Sermon Archive


Luke 10:17-24: Reasons for Rejoicing

The Christian life can be depressing at times. Ecclesiastes 1:18 gives us a reason why, ‘ For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.’ The more truth you have, the more you realize how bad things are, and that can be depressing. We can get depressed because of the internal love that we still have for sin and the way we continue to sin. We get depressed because we see so much suffering so much of it self-inflicted as people live without God. We are sad because the God we love is not...


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The Doctrines of Grace: Irresistible Grace

Imagine with me a set of twins, they have both grown up in a good home where parents have loved them, they have both grown up with Christian parents who have instructed them in God’s word and taken them to church every Sunday. They are of equal sporting ability and both of average intelligence. However, when the Gospel is preached to them, one of them believes and the other does not, why? What has caused these two brothers to differ? The typical answers to this question would be, ‘it was their upbringing’, but they have both come from good...


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The Doctrines of Grace: Limited Atonement

Limited atonement, as has been pointed out by many is an unfortunate name for this point. The name is certainly misleading in terms of what is meant by it. It in no way means that the power of Christ’s sacrifice is limited in its power to forgive sins. Christ’s sacrifice is certainly sufficient for all of our sins, and we reject the notion that we need to add anything to His atonement. What is meant by this phrase is that God was particular in who this redemption was accomplished for. And so it has also been called particular atonement....


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The Doctrines of Grace: Unconditional Election: Part 3

The main reason why people reject the teaching of God’s free sovereign and gracious election, is not so much because God is sovereign in showing mercy, but that He is sovereign not only in election but reprobation as well. Many can see the logic of God’s sovereign mercy for the elect, but the other side of election, the dark side, the side of reprobation, this is the main reason why people reject the teaching altogether. Some will accept single predestination, that God elects to have mercy on some; but will not accept what is known as double predestination, that...


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The Doctrines of Grace: Unconditional Election: Part 2

Most people do not realize this but the doctrine of God’s sovereign grace in election is brought up by Paul in Romans 8-9 to give assurance of salvation. Paul wants to ground the faith of suffering Christians whose lives feel like they are spiralling out of control and implying God does not love them or is too weak. He grounds their assurance by showing how all things including suffering are working together for the good of those God is calling according to His purpose. Paul then reveals that God has a plan that began in eternity past as He...


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Ephesians 4:7-10: ‘…He Gave Gifts…’

Paul is a man who loves to contrast things. In Romans 1-3 he gives us the bad news and the good news, the impossibility of sinners being righteous and then using the word ‘But’ talks about the free gift of righteousness that God provides, 3:21-31. In Ephesians 2:1-3 Paul talks about how dead in sin we are, then again in v4 beginning with a ‘But,’ God, by His sovereign grace intervenes and makes us alive in Christ. We have another contrast like this in the portion before us. Paul has been talking about unity, unity, unity, ‘BUT’ v7, diversity....


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Luke 8:22-25: A Lesson in Faith

There is often a big difference between that first faith by which we are saved and the ongoing faith of the Christian life. Because unbelief is more natural to us than faith; because we are prone to feel first and not to think first; because we often walk by sight and not by faith we stumble at those trials that test our faith. We can be grateful then that we serve a Savior who is both the author and the finisher; the founder and the perfecter of our faith. As we come to this famous portion in Luke 8:22-25,...


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Ephesians 3:11-13: The Plan of God

One of the most misunderstood, yet one of the most comforting doctrines that we believe in is the doctrine of God’s decree. Just as a builder does not begin to build without the blueprints, God as the Creator and Sustainer of the universe worked out His salvation in history according to an eternal plan/decree. If you will forgive the Freemason associations He is indeed the Great Architect. This plan is freely constructed by God, in other words He did not have to be taught anything or have His arm twisted to make it in a certain way. Everything that...


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Luke 6:12-16: The Twelve Apostles: Part Two

2 Cor. 4:7, ‘But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.’ Paul is talking about the treasure of the knowledge of God in the gospel having been put into the jars of clay of the sinful apostles. He tells us that God delights to use the weak things so that His power is evident. The twelve apostles are a menagerie of jars of clay, each is earthy and ugly, bearing all the imperfections of being made by hand, each item is completely unique from the...


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Philippians 1:12-18: A Godly Attitude

Thanks to Simon Bird for preaching this afternoon. Our apologies for the lack of a recording. Philippians 1:12-18 12 I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. 14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. 15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good...


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Habakkuk 3: A Song of Faith

Imagine yourself as the prophet, you know that one of the worst tragedies in human history is coming, a holocaust against your nation in which many will die and suffer terrible atrocities. What do you do? Most of us would pack our bags and run away. Instead Habakkuk writes a song to equip Israel for the coming trial. As a shepherd and teacher of the people, Habakkuk shows the righteous what their own response to God should be in the coming times. The relevance of a song is immense. Many truths that have impacted our lives have been those...


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Habakkuk 2:2-20: Living by Faith

Habakkuk has been struggling with certain questions. Why doesn’t God do anything about the sin in Judah; if God is both good and powerful, how can a holy God order sin without being the author of sin; how can God use a sinful instrument to accomplish His will; how can God use such a strong punishment like Babylon invading and carrying people away in exile without breaking those promises of land, people and blessing spoken to Abraham? Shall we add some of our own questions to these: Why is God allowing Islam; political liberalism; New Age spirituality, and various...


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Habakkuk 1:12-2:1: The Problem of Reconciling God’s purposes

Have you ever asked a question, got an answer, but the answer provoked a number of further questions? That’s the trouble with our questions isn’t it? We think we have a good grasp of an issue, and all we need is one more piece to make the picture complete, but when we hear the answer, we realise our original idea was wrong and so we have a number of further questions to try and fill out the picture in our minds. This is Habakkuk. He had what appeared to be a simple question, ‘How long until you do something...


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Habakkuk 1:5-11: My Ways Are Not Your Ways

Have you ever had an answer to prayer that was completely unexpected? There you were asking the Lord for one thing, and then He went and answered your prayer but not in the way you had hoped. There is a famous example of this in John Newton, it is recorded in one of the hymns we sing. It was originally called ‘Prayer answered by crosses’ here is the opening stanza, ‘I asked the Lord that I might grow In faith and love and ev’ry grace, Might more of His salvation know, And seek more earnestly His face.’ How would...


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Luke 5:1-11: The Miracle of the Big Catch

Luke 5:1-11 is known best for the miracle of the big catch of fish, but I do not think that this is the central point of the text, rather it is the miracle of catching the big fish, namely Peter. It is not merely given to demonstrate the power of Jesus, but rather a demonstration of power that leads to Peter following Christ. Luke 4 has introduced Jesus as our Second Adam and the one who has authority over sickness and demons. Having established Jesus identity Luke now turns his attention to Jesus gathering His disciples, various callings and...


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1 Corinthians 2:1-5: Gospel Centred Preaching

Thanks to Ian Goodman for preaching for us this morning. Ian is the pastor of Wilson Street Baptist Church in Timaru. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5: Proclaiming Christ Crucified 1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit...


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