Location and Time Changes in December

Hi everyone, Two important changes you need to be aware of this December. Our location at Boy’s High will no longer be available, and our last Sunday there will be December 11. Please keep the following dates in mind:

December 18: We will meet at 10:30am in the Middleton Grange old gymnasium, located at 30 Acacia Ave, Upper Riccarton, Christchurch 8041.

December 25: We will have our first service in our new venue for 2017 on Christmas Day! Join us at 10am in the Piano, located on 156 Armagh Street. Free parking for GPC attendees is available off Oxford Terrace. View the map below for parking information:


Luke 14:12-24 “The banquet feast”

Nothing beats a good feast. God has invited us to the greatest feast of all time, and though many will ignore the invitation (and the feast host), Jesus urges us to join him.


Luke 14:12-24

He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers[b] or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

15 When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him,“Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17 And at the time for the banquet hesent his servant[c] to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20 And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.24 For I tell you,[d] none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’”

Luke 12:49-53 “Peace or Division?”

Jesus is called the Prince of Peace, but he speaks about bringing division. So will he cause their to be peace in the world? Or Division? Or both? Many people argue that religions are the cause of the world problems, is that the actual case? Rusty looks to answer these questions through Luke 12.


Luke 12:49-53

49 “I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! 51 Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. 52 For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Revelation 21:1-4 “Last Things Part 3: Heaven”

Rusty concludes the three part series on final things. Part 1 focussed on Final Judgment, and Part 2 focussed on Hell. Today, he looks forward to Heaven. Having a good ending is vital to a good story, and fortunately for the Christian, we can look forward to the best ending.


Revelation 21:1-4

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Your Identity in Christ – blog and sermons available

Dr. Bob Smart, a pastor from the United States who spoke at Grace a couple years back, has a blog about our Identity in Christ. This blog is a great complement to the Identity study that many have done in growth groups, and Rusty highly recommends it!

Check out the blog at http://www.identityinchrist.co/

And, catch Dr. Smart’s sermons from 2012 and 2015 at Grace in our Sermon Database.

Seminar: Why the New Testament can be Trusted

On May 31 we had a special seminar about the trustworthiness of the New Testament by Dr David Chapman. Dr Chapman is a New Testament Professor from Covenant seminary, the one that Rusty, Jennifer, John and Alex studied at in the States. (He knows his stuff.) Please note, a few seconds of the seminar were not recorded (around the 40 minute mark).
Read more about David Chapman.


Luke 3 “Baptism in the Spirit”

John the Baptist was a famous preacher, crowds travelled great distances to hear him teach. Imagine their surprise when he pointed to Jesus and said “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

Rusty opens up a new series on Luke by explaining what it actually means to be baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire.