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WhatWhat isis anan EvangelicalEvangelical Leader?Leader? PublishingPublishing inin thethe MiddleMiddle EastEast “I“I amam thethe DoorDoor ofof thethe Sheep”Sheep” MeetMeet AnotherAnother ofof ourour MembersMembers

TheThe EvangelicalEvangelical PresbyterianPresbyterian

The Evangelical Presbyterian

is published bi-monthly by the Presbytery of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Please visit: www.epcni.org.uk Follow us on

Church. Please visit: www.epcni.org.uk Follow us on Policy The views expressed are those of the Editor

Policy

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

Editor

Harold Gibson ‗Stockbridge‘ 2 Barronstown Court DROMORE BT25 1FB

hgibson@barronstown.force9.net

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Cover Photograph

The statue of John Huss in the Town Square, Prague, Czech Republic. Huss, a follower of Wycliffe and a Reformer, was burned at the stake at Constance on 6 July 1415 after being found guilty of heresy.

TakeTake NoteNote

ProfitingProfiting fromfrom thethe WordWord

Many years ago we came across a copy of

A W Pink‘s book Profiting from the Word. It

is a good title because it reminds us that the Word of God is something that is for our spiritual benefit and growth in grace.

While we may all give due diligence in our private devotions to the Word, Question 90

in The Shorter Catechism asks ―How is the

Word of God to be read and heard, that it may become effective to salvation‖?

When the church gathers on the Lord‘s day for worship, the Word has central place in Reformed worship. The pulpit has a central position in the church building signifying the centrality and authority of Scripture.

The answer to the catechism question states, ―We must attend to the Word with diligence, preparation and prayer, receive it with faith and love, lay it up in our hearts, and practice it in our lives, so that it may be- come effective to salvation.‖

Over this holiday period when our daily routine changes let us make sure that we attend to the Word with diligence, receiving it with faith and love, laying it up in our hearts and practicing it in our lives.

Take Note: the truly blessed man is one who makes the Word of God his delight, he meditates on it day and night: ―But his de- light is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.‖ (Ps 1.2) ―I will meditate on Your precepts, and contem- plate Your ways.‖ (Ps 119.15)

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AuthenticAuthentic FaithFaith

The EditorEditor reflects on true saving faith as he continues his ‗Authentic‘ series.

As the disciples passed by the fig tree that Jesus cursed Peter said ―Rabbi look, the fig tree that you cursed has withered.‖ Jesus replied: ―Have faith in God.‖ (Mark 11). Many people will admit to having a faith, a belief in God and an acknowledgement that there is a greater power in the universe. For such people, the faith that they have comes from within themselves and really it is no more than having ‗high hopes‘.

Question 21 of the Heidelberg Catechism asks, ―What is true faith?‖ and immediately draws a distinction between true faith and false faith in asking the question. Biblical faith is described in Hebrews 11 as ―the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.‖ C S Lewis said, ―True faith is never found alone; it is always accompanied by expectation.‖ The Heidelberg Catechism reminds us of those expectationsa firm confidence which the Holy Spirit works in us, the remission of sins and everlasting righteousness.

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AA DeepDeep RootedRooted AssuranceAssurance

Authentic saving faith believes the Word of God and all that is revealed therein. Hebrews says it is ―by faith we understand that the universe was created by the Word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.‖ Throughout the Bible we find examples of this deep-rooted assurance in the lives of God‘s servants. Abraham believed God, he said ―the Lord will provide‖ in a situation that was a huge test of faith. Daniel believed God and obeyed his commandments in situations that were great trials of faith. True faith does not just believe that God exists but that God is faithful and true and good. ―True faith does more than believe gospel pronouncements—it believes gospel promises.‖ 1 We are reminded of this in Galatians that ―Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness.‖

The Shorter Catechism in Q86 asks ―What is faith in Jesus Christ?‖ The answer tells us that it is ―a saving grace, by which we rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is freely offered to us in the gospel.‖ True Biblical faith then is not just an acknowledgement of God‘s existence but an assurance that Christ died for my sins, and because of his death they are forgiven and I am forever right with God through trusting in him alone. How does this come about?

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CreatedCreated byby thethe HolyHoly SpiritSpirit

Faith, Paul tells us ―is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may

boast.‖ True faith comes from without, not from within us. It is all of grace, and therefore excludes even the slightest hint that we contribute anything to our salvation. Many believe that by their own good works and acts of kindness they somehow inherit the favour of God and find acceptance with him. Paul outlines for us in the opening chapters of Ephesians God‘s way of salvation. He reminds us that mankind is dead in trespasses and sins but God made us alive together with Christ. It is the work of the Holy Spirit who makes us alive even when we were

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dead in our trespasses and enables us to believe and rest upon Christ alone for salvation as he is freely offered to us in the gospel. He writes in Romans 10.17:

―Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.‖ The encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus speaks of the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing about the new birth. ―That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.‖ It is the Holy Spirit who changes a man on the inside and produces true saving faith. The Bible speaks of newness of life, we are new creations, the old has passed away, behold the new has come. Grace not only justifies, it also sanctifies.

The work of sanctification is the process in which the Holy Spirit changes us as people and makes us holy. We still battle and struggle with indwelling sin every day but the Bible tells us that we are to pursue after holiness. Paul writes that we are to mortify sin: ―do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.‖ We are no longer slaves of sin but slaves of righteousness. ―By birth we are in Adam, the slaves of sin; by grace and faith in Christ, the slaves of God. Bondage to sin yields no return except shame and ongoing moral deterioration, culminating in the death we deserve. Bondage to God, however, yields the precious fruit of progressive holiness, culminating in the free gift of life.‖ 2

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ForeverForever RightRight withwith GodGod

John Benton writes: ―True faith in Christ means that because of his cross all our sins, past, present and future, are dealt with. We are permanently right with God.‖ 3

Many struggle with the question, ―Can I lose my salvation?‖ We all know people who once seemed to be bright and active Christians but now they have renounced the faith and no longer claim to be followers of Christ. We must be clear that Scripture teaches that some do respond to the Gospel positively, but were not truly converted. The parable of the sower illustrates this quite clearly. People often make a profession of faith without possessing authentic faith.

The Bible equally makes it clear that not one of God‘s redeemed shall ever be lost. The apostle Paul in the closing verses of Romans 8 forcefully reminds us that nothing ―shall separate us from the love of Christ.‖ The love of Christ will never let us go and we can be assured as Augustus Toplady expressed this truth so well in his hymn:

 

My name from the palms of his hands Eternity will not erase; Impressed on his heart it remains, In marks of indelible grace. Yes. I to the end shall endure, As sure as the earnest is given; More happy but not more secure, the glorified spirits in heaven.

1

2

Tabletalk, May 2011, article by Kevin De Young, p 56.

The Message of Romans, John Stott, IVP, 1994, p186. 3 @the , Big deals outside the city, John Benton, Evangelical Press, 2011, p65.

―The Bible equally makes it clear that not one of God‘s redeemed shall ever be lost … nothing ―shall separate us from the love of Christ‖. (Rom 8. 35-39)

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“I“I amam thethe DoorDoor ofof thethe Sheep”Sheep”

RevRevRev SamuelSamuelSamuel WatsonWatsonWatson,, Finaghy, proceeds with the ‗I am‘ sayings of John‘s Gospel. Here he presents the potential of an only door.

In John 10 v1-5 Jesus spoke a parable which is not easy to interpret. Some see the sheepfold as the world. For others, it is the church, and for others, heaven. In one interpretation the sheep are all mankind, in another only the Jews. All would agree that the shepherd is Jesus. But who is the porter? Who are the thieves? And how can Jesus be both the shepherd and the door of the sheepfold at the same time? However, if we remember the context and also that it is the message that controls the sheep-farming symbols, not vice versa, we won‘t go far wrong.

The people did not understand when Jesus spoke of the false and true shepherd in 10.1-5. So he then plainly took some of the concepts associated with the keeping of sheep and applied them to himself. And he says in v7: ―I am the door of the sheep.‖ Now in Palestine there were two kinds of sheepfolds. The first was a large and well-structured enclosure, usually found in towns and villages, having an entrance with a gate or door and guarded by a keeper who opened or closed it when the shepherds came for or brought back their sheep. It was this kind of communal fold Jesus alluded to in 10.1-6. The other kind was roughly structurednothing more than a circle of rocks in a mountain pastureinto which the sheep could be driven at night. There was no door, just a two foot gap which functioned as an entrance, across which the shepherd would place his body in order to keep his sheep in and wild animals out.

This is the kind of sheepfold that Jesus was thinking about when he said, ―I am the door of the sheep.‖ So what truths did Jesus seek to convey in this saying?

11 AA DoorDoor EffectsEffects EntryEntry

Jesus calls Himself the door (or gate) only here. The expression "of the sheep" simply means he is the door by which the sheep enter. And he says that he is ‗the‘ door – not ‗a‘ door. There is an exclusiveness about the door. Jesus was not

suggesting that there are several doors to salvation and that he is but one. We are not to think of many ways of coming to God. Jesus is saying that he is the one way, the door by which all the sheep enterthe sole way to God. We deserve to die for our own sin, both physically and spiritually. We deserve to be separated from God. But Jesus died in our place. He who was sinless accepted the guilt of our sin and died for us. No one else could do it, but he could and did.

Thus, he literally became the door by which sinful people can approach God the Father. In Hebrews 10.20 he is called a new and living way. Paul wrote,

to the Father.‖ (Eph 2.18) So there is only one

door, according to Christ's image; and Christ himself is the door. I know that today people do not like to hear this. They want to subscribe to popular thoughtthat all paths, all faiths, all religions, lead to God and heaven and eternal life. But Jesus is the only gate of salvation. Only he can save a guilty sinner. There is no other

way. There is no other gate. There is no other salvation .

―through him we

have access

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But the mere presence of a door does not guarantee that it will be used. Thus Jesus also says here if any man enter in, he shall be saved. Any man! This door is available for the use of any personregardless of who he or she is or where he or she comes from. So there is no reason why you (whoever you are) may not come into Christ‘s fold. The context of this parable was the healing of the man blind from birth. Having been healed by the Lord, he stood in defence of him and as a result was excommunicated by the Jewish religious leaders. But despite being despised and ostracised by others, he was sought out and accepted by Christ.(9.34-38) So can you. But you must enter in. You must come to Jesus. You must believe on himtrust him to receive you in order that you may be saved (10.9). John does not use the verb to save very often (six times in all). And he uses it to denote much the same as eternal life (the two are linked in 3.16-17). Thus Jesus is effectively saying here that the only way to eternal life is through him. So the question is, Have you entered through this door? Have you come to him in order to be saved?

22 AA DoorDoor EnsuresEnsures SafetySafety

Jesus promises that anyone who enters in through him will be safe. The shepherd lay down in the doorway principally to guard and not to sleep. The sheep of Christ have many enemies, summarised as ―the world, the flesh and the devil‖. Usually,

they approach with such stealth that the sheep will not hear them. The good thing for them is that their Shepherd is always aware of the approach of the enemies and of their tactics.

Furthermore, safety is the essential point of the sheep going in and out. Jesus is not talking about people obtaining and then losingentering and then leavingsalvation. When we close and lock our doors at night we do so to secure our homes and those within them. But to be able to come in and go out unmolested was the Jewish way of describing a life that was absolutely secure and safe. Where a man could go in and out without fear, it meant that his country was at peace, that the forces of law and order were supreme, and that he enjoyed a perfect security for his life. (cf Num 27.17, Deut 28.6, I Kings 3.7, Ps 121.8) And so once we obtain salvation through Christ, a new sense of safety and of security enters into life.

Our life is in the hands and care of our gracious God and Saviour. Thus there is safety and security in being a Christian, in being part of the household of faith, in living within the sheepfold of Jesus. The Lord promises that they that enter through the door "shall be saved"from the penalty and power of sin, from the self -life and Satan, from fear, from ignorance, from helplessness, from weakness. Every day we are confronted by ‗enemies‘ that are stronger than us and who seek to attack us, and without Christ we will be conquered. But as the Door Jesus defends us and keeps us safe. For to get at us, Satan and the other enemies of the church have to cross over Jesus. And, they can't possibly be successful. So don't fear! Don't be afraid! Take courage! Take heart! For Jesus is the gate to the sheep-fold. And against him Satan and sin can never prevail.

33 AA DoorDoor ExtendsExtends OpportunityOpportunity

Jesus continues and find pasture. (10.9) Palestine is a barren land for the most part, and good pasture was not easy to find. Consequently, to be assured of good

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pasture was a wonderful thing. It spoke of prosperity and contentment, of health and happiness. It was in this sense that David wrote of the care of the Lord as his Shepherd in Psalm 23. And Paul could say to the Philippians, ―But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.‖ (Phil 4.19)

So just as a sheep finds all its needs met when it is securely in the care of the shepherd, so the sinner will find all the nourishment his soul needs when he enters life eternal through Jesus. And this life is wonderful. Jesus speaks of believers having it "abundantly." There is nothing cramped and limiting about the life Christ gives. Jesus came that men might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (10.10) This phrase means to have a surplus, a super-abundance of a thing. So to be a follower of Jesus, to know who he is and what he means, is to have a superabundance of life. When we come to Christ we begin to live in the joy of the Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit. There is grace to help in every time of need and a joy that comes from constant fellowship with the Lord which far outweighs life‘s inconveniences.

ConclusionConclusion So when Jesus said I am the Door he was teaching us that there is only one means of receiving eternal life, only one source of knowledge of God, only one fount of spiritual nourishment, only one basis for spiritual securityJesus alone. When Adam sinned against God, he was sent out of the Garden and shut off from God's special presence and his abundant blessings (Gen 3.23-24). Christ is the doorthe only doorback to that presence and abundance.

PresbyteryPresbytery FamilyFamily DayDay ConferenceConference

The Annual Presbytery Day Conference was held on 7 May 2011 at Stranmillis University College, Belfast. The special guest preacher was the Rev Geoff Thomas from Aberystwyth who gave two very heartwarming and challenging addresses.

His subjects were The Loveliness of Christ and The Joy of Christ.

The Annual meeting of Presbytery was convened at mid-day when the outgoing Moderator Mr Harold Gibson gave a review of the year before handing over the reins of office to the new Moderator, Rev Gareth Burke.

Rev Peter Milsom, Director of Af- finity, brought greetings and spoke of the work that Affinity does amongst Evangelical churches in the UK.

that Affinity does amongst Evangelical churches in the UK. Many who attended spoke warmly of the

Many who attended spoke warmly of the fellowship and ministry of the Word and look forward to next year‘s conference.

Our picture: Revs. Samuel Watson, Gareth Burke, Geoff Thomas and Peter Milsom.

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MeetMeet oneone ofof ourour MembersMembers

PhoebePhoebe Herron,Herron, BallyclareBallyclare

Phoebe Phoebe Herron, Herron, Ballyclare Ballyclare Ballyclare Ballyclare — — Born Born and and Bred!

BallyclareBallyclareBornBorn andand Bred!Bred! Phoebe McKenzie was born in Bruslee, a mile and a half from Ballyclare, off the Hillhead Road. When she was ten months the family moved to a house in ‗Le- Ballyclare‘, now part of the Mill Road area and cleared for redevelopment. Phoebe‘s father was a fitter in the nearby Paper Mill which closed in the 1950s and then in Mossley Mill. He also provided a service to the farming community. Phoebe was the sixth of a family of eight of whom six are still alive. Tragically her eldest brother was knocked down and killed by a drunk driver when just 24.

SchoolSchool andand WorkWork She went to Ballyclare Public Elementary School (now Ballyclare Primary) behind the Town Hall, off the Square. She couldn't wait to leave school, and when she did at age fourteen, she already had about two years job experience with Bertie Kennedy, selling his ice lollies after school and on summer holidays, and his fish and chips at nights. Two years at Ballyclare ‗Tech‘ followed with courses in shorthand and typing, cookery and dressmaking. She felt she could have had a successful secretarial career but her employment opportunities led her in other directions. Her first ‗proper‘ job was in Bob Fleming‘s grocery shop at the top of the Square, for fifteen shillings a week. After a year the East Antrim Boot Company‘s inducement of £1.0.0 a week was an offer she just could not refuse and she became an assistant in their Main Street shop for close on two years. By then a Ropeworks had opened in Ballyclare and Phoebe got a job making fishing nets but she left it quite soon to help her elder sister Mary through a difficult pregnancy. After the break she found it difficult to get back into employment and she had to ―sign on‖. Mossley Mill then came on offer, and although her father was not keen on a mill job for her, Phoebe felt obliged to take it and it turned out to be her longest single spell of employmentfour and a half years as a Winder, winding thread from hanks to bobbins.

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MarriedMarried LifeLife Meanwhile a friend had introduced her to Billy Herron, a fitter in Doagh Mill and a part-time farmer in his own right. They were married on 1 August 1951 when Phoebe was just 21. Within eighteen months Billy had renovated the potato house section to the right of the Herron family‘s farm- house at Grahamstown off the Doagh Road and they lived there for ten years before moving into the farmhouse itself. Phoebe was to live on the farm for more than 56 years. The Lord blessed them with six children between 1954 and 1968:

Ann, Roberta, John, James, Andrew and June.

Sadly, James, 1963, lived for just four days after

Farmhouse-Potato House, 1920

a complicated pregnancy. Most of the family were Church campers and John and his wife Grace did more than six years of mission work in Spain. Billy died from

heart disease on 1 July 1995, only one month short of 44 years of married life.

of mission work in Spain. Billy died from heart disease on 1 July 1995, only one

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Phoebe had left her job at Mossley Mill in 1954 just before Ann was born and as soon as the youngest of the family were established at school in the early 1970s she felt the need for a change of scene and so went back to work for about four years, first at the Spar and then at a China Shop in the town. She knew the Spar owners personally and still keeps in touch.

knew the Spar owners personally and still keeps in touch. Gospel Gospel Influence Influence and and

GospelGospel InfluenceInfluence andand ConversionConversion Phoebe grew up knowing that she needed to be saved—there was never a time that she didn‘t. Her parents had been converted at the W P Nicholson missions in the 1920s and they began to attend Ballyclare Irish Evangelical Church along with her father‘s brother Willie around 1930. Phoebe grew up under the ministry of Rev C E Hunter (1935-1939) and of his successor, Rev W J McDowell. So she had Gospel influence at home and at Church. For Phoebe and many of her contemporaries Sunday was a five-event day: Morning Service, Christian Workers‘ Union Sunday School, Mill Road, at 2.30, Church Sunday School 3.30, Evening Service at 6.00, CWU Meeting at 7.30. And they walked it! Yet the Lord used another influence for Phoebe‘s conversion. Her elder sister Mary, whom she had left the Ropeworks to help through her pregnancy lived in Larne. During visits Phoebe attended the local Apostolic Church with her and she responded to the appeal at the end of an evening service in 1945 when she was fifteen. ―I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.‖ (1 Cor 3.6)

ServingServing thethe LordLord inin FamilyFamily andand ChurchChurch Phoebe has contributed a life time of Church work. In addition to her faithfulness at services and Prayer Meeting she was Church Organist 1953-54 and a Sunday School Teacher for a brief period around the same time. She served on the Ladies‘ Fellowship Committee for some 20 years and was their organist also for a time. She came to greater denominational acclaim through serving with her friend Amy Watson in the kitchen at Church campsSligo, Waterford, Ecclefechan and Dunblane in the 1980s come readily to her mind. She found it hard work but very rewarding. Phoebe‘s father had led Billy to the Saviour and he gladly came to Ballyclare IEC with her. He was ordained and installed as a Deacon in 1960.

After her right hip replacement in January 2009 Phoebe found walking and stairs very difficult. So she moved from the farmhouse into a bungalow in Millview in September 2009 and then to Sixmile Manor pending the completion of her new bungalow back in the farmhouse lane at Grahamstown. We wish her very blessing from God as she settles there again. She has had great fulfilment in Church and family life. In Church she has grown through the successive ministries, seen progressive Church development and enjoyed its fellowship. From earlier years she loved the annual conference and the ‗open-airs‘. At home she has always felt it her calling to do housework well and has enjoyed it along with her great love for baking. Her eleven grandchildren and two great-grandsons have brought their special blessing to her too. ―We commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church at Ballyclare.‖ (See Romans 16.1)

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date date
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AllAll LandsLands toto God!God!

HaGefenHaGefen PublishingPublishing andand CWICWI IsraelIsrael

David David Zadok, Zadok, Field Field Director, Director, brings brings us us up up to to

We are ploughing through our publishing projects as well as other efforts taken on with the goal of supporting the church in Israel in its God-given task of evangelism and discipleship. By the end of the year we hope to have published commentaries on six books of the Bible: the first ten chapters of the Gospel of John by Matthew Henry; Judges written locally in Hebrew by an Israeli pastor; I & II Thessalonians by Andrew Young; and Micah and Obadiah written by a minister from the Netherlands. Our goal is to publish at least one commentary on each of the 66 books of the Bible by the end of 2018.

In the area of evangelism we have just published a book called The Case for God written by a Jewish-Christian lawyer. The book presents the faith from a logical, ‗scientific‘ angle, arguing for the existence of God and expounding on his redemptive plan for the salvation of mankind. Over the past few months we have also published a small evangelistic booklet in both Hebrew and Russian. A new edition of Betrayed by Stan Telchin was printed with a new, attractive cover. All together some 65,000 copies of various evangelistic books or booklets have been produced since February of this year.

For the first time in our history we have published a book in Spanish. Our colorful children's Catechism that was published in Hebrew with illustrations by our house artist, was translated into Spanish and published with the help of a church in Arizona. It has been distributed in Columbia, Argentine and Chile, used in conjunction with seminars by Dr Tedd Tripp! As both Isaiah and Micah wrote:

"For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem." We hope that we can bring forth his law and his word not only to our people but also to others outside of Israel. In 2012 Dr Tripp will be coming again to Israel to hold seminars on parenting.

be coming again to Israel to hold seminars on parenting. Meanwhile we have completed the fourth

Meanwhile we have completed the fourth of five volumes of the Testimony project, the Old Testament Masoretic text translated into Modern Hebrew. This fourth volume consists of the Psalms, Proverbs and Job. We are working hard on the fifth and final volume of the Old Testament. The plan is to have it published by mid-2012. In these days we are prayerfully considering whether to continue this project with a volume of the New Testament for the sake of continuity, though the Hebrew of the New Testament is much more understandable than the Masoretic Hebrew of the Old.

We have discovered an area of need among mature single adults in the churches in Israel! As the church in Israel grows, and more young people come to faith in Messiah, opportunities for them to meet other young Christians must be

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provided. In cooperation with the Caspari Center in Jerusalem, we have initiated and held conferences for these single adults. So far two such meetings have been held and we are now organizing a two-day fellowship and study trip to the north of Israel at the end of June. Our goal is to provide biblical teaching on courtship and marriage and to provide a venue where these young people can meet others like them. We pray and hope that the conferences will contribute to strengthening the body of Messiah and the families, who are the backbone of the church.

Recently HaGefen has published a calendar for 2011-2012 with the theme of God's faithfulness to his promises. The calendar runs from September 2011 through to the end of December 2012 and features 16 beautiful pictures of ancient and new cities in Israel. You can visit our website to see some of the pages at: www.ha-gefen.org.il

On the family side there have been changes, as since her graduation in June 2010 with an MA in biblical counseling, Eti has begun to work part-time. This has made a change in our home life, and the children have had to take on more responsibility. We have had guests from different places, and currently a friend from the USA is staying with us for a month.

a friend from the USA is staying with us for a month. Maayan, our 14 year

Maayan, our 14 year old daughter, is completing the 8 th grade and in September will begin her final year in Middle School. She is excelling in her

studies and is also much involved in the youth ministry of the church. Hadas, our second daughter, is finishing elementary school and will be going up to Middle

School in the Fall. At school she has been involved in helping 2

with homework and reading. And finally, our son Meidan is finishing Kindergarten and will be starting 1 st grade in September. Over the last few months he has made great steps forward. He is beginning to read and has learned much about the world geography. He has tons of questions!

and 3 rd graders

nd

Thank you for praying and thinking about us and the work of HaGefen in Israel.

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IN PRISON

John Bunyan arrived to hold a meeting on a farm, even though he was warned that the constable was coming to arrest him.

John had just begun to preach when the farmhouse door was thrown open. In

burst the policeman and the magistrate’s assistant with “A warrant for the

arrest of John Bunyan.” John was led away and taken eventually to a

miserable cell in Bedford jail.

and taken eventually to a miserable cell in Bedford jail. Seven weeks later, he was brought

Seven weeks later, he was brought to court and accused.

What were his crimes? Not going to a Church of England

church, not using the Prayer Book and holding illegal meetings.

John could give answers from the bible for everything he

did, but the five magistrates didn’t like him. It was decided he must

spend three months in prison. Then, if he didn’t stop preaching,

he might be shipped to another country or even hanged. “Sirs,” said John

politely as he left the court, “if I am out of prison today I will preach the

gospel again tomorrow.” He wanted to be true to Jesus, not the judges.

It was cold and dirty in the prison, but the hardest thing for John was

thinking about Elizabeth and the children. How would they manage without

him, especially dear, blind Mary? At least he could earn a little money for

them by making leather bootlaces and selling them at the prison gate. The

jail was only a short walk away from John’s house and his family were able

to visit him daily and bring him food. He also asked for his Bible and

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Part 4 of the John Bunyan story

Three months passed, but John was not released. Elizabeth was brave and strong and did all she could to help. She even travelled to London to the House of Lords and told people how unfairly her husband was being treated. But it was no good. On another occasion, she ran up to the judge’s carriage and threw a letter in the window, but he was not pleased. When Elizabeth did speak to the judge he wanted John to give up preaching. “My Lord,” she answered, “he dares not leave preaching as long as he can speak.”

“he dares not leave preaching as long as he can speak.” In fact, even in prison,

In fact, even in prison, John was talking to the other prisoners about the Lord Jesus and they came to think of him as their minister. Amazingly, the jailer sometimes let him slip out quietly to preach at secret meetings. After six years in Bedford jail, John was released only to be arrested again and imprisoned for another six years. Twelve years was a long time to spend in prison. John could have gone free at any time if he had signed a promise that he would not preach. But John Bunyan was willing to stand up for Jesus and the Bible, whatever the cost.

Quiz 1. Who burst into the farmhouse? 2. What prison was John put in? 3. Of what crimes was he accused? 4. How did John make some money for his

was he accused? 4. How did John make some money for his family? 5. What did

family? 5. What did John ask his family to bring? 6. What did John say

he would do if he were released from prison? 7. Where did Elizabeth travel to tell people about John’s unfair treatment? 8. What did John talk about in prison? 9. What surprising thing did the jailer do? 10. How long did John spend in prison?

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ChurchChurch NewsNews

UgandaUganda SummerSummer OutreachOutreach

News News Uganda Uganda Summer Summer Outreach Outreach This August a team of varying ages from

This August a team of varying ages from across the EPC will be going to work in Goli, Uganda for 10 days, 919 August 2011. The idea behind the team is that we seek to serve God in Uganda by following the format of the home Summer Youth Outreach teams from the last three years. We will have a craft and sports club for local children (and we have been told to expect 1000) and we will run some events for teenagers with the hope of sharing God's Word through more formal Bible stories and talks, as well as by getting to know the young people informally and witnessing to them.

to know the young people informally and witnessing to them. Robert Peacock (Crumlin), Michael Ewart (Ballyclare)

Robert Peacock (Crumlin), Michael Ewart (Ballyclare) and Jenni Campbell (Stranmillis) will lead the team: Ian Heaney, Mark Sewell, Benjamin McFall (Ballyclare), Rachel Crawford, Judith Gordon, Stephen Kelly, Heather Trimble (Stranmillis), Peter McCullough (Knock), David Beckett (Somerton Road), Elspeth Woolsey, Gary McCullough (Crumlin).

We would very much value your prayers. Without bringing things to God and seeking his blessing there would be no point in us going to Uganda. Please seek to remember us in prayer and bring the following points before God:

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3

4

5

Please pray for conversions among the children and young people of Uganda. Pray that many would come and sit under God‘s Word and that the Holy Spirit would convict their hearts of their need of salvation.

Please pray for safety. This is of concern to us as we have a long dis- tance to travel, we are visiting Uganda in a time of much political un- rest in many African countries, and there is always the risk of team members getting sick in a foreign country.

the risk of team members getting sick in a foreign country. Please pray for the spiritual

Please pray for the spiritual health of the team. We must seek to be close to God if we are to serve Him. Please pray that each member of the team would seek to draw close to God and spend time reading his Word and in prayer in the build up to the trip and while there.―nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ.‖

Please pray for our witness, that we would be a good witness for Christ in a very different culture. Pray that God would speak through us in every conversation and in all our actions. Pray also for those who are preparing talks and memory verses with the children.

Please pray for unity in the team, that we would work well together as we seek to serve God and that no tensions would arise.

JulJul--AugAug 20112011

PrayerPrayer Diary:Diary: JulJul--AugAug 20112011

Paul at Prayer: Compiled by Rev Robert Johnston, Knock

Use the following verses of Scripture to pray for specific people every day. Pray the verse for sev- eral people such as a minister, a missionary, a family member and your church family, one by one.

TheThe LoveLove ofof ChristChrist

11--22

Eph 3.17-19: ―that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height-- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.‖

EstablishmentEstablishment andand CompletenessCompleteness

33--44

55--66

77

1 Thess 3.13: “that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.”

Rom 15.13: ―Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.‖

2 Cor 13.9: ―…And this also we pray, that you may be made complete.‖

WisdomWisdom andand UnderstandingUnderstanding

88--99

Eph 1.17: ―that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,‖

1010 Col 1.9: ―that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding‖

1111 2 Tim 2.7: ―may the Lord give you understanding in all things.‖

FellowshipFellowship

1212

1313

1414--1515

Phil 1.5: ―for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now‖ 1 Thess 3.12: ―may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all Rom 15.5: ―Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus.‖

toward one another, according to Christ Jesus.‖ ‖ The The Furtherance Furtherance of of the the

TheThe FurtheranceFurtherance ofof thethe GospelGospel

Eph 6.19: ―and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel‖

1818--1919 Col 4.3: ―praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains‖

1616--1717

2020 2 Thess 3.1: ―brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified…‖

StrengthStrength

2121--2222

2323--2424

Eph 1.19: pray that they may know ―what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.‖

Eph 3.16: ―that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strength- ened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,‖

2525 2 Cor 13.7: ―Now I pray to God that you do no evil

TheThe WorthyWorthy WalkWalk

2626--2727 2 Thess 1.12: ―that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.‖

Col 1.10: ―that you may have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;‖

2828--2929

3030 2 Thess 3.5: ―may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.‖

GivingGiving ThanksThanks

3131

Col 1.12: ―giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheri-

tance of the saints in the light.‖

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TheThe EvangelicalEvangelical PresbyterianPresbyterian

The The Evangelical Evangelical Presbyterian Presbyterian Congregations: Congregations: Stranmillis Stranmillis  

Congregations:Congregations: StranmillisStranmillis

 

HaroldHarold GibsonGibson tellstells usus whatwhat is happening and what to pray for .

2011 marks the 40 th anniversary year of the congregation worshipping at the pre- sent location. As part of our continued outreach in the area a ‗Door Knock‘ leaflet drop took place just before Easter when over 2,000 homes were visited in the Upper Stranmillis area. A specially designed leaflet, ―South City News‖ was pro- duced featuring evangelistic articles with details of who we are and where we meet. It is planned to have a further outreach into this large residential area.

A

congregational weekend has been planned for September when Rev Paul

Levy from Ealing International Presbyterian Church, London, will be with us. We

look forward to this opportunity for fellowship and ministry of the Word.

Student work continues to be a major part of outreach. Situated as we are in the heartland of Queen‘s University, the nations of the world are on our doorstep. Over the past two years Trevor Kane has headed up this work. Trevor finishes his term with us at the end of August 2011.

Over the last two years we have known something of the Lord‘s blessing. We have seen a significant increase at the worship services and at the mid-week prayer meeting. A number of prayer groups also meet in different homes each month and we are thankful for this growth in the life of prayer within the congrega- tion. We have an encouraging number of young families and it is good to see so many children up at the front for the children‘s talk each Sunday.

A

new feature in the life of the church is BREAD, (books read, enjoyed and

discussed), meeting every two months and discussing the selected book for that

period.

Having the use of the Lisburn Road building has been a great benefit to our youth groups but we have a desire to see the building used in more evangelistic outreach to that area.

OurOur PrayerPrayer PointsPoints

1 Pray for our planned outreach into Upper Stranmillis.

2 Pray for our congregational weekend, that it will be a time of blessing and encouragement.

3 Pray for the future of the Student work, for the committee as they plan the way ahead.

4 Give thanks for the good attendances at public worship.

5 Pray for the boys and girls that they will come to a knowledge of Jesus Christ as Saviour.

6 Pray for the BREAD group, that more will be encouraged to read good Christian books.

7 Pray for a better and more effective use of Lisburn Road building, that the Kingdom of God may advance in that area once again.

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Jul Jul - - Aug Aug 2011 2011 Test Test your your Bible Bible Knowledge
Jul Jul - - Aug Aug 2011 2011 Test Test your your Bible Bible Knowledge

JulJul--AugAug 20112011

TestTest youryour BibleBible KnowledgeKnowledge--44

Clues by Jim Leckey 5 10 30 1 26 16 2 8 22 18 31

Clues by Jim Leckey

5 10 30 1 26 16

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22 18 31 9 3 14 6 4 33 24 7 13 17 20 21 27
22 18 31 9 3 14 6 4 33 24 7 13 17 20 21 27
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22 18 31 9 3 14 6 4 33 24 7 13 17 20 21 27
22 18 31 9 3 14 6 4 33 24 7 13 17 20 21 27
22 18 31 9 3 14 6 4 33 24 7 13 17 20 21 27

1 Please post your entry to the Editor to arrive, week commencing 7 August. (Not before!) Valid entries must be posted.

2 Mark your envelope ‗Crossword‘.

3 The Editor will select the first correct entry from the bag as the winner.

NormanNormanNorman andandand AngelaAngelaAngela ReidReidReid

Norman and Angela concluded their missionary service in South Africa mid-June 2011. We thank them for their 13 years of diligent service at Dumisani and Church and look forward to having them among us more frequently. We hope to devote the mission pages of the Sep-Oct 2011 issue to them and their work. Their Welcome Home meeting is planned for Thursday 15 September 2011 at Finaghy

2011 issue to them and their work. Their Welcome Home meeting is planned for Thursday 15

Juniors

2-9 July

Bushmills

Inters

1-8 July

Moyallan Centre

Seniors

9-16 July

Galway

The Editor will award a Book Token for the winning entry

The Editor will award a Book Token for the winning entry Across 1 Female relation (11)

Across

1

Female relation (11)

5

Fish eggs (3)

6

The human body( 4)

7

Famous village (8)

10

Used by fishermen (3)

11

Din (6)

12

Transgression (3)

13

Beyond doing (10)

15

River (4)

17

They catch fish (9)

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Snake (3)

21

Misleading, underhand (6)

23

Emperors‘ colour (6)

25

Extension of arm (4)

28

Part of nose (8)

30

Area for trading (11)

32

Ejected by a fish (5)

34

Son of Iddo (8)

35

Kinsman of Timothy (5)

36

Boney Cage (4)

Down

1

Delegated to go (4)

2

Cleansed, made holy (10)

3

Probably Asnappar (12)

4

Lived 895 years (10)

5

Circles (5)

6

Workers in wood (10)

8

Leah‘s maid (6)

9

Tups, male (4)

14

Straight from Troas to here (11)

16

Cleanse (4)

18

Mother of all (3)

22

Grandfather of a boy king (8)

24

Measurement of fine flour (5)

26

Prophetess of 84 (4)

27

Four-footed transport (7)

29

Bird (3)

30

Adam first (3)

31

Grandmother of Timothy (4)

32

Patient man (3)

33

Jezebel‘s husband (4)

Leader: Rev Gareth Burke Leader: Shaun Gaston Leader: Rev Robert Beckett

TheTheThe SummerSummerSummer CampsCampsCamps

Please get a Camps Prayer letter and use it dailybefore, during and after the camps.

Remember also Summer Outreach at Crumlin (1-5 August), Knock (8-12 August), the Holiday Bible Clubs at many of our Churches, and Beach Missions.

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TheThe EvangelicalEvangelical PresbyterianPresbyterian

WhatWhat isis anan EvangelicalEvangelical Leader?Leader?

RevRev IainIain HH MurrayMurray

This article is an extract from Mr. Murray‘s new biography, John MacArthur, Servant of the Word and Flock, and is used with his kind permission. Mr Murray is Author Co-founder and Trustee of the Banner of Truth Trust

Author Co-founder and Trustee of the Banner of Truth Trust Prized by John MacArthur is an

Prized by John MacArthur is an old edition of John Foxe‘s Acts and Monuments of these latter and perilous days (1563), the book which first printed the story of William Tyndale, translator of the English Bible and martyred in 1536. Tyndale‘s enemy, Thomas More, complained of him that he was ―both nowhere and everywhere‖: ―nowhere‖ because few knew his actual lo- cation; ―everywhere‖ because his testimony was reaching all parts of the English-speaking nations. John MacArthur would never think of it, but the words suggest something of a parallel to me. Through hundreds of radio stations his voice is heard over a thousand times daily around the world; his books are to

be found in thirty-five languages; yet the local scene where he spends the great part of his life is little known by most who read him or hear him broadcast. he is also ―nowhere and everywhere‖.

The element of personal obscurity is of no concern to MacArthur. He stands in that genuine evangelical tradition which has no time for the creation of religious celebrities. When Paul says, ―Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God‖, MacArthur understands him to be saying; ―Don‘t make anything out of me. I‘m just a servant of Christ. I‘m an under-rower, a third-level galley slave; I pull my oar, and that‘s what I‘m supposed to do, nothing worthy of special attention.‖

1

Tyndale was ‗a gospeller‘, or, as we would say, an evangelical. I use the term in its traditional meaning. In brief, an evangelical is a person who believes the ―three r‘s‖: ruin by the Fall, redemption through Jesus Christ, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit. It follows that an ‗evangelical leader‘ is a person who stands out in the advancement and defence of those truths. The title does not necessarily imply success judged by numbers and immediate results. On that basis neither Paul nor Tyndale might qualify.

1 An evangelical leader is one who leads and guides the lives of others by the Scripture as the Word of God. He seeks to repudiate every other form of influence and pressure. His great concern is to teach Scripture accurately, and to see lives submitted to its authority.

2 An evangelical leader inspires the affection of followers because they learn Christ through him, and see something of Christ in him. They follow him because he follows Christ. And they love him because he loves them in Christ‘s name. ―The apostle Paul summarized the spirit of the true leader when he wrote, ‗Imitate me, just as I also imitate

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JulJul--AugAug 20112011

Christ.‘‖ 2 And what is to be imitated the Scriptures do not leave in doubt: ―Almost every time Scripture holds up Christ as our example to follow, the stress is on his humility.‖ 3

3 An evangelical leader is a man prepared to be unpopular. From the days when Ahab said to Elijah, ―Are you he that troubles Israel?‖, faith- fulness to Scripture will not bring the approval of the majority. Dr Mac- Arthur says bluntly, ―You cannot be faithful and popular, so take your pick.‖ A quest for popularity is a very short-term thing. For an evangeli- cal, ―success isn‘t measured in hours, or even centuries. Our focus is fixed on eternity.‖ Success ―is not prosperity, power, prominence, popularity, or any of the other worldly notions of success. Real suc- cess is doing the will of God regardless of the consequences.‖ 4

4 An evangelical leader is one who is awake to the dangers of the times. Not every Christian has the distinction that was once given to the tribe of Issachar, ―The men of Issachar had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do‖ (1 Chron 12.32). There are periods in church history when the leaders have seriously mistaken the way in which the cause of Christ is to be carried forward. The signs of the times have been misread. A true evangelical leader is raised up to provide God-given direction.

5 An evangelical leader will not direct attention to himself. He personally owes everything to Jesus Christ. As a sinner he sees the need to live in a spirit of repentance all his days. He knows the contrast between what he is in himself and the message that he preaches: ―We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us‖ (2 Cor 4.7). ―God chooses whom he chooses in order that he might receive the glory. He chooses weak instruments so that no one will attribute the power to human instruments rather than to God, who wields those instruments.‖ 5

It follows that genuine spiritual leadership will lead others to the conclusion:

‗Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to Your name give glory, because of Your mercy, because of Your truth‘ (Psa 115.1).

1 Hard to Believe (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2003), p. 46. An ‗under- rower‘ is a favourite simile with MacArthur and he explains it further in The Master‘s Plan (Chicago: Moody, 1991), p. 39:

‗There are several words in the Greek for servant, and Paul used the one that best conveyed the idea of a lowly servant (GK., huperetes, ―an under-rower‖).‘ It was the name for the slaves on the

lowest deck of a three-tiered ship propelled by oars.

Twelve Ordinary Men (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2002), p. 44, in a chapter where MacArthur

sets out what leadership means.

3 The Jesus You Can‘t Ignore (Nashville: Nelson, 2008), p. 205. 4 Ashamed of the Gospel

(Wheaton: Crossway, 1993), p. 29.

2

4

Ashamed of the Gospel (Wheaton: Crossway, 1993), p. 29.

5 Twelve Ordinary Men, p. 13.

An evangelical leader leads by Scripture… inspires through Christ … is prepared to be unpopular … is awake to the dangers of the times … will not direct attention to himself.

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AllAll CreationCreation callscalls outout toto givegive GodGod GloryGlory

On the fourth of his meditations on the Psalms, ColinColin MooreMoore, Stranmillis, urges us, from Psalm 29, to bring glory to God in all we do.

The greatness of God‘s unrivalled, all powerful sovereignty calls for all creation to give him the glory. This Psalm is another song of David‘s in which he expresses his complete confidence in almighty God.

God‘sGod‘s SovereigntySovereignty overover HeavenHeaven (1(1--2)2) God is worthy to be praised and David calls upon even the mighty ones to ascribe glory and praise unto God. This is probably a reference to the angels in Heaven whose chief function is to acknowledge God‘s intrinsic glory, character and strength. They are called upon to worship God in the beauty of his Holiness.

God‘sGod‘s SovereigntySovereignty overover EarthEarth (3(3--9)9) This Psalm shifts from Heaven to earth as the awesome sounds of a thunderstorm are viewed as proclaiming the supremacy of God. This powerful storm was a reflection of the omnipotence of God. As the thunderstorm moved inland even the mighty cedars of Lebanon were uprooted and smashed in pieces.

God‘sGod‘s SovereigntySovereignty overover PeoplePeople (10(10--11)11) Our sovereign God, presiding over Heaven and earth, gives strength to his people, working in them to do his will. In an even greater display of his power, the Lord blesses his people with peace, even in life‘s storms, calming their hearts with the abiding assurance that he is God and he works for their ultimate good. We have been taught constantly from our pulpits, that God is everywhere present that means in simple terms that he is here present with us every day in all our living experienceswherever we find ourselves God is there.

This should gives us so much confidence and boldness to share our great God in all of our living, to all those we come across. We are the fortunate ones we too have this divine presence that David was so intimately acquainted with. The question remains why are we so hesitant about sharing our faith? How will they hear about our great God unless we tell them ourselves? So what are you waiting for? Go and tell someone to-day!

ConclusionConclusion All of creation, both angels and redeemed saints, exist to worship God and give him all the glory due his name. The highest purpose of man is to ascribe strength and splendour to God, who alone is holy. All of our lives must be lived with this grand theme resonating within our souls as we give glory to our sovereign Lord. Paul understood this when he said to the Corinthian Christians: ―So whether you

eat or drink

do it all for the glory of God.‖ (1 Cor 10.31)

The overriding motivation in the Christian life must be to do everything, both in word and deed, to the glory of God. (Col 3.17) Therefore, let all the saints shout Glory! And ascribe to him the honour that is due to his name.

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Jul Jul - - Aug Aug 2011 2011 Sunday Sunday Trading Trading Laws Laws Callum

JulJul--AugAug 20112011

SundaySunday TradingTrading LawsLaws

Callum Webster, urges us to pray for the protection of the Lord‘s Day.

Earlier this year the then Minister for Social Development, Alex Attwood MLA, launched proposals to liberalise the Sunday trading laws. The consultation out- lined a range of options including total deregulation. Sunday trading was partially legalised in 1997 when the Shops (Sunday Trading &c) (Northern Ireland) Order allowed large stores to open for five hours of unregulated trade every Sunday. Since then some large retail firms have argued that the remaining restrictions on Sunday trading should be removed.

The Day of Rest was instituted by God at creation (Gen 2.2) and is affirmed in the Ten Commandments. (Ex 20.8-11) It is of value for everyone and is a day set apart for the worship of God.

The Christian Institute responded to the consultation rejecting any extension of the current hours. Increased Sunday trading hours will have an adverse effect upon family life and relationships. Those campaigning for more Sunday trading hours are arguing that customers will have greater choice about when to shop. But one individual‘s choice to shop for longer hours actually takes away the free- dom of others who have to work.

The shopworkers‘ trade union USDAW recently surveyed its members in Northern Ireland and a massive 73% said that they were opposed to Sunday trading hours being extended. One of the main reasons cited was ‗concern for family life‘.

1

The Institute‘s response also pointed out that increasing Sunday trading hours will undermine local businesses. Small businesses play a key role in providing goods and services for local communities. When large chain stores start to trade on Sundays, small convenience stores that never previously opened on Sundays suddenly find themselves under pressure to open in order to compete.

Glyn Roberts, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association, openly criticised the proposals stating that: ―small traders such as

newsagents and convenience stores could be adversely affected if the UK Multi-

ples are allowed to open all day on Sunday‖. 2

Roger Pollen, from the Federation

of Small Businesses, said that its 8,000 members feel any relaxation in the law

would put immense pressure on many small shops already open for over 60 hours a week in a bid to compete with multiple retailers‖.

3

Since the consultation closed, a new Minister has been appointed to the De- partment for Social Development. Please pray that the Lord‘s Day would be pro- tected within Northern Ireland and that these plans will not be enacted.

1 USDAW, Press Release, Northern Ireland‘s Shopworkers Overwhelmingly Oppose Plans to

Extend Sunday Opening Hours, 13 January 2011

2 NIIRTA, Press Release, Sunday Trading Laws Should Not Change, 12 January 2011
3

Newsletter, 6 April 2011

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TheThe EvangelicalEvangelical PresbyterianPresbyterian

SpiritualSpiritual Disciplines:Disciplines: FellowshipFellowship

ThisThis timetime MichaelMichael TrimbleTrimble, Stranmillis, relates Silence and Solitude to Fellowship

Previous articles have considered the topics of study, meditation and prayer as spiritual disciplines. In last issue we considered the need for times of silence and solitude as an aid to the practice of these disciplines. However, to focus on solitude would result in a very unbalanced and unscriptural approach to life. Whilst Christ calls us each as individuals to follow him, he calls us into a community, a fellow- ship. Church is a collective noun. Peter reminds believers that we ―are a chosen, people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation‖ (1 Pet 2.9), whilst Paul uses the meta- phor of a body to highlight the close unity and interdependence of believers and our shared dependence on Christ. (1 Cor 12)

The fellowship we are called to is no mere human society but is fellowship with God himself: the goal of John‘s testimony is ―so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.‖ (1 John 1.3) Before his crucifixion Christ himself prays: ―My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father just as you are in me and I am in you.‖ (John 17. 20- 21). Such fellowship with God and with the saints is a deep matter, and may be seen to be analogous with the pattern of fellowship enjoyed between the three persons of the Trinity from before creation: ―Then God said, ‗Let us make man in ‘‖

(Gen 1.26) This fellowship without loss of personality

our image, in our likeness

is in sharp contrast with both the brutal individualism of our materialist culture and

Eastern mysticism with its goal of loss of the individual self in the cosmic whole.

Whilst our fellowship will not be perfected until Christ returns, our life together allows us to live out our faith. How else can we show love and patience but in a community? Involvement in the life of our local church provides the setting for such community. As I hope to explore the discipline of church life as a separate study in the next issue, I would rather focus here on the benefits of the informal fellowship afforded to us in our dealings with Christian friends. Patrick Morley in his book A Man‘s Guide to the Spiritual Disciplines notes that such fellowship can provide the opportunity for exhortation and encouragement. Just as Paul instructs the Galatian Christians to ―carry each others burdens‖ and to gently restore those caught in sin (Gal 6.1-2). Friendship is also a source of personal accountability—―As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.‖ (Prov 27.17). We have all known the benefit of our friends in the faith offering practical help in difficulty, a word of encouragement or, if appropriate, warning, a listening ear or offer of prayer. This is how it should be.

Whilst our fellowship with God and our fellow believers is mystical, spiritual and

a core part of our being Christian, these relationships need to be cultivated. In his

Disciplines of a Godly Man, Kent Hughes notes that the development of such Christian friendship requires effort in terms of prayer, the demonstration of friend- liness, affirmation, acceptance, the willingness to listen, and the practice of hos- pitality. A necessary part of it is through our membership of a local congregation. ―Let

us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us en- courage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.‖ (Heb 10.25)

2222

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BookBook ReviewsReviews

£12.99

- - Aug Aug 2011 2011 Book Book Reviews Reviews £12.99 £10.99 A guided tour of

£10.99

A guided tour of Christian history from the early church to the Reformation

Stuart Coulton, IVP, 2011, Paperback, 304 pages. This book is a survey of the first fifteen centuries of Christian history. The author aims to use history to help the reader understand why our societies and churches are the way they are, and why we practice our faith the way we do. He also hopes that a knowledge of history will give us tools to critique our own culture and valuesthe ideas we take for granted. Where this book differs from other introductions to church history

is that it is a history of places: It follows a journey through significant locations connected with church history. Beginning in Rome, Coulton describes the early church as it faced persecution and heresy, through until it became the established religion of the empire. The focus then shifts to Ephesus, and on through Turkey to Istanbul, dealing with the development of creeds, canon, and church government in turn. From Asia the story moves to Europe and the development of the Celtic church, the rise of the medieval papacy, and the Holy Roman Empire. The journey ends in Germany with Martin Luther and the Reformation. Each chapter follows a pattern: a short introduction to the location as it is found today, then a review of relevant history, and lastly some reflections on the significance of the events for the church today. The book is well written and easy to read. The reflective sections lift it well beyond being a mere historical text. However, those looking for a straight introduction to church history may find the structure frustrating as there is of necessity some repetition and discontinuity with the same period being covered from different geographical perspectives. The contemporary descriptions of the places would not in themselves be enough to use as a tour guide, though the book could certainly stimulate the desire to travel. Michael Trimble

JohnJohn Stott:Stott: A Portrait by his

Edited by Chris Wright, IVP 2011, Hardback, 217 pages

35 of John Stott‘s friends, who celebrated his 90

pay tribute to him as a friend, mentor, counselor and above all a leader among the people of God. Here we read of a man who stood for Biblical truth and had a vision for the spread of the Gospel throughout the world. The Bible Speaks Today series of commentaries

was his brainchild and he laboured hard to see the New Testament series completed. He was the driving force behind the founding of the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity and the Langham Partnership. Langham today is involved in the provision of Christian literature to needy Christians throughout the world. In these pages you meet a unique man and a true servant of God. A good

The Editor

book to take with you on holiday!

Friends

£11.99 £9.99

true servant of God. A good The Editor book to take with you on holiday! Friends

th

birthday in May,

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Evangelical Evangelical Book Book Shop Shop 15 College Square East BELFAST BT1 6DD ebsbelf@btconnect.com 028

EvangelicalEvangelical BookBook ShopShop

15 College Square East BELFAST BT1 6DD

ebsbelf@btconnect.com

028 9032 0529

Manager:Manager: JohnJohn GrierGrier

ShopShopShop RefurbishmentRefurbishmentRefurbishment

During July 2011 the shop will be operating from the first floor while the refurbishment work on the ground floor is in progress. To facilitate the movement of stock and staff holidays the shop will be closed 1-2, 11-16 July and for 2 days when the work is complete.

The Pastor as Scholar & The Scholar as Pastor

A valuable insider perspective on the relationship between scholarship and pastoral ministry, from two men who have been acclaimed for their sharp thinking and warm pastoral hearts.

Dug Down Deep

£9.99 £7.75

Building Your Life on Truths that Last

Systematic theology like you‘ve never seen it before – readable, relevant, powerful, with humour & compelling insight.

£9.99 £5.99

Does God Believe in Atheists?

John Piper & Don Carson

£7.99 £6.99

Joshua Harris

John Blanchard

This award-winning title traces the development of atheistic and agnostic thinking and shows how thinkers like Kant, Neitzsche, Camus, Sartre, Russell and others have shaped many people's thinking today. Now in paperback, revised & updated, including an appendix - ‗Dealing with Dawkins'.

When Grace Comes Alive Living through the Lord‘s Prayer

―A clear and convincing rationale for taking up this neglected weapon of divine power.‖ Douglas Kelly

When Grace Transforms

Terry Johnson

£8.99 £2.00

Terry Johnson

£8.99 £2.00

The Character of Christ‘s Disciples put forward in the Beatitudes

―The Beatitudes have found, in Terry Johnson, the expositor we have all been waiting for.‖ Alec Motyer

ESV Study Bible

£34.99 £25.00

our top-selling standard edition (£39.99 £27.50) is now joined by a personal-size edi- tion, 8" x5.5" x2", much lighter & handier. Both editions include free access to ESV Online Study Bible.

Christianity Explored

Rico Tice Leader‘s Guide £10.00 £7.50 DVD £25.00 Participant‘s Handbook £ 3.00 £2.50

Iain Murray

£14.50 £11.50

This new edition is now only seven weeks. A key evangelistic tool, introducing people to Jesus for the first time.

John MacArthur:

Servant of the Word and Flock

An account of the ministry, and evaluation of the significance, of a key American expositor.

evaluation of the significance, of a key American expositor. Printed by Edenderry Print Ltd Unit 6