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.
As part of Christian Union Sunday, Steve Blyth from CU preached from Matthew 11:1-15. In this passage, John the Baptist introduces Jesus to the world but is a confused messenger. He asks to check if Jesus is the one we’ve been waiting for and what he has come to do. Jesus reassures him from the Old Testament prophecies concerning himself and commends John’s message as he prepared the way. Yet we now have a greater perspective than even John as we live on the other side of the cross and Jesus’ resurrection. We have the privilege of introducing Jesus to others as we share the hope that we have in him.
The text of Acts 1:1-11 brings together some of the main events following the resurrection of the Lor Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. After Jesus had spent 40 days with the disciples, teaching them many things and explaining how the main theme of the Scriptures find their fulfilment in Him, while gathered with the disciples on the Mount of Olives, Jesus ascended bodily into heaven. The disciples were left standing there, gazing with wide eyes and open mouths, when 2 angels appeared to them, giving them a gentle rebuke to get them moving and a strong encouragement that the Jesus they had just seen leave would return again. In a world that seeks to undermine the this truth that all believers know, this return of Jesus (at a day and hour that no-one knows) is the well spring of our great hope.
When Vasco da Gama first rounded what was known then as the ‘Cape of Storms’, he went where no man had ever been and became the first to live to tell of what he found far out in the East. When Jesus rose from the dead, never to die again, he also came back to tell us what lays beyond the veil of death. Yet some in the church at Corinth were having significant doubts about the resurrection, and this led Paul to write to them in 1 Corinthians 15:1-34 about the facts of the resurrection and by doing so, remind these believers that the resurrection is vital to the Christian faith. Abandoning belief in the resurrection was to deny the very tenets of the faith and miss out on all that Jesus came to do for the salvation of God’s people.
The cross of Christ is so important. It is not something that we can just give a brief amount of attention to. We ought not give a passing thought to it, but survey it from the top to the bottom and note the fulness of its message – its height, length, depth and breadth. But rather than survey the cross from the perspective of any of the gospel writers or the apostles, this message brings the cross into perspective from 700 years before, through the eyes of the prophet Isaiah in his great 53 chapter. (Isaiah 53:4-6).
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!
Because Paul’s letter to Timothy was written in order to help this young pastor get the church at Ephesus back on track, after writing of the priority of prayer and God’s intent and actions to save all kinds of people through Jesus, Paul then continued in his instructions to Timothy about men and women in the church. According to 1 Timothy 2:12-15, Paul did not allow women to have teaching and ruling roles in the church over men. Though he has been much maligned because of this, Paul meant what he wrote for two reasons, both of which have been around since creation. God made man (Adam) before woman (Eve) and it was the woman (Eve) who was deceived before the man (Adam), though it could be argued that Adam should also bear the brunt of that blame! Because God has left only two institutions on earth – the church and marriage – both reflect the same design where men lead and teach and women follow while both men and women can belong to God’s family by coming to Jesus as repentant sinners