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Showing posts from 2010

The Central Message

'If a body calling itself 'church' loses this central message of justification, it will soon have no good news to present. It will become another superstitious, religious institution, falsely bearing the name of Christian. What is more, the people will continue to be in the dark, heading for hell, while at the same time trusting in a Jesus of faulty human thought and heretical church tradition.'
Philip H. Eveson, The Great Exchange: Justification by Faith Alone in the light of recent thought (Leominster: Day One, 1996), p.175

Brilliant Book on True Discipleship

I was going to write a review of Tim Chester's The Ordinary Hero: Living the Cross and Resurrection, but instead I just want to recommend it. This book is excellent. At the same time it succeeds in being eminently readable, practical and yet also biblically and theologically rigorous. Chester's is no programmatic approach to making disciples. Rather, he shows that discipleship is for all of life (even washing the dishes!). I think I'm going to be recommending this book quite a bit.

A Faithful Minister

'He that would be a faithful minister of the gospel must deny the pride of his heart, and be emptied of ambition, and set himself wholly to seek the glory of God in his calling. And generally, he that would be a faithful servant of Christ, must set God before him as a judge, and consider that he hath to deal with God: and that he must turn his mind and senses from the world, and all things therein, to God; and seek above all things to approve his thoughts, desires affections, and all his doings unto him.'
(William Perkins, A Commentary on Galatians)

Pentecostal in name, Pentecostal in experience

Last night I went down to Mattersey Hall to hear Keith Warrington (the vice-principal of Regent's Theological College & author of Pentecostal Theology) speak on issues facing Pentecostals today. (I'm not going to write about his lecture per se, but just a few things that he mentioned that got me thinking.)
Dr Warrington highlighted one particularly significant issue facing Pentecostals, particularly in the West, today: the issue of a loss of expectancy for encountering the Holy Spirit. I think quite a few people were surprised by some research he quoted (carried out by the Pew Forum) showing that out of every 5 converts in American Assemblies of God churches, only 1 is baptised in the Holy Spirit, and that (I think I'm remembering this right) 49% of people in American Pentecostal churches have never spoken in tongues. And, as Dr Warrington suggested, the UK might not be that far behind America. I think it was Margaret Poloma that he quoted as saying something along the …

Good Reasons for Godly Change

Change is a difficult subject. Some people love it, some people hate it. Yet when it comes to our Christian lives and the lives of our assemblies our enthusiasm for change, or distaste therefor, shouldn't be the be all and end all. While change for change's sake isn't the right approach, neither is staying the same for the sake of staying the same.
So when and why should we change? How do we determine when change is a good thing? Well, let's take a biblical example of a big change. For the first few years of the existence of the church, all the members were Jewish. Lots of people were getting saved, and lots of assemblies were being planted, but only really among Jewish communities. Eventually, after the pioneering preaching of Philip (Acts 8), some not-quite-Jews were accepted in, but these were Samaritans, and for all the animosity that existed between Jews and Samaritans, they at least accepted the Torah and were looking for the coming of the Messiah.
Gentiles were an…

AblazeUK 2010: The Finale

Thursday evening brought with it the last night of the Convention. (If you're wondering where Wednesday went, I was on carpark duty for the convention service.) The speaker for the evening was Ps Peter Vincent (Glasgow assembly), who expounded Psalm 2 under the title 'The LORD reigns!'.
Ps Vincent linked Psalm 2 with Acts 4:23-31 where it is quoted at a prayer meeting. The result of that prayer meeting was that the believers received boldness to proclaim the gospel. We want to go from the Convention back to our assemblies with Pentecostal boldness. Boldness means confidence and courage; confidence in the message and courage to take it.
Psalm 2 is made up of 4 speakers.
1st Speaker (verses 1-3): The Voice of Rebellion
The word translated 'rage' means to assemble tumultuously. Think of the turmoil of a storm at sea. Note their stubborn will and unity in their stand against God and Christ. In verse 3 the world sees God's rule as a prison. They think freedom means gett…

Ablaze UK 2010: History in the Making (or Tuesday Evening Part 2)

History was made on Tuesday evening when, for the first time ever, an Anglican bishop spoke at the Apostolic Convention. The Right Reverend Michael Nazir Ali was the 106th Bishop of Rochester in the Church of England. He was born into a Shi'a Muslim family in Pakistan and came to faith in Christ as a university student.

The Bishop's main point on Tuesday night was that Jesus is Himself the Kingdom. It is Jesus who makes the Kingdom present to the world and to us.

There is a rumour around about Jesus, and even in the most hostile people there is something about Jesus that they cannot ignore. Yet sometimes they turn this into blasphemy. Many give Him a place, but not the place He deserves on the throne.

What did Jesus say about Himself?

To answer John the Baptist's disciples, Jesus talks about Himself in terms of Isa. 35, a chapter which speaks about the coming of God. Jesus also spoke about Himself in terms of the Old Testament concept of wisdom.

He called Himself the Son of…

Ablaze UK 2010: Tuesday Evening Part 1

On Tuesday evening Ps Emmanuel Mbakwe reminded us that 'the Cross brings us to the heart of the gospel'. In fact the Cross was prominent throughout the evening as the prophet spoke of the riches of God's grace, we sang of the wondrous cross, and an Anglican bishop spoke to us of Christ's penal substitutionary sacrifice on Calvary (more on that in the next post).

In prophetical ministry through Ps Elwyn Williams, the Lord told us that He wants us as a fellowship to focus upon what He is hearing in the nation of Britain. People are crying out for someone to tell them the way, someone to give them an answer, someone to tell them who is in charge of their life. He wants us to realise the agony in His heart when the church is not declaring that they have the answer, and that the truth in our heart is able to set our villages, towns, cities and nation free. God wants us to declare His sovereignty and He wants us to know that our God reigns. He has raised us up to sit with Him…

AblazeUK 2010: Tuesday Morning Seminar 2

His Rule, His Reign in the Family
Next up was Ps Jonathan Morgans (Aberdeen assembly), speaking on His Rule, His Reign in the Family. Jonathan started off reading from Isa. 1:16-17. The ministry of the kingdom finds its source and motivation in love. We won't know the work of the Spirit unless there is love.
1. In Family Relationships
Sometimes we diminish the importance of the family to God. In order to undo this mistake, Jonathan took us through a number of Scriptures which highlight the importance God places upon the family. God even uses family relationships to reveal something of the relationship between Christ and His Church and something of the relationships within the Trinity.
After scaring a good number of pastors into thinking they were about to undergo a mid-life crisis, Jonathan suggested that the antidote to such a problem is to really know our identity as a child of the Father.
Prov. 22:26 speaks of training up a child in the way he should go, not the way he should stay. …

AblazeUK 2010: Tuesday Morning Seminar 1

Tuesday morning at AblazeUK 2010 was all about 2 things: seminars and rain (lots of it!).

His Rule, His Reign in the Marketplace

Julie Andrews, the National Women's Leader gave a seminar this morning on His Rule, His Reign in the Marketplace. Julie stressed that all of us are in full time ministry, not just the pastors. God has something for each one of us to be and do. The enemy would try to tell us that there are only a few in each generation that are truly significant, but we must remember that we are significant, not in ourselves, but in who we are in Christ.

There isn't supposed to be a sacred/secular divide. Rather, we should be the church scattered as well as the church gathered. As Spurgeon said, 'Every Christian is a missionary or an imposter.'

Kingdom work isn't about numbers in our churches or notching up converts. We should be helping because that's what God calls us to do.

We need to be the church on Monday morning. The exciting stuff is great, but the…

Ablaze UK 2010: Monday

The prayer meeting at Ablaze is an exciting event. For a start, it's unusual and very encouraging to gather with so many people to pray together. For part of the prayer time on Monday morning we gathered into regional groups to pray for the cities in our own regions. So people from all across the north of England gathered in one block to pray for key cities like Newcastle, Bradford and Leeds. For those under the mistaken impression that prayer meetings are boring, the Ablaze prayer meeting will certainly change your mind.

In Monday's morning meeting God spoke through the prophet to all those who were battle-weary, saying that He had come to refresh, renew, bind up and help us understand that the battle is His already and He reigns victorious. The sound of rustling is not the enemy but rather God's hosts behind us and no weapon formed against us will prosper for we are more than conquerors. So stop cowering! Declare in your hearts that the battle is the Lord's and He i…

Ablaze UK 2010: God of the Impossible

Sunday night at Ablaze is a wee bit different from a typical Sunday night in the Leeds assembly, and I was very happy to share it with such a large Leeds contingent.

God spoke through the prophet to remind us that, although the rule and reign of man is subject to limitations, the rule and reign of God has no limit and so where impossibilities begin with man, there possibilities begin with God. God promised that He is here in power and authority to make every impossibility bow before Him. We were reminded of how God visited Israel in Egypt to rescue them and bring His promises to pass, but they were pursued by pharaoh. Yet God surprised them when He parted the Red Sea. They were in a place of impossibility for man, but at that point the possibilities of God began to be made manifest. Then God challenged us, saying that although we had come bearing many impossibilities, we should rejoice, for the sea will not drown us as He is in control.

The prophetical ministry brought such a respons…

Ablaze UK 2010: Sunday morning

It's Sunday and the marquee was packed this morning, or at least the carpark was, as that's as far as I made it. (The pastors have jobs to do during the convention, so this morning I was on carpark duty.)

Dr John Avant, our American guest speaker, preached what was by all accounts a faith inspiring message from Eph. 3:20-21. The Lord also spoke prophetically through Pastors David Olphert and Elwyn Williams.

Out in the carpark, whole we may have missed the meeting, things were still interesting. We had everything from a Bentley driver who wanted to know what was going on in the marquees to someone who was convinced we were selling caravans! I also discovered that I'm not the only pastor with a large theological tome in the back of the car.

Tonight I'll be in the tent and not the carpark, so hopefully I can bring you more informative news from the evening meeting.

Ablaze UK 2010: We Stand Forgiven at the Cross

'He is exalted, the King is exalted on high...' So began Ablaze UK 2010: His Rule, His Reign. And right at the beginning of the convention the Lord spoke through the prophet to us, not as a denomination, but as individuals, of our need for His rule and His reign in our lives and our experience, no matter what it may cost us. Through the prophetical ministry we were reminded of the decline of Israel when they rejected God as their king. Instead we were encouraged to open our hearts to God.

Ps Roy Lewis (Bridgend Assembly) was the preacher for the opening night of this year's convention, preaching from the text from which this year's convention got its theme: the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6). Before he began, Roy shared the counsel he had received this morning from one of our retired apostles - 'Put Jesus right at the centre' - excellent advice for every preacher, whether at convention or on a typical Sunday.

Ps Lewis noted that, although we say we follow the Bibl…

It's Time!

Yes, it's that time of year again. Tomorrow sees the beginning of Ablaze UK in Swansea. This is the 94th year of the Convention and even after all that time it's as popular as ever. In fact, we're not having any services in Leeds this Sunday as so many of the members of the assembly will be 275 miles away in Swansea for Ablaze UK!

In the balance: Music or the Word

Yesterday I wrote about having confidence in God's Word. Today let's take it out of the abstract and into real life.
A month or so ago we ended up in a situation where we usually don't have any musicians to play in church on a Sunday. When I knew this was going to be happening, I have to admit that I was a bit discouraged. Music has become so much a part of the western church that the idea of no musicians is almost unthinkable.
(In fact, the early church didn't use musical instruments, so it's perfectly possible to follow the 1st-century model without a piano or guitar. In the village where I grew up, the village church only sings psalms and without any musical accompaniment, on principle. There are even many Apostolic assemblies in the world who sing without musical accompaniment; when I was in Malawi, the only instrument in the assemblies was a hand drum - nothing to carry a tune.)
Anyway, I digress. I was somewhat discouraged about our impending lack of music. How …

Confidence in God's Word

As evangelicals, we believe that God's Word is inspired, inerrant and authoritative. Sometimes we refer to ourselves as 'Bible-believing Christians'. So the Bible is clearly of great importance to evangelicals.
Yet, having a high regard for God's Word is not always the same as having confidence in God's Word. Sometimes, even though we believe the Bible, we act as though we think it needs our help. And hence the plethora of methods and programmes which abound within the confines of evangelical Christianity. We become beholden to the latest fad, because it promises to work. We become pragmatists, placing our confidence in what works (or seems to work, or perhaps is marketed as if it works) rather than in how God has promised to work.
The problem here is that our trust is misplaced. Instead of trusting in God to work in His way, we can easily end up trusting in men and their man-made ways of doing God's work.
So is there a remedy to the predicament? Yes. Trust in Go…

Back from Bangor: Theological Conferences & Pentecostals

There we were, sitting in a trendy cafe-bar, eating fashionable finger-food on a university campus in Welsh-speaking North Wales, a British pastor, a Swedish missionary/theology lecturer, a Swedish mega-church pastor and a Swiss pastor-theologian. Not exactly my typical day off! Earlier that morning my Swedish missionary friend and I had had breakfast in the same place with a Singaporean theologian, whilst chatting about liturgical worship and Cambridge experiences. But back to lunch. I'm sure it's not too often that influential mega-church pastors chat with the pastor of a church less than a hundredth of the size about the Trinitarian theology of the Cappadocian Fathers. To be honest, I was quite surprised to encounter a mega-church pastor at an academic theological conference, yet over lunch he raised a very valid (and important) point; the theology circulating in the academy today is the theology that will be circulating in the pews in 30 years time and so it's importan…

On Sheep

Let me just say that I know nothing about sheep. Although I did grow up in sheep-farming country, I didn't grow up on a sheep farm, so sheep have generally been on the other side of the hedgerow from me. Today, however, I went for a walk surrounded by sheep. And, while I was walking I noticed two things that made me think about the sheep of God's pasture.
1. Sheep are scared of people!
I was a bit surprised at this; after all, sheep are domestic animals and the particular sheep I met today were grazing on a field through which ran a public footpath. Yet, every time I got within a few metres of a sheep, it ran away. I didn't even have to get very close. Some ran, others walked away calmly; but every one of them got out of my way before I could get too close.
Now, the sheep didn't mind at all that I was in their field. I was quite welcome and they were quite content, provided that I didn't get too close. This made me think about us as Christians. Sometimes we can be qu…

Reading the Bible: Jesus vs Moralism

Unless Jesus is the central message of the Scriptures, many errors abound. The most common is moralizing. Moralizing is reading the Bible not to learn about Jesus but only to learn principles for how to live life as a good person by following the good examples of some people and avoiding the bad examples of others. That kind of approach to the Scriptures is not Christian, because it treats the Bible like any other book with moral lessons that are utterly disconnected from faith in and salvation from Jesus.
Mark Driscoll & Gerry Breshears, Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe (Crossway, 2010), p.47

Preparation for Evangelism

On Sunday morning someone in our assembly read from 1 Peter 3. It was one of those great moments where you see God's hand directing open worship. Little did that person know, but another group in the assembly had been looking at the same passage during the week. Specifically we had been looking at the instruction to be always 'prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect' (1 Peter 3:15).
According to 1 Peter 3:15 we Christians need to be ready to answer people's questions about our faith. We need to be able to explain why we believe what we believe. In other words we need to be prepared for every evangelistic opportunity.
In our housegroup in East Leeds we've been endeavouring to do just that. In order to be prepared to share our faith we've spent the last 2 months doing a Two Ways to Live course. Two Ways to Live is probably best known as a gospel tract (and a very good one at t…

True Spirituality & the Cross

We are already at the stage where many evangelical leaders simply assume the message of the cross, but no longer lay much emphasis on it. Their focus is elsewhere. And a few, it seems to me, are in danger of distancing themselves from major components of the message of the cross, while still operating within the context of evangelicalism. It is at least possible that we are the generation of believers who will destroy much of historic Christianity from within - not, in the first instance, by rancid unbelief, but by raising relatively peripheral questions to the place where, functionally, they displace what is central. And what shall the end of this drift be?
We must come back to the cross, and to God's plan of redemption that centres on the cross, and make that the point of our self-identification. We must consciously resist all blandishments from movements and philosophies and value-systems that tolerate the cross, or even nominally promote it, but in reality displace it. We must …

Not an Afterthought

The Cross of Calvary was planted in past eternity to make Creation, Redemption, Forgiveness and the Eternal Plan possible.
W.R. Thomas, On Ephesians, 132

The Normalization of Murder

Tonight British society changed forever, and yet it has probably gone relatively unnoticed. For tonight the first ever ad for abortion was shown on British television. I don't have a TV so I didn't see it when broadcast, but I've just watched it on the website of one of the broadsheet newspapers. And I'm saddened, deeply saddened. I can't say that I'm shocked and appalled, for I'm not. There is nothing shocking about the ad and I was already appalled that (through a legal loophole) it was to be aired. But I'm deeply saddened, perhaps mostly by the fact that there is nothing shocking about the ad. It's just so normal. Words like 'abortion' or 'termination' aren't used. There's no hint of any 'procedures'. All you see are images of women in everyday situations. Normal situations. They even show a mother pushing a baby in a pushchair! And then at the end comes the voiceover saying: 'If you're pregnant and not su…

A Whitsuntide Song

They were gathered in an upper chamber,As commanded by the Risen Lord,And the promise of the FatherThere they sought with one accord,When the Holy Ghost from heaven descendedLike a rushing wind and tongues of fire:So, dear Lord, we seek Thy blessing,Come with glory now our hearts inspire.
Let the fire fall, let the fire fall,Let the fire from heaven fall;We are waiting and expecting,Now in faith dear Lord we call;Let the fire fall, let the fire fall,On Thy promise we depend;From the glory of Thy presenceLet the Pentecostal fire descend.
As Elijah we would raise the altarFor our testimony clear and true,Christ the Saviour, loving Healer,Coming Lord, Baptizer too,Ever flowing grace and full salvationFor a ruined race Thy love has planned;For this bless├Ęd revelation,For Thy written Word we dare to stand.
‘Tis the covenanted promise given,To as many as the Lord shall call,To the fathers and their children,To Thy people, one and all;So rejoicing in Thy Word unfailing,We draw nigh in faith Thy…

Sunday's the Day

Tomorrow morning we're going to be singing an old chorus at the beginning of the meeting. It's old, but it's also particularly appropriate for the Lord's Day and especially for Whitsun. What is it? This is the Day.
Our songbook only has one verse to This is the Day, but we're going to resurrect the other two verses as well to get the full meaning of the song. It's not just the day that the Lord has made, but also the day that He rose again and the day that the Spirit came. In other words, it's not just any old day, it's the Lord's Day.
The first day of the week is indeed the day that the Lord has made. In fact, it is the day He made days, as well as being the day He made the heavens and the earth. But more than that, it is a day of great importance in Redemptive history. It is the day that Jesus conquered the grave and rose from the dead. And then seven weeks later, it was the same day of the week on which Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit from heaven.

A Service Centred on the Breaking of Bread

On the Lord's Day morning we have a Breaking of Bread service. But what does that mean? Is it simply a service that contains the Breaking of Bread, or is it something more? Acts 20:7 shows us that for the early Christians, the Breaking of Bread was the purpose of their meeting together on the Lord's Day. On this occasion the apostle Paul was in Troas. Yet, although he did preach (and at considerable length), the primary purpose of the meeting was to break bread.
If the goal of our Lord's Day morning meeting is to break bread, then that should have an effect on the whole meeting. Therefore everything in the meeting should contribute to this purpose. Hence, the focus of the meeting should be on Christ and above all on His Cross. This means: ·Songs – we should sing about Christ and His Cross. The focus should be on Him and what He has done, rather than on us. This means that some songs which would be very appropriate at other times are not so appropriate on the Lord’s Day morni…

A Vital Day to Pray

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 1 Timothy 2:1-2
In order to 'lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness' we need to pray for 'all who are in authority'. So may the next 24 hours not only be a day of voting, counting, watching, and waiting, but also a day of prayer.

Pentecostal = Protestant; & that's important

Some people are probably tutting at me already. Why would I say such a thing? It seems that the Protestant label is being more and more eschewed by Pentecostals. Yet Pentecostals are Protestants. They always have been, and I hope they always will be.
You see, being Protestant isn't about a label. It's about theology. Protestant theology is the theology of the Reformation (even though some 'protestant' churches no longer hold to true protestant theology, and thus today we often have to specify that we're evangelical protestants). Being Protestant is about holding to the 5 Solas of the Reformation. Sola Gratia (Grace Alone)Sola Fide (Faith Alone)Solus Christus (Christ Alone)Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone)Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)These five points which define what it means to be Protestant show us that we should not be ashamed of our Protestant heritage, because it's all about the Gospel.
Having grown up in Northern Ireland where 'Protestant' is …

Propitiation is Important

The substitutionary work of Christ on the cross is marginalized whenever and wherever a fully orbed doctrine of propitiation is marginalized.
J.I. Pack & Gary A. Parrett, Grounded in the Gospel, p. 105

On Biblical Evangelists

When someone says 'evangelist', it seems that many Christians automatically think of a Billy Graham-esque figure: someone who draws huge crowds and preaches the Gospel to thousands of people at a time. But is this a Biblical picture of the ministry of the evangelist or a cultural model? Although we may be able to learn from historical as well as living examples of evangelists to a certain extent, they cannot be a higher authority than the Biblical picture.
In fact, the Bible doesn't present us with vast swathes of information regarding this ministry. It's mentioned in Ephesians 4:11, and in Acts 21:8 Philip is identified as an evangelist. The third usage of the word evangelist is when Paul tells Timothy (an apostle) to 'do the work of an evangelist' in 2 Timothy 4:5. Perhaps it's because the word is only used these three times in Scripture that we can be so quick to turn to famous examples to learn about evangelists. Three verses doesn't seem like an awf…

First Apostles

'God has appointed these in the church: first apostles...' (1 Corinthians 12:28). The Bible clearly states that God has set the apostles first in the church, but what exactly does that mean?
Some have argued that apostles had unquestionable and infallible authority (and so they also argue that there couldn't be any apostles today if we are to uphold the priciple of Sola Scriptura). However, this certainly doesn't follow from the text in question. 1 Corinthians 12:28 goes on to say 'second prophets, third teachers'. This is not a passage that sets up the apostleship in a highly exalted unique position over against the rest of the Church, but rather one that speaks of different positions and different ministries within the Church.
Others, such as D.A. Carson, have argued that this passage is referring to the chronological order in which various ministries and gifts appeared in the history of the Church. But this doesn't stack up either; the verse places 'v…

Sola Scriptura: Sunday's Sermon

Seeing as we've just put up a new website for the Leeds assembly and it's all a bit new-fangled, here's a link to yesterday's morning sermon. At the moment we're looking at our Apostolic Identity. So this month we've been focusing on what it means to be Evangelical. Next month it'll be being Pentecostal, and then in June being Apostolic. For this month on being Evangelical we've been looking at the 5 Solas of the Reformation, so yesterday was Sola Scriptura.

Profitable

Sometimes it's very easy to skip the significance of a word. When the rest of the sentence is so full of important meaning, then it's almost easy to neglect the odd word here and there, thinking of it almost more like filler or simply a linking word. This evening as I was reading Calvin as an afterthought after most of my sermon preparation was done I realized that I was almost doing that with an important word in Sunday's text. It's not that I was neglecting the word; in fact the word in question is actually one of my 3 points. Rather it's that I was neglecting an important implication of the meaning of the word. Happily, a bit of last minute Calvin reading proved profitable.
The word in question is, in fact, profitable. The verse is 2 Timothy 3:16. It's an important verse, with lots of important implications, and so it wouldn't be hard not to notice that one little word like profitable was not getting its full voice.
What Calvin points out is that if all S…

Evangelism and "The Church"

We live in a world where it's easy not to take responsibility. It seems normal to us that if we don't do something, someone else will. And so that means that it comes very easily to us to neglect the responsibility of personal evangelism. Yes, we know that evangelism is important. Yes, we want to see people saved. Yes, we agree that the church should be doing evangelism. But, it's just there that we so often put off the responsibility onto someone else. "The church" we say, should be doing evangelism. Rather than thinking of evangelism as our responsibility as Christians, we think of it as "the church's" responsibility. And rather than thinking of the church as us, we think of "the church" as some vague entity that does things by itself.
But, the church cannot evangelize unless we evangelize! The Body of Christ evangelizes as the members of the Body evangelize. If it's an important responsibility for the church, then it should be an imp…

New Website for Leeds Assembly!

Well, our new website for the Apostolic Church in Leeds is ready, so take a look. The sermon archive isn't working yet, but we hope to get that up and running in the very near future.

One Mediator, Three Responses

1 Timothy 2:5-6 tells us that there is only 1 Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus. A mediator is someone who intervenes between two parties to produce reconciliation, so Mediator is a wonderful word to describe Jesus as that's exactly what He has done - He has produced reconciliation between us and God. 1 Timothy 2:6 tells us how He did that; He 'gave Himself a ransom for all'. At the Cross, Jesus bore God's wrath in our place and so He has reconciled us to God. He is our only Mediator! Salvation is found in Christ alone.
The fact that Christ is our only Mediator, our only Saviour, leads us to respond to that marvellous truth. Three important responses spring to mind.
Firstly, such a wonderful truth should draw us to worship, praise and thanksgiving. He is the only one who could save us. He is the only one who has given His life to save us. How could we not want to praise and thank Him for the wonders of His saving work on our behalf. Worship should flow a…