Stephen Murray

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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Jesus Goes to Church 1: Ephesus

Jesus goes to church

May 11, 2014

Bible Text: Revelation 2:1-7 |

Series:

What would happen if Jesus rocked up at your church on Sunday night and took the sermon instead of the regular preacher? What would he say to your church? Well by studying the letters to the 7 churches of Revelation we get something of a look in to just what Jesus would say. We start this series off with a look at his words to the church in Ephesus, a church that he saw as being really strong on truth but really weak on love. Have a listen to find out more...

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Lamentations 4

Lamentation - Hope in the Darkness

April 20, 2014

Bible Text: Lamentations 4:1-22 |

Series:

Old Testament Professor, Gordon McConville writes, "An important part of God's intention in bringing the state of Judah to an end was to show that he himself was the only proper object of the people's trust.

Lamentations stands as a witness against false trust in any institution, including a church, for salvation." No poem in the collection reflects that more than the poem in chapter 4. In this sermon we look at the issue of trust, the consequences of misplacing it, and the reason why our relationship with God alone should be our ultimate trust relationship in life.

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Lamentations 3

Lamentation - Hope in the Darkness

April 6, 2014

Bible Text: Lamentations 3:1-66 |

Series:

In some ways the concept of hope is the very foundation upon which our continuing existence, as human beings, is based. Here, in the middle of the book of Lamentations we find a reason to hope in the midst of desolation and darkness, a reason to lift our eyes above the despair.

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Lamentations 2

Lamentation - Hope in the Darkness

March 30, 2014

Bible Text: Lamentations 2:1-22 |

Series:

Speaking about "the Wrath of God" is one of those uncomfortable subjects that few people like to do. The problem is that the more you read your Bible the more you see the theme coming up, particularly in the Old Testament. As we continue our series in Lamentations we find ourselves, in chapter 2, staring into the face of God's wrath. How should we understand it? How do we make sense of the devastation of Jerusalem at God's hand? Is the wrath of God an inconvenient doctrine that Christians ought to throw out, or could it potentially help us to make sense of evil and suffering in our world?

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Lamentations 1

Lamentation - Hope in the Darkness

March 16, 2014

Bible Text: Lamentations 1:1-22 |

Series:

Sin is generally a difficult issue to talk about in our culture – not primarily because our culture doesn't believe in sin – actually more because our culture can't agree on the definitions and boundaries of sin. In this study on the first chapter of Lamentations we look at how the Bible conceives of sin and try and make sense of it's definitions within a culture that is largely amoral and pluralistic.

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