Category Archives: Bible Study

Jeremiah: Make No Excuses

Sunday Service

  • 16 July 2017
  • Pastor Al Hall
  • Jeremiah: Make No Excuses

Overview of Jeremiah:

  • A young priest
  • Called to be a prophet
  • Given a message for Israel & the nations
  • About the consequences of their sin
  • Invading army Babylon would destroy the city
  • Message of justice: warning, uprooting & tearing down, judgement
  • Book written by a guy Baruch
  • A collection of sermons, poems & essays from Jeremiah
  • Also stories about Jeremiah

Differences between priests and prophets

Feature Priest Prophet
Job description Prescribed Unpredictable
The audience Individuals Nations
The message Welcome Unwelcome
Support From the offerings Unknown


The answers to all our excuses

The excuse The promise
The task is too tough God has chosen you!
I don’t have what it takes God always equips those he calls!
The time is not right God with us!
A dangerous message God rescues and God prevails!
Let’s talk about it… God’s power through obedience!


Has God called you?

  • Then He will fulfil his purposes in you
  • He will equip you
  • He will enable you
  • He will protect you
  • He will Accompany you

Are you obeying His commands?

  • Then He is with you to protect you.

Are you obedient to what He asks you?

  • Then He will accomplish His purposes, no matter how people react.



Terrifying, But Awesome…

Sunday Service

  • 9 July 2017
  • All in service
  • Jaime Spurdle (former children’s pastor here)
  • Terrifying, But Awesome…
  • Worship!

Romans 12:1

  • And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will find acceptable.  This is truly the way to worship him.

What should we give to Him?

  • Heart – to love what He loves
  • Eyes – to see and follow Him
  • Ears – to hear and understand Him
  • Mouth – to speak praise to Him and speak for Him to others
  • Hands – to do His work and express His creativity.
  • Feet – to take His Word and stand on injustice

Here I am!

  • Take me…
  • Use me…

Romans 7:21-24

  • It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up.
  • I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
  • I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope.  Is there no one who can do anything for me?
  • The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does.

Matthew 5:29-30

  • If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.  And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away.
  • It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Hebrews 12:1

  • …we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won’t let go.


James says:

  • Sounds like a great introduction to a potential Christian version of Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • Letting go of the addictions which hold us back.
  • Great teaching from Jaime today.
  • Hard work making it relevant to young and old in the “All In” service today.
  • Excellent attempt, showing 2 videos:
    • People Are Awesome, at the start; and
    • Pandas Are Cute, in the middle.




Sunday Service

  • 2 July 2017
  • Pastor Arnie Hall
  • Temptation

Temptation is

  • A trial in which we have a free choice:
  • Of being faithful to God
  • Or unfaithful to God

What Temptation Does:

  • Hurts us; and
  • Hurts others



  • Hurts our own body
  • Hurts our family


  • Damages our integrity
  • Damages our relationship with others

James 1:13-17

  • And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.”
  • God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.
  • Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions.  And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
  • So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father who created all the lights in the heavens.  He does not change like shifting shadows.


  • Our own desires: us!
  • Temptation <== This is the key battlefield. Win here.
  • Entices us
  • Drags us away
  • Sinful actions
  • Sin grows
  • Death

Jesus did 2 things:

  1. Resisted the devil
  2. Used the Bible


NZ Baptist Missionary Society

Sunday Service

  • 11 June 2017
  • Pastor Martin Campbell (from Belfast)
  • Missions


  • Born & raised during The Troubles
  • Moved to London, to work in an oncology unit.
  • Met Joyce in Glasgow.
  • Married 1993.
  • Alasdair born 1996.
  • Moved to Afghanistan 1997.
  • Moved to NZ 2007.
  • Moved to Afghanistan 2010.
  • Moved to NZ 2013.
  • Strangely at home in an airport.
  • Missionary kids have a 3rd culture.  They fit into a lot of places, but never really feel at home anywhere.

Eastwest College

  • Established 1966
  • Gordonton

Trees as models:

  • Christian diversity: One trunk with a broad spectrum.
  • Christian churches: Mutual support with other trees
  • Holding up the fruit bearer: The supports aren’t bearing fruit, but they are necessary to enable the fruit bearing trees.  Supporters enable missionaries.
  • Growing in hard places: A tree can establish, even in rock.  Like Afghanistan.  Needs patience, perseverance; weather the winder.

Isaiah 25:4 & Hosea 14:4-8

Mark 4

  • The parable of the mustard seed.

Jonah 4

  • Mission is the awakening of the conscience
  • And the conscience informed by the Holy Spirit.
  • It is not right for us Christians to be angry about our lack of covering (our government leaving our Christian Heritage) when there is a world that needs the gospel.

Jonah’s understanding of God

  • …is focused on his own (or his people’s) prosperity – a conflict with God was inevitable.
  • …a sense of righteousness superior to God’s righteousness – a conflict with God was inevitable.

Don’t make our children the centre of our universe

  • Make God the centre.
  • Our true legacy should be to model this to our children.
  • Else, they will not know True North. They will think they are the centre of the universe.



3 Pillars: Pentecost

Sunday Service

  • 4 June 2017
  • Pastor Al Hall
  • Three Pillars (significant events in the life of a Christian)
  • Pillar 1: Transfiguration
  • Pillar 2: Ascension
  • Pillar 3: Pentecost

The Book of the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 2

  • The people came running: there was a spectacle
  • The wind came from heaven
  • The flames came from a single source and landed separately on them

Top 9 things about Pentecost

9. Pentecost Sunday occurs 50 days after Easter

8. The Bible records the Pentecost in Acts 2

7. Pentecost comes 10 days after the ascension of Jesus Christ

6. Pentecost is also known as “The Birthday of the Church”

5. Pentecost fulfils Jesus promise to send the “counsellor” & “spirit of truth” in in John 16:5-15

4. Pentecost launches the large-scale spreading of the gospel after Jesus ascension: some 3,000 people were baptised

3. In Western churches, Pentecost is usually represented with the colour red, which symbolises the Holy Spirit.

2. Jews also celebrate Pentecost, but not for the same reason. The celebration observes God giving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai 50 days after the Exodus.

  1. Pentecost is celebrated by us today!

(Some) Characteristics of the Holy Spirit (as demonstrated at Pentecost)

  • Rowdy
  • Surprising
  • A bit out of control
  • Powerful
  • Supernatural
  • Effective
  • Cross cultural
  • Transforming
  • Personal and collective



Church like this (result of Pentecost):

  • Devoted to learning (putting it into practice)
  • Sharing meals (intimate and restorative)
  • A sense of awe (observing God at work)
  • Miraculous signs and wonders (participating in His will)
  • Met & fellowshipped together (spend time, do stuff, be accountable)
  • Shared everything (e.g. kids clothing exchange)
  • Shared with those in need (more to come)
  • Worshipped together (collective prayer is powerful)
  • Met in homes (be a rebel: go against our current societal norms; be daring and vulnerable)
  • Great joy and generosity
  • Praised God
  • Enjoyed good will of the people
  • The Lord added to those who were being saved (otherwise, what is the point?)


Pillar 1 of 3: Transfiguration

Sunday Service

  • 21 May 2017
  • Pastor Al Hall
  • New Series: Three Pillars (significant events in the life of a Christian)
  • Pillar 1: The Transfiguration


  • I’m turning 49 on the 23rd of this month
  • Pastor Arnie turns 50 in a couple of months.

Matthew 17:1-9

  • The true glory of Jesus
  • But, the disciples were admonished to keep it quiet.
  • Why?
  • To give them time to process it properly?
  • Christianity allows for reasonable questions.

Jesus Answered Questions

  1. Is Jesus God? – Yes
  2. Does Jesus make the old testament irrelevant? – No
  3. Is Jesus what was prophesised? – Yes
  4. Can I trust Jesus? – Yes (it’s called Faith because it involves Trust)
  5. Is Jesus different to everything that has been (and is to come)? – Yes
  6. What does Jesus require of me?
    1. Listen to Him
    2. Obey Him
  7. How do I feel about Jesus?
    1. The disciples were terrified by this event. That was not Jesus’ intent.
    2. John 1:14 – The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the gory of the one and only son, who came from the father, full of grace and truth.
  8. Does God care? – Yes
    1. Matthew 17:7 – And Jesus came and touched them, and said, ‘Arise, and be not afraid.’


What do I have? Part 3

Sunday Service

  • 7 May 2017
  • Pastor Al Hall

What do I have?

  1. Gifts
  2. Resources e.g. Time
  3. Praise

What is Praise?

  • To praise God is to call attention to his glory!
  • To praise God is to point out how awesome he is! (South Auckland Translation)

How to Praise God:

  • Where: Everywhere
  • What: Every act and attribute of God
  • With: Everything you’ve got
  • Who: Everything that breathes

But, God doesn’t make us praise Him.  So, what happens when we don’t praise Him?

We fail in our “duty” to praise God when:

  • We withhold from God’s glory, that which belongs to Him.
  • We shut our eyes to the signs of his presence.
  • We become forgetful of his mercies.
  • We become unthankful for his kindness.

Praise stops us becoming ungrateful, unthankful, spoilt brats.

Psalm 103

  1. Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
  2. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfied your desire with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s…
  3. The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
  4. Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding who obey his word.
  5. Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.
  6. Praise the Lord, all his works everything in his dominion.
  7. Praise the Lord, my soul!

We must earnestly cultivate the spirit and habit of praise

  • By lifting my soul from its slothfulness and sluggishness
  • By fixing my heart upon God.
  • By meditating on his works and ways. Look at a sunset: It’s part science & part art.
  • By recounting his benefits.
  • By dwelling upon his amazing gift of Jesus.

What can you give praise to God for?