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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 3

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 3

Q. Did God create man evil and perverse like this?
A. No. On the contrary, God created man good and in his image, that is, in true righteousness and holiness, so that he might rightly know God his Creator, love him with his whole heart, and live with him in eternal blessedness, praising and glorifying him.

Q. Where, then, does this corruption of human nature come from?
A. From the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden; whereby our human life is so poisoned that we are all conceived and born in the state of sin.

Q. But are we so perverted that we are altogether unable to do good and prone to do evil?
A. Yes, unless we are born again through the Spirit of God.

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Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 49

Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 49

Chapter 30 – Of Church Censures
I. The Lord Jesus, as king and head of his Church, has therein appointed a government in the hand of Church officers, distinct from the civil magistrate.
II. To these officers the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven are committed, by virtue whereof they have power respectively to retain and remit sins, to shut that kingdom against the impenitent, both by the word and censures; and to open it unto penitent sinners, by the ministry of the gospel, and by absolution from censures, as occasion shall require.
III. Church censures are necessary for the reclaiming and gaining of offending brethren; for deterring of others from like offenses; for purging out of that leaven which might infect the whole lump; for vindicating the honour of Christ, and the holy profession of the gospel; and for preventing the wrath of God, which might justly fall upon the Church, if they should suffer his covenant, and the seals thereof, to be profaned by notorious and obstinate offenders.
IV. For the better attaining of these ends, the officers of the Church are to proceed by admonition, suspension from the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper for a season, and by excommunication from the Church, according to the nature of the crime, and demerit of the person.

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Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 10

Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 10

Chapter 6 – Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment thereof
I. Our first parents, begin seduced by the subtlety and temptations of Satan, sinned in eating the forbidden fruit. This their sin God was pleased, according to his wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to his own glory.
II. By this sin they fell from their original righteousness and communion with God, and so became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body.
III. They being the root of mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed to all their posterity, descending from them by original generation.
IV. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions.
V. This corruption of nature, during this life, does remain in those that are regenerated; and although it be through Christ pardoned and mortified, yet both itself, and all the motions thereof, are truly and properly sin.
VI. Every sin, both original and actual, being a transgression of the righteous law of God, and contrary thereunto, does, in its own nature, bring guilt upon the sinner, whereby he is bound over to the wrath of God, and curse of the law, and so made subject to death, with all miseries spiritual, temporal, and eternal.

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Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 37

Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 37

Q & A 149
Q Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?
A No man is able, either of himself, or by any grace received in this life, perfectly to keep the commandments of God; but does daily break them in thought, word, and deed.

Q & A 150
Q Are all transgressions of the law of God equally heinous in themselves, and in the sight of God?
A All transgressions of the law of God are not equally heinous; but some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others.

Q & A 151
Q What are those aggravations that make some sins more heinous than others?
A Sins receive their aggravations,
1. From the persons offending: if they be of riper age, greater experience or grace, eminent for profession, gifts, place, office, guide to others, and whose example is likely to be followed by others.
2. From the parties offended: if immediately against God, his attributes, and worship; against Christ, and his grace; the Holy Spirit, his witness, and workings; against superiors, men of eminency, and such as we stand especially related and engaged unto; against any of the saints, particularly weak brethren, the souls of them, or any other, and the common good of all or many.
3. From the nature and quality of the offense: if it be against the express letter of the law, break many commandments, contain in it many sins: if not only conceived in the heart, but breaks forth in words and actions, scandalize others, and admit of no reparation: if against means, mercies, judgments, light of nature, conviction of conscience, public or private admonition, censures of the church, civil punishments; and our prayers, purposes, promises, vows, covenants, and engagements to God or men: if done deliberately, willfully, presumptuously, impudently, boastingly, maliciously, frequently, obstinately, with delight, continuance, or relapsing after repentance.
4. From circumstances of timed and place: if on the Lord’s Day, or other times of divine worship; or immediately before or after these, or other helps to prevent or remedy such miscarriages: if in public, or in the presence of others, who are thereby likely to be provoked or defiled.

Q & A 152
Q What does every sin deserve at the hands of God?
A Every sin, even the least, being against the sovereignty, goodness, and holiness of God, and against his righteous law, deserves his wrath and curse, both in this life, and that which is to come; and cannot be expiated but by the blood of Christ.

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Forgiven (preparing for mgpc 4/10/2015)

Songs of preparation: Lord Vindicate Me (Psalm 26) and Salvation Belongs To Our God.
Responsive call to worship:
Praise: From All That Dwell Below The Skies.
Prayer of Confession:
Song of assurance, confession of faith, doxology: Jesus Paid It All; The Apostle’s Creed; Now To The King Of Heaven.
Consecutive reading: Ezekiel 25:1-17 – Chapters 25-32 contain a series of oracles against most of the states of the ancient Near East. Chapter 25 features prophecies against Ammon, Moab, Seir, Edam, and Philistia..
Bible memorisation: Psalm 3:3,4.
Praise: Consider Christ.
Reading: 2 Samuel 12:1-31
Sermon: Forgiven – God confronts David over his sin and David responds and is restored.
Pastoral prayer, tithes and offerings.
Departing praise: Bless The Lord, O My Soul – 10,000 Reasons.

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Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 10

Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 10

Q & A 17
Q Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery.*1

Q & A 18
Q Wherein consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?
A The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consists in the guilt of Adam’s first sin,2 the want of original righteousness,3 and the corruption of his whole nature,4 which is commonly called original sin; together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it.5

Q & A 19
Q What is the misery of that estate whereinto man fell?
A All mankind by their fall lost communion with God,6 are under his wrath7 and curse,8 and so made liable to all the miseries of this life,9 to death10 itself, and to the pains of hell forever.11

*1 Genesis 3:16-19, 23; Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:1.
*2 Romans 5:12, 19.
*3 Romans 3:10; Ephesians 4:24.
*4 Psalm 51:5; John 3:6; Romans 3:18; Romans 8:7-8; Ephesians 2:3.
*5 Genesis 6:5; Psalm 53:1-3; Matthew 15:19; Romans 3:10-18, 23; Galatians 5:19-21; James 1:14-15.
*6 Genesis 3:8, 24; John 8:34, 42, 44; Ephesians 2:12; Ephesians 4:18.
*7 John 3:36; Romans 1:18; Ephesians 2:3; Ephesians 5:6.
*8 Galatians 3:10; Revelation 22:3.
*9 Genesis 3:16-19; Job 5:7; Ecclesiastes 2:22-23; Romans 8:18-23.
*10 Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 5:12; Romans 6:23.
*11 Matthew 25:41, 46; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 14:9-11.

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Boz Tchividjian Interviewed About Child Protection Issues Relating To Churches

Boz Tchividjian is something of an authority on child protection and child abuse in the USA, with relevance to the responses that churches should have in this area.
Ed Stetzer recently concluded an extensive interview with Tchividjian.
Taken alongside existing abuse and protection protocols, his insights are helpful.
Certain aspects of the interviews touch on the difficulties of implementing and observing appropriate protocols in churches that are independent or loosely associated, which is a US distinctive, I guess.
Other of the content is very helpful in terms of growing a culture that seeks to care for victims, including regular preaching which seeks to address the key issues directly.
As much as I’d like the Presbyterian Church of Australia to have one standard across all its congregations, the simple fact of differing standards of compliance in the various states don’t seem to make it feasible.
But our standards are compatible, and are in place everywhere, which is of first importance.

Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four