Posts by Nicholas van Oudtshoorn

Posts by Nicholas van Oudtshoorn

Give me the faith…

Another wonderful old hymn, sung by our very own Jim Edwards! Words to the hymn, taken from hymntime: Give me the faith which can remove And sink the mountain to a plain; Give me the childlike praying love, Which longs to build Thy house again; Thy love, let it my heart overpower, And all my simple soul devour. I want an even strong desire, I want a calmly fervent zeal, To save poor souls out of the fire, To snatch…

Thoughts on: 1 Samuel 23

The second half of 1 Samuel deals with the escalating tension between King Saul and David. Saul is convinced that David is out to steal his throne. Ironically, David is to be the next king – not because he sought that role out, but because God had appointed him to it. Saul had failed to trust God – and God wanted someone after his own heart to be his kingly representative. (Not, as the story shows, that David was by…

Thoughts on: Mark 5

Mark 5 contains three remarkable stories of Jesus’ power and authority. The first half of the chapter concerns the releasing of a non-Jewish man held under by a legion of demons. The second sees Jesus back in Jewish territory healing a desperately sick woman and healing (that is, bringing back to life!) a 12 year old girl who had died. A few thoughts come to mind. First off, I am comforted. The demon-possessed man in the first half lived a…

Thoughts on: Mark 4

Please note: this is very much a thinking in progress. I’m still trying to work this particular passage out fully. What follows is just my personal wrestling with the text. Any insight is welcome Mark 4 begins with the well-known parable of the sower. In fact, the chapter has quite a few parables in it – and some of the stuff Jesus says is hard to understand. The verse that strikes me is verse 22: For everything that is hidden…

Thoughts on: Revelation 12

In Revelation 12 we see, as it were, a glimpse into the spiritual history of God’s people. At the very start of the chapter, we are introduced to a woman. She is clothed with the sun, the moon is under her feet, and she wears a crown of 12 stars. She is, in other words, gloriously attired. She rules on God’s behalf; creation is under her feet. Who does she represent? I believe she stands for the people of God:…

Thoughts on: Titus 2

In Titus 1, we read that Titus was a fellow worker with Paul. He had been left in Crete by Paul to set about appointing elders in the churches there. Here in chapter 2, Paul writes to encourage Titus to promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching. I love that. Wholesome teaching is one thing, living it out is something else. It’s easy to preach (and be preached at) about the need to be imitators of Christ and…

Thoughts on: 1 Timothy 4

At the close of 1 Timothy 3, Paul wrote these words: Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith: Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit. He was seen by angels and announced to the nations. He was believed in throughout the world and taken to heaven in glory. In just a few short words, Paul has summarised the gospel for us. Jesus Christ was revealed in a human body. He died –…

Thoughts on: 1 Timothy 3

1 Timothy 3 is the “go-to-text” when it comes to considering the appointment of deacons and elders in the local church. There are some interesting questions to be asked of this passage. Does Paul not mention female elders simply because of the culture in which he lived, or is it simply that elders must be male because of the role that they undertake in the church? Also, does Paul refer to male and female deacons, or merely to male deacons…

Thoughts on: 2 Thessalonians 3

“Pray for us,” writes Paul in 2 Thessalonians 3, “that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honoured wherever it goes, and that we will be rescued from wicked and evil people.” Sometimes I forget that for most of his life as a Christian, Paul faced persecution for trusting in Jesus.In virtually ever city, there were – and are – wicked and evil people. Why? Because not everyone is a believer! Wicked and evil people don’t, perhaps, look like…

Thoughts on: 2 Thessalonians 2

In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul wrote to the Thessalonians about why we as Christians need not grieve over dead Christians the way non-Christians grieve over their dead: Christ is returning. When he comes, all those who are his – whether alive or dead at the time – shall meet him in the air and live with him for ever more. Here in 2 Thessalonians, Paul finds that he has to give some clarification as to the when of all this.…

Thoughts on: 2 Thessalonians 1

Paul, Silas and Timothy were seriously proud of the church in Thessalonica. As we saw in 1 Thessalonians, this was a church which suffered many trials and persecutions from their countrymen because of their trust in our Lord Jesus. But despite all that they suffered, this was a church that refused to give up on the gospel. Instead, they had a reputation for being Christians: showing love, waiting with hope for the return of our Lord. As Paul writes to…

Thoughts on: 1 Thessalonians 5

Jesus is coming back! Yesterday in 1 Thessalonians 4, Paul reminded us that when Christ returns, we will all be caught up to be with him forever – the dead first and then those who are still alive when Christ returns. And so we need not fear death – for our risen Jesus has already conquered it. The Christian hope is the hope of life eternal with God. But the question then, of course, is when Jesus will return. There…

Thoughts on: 1 Thessalonians 4

As Paul approaches the end of this letter, he returns to one of the most common themes in his letters: encouraging Christians to live in such a way so as to please God. Yes, the Thessalonians were already living such lives – but Paul urges that they do so even more. This side of eternity, no Christian can ever say honestly that they are living the perfect Christian life. If we were, we would be Jesus – which I certainly…

Thoughts on: 1 Thessalonians 3

Paul really loved the Thessalonian church. But he was also very worried about them. They were going through a very tough time; their trust in Jesus was being challenged by the community in which they lived; they were suffering for the sake of following Jesus. And Paul – separated from them as he was – found himself fretting constantly for them. He was worried that “the tempter had gotten the best” of them; that the work he and his co-workers…

Thoughts on: 1 Thessalonians 2

Continuing from yesterday, Paul here in 1 Thessalonians 2 reminds this ancient church that Paul’s visit to them hadn’t been a failure. Yes – the missionaries had arrived in town feeling perhaps somewhat down. They’d just been in Philippi – and had suffered greatly at the hands of the people there. But even Philippi hadn’t been a failure: there was a nascent church in the city when the missionaries left. The Thessalonians knew what had gone on in Philippi. And…

Thoughts on: 1 Thessalonians 1

I would have loved to visit the early church in Thessalonica! They seem at least on some level to have been a church full of the joy of following Jesus. They were faithful workers for Christ – sharing in the commission given to us by Jesus to make disciples of all nations. Their love for God (and from God) found plentiful expression in loving deeds: this was a place where love was more than just a word – it had…

Thoughts on: Colossians 3

As a follower of Jesus Christ, I have died with him and have been raised to life with him. As Paul says elsewhere, It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me. But, as he writes here in Colossians 3, if I have been raised to new life with Christ, that has to change how I live life now. Rather than focusing on “things of earth”, Christians are called to think about things of heaven –…

Thoughts on: Colossians 2

I can be something of a worry-wart. I worry about myself, and I worry about my loved ones. But I’m certain – much to my dismay! – that I do not know the depth of agony for others that Paul experienced. I have my moments – but I pray to God that he would instil more of that sort of agony in my life. You see, Paul agonised not only for Christians he knew, but also for Christians in general.…

Thoughts on: Philippians 2

At the end of Philippians 1, Paul wrote that the Philippians, like him, had been giving the privilege of suffering for Christ. Here, as Paul starts chapter 2, he takes a step back and brings some perspective on what it means to follow Jesus. Yes, there might be suffering – though I don’t think I myself nor very many of my peers have had to suffer anything like Paul or the Philippians yet – but there is so much benefit…

Thoughts on: Philippians 1

As Paul starts his letter to the Corinthians, his love and comradeship with them is clear. He is writing to a church that has grasped the gospel of Jesus with both hands, and who aren’t content to just practice their faith privately. No. Like Paul, these are Christians who want to see the gospel spread out to the furthest corners of the globe. Paul calls them “partners in spreading the good news about Christ” – ever since they had heard…

Thoughts on: Ephesians 6

Yesterday, Paul urged us to imitate God as we live our Christian lives. We saw at the end of chapter 5 some of how that works out in inter-personal relationships, starting with how husbands and wives can reflect something of God in their marriages. The first half of Ephesians 6 sees Paul expanding his application to other inter-personal relationships: children and parents; slaves and owners. Children, he says, should obey their parents because the children belong to the Lord; it…

Thoughts on: Ephesians 5

I want to make God proud. I want to be like him. I want to see something of his character formed in me. I want to be holy and righteous. Here in Ephesians 5, Paul urges us to seek exactly that. He tells us to “imitate God in everything we do” because of the fact that we are his dear children. That’s what children do: they copy their parents. How do babies learn to speak? By emulating their parents! As…

Thoughts on: Ephesians 4

It is a marvellous thought: as a Christian I can come into the presence of God with boldness and confidence, because of Christ and my faith in him. There is nothing to fear from God, because of what Jesus has done, if we believe in him. But, writes Paul here in Ephesians 4, that doesn’t mean we have an excuse to live as wantonly as we desire. We can have such confidence because of our adoption into the family of…

Thoughts on: Ephesians 1

As Paul starts his letter to the Ephesians, he reminds us that we who follow Jesus Christ have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms. Notice that we have been blessed in “the heavenly realms” – there is blessing for following Jesus here today – but it is where God is that we have received every blessing. There can be no greater spiritual blessing than being united with Christ. There is no higher attainment. Of course, it’s…

Thoughts on: Galatians 5

Freedom! What a wonderful word that is. It is, I believe, one of the rallying cries of the gospel – freedom in Christ from sin and death. Freedom from our sinful nature. Freedom to be the people that God always intended us to be. The gospel message is the story of how Christ Jesus, through his death and resurrection, has bought our freedom. But something that I find shocking is how often people taste freedom and then want to return…

Thoughts on: Galatians 4

An author that I am particularly fond of is P. G. Wodehouse, easily one of the funniest writers of the twentieth century. What strikes me is how often in his writings – and others of the time – one comes across the circumstance where a character can’t marry or invest money in a venture or something of that sort because they have not yet come of age. The character is constrained by the terms of the will of their parents,…
The situation in Corinth, as Paul wrote them this letter, was dire. There were those who were coming into the midst of the church and leading them astray – away from the gospel of God and towards a super-legalistic return to Judaism. This was, it seems, one of the major issues in the early church: persuasive speakers who insisted that in order to be part of God’s people, one had to do more than just believe in Christ; that one…

Thoughts on: 2 Corinthians 7

By no stretch of the imagination am I a perfect man. Though I seek to follow Christ with all my heart, and long to be like Jesus, I fall very far short of the mark. I will never attain perfection this side of eternity – but the very fact that God has adopted me – that He is my Father and that I am his child – means that I will keep working to put to death the deeds of…

Thoughts on: 2 Corinthians 1

Sometimes life gets… difficult. A few years ago, I had what came close to burnout, which brought out all of the latent fears and doubts in my life. But God comforted me in my suffering. As Paul starts this second of the preserved letters to the Corinthians, he speaks about something similar.

Thoughts on: 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13 is one of those chapters that is often referenced without any consideration for its context. More often than not, it is read out at weddings… it is, after all, all about love, isn’t it? But to take it out of context is not only to do a disservice to the text, but also to do a disservice to ourselves. We need to recall that this is the middle of Paul’s three-chapter discussion on true spirituality. In other…

Thoughts on: 1 Corinthians 12

The Corinthians want advice about what it means to be spiritual. They came from a society where there were plenty of spiritual options on the table. And all around them were examples of “spiritual gifts” – some not dissimilar to those being found in the church. They wanted to know how to tell the genuine article – the gifting of the Holy Spirit – from the frauds of Satan. Says Paul: it’s about God edifying his church. So let’s pray that we would be good servants of Jesus.

Thoughts on: 1 Corinthians 11

What exactly does Paul mean in 1 Corinthians 11:1-3? What does he mean by “head”? And is the head of woman “man” or “her husband”? (Personally, I think it means husband.) Why does a man dishonour his head – Christ – if he prays or prophesies with his head covered? Why does a woman dishonour her head – her husband – if she does exactly the same thing with her head uncovered?

Thoughts on: 1 Corinthians 2

How does one grow a church? How does one make your church a “success”? It’s tempting to try to speak with clever words, sounding wise. Tempting to speak with a wisdom that would be winsome to the world. But what I need is for God to work.

Thoughts on: 1 Corinthians 1

The church in Corinth was a very interesting congregation. In many ways, it was a thriving community empowered by the presence of God’s Spirit. There was much about the church to cause rejoicing: not least the basic fact that they were the church of God – those called by God to be his own holy people. Those who had come into a saving relationship with God through Jesus; who had already been declared holy by the blood of Jesus. This…

Thoughts on: Romans 16

And so we come to the last chapter of Romans. Paul commends to the Roman church Phoebe – a deacon in the church in Cenchrea. Quite possibly it is she that is delivering this letter to the Roman church. Paul notes that she is one worthy of honour among God’s people. She is one who has been very helpful to many – especially Paul. Of particular note is the fact that this is a woman who is called a deacon…

Thoughts on: Romans 15

In Romans 14, Paul wrote about the need to live a life of love – not lording my theological conclusions over those of others. Instead, he concludes here in Romans 15, those who are strong should be considerate about those who are sensitive about controversial issues. Our rule of life is to be that of Jesus: living not to please ourselves, but for the glory of God. which means helping others do what is right; building them up in the…

Thoughts on: Romans 14

Paul finished Romans 13 by urging us to not seek ways to indulge in our evil desires. But what about circumstances and situations where there is a difference of opinion as to whether what I am doing is right or wrong? Let’s be clear at the front: there is a standard of holiness. I can’t just decide – contrary to the clear teaching of God – that something is right, and then live out my decision. Well… I can. But…

Thoughts on: Romans 13

Here in Romans 13, I think, Paul is continuing the theme he started in chapter 12. There he urged us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices to God in worship. Which means allowing God to transform us ever more into the likeness of his Son Jesus. In chapter 12, Paul explored what that meant in terms of our interactions with individuals. And here in Romans 13 he moves to consider what it means to worship God with our lives…

Thoughts on: Romans 12

On the basis that God’s mercy is for everyone, Paul here in Romans 12 turns and pleads with his readers to give your bodies to God. Why? Because of all that he has done for us. He has saved us, adopted us, made us his own people. But what does Paul mean when he urges us to give our bodies to God? Well, he restates it in terms of us letting our bodies be living, holy sacrifices; the kind that…

Thoughts on: Romans 11

In the very early church, there were a great number of Jewish believers. But in a very short period of time, it came to pass that there were more Gentile (non-Jewish) believers than Jewish. It seemed (and could still seem) that what started out as the fulfilment of the Old Testament, the continuation of true Hebrew trust in God, had broken away from Judaism. And if so, it begs the question: had God rejected his own people, Israel? No, writes…

Thoughts on: Romans 10

The message of faith, trust, is simply this: that if we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised him form the dead, we will be saved. God’s way of making people right with him is our believing in our heart. And God’s way of saving us is through our confessing Christ.

Thoughts on: Romans 9

When I think about Paul, I tend to think of him as God’s chosen apostle to the Gentiles – which is what he was. But just because Paul was commissioned by Jesus to tell the world at large about the good news doesn’t mean that he ever forgot his own people. But the key – as always – comes back to trust. Only those who trust in God are shown his mercy.

Thoughts On: Romans 8

Romans 8 is one of those passages that I just love. In particular, I constantly remind myself of the conclusions that Paul draws in verses 31-39: since God is for us, nothing and nobody can stand against us. We cannot be accused – for in Christ we have already been made right in God’s sight. We cannot be condemned, because Jesus sits at the right hand of God pleading for us. And nothing can separate us from Christ’s love. When…

Thoughts on: Romans 7

As a Christian, I am dead to the law: it was fully applied to Jesus. I share in his death and new life. The law’s reach cannot go beyond the grave! So I am free to serve God by living according to the Spirit rather than the law. As much as sin inclines me away from holiness, God’s Spirit now is at work within me to live a life that pleases God. And God is far stronger than any force of sin…

Thoughts on: Romans 6

In Christ we are dead to sin. But until he comes and makes us new, we need to live that truth out. We are not yet perfect as Jesus is – but we can choose to live out who we are in Christ. We are dead to sin in him – so we should consider ourselves dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Jesus Christ. We are freed from sin’s power – so we should not let sin control how we live. We should refuse to give in to our sinful desires. We should instead – knowing that we are God’s – give ourselves completely to God.

Thoughts on: Romans 5

From enemies to friends who will share in God’s glory – Jesus has brought us to this totally undeserved place of privilege because of our trust! And as powerful as sin is – it can never overpower the grace of God: Never! Sin is a powerful ruler, but when God’s grace comes it rules instead – and we are right with God and will be with him forever.

Thoughts on: Romans 4

Why should we trust God? Because of the history of God’s accepting those who trust in him. And because of what God has already done. He handed over his son Jesus because of our sins, and raised him to life to make us right with God. He has proven himself to be trustworthy and faithful. Being in a right relationship with God isn’t something that we can earn – it is God’s gift to us.

Thoughts on: Romans 3

One of the recurrent issues in the early church was Satan’s attempt to undermine the good news of salvation by insisting that only the Jewish people could truly be saved. But, as we saw in chapter 2, being Jewish isn’t so much about DNA as it is about having a heart that is right with God. So, asks Paul rhetorically in Romans 3:1, is there actually any advantage to being a Jew? Answer? Yes – great benefits. The most important…

Thoughts on: Romans 2

Many in Paul’s audience, reading the last half of chapter 1, would have been getting a smug, arrogant look on their faces. They were Jews; “God’s people”; the “goodies”. But Paul, in chapter 2, is very quick to remind them – and us – of the truth. For us to point the finger at the “baddies” is for the pot to call the kettle black.

Thoughts on: Romans 1

How would you write a summary of the Christian gospel? The book of Romans, in some ways, is exactly that. It’s Paul writing to the Roman church laying out the gospel of Jesus Christ that he preaches in wonderful technicolour. Its more than mere facts – Paul explores what the gospel means for us here and now.

Thoughts on: Acts 28

Truly the gospel of God cannot be stopped! In Acts 27, the ship that was transferring Paul to Rome was wrecked, but thanks to God’s grace, none of those aboard died. Here in the final chapter of Acts, we learn that the island on which they were shipwrecked was Malta. Conditions were horrible – that is, until the friendly islanders built a beach fire to warm the survivours. But then Paul is bitten by a snake as he adds fuel…

Thoughts on: Acts 27

At last Paul is on his way to Rome. His “trials” in Jerusalem and Caesarea are finished, and with his appeal to Caesar Paul must be sent to Rome. Again we find that what we read is an eye-witness account from Luke. He and Aristarchus from Thessalonica are accompanying Paul on his journey to Rome. It’s late in the season to be making the journey. The weather at that time of the year, as we see in chapter 27, can…

Thoughts on: Acts 26

In Acts 27, Luke tells of Paul’s hearing before Governor Festus and King Agrippa II. This Agrippa is the son of “Herod Agrippa” – who was very antagonistic to the church. It was he who had James (the brother of John) executed (Acts 12:1-2). Seeing how much that pleased the Jews, he also had Peter arrested during the passover festival (Acts 12:3-4), although God sent an angel to free Peter from his jail cell. Agrippa II was in some ways…

Thoughts On: Acts 25

Two years Paul sat in prison in Caesarea. Two years, and then the new governor, Festus arrived. We see that God’s promise to Paul is coming true. It’s taken two years, but Paul is now definitely destined for Rome.

Thoughts on: Acts 24

The journey from Jerusalem to Rome has begun. Acts 24 finds Paul in Caesarea. For 5 days he’s been kept in prison awaiting his accusers. Foiled in their plot to have him murdered, they are forced to present their case before Felix the Roman governor. They’ve lawyered up, maybe hoping that the smooth talking Tertullus would rung rings around Paul. If so, they are hopelessly disappointed.

Thoughts on: Acts 23

Yesterday we saw Paul preaching the gospel to a highly antagonistic crowd of hyper-fundamentalist Jews. Today we see him out of the frying pan and into the fire. The commander has brought him before the Jewish high council to try and determine what he has done.

Thoughts on: Acts 22

In Acts 21, we saw Paul being dragged out of the temple to be killed. His crime? None! Some Jews from the province of Asia had accused him of preaching against the Jewish people, telling everyone to disobey the Jewish laws, speaking against the Temple, and worst of all of bringing Gentiles into the Temple. On the brink of summary death, Paul is rescued by the Roman commander who arrested Paul; binding him in two chains. As Paul was about…

Thoughts on: Acts 21

As Paul continues his journey back to Jerusalem here in Acts 21, we find him again in the company of his traveling companions – including the good Dr Luke, author of the book. What Luke narrates in this chapter comes at least in part from his own eye-witness experiences. Paul’s journey to Jerusalem is interesting to me. At Tyre, (Acts 21:4), we read that some local believers prophesied through the Holy Spirit that Paul should not go on to Jerusalem.…

Thoughts on: Acts 20

How does one say goodbye; how does one finish your life’s work well? If the book of Acts were a movie, the later parts of Acts 20 would be shrouded in sad, sorrowful music – particularly as Paul and his companions eventually depart, leaving the Ephesian elders behind. But there would also be musical moments of triumph. Paul re-iterates what his mission has been: to tell people what the needed to hear: that one must repent from sin and turn…

Thoughts on: Acts 17

Acts 17 has a fantastic sermon in it – a great message to study when we consider how to share the good news of Jesus with those who come from a non-Christian or non-Jewish society or background. But today I want to focus in on the different reactions that Acts 17 records to the proclamation of the gospel. As we noted a few days ago, whenever the gospel is preached, there is a divide: some accept it and put their…

Thoughts on: Acts 16

In acts 15, we read of the triumph of the gospel of grace in the church: one doesn’t have to be circumcised – or to follow all the Jewish laws, rituals and regulations – in order to be saved. Isn’t it interesting, then, that here in Acts 16, one of the first things we find is Paul arranging for his new offsider, Timothy, to be circumcised! What a wonderful example to us. The gospel sets us free, and yet in…

Thoughts on: Acts 15

Home at last! After the intense missionary journey that finished in Acts 14, Paul and Barnabas must have cherished being back at their home church. It was from Antioch that they had been commissioned by God and his church to spread the gospel to those who had never yet heard it. And their journey over, they settled back into their role of teaching and encouraging the congregation. Acts 14:28 tells us that they stayed there with the believers for a…

Thoughts on: Acts 14

The gospel, as we saw yesterday, shows us that in Christ there are no divides. But what strikes me is that the gospel itself does cause a divide in humanity. Jesus himself said that he came to bring not peace, but a sword (Matthew 10:34). And in Acts 14, as in Acts 13, we see this in technicolour clarity.

Thoughts on: Acts 13

The church in Antioch must have been an incredible place! The congregation would have been reasonably big; at least 5 prophets and teachers are named here: Barnabas, Simeon, Lucius, Manean and Saul. And what’s more, these five are drawn from all over: Israel, Cyrene, and Africa. Oh – that the church today were so diverse. To our shame, we are so often mono-cultural. White anglo-saxon protestant churches separate from Aboriginal churches separate from Korean churches separate from African churches; churches…

Thoughts on: Acts 8

Yesterday, in the account of Stephen’s murder, we read that a young man named Saul watched the coats of those throwing stones at Stephen. Here in chapter 8, we read that Saul wasn’t just a passive observer. He was a passionate detractor of Jesus. Even though he had heard the forceful arguments that Stephen had made, Saul deliberately set himself against all that God had been saying and doing – both through the Old Testament era and in the person…

Thoughts on: Acts 6

Just because we’re Christians doesn’t mean we automatically get everything right. Even the early church – led by the apostles and seeing powerful evidence of God’s presence and favour, had its own set of very human hiccups. Here in Acts 6, we read of one such hiccup: an issue to do with the feeding of widows.

Thoughts on: Acts 5

Acts 5 is a study in how different people respond to the God revealed in the gospel. I detect 5 different responses. Those of Annanias and his wife, the crowds, the high priest and his officials, Gamaliel and the apostles. How do I respond to the gospel?

Thoughts on: Acts 4

Yesterday’s reading ended with Peter giving an impromptu sermon to the crowd gathered after the healing of the crippled beggar. Today, in chapter 4, we see the authorities stepping in to try to squash the nascent church before it made too much of a difference. Three points come to mind…

Thoughts on: Acts 3

Acts 3 – the incident of the crippled beggar who gets healed and the sermon that prompts – starts with Peter and John attending the regular afternoon prayer service at the temple. At Pentecost, over 3000 people became members of the congregation of God’s people, and God added more and more on a daily basis. Yet becoming a new believer didn’t require a sudden break from all that came before.

Thoughts on: Acts 2

So much happens in Acts 2! It’s the day of Pentecost, the annual harvest festival held seven weeks after Passover. It was meant to be a time of bringing the best and first of the harvest to God in thanks of all that he has done.

Thoughts on: Acts 1

Today marks the start of a brand new year. 2014. In the western world, we mark our dates according to the birth of Christ. But I think for me, the truly defining moment of history was not Jesus’ birth, but his resurrection…

The Person of Jesus

Who is Jesus? What is his relation to God the Father? To God the Holy Spirit? How can we have a relationship with him today. This mini-series explores the person and work of Jesus the Christ. [sermons series=44 filter=hide]

Habakkuk

Habakkuk is one of those short, sharp-seeming books of the Old Testament. A prophet driven to desperate prayer because of the state of his nation. God’s awesome and shattering answer. And one of the most breathtaking promises from our God: the righteous one will live by faith! [sermons series=42 filter=hide]

Tough Topics 2013

In this short semi-annual series, we explore some of the difficult topics that us Christians often just try to ignore. This time round, we’re looking at: angels and demons  – what are they, how important are they, and what does it all mean for our everyday lives hell – is it real? How could a good God send people to such a horrible place? Is it a way of frightening us into Christianity? What should Christians today do with this…

Knowing God

In this series, we explore our theology. Who is God? How can I know that he is real? What’s the deal with the Trinity? How does God teach us about community? [sermons series=35 filter=hide]

Ezekiel – Messenger of God

In this series, we make a start on the book of Ezekiel. An often thoroughly confusing text, Ezekiel is one of those Bible books we sometimes avoid. But what does Ezekiel have to say from God to us today? [sermons series=30 filter=hide]

Easter 2012

Can a story about public execution really be a good news story? Join us, as we see why Easter really is all about good news

1 Peter

In this series, we consider Peter’s first letter to the churches in Asia-Minor. What does a letter concerning suffering has to do with the church in Australia today?

Movie Night

On Friday 23 December, Golden Bay Baptist invites you to a screening of the 2006 movie “The Nativity Story” at the Coastal Community Center in Golden Bay. Grab a flyer for more information!

Christmas at Golden Bay

This Christmas, Golden Bay Baptist Church invites you to celebrate the coming of the King with us! There are a number of Christmas Activities being run: Carols on 10 December, a Movie night on 23 December, a Christmas Eve service and a Christmas Day service! We’d love to see you!

Salty Christianity

In this sermon from guest speaker Jason Ramsay, we consider Jesus’ message on the mount. What does it mean for us to be salt and light – and how does that work out in practice?

Fasting?

In this short series, we consider the biblical discipline of fasting. What’s it all about? When do people fast? Is it something a Christian should ever considering doing? In conjunction with this series, we’re holding a week long fast from 23-30 October 2011.

The Letter to the Romans

What is the gospel all about? What does it mean for me – and how does it change my life? How is it possible for someone like me to please God? In this series, we’ll be following Paul’s letter to the Romans as he outlines the fundamentals of the Christian faith.

Christianity 101

Is there any hope? Why would God need to save me? Why would God want to save me? Am I really his child? You’re invited to join us during the month of June as we explore the basics of the Christian faith – and see how Jesus really is the Good News for us in every part of our lives.

Psalms

What is worship? How do we approach the living God? Are there some things which we cannot bring to God. Over three weeks, we’ll be exploring how the Psalms speak out of and into our lives – no matter what situations we find ourselves in.

Peace-makers

Peace! The good news is that in Jesus, we have been given the peace of God himself. No longer is there enmity between us and God – God has done away with it on the cross. But what does that peace mean in our everyday lives? How does the peace of God in us find expression in our relationships with other people? From 25 July 2010 we’ll be exploring the Biblical message and mandate of Peace, and seeking to become…

The Wise Life

What does it mean to live life wisely? What is “the wise life”. From 13 June 2010 to 11 July 2010, we’ll be looking to see what God considers to be wise living.

In Christ

From 11 April 2010 to 6 June 2010, we’ll be working our way through Paul’s letter to the church in Colosse. Throughout this short letter, Paul reminds us time and time again of what a brilliant blessing we have as Christians: we are in Christ. Each week, we’ll explore exactly what that means.