This page gives you 'old' sermons recorded in 2005 and 2006 and from Chapter 20 those recorded 2015 onward but God's word is unchanging and with Biblical Christianity the meaning and applicability are also unchanging. We do not have any preceding Chapter 12

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The Unpardonable Sin

Matthew 12 v 22 - 32

Ian explores, though verses 22 - 32, the biblical truth behind the thorny issue of "the unpardonable sin"

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 3rd April 2005

(31) "Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.
(32) Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

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A tree known by it's fruit

Matthew 12 v 33 - 37

Ian puts this passage into context by referring back to the healing of the blind and mute man which proved to the hearers that this was Jesus the Messiah and many believed.
The Pharisees, however, rejected Him despite the fact that this miracle could not have been done by human power. Instead, they chose to believe it was done by the power of Satan. This led to Jesus speaking about the unpardonable sin which is a result of a person hardening their heart and refusing to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and thereby rejecting Christ and being unable to receive God's forgiveness.

Jesus likens men to trees and points out that a tree is known by its fruit. Good fruit can only come from 'good trees'. Nobody can become good by themselves - but the Pharisees thought they were good. The Pharisees rejected Christ and therefore remain unconverted.

If we are believers, we will stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ and everything will be exposed before the One with Whom we have to give an account. The Lord is looking for good fruit - fruit unto holiness - to come from people's lives. It's the expression of someone's heart and we must guard our hearts from bitterness, envy and hatred etc.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 17th April 2005

(33) "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.
(34) Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
(35) A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
(36) But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
(37) For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

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The Unpardonable Sin

Matthew 12 v 38 - 42

Ian continues in the message of "the unpardonable sin" and shows the end of those who commit this sin.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 23rd April 2005

(41) The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.
(42) The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon;
and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.

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An unclean spirit returns

Matthew 12 v 43 - 50

This passage comes as a conclusion to all Jesus has been saying following the demon being cast out from the blind mute. Jesus has warned of the danger of committing the unpardonable sin; refusal to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit which the Scribes and Pharisees were guilty of.

The Scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign. But did they ask for the right thing? What does sinful man really need? Man has a more fundamental deep need than merely trying to live a good life. The person in this parable hears the Word of God and becomes outwardly clean but not born again. When the demon returns and finds the house swept clean, the end for him is worse than the beginning.

Ian points out that the child of God has not just 'turned over a new leaf' but has become part of the family of God. Jesus said 'blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it'. A true child of God will keep God's word because he has the Holy Spirit living in his heart and will produce good fruit. So for this man, his end is not the same as the first man. It is not possible for a believer to have a demon because at conversion the Holy Spirit comes to live in his heart and demons cannot live in the same house as the Holy Spirit. A believer must be born of the Spirit, filled with the Spirit and keep in step with the Spirit.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 1st May 2005

(43) "When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.
(44) Then he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order.
(45) Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation."

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Matthew 13 v 1 - 52

Before Ian delves into the details of the 8 parables in chapter 13 he explains the word "Mystery" and gives an overview of Matthews Gospel and the term "Kingdom of Heaven".

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 15th May 2005

(11) He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.

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Matthew 13 v 3 - 9 and 18 - 23

Ian continues the explanation of the Parable of the Sower with the last of the four examples i.e. 'the good ground'. Unlike the other three examples, this person receives the Word with understanding and bears much fruit.

Ian likens the way God prepares a person's heart to a farmer's field that has been broken up, tilled and prepared for planting the seed. God may use different means to prepare people's hearts in readiness to receive the Word and as Christians pray and preach the gospel, God works in that person's heart to bring them to salvation. And then as the person is 'rooted and grounded in love', they should start to bear fruit and be productive in their Christian life.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 12th June 2005

(19) When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.
. . .
(23) But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."

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Matthew 13 v 24 - 30 and 36 - 43 and 18 - 23

Prior to expounding the parable of the Wheat and the Tares Ian shows from scripture that there are at least four end times judgments so we can avoid confusion.
Ian emphasizes that Satan sowed the tares in the field "while men slept" and encourages all believers, especially leaders to watch and not sleep.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 26th June 2005

(24) Another parable He put forth to them, saying: The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field;
(25) but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.

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Matthew 13 v 31 - 33

As we look at these two parables, we must bear in mind that there are two versions of what people think the 'church' is. The first is that many people would think of the 'church' as the buildings and the people who attend and who would consider themselves to be Christians. This has become known as 'Christendom'.
The second is that the church is the body of true believers. The true church consists of those who are the redeemed of the Lord and are, in fact, the true Christians. This is true Christianity.

Ian points out that the two parables are speaking of the same thing. The church has been growing from humble beginnings, but the devil hates it and arranges for some of his people to join themselves to it so that he can work his influence from within. The point of the teaching is to warn us so that we will be on our guard and that we will be equipped and understand the generation in which we live.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 3rd July 2005

(31) Another parable He put forth to them, saying: The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field,
(32) which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.
(33) Another parable He spoke to them: The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.

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Matthew 13 v 44 - 46

Ian offers an alternative interpretation than the normally accepted one for the 'Parable of the Hidden Treasure' and the 'Parable of the Pearl of Great Price' showing from scripture that the "man" in verse 44 and the "merchant" in verse 45 is Christ and the "treasure" in verse 44 is the Israelites and the "pearl" in verse 45 is the church.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 10th July 2005

(44) Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
(45) Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls,
(46) who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

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Matthew 13 v 53 - 58

Jesus rejected at Nazareth.
After Jesus had finished the parables, He went back to Nazareth and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue and stood up to read. He was handed the book of Isaiah and He read from Isaiah 61. Why did Jesus stop reading in the middle of verse 2?

Ian explains why there are two advents and how the Jews would not accept Him as God’s Messiah. It seems the main problem was Christ’s humility and humanity. They knew Him. They knew His family and they began to get offended at Him.

And it is the same today. People may see Jesus as a miracle worker; a good teacher; a prophet; a good man; but not the Son of God; not the Messiah King; not the Saviour of the World.

But the result of all this was that Jesus did not do many mighty works in His home town because of their unbelief.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 31st July 2005

(54) When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?
(55) Is this not the carpenter s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?
(56) And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?
(57) So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.

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Matthew 14 v 1 - 12

John the Baptist is beheaded.
We are all born sinners and it is only God's law that gives us this knowledge so that we will want to be saved. God sent John the Baptist to preach the law but Herod and Herodias didn't like what they heard so they imprisoned John to shut him up.
Did it work? Was their condemnation removed from their thoughts?
Sin is powerful and subtle.
How can a person be free from sin? Only through death. Did your old self die with Christ at Calvary?

We apologise for the slight interference to sound at 14 mins and 32 mins.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 21st August 2005

(3) For Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife.
(4) Because John had said to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her."
. . .
(9) And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her.
(10) So he sent and had John beheaded in prison.

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Matthew 14 v 12 - 21

Feeding the five thousand.
Jesus took his disciples aside to rest awhile so that He could minister to them but they were followed by multitudes of people. What is Jesus response going to be to these people?
Ian points out that earlier Jesus had sent his disciples out two-by-two with authority for the work of the Kingdom and they had returned to Jesus to report on their mission trip. Jesus recognised that the disciples needed to rest. We all need that. But our need can be more than just to rest from physical tiredness. Rest for our soul means input from Christ and it is important for us all to spend quality time with Jesus every day.
Jesus always had time for the people and he taught them many things. But it was late and Jesus instructed his disciples to give the people something to eat. He was giving his disciple’s ‘hands on’ experience at ministering to the people’s need, but man’s greatest need is Christ. And as Jesus disciples, it is our role to minister to a world that needs Christ.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 28th August 2005

(13) When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities.
(14) And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.
(15) When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food."
(16) But Jesus said to them, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat."

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Matthew 14 v 22 - 33

Jesus walks on the sea.
Faith does not grow when you are at ease. Faith does grow when you are faced with a challenge as were the disciples in their situation of being in a storm on the Sea of Galilee.
When we are troubled by a difficult situation we do our best, tending to rely on our own abilities but in some situations we must learn to lean on Jesus. As Peter did we must cry out to Jesus. He may not always take you out of that situation but He will give you the faith to deal with it.

Jesus said,"Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
What IS there to be afraid of? Believers have every reason to be joyful and no reason to be fearful.
Peter walked on the water but when he took his eyes off Jesus he began to sink. As well as the obvious there is another important lesson to be learned - Peter got out of the boat - out of his comfort zone.
How often do you get out of your comfort zone for Christ?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 4th September 2005

(24) But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
. . .
(27) But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid."
(28) And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."
(29) So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
(30) But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!"
(31) And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"

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Matthew 15 v 1 - 20

Defilement Comes from Within.

From the earliest part of Jesus' ministry, He received opposition from the Religious leaders. And this is an example of something that is true from the beginning which is "manmade religion always stands in opposition to the true faith".

In this passage we see that the scribes and Pharisees challenged Jesus with a question about transgressing "the traditions of the elders". But Jesus response to this challenge was to strongly rebuke them for their hypocrisy. Jesus points out that it was they who had broken the commands of God in order to keep their manmade traditions.

The law of God is intended to show us the righteous standard that God requires of man and that it is a tutor to bring us to Christ. But the Religious leaders are too busy observing the outward rituals that the Word of God is made of no effect to them.
It is more important for people to get their hearts right with God than to keep external regulations and this can be done only through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, finding forgiveness and cleansing from God through Him, and following faithfully His teachings about the spiritual life.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 18th September 2005

(1) Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying,
(2) "Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread."
(3) He answered and said to them, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?
(17) Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated?
(18) But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.
(19) For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
(20) These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

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Matthew 15 v 21 - 39

Today Ian looks at three passages of scripture. The faith of the Canaanite woman with a demon possessed daughter, the multitudes bringing people for healing and the need for thousands of people to be fed.

The woman wasn't a Jew yet she knew who Jesus was and she humbled herself in not only asking Him to help but she was persistent with her need. Was she offended at being called a 'little dog'?

The multitudes put great effort in getting those in need of healing up a mountain to Jesus. He knew their need - why didn't He come down to meet them?

Why have the disciples not asked Jesus to help when they have recognised the hunger of the people?

The church is in need of revival. Are you personally in need of revival? Jesus can do anything for us. Is He waiting to be asked?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 25th September 2005

(25) Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, help me!"
(26) But He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs."
. . .
(30) Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus' feet, and He healed them.
(32) Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, "I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way."

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Matthew 16 v 1 - 12

"Beware," Jesus says, "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees."

Some Christians may think that they may not be led astray by false teaching, but Jesus said to his disciples to take heed and beware – be on your utmost guard against false teaching because there was a possibility that they might become infected or corrupted with false teachings. Jesus, and the apostles after Him, spent much time warning the church about false teachings creeping into the church. Much of the New Testament was written to combat false teaching.

Ian explains how the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees can affect a believer’s thinking of their understanding of the fundamental doctrines of Christ.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 2nd October 2005

(1) Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven.
(2) He answered and said to them, ". . . Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.
(4) A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah." And He left them and departed.
. . .
(6) Then Jesus said to them, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees."

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Matthew 16 v 13 - 17

Ian begins this message with an explanation of 'Paneas' - the ealier name for Caesarea Philippi. 'Pan' refers to the devil who holds men in spiritual death. He is a liar and a thief.

When Jesus asked a question (v13) the disciples didn't mention what the likes of the Pharisees said.
Their answer referred to people who recognised Jesus as someone different from ordinary men, someone a bit special, a good man who was to be respected.
This is the same today. There are those who completely deny Jesus but there are many who revere Him as a prophet, a miracle worker and a very special person. Ian gives examples of how Islam, Mormonsim, Jehovah's Witness, Buddhism and other religions respect Jesus but fail to recognise Him as Christ the Messiah.
In asking His question Jesus called Himself, "the Son of Man". Does this suggest He was merely a man? No. Ian gives biblical references that demonstrate the difference between 'son of man' and 'Son of Man'.
Peter knows Jesus to be, "the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Who do YOU say Jesus is?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 23rd October 2005

(13) When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?"
(14) So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
(15) He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
(16) Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
(17) Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

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Matthew 16 v 17 - 20

Some would have us believe that the apostle Peter is 'The Rock', that is the foundation on which the church is built.
Is that correct? Is Peter the foundation?
Ian discusses the suitability of Peter to be the solid unmovable foundation both before Pentecost and afterwards when he was a changed man with power, authority and leadership skills.
Biblical references show that Jesus is 'The Rock' - in His own words.
What sort of church building are we working on? We have Christ as our foundation - not men. We have been given the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 6th November 2005

(18) And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
(19) And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

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Matthew 16 v 15 - 28

Jesus rejoices over Peter following his confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, because it is clear that the Father has revealed this fact to him. Jesus then declares that He will give Peter (not to him alone, but as a representative of the whole church) the keys of the kingdom of heaven. So what are the keys?

Jesus goes on to explain to the disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and predicts His suffering, death and resurrection and it is this that is the key, in essence, to the gospel.

Jesus then talks about what ought to be the response of man to the gospel. Discipleship is not an optional extra for Christians – but for this you were called – "Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Jesus".

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 13th November 2005

(21) From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
(22) Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!"
(23) But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

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Matthew 16 v 21 - 28

The message of salvation IS Jesus. What does He ask from a true disciple when He says, "take up your cross"?
Ian looks at the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus.
At a human level the suffering could have been avoided but Jesus rendered perfect obedience to the Father's will.
Jesus represented us in everything He did. He died for me and I was a part of what He did - When he died I died.
As we were with Him in death we are also with Jesus in resurrection. The true believer is born again and raised into a newness of life.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 20th November 2005

(24) Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

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Matthew 16 v 24 - 28

Ian reflects on what it means to be a true child of God and the fact that Jesus left us an example that we may follow in His steps. If the Lord Jesus Christ has saved us and we have been made the children of God, we will want to follow Him and obey our Master. What is the desire of your heart?

Why do sinners not find the prospects of 'denying oneself, taking up one's cross and following Jesus' attractive? The simple fact is that the sinful nature does not like self-denial unless it is to gain something. Sinners would rather spend their time trying to save their life or enhance it – to gain things and make life happier for themselves and their loved ones.

But man cannot serve two masters; God and money. The Christian believer has come to realise that this world and all it has to offer is passing away and needs to consider things in the light of eternity. What are you investing yourself in - this short life or eternity?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 27th November 2005

(25) For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
(26) For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

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Matthew 17 v 24 - 27

Peter and His Master Pay Their Taxes.

Ian explains the 'temple tax' of verse 24. This was also known as 'redemption tax' or the 'half a shekel tax'.
This raises several questions.

Does it give us a theological problem? Scripture makes it clear that we cannot buy our own redemption.
Who instigated this tax and what was it to be used for?

Should Jesus have paid this tax?
The answer is 'no' so why did He pay it? Why did He also pay for Peter?
Why didn't Jesus just give Peter the money to pay the tax? Why send Peter to catch a fish?
Ian answers all these questions.
How does all this apply to us today? What should we be paying and why?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 8th January 2006

(24) When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, "Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?"
(25) He said, "Yes." And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?"
(26) Peter said to Him, "From strangers." Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are free.
(27) Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you."

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Matthew 18 v 1 - 11

People often say that the Bible contradicts itself but Ian points out, particularly with regard to this passage, that the parallel accounts in the other gospels provide extra detail and that there is no contradiction. In verse 1 it almost appears as if the disciples come to Jesus and out of the blue ask Him who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? The question the disciples are arguing about is not who IS the greatest, but who WILL BE the greatest. Jesus knew what the disciples had been arguing about and He knew that in their hearts their motives were not altogether pure. They were seeking importance and status. Rather than rebuke his disciples, He uses this as an opportunity to teach them what it is to be 'great' in the sight of God. The child is an illustration of humility, child-like faith and trust in the Lord.

Ian gives examples from the Bible of people who were very humble, but great in God's sight. As Christians serving the Lord do we long for the 'top job' or are we willing to serve the Lord even in the most menial of tasks?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 29th January 2006

(1) At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"
(2) Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them,
(3) and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

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Matthew 18 v 5 - 14

What does Jesus mean by, "humbles himself as this little child"?
He doesn't mean in a childish manner but with simple faith, not pretentious or proud. This is true humility.
Our society promotes the opposite of humilty so how can we become humble? We should think about and realise how great God is and see ourselves in comparison.

We can learn humilty by becoming content as everybody's servant.
These verses are applicable to us as believing adults but these words of Jesus are equally intended as to how we care for our 'children' in their knowledge and understanding as 'young' Christians and to how we raise our actual 'little ones'.
We are to welcome children in His name. We are to lead by example and not just by instruction.
Ian speaks about 'sin' and how sin may be caused (verse 6) either deliberately or through negligence.
Sin is falling short of what God requires in us. Sin exists in behaviour, thoughts and deeds. Sin is the opposite of obedience to God.
Children copy adults that they admire. They learn by example. Are we teaching them by example?

Sin must be seen for the poison it is.
Many leave their children to be educated by TV programs and unbelieving others at school. They may be happy that their children 'sample' the poisons of the world with the idea that when old enough the child will make an informed decision as to what is 'right' for them but such people are causing their children to sin - they are responsible and Jesus gives warning in verse 6.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 29th January 2006

(4) Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
(5) Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
(6) "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
(7) Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes! (8) "If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire.
(9) And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.

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Matthew 18 v 15 - 20

Ian looks at what our attitude should be when someone sins against us and their response.

If we have come to a saving knowledge of Christ, we are the sheep of His pasture and are united together in one body, one church. In God’s sight we are justified, but we live in an imperfect world and in a practical sense we are still being made perfect. That being the case it is likely that we will sin against one another, although it ought never to happen.

If we follow Jesus' teaching with the right heart attitude and a right spirit we would save ourselves a lot of heartache and possible division within the church – the body of Christ.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 19th February 2006

(15) "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.
(16) But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.'
(17) And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.

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Matthew 19 v 3

Marriage and divorce.
Ian gives an overview of chapter 19 and then speaks paticularly on verse 3 looking at the motivation of the Pharisees in questioning Jesus.
Using what we call 'the law of first mention' Jesus refers them back to the beginning. Back to how God made things and intended them to be. We are not to pick and choose from God's word according to what we may think is important or less so.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 19th March 2006

(3) The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?"
(4) And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,'

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Matthew 19 v 3 - 12

Marriage and divorce.
Once, marriage was viewed for life but now people have changed their views on the subject and many get divorced for just any reason. In circumstances where perhaps one or both parties think they've made a mistake, Jesus teaching may well become unpopular and impractical, but the Word of God never changes.

Why is God seemingly so keen that He favours marriage; that He loves it; He values it and wants to see it work? Why is it that divorce is not easy as far as the Bible is concerned and that God wants marriage to work, particularly Christian Marriage?

Ian looks at the Biblical teaching on marriage; the roles of husband and wife; the relationship between Christ and the Church; what marriage is meant to demonstrate and represent and what God intended from creation.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 26th March 2006

(5) and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?
(6) So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."
(7) They said to Him, "Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?"
(8) He said to them, "Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

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Matthew 19 v 16 - 26

The rich young ruler.
Ian recaps the purpose of marriage and how it portrays the relationship between Christ and man. Marriage can't work on man's terms.

The young man who this passage tells us about believed there was something beyond this life. He knew there is a judgement to come and wanted to know what he must do to have eternal life.
He was a 'would-be' disciple but wouldn't do as Jesus said. There are many who call themselves Christians but concern themselves with things of this world and do not do as God says.
Why did Jesus allow him to go away unsaved?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 9th April 2006

(16) Now behold, one came and said to Him, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?"
(17) So He said to him, Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."
(18) He said to Him, "Which ones?" Jesus said, "'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear false witness,'

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Matthew 19 v 16 - 26

Jesus counsels the rich young ruler.
Ian looks again at the passage of the "Rich Young Ruler" and the serious question that burns in his heart "What good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life".
This young man had heard something of the wisdom and authority of which Jesus speaks and saw that Jesus had something that he lacked. The young man was religiously devout and an outwardly moral young man, but he was obviously concerned for his own soul. After all his good efforts at keeping God's law, it seems that he has no understanding of eternal life or assurance of salvation.
Ian looks at how Jesus answers this man's questions and what it is that Jesus is seeking to do to show him how salvation can be his. What we have here is a step by step guide on how to lead a sinner to salvation. But this young man was following a set of rules, which is the letter of the law, and failed to grasp the spirit of the law which leads to life eternal.
The young man went away sad because he was a rich man and the possessions he had in this world were more important to him than the life that he could have had in Christ.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 16th April 2006

(19) 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' "
(20) The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?"
(21) Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
(22) But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

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Matthew 19 v 23 - 30

With God All Things Are Possible.

In a society that saw wealth and status as indicators that God was pleased the disciples "were greatly astonished" by what Jesus says.
People have the desire to hang on to what they have always held as special in this life but we are told that the 'old' man must die so that we can have a new life in Christ.
This is a personal message and we should all examine ourselves. What does it say about MY life and about MY beliefs?

All true disciples have left something behind to follow Jesus. This does not mean that we MUST leave home and family although in some instances this will occur. What we do have to leave are the things in life that we have been bound to so that we may be bound to Christ.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 23rd April 2006

(23) Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
(24) And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
(25) When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?"
(26) But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
(27) Then Peter answered and said to Him, "See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?"

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Matthew 19 v 28 - Chapter 20 v 16

Following His statement of 'the first will be last and the last will be first', Jesus goes on to tell the Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard.

This whole passage has to do with the difference between how man thinks and judges and how God thinks and judges. Man usually judges by what he sees and the conclusions he comes to are drawn from his own opinions, as in the case of the Rich Young Ruler. This, however, is not about success in man's eyes but the believer's faith and how faithfully and diligently he has served the Lord in the place where he finds himself.

There will be many surprises in heaven.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 30th April 2006

(30) But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

(9) And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius.
(10) But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius.
. . .
(16) So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen."

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Matthew 20 v 17 - 28

What Christ achieved at the cross.
Ian takes us on Christ's journey to Jerusalem and looks at the things He had told His disciples many times but although they heard they didn't fully understand.
Do you understand the purpose of the suffering and death of Jesus?
What does it mean to you?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 1st November 2015

(18) "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death,
(19) and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again."

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Matthew 20 v 20 - 28

People want success. Parents want their children to do well. In man's world the goal is not to serve their masters but to become a master and be served.
What does it mean, 'to do well' in God's eyes? Jesus - the creator of all - was born in lowly conditions and served others with humility to the point of washing the feet of his disciples.
How can we 'do well'? By pleasing God.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 8th November 2015

(21) And He said to her, "What do you wish?" She said to Him, "Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom."

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Matthew 20 v 29 - 34

The blind beggars at Jericho had heard about Jesus and they believed he was Christ. They had faith and cried out to Him.
We are all born spiritually blind and believers have had their eyes opened in a similar manner.
Now that we can see do we do as Bartimaeus did, throwing aside our garments and following Him?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 15th November 2015

(32) So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, "What do you want Me to do for you?"
(33) They said to Him, "Lord, that our eyes may be opened."

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Matthew 21 v 1 - 11

Jesus the Messiah enters Jerusalem.
Prior to this time Jesus had refused to be publicly acclaimed as the Messiah so what had changed on this occasion?
Ian draws on many Biblical prophecies to show that this was precisely the right time according to scripture. The responses to Jesus are the same today as they were then in that some accepted Him as Messiah, some thought He was a prophet, some were swept along by emotion of the moment, some enquired after Him and others rejected Him.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 22nd November 2015

(4) All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
(5) "Tell the daughter of Zion,
'Behold, your King is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.'"

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Matthew 21 v 12 - 17

Ian explains how the sacrifices as instructed in Leviticus had become a corrupt money making scam in the temple.
At the time of the reformation the 'church' showed the same corruption and this still exists today with Christianity being used by many as a business opportunity.
The grace of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ are FREE to all. They have been paid for on our behalf and the cost was immense.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 29th November 2015

(13) And He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a 'den of thieves.'"

(14) Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.

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Matthew 21 v 18 - 22

Why did Jesus curse the tree?
Ian explains how this gave Jesus the opportunity to preach about the nature and character of true faith and what it produces.
Are we fruitful or nothing but outward show?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 6th December 2015

(19) And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, "Let no fruit grow on you ever again." Immediately the fig tree withered away.

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Matthew 21 v 23 - 32

By what authority?
People sometimes ask questions not to receive an answer but to make a statement. Why was Jesus confronted in this way?
The Pharisees were 'experts' on scripture but they hadn't believed John and they were not accepting Jesus as Messiah.
Why did they not believe? Why did they not WANT to believe?

Ian apologises - he has a cold

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 13th December 2015

(23) Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, "By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?"

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Matthew 21 v 28 - 31

The parable of the two sons.
The first son represents the openly sinning non-religious person. All believers have been this son and have regretted their sin.
The second son represents the 'righteous' sinner who may have theological knowledge and outward show but has not repented.
All have sinned. God sees what is in the hearts of all and one day we will all stand before Him.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 27th December 2015

(28) "But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go, work today in my vineyard.'
(29) He answered and said, 'I will not,' but afterward he regretted it and went.
(30) Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, 'I go, sir,' but he did not go.
(31) Which of the two did the will of his father?"

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Matthew 21 v 33 - 46

The parable of the landowner.
The parable tells us the landowner provided everything necessary for the production of good fruit but the vinedressers killed his servants and then also his son.
God has provided each of us with all WE need to produce good fruit but there are those who never do and desire to kill His Son.
Ian explains this parable and asks, "When is the time God expects to find fruit?"

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 3rd January 2016

(35) And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another.
(36) Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them.
(37) Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.'

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Matthew 21 v 41 - 46

The parable of the wicked vinedressers.
Jesus asks, "what will he do to those vinedressers?" and the Pharisees, understanding justice immediately make their judgement but are then brought to realise that it is they who are to be judged.
We are all to be aware there may be a 'plank in our eye' when making judgements about others and on realising our own sin we have the options of responding like the Pharisees or as David did when Nathan said to him, "You are the man."

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 10th January 2016

(41) They said to Him, "He will destroy those wicked men miserably,
. . .
(45) Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them.

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Matthew 22 v 1 - 14

The parable of the wedding.
Ian relates this parable to four phases of evangelising the world according to God's plan.
The Old Testament gives the first invitation to the wedding therefore people should have been ready. People were invited by John the Baptist and Jesus but most didn't come. The apostles were sent out with invitations and today invitations are still being given to the wedding of
Christ with His bride - the church - comprising all those who have put their trust and faith in Him as their saviour.
There are many who will expect to be accepted at the wedding but will still be dressed in 'filthy rags' having rejected all that the King has provided for them.
Verse 14 tells us, "For many are called, but few are chosen."

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 17th January 2016

(2) "The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son,
(3) and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come.
(8) Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.
(9) Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.'
(11) "But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.

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Matthew 22 v 15 - 22

Render to God the things that are God's.
In their hatred for Jesus the Pharisees weren't interested in a genuine answer but thought to trick Jesus. God cannot be fooled by people who appear religious. He sees what is in the heart.
Anyone may appear religious. Anyone can call themselves a Christian. Anyone can say all the right words but what is in their heart?
What is in your heart?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 24th January 2016

(17) Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?"
(18) But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, "Why do you test Me, you hypocrites?
. . .
(21) They said to Him, "Caesar's." And He said to them, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."

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Matthew 22 v 23 - 33

The Sadducees: What About the Resurrection?
The Saducees thought themselves knowledgeable in scripture but like so many theologians and the hierarchy of many churches today they did not understand scripture. There is a difference in 'knowing about' and 'knowing'.
Both claim to uphold God's word but do not believe in fundamentals such as the resurrection. (The apostle Paul tells us that if there were no resurrection then believers are to be pitied.)
Just as the Pharisees had done the Saducees thought to trick Jesus.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 31st January 2016

(25) Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother.
(26) Likewise the second also, and the third, even to the seventh.
(28) Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her."
(29) Jesus answered and said to them, "You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.

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Matthew 22 v 34 - 46 (and Mark 12 v 28 - 34)

The first commandment of all?
The purpose of the law is to show us how we are.
To be as we should be and to live as we should live we need to love God and to love others.
Jesus answered and the Pharisee was in agreement but his belief was in one God and denying the diety of Christ.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 7th February 2016

(35) Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying,
(36) "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?"
(37) Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'
(38) This is the first and great commandment.

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Matthew 23

Ian asks, 'Which of the commandments would you discard?'.
The Pharisees insisted people must keep the law (God's commandments as given to Moses) and even made additional laws to ensure that their rules were followed.
Jesus upheld the law.
Reiterating the purpose of the law Ian explains that true believers are freed from the law.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 21st February 2016

(1) Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples,
(2) saying: "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat.
(3) Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.

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Matthew 23 v 1 - 12

The Pharisees were very religious but they practiced their religion so as to be seen by man.
Such religions are concerned with pride and self esteem. Ian explains how hard it is for religious people to see themselves as they really are - as God sees them - and to come to know the truth. How broad are your phylacteries?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 28th February 2016

(5) But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments.
(6) They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues,

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Matthew 23 v 12 - 15

Man usually thinks he's not that bad and he can make himself right with God.
Christ said, "I am the door" and "I am the way". The only way to be made right with God is through Him.
Ian offers an analogy to explain how many people choose doors that are to their liking and more attractive to them and how there are those who deliberately misdirect people away from the only door that can bring them to God.
The Scribes and Pharisees had their religion but could not see the door.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 6th March 2016

(12) And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
(13) "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

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Matthew 23 v 37 - 39

The judicial blindness of Israel.
Some would wrongly say that these verses tell us God was finished with Israel as a people - that Israel was now replaced by and all covenants applied to the church - that is all God's people.
Ian shows why such teaching is incorrect.
Any Jew may be saved the same as anyone else by believing on Christ but Israel as a nation will remain 'blind' until they declare, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!"

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 13th March 2016

(37) "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!
(38) See! Your house is left to you desolate;
(39) for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' "

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Matthew 24

This is an introduction to the 'Olivet Discourse' where Jesus tells of things to come.
Some would suggest that the prophecy of Chapter 24 has already been fulfilled but Ian explains how much of it is yet to be fulfilled in the not too distant future.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 20th March 2016

(2) And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

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Matthew 24 v 1 - 3

The disciples ask three questions about the future and Jesus answers them.
Prophecy fulfilled in detail with 100% accuracy is one way we can know the Bible is true and to be believed. Non-Christian writers documented signs of prophetic events and despite God giving much time for people to repent many did not and more than a million perished when the Romans came into Jerusalem and destroyed the temple.
And so it is today. We have the warning in God's word and we see the signs. God has told us what we are to do.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 27th March 2016

(3) Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"

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Matthew 24 v 3 - 8

The apostles looked for answers from Jesus. Although they had the information in the scriptures much of it was 'hidden' from them as it is to the nation of Israel to today.
We are living in the eleventh hour of the 'church age' and are blessed with the complete word of God so should be aware of the ages that are to come. We must be ever watchful, careful and ready to share the gospel at all times.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 3rd April 2016

(5) For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many.
(6) And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

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Ian was preaching elsewhere on 10th April. Listen to Garry Finnigan via the menu in 'Online Sermons / by other speakers'

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Matthew 24 v 3 - 8

In verse 7 Jesus warns of things to come and we can see such events in our current 'church age' but Ian compares what we are seeing now with what is to come during the tribulation.
There are plenty of signs that we are near the end of the church age but before it ends there will be the rapture and we will see no signs for that.
Are you ready?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 17th April 2016

(7) For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
(8) All these are the beginning of sorrows.

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Matthew 24 v 9 - 14

Sing hymns on our streets and be applauded. Mention sin, judgement and that Jesus is the only way to God and you face ridicule and abuse just as the Bible says.
Biblical prophecy is history written in advance and Ian gives several references telling what is to happen.
Bible-believing Christians are persecuted in the world today but Jesus warns us there is much worse to come during the tribulation.
Of what concern is that to those of us who will be with the Lord before the tribulation?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 24th April 2016

(9) "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake.
(10) And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
(11) Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.

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Matthew 24 v 15 - 22

This is not a 'general' sign that Jesus tells us about. It is detailed and precise. It will occur exactly halfway through the seven years of tribulation. It will be unmistakable. It is the definitive sign of the start of the final countdown.
Matthew reminds us how important it is that we who are reading should understand.
Ian explains about the deception of the antichrist and asks if a deception could come into YOUR life.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 1st May 2016

(15) "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand),

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Matthew 24 v 15 - 22

Jesus tells us of what is to come with the tribulation.
Ian takes us through several passages of prophecy (history written in advance) giving explanation of the 'woman' in Revelation Ch.12 and precisely where the believers who are in Israel at the time are to flee to where they will be fed and God will protect them for the three and a half years to the end of the tribulation. The name of the place means 'rock'.
We should be looking to our 'rock' Jesus Christ NOW for our salvation.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 8th May 2016

(16) "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
. . .
(21) For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.

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Matthew 24 v 21 - 28

Over and over again we are warned of false prophets and teachers and here Jesus tells us that, "if possible, even the elect" may be deceived.
How does God protect the elect? His word gives us warnings. We are to heed all warning signs. To ignore them is not only foolish but is disobedience to God.

Posing as something right and true, false prophets and teachers will by means of, "power, signs, and lying wonders" (2 Thess 2 v 9) present a false gospel drawing people towards themselves and their man-centred doctrines.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 15th May 2016

(23) "Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it.
(24) For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
(25) See, I have told you beforehand.
(26) "Therefore if they say to you, 'Look, He is in the desert!' do not go out; or 'Look, He is in the inner rooms!' do not believe it.

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Matthew 24 v 21 - 31

Those who refuse to conform will be hated. Those who are in the 'rock' will be nourished by God.
People cannot CHOOSE to believe. Faith comes from hearing the word of God and for those in the 'rock' now or those who come to believe on Christ during the tribulation the study of God's word is a vital part of community life. The second coming is of great interest - their deliverance is extremely important.

We must always be watchful of false prophets and false teachings. Ian gives the Jehovah's Witnesses teaching of the second coming as an example where (having made previous errors) they teach that Jesus returned 'invisibly' in 1914 which is a direct contradiction of Jesus in verses 27 and 30. Jesus has warned of such in verses 23 and 26.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 22nd May 2016

(27) For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
(28) For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

(29) "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

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Matthew 24 v 27 - 31

The second coming of Christ will be open and visible. Unmistakable. The Bible gives us some ideas of what will be seen and heard.
Ian identifies three responses from people witnessing what is happening.
1) Joy and excitement. They are possibly the elect.
2) Dread and fear. Those under conviction who should repent.
3) Indifference. They are going to have a really bad day.

What of those who inadvertently carry the mark of the beast - those who feel they were tricked into doing so? Ian explains.

Christ will return 'on the clouds of heaven' with His saints. Do you, as the song says, 'want to be in that number when the saints come marching in'?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 29th May 2016

(30) Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

(31) And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

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Matthew 24 v 32 - 35

From verse 4 Jesus told us about general outward signs. From verse 15 He told us about the tribulation and from verse 27 about His second coming. In these next verses we are told about watchfulness. How we should live knowing He is soon coming again.

This is the parable of the fig tree. Why did Jesus so often speak in parables? His explanation is given in Matthew 13 v 10 - 17.
The truth is revealed to believers but hidden from the hard of heart.
We are to be watchful for the signs indicating His coming again is near / very near / at the door.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 5th June 2016

(32) "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.
(33) So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near-at the doors!
(34) Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.
(35) Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

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Matthew 24 v 36 - 42

Jesus is explaining how His return will take people by surprise and refers to the days before the flood.
What would it have been like at that time with a man building an enormous boat on dry land and trying to tell people about God's judgement?
God had said He would not strive with man forever (Genesis 6 v 3) and He had always provided a witness to them. People could say that they didn't hear them but that is wilful ignorance. They did have opportunity just as people today have and in similar manner they chose not to listen.
As did Noah we are to live as Christ's witnesses in a perverse and corrupt generation.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 12th June 2016

(36) "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
(37) But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
(38) For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,

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Matthew 24 v 36 - 42 ( As it was also in the days of Lot )

Continuing as to how it was as 'In the days of Noah' Ian refers to Luke 17 v 28 where we are told by Jesus, "as it was also in the days of Lot" resulting in the destruction of all those in Sodom. The people lived immorally, God was patient and had his witness amongst them but the people refused to hear. They ignored the word of God.
Today in western societies there is not only widespread immorality but a general acceptance and even promotion of it. God 'will not strive with men forever' and the consequences will be dire.

At the time of the flood mankind was polluted with evil but why did God also destroy the animals? Many accept and welcome genetically modified foods and interference with human and animal genes which give obvious benefits but Ian gives some insight into what is happening today with 'GRIN technology' and the development of 'Human 2.0'.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 19th June 2016

(27) They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
(28) Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;
(29) but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.

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The Faithful Servant and the Evil Servant

Matthew 24 v 42 - 51

Jesus tells us we are to be ready for the rapture. This will occur 'in the twinkling of an eye' with 'one taken and the other left'.
We will be taken by surprise - unexpectedly - Jesus will come for His people like a thief in the night but whereas a thief takes what doesn't belong to him Christ will take those who do belong to Him. They have been paid for.

Ian explains the 'masters' and 'servants' of this parable and who they are in today's church. Can we recognise those appointed by the Lord and those who are self-appointed or appointed by man?
They are to carry three responsibilities . . .
1) To watch over the church. To protect it from 'thieves' who would break in.
2) To rule over the church in humility and by example.
3) To feed other members with the solid spiritual food of the word of God.
All just as Paul did.

Members should accept what is given and willingly receive and respect authority of leaders.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 26th June 2016

(40) Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left.
. . .
(43) But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.
(44) Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
(45) "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?
(46) Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.

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The wise and foolish virgins

Matthew 25 v 1 - 13

In this parable Jesus is speaking about His return for His church - the bridegroom returning for the bride.
Believers know that Christ is returning and despite knowing that His return could even be today it is sometimes difficult to maintain the level of expectancy and readiness that we should.

The bride is Christ's church. The ten virgins (bridesmaids) represent all those associated with the church (bride).
Why are half the virgins left behind when the bridegroom comes? What does their lack of oil represent? Why is the door shut and why does Jesus say,"I do not know you."?

People may GO TO church, be associated with church activities, enjoy singing songs of worship, enjoy the friendship of other people and appear religious. Some like theology and some believe they are Christian but God knows what is in their heart.
Ian gives biblical examples of what it is to be wise and what it is to be foolish - 'The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God.".

We are to ask ourselves not whether we like the things of church and Christianity but do we have any oil?
In this parable it is shown that ALL slumbered and slept - as does much of today's western church. When they are suddenly awakened and realise what is happening it will be too late to try to start doing what should have been done before.
Those that are not ready will understand, "I do not know you".

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 3rd July 2016

(2) Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
(3) Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them,
(4) but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
(5) But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
. . .
(10) And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
(11) "Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!'
(12) But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.'

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The Parable of the Talents

Matthew 25 v 14 - 30

In today's language Christians know that we all have 'talents'. We recognise that we have God given gifts and abilities. Ian dispels the misunderstanding some may have of this parable in that in the example of the servant who was given only one talent it would not be according to biblical teaching for him to end up in hell due to accomplishing nothing with what he was given.

It should be obvious who the 'man' represents but why are His servants given different amounts? What do the 'talents' represent? Why did one servant end up in hell?

What is the meaning of,"to each according to his own ability" (v15)?

Verse 19 says, "After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them."
Ian explains.
Do you value what you have been given?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 10th July 2016

(15) And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.
. . .
(24) "Then he who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.
. . .
(26) "But his lord answered and said to him, 'You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.
(30) And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

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We apologise for the absence of the sermon of 17th July 2016.

There will be no sermon in this series on 24th or 31st July due to holidays.
This series will continue on 7th August 2016.

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The end of the Olivet Discourse

Matthew 26 v 1 - 2

Ian gives us two reasons as to why these verses are hugely significant.
Jesus is telling His disciples what is going to happen in great detail. Because what He said would happen did happen in the literal sense they could be assured that all of what Jesus had prophesied would happen. Unlike those with Jesus at the time we are in the position of having historical knowledge of the accuracy of prophecy and Ian gives examples.
Why should we take a literal interpretation of scripture?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 7th August 2016

(1) Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples,
(2) "You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified."

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The Anointing at Bethany

Matthew 26 v 6 - 16

Verses 14 - 16 tell us of Judas's agreement to betray Jesus but when did this agreement happen?
Ian shows the timing of events and explains what happened in the house of Simon the leper when Mary anointed Jesus. What was Mary's motivation?
In looking at those who were present and considering how they reacted and what was said Ian tells us we are to be careful what we involve ourselves in, who we involve ourselves with, be careful what we say and be careful of the thoughts that fester in our mind.
Then he asks,
Who do you most want to be like?
Who ARE you most like?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 14th August 2016

(7) a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table.
(8) But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?
(9) For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.”
. . .
(12) For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial.
. . .
(16) So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.

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The Last Supper

Matthew 26 v 17 - 30

Jesus kept the location of where they would eat the Passover meal from all but Peter and John. Jesus had things He wanted to share with the disciples and knowing that Judas was going to betray Him at first opportunity He ensured that they would not be interrupted at that specific time.
It was customary for a servant to wash the feet of everyone as they entered but this was not done. Ian explains why.

We are reminded of the significance of the 'Communion' that we participate in each week and that Judas also participated in the Last Supper. When we take the 'bread' and 'wine' it is what is in our heart that matters.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 21st August 2016

(17) Now on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, "Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?"
(18) And He said, "Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, 'The Teacher says, "My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples."'"
(19) So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.

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Some elements of the Passover meal

Matthew 26 v 20 - 30

Being 'The Jew' of Jews Jesus would follow the order of the meal as it had been conducted by families since the time of Moses and the exodus.
He took this opportunity to demonstrate and explain how it all pointed to Him as Messiah.
Ian explains the purpose of the order and of the elements of the meal, what was remembered by it all and how it pointed to Jesus rescuing us from sin.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 28th August 2016

(26) And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body."
(27) Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you.

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Unconditional promises of the New Covenant

Matthew 26 v 28

We are reminded that Jesus was a Jew speaking to Jews when He told them about His new covenant.
Ian gives many references to demonstrate how this covenant differed from the previous and how God repeatedly promised, 'I will' without imposing conditions.
These promises were made to Israel - not as according to some to 'the church' which they allege has replaced Israel. Have the Jews and the nation of Israel received the blessings of these promises yet?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 4th September 2016

(28) For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

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The Cross. A stumbling block.

Matthew 26 v 31 - 35

To the Jew the cross is a stumbling block. To the Greek it is foolishness. To believers it is God's powerful means of saving His people.
Why were the disciples all "made to stumble"
We were all enemies against God due to sin. God is just and the penalty for sin is death but Christ died as our substitute to pay the penalty for all who repent and ask His forgiveness.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 11th September 2016

(31) Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: 'I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'

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The Prayer in the Garden.

Matthew 26 v 36 - 46

Jesus prays and allows disciples to hear Him pour out His heart to the Father, sharing some of the intensity of His suffering.
People may delight in His power and glory but many don't want to share in His suffering. You will only know something of suffering if you suffer anything for His names sake.
What was Jesus asking when He prayed, "if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me"? Was He looking for a way out or to be excused from what was to come?
Ian explains these words and what is meant by "this cup". The whole purpose of Jesus coming into this world culminates here. Jesus knew what was to be laid on Him. He without sin was about to become sin.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 18th September 2016

(37) And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.
(38) Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me."
(39) He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."

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Watch and pray.

Matthew 26 v 36 - 46

What did Jesus intend when he said to His disciples, "Watch and pray"? What were they to watch? What were they to pray?
Were they to watch for the enemy so that they could fight or flee? Were they to pray for God's intervention that any danger be stopped? Would such watching and praying have been according to God's will?
Ian identifies three obstacles to prayer . . .
Ignorance - of the will of God - what to pray in a given situation.
Weakness of the flesh - prayers for what the flesh wants - contrary to the spirit.
Unbelief or lack of faith.
Watch Jesus. Pray as He prays. THY WILL be done.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 9th October 2016

(40) Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "What! Could you not watch with Me one hour?
(41) Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
(42) Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done."

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Betrayal and arrest in Gethsemane.

Matthew 26 v 47 - 56

We like to categorise people, to put them into groups and we can all think of many that we belong to but God sees only two groups. They represent all humanity and both were present in Gethsemane. There are those who are FOR Christ and those who are AGAINST Him.
Judas spent years with Jesus and appeared to be 'for' Him, probably nodding in agreement and saying Amen in all the right places but where was his heart and what caused him to act as he did?

Even to the present the name Judas is an expression of disgust. He had the disciples fooled but he was a hypocrite.
Just like Judas there are churchmen today who are on the 'wrong side'. Leaders who do not believe the word of God.
We are to examine ourselves. Which group do you belong to?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 23rd October 2016

(47) And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people.
(48) Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him."
. . .
(56) But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.

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The sinful refuse to see.

Matthew 26 v 57 - 68

Sinful man has not changed in wanting to do away with God and silence the gospel.
Ian looks at six trials that Jesus faced, who accused Him and why.

Just as today the evidence was there to prove the diety of Christ and if people would just stop and look they would understand the past, what is happening in the world now and what will happen in the future. They would know that they WILL be judged.

The evidence is overwhelming but most people choose not to look.
Ian mentions two books written by men who set out to contradict the gospel but as a result of their own investigation became saved.
'Evidence that deserves a verdict' by Josh McDowell
'Who moved the stone' by Frank Morison

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 6th November 2016

(57) And those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
(58) But Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest's courtyard. And he went in and sat with the servants to see the end.
(59) Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death,
(60) but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward
. . .
(63) But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, "I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!"

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Denial of Christ.

Matthew 26 v 69 - 75

Peter Denies Jesus, and Weeps Bitterly.

Believers are usually aware of this event having probably heard about it many times but Ian examines what led up to it. What was Peter's knowledge of Christ? What was in his mind?
Could the same thing happen with you? Would you ever deny Christ or does your own self-confidence assure you it could never happen?

If you are a true believer our Lord gave you knowledge of Him at a time of His choosing. He knew you from the very beginning, He knows what you will do and be assured He has a love for you that never falters.

Does your 'speech' indicate to others where you stand?
Can others see that you are with Christ?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 13th November 2016

(69) Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, "You also were with Jesus of Galilee."
(70) But he denied it before them all, saying, "I do not know what you are saying."
(71) And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, "This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth."
(72) But again he denied with an oath, "I do not know the Man!"
(73) And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, "Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you."
(74) Then he began to curse and swear, saying, "I do not know the Man!" Immediately a rooster crowed.
(75) And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." So he went out and wept bitterly.

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Remorseful Judas hangs himself.

Matthew 27 v 1 - 10

Peter sinned. Judas sinned.
Both had let the Lord down. Both were filled with remorse. Their outcomes were different.
Remorse without faith achieves nothing.
Like many who have some 'connection' with Jesus today Judas tried to put right his sin himself. He didn't ask God for mercy.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 27th November 2016

(3) Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
(4) saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." And they said, "What is that to us? You see to it!"
(5) Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.

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Pilate's decision on Jesus.

Matthew 27 v 11 - 26

Everything about the time, place and circumstances of Christ's death was preordained by God and foretold in detail by the prophets.
Pilate examined Jesus and could find nothing to justify any punishment. He wanted to release Jesus and in passing the decision to the crowd he expected to do so but they called for Barabbas instead. Knowing he was dealing with an innocent man Pilate publicly 'washed his hands' of the blood of Christ.
As Christ's crucifixion was preordained to occur at that time Ian poses the question, was Pilate innocent or guilty?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 11th December 2016

(13) Then Pilate said to Him, "Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?"
(14) But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.
. . .
(24) When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it."

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The Imminent Birth of Jesus Christ

Matthew 1 v 18 -25

The birth of Christ is traditionally celebrated in one weeks time so in this evening's meeting Ian reminds us of the revelation from God of what was about to happen and the effect this would have on Mary and Joseph in their society.
Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained by God and is a reflection of the relationship between God and His people. According to Jewish law - that is the law given to them from God through Moses, a betrothed couple were already husband and wife before the wedding ceremony and consummation of their marriage.
Joseph had a dilemma. Mary could be stoned to death or he could divorce her and condemn her to an extremely difficult life. He was a just man and wanted to do what was right in the sight of God.
Man has problems. God has all solutions.
God solved Joseph's problems and has given all men the solution to the problem of sin.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 18th December 2016

Our four part series on The marriage of The Lord is available here.

(18) Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.
(19) Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.
(20) But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

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Being like Barabbas.

Matthew 27 v 15 - 26

With the first evening sermon of 2017 we return to Pilate asking the crowd to choose between Jesus and Barabbas.
Ian looks at Barabbas - a criminal - insurrectionist - thief - murderer. A man knowing the demands of Roman law and that the penalty would have to be paid. There was no escape.
Barabbas was on death row.
All mankind is on death row due to breaking God's law and unless something amazing happens all men will pay the penalty. Something amazing did happen for Barabbas and it happened for us too.
Jesus died in our place. He paid the penalty. This happened before we knew anything about it. How does that make you feel? It should make you want to know Jesus better.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 8th January 2017

(16) And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.
(17) Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, "Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?"
. . .
(21) The governor answered and said to them, "Which of the two do you want me to release to you?" They said, "Barabbas!"
(22) Pilate said to them, "What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" They all said to him, "Let Him be crucified!"

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Hail, King of the Jews!

Matthew 27 v 15 - 26

All believers should be saying this.
Pilate's soldiers said it - but mockingly. As many do today they ridiculed, mocked, insulted and abused Jesus. The people want no 'king' other than one of their own choosing.
Ian looks at the brutality sufferd by Jesus at the hands of the soldiers. Men who were accustomed and desensitised to inflicting pain on others and he questions the desensitisation of people to violence today by what they are exposed to, eg. on TV and in computer games.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 15th January 2017

(27) Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him.
(28) And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him.
(29) When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
(30) Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head.

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Carrying the cross.

Matthew 27 v 31 - 35

Everything that is written in the bible is there for a reason. This evening Ian looks at Simon of Cyrene who carried a burden, the cross of Jesus.
There are some today who preach Christianity as wealth, health and happiness but Jesus said, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."
Are you a true believer? Did you have your burden removed and die at the cross?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 29th January 2017

(31) And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.
(32) Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross.

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The Soldiers.

Matthew 27 v 32 - 37

This evening we look at the soldiers who crucified Jesus. These men were acting under orders - their allegience was to their superiors and to Rome. Yet what of their general behaviour and treatment of Jesus?
In this they exercised choice. Knowing who Jesus was proclaimed to be - The Messiah - they mocked Him, bowed down to Him and struck Him.
All sinners are "under orders" from their master - Sin (Rom.6:16; John.8:34). Yet they too have a degree of freedom in how they sin. In their response to Christ some sinners become angry, others ignore Him, some mock Him or even offer false worship.
Such is how it is with the sinner. But here we see that contrasted with the love and grace of God demonstrated in Christ on the cross.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 5th February 2017

(34) they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink.
(35) Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: "They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots."

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Faith in Christ or unbelief.

Matthew 27 v 38 and Luke 23 v 32 - 46

All are sinners. Two convicted criminals are crucified alongside Jesus. Both abuse and blaspheme Him. The criminals share their situation - facing death, judgement and eternity.
What can these sinners do about their predicament? Nothing. Like secular society they are dying in their sins but at some point something happened to one of these men. He observed Christ, he saw the way Jesus behaved and recognised who was really in control. He stopped his abuse.
By the grace of God he knew who Jesus was, admitted his sin and made a sincere cry to Christ from his heart.
Any sinner must do likewise to be saved.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 19th February 2017

(38) Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left.
. . .
(44) Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.

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The death of Jesus.

Matthew 27 v 45 - 56

Only when you understand about the torments of hell can you appreciate the love of God. Even the most terrible of sinners appreciate things of God in this life and we are to consider what it must be like to be utterly abandoned by God and cast into outer darkness.
During the crucifixion there were three hours of darkness and this evening Ian considers what happened during that period.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 26th February 2017

(45) Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.
(46) And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"

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Victory of Jesus on the cross.

Matthew 27 v 50 - 58

This evening we consider the magnitude of what was accomplished on the cross.
What did it take for the veil in the temple to be torn in two and how does it affect man's relationship with God? Ian explains about the symbolism in the temple and how it all pointed to Christ.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 5th March 2017

(50) And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
(51) Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,

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Joseph of Arimathea.

Matthew 27 v 57 - 66

What do we know of Joseph and how can we be sure of what we know?
We have a description in God's word and what Joseph did took courage. How would you be described by God and do you have similar courage?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 12th March 2017

(57) Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.
(58) This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him.

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The Resurrection.

Matthew 27 v 62 - Ch.28 v 15

The religious leaders have got their way - Jesus is dead and buried but now they worry that His disciples may steal the body and so claim Jesus has risen as He said He would.
What can they do? What barriers will they put in place?
Do we create any barriers to hinder people seeing that Jesus is alive?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 2nd April 2017

(64) Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, 'He has risen from the dead.' So the last deception will be worse than the first."
(65) Pilate said to them, "You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how."
(66) So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.

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Finding The Empty Tomb.

Matthew 28 v 1 - 15

The women were on their way to the tomb expecting to encounter barriers but obstacles had been removed by God. They saw the empty tomb for themselves and had an encounter with Christ.
So it is with anyone who will look with sincerity. The barriers put in place by Satan will fail and they will see the truth.
Ian gives us an example of an author who set out to gather evidence to demonstrate the resurrection as untrue but on actually seeing the evidence for himself became a believer and wrote the book, 'Who Moved The Stone?'
Have you found the empty tomb? Does it fill you with 'great joy' and motivate you to share the good news with others?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 9th April 2017

(1) Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
. . .
(8) So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.

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Let us Rejoice as Brethren.

Matthew 28 v 9 - 10

The first thing Jesus said was, "Rejoice". Why are we to rejoice? What does the resurrection mean for believers?
Then He said, "Do not be afraid". Why would the women be afraid. Is there anything we should fear?

audio This sermon preached by Ian on Easter Sunday 16th April 2017

(9) And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, "Rejoice!" So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.
(10) Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me."

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Dead Saints are raised.

Matthew 27 v 50 - 53 and Ch. 28 v 18 - 20

Returning to chapter 27 Ian explains Matthews account of this event with the significance of when it occurred and why 'many' but not 'all' dead saints were raised.
This relates directly to what believers know as the 'Great Commission' which we are given in verses 18 - 20 of chapter 28.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 23rd April 2017

(52) and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;
(53) and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

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The Great Commission - part one.

Matthew 28 v 18 - 20

Jesus gives a clear message to us all of what we are to do and how we are to do it. We are to, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16)
Does everyone understand what the 'gospel' is? It is the good news of how we may cleansed of all sin and unrighteousness by the grace of God. It is not possible to earn salvation by being a 'good' person. Grace is unmerited favour given to those who do not deserve it.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 7th May 2017

(18) And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

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The Great Commission - part two.

Matthew 28 v 18 - 20

Jesus did not tell us to go out and get others to make a 'decision'. We are told to 'make disciples' of them.
What is a disciple? Those who are saved are transformed and become witnesses to the saving power of Jesus Christ.
How do we make disciples?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 14th May 2017

(19) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
(20) teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

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The Great Commission - Discipleship.

Matthew 28 v 19

We are not all called to be preachers but as believers we are all called to be witnesses. As disciples we are to go out and deliver the most important message ever to be given, the proclamation of grace. We cannot save anyone. We are the means of conveying what the sinner must hear if he is to be saved - God will save.
Ian explains how what you believe affects the way you take the gospel to others and gives examples of damaging errors made by 'the church'.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian as penultimate in this series.

(19) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

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The Great Commission - Baptism.

Matthew 28 - Last sermon in this series

People are sometimes said to be looking for 'decisions' - this means that they want others to decide to be Christians. Nobody becomes a Christian due to persuasion, coersion, or any other man applied means. A sinner cannot be saved by deciding to be a Christian.
A sinner MUST hear the gospel. Only God can save.
Becoming a Christian by those who 'decide' to do so are not born again as a new person. They may well make changes in their life and become a better version of what they used to be. That is a better version of a sinner.
Those who are saved are 'new'. Their old person died on the cross and they are a new person with new life. From the moment of conversion a Christian doesn't suddenly have all the answers and is not immune to temptations but are no longer slaves to sin.
Those who are saved do not sit back with the thought that they have made a decision and are ok now. Those who are saved immediately want to know what happens next - what are they to do? Ian explains how baptism is one of the first things a person should do - it signifies their 'old man' is dead.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian in conclusion of this series.

(20) teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

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