Remembering – Anchoring your life in the glory of the Gospel (Jude 16 – 19)

My friend was walking home with his son after church. The little boy said “Daddy, adults are very silly.”  His dad said “Yes we are son but why exactly…” His son said “Well when you eat the bread and drink the wine, the pastor says you have to do it so you will remember that Jesus died for you … but how can you forget something so important?”

That little boy’s comments got us thinking about what we mean by “remembering.” It’s very important to what we are talking about tonight. You see, we are going to be told to remember something.

Remembering isn’t just about what we keep in our minds intellectually. It’s about living our lives each day as though the truth we remember is as real and as fresh and as new as it was the first day we knew it.

These past few weeks we have been learning about the problem of apostacy -how people fall away from the Gospel, how people can be led astray by false teachers. How are we to guard against that? The answer is that we are to remember God’s Word. It means relying on God’s Word completely in the sense I talked about just a moment ago. We live by God’s Word as though it is as fresh and as new today as the first day we heard it. Continue reading


Faithful Servants and #Churchtoo #MeToo

When I first wrote about handling the difficult Bible passages in 2 Samuel about David, Bathsheba, Amnon, Absalom and Tamar, I identified 3 types of person in the narrative. The first two are

Culprits – who are causing harm to others through their sin and carry specific guilt.

Victims – who are hurt by the sin of others often subjected to shame and a sense of defilement.

However, I don’t want us to lose sight of the third category. There are those we identified as faithful servants.  These are people seeking to be obedient to God and faithful to his word and promises even in the face of intense provocation. Continue reading

Sin Treats Silence as permission – the #churchtoo problem

In the light of the recent sexual harassment scandal in Hollywood, the hashtag #metoo began to trend on twitter as people began to share their own stories of experiencing unwanted attention, persistent harassment and physical abuse. 

Sadly, very quickly in the wake of this another hashtag began to trend, #churchtoo. Now it may be tempting to sit back and say “This is just people with an axe to grind jumping on the bandwagon” and maybe some are but if even just a small percentage of the stories are true then this should disturb and sadden us. It should move us to sorrowful prayer and to action. Continue reading

Cut and run: Is it ever okay to skip over a passage in expository preaching?

On Sunday, our preachers were due to speak on 2 Samuel 12. It’s the Bible passage where King David’s sin against Bathsheba and Uriah is called out. The question got asked “How should we handle this?”

It was a baptism service, we were expecting guests, some young people among them, a good number who had probably not been to church or read the Bible before. The passage includes the particularly sensitive part I looked at in this article where David and Bathsheba’s child dies.  The questions raised were: Continue reading

Faithfulness in a divided home

On a few occasions we’ve looked at the question “Can/should a Christian date or marry a non-Christian?”  You can find our answer here.

But what happens when someone is already married to an unbeliever?  This can happen for a couple of reasons: Continue reading

The disciplined life

Being a Christian – is good when everything is going well. I’m getting on at work, family are happy, health is good, everyone is enjoying church. We often call this “blessing”

But what about when things are not going well. Or what about when the preacher says things I don’t want to hear?  What if they even tell me I’m in the wrong and I need to change course. How do I feel about that?  We probably don’t call it “blessing.”

Today, we are talking about discipline.  What does it mean to be disciplined as a Christian? Continue reading

Guilt and Shame – objective and subjective

I wanted to highlight again an important factor in our understanding of guilt and shame.  Instinctively in modern, western Britain we think in terms of shame as something that is a subjective feeling.  Increasingly, as we saw right back when we first looked at guilt and grace, we treat guilt as subjective too. Continue reading