Sermons by John Spranklin
When life is hard, where do you take refuge? In Ruth chapter 2, Ruth takes refuge under the wings of Yahweh, the God of Israel and in his loving-kindness he generously and extravagantly provides all that she needs. By trusting Christ’s death and resurrection for us, we can take refuge from sin. As God’s people, we can also be the extension of God’s refuge to the world. Ruth 2:1-23
Peter closes out his letter reminding his readers of the things that will help them stand firm in the faith when facing opposition. For Christians under pressure, godly leaders in the church, personal resistance to the devil and God’s strength, grace and care will be essential. As our society continues to raise more opposition to the gospel, these things will be more and more relevant to us also. 1 Peter 5:1-14
Most of Exodus so far has given us massive pictures of God – burning bush, plagues in Egypt, parting the Red Sea, manna from heaven, and law giving at Mt Sinai. In Exodus 25-27 the Israelites are instructed to build a tabernacle as a sanctuary for God so that he might dwell among them. This is a stunning indication of his desire for relationship with his people. The whole Biblical narrative traces God’s relentless pursuit of relationship with his people,…
Peter continues to address Christians who are suffering for their faith. As always, the basis of their faith and their model of obedience is Christ’s death on the cross. And the thing which gives perspective to their suffering is the immanence of eternity and the inheritance waiting there for them. As individual Christians in the world and as the church together our lives now are shaped by these great truths. The good life for Christians looks surprisingly different to the…
Psalm 96 is a psalm of praise to God. Beginning with God’s own people, and ending with all creation, the Lord is to be exalted. David sang the words of this psalm in excited anticipation of God’s coming with the Ark to Jerusalem. We sing these words as we anticipate Jesus’ coming again when he will finally defeat sin and death forever.
Like us, the readers of Peter’s letter were living in a society that was unbelieving and antagonistic to the gospel. These Christians needed encouraging to persevere. As God’s church, they exist together not just to survive until Jesus’ return, but God has given them a specific identity and purpose. We share this purpose as God’s church today – to grow, to worship and to witness. 1 Peter 2:1-10
A bride and groom approach their wedding day full anticipation, excitement, hopes and dreams. It’s a happy day, and they hope for a happy marriage. Whether we’re already married, hoping to be married one day, or considering a lifetime unmarried, we tend to assume God created marriage for the sake of personal happiness. Companionship, sexual intimacy, children and other things marriage brings might make us happy to some extent, but as we read the Bible it seems that God has other priorities for marriage. So we ask: “Why did God create marriage?” and “What should our purpose be within marriage?”
The society we live in loves money and exalts greed. We seem to be getting richer and richer and yet are not satisfied. We each seem to love money differently – some for the pleasure we can get from spending it, some for the freedom it offers, some for the security it brings and some for the power and success it grants us. It seems that many Christians are not too different to the society we live in. Greed tells us many lies. Come to the Bible to find out what God really says about things like thankfulness, contentment, generosity and serving God when it comes to our money.
Family is wonderful, but even at its best, family life is challenging. The family is spoken of as the foundation of our society, but now it seems to be under threat from our western culture. There seem to be cracks in the foundation. Come to the Bible to find the nature, purpose and value of family. We discover that the family does have a future as we delight in doing family well, for the glory of God.
Anyone who has heard of Jesus has made some kind of response to him. In chapter 11 of Matthew’s Gospel we start to see rising opposition to Jesus as some people are looking for the wrong kind of Messiah and some are blatantly unrepentant. Jesus offers forgiveness and true rest to those who respond rightly to him – in repentance and faith. We do well to ask ourselves: “How am I responding to Jesus – for salvation, and daily as…