Phil Turner

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The bread of life

March 5th, 2012

John 6:25-35, 51 

  • Jesus is trying to teach about Himself with miracles – like the bread that came from heaven. Jesus is referring to Himself as the Bread that came from heaven.
  • 4 main points:
  1. The Bread from heaven
  • He came down – different to other religions, where the god doesn’t come down but is too high to come down into the thick of our lives. But God did come, becoming flesh.
  • If He didn’t come down then we would be left in confusion about who God is.
  • You can know God personally through Jesus Christ. Do you know Him?
  • God became vulnerable in this world, knowing it would cost Him His life. You can go to God knowing He has been there, known every form of vulnerability.
  1. He satisfies the deep hunger we have
  • Jesus is the only one who can satisfy the spiritual hunger we have for life.
  • We try to find fulfilment in various places – family, friends, career, etc. But at the end of it all we are empty still.
  • We have different ways of handling the emptiness we face – so many substitutes for the Bread.
  • The first step alcoholics take towards recovery is admit they have a problem and are powerless. We need to do the same.
  • Jesus is like the stimulant for life that we crave deep down. We receive true freedom and satisfaction from Him.
  • God the Father had His seal of approval over Jesus, God the Son, and was pleased with Him – before Jesus did any miracles. God’s approval is not dependent on performance.
  • Are you driven by fear of approval? If you accept Jesus, the Father accepts you and puts His seal of approval on you.
  1. He gives life
  • Jesus came down to give His life for us.
  • This is brought to a climatic point at the cross – Jesus gave His life for us; He gave up His life to save us.
  • God comes down and fulfils His perfect justice to pay for our sin, so we could come into relationship with Him.
  • We can’t achieve salvation through merely trying to follow Jesus’ example.
  1. He is to be received
  • V.29 – in order to achieve salvation there is no work to be done but to believe and receive Jesus. It is finished!
  • Jesus is a gift to be received.
  • You don’t “sort yourself out” or “clean yourself up” in order to come to God – you simply come as you are and give all your baggage to Jesus!
  • Seize the day!

 

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Welcome Home: The offer of Salvation

September 15th, 2011

It is Free

  •  Jesus removes the social, cultural and moral barriers to offer her salvation. Culturally, men and women didn’t speak to each other and morally, she had five husbands so would have been shunned by society.
  • If we want to see Brightonians saved, we need to leave barriers at the door – dress, career, intellect, education, sexual orientation…We can’t let them get in the way of the good news of Jesus that we have to share.
  • It’s important that we don’t enter into conversations with non-Christians by taking the moral high ground or speaking out of compulsion or to ‘look good’ to others. People also don’t want to be treated as a ‘project’ to be completed.
  • Sharing our faith with others should be sweet but challenging. Jesus’ salvation is a gift, but it also challenges our pride – we like to think that our efforts contribute towards our salvation.

It Satisfies

  •  As we need water to survive, Jesus says we need living water to be satisfied as well.
  • On the outside, people might look happy but often feel empty on the inside. People who have accepted Jesus into their lives will live with a well of living water inside and it will be like a flowing stream – no matter what you throw at it, it will keep on going.

It is a process

  •  We cross a line of faith to become a Christian but it is also a process over a period of time.
  • Nicodemus was morally incredible but Jesus is very direct with him in telling him that salvation is a free gift and that his morality counts for nothing but with the lady at the well, he knows she is already aware of her mistakes so he takes the opportunity to offer her salvation.
  • When someone is at the top of their game in looks, wealth etc., they are least likely to think about the meaning of life but when things start to crumble, friends start to disappear and they will be ready to hear the good news of the gospel.
  • We must look at ourselves as carriers of the good news of Jesus Christ. Are we amongst our neighbours and our community? We need to know them so that we can be there for them in crisis.
  • We need to bring about conviction as well as tell them of good news. Jesus asked the woman at the well to fetch her husband, knowing that she had five previous husbands. He showed her that she was putting her meaning of life into her relationships to bring about her conviction. This then highlighted her need for salvation in Jesus Christ.
  • John 4:14 – Only Jesus can quench our thirst
  • Jesus offers so much more that forgiveness – he can be our essence of life and our all in all

 How is Salvation received?

  •  Jesus says to us that He has seen us at our worst but He still loves us. He has died for us in our place so that we can be forgiven and have a relationship with God.
  • He has cleared our debt for us –something that no man can do for us, and he does it joyfully.
  • Salvation is only received when we respond. The woman at the well responded and her life was turned upside down. She went to tell people of Jesus, people that had hated and neglected her
  • We must feel confident to meaningfully invite people to church – if friends see how important Jesus is to us, they will take our invitations seriously.
  • John 4:13

 

 

 

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The New Birth

July 4th, 2011

John 3: 1-8

Jesus is trying to teach three things about new birth here.

  1. Who is the new birth for?
  • New birth is for everyone. John 3:8 – Jesus says ‘you must be born again’. To non-Christians ‘being born again’ can often mean having a new lease of life -  only for those people that are broken or lost and need an emotional experience.
  • There is equality to Jesus’ gospel – he came to bring both humility to the proud as well as strength to the lost.
  • Nicodemus was highly successful, intelligent and moral and was kind and respectful to Jesus. But his career and moral standing counted for nothing – Jesus told him he needed to be baptised and born again. The gospel is not just for the marginalised.
  • 2. Why do we need new birth?

  • No-one can see the kingdom of God, unless they are born again.
  • We try to save ourselves through our moral achievements but our self sufficiency can hinder us from seeing the kingdom of God.
  • Trying to redeem ourselves through our own efforts only leads to fear or pride.
  • It’s not about following rules; reading the bible more or going to church more will not save us – we need a supernatural collision from heaven to bring about new birth.
  • Treating Jesus Christ as a teacher and example of how to live our lives is fruitless as we will never reach His perfect standard.
  • Buddha’s last words were ‘strive without ceasing’, and in direct contrast, Jesus’ last words were ‘It is finished’. Salvation is complete through Jesus’ finished work on the cross. There is no more need for striving or searching or trying to fill our own emptiness.
  • The secular world relies upon its own trinity; family, friends and career. But when one of those starts to go wrong, life becomes derailed.
  • Idols are those things that we give our lives over to and hope that they answer our problems.
  • Jesus Christ is not interested in our performance in life. He accepts us for who we are and we no longer need to build our significance from morality.
  • We need a radical change of heart and a new identity.
  • 3. How do we receive new birth?

  • Through Jesus’ pain, suffering and death on the cross, there is new life for us.
  • He came to live the life that we should have lived but never could and died the death that we should have died. He paid the just penalty for our sins so that we could be forgiven and have a relationship with God.
  • This prompts a radical transformation of wanting to live a new and transformed life, because of what Jesus has done.
  • Don’t delay giving your life to Jesus, there’s no need to get life sorted first. It’s the other way round – bring your baggage to God and he will sort it out. He loves you as you are.
  • There is a barrier between us and God and Jesus died to break that barrier. Those that trust is His death and resurrection can step through the barrier and have a relationship with God – completely forgiven and totally free.

 

 

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A Ransom for Many

February 16th, 2011

Mark 10:13-16, 35-45

  • Carrying on the theme of “why Jesus came to die” and why it is significant for us all
  1. What He came to do
  • Jesus came to serve not to be served
  • He is saying: look at what I’m going to do for you – this is the heart of everything
  • Vs 45: He came to give His life
  • Jesus is different from other world religion’s founders – they were successful but their deaths were different – the Jewish dictionary states that Jesus’ enemies defeated Him
  • When the disciples realised what Jesus had done, they proclaimed it
  • Challenge: has the penny dropped for you yet?
  1. Why He came to do it
  • As a ransom for us
  • In ancient times a ransom was paid to free slaves – Jesus paid a spiritual ransom, He paid a debt for us, died a death we should have died
  • Objection – I don’t want to be controlled – Jesus said we’re all slaves to something – the disciples were slaves to status and position – Jesus said if it isn’t Him we will run dry
  • Jesus set our hearts free but sometimes we’re free and yet have run dry – we must get back to the Cross – Paul says it is the heart of everything
  • We’re addicted to what people think of us
  • Often to forgive someone there is a cost
  • If God just forgave us He wouldn’t be just, but if he didn’t forgive us He wouldn’t be loving
  • Jesus’ death means the debt is paid and we can receive forgiveness
  • Ghandi: doesn’t believe Jesus’ death has any bearing on his life but it is a good example of follow à this will crush us because His life was perfect
  • Why do we live our life according to morality? Jesus has set us free! Look to the cross
  • Jesus saved and liberated us
  • Jesus wants us to know He died for us, how much He sacrificed for us
  • If anyone is thinking “here we go again”, they have lost sight of the Gospel
  • Jesus gave His life to show us how much He loves us
  • What Jesus did only works if you accept Him into your life
  • What is the one reason you that means you can’t accept Jesus? One person you can’t forgive? Jesus died for it
  1. How can we personally connect?
  • Jesus said come as children – not childish, but child-like
  • To get Jesus, we must come needing to depend on Him completely
  • We are fully accepted and loved by Jesus
  • Jesus has seen us at our absolute worst, and still loves us and died for us
  • When we accept Jesus He doesn’t leave us as orphans, He sends us the Holy Spirit
  • Jesus said all who call on His name will be saved
  • We must make a response, right now.
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Luke 24:13-32 – Knowing Jesus Personally

September 13th, 2010

Luke is trying to show us two things in this passage: that the resurrection of Jesus really happened, and that we can know Him personally.

1. The resurrection happened
• Look at the evidence – the combination of hundreds of eye witness accounts of seeing the resurrected Jesus and the empty tomb.
• The books written about the named witness accounts were circulated while these witnesses were still alive – these people could verify at the time that these were true.
• The gospel writers used female witnesses as sources – counter-cultural as women didn’t count legally as witnesses in those days. Why would they quote female witnesses unless they really did see Jesus?
• All the disciples lost faith in Jesus and abandoned Him – but then they became bold, world-class leaders and witnesses, willing to die for their faith.
• If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then Christianity is dead and worthless and nothing else in the Bible matters. But if He did, it changes everything – it means Christianity is alive and well!
• If you have questions about Christianity and what the Bible teaches, first start at the resurrection.
• The resurrection is the only explanation for the explosion of the early church.

2. You can know Jesus personally
• Because of the resurrection, Jesus can walk with us.
• We are taken from despair to joy and hope of a resurrection – eternal life.
• These 2 men in the passage despaired because they didn’t recognise Jesus – suggests spiritual blindness. Jesus came as ordinary, when often we are expecting something spectacular or an incredible sign before we believe.
• Jesus is closer than you think!
• You need to be vulnerable – come to Him in humility and recognise that He is near.
• These 2 men also despaired because they didn’t realise what they really needed to be redeemed from. For them it was to be freed from the Roman oppression – to have a change of circumstances.
• Jesus sets us free from spiritual bondage – we are all slaves, addicted to whatever we substitute for God in our lives to give us fulfilment (success, relationships, money, drugs, etc).
• When the thing we use to relieve stress in our life becomes the source of stress itself, we are trapped. And only Jesus can set us free.
• Religion won’t save us – we need a new heart!
• If we can’t admit the depth of our slavery and bondage, we can’t walk through the gate to true life and joy.
• Come to Jesus as a sinner, not a sufferer. Don’t come to Him just to fix your external problems and change your circumstances.
• It’s because of the cross that we can be forgiven and set free! And the cross is only the beginning.
• The Bible is all about Jesus – every great hero is about Him!
• Jesus sees us at our absolute worst – and yet loves us and has died for us. He doesn’t reject us but pursues us and welcomes us in.
• Anyone can come in! Jesus has opened the door and all you need to do is walk through by believing in Him.

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The Lord of the Storm

November 9th, 2009

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  • Real World Power
  • Infinite Power
  • Costly Power
  • Call on His Name
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The Healing of Forgiveness

September 14th, 2009

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  • Challenges Us
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