Happy New Year! Welcome to our first service for 2021…
A couple of new recording for you this morning. We start with Forever…
Even So Come…
Jen and Percy remind us who Jesus is why we have just celebrated Christmas!
Andy brings us a message titled ‘Slaves of Christ’…
Please note, whilst live services are currently suspended, we hope to start in-person meetings again soon. We will release more details in the near future.
Some extra thoughts & notes relating to today’s sermon…
Peter writes this brief, final reminder to the churches so that his readers will by God’s grace live a life that is pleasing to God. In doing so, Peter must also combat the false teachers who were apparently exerting pressure on the churches to depart from the true knowledge of Christ (see esp. ch. 2). The false teaching is not only a theological challenge but also a moral one, holding forth some form of sexual permissiveness as a legitimate Christian lifestyle. (ESV Study Bible)
1 Peter tells us how to deal with persecution from outside the church.
2 Peter tells us how to deal with false teachers & evil doers within the church.
He writes as a Pastor of Jesus’ sheep, with love & concern; he wants to encourage & protect. He commends them a wholesome combination of faith & practice with 3 main aims: (NIV SB)
- To stimulate Christian growth. (Ch1)
- To combat false teaching. (Ch.2)
- To encourage watchfulness in view of the Lord’s certain return. (Ch.3)
OT people who served Yaweh were called servants – Abraham, Moses, David and so on. If we aim to really be biblically authentic disciples of Jesus Christ, we need to change! In order for us to do that, what needs to change? Do our priorities & goals show our stated convictions? They do show our actual convictions.
“No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.” Tim. 2:4
As we start the year, I want to ask each one of us to examine our heart & see if Jesus is Lord. I’m not suggesting you make new year resolutions – we all know they do not last. I am encouraging a time of genuine soul searching; asking hard questions of our self.
- Does God really have my heart? Am I in love with Jesus?
- Do I really value what he did for me?
- Am I really honouring God with our time? Money?
- Do I give myself to His word, to prayer?
- To helping the poor and telling people about Jesus?
If we are really to be biblically authentic disciples living for Jesus, then He must be first! His priorities, his commands, his teaching, his glory MUST come first. We MUST seek his praise & approval over & above all others. If you decide to make changes, write the in your bible / journal / tell someone. What would change in your life if you made a fresh start to put Jesus above all others?
If you really start to live like this, you will be different! People will notice. Some will not like it, but don’t worry, you are no longer living for their approval.
Paul, James & Jude also describe themselves as doulos – a slave – in their letters. Would we? AD156 Polycarp was a bishop (in his 90’s) who refused to say Caesar is lord. He was burnt alive! There was only one Lord for him. Is this true for me? Do I have several ‘lords’ in my life?