How to listen to character study sermons

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Years ago my dad did a series of Bible studies which he called “An A-Z of Old Testament Characters.” I’m not sure if he managed to find someone for every letter, but there was certainly enough mileage to keep the series going for a good while.  It’s no surprise that character studies have proved popular.… Continue reading How to listen to character study sermons

How to listen to evangelistic sermons (when you already are a Christian)

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At any one time in a gathering there will be Christians and non-Christians present. This presents the preacher with a challenge.  Does he primarily focus on preaching to the Christians to edify and build them up or does he focus on evangelising the enquirers. Either way, he risks leaving part of the audience behind. Or… Continue reading How to listen to evangelistic sermons (when you already are a Christian)

How to listen to topical sermons

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Instead of focusing on a specific Bible passage and drawing out the things it has to say, a topical sermon starts with an issue and tries to find out what the Bible says about it. For example, the sermon might deal with an issue in church life such as prayer, giving, worship or evangelism. A… Continue reading How to listen to topical sermons

How to listen to doctrinal sermons

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Sometimes the aim of a sermon is to help us grasp a specific Biblical truth more clearly. This should not surprise us. We keep insisting that what we believe affects how we live.  We may use a one off sermon or even a short series of sermons to teach on a particular doctrine. For example,… Continue reading How to listen to doctrinal sermons

How to listen to expository sermons

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Are you sitting comfortably? The answer is “probably not” if you are in the typical church pew or crammed into a packed hall with little leg room.  So hopefully the sermon will be short, sharp and snappy though you’ve got a feeling that it might not be.  Expository sermons have a reputation for being long… Continue reading How to listen to expository sermons

The Challenge (Genesis 3)

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At this point, all looks well. God has created a good creation, fit for purpose. Humans live in that Creation, enjoying a garden paradise under God’s rule and blessing. They are responsible for caring for and ruling over creation. Then things start to go wrong The Enemy The Serpent’s cunning (v1). The snake is introduced… Continue reading The Challenge (Genesis 3)

Beasts, Dragons and a COVID vaccine passport

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What if someone with a lot of wealth, tech no and power, maybe someone with a name like Gill Bates was able to get a vaccine into you that changed your DNA? What if the authorities insisted we had a digital passport to prove we had been vaccinated or tested. Isn’t that like the mark… Continue reading Beasts, Dragons and a COVID vaccine passport

The “both – and” of mission

Republished from the archives (2018) One of my personal passions and priorities is to see people get involved in urban mission, making disciples who make disciples in communities where there is practically no gospel witness at the moment. That’s why I keep pointing visitors to faithroots.net to our ActBC pages. That urban focus means that… Continue reading The “both – and” of mission

Gifting, discernment and abuse

This is the sermon mentioned in my article about spiritual abuse Worship is about                Glorifying and praising God                Encouraging one another up /being a witness                Hearing God speak to us? How do we know that it is God speaking? By Knowing our own limitations (v 1-2) A question about Spiritual things –… Continue reading Gifting, discernment and abuse

Idolatry and Abuse

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I am republishing this article from 2016 in the light of recent challenging news stories How can we be alert to the risk of abuse, manipulation and control in church life?  Sometime back, I  preached on 1 Corinthians 12:1-3. I talked about how the devil wants us to stop hearing God and instead turn to… Continue reading Idolatry and Abuse