Oct 212018

For my daily devotions I sometimes watch a 10 minute YouTube clip called Look at the Book by John Piper, which examines a short passage of Scripture. Philippians 3:15-16 goes like this:

Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defence of the gospel.

So how can we as Christians defend the gospel?

  1. By preaching the gospel.

In order for you to ‘defend’ the gospel, a person has to know what it is, which means you need to explain it to them! How would you explain the gospel? I usually explain it in terms of the four main chapters of the Bible: creation, fall, redemption and new creation. I also can never get past 1 Corinthians 15:1-8.

My young adult Bible study group has spent 8 sessions unpacking the gospel (with 8 more to go) and I feel like we are barely scratching the surface! We spent 6 sessions on The Prodigal God by Tim Keller (highly recommended) and now we are going through a resource called The Gospel-Centered Life.

  1. By speaking from experience.

If you read Galatians 1, you will see the apostle Paul defending the gospel by simply sharing his testimony of being saved by God through the gospel. What a wonderful encouragement for us to share our story of being saved by God! I always find myself and others deeply encouraged whenever I share my testimony of how God saved me through the gospel.

  1. By using the Old Testament.

If you look at many of the sermons in the Book of Acts, you will find Peter (Acts 4) or Paul (Acts 17) demonstrating how the Old Testament clearly points to Jesus as the Messiah. For example, how could anybody read Psalm 22 or Isaiah 53 and not think immediately of Jesus hanging on the cross!? These were written many hundreds of years before Jesus but it all points to him.

  1. By arguing from history.

In 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Paul defends the gospel of the resurrection by saying that there were over 500 witnesses to it, many of whom were still alive, so they could go and check it out. I find this to be one of the most powerful and fundamental arguments for the gospel. Why were the apostles willing to die for the gospel when all they had to do was say: “Okay, I’m sorry, I made it all up!”

Defending the gospel is not just a job for Christian ‘elites’. 1 Peter 3:15-16 says:

In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer (defence) to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.






Oct 142018 Play in new window | Download (Duration: 21:59 — 7.5MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe? Reading 1       Psalm 13  Reading 2       1 Samuel 1  

Oct 142018

The end of the year is fast approaching and for me this year one of the things that means is that the Augusta (Flinders Bay) Family Festival is not that long away. For the first ten days of each year a group of Christians go and camp in the Flinders Bay Caravan Park in Augusta, form a missional community and aim to share God’s love and the good news of Jesus in word and deed through presence, relationships and activities. [continue reading…]

Oct 072018 Play in new window | Download (Duration: 17:15 — 5.9MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe? Reading 1       Genesis 2:18-24  Reading 2       Mark 10:2-12   

Oct 072018

Each fortnight I meet with James and Jared to discuss the progress with the Common. This week James reflected on a talk he had heard by one of the senior pastors from Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. He had said that as he reflected on years in church he had observed the following: We see the need for parents to have somewhere for their babies and little ones to cry and cope inside the church environment.  So we begin church by [continue reading…]

Sep 302018

It’s school holidays. It’s also a time of the year when a number of our congregation take the opportunity to travel. These can be times of busyness or rest, times that offer a chance to be refreshed, or times to be distracted. They may present the chance to connect with one another and, in some deeper ways, with God; or it may be harder to maintain our rhythms of Bible reading, prayer and connection during these seasons. It’s important that [continue reading…]

Sep 302018 Play in new window | Download (Duration: 16:48 — 5.8MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe? Reading 1       James 5:13-20 Reading 2       Mark 9:38-50  

Sep 232018 Play in new window | Download (Duration: 24:44 — 8.5MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | Why not subscribe? Reading 1       Zechariah 3:1-5 Reading 2       Revelation 21:1-8, 22:17  

Sep 232018

Today Pam is sharing with us her reflections from the Bible on “I believe in the communion (or fellowship), of the saints and the life everlasting.” I have no idea what Pam will have to say but I found her first reading choice particularly intriguing: Then he showed me the high priest Joshua standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. And the Lord said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, O Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke [continue reading…]

Sep 162018

I want to give thanks this week for encouragement. There are so many examples of people joining in with the Holy Spirit in ways that bring so much encouragement. I shared the front with two of our parishioners during funerals this past week or so, whose lives, words and love were such an encouragement to me. I am on the Being Church email feed.  It is where ‘the left hand reports to the right hand’ what it has been doing [continue reading…]