Walk confidently in God’s love today!

In Mark 4:35-41 Jesus and the disciples were out on a boat crossing the sea of Galilee when suddenly a storm arose. The disciples were clearly worried, frantically trying to get control of the boat, whilst Jesus slept. They woke Him up and asked, “Don’t you care if we drown?” Jesus rebuked the waters and the storm and they became completely calm. He said to the disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

In life we will all experience storms but we are never alone, God is always by our side.  When storms appear in your life, don’t get distracted by the noisy crackling thunder and the whistling winds. Instead, aim to intentionally focus on Jesus Christ. Jesus is with you in the storms of life and on the mountaintop, in His power and authority. He is able to command peace in any storm that surrounds you today.

Although the difficulties seek to absorb your strength and the whistling winds seek to shift your course, remember God’s love. He will never leave you or forsake you, He is right there with you through everything. God is guiding us in love and developing us into the dynamic people that we are called to be. Have faith that God will take you through your trials and don’t think that just because we go through storms God’s love is absent. God is there and to those who love Him, He is working everything out for their good, according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).romans8-28

God loves us in every season in life, whether it is great or challenging. Don’t forget that He really loves each and every one of His children. His love for us is pure, trustworthy and constant in our life. He breathed life into us and sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins and rescue us. He is wanting a relationship with each and every one of us. When we receive Jesus as our Saviour, God promises us eternal life with Him. Our name is engraved in the palm of God’s hand; nothing can separate us from the love of God!

Praise God that He doesn’t love like the world loves – on a conditional basis – but God loves us unconditionally. We may have experienced some detrimental events throughout the course of life, but I want to encourage you today to receive God’s love because He really does love you. Turn to your loving Father’s arms and thank Him for his love that He has for you now and forever.

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Although you may have experienced hurtful situations, God can use these for your good. God will never leave you nor forsake you no matter what you are going through. If you are living in disobedience, repent now and follow God’s will, His Word and way, because God sets parameters in your life because of His love for you. A repentant heart and lifestyle is necessary for a fruitful relationship with Our Heavenly Father.

Even in the midst of challenging situations when we’re searching for answers on why a loving God would allow trials and tribulations, trust in Him today. Nothing escapes God; He knows what is going on in your life, and when you begin to grow in relationship with Him you will realise the truth of His love and plans for your life.

We were created for a great purpose that God specifically designed for us to fulfil. Throughout scripture God’s words clearly identify His abundant love for every one of his children. God’s love is exercised for each and every one of us when He forgives, protects, and demonstrates His continued grace, mercy and power in our lives.

Walk confidently in God’s love today. Don’t hold onto negativity; where there is hurt and upset there is the opportunity to forgive. God gave His only begotten Son to save us and forgive us. It is the greatest sacrifice for a relationship with us. He forgave us and in return we should show forgiveness to others, no matter what has happened. Receive God’s love and in doing so you will learn to reflect God’s love to others.

I thank you Lord for your love, kindness, grace and mercy. Although we experience storms in our lives, I thank you that you are always here with us. Sometimes it is a challenge to see how everything will work out for our good when we’re going through storms that seek to hinder our praises and blind my focus on you. I praise you for being sovereign and that all my storms are subject to you! Thank you for peace, strength and growth as my faith increases in you.

 

 

 

8th January 2017: Matthew Maxwell-Carr

The Christian Teaching of Original Sin

matthew-maxwell-carr-january-17This is a fundamental Christian teaching, anyone who denies it is a heretic. If you don’t believe it, you empty the gospel of all of its power.

What is original sin?
Often Christians will say because Adam sinned we have a corrupt nature. It’s true – we have inherited a fallen nature. It’s why we find it easy to lose our temper, to be jealous. However, you need to go further back. Ultimately, because of what Adam did, we are all counted guilty for his sin before God. God sees the whole human race through Adam – worthy of eternal death. This is why we are still subject to death the moment we come into this world. The human race is counted worthy of death. But in Jesus Christ, God has chosen to view those who believe in Him as righteous, as Jesus Christ is, and not worthy of death but the riches of glory.

God only sees two men in the human race; all humanity hangs from the girdles of these two men – the first Adam or the second Adam. Forget about good works, works of righteousness which you have done. It is all of faith. The big question is whether you are of Adam or Christ.

Is this a teaching of Scripture?
‘But now, Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.’ (1 Corinthians 15:20-22). Some Corinthians were denying resurrection is possible. Paul says in verse 20, ‘One man brought death into the world, but Christ brought resurrection into the world.’ Are you in Adam or are you in Christ?

‘Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned – For until the law sin was in the world, but sin in not imputed when there is no law.’ (Romans 5:12-13). There was a law given to Adam in the Garden of Eden – don’t eat of the fruit or you shall surely die. From the time of Adam until Moses there were no other laws. Adam transgressed that law. Death reigned during that time. (Romans 5:14). Humanity was in big trouble. Humanity is still in trouble. But in Romans 5:15 we read of the free gift God offers the human race – the free gift of righteousness. When we stand before God all our sins are gone. Paul compares this to the trespass of Adam, he compares and contrasts what Adam and Christ have done. Many died through one man’s offence but God has now flooded people’s lives with grace. The free gift of the gospel came after many, many sins had happened. God sent His Son into this world to bring grace and justification. If you’re justified you are guilty of no crime, you are innocent. That’s how God wants to treat us in Jesus Christ, He wants to see us righteous because of what His Son has done. Enter into this by faith alone.

In verse 17 Paul says because of one man’s sin, through his one offence, death reigns. But in Jesus Christ we have salvation. If you receive that abundance of grace, you receive the gift of righteousness. We are all sinners by nature. Ultimately, we are all guilty of Adam’s sin. Jesus was sent into this world so we might have the gift of righteousness.

‘Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgement came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.’ (Romans 5:18). Judgement will come to all through one man’s offence. We were born into this world worthy of death. But how gracious God is. He chooses to see us fully righteous. If we enter into Jesus Christ, God won’t see all our sin because of the one righteous act of Jesus.  What was this? The giving of His life on the cross. Adam sinned because of a tree. Christ died on a tree, on the cross, in obedience to His Father. Jesus came into this world as the most astounding teacher, but ultimately He came to die, to undo what Adam did. All our sins are blotted out and we are justified. We are righteous because Christ is righteous. God takes it all out of our hands. The righteous act of Jesus Christ takes us into heaven if we believe in the Lord Jesus. Trust in Him, receive Him.

‘For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.’ (Romans 5:19). By one man’s disobedience many were breakers of God’s law. We came into this world, we didn’t choose to be guilt of Adam’s sin, but by God’s grace He sent Christ. It doesn’t depend on our works, what we do. Christ has done it all for us. Be saved! What a gracious set up! Believe in Jesus Christ and you will be reckoned to be fully righteous before God. By His mercy He saved us.

 ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.’ (Ephesians 2:9). You have to believe. Just get into Christ, look to Him, see Christ crucified for your sins.

 

Sunday Morning 22nd May 2016

Gareth Evans - May 16.jpgWorship was led by Gareth Evans of Port Talbot, who preached on Romans chapter 8 verses 18-27 – one of the most famous chapters in Scripture and one of the great theological chapters of the apostle Paul – from suffering to glory, from sin to holiness.

Earlier in the chapter we see the work of the Holy Spirit, now the apostle wants to deal with where the Christian is going. He says our troubles are just for a while, but there are great things to come. One of the great assurances of the gospel is we are not under condemnation (v.8)  The end of the chapter gives us the assurance that sin has been conquered because of what Christ has done for us. There is nothing that can separate us from Him.

Why is there suffering from the day we are born until the day we die? From Eden we are under a curse. The giving of the Holy Spirit into our hearts is the first fruits of what is yet to come. Through the work of the Spirit we know nothing can separate us from the love of God. The suffering we have in this world is nothing compared to the future glory, our eternity. We must first suffer with Christ. Suffering is the condition in which we enter the final glory with Jesus Christ. The world is out of kilter due to sin, the whole of creation groans. We are here in the now, in the ready, in a state of suffering. But Paul says we are not to focus on the suffering because this is nothing compared to the glory that is to come, the glory we will be partakers of. We groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption. We are yet to see the full fulfilment of this adoption. When Christ comes back we will be redeemed, our bodies will be like the body of Christ. We have this encouragement from Paul. Don’t worry or be anxious about our suffering, there is soon coming a time when we will be glorified with Christ.

We must have Christian perseverance. We must be willing to grow, to fight the good fight against sin. We are the people of God so we have to fight against the old nature. We have the first fruits of the Spirit within us, calling us to holiness, to Sanctification. We must persevere through the suffering, God has given us all we need. We must constantly examine ourselves. We are not to be anxious about our suffering, it is a sign that there is something greater to come.

The Spirit helps us in our weakness. Sometimes we don’t know what to pray for but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us. The groaning is a sense of longing for fulfilment of our salvation. The Spirit was sent to be our helper, the Spirit encourages us to walk with God. Though we live in a world that struggles with sin, we wait in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed – those who truly love Him with every fibre of their being. There is great liberation coming – but not all will be saved. There will come a day when it will be clear who are the sons of God, a day when God will judge.

Don’t be anxious. See our suffering from a different lens. Treat our suffering with godliness, calling for the help of the Holy Spirit to deal with it, asking God what He is teaching us. We are to persevere through difficulties. The Spirit helps us in our Christian walk so we can be those who reflect the glory of God.

Sunday 16th August – Morning Service

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Today’s morning worship was led by Ian Middlemist who preached from Romans chapter 12, verses 9-11, focusing on bullet points for living a Christian life: we are called to a life of genuine love, showing brotherly affection and being mobilised in Christian service. Ian will be continuing this theme in our 4 o’clock meeting in the vestry, to which you are all very welcome. Verse