Category: Theology

A terrible judgement awaits the enemies of God

A terrible judgement awaits the enemies of God

The confrontation between Elijah and the prophets of Baal atop Mt Carmel ended with drama: the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the wet sacrifice. It was clear who the true God was. Elijah was a true prophet, and the prophets of Baal were false prophets. So what should be done with the false …

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Having confidence in prayer

Having confidence in prayer

James holds the prophet Elijah to be an example of the power of prayer in James 5:17-18. Of course, this is true: Elijah prayed, and the rain stopped. He prayed again, and the rain restarted. The message to take from that, according to James, is not that Elijah is a special person whom God listens …

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God’s grace in substitution

God’s grace in substitution

The top of Mt Carmel in the Kingdom of Israel was a tense place to be in 1 Kings 18. A challenge had been set up between the 450 prophets of Baal on one hand and Elijah the prophet of the LORD on the other. The citizens of Israel gathered around to watch. We are …

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What are the keys of the kingdom of heaven?

What are the keys of the kingdom of heaven?

If you ever see a painting or sculpture of a Pope, past or present, you will notice something that is always there somewhere. They are always holding a set of keys. These represent the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Roman Catholic theology states that the Pope, as the descendant of Peter the apostle, holds …

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The perspective rest gives

The perspective rest gives

I have only recently returned to work after having the longest holiday I have had for years: a little over three weeks of rest. It has made me reflect on why we need rest and what it can teach us about ourselves and God. Rest is hard for many of us. If you’re usually a …

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Don’t edit your prayers

Don’t edit your prayers

When we think of prayer, sometimes what think about are the carefully crafted prayers we hear in church and see in prayer books. You know the type of thing I mean. These are prayers with carefully thought-out structures, references and echoes from all kinds of different Bible passages, with confession and thanksgiving and prayer all …

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Change doesn’t depend on the preacher

Change doesn’t depend on the preacher

One of my main jobs is as a preacher. I have the privilege of explaining and applying God’s word to people most weeks of the year. As an organised person, I plan my preaching programme well in advance. I can tell you which sermon series I am preaching for every Sunday in 2021, and in …

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God loves to use imperfect people

God loves to use imperfect people

I have had the privilege of leading a group of people from my church on a whirlwind tour of church history in recent weeks. There was something great about seeing so many great themes and issues that God’s people had faced throughout the centuries. One thing that struck me was the way that God used …

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Is it OK to pray to Jesus?

Is it OK to pray to Jesus?

I was recently asked a great question: is it OK to pray to Jesus instead of to the Father? Many Christians pray to Jesus and the Father interchangeably, and favour praying to Jesus because of the focus on Jesus in the church. Jesus loves me and died for me, so it seems to make sense …

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