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Come Hear The Angels Sing – Sunday Songs

This song was part of two of the services I attended today at Epping Presbyterian Church in Sydney.
(As was a helpful sermon on Psalm 37 that I heard twice.)
It’s a part of the EMU catalogue that’s been around for a little while now.
EMU have recorded it a couple of times and creator Michael Morrow has featured it on his own album.
I may have to revisit it, because it works pretty well.
There’s a repeat line in the verses that can be a little tricky at first.

The lyrics:
Come hear the angels sing:
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain”
Gathering ’round the throne
“Hail the Son of Man,
hail the Son of Man”
Not for their sin he died
It was no angel crucified
And yet they hold him in their sight
And live to praise their Lord!
Come hear the elders sing
As they fall in praise to the Lamb
Bowing before the throne
Laying down their crowns
Laying down their crowns
They praise him for his blood
With which he purchased men for God
They praise the Saviour of the world
The Lamb, he is their Lord!
Hear the heavens shout:
“Worthy is the Lamb”
All creation bows
Giving glory to the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb
What is the song we’ll sing
As we join in heaven with our God?
A people from every land
Crowding ’round the Lamb
Crowding round the Lamb?
We’ll sing salvation’s song
How many million voices strong!
We’ll sing the glory of our King,
Of Jesus Christ our Lord!
Hear the heavens shout…

Words and music: Michael Morrow
©2008 Michael Morrow

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Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 5

Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 5

Q & A 12
Q What are the decrees of God?
A God’s decrees are the wise, free, and holy acts of the counsel of his will,1 whereby, from all eternity, he has, for his own glory, unchangeably foreordained whatsoever comes to pass in time,2 especially concerning angels and men.

Q & A 13
Q What has God especially decreed concerning angels and men?
A God, by an eternal and immutable decree, out of his mere love, for the praise of his glorious grace, to be manifested in due time, has elected some angels to glory;3 and in Christ has chosen some men to eternal life, and the means thereof:4 and also, according to his sovereign power, and the unsearchable counsel of his own will, (whereby he extends or withholds favor as he pleases,) has passed by and foreordained the rest to dishonor and wrath, to be for their sin inflicted, to the praise of the glory of his justice.*5

Q & A 14
Q How does God execute his decrees?
A God executes his decrees in the works of creation and providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will.*6

*1 Ephesians 1:11; Romans 11:33; Romans 9:14-15, 18.
*2 Ephesians 1:4, 11; Romans 9:22-23; Psalm 33:11.
*3 1 Timothy 5:21.
*4 Ephesians 1:4-6; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14.
*5 Romans 9:17-18, 21-22; Matthew 11:25-26; 2 Timothy 2:20; Jude 4; 1 Peter 2:8.
*6 Ephesians 1:11.

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God-Breathed Scripture Demands Expository Preaching (via Derek Thomas)

God-breathed Scripture demands the preacher to proclaim what the text says, not use the text to illustrate their thoughts and theme.
From Derek Thomas:

Paul was concerned for purity and honesty in handling the Scriptures.
He charged young Timothy again to present himself to God “as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). The word that is translated in many versions as “to handle” or “to divide” actually means “to cut” (orthotomeo). Timothy was to drive a straight path through the Word of God and not deviate to the left or to the right. He was to “preach the word,” meaning not only that he was to preach from the Bible, but that he was to expound the particular passage he was preaching on because Scripture, as Paul reminds Timothy, is “breathed out by God” (2 Tim. 3:16).
Expository preaching is a necessary corollary of the doctrine of the God-breathed nature of Scripture. The idea is not so much that God breathed into the Scriptures, but that the Scriptures are the product of His breathing out. Independent of what we may feel about the Bible as we read it, Scripture maintains a “breath of God” quality. Thus, the preacher is to make God’s Word known and make it understandable. He is to limit himself to it without adding or subtracting. As Alec Motyer has written: “An expository ministry is the proper response to a God-breathed Scripture. Central to it all is that concern which the word ‘exposition’ itself enshrines: a display of what is there.”

Read the whole post here.


A New Year, A New Round Of Meetings

It’s Presbyterian Committee meeting time in Sydney next week.
Leaving from Adelaide for the first time, so that’s different.

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Commending Christ Above All Others

If a sermon only leaves us looking at Bible figures, or people from history, or those around us as our example for growth in faith, we are left adrift of the one who is the author and perfecter of the Christian’s faith.
From a post on Christ-Centered Preaching by Peyton Hill at B21:

Christ-centered preaching means commending Christ above all others.
I admit that I have my favorite so-called Bible characters. What pastor does not want to have the theological depth and evangelistic fervor of the Apostle Paul? However, Paul (himself) clearly rebukes the mentality of preaching the examples of fallible men. Sure the apostle told others to imitate him, but he said to do so as he imitates Christ (1 Cor 11:1). To sum up his message, Paul wrote to the Colossians that it is Jesus we are to proclaim (Col 1:28). To preach a message exhorting others to follow Moses or David or Peter eventually leads to problems when our hearers learn that Moses and David and Peter all failed to live perfectly according to God’s standard, as we all do. Ultimately, we preach Christ because he is the only one who deserves imitation as the perfect sacrifice who lived, died, and rose again so that we could proclaim forgiveness of sins in his name.

Read the whole post here.

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Time Is No Healer

Prepared for publication in our local paper, The Border Watch.

There are sayings that are a part of everyday life. Sometimes those sayings are based in truth, and sometimes they really don’t stand up to any examination.
I was reminded of this last week when reading a short article based on the phrase ‘Time heals all wounds’.
The point of the article was that time doesn’t heal all wounds. Searching around the Internet points out that plenty of other people have made the same observation.
There are many situations with physical injuries where intervention and treatment are needed straight away, and any delay would not result in healing but in further deterioration.
It should be conceded that ‘Time heals all wounds’ is usually offered in situations of emotional pain, rather than physical ailments.
But even in those situations the advice falls well short of the truth.
There are those who have experienced emotional trauma and the intensity of that trauma doesn’t seem to diminish at all with the passage of time. For some it seems like it’s getting stronger. Year after year they’ll continue to tell the same story of what happened to them, giving voice to the hurt they continue to feel.
That’s in contrast to other people who have also suffered, but who no longer feel the emotions as strongly. They still remember, but the hurt no longer dominates.
Some people do experience healing over time, while others don’t seem to. What is the difference?
Well, it’s not time itself. Days or weeks or months or years alone won’t do it. Healing takes place over time, but time itself is no healer.
Coming to terms with what happened is the beginning of healing. That process of understanding may take many forms. For some, accepting you were an innocent victim; for others taking responsibility for something you did wrong. Knowing our actions or reactions contributed to a problem.
Some folk who’ve had a bad experience feel that healing involves forgetting. They feel bad because they remember. Healing can allow the memories to remain, but they don’t dominate our present thoughts and actions, rather they inform what we think and the choices we make.
Failing to deal with injuries, physical or emotional, for a long time can result in scars that magnify pain.
Christians are encouraged by the Apostle Paul to understand their relationship with Jesus enables them to own their past experiences while being free to look to the present and the future with the expectation that our past hurts don’t define who we are, or who we have to be.
That life of being who we’ve always been, but also being something new is reflected in the phrase ‘born again’ as describing Christian life.
Don’t ignore your hurts in the expectation they’ll go away or get better.
Time isn’t a healer. It won’t heal your wounds. Time is the context in which healing takes place. Seek a healer.
Christians know Jesus as their great physician, the place where our healing begins and continues to grow.

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The Gospel Is An Exclamation Point! (via Jared Wilson)

Jared Wilson writes about a minor editorial change that J.I. Packer made to a paragraph composed by Wilson for a study guide.
And how the change makes all the difference:

There at the bottom of that page, as I was expounding on Romans 2:4 in a section of the study called “Gospel Glimpses,” I had written this:

In yet another wonderful affirmation of where the source of power to change is found, Paul reminds us in Romans 2:4 that “God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance.” Not his law, not his berating, not his exasperation or his cajoling. His kindness.

Period. End of thought.
But Dr. Packer added one thin vertical pen stroke, turning my period into an exclamation point, and underlining it to show the change. It’s not’s God kindness — yawn — that leads us to repentance, but God’s kindness! Exclamation point!
As I looked at this correction, I couldn’t stop looking at it. And then I began to weep.

Read the whole post here.