Sermon Notes: What is Spiritual Warfare?

7 09 2014

We started our new series on spiritual warfare today, here are my notes!

Mark 1 vv 14-39

Spiritual warfare affects everyone

The world often tells us that the only things out there are the things that we can see, touch or feel.
“The modern world often does seem at times to be so evil, and human actions so wicked, that only a supernatural explanation can suffice” – secular view from The Daily Telegraph

“…the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” – 1 John 5v19b. But God is King over all creation, including the evil powers. Things like Nazism come from the evil one, but demons flee at the name of Jesus. Mark 1-3 is about demonstrating the power and authority of Jesus Christ. Satan’s rule is only temporary!

There are two ages: the present evil age, and the age to come of the kingdom of God. We as believers live between these two. The present evil age will come to an end, and we’ll have a new heaven and a new earth.

How can we see the pain and despair in this world without being driven to our knees? Watching the news is sometimes just too hard. Christian life is not easy, we live in thee world between the two ages.

D-Day was the decisive turning point in the second world war, but there were many more battles to fight before VE/VJ Day. The cross was D-Day. Get to the end of the book, we’re on the winning side!

The struggle we’re in is much bigger than us, but it’s not bigger than God, it’s not an even match! The final outcome is secure.

Satan will target the church, his tactics are subtle. There are so many sermons and teachings around on the internet we can feed ourselves so much. We need to be discerning with the teachings out there. There is a lot on self help, health and wealth, and blessings on individuals without mentioning Jesus out there, we have to be careful.

Things go wrong for all of us from time to time, and that’s when Satan whispers in our ear “Is Jesus really in control? Is He really Lord and King?”. But we know that we have a Redeemer. God’s Kingdom lasts forever.

Will we fight the good fight? The war has turned in the favour of Christ, but we’re to march on until He comes again. The one thing that will get us through is the power of God, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sermon Notes: The blessing of unity in the church – Psalm 133

7 09 2014

We had our final service of the summer series last weekend, I’m a bit behind, but here are my notes!

1 How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!

2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.

3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.
– Psalm 133

Western culture is individualistic, and because of that, we tend to crave community.

We seek advice from peer groups and friends, generally those who’s opinions and views line up with our own, it’s harder to maintain a friendship circle when people don’t agree. But it can be dangerous to restrict ourselves to a small group, it means our views aren’t challenged.

We’d called to relate and to one-another with the whole church: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3v28. Mixing ages and backgrounds means that by cross-pollination we can learn from each other. The church is the family of God, and you can’t choose your family. We’re all brothers and sisters, and that changes how we should relate to each other.

Families experience tensions, it’s normal to not all get on easily: “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” – Ephesians 4 vv 1-3. It’s hard, but when we do it, we get the benefits in Psalm 133 above.

Oil is poured out over Aaron, God pours out the joy of the Holy Spirit and immerses us in His presence. We want to be a church where the Holy Spirit brings us to care for one another deeply, but we need unity to create the fertile ground for the Spirit to work in.

The value of facebook is to know what’s going on in people’s lives and so be able to respond to it. We need to bear with one-another, have grace for one-another, even when they’re irritating. There will be times when we need to forgive, need to be gentle, need to be humble.

But what a motivation to be united people – the pouring out of the Holy Spirit!

Internet highlights w/c 31st August 2014

7 09 2014

Some Disney Easter Eggs

“The number of ‘followers’ you have does not make you better than anyone else. Hitler had millions, Jesus had 12”. – Unknown

“I’ve had so much plastic surgery that they will have to donate my body to a Tupperware party” – Joan Rivers

Art from crayons – but not what you’d expect!

How to feel awful about yourself first thing in the morning

Satellite photos over time

All 90 outfits Rachel wore on Friends series 1

Chocolate cake for breakfast can help you lose weight!

Ill dog had 43 socks in its stomach

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It was our density.

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