Category: Sermons

Run Christian, Run! (Hebrews 12:1-3)

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” (Hebrews 12:1-3)

  1. Our Duty
  2. Our Encouragement
  3. Our Strategy

Sunday 22nd September 2019

Misunderstanding & Defence (Acts 21:27-22:22)

One of the biggest challenges facing the Christian faith today is this: people misunderstand it. Sure, in some places, people haven’t heard of Jesus; that’s a big issue. But often, even where people know about Christianity, they don’t know what it really is. So people think that Christianity is a list of rules that stop people from having fun. Or it’s a bunch of myths that science has disproved.

So, when people misunderstand your faith, where do you start? That’s the issue at the heart of this passage in Acts 21-22. And they teach us three principles for when people misunderstand your faith:

  1. Expect to be Misunderstood (21:27-36)
  2. Be Prepared to Give a Defence (21:37-22:2)
  3. Use the Opportunity to Proclaim Jesus (22:3-22)

Sunday 15th September 2019

Review Questions:

  • Who caused the riot (21:27)?
  • What did they disagree with Paul about (21:28)?
  • What do people today disagree about with Christian teaching?
  • Why does Paul want to speak (22:1)?
  • How does Paul defend himself (22:1-18)?
  • What changed Paul (22:7-8)?
  • How can I be forgiven (22:16)?
  • Who sent Paul to the Gentiles (22:14-15, 18, 21)?
  • We can say, ‘I am one of you, but I met _______________________________’
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I should live:

When the Hard Way is the Best Way (Acts 21:1-26)

The end of Paul’s Third Missionary Journey may seem irrelevant to us. ‘What do these voyages and prophecies and vows have to do with us?’ But the question behind them is one we often have to answer: ‘How do you make difficult decisions, especially when the future is uncertain?’

What is ahead for you? Can you expect good days or hardship? Exciting opportunities, work, study, and success? Or sadness, sickness, death?

What is ahead for us? Growth? Struggle? Change or closure?

‘Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”’ (James 4:13-15).

We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. So, how do you decide what to do? Here in Acts 21, we see Paul wrestling with this question. And he lives out three principles, which should guide us too:

  1. Give Up Your Life (v1-14)
  2. Give Up Your Rights (v15-26)
  3. Prioritise the Gospel (v14, 25)

Sunday 8th September 2019

Review questions:

  • Who hosted Paul in Caesarea (v8; 6:5)?
  • How does this show the Gospel (8:1)?
  • What did Agabus say (v11)?
  • What did the believers urge (v12)?
  • Why did Paul go (v13; 19:21; 20:22-23)?
  • What should I want when I make decisions (v14)?
  • Do Christians always agree? Yes/No
  • Why did the elders want Paul to take a vow (v20-22)?
  • Is the hard way always the more Christian way? Yes/No
  • What is 1st priority (1:8)?
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I should live:

Paul Sets Priorities (Acts 20:13-38)

Final words are important. Whether they are planned or not, the last words someone says to us are special. Here in Acts 20, Paul goes out of his way to give his final words to the church in Ephesus. He tells us how we can finish the race well (v24). Later in 2 Timothy 4:7, he says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” How will we be able to say that?

Here Paul gives us 5 sets of priorities to finish the race:

  1. For Paul: Encourage the Church (v13-17, 36-38)
  2. For the Church: Teach Repentance and Faith (v18-21)
  3. For Pastors: Don’t Shrink Back (v22-27)
  4. For Elders: Be Alert (v28-35)
  5. For Everyone: Stick Close (v32)

Sunday 25th August 2019

Review questions:

  • Where was Paul going (v16)? Why (v22)?
  • People must ________________________ before they believe (v20)
  • What should the church prioritise (v21)?
  • We should value the _________________________________ of the _______________________ more than taking up our cross (v23, Mark 8:34)
  • What is “the whole counsel of God” (v27, Revelation 22:18-19)?
  • Elders are both _____________________ and ___________________________ (v28)
  • Jesus warns against _______________________ in ________________________ (v29-30, Matthew 7:15)
  • What do wolves do (v30)?
  • Where do we receive God’s grace (v32)?
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I should live:

Deep Into the Word (Acts 20:1-12)

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been looking forward to this passage in Acts. Maybe you’ve been thinking: ‘Oh great! Stephen has to preach about not preaching long sermons!’

And I’ve been thinking: ‘Oh great! I get to preach about not falling asleep in church!’

But that’s not the main reason this account is here: If I asked you to describe Paul in one word, what would it be? Probably “Missionary”? He went on all these missionary journeys, telling people the good news about Jesus.

But actually, telling unbelievers about Jesus is only one part of what Paul did. He was a missionary because he was a pastor. And we see that clearly here.

When his 2 and a bit years in Ephesus came to an end, he visited the churches he had already established in Turkey and Greece (v1).

We should do much more evangelism than we do. But Christian ministers and elders should also be guiding and teaching those who believe already.

So, what should that look like? What kind of ministry will strengthen our faith? What will equip us to love and serve God and each other?

What should we expect our elders and ministers to do? And how can we minister to each other?

  1. Give Gospel Encouragement (v1-2)
  2. Face Active Opposition (v3)
  3. Build a Team (v4-6)
  4. Show Personal Affection (v7-10, 12)
  5. Keep Teaching Relentlessly (v11)

Sunday 18th August 2019

  • Paul was a missionary because he was a ________________________ (v1-2)
  • Encouragement means (v1-2)
  • What encourages God’s people (2 Timothy 4:2)?
  • Is opposition normal (Acts 14:22, 1 Peter 4:12, John 15:18-20)? Yes/No
  • Where did Paul’s helpers come from (v4)?
  • Who is responsible to train Gospel workers?
  • When do Christians gather (v7)? Why (John 20:19, 26)?
  • Why did Eutychus live (v10, 12)?
  • What does God use to grow His Church (v11)?
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I should live:

A Gospel Riot (Acts 19:21-41)

Are you an undercover Christian? Do you live the Christian faith in a way that troubles nobody?

Or are you a Rambo Christian? Do you get your point across about Jesus at all costs? Here in Acts 19, we are warned against both extremes. Instead, we should:

  1. Allow the Gospel to Upset How Things Are (v23-34)
  2. Don’t Become Troublemakers (v21-22, 35-41)
  3. How Do We Strike the Balance? (v30-31)

What kind of Christian are you?

Sunday 11th August 2019

  • The Gospel will upset people when it really __________________ something (v25).
  • What did Demetrius fear (v25-27)?
  • The crowd wanted to be __________________ but didn’t know ________________ (v29, 32)
  • You can change your mind, but no one cares until you c__________________________ how you live.
  • Why did Paul stay in Ephesus (v22, 1 Corinthians 16:8-9)?
  • If people hate us or hurt us, we can respond (Matthew 5:38-40): True/False
  • Governing authorities are s___________________ of God (Romans 13:4).
  • “It is no longer ________________ that lives, but _________________ that lives in me (Galatians 2:20)
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I should live:

“But Who Are You?

Where does power come from? Who has power? And How can it be controlled?

We see a tussle going on, don’t we, between the powers of goodness and the powers of evil, between the kingdom of God and the kingdom Satan. We see this struggle going on throughout the book of Acts, in fact.

We’ve seen the power of God in bringing 3000 people to faith on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, as the Lord added day by day those who were being saved. We saw the power of God as the small embryonic church grows despite the opposition of the religious leaders. Peter and John were arrested in chapter 4, and the believers pray and are filled with the Holy Spirit and continue to speak the word of God with boldness. So we see God’s power there. We see it even in chapter 6 where the church has divisions within it, and we see that the Word of God continued to increase as they face their divisions. “And the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and even a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.” (Acts 6:7)

So we see the power of God at work in many different ways, in growing the church, protesting the church, in empowering and enabling the church, and in each us of as members of it.

Where do we get this power? Where do we find it? Where can we look for the power that will make the church grow and be strong, and see the Gospel spread to our friends, our neighbours?

We see God’s power at work here in Ephesus, but it didn’t come from Paul. Notice that. It didn’t come from his ability to speak, or to convince people, even though that was what he aimed to do. As we look at verse 11, we see that the power came from God.

  1. God Works Powerfully Through Believers (v11-12)
  2. Imposters Have No Power (v13-17)
  3. God Transforms His People Through His Word (v18-20)

Sunday 4th August 2019

Review questions:

  • Miracles are __________ at work (v11)
  • Miracles are “the _____________ of a true __________________” (2 Cor 12:12)
  • The power is not in the ______________
  • You can’t know Jesus _______________ -________________ (v15)
  • Pretending to know Jesus is taking His name in __________ (v15, Ex 20:7)
  • What do believers do when they fear God (v18)?
  • Did anyone force the believers to burn their magic books (v19)? Yes/No
  • Is being sorry repentance? Yes/No
  • Repenting means:
  • When does God’s word spread (v20)?
  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I should live: