Sermon Archive


Malachi 4:1-6: The Great and Awesome Day of the LORD

OUTLINE The end of all things Living in light of the end The prelude to the end INTRODUCTION If you were writing the Bible, how would you end the OT? What would you want to say right here? The OT ends the same way the NT does looking ahead to the great and awesome day of the Lord. Last week we looked at the faithless accusations of those who expected blessings upon their heartless religion, and who accused God of injustice because the evil prospered while the heartless religious languished. Chapter 3 ended with a promise, v18, ‘Then once...


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Luke 20v9-18 The Parable of the Wicked Tenants (Or the Parable of the Murder of the Owner’s Son)

OUTLINE A history of past hard-heartedness A revealing of present priorities A prophecy of future judgement INTRODUCTION We come to the last full parable in Luke’s gospel. There are other parables that are told between now and the crucifixion that the other gospels record like the parable of the virgins and the sheep and the goats. But this is the last parable that Luke tells, and this is for a reason. This parable will be known to us as the parable of the wicked tenants, but I love what one of the commentators calls it: The Parable of the...


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Malachi 3:6-12: Robbing God

OUTLINE Turning Tithing Testing INTRODUCTION ‘The bible leaves no question about it. God’s people are supposed to be rich…. God’s people are to be rich—financially wealthy and prosperous in every possible way, with plenty of money.’1 That is a quote from Kenneth Copeland. The prosperity gospel is a modern error that abuses many parts of the Bible, the portion before us is one of the most abused portions of the Bible by the prosperity gospel. The teaching on God’s character and grace and our responsibility to repent and to honor Him is overshadowed by a greed that seeks to...


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Malachi 2:17-3:5: Theodicy

OUTLINE The accusation The answer INTRODUCTION Sin creates reversals. Marriage as a relationship where we are to serve each other gets distorted into a relationship where we serve ourselves. God’s gifts in creation which are given to us that we might serve Him with them, get turned into gods that we serve as idols. The anger we are given to reflect God’s own passionate hatred of sin gets weaponized and turned against those we love. Another reversal exists in the text before us, the guilty accused make accusations of injustice against the holy Judge. In other words what we...


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Malachi 2:13-16: Divorce: Part One

Introduction    Marriage in NZ is under attack. 2020 saw some of the lowest amounts of marriages in NZ recent history. There were only 16 380 marriages.1 The statisticians add a further 403 same sex marriages and civil unions, but as Christians who have a biblical view of marriage, we cannot admit the same sex unions are marriage, it cannot be a marriage in God’s eyes unless it is between one natural man and one natural woman. Likewise civil unions are legal realities that defy being defined by the Bible, they refuse to define themselves as a marriage and...


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Malachi 2:10-12: Unequally Yoked

OUTLINE The sin in Israel The sin in the Bible The sin in our experience INTRODUCTION Marriage is an institution created by God and as sinners we reject God’s institutions and sin against them just as we sin against God. In the endless creativity of our sinfulness there are many sins against God’s institution of marriage. We sin against marriage when we do not keep sex for marriage, not seeing it as a seal of the covenant bond, a picture of our union with Christ, an expression of committed love, and the means of bringing children into the protected...


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Malachi 1:6-14 The Worship God Hates

OUTLINE Dishonoring worship Minimalistic worship Lukewarm worship Compromised worship INTRODUCTION How much worship does God deserve? How much honor, reverence, fear, awe, love, obedience, and sacrifice? The truth is we can never worship, honor or revere God too much. If I as a finite creature gave every moment of time to give a constant flow of heartfelt praise, it would never be enough. If every person in all of creation worshipped God for all eternity, even this finite choir could not give God’s infinite majesty the glory it is due. Enter sin into that equation where we worship as...


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Luke 18:9-14: The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

INTRODUCTION Jeremiah 17:9 says of our hearts, ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?’ Our hearts are self-deceiving, in other words we lie to ourselves. We deceive ourselves about many things but two stand out in our text today. We lie to ourselves about our own goodness; and we lie to ourselves about others sinfulness. We come another famous parable of Christ in Luke 18:9-14, the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. Jesus has been speaking about how we ought to persevere in prayer, this parable too is about prayer....


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Malachi 1:1-5: Doubting the Love of God

INTRODUCTION The Puritan Samuel Rutherford, in a letter to a man who doubted whether he was a Christian wrote this: ‘We being born in atheism, and bairns (children) of the house we are come of, it is no new thing, my dear brother, for us to be under jealousies and mistakes about the love of God.’1 Having atheist hearts that are in disposition contrary to God we call God a liar instead of believing He cannot lie; we believe God vacillates and changes instead of believing that He cannot change; we believe that God is against us when He...


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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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Luke 11:29-36: Evil Unbelief

Perhaps you remember what it was like. Before you became a believer you had a certain set of assumptions about faith and God. We were the arbiters of truth and God had to prove Himself to us. We had confidence in our reason; we were fearless in pouring intellectual disdain upon things so much bigger than us; we were assured of the rightness of our aggression against God. The verdict was out on Him not on us, and the burden of proof for His existence was upon Him not us. This impression is prevalent today, unbelief sits in judgement...


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Ephesians 5:5-7: Living in Light of Judgement

What do all these verses have in common? 2 Cor. 5:10-11, ‘For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.’ 2 Pet. 3:11, 14, ‘Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness?’ ‘Therefore,...


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Ephesians 5:3-7: Motivations for Personal Purity

Why should a Christian not have sex before marriage or any other form of sexual sin? Why should a Christian not tell dirty jokes? Why should a Christian not swear? Why should a Christian not be greedy? It is to these questions that we turn as Paul gives the Ephesians motivations to be personally pure. Paul has been speaking to the area of unity, to the area of relationships, and about those sins that we do against each other like lying, stealing, slandering, unforgiveness, etc. But Paul is not only concerned about our unity he is also concerned about...


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Ephesians 4:31-32: Virtues Replacing Vices

How can you tell if someone is a Christian? We will not be able to know 100% because we cannot see the hearts of others but there are several tests you could apply that could make an informed opinion. God knows the heart completely; you can know of your own salvation, but knowing about others will run the risk of error. Firstly, there is the test of orthodoxy. If someone is taught by the Spirit they will believe certain truths and reject certain errors, they cannot deny the Trinity, or the way of salvation for example. Secondly, there is...


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Ephesian 4:30: Do Not Grieve the Holy Spirit

If I were to ask you ‘why shouldn’t the Christian sin?’, ‘what makes a sin wrong?’ we would likely hear a number of different arguments. Today many feel that a certain action is inappropriate because it is not culturally acceptable, it is a taboo, it is not a societal norm and this is what makes an action wrong. This betrays a more post-modern way of thinking where we are trying to live with the premise that everyone has their own truth and that our morality is a societal construct. You will also hear the more pragmatic view that says...


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