1 John

2 John Love Others, and Hold On!

Sun, 25/08/2013 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

One thing many people today hate – is hypocrisy. When someone doesn’t live out their faith.

A few years back, I parked the car badly. I found a note on my windscreen that simply read: Do you call yourself a Christian? Well, I do. But it’s why a fish sticker is a bad idea – unless you’re a very courteous and careful driver. It gives other road users two reasons to dislike you. Not only are you a bad driver, you’re also a Christian and that makes you a hypocrite.

There’s nothing more wonderful than a Christian who lives what they believe.

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1 John 5:13-21 Being Sure

Sun, 28/07/2013 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Can you be sure where you stand with God? Can you know what will happen to you when you die? Can you be certain whether God will love and accept you, or not?

Many people today would say that this kind of certainty is the height of arrogance.

It’s presumptuous to be certain that God will accept you on the last day.

How dare the Christian claim that they can know that God approves of them.

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1 John 5:6-12 Real Life

Sun, 21/07/2013 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Jesus said: What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and forfeit their life?

That’s Mark chapter 8, verse 36.

It’s a good question. Our society is very good at helping us to add things to our life. Much less clear what life itself is all about.

Which makes Jesus’ question frighteningly relevant. What if someone did manage to gain everything there is to have? But what if they also missed out on life itself?

1 John chapter 5 is about how we can avoid making exactly that mistake.

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1 John 5:1-5 Four Marks of a Genuine Christian

Sun, 14/07/2013 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

I don’t know if you ever hanker for the 1st Century. Christianity today seems so confusing. There are so many versions out there. So many people claim to represent Jesus. But they say such different things. Why’s it got so complicated? Surely in the 1st century things we much simpler!

It’s confusing enough for those of us inside the church. What’s the Christian faith really all about? How different can you be from us, and still be Christian?

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1 John 4:7-21 Amazing Love

Sun, 23/06/2013 - 10:10 -- James Oakley

1 John chapter 4 is one of the classic passages in the Bible on God’s love.

Verse 8: Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. Verse 16: So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

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1 John 3:19-4:6 Genuine Trust in Genuine Teaching

Sun, 16/06/2013 - 10:10 -- James Oakley

If you’ve been with us on our journey through 1 John, you’ll know that John wrote to some insecure Christians. Am I really a Christian? They’d recently had a split in their church. A group had broken away and started their own thing. They looked down their noses at the ordinary Christians. Am I somehow second class? Where do I stand with God?

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1 John 3:4-18 Reassurance: Living and Loving

Sun, 09/06/2013 - 10:10 -- James Oakley

We all need reassuring that God loves us. Even the most confident person can start to wonder. Am I really in God’s family? What does God think of me?

Sometimes other people make these doubts bigger in our heads. If you meet Christians who are more mature than you. More knowledgeable than you. They don’t mean to make you doubt. But you somehow suspect they must be looking down their noses at you

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1 John 2:28-3:3 Back to the Future

Sun, 26/05/2013 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

One film I’ve enjoyed is Back to the Future. If only you could go back in time. Then you’d know when and where lightening would strike. You’d know who is going to get shot by terrorists in the future. You could warn them. If you came from the future, you’d know the future. And if you knew the future, you’d make the most of the present.

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1 John 2:18-27 Church Splits: Not Falling Down the Hole

Sun, 19/05/2013 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Today we’re going to be thinking about how to avoid falling down a hole.

Here’s what I mean. One of the things that puts many people off Christianity are the tragic splits in the history of the church. The East split from the West in the 11th Century. The Protestant reformation was in the 16th, the Episcopal Presbyterian split in the 17th century, and the Methodist-Anglican one in the 18th century. And there have been many more besides.

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1 John 2:15-17 The World's Love

Sun, 12/05/2013 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Our culture is all about enjoying the good things in life. And holding out before us things we don’t have so that we wish we had them. Showing us how beautiful that beach resort is, how shiny that car is, how snazzy that new phone is. Do you remember the queues at the Apple Store in London when they launched their first iPhone?

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