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Joy and Generosity. Philippians 4:4-5

Joy and Generosity

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Opening Prayer.

Praise, Psalm 37:3-7 Tune: Denfield

3 Set thou thy trust upon the Lord, and be thou doing good;  And so thou in the land shalt dwell, and verily have food.

4 Delight thyself in God; he’ll give thine heart’s desire to thee. 5 Thy way to God commit, him trust, it bring to pass shall he.

6 And, like unto the light, he shall thy righteousness display; And he thy judgment shall bring forth like noon-tide of the day.

7 Rest in the Lord, and patiently wait for him: do not fret For him who, prosp’ring in his way, success in sin doth get.      (Scottish Metrical Psalms)

Bible Reading Philippians 4:2-5

Prayer.

Joy and Generosity of Spirit

Philippians 4:4-5 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Paul goes on to encourage the believers to develop a Christlikeness, especially two distinctive Christian character traits, traits that will challenge our understanding of our relationships with God and with our neighbours: Read more…

Catechism Class – H/C31A, Keys of the Kingdom

Catechism Class –

Heidelberg Catechism Lord’s Day 31,

The Keys of the Kingdom

Matthew 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Q 83. What are the keys of the kingdom of heaven?

A. The preaching of the holy gospel and church discipline. By these two the kingdom of heaven is opened to believers and closed to unbelievers.

Q 84 How is the kingdom of heaven opened and closed by the preaching of the gospel?

A. According to the command of Christ, the kingdom of heaven is opened when it is proclaimed and publicly testified to each and every believer that God has really forgiven all their sins for the sake of Christ’s merits, as often as they by true faith accept the promise of the gospel. The kingdom of heaven is closed when it is proclaimed and testified to all unbelievers and hypocrites that the wrath of God and eternal condemnation rest on them as long as they do not repent. According to this testimony of the gospel, God will judge both in this life and in the life to come

Our Instructor in the Catechism helps us to understand what Jesus meant by the ‘Keys of the Kingdom.’

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To listen to this Class as a PODCAST please click this link.

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The Book of Life

The Book of Life

 

On the Podcast:

Introit: Psalm 22:1

Opening Prayer.

 

 

Praise,   Psalm 69:3, 4, 9-11 (Tune: Stuttgart

3 When I am afraid, l’ll trust you. 4 I will praise your faithful word;

I will trust and not be fearful. What can man do to me, Lord?

 

9 When I call on you to help me, then my foes will turn aside;

This is how I will be certain that my God is on my side.

 

10 In the LORD, whose word I honour, in my God I’lI praise his word

11 I will trust and not be fearful. What can man do to me, Lord?

 

Bible Reading Philippians 4:2-3

Prayer.

Sermon

Last week, when we looked at Euodia and Syntyche, we found that Paul said that they were ‘women who laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.‘  In this short message I want to look at what it means to have your name written in the book of life, and most importantly to challenge all of us with the question, ‘Is MY name written in the book of life?’

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But before we begin, let’s remember an important fact. God does not need a physical book to remind him of who we are. He is OMNISCIENT. God will not FORGET who we are.   There is a verse in Malachi that might give us that impression, where we read that God is writing a ‘Book of Remembrance’ Malachi 3:16 But this ‘Book of Remembrance is for the benefit of the people of God, ‘For those who fear him…’. To reassure them of this very fact, that God will never forget them.   There is a tremendous promise in Isaiah 49:15   So, what is the Book of Life, and what’s it for?  Let’s search the Scriptures… 

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Warring Workers! Philippians 4:2-3

Warring Workers

Text.  Philippians 4:2-3. 

In Philippians 4, before Paul could give some practical help to the Christians, he has a problem to sort out. Unity in the church, (in the local assembly) is important  – a love for each other that issues in respect for each other.    When Paul wrote Philippians 2:2-3, was he perhaps thinking about a quarrel among two of the local Christians, people who were workers in the local assembly in Philippi.

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Let’s learn a little about that disagreement and how Paul moves to solve it, before he goes on to give further beneficial exhortation to the church.    Read more…

Got the Lockdown Blues?

Got the Lockdown Blues?

Ephesians 2:7

The Lockdown has been a shock to us all.  Businesses have closed, huge retail chains across the word have closed, and will never re-open.  In the space of a couple of weeks, everything that was normal was gone.  I’m just one of many many people whose whole world has changed…. We’ve all been affected to some extent.

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So, for the Christian, it may be appropriate to ask, ‘Where is God in this time of plague?’  It was when I was thinking about this that I read Ephesians 2:7.  that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

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The Brethren, Darby and Matthew 18:20

The Brethren, Darby and Matthew 18:20

Have you ever thought that brethren people must believe that they are the only true believers, the only people who will be in heaven, and that no-one is saved outside of their connection?  It’s not true of course, – they don’t think that (at least most them don’t) – even if sometimes that impression comes across.

Personally, I have experienced a spiritual arrogance on the part of some brethren Christians that beggars belief, from the brethren evangelist who reached me a bundle of tracts when he discovered I was a Christian minister, to the girl who professed to be saved, only for her brethren parents to arrange a meeting with the local brethren evangelist, to get her ‘properly saved’ to the two brethren men at a funeral who expressed their surprise that a minister could present a clear Gospel centred message at the grave.  I do NOT believe this to be typical of the movement as a whole.  I maintain that these attitudes are in the minority nowadays, and I have worked with, and been friends with many fine Christian brethren people who have always been kind, helpful and decent.

So, where does this apparent ‘spiritual arrogance’ among some originate?  In the very earliest days of brethrenism, when the Dublin brethren were meeting in the early 1800s and later in the meetings of Groves, Muller, Cronin, Wigram, Newton and others (and yes even the early JN Darby) there was no spiritual pride at all.  People were welcomed to the meetings as fellow believers regardless of what denomination (or none) they ‘officially’ belonged to. The only essential qualification for fellowship was a sincere love of the Lord Jesus. Read more…

The Christian Hope – Lockdown Service

The Christian Hope

Welcome to our 8th Coronavirus ‘digital church service.’

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Opening Prayer.

Praise,    Psalm 33:9-12 (Tune: Irish)

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What to Do In Times of Need. Heb. 4:16

What to Do In Times of Need

Text.  Hebrews 4:16 

What do we do in times of need or trouble?  One solution is to panic! But there really is a better solution than panic.  The Hebrew author here has the key…. Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. 

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Before we begin to think about a single verse like this we must always try to establish the context in which it has been written, in case we misunderstand its meaning.  In his sermon to the Hebrew church, Paul has been preaching about the priesthood of Jesus, who is sympathetic with our human condition.  He was God in human flesh, fully God, and fully man – he was one of us on this earth, and he knows what it means to suffer, to be rejected to be refilled, to be ‘a man of sorrows and aquinted with grief, he knows what it is like to suffer and die, and he knows the burden of sin and guilt which weigh us down in our consciences, for he bore that burden for us at Calvary.  Now, Paul tells us that because he understands us, and cares for us, we can come to him and he will help us. Read more…

Who Cares? 1 Peter 5:6-7

Who Cares?

1 Peter 5:7 …casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Peter wanted his readers to know that they were going to face a terrible period of persecution.  They would face torture and imprisonment and death, because they were Christian believers.  Peter is telling them that in the midst of their terrible troubles, God cares for them.  In the passage we are reading today, 1 Peter 5:6-7 Peter quotes Psalm 55, and tells us what to do, and why we should do it, and what the results will be!

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Psalm 91 Practical Conclusions

Practical Applications of the Psalm

Text. Psalm 91:14ff
We come to the final section of the psalm, and the pronoun changes again.  Here the psalmist is speaking as God, in the first person, directly addressing his people, and we conclude our examination of Psalm 91 with this summary of the Lord’s care for for them.

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1 Self-Examination.  v14
The psalmist gives us a list of attributes of one who is trusting the Lord, a spiritual description, a check-list, against which we can measure our own lives, to make an assessment of our own spiritual condition.    They are:-   Read more…