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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 Theology of Fashion – TableTalk @ Ballymacashon

Does the Bible have anything to say about how a Christian presents himself or herself to the world?

Is there a THEOLOGY OF FASHION?

In our last TableTalk, we talked aboutAPPEARANCE – and particularly the outward appearance of the Christian.  Does it matter what I look like, what I wear, what way I do my hair etc?  What does my appearance say about me?  Here’s a Scripture text, to start the discussion:-

1 John 2:15-17 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”  

That statement of Johns, that we are not to love the world, and the things that the world values, – sexual attraction, material possessions and self-esteem, – should help us to lay a foundation for our understanding of our appearance – what our outward appearance says about us to others.   Your clothes speak for you.  When people look at us, do they see people who are conforming to the values of the world, or who have turned away from those lusts and passions? 

Our outward appearance says a lot about us! So, our topic is APPEARANCE – the Theology of Fashion. 

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Acts 24:1-9 Moral Confusion

Moral Confusion

Text: Acts 24:1-9

Five days after Paul’s night time flit, we find the fanatical Jews at Caesarea, and they are in the court of Felix, and they’ve even engaged the services of a barrister!  let’s see how he presents his case.

Moral Confusion

The Case Against PaulAnd after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders.

It’s five days after the arrival of Paul. The priests and elders must have dropped every other pressing issue that occupied discussion in the Sanhedrin to get there as quickly as that!  

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Catechism Class: LD15 Q39 The Curse of Sin

The Curse of Sin

LORD’S DAY 15, Q39

We have been looking at Lord’s Day 15, Q39, and we have been dwelling upon this Lord’s Day for quite a few weeks.  But there’s a reason for that.  It’s concerned with the suffering of Christ – and all our Christian faith and doctrine and our hope for eternity centres of that suffering and death.  Jesus died for sinners, and specifically, he died on a cross.  That’s what this lesson is about.  Why a cross, and not some other, less brutal means of execution?  The Catechism will explain this for us, and it talks about the cross assures us that the great curse of sin has been taken from us by Christ.

The Curse of Sin
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TableTalk: Friends and Friendships.

TableTalk 

What does the Bible say about FRIENDS AND FRIENDSHIPS

Let’s talk about Friendship…

Proverbs 17:17, A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.  A good friend is worth keeping.  Proverbs 27:9-10, 9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel. 10 Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother’s house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.  The book of Proverbs helps us with these little life lessons, it tells us that when we have a good friend we should stand by them, and not desert them, and the same thing goes for family friends as well.  Sometimes our neighbours are good friends, – a friend living next door is often far more help than a close relative who lives miles away!   Thank of times when you have needed the help of a friend, when family were afar off and unable to help, and make a note below, then remember to thank God for good neighbours – they are often a gift from God.

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In These Terms

“In These Terms”

Text: Acts 23:25-35

In our last look at Acts, we learned about the Great Curse, – the awful, deadly oath that the jews of Jerusalem had made, – a satanic pledge, that they would murder Paul, and how they plotted with the Jewish leaders to carry the deadly act out, and we compared that with our own self inflicted curse, – the curse that hangs over the head of the whole of humanity, the sin-curse, which dwells within our nature from birth, and which condemns us under the Law of God.  It was really bad news!  The wages of sin is death, and the result of the curse is eternal damnation.  But then we discovered the very best news of all – we found that Jesus bore that terrible curse for us.  We then found another gem in the text, for God ordains every situation to bring about his purpose!  He rescued Paul from the hands of the plotters, through the intervention of a young relative – a nephew.  

So, with all that excitement over, Paul is still incarcerated in the Antonia palace, the Roman garrison barracks situated on the corner of the Temple court.  But Lysias, the Roman commander of the garrison, now is convinced that Paul can’t stay there.  It’s too dangerous.  He decides to hand him over to the Roman civic authorities, and so Paul must be sent to Caesarea, the Roman capital of Judaea, to appear before the governor, one Felix.  And in case he is ambushed along the way, a convoy of troops, both on horse and on foot with accompany him, and he will not walk, but ride upon  a horse, with back up horses available, for when the first one tires!   And that brings us to Acts 23:25-35, and it’s neatly divided into two parts, the letter and the physical placing of Paul into formal, civic Roman custody.

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Catechism Class: The Cross Changes EVERYTHING

What did the Suffering and Death of Christ Achieve?

LORD’S DAY 15, Q37

The suffering and death of Christ had a profound impact.  It was the most significant event in the whole of human history.  The death of the God-Man, God in human flesh, crucified for our sins affected:-

Will Gretta and her Political Manipulators save the World?

1 The Whole of the Created Universe.

The curse of sin fell not just upon Adam and Eve, but upon the environment in which they lived.  Genesis 3:17-18.  Sin ruined everything.  But it wasn’t just the habitat of man that suffered at the fall.  The whole of creation was blighted with sin.  Paul expresses this in Romans 8:22 A picture of a world and a universe that is cursed, and in agony, waiting for its deliverance.    What can we do? Greta Thunberg is not the saviour of the world, even if she’s disillusioned enough to think that she and her political manipulators are able to save the Earth.  

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The Great Curse

The Great Curse

Text: Acts 23:12-24

Paul is in Jerusalem, and now, as a Roman citizen, under arrest, but still technically innocent, on remand…  Paul is in the castle, under guard, but being fed and sheltered from the Jews, and with some privileges.   

1. The Plot Against Paul. 12 And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, 

Among the Jews of that day there were many zealots.  Fanatics who would kill for the Jewish cause, its religion and its aim of a national restoration and freedom from Roman rule.  Jewish versions of the republican zealots that we knew here in the 70s – 90s. These Jewish fanatics became known as ‘the knife-men’ for their guerrilla tactics, moving among crowds of people at festivals, hoping to furtively ram a knife into some Roman soldier or citizen or collaborator.  Perhaps there was even a converted zealot among the disciples of Jesus, “Simon called Zelotes”. We see here a measure of their fanaticism…

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Catechism Class, LD15, Q37 ‘Who Died?’

Catechism Class: LORD’S DAY 15C, Q37.

Did God Die at the Cross?  

We have been looking at Lord’s Day 15, Q37, – What do you understand by the word “suffered?” That all the time He lived on earth, but especially at the end of His life, He bore, in body and soul, the wrath of God against the sin of the whole human race; in order that by His suffering, as the only atoning sacrifice, He might redeem our body and soul from everlasting damnation, and obtain for us the grace of God, righteousness, and eternal life.

It’s an important doctrinal statement, which is why we have been spending so much time on it.  It forces us to explore difficult issues and theological positions that that challenge our thinking, that perhaps make us question some of the utterances we hear from our evangelical pulpits.  So far we have looked at the EXTENT of the atonement, questioning what Ursinus meant when he wrote, “He bore… the wrath of God against the sins of the whole human race.”  Then in our last catechism lesson, we examined the DURATION of Christ’s suffering, for our instructor tells us that Christ suffered “…all the time that he lived on earth.”

Can the God who is infinite and eternal, who by His almighty power sustains and preserved the universe, ever change, or die?

Now, we must look at another salient issue that arises from this question – an issue addressed by Zacharias Ursinus himself in his commentary on the catechism.  In this podcast, we will ask, when Christ suffered, did he suffer in BOTH natures, – in other words, to be more stark, when Jesus died at the cross, did God die?  

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You are invited to…

History and Ethics, and The Murder of Archbishop James Sharp

You be the Judge!

History and Ethics, and The Murder of Archbishop James Sharp.

Is it ever right for a Christian to retaliate?  The Scottish Covenanters, back in the killing times of the 17th century, were under severe duress.  Hounded from their homes, forced to worship in fields and hilltops, harassed, arrested, wrongfully imprisoned, tried on trumped-up charges, and cruel tortured and executed.  Under the oppression of the Stuart dynasty, they banded together into militias, and waged war, openly against their enemies, in battles at Rullion Great, Ayres Moss, Bothwell Bridge and many other battlegrounds.  But an open battle is different from a guerrilla style attack, by a group of renegades, on a man travelling with his young daughter – no matter who the man is…. Isn’t it?  Even if the man is a wicked opponent of freedom and truth, and a persecutor of Christians.  In this podcast we’ll remember the murder of Archbishop James Sharp at Ceres, in Fife, we’ll show the context – in other words illustrate why the Covenanters were so aroused against this man and his ilk that they would seek his life, and we’ll ask whether such an attack can ever be right or justified, and explore some ethical parameters for justly pursuing a conflict, if such exist at all.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST – CLICK THIS LINK

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Ceres in Fife was and is, an important historical site, even if its primary notoriety is an act of foul murder.  That murder prompts me to ask whether it is ever right for Christians to take up arms to defend themselves, even under the most extreme provocation, and the Covenanters certainly did take up arms. As we’ve already noted, they organised themselves into militias, fought long and bloody battles against the government. The persecution of the Covenanters in Scotland, in the seventeenth century was severe in the extreme.  

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