Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 3 December, 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 (12)
Jesus Raised Because of Our Justification  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Romans 4:16-5:9
Text: Romans 4:23-25

I. The Chronologically Prior Action
II. The Astonishing Theological Ground
III. The Immense Doctrinal Significance
Psalms: 36:5-11; 59:1-6; 32:1-5; 130:1-8

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

Faith and the Seventh Commandment  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: I Corinthians 7:1-24
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 41

I. Two Created Genders
II. Two Holy States
III. Only Godly Affections
Psalms: 96:8-13; 59:7-12; 127:1-5; 19:7-14

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

Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Romans 4:23-25: “Obviously, the believer is a man who ceases to justify, or to try to justify himself by his works or by anything else. Would you know for certain whether you have justifying faith? Here is the way to find the answer: are you looking in any sense to yourself? Are you in any sense relying even to the slightest extent upon any good you have ever done, or anything you have ever been? Are you even relying upon your own faith? Do you think that it is your belief that saves you? Is it that? Is that your righteousness? If it is, you are not saved, you are not a Christian, because the Christian is a man who looks only and entirely to the righteousness of Jesus Christ. His entire righteousness is in Christ. Christian faith is a faith that looks only to the Lord Jesus Christ and to nothing and to nobody else” (Romans: An Exposition of Chapters 3:20-4:25, Atonement and Justification, p. 247).

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

We extend our condolences to William, Alison, Samuel and Hannah Graham in the death of William’s mother this past Thursday morning. The funeral was held yesterday. May the Lord comfort and uphold them in the loss of their mother, mother-in-law and grandmother.

Monday catechism classes:
5:45 PM - Corey & Katelyn (Beginners OT, Book 1)
6:30 PM - Angelica, Bradley, Josh, Samuel & Taylor (Juniors NT)
7:15 PM - Alex, Jacob & Nathan (Heidelberg Catechism, Book 1)

Tuesday Bible Study meets at 11 AM to conclude our study of the Passover in the NT.

Belgic Confession Class meets this Wednesday night at 7:45 PM to continue our study of article 34 looking at what constitutes a valid baptism.

Men’s Bible study meets this Saturday at 8 PM at the Kennedys to discuss “Winning the War,” chapter 12 of War of Words.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846 MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. Bruinsma is “The Final Gathering of the Church” (I Thess. 4:13-18).

The Council meets on Monday, 11 December, at 8 PM.

The church visitors, Rev. Decker and Sid Miedema, will be in N. Ireland from Thursday 18 January to the morning of Thursday 25 January. The congregational dinner will be held on Friday, 19 January. On Wednesday, 24 January, Rev. Decker is planning to give a lecture on “Living Wisely in a Digital Age.” They will be with the LRF from 25-29 January.

PRC News: Rev. J. Engelsma (Doon, IA) declined the call to Southwest PRC. Rev. Huizinga (Redlands, CA) declined the call to First PRC. First’s new trio is Revs. Griess, Mahtani, and Cand. Noorman.

Luther’s Large Catechism on the Seventh Commandment


202 Inasmuch as there is a shameful mess and cesspool of all kinds of vice and lewdness among us, this commandment applies to every form of unchastity, however it is called. Not only is the external act forbidden, but also every kind of cause, motive, and means. Your heart, your lips, and your whole body are to be chaste and to afford no occasion, aid, or encouragement to unchastity.

203 Moreover, you are to defend, protect, and rescue your neighbor whenever he is in danger or need, and on the contrary to aid and assist him so that he may retain his honor.

204 Whenever you fail to do this (though you could prevent a wrong) or wink at it as if it were no concern of yours, you are just as guilty as the culprit himself.

205 In short, everyone is required both to live chastely himself and to help his neighbor do the same. Thus God by his commandment wants every husband or wife guarded and protected from any trespass.

206 Inasmuch as this commandment is concerned specifically with the estate of marriage and gives occasion to speak of it, let us carefully note, first, how highly God honors and glorifies the married life, sanctioning and protecting it by his commandment. He sanctioned it above in the [fifth] commandment, “You shall honor father and mother”; but here, as I said, he has secured it and protected it.

207 Therefore he also wishes us to honor, maintain, and cherish it as a divine and blessed estate. Significantly he established it as the first of all institutions, and he created man and woman differently (as is evident) not for lewdness but to be true to each other, be fruitful, beget children, and support and bring them up to the glory of God.

208 God has therefore most richly blessed this estate above all others and, in addition, has supplied and endowed it with everything in the world in order that this estate might be provided for richly and adequately. Married life is no matter for jest or idle curiosity, but it is a glorious institution and an object of God’s serious concern. For it is of the highest importance to him that persons be brought up to serve the world, promote knowledge of God, godly living, and all virtues, and fight against wickedness and the devil.

209 Therefore I have always taught that we should not despise or disdain marriage, as the blind world and the false clergy do, but view it in the light of God’s Word, by which it is adorned and sanctified. It is not an estate to be placed on a level with the others; it precedes and surpasses them all, whether those of emperor, princes, bishops, or anyone else. Important as the spiritual and civil estates are, these must humble themselves and allow all people to enter the estate of marriage, as we shall hear.

210 It is not an exceptional estate, but the most universal and the noblest, pervading all Christendom and even extending throughout all the world.

211 In the second place, remember that it is not only an honorable estate but also a necessary one, and it is solemnly commanded by God that in general men and women in all conditions, who have been created for it, shall be found in this estate. Yet there are some (although few) exceptions whom God has especially exempted—some who are unsuited for married life and others whom he has released by a high supernatural gift so that they can maintain chastity outside of marriage.

212 Where nature has its way, as God implanted it, it is not possible to remain chaste outside of marriage; for flesh and blood remain flesh and blood, and the natural inclinations and stimulations have their way without let or hindrance, as everyone’s observation and experience testify. Therefore, to make it easier for man to avoid unchastity in some measure, God has established marriage, so that everyone may have his allotted portion and be satisfied with it—although here, too, God’s grace is still required to keep the heart pure.

213 From this you see how the papal rabble, priests, monks, and nuns resist God’s order and commandment when they despise and forbid marriage, and boast and vow that they will maintain perpetual chastity while they deceive the common people with lying words and wrong impressions.

214 For no one has so little love and inclination for chastity as those who under the guise of great sanctity avoid marriage and either indulge in open and shameless fornication or secretly do even worse—things too evil to mention, as unfortunately has been only too well proved.

215 In short, even though they abstain from the act, yet their hearts remain so full of unchaste thoughts and evil desires that they suffer incessant ragings of secret passion, which can be avoided in married life.

216 Therefore all vows of chastity apart from marriage are condemned and annulled by this commandment; indeed, all poor, captive consciences deceived by their monastic vows are even commanded to forsake their unchaste existence and enter the married life. Even granting that the monastic life is godly, yet it is not in their power to maintain chastity, and if they remain they will inevitably sin more and more against this commandment.

217 I say these things in order that our young people may be led to acquire a love for married life and know that it is a blessed and God-pleasing estate. Thus it may in due time regain its proper honor, and there may be less of the filthy, dissolute, disorderly conduct which now is so rampant everywhere in public prostitution and other shameful vices resulting from contempt of married life.

218 Therefore parents and magistrates have the duty of so supervising youth that they will be brought up to decency and respect for authority and, when they are grown, will be married honorably in the fear of God. Then God will add his blessing and grace so that men may have joy and happiness in their married life.

219 Let it be said in conclusion that this commandment requires everyone not only to live chastely in thought, word, and deed in his particular situation (that is, especially in the estate of marriage), but also to love and cherish the wife or husband whom God has given. For marital chastity it is above all things essential that husband and wife live together in love and harmony, cherishing each other whole-heartedly and with perfect fidelity. This is one of the chief ways to make chastity attractive and desirable. Under such conditions chastity always follows spontaneously without any command.

220 This is why St. Paul so urgently admonishes husbands and wives to love and honor each other.

221 Here you have another precious good work—indeed, many and great works—which you can joyfully set over against all “spiritual estates” that are chosen without God’s Word and commandment.