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Foundations of Faith – 5. Paid in Full

John 19: 28 - 30 Unfinished Business­ . . . The evidence is all around us. He was only 50 years old when he died. After years of difficulty, he was about to relaunch his career with a sold-out concert series in London called “This Is It.” For Michael Jackson, the future looked bright. Then came that strange, sad day when they rushed him to the hospital in full cardiac arrest, but the best medical care in the world couldn’t save him. Suddenly he was gone. No one plans to die at the age of 50. A worldwide audience of nearly 1 billion people watched his televised funeral service. Unfinished business? Plenty. That may be our worst fear . . . that we will die before our time. But it happens a

Foundations of Faith – 4. Who is Jesus Christ?

Matthew 16: 13 - 16 Who is Jesus Christ? Before you answer that question – imagine you’re walking with a few friends in Clearwater Mall when a camera crew stops you for a spontaneous interview. To your surprise, their questions have nothing to do with Jacob Zuma, politics, the economy, or even the World Cup. The interviewer wants to know what you think about Jesus Christ. Who is he? While you fumble for an answer, the camera records your discomfort. You weren’t prepared for this, much less dressed for it, and now you’re being quizzed on theology while your friends watch from a few feet away. The seconds pass as various answers flash across your mental screen: “A good man. . . The Son of Go

Love – God’s Medicine 3. Love Never Gives Up

1 Corinthians 13: 7 NIV - love “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” CEV - love “is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.” NLT - “love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” KJV - love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” No matter which translation you use, the meaning is the same. The word “always” (or the phrase “all things") is repeated 4 separate times so we won’t miss the point. Here are 4 aspects of love, which when taken together, teach us that no matter how desperate our circumstances may be, love never gives up. 1. Love Bears All Things - Godly S

Foundations of Faith – 3. Why I Believe in God

Genesis 1: 1 The Bible never argues for the existence of God. It begins instead with a simple, majestic sentence: Genesis 1: 1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The Bible begins with a declaration, not with an argument. There is a God who created all things. If you do not start there, you will miss the central truth of the universe. Proverbs 1: 7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." Note the 2 beginnings here: “In the beginning God." "The beginning of knowledge.” This leads us in a particular direction: 1. All things begin with God. 2. All knowledge begins with God. It is in precisely this sense that the Bible proclaims that those who deny God are “

Love – God’s Medicine 2. Love Has a Bad Memory

Peanuts cartoon - Lucy standing with her arms folded and a stern expression on her face. Charlie Brown pleads, “Lucy, you must be more loving. This world really needs love. You have to let yourself love to make this world a better place.” Lucy angrily knocks Charlie Brown to the ground. She screams at him, “Look, Blockhead, the world I love. It’s people I can’t stand.” I’m sure we all feel that way from time to time, and some of us feel that way most of the time. I’ll bet some of us feel that way right now. Loving the world in general isn’t that difficult; loving the people around us can be a major challenge. That’s why we need to study the inspired words of 1 Corinthians 13. We need to know

Foundations of Faith 2. The Bible - Bestseller and More

Psalm 119: 97 - 105 The Bible is the bestselling book of all time. More copies have been printed in more languages and read by more people than any other book in history. It is so far out in front of every other book ever written that it stands in a category all by itself. Over 6 billion copies have been printed, sold, or distributed in over 2200 languages. It is not only the best selling religious book, it is the bestselling book of any and every category. The Bible is number one. The all-time best seller. The undisputed champion. Every Sunday it is read, studied, quoted and memorized in every nation on every continent. The Bible has now been translated into every major language of the w

Love – God’s Medicine 1. The Greatest of These

1 Corinthians 13: 1 - 3 Noted psychiatrist Dr. Karl Meninger - "Love is the medicine for the sickness of the world.” He summarised his approach: “Love cures. It cures those who give it and it cures those who receive it.” Love truly is good medicine. It has been said that the 3 most powerful words in the English language are “I love you.” Our society sometimes confuses love with sex or money or gifts. Many people don’t understand love and are afraid of it because they’ve never seen it done well. But even with all our counterfeits and misunderstanding, and in spite of the abuses committed in the name of love, it is still true that what the world needs now is love, sweet love. Not just the word

Foundations of Faith – 1. Are We In Danger of Becoming Hindus?

Exodus 20: 1 Even though the vast majority of South Africans identify with the Christian faith, we are becoming more like the Hindus who believe there are many paths to God. Just as there are many ways to climb a mountain, each religion offers its own way to God. None is better than any other. John 14: 6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Those words would appear to be an utterly exclusive claim. But many churchgoers no longer really believe that - they agree that many religions can lead to eternal life. There is an increasing group of people who consider themselves “spiritual but not religious.” What does it all mean? “It isn’t about or

Forgiveness and Freedom – 5. The Final Step: Blessing Your Enemies

Luke 6: 27 - 36 “Love your enemies.” This may be the most difficult thing Jesus ever said. Even when we hear it in church, it is extremely difficult to believe that Jesus really means what he says. But in case we have any doubts about this, consider the way this command is explained: Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who abuse you. But even if that is not enough, Jesus gives us some examples so we can’t worm our way out of the truth. We can ignore what he says if we want to, but we can’t deny that he said it. If someone strikes you, turn the other cheek. If they take your shirt, give them your jacket too. If a beggar comes to you, give him something. If

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