Tag Archives: #Questiontime

Acts – Ends of the Earth

16 Oct

Thanks to those guys who put in questions out of my sermon on Acts 1 on Sunday night.  Here are my thoughts on a couple of them:

 1. Is it wrong to keep re-translating the bible? Some would argue we’re twisting Gods word.

I take it this is more a question in the light of our move to the Holman translation at church.  Though it is relevant to Acts also, because we saw that it is the Apostles witness in the New Testament that points us to Christ.

The short answer is, no it isn’t wrong to keep translating the Bible, In fact we need to keep doing it.  The Bible was originally given by God in Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament) with a little bit in Aramaic.  So, if we want to read it we need to do one of two things: learn those ancient languages or rely on a translation by people who know those languages.  But the thing is that over time our own language changes.  Some words mean different things in English than they did 300 or even 30 years ago.  So once in a while we need to look at a new translation.

More than that, sometimes people have different reading abilities.  So it is appropriate to have different translations.  The key point though is that even if translations might differ over the most accurate way to translate a particular word, none of the core message of the Bible is ever in dispute.  So while I might recommend the Holman translation I am happy for anyone to read the NIV, ESV, NRSV, NASB etc As long as we read the Bible in a language we can understand!

 (You might also like to see my earlier article on why we are moving to the Holman)

 

2. What about when others are referred to as apostles in the NT?

Great question.  I made the point that there are no more Apostles after the 12 (including Matthias) and then Paul.  They are the ones entrusted by Jesus with the incredible task of being witnesses to him of what they heard and saw Jesus do and teach.  However, there is a reference to Barnabas as an ‘Apostle’ in Acts 14:14 and he is not one of the 12?  How does that work?

This comes about because the word ‘apostle’ refers to someone who has been sent.  In that sense there are lots of apostles, as many people are sent for specific jobs.  In Acts 13:1-4 Barnabas and Paul are sent by their church and the Holy Spirit for a specific mission.  That is the sense that they are referred to as apostles in Acts 14:14 – men sent to preach Jesus.  In that sense we have lots of apostles (with a little a) but the point is that there no more Apostles (with a capital) who are explicitly sanctioned and given authority by Jesus.

Phil Colgan

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