The richness of expository preaching

We have just run a series of 13 articles on the subject of justice. These all sprang from a sermon on Proverbs 21.  That one sermon prompted 13 articles reminds us of two things. First of all, it reminds us of one of the reasons why we run the faithroots website, there is a limit to how much you can cover in one single 30-minute sermon. We encourage Bearwood Chapel members to follow up Sunday teaching by using faithroots as a resource, by doing personal study picking up recommended reading, through 1-1, family and small group conversation and by prayerful obedient application to daily life. Continue reading

Justice (Proverbs 21)

In November 1974, the IRA detonated three bombs in Birmingham, two in pubs at the Rotunda and on New Street, one Image result for the birmingham pub bombings
in a bank on the Hagley Road.  21 people were killed. Six men were arrested, charged, convicted and put in prison.  In 1990 they were finally released, new evidence showed that they had been wrongly convicted.  They had suffered injustice. So too had the victims of the original bombing because the true culprits had not been punished.

What is your experience of justice? Some of us as parents, managers, union reps, church leaders etc  have a responsibility for seeing that justice is done.

Most of us will at some point seek justice:  a fair wage, a decent home to live in, an insurance claim, our immigration case. What is your experience of justice? Sadly, many people experience injustice Continue reading

Putting Down Roots (Genesis 23)

When Sarah and I came to Bearwood, I had been offered a 3 year contract (in fact when I signed they were able to extend this to 5 years)  Sarah was still waiting to see if she would find a job.  We were grateful to the church for its willingness to sacrificially support us for 3 years. The wise thing to do at that stage would have been to rent a house or flat as we might have had to move again in 3 years’ time.

However, we felt it right to buy a house. We wanted to show that we were ready to put down roots here and to live among the people God had called us to work with.

Genesis 23 may in some ways feel a bit like a strange anti-climax to the life of Abraham, an odd way to finish the story but actually it is a vital lesson in putting down roots.

So, let’s take a look.  First of all some minor side applications and then our main application. Continue reading

What Stops me? Obstacles in the search for Eternal Life

Some people ask Jesus about divorce and re-marriage.  Jesus tells them that marriage is permanent unless there has been sexual immortality.  Jesus denies a man permission to leave his wife if he finds fault with her. The disciples are shocked. They say Continue reading

Creation and Biblical Theology

The first few chapters of Genesis are setting up the rest of the book. So, just as a film or novel will return to key places and characters and just as a particularly melody will keep appearing in a musical, so too, we can look forward to the themes we discover in these first few chapters being repeated and built upon throughout Scripture.

To understand better how this is happening, we need to know a little about something called Biblical Theology. Continue reading

Commissioned (Matthew 28:16-20)

The talk from Hannes’ commissioning service

 

This morning we are commissioning Hannes.  What exactly is it that we are commissioning him to do? What better place to find out than this famous passage often referred to as “The Great Commission.”

Before we go on, note three important things

–          First that it in fact it is not us that commission. We are simply passing on Christ’s commission

–          Second that whilst there is a specific way in which Hannes has been called to fulfil this, the commission is for all of us

–          Thirdly, we need to say something about the context. Continue reading

Lot’s Daughters and an X rated ending (Genesis 19:30-38)

If this Bible passage was a film then it would be rated 18. The content is so shocking.  Here is a  reminder that the Bible isn’t afraid to look honestly at the mess and brokenness of our world

This is a story about being trapped and shamed so if you feel trapped by the mess of life, your own failure, sin and shame -the Bible speaks to you.

But it also gives a serious warning to those of us who risk complacency in our attitude towards God and others. So see here two warnings but hang on in to the end where we will discover great hope. Continue reading