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Bethesda Shalom

Bethesda Shalom , "House of Mercy and Peace". A small independent Bible believing Church located in Wolverhampton, England; endeavouring to hold fast to truth and stand fast in love by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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Now displaying: Category: Sermons 2023

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Aug 14, 2023

1 Corinthians 13

Of all the passages in the New Testament Scriptures, none are more sublime in poetical beauty that the words found in the thirteenth chapter of Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians.  Hebrews the seventh chapter is known for its great typology; Romans the third chapter for its brilliance in logical reasoning. The second chapter of the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians is known for its rich eschatology and the eleventh chapter of Paul’s Second Epistle to the Corinthians for its moving biographical content. I could go on...the sheer genius of the Holy Bible is a wonder too great to fully comprehend. Is it any wonder that the best-selling book of all time is THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE!! Not Charles Dickens nor William Shakespeare; not Agatha Christie nor Enid Blyton. To this day, the Bible still holds the Guinness Book of Records for the best-selling book of all time at a whopping 5 billion and counting!! 

In this sermon, we explore the great commandment given us by our Lord to love one another.  It is easy for a man to say, “I love you”, but on what grounds does he assume this to be the case?  Let us examine the characteristics of love as outlined in the thirteenth chapter of Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians and we shall see whether the love we have is the agape love of God.   

Aug 7, 2023

Ephesians 5:15-16

As Christians, we are not always wise in the way that we walk — we live in the land of hindsight — always picking up the broken pieces! We naively walk into many landmines; we allow ourselves to be found in compromising situations because of a lack of foresight!! 

“A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished” (Prov. 23:3)

This sermon is an exhortation to the Christian to walk circumspectly, as wise and not as fools; redeeming the time for the days are evil.

Aug 5, 2023

Philippians 2:5-11

I fear that in our present day, we have lost the cutting edge of Christianity. The Kingdom of God no longer stands in juxtaposition to the Kingdom of Darkness — the contrasting properties of black and white have been fused into a murky grey — light and darkness into a twilight blue — we’ve lost the radical nature of conversion. I want to say without apology, when light meets with darkness, there can only be one winner, “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (Jn. 1:5). 

One of the radical elements of true conversion when set in contrast with a false convert is that as it relates to the human will. Pre-Christ I lived for ME. Post-Christ I now live for HIM! Still one will, but a 180-degree shift in orientation! We have a dilemma in modern-day Christianity which goes something like this; “I can live for me and for Thee”, and I want TO SAY on the authority of God’s Word, YOU CAN’T!!!! Tell me, can you say as our Lord said, “...My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (Jn. 4:34)?

Jul 24, 2023

1 Kings 18:17-20

The single greatest need of the present hour and any hour is for God to break through into the midst of His people!!  It’s one thing for a man to break through — he’s had breakthroughs in all manner of varying contexts.  Gunpowder in the 10th century, the compass in the 12th. The steam engine in 1712, and Refrigeration in the 1850s.  The airplane in 1903, Penicillin in 1928, the Internet in the 1960s — friends, the list could go on!!  I don’t doubt and nor do I limit the many ingenious breakthroughs on the part of man — but none can compare to what takes place when God breaks through!!  When God breaks through, no one can stay His hand; when God breaks through, it’s like the walls of a dam giving way — who can stand against the mighty deluge?

This sermon is an exhortation to seek the face of God for authentic fire in this desperate hour of apostasy.   

Jul 17, 2023

Hebrews 6:1-3

There are only two places in all of Sacred Scripture, where the phrase “dead works” appears.  The first is in Hebrews 6:1; “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God (Heb. 6:1). The second comes later on in the ninth chapter of the very same epistle, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:14). There have been various different opinions offered by commentators as to what this phrase “dead works” might mean, ranging from the absurd to the reasonable, to what I believe is the correct interpretation. 

In this sermon, we explore the meaning of the phrase “repentance from dead works” and exhort believers to a true and living faith springing out of love for Christ!!

Jul 10, 2023

Colossians 3:1-5

There’s not a one of us that has not heard the familiar saying, “Where the rubber meets the road”.  In all manner of varying contexts, this idiom speaks sounds aloud its truth.  I think of the Olympian — the 100 m sprinter.  Four long years he has poured his life into training — six hours a day, six days a week; what he eats and drinks, what time he goes to sleep, what time he rises again; his whole life is one of complete discipline in order to run a 10-second race.  All that training and discipline is good and well — it’s indispensable; but how many know, it is in the race where the rubber meets the road?!  Medals are not won in the gym but on the track!  Take the soldier.  He never stops training and preparing for war, but again, how many know, wars are not fought and won on the field of training but on the field of battle?!  Many a well-trained army had it won on paper only to find that when it came for the rubber to meet the road, they were outsmarted, outfought, and lost the battle miserably!!!  In other words, it’s one thing to have theory/textbook principles and it’s another thing to convert that knowledge into experimental practice!!  One does not equal the other!!  Yet there are some today who fancy that because they are well-taught and well-trained in theology, even at an academic level, this makes them experts in Christianity. 

The call and the challenge of this sermon is for the rubber of our theology to meet the road of our experience.

Jul 3, 2023

Psalm 63:1-2

“A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is” (Ps. 63:1).

David’s present physical environment was a perfect picture of how he felt inwardly.  Apart from the presence of God in exile — the Ark being left behind in Zion, David purposed with all his heart to not lose the vital reality of his relationship with God!! His soul longed for God! He longed to be in the presence of His God in the tent of His dwelling place. 

I don’t know about you, but as a pilgrim walking through this world, I feel so often that I’m treading through a wilderness land.  All around me, consumerism flaunts and struts its pomp!  The glittering lights, the frills, and the trinkets.  I feel like a man in exile — outside the city walls of Zion!!  The cares of this life and the business of the day which beckons us on every hand, if we’re not careful, can leave us spiritually parched (I speak for myself). This sermon is a call to return to the fountainhead of life.  Jesus said,  “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (Jn. 7:37). 

Jun 22, 2023

Romans 11:11-14

 “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy” (Romans 11:11).

One commentator, commentating on the above said this:  “It is a matter for profound regret that just as Israel refused to accept this salvation when it was offered to them, so the Gentiles have all too often refused to make Israel envious. Instead of showing to God’s ancient people the attractiveness of the Christian way, Christians have characteristically treated the Jews with hatred, prejudice, persecution, malice, and all uncharitableness. Christians should not take this passage calmly”. 

Christian, it is our solemn duty, not only to take the gospel to the Jew first by word, through the proclamation of the gospel (Rom. 1:16); it is also our solemn duty to provoke them to jealousy by the gospel of our lives!  What did Jesus say?  

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Mt. 5:14-16).  

Well, the focus of Jewish mission has been the word of the Gospel, but if the vessel through which that word comes contradicts the glory being offered, then the one will be the undoing of the other!  Will you rise to the challenge and allow the Lord to make you one such tool of provocation through which the glory of His grace and salvation might shine?
 
This message was shared at the Messianic Testimony West Midlands Rally, in June 2023.  For more information about the Ministry of Messianic Testimony to the Jewish people, please visit here:

https://www.messianictestimony.com/

Jun 19, 2023

Psalm 127:1

“Trowel and hammer, saw and plane are instruments of vanity unless the Lord be the Master-builder”.  Charles Spurgeon goes on to say: “Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” Around the wall the sentinels pace with constant step; but yet the city is betrayed unless the unsleeping Watcher is with them. We are not safe because of watchmen if Jehovah refuses to watch over us. Even if the guards are wakeful, and do their duty, still the place may be surprised if God be not there. “I, the Lord, do keep it,” is better than an army of sleepless guards. Note that the Psalmist does not bid the builder cease from labouring, nor suggest that watchmen should neglect their duty, nor that men should show their trust in God by doing nothing: nay, he supposes that they will do all that they can do, and then he forbids their fixing their trust in what they have done, and assures them that all creature effort will be in vain unless the Creator puts forth his power, to render second causes effectual” 

Let him that hath an ear, hear.

Jun 12, 2023

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Brethren, the longer I journey in this Christian walk, the more I’m made to feel my need for grace. What is grace simply defined? The kindness of God! God’s favourable countenance towards those that can’t help themselves!  Brothers and sisters, EVER I want to fall within this category!!  Now I  understand that to the world, weakness is a BAD thing — a thing to be avoided, something to be scorned and ridiculed.  From a child up, we’re told to stand firm, stick out our chests, and fight our way through life!!  But as one comes to Christ and allows the Word of God to renew their thinking, and the Holy Spirit to transform their mind, one comes to the place of glorying in weakness. 

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Cor. 12:9-10).

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