Author Archives: Martin Pakula

Listening to the Sermon

Here is an excerpt from a fantastic article from The Briefing on preaching sermons and listening to sermons entitled: “The dilemma of preaching and hearing God’s word” by Peter Greenwood.  The whole article can be read here.

“How do we ‘hear’ a sermon, as opposed to merely being entertained by one? Why do we prefer the ‘application’ of the text, to the ‘understanding’ of the text? And why do we yearn for the ‘take home’ message?

We live in a fast-paced world of instantaneous news, fast food, and information at our finger tips, in the shape of smart-phones, computers, or whatever the latest gadget might be. In this world, we are Continue reading

Stranger Evangelism

Photo credit: Susan NYC, some rights reserved

I’m always amazed at the capacity we Christians have for justifying our own sinfulness and apathy.  I have done my fair share of stranger evangelism in the past.  It’s not easy, but almost always rewarding (and easier than you think it will be!).  Stranger evangelism is basically the idea of walking up to someone you don’t know and sharing the gospel with them.  This could take the form of door-knocking or walk up evangelism at University or the shopping centre, etc.  But it’s amazing how many reasons Christians can suddenly think of as to why we shouldn’t do it!

This week I was out at the University campus, not doing stranger evangelism, but inviting strangers to Continue reading

Thinking Theologically

Photo by Jacob Bøtter. Used under the Creative Commons license.

Recently I preached a sermon on Jesus’ death, as part of our doctrinal series on the gospel.  At one point I explained four different models of the atonement.  All four models come from the Bible.  First, Jesus’ death is an example for us to follow ().  Second, Jesus’ death is a demonstration of the love of God ().  Third, Jesus’ death is a victory over death and the devil
().  Fourth, Jesus’ death is a substitutionary sacrifice for sins
(; ).

All four models are Biblical, but only one of them is adequate to explain the atonement sufficiently.  Continue reading

21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,

24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,