Sermon – Stand Firm: Faith & Love in the Mess (1 Thess. 3:1-13)

In Thessalonica, the church is being battered and bruised… how should they respond? Paul writes 1 and 2 Thessalonians to encourage the church to stand firm in the good news of Jesus. Today, the world remains full of uncertainties and hostile to the presence of the church. What can we learn? We can be challenged to likewise stand firm as we await Jesus’ return.

This sermon emphasises the importance of faith and love in the mess of the world – COVID or not. Christian encouragement really matters, where standing firm in your faith is one of the greatest encouragements. Prayer is also our first and last resort – this should not be forgotten in a world of suffering!

Read the text – 1 Thessalonians 3:1-13

Sermon – Stand Firm: The Imitation Game (1 Thess. 1:1-10)

In Thessalonica, the church is being battered and bruised… how should they respond? Paul writes 1 and 2 Thessalonians to encourage the church to stand firm in the good news of Jesus. Today, the world remains full of uncertainties and hostile to the presence of the church. What can we learn? We can be challenged to likewise stand firm as we await Jesus’ return.

This sermon challenges both the individuals of the church and the church as a collective – a Godly reputation is what matters most, and the church needs to stand up and stand out!

Read the text – 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Sermon – Jesus Said…What!?: I AM The True Vine (John 15:1-17)

As a society, we have become somewhat immune to hearing outrageous claims. They are issued, capture some newsworthy attention, and then are fairly quickly ignored or pushed aside. Jesus issued some outrageous claims, in fact, claims that were far beyond what we hear today. In this Bible Talk series, we look at the “I AM…” statements from the gospel of John. Newsworthy – yes. Ignored – yes. Pushed aside – yes. Yet, to look into them we will see the glory of God in the person of Jesus Christ. It would be to our loss to be immune.

This talk investigates Jesus claim to be the true vine – God has picked each Christian to be one of the branches of the vine to bear fruit. Remain with God by remaining in Christ, the true vine.

Read the text – John 15:1-17 Psalm 80:1-19

Sermon – A Festal Garment (Song of Songs)

Song of Songs Series Graphic

Do you love a good party? Go back a millennium and you may have found yourself at an Israelite party – or ‘festival’ to be more accurate. Israel as the people for God conducted festivals which celebrated or reminded them of what God had done for his people. At these festivals they would read out one of their (Old Testament) scrolls – Ruth at Pentecost, Song of Songs and Passover, Ecclesiastes at the Feast of Tabernacles, Esther at Purim and Lamentations at the anniversary of the destruction of Jerusalem. This custom was not continued by the Christian church.

Yet these little books exist in our Bible and it is not often that you hear them preached. So, in our Five Festal Garments series we are going to look at these little biblical treasure troves and see what Christians can learn today as we get dressed to live godly lives.

Let’s look at the Book of Song of Songs

Read the Bible text – Song of Songs

– Ben Smith

 

 

Obedience (Part 5 of 6)

Love, Truth, ObedienceWhat is love that is pleasing first to God? It has something to do with obedience in the context of truth. We have considered ‘Love’ (Part 3 of this series) and ‘Truth’ (Part 4 of this series), so this time let’s focus on ‘Obedience’.

 

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.  And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them (1 John 3:21-24)

A love that is pleasing to God is a love that obediently follows his commands.

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Truth (Part 4 of 6)

Love, Truth, Obedience

What does it look like for Christians to love the other? It has something to do with that which is true and something to do with obedience. We considered ‘Love’ last time (Part 3 of this series), so this time let’s focus on ‘Truth’.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence:  If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. (1 John 3:16-20)

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Love (Part 3 of 6)

Without love, truth will not be valued. Without truth, it is difficult to know how to obey. Without obedience, it is impossible to demonstrate true love.

To understand Love, it will help to understand how it is integrally connected to Truth and to Obedience, such that you cannot separate the three. These three ideas intersect with one another at almost every point. Love, Truth, Obedience

Taking our lead from the letter of 1 John, we have looked at Perfect Love (Part 2 of this series). We turn our attention now to the relationships between Love, Truth and Obedience.

Let’s consider ‘Love’.

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