Part 6 - The Doctrine of Man
Opinions abound today as to the purpose of man’s existence. Through evolutionary thought, man has been reduced to nothing more than a process of random mutations over millions of years. For some, man has no purpose except for the furtherance of future progeny; while for others man is making great leaps and bounds in his upward progression toward godhood! In a world where suggested theories as to the purpose and meaning of life abound, what sense if any are we to make of them all? Man finds himself, perhaps like never before, having to wrestle with the many competing voices and the Christian cannot take himself out of this struggle. However, where natural man is left to his own thoughts and devices, the Christian turns to the Word of God to find answers to the great questions of life.
We shall in this sixth teaching part seek to address the question of where we came from and who we are and shall conclude by answering the big question; what went wrong! When one looks at the world today, one is confronted with death, disease, suffering and evil. Is this how God created the earth? Is this how He intended everything to be? The answer to these questions is no side issue but is fundamental in laying the foundation upon which the gospel stands.
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Part 5 - The Doctrine of Demons
Demonology, is the theological term given to the biblical study of demons. One generally finds that when dealing with this particular area, one of two extremes tend to surface. On one extreme there are the liberals, which refuse to even acknowledge the existence of the demonic realm in any meaningful way whilst at the other extreme are the hyper-spiritualists who overplay the realm of the demonic to such an extent that the devil gets the blame for everything. All such extremes are to be avoided and highlight the importance of gaining a good solid foundation in this very important topic. Whilst many sound believers would shun such extremes, there are notwithstanding, Christians who are so terrified by the demonic realm that they can’t sleep at night without a light on.
In this fifth teaching part in our foundational series, we shall set ourselves the task of trying to gain a biblical understanding of demons; what they are and what their nature, function, and activity is in the world today. We shall seek to answer the question of who Satan is, how he fell from grace and what his final state shall be. In gaining such insight, we shall be emboldened to take a stand against the forces of darkness knowing who we are in Jesus Christ, the authority that He has given to us as believers and the victory that He has won for us at Calvary!
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A number of significant occurrences took place in the Bible at wells. At Beersheba (the well of an oath), Abraham entered into a covenant with Abimelech; at Beerlahairoi (the well of Him that liveth and seeth me), the Angel of the LORD visited Hagar in her distress. Who can forget Eliezer, the servant of Abraham, who at well was given a bride by God for his master's son Isaac? Fast forward some 2000 years and we have yet another encounter with a woman at a well, this time Jesus and the woman of Samaria. At this well, Jesus offers living water, that if a man drinks he shall never thirst again, an internal well springing up within him into everlasting life!
This sermon is a call for reality in the Christian life!! Just as in the days of Isaac when the Philistine enemies filled his father’s wells, many Christians sadly have allowed their wells to be filled with dirt and on account of this no longer sense and experience the vital reality of God the Holy Spirit within them bringing forth the fruit of joy and peace! Dry and dead religion has become their portion. My dear Brethren, there is some re-digging to be done so that once more we might sense the presence of God in our Christian experience. At all costs, we must maintain reality with God!
Part 4 - The Doctrine of Angels
What are we to make when Christians become obsessed with angels? When a leading charismatic figure claims to have personal visitations from a female angel called Emma? Is it biblical to call down healing angels in a Church meeting or any type of angels for that matter? What do angels even look like and what is their function? Typically, in many artistic impressions they are depicted as winged chubby infants with ruddy cheeks floating around in play. One thing is for certain, much superstition surrounds the topic of angels, spurred on not least by the resurgence of interest in the occult via the New Age movement which has come into the mainstream over the last 30 years. The fascination with angels today has led many undiscerning enthusiasts onto dangerous ground as they actively seek to make contact with these spirit beings for spiritual guidance and insight. With biblical illiteracy at a high, sadly, even professing Christians have allowed the influences of Hollywood to inform their understanding of angels rather than the Word of God.
We intend in this teaching not to rest our understanding of angels in the realm of speculation, but instead, our desire is to open the Bible and to allow it to speak with authority into this subject so as dispel myth and inform a biblical worldview.
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“Tis so sweet to walk with Jesus, step by step and day by day; stepping in His very footprints, walking with Him all the way. Step by step, step by step, I would walk with Jesus; all the day, all the way, keeping step with Jesus” (A.B Simpson). Oh, how many are caught up with the burden and grief of trying to keep step with Mr and Mrs Jones when we’re called instead to keep step with Jesus! To take our eyes off the Lord and to begin comparing ourselves with others, is breeding ground for all manner of strife and division, contention and envy.
This sermon is an exhortation to us all to keep our eyes on Jesus Christ and not to allow what the Lord is doing in others’ lives to be a hindrance to what God is wanting to do in our own lives! We’ve each been called by name to the Saviour into a personal relationship. The good Lord deals with each of His children as it so pleases Him. May we resist the temptation to compare ourselves with others and in so doing to become envious. Walking with Jesus must be our primary focus! One person put it this way; “Resentment comes from looking at others, contentment comes from looking to God”.
Part 3 - The Attributes of God
When speaking of the attributes of God, what we are really referring to are the characteristics of God, those qualities that describe who God is. The God of the Bible is unique and His characteristics define His very nature. By studying the attributes of God as defined by the Bible, we gain an understanding of who God is and what He is like. Sadly, the tendency of many in our current day towards theology (the study of God) is one of apathy and even scorn. Theology is seen to be too technical and unnecessary for the common Christian who hasn’t the time or care to pursue such academic matters. Instead, what we see generally is that theology has been sacrificed on the altar of experience. However, without the sound foundation provided by sound theology, one cannot truly experience God aright. Thus it is essential that we grasp the character and nature of God which will inform a proper biblical experience!
In this important teaching, we shall look at thirteen core attributes of God and shall draw practical relevancies for each which shall serve to build our faith in the pursuit of drawing near to God.
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That men ought always to pray is instruction worthy of the utmost honour and regard. What air is to the human lungs and water to the gills of fish, so prayer is to the spiritual life of the Christian. A prayerless Christian is a dead Christian at worst and a carnal one at best, without prayer we’re not going very far!!
This sermon is not only an exhortation that men ought always to pray, but in continuing the verse “…and not faint”, an exhortation is given to preserve in prayer. Oh, dear Soul, unanswered prayer by no means is an indicator that God is not willing to answer prayer. The parable before us in this sermon is a firm declaration that this is not the case at all. Be of good courage and continue in prayer labouring in the same in earnest for it’s not over until it’s over!
We ought to be under no illusion as believers as to the sobering reality that we each have a common foe, an arch-enemy of our soul; one who hates us with a perfect hatred; one who in his very essence is the epitome of pure evil. When going out to war, it is the fool who proceeds into battle, ignorant of the enemy he’s facing. The wise man first studies his opponent and knows ahead of time his strategies of battle that he might prepare himself for victory!
In this sermon, you will learn of four chief ways in which Satan seeks to attack the believer in Christ. In each and every one of these modes of assaults, Satan is out to destroy one thing, our faith!! As believers, not only must be aware of his stratagems, but we must also know how to overcome in each attack. Behold…Satan the deceiver, Satan the accuser, Satan the tempter and Satan the persecutor. The one thing that he seeks most of all is the one thing by which we overcome. “…This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1 Jn. 5:4)
Part 2 - The Doctrine Of The Trinity
The doctrine of the Trinity lies at the foundation of our understanding of God as Christians. To deny this truth is to put one thoroughly outside the confines of true orthodoxy of what has been held and accepted as true by those professing Christianity down through the centuries. However, because something has been held as true by many Christians for lengthy periods of time, does not mean that it is true. As Christians, the question that we come back to each and every time is, what does the Bible say? Is such a teaching clearly taught in the Bible? If it is, then having agreed with Scripture, we are happy to agree with those coming before us of like faith. Yet if it is not, then we have to reject such teachings on the grounds that they cannot be substantiated in Holy Scripture.
In this second part of the Firm Foundations series, we explore the doctrine of the Trinity providing many proofs from the whole of Scripture to define and articulate this great and fundamental doctrine.
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Consider with me the awesomeness of our Great High Priest, who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God! Oh! What confidence we have to draw nigh to Him in times of need. When the storm clouds gather overhead and light gives way to darkness, what comfort of joy to know that the Saviour is near. When at times it appears as though darkness has veiled His face from view, dear Brothers and Sisters, we must be firmly convinced and persuaded that hour, that our Great High Priest is for us still!! When darkness seems to veil His face, I rest in His unchanging grace; In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil! Tell me dear soul, is this your testimony? Is this your experience? May the truth of God’s Word form the ground on which we stand; theology informing experience! May His divine attributes, be the very catalyst of our faith to draw nigh!“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:15-16)
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:15-16)