Sermon Archive


Ephesians 4:11-16: Growing the Church with the Word: Part 2

‘Every member ministry.’ Have you ever heard this phrase? This phrase is used to describe a movement in the modern church where every Christian is encouraged to know their gifts and use them in service to God. We welcome such an emphasis as biblical, 1 Cor. 12:7, Eph. 4:16. However, this emphasis has often come at the sacrifice of the formal ministries of the church. If every Christian is a minister then why do we need pastors and preaching? We are in the midst of Eph. 4:11-16 which talks about both leaders and laity, formal gifts and informal gifts,...


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Ephesians 4:11-16: Growing the Church with the Word: Part 1

I have gone through three paradigm shifts with regards to the gifts of the spirit in my Christian walk. Due to being attracted to the activism and life of the Charismatic church in my earlier years I joined the Charismatic Church at the height of the Toronto blessing. The church I joined was a melting pot of various Pentecostal and Charismatic views, there was no monolithic view held by all. In this first stage, this was the naïve stage of a flat approach where I simply expected everything I saw in the book of Acts to be active today...


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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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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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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 13:1: God and the Government

Introduction: There are two extremes we need to avoid as we investigate the biblical teaching on our relationship to the government.  We can call these overrealised and underrealised views of the kingdom.  The overrealised view of the kingdom totally confuses the governments of this world with the rule of Christ.  That rule which will one day rule over the new creation is attempted to be installed now.  This results in conflating the work of the church and the state.  This spiritualises the work of political activism as kingdom activity. It tends to be a liberal tendency and attaches to...


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Romans 12:8: The Gift of Exhortation

Outline Models of encouragement Words of encouragement Introduction Today we are going to be looking at one of the more underappreciated gifts, the gift of encouragement/exhortation. Romans 12:8 reads, ‘the one who exhorts, in his exhortation.’ The Greek word here occurs 107 times in the NT and has been translated in various ways, beseech, comfort, desire, pray, entreat, console. The word for exhortation in this text is literally paraklese, this may sound familiar to you because when Jesus promises the Holy Spirit He promises the Parakletos. This means the one called alongside. The Latin translation of this is cum...


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Romans 12:7: The Gift of Teaching

Outline The office of teacher The responsibility of teaching Introduction Today whenever there is a contest between truth and action, or truth and emotion, it is always truth that suffers. For this reason we have been seeing churches cast off confessions and uniting with others of contrary beliefs in order to DO charitable activities together. Or when it comes to standing up to things like homosexual marriage many fall before the argument that ‘they love each other.’ God has made provision that this is not the case in His church, He has appointed the gift of teaching to keep...


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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 1: Why every Christian should be a member of a local Church

Introduction: Christianity has been displaced as the dominant religion of the West. Fewer people are becoming Christians, and the churches are emptying and closing down. A common reaction to this trend is one of overreaction where the Church is being pronounced outdated and an irrelevant organization. It is being claimed that Church as we know it is antiquated and we need to change or die. We are being told that what has been happening for the last 2000 years is now suddenly ineffective and we need a radical overhaul. Spirituality is in but church is out, community is in...


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