Yamba Presbyterian Church | Sermons
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Desiring God in the Midst of Trials

01/10/2017 | James 1:13-18 | Peter Gimbert

In the midst of trials, we often look to blame someone or something or even God for the difficulty we find ourselves in. James warns against this attitude and encourages followers of Jesus to desire God all the more during them. James applies God's Word to us saying that we are to stand firm in the midst of trials and temptations.

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When Bad Things Happen to Good People

24/09/2017 | James 1:1-12 | Adrian Armstrong

What is your typical response when you face various trials in your life? The church to which James wrote was facing trials. We may ask, what are the trials and what are their purpose? James says the trials can be various and they test our faith. God uses these trials to mature our faith and sanctify us, much like a silversmith refines silver until it is considered tested and pure. James says that our response in trials ought to be to ask God for wisdom through prayer and God will give it, because his character is a generous giver. Trials will not last forever, so it is important to persevere through them, because to the one who does they will receive the crown of life.

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Holding onto Jesus Christ

17/09/2017 | Galatians 6:11-18 | Al Burke

It can be alluring to seek the approval of others to fit in with them, or face worrying what others think or say about us, especially when it comes to following Jesus. Paul writes to the Galatians here to remind them that it isn't worth turning away from Jesus, for in Jesus we have peace with God, assurance of salvation and the promise of resurrected life. Paul says that neither being circumcised (a Jew) or uncircumcised (a Gentile) count, but being made a new creation through faith in Jesus. We are given all we need for acceptance with God and living as the people God wants us to be, we are free to live without having to gain God's acceptance because of what Jesus did in his death and resurrection, so what can the world possibly offer us that can stack up to this? Paul knew it was nothing, which is why he willing endured persecution for following Jesus, and so he boasted in the cross and taught it because of all he had in Christ. So Paul finishes by encouraging us to know Christ and h

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The Gospel of Freedom

03/09/2017 | Galatians 4:8-5:1 | Adrian Armstrong

Paul points out the problem of following the law and he pleads with the Galatians to live out the freedom they were saved by grace for. A person is only truly freed from sin and it's consequences by faith in Jesus Christ, who died for our sin. The true gospel sets one free to live in relationship with God, and that's what makes Jesus worthy of our trust and love in response to his saving work. Let freedom dominate your thoughts, not the guilt and shame of being under the unbearable weight of the law.

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All One In Christ Jesus

27/08/2017 | Galatians 3:19-4:7 | Al Burke

The Galatians were distracted from the truth of the gospel, so Paul warns them and us to not be fooled into thinking there is a better way than following the Lord Jesus. Paul outlines the distraction of following the Law, following rules to be saved and how to avoid becoming captives to this distraction so that we can enjoy the freedom we have in Christ. Being accepted by God is based on faith in Christ and not on observing the law. Everyone who believes, whether Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, is accepted by God.

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Justified By Faith Not Works of the Law

20/08/2017 | Galatians 3:1-18 | Peter Gimbert

We are saved by faith and continue to live the Christian life by faith. Following the Law will not save us and make us right with God, as we will always fail and be under the judgement the Law brings. Jesus takes the judgement of the Law, so that we are justified by faith in him.

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No Other Gospel

30/07/2017 | Galatians 1:1-10 | Al Burke

The gospel cannot get any better, it is perfect. It is not broken and so it doesn't need changing or by adding or subtracting from it. Paul writes to the Galatians to remind them and to teach them not to abandon what they first heard and believed, by turning to any other message. We can trust in the gospel and have complete confidence that Jesus has done all we need for salvation.

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God Leads Us Despite Our Failings

23/07/2017 | 1 Samuel 11:1-12:25 | Al Burke

Despite Israel's past failings, God graciously leads his people and rescues his people through his chosen king, King Saul. Samuel speaks of the far more important king than King Saul, as it is the LORD who appointed King Saul. The LORD is righteous and performed amazing acts for the people despite their failings and forgetfulness of the LORD. We should not mistake the Lord God's mercy for weakness, because he is fearsome. God lovingly leads us and rescues us through the Lord Jesus, despite our unfaithfulness. We need to repent and trust in God's rescue through Jesus, when we have failed.

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God's Impressive Mercy

16/07/2017 | 1 Samuel 9:1-10:16 | Al Burke

Saul is chosen to be the king. Saul seems impressive, he was a head taller than everyone else. He was Mr Popular, people wanted him and desired him to be king, he was seemingly very impressive. But we are to look past Saul to God to see how impressive God is, his grace, his mercy, his faithfulness; to a people who are unworthy and unfaithful and far from impressive.

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God is the King

09/07/2017 | 1 Samuel 8:1-22 | Adrian Armstrong

Every human ruler fails to rule perfectly. Samuel was growing old and his sons showed how they would not rule well, they were ruling without justice, integrity and equity. This future caused Israel's elders to desire a better ruler. This is often how we feel under failing authorities, we too desire a better ruler. Israel however demanded a king, without consulting God and seeking his will. In essence, they were rejecting the LORD God as their king and making their own rule, which would fail them and cause them to cry out to God for relief. This is a picture of how we all treat God in our lives and this way is doomed to fail. What Israel needed was for God to provide the better ruler for their lives. We have been given Jesus as this ultimate answer for a better ruler. He rules with true justice, equity and integrity. He defeated death and our enemies through his sacrifice. Jesus is the better ruler God has provided for us.

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True Repentance

02/07/2017 | 1 Samuel 7:2-17 | Al Burke

True repentance is shown by a turning away from false gods and following the one true God. Israel are offered protection and salvation, despite their unfaithfulness, if they turn to the LORD God and serve him only. It is a picture of what God does for us in Christ.

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The LORD Almighty Rules

18/06/2017 | 1 Samuel 5:1-7:1 | Al Burke

God will not be defeated, the LORD Almighty rules. Even when the Philistines had defeated Israel and captured the Ark of the God of Israel, God showed that he reigned over the Philistines and the gods of the Philistines. It looked like God was defeated, but God is not held captive by anyone. God judged the people wherever the ark was in Philistia and knocked off their gods. Those who oppose the LORD will be shattered. The Philistines had to learn this, and so too did Israel need to learn. We need to learn that the LORD God reigns over all. None can oppose him and his plans. We need to turn to God, recognise that he is holy, he is king, and tremble at his presence. We can only come before the LORD God through Jesus, who died for us to make us clean.

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God Works Even When Hope Is Gone

11/06/2017 | 1 Samuel 4 | Adrian Armstrong

The people of Israel face a circumstance that they have little control over and we see them choose a path that leads to seemingly losing God's presence with them. In the passage, the first part shows how Israel failed to trust God, the second part shows how God keeps his Word, and the final part how God is working even when hope seems lost. No matter what circumstances in life you face, don't base your faith on your feelings or on whether things are good or bad in your life. Trust in God and rely on his Word in all circumstances. God is in control and he is good. So turn to Jesus and trust him.

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Approaching God His Way

04/06/2017 | 1 Samuel 2:12-3:21 | Al Burke

Refusing to listen to God's Word, allowing it to work in us and change us puts us in grave danger. God's people were doing just that: refusing their King who was God and things were looking bad. But God tells us how to approach him, it has to be done his way, by his terms. We can only approach God as he has revealed through his Word, which is by the Lord Jesus. Jesus is the only way we can have peace with God and approach God.

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Praying with Joy

28/05/2017 | Philippians 1:1-11 | Adrian Armstrong

What does Paul mean when he speaks of joy and why should we rejoice and how should we rejoice? These are questions we may wonder when going through suffering, as we know that the Christian life will not be easy, yet how are we to have joy in the midst of suffering or despair? Paul offers the solution in the gospel, how our joy comes by knowing God through Jesus Christ. We can face all things, because our joy is not tied to our circumstances but to what God has done through Jesus.

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Finding Hope in the Midst of Hopelessness

21/05/2017 | 1 Samuel 1:1-2:11 | Al Burke

Hannah's situation represents the hopelessness of God's people Israel. Her childlessness was part of the bigger picture of the lack of spiritual health in Israel. Hannah finds hope in God, as it is the best response in the despair she faces. She is convinced that the LORD Almighty, who is compassionate, good, strong and powerful is able to help her and comfort her. God reaches down and gives her a baby, and hope is born. God isn't weak, he isn't passive, he established and rules the world. Because he rules, no one can stand in defiance against him. There is great and lasting hope for his people in the LORD Almighty. We have more reason to hope, as we have the Lord Jesus.

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The Path of Life

16/04/2017 | Psalm 16 | Al Burke

Life can be busy, in fact so busy that we go from one thing to the next and when we stop to see what direction life is going, we can feel a little lost. Where is your life is actually going? Are you aware of why you're here? Do you feel there should be more to life than what your experience is, but you aren't sure what that 'more' is? There is more to life and there is a path that makes a lot of sense of this life. Jesus stands on the path urging us to come to him and get on the path. We can be rescued from being lost from God, by following Jesus' voice back onto the path of true life. King David takes refuge in God, and as he looks out over his kingdom, he sees that God's people are there, because of what God promised and know that God is good and faithful. David was on the path that led to life. God set him up on the path, and this gives David confidence about his future (v.10). David knows that his future involves being raised to life again. This is possible because Jesus has ris

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Why Good Friday Is Good

14/04/2017 | Psalm 22 | Al Burke

We read a song of anguish of God's chosen one in Psalm 22, that would have an effect on Jesus and his followers who stood at the foot of the cross. It is a song about grief and loneliness and despair. It is a song that Jesus cried out as his last breaths happened. It was spoken by King David, but it points us forward to a greater king, Jesus. On the cross, Jesus felt abandoned by his Father. He went through this, so that we could avoid God turning his face away from us, so that we could be forgiven. The Psalm is a rollercoaster ride of despair and the greatness of the God he serves. We may feel abandoned by God, but Psalm 22 reminds us that King Jesus went through this completely and understands our feelings but took them to the cross, our feelings of being distant with God is dealt with eternally through Jesus. This Psalm also points us to God's vindication of his chosen one and victory.

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God's Precious People

02/04/2017 | 1 Peter 5:1-14 | Al Burke

In this final chapter of Peter's letter, we are now described as God's flock, God's people, who are precious and close with God. It is a personal and reassuring way of describing those who belong to God. Because of who we are now, Peter tells us how we should be living. We should care for one another, elders should look after God's people, because they are precious to God, and he cares for them. We are all to be humble under God, serving other people, knowing that he will lift us out of our suffering and give us a crown of glory. We can cast all our anxieties on God, because he cares.

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Belonging to God's People

26/03/2017 | 1 Peter 4:12-19 | Al Burke

As Peter comes towards the end, he focuses on the joy of belonging to God's people and why we have no reason to fear. There will be difficult times, but there is great joy in belonging to God's family.

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God Vindicates Righteous Suffering

19/03/2017 | 1 Peter 3:13-4:11 | Adrian Armstrong

Jesus walked the road of suffering and death, followed by his glorification. As aliens in this world, we too must be prepared to walk the same road of suffering, then glory. We must live with the end in view and in light of God's salvation we are to live godly lives. Even though we may suffering unjustly now, we can live in a way that shows we have a great hope in a glorious future of eternal life. We must be prepared to endure suffering for Christ.

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Called to Live as Aliens in this World

12/03/2017 | 1 Peter 3:1-12 | Al Burke

In light of God's salvation for us in Jesus, we are called to live as aliens in this world. As followers of Jesus, God has called us to live his way, because it is the best way we can live. It will be good for our relationships, good for our community, good for you spiritually. We live this way, not because it gains us any standing before God or others, but as a response to knowing God through Jesus.

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Perspective Change

05/03/2017 | 1 Peter 2:11-25 | Al Burke

Peter wants us to see that our perspective on life changes as a result of the massive and wonderful change of Jesus ruling our lives. Following Jesus means that we are part of God's people, born again, citizens of a holy nation. We look forward to a new life, beyond this life. Because of this change, our perspective on this life will change as well, we are different now, we are aliens and strangers in this world.

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The Living Stone and a Spiritual House

26/02/2017 | 1 Peter 1:22-2:10 | Peter Gimbert

Peter sees us as a spiritual house, being built like living stones on the foundation of the cornerstone, Jesus. What does this spiritual house look like? What is its purpose? What belongs in this house? What doesn't belong in this house? How is this house being built to become the spiritual house that God intended it to be? And what part does each living stone play?

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Be Prepared

19/02/2017 | 1 Peter 1:13-21 | Al Burke

Being prepared for action to live as strangers in this world, means setting our hope on Jesus and all that he has promised us for what is to come.

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A Living Hope

12/02/2017 | 1 Peter 1:3-12 | Al Burke

Knowing how you are in Jesus, strangers in this world, called to be holy, set apart, should then translate into being who we are. We are to take up our cross and follow Jesus, even if it makes us stand out as different, stand out against social norms.

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Called to be Strangers

05/02/2017 | 1 Peter 1:1-2 | Al Burke

Peter writes to God's people who are scattered and are living as exiles in foreign countries, to encourage them with the hope held out in the gospel that says this world is not our final home and that points us forward to the hope of heaven.

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Expect the Unexpected

25/09/2016 | Judges 3:7-31 | Al Burke

In Judges 3, we learn to expect the unexpected. God uses unlikely people to save his people from the nations, out of his grace. When it comes to certain areas of life, we may be tempted to think that God doesn't understand relationships, work, raising so many young children, etc, so we are tempted to take control. However, God is sovereign over all things. We may not always understand or even predict what God is doing, but he will never change in his nature and so will always achieve his good purposes, even through unexpected means.

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Refusing to Compromise

18/09/2016 | Judges 2:6-3:6 | Al Burke

Judges asks us, "Do we understand that we're onto something big here?" How committed are we to refusing to compromise, to take hold of what God offers us? Do we sell out too quickly, too often? Do we truly believe that God has this life in control?

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NCCC Men's Convention Talk 1

10/09/2016 | 2 Peter 2 | Peter Jensen

No retreat and no compromise with false teachers and their teaching.

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NCCC Men's Convention Talks 2 and 3

10/09/2016 | 2 Peter 1 and 3 | Peter Jensen

Talk 2: Love the truth, know the truth, live the truth and trust the truth. Talk 3: Live by the promises, commit yourself wholly to Jesus and live lives of holiness and godliness.

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God's Kingdom Reigns

04/09/2016 | Acts 12:1-25 | Al Burke

God will never let mankind take the glory that he deserves. Thankfully his kingdom will reign over all earthly kings and kingdoms. The gospel will never be stopped, even when powerful people try to stop it. The gospel will spread, his kingdom will grow, because God causes it to spread, he causes it to grow.

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Surely not them, Lord?

28/08/2016 | Acts 10:1-11:18 | Adrian Armstrong

The question, "Surely not them, Lord?" is the thought challenged in this passage. Peter and those who were following Jesus were largely from a Jewish background and although Jesus had told his disciples that they would 'make disciples of all nations' (Matthew 28:19), and they hadn't realised that making them Jewish converts would not even factor into that equation. So a major shift in thinking was needed. Through God's help we can put aside our bias and tell the gospel to everyone, for God's good news is for all people and God's salvation is for all who put their trust in the Lord Jesus, who died on the cross for sinners like me and you and even 'them'.

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Following Jesus is Not Easy

07/08/2016 | Acts 7 | Al Burke

Stephen's death shows us the hostility towards Jesus and his followers. Many Christians today die for their faith. Christians are greatly persecuted around the world. Christians are to boldly trust Jesus through persecution, even to the point of death. Many people will try to stop the gospel spreading, but we know that God's gospel is unstoppable. It will be difficult to follow Jesus in many varied ways. We might be diverted away from talking about Jesus. Diverted by a church that is divided and bickering about things. Or we might take something good and blow it out of proportion, to the point it becomes a hindrance to following Jesus. Following Jesus requires hard work, we need to press on in following Jesus through his strength.

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Trouble Brews and a Solution Arises

31/07/2016 | Acts 6:1-15 | Al Burke

Trouble arises over feeding and providing for the Greek and Jewish women, so the apostles choose several godly men including Stephen. Stephen later opposes religious works as a means to salvation and it leads to his death. Jesus opposed salvation by works too and it led to his death. Religion is built around the thought that God owes us something, because we have done the right things. But religion develops an arrogance before God, rather than a humility. We need to ensure we don't develop this arrogance, but rather a humility to approach God on his terms, through the Lord Jesus.

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Where Our Focus Lies as Followers of Jesus

24/07/2016 | Acts 5:12-42 | Al Burke

What should a follower of Jesus look like? God's mission is for us to declare Jesus as King. Losing confidence in the gospel of Jesus is a real danger. Luke wrote Acts that we might have certainty, confidence in the gospel of Jesus. Followers of Jesus understand the nature of God's kingdom, they trust in God's sovereignty.

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The Gospel Answers Death

17/07/2016 | Acts 4:32-5:12 | Adrian Armstrong

The problem of death as a huge issue demanding a solution, that only the gospel provides an answer to.

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Coming Home

03/07/2016 | Acts 3:1-26 | Gerard Jongsma

Miracle. Mayhem. The reason for it - Jesus. Our response to him.

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From Head to Heart

19/06/2016 | Acts 2:14-47 | Al Burke

Peter preaches to the crowds telling them and us today that the journey needs to be conquered from the head to the heart. You know the truth about Jesus, so now you need to believe it and live it.

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The Promised Holy Spirit

12/06/2016 | Acts 1:12-2:13 | Al Burke

The coming Holy Spirit as promised by Jesus, brings surprise and a challenge.

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Jesus is King

05/06/2016 | Acts 1:1-11 | Al Burke

Do we have the right to say Jesus is the King to people today? Do we need to move on? Are we being irrelevant? God's Word says loudly and unwaveringly that Jesus is King, yes, we do have the right and responsibility to tell people about the truth that Jesus is risen and is king. This is a message that right through Acts powers on, it is unstoppable. No matter what happens in our world, the good news will not be affected. Jesus will continue to hold authority over all things and all people and our salvation is secure.

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What God Says About Homosexuality

29/05/2016 | Romans 1:18-32 | Al Burke

There is a bad diagnosis of the human heart. In our natural state our heart is sick, we do not treat God as God and our hearts are far from him. We take what is made and give it the glory that God alone deserves. We take what is good and pervert it to what is evil. Sex is an example of this, where we take what is made and we take what is natural and replace it with what is unnatural. Homosexuality, pornography, and sexual immorality are just a few of the ways in which life is lived when we reject God in our lives. God calls on his creation to live under his authority. What should our response be to this news? We should be thankful that God offers us grace and that he is the one who changes our hearts. We should seek to glorify God in all of our lives, by no longer displaying darkness and suppressing the truth, but living a gracious, loving life.

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The Marrow

22/05/2016 | 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 | Adrian Armstrong

How should the those in the church think about and use their gifts? The follower of Jesus is to imitate his example demonstrated on the cross and love in a costly way.

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Breaking the Marriage Vow

15/05/2016 | 1 Corinthians 6:9-20 | Al Burke

God calls us to go against the flow of our world with how we conduct our bodies. We are to flee sexual immorality. Despite how society may embrace sexual immorality if it is consensual, the Bible tells us that our sexual conduct matters, we are to honour God with sex within the marriage relationship.

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What Is Christian Marriage

08/05/2016 | Ephesians 5:15-33 | Al Burke

What does the Bible say about marriage? Why is the idea of Christian marriage so unpopular within our world today, yet why does God set these standards for marriage? The relationship between Jesus and the church sets the standard for Christian marriage of sacrificial love and submission.

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What God Says About Marriage

01/05/2016 | Genesis 2:18-25 | Al Burke

What God says about marriage is made clear from the beginning of God creating male and female in his image and designing marriage as between male and female.

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The LORD God Is With Us

24/04/2016 | Joshua 5:1-6:27 | Al Burke

The LORD was with Joshua. God's fought the battle, he was in control, and his people just had to trust Him to conquer Jericho. Joshua just had to be strong and courageous to trust in the LORD. The LORD God is with us today. Jesus came as a man, died and rose again to life. After ascending to the Father, the Holy Spirit was sent to dwell in us, until Jesus returns again to bring us to be with God.

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Rahab: A mirror for us

10/04/2016 | Joshua 2 | Al Burke

Joshua 2 tells the story of God's people on the verge of entering the Promised Land, sending spies to scout the city of Jericho. It focuses on a prostitute woman named Rahab, who becomes a mirror for us of how God is merciful and how we receive his mercy.

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Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life

27/03/2016 | John 11:1-57 | Al Burke

Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. Easter Sunday marks the celebration of the resurrection, three days after the darkest day of Jesus' death.

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Where Hope Is

25/03/2016 | Luke 23:32-49 | Al Burke

What's your greatest need? Where can you go to find hope? Jesus knows your greatest need. Jesus is the source of our hope for forgiveness.

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The Good Shepherd and His Sheep

20/03/2016 | John 10:1-42 | Peter Gimbert

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Spiritual Blindness

13/03/2016 | John 9:1-41 | Adrian Armstrong

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Jesus the Bread of Life

28/02/2016 | John 6:1-71 | Al Burke

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Hear His Word and Believe

21/02/2016 | John 5:1-47 | Al Burke

Faith alone doesn't save you nor does your lack of faith Condemn you. Eternal life can only be attained through Jesus, he is the one alone who saves. Are you placing your faith and trust in Jesus? Does your life reflect this? Nothing else in this life will satisfy like Jesus does.

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Jesus is the Christ, the Saviour of the World

14/02/2016 | John 4:1-54 | Al Burke

Is our perception of Jesus correct? Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the one who came to reveal God the Father. Jesus knows you and he offers you salvation, just like he did with the Samaritan woman at the well.

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Born Again Through Jesus

07/02/2016 | John 3:1-36 | Al Burke

Getting the right answer about who Jesus is, is very important, because only he offers eternal life.

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Trust in Jesus

31/01/2016 | John 2 | Al Burke

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Follow Christ Jesus

24/01/2016 | John 1:19-50 | Al Burke

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The Word Became Flesh

17/01/2016 | John 1:1-18 | Al Burke