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Morning Worship

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

Ballymacashon Old Reformed Church (Congregational)

78 Saintfield Road, Killinchy, Co.Down. BT23 6RN.
During ‘Lockdown 3’ Service lasts max 45 minutes, with no congregational singing, – appropriate sanitary measures and ‘social distancing’ in place. – Other usual services will resume as soon as health conditions and restrictions permit.


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

Catechism Class: LD52, Forgiveness.

Catechism Class: Forgiveness

Lord’s Day 51 Q125

Text:   Psalm 51:1-7

In this catechism class lesson we shall examine the fifth petition of the Lord’s prayer.  MAKE SURE YOU LISTEN TO THE PODCAST for these notes. The Catechist asks us…

Q126. What is the fifth petition? A. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. That is: For the sake of Christ’s blood, do not impute to us, wretched sinners, any of our transgressions, nor the evil which still clings to us, as we also find this evidence of your grace in us, that we are fully determined wholeheartedly to forgive our neighbour

The ‘Peace Bridge’ in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

So let’s think about forgiveness!   The catechist teaches us three very important principles in his answer, three principles that are implied when we pray this petition…

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The Unknown God – Acts 17:14-21

The Unknown God

Text:   Acts 17:14-21

The Greeks at Athens had heard Paul speaking about Jesus and the Resurrection.  We know that everywhere he went Paul preached about the Cross, about Jesus who died and rose again from the dead for all our sins.  His message never varied. Read, 1 Corinthians 1:23-25, 1 Corinthians 2:2    So now he is standing in front of the most exclusive court in the ancient world.  Let’s just look at his opening remarks, his assessment of the religious disposition of the people of Athens. This is an important step in coming to an understanding of the masterful and uncompromising, and yet carefully contextualised gospel message that Paul will preach to these high ranking citizens.

The Acropolis, Athens, with the Parthenon – a pagan temple. Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay
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Overview of Romans 11, Israel’s Future

TableTalk Extra: Israel’s Future

Romans 11.

Throughout chapters 9-11 Paul says repeatedly that the Gospel is for both the Jew and the gentile, and that there is no difference in Christ, for all have sinned, and there is only one way of salvation. This is a theme which predominates in chapter II, and again Paul approaches the subject by a series of questions and answers…

Jews at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem
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Catechism Class: LD50, Q125, Daily Bread

Catechism Class: Our Daily Bread

Lord’s Day 50 Q125

Text:   Proverbs 30:7-9

What’s the best way to learn to trust God for everything in life, from the smallest problems, to the most basic human necessities?  Could the answer be found right here in the Lord’s Prayer?  Right here in this petition, where we are taught to ask God for the most basic essential of all, bread!  The staff of life.  If we can see that God provides so simple a need as a slice of bread, then our dependence on him will be improved, and our thankfulness be expanded.

We have come to the 4th petition in the Lord’s Prayer, and our instructor in the catechism asks, in Question 125,. What is the fourth petition?  The answer we must give is  “A. Give us today our daily bread. That is: Provide us with all our bodily needs so that we may acknowledge that you are the only fountain of all good, and that our care and labour, and also your gifts, cannot do us any good without your blessing. Grant, therefore, that we may withdraw our trust from all creatures and place it only in you.”

Read more…

All Alone in Athens – Acts 17:14-21

All Alone in Athens

Text:   Acts 17:14-21

Paul is now at Athens, alone.  What will he find there?   Athens was...

1 A Haughty City.

Let’s think about Athens itself.  We’ll set the scene, and it will help us to understand a little bit about what Paul will have found when he got there.  

  • Its contribution to ancient history.   When Paul arrived in Athens the city was in the twilight of its greatness, but 500 years earlier Athens was, (IMHO) the greatest city in the world. Its decline was ushered in by the long Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, which dragged on for around 25 years.  When it came to an end in 404BC, the city was a shadow of its former self.   And even though it found its place in the ancient world again, the glorious days were gone.  But think of:-
  • Its contribution to democracy.  Athens was ‘the cradle of democracy.’  Under Roman rule, Athens was permitted to retain its ancient system of government, including its senior council, the Areopagus. It might be said that the great council of the Areopagus, in Paul’s day, had become little more than a debating society.
  • Its contribution to ancient thought.  Athens was the home of philosophy, boasting the greatest names, people like Socrates and Plato and Aristotle.  In this text, we meet two schools of thought, the Epicureans and the Stoics. 
  • Its contribution to ancient culture.  Athens was a place of culture.  It was the home of great literature and drama, the home of oratory. 
The Parthenon – Image by Christo Anestev from Pixabay

Paul entered the city by sea, and as you approached the city from the port you would be confronted with the statue of Neptune. It was the first of many idols in the city of Athens.  Is it any wonder that Paul’s spirit was troubled within him.  Aren’t there modern day idols? Paul’s response was to preach the gospel, both in the public square and in the synagogue.  Acts 17:16-17 

Read more…

Overview of Romans 10 – Israel Now

TableTalk Extra: Israel Now

Romans Chapter 10 Overview.

In Romans 9, we found that Israel had rejected the prophets, rejected the true religion of the Lord, and had finally rejected the Messiah himself.  Paul gives two reasons for this, the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of mankind.  What about Israel’s present state?  The thesis of chapter 10 is that despite Israel’s rejection, salvation is possible for them, in Christ, as is the case for us all.  Chapter 10 is about the spread of the Gospel.

1 The Spiritual Preparation of the Gospel Messenger V1-5

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Catechism Class: God’s Will

Catechism Class: Obeying the Will of God

Lord’s Day 49 Q124

Text:  Matthew 16:24-26

The catechist is still teaching us how to pray, using the Lord’s Prayer as a model for our prayers, and reminding us that when we pray these petitions there is far more underlying truth than we sometimes think.  We should mine that truth!  So we come to the third petition in the prayer: “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Compare that with Proverbs 14:1 The psalmist has the correct attitude in Psalm 40:8   That’s what we pray for in this petition of the Lord’s Prayer, – Lord, teach us, not only to DO your will, but to take DELIGHT in doing it.

In Q124 our instructor asks. “What is the third petition?”  The answer is,  Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. That is: Grant that we and all men may deny our own will, and without any murmuring obey your will, for it alone is good.  Grant also that everyone may carry out the duties of his office and calling as willingly and faithfully as the angels in heaven.”   Let’s talk about obedience, – doing God’s will.

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The Bible and Bereans

The Bible and the Bereans

Acts 17:10-15 

Berea was well off the ‘beaten track’ – described by Cicero as an ‘out of the way town.’  Best place for Paul and Silas at least until the hue and cry at Thessalonica had died down a bit.  God meant it all for good, for at Berea, precious souls were saved.  So Paul and Silas are at Berea…

Be a Berean! Study the Word of God

1. The Bereans and the Bible.

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TableTalk: ‘The Rapture?’

TableTalk: ‘The Rapture?’

Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

TableTalk at Ballymacashon.

Is there such a thing as ‘The Rapture of the Church?’ What do those Christian believers, who describe themselves as ‘pre-millennialists or dispensationalists’ actually believe, and can we explore the historic Reformation position of the Christian Church, and gain an understanding more in alignment with the biblical text?

What does it mean when Paul distinguishes between Jesus ‘Coming for his saints’ and Jesus ‘Coming with his saints?’  Are these two separate events, seven years apart, or two sides of the one eschatological coin? 

We look at the ‘Dispensationalist Rapture’ and the Reformed/A-millennialist view, of the second coming of Christ, in the context of the General Resurrection of the Dead, at the Last Day.

Recording the Podcast for this Lesson

1 The Dispensationalist Rapture

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Overview of Romans 9: ‘Israel’s Past’

TableTalk Extra: Israel Past

Romans Chapter 9 Overview.

Romans chapter 9-11 all begin with a passionate identification, on Paul’s part, with the Jewish People, as an ethnicity.  In chapter nine, Paul expresses the sorrow he feels for Israel, in chapter 10, he longs for their salvation, and in chapter 11 he expresses a hope for their future.  

In chapter 9, Paul admits that Jewish unbelief, resulting in the crucifixion of their Messiah, has caused him great grief and even bewilderment.  Of all men, the Jews should have known and recognised their Messiah, so Paul explains their lack of faith in the light of two great parallel concepts; the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man.  He also makes two very important assertions about the Jews:-

  1. There is no doubt in Paul’s mind that the Jews were God’s chosen vessel, who had a special place in God’s redemptive purpose, to bring Messiah into the world and to be a people in whom all other people would be blessed.
  2. Paul is equally certain that the faith group known as the Jews were not representative of the true Israel, and this is the message underlying this chapter.  There was always in the ‘outward’ Israel a large group of apostate Jews, and small remnant of true believers.  See V25-27ff.  Now the gentile believers, having been ingrafted into the true Israel, have joined that remnant.  

There are three sections to this chapter, and they deal with Israel’s past rejection, but studying them will help us to understand why the present day Jews are in a continual state of rebellion against God…

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