The 19th century has been dubbed “the greatest century of missions”. In 1793, the modern missionary movement was birthed into being by a young Baptist minister by the name of William Carey. Over the next 100 years, missionaries were sent out from this tiny country of Great Britain, to every corner of the world. Whole tribes were converted from pagan idolatry and disciples made from every nation! In just 100 years, the world went from being 25% evangelised to 51% evangelised with the number of professing Christians more than doubling! In 1900, just under half of all international missionaries came from the British Isles! Fast forward 100 years to the 21st century and that figure now stands at a shameful 3.75%!!
This sermon is a wake-up call and a challenge to the Body of Christ to rise up in this generation and to make themselves available and willing to step out into missionary endeavour as God would lead!!
In my 16 years of being a Christian, I have found that within the professing Body of Christ, there generally exists two extremes when it comes to understanding the person and work of the Holy Spirit. On one extreme, there are those who sacrifice biblical doctrine on the altar of experience and those on the other extreme, those who sacrifice experience on the altar of learning.
This sermon is a call to a middle ground; the Bible in one hand, governing our experience in the other. To accept a spiritual experience outside the framework of Holy Scripture is a sure recipe for deception; yet to deny a genuine work of the Holy Spirit operating within the God given parameters of the Word of God is to do great insult and injury to the person of the Holy Spirit and to render the Body of Christ a spiritual handicap. We take a look at a biblical approach to understanding the ministry and power of the Holy Spirit.
Mariology –Part 1
Mariology is the theological name given to the doctrinal study of Mary the mother of Jesus. If one was to ask the general public for a defining person, inextricably and inseparably linked to Roman Catholicism, without a shadow of a doubt, the overwhelming response would not be Jesus Christ but instead, that of His mother Mary!! As biblical students of God’s Word, any study of the New Testament is not complete without making mention of Mary. Indeed, as one opens the New Testament, immediately one is confronted with the person of Mary in the events that record the nativity of Jesus Christ. However, Roman Catholic theology maintains that Mary was not only the biological mother of Jesus, the vehicle used by God to bring His Son into this world. But rather that Mary remained a perpetual virgin; that Mary is free from original sin and at the end of her life on earth, she was taken up into heaven where she continues perpetually to be the mother of God and Queen of Heaven. Catholics believe Mary to be Co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix playing a role alongside her Son not only in His earthly ministry but even now in His heavenly ministry in the salvation of mankind!
In this tenth teaching part, we shall begin to look at the claims of the Roman Catholic Church concerning Mary and weigh them against the Bible! This is to be the first of a two part teaching comparing the Roman Catholic Mary vs the Mary of Scripture!!
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There are many mysteries in the universe yet unsolved by man; veiled from his sight, concealed from his understanding; beyond his comprehension. Such mysteries have always fascinated mankind, beholding the wonder and the splendour, yet at a loss how to furnish an adequate explanation.
The Apostle Paul spoke much of the mystery of the gospel. The prophets of old foretold of a future time when the Gentiles would join the household of Israel to praise the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The fact that this was going to happen was no mystery yet the “how” of this revelation was! Two people groups, poles apart, separated by the Law. Yet Paul expounds this great mystery of the gospel, that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel!
It’s one things to fight a common enemy without – wars are fought and won on such a basis. One army sets themselves in array against another and a bloody battle is fought until one side gains the victory. However, it’s quite another thing altogether when the enemies of a man are those within his own household; those within his own ranks! How then shall the battle be won? Indeed our Lord well summed up the tragedy and the certainty of defeat when he said: “And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (Mk. 3:25).
This sermon is a challenging exhortation for the body of Christ to grow up into Christian maturity; to put away the infighting and pride and instead to seek to forbear with one another in love and in so doing to preserve the unity of the Holy Spirit in the bond of peace!!