Dr Peter Orr from Moore College spoke from Romans about justification by faith as we gave thanks to God for 500 years of Reformation.
Guest speaker, Rev. Ian Brown, preached from Psalm 51. King David was slow to recognise his sin (2 Samuel 11) until confronted by the prophet Nathan (2 Samuel 12) but some never do – and deceive themselves (1 John 1). David repents before God who is both just and merciful – sin is dealt with through Jesus (Romans 3:23-26). What is our response to God forgiving our sin?
Guest speaker, Rev. Len Pearce spoke from Galatians 2-3 about how the Christian’s life is not just changed but exchanged. Not one of us is perfect yet there is no other way to stand before God: the Christian is justified by Christ; we exchange our sin for his perfect righteousness. We receive these benefits by God’s Spirit through faith. This is the heart of the gospel. Yet we don’t know the length of our days – be sure that you know Jesus as we get closer to eternity.
Guest speaker, Jordan Brown, a student at PTC, preached from Daniel 8. We can take heart because God reigns over politics and superpowers, both in empires then and in the world now. Daniel was shaken by the vision he saw of the future and we might be shaken by persecution we face, but we live in a privileged time. Not only can we look back and see the prophecy of Daniel fulfilled but we can see the faithfulness of God even clearly in Jesus. One day every knee will bow before him.
Guest preacher, Rev Stuart Withers (Rochester Presbyterian), preached from three main texts in his message on the importance of prayer (Philippians 1:9-11, Romans 15:30-33 and Colossians 4:2-6.). Just as Paul exhorted us to make ‘all kinds of prayers for all the saints’ (Ephesians 6:18), so also in these texts we are reminded that prayer is the key for the encouragement of God’s people, the strengthening of His gospel workers and the means by which unbelievers are brought into the Kingdom of God. Great things happen when God’s people pray!
Rev Ian Brown preached from Romans 8:18-39, where we are encouraged to see beyond our suffering to our hope which comes through Jesus’ death and the life that comes in his resurrection. Our salvation is not based on our own goodness or anything else but Jesus. We groan under the weight of sin and long to see Jesus face-to-face. Yet we already have this inheritance and it shapes our prayers and our life now.
Guest speaker Len preaches from John 4:1-42. Jesus has an appointment to pass through Samaria, but the woman he meets needs that meeting. This passage about the Woman of Samaria is all about Jesus and his character – he did not see people as others did. How do we see people? Do we offer hope? Jesus asks the women for a drink from the well but offers her living water (compare with John 7). This living water is his Holy Spirit, that Jesus’ saving work at the cross might be applied to our lives. As the passage goes on, we learn more about who Jesus is. The woman – of low standing and bad reputation – realises that Jesus is the Christ, she has received forgiveness and forgets her task at the well to tell the whole town. Be sure that you have met Jesus. Like Jesus, be no respecter of persons (looking up or down on anyone). Drink deeply of that living water that you cannot help but speak of it!
Rev Dr Jared Hood preached this message from Luke 19:16-31, reminding us that we live in a world where materialism and ‘worldliness’ seems to be everything that people strive after. But Jesus unmasked the whole idea of worldliness through this parable. The Rich Man had everything. He was clothed with purple and fine linen, but treated Lazarus, a beggar at his gate, with contempt. The real nature of worldliness is callous, selfish and idolatrous and it leads to death not life. Sadly the core of a worldly lifestyle is rebellion. Those who do not want to believe will be not be convinced even if there was the best evidence available – such as someone rising from the dead! The cure for worldliness is to humble yourself and submit to God in repeantance and faith.
In this message on James 2:14-26, preached at our Reformation Celebration held at Eaglehawk PC on October 30th, 2016, Rev Dr Jared Hood explores the topic of the believer’s justification and whether it is by faith (as taught by Paul) or by works (as taught by James). Is there a conflict or do the two fit together? Or is something else the basis of our justification? And if so, where do works fit in?