- You may want to use some of the Engage Worship resources for daily worship during this week
- JAM Kids’ focus: Here is the link for Sunday 1 November Virtual Sunday School on “The Widow’s Offering”.
- JAM young adults Ignite Live have a separate programme at 11:15am. Please contact Gary Torbet on email@example.com for more details.
- The sessions from the online annual Assembly Canopy will be available on the BUS website and the BUS YouTube channel.
- Baptist Union of Scotland Prayer Livestream – This Sunday. Our monthly prayer livestream takes place this Sunday, 1 November, 7.00–7.30pm. We have some guests who will be reflecting with Ali and Martin on what God was saying at Canopy and focusing our prayers on this. You can access the prayer livestream by going to the Baptist Union of Scotland YouTube channel or by using this link:
Call to worship
My heart, O God, is steadfast;Psalm 108:1-5
I will sing and make music with all my soul.
2 Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
3 I will praise You, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of You among the peoples.
4 For great is Your love, higher than the heavens;
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let Your glory be over all the earth.
We are grateful to Helen Rice for selecting the songs for worship for this service
Our opening song of praise and worship is: This I believe (The creed)
Almighty God, we thank You once more for the privilege of entering Your holy presence in the name of Jesus, Your Son our Saviour, through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit who encourages us to bring our praises and our prayers to You.
We recall the words of the heavenly beings in Isaiah’s vision of You in the Jerusalem Temple more than 2,750 years ago. They were calling: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.
We acknowledge that You are truly holy and we are sinners in need of Your forgiveness. Purify us afresh in our thoughts and words and deeds so that we might come before You with a pure heart and a right attitude as we seek to offer our praises and offering of thanksgiving. Help us when there are particular blessings to acknowledge to be a thankful people and individuals that appreciate Your goodness to us. Speak into our lives and circumstances today as we gather in Your presence today, in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Let us say together the words Jesus taught His disciples when He said:
‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.'”
For Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever Amen.
All Age Talk – Helen and Fergus Rice
How we live is a reflection of what kind of person we are inside. Matthew 7:15-20; see also Luke 6:43-45
In Matthew 7 verse 20 Jesus Teaches about Fruit in People’s lives. Watch this video to find out more.
So what does all this mean to us? In Luke 6:43-45 Jesus teaches this,
43 “A good tree does not produce bad fruit. And a bad tree does not produce good fruit. 44 Every tree is known by the kind of fruit it produces. You won’t find figs on thorny weeds. And you can’t pick grapes from thornbushes! 45 Good people have good things saved in their hearts. That’s why they say good things. But those who are evil have hearts full of evil, and that’s why they say things that are evil. What people say with their mouths comes from what fills their hearts.”
When Jesus says that good people produce good fruit, he doesn’t mean the kind of fruit that we eat.
He means that if we are following him, we will want to do the things that make God happy. We will do good things, we will help people, we care for one another, we will share what we have with others, and we will treat other people with respect.
So ask yourself this, what kind of fruit tree do I want to be? A good tree producing good fruit or an evil tree producing evil fruit?
With this in mind can you draw or doodle what kind of fruit tree you want to be? And if you wish you can send your creations to me and we can put them on our church Facebook page. My details (Helen Rice) are in the church directory.
Let us pray – Father, we want to be identified as a good tree, producing good fruit. Help us to do the things we know will be pleasing to you. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
We continue in worship as we sing an all age song: ‘Shine from the inside out’
Prayers for others
Heavenly Father, we come very aware of the growing fears and concerns for the future that many people in our community and country have at the present time. We come to bring before You our Governments in Westminster and Edinburgh as they grapple with the increasingly serious responsibilities associated with the choices they make over restrictions related to the Covid-19 virus pandemic. We pray for all the health service workers and social care workers in our congregation and our city at a time when the virus has been significantly increasing in our city, resulting in a significant increase in numbers in our local Ninewells Hospital. We pray for wisdom and strength for all concerned as they carry out their duties at this time.
We pray for all other workers in various forms of education that they can maintain a good level of support to the young people in our academic institutions. We pray for those working in the hospitality sector who are facing a grim Christmas and possibly into the New Year as they are so limited by what services they can offer. Help them to discern how they and other businesses can survive until the end of this virus pandemic.
We are mindful of the troubles in the wider world and plead with You that a ceasefire and a peaceful solution can be found to the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, that the international community will stop turning a blind eye to all the suffering civilians in that conflict. We pray too for the city of Nice in France that has suffered so much over the years from Islamist violence and killing and now last week the three people murdered in a church by a terrorist. Lord we remember Hamish Rice and the church with which he works in that city, together with other Christians there that they together might be able to promote the gospel of the Prince of Peace and bring hope and peace into that troubled city.
We also bring before You:
Baptist World Alliance – We pray for the BWA staff team. In 2020, a new President and new officers began their five-year terms of service, so we join in praying for God’s wisdom, vision, and protection for these global leaders. We remember that several new team members have joined the BWA staff, and together we stand with many around the world seeking to provide Christ-honouring leadership while adjusting to the realities of working virtually and balancing family and ministry responsibilities.
We pray for the ongoing global response to Covid-19. As part of the “Standing Together” Global Response Plan, BWAid has sent 132 emergency grants to 82 countries this year, but we offer our continuing prayers as they continue to respond to the many needs around the world resulting from the pandemic.
We pray too for the 22nd Baptist World Congress scheduled for July 7-10, 2021. We pray for wisdom as they consider options for this global gathering that will best ensure a safe, accessible, and affordable celebration for our global Baptist family. In the midst of so many challenges in our world, we pray that the Baptist World Congress will be a renewing experience that sparks greater unity and missional impact.
Pray also for the following churches:
Queen’s Park BC, Glasgow – We are so grateful to God – Jehovah Jireh – for His wonderful provision of financial resources for them over the last six months. This is a real answer to prayer as they, like many, had anticipated a downturn with their church doors being closed for so long. We pray for Jamie Sweet the director of their Point Project as he engages in new initiatives within their surrounding community. We pray that the ministry of the Point, in bringing practical help and support alongside pointing people to the Good News, will bring light in the darkness.
Renfrew BC – We pray for Renfrew Baptist as they meet in their church building in a Covid-safe way as well as streaming their services online. We pray for the church as they seek to navigate how best to share Jesus in Renfrew at this time.
Rosyth BC – They began the year with the words Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? (Isaiah 43:19, The Message Bible) Like everyone else they have had to embrace the way the pandemic reduced their resources, curtailed their activities and toppled their plans. We pray that in the midst of these challenges they will truly discern the new thing the Lord wants to do.
We pray also today for churches within our Baptist Union who may be in a pastoral vacancy and looking for a minister. We pray that these churches would know God’s guidance during their vacancy and wisdom for the way ahead.
We also remember in our prayers other people with particular needs that are connected to our own families or congregation: Lord today we particularly want to remember Nicola Livie and her family as her dad goes through major surgery on 3 November. We pray for wisdom for the medical team that will carry out this procedure and Your peace for the family through this difficult time. We pray also for Betty Watson as she recuperates in Royal Victoria Hospital after surgery. We continue to pray for a restoration of health and strength for Anne Maltman and thank God for some improvements in her situation.
We continue to remember others going through cancer treatments or facing other health problems at this time. We remember particularly the Steer’s niece Rachel and Ann Walker’s sister Margaret. We ask for Your strength for them as they face uncertain futures despite the blessings we have of an excellent National Health Service.
We continue to remember all the members of our congregation, and members of some of our families in residential care or confined to their homes through age or infirmity or who are currently unwell and signed off from their work. We pray that You would meet with them where they are and assure them that they are remembered.
In addition, we bring our own and other needs on our hearts to You today…, in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, Amen.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it….The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, ‘This is the one I spoke about when I said, “He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.”’) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in the closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.John 1:1-4, 9-19;
Now may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you allII Corinthians 13:14
Before we come to listen to God’s Word let us sing: ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty’
The Trinity: I believe in One God Father Son and Holy Spirit
Does it matter what we believe about God? Is it important to address God accurately? I hope the answer all of us would give is yes! After all at the human level, getting the names right of other people is important, especially if they have a significant place in our lives. If you as a married person repeatedly called your spouse ‘Jane’ when her name was ‘Mary’ or ‘Fred’ when his name was ‘Mike’, there might be some offence taken –with good reason! Using appropriate words in our communications is very important. Imagine you are attending a community event with a work colleague and you come across some close friends and introduce that person to them as your ‘partner’. Now you might be a teacher and your colleague your stage-partner in the school, but referring to them in an introduction to friends as a ‘partner’ would convey the wrong message in twenty-first century Britain! Using correct names and conveying an accurate impression of our relationships with others is very important.
Our society at the moment is also struggling to know how to handle the heated debate over claims of misgendering with particular reference to the Transgender community. When we get it wrong or we don’t know how to describe or address someone, it can be quite stressful because it matter to us to get it right.
Who we are and our relationships with one another are important, but symbols are also important. For example, a married person who stops wearing their wedding ring and declares to all who will listen that they have discarded it is making a bigger statement than a choice of jewellery! It is a very sad but powerful indicator about their relationship with the person they had married. It is even more important that we understand who God is and how we relate to the Creator of the universe and the Redeemer of humankind.
What is God like? He is different in kind to us, a being that is beyond our understanding yet in His love He has chosen to reveal to us something of what He is like. The Bible’s presentation of God, in contrast to the representations of some other religions, is a living God (Psalm 115:3-8).
He is a personal God who desires fellowship with His creatures and was incarnated in human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ (John 1:14). He is a spiritual being (John 4:23-24) who desires us to worship Him in spirit and truth. Yet it is something we struggle to understand because God is so much greater than us. However the Christian doctrine of the Trinity is not an explanation of God, it is a description of what we know about Him. Our subject today is as central to the Christian faith as the backbone is to the skeleton in the human body. What does the Bible say about it and what difference does it make to our daily lives and our collective witness as a church?
1. Old Testament pointers to the Trinity
There are quite a lot of things in life that are not straightforward. We have clues or indications of the choices we might make, but we are conscious that we don’t always have all the information required to make an informed decision. Whether it is a police officer seeking to solve a crime or a scientist engaged in practical research to provide a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus all kinds of options will be explored to get a better understanding of the subject under investigation. When we come to the Bible to find out what it is teaching on this subject we must look in quite a number of different passages to get the bigger picture.
‘We believe in One God, in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit’
This statement is the historic Christian declaration of our understanding of God.
In contrast to the polytheism (many gods) of Hinduism, for example, we believe in only One God (Monotheism). Deuteronomy 6:4 states: Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. Idolatry, that is worshipping other gods, was forbidden in the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. Deuteronomy 5:7 is very clear: You shall have no other gods besides Me.’ This fundamental belief in the oneness and unity in the Godhead we share with Jews and Muslims. Even in the O.T., however, there are pointers that suggest a Trinitarian understanding of God, even if it is not made explicit until the New Testament. Interestingly enough, the word ‘Allah’ in the Qu’ran is also plural in form.
What are the clues we need to locate in the Old Testament?
- God is more than one person
There are three statements by God in Genesis 1-11 that indicate the plurality of beings within the One true God. They are in Gen.1:26 Let us make man in our image in the Creation account in Genesis 1. Then after the act of disobedience in the Garden of Eden, God declared in Gen.3:22 the man has now become like one of us. The third reference comes many years later when some people rebelled against God and built the Tower of Babel.
Genesis 11:7 records God as stating: let us go down and confuse their language.
Another passage where the same phenomenon occurs is: Isaiah 6:8 Who will go for us?
In this last passage, Isaiah 6:1 states what Isaiah the prophet saw in the vision he had in the Temple in Jerusalem: In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. In effect saying that he saw God on the throne in this vision; but who did Isaiah actually see? John gives the answer in John’s Gospel chapter 12 vs 37-41, specifying that it was Jesus.
Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in Him. 38 This was to fulfil the word of Isaiah the prophet: ‘Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?’ 39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: 40 ‘He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn – and I would heal them.’ 41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about Him. This is powerful confirmation of the Old Testament testimony to the deity of Jesus.
(b) The Angel of the Lord is identified with God yet is distinct from Him
Exodus 3:2-6, 13-14 – encounter of Moses with God at the burning bush.
Is there anyone in the Bible who referred to themselves as the ‘I AM’, the eternally present one. In John 8:24 Jesus in debate with other Jewish religious leaders who contested His identity claims used this title: … if you do not believe that I AM [He –God’s anointed King], you will indeed die in your sins. No ordinary human being could make such a claim with any credibility.
In John 8:28a Jesus referenced His future death by crucifixion at their hands, in collaboration with the Roman state who had control of all executions. So Jesus said, When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM[He]… Even more remarkably in the final section of the debate Jesus declared that Abraham, the founding father of the nation who had lived thousands of years earlier, had been delighted as he reflected with anticipation on what the future anointed King would accomplish. The majority of those present rejected this claim outright as impossible. How did Jesus respond? ‘Very truly I tell you,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I AM!’
Here in John 8 we find Jesus referring to Himself as ‘I AM’, the very name God uses for His self-designation in Exodus 3:13-14: Moses said to God, ‘Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you,” and they ask me, “What is His name?” Then what shall I tell them?’ 14 God said to Moses: I am who I am. [ or I AM the eternally present One] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: “I am has sent me to you.”’ It is, therefore probable that it was Jesus whom Moses met.
The second example comes from Judges 13. This chapter is about an encounter of Manoah and his wife with the Angel of the Lord. Judges 13:9 states: And God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the Angel of the Lord came to the woman again as she was sitting in the field.’ When the whole matter was concluded, Manoah reflected on what had happened and in Judges 13:22 came to this conclusion: We are doomed to die!, he said to his wife. We have seen God!
Another piece of the puzzle to remember here comes from the New Testament. We need to remember the words of I Timothy 6:15-16 with reference to God the Father that describes Him as one ‘whom no man has seen or can see’, ie invisible. The Angel of the Lord here, and in the other references to this person in the O.T., must be referring to Jesus as evangelical commentators have agreed over the centuries.
(c)The Spirit of God is identified as the personal representative of God
The first reference refers to the Holy Spirit’s involvement in the creation of the world.
Genesis 1:2: ‘The Spirit of God moved across the face of the waters’. The next two speak of the part played by the Holy Spirit in helping the Israelites in their desert journeys from Egypt to Israel. Nehemiah 9:20 states: [in the Wilderness wanderings] You also gave Your good Spirit to instruct them.’ And Isaiah 63:9-10 records a reference to: the Angel of His presence [who] saved them’ but in response the Israelites in the desert ‘rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit.’ In the remarkable Psalm 139:7 we have these concluding remarks on the significance of the work of the Holy Spirit. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or, Where can I flee from Your Presence?
(d) The creative power of the Word of God is declared (Psalm 33:6, 9; Genesis 1)
Here the writer of this Psalm echoes the words of Genesis chapter one in declaring that God spoke and brought the world into being.
Psalm 33:6: By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of His mouth.
Genesis 1:3: And God said, Let there be light…
(e) There is an identification of the Messiah with God
The term Messiah means God’s anointed or special King or ruler. In the cultural and religious context in which this Psalm was written, it had been assumed that the Messiah would simply be a very special but exclusively human person. However, this Psalm indicated that these expectations needed to be changed.
Psalm 2:2: …the Lord and His anointed…and Psalm 2:7: The Lord has said to Me, You are My Son, Today I have become Your Father. This is especially true in the job description in Psalm 2:8: Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. Which King has subjects who swear allegiance to Him around the globe? This is straightforward King Jesus has people committed to follow Him in every land across the globe
This point is reinforced in the Messianic Psalm 110. The first verse pictures God the Father and the one who is His anointed King on the same level in heaven. Psalm 110:1 ‘The Lord said to My Lord, sit at my right hand.’ We also remember these familiar verses from Isaiah that we read every Advent and Christmas time from Isaiah 9:6 where the Messiah is called: Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. It is impossible that these words are describing an ordinary human being.
2. New Testament evidence of the deity of Jesus
There are many verses and passages that could be cited here in support of this biblical truth.
In Hebrews 1:3 the author states this concerning Jesus and His relationship with God the Father: He is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. Jesus teaches the same thing when He said, Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father (John 14:9), and the apostle Paul says: For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form (Colossians 2:9).
The writer of Hebrews reinforces this when he quotes Psalm 45:6 and recorded that God the Father was saying: But about the Son He says, ‘Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; It cannot get clearer than that.
Probably some of the best know verses in the New Testament that refer to the deity of Jesus are from John’s Gospel. John reminds us that unlike ordinary human beings like us, Jesus existed from eternity with the Father before He was born as a baby in Bethlehem.
John writes in John 1:1-2: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. There was never a time when the Second person of the Trinity was not divine. After the resurrection of Jesus from the dead His followers grasped His true identity.
In John 20:28, the formerly sceptical Thomas declared: My Lord and My God. Jesus received this worship because it was rightly offered. Paul and Barnabas, Early Church leaders declined similar worship when it was offered in Acts 14 at a place called Lystra, because as Paul declared in Acts 14:15: We too are only men, human like you. Jesus reminded His first followers of the importance of getting this right in our worship of God the Father and Him. In John 5:23 He stated: … that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father. Whoever does not honour the Son does not honour the Father, who sent Him. Do you give Jesus the honour and worship He deserves to receive from you and from me?
3. New Testament evidence for the deity of the Holy Spirit
Some people and some religions, for example, the Jehovah’s Witnesses that see the Holy Spirit as an impersonal force, but this is not the biblical understanding. The Holy Spirit is a person, and speaking of Him, rightly must take that into account. Verses such as Mark 3:28-29 are inexplicable if the reader is unaware that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Holy Trinity. Mark 3:28-29 states: he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation. What is this sin that has the most serious penalty of all in the
Bible? We need to grasp what the Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus to do here in the lives of people on earth. John 15:26 records Jesus telling His first disciples that He will send the Holy Spirit in His place to assist them in their future work of founding the Christian Church. When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father – the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father – He will testify about Me.).
In John 16:8-10 Jesus outlined the work of the Holy Spirit: When He comes, He will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in Me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see Me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. The Holy Spirit’s work is to show human beings that we are sinners who need a Saviour, the Lord Jesus who died in our place on the cross, two thousand years ago. He speaks to our minds and consciences and directs us to Jesus. If we wilfully reject His promptings then after this life God will eternally honour the choice that we have made. He will never force anyone to believe in Him or spend eternity with Him.
The significance of the person and work of the Holy Spirit in the first Christian Church in Jerusalem is seen in Acts chapter 5. A couple in the church called Ananias and Sapphira, at the time of what we might call a time of fund-raising to meet the basic needs of people living in Jerusalem, lied about the price of the field they sold. Why was that important? They claimed they were giving all the proceeds to the appeal and wanted the praise for that. But it was not true. The Apostle Peter was delegated to challenge them about what they had done. In Acts 5:3-4 Peter told the husband Ananias: Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit … What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.’ A lesson in accountability was learned from the very start of the Christian Church.
Christians in our prayer times, both individually and collectively ask God the Holy Spirit to prompt and guide us in our daily lives. One of the most remarkable outcomes of a prayer time in the church at Antioch in Syria was the calling of Saul and Barnabas to be missionaries around the Roman world sharing the good news of the Christian Gospel.
In Acts 13:2: While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ He enables us to honour Jesus in the choices we make in our lives. He gives us a freedom, an ability to make the right choices when we seek His assistance in our daily lives.
The apostle Paul wrote in II Corinthians 3:17: ‘Now the Lord is the Spirit: And where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.’ The word translated ‘Lord’ is understood as a term of address for one who is truly God in the Bible. He also pointed out some personal implications of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives in I Corinthians 6:19-20, where he wrote:’ your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have from God’.
How we care for our bodies and how we use them is something He is deeply interested in. The relevance of a sensible diet and appropriate exercise and getting enough sleep are part of that self-care He desires for us. But it also informs our relationships and sexuality. If our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit then causal or inappropriate sexual relationships are out of bounds. It is not just my choice or my call, God the Holy Spirit has an investment in my life for my good.
4. The practical importance of this doctrine
Does it really matter whether we believe in the Trinitarian nature of the Godhead, of the One that we worship ? Yes it does profoundly. Some basic matters depend on it.
Our salvation If Jesus died on the cross as merely a human being His perfect sacrifice would
have been good for Him but insufficient for the rest of humanity. As one who was truly God and truly man, He reconciled God to us and us to God through His sacrifice of infinite worth.
He did it in fulfilling the plan of God the Father (John 3:16 God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son…); a task He willingly accepted (Matthew 26:39); and through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 9:14: … who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God…).
His sacrifice specifically for His Church, that great multitude of people who by faith would receive the benefits of His death in our place, but it is sufficient for everyone who wants to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Remember in Mark 2 the story of the paralysed man brought by his four friends for Jesus to heal him. In Mark 2:5 it states: When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralysed man, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven. Our salvation is secure because of who Jesus truly is.
Our prayers Prayer is hard for most Christians but it is God’s gift to His Church to influence the plans of heaven for people on earth. Remember what Jesus is doing in heaven. Hebrews 7:25 states: Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them. The good news gets even better. We can always come directly to God the Father in prayer. The line is never engaged! Paul writes in Ephesians 2:18: For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is directly involved too. He strengthens and enables us to live for Jesus each day. It is because He is God, not merely a messenger of God that He has unique insight into the will of God (I Corinthians 2:11) and can help us in our prayers, especially when we do not know how to pray (Romans 8:26-27, because He does it: in accordance with the will of God, encouraging and strengthening us in our faith.
The Bible’s teaching on this doctrine is so important as it is central to our faith. No wonder, we conclude most services saying this Trinitarian prayer: ‘Now may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all (II Corinthians 13:14) Amen
Our song before we come to communion is: ‘His mercy is more’
The Lord’s Supper
Jesus invites all Christian who have committed their lives to follow Him to participate in this act of worship. The apostle Paul wrote these words of Scripture in I Corinthians 11:23-26 to guide our observance of Communion.
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: the Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ 25 In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
Prayer: Choose your own words of prayer to give thanks for the bread and wine that represent the costly gift of His body and blood for us.
Take the bread: Jesus said: ‘This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.
Take the wine: Jesus said: This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’
Our closing song is: The splendour of the King (How great is our God)
We give thanks to our triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for the privilege of being Your children by faith in Jesus. As creatures we will never fully understand You; but we are so grateful to be sure that Your love for is eternal and Your grace day by day sufficient for our every need. As we enter another new week we enter it with confidence that You will go with us each step of the way, providing the help and strength that we need, in the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Benediction: The Grace