The Ten Commandments in contemporary life

The Ten Commandments are still of relevance for us today, not as a moral code or a set of requirements by which we can please God, but as a summary of the whole law of God. That law was then summarised again by Christ – “Love God totally and love your neighbour as yourself.” The Ten Commandments fit within the covenantal relationship between God and Israel, and by taking them out of that context so as to make them into an independent moral code, we distort what they are and conceal their meaning. It is only when we see the Ten Commandments as a call to faith in God and love for neighbours do we truly understand them.

Sermon: The Ten Commandments Today

Freedom in Christ – freedom from condemnation

We frequently encounter the phrase “in Christ” in Paul’s letters. By this he seeks to explain what it means to be a true follower of Christ – to be “in Christ” is to be incorporated into his new body, the church of all believers, in which we all have a part to play. We are all members of that one body, the body of Christ, of which he is the head.

While judgement is to come on those who rebel against God, those who are “in Christ” are free from condemnation – but this is true only if we continue “in Christ” and turn from sin and rebellion.

Sermon: Free from condemnation

Not life as we know it

The lives many people lead does not seem to reflect the richness, the wholeness and the satisfaction which they aspire to. Christians also do not seem to have a better quality of life than non-Christians. Why is that? Does their Christian faith provide no benefits for the here-and-now, or is it all to be expected only after death? The reason for this disjunct between the expectation of a rich and full life and the rather sad reality is that we still seek to pursue our own path in life. In short, we are still given to idolatry, seeking the meaning and direction for life in anything other than the true God. And the sacred-secular split which many Christians embrace with a passion perpetuates this idolatrous attitude. Christ came to give life in all its fullness, but only if we are prepared to foresake our idols and follow Him only.

Sermon: Not life as we know it

Called according to God’s Purpose

Many people do not have a purpose in life which gives them a sense of meaning. God has called everyone to a task in the human commission to care for the earth as its stewards. The Gospel, clearly and correctly explained, shows how we are to show those without a sense of purpose how the meaning which faith gives to all can be of benefit to them.

Sermon: Called according to God’s purpose

Christ and the Spirit

In the Gospel of John 7 we read that Jesus stood up in the temple and cried “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” This is typically taken to mean that the believers will have streams of living water flow from them. But we can also interpret the text differently so that it refers to Christ from whom the living waters flow. This is more consistent with what the Scriptures say elsewhere abou the relationship between Christ and the Spirit.

Sermon: Christ and the Spirit

The Holy Spirit – giver of every good and perfect gift

Many Christians are fascinated by spiritual gifts, understood in a limited way. But God the Holy Spirit is the God of diversity and richness, and the gifts given by the Spirit are also diverse and very rich. The God who created a world full of diversity is a God who relishes diversity in us as well, and gifts us accordingly – no two of us are gifted alike.

Sermon: Holy Spirit giver of every good and perfect gift

Fascination with angels

There has been a craze in recent years for anything to do with angels. There are shops dedicated to pictures, statues, books and trinkets all to do with angels. But these are not the angels of the Bible, the servants of God sent to minister to those who are being saved. No, they are the figments of our fallen human imaginations, and in the deceptive nature of what is said about these angels, they lead us away from God.

Sermon: Fascination with Angels

Hebrews 4:14-16

Here we consider how the author of Hebrews defends and explains the resurrection of Christ – not by demonstrating this directly, but by arguing that since Christ has ascended into heaven to the right hand of God, he must have been raised from the dead, since only those who are living ascend into heaven. Christ has been glorified because he has been victorious over sin; we too will eventually be glorified when we too have been raised like Christ – if we hold firm in faith to the end.

Sermon: Hebrews 4 14-16

Hebrews 3:7-19

The community of believers, being fashioned together in Christ, is called to be faithful and not to turn away. The Israelites in the desert hardened their hearts when the going got tough. They complained against God and longed to return to the security of Egypt, even though there they had been slaves. The author warns the followers of Christ not to rebel as they rebelled, for if God cut off those he brought out of Egypt with mighty miracles, he can also cut off those who turn back from following Christ if they also rebel and complain.

Sermon: Hebrews 3 7-19