David Robertson speaks with Dominic Steele at The Pastor’s Heart

Dominic Steele spoke with David Robertson on the latest The Pastor’s Heart podcast.

Fascinating and encouraging. Watch it here.

Grace Church Sydenham — encouraging news from AMiE

“This May Grace Church Sydenham will celebrate its 3-year anniversary. We’ve been meeting in an almost brand-new council youth centre, located in one of the largest council estate groupings in South London …“

– At The Anglican Mission in England website, Moore College graduate Tim Iles shares encouraging news from London. It’d be good to pray for them.

‘I’m on about Jesus’

“Archbishop Glenn Davies has put the furore over an Instagram post by star Rugby player Israel Folau in context, saying all people should turn to Jesus. …”

– Read it all at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Related: Two Ways to Live – the choice we all face.

Preaching the Word, rarer than we think?

There is nothing confusing or surprising about Paul’s dying exhortation to his younger partner in ministry, Timothy : ‘Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction’, 2 Timothy 4:2.

It is not confusing, Timothy is to see that his ministry revolves around the public, open proclamation of the Word, the Word which God breathed out, 2 Timothy 3:16.

Timothy was a Pastor at Ephesus and he would have been very familiar with Paul’s pioneering work there. When Paul rehearses his method in planting the church to the elders of the Ephesian church, he speaks of preaching, teaching, declaring, testifying and proclaiming, all Word proclaiming words.

The explanation and declaration of God’s revealed Word was at the heart of first century apostolic ministry and must be at the heart of twenty first century apostolic ministry.

This is not confusing, a pastor today exercises his pastoral role by preaching the Scriptures, by correcting, rebuking and encouraging the flock with this Word.

Cut the modern day Pastor and he must bleed Bible!

Neither is this surprising, because Paul has already reminded Timothy that it was this breathed out Word of God which, ‘gave him wisdom for salvation’ and is ‘useful for teaching rebuking correcting and training in righteousness’, 2 Timothy 3:15-16. The Bible is God’s word, it’s origin is God Himself, not to preach it therefore and preach our own ideas is perverse.

The faithful preacher must set about the task of explaining and applying a passage of Scripture, be it a verse, a paragraph, a chapter or a whole book, it will always be the Biblical text which is the focus of the preacher’s attention. This is unfortunately, rarer than we think!

Instead we may have preaching which takes the idea of the text and preaches the idea in isolation from the text. We may have sermons which are addressed to all sorts of contemporary issues, which tell much more about the issue than what God says in the Bible. We may have sermons about a theme which follows the theme through the Bible in a doctrinal way, ‘flipping preaching’, which does not settle down in one passage and explain and apply that passage to hearers.

One Pastor said recently, does this mean I have to expound a passage every week? No, but realise that the week you don’t expound a passage is the week the sheep will go home hungry.

Does this mean we never preach on topics? No, it does not mean that, it means that we will never take a topic and not expound a section of Scripture in relation to that topic.

Let me give an example. Recently in the light of that very emotional confession of Australia’s cricket captain Steve Smith, I might have preached a sermon on the topic of, Why the world is in such a mess.

I would preach on the dynamics of Genesis 3, Adam and Eve receiving God’s word, but the contrary voice of the Serpent tells the lie and the lie is believed. The reason the world is the way it is, is because a lie has been believed.

I would cross reference just once, to Jesus’ description of the Devil as a liar and murderer, John 8:44, to show that the contrary voice is always the voice of the Serpent. I would warn the church to always be aware of two voices, one which speaks truth the other the lie, don’t follow the lie! Steve Smith listened to the lie that, the end justifies the means, don’t you listen to the lie, which always causes us to doubt that the Word of the loving God, cannot be trusted.

I have thus preached on a contemporary topic of why the world is the way it is, I have done it from Genesis 3, probably in a series on these early chapters. The Devil speaks the crafty lie; our parents believe the lie; God judges the serpent, the woman, the man and the earth. Therefore trust the Word of God, rightly understood and don’t believe the Devil’s lies.

John Chapman would often say in critiquing a sermon, ‘the authority is in the text brother, preach the text!’

Do you make the text of Scripture the object of your explanation and application, thus feeding your sheep?

David Robertson is quoted as saying, ‘A preacher who does not preach the Bible is like a comedian who is not funny, you wonder, what is the point’.

– David Cook.

Four ways Christians should share their faith that are actually effective

“This is a great time to be a Christian. Not an easy time – but an exciting one.

I know it doesn’t look that way. Spend a few minutes on your social media feed, and you’ll see just how lost and broken we are right now. Ours is a world full of contradiction and confusion. And it’s not a great place to be a Christian: We’re now seen by most of the world as intolerant and irrelevant. Yet, while the end of Christendom may surprise and scare many us, that’s not true of God. …

And in a time so confusing, so transient, so difficult, God is calling us to be bold and strong – to have courage. He will accomplish His purposes. He will carry out His mission. And He is inviting us to join Him in making disciples of Jesus Christ among all tribes, tongues and nations despite the social climate.”

Read another encouraging article on gospelling – this one from Matt Chandler.

Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies’ Easter message 2018

“The leader of Australia’s largest Anglican Diocese, the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, has urged Christians to be talk about their faith, especially at Easter. …”

A most encouraging message. Read about it here – and you could download it from Vimeo to use in church.

Catch up on the talks from Nexus18

All the main presentations from Monday’s Nexus18 Conference are now available for you to watch online. A wonderful resource.

Download a PDF file of the Program – and watch the talks here.

Every member at Nexus

“It’s described as ‘the most significant conference for Sydney Anglican clergy’ and it’s happening again this month.

The Nexus Conference began in 2009 and has grown over the years, with over 350 people expected to attend and more live streaming around the country…”

SydneyAnglicans.net on Nexus, coming up next Monday at Annandale.

Moore College Graduation 2018

“Around 600 people gathered, as 105 graduates received their awards. Through interviews and videos, and the announcement of ministry destinations for each graduate, the depth and breadth of the work of the College was made clear to all. This year graduates left us to serve the gospel of Christ in England, New Zealand, Taiwan and New Caledonia, as well as rural Australia and across the city of Sydney.

One of the highlights of the evening was the Graduation Address by former Principal and former Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen …”

– Moore College has this report on Monday night’s graduation.

‘Mr. Graham, how would you like to be remembered?’

“By the time you read this, I will be in heaven, and as I write this I’m looking forward with great anticipation to the day when I will be in God’s presence forever. …

But I won’t be in heaven because I’ve preached to large crowds or because I’ve tried to live a good life. I’ll be in heaven for one reason: …”

– Read it all at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Link via Terry Mattingly at GetReligion.

Do whatever makes you holy

“We all face the struggles of living in a world that doesn’t know Christ.

The Christian life is like an iceberg: one tenth of it is spent at church or with other Christians, and nine tenths is spent in the world where, much like salt water, that world attempts to erode our Christian character. …”

– ACL Council member Mike Taylor writes to urge you to pursue holiness. Read it all, at GoThereFor.com.

Billy Graham in Sydney — and the best decision Phillip Jensen ever made

“I was just 13 when I first heard Billy Graham preach. At his urging, back on that autumn day in 1959, I decided to give my life to Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. It was the best decision I have ever made and so I have remained for ever thankful to God for Billy Graham.

William Franklin Graham was one of the world’s global citizens, but this week, at age 99, he died in his native state of North Carolina. He preached in more countries to more people than any other man in history. Amongst his preaching tours he visited Sydney three times (1959, 1968, 1979). On each occasion the gospel he preached affected thousands – changing individuals, families and communities. His was a global mission that affected local communities. It was a high-profile ministry that transformed the lives of little people.”

– Read Phillip Jensen’s tribute to Billy Graham, and get a sense for the impact on Sydney of this preacher of the gospel.

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