Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 19
after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep
of thy mouth" (Ps. 119:88)
Morning Service -
The Two Mountains (1)
Mount Sinai [download]
I. The Religious Idea of
II. The Terrible Phenomena at
III. The Fearful Responses at
Psalms: 65:1-5; 22:27-31;
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
The Revelation of the Mediator in Moses’ Writings
Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s
Day 6, John 5:46
I. The Natures of the
II. The Offices of the
III. The Suffering of the
Psalms: 47:1-9; 23:1-6;
Contact Sean Courtney (firstname.lastname@example.org) for
CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services.
CPRC website: www.cprc.co.uk
Quote to Consider:
John Owen: "It must be observed, that the great
honour and privilege of the Judaical church-state, whereon all
particular advantages did depend, was their coming unto and station at
mount Sinai, at the giving of the law. There were they taken into
covenant with God, to be his peculiar people above all the world; there
were they formed into a national church; there had they all the
privileges of divine worship committed unto them. Hereon theirs was ‘the
adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law,
and the service of God, and the promises,’ as the apostle speaks (Rom.
9:4). This is that glory which they boast of unto this day, and whereon
they rely in their unbelief and rejection of the gospel" (Hebrews,
vol. 7, pp. 306-307).
Announcements (subject to God’s will):
Ladies’ Bible Study will meet this Tuesday, 21
April, 10:15 AM, at the Murrays.
PM - Murrays
PM - Hamills
Midweek Bible Study meets on Wednesday, 7:45 PM
at the manse. We will consider I Peter 2:13-16 on submission to civil
Rev. & Mary Stewart travel to
this Thursday. Rev. Stewart will give a lecture on Calvin’s Battle
for the Reformation (II) - The Geneva Years.
The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day
(8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW), is entitled "Let No Man Despise
Covenant Youth" (I Tim. 4:12).
Nuno & Alina Pinheiro from Portugal plan to be
with us from Thursday, 30 April to Monday, 4 May. Everyone is invited to
the manse on Friday, 1 May, for a barbecue and fellowship with the
Thurs, 7 May, 7:15 PM - Calvin’s Battle for the Reformation (II)
Town Hall, Fri., 12 June, 8:15 PM - Calvin vs. Darwin: Anniversaries,
Origins and Worldviews
Fri., 10 July, 8 PM - Calvin’s Battle for the Reformation (I)
Fri., 17 July, 8 PM - Calvin’s Battle for the Reformation (II)
Offerings: General Fund - £506.65. Donations:
£100 (building fund), £200 (DVDs).
Website Additions: Eight Portuguese translations
PRC News: The newly organized Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane) has
formed a trio of Revs. Haak (Georgetown, MI), Key and R. Kleyn (Trinity,
MI). Calvary PRC has formed a trio of Revs. D. Kleyn (Holland, MI),
Kuiper (Randolph, WI) and W. Langerak (Southeast, MI). Prof. Hanko and
his wife will be leaving for Singapore this Thursday (April 23) to
labour in the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church there. They plan to
be gone for six weeks.
This is part 2 of the 31st e-mail by Prof. Engelsma on
You and I obeyed, truly and personally, all the
obedient life of Jesus Christ, in our covenant head. You and I suffered
and died for our sins in the cross of Christ, in our head. By faith in
Him, only by faith in Him, all that obedience truly and personally
becomes ours in our consciousness, by divine imputation, because it is
the obedience of our covenant head, according to the eternal ordination
of God the righteous judge.
This covenant headship of Jesus Christ is set forth
prominently, right in the midst of the teaching of the truth of
justification by faith alone (because this passage is the ground of the
truth of justification by faith alone) in Romans 5. Romans 5! In any and
every discussion of justification by faith alone, do not overlook Romans
5! The subject is the death of Christ. The subject is the death of
Christ as the substitute for others. The subject is the death of Christ
as the basis of justification by faith alone. By no means, however, is
this all of the subject of Romans 5. The subject of Romans 5 is the
death of Christ as the covenant head of the "all" who are justified by
that death, as Adam was the covenant head of the "all" who were
condemned by Adam’s disobedience.
Even though the word "covenant" does not occur in
Romans 5, the headship—the representative, legal headship—in the chapter
is covenant headship both with regard to Adam and with regard to Christ.
This reminds us that there is another judgment
similar to that of justification.
This is the condemnation of all humans without
exception by God the judge by way of imputing to us all the deed of
another. According to Romans 5:12ff., God imputes to the account of all
the disobedience of Adam in Paradise: "by the offence of one judgment
came upon all men to condemnation" (v. 18). The reason is that "all
sinned" in that one man (v. 12). The explanation is that Adam too was a
covenant head of the human race, by virtue of God’s appointment. As a
covenant head, he represented us all. He represented us all in such a
way, as covenant head, that I truly, personally disobeyed in his
disobedience, legally. Therefore, God is just in imputing Adam’s deed
with the forbidden fruit to me. This imputation of Adam’s sin to me is
no "legal fiction." It is rather a legal reality, as my being a dying
man proves: "death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that
all sinned" (v. 12).
Does Rome want also to charge the imputation of
Adam’s disobedience to the entire race as a "legal fiction"?
There are two, and only two, such covenant headships:
Adam’s and Christ’s. Romans 5:12ff. teaches this; so also does I
Corinthians 15:21-22 teach this.
Were not Adam our natural covenant head, he could not
have represented us in his disobedience, and God could not then reckon
his disobedience to our account.
Were not Christ our covenant head in grace, He could
not have represented us in His obedience, and God could not now reckon
His obedience to our account through faith.
Romans 5, placed strategically in the grand
proclamation of justification by faith in the book of Romans, teaches
Christ’s covenant headship: As in Adam, those whom he represented became
guilty and condemned, so in Christ, those whom He represented become
innocent and justified.
How important then is the covenant headship of
And how serious is the denial of this headship.
Nevertheless, Reformed men and churches deny the
covenant headship of Christ, in the face of the clear teaching of Romans
The Reformed Churches in the Netherlands
("liberated") deny the covenant headship of Christ. The reason is that
they are determined that the covenant of grace be established with all
the physical children of believing parents, and not with the elect only.
If Christ is head of the covenant of grace, the covenant is established
with the elect only. Therefore, Christ must not be head of the covenant.
So the "liberated." But many, indeed most, of the conservative Reformed
and Calvinistic churches agree with the "liberated." They teach that the
covenant is with all who are baptized. They deny the covenant headship
of Christ. He is only "mediator" of the covenant.
The questions naturally arise: "Who then is head of
the covenant? Does this covenant have no head? Does each one of us stand
on his own in the covenant?"
But Romans 5 teaches the headship of Christ as
clearly and powerfully as it teaches the headship of Adam in the
covenant of creation in Paradise.
And how serious is the denial of Christ’s headship.
It is the deepest ground of our justification: Christ
could represent us because He was and is our head—our federal head, that
is, covenant head: "As by one man," so also by Christ (Rom. 5:12ff.).
Was not the death of Christ, according to Romans 5,
the death of the head of the covenant of grace? Why then do the
Canons of Dordt in the crucial article on the atonement declare that
"it was the will of God that Christ by the blood of the cross, whereby
He confirmed the new covenant, should effectually redeem, out of every
people, tribe, nation, and language all those, and those only, who were
from eternity chosen to salvation and given to Him by the Father" (Canons
Developing the covenant doctrine of the "liberated"
Reformed Churches, and indeed the covenant doctrine of most of the
reputedly conservative Reformed and Presbyterian churches today, which
denies that Christ is head of the covenant of grace, the men of the
Federal Vision are teaching, not only that the covenant is established
with all the children alike, but also that Christ died for all the
children, that Christ’s Spirit unites all the children to Christ, that
Christ gives the blessings of salvation to all the children, that the
covenant is conditioned on the children’s faith and obedience, that many
for whom Christ died and who are united to Christ fall away and perish,
and that justification is by faith and by works.
This heresy is the fruit, in part, of denying the
covenant headship of Christ. It is the necessary, inevitable development
of the "liberated" doctrine of the covenant.
But our main interest is the benefit of the headship
of Christ for us who believe on Him for righteousness.
Consciously, we believe on Him, as our head in the
covenant of grace, for a righteousness that in one important sense is
that of Another—Jesus Christ—not our own, but in another equally
important sense is our own—our own righteousness in our head, this Jesus
This shuts the mouth of the great accuser of the
brothers in our own conscience.
This assures us that the righteousness of
justification is truly our own personally—as if we had obeyed and as if
we had died.
Thank God for the mediator and head of the covenant
And confess Him!
Cordially in Christ,