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Ipswich Christadelphians

"Prove all things, hold fast what is good" 1Th 5:21

Short articles that give food for thought. Click on the '+' to review articles.

Women in Christ's Genealogy…

Women in Christ's Genealogy…

Women in Christ's Genealogy

  The women in Christ’s line…An extract from the Testimony Magazine, February 2016 There are four women mentioned in the genealogy of Christ as recorded by Matthew. It is suggested that they reflect the life in Christ of a baptised believer. &nbs hab, the harlot. Rahab lived in Jericho in a world so steeped in sin that it had to be totally destroyed. However, she heard of the might of the God of Israel and believed in the way that He had led His people Israel out of Egypt and throug…

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Keep Hanging On!…

Keep Hanging On!…

Keep Hanging On!

Every day we say things which are not to be taken literally. If we’re not feeling well, we might say that “We’re under the weather” or that we “Feel like death”. That’s just a colourful way of expressing our feelings, and everybody understands that. Literaurative? Smetaphors are used which have a quite different meaning when applied literally. We might say that “My heart stopped when I saw it!”, when we really mean that we were very shocked at something we had seen. But…

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The Prophet Isaiah…

The Prophet Isaiah…

Isaiah lived in the times of Uzziah, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah – about 740 to 680 BC. This was the period when the Assyrian Empire was growing in power, and Judah was about to be invaded by Sennacherib. Isaiah lived in royal circles (he was a great friend and advisor of King Hezekiah) and had a wife and children in Jerusalem. Isaiah is writing at a time of nations in decline, he is as it were sent at the 11th&n ur to speak to Israel. Basically the book can be divided into 3 rough s…

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Developing Bible Study Skills - 5…

Developing Bible Study Skills - 5…

David's input into Solomon's temple This study s designed to highlight a number of different aspects of Bible study, as follows: that Bible study is not difficult or the preserve of the intellectual the need to give careful attention to the text the value of comparing Scripture with Scripture the value of building up a picture from various scriptures the value of recording and preserving information found. &n  You will need: Bible with marginal references, concordance or compueriz…

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When the time is right…

When the time is right…

When the time is right

Sometimes things happen just because we are in the right place at the right time. Or, if it is something bad that happens, because we were in the wrong place at that very time. What if we had been born at a different time in the world’s history?&n  you had been born in the Middle Ages, just reading this website (had it been around at the time!) could have cost you your life. Many people were executed just because they wanted to read the Bible for themselves. At that time the Church held the m…

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Developing Bible Study Skills - 4…

Developing Bible Study Skills - 4…

  The Promise To David  This study is designed to highlight a number of different aspects of Bible study, as follows: that Bible study is not difficult or the preserve of the intellectual the need to give careful attention to the text the value of comparing Scripture with Scripture the value of following up quotations the value of recording and preserving information found. You will need: Bible with marginal references, concordance or computerized Bible There are two ac…

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Developing Bible Study Skills - 3…

Developing Bible Study Skills - 3…

Psalm 34 and David’s experiences This study is designed to highlight a number of different aspects of Bible study, as follows: at Bible study is not difficult or the preserve of the intellectualtrneed to give careful attention to the texttrimportance of contexttrvalue of comparing Scripture with Scripturetrvalue of recording and preserving information found. will need: &nbs e with marginal references; &nbs ordance or computerised Bible&nbs The title of Psalm 3…

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Developing Bible Study Skills - 2…

Developing Bible Study Skills - 2…

Developing Bible Study Skills - 2

  The death of Saul You will need a Bible, a Bible Atlas, a concordance.   Read 1 Samuel 31     This study is designed to highlight the following aspects of Bible study from the list given in Part 1: 1 show that Bible study is not difficult or the preserve of the intellectual show the need to give careful attention to the text reveal the value of knowing Biblical geography highlight the value of recording and preserving information found The Bi…

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Developing Bible Study Skills - 1…

Developing Bible Study Skills - 1…

Introduction This series of short articles is designed to demonstrate, by working through some simple pieces of Bible exposition, that Bible study is not just for the academic. It is hoped that any who read these short expositions will realise, if they have not done so already, that rewarding Bible study is within the grasp of us all. All that will be required to develop your own studies along similar lines will be a Bible, ideally with marginal cross-references; a good concordance or comp…

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Salvation from sin and death…

Salvation from sin and death…

Salvation from sin and death

  Criminal Convictions The original Guildhall at Lichfield probably goes back even further than 1421, the first recorded date. It was known to be the meeting place of the guild of St Mary and St John which was founded in 1387, hence its name the “Guildhall.” And the later use of part of the building as a prison is enough to send a chill down one’s spine. For in the times in question there was little mercy shown to suspected criminals; the only protection from the weather was the bars w…

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The Lamb of God…

The Lamb of God…

The Lamb of God

    It was John the Baptist who first made the connection. He had become a well-known figure in First Century Israel; a priest by birth who had become a reformer instead. Positioning himself by the River Jordan, instead of in the Temple at Jerusalem, he had summoned the nation to renew their vows and to enter into a new spiritual experience. They were to repent of their sins and be baptised in the Jordan. Coming Deliverer But, on his own admission, John was not the centre of the r…

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What's around the corner?…

What's around the corner?…

What's around the corner?

    Have you ever travelled along a twisting and narrow road hoping that there is no other vehicle approaching the same tricky corner at the same time? Or have you walked along a winding path wondering what you are going to see around the corner, hoping that you will get a new insight into how near you are to your journey’s end? rld Events Things that are happening in today’s world are a bit like that for some people. We seem to be turning a corner, but nobody is very sure what…

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One step at a time…

One step at a time…

One step at a time

Climbing steps is easy enough when you are young and fit but not so easy when you’re getting older and a bit stiff. Young people love to race up, partly to show what they can do at their age; older folk have learned that it’s surprising what you can accomplish if you take things one step at a time. r ChallengesLife can present us with some formidable challenges. We might have a crisis with our health, or with that of someone close to us. We could lose our job; have to move home; make…

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Coping with Change…

Coping with Change…

Coping with Change

 This is the time of year in Britain when it might snow. It might or it might not. The weather has been so unpredictable of late − 2012 being almost the wettest year since records began − that anything might happen. Some years it snows heavily; occasionally we get a very severe winter; but it could remain mild. It’s that unpredictability that makes it difficult to plan ahead so that everything carries on much as before, snow or no snow. ck! is well known that a light snowfall c…

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Felixstowe Talk…

The Lamb of God

lamb milk_1 It was John the Baptist who first made the connection. He had become a well-known figure in First Century Israel; a priest by birth who had become a reformer instead.

Positioning himself by the River Jordan, instead of in the Temple at Jerusalem, he had summoned the nation to renew their vows and to enter into a new spiritual experience. They were to repent of their sins and be baptised in the Jordan.

Coming Deliverer

But, on his own admission, John was not the centre of the reformation he was beginning. He explained that there was someone else coming to refine and purify the nation and it was evident that he held that person in very high esteem, even though he didn’t know, at the time, who that person would be. This is what he said about the expected Deliverer:

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his threshing floor, and gather his wheat into the barn; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:11,12).

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He was expecting a mighty One who would devour and destroy all opposition, whose burning zeal would purify those who accepted and followed him. John had not conjured that vision up himself; it was the prophet Malachi who had predicted such an outcome, and who had also said that the Messiah would be preceded by a messenger who would prepare his way, and make the people ready for the coming change (see Malachi chapters 3 and 4).

Surprise Arrival

It seems that John was somewhat taken aback one day when Jesus of Nazareth came to him at the River Jordan and asked to be baptized. They had known one another a little, because they were distantly related, and John knew enough to know that Jesus was a good-living man. So much so, that he said that if anyone was to be baptised, Jesus should baptize him, not vice versa. But Jesus quietly insisted:

“’Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness’“. Then he allowed him” (Matthew 3:15).

Notice that Jesus said “for us”, not “for me”. His life was an example of how we too should live, so his baptism was a way of demonstrating that we too need to be baptized if we are to be right with God. So John baptised the Son of God and something remarkable happened:

“Behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon him” (3:16).

It was an eye-opener for John as well, as he later explained (John 1:29-34). All of a sudden he knew that the Saviour he had been heralding was Jesus of Nazareth, and he couldn’t get over the fact that he hadn’t realised that before, for he repeats the words “I did not know him” (John 1:31,33). Of all people, he seems to say, you would have thought that I would have realised that Jesus was the One whom God had sent to rescue His people from their bondage to sin and death.

The Lamb of God

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John had disciples of his own: people who were following his teaching and learning about life as he saw it. What was he now going to say to them about the Deliverer – the person he had been promising. John was a prophet of God, so the things that he said as a prophet could go far beyond his own immediate understanding. And this is what he said to them:

“John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as he walked, he said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’“ (John 1:35,36).

It was a remarkable thing to say, especially at that time in the ministry of Jesus, which was only just beginning. Years later,Jesus explained to his disciples that he must suffer and die at Jerusalem, offering his life as a sacrifice which would take away the sins of ll those who believed in him. But, even then, the close followers of Jesus found it difficult to accept that he was really being asked to die as a sacrifice for sin (see Matthew 16:21-23). So, for John to have said what he did was remarkable.

God-Provided Generations before, the patriarch Abraham had once been asked to sacrifice his son, Isaac, and had shown that he was willing to do it, if that was what God commanded. It turns out that he believed God would have then brought Isaac back to life again (see Hebrews 11:17-19). But, having proved that he would have done it, God spared Abraham and Isaac the trauma and allowed the faithful man to offer a ram as a sacrifice instead − one that He had provided, just as Abraham anticipated (Genesis 22:7-14).

Abraham had expected a lamb; at the time God provided a ram, caught by its horns in the thicket. Now, some 2000 years later, John the Baptist foresaw that God was providing the long-awaited lamb:

“John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” (John 1:29).

It took John the Baptist a while to realise who Jesus was and what he had come to do. It will be the same with us. But when we realise that Jesus came to die for the sins of the world, and that through his death our sins can be forgiven, we shall have begun to share John’s insight and will have started to learn about the Saviour who can purge and purify us, and make us right with God. Such an insight is really important if we are to  fully appreciate all that God and the Lord Jesus have done, and still can do, for us.


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