The Holy Spirit – God’s Gift, Not His Reward

In Galatians 3:14, we read about "receiving the promise of the Spirit through faith." What does this mean? It may be helpful to think, first, about what it doesn't mean. We must never think of the Holy Spirit as a reward that is given to us because we have faith - the more faith we …

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Out of the shadows of our past, into 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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Is the Gospel still relevant?… Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

GALATIANS  1:1-2:10  -  ‘A revelation of Jesus Christ’ (1:12) - This is what the Gospel is all about. Christ is the Gospel. Without Him, there is no Gospel. What was Paul’s testimony? What did he preach to others? - God ‘was pleased to reveal His Son in order that I might preach Him…’ (1:15-16). We …

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“Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.”

Galatians 3:23-5:6 ‘God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts’(4:6). The Spirit is not a reward we earn by being good people. The Spirit is God’s gift (Titus 3:5). Paul connects the gift of the Spirit with Christ’s death for us and our faith in Christ(3:13-14). We do not come to God …

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We listen to Jesus, we learn from Jesus, and we worship Jesus.

"I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin.  I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ" (Galatians 1:11-12). "By revelation from Jesus Christ": This was more than Paul's preaching. It was Christ's revelation. What a difference …

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Let us rejoice in Jesus, God’s Son. Let us rejoice in Jesus, our Saviour.

"God's Son, Jesus Christ our Lord" was "declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:3-4). This post is a continuation of my earlier post, "This is my Son. This is your Saviour." You should, really, read that post before reading …

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God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

"At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do" (Matthew 11:25-26). "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, …

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The Death of Christ

"This is My blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:28). Early on in my Christian life, I read James Denney's book, The Death of Christ.  Reading this book gave me a real sense of the importance of the death of Christ. This has stayed with me over the …

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Journey through the New Testament: Galatians

‘A revelation of Jesus Christ’ (1:12): Christ is our Testimony. Christ is our Message. He is the crucified Christ - ‘I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me’. He is the living Christ - ‘I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but …

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Love, joy, peace… where do they come from?

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23). Love, joy, peace ... - Is this what we find when we look within ourselves? or Do we find something very different? What does Jesus tell us about ourselves? Does he pat us on the back and tell as that, at …

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We are sinners. We’re called to be servants. Jesus is our Saviour.

"I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ" (Galatians 1:11-12). We read the words of Paul - and we look beyond him to Jesus …

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The apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers… and Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord

"Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no …

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The Word and the words (13): God’s salvation covers our past, our present and our future.

"I am the good shepherd" (John 10:11). "The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing" (Psalm 23:1). I lack nothing - God has given us a full salvation. It's a salvation that covers our past, our present and our future. -- We begin by emphasizing that God's salvation covers our past. "He makes me lie …

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Our great privilege and our great responsibility

"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). These verses speak to us of our great privilege …

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The Lord bless you and keep you.

"Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven" (Psalm 32:1). The forgiveness of sins - this is such a great blessing. The forgiveness of sins: it's just the beginning of so much great blessing which will continue throughout our life on earth and for all eternity. "Create in me a clean heart, O God,    and renew a right spirit within …

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Change me, today. Change me, every day.

"God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Galatians 6:14).  "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20). This is more than a statement of our intention: …

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The Lord is exalted, but He is also the God who draws near to us.

Isaiah 43:1-44:23; Galatians 3:26-4:20; Psalm 108:1-5 What a majestic description of God we have in Isaiah 44:6 – “This is what the Lord says – Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty; I am the First and I am the Last; apart from Me there is no God.” This is the God to whom we pray, “Be …

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A New Beginning: Some thoughts from the Scriptures

Genesis 1:1-3‘Genesis’ means ‘beginning’. Its opening verses challenge us to get our priorities right. (a) the priority of God(1) God comes first. Before anyone else is mentioned, He is there. (b) the priority of God’s Word (3) God is the first to speak. Before any human word is spoken, there is the Word of the Lord. (c) the priority …

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Praying through God’s Word: Galatians

Galatians 1:1-2:10 Lord, we thank you that You have given to us “a revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:12). Christ is the Gospel. He is our testimony. He is our message. Help us to keep Him at the very centre of our life. In our ever-changing world, help us to keep on saying, “Jesus Christ …

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Praying Through God’s Word: Galatians

Galatians 1:1-2:10Lord, we thank you that You have given to us "a revelation of Jesus Christ" (Galatians 1:12). Christ is the Gospel. He is our testimony. He is our message. Help us to keep Him at the very centre of our life. In our ever-changing world, help us to keep on saying, "Jesus Christ is …

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Thinking back … remembering God’s faithful servants … and giving thanks to God

" I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). Many years ago, in the early years of my Christian life, I was …

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The grace of God reaches us and changes us.

"I am the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy" (Leviticus 11:45). Where does holiness come from? How are we to become holy? Before we read about God's holiness, we read about his love. God says, "I am holy" - but, first, he says, "I ... …

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Beginning with Esther – and moving on to Jesus

"Who knows, perhaps you (Esther) have come to the kingdom for such a time as this ... If I (Esther) perish, I perish" (Esther 4:14,16). When I read the words, "For such a time as this", I found myself thinking of the words of Galatians 4:4 - "When the time had fully come God sent …

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With God, we shall gain the victory.

Isaiah 44:24-46:13; Galatians 4:21-5:6; Psalm 108:6-13 “I am the Lord, and there is no other” – This truth is repeated several times over in this part of Isaiah (Isaiah 48:5-6,14,18,21-22; Isaiah 46:9). The contrast, in Isaiah, is between God and the gods. The contrast, in Galatians, is between Christ’s salvation and other ways of salvation (Galatians …

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With God, we shall gain the victory.

Isaiah 44:24-46:13; Galatians 4:21-5:6; Psalm 108:6-13 “I am the Lord, and there is no other” - This truth is repeated several times over in this part of Israel (Isaiah 48:5-6,14,18,21-22; Isaiah 46:9). The contrast, in Isaiah, is between God and the gods. The contrast, in Galatians, is between Christ’s salvation and other ways of salvation …

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Let’s set our feet firmly on the Rock of ages – our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 41:1-42:25; Galatians 3:10-25; Proverbs 22:28-23:9 The Old Testament looks forward to the coming of Christ – “Here is My Servant, whom I uphold, My Chosen One in whom I delight; I will put My Spirit on Him and He will bring justice to the nations” (Isaiah 42:1). He is the fulfilment of the Old …

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Saved by the Lord, we are to give ourselves to Him in worship.

Isaiah 38:1-40:31; Galatians 2:11-3:9; Psalm 107:33-43 “The Lord will save me, and we will sing with stringed instruments all the days of our lives in the Temple of the Lord” (Isaiah 38:20). Saved by the Lord, we are to give ourselves to Him in worship. This worship is to be in the Spirit (Galatians 3:3). …

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