1. Recent Sermons are online at https://FirstMagherafelt.sermon.net/mca/main you can click on the links here.
2. Some older sermons are catalogued in the archive section below and are available for download. To Download a sermon to your computer or device just right click on the title and select 'Download linked file as', then save it to your desktop.
3. CD's can also be made available by getting in touch with us.Click Here
Despite all our achievements we have an inability to conquer our own human nature. We are not basically good, we can't convince ourselves into goodness or try harder to make ourselves good. Only God can do it.
"...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (Rom 3:23-24)
Some deaths are described as the most famous, the most public and the most mourned. But when we look into the death of Jesus and why he had to die we see the death that was the most important, the key to reconciliation with God. The cross speaks to us of four different things.
It's an evaluation of your worth as a human being - a price was paid for you.
It's an exposition of the terrible seriousness of sin.
It's a deminstration of God'sgrace and justice.
It is an invitation from God - it is paid in full there is nothing more you can add to it.
"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." (John 20:31) Doubts are necessary to discern truth. Doubts are normal whether Christian or not. Even weak faith can be genuine faith - it's a starting point. Faith lives alongside unanswered questions. John's Gospel was written for people who doubt. When we look at the verse above, John points us to 3 aspects of genuine Christian faith.
It is based on reliable testimony about Jesus.
It involves taking a step of faith based on that testimony.
Faith is confirmed in experiencing life with Jesus
Do we remember the amazing truth that we discovered when we became a Christian? Can we still see how amazing it is to be called a child of God?
When we become a Christian we are no longer just a creature of God (something he has created) we are a child of God. We enter his family. We have a relationship with God who loves us.
It's not just a box you tick - it has a dramatic impact on your life. If sin is what puts the hitch in our step then God is the one who is seeking to help us walk properly in our relationship with Him. While we might be an 'alien' to the rest of the world we have hope for the future - and that's amazing.
In the face of disaster people often ask: "How can you believe in a God who allows suffering on this scale?" They make assumptions about God:
An all powerful God would be able to end suffering.
an all loving God would desire to end suffering.
Or they have a wrong view on suffering: Suffering is an illusion - it’s just our unfulfilled desire, if you remove desire for it you remove the suffering - buddhism.But Christianity says suffering is real and we have a God that wants to help.
Suffering is payback - Karma - we get what we deserve - hinduism. But Christianity says this rules out a God of mercy and Grace. God actually holds back wrath to to allow time for salvation.
Suffering is decreed - what will happen will happen it’s just God’s plan don’t question it - Islam But Christianity says that God is deeply moved by our suffering. longing to comfort us and desperate to save.
Suffering is natural - it’s just the way the world is, it would be meaningless to wonder why, there is no why - atheist. But Christianity says our lives have worth and purpose therefore our suffering is not meaningless.
Whatever God's reason behind suffering it didn't stop him from suffering the same fate and going to the cross for us. Showing a God that is both all powerful to save from sin and all loving in making the decision and sacrifice for us.
What does the incarnation mean? God is easier to deal with when we can keep him at a distance - when he’s just the man upstairs. But our God is a relational God. He became flesh and lived amongst us as a man. We can’t hold God at a distance when he is determined to show that he knows us. If we were to be redeemed it would be God that had to do the purchasing - something that could only be paid by shedding blood on the cross.
Audio Download (click title to download) Unbelievable? 4 Apr 2010 am Luke 24 (The Resurrection - Easter Sunday) Bible reading Luke 24:13-35
Why do we find it unbelievable? Do we not understand what happened or do we choose not to believe? An encounter with the risen Christ that two followers experienced on the road to Emmaus. They were unaware of the battle that had been won over sin and didn’t see where the cross fit in with freedom for Israel. The eye opening experience of the unbelievable when we meet the risen Saviour.
We can come to faith, we can have asked Jesus into our lives and we can have a great testimony - but what does it mean to be a Christian? How can we develop as a Christian?
G - Gathering with other Christians R - Reaching Out to others O - Obeying God W - Willing to give T - Talents used for God H - Hearing God Speak
"When it comes to prayer for a Christian. Prayer is like oxygen in a fire. You deprive a fire of Oxygen and it soon goes out. Our Prayer is like the oxygen in our relationship with God. When we stop praying it dies."
Will you ever be full enough to never be hungry again? Jesus starts with your hunger and then works to show you your spiritual hunger. Focusing on full life and not just full stomachs - finding food that endures.
What do we focus on that we think will satisfy us? What do we spend our time on? What are we chasing?
To discern whether or not we are chasing 'junk food' in our lives we should hold it up against God's word. But not just looking at verses that give us comfort but allowing God to really speak to us, challenge us and nourish us.
"Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures..." - Jesus (John 6:27)
The Galatians lived in a very promiscuous society - and today we can recognise that our society is the same. We are in the midst of a conflict. There are two forces pulling us in two different directions. A sinful nature pulling us back to our old life and then the Holy spirit challenging us against our sin.
What does our sinful nature lead us into? Not just looking at sexual sin but also religious sins like idolatry where we put something in the place that God should occupy in our lives.
What happens when Jesus saves us? The transforming power of the Gospel that produces the fruit of the spirit. The ultimate test of the Spirit's presence in our lives is our character.
He utterly transforms us. He takes selfish, self-centred, prideful, lustful, critical, miserable people and puts love, joy and peace in our hearts. Patience, kindness, goodness into our relationships and faithfulness, gentleness and self control into our backbones - that is our wills.