Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son. God did sacrifice his only Son.

"When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” …

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We may stop loving God, but he will never stop loving us.

"I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39). What is God's Word saying to us here? …

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It’s not the beginning of the end. It’s the end of the beginning.

"We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him" (Romans 8:28). Is everything that happens to us good? How are we to answer this question? Should we answer a question with another question? Will the final outcome be good? When we look on to the final outcome, everything changes. …

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Jesus, the risen Lord, calls us to look up from our suffering and catch a glimpse of his glory.

"Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18). When we're suffering, it's not easy to lift up our eyes and catch a glimpse of the glory of God. Our thoughts are taken up with the things that are happening to us right now. What is …

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From strength to strength, from faith to faith, from glory to glory

"Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 2:1). By the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are led from strength to strengh, from faith to faith, and from glory to glory. (1) From strength to strength The phrase, "from strength to strength" is taken from the hymn, "Soldiers of …

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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 …

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

“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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It’s God’s Love For Us That Creates, In Us, Our Love For Him.

Through faith in Jesus Christ, we come to God, our loving, heavenly Father. In Christ, we see God's Fatherly love. Enjoying God's Fatherly love - This is more than our entrance into God's family through faith in Christ. It's living as a member of God's family. It's discovering how much we are loved by God. …

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Are there some things that are more than “just your own opinion”?

"I'll tell you what I think." "I'll give you my opinion." In today's world, people will listen to all sorts of opinions. They may disagree with what's being said, but they will listen, and they will say, "You're entitled to your opinion." What happens when someone says, "This is what the Word of the Lord …

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Jesus is more than our teacher and example. He’s our Saviour and Lord.

"Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2). "Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith." (Hebrews 12:1-2). Not conformed to the world, transformed by the Lord: how are we to live this kind of …

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The best name is the Name of the Lord.

1 Chronicles 4:9-5:26; Romans 11:11-32; Psalm 89:19-29 When we speak of “Israel”, as Paul does in Romans 22, we must not think of a nameless and faceless crowd of people. Behind the word “Israel”, there are many names and many faces to whom the Lord shows His mercy (Romans 11:31-32). The best name is the Name of …

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Lord, we thank You that our lives are not controlled by what we are. They are transformed by who You are.

Praying through God's Word - Judges 14:10-16:3 Lord, we thank You that our lives are not controlled by what we are. They are transformed by who You are. We are sinners. You are the God of grace, Shall our sin triumph over Your grace? - "God forbid!" (Romans 6:1-2). "Sin shall not have dominion over us" (Romans 6:14). Your …

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Called by the love of God – to confess our faith in Christ and to live as his followers

"Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” 36 For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever!" (Romans 11:35-36). "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9).  Where do …

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Trust in Christ, not in yourself.

Romans 9:1-33 We read about 'Jews' and 'Gentiles'. We learn about salvation. The Jews are not saved because of their nationality. It is 'not because of works'. The Gentiles are not excluded because of their nationality. It is 'because of His call'. Salvation comes from God's grace, not from our good works. It is received …

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Pray that faith will come, as the Word of Christ is heard.

Romans 10:1-21 To 'Jew and Gentile', God says, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved' (12-13). The Jews had praised the Lord Jesus: 'Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!'. Before long, they were shouting, 'Crucify Him, crucify Him!' (John …

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Learning from Martin Luther (The Kingdom Of God: Romans and Galatians)

This message was preached as part of a series in which we looked at what the books of the New Testament say about "the Kingdom of God." Since the focus is really on Martin Luther, I've given "Learning from Martin Luther" as the main title, with "The Kingdom of God: Romans and Galatians" being given …

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

Romans 1:1-32 'I am not ashamed of the gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith' (16). Do you think it was easy for Paul to maintain such commitment to Christ, such confidence in Christ? What kind of world did he live in?: a world of 'ungodliness and …

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God has great things in store for His people.

Romans 5:1-21 God has great things in store for His people! (a) 'Much more' (9-10): 'Justified by Christ's blood', 'reconciled to God', 'We shall be saved by Christ from the wrath of God', 'saved by His life'. (b) 'Much more' (15,17): 'The grace of God' has 'abounded for many'. In Christ, we have 'received the abundance of …

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Jesus Christ our Lord: crucified for us and risen for us

"We do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord" (2 Corinthians 4:5). This post is, really, a continuation of an earlier post, "When we preach Christ crucified, let us, also, preach that he is the risen Lord." If you want to read that post before starting to read this one, here's the link for …

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When we preach Christ crucified, let us, also, preach that he is the risen Lord.

"We preach Christ crucified" (1 Corinthians 1:23). In his preaching. Paul "reasoned with people from the Scriptures" (Acts 17:2), but he did not say, "We preach Isaiah", "We preach Jeremiah" or "We preach... ." He said, "We preach Christ crucified." When Paul spoke about the death of Christ, he spoke about the love of God: …

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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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Romans 11-14

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 …

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Romans 14-16

In chapter 14, Paul speaks about problems which arise in relationships between Christians. In chapter 15, he emphasizes that the Gospel is for all, both Jews and Gentiles. Chapter 16 is, mainly, a series of personal greetings which Paul sends to indvidual Christians at Rome.

Romans 9-11

These are difficult chapters. Paul speaks about the place of Jews and Gentiles in God's work of salvation. Above all else, this great theme stands out: Salvation is the work of God's grace; it is His gift of grace which is received through faith in Jesus Christ, the Saviour of both Jews and Gentiles.

Romans 4-6

Here, Paul speaks about God's way of salvation. He emphasizes that we receive salvation through faith in Jesus Christ: we are justified by faith (chapter 4). This is just the beginning of our salvation. God has given us new life (chapter 6) and, now, He's leading us on to eternal glory (chapter 5).

God sees us as we really are – and he keeps on loving us.

"For many times, also, your own heart has known that even you have cursed others" (Ecclesiastes 7:22).  "Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things" (Romans 2:1).  The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector "Also …

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Led in the way of victory

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28; Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b or 1 Kings 19:9-18; Psalm 85:8-13; Romans 10:5-15; Matthew 14:22-33 Strengthened by the Lord, we are led in the way of victory. In the story of Joseph, we see human sin and divine grace. We see jealousy (Genesis 37:11) and its effects: ‘where jealousy …

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Trust in the Lord. He is working in us to do us good.

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost: Genesis 29:15-28; Psalm 105:1-11, 45b (or Psalm 128) or 1 Kings 3:5-12; Psalm 119:129-136; Romans 8:26-39; Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 Trust in the Lord. He is working in us to do us good. The tables are turned on Jacob. The trickster is tricked! The ‘trick’ was according to the ‘custom’ that the …

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Knowing Jesus and preaching him: it’s all about loving him.

"I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2). "We preach Christ crucified" (1 Corinthians 1:23). Here, Paul speaks to us about knowing Christ crucified and preaching Christ crucified, Before we can preach him, we must know him. God speaks to us before we speak for him. What …

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Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord.

"I can't take any more of this." What are we to do when we feel like this? What about listening to what God's Word has to say to us? "I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else …

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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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Our feelings are changeable. God’s love is unchangeable.

"Salvation is nearer to us than when we first believed" (Romans 13:11). We read these great words, and we are encouraged. The Lord is leading us on the most wonderful journey. At the end of this journey, there is the most glorious destination. As we travel towards this glorious destination, we must keep our eyes …

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Love has the victory forever.

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does …

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Think, often, of what Jesus has done for you. Thank Him for dying for you.

"When people work, their pay is not regarded as a gift but something they have earned" (Romans 4:4). When God is at work in us, bringing us to faith in His Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, everything is very different. His salvation is His gift to us. It's not our reward from Him.   Grace gives …

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"His dominion shall be… to the ends of the earth" (Zechariah 9:10).

God's purpose was moving on. He had begun with Israel. Their deliverance from bondage in Egypt was a mighty demonstration of His saving power. This was only the beginning. God was moving on to Jesus - "the Saviour of the world" (John 4:42). In Jesus Christ, crucified for us, God was reaching out, in love, …

Continue reading "His dominion shall be… to the ends of the earth" (Zechariah 9:10).