mgpcpastor's blog

reports, reviews, thoughts, news (and fun) posted by Gary Ware


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Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 13

Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 13

Q & A 23
Q What offices does Christ execute as our Redeemer?
A Christ, as our Redeemer, executes the offices of a prophet,1 of a priest,2 and of a king,*3 both in his estate of humiliation and exaltation.

Q & A 24
Q How does Christ execute the office of a prophet?
A Christ executes the office of a prophet, in revealing to us, by his Word4 and Spirit,5 the will of God for our salvation.*6

Q & A 25
Q How does Christ execute the office of a priest?
A Christ executes the office of a priest, in his once offering up of himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice,7 and reconcile us to God,8 and in making continual intercession for us.*9

Q & A 26
Q How does Christ execute the office of a king?
A Christ executes the office of a king, in subduing us to himself, in ruling and defending us,10 and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies.11

*1 Deuteronomy 18:18; Acts 2:33; Acts 3:22-23; Hebrews 1:1-2.
*2 Hebrews 4:14-15; Hebrews 5:5-6.
*3 Isaiah 9:6-7; Luke 1:32-33; 1 Corinthians 15:25.
*4 Luke 4:18-19, 21; Acts 1:1-2; Hebrews 2:3.
*5 John 15:26-27; Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 1:11.
*6 John 4:41-42; John 20:30-31.
*7 Isaiah 53; Acts 8:32-35; Hebrews 9:26-28; Hebrews 10:12.
*8 Romans 5:10-11; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Colossians 1:21-22.
*9 Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:24.
*10 Psalm 110:3; Matthew 28:18-20; John 17:2; Colossians 1:13.
*11 Psalm 2:6-9; Psalm 110:1-2;. Matthew 12:28; 1 Corinthians 15:24-26; Colossians 2:15.


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The Place Where Everybody Limps. Without Shame.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Sunday by Sunday, as Christians gather together, everybody has a limp.
For some it’s visible, for others it won’t be apparent just to look at them, but we are not the people who have it all together and who have had perfect lives.
But in our fragmentations and past experiences do not define us.
Instead we’re defined by the one who has come to each and every one of us and comforted us, because his grace is sufficient for us and his power is made perfect in weakness.
So we gather together, each of us with our limp; each of us radiant vessels of grace.


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Facing Waves Of Opposition (preparing for mgpc 29/3/2015)

Songs of preparation: In You, LORD, I Take Refuge (Psalm 31), Never Alone, and Hosanna, Loud Hosanna
Prayer of Approach and Confession: God, our refuge and deliverer; the one in whose hands our times are held; the Lord who preserves his people according to his goodness; we confess our need of the sacrifice that Jesus offers and are thankful for the resurrection life that he shares with us.
Song of assurance, confession of faith, doxology: From The Squalor Of A borrowed Stable; the Apostles’ Creed; May The Grace Of Christ Our Saviour.
Consecutive reading: Ezekiel 1: 1-28 Ezekiel begins to record the vision of the glory of the Lord.
Bible memorisation: Psalm 118:22-24.
Praise: Hosanna.
Reading and sermon: Acts 5:12-42 – Wave after wave of opposition come against the church. The Holy Spirit enables Christians to not be overwhelmed and to continue telling others about Jesus.
Pastoral prayer, tithes and offerings.
Departing praise: Ride On, Ride On In Majesty.


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Footy Tipping 2015 – NRL Round 4

Seven out of eight.
Stupid Canberra. So close.

NRL (last round 7/8; season tally 15/24)
Souths
Canterbury
Penrith
Cronulla
Manly
New Zealand (in New Zealand)
Easts
Melbourne

Oh, and Australia in the cricket.


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Salvation Accomplished

The Border Watch called this article ‘Salvation Accomplished’.
The idea was to cross the themes of Palm Sunday with thoughts about the public reaction to the recent death of former Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser.

News of the death of Malcolm Fraser has evoked a varied range of responses. In contrast to Gough Whitlam, who occupied a fixed position on the political and social spectrum, Mr Fraser has been considered to have changed his attitudes over the decades. Senator David Leyonhjelm’s characterisation that Mr Fraser “was a right-wing extremist when I first knew him and he was a left-wing extremist when he died” is blunt, but understandable to those of us who witnessed the fury expressed against him in the seventies and the esteem afforded to him in his later days, by pretty much the same people; along with the present day ambivalence of those who lauded his achievements in decades past.
This can be seen as tributes to Mr Fraser seem to be partitioned to acknowledge the times when his actions most closely aligned with the values of those speaking, while cordoning off the periods where principles diverged.
On the weekend many Christians will recall the celebrated arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem. To mark his arrival the crowds laid down palm branches and sang out a welcome acknowledging him as sent by God. They recognised his riding a donkey as a fulfilment of a divine promise of a ruler who would arrive in peace, not conquest.
And yet, less than a week later, those same voices cried out in condemnation. They would be satisfied with nothing less than Jesus’ death.
It’s easy to understand the condemnation Jesus received by the political class, who would take no chances with one who they perceived may have been a threat to their power. In the same way, the religious class also desperately wanted to rid themselves of the one who threatened their positions as conduits to God.
But why the crowds? Why did those who would have crowned him at the beginning of the week cry out for crucifixion by its end?
Had Jesus changed his positions or attitudes during that week? Not in the slightest.
Jesus was rejected by the masses because he would not take up the sword and become a military conqueror; nor would he provide for them assurances that by either bloodline or effort that they were right with God.
Public opinion turned on Jesus because he would not be the political or spiritual saviour the people desired.
The Bible shows us, however, that he was the Saviour that the public needed.
It’s not so much that God’s salvation was not what people expected, as that the salvation God sent was rejected with extreme prejudice.
But, paradoxically, his condemnation and crucifixion were the means by which salvation was achieved.
Christians spend weeks each year in special focus on God’s achievement of redemption through the self same actions by which humanity was seeking to reject that salvation.
In doing so we celebrate a wisdom and love that overcame our rebellion and lostness. We give thanks that Jesus did not change to be what we wanted, but instead changes us to what we need to be.


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The Preacher As Listener (via William Willimon)

(You can tell I’m enjoying Proclamation And Theology, can’t you?)

The preacher is the one who is ordained by the church to engage in listening to the text in behalf of the church, listening to the church so that the preacher might listen with them to the text. Preachers are sometimes characterised as great talkers. But if we are effective and faithful, we are actually good listeners.

William Willimon, Proclamation And Theology, Abingdon Press, pg 41.


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Happy Bovines

Here’s a couple of videos for the Bovineophiles.

A machine called ‘Happy Cow’ doing its job.

A little personal attention goes a long way.