Tag Archives: Christ

Sunbeam of the Father’s Love

8 May

“It is true that we do not come directly to the Father by faith. We can only come to him by the Son. Jesus said, ‘I am the way,  the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’ (John 14:6)… Through Christ, then, we have access to the Father, we behold the Father’s glory also and enjoy fellowship with the Father in his own special love. All this we receive by faith. As we come to the Father’s love through Christ, so the Father’s love comes to us through Christ. The light of the sun comes to us by its beams. By its beams we see the sun, and by its beams the sun touches us. Jesus Christ is the beam of his Father’s love and through hum the Father’s love reaches down and touches us. By Jesus Christ also we see and experience and are led up to the Father’s love. If we, as believers, would meditate on this truth more and live in the light of it, there would be great spiritual growth in our walk with God.” John Owen, Communion with God

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Another King and Election Day

6 May

Updated with a few thoughts of my own at the bottom

This is merely a link to two sources more qualified  to write on this issue.

Stephen Steele has posted a portion of an essay he wrote during his History MA.

“…no member of the Reformed Presbyterian Church can vote at a Parliamentary Election and be an honest man; for either he has made vows and professions which he believes to be wrong, or he has broken vows which he believes to be right.”

Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland Synod 1893

Jim Murdoch on behalf of the Loughbrickland RPC session has written an article entitled “Honouring Christ With Our Vote” with the tagline “there is another king, one Jesus” (Acts 17:7).

“But we must ask: is there anywhere a candidate who is committed to practical dissent from the Christ-dishonouring aspects of the constitution and a return to the obligations of the Solemn League and Covenant? Has any made even the slightest public assertion of the rights of Jesus Christ over politics as King of nations? We have not heard of any such. This silence means that loyalty to King Jesus requires we vote for no-one. “Now therefore why speak ye not a word of bringing the king back?” (2 Samuel 19:10). “

Loughbrickland RPC

A few thoughts:

  • If an RP decides that this is now a matter of conscience (something of which I am not persuaded) then surely they should not publicly flaunt their view that it is acceptable  to vote without seeking to justify doing so by the testimony’s criteria. Doing so would definitely not be showing a teachable and submissive spirit.
  • We should not major on the minors. This is a minor issue. It should not be handled in the same  manner as key doctrines of the faith but neither should it be ignored.
  • I applaud the Loughbrickland session for providing clarification for their members and think that a denomination-wide consideration of what is biblical in the 21st century might be a good idea. Looking at the length of time coalition governments can sometimes last this may be need before the customary 4 or 5 year term.

Why Join the Church?

19 Apr
Following on from the “Why Evening Worship?” series I’m now borrowing Dad’s “Why Join the Church?” leaflet and turning it into a series of blog posts. This post is an introduction to the topic and will be followed by 5 reasons.

Introduction

Every Christian should be a church member, however, not all seem to be persuaded of this.  Some with hurts from the past feel that the step of membership is hard to take again.  Others are on the search for the perfect church and are reluctant put down their roots.  Still others seem to have a pride in their supposed flexibility saying, “we belong to a global church.”  Some may even out of a wrong sense of responsibility say, “I don’t want to be a burden to anyone.” The purpose of this short series is to show clearly the Biblical principle that every Christian should belong to a visible body of believers.

It goes without saying that not any church will do.  The Reformers of the 16th century rightly spoke of the three marks of the church: true preaching of the Word of God, faithful administering of the sacraments and the exercising of Biblical Church discipline.  A church that has these three marks evident in its life is the sort of church a Christian should belong to and be visibly committed to.

The Reformation Wall in Geneva depicting four 16th Century Reformers

It is also true that every saved sinner belongs to the wider Church of God.  Revelation 7:9 speaks of a great multitude which no one can number.  Our membership of this world wide, century bridging company is to be expressed in our membership of the local church.  By local this does not necessarily mean the church nearest to where you live.  Sometimes this is simply not possible.

We believe also that the children of believers are already members of the church.  That is how it was in the OT & NT.  For them we look forward to seeing God’s grace apparent in their lives and them professing faith in Christ when they come to the years of discernment.  At that stage they will enter in to all of the responsibilities and privileges of being a member of the church.

So why should every follower of Jesus Christ belong formally to a local gathering of believers?

Reasons

1. To Obey

2. To Receive Care

3. To Fulfil Responsibilities

4. To Reach the Lost World

5. To Bring God Glory

Each of these reasons will be expanded upon in future posts in this series.

Evening Worship Because of Our Witness

22 Mar

Part 5 in Rev.David McCullough’s series nicked from a church leaflet entitled “Why Evening Worship?”

5. Because of our Witness to the World

The message of the Scripture is that our lives are to display to men and women the glorious light of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). When we are present at worship we are making an important statement to visitors – the worship of the Lord Jesus Christ is the most important thing in my life. When we are absent visitors note and conclude – there mustn’t be much of importance that is happening here. Our presence at worship says to the world that the proclamation of the Word of God is vital.

There is a secondary dimension to this, in that, as we come under the Word Christ deals with us and uses His Word to make us more like Him and the more like Him we are the more useful we will be in reaching the lost.

Part 1- Because of the Glory of God

Part 2- Because Jesus is There

Part 3- Because It’s the Lord’s Day

Part 4- Because of Each Other

Evening Worship Because It’s the Lord’s Day

8 Mar

Reason number 3 from Rev. David McCullough’s series “Why Evening Worship?”

3. Because of the Nature of the Lord’s Day

The Lord’s day is for rest.  That rest is not the rest of inactivity but the rest of worship and service.  We are commanded to keep the whole day in a holy manner – i.e. set aside for the Lord.  We are not to use the Sabbath just as a time to rest our bodies physically.  Our primary rest is found in the Lord Jesus Christ, learning of Him and His Word.  Through the prophet Isaiah God told His people about the blessing of putting God first. “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on My holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honourable, and if you honour it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord” (Isaiah 58:13& 13a).

Another purpose of the Sabbath is to point us to Christ’s return and the rest that is yet to come.  That rest of heaven will be unbroken and worshipping God publicly throughout the Sabbath day as we have opportunity is good practice for the life that is ahead.

The argument that worshipping twice will leave me too tired for my work simply does not stand – we are not to do as we please.  When we put Him first He has promised to add to our lives all that we need.

Part 1- Because of the Glory of God

Part 2- Because Jesus is There

Evening Worship Because Jesus is There

23 Feb

Second reason from Rev. David McCullough’s leaflet answering the question “Why Evening Worship?”.

2. Because of the Presence of Christ

The psalmist writes I love the house where you live, O Lord.  The place where Your glory dwells. (Psalm 26:8)   God does not live in any building made by the hands of men.  He does reside by His Spirit amongst His people.  Where Christ’s people are, He is in the midst of them.  When we gather for public worship we enjoy the presence of Christ with His people in a way that we cannot enjoy when we are on our own.  One way to express our love for Christ is to delight in being where He is in this special way.  No right thinking believer would want to snub their Lord and Saviour by absenting themselves without due cause from public worship.

Part 1 – Because of the Glory of God

The Cross and Circumcision

27 Jan

“Circumcision had two meanings… The positive was that God was cutting out Israel from the other nations, setting it apart to be a holy nation, to be a blessing. The negative was that if the Jew failed to keep every one of the terms of the covenant, he would be cut off from God’s presence, just as his foreskin had been ritually cut off.

The cross is the supreme circumcision, because when Jesus took the curse upon himself, he so identified with the sin of his people that he became a curse. God cut him off and justly so, because at that moment Christ became sin. Jesus, on the cross, was the most grotesque, most obscene mass of sin concentrated in the history of the world. Remember God is too holy even to look at iniquity. Therefore when Christ was hanging on the cross, the Father turned his back and cut off his Son. God forsook him…

On the cross Jesus was in hell,totally bereft of the grace and the presence of God, utterly separated from all blessedness of the Father. If you are a Christian, remember Jesus became a curse for you, so that one day you might be able to see the face of God, and have the light of his countenance fall on you.” R.C. Sproul, The Unexpected Jesus