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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Called to serve the Lord …

Third Sunday in Lent: Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 95; Romans 5:1-11; John 4:5-42 Called to serve the Lord, we begin with worship, praying and listening to His Word. Worldly people create problems (Exodus 17:3). Moses asks, ‘What shall I do...?’ (Exodus 17:4). Indecision asks, ‘Is the Lord among us or not?’ (Exodus 17:7). He gives victory …

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Hearing, Believing, Worshipping

"And the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped" (Exodus 4:31). They heard. They believed. They worshipped. "Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17). "Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of …

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With Christ’s example, the encouragement of the Scriptures and the enabling power of God, let us love one another … (Romans 15-16).

Romans 15:1-33 -  With Christ’s example, ‘the encouragement of the Scriptures’ and the enabling power of God, let us love one another,‘with one heart and one voice’ (1-6). This is the way of glorifying God. Trusting in Christ, ‘the root of Jesse’, we are blessed by ‘the God of hope’, filled with ‘the power of …

Continue reading With Christ’s example, the encouragement of the Scriptures and the enabling power of God, let us love one another … (Romans 15-16).

God’s Grace Always Comes Before Our Faith.

"God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood—to be received by faith" (Romans 3:25). God's grace always comes before our faith. It's not our faith that saves us. It's His grace. Salvation is never our achievement. It's always God's gift. Salvation comes to us through the death of our Lord …

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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? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were …

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Out of Satan’s darkness, into the light of the Lord ..

Praying Through God's Word

How do we get from this – “Lord, you are the God who saves me” (Psalm 88:1) – to this – “darkness is my closest friend” (Psalm 88:18)? – “An enemy has done this” (Matthew 13:28).

God’s people are under constant attack – from Satan, the enemy of God and his people. Satan is a determined enemy.

How are we raised from the “darkness” of Psalm 88:18? How are brought into the assurance of salvation of Psalm 88:1?

We must remind Satan that he’s, also, a defeated enemy. We do not claim that, by ourselves, we are able to triumph over Satan. We direct Satan’s attention to Jesus Christ,  our Saviour and Lord. We remind Satan that Jesus “loved us and gave himself for us” (Galatians 2:20). We remind Satan that “we are  more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). Satan will attack us, again and…

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Human failure and divine faithfulness …

Second Sunday in Lent: Genesis 12:1-4a; Psalm 121; Romans 4:1-5, 13-17; John 3:1-17 Human failure and divine faithfulness This is a divine Story, carried forward by God’s grace and power. God’s very great promises (Genesis 12:1-3) find their ultimate fulfilment in the coming of God’s eternal Kingdom (Revelation 21:10). We have not reached our heavenly …

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Created by God and for God …

First Sunday in Lent: Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7; Psalm 32; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11 Created by God and for God, we have sinned against Him. We noted, in Genesis 1:1-3, the importance of getting our priorities right - God, God’s Word, God’s Spirit. Here, we emphasize the importance of these priorities. We are under God. We …

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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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In today’s world, there’s plenty of bad news – but there’s, also, Good News …

In today's world, there's plenty of bad news - but there's, also, Good News (Mark 13:10). In Mark 13:7, we read about the end - "the end is not yet." In Mark 13:8, we read about a beginning - "These are the beginning of sorrows." Beyond "the beginning of sorrows", there is "the end." The …

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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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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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From the raising of a widow’s son to the resurrection of God’s Son

"The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived" (1 Kings 17:22). The raising of the widow's son confirmed Elijah's authority as God's prophet. Here, we look beyond God's prophet, Elijah, to God's Son, Jesus. We look beyond the raising of the widow's son to the resurrection of Jesus, …

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From Good Friday to Easter Sunday (23): Living as a new creation – our response to love, eternal love, the love of God

Welcome to the twenty-third stage on our journey from Good Friday to Easter Sunday: Living as a new creation - our response to love, eternal love, the love of God Romans 6:3-11 What shall we say, then? Should we continue to live in sin so that God's grace will increase? 2 Certainly not! We have died to …

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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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“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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The Preaching Of John Wesley

"John Wesley’s Forty-Four Sermons" (published by the Epworth Press in 1944:  reprinted in 1977) - These sermons were first published, as four volumes, in 1746, 1748, 1750 and 1760. The language will seem, to the modern reader, to be very old-fashioned. There is, however, a great deal, in what Wesley says, that we need to hear today. My …

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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. It's …

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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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Divine sovereignty and divine freedom in Romans 9-11

Relating his understanding of divine sovereignty and divine freedom to the interpretation of Romans 9-11, Berkouwer wrote, "Words like 'sovereignty' ought not to be approached abstractly via a formal concept: this can only create the impression that we are capturing our own understanding or words in transparent definitions and then applying them directly to God …

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God’s revelation of mercy …

Berkouwer maintained that, when Romans 9-11 is understood as referring to "God's revelation of mercy ... and not to a 'naked sovereignty'", the illegitimacy of man's protest against God and the "mystical delight" of Paul's doxology are seen quite differenty from their deterministic interpretation (A Half Century of Theology, pp. 90, 93; Divine Election, pp. …

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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, …

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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, 6 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 …

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