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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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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The Church and Covid-19

The recent pandemic has raised questions over the nature of the church. All over the world governments asked churches to close and many have taken to streaming church, essentially replicating the church service but having online versions of it. There have been some bold statements like, Church will never be the same again, if things like the hug and the handshake have to go, so do various forms of worship like sharing a communion cup, or too much singing because of how much of our germs we are pushing out into the air around us. Some have relished the...


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Hebrews 10:24-25: Regular Church Attendance

Thanks to Rene Kempf for preaching this afternoon as part of our series in the Disciplines of Grace. Hebrews 10:24-25 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.


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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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Romans 16:5-16: Paul sends his love to the Church in Rome

Introduction: ‘I love Jesus but I don’t love the Church.’ How many times have we heard such a sentiment? It can come in many different flavours. There are those who have a high view of membership and a deep ecclesiology who love the idea of the ‘biblical church’ or the ‘healthy church’ but they are so taken with the ideal that they are critical and distance from the real flesh and blood church made up of sinners that they are in. It can come in the liberal and emergent flavour of disliking the church where on account of a...


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Romans 15:14-16: Paul: Apostle to the Gentiles

Introduction: You might think now that we have finished the doctrinal part of the letter to the Romans the last chapter and a half are unimportant and will be a let-down. You could not be more wrong. This last section of Romans gives us a tremendous window into the nature of Paul’s ministry helping us to think about our own ministry as a church. As well as a window into the life of the early church. In this closing section of the letter Paul reverts to personal comments as he did in the introduction of this letter. And just...


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Romans 12:10: Love one another

Outline Family love Family respect Introduction There are four words in the ancient Greek language for love. These words are agape; storge; philos and eros. Agape is usually used of God’s love, a love we are called to imitate in 12:9. Storge usually has to do with family affection. Philos is often used of the love of friendship. Eros over time came to be associated with lust. The bible only uses agape, storge and philos, but avoids eros, probably because of the associations it collected. In fact in Romans 12:9-10 all three of the Greek words used in the...


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Romans 12:4-5: The Body

Outline Body Unity and diversity One of another Introduction Your viewing affects your doing. Your perspective on a thing will affect how you act. For example, if sexual intercourse is viewed as an expression of love for marriage and prefigures our consummate union with God, this will affect how you view your sexuality and what you do with it. Worldview shapes action; belief shapes doing. Paul knows this and so as he is calling us to be living sacrifices, he calls us to serve in the church. But you will see that Paul doesn’t call it the church he...


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Romans 11:17-24: One Olive Tree

Outline Visible vs. invisible O.T. vs. N.T. Introduction ‘We believe in one holy; catholic and apostolic church.’ This is a confession from the first council of Constantinople, one of the universal creeds of the Christian church. This statement says four things about the church that it is one, that it is holy, that it is universal/catholic and that it is apostolic. Today as we continue to reflect on Romans eleven we want to think with Paul about the oneness of the church. As Paul has been talking about the place of Jews and Gentiles in God’s plan of salvation...


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Romans 11:16-24: Haughty-cultural Christianity

Outline Arrogant branches Humble branches Introduction Christians often act like children. I don’t mean in the good and childlike-faith way Jesus encouraged in the gospels but in the sinful and immature way of the playground. Think back to your youth and the laws of the jungle that we lived by. There were the cliques, the in crowd and then those who were out. We remember being on the outside of some group we desired to be a part of and remembered the mortifying humiliation of not being included because we took our sense of value and identity not from...


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Revelation 21:9-27: The New Jerusalem

Outline The city’s appearance The city’s life Introduction We are well familiar to the rags to riches story, but the story of the church is a story of riches to rags to riches. God’s people in Eden were perfect in the image of God, Adam and Eve would have been perfect in beauty. I do believe that our obsession with beauty in appearance is due to the loss we suffered when we fell into sin. With the fall humanity lost all its beauty and riches and we became slaves. But God came and redeemed us in Christ so as...


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Colossians 1:28: Healthy Churches Have Gospel-Grounded Identity: Part Two

Outline Faith Sanctification Church Glorification Introduction Healthy Churches have a Gospel-grounded identity. What we are hoping to show today is that in order for a church to be healthy, it must be grounded in the gospel, and in particular to see its identity grounded in the gospel. To try and get at this topic I would like us to read Colossians 1:28-29 together, ‘Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.’


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Colossians 1:28: Healthy Churches Have Gospel-Grounded Identity: Part One

Outline Introduction Election Justification Adoption Introduction Healthy Churches have a Gospel-grounded identity. What we are hoping to show today is that in order for a church to be healthy, it must be grounded in the gospel, and in particular to see its identity grounded in the gospel. To try and get at this topic I would like us to read Colossians 1:28-29 together, ‘Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.’


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