Archive | September, 2012

Live light in 25 words

27 Sep
[This article first appeared on ‘The Briefing’ Website by on 20 September, 2012]

You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God. (1 Pet 1:23)

The Bible Society Australia have identified that only a relatively small number of Australian Christians engage with God on a daily basis—they claim 1 in 5. For people who love the God of Word, this is more than a little disappointing.

But how do we address that? How do we encourage the Christians around us to fix our eyes on Jesus, to hear God’s voice, to spend time in his word daily—or to do that ourselves? How do we develop habits like these?

The Bible Society have come up with a campaign to do just that. It’s a beautifully simple idea:

We’re asking you, your friends & family and churches & schools to commit to reading the Bible daily, starting with 25 words for thirty-one days.

During the month of October thousands of people across the country have committed to reading God’s word. Why don’t you do the same? (Of course, there’s no reason not to get on board even if you’re one of our international readers.)

Here’s an introduction:

There’s loads of resources to help get you started, videos with lots of Aussie Christians, a series that walks you through Mark’s gospel, and much more besides. Go check it out.


The Return of The King – Ryan’s Sermon Blog (Part One)

26 Sep

Does the return of Christ matter?

‘If things go on like they’ve been going for the last however many years, there is a good chance that I will die before Jesus returns. So what’s the big deal? His return won’t really affect me. Why is it important that I remember that Jesus will return?’

That’s the gist of a question posed to me. So, what is the big deal with Jesus return? Why should I remember it? Or even long for it?
Well, here are two briefs reasons why it’s worth keeping his return in the forefront of our minds and hearts.

1. It’s part of the whole story.
The King wasn’t only born. He didn’t only live and die. He also rose from the dead, returned to his Father and one day will return for his people.  It’s part of the whole story. And if you lose parts, sometimes it means you can miss the whole. Remembering the whole, gives me perspective on life Continue reading

MTS at Church In The Bank

25 Sep

One of the great things that God has been doing amongst us over the last decade is seeing CITB raise up the next generation of gospel workers. One way this has occurred is through the MTS program.

MTS [‘Ministry Training Strategy’] is a two-year ministry apprenticeship where men and women leave their careers to be trained in how they can use the rest of their life to proclaim Jesus as ministers of the gospel. I have the privilege of training our apprentices at St George North and I’m passionate about our church continuing to support this vital ministry. These men and women are the future leaders of our churches both here in Sydney and throughout the world and so keep praying that the Lord of the Harvest would keep raising up workers for His harvest. Our world desperately needs Jesus and our churches really need godly and well trained leaders.

Our current apprentices are Cameron Noakes and Meg Pollett.  They are both currently in the second year of their apprenticeship Continue reading

A place where it’s ok to not be ok

24 Sep

Last year (at Christ Church Bexley 10.30am) we followed the story of Jesus in Luke’s gospel. Again and again Jesus tears down pride and self reliance in order to lead us to salvation and joy in him. So one of the things we said was that we want to be a church where it’s ok to be not ok. To put it another way – we don’t want church to be place where we put on a brave face and all pretend ‘everything is ok, no problems here’. We want church to be a community where we live out the reality of the saving, transforming and sustaining power of Jesus Christ.

Now that is easy to affirm in theory but difficult to embrace in practice, particularly when our personal struggles move beyond the ‘polite’ sins (I drive too fast, I gossip, I spoke harshly to someone) into the realm of addiction. Continue reading

Living For God’s Glory

23 Sep

[This post is courtesy of Mark Driscoll, founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle posted on The Resurgence  07th September 2012.]

Christianity is more than a set of beliefs. Christianity is a lifestyle. Christianity is about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus as historical realities (1 Cor. 15:1–11), but Christianity is also so much more. 

Jesus is more than a figure of history. Jesus is alive, and when we place our faith in him, our lives are forever changed (2 Cor. 5:17). We no longer live for ourselves, but for our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

4 lessons from Jesus

In living for Jesus, we model his life. He lived for the glory of God and the good of others. From Luke 4:42–5:11 we learn four important lessons from Jesus’ life and ministry in how we should go about living our life for God’s glory and the good of others.

1. Pour yourself out in ministry. Continue reading

Apologetic evangelism: an oxymoron?

22 Sep

[This post is courtesy of Phillip Jensen, Dean of St Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney posted on The Briefing 25th August 2012.]

Apologetic evangelism is neither apologetics nor evangelism. Since the language of today is apologetic, and certainty is considered arrogance, how then can we evangelise modern, or post-modern, society?

Evangelism is the declaration of the great news of Jesus’ death and resurrection. It is the announcement of God’s victory in his Son; the proclamation of the coming of the age of salvation. It calls upon people to repent and tells them to trust Jesus for their salvation. It assures them of the full, complete forgiveness that Jesus has won for them and the new life that his Spirit brings them.

There is nothing to apologize for in evangelism. It is the most wonderful news that we will ever have to tell anybody. Judgement over, condemnation passed, sins forgiven, new life commenced, eternity awaiting us as we grow in God’s loving grace.

But today the world accuses those who speak with such confidence, of arrogance. They ask: Who can really speak of knowing the truth that will set you free? Continue reading

Preaching and Prophecy – Luther’s Sermon Blog (part 2)

21 Sep


Here’s another question I didn’t get to in our great question time on Sunday Night …

How is prophecy different from encouragement or preaching? I’m confused.

Don’t worry that’s a great question because in many ways there is overlap between the three.  It can be somewhat confusing!  Preaching may include both encouragement and prophecy.  Though not all encouragement and prophecy is preaching.

Let me explain.

Firstly, we need to remember that New Testament Prophecy is different to Old Testament Prophecy.

Many have argued that the apostles and other New Testament writers truly inherit the mantle of the Old Testament canonical prophets, since they claim absolute divine authority for their words and call upon believers to acknowledge that authority.By contrast, the prophetic ministry given to certain members of the Corinthian church and our churches today requires assessment and evaluation, Continue reading