Service 28th June 2020


Good day to you all. Hopefully this will be the last time we need a virtual service but I must confess that I have enjoyed participating in this enforced style of worship.

A lot has happened since we last met especially in the USA with the Black Lives Matter demonstrations and the ongoing development of the Corona virus pandemic. Thankfully, we’ll all be allowed to meet together again next Sunday with less stringent social distancing rules.

The scripture passage I have chosen today is from Romans 6: 12-23 and the service will be based on that. The focus is how we react to temptation and sin.

Prayer    Lord, we thank You that You have dealt with the sins of humanity; that You were the only way, through Your death on a cross to make us right with God. We thank You God that the whole of humanity now has access to You through belief in Jesus. You reach out to everyone through Your Holy Spirit to give the opportunity for us to confess our sins and be thankful for the grace You extend to us. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen

Psalm 15

A psalm of David.

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?

The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbour,
and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person
but honours those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

Whoever does these things
will never be shaken.

Romans 9: 33

As it is written:

‘See, I lay a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall,

And the one who trusts in Him will

Never be put to shame



An appropriate song now would be:-

Lead Me To The Cross

Verse 1

How can I be free from sin
Lead me to the cross of Jesus
From the guilt the pow'r the pain……….(of sin) my addition
Lead me to the cross of Jesus


There's no other way
No price that I could pay
Simply to the cross I cling
This is all I need
This is all I plead
That His blood was shed for me

Verse 2

How can I know peace within
Lead me to the cross of Jesus
Sing a song of joy again
Lead me to the cross of Jesus


Flowing from above
All-forgiving love
From the Father's heart to me
What a gift of grace
His own righteousness
Clothing me in purity

Verse 3

How can I live day by day
Lead me to the cross of Jesus
Following His narrow way
Lead me to the cross of Jesus

CCLI Song # 729610 Graham Kendrick | Steve Thompson © 1991 Make Way Music (Admin. by CopyCare Pacific Pty. Ltd.)

For use solely with the SongSelect® Terms of Use. All rights reserved. CCLI Licence # 33540

Sinfulness surrounds us and was certainly a factor in condemning Jesus to death.

Judas Iscariot succumbed to sin in accepting a payment from the Pharisees to identify Jesus and get Him arrested.

First Signs of Trouble

Judas was one of the 12 disciples, Jesus’ closest companions. Although a specific scene of Jesus calling Judas is not included in the Gospels, as it is for others such as Philip, Nathaniel, and Peter, he is included in the list of the 12 from early on (e.g. Mark 3:19).

Though Judas isn’t mentioned nearly as much during Jesus’ ministry as others like Peter, James, and John, the Bible does record that he was the treasurer for the disciples (John 12:6; John 13:29). However, the Bible also reveals that Judas used this position for his own personal gain. John 12:6 states, “he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.”

Another tidbit the Bible offers is a scene in which Judas protests Jesus’ actions. John 12 opens on a dinner scene. There, the Bible records that Jesus’ friend Mary took a large quantity of expensive perfume, poured it over Jesus’ feet, and wiped His feet with her hair as an act of worship.

Judas objected. “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages” (John 12:5).

Though his intentions seemed pure, John 12:6 states, “He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief.” He fully intended to skim the funds from the money bag.

Rather than expose Judas, Jesus responded to the supposed concern, at the same time poignantly addressing His own impending death, which would, of course, be partially brought about by Judas. “‘Leave her alone,’ Jesus replied. ‘It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me’” (John 12:7-8).

Judas Betrays Jesus

This seems to have been a tipping point of sorts for Judas. After recounting the story of the perfume (which is included in all four Gospels), both Matthew and Mark immediately follow this scene with that of Judas’ deal with those who wanted to kill Jesus. Matthew records,

“Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.”(Matthew 26:14-16)

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus repeatedly predicted that He would be betrayed (e.g. John 6:70-71). However, this betrayal came to a culmination on the night of the Last Supper, Jesus’ final meal with His disciples before He was taken away and crucified.

During this scene, John 13:2 records that the devil had already prompted Judas to betray Jesus. The Bible does not state why Judas did what he did. His habits with the money bag might suggest greediness, but it is also quite possible that he was troubled by Jesus’ insistence that He would die. Many were looking for a strong political leader in a Messiah, and Jesus was not what they expected. The Bible also explicitly states that Satan was involved with Judas’ actions, but not to what extent.

During the Last Supper, Jesus told His disciples He would be betrayed. When asked by whom, He replied,

“It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.

"So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” (John 13:26-28)

Judas left immediately.

He is next seen entering the garden later that night where Jesus is praying. Knowing the place, Judas led a detachment of soldiers and officials to Jesus. Judas told the men, “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him” (Matthew 26:48). He then proceeded to approach Jesus and kiss him in greeting. After this, Jesus was arrested.

Matthew 27 records Judas’s demise. When Judas saw that Jesus was condemned to death, he was “seized with remorse” (Matthew 27:3) and returned the 30 coins to the chief priests and elders. When they disregarded him, he threw the money into the temple, left, and went away and hanged himself.

What We Can Learn from Judas

Judas’s life story is a tragic one, but it points to God in powerful ways.

Multiple prophecies hundreds of years before Judas’s birth predicted his betrayal. Zechariah predicted Jesus would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12-14). Psalm 41:9 predicted that Jesus’ betrayer would share his bread, which Jesus directly referenced in John 13:18 and acted out in John 13:26-28.

Thus, God knew of this “disastrous” turn of events long before it ever occurred. God was not blindsided by this betrayal. In fact, it was part of His plan. In order to save the world from sin, the Bible claims, Jesus had to die. God therefore used Judas’ betrayal to help bring about the salvation of His people. [bolding by me]

Satan may have thought he was thwarting God’s plan through Judas, but the results show just how impossible that is. Judas reminds us that God is always in control. Judas’s name itself, “Let God Be Praised,” is a reminder that even the worst of situations can be used by God in powerful ways.

Alyssa Roat Contributing Writer

Mark 14 says this:-

16 The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover. 17 When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. 18 While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.” 19 They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me?”

20 “It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me. 21 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

John 13:26-27 identifies the culprit:-

26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.


22 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.” 23 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 “This is my blood of the[c] covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 25 “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

26 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

It is a sad fact that a sinful act played a big part in our salvation.

However you want to take part in communion now is the time to give thanks and reflect on what Jesus has achieved for us.


ROMANS 6:11-23

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Slaves to Righteousness

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

For reflection:

Sin = the rejection of Jesus. John 3:18, Exodus 23:21

Sins = the things we do that we shouldn’t, these are what we are forgiven as believers. We                                                                                           can’t receive God’s forgiveness if we don’t believe in Jesus.

Paul is no different to any of us with his problem with sin(s) Romans 7:21-25

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

But wait, what comes next, Romans 8:1-2

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

Myth:  Some believe we are born as sinners. NO! sin is acquired as we live in a sinful world. If we were born sinners then Jesus would have been born a sinner….not possible.

God hates sin, so why would He create a sinful person? Adam and Eve were fine until Satan tricked them and since then his influence has ruined the perfect relationship God intended.

That’s it for now, pray that we stay away from sin and reject temptation to be sinful. God’s grace is an awesome presence in our lives.

Pray for our fellow worshippers and give thanks for answered prayer.

May God keep you and bless you until we meet again next week