From St. Helen’s Bishopsgate in London, here is a message on “Our Sufficient God” by the Rev. Charlie Skrine. This message is based on Psalm 121 and is the first of two.
This is quite a thought-provoking video by Dr. Don Carson – a Bible study on Revelation 7:9-17 where he talks about the need to be “homesick for heaven.” Very much worth hearing for any of us. (Hat tip: Anglican Church League)
I find Stefan Molyneux to be an interesting fellow, and one with some keen insights about some issues we face in the world today. This video about “The Truth About The Fall of Rome” does indeed illustrate some modern parallels. The YouTube notes say:
Western civilization hangs by a thread – to rescue it, we must delve deep into the past to find out how to save the future. The fall of the Roman Empire closely mirrors the challenges currently facing Europe and North America – toxic multiculturalism, rampant immigration, runaway feminism, debt, currency corruption, wildly antagonistic politics – everything we need to know to save everything we love is written deep in the history of ancient Rome – all we need to do is look!
It has been a while since I mentioned Fr. Bill Klock’s sermons, and it is a good time to mention one of his latest messages, Recommendations, which is based on 2 Corinthians 3:1-11. In particular I found this portion worth considering for any of us:
Like the Christians of Ephesus who, in Revelation, are described as having lost their first love, the Corinthians had lost sight of the glory of the Holy Spirit’s ministry. It wasn’t that they’d lost the Holy Spirit. That’s impossible. It’s the Spirit who binds us to Jesus, he’s the one who unites us to his life, he’s the one who renews our minds and regenerates our hearts, turning us from everything that is not Jesus and giving us the desire and the faith to take hold of Jesus with both hands. You cannot be a Christian without the Holy Spirit. But the Spirit had become “old hat” for the Corinthians. It’s remarkable considering the miraculous things that we read about going on there in Paul’s first letter to them. Their church had no shortage of the Spirit’s ministry, but they’d let themselves be overwhelmed by the values of the culture around them.
Brothers and Sisters, we need to be on guard in the same way. Our own culture infiltrates the church in many, many way. Our culture is overwhelmingly commercialistic and too often, without even realizing it’s happened, we start building our churches around what amount to sales tactics, as if we’re trying to sell the Gospel. Programs can be good and useful in accomplishing the work of the Church, but most of the time these days they’re seen as sales tools. But God doesn’t give us programs. He gives us his Word. Through the ministry of the Spirit he caused his Word to be written by prophets, apostles, and evangelists so that we can know him and proclaim him to the world. And in Jesus he sent his Word to become flesh—not to give us programs or gimmicks—but to die for our sins and to rise again to unleash life into the world. A Church should never have its identity tied up with programs. A Church is a place where the Word is faithfully preached and the Sacraments faithfully administered. That was the definition the Protestant Reformers developed universally. What constitutes a Church? A Church is a body that preaches the Word and administers the Sacraments. But today it seems many preach everything but the Word and the Sacraments are often side-lined or even sometimes considered optional. As ministers of the Gospel, we—and that’s both you and I—are not called to be flashy, we’re not called to preach the pop-psychology and self-help that our culture obsesses over, we’re not called to be motivational speakers, we’re not called to preach health and wealth even though that’s what people want to hear—we’re called to proclaim that Jesus has died and risen and that he is Lord. And we’re called to back-up that proclamation by living the life of the Spirit, by manifesting the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control that the Spirit bears in our lives. We’re called to be gloriously counter-cultural: being poor in spirit, mourning sin, living in meekness, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, being merciful, and making peace—even when it means rejection and persecution. It’s this Jesus-centred and Spirit-empowered life that manifests the glory of God to the world, that makes us the light of the world and the salt of the earth.
Indeed, we are called to “proclaim that Jesus has died and risen and that He is Lord” – by Word, Sacrament, and our lives. If you’d like to hear this sermon you can do so below. (If you are looking for a church in the Vancouver BC metro area, Living Word REC is certainly worth a look.)
Here is the next in a good series of audio sermons on the Book of Genesis from the Rev. Coty Pinckney of Desiring God Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Its title is Fear-Fighting Faith and it is based on Genesis 15. This message starts out:
What if God is not faithful to His promises? What if the Bible is all wrong? What if Jesus is not the Son of God, did not die on the cross for your sins, and never rose from the dead? What if there is no coming Day when all wrongs will be righted, and no eternity ahead in which those from every tribe and tongue and people and nation will praise God?
Do such fears ever come upon you? Such fears came upon Abraham. The fact that such fears cross your mind is not sin. The question is: How do you deal with such fears?
If you like the writings of J.C. Ryle, you will like this presentation on “J.C. Ryle: A Faithful Anglican” by Lee Gatiss. He gave this lecture at the Church Society Conference this year. I would say that whether or not one has read Ryle’s books, it would be good to hear this lecture on what we can learn from Ryle as we seek to proclaim the same gospel truths and reach the world today.
These musicians from Poland seem remarkably young – but also remarkably talented. They are playing a concerto for oboe and violin by Johann Sebastian Bach, and this is very much worth a listen.
free book in Kindle format: “Applied Theology: And Other Things I Needed to Hear” by Mike Stimpson
Here is another
free* book in Kindle format, titled Applied Theology: And Other Things I Needed To Hear, by Mike Stimpson. Mike, an evangelical Christian, has written this book to help us think about living what we believe – in other words, applying our theology. He explains his purpose quite well:
Theology should not be abstract. We should live like it’s true. However, I discovered that there were several areas where my theology was mostly correct, but the truth was not “written on my heart”. I didn’t know how to live it out in my daily life.
Some examples: I believed that God was sovereign, but I got frustrated when stuck in traffic. I read that in God’s presence is fulness of joy, but I kept chasing after money and what it can buy. I knew that Jesus was preparing a place for me, but I acted as if my house would be eternal if I just maintained it well enough.
As I was trying to work through these issues, I didn’t find much to help me. (It may well exist; I just didn’t find it.) So I wrote this book to help me think through some of these issues. In essence, it is what I needed to hear.
If you have been pondering these matters – and a lot of us eventually do – give Applied Theology: And Other Things I Needed To Hear a try.
*Apparently there was a limit to the number of days this book could be free, so it is now listed at $2.99.
Here is the seventh in a series of audio sermons on the First Epistle of John by Phillip Jensen; the name of the series is “1 John: Living Confidently in a Dangerous World”. This message is titled Love and the Family of God and is based on 1 John 3:11-24.