Julian Freeman

Freed to live through the death of another.

Tag: Sermons (page 3 of 7)

Our First Sunday!

About 2,000 years ago the very first church was started. It was relatively small and insignificant. But when the Holy Spirit came with power, the hearts of people were turned to their God, souls were saved, and many were added to their number. The story of the church ever since that day has been one of remarkable growth and remarkable struggle (just like Jesus said it would — Matt 13.24-30).

Yesterday, we were glad to begin a new chapter in that story as we began just one more small church, designed to preach the Jesus who divides by calling all to himself.  As far as the world is concerned, our work is insignificant. But from the perspective of a gospel-believer, the building up of the church through local assemblies all around the world is profound evidence that Jesus is living and working and using his authority to do what he said — he is building his church (Matt 16.18; Matt 28.18-20). What a great reason to praise God!

Our first morning service was a joyous occasion, clearly the result and fruit of much prayer offered by many friends and family. I had word from people from Australia to Victoria, BC, to right here in Toronto that we were being prayed for. God heard and God worked. Thank you for praying!

We were blessed to have Nick and Alicia leading us as we worshipped in song. Bill and Nabil gave thanks to God for establishing this church and prayed prayers of dedication for us. By God’s grace I was able to preach an overview of the message of the gospel of Mark asking, ‘Who Is This Man Jesus?’ and then speaking of where God will take us as we study his word together.

All in all there were about 40 souls (including children) gathered in the living room / dining room of this Toronto home. Most of those were core, committed people. Some of those were visitors. All of us were eager to be together to delight in God for the glory of God, and for the good of all people. As the Lord gives growth, we’ll give him thanks! And as the Lord gives grace, we’ll continue to grow in our delight in him so that he’ll be honoured through our little part in this amazing story of Jesus building his church and conquering in the world.

May he continue to do great things in us and through us, all to his glory!


Update: You can stream or download the audio from the sermon below.

(Mark – 01 – Who Is This Man Jesus – January 16, 2011)

Why I Can’t Wait to Learn from Mike Bullmore

The Toronto Pastors Conference is only days away… if you’re not coming, you’ll be missing out!

When we were planning the conference and we first invited Mike Bullmore to come I thought to myself ‘A lot of people probably won’t know who Mike Bullmore is. So how can we fix that?’

One step we took was to ask a few friends for recommendations and endorsements of Mike. We asked last year’s conference speaker, Mark Dever, along with pastor Joshua Harris and professor, speaker, and leader of the Gospel Coalition, Don Carson. Here’s what each of them had to say about we should listen carefully to Mike Bullmore:

Don Carson said: “Mike Bullmore is not as well known as some because he has written relatively little — but he is one of the most engaging, penetrating, insightful preachers I know. Moreover, the quality of his mentoring of young men in the church he serves is simply stellar.”



Joshua Harris wrote: “Mike Bullmore is one of the best kept secrets in the larger body of Christ today. He is a masterful, passionate, precise teacher of God’s word. I’ve described him as a cross between John Piper and CJ Mahaney. And I can’t think of a higher compliment to pay a preacher.”



Mark Dever told us: “Mike Bullmore is a pastor who has both been instrumental in beginning a new congregation, and has faithfully pastored a congregation for years. He’s not only taught preaching in the classroom, but he’s mentored young preachers and pastors for years. I’m excited that pastors in Toronto will get the opportunity to enjoy Mike’s humble wisdom and his careful, encouraging preaching.”




To all that I simply say, that is why I can’t wait to learn from Mike Bullmore! Make sure you register now if you haven’t yet!


A Must-Hear Sermon

It is very easy to get used to hearing excellent, biblical, engaging preaching every week. Praise the Lord that solid preaching is the norm, not the exception, at Grace Fellowship Church!

That being said, yesterday was an exception–God blessed the preaching of his word in remarkable ways so that it came with great with even more conviction and clarity than normal.

If you are married, ever intend on being married, want to know more about gospel-centred marriage, or know someone who is married, I cannot recommend enough that you listen to this sermon on gospel-centred marriage. You will be convicted and your soul will be blessed and encouraged as you think about how Christ’s glory displayed in the gospel is the reason and power for marriage.

The Primacy of Preaching

Yesterday I was blessed to be able to spend some time with some friends listening to a series of lectures by Don Carson on the Primacy of Expository Preaching. There was much to challenge me–and the others too, I trust.

Before teaching on the primacy of expository preaching, DAC taught for a while on the importance that the Bible (especially the New Testament) places on preaching. Sometimes I think that people think of preaching as something that we can take or leave. We treat it like it’s a product of modernity and may well have seen it’s last days of usefulness.

The New Testament has another view, however. DAC roots the priority of the spoken word in the nature of God–the fact that he is a God who speaks, and that is his nature. But then he listed a whole list of texts worth looking up and meditating on (in their respective contexts) which clearly show the New Testament’s emphasis on preaching.

Since I wanted to do the work of looking the texts up anyway, I thought that I may as well make the list available to you as well. You can view all the texts by simply clicking here. Here is a great reminder that the priority we give to preaching is not cultural but biblical. It is good to be reminded of even the basics from time-to-time.

It’s easy to see why reading and meditating on such a list would be important for a preacher or a pastor like myself. My question, though, is this: What does the average church member stand to gain from thinking about the biblical priority of preaching? How would it / could it affect you and your mindset as you go to church or serve in your church?

TPF 2008-2009: Free Download of All the Sermons for Pastors

The Toronto Pastors Fellowship has come to a close for another season, and the Toronto Pastors Conference is just about to get rolling!

While the TPF page has a media library where you can download all the free sermons and papers for pastors, it can at times be cumbersome to have to download so many files. So I thought I’d put them all in one place for you.

Now, just download the zip file below, open it up and you’ve got MP3 files of all the messages + the Q&A sessions, all the PDFs of the papers, and all the PDF files of all the book reviews that were distributed this year. All in all, it’s a phenomenal resource.

With messages from men like Dr Michael Haykin, Dr Pierre Constant, Dr Darryl Dash, Pastors Tim Kerr, Carl Muller, Stephen Kring, and Paul Martin, and über-blogger extraordinaire, Tim Challies, this is great link to pass along to any pastor friends you may have.



TPF Preview: Preaching is More Than Lecturing

One of the best things about serving with the Toronto Pastors Fellowship is that I get to read the papers ahead of time. I thought that this time I might share a tiny, little bit of that blessing with you.

Here is a sneak peek at a the paper Dr Pierre Constant will be presenting at the TPF meeting this Monday (February 9)

There are dozens of discussion-worthy ideas in the paper, but since this section in particular relates to a discussion we had here not too long ago (see Preaching vs. Lecturing), I thought I’d throw this out there as well.

As said earlier, preaching preparation involves a number of elements, from careful study of words and texts to careful study of the needs of congregations, so that when, as pastors, we are addressing the family of God, the body of Christ is built up, equipped and motivated to worship God and to serve Christ in the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit.

More specifically, preaching involves teaching, motivating, correcting, guiding, leading the people of God to serve Him with joy and thankfulness, with the intention of bringing glory to the only One worthy of any glory. Paul wrote: “For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord” (2 Cor 4.6).

Moreover, when we do preach, we do more than lecture or communicate content. We equip, motivate, encourage people to act upon what they hear. We bring the family of God to worship Christ and be transformed unto His image.

Preaching, then, is more than lecturing because its aim is higher than merely bringing the hearers to an understanding of the material presented. The preacher is pastoring the people of God and moving them by the Word of God and the power of the Spirit to glory an and ultimately reflect the Creator-Redeemer God. 

The argument might be said that the comparison between preaching and lecturing is apples and oranges, since preaching is an entirely spiritual task, empowered by the Spirit of God himself. 

But this, then, begs at least a couple questions:

  1. Why do so many preachers find it so easy to lecture rather than preach?
  2. What (if anything) should we endeavour to learn from lecturers / lecture techniques that we can apply to preaching?
  3. Why are so many churches content with preachers who lecture?

Free Resources for Download

I just wanted to pass along word to those of you (especially those outside the GTA) who haven’t been able to make it out to the Toronto Pastors Fellowship meetings. Our media library contains all the messages (as well as the papers, in pdf format) that have been delivered at our monthly gatherings. There are also messages there from past conferences. Everything is available to download for free.

There are great messages to download from

  • D.A. Carson
  • Michael Haykin
  • Tom Schreiner
  • Stephen Wellum
  • Paul Martin
  • Tim Kerr
  • David Sitton
  • Charles Woodrow
  • Brad Powers
  • Stephen Kring
  • Alex Montoya
  • And many others!

In particular, I would like to highlight two messages that I think are particularly worth listening to, both preach by Pastor Carl Muller of Trinity Baptist Church in Burlington.

First is a message he preached at the 2007 Pastors Conference on the topic of ‘Balance in Ministry.’ This is an excellent admonition to pastors to maintain a close watch on their life and doctrine, and to keep a large perspective on all of life and ministry.

The second is the message he just preached at the past meeting of the Toronto Pastors Fellowship. It is called, ‘Pastor, Serve the Weak: Minister to the sick, elderly, and dying.‘ It is a phenomenal reminder to pastors that this part of our job is not a burden, but a blessing; it is an essential element of shepherding, and one that must not be neglected.

If you are a pastor, want to be a pastor, or know a pastor, these are great messages for you to hear. I recommend them all!

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