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Romans



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Paul's Epistle to the Romans. Ch.1 v 1 - 17


In this first of a series Ian gives us an idea of the subject of the chapters to come but reminds us that Paul wrote this letter to believers, many that he had not actually met and a mixture of Jews and Gentiles. The Jews would have a knowledge of scripture (Old Testament) but the gospel Paul shares is applicable to everyone and he says (V 9) that they are all in his prayers.
Paul's words are relevant to us all whether mature Christians or new Christians. We too should be sharing the gospel of Christ and praying for believers we have never met.


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 7th January 2018


CHAPTER 1
(1) Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God
(2) which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,
(3) concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,






(1) Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God
(2) which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,
(3) concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,






(4) and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
(5) Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name,






. . . the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures






(2) which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,
(3) concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,






(3) concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,






(4) and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.






(5) Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name,
(6) among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;




(7) To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
. . .
(11) For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established—




(13) Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.
(15) So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.



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Sharing the Gospel of Christ. Ch.1 v 16 - 17

Paul preached to anyone and everyone. That is what we should all be doing so what is it that hinders us? Do we say we are not good at speaking or that we are shy or that we are afraid we will make a mess of it?
What other reason could prevent us warning people that they are heading for eternal misery? Do we offer a theological reason?
The gospel is not difficult - 'Christ died for your sins'. A child can understand it and we know that to some it is a 'stumbling block' and to others 'foolishness' but it is not for us to be choosey as to who we share the gospel with.
Why are there those who are offended by the message of the cross? Should we avoid trying to share with them?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 25th March 2018



(16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
(17) For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."



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Not ashamed of the Gospel. Ch.1 v 16 - 17

Many churches today cut out parts of the gospel that they think will offend some people and sound foolish to others. The concern is more for pleasing man in an attempt to increase the numbers in the congregation. A person cannot be saved unless they understand what sin is, acknowledge they have sinned and repent - putting their faith in Christ.
Believers cannot convert (save) others but are to share the message of the gospel (the good news). As an example Ian uses the guard delivering a message to Barrabas telling him that someone else has died in his place. The guard delivers the message but it is a higher power that is responsible for him being freed.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 1st April 2018



(16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes,



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Salvation is for ALL who believe. Ch.1 v 16 - 17

We will all face judgement at the end of our earthly life. God is righteous and a just judge so how will we be dealt with?
We have God's law to show us that we are all sinners and we have the gospel of Christ to tell us how we can be forgiven and made righteous in His sight. People may argue that God is forgiving and so they have nothing to worry about. Despite knowing what God's law says they live their life in a contrary manner in the expectation that it will not matter. They are wrong.
What about the person who doesn't know God's law - will he be automatically forgiven?
Ian gives examples of people breaking the (man's) law both with and without knowledge and today he also speaks about antisemitism and replacement theology.
There is no automatic forgiveness and we cannot earn righteousness on our own merit. How then can we become righteous and be forgiven?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 8th April 2018



(17) For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."



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The Wrath of God against sin. Ch.1 v 16 - 32

In eighteen minutes Ian gives an introduction to the verses we are about to look at in detail during the coming weeks.
This is a 'short' sermon due to us having the blessing of a testimony from a lady recently accepting Christ as saviour.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 15th April 2018



(18) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,



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The Wrath of God against sin. Ch.1 v 18 - 19

Sin is like a hereditary disease that came to us all from Adam and it always results in death. All the wrong behaviours and beliefs we see in today's society are the symptoms of that disease - how are we to 'treat' this sickness?
When you have a sickness you would be wise to go to a doctor. Ian uses this to demonstrate that you would want to know the cause of your problem and not simply be treated for the symptoms. Using crime as a further example - what we see are symptoms but most people only have ideas about treating those symtoms, e.g. more policemen on the streets, more resources to combat crime, greater punishments, better education, etc. These ideas ignore the cause - sin.
God is the great physician. He gives us the bad news first - we are all sinners. Then He gives us the good news - we can be saved.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 22nd April 2018





(18) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
(19) because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.



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Commentary on Sin in Society today. Ch.1 v 18 - 32


We have all sinned and God wants us to understand sin in our society. In these verses many sins are identified and we are to note that only one on the list is against man's law. Murder is in most cases against man's law but even that has become a matter of choice if the victim is a child in the womb.
Why are sins acceptable or even promoted as desirable as a lifestyle choice? Why are some not seen as sin at all?
Man continues to promote disbelief in God and he redefines evil things as good and good things as evil. Ian gives examples.
Psalm 14 says, 'The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God."
Why do people deny the obvious existence of God? They 'suppress the truth in unrighteousness'.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 29th April 2018



(20) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
(21) because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
(22) Professing to be wise, they became fools,



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Religions and gods of the world. Ch.1 v 20 - 25


Man knows instictively that there is a God, the heart and mind say so and looking around we can all see the obvious work of a creator. Life has not self-assembled and we do not exist as something having evolved from a primordial soup. Man's inner knowledge of the existence of a god can be seen in all cultures and countries throughout history.
Ian looks at a handful of the thousands of gods invented by man and the way some belief systems are fed to us via the underlying themes in films and TV.
Why then does the world not recognise and worship the one true God? They choose not to. They have 'exchanged the truth of God for the lie' and for this they bring punishment on themselves.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 13th May 2018



(23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
(24) Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
(25) who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.



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Sin in society and God's wrath. Ch.1 v 24 - 27


Many who say they believe in God have a god that is a product of man's imagination. Even among church leaders they discuss and change what God says to meet the wishes of today's society. They refer to incorrect translations of the bible or choose to preach only passages that will be acceptable to people and miss the parts that people don't want to hear.
How is 'sin' defined? Does it mean 'bad things' or what is 'wrong'? Without God's word who decides what is right and wrong?
Today Ian looks at what God tells us about sin including such as LGBT which is now widely accepted in the world - a biblical matter often not mentioned in many churches.
To get it 'right' and live as we should we must refer to the maker's handbook and not the opinions of man.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 20th May 2018



(26) For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
(27) Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.



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They did not think knowledge of God worthwhile. Ch.1 v 28 - 32


The world is sick and needs the physician. People do not think it worthwhile 'to retian God in their knowledge'.
Why? Because of who He is and what He is lke. God's standards and requirements are inconvenient to those who despite beginning with an innate knowledge of God's existence and a conscience that can tell right from wrong choose to adopt a god of their making and re-educate their conscience.
To accept the truth of God as He is and what He tells us with a judgement to come would be a restraint on sin. Ian tells us an imaginary tale of what would happen if he wanted to rob a bank and were to imagine that there is no law enforcement, no court or judgement and no punishment.
Some of the consequences of dismissing God are listed in verses 29 - 31.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 10th June 2018



(28) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
(29) being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,
(30) backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
(31) undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;



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God's Righteous Judgement - Introduction to Chapter 2


Paul has in chapter one been primarily addressing Gentiles who had started with no knowledge of scripture but like all people knew in their hearts that there is a God and man has no excuse for suggesting otherwise when the evidence of His creation is seen all around us.
The Jews however were privileged. They had knowledge of God through the scriptures (the old testament in our bibles) and many thought that their dedication to and adherence to Mosaic laws would bring them salvation. Paul now addresses such Jews - those making judgement about others without recognising their own sin.
No person is in a position to judge others as we are all sinners.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 17th June 2018


CHAPTER 2
(1) Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
(2) But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things.
(3) And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?



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The goodness of God leads to repentance. Chapter 2 v 4

We are to remember that all the disciples including Judas shared the 'last supper'. Judas had all but Jesus fooled. None suspected.
That is how it is today. There are those who talk the talk, can be knowledgable of scripture, be active within the church and call themselves Christian. People accept them as such but because a person says they are a Christian does not make it so.
Can their Christianity be evidenced by what they do? The bible says believers 'have the mind of Christ' and we begin to see things as Christ sees them. We have new goals and priorities thinking more of what God wants and not of what we want.
Does this stop Christians making bad decisions?
Ian looks at examples of those who knew later that they had made bad decisions. Judas betrayed Jesus. Peter denied Jesus and other disciples ran away when Jesus was arrested. King David lusted, lied and murdered to get what he wanted. How were they affected by what they had done?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 1st July 2018




CHAPTER 2
(4) Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?



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Salvation is NOT by good works. Chapter 2 v 5 - 11


Verses in the bible are sometimes read by people attributing incorrect meaning due to taking a portion out of context. Many people have done that with these verses which when read alone suggest that man can bring about his own salvation by doing good works.
Taken out of context it could be mistakenly assumed that Paul was writing about the gospel but he wasn't. He was writing about the law.
Ian explains about being 'under the law', the impossibility of achieving salvation by living according to the law and with one of his own little strories of a 'good man' breaking the law in driving a car gives an example of penalty imposed by the law.
We are to remember that 'gospel' means good news.
The law is NOT good news. It is NOT given to encourage us to do better. It is given to show us that we NEED the gospel of Christ.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 15th July 2018


(6) who "will render to each one according to his deeds":
(7) eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;
(8) but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath,
(9) tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;
(10) but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.



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There is no Partiality in God's Judgement. Chapter 2 v 11 - 16


When each of us is judged by God there will be no partiality, favouritism or prejudice because He is righteous and just. In human judgements of a lawbreaker there may be mitigating circumstances but God's law is absolute and the penalty is certain and not negotiable.
An individual may think he can plead being a 'special case' due to personal circumstances or point a finger at others who he believes have done greater wrongs.
He may wish to argue that God doesn't understand the temptations, abuse, persecution, and hatred he has endured or being shunned by his own people wanting him dead. Such reasoning chooses to forget that Christ came as a man and suffered all these things and more. He has better understanding than anyone.
We cannot defend ourselves against God's judgement and we are all guilty. Those who know Jesus Christ as their Lord and saviour have Him as their advocate.


audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 29th July 2018


(11) For there is no partiality with God.
(12) For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law
(13) (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified;
(14) for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves,
(15) who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)
(16) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.



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What are the Advantages to be Born with? Chapter 2 v 17 - 24


If people were to be asked what they consider are the greatest advantages to be born with many are likely to reply with having financial wealth so they can afford to buy anything they want, or they may say to be born into a free country where they have freeedom of speech and choice of lifestyle rather than a tyrannical dictatorship, or perhaps they would choose to have loving parents who instill in them a good moral code and ensure a good education but in all such answers the person gives consideration to benefits applicable only during this life.
All people are going to live consciously in eternity in one of two places. Either surrounded by love in heaven or separated from God in hell.
The Jews who Paul is writing to believe they have the greatest possible advantage anyone could have as they are God's 'chosen' people. This is correct in that before anyone else they knew the need for salvation and they had received scripture - God's word.
The problem Paul addressed is still a problem today in that people may be knowledgable in scripture and they 'talk the talk' thinking that will perhaps ensure their salvation but they do not apply it to themselves and live their life according to God's word.
The philosophy of man rules most people and man will always change that philosophy. As an example - man has changed what was known only a few years ago to be unnatural behaviour into something today perfectly acceptable and boasted of in our society and churches influenced by mans philosophy are often seen to be ignoring God's unchanging standards so as to be popular.
Do YOU apply God's standards to yourself and live by them?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 5th August 2018


(17) Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God,
(18) and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law,
(19) and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,
(20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law.
(21) You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal?
(22) You who say, "Do not commit adultery," do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?
(23) You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law?
(24) For "the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you," as it is written.



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Circumcision of no avail? Chapter 2 v 25 - 29


Circumcision is part of 'Jewishness' and In Paul's letter to the Romans he explains to them that those who believe they have their salvation because they are circumcised have misunderstood scripture.
Circumcision is first mentioned in the bible in Genesis 17 where God makes it clear that "it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you". Ian gives the example of a wedding ring worn by married couples being a sign of their love and trust for each other - a covenant they have with each other. Loss of a ring does not make them any less married and a single person does not become married by wearing a ring.
God made a covenant with Abraham and circumcision is a sign of that covenant. A circumcised Jew who is without Christ as their Lord does not have salvation and is no better off than the gentile without Christ.
It is to be understood that like baptism, circumcision is a sign, a token that represents something but in itself does not bring salvation.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 12th August 2018


(25) For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.
(26) Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision?
(28) For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;
(29) but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.



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God still has a plan for the Jewish Nation. Chapter 2 v 28 - 29


Ian begins by mentioning Replacement Theology - a false belief system that claims the Jews are no longer God's chosen people, and God does not have specific future plans for the nation of Israel. Those who propagate such ideas claim their 'evidence' comes directly from scripture and the verses that are always quoted are taken out of context and by using such a method the bible can be 'made to say' anything.
In these verses Paul continues to explain that the advantages of 'Jewishness' and the outward signs of righteousness are what man sees and praises but all that can bring approval by God is from the heart and not external. A man may praise one who has never murdered and never committed adultery and appear righteous but if in his heart he has hated or lusted then he is not righteous in the sight of God.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 19th August 2018





(28) For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;
(29) but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.



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Does God keep His promises? Chapter 3 v 1 - 9


In his letter Paul has written about the Gentiles and has been telling the Jews that although they have 'the law' and circumcison they are no better off if all they have are outward signs as they are all under sin. In verses one and three he now puts the question that he anticpates they will ask, 'Does the Jew have any advantage?' and he answers, 'Much in every way'.
The Jews had scripture - all pointing to Christ. They had precise prophecy that would enable them to recognise the ONE saviour (so eliminating all other would-be's) but many had rejected Him.
Some people today believe that because of that rejection and unfaithfulness God cut off Israel and moved His promise for the future of His people to those who are His church - that is, believers.
As Ian mentioned last week this is known as 'Replacement Theology' and is unbiblical. Taking verses of scripture out of context a person may quote verses from the book of Hosea suggesting a reference to unfaithful Israel but taken in context it demonstartes God's restoration of Israel by His grace.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 26th August 2018





(1) What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision?
(2) Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God.
(3) For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect?
(4) Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: "That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged."



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Will God EVER Renege on a Promise? Chapter 3 v 1 - 9


Paul continues to explain to God's 'chosen people' that despite the advantages they have as Jews they are all sinners just the same as Gentiles but despite their (Israel's) rejection of Christ, God's promise for the restoration of their nation will be fulfilled.
God made various promises to man and they are of two forms. There are conditional covenants such as that made with Moses which are of the form, if you do this then God will do that, and there are unconditional covenants such as those made with David and Abraham which say that God will do this NO MATTER WHAT.

The unconditional covenant with Abraham promises that despite their unfathfulness and rejection of Christ, God will return the Jews to their land and restore them as His people.
The false teaching of Replacement Theology is CHALLENGING GOD'S FAITHFULNESS in keeping His promises.
Abraham, Solomon, David, Peter, etc. can all be shown to have been unfaithful to God. Did God discard them? No. Ian explains why.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 2nd September 2018



(5) But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.)
(6) Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world?
(7) For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner?
(8) And why not say, "Let us do evil that good may come"? - as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.
(9) What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.



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There are none righteous. Chapter 3 v 9 - 20


When asked, many people will say they think they are righteous. They compare themselves with others and although perhaps acknowledging they may have small flaws they cannot possibly be considered like Hitler or other evil-doers. They see two extremes of black and white and decide on a place as a shade of grey somewhere inbetween.
God does not have such shades of grey. Man is either righteous or he is not.
In this letter Paul has explained that all have sinned. He has addressed the Gentiles who did not have the law and the Jews who did and explained that the Jews who had the advantages of scripture were no better off.
Do not compare yourself with other men. Compare yourself with Christ and accept that we all fall short of God's standards.
In today's verses Paul summarises the case for the prosecution.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 23rd September 2018



(10) As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one;
(11) There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.
(12) They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one."
. . .
(18) "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
(19) Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.



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All people have sinned. Chapter 3 v 9 - 20

God's law clearly shows that all men are sinners and the Jews had the law in scripture to instruct them but those who know nothing of scripture are nonetheless subject to the same law and have innate knowledge. God has given everyone a conscience. They may choose to ignore it but All men have knowledge of right and wrong and have a sense of justice.
Many refuse to acknowledge their sin. Ignoring what God tells us man may say that some things are sin but others are not and these opinions can be seen to change over time. Man changes his mind - God does not.
Some say that sin does not matter because God is loving and forgiving. Some will say their sinful lifestyle is the way God made them. Others will remove God from the equation saying that what we see are remnants of our animalistic behaviour as we have evolved.
All who say such things are deluded as is the atheist who says he does not believe in God and so will not face judgement. You may choose not to believe in police but after robbing a bank you will become aware of your error.
Secular society aside there are leaders in churches who ignore God's word and choose what they regard as sin and what is not. A man cannot be saved unless he understands he is a sinner but there are preachers who never mention sin. Their focus is on adding numbers to their congregation and the last thing they want is for anyone to feel guilt and a need to repent - it is bad for business.
In this letter the Apostle Paul makes four important points -
v 10-12 the universality of inherited sin from Adam.
v 11-12 the effect of sin on the heart. It affects the way you think.
v 13-14 sin affects what we say by way of profanity, slander, lies, etc.
v 15-17 sin affects actions.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 30th September 2018



(12) They have all turned aside;They have together become unprofitable;There is none who does good, no, not one."
(13) "Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit"; "The poison of asps is under their lips";
(14) "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness."
(15) "Their feet are swift to shed blood;
(16) Destruction and misery are in their ways;
(17) And the way of peace they have not known."
(18) "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
(19) Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
(20) Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.



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The Law Condemns All of Sin. Chapter 3 v 9 - 20

Ian reiterates the important points of recent sermons that Paul has made clear to Jews and Gentiles alike.
Due to Adam we are all born with a sinning nature and we have and still do sin. It is impossible to earn our own salvation by obeying any rules and God gave us His law so that we can understand how far short of His standards we fall. We are to try to see ourselves as God sees us.
In the verses that are to come we will be given good news.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 14th October 2018





(10) As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one;



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But now - Paul gives us the Good News. Chapter 3 v 21

In his letter the Apostle Paul has made it absolutely clear that no matter whether Jew or Gentile, advantaged or not and with or without God's Law as given through Moses, ALL are sinners and there is nothing anyone can do of their own accord to become righteous before God.
From birth we are all sick in sin. Paul says, 'But now' and explains to us the good news that although there is nothing we can do to help ourselves there IS a cure.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 28th October 2018





(21) But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,



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God's Righteousness Through Faith (part 1). Chapter 3 v 21 - 24

Christ paid the penalty for our sin and through God's grace we can become righteous before Him. Man made religions falsley teach that man has to 'do something' in addition to having faith in Christ and they either misuse the law or impose their own rules that are to be followed. This is what happens today in cults and abberant versions of Christianity just as it was with the Pharisees. They may agree we are saved by God's grace but they say there is something we must additionally contribute.
For all true beleivers God's word tells us He forgives ALL our iniquities - they were dealt with on the cross. As a saved person a man will WANT to do something but it is not a condition of his salvation. He will desire to read the bible which tells us God does not want us to be ignorant. It is up to the individual as to how quickly they progress in understanding.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 4th November 2018





(22) even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;
(23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(24) being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,



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God's Righteousness Through Faith (part 2). Chapter 3 v 21 - 24

When Paul says 'apart from the law' some say that this means the law belongs to Old Testament times and was put aside but that is quite clearly wrong as shown by what Paul says later (verse 31) and by what Jesus Himself tells us (read Matthew 5 v 17). Ian begins today by asking, 'What is God's law and how does God see man as he is both before and after having faith in Christ?'
Looking at the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15 v 11) we see that the father is loving and gracious toward the son who rebelled and went off 'doing his own thing'. This is the behaviour of all sinners. Something prompted that son to think of his father and to recognise he was in error and undeserving to be called his father's son.
What happens when such a son returns to the father? He is forgiven and welcomed as one who was lost and now found, dead but now alive. The father gives him the 'best' robe. In the same way God forgives those who are born again and he clothes believers in His righteousness. Ian continues in explaining to us the significance of the ring given to the son and the calf that is killed.
All who are saved are reminded by Satan of things from the past and the way they were but the father chooses to forget the way the sinner was and looking on him now He sees him clothed in righteuosness.
Finally - are we saved by our faith? No. Salvation is by God's grace through faith.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 11th November 2018





(21) But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
. . .
. . .
(31) Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.



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Believers are Justified by Grace. Chapter 3 v 24

We begin to look at what Paul wrote in this verse and keeping in mind that he was writing to believers three elements are identified that are crucial for us to understand. They are Justification, Grace and Redemption.
Listen to Ian sharing his experience of being unsure of his salvation as a young Christian and how finding the explanation of justification by faith brought him peace as it does for all understanding believers.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 18th November 2018





(24) being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,



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Grace and Redemption. Chapter 3 v 24

This is of great imporatnce. Justification is given to us at the moment we become believers. It is given to us 'freely' by God's grace. Grace means unmerited favour, it is not deserved and it is impossible to earn. A justified person is seen by God to be righteous. That does not mean the person is suddenly righteous but that God chooses to see them as righteous.
Man is not saved BY faith but THROUGH faith by God's grace.
God has shown a wonderful expression of His love for us at a tremendous cost explained by the word 'redemption'. In redeeming we buy back / pay off a debt. It is deliverance procured by payment of a ransom. That ransom was paid by Christ.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 2nd December 2018





(24) being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,



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Propitiation. Chapter 3 v 25

A person reading the gospel for the first time would not immediately understand when Jesus said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children."(Luke 23:28). This man has done nothing but good but has been accused, tried, found guilty, been subjected to ridicule, pain and humiliation and is now to be tortuously crucified as a criminal. Why did this happen? Who was to blame? How could someone not weep about such circumstances?
It was the Jews who conspired, lied and demanded His death but it was the Romans who carried out their wishes. Both Jews and Gentiles sinned in this event but it was God who 'set forth as a propitiation' which means to show something publicly, the shedding of blood and death of Christ.
Ian explains this word 'propitiation' translated from the original and how the sacrificing of innocent animals symbolically carrying man's sin appeased God's wrath. This all pointed to the one and only sacrifice that could satisfy God's wrath and save those who would put their faith in Christ and follow Him.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 9th December 2018





(25) whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,



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God’s Righteousness Through Faith. Chapter 3 v 25 - 26

All actions have consequences and we are all hard-wired with a sense of justice. If we break the law there has to be a consequence and man's laws dictate a range of penalties according to how he rates the seriousness of the offence.
Some people live their life thinking that God's laws don't really matter and would argue that God is all loving and will therefore forgive all sin But this is not what God has told us. God does not have a varying degree of penalties for offenders. The penalty for breaking any of God's laws is death.
God IS loving and forgiving but also righteous and just so there has to be a way God can demonstrate His love and forgiveness while at the same time being righteous and administering justice according to His law.
He has done this through His Son who bore all our sin in crucifixion so that we have the opportunity to repent and follow Him.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 16th December 2018





(26) to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.



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Everyone Gets a Gift at Christmas. Don't Discard It.

Today we take a break from the book of Romans for a family morning service where the children remain in the main hall to hear the message instead of going into Sunday School.
By means of playing the 'pass the parcel' game Ian uses Christmas wrapping paper to identify things that people associate with Christmas.
As the children unwrap layers from the parcel we find -
Father Christmas, decorative lights, a tree, reindeer and a snowman. We arrive at what appears to be a very ordinary plain box but inside is a reminder that THE Father gave everyone the most wonderful gift ever - His Son Jesus Christ, the light of the world who bore our sin when He was crucified on a wooden cross. He is held dear by the Father and Christians and will return to reign on earth and believers will reign with Him. Christ and those who are His will never melt away like the snowman but will live forever.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 23rd December 2018





LUKE CHAPTER 2
(7) And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.



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The Christmas Message is Good News - Luke 2.


A King was born. How incredible that He is born in the most humble of circumstances and God's angels announce such an event to shepherds of all people!
Wise men are given a sign of this special event. So special they travelled to investigate.
The shepherds told others and the wise men told others. Some believed and some rejected. This continued through the life of Jesus and continues today with those of all walks of life falling into the categories of those who receive Him or those who reject and blaspheme Him.

Ian asks of the unbeliever, 'why did the angels say they brought good tidings (good news)'? Where is the 'peace and goodwill to all men'?
Why are there wars - what is the underlying cause?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 23rd December 2018


LUKE CHAPTER 2
(8) Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
(9) And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
(10) Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
(13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
(14) "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"



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Do You Boast of Your Salvation? Chapter 3 v 27.

SHOULD a Christian boast of his salvation?
Ian begins with a story of a man in peril. He has fallen overboard and being unable to swim is thrashing about. A stranger swims to the rescue and being a qualified lifesaver tells the man to stop trying to save himself which cannot help but to trust in him. Putting his faith in the lifesaver the man is carried safely to shore.
When sharing his experience with others should the man boast of anything he did to help himself? Obviously he cannot boast that his thrashing about saved him but what about his decision to put his faith in the lifesaver?
All born again believers have put their faith in God. Should they boast of having done that?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 30th December 2018





ROMANS CHAPTER 3
(27) Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.



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Are You Righteous? Chapter 3 v 27 - 31.


Misguided people have said that the Jews are different to everyone else in that they have their salvation simply because of their 'Jewishness' (Duel Covenant Theory).
In his letter to the Romans Paul is now bringing a portion to conclusion - In the eyes of God both Jews and Gentiles are the same - all are sinners and salvation is nothing to do with nationality, your parentage or anything you do. It is only by the grace of God that man can repent, put his faith in Christ and have salvation.
Some have said that this makes the law void but Paul refutes such ideas and Ian gives Bible passages giving us clear understanding by Jesus' own words.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 6th January 2019


(28) Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.
(29) Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also,
(30) since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
(31) Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.



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How Can We Be Acceptable to God? Chapter 4 v 1 - 12.


Having felt confident of their salvation by their 'Jewishness' the Jews did not like the truth of salvation being by the grace of God alone and not by anything man can do for himself.
There was an insistence that man must contribute in some way and this false teaching is seen today in ALL religions except biblical Christianity.
Roman Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. all impose their own rules.
Judaism, Islam and Christianity all hold Abraham as patriarchal and today we see how the apostle Paul reminds people of how Abraham was acceptable to God. It was not because of his good works, or his circumcision or by keeping the law.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 13th January 2019

CHAPTER 4
(1) What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh?
(2) For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.
(3) For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."
(9) Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness.



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What Must YOU do to be saved? Chapter 4 v 4 - 5.


Ian gives a concise explanation of salvation by the grace of God through faith in Christ. A glimpse at such as Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Solomon, David, etc. clearly shows that these men did not have their salvation because they were 'good' - exactly as one of the robbers crucified alongside Christ was not saved by being 'good'. They were all saved by God's grace in the same way all believers are.
History is full of those who have misunderstood or ignored God's word and have tried to earn their salvation by doing things that they thought would make them favourable to God.
In his letter Paul makes it clear that salvation is by grace alone, not earned and not grace plus anything you can contribute.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 27th January 2019





(4) Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.
(5) But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,



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Blessed are Those Whose Iniquities are Forgiven. Chapter 4 v 6 - 8.


Christians are watched at all times. Any person claiming to be a believer will immediately be challenged by society and especially the media for any misdemeanour no matter how great or how trivial in man's eyes. Secular society is hypocritically condemning and Christians are in agreement that there is no place for a hypocrite in teaching or preaching of God's word.
In these verses Paul makes reference to King David who was a special man, loved by God, saved by grace and who lived by faith. Was he a Godly and righteous man? Was he 'good'?
David succumbed to temptation and he sinned. In his initial lust for Bathsheba sins were compounded and it is immediately seen he obviously broke seven commandments. What are we told of how this affected him? He was a man who had everything most people would say is all they need to be happy but he knew he had lost his close relationship with God.
Is David a good role model? Was it right that people should continue looking up to him? Although there is no condoning of David's behaviour Psalm 51 tells of his repentance and he had God's forgiveness.
Believers are to celebrate how blessed they are. Any man who repents and turns to God will be forgiven. Does that mean that a person can continue in his sins in the expectation of being forgiven?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 3rd February 2019





(6) just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:
(7) "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered;
(8) Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin."



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God's Promise is for All Believers. Chapter 4 v 13 - 25.


Paul refers to a promise made to Abraham by God. What exactly is meant by 'heir of the world' and his 'seed'?
At the time this promise was made Abraham had no heir, in natural terms it could not be expected to be possible and he owned no land of his own not even a tiny fragment of Canaan but Abraham believed.
This promise did not depend on Abraham's obeyance of the law (given through Moses) which came hundreds of years later. Ian explains how this promise not only refers to Israel but to something greater - the whole world of both Jews and Gentiles. This promise of inheritance is for ALL believers.
Do you believe as Abraham did?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 10th February 2019



(13) For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
(16) Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all



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Do You Have Faith Like Abraham? Chapter 4 v 17 - 24.


Abraham was a man of faith and we need to understand what 'faith' is. Much rubbish is taught on this topic but the faith of Abraham relates to belief.
These verses tell us that Abraham believed. What did Abraham believe? What do you believe? Do you believe in God? Satan and the demons believe in God. When we look at Abraham do we see that his belief affected his life or did he believe in an intellectual way?
Belief in God does not bring salvation.
Abraham believed God. He and his wife were old. They had never had children and his wife was barren but Abraham believed God when he was promised a child and told he would be the father of many nations. It is the fact that Abraham believed God that it was 'was accounted to him for righteousness'.
The son promised to Abraham was Isaac (not Ishmael). In Genesis Isaac is referred to as Abraham's 'only son' and the account of Abraham's intended sacrifice of Isaac gives insight to the reasoning of Abraham when he said to his servants, 'we will come back to you'.
All scripture has application for us and the way we live. Paul was not inspired to write these verses simply to give more information about Abraham but it is also 'for us' (v23-24).
True biblical faith like that of Abraham's comprises three elements: Hear the word of God, Believe it, Act on it.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 24th February 2019



(17) (as it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations") in the presence of Him whom he believed — God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;
(18) who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, "So shall your descendants be."
(19) And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb.
(22) And therefore "it was accounted to him for righteousness."
(23) Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him,
(24) but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead,
(25) who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.



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According to The Father's Plan and Purpose. Chapter 4 v 23 - 25.


Man in his world has no inner peace. He asks himself how he can be happy. This is the wrong starting point. Man was created to have a relationship with God and unless man knows this and is fully right with God he will never have full happiness and peace.
Christians know the one true God. Islam believes in one god as does Judaism and so some suggest we are in agreement on this matter but the true God of the bible is known in three persons - the trinity. In these verses Paul has the emphasis on God the Father. He has control of all things. The Father is the planner with purpose, the Son completed the work of redemption and the Holy Spririt is the one who applies it.
In verse 25 we read the word 'because' (NKJV) but in other versions of the bible it is translated more accurately as 'for'. Ian explains this.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 3rd March 2019



(22) And therefore "it was accounted to him for righteousness."
(23) Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him,
(24) but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead,
(25) who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.



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The Importance of Biblical Doctrine. Chapter 5 v 1 - 2.


In this introduction to chapter five Ian recaps what Paul says to us about Justification by Faith and the importance of biblical doctrine.
Every item of the 'Armour of God' has to do with knowing, understanding and applying the doctrines of scripture and yet there are those who want to put doctrine aside on the pretext of all joining together in love as though love and doctrine are mutually exclusive.
Paul is now going to show us some of the glorious benefits and blessings of justification by faith and begins in chapter five with our assurance of salvation.
Whether believers or not sooner or later we all face tribulations of life. There are anxieties, worries and a lack of peace in the world and people know things are not as they should be. How do people react, what is the answer?
Believers have hope. What could take their salvation from them?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 17th March 2019



CHAPTER 5
(1) Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
(2) through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.



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Blessed by Peace With God. Chapter 5 v 1 - 2.


Paul begins these verses with the word 'therefore' identicating he will now give us the result of what he has previously explained. He now tells believers of their assurance of salvation and we are to be given a list of our blessings. Where better to start than with our peace with God.
The unbeliever cannot experience that peace. He constantly seeks things he can change to make his life better but no matter what he does he always has enmity with God. The 'peace' Paul mentions is unknown to the world who think of peace as being a cessation of hostility.
Any enmity between people or nations needs a mediator and Jesus is the one and only mediator between man and God. There is no way to the Father except through the Son and it is only through Him that man can have peace with God.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 24th March 2019





(1) Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
(2) through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.



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Hope in the Glory of God. Chapter 5 v 2.


The only people who have any 'hope in the glory of God' are genuine true believers in Christ but many people today believe that all the world's religions have merit and if there really is a judgement day they will be accepted by God provided they have lived a 'good' life. That is not what God has said.
The word 'hope' usually refers to something that we want and perhaps anticipate will happen but it may not necessarily be so and can cause disappointment. Biblical 'hope' does not fail. It does not disappoint. It is certain. If your hope of salvation lies in what you can do or in another person then you are heading for disappointment.
What is the 'glory of God' that the believer has hope in? Where is your hope?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 7th April 2019





(2) through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.



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Do You glory in Difficulties? Chapter 5 v 3 - 5.


All people have tribulations - the problems and difficulties that we encounter or constantly suffer throughout life and the sorts of tribulations suffered by Christians are no different to those suffered by non-believers. They actually suffer more due to persecution for their faith.
Although the tribulations are the same Paul is relating how and why the believer responds differently to others during difficulties. The genuine bible-believing Christian is not simply following some religious practices but is in a relationship with God the Father through Jesus. Even death loses it's sting (1 Cor 15:55).
Some people have the idea that Christian life should be all 'sunshine and roses', God should spare His believers from such difficulties but Jesus said that that they would have them. In these verses we are told there is good reason that God allows such things to come upon us and the results bring eternal benefits.
When Paul says, 'we glory (boast) in tribulation' he is not claiming to enjoy the experiences but understands the purpose and loves the results.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 5th May 2019






(3) And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;
(4) and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
(5) Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.



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Perseverance Produces Character. Chapter 5 v 3 - 5.


Paul had pleaded with God for the 'thorn in his flesh' which afflicted him to be taken away but it remained (2 Cor. 12 v7-10). He came to understand the purpose and the benefits.
There has to be a balance between a person's trials and tribulations, and the benefit obtained by perseverance through them. Ian gives an example of someone training to run a marathon and getting themselves fit for the purpose. We are given published tips on how to overcome 'hitting the wall' when running - that is the point when the body has had enough, fatigue sets in and only through perseverance can the runner continue and succeed rather than giving up. We can see similarities in the Christian life. In 'running the race' there are times of fatigue when the easiest option is to give up but similar to the marathon runner we are to top up on spiritual carbohydrates and persevere when feeling drained.
We must keep making an effort despite all difficulties. Such perseverance produces character.
Among our fellowship there are those who have particular tribulations and Margaret shares her experience of the power of prayer and fellowship while dealing with cancer treatments.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 12th May 2019






(3) And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;
(4) and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
(5) Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.



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Who Do You love Enough To Die For? Chapter 5 v 6 - 8.


In these verses people who have not yet come to know Christ are described as 'without strength' meaning weak and imperfect. They are also referred to as 'sinners' and 'ungodly' which means wicked.
People can be very offended by such terms as they do not see themselves as being any worse than the next man. They reason as false religions teach that on judgement day the good things they have done in ife will be weighed against the bad or that by spending their time in charitable works or doing good deeds they will be acceptable to God.
That is not what God's word says.
We are all sinners and can do nothing for ourselves to make us acceptable to God but He gave us a way through the sacrifice of His Son. Christ did not wait for us to make some sort of effort on our own part but He became flesh and gave his life for us while we were at our worst as enemies of God.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 19th May 2019






(6) For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
(7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
(8) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.



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Can You Lose Your Salvation? Chapter 5 v 8 - 10.


Reconciliation with God and Assurance of Salvation.
Today we begin to consider the important subject of the believer’s assurance.
Is it possible to have full assurance of salvation or not? The passage speaks about the believer being reconciled to God, but is that reconciliation eternal? Or is it possible that someone who has been saved by the grace of God could fall irretrievably from grace and suffer eternal wrath and condemnation? These are serious questions indeed.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 2nd June 2019



(8) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(9) Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
(10) For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.



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Be Assured and Rejoice in God through Jesus Christ. Chapter 5 v 11.


There are those who are Christians in name only but there are those who with all sincerity may worry that they may lose their salvation or may ask the question, "How can I be sure that I am saved?"
With bible references Ian shows that a true believer knows with certainty that they are saved and he relates an imaginary event to demonstrate that a person saved from drowning cannot begin to doubt that they were indeed saved. If you had experienced such a situation would you rejoice and tell people about it?
In verse 11 we read the word 'rejoice' which translates from the original of 'boast'. The Apostle Paul had boasted of many things before he came to understanding and this prompts the question, What do you boast (rejoice) in?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 9th June 2019







(11) And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.



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You Are Either In Adam or In Christ. Chapter 5 v 12 - 21.


Peter said (2 Peter 3:16) of Paul's epistles, 'in which are some things hard to understand' - and for many people these few verses may appear difficult but they start with 'therefore' which shows us Paul is telling us the connection to what he has already been explaining. Some versions of the bible put verses 13 - 17 within brackets to indicate that Paul digresses here to expand his thoughts.
Paul is talking about the heads of two groups of humanity ('all men') who are the first Adam and Christ, the last Adam. All people are either in Adam or in Christ.
This passage compares what they did and the consequences for us all. Ian explains how these 'federal heads' are the representatives of the two groups and how whatever the heads do or say has consequences for the whole group just as the head of a country deciding to go to war has consequences for all the people of that country.
You are left with the question, Are you still in Adam or by the grace of God have you been taken out and placed in Christ?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 16th June 2019

(12) Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—
(13) (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
(14) Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
(19) For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.
(21) so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.



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Adam Knew What he Was Doing When he Sinned. Chapter 5 v 12.

Eve was deceived by the devil but Adam was not deceived. He knew he was rebelling against God when he ate the fruit. He was an intelligent man, created upright and perfect in the image of God but he was also created a 'free' man. He had perfect free will - something that we do not have.
Continuing the explanation we began last week of 'federal heads' and the consequences of their actions we can understand that since Adam the rest of us have not had perfect free will as due to his action sin entered into this world and we have all been born with a sinning nature.
Ian offers a fictitious story and uses 'Russian Dolls' to clarify how this works.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 23rd June 2019





(12) Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—



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Through one man sin entered the world. Chapter 5 v 12 - 21.

Verse 19 says "...by one man's disobedience many were made sinners." And the consequences of Adam's sin have come upon the entire human race. Those consequences include death and judgement and condemnation. Man also inherits a sin nature from Adam and that is why everyone does sin. What hope is there then for the fallen human race?

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 30th June 2019



(19) For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.



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What Is Accomplished In Christ? Chapter 5 v 12 - 21.

In recent weeks we have seen how through Adam sin, death, judgement and condemnation came into the world and affects all the human race.
This morning Ian shows how that first Adam was a 'type' of Christ and using the passage compares and contrasts what came upon the human race through the first man Adam with what comes upon Redeemed humanity through Christ - the last Adam.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 7th July 2019



(20) Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,
(21) so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.



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Why Bring in Law that Increases Offense? Chapter 5 v 20 - 21.

After summarising recent sermons regarding the two Federal Heads with every person being in either Adam or Christ Ian looks at the last two verses of Chapter 5 and explains how the Law given through Moses some 2,500 years after Adam caused an increase in transgressions - 'offense might abound'.
Prior to the law some sins would obviously be easy to recognise, eg. murder, but many of the 613 commandments and statutes categorised as Moral law, Civil law and Ceremonial law would not be known. There is also the nature of the human heart which to many seems to make something more attractive when they know it is wrong but Paul goes on to tell us that 'where sin abounded, grace abounded much more'.
However great the transgressions may be God's grace is greater.

audio Listen to this sermon preached by Ian on 14th July 2019




(20) Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,
(21) so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.