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Covenant Reformed News - November 2017


Covenant Reformed News

November 2017  •  Volume XVI, Issue 19

What Is a Protestant? (5)

Having seen what a Protestant is historically, theologically, creedally and ecclesiastically, we now need to consider this question: What is a son or daughter of the Reformation ethically? How does Protestantism influence one’s lifestyle? Many things could be said here but I will highlight just two points.

First, a Protestant loves and speaks the truth. Part of the background for this is historical. It is Jesuit teaching that it is okay, even virtuous, to tell a lie, if it serves the Roman Catholic Church. A degree of this moral ambiguity concerning the ninth commandment has hung over Roman Catholicism for many centuries. Think of the lies and cover-up in the Roman church, especially over the last several decades, regarding their homosexual priests who sexually abuse little boys.

Protestantism’s concern for truth flows from its solas or “onlys.” Sola Scriptura declares, “thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Salvation is solus Christus for He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Jehovah alone is glorified (soli Deo gloria) as the “God of truth” (Deut. 32:4) by our keeping the ninth commandment: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Ex. 20:16).

Also the gospel truth of justification by faith alone (sola fide) also promotes honesty. In Psalm 32, David rejoices in the forgiveness or non-imputation of his sins: “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile” (1-2). For believers, the non-imputation of sins and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness always go hand in hand (Rom. 4:6-8). Now notice what Psalm 32:2 adds: “Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” One who is truly blessed because of the non-imputation of his sins and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to him by faith alone is honest before God, through the work of the Holy Spirit. Whereas fallen man instinctively and wickedly covers and hides his transgressions, the true believer confesses his sins, both for the first time and throughout his Christian life. Therefore, the child of God is honest, speaking the truth both to himself and to others, for in his “spirit there is no guile.”

Second, there is what has been called the Protestant work ethic. This too flows from the Five Solas or “onlys” of the Reformation. According to sola Scriptura, we must keep the fourth commandment out of gratitude, and so we labour for six days and rest upon the Christian Sabbath, which is called the Lord’s Day (Rev. 1:10), by spending the day in the private and public worship of God. We emulate our Saviour, Christ alone (solus Christus), who did the work His Father gave Him (John 4:34; 17:4). We are justified by faith alone (sola fide) and the faith which alone receives the imputed righteousness of God is also a faith that works, for we are justified by faith alone but not a faith that is alone. We are saved by grace alone (sola gratia) and so we do our work out of gratitude for a wholly gracious salvation. In keeping with the Reformation principle of soli Deo gloria, we labour to honour and serve the Triune God, and not merely man.

True Protestants believe that they ought to do honest and hard work, and they engage in it. Think of the French Huguenots and the terrible negative effect on France economically when they were persecuted and driven out of that country, especially through evil King Louis XIV’s Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685).

The Protestant work ethic is based on two other biblical and Protestant truths. The first is the priesthood of all believers. It is not only the case that the Christian minister’s faithful work is of value in God’s eyes; the work of all His people is holy when it is done out of faith and to please Him in Jesus Christ. The second biblical and Reformation truth that supports the Protestant work ethic is that of calling. It is not only preachers or elders or deacons who are called to their church offices. Instead, all Christians are called by God to work in whatever lawful employment He has given them in His providence. So it does not matter to the Lord how low paid your job may be or how menial and supposedly humble it is. No work is “beneath” you, when it is done to the glory of God. Our Saviour laboured manually for many years as a carpenter! This is an important point to make in our day when Western secularist ideas are degrading the good creation ordinance of work, and many people foolishly think that there is more dignity in being unemployed than in a low-paid job.

Listen to the refreshing biblical teaching of Colossians 3:22-24: “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” The motto of the Protestant work ethic is, in effect, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might” (Ecc. 9:10).

So are you a Protestant? Doctrinally, do you hold to the Five Solas of the Reformation (Scripture alone, Christ alone, faith alone, grace alone and the glory of God alone) and to the great Protestant creeds? Practically, do you speak the truth, and believe and engage in hard, honest work? Historically, are you rooted in the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation, which is pure, apostolic Christianity? Then keep on witnessing to the truth of God, working for the ongoing reformation of the church and fighting the good fight of faith!  Rev. Stewart

The Christian’s Financial Giving

Question: “I would like to ask a question regarding giving to pastors and giving to the poor. As for pastors, the Scriptures repeatedly quote Deuteronomy 25:4: ‘Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn’ (Matt. 10:10; I Cor. 9:9; I Tim. 5:18). As for the poor, the Bible speaks of giving cheerfully and according to our ability (Deut. 16:17; I Cor. 16:2; II Cor. 9:7). Does Scripture apply the same principle to the two or are they different? If they are the same, how can it be proved? If the two are different, how is the pastor to live from the gospel (I Cor. 9:14)? What is the practical implication of this principle? I have read that Presbyterian churches in the seventeenth century (and other times as well) used obligatory church taxes. Is this in conformity with the Bible?”

I have quoted the entire question because the reader gives his reasoning in it, and because the question is important. Disagreement over the answer is not uncommon.

The only offices Christ has ordained in His church are minister, elder and deacon. This is agreed upon by almost all Reformed and Presbyterian churches, although some reckon that the office of minister of the Word and sacraments is a sub-division of the office of elder. The result of this view is that Christ has ordained teaching elders and ruling elders in the church, but two groups with differing responsibilities.     

We do not intend to argue the point here, although Scripture makes clear that the three offices in the Old Testament are all carried over into the new dispensation when the church received its New Testament form. The prophetic office became the office of pastor-teacher; the kingly office became the office of elder in the New Testament church; and the priestly office became the office of deacon. These new dispensational offices in the church are the special offices that arise out of, and are responsible to, the office of  believer. All God’s people are prophets, priests and kings. 

The duties of each office are basically the same in one respect. Ministers preach the gospel, elders rule in the church and deacons care for the poor (Acts 6), but all three offices bring the Word of God to His people. These offices and duties in turn reflect the three-fold office of Christ who is our chief Prophet, our only high Priest and our exalted King.

Hence, without going into any more detail on this beautiful structure Christ has given to the church, and by means of which He Himself is present in the church, let us note that the office of deacon is established by Christ for the care of the poor. 

It is a special gift of God that He Himself gives to the church the poor. Christ reminds us of this in His statement: “ye have the poor with you always” (Mark 14:7). The Bible speaks often of God’s special care of His poor. The care of the poor is the highest manifestation in the church of the communion of the saints, and the highest fulfilment of Scripture’s injunction to bear each other’s burdens “and so fulfil the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). To give to the poor is a blessed activity because it is more blessed to give than to receive. The congregation that is without the poor loses something of the blessedness of the Saviour’s presence in the church and it ought to find other ways to care for the poor in sister churches or in other congregations in their own denomination.

Ministers of the gospel are not among the poor, nor are their wives and children. They are not the objects of benevolence. They are not to be cared for by the deacons. They are not given to the church as part of Christ’s promise: “ye have the poor with you always.” In fact, the office of deacon was instituted in the church, not to care for ministers but because ministers are (and ought to be) too busy to do the work of caring for the poor. 

Ministers have no time to engage in secular work either. Pastors ought to be giving themselves over to the study of God’s Word and prayer (Acts 6:4). If a minister has to take another job to provide for his wife and family, the congregation will suffer. This is not to say that so-called tent-making ministers are sinning. But I have talked with a few and, with one accord, each agreed that it would help his church or mission work, if he could labour full time as a minister.

The principle that “The labourer is worthy of his hire” (Luke 10:7) is what the law meant when Israel was commanded not to muzzle the ox that treads out the corn. An ox did work for the family that owned it and thus had a claim on some of its master’s earthly possessions. It was, after all, due to the ox’s work that the family had enough to obtain the necessities of life. The family owed the ox its living. It was not benevolence that prompted Israel to give the ox free access to the food that it had helped to produce. 

That principle was carried over into the new dispensational church, and the relation between an ox and its owner is the same as the relation between the minister and his congregation. To refuse the minister material support forces him to spend valuable time in earthly things and the congregation suffers spiritually. 

It is true that in most congregations deacons take collections for other causes than help for the poor: Christian schools, congregational or denominational kingdom causes, etc. But none of this is benevolence. These other financial matters are taken care of by the diaconate for convenience but they need not be done in this way.

The last question asked was concerning the rightness or wrongness of “obligatory church taxes.” The word “taxes” is inappropriate to ecclesiastical giving. In the Protestant Reformed Churches in the U.S. and Canada, we call this the annual budget. The budget covers all the expenses of a local congregation at a certain rate per family, per-week. It is not an obligatory tax; it is an amount that informs the congregation what the costs of the church are outside the benevolent fund. In this matter also the principle holds: One must give as he has been blessed. Budgeting is an excellent way to give systematically to cover the expenses of the church. It is not benevolence.

It is necessary for people to determine how much to give to each kingdom cause, including the schools. In our congregation and, I think, in most, two collections are taken every Sunday, besides the budget and benevolence. As good stewards in God’s house, every family must decide how much to give to every need in the church. That amount is determined by the need of each cause in relation to all the other causes. 

Giving is never an obligation; it is always a privilege. And the widow’s mite is more in God’s sight than a thousand dollars or pounds. Prof. Hanko
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: • Live broadcast:
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

South Wales Lecture

Thursday, 23 November
 7:15 PM

Rev. Martyn McGeown

(pastor of Limerick Reformed Fellowship, Rep. of Ireland)

The Reformation’s Recovery of Right Worship

Margam Community Centre

Bertha Road, Margam, Port Talbot, SA13 2AP
Covenant and Election in the Reformed Tradition
by David J. Engelsma
(288 pp., hardback) 

Covenant and election are two of the most prominent and most important truths in Scripture. They run through the Bible like two grand, harmonious themes in symphony. These two doctrines and their relation are the twofold subject of this book.
In Covenant and Election, Prof. Engelsma traces these themes in the confessional documents of the Reformed churches and from John Calvin in the sixteenth-century through the fathers of the Secession churches in the nineteenth-century Netherlands to the twentieth-century theologians Herman Bavinck and Herman Hoeksema. With his usual penetrating scriptural analysis, Engelsma also exposes the contemporary and spreading heresy of the Federal Vision.
£16.50 (inc. P&P)

Order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
on-line, by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851
Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.” Thank you!

Celebrating 500 Years of the Reformation

A box set of 4 lectures & 
6 sermons on CD or DVD 
by Prof. David Engelsma 

These 10 Reformation speeches in the CPRC by Prof. Engelsma (USA) cover the Reformers (Luther and Calvin), the Five Solas (the glory of God alone, faith alone, Scripture alone, Christ alone and grace alone) and Reformation subjects (justification and sanctification; covenant, election and reprobation; and hard choices and providence)

1) Martin Luther: Theologian of the Glory of God
2) Justification in Paul and in James
3) Jesus’ Pardon of the Adulteress
4) The Origin of Scripture 
5) Martin Luther: Man of Conviction
6) The Choice of the Young Man Moses
7) Created Unto Good Works
8) Calvin’s Doctrine of the Covenant
9) The Doctrine of Reprobation in the Gospel of Jesus
10) A Thorn in the Flesh

£10/box set (inc. P&P)

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

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

Covenant Reformed News - October 2017

Covenant Reformed News

October 2017  •  Volume XVI, Issue 18

What Is a Protestant? (4)

After summarizing the origin and the meaning of the name Protestant, and briefly explaining the biblical and Reformation truth that salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone through grace alone to the glory of God alone according to Scripture alone (the Five Solas), in the first three articles, we now need to fill out other important aspects of Protestantism.

First, Protestantism is creedal. This is a much misunderstood issue in our day. The popular misconception is that, since Protestants believe in sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), they do not hold to the creeds. Wrong! It was the Anabaptists, whom the Protestants opposed just as much as the Roman Catholics, who believed that sola Scriptura meant no creeds.

At the Diet of Speyer in 1529, the first Protestants protested (hence their name) against the ungodly decisions of the Roman Catholic majority on the basis of Scripture alone. In 1530, the very next year, they agreed to the Augsburg Confession—a creed!

In the specifically Reformed (rather than Lutheran) branch of the Protestant Reformation, many more creeds were written by those who held sola Scriptura. In fact, the four volumes of James T. Dennison, Jr.’s Reformed Confessions of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries in English Translation contain 127 creeds in the 173-year period from 1523 to 1695. That is a new creed on average every 16 months or so!

So here we have two facts regarding the foundational period of Protestantism: first, it contains the clearest statements of Scripture alone in church history and, second, it has the highest rate of production of confessions in church history. How are these two things to be reconciled and understood? 

It is not difficult. Sola Scriptura means that the Bible alone is the written Word of God and is, therefore, the supreme judge of faith and morals. The creeds summarize what the inspired, infallible and supremely authoritative Word of God teaches.

Not only do faithful Protestants today have confessions; they also maintain and uphold them, and teach the biblical doctrines that they summarize.

Second, Protestants are true churchmen and love Christ’s church. Protestants are not individualistic, with everyone going off on his own and doing his own thing. 

The Protestant Reformation was the reformation of an organization or body of believers, the church. This means it was a reformation of church doctrine (including the Five Solas), church creeds, church preaching, church sacraments, church discipline, church government and church worship. This is the desire, goal and result of godly Protestantism: biblical and Protestant churches, governed by biblical and Protestant principles, with members convicted of biblical and Protestant truth, so that glory is given to the Triune God alone in Jesus Christ!

Third, Protestants and Protestant churches protest against the lie and for the truth. The history of faithful Protestantism is a history of the church militant. This is what has happened over the last 500 years, going back to the Diet of Speyer (1529), and Martin Luther’s “Here I stand” at Worms (1521) and his Ninety-Five Theses (1517).

In reality, though not in terminology, the faithful witnessing of Protestantism goes back to Jan Hus in Bohemia, John Wycliffe in England, the Waldensians in and around the Alps, Gottschalk in various parts of Europe, Augustine in North Africa, etc.

This same fight for the faith is evident in the pages of the Bible in the battles of the apostles against the Sadducess and Judaizers in Acts and the epistles, in the ministry of the Lord Jesus versus the scribes and Pharisees in the gospel accounts, and in the labours of the faithful prophets, like Elijah, in the Old Testament.

In our day, out of love for the truth and in order to gain others to it by God’s grace, faithful Protestant people and churches protest against apostasy: liberal theology, Arminianism, women in church office, false ecumenism (with Roman Catholicism, other false or departing churches and the cults), sodomy and lesbianism in church office-bearers and members, syncretism with pagan religions, etc.

The child of God also has a right and a calling to protest unbiblical teaching and practice in his own church because of his office of believer, for he is a prophet, priest and king through sharing in the spiritual anointing of Jesus Christ. His protest should be made in an orderly, ecclesiastical fashion, according to the Reformed confessions and the church’s code or church order. Such a protest should be made humbly and yet boldly, with much prayer and fortified with the Holy Scriptures to God’s glory.

Psalm 119 superbly sums up the spirit of biblical Protestantism: “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way” (104); “Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (127-128). 

Next time, we shall conclude by considering some of the major ethical teachings of Protestantism, DV.  Rev. Stewart



A reader writes, “I have a question concerning love and emotions. I have read some materials on the topic, including Herman Hoeksema’s explanation of God’s love. He defines love as a ‘bond’ and he also speaks of it as a ‘desire.’ Some argue that love is a feeling, while others that the nature of love is volitional. My question is: What is the relation between love and feelings or emotions? By feelings or emotions, I mean affective states of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate or the like is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness?”

This question from a reader of the News in Hungary taps into a long debate that has been ongoing in the church ever since the time of Augustine (354-430). The discussion concerns the feelings or emotions and how the emotions of a person relate to his mind and his will. The debate has, for the most part, revolved around the question whether the emotions are a separate faculty of the soul or are a part of another faculty.

This presupposes, of course, that man has a soul and is not merely the product of blind evolutionary processes. The soul in man is immaterial and pervades the whole of man’s being. The Bible itself speaks of the soul or spirit.

The faculties of the soul are the facultas intelligendi and the facultas volendi—the faculty of the mind and the faculty of the will. The debate has centred on the question whether the emotions (if such exist) are a separate power of the soul or belong to one of the two faculties, that is, to the mind or to the will.

The issue is an interesting one and it is also an important one. Herman Bavinck wrote a book entitled Biblical and Religious Psychology. Unfortunately, it is written in Dutch. I translated it into English for a theological class I taught and the Protestant Reformed Seminary in Wyoming, Michigan, produces copies of it.

Bavinck is adamant that the emotions are part of the activity of the will. He points out, and correctly so, that, if the emotions are a separate faculty, and are thus outside the intellectual and volitional life of a man, emotions are outside man’s moral responsibility.

What I have to say about the emotions, I learned chiefly from Bavinck, although Hoeksema in his instruction would refer from time to time to the emotions, as the questioner pointed out.

We live in a world in which people seem to think that emotions are the dominant psychical activity in our lives. Many wrongly reckon that feelings that arise out of nowhere drive everyone to do what they do. The idea is that, because emotions are independent of our minds and wills, we have no control over them. It is all summed up in the terrible motto, “If it feels good, do it.” 

The fact is that the emotions are part of the will. The will is dependent, in turn, on the mind. God has so created us that we stand in relation to the creation around us, primarily with our minds. We know the creation. We also know the Bible, God’s inspired Word. The will cannot act upon that which the mind does not know.

The emotions are one aspect of the activity of the will that chooses between various options which a man confronts. I hope no one deduces from this remark that man can choose for God or Christ without irresistible grace. Man is totally depraved. But he retains the power of choice in natural things. For example, he chooses the road on which to drive to his destination. Life consists in making choices every moment of the day. What a man chooses depends on what he likes or dislikes, what he wants or despises, what he loves or hates. Without faith, all a man’s choices are sinful (Rom. 14:23) but some decisions are more sinful than others.

Man is neither the master of his fate nor the captain of his soul. God determines the path that he walks. Things happen to him that he hoped would never happen, like being diagnosed with cancer. In his heart, he knows that he cannot control his life. There are even atheists in fox holes, who, through fear of death, have a sudden inclination to pray. Yet they cannot really pray, for true prayer comes only from a regenerated heart and must be offered on the basis of Christ’s substitutionary death and intercession.

A man’s emotions are his reactions to the totality of his experiences in life. He likes them or he dislikes them. Every emotion is a sense of like or dislike.

Bavinck points out that some emotions are very strong and some relatively weak. He gives different names to different emotions, depending on their strength.

The eternal and unchangeable God has, according to Scripture, emotions. God perfectly loves His people and hates the wicked (e.g., Ps. 5:5; Prov. 3:32-33). How the eternal God can have emotions is far beyond our understanding. But He does and for this we must be thankful. He is not cold, impersonal or unmoved by anything in this life. He is not the Mohammedan’s Allah.

It seems to me that love and hate are the most basic emotions. This is certainly true from an ethical viewpoint, for the moral law is summed up in the command to love God and our neighbour. God loves His people with an eternal love and hates the wicked with an eternal hatred. He does not love them all and bend every effort to save them, only to hate them at the end of their life and cast them into hell.

So with man: man’s most basic emotions are love and hate. The elect love God and their neighbour; the wicked hate God and their neighbour.

The believer still has a depraved nature. God is pleased to send him many afflictions. He may dislike intensely the fact that he has cancer, but he receives it from the Lord and in humble submission to His will. He loves his God and willingly submits to His way, although there remains the battle between his old man and his new man in Christ.

Man is responsible for his emotions. He must answer for them before Christ’s judgment throne. The believer is called to live a life of temperance, self-discipline and self-control by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). This is part of the kingly office of the Christian: his ruling over himself by God’s grace. He never simply has emotions that overcome him. He must not live by the slogan, “If it feels good, do it.” The child of God is the object of Jehovah’s mercy, love, grace and longsuffering. He is moved by this to bring to his heavenly Father a humble prayer of thanksgiving, all the while weeping for his sins. Prof. Hanko

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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: • Live broadcast:
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. • •
500 Years
of the Reformation


Friday, 3 November, 2017, 7:30 PM 
“Calvin’s Doctrine of the Covenant”

 Prof. David J. Engelsma 

emeritus Professor of Dogmatics at the Protestant Reformed Seminary, USA

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence St., Ballymena, N. Ireland BT43 5DR

Prof. Engelsma is also to preach at both CPRC services,
11 AM & 6 PM, on Lord’s Day, 5 November

The lecture will be streamed live at 

South Wales Lecture

Thursday, 23 November
 7:15 PM

Rev. Martyn McGeown

(pastor of Limerick Reformed Fellowship, Rep. of Ireland)

The Reformation’s Recovery of Right Worship

Margam Community Centre

Bertha Road, Margam, Port Talbot, SA13 2AP

Knowing God & Man
Herman Hoeksema
(144 pp., softback)

The key to understanding all Reformed doctrine is found in the title of the first chapter in this book: “God is God.” This truth sets the beautiful tone for all thirteen chapters—six on God and seven on man. Each chapter on God directs the reader’s attention to a different biblical aspect of the Sovereign of the universe: God as God, as Creator, as Lord, as good, as the living God and as love. The seven chapters about man clearly explain man’s covenantal relationship to God, his creation in the image of God, his fall and his totally depraved nature. Like the chapters in part one, these also emphasize that God is God!
£6.50 (inc. P&P)

Order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
on-line, 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 Conclusion to Christ’s Farewell Discourse

9 sermons on CD or DVD in an attractive box set
In that Upper Room in Jerusalem on the night before the cross, the Lord Jesus spoke of His “going away” in a “little while” so that His 11 disciples would “not see” Him, though in another “little while” they would “see” Him. These sermons explain the massive changes in the New Testament age that Christ would soon usher in!
(1) Christ’s Prophecy of Excommunication and Martyrdom (John 16:1-4a)
(2) The Spirit Convicting the World (John 16:4b-11)
(3) The Work of the Spirit of Truth (John 16:12-13)
(4) Glorifying Christ—The Spirit’s Work (John 16:14-15)
(5) Two Little Whiles (John 16:16-22)
(6) Praying in Christ’s Name
(John 16:23-24)
(7) Knowing the Father in the New Testament Age (John 16:25-27)
(8) The Weaknesses of the Disciples’ Knowledge
(John 16:28-32)
(9) Christ’s Victory Over the World (John 16:33)

£10/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!


Reformed Witness Hour Messages for November 2017

First PRC of Grand Rapids, MI and the Reformed Witness Hour Committee announce the messages scheduled for November 2017 on the RWH radio program.

Rev. Bill Bruinsma, pastor of Pittsburgh PRC (Pennsylvania) continues his four-month service for the RWH program, as he works through a new series on Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians and brings a special Thanksgiving Day message (cf. schedule of messages below).

November  5 -Abounding in Love (1) - 1 Thess.3:11-13

November 12 -Abounding in Love (2) - 1 Thess. 3:11-13

November 19 -Thanks Be to God - 2 Corinthians 9:15

November 26 -Called unto Holiness - 1 Thess. 4:3-5, 7,8

You are encouraged to listen to these important messages and to let others know about them too. Help spread the word about the Reformed Witness Hour, now in its 77th year of broadcasting the truths of God's sovereign, particular, efficacious grace!

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

RWH Facebook image

RWH Flyer November 2017 Page 1


Reformed News Asia - October 2017

Issue 44 - October 2017
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.
NEW Pamphlet!
By Rev Carl Haak (Reformed Witness Hour)

"When Christ instructed the church to go and to make disciples of all nations, He gave that great commission to the entire church, so that every member must face this calling as a solemn duty before God.  Pastors and missionaries must make disciples by preaching and by baptism.  And members of the church are also involved in making disciples by their witnessing.  This is a privilege and a calling that is held before us in the Scriptures."
What does being a faithful witness entail? What motivates us to be faithful witnesses? What are the things that we, as faithful witnesses, cannot do? And finally, what are the tools that faithful witnesses may employ in their witnessing?

As one interested in your walk as a faithful witness, click to read more and find out the answers to these questions in this 4-part series!

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.
Knowing God in the Last Days
by Mark Hoeksema

From the RFPA website:

"Knowing God in the Last Days is an explanation of the general epistle of Peter to the early New Testament church. The primary theme of the letter is the knowledge of God, a concept that occurs many times and in various contexts throughout the book. This short epistle contains a wealth of instruction for the church today.

The secondary theme of 2 Peter is the application of the knowledge of God to the last days in which we live. Especially in his third chapter, Peter reveals to the church the knowledge of God as it relates to the end times.

Based on exegesis of the Greek text, this commentary gives clarity of explanation to God’s people regarding necessary and important aspects of today’s Christian life. May all who read be edified."

Audio Recordings
God's Word provides comfort in all circumstances, even one in which CERC faces uncertainty amidst Rev Lanning's acceptance of the call to Byron Centre PRC. Have a listen!

Counsel for an Uncertain Future

Upcoming Events!
Reformation Day Conference 2017

Come commemorate the 500th year of the Reformation with us this RDC! Details in the poster below.

Vacation Bible School 2017

Theme : Parable of the Sower
Date : 4 - 7 Dec 2017
Time : 10am - 3pm
Venue : Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church
Camp fee : $10
Friends who are not members of CERC are welcome to register.
Please register via this link:
Registration closes on 18 November 2017.
For further queries please contact Deacon Meng Hsien.

CKCKS Camp 2017

Our annual CKCKS Camp is back! Save the dates!

Theme: Examine Yourselves (2 Cor 13:5)
Dates: 19-22 Dec 2017
Location: Aloha Loyang Sea View Bungalow 1
Registration: 12 Nov to 3 Dec

For more information, visit

Past Events...
CK/CKS Outing
Our latest CKCS youth outing took on a slightly different form as we gathered at Yang Zhi's place for a prayer meeting. We were joined, for the first time, by Charis Tan who will be turning 13 next year. This was followed by a refreshing game of Aqua Captain's Ball. We then had pizza and fried rice at Aunty Jean's who also fed us with instruction concerning dating and marrying in the Lord.
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  • 



Covenant PRC, N.Ireland Newsletter - October 2017

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Ballymena, NI

18 October, 2017

Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,

Reformation Witness
MLuther 3With this year, and now this month, marking the beginning of the 500th anniversary of the great Protestant Reformation, a number of CPRC activities are promoting this glorious movement of Christ's Spirit of truth.

We have had 9 sermons so far on Romans 4, the chapter in the Bible that contains the most systematic and doctrinal presentation of the Reformation gospel of justification by faith alone ( Eq5r6y2H6AW_OWwxkj8n18-UulTzl ). It is an amazingly rich and comforting doctrine. Every time that I study justification personally and in my teaching ministry, I am struck more and more with the truth and power of this crucial article of our faith. Despite the devil's hatred of justification and his attacks on it through the Roman church, the New Perspective on Paul, and the Federal Vision, etc., the result is that the Holy Spirit stirs up God's true church and people to search the Scriptures more diligently, and so work a deeper conviction and consolation in us.

On Thursday, 28 September, I spoke on “Martin Luther and God's Saving Righteous-ness” in South Wales. It was good to have another opportunity to study the theology and life of the great German Reformer. Despite receiving apologies from 5 people or parties in the area who regretfully could not attend, we still had a fairly good attendance, and sold several RFPA books and box sets of CDs.

In the last 4 issues of the monthly Covenant Reformed News, I have been answering the question, “What Is a Protestant?” ( www.cprf. ). A number of readers have remarked that they found these articles especially helpful and timely. There will be one more instalment on this subject, DV.

All around the world, the commemorations of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation held by apostate or departing or nominal Protestant churches are including Roman Catholics among their speakers. The Christian Reformed Church in North America is at this caper, for example, as are some churches in the Philippines, and it is the same, sadly, in Northern Ireland too. I wrote a letter to the Belfast News Letter exposing this sinful compromise in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. A minister in that denomination responded to my two published letters and, hopefully, my third letter will be also printed later this week ( pcireformationcommemoration.html ). If Martin Luther would have been utterly disgusted at this, what must the holy God of truth think of this shameful betrayal of His gospel (II Cor. 6:14-18; Rev. 18:4)!

Two new translators have begun their work for the CPRC website ( languages.htm). One is a Russian believer in Belgium, who is helped by his Russian wife. The other is a brother in Australia, who is originally from Brazil and who provides us with Portuguese translations.

We added 21 translations in the last two months: 8 Hungarian (including a section from Prof. Engelsma's Gospel Truth of Justification), 4 Old Church Slavonic (3 ecumenical creeds and Lord's Days 1-12 of the Heidelberg Catechism), 4 Portuguese, 3 Russian (including Rev. Houck's pamphlet, “Jehovah the Savior”), 1 Tagalog, and 1 French.

AStewart french 1We now have our first online video in French. A brother from Rheims in northern France added French subtitles to part 1 of a speech I gave in Wales in June entitled “N. T. Wright, Justification and the Reformation.” He is working on part 2. This means that we now
have some videos of speeches given in Italy, Portugal, Northern Ireland, and Wales translated into 4 languages: Italian, Portuguese, Hungarian, and French ( ).

The new church season in the CPRC is well underway. We have 9 catechumens in 3 classes on a Monday night this year. This is much fewer than in most of your churches. This means that our children have nowhere to hide!

Our Tuesday morning Bible study covered the jubilee with its 3 main components: the release of slaves, the return of land, and rest from (some) agricultural labours (Lev. 25). Our Lord Jesus Christ preached Himself and His salvation as the jubilee in His hometown of
Nazareth in Luke 4 in fulfilment of Isaiah 61. Now we are studying the Passover, the feast most spoken of throughout the Bible.

Our Wednesday night Belgic Confession class is discussing the sacraments in Article 33. This too brings up the sixteenth-century Reformation because Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses, in critiquing indulgences, addressed Rome's so-called sacrament of penance and,
indeed, its whole sacramental system.

Justyn Perry, a brother from Lancashire in England, visited us earlier this month (6-9 October). It is striking how he came to hear about the CPRC. He told us that he has always had a special love for the book of Romans so, seeing a second-hand copy of Herman
Hoeksema's Righteous by Faith Alone in a Christian bookshop, he bought it. He had never read anything so good before and decided to check out the PRC on-line. He listened to a number of PR sermons on SermonAudio, starting with some by Rev. Dennis Lee. Then,
noting the PRC connection with the CPRC and our sticker at the bottom of the inside of the back cover of Hoeksema's book, he contacted me.

In its section on its alumni, The Graduate, the magazine for graduates and friends of Queens University Belfast, included an article and a photo of Rev. Martyn McGeown and his book Called to Watch for Christ's Return. The piece also gave the websites for the Limerick
Reformed Fellowship (LRF), the CPRC, and the RFPA.

Two ladies from the PRC are helping Mary to overhaul our website ( Given the size of our website, this is a massive job. If you or anyone you know has some time and some computer skills, and is able to do some data entry correctly, please email Mary
(This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Carol Nienhuis of Hope PRC is enjoying the work. She allowed me to mention her name only if I thought it might encourage others to assist us.

We and the saints in the CPRC are looking forward to the arrival of Prof. and Mrs.Engelsma tomorrow morning. We replaced the two broken garage doors at the manse, and bought a large, new bed and sheets for our spare bedroom. We want to avoid the problem of
Isaiah 28:20: “For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.”

Prof. will be speaking twice at a half-day Reformation conference on Saturday (21 October) and giving a speech on each of the following two Fridays, as well as preaching at both services on three Sundays. May the Lord bless these meetings, and the services and saints
in the PRC in the US and Canada!

In Christ,
Rev. & Mary Stewart


Living Wisely in A Digital Age - Public Lecture Planned for October 13, 2017 at Trinity PRC

The Evangelism Committee of Trinity PRC (Hudsonville, MI) has planned a special lecture this week that is open to the public.

On FRIDAY, October 13, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the church her pastor Rev. Nathan Decker will speak on the timely subject of "Living Wisely in a Digital Age."

You are cordially invited to join the members of Trinity PRC at this event. Bring your children and your teenagers, as this speech will speak to them too!

Living Wisely Sept 2017

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