Can Paul and James be friends?

What does scripture say?

 ‘Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness’ (Genesis 15:6)

When the apostle Paul cites this verse in Roman 4:3 he uses it to make the claim that a person is justified by faith alone.

James in his epistle also cites this verse in James 2:23 yet he used it to suggest that ‘a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

It appears the Paul and James are at odds.

Continue reading

Sermon – Faith: Sure and Certain

It is one thing to say that you believe in what Jesus had done to save you – it is another step to act on that belief.

James 2:14 asks the question: ‘What good is it brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith, but has no deeds? Can such a faith save them?’.

This third talk on the topic of ‘faith’ looks at faith in action.

Read the Bible Text – Hebrews 12:1-3 James 2:14-26

Talk Outline – Hebrews 12 and James 2

Talk - Hebrews 12 & James 2.gif

– Ken Noakes

Sermon – By Faith Alone (Romans 3:27-4:25)

Romans 1-8 Slide

‘Happy’. He said to me.

As I looked into the face of my friend, with the dark rings under his eyes, hair a little dishevelled, hands grasping the double shot expresso, which was his heart starter for the day, he said:

‘My goal in life is just to be happy’.

So much about what we relentlessly pursue in life aims to create an end result in which we will be happy. Burden now, achieve lots, sacrifice in the present – so that at some point it will all be worth it. We will be able to count up the coins, list off the achievements, bow to acknowledge the praise that is being directed our way – and then, we hope, we will be happy.

Some people call it the rat race.

There is nothing wrong with working hard, striving to reach goals, aiming to achieve much – that is the world we live in. In fact, it can be quite satisfying. Does it make us ‘happy’?

Yet, when it comes to faith, God works on a different spectrum – and for that reason Christians do well to recognise works, although they might be good, are not the measure used to determine godly happiness.

‘Happy is the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works’ (Rom 4:6). Let’s look at how…

Read the Bible Text – Romans 3:27-4:25

Love (Part 3 of 6)

Without love, truth will not be valued. Without truth, it is difficult to know how to obey. Without obedience, it is impossible to demonstrate true love.

To understand Love, it will help to understand how it is integrally connected to Truth and to Obedience, such that you cannot separate the three. These three ideas intersect with one another at almost every point. Love, Truth, Obedience

Taking our lead from the letter of 1 John, we have looked at Perfect Love (Part 2 of this series). We turn our attention now to the relationships between Love, Truth and Obedience.

Let’s consider ‘Love’.

Continue reading

Persevere (Jude)

Jude - Persevere - 2018

Ken Noakes in two talks looks at the little letter of Jude and to the challenge to contend for the faith of Jesus Christ.

Read the Bible text: Jude

Sermon Outline and Script – Talk 1: Challenges to the Faith – Jude 1-16

Listen to the Sermon (Terrace Studies)

 

Sermon Outline and Script – Talk 2: Contending for the Faith – Jude 17-25

Listen to the Sermon (Terrace Studies)

Conference Talks – Heaven & Hell

Heaven and Hell

5 AWAY Weekend Away Talks – by Ken Noakes

Talk 1 – Scaring the Hell out of You!

Talk 1 Outline – Scaring the Hell out of You!

 

Talk 1 Script – Scaring the Hell out of You!

Discussion Group Questions – Hell

 

Talk 2 – Heaven Sent!

Talk 2 Outline – Heaven Sent!

 

Talk 2 Script – Heaven Sent!

Personal Reflection Questions – Heaven

God makes himself known – look at his Word!

The clearest way to know God is to listen to what he says!

One of the first things that we learn about God in the opening Chapter of the Bible is that he talks. ‘In the beginning God created’ and how did he do that? By his word ‘And God said: ‘Let there be light’…., and then God said: ‘Let there be an expanse between the waters…, and then God said: ‘let there be sky’… and so it goes on for seven days (Genesis 1:1-2:3).

Each of the special acts of creation come about by the word of God. What he creates is new and wonderful and he does that by uttering his words.

If the significance of that is lost on you, give it a go! Test the power of your words. Create something by your words and only your words – ‘Let there be a ham sandwich’! How did you go? I think I can guess!

Continue reading