Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 27 August, 2017

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind ...” (Rom. 12:2)

Morning Service - 11:00 AM

Righteousness by Faith Alone (1)
Abraham’s Justification  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Romans 3:19-4:5
Text: Romans 4:1-3

I. Why Him?
II. Why Not by Works?
III. Why by Faith Alone?
Psalms: 47:1-9; 49:10-14a; 105:6-12; 32:1-5

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

The Two Main Functions of the Law  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Romans 7:7-25
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 34

I. The Revealer of Sin
II. The Rule of Gratitude
Psalms: 19:9-14; 49:14b-20; 14:1-7; 119:97-104

For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services, contact Stephen Murray
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart or the elders

CPRC Website: • Live Webcast:
CPRC YouTube:
CPRC Facebook:

Quotes to Consider

William Sanday & Arthur C. Headlam on Romans 4:3 on the Jewish, legalist view of Abraham: "Abraham was the only righteous man of his generation; therefore he was chosen to be ancestor of the holy People. He kept all the precepts of the Law which he knew beforehand by a kind of intuition. He was the first of seven righteous men whose merit brought back the Shekinah which had retired into the seventh heaven, so that in the days of Moses it could take up its abode in the Tabernacle ... According to the Jews the original righteousness of Abraham, who began to serve God at the age of three ... was perfected (1) by his circumcision, (2) by his anticipatory fulfillment of the Law."

Charles Hodge on Romans 4:3: "This idea of imputation is one of the most familiar in all the Bible, and is expressed in a multitude of cases where the term is not used. When Stephen prayed, Acts vii. 60, 'Lord, lay not this sin to their charge,' he expressed exactly the same idea that Paul did, when he said, 2 Tim. iv. 16, 'I pray God it may not be laid to their charge,' although the latter uses the word impute and the former does not. So the expressions, 'his sin shall be upon him,' 'he shall bear his iniquity,' which occur so often, are perfectly synonymous with the formula, 'his sin shall be imputed to him;' and, of course, 'to bear the sins of another,' is equivalent to saying, 'those sins are imputed.' The objection, therefore, that the word impute does not occur in reference to the imputation of the sin or righteousness of one man to another, even if well founded, which is not the fact, is of no more force than the objections against the doctrines of the Trinity, vicarious atonement, perseverance of the saints, etc., founded on the fact that these words do not occur in the Bible. The material point surely is, Do the ideas occur? The doctrine of the 'imputation of righteousness' is not the doctrine of this or that school in theology. It is the possession of the Church. It was specially the glory and power of the Reformation. Those who differed most elsewhere, were perfectly agreed here. Lutherans and Reformed, alienated from each other by the sacramentarian controversy, were of one mind on this great doctrine."

Robert Haldane on Romans 4:3: "Faith is the recipient of that righteousness by which we are justified. Unto righteousness is the literal rendering, as the same word in the original is so often translated in this discussion, as where it is said, ch. i. 16, the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation; and ch. iii. 22, even the righteousness of God which is unto all; and so in innumerable other places, but especially in a passage precisely parallel to the one before us, ch. x. 10, 'For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness' ... The expression 'unto righteousness' is elliptical, and signifies unto the receiving of righteousness."

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

Rev. Stewart’s bi-monthly letter to the PRC is available on the back table today.

A new RFPA book, Knowing God in the Last Days, a commentary on II Peter by Mark Hoeksema, is also available on the back table for book club members.

Elder Ivan Reid’s and Deacon Julian Kennedy’s terms in office are up this month. The Council presents the following for the vote of male confessing members: 1) approval for Ivan Reid for another 3-year term as elder and 2) approval for Julian Kennedy for another 3-year term as deacon. A brief meeting to vote on this will be held after the evening worship service on 3 September. Any lawful objections to these nominees should be put in writing and given to one of the elders.

The Tuesday Bible Study meets this week at 11 AM to consider Ezekiel 48.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846 MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. Haak is “True Faith” (II Tim. 1:12).

Monday catechism classes begin 11 September. Books are on the back table.
5:45 PM - Corey & Katelyn (Beginners OT, Book 1)
6:30 PM - Taylor, Josh, Bradley & Samuel (Juniors NT)
7:15 PM - Jacob, Alex & Nathan (Heidelberg Catechism, Book 1)

The Council meets Monday evening, 11 September, at 8 PM.

Belgic Confession Class meets on Wednesday, 13 September, at 7:45 PM at church. We will be starting Article 33 on the sacraments.

Ladies Bible Study begins again on Friday, 15 September, at 10:30 AM at church. We will be continuing our study of Proverbs, beginning with the study on “Hatred.” All ladies are welcome to join. Any questions, ask Beth.

Family visitation: Jennifer Hanko (Stewart/Reid) to be determined.

Offerings: General Fund: £712.45. Donation: £400 (England).

Translations: 3 (Church) Slavonic (Apostles’, Chalcedonian and Athanasian Creeds).

Prof. Engelsma will be interviewed by Christopher Arnzen on his radio program “Iron Sharpens Iron” this Friday, 1 September, from 4-6 PM EST (9-11 PM BST). The subject will be his recent book, The Gospel Truth of Justification. You can go on-line ( and click on the live stream box.

PRC News: Rev. Spronk declined the call to be missionary in the Philippines. Rev. Huizinga received the call to Byron Center PRC. Rev. Tom Miersma, who is retiring, preaches his farewell in Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, Alberta) today. Lacombe has called Rev. Guichelaar. Cand. DeBoer has the call the Edgerton PRC. Cand. Smidstra is considering calls from Southwest PRC and First Holland PRC.

Interview with Rev. Emmanuel Singh (Part 2)


This interview was conducted by Salt Shakers when Rev. Emmanuel Singh was in Singapore for his examination on 29 October, 2016, according to Article 9 of the Church Order. Rev. Singh sustained his examination and subsequently was installed as CERC’s missionary to Kolkata on 8 January, 2017. We thank Rev. Singh for his time and insightful remarks.

Salt Shakers: Emmanuel, Could you tell us more about your work in Kolkata? What do you normally do with your time?

Rev. Singh: In Kolkata, I am very isolated. I am not (in) very good (standing) among the Christians there. I have resigned my position to be a part of the council (of churches) in Kolkata—the people think I am isolated and my group a cult because of the Reformed truth. I am not so popular (laughs) as I was before, not well-accepted by others. When I came out from the Brethren denomination (in which I grew up), they circulated a letter saying, “Emmanuel—he has become a Roman Catholic, because he believes in infant baptism. So Emmanuel should not be allowed to preach from the pulpit in any of the Brethren churches.” They also stopped giving me the Lord’s Supper. They said, “Emmanuel, you must repent, you have backslid.” Among the evangelicals, they said, “His doctrine is too robotic, because he believes God controls everything and man has no role in salvation.” All kinds of things—persecution within the church and outside of the church. So what I do now, I work at the personal level. I meet people. Sometimes I go on Facebook and try to send friend requests to other people in Kolkata, meet them, call them, ask them to join the church. So, reaching out to people using technology. Also by making friends. We hold Bible studies two days in the week at two different locations. The aim is to gather His people, as He provides, in His time, so that the work in Kolkata may become a church one day. So maybe there may be a Reformed witness there one day too.

Salt Shakers: What can you tell us about your congregation in Kolkata?

Rev. Singh: There is a church, but not yet an organized church. Many people are coming to the Reformed faith. They are from different backgrounds. Some were previously charismatics—after they heard the Reformed gospel and asked questions, they are convinced and they are joining with us. There was this brother, he said, “I used to speak in tongues.” I asked him, “Do you understand tongues?” He said, “No, I don’t understand.” I said, “ What is the use of prayer? Bible says in 1 Corinthians 14—pray with understanding. When we pray to the Lord, we must pray with understanding. If you don’t understand what you are saying, it is fake. So don’t believe in the mystical experience. Understand God and His written word.” So the people, they are coming. But my next plan is to start teaching a pre-confession class. If there are other people that come from other denominations, they can join and learn the Reformed truth. But it is a process. It will take time. Because mission work is not easy. In Kolkata, there are many counterparts—Hinduism, Islam, within Christianity itself, different sects and denominations. So we have to be strong as we teach the people. Another issue is that we don’t have much translation of Reformed literature. So we need to do some literature work that is relevant to the context. So I am planning to write down some common questions and translate the answers for the people. For example, the question of “what is the tongue?” A lot of people came and asked these common questions and I answered them from the Bible. But is it also good for them to have something to take with them to read. I am also hoping to do some articles on TULIP. So there is a lot of work. Without literature, the Reformed faith cannot spread. That is my burden, to work on the Reformed literature in Bengali. Only the Heidelberg Catechism has been translated, only the simple questions without exposition.

Salt Shakers: What are some of the activities that you do to get people to hear the message?

Rev. Singh: Sometimes we do open air preaching, go distributing tracts. So far, we don’t really have the literature. There will be two kinds of ministry. One is weekly going outside the metro station and distributing tracts and handouts, second is prayer meeting in houses or some hall, calling them to hear the gospel.

Salt Shakers: How can our churches grow closer together?

Rev. Singh: We are already close together. I think we need to work together for the literature. I am also thinking of developing small apps where I can stream the gospel messages. Because nowadays in Kolkata, even young men have android mobiles. I want to develop small apps where people can download the messages. You know, the father of modern missions is William Carey. In his time, 200 years ago, he was the first man to come to India and translate the Bible into 14 languages. He used the latest technology in his time. He was the first man to bring the printer into India. So he used literature, and he used technology—the printing machine. So now I am a missionary, and being a missionary, I love William Carey—not his doctrines, but the work he has done. He used the available technology to reach out to the people. We live in the 21st century; a lot of the technology can be used—tools to reach out to the people.

Salt Shakers: Another question. You know in December (2016), we are going to have a Bible camp for the youth? We also hear there is also a Bible camp planned in Kolkata. Will there be other such opportunities for our people to go to each others’ activities?

Rev. Singh: Yes, in the future there may also be a conference planned, where people from many denominations can gather and hear a pastor speak, find a common place and invite others to attend. In Kolkata, you have to understand that the Reformed gospel has not reached the others. Whether Baptist or Pentecostal—on our Reformed map they are unreached. So we need to reach other people. Hindu, others—especially those living in the wrong area of the gospel—the Arminian faith. I hope to organize some meetings where pastor can preach.

Salt Shakers: A last question. Can you tell us more about your fellowship—like what are the people there like? Any prayer requests?

Rev. Singh: There are quite a few young people, also some older saints. There are some that come but have yet to recognize themselves as members. So many are coming, but it is a long process. Will they be faithful to the Reformed doctrine? That is the question, to me.

Salt Shakers: Emmanuel, thank you for the interview.