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Let us worship the Lord, our God.

Here are videos of the hymns that we sang at this morning's service. This post, also, includes sermon notes on "Jesus and Barabbas" and "Jesus and the dying thief." https://youtu.be/RAyKmYD2Zg8 Taking the Place of Barabbas (Luke 23:13-25) 13 Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, 14 said to them, “You have …

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God’s Kingdom will never be destroyed.

Daniel 5:17-6:28; 1 John 1:1-2:11; Psalm 136:1-12 “For He is the living God and He endures for ever; His Kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end” (Daniel 6:26). “His love endures for ever” (Psalm 136). God is the God of love. His Kingdom is the Kingdom of love. God is eternal. His …

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Some European Theologians

Schillebeeckx, Edward Cornelius Florentius Alfons (1914-2009) Dominican scholar. Born in Antwerp, Belgium, he taught dogmatic theology at Louvain (1943–45, 1947–58). He was appointed professor of dogmatics and the history of theology at the University of Nijmegen in 1958. In 1965 he helped to found the international theological journal Concilium. His Jesus received acclaim in the …

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The Lord – My Strength, My Rock, My Fortress, My Deliverer

Psalm 18:1-50 - The first three verses set the tone: Worship. What a great start to this Psalm. Our attention is directed away from ourselves to the Lord: ‘my strength...my rock, my fortress and my deliverer...my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold’(1-2). The great testimony of verse 3 - ‘I call upon …

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God’s work in us is more than “as long as I live.” It’s “forever.”

“The Lord is my Shepherd” (Psalm 23:1). He speaks to us. He calls us to Himself. He leads us on with Himself (John 10:3). He is all that we need for walking the walk as well as talking the talk. He works in us through the “oil” of the Holy Spirit and the “table” and …

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Lead us, Lord, out of the bitter way and into the better way.

“There is no violence in my hands, and my prayer is pure” (Job 16:17). We wonder, Lord, ‘Is this no more than Job’s own opinion of himself?” Your Word tells us that it’s also Your view of Job: “My witness is in heaven, and He that vouches for me is on high” (Job 16:19). As …

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Triumphant hope, glorious hope, eternal hope

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). In these words of Jesus, there's a great message of hope - triumphant hope, glorious hope, eternal hope. Triumphant hope Jesus speaks to us about "tribulation" …

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Lord, You speak to us Your Word of warning – and Your promise of blessing.

Lord, You speak to us Your Word of warning - and Your promise of blessing. You call us back from the way of disobedience - and on to the pathway of obedience and blessing. Where does the blessing come from? Does it come from our obedience? No! It comes from Your love. It comes from Your …

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Choosing the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour

Throughout life, we have to make choices. Some choices are relatively straightforward. Others are very much more difficult. Some choices don’t affect the rest of our life very much. There are, however, choices which affect the whole of our life. There is one choice which is more important than any other – choosing the Lord …

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Lord, You, alone, will give us the strength that we need to keep on walking with You, all the days of our life.

Daniel 8:15-9:19; 1 John 2:28-3:10; Proverbs 29:10-18 There is real urgency about Daniel's prayer: "O Lord, look with favour on Your desolate sanctuary ... O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act!" (Daniel 9:17,19). We do need to pray with urgency. There are many who seek to lead us astray (1 John …

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Who Jesus is, what Jesus has done for us, and what Jesus calls us to be.

Luke 9:1-27 It was a short mission (1-6) - short but important! They were being trained for future work. There and then, people were hearing the Gospel, believing in Christ and being saved. There was opposition (7-9): There's always plenty of that - 'We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us' (Romans 8:37). …

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Love so amazing, so divine, shall have my soul, my life, my all. O use me, Lord, use even me, just as Thou wilt, and when, and where.

Numbers 7:1-47 Why do we bring our offerings to the Lord? - 'that they may be used in doing the service of the tent of meeting' (5). We give ourselves to the Lord - 'Love so amazing, so divine, Shall have my soul, my life, my all' - and we ask Him to put our …

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Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology

Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology Volume 13, Number 2 Autumn 1995. This volume contains a review article, in which I share something of my spiritual journey (p. 148). It's a review of Donald Bloesch's book, Holy Scripture: Revelation, Inspiration and Interpretation. There are, also, several other book reviews, written by myself. Karl Barth, Theological Basis …

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When we bow at the foot of the Cross, we say, “To God be the glory.”

Romans 11:1-36 'You stand fast only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe' (20). In 9:32, Paul contrasted 'faith' and 'works'. Here, he contrasts 'grace' and 'works' (6). Grace and faith belong together. 'Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy Cross I cling' (Church Hymnary, 83) - This is …

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Fill us, Lord, with Your strength and Your joy.

Daniel 9:20-11:1; 1 John 3:11-4:6; Psalm 137:1-9 "When He spoke to me, I was strengthened" (Daniel 10:19). The strength we receive from the Lord is a greater strength than the temptations we face: "the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world" (1 John 4:4). To know that …

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We need worship, we need witness, and we need the power of the Lord.

Luke 8:22-56 'Where is your faith?' (25). The Lord is not looking for lip-service. He is looking for real faith. Some beg Jesus 'to depart from them' (37). They don't want to know! Others long to 'be with Him' (38). They don't want to go! Some have no interest in worship. They don't really want …

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God wipes out the shadow of our past – and He shines in the light of His future.

Micah 5:1-7:20; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; Proverbs 21:17-26 God wipes out the shadow of our past - He “pardons sin” (Micah 7:18). He shines in the light of His future - “We will be “clothed with our heavenly dwelling” (2 Corinthians 5:4). From this standpoint of privilege, we are called to fulfil our responsibility: to be soldiers of …

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“Do not be conformed … Be transformed … ” (Romans 12:2).

“However much any theology will bear the imprint of its environment, it must be remembered that, when it is really living and sensitive, Christian theology does not only submit to the cultural and conceptual framework of its time and place, but also regenerates and reforms it sometimes very drastically.” (E. L. Mascall, Theology and the …

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Pray For God’s Mercy. Ask Him To Make You More Holy.

Deuteronomy 28:25-68  There is nothing inevitable about the chain of events described in these verses. These are the consequences of disobedience. God is warning His people: ‘If you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God…’(28:15). Why does God warn His people of the consequences of disobedience? He wants them to draw back …

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Were we there when they crucified our Lord? – Yes. He died for our sins.

Were we there when they crucified our Lord? – Yes. He died for our sins. In this remarkable prophecy, we see Jesus Christ, crucified for us - ‘the Lord has laid all our sins on Him’ - and risen from the dead - ‘After the suffering of His soul, He will see the light of …

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G C Berkouwer and Apologetics

Berkouwer, Gerrit C. (1903-1996) Throughout his lengthy career as Professor of Systematic Theology at the Free University of Amsterdam, he sought to understand the gospel more deeply. Best known for his multi-volumed Studies in Dogmatics, his chief work was in dogmatics rather than apologetics. His writings contain valuable insights relating to the work of apologetics. …

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The Name of the Lord and the Word of the Lord becomes precious to us, the love of the Lord becomes real to us, the strength of the Lord is given to us, and the enemy is firmly resisted.

Daniel 11:2-35; 1 John 4:7-21; Psalm 138:1-8 Daniel 11 is concerned with conflict. This is part of our spiritual experience as well as Israel's military experience. There is an enemy who opposes the Lord and His people. Nevertheless, "the people who know their God will firmly resist him" (Daniel 11:32). How are we able to resist …

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Assessing G. C. Berkouwer’s Critique Of Karl Barth’s Refusal to Affirm Universal Salvation

In his book, “The Knowledge of the Holy” (a book on the Attributes of God in the Christian Life), A. W. Tozer spoke about an ocean liner travelling across the Atlantic from Liverpool to New York. The destination has been set for the ship’s journey. The travellers can do as they wish while they are …

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Help us, Lord, to worship You with holy fear and heartfelt love.

‘Exalt the Lord our God... Make a joyful noise to the Lord’(Psalm 99:5,9; Psalm 98:4,6; Psalm 100:1). Lord, You're calling us to worship You with joy. You're calling us to glorify You. You want us to enjoy You. In our worship, may we never forget Your holiness: ‘He is holy!... The Lord our God is …

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Jesus Christ, God’s Son, gave Himself for our sins. Then, God raised Him from the dead.

Numbers 28:1-31  -  The sacrifices, offered to God, were to be ‘a pleasing odour’ to Him (2,6,8,13,24,27). These sacrifices are no longer required. A greater Sacrifice has been offered and accepted. Jesus Christ, God’s Son, has offered Himself as a Sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 9:23-26). This Sacrifice is ‘a pleasing odour’ to God. It is …

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God is not exalted because we exalt Him. We exalt Him because He is exalted.

Psalms  92:1-93:5- ‘You, O Lord, are exalted for ever... The Lord reigns, He is robed in majesty...’(8; 93:1-2). The Lord is ‘exalted’. We are to exalt Him in our worship. He is not exalted because we exalt Him. We exalt Him because He is exalted. He is ‘exalted far above all gods’. That is why …

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Here, on earth, we have a foretaste of glory divine. In heaven, it will be the real thing.

Through Jesus Christ, God’s Servant, God’s Son, our Saviour, God calls us to be saved by Him and to become His servants. We’re to be “a light to the nations” (Isaiah 42:6). All the glory belongs to Him (Isaiah 42:8). He will lead us forward into great blessing: “new events” (Isaiah 42:9). This directs our …

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There are always new treasures for us to discover.

Matthew 13:44-58 Be patient. Do not doubt the power of God's Word. Once God's Word has begun to exert its influence among the people, great things will happen. The beginnings may seem small. Remember: nothing is insignificant when God is in it! Some may be on the verge of the kind of joyful discovery of …

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You call us, Lord, to seek You – and You, also, call us to serve You.

You call us, Lord, to seek You - and You also call us to serve You (2 Chronicles 31:20-21). Where does our seeking and serving come from? It comes from Your salvation. We read the words, "The Lord saved Hezekiah" ( 2 Chronicles 32::22) - and we think of our salvation. We rejoice in Your …

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God’s Blessing Will Come To Those Who Seek Him With Their Whole Heart.

Psalm 119:97-120 Throughout life, we have to make choices. Some choices are relatively straightforward. Others are very much more difficult. Some choices don’t affect the rest of our life very much. There are, however, choices which affect the whole of our life. There is one choice which is more important than any other - Choosing …

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Lord, You call us to “worship You in spirit and in truth.”

Leviticus 22:17-23:44 Lord, You call us to "worship You in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). Where does true worship come from? - It comes from You. It comes from Your Spirit. It comes from Your Truth. We read the Holy Scriptures - and we begin to worship You. We open our hearts to the Holy Spirit - …

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Wisdom and foolishness, righteousness and wickedness

The contrast between wisdom and foolishness corresponds to the contrast between righteousness and wickedness (Proverbs 10:1,7). God calls us to be “the wise in heart.” He calls us to show forth “the fruit of a righteous person.” He calls us to be “a winner of souls” (Proverbs 11:19-30). If there are to be the fruits …

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In Your work, Lord, we need visionaries, managers and workers.

In Your work, Lord, we need visionaries, managers and workers. David was a visionary. He had the original idea of building the Temple. Solomon was a manager. Under his leadership, the vision became a reality. The people were important. They built the Temple. Help us, Lord, to find our place. Help us to play our …

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More than Duty Giving and Grudge Giving – Let there be Thanksgiving.

Acts 20:17-21:14 From Paul's farewell to the Ephesian elders, there are some lessons for all of us. (a) 'Repentance to God' and 'faith in our Lord Jesus Christ' (21) - This is not only a call for conversion. It is for every believer - all the time. (b) 'Take heed to yourselves and to all …

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Calvin’s Description of Christ as ‘the Mirror of Election’

On the whole, Berkouwer shows considerable agreement with Calvin. Where there is disagreement, this tends to be minimized through sympathetic interpretation which accentuates their agreement. Whenever disagreement is inevitable, it is always respectful disagreement. Berkouwer’s criticisms of Calvin are never offered without the greatest respect for the great Reformer. While Berkouwer offers much sympathetic exposition …

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God is great – great in love and power, great in holiness, faithfulness and glory.

The greatness of God * He is great in Himself. Before the world was created, God is great: “In the beginning, God....” (Genesis 1:1). * He is great for us. This is the great message that comes to us from Isaiah 40:28-31. God is great in love. God is great in power. God is great …

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Run away from Babylon! Babylon will suddenly fall and be shattered.

God’s Word speaks against us so that we might learn not to speak against God’s Word. God calls us to holiness - “Run away from Babylon! Run for your lives!” (Jeremiah 51:6). The final outcome is described in Jeremiah 51:8 - “Babylon will suddenly fall and be shattered.” God is warning us. It is folly …

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The Bible speaks to us from the ancient past – but it’s not to be left in the ancient past.

We read in the Bible about God’s love. Is this just something from the ancient past? Is it for us? The Bible speaks to us from the ancient past – but it’s not to be left in the ancient past. * “God so loved the world” (John 3:16) – This is for us today. He …

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