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Christmas Celebration

Phil Hardy (Sun, 16 Dec 2018)

At our Christmas Celebration, Phil spoke about Jesus being the perfect Christmas gift.

Christmas Celebration 2018

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God's Grace Is Sufficient

Phil Hardy (Sun, 09 Dec 2018)

Phil spoke about living in the light and God's grace being sufficient to enable us to live for Jesus in a fallen world.

Romans 5
Romans 6

Tools for living by Grace

Submit yourself to God
“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
‭‭James‬ ‭4:6-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/jas.4.6-8.esv

Confess your sins first to God
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/1jn.1.9.esv

Then to one another
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
‭‭James‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/jas.5.16.esv

Questions

1) In Romans Paul talks about the grace we have entered into through faith, how has this grace changed your life?

2) James 4 Says he gives more grace, what is your experience of more grace and how did you acces that grace?

3) Have you any stories of how hard or easy it was to share your sins with someone, what are the benefits of following what the bible says to do ?

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Resting

Peter Williams (Sun, 02 Dec 2018)

Peter spoke about the importance of resting and how it is different from laziness.

Christmas, and the run up some of the busiest times

God is speaking to us about resting for the last couple of weeks.

“But the truth is, we are just as loved by God when we are resting. We are just as whole, just as precious and just as saved.”
Ems Hancock, the rest of your life

Sabbath
Biblical to take out time for God.
Sunday often a busy day.
So when do we take out time?

There is a difference between resting and laziness

We wear busy-ness as a badge of pride.

Work hard play hard mentality

We were made to be productive.
God's command to Adam, to be fruitful, to multiply. To plant and reap.
But on the 7th day, rest.

But resting does not mean we should not be productive.
However, His love is not based on what we do.

There are people that that cannot be productive, and they are not failures
Depression. Fatigue. Inability. Disability.

David grappled with the paradox of doing and resting.
Psalms 62:1‭-‬12
David puts the rest first, but makes sure he does what he needs to do as well.
But, he puts the rest first as a priority!

When we know what we don’t have to do, it frees us to do the things we are meant to do.

“The Hebrew for “be still” translates to let go of your grip, to make oneself weak. What a freeing idea! In our complete dependence on a God who won’t ever fail us, we find freedom.”

Bizarrely, busy people often prevaricate about resting! Yes you do!
As they stop, things pop into their mind.
Before you know it the hour you had diarised to spend with God is now 10 minutes squeezed in at the end.

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10 ESV

Col 3:12-17
Talks about the attitudes we should have as servants of Christ.
You might take that as doing, but it's not about rushing about doing stuff.

Prophetic challenge
Uptown funk
Stop, wait a minute
Fill my cup…..
Push pause
Allow God to speak
See what he puts in your cup

Bring your testimony next week.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28 NLT

Questions

What to you tend towards, doing too much, or not enough?
What do you do to make you stop?
How do you hear from God best?
What has God been speaking to you about?

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Sactification And Justification

Neal Garratt (Sun, 25 Nov 2018)

Following on from Dave’s talks on repentance Neal looked at Sanctification – The work of the Holy Spirit to cleanse us from all unrighteousness and make us Holy – more Christ like.

We started by looking at 1 Corinthians 6 vs 9-11

And such were some of you But God came

You were washed – Baptised in Water/Cleansed by the blood Of Jesus
You were sanctified – Made Holy – Free from sin or guilt
You were Justified – You are not Guilty!

Justified is about our position in Christ – Not based on our experience - You are either condemned or justified and we have been found not guilty – so we are justified by the blood of Jesus and found not guilty.

Romans 8 vs 1 – There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus – Why? Because we have been found not guilty! There is no condemnation for past sins, for present sins and for future sins.

Romans 5 vs 18-20 –

Sanctification – We are like rough diamonds – we need to be washed, cleansed and cut to create something beautiful – that is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives – taking us as sinners and creating something beautiful.

Romans 6 vs 12-23 – The picture Paul gives is one of being slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness – We are no longer slaves to sin - sin may call but you do not have to follow – resist the enemy and he will flee from you!

We hear people say
Its just how I am?
Its part of my character
I was born like that
Its just my nature

And yet we are told that we are a new creation and we have been born again by the Holy Spirit? God changes us day by day, week by week, year by year – He renews our thinking and our actions – we are no longer controlled by our own nature but are a new creation in Christ!

2 Corinthians 5 vs 17-21 and Colossians 3 vs 5-15 were the readings

So why doesn’t God just sanctify us completely when we become a Christian – It would be so much easier! We know that eventually when Jesus returns the Church will be presented to Jesus as a beautiful bride, holy and pure – and that’s us – but why wait? Because this is part of God’s great plan and we have to reply on him to achieve it! It’s based on our relationship with God rather than being told what to do – based on love – we sin and it breaks our relationship so we need to come back – be forgiven and be filled back up everyday. Also would pride be an issue? We could and probably would think that we had something to do with our own righteousness rather than our total reliance on God.

2 Corinthians 4 vs 7- 10 – Treasure in jars of clay

Titus 3 vs 4-6 – He saved us not on the basis of deeds done in righteousness but according to his mercy!

Sanctification works in us day by day to cleanse us, smooth down the rough edges and bring forth something of value and beauty – Galations 5 vs 16-26 – The result – The fruit of the spirit – This is what we want – to be more like Jesus and have the fruits of the spirit evident in our daily lives – more love, more joy, more patience, more kindness, more goodness, more faithfulness, more gentleness and more self control.

How? If we live by the spirit – let us also walk by the Spirit!

Questions

1. We looked at the difference today between justification and sanctification? Are we clear on the differences?
2. How does my natural person/personality sit with the fact that we are a new creation in Christ – Does this make a difference in our lives?
3. Slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness? Why is this such a battleground in our lives?
4. Can you see the work of sanctification in your lives – are you the same now as when you first became a Christian?

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Living In The Light

Phil Hardy (Sun, 18 Nov 2018)

Phil spoke on living in the light.

The meeting this morning was not recorded. Sorry for any inconvenience this causes.

Introduction
• We have been looking at how we live
• Knowing who we are and living in the good of that truth
• Dealing with Sin

This morning I want to look at living in the light

Last time I put on the screen a quote about a man which read:-
"He lived his life in such a way that he made it easy for others to believe in Jesus"
I guess that's the challenge for us, could that be said of me or you.

Read
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:8-14)

1. How can we live in the light while we also live in this dark world?
At the beginning of Eph 5 Paul is continuing his encouragement to imitate God that began in Ephesians 5:1-7. He called the believers to imitate God by living a life of love, and by getting rid of sexual immorality of every sort, including activities, thoughts, and words. Here the believers are called to imitate God by walking as children of light.

1. In Scripture the use of light has two aspects, the intellectual and the moral. Intellectually it represents truth,
2. And morally it represents holiness.

To live in light therefore means to live in truth and in holiness.

As also the use of the word darkness has the same two aspects.
○ Intellectually it represents ignorance and falsehood,
○ And morally it is to do evil or have low morals or no moral boundaries and decline

Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path,” In this reference, “light” refers to intellectual truth as found in God’s Word.

In Romans 13:12-14, “light” refers to moral deeds and “darkness” to immoral deeds.
The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

In Isaiah 5:20, these words refer to both the intellectual and the moral. It says, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

We the believers are in the light because we have been changed intellectually and morally.

How can believers continually imitate God by living in the light?

How can believers live in the light, as Paul writes in Ephesians 5:8-14?

To Live in the Light, Believers Must Remember that Light, Not Darkness, Is Their Nature

Remember who you are - You are a new creation in God

We have changed camps once we were darkness now we have been transformed into his glorious light
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (Ephesians 5:8)

Paul reminds believers that they were once darkness, but are now light in the Lord.

Note - Paul does not say believers were “in” darkness, but they “were” darkness.

This was our character our very nature and is true of every believer before coming to Christ.

There has been a definite character change in the life of every true believer. By using the term “children of light,” Paul reminds us that we NOW have our Father’s nature!

In John 8:12, Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

In Psalm 27:1, God is called “light” and “salvation.” This is the character and nature of God our Father, and we have his nature.

2. In what ways is the believer light and the world darkness?

1. The believers show their light because they know God.
Romans 1:21-23 describes the world as intellectually darkened in reference to knowing God the Creator. It says,
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
People of the world have darkened minds. They profess to be wise when they are really fools. They deny the living God by worshiping false gods or denying his existence. Psalm 14:1 says the fool says in his heart there is no God. The world is dark because people do not know or even acknowledge God. But believers are light because they know the light—they know God.

2. The believers show their light because they know the gospel

2 Corinthians 4:4 says, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” The world is blinded to the light of the gospel.

1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Though the world rejects the gospel, to the believer, it is the power and wisdom of God.

Not only are unbelievers blinded to the gospel, they are also blinded to Scripture in general. 1 Corinthians 2:14 says, “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

3. The believer shows their light because they practice the character of righteousness.
What is that people around you see in You - Personal story

Romans 13:12-14
The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

As believers, we are called to put aside the deeds of darkness and clothe ourselves with Christ.

1 John 3:10 says, “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.”

Children of God are identified by their obedience to God, and unbelievers are identified by their disobedience.

Essentially, to be in darkness is to be ignorant of God and his Word and to practice rebellion in regards to those things. The world is darkness, but the believer is light. He knows the truth about creation, the gospel, and God, and he lives in view of these realities that the world rejects.

Conclusion

Here's some check questions we can make to see if we are living in the light
1. Am I honest and above reproach in all my financial dealings? That includes giving God a tithe of your income.
2. Do I put myself in sexually inappropriate situations, or expose myself to harmful material?
3. Do I spend enough time with my family, and would they say that I do?
4. Do I tell the truth even when it brings me hurt or criticism?
5. Do I find it easy to say, ‘I was wrong. I’m genuinely sorry,’ or do I hold grudges?
6. Am I knowingly compromising any area of my life, or refusing to face the consequences of my actions?
7. Have I formed habits that are detrimental to my health, my job, my family, or my walk with Christ?
8. Am I proud, selfish, or arrogant?
9. Have I taken credit for things that others did and should have been rewarded for?
10. Have I failed to confess something to someone who should know of my wrongdoing?
11. Have I been insensitive or abusive to my loved ones? And if I have, what am I willing to do about it?
12. Am I spending enough time in prayer and in the Scriptures?

Questions

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.

1) How do we know we are light?
2) what is the evidence of this light? - what are the fruits in your life of this light ?
3) How can we live as children of the light and affect the darkness around us?
4)When you pray, ‘Lord, make me a better person,’ in what specific areas do you want to change, grow, and mature?

Here's some more verses concerning living in the light

for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
Ephesians 5:8 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/eph.5.8.ESV

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.
1 Peter 2:16 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/1pe.2.16.ESV

that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
Philippians 2:15 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/php.2.15.ESV

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:7 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/1jn.1.7.ESV

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
1 Peter 2:9 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/1pe.2.9.ESV

So as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.
1 Peter 4:2 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/1pe.4.2.ESV

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
Isaiah 60:1‭-‬3 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/isa.60.1-3.ESV

Let us examine our ways…and…return to the LORD.’
Lamentations 3:40 NIV

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Justified By Faith

Dave Watmore (Sun, 11 Nov 2018)

Dave spoke about our justificiation with God being through faith and not through excuses.

Questions
Did you understand the idea that we are all Vicky Pollard?
How often do you act like Vicky Pollard?
Do you understand the justification by faith and how does this apply to your everyday walk with Jesus.
Do you still have habitual behaviour that hobbles you and stops you running for Jesus?
Do you have labels on you that cloud your vision?
Be honest with each other but pray to be able to walk in righteousness into your future.

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Identity - Chosen, Loved, Saints

Phil Hardy (Sun, 04 Nov 2018)

Phil spoke on living your life in such away it makes it easier for others to believe in Jesus.

Please note that this recording stops after about 30 mins.

Questions for discussion are in bold.

Identity - Chosen, Loved, Saints

Introduction

• We've been looking at Identity
• It's one of the reasons the children of Israel didn't enter the promised land the first time and could have been the second time had it not been for a prostitute named Rahab
• Our identity used to be based on family background, education, race, physical attributes and maybe some other things.
• But because of what Jesus has done we have been given a new identity for free.
• The life we now live we live by faith in Jesus (Galatians 2:20). It is through faith we understand that we are now radically loved by God
• You may have defined yourself or others have done it for you, maybe a parent or a teacher a boss or some other person who has had influence in or over your life.
• God has defined us as anointed, walking in authority, adopted into His family, ambassadors for Him, part of a royal priesthood and heavenly citizens.
• Realizing this identity change is foundational to being a true disciple of Jesus as our behavior comes from our beliefs.

Are you living in the good of your new identity in Christ?

Romans 1 v 1-8 : Paul makes 3 statements about our identity

1. Chosen

• Knowing you have been chosen or called
• Illustration from being chosen for a team
• God chose you to be in Christ before the foundation of the work he has a plan for your life drawn up before you were born
• When Jesus called the first disciples it was a simple "Come Follow Me" I guess the thing was they were receptive to the call, fishermen called Simon and Andrew, and James and John, Mark 1:16-20

How do you Know God Chose you.?

2. Loved

• We sing many songs about his love and being loved by God
○ Your love never Fails
○ How he loves us
○ Good Good Father
• When you know your loved you it brings safety and security
• There is only one way to know how God loves me: Listen to what he tells me, and believe him.
Loved with a Great Love
“He chose us in him before the foundation of the world. . . . In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:4–5). He loved us before we were created or adopted.
This is what he tells us in the Bible about how he loves us. He saved us “because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave [you] in Christ Jesus before the ages began” (2 Timothy 1:9). Before creation he loved you like this.
Paul calls this a “great love.” And what marks it as great, he says, is that because of it, God came to me and you in our bloody, filthy, traitorous, deadness of heart, and made us alive. “Because of the great love with which he loved us, God made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:4–5). Great love made us alive. You

“To know this love, to feel this love for what it is, requires the experience of this love.” - How are you experiencing this love of God?

3. Saints

Crossing the line
Saints not Sinners:

5% Sinner v 95% Saint or do you feel that should be the opposite way round?

100% Saint -Fact
• When Jesus died on the cross we died ‘in Him’ and so we are now dead to sin and alive to God.
• We are no longer sinners who occasionally do the right thing but saints who occasionally sin.
• This means that we fight sin not by trying harder but by first recognising that sinful behaviour is no longer what we naturally do. Is this true for you?
• Discipleship is not self-help; God rescues and empowers us! One of the outward signs of this inward change is baptism in water, that all believers of the water).

• How does the realisation that you are dead to sin affect your approach to biding a disciple?

• Have you been baptised in water as a believer?

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Why do I do what I don't want to do?

Peter Williams (Sun, 28 Oct 2018)

Peter continued his "Why Am I So Crap?" preach from 23rd September, looking at Paul's comments in Romans 7 "I don't do what I want to do. Instead I do what I don't want to do."

Peter read the lyrics from "Gracious" by Simon Brading.

Questions

What of the 7 deadly sins do you think is most difficult?
Which do you tolerate least well?
Have you ever struggled with habitual sin? And what helped you get free?
How does it feel to be a slave to righteousness?

After the preach, Iris read the lyrics to "Flawless" by MercyMe.

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Repentance

Dave Watmore (Sun, 21 Oct 2018)

Dave spoke about repentance from 2 Corinthians 7:10 to show that Paul talks about Godly sorrow and worldly sorrow in repentance.

Dave referred to the scene in The Jungle Book where Shere Khan meets Kaa. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXjviLBYrS8.

Dave also used the example of worldly sorrow as a “get out of jail free card “.

Question 1

Please discuss if this is understood. For example you ask God to forgive you simply to be able to carry on living the way you were.

Paul was looking for the repentance to result in a life style change.
A good example of the way to repent is Psalm 51.

Question 2

Discuss how David’s repentance is first to God and then asks for the Holy Spirit to cleanse him and change him.

If people keep sinning in the same area, then discuss if they have truly understood Godly repentance.

This could be a very sensitive issue with many. We need to move on from a 'simple' understanding of cheap grace like the get out of jail card, but not slip into guilt. Worldly sorrow leads to guilt. Remember 1 John 1 v 7.

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Unity

Roger Crowley (Sun, 14 Oct 2018)

Roger spoke about unity of purpose in the church and challenged us to look at what we have been given by God to do and who we have been called to reach out to.

Further notes and questions may follow in due course.

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