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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…

Salvation from sin and death

guildhall

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 which prevented their escape!

The church also had little tolerance for any who deviated from their rigid and unbiblical dogma, a relic of which times stands in the Lichfield Market Place – it is a statue of the last ‘Christian’ to be burned at the stake for his non conformity. The whole picture is one of the dominance of human nature, man’s cruelty, intolerance and projection of self. But it is also a picture of man’s imprisonment to sin.

Prisoners All

guildhallcells

Here the picture is even more striking. In those far off days, only those who were suspected of criminal charges were imprisoned. In fact, then as now, every one of us is imprisoned by sin at birth. Here are some Scriptures that make that very point:

“The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies” (Psalm 58:3);

“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5);

The apostle Paul confirms this when, after reviewing Old Testament teaching, he concludes:

As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all gone out of the way; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10-12), and “You … were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world ... among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others” (Ephesians 2:1-3).

Convicted and Condemned

At the Guildhall there was a court of kinds at which offenders were tried before being pronounced either “guilty” or “not guilty.” But what about the man or woman who is captivated by sin from birth? Is he or she to be condemned to death with no hope of deliverance? Is it to be a life in the stocks for them, or for us?

Once again the issue is quite clear when we let the Bible speak for itself. Here’s the apostle Paul again, not now analysing the problem but outlining the solution:

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Somehow the sinner – and that expression includes everybody, since there is nobody who is righteous in the sight of God – must meet God’s terms of deliverance to receive the gift of everlasting life. Note that everlasting life is not something earned, it is a gift. It is not in the first instance a matter of good works, though they will come in later. It is a result of the initiative God has taken to rescue mankind from the prison house of sin:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

It is a matter that requires our understanding and belief that Jesus was given by God to be our Saviour and that he died to save us from our sins! Provided we believe we can be saved from sin and be set free from its power. The apostle John explains the two sides to this:

“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).

If we do not accept God’s gift of His Son, and do not believe in him, the anger of God will be directed towards us. But when we believe we can escape those consequences and be set free, for God is offering us eternal life.

Pardoned and Released

chains

The Bible has some very comforting words for those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. The prophet Isaiah tells us of one who was to come who would:

“Open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house” (Isaiah 42:7).

Again he writes prophetically of one who would say this to the prisoners:

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (61:1).

Although salvation is the gift of God to all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, it is not without cost. Jesus had first to suffer for the sins of men, and it is said of him:

“He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare his generation? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of my people he was stricken” (53:8).

That’s the wonderful message of the gospel. Jesus bore our sins to the cross so that we might be released from the prison house of sin and enjoy the freedom which leads to everlasting life. 


A version of this article was published in Glad Tidings magazine. You can subscribe to receive a free copy of the Glad Tidings magazine each month by clicking on the logo below.

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