This is such an interesting question because it would be pretty rare for anyone living in Australia and particularly in Sydney to have not heard the name Jesus before. As a city, we are saturated with Bible-believing Christians and gospel-preaching churches. Yet, looking at global statistics, it shows a staggering 41.8% of the world population … Continue reading What happens to those who never get to hear the gospel?
Last night at ACG, one of our members asked this interesting question during QnA about the relevance of Jesus' command to "deny himself, take up his cross and follow me" for believers living in today's culture (see Matt. 10:38; Matt. 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; Luke 14:27). She mentioned how she recently heard a conference … Continue reading Does the command to “take up your cross” no longer apply to us today?
Question: What is the purpose of fasting, and why don't modern Christians seem to fast as much anymore? What is fasting? To cut to the chase, fasting is a voluntary and deliberate abstaining of something that is good, namely food, for a temporary period of time for the primary purpose of intensifying our spiritual need … Continue reading What is the purpose of fasting?
Most Christians consider the Sunday sermon to be a staple meal of their spiritual diets that they receive throughout the week. It is the nutritious meal that every family of believers share around the dinner table, as they open up to the weekly bible passage together and are fed through the reception of the preaching … Continue reading How to Listen Well to Sermons in an Online World
Question: Actually received this question from one of my youth and we were quite perplexed with regards to how to answer! She was basically asking if God has no biological gender (neither female nor male), then why do we refer to God as "He" or "Him"? I suspect this might have something to do with … Continue reading Why do we refer to God in masculine terms?
Question: How should Christians think about saving money? How should we balance offerings to church, financially supporting overseas/local ministry work, money spent on daily living (e.g. expenditures from gathering with brothers and sisters, raising a family, etc.) and saving? From a purely financial standpoint, it is shrewd to save, but doesn't saving also raise issues … Continue reading How should Christians think about saving, giving or spending money?
"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:10) As Jesus concludes the prelude to his Sermon on the Mount, he pronounces a final blessing unto those who endure persecution for righteousness’ sake. He elaborates on the hardships that his disciples will inevitably face, addressing them … Continue reading Blessed Are Those Who Are Persecuted Because of Righteousness
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9). The seventh beatitude that Jesus pronounces is a blessing for peacemakers; those who seek healthy and loving relationships with friends and even enemies. It is these humble destroyers of enmity and hostility that will be recognised as children of God, a … Continue reading Blessed Are The Peacemakers
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8). Purity in heart is the sixth key to living a blessed life. Jesus draws our attention immediately to the internal workings of our own hearts, and not to the pious appearances we might display in the public realm. God sees what is … Continue reading Blessed Are The Pure In Heart
So far, we have read about some of the blessings for disciples of Jesus as they undergo a series of spiritual awakening and transformation - what now? Here comes our fifth beatitude, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7) What does it mean to be merciful? And what exactly is … Continue reading Blessed Are The Merciful
Two ACG members have asked a series of similar questions concerning the topic of assurance in light of last Friday’s exposition, and so I make it my aim to answer all these as succinctly as I can in this article: Question 1: In light of John 6:37, how do we make sense of those who … Continue reading Can true Christians fall away from the faith?
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6) As we approach Jesus’ fourth teaching to his disciples, it is important for us to understand the weight behind his words in order to fully savour His promises. We tend to think of righteousness as moral behaviour, virtuous living … Continue reading Blessed Are Those Who Hunger and Thirst For Righteousness
As we currently sit in our homes quietly during the lockdown, Australians all across the country are on edge with what’s to come. As our government implements strict measures to contain the further spread of this virus, it has made a catastrophic impact on our economy to say the least. A month ago, it was … Continue reading God’s Call to Busy Australians, Be Still!
Question: In our study on Titus 2:1-10 we talked about how Christian men and women should be living out and preaching the gospel so that all may see the truth, beauty, and goodness of God's word. I was just wondering in households where Christian gender roles are not practiced (by either the mother/father or both), … Continue reading How can children grow to be godly men and women when there are no good role models in the household?
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). Jesus throws our minds into confusion once again with this maxim that runs in direct contradiction to the world’s logic. The literal definition of the word ‘mourn’, according to the Cambridge dictionary, means “to feel or express great sadness…” If that’s the case, … Continue reading Blessed Are Those Who Mourn
The following questions come from the passage 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 Is the women not speaking directive aimed at church governance and involvement in teaching, or is it just a general command to be quiet during service? I'd hope it's not the latter because I know the women at our church are not mute every time … Continue reading Are women supposed to be silent in church?
The following questions come from the passage 1 Corinthians 11:3-16. In 1 Cor 11 verse 3, it talks about how the 'head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God', and in the NIV they use the term 'woman' and 'man' instead of … Continue reading Questions about Head Coverings, Submission, and Authority in 1 Corinthians 11
Day 85. Revelations 4-6 Day 86. Revelations 7-9 Day 87. Revelation 10-12 Day 88. Revelations 13-15 Day 89. Revelation 16-18Day 90. Revelation 19-22 Devotion Why are we attracted to book series like the Chronicles of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings? What is it about these books that grip our attention and our affection? Part of it is … Continue reading Summer NT Plan – Week 13 Devotion
Hello! I have some questions about some passages in 1 Corinthians that I was hoping you could perhaps answer and bring some clarity to. 1 Cor 7:12-16 My question(s) specifically focuses on verse 14, where Paul says 'For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy … Continue reading What does it mean when Paul says that the unbeliever is sanctified by a Christian spouse in 1 Corinthians 7:14?
1. Kicking off the Galatians series As most of you should know already, our first book series for the year will be on the Book of Galatians and we will be dedicating 15 weeks to studying this book in extensive detail. This book in particular is awesome to read because this epistle encapsulates themes that … Continue reading February Announcements
Day 78. 1 Peter 1-3:7 Day 79. 1 Peter 3:8-5 Day 80. 2 Peter Day 81. 1 John 1-3:10 Day 82. 1 John 3-11-5 Day 83. 2 John; 3 John; Jude Day 84. Revelation 1-3 Devotion This is now our twelfth week of the Summer Reading Program and we are nearing the end of this reading plan! What a journey it … Continue reading Summer NT Plan – Week 12 Devotion
Day 71. Hebrews 1-2Day 72. Hebrews 3-4:13Day 73. Hebrews 4:14-7 Day 74. Hebrews 8-10Day 75. Hebrews 11-13Day 76. James 1-3:12Day 77. James 3:13-5 Devotion There are a handful of practitioners of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) who are given the title ‘G.O.A.T’. I’ve always wondered what that was. ‘Is he as strong as a goat?’ Goats aren’t known … Continue reading Summer NT Plan – Week 11 Devotion
Day 64. 1 Thessalonians 4-5 Day 65. 2 Thessalonians 1-3 Day 66. 1 Timothy 1-3 Day 67. 1 Timothy 4-6 Day 68. 2 Timothy 1-4 Day 69. Titus 1-3Day 70. Philemon Devotion What makes a good leader? Is it their looks? Their charisma? Filled with confidence? Incredibly ambitious? Great communicator? Proficiency in multiple skills? Or perhaps their self-sufficiency and independence? … Continue reading Summer NT Plan – Week 10 Devotion
Day 57. Ephesians 1-3Day 58. Ephesians 4-6Day 59. Philippians 1-2Day 60. Philippians 3-4Day 61. Colossians 1-2Day 62. Colossians 3-4Day 63. 1 Thessalonians 1-3 Devotion The doctrine of predestination is a tricky one. Some want to deny the existence of the doctrine and others want to explain it away. Why? There are a number of reasons. … Continue reading Summer NT Plan – Week 9 Devotion
Day 50. 2 Corinthians 1-3 Day 51. 2 Corinthians 4-6Day 52. 2 Corinthians 7-9 Day 53. 2 Corinthians 10-13 Day 54. Galatians 1-2 Day 55. Galatians 3-4 Day 56. Galatians 5-6 Devotion This marks our eighth week of the Summer Reading Program. We are about two-thirds of the way through the New Testament, so we are definitely over halfway until … Continue reading Summer NT Plan – Week 8 Devotion
Day 43. Romans 12-13Day 44. Romans 14-16Day 45. 1 Corinthians 1-4Day 46. 1 Corinthians 5-7Day 47. 1 Corinthians 8-11Day 48. 1 Corinthians 12-14Day 49. 1 Corinthians 15-16 Devotion Immorality. This is a word that is increasingly foreign in our cultural context. What does it even mean? We get the word ‘immortality’. But ‘immorality’? Sounds foreign…weird. … Continue reading Summer NT Plan – Week 7 Devotion
Day 36. Acts 19-21:36 Day 37. Acts 21:37-25:22 Day 38. Acts 25:23-28 Day 39. Romans 1-3 Day 40. Romans 4-6Day 41. Romans 7-8 Day 42. Romans 9-11 Devotion This marks our sixth week of the Summer Reading Program. If you have been consistent with your readings up until this point, props to you! As you continue your devotions throughout the … Continue reading Summer NT Plan – Week 6 Devotion
2019 was a busy year for many of us. And as the year concludes, it calls for a time where we can pause and reflect on what we have learned and been taught, on our greatest joys and highest points, as well as on our deepest sorrows and lowest points of our year. One of … Continue reading Why you should write up your own mission statement
Day 29. John 19-21Day 30. Acts 1-3Day 31. Acts 4-6Day 32. Acts 7-9Day 33. Acts 10-12Day 34. Acts 13-15Day 35. Acts 16-18 Devotion Welcome to Week 5 of our Summer NT Reading Program. If you’ve managed to make it this far, it means that we are almost half way through the entire reading plan! Now, … Continue reading Summer NT Plan – Week 5 Devotion
Day 22. Luke 22-24 Day 23. John 1-3 Day 24. John 4-6 Day 25. John 7-9 Day 26. John 10-12 Day 27. John 13-16 Day 28. John 17-18 Devotion This is now our fourth week of the Summer Reading Program! For the majority of your readings this week, you will encounter the life of Jesus … Continue reading Summer NT Plan – Week 4 Devotion
Day 8. Matthew 23-25Day 9. Matthew 26-28 Day 10. Mark 1-3 Day 11. Mark 4-6 Day 12. Mark 7-9 Day 13. Mark 10-12 Day 14. Mark 13-16 Devotion We are now on our second week of the Summer Reading Program and I hope the ample devotional reading has been both a challenge but also a … Continue reading Summer NT Plan – Week 2 Devotion
1. Summer NT Reading Plan from December 2019 - February 2020 As you may have seen with Elliot's recent post, we are once again kick-starting our 2019-2020 Summer NT Reading Program. This was a ministry initiative we launched in 2018 and we have seen much growth in our members through their saturation in the Word. … Continue reading December Announcements
1. So John, we’ve heard about why apprenticeships are one of many (though crucial) strategies for raising and training Gospel workers. Tell us a bit about your journey in arriving at this space where you want to be a ministry apprentice. So I have been thinking about doing a ministry apprenticeship at the same time … Continue reading Ministry Apprenticeship FAQs
Hi everyone, my name is Sherilyn and I’m thankful for the opportunity to share with you God’s kindness and faithfulness throughout my life! My testimony will be in three parts: Knowing the ScripturesKnowing the SaviourKnowing the Shepherd 1. Knowing the Scriptures I was raised in a Christian family, and from a very young age I … Continue reading Found by the Shepherd
I recently received membership at my church at GracePoint and as a way to commemorate this rather special occasion, I’ve decided to share my testimony to show you what God has been doing in my life. I’ve broken down this testimony into 6 defining moments (or 6 episodes) of how I came to faith, structuring … Continue reading Chasing after Girls, Captured by Christ
We have just finished a series of topicals and you are probably wondering what is on the agenda for the next couple of Fridays. Well from here on out, there are a couple things you can look forward to! 1. No formal program this coming Friday! If your micro-group leaders have not told you already, … Continue reading November Announcements
My testimony is not very long, nor is it very exciting, yet it is an honest and accurate account of God working in my life. I pray that my testimony challenges you to ask, “Where did my faith come from?” I grew up in church and I also attended a catholic primary school, so I … Continue reading An Account of God’s Extraordinary Work in an Ordinary Man’s Life
Introduction “What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” (Westminster Shorter Catechism Question 1) We have come to the final article on the five ‘Solas,’ foundational biblical principles central to the doctrine of salvation and distinct from the teachings taught by the Roman Catholic … Continue reading Glory to God Alone
1. What is Sola Christus? Sola Christus is a Latin phrase for ‘by Christ alone’, which emphasises the most important foundation to the Christian faith, the cornerstone to be exact. It tells us that salvation is found in nothing nor anyone else but in Christ and Christ alone. 2. Background: Indulgences and the Protestant Reformation … Continue reading Christ Alone
In light of this Fridays’ Prayer and Praise night on the topic of prayer, Lynnette has asked me to write up a short reflection on a prayer found in the Bible and I have decided to break down Proverbs 30:7-9 for us, as it closely relates to one of the prayers we will be examining … Continue reading The Prayers of Agur
In the lead up to the event of Prayer and Praise Night, some of us were asked to write a bit of reflection on the topic of prayer. One of the main struggles that I have often observed, with others and myself included, in particular with corporate prayer is the lack of desire to lead … Continue reading When Praying Gives You Anxiety
What is Sola Gratia? Sola Gratia is the Latin phrase meaning ‘grace alone’ and one of the key driving forces behind the Protestant Reformation, alongside faith alone, scripture alone, Christ alone and to God’s glory alone. Grace can be defined as ‘unmerited favor towards the undeserving’. Though the Catholic view affirms that we need God’s … Continue reading Grace Alone
1. ACG End of Year Retreat In about 2 months from now, we will be having our End of Year Retreat, where it will be an opportune time for all of us to reflect on what God has been doing in our lives this entire year! It will be held on Friday the 13th to … Continue reading October Announcements
As I was picking up a free calendar from a student activities volunteer, I was asked, “Do you believe in parties?” My response in my sleep-deprived state was, “Well… I think they might exist?” which probably wasn’t the answer they were looking for. Just like how I misunderstood the volunteer, many people have trouble understanding … Continue reading Faith Alone
1. What is Sola Scriptura? Sola scriptura is the Latin phrase that means ‘Scripture alone’ and it was coined as one of the legendary slogans of the sixteenth-century Reformation movement against the false teachings of the Roman Catholic church. Chapter 1 Point 6 of the Westminster Confession of Faith summarises this doctrine nicely: The whole … Continue reading Scripture Alone
There was once a time when the church was headed on a collision course with the dethronement of scriptural authority and spiritual deprivation. Grace-seeking sinners were at the mercy of the papacy, indulgences - cancellations of sin - were sold to the guilt-trodden and many entrusted the wellbeing of their souls to the medium of … Continue reading Introduction to the Five Solas of the Reformation
Question: Regarding last friday’s ACG bible study on Daniel, my microgroup members raised up two questions which I thought would be good to write in here. 1. If after recognizing our fears, we still hold onto it and it is somehow very hard to resolve, does this mean we aren’t trusting God after all? And … Continue reading How do you battle anxiety?
You know you have hit your mid-twenties when it seems like half your weekends are spent attending bachelor parties, wedding ceremonies, and evening receptions. No doubt it seems like one of the most exciting things to do on these occasions is to speculate about who would be most likely to be wedded off next. Before … Continue reading 3 Unhelpful Phrases Single People Don’t Need to Hear
I don’t know where you are in life right now, but if you are not living for God, if you are not living as though Christ is your everything, if you are not bearing your cross and are instead chasing fading pleasures of this world, please hear this plea from your once naïve (and still … Continue reading To All My Leaders Who Have Fallen Away
Humour is one of the great blessings God has given to mankind. Spontaneous joy is often received through our laughter at the comical incidents we experience in the world and with those we interact with. Scripture also presents humour and laughter as expressions of delight: Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who … Continue reading When does humour become sinful?
The Case for Catechisms Well folks, it’s time for the Catechism of the week! If you’ve been a regular member at our GracePoint Sunday worship services, you will have noticed a few additions to our church liturgy over the past year. Most notably, the interactive segment of catechisms, where we get to hear a central … Continue reading Why Should We Catechise?
If one of your Christian friends were to ask you this question: Here's your friend: Do we get rewards in heaven? What would be your initial thoughts? If this is the first time you've ever encountered such a question, my best bet is that it would have made you quite uncomfortable! You were probably lost … Continue reading Do we get rewards in heaven?
One of our members at ACG asked me this question recently because she's been feeling guilty for sleeping through her alarm, especially during her exam period. She's a overthinker, an overworker, and an overachiever. She's busy juggling many different responsibilities in her life and she tends to sacrifice her health to prioritise her studies. She … Continue reading Should I feel guilty for not studying enough?
“Even in the inevitable moments when all seems hopeless, men know that without hope they cannot really live, and in agonizing desperation they cry for the bread of hope.” Martin Luther King Jr. 2020 has been hopeless and fearful. None of us has been able to live the kind of life we expected, the kind … Continue reading Hope and Hopelessness This Christmas
In his earthly life, Jesus spoke on the topic of hell more than he ever spoke about the kingdom of heaven. He describes hell using vivid imagery all throughout the gospel accounts, illustrating it as a place of unquenchable fire (Mk. 9:43), outer darkness (Matt. 8:12), and eternal torment (Lk. 16:23) where there will be … Continue reading Are there different degrees of punishment in hell?
Continuing with his statements that seem to defy how the world operates, Jesus tells His audience that: "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5) In a world that purports personal agency and assertion of individual rights for individual gain, Jesus asserts something radically different. He declares that it is the … Continue reading Blessed Are The Meek
"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 5:3). We come to the very first Beatitude of the series and we see Jesus breaking open his sermon with such a peculiar opening statement! What does he mean when he says “blessed” or “happy” are the poor in spirit…? The … Continue reading Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit
French mathematician Blaise Pascal famously said that: All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step … Continue reading Introduction to the Beatitudes
On the 14th of March, as I was grinding out my sermon draft in preparation to preach in a couple of weeks time, I received the following text message from my pastor at 10:30pm with some rather unpleasant news… “Heads up for you. Tomorrow will be the last Sunday we will meet for the rest … Continue reading 3 Ministry Lessons To Learn During This Pandemic Season
Hi ACGers! You should all know that starting tonight, ACG will be going online via Zoom! This will be a first for all of us and the leaders are doing what they can to stimulate community as much as we possibly can on Friday nights. To help us help you, Elliot and the leadership team … Continue reading Video Conferencing Etiquette
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Introduction Dear ACG family, as you may have already heard last Sunday (March 15), the Session (Pastor-Elders) of GracePoint announced that our services will go online starting from March 22. The first stage of this transition is that Community Groups will be gathering in small decentralised clusters and worship together with the assistance of the … Continue reading Game Plan for ACG – COVID19
Generally my blog writing doesn’t get much traction, so I’m always super thrilled whenever someone leaves a reply on one of my articles! A short while ago, a spicy skeptic posted a rebuttal to some of the points I’ve made in my article on Scripture Alone and this was his reply: “How can the word … Continue reading How can the Bible be God’s word when there are so many interpretations?
Day 15. Luke 1-3Day 16. Luke 4-6 Day 17. Luke 7-9 Day 18. Luke 10-12 Day 19. Luke 13-15 Day 20. Luke 16-18 Day 21. Luke 19-21 Devotion Welcome to Week 3 of our Summer Reading Program. We are now into the third and final synoptic Gospel* in the New Testament, and here we read … Continue reading Summer NT Plan – Week 3 Devotion
Day 1. Matthew 1-4Day 2. Matthew 5-7Day 3. Matthew 8-10Day 4. Matthew 11-13Day 5. Matthew 14-16Day 6. Matthew 17-19Day 7. Matthew 20-22 Series Introduction Welcome to the start of our 2019-2020 Summer NT Reading Program. We first launched this initiative in 2018 and it was a great success! It encouraged people to engage in God’s … Continue reading Summer NT Plan – Week 1 Devotion