Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 5 October, 2014
“But our God is in the heavens: he hath done
whatsoever he hath pleased” (Psalm 115:3)
Morning Service - 11:00 AM
Christ’s Seven Words From the Cross (6)
Christ’s Announcement of Victory
Scripture Reading: John 19:23-42
Text: John 19:30
I. Its Meaning for Him
II. Its Meaning for Us
Psalms: 86:8-13; 80:1-6; 40:6-10; 98:1-8
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
Married to the Law
Scripture Reading: Romans 7
Text: Romans 7:1-4
I. The Reality of This Marriage
II. The Terribleness of This Marriage
III. The Termination of This Marriage
Psalms: 148:1-10; 80:7-12; 58:1-6; 14:1-7
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
Herman Hoeksema on Romans 7:4: “Our marriage with Christ is
a union of life. We are bone of His bone and flesh of His
flesh. Out of Him flows a stream of life into the church.
There is in this marriage relationship a union of love,
based on the union of life. This union is an exclusive
relationship. Just as the marriage relation between man and
wife is exclusive, so the relation between Christ and His
people is exclusive. Christ belongs to the church, and the
church belongs to Christ and to no one else. If she flirts,
she becomes an adulteress. Finally, it is a union for life.
The union cannot be broken, even as the marriage relation
cannot be broken. The marriage relation is a union for life”
(Righteous By Faith Alone, p. 280).
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
Standard Bearers are available on the back table for
Taylor, Josh, Corey, Bradley & Samuel (Beginners OT, book 1)
Alex, Nathan, Jacob & Joseph (Seniors NT) - 6:15PM
Timothy & Chris (Essentials of Reformed Doctrine) - 7:00PM
The Tuesday Bible study meets at 11 AM to continue our
consideration of greatness in God’s kingdom.
The Belgic Confession Class this Wednesday at 7:45 PM will
study the anthropology of sanctification in connection with
Men’s Bible Study is this Saturday at 8 PM at the Kennedys.
We will be discussing chapters 1 and 2 of Pursuit of
The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel
846MW at 8:30 AM) by Rev. Bruinsma is entitled “The Church
Institute” (Titus 1:5).
The next council meeting will be held on Monday, 13 October,
at 7:45 PM.
Upcoming Lectures: Rev. Stewart will speak on Friday, 31
October, in the CPRC on “Gottschalk: Medieval Confessor of
God’s Absolute Sovereignty.” On Thursday, 6 November, he
will give the same lecture in S. Wales.
Offerings: General Fund - £937.18.
Website Additions: 1 Spanish, 2 Hungarian and 3 Afrikaans
The Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC) in Singapore
has extended a call to Rev. Andy Lanning to be their pastor.
Rev. Lanning is currently serving as a Minister-on-Loan
(MOL) to Singapore, called by Grandville PRC. This call from
the CERC would bring the MOL arrangement to an end, so Rev.
Lanning’s ministerial credentials would be held by the CERC,
if the Lord leads him to accept. He plans to answer on or
before 19 October.
The Value of Wisdom
Brian D. Dykstra
Proverbs 3:22: “So shall they be life unto thy soul, and
grace to thy neck.”
Solomon continues to instruct his son concerning the value
of wisdom. In verse thirteen of this chapter, Solomon writes
that the man who finds wisdom and understanding will be
In verse twenty-one, Solomon told his son to “keep sound
wisdom and discretion.” Wisdom and discretion were to be
regarded as being so valuable that they were to be locked in
a safe place so the son would always have them in his
possession. He should never give them away to anyone, nor
should he grow careless in maintaining ownership of them. He
must not have the attitude that he would be not missing
anything of any value or importance to him should the wisdom
and understanding his father had passed on to him turn up
missing. As valuable crown jewels are safely kept to retain
their possession, so must this son value wisdom and
“Sound wisdom and discretion” are the antecedents of “they”
which is near the beginning of verse twenty-two. Solomon is
not interested in giving to his son the wisdom of the
business world. The goal is not to help his son heap up
treasures of gold for himself. In other passages of
Scripture, Solomon speaks of the vanity of earthly riches.
He also is not interested in political power or his son’s
ascension of the social ladder. He knows the vanity of these
things too. Sound wisdom is the wisdom of God, knowing about
our heavenly Father’s virtues and the goodness of obeying
the Lord our Master. Sound wisdom is free from the errors of
the mind of fallen man. Sound wisdom does not have within it
a kernel of fallacy which corrupts. It is a firm wisdom
because its foundation is God’s Word.
Discretion is the ability to tell the difference between
right and wrong. This is right and wrong as determined by
the righteous God, not the changing standards of men.
Christians of every era have faced a world filled with
temptations. There is not a Christian who is not in need of
being able to discern between good and evil. Adam faced
choices of good and evil, and so do we. How many of us would
be able to tell of the devastating effects of choosing evil,
either of ourselves or those whom we have known?
Solomon is about to make a guarantee to his son about wisdom
and discretion. That is the importance of the word “shall.”
In our Authorized Version of the Bible there is an important
difference between will and shall. “Will” is something which
one would like to do. It is a desire. Not knowing what the
future holds, and not being able to control all possible
factors, we often speak of what we would will, or desire, to
do. “Shall” is a certainty. We are certain the sun shall
rise in the east and set in the west. There is nothing which
will stop it. Solomon wants his son to know that there is
something certain about sound wisdom and discretion. His son
can count on it.
Wisdom and discretion are life unto the soul. We see again
Solomon’s interest in his son’s spiritual life. Solomon is
not speaking about the life of the flesh, nor is he passing
along hints regarding health and nutrition. The soul is what
stands us in relation to God as our Creator. God also gave
souls to the animals when He formed them from the dust of
the Earth. Solomon is not writing about the spirit which is
our ethical standing before God. This is the fundamental
aspect of living which animates and moves us. The
foolishness of sin brings death and judgment. Wisdom and
discretion give life and the experience of our Father’s
Wisdom and discretion also are grace to the neck. This
reference is not to the back of the neck. Scripture speaks
of the back of the neck being hard and stiff. Such a picture
is used to refer to people who oppose God and refuse to bend
their will to His good law. It is the stubborn, obstinate
way of wilful sin.
Here is a reference to the front of the neck. This is where
the ornament of a beautiful necklace is hung. A necklace has
value. The value might arise from the precious metals used
to make the necklace, or the necklace might be adorned with
precious, beautiful stones and gems. Even an inexpensive
necklace can be greatly valued when it is a gift from a dear
Solomon speaks of an ornament of grace, God’s favour.
Necklaces are worn for beauty, decoration or display, but
they are always easy to see. People will see that Solomon’s
son experiences the favour and loving-kindness of God. The
condemned criminal and the shamed captive wore a ring around
the neck by which they were led against their will. It was a
symbol of their shame, but wisdom and discretion result in
an ornament which gives glory. The son would be joyful of
such a symbol of God’s love and favour.
As teachers, we desire our students to have God’s wisdom and
discretion in their hearts. Yes, they need to have an
education so they can make their way in a changing economic
world, but discretion will show them how to use their
talents and abilities in the service of God, no matter what
work He has for them. No matter where our students go, we
hope God’s grace in Jesus Christ will be clearly evident in