Sunday 17th January 2016 – Morning Service

Aaron-Jan16

Our guest speaker on Sunday was Aaron Whitfield Davies of Calvary Church, Haverfordwest. He continued the study of Philippians, preaching from the first five verses of chapter 2.

He reminded us that Paul was encouraging the believers in how the Gospel had powerfully worked in their lives and how they needed to stand for the marvellous  good news and ultimately how they were to live by this good news.

Paul wants us to live out the Gospel, this amazing good news about Jesus. Let our life look more and more like Jesus. Christianity, in the true Biblical way, is a Christ of knowledge, a Christ of experience and a Christ of evidence. Christianity has to be known, felt and seen. It must be experienced in our hearts. We have minds to know the truth, it must be seen. We must know the truths, experience the truths and live the truths out. Romans 12.

Jesus said people will know we are His disciples by the love we have for others, the evidence of a changed life, the evidence that has changed the sinner into a child of God. It is not easy, it’s challenging. The unity of the trinity is described here. Our God is the mystery of three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There is unity in the Godhead, a perfect love, one for another. If there wasn’t unity in the Godhead we wouldn’t have Salvation. The love is so rich, so perfect, a marvellous mystery. This is the example we follow. He is the highest, the greatest, most glorious. Because there is the glorious unity in the Godhead we need to be like-minded, of one accord, of one mind. The true church is united. As God’s people we must put aside our differences. If we do not find it easy to love someone we must ask God’s help. We are all sinners saved by Grace. The very beginning of the church came in unity, The Holy Spirit always comes in unity; unity in truth, unity in Christ.

True Christianity is the whole man. It changes us into a new creation in Christ Jesus. It is born by the Spirit of God, changed on the inside and seen as different on the outside. God changes our hearts and minds. We can’t do this ourselves.

The life of love is a miracle of new birth. God works in us (v.13). It is the veins of the church.

Jesus was love itself. He is the altogether Holy One. No-one could have lived such a pure, glorious life, full of love, unless they were God. His life outshines all. Because His life was the perfect life He was the only one who could cover our unworthy life. His righteousness is the only righteousness. Jesus was absolutely perfect.

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Sunday 10th January 2016 – Morning Service

ian-august 15Sunday’s morning service was taken by evangelist Ian Middlemist who preached from Acts chapter 3, focusing on two of the blessings of God: sins blotted out if we repent and times of refreshing.

Sins blotted out if we repent:

There is no good deed we need to do to accomplish Salvation, we just need to be a sinner and know our need of Jesus Christ. God chooses people such as us, He holds out His grace for us and calls to us to turn and receive His blessings. They are not just one off blessings, they continue on and on. Our sins are blotted out. This speaks of total annihilation (Revelation 3:5). Our names will be in the Book of Life for evermore. God no longer recognises sin in us, it has been blotted out, covered in the blood of Christ. It is costly; Jesus’ death was the most costly (Isaiah 43:25).

We need to turn away from sin. God doesn’t blot out everybody’s sin, there must be repentance. We remember our past sins, the evils committed against us and from us. The devil uses this to dishearten us. When we are filled with doubts caused by the devil, look again to the cross. This is why we come regularly to the Lord’s Table, to remember again His precious love towards us (Psalm 32).

Times of refreshing:

This world makes us weary. We have to be refreshed. God has promised us times of refreshment as we hear the Gospel. The Lord is the source of our refreshment. Turn to Him and then you can face tomorrow. Trust in Christ alone, start trusting in Him. Refreshment is the recovery of breath after exhaustion, it is also the cooling and relief from heat. It is the sense of relief that comes from the knowledge of removal of sin, the removal of guilt. It is spiritual refreshment. Rest in Him. Seek His refreshment.

There is no greater burden on the soul than the feeling of guilt. God has seen our failings and dealt with it entirely appropriately. Hold onto Christ to know His blessings, the times of refreshment. Although the Author of Life was killed, we are still called ‘brothers.’ The Gospel tells us we have total forgiveness.

3rd January 2016 – Morning Service

jan-peteKillingleyIt was lovely to welcome back Pete Killingley into the pulpit after an absence of over three years. Pete is now pastor of Send Evangelical Church, Surrey. His message came from Mark chapter 1: 14-20, where Jesus calls the fishermen to follow Him.

The four disciples had no idea what they would follow or the cost of this to their lives, or that 2000 years later there would be billions of followers of Jesus. What does it mean to follow Jesus today? What does the call mean?

There are three points to be considered:

  • Follow, whoever you are
  • Follow, whatever it costs
  • Follow, wherever it takes you.

Whoever you are: verses 16-20

Three of the four fishermen Jesus called made up Jesus’ inner crowd who were invited to key events in His life; all four became His closest friends. They were fishermen. Jesus wants a community of followers, He didn’t go to the synagogue for Bible experts, He went and called people who were fishermen, not high up in society, not academic (Acts 4:13). This tells us Jesus calls ordinary men and women, one by one. This is grace in action. They didn’t choose Jesus, He chose them. He chooses the ones He wants. Faith is a gift of God, it is all of Grace. You don’t have to be holier than others to be a Christian, you can have a chequered past. He calls us to come just as we are, He calls us to follow, whoever we are. None of us are qualified to be followers of Jesus.

To follow, whatever the cost

The disciples left behind their jobs, they left behind their families – which was something shocking for the time. They gave up their whole lives (Mark 10:28), it was risky. What does following Jesus look like for us today? Becoming a Christian is not identical to what it was for the disciples. We don’t have to leave our jobs and families. However, there is a cost. It changes everything. Jesus says in Mark 8: 34-35 that those who follow Him ‘he must deny himself and take up His cross.’ We have to obey God as revealed in the Bible. We have to follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit. We have to follow God before ourselves, putting others before ourselves. We also need to be prepared for suffering. Every day it costs us, we have been bought with a price; it might be that there is a cost to our time or to our popularity. If it never costs your anything you need to question how committed you are to Christ. Jesus calls everyone who follows Him to go all in.

A call to follow wherever it takes you

Jesus wanted the fishermen to become fishers of men. The fishermen did not catch a single fish without His help. Jesus here compares fishing for fish and fishing for men. There is a comparison in spreading the nets and spreading the message as widely as possible. Jesus brings fish into the nets and people to the gospel. He provides the fish; the same is true for us – we are to spread the Word, Jesus will provide the people. We have to be faithful in spreading the nets. We are all called to be fishermen to spread the gospel. The disciples had no idea they were called to death, only John survived to old age. Jesus calls us to follow Him. We have no idea where this will lead us, what we are letting ourselves in for. But we know God loves us; He sent His Son to die for us on the cross. Surely we can trust Him. Following Jesus, whether geographical or in a relationship, means taking the message of Jesus to men. Are we engaged in this mission? Follow Him and receive 100 fold blessings and eternal life.