Stephen Murray

The Disciple

July 31, 2016

Bible Text: Romans 12:1-2 |

Series:

In this series we're trying to answer one question: What is a complete Christian? We ask this question because we want to ensure that we're heading in the right direction in our spirituality as we pursue a balanced and mature understanding and expression of our faith as Christians.

In this sermon we study Romans 12:1-2 as we look at what it means to be a disciple.

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The Worshipper

July 24, 2016

Bible Text: Romans 11:33-36 |

Series:

The 4th century North African Bishop, Augustine of Hippo once wrote:

"[God] himself is the source of our bliss, he himself the goal of all our striving … so that in reaching him we may find our rest, and attain our happiness because we have achieved our fulfilment in him."

Any attempt to journey towards a level of greater maturity and grow in the Christian faith must start with you first becoming a worshipper of God. In your heart of hearts, the lights need to go on - you need to see Him as your "source of bliss" above all else. In this first sermon in our series, "The Complete Christian", we explore what it means to worship God in our heart of hearts. Listen in as we look particularly at Paul's great doxology at the end of Romans 11, trying to discern the characteristics of God that make him alone the object of supreme Christian worship.

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What does it mean to be a white Christian in Cape Town?

Three Shades of Cape Town Sermon Series

July 3, 2016

Bible Text: Philippians 2:5-11 |

Series:

In this talk, Stephen Murray draws on Philippians 2:5-11 as he addresses the question "What does it mean to be a white Christian in Cape Town?"

This is the first talk in a three-part series entitled "Three Shades of Cape Town":

Cape Town has a “coloured” history in more ways than one.

For centuries different racial and ethnic groups have called this peninsula home. For centuries relationships between different races here have been subject to all sorts of social and power dynamics, often resulting in the privileging of one group over another, or the oppression of one group by another.

Today the three dominant race groupings attempt to exist side by side in this great city: black, white, and coloured. Although there are wonderful examples to the contrary, that existence is often one of unease. It colours the stories we live, and how we live next to each other in this city. Our skin colour, for better or for worse, makes a significant difference to how we experience this city.

For many this experience is not something they feel is adequately reflected upon from a spiritual point of view. Too often spirituality attempts to cover over difference, and neutralise experiences. At Hope City we want to recognise that the difference is real, that colour is an issue, and that one’s experiences of this city are significant. But we don’t want to stop there. We want to bring the Bible, and particularly the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, to bear upon these social and racial dynamics and the experiences we have as a result of them.

What does it mean to be a black Christian in Cape Town?
What does it mean to be a white Christian in Cape Town?
What does it mean to be a coloured Christian in Cape Town?

Over three weeks, and three different speakers, we hope to humbly and sensitively engage with our context and with God’s Word. We invite you to join us for this sermon series as we explore the Scriptures together for the good of each other, for the good of our city, and for the glory of God.

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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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Fear Factor

February 28, 2016

Bible Text: Ezekiel 3:24-4:16 |

Series:

God tells Ezekiel that in memorial of the siege of Jerusalem, he needs to build a model of the city. Then he needs to lie down on his left side for 390 days, then his right side for 40 days. During this time he is only allowed to eat bread which he has baked over a fire of human faeces.

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I Now Pronounce You Husband And Sister?

February 21, 2016

Bible Text: Genesis 12:10-20 |

Series:

Abram’s wife Sarai is seriously good-looking, so Abram is worried that the Egyptians will kill him to steal her. He asks her to pretend that she’s his sister instead. Pharaoh takes her into his household and rewards Abram. But this annoys God, who punishes Pharaoh’s family with “serious diseases”.

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