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Philippians



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Introduction to Philippians


In this introduction Ian looks at the word 'peace'. What is peace? How do we find it?
Many would say they would find peace if only their circumstances were different. It isn't like that for believers.

The Bible tells us we should not lose heart despite our outward afflictions and that all things work to our good. Paul wrote this epistle while imprisoned and awaiting the result of his trial - a verdict that may result in his execution but he is not moaning or anxious. He is rejoicing.

In 2 Corinthians 11 v 23 we read a list of some of Paul's tribulations but he never lost heart.
Acts 16 v 25 tells us that at at midnight, while in stocks in a stinking prison Paul and Silas were singing hymns.

Ian concludes this sermon with Horatio Spafford as an example. A man who having had a son die, being financially ruined and then losing his four daughters at sea penned the words to the hymn 'All is well with my soul' as he sailed into the area where his daughters had perished.

Do you have peace with God?


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


PHILIPPIANS 1
(1) Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
(2) Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


ROMANS 5
(1). . . we have peace with God . . .
(3) And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, . . .



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Chapter 1 v 1 - Paul and Timothy, bondservants . . .


Paul is writing to the Philippians and Ian asks us to imagine how priviliged those recipients must have felt but we see from other epistles that Paul's letters are intended to be read by ALL the saints. That includes believers today.
Do YOU feel privileged? You should.
Ian gives us some of Paul's background and shows how others refer to him in scripture. Paul was an educated and respected man who could have achieved almost anything but he chose to be a 'slave' to Christ.
What does it mean to be a 'bondslave' or 'bondservant'? How is this different to church 'celebrities' we see today?

We should all look forward to the rewards of being slaves to Christ.


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




2 CORINTHIANS 10
(10) "For his letters," they say, "are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible."



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Chapter 1 v 1 - 2


Paul writes to the 'bishops', that is the elders in the church and to the 'deacons', those who serve in some capacity in the church.
But who are the 'saints' he writes to and why are they mentioned first in his list?
Ian reiterates that as with all scripture these letters written by Paul are intended for ALL believers.

Who or what is a saint?
Some organisations would have us believe that a person must meet the criteria they have set, eg. the person must be dead, must have lived an exceptional life and there must have been some supernatural event. Only after consideration may the organisation decide the person should be called 'saint'. This is NOT biblical.
Obviously Paul was not writing to dead people!
Agios (hagios) is the original word translated as saint. It means, 'Holy ones', those 'set aside' or 'called out' in Christ Jesus.
ALL true believers are saints. Not just those who may be seen as an exceptional few who do apparently great things and people want to put on a pedestal - in a different class to the rest.
Ian gives examples of how all believers contribute and have equal belonging. He asks are you a 'fork' or a 'pot' and tells us what is required of a saint.


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







PHILIPPIANS 1
(1) . . . To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:



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Chapter 1 v 1 - 6

A miracle is something that cannot happen as a natural ocurrence
We are reminded that the fact Paul writes this letter is a miracle. The fact that the people he writes to are saints - is a miracle.
If you are in Christ - that is a miracle.
Acting, talking and appearing to others as a Christian doesn't save a person.
We were all born sinners as sons and daughters of Adam and it is only by God's grace that we are saved.


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

(3) I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
(4) always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy,
(5) for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,



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Chapter 1 v 6

What does Paul mean by "being confident"? Why does he have such confidence in the salvation of those he writes to?
People may come from a Christian family, do good deeds, go to church and call themselves Christian but unless they have personal faith they are not saved.
If you do have personal faith but tomorrow you let the Lord down by sinning what then of your salvation?
Ian explains how we are saved by God's grace at a time when we were His enemy, dead in sin and desiring things of the flesh and mind. We are held in God's hand and cannot be snatched away.


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



(6) being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;



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Chapter 1 v 7 - 11

Returning from holiday Ian reminds us of his last sermon dealing with Paul's confidence in those he was writing to and today asks how it was that Paul KNEW these people and their love for Christ?
We all have difficulties, problems and the cares of this world that Satan will use to drag us down unless we prioritise and focus on God.


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



(7) just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace.



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Chapter 1 v 3 - 4 and 9 - 11

Paul says, "And this I pray".
How should we pray? When and for how long? What should we pray for? Do we try to emulate others who use eloquence of speech? Do we recite the words we know Jesus used?
The disciples were familiar with prayer so why then did they ask Jesus how they should pray?
Ian answers these questions with explanation that prayer should be based on our Father's will and according to a loving relationshp with God.


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

(9) And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,
(10) that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ,
(11) being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.



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Chapter 1 v 9 - 11

We should pray for specific things as Paul did but we are not to sit back and expect anything to happen unless we persue those things ourselves. Ian gives examples and asks, "Do you love God?"
If you can answer 'yes' then that must lead to something. What does Paul mean by,"that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment"?


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




(9) And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,



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Chapter 1 v 9 - 11

Continuing with how Paul prayed and what he prayed for Ian reminds us that natural man does not love God whereas true believers love Him and want to know Him more and more.
We gain knowledge of God from His word and the more we know Him the more we love Him.
Are we 'brainwashed' in our faith? Yes. All people are brainwashed - most with the media and all things of secular society but believers have their minds and thoughts washed with God's word and our love for Him AND for others.

How do we 'approve the things that are excellent"?
Jesus put aside His own needs in His love for those with needs. We are to do the same in always seeking the wellbeing of others.


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







(10) that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ,



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Chapter 1 v 9 - 11

What are we here for? What is the purpose of life?
Science and philosophy say there is no answer to life, the universe and everything - it is all accidental and without purpose.
This leads people only to their own self interest, desiring to do what they want in life and this is encouraged in many ways.
The answer to this problem is recognition of the Creator God and that all individuals are sinners in need of repentance and forgiveness. Everything a person does should be to the glory of God - that is how true believers live. All the religions of man say 'do good deeds and live better lives' but people still remain in their sinning ways. Like the Pharisees many 'say' but do not 'do'.


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





(11) being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.



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Chapter 1 v 12 - 18

Paul is writing while under house arrest. Have his circumstances hindered the furtherance of the gospel? Not at all.
The guards who were with him heard the gospel day after day. They knew how Paul had once persecuted Christians but was now a changed man and preaching Christ at every opportuntity. He not only preached but the way he lived was testimony to the gospel.
We sometimes see our circumstances as adverse and people can be fearful of sharing the gospel but we are to remember that God is in control, we should pray for opportunities and share the gospel with everyone.
Inspired by Paul we too should be seen to live our testimony.


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

(12) But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel,
(13) so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ;
(14) and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.


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Chapter 1 v 19 - 26

Paul shows confidence that the prayers of the Philippians will result in his release from his current 'imprisonment' but this is by no means certain. He was persecuted for his faith and we are reminded of the importance to pray for people the world over who are suffering similarly today.

"to live is Christ, and to die is gain"
Islamist suicide bombers believe they are going to a sensual paradise when they murder people but this is because of a dreadful lie. Those who convince them are not queuing to blow themselves up for such fictitious reward.
In a world without Christ where death is usually seen as the ultimate tragedy what does the world live for?
Paul's gain in death is to be with Christ so it holds no fear for him but he knows he is needed alive to continue preaching the gospel. We should remind ourselves of all the promises that we have and live accordingly.


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 25th September 2016

(19) For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
(20) according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also
(21) For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
(23) For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.
(24) Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.


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Chapter 1 v 27

Paul wasn't putting on a 'brave face' or making the best of a bad situation. Who can be against us if God is with us? Who cares?
Today's message is regarding consistency. Paul was always consistent and a perfect role model for us.
Christians have the same adversities as non-believers in illnesses, accidents, financial difficulties, etc. and may worry about all the same things but do we react in the same way or moan the same? If we do then what sort of advertisement are we for the gospel?
What sets Christians apart from the rest? Do they display the same morals? Do they do the same things, watch the same things, say the same things? Do they show the same purpose in life? What does the conduct of a true believer tell others?
Believers are already citizens of heaven and all conduct should be consistent and worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ.


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 2nd October 2016



(27) Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,


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Chapter 1 v 27 - 30

We are reminded as to what 'the gospel' is. It is the good news of what God has done to save us.
What of God's commandments (the law)? Can we be saved by obeying them? Some religions say yes but that isn't true. The purpose of the law is to give us knowledge of sin and show us that it is impossible for us gain salvation by our own efforts.
The law shows us our guilt and how we fall short of God's standards. Christ came to do for us what we could never do for ourselves in paying the penalty for our sin.
Those who accept Christ as saviour are citizens of heaven but who are the adversaries of verse 28? They are not all obvious atheists or followers of the world's religions but are also in the church. What are we to do?
As ambassadors of Christ we are to stand fast for the gospel of Christ and against those who preach a false gospel. It can sometimes be that Christians may be 'too nice' and lack discernment in standing fast for the truth of God's word.


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



(28) and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God.
(29) For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
(30) having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.


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Chapter 1 v 28 - 30

Suffering and persecution.
In countries such as North Korea Christians face persecution and extreme suffering for their faith. In the UK we have it 'easy' at present but tolerance toward bible believing Christians worldwide is becoming less and this message gives us warning of what can already be seen happening in this country.
In their efforts to get people into church many preach health, wealth and happiness and people get the idea that the Christian life should be exactly that - happy, clappy and without adversity. The bible tells us all believers WILL suffer.
Today more Christians suffer for their faith than ever before in history. Ian explains why believers are to suffer (Verse 29).
All people are enemies of God at the outset but without any middle ground to stand on they will become with Him or remain against Him. Where do you stand?


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



(28) and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God.
(29) For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
(30) having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.


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Chapter 2 v 1 - 5


Unity of believers.
We all need love, encouragement and comfort but with the world having hatred for Christ and His people where are believers to find it?
We find it in Christ. Jesus said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Believers are the body of Christ and His love should also be in them. Jesus commanded that we love one another and so we can look to each other for support in persecution and adversity.
In verse 1 Paul uses the word 'if' several times. Ian explains the 'if' of improbability, the 'if' of uncertainty and the definite 'if' of certainty as used by Paul.
Verse 2 tells us we should be of one mind. What 'mind' is this? We know that this is not always so. Ian looks at why there may be divisions in the church and what we are to do.


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 30th October 2016

(1) Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,
(2) fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
(3) Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
(4) Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.


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Chapter 2 v 5 - 11


Who is Jesus?
Paul writes about Jesus. This is his focus. Jesus is our example of humility.
There are those who say Jesus was just a good man, others say he was a man adopted by God to be our saviour and some say he was actually the one God appearing as a man. Ian explains these ideas and like Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons they fail to acknowledge or understand God in three persons.
It matters what we believe and so Ian asks you - who is Jesus?


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

(5) Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
(6) who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
(7) but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
(8) And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.


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Chapter 2 v 5 - 11


Jesus IS God.
Answering his question of last week Ian provides many bible references that leave no doubt as to the deity of Christ.
He looks at the communicable attributes of God such as goodness, justice, knowledge, love and morality which we possess but to a much lesser degree and then at the incommunicable attributes that only God has.
The bible shows us that Christ has those incommunicable attributes.


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


(9) Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
(10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
(11) and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


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Chapter 2 v 6

I AM is the name of God.


Continuing from last week this sermon is to leave no doubt as to the deity of Christ.
The Greek words for 'form' (verse 6) are morphe and schema. Ian explains the difference and how they apply to Christ. He also explains the use of the word 'robbery' as identity theft and refers us to bible passages showing that Christ is one with God as 'I AM'.
Lucifer, once a high-ranking Cherub, wanted to be as God and he used the same desire to cause the fall of man (Gen.3 v 4).
People today whether individuals or religious cults want to be and believe they can be as God.


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




(6) who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,


GENESIS CHAPTER 3
(4) Then the serpent said . . and you will be like God . .


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Chapter 2 v 7

Humility as a servant.


We read, "made Himself of no reputation" but the original Greek is "emptied Himself".
Of what did Christ empty Himself? When Christ came as a servant and 'in the likeness of men' was He God or was He man? To explain Ian concocts a tale of a king living as a leper among lepers.
As a servant Christ relied on others for somewhere to be born, for housing, for transport and even for provision of a grave.
Although Christ 'emptied' Himself He retained His deity.


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




PHILIPPIANS CHAPTER 2
(7) but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
(8) And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.


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Chapter 2 v 5 - 11

Like minded with Christ.


What makes a Christian? People are seen to do exceptionally good things for others, making positive contributions to society and dedicating themselves to improving the lives of those less fortunate. Much of the world thinks this is what makes a Christian.
This is contrary to what the bible says.
Doing good works does not make one a Christian and will not buy a ticket to heaven. A Christian is one who is saved by grace, that is the unmerited favour of God through faith - not good works.
We should all be of one mind. Like Christ. We should be humble to all, not just those we think will be grateful or who we consider worthy. As believers we will do good works which God has already prepared for us but although commendable to the world the good works done outside of Christ are 'dead' works.


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

(5) Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,


EPHESIANS CHAPTER 2
(8) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
(9) not of works, lest anyone should boast.
(10) For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.


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Chapter 2 v 8

Jesus humbled Himself in obedience.


Ian explains the extreme importance of this verse.
"found in appearance as a man" - Did Jesus 'look' like a man?
"He humbled Himself and became obedient". - Jesus was amongst sin and temptation just as we are but He remained sinless.
"to the point of death, even the death of the cross." - Thousands died by crucifixion. Why was Christ's suffering so special?


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 1st January 2017

PHILIPPIANS CHAPTER 2
(7) but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
(8) And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.


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Chapter 2 v 8

To be humble like Jesus.


Chapter two tells us in v 5-8 of Christ's humiliation. Verse 9 begins, 'therefore', telling us there is a consequence and in v 9-11 we are told of His exhaltation.
Like Satan Man's problem is that of self-exhaltation. Pride. He wants to make a name for himself.
Those who are saved have a different attitude, wanting to be like Jesus and this has different consequences.


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




(9) Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,


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Chapter 2 v 8 - 11

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ.


Some would suggest that the resurrection of Christ did not happen. If this were correct then Jesus would have accomplished nothing other than to show us a decent way to live and Christians are living a delusion as far as the future is concerned. As Paul says of believers, we would be "of all men the most pitiable." (1 Cor 15)
Ian presents evidence for the resurrection in the form of prophecy, history, circumstantial and eye witnesses. Evidence substantiated even by Christ's enemies.
Like Christ, a believer is to have a resurrection body.


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




(10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,


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Chapter 2 v 9 - 11

The Ascension of Jesus Christ.


As Peter said these are not "cunningly devised fables". The resurrection of Christ was 'according to the scriptures', on time and could be verified by hundreds of credible and reliable eye witnesses.
Moving on now to the Ascension of Christ Ian asks why was it necassary for this to be witnessed. Why didn't Christ ascend unseen? Ian gives explanation by way of an example - the acknowledgement of a victorious Roman general returning home.


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 22nd January 2017




(11) and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


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Chapter 2 v 9

The Coronation of Jesus Christ.


Ian explains what it means to be 'highly exalted'. Christ rests 'seated' at the right hand of the Father, His work is done and Victory came at Calvary.
Why then are Christians suffering persecution and sin is still in the world?


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




(9) Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,


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Chapter 2 v 9

Satan targets believers.


Christianity is not for the faint of heart. We have all sinned but those who are in Christ are reborn. The new person is no longer a sinner who may sometimes do good things but is now a saint who may sometimes sin.
Believers as individuals and as a group will be attacked by 'the accuser' who will tempt and deceive. Believers are forgiven for the way they were as sinners but Satan may continually remind them. the Bible tells us how to stand against him.
Ian reminds us that it doesn't matter what Satan suggests or what man thinks of us. Christ knows what is in our heart and He is our advocate when we are judged.


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




REVELATION 12
(10) . . . for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.


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Chapter 2 v 5 - 11

Satan has permission to sift you.


Ian continues from last week. Believers will be attacked and Satan has permission to 'sift' us.
To what purpose?
Luke Ch.22 tells us. Peter thought he had control and declared he would be prepared to die for Christ but he too was sifted. What can a believer do? As our High Priest Christ intercedes for us. He carries our names in His heart and prays for His people.


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




LUKE CHAPTER 22
(31) And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.
(32) But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren."
(33) But he said to Him, "Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death."


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Chapter 2 v 5 - 11

No recovery from sin.
As believers we are to understand that we are reconciled to God. We are healed, ransomed, forgiven and restored to be a new humanity in the image of God.
As fallen sinful people we died with Christ on the cross and are no longer as we were before conversion. We are not recovering from our sin. We are freed from sin.


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




ROMANS CHAPTER 6
(7) For he who has died has been freed from sin.


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Chapter 2 v 10 - 11

Every knee should bow.
It is easy to be consumed by our circumstances and even Christians can spend much time worrying about what may happen when most of the things worried about do not actually occur. We should be focussed on what we know WILL happen, that is Christ's return.
The deity of Jesus Christ will be acknowledged by all and every knee will bow.
With this knowledge of our future what is there to fear? "If God is for us, who can be against us?"(Rom 8:31)


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




(10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
(11) and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


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Chapter 2 v 12 - 13

Work out your own salvation.
When Paul writes he often uses the word "therefore". Ian explains the significance of it's meaning as 'that being so'. Most people retaliate when told what they should do and how they should act but as believers Paul instructs us and gives Christ as our perfect example.
Why would we want to comply and what is the difference in 'working out' our salvation rather than 'working for' salvation as taught by cults and false religions?


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




(12) Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;


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Chapter 2 v 12 - 13

We all need to 'Work Out'.
Contrary to the teachings of false religions the bible tells us there is no salvation through our own endeavours. Ian likens the 'working out' of our salvation to a newborn baby. Those saved by the grace of God are born again and like a baby have great potential but they will never achieve it unless they develop.
Biblical examples of running a race teach us that to win a crown we have to participate. Spectators do not win anything.
Ian gives believers a training plan so that we can develop as winners through our discipline, diet and mentality.


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




(13) for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.


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Chapter 2 v 14 - 18

Listen to your personal trainer.
All gym equipment serves a particular purpose in developing an athelete. As a Christian you are a spiritual athelete and specific equipment has been put in your life - especially for YOU so that you have all that is necessary for you to achieve your potential.
We all face challenges and some may seem to you to be insurmountable problems at this time and you won't want them as part of your life but your trainer knows what will ultimately benefit you. To win there should be no, "complaining and disputing".


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 30th April 2017




(14) Do all things without complaining and disputing,
(15) that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
(16) holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.


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Chapter 2 v 14 - 18

The Church serving together.
Continuing the analogy of training and commitment being essential to achieve your potential to win Ian today gives us football as an example of team training.
When working as a team even an outstanding individual needs others to support him. They are essential.
We are privileged to be part of a wonderful organisation - a worldwide group comprising many small groups. Within the churches and fellowships there are the individuals who are all part of the team. They all have a part to play in working with, supporting and loving the rest of their team.


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




(17) Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.
(18) For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.


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Chapter 2 v 19 - 30

Timothy - A man of proven character.
Men are not born as preachers but those who are called to do so have to start somewhere and should be encouraged by the rest of us. Timothy is given us as an example of a young, infirm and perhaps timid man being sent to people who may well have preferred to receive Paul himself. Paul knew Timothy to be 'like minded' and to be dedicated to the interests of Christ and the gospel.
We are not all called as Timothy was but we too must be dedicated - standing for the truth of scripture and steadfastly upholding the doctrine of Christ.


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




(19) But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state.
(22) But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel.
(23) Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it goes with me.


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Chapter 2 v 25 - 30

Epaphroditus similar in character to Paul.
Another man who put the interests of Christ first. A man who could be judged to be a Christian not just because of him saying so but by his attitude and what he did, a 'fellow soldier'.
Why do people give up their lives and suffer persecution and affliction for Christ?


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 21st May 2017

(25) Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need;
. . .
(30) because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.


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Chapter 3 v 1

Preach the same things for how long?
Paul writes 'finally' but he is little more than half way through what he has to say to the Philippians and in our referenced bibles he continues for another two chapters.
At one time Paul spoke to believers until midnight (Acts 20 v 7) and then continued until daybreak. Paul says he writes about 'the same things'. Do we hear 'the same things' repeated in our meetings? What 'same things'? What is there to continually preach and for how long should we be listening?


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 28th May 2017

CHAPTER 3
(1) Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.

ACTS 20
(7) Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.


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Chapter 3 v 2

Beware of 'plusworks' teaching.
The bible tells us of many things we must beware of. In this one sentence Paul uses the word 'beware' three times to give essential warning of dangers to those he obviously loves.
Paul is concerned about the influence of Judaizers - those who teach that Christ is not enough and salvation is achieved by Christ PLUS own effort. This falsity is taught by many so-called Christians today.


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 11th June 2017




(2) Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation!


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Chapter 3 v 2

Beware of Dogs, Evil workers and Mutilation.
Jesus warned of those amongst us disguised as sheep and here Paul is giving a similar message when he refers to 'dogs'and 'evil workers'. Ian explains what is meant by 'beware of the mutilation' and what it really takes to separate us from the power of sin.


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 25th June 2017




(2) Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation!


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Chapter 3 v 3

Worship God acceptably.
Are you saved? If you answer yes then how do you know you are?
Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Roman Catholics and many others say that salvation depends on you. You must follow their doctrines or do 'work' to be saved. This is not what God tells us in His word.
Ian looks at the word 'worship' in verse 3. In some bibles the word is translated as 'serve'. Which is correct? What does it mean and how do we do it?


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





(3) For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,


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Chapter 3 v 4 - 8

Paul's testimony - Christ alone.

In these verses Paul continues to warn of those who teach that Christ alone is not enough for salvation. They use Mosaic Law to insist that man can and must do something by way of ritual or good works in addition to accepting Christ as saviour.
He tells of how he (as Saul of Tarsus) was before his conversion in believing he was religiously amongst the 'best of the best' but now knows that all the things he boasted about himself were worthless.
Many of today's churches are similarly using false gospel in their teaching of, 'Christ PLUS good works'


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





(5) circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee;
(6) concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
(7) But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.


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Chapter 3 v 4 - 11

Faith and Confidence.

Prior to his conversion Paul (Saul) was confident that he was doing right in the sight of God. He knew scripture, he was dedicated to uplholding Mosaic law and believing them to be blasphemers he fervently persecuted the followers of Christ.
He thought he had everything but he didn't have a personal relationship with God.
Where does your confidence as a Christian lie? Is it in baptism, rituals, attendance at church or perhaps your confidence lies in the good works you do?


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 30th July 2017



(8) Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ


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Chapter 3 v 7 - 9

Loss and Gain.

Ian describes a well known board game to demonstrate how as we go through life we are faced with decisions that all have consequences. How are we to decide what is the right decision? What consequences can there be for making a wrong decision?
Many think of life as a game - a gamble - nothing more than chance happenings where you can take advantage and prosper or let it pass by and lose out.
What is life all about to you? What do you want? What choices are there that have eternal consequences? You have been given a specific time in this life. In what pursuits do you use your time and energy?
Paul tells us that he counts as loss everything he had before he came to know Christ.


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 6th August 2017



(9) and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;


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Chapter 3 v 7 - 14

Paul looks to his prize.

Man is like a blind beggar. He values what he has and clings onto it unwilling to let it go. All the things treasured in this life will pass away but what we have in Christ is with us eternally.
Paul tells us there is no greater person to know than Christ and there is no greater knowledge to search for than that of Christ.
Do you know ABOUT Christ or do you really KNOW Christ? Does Christ 'dwell in your heart through faith'?


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 20th August 2017



(10) that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,


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Chapter 3 v 7 - 14

Gain Christ and be found in Him.

What does it mean to be 'in Christ'?
We categorise people but God sees only two groups, those who are in Christ and those who are not. Those who find the narrow gate leading to salvation and those who follow the ways of the world and are on the broad way to destruction.
Ian explains the representative heads of the two groups, what they have done and the consequences that fall on all people.


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 27th August 2017



(9) and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;


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Chapter 3 v 9

Being righteous in Christ.

Do people see you as righteous? Are you upright, decent and a good person? How can a person become righteous with God who knows what is in their heart?
Will keeping the commandments make a person righteous with God? Many may think so but Ian explains that ALL people have sinned and have broken commandments at some time. Saul believed he was righteous but later as Paul he understood that none are made righteous by the law.
Comparing the NKJV bible with the AKJ Ian explains the difference between 'faith of Christ' and 'faith in Christ'.


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 3rd September 2017



(9) and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;


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Chapter 3 v 10

How do you know Christ?

There are two ways to know Christ. You can know him by learning and acquiring knowledge or you can know Him through your heart by personal experience in a relationship with Him.
Who would know a man best - the person who studies him or a member of his family. Ian uses the parable of the Prodigal Son to clarify (Luke 15:11). All believers in Christ are adopted sons of His.


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 10th September 2017



(10) that I may know Him . . .


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Chapter 3 v 10

A Father's Love and Grace.

Those who don't know Christ may think that a life of holiness is dull, boring and has an ideal of shutting oneself away from the sinful masses. To see holiness we only have to look at Christ. His life was far from dull and boring. A man may isolate himself from society but his sinful nature is with him wherever he is.
Ian again looks at the parable of the Prodigal Son but this time at the relationship between father and the elder son who had spent years trying to 'earn' his father's love.
How does this represent our relationship with our Father God?


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 17th September 2017





(10) that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,


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Chapter 3 v 10 - 12

Are you really saved?

Due to Adam all people are born with the same sinning nature and sinning cannot be avoided. Parents see this when their infant hits out at another or when the child first lies to them. Where did it learn that?
The bible tells us that 'the wages of sin is death' (Romans 6:23) and so because we all sin it is certain we will all die. Jesus NEVER sinned - so why did He die?
Are you really saved? Although worthwhile God's word tells us that you can't be saved by being a 'good' person, or doing good things or by obeying all His commandments so how do you know you are saved?
Sin is a power that controls a sinner's life. God has provided a means for us to overcome and deal with it.


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 24th September 2017





(11) if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.


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Chapter 3 v 10 - 12

Do you have a goal?

Have you any ambition in life - something you are aiming for? What are you doing to achieve it?
Life is like a journey. We all know where it starts but people have various views of the destination they are heading for. Some believe it will be unconscious oblivion. Others believe they will be reincarnated as something appropriate to their behaviour in this life and some believe their ultimate destination is heaven because they think God will forgive anything and everyone.
God's word tells us death is not the end. There is no purgatory and only two destinations. Does God tell us anything about what heaven and hell are like? Yes - and he has provided a way for us to ensure the destination for believers will be heaven.
Paul writes knowing what his goal is. He wants to be more Christ-like but recognises he is still 'work in progress'.


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 1st October 2017





(12) Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.


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Chapter 3 v 12 - 14

The prize awaiting believers.

Paul was writing to real people in the real world who had the same worries and problems that we all have. Being a Christian does not make a person exempt from upsets, illness or financial problems. The truth is that believers have additional trials in life because of persecution due to their faith.
We all have memories. Satan will try to keep us focussed on those which were of our old selves and have been discarded by God. We are to realise who we are now in our relationship with Christ and appreciate that no matter how dire our circumstances it cannot change.
Like Paul we should look forward to our prize.


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





(13) Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
(14) I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.


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Chapter 3 v 15 - 19

Are you a Citizen of Heaven?

Your attitude, ambition, hope, behaviour and everyday language is determined by who you follow. Who is your role model? Paul says, 'join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern'. Ian gives examples of those men and women who despite their failings are good role models for any who are 'Citizens of Heaven'.
We are warned of the enemies of the true gospel, many deliberately avoid the gospel, some use 'intellect' to deny truth, some are comitted to false religions and in today's society there are those who would promote a new version of the gospel so as to conform to their choice of lifestyle.
The bible does not change to conform to man's ideas. Man must change to conform to God's word.


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





(16) Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.
(17) Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.
(18) For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:


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Chapter 3 v 20 - Ch.4 v 1

Our journey as Citizens of Heaven.

We are on a journey through this life and as believers we are on our way home. We do and will have difficulties, times of suffering but we are to remind ourselves of who we are, where we are going and who we belong to. Ian explains our relationship with Christ as being His bride who He has promised to return for.
How is it possible for you to enter heaven with the damaged body you inhabit and what of those believers who have died before Christ's return?


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 22nd October 2017





(20) For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
(21) who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.


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Chapter 4 v 1

Our action in the spiritual war.

The faith of a believer necessitates some action. The bible tells us 'faith without works is dead'. That does not mean that by doing 'good works' you can achieve salvation but that as a believer you will want to do good works on behalf of Christ. When Paul uses the word 'therefore' he is now going to tell us what we should do with regard to all that he has said before.
Ian reminds us that we are in a spiritual war. Most of the world tells us lies, the bible gives us truth and tells us how to live as God's people.
Do you, 'put up with fools gladly' (2 Cor 11 v 19) and think that Christians are 'too nice' to protect their faith against attack?


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





CHAPTER 4
(1) Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved. Be United, Joyful, and in Prayer


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Chapter 4 v 1 - 3

Be of the same mind in the Lord.

People are like stones of many different shapes and even believers are not necessarily a 'good fit' together. Disagreements can occur within churches and in this letter Paul identifies two women who are divided for some reason. When a situation like this occurs it has an effect on everyone.
How does Paul handle it, what does he say to them?


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



(2) I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.
(3) And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.


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Chapter 4 v 4 - 7

Rejoice in the Lord always.

Being a Christian does not bring health, wealth and happiness throughout this life as some may suggest. Christians face persecution because of their faith as well as all the pains, health and financial and problems suffered by everyone else. Why then does Paul tell us to rejoice 'always'?
If you are grieving or in pain do you want someone to say, "rejoice always"?
As a Christian your life is a testimnony to your faith. It is easy for others to see you as rejoicing when times are good. How do they see you in your times of troubles?


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


(4) Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
(5) Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
(6) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;


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Chapter 4 v 8 - 9

Think on all things virtuous and praiseworthy.

People act according to how they think and they think according to what is in their heart. Those who have been saved from sin have God in their heart.
A Christian cannot be robbed of his salvation but sin is still trying to influence and wreck his faith. The believer must guard against what the mind is exposed to - the messages and ideas we are bombarded with and the evil philosophies being fed to children.
All TV, all music, all schooling, are not bad but Satan constantly uses them all to his own agenda. Paul writes God's words in telling us what we should think about and how to judge for ourselves what is good and what is bad for us and our children.


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



(8) Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.


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Chapter 4 v 8 - 9

Doing as Paul did.

Ian gives examples of some things that influence us negatively - often without our realisation as we tell ourselves we won't personally be affected by the lyrics of music, the violence in films, etc. He quotes scripture to show the things that we should expose ourselves to and suggests that all believers should have the self discipline of following a bible reading plan.
We are not expected to read only the bible and Ian gives examples of many books and films that may be beneficial to us.


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 3rd December 2017



(9) The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.


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Chapter 4 v 10 - 23

All according to God's purpose.

Texts written over a long period of time in different countries, by many authors and for a particular purpose all coherently support one another and are brought together in our Christian bible. The authors were inspired to write as they did by God and His purposeful word is such that it applies to us today.
Paul suffered persecution and other tribulation but he knew that in everything God has a purpose.
We look at how Paul in thanking the Philippians acknowledges how God has supported him through all his trials and has supplied all his needs.


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 10th December 2017



(11) Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:
(12) I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
(13) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.


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Chapter 4 v 13

I can do all things through Christ.

Ian looks at one particular verse and explains what this means.
The apostle Paul had suffered greatly and he lists many events (2 Corinthian 11 v23 -) that he woud never have wanted. Paul also had some form of continued affliction that he begged to be healed but it wasn't. If he could do all things through Christ then why not be healed?
We are reminded that serving the Lord does not depend on our financial, family, or any other circumstances.


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 17th December 2017







(13) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.


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A Christmas Gift to You.

When people are asked what they associate with Christmas one of the usual responses is 'presents' or 'gifts'. These are received in different ways. Some may be just what you have always wanted and always needed but you may also receive a present that you don't really want.
Because of His love God has given us an 'indescribable' gift that we all need but not everyone wants. God gave his Son knowing that some would reject Him.
The shepherds were accepting of the message brought to them but Herod rejected it.
How do you respond - are you with the shepherd or with Herod?


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 24th December 2017





JOHN CHAPTER 3
(16) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.


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Philippians 4 v 19 - 23.

God has a plan for YOUR life.

It is New Years Eve and although tomorrow is 'just another day' Ian talks about the benefit of making resolutions - a new start with a promise to yourself to improve in some way. Christians should have a different mindset when it comes to what is needed. They try to see things as God sees them and although there are obvious benefits to improving ones health and making improvements to this life greater vision is needed based on God's plans for our children and grandchildren.
Believers know that all God's plans will come to fruition but that doesn't mean they can sit back and be observers. God's plan involves US. We are chosen as a means of fulfilling His plan.
We are reminded that Satan also has plans for our children and grandchildren and it is up to us as to what we do about that.
God's word tells us what His plan is for YOU.


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 31st December 2017





PHILIPPIANS 4
(21) Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you.
(22) All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar’s household.
(23) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.


This concludes the series on Philippians.