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Lockdown 2/1 – Obeying the Government – or NOT?

Morning Service at Ballymacashon

Lord’s Day,  29th November 2020

Praise,  Psalm 2 v7-12 (Tune: Crasselius) From Sing Psalms

Opening Prayer.



We are back in another lockdown!  Can the state tell the church what to do?  Isn’t that why our Covenanting forefathers died during the ‘Killing Times’ of the 17th century, – punished for their unshakable belief that Christ’s kingdom is ruled by the King of Kings, not the King of England? So, in these two Lockdown Recorded Services, we are going to explore that issue, with the help of Romans 13.  What is the relationship between the believer and the government? Let’s see…

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The Macedonian Call. Acts 16:6-10

The Macedonian Call.

Acts 16:6-10

When we finished in our last study, we had found that the band of two missionaries, Paula and Silas had expanded.  A young man called Timothy had been added.  What happens next is of huge importance to us, as European believers!  

Europe is reached with the Gospel
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Timothy Comes on Board Acts 16:1-5

Timothy Comes on Board

Acts 16:1-5

The band of missionaries is expanding, and now another name is added to the missionaries, a young man called Timothy, and we first encounter him in Acts 16:1-5. With Timothy’s addition, the missionary duo becomes a trio again.

Paul’s Second Missionary Journey

1 His Conversion.   Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy.

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Catechism Class, H/C LD42

Catechism Class: Greed and Injustice

Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 42

Singing: Psalm 26:1-7 (Tune St Thomas) from the Scottish Metrical Psalms  

In LD42, Q110, the Catechist deals with the eight commandment:- “Thou shalt not steal.”  And specifically, with what is FORBIDDEN by God.  But what do we mean by ‘stealing?’  There is the obvious answer of course; robbing a house, shoplifting, mugging, armed robbery, etc, – all of those activities are easily identified as theft or robbery, what the catechist refers to as ‘outright theft.’ The Law of God takes theft seriously. Exodus 22:1  But the catechist doesn’t stop with armed robbery.  He speaks about ‘other wicked schemes and devices.’   We might call them ‘injustices.’  He gives some examples of what they might be:-

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Catechism Class, LD41B Q109 Singleness and Marriage

Catechism Class: LD41B, Q109 Singleness and Marriage.

Text: 1 Corinthians 7:1-11 

Q109. Does God in this commandment forbid nothing more than adultery and similar shameful sins? A Since we, body and soul, are temples of the Holy Spirit, it is God’s will that we keep ourselves pure and holy. Therefore he forbids all unchaste acts, gestures, words, thoughts, desires, and whatever may entice us to unchastity

The catechist is still dealing with the Seventh Commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery”  How will the seventh commandment affect me, and my life?  His answer is simple.  It is God’s will that we keep ourselves pure and holy. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 Now what will that involve?  The opposite to purity and holiness is impurity and filthiness, and the catechist gives us a list.  He reminds us that God forbids:- Impure acts, impure gestures, impure words. Ephesians 5:3-4, impure thoughts, impure desires, impure temptations. Matthew 5:27-29 27  So, practically speaking how do we do all of that?  Thankfully the Lord in his grace has given us a very practical way to cope with our human condition, our temptation to lust after others in a sinful and sexual manner.  It is the ordinance of marriage.  God’s unique gift to humanity.  

Praise: Psalm 51:7-17 (Tune Ottawa)   

7 Cleanse with hyssop, purify me; I’ll be whiter than the snow. 8 Let the bones you crushed be joyful; may I joy and gladness know. 9 From my failure hide your face; blot out all my wickedness.

 10 Lord, create a pure heart in me, and a steadfast mind renew. 11 Do not take your Spirit from me; cast me not away from you. 12 Give me back the joy I had; keep my willing spirit glad.

13 Then I’ll teach your ways to sinners; rebels will turn back to you. 14 Free me from blood-guilt, my Saviour, God most merciful and true. Then I’ll praise your righteousness; 15 teach my lips your name to bless.

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People and Personalities – Acts 15:36-41

People and Personalities

Acts 15:36-41

Personality clashes in churches are nothing new. 

Back in Acts Luke records the history of the early church, warts and all.  When a huge personality clash split the first missionaries up, Luke faithfully records it, makes no attempt whatsoever to cover it up, or airbrush it out of history.  He records it for our benefit and our learning…

1 A Good Intention.  Acts 15:36   

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Enacting the Assembly’s Decision – Acts 15:22-41

Misunderstandings in church! 

There must have been a perception in Antioch that the incident in Acts 15:1, where men had come from Jerusalem, was an official delegation, ie that they were preaching the ‘salvation by faith and works’ message with the sanction of James and the Jerusalem Church.  Certainly it seems that James had SENT that delegation, Galatians 2:11-12  Perhaps they had simply exceeded their authority?  Decisive action had to be taken and it had to be conciliatory. A reply sent orally via Paul and Barnabas was not going to be enough, so to reinforce the message that Jerusalem believed that salvation is by grace through faith alone, they put the decision in writing, and they appointed two high ranking officials as the guarantors of the reality of the decision.

Reconciliation Needed!

1. The Leaders V22  

So it might be well to spend a moment or two to find out a little about them.

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Catechism Class: H/C41A Q108 – Adultery

Catechism Class: Adultery – What is it?

Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 41A

We live in a deeply sexualised society.  We need to remember that God hates adultery, marital unfaithfulness and sexual promiscuity of any kind, and that’s the very point that the catechist drives home in Lord’s Day 41, Q108.  

Let us see:-

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The Antichrist #2

The Antichrist #2

John, while agreeing with Paul that there will be a final last ‘Antichrist,’ writes that there will be many ‘antichrists.’  They were there in his day, and they are still around!

Let’s Talk:-

  • The Thessalonians in 2nd Thess 2 were worried!  What was bothering them?
  • John writes about ‘the Antichrist’ – what dies Paul call him?
  • If there ARE ‘many antichrists’ today, what should the believer do to prevent them doing their work?

Last study, we noted the position of the Reformed Confessions, and noted that our forefathers earnestly believed that the Pope of Rome was the Antichrist.  We wondered if the uncapitalised word ‘antichrist’ could be a reference to the ‘office’ of antichrist rather than the final evil Man of Sin?  Did you decide if you think the Pope is an antichrist, or is ‘the jury still out?’  This study concludes our short examination of this subject…

READ: 2nd Thessalonians 2:6-11.

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A People for His Name – Acts 15:7-21

A People for His Name – The Jerusalem Council AD49

Acts 15:7-21

It’s AD49, and the first great council of the church is about to begin.  It’s the Council of Jerusalem.

Church Meeting

1 The Rivals.

There were basically three different factions at the council, and each of them seems to have a different theological position. They were:-

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