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Life in the Spirit

And as we turn our attention this morning to verses 12 and 13, I want you to see that Paul is beginning now to draw some preliminary conclusions. He is applying at this point all that he’s been saying so far. Notice how verse 12 begins, “So then, brothers.” “So in view of everything I’ve been saying, given all of these glorious truths, brothers, here are the implications.”...

Life in the Spirit

This time, we’re going to focus on verses 9 through 11 where Paul elaborates on what it means to have the Holy Spirit come into our lives. And we can sum up the teaching of these three verses very simply in just three words. First in verse 9, Paul talks about residence. The Holy Spirit comes to dwell, to reside within us, and we’ll need to unpack that...

Life in the Spirit

This week, in verses 5 through 8 where our attention will fall, Paul is unpacking the basic contrast with which he has been working - the contrast between the flesh and the Spirit. He wants to make particularly clear that the whole world falls into one of these two categories. Either we live according to the flesh or according to the Spirit.

Life in the Spirit

This week, we turn our attention to verses 3 and 4 which are really a continuation of Paul’s argument about our transformed lives, about how we are being sanctified. He wants us to understand how it is that God has done and is doing that great work - the grounds and basis for our sanctification. And if you look at verses 3 and 4 with me for a...

Life in the Spirit

Today, as we turn to the second verse of Romans chapter 8 the metaphor changes. We’re no longer thinking about a judicial sentence pronounced over us. Now, we’re thinking about freedom from the bondage and the shackles of cruel slavery and that changes the entire trajectory of our lives. Verse 2 says we have been “set free from the law of sin and death.” So verse 1 is...

Life in the Spirit

Well let me invite you now please to take a Bible in hand and turn to Romans chapter 8; Romans chapter 8. We are beginning a new series working our way through this great chapter. As I thought about what might speak comfort and encouragement to our hearts during this strange, uncertain time, it seemed to me there are very few places in Scripture that offer more help...

But into that situation of weakness and neediness, God speaks a word of grace through the lips of the apostle Paul to needy Christians in Philippi. “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” And this morning I just want you to see four things very quickly. I want you to see who the supplier is. I want you to...

The Corinthians were asking, “What if the dead are not raised? Would it really make that much of a difference to us?” So Paul teases out the disastrous consequences of rejecting the doctrine of resurrection. And then in verses 20 through 28, he deals with an “In fact.” So, “What if?” -12 through 19; 20 through 28, “In fact.” In fact, Christ has been raised, and so he...

Elect Exiles

Would you look at the passage with me again for a moment? First of all, Peter reminds us there is grace in the Word of God, verse 12. There’s grace for you in the Word. Secondly, he says there is love in the Church of Jesus Christ. That really comes out in all three verses, though it’s explicit in verse 14. There’s grace for you in the Word...

Elect Exiles

Well do please take your copy of God’s Word in hand and turn with me to 1 Peter. We’re working our way through 1 Peter on Sunday mornings. This is the penultimate message from 1 Peter, so we’re in chapter 5 and we’re looking at the second half of verse 5 through verse 11. Peter has said a few words to elders, to shepherds of the flock. We...

Elect Exiles

We’re going to think about it under four headings. We’ll think first about the elder’s office. In our contemporary scene, not every church has elders. You may even never have been in a church that has elders before, so is this just a quirk of Presbyterian churches like ours or is it a Biblical office? So we’ll think briefly about the office of the elder. Then, we’ll think...

We could sum up the themes of our passage this way then. We could say it is first of all about responding to suffering. Responding to suffering. Then secondly, it’s about remembering sovereignty. Responding to suffering. Remembering sovereignty; the sovereignty of God amidst our trials. And thirdly, it’s about resting on the Savior. Responding to suffering. Remembering sovereignty. Resting on the Savior. Actually, I would argue those three...

Well would you take your hymnals out and we’re going to turn to page 835 in our hymnals this morning. The Psalms are found in the back of our hymnals in a way that we can read them responsively. And this psalm has a refrain that runs throughout it and is actually the same refrain as a popular gospel song. It’s, “Lord, You are good and Your mercy...

But McQuilken asks, “How do you measure how you’re doing in mission?” And his answer is - here are the metrics - “100, 50, 10 and 5.” They’re not drawn from specific verses in the Bible; they’re drawn from the whole sweep of New Testament teaching on the spread of the Gospel. One hundred is 100% of our people are praying faithfully for the spread of the Gospel...

We’re going to read this morning from Exodus chapter 3, and this is the story of the burning bush. It’s one of the great stories of the entire Bible, and especially the Old Testament. The question is, “Who is God?” and we learn two things from God here about who God is. And the first is that He is the God who comes down to find. And secondly, He...

Elect Exiles

Peter is offering a final word on a series of reflections we’ve been examining together for some time now on the reality of suffering in the Christian life. And as we study it together, I want to highlight four themes, really four apparent paradoxes, that describe in verses 12 through 19 the Christian’s response to and engagement with suffering in their lives. The first apparent paradox - joy in...

Elect Exiles

Last time, in the first six verses, we noticed that Peter gives some instruction on how the church, Christians, are to relate to the world. And he brackets his instructions between two poles. In verse 1, he talks about Christ who suffered and provides an example that we are to imitate. But then in verse 5 and 6, he speaks about Christ’s return at the end of the...

Elect Exiles

There simply is no way to live in obedience to Christ and in conformity to the world at the same time. And that one hard reality is very much at the forefront of Peter’s thinking as he pens the passage before us at the beginning here of 1 Peter chapter 4. He wants us to understand and to embrace the character, the cost, and the calling of Christlikeness. 

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Elect Exiles

We’ve been working our way steadily through 1 Peter together here at First Church on Sunday mornings, and one of the major themes we’ve been considering has to do with living for Christ when doing so will bring suffering, opposition, hardship. We’re going to tackle it under four headings. First, in verse 18, we learn about Christ our substitute. Christ our substitute. Then in verses 19 and 20, in...

Elect Exiles

Now if you would take a Bible in hand and turn with me to 1 Peter chapter 3 on page 1016 of the church Bibles. We have been working our way through 1 Peter together on Sunday mornings. We’ve come to 1 Peter chapter 3, verses 13 through 17. Peter has given us some counsel on how to navigate opposition. He wants to help us face the possibility...

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