Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 10 July, 2016
“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
Knowing the Holy Scriptures From Infancy
Scripture Reading: II Timothy 3
Text: II Timothy 3:15
I. The Meaning
II. The Lessons
III. The Benefits
Psalms: 78:2-7; 149:1-5; 127:1-5; 128:1-6
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
Complete in Christ (9)
Scripture Reading: Colossians 2
Text: Colossians 2:18-19
I. The Spurious Arguments
II. The Underlying Problem
III. The Terrible Loss
Psalms: 148:1-8; 149:5-9; 89:2-7; 45:1-6
For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services,
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart
or the elders
CPRC Website: www.cprc.co.uk • Live Webcast:
CPRC YouTube: www.youtube.com/cprcni
CPRC Facebook: www.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
Quote to Consider
J. Miller: “What we want to do with our children, is not
merely to control them and keep them in order—but to implant
true principles deep in their hearts which shall rule their
whole lives ... They are to be trained rather than governed.
Growth of character, not merely good behavior, is the object
of all home governing and teaching. Therefore the home
influence is far more important than the home laws; and the
parents’ lives are of more significance than their
teachings. Whatever may be done in the way of governing,
teaching or training—theories are not half as important as
the parents’ lives. They may teach the most beautiful
things, but if the child does not see these things modeled
in the life of the parent, he will not consider them
important enough to be adopted in his own life.”
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
We welcome the visitors to our worship services today. May
the Lord bless us together as we hear Him speak to us
through the preaching of the Word.
This morning we witness the baptism of Sophie Lyn Crossett.
May the Lord give wisdom and strength to David and Kristin
as they raise this covenant child according to the vows they
take this morning.
The July issue of the Covenant Reformed News is on the back
table. British Reformed Journals are available on the back
table for subscribers. Those interested in subscribing (£10
for 4 issues), please talk to Brian Crossett.
Four new books have arrived in the bookstore!
Be Ye Holy
(£5) by Profs. Engelsma and Hanko,
God’s Goodness Always
Particular (£7) by Herman Hoeksema,
Christianizing the World
(£9) by Prof. Engelsma and
A Spiritual House Preserved (£22)
edited by Calvin Kalsbeek. Copies of these are available on
the back table.
The Tuesday Bible study will not meet this week but will
resume on 2 August.
Everyone is invited to a barbecue at the manse on Friday, 15
July, at 6:30 PM or as soon as you can come thereafter. Some
saints from Limerick, the US, Australia and the Philippines
will be joining us. Please let Pastor or Mary know if you
The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel
846MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. Haak is “Except Ye Be Converted”
Rev. McGeown will preach for the CPRC at both services next
Sunday, 17 July. This is the Sunday of the BRF Conference.
Note, the worship services at Castlewellan start at 10 AM
and 7 PM (not 11 AM and 6 PM, as in the CPRC).
We will be having tea after the evening service on Sunday,
24 July. Because this is the Lord’s Day immediately
following the conference, we are expecting about 50
visitors. Groups A and B on the rota are asked to bring
Offerings: General Fund: £681.66. Building Fund: £265.05.
New translations: 2 Hungarian.
PRC news: As per the 2016 synodical decision, Doon PRC’s
trio for a third missionary to the Philippines is Revs.
Brummel, Griess and Huizinga.
What a Relief!
Brian D. Dykstra
Have you ever been given a book, a large book, as a gift?
What is one to think? I suppose in a way such a gift is a
compliment. The giver assumes enough intelligence to read
and comprehend things. On the other hand, does the big book
imply that the giver believes the receiver has a lot to
A relative gave me such a book last year. A great deal of
effort was exerted to read it. The effort was not the result
of the book being boring. It was quite interesting, similar
to listening to a good college professor deliver a
fascinating lecture. The effort was in the daily discipline
required to finish it. The chapters were not very long, but
there were eighty-two of them in a 684-page volume. I had
seen promotions for this book before and I had wanted to
read it. However, I did not wish to buy it and I could not
endure the shame of the repeated renewals at the public
library which would be necessary if I were to finish it.
The book, The Discoverers: A History of Man’s Search to Know
His World and Himself, was written by Daniel Boorstin. My
relative’s warning was correct. It is a very humanistic
book. However, for those who have an interest in science and
history, there is a lot to learn. It does give the believer
an appreciation of the Creator’s handiwork and how much we
have come to understand about it.
There were two parts of the book which struck me because
recent Heidelberg Catechism preaching had caused me to think
about life and doctrine. Doctrine is not merely something
for “clergy” to debate in a scholastic setting but what you
believe determines how you live. Wouldn’t it be sad to live
by a false creed?
One part of Boorstin’s book dealt with a monk who copied a
book. This was before the invention of the printing press,
when books had to be copied by hand. Boorstin wrote of an
abbot who lived about one thousand years ago. The abbot
“encouraged his congregation by his tale of a sinful Brother
who had been saved by his industry in the scriptorium. At
his death the Devil was about to take him to hell. But when
the notorious Brother came before the Judgment Seat, God saw
the beautiful large folio of holy texts he had transcribed.
It was decided that for each letter he had written in the
book, he would be pardoned one sin. Since it was a very big
book, when the angels reckoned up his sins they found that
even after all his sins were forgiven, one letter was left
over. The divine Judge then mercifully decreed that the soul
of this monk should be allowed to reenter his body on earth
so that he could set his life straight. And then not enter
life eternal with only one little merit to his name!”
There is the effect of Rome’s position on atonement. God’s
people are not saved by God’s sovereign grace alone.
Christ’s lifetime of suffering, especially what He endured
upon the cross, is not enough to deliver us from all our
sins. We must add to His work. A monk could have a sin
blotted out not by Christ’s blood but by a letter he copied
on a page. Can you imagine what our lives would be if we
believed we had to do such things to be saved? Busy parents
already feel there are not enough hours in a day to complete
all that needs to be done. How many bleary, baggy and
dark-circled eyes would we witness in our sanctuaries, if we
felt we had to do meritorious good works to avoid purgatory?
Then there is what I learned about the men who survived the
first voyage around the world. Consider these few facts.
Magellan and his crew set sail on 20 September, 1519. The
expedition consisted of five ships and 241 men. They had
already endured mutinies and winter storms by the time they
reached the southern tip of South America. Now they had to
cross the Pacific, which was much larger than they had
imagined. They sailed for 98 days without seeing any land
except for two uninhabited islands. By that time their food
had given out, their water was contaminated, and the men ate
rats, ox hides and sawdust. Most of the crew suffered from
scurvy, a disease marked by spongy gums, loosened teeth and
bleeding under the skin. They faced sharp conflicts on the
islands of Guam and the Philippines where Magellan was
killed. Space restricts me from relating more of the
suffering faced by these men, but on 6 September, 1522,
almost three years after leaving, one ship returned to Spain
with 18 sailors on board. That is a survival rate of about
Here’s how Boorstin finished his treatment of this dreadful
voyage. “The semi-seaworthy Victoria, under Juan Sebastian
del Cano, took the western route around the Cape of Good
Hope. To the already familiar trials of hunger, thirst, and
scurvy now was added the hostility of the Portuguese, who
imprisoned nearly half of Del Cano’s crew when they put in
at the Cape Verde Islands in the Atlantic.”
Had I survived such a trip, I would have believed I had
already endured enough physical suffering. I wouldn’t see
the need for any penance. I’d already done it! Not the
eighteen! They still felt they had penance to perform!
Boorstin writes, “The next day, to fulfil their penitential
vows all eighteen walked barefoot, wearing only their
shirts, each carrying a lighted candle, the mile from the
waterfront to the Cathedral shrine of Santa Maria
What a relief not to have to teach such examples to our
children of what we should do to earn salvation! How blessed
to do good works not for merit but as the proper fruits of
thankfulness for God’s saving grace! “But thanks be to God,
which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”
(I Cor. 15:57).