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2014

… that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life

John 3:16-21 Everything is relative.  By which I mean that all things correspond to God.  Even God corresponds to God and has His existence relative to God.  That is the doctrine of the Trinity. Therefore how much more ought the creature to properly relate to its Creator.  So the vital question arises, how should we […]

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…

John 3:1-16 Suppose I told you that anyone could drive my car.  What kind of car would you imagine?  And if I told you that anyone could have my car, what would you suppose?  Would you imagine a sports car?  Probably not. More likely I was offering a rust bucket due for an expensive MOT. […]

Weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth

Luke 13:22-30 Sometimes the KJV translates it as “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:12; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Luke 13:28) Sometimes it says “wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 13:42, 50) Both are translations of the same Greek phrase.  (The King James is not as consistent as some like to make out).  Yet the popular […]

Outer darkness

Matthew 8:1-13 The Jews were insiders – the chosen race, the people of God.  Israel was a light to the nations, a shining advertisement for the LORD’s grace and glory.  And yet, as Jesus would often say, “the first shall be last and the last shall be first.” (e.g. Matthew 19:30)  Judgement involves dramatic reversals. […]

Building on sand

Matthew 7:21-27 Jesus splits the world in two.  But He does it by descending right into our midst. There He is, the son of Mary, an itinerant preacher with no qualifications and no fixed abode.  Surrounded by the poor, the meek and the persecuted, He holds forth with His distinctive northern accent.  Yet as He […]

By their fruits ye shall know them

Matthew 7:15-20 Jesus has told us “Beware” of wolves in sheep’s clothing.  They look like Christians, they speak in Christ’s name but they are false prophets.  And their false teaching devastates the flock. But how can we defend ourselves against this secret threat?  After all, these wolves look – at least from a distance – […]

Strait and narrow

Matthew 7:13-14 “He used to be a junkie, now he’s on the straight and narrow” we say.  And by that we mean that he’s cleaned up his act.  Now he’s behaving. When Jesus coined the phrase “strait and narrow” He didn’t quite mean it like that. This is what He said: “Enter ye in at […]

Wolf in sheep's clothing

Matthew 7:15-20 In the sermon on the mount, there is a progression in Christ’s teaching about the Scribes and Pharisees. They begin as standard-bearers for outward righteousness.  If anyone is to enter the Kingdom, they must have a righteousness that exceeds the Scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 5:20).  Of course that means that these do-gooders are […]

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Matthew 7:12 Here is a famous phrase from the Bible.  Yet it’s not in the Bible.  Not in as many words anyway.  Here’s how the King James Bible renders it: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” […]

Seek and ye shall find

Luke 18:1-8; Matthew 7:7-11 Everyone prays.  At least when they’re desperate.  But no-one seems to know why it works or how it could. It’s an uncertainty that keenly afflicts westerners labouring under three false assumptions. 1) We think of “nature” as a closed system, grinding along according to iron laws. 2) We consider ourselves to […]