Monday 29 January 2018

Praying for Reformation and Revival

Once each month in Sheffield we hope to pray for reformation and revival. The first such occasion is this week during our midweek meeting. My eschatological position is A-Millenial, but I still believe that we should pray for revival. It is normally people with a Post-Millenial position who are more renowned for praying for revival generally.

Anyways, whatever our theological position, few of us really understand biblically and in reality what revival is. This definitely includes me. We will use the book "Lectures on Revivals" by W. B. Sprague as a base point for information and teaching. Another good book is the book "The Ulster Awakening" by John Weir which has some good pointers. If people know of other good resources, then do put a comment on this blog post.

Above all, we trust that the Sovereign Lord will hear our cry for help across Europe and especially for England. In some areas of our nation, the situation is spiritually desperate. We also pray for the Lord to raise up labourers.

Matthew 9:37-38 "Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Tuesday 23 January 2018

The Joy of singing Metrical Psalms

As a younger Christian and also now, I have always loved the Book of Psalms. Despite reading and singing it for years, there are many uncharted areas of discovery for me in this lifetime from this divinely inspired book. It was such a precious discovery for myself and our family to begin to sing the Psalms. We sing them in family worship and our congregation includes two metrical Psalms in each worship service.

The tunes are most often designed for congregational singing. I have four metrical Psalm books on my shelf. Sing Psalms (published by the Free Church of Scotland), The Psalms for Singing (Reformed Presbyterian Church in Ireland), Trinity Psalter (PCA in the USA) and The Book of Psalms for Worship (Reformed Presbyterian Church in the USA).

The one we use mainly is Sing Psalms. It is a huge joy to sing Psalms also for personal devotions and to think the church have done so for 3000 years. This does not exclude the singing of hymns with great biblical content. I hope that you can discover the joy of singing metrical Psalms.

Colossians 3:16-17 "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him".

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Salford-Manchester Presbyterian Church: Regular Services begin!

As of Sunday 28th January 2018 there will be morning and evening services which will begin. We are all excited and thankful for this momentous development. Rev Chris Statter is the church planting minister who leads the work and he is really looking forward to preaching morning and evening every week.

The meeting place is River View Primary School, 1 Wheater's Street, Salford M7 1QZ.

The services are 11am and 5pm.

Do pass this information on to people who may be interested.

The church website is:

Saturday 13 January 2018

Reformation Bible Conference 2018, Sermons Now Online

The 2018 Reformation Bible Conference took place at Hill Top Chapel in Sheffield. We had three main sessions which were Friday morning (5th January), Friday night (and the Chapel was packed), followed by all day Saturday. Listening to the sermons does not substitute the blessing of being there. The fellowship, the opportunity for questions and the overall joy of being together with "face to face" fellowship is something to be enjoyed live.

None-the-less, the sermons are available to be listened to and the link is:

The Sermon Audio link is:

We hope Lord willing, to have a conference next year as well (2019) and this would be the first Friday and Saturday in January. More details to follow, but those present expressed their desire for this.

Do enjoy these sermons!

Friday 12 January 2018

Essays in Honour of O. Palmer Robertson: The Hope Fulfilled

This book is a Festschrift. This means a collection of essays in honour of a scholar and this one is for O. Palmer Robertson. To be frank, the quality of theological Festschrift's can vary and sometimes be uneven in quality, not so this one. It is one of the most satisfying reads I have enjoyed for a while. I almost wrote that it is one of the most satisfying reads this year, but concerning that it is only early January 2018, it would not be a strong comment.

Different people enjoy reading different material. O. Palmer is renowned for his commitment to preaching, Reformed Theology, the Westminster Standards, Christ centred exegesis, world missions and other matters. These essays focus on these subjects. Richard B. Gaffin expounds Luke 24 and that of Christ in the Old Testament in the New Testament. Chad Van Dixhoorn has a great essay on 17th Century preaching and currently I am reading an essay by J.Knox Chamblin on "The Prophecy of Zechariah in Matthew's Passion Narrative".

It is good to stand for truth, but in doing so we must also stand against error. O. Palmer had to stand against the false teaching of the theology of Norman Shepherd in the 70's and 80's at Westminster Theological Seminary. The influence of Norman Shepherd's teaching still prevails today and this essay by Guy Prentiss Waters will help readers to be aware of currents of false teaching, especially in the Reformed world.

Take and read this book!

Monday 8 January 2018

Finding Christ in the Old Testament

Luke 24:44-49 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

We could spend several blog post commenting on these words, but I want to draw out several points for us. I hope that these will help us in our Bible reading this year.

1. Christ is revealed in the so-called Old Testament. We must see that the whole Bible is one book and give attention to every book in the Bible, especially the Old Testament.

2. The main revelation of Christ in the law, prophets and psalms are three things: The sufferings of Christ, his resurrection and His program for the proclamation of this message to all the nations.

3. In the three-fold division of the Old Testament, we should recognise the way the Old Testament is divided up.

The law is Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. This was the meditation material of the God-man Jesus of Nazareth> Psalm 1 In his law he mediates day and night.

The prophets begin with Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings, then Isaiah, Jeremiah Ezekiel, then Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Michael, Nahum, Habbakukk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zaccariah, Malachi.

The Psalms is the head book of the writings which also includes Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Chronicles.

All these books need searching in order to find the spiritual treasure of the disclosure of Christ in shadow. Take time to read the Old Testament this year and indeed take more time to read the Bible. Fall in love with the Bible and pray for the LORD to open your eyes to the spiritual treasure on its pages.

Tuesday 2 January 2018

31 Chapters in the Book of Proverbs for 31 Days in January

A New Year has arrived! And how we all need the LORD's wisdom for the year ahead, and what better place to go to for this wisdom, than the Book of Proverbs in the Bible.

I can recommend for your personal devotions and for family worship to read, study and discuss a chapter each day of the Book of Proverbs, during January.

It has been amazing for me over the years, that when I have faced deep challenges, that I have turned to Proverbs and the answer has come to me from that book. Many times the answer is different to what I would have thought of, but we need godliness, humility, the fear of the LORD, discretion, patience and maturity. Proverbs has it all!

Here are just some of the major themes in Proverbs.

Seeking out wise counsel for decision-making
Marriage guidance and children raising wisdom
The fear of the Lord is prized in Proverbs
The Lord hates pride

If I were to choose a few of my favourite verses in Proverbs, here they are:

The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honour and life, Proverbs 22:4.

Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety, Proverbs 11:14.

In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death", Proverbs 14:26-27.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom, Proverbs 11:12.