A wicked rich man and a Godly poor man

I place this exerpt from Mathew Henry’s commentary on the Bible here, as it is such a stern warning from God to us all.
It is a commentary on Luke 16:19-31 – A wicked rich man and a godly poor man (The Rich man and Lazarus).
As the parable of the prodigal son set before us the grace of the gospel, which is encouraging to us all, so this sets before us the wrath to come, and is designed for our awakening; and very fast asleep those are in sin, that will not be awakened by it. The Pharisees made a jest of Christ’s sermon against worldliness; now this parable was intended to make those mockers serious. The tendency of the gospel of Christ is both to reconcile us to poverty and affliction and to arm us against temptations to worldliness and sensuality.

Continue reading “A wicked rich man and a Godly poor man”

God’s inexplicable dealings with His people

– from the Letters of Samuel Rutherford ( 1600-1661)

The godly Scottish preacher Rutherford was forbidden to preach and banished from his home church Anwoth to Aberdeen in Scotland in 1636 by his enemies. Although he did suffer from periods of depression and a feeling of uselessness during this time, above all it was what he called the dumb or silent Sabbaths that distressed him most, remembering his flock left behind at Anwoth like the sheep without a shepherd. God used this time of suffering to draw him very close to Christ and equipped him to write with deep compassion and wisdom to his people, friends and others who were seeking his counsel. Out of the 365 letters written during his lifetime, 220 were penned during his exile and imprisonment in Aberdeen what he called “my kings palace”. This excerpt was from one of these letters.

Continue reading “God’s inexplicable dealings with His people”

Having the mind of Christ (The cross and all of life – Part II)

Have this mind among  yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus”-Phil 2:5

A transcription of a sermon on humility preached by Rev. Martin Holdt.
Read Part 1 of this series here: PART I

Read Philippians 2: 5 – 11

The Mind of Christ

We read in Phil 2:4  “complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind” The apostle Paul was writing to a church where there was the threat of schism.  We read in Philippians 4 verse 2:  “I beseech you Iuodia and Syntyche to be of the same mind”  It seemed thus that the two women were at loggerheads and it could easily spill over, especially when it is two women, into the rest of the church and there were probably others too.  We don’t know.  He continue (Phil 2:3) “do nothing from rivalry or conceit”.  Why does he say that to a church consisting of Christians ? Continue reading “Having the mind of Christ (The cross and all of life – Part II)”

Christ’s Humility (The cross and all my life Part 1)

A transcription of a sermon on humility preached by Rev. Martin Holdt.

Read Philippians 2: 5 – 11

Read part II of this series here: Part II

A call to imitate the humility of Christ

It happens to be one of the greatest Christological statements in the New Testament and it follows a plea to Christians to be humble.  When the apostle Paul introduced the subject he did so in verses 1 to 4 of chapter 2: “If there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the spirit, in the affection and sympathy complete my joy by being of the same mind and having the same love.  Being in full accord and of one mind.”
Before I go on to verse 3 and 4, I suggest to you that the actual theme of Philippians is not so much joy, it is unity.  I wish I had time to show you that.  You read it for yourself and see how often the apostle deals with the whole matter of unity.
Verse 3:  “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility. Count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interest of others.
And then the introduction to about what he has to say about Jesus Christ: “Have this mind among yourselves which is yours in Christ Jesus.
Then the verses that we are going to be looking at.  It is a call to imitate the humility of Jesus Christ, which none of us will ever do as much as we ought to.  But it is there for us, it is there to challenge us.  There is nothing so like Jesus Christ as true godly humility. If you would be like Him, you need to be humble. Continue reading “Christ’s Humility (The cross and all my life Part 1)”

Substitute in My Place (He died for me – Part II)

Give Me a Body (Substitute)

(Part II of a transcript of a sermon about atonement by Dr. Martin Holdt)

Heb 10:3-12 “ in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.  For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. When Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me;  in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’”  When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God “

There you have it “Substitutionary Atonement”, Christ giving His own body as a sacrifice in your place for your sin.

We live in a day and an age when, even within the Christian church, there is far too little of a brokenness of heart and a mourning over sin.  May God give it back to us, because when He does, we might be a step closer to revival.  It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.   I find the above verses the most moving in the whole Bible. Continue reading “Substitute in My Place (He died for me – Part II)”

He died for Me – Part 1 (Atonement)

Transcript of a sermon about atonement preached by Dr. Martin Holdt
Based on: Isaiah 53; and 1 Peter chapter 3, verse 8 – 22.

Well beloved, on this glorious theme of the cross of Christ, may God give me the grace to share with you something that will elevate your soul and move you to worship Him who died for our sins.

You all know what Paul said in that crisp, wonderful, glorious statement in
1 Corinthians 15 verse 3.  ‘I delivered to you as the first importance what I also received (now notice, of first importance, it is paramount, it is crucial, its vital He says) that Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the Scriptures. And that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day, in accordance with the Scriptures.’

Substitutionary Atonement

This morning we are going to pause and think about this statement, that Christ died for our sins.  I think you know this doctrine of substitutionary penal atonement is under attack today, but it has been under attack before. We have, amongst others, professors in the theological faculty of the University of Pretoria, who say that to teach that or to preach that is to suggest and imply that God is guilty of child abuse.  For a mother wouldn’t do that to her child.  Why should God do that to His beloved Son?  For of course it is things we know, we don’t expect better from that faculty. Continue reading “He died for Me – Part 1 (Atonement)”

Ligon Duncan on Hope Holiness and Perseverence

hope_holiness_perseverence_L_DuncanDid you pray for years for revival but it did not come, or preached your heart out with little fruit, or as a lay christian you see your church dying while you laboured and prayed for change that did not come. Well there is hope, Elijah had a similar experience. Although God revealed himself in a mighty way on mount Carmel, Ahab did not repent thereafter and neither did the people, and on top of that he had to flee for Jezebel

God used His servant Ligon Duncan in an extraordinary way to deliver a message “Hope for the depressed in heart” on Elijah which will greatly encourage you. What happened in his flight and thereafter. God’s grace in the chariots of fire and what happened on the mount of transfiguration – don’t miss this and his other messages below.

Dr . Ligon Duncan III is the Chancellor & CEO of Reformed Theological Seminary and God especially uses him to encourage Pastors and Lay Christians alike. Through this series of messages you will be greatly encouraged. It was delivered at the Grace Ministers Conference which we recorded in South Africa in 2015

To download Right Click on the player and select “save as” and choose a place on your hard disk where you want to save the mp3 file.

1. K0096-01  Hope for the depressed in heart

2. K0096-02   Hope and the Holiness of heart

3. K0096-03  Hope and the perseverance through trials

4. K0096-04   Hope and the return of Christ

If you want to own these messages on CD, DVD or mp4 download our catalogues and order by snailmail ( we will have to quote for postage depending where you live). Don’t forget to browse our other 2200 sermons. To start with, listen to those in Afrikaans by Nico van der Walt and in English – Joel Beeke, Martin Holdt, Stuart Olyott, Steven Lawson, Don Theobald, Brian Edwards. Enjoy! Don’t forget to ‘like’ this and to recommend our site to others.

We make these mp3’s available for free but want to ask that if you were blessed through it, please consider supporting this full time ministry by donating to cover our costs in rent, living, recording, editing and maintaining two websites.

Phil 4:15,17  “15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only.
 16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again.
 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.”


True Preaching – by J.C. Ryle

george-whitfield2The instrumentality by which the spiritual reforms of the eighteenth century carried on their operations, was of the simplest description. It was neither more nor less than the old apostolic weapon of preaching. The sword which the apostle Paul wielded with such mighty effect, when he assaulted the strongholds of heathenism eighteen hundred years ago—was the same sword by which they won their victories. Continue reading “True Preaching – by J.C. Ryle”

The False Reality of Social Media

“We live in a world of false realities. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest all offer an alternate view of who we are as individuals. We can tweet spiritual tweets and show off our immaculate houses or perfectly cooked food on Instagram. We can either judge or feel judged as we scan our Facebook timelines, and Pinterest shows us how far we fall from perfection.”

Read the rest of This article by Elizabeth Wann its worth it.


Jelly-Fish Christianity and Affection for the Flock

Quotes from JC Ryle

Jelly-fish Christianity

There is a jelly-fish Christianity in the land; that is a Christianity without bone or muscle or power…of which the leading principle is “no dogma, no distinct tenets, no positive doctrine”. We have hundreds of jelly-fish clergymen, who seem not to have a single bone in their body of divinity…We have thousands of jelly-fish sermons preached every year – sermons without an edge, or a point, or a corner, smooth as billiard balls, awakening no sinner and edifying no saint…and last, and worst of all, we have myriads of jelly-fish worshippers – respectable, church-going people who have no distinct and definite views about any point in theology…they think everybody is right and nobody is wrong, everything is true and nothing is false, all sermons are good and none are bad, every clergyman is sound and none is unsound. Continue reading “Jelly-Fish Christianity and Affection for the Flock”

Ministers who make it

by the late Dr Martyn Holdt

It is required of a steward to be found faithful. Faithfulness is basic to the Christian ministry. Jesus Christ was absolutely faithful to the end. The apostle Paul was faithful throughout his ministry. All of God’s great servants were loyal and trustworthy throughout the period of their service in the kingdom of God. Faithfulness is non-negotiable. However, is a servant of Christ not meant to seek for and to experience the kind of prosperity God promised to Joshua and to all those who do the will of God? Joshua 1 v 8. Continue reading “Ministers who make it”

The Work of the Pastor is to Feed the Sheep

work of the pastorHere follows the first chapter of the book “The Work of the Pastor” written by William Still. This chapter is also freely available on the Internet as an advertisement to buy the book. Well it is worth buying the book for the rest of the chapters (just google it). I ordered my copies through Christian Book Discounters in Rosebank Johannesburg (Christian Book Discounters)

Chapter One – Feed My Sheep

The Pastor
Before we look at the work of the pastor we must look at the pastor himself. The pastor by definition is a shepherd, the under-shepherd of the flock of God. His primary task is to feed the flock by leading them to green pastures. He also has to care for them when they are sick or hurt, and seek them when they go astray. The importance of the pastor depends on the value of the sheep.
Continue reading “The Work of the Pastor is to Feed the Sheep”

Introduction to The work of the pastor

Sinclair Ferguson once said “Every Pastor should read this book at least once a year” If you wonder why, then read what Thabiti Anyabwile have to say about his experience below. In this post I will post the introduction to this book written by William Still, and in the next post, the First chapter of the book which is also freely available on the Internet as an advertisement to buy the book.  After that then go ahead and order the book from Focus publishers.

This is what Thabiti Anyabwile said:

On the plane ride to the New Life Bible Conference, I began reading William Still’s The Work of the Pastor.  I’ve had the book for a few years, but had yet to pick it up.  In recent conversations with some pastor friends, I was strongly encouraged to take up and read.  And boy am I glad I did!

Continue reading “Introduction to The work of the pastor”

Gay Marriage – what is it all about?

Insights on this issue

excerpt from a blogpost of David Murray


“Gay marriage is not primarily about gay marriage; it’s mainly about silencing gay consciences.

Why is this state-sanctioned validation, empathy, acceptance, acknowledgment and approval so important to gay marriage campaigners? Why is it far more important than actually being allowed to marry? Continue reading “Gay Marriage – what is it all about?”

The cross and the world – what is the Gospel?

Author: Martin Holdt
This is the second part of the sermon, which is transcribed, delivered by Rev Martin Holdt, entitled, The cross and the world.

What is the gospel? It is what God has done in Christ. It is called by the apostle Paul “justification”. Just so that you can understand where we are at, because I don’t think that all of you have got this sorted out. Please allow me in as simple terms as possible to tell you.

Years ago I had a phone call from a lady I did not know. She said on the telephone: “Do you preach the doctrine of justification?” What a strange question, on the telephone, from a woman. So I said, just tell me why do you ask? She said: “Come and see me.” I did. Continue reading “The cross and the world – what is the Gospel?”

The cross and the world

Author: Dr Martin Holdt
This is the first part of a sermon transcribed, in the series, The Cross, by Dr Martin Holdt, entitled: The cross and the world.
Galatians 6: 1 – 8 “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
If you hear me say things that I’ve said before, please forbear. I say them because it is important that they be said and don’t we all concur that if the truth is worth saying once it is worth saying a thousand times over, provided it comes to us with fear and conviction and we take it to heart and live it out for the glory of God. So, I am going to repeat a few things that you have heard me say before, I do it because it is a burden on my heart and I happen to have discovered what I am sure every minister of the gospel has discovered here. People forget so soon. Continue reading “The cross and the world”

Glorying in the cross of Jesus Christ – Part 2

Author: Martin Holdt
This is a continuation of a series of sermons, transcribed, preached by Martin Holdt, “The Cross”. Read further, for part 2 of the message “Glorying in the cross of Jesus Christ”.

There is nowhere else where you will so see the love of God as in the cross. No wonder Paul finds glory in that. I want to drink deep of the fountain of God’s love. So I will make it a daily exercise to stop to pause and to think about that love. Incidently, please don’t think that you have got to get a necklace with a little superstitious cross or a bracelet. No. You ponder and you think about what happened there. God at work. His love and of course His mercy. Is there a God as forgiving as that? You know, it seems to me that this last generation of Christians has all but forgotten what forgiveness is all about. I am not talking about divine forgiveness, that too, yes, but interpersonal forgiveness. The way we harbour bitterness against fellow believers. Go back to God, go back to the cross. Look at the offences there, against the righteous, glorious God. What does the cross tell you? God is merciful, very merciful, o so merciful. Continue reading “Glorying in the cross of Jesus Christ – Part 2”

Glorying in the cross of Jesus Christ – Part 1

Author: Rev. Martin Holdt
These are transcriptions of sermons preached by Rev. Martin Holdt, a series on “The cross”. This is the Part 1 of the message, “Glorying in the cross of Jesus Christ.”
Scripture reading: Galatians 6: 1 – 18
Galatians 6 verse 14: Far be it from me, said the apostle Paul, to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world. I prefer the Authorised Version use of the word glory though both is acceptable : far be it for me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

What is he saying? Let’s be clear about that before we get into the text. He is not saying that he glories in that wooden instrument on which our Lord Jesus was crucified. It doesn’t say that. Cicero once said that the worst form of execution ever invented by the human mind was crucifixion. It was terrible, it was painful and shameful and it was ghastly. Continue reading “Glorying in the cross of Jesus Christ – Part 1”