The True Temple of God – a sermon for Advent

In the book of Isaiah we read of his prophecies of the temple of the Lord where in the future all nations will come to worship. What he said of the temple would come true in the true Temple, Christ himself, in whom God dwelt and was present to the world, and who ultimately became the sacrifice for sin which would end all other sacrifices in the temple in Jerusalem. This message has a special significance for Advent as we reflect on the first coming of Christ; on our calling to follow him and to live as the temples of God in purity and holiness, especially in married life; and on the return of Christ which we await with hope, for the new earth to come where there will be no temple, since God himself will dwell there with us.

Sermon: The True Temple of God

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

Unexpected Grace 3

Concluding our series on unexpected grace, we look at how Christ came into the world, born of a virgin, despised, rejected, condemned and dying as a criminal as a result of our rebellion and sin. Yet God’s unexpected grace is shown specifically in Jesus, since not only is the one we rejected the one who was above all others the recipient of the grace of God, but also through his suffering and death he became the means whereby God’s grace was made available to us. In his resurrection we see the one despised and forsaken being vindicated by God and the one in whom he delights, and from whom we receive all grace from God.

Sermon: Unexpected Grace 3

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

Called to be a Kingdom of Priests

God calls us to faith, and in responding to God, we are incorporated into the new people he is forming. This new people is described in many ways in the Bible – the church, the body of Christ, the living temple, a holy nation, the bride of Christ. One of the images used is that of the kingdom of priests – a body of people called to the service of God, and to bring His message of redemption to the world.

Sermon: Called to be a kingdom of priests

 

The call of Samuel

In the first book of Samuel we read of how Samuel became the first of a long line of prophets, sent to call the people of Israel back to their covenant with God. The spiritual state of the people was at a low ebb, not least because of the lack of leadership by the priests, and in particular Eli, who allowed his sons, also priests, to behave in an appalling manner. God called Samuel to bring the people back to hearing and obeying the Word of God.

Sermon: The call of Samuel