‘First responders to the news of the birth of Jesus’ (Luke 2:18-20)

The Christmas story is an old story. Over 2,000 years old. And given that each year we hear about it and sing about it, the danger we face is that ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ and that we lose the impact of the story. Maybe one way of recovering that impact is to consider the response of the people who were there at the time. These people would include those mentioned in Luke 2:18-20, those who heard the testimony of the shepherds (verse 18), Mary herself (verse 19) and the shepherds themselves (verse 20). Luke gives attention to each of these three group and by noting well their responses we might be able to sort through and answer the question, ‘What is your reponse to the news of the birth of Jesus?”

‘The appearing of the Messiah… viewed from long distance’ (Isaiah 11:1-10)

Isaiah 11:1-10 is a record of one of the prophecies of Isaiah concerning the coming of the Messiah. Although Isaiah lived 700 years before Jesus Christ was born, he foresaw the arrival of Jesus the Messiah and the effect of his ministry that would in turn transform the whole world. Christians rejoice in the gift of God’s Son at Christmas, but also know that the fulness of his ministry is not yet seen in this world. However, when Jesus comes again, things will be very different. Isaiah prophesied of this too and we now await the Lord’s return.

Full service

00:00 Welcome
Song: Hark! the Herald Angels
00:20 Introduction
00:47 Prayer
06:04 Children’s talk (with thanks to Kidswise)
Song: The Greatest Treasure
09:35 Bible reading: Isaiah 11:1-10
Song: What Child is This?
11:10 Bible reading: Revelation 21:1-7, 22-27
Song: The Servant King
13:34 Sermon: Isaiah 11:1-10
Song: O Come, O Come, Immanuel
35:59 Closing

‘Meet the apostle’s directions to the church in Cornth’ (1 Corinthians 11:17-34)

Throughout the letter of Paul to the church at Corinth there have been many indicators that the church was not in a healthy state. Divisions, jealousies, sexual immorality, pride and idolatry were evidenced in their behaviour and these were symptoms that something was wrong. In 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 it is evident that Paul had to write to them as he did because these symptoms were begiining to appear at the Lord’s table and it was bringing premature judgment upon them. In diagnosing the problem and prescribing the solution, the Apostle brings us also back to how we should prepare ourselves to appear at the Lord’s table, lest we become like them and bring judgement upon ourselves.

Full service

00:00 Welcome
Song: Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)
00:15 Introduction
00:53 Prayer
05:30 Children’s talk (with thanks to Kidswise)
Song: Tax Collector & the Pharisee
10:49 Ministry Update: Reach Beyond
12:45 Bible reading: Luke 18:1-14
Song: The Power of the Cross
15:12 Bible reading: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34
18:21 Sermon: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34
Song: Jesus Paid It All
40:48 Closing

‘Meet the apostle’s answers to the church in Corinth’ (1 Corinthians 10:14-33)

There’s no doubt that food speaks a universal language. We all love it and we all enjoy eating it together. But what happens when the food that we would like to eat has been used in a worship service for a pagan god? This was one of the questions that the believers at Corinth were asking Paul, questions that all relate back to what Paul had already begun to speak of in chapter 8. But in 1 Corinthians 10:14-31, they have this added element… the Lord God will not share His glory with another. Eating is nothing in itself, but all that we do – even our eating and drinking – must be for His glory and His alone.

Full service

00:00 Welcome
Song: All My Days
00:16 Introduction
00:46 Prayer
06:16 Children’s talk (with thanks to Kidswise)
Song: Follow the Saviour
09:10 Ministry Update: Alan & Faye
15:18 Bible reading: Isaiah 42:1-9
Song: Only a Holy God
16:40 Bible reading: 1 Corinthians 10:14-33
19:03 Sermon: 1 Corinthians 10:14-33
Song: Have Thine Own Way
44:23 Closing

‘Meet the apostle’s warnings to the church in Corinth’ (1 Corinthians 10:1-13)

Hindsight is such a wonderful thing. It enables everyone to be wiser…’if only I had done this instead of that’….but hindisght only works when looking back and never looking forward. As Paul continued to direct the believers at Corinth in the way they should live, after pointing them to his example, he also pointed to examples in the pages of the Old Testament, where God’s people went wrong and faced the Lord’s discipline (severe at times) upon them. These things were written for us, not for them. What happened to them is for our warning, instruction…and even encouragement!

Full service

00:00 Welcome
Song: Jerusalem
00:16 Introduction
00:47 Prayer
06:22 Children’s talk (with thanks to Kidswise)
Song: The One and Only God
09:55 Ministry Update: Daniel and Courtney
13:53 Bible reading: Numbers 11:1-6, 31-33
Song: Oh the Mercy of God
15:51 Bible reading: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
18:05 Sermon: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
Song: Yield not to Temptation
40:46 Closing

‘Meet the apostle’s example to the church in Corinth (part 2)’ (1 Corinthians 9:19-27)

After establishing that Paul ‘practiced what he preached’ with regard to not making his full use of his rights as an apostle, in the next verses, 1 Corinthians 9:19-27, Paul continued to explain how he had made it a principle of life to win people for Christ and maintain his own place in the race toward the finish line through self-discipline by laying aside rights and pursuing responsibilities. Paul’s example before the Corinthians and before us is something that needs to consider well.  Are you too, aiming to win people for Christ? Are you too running the race of following Jesus with all your effort? There’s only one race worth being in – because every other race will something that will end up turning to dust..

Full service

00:00 Welcome
Song: Come people of the risen King
00:16 Introduction
00:53 Prayer
05:29 Children’s talk (with thanks to Kidswise)
Song: Passing Through
09:46 Ministry Update: Kerang-Swan Hill
11:56 Bible reading: 2 Timothy 2:1-13
Song: Before the Throne of God
13:20 Ministry Focus: Bendigo Christian Union
14:46 Bible reading: 1 Corinthians 9:19-27
16:17 Sermon: 1 Corinthians 9:18-27
Song: O Jesus I have Promised
39:07 Closing

‘Meet the apostle’s example to the church in Corinth (part 1)’ (1 Corinthians 9:1-18)

It’s not always an easy thing to practice what you preach. Sooner or later, someone will point out your hypocrisy. After telling the church in Corinth to put the law of love over the principle of freedom and liberty, the Apostle Paul found it necessary to let the believers in Corinth know that this was a principle that he himself had already put into practice. In 1 Corinthians 9:1-18, as Paul defends his ministry and his actions, he makes it clear that he was one who ‘practiced what he preached’. Could the same be said of you?

Full service

00:00 Welcome
Song: O Worship the King
00:16 Introduction
00:43 Prayer
06:12 Children’s talk (with thanks to Kidswise)
Song: Jesus, Strong and Kind
9:52 Ministry Focus – Chris and Naomi
13:18 Bible reading: 2 Corinthians 11:1-15
Song: O Lord My Rock and My Redeemer
15:11 Bible reading: 1 Corinthians 9:1-18
18:23 Sermon: 1 Corinthians 9:1-18
Song: This Life I Live
41:26 Closing

‘Meet the food issues at the church in Corinth’ (1 Corinthians 8:1-13)

It’s pretty fair to say that everybody likes food. Not all the same kinds of food of course, but it’s rare to find someone who isn’t interested in what they eat. At Corinth, as we are told in 1 Corinthians 8:1-13, the believers were having some issues with food, especially food that had been offered to pagan idols as part of their pagan worship. Now that they were Christians, the question they wanted to ask Paul was ‘should we or shouldn’t we eat food that has been offered to idols?’ Paul’s answer was a solid ‘yes’, but also a cautious ‘no’. How can he say both and be right both times? Because Christian liberty means we can eat anything, but Christian love means that we ought not to!

Full service

00:00 Welcome
Song: He Will Hold Me Fast
00:16 Introduction
00:43 Prayer
06:46 Children’s talk (with thanks to Kidswise)
Song: 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 (Let Him Who Boasts)
10:03 Ministry Focus – Rochester Presbyterian
14:37 Bible reading: Romans 14:1-12
Song: Nothing Can I Boast In
16:49 Bible reading: 1 Corinthians 8:1-13
18:44 Sermon: 1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Song: May the Mind of Christ
42:15 Closing

‘Meet the relationship advice for the church in Corinth’ (1 Corinthians 7:25-40)

Relationship advice is everywhere on just about any topic you can think of in relation to relationships, especially marriage! But the advice that the Apostle Paul gives to the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 7:25-40 is advice that helps put all relationships into some kind of perspective. See, no earthly relationship will last, no matter how good it is! Once this world is done, only that which God has decreed will live on and unfortunately, earthly relationships aren’t in that grouping. But God’s Word will go on forever, and so the best advice for any relationship is this – use it for the sake of the gospel!

Full service

00:00 Welcome
Song: At the name of Jesus
00:15 Introduction
00:51 Prayer
05:48 Children’s talk (with thanks to Kidswise)
Song: The Greatest Treasure
09:02 Ministry Focus – Persecuted Church
12:24 Bible reading: 1 Peter 3:1-7
Song: There is a Higher Throne
13:31 Bible reading: 1 Corinthians 7:25-40
16:18 Sermon: 1 Corinthians 7:25-40
Song: Live for the Kingdom
39:31 Closing

‘Meet the contentment issues at the church in Corinth’ (1 Corinthians 7:12-24)

There’s no doubt that the world we live in offers little in the way of contentment. This applies not only to possessions but also to our relationships. Some say ‘if you don’t like the bed, change the sheets’, ie get a new partner! Some TV shows even throw 2 strangers together and expect them to be happily married.  It doesn’t work like that! Paul wrote to the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 7:12-24 to urge them not to find that elusive contentment in their relationship status, but in Christ. And what he writes is a game changer in regard to contentment in all of life!

Full service

00:00 Welcome
Song: Crown Him With Many Crowns
00:18 Introduction
00:50 Prayer
06:30 Children’s talk (with thanks to Kidswise)
Song: You Are Not Your Own (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
10:32 Ministry Focus – Eaglehawk Presbyterian Church
13:28 Bible reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
Song: Only a Holy God
14:46 Bible reading: 1 Corinthians 7:12-24
17:35 Sermon: 1 Corinthians 7:12-24
Song: My Worth Is Not In What I Own
41:43 Closing