The Rectory Bulletin

Sin

Sat 31st Oct 2020

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. (1 Timothy 1:15) - Sin is not something which the church should be ashamed of. It is not a word or concept we should hide. Rather, to acknowledge sin is to be honest about yourself, and then to glory in God’s forgiveness. That’s why a loss of an understanding of sin is so costly.

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Hymn Stories

Onward Christian Soldiers

Fri 30th Oct 2020

“May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the LORD fulfil all your petitions!” (Psalm 20:5) - Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the Cross of Jesus Going on before. Christ, the Royal Master, leads against the foe, forward into battle, see, His banners go

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Romans

Who Can Condemn?

Thu 29th Oct 2020

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. (Romans 8:34) - It is this ‘givenness’ which gives Paul such a strong assurance and hope. Rather than relying on his own frailties, he is relying God. The more we acknowledge God is sovereign, the more peace we will find.

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Romans

God’s Hand in Salvation

Wed 28th Oct 2020

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27) - Our emotions, our moods are not an indicator of how we are with God, simply an indicator of how we are with ourselves. The more we realise our reliance upon God, the more we can trust out futures to him.

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Church History

The Vision at the Bridge

Tue 27th Oct 2020

“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.” (Proverbs 21:1) - 1,708 ago, to this day, a young man had a vision. He was leading a great army, one of the greatest assembled at that time, and was awaiting the battle which would surely take place the next day.

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Romans

Groanings

Mon 26th Oct 2020

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us (Romans 8:18) - We “wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies”. Whilst those around us might count their lives in decades, we count ours in eternity.

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Sundays

One Bible

Sun 25th Oct 2020

Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, “ ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet” ’? - And in the glorious sweep of the history of Israel, and the ever widening sweep of the history of God saving his people, it is always the same person ‘whodunnit’. Which is why we are called Christians.

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Romans

Adopted

Sat 24th Oct 2020

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8: 14 -15) - Our standing before God is not dependant on where we come from, or who we are, but simply on adoption. Adopted by God! What an image!

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Hymn Stories

Hail to the Lord’s Anointed

Fri 23rd Oct 2020

Hail to the Lord's Anointed! Great David's greater Son; Hail in the time appointed, His reign on earth begun! He comes to break oppression, to set the captive free; To take away transgression, and rule in equity. - James Montgomery was a prolific poet and hymn writer, with over four-hundred hymns to his name. He ended up as an editor of a newspaper in Sheffield, and was twice imprisoned for publishing poems which offended the authorities.

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Romans

Flesh and Spirit

Thu 22nd Oct 2020

“You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:9–11)

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Romans

No Condemnation

Wed 21st Oct 2020

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1) - Christ was sent in the “likeness of sinful flesh” and lived a perfect life. He fulfilled the Old Testament Law, and his perfection “condemned sin in the flesh”

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Church History

Annie Warfield

Tue 20th Oct 2020

In the late nineteenth century there was no-one quite like Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield. A great scholar based at the prestigious Princeton Theological Seminary he was such a staunch defender of traditional, orthodox Christianity that he was given the nickname “Lion of Princeton”.

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Romans

The Riches of Romans 8

Mon 19th Oct 2020

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-8)

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Sundays

Render

Sun 18th Oct 2020

“Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” When they heard it, they marvelled. And they left him and went away. (Matthew 22:22) - We are living rather like ex-pats on the Algarve, citizens of heaven living in the midst of earth. We may walk the same streets and eat the same food, but ultimately our loyalty lies elsewhere.

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The Rock

Sat 17th Oct 2020

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock. (Isaiah 26:3–4) - In the midst of the swirls of history, God stands as an “everlasting rock”. If you place your trust in him, then you find you have “perfect peace”.

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Hymn Stories

A Mighty Fortress is our God

Fri 16th Oct 2020

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,” (Psalm 46:1–2) - A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing: Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing. For still our ancient foe doth seek to work his woe; His craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal.

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Breakfast Time

Thu 15th Oct 2020

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast” (John 21:12) - There is something comforting about the way in which Jesus dealt with his disciples after the resurrection. There they are, seven of them, bobbing away on a boat on the Sea of Galilee, fishing. A figure calls out from the shore, asking if they have any fish, and they call back: “no”. He calls back, telling them to cast out the net on the other side, and they do just that. The result is a net so full of fish they could not haul it in. That’s when one of them recognises that it is Jesus.

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Be Doers

Wed 14th Oct 2020

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. (James 1:22–24) - Around me lie the broken scraps of many good intentions. They litter the carpet like straw on a stable floor, thickly piling up in the corners. Our beliefs should result in actions as we put what he have heard from Jesus into action. He will strengthen us as we seek to live out the Christian life.

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Church History

Latimer and Ridley

Tue 13th Oct 2020

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:39) - If you wander down Broad Street in Oxford you will see a cross in the road, marked out in pale bricks. This Friday marks the 465th anniversary of the Martydom of Nicholas Ridley (bishop of London) and Hugh Latimer (one time bishop of Worcester).

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Being Found

Mon 12th Oct 2020

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10) - There is a wonderful hope contained in this verse: it is Christ who seeks us out. It is not a case of finding Christ, but being found by him. It is impossible to be lost when you are in the flock of the good shepherd, so when you do feel spiritually alone then pray and hope.

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Sundays

Peace

Sun 11th Oct 2020

The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7) - When you are anxious, do follow Paul’s advice: restore your horizontal relationships with others; trust in your vertical relationship with God; and spend your time dwelling on what is good.

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A Soft Answer

Sat 10th Oct 2020

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1) - In an increasingly strident world, some soft answers might be change we all need.

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Hymn Stories

Come Ye Thankful People Come

Fri 09th Oct 2020

Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest-home: all be safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin; God, our Maker, doth provide for our wants to be supplied; come to God's own temple, come; raise the song of harvest-home!

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True Worship

Thu 08th Oct 2020

For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem; then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar. (Psalm 51:16-19) - There remains a danger that worship can become mechanical. We say the right words, turn up at the right time and go home again. We run on auto-pilot, and the all too familiar words simply wash over us.

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Bearing Witness

Wed 07th Oct 2020

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. (Psalm 51:13-15) - Many people are, I know, anxious about talking to people about their faith as they fear they will not have all the answers. The point is that you don’t need all the answers in order to simply say why Christianity is important to you.

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Church History Tuesday

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)

Tue 06th Oct 2020

David and the chiefs of the service also set apart for the service the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who prophesied with lyres, with harps, and with cymbals. The list of those who did the work and of their duties was… (1 Chronicles 25:1) - Amongst the many books in his library is an edition of the Bible which contains his own handwritten annotations, and one of these can be found alongside 1 Chronicles 25, a chapter which describes King David organising the musicians. Bach wrote: “NB, This chapter is the true foundation for all church music that is pleasing to God.”

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Creating a New Heart

Mon 05th Oct 2020

Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. (Psalm 51:9-12) - In the end, sin places a cloud between us and the glory of God. David wishes to experience once more the full warmth and brilliance of God. He wishes once again to know the presence of God’s spirit. We have a God who is merciful, and when we acknowledge our faults to him in prayer, he works in us to overcome these shortcomings.

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Sundays

The Landlord

Sun 04th Oct 2020

Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes’?‘" (Matthew 21:42) - If we can begin to live our lives as tenants, then it will transform the way we view the world. Rather than a spirit of entitlement, we will glory that we have been allowed to live in such a glorious place, and received the gift of life at all!

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The Cry of the Heart

Sat 03rd Oct 2020

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.” (Psalm 51:7–8) - It is to these deepest levels of human nature that Christianity speaks. It is not abstract. It is deeply real

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Hymn Stories

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Fri 02nd Oct 2020

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9) - When I survey the wond'rous Cross on which the Prince of Glory dy'd, my richest Gain I count but Loss, and pour Contempt on all my Pride.

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Being Human

Thu 01st Oct 2020

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. (Psalm 51:5-6) - We are not alone in struggling with God, and that is simply what it is to be human.

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