Exhort and encourage one another.

These two big “E”s are repeatedly mentioned by the apostle Paul.

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Paul and Barnabas depicted.

Heb.3:13 “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

I Thess.2:11, 5:14 “As ye know how we exhorted and comforted (encouraged) and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children”, “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort (encourage) the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.”

Barnabas’ names means son of consolation (encouragement) Acts 4:36.

How do we encourage in the fellowship with other believers?

  • Praise them when praise is due—commend, thank, give thanks for them.
  • Edify—build them up (strengthen them in midst of difficulties by stirring up their faith and assuring them of God’s promises), instruct them by increasing their knowledge, encouraging faith and love.
  • Urge or beseech them.

Why do we need to exhort?

Because our unbelief causes departures from God (Ps.95). The Israelites shunned to covenant promises of God for Canaan, the blessings held no attraction for them, perhaps because they knew they would need to fight for them! Frequently they, and we, are deceived by attractive idolatry and sin.

How do we exhort in the fellowship? Daily!

It means to call alongside to help either:

  • comfort
  • rebuke
  • instruct

Don’t be afraid to do this as James tells us in James 5:19-20.

Gleaned from message by Rev. Martyn McGeown of Limerick Reformed Fellowship and Standard Bearer article 1/3/14 by Rev. James Slopsema.

Preparing My Heart with Gladness

Even in the business of the week we still have fellowship with our covenant God although granted the privileges of the Lord’s Day are special.

Young Calvinists

This Saturday, as we prepare for worshiping our God tomorrow, I can’t help but think of the first verse of Psalter #348:

With joy and gladness in my soul

I hear the call to prayer;

Let us go up to God’s own house

And bow before Him there.

How glad and joyful I am that I can go to God’s house! Why am I so happy, you ask? Why is it such a good thing to go to church? How joyful can it really be to go and worship?

Let’s think about it this way. We are busy as beavers Monday through Saturday: school, work, family, friends, relationships—all of these things demand our attention and care. We are always thinking ahead to what we have to do next, or when this is going to happen, or who we are going to see here. It’s as if our minds are clocks…

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Exhort

 

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Hebrew 3:12-13

“And exhort one another daily.

The word translated “exhort” is a word that means to

call another to your side to provide help and assistance.

This may come in the form of comfort, instruction, rebuke,

or exhortation. This is what we are to do to one

another. We are to look out for each other’s welfare.

So that none follow the way of Israel’s apostasy, we are

to exhort one another. Sometimes this means that we

instruct. Sometimes this means that we encourage or comfort.

Sometimes this means that we rebuke and warn.

This admonition to exhort one another comes to all in

the church, young and old alike.

This must not be just an occasional thing but a daily

occurrence in the church.”

Rev. Slopsema Standard Bearer March 1st 2014

The Holy Spirit and the Ascension

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What was promised?

What happened?

What changed?

 

Christ promised to pour out his spirit on the disciples after the resurrection. He said that he would send the comforter who would be their teacher and we know this PARAKLETE would apply all the benefits of Christ’s atoning death, resurrection and ascension to his people (John 14:16, 16:7, 13, Acts 1:8), namely adoption, assurance, sealing and gifting.

The outpouring of the spirit at Pentecost, and subsequently on all the elect, was promised in the Old Testament as Peter stated (Acts 2:33). Psalm 68:18 (quoted in Eph.4:8), Isaiah 32:15, 44:3, 59:21, Ezekiel 39:29 and especially Joel 2:28 are relevant.

The Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son (BC Art.11*) was poured out on the fledgling church enabling miraculous signs to authenticate their ministry, gift them for all their service, teach them, and seal them as his people for ever.

What changed was, that the eternal unchangeable Spirit came as the Spirit of the risen Christ (John 7:38-39, I Cor.15:45), merited by Christ’s great work, promised as his inheritance (along with all his seed) and received by him as mediator, not for himself, because he was always filled without measure (Psalm 45:7, Heb.1:9, John 3:34) but for the church.

What changed was:

  • He was poured out publicly and universally (previously almost exclusively among the Jews)
  • He came as the teacher of God’s truth, to complete the canon and develop truth throughout church history.
  • He came with greater revelation (especially concerning Christ’s work and eschatology), dispensing richer grace (the least in the kingdom is greater than John the Baptist) and all the gifts (I Cor.12), tongues especially was new and a reversal of Babel. New Testament believers are all prophets, priests and kings!

* Belgic Confession.

Teamwork

This applies in many spheres of life e.g. medicine, aviation, sport and church. I am sure you could find Scripture references and examples to back it up..

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What does good teamwork depend upon?

  • Good leadership which demonstrates..
  • Good communication
  • Assertiveness
  • Good example
  • Delegation
  • Supports and values
  • Challenges

What about good followers?

  • Manage self
  • Competent but seeks help
  • Follows orders after evaluation
  • May challenge with alternatives

Different types:

  • Sheep
  • “yes” men
  • Pragmatist
  • Alienated (pride)
  • Star follower

Failed communication: why did the airliner running out of fuel crash? Black box recorder (air traffic control/cockpit) revealed:

  • Lack of clarity
  • Lack of urgency
  • Lack of critical language
  • Lack of respect

Able to admonish one another

Sermon on Romans 15:14: Limerick Reformed Fellowship

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Rev. Martyn McGeown

Summary:

Admonish means to bring truth to the heart of another. What means does God use? Preaching, reading Bible, another believer.

Of what does it consist?

  • Teaching (the ignorant)
  • Beseeching (conscience)
  • Comforting/encouraging/consoling
  • Warning (a duty)
  • Rebuking

How does it happen? Informally by an individual believer or if serious enough by church discipline.

Listen to sermon

 

Christian-do you play games or train for sport on the Lord’s Day? (Sunday)

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Isaiah 58:13-14

13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

Westminster Confession (Creed of all Presbyterian Churches)

This Sabbath is to be kept holy unto the Lord when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all the day from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations; but also are taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.

Sunday rest-the real meaning….maxresdefault

Marks of a True Christian

 

Notes from Belgic Confession Class (Article 29), CPRC, Ballymena.

  • Faith-a Christian believes the truth (God’s word) and does not compromise with evolution, homosexual marriage, women in office etc.
  • Avoids sin-aims at holiness and lives an antithetical life (contrary to world, flesh and devil).
  • Love-for God and neighbour.
  • Mortifies the flesh-hating sin, repenting of it, fighting it.
  • He/she makes a credible confession-by life, doctrine and church membership.

What is the relationship between a true church and a true Christian? They are reciprocal!

As a church is true and strong so will grow its members and vice versa.

Every church affects the life of its members for good or ill.

Nothing will affect your life more than the church you worship in and join.

The marks represent the presence of Christ who is there to change lives by sanctifying his people by the means of grace especially preaching.

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Apostasy in the Churches: see:http://www.cprf.co.uk/articles/unityofthechurch.htm#.WEBRhsLPvm4

Listen to full class here: http://www.cprf.co.uk/audio/belgicconfessionclass.htm#.WEBSEcLPvm4

Why should I join the purest church?

You can and SHOULD be able to distinguish between a true church, a false church and the various grades in between.

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They are distinguishable!

Herman Hoeksema taught that believers ought to join that church which most clearly manifests the three marks, where the preaching, sacraments and church discipline are faithful to God’s Word. He added that those who leave a faithful church for a less faithful church to that extent leave Christ, for Christ’s spiritual presence in a church is marked by faithfulness in its preaching, sacraments and discipline. Hoeksema writes,

… it is my conviction that everyone is conscience-bound to join himself to the purest manifestation of the church of God …

Is it a great sin to unite oneself with a church other than that which is, according to one’s conviction, the purest manifestation of the true church?

It is; for, by doing so one knowingly cooperates with those forces that always tend to the development of the false church. A church need not be wholly false and corrupt to justify separation from its fellowship. Every church is false in the measure that it departs from the Word of God, corrupts the sacraments, and becomes lax or perverse in the exercise of Christian discipline (Ready to Give an Answer, pp. 37-38).

Further reading

What is true faith?

What is true faith?
A.  True faith is not only a certain knowledge, whereby I hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in His Word, but also an assured confidence, which the Holy Ghost works by the gospel in my heart; that not only to others, but to me also, remission of sin, everlasting righteousness, and salvation are freely given by God, merely of grace, only for the sake of Christ’s merits.                  Heidelberg Catechism Lord’s Day 7.

Faith is also the bond uniting us to Christ by our being grafted into him. Picture of grafted vine.

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