Category: Sermons

‘Shepherd the Flock’ (1 Peter 5:1-14)

Hypocrisy, grumbling, greed. They all reveal a heart that says, “I deserve better than God is giving me.” And that’s one of the oldest lies around. When Satan asked Eve, “Did God actually say ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the Garden’?” (Genesis 3:1), he wasn’t questioning whether God had actually said those words; He was asking, ‘How could God have said that to you if He wants what’s best for you? Surely you know better!’ And every time we agree with Satan, that’s pride.

That’s the sin at the root of all this. Jesus says, “You will recognize them by their fruits,” (Matthew 7:20). The fruit is the action: grumbling and hypocrisy. But the root of the plant is pride. And it goes deep down.

Here, God tells us one essential fact about Himself, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble,” (v5b). So, if we’re reeling from all the focus on hypocrisy and grumbling: maybe we should be. Because God opposes the proud. But remember, He also gives grace to the humble.

So, what kind of fruit will that grace grow? What does God’s grace do in us? It will cause us to do four things:

  1. Care for the Flock of God (v1-4)
  2. Humble Yourselves Under God (v5-7)
  3. Keep Watch and Resist the Devil (v8-9)
  4. Be Strengthened by the God of All Grace (v10-14)

Sunday 24th November 2019

Review questions:

  • The root cause of grumbling and hypocrisy is ____________________ (v5)
  • Elders must _______ for the flock (v1)
  • Oversight requires having ___________ conversations that do us good (v2)
  • No one should be _______ to lead (v2)
  • Elders lead by __________________ (v3)
  • Who should elders please (v4)?
  • Learn _____________________ early (v5)
  • God gives ____________ to the humble (v5) and __________________ them (v6)
  • Anxiety is opposite of ________ (v6-7)
  • Sober means (v8)
  • How is the Devil unlike God (v8)?
  • The Devil would ____________ me (v8)
  • I can __________ the Devil (v9, James 4:7)
  • Jesus gives ___________ (John 10:28)
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I will change:

“The Burden is Too Heavy” (Numbers 11:1-35)

The biggest problem facing the church is hypocrisy. We saw last week how our local gatherings can so easily be infected. People ‘profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works,’ (Titus 1:16). Yes, we may say that we love God and believe in Jesus. But our actions say the opposite. We can be “Christians” who are loose with the truth, whose lives are ungodly, and who are always out for what we can get.

One way that our hypocrisy shows is when we grumble. But grumbling is one of those respectable sins. No one ever pulls us up on it. And anyway, when we grumble, it’s because we’re right!

Jesus says, “The mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Luke 6:45). That’s God’s truth: You never say something you don’t mean! <PAUSE> So, what does grumbling say our hearts are full of?

Grumbling says, “I care more about my will than God’s will. My plans are better than His. My ways are better than His ways. We would all be better off if I was in charge, not God.” So, we need God’s Word and God’s grace to:

  1. Assess Our Grumbling (v1-15)
  2. Receive God’s Grace (v16-30)
  3. Fear God’s Judgement (v31-35)

Sunday 17th November 2019

Review questions:

  • What does grumbling say I believe (v1-6)?
  • Grumbling s__________________ like infection (v10)
  • We should look ___________________________ (v5)
  • Take your complaints to ________________ (v11)
  • ___________________ carries the church (v11, Exodus 19:4)
  • What does God promise (v18-20)?
  • God surrounds Moses with _______________-filled _________________________ (v16-17, 24-25)
  • The sin was ________________________ (v34)
  • My real religion is what I d_________________ with my heart (1 Corinthians 10:6, 14).
  • God tested Israel’s h_____________ & o__________________________ (Deuteronomy 8:2)
  • Jesus always ____________________________ the Father (Matthew 4:4, John 4:34; 6:38)
  • Jesus is the _____________of _________________ who gives ______________________ (John 6:35)
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I will change:

 

“Put Things In Order” (Titus 1:1-16)

What is the biggest problem facing the Church?

It is unbelief? The rise of secularism and atheism? Creeping restrictions on religious freedom?

Maybe the problem is out style (of music, of presentation, of buildings)? Is it because our message is irrelevant? Or is it the issues exposed by the Royal Commission into abuse in religious institutions?

The Bible is clear: The biggest problem for the Church is hypocrisy. It is people who say they know God, but deny Him by their works (v16). So how can we face it?

  1. Believe the Promise: Truth Produces Godliness (v1-4)
  2. Acknowledge the Problem: Lies Produce Evil (v10-16)
  3. Implement the Solution: Place Elders in Every City (v5-9)

Sunday 10th November 2019

Review questions:

  • The church’s biggest problem is ______________________________________ (v16)
  • The only way to grow in godliness is to _____________________________ God’s word in _______________________ & obedience (v1, Mark 4:20)
  • What did God promise before time began (v2)?
  • If we don’t grow, we d______________ (Hebrews 2:1)
  • False teaching & false _____________________ing always go together (v16).
  • What are false Christians like (v12)?
  • Does “appoint” mean the minister chooses the elders (v5)? Yes/No
  • Blameless = _________________________________________ (v6-7)
  • Elders must ______________ their wives (Ephesians 5:28) & have ________________ful children (v6)
  • Maturity = managing __________________ (v7-8)
  • Teach __________________ doctrine, oppose ______________________________ (v9)
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I will change:

Knowledge Without Faith (Acts 24:22-27)

Sometimes we expect change: At the end of the year, students get their university offers. Workers move to other jobs. People move or retire.

But not all changes are expected: The call back to see the doctor about those tests, today! The policeman’s knock at the door. The devastating letter from the accountant or the lawyer.

Can we be ready for unexpected change?

Paul’s life changed unexpectedly. He was no longer travelling to bring the Gospel to unreached people. He was locked in a Roman prison. In these unassuming verses at the end of Acts 24, there’s a message for us about unexpected change:

  1. Paul is Committed to Prison Indefinitely (v22-23, 27)
  2. Felix Heard About Jesus Regularly (v24-26)
  3. Don’t Delay Commitment Indefinitely (v22, 25-27)

Sunday 3rd November 2019

  • God promises to ______________ the good work in us on the day of ___________________________ (Philippians 1:6)
  • Calling Jesus “Christ” means He is the supreme, God-sent ________ (v24)
  • We talk about the things we ________, like ___________________________ (v24)
  • “Reasoning” means: (v25)
  • How can I be right with God (v24, Romans 4:1-8, 5:17)?
  • What will happen when Jesus returns (v25, 2 Peter 3:10)?
  • We must share the ____________ news to share the _____________ news (v25)
  • Hearing about Jesus must lead to ___________________________ (Romans 10:14)
  • Felix thought he had __________ (v25)
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I will change:

A Good Reason to Stand Trial (Acts 23:12-24:21)

What we believe about the future changes how we live today:

If you believe the stock market will crash, where will you keep your money? Under your mattress, not in the bank.

If you believe that this life is all there is, you’ll work to enjoy it all you can. You’ll work and enjoy the reputation you earn. You’ll travel and enjoy the experiences you have. You’ll care for your health so you can keep living life for as long as possible.

But what if you believe that there is more than just this life? 1 Corinthians 15:53 says, “For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.” What if you believe that we will live again, either as forgiven sinners, clothed in perfect bodies, enjoying the holy presence of God forever, or as condemned sinners, suffering eternal punishment?

Yes, you’ll care about your life here. But you’ll live it differently because there is another life to come. You’ll invest in people and projects here, but they won’t be your treasure.

No, you’ll listen to Jesus, who said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’ (Matthew 6:19-21).

What does it look like to live with your heart in heaven? We see an example of that here in Acts 23-24. Paul’s life is threatened and his is put on trial. But he says all this isn’t about him, but about Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

If you face friction because you’re a believer, it should be because you live like someone who is going to live again, with God, forever. So, if believing in the resurrection was a crime, would you be found guilty? Where is your treasure?

The friction Paul faced is captured by three declarations:

  1. ‘We Promise to Kill Paul!’ (23:12-22)
  2. ‘There is No Reason to Kill Paul!’ (23:23-35), and
  3. ‘Jesus’ Resurrection is God’s Guarantee of Your Resurrection!’ (24:1-21)

Sunday 27th October 2019

Review questions:

  • Jesus said, “Lay up treasure in ____________________” (Matthew 6:20)
  • “This perishable body must put on ______________________” (1 Corinthians 15:53)
  • What was the plot against Paul (23:12-15)?
  • If I promise to break God’s law, must I keep the promise (Leviticus 5:4)? Yes/No
  • God uses ____________ people (23:16)
  • Christians not be considered a ______ to a society (23:29).
  • Paul: ‘I am a good _________ (24:11-13, 19), a loyal _________’ (24:14-18)
  • Who is Jesus (3:15, 4:12)?
  • Jesus’ resurrection proves God’s promise to give _________ an eternal ______________ existence with _______
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I will change:

Courage to Bear Witness (Acts 22:22-23:11)

How do we bear witness to Jesus when our beliefs are unacceptable to the people around us?

Here in Acts 22 & 23, Paul finds himself in a similar position to us. He lives in a world where you can worship anyone or anything you want, as long as you don’t insist that people only worship what you worship. And he finds that his beliefs are intolerable, even to many of the Jews in Jerusalem.

How can we live for Jesus and speak about Jesus when Christian teaching about sin, and hell, and sexual ethics is totally unacceptable?

There are three things we need to know, and one encouragement we need always to remember:

  1. It’s Not Wrong to Assert Your Rights (22:22-29)
  2. It’s Not Wrong to Admit You Are Wrong (22:30-23:5)
  3. It’s Not Wrong to Be Shrewd (23:6-10)
  4. An Unsurprising Exhortation from God (23:11)

Sunday 20th October 2019

Review questions:

  • The crowd didn’t know what Paul had ____ but wanted him _____ (21:33-35)
  • Jesus forbids ____________ (Matthew 5:39)
  • Can Christians insist on their legal rights (22:25)? Yes/No
  • We live before ________________ (23:1)
  • ‘Whitewashed wall’ means someone is ____________________________ (23:3)
  • When Paul admits his sin, he shows he still upholds the ___________ (23:5)
  • Sadducees didn’t believe in angels or spirits, or the _________________ (23:8)
  • They put their own _________________ above God’s revelation (Matthew 22:29).
  • What did Jesus promise (23:11)?
  • Jesus promises __________________ in the world, but also _________ because He has _________ the world (John 16:33)
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I will change:

“If You Will Go With Me…” (Judges 4:1-24)

The book of Judges has many stories of victory against the odds. In chapter 3, there’s Ehud, who bluffed his way into a king’s palace and stuck a sword into his massive belly. Or Shamgar who killed 600 Philistines with a stick.

How could they risk it all? Are there are still people like that today? Can weak, fearful people like you and me learn anything from these brave men?

In Judges 4, we find the story of Barak, who Hebrews 11 calls a man of faith. But although he wins a great victory, he doesn’t seem very confident at all. He seems very much like you and me. What did God want to teach us by choosing Barak?

God chose Barak to show that He uses weak people to achieve His purposes and glorify Himself. And because He uses fail people like Barak, you and I should follow His commands in faith whatever the odds.

And we see that not only in the life of Barak, but in many ways in Judges 4:

  1. God Glorified in Punishment (v1-5)
  2. God Glorified in Faith (v6-16)
  3. God Glorified Unawares (v11-13, 17-22)
  4. God Glorified in Destruction (v23-24)
  5. So Have Faith Whatever the Odds (v6-7)

Sunday 13th October 2019

Review questions:

  • Judges happens when the Israelites are living in ____________________ (Judges 1-2)
  • Why was Israel punished (v1-2)?
  • God saves by giving His ____________________ (v5)
  • What did God promise (v7)?
  • Was it good for Barak to take Deborah (v8-9, 14)? Yes/No/Maybe
  • What does Judges 5:20-21 add?
  • Jael’s husband was an _________________ of King Jabin (v17)
  • Sisera’s death was ____________________ful (9:54)
  • How strong are God’s enemies (v23-24)?
  • When should we obey God (v6)?
  • Which king do we need (Judges 21:25, Hebrews 12:1-2)?
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I should live: