Spiritually, what sort of year has 2014 been for you? Have you grown in spiritual maturity? Have you deepened and maintained spiritual disciplines? Have you been the spiritual shepherds of you home? If the answer is an honest no, then it is more than likely that leaven has made its way into your home and has begun its corrupting influence in your life, the lives of your family and the life of the Church!! In the New Testament, leaven is a symbol of sin. Due to the powerful property changing properties of leaven the Scripture warns believers of the dangers of allowing sin to go unchecked in their lives and the need to purge it out from their midst.
As we close out this year, an exhortation is given in earnest, calling every Christian to make a diligent search for any traces of leaven, beginning first in their own life, with the end purpose in view of purging their house of leaven!! May God give us the grace to heed and to act upon what we hear in this message!!
A famous hymn says, "Man of sorrows, what a name, for the Son of God who came". it goes on to say..."Bearing shame and scoffing rude, in my place condemned He stood". Nailed to a cross between two thieves, counted as a criminal!! Put to open shame and ridicule, given a criminal's trial. Scoured as a criminal, mocked as a criminal, punched and spat upon as criminal, condemned as a criminal to die the death of a criminal. Led through the streets as a criminal, they led Him out to crucify Him!! If this is the path that the Saviour trod, how is it that we seek for another? Not a crown of thorns, but a crown of gold; not the strikes of sinners, but the strokes of friends; not the piercing words of our enemies, but the soothing words of peace!!
This message sets the question squarely at the feet of the Christian, are you willing to bear the reproach that comes with owning the name of Jesus Christ? To keep silent is not an option!!
How We Got Our Bible (Pt.12)
In this final part in the series 'How We Got Our Bible' we explore the differences and similarities between some of our most popular English translations of the Bible that are out there today. We answer such questions as: What is a formal equivalence translation and a dynamic equivalence translation? How can you tell the difference? What is a good translation of the Bible? Should a Christian use a paraphrase Bible as their main Bible for study? What about Eugene Peterson's, The Message? Is it a reliable translation or has there been deliberate attempts by Eugene Peterson to corrupt the Word of God in the name of inclusion? Is the NIV a reliable translation? We seek to answer these questions and more in this final part of the teaching as we explore the topic of Bible translations.
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This sermon begins with the question: what is the Church? The Church is not a building but a people who have been called out from the world into spiritual union with a person, Jesus Christ. The Church exists because of the head. By faith, we have been grafted into Christ's spiritual body, a living organism comprised of all who believe in Jesus. What ought that spiritual body look like when it is expressed in a local Church? Like that first Church did; "...all that believed were together, and had all things in common" (Acts 2:44).
Our Lord prayed, that they all might be one!! Then the world will believe!! Oh that we might put away division and each endeavor to preserve the unit of the Spirit in the bond of peace. It was for this that our Lord interceded, it was for this that He prayed.
Set before us in the verse at hand is the key to the Christian walk! How many books have been written, how many sermons preached, giving the five-step formula to Christian success, when the essence and heart of the matter is contained in this single verse before us. Why is it that men for the most part don’t like the key that Jesus extends, but instead prefer in vain to cut their own key? It has to do with the cost of that key!! We all want the finished product, but we don’t all want to pay the asking price!! God has a blueprint for the Christian life and it has to do with an instrument of death, upon which we are to die daily. Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it beareth much fruit.
This message explores three areas in the Christian life in which the Christian is called to deny himself, pick up his cross daily and follow Jesus; firstly in the battle against sin; secondly in sufferings and persecutions and lastly in waving our rights as believers. May God help us not only to be hearers, but doers also!!
How We Got Our Bible (Pt.11)
The battle rages today in some evangelical circles as to which the are best Greek manuscripts to use in translating the New Testament. Some argue that the Byzantine manuscripts are more reliable because there are far more of them, whilst others argue that the Alexandrian manuscripts are more reliable because though fewer in number, the age of the manuscripts are far closer to the original. All modern Bible translations today with the exception of the NKJV and a few others are based on the Alexandrian type-text which has been the case since the controversial publication of the RV Bible in the 1880's. Up until that time, all English Bibles had been based on the Byzantine type-text. Why the need to change this? Are the modern Bibles corrupt? Which Greek text is the most reliable? Does it even matter?
We seek in this teaching to answer these questions and to explore the position of a growing group within conservative Christianity who hold that the King James Bible is the absolute and only preserved Word of God in the English language. Fasten your seat belts as we explore these issues together!!
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One cannot read the passage of Scripture before us in this sermon without sensing the absolute and stupendous expression of God's love towards His backslidden people Israel. It is in the passage before us in this sermon that we shall see the heart of God not only towards Israel but also towards us!!
Is there any out of fellowship with God this hour? Any lost their footing? Any gone a whoring after the things of this world? Any who sit even now in the valley of shame and defeat saying, my strength has gone and my hope is dashed! Dear soul, be of good cheer, this message is for you!! Behold the love of God, who even cries now, 'return again to me, saith the Lord'. Your father is waiting with open arms, but the question is...will you come?
Conviction is the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit! He it is that comes to prove the guilty in his sin to the end that he might turn from his sin and in so turning to lay hold on the Lord Jesus Christ by faith. Conviction is an awesome thing, a terrifying thing, a painful thing, a sobering thing, an uncomfortable thing, a humbling thing, and a shameful thing. It is here, where so many professions are made by God's people - promises to turn over a new leaf, to forsake a particular sin, to go on in more serious endeavor in the Christian walk. Yet, as we know, conviction does not abide forever!! Sadly for many, when true conviction fades, their well-meaning professions fade with it!! Brethren, this ought not to be!!
This message challenges the believer to lay hold on God by faith, to do what one said in the heat of conviction and to make good those broken professions!!
How We Got Our Bible (Pt.10)
As of October 2014, the Bible has been translated into some 2883 languages. This statistic represent a staggering 98% of the world’s population. In spite of this, there are still global projects underway to see the Bible translated into many more languages. God in His infinite sovereign wisdom chose to have the original inspired Autographa written in the languages of Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament). Yet. He did so with the foreknowledge that not everyone in the world would speak these languages, meaning that translations would inevitably have be made.
In this teaching we explore some of the earliest versions of the Bible; Syriac, Latin and Coptic. Moreover, we explore the amazing history of the English Bible from the first ever English translation in 1380 up to the King James Bible of 1611. Whatever way you look at it, courageous men of God gave their lives to give the English speaking people the Word of God in their own language!! The question is, what are we doing with it?
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The exhortation goes forth in this sermon, "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others". Short, concise, to the point; in one sentence the challenge is brought to centre court! The great scourge of any society is selfishness; that is when a people become wholly consumed with themselves, to the neglect of everyone else around them!! As Christians, we must guard against this wickedness!
A Christians duty most certainly is to provide for his own household, but after that he must turn his eyes upon the needs of others!!