Sermon Archive


Ephesians 6:15-16: The Armour of God: Part Three

What do we need to be effective for the spiritual war we are in? So far Paul has told us that we need God’s truth, this makes us ready, and helps us against the father of lies. We need to guard our hearts with righteousness, firstly with the truth of our justification; and secondly with a love for holiness as we pursue sanctification. Today we want to look at the next two pieces of armour Paul places before us, the shoes and the shield, v15-16, ‘and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the...


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Luke 13:31-35: Jesus Laments Over Jerusalem

One of the things that has always set Christianity apart is the fact that it calls us to love our enemies. Over and over again we have models in scripture of those who had a deep concern and compassion towards the undeserving and who prayed for them. Think of Abraham praying for Sodom and Gomorrah, think of Moses praying that God would not forsake a sinful Israel after she had worshipped the golden calf. Think of Jeremiah the weeping prophet who wept as Jerusalem was to be handed over to Babylon for judgement. But none of these can compare...


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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 9:18-22: ‘Who Do You Say That I Am?’

One of the most important questions we need to answer in life is in this text, ‘Who do you say that I am?’ This is the question that Jesus puts to His disciples. We live in a day and age where many think we cannot answer that question with any confidence. For the more scientifically minded the problem is one of historical distance and having to rely on pre-scientific eye witnesses. For the more sceptical certainty about anything even our own experiences is doubted. But God has given us His word that we can know things truly, though not...


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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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The Government and Covid-19

We have recently experienced something which none of us will have experienced in NZ, the government ordered churches not to gather for worship. Of course, they did not single out religious groups alone to be closed down, but for the first time that any of us have experienced in this context, we were forbidden to meet for worship. Questions arose in our minds about the rightness of this act, and these questions were multiplied as we hit the various alert levels, and especially as we were coming out of the stricter levels into those with more freedom. Questions like...


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Ephesians 3:1: ‘Paul, a prisoner’

At Bible college during one of the chapel services a pastor by the name of Bill Hughes shared with us. He was a very godly man who was serving in a church that wanted to fire him because of His Calvinistic convictions. It was a long a painful process that ended in him resigning to save the church from a split. During the long and painful time of enduring the difficulties Bill struggled to find a reason to get out of bed being extremely demotivated by the ordeal. But he had a faithful wife who put a sign on...


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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 7:18-23: ‘Are you the One?’

Doubt, it will be our portion as long as we are alive. On account of the fallen nature that still remains within us we are professional doubters who default to doubt at the best and worst of times. We doubt because of satan, we doubt because of sin, we doubt because of ignorance, we doubt because we don’t like the truth, we doubt when we are in pain as a knee jerk reaction against God. The strongest and the weakest Christians have struggled with doubt. Elijah doubted God after the victory over the prophets of Baal; David doubted God...


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Luke 7:11-17: The Lord of Life

Have you ever heard of the irresistible force paradox? Have you heard the phrase ‘the unstoppable force meets the immovable object?’ Maybe you have heard it in the context of sport where two powerful rugby teams are going to compete. Technically it is an impossibility for an unstoppable force to move an unmovable object, or vice versa because then the object would by definition no longer be immovable, or the force unstoppable. Nevertheless, ‘the unstoppable force meets the immovable object’ is a way in which several commentators have described the next section we are looking at. In this section...


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

Never before has public opinion counted for so much. Living in an age of twenty four hour news, in a culture where public shaming, on line trolling, managing and marketing an online persona; Christ, Christianity and Christians are in the spotlight like never before. Public opinion is not limited to your family, your school, your town, or even your country, it is universal, it is a new power group able to exert pressure, it is often polarised and tribal, and you don’t have to go far on the internet to find how Christ, Christianity and Christians are caricatured, demonised,...


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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 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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Colossians 1:24-29: Suffering, the Gospel, and Holiness – How to Identify a Faithful Christian Minister

Many of you all will have heard this verse and felt very warm and smug and contented inside. James 3:1 says: ‘Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, as you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness’ You may be breathing a big sigh of relief in your hearts as I often have, comforted by the thought that the church elders, those who preach here up the front, will be judged with a higher standard, and you may have thought that perhaps God will let those of us sitting in the pews off...


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Luke 1:57-80: The Benedictus

There are two ways in which God faithfully parents us with suffering. Think of these as two different types of parental discipline. There is the use of suffering in our lives in general which acts to refine our faith, we can think of 1 Pet. 1:6-7: ‘In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus...


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The Problem of God and Suffering

Introduction: Today we begin the second half of our apologetics study where we handle objections to the faith. In the first part we laid out some of the most common ways to present the rationality of Christian belief. This was by no means an exhaustive survey. We presented the following list of arguments for God: the resurrection; the authority of Scripture; the unity of Scripture; the uniqueness of Scripture; the prophecies of Scripture; archaeology and the Bible; the manuscripts of the Bible; Jesus as an argument for God; the moral argument; the ontological argument; the cosmological argument; the teleological...


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