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David and Goliath Part 2 – 1 Samuel17:12-30

David Is On a Mission

Text: 1 Samuel 17:12-30
Some might just decide to skip most of this and move on to the real excitement, where David defeats the giant. But if we did that, we would miss quite a lot of important information.

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David and Goliath – Part 1.

David and Goliath – Part One.

Saul hides from a Challenger… But wouldn’t you?
Text: 1 Samuel 17:1-11. Hebrews 11:32.
David gets mentioned in the role call of OT Heroes in Hebrews 11 where the common factor in each case is THEY HAD FAITH IN GOD. So the story about David and Goliath is not about David’s courage, – it is about God’s merciful preservation of His people, about God raising up a deliver who would trust him enough to rely on him and him alone, to deliver his people from their troubles. Read more…

Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 14

Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 14

Before you begin: Read Matthew 1:1-25

LORD’S DAY 14
35. What is the meaning of “conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary?”
That the eternal Son of God, who is (1) and continues true and eternal God,(2) took upon Himself the very nature of man, of the flesh and blood of the virgin Mary,(3) by the operation of the Holy Ghost;(4) so that He might also be the true seed of David,(5) like unto His brethren in all things,(6) except for sin.(7)
(1)Jn. 1:1; Rom. 1:3-4. (2)Rom. 9:5. (3)Gal. 4:4; Jn. 1:14. (4)Mt. 1:18-20; Lk. 1:35. (5)Ps. 132:11. (6)Phil. 2:7. (7)Heb. 4:15; I Jn. 5:20.

36. What benefit do you receive from the holy conception and birth of Christ?
That He is our Mediator,(1) and with His innocence and perfect holiness covers, in the sight of God, my sin, wherein I was conceived.(2)
(1)Heb. 2:16-17. (2)Ps. 32:1; I Jn. 1:9. Read more…

HOUSEHOLD BAPTISM AS A SUBSTANTIVE ARGUMENT

HOUSEHOLD BAPTISM AS A SUBSTANTIVE ARGUMENT

In a social media conversation with a highly respected brother with a baptistic understanding of the sacraments, following a post (of mine) I expressed my belief that the incidences of household baptisms in the New Testament were one of the evidences that children were baptised in the early church.  My friend dismissed this view (household baptism as a substantive argument) as ‘ridiculous’ – and asked me a series of questions, challenging my position.

Social media, of any kind, is not a good place to continue such a discussion, due to the inability to post lengthy discussion point, and it is always dangerous to reduce one’s theology to soundbites. Further, it is not beneficial for Christians to be discussing theological differences in a public forum, where the world is watching. Since neither my baptist brother nor myself will believe that baptism is a saving ordinance, the matter is adiaphora, and should be discussed between believers, in a reasonable and courteous manner, and in a place where unbelievers will not be spectators. For that reason, I have given my answers below, on this blog, and I hope that in doing so I presenting my understanding of the issue in a loving and gracious manner, understanding that Christians have disagreed on this doctrine for many years, (theologians and church historians who are more able than me) and that we will not resolve it on a blog post.

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Idolatry – 1 John 5:21

Idolatry

Text. 1 John 5:21. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen
As we come to the very last phrase in John’s first letter, we are driven back to the most basic premise of the Christian faith. That there is only one, True, Holy, God who will not tolerate the worship of any other god that we might invent. John warns us to guard our lives from idols. There is a deep pastoral concern that the believers watch their lives, be so careful, for idolatry can present itself in so many forms, and can draw us away from faithfully following the Lord. Read more…

‘The Koran and the Bible – What’s the Difference?’

‘The Koran and the Bible – What’s the Difference?’

In a recent ‘Nolan Show’ on radio Ulster, a member of the public phoned the programme to declare that he had read the Koran, and that it is ‘exactly the same as the Bible’. Perhaps he is illiterate, or intellectually challenged, or perhaps he is indicating by that remark that in fact he hadn’t actually read a Bible!

For example-

Jesus: “…the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” John 16:2

Muhammad: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued” Sura 9:29

There is a huge difference, a literary difference, a chronological difference and a deep theological difference. Let’s consider the Koran and look at it briefly at these differences under three headings:-  Read more…

Three Things that the World Needs but Hasn’t Got – 1 John 5:18-20

Three Things that the World Needs but Hasn’t Got

Text. 1 John 5:18-20.
John is going to remind Christians of three things we know, three blessings of the Christian life and they are all found in Christ alone. They are freedom from sin, victory over the world and a new perspective on life and death, AND these are what every person in the world really needs! I know they won’t admit it, for what they THINK they need is greatly different from what they REALLY NEED, but, you see, what we think people need, and even what they think they need, is nowhere near as important as what THE BIBLE says they need! Look again at the blessings we have in Christ, blessings that everyone needs to have, and which we should be telling them about… Read more…

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