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Catechism Class: The Divine Image

The Divine Image.

Heidelberg Catechism Lord’s Day 3.Q6 

Welcome to our catechism class.  In this lesson we are looking at Lord’s Day 3, Q6 in the Heidelberg Catechism.  In our last class, on Lord’s Day 2, we learned that we are miserable, wretched sinners, condemned under the law of God which we have wilfully broken. That divine law reveals to us just how far short of God’s righteousness we have fallen, when we measure up our own lives against God’s standards.   But in Lord’s Day 3 the catechist teaches us that mankind wasn’t made sinful. We were created in the image of God. So what does that mean? 

Image by PopcornSusanN from Pixabay
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God Keeps His Promises Acts 18:9ff

God Keeps His Promises

Text:  Acts 18:9–23 

Paul is in Corinth and what happens next teaches us a very simple but important lesson.  That God always keeps his promises, sometimes does so through the most unexpected agencies, and always to bring about His glory, and His will.

‘PROMISE’ Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
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The Broken Law – LD2, Q3-5

The Broken Law

Heidelberg Catechism Lord’s Day 2, Q3-5

In this lesson, we shall look at Lord’s Day 2 Q.3-5 where our instructor begins to develop his theme for the first section of the catechism, the theme of misery and wretchedness due to my sinful nature.  But first, read Matthew 22:34-40   In Lord’s Day 2, Q3. We are asked, From where do you know your sins and misery?  The answer that we must give is ‘From the Law of God.’  Where do I learn that I am a poor wretched sinner?  In The LAW.  It is appropriate that we look today at a question posed by a lawyer.  ‘Which is the great commandment in the Law?’

The context is found in a series of questions that the Pharisees had put to Jesus to try to deceive him into making an error, over which they could condemn him.  The questions were: “Should we pay taxes to the state? (Pharisees & Herodians in an unholy alliance)”   “The nature of the resurrection. (Sadducees – the theological liberals of the day, materialists)”  “The greatest of the commandments. (A scribe or lawyer)” The first two were easily disposed of, they were after all a little trivial, even ridiculous.  But this last one was more serious.  It was asked by a layer, and it even sounds sincere, only that we are told that the lawyer was ‘testing him’. 

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The Arrest of Jesus in the Garden. John 18:1-12

Jesus in the Garden

Text: John 18:1-12  

Jesus is about to be arrested by the Roman authorities acting at the instigation of the Jewish High Priest.  He is in a garden, – Gethsemane.  v2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.  Jesus had spent the night there, praying, knowing what lay ahead, he prayed with great intensity, Luke 22:39-44    The peace of the night, and the darkness of the olive grove is about to be shattered by the noise of a band of men. They are coming to arrest Jesus of Nazareth, the creator and saviour of the world.  What can we learn about our Lord Jesus, the Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, from this nighttime incident, this violent arrest in the Garden of Tears? 

Let’s see…

GETHSEMANE – Image by Heather Truett from Pixabay
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Covenanter Stories – No 15, The Solway Martyrs

THE SOLWAY MARTYRS

One of the saddest incidents recorded during the ‘Killing Times’ is that involving the so called ‘Solway Martyrs’, Margaret MacLaghlin and Margaret Wilson, who were martyred by drowning in the Solway Firth, just outside Wigtown in 1685.

LISTEN TO THIS LESSON AS A PODCAST – CLICK LINK

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State of Mind Vs Peace of Mind

State of Mind Vs Peace of Mind

Text:  Acts 18:1-12  

It’s time to think about Paul and do an assessment of his Christian work so far. Let’s look at Paul’s own situation, from a human level, then let’s see how God intervenes to help, in times of need, to help us to remember God’s lovingkindness for us too, when our own lives seem fraught with difficulties.

Peace of mind

1 Paul’s Personal Situation

Geographically, of course, Paul is in Corinth, and if you’ve read the notes and listened to the lesson on the Podcast about the kind of place Corinth was, you will know that it would be great vexation to the soul to be there.  But there may be much in Paul’s personal circumstances that would give cause for concern.  Like:-

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Catechism Class – LD1A – My ONLY Comfort?

Catechism Class. Lord’s Day 1A. What COMFORT? 

Ecclesiastes 1:1-4 

What is my ONLY comfort in life and in death?  Finding satisfaction in life is the quest of most of us.  Yet it is elusive. Can we find comfort in pleasure?  In doing ‘what makes us happy?’  READ Ecclesiastes Chapter 2:1-11. 

LISTEN TO THIS LESSON AS A PODCAST. CLICK THIS LINK.

1 The ‘Gay Conversion Therapy’ Debate

The ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban seeks to prevent counsellors, psychological practitioners and preachers from telling homosexual people that they can be delivered from their sexual inclinations.  The ban would prevent counsellors from offering any treatment, therapy or advice suggesting that a person’s sexual preferences can be changed, even if the person concerned wants that advice and asks for it.  But remember the words of Ecclesiastes: Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, … And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.  Bearing in mind that our catechist speaks about the exclusivity of comfort, that there is ONLY one source of satisfaction, let’s explore some Christian responses to the Gay Conversion Therapy debate: 

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Monday Extra: All About Corinth

Monday Extra – Corinth.

Text:  Acts 18:1-4  

In Acts 18:1 we read that Paul, now departed from Athens after his aborted sermon at the Areopagus, arrived in Corinth.  What would he have found when he arrived there in the late summer or autumn of AD50?  In this study  we’ll look at the city of Corinth, and at Paul’s settling-in period in his new home, where he will live for 18 months.  This preliminary study will help us when we look at the text of Acts 18, and when we read Paul’s letters to the church at Corinth.  Firstly, let’s see what the city itself was like…

Corinth – Image by neufal54 from Pixabay

1 Paul Gets to Corinth.

Corinth was certainly an extraordinary city. When Paul visited Corinth the old ancient Greek city was long gone.  It was destroyed in 146BC when Corinth had played a leading part in a rebellion of Greek states against Rome.  The Romans levelled the old city to the ground and sold its entire population into slavery.  But in 44BC, under Julius Caesar, when the population of Rome was getting out of control, the city was rebuilt, and repopulated with freed slaves and roman citizens.  Now it was a middle class city, with around 75,000 inhabitants.  

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST LESSON HERE – CLICK THIS LINK

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Mars Hill #3 THE CALL TO REPENT

Paul’s Address on Mars Hill  #3 THE CALL TO REPENT

Text: Acts 17:29-34 

Paul has been preaching to the learned men of the Areopagus in Athens.  Paul’s mission, of course is not to excite their interest with some new philosophy, it is to win them for Christ, and he must make a gospel application.  

Athens – Image by Leonhard Niederwimmer from Pixabay

How will he do that, and what will their reaction be?  So, the APPLICATION, and then the RESPONSE:-

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The Real St. Patrick

Patrick – Roman Catholic or Reformed?

 In writing about Patrick, and in addressing this particular title, I am aware that I will probably run the gauntlet of divided opinion about the man. Many Roman Catholic people hold Patrick in such esteem that they will accept little or nothing about him which runs counter to their perceived opinion. Many Protestants have, traditionally, been so apathetic about Patrick that they have bee content to ignore him, and leave it to their Roman Catholic friends to celebrate his life in whatever way they have chosen. This paper seeks to challenge both positions and to encourage us, in this modern age, to consider our soul’s welfare, as Patrick did in bygone days.

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