Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home
6 June 2021
Service available on Youtube, or as text (below), or for audio see the Podcasts page.
Let’s keep praying for our Special Celebration on July 31st 2021 – “Bethel Baptist Church Community Fun-Day”.
The aim: To celebrate opening up after Covid and to show love and kindness to our community.
Suggestions: to have Stalls; Clothes; Food; Beat the Goalie; Face Painting; Smash the Crockery; Children’s Corner.
Any more suggestions – please let us know.
The rescheduled church weekend away has been confirmed for 3rd – 5th June 2022. If you didn’t sign up back in 2019/20 but would like to go please contact Andrea for an information letter and sign up form.
I read a testimony recently of someone who believed in God and enjoyed going to church until the age of seven. Then his little sister was killed in a house fire. He was so angry with God that from then on he declared himself an atheist. All through his life until he got married he was an avowed atheist. After some years of marriage his wife became a Christian but he steered well clear. One night he had to pick her up after she attended a home group. He was really on the defensive when he was invited in while his wife was just finishing her drink. He was ready with all his atheistic answers if anyone so much as dared to mention God. However, he was totally disarmed when the host asked him if he would like a coffee. A general conversation followed which he really enjoyed. This was to happen on several more occasions and the chat progressed and eventually led to him committing his life to Jesus.
The gospel … concerning His Son …Romans 1:3
“The focus of the gospel is a person, God’s Son”
“God’s Son … That is the nerve, the heart, and the very centre of the gospel”
D. M. L. Jones
Jesus, as the Son of God, is completely unique and distinct from all prophets and teachers. John the Baptist came to prepare the way and proclaimed the Good-News about One coming after him whose sandals he was unworthy to stoop down and tie. Jesus was that One, He is the Good-News. In all other religions there is one who points to the message but is not essential to the message. Take Moses for example, the law, the covenant, was given by God through Moses, but Moses was not central to the law and God could have given the same law through Aaron. But not so with Jesus, for without Jesus there is no message, there is no Christianity. This has very important implications:
- You cannot be a Christian without Christ in you
- If you do not worship Christ as God you are not worshipping God
- Your own good works can never save you
(1) You cannot be a Christian without Christ in you
Paul makes this clear in all his writings, as does the NT as a whole; e.g.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.Galatians 2:20
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.Colossians 1:27
But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me.Galatians 1:15-16
Jesus Himself taught it; e.g.
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.John 15:4
“Each separate individual must have Christ revealed to him and in him by the work of the Holy Spirit, or else he will remain in darkness even in the midst of the gospel day. Blessed and happy are they to whom the Lord has laid open the divine secret which prophets and kings could not discover, which angels desired to look into.”
C. H. Spurgeon
(2) If you do not worship Christ as God you are not worshipping God
This statement is very provocative and will upset many but if it’s the truth then everyone needs to face up to the truth. People can freely tell Christians that they are wrong that we are worshipping the wrong God and we shouldn’t take offence, they have the right to believe what they choose. But likewise the Christian should have the right to freely believe what we believe. Interestingly, and I believe this is of the Lord, I have just found a letter I received from the Billy Graham EA UK which I haven’t read yet. In it Franklin Graham states “When I was younger, it was not uncommon to hear people say, ‘I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight for your right to say it.’”
Jesus upset many Jews when He proclaimed these words; e.g.
“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone Him, but Jesus hid Himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.John 8:58-59
The high priest said to Him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
“You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: from now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”
“He is worthy of death,” they answered.
Then they spat in His face and struck Him with their fists. Others slapped Him and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?”Matt. 26:63-68
(3) Your own good works can never save you
The apostle Paul goes to great lengths in his letter to the Romans to show clearly that both Jews and Gentiles, in other words every person living, have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.Rom. 3:23
It’s the same today and when we stand before God it’s no use saying well I haven’t done the bad things that person has done, or bring a long list of all the good things we have done. The standard we are measured against is the glory of God, Jesus Christ Himself, and we all fall short here. Imagine a person standing before a judge having being found guilty of committing a heinous crime trying to bring out a list of good things he has done. We can be like that when we think our good works will save us. Salvation is a free gift from our Father in heaven because of the good work His Son Jesus has done. Everyone needs to hear this Good-News, Amen!
Questions for Discussion
- Do you believe that Christ is in you?
- Why do you think people get so hostile towards Christians over our simple message: God loves you and Jesus died for you?
- Why do people struggle with the truth: Jesus Christ is God?
- What are the implications of Jesus teaching: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”?
Quote for Week
“Jesus’s good news was about heaven coming to earth”
N. T. Wright
Verse of the week
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.1 Peter 3:15
Heavenly Father we thank You for Your Son Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God who alone is the way the truth and the life by whom anyone can come to You.
Lead us to those You would have us share our faith with and help us to share the gospel with love, respect, and gentleness, always being ready to give the reason for the hope we have in Jesus Christ, Amen.