Sermon Archive


Luke 17:1-10: How the Gospel Shapes our Service of Others

The differences between true religion and false religion are striking. False religion is judgemental, true religion is accepting; false religion is strident and forceful, true religion is gentle and yielding; false religion is critical and harsh; true religion is gracious and encouraging; loveless vs loving; external holiness vs internal holiness; hypocritical vs genuine; we all know the difference between true and false religion. False religion is repulsive but true religion is attractive. Our hearts are by nature religious; that means we are vulnerable to the deceptions and promises of false religion and hungry for true religion. Jesus throughout the...


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Luke 15:11-32: The Parable of the Two Lost Sons

The parable of the prodigal son is probably the most famous parable in the gospels. But I think like many that it has been misnamed. Some have thought to call it the parable of the Prodigal Father, this is because the word prodigal means ‘spendthrift’ and the Father who represents God and His restoring grace is so generous. But I think this is a bad title as ‘prodigal’ has many bad connotations. Some have thought to call it the Parable of the Older Brother, this is a good title which is better than the parable of the prodigal son...


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Luke 13:1-9: Suffering and Repentance

We come now to what is probably the most important portion in the Bible on people suffering and our response to it. We are all familiar with the classic problem, something bad happens and the questions begin to flow, why did a loving God allow this? Why did the innocent suffer with the guilty? Was it God; or satan; or man; or nature that caused this? This is a very large intellectual problem. The dilemma of a good God and evil existing has a long history. Epicurus a Greek philosopher born in in Greece in 341 BC put the...


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The Doctrines of Grace: Perseverance of the Saints

We come now to the teaching known as the perseverance of the saints. It has been known by other names, the preservation of the saints, once saved always saved, or eternal security. Some of these forms of teaching are associated with teachings we would disagree with, and others depending on how they are defined we would count as biblical. We are happy with perseverance of the saints because it best describes the NT teaching that all those who God elects and draws to Himself are saved, and because the work of grace within them is real they will persevere....


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God and Covid-19

We are interrupting our series on Luke to do a Christian analysis on Covid-19. Here in NZ we are very blessed to be at alert level 1, but this is still a living reality for many in the rest of the world. My concern in doing this is a pastoral one. More than ever before we have been inundated with the voices of the media in analysing what has recently happened. We have all been tuned into the media and been saturated with their perceptions, judgements, and problem solving principles. We have all learnt new words and concepts and...


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Luke 7:24-35: Jesus Vindicates John the Baptist

Have you ever been slandered and gossiped about and totally misunderstood? John the Baptist was a faithful servant of God but who had been slandered, in v33 he was even accused of having had a demon. We have been looking at a section where John the Baptist has sent some of his disciples to ask whether Jesus is the Messiah, we see Jesus give a yes answer substantiated by evidence that the promises of God are coming to pass. After John’s disciples leave we are left with Christ talking about John the Baptist before the crowds. Jesus defends John’...


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Luke 6:17-26: Jesus Teaching on Blessing: Part Two

In the Sermon on the Plain Jesus divides the world into two different types of people, they serve two different Gods, bear two different types of fruit, and have two different types of eternal destinies. The beatitudes and the woes lists for us the characteristics of these two groups, those who love God are those who are poor, hungry, weeping and hated; but those who love the world are those who are rich, full, laughing and loved. Jesus is using paradox and loaded images to convey important spiritual truths. Jesus employs some typical biblical caricatures to distinguish these groups,...


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Luke 5:27-32: Jesus the Friend of Sinners

One of the things that Christianity used to turn the world upside down was the meal, yes the simple act of sitting down together to eat. Religious and social norms were perpetuated by the meal, and it played an important role in society. Ideas about nationality, gender, class and religious purity were all supported by the way a meal was practiced. In Greco-Roman society an aristocratic woman who went to a meal with her husband was not better than a slave or prostitute; slaves and masters did not sit down at the same table, for the slave was to...


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Psalm 51: Coming back to God after sin

How do we come back to God after sin? How do we return to God when we have sinned in a big way, or as a leader, or done a sin again that we committed not to do? One of the most visited portions in my bible, a portion I have wept over more than any other is Psalm 51. It gives me great comfort to know that a man like David who had a heart after God’s own heart, had feet of clay. And that the Holy Spirit inspired him to write a psalm of penitence that shows...


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Luke 3:1-14: The Ministry of John the Baptist

On the big screen at the moment is the latest instalment in the Downton Abbey world. The latest movie revolves around the King and Queen coming for a one day visit to the Crawley family estate. The movie opens up for us a little window into what an event a royal visit really was. Back in the day the whole town would have to prepare for the coming royalty, things would get freshly painted, roads would be repaired, and uniforms would be remade all in preparation of the visit. On the Island of St Helena they painted a giant...


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Jonah 3:1-10: God’s grace in Nineveh

Jonah 3 is usually known as the chapter where Jonah was obedient, but in truth this chapter is not about Jonah but about God. God and His grace, not man and his obedience are the centre of the chapter and the heart of the Gospel. Jonah is often employed as a sword to induce guilt over our disobedience and lack of faithfulness to missions, and this certainly is one of the applications. However, the primary use of this chapter is, in my opinion, to portray the God of grace to sinners. And having seen this grace afresh we will...


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Jonah 1:17-2:9: The sign of Jonah

One of the major stumbling blocks to people accepting the book of Jonah is the issue of ‘the big fish.’ Modern man has spurned the story thinking that is it absolutely impossible that a man could be swallowed by a fish and live for three days. Gleason Archer reports the following account: “In February 1891, the whaling ship, Star of the East was in the vicinity of the Falkland Islands, and the lookout sighted a large sperm whale three miles away. Two boats were lowered and in a short time one of the harpooners was enabled to spear the...


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Isaiah 3: God’s Judgement on Nations

A big thanks to Guy McKenzie for preaching this week when Nick was away. We appreciate it! Isaiah 3:1-5 1 For behold, the Lord God of hosts is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah support and supply, all support of bread, and all support of water; 2 the mighty man and the soldier, the judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder, 3 the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor and the skillful magician and the expert in charms. 4 And I will make boys their princes, and infants shall rule over them....


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Angry at God

Introduction: Angry at God!  Have you ever been angry at God?  No one ever has the right to be angry with God, yet so many are.  Even some Christians think that it is ok to be angry with God.  They justify it saying things like ‘God is big enough to handle it.’  They think that the Psalmists cry of ‘How Long?’ is a criticism instead of an earnest plea for God to fulfil His promises.  They think that Jonah’s and Job’s complaining against God is an example forgetting that Jonah was rebuked and Job repented. Anger against God can span...


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1 Kings 8:31-53: Praying about sin

Introduction: Ps. 103:8-14, ‘The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to...


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2 Samuel 24: David’s Census

INTRODUCTION: Different sins afflict different people at different times.  In our youth we are tempted by everything that is new, by the lusts of the flesh and the world of experience on offer.  When we are middle aged we are tempted by comfort and materialism as we settle down.  What are the sins of old age?  I cannot speak from experience but it appears as if we have one of those sins exhibited before us in 2 Samuel 24 when David counts the fighting men.  Pride.  When we come to the end of our lives and we look back...


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