About Ivan Foster

Ivan Foster is a recently retired minister in the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. Until November 2009 he was minister of Kilskeery Free Presbyterian Church. He continues to preach and write as the Lord gives opportunity.

Ivan has written 582 articles so far, you can find them below.

The unsearchable riches of Christ, Pt26

Faith not works

Scripture: Eph 2:8-10.

Stream or download The unsearchable riches of Christ, Pt26


The emphasis that Paul places upon grace and faith and on the positive and negative aspects of how a sinners is saved, underscores the importance of these doctrines. These verses serve as a summation of what has been set down in the previous seven verses.

These verses tell us again how we are saved and why we were saved.
The word “for” links what is about to be said to what has been said already.

I. HOW IMPORTANT IT IS THAT WE UNDERSTAND HOW WE BECAME CHRISTIANS

Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones said that many mistakes flowed from a misunderstanding of this vital matter. If we get the foundations wrong, then we will get the whole structure wrong.

1. Salvation is all of grace. It is entirely of God. This is the sixth reference to grace in this epistle son far. All told there are twelve mentions of grace in the epistle. This is the middle reference. It is one thing to know the meaning of these words with your head. It is another thing to know the meaning with your heart.

2. Salvation came to the most undeserving and worthless of beings. Twice in this chapter our deadness is mentioned, verses 1, 5. There is a world of difference between carrying a conscious person and an unconscious person. One can assist you the other cannot! The dead sinner can render no assistance in their own salvation.

II. IT IS IMPORT FOR US TO LEARN THAT WE HAD NO PART IN OUR SALVATION

1. That is underscored for us. Verse 8. Even the faith we exercised in order to cling to Christ was not of ourselves. It was a gift from God.
It is given, Romans 10:17; 12:3; Gal 3:23, 25. It is the fruit of the Holy Spirit, Gal 5:22. Faith COMETH by hearing –  a spiritual process, Luke 24:32, 45.

2. Our redemption is spoken of as a work of creation. Verse 10, Col 1:6. Therefore, it is a work of God alone. A new work had to be wrought in order that we might be delivered from sin. It was not a case of renovation but of creation. The Christian is one in whom God is working! Gal 4:19, Phil 1:6; 2:13.

3. The Christian has no grounds for boasting. Man tends to boast of his works and become proud whenever he thinks he has had a part in his won salvation. “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others,” Luke 18:9.

The stand of the Free Presbyterian Church

Preached by Rev Ivan Foster at the 40th anniversary of Armagh Free Presbyterian Church on 15th October 2005

Scripture: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage,” Galatians 5:1.

Stream or download The stand of the Free Presbyterian Church


The words “stand fast” in our text and in other exhortations of Paul which are similar to this, simply mean “to maintain one’s position, to persevere.”
That is something that those who profess to possess the everlasting truth of the gospel would certainly be expected to be engaged in.
The position of a church on current issues and matters of importance should be known. In order for that knowledge to be kept before the minds of both the friends and the enemies of the FPC, it must be stated clearly and often.
I would wish to do that tonight.

I. THE PEOPLE OF GOD ARE REQUIRED TO TAKE A STAND.

The Christian is not like Gallio. “Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things,” Acts 18:17. He was indifferent to matters relating to the kingdom of Christ having no interest in them whatsoever.

1. The debt we owe to Christ should stir us to take a stand for Christ. “If Jesus Christ is God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.” That ought to be our motivation in life.

2. The desire to disassociated ourselves from His enemies requires us to take a stand for Christ.  “Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him,” Exodus 32:26. “In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them,” Obadiah 1:11. 1 Kings 18:21.

3. The grace of God within us will require that we stand. Gen 3:15. Gal 5:17.

II. THE STAND THAT MUST BE TAKEN IS CLEARLY SET FORTH IN GOD’S WORD.

1. HOW – It is a one of complete separation from sin, the world and the devil. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” 2 Corinthians 6:17. A touch brought contamination under the law. It is still so today.

2. WHEN – It is required whenever the standards of God have been violated. Ephesians 5:11; 2 Thess 3:6, 14-15; 2 Tim 3:1-5; 2 John 10-11.

3. WHERE – It is required that we stand unashamedly with Christ. That means upholding His teaching on the matter. Hebs 13:9, 13. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them,” Isaiah 8:20. “Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me,” Exodus 32:26.

III. SUCH A STAND WILL BRING REPROACH
It cannot be avoided. Hebs 13:13. “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake,” Matthew 5:11. “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?” Matthew 10:25. Acts 5:41; 1 Peter 4:4, 14, 16.

IV. TO STAND FOR CHRIST HERE MEANS THAT WE WILL STAND WITH CHRIST IN GLORY.
“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels,” Mark 8:38.
“If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us,” 2 Timothy 2:12.
“Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.” Hebrews 11:25-26.