Articles published in 2004

Below is a summary of articles written by Elder Neil Phelan for the Malvern newspaper. They are numbered according to publication order. To see the complete article simply click the title. You can also jump to other newspaper article collections using the menu on the left or search for words in the Google search engine. Soon we will complete a topics page, to help you find articles by subject.

“THE NEW BIRTH”

“THE NEW BIRTH”

“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”- John 3:8

NICODEMUS, a ruler of the Jews, has come to Jesus by night that he might learn something of the Man.  He came by night for fear of his good brethren who might expel him from the synagogue for seeking the Nazarene.  Surely, many today would follow Him if they could leave their upper seats.  Here, as we find in every instance, our Lord’s conversation was immediately upon spiritual matters. …

“My Prayers”

“My Prayers”

“Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:”-Ephesians 1:15-17.

Prayer has been described as the highest activity of the soul.  It is worship in and of itself.  Prayer tells on us because when we empty our hearts unto God we find what was really in there!  If we are full of ourselves, that is what God hears about.

We…

“STRENGTHENED WITH MIGHT”

“STRENGTHENED WITH MIGHT”

“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man”-Ephesians 3:16

Our message comes to you today from the floor of a Roman prison where we find the apostle on bended knees praying for the Ephesian Church.  Though he was in prison, he was not an idle Christian.  His pen and his prayers were active, focused upon God and His people.  As we read this prayer it seems almost convoluted.  Paul is the one in prison, yet, we find him praying that the Ephesians would be strengthened.  We might write our…

BAPTISM: A BELIEVER’S CONFESSION

BAPTISM: A BELIEVER’S CONFESSION

“And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”-Acts 8:37

Though the evangelist, Philip, desired to baptize, there was a solemn “if” in his interrogation of the Eunuch’s heart.  It was what he looked for in the man, or, to say it another way, it was his answer from God that he was to administer the ordinance.  A firm belief in the person of Jesus Christ was the divine prerequisite for every New Testament baptism.  We find it at Pentecost when their hearts were…

“THE SAINT’S EVERLASTING REST”

“THE SAINT’S EVERLASTING REST”

“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels”- 2 Thessalonians  1:7

The seventeenth century Puritan, Richard Baxter had a thriving ministry in Kidderminster.  When he arrived, scarcely one house on any street maintained family religion.  By the time he left, he could say that scarcely could on house on any street be found where hymns were not sung and prayers offered every evening.  He was a godly man of uncommon talents and piety.  But Baxter was also a very sicklyu man.  Throughout his…

“A Prayer for the Church”

“A Prayer for the Church”

“Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ”-Ephesians 1:2

Of the many petitions the apostle could have placed before the throne of grace, this prayer adorns the opening comments of each of his letters to the churches. At first glance, we might read these words as glibly as the salutation of a letter yet, as we consider the request, we find these words to be fraught with wisdom and much more than words to fill up the page. Of all the treasures in the Father’s hand, Paul asked for grace and peace.

Grace simply means unmerited

“THREE THAT BEAR RECORD”

“THREE THAT BEAR RECORD”

“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one”-1 John 5:7

The doctrine of the trinity has always been believed and preached in the Christian Church as we can tell by the writing of our beloved John.  The oldest confessions of the Christian faith emphatically declare a belief in the trinity, and most importantly, we find it declared from Genesis to Revelation.  It sheds light not only on our personal experience with God, but also reveals the roles that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit play in…

“THE LOVE OF CHRIST, WHICH PASSETH KNOWLEDGE”

“THE LOVE OF CHRIST, WHICH PASSETH KNOWLEDGE”

“And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God”- Ephes. 3:19

Surely, the love of our Lord passes the comprehension of mortals.  As the old song goes: “The love of God is greater far, than tongue or pen can ever tell; it goes beyond the highest star, and reaches to the lowest hell.  When years of time shall pass away, and earthly thrones and kingdoms fall, when men, who here refuse to pray, on rocks and hills and mountains call, God’s love so sure, shall still endure, all measureless…

“SHADOWS”

“SHADOWS”

“And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty…. And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen.”-Exodus 28:2,5.

The Old Testament abounds with types, shadows and figures of  the coming King.  In his letter to the Hebrews, Paul referred to them as “patterns of things in the heavens”(9:23), “figures of the true”(9:24), and “the example and shadow of heavenly things”(8:5).  The person of Christ, the story of redemption, how it would be carried out were meticulously played out by the Hebrews as they worshipped under the law.…

“SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS”

“SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS”

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love”-Ephesians 1:3,4

A thankful heart is always acceptable unto our Lord.  The Christian has great reason to be thankful.  He is the recipient of “all spiritual blessings”.  Though all blessings from our heavenly Father could be placed in the category of spiritual, the blessings Paul speaks of here are not…

#15NEWS

"THE GIFT"

"Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift"- 2 Corinthians 9:15

Undefinable by the mortal tongue the gift was given.  From heaven to earth, from glory to a sin cursed world, the gift would descend.  Without tinsel or ribbon, no gift has ever graced the halls of humanity as the gift of the Christ child.  The gift was not for pomp or show, the king was not invited, lowly shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night, they would witness the gift, a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a lowly manger.  This was no ordinary babe.  Verily man, verily God,…

“THE GIFT OF GOD”

“THE GIFT OF GOD”

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast”-Ephesians 2:8,9

Salvation is the gift of God, paid for, not by merit or creature works, but by our Lord Jesus Christ.  He alone receives the glory for the salvation of His people.  Should the slave complain in that he has been made free by another?  We have heard some say they believe salvation is “the gift of God”, yet, in the same breath they say the sinner must reach out and take it.  They speak of man’s responsibility and his free will. …

“BAPTISM, THE ANSWER OF A GOOD CONSCIENCE”

“BAPTISM, THE ANSWER OF A GOOD CONSCIENCE”

“The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” 1 Peter 3:21

Through the centuries, the ordinance of Baptism has been misrepresented as to its purpose and benefit in the New Testament Church.  It was during the 1800’s, that Spurgeon preached his great sermon against “Baptismal Regeneration” which sermon is still available today in the reprinted sermons of this great preacher.  Simply, and we must add,…

“THOU HAST ENLARGED ME”

“THOU HAST ENLARGED ME”

“Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.”-Psalm 4:1

Many were the distresses of the sweet psalmist of Israel.  Though David was greatly loved of God, his life was full of trials.  Saul, the king of his people, his brother in the faith, sought his life, hunting him like a wild animal.  Satan was always at his heels, tempting him with the lust of the flesh and the pride of life as we read of his failings with Bathsheba and numbering Israel.  Absalom, his own son, rose up against…

“A MATTER OF PRIORITY”

“A MATTER OF PRIORITY”

33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

Among the many things that Jesus taught in His sermon on the mount, He taught His disciples that His kingdom must have priority in their lives.  From our earliest existence, many of us have heard similar words from parents and peers, “you need to go to church”. Until we understand these words of Christ, the reasons for such counsel have seemed vague and obscure.  So, many of us first began to attend church out of a sense of duty, rather than for the…

“THE DEAD SPEAKING”

“THE DEAD SPEAKING”

“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh”- Hebrews 11:4

Christian, what will be said of you after you are gone?  That man was a great sportsman.  That woman could tell a good joke.  They were the life of the party.  Whatever our case, we come to the sober conclusion that the dead do speak long after they have departed this life and what is said should be the concern of every honest Christian.

It is a great advantage to have…

“AS DEAR CHILDREN”

“AS DEAR CHILDREN”

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children”-Ephesians 5:1

In his letter to the Ephesian Church, we find some of the apostles most endearing pleas for Christian living. The order of the epistle is significant.  The first three chapters are primarily doctrinal.  Concerning these chapters, one scholar called them “The profoundest thing ever written.  He sounds the heights and depths of truth.”  The last three chapters are practical, dealing with the Christian’s behavior. The significance of this is noteworthy.  First, Paul reminds them of the blessings they have…

“..baptized for the dead?”

“Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?”- 1 Corinthians 15:29

There were some confused Christians at Corinth.  Some had been led to believe that there was no resurrection of the dead.  Many arguments the apostle places before them, showing not only the infallible proofs of His resurrection, but also what it would mean to them if Jesus had not risen.  He tells them that preaching would be in vain if Christ is not risen, for what hope is there in a dead king.  He reminds them that…

“MINISTER TO ONE ANOTHER”

“MINISTER TO ONE ANOTHER”

“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God”- 1 Peter 4:10

Among the many gifts that Christ has vested in His church, we find the gift of ministering to others in every list.  Simply put, ministry means serving: doing something for someone else expecting nothing in return.  According to Peter, every member has received this particular gift who is a real Christian.  Thus, every believer has a least one gift that has been specially given to them by the Lord to serve in God’s house and…

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