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What is Christianity? 1 – Creation (New Course)

What is Christianity all about? Join me on the start of this journey as we work our way through the Bible. In this session we look at what the Bible is and why it’s important. Then we start at the beginning – the creation of everything.

As I promised last week, this is the first episode of the updated What is Christianity? course. I’m planning to film a new video each week and upload it, starting with this course.

If you’d like to be notified of new episodes, then you can subscribe on YouTube (don’t forget to hit the bell icon if you want an email notification), or you can subscribe to the mailing list here.

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An exciting announcement

An announcement about what is happening with Understand the Bible after Easter 2021:

Obviously this will have implications for the existing features – I won’t be doing Thought for the Week or Learn to read the Bible. Instead, everything will be rolled into one weekly video. That may be a course, it may be on a specific book of the Bible or topic. The point is, hopefully by focussing on one topic per week it gives me a bit of time to create something of higher quality.

I will continue to do occasional other things such as the Your Questions Answered series.

Thanks for bearing with me, the last year or two have been a steep learning curve for me but, God-willing, I am beginning to get there! I’m pleased with the first of the “What is Christianity?” videos which is due to be published next week.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support of Understand the Bible, and I look forward to journeying with you over these coming months.

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Destined to die – John 19:28-42 Sermon

People sometimes talk about destiny or fate – but what does it mean? Jesus was destined to die on the cross – but that’s good news for us. And we, too, can share in his destiny.

You might like to have the passage in front of you as you listen – find it online here.

This is the third of a short, three-part series in the run-up to Easter looking at the passion narrative in John’s Gospel. Watch the previous one here.

Enjoyed this sermon? See more on the sermons page.

Sermons are also available on the podcast.

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Mental Health Support – Psalm 91 – God our fortress

Psalm 91 helps us to understand that God is our fortress – he can protect us from anything that might happen.

Please note – This is the final mental health livestream before Easter.

Last week’s session was on Psalm 84 – “Cast your anxiety on him”. All previous sessions are available on this playlist.

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God is the ruler that we need – WSC #11

Who’s really in charge of the world? In this session we look at something called God’s providence, which means not only that God is in charge but that he’s a good ruler – the ruler we really need.

More Thought for the Week…

This is part of the weekly Thought for the Week series. This series is designed to give a short, 10-15 minute ‘thought’, including a Bible reading and a prayer. Currently I am working through the Westminster Shorter Catechism. You can see all videos on the catechism on this playlist.

Do subscribe to the mailing list if you want to get these delivered in a weekly email, or subscribe directly on YouTube or the podcast if you want to see them there.

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The Cross makes us family – John 19:17-27 Sermon

When we think about the cross, we often think about it in individual terms: “God forgives my sin”. But the cross has important implications for how we relate to others as well.

Note – unlike previous weeks, the video goes straight into the sermon and doesn’t start with the reading. If you’d like to read the passage online you can do so via Bible Gateway.

This is the second of a short, three-part series in the run-up to Easter looking at the passion narrative in John’s Gospel. Watch the previous one here.

Enjoyed this sermon? See more on the sermons page.

Sermons are also available on the podcast.

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Authentic Religion – Matthew 6:1-18

Jesus’ words here are appropriate for a social media generation! He warns us against hypocritical religion, and shows us what we should be like instead.

The previous Sermon on the Mount video on “Misusing the Law (Matthew 5:33-48)” is available here.

In due course this series will replace the existing Sermon on the Mount series.

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Mental Health Support: When we’re going through the valley

Psalm 84 was written to encourage us when we’re going through a difficult time – a valley. In these sessions we spend a few minutes reading the Bible, thinking about what it means for us and the current situation, and then praying.

Last week’s session was on 1 Peter 5 – “Cast your anxiety on him”. All previous sessions are available on this playlist.

There will be one more session next week before a two-week break over Easter!

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Do you have to go to Church to be a Christian?

People often say that you don’t have to go to church to be a Christian. But this is a misunderstanding: church in the Bible is not something that you can actually go to.

This session is part of the Your Questions Answered series.

Key Points

  • Church is NOT…
    • A building. In the New Testament, a building is NEVER called a church.
    • A meeting. Again, in the New Testament, church is never called an event (like a service).
  • Church is always the people. A building or an event is only church inasmuch as it’s about the people.
  • In a sense, you can’t go to church. If you’re a Christian, you ARE church.
  • A lot of people seem to think of church like a social club, or something which we can dip in and out of. But actually we should see church like seeing our family.
  • When we come to Christ, God puts us in a family of believers. He gives us a whole new family. In fact, in Mark 3:31-35, Jesus says that anyone who does God’s will is in his family.
  • So asking “Can I be a Christian without going to church?” is like saying, “Can I be in a family without seeing my family?”
  • We need to change our mindset! Being a Christian means loving others, especially loving our church. It’s not about “going to church” – it’s about being with our families.

Explore further

There’s a whole session on church as part of the How to live as a Christian course.

You might also like Heidelberg session #21 on The Church.

Your questions answered

This is part of the Your questions answered feature. See that page for more videos in the series.

If you have a question about Christianity or the Bible, please send them in or comment below.

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What it means to be human – WSC #10

One of the most basic questions of all we can ask is, what does it mean to be human? This is often explored in Sci-Fi stories such as Blade Runner. In this session we see what the Bible says about human beings with the help of the Westminster Shorter Catechism.

Explore Further

I didn’t mention any links in the video but if you’d like a short book dealing with transgender issues, Vaughan Roberts little book is worth reading as a short introduction: Talking Points – Transgender.

More Thought for the Week…

This is part of the weekly Thought for the Week series. This series is designed to give a short, 10-15 minute ‘thought’, including a Bible reading and a prayer. Currently I am working through the Westminster Shorter Catechism. You can see all videos on the catechism on this playlist.

Do subscribe to the mailing list if you want to get these delivered in a weekly email, or subscribe directly on YouTube if you want to see them there.

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