Teaching

Free from the Law

Natalie Worsfold

24/06/24

Sunday 16th June, 9:30 service, Natalie Worsfold.

Paul changes his imagery here, using the death of a husband to illustrate the effect of the law. The law had the people of God bound while they were still alive. In the same way a married woman is released from the bond if her husband died, as we died to the law in Christ were released from the law so that we might bear fruit.

It’s important with this section to also read what comes next. Paul isn’t arguing that the law is sinful in this passage, but is saying that we are no longer bound to it. Instead we are bound to God, and to one another in “the new way of the Spirit”.

Undeserved Love

Natalie Worsfold

07/05/24

Sunday 5th May, 6:30 service, Natalie Worsfold.

Would you die for anyone? What is it about someone that means you would die for them?

In Jesus’ death we see the clearest demonstration of love. Although we hadn’t done anything to deserve it, in fact we were enemies of God, Jesus still chose to go to the cross. God’s love for us is so powerful that He could not leave us as enemies but chose to reconcile us to Himself through His blood.

This reconciliation is seen not only in His death on the cross, but in His resurrection. In His death we have died to sin, in His life we have life in all its fullness.

Faith not Ritual

Natalie Worsfold

25/04/24

It is central to Paul’s position that the way of salvation he has just been outlining, the way of salvation by God’s grace, is no new thing. Now he proceeds to show that this was true of Abraham, the great father of the Isreal. God had acted in grace towards Abraham, and Abraham had been justified by faith – that is Paul’s argument. Whereas if Abraham had been accepted on the grounds of his works, Paul’s point that God had always acted in grace would not stand. Abraham is critically important for the listeners to understand that we are justified by faith, and it is important for us that we understand that all that came before Jesus was still part of God’s plan.

Circumcision of the Heart

Natalie Worsfold

07/03/24

Circumcision acts as a physical marker for the Jewish people of their covenantal identity: that they are called to be separate from those around them in obedience to God and His law. Paul here is making the case that outward, physical circumcision has no value if it is not partnered with inward obedience, or circumcision of the heart.

God calls us to inward obedience that sets us apart from those around us, more so than any physical act we might do. We are to set our hearts apart in full obedience to Him alone.

Sin and the Law

Natalie Worsfold

19/02/24

God judges impartially. God is concerned with the state of your heart, not the family you were born into. It is your love of God that makes you part of the family of God. Paul speaks to the Jewish people of Rome and reinforces that they are not saved simply because of their national identity but rather their personal identity. Paul is undermining their theology by equalising those who listen but do not obey the law with the gentile people. This unpicking of the 1st-century Jewish thinking helps establish Paul’s argument for salvation by faith in Christ.

Generosity

Natalie Worsfold

28/11/23

God calls the Israelites to return to him by once again bringing the rights tithes and offerings. The Israelites had neglected their duty to honour God with their money and their possessions, keeping as much as possible for themselves. God wants to bless his people with great abundance, and even challenges them to test him in this, but he won’t do that until they honour him by bringing what is required by the Levitical law.

What do we hold back from God? How tightly do we hold on to our money and our possessions when God is simply asking us to be generous with what he has given us? Where might God want to bless us as individuals and a church community?

A Call to Follow

Natalie Worsfold

25/09/23

Jesus calls the disciples to “put out into deep water” (vs 4). Despite the fact they had already
done this, Simon obeys Jesus and as a result their nets are filled with fish. At this, Simon
Peter falls on his knees and repents. Jesus calls them to follow Him and fish for people. How
might God be calling us to go into deeper water? To enter a greater place of trust as we
follow Him. What might be that call be that requires us to be obedient and to follow Jesus?

A Psalm of Kingship

Natalie Worsfold

21/08/23

In times of trouble, David cried out to God for help. As he prays to God, our king, he acknowledges that God protects us (verse 1), helps us (verse 2), remembers (verse 3), provides (verse 4) and answers our prayers (verse 5). The key is to trust in God as we read in verse 7.

A Psalm of Remembrance

Natalie Worsfold

08/08/23

The psalmist begins with praise in verse 1, and then goes on to remember why it is right to praise God. God’s people have a history of sinning (verse 6), acting wickedly (verse 6) and forgetting God’s kindness (verse 7). And yet God led them out of Egypt and miraculously provided for them parting the Red Sea. Remembering God’s goodness and kindness to us is part of what we are called to do.

A Psalm of Praise

Natalie Worsfold

25/07/23

The series opens with one of the psalms of praise, in which David describes the awesome power, majesty and authority of God. This psalm focuses on God’s voice and in our lives we hear His voice through Scripture. God also shares his authority, power and strength with us as we read in verse 11, “The Lord gives strength to his people” and “blesses his people with peace”.