Grand Final Faith

Published: Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Personal and Small Group Study Notes

These notes are intended for personal study and small group discussion. They accompany the sermon preached by Geoff Pound at ABC on 2 October 2016 entitled, ‘Grand Final Faith’.

Scripture Reading: Luke 17:5-10

(N.B. The sermon and study relate only to the first two verses of this reading).

17:5 The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"

17:6 The Lord replied, "If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you.

17:7 "Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, 'Come here at once and take your place at the table'?

17:8 Would you not rather say to him, 'Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink'?

17:9 Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded?

17:10 So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, 'We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!'"

Questions for Personal Study and Group Discussion

1. Share a situation recently where you felt like crying out to Jesus using the words of the disciples: “Increase our faith!” (17:5)

2. How do you describe and interpret the tone of Jesus’ response? (17:6)

3. What is Jesus saying about the type of faith we are to express? (17:6)

4. Someone asks you, “What does it mean to have faith or to exercise faith?” And your reply?

5. If you don’t want faith ‘to uproot a mulberry tree and plant it in the sea’ (17:6), what do you want faith for?

6. If our faith is like a muscle, how does your faith rate at the moment on the Firm—Flabby scale and on the Supple—Stiff scale?

7. Where are you currently being challenged to exercise the ‘muscle’ of your faith?

8. How can we collectively help to foster and support faith in one another?

ABC as a Growing Theological Community

Published: Monday, 05 September 2016

Introduction

On 16 October at 11.30am (after worship) we are holding a discussion for all interested in the growth of the Ashburton Baptist Church and WellSpring as a theological community. The Dean of Whitley, Rev. Dr Gary Heard, will be in attendance. KenManley GP 0916

By way of preparation, we are encouraging people to read the chapter (below) by Rev. Dr Frank Rees in the new book published in honour of Rev. Dr Ken Manley, entitled Baptist Identity into the 21st Century (get your copy via this link).

We are grateful to the book’s editor, Frank Rees, for allowing us to post his chapter, below. The first few pages may not make complete sense if you haven’t read the essay in the book by Paul Fiddes, ‘Baptists and Theological Education’, about which Frank gives a response. The chapter has special reference to Whitley College and serves as a tribute to the contribution of Ken Manley. Stick with it as Frank Rees goes on to paint a colourful and promising vision for the role of the local church in theological education.

Some questions are listed at the end of the chapter to stimulate our thinking and serve as a focus and flexible guide for our discussion.

Geoff Pound

Why has no-one ever told me about this?

Frank Rees

I will never forget the moment: it was a class in Systematic Theology and the class discussion was both lively and challenging. A vision of the life of the church as a local community participating in God’s presence and purposes in the world was being discussed. One student was visibly excited. She stood in her place and said: “I’m 47 years old. I’ve been around churches all my life. Why has no-one ever told me about this?” Her question has not only guided my own work as a theological educator but shapes my response to Paul Fiddes’ superb essay, ‘Baptists and Theological Education: A vision for the twenty-first century’. Why indeed are the ‘goodies’ of theological education so often unknown to people in the local churches?

ABC Study Series: ‘People of the Way’

Published: Friday, 08 July 2016

Introduction

Even before the followers of Jesus were called ‘Christians’, they were known as people of ‘the Way’ (Acts 9:2, 19:9; 19:23; 24:14; 24:22).

In Luke’s Gospel, the Way is also a dominant theme. Jesus is introduced with the call to ‘prepare the way of the Lord’ (Luke 3: 4-6). He is usually seen on the road, connecting with people on the way and ministering to them as he makes his way to the cross.

The followers of Jesus are called to be ‘People of the Way’, motivated by God’s Spirit and experiencing Christ working through them as they encounter others.

Notes for Personal and Group Study

In the next few weeks our sermon series at ABC will focus around the stories and the teachings in Luke’s Gospel. Study notes will be posted on the ABC website for individuals and small groups that wish to delve deeper and discover more resources for being ‘People of the Way’.

Geoff Pound, July 2016

Study One - Others on the Way

Study Two - Priorities on the Way

Study Three - Prayer on the Way

Study Four - Generosity on the Way

Study Five - Expectancy on the Way

Study Six - Division on the Way

Study Seven - Hospitality on the Way

Study Eight - Division and Grumbling on the Way

Study Nine - Service on the Way

Study Ten - Listening on the Way

 

Resurrection People Study Series

Published: Wednesday, 06 April 2016

On Easter Sunday 27 March 2016 we commenced a series based on the Sunday Scriptures and sermons at ABC under the theme of ‘Resurrection People’.

Questions are provided each week and posted in ABC’s Friday Bulletin and on the ABC website. These resources are designed to be a format and stimulus for people wanting to study the passages in small study groups or to do individual study. Don’t feel you have to address all the questions in a group session. Begin by reading the Scripture passage slowly and meditatively, asking God to reveal important things for you to know and act upon. You may want to read and/or listen to the sermon appropriate to the week as it is posted on the ABC web site. Links to the Sermon Podcasts and Sermon Scripts.

Study 1 - The Recovery of Love - Keren McClelland

Study 2 - Finding Faith - Geoff Pound

Study 3 - Fishing, Feeding and Following - Geoff Pound

Study 4 - Psalm for All of Our Days - Geoff Pound

Study 5 - Living the dream - Keren McClelland

Study 6 - Purple People - Geoff Pound

Study 7 - Freedom - Geoff Pound

Study 8 - Pentecost People - Geoff Pound

Study 6 - Welcome series

Published: Friday, 18 March 2016

20 March Welcome Study

Introduction

On 14 February we commenced a series based on the Sunday Scriptures and sermons at ABC under the theme of ‘Welcome’.

Questions are provided each week and posted in ABC’s Friday eBulletin and on the ABC web site. These resources are designed to be a format and stimulus for people wanting to study the passages in small study groups or to do individual study. Don’t feel you have to address all the questions in a group session. Begin by reading the Scripture passage slowly and meditatively, asking God to reveal important things for you to know and act upon.

You may want to read and/or listen to the sermon appropriate to the week as it is posted on the ABC web site. Links to the Sermon Podcasts and Sermon Scripts.

Study 6—Welcoming with Palms and Praises

Read through this passage and highlight the words or phrases that puzzle and/or impress you.

Luke 19:28-40

  • 19:28 After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
  • 19:29 When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives,
    he sent two of the disciples,
  • 19:30 saying, "Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt
    that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here.
  • 19:31 If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' just say this, 'The Lord needs it.'"
  • 19:32 So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them.
  • 19:33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?"
  • 19:34 They said, "The Lord needs it."
  • 19:35 Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it.
  • 19:36 As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road.
  • 19:37 As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the
    disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen,
  • 19:38 saying, "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory
    in the highest heaven!"
  • 19:39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, order your disciples to stop."
  • 19:40 He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out."

 

Study 5 - Welcome series

Published: Friday, 18 March 2016

13 March Welcome Studies

Introduction

On 14 February we commenced a series based on the Sunday Scriptures and sermons at ABC under the theme of ‘Welcome’.

Questions are provided each week and posted in ABC’s Friday eBulletin and on the ABC web site. These resources are designed to be a format and stimulus for people wanting to study the passages in small study groups or to do individual study. Don’t feel you have to address all the questions in a group session. Begin by reading the Scripture passage slowly and meditatively, asking God to reveal important things for you to know and act upon.

You may want to read and/or listen to the sermon appropriate to the week as it is posted on the ABC web site. Links to the Sermon Podcasts and Sermon Scripts.

Study 5—The Generous Welcome

Scriptures: John 12: 1-8

For Starters

Reflect on a most pleasurable meal that you have had and tell about the key elements that made it so.

How have MasterChef, My Kitchen Rules and the host of other food reality shows influenced positively and negatively your practice of hospitality?

Dinners and Diners John 12: 1-2

What are some of the elements John identifies that shaped the atmosphere and ambience of the dinner experience at Bethany?