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Converted at the cross

Evening message at Tyndale FPC  – Lord’s Day  2nd June 2019.

CONVERTED AT THE CROSS

Scripture: Matt 27:54. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

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The history of our Saviour’s crucifixion at Calvary is very full of incident. We consider ourselves to have a full grasp of the whole matter when we are acquainted with His sayings upon the cross, the incident with the dying thief and the evil mockery of those hard-hearted Jews who gathered to delight in His sufferings.

There was much happening there that does not, at first, appear. There were secret happenings taking place within the hearts of some at Calvary.

Take the person at the centre of our text, for example. What happened to him must be counted amongst the other miraculous events of that day of days. He had been at the centre of the day’s activities from the beginning. In verse 26, the record of the Saviour’s treatment at the hands of the soldiers begins. When they had nailed the Saviour to the tree, they sat down and watched Him as their duty required lest some came and took Him down from the cross. He was present throughout the hours of the crucifixion. Our text speaks of the centurion at the moment of the Saviour’s death. He makes a tremendous statement as a result of what he saw. Truly this was the Son of God.

I. IN AN INSTANT THIS MAN WAS ENLIGHTENED IN THE CENTRAL TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL

1. This was the truth rejected by the leaders/Jews. Matt 26:63-66, John 19:7.

2. It was the truth apparently denied by the crucifixion. 39-44.

3. It is the truth that the Father alone can communicate. Matt 16:17. It speaks of an internal revelation to the soul.

4. It is the truth that blesses. Matt 16:17.

 

II. HIS CONVERSION CAME AFTER A TIME OF INSTRUCTIVE OBSERVATION

Though the circumstances of this man’s conversion are unique, the means God used are the same as He employs in every conversion. This soldier was brought into contact with the Lord Jesus Christ. In the hours in which he watched Christ he gained a knowledge of Him that was the seed which blossomed into his regeneration. Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever, I Peter 1:23. He gained a knowledge of Christ the Word of God as he watched Him. He saw:—

1. His dignity during  His trial. While others were like wild animals Christ was quiet, 24 – 25.

2. He saw His meekness as He was mocked. 29 – 31.

3. His calmness as he crucified Him. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth, Isaiah 53:7.

4. His tender mercy as He suffered. The thief, His mother, His persecutors.

5. His victory as He died. 50 – 53.

It was these truths that brought forth the cry of out text.

III. HIS CONVERSION WAS ACCOMPANIED BY A GREAT FEAR AND A GLORIFYING OF GOD

In this cry there is first of all —

1. An evidence of a great consciousness of God. Here is why he feared. He became aware that he was in the presence of God, the God that he had mocked and crucified.

2. The man owned his guilt and sinfulness. Certainly this was a righteous man, Luke 23:47. His words remind us of the dying thief’s words, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss, 40-41. Perhaps he was influenced by his testimony. What a thought! His companion was unimpressed but who overheard was smitten to the heart. Furthermore, he would have heard Pilates wife call him a ‘just’ man, the same word as translated ‘righteous in Luke 23:47) (Matt 27:19). He would have Pilate speak of Him as a ’just person’, (Matt 27:24). Again this is the same word as ‘righteous’!

3. He opened His mouth in praise to God. These words were words of thanksgiving and honour to God. Matt 15:30-31.

Please remember:

* You have had more opportunity to watch Christ than this man. before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? Gal 3:1.

* You have as much cause to fear as he had.

* You have seen others come to Christ.

* You have less to fear by such a confession than he did.

What is sin?

Morning message at Tyndale FPC  – Lord’s Day  2nd June 2019.

What is sin?

Scripture: 1John 3:4 sin is the transgression of the law

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Among men there is a great divergence of opinion on this matter.  There are as many opinions on what sin is as there are ungodly men. Every man would count himself to be the only authority worth considering. It is a very broad disagreement, touching all matters of life.
Nations differ also. Some permit what others severely punish. That which one society would blush to name another holds aloft as a token of their advancement.
That being so, how are we to decide what sin is?
I. ONLY GOD CAN TELL US WHAT SIN IS?
It is God who decides what sin is. As the Creator and Ruler of all things, He it is which decrees what sin is. He has said that  sin is the transgression of the law.
1. Sin is every breach of God’s law. The summary of God’s law is found in the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20:3-17. Everything contrary to these is sin.  for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:20.
2. Every sin then is a defying of God. Sin is rebelling against God’s authority, a refusing to submit to God’s law. It becomes a rival law. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my member,. Romans 7:23.
3. Defiance of God is rooted in self-love. God is refused because self is to be served. It is the rival to God’s throne. Culminates in Man of Sin — II Thess 2:3-4.
Here then is what sin  is.
II. SIN IS THAT OF WHICH WE ARE ALL GUILTY
Five verses will provide us with evidence of this.
* for there is no man that sinneth not, I Kings 8:46.
* For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not, Eccles 7:20.
* For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God, Rom 3:23.
* If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us, I John 1:8.
 * If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us, I John 1:10.
Add to these words the experience of all men and it will be seen that all sin.
III. SIN IS THE CAUSE OF ALL MAN’S MISERIES
1. It has made us enemies of God. He who made us in His likeness that we might enjoy Him forever, we treat as an enemy. What was said to Saul may be said to us all.  Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy?  1 Sam. 28:16. We love the world and so become God’s enemies. whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. James 4:4.
2. It has robbed us of paradise.  And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Rev 21:27.
3. It has made us subject to death. in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Gen 2:17. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Rom 5:12.
4. It has made us liable to eternal damnation. Rev 20:11-15.
IV. SIN IS THAT FOR WHICH THERE IS NO EARTHLY ANSWER
Man has tried to cease from sin whenever he begins to taste the  bitterness of its fruits. But he cannot. Many generations have believed themselves to have found the means of establishing again the paradise they lost through sin, but they had not. Communism, socialism etc. Man dreams and speaks of yet establishing such a kingdom, but he shall not. The Bible gives us a picture of the future of man and it is one that is worse rather than better. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. II Tim 3:13.
While man has no answer God has. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Rom 6:23. I John 3:5.
Jesus has accomplished the work He came to do.
1. He took away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. John 1:29, Gal 1:4, Tit 2:14, Hebs 10:12.
2. He gives victory over sin while we live on this earth. V. 6, 9-10.
3. He will gloriously deliver us from all trace of sin when He brings us to Heaven. verse 2.

The Parables #129

The wise and foolish virgins, Pt6. 

Scripture: Matthew 25:1-13.

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We are considering the ‘time’ to which this parable related. ‘Then’ is how it begins and that points us back to the time that the Lord is speaking of in chapter 24.

In that chapter He is answering His disciples. “The disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Matt 24:3. (the word is ‘age’ – Eph 2:7, Col 1:26)”

The end of this age/His coming again are the topics.

Note the warning of deception that the Saviour gives! Verse 4 – first words of the Saviour. They were going to face deception about the time of His coming, verse 11.

The Parables #128

The wise and foolish virgins, Pt5.

Scripture: Matthew 25:1-13.

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I want to look at some more verses which shows us how ‘watchful’ the early church was.
1 Thess 1:9-10. “For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.”

Their waiting was very obvious!

Titus 2:13. “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

James 5:7. “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.”

The word ‘patient’ reminds us that the early church was aware that the Saviour would be away a long time, Matthew 25:19.

I want to show you boys and girls that it is simple enough for you to understand and follow the prophecies regarding the return of Christ! You just have to take note of what is said in the Bible!

THIS PARABLE RELATES TO A SPECIFIC TIME

It is that time referred to by the disciples. “The disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Matthew 24:3.

The topic under consideration. “The disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Truth for Today #24

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III. RUTH’S REALISATION OF GOD’S PROVIDENCE

Up until this point, Naomi did not know who their benefactor was and though Ruth knew his name, she was unaware of his position.

1. Naomi asks an instructive question. “Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou?”  verse 19. This is a good question for parents to ask their children and for each one of us to ask ourselves! A parent’s watch over their children’s activities and a watch exercised by each one of us over our own affairs, would yield great good.

2. Ruth’s answer. “And she shewed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man’s name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz,” verse 19. It is clear that Ruth was unaware of the man’s identity. Boaz knew of Ruth but Ruth knew little about Ruth, verse 11.
Here is a reminder of how Christ blesses us while we are still unaware of just Who He is.

3. The providence of God is made known. “And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the LORD, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen,” verse 20. It is clear that Naomi had forgotten about Boaz for is it not likely that had she remembered she would have requested help of him?
Even so we may for Christ and fail to seek Him for help but He will never forget or neglect us.

4. Wise counsel for Ruth. “And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter in law, It is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, that they meet thee not in any other field. So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother in law,” verses 22-23. Naomi was but encouraging Ruth to obey Boaz, verse 21. Let us all stick close to Christ and His servants, labouring in His fields until the harvest.

Ruth obeyed and in consequence, all that followed sprang from that obedience. Obedience is ever the forerunner of blessing. Haggai 2:18-19.
“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city,” Revelation 22:14.