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Topic Archives: Theology

Christianity teaches us to look to the past as we seek for help in the present. It has laid the foundations of our faith deep in historical events and invites us to build on those foundations all the days of our lives. As believers we unashamedly take our inspiration from days gone by confident that […]

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Date February 19, 2014
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I’ve just come to the end of a Sunday morning series on ‘The Five Points’. I have preached several series going through all the great doctrines of the Bible. But I’ve never wanted to pick out the five points particularly. Partly, that’s because I’m aware that some folk have emphasised them in an unhelpful way. […]

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Date February 12, 2014
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Sometimes reading a Puritan author can take you into another world. The Puritans are not always the easiest of men to read, though the difficulty is often over-hyped. However, what follows is essentially an extract from the Works of John Owen, Volume 2, pages 77-78.1 He has been expounding the Christian’s communion with Christ, showing […]

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Date February 3, 2014
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Meditation 1 from The Life of John Brown with Select Writings,1 pages 159-161. Lord, what am I in myself? Dust and ashes; formed from nothing: I am ‘nothing, less than nothing, and vanity.’ But what am I as a sinner? An infinitely criminal enemy of God, my Maker, my Preserver, and Redeemer; whose heart is […]

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Date January 31, 2014
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The Apostle Paul was a very great Christian indeed. He was also very human, a fact that is memorably brought home to us in a story that comes from his own pen. Writing to the church in Corinth he says, ‘When we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were […]

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Date January 27, 2014
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I met Patience, a young black woman from Zambia, on my recent trip to Cape Town, South Africa. She is attending the Maranatha Family Church in Masephumalele, pastored by my friend Ronni Cronje. Patience, a year or so ago, was riding with her mother on a small taxi van from Zimbabwe to South Africa when […]

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Date January 10, 2014
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It ranks as one of the wickedest acts of a Jewish king, it has had many parallels, and the end result of them all is a failure to destroy the Word of God. Here’s the story. King Jehoiakim of Judah was listening as the words of a scroll were read to him – a scroll […]

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Date January 3, 2014
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‘The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness’ (Rom. 1:18). The text before us requires me to speak faithfully on the wrath of God. I am under authority to teach whatever is in the Bible. My hearers are under […]

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Date December 24, 2013
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First a confession: Christmas is not my favourite time of year. This is partly due to temperament; I don’t particularly enjoy the ‘jollity’ of the season (my children will testify that there is something of the ‘bah humbug’ in their father at this time of year). However, Christmas does present us with a focused opportunity […]

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Date December 23, 2013
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Peter writes, ‘give diligence to make your calling and election sure’. Why? Only the elect get to heaven, the rest end up in hell. But who are the elect? How can a person know if he is in the elect? Interestingly Peter links calling with election and puts calling first. The two in his mind […]

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Date December 12, 2013
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The day before John Owen departed to be with Christ (23 August, 1683), he dictated his last letter to a friend: ‘I am going to him whom my soul has loved, or rather who has loved me with an everlasting love, – which is the whole ground of my consolation.’ The following day William Payne […]

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Date December 11, 2013
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Contentment is the proper attitude we should have to our position in life; The Shorter Catechism (Ans. 80) includes ‘full contentment with our own condition’ among the duties that are required by the Tenth Commandment – which declares: ‘Thou shalt not covet’. Matthew Poole (on Col. 3:5) explains covetousness as ‘an immoderate desire after, and […]

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Date December 6, 2013
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Some years ago I was sitting in a ministers’ conference enjoying very much hearing God’s Word preached with grace and power. The preacher, a dear friend, paused and said something that riveted me. He quoted some words of Geerhardus Vos, ‘The reason God will never stop loving you is that he never began.’ Vos was […]

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Date November 29, 2013
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Being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:25). Most of us, most of the time, have little or no zeal for intentional evangelistic outreach. We will talk about what is important to us. I live in Alabama and most of the people here have no […]

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Date November 25, 2013
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I wonder if it has ever struck you in reading the New Testament how often faith and love are mentioned in the same breath. Again and again you find that where the one is the other is as well. Let me give you some examples. In one place, Paul declares that ‘we ought always to […]

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Date November 20, 2013
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A recent writer complains that ‘contemporary gospel preaching . . . rarely explains the cross of Christ;’ that is, it fails to tell us that ‘He died bearing the transgressions of His people . . . suffering the divine penalty for their sins . . . forsaken of God and crushed’ beneath God’s wrath. It […]

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Date November 12, 2013
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Eugene Peterson published The Message: The New Testament in Contemporary English in 1993. A whole Bible version was finally completed in 2002. The casual shopper in the average Christian book shop today could be forgiven for thinking that it is yet another of the veritable flood of English translations of the Bible that have been […]

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Date November 1, 2013
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Thomas Oden, long time professor of Theology and Ethics at Drew University, for years wrote volume after volume elaborating and espousing the latest theories and practices — successful, up-to-date, modern, in the best liberal tradition — yet somehow he remained dissatisfied. So, quite a while ago now, he shifted gears sharply and produced a volume […]

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Date October 11, 2013
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Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9). That there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal . . . he found no place for repentance, though he sought it with tears (Hebrews […]

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Date September 20, 2013
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One of the great mistakes Christians make with regards to the Christian Sabbath is viewing it as a prison or hindrance. In fact, God has given it to us to bless us. In Isaiah 58:14, God promises three things in connection with the faithful observance of his day: increased delight in him, spiritual victory, and […]

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Date September 13, 2013
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‘Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!’ (Rom. 11:33). These words are the ending of the theological section of the letter to the Romans as Paul has set it out in the first 11 chapters of the epistle, and […]

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Date August 16, 2013
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Judged by the unqualified appeals in much modern ‘evangelism’ to the natural man’s unaided reason, emotions and will, one might conclude that ‘modern man’ is able to respond positively, and that he has no need of God’s efficacious grace. That such presumption is wholly groundless was the firm conviction of the late R. A. Finlayson, […]

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Date August 9, 2013
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In recent weeks I have been reading Augustine’s Confessions. It is a great and compelling read, a 300-page prayer that illuminates Augustine’s search for God and for life. As I read the opening chapters I was struck by a word that Augustine regularly uses and that had not registered with me before. Again and again […]

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Date August 6, 2013
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If you lift a stone in the garden you find all sorts of creepy crawlies underneath. Sin is a little like that. What are secret sins? Psalm 19:12 – Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. It is not entirely clear what these hidden faults or secret sins are. Secret sins are the […]

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Date July 19, 2013
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You may be an evangelical and be an Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian, Brethren or other. You may be Calvinist or Arminian. But we generally need more agreement on points of theology and worship if we are to live and serve together as a church. One of the ways in which churches identify themselves is by calling […]

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Date July 12, 2013
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