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The Parables #16


“The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom,” verse 38.

1. Christian, you are the Lord’s planting. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever,” 1 Peter 1:23. “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen,” 2 Peter 3:18.

Within us has been planted a new nature which will manifest itself and which will require us to reject the world and its ways and rather obey God and His law.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,” Matthew 6:33. This will bring us into conflict with the world when the world demands that we disobey God and submit to its commands.

This is what happened Peter and John. They put God’s kingdom first!

The enemies of the gospel in their day said: “Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men,” Acts 5:28-29.

That choice has had to be made by God’s people throughout the ages and it has brought suffering, persecution and death to countless multitudes of the saints of God. The time of such conflict draws near again! Have you the seed of God planted within you? Is there a new nature springing up in you? Give thought to this today.

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The Parables #15

God’s activities are beneficial to the earth. “Sowed good seed.”

The influence of this seed is good, morally good and helpful.

Isaiah 61:1-3 sets the standard for the Saviour’s ministry and points to the work He continues to carry on through the preaching of the gospel and His works of Province.

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

These verses form the text of the Saviour’s first recorded sermon, Luke 4:16-21.

Many verses are found in the New Testament which enforce this truth.

“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them,” Matthew 4:23-24.

See also Matthew 9:35, Acts 2:22, 4:27, 10;38.

All these indicate the character of the Saviour’s ministry and of the work of God amongst men.

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The Christian’s duty in a day of national crisis

(Preached in Kilskeery FPC by Rev Ivan Foster, 22nd October 2017 in the evening meeting)

Scripture: “And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD,” 2 Chronicles 20:3-4.

There are few today who recognise the crisis that is upon the nation. Not even, indeed, least of all, the leaders of our nation.

It is a wonderfully easy thing to denounce government leaders for their faults and failures but let every Christian, who is a citizen, be aware that we all must bear some responsibility for what has taken place within our nation. Who can say, “I did all that was possible, my hands are clean”! Very few if any can make that claim.

It is only when we recognise our duty and seek to do all in our power to stand for the “crown rights of King Jesus and the crown jewels of His Gospel” that we are brought to the place where we say with Paul: “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men,” Acts 20:26. Have we been as faithful as this?

I wish to set before us all our duty in this day of national crisis. No clearer demonstration of our primary duty can be had than in this chapter. Here Jehoshaphat acted wisely and courageously and we must learn from him for are these things not written for our learning, Rom 15:4?

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Putting on Christ

(Preached in Kilskeery FPC by Rev Ivan Foster, 22nd October 2017 in the morning meeting)

Scripture: “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof,” Rom 13:14.

In verses 11-14 Paul uses the language of a parable in order to put across certain truths regarding the need for holy living. He likens our duties unto those we commonly engage in every morning as we rise from our bed and prepare for the activities of the day ahead. Note the phrase at the beginning of the section. “Knowing the time,” verse 11.

For many of us, we have heard the shout: “Get up! Don’t you know the time?” Is there not a similar note here in Paul’s words?

How important it is to be aware of the time on God’s clock. What mistakes have been made, opportunities missed, losses incurred and tragedies occasioned by errors about the time!

It is impossible to journey through this world without a knowledge of the time. SO IT IS WITH ETERNAL MATTERS!

How many there are who have no sense of time and that we need to awaken! They slumber on in sin or live as Christians in carelessness.

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Christ: The Author of eternal salvation


A message preached in Garvagh FPC, October 19th, 2017.

“And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him,” Hebrews 5:9.

The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century restored Christianity to its Biblical roots and as a result, changed the world. Roused to action by the Spirit of God, upon recognising the corruption and abuses they saw in the Roman Catholic church of the time, the likes of Martin Luther and John Calvin spearheaded a movement that led to the emergence of the Protestant denominations that exist today.

The Reformers believed that there was a great drift away from the essential, original teachings of Christianity, especially in regard to what was the Bible’s teaching about salvation. How people can be forgiven of sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and receive eternal life with God was grossly perverted by Rome! The Reformation sought to return Christianity to the original message of Christ crucified as preached by the early church.
During the Reformation, five phrases emerged summarising the Reformers’ theological convictions about the essentials of Christianity.

They were:
“Scripture alone” – The Bible alone is our highest authority.
“Faith alone”-  We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
“Grace alone” – We are saved by the grace of God alone.
“Christ alone” – Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Saviour, and King.
“To the glory of God alone” – We live for the glory of God alone.

Tonight I have been asked to speak on the fourth of these slogans: “Christ alone”.  I will do that by looking with you at our text.

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