Archive for September, 2010

I hope you enjoy fellowship with older Saints

I loved something Vaughan Roberts said at Forum this year. He said “I hope you enjoy fellowship with older Christians. If you don’t, you’re missing out.”

They are full of wisdom, grace, humility, experience, maturity, and well worth tapping into for life’s big issues and over doctrine. Aside from that, they are usually fun to be around, and generous in the giving of time and giving of themselves in prayer. This is one of the reasons I feel privileged to be a part of All Saints here in Preston, it’s a diverse church in age range as well as in many other ways.

Of course, it’s quite counter-cultural to be a student and to befriend older people but I’m convinced it’s one of the great benefits of being in Christ Jesus. There’s a man called Brian at church, extremely wise in important matters of cricket, but also full of pearls of wisdom about the Christian life (he’s known Jesus for more than 60 years), and I’ve enjoyed listening to him over men’s breakfasts and the like.

One time last year Brian took 4 of us student boys to watch a game of cricket at Old Trafford (where he is a lifetime member of Lancashire County Cricket Club). His lovely wife Kath made us a picnic and we made our way to the ground expecting to watch a great day’s cricket. Unfortunately, we are talking about a part of England that rains bucket loads all year round so we didn’t manage to see a ball being bowled, but nonetheless Brian’s kind gesture did not go unnoticed by us and it was the beginning of a friendship.

There are many older men who I have not spoken to at All Saints, and it is my prayer that I will endeavour to do so in the coming days, weeks and months.

Secure in our Saving God

I’ve just got back from UCCF: The Christian Unions Forum Conference 2010. It was a wonderful time of learning more of Jesus, being encouraged by searching the scriptures, praying and enjoying fellowship with 900 other Christian students in a field in Shropshire.

The highlight for me was the seminars I went to in the morning, aptly called ‘Secure in our Saving God’ led by Mike Reeves and Angus Moyes. You can listen to the audio here (I cannot recommend it highly enough). Having started on the first morning looking at a rounded view of the doctrine of original sin and federal headship, how in Adam we are sinners because he first sinned, we moved on to salvation being found in Christ alone, and more specifically the crucial truth that we can only be justified before our holy Father through being united in Jesus.

I have never before realised Union with Christ is absolutely essential. It warms my heart to the very depths hearing of the fact that I am clothed with Christ, it is in itself the life transforming message of the gospel. Isaiah 61:10 says ‘I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness.’ Christ alone is my robe of righteousness. I wore a robe of death.

The Bishop of Durham, N.T. Wright, claims that on the cross righteousness and sin cannot be transferred between Jesus and a sinner as if by osmosis. And this would be a credible argument, if this was actually the evangelical claim. But it isn’t the claim at all. We only receive Christ’s righteousness because we are actually wrapped up in him. In salvation, it is as if we are grafted into Him so that he can carry our body of sin and death, and we can claim his very own righteousness for our own. Ephesians 1 is helpful in showing how all the Spiritual blessings are not from Him as such, but rather are found in Him!

And there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, because He is the same yesterday, today and forever. If you are a Christian, you can be secure in the Saving God because He is our means of knowing the Father at all times, today and forever.