google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html 2018 March

Archive for March 2018

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Easter 2018

Part 6: Why the Cross of Jesus?

All human beings, in their natural state, are born sinners and have rebelled against God (Romans 3:23). However, because of Jesus’ death on the cross God offers forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7), Peace (Romans 5:1) and reconciliation with Himself, so that we are no longer His enemies (2 Corinthians 5:19).


Through the cross of Jesus Christ, and only through the cross, we are made just before God (Romans 3:24-26), it cleanses us from sin (1 John 1:7) and makes us right before Almighty God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Because of the Cross, we have direct access to God (Ephesians 2:18) and Jesus Christ intercedes for us (Hebrews 2:17-18). Because of Jesus Christ’s death on a Roman cross, all those who follow Him have freedom from the power of slavery to sin (Galatians 5:1) and freedom from the power of the devil (Hebrews 2:14). None of the above things are true if we do not follow Jesus.


Listen to, or download the mp3 file using the link before to hear more on this subject.

Discover for yoruself 

  • Why Jesus went to the cross
  • How it was a solution to the problem of human sin and suffering
  • Defeating satan and death
  • How we should respond to His death.

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Easter 2018

Part 5: Jesus Condemned and Crucified

We have seen that Jesus has been betrayed. What happened next? These words were spoken of the coming Messiah, by the prophet Isaiah centuries before Jesus Christ. Let’s read them together:


Isaiah 52:13-14: See, my servant will act wisely he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at him his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness—
Isaiah 53:10-11: Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.


Following his betrayal he is now facing trial in a Roman court, being interrogated by Pontius Pilate. Now, as we look together briefly at John 19, let us see what happened to Jesus Christ – His condemnation, crucifixion, death and burial. Please do download or listen to the MP3 file to find out more from this episode!

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Easter 2018

Part 4: Jesus Prepares and Serves

The disciples needed a room within Jerusalem itself, and also required food - a lamb, bread, bitter herbs and wine. The Passover meal contains historical and theological symbolism regarding the death of Jesus. This is why this meal is the model for the central act of Christian worship, which is Holy Communion.

 

Here is an outline of a Passover meal at the time of Jesus:

  • Opening Prayer
  • First cup of wine and a dish of herbs and sauce.
  • Story of the Passover recited.
  • Psalm 113 was sung
  • Second cup of wine
  • Prayer of Grace
  • Main course of roast lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs
  • A further prayer
  • Third cup of wine.
  • Psalms 114 to 118 were then sung.
  • Fourth cup of wine.

 

What significance does this have for us today?

How did Jesus serve His disciples on that final night?

For the answers to those questions and more information, please do play or download the audio mp3 using the link below to find out more about this Jesus and what that means for you today!!

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Easter 2018

Part 3: Jesus' Plans

He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. He entered, as was his custom, into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. The book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. He opened the book, and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim release to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to deliver those who are crushed, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began to tell them, “Today, this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” All testified about him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth, and they said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?”

Luke 4:16-22

From that time till his last night, during His 3 years of ministry, Jesus has preached the good news of God’s salvation to reconcile people back into relationship with Almighty God. Through the cross, His mission will be fulfilled.

Passover, Pentecost and Feast of Tabernacles were the three most important feasts on the Jewish calendar (Leviticus 21). All Jewish men were expected to visit Jerusalem (Deuteronomy 16:16). The Passover Feast was to commemorate the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, and it was a time for remembering and rejoicing (Exodus 11-12). Of all the events that took place that night, we have only time to look at three of them – Jesus plans, Jesus prepares and Jesus serves.

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Easter 2018

Part 2: Jesus' Final Prayers

Yesterday, we learnt about Jesus’ final teaching – teaching his disciples about the Kingdom and his going back to the Father via the cross. Today we look at Jesus' final prayers before he goes to the Cross.


Firstly praying for Himself, then for His twelve disciples and then finally for all disciples of all generations to follow, the church. This prayer is probably the pinnacle of revelation in John’s gospel. Here we see Jesus’ very words, revealing an unparalleled intimacy with His Father.


“After having preached to the disciples about bearing the cross, the Lord exhibited to them those consolations, by relying on which they would be enabled to persevere. Having promised the coming of the Spirit, he raised them to a better hope, and discoursed to them about the splendour and glory of his reign. Now he most properly betakes himself to prayer; for doctrine has no power, if efficacy be not imparted to it from above. He, therefore, holds out an example to teachers, not to employ themselves only in sowing the word, but, by mingling their prayers with it, to implore the assistance of God, that his blessing may render their labour fruitful. In short, this passage of the Lord Jesus Christ might be said to be the seal of the preceding doctrine, both that it might be ratified in itself, and that it might obtain full credit with the disciples.” (John Calvin)

John 17:1-5: Jesus said these things. Then, raising his eyes in prayer, he said: Father, it's time. Display the bright splendour of your Son So the Son in turn may show your bright splendour. You put him in charge of everything human so he might give real and eternal life to all in his charge. And this is the real and eternal life: That they know you, the one and only true God, And Jesus Christ, whom you sent. I glorified you on earth by completing down to the last detail what you assigned me to do. And now, Father, glorify me with your very own splendour, the very splendour I had in your presence before there was a world.


Play or download the audio mp3 file to find out more about Jesus' Final Prayers!!

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Easter 2018

Part 1: Jesus' Final Teaching 1

Today, we are going to start looking at Jesus’ last teaching before He goes to the cross to die.

“But now I am going back to the Father who sent me, and none of you asks me where I am going. You are very sad from hearing all of this. But I tell you that I am going to do what is best for you. That is why I am going away. The Holy Spirit cannot come to help you until I leave. But after I am gone, I will send the Spirit to you.” (John 16:5-7)

In these last few chapters before He is crucified, Jesus is saying goodbye to His disciples and giving them some final teaching before He departs.

Several times the Gospel writer records that Jesus has told them He is going away (John 13:33; John 14:3-4, 19, 28).

Let’s look together at what Jesus teaches his disciples!Disciples must bear fruit for the kingdom! (John 15:1-16)

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:1-2)

Play or download the audio mp3 to find out more about this Jesus and what that means for you today!!

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Exploring The Bible

54. Old Testament

1 Chronicles

 

G'day and welcome to our series, "Exploring the Bible" This is also the title of our latest book available on Amazon by clicking here or visiting PulpTheology.com

Key Verses:

  • 1 Chronicles 17:11-14
  • 1 Chronicles 29:11


The Book of 1 Chronicles covers the same period of history as 2 Samuel but from a religious history rather than a political perspective.

It traces the spiritual significance of David’s righteous reign.

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Gems in the book of Revelation

Part 137 - Revelation 6:1–8
The four horsemen of the Apocalypse

From the glories of the last two chapters we come to earth with a bump when we turn to chapter 6. The famous picture of the Four Horseman is a graphic description of the sad way the world of mankind was in as John wrote. And, very sad to say, it is still an incredibly accurate account of where the world still is, now, in 2018. These first 8 verses do not comprise a gem of any kind. I set out, a long time ago, to find and comment upon some of the many marvellous things for our comfort and encouragement that can be found in the writings of the Johns of the New Testament. Nothing here qualifies on that score. But these verses are so famous as ‘The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse’ that I cannot pass them by.

There is no doubt what the second, third and fourth of them mean. But there is some doubt about the first. Because the rider is on a white horse and appears to be in good health (unlike the others) some have thought he must be Jesus since Jesus appears in 19:11 - 16 on a white horse in judgment and thus in a not entirely pleasant aspect. This will not do. These are pictures, and a symbol from one picture cannot necessarily be transported to another. In this particular context Jesus would find himself in some very strange company.

No. The first rider represents all those whose greatest desire is to lord it over other people. Just occasionally a president or a prime minister will appear whose greatest desire is to serve. Even when they do, human nature being what it is, after a while the attractions of power often overtake their initial commendable desires. The English phrase ‘Prime Minister’ means nothing more or less than ‘first servant’! There are many examples in the present day world where those already at the pinnacle of power in their own nation cannot resist the desire for more. It is tempting to list some of them, but I am sure you can fill in the blanks whether of a small nation or a large one.

The second horse is red. Its rider stands for even worse things. The rider of the white horse was at least only trying to establish his position. The rider of the red horse stands for people with an even greater ambition, to establish some different way of organising people that they think are better. So we have had Fascism, communism and Islam each of which in their turn over the last century have attempted, or are attempting, to bend mankind to their way of thinking regardless of how many people they have to kill to do so.

The rider of the third, black horse represents famine. The world in which we live is very unevenly balanced. Some countries experience an almost continuous shortage of food while other countries have a super-abundance. The hope is that eventually market forces will bring the world into something nearer equilibrium but there is little sign of that happening as yet.

The fourth horse and its rider are symbols of all the other things that can go wrong in a part of the world. Perhaps particularly it represents disease, which still kills a great many people in many parts of the world. Again, there is a great disparity between those countries where modern medicine can effect minor miracles in healing people and keeping them alive while in other countries people die from easily cured diseases because they cannot afford the cures.

So, we have four causes of death (Revelation 6:8). It will be no accident that two of them refer to the way people die simply because of human behaviour; two die from causes which are non-human but could easily be prevented were the human race better at organising itself and more even-handed in the way it shared its resources.

The world belongs to the God on the throne of Revelation 4 and the Lion/Lamb of Revelation 5 but this chapter reminds us that the devil is still alive and kicking and rampaging through the world. Much of the rest of this remarkable book is devoted to suggesting where it is all going and how eventually the devil will meet his end and mankind enter into better days along with all the rest of creation. The Three in one God will triumph - but not yet.

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Friday Prayers

23 March 2018

Order of Service!

 

Opening prayer

Praise time

Prayers for those grieving and lonely

Prayers for justice and peace

Prayers for those facing challenging situations

Prayers for churches and Christians worldwide

Prayers for healing

Time of silence for your own prayers

Benediction

 

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Thursday Story - John

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Thursday Story

People meeting Jesus

 The story of John from Hampshire, UK...

We continue apace into the twentieth century and hear the story of a friend of mine. His name is John and he is from Hampshire in the UK! Come on in, and listen to his story about his own Christian journey and the relevancy of Jesus Christ to his life.

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POD - Psalm 40

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Psalm 40

For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David.

40:1 I waited patiently for Yahweh.
He turned to me, and heard my cry.
40:2 He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay.
He set my feet on a rock,
and gave me a firm place to stand.
40:3 He has put a new song in my mouth,
even praise to our God.
Many shall see it, and fear,
and shall trust in Yahweh.
40:4 Blessed is the man who makes Yahweh his trust,
and doesn’t respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

40:5 Many, Yahweh, my God,
are the wonderful works which you have done,
and your thoughts which are toward us.
They can’t be declared back to you.
If I would declare and speak of them,
they are more than can be numbered.
40:6 Sacrifice and offering you didn’t desire.
You have opened my ears.
You have not required burnt offering and sin offering.
40:7 Then I said, “Behold, I have come.
It is written about me in the book in the scroll.
40:8 I delight to do your will, my God.
Yes, your law is within my heart.”

40:9 I have proclaimed glad news of righteousness in the great assembly.
Behold, I will not seal my lips,
Yahweh, you know.
40:10 I have not hidden your righteousness within my heart.
I have declared your faithfulness and your salvation.
I have not concealed your loving kindness
and your truth from the great assembly.
40:11 Don’t withhold your tender mercies from me, Yahweh.
Let your loving kindness and your truth continually preserve me.
40:12 For innumerable evils have surrounded me.
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up.
They are more than the hairs of my head.
My heart has failed me.

40:13 Be pleased, Yahweh, to deliver me.
Hurry to help me, Yahweh.
40:14 Let them be disappointed and confounded together
who seek after my soul to destroy it.
Let them be turned backward and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt.
40:15 Let them be desolate by reason of their shame that tell me, “Aha! Aha!”
40:16 Let all those who seek you rejoice and be glad in you.
Let such as love your salvation say continually, “Let Yahweh be exalted!”
40:17 But I am poor and needy.
May the Lord think about me.
You are my help and my deliverer.
Don’t delay, my God.

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Think Spot 19 March 2018

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Think Spot - 19th March 2018

 
As a Christian, you are to be a little Jesus! In your local communities, wherever you happen to live, work, study or be! You are to live a life of obedience, of and to, Jesus Christ! For you are being transformed by the Holy Spirit who lives inside you! You are to be totally and willingly obedient to Him! Obedience, not out of some kind of slavish duty or ritual, but obedience borne from willingly loving God and loving others.

Imagine
People will know you are a follower of Jesus, if you are obedient to Him, practically showing love to all! Imagine the community where you are transformed for Jesus Christ! Imagine your community filled with people seeking to know about our Jesus, because you and other Christians were sacrificing their time and possessions! Imagine the communities you are involved with wanting to give Jesus the glory and honour in every aspect of life!

Transformation

Transformed communities of people devoted to Jesus and experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit in bringing people back to God the Father! Loving God and loving each other as He commanded would help do this in your local community!

Be Obedient! Be bold! Be strong! Be courageous! But you need to be lovingly obedient to Jesus Christ in both small and large things. Jesus said in John 14:21 “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them."

You will face pressure to disobey Him, even sometimes from those within your church. But if He has commanded you to do something for Him, you are to obey Him. It is far better to obey God and disappoint people than to obey people and disobey God.

Go into this week, lovingly willing to be obedient to God! Trust in Him and ask Him for the strength to be lovingly obedient to Him. He will help as you ask! It can sometimes be very difficult to be obedient to God, particularly as some people, even other Christians, will try to get you to disobey. Be strong in the Lord! Be bold! Be courageous! Need help? Then ask somebody to pray with you! Then be prepared for opportunities to be lovingly obedient to Jesus – in small and big things!

A prayer to help you this week.


Father, help us to live obediently to you. May the Holy Spirit encourage us as we seek to live worthily of Jesus Christ, in loving obedience to Him. Father, it is in His name we pray and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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