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MayMay-June 2010

The Evangelical Presbyterian

May-June 2010 1.50

Who is this? - A Vital Doctrine Ruth (3) - Faith in Action Recruits for Nigeria Meeting our Members

The Evangelical Presbyterian

The Evangelical Presbyterian

is published bi-monthly by the Presbytery of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Please visit:

Take Note
Signs in the Sky Many will remember 15 April 2010 for a long time, especially those who had plans to travel by air on that day. Flights across the UK and Europe were cancelled and thousands left stranded as the threat of volcanic dust from an eruption in Iceland made it unsafe to fly. As events unfolded, the situation was described by broadcasters on TV and radio as unprecedented. With modern technology it was possible to trace the plume of cloud rising high into the sky but what was most apparent, and yet unmentioned, was the inability of mankind to take control of the circumstances. Our thoughts turned to Psalm 33: Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the peoples of the world revere him. God, it seemed was far from the thoughts of the media and the world at large except for insurance claims and an act of God clause. The sky in Scripture has always been a significant sign in the over-ruling hand of God: the heavens declare his glory (Ps.19), the sky will be rolled up one day like a scroll (Is 34), and the same Lord Jesus, our Saviour, who was taken up into the clouds will one day come back in like manner (Acts 1). While many were left earth-bound on 15 April a day is coming when the dead in Christ will rise first and those who are alive will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord and to be with him forever.

The views expressed are those of the Editor and Contributors which are understood to reflect the theological position of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church

Harold Gibson Stockbridge 2 Barronstown Court DROMORE BT25 1FB

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Anyone wishing to help the Churchs work may send their gift to the Finance Committee, C/o: Rev J S Roger 16 Huntingdale BALLYCLARE BT39 9XB The church can benefit from the Gift Aid scheme from taxpayers donations. Please ask for details.

Cover Photograph
Castle Espie Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre, Strangford Lough, Comber, Co Down. The visitor centre with cafe and the outdoor walks make it a very worth-while visit. 2

Take Note: Encourage one another with these words. (1 Thess. 4.18)

MayMay-June 2010

Who is This?
The Editor considers a recent attack on a vital doctrine
The book of Ecclesiastes tells us, there is nothing new under the sun. Philip Pullman, the well known atheist writer, has recently launched his latest book with the outrageous title The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ. In his book Pullman suggests that a man called Jesus lived 2,000 years ago but that Christ, as the Son of God, was the invention of the disciple Paul. (How someone who does not believe there is a God can write a book with the names of Jesus and Christ in the title is beyond belief to me!). In a recent web interview Mark Driscoll asked R C Sproul: What is the biggest upcoming theological battle facing the church today? Dr. Sproul answered: The Person of Christ. We should not be surprised at the answer because the person of Christ has always been at the heart of theological discussion and controversy. As Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, amidst all the shouts of Hosanna we are told that all the city was moved saying, Who is this?. And the crowds said This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee. (Matt 21.10 -11). The whole scene is replete with Messianic symbolism and as Mark Ross points out: Blind men and children can see clearly that Jesus is the Son of David, bringing salvation to his people. But the chief priests and the scribes remain blind to it all.1 Christian history shows us that such blind unbelief has pervaded the church for generations. In the 4th century Arius argued that Jesus Christ was not God but a mere creature. This heresy threatened the church for thirty years but God raised up Athanasius to combat it. Irish Presbyterian history in the 18th and 19th centuries records the rise of Arianism and the battle for truth concerning the deity of Christ. God raised up Henry Cooke to champion Biblical orthodoxy against New Light thinking. One of the central issues of 1927 leading to the formation of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church was the deity of Christ.2 This time God raised up James Hunter and Jim Grier to defend Christian truth. It seems that modernists and liberals have always sought to suggest that Paul did not teach that Jesus was eternally God and Pullman has imbibed this theology. B B Warfield, in his magnificent article The Christ that Paul Preached writes What we are given is not merely how Paul thought of Christ, but how Paul preached Christ.3 Paul presents great facts about Jesus in Romans 1 which determines the Gospel that he preachedthe power of God unto salvation. The Gospel of God It is important to note that Paul describes it as the Gospel of God. He is stating at the outset that this message is not something that has been devised by his own clever thinking or imagination. Paul wants his readers to know that this is a message from God himself. It did not originate with Paul but it was promised beforehand through the prophets in the Holy Scriptures. The Old Testament is full

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of Christ. Remember how the two disciples on the Emmaus road met with the risen Christ and beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, he expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. Paul emphasises that it is Gods Gospel, he owns it, it originated with him, he designed it and Paul is a preacher and communicator of this Gospel. The Son of God Paul brings us to the very heart of the issue and he spells out the focal point of the Gospel. It concerns Gods Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. He uses all three titles given to the Saviour and points us to the divine and human nature of Gods Son: Born of the seed of David according to the flesh and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Our Shorter Catechism teaches us that the Lord Jesus Christ who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continues to be, God and man, in two distinct natures, and one person for ever. 4 Warfield comments: Whether we look at him from the point of view of God or from the point of view of man, he is God. This is the Jesus that Paul preached regardless of what Philip Pullman wants the world to believe. The Power of God Paul declares that he is not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ because it is the power of God unto salvation. This is an amazing statement from Paul, living in a world that despised the message of the Gospel. Yet he was prepared to face whatever came his way and to be considered a fool for Christ in the eyes of the world because he had a message to proclaim. We live in a largely godless society, our culture is not God-fearing and the church is often the scorn and ridicule of the world around us. Whenever the Gospel is faithfully preached it arouses opposition and contempt. When we are confronted with atheists, scoffers and apathy let us remember that we have this same message to declare accompanied by the almighty power of God. Paul treasured the Gospel because in it a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written, the righteous will live by faith. In the eyes of the world Christians may be regarded as fools but in the eyes of God it is the fool who says in his heart There is no God. (Ps 14.1) What better answer to the question, Who is this?, than the words of the hymn:
Beautiful Saviour! Lord of the nations! Son of God and Son of Man! Glory and honour, Praise, adoration, now and forever more sublime.
1 2

Lets Study Matthew, Mark E. Ross, Banner of Truth, p 201, 2009. The Origin and Witness of the Irish Evangelical Church, W J Grier, Belfast 1945. 3 Biblical Doctrines, B B Warfield, Banner of Truth, p 235, 1988. 4 The Shorter Catechism, Q 21.

MayMay-June 2010

Faith in Action
Rev Andrew Lucas, Lucas Omagh, writes Part 3 of his series on Ruth Three things we need to know about faith.
The reformer Martin Luther once defined faith in this way: Faith is a living, daring confidence in Gods grace. It is so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times. Now, as we pick up our story again, at the beginning of chapter 2, there are at least three things that we need to notice about faith. 1 Stepping out in Faith Some years ago, my previous congregation went for a weekend away to a Christian centre in the Vale of Avoca, County Wicklow. One of the activities organised over the weekend that really stands out for me, was the Zip-Line. To get to this thing you had to climb up a telegraph pole, which swayed when you reached the top. Then holding on to a bar, you launched yourself off the top and shot down the line.

ALack of encouragement. Now as chapter 2 opens we find Ruth making a similar step or leap of faith and she does so despite lacking any real encouragement. In v2 we read, Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favour. And she said, Go, my daughter. (ESV) Now Ruth doesnt know what we know. She doesnt know about Boaz who is introduced to us in v1. All she knows is that they have to eat and rather than sitting around, she takes the initiative and steps out in faith, hoping that somewhere out there, there might be a landowner willing to allow her to glean in his fields.
Now it is interesting that it is Ruth and not Naomi who takes the initiative, and neither does Naomi offer to go with her daughter-in-law, even though she is well able to help. Perhaps she is so caught up in her sorrows right now, that she just cant think about such things. Perhaps there is even an element of pride here. Naomi was once a wealthy citizen of Bethlehem and perhaps she cant bring herself to glean in the fields with the other paupers. But either way, it is Ruth who, with no real encouragement, steps out in faith.

BPotential dangers. And she does so despite the very real dangers that await her. It is true that the Lord had made a provision for the poor, allowing them to glean in the fields, but not every landowner was happy to abide by the law. Also as a young woman on her own in the fields, Ruth is vulnerable. It is interesting that Boaz has to instruct his labourers not to touch her (v9). But Ruth faces an even greater danger, because as soon as she opens her mouth and people hear her accent, they will know that she is a foreigner and worst of all, that she is from Moab (v6). But she still steps out in faith and she is an example to us.
Sometimes in the Christian life we find ourselves at the top of the telegraph pole and there is only one way down, and at times like this we need the daring confidence that Luther spoke about. Yes, we can list numerous reasons why we

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should stay in our comfort zones, especially if no one is offering encouragement and apparent dangers await us, but sometimes we just have to step out in faith like Ruth, trusting that as we do so, the Lord will be there for us. It has been said that if you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat, Ruth does that here and we can too. 2 The Rewards of Faith So we have stepped out in faith. But what else can we learn about faith here? Well, secondly, we have The Rewards of Faith. The issue of bankers pay has been much discussed in recent months, especially the huge bonuses given to executives in the banks bailed out by the taxpayer. I will leave you to decide whether they deserve such rewards. But as chapter 2 unfolds and Ruth steps out in faith, we find the Lord blessing this young Moabite convert. We see this in at least two ways.

AThe Lords providence in her life . In v3 Ruth goes and starts gleaning and we read, she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech. (ESV) What a stroke of luck! Ruth ends up in the field belonging to the worthy man introduced to us in v1. But there is another lucky break in v4, because Boaz arrives on the scene. Certainly fortune is smiling on this young woman, but whilst these events have an appearance of good fortune, this is really the Lords doing. Iain M Duguid writes, There were no angelic visions to direct her to the right field or voices from heaven to guide her. Nevertheless, as she trusted in the Lord, he directed her steps unwittingly to exactly the right location.
Now as we think about our own lives, this is incredibly comforting, isnt it? There are times when we have to step out in faith, despite everything that tells us to stay within our comfort zones, and as we do that, the way ahead may not be at all clear, but the Lord will guide us. Ruth doesnt know what is going to happen and she doesnt realise that the Lord is guiding her, but it is true nonetheless. She trusts him and he honours that by guiding her just to the right spot, at just the right moment. The Lords providence is amazing, isnt it?

BThe Lords generosity. We have already been given an indication of Boazs character in v1, and as he speaks for the first time in v4, it is significant that these are words of blessing. Here is a godly landowner, who obviously cares about his workers. Now Boaz is not swayed by the apparent racial prejudice of his foreman (v6), but gives Ruth permission to glean in his fields, guaranteeing her safety. (v89) So the Lord has answered her prayers, but in actual fact he does far more. Boaz is clearly impressed with this young Moabite woman (v12) and having fed her at mealtime (v14), he instructs his young men to deliberately drop sheaves for her and by the end of the day she has gleaned about an ephah of barley. (v17)
Now can you see the Lords generosity? That morning Ruth was simply hoping to find a landowner, who would allow her to glean in his fields. Now the Lord grants that desire, but he also gives her a lot more besides. He brings her into contact with a godly, caring and generous man, who, unbeknown to her, has

MayMay-June 2010

certain legal responsibilities towards Naomi and herself. To cap it all, this is also the beginning of a romance, because without realizing it, Ruth has just met her future husband. The Lord is so good isnt he and he often exceeds our expectations. Now of course Ruths experience doesnt give us a blanket promise, where God always gives us the desires of our heart. It is interesting to note that Ruths desires are consistent with Gods revealed will, and we should not expect the Lord to give us what we want, if what we want is at odds with his Word. But with that qualification, the example of Ruth is tremendously encouraging. Stepping out in faith can be scary, but if our desires are godly and consistent with the Word, then we may well find that the Lord honours that step of faith and richly blesses us. 3 The Restoration of Faith So there is stepping out in faith and there are the rewards of faith. But as we close, notice that in the third place we have The Restoration of Faith. As Ruth struggles home with about an ephah of barley, Naomi is full of questions (v18-19) and when she hears everything, she exclaims, May he be blessed by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living and the dead! (V20 ESV). Now our time is gone, but remember that Naomi returned home a bitter woman. She is angry at the Lords dealings with her and she is caught up in her own sorrows. But as her daughter-in-law staggers through the door, weighed down by the barley, the penny drops and at long last Naomi begins to see that the Lord hasnt deserted her after all. Far from it. He has always been there for her, but now she sees it for herself and her faith is revived. Now perhaps as you read this article, you are a relatively new convert to Christ and you are intimidated by the life of faith. Or perhaps you are an old soldier and because of various trials or backslidings, your faith has begun to wane. Perhaps you are even a little bitter, because of Gods providence in your life. Well, whatever your situation, like Ruth, step out in faith and you may just find that the God who has already richly blessed you in Christ (Rom 8.32), will far exceed your expectations and will shower his gifts of grace upon you. Amen. The Ballyclare Open House Poster
Saturday 17 March 2010 saw the annual Open House event hosted by the Ballyclare congregation with the aim of reaching out to the families of the many young people who come to the weekly church activities. 140 children and parents sat down with youth leaders from the congregation to a delicious meal. The after-dinner programme concluded with a message by Rev Robert Johnston, Knock, from Joshua 24.15: Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve - an apt topic for the run-up to a General Election Our prayer is that lasting relationships will be formed and that God will use them to extend his Kingdom in Ballyclare. 7

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Meet one of our Members

Helen Fullerton, Groomsport
Helen grew up in Belfast, on the Upper Newtownards Road, almost opposite our Knock church and attended the Knock Sunday School in the late 50s and early 60s. Growing Up Her parents, James and Ella Bailie began married life in Newtownards and attended Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church where James was Sunday School Superintendent. Soon they moved to Belfast to bring James closer to his work as Secretary of the Ulster Unionist Party; he later became Superintendent of the Unionist Chief Whips Office. The family worshipped at Kirkpatrick Memorial where James served as an Elder. James and Ella had three girls, Jennifer, Sandy and Helen. Helen went to Penryn Prep School, Belmont Road, and then to Strathearn. Helen left school at seventeen. She was quite a gifted swimmer and competed at club galas. Her other great interest at that time was ballet and it very nearly became her career. She was about to go for interview to Chester Ballet School, but an outbreak of smallpox in the Chester area made her parents call it off. Instead she joined Henri Solomon, Photographers, Wellington Place Belfast and for the next three years trained in field assignments such as weddings and in photographic techniques including the dark room. This helped to qualify her for her next job as a dark room technician in the X-ray department of Ards Hospital. Into the World The family had moved to Rosepark, Dundonald in 1966 and although Helen was only fourteen she took the opportunity to make a complete break with Church, a clear pointer to her early and strongly developing opposition to spiritual things and to the course her life would take. Progressively she went into the world, giving herself over to pop and rock music, to dancing and to the whole scene of which they were a part. For two decades they were a very strong influence in her life. To Portavogie and Faith in Christ In 1989 Les and Helen moved from the Holywood Arches area of east Belfast, where they had lived for about five years, to Portavogie. They were attracted by the openness and quietness of the countryside and it was very much like home to Les who worked in horticulture and landscaping. The move was to prove providential in terms of saving grace in a remarkable way. By that time Daniel, Adam and John were at the BB and Anchor Boys stage and a neighbour asked Helen to send them to these organisations and to the Sunday School in a local Church. That in itself was a witness from one neighbour to another and later played a vital part in the sequence of events. Les and Helen went to Church on organisation occasions. On 20 April 1993 two young Portavogie men lost their lives in a local fishing boat tragedy. There was a memorial service in the Church the boys attended on the following Sunday, and Helen felt an imperative desire to go. With Les she made her way to the front, to the only seats available. The opening hymn spoke to Helen:

MayMay-June 2010

I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore, Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more, But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry, From the waters lifted me, now safe am I. Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help, Love lifted me!

The Minister preached from Luke 13.6-9the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree. The vineyard owner planted a fig tree and three years in succession came looking for fruit but found none. As the Minister emphasised no fruit Helen recognised that the story was an apt parable of her own life. The boys stayed on for Sunday School and when Les went to pick them up Helen came to the Lord in repentance. She obtained forgiveness and experienced the wonderful transformation of life that coming to Christ brings. She became a bold evangelist in tract distribution and in other ways. Even her taste in music changed. Her first Christian book was John Blanchards study on Marks Gospel, Read Mark and Learn. Her favourite hymn has become Man of Sorrows, especially verse 2:
Bearing shame and scoffing rude, In my place condemned he stood; Sealed my pardon with his blood: Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

Les has an engaging story to tell too. He was converted in 1975 but partly through lack of Christian fellowship and teaching he drifted away. But the Lord loses none that the Father has given him and he used the onset of a heart attack when Les was out driving in 1991 to restore him. Growth in Grace and Service After a year Les and Helen moved to another denomination which they felt had a more consistent evangelical witness. They worshipped there for four years and Helen became a Sunday School teacher and a leader in the childrens work. Then, in 1997, someone gave Les a tape of Rev Samuel Watson preaching from Romans 9. Les and Helen were both delighted with this reformed exposition and made enquiries about Mr Watsons denomination. They first attended Bangor EPC in the Borough Gymnasium on 4 January 1998 when Rev Jeff Ballantine was preaching on Psalm 46. They stayed, and joined the congregation in November 1999. Les was elected and ordained to the Eldership in June 2006. Since then Helen has been increasingly involved in the life of the congregation, which became Groomsport in May 2004. She is a member of Committee of the Ladies Fellowship which started in 2006 and is a Leader and Treasurer of Little Jewels, the Wednesday morning meeting for toddlers. She also helps with the annual Holiday Bible Club. To Helen, the great distinctive of our Church is its reformed preaching and hearing it week by week continues to make the 80 miles they travel each Lords Day so very well worth it. In their Prayer Diary, on Day 25 each month, the Knock congregation are asked to pray for: All those who have passed through the Sunday School, etc but have not professed faith. Now we know that it has been answered at least once!

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All Lands to God!

Recruits for Nigeria
About Ricky and Angie Fitzsimmons They were both born in Belfast into Christian homes. Angie has one sister and Ricky has a brother and a sister. Ricky became a Christian at 15 years old whilst Angie was saved when she was 5 years old. They are both active members of Stranmillis EPC.

Ricky studied construction engineering and management at University of Ulster, Jordanstown, and Angie studied linguistics with counselling, also at Jordanstown. Angie worked part time as an administration assistant but is now currently a full time mum looking after their son Noah who was born in September 09. Ricky works as an estimator for a construction company called McLaughlin & Harvey. Their Call to Serve Ricky went to Nigeria in 2003 as a GAPer. He came home feeling challenged about long-term service especially in his own field of construction. Shortly after their marriage in June 2007 the Lord impressed the same call on Angie for longterm service and made it very clear in April 2008 that he wanted them to serve full time. Both Ricky and Angie had the opportunity to serve in Jos on the Stranmillis EPC team in 2008. God reaffirmed a calling on both their hearts during and after this trip and in the following January they were accepted by Mission Africa to serve in Nigeria long-term. Their Ministry They will be serving in Jos, Nigeria. Ricky will be involved in various construction projects that the mission will be undertaking. These include the Writers Retreat and Study Centre at ACTS and various Fulani education centres. He also hopes to help out with some of the more practical aspects of the day-to-day running of the mission. Angie hopes to work in ACTS initially helping to computerise the stock to help modernise the system. This will help ACTS order and distribute books more effectively. She will also be looking after Noah and hopes to find other areas of ministry more akin to her degree. They both hope to spend time learning Hausa and to become involved in a local church. Message from Ricky and Angie As we head out with Mission Africa to Jos in August, please remember us in prayer

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as we seek to serve the Lord. We are both conscious of our weaknesses and unworthiness, and so are depending on your prayers of support and the help of God. We know the Lord will supply all our needs. We pray that he may impress this work on your heart and lead you to also support the work practically. The Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Josh 1.9)

Prayer Points
Adjusting and settling into life in Jos: that we would be able to make a home and that Noah wouldnt be too upset by the change. Also, that we wouldnt miss family and friends too much, but that we would rely on God. Church life: Pray that we would find a suitable place to worship and that we would be able to get involved in the different aspects of the church quickly. Construction projects that the Writers Retreat and Study Centre would commence later this year. Pray that more plots of land for Fulani education centres would become available and that funding would be there to enable building to commence. Angieas she looks after Noah in the house, the initial administration work she will be involved in and that she would find other suitable roles of ministry. Service: that God would use us in Jos in each avenue of service and that we would bring glory to His Name.
Mission Africa was founded 120 years ago and was formerly known as the Qua Iboe Fellowship. Historically most of our work has been in South East Nigeria, but now we are also working in Northern Nigeria, Chad and Burkina Faso. Church Planting and Evangelism remain very important areas of focus for the mission, along with Theological Education and Medical work. Africa has so many needs and we especially want to help those who are oppressed and marginalised. We help people suffering with HIV/AIDS, street kids and women who are exploited. As an interdenominational evangelical mission, we want to share the love of Jesus with the people of Africa; reaching the unreached; loving the unloved and discipling new believers. 11

Burkina Faso



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this means counted right in Gods sight

arrested in the town of Vanity and brought to appear in court.

Progress, two travellers are

In the story of Pilgrims

The judge is called Judge Hate-good and he lives up to his name. He stands up for the evil mob, listens to the lies of the cruel witnesses and has Faithful, a good man, burned to death. That is not JUSTICE!

God is called the Judge of all men. But He is very different from Judge Hate-good. God hates evil and loves good He knows the truth about everyone & everything He punishes all that is wrong and Rewards only those who are perfect That is JUSTICE!


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Imagine you have been called to court to appear in front of God the Judge. The Judge sees every sin you have ever committed in your life and the ones you will commit in the future He must punish everyone of those sins He cannot let you go free

But now see what is happening: God says You are perfect in His sight He will not punish you You can go free How can this be? You have been JUSTIFIED. This is a gift from God to you. It is only possible when Jesus takes your sin and gives you His perfect righteousness instead.

One day the courtroom scene will not be pretend. You really will stand in front of God the judge. If you stand there in all your sin, you will be sent to HELL. If you have been JUSTIFIED through faith in JESUS, you will be welcomed into HEAVEN.


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Do you not Know! - 3

Christopher Doherty, Doherty Stranmillis, asks us to consider the lifestyle Christ wants us to live
After considering the price Christ paid for us to be united to him, let us now think of the lifestyle he wants us to live. Paul wrote to the Corinthians: Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival. (1 Cor 5.6-8) Our Lamb Paul is clearly thinking of the Passover (Ex 12) where the angel of death visited the households and passed by those with blood sprinkled on the doorposts for they were bought with a price. This was all that was required for them to avoid death. So it is for the Christian, for Christ is our Passover lamb. Being washed in Christs blood means that we are justified and righteous before a holy God. Our Leaven Yet notice in Exodus 12 that the Israelites were commanded to clear their homes of the least sign of leaven. The sprinkled blood preserved the people, but they were also obedient to Gods command to diligently put away the corrupt and forbidden thing. Leaven is mostly used as an emblem for sin in the Bible and when leaven is added to bread it will cause the whole lump to rise, and so it is with sin. When leaven had a place among the angels it brought a multitude of them down to hell. When Adam and Eve sinned the whole human race was leavened by their actions. Our Lifestyle So if Christ has died for us, then we are his, and if we are his then we cannot live in sin. If we are redeemed, how can we continue a slave? If we belong to Jesus we cannot serve the devil, we must be rid of sin. (2 Pet 1.9) So do you have a little leaven? How about in your thoughts, conversation, or conduct? Maybe it is a secret sin that nobody knows aboutbut God knows. For God, the very least degree of sin is obnoxious and he hates it. (2 Pet 2.4-9) That little leaven will spread unless action is taken before it affects the whole lump. If you are saved, let your focus continually be on sin-purging. You will not be able to do this alone; you will need Gods help to succeed. (Ps 139.23-24; Rom 8.13). We must not be satisfied until every crumb has been swept out of our bodily homes. If we do not watch and pray it will reappear and spread. No attainment must ever satisfy us until we are conformed to his image who is the firstborn among many brethren. You will tell me I am holding up a high standard. I am; but then you have a great helper. 1 By clearing out the leaven it allows the Christian to celebrate the festival with spiritual joy and peace. Is that not better than keeping the leaven?

C H Spurgeon, The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol 16, Pilgrim Publications, p 693.


MayMay-June 2010

Prayer Diary: May-Jun 2010

EPCEW Moodys Pray for the recent Church plant at Sheffield and for good contacts Pray for the work that Andrew and Eunice do and for Joy Pray for our younger couples as they adapt to family life Pray for Gods special blessing on Bible teaching in the schools Pray for the new Government as they take office, for good to prevail Pray for the summer outreach in London Pray for the parents of Sunday School and Friday Club children Sunday School Pray for the boys and girls who attend Sunday School each week

S S M T W T F S S M T W T F S S M T W T F S S M T W T F S S M T W 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

13 10 Ballyclare 14 11 Fitzsimmons 15 12 Groomsport 16 13 Ministers 17 14 Omagh 18 15 Students 19 16 Page 1616-2 20 17 Elderly 21 18 Richhill 22 19 Somerton Rd 23 20 Outreach 24 21 Presbytery 25 22 India 26 23 Crumlin 27 24 Page 1616-3 28 25 Gaiyas 29 26 Crosscollyer 30 27 South Africa 31 28 Nigeria 29 Book Shop 30 MERF

2 Peru 3 Election 4 CWI 5 Knock 7 Finaghy

1 Stranmillis

6 Office Bearers Pray for the Elders and Deacons in your congregation Pray for our youth work as the brighter evenings affect attendance Pray for Key Prayer Point 1 overleaf Remember Sid and Jean as they adjust to their new situation Pray for the good number of young people in our Church Pray for Ricky and Angie as they prepare to go to Nigeria in August Pray for our Mission weekend 14-16 May and for blessing to follow Pray that our Ministers will be conscious of Gods help and grace Pray as we plan our annual outreach at the Omagh Show, 3 July Pray that more of our contacts would show signs of spiritual interest Pray for Key Prayer Point 2 overleaf Pray that our elderly and housebound will know Gods presence Give thanks for current blessings and increased attendances Pray that young people may be kept from drugs and be saved. Pray for Summer Outreach teams in Crumlin, Knock and Finaghy Pray for the Moderator and Clerk in their ongoing duties Pray for village outreach to Dhuma and Purva near Lakhnadon Pray that God would raise up a Minister for our congregation Pray for Key Prayer Point 3 overleaf Pray for Musa, Pamela and Gracie who return to Nigeria, 29 May Pray that many children from the area will come to camp this year Pray for Norman and Angela as they settle back after holiday Pray for Mission Africa and for the safety of the missionaries Pray for the refurbishment work planned for July-August Pray for the many Arab contacts and for all who have come to faith

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The Evangelical Presbyterian

Key Matters for PrayerMay-Jun 2010

The following commend themselves as matters for special prayer at the present time at our Church Services, Prayer Meetings, and for family and personal prayer. 1 Summer Camps Juniors 3-10 July Bushmills Leader: Rev Gareth Burke Inters 3-10 July Coleraine Leader: Shaun Gaston Seniors 10-17 July Carrigart Leader: Rev Robert Beckett Camps have been a feature of our Church throughout most of its life. Boys camps began under canvas in 1939 at Browns Bay, Island Magee, and Girls followed in 1953 in Newcastle, Co Down. Joint camps took over in 1979. The Lord has blessed this work through the years. There have been regular conversions and many our young people have been strengthened in their faith and bound together through Bible study, Christian fellowship and the practice of the quiet time. Leaders have profited from the training the camps have given them and from their preparation of talks and related activities. Give thanks for all this. Although there are still two months to go from the beginning of May, there is a great deal of practical planning and personal spiritual preparation to be done. Pray for the leaders who have this responsibility, that God will give them all the wisdom, energy, opportunity and nearness to him they need. Ask the Lord also to prepare the campers. Pray about practicalities including the application of the regulations that surround this work today. Use the Camp Prayer Letter when it comes out. 2 The Need for Ministers We have much reason for prayer and thankfulness as we review how the Lord has provided us with Ministers. The supply through admission from other Churches has thankfully featured in every decade of our history, but our own memberstudents have mostly come in several distinct phases. The first was 1932-1936 and the biggest during a twenty-year period 1967-87 when we trained eight students from within our own membership. Presbytery has kept this matter on its agenda regularly, and, for example, requested Sessions in 1993 to encourage potentially suitable men to prayerfully consider the Gospel Ministry. The need for Ministers is still with us to fill vacancies that arise and to extend the work of the Church. Please bring the matter before the Lord remembering our Training for the Ministry and Admissions Committee who have special responsibility for this. 3 Church Finance Please refer to the article on page 20 explaining the key need of our Central Funds and how we should respond to this need. Please also remember our finances at congregational level from which most of our central funding comes. The Lord has blessed us with a spirit of generosity but pray that he will continue to provide the funds required to expand the work. We have requirements to support our Ministers and Missionaries adequately, to finance building projects and evangelism at home, to help with practical mission field needs. Remember the spiritual dimension of giving to the Lord. We are to give willingly, cheerfully, and regularly, worshipping God as we do so. (1 Cor 16.1-4) The Macedonians, who gave beyond their means, are an enduring examplethey first give themselves to the Lord (2 Cor 8.1-15)

MayMay-June 2010

The EP Crossword: David

The Editor will award a Book Token for the winning entry Clues by Jim Leckey
1 2 3 6 7 8 9 10 4 5







17 18 19 20


22 23 25 26 24


28 30 31


Across 1 4 7 9 11 12 14 15 18 19 21 23 25 26 27 29 30 32 33 34 Down 1 2 3 5 6 8 10 13 15 16 17 19 20 22 23 24 27 28 29 31

Son of Haggith (8) Built David a house (6) Became servants to David (7) Stones in this (3) City of Priests (3) Tired (5) Javelin hit this (4) To rob these at Keilah (15) Not cold (3) Ark dwelt within (8) One man this, other poor (4) He was a Gilonite (10) Slain with a lion (4) Used to chasten (3) Lad gathered them (6) Priests wore it (5) Weapon of war (5) Measurement and six cubits (4) A poor man had one (7) Pillow from goats this (4) A Jebusite (7) Abners father (3) Bethlehemite, lots of sons (5) He sheared his sheep (5) Bethlehem (11) Lunar phase (7) Giant (7) Captain of Host (5) Davids age began reign (6) Valley (4) Cared for Nabals sheep (9) Young men escaped on them (6) Chose type of stones (6) Hiram sent these trees (5) Ahio went before it (3) Jonathans son lived here (7) With harrows and saws (4) They shook the ark (4) Garrisons pot here (4) In a horn (3)





7 9










16 11

Winner: Karen Langtry, Finaghy

March-April 2010 Solution


















23 27








25 28



















The 2010 series of Crosswords is testing 1 Please post your entry to the Editor to our knowledge of six major Bible characters. arrive, week commencing 30 May. (Not No 1 was Moses, No 2 Elijah. For the life before! Valid entries must be posted) of David you should study the relevant 2 Mark your envelope Crossword. sections of 1 Samuel 16.1-1 Kings 2.12 3 The Editor will select the first correct which contain all the clues. entry from the bag as the winner. 17

The Evangelical Presbyterian

Church News
100th Birthday: Miss May Ginn, Knock

Miss May Ginn from our Knock congregation celebrated her 100th Birthday on 13th February. She continues to find daily strength and comfort in her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Although her hearing isnt quite what it used to be, she loves to hear the Psalms being read aloud. Psalm 92:13-14 Those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing. RJJ

Obituary: Mr John McKinstry, Crumlin

John McKinstry, an adherent of the Crumlin congregation passed away on 7 January 2010. Throughout his life he had a close association with Crumlin church but although he was taught the truth from childhood he did not come to faith until 7 years ago when his brother Tommy contracted cancer. God used this time of trouble to bring both men to a knowledge of the Saviour. Johns conversion made a great difference to his life and he had a good testimony in the area throughout his remaining years. In one of his last conversations with Dr A A Woolsey he said of the Bible: This is the only comfort I have. It was therefore fitting that in the strange providence of God he died with his Bible in his lap and his Bible notes for the day open at Psalm 90.12 Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom. The Interim Moderator preached on this text at his funeral. The large number of people present was a token of the esteem in which John was held. He is survived by four sisters, Maud, a member of Crumlin EPC, Violet who lives in Canada and Gladys and Carol who live in England. On a purely personal note, although I only knew John for a short time, I found him an endearing character. He will be missed by the Crumlin Church but we know we shall meet again. WCJB

MayMay-June 2010

Groomsport EPC

Weekend of Special Meetings: 14-16 May 2010 Speaker: Rev Tom McKendry, EMF
Friday 14 May 8.00 pm Saturday 15 May 8.00 pm Sunday 16 May 11.30 am Sunday 17 May 7.00 pm

From the Far Country to the Fathers House From Instruction to Destruction From Fear to Faith From Works to Grace

Luke 15 Proverbs 29 Psalm 34 Ephesians 2

All Welcome!

EPC Moderator 2010-11

We congratulate our Editor, Mr Harold Gibson, Gibson on becoming Moderator of Presbytery. We assure him of our good wishes and prayers as he applies himself to this demanding role. We hope to provide an article in the Jul-Aug 2010 issue.

Keswick at Portstewart
July Bible Week Saturday 10 Friday 16 July 2010 Bible study 11.00am Monday- Friday

Derek Thomas: First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi

Craig Dyer, Development officer, Christianity Explored Paul Williams, Christ Church, Fullwood, Sheffield will share the evening meetings at 7.30pm.

Spotlight on Society
Proposed Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland The Evangelical Presbyterian Church believes there is no need for a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. As part of the EU and the UK we have protections already from various legislations and directives, Northern Ireland has further administrative arrangements designed for the purpose of ensuring equality and human rights. More alarmingly the proposed Bill of Rights appears driven by those who are opposed to Biblical Christianity, and this comes across in the document itself. It emphasises division, and adds unnecessary administration and legislation. We have already seen some of its terms such as tolerance and mutual respect used against Bible believing churches. Its design undermines the absolute truth of the Word of God. As such we believe this Bill of Rights is a further departure from the solid foundation of the Word of God. Any such move will not be for the good of our nation or any of its people. Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. (Prov 14.34)

The Evangelical Presbyterian

What is that Central Fund Thing?

Rev Stephen Roger, Roger Convener, Finance Committee, asks and answers the question.

How attentive are you to the announcements in church week by week? Amidst the whole variety of other items is hopefully something about the Central Fund. You may be perfectly clear on what it is and thats great, but perhaps youre left unsure. The Central Fund is the channel by which the EPC has paid its Ministers. Working from the principle that the strong should help the weak each of our churches pays into the Central Fund, with some paying above the real cost of their minister and others not meeting that cost and being subsidised. Each year a target is set through an initial proposal from the Finance Committee and being subsequently agreed by respective Deacons Boards through Presbytery. There is a minimum target of 60% of the cost of a Ministeron present figures this is around 19,000but at this level a congregation is receiving a substantial subsidy, and not too many of these can be funded! What then should be your attitude to the Central Fund when you hear of it in the announcements? Clearly it needs to be the objective of each and every congregation to pay their Minister at a sensible level and through the Central Fund, to pay their own way. The average cost of a Minister is somewhere around 31,000 for this year with a new salary figure of 22,000 and other costs including employers National Insurance, pension contributions and travel making up the difference. Over the years the Finance Committee has been mindful of the need to keep the salary figure at a reasonable level, but finances can only be stretched so far. It can easily appear that the Central Fund is rather boring compared with other needs that seem more urgent, but remember that God requires his servants to be provided for and that in calling a man a congregation is committing itself to do just that. We can hardly expect the blessing of our Heavenly Father upon the work if we are not going to be responsible in our Christian giving. Of course the Central Fund is not the only central financial concern within the EPC. Each year we are committed to providing over one and a quarter ministers salaries to the work of mission through the Revs Norman Reid and Sid Garland. Congregations are expected to meet this cost from local funding. However not all congregations contribute and a shortfall over the years has resulted in money being taken from the Central Fund. Other offerings are taken for relief work through the Help the Needy Appeal and there are additional funds raised aside from Presbytery through the YPA Project which has touched many mission needs. What then should your response be to the needs of Central Fund? One way of course, in which giving can be made more efficient is by making full use of Gift Aid. This is the scheme for taxpayers whereby the Government recognises that monies given to charities are no longer your income and refunds the tax paid directly to the charity concerned. This is something worth thinking about and your local treasurer will be delighted to help! We must thank all who have faithfully committed themselves to this need over the years, but it may be helpful to think through your giving and the responsibility you have before God.

MayMay-June 2010

Lets Roll
Based on Lets Roll by Lisa Beamer and Ken Abraham, Tyndale House Publishers Inc, NTSB reports

Neil Campbell, Stranmillis, reflects on 9/11 and its vital message for today.

Are you ready? Okay. Lets roll! Spoken by Todd Beamer to fellow passengers, these are among the last words heard from United Airlines flight 93 on September 11, 2001. UA 93 was the fourth aircraft hijacked that day. The passengers and remaining crew (the pilots were already dead) were well aware of events at both the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and that many lives had been lost. They were determined that their aircraft would not suffer the same fate. Probably led by Todd Beamer and fellow passenger Jeremy Glick, and armed with boiling water, a fire axe and a catering trolley several passengers and cabin crew mounted a desperate counterattack on the hijackers. The plan was simple, take back control of the aircraft or make sure it didnt reach its target. The cockpit voice recorder revealed something of the struggle that followed. For two minutes the aircraft rolled violently before diving into a field in Pennsylvania. It is not clear whether the hijackers lost control of the aircraft or, realising that their evil plan had been thwarted, deliberately crashed it. What is clear is that the actions of the passengers and crew prevented another major incident that day and probably saved the lives of many in Washington, the likely target. The events of 9/11 have caused many to question God; his existence, his love, knowledge and power to control events. Todd and Lisa had been married only 7 years with two young boys and a third child on the way. Todd was a successful sales executive. Both were Christians, active in their church and with clear plans and goals for their lives. But writing in the aftermath of her personal tragedy, Lisa Beamer makes it clear that God was very much in control and very much at the centre of events that day. Prior to 9/11 both Todd and Lisa lived lives that were ordinary, yet both were under sound Christian influence and example. Although unaware of it, both were being prepared for 9/11; Todd for the events on the flight itself, Lisa to be a faithful witness for God to many in the American Government and nation in the aftermath. Both found that Gods promises are true, outworking everything for good for those who love Him, whatever the circumstances. For Todd and Lisa that day started much like any other. But none of us knows what a day may bring. Events on board UA93 that day are a sober reminder to all of us to be right with God, to make sure that we are on the road to the true God, to make our salvation sure and to be ready to give a good account of our faith. Are you following the right paththere were four hijackers, men who died trusting in a false hope, believing in a god who would be pleased with murder and destruction? Are you readyin the middle of a normal flight the two pilots were suddenly faced with death, with no time to prepare? Do you think you are all rightthere were those who, faced with great danger and prospect of death suddenly found they were not ready, suddenly found true belief in God? The things they had lived for at that moment became of little value. Lastly there were people like Todd who in the midst of great difficulty were able to witness faithfully to othersthey were ready for heaven and whatever the outcome knew that God would care for them.

The Evangelical Presbyterian


Faith and LifeThe Last Judgement

A series of one page summaries of the 33 Chapters of the Westminster Confession, with comment where space permits. Please read the Confession Chapter itself!

Section 1 The Universality of the Day of Judgement God has fixed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ to whom the Father has given complete authority and power. On that day, as well as every apostate angel, Christ will bring before his tribunal every person who has ever lived on the earth. Each will give an account in person of the thoughts, words and actions of their lives and will then receive a good or evil verdict. Section 2 The Purpose and Outcome of the Day of Judgement Gods purpose in fixing that day is to display the glory of his mercy in the eternal salvation of the elect, and the glory of his justice in the condemnation of the reprobate for their wickedness and disobedience. The righteous will then enter into everlasting life to experience fullness of joy and refreshing from the presence of the Lord. The wicked, who do not know God and who do not obey the Gospel, will be assigned to the place of everlasting punishment where they will experience anguish, separated from the presence of the Lord and the glory of his power. Section 3 The Certainty of the Day of Judgement and the Uncertainty of its Time Christ would have everyone convinced of the absolute certainty of that coming day to deter them from sin and to comfort the godly in adversity. But he has hidden the time of the Second Coming and the Day of Judgement that no-one would be lulled into false security, and that all would be vigilant, always looking forward, always praying: Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen. It is notable that Chapter 33 touches on the Second Coming only in Section 3 where it binds it to the Day of Judgement. It presents the great fact that the hour of the Lords return is unknown as a blessing, since it exposes temporal security and stimulates constant, forward-looking watchfulness and preparation. The Confessions emphasis is on the personal issues involvedevery person will have a searching examination at the great tribunal and will receive a personal good or evil verdict, the implementation of which is the irrevocable, conscious and everlasting experience of the bliss of heaven or the anguish of hell. It is surely instructive that the Confession ends on a note that is so strongly evangelistic, incorporating the warnings that are an integral part of the Gospel.
There is in the church the ceaseless activity of the Holy Spirit so that the church organically and corporately increases in knowledge unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. The progressive correction and enrichment that the promise and presence of the Holy Spirit insure should find embodiment in a confession that is the precipitate of the churchs faith. No Confession in the history of the church exemplifies this more patently than the Westminster Confession. It is the epitome of the most mature thought to which the church of Christ had been led up to the year 1646. But are we to suppose that this progression ceased with that date? To ask the question is to answer it. An affirmative is to impugn the continued grace of which the Westminster Confession is itself an example at the time of its writing. There is more light to break forth from the living and abiding Word of God (John Murray, CW 4.242)


MayMay-June 2010

Book Reviews
R B JonesGospel Ministry in Turbulent Times Noel Gibbard, Bryntirion Press, 2009, Paperback, 12.99 Many people believe that the Welsh Revival of 1904 was led by one man; this was probably caused by media coverage at the time. While it is true that, in the providence of God, Evan Roberts was used to bring about the full blaze of revival, several men were used of God throughout Wales preparing the way before and continuing teaching after. One such man was Rhys Bevan Jones. Born into a Christian family in 1869 and living in industrial South Wales, he became a Christian at the age of twelve and later, after a period in Bible College, entered the ministry at the beginning of 1893. Although he had a successful ministry R B Jones realised he needed a closer walk with God and in 1903 had an experience of the Holy Spirit which completely changed his life and ministry, and prepared him for the revival soon to come. The people soon realised something had happened to RB. There was a new power in his preaching, more prominence was given to prayer and evangelism. He was not alone, without any collusion several other young ministers had similar experiences, became aware of the holiness of God and his call to solemn service. In early 1904 R B Jones began preaching tours in South and North Wales, preparing the ground for the coming revival and always insisting on the centrality of preaching the word. For the next thirty years he was a leading figure in Christian circles in Wales, England and in USA, Latvia and Russia. He preached at many conventions including Keswick and Llandrindod (Keswick in Wales) and held many evangelistic campaigns. He became editor and contributor of a Welsh evangelical magazine. He instigated an evangelistic outreach using a Gospel Van, a horse drawn vehicle to reach remote areas. Maybe his most notable work was the founding of a Bible Training School for those wishing to go into Christian work, both men and women. Students went on to become ministers and missionaries around the world. Throughout this time he had the responsibility of being a Church Minister at various churches in South Wales and from 1919 until his death in 1933 he was the minister at Tabernacle, Porth. He showed, particularly during the last 30 years of his life that it is possible to burn the candle at both ends and thus give twice the light in the service of the kingdom of God. He wrote to a fellow minister in April 1903 O, is there not a need for us to be filled with the Spirit? I believe that there is a tide in Gods wise providence, and if we are caught up in its flood we will be carried on to great success in our work. This was certainly true for R B Jones. You may have to struggle through some Welsh place names and some Welsh phrases (usually translated into English) but we can learn a lot about evangelical outreach and the spiritual building up of the Church from this book. Mike Jay

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