Category: Sermons

The Most Important Truth (1 Corinthians 15:1-11)

What’s the difference between Christmas and Easter?

Christmas is the start of the story, where God comes to mankind. Easter is the culmination of the story, where it is made possible for mankind to come to God.

The early church didn’t mark Christmas, but from the earliest days, the death of Jesus has been noted every week as Christians meet to worship on the Lord’s Day.

So, why is Easter so important? And what does it mean for us?

  1. Know and Receive This Good News (v1-9)
  2. Stand On It, Or You Have Believed In Vain (v1, 9-11)
  3. You Will Be Saved By It (v2)

Easter Sunday 21st April 2019

Review questions:

  •  _____________ & ___________ predicted Jesus’ death (Ps 16, Isa 52-53).
  • Without ___________________ there can be no forgiveness of sin (Heb 9:22)
  • Abraham said, “God will provide the _______ for the __________” (Gen 22:8)
  • What does Jesus’ burial prove (Mk 15:42-45)?
  • Because Jesus is the “firstfruits”, our resurrection will be ___________ (v49)
  • Where is the resurrection predicted in the OT?
  • Did Jesus expect to rise from the dead (Mtt 16:21, Mk 8:31)? Yes/No
  • To stand means ___________________ (v1)
  • If we don’t stand, we are in danger of ___________________________ (Heb 2:1)
  • The difference between knowing and believing is _____________________(v2)
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I should live:

 

The Church in Controversy (Acts 15:1-21)

We love a story of transformation.  There are any number of great stories of people who have risen to be something than what they were.

At the moment, one of the bigger films of this year is a remake of A Star is Born, starring Stefani Germanotta, who I’m sure you all know as Lady Gaga. It’s a remake of the Barbara Streisand film, which was a remake of the Judy Garland film of in the ’50s, which was a remake of another film back in the 1930s. Which just goes to show how much the thought of someone coming from one place, from being small and insignificant to being this great superstar really grabs our attention.

You might be more familiar with films like My Fair Lady, where this rough Cockney girl in London learns how to speak proper, and drink her tea with her finger up in the air, or whatever it is that qualifies you to live in the high-class society of London.

We love those stories where people learn to say the right thing and do the right thing, and suddenly they are a great success. It’s a story of rounding off the rough edges. But in films such as My Fair Lady, the kicker comes at the end, where after months and months and months of learning to do the right thing, it is revealed that she is still the same person at heart. And we find that the things we do don’t change the real you.

We can learn to be charitable, to do good things, say the right things, without transforming the soul. And we see that problem here in the book of Acts. It is a problem that Christians wrestle with all the time. We think that if we get the outside right, then we’ll be okay.

But we see here that the transformation God brings doesn’t come from the influence of well-meaning people around us, who help us to stand up straight and dress right and speak right and do the right things. The change that God brings must begin in the heart, with the work of the Holy Spirit. And it beings with the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ.

And so we see here, in Acts 15, there is a problem. And the problem is legalism.

  1. Recognise the Problem of Legalism (v1-5)
  2. Hear What God is Doing (v6-21)
  3. Don’t Update the Message (v16-17)
  4. Apply it to Us (v19-21)

Sunday 14th April 2019

Review questions:

  • Legalism: You must _________________ __________ to be able to be saved (v1)
  • Why did Paul object (v2)?
  • Why were the first Gentiles saved (v7)?
  • Why is anyone saved (v11)?
  • Did the way to be saved change from the OT to the NT (v15-17)? Yes/No
  • Can there be another Jerusalem Council like this? Why/Why not (v17-18)?
  • Who leads the Church now?
  • Decisions: ____________what God has done, ______________ the Scriptures, & engage in ___________________ debate.
  • Acts 15 is P_______________ in action.
  • Truth sometimes demands _________.
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I should live:

Who Are Missionaries & What Do They Do? (Acts 14:19-28)

When James Cook returned to England from his voyage through the South Seas, his journals were published. As well as inspiring significant scientific advances, they also stirred up the Christian missionary movement. A shoemaker in Northamptonshire, William Carey devoured the Endeavour journals. They fanned into flame his passion for the good news about Jesus to be brought to all the unconverted people of the world. His essay, An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens, led to the founding of the Baptist Missionary Society. Carey himself went to India, where he translated the Bible into Bengali, Oriya, Assamese, Marathi, Hindi and Sanskrit.

But what about us? What do Christians like you and me have to do with missions? Are we missionaries? What part does the local church have in missionary work?

We read from Matthew 9-10 that there is a plentiful harvest ready to be brought in, and that we are to pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. But is that it? Is our share in missionary work done when we have prayed for missionaries?

So, we need to turn to God’s Word. Here in Acts 14:19-28, we see:

  1. Missionaries are Sent Ones (v26)
  2. Missionaries Do God’s Mission (v19-26)
  3. Are We Supporting, Sending, & Being Biblical Missionaries? (v27-28)

Sunday 7th April 2019

Review questions:

  • ____________________ sent ___________ who sent ______ (Luke 4:43 & 24:47).
  • Just as it was necessary for Jesus to suffer, die, and rise, so ______________ & _______________ must be ___________ to _____________________ (Luke 24:47)
  • What is God’s mission? New ________, new ______________ & new __________.
  • Where is the mission field?
  • Why did Paul & Barnabas return (v21-24)?
  • What do we need to live a Christian life (v22-23)?
  • A church must have __________ (v23).
  • Our church does mission: True/False
  • How can I be a missionary?
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I should live:

Baptised Into His Death (Romans 6:1-14)

When you are confronted with someone who is hard to deal with, how do you respond? When you run into someone, and you find that they treat you badly, and they may be a Christian person, and perhaps you ask some people who know them, and they say, “Well, you know, that’s just Gertrude! That’s just who she is.” You know, that’s just the way they are. And we sort of shrug at sin and go, “That’s that person, and you can’t really expect them to be any different, because that’s who they are.”

That’s the sort of situation Paul is imagining here as we come to Romans 6. He has laid out in Romans 5 the great riches of Christ, and the benefits that we receive from Him (His perfect obedience given to us), and he imagines that the people in Rome would say, “Well, if God’s grace is so great, does it matter if we just keep sinning? You know, if we never actually manage to grow in grace, is that a big problem? Because God’s grace will be shown to be all the greater!” And we just shrug and say, “Well, that’s who I am.”

We see here that that is not the attitude that Christian people should take to their own sin or to other people’s sin. We see here that everyone who believes is baptised into Jesus Christ, and because of that, we are united with Him, and so we are to live like that.

  1. Everyone Baptised into Christ Jesus (v1-3)
  2. Is United with Him (v4-10)
  3. So, Live Like You Know It (v11-14)

Sunday 31st March 2019

Review questions:

  • Is our sin not so bad because God will forgive us (v1-2)? Yes/No
  • Does being baptised with water unite us to Christ?
  • How are we baptised into Jesus (v3)?
  • Who has been baptised into Christ Jesus (v3)?
  • Why are believers free from sin (v7)?
  • When are believers united to Jesus’ resurrection (v8)?
  • How do we know Jesus is not under the reign of sin (v10)?
  • Do Christians stop sinning? Yes/No
  • Can Christians resist temptation (v11, James 4:7)? Yes/No
  • How can I offer myself to God (v13)?

Same Nature, Better News (Acts 14:8-18)

Today, if there is one thing we can be absolutely certain about, it is that no one can ever be absolutely certain about anything. ‘Truth is whatever I believe it to be.’ That’s called subjectivism.

Our culture says that anyone who claims to know something for certain is both proud and wrong. So, we can’t really know anything about what is good or bad, and we can’t know what is really true about life, the universe, and everything.

So, how can followers of Jesus tell the message of Jesus to a world that says, “You can’t know anything about God. And if you say you can, you think you’re better than the rest of us.”?

What can we say when people think we’re being morally superior if we claim to know about God? We can say:

  1. We Have the Same Nature (v8-15a)
  2. But We Bring Better News (v15b-18)
  3. So We Must Turn From Empty Things to the Living God (v15c)

Sunday 24th March 2019

Review questions:

  • Subjectivism: ‘The truth is whatever I believe it to be.’ True/False
  • What sorts of people can believe the Gospel?
  • Healing a lame man meant God had come to _________ (v8-10, Isaiah 35:4-6)
  • What did the crowd think it meant (v11-12)?
  • “We become what we ______________”
  • What does everyone know that God has done (v15-17, Romans 1:18-23)?
  • God’s patience gives us time to _______________________ (Romans 2:4)
  • How do we turn from idols (v15)?
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I should live:

When the Gospel Divides (Acts 14:1-7)

What should we do with this offensive message about Jesus?

  1. Execute the Apostles’ Strategy (v1, 3)
  2. Expect the City’s Response (v2, 4)
  3. Exercise the Church’s Resolve (v3, 5-7)

Sunday 17th March 2019

  • The Gospel is who Jesus ___________, what Jesus _________, & how we must _______________. (v1)
  • Religions says: _______. The message about Jesus says: __________________.
  • Grace is a _____________________ (v3).
  • What are miracles for (v3)?
  • How do we confirm the message?
  • Should Christianity be popular (v2, 4, Luke 6:26)? Yes/No
  • What do unbelievers attack (v2)?
  • Why does Jesus cause division (Hebrews 4:12)?
  • Opposition is a reason to _______ (v3)
  • Should we be reckless (v5)? Yes/No
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I should live:

The Gospel of Grace Revelled In and Reviled (Acts 13:13-52)

What are we on about? What is our message for the world?

You’ll find churches that are about religious observance, teaching people to carry out ceremonies and traditions. You’ll find churches that are about self-actualization, teaching people to enjoy life. You’ll find churches that are about moral improvement, teaching people to live better. But none of those are what Jesus’ Church is about.

Jesus’ Church exists because of the good news, to tell the good news, and to live the good news. It doesn’t exists because of a religious tradition or a cultural heritage. Jesus established His Church by saving sinners, to tell the news of salvation to sinners, so that we will live like saved sinners.

Here in Acts 13, we find an open opportunity for the good news. Paul and his companions have sailed north from Cyprus to modern-day Turkey. John Mark left them (v13), though we’re not told why. Later, it is clear that Paul considers this desertion (15:38).

So, coming to another city called Antioch, in Pisidia, they come to the synagogue, and are invited to speak. It’s an open invitation: “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it,” (v15).

So, if we have an open opportunity to talk to someone about Jesus, what can we say?

  1. Remember Your History (v13-25)
  2. Receive Your Saviour (v26-37)
  3. Recognise Your Plight (v38-39)
  4. Reconsider Your Response (v40-52)

Is your message for the world the Christian message? Do you believe God’s good news?

Sunday 10th March 2019

  • Does it matter whether the Christian message is true to history? Yes/No
  • Who is our message about?
  • God’s actions in history were to bring His ultimate _____________ to us (v23)
  • Israel’s history belongs to Abraham’s children who have _________ (Gal 3:7)
  • The purpose of history is to unite all things under ___________ (Eph 1:7-10)
  • Why did God raise Jesus (v30-35)?
  • “The Gospel is who Jesus _____, what Jesus _______, & how we _________ it.”
  • I cannot earn f____________ from guilt or f_______________ from sin (v38-39).
  • If I reject Jesus, I will _________ (v41) God ________________d all who believe (v48, Eph 1:4, John 10:3, 27-29)
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I should live: