Baptism for the Dead

Sometimes as you’re reading the Bible you hit a phrase or sentence that throws you for a loop. There’ll be a verse that sounds weird, that doesn’t seem to make sense, and that doesn’t come with any extra explanation. 1 Corinthians is a letter of the New Testament that has

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Sanctification

Tim Chester, in his book, You Can Change, tells a story of a little girl named Sophie: “It was Sophie’s first day with her adoptive parents. She stalked nervously round her new home, fearing one of the beatings she was used to getting if something got broken. The toys in

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Union With Christ

One of my favourite childhood holidays was travelling through the Northern Territory when I was ten. Dad and Mum had planned this amazing trip: flying to Alice Springs, and then driving to Darwin, visiting stunning places along the way, including Uluru, Kakadu, Katherine Gorge, and Mataranka Springs – before flying

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Spiritual & Earthly Bodies

“How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” — 1 Corinthians 15:35 In the decades I’ve been a Christian — since I was a kid — I’ve spent hours and hours pondering the question of heaven… the afterlife… ‘eternity’… It hasn’t always been good for

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Team Ministry in the New Testament

Gospel ministry in the New Testament is always pictured as team ministry. Jesus gathered a team of disciples and he sent them out as a team. The Apostles worked in teams and they appointed more teams. The letters of Paul are rich pictures of deeply relational team ministry. Sadly, this

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What’s the Gift of Tongues?

Paul talks about a gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:10, 30), and then returns to the topic of tongues and how they work in the gathering in 1 Corinthians 14. “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given

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Spiritual Disciplines

After talking about change as not coming through morality or rule keeping, it might seem a bit contradictory to talk about discipline as an important part of the Christian life. Spiritual disciplines are practices that the church has historically seen as useful in personal transformation. They’ve been treated suspiciously by

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The Ugly and the Beautiful

Thomas Chalmers, a Scottish preacher who lived in the 18th and 19th centuries, wrote about ‘the expulsive power of a new affection’. He said, ‘Christians overcome the world by seeing the beauty and excellence of Christ. They overcome the world by seeing something more attractive than the world: Christ’. A

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Life Beyond Lust

Earlier this week a number of our team were reflecting on the lust talk from Sunday. It’s been a big term so far in our series, Life Beyond The Seven Deadly Sins. Every week highlights for me just how insidious sin is – and that’s definitely the case when it

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When I Survey – Voting for Jesus

As Australia prepares to fill out a survey about Same Sex Marriage, I recently conducted a simple survey of my own. I asked what my friends consider the “best song/hymn about Jesus’ death on the cross”. Polling highest was the great hymn by Isaac Watts, ‘When I survey the Wondrous

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