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Author: Lionel Windsor

Lionel Windsor lectures in New Testament at Moore College, Sydney

God’s heart for all humanity (1 Timothy 2:1–7)

Tensions are very high in our community at the moment. Take the illegal anti-lockdown protest on 23 July 2021 in Sydney. The protesters were expressing a fear and anger that’s clearly present amongst many. They were wrong to express it in this way. But you can feel it, can’t you? I know right now many of us are feeling the frustration. Some of us are in almost impossible situations: climbing the walls! And it’s hard. The catch-cry of the protest was freedom: freedom of movement, of work, of association. And while the protest itself was way out of line, freedom does matter, doesn’t it? It matters for us and our community. The Bible teaches us to live as humans among humans and human authorities, by helping us to see God’s heart for all humanity, as we pray.

Grace in ministry: Avoiding the shipwreck (1 Timothy 1:12–20)

“There was a widespread view expressed by participants that within [the church] culture there was an over-emphasis on sin and an under-emphasis on grace”. The report describes how this grace problem permeated the culture. It affected membership commitment expectations, views of authority, pastoral care, and more. And yet, the thing is: Nobody would deny that this church believed in grace. They preached a conservative evangelical reformed doctrine of grace. But on the ground, in so many instances, grace was not a key feature of this church’s ministry and relationships—with disastrous results. Today I want us to grasp that in Christian ministry, grace can’t only be the content we preach. Grace also must permeate and transform everything about us personally. And I want to give some suggestions for things we can do even now in lockdown, to wage the warfare of grace. (a sermon)

The goals of Bible teaching (1 Timothy 1:1–11)

In gospel ministry and Bible teaching, if you’re not committed to the right goal, or if you have the wrong goal, it’s not just a matter of being ineffective: you’ll be downright dangerous. So what is that goal? What are you seeking to achieve in your gospel ministry and Bible teaching – now and in the future? And how would you know if you’d done it right? This passage in 1 Timothy 1:1–11 speaks to this issue of the goals of ministry and teaching. It challenges us to think about our own aims in teaching, and to see how important it is to get it right. A sermon preached at Moore College Men’s Chapel on 14 July, 2021.

Slow-burn crazy-making behaviours: recognising and responding

Do you know someone who seems to have drama and problems constantly appear around them? Whenever you relate to this person, perhaps you find yourself feeling vaguely guilty, or uncomfortable, or put down, or obligated to affirm them? Do you often feel like you’re questioning yourself and your actions because of what they say and do? You don’t feel the same way around other people; it’s just this individual who seems to attract these dramas and give rise to these feelings in you. If that’s the case, the chances are it’s not you who is the problem. It’s quite possible that the person you’re thinking of is exhibiting a pattern of behaviours that can be significantly detrimental to you and to others. This pattern of behaviours is hard to pin down; it doesn’t seem too serious in the short term, and indeed it might appear quite normal to a casual acquaintance. However, over the long term, it can cause serious problems for you and others. That’s especially true in close-knit communities, like families, churches and other Christian ministries.

What’s wrong with the world? Is there hope? (Ephesians)

Guilt, weakness, spiritual slavery, prejudice, arrogance, tribalism, conflict, war, victimhood, persecution, pain, suffering, futility, ignorance, lying, deceit, anger, theft, greed, pornography, sexual sin, darkness, fear, drunkenness, substance abuse, domestic abuse, workplace abuse, spiritual powers…

In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he says many things about the problems we face in this world. He also gives us wonderful reasons to find life, hope and healing in Jesus Christ. Along the way, he provides practical teachings about how to respond and live together.

What does Ephesians say about reconciliation?

We humans are not very good at living up close with others. This is especially true when we have a history of conflict with those others. Reconciliation isn’t easy. No matter how much you might want healing, it’s hardly ever a matter of just everybody getting on and pretending the hurts didn’t happen.

In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he says some very important, fundamental things about peace and reconciliation, and gives many other very practical teachings about how to live together in light of these truths.

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