October 31, 2021

Loving truly

Ben Green | 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13 

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

As Graham Romp had already explained in his introduction to the service, this passage - although often read at weddings - is not speaking about romantic love. Rather, says Ben, it goes to the heart of what the Corinthians had failed to recognise - that love is what matters above everything else, no matter how worthwhile those other things might be. And what is love? Ben has the answer.

A fuller video recording of the Sunday service can be viewed on YouTube.

October 24, 2021

An interlude: In Corinth

Bobbie Frere | Acts 18:1-18a 

Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

This week we take a break from our series in 1 Corinthians to look at how the church there was founded. Paul was the leading figure but was helped and encouraged by others, including God himself. Bobbie explains how we too can share together in our individual and common work for God.

Before Bobbie speaks we hear from Aquila and Priscilla, carrying their tents as they approach an unknown future in Corinth. A fuller video recording of the Sunday service can be viewed on YouTube.

October 17, 2021

Living faithfully

Ben Green | 1 Corinthians 4.1-17 

This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.

Paul goes on to contrast his own attitude of service and reliance on God's grace with the pride displayed by the church at Corinth. The modern church is in danger too, says Ben, urging us to live faithfully according to the gospel.

A fuller video recording of the Sunday service can be viewed on YouTube.

October 10, 2021

Building carefully

Ben Green | 1 Corinthians 3.1-23 

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.

The church has only one true foundation, says Paul, but there is more than one way of building on it - and only some will survive. In his talk Ben explains some of the metaphors Paul uses to describe the church, and considers how we might build that church that will last and become what God intends it to be.

The recording begins with the reading from Kate Routley.

A fuller video recording of the Sunday service can be viewed on YouTube.

Rachel Fasham | Joel 2:21-27 

Do not be afraid, land of Judah;
be glad and rejoice.
Surely the Lord has done great things!
Do not be afraid, you wild animals,
for the pastures in the wilderness are becoming green.
The trees are bearing their fruit;
the fig-tree and the vine yield their riches.
Be glad, people of Zion,
rejoice in the Lord your God.

Do not be afraid... yet now, just as when the prophet Joel spoke those words, the created world is in a mess. Speaking in this All-In service, Rachel encourages us to remember God's promises and to play our part in fulfilling his purposes.

A fuller video recording of the Sunday service can be viewed on YouTube.

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