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Chris Appleby Ministries

Chris Appleby Ministries

 

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Ambassadors for Christ Audio

2 Cor 5:14-21

Well, it’s a big day for these five ordinands as they commit themselves to ordained ministry in the church as well as for George as he takes up a pivotal role as Archdeacon, but it’s also an opportunity for the rest of us to be reminded of what it means to be followers of Jesus Christ.

As I read through the passage from 2 Cor 5 that we’ve just listened to I was struck by three statements that are particularly appropriate to an occasion like this.

No longer for ourselves but for Him

The passage begins by reminding us that Jesus died for all and that his death draws us in, so we too have died with him. The first thing that struck me was the conclusion that’s drawn from this. It’s there in v15. Jesus died so we could live; but not just live. The gospel has much greater ramifications than us simply being saved to new life. The gospel is much more countercultural than that: “He died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.” As I used to say to the kids in the youth group at church: “It’s not just about you.”

Fake or Real?   Audio

1 John 2:3-27

How do you spot a fake? You see a post on social media telling you about some new discovery, some whizz bang way of making money, or sure fire way of getting fit, being healthy, living longer, but how do you know if it’s real. How many times have you had a friend request on Facebook and realised that that person was already your friend? Steve sent out a text message last week saying be careful because someone was pretending to be him on email. We live in a world of fakes and sometimes it can be hard to recognise them from reality.

Well, clearly, from today’s reading, you don’t need to have Facebook to be faced with fakes. John writes to his friends to warn them about fake Christians and to help them be sure that they themselves are the real thing.

I’ve met people over the years who were not quite sure if they were up to the mark as Christians. They weren’t sure that they believed enough or understood enough or were faithful enough. And no doubt the people John was writing to here had similar worries. So he gives them four tests to apply to their lives to reassure them, but also to warn them about certain people who wished to lead them astray.

A New Start  audio 

Col 3:1-17 

As the year rolled over last Monday night did you think to yourself, “That’s one year I’m happy to forget”? Or “Let’s hope next year is better than last year”? I can’t be sure that 2018 was worse than any other year but it sure felt like it. When you think back on 2018 there was no shortage of controversies, scandals, bad behaviour at every level of society. Domestic violence, murder, house invasions, gangs terrorising suburbs, 2 Royal Commissions, reporting, first, sexual abuse by priests, school teachers, scout leaders, etc. added to by accusations against parliamentarians, actors, movie producers, international aid workers, etc., then banks and other financial institutions who’d been ripping off their customers. And let’s not forget national leaders who’d committed fraud and embezzlement, or threatened their own citizens or other nations, closing borders, inciting civil war and so the list goes on.  It’s not a pretty picture of the world we live in is it?

Marriage and Singleness - 2 gifts from God  audio

1 Cor 7:1-40 

“Dear Paul, life is so difficult here in Corinth. We’re trying to live a spirit filled life but Corinth is such a worldly city it’s hard to keep up the standards of life you seem to have set for us.  In your last letter you warned us about those members who were living immoral lives, so we need some advice. Some of our leaders are saying that that means we should lead lives of total abstinence from sex. Did you really say: "It is well for a man not to touch a woman" or have they come up with that by themselves?”

It’s seems this is the sort of letter that Paul’s received and is now sitting down to answer.

 He’s been through the introductory remarks about what he’s heard about them and now he comes to this and other questions they’ve put to him.

2 Cor 8:1-15     audio

I was talking to some friends last week about their church. It’s in a fairly wealthy part of Sydney and they need to do some work on their buildings. So they need to raise funds to pay for what will be a reasonably large project. But they said they can’t ask people for money because whenever they mention money people are offended. It’s one of the taboo subjects, even though they’re people with lots of money who could easily afford to give to a building fund.

But of course that’s a pretty common attitude isn’t it? We get uneasy when the conversation gets around to money. Well, money itself isn’t a taboo. We’re all happy to talk about money as a general concept, usually related to how little we have or how much more we need. But try asking someone how much they earn, or how much they have in the bank, or invested for their retirement or how much their next overseas holiday will cost and you’re likely to find them a bit embarrassed or even indignant. ‘It’s none of your business what I earn’, seems to be the attitude. ‘That’s my business and no-one else’s.’

Well that may be so, but God is good. He doesn’t let us get away with such idolatry. He’s put 2 chapters in Paul’s 2nd letter to the Corinthians just for our benefit; to shake us out of the misapprehension that what we earn is our business and only ours. He wants us to see that our personal finances are the result of God’s blessing of us, so they’re not ours alone. No, they’re first and foremost the Lord’s.

Contact Details

Phone: 0422187127
 
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