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Morning Worship

Morning Worship, Every Lord’s Day at 11.30am, DV, at

The Old Reformed Church at Ballymacashon

(Congregational)

78 Saintfield Road, Killinchy, Co.Down. BT23 6RN.
Psalms – Bible Reading – Exegetical Preaching


For information contact 07802466302 or click https://saltyscrivener.uk/ballymacashon-congregational…/

We always welcome visitors!

Martin Luther: “at home, in my own house, there is no warmth or vigour in me, but in the church when the multitude is gathered together, a fire is kindled in my heart and it breaks its way through.”

Find us at 78 Saintfield Road,

Killinchy,

NEWTOWNARDS Co.Down,

BT23 6RN

The Saving Call – Acts 26:12-13

The Saving Call

Text: Acts 26:12-18 

Let’s remember what we have learned. Paul has already spoken about his upbringing as a Pharisee, and yet, as we learned, being a Pharisee did have a formative effect on his life, leading to his conversion.  As a Pharisee he had learned through practice that he was unable to perfectly keep the law of God; that he was guilty.  Now he goes to the next step and tells again the story of his conversion to Christ, how he met the Lord on the road to Damascus.  

1. The Journey.  V12 -13

Paul is journeying – a man on a mission.  His fanaticism against the church, and the burning hatred that he held for Christ and his church is evident in this verse.  Of course he has already spoken of this V11   He is travelling towards Damascus, seething with malice, and he is still on his journey, even at midday. Now that in itself has fed the sceptics and the Bible denying modernists.  Paul had a seizure, or heatstroke – that blinding light he saw was just the searing glare of the noon sun.  James Montgomery Boice quotes Harry Ironside “Would God that all modernists could be so sunstruck that they might begin to preach Christ, and so come back to the grand old gospel of redemption by the blood of Jesus!”  It It was the light of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus that struck home to the very heart of that man and gave him to see the One he had been persecuting—the Saviour of sinners.” 

He’s right of course – at least about this!  The evidence, is in the changed life of the one who was blinded by the light.

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Catechism Class: LD16B Q40-41 Why Did Jesus Have to Die?

Why did Jesus have to die?

LORD’S DAY 16A Q40-41

Why did Jesus have to die? The Catechist’s answer is that he died to make ‘satisfaction’ for our sins. Because God, in His unchanging nature, is both JUST and HOLY, and because he is IMMUTIBLE – that means that He never changes, in Malachi 3:6  the wages of sin MUST be death for the soul that sins will die!  To our first Father, God warned, in his law, But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Genesis 2:17. That is why Jesus had to die – HE DIED MY DEATH!  Let’s start with this statement:-

God is both JUST and TRUTHFUL

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Govt. Authoritarianism & The Church in Scotland 1662-1679

Govt. Authoritarianism & The Church in Scotland 1662-1679

Podcast Transcript

Daniel 3:16-18 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

In March 2021 a group of church leaders in Scotland legally challenged the Scottish government in the Court of Session, claiming that the Covid restrictions that had been imposed on churches were a breach of their freedom of religion. The judge at that court, Lord Braid agreed, ruling that the government’s regulations (quote) “constitute a disproportionate interference” into people’s freedom to manifest their religious beliefs, and that they “went further than they were lawfully able to do.”  It was an important and landmark ruling that went further than Scotland, and perhaps made the ruling parties in other parts of the British isles, think twice before imposing more restrictions on the Lord’s Church.  Before that case, we had witnessed the strange sight of government edicts imposed upon churches in the interests of ‘safety.’  Churches had been ordered to close, to space out their seating areas, to restrict their numbers, to stop singing, to meet outdoors, to make their people hide their faces behind masks…  Government interference in the affairs of God’s kingdom in England, Ireland and Scotland, requiring churches to deliberately disobey the precepts set out in God’s Word is not entirely unprecedented.  In this history podcast we are travelling back in time to 1662, when the government expelled from the churches, all those ministers who would not conform to their punitive decrees.  1662 became known as the year of ‘The Great Ejectment…’

Podcast airs on 13th January 2022 at 1pm. Here’s the Link2Listen!

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How God Changes People

How God Changes People

Text: Acts 26:1-11 

Paul is standing in the great auditorium, surrounded by important people. Agrippa gave him permission to speak, v1 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself.  and he begins.  Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself:  This hand gesture, seems to indicate that it’s a formal defence.  As a Pharisee…

1 Paul Expected the Fulfilment of Israel’s Hope. V6-7

Every pious Jew was looking for the promise of God to Israel to be realised. At the circumcision of Christ in the Temple, there was a man serving God as a priest.  Listen to how the Bible describes him, in Luke 2:25  He was one of those devout Jews, who waited daily for God to fulfil his promises to the nation.   Let’s briefly recollect some of those promises:- To Adam and Eve. Genesis 12:2-3 Genesis 13:16 .To David. 2 Samuel 7:12-16  To Israel through Isaiah.  Isaiah 9:6-7   Now, Paul as a devout Pharisee, fervently believed every one of those promises and more.  He believed that God would raise up a deliverer, a saviour, a Messiah, who would be sent from God to deliver Israel, and to establish David’s kingdom for ever and ever.  But as a Christian, Paul believed that all of those amazing promises were fulfilled in Jesus Christ.  Christianity was not a deviant, heretical sect within Judaism, but it was the logical fulfilment of everything Israel for which the Jewish nation was raised up and called.  In Christ, Israel had become a light, to lighten the Gentiles, and bless all the nations of the world.  He wrote to the gentile churches, explaining this… Galatians 3:6-8  Galatians 3:29  

Certainly Simeon, that old man of the Jerusalem Temple connected the dots.  As the infant Jesus was brought into the temple he praised God, Luke 2:28-33  Jesus is Israel’s Messiah!

Now, secondly, as a Pharisee:-

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Catechism Class: LD16A Q40 Death!

The Deliberate Burial of Death?

LORD’S DAY 16A Q40

Our instructor remains on the subject of the death of Christ in Q40.  He asks, Q40. Why was it necessary for Christ to humble himself even unto death? Ans: Because of the justice and truth of God satisfaction for our sins could be made in no other way than by the death of the Son of God.  

So, why DID Jesus have to DIE?  Would it not have been enough for the eternal Son of God to just have come into this world and set us a really good example of how God expects us to live? Why must he die?  After all, it’s lovely to think about a baby in a manger, but who wants to think about that same child, 33 years later, dying an agonising death on a cross, never mind think that it was my fault it happened.  Let’s begin our look at LD16 by setting the scene, looking at some current attitudes to dying and death.  Let’s call it, “Humanity’s Deliberate Burial of Death. 

Time, like an ever rolling stream, bears all its sons away…
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The Boy Jesus in the Temple

Jesus at the Temple!

Text: Luke 2:41-52 

We are looking a familiar portion the Scriptures, and a well-known story.  It is the visit of the young Jesus to the temple at Jerusalem.  It is the only Biblical reference to the childhood of Christ, for the next time we read of the Lord he is being baptised at Jordan by John the Baptist. V41-42   Notice:-

1) The Desire to be in God’s House!

When we look at this text the first thing that we see is the desire of Mary and Joseph to be in the place of worship!  Consider how hard would it have been for Mary and Joseph to make this annual journey of worship, as commanded by the Lord in His Word?  There would have been great obstacles!  

  1. Financial Sacrifice! They were poor artisans!  Joseph was a humble carpenter, and would have to leave the carpenter’s shop, and make do without income, a great sacrifice!  The worship of God has ALWAYS involved a sacrifice!  
  2. Geographical Sacrifice!  To get to Jerusalem was a long journey, and one that must be taken on foot!  Surely the distance would put them off?  Doesn’t it put many Christians off today?   
  3. Safety Sacrifice!  The journey was dangerous.  We have no such danger.  We travel to church in peace and we worship in peace.  There are parts of the world where it is not so.  

For Mary and Joseph there could have been a temptation to remain at home!  Mary & Joseph had a child dwelling in their own home who could teach them more about God, who was after all, Immanuel – he was God Incarnate, but they still wanted to meet with God’s people as He had commanded!  What a temptation there is to say, “I can enjoy the presence of Christ in my own home, so I don’t need to go to church or prayer meeting!”  Psalm 87:2 The Hebrew author reminds us, “We must not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is.”   

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Mary – The Handmaiden of the Lord

Text: Luke 1:46-56

We are looking at one of the most beautiful songs of praise to Almighty God.  It is unique, for it is the praise of Mary, the Virgin mother of Jesus, but it is also for us, as Apb. Crammer recognised when he included it in the old Book of Common Prayer as the Magnificat.

My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded : the lowliness of his handmaiden. For behold, from henceforth : all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath magnified me : and holy is his Name. And his mercy is on them that fear him : throughout all generations. He hath shewed strength with his arm : he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.  He hath put down the mighty from their seat : and hath exalted the humble and meek.  He hath filled the hungry with good things : and the rich he hath sent empty away.  He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel : as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.

It is set in the days of Mary’s pregnancy, after the angel had revealed that she would have a son, and before they travelled to Bethlehem, where the infant Jesus was delivered. Let’s see…

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Growing Old, Like Anna

A Useful, Godly Old Age

Luke 2:36-38 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.

The events of Bethlehem had passed, all happening in God’s appointed time. Galatians 4:4 Mary had given birth to her son, the promised baby, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost in the womb of a virgin. Jesus was eight days old when his parents brought him up to Jerusalem, as was customary among the Jews, for his ritual circumcision. Luke 2:21-23 It’s at this point that Anna appears in the Temple courts, and there before her an old man is holding a baby, speaking to the baby’s mother. Anna instantly recognised that this baby was different! He was the promised Messiah!

But who was Anna? We know nothing about her, except what we learn in this little snapshot. Yet in this little three verse synopsis, Luke has amazingly drawn us a wonderfully complete character sketch. Let’s see what we can learn about Anna, and how we might apply those lessons to our lives. See:-

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The Gift of Life

In Him Was Life 

Text.  John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

It’s Christmas Day – many of our fellow reformed believers do’t celebrate ‘Christmas’ in any form – there is after all, no direct command to do so in the Bible, – we are commanded to remember Christ’s death, not his birth.  I agree, so while I don’t mind having an extra meeting on December 25th, or to sing praises about the incarnation, I keep it very low key, to use it as an occasion to declare the historical virgin birth of Christ – after all, Luke roots the birth of Jesus in history, when he tells us exactly when it happened, ‘And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)’ Luke 2:1-4.  So we don’t have any Christmas Tree, or candles or any of the worldly trappings of the season – and, as you probably already know, we certainly don’t have a Santa!  But we do have something really important to celebrate, – the fact with when Jesus came into this world he came to bring us LIFE!  I wonder are you a fan of Boney M?  They were a popular singing group, back in the 1970s, and they achieved fame with their song, “By the Rivers of Babylon.”  But they also sand “Mary’s Boy Child.”  It’s not too bad, from a Christian perspective.  “Long time ago in Bethlehem, so the Holy Bible says, Mary’s boy child, Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas Day.  Hark now hear the angels sing, a king is born today, and man shall live for ever more, because of Christmas Day.”

Image by Wolfgang Eckert from Pixabay

I wish they were still singing that today.  It’s a great message, Jesus was born to give us life, and not just life in this world, but eternal life, life that will go on for ever.  Man shall live FOREVER MORE because of Christmas Day. 

Listen to this as a PODCAST. CLICK HERE.

So let’s think about the life that Jesus gives us… Ive got three points with groaningly torturous alliteration…

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How God Shapes Lives. Acts 26:1-11

Challenging Unbelief, – In the Jews, the Gentiles and Oneself.

Text: Acts 26:1-11 

Paul is standing in the great auditorium, surrounded by important people. Agrippa gave him permission to speak, v1 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself.  and he begins.  Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself:  This hand gesture, seems to indicate that it’s a formal defence.  We think negatively about the Pharisees – But, there were some positives, – after all you cannot read the Law of God every day without God’s Word affecting, in your heart and life, what God purposes and plans for you. Isaiah 55:11. So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.  As a Pharisee…

1 Paul Expected the Fulfilment of Israel’s Hope. V6-7

Image by eliza28diamonds from Pixabay
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