­
Chris Appleby Ministries

Chris Appleby Ministries

 

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.”

 The World Turned Upside Down   Audio

Luke 1:46-56

Our image of the first Christmas is so sanitised, isn’t it? We imagine a young woman, dressed in a pearly white robe with a blue veil over her head, riding a lovely little donkey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. When they get there the inn is full but the kindly innkeeper cleans out the stable and sets them up there with a manger filled with fresh hay and nice clean swaddling clothes for the baby Jesus. It’s all so wonderful, isn’t it?! 

And so far from the truth!

The truth is that Mary was in disgrace: pregnant without first being married! The penalty for such a thing could have been death. Joseph had decided not to mention that he wasn’t the father so he was probably in disgrace as well, though possibly not quite to the same degree, being a man. 

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.

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.

Are you a Tool?  audio

Acts 9:10-30 

I have a great collection of tools in my work shed. Most of them came from my father and grandfather though some I’ve bought for myself. Of course the fact that I have them there doesn’t necessarily mean they get used; or get used well when I do use them. But the ones I do use and can use well are the ones I value the most.

But we’re not here today to talk about my hobbies. We’re here to talk about witnessing to the gospel. So what have tools got to do with that? Well, as we’ll see in a moment God’s tools are people and interestingly he chooses to use the most unlikely of people as his tools in that task of sharing the gospel. 

I mean, who could be more unlikely than Saul? He didn’t have a clue did he? We read the story last week of his mission to Damascus to round up the Christians there and how Jesus appeared to him to give him a new mission. I think we skipped over the bit about him becoming blind. But of course he was blind long before that wasn’t he? Although he was so well taught as a Pharisee he couldn’t see that Stephen was right; that Jesus was in fact the Messiah that they’d been waiting for and that opposing the Christian faith meant he was opposing Christ himself.

Contact Details

Phone: 0422187127
 
­