This Week at Covenant Family Church


Brothers and sisters,

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Below is your weekly update. I do want to note that the missionary visit from the Robbins is this evening, so I am putting it first. Also, the Pilgrim Heritage Celebration is this Sunday. We will have our fellowship meal as normal at about 1pm and the program will start at 2pm. 

Missionary Visit: November 18th
On November 18th, we will have a visit from the Robbins family at the Stahl home at 7pm. Barbara has asked for everyone to bring a plate of cookies to share. David Robbins and his family have served as OPC missionaries in rural Karamoja, Uganda since 2016. David is one of the evangelists at Nakaale Presbyterian Church and has focused on leadership training and translating Reformed confessions. This is a great opportunity to hear about the work of missions in Africa and in particular the missionary work that we support as part of the OPC.

Video and Audio Recordings

Sunday Lesson: Proverbs 12:1-4 (33 min.): video link / audio link
This lesson begins a new Sunday school series on Proverbs 12. We cover the first four proverbs.

Worship and Sermon: The Leaven of Bad Doctrine (Matt. 16:1-12): video link (of the worship service) / audio link (of the sermon)

Evening Sermon: The Righteous Shall Live by His Faith (Habakkuk 1:12-2:5) (36 min.): video link / audio link
In this passage, we come to Habakkuk’s second prayer and God’s second response. “You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?” (Habakkuk 1:13)


Why Celebrate the Pilgrims?
In this blog post from 2018, I give several reasons for why we celebrate the Pilgrims. “As we approach the event, the question might be asked: why celebrate our Pilgrim heritage? Why make such a big deal over some grim puritanical figures from four hundred years ago?”

Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q. 6

Q 6: How many persons are there in the Godhead?
Answer: There are three persons in the Godhead; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.

Since God is at the center of our faith and religion, it is vital that we believe the right things about him. If we are to have fellowship with God, we need to know who he is. We find in Scripture that he is a personal God and that in fact he is three persons, though he is only one God.

The word “substance,” used in the catechism, is traditionally used interchangeably with the words “essence” and “being” and “Godhead” to refer to the one God and his divine attributes (think of question 4, “what is God?”). This one God exists in three persons. All three persons share the full divine being, all that God is, so that they are equal in power and glory. These persons are distinct, not interchangeable, distinguished by their personal properties. As our larger catechism explains in its tenth question, these personal properties are that only the Father begets the Son, only the Son is begotten of the Father, and only the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, and this has always been the case from eternity. Furthermore, in history they play united but distinct roles in the work of salvation, as 1 Peter 1:1-2 describes, “To those who are elect exiles … according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood”.

Our Westminster standards take up and affirm the truths affirmed in the ancient creeds of the church, such as the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds. We recite the Nicene Creed every week, and the Athanasian Creed is worth looking up as well (as is the less historic Lutheran Satire video on bad Trinitarian analogies here). But here is a simple summery of the doctrine of the Trinity from J. Gresham Machen:

“The New Testament is just as much opposed as the Old Testament is to the thought that there are more Gods than one. Yet the New Testament with equal clearness teaches that the Father is God and the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God, and that these three are not three aspects of the same person but three persons standing in a truly personal relationship to one another.” (The Person of Jesus, 13-14.)

It is into the name of this Triune God that we are baptized. We are called to entrust ourselves to and serve this Triune God. We are called have fellowship with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, with each one particularly and being drawn by each one to the other two and to their unity as the one true and living God.

Pilgrim Heritage Celebration: November 22nd
This November is the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim’s arrival at Cape Cod and the signing of the Mayflower Compact. This year’s event will be held on this Sunday, November 22nd. The program will begin at 2pm. This year’s speakers will be John Huffman, Jeff Hamann, and Peter Bringe. The talks will be “The Providence of God in 1620”, “The Choices the Pilgrims Made in 1620”, and “The Vision of the Pilgrims in 2020.”

Midweek Meeting
On Wednesday we are studying J. Gresham Machen’s book, The Person of Jesus, a short collection of radio addresses he gave in 1935, a year before he led the founding of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. But this Wednesday (today) is the missionary visit at the Stahl’s home and we will not meet next Wednesday. So we will pick up with the Machen book study on December 2nd.

Bahnsen Audio
In case you missed it last time, the Bahnsen Project has begun releasing talks by Dr. Greg Bahnsen on Sermon Audio. More has been added in the past week. You can check it out at this link. There are series on topics like apologetics, covenant theology, the Book of Proverbs, modern philosophy, economic ethics, the Book of Revelation, the modern tongues movement, the Westminster Confession, and more!

Sunday Evening Sermon
I am preaching through the book of Habakkuk on Sunday evenings at 7pm via our church’s YouTube livestream. The sermon will also be recorded and posted on Sermon Audio. This Sunday’s sermon will be “Five Woes to Babylon” (Habakkuk 2:6-20).

Other Church Events
Nov. 18 – Missionary visit from Robbins family (Uganda), 7pm
Nov. 22 – Pilgrim Heritage Celebration, 2pm
Nov. 29 – Guest preacher: Rev. Terry Dowds
Dec. 10 – Session meeting at the Stahl home

Worship Details

Hymns & Psalms
Hymn #1 “All People That on Earth Do Dwell”
Psalm #65A “Praise Waits for Thee in Zion!”
Psalm #65B “Thy Might Has Built the Mountains”
Hymn #572 “Onward, Christian Soliders”
Hymn #98 “Now Thank We All Our God”

Announcements, Bible Texts, Sermon:
Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 54
New Testament Reading: Ephesians 2
Sermon: “The Church on the Rock” – Matthew 16:13-20


Pastor Peter Bringe