Freedom of Life through Christ.

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Romans 7: 1-25 Commentaries warn us to be careful not to try squeezing more meaning out of the illustrations we read in Roman’s than Paul would have intended. That’s certainly true for this chapter! Paul is not commenting in full about every aspect of marriage, but using just one headline example from the Mosaic law […]

Life’s first cry.

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Romans 6: 1-23. In this chapter Paul tackles the challenge we face when we make “life’s first cry” as a new Christian: shall we keep sinning on purpose so that we can know God’s grace all the more?” (vs. 1) No – Our lives have been transformed in Christ! We’ll be looking at that alongside the […]

The Blessings of Justification.

Romans 5:1-21. The phrase “Alive in Christ” is echoed in the second half of this passage, and is coupled to the reasons Paul gives us to celebrate the results, or blessings of justification: we have peace with God (vs. 1); we are standing in grace (vs. 2a); we have the hope of the glory of […]

Faith without action is dead

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Romans 1:14-17, 2:7, 3:21-22, 4:20. This might feel like a pause of our studies in Romans, but it’s more of a development of the themes we’ve looked at so far! As we hear from the BMS Action Team about the outworking for their faith, what can we learn from them about “living the gospel” ourselves?

God’s way, not our way.

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Romans 3:1 to 4:25. Paul is clear: our righteousness and justification aren’t gained by the things that we do, but only through faith in Christ. We are only “justified freely by His grace”. The things that we do follow as a response of faith from those seeking to be “living the gospel”.

Let Holiness thrive.

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Romans 1: 18 to 2: 29. The themes of wrath and judgement that are dominant in this section of Romans probably aren’t ones we’d pick as our favourites, but understanding them properly is important. John Stott says, “Human anger is mostly unrighteous, irrational, uncontrollable… [but] God’s wrath is driven by His holiness”. We need to hold […]

Living the Gospel – Laying the foundations of Faith.

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Through our teaching series in Ruth, we learnt that “Ruth strikingly exemplifies the truth that participation in the coming kingdom of God is decided, not by blood and birth, but by the conformity of one’s life to the will of God through the ‘obedience that comes from faith’ (Rom. 1:5)” [NIV Study Bible, Introduction to […]

Ruth – Hope restored.

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Ruth 4. There is a moment in this chapter when it feels like the promise of hope is going to fail. Ruth’s rightful kinsman-redeemer will not meet his obligations, showing more concern for his own interests than in doing the right thing. Boaz stepped in and in doing so demonstrated the fullness of God’s ways […]

Ruth – Hope glimpsed.

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Ruth 3. Naomi was under no sense of obligation to find Ruth a husband. Ruth was not obliged to follow Naomi’s plan. And Boaz was not obliged to become Ruth’s “kinsman-redeemer”. Yet, this chapter highlights the strength of integrity and purity, especially in the lives of Ruth & Boaz, that reflect the loving-kindness of God.

Ruth – a journey to restoration. Hope hidden.

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Ruth 1. We are introduced to Ruth at a time of bereavement and fear for Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law. When Naomi decides to return home, alone, Ruth’s loyalty and faithfulness emerge. Ruth will not give up on Naomi in the face of adversity, but instead stays with her. Ruth’s actions reflect her saying to Naomi, “Don’t […]