Tag Archives: Evangelical

Are you a Pharisee?

22 Oct

As yet another politician fell by the wayside recently because his private life did not match up with his wholesome public persona I was reminded yet again of Jesus’ interactions with the Pharisees.  Everyone who has read the Bible knows that the Pharisees are the bad guys of the Gospel story.  They were the ones who hated Jesus and certainly Jesus reserved his harshest criticisms for them.  As a result, it is easy to condemn the Pharisees for their cold religion and hypocrisy.  However, even as I read about their failings, I fear that if I am honest the spirit of the Pharisees is alive and well in my heart.

Jesus’ major problem with the Pharisees was their hypocrisy.  They put on a show of religion, ostentatiously obeying all the laws and fulfilling all the important religious obligations, however, their godliness was only on the outside.  They were not willing to admit their sinfulness.  The outward appearance was white but their hearts were black.  As a result they refused to listen to Jesus.  Jesus famously said that he had come to heal the sick not the healthy.  Jesus’ message of salvation was for the sinner, not for the righteous.  Continue reading

Praying in small groups

20 Oct

[This post is courtesy of Col Marshall, posted on The Briefing 22nd November 1994.]

If there is one sure-fire prayer point in small groups, it’s praying that God will make us more prayerful! Everyone believes in prayer; everyone recognizes that we need to pray more, but everyone has trouble making it a priority. Put it down to the bustle of 90s life, or simply to sinful, independent hearts—either way, we can always find something which is more pressing a task than speaking to God in prayer.

Prayer ruts

Most Christian groups pray. Most Christian groups easily drift into prayer ruts. Our times of prayer become hurried intercessions, a quick vote of thanks at the end of the Bible study, prayers for the sick or ‘those who aren’t with us’, or general prayers for more love and peace. Of course, these are all great things to pray for, but we usually end up praying for them by default, because we don’t put in the time and effort to think about what to pray. Continue reading

‘What it means to be God’s man’

12 Oct

Recently the guys at SNAC met together to enjoy some great food and fellowship. Tim Booker joined them to discuss and challenge the guys on the idea of ‘What it means to be God’s man’.

Check out some of the great things the guys had to say about the night below …

What did you think of the night?

Rob: It was very encouraging to be challenged again to be a christian man, to take initiavtive and to stand firm in this world.

Tim: I found tonight to be a real challenge – but a good one!

What are some of the biggest challenges facing christian men seeking to live a godly life?

Greg: Consistency, it is very difficult to remain consistent within this world

Pete: I would have to say breaking out of the comfort mold that we like to live in within Australia

What can you and your christian brothers do to help eachother live as ‘christian warriors’ in this sinful world?

Eddie: To continually pray for each other and look into God’s word and rely on that as our guide

Cam: To combat this sinful world Christian guys must be comrades. We’ve got to bite the bullet and open up to one another. We need to share our victories and our battles. We need to read God’s word and pray together. We need to be more like a Band of Brothers than a lone ranger; more like the A-Team than James Bond.

What was your biggest take away from tonight?

Tom: That as a Christian guy I need to focus on fulfilling a mans duty under God

James: To not to be lazy and just sit at home

Adam: To be a man for God who is willing to take his stand and do his duty

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

11 Oct

This is the fourth and final installment of the ‘Return of the King’ Sermon series blog posts. 

Q:  [From Matthew 25:31-46] As Christians, and with realities that people don’t know Christ and are ultimately going to hell, how can we rationalise having time to ourselves, just relaxing having fun?

 

I struggle with this one and I don’t think I’ve thought it through enough. However here are some initial thoughts. We live in a society that is basically hedonistic (a hedonist strives to maximize pleasure) in form i.e. life is all about ‘me’ time and having fun. We worship through relaxing and enjoyment and making sure that the ‘I’ is entertained. Some people simply work during the week so that they can do this on weekends. Whole industries have sprung up to help us in this worship; economies have come to be shaped by it. The world of the eternal weekend – can there be anything better? Continue reading

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

4 Oct


This blog post is a continuation of the previous two “The Return of The King” posts dated 03/10/12 and 26/09/12

Q: “What happens if we are faithful and there are no fruit visible?”

I take it that if we are faithful then there will be fruit (no matter how small).

Some issues: we land in some hot water if we focus too much on the fruit aspect.  While visible fruit can be a helpful way to gauge things at times, if we focus too much on the fruit then we can turn into a bunch of neurotic people who start doubting whether we’re even saved. And while the bible encourages introspection of sorts, it doesn’t encourage that kind of of crippling of ourselves.

The answer to all of this is not so much to fix our eyes on looking for fruit but rather to fix our eyes on looking to Jesus. That’s important. Continue reading

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

3 Oct

Q: “The Bible passage (Matthew 25:14-30) and Sunday sermon seemed to say salvation by faith and works… so confusing. Was the 3rd servant a believer or not?”

Thanks for your question! It’s a helpful one because you raise some very important issues.

Starting off, it’s worth stating what the parable is NOT saying: ‘Be faithful or else [you won’t be saved].’

No, we keep going back to the basics: We are saved because of Christ’s faithfulness, not our own! And I tried to keep pointing out the work of Christ for us, primarily in salvation but also in his provision (the things he’s given us). Rather, what the parable is doing is simply encouraging those already trusting in Jesus (and so are already saved) to live in line with who they are in Jesus. ‘You have been made slaves of Christ, now live as slaves of Christ.’ Not to earn salvation but simply as a way of living out your saved life. The call from the parable is for faithfulness on our part – action on our part actually. Continue reading

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