My passion is to preach Christ from all of Scripture. Should you wish to listen, I invite your reflection (and comments if you wish) as to whether the words you hear bear His character. Are they, like him, “full of grace and truth”? (John 1:14)
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As the Easter season continues we return to the Letter to the Hebrews, as the letter itself now moves from extended teaching on the perfections of Christ’s priesthood, covenant and sacrifice, to practical application. Today — two exhortations and a final warning:
- Draw near to God with confidence and persistent hope.
- Be consistent in encouraging one another.
- Don’t be among those who shrink back through impatience, and fail to receive all that God has promised.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 17:55 — 2.1MB)
Easter Sunday, Yr A
If you’ve said ‘yes’ to the Bible’s claim that Jesus Christ not only died for sin but also rose from the grave, then that changes everything — including your life from today onwards. It means that your life is now bound up with Christ, and the only choice with integrity is to begin today living a new life shaped by Christ’s character and purposes.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 15:05 — 1.7MB)
By the standards of any human wisdom, celebrating the logically senseless and ignominious execution of one man is a fool’s errand. It’s backing a loser. But God’s wisdom says otherwise. God has consistently used what we call failure to achieve his saving purposes. And the Cross of Jesus was and is the climax of it all. Despite appearance and logic, it is the power of God.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 12:26 — 1.4MB)
Palm Sunday, Yr A
Whether our culture realises it or not, humility is a virtue in western culture generally and Australian culture in particular, because Jesus Christ went to the Cross and taught humility. Philippians 2:6-11 is almost certainly a very ancient Christian hymn which Paul has quoted and built a block of teaching around. Here are two focal points as on this Palm (or Passion) Sunday we contemplate some practical implications of Jesus’ decision to enter Jerusalem to die:
- Jesus’ humility changes the way we respond to one another in community;
- Jesus’ humility changes the way we respond to him as Lord.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 18:40 — 2.1MB)
Occasion: Funeral Thanksgiving service for Ben Reid, determined servant of Jesus.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 5:55 — 704.1KB)
Lent 5, Yr A
Psalm 130 is a penitential psalm, and hence appropriate to Lent. But it’s also a gospel-shaped psalm. It poses the weighty question of whether God keeps a record of our sins, and answers it with a litany of glorious news sinners – that with God there is forgiveness, a never-empty reservoir of love, and ample redemption. Finally it preaches Christ to our hearts with a promise that all the sins of God’s people will be redeemed.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:47 — 1.6MB)
Lent 4, Yr A
This much loved psalm personalises the faith of Israel. The Lord (Yahweh) is not only the shepherd of Israel, he is my shepherd. He is also my generous host. If the Lord is your shepherd, tell someone else about his goodness.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 16:45 — 1.9MB)
Here ends a long block of teaching (most of chapters 4-10) on Christ’s priesthood and atoning sacrifice. Several times we read the phrase “once for all”, applied to Christ’s sacrifice of himself to pay for all sin. Verse 18 is the final word: your forgiveness is complete and lasting through Christ; therefore no sacrifice will ever be needed again. We’ll return to Hebrews after Easter, considering the new life to be lived because of the Cross.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 14:33 — 1.7MB)
A parable we know far too well to notice that it’s less about a wayward son than a father who loves insanely and lavishly. No shame or failure is too much, and no cost too great for this Father to bring his beloved home. You can come home to the Father today. Whether you’ve given him a thought or not, he hasn’t stopped waiting for you. He’s ready to welcome you, whatever you or others think you deserve. All you need to do is come.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:41 — 2.3MB)
The old (Mosaic) covenant provided a place and means for God’s chosen but imperfect people to draw near to him. The place God chose was first the tabernacle (tent), eventually made permanent in the Jerusalem Temple. By that provision, God fulfilled his promise to dwell among his people, caring, providing, protecting. Through sacrifice offered in the tabernacle / temple, they could taste his forgiveness but not fully enjoy it because their consciences could not be cleansed. And the people did not have free access to their God. A new order was needed. Full forgiveness, the cleansing of conscience, could only ever happen by the shedding of blood. Not until the Cross would blood be shed that would redeem forever. Christ, God’s final priest and mediator of God’s final covenant, entered by his own blood the Most Holy Place of God’s presence in God’s final temple. Only thus can your sin be forgiven.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:34 — 2.3MB)