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Chris Appleby Ministries

Chris Appleby Ministries

 

Part of a series based on The Cross of Christ by Dr Leon Morris   audio (5MB)

2 Cor 5:14-21

You may have seen any of the countless programs about the sinking of the Titanic over the past few weeks. One of the things I find interesting about the sinking of the Titanic is that when they wanted to call for help all they had was Morse code, a technology that had been in use for a couple of decades to transmit messages by radio. That’s just 100 years ago.
Since then we’ve seen an explosion in communications technology. From telegraph using Morse code to telephones, to radio to television to Internet technology until today we have unprecedented access to others through mobile phones, email, facebook, twitter and probably a dozen other social networking tools that I haven’t even heard of yet.
Personal Isolation
It’s interesting though, that despite the many ways we have of connecting you’ll still find that many people feel a deep sense of isolation. Even young people who communicate regularly through social media can feel alone, unable to connect in any real way, unable to experience the closeness of a relationship that allows them to express the deepest feelings within them. A sociologist from MIT in the US claims that the growth of social media has actually resulted in an increase in isolation. She says this: “Under the illusion of allowing us to communicate better, it is actually isolating us from real human interactions in a cyber-reality that is a poor imitation of the real world.”

Part of a series based on The Cross of Christ by Dr Leon Morris audio (6MB)

Romans 3:9-26

Tonight, after all the church events are over, after the boys have gone to bed, you’ll find me flopping down on the couch.  There I’ll indulge in at least three of the top five guilty pleasures.  I’ll have some chocolate treat on the coffee table, alternating between a trashy novel and catching up on some ridiculous reality TV.  We all love guilty pleasures like these don’t we?  I wonder what yours are?  In case you are wondering, the other two in the top five are expensive accessories and greasy food.  The enjoyment we get from these things is somehow heightened by that thrill of knowing we probably shouldn’t be indulging in them.  We should feel guilty, but instead we find pleasure in these things.

 

Good Friday 2012

Father, Forgive

Luke 23:32-34 (NRSV)  "Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals -- one on his right, the other on his left. 34Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots."
What sorts of prayers do you pray when you find yourself in trouble? Are they prayers for help; prayers directed to your own needs? I wonder how you respond when people hurt you? I mean really hurt you? Do you wish that you could get even? If you pray, do you pray the sort of prayer you hear so often in the movies or on TV: “May you rot in hell!”? It’s understandable if you do, I guess. It would have been even more understandable if Jesus had called out to his father in heaven to remember those who were doing such cruel things to him; those whose words must have stung as they jeered and mocked; Pilate who’d knowingly passed an unjust sentence on him; the soldiers as they gambled for the clothes they’d just torn off him, leaving him naked and exposed. But no. We’re told that he prayed for those who were hurting him, “Father forgive them!” In fact the sense of the Greek is that he went on praying for them. Even as they did their worst he was praying that God would forgive them. He understood far better than we ever will, why he was there; that his death was to bring forgiveness to those who are his enemies. The forgiveness that comes from Jesus’ death on the cross is for those who are most in need of it.
Do you worry about whether you’re good enough for God? Well that’s actually the wrong question. The right question is: are you bad enough to need God’s forgiveness? You see only when you acknowledge your need for forgiveness are you in the right state of mind to ask for it and to receive it. Those that Jesus prayed for didn’t know what they were doing, so they couldn’t ask for forgiveness. Yet in his love he prayed for them anyway.

Part of a series based on The Cross of Christ by Dr Leon Morris audio (6MB)

Hebrews 2:5-18

I trust no-one here would doubt that the cross is central to the Christian faith. Without the cross Christianity becomes just another religion, emptied of its power.
The cross is central to our life together; central to our belief in Jesus as the Son of God; central to our salvation, central to our preaching of the gospel.
You can see that in the way Jesus’ life is portrayed for us in the 4 gospels. There we find a sketchy history of his early life, then a brief account of various incidents in his time with his disciples over a period of 3 or so years, followed by an extended account of his death and resurrection.
You can see it in Paul’s preaching - he sums it up in 1 Corinthians 1:23-24: “we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” Today’s reading from Hebrews states: “9but we see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”
So let’s think about why the Cross is crucial to us as Christians?

Be strong and courageous  要剛強壯膽 audio (3MB)

Joshua 1:1-9

Here we are having church in a very unchurchlike place. Not less spiritual, as God is as much here as he is in church. Just very different to where we usually have church. It’s a strange and often difficult experience when we take experiences that we are comfortable with in one place into a different context. Like Andy was saying, the faith that he is so comfortable with in his own home and the one that was still familiar in a very different country becomes an issue of contention and great discomfort at University. As Ivy said moving countries makes what was so familiar and ordinary in one culture become controversial and a cause of deep hurt in another. We have all experienced this when it comes to our faith. What feels so affirming and guiding at church can feel so different at home or school or at work. Some of you know the difficulty of living in a home where your faith is not shared. Every school and University student knows the difficulty of being a Christian in an Australian school. And even in our workplaces it is interesting to see what people think and feel of our faith’s belief and practices.

Contact Details

Phone: 0422187127
 
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