All gifts have their origin in the Trinity. The Father Appointed his son, Jesus Christ, to be head over the Church. As Lord and leader of the Church he gives gifts to his people, on the basis of Grace, through the working of the Holy Spirit.
But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift.
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
There are a couple of categories of gifts given to the Church.
1. Foundational ministry gifts (Fivefold ministry gifts- Ephesians 4).
2. Gifts of Grace to each individual (1 Corinthians 12:7-12, Romans 12:3-8).
Foundational ministry gifts:
These ministries are for the whole Church. They have the ability to serve into the local Church context, bringing encouragement and input, but they also are gifts given to the wider Church to build up, strengthen and equip....
God created Male & Female to display his image and to reflect the Relationship within the Godhead. They were created equal in status, yet different in role & responsibility. They both carried out Gods plan together, complimenting each other, yet had clearly defined roles. -Gen 1:26-31Man’s role- God created Adam to work the Ground. He was created to build, to provide, to protect and to bring about order in creation. He was created to take responsibility and given the role of leadership within the family unit. - Gen 2:15.
Woman’s role- God created Woman as a Helper (Hebrew word ‘Helper’- ‘ezer’- Meaning, strength, power to rescue, save and be strong. Used 21 times throughout OT, and 16 of these times are talking about Yahweh himself). ‘Ezer’ is a word describing woman and God- Psalm 121.
Equality in salvation
God’s grace was clearly & frequently at work in the Old Testament times, God described himself to Moses as “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” Ex 34. The world was created by a God of grace.
We sang a song in our Sunday prayer meeting and it made me realise just how much I’m struggling to fully engage in praise and worship at the moment. The words are very simple – “He is exalted the King is exalted on high, I will praise Him
He is exalted forever exalted, And I will praise His name... He is the Lord, Forever His truth shall reign, Heaven and Earth
Rejoice in His Holy name, He is exalted the King is exalted on high”.
So I will praise him whether I feel like it or not, Heaven and Earth rejoice in his name even when I don’t and his truth shall reign whether I believe it or not! I’m sure I’m not alone in finding it harder and harder to find “calm in the chaos of the corona virus crisis” and to hold onto a little bit of hope in a world where the media would have us believe everything is increasingly hopeless. I saw a post on facebook this week which encouraged me and inspired this week’s topic for encouragement.
The word CRISIS in Chinese and Japanese is formed of 2 parts – the first means danger and the 2nd translates into several meanings including opportunity and possibility; a more in-depth translation is more like “crucial point when something begins to change” so actually the “crisis point” is the moment when HOPE steps in” I LOVE that!”
The word CRISIS originates from the Greek work Krinein - to decide or Krisis – a decision.
Medieval English used the word crisis to describe “the turning point of a disease” the moment they started to recover (how appropriate in today’s pandemic crisis).
A Christian Aid survey carried out in the UK lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic found that 1 in 2 young adults and 1 in 5 adults over 55 have watched or listened to a Church service during lockdown. 1 in 5 of those say they have never gone to Church before. So as we reach a turning point in the crisis and with so many people seeking God perhaps for the firs time, I find it exciting to wonder what is God going to do next – and how can we be involved? For he certainly has a plan!!!
Jeremiah 29:11 says ‘for I know the plans I have for you’ declares the Lord ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’. What an exciting opportunity to share God’s love and compassion for us at a time when crisis and compassion often go hand in hand. Compassion literally means ‘suffering together’ it ‘gets involved when others keep their distance (social distancing rules apply – obviously!) from those who are suffering. Compassion prompts us to act, to make a decision, to become HOPE in a crisis and to be God’s light in the darkness.
Romans 15:13 “May the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit” I’ll finish with a picture which has encouraged and inspired my this week. It is by a Christian artist Hannah Dunnett and entitled “God’s Compassions never Fail” (click here to visit Hannah's website).
Following a fantastic course last year, we are really pleased to be running The Marriage Course again in February. Produced by HTB - the home of the Alpha Course - The Marriage Course is designed to help couples invest in their relationship and build a strong marriage. Some couples do the course to intentionally invest in their relationship, others are looking to address more specific challenges. Either way, the course offers essential tools and practical ideas to help build a relationship that lasts a lifetime.
The virtual course will start on the 16th of February and run for eight weeks (with a break on the fifth week) before finishing on the 6th of April 2021. Husband and wife, Leon and Chrysti will be hosting the evenings. They want to encourage marriages to go from 'good to even better' and to continue on good paths into the future.
Feel free to get in touch with Leon or Chrysti if you have any questions or sign up below:
We believe in:
1. The one true God who lives eternally in three persons—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
2. The love, grace and sovereignty of God in creating, sustaining, ruling, redeeming and judging the world.
3. The divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, which are the written Word of God—fully trustworthy for faith and conduct.
4. The dignity of all people, made male and female in God's image to love, be holy and care for creation, yet corrupted by sin, which incurs divine wrath and judgement.
5. The incarnation of God’s eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ—born of the Virgin Mary; truly divine and truly human, yet without sin.
6. The atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross: dying in our place, paying the price of sin and defeating evil, so reconciling us with God.
7. The bodily resurrection of Christ, the first fruits of our resurrection; his ascension to the Father, and his reign and mediation as the only Saviour of the world.
8. The justification of sinners solely by the grace of God through faith in Christ.
9. The ministry of God the Holy Spirit, who leads us to repentance, unites us with Christ through new birth, empowers our discipleship and enables our witness.
10. The Church, the body of Christ both local and universal, the priesthood of all believers—given life by the Spirit and endowed with the Spirit's gifts to worship God and proclaim the gospel, promoting justice and love.
11. The personal and visible return of Jesus Christ to fulfil the purposes of God, who will raise all people to judgement, bring eternal life to the redeemed and eternal condemnation to the lost, and establish a new heaven and new earth.
To find out more about what we believe, visit our 'about' page or feel free to contact us.
Today we will be watching the ChristCentral Sunday video. We are part of the ChristCentral apostolic family of churches, which is part of the wider Newfrontiers family. The video includes some ChristCentral notices, an update from Ukraine, a preach from Jeremy Simpkins (who leads ChristCentral) and an opportunity to take up an offering for the work and ministry of ChristCentral around the world. You can find out more about ChristCentral on: https://www.christcentralchurches.org and more about Newfrontiers by visiting: www.newfrontierstogether.org. The rest of the recorded Sunday service is available on our Resources page.