As we head through the next instalment of our Acts series, ‘Launching the Church’, we will see how Paul proclaimed that Jesus is the Messiah, despite a difficult crowd, jealousy and a treacherous journey. God’s strength and provision was shown, and Paul was able to continue to encourage his fellow brothers and sisters, and help many come to know Christ. It is a great lesson, one that we can apply to our lives today.
During our services, we have a weekly question time. Please continue to ask questions via your response slips so we can learn more about God together. Here are the questions for this weekend:
1 When a Christian differs on important matters, is it OK to question them and their salvation?
2 If we challenge a Christian on an important view then should we worry about offending them?
3 Should we keep the law in the way it says in Acts 15:29?
4 What’s the difference between church and denomination?
5 If God has everything planned, why do we pray?
6 Is the Rapture going to happen like the ‘Left Behind’ books?
7 Because God is outside of time does this explain what happens from death to Christ’s return?
So what are you waiting for? Join us this Saturday at 5pm, with a kids’ program, followed by dinner and then youth group for the teens. Or come on Sunday morning at 9am for a more classic Anglican style service, and we can chat over some hot espresso and morning tea afterwards. See you there!
When it comes to matters of human sexuality, the world wants people to think that God in his Bible tries to be the fun and freedom police.
The myth is that because church teaching places restrictions upon what people should do with their bodies that these rules prevent people from being truly happy.
One of the areas where this is claimed is the hot topic of gender identity.
When I grew up there were only two, clear options, but today when you register for Facebook, you can choose from up to 71 different genders.
Far from creating clarity, this only creates confusion, as people are challenged to consider whether their gender identity may be different to that which is listed on their birth certificate.
Yet, God has stated clearly that there are only two sexes, and that the biological sex is the same as the person’s gender, and vice versa.
Which means that other than the rare medical situation of ‘intersex’, we are all born either male or female, and God’s message is that we will find freedom if we learn to live in the skin we’re in.
So, instead of exploring options of other gender identities and the sexual expressions that often result, we should find satisfaction in the gender God’s given us.
Instead of cramping our style, it will free us from the tyranny of choice, and provide us with a confidence that we’re living God’s way.
At the same time, God offers unconditional forgiveness to us when we come to him and apologise for ignoring his clear word about how to live.
This is the freedom that comes from knowing God: the confidence to have forgiveness from our creator, and the promise of eternal life.
God’s plan for our lives is not to cramp our style but to release us from the tyranny of choice in order to give us the privilege of knowing the very best way to live in the world God has made in the bodies he has given to us.