1 John 3:18-24
Many who profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour struggle with finding assurance of their salvation. Though they sit week in and week out in Churches up and down the length and breadth of the country, there remains a question that will not go away; am I truly saved? In answering this question, this sermon seeks not to crop the branches but to lay the axe at the root by exploring the question, what is true biblical faith? Many have the fanciful idea that faith is static, a mental ascent to a series of facts that they know nothing of in reality in their own lives. My brethren, faith walks!!
The apostle John his first epistle, furnishes us with weighty words which address the struggle that so many have in finding assurance of their salvation. “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.” (1 Jn 3:18-19). In other words, assurance and obedience are inextricably linked!! We shall know that we are of the truth and shall assure our hearts before God on account of fruit being evidenced and outworked in our lives by the indwelling Holy Spirit as we walk in obedience!! Could it be, the reason why so many Christians struggle with assurance of their salvation is because so many Christians walk in unbelief which manifests itself in disobedient lives? May the Lord see fit to bring light to the matter at hand!!
For the Christian, their testimony is simple; light has shone into darkness! Yet for many, though they name the name of Christ, they choose wilfully to remain in darkness and plead ignorance is bliss! Whilst happy to rest in religion, they will not come to the light lest their evil deeds should be exposed. For those sitting under the sound of true preaching, no such excuse can be made; the light of God Word has shone into darkness and one must now choose what to do with that light, to embrace it or to suppress it!!
This sermon is an earnest plea for all who have received light, to walk in the knowledge of that light, for to whom much is given, much is required and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. Dear soul, with the light that has already been given to you, to what degree are you walking in that light?
What does the gathering together of God’s people, the Church, mean to you? Is it greeted with joy, faith, expectation, reverence and godly fear; or is such a prospect met with sorrow, unbelief, pessimism, casualness, familiarity and general contempt? For the early Church, coming together was a most precious occurrence and privilege; we read that those early disciples continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers (Acts 2:42). Yet for many today, doctrine has become irrelevant, fellowship a chore, the breaking of bread a formality and prayer unnecessary!! Everything it seems has to be laced with entertainment in a sad effort to keep people in Church who wouldn’t otherwise be there!!
This sermon considers how this would all change if Jesus was coming to Church!! Oh how things would be different!! The whole Church would be in attendance that morning, no late comers to be seen in sight; worship would ring with note of difference, fellowship would be sweet and there would be no shortage of prayers!! Oh how our attitudes and hearts would be different within us! Yet the reality is, Jesus is in the midst of His people each and every time they meet!! Jesus said “…where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Mat. 18:20). By the fruit of our halfheartedness and disrespect week in and week out, the Church of Jesus Christ demonstrates that it does not really believe the words of her Lord. Dear Brethren, it’s time to give our Lord His due honour and worth as King amidst His people!!
2 Corinthians 9
For many Christians, there is much confusion and scepticism surrounding the issue of money; as soon as one hears the word, the backs of God’s people go up and rightly so!! There are it seems more crooks and charlatans inside the professing Church than there are in any institute on planet earth – the majority of which have disguised themselves as pastors whose vocation it is to milk and fleece the sheep for whom Christ died!! This combined with the false prosperity gospel of greed and the Old Testament law of tithing, the topic of money has left an indelible blight on the Church of Jesus Christ!! Yet in the midst of this great confusion speaks a man by the name of Apostle Paul; a breath of fresh air amidst a cloud of pollution!! Paul coveted no man’s silver, freely he had received and freely he gave his life to serve and minster to the Brethren, working with his with own hands night and day to provide for his own needs that he might not be chargeable to the Brethren.
What does the New Testament have to say about tithing? How are we to give as New Testament believers? Is it right for ministers who labour in the gospel to receive support from the Church? All of these questions and more are answered from the Word of God in this teaching sermon. In short, despite the much abuse of money, there is a New Testament giving worthy of God’s blessing, a fruit and grace to which all believers ought to strive!!
When many think of the Holy Spirit, they think of power. Though it be true that our Lord said “…ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; many forget that the Holy Spirit is a He and not a what!! Whilst we thank God for the promise of the baptism of the Holy Spirit coming upon the believer in power, we thank Him infinitely more for His coming into the believer that we might live!! Dear soul, have you tasted of that life giving spring?
This sermon seeks to address and to answer what it means to abide in Christ, what it means to have the Living Water abiding in us. One cannot take away from the fact that the Christian life is a supernatural one by virtue of the fact that God has come to take up His residence in our vessels of clay by His Spirit! In brief, to abide in Christ is threefold…to abide in Him is to abide in His truth, to abide in His love and to abide in His righteousness!
As one surveys the spiritual landscape of our nation, and gauges the spiritual climate, things don’t look so good! Yet the sad reality is that most Christians would never know it! It seems today that everyone has become experts in the art of spin, masters at putting a positive spin on anything that is deemed to be negative. Where are the prophets who are willing to call a spade a spade and tell it like it is? Where are the saints of old with a burden from God calling God’s people to awake out of their stupor, repent from their iniquities and turn their hearts back to God? Instead of that, stories now take the place of the teaching of God’s Word, emotionalism the place of conviction, and self-help techniques the place of repentance.
This sermon is a call and a plea for God’s people to rise up and to lay hold on God by faith so as to turn the current tide of apathy that has set in among the people of God. By looking at the life of Gideon and the awesome victory that God wrought through this man, this sermon will challenge, encourage and provoke you to seek the Lord for such a work of revival in this our day. Say not, but Lord the situation is too great and the hour too far gone; one plus God is the majority!!
Well the words of a hymn serve to capture the essence of the burden of this sermon; “Sweet hour of prayer! Sweet hour of prayer! That calls me from a world of care, and bids me at my Father’s throne make all my wants and wishes known. In seasons of distress and grief, my soul has often found relief, and oft escaped the tempters snare by thy return, sweet hour of prayer!” It seems that the Saints of old knew something that so many of us now know so little of as it relates to a life of prayer! Never have we been so prosperous and well off as we are in this century, yet for all our prosperity it seems that more Christians than ever are suffering from anxiety, depression and burn-out.
This sermon is a passionate plea for God’s people to return to a quiet time with the Lord, a time set aside for uninterrupted fellowship with God. A place where we our Saviour meet in the wonder and awe of an open Bible and prayer!!
Well it’s been said, you don’t know what you’ve got until it gone. Yet even more profound is the statement, you can’t miss what you’ve never had!! Dear Brethren, I fear that we are living in a generation spiritually speaking, whose only experience of Christianity is the Christianity of today. The question is, where are the hoary headed Saints of a yesterday era who can point to a yesteryear and say what we have now is not what they had then!! How can cream be seen not to be white, unless there’s a purer white to set it against? I fear that the Christianity we now call normal would have been an insult to the great Saints of old!!
This sermon is an exhortation and a plea, for Christians not to take their ease in the accepted norm of today’s Christianity, but rather to enquire of the former age and ask how things used to be; to stand in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way and in finding it to so walk therein!!
1 Samuel 13:1-14
As you start the new year of 2016, what is the one desire and purpose of your heart? To eat less, to keep fit, to spend more time with the family? Ought not the burning desire of our hearts to be, that we might love our God more!! In the words of that great hymn of old…”More love to Thee, O Christ, more love to Thee!” Yet if we were to quantify what “more love” looks how would we do it? More love for some means more tears and greater “feelings” of love towards the Saviour. Yet our Saviour said “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (Jn. 14:15). As I think more about what more love for my Saviour would look like and not what it would feel like, I see so clearly that love for Jesus Christ is inseparably linked to obedience to Jesus Christ. Thus, if the burning desire of my heart towards God is Oh, that I might love you more; then the absolute purpose and intent of my heart must be Oh, that I might obey you more!!
This sermon is a challenge and a call to obedience on God’s terms, an inconvenient and costly obedience that requires a cross upon which we are to die daily. All too often our obedience to God is convenient obedience, who will set their hearts on total obedience!!
Out of all the four Gospel accounts recorded for us in the New Testament, none is more descriptive in documenting the events surrounding the nativity of Jesus Christ than those recorded by Luke. If I had just one word to capture the expression of my heart as I read through the account of the events surrounding the birth of Christ in the first two chapters of Luke, it would be awe; if I had another, it would be amazement!! Dreams, visions, prophetic utterances, angelic visitations all heralded the birth of this holy child, bearing witness to the One who the prophets long ago foretold would come – Christ the Lord, the Saviour of the world!!
Sadly, many today, even Christians, tire of hearing the Gospel. Clichés have become all too familiar to us and we have lost the awe and amazement of this good news. May those who have yet to hear the Gospel, hear and be saved!! May those to whom it has become dry and impersonal, rekindle their love and adoration for the King and serve Him with all their being!!