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Blog

Good Works vs Evangelism?

I’ve sometimes wondered why Jesus spent so much time doing ‘good works’—caring for the poor, healing, etc.—as well as preaching the gospel. It’s not that I’m against good works—I like a good work as much as the next guy! It’s just that it doesn’t seem to quite ‘fit’ what Jesus was about. Jesus is crystal clear that the biggest problem humans face is sin and the…

Easter: April Fools?

What does Good Friday remember? For Christians, of course, it commemorates the death of Jesus on the cross for our sins. It’s the moment when, decisively, Jesus turned aside the wrath of God from those who deserve it—us—and turned it on himself, who didn’t deserve it. Yet he did this willingly, under no compulsion from his heavenly Father, because of his and his Father’s…

How To Vote

On Saturday 17th March, South Australians will head to the polls to elect our next State Government. Who should Christians vote for? I’d love to give you a ‘How to Vote’ card, if I thought the Bible provided definitive answers. But whilst it doesn’t, it does provide clear guidance about the principles we should apply to voting. In a useful article, John Dickson gives us…

Who Looks After Me?

Who is the person primarily responsible for looking after me at church? The first answer many people would give to this question is ‘the pastor.’ This makes good sense: pastors work in church to look after people, and the word ‘pastor’—‘shepherd’, one who looks after and protects a flock of sheep—implies that this should be part of their job. There is Biblical warrant for…

Hate The Sin, Love The Sinner

Imagine, after a long day, I drive home to find that the only thing remaining where my house once stood was its smouldering remains! And standing outside was my child holding a sign saying: ‘Hate the sin, love the sinner!’ It is one thing to recognise that sin is bad—in fact it’s so self-evident that there’s no chance it wouldn’t be seen! Yet it is a whole new level of…

Children Of God

We all take our parents for granted, don’t we? They feed us, clothe us, house us, send us to school, ferry us around town, teach us to work, help us with our mortgage, babysit the grandkids, and just generally make life possible for at least the first two decades of our lives. And what do we give them in return? A kiss on the way out the door and a card on Mother’s or…

Let’s Talk About Love

In 1 John 4, we read, ‘God is love’, and as a result we are told, ‘Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God’. We have a Heavenly Father who is love, and the love we have in us comes from him. Indeed, it is our desire to love which makes the current same-sex marriage debate so problematic. Here’s where things stand for many of us: We regret that the…

Being Transformed By Prayer

How quickly we can rattle through our prayers! ‘Our Father in heaven … for ever and ever, amen.’ ‘Excellent,’ we think, ‘Done that’. But this will not do. Before winter I swam laps at the pool, using the time to pray one line of the Lord’s Prayer per lap. It was only through slowing down as I prayed that I saw what I’d been missing by galloping over the words. I was…

How To Teach Generosity

How refreshing it is to be treated with astounding generosity! How liberating it is to be generous ourselves! Today we think about generosity as an aspect of discipleship. But, if you’re like me, we all need help with this. How is it taught? Jesus told his disciples to teach his other followers to be generous. This was part of his great commission to his disciples…

Belonging To Church

As we’re progressing through our Discipleship series, isn’t it helpful to see how the topics build on each other: that we are saved by grace, into a relationship with our Lord Jesus, who we know through his word, and we’re therefore a part of the church: God’s people gathered around his word. As Christians, we belong to our Lord Jesus Christ (e.g. Romans 1:6). And, since…

Three Reasons To Follow Jesus

At the heart of who we are is not our membership to a church (though church is essential), nor commitment to a way of life (though how we live matters to God), nor even a set of beliefs (though these are fundamental), but devotion to a person—to Jesus Christ. People first became Jesus’ disciples when he called them to follow him. And they did. They weren’t following a…