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Sent: As you go

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Speaker: Matt Steele (Matthew 10:1-15
6 May 2018

Matthew’s gospel is full of surprises. Not only is a baby born to a virgin. Not only is God born in a stable. Not only do wise men travel from distant lands to acknowledge a Jewish king who was largely overlooked by his own people. But Matthew’s gospel is written by the most unlikely person - a tax collector who, as a flunky for the Roman empire, would have been despised by his fellows Jews. 

Back in 2016 we spent 6 weeks exploring chapters 8-9 of this surprising gospel and we heard Jesus calling his disciples - including Matthew - to follow him. Now we are launching back into this gospel and we’ll find it is no less surprising. 

In chapters 10-11 Jesus sends his twelve disciples out to continue his mission. They are to preach to the Jewish people, proclaiming that “the kingdom has come near”. They are also given authority to perform exactly the same kinds of earth shaking miracles that Jesus himself has been doing. 

And Jesus makes it clear that this mission will not be safe or easy. These two chapters are full of some of Jesus’ most confronting one liners:

- I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves
- You will be hated by all because of my name
- Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth
- Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me

That Jesus would send such an ordinary group of people on such an important mission is surprising. That Jesus would also entrust such an untrustworthy man as Matthew on this mission is extraordinary. 

And yet as we explore Matthew 10-11 we’ll hear something that is perhaps even more unexpected. We’ll hear the voice of Jesus sending us on mission too.  

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The Gospel of God (Romans 1:1-7)

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Speaker: Matt Steele
18 February 2018

The letter which we call “Romans” was written by the apostle Paul in around 56AD to the fledgling church in Rome which was being torn apart by internal divisions between Jewish and non-Jewish Christians. Paul seeks to articulate the gospel to them in such a way that it would unite them in Christ and mobilise them to support gospel mission to those who had not yet heard about Jesus. The unifying theme of this letter is the good news that God has appointed Jesus Christ as Lord to fulfil his promise to bring justice to our fractured world. Thus Jesus is the one who will set every wrong right. He is the judge who will hold us accountable for fracturing our relationship with God. And he is the Saviour whose death wins forgiveness and life for all who put their trust in him. And so the message of Romans is extremely timely for us. For we too live in a context where people are fractured in relation to God and each other. So like those early Christians in Rome we too can find hope in this good news.   

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