From time to time I put sermons I give up here. Not because I think they are particularly good, even less that they are model sermons. I can't even guarantee that I agree with everything I said then - I am (of course) learning all the time. But someone may be interested.

You can use the filters below to restrict which sermons you see. Sermons will be sorted newest first, which means that they appear in reverse order from that in which they were delivered.

1 Corinthians 7:17-40: Singleness

Sun, 08/07/2018 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

We live in a restless age. Whether it’s houses, jobs or relationships, people are always trying to move onwards and upwards.

Houses: It’s called a housing ladder. It’s increasingly hard to get on that first rung, but once there some people change their home every few years, climbing that ladder.

Jobs: I have several friends who change their employer every few years, either because they’re dissatisfied with their current job, or because moving sideways is the way to move upwards.

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1 Corinthians 7:1-16: Marriage

Sun, 24/06/2018 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

The Christian church is often heard, by those on the outside, as having a purely negative message about sex and relationships. It seems there are an awful lot of things the people shouldn’t do. It’s all about “thou shalt not”.

Indeed, we’ve had a bit of that in recent chapters in 1 Corinthians. In chapter 5, a man was sleeping with his stepmother, and Paul rebukes the church for failing to discipline the man.

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1 Corinthians 6:9-20: Immorality

Sun, 17/06/2018 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Today, our Bible reading addresses the subject of sexual sin. And I’m very aware of the need to tread carefully. This is a sensitive subject. For a number of reasons.

It’s sensitive culturally. Increasingly, Western culture says there’s no such thing as sexual sin. That’s not actually true. There are taboos. The big ones are unfaithfulness and underage. But apart from that, as long as there is clear consent, just about anything goes.

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1 Corinthians 6:1-11: Litigation

Sun, 10/06/2018 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Have a think for a moment: What’s the most precious thing you own?

If there was a danger you might lose that thing, what would you do to protect it? How far would you go to ensure you don’t lose your most prized possession?

Today, we continue our journey through Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth. He’s had a number of reports that concern him. Divisions around loyalty to different preachers. A church that’s proud that a man is sleeping with his stepmother. And now today: Christians taking each other to court.

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1 Corinthians 5:1-13: Incest

Sun, 27/05/2018 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Introduction: A Startling Issue

Well, I wonder what you made of that reading. Paul describes something that would need a movie to be a 15 or 18 certificate. The editors have added a shocking heading to our English Bibles: “Dealing with a case of incest”.

The really shocking thing is that this was happening in a Christian church. Paul makes no effort to hide his disbelief at what has been reported to him.

The challenge for us is that it’s so unexpected, it’s hard to see the relevance of a chapter like this. It may fascinate us, but does it connect with us?

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1 Corinthians 4:1-21: Arrogance

Sun, 20/05/2018 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Arrogance is ugly. We don’t like it when people get above their station.

We hate it in our political leaders. We hate it the world of work. One office I worked in, middle managers were the most annoying people to work there. Promoted one step above the rest of us, they then thought they owned the place. And we should hate it in the church, hate it in ourselves.

Because, yes, arrogance exists among Christians, in churches, too.

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1 Corinthians 3:1-23: Childishness

Sun, 13/05/2018 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

It is extremely awkward when adults behave in a childish way.

I’m sure you’ve all looked at someone being thoroughly selfish, unable to cope with getting their own way, and thought to yourself: “How childish!”

I’m sure you’ve all also got drawn into some petty squabble or other. Something on the same level as who’s got more than their fair share of the back seat of the car. I know I have.

From time to time, we all behave like children.

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1 Corinthians 1:26-2:16: Unexpected

Sun, 29/04/2018 - 10:00 -- James Oakley

Introduction: Divisions

I love these opportunities we have to come together to worship. Three congregations, that normally meet on two different sites, worshipping our one Lord Jesus together.

Church unity is a precious thing. Too often, churches are divided.

The early chapters of 1 Corinthians are an impassioned plea by the apostle Paul to the Corinthian church: Please don’t divide around human personalities.

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1 Corinthians 1:10-25: Divisions

Sun, 22/04/2018 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

It’s a sad fact that the Christian church is often divided.

In today’s Bible reading, we get into the first proper section of this letter of 1 Corinthians. I introduced the city of Corinth, its churches, and this letter last time. If you weren’t here, you can catch up on our website. I said that the relevance of this letter would just walk of the page. And as Paul starts by talking about divisions within the church in Corinth, we see that.

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1 Corinthians 1:1-9: Dear Kemsing

Sun, 15/04/2018 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Over the past few months, I’ve got to know some churches in a largish town. There are several. St Paul’s. St Peter’s. St Apollos. And Christ Church.

The churches have experienced almost explosive growth, tripling in size in just 5 years. Many of those converts came from some surprising backgrounds. Some were thieves and pickpockets from the criminal underworld. Others worked in the somewhat seedy sex industry in the towns. Others were previously very active participants of other religions before they converted.

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