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Sunday, 25 January 2015


Rev. Brian Wilkie
By Rev. Brian Wilkie                                                                                    

Pastor of St. Andrew's Christian Community
Rockland, Ontario

PODCAST LINK to CFRA broadcast - Sunday, January 25th, 2015: 

Broadcast Notes:

‘Believing Jesus

Today I want to speak to you about the theme of believing Jesus.  Isn’t that what we’re called to do? Isn’t that what our faith is about?   And I want to read to you from this scripture, where one of the disciples comes to a much deeper appreciation of who Jesus is.  It’s from near the end of John’s gospel, chapter 20, verse 24.

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.  So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.  But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.  John 20:24-31.
You know, in this glorious moment for Thomas, we see the renewal or possibly even the birth of faith.  You can be sure, though Thomas had followed Jesus for years, that from this moment on, his faith was stronger, deeper, and more complete. His trust was now founded on a fuller comprehension on who Jesus is. This revelation brought him joy.
This evidence of Jesus’ victory erased fear of death and confirmed the awesome power of God at work in his Son. Thomas believed and confessed Jesus and his life was changed eternally.                                                                                           
 The apostle John, in writing this gospel, declares it is believing in Jesus that we have eternal life, and that this is the purpose of John’s writing.                                                                                                                                       
Why is believing in Jesus so important?  And what does it mean to believe in Jesus? We’ll get a look at what that means in a few moments.  But first, would you hear this beautiful song of devotion which says,” It's so sweet to trust in Jesus” and this is sung by Steven Chapman from his album, Deep Roots.  Would you listen to it with me?
It’s sweet to trust in Jesus.  It’s sweet to know that we have a friend.  And yet,  why is it so important to God that we believe in Jesus?  Why is our salvation dependent on faith? 
Many people believe that salvation is dependent on works.  They seem to live as though if they just follow a few commandments and do passably well on them, that they’ll  be okay for eternal life.  They believe that they only want to get what they deserve, because they feel that they deserve a fair shot at heaven.  And yet Jesus teaches that we don’t get saved by the things we do, but by trusting in Him.  That He is the source of eternal life. 
Now, why is it so important to God?  Jesus declares this about Himself.  He says,” I am the way, the truth, and the life”, and these three things give us some indication of why trusting in Jesus, is such an important and necessary thing for everyone. 
Jesus is the way .  Jesus is the way; He’s the one that we follow.  We no longer follow a law.  The law was our schoolmaster Paul says, until Christ came.  We follow Jesus.  We follow His instructions.  Now. some of His instructions can certainly be codified.  We each have our own way we want to walk in. We have our own idea of what is right and wrong. Even Adam and Eve at that first failure, were seeking to find their own knowledge  of good and evil.  They wanted the knowledge of good and evil to be theirs instead of God’s. And they went the wrong way.  We also go the wrong way, and let’s face it, most often we think we’re going the right way.  We may be doing something that others consider wrong but for us in our circumstances we think it’s right, justified.  It may not be the nicest thing, but it’s the better of two evils we sometimes say. We have all kinds of ways that we walk in, and God says those ways lead to destruction.  Yes, to destruction!  We can often see how other peoples actions damage us and destroy us.  And we can sometimes see how the things we did, hurt another person, or caused harm to others.  But what we don’t realize is, that God who knows all things, knows that the only way to have life.  The only way to leave the path of destruction, is to follow Jesus. Because there’s not a code that covers every circumstance.  There’s Jesus who leads us by His Word and by His Spirit.  Now some people are happy to follow some spirit.  They don’t want any words.  They don’t want any content.  They just want to follow this thing they call spirituality.  Sometimes they’re speaking about nothing more than their own emotions, or their own conscience.  Sometimes they’re thinking of the spirit of the age. The ideas of right and wrong that have kind of filtered into them by osmosis from the environment around them. But the spirit of God works with the testimony about Jesus.  So that we know the way that we should walk in.
The scripture also says, and Jesus claims about Himself, that He is the truth.  The truth.  The truth is about the way we walk.  There’s a  true way to walk, and a false way to walk, but also a truth about who we are and who God is.  And Jesus being fully human, and fully divine, tells us the truth about both humanity and God.  He reveals the truth.  In looking at Jesus, we see what our lives could be.  We often say to, “To err is human, and to forgive is divine,” but Jesus is human and He does not sin.  We often use our humanity as an excuse for sin, but we need to look in a different place.  It’s our sinfulness that causes us to sin.  Our humanity is what we see in Jesus.  And sinfulness is a denial of our humanity, turning away from who we truly are.  Sinfulness is a misunderstanding of who God is, and when we look at Jesus, we see who God is.  We see Him in His holiness and in His love.  Most of us want to pick and choose our God.  We want to choose a nice, gentle, meek and mild God who never has anything harsh to say.  And other people want to choose a very harsh God who has nothing but criticism for everybody.  But in Jesus, we see God as He truly is.  A God of love.  A God of holiness. A God with the highest standards and the greatest grace.  In fact the scriptures speak about Jesus as being full of grace and truth. 
And finally, Jesus is the life.  We may not realize it, but spiritually, we start life dead.  Yes, dead. Not just spiritually injured, but dead.  We need a knew life in us.  The life, the biological life that is in us, and the life of our identity, of our soul, our spirit, that is a temporal life.  It’s a life that has no eternal future until it is re-newed and given a new creation through Jesus Christ.  It’s not this body that’s going to enter into eternal life.  It’s a glorified body given by God.  And it’s not this person unchanged at the heart. It’s going to be someone transformed by the living work of Jesus Christ in us.  In fact, Paul goes so far to say that the life we live is not our own, but Christ lives in us, that we don’t nearly need to live a better life, we need to receive a better life.  It’s absolutely vital that we understand that we need Jesus.  We need to believe in Him. It’s very important, and we can believe and trust in Him because He has shown His love towards us.                                                                                      
And here’s a song, a very familiar song written by Joseph Scrivens, and sung in celebration of hymns.  This song is called, What a Friend We Have In Jesus. 
What a friend we have in Jesus. That’s a beautiful hymn written by a man who knew what it was to have doubt and darkness in his life, and he found Jesus as a friend who helped him through all those times.  And that comes to the question, of what does it mean to believe in Jesus?  What does it mean to put your faith in Jesus? 
So often we think of believing as just believing that something is true.  You know.  You believe that the earth revolves around the sun.  O yes. I believe that.  Do you believe that the sky is blue?  Oh yes, I believe that. I know that. Belief is sometimes just about knowledge in our language, and sure enough, to believe in Jesus is knowing Him. You’ve got to know Him to believe in Him.  You cannot believe in what you do not know. You have to have some understanding about what it is you’re putting your trust in.  To believe that Jesus is Lord.  To believe that Jesus is the Son of God.  These are good things.  In fact, one of the barriers that I find in evangelism, especially in places that are very full with the knowledge of Jesus, is that many people do believe that Jesus is Lord. They do believe that He is the Son of God.  They do believe that He was born of Mary, and that He rose from the dead.  They believe all these facts about Jesus,  but somethings lacking.  They think that just by knowing a few facts, that they are saved. 
Scripture says, in a rather startling verse, that the devil believes these things and trembles.  Think about that.  The devil knows very well that Jesus is the Son of God.  The devil knows very well that he is eternally begotten of the Father. that He is the victor over death and sin.  The devil knows he’s defeated.  He knows all the facts of scriptures, and yet is he saved by that knowledge?  No. No, to believe purely as knowledge does not save. It needs to be something more.  Now this isn’t a modern problem. This has been the nature of understanding faith from the beginning.  In fact, we understand that the early church described faith in three aspects. In the aspect of knowledge.  In the aspect of trust. And in the aspect of acceptance.  And so sometimes we’ll see the scriptures say in place of believing in Jesus, it’ll say receive Jesus.  Receiving has to do with acceptance.  And other places it will say, put your faith in Jesus.  And faith has to do with trusting.  Now we can’t trust what we don’t know, but we can know something and not trust it. People know who their leaders are in government, but there are certainly people who don’t trust those leaders in government.  There are who know the environment around them, but they’re scared or paranoid about that environment because they feel that something’s out of place.  We can know things and not trust in those things.
There was an illustration of a tightrope walker who walked across a high line, and he went across and back and forth, and the people were really pleased with his performance. And then he got a wheel barrow and he wheeled the wheelbarrow across the line and everybody clapped and applauded for him.  And then he put about 200 pounds of stuff into the wheelbarrow, and wheeled that across the line, and everybody applauded for that.  And then he said, “Do you believe that I could carry a person across this line in this wheel barrow?”, and the people said, “Yes we can see that you can do anything.” Well, then he said, “ Jump in the wheelbarrow”.  Do you think anybody did?  They had a knowledge but they didn’t have a trust, and frankly I’m not sure I would have jumped into that wheelbarrow either. 
But the question is, knowing what you know about Jesus, do you trust Him? Are you willing to let Him teach you how to walk, instead of walking in your own way.  To believe in Him as Lord, means believing that He has the right to direct your life.  There’s a song I love that says, Yes Lord, Yes Lord, Yes, Yes Lord.  But you know, it would be so odd to hear a song say no lord, no lord, no, no Lord.   You can’t say no to a Lord.  The Lord that you accept as Lord, is the Lord that you actually follow.  And Jesus says this over and over again in His teachings.  Like the teaching of the two men who build houses, one on rock and one on sand. And He says the foolish man who built his house on sand and whose house was washed away, was the man who heard what Jesus had to say, thought it was wise, but didn’t put it into practice. He didn’t actually trust in Jesus.  He didn’t actually trust that these words were right and true and worth doing.  Now we aren’t saved by our works.  But trust leads us to do the things that Jesus calls us to do.  If we find ourselves not doing the things Jesus calls us to do, then we need to learn to trust Him more. We need to pray that we would  trust Him more.  We need to come before Him humbly, and confess that we need to trust Him more.
Finally, Faith is about receiving and accepting Jesus.  And that’s even more than just acceptance.  Faith is rejoicing in Jesus.  Being glad that Jesus is Lord.  Listen to Thomas’s words as He exclaims,” my Lord and My God”, he’s filled with joy that Jesus is alive. That He’s victor over sin and death.  That He is God Himself and he’s standing in the presence of the awesome glory.  That’s rejoicing.  To know that Jesus has called us to a new life, even though that life may sometimes be hard, is a cause for rejoicing for Christians.
Well, that’s the beginning of what it is to trust in Jesus, and as we grow in trust we grow in the knowledge of Jesus, we grow in trusting Him more, and we grow in joy as we rejoice in Him.
Let’s pray together that we might trust Him more;
Almighty God, teach us to trust you.  Let us put our full faith in you.  Lord, for those who have never put their faith in you before, Lord we ask that you would come and accept their faith in you.  Give them faith and receive them into your eternal life and your kingdom.  And for us who have  believed you before, we pray that we might trust you more. We pray this in Jesus name, Amen.
- Rev. Brian Wilkie
St. Andrew's Christian Community, Rockland, Ontario
To listen to the above broadcast, click on the following link:

Sunday, 18 January 2015


Rev. Canon George Sinclair
by Rev. Canon George Sinclair                           
 Pastor of the Church of the Messiah, Ottawa, ON. 

(Podcast of CFRA broadcast on Sunday, January 18th,  2015)
Broadcast Notes:

'Jesus on Desire' 

This talk is a shortened version of a sermon I gave at the church I serve at, Church of the Messiah. I am preaching through all of the Gospel of Luke. The series is entitled, "Luke: Jesus for Pagans and Skeptics."

15 When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17 And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant[a] to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20 And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you,[b] none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”
The Cost of Discipleship
25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
Salt Without Taste Is Worthless
34 “Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? 35 It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
  1. Luke 14:17 Greek bondservant; also verses 21, 22, 23
  2. Luke 14:24 The Greek word for you here is plural

1. The living God Himself invites me into His presence for a feast of great food, great conversation and great companionship.

2. Only the living God can save me. I cannot save myself - but I can damn myself.

3. Jesus' death upon the cross is God's provision for me to become His child. To have faith in Jesus is to enter into an eternal relationship with Him, which by grace, will change me.

4. Jesus invites me to count the cost of trusting Him, and the cost of saying "No", AND then, after counting the cost, He desires me to say "Yes" to Him.


The power of God, through His grace, love and mercy comes into you … by you entering into a relationship with Jesus.

That will re-order your desires and will re-order all of your relationships, and so, Jesus intensifies what is involved in coming to follow Him.

Father, thank you, so much, for Jesus. Thank you for what He did for us on the cross. Thank you that you love us. Thank you that you call us to be in your presence for great food, for great conversation, and for great companionship.
Father, help us to put our trust and faith in Jesus, that He might be our Saviour and Lord.

- Rev. Canon George Sinclair
Church of the Messiah
To listen to the above broadcast, click on the following link: