UPCSA Month of Mission: All People Need God's Love

Preacher: Alan Cameron

Verses: Acts 16:11-34

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How does God guide his church to the right place and time for mission?  The passage before us provides important principles for our consideration.  There will be sanctified common sense and planning (Acts 15:36).  There will be “closed” as well as “open doors” (Acts 16:7,8).  There will be guidance by way of circumstances, sometimes extraordinary (Acts 16:9,10), given to individuals as well as the whole team.  Discernment and receptivity are the keys.  Specific guidance comes to these already on the road as it were, living out the Great Command and Great Commission.  Being able to say God sent us with the wind of the Spirit at our backs and his indwelling presence empowering us is a great incentive to mission.

Strength Through Weakness: Love Hurts

Preacher: Alan Cameron

Verses: 2 Corithians 1:12-2:11


“This will hurt me more than it hurts you” said Mom reaching for the wooden spoon.  Sounds familiar?  Now that corporal punishment has been banished from schools, and increasingly questioned whether appropriate in the home, these words may well become a distant memory.  Be that as it may, love by its very nature hurts.  There are times when authentic love needs to inflict pain for love’s sake.  The boomerang effect impacts both parties.

The unkindest cut of all is the accusation that one simply does not care, that one is indifferent to the plight of others.  This was the accusation levelled against Paul.  He didn’t really like the Corinthians.  He isn’t bothered about them, if he were, he would have visited them as he promised.  His nasty letter and cancelled visit simply underscored his disdain for them.  They would be better off without him.  After all he is wishy-washy, not a proper Apostle you know.  He doesn’t have the right papers.  His gifts don’t measure up.  He’s just a charlatan, a fake.  This was the accusation Paul faced from his opponents who had negatively influenced a substantial number of house churches in and around Corinth.

Testifying About the One

Preacher: Lincon Atherton

Verses: John 1:19-28


So in just over a week we will be celebrating Christmas. This should be such a joyous time for us. Many of us will wake up, sit in front of the Christmas tree, a cup of tea or coffee in the one hand, a hot cross bun, possible a rusk in the other. Some of us will have the option of sleeping in a little bit later than usual, others, parents, grandparents, you might not be so lucky.

For me personally, there is nothing much better than seeing a child’s face on Christmas morning. When I think of what excitement should look like, that is generally the face that I always picture. I have two younger siblings, and I can distinctly remember their faces when they were younger, opening their presents on Christmas morning. And what always amazed me was the fact that for them, it never really mattered what that gift was. For my brother, it could have been a set of small toy cars, a soccer ball, a bicycle. For my sister, it might have been paint, a doll, a puzzle even. For them, it was the sheer excitement of getting something that they enjoyed. And I believe that we all had the same basic emotions as children...

The Solas of the Reformation - God’s Glory Alone

Preacher: Alan Cameron

Verses: 1 Kings 8:56-61, Romans 11:33-36


Faith alone, grace alone, Christ alone and Scripture alone are an apt description of Reformation teaching and belief, which reach a climax and summation in God’s glory alone, Soli Deo Gloria.

The glory of God defies simple explanation. Glory describes the essential nature of God. At best we can seek to use human language by way of analogy to grasp its meaning. Old Testament Hebrew speaks of God’s glory as ‘weight’ or ‘heaviness’ in an attempt to describe God’s visible and active presence by way of creation and covenant. In creation the heavens declare the glory of God. In covenant relation with his people a burning bush, a pillar of cloud and fire and the ‘shekinah glory’ filling the tabernacle and temple are material manifestations of God’s glory. When Moses requested to see God’s glory in Exodus 33 he was granted a rear view of comet-like afterburn flashing past him. In short, the glory of God in the O.T. defies adequate description....

The Solas of the Reformation - God's Word Alone

Preacher: Alan Cameron

Verses: 2 Peter 1:16-21, Luke 24:25-32


Martin Luther regarded the right understanding of Scripture as the essence of the Reformation. Even though many of the outward characteristics 500 years ago are different today, the basic principles remain the same. The first thing Luther did after being excommunicated from the Roman Catholic church in 1521 was to translate the New Testament into German in just eleven months. As such, the Reformation had radical ramifications. Up until this time the vast majority of the population was illiterate. With the advent printing and the rapid distribution of literature, the Bible became much more accessible to the needs of people’s lives...

The Solas of the Reformation - Faith Alone

Preacher: Alan Cameron

Verses: John 1:1-13, Romans 1:16,17


Note: There is no audio for this sermon as our sound desk was in for repairs at the time.

Martin Luther was convinced that faith is the key that opens the human heart to the heart of God. Faith is the key which enables us to understand the great Reformation truth ‘Justification By Faith’ or more precisely ‘Justification by Grace through Faith’. Luther was convinced that we would only understand faith in the light of the character of God and the reality of a battle for the hearts and minds of humanity.
Luther, slowly and painfully, saw that the righteousness of God in Romans 1:17 does not simply refer to his justice requiring judgement, rather a new status granted by grace. In Luther’s world there was a division between spiritual people like monks and nuns and secular people in the market place and everyday world. If you really wanted to be spiritual you took the monk’s cowl or the nun’s habit and devoted yourself to God in a monastery. However, Luther’s ‘monkery’ did not satisfy his soul. As part of the Augustinian order Luther was encouraged by his spiritual director to read the works of Augustine to address some of his doubts and an over sensitive conscience. Augustine spoke of a ‘restless heart’ that would only find rest in God....

The Solas of the Reformation - Christ Alone

Preacher: Gordon Hay

Verses: Colossians 1:15-22, Philippians 3:10-14


It was 500 years ago that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg launching what became known as the Reformation. If you were here last week you would have heard that we are looking at what have become known as the five “solas” of the reformation. These are:

  • Sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone")
  • Sola fide ("by faith alone")
  • Sola gratia ("by grace alone")
  • Solus Christus or Solo Christo ("Christ alone" or "through Christ alone")
  • Soli Deo gloria ("glory to God alone")

Alan commenced last Sunday by looking at “Grace alone”. And he said this:
Grace is “not simply a theological concept to discuss and debate, grace is the means whereby we start, continue and finish our faith journey on earth and beyond.”

As we look at “By Christ alone” this morning I want to continue with the picture of our faith journey and how we are to respond to the five solas. And I want to look at this:

  •  Against the context in which Luther found himself;
  •  The supremacy of Christ; and
  •  Our response.

The Solas of the Reformation - Grace Alone

Preacher: Alan Cameron

Verses: Ephesians 2:1-10, Titus 2:11-14


John Newton in his hymn reminds us that grace is truly ‘amazing’. Yet all too often grace has become such a familiar term that we lose the amazing nature of that wonderful truth. So, with Gods help, let us attempt to put ‘amazing’ back into grace. Grace is not simply a theological concept. It is not just an idea about God. Grace is all about the person and work of Jesus. Grace is Jesus personified. Throughout the Old Testament grace and sacrifice go hand in glove. A blood sacrifice of an animal was the substitute for the sins of the Israelites. In themselves they were not sufficient for the full forgiveness of sins, needing to be repeated time and again; thereby pointing to the coming of Christ...

The Gospel According to Romans - Living Under Grace 9: Christian Security

Preacher: Alan Cameron

Verses:Romans 8:31-39


Prior to chapter eight, Paul mentions the Holy Spirit only four times. However, now he more than makes up for the absence. He speaks of the Spirit no less than twenty times in chapter eight. His concern is not so much who the Spirit is i.e. his person, rather what the Spirit does. And what the Spirit does is to impart the life and hope of God that have been the key themes since chapter five...

Love in the Little Things

Preacher: Pierre Fourie

Verses: 1 John 3:11-18


I want to ask ourselves today, what’s calling for your and my attention? What’s demanding to be done and requiring our energy and focus? Perhaps we could ponder on this, as we share the Word today. In our Old Testament reading, sandwiched between two verses about fearing our Lord are the words “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing”...