Christian on Trial – Week 2

•April 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

1 Peter 1:3-9
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

What are some of the trials these Christians were facing? What are some of the trials we face?

  • Verbal
  • Physical
  • Financial
  • Relational
  • Marital
  • Children
  • Spiritual

What we FEEL

Verse 6: In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials
The Bible considers our emotions.

Mark 12:29-30
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: `Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart [sincerity/truth] and with all your soul [emotions] and with all your mind [intelligence] and with all your strength.”

How did they feel? They felt grieved.

Verse 6, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.”

We know that the Bible says that even Jesus Christ suffered. He also felt grief, and pain, and sorrow, and hunger, and deserted and despised…

Isaiah 53:3
“He [Jesus] was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”

What we DO

Verse 6: In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials

We can respond to trial in two ways.
We can respond negatively by:

Judging God
But God, I thought you loved me? I thought you were good.

Envying others
I wish I had his wife, or her husband, or her body, or  family like theirs, or kids like theirs

Self-pity
You become the center of your life. It’s not about God or others, it’s all about you and how you feel, and what you want

Turning to a ‘functional saviour’
Drugs, alcohol, entertainment, gambling, crazy spending etc.

Or we can respond with rejoicing!

Ten reasons s to rejoice:

1. Because of God’s great mercy
1 Peter 1:3
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”

2. Because I have been born again
1 Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”

3. Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ
1 Peter 1:3
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”

4. Because of the eternal inheritance I have
1 Peter 1:4
“…and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you…”

5. Because my inheritance is kept safe in heaven
1 Peter 1:4
“…and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you…”

6. Because I am shielded by God’s power
1 Peter 1:5
“…who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time”

7. Because I will only suffer for a little while
1 Peter 1:6
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials”

8. Because my faith is of greater value than gold
1 Peter 1:7
“These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed”

9.  Because I love God
1 Peter 1:8
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy…”

10. Because I believe in God
1 Peter 1:8
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy…”

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AWOL Promo Video

•April 6, 2009 • 1 Comment

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Charles Haddon Spurgeon

•March 31, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon (June 19, 1834 – January 31, 1892) was a British Baptist preacher, still known as the “Prince of Preachers”. In his lifetime, Spurgeon preached to around 10,000,000 people, often up to 10 times a week at different places. His sermons have been translated into many languages.

Spurgeon was the pastor of the New Park Street Chapel in London for 38 years. He was part of several controversies with the Baptist Union of Great Britain, and later had to leave that denomination. Throughout his life, Spurgeon suffered from depression and other mental illnesses. In 1857, he started a charity organisation called Spurgeon’s which now works globally. He also founded Spurgeon’s College, which was named after him after his death.

Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening Devotions

Spurgeon’s Sermons

More about Spurgeon

Beatbox chef

•March 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

beatbox chef

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more about "Beatbox chef", posted with vodpod

Christian on Trial – Week 1

•March 18, 2009 • 1 Comment

1 Peter 1:1-2
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.”

Study Question:        What does it mean to be a citizen the Kingdom of God?

The earth is not your home – Jesus said that He is preparing our home for us

John 14:1-3
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

The confession of Roman citizens was: “Caesar is Lord!”, but when someone got saved, his confession would be “Jesus Christ is Lord.” This brought huge opposition from their friends and family members.

What were their options?

  1. Some were enticed to compromise on the Word of God and their personal convictions
  2. Some were compelled to privatize their faith (just keep your Christianity a secret)
  3. Some were considering giving up their faith altogether
  4. Others were attracted to fundamentalism (forming a holy-huddle of believers allowing no un-saved people in)
  5. Or, living as an exile

We have two choices

  1. Fear man (like Peter)
  2. Fear God (like Peter!)

Proverbs 9:10
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

Job 28:28
“And he said to man, `The fear of the Lord–that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.’”

Psalm 33:16-21
“No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.”

Application (questions to take home)

  1. In what ways are you at times like the believers Peter was writing to?
  2. How does the idea of being an alien, a stranger, a foreigner feel to you?
  3. How does our identity in God change the way we look at life?
  4. Where have you become too “at home” in this world?
  5. In what ways do you respond when you are sinned against?

PJ Smythe shares at Glenridge Church

•March 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

PJ Smythe, who leads Godfirst Church in Bryanston Johannesburg, shared two awesome messages at the Relating Pastors meeting in Glenridge Church in February.

Please download them both here:
Message 1
Message 2

Christian on Trial – Introduction to Series

•March 11, 2009 • 1 Comment

Who was Peter?

In Peter, we see a normal disciple:

  • Someone who really loves Jesus
  • Someone who really sins
  • Someone with whom God is patient as he grows and matures through his sin to love Jesus more and sin less
  • In the four lists of the twelve apostles , Peter is always mentioned first because he is their recognized leader after Jesus
  • Peter also acts as spokesman for the twelve disciples
  • His father’s name was Jonah (Matt. 16:17)
  • he was married (Mark 1:30)
  • his wife accompanied him on missionary trips (1 Cor. 9:5)
  • he was born in Bethsaida, a largely Greek city
  • he worked as a fisherman
  • he was called to be a follower of Jesus (Mark 1:16)
  • Peter was also one of the three, along with James and John, who formed an inner circle around Jesus (Mark 5:37; 9:2; 14:33; cf. 13:3)

Peter in the Early Church

  • Jesus personally appeared to Peter (Luke 24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5).
  • Jesus re-commissions Peter to the ministry and the responsibility to “feed Jesus’ sheep.”
  • he is the leader of the early church before Pentecost (Acts 1:15f.)
  • he is the main preacher (2:14f.; 3:12f.)
  • And it was to Peter in particular that supernatural powers were attributed (5:15)

Peter the Author

  • Peter writes 2 books of the Bible, namely 1 & 2 Peter from Rome in about 63-64AD, after Mark and Matthew were written and before 1 Timothy and Titus.

Why were 1 and 2 Peter written?

  • Peter’s underlying concern and reason for writing was about what we today call religious tolerance, diversity, and religious pluralism.

How does 1 and 2 Peter relate to us today?

  • 2 Timothy 3:12 promises, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

What role does trial play in Christian faith?

  • Principle #1 – Our life is a trial. 1 Peter 1:6-7; 1 Peter 4:12; 2 Peter 2:9
  • Principle #2 – We are to live in light of God’s judgment trial at the end. 1 Peter 1:17; 1 Peter 4:5
  • Principle #3 – Like Jesus, we are to live in worship to God and witness to others in the midst of trial. 1 Peter 2:23
  • Principle #4 – Trial in life is a purposeful opportunity for our sanctification, worship, and witness to God’s glory and our joy. 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Peter 1:6-8; 1 Peter 2:12; 1 Peter 3:15-16; 1 Peter 4:13; 1 Peter 5:10; 2 Peter 1:3; 2 Peter 3:18