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Showing posts from July, 2016

Why is prayer necessary for christians?

Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note. This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. Of Prayer   45. Lord's Day   Q. 116. Why is prayer necessary for christians?  A. Because it is the chief part of thankfulness which God requires of us: (a) and also, because God will give his grace and Holy Spirit to those only, who with sincere desires continually ask them of him, and are thankful for them. (b)   (a) Ps.50:14 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: Ps.50:15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.  (b) Matt.7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and

Of Marriage and Divorce

Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 24 – Of Marriage and Divorce I. Marriage is to be between one man and one woman: neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband, at the same time.[1] II. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife,[2] for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, and of the Church with an holy seed;[3] and for preventing of uncleanness.[4] III. It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry, who are able with judgment to give their consent.[5] Yet it is the duty of Christians to marry only in the Lord.[6] And therefore such as profess the true reformed religion should not marry with infidels, papists, or other idolaters: neither should such as are godly be unequally yoked, by marrying with such as are notoriously wicked in their life, or maintain damnable heresies.[7] IV. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity forbidden by the Word.[8] N

Permanence of Marriage

Posted at RPCNA Covenanter : A question was asked on the that I know a lot of people struggle with. Especially since divorce is so prevalent in all of our lives. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been affected by divorce or remarriage. I know there are some who believe that a person is bound to a marriage covenant as long as death has not entered into the equation. That seems extreme to some people but it is based upon Romans 7. (Rom 7:1) Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?  (Rom 7:2) For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.  (Rom 7:3) So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married

Pilgrims in a Foreign Land

Posted at Reformed Forum : The people of God presently live in between grace and glory. We look back upon the finished work of Jesus Christ while also looking forward to his return, our resurrection, and the consummation of the New Heavens and New Earth. Speaking of the faithful, the author of the epistle to the Hebrews writes, “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth” (Heb 11:13). While we live in the world, we do not ultimately belong in this world. We are citizens of heaven striving to enter our final rest. In this episode, we explore the biblical pilgrim motif and its application for the Christian life. Learn more and listen here...

Christian Directions

By Rev. Samuel Rutherford - Posted at Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings : 1. That hours of the day, less or more time, for the Word and prayer, be given to God; not sparing the twelfth hour, or mid-day, howbeit it should then be the shorter time. 2. In the midst of worldly employments, there should be some thoughts of sin, death, judgment, and eternity, with at least a word or two of ejaculatory prayer to God. 3. To beware of wandering of heart in private prayer. 4. Not to grudge if ye come from prayer without sense of joy. Downcasting, sense of guiltiness, and hunger, are often best for us. 5. That the Lord's Day, from morning to night, be spent always either in private or public worship. 6. That words be observed, wandering and idle thoughts be avoided, sudden anger and desire of revenge, even of such as persecute the truth, be guarded against; for we often mix our zeal with our wild-fire. 7. That known, discovered, and revealed sins, that are against the conscien

7 Reasons to Avoid Stumbling Others

Posted at Reformation Scotland : A stumbling block in Scripture is not simply an obstacle. It is anyone or anything by which someone is drawn into sin or error. Or it may simply hinder them from being edified. Scripture tells that it can happen even through things that aren’t in themselves sinful. The implications of this are virtually all-encompassing. There are few things we must take more seriously than this in the Christian life. The word which means stumbling block is often translated as “offence”. This is not the same as someone being offended in the sense of being displeased. Rather it is something that causes them to offend against God’s Word. Scripture deals with this matter in the most serious way possible. In his comprehensive treatment of the subject , James Durham says the following about stumbling others: there is no sin that has more woes pronounced against it. The Lord himself denounces and doubles a woe against making others offend (Mathew 18:7), and the Apostle

Preaching with Fervour: The Need for Reformation Spiritually.

Posted at Purely Presbyterian : The Great Awakening either strikes fear in the hearts of many American Presbyterians or is one of the fondest memories of Presbyterianism in the United States (though it wasn’t the USA yet). Those who contend the Great Awakening was the beginning of a series of many problems for Presbyterianism or the Reformed Faith in North America typically point out how men like the Tennents preached without a license, how they at times stole people’s assurance and how they pried people away from “Mother Kirk” foaming at the mouth with false revivalistic fervour. The other side views the Great Awakening as the defining moment, the greatest moment, where God’s Spirit was poured out on the Church in the New World and Gospel was preached with power, fervency, and clarity! I fall into the latter camp, and though I will admit not everything was perfect in the Great Awakening, good or bad, it was American Presbyterianism’s seminal moment. Though the Great Awakening i

Encouragement for the Christian

Hebrews, Chapter 12 ( AKJV ): 12  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset  us,  and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  2  looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of  our  faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  3  For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.  4  Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.  5  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  6  for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  7  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom th

The new birth in Christ

By Mike Ratliff - Posted at Possessing the Treasure : 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:6-8 (NASB) I grew up as a Southern Baptist. Much of the memories from my childhood have something to do with being at church each and every Sunday morning and evening. One thing I remember was an annual event in our church called a ‘Revival.’ The Pastor and his staff would plan it for a certain range of dates, put those dates in every church bulletin leading up to it, put signs up in front of the church advertising it, and make announcement after announcement from the pulpit to remember the upcoming ‘Revival.’ The speaker for these revival meetings was usually some evangelist I had never seen before or

What does the tenth commandment require of us?

Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note. This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. 44. Lord's Day  Q. 113. What does the tenth commandment require of us?  A. That even the smallest inclination or thought, contrary to any of God's commandments, never rise in our hearts; but that at all times we hate all sin with our whole heart, and delight in all righteousness. (a)  (a) Rom.7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.  Q. 114. But can those who are converted to God perfectly keep these commandments?  A. No: but even the

The Bare Naked Truth!

By Bob McEvoy - Posted at The Salty Scrivener : Text. Isaiah 20 Background and context: 711-713BC, Asdod rebelling against Assyria with the help and encouragement of Egypt, is crushed, as is foretold in Isa 14. Isaiah ordered by God to prophecy(to Judah) of Ashdod’s downfall and defeat. 1. Isaiah’s Method. v2 Isaiah is ordered by God to go about naked and barefoot. Purpose was to show to the people, that God was and is always faithful to his promises. This was a prophecy to be fulfilled before their eyes in a very short space of time. Isaiah 14:28 In the year that king Ahaz died was this burden. 29 Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent’s root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent. 30 And the firstborn of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety: and I will kill thy root with famine, and he shall slay thy remnant. 31 Howl, O gate; cry, O city; thou, whole

An Eternal Pledge

By C.H. Spurgeon - Posted at Daily Checkbook/ Sermon Audio : "And I will betroth thee unto Me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving kindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto Me in faithfulness; and thou shalt know the LORD" — Hosea 2:19-20 Betrothment unto the LORD! What an honor and a joy! My soul, is Jesus indeed thine by His own condescending betrothal? Then, mark it is forever. He will never break His engagement, much less sue out a divorce against a soul joined to Himself in marriage bonds. Three times the LORD says, "I will betroth thee." What words He heaps together to set forth the betrothal! Righteousness comes in to make the covenant legal; none can forbid these lawful bans. Judgment sanctions the alliance with its decree: none can see folly or error in the match. Lovingkindness warrants that this is a love union, for without love betrothal is bondage and not blessedness. Meanwh

The Practicality of God’s Word

By David P. Smith - Posted at The Confessional ARP : One of the common pleas made of preachers and teachers of God’s word is for them to be practical or relevant. The pleas is not without warrant. One merely need consider the alternative. Do we want them to be impractical? Obviously not. Well, on second thought, maybe so. It depends. What do we mean by practical and impractical ? Some will simply assume that the answers are obvious. Such obviousness can often amount to simply repeating the term practical: “ You know make it practical! ” Perhaps they will expand on that statement with: “Make it something we can put into practice! Show us how to do it!” Again, the pleas is not without merit. But in a culture that has largely rejected the One True Living Triune God the desire for practicality is often controlled by pragmatism. The latter is the chasing after the results one wants based on the means one has for achieving them for the purposes that one wants to achieve. God’s Word i

Separation from Rome Despite Controversy

By Dr. Alan Cairns - Posted at Sermon Audio: Scripture Text: Revelation 17 (KJV) And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth. 6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the

What’s the Difference between the PCA and the OPC?

By Camden Bucey - Posted at The Reformed Forum : Occasionally, I am asked about the difference between the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and my denomination, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC). I’ve had different thoughts about this during my brief sojourn as a member of the latter. It’s a question that can be answered from several different angles. The PCA was founded in 1973 after many conservatives left the progressive Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS), which is often called the “Southern Presbyterian church.” The OPC was founded in 1936 out of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the mainline Presbyterian body of the north. The PCA and OPC share the same doctrinal standards, but other factors give rise to denominational differences. The PCA is roughly ten times larger than the OPC, and perhaps because of the size, demonstrates a greater diversity in several theological matters and worship style. I haven’t seen any empirical studies to substantiate this cla

What is required in the ninth commandment?

Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note. This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. 43. Lord's Day  Q. 112. What is required in the ninth commandment?  A. That I bear false witness against no man, (a) nor falsify any man's words; (b) that I be no backbiter, nor slanderer; (c) that I do not judge, nor join in condemning any man rashly, or unheard; (d) but that I avoid all sorts of lies and deceit, as the proper works of the devil, (e) unless I would bring down upon me the heavy wrath of God; (f) likewise, that in judgment and all other dealings I love the truth, speak it uprightly and confess it; (g) also that I defend and promote, as much as I am able, th

Strangers And Aliens (21c): Be Not Surprised By Fiery Trials (1 Peter 4:12–19)

By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog : 12Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” 19Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. (1 Peter

The World Passes Away

By Horatius Bonar - Posted at Monergism : "This world in its present form is passing away!"1 Corinthians 7:31  "The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever!" 1 John 2:17 The things that are seen are temporal. Ours is a dying world, and here we have no continuing city. But a few years — it may be less — and all things here are changed. But a few years — it may be less — and the Lord shall have come, and the last trumpet shall have sounded, and the great sentence shall have been pronounced upon each of the sons of men. There is a world that which does not pass away. It is fair and glorious. It is called "the inheritance in light." It is bright with the love of God, and with the joy of Heaven. "The Lamb is the light thereof." Its gates are of pearl — they are always open. And as we tell men of this wondrous city, we invite them to enter in. The Book of Revelation tells us the story of ea

Worldliness - C.H. Spurgeon

Posted at Girded with Truth : It is clear to every one who is willing to see it that laxity of doctrine is either the parent of worldliness, or is in some other way very near akin to it. The men who give up the old faith are the same persons who plead for latitude as to general conduct. The Puritan is not more notorious for his orthodoxy than for his separateness from the world. Liberal divines do not always command the respect of the public, but they gain a certain popularity by pandering to prevailing tastes. The ungodly world is so far on their side that it commends them for their liberality, and rails at the orthodox as bigots and kill-joys. It is a very suspicious circumstance that very often the less a man knows of the inner life, and the less he even cares to speak of it, the more heartily he is for the new theology, the theory of evolution, and the condemnation of all settled doctrine. Those who would have a blessing from the Lord must avoid all this, and determine to follo

The Curse of Using Carnal Methods for God's Work

By Dr. Alan Cairns - Posted at Sermon Audio : Scripture: Isaiah 31:1 (KJV) "Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!" Link:

Book Review: By honour and dishonour

By Colin Maxwell - Posted at WeeCalvin 1509: "The book will appeal to a wider audience for a number of reasons. Its early chapters give a useful overview of Presbyterianism in Ireland from the Plantation times. ..." Title of the Book: By honour and dishonour Author: Ernest C. Brown Publisher: Evangelical Presbyterian Church Publisher's address or where the book may be obtained: Evangelical Bookshop, Belfast BT1 6DD Year of publication: 2016 Number of pages: 543 Hardback or paperback: Hardback Price: £15.00 plus p/p ISBN: 978-0-952266-22-8 This book far transcends the record of the denominational history of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Northern Ireland which prompted its production. The EPC is a conservative Protestant and Reformed denomination in a small country where there are no less than 5 different strands of Presbyterianism represented, or 6 if you include the Unitarian Non Subscribers. The EPC came into existence as a result of the largest Presby

The Covenanter James Renwick’s Tree in Moniaive

By Dr. Mark Jardine - Posted at Jardine's Book of Martyrs : Renwick's Tree in 2006 - Image from Jardine's Book of Martyrs It is a curious fact, that James Renwick , the minister of the Covenanters, has remarkably few places named after him considering his central role in their struggle in the 1680s. That stands in marked contrast to Alexander Peden, whom Renwick opposed, who has a plethora of trees, caves and stones associated with him. One reason for that may be that Peden’s wanderings through the landscape had a superb and evocative publicist in the form of Patrick Walker, whose Life of Peden was a very popular work in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. One place where Renwick is remembered in the landscape is at his place of birth, Moniaive, in his native parish of Glencairn in Dumfriesshire. There a monument was erected ‘about 100 yards from the place where he is supposed to have been born’ just over the hill to the north of the monument. Thanks to Evelyn Boyes

18th Century: Revolution and Revival

By Dr. Alan Cairns - Posted at Sermon Audio: Scripture: Isaiah 51:9 (KJV) "Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?" Link:

What does God forbid in the eighth commandment?

Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note. This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. 42. Lord's Day  Q. 110. What does God forbid in the eighth commandment?  A. God forbids not only those thefts, (a) and robberies, (b) which are punishable by the magistrate; but he comprehends under the name of theft all wicked tricks and devices, whereby we design to appropriate to ourselves the goods which belong to our neighbour: (c) whether it be by force, or under the appearance of right, as by unjust weights, ells, measures, fraudulent merchandise, (d) false coins, usury, (e) or by any other way forbidden by God; as also all covetousness, (f) all abuse and waste of his g

The Quest for Purity and Liberty

By Dr. Alan Cairns - Sermon Audio Scripture Text: Galatians 5:1 (KJV) Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Link:

The Divine Institution of Marriage (Part I)

By David C. Brand - Posted at The Christian Observer : “One man, one woman–,” the minister bellowed, “do not try to improve upon it!” A young man could hardly restrain himself: “Reverend, I have no intention of trying to improve upon it–I just want to get in on it! Can you help me?” I,—–, take thee, ——-, to be my wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my trust. In our wedding vows we acknowledge that marriage is “God’s holy ordinance.” What makes marriage holy? Marriage is holy because (1) God instituted it at creation to be foundational for human society; (2) God instituted it for a man and woman created in His image and likeness ; (3) God designed marriage as the template for the relationship between Christ and His church; and (4) retrospectively, God instituted the churc

Samuel Rutherford's Lasting Legacy

Posted at : "Duties are ours, and events are the Lord's." It wasn't easy in coming, but that was the conclusion reached by a discouraged preacher who felt abandoned by God and useless. And small wonder: He had been removed from his church, forbidden to preach anywhere in his land, and confined to the town of Aberdeen. Little did he expect at first that his exile would provide the occasion for him to write a volume of letters that nearly four hundred years later would still be acclaimed as masterpieces. In fact, one of the greatest wordsmiths ever, Charles Haddon Spurgeon said of his letters: "When we are dead and gone, let the world know that Spurgeon held Rutherford's letters to be the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere man." Spurgeon spoke of Scotsman Samuel Rutherford who was born in 1600. He would bless the world with spiritual literature that endures, a monumental legal classic, a

The Success of the Gospel by the Divine Power upon the Souls of Men

By Rev. Samuel Davies - Posted at Grace Gems : "The weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ!" 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 This restless world is now in an unusual ferment; kingdom rising up against kingdom, and nation against nation; armories filling, weapons glistening, cannons roaring, and human blood streaming, both by sea and land. These things engross the thoughts and conversation of mankind, and alarm their fears and anxieties. But there is another kind of war carrying on in the world; a war, the outcome of which is of infinitely greater importance; a war of nearly six thousand years standing; that is, ever since the first grand rebellion of mankind against God; a war in which we are all engaged as parties, and in the result of which our immortal in

Waldensian Confessions of Faith – the faith of “heretics”

Posted at  Pilgrim’s Progress revisited - a former Catholic on the narrow way : “LIGHT SHINES IN DARKNESS” Therefore we humbly entreat all the Evangelical and Protestant Churches, notwithstanding our poverty and lowness, to look upon us as true members of the mystical body of Christ, suffering for his name’s sake, and to continue unto us the help of their prayers to God, and all other effects of their charity, as we have heretofore abundantly experienced, for which we return them our most humble thanks, entreating the Lord with all our heart to be their rewarder, and to pour upon them the most precious blessings of grace and glory, both in this life and in that which is to come. Amen.  Source: Waldensian Confession (1655) Waldensian Confession of 1120 Source: Old Waldensian Paths . 1. We believe and firmly maintain all that is contained in the twelve articles of the symbol, commonly called the apostles’ creed, and we regard as heretical whatever is inconsistent with the