Stephen Murray

The Pure Church

May 29, 2016

Bible Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 |

Series:

People think about sex a lot. There are a myriad of different opinions available in our culture about sex and sexual ethics. Ranging from complete sexual autonomy to strict, prudish views of sex, our world is replete with ideas on how best sex ought to function in society. It's often assumed that Christianity lies heavily on the strict, prudish side of that spectrum, yet when we look carefully at the apostle Paul's treatment of sexual ethics in 1 Thessalonians, a different picture emerges. Listen in as we explore the Christian sex ethic and it's implications for a young church.

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The Struggling Church

May 15, 2016

Bible Text: 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13 |

Series:

When 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians were beheaded by the Islamic State in February of 2015, the world came face to face with the extreme persecution of Christians. Detailed research suggests that persecution worldwide is a lot worse than we think. What do we make of persecution? How ought we to think about ourselves in relatively peaceful countries that uphold the freedom of religion? Are we being persecuted? Should we expect persecution? Listen in as we look at how the apostle Paul spoke to the Thessalonian church about the persecution they faced in the first century.

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The Bible-Driven Church

May 8, 2016

Bible Text: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-20 |

Series:

If I were a skeptic being invited to consider Christianity I think the first question I'd want to have answered is: Where are you getting your information about God from? In the ancient city of Thessalonica the first Christians learnt about God from the preaching of the apostles. Today we get our information from their testimony as it's recorded in the Bible. Can we trust this testimony? Does it really tell us about God? What is the Bible exactly? Listen in as we explore these questions and more.

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The Honest Church

May 1, 2016

Bible Text: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-20 |

Series:

We live in an age when integrity and authenticity are crucial cultural values. You should expect nothing less in the church. In the second chapter of Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians the apostle goes to great lengths to establish the integrity of his gospel preaching, and defend the time he spent ministering to the Thessalonians. Listen in as we look at this chapter and think about what it would mean to be an honest church.

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The Basic Church

April 24, 2016

Bible Text: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 |

Series:

What do you absolutely have to have in order to have a church? What is a local church at the lowest common denominator? The first 10 verses of the book of 1 Thessalonians give us insight into 3 key features of an infant church that the apostle Paul planted in Thessalonica in the year A.D. 50. Listen in as we explore these 3 key features and discover what God would say to us, a young church, through this ancient letter.

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Jesus Goes To Church 7: Laodicea

Jesus goes to church

June 22, 2014

Bible Text: Revelation 3:14-22 |

Series:

Lukewarm Christianity is a plague in the Western church. Jesus has strong words for the church in Laodicea, a church marked by a lukewarm faith. In this letter he exposes the root of their spiritual poverty and so by listening in, we can expose the roots of our own lack of spiritual fervour and zeal. The letter to the church in Laodicea teaches us what lukewarm Christianity is, where it comes from, and what we can do about it.

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Jesus Goes To Church 5: Sardis

Jesus goes to church

June 8, 2014

Bible Text: Revelation 3:1-6 |

Series:

Many people come to the city to make a name for themselves, to earn a reputation. The ancient church in the city of Sardis had a reputation for being alive, but it was a reputation that didn't hold true in the eyes of Jesus. By listening to what he says to this ancient church we can gain some insight into what he thinks about us today. We can see his penetrating insight into a culture that is saturated with people trying to make a name for the themselves in the city.

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Jesus Goes To Church 4: Thyatira

Jesus goes to church

June 1, 2014

Bible Text: Revelation 2:18-29 |

Series:

Most cultures around the world have some sense that our world is engaged in a cosmic struggle between good and evil. Basically every religion takes this as a given, and then sets about providing ways of ensuring that good wins out in the end. The letter to the church in Thyatira is the central letter in the collection of seven. It speaks to the heart of the struggle of the ancient church, and the heart of the church's struggle today. By observing closely what Jesus says to this church we can rightly understand our position in this great struggle between good and evil, and even find out how to be on the victorious side when the struggle concludes.

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Jesus Goes To Church 3: Pergamum

Jesus goes to church

May 25, 2014

Bible Text: Revelation 2:12-17 |

Series:

Sex and drunken revelry - that was part of what regular idol worship looked like in the ancient city of Pergamum. This idolatrous culture proved to be a tricky place for Christians to inhabit and remain faithful. In the letter to the church in that city, Jesus tackles the culture head on, and shows how it's deepest longings, for sustenance and intimacy, can only be fulfilled in him.

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Jesus Goes to Church 2: Smyrna

Jesus goes to church

May 18, 2014

Bible Text: Revelation 2:8-11 |

Series:

Even a surface reading of the New Testament will leave you in no doubt that persecution was big part of the spirituality of early Christianity. For those of us who live in affluent, Western countries, with significant religious freedom, this can sometimes be hard to understand and appropriate for ourselves. In this sermon we look at Jesus' words to the church in Smyrna, a church that faced severe persecution for their relentless faith in Christ. Although sometimes it feels like we live in a different world from those in first century Smyrna, there's a lot in this letter that helps us to think about how persecution is a part of our contemporary spirituality.

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