Sermon Archive


Understanding Baptism

Today we have the joy of having a baptismal service, we are baptising four believers into the membership of the church. Everyone knows what baptism is, but not everyone is clear on what baptism means. Some of this is due to ignorance; some of this is due to confusion due to disagreement between Christians. Today I am going to do a topical sermon on the issue of baptism. I want to put forward a definition that I am borrowing from Bobby Jamieson, an American Reformed Baptist who is deeply involved with 9marks. And I would like to unpack his...


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Matthew 28:18-20: Baptism and the Great Commission

One of the distinctives of a Baptist Church is that only those baptized by immersion as believers, in other words baptized according to Christ’s command, can become members of a local Baptist Church. We believe that we do not have the right to make baptism into whatever we want it to be, nor decide on any old practice being defined as a legitimate baptism. I am sure you will agree with us that baptism is defined by Christ not us, and we are obliged to practice what He commands and not what we think. Today we are having a...


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Authority in the Church

Introduction: One of the reasons why people don’t join a church is because they are nervous about all the talk about authority and submission. Our age makes us allergic to institutions; we are trained by the media to distrust our leaders. On top of this there have been many instances of spiritual abuse where a church leader has damaged his church by being oppressive and self-willed. I know there are many here today who have seen this type of spiritual abuse where elders have assumed powers to themselves that have dictated who one should marry, what job they should...


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Going to Church as if Your Life Depended on it, Because it Does

Introduction: When you woke up this morning and the reality of life came slowly through the sleep fog and you realised that it was the Lord’s Day and you had to go to church, what was your emotional investment in that thought? Today as we continue our series on membership I want to talk to you about the necessity of Church and strike a tone that scripture strikes when it speaks about the necessity of going to church. I have called this sermon: Going to Church as if your life depended on it, because it does. Too often when...


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The Organisation of the Church

Introduction: When do we call a group of Christians a church? What distinctive marks does it have to have to qualify as a church? At what point would you call a church apostate and say they were once a church but they are a church no longer? What is the bare minimum for having a church? Isn’t a church when 2 or 3 are gathered? Is it a church when: A few friends meet at a coffee shop to discuss the spiritual message in a film like the Matrix? When a family is having its daily devotions? When the...


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Being and Doing Church

Introduction: When Hitler was trying to enthuse the German nation to get behind his expansionist programs he told them that the German race was the Ubermensch, the Beyond-man/Hyper-man. He understood the psychology of action, we do as we believe. If we think we are better than others we will happily walk over their heads. We have also given the name slave mentality to a state or mind that acts out of the way it sees itself. This is a life of subservience and submission that thinks of itself as less. Activity follows identity. We see this everyday in life,...


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Baptism and Membership

Introduction: This is our second sermon in our membership refresher series. We have dealt with the issue of why every believer ought to be a member in a local church. We attempted to show by 7 arguments that the modern notion of membership is very different to our modern opt in understanding of membership. The Bible paints a picture of de facto membership, in other words, it would be odd for us to talk about our membership in the country of New Zealand. If you are born here you are a ‘member’ of the nation. When you are born...


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Seven Reasons for Church Membership

Introduction: This morning we are beginning a refresher course on membership or being part of the church. So today I would like to begin and give us seven reasons why membership is biblical. I used to be one who believed that membership of the local church was an unbiblical innovation that true biblical Christians should cast off, just as they have cast off many man made practices of the Roman Catholic Church. Today I stand before convinced of the opposite position. We live in a day and age that has seen the death of many important and biblical teachings....


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Romans 15:5-7: A Prayer for Unity

Introduction: One of Christ’s desires for His church is unity, John 17:20-21, ‘”I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.’ The Spiritual unity that Christ is asking of the Father here was given on the day the Spirit was poured out on Pentecost. Every Christian receives in the gospel a uniting with Christ...


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Church Membership 8: Mission

Introduction: For what purpose does the church in general and MRBC in particular exist? A cheap and easy answer is this: Three things, to minister to God; each other and the world! We have touched on our worship to God and our responsibilities to one another, but it is the third purpose, ministering to the world that we want to define today. What is the mission of the church? 50 years ago if you spoke about mission everyone knew that you were talking about cross cultural evangelism. Through the influence of the Liberation movement that has emphasised political liberation...


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Church Membership 7: Worship

Introduction: Worship is one of the controversies that rocks and has the rocked the church in the last generation. Being a Reformed church we have a very deliberate view on worship. We feel that many in the worship wars have missed the central things and got caught up in the peripheral aspects of the discussion. The modern day churches failure in the area of worship is due to a failure to understand the full implications of the Gospel. A Gospel driven worship and a Gospel shaped worship has been replaced with a variety of secondary issues taking the primary...


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Church Membership 6: Leadership in the Church

Introduction: The Roman Catholic Church says, ‘No Pope, no Church!’ The Anglican Church says, ‘No Bishop, no Church!’ The Presbyterian says, ‘No Elder, no Church!’ The Baptist says, ‘No congregation, no Church!’ These simplistic statements identify where authority is to be found in the local Church. As Reformed Baptists we are somewhere in between the Presbyterians and regular Baptists. We see Christ as the Head of His church, but because He has given each of His people the Spirit, enabling them to all be priests, the whole local church with the added gift of eldership is sufficient to exercise...


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Church Membership 5: Responsibilities of membership: One Anothering

Introduction: One of the big questions that divide people on their view of the church is this one: is the church an organisation or an organism? Those who answer organisation point to its defined leadership structure, its rules for worship and discipline and it doctrinal statements. Those who answer organism point to the church as a network of relationships and a community, a family driven by love not law. Spontaneity versus programs and relationships versus rules, these divisions spring from this dichotomy. The trouble is that this is a false dichotomy, the church is both organisation and organism. Today...


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