Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 3
generation shall praise thy works to another,
declare thy mighty acts" (Ps. 145:4)
- 11:00 AM
The Work of Antioch’s Missionaries (I) [download]
Reading: Acts 13:4-16; 38-52
Text: Acts 13-14
Methods They Employed
Difficulties They Experienced
III. The Report
77:7-13; 22:27-31; 66:1-7
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
The Work of Antioch’s Missionaries (II) [download]
Reading: Acts 14
Text: Acts 13-14
I. The Methods
Difficulties They Experienced
Report They Gave
77:14-20; 147:1-5, 19-20; 67:1-7
Stephen Murray for CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship
Quote to Consider:
Form for the Ordination of Missionaries: "This
divine charge was also carried out by the church of Antioch, when they,
after fasting and prayer, laid their hands upon Barnabas and Saul and
sent them away to preach the gospel also unto the Gentiles (Acts 13).
And when they on their first missionary journey had arrived at Antioch
in Pisidia, they testified to the contradicting Jews: ‘Lo, we turn to
the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying: I have set thee
for a light of the Gentiles; that thou shouldest be for salvation unto
the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 13:46, 47)’" (The
Confessions and the Church Order of the Protestant Reformed Churches,
Announcements (subject to God’s will):
The second offering this morning is for our
6:00 PM -
Joseph, Jacob, Nathan & Alex (Beginners NT History)
6:45 PM -
Zoe, Amy & Lea (Seniors NT History)
The Council will meet tomorrow, 4 October at
Tuesday Bible study: 11 AM. We will look at II
Thessalonians 1:4f. on love enabling perseverance.
Ladies Discussion will be at 11 AM this
Wednesday, 6 October. The Standard Bearer articles on "Royal
Children" which we will discuss are on the back table.
Wednesday Belgic Confession class: 7:45 PM. We
will look at "There Is Only One God"—considering the Being and
perfections of Jehovah. The
audio of the last class is on-line.
Thursday membership class: 7:30 PM.
Rev. McGeown will preach for the CPRC next Lord’s Day
and Rev. Stewart will preach for the LRF (the Stewarts will be in
Limerick to attend Manuel and Emily-Kate’s wedding on Friday).
The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day
(8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW) is entitled "The Gospel Preached to All
Nations" (Matthew 24:14) by Rev. Bruinsma.
S. Wales Lectures: Friday, 15 October, on
"Charismaticism" by Rev. Stewart, 3 December by Rev. McGeown and 21
January by Rev. Stewart.
Website Additions: 1 Portuguese, 2 German and 1
Latvian (the Athanasian Creed) were added to the website.
Offerings: General Fund - £537.74. Donations: £25
(DVDs), £8 (books).
If you would like to purchase a bound volume of
the past year’s Standard Bearers (volume 86) for £20, contact Rev.
Stewart by the end of October.
PRC News: Wingham PRC will call from a trio of Revs. Bruinsma, A.
Laning, and Koole. Cornerstone’s new trio is Revs. Bruinsma, Rev. Haak
and W. Langerak.
This is part 2 of the 40th email from Prof.
Engelsma on justification:
Ephesians 2:10 also emphasizes the importance of our
doing good works. So important is this that God ordained the good works
we should perform. The text is the death of the antinomian heresy (grace
means the licence to sin), as of all carelessness in the life of the
We have no right to perform good works. We lost this
right in our fall in Adam. We now deserve only to serve Satan with the
cruel service of the slave-labour of sinning.
This points out another way in which it is true that
the reward of our good works is gracious. Christ earned for us the right
to perform good works. It cost God His own Son to get for us the right
to live a life of sanctification, that is, perform good works. "[Jesus
Christ] gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity,
and purify unto himself, a peculiar people, zealous of good works"
Then there are these biblical truths, that I only
mention. If God judged us strictly on the merits of our good works, our
good works would damn us, for every one of them is defiled and tainted
with sin, and God demands perfection.
Our good works, like us ourselves, need forgiveness
of their imperfection and sinful taint. God graciously does forgive our
good works, as well as our completely evil works. This is grace.
Also, the reward is infinitely greater and more
glorious than any and all of our good works. There is no equivalence
between the works and the reward, as there must be if the reward is
meritorious. The reward is eternal life and sharing the glory of the
exalted Christ in body and soul in a marvellous new creation forever.
And when I look at my few, puny, insignificant good works, all of which
grace produced in me and all of which I defiled by not loving God and
the neighbour as I ought to have done, I marvel at the sheer grace of
God in promising me a reward, and such a reward, for these trifles. And
the idea of marching into the final judgment waving these little,
defiled things as deserving what awaits me is to me (and this is grace
also) not only the height of wickedness, but also the height of
absurdity, as though one should offer to the brain surgeon who has
accomplished a successful, lifesaving surgery over hours of time a
bouquet of wilted flowers as payment.
The truth of the reward is that God out of pure grace
is pleased to reward His own gift to us and His own work in us. Not
because He is indebted by our works, but because He is surpassingly
gracious, always giving, always giving more, until it bids fair to take
our breath away, He rewards our good works, every one, never overlooking
a single one, although when we stand before Christ we do not remember
them ("Lord, when saw we thee an hungered," etc. [Matt. 25:37]). "Grace
for grace" is the wonderful way of our God in Jesus Christ with us (John
And Scripture is careful to guard the truth of grace,
particularly regarding the reward of good works, in the very passages
that emphatically teach the reward of good works. I take one example.
Matthew 25:31 teaches that heaven and the perfected kingdom of God will
be the reward of the good works of the sheep on Jesus’ right hand: "Come
... inherit the kingdom ... for I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat"
(vv. 34-35). Lest we suppose that the good works merit the reward, Jesus
will say, right then at the moment that there could be misunderstanding,
"ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the
foundation of the world" (v. 34). The kingdom we inherit is a gift of
grace, given us in the eternal decree of election, before we ever did a
good work, and not on the basis of any good work, for the decree itself
ordained the good works for us.
Not our good works, but the obedience of Christ for
us and in our stead, especially His satisfactory suffering and death,
merited for us the reward of eternal life. And we have all these merits,
not by working, but by believing on Him, by believing only. And His work
was well-deserving of the reward for Himself and for us. For He was the
eternal Son of God, so that His obedience has infinite worth and value.
And He who is the form of God humbled Himself, even to the accursed
death of the cross out of perfect love for God and perfect love for us.
Pleading those merits, and those only, let us stand
daily in the courtroom of God; let us enter the judgment at the moment
of death; and let us stand one day before the Christ of God on His great
white throne. Justification by faith alone!
Very briefly, I add the following concerning the
reward of grace.
First, the promise of a reward is intended by God to
be an incentive to perform good works, not the only incentive, not even
the most important (surely, gratitude and in that gratitude seeking the
glory of God are the main motives of the Christian life), but an
incentive, and an incentive that evidently we need. Especially does the
truth of a coming reward encourage us when we suffer and become
discouraged. "If so be that suffer with him, that we may be glorified
together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not
worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us"
Second, regarding the differing measures of the
reward corresponding to the good works of each believer, there is more
than an external relationship. That is, the correspondence is not simply
something like this, that God numbers up the good works and notes their
value and gives a man a higher place in heaven that accords with the
number and value of the works. But the correspondence is more internal
and necessary. One’s work in the covenant and kingdom on earth expands
his capacity for glory in the coming world. The more one gives himself
to God and the neighbour, the more one is zealous for the truth, and
especially the more one suffers for Christ’s sake here (we must not
shrink from suffering; we must not despise suffering; we must not
underestimate the value of suffering for us ourselves), the greater
becomes his spiritual capacity for the life and glory that awaits. Each
of us is being fitted by God now, by means of our good works, for the
degree of glory He has ordained for us and will give us.
And this is yet another important aspect of the
motivating reward of grace: for the most part the reward is future,
consisting of what God will give us at the return of Christ and in the
final judgment. Yes, there is also reward now—precious reward—and not
least the privilege itself of serving God. But it is also true that here
often the holy life is unnoticed, unappreciated, scorned, and
persecuted. Not in this life, but in heaven, we have the reward.
For it, therefore, we are to labour, endure, suffer,
and abound in good works.
"Come, Lord Jesus, with the reward of grace!
Cordially in Christ,