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Hebrews Session 5  

Session 5 of the Hebrews bible study goes live on YouTube at 12h00 Tuesday 15th March 2022: click on the link/video below to go directly there where you can set a reminder to view it “live” while I am in the room, or watch it later, whatever works for you.



In this session I deal with two important subjects:
  1. The nature of prayer (why we pray and why we pray the way we do), and
  2. Whether believers can lose their salvation.

If you prefer to listen to the bible study as an audio-only version, just click on the play button below.

Please share this post with those who would benefit, and also subscribe, like and comment on this as well as our podcast channel. 

I hope to see you on Tuesday!

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TruthTalks Sermons

TruthTalks (Sermon): The Joy of our Salvation

Joy of Salvation Sermon Top Image

Greetings and welcome to 2018. May you all be blessed in this year and the ones to come.

Today’s post is a TruthTalk sermon called ‘The Joy of our Salvation’, which Dr. Christopher Peppler preached at Lonehill Village Church on Christmas day. In this TruthTalk we hear about what is described as ‘a silver river of joy running through the bible’  called JOY.

This is a wonderful message for those of us who need to remember what it is to be joyful and, more importantly, WHY. 1 Peter 1 is the main reference for this happy and hopeful sermon, so give it a listen now.


Please CLICK HERE if you would like to listen to more of Dr. Christopher Pepplers sermons online or peruse his sermon notes.

Happy and blessed 2018 to all!

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Between crucifixion Friday and resurrection Sunday

I am writing this on the day after Resurrection Sunday. I don’t like to call it Easter Sunday – why should we give the pagan goddess Ishtar any credit. Friday embodies the glorious truth that Jesus settled the penalty clause of the violated covenant between God and humanity. I guess that is why some call it ‘good’ Friday. Sunday represents the equally awesome truth that through Jesus we can be born-again of the Spirit. On the cross of Calvary Jesus Christ brought to an end the line of Adam’s sin. As He walked out of the tomb, He started a new spiritual lineage for all who will believe. ‘So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.’ (1 Corinthians 15:45)

The message of Friday is clear. The truth that Sunday conveys is equally obvious. What, though, is the significance of Saturday?

According to the Apostles Creed, as we now have it, after dying on the cross Jesus ‘descended into hell’. However, the earliest versions of that creed do not contain this clause. When Rufinus introduced it in 390AD it seems that he understood the word ‘hell’ simply to mean ‘grave’. Notwithstanding this, some theologians have developed a complex doctrine of Christ’s decent into the devil’s abode. The primary texts they use are Acts 2:27, Romans 10:6-7, Ephesians 4:8-9, 1 Peter 3:18-20, and 1 Peter 4:6. Wayne Grudem has an excellent section on this topic in his ‘Systematic Theology’ (pages 586 – 594). His concluding sentence reads, ‘concerning the doctrinal question of whether Christ did descend into hell after he died, the answer from several passages of Scripture seems clearly to be no.’

From the descent into Hell doctrine has come the teaching that Jesus had to die both physically on the cross and spiritually in Hell. Saturday, for those who believe this, stands for Jesus’ torment in Hades and his eventual victory, as He was ‘born again’ from the devil’s dungeon. There are plenty of problems with this view. Was Jesus then less than ’God’ that He could be tortured by the devil? Was His death on the cross less than adequate for our salvation? (See 1 Corinthians 1:17)

Colossians 2:13(b)-15 contains a more satisfactory explanation of what Passover Saturday represents. ‘He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.’ The language used in this passage evokes the scene of a military court-martial. They bring the offending officer to stand before his troops. The supreme commander then strips him of the symbols of his authority and expels him. Jesus settled the death penalty of the ancient covenant and proceeded to the heavenly throne room of God the Father. There Satan stood in shame before all the angels of heaven. Jesus stripped him of his authority and expelled him from heaven. The accuser of the brethren no longer has access to the presence of God. Hallelujah! This is what the Saturday between Crucifixion Friday and Resurrection Sunday stands for.
So, instead of descending into Hell, Jesus ascended into Heaven! Instead of the devil tormenting Him, He expelled the devil! How could some get it so wrong? Part of the answer lies in how we interpret the Bible. I deal with this in the second half of my latest book ‘Truth is the Word – restoring a lost focus’.

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Prisoners of Our Past

I put the phone back on its holder with a mixture of emotions ranging from irritation to condescension. I had been talking to a woman who, although in her seventies, regarded her failures and general unhappiness as the product of her childhood. She is not alone, for it seems that many people blame their parents, or childhood circumstances, for their current woes. I just don’t get it!

I understand that trauma, neglect, and abuse of any kind can leave emotional scar tissue, and that even late in life these negative legacies can trigger defense mechanisms in us. This I get. I also understand that sometimes people need to recognise the childhood causes of their reactions and some also need counselling or therapy to help them cope. What I don’t get is why anyone should believe that they are a prisoner of their past. Yet many people have bought into this strange concept and whole counselling practices have arisen to heal past hurts.

Parents are the obvious targets of these inner healing practices. Now I am a parent, and I realise just how many mistakes I made in raising my two children. There was no ‘How to be a perfect parent’ book available, and even if there was it would probably have been more wrong than right. Child-raising is a grand yet guilt-inducing process where one or more parents stumble through decades of trial and error, success and failure, joy and despair. However, this I know, that the vast majority of parents do the very best they can for their children. Sometimes we make monumental mistakes but mostly they are honest mistakes, made because of ignorance and not malice.

If these mistakes leave emotional scars on our children then the best we can do is to apologise, make right wherever possible, and learn to do better next time.
When I look back on my childhood, I realise that there were some events that indeed left me with emotional baggage, and I concede that my parents often played a role in these events. Yet I don’t blame them, because I know they were doing the best they knew how at the time. I also realise that for every unintended wrong they did me there were ten intended blessings that they imparted. My health, education, interests, and talents were all part of the good that they did me. For 17 years of my life I freeloaded off them, gave them problems, made unreasonable demands and seldom even thought to thank them. And now as a mature adult I should blame them for my deficiencies?! I think not!

The lady I had been speaking to on the telephone is not a Christian but even so it irritates and saddens me that she should blame her parents for her less than satisfactory adult life. She had no trauma inflicted on her, no abuse, and no physical deprivation. All she can claim is a feeling of not being loved enough, and that, she says, has caused her to be unfulfilled and unsuccessful. Give me a break! For those of us who are born again of the Spirit, there is even less reason to be prisoners of our past. “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24). We who know Jesus as saviour have been made new – we have a new self, created to be like God!

Yet, despite this glorious truth, thousands of Christians throng the sanctuary areas of countless churches every Sunday seeking ministry for some or other childhood hurt. During the week, thousands more take up lifetimes of pastoral attention and emotional energy as they seek counselling and inner healing.

For every one who really does need help there are a hundred who need rather to break out of the shackles of the past and walk thankfully and freely in the glorious reality of life in and with Christ Jesus.


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About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar.

If you would like to read my testimony to Jesus then click HERE.