November 2019

SS genl pic"Covenant Keepers", the youth ministry of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (our sister church), has now released the November 2019 issue of "Salt Shakers" (#57), their youth magazine.

The November 2019 issue of "SS" is once again filled with interesting and instructive articles, and our PRC young people especially are encouraged to make it part of their reading content.

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

Dear readers,

As we reach the end of the year, we present to you our fifth issue of 2019! You may have wondered why this e-publication has been delayed. The magazine was released in conjunction with our church's celebration of Reformation Day on 9 November. In such an occasion, we pray the content of this issue reflects not only what it means to be Reformed, but also the glory of our covenant God.
DV, we hope to release our final issue of the year near Christmas. Stay tuned!
In Christ,
Lim Yang Zhi, On Behalf of the Salt Shakers Committee

Welcome to the 57th issue of Salt Shakers!

Dear Reader, 

The Salt Shakers committee presents another issue of the Salt Shakers. We are pleased to present this issue at CERC’s Reformation Day Conference (RDC). The RDC commemorates the wondrous work of God in preserving the Reformed church in the truth, over against the errors that abounded during the great Synod of Dordt. These errors are ever present in the church today — old errors dressed in new garments. The church is therefore called to do battle constantly, on behalf of God’s truth and His precious church. She fights a valiant warfare, counting all but loss for the excellency of the truth that is in Jesus Christ. 

In this issue we have Prof. David Engelsma explaining the nature, necessity and history of polemics in the church. Prof. Engelsma demonstrates that polemics have long been a characteristic of faithful Reformed churches. Failure on the part of Reformed churches today to do polemics is failure to recognise that glorious history and confession that they possess. Polemics is a bloody warfare, according to Prof. Engelsma; it requires great sacrifice and will involve suffering and persecution on the part of the faithful church. 

Prof. Herman Hanko relates the concept of wisdom and helping others in his article. He explains how the concept of love is involved in the wisdom of helping our neighbour, which seeks his salvation ultimately. Our neighbours are not those out there in the world, but those whom we come into contact with every day, especially our neighbour in church. Wisdom seeks the salvation of those we come into contact with. This is the nature of true love. 

Dr. Matthias Wee also pens an enlightening article on the griefs of miscarriage, a grief not uncommon to couples in the church. He explains its impact on the couple and to those around them, and offers biblical suggestions for coping with this tragedy. 

We pray that you will be edified by these articles, and remember to pass the salt. 

Blessings,

Aaron

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Reformed News Asia - October 2019

Issue 56 - October 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!
The Christian and Work
By Various Authors

"Labour is an institution of God. Like marriage and government, labour is a creation ordinance. The God who made man, made man to work. We ought to work. Work is good for us. We should be thankful that we can work. We can be sure that we will work in heaven, in the new creation of God."

"Each of us must consider his work a calling from the Lord, whether that's mother in the home, teacher in the school, worker in the factory, businessman, farmer, doctor, lawyer, minister of the Word. God assigns to each his or her own position. God is the one Who gives to us the gifts and talents that are ours for the work which we are called to do. Since our work itself is provided us by God, since our strength and ability to do the work comes from God, our work itself ought to be done to the glory of God."

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:

Among Reformed Christians, the celebration of the anniversary of the Synod of Dordt (1618–19) is second only to the commemoration of the Reformation of the sixteenth century. Indeed, marking the anniversary of the “great synod,” as it soon was called, is commemoration of the Reformation. For mainly Dordt’s accomplishment was the preservation of the gospel of God’s sovereign grace, which was restored to the church through the Reformation.

The Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary held a conference to celebrate the four hundredth anniversary of the Synod of Dordt. For God’s Glory and the Church’s Consolation includes all the presentations made at this conference, plus a bit more. The book explores the heritage that faithful Reformed churches ought to esteem, as that heritage was defended and handed down by the Synod of Dordt.

 
Audio Recordings
Click to listen to the sermons on Lord's Day 21 by Rev Arie Den Hartog
 
The Church Of Jesus Christ
The Church As The Communion Of The Saints
I Believe In The Forgiveness Of Sins
 
Upcoming Events!
 
Save the date!

17 Nov 2019 - CERC 32nd Anniversary Celebration
 
 
Reformation Day Conference 2019

Come join us in commemorating Reformation day this November!

Details in the poster below:
 
Past Events...
 
Mooncake Gospel Meeting 2019

We Thank God for having Elder Chew who gave a talk on 这就是爱了 (This is Love), taken from 1 John 4:9-10 for this year's mooncake gospel meeting. The talk can be found here.
 
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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