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Sunday Morning Together with Pastor Nathan Potts

by | Mon, Jul 8 2024

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Pastor Nathan Potts is the Senior Pastor at Pakenham Baptist Church and has served as the Head of Pastoral Ministries for Insight for Living Australia for the past 11 years. Originally from New Zealand, Nathan and his wife Julie have spent most of the last 20 years living and ministering in Australia.

Nathan holds an MDiv from Multnomah Biblical Seminary and has pastored three churches, while Julie works as a surgical nurse. Together they live in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne and have three grown children, several grandchildren, and a lively border collie.

Nathan recently shared a special 5-minute sermon with us on Sunday Morning Together, encouraging us to embrace our position in Jesus and accept the grace He offers us.

Read Nathan’s full message below:

‘I thought I’d just encourage us with some words from Ephesians Chapter 2.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

This is a wonderful portion of Scripture, and is a letter written to a church in Ephesus. Now, this place of Ephesus was a secular pagan city. The place was awash with idolatry, and it was considered one of the intellectual capitals of the world.

It was a city that had some great wealth, and all the wealth was actually centred around the worship of the Greek goddess Artemis. And it’s amazing Paul makes a visit to this city. It’s the start of his third missionary journey. And you can read about this in Acts Chapter 19.

Paul walks into this city and he shares the good news of Jesus. And what happens is that the Gospel flourishes. So Paul sticks around there for another two and a half years, and he teaches daily in a place called the School of Tyrannus.

Paul has a deep impact. And by consistently sharing the Gospel, consistently teaching and training these folks in Ephesus, we read a little bit later in Acts 19 that the whole culture started changing and there was this massive riot in the city.

The Gospel was having such an impact that it was destroying the economic well-being of the silversmiths, who would make little idols of Artemus. Because people would come into this massive temple in the middle of the city and buy trinkets to worship this Greek goddess.

But the Gospel has such an impact that it actually disturbed the well-being of the silversmiths. It also had an impact in other areas, because at that time there were the many books were being written about astrology and witchcraft and those sorts of things.

In the middle of the city, they actually had a book barbecue one day. All those who came to Christ burnt these books and said, we no longer have allegiance to this. We have allegiance to the one true God.

So what we have here, is a letter back to this church some ten years later. As I said, it was a letter of great encouragement. And, we see in this letter, in the first three chapters that Paul reminds these believers of their wonderful position in Jesus.

These issues that were experienced back in Acts 19 would be ongoing as the Gospel continues to penetrate in this pagan culture, and the city would be against these believers. One of the greatest encouragements that Paul wanted to pass on was the fact that, you have your position in Christ.

As we read very briefly here, he outlines where they came from. They come out of a position of darkness, and were now sitting as saints who were saved by God’s grace, by His rich and deep mercy. They once walked as people of disobedience. But they now walk under the lordship and headship of Christ.

God is so merciful. He’s so loving, that He saves us even though we deserve far greater. We deserve his wrath. He pours out His love and mercy to all those who call upon His name.

You know the wonderful thing? That salvation is God’s gift to us. I want to encourage you with that today. If you haven’t called out in the name of the Lord, maybe today’s the day. And if you have realised who you are in Christ, let’s pray together.

Gracious God and Heavenly Father, we do give You thanks. We thank You that Your word so clearly tells us that by grace we are saved through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We thank You that none of this gift is based on our merit, but on Your mercy.

Father, help us to realise this on a day to day basis. Help us to walk in the truth of this reality. We ask these things in Christ’s most precious name we pray. Amen.’

Listen to Nathan’s full message below: