Biblical Discipleship — Gracious Community — Light to the World
Online Meetings

With Stage 3 restrictions now in force in Queensland, Renew can meet in person. However, we will still be welcoming those who cannot join us physically to join us via Zoom.

Below are our regular meeting times and the buttons needed to join each meeting. Please use the correct button for the meeting you wish to join.

The host will generally be online 15 minutes before the meeting for chatting and catch up, unless otherwise stated.

Sunday

3:30-4:45pm—Weekly service

You can watch an online feed of our slides (usually projected) on your web browser here.

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Our sermons will continue to be available below each week.

Tuesday

7-9pm Bible Study—

7 Churches of Revelation

Thursday

8-8:30pm—Sermon Study

Service Times
SUN
Sunday Worship
Sunday, 3:30 pm
THU
Sermon Study Chat
Thursday, 8:00 pm
Where we meet
Our Blog
Joy in our troubles

Last night we talked about Sunday's sermon on James 1, and we struggled with what the "trials" are that James talks about. Why do some people seem to have a surfeit of trials, while others cruise through life untouched? Are those who escape suffering in this life doomed to a less impressive eternal future?


I can't pretend that we came up with any answers, except that trials are much more personal than we might think, and that comes from how trials fit into our Christian formation.


You see, our Christian walk consists of three distinct stages: coming to Christ, walking with Christ, and dwelling together with Christ in his kingdom. The theological terms for these three stages are: justification, sanctification, and glorification. Our experience of these three stages is quite different.


Everyone comes to Christ in the same way: by repenting from a commitment to the world's plan of self-rule, and through placing our faith in the saving power of his blood. The result of that act of commitment is that "He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son." (Colossians 1:13) We have been adopted by the Father into the family of God. We are now justified (made righteous) before his throne of judgement.


However, while justification sets us free from "the law of sin and death" and allows us to choose God, it doesn't transform our minds into ones that naturally choose God, rather than our own desires. That's what sanctification does. Sanctification is an ongoing process which is different for each Christian. And that's where trials come in--they help us to strengthen our trust in God, they exercise our spiritual muscles.


Finally, when we die (or Jesus returns), we go through the process of glorification. We are only fully glorified at the resurrection, when we receive our "spiritual bodies" which will be ours for eternity. The New Testament points to the reality that our obedience and growth here in this age (i.e. our sanctification) will influence our reward in heaven. I understand the intersection of these teachings as indicating that our sanctification is building our eternal character, which will then be reflected in our spiritual bodies and our ongoing minds and hearts.


So this "light momentary affliction  is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison," as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:17.


That makes trials seem even more important! Fortunately, if we boldly trust God, if we place him above any other call on our life, we'll certainly encounter trials. Even everyday life provides us with the opportunity of the trials of placing others above ourselves. If we open ourselves up to the concerns of others, rather than carefully protecting ourselves, we will find abundant trials through which to learn endurance. And we can count that all pure joy!

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A successful church?

We studied the letter to the church of Smyrna in our Tuesday Night Bible Study this Tuesday (Revelation 2:8-11). We used the Inductive Bible Study method, which really forces you to grapple with the text of Scripture.


What I came away with was the uncomfortable realisation that God's view of a successful church, and his methods for getting there, are very different to mine (or most human beings).


The church at Smyrna is one of two out of the seven that receives no criticism, and yet they were poor, suffering, and slandered. In response to this oppression, Jesus warns them that more is coming, so that they might be "tested." There is no suggestion that they should complain to the authorities or vigorously defend themselves. Sounds harsh, right?


But Jesus encourages this church in many ways: he reminds them that he is the first and last (he was there at the beginning, and he's in charge at the end); that he died and rose again (he has control over death itself); that they need not be afraid of the suffering (because he's in control of it); and that, if they are faithful, they need not fear the second death, but will instead receive a victor's crown of life.


In contrast to human leaders--who use great messages, good community, uplifting worship, etc. to try to build the church--God uses (in Smyrna's case) poverty, suffering, and slander.


God's idea of success is not a bustling church with a noticeable presence in the community. His idea of success is a community of believers who are unflinchingly faithful to him in the face of poverty, persecution, and slander, even to the point of death.


Challenging, eh?

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Studying the Letters to the 7 Churches of Revelation

On Tuesday night we met together (some of us on Zoom, see the buttons our web page) to dig into what Jesus is saying to us at Renew through the letters to the seven churches of Revelation.


It was a bit of a different study this first week, because we were exploring how to use the Logos Bible application that we have access to through our church's subscription to Faithlife Equip.


If you're a member of Renew, you can have a login to Faithlife, which then gets you a basic version of Logos, which you can either download or use online. You can download Logos to your PC or Mac, and get access to all of its powerful features. For lighter use you can download the app to your Android or Apple device, or use it online.


Logos has a great new feature that helps you study a Bible passage, called "Workflows." These give you a framework for studying a passage, provide helpful information on the passage collected from Logos's other tools, and give you a space to take notes as your work through the passage. On Tuesday night we used the Inductive Bible Study workflow to look at Revelation 2:1-7 (the letter to the church at Ephesus).


An "inductive Bible study" is the type of study that starts with the Bible, spends time reading, understanding, and pulling apart the passage and its context, and then moves on to exploring other resources that talk about it (like commentaries). The benefit of this approach is that you are personally grappling with Scripture, rather than merely leaning on someone else's work. Yes, it takes a bit of effort, but the rewards are even greater.


What did we learn? That, in Revelation, one of the primary themes is Jesus' encouragement to the church, at all times in all places, to keep on loving him and living that out, no matter what people say.


If you want to join us this Tuesday we'll be working through the letter to the church in Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11), using the same techniques (we won't be showing how to use Logos, but that will have been done in the preparation beforehand).

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Recent Sermons

Sunday, August 9

Fighting Fire

James 4:1–3 James 4:11–12 James 3:1–18

Sunday, August 2

Faith and Works

James 1:22 Galatians 3 Romans 3

Sunday, July 26

When bad stuff happens

James 1:2–18

Monday, July 20

Inside Out - Joy

Luke 15:7 Ephesians 4 John 14

Sunday, July 12

Inside Out - Disgust

Ephesians 2:10 Philippians 1:6 1 Peter 5:7

Sunday, July 5

Sin that leads to death

Psalm 103 1 John 5:1 Romans 8

View all
Upcoming Events
Aug
11
Shellanda's Place
Video link Tuesday, August 11 • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Learn how to read the letters to the seven churches of Revelation, understanding what it is that God is saying to each church (both encouraging and rebuking), and how to apply God's vital word here to our own lives.


Get the chance to lead a study using the skills gained.

See details
Aug
15
The Groves'
Saturday, August 15 • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Renew Youth gives our kids, from Grade 6 to 12, a chance to hang out, have fun, and grapple with the Bible together; meeting downstairs at the Groves' house. Every few weeks we also have an activity night where we might get out (restrictions allowing).


Dinner included ($5 donation).

See details
Aug
16
Renew Gold Coast
Sunday, August 16 • 3:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Every Sunday we gather first to share in food (afternoon tea) and fellowship (otherwise known as chatting or catching up) so that when we join in worship, we join together as community, not strangers.


Please join us in our community!

See details
Aug
16
The Groves'
Video link Sunday, August 16 • 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

We meet together downstairs at the Groves' home.


You can also join us via Zoom. Go to renewgc.com and click the links there for the meeting or:

You can watch an online feed of our slides (usually projected) on your web browser here.

See details
Aug
18
Shellanda's Place
Video link Tuesday, August 18 • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Learn how to read the letters to the seven churches of Revelation, understanding what it is that God is saying to each church (both encouraging and rebuking), and how to apply God's vital word here to our own lives.


Get the chance to lead a study using the skills gained.

See details
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Renew is a fresh, young church. We meet at Robina Community Centre on Sundays for afternoon tea and worship every Sunday.

Because we're a baptist style church, we value Bible study and meet on Tuesday nights in different homes during school term to study God's word.

On Friday nights during school term, Renew Youth gathers together for fun, fellowship, and Bible talks.

This all sounds pretty normal for a church, but our focus is on the transformative power of the Holy Spirit on our entire lives that happens in and through these activities. Come and join us on this journey!