Jul 112013
 

Future grace“‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home”. (Amazing Grace – John Newton).

Gods grace extends throughout our lives. It is grace that ushered us into His kingdom when we were first saved; it is grace that will keep us going whatever life throws at us.

This will be my last post for a while on the subject of grace. Although I have covered a lot of ground, I could have covered much more. However, to finish off I am going to talk about ‘future grace’. This is not specifically a biblical term but the concept is found throughout the bible.

The apostle Paul is credited with writing about 13 letters in the New Testament (some are debated). All of them start and end with the same theme of grace, beginning with something like ‘grace to you’ and ending ‘grace with you’.

As Paul writes he is blessing each one of his readers (including us) with future grace from start to finish. They start ‘to you’ because Paul realises that he is writing God’s blessings to the church, to all those who are going to read his letters. He writes ‘grace with you’ at the end, because when the reading has finished, God’s blessings of grace are going to be with us in whatever situation we find ourselves in.

Grace is not just a past reality but a future one. When I pick up my bible to read it, God’s grace comes to me and when I put down my bible and act upon it God’s grace goes with me.

We know that life is not all plain sailing and when troubles come, future grace holds us up and sustains us.

You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 2:1)

We can get distracted by trying to work out what Pauls ‘thorn in the flesh’ was in 2 Corinthians 12:7 and not take the promise to Paul that God’s grace is sufficient, sufficient to carry us through whatever happens to us.

Future grace helps us to endure and bear up under any trials we go through. We can see that God’s grace has been faithful in the past so we can trust that whatever trials may lie ahead, His grace is there to cover them too.

And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (1 Peter 5:10)

Future grace helps us not to lose heart.

 July 11, 2013  Posted by at 8:38 pm Grace 1 Response »
Jan 242013
 

If you have been around churches for any length of time you will know that there has been a lot of confusion through the years over water baptism. This week we are going to look at what the bible says about this very important subject which could be described as one of the first steps of discipleship.

Jesus was baptised

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.  And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:13-17)

Water baptism must be important because Jesus was baptised Himself. He was the last person who needed to be baptised because He was sinless. There are various reasons for why Jesus chose to be baptised but principally it was to identify with us as sinners and as an example for us to follow. As He was baptised He was looking ahead to His own crucifixion and resurrection.

Jesus will not ask you to do anything He was not prepared to do himself and asks all his followers to be baptised as we see in His command in Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Baptism is for believers.

It does not make you a Christian, it is for those who have already committed their lives to Him and decided to follow Him.

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:16)

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. (Acts 2:38)

They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”  Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized.(Acts 16:31–33)

Baptism is a public declaration that you belong to Jesus and have submitted your life to Him. When Jesus was baptised He was identifying with you. When you are baptised you are identifying with Him. There is a wonderful connection, what happened to Jesus happened to you as well. As you get into the water you are showing everybody that your old life is dead. As you are submerged under the water you are declaring that your old sinful life is being buried. It is a funeral for your old life! As you come up out of the water you are being raised from your old life by God’s power (the same power that raised Jesus from the dead) raised into a new life with Him.

Next week I will be looking more into what baptism actually is. If you haven’t been baptised, why not seek God this week about what He wants you to do. If you have any questions or anything you want covered next week, please put a comment in the box below and I will do my best to answer it.

 January 24, 2013  Posted by at 7:11 pm Baptism, Confession, Discipleship, Repentance, Resurrection, Salvation No Responses »
May 132012
 

This week I want to celebrate God’s gift of healing. We have seen quite a few people healed in our church recently and I think it is so important to celebrate what God has done to increase our faith and see even more miraculous things happen. My good friend Martin experienced a really significant healing in his life and he agreed to share it with you. Read on…..

Hello my name is Martin and I want to tell you about how God healed me a couple of weeks ago following years of pain. I am now pain free and can testify to what Jesus has done.

My background is in the building trade.  As with all manual work my back was being put through strain which, without realising it, was causing irreparable damage to my lower spine. Just over ten years ago I found out what the phrase “the straw that broke the camel’s back” really meant. I merely bent down to pick up my young son’s sock and my back simply disintegrated. I was in agony and unable to move. What followed were years of hospital and doctor visits and a prescription of numerous tablets and pain killers, which I have been taking ever since. I had to have pins put in my back to support it which caused immobility, pain and discomfort on a daily basis. I took so many pills every day that I should have been rattling like a child’s toy!  Although this cocktail of prescription drugs deadened the pain there were many other side effects causing further discomfort to my body.

A couple of weeks ago we had a visiting speaker come to our church who has seen many  successes as he has prayed for people, both  in church and on the streets, to receive healing in Jesus’ name. He asked all those with bad backs to raise both arms above their heads. This should have been something I would have struggled to do (and indeed haven’t been able to do since the problems started with my back) as the strain on my lower spine would have stopped me. However, I raised both my arms above my head and I felt something physically move in my back.  It felt better but I couldn’t tell fully whether the pain had gone until the effects of the regular pills I was taking had worn off.

That was nearly 3 weeks ago.  The supply of tablets that I should have started the next week is still sitting in the chemist waiting to be picked up!

I am in no doubt that God has healed me as the pain since that time has totally gone. These are early days but I am enjoying discovering what I can now do with my back without the expectation of pain. I am shortly going to go back to the doctor to have some tests, but even if nothing dramatic shows up on the x-ray, I know that I am now pain free.  I want to thank Jesus for what he has done in me through physical healing, and also in so many other areas of my life. I am a living testimony that Jesus still heals today and I hope that this testimony gives you encouragement and faith for your healing, or for those you know who are sick.

I will be adding this testimony to my ‘blessings’ page. Why not have a look and consider sharing the blessings God has done in your life. It doesn’t have to be a major healing; it may be just a scripture that God has blessed you with.

God bless   Adrian

 May 13, 2012  Posted by at 4:50 pm Healing No Responses »