Identity Formation

Preacher: Lincon Hardouin

Verses: Romans 6:1-14

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Most people have never thought about the fact that from a very young age, some suggest as early as 3-4 years old, we start developing an “identity”.  Identity is described as being a combination of different and distinct parts of a person, be it genetics, culture, language, gender, family, etc. coming together to form who we are at this very moment. And yet, we need to realise that our identities are always evolving. This is because identity is shaped, established and influenced by any number of different things within this life. For example, part of my identity is found in my nationality as a South African.  Part of my identity is found in the fact that I am the second born in my family.  Part of my identity is found in that fact that I am English speaking. Part of my identity is founded upon the way in which people have affected my life and in the way in which I have affected theirs, whether in a positive or a negative way.  Of course, this list could continue for the next few hours and I don’t think anyone wants to sit here until 1:30.  But the point is this, no single person is the same in terms of identity as they were say 10 years ago, and no single person is exempt from these changes whether we know they are happening to us or not.  It’s often only over an extended period of time that we even realise that we have changed.

The Right Choice...

Preacher: Lincon Hardouin

Verses: Matt 2:1-12

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Have you ever thought about the fact that life is full of decisions and choices that have to be made?  It is a simple fact that no one has ever been able to avoid.  There are times where we are aware of the decisions and choices that we have to make.  For example, this Friday past I knew that I had to make a pretty important decision.  I tried to avoid it for as long as I possibly could during Friday morning, but eventually I knew that I had to make this decision… to do my own washing.  The other day I noticed that the petrol in my car was running a bit low. I knew that at some point I would have to put petrol in, but I put that off as well for as long as I could until my car made the decision for me… the little orange petrol pump light came on, beeeeeep, because my car screams at me from time to time, and I had to make the decision to stop and fill up.

 

Mars Hill - Seeing what God is already doing

Preacher: Lincon Hardouin

Verses: Acts 17:16-33

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Paul, the mightiest of all the apostles. Patient, courageous, forgiving, humble, passionate, loving, kind, gentle, uncompromising, faithful, strong, amongst other things… All of these characteristics were used by different scholars over centuries to describe the Apostle Paul, and for many of us here today, it is easy for us to see why. He is certainly one of the most influential Biblical characters in the New Testament, and he is certainly one of the most quintessential examples of what true Christian living looks like. Throughout the scriptures we are told, and we read, about his encouragement to the early church, his firm but fairness towards sinners, his faithfulness in the gospel, his passion for serving ALL people, his courage in serving Jesus. But this is only one side of Paul’s incredible story, and it is the one side that most people choose only to remember.

I want you to understand though, the other side of this story. The side that many people have probably heard, the side that many have probably forgotten, the side that many people have probably chosen to forget. But this morning, I want you to hear these words as quoted from Paul, I want you to understand what his dedication cost him.

The Price of Holiness

Preacher:Lincon Hardouin

Verses: 1 Peter 1:13-21

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I want you to imagine with me for just a second, what the last few hours of Christ’s life must have been like. Being beaten and flogged to within an inch of His own life, skin being torn away from His own body, being forced to walk the road towards Golgotha, with the weight of the world’s sin bearing down upon His own body. Imagine for a second standing in the crowd as Jesus walks by. Imagine listening to the people standing next to you as the shout at Christ, as they cheer for Him to be crucified. Imagine the shouts of pain as Christ is lying there on His back on the cross, nails being driven through hands and feet, the sound of steel crashing against steel, wails of grief rising up as His family stands there and watch as He’s about to be crucified. Imagine being on the cross, feeling absolutely helpless at that point in time, looking down and seeing your loved ones standing at your feet, being in such immense pain, hanging, unable to breathe, being separated from the Father. Can you imagine that, can you picture that? Can you picture in your minds how horrific that moment in history must have been?

You Are Witness of These Things - From Disbelief to Worship

Preacher: Lincon Hardouin

Verses: Luke 24:36-53)

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In the passage before this we are told about an encounter that two disciples had with a person on the road to Emmaus. As they were travelling, Jesus appeared before them and began to journey with them; however, they were kept from recognizing who he was. Their discussion revolved around the events which had recently taken place in Jerusalem, concerning the crucifixion of Jesus, and while they journeyed together, Jesus began to open and explain the scriptures concerning himself, beginning with Moses and the Prophets. Yet it was only through the breaking of bread that their eyes were opened and they recognized that it was in fact Jesus there with them. At this moment, v31, we have the realization of the resurrection and, v35, the proclamation of the resurrection as these two disciples travel back to Jerusalem to tell the others what had just happened...

Testifying About the One

Preacher: Lincon Atherton

Verses: John 1:19-28

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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...

How beautiful are the feet!

Preacher: Lincon Hardouin

Verses: Isaiah 52:1-12

Isaiah 52:1-12 forms part of a much larger unit which actually starts with Isaiah 51:1 and ends with our text. The theme of redemption and restoration of God’s people runs strongly throughout these two chapters with Isaiah 52:1-12 forming the climax to this theme. The people that the prophet Isaiah is addressing in these chapters are those Israelites who have been taken into exile in Babylonia. Of course, these people are facing, yet again, turmoil as they have been forcibly removed from their lands; however, in facing such struggles, the Israelites are also facing the destruction of the city of Jerusalem. In facing these many struggles, Isaiah finds comfort in the promise of God to restore and redeem His people and so our focus is on Isaiah 52:1-12...