Q and C with Applications_FEB,11_ Joshua 6

Feb. 11, 2018    Series Title:  JOSHUA- Promise::Faith::Obedience
sermon audio

 We were preaching and responding through Joshua 6. This starts a new section of Joshua. Chapters 1-5 have focused on God preparing Israel to move into the promised land. Chapters 6-12 will give us a snapshot of God’s battle against the inhabitants of the promised land.
 Chapter six highlights God’s plan given to Joshua to defeat the city of Jericho

The general outline for our study was:

Sermon Title Slide: What if God’s Plan is Lame? [Joshua 6]
   Have you ever felt ill equipped or under resourced to complete an assignment or fulfill a role in your life? The response might be a complete frustrated, ‘this is impossible”, “I give up”, or “this is lame.”  What if that assignment or role is given to you from God?

  1. God’s ‘lame’ plan is still God’s plan of saving vs1-5
     God’s plan does not always line up to what we believe is a good plan. But God is a God of saving. His saving plan is always a perfect (complete) plan.
  2. God’s ‘lame’ plan defines the actions of our faith vs6-25
     God’s plan is what drives an active (marching) faith. In this case, and almost always in our case, a faith-driven obedience will include offerings of worship through a) putting to death (the city, people, cattle) b) dedicating to service (the gold, silver, resource)  and c) works of redemption (Rahab)
  3. God’s ‘lame’ plan makes much of God and the good of His people vs26-27

        God’s plan in the end is not merely to tear down our barriers or so that we might in our power make God/Jesus famous. But so that God will be known as the sovereign, saving God. This will be for the good of His people.

One Question and Comment and an application that came out of this passage:

  1. Question and Comment
    Q? Why highlight Jericho as the ‘defensive gate city’ to the promised land if it took a miraculous work of God for Israel to cross the Jericho River?
     A? Jericho stood in a natural gap in the landscape of this region in Canaan. It was 12km north of the Dead Sea and was at the eastern head of the Jordan valley It was a natural oasis of fresh water, palm trees and  a trade route for those moving in or out of the valley. For any travellers or nations that were coming north or south along the mountain range between the Jordan river, Red Sea and the Jordan valley, opening up into the rest of Canaan, one either had to go over the mountains or past the city of Jericho which is the most natural route. (resources Hammonds Atlas of the Bible Land; the Oxford Companion to the Bible)
  2. Application leading us to Confession Time
    What would your response be to God’s plan?

Q Does God expect/ it is His plan that I would not live for myself first, my own needs and for my greatest good first?
YES. He died to redeem you. To bring you out of self living, defining yourself and placed you in Christ. So that all that you are and have and ever hope to be is both now and forever tied up in Him. So that with great hope and freedom this redemption is to be lived out in who He has made you and is making you for His glory.

Will this be easy? NO.
Does He still expect it, is it still His will? YES.
Has He promised to enable me/us to obey for His glory and for my/our good? YES.

Q? Does God expect/ it is His plan that I would I would grow, mature and be an active participant in my own relationship with Him and as an influence for others to be in relationship with Him? YES.
Will this be easy? NO.
Does He still expect it, is it still His will? YES.
Has He promised to enable me/us to obey for His glory and for my/our good? YES.

Q Does God expect/ it is His plan that I would not live out my spiritual walk with him in isolation and that I’d be an active part of his covenant love within a covenant of membership in the church?
YES. He has plans and purpose for your growth that can only be realized and shaped in the context of a local body that is both preaching and living the Gospel. 
Will this be easy? NO.

Does He still expect it, is it still His will? YES.
Has He promised to enable me/us to obey for His glory and for my/our good? YES.

Q? Does God expect/ it is His plan that I would in whatever stage of life I find myself (single, married, with kids, without kids, young or older) seek to live submissive to His will and point those he has given me to care for towards honouring him with the offerings of cutting things out, dedicating my resources/energies, etc, praying and working for redemption in this stage of life with others? YES.
Will this be easy? NO.
Does He still expect it, is it still His will? YES.
Has He promised to enable me/us to obey for His glory and for my/our good? YES.

God’s saving plan may seem lame_ yet He has both called us to it; enabling us for it, and will use it to glorify Himself and our good. 

Updated by Brad Somers, Lead Pastor

ADVENT 2017 – Asking Better Questions at Christmas

Advent 2017:: Asking Better Questions at Christmas

The goal is to make much of Jesus over the Christmas season. So much so that it affects how we celebrate and talk about Christmas.

 We celebrate Advent in anticipation of Christ. Christmas looks back to the greatest of God’s revealing of His person and plan, Jesus. Christmas looks ahead with the eyes of faith for Christ’s second Advent.

Taking time to think on what it means that God came to be with us has a clarifying effect on our days and weeks leading up to Christmas. At PAXnorth this year we want you to Ask Better Questions this Christmas.

November 26 Introduction to Advent
Why and How should We Celebrate  Christmas? [The Promise of Christmas] Micah 5:1-5

Advent Week 1 – December 3
    Why Did Jesus Need to Come to Earth? [The Hope of Christmas] Isaiah 60:1-3; Romans 8:1-3

Advent Week 2 – December 10
    Why did Jesus’ Mom Need to be Virgin? [The Miracle of Christmas] [Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-23; Philippians 2:5-11]

Advent Week 3 – December 17
    What Makes Jesus Superior to Other saviours? [The Grace of Christmas] Genesis 3:15; Romans 5:12-21

Advent Week 4 – Christmas Eve
What Does Christmas Mean? [The Surety of Christmas] Isaiah 7:14; 9-6-8; Revelation 19:11-16

Advent – Christmas Day [ a worship at home resource] What is the Greatest Gift We Can Ever Receive? [The Gift of Christmas] Luke 2:1-20 


Jonah :: A Story of God’s Relentless Grace

Our Fall Series Kicks off Sept 10th

Join us at 4pm

The book of Jonah is not your normal book about a prophet.
In 48 verses God gives us a powerful picture of His relentless grace.
We’ll be tackling some big sweeping questions through the directed lens of Jonah:

  • Backdrops of Grace- What does God do in the face of evil?
  • Grace that Spills Over- The brokenness that witnesses to grace.
  • Running from Grace – Why the religious man needs grace.
  • Holding out Grace to the City – Why we don’t love the city like God loves the city.
  • Grace Greater Then All My Sin- What happens when you ‘get’ grace?
  • Rehearsing and Celebrating the Relentless Grace of God

… and more!

ATTENTION:: Labour Day Camping Weekend!

Where is everyone?- could be you this Sunday


PAXnorth takes off for the Labour Day weekend on a camping trip with our daughter church, Grace Village Church.
Sunday worship will be at our camp site, 10:30am- Blomidon Bible Camp.

We’d love for you to join us for the entire weekend or simply for Sunday worship. Here’s the directions: MAP
If you need a ride or further details email

The Holy Spirit

PENTECOST -Sermon delivered by C.H. Spurgeon- May 24th, 1963
Here’s the full quote that I shared this past Sunday, Oct2, 2016
“How absolutely necessary is the presence and power of the Holy Spirit! It is not possible for us to promote the glory of God or to bless the souls of men, unless the Holy Ghost shall be in us and with us. Those who were assembled on that memorable day of Pentecost, were all men of prayer and faith; but even those precious gifts are only available when the celestial fire sets them on a blaze. They were all men of experience; most of them had been preachers of the Word and workers of miracles; they had endured trials and troubles in company with their Lord, and had been with them in his temptation. Yet even experienced Christians, without the Spirit of God, are weak as water. Among them were the apostles and seventy evangelists, and with them were those honoured women in whose houses the Lord had often been entertained, and who had ministered to him of their substance; yet even these favoured and honoured saints can do nothing without the breath of God the Holy Ghost. Apostles and evangelist dare not even attempt anything alone; they must tarry at Jerusalem till power be given them from on high. It was not a want of education; they had been for three years in the college of Christ, with perfect wisdom as their tutor, matchless eloquence as their instructor, and immaculate perfection as their example; yet they must not adventure to open their mouths to testify of the mystery of Jesus, until the anointing Spirit has come with blessed unction from above. Surely my brethren, if so it was with them, much more must it be the case with us. Let us beware of trusting to our well-adjusted machineries of committees and schemes; let us be jealous of all reliance upon our own mental faculties or religious vigour; let us be careful that we do not look too much to our leading preachers and evangelists, for if we p ut any of these in the place of the Divine Spirt, we shall err most fatally. let us thank God for all gifts and for all offices, but oh, let us ever be reminded that gifts and offices are but as sounding brass and tinkling cymbals, unless the quickening influence be present.”

SEPT4th NO CHURCH SERVICE AT PAXnorth’s location this SUNDAY

PAXnorth is camping this weekend! We are being hosted by Blomidon Bible Camp.
We will be sharing our worship time with our daughter church plant, Grace Village Church.
WE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE YOU JOIN US FOR BOTH or EITHER (camp or worship on Sunday)

Want to join in on the camping? contact  right away for the details.
Want to join in on the shared worship service in the valley? Meet at PAXnorth Church for noon on Sunday and carpool to the Valley.

NEXT WEEK :: PAXworship will be back on for 4pm and at our church space at 2535 Robie St, Halifax, NS


Q&C Oct4 Praying for Manhood [fighting and hurting]

I Timothy 2 is a preachers land mine!
Remind me to thank the apostle Paul someday.

God uses Paul to press into the church at Ephesus what their stance or conduct should be in the areas of politics, church function and gender-roles. The principles that are laid out in these touchy passages still hold true for the church today that wants to behave as the household of the living God, as a true part of the pillar and buttress of the truth of God (key verse). They become the regulatory principles for the biblical church.

The principles must continue to be true in our churches even if we might not need to make application in exactly the same way Paul does for the church in Ephesus. Caution though– often times we lean hard into application, so much so that we actually soften, change or throw out entirely the biblical principle. Paul’s very instruction to the proper conduct for the church is found in the principles- which cannot be changed without stepping outside of God’s regulatory principles for life as a Biblical church.

In dealing with the principles for godly men in the church Paul, here, gives us a succinct and clear picture. “I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarrelling.”  I won’t attempt to capture everything that this means for the men of the local church (that sermon is here) but it is noteworthy to mention:
~ the principle for men in the church is a life marked by a posture of active holy prayer. This captures both the stance of the heart (holy) and the actions of the hands (actively motivated as a response of worship)
~ the ‘check your mirrors’ application for guys it is often with what we spend our time and energy doing that mirrors the condition of our heart. Holy hearts given to seeking God result in holy hands active in worship.
Hearts bent on ego, opinion, self-rightness, a need to be applauded, worshipped or in flexing our status muscles- mirrors itself in the reactions of a heart bent on anger and quarrelling.

We spent quite a bit of time making application for men in the church, the push is that it is in prayer that this battle is fought. It is in prayer that  this fight can be won against our own selfishness. It is in a humble posture of acceptance and calling out to God for the work of His Son to transform our hearts, from the need to be right to allowing him to have the rights over our lives, that we find renewed authority. Authority that is an application of Christ’s authority in all the corners of our lives. This is the godly authority that lives out Ephesians 5:25-33  kind of love, as a godly man. This is an authority that can only be applied as we preach a clear gospel to our hearts- in prayer.

Questions and comments

This gets us to the questions and comments that were shared on Sunday after the sermon:
1) What is the reference for “the fight is not against flesh and blood?”
An interesting thought as we navigate these verses- the book of Ephesians was written to the same congregation that Timothy pastored. It is with the book of Ephesians that provides some of the backdrop application for the charge that Paul gave Timothy to act out in the church.  Ephesians 6:12 is the direct quote for this passage of realizing that our fight is not primarily against the struggles we often make it. Not against a bad government, or a dysfunctional church, or a person in our lives. The real fight is a spiritual fight- a fight behind the fight. A fight that can only be fought in seeking, asking, knocking, calling, submitting to the spiritual work of God in our lives. A fight that is best fought in a place of prayer. It’s the same language that Paul uses in I Timothy 1:18 as he encourages Timothy to take up the charge of fighting the spiritual fight for the church.

2)What does a woman do when she wants to submit to the authority that is in her life (husband or father), but he is being selfish and not fulfilling his role?
Great question and comment. The reality is there are many men who live selfish and are demonstrating they are not living out a godly expression of spiritual authority. When men refuse to live out of a true spiritual authority exercised in prayer first and gospel love second all those who are under the influence of this authority suffer, in various degrees.
There is no one simple answer to this question. This link might help with some of the hard work of building a more stable relationship with the hope that a gospel-centered approach will break through and bring repentance where needed, and redemption where possible.  Stuck in a Relationship

Hoping for this, but there are times when we need some very direct outside help. If you are someone who is getting hit, abused or being manipulated in ways that are causing deep harm – this is something you cannot overcome by yourself. We do church in community so that you’ll have a place to get help. Elders are to be godly men who are able to speak into the authority of others in the church. You need to talk to your Pastor- today! He may need to call in other authorities to help bring to bear the weight of repentance and help that an abusing man needs to get in his life in order to stop hurting others to this degree. Call your pastor today! Press him to get help lined up for your situation right away. [If its hard for you to talk to or open up to your pastor- tell someone you feel will listen and who can go with you or on your behalf to the pastor/elder].
If he doesn’t seem to be moving on this- you need to call your mental health crisis help line. We have dealt with ours in Halifax, N.S. They are courteous and able to get you the kind of contacts/help you might need.  Halifax Crisis help line

“I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarrelling.”  – MEN- LET’S PRAY FOR OUR CHURCHES!


Q&C from Sunday Sept27 Christians and Politics [should Christians be starting revolutions?]

Three things you should never talk about::Politics, Church and Gender Roles

We started the precarious walk through I Timothy 2 last week. Typically after someone has read our text on Sunday, during worship, they end with reminding the congregation, “This is the Word of God”. The congregation then affirms, which has been part of church history, their willingness to submit to the text with a response of, “Praise be to God.” This week at PAXnorth was different… after I Timothy 2 was read, their was the reminder, “This is the Word of God.” The reply that came back as an encouragement to the deer-in- a headlight Pastor was- “Good Luck!” – it was a great, funny and tone setting moment- truly a reflection of the culture of our church.
The preaching and conversations over the next two to three weeks may be difficult ones. God’s design for the church:: Designed for Authority and Influence [Politics, Church and Gender Roles] I am thankful that PAXnorth does not shy away from these conversations and together seeks to place ourselves under the word of God.
We had some great discussions after the sermon on Sunday regarding Designed for Authority and Influence :: Politics
  A couple of Questions and Comments from Sunday:
“You mentioned prayer and prayerfully considered voting as acceptable means of Christian influence in politics. Are their others? Are there things we should not do as believers?
“How can Paul’s desire for us to have peaceful quiet lives under political authority be reconciled with the observable history that the Church thrives under oppression (i.e. China, 1st century church) Doesn’t this ideal conflict with the reality?

These are very helpful and practical questions that call us as those who are Christians to consider how we are actively living as good citizens of heaven first and Canada/Nova Scotia/Halifax second. We talked about on Sunday the sense of living in holiness, seeking the peace of where we live, so that the Gospel might have a much easier job of being proclaimed and lived – must be a key point in  our political considerations and actions. For God desires that all we be saved and be able to come out of their ignorance of His great plan of redemption – this is definitely the main point of Paul’s instructions regarding praying for our rulers, I Timothy 2:1-7.

Here is a bit more from Desiring God- on what a Christian response, life or action might look like in keeping Paul’s instructions to us as believers. Thanks Jordan K for posting this link.
 Should Christians start revolutions? Or just live quietly?

Remember part of being good citizens is exercising the right to vote. Vote in such a way as to prayerfully enjoy the freedom to live and share the Gospel. “Pray for those in the high positions in our country” May we see a revival of the Gospel across Canada!


We don’t purpose to be able to solve all the mysteries and difficulties of faith lived out. But we are willing to wrestle through them openly and honestly.   Saying that, we expect respectful answers and comments (we won’t repost disrespect) and we don’t post anonymous comments. Being in community, as a church demands both that we are known by each other and that we err on the side of respectful conversation (grace).