Archive for February 2021

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Sermon: Food Sacrificed To Idols (1 Corinthians 8)

1 Now about food sacrificed to idols: we know that ‘We all possess knowledge.’ But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. 2 Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. 3 But whoever loves God is known by God.

4 So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: we know that ‘An idol is nothing at all in the world’ and that ‘There is no God but one.’ 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’), 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

7 But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. 8 But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.

9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling-block to the weak. 10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.

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Ancient Corinth was one of the largest, wealthiest and therefore most important cities of the ancient world. It had a large mixed population of Greeks, Romans and Jews. The streets of Corinth were lined with temples to all manner of gods. Not only Greek gods but also because Greece was now under the Roman empire, temples paying homage to Roman gods. This of course included those giving homage and worship to the Roman Emperor, who at the time this letter was written, was probably the Emperor Nero. More than that, some of the Greek gods were merged with Roman gods, in order to make new gods and therefore more temples were constructed.

In these temples, sacrifices were made to appease these gods and were acts of worship to and of them. For if the gods were not appeased then it was thought that all manner of things may happen to a person, internally and externally, for the gods would be angry and send their demons and spirits to inflict all manner of ill on a person. The meat from these sacrifices was then, in part, given to be eaten by the priests conducting the sacrifice, and the rest sold to the general public for consumption.

We see therefore, from a Christian perspective, Corinth was a city deeply immersed in idolatry and immorality. What of the Church there in the midst of such a place? Paul had helped start the Church about 6 years ago. You can read about that in Acts 18. To discover more, please listen or download the mp3 using the links available

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WISE - God of Love

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A God Of Love

 

We live in a world that is in love with love.  Love, according to some people, is what makes the world go around.  In the Bible, God’s love is revealed. The Apostle John in 1 John 4 does not simply say that God loves, but rather that God is love.  Remember that God is the Holy Trinity, three persons in one. The Trinity is a living, vibrant community of love, and every activity of the Trinity, is an expression of love.  God loves because that is His very nature. Throughout the Bible, God’s love is described as an unfailing, everlasting, intimate, sacrificial, unbreakable, conquering, immeasurable and all-knowing.  How is God’s love seen?  It is seen in two ways.

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Firstly, it is shown supremely in that He has given His Son to be the Saviour of the world, so that if a person takes up that opportunity, they can know and enjoy God in a personal relationship.  God had only one Son, Jesus Christ, and He sent Him on a rescue mission to seek the lost and to reconcile people to God.  This is love in action.  The lover dying for the ones He loves.

Secondly, God’s love is shown when Christians love. As a Christian, you are a child of God, so you should want to be like your Heavenly Father, by showing the world your love for others and your transformed character.  The Christian Church should be a community of love, for this is how the world sees God

If people see Christians that are not loving and kind, rightly or wrongly, the whole Church is branded as a bunch of fakes and hypocrites.  Worse still, God is seen at best as nothing more than a distant uncaring irrelevant figure.  The love between Christians is seen as a visible showing of the invisible God.  The very character of the church should always be to reflect God in all aspects.  The ultimate example of showing people God, is for you as a Christian, to love and be love.  People should be seeing God’s love, through your love.  For as Jesus said, “All men will know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another” (John 13:35).

His love releases us from the things that so easilyentangle our daily walk with Him.  The more you hold onto His love, the more you will desire it and the more it will be revealed in your daily life.  Your love in action today, reflects God’s love in action on the cross.  Go and love - to the glory of God!  Maranatha!

 

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WISE - Prayer

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Prayer

I wonder what you think prayer is and how much of it you have experienced? Is your vision and experience of prayer too small? Let us find out together, a small part of prayer!

Prayer is to be at the centre of the relationship between God and the Christian. It is the major interaction and fellowship between God and humans, and of humans communicating with God, both in talking and listening. Prayer is allowing God to be consciously in to all aspects of Christian's life and enjoying God's companionship.

John Calvin, said that part of praying was asking for "what we have learned to be available" in God's love and of His being the infinitesimal good giver. He goes on to say our "only security" is achieved by calling on the Father for His providence out of His infinite mercy.

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Once again, we are praying a prayer together concerning the Corona Virus Pandemic. I am sure each of us knows somebody who has contracted this virus, if indeed they succumbed to it, and has died because of it. Come! Let's pray together!

O great God, as you know, we are in the midst of this wretched COVID-19 global pandemic.
O Great Comforter, embrace those grieving the loss of loved ones and wipe their tears.
We don’t know the right way to combat this pandemic, but we know and trust that you do.
Therefore, give wisdom and courage to those involved in its treatment, prevention, cure and vaccine, including our government and leaders.

May the vaccines be distributed diligently, justly, quickly and efficiently and we thank you O God that they were prepared by wise people.
We thank you for all those caring for others during this time – carers, nurses, medics and others. May you O God, give them courage and wisdom.
Amen

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PulpTheology Book

A Glimpse of God

The WOWFactor of Jesus Christ! It’s all there in black and white. To be agog is to be filled with excitement and expectation! Hence our title of this book exploring the man who splits history - Jesus Christ! Looking primarily at what the Bible says about him but also glimpsing briefly at the evidence from outside the Bible said about this most amazing of men! His birth we celebrate worldwide at Christmas and his death & resurrection we celebrate at Easter.

 

For many people today, as well as down through history, Jesus Christ is the most important figure in human history. Almost everybody has an opinion about him - whether positive, negative or indifferent. Come inside and let us explore together the primary documents about him, the Bible, who people say he was, what he did and the relevancy of Jesus Christ for you today! Suitable for those exploring Christianity as well as those who have been a Christian for a short while or for many years! come inside this book and find out more about this amazing God-man - Jesus Christ.

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Prayer - Psalm 91

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Psalm 91

91:1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

91:2 I will say of Yahweh, "He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust."

91:3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the deadly pestilence.

91:4 He will cover you with his feathers. Under his wings you will take refuge. His faithfulness is your shield and rampart.

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91:5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day;

91:6 nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that wastes at noonday.

91:7 A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it will not come near you.

91:8 You will only look with your eyes, and see the recompense of the wicked.

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91:9 Because you have made Yahweh your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place,

91:10 no evil shall happen to you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling.

91:11 For he will put his angels in charge of you, to guard you in all your ways.

91:12 They will bear you up in their hands, so that you won't dash your foot against a stone.

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91:13 You will tread on the lion and cobra. You will trample the young lion and the serpent underfoot.

91:14 "Because he has set his love on me, therefore I will deliver him. I will set him on high, because he has known my name.

91:15 He will call on me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him, and honor him.

91:16 I will satisfy him with long life, and show him my salvation."

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PulpTheology Book

God, Internet Church & You

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Due to lockdown or quarantine due to the CoronaVirus / COVID-19 Pandemic, Church has moved to using the Internet for its services to the world.  In this little book we seek to answer why the Church is using the Internet, as well as exploring together ways in which we can respond.

Here are some of the questions we will explore together:

  • What is Digital Space & the Internet?
  • Why should the Church be on the Internet and how?
  • Isn't Church on the Internet just a modern form of the ancient heresy of gnosticism?
  • Is God able to interact there?
  • For the Christian, what are some of the liabilities and virtues of the Internet?
  • Could an internet based church be part of the historical church?
  • What can a Church service on the Internet look like?
  • How can this technology be used, so that you as a Christian, can use your talents and serve God on the Internet in the 21st century?

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Sermon: Church: Past, Present and Future (Matthew 16:13-20)


The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly caused people and nations of the world, – even nations who are enemies of each other, to globally stop and think together. That is also true of the Church, globally. As you are aware because this is going straight to YouTube instead of being done physically at Poulner Chapel as part of a Worship service. I know some people who didn’t think internet Church was really Church. That is until now. They soon changed their minds., I don’t know when you are viewing or listening to this, but if you are in the year 2021 or even the year 2121, a few months ago things changed almost overnight in the way that most people engaged with Church and also Church practise was also changed. Let's go on to investigate more about this Church and the role we have to play in Jesus Christ building His Church. He is building it, not us, but He does use us to do so! Come on in!

 

 

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13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’
14 They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’
15 ‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’
16 Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’
17 Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’ 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
(New International Version)
Matthew 16:13-20

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PulpTheology Book

Glimpses Into Leviticus

The book we are looking at this week is Glimpses Into Leviticus: a book of Joy. (part of the "Glimpses Into" series)

Leviticus is perhaps the most maligned, misunderstood and under-read book of the Bible today.

Andrew Bonar once said: "There is no book that contains more of the very words of God than Leviticus. It is God that is the direct speaker in almost every page; his gracious words are recorded in the form wherein they were uttered."

How are we to read this amazing book? Leviticus does have important things to tell us about God, sin, obedience and holiness. Perhaps most importantly it tells of God wanting to live with His people. Some of the words and phrases we commonly use in the English language, come straight from the book of Leviticus. Come! Let us glimpse into this marvellous book of the Bible together - Leviticus the book of joy! Why do I call it a book of joy? One reason is that it reveals a God who wants to live with His people. For other reasons, you will have to look inside and read it to discover why!

Here is what 1 Amazon reviewer said: "5 stars! A theological view of Leviticus as opposed to c]the view it is an archaic 'laundry list'. Whether you agree with some of the conclusions or not, it will help you want to delve deeper, think more deeply about this often avoided book."

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The Reason I am a Christian!

The Apostle John, writing:
"We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." 1 John 5:9-12

 

Today I share the reasons I am a Christian, a follower of Christ. Come and hear my story!

 

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