Sermons on Christian Living

Sermons on Christian Living

God and Same-Sex Marriage

Sitting on my counter at home right now is an envelope from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, containing a survey question asking whether Australia should legalise same-sex marriage. It’s been a long road getting to this point, with many political turns along the way. The question is one that has been raised several times over the last few years. And, unfortunately, this is an issue where the Christian church has been seen to be unloving, unkind and ungracious. Christians are…

Two ways to live

Today’s Passage: Habakkuk 1:12-2:20 Last week, we started looking at the book of Habakkuk. Habakkuk is one of the shorter Old Testament prophetic books, but what it lacks in length it certainly makes up for in punch! As we saw last week, Habakkuk found himself living in a land that seemed to have gone to hell in a hand-basket. Evil and violence were everywhere, and the law (which in Israel was meant to have as its basis the law of…

How long, O Lord?

Today’s passage: Habakkuk 1:1-11 The song at the end during communion is Do it again by Elevation worship. Watch it here. This weekend, we’re starting a new series looking at the Old Testament prophetic book of Habakkuk. Habakkuk is an incredibly short book, consisting of only a few chapters. In it, the prophet Habakkuk brings his complaint to God about the state of his world. Although no definite information is given, it seems that Habakkuk lived in the era just…

Lead us not into temptation

Today’s passage: Matthew 6:9-15 How people communicate can tell you a lot about the kind of relationship that they have with each other. If they barely talk, you know that something is wrong. The same is true if one only sees one party talking and not giving the other a chance to speak. During his sermon on the mount, in which Jesus was describing the life fully committed to God and His kingdom, Jesus spent a bit of time teaching…

Forgive us our sins

Today’s passage: Matthew 6:9-13 I pity you. You’re pitiful. You’re so pitiable. Stop for a few seconds and think about what those words make you feel. Chances are, you’re first reaction might not be positive. In our culture today, the idea of being pitied is one that isn’t much appreciated. We assume that for somebody to pity us, they must think of themselves as being superior to us. We can equate pitying someone with looking down on them in pride.…

Give us today our daily bread

Today’s Passage: Matthew 6:11 Prayer: it’s both the easiest thing in the world, and something so many Christians struggle with. Prayer is simple talking with God – both speaking to Him and listening to His voice. Just as all relationships require communication, so too does our relationship with our God. Why then do so many Christians fail to have a thriving prayer life? Perhaps it’s because we have yet to fully appreciate that God really does love us, and really…

Your Kingdom Come

Today’s Passage: Matthew 6:10 Last week, we started looking at the model prayer given to us by Jesus as He taught the crowds around Him in Matthew 5-7. As in everything, there was something different about Jesus when it came to praying. He spent a lot of time praying. But I don’t think that prayer was ever a duty for Jesus, the way we sometimes think of it. When Jesus prayed, He was talking with His Father. He was speaking…

Children of God

Today’s passage: Romans 8:14-25 In our Sunday service this weekend, we’ll be looking at some more at the incredible 8th chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans. A fortnight ago, looking at the first half of the chapter, we discovered the incredibly good news that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Jesus died and took our punishment, our condemnation, for us. If we belong to Jesus, we don’t have to fear God’s wrath any longer.…

Dealing with Doubt

Today’s passages: Matthew 14:22ff, Matthew 28:15ff In his book on doubt, Os Guinness writes that “What is most dangerous to Christianity is not that Christians doubt, but that there seems to be so little open discussion and understanding of doubt. This must be changed.” This morning, we’re making a start on that sort of change. Are you a Christian who struggles with doubts? It’s not the sort of thing we like to admit to each other. We like to give…

Praying to Impress

Today’s passage: Matthew 6:5-8 Last week, we continued our exploration of Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount, considering what kind of person a “kingdom of God” person is. At the end of Matthew 5, Jesus said that we – his disciples – should be perfect as our Father in the heavens is perfect. But immediately after urging perfection – for that is what a person wholly made like Jesus is like – Jesus saw fit to warn us…

Peter

Today’s passage: John 21 Imagine yourself with Jesus on the night of his betrayal. The evening starts in an odd way – with Jesus washing your feet. And then He speaks about one of you – one of the twelve – betraying Him. He speaks about it matter of factly, saying that He’s telling you about it beforehand, so that when it happens you’ll believe that He is the Messiah. A little while later, he’s telling you that the time…

The Woman at the Well

Today’s passage: John 4:1-42 Who are you really? This morning, we’re continuing our Easter series, considering the good news that our lives aren’t defined by our failures. Instead, we find that God offers us the chance for new life in the midst of our brokenness. In today’s passage, we get to look in on an encounter between Jesus and a Samaritan woman. For most of this incident, Jesus was alone with the unnamed woman; all the information that we have…

Jesus, Righteousness, and the Law and the prophets

Today’s passage: Matthew 5:17-20 God is King, and life in his kingdom is the best life there possibly can be. It’s a life that is perfectly in accordance with God’s will; in God’s kingdom, everything is exactly as God wants it to be. As creator of all that is, God is sovereign over all that is – he alone has the right (and the capacity!) to rule everything. The bad news of the Bible is that we humans reject God…

Salt and Light

Today’s passage: Matthew 5:13-16 God is king, and in his kingdom, things are the way that God wants them to be. Which, since God is God, makes God’s kingdom the best place for us to be. God is love, and his kingdom is a place of love. God is perfect, and his kingdom is a place sans any sinfulness or brokenness or imperfection. It’s a place where there are no tears, where there is no danger, and where there is…

Made Fortunate by God

Sermon passage: Matthew 4:23-5:12 I love attending men’s breakfasts. True, when I’m waking up at some unearthly hour my first thought is not one of joy. Yet that tends not to last too long: it’s great hanging out with my brothers in Christ, discussing life together, praying together, and thinking through our devotion together. Oh, and the breakfast… that’s quite nice too! But a while back I did something rather silly: I rocked up at a men’s breakfast sans my…

The Culmination of God’s Plan

Today’s passage: Matthew 1 God is the King of all that is, was and ever will be. The good news that Jesus came preaching was that God’s kingdom was near. He called us to repent and to believe that good news. He called us to become his disciples, to come to him: the way, the truth and the life; the only way to the Father. The Bible teaches that God is the creator of all things, and that we were…

The Reformer King

God is the king of all that was, is and ever will be. Our God – the only God – spoke all that is into existence. He created our world, and he created us to be his representatives on earth. Humanity was tasked to enact God’s will on his creation. Our kingdoms, the places where our wills are done, were meant to be lived in submission to the high King of Kings. But that isn’t the way the world is.…

Even the best fail

In Psalm 47:5-7 we read that God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets. Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise. The good news of Jesus is that God’s kingdom is near to us. Through Jesus, we can have the gift of new life – of citizenship in God’s kingdom; of being…

Whose kingdom is this anyway?

Have you ever forgotten – or even refused – to pay an electricity bill? What’s interesting is that if you do, Synergy won’t immediately disconnect you from the grid. They’ll send letter after letter,  encouraging you to make things right with them. There are schemes of grace available should you be in financial difficulties. But should you steadfastly refuse their authority, you will rediscover the joys of living without electricity. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been considering the good…

Kingdom Training

The good news of Jesus is much more than just “here’s how you get to heaven one day when you die.” Jesus came preaching that the kingdom of the heavens was near. In fact, as God’s king, Jesus came to make it possible for all those who trusted in him to be welcomed back into God’s kingdom right here and right now. We’ve been invited to repent of our rebellion against this universe’s true King, and to instead follow him…

Perspective

Text: Philippians 1:12-26 The good news of God is that through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, we can have a relationship with Him. Unfortunately, the good news is often met with antagonism, perhaps because it insists that we are sinners who fall short of God’s glory, having no means of our own to set ourselves right. We simply don’t like being told that we are wrong – or that our way of thinking might not be right. In Australia, we…

Assurance

Text: Philippians 1:3-11 Often, our actions are a window into the desires of our hearts. True – we can put on a good show for others, but those who know us best often have an insight into what drives us. If we are desperate for power or insecure within ourselves, for example, we might be short-tempered at home. Truth will out. Our heart’s desire is to be important and in charge. Sometimes, our heart’s desire is evidenced by what we’re…

Greetings!

Text: Philippians 1:1-2 This morning, we’re staring a new series on Paul’s letter to the church that met in Philippi. Philippi was the first place in Macedonia (modern Greece) where a Christian church was established. Read Acts 16 for the story of how the church was started! Paul wrote this letter while in jail – probably from Rome in the early 60s AD, although some think he might have written from another of his jail-cells elsewhere. It’s important to remember…

Where does my hope lie?

Today’s text: Genesis 22:1-19 Over the last few weeks, we’ve been a fly on the wall of Abraham’s life. In Genesis 12, we saw how God called Abraham and gave him incredible promises: promises of descendants and land, a promise that God would bless those who blessed Abram and curse those who cursed him, a promise that through Abraham the nations of the world would be blessed. As we’ve explored Abraham’s journey with God, we’ve seen how those promises have…

Compromise and self-preservation

Todays text: Genesis 20 Abraham is an interesting character. In a world where we think we can make a name for ourselves, God promised to make a name for Abraham. He promised to bless him with land and descendants. He promised to bless those who blessed Abraham and to curse those who treated him with contempt. He promised that through Abraham, he would bless the world. As Christians, we recognise that God’s greatest blessing through Abraham has come in the…

The God who involves us

Text: Genesis 18-19:29 Over the last few weeks, we’ve been tracking along with Abraham as God reveals his character and promises to him. God called Abram in the context of the tower of Babel – a project that showed just how little humanity knew about who God is. They weren’t praising the one and only God who made everything. Their “god(s)” were more like humans, with needs and requirements that could be manipulated to enhance the reputation and prestige of…

Weary and heavily burdened?

Today’s passage: Matthew 11:25-30 Being religious is very hard work. As humans tainted by sin, we seem to have an inbuilt understanding that in order for us to have any significance in this life and success in the next, we have to be successful in the here and now. We assume that we have to prove our devotion to God in order for him to accept us. We know that God is holy and perfect, and we know that he…

God’s Masterpiece

Today’s passage: Ephesians 2:1-10 This morning continues our journey through the opening chapters of Ephesians. Paul started by praising God for all that he has done for us (only everything – he’s blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus!) Last week, he continued by praying that God would reveal more of himself to his readers, that they might live out of what he has done for them. This week, Paul continues on from where he left off. What…

Knowing God

Today’s passage: Ephesians 1:15-23 This weekend, we’re coninuing our journey through the first few chapters of Ephesians. Paul wrote to the Ephesian Christians to remind them of how amazingly wonderful the good news of God really is, and to encourage them in their living out of that. As we saw last week, what makes the good news of Jesus so incredible is that God has done it all! God chose us, rescued us and saved us. And what’s more we…

Freedom to… Live!

Bible Passage: Galatians 5:16-26 If you visit the old Fremantle prison, you might hear the story of serial escapee Moondyne Joe. He twice escaped prison in country WA, and twice more in Fremantle – one time almost under the noses of his guards! Although Moondyne Joe had a flair for escaping, the law would invariably catch up to him. We are all a bit like Moondyne Joe. But our guilt is to a higher authority: God. But God loves us…

Freedom from… legalism

Today’s passage: Galatians 4:8-5:16 This morning, we’re looking at how we can find freedom from legalism. Legalism stands at the core of all human religions, each of which presents a different set of tick-boxes that one has to sign-off on to be in good standing with God and avoid his wrath. Of course, when these different sets collide, conflict arises! Unlike these religions, Christianity stridently says that you and I can never be good enough. Even if we manage to…

Freedom from… loneliness

Passage: Psalm 142 In 1 Kings 18-19, we read of a showdown between the prophets of Baal and Elijah, God’s prophet. The showdown is a resounding display of God’s supremacy. But as Elijah comes into the conflict he feels, I think, very lonely and overwhelmed. In 1 Kings 18:22, he tells the assembled people, “I am the only prophet of the Lord who is left, but Baal has 450 prophets.” Later, fleeing  for his life from the wrath of Queen…

Freedom from… guilt and shame

Passages: Zechariah 3, Matthew 27:3-10, John 21 What do you do with your guilt? Like all emotions, guilt is a gift from God – but one that so easily turns from gift to curse. Properly, guilt reminds us that we have failed to live up to some standard. It’s not meant to be pleasant. But it is meant to bring us to a place where we repent, seeking forgiveness and turning from what we were doing wrong. But what about…

Freedom from… worry

Passage: Matthew 6:19-35 Jesus told a parable once about a farmer who went scattering good seed. Some seed fell on the footpath, and were eaten by birds. Some seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock, and withered when things got hot. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Sill other seed fell on fertile soil, producing an incredible crop. Jesus explained the meaning of these different soils (Mathew 13:18-23), saying that the…

Jesus’ demand for 100%

The disciples have realised that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Now, Jesus starts telling them that he will go to Jerusalem, suffer, be killed, and on the third day rise from the dead. Peter reprimands Jesus for saying this. Jesus says “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me.” Peter was seeing things from a human perspective, not God’s. Jesus disturbed the disciple’s ideas of what the Messiah would be like.…

Jesus’ Rules, Not ours

Why is it that Jesus would eat with the “scum” of the earth? By refusing to play by the rules of status, Jesus shows us the heart of God – and highlights our own sinfulness. Why didn’t Jesus encourage his disciples to fast? By refusing to play by the rules of religion, Jesus shows us that what matters is not religious observance but relationship with him. He also shows us that dried-out legalism is like an old garment which will…