Sermons 2012

December 30 (Rick Cryder)

December 24 (Rick Cryder)

December 23 (Rick Cryder)

December 16 (Rick Cryder)

December 9 (Rick Cryder)

December 2 (Rick Cryder)

November 25 (Rick Cryder)

November 18 (Rick Cryder)

November 11 (Rick Cryder)

November 4 (Rick Cryder)

October 28 (Rick Cryder)

Discussion Question for Home Groups

1. Genesis describes the original creation to be ‘formless and empty,’ with darkness covering a watery mass.  In what ways do you see disorder, chaos and darkness in our world today and in your own life circumstances? Do you sometimes feel like the chaos and darkness is overcoming goodness and light?

2. The Word of God and the Spirit of God had the power to change this chaotic condition into one of goodness, order and blessedness. Do you see the Word of God and Holy Spirit doing the same thing in the world you know and experience today? Give some examples of God’s Word and Spirit chasing the darkness and confusion away from your life and bringing you to a state of goodness and peace.

October 21 (Rick Cryder)

Questions for Personal or Group Discussion

  1. Colossians 1:16 states about Jesus: “all things were created by Him and for Him.” What does it mean that you are “created for Him”? Why did God create us?
  2. How would you go about trying to persuade a person who believes in evolution to see God as Creator?
  3. Think of specific ways you can worship God through observing creation. See Revelation 4:11.
  4. What are the idols that compete with your devotion to God?

October 14 (Rick Cryder)

Discussion Questions for Personal or Group Study

  1. How do you know that Christianity is true? How do you know that anything is true? Do you agree with the definition of truth as being that which corresponds with reality?
  2. How would you answer the question ‘What is Christianity?’
  3. Do you think that the idea of naturalistic evolution has made it more difficult for people to receive the gospel message?
  4. What are some ways people try to live a good life without Jesus? (Romans 8:3-4, Colossians 2:20-23). How do Christians sometimes try to be good without Jesus?
  5. Contrast the ground of hope Christians have (second coming of Jesus) with other bases of hope. (e.g. salvation through science and technology, better government, etc.).

October 7 (Interim Pastor Rick Cryder)

(Apologies for the break in the audio file: the sound desk computer crashed!)

Discussion Questions for personal or group study:

  1. In Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus talks about Christians being like salt and light in the world. Talk about believers you know and churches you know that have in some exemplary way been like salt and light in the world.
  2. What are some ways that a church can lose its saltiness/light by the way it lives and by the content of its teaching?
  3. How can a church put its light ‘under a bowl’ rather than on a stand?
  4. Why do you think some churches withdraw from the world of lost people and isolate themselves?
  5. Why do you think that most Christians have few or no friendships with lost people?
  6. What should motivate us to move out in love to non-Christians?

September 30 (Gor Khatchikyan)

Gor Khatchikyan is an Armenian preacher based in the Netherlands. Here is a short PowerPoint presentation of his ministry, and a summary of the main points of the sermon: Gor at IBC Brussels

September 23 (Patrick Nullens)

Prof. Dr. Patrick Nullens is Rector of the Evangelical Theology Faculty (ETF) Leuven.

September 16 (Carlton Deal)

Carlton Deal is pastor of The Well, Brussels, and Founder and Director of Serve the City International.

September 9 (David Floyd)

David Floyd is on the leadership team of Vineyard Brussels.

September 2 (James Hely Hutchinson)

James Hely Hutchinson is Director of the Belgian Bible Institute.
Sunday August 26 (Jimmy Martin)

Jimmy Martin is General Secretary of the International Baptist Convention, based in Frankfurt, Germany.

Sunday August 19 (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: Today we’ll, we’ll consider a third passage from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, the great 13th chapter, known as the Love Chapter. Although a digression from the subject of spiritual gifts in chapters 14 and 15, this 13th chapter is actually the most important aspect of Paul’s argument. Paul eloquently describes the unique Christian virtue of agape love, which is more important than all the spiritual gifts so coveted by the Corinthians.

Sunday August 12 (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: Critics claimed that Paul was not an authentic apostle since he, unlike a group of self-proclaimed apostles, was not asserting his rights. Paul countered by saying he was, on the other hand, showing his freedom as an apostle and spiritual leader by voluntarily choosing to relinquish his personal rights to receive financial support and to have a wife, in order to maximize his life in serving the Lord Jesus. Paul’s critics were asserting that his life and ministry were not successful as measured by their standards. This apostle of the cross countered these accusations by replying that what matters is not success by their standards but by the standards of God.

Sunday August 5 (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: During this final month of my ministry with you, I want to share with you from the apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, which contains some of his most important messages to the church, dealing with the issues of church unity (1:10-17), the pattern of the cruciform life (1:18-2:5), the essence of pastoral ministry (4:1-7), and the supreme importance of love (13:1-13). In the first verses of this letter, Paul addressed the issue of division in the Corinthian fellowship as having the greatest urgency of all the problems in this new church. He knew that the underlying cause in the problem of division was spiritual pride that caused the people to gravitate to a particular leader, and hold in contempt those who belonged to other groups. Paul, in our text for today, gives one of his most eloquent, profound, and important statements in all of his letters. He says that a life-changing experience with the cross of Jesus is the beginning point for the solution to all the problems threatening the Corinthian fellowship. God’s children must know and live by this message of the cross.

Sunday July 29 (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: Today we look at Abraham’s faith undergoing God’s greatest test. Both in the Genesis record and in Hebrews, this experience in the life of Abraham is referred to as God’s test. Perhaps the members of the writer of The Book of Hebrews’ little beleaguered congregation were about to face overt Roman persecution. And the writing preacher was exhorting them, with the example of Abraham, to be prepared to face the greatest test of their faith, to hold fast to their commitment to Christ, and thereby show the authenticity of their faith.

Sunday July 22 (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: Today we continue to look at the life of Abram (later to be named Abraham) as an example of one who lived by faith. Last Sunday we looked at Abram’s faltering in faith, as he left the land of promise and went down into Egypt, apart from the leading and will of God, in order to avoid famine rather than trusting God during the famine. In chapter 13, we read about Abram and his nephew, Lot, separating, due to overcrowding from their flocks and herds. Lot apparently made his choice based solely on personal greed. In chapter 14 we see that Lot’s choice of living in the wicked city of Sodom led to his being abducted by four kings. Abram then, with 318 trained men from his household, rescued Lot by defeating these invading kings.

After this victorious episode, Abram seems to fall into a state of doubt and perhaps depression, much like that of Elijah, following his victory on Mt Carmel (1Kings 19:3f, Wiersbe, 44f). Abram begins to struggle with the temptation to doubt the promise of God given when he was called to the land of promise (Genesis 12:2-3). He is in need for a fresh word from the Lord, which God gives him in this significant passage of Scripture.

Sunday July 15 (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: We will consider today and the next two Sundays some challenges to the faith of the one who is our father in faith (Galatians 3:7). We recall that Abram and Sarai remarkably obeyed the Lord, and made the 500 mile journey to the land God promised them. Today we see these two former pagans, after their impressive demonstration of faith in obeying the Lord who had just revealed himself to them, immediately facing difficulty in this Promised Land. We will observe them encountering the difficulty of a severe famine.

Sunday July 8 (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: As my ministry with you draws to a much-too-soon conclusion over the balance of the summer, I want to share with you sermons from texts that have been particularly important to me in my life and ministry, and I trust will likewise be helpful to you. I want you to join me as we look at faith in the lives of Abraham and Joseph in Genesis, and then the theme of faithfulness as defined by the apostle Paul in his 1st Letter to the Corinthians. We’ll include the New Testament book of Hebrews because of its comments on the faith of Abraham.

Sunday July 1 (Ron Michener)

Dr. Ron Michener is a member of IBC Brussels and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at the Evangelical Theology Faculty, Leuven.

Sunday June 24 (Gary Preston)

Gary Preston is Executive Pastor of Rock Creek Church, Boulder, Colorado. He and his wife Suzanne were our guests this weekend, on their way to the IBC Convention in Interlaken, where Gary is leading a seminar on church renewal.

Sunday June 17 (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: Today we have been privileged to observe and celebrate the baptism of two young adults, who have given their verbal as well as symbolic testimony of their new life in Christ. Baptism is a witness to unbelievers of the death and resurrection of Christ, and of the spiritual death and resurrection of these new believers. But this beautiful symbol also is a reminder to all of us who profess faith in Christ of our commitment to follow Jesus in a new way of Kingdom living. In order to examine and reconsider what it means for us to follow Christ, I want us to look in our Bibles to Matthew’s account of Jesus’ call to his first disciples.

Sunday June 10 (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: In the latter part of the fourth chapter, John once again returns to the theme of love as one of the important tests of assurance that we have received the gift of eternal life. John essentially says that if we really know God in a personal relationship of faith, we will necessarily love God, because God is love. And if we love God, we will also necessarily love his children, our brothers and sisters in Christ. With Chapter 5 it seems that a new thought is introduced (and it seemed so also to the one who first introduced chapter divisions in the Bible!), but some contend that 5:1 continues John’s thought of the love test (e.g. Marshall, 226). But in fact, in our text we see a concise summary of the three tests of eternal life—right belief in Jesus, right behavior in the world, and genuine love for fellow believers.

Sunday June 3 (Phil Roberts*)

*Phil Roberts, brother of our Pastor Roger Roberts, used to be pastor of IBC Brussels between 1985 and 1990.

May 27 (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: Sitting around the coals of the fire brought another memory into the mind of Simon Peter. He no doubt recalled the night of Jesus’ arrest when he had followed his Lord “at a distance” (Luke 22:54). Jesus had warned Peter that he would deny him three times, a warning he totally disregarded as unnecessary. But, while he was warming himself by the fire, a young girl asked him if he was a follower of Jesus, and Peter adamantly denied that he ever knew him (John 18:15-18; 25-27). Now Jesus prepares to ask Peter a thrice-repeated question that calls for his response. This is what has been called “the most celebrated exchange of questions and answers in the entire Bible” (Gary Burge, page 587, NIV Application Commentary: John).

May 20 (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: As we will note in our text, the risen Lord Jesus revealed himself to his disciples on a third occasion. Jesus turned an ordinary event, a fishing endeavor, into an extraordinary experience whereby the disciples learned an invaluable lesson. And what they learned will become for each one of us here today an important truth from a life-changing lesson.

May 13 (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: Last Sunday we noted Jesus’ appearance in the Upper Room in to give his commission to the disciples. The event for today took place on the Sunday after the first Easter, a week after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This event we will consider is actually the climax and conclusion to the Gospel according to John, chapter 21 being an epilogue. We will note that the disciple Thomas provides a climactic confession for John’s Gospel, which was written, as we see in verses 30 and 31, to encourage faith in Jesus.

May 6 (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: During the Sundays of May, which conclude with Pentecost Sunday, we’ll depart from our study of John’s First Letter to look into the final two chapters of his Gospel. These closing chapters of John’s Gospel contain some of the appearances and conversations of the risen Lord Jesus with his disciples. During my closing months of my pastorate with you, I’m going to try to focus on some of the central truths of the gospel, and hardly anything is more important than these last words of Jesus before his ascension.

April 29 (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: Being the pastor he is, John seems to anticipate that some in the churches of Asia Minor might have been disheartened, discouraged and perhaps shaken in confidence by the tests he has given (Smith, 187). And, like a caring teacher and pastor, he wishes to encourage those who might have been unnecessarily and unduly shaken in confidence. John doesn’t want them to remain in “trembling anxiety but in calm confidence” (Morris, 1266). Notice what John writes about the need to have hearts at rest, as I read 1 John 3:19-24.

April 22 (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: In today’s text we come to another of John’s tests for the assurance of our salvation. We return to the theme of love, which was John’s closing word in last week’s text (10). True children of God act with righteous behavior, which certainly must include and even be directed and motivated by love. John expands on this statement about love as he moves to the love test in today’s text which begins with the word “for” (hoti). Just as right behavior is a mark, so is love an essential mark of the child of God (Marshall, 188f). Just as true Christians demonstrate the authenticity of their faith by godly behavior, so children of God must demonstrate their divine origin by obeying the command to love (Smalley, 179).

April 15 (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: John gets to the very heart of the matter as he describes the character traits of the true believer, the true child of God and those of the unbeliever, the one who has not been truly converted but has become part of the congregation of those who profess faith in Christ. He basically asks, “Whose child are you?” as he describes the marks of a true Christian.

Easter Sunday, April 8 (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: On this Easter Sunday we come to John’s account of the resurrection. The passion and cross of Jesus were the climax and theme to which Jesus’ life was leading. In a real sense the chapters in all four gospels that precede the cross are introductions that prepare us for the cross, which was the primary reason for Jesus’ incarnation. But without the Resurrection, the cross and death of Jesus would have been simply tragedy. They would have meant “the end of the trail,” and the termination of a short-lived movement.

Sunday April 1 (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: In John 19:28-30, our text for today, we again listen to important words of Jesus from the cross. This brief passage contains a reference to his 5th, 6th and 7th words, assuming that the reference to his giving up his spirit (30b) was his final prayer recorded in Luke 23:46: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” This morning we look at the cross as “The Finished Work of Jesus.” The Evangelist John doesn’t want us to miss this truth, so he uses three words in these three verses that are based on the word “teleo,” which means “bring to an end, finish, complete; carry out, accomplish, perform, fulfill” (Arndt and Gingrich, Greek-English Lexicon of the NT). Notice with me these words “completed” and “fulfilled” in verse 28 and the word Jesus cried from the cross in verse 30, “finished,” “tetelestai.”

Sunday 18 March (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: The Parable of the Shrewd Steward, or Manager, is considered one of the most difficult to understand and even to accept as being from Jesus.  The problem seems to be Jesus’ use of a wasteful manager as an example for his disciples to follow.  But as Helmut Thielicke wrote, Jesus often used “sham saints” to teach us important lessons (such as a grouchy neighbor and an unjust judge in Luke 11:5-13 and 18:1-8.  See Thielicke’s The Waiting Father, pages 93ff).  The story Jesus tells us today is another one of his “how much more” arguments.  Our Lord is saying that if this less than noble manager does something commendable with his management, how much more should we do likewise as his disciples.

Sunday 11 March (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: Today and next Sunday I will bring messages on the theme of stewardship. Today we’ll look at the stewardship of life, next week, the stewardship of possessions, and on the 25th, Denzil Walton will share from the Word about the stewardship of the environment. The 90th Psalm, attributed to Moses, is a corporate prayer and a group lament, “bemoaning the brevity and travail of life” (Broyles, 359). Perhaps Moses, who is described in the title to the psalm as “the man of God,” is writing as an old warrior of the faith. He may have composed these lines as the Israelites prepared to cross over into the Promised Land after their long and “apparently fruitless” (Robertson, 663) wilderness wanderings. In the closing verse, Moses prays that his life spent in leading the Israelites through this difficult pilgrimage will not have been in vain (v17). This rather somber psalm says some vitally important things about the need to number our days if we would be good stewards of the gift of life.

Sunday 4 March (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: In previous messages from the first two chapters, we have been given John’s moral test (Is our behavior reflective of a relationship with Christ?), his love test (Are our lives characterized by Christ-like love?), and last Sunday we took his doctrinal test (Are we placing our faith in the divine Son of God and what his sacrifice for our sins?). With today’s text, John begins a second application of these same tests by an elaboration of the moral test. An important proof of being a Christian is righteousness that comes from an abiding, mystical, relationship with Christ that contains also a hope in his future appearing (Stott, 116). John writes about God’s forever children who are, because of this hope, motivated to be like Jesus.

Sunday 26 February (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: John gives three tests that recur throughout this letter, with the hoped-for result of assurance of the gift of eternal life (5:13). These are the ethical (righteous behavior), social (love for one another) and doctrinal (right belief about Jesus) tests, and today we’ll look at the doctrinal one as found in today’s text. Evidently there was already a schism, a division created in the churches by false teachers who had once been members of the church but had gone astray in their beliefs. Not only had they left the fellowship of the church; but they were also seeking to find adherents who would follow them in this defection from the true message of Christ. What John teaches in this passage is the need to stand firm in confusing times.

Sunday 19 February (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: We come today to what appears to be somewhat of an interlude, when John writes what is almost a poetic refrain that offers his readers some reassurance that gives some respite from his tests. As a concerned pastor, he wants them (and us!) to make sure we’re truly in the faith, but also is careful to balance the tests with some loving reassurance and reaffirmation of the genuineness of their faith (Burdick, 1909). But then, not wanting them to drift back into complacency, he issues a strong command for godly living in an ungodly world.

Sunday 12 February (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: Last Sunday we noted the absolute importance of knowing God through a personal relationship with Christ, and how vitally different is a personal acquaintance with God from just knowledge about God. We have assurance of our knowledge with God through our obedience to his Word and our growth in our love for God. John implied that just spiritual and religious talk, with which the Gnostic false teachers were gifted, was insufficient and also deadly, giving a false sense of security. John says we know God through a love-obedience relationship as we follow the supreme example of Jesus Christ, actually allowing him to live in and through us. Our text for today will make more explicit one of the tests John gives for our assurance of salvation.

Sunday 5 February (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: Last Sunday we saw in 2:1-2 what we are to do when we sin, which is unavoidable in our fallen nature; but as Spirit-empowered children of God we have a new nature and a new desire, that we no longer continue in habitual sin, but that we gain mastery over sinful conduct through the power of the risen Christ. We noted that Christ is our Helper against sin and that he has taken care of our sin problem through removing our guilt (expiation) and paying the penalty for our sin (propitiation). In the next verses John tells us how we can know that Christ has solved our sin problem and that we know him in a personal, life-changing relationship. John says we gain assurance that we know Christ by our keeping his commandments and walking (living) as Jesus did (Smith, 174).

29 January 2012 (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: John begins to issue the tests by which we can know whether we are true believers. We as people of the light reflect the character of God, enjoying fellowship with him through confessing our sins and receiving his forgiveness (1:5-10). John addressed the deceivers who claimed to be without sin by saying they had blasphemously called God a liar with their claim to be above sin. Throughout his Word and in the person and work of Christ God has revealed the universality of sin and the need for his deliverance (10).

22 January 2012 (Pastor Roger Roberts)

The text for today begins with verse 5, which expresses perhaps “the main burden of the epistle: the character of God” (Yarbrough, 46). John uses the metaphor of light to describe God’s purity, moral excellence and holiness, a metaphor used for God in the Old Testament and used by John in the introduction to his Gospel (1:4f; 7ff) and by Jesus in his claim to be the Light of the World (8:12; 9:5; 12:46). The point that John will make throughout his first letter is that because God is light, the light that shone from his Son Jesus, we as his children are called to live in and by that light, reflecting his character by our purity, holiness, integrity and love.

15 January 2012 (Pastor Roger Roberts)

Introduction: Today we begin a series of messages from The First Letter of John, and we will look today at the first four verses. I’m looking forward to taking you with me on this journey through this letter of John because it’s a message from a pastor to his people. The apostle serves as an example to me as a true “player coach” and “pastoral counselor” who is responsible for the spiritual care and oversight of his flock, who are always under the threat of the Enemy from without and discord from within (Yarbrough, 27-29). John is writing his first letter to warn the church against a heresy that has crept into the church, false teaching that denied the full humanity and deity of Jesus Christ. His pastoral concern is to protect, instruct and exhort the people of God (Stott, 11).

8 January 2012 (David Floyd)

1 January 2012 (Paul Moynan)

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