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.”

Let us rejoice in God’s great salvation.

"God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having …

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Responding to God’s Word (42): You will be saved.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). How are we to respond to God's Word? Here, Paul tells us: confess with your mouth and believe in your heart. What is to be our confession …

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The commonplace and the deeper experience of worship

1 Chronicles 15:1-16:36; Romans 16:1-27; Psalm 90:11-17 In a book full of so many names, David’s psalm of thanksgiving (1 Chronicles 16) stands out. It is a high-point in the midst of the commonplace. The commonplace is not insignificant in God’s purpose. It is the backcloth against which God gives to us His special high-points. In …

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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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The Name of the Lord – the Name of our Salvation

1 Chronicles 2:18-4:8; Romans 10:5-11:10; Proverbs 18:7-16 More names! It’s great to have a name – and not to be a nameless person of unknown identity. It’s even greater to have the Name of the Lord given to us for our salvation. “Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans …

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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, neither height nor depth, nor anything else …

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The pouring into our hearts – and the pouring out from our hearts…

"God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us" (Romans 5:5). The Holy Spirit has been poured into our hearts. The Holy Spirit is poured out from our hearts. First, there is the pouring into our hearts. Then, there is the pouring out from our hearts. …

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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 …

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

The love of God goes on and on.

1 Chronicles 6:1-81; Romans 11:33-12:21; Psalm 89:30-37 The names tell a story – the story of the historical development of the Lord’s purpose with His people. The many names, stretching over a vast expanse of time, highlight the greatness of God and the great work He is doing among His people. They draw out from us …

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King Saul – physically strong, spiritually weak

1 Chronicles 9:1b-10:14; Romans 14:1-18; Proverbs 18:17-19:2 1 Chronicles 10 tells of the death of Saul: “Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord …” (1 Chronicles 10:13-14). Romans 14 speaks of the strong and the weak. Physically, Saul was strong.  Spiritually, he was weak. Maintaining our spiritual strength, our relationship with God, is to be …

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God’s love for us… Christ’s death for us…

“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8) – What a wonderful message Paul shared with people wherever he went. It’s the message of God’s love. We see this love in the death of Christ. He “loved us and gave himself for us” (Galatians …

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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 …

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

Love has the victory forever.

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 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. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does …

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The Holy Spirit comes from God. The Holy Spirit changes us.

(i) The Holy Spirit comes from God. - The new birth (John 3:3, 7). - “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Luke 3:16). (ii) The Holy Spirit changes us. - “Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death” …

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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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God’s love and faithfulness, His guidance and blessing

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost: Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67; Psalm 45:10-17 or Song of Solomon 2:8-13 (or Zechariah 9:9-12); Psalm 145:8-14; Romans 7:15-25a; Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 Rejoicing in God’s love and faithfulness, let us seek His guidance and blessing. The detailed account of Isaac's marriage highlights the guidance of God. He directs the life of His …

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In the beginning, there is love, eternal love, the love of God.

Easter Vigil: Genesis 1:1-2:4a; Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26; Genesis 7:1-5, 11-18; 8:6-18; 9:8-13; Psalm 46; Genesis 22:1-18; Psalm 16; Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21; Exodus 15:1b-13, 17-18; Isaiah 55:1-11; Isaiah 12:2-6; Proverbs 8:1-8, 19-21; 9:4b-6; Psalm 19; Ezekiel 36:24-28; Psalms 42 and 43; Ezekiel 37:1-14; Psalm 143; Zephaniah 3:14-20; Psalm 98; Romans 6:3-11; Psalm 114; Matthew 28:1-10 In …

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Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost: Genesis 32:22-31; Psalm 17:1-7, 15 or Isaiah 55:1-5; Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21; Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:13-21

Receiving Strength From The Lord At the place called Peniel, Jacob ‘saw God face to face’ (Genesis 32:30). We see ‘the glory of God in the face of Christ’ (2 Corinthians 4:6). Jacob wrestled with God and became an overcomer (Genesis 32:28). Christ wrestled with the powers of evil, and has won a mighty victory …

Continue reading Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost: Genesis 32:22-31; Psalm 17:1-7, 15 or Isaiah 55:1-5; Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21; Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:13-21

The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost: Genesis 22:1-12; Psalm 13 or Jeremiah 28:5-9; Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18; Romans 6:12-23; Matthew 10:40-42 Let us look to Christ, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” In Genesis 21:22-34, we see Abraham in his relationship with the world. In Genesis 22:1-14, we see Abraham in his …

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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 …

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

God’s greatest gift – Jesus

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost: Genesis 21:8-21; Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17 or Jeremiah 20:7-13; Psalm 69:7-10, (11-15), 16-18; Romans 6:1b-11; Matthew 19:24-30 Let us rejoice in God’s greatest gift – Jesus. We have here the contrast between Isaac, the child of promise, and Ishmael, the fruit of unbelief. Ishmael was born as a result of impatience, the …

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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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Travelling towards “eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand (Psalm 16:11). When we are making our way through life without looking to the Lord and turning to him, we are walking in darkness. We don't really understand what life is …

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Union with Christ in His death and resurrection – facts, faith and experience

"What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore …

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Let us rejoice – Jesus Christ “loved us and gave Himself for us.”

"Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: ...  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law" (Romans 3:24,28). In God's way of salvation, there's no room for boasting from us. Salvation is God's gift. It's given to us "by His grace." …

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In the wilderness… (Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 14:19-31; Psalm 114 (or Exodus 15:1b-11, 20-21) or Genesis 50:15-21; Psalm 103: (1-7), 8-13; Romans 14:1-12; Matthew 18:21-35)

In the wilderness, we can know that God is with us. Sin may be ‘near’, but God never leads His people into it (Exodus 13:13:17, James 1:13). Following Christ means walking a narrow road (Matthew 7:13-14). We are surrounded by many temptations. Pray that your feet will not slip (Psalm 37:31; 17:5; 44:18). Sometimes, the …

Continue reading In the wilderness… (Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 14:19-31; Psalm 114 (or Exodus 15:1b-11, 20-21) or Genesis 50:15-21; Psalm 103: (1-7), 8-13; Romans 14:1-12; Matthew 18:21-35)

Tell me the old, old story of Jesus and his love.

We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you (Psalm 33:20-22). Here, we focus on the word, "hope." What do the politicians and economists have to …

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Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 3:1-15; Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c or Jeremiah 15:15-21; Psalm 26:1-8; Romans 12:9-21; Matthew 16:21-28

The work of God makes progress when God’s people move forward together. Salvation, service, personal faith, life among God’s people - God has much to teach us. Moses sins (Exodus 2:12). God graciously forgives (Micah 7:18-19) - this is salvation. His sin forgiven, Moses is called to service. He is called by the eternal God, …

Continue reading Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 3:1-15; Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c or Jeremiah 15:15-21; Psalm 26:1-8; Romans 12:9-21; Matthew 16:21-28

Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 1:8-2:10; Psalm 124 or Isaiah 51:1-6; Psalm 138; Romans 12:1-8; Matthew 16:13-20

Redeemed by the Lord, we are to be consecrated to Him. Things were difficult for Israel yet ‘the more they were oppressed the more they multiplied’ (Exodus 1:12). Difficult times can be the making of God’s people! Pharaoh (and Satan!) is murderously anxious about the growth of God's people (Exodus 1:15-16; John 10:10). God is …

Continue reading Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Exodus 1:8-2:10; Psalm 124 or Isaiah 51:1-6; Psalm 138; Romans 12:1-8; Matthew 16:13-20

Faith that leads to obedience, and obedience that arises from faith

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God, the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection …

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Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Genesis 45:1-15; Psalm 133 or Isaiah 56:1, 6-8; Psalm 67; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matthew 15: (10-20), 21-28

We gather together to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. In the reunion of Joseph with his brothers, there is a great testimony to the God of grace: ‘Do not be distressed... because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life... God sent me before you to preserve for you …

Continue reading Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Genesis 45:1-15; Psalm 133 or Isaiah 56:1, 6-8; Psalm 67; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matthew 15: (10-20), 21-28

Lord, help us to keep on going – with you and for you.

"May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 15:5). Let us keep on encouraging one another - to keep on worshipping the Lord. Where …

Continue reading Lord, help us to keep on going – with you and for you.