The church of today is under the microscope. Recent events that have brought discredit to the name of our Saviour and a trend towards marginalising the Christian faith within our nation, has meant that more than ever, what we do and say as God’s people matters. And that is why love also matters, because love is the key to our witness to the world. Jesus said this in John 13:35 and Peter reinforced this in 1 Peter 1:13-25. Not just the world’s definition of love, but the love that springs from knowing the God who has loved and loves His people.
(Message by PCV Moderator, Rev Robert White, pictured here with his wife, Sue)
The miracle of Jesus’ feeding of the multitudes is one that is found in all of the gospels. It served as a sign that he was Israel’s Messiah, the living Bread, who came down from heaven. In this message on that miracle found in Matthew 14:13-21, Chris explores what the miracle might have meant for the disciples back then and for disciples in this age. What attitude is required for us to be able to do ‘ministry’? And what is that we learn most of all about the one who was able to feed the multitude, but also said, “You give them something to eat”? (Sorry, sound quality not that great!)
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.