Posts

God Qualifies the Disqualified

Bruce Benge from the Village Church in Hamilton, New Zealand, who is also part of the NCMI team, speaks about Peter’s restoration and how God qualifies the disqualified.

30 July 2017 at Bedfordview AM.

Play

The book of 2 Peter

Peter writes a second letter to the Christians of Roman Asia Minor. He is nearing his death and this is his farewell letter. Chapter 1 serves as wonderful teaching on sanctification – the process of learning to live more and more like Jesus. Peter is concerned in this letter with knowledge. It is when we become sure of Jesus and truth about Him and ourselves that godly living receives great impetus and help. You’ll notice that similar to Paul, there is a lot to believe before we get to right behaviour.

He introduces himself to the readers (2 Peter 1:1-2). He calls them to live upon God’s help and take responsibility for godly living (2 Peter 1:3-11). He then tells them his reasons for writing (2 Peter 1:12-15) and to keep hope in the coming of Jesus (2 Peter 1:16-21). He warns them of false prophets and their teaching (2 Peter 2:1-22) and then confirms again that Jesus will return (2 Peter 3:1-10). Sure of his return, they should consider the practical implications (2 Peter 3:11-18).

A small comment on a key question in 2 Peter 3:11 “If this is true, what sort of people ought we to be?” Peter says we have to be sure that the material of this world will all burn up and a new world will be made of the ashes of the old one. All sin and wickedness will be exterminated and creation will become new, restored to its former – if not newer – glory. If all luxuries and the stuff we so love is going to be destroyed, surely that should affect how you live?

Well, does it?

Pic: St. Peter, by Guercino

The book of Acts

Acts is Luke’s second part to his gospel. He addresses it to Theophilus, probably a name for a judge or lawyer, as he did his gospel account. In Acts, Luke shows us what Christ continued to do in the earth by the Holy Spirit. The book is exciting reading full of energy and action. Admittedly, it doesn’t have as much action as his gospel that covers a history of three and half years (excluding Jesus’ early years) as Acts covers about thirty years of history (A.D 33 – A.D 63).

Acts is not difficult to understand like some Old Testament books. It tells us stories and explains happenings in the life of Peter and Paul in particular. It is a collection of high and low points. A summary of thirty years of history will always be that. Please keep this point in mind when you read it. More than one person has felt ineffective and unproductive in their life for Jesus after seeing in Acts all that was accomplished. You may think this is an every day life of thrills and drama. Not so, Paul spent a lot of time in prison doing nothing at all but praying and thinking and talking. The gaps in Acts speak just as much as the activity. The Holy Spirit leads us as he lead them.

Acts has a lot to teach us about many aspects of our Christian life. In the characters of the disciples we see simple, straightforward and successful men and women. They depend entirely upon the power of God and move with an unflinching zeal and determination. They are examples to follow. Focus in on what they did and what they were. As with the Old Testament, do your best to get into the story and feel the characters and situations. Many of the places spoken of can be brought to more life with an online search for photos and maps. I encourage you to consult the maps at the back of your Bible. There you will see just how far they travelled and what town and cities were like where they ministered.

Acts has lot to teach us but you do need to be aware (as do many church leaders) that Acts teaches us descriptively, not prescriptively. The narrative tells us what they did; it’s our role to determine what we need to do. It may be the same, similar, or not necessary. This is the difficult part. Many people take Acts too prescriptively.

There are a good few “once-offs” in the book of Acts. For example, technically speaking, there are people looking for a second Pentecost, but there never will be one like Acts 2 – it was a once off. The Holy Spirit is already here. We need to consult the epistles for confirmation on what was a once-off and what was to continue. Again this is not a simple task but a very important one.

Acts introduces us to a few new concepts not seen before. We meet the apostle Paul who will turn out to write most of the New Testament. We see Christians being baptised in water. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is totally new in Acts. Christians form a church – a never before understood people. People will relate to God in a new way and the Law of Moses will not be the way they will do it in future.

This book should encourage you along with whatever else the Holy Spirit highlights to get busy for Jesus. We see these raw new followers energised and willing to work with Jesus. May God give us such energy and success!

Pic: Paul on trial before Agrippa (Acts 26), as pictured by Nikolai Bodarevsky, 1875.

Q&A With RT Kendall and Michael Eaton

By RT Kendall & Michael Eaton
20 May 2014
[easy_media_download url=”https://cornerstonechurch.co.za/Downloads/20140520-RTKME-QA-Session.mp3″ text=”Download MP3″ color=”blue_two” force_dl=”1″]

A Q&A session with RT Kendall and Michael Eaton. Some of the questions asked covered topics such as:

  • Binding and loosing
  • Spiritual Warfare
  • Inheritance
  • Assurance of salvation (can sin stop us from going to heaven?)
  • Homosexuality
  • Violence in the Old Testament
  • Polygamy
  • Church tradition (Peter, in particular)
  • And others

 

 

Play

The Twelve: Peter Part Two

TITLE: The Twelve: Peter Part Two
PREACHER: Craig Herbert
DATE: 9 FEBRUARY 2014 – Sunday AM at Bedfordview

Download MP3 message audio
(Right Click the link and choose the ‘Save As’ Option)

Download the PDF transcript

TRANSCRIPT

A BIO OF PETER

PeterName: Simon son of Jonah (nicknamed Peter by Jesus meaning rock)
Marital Status: Married
Wife’s name: Unknown
Home town: Bethsaida, a town on Lake Ganesaret in Galilee (exact location unknown, possibly the north shore). The apostle Philip also came from this town as well.
Profession: Fisherman
Age: 20-25 years old

Relatives: Andrew, his brother and his mother-in-law are mentioned in the scriptures.
Personality: Extroverted, brusque, abrasive, loud, enthusiastic, impulsive, resolute, eager, bold, aggressive and outspoken. Peter is noted for being somewhat brash. He was quick to speak and share an opinion. He was quick to act and sometimes slow to think. He was susceptible to external influences and intimidated at times. But Peter really did love Jesus.

Social status: Uneducated in the Mosaic Law but seemed to have a reasonable fishing business with his brother (Andrew) and partners (James and John the sons of Zebedee). He seemed to have owned his own boat and it appears as though he owned a house in Capernaum as well.

General facts: Spoke Aramaic but also had an accent that clearly identified him as a Galilean; was ‘unlearned’ i.e. he had no additional religious or scriptural instruction; was a disciple of John the Baptist, and was one of the three apostles closest to Jesus.

Position amongst the twelve: Although not named as a leader, Peter certainly seems to be the apostle that was most apparent amongst Jesus’s followers (his name is mentioned about 110 times in the gospels). His name is mentioned first in all the lists of the Apostles. Jesus seemed to have a closer relationship with him together with James and John and these three would often be called out by Jesus to go somewhere or do something that the others were not invited to (Example: the transfiguration and the Garden of Gethsemane). After Christ’s ascension, Peter appears to take a position of leadership, quickly becoming the spokesman for the group, and the other disciples seem to follow without resistance.

Death: He was martyred as prophesied by Jesus. Early church tradition claims that Peter was in Rome in the last phase of his life and that he was executed by crucifixion (upside down, with arms outstretched) at the time of the Great Fire of Rome of the year 64, during the reign of Emperor Nero. Most scholars believe that Peter was crucified sometime between AD 64 and 68.

INTRODUCTION

In the first part of our study on Peter we noted how Jesus formed Peter’s character for the purpose of mission. In this part we’ll look at the mission itself – the focus of what it is we do as Christians.

As we mentioned before, in 2013 about five hundred to seven hundred thousand sermons were preached in Johannesburg, yet things have gone backwards. This is a shocking stat and the missing ingredient in the mobilisation of the priesthood is us becoming disciples of Christ. Surely all of the preaching going on should mean that society will change? Surely something of what God is doing in us should bring change? Well, we must be willing to change. Read more

Play

The Twelve: Peter Part One

TITLE: The Twelve: Peter Part One
PREACHER: Marcus Herbert
DATE: 2 FEBRUARY 2014 – Sunday AM at Bedfordview

Download MP3 message audio
(Right Click the link and choose the ‘Save As’ Option)

Download the PDF transcription

A BIO OF PETER

PeterName: Simon son of Jonah (nicknamed Peter by Jesus meaning rock)
Marital Status: Married
Wife’s name: Unknown
Home town: Bethsaida, a town on Lake Ganesaret in Galilee (exact location unknown, possibly the north shore). The apostle Philip also came from this town as well.
Profession: Fisherman
Age: 20-25 years old

Relatives: Andrew, his brother and his mother-in-law are mentioned in the scriptures.
Personality: Extroverted, brusk, abrasive, loud, enthusiastic, impulsive, resolute, eager, bold, aggressive and outspoken. Peter is noted for being somewhat brash. He was quick to speak and share an opinion. He was quick to act and sometimes slow to think. He was susceptible to external influences and intimidated at times. But Peter really did love Jesus.

Social status: Uneducated in the Mosaic Law but seemed to have a reasonable fishing business with his brother (Andrew) and partners (James and John the sons of Zebedee). He seemed to have owned his own boat and it appears as though he owned a house in Capernaum as well.

General facts: Spoke Aramaic but also had an accent that clearly identified him as a Galilean; was ‘unlearned’ i.e. he had no additional religious or scriptural instruction; was a disciple of John the Baptist, and was one of the three apostles closest to Jesus.

Position amongst the twelve: Although not named as a leader, Peter certainly seems to be the apostle that was most apparent amongst Jesus’s followers (his name is mentioned about 110 times in the gospels). His name is mentioned first in all the lists of the Apostles. Jesus seemed to have a closer relationship with him together with James and John and these three would often be called out by Jesus to go somewhere or do something that the others were not invited to (Example: the transfiguration and the Garden of Gethsemane). After Christ’s ascension, Peter appears to take a position of leadership, quickly becoming the spokesman for the group, and the other disciples seem to follow without resistance.

Death: He was martyred as prophesied by Jesus. Early church tradition claims that Peter was in Rome in the last phase of his life and that he was executed by crucifixion (upside down, with arms outstretched) at the time of the Great Fire of Rome of the year 64, during the reign of Emperor Nero. Most scholars believe that Peter was crucified sometime between AD 64 and 68.

Read more

Play