Cultivating Suspicion

“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12)

First Corinthians chapter 10, verse 12, is a powerful passage. It is seldom applied within the church today. It concerns the danger of spiritual pride and sin. For those of us in the Reformed church, do we not sometimes look at ourselves collectively and say, despite numerical weakness compared to former days, that we are spiritually strong? We have been privileged to sit under sound preaching for many years where the Lord has blessed His cause.

May we not also be tempted to look at ourselves individually and say, “I have taken a difficult stand in the church,” or, “I have sought to be faithful. By God’s grace, I am knowledgeable in the Scriptures, active in the Lord’s cause and spiritually strong.”

Continue reading “Cultivating Suspicion”

The Church in Europe

“And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”” (Acts 16:9)

The account of the birth of the church at Philippi is one of the most extensive accounts of church planting in the New Testament. Paul had intended to devote his second missionary journey to Asia. However, when Paul and his companions had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were “forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the Word in Asia,” and when they tried to go into Bithynia, “the Spirit did not permit them” (Acts 16:6-7). As they came to Troas, “a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”” (Acts 16:9)

Continue reading “The Church in Europe”

Serve Others

“For even the son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)

Service is not a uniquely Christian concept. The language of service is something engrained throughout society. Politicians are expected to serve their constituents, businesses serve their customers and teachers, social workers and many others spend their lives serving others. In some cases, great acts of valour are carried out in the service of others, by those who put themselves in harm’s way, even to the point of death. Continue reading “Serve Others”

A Powerful Image

The Great War (1914-1918) had a profound impact on mankind. There were over 17 million deaths during the course of the conflict. It has been said that the First World War had a greater effect on world history than any other four year period in the history of mankind. There were over six million British men mobilised, and over 700,000 of them were killed in battle. It is estimated that 150,000 Scots lost their lives, accounting for over a fifth of Britain’s war dead.

Continue reading “A Powerful Image”

29 Years

“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord…their works follow them” (Revelation 14:13)

David Brainerd (1718-1747) was an 18th century American missionary to the native American Indians of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843) was a 19th century Scottish minister in Dundee. These two men lived in different centuries, were born in different countries, ministered in differing circumstances and therefore, in some senses, had little in common. However, in another sense they had much in common: each were called to be ambassadors for Christ, gave much in His service, died at 29 years of age, yet were to greatly influence generations to come.

Continue reading “29 Years”

Books In Brief – Gospel Worship

Jeremiah Burroughs was a 17th century Puritan minister, who is as little known today as the subject he deals with in this recently republished title. “Gospel Worship” is considered by some to be Burroughs greatest work. God alone determines the manner in which we ought to approach Him, a truth which needs to be rediscovered by much of the modern day church.

This work doesn’t deal specifically with the form of worship in relation to sung praise, rather with the hearing of the Word, receiving the Lord’s Supper and Prayer.

Continue reading “Books In Brief – Gospel Worship”