Membership (Part 2 of 5)

Membership

In the world that we live in, ‘Membership’ is a fairly common idea. We have memberships to libraries, sports clubs, magazines or journals, road service organisations, schools, clubs, gyms, churches and much more.

We pay, to secure some benefit – be it the ability to borrow books, or to secure good seats to watch our favourite sport, or to receive the magazine that interests us, or guarantee help if the car breaks down, or help for the school to give our children a better education, or a vote in the club that we belong, or cheaper entry to be able to use exercise equipment. You get the drift!

In many ways, the benefits of ‘membership’ in our secular world mirrors ‘membership’ in a church, but not completely – there is a difference.

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Sermon Vision Sunday #4 – What’s Next?

What does the building of Israel’s great Temple have to do with us today? Listen to Des Smith as he explains why we should reflect on the faithfulness of King David and the people of Israel, as we think about our vision for 2019 and our preparedness to support this as we depend upon God to grow his kingdom.

Preacher: Des Smith

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Read the Bible text: 1 Chronicles 29

English Support Handout – 1 Chronicles 29

Top 10 Books a Christian Should Read

Christians are people of words – help yourself become a good reader. Here are 10 core titles that would give you a solid grounding and a good start.

  1. The Bible!

If you could only read one book then make sure it is the Bible. A great deal – 66 books in one volume! Win.  Good translations (of the many out there) include the New International Version, the Holman Bible, the English Standard Version, the King James Version (if you like older language) and most recently the Christian Standard Bible. My suggestion is pick the translation above that is used in your Church sermons.

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2. More than a Carpenter – Josh McDowell

This is a good little book which will introduce you to Jesus. If you are looking for a good book to give to someone you want to introduce to Jesus – this will do you well.

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3. Knowing God – J.I. Packer

This book gives you a good basis in Christian Truth. God by nature is so big and amazing, this is a helpful book to get you looking at the character and concerns of God.

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4. The Atonement – by L. Morris or The Cross of Christ –by J. Stott

Both of these books aim to help the reader understand the significance of the cross of Christ. The most recent edition of the John Stott’s The Cross of Christ comes with an excellent study guide.

5. According to Plan – Graeme Goldsworthy1844740129_9111542x

This book will help you understand how the Bible fits together – it helpfully looks at God’s unfolding salvation plan fulfilled by Jesus (Biblical Theology). If you find this book a little heavy, then God’s Big Picture by Vaughan Roberts may be a good alternative.

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6. Reason for God – Tim Keller

This book give you a good basis for defending your faith. For the believer or the skeptic, this is an engaging read.

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7. Praying with Paul : A Call for Spiritual Reformation – D.A. Carson

This book will give you good basis for thinking about prayer and then challenge you to pray.

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8. The Trellis and the Vine – C.M. Marshall and T Payne

This book is a practical ministry book which places the ‘how’ of ministry in the context of the ‘why’.

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9. Disciplines of a Godly Man – R.Kent Hughes or Disciplines of a Godly Woman – Barbara Hughes

These books aim to help the Christian man or woman give attention to practices of godliness. Very helpful.

08308269982x10. Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity – P. Barnett

Understanding the original setting into which Jesus arrived and from which his good news first spread is helpful for understanding the historical importance of Christianity. This book is a great introduction.

These books you can get in both hard copy or e-book. Go to: the Book Depository or Koorong to order online.

Happy reading.

For a helpful article on ‘Active Reading’ from Chris Metcalf go here.

Feel free to offer other suggestions (and why) in the comments.

Sermon – May All The Peoples Praise You (Psalm 67)

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‘May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth.’ – Psalm 67:3-4

Sermon ‘May All The Peoples Praise You’ (Psalm 67) by Chris Jolliffe is now available in audio and video: http://bit.ly/2khXUgX

Read the whole chapter: http://bit.ly/2iYBJga

Why leave a ‘church’?

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The question ‘Why leave a ‘church?’ may be a dangerous question to ask, especially on a church blog!

The reality is that all churches have people leave them – for both wise and unwise reasons. It is worth spending some time thinking about why one would take the step of leaving a ‘church’ and then further considering how to do that well. That said, I am hoping that no one reading this will in fact leave 5pm Church as a result!Trinity City 'Five by 5' Challenge - hand

In the previous two articles we have considered ‘What is ‘Church’?’ and then ‘What to expect of ‘Church’?‘ which as background should help establish that leaving a church should be thought about carefully – that is not a decision that should be made hastily or prayerlessly. If ‘church’ is about God’s people gathering as a family in Christ around his Word, it should give some pause for thought to a person when deciding to stay or to go. Leaving means leaving a family and a place where God’s word should be key to their fellowship.

Changing churches or leaving church altogether is no small thing.

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What to expect of ‘Church’?

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The beginning of the year is often the time when people check out church (‘It is a new year, thought I would give it a go’), join church (‘I have moved and want to make this my church’) or leave church (‘I am making a life change’).

As such, it is reasonable that one consider ‘What should I expect of ‘Church’?’.

In the last update Trinity City 'Five by 5' Challenge - handwe considered ‘What is Church?’ and suggested that church was a place for believers (whilst still open to not-yet believers) and a place where God’s people gathered as a family in Christ. Expectations of church then are important because they help a person decide whether this church is doing what it should be or not.

There are a couple of ways to arrive at an answer.

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What is ‘Church’?

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Christians do Church. Some more regularly than others!

Why on earth do we commit ourselves to regularly going to Church? To answer that, let’s first think theologically about ‘church’.

What is ‘Church’?Trinity City 'Five by 5' Challenge - hand

Presumable if we are to be members of church, we need to understand what Church is!

Very simply, Church is an assembly of God’s people.

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