Sermons

So what is Judges all about?

Annie Juckes, a member of Christ Church Walkley and one of our administrators shares some helpful background to Judges (which we will be studying together on Sundays) - 

If you're anything like me you might know some of the stories from the book of Judges but have never studied it in any detail. At first glance it's pretty gruesome and bloody and very confusing. Having studied it on a Tuesday morning at our ladies bible study, I'm looking forward to getting to study it again, in a different way, on Sundays.

Here is a useful video from The Bible Project that gives a quick run-through of the book, breaking down it's literary design and flow of thought. The general idea is that the Israelites turn away from God and then face the consequences. God raises up judges in cycles: rebellion, repentance and restoration. 

There is also a blogpost on Judges by them here and you can catch up on all our Judges sermons here.

 

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Renewing Your Mind - Part 2

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Following on from the blogpost last week on The Bible Project and continuing the theme of Renewing Your Mind (Romans 12:1-2), this week's blogpost discusses podcasts. All podcasts are available on the iTunes Podcast app and via Google. 

DISCLAIMER: The podcasts in this list are all listened to by members of the CCW church family. Mentioning them, however, doesn’t amount to an endorsement of everything you’ll hear and they must be listened to with discernment. Almost by definition, given their nature (discussion), there’ll be a variety of views expressed on a variety of topics, and controversial and thought-provoking discussion is part of what the format offers. 

Podcasts for everybody on various topics - theology/culture/Christian living/preaching/ministry. 

Cooper & Cary Have Words

Two brits ‘talk about culture, theology, the arts, the church, books and sometimes the weather, well, they are British…’ James Cary is a sitcom writer who has worked for the BBC.  

Mere Fidelity

 A transatlantic conversation about church and culture to feed your inner theology nerd.

Mortification of Spin

'A casual conversation about things that count.' A podcast hosted by Carl Trueman, Todd Pruitt and Aimee Byrd on 'the challenges the church faces and what counts in the Christian life.' 

Speak Life

A podcast by Glen Scrivener and Andy Brinkley who discuss a different aspect of evangelism in depth on each podcast. Also features interviews with inspiring evangelists. 

The Gospel Coalition

A podcast that 'features lectures and workshops from our conferences as well as timely interviews and round table discussions on applying the gospel to the issues of our day.'

Timothy Keller Sermons Podcast

A podcast of Timothy Keller’s sermons. 

UP: The Union Podcast

A podcast of the UK-based theological seminary. ‘Theology for everyone, for life.’ They host interviews, discuss specific topics, talk book reviews etc. 

Podcasts specifically for women - (you will need an American-ism filter in place occasionally...)

Flower Mound Women's Bible Study

A weekly bible study podcast by Jen Wilkin. The studies relate to workbooks which you can download from the site but you can also listen to them without needing the workbook in front of you.

Mom Struggling Well

A podcast by an American stay-at-home mum who has a friend on each episode to discuss their story. They cover topics such as 'infertility, adoption, the pitfalls of comparison, living overseas and days spent crying on the floor.' A podcast for mums but helpful for women who aren't mums, too. 

Sheologians

A blog and podcasts by two American women who discuss anything and everything through the lens of a Christian worldview. Podcast titles include 'You Already Love Yourself Too Much (Self-Esteem is a Lie)' and 'So You're a Female. Now What?'

Thankful Homemaker

An American wife/mother/mother-in-law/grandmother talking about how 'the gospel impacts every area of our lives as Christian women.'

Truth's Table

A podcast hosted by three black American Christian women who call themselves 'midwives of culture for grace and truth.' 

What Have You

Two American sisters get together for a coffee date in a car every week to chat about whatever comes to mind.

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Renewing Your Mind - Part 1

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Resources for Renewing your Mind

We recently returned to our ongoing series in Romans to hear these words from the Apostle Paul:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
— Romans 12v2

This is the first in a series of blog posts suggesting some resources which might help us all know God's ongoing work of renewing our minds by his word & Spirit in our daily lives. That is about more than our bible reading but it certainly involves it, and the resource in this post is designed to help with that.

The Bible Project is a crowd-funded non-profit organisation dedicated to making high quality animations to aid people in their reading and study of the bible. For example:

  • They have videos giving an outline and overview of every bible book of the bible. You can see their videos on Romans here for example. 
  • There is a growing number of videos on major bible themes, such as this one on the Image of God.
  • There are some series exploring the bible in-depth by looking at particular types of book or common words, or like this series on how to read the bible

There is even a way to link their videos with a daily reading plan (scroll down the home page for details).

Check back next week for a blogpost on recommended podcasts...

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By Faith Alone

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As a church we describe ourselves as both Reformed and Anglican. As we celebrate the reformation over the next few weeks we’re going to run a series of blog posts seeing how these two aspects of our doctrine relate to one another and why it matters for us today.

Let me begin with two quotes, the first from Martin Luther, the second from the 39 Articles of Religion:

Faith alone, when based upon the sure promises of God, must save us; as our text clearly explains [John 6:44-55] …And in the light of it all, they must become fools who have taught us other ways to become Godly.
— Martin Luther, On Faith, And Coming To Christ. 
We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings: Wherefore, that we are justified by Faith only is a most wholesome Doctrine, and very full of comfort, as more largely is expressed in the homily of Justification.
— Article XI, The Book of Common Prayer

Salvation by faith alone underpins both the truths rediscovered in the Reformation and our Anglican doctrine. The emphasis is on the ‘aloneness’ of faith for justification, rather than it somehow being combined with what we do or deserve.

Practically, whilst there being nothing we can do to influence our salvation can be a difficult pill to swallow – we always like to feel we’ve contributed or earned what we get – as article XI says it’s actually a real comfort. If we are justified by faith alone then nothing we do can make God consider us righteous, but also nothing we do makes God consider us unrighteous either.

Salvation by faith also is full of comfort because it is based on Jesus’ righteousness rather than our own attempts at being righteous. And whereas our righteousness is always found wanting, Jesus’ righteousness is perfect, and by faith alone it is counted by God as our righteousness.

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'Be killing sin, or it will be killing you'

Each and every single Sunday when we hear God’s word together it is a moment of immense spiritual importance. That said, as I get ready to preach there are some parts of the bible that seem to stand out as of particular relevance to our church life at that time. 

The sermon on Romans 8v12-17 from a couple of Sundays ago was like that. This was partly because of the way v13 urges us to engage in a lifelong, sustained and continuous battle with our sin:

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
— Romans 8:13

Here are just three of the many reasons this verse, and the sermon on this passage, are of such importance:

1. It’s not familiar

The call of this verse is repeated elsewhere in the bible (for e.g. Colossians 3v5) but it’s not one we hear all that often these days. We are so used to either ignoring or winking at our sin, and even using God’s grace as an excuse for doing so. But the life lived by God’s grace is a life of putting sin to death.

2. It’s both realistic and hopeful

v13 assumes the presence of sin in the life of Christians - there’s no fanciful notion that we will ever be free in this present life from the need to engage in this struggle. At the same time Paul speaks in such a way as to raise our expectations of being able to achieve real progress in the battle. We are not held captive by sin anymore. We can, by God’s grace, experience change. 

3. It’s a must

This is what a Spirit-led life looks like. This is what those who are headed to glory do on their way there. And a life of unchecked sin is headed down a very different path. This is a struggle we must be engaged in. 

If you weren’t in to hear this particular sermon I’d encourage you to make the time to listen. In fact, I’d encourage each of us to listen to it again with the bible passage open in front of us. 

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