Peter’s letter to churches scattered across the known world of the first century speaks to the identity of the recipients of the letter and reminds them that they are a chosen people – chosen by God. Julie looks deeply into the phrases used to identify these early Christians, and by extension, us today. Being called ‘living stones’, and a ‘royal priesthood’ isn’t something we easily relate to today, but 2000 years ago the context of the ancient world would have made these identities make more sense.
A 2000-year-old letter written by one of Jesus’ friends, 1 Peter presents the Christian life as a journey that we all go on – beginning when we decide to start our relationship with Jesus, and ending when we see him face-to-face. Peter gives us directions for this journey, and this week Kirk explores Peter telling Christians to “be holy”, by being obedient. Obedience has a pretty lame reputation in most contexts, but Kirk shows us how being obedient can be a very good thing.
Peter’s letter to early churches scattered across the world speaks to people waiting in hope of something great to come. Though the people this letter was originally written to were facing trials and persecution, Peter encourages them that trials “…have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” Megan explores waiting and how we are still waiting for Jesus. The experience of waiting is expected and purposeful for God’s people- we do not wait in the dark, but rather we wait with evidence.
Over the next 9 weeks, we’ll be reading through the first letter Peter wrote to early Christians, scattered throughout the known world- included in the Bible as the book of 1 Peter. Peter was the leader of the early church, the first to realise that Jesus was and is the Son of God. Peter still though, was human. Peter denied Jesus three times on the night of his arrest, claiming not to know him, nor be his follower. Regardless, Jesus forgives and restores Peter to his identity as a follower of Jesus, and as the leader of the church. This letter from Peter is addressed to “elect exiles”; what does this identity mean for Christians? Sam explores who this letter was written to then, and how that can still identify us today.
We’ve all got stories of times we’ve failed in our lives. Whether it’s leaving the Salmon out of a Salmon Tortilla, or leaving $200 in cash in an ATM. Tim looks at the failure of Peter, one of the key leaders of the early church, when he denies knowing Jesus three times just as Jesus is arrested and crucified. Jesus knows our failures, he isn’t surprised by them, or unaware of them: he knows everything we’ve done in our lives. BUT Jesus knows about these failures, and forgives Peter, just as he forgives us, giving Peter a new life, with new purpose. This biography of Peter’s failure and life serves as an introduction to our new series, Strangers Far From Home, looking through the book of 1 Peter, an open letter written by Peter to believers scattered throughout the world.
“If you take the work of God’s mission out of the Bible, all you’re left with is a front and back cover.” Kat Shields takes a look at what mission looks like and finds that for the most part, it is ordinary. An ordinary life, saturated with gospel intentionality- a commitment to building relationships modelling Jesus, and talking about faith as a natural part of conversation. Kat is a regular member of our Sunday evening service, bringing us this talk from Luke 18.
Wycliffe Bible Translators aim to see disciples of Jesus growing through the Scriptures available in the language that speaks to their hearts. To that end, they are actively working on translating the Bible into new languages. While there are 2,000 lan…
As a church, we’re proud to support a number of excellent organisations across the world. We give 15% of our offerings to missions, including Anglican Overseas Aid. Their CEO, Bob Mitchell joins us, sharing about their work in Syria, as well as reflecting on the story of the Good Samaritan- asking who is our neighbour?
The final section of Paul’s letter to the Church in Philippi packs a whole bunch of great points into a pretty short section. Tim manages to squish seven talks worth of tips from Paul into just one! Paul gives us seven things to help us “stand firm” in Jesus. Both Paul and Jesus knew of the challenge that many people go through, with the burden of worry and anxiety. Paul speaks to this in his letter, and Tim lends his thoughts and experiences to the reality of anxiety in our lives. If you or someone you know struggles with anxiety to an extreme, reach out to someone for help. You can always call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Julie continues our Joy in Your Life series, looking at Paul’s letter to the Church in Philippi. With her triathlete training, Julie was given heaps of tips and skills, and in the same way, she gives us three tips on finishing a spiritual race.
If you’ve done enough “good things” in your life, you get to go to the Good Place, right? And if you haven’t done enough “good things”, then you’ll go to the Bad Place, right? God says no! The only right way to be right with God is through a relationship with Jesus. It’s not about the things that you do in your life, it’s all about Jesus. Paul, in his letter to the Philippians even says it’s not about Jesus PLUS anything. It isn’t about Jesus plus these few key things, or traditions; it’s just about putting your faith in Jesus. If you think you’ve done too many bad things, so many that God can’t love you, to put it plainly: you are wrong. Anyone who puts their faith in Jesus can receive God’s love and forgiveness.
Our journey through Paul’s first-century letter to the church in Philippi continues this week, exploring a slightly unusual phrase: “…work out your salvation…”. Tim looks at what this phrase doesn’t mean, to try to understand what it does mean. What do we do in our lives to ‘work out our salvation’? Tim offers a framework in his talk, which you can find here.