Moderator's Comments - Posted 16 June 2015
Our exit parish, after Moore College, was Wee Waa, in the North West on the black soil plains of NSW. Wee Waa at that time was the cotton centre of Australia and the local landscape was criss-crossed by irrigation channels. Visiting at night could be precarious if the channels were full of water, the driver had to carefully navigate the narrow lane so as not to slide off into the water-filled ditch.
In Galatians, Paul warns of two destructive ditches for the believer as he or she negotiates the narrow path.
The first is the ditch of legalism in Galatians 5:1 – 12. He says, don’t let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
He uses three pictures of legalism: it is like cutting in on the athlete as he strives for the finish line (v7 – 8); it is like yeast spreading through the church (v 9); it is a serious matter and the legalist will pay a penalty for it before God (v10).
Moderator's Comments - Posted 28 May 2015
On my recent trip to Malaysia, I was asked to expound Romans 13:1 – 7, the attitude of the Christian to the civil ruler.
The Bible makes it clear that all “superior” authority, like that of Government, is derived from the supreme authority, God Himself, who establishes and institutes such authority.
For the Christian, the State will have a limited jurisdiction, like Moses’ mother, the midwives of Egypt, Daniel, the apostles and the Lord Jesus, we will respectfully submit to the State until it oversteps the boundary set by God. “We must obey God rather than men” Acts 5:29.
There are many issues which may be “disputable” in our relationship with governments, but the proposed change to the Marriage Act is not one of them.
Moderator's Comments - Posted 21 May 2015
Maxine and I returned to Australia on Tuesday after eight weeks overseas.
We were five weeks in the UK, first at the Word Alive convention. This is like the Easter convention for the UK, this year held in North Wales. Word Alive has a solid commitment to expository ministry, each day started with sermons from Romans and the day ended in week one on Matthew and in week two on the book of Revelation.
We then travelled to St Andrew the Great, Church of England in the middle of Cambridge. I spoke on the Sunday following their evangelistic mission. As a result of the mission, 40 people joined a group for new converts or seekers.
Then on to St Helen’s Bishopgate, in London, what a blessing is this church to the city of London, the Word of God is declared at every opportunity, the ministry is persistently evangelistic with a strong emphasis on Bible study groups and one to one ministry.
Both these churches are very well led, a reminder that leadership is key. The failure of the church, like Israel, is usually due to a failure of leadership.
Moderator's Comments - Posted 18 March 2015
Every pastor has been asked “will I know my loved ones on the other side?”
The intermediate state is the time between our death and the day when Jesus Christ returns and we receive our new body. In that time we are disembodied souls, will we be able to recognise loved ones?
We cannot be absolutely sure but the Bible gives us every indication of recognition.
We are made in the image of the relational God, the primary relationship which we will enjoy is with the Lord himself, and we will also enjoy relationships with others who are also in Christ.
Jesus pictures heaven as a banquet (Luke 14:15 – 24) and feasting at a table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Matthew 8:11). At the transfiguration, Peter, James and John recognise Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus (Mark 9:23).
Jacob spoke of his death as resting with his fathers (Genesis 47:30), God told Moses that he would rest with his fathers (Deuteronomy 31:16), God tells David that he will rest with his fathers (2 Samuel 7:12). God could have said Moses and David would simply die or join the dead but he uses a family term, a term, father, implying relational reunion.