•  — Edited

    Welcome to Flooding Creek's online home! This page is designed for the online aspects of church life, enabling us to share prayer, share our encouragement & trials, keep track of church events and access our Bible teaching & resources. We hope it will be a useful tool for church community connection and equipping beyond our in-person gatherings!
    1. published a newsletter

      ReadResend: What to do?
      News from Flooding Creek

      The newsletter didn't distribute properly this week. This is an exact copy in case you hadn't received it!



      We just finished up a rather impromptu leadership meeting! We were trying to untangle the web of competing desires that impact our church gathering. You would be unsurprised to learn that we did not discover anything to disperse all of our troubles in a single stroke!


      We did however remember that Jesus is on the throne, and these words from God through Peter:


      "All of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, 


           “Whoever would love life 

           and see good days 

           must keep their tongue from evil 

           and their lips from deceitful speech. 

         They must turn from evil and do good; 

           they must seek peace and pursue it. 

         For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous 

           and his ears are attentive to their prayer, 

           but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 


      Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God" (1 Pe 3:8–18).



      So, despite not having any definitive conclusions, I have three things to report:


      1. We need more time to pull together plans for the coming weeks. It looks like we're in for the long haul under the restrictions (indicated till at least April), so we want to plan for that. Please stay tuned for more information.


      2. Church this Sunday will take a similar shape to recent weeks. Please indicate your attendance and which location.


      3. We have no intention to exclude anybody based on their vaccination status. It is unbiblical (not to mention an overreach of power) to separate Christ's body along these lines. This may raise practical concerns for some, and we will seek to address those concerns as well.



      With the easing of some restrictions I hope you can make the most it, using the chances to embody all that Christ has called us to!


      "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms" (1 Pe 4:8–10).



      RSVP for Sunday here.

      https://www.trybooking.com/BUZSO


      If we fill both locations, we'll open up a third! and forth if needed!


      If you are unwell, please join remotely.

      1. published a newsletter

        ReadWhat to do?
        News from Flooding Creek

        We just finished up a rather impromptu leadership meeting! We were trying to untangle the web of competing desires that impact our church gathering. You would be unsurprised to learn that we did not discover anything to disperse all of our troubles in a single stroke!


        We did however remember that Jesus is on the throne, and these words from God through Peter:


        "All of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, 


             “Whoever would love life 

             and see good days 

             must keep their tongue from evil 

             and their lips from deceitful speech. 

           They must turn from evil and do good; 

             they must seek peace and pursue it. 

           For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous 

             and his ears are attentive to their prayer, 

             but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 


        Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God" (1 Pe 3:8–18).



        So, despite not having any definitive conclusions, I have three things to report:


        1. We need more time to pull together plans for the coming weeks. It looks like we're in for the long haul under the restrictions (indicated till at least April), so we want to plan for that. Please stay tuned for more information.


        2. Church this Sunday will take a similar shape to recent weeks. Please indicate your attendance and which location.


        3. We have no intention to exclude anybody based on their vaccination status. It is unbiblical (not to mention an overreach of power) to separate Christ's body along these lines. This may raise practical concerns for some, and we will seek to address those concerns as well.



        With the easing of some restrictions I hope you can make the most it, using the chances to embody all that Christ has called us to!


        "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms" (1 Pe 4:8–10).



        RSVP for Sunday here.

        https://www.trybooking.com/BUZSO


        If we fill both locations, we'll open up a third! and forth if needed!


        If you are unwell, please join remotely.

          1. I believe: He Arose

            I believe... ...Jesus Christ...

            was crucified, died and was buried;

            He descended into Hades;

            on the third day He rose again from the dead;


            Death is the normal course of life.


            At least that is what we have been conditioned to think. It's one of those things that seems normal and natural to us because we have lived under the shadow of death so long.


            Because of our God-given adaptability, we will quickly get used to most things. We even become blind to inconveniences, whether it be a noise in the car or a strange smell in a cupboard. While initially it seemed quite concerning, time passes and it just becomes a normal part of our environment.


            Although we have come to accept death as part of life, the Bible tells us that it doesn't have to be that way.


            Death is a natural consequence in humanity, but it's natural in the same way that rabbit plagues and environmental destruction are a natural consequence of introducing rabbits to Australia. It wasn't like this until someone took it upon themselves to "make things better" and ended up making it a lot worse for everybody.


            The consequence of death has two natural elements to it. First, it is a criminal consequence: "The one who sins is the one who will die" (Eze 18:4). Death is a judgment from God against unrighteousness and serves to limit the evil on the earth. When we have sinned against God, we have set ourselves against Him and we rightly deserve a punishment that fits the crime of cosmic rebellion.


            Secondly, death is a physical consequence. When we as humanity and individually separate ourselves from the Creator, we separate ourselves from the source of life. Paul quotes the philosophers on this: "For in [God] we live and move and have our being" (Ac 17:28). As we move further and further away from God by making our own path, following our heart, and choosing our destiny, we are wandering further and further from Life itself, and thus wander into "un-life." As co-regents of the Earth (Gen 1:28) humanity has pledged itself, and creation with us, to corruption and death. God cursed the world, but He only did it after we invited Him to do it: "Because you have ... eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you ... till you return to the ground, for ... to dust you shall return" (excerpts from Ge 3:17–19).


            As the earth obits around the sun we are sustained by it's heat and light, giving us "life" in a figurative sense. However, if we were to leave this goldilocks zone, and venture away from the sun's light and warmth we only move further and further into the black, cold void.


            Although we committed to heading out into the cold and black, God knows that we can't survive out there. God knows that there is nothing out there for us, and that we can only find fullness of life in His orbit.


            And so, despite our stubborn insistence on killing ourselves with sin and rebellion, God set about undoing the consequences of our actions. He will undo death. He will draw us back into His orbit of life.


            He did it by sending Jesus to death for us. As fully God, and fully man, Jesus suffered and died, went down into the grave, and then after three days* He rose from death! Jesus triumphed over death by disarming it!


            While death may be able to hold sinners, who justly deserve to die, it could not hold the sinless God-man Himself, even though He bore our sins in the process! "it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him" (Ac 2:24).


            Jesus carved a return path from death. Where once it was a one-way street, Jesus installed a U-turn facility. As the one who has disarmed the effects of death, Jesus will give His righteousness to anyone who comes to Him in faith. Once someone has received the righteousness of Christ, death has no claim on them! They will not stay dead, but Christ will raise them from the dead!


            Like the first fruit on the tree in spring is a sign of a motherload to come, Jesus coming up from the grave was the first of a host more to follow.


            While the natural consequences of death are still in operation right now, death has now lost it's "sting" (1 Cor 15:54–57). It is not a permanent predicament for those who belong to Jesus; death is merely a waystation on the way to eternal life!


            Jesus rose from the dead, bodily. He hung out with His mates, cooked up a good campfire breakfast, and fit in a few theology classes to boot (Acts 1:3). Jesus was dead, but death had no chance of keeping Him down.



            Samuel Lindsay


            "Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive" (1 Co 15:20–22).


            *In the ancient Jewish counting - "three days" included parts of a day. Therefore Friday afternoon, Saturday, & Sunday morning = three days. If we were saying the same thing in modern English, we might say "over the course of three days."

            1. Reminds me of the song “in Adam all Die” from Shai Linne , Pastor Samuel’s preferred christian rapper. any rap singer who includes the word pernicious gets my vote :-)
          2. I believe: He Descended

            I beleive... ...Jesus Christ...

            was crucified, died and was buried;

            He descended into hell (or Hades);


            Wait, what?


            Come again?


            Of all the parts of the creed, this has to be one of the strangest sounding bits to our ears. That is for good reason, it uses words that we don't associate with Jesus' death normally, but having said that, there is still some truth hiding under the strange nomenclature.


            Before we come to what it does mean, let us first clear up what this phrase does not mean: Jesus did not go and suffer torment in hell after he died on the cross! The closest he came to suffering in hell was what he suffered while alive. Jesus is clear that his atoning work was done as he gave up his life: "Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit" (Jn 19:30).


            Ok, so what was Jesus doing after he died, but before he rose to life again? There's a period there of about 36 hours (3 days in Jewish accounting) where Jesus is unaccounted for. His body was in the tomb, but where was his spirit?


            Well, as with most stuff in the spiritual realm, the Bible does not give clear guidance on how it all works. It's kind of extra-dimensional place beyond the veil where things work differently. There is some mystery, and imprecise language. Jesus indicates to the repentant thief on the cross that “today you will be with me in paradise” (Lk 23:43). So, we would expect Jesus to be heaven-bound after death, but there is also clear indications that Jesus had another mission objective he had to attend to before ascending in victory to sit at the right hand of the Father, namely, descending to the realm of the dead.


            The Bible adopts words from both the ancient Hebrew and Greek understanding of the place where people's souls go when they die. The Old Testament frequently speaks of a place called Sheol, also know as the Grave, which is an underworld or unland where people's souls descend to be kept in a kind of non-existent existence (e.g. 1 Samuel 28:8–15, Numbers 16:31–33, Psalm 88:10–12, Isaiah 26:14). While a person's body was physically buried, their soul of the dead was understood to descend to a dark, dusty, silent, and tempestuous imprisonment (references available on request).


            Similarly, in the New Testament the Greek word Hades is used as something of a "stand in" for Sheol because it is understood in a similar way, as place where people's souls descend when they die that is a kind of prison.


            Jesus needed to go to this realm of the dead in order to fulfil prophecy, wherein the righteous anointed king would be brought down to the grave, and yet return from it! (e.g. Ps 16, 22:15, 30:9, 31:1:24, 86:13) The shadows and prophetic pictures of Jesus' decent to the grave are all over the Old Testament (e.g. Jonah, Daniel & lions den, Isaiah 53). Peter and Paul would famously use Psalm 16 in their sermons to illustrate how it was part of God plan for Jesus to go into, and return from, the grave.


            Peter also seems to say in his first letter that Jesus' spirit got up to something after he died: "[Jesus] was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah" 1 Pe 3:18–20.


            We discussed this verse some months ago in our Peter preaching series. We're not quite sure what Jesus was preaching, and to whom, but it was either victory proclamation to the rebellious spirits imprisoned there, or, a gospel declaration to the Old Testament saints who were waiting for Jesus to accomplish their salvation (it could be that these events was even after the Resurrection too).


            So, we have several indications from prophecy, prophetic typology, and the way that the Apostles describe Jesus while dead, that indicate that Jesus went to the realm of the dead. But annoyingly, there is no itinerary or clear description of the mechanics of such an endeavour.


            Some folks are convinced that all this talk of Jesus' spirit getting up to some hijinks while his body lay in the tomb is a step to far. They read all the passages about Jesus in the grave more "flatly", in that all the mentions of going down into Hades or Sheol is just a metaphoric way of speaking about being physically dead and buried. That is an ok place to land, but personally I feel that a mere physical grave doesn't fully explain the depth of meaning attributed to the grave across the breadth of the Bible.


            But whichever way you go with how you understand Jesus' time in death, I'm sure we can all agree that the use of the word "hell" in English translations of the Creed are unhelpful. The Bible doesn't talk of Jesus going to the place of torment (e.g. lake of fire) while dead. The Creed has come to us through Greek and Latin versions over the centuries, and the Greek version unsurprisingly uses Hades, whereas the Latin had "inferna". Most commentators agree that the use of the word "hell" in this part of the creed was meant to mean "realm of the dead" in the same way that Hades or Sheol does, but it's just doesn't come across well not matter how you slice it. So in order to clear up any confusion, my practice and recommendation when reciting the creed has been to use the the clear English word "grave" or stick with "Hades".


            It is worth being aware that this phrase He descended into hell (or Hades) was a later addition to the Apostle's Creed. This doesn't undermine it's credibility as an important statement, but it does illustrate that for some few hundred years after Jesus' death, Christians didn't feel the need to include this particular phrase in the summary of their faith. Nevertheless, it was clearly meant to reference to the fact that Jesus went to the "realm of the Dead". Whether that was a kind of underworld or merely a reference to his bodily enclosure in a tomb, Jesus Christ went down into the grave.


            Samuel Lindsay


            "For great is your steadfast love toward me; 

               you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol. 

            O God, insolent men have risen up against me; 

               a band of ruthless men seeks my life, 

               and they do not set you before them. 

            But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, 

               slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness."

            Ps 86:13–15. ESV

            1. published a newsletter

              ReadI believe: He Arose
              News from Flooding Creek

              RSVP for Sunday here.

              https://www.trybooking.com/BUVDL


              It was great to have the "problem" of having too many people to fit in two locations last Sunday! :) Same as usual for this Sunday, if we fill two, we'll put on a third.


              If you are unwell, please join remotely.