Imagine being the younger brother of Jesus Christ. Always following in the footsteps of the glory child!! James is refreshingly matter of fact and down to earth. As we read the letter by James, we read his concern that those following Jesus don’t only listen, but actually walk in his footsteps. For him righteousness matters, and it is the practical righteousness that you can hear in the words and see in the actions of the follower of Jesus that really counts. This talk explores faith, and how the faith that justifies is never alone.
‘We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him’ (Rom 8:28). What a promise! Yet, the promise here is not that ‘all things’ will be good – but that in ‘all things’ God would do what is good.
How do we know?
Read the Bible Text – Romans 8:28-39
– Ken Noakes
Hope is a funny word. It’s such a positive thing, and yet it can seem so fragile.
Psychologists tell us that hope is crucial for healthy functioning. People without hope die, while people with hope thrive. We all want something to look forward to; something to live for; a ‘destination’ in life.
And yet, who can predict the future? Life can often seem like little more than a wrecking yard of dashed hopes. What do we really have to live for? Can anyone have any certainty about what’s to come?
The fantastic message of the Bible’s letter to the Romans is that we can! – and not just a vague sense of wishful thinking, but real, grounded, impregnable confidence! – not just for now, but for all eternity!
Read the Bible Text – Romans 5:1-21
– Ken Noakes
We all love justice and hate injustice. From earliest childhood this has been the case. One of the first complaints we learn to utter is, “That’s not fair!”
But how do we go when the finger of justice is pointing at us? Are we still as passionate about it? Or is there something else we love even more?
And what about God’s justice? How do we feel about that? Is justice beneath God? Does his justice betray a cranky side of him? And how will we go when God’s finger of justice is pointed at us?
These are very important questions!
Read the Bible Text – Romans 3:21-26
– David Shead
Sermon on James 2:14-26 ‘James vs Paul’ by Ken Noakes – available to stream or download: http://bit.ly/2cy1cZz.
Read the Bible text: http://bit.ly/2chYc32
In this talk, the question of whether James and Paul are at odds theologically over what it means to be justified by faith alone or by works is raised. The discussion is large and so the sermon deals with it briefly, but suggests this paper (‘Is James at odds with Paul?’) for further reading if so inclined.
Please note: This is an academic paper, so it is long, at times detailed, and uses technical language (including greek). Further, the paper was written several years ago and since then I have changed my position on the late dating of the letter of James (as you would hear in the sermon, I know think it is dated early). Regardless, it I think is still helpful for an inquiring mind.