Living Exclusively in Christ

14 April, 2024 Pastor Mark Simpfendorfer

Having you ever noticed your car pulling to the left or right when braking? Have you ever noticed a shudder in the steering wheel when applying the brake? Have you ever noticed uneven wear on your tyres? If so, you probably should get a wheel alignment. Hitting a pothole or kerb at force can cause your wheels to go out of alignment. The settings are so precise and sensitive and need to be done in parallel, that if one part is even 1/6 of a degree off, your wheels can be out of alignment, which can cause huge damage. That's why it is important to have a regular wheel realignment.

The same is true of the is so easy for the bumps forces and sudden jolts of life to cause a misalignment of our hearts, our minds and our behaviours. And when left unchecked it can do serious damage to our faith, our relationships and the fulfilment of God's purposes in the world. So today Paul pulls tells us to pull into Christ's workship and let him do a Gospel realignment of our hearts and lives so they run straight, true, and free and we can arrive safely at the destination God has prepared for us. So today we look at what it means to live exclusively in Christ.

#2 in series: Living Exclusively


Living Exclusively...By the Gospel

7 April, 2024 Pastor Mark Schultz

Gin AND tonic. Scones, jam AND cream.

Some things are MEANT to be added together.

Some…are not. They are enough in and of themselves.

Jesus. To add anything is to lose him. Over the next 7 weeks we’ll be reminded of that fact by Paul as he speaks pointedly & sternly to the church in Galatia…and to us.

Add ____ lose your faith.

Add ____ squander your security.

Add ____ forfeit your identity.

Add ____ surrender your destiny.

(need to fill in the blanks…? Law, rules, rituals, human/cultural approval…status, power…?)

Only in Christ do we have full access to the freedom the Father desires us to enjoy as his children. Only by the Spirit do we receive the fullness of blessing the Father seeks to make flourish in our lives. Today we explore what it means to live exclusively by the Gospel.


Jesus is Lord

31 March, 2024 Pastor Mark Schultz

The Truth…the whole Truth…and nothing but the Truth.

That's what the resurrection reveals. There is only One who can speak the Truth and reveal the Truth about the pain in our own lives, the suffering of all people, the brokenness of our world, the violence that destroys and the tragic reality of death. There is only One who embodies Truth, breathes the Truth and lives the Truth that brings hope to our souls, courage to our fears, strength in our weakness and life in the midst of death. The resurrection is the Father’s clear testimony that Jesus is the powerful Son of God who has conquered death and reigns as Lord of all. But even more...the resurrection is the unmistakable testimony that God is accessible to us, that God will not abandon us, that God desires more than anything to be in relationship with us, that God knows us, calls us by name and forever invites us into his presence. That's the whole truth that is life-transforming.

#4 and final in series: The Truth


Jesus is Sacrifice

29 March, 2024 Pastor Mark Schultz

What is truth? That's the question Pilate posed to Jesus over 2000 years ago and yet it is a question that people are still asking, still searching after today. The German poet and novelist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote, “It is easier to perceive error than to find truth, for the former lies on the surface and is easily seen, while the latter lies in the depth, where few are willing to search for it.” That's what is so remarkable about Jesus; he came from the Father, full of grace and truth. He came to bear witness to the truth! He came to make the truth visible to those who are searching for it. On this day…clothed in humility, immersed in depravity, encased in tragedy, accused of blasphemy, beaten for our iniquity, tortured with brutality, suffering in agony and sacrificed for humanity, the Truth is proclaimed to the world for all eternity...God loves you to death. It's the truth we experience again today.

#3 in series: The Truth


Jesus is Servant

28 March, 2024 Pastor Mark Schultz

'Your business is important to us. Please continue to hold. We will be with you shortly.' Sound familiar? Customer service is not what it used to be Go to a major department store and you struggle to find someone to take your money and complete a transaction. Go to a bank and not only do you get charged for having an account but there is no-one to talk to in person about your account! Our business may be important to them, but we are not. We are a customer number, a phone number, an email address. The truth have never been a number, a database entry, a means to an end for God. The God of the universe, in the flesh, did not come to be served, but to serve you. To invite you in, to wait on you, to anticipate what you need and give you what you need, even before you realise your need. That's the truth, we'll explore tonight. Jesus is servant and he's here to meet your deepest need in a basin of grace.

#2 in series: The Truth


Jesus is King

24 March, 2024 Pastor Mark Schultz

Elvis has been called it. So has Graham Kennedy, Michael Jackson, LeBron James, Wally Lewis, Wayne Carey, Shane Warne and Peter Brock. The King! Those who are given that nickname are lauded for their greatness, are sought for a selfie or autograph and are cherished for the memorabilia that serves as a reminder of their greatness. But it is a nickname that comes with a steep price. Take on that crown and you are required to be flawless. Take on that crown and your life will be subjected to constant scrutiny. Take on that crown and every word will be analysed. The truth is, there is only one true King who can live up to the scrutiny placed on him, the perfection expected of him. There is only one King whose sole purpose in life was to abandon his own greatness so you could share in it. There is only one King who gave up his glory and grandeur so those could be yours. There is only one King who had the power and authority to do what needed to be done and was willing to pay the steep price, to sacrifice his own life so your could live freely and fully as a child of the Father. Jesus is the true King who chose to wear one crown, to take one road, to walk one path that would forever change the trajectory of human life...and forever reclaim you in the Father's love and make you a co-heir of all of God's blessings. That's the truth we'll experience today.


Discipleship begins with Witness

17 March, 2024 Pastor Mark Schultz

"A shot across the bow" is a term that derives from the naval practice of firing a cannon shot across the bow of an opponent's ship to show them that you are prepared to do battle.

It could be fired towards any ship whose 'colours' (nationality/identity) had to be determined. A ship fired upon had to hoist their flag, and confirm their identity with a gun shot. These days, the phrase means to send a warning, and in many ways, Jesus is shooting a cannon ball over the bow of our lives as a warning shot today. Show your true colours! Show who you are! Live who you are. For it is no longer business as usual. Life with Jesus disrupts our old life. Following Jesus transforms every part of our life, and that transformation is to be witnessed in and through how we live our daily lives. His transformation in us creates space to reflect on his work in our lives, and gives us the opportunity to dwell in his presence. He has set us apart as his witnesses, and calls us to give our lives over to him as we live in a way that creates space for others to have access to that same transformation. Discipleship begins with witness, the witness of our lives as those transformed by the presence of Jesus.

#6 and final in series: 'Discipleship begins with "W"'


Discipleship begins with Works

10 March, 2024 Pastor Mark Schultz

'Perseverance, persistence, tenacity, sacrifice, determination.' All of these are words that describe the ability to finish a hard task assigned, to complete a difficult work, to achieve a desired outcome. All these words describe the life of discipleship in following Jesus and doing his works. It's not easy. It requires perseverance, persistence, tenacity, sacrifice and determination. It is motivated by love and inspired by a faith that believes that only Jesus can give people the life that enables them to flourish. As disciples of Jesus, he desires a congruency between the faith we profess and the works we do, that other's might receive the transformation they really need. We'll explore that today.

#5 in series: Discipleship begins with `W"


Discipleship begins with War

3 March, 2024 Pastor Mark Schultz

'A little learning or a little knowledge is a dangerous thing' It can lull you into thinking that you are more expert that you really are. It can lead to overconfidence in a given situation that suddenly turns into that moment. That moment when you realise that you are in way over your head, you are way out of your depth and you have a real battle on your hands. It can have catastrophic consequences. In the journey of discipleship there are moments when the task required is bigger, the decision more complex, and the job more involved than we thought, requiring more of us than we possess, or have the ability to deal with. It's been that way for God's chosen people since time began, it continued for disciples in Jesus' day, and it a war that we confront more often than we would like to admit. But there is good news. Jesus reveals a way to walk that overcomes doubt, builds confidence and wins the war. We'll explore that today.

#4 in series: Discipleship begins with 'W'