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.

Matthew 4:1-11 - Hope for failures

Sun, 26/02/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

This is not the full text of a sermon, but notes and an outline of what was said:

Failure crushes. “I’m not a very good Christian”. Despite our best intentions – we let God down. I’ve had periods of life (as I’m sure every Christian here has) when we’ve made the same mistakes over and over again. We just never seem to get on top of them.

Read this passage, can make us feel worse. Read Jesus being tempted. Here we see the sins we commit. Most of the ways we fail are captured here.

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Matthew 3:13-17 - Who is Jesus?

Sun, 19/02/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Who is Jesus?

That’s our question for this morning.

And before we think, too quickly, that we know exactly who he is, we need to stop and consider two things. Firstly, it’s a brave person who stands up and says they’ve got Jesus pegged. With someone as rich, as big as Jesus, there’s always more to discover.

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Matthew 3:1-12 - Jesus, the one you can't ignore

Sun, 22/01/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Jesus is the one person you cannot ignore.

Many people think he can be ignored. Many people try to ignore him. But he is the one person you cannot ignore forever, and if you’re in your right mind you wouldn’t want to ignore him.

Matthew has told us enough of Jesus’ childhood to introduce him to us. We’re about to meet the adult Jesus. But before Jesus takes the stage, God sends one last Old Testament prophet to announce his arrival. John comes on: “Ladies and Gentlemen, would you please all welcome…”

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Matthew 2:13-23

Sun, 15/01/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

It’s easy to start to believe that Jesus is insignificant. Maybe some of our friends think he’s not worth much bother. Maybe it’s the media. But it’s easy to start to get worried. Perhaps he is nothing special. Perhaps he is just a figure from 2000 years ago, who had a few good ideas, and lived well, but doesn’t have much to offer for today. It’s easy for that to start to niggle you.

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Matthew 2:1-12 - Jesus, king of the world

Sun, 08/01/2012 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

Do you ever feel that Christianity is a relatively small thing.

If you live in this country, in this decade, you could be forgiven for feeling that at times.

The Telegraph recently reported that numbers attending churches are increasing, but that was only news because it’s been decreasing for so long.

It can seem that lots of people used to fill our churches. Our laws used to be framed on Christian principles. But that was then and this is now.

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Matthew 5:38-48 - Revenge

Sun, 16/10/2011 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

It seems to me that our society today is driven by the 3 Rs. Rights Revenge and Relations. That’s to say, we’re driven by a concern to hold onto our Rights, we want to hold onto what is ours. We’re driven by a need for Revenge, we want to take back what should be ours. And we’re driven by loyalty to our Relations, we all have an inner circle of family and a few friends and our main task is to be loyal to them. Rights. Revenge and Relations.

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Matthew 5:33-37 - Honesty

Sun, 09/10/2011 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

I don’t know about you, but I find it depressing that honesty is so hard to come by today.

Let me give a few examples.

We’ve just come to the end of the annual party conference season, when it often seems that the leaders in all the political parties just say what they think we want to hear, and a large part of the conference is them justifying why they haven’t done something they said they would do just one year earlier.

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Matthew 5:21-26 - Anger

Sun, 28/08/2011 - 09:30 -- James Oakley

The world we live in can be a very angry place.

This is part of what lies behind the riots of recent months. People were angry. Angry at the government. Angry at large businesses. Angry at who knows what. But when given the opportunity to form a crowd and take that anger out on something, they do so.

Sure, I know there’s more to be said than that. The looting was caused by greed, which is a different subject entirely. And we have to ask what has caused the anger. But one of the things behind the rioting was anger.

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Matthew 5:27-32 - Adultery, Lust and Divorce

Sun, 21/08/2011 - 09:30 -- James Oakley

Those words of Jesus we just heard are hard words to hear. They are hard to think about. They are hard to preach on.

They are hard because Jesus is talking about two subjects that cause us more pain emotionally than just about anything else. You don’t need me to tell you how much pain there is because of adultery and divorce. The divorce rate in this country is going down. But each year, the proportion of married people who divorce is still over 1%. And each time it happens, it hurts, and the ripples of people who are hurt spread very widely.

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Philippians 1:27-30

Sun, 29/05/2011 - 10:00 -- James Oakley

“What’s the catch?” That’s one question I ask myself often when someone offers to give something that seems too good to be true.

Sadly, many people today don’t ask that question about the Christian faith because they think that being a Christian is the catch. Instead of saying “what’s the catch”, they ask “what’s good about that?”

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