There are few parts of the bible more familiar to us than the early chapters of Matthew. Each December, as presents are wrapped and wreaths are hung, we return to the Gospel accounts of the birth of Christ. Yet to isolate these passages as ‘The Christmas Story’ can leave us blind to the picture Matthew is painting of “Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham”. These studies offer us a chance to weight these passages without carols ringing in our ears. Matthew crafts his account of the birth of Jesus in deep dependence upon the Old Testament scriptures. More than that, The Gospel of Matthew tells the story of Jesus' birth, life, death and resurrection as a continuation and fulfilment of the whole Biblical story.
Join us in Term 4 as we look at ‘A Light to Lead us Home’. You can download the bible study book here.
In term 3 2019, we will be looking at the book of Ezekiel from the Old Testament. There is a lot of full-on activity going on in the book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel (whose name means ‘Strength of God’, or ‘God Strengthens’) sees some mind-bending visions, he performs extreme acts like shaving his head with a sword, or lying on his side for a full year. Ezekiel is a real jewel of the Old Testament, filled with clear and powerful images that speak to humanity’s capacity for self-deception, the fragility of our successes and God’s unfailing love and commitment toward his underserving people.
Join us in Term 3 as we look at ‘Old Habits, New Hearts’. You can download “Old Habits, New Hearts” bible study books, download the Ezekiel timeline image here or you can listen to the weekly sermons here.
In term 2 2019, we will be looking at 1 Corinthians “True Spirituality”. Just like the Corinthians, our society still has an innate interest in spirituality. But just like those in Corinth, it is often sought in all the wrong places. Our goal, just like it was for Paul, is to show our friends, family and world, what it means to be truly spiritual. That it is not found separated from Jesus or from the church, but found through relationship with our Lord and his redeemed people.
This 4-part study series, ‘Peacemakers’, applies the gospel pattern to arguments, disagreements and conflicts that arise within the church and beyond. We will consider why conflict arises, the opportunities provided by conflict and the gospel pattern for resolving conflict. God promises that as peacemakers sow peace they will reap a harvest of righteousness. Let’s take God at his word and begin to sow.
In the early 60s AD, the Apostle Paul wrote a letter ‘to God’s holy people in Ephesus’. In term 1, 2019 we will look at 5 metaphors Paul employs such that the Ephesians church may come to see itself clearly. These metaphors speak of how precious and important the church is in God’s recreation of the world. These metaphors remind us of the necessity of unity and service as we care for the church. These metaphors remind us not to take the church for granted, but to arm it with faith and maturity against the devil’s schemes.
We will be looking at John 13-17 - the Lord's supper. The immanence of Jesus’ crucifixion really sets the framework for this text. Key themes include the call for Jesus’ disciples to self-sacrificially love and serve each other, to have confidence that Christ will return, and that his Spirit will be sent in the meantime. There are also themes around perseverance under trial and bearing fruit as Christians.
During the seventy years the Jews suffered their Babylonian exile, God raised up several people to faithfully guide and direct His fallen people back to Himself. Among these people was a young woman named Esther. You can view a helpful illustration of the book of Esther here.
I wonder if you’ve ever heard someone say, “I wish we could go back to just how it was in the early church!” Imagine hearing Peter preach on the day of Pentecost, seeing Paul raise a young man back to life, and witnessing many put their faith in Jesus for the first time. But all was not perfect and worthy of imitation. Indeed, I expect Paul might have replied to such a longing, “have you met the Corinthian Christians?!”
In 1 Corinthians Paul writes to answer their questions and address some of the difficulties in the church. Join us in Term 2 as we look at Paul's letter to the Corinthians. You can download 'The toxic church' bible study books, or you can listen to the weekly sermons here.
In 1 Peter we are encouraged to stand firm and persevere, even though life will be difficult for us as we stand against the tide as Christians.
Peter's profound theological statement about our true identity - being citizens of Heaven - rings true not only for those early exiled Christians in Rome withstanding challenging social and political temperatures, but also for us in our modern Western context.
The Old Testament books of 1 and 2 Samuel follow the rise and fall of Saul and David, the first 2 kings crowned over God's people. As we study the book of 2 Samuel, our focus will be on king David, a figure who looms large over the rest of the Bible.
2 Samuel, like many of the narrative sections of the Bible, can prove difficult to understand. This is not to say it is difficult to read: there is enough blood-shed, conspiracy and scandal to keep us interested. However, you can come away from the various stories feeling you may have missed the key message.