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ME SSE NGER

The

Published by Westminster Presbyterian Church


Volume 170 Summer Edition 2017

Ordination of Darren Burnett


Turn to page 4

CONTENTS
1 editorial 3
2 Darren ordination 4
3 interview with Nate Teune 5,6
4 church news 7-10
5 EE 11,12
6 exalt 13
7 book review 14,15
8 trusting gods control so we run hard

16,17

9 the key of forgiving 18-20


10 directory 21-23


CONTRIBUTIONS, LETTERS, ETC.

AIMS
To uphold the teachings of Scripture as summed up
in the Westminster Confession of Faith.
To assist the WPC churches in their congregational
life and witness.
To foster a spirit of unity amongst WPC churches.

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All materials for the editor, such as contributions,


letters and comments about The Messenger should
be directed to:
Matt Waldron
9 Johansen Promenade
MURDOCH WA 6150
mattwaldron@bigpond.com
0438 021 286
DEADLINES FOR EACH ISSUE
Articles of Church News, Letters to the Editor and
contributions for each of the 4 issues are to be in the
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and addressed to Matt Waldron at the contact
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THE MESSENGER COMMITTEE
Matt Waldron (Editor)
Sandra Wilson (Treasurer)
Ray Wilson (Proofing)
Vienna Randa (Designer)

The Messenger Summer 2017 Page 2

editorial
Well it has finally arrived the next
edition of The Messenger! For those not
in the know, allow me to introduce myself
as the new editor. A big thankyou to Clem
White for his many years of service. And
my apologies for the lack of a spring
edition those are some big boots to fill!

interest to all Christians, and we want to


have some of that. However, the aim of
The Westminster Messenger is not just to
foster unity amongst Christians, but to
foster unity amongst Westminster
Presbyterian Churches along with other
similar churches.

I have discussed The Messenger with


Clem, the rest of the The Messenger
committee, a number of elders of
Westminster Presbyterian Churches, and
a number of readers. And since you are
reading this, I would love to hear your
thoughts as well! But my impression is
that there are plenty of ideas for
encouraging things to share in The
Messenger. The challenge is getting them
written. So developing that side of the
ministry is my focus at the present. I pray
that will bear fruit in more people
contributing to the Messenger, and more
people being encouraged by reading
The Messenger.

For example, all Christians are


encouraged to hear how God is working to
bring people into his kingdom. However,
people coming into Gods kingdom in a
particular ministry, local church, or
denomination, is of particular interest to
people connected to those particular
ministries, churches or denominations.
So we want The Messenger to emphasize
content that is of particular interest to us in
our Westminster Presbyterian Churches.

That being the case, it would be good to


remind ourselves of the point of The
Messenger.
The aims of The Westminster Messenger
are:
to uphold the teachings of Scripture as
summed up in the Westminster
Confession of Faith.
to assist the WPC churches in their
congregational life and witness.
to foster a spirit of unity amongst WPC
and all churches of similar tenets.
In order to foster a spirit of unity amongst
Westminster Presbyterian Churches, the
contents of The Messenger will ideally
have two properties. Firstly, we want
content that is of distinct interest to people
in Westminster Presbyterian Churches. Of
course there are lots of things that are of

Secondly we want content that expresses


and encourages our unity in WPC. Of
course one of the healthy things about
WPC is our commitment to keep the main
thing as the main thing (thats Jesus in
case you were wondering) and to welcome
members who have a range of views
about secondary issues. Nevertheless,
we are united in participating in local
churches, governed by elders in mutual
submission to one another, and under the
teachings of Scripture as summed up in
the Westminster Confession of Faith. So,
we want The Westminster Messenger to
reflect that, focussing us on Christ, and
dealing with the breadth of our concerns in
a spirit of unity.
Consequently, we want your input!
I would love to hear your thoughts on
The Messenger, and suggestions for
content for the next edition.
Yours in Christ, Matt Waldron

The Messenger Summer 2017 Page 3

the ordination of darren burnett


Presbytery News from Queensland
On Sunday, November 6, Darren Burnett
was ordained to the ministry in
Westminster Presbyterian Church and
to the work of administering Gospel and
Sacraments at Grace Presbyterian Church
(WPC) Morayfield.
During the service, Kim Boyd (pictured,
centre), clerk of the GPCM Session, put
the prescribed questions to Darren, Pr Al
Baigrie gave the charge to the ordinand
(II Timothy 4:1-5), Pr Bob Burnett
explained the nature and importance of
ordination and Pr Rick Zylstra (Moderator
of the Qld WPC Presbytery) preached the
sermon. The service was attended by
representatives of the various Qld WPC
churches.
Darren is the son of Bob and Wendy
Burnett, who have been associated with
WPC since 1974. Darren was born in
Hong Kong, but spent some of his early

years in what is now WPC Maida Vale and


WPC Bullcreek.
In Qld, upon graduation from university,
Darren entered the print media
industry, working as a journalist and editor
for several Southern Queensland
newspapers and rising to become editorin-chief of the Sunshine Coast Newspaper
Company, responsible for overseeing the
publication of 14 newspapers each week.
Along the way he had undertaken some
theological studies. In 2014 GPCM invited
him to become its acting pastor, and he
took up the challenge. Bob had been
caretaker pastor of GPCM, following the
death of the late Pr Bill Ham. Bob
continues to work with Darren in a parttime capacity, while also assisting in small
country churches.
Darren is married to Leona, a teachers
aide at Nambour Christian College, and
they have three children, Jacqueline,
Kimberley and Matthew.

The Messenger Summer 2017 Page 4

Playing Jesus - interview with Nate Teune


Nate is a member of Canning Vale Community
Church
Nate Teune recently played the starring role
in The Mark Drama in Perth, which presented
the gospel to over forty people who are not yet
Christians. Just before his third year
Mechanical Engineering Exams, The
Westminster Messenger asked him all about it.
WM: Nate, what is The Mark Drama?
Nate: The Mark Drama is a performance of
Marks Gospel. It was developed by the
Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students
as a tool for students to share the message
of Jesus at universities. So its designed for
amateur actors, who are busy studying, and
have limited budgets, to be able to present the
story of Jesus in a way that will engage people
so Christians can invite their friends who are
not Christians.
WM: How does The Mark Drama do that?
Nate: Well its a very stripped down
performance in that there are no real costumes,
we just wore plain regular clothes, no real
props, just some mime, so that all simplifies
things and makes it cheap. And most of the
dialogue is improvised everyone knows the
story and what has to happen but the only part
with a lot of lines to learn is Jesus.
WM: And you got that part! How did that
happen?
Nate: They were calling for performers and
volunteers and a friend tagged me on
Facebook. I thought I like drama and
performing so if I can do that while serving
God, more the better. So I volunteered
immediately and when they got back to me
they asked me if I wanted to play Jesus. So I
guess as an actor I was really excited to get the

lead and as a Christian I was quite intimidated


by how important it was to get right. But as
an actor I really enjoy learning long lines and
performing them so that was fun.
WM: So you have done some acting before.
Yes, I like acting so I do it when I can. For
example, I was part of the Scripture Union
Fine Edge and did their Christmas show last
year. And this year I joined the UWA Pantomime Society which puts on a show each
semester.
WM: So when it came to rehearsal was it just
like putting on any other play?
Nate: We had a really weird schedule. We had
three full days of rehearsing, then a preview
performance on the third night. Then the
following week we did a performance at Mid
Year Conference so all the Christian students
could see it and be encouraged to invite their
friends. And then about four weeks later we
did a shorter rehearsal then performances for
two universities, UWA and Curtin. So it was
hectic. We had to learn a lot really quickly. We
were given four weeks to learn the structure
of Mark and I had to learn all Jesuss dialog.
But me being me, I put it off till the weekend
before.
WM: What was that schedule like as an actor?
Nate: It is intended to be performed by
amateur actors and uni students so we dont
have a lot of time. So its designed to be all
short term memory, so you learn it all, do
it, then dont need to remember. Which is
different to normal acting, especially stage
productions which usually take several months
of rehearsing. Whereas The Mark Drama is
mostly improvised, apart from Jesus lines.
So the actors will know, we need to talk about
this, this needs to happen, and other characters

The Messenger Summer 2017 Page 5

can jump in and remember somebody elses bit


mostly. So that all makes it easier. I had a few
stressful moments because I was playing Jesus
and hes super-important, but other than that,
everyone had a good time doing it.
WM: So if its just short term memory, does
that mean you have forgotten Marks Gospel
now?
Because we did it over a few weeks, I had
to retain Jesuss dialogue for a lot longer.
So for the first few weeks of semester I kept
remembering his lines and pulling it out in
conversations! Sometimes in meaningful
ways, sometimes in jokes. But it is interesting.
Sunday we had a sermon on the Parable of the
Sower from the book of Matthew but I spent
the whole time thinking about the version in
Mark. And some of the more impactful lines
for me personally Ive tried to retain. Like,
Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that
you have received it and it will be yours. I
personally found that whole paragraph with the
fig tree very important for me so thats one of
the ones Ive tried to retain.
WM: What was it like as a Christian, playing
Jesus?
Nate: It was a very interesting perspective
actually. Ive grown up with the stories of
Jesus my whole life, but its different when
you are trying to embody him and trying to

relate to him in a way that I can stand up and


perform him. So I guess I got a much greater
appreciate for Jesus human nature, because
thats the only side I can even hope to portray.
Especially in some of the harder scenes like
Gethsemane and even everything after that, I
guess it helped me relate to Jesus and what he
was going through.
WM: What was the fellowship like with the
other actors compared to a normal play?
Nate: When youre doing a performance you
have to believe that the story youre telling is
one worth telling. So thats always the same
but with this we were all Christians telling the
story of Christ so its the same but more-so.
And they were all wonderful actors. I was
really impressed with a lot of the acting even
though they do less acting than some of the
people I have done acting with. While I really
enjoyed giving the long monologues, it was
also really fun doing it with the rest of the
team. The Mark Drama has a lot of humour as
well as being important and serious and I guess
that helps connect with our modern culture.
But Jesus doesnt have any of the funny lines
so other people had those lines and being able
to interact with them was really fun. And lots
of people said it helped them to engage with
their non-Christian friends so it was a really
positive thing.

Remembering Manfred schwarz (1938 - 2016)


Manfred recently succumbed to a cancerous tumour and has now gone to be with our Lord.
He was actively involved in ministry at Kelmscott and Bull Creek WPCs over a number of years
and will be sadly missed. He was a great encourager, prayer warrior, and Bible teacher.
Manfred used every opportunity he could to share the gospel with those he came across, even
ministering to those who were caring for his physical needs during his last hospital stay. Some of
his last words included: God has been very good to me. His faithfulness has been continuous.
I lived by forgiveness. May God get the last word on my life for HIS glory.

The Messenger Summer 2017 Page 6

News from Queensland


Fishing Camp

New WPC Preaching Point

In the congregation of Grace Presbyterian


Church Morayfield (WPC) there are many
keen fishermen. To encourage fellowship,
and fishing, Deacon Dan Martin organises
two fishing camps each year. In the past
a succession of camps was held on Bribie
Island, with the camping area accessible
only by 4WD and lacking some creature
comforts such as warm showers.
However, over the past couple of years,
the camps (in June and October) have
been held at Mudjimba Beach Caravan
Park on the northern Sunshine Coast,
enabling those without fourbies to attend.
The park provides easy access to the surf
beach, for fishing and swimming, and to
Maroochy River. At the same time is has
warm showers, electricity and fresh water,
and is just a short walk to some of the best
coffee shops on the Sunny Coast. This
year the group enjoyed wonderful camps,
catching enough fish to keep them happy
and holding church beneath the paperbark
trees.

Kilkivan Union Church, in the small South


Burnett town of Kilkivan, in southern
Queensland, has become the second
country preaching point of Grace
Presbyterian Church Morayfield. KUC was
established as an independent Protestant
church to serve the beef-producing area
of Kilkivan-Goomeri-Woolooga to the west
of Gympie. It seems never to have had a
pastor of its own, but has been served by
visiting pastors from surrounding towns.
Pr Bob Burnett, pastor-at-large at GPCM,
has been conducting services at KUC for
several years, and visiting there monthly
since he moved into semi-retirement two
years ago. Recently, the trustees of KUC,
two senior ladies, invited WPC to become
responsible for the ministry at the church.
WPC has agreed to take up the
challenge, but will keep the church
property in the hands of independent
trustees in the meantime. Bob continues
to minister to Kilkivan once a month, and
once a month at Monto Reformed
Christian Fellowship in the North Burnett
region.

The Messenger Summer 2017 Page 7

Love hearing what God has been doing in peoples lives?

VOLUNTEER JOURNALISTS WANTED!


One of the main tasks of The Westminster Messenger is
to share what God is doing in the lives of people in our churches.
But we need to expand our network of volunteer journalists!
The Tasks:
Follow up contacts, interview people, and write stories.
The Requirements:
An average of an hour a week,
Good written and spoken English,
Computer competent.
The Training:
Writing stories that point to Gods story, Interviewing skills,
Writing for print, Individual mentoring.

Please forward expressions of interest to


Matt Waldron 0438 021 286 or mattwaldron@bigpond.com
The Messenger Summer 2017 Page 8

Brigades Launch WPC Belconnen


2016 was the first year of Belconnen
Brigades. WPC Belconnen made use of the
Boys and Girls Bridages programs to reach
out to their local community. Boys Brigade and
Girls Brigade are international
interdenominational youth organisations that
provide development for the whole person on
Christian foundations.
At the WPC Belconnen church camp in March
2015 Alex Nathan from Canning Vale
Community Church spoke. This became an
opportunity for his wife Sheila, and Marian
Ashford from Girls Brigade ACT to share about
Brigades. Many families were inspired by the
potential to grow their children in faith and
service, and especially to reach the local
community with the gospel. After a number
of meetings, a sufficient number of leaders
were ready to make a long term commitment
to the Brigades ministry. Having made a start
in Term 4 of 2015, it was full steam ahead in
2016.
Jeremy Hopwood, one of the leaders WPC
Belconnen Boys Brigades, said It has been
great to be part of the official Brigades network.
They have already thought about things and
figured things out. And Brigades ACT are well
established with a pool of material resources
such as the trailer of canoes that the boys have
accessed. Jeremy said Brigades has already


been an encouraging partnership for
WPC Belconnen. It has been particularly
exciting to give Bibles to children who did not
have one.
The weekly programs, including parade,
devotions, skills and games, was enjoyed by
over 40 children including about a quarter who
had no previous connection with the church.
This has been complimented by parent events,
camps, and combined socials. The first Church
Parade was attended by over 100 friends and
members of the Belconnen Girls and Boys
Brigades. The music was led by a team from
both Brigades companies and the Pioneers,
girls aged 13 to 18, recited a substantial portion
of Scripture they had memorised. WPC
Belconnen Senior Pastor, Geoff Findlay
preached on breaking out of the box of being
conformed to the world, and instead being
transformed from the inside out as God shapes
us in His hands. This is reflected in the
leaders dedication promise, in Gods strength,
you commit yourselves to the vision of seeing
girls lives transformed, Gods world enriched
and the advancement of Christs kingdom
among boys. Marian Ashford, now the National
Commissioner of Girls Brigade, commissioned
the company.

The Messenger Summer 2017 Page 9

Celebrating 40 Years Bull Creek WPC


WPC Bull Creek was started on Sunday
1st February 1976 by missionaries David and
Barabara Cross. The church grew rapidly so
that in 1982 when David and Barabara left,
the church was able to call Ron Nugent to be
ordained into the Teaching Eldership.
Indonesian worship services commenced in
1992, often with sermons in English being
translated, until Paulus Surya commenced as
Pastor in 1995. WPC Bull Creek has been
involved in planting a number of churches
including WPC Mandurah and All Nations PC.
So to celebrate, May was declared church
birthday month. A dinner was hosted on Friday
20th for past ministry leaders. This included
people from all areas of leadership from across
the whole history of the church. On the
following Saturday night a concert combining
the English and Indonesian congregations
celebrated Gods work with a little bit of the
history and a lot of fun. That Sunday,
WPCBCs newest Teaching Elder, Matt Dodd,
preached from 2 Cortinthians 5:1-21 with the
title, A Most Significant Day.

David and Barbara Cross were invited as


special guests for the celebrations. Members
of the church from that time enjoyed
reminiscing, and recent members enjoyed
learning how God started WPC Bull Creek.
The Elders decided that another great way to
celebrate what God has done up to this point,
would be to look forward to what God will do in
the future. So they established the Ministry
Training Fund Birthday Appeal. This fund
provides financial support for the recruitment
and training of ministry leaders. WPCBCs
vision is not only to raise up leaders for WPC
Bull Creek, but to send out leaders for other
churches and to continue planting churches
into the future.
We thank God for his work in and through WPC
Bull Creek!

The Messenger Summer 2017 Page 10

Inauguration of the
Evangelism Explosion Training Centre
in Malang, indonesia
By Danny Wirjawan, member of
Indonesian Congregation at WPC Bull
Creek
3 August 2016
Perth Evangelism Explosion (EE) team
representatives, Pastor Paulus Surya and
Mr. Danny Wirjawan arrived in Malang on
3 August to attend the inauguration of EE
Training Centre located in Malang inside
the Sekolah Theologi Alkitab Nusantara
(STAN) property.

The inauguration was attended by


representatives from 85 countries around
the world. It was monumental not only
for EE Indonesia, but also for EE global,
said EE International Chairman Mr. John
Sorensen during his opening speech.
He also said that although EE had been
established in over 200 countries, the
first EE training centre in the world is in
Malang. He assured attendees that this
centre would create an identity and
blessing for churches and the EE
International organisation.

The opening speech was followed by a


devotional message, led by Mr. Lukas B.
Tandadjaja - EE International Indonesia
Chairman. He emphasised the following
four points:
We recognise the EE Training Centre
in Malang was established only by Gods
grace.
We must have the courage to walk by
faith. Fourteen months ago, EE Indonesia
committee decided to build the EE
Training Centre despite the financial
difficulties they had.
We must always be alert, push forward
and work harder. Mr. Sorensen reminded
us to never let this EE Training
Centre falter, nor abandon its vision and
goals.
We must fulfil EE Indonesias main
goal, Indonesia for the world, through
the Training Centre in Malang. This is not
conceitedness, but a gentle reminder of
Gods blessing to Indonesia, particularly
EE Indonesia.
The inauguration was concluded with the
ceremonial red ribbon cutting witnessed by
the EE representatives.

The Messenger Summer 2017 Page 11

Pastor Paulus Surya, as the preacher at


this seminar, divided the session in two:
Examining the WHAT and WHY of
Christ-centred preaching
Examining how to discern the message
of Christ in Bible passages

4 August 2016
The Christ Centred Preaching seminar
was held on Thursday morning, 4 August
in the newly inaugurated EE Training
Centre. Over 400 people attended the
seminar, including pastors and elders from
various places in Indonesia, and teachers
and students from various Bible schools in
Malang.

The seminar was extremely well and


enthusiastically accepted. The feedback
from the attendees, many of whom are
servants of God, was they realised anew
the importance of Christ centred
preaching.

Opinions expressed are those of the contributor and not necessarily those of WPC,
the editor or the committee. Submitted articles are welcome.
You can help make your denominational journal a success by subscribing and
contributing to it. We cordially invite you to do both.
The Messenger Summer 2017 Page 12

Exalt 2016
Music Ministry Conference Report
By Johan Utomo, member of
Indonesian Congregation at WPC Bull
Creek
Members of WPC Bull Creek Indonesian
Congregation were grateful to attend
Exalt 2016 in Perth on 14-15 October.
The purpose of this conference is to equip
those involved in music ministry, including
pastors, musicians, singers, and sound
technicians, to use their talents to build the
churches of God and to glorify our
Heavenly Father.
The main Scripture reading on this
conference was taken from the book of 1
Corinthians 1213 and Pastor Rory
Shiner, from Providence Church in Perth,
discussed these passages. Rory
discussed the relationship between gifts,
spirituality, unity, and love. In the life of
Christian people, these spiritual gifts
should be used to build each others faith
in the congregation of the church. There
is no spiritual gift that is more important
than the others; just like the body parts of
a human being they are equally important.
The Apostle Paul taught that the unity and
the growth of the church can only happen
if we do it in love, just like the love that is
given from God in Jesus Christ.

The workshops we attended were: Song


Selection, Drums, Intro to Band
Dynamics, Guitar, Biblical Foundation of
Music Ministry, and Vocal Variation. We
learnt the following things that wed like to
share:
The selection of songs must consider
factors such as; guests, preacher, and
most importantly God and the balance of
them all.
Dynamics in the band involves
communication between musicians,
between musicians and the song leader,
and between musicians and the
congregation. Sometimes less music is
more.
Music is the media used to share the
Word of God through the lyrics.
The differences of worship between
Christian and non-Christian. Christians
receive blessing, mercy and grace from
God and therefore they worship God.
Non-Christians worship their gods to get
blessings.
If anyone would like to hear the full
conference, you can go to their website
http://exalt.org.au and go to 2016 Talk
(this link maybe used only for a limited
time).

The Messenger Summer 2017 Page 13

light from old times


Book Review by Julian Bull
Pastor at WPC Mandurah.
The more I read, the less I admire
modern theology. The more I study the
productions of the new schools of
theological teachers, the more I marvel
that men and women can be satisfied with
such writing.In matters of theology the
old is better. Bishop J.C. Ryle
Christs visible church has
an amazing history! Its
disconcerting this is
unknown to so many of
Gods people today. In my
first pastorate, one of the
most useful decisions we
ever made was to devote
the ministry of our mid-week
Bible Study to the subject of
Church History.

Early Years edited by Andrew Atherstone.


Several of Ryles classic titles have
undergone reprints, one of which is Light
from Old Times, subtitled Protestant Facts
& Men. This most valuable book is
essentially a collection of lectures &
papers delivered by Ryle to various
groups in various situations over a period
of about 30 years. A major
thrust of many of these is
Ryles passionate desire to
instil in his readers an
appreciation for the
doctrinal legacy of the
Protestant Reformation.
He does this by describing
the lives and teaching of
many of the most faithful
ministers & martyrs of the
Reformation. The impact
of Reformation doctrine is
seen in both the price paid
and the fruit produced by its
application. Many of these
mens lives, deaths &
intervening stories were
nothing short of heroic
when it came to faithfulness
to Christ and His witness.

Our approach was simple.


We worked our way
through, our history, from
the time of the Apostles to
the present. We did so
biographically, by studying
the lives of the men and
http://protestanttruth.com/
women who proved to be the
wp-content/uploads/2016/01/
key figures, either good or
Light-277x300.jpg
bad, of each successive age.
I had read very little of J.C. Ryle at that
Ryle is particularly concerned to warn
stage and was only just discovering
against any subtle accommodation of
Banner of Truth and their publications.
Roman Catholic theology within the
Since then Banner books have proved a
Church of England of his day. However,
God-send in my life and ministry. They
the principles highlighted are of constant
bring alive the great works of Christ on
relevance and may be applied in a great
behalf of his people in every age, often
many of our own situations &
in spite of the most spiritually difficult and
circumstances in the present day.
dangerous situations.
Essentially this book is a tremendously
2016 marks the 200th anniversary of the
challenging warning and stimulus to keep
birth of J.C. Ryle, one time Anglican
the gospel in the ascendancy in our lives
Archbishop of Liverpool. Several new
and in every church ministry, in every age.
biographies have been published including Take away the gospel from the church
an edition of Ryles Autobiography The
and the church is not worth preserving,
The Messenger Summer 2017 Page 14

a well without water, a scabbard without


a sword, a steam engine without a fire,
a ship without a compass and rudder, a
watch without a main-spring, a stuffed
carcase without life, all these are useless
things. But there is nothing so useless as
a church without the gospel. And this is the
very question that stares us in the face.
(page 45).

considered deeply, tested against


whatever prevailing Christian culture we
are part of, and the lessons discerned to
seep into our consciousness and be
applied in our private and public testimony
for Christ. I highly recommend it as a
superb source of supremely relevant
yet, sadly, long neglected historical and
spiritual facts.

This book need not and, probably,


should not be read at one sitting, but
rather chapter by chapter, allowing the
implications of the truth and testimonies
set before us to be mulled over,

Light from Old Times by J.C. Ryle is


published by Banner of Truth Trust.

The Messenger Summer 2017 Page 15

Trusting Gods Control So We Run Hard


By Pastor Simon van Bruchem.
All Nations Presbyterian Church, Perth.
At All Nations Presbyterian Church we have
recently worked through Romans 8-11. This
has raised the issue of God choosing people
to be saved. This is a complicated concept to
understand and one that many naturally feel
strongly about. After all, we have seen God
save people in the past, and it was through
them responding to the good news about
Jesus. They made a choice, didnt they? They
made the decision. It seems a little odd to claim
that God chose them.
However, the only way that anyone can come
to trust in Jesus is if God has changed their
heart to do so (as explained in John 3). The
fact is that all people by nature are dead in their
sins (Eph 2:1), deserving the punishment of
God for their rebellion against God (Rom 3:23).
None of us is capable of choosing God by
ourselves. If left to our own devices we would
be punished for our sins, not rescued from
them. Only God can save us by his grace.
Romans 8 and 9 show us that anyone who is
saved is only saved by Gods grace. Grace
means that being saved is always something
we do not deserve. And understanding that
God chooses people to be saved safeguards
salvation by grace. If we reject this teaching
that God chooses some to be saved, we end
up having to say that those who are saved
are in some way superior to those who are
not. Maybe they are cleverer, or born in better
families, or more moral, or have more faith. But
the Bible will not allow us to make that claim.
We can only become believers if God changes
us so we respond to Jesus. It is 100% Gods
work, not ours.
And this idea of choosing isnt some idea
limited to Romans 8-11 either; Jesus prays for
those who the Father has given Him in John
17:6. Gods people are often called the elect
(literally the chosen ones) in places like Matt
24:22 and 1 Peter 1:1. And the idea of being

chosen by God through his grace and not our


merit is clear all through the Old Testament
(see Deut 7:6-8 for an example).
God doesnt just zap people though he saves
people through trusting in Jesus Christ who
died for their sins. A wonderful example of this
can be found in Acts 13. Paul has just been
preaching in Antioch in Pisidia when the
narrator Luke records this response to his
message:
And when the Gentiles heard this, they began
rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord,
and as many as were appointed to eternal life
believed. (Act 13:48 ESV)
Did you notice what this says? Who responded
to the gospel Paul preached? Well, it was those
who were appointed to eternal life (in other
words, the ones God chose to respond). Or
you could also answer like this: the ones who
believed. For trusting in Jesus is the sign that
God has chosen someone; the two go together,
like two sides of the same coin. You see
something similar in 1 Cor 12:3, where only
those who the Spirit of God has worked on
(that is, those God has chosen) can confess
that Jesus is Lord. And you see the same thing
in Romans 10 where Paul states the critical
importance of people hearing and believing in
the good news about Jesus.
So two things are true:
All who trust in Jesus as their Lord and
Saviour are saved; and
Those who trust in Jesus are the ones God
chose to trust in Jesus.
Indeed, it is a mystery. There is much about
this we dont understand! God works in
wondrous and mysterious ways, graciously
saving so many who dont deserve it through
faith in Jesus.
Christians believe that God is in complete
control of the world. After all, it is His world: He

The Messenger Summer 2017 Page 16

made it. He knows how many hairs are on our


heads and He clothes the lilies of the field
(Matthew 6). He controls the weather and
the wild animals (Job 39-40). And He even
controls human hearts, whether we respond to
the gospel of grace or whether we dont (as in
Romans 9).
This is known as Gods sovereignty. God is
the sovereign, or King, of the whole world. And
it is a most comforting thing for Christians to
consider. God is the king of the whole world
and yet we can call him our Father, and know
that like a perfect father he works all things for
the good of those who love him (Rom 8). What
an amazing blessing that is!
Yet the Bible also teaches that we are
responsible for our sin and rightly judged for
it (Romans 1-3). We are called to use our will
and effort to serve God in all kinds of ways
(Matt 5-7 for example). There are many
commands and instructions in the Bible for his
people to follow.
Balancing these two wonderful truths, Gods
sovereignty and our responsibility, is not easy.
The Bible teaches them both to be true. I see it
as a matter of perspective; we need to use our
wisdom in whatever situation God has put us,
knowing that ultimately God is in control. We
cannot see Gods plans from our perspective
but it is important to know He has it all in hand.
We run into problems if we overemphasize one
of these two great truths at the expense of the
other. In the Reformed tradition I belong to, the
imbalance usually falls on the side of Gods
sovereignty. Sometimes well-meaning
Christians are so focused on the idea that God
is the King that they forget that they too have
responsibilities in the Christian life. This is
known as hyper-Calvinism.
What might this look like? Well, the easiest
way to see it is how someone might think about
evangelism and prayer. If someone only sees
Gods sovereignty, they will focus on the fact
that God chooses people and fail to see the
need to tell them the gospel. And if God

chooses people, why pray for their salvation?


God has already decided, after all.
But this is a major mistake and runs against the
teaching of the Bible on quite a few fronts.
Paul, who wrote Romans 9-11, clearly didnt
interpret it this way. He worked hard, putting
himself in constant danger so that people
would hear the gospel. Paul trusted that God
would save the ones He had chosen, but the
way God did that was through people trusting
in Jesus. To trust in Jesus you need to hear
about Jesus; to hear about Jesus someone
needs to tell you. (Thats the exact logic of
Romans 10 by the way).
And prayer is not telling God what He doesnt
already know (Matt 6:8). God loves his children
to pray to Him, and if we are praying in line with
Gods kingdom, we cannot help but pray for
those who are not yet believers.
We cannot use Gods kingship as an excuse
not to work hard in spreading the gospel and
praying. We cannot be fatalists. We dont know
how Gods plan for our lives might unfold, and
we are urged to use our minds to think of God
rightly and serve Him well (Rom 12). Knowing
God is in control gives us assurance, but
knowing we live in a broken world that needs
Jesus gives us motivation.
Sitting back without engaging the world with
the gospel is a sign of selfishness, not superior
Biblical understanding. It shows we are happy
God has chosen us, but shows a disregard for
our call to pray for and influence others. Lets
serve God well, trusting his control as we run
the race as hard as we can.
Republished from Simons Blog at http://www.
allnations.org.au/category/blog/

To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is


the Almighty, the Possessor of all power in Heaven and
earth, so that none can defeat His counsels,
thwart His purpose, or resist His will.... .
~Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God

The Messenger Summer 2017 Page 17

the key to forgiving


By Pastor Craig Johnson
WPC Belconnen
Forgiveness isnt easy. Either weve wanted it
from others, or needed to give it to others.
Actually, probably both. And whether it is
getting it or giving it, it can be really, really hard.
As C. S. Lewis wrote, Everyone says
forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have
something to forgive Maybe I gave so much
to someone, trusted them with so much, and
they just betrayed me and betrayed me again.
How could I possibly forgive them? Or maybe
they are strangers--well, worse actuallyit
seems they are enemies. They just decided to
have a go at you, abuse you, or take out a
personal vendetta against you, and you have
no idea why. Why should you owe them
anything, least of all, forgiveness? I spoke to
someone recently who used to work in the
tourist industry. They had a practice of
keeping two particular nationalities apart.
People of these particular two nations didnt
want to have anything to do with each other
and the two groups couldnt be in the same
building at the same time because of what
happened during World War II.

In Matthew 18:15-20 there is the well-known


instruction of what to do when your brother sins
against you. In 18:21, Peter understands the
implication, that he may need to forgive that
brother (even though Jesus didnt mention the
word forgive). And Peters imagination takes
him to the place where that brother keeps
sinning against him. Surely there must be a
limit to forgiveness then. Surely seven times
is plenty enough, maybe even highly virtuous
to be so forgiving. I expect to Peters great
surprise, Jesus tells him, No, Peter, you have
it all wrong. You seem to be thinking of
forgiveness just as a procedure, some boxes to
tick, maybe a legal process, perhaps some kind
of being fair, and showing your righteousness.
Actually it is about mercy and kindness, Peter.
It is about a perspective, a way of life, that you
cant put a number on. Well, ok, he doesnt
literally say that. But I think that is the conclusion we can draw from the story Jesus tells in
response, which we find in Matthew 18:23-35.
(Quick, go read the passage now) It shows us
why it is hard to forgive others, and in so doing,
also gives us the key to actually being able to
forgive others, even when it feels too hard.

Whether it is at the personal level, or a


community level, or even a national level,
sometimes forgiving can be really, really hard.
Then we see amazing examples of
forgiveness in the Bible, things difficult to
imagine if they werent actually true. Despite
all the envy, hate and murderous intentions of
his brothers, Joseph is forgiving toward them,
showing kindness and love instead of paying
back evil for evil (Genesis 50:15-21). Or we see
Stephen, in the face of people enraged at him,
hurling stones at him to kill him, saying just
before he dies, Lord, do not hold this sin
against them. (Acts 7:60) How do they
possibly do that kind of thing? How can we?
What is the key to us being able to forgive
others like that?

The Messenger Summer 2017 Page 18

Jesus story tells us about a servant who owed


the king ten thousand talents. Jesus seems
to just pick the biggest number (ten thousand)
with the biggest unit (a talent), to make a point.
But maybe some other numbers more familiar
to us will be helpful. The footnote in my ESV
says that one talent was worth about twenty
years of wages for a laborer. If we use the
Australian minimum wage as a basis ($17.70/
hour), and a 38-hour week for 52 weeks, then
one years wage would be about $35,000.
Twenty years would be about $700,000.
Multiply that by ten thousand, and you get
about $7,000,000,000. How would you like
that debt? Or what would you do if someone
else, somehow, owed you that much money?
We might wonder how someone could rack
up such a debt, but thats not really the point.
The amazing thing in the story is that the king
actually forgives that $7 billion debt! But then
another stunning thing happens, something
rudely shocking. That servant who owed $7
billion was owed some money himself, by
another fellow servant. But only a hundred
denarii. Again, the ESV footnote tells us that a
denarius was a days wage for a laborer. So the
same kind of calculation this time gives us, say
for an eight-hour day, about $14,000
equivalent. This is a substantial amount to be
owed, but hardly significant compared to $7
billion. And yet astoundingly, the servant who
had been forgiven $7 billion was unwilling to
forgive $14,000. Rightly the king called him a
wicked servant and delivered him for
punishment.
So what does Jesus story about financial
debts have to do with forgiving others when
they offend us or sin against us? As with Jesus
other parables, the real application is not in the
precise circumstances of the situation, but in
what the story parallels. In 18:35 it is clear that
the king is paralleled to God, and the
forgiveness of one servant by another is
paralleling forgiveness between people. The
key principle in forgiving others is that being
forgiven by God should empower us to forgive
others. And Jesus story presses the point by
highlighting the shocking wickedness of one
who is unwilling to forgive, despite being

forgiven so much by God. And some of the


small details really bring this home.
In the story our attention is drawn to both the
similarities as well as the vast differences
between the accounts of the two servants
debts. When both servants are confronted
concerning what they owe, they respond with
the same words, Have patience with me, and
I will pay you. Well, almost the same words.
The first servant says one more thing, I will
pay you everything I think this little extra word,
combined with the vast difference in the debts
owed, highlight something else about the
differences between the two servants in the
story. The $10,000 debt was significant, but
possibly payable. Eventually that second
servant could have paid back his fellow
servant. It was doable. It was possible. But
there was no way the first servant could
have paid back $7 billion. And yet he had the
audacity to offer to pay back everything. He
was deluded. He didnt really understand the
overwhelming situation he was in. And
therefore he also didnt understand the debt he
had been forgiven. And he had no
comprehension of the mercy he had been
shown. And this is our problem, when we have
difficulty forgiving others. We have no
understanding of the vast debt our sin has
created before God, and little comprehension
of the mercy we have been shown in God
forgiving our sins. Somehow we think it is not
really so bad after all, that really it is something
we can fix by ourselves. But we cant. The sin
debt is one that only God can fix. We cant
actually avoid the consequences of our sin, but
in our pride we can try to avoid believing that
we really deserve it, that our debt is really that
bad.
One way to realize the enormity of a problem,
is by comprehending the cost involved in
solving it. When we have difficulty realizing the
enormity of our sin debt, we should meditate
on what it cost God to solve our problem, and
forgive our sin debt. Years after Jesus spoke
this story to Peter, Peter wrote these words,
knowing that you were ransomed from the
futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not

The Messenger Summer 2017 Page 19

with perishable things such as silver or gold,


but with the precious blood of Christ, like that
of a lamb without blemish or spot. (1Peter
1:18-20) You will probably never owe someone
$7 billon. But our greatest debt isnt a monetary
one. And no amount of money is enough to
release us from the greatest debt we have.
Only Jesus precious blood is enough. When
Peter asked Jesus about forgiving others, I
dont think he really knew what Jesus knew,
that Jesus was going to have to die to free
Peter from his sin debt. But all those years
later, Peter understood that, and wrote it down
for everyone to understand. The enormity of
our sin problem was such that the only solution
was for the Father to give the life of his own
Son, and for Jesus to suffer the full wrath of
God, in the place of his own people, so that we
could be released from our sin debt.
This is where we need to go when we find
it hard to forgive our brother from our heart.

This is the key to forgiving others. Just like the


$10,000, there may indeed be a significant
debt of offence against us, but it is still so little
compared to what God has already forgiven us
in Christ. Freedom and joy in forgiving others
comes out of humility in understanding we have
been forgiven a vast sin debt to God, which
we could never have repaid. As with so many
things, our pattern and our power, through the
work of the Holy Spirit, is what God has done
for us in Christ. Be kind to one another,
tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God
in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of
God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as
Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a
fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
(Ephesians 4:32-5:2)
(This article is based on the first sermon in a
four-part series at WPC Belconnen, on
Forgiving Others)

Source photo: https://static2.stuff.


co.nz/1288179451/468/4279468.jpg

The Messenger Summer 2017 Page 20

WESTMINSTER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH


AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
BELCONNEN WPC
Meets:
61 Templeton Street,

(cnr Rowan St.) COOK, ACT 2614
Time:
9.30am and 6.30pm (every Sunday)
Address: 61 Templeton Street,

COOK, ACT 2614
Office Ph: (02) 6251 7727
Fax:
(02) 6251 7737
Email:
pastor@wpc-belconnen.org.au
Contact: Revd Geoff Findlay
Phone:
0435 557 117
QUEENSLAND CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY
CHURCH PACIFIC PARADISE
Meets:
North Shore Community Centre,

David Low Way,

PACIFIC PARADISE
Time:
9.30am
Postal:
119 Glenview Rd,

GLENVIEW QLD 4553
Contact: Revd Dan Bosshard
Mob:
0439 708 092
Email:
danbosshard@bigpond.com
GRACE CHRISTIAN CHURCH BUDERIM
Meets:
2-4 Toral Dr, Sippy Downs,

SUNSHINE COAST, QLD
Times:
Every Sunday at 7.45am,

9.30am & 6.00pm
Postal:
P.O. Box 7292, Sippy Downs

Qld 4556
Phone:
(07) 5445 8933
Email:
office@gracechurchbuderim.com.au
Contact 1: Pastor Clint Lombard

0478 578 152
pastorclint@gracechurchbuderim.com.au
Contact 2: Pastor Rick Zylstra

0407 725 899
pastorclint@gracechurchbuderim.com.au
Web site: www.gracechurchbuderim.com.au
GRACE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
(REDBANK WPC)
Meets:
School Road, REDBANK PLAINS
Time:
9.30am
Postal:
P.O. Box 347, GOODNA,

QLD 4300
Contact: Revd David Smith
Phone:
(07) 3495 7051
Email:
david@gracecc.com.au

GRACE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH,


MORAYFIELD QLD
Meets:
10am
Venue:
Morayfield Community Centre


298 Morayfield Road,

MORAYFIELD QLD (next to Bunnings)
Contact: Pr Darren Burnett (07) 5442 2586
Mob:
0452 273 117
Email:
darrenburnett2013@gmail.com
Web site: www.gpcm.net.au
PRESBYTERY OF QUEENSLAND
Moderator: TE Clint Lombard
Clerk:
TE David Smith
Treasurer: TE Allan Templeton
Postal:
PO BOX 347

GOODNA QLD 4300

AUSTRALIA
Telephone: (07) 3371 2512
Email:
david@gracecc.com.au
WESTMINSTER THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE
QUEENSLAND
Principal: Revd Terry Clarke

10 Hollings Close, KURABY,
QUEENSLAND 4112
Postal:
PO Box 346, BUDERIM, QLD 4556
Telephone: (07) 5445 8501
Email:
information@@sctc.org.au
Web:
www.sctc.org.au
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
ALL NATIONS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Meets:
The Beaufort Centre, 74-82 Beaufort
Street (2nd Floor), PERTH.
Time:
10.00am
Email:
churchoffice@allnations.org.au
Web site: www.allnations.org.au
Telephone: (08) 9228 4951
Fax
(08) 9228 4956
Postal:
PO Box 8693, Perth BC WA 6849
Contact: Revd Simon van Bruchem
Email:
simon_vb@optusnet.com.au
BROOKTON (CALVARY PRESBYTERIAN)
Meets:
Richardson St., BROOKTON
Time:
10.30am.
Postal:
PO Box 99, BROOKTON, WA 6306
Contact: Revd Clem White (08) 9535 3301
Email:
candpwhite@bigpond.com OR elder
Arthur Slater 0473 251 681

The Messenger Summer 2017 Page 21

BULL CREEK WPC


Meets:
32 Bull Creek Drive, BULL CREEK
Times:
Sun 9.30am, 6.30pm.
Postal:
32 Bull Creek Drive,
BULL CREEK WA 6149
Email:
admin@wpcbc.net
Telephone: (08) 9332 6300
Website: www.wpcbc.net
Contact:
Email:
Contact:
Email:
Contact:
Email:

Revd Craig Newill


craig.newill@wpcbc.net
Revd Mark Vivian
mark.vivian@wpcbc.net
Revd Matt Dodd
matthew.dodd@wpcbc.net

Bull Creek WPC Indonesian Services


Time:
Sun 4.00pm
Meets:
32 Bull Creek Drive,

BULL CREEK, WA 6149
Contact: Revd Paulus Surya
Email: paulus.surya@wpcbc.net
Contact: Revd Erick Kartawijaya
Email: erick.kartawijaya@wpcbc.net
CANNING VALE COMMUNITY CHURCH
(CANNING VALE WPC)
Meets:
Canning Vale Community Centre, Cnr
Waratah Blvd. and Eucalyptus Blvd.,
CANNING VALE
Time: 10.30am
Postal:
PO Box 5153, CANNING VALE SOUTH,
WA 6155
Telephone: (08) 9256 4776
Contact: Revd Alex Nathan
Email:
alexandernathan@iinet.net.au
CROSSWORDS CHURCH
Meets:
38 William Street ARMADALE
Times:
10.00am
Contact: Revd Anton Noppers 0400 894 458
Email:
crosswordspastor@iinet.net.au
MAIDA VALE WPC
Meets:
4 Old Maida Vale Rd, MAIDA VALE
Times:
10.00am and 6.00pm
Postal:
4 Old Maida Vale Rd, MAIDA VALE,
WA 6057
Telephone: (08) 9454 7401
Fax:
(08) 9454 4307
Contact: Revd Roger Palmer
Email:
wpcmv@outlook.com
MANDURAH WPC
Meets:
SDA Facility, Cnr. Anstruther & Wyeree
Street, MANDURAH
Time:
10.00am
Postal:
PO Box 5875 Mandurah, WA 6210
Contact: Rev Julian Bull
Telephone: (08) 9581 4461/ 0435 245 919
Email:
tonywalker1@hotmail.com.au

MURDOCH THREE CROSSES CHURCH


Morning: 10am Mandala Hall, Mandala Crescent,
Bateman at 10am
Evening: 6pm Murdoch University, Murdoch
Postal:
9 Johansen Promenade MURDOCH WA
6150
Contact: Revd Matthew Waldron
Mob:
0438 021 286
Email:
mattwaldron@bigpond.com
Website: www.threecrosseschurch.com
PRESBYTERY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Moderator: Elder Steve Heathcote
Email:
steveheathcote@amnet.net.au
Phone:
08 9458 5449
Clerk:
Revd Ray Wilson
Postal:
105 Regency Drv, Thornlie, 6108
Email:
halcyon@iinet.net.au
Phone:
0421 903 446
OTHER CONTACTS
TRINITY THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE WESTERN
AUSTRALIA
Postal add: PO Box 115, Leederville, Perth,
WA 6902
Add:
Level 2, 632-634 Newcastle Street,
Leederville, WA 6007
Telephone: +61 8 9228 9067
Email:
reception@ttc.wa.edu.au
Website: www.ttc.wa.edu.au
PROVIDENCE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN
CHURCH
Pastor Christopher Seah
Mob:
+65 9139 4654
Meets:
350 Alexandra Road, Level 3

(Next to Princess House)
SINGAPORE 159946.
Time:
9.30am

Bible Study/Sunday School: 11.30am
Postal:
c/o Apt Block 1D, Pine Grove,
#08-15, Singapore 593001
Email:
provrpc@gmail.com
Website: http:www.providencerpc.org
GRACE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

PO Box 31-210, Ilam, Christchurch 8444,
NEW ZEALAND
Contact: Trevor Webb
Email:
webbt@paradise.net.nz
EASTGATE BIBLE CHURCH
Meets:
Philharmonic Socy Building
7 Matthews Street, Toowoomba Qld
Time:
10am
Contact: Pr Owen Nugent
Mob:
0412 124 928
Email:
admin@eastgatebiblechurch.net
Web site: www.eastgatebiblechurch.net

The Messenger Summer 2017 Page 22

HORIZON REFORMED CHRISTIAN


FELLOWSHIP
Address: 22 Padbury Way, Sorrento
Meets:
Sundays at 9:30am
Website: www.horizonrcf.com
Contact: Neil Evans 0405421971
HARBOUR CITY CHURCH
Address: 220 Miller Street

North Sydney, 2060 NSW
Time:
10.30 am
Contact: Revd Jim Jung
Website www.HarbourCityChurch.com
Phone: 0430423986
Email: jamesjung@gmail.com

WESTMINSTER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF


MYANMAR
Meets:
Mingaladon, Yangon, Myanmar &
Hosanna Bible College, Yangon.
Australian
Contact: Rev. Julian Bull.
Mob:
0435 245919
Email:
julianbull@optusnet.com.au
Web site: www.eastgatebiblechurch.net
Mustard Seed Organisation Australia Inc.
Contact: Mrs. Johanna Sanders
Email:
johanna.sanders@bigpond.com
Mob:
08 9354 7454

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF WPC


Moderator:
Don de Vries
Vice-Moderator: Steve Heathcote
Treasurer
Anton Noppers

(08) 9498 3306
Clerk:
Ray Wilson
Email:
halcyon@iinet.net.au

Please note: While every care is taken to ensure the information on these pages is accurate, it
is the responsibility of each church or organisation to inform the editor of any changes.

Faith is to the soul what life is to the body.


Prayer is to faith what breath is to the body.
How a person can live and not breathe is past my comprehension,
and how a person can believe and not pray is past my comprehension too.
J. C. Ryle

THE MESSENGER ON

For updates and downloads of past issues,


visit: http://www.facebook.com/themessengermagazine

The Messenger Summer 2017 Page 23

Principal Dr. Terry Clarke

Location:

Mailing address:

Sunshine Coast
Theological College
2-4 Toral Drive
Buderim, QLD 4556
Australia

Sunshine Coast
Theological College
P.O. Box 346
Buderim, QLD 4556
Australia

General Information:
information@sctc.org.au
Library:
library@sctc.org.au
Registrar:
registrar@sctc.org.au
Telephone
(07) 5445 8501

Please feel free to contact us and schedule a visit


at http://www.sctc.org.au/