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The Journal

Holy Christian Growth

Dear Friends,

In 1 Peter 1:13-25 Peter reminds the Christians of God’s purpose for their lives. God wants us to be holy. That doesn’t mean that we will be perfect. To be holy means to be set apart from sin and set apart for God. The basis for this goal to be holy is the fact that our God is holy. When we come to faith in Jesus He gives us His Spirit and His Spirit works in us to change us so we become more like Jesus. Over time He begins to grow a hunger for God and His Word in our lives and a hatred of sin.  

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Stand Firm in Your Faith

Dear Friends,

This week in the morning service we begin a new series on the book of 1 Peter. Peter is writing to Christians who are scattered throughout what is today known as northern and western Turkey. In 1:6 Peter acknowledges that these Christians have had to suffer grief through various trials. At this stage it doesn’t seem that these trials have led to martyrdom. However there is slander and being excluded or insulted or abused because of the name of Jesus - see 2:18, 4:3-4,14. We know that the Roman Emperor Nero blamed the Christians for the fire which he started in Rome. Peter, like Jesus is giving a realistic picture of what it means to follow God. Jesus ensured that we understood that if we follow Him there would be persecution - John 15:20 and Paul says to Timothy that everyone who wants to follow Jesus and live a godly life will be persecuted - 2 Timothy 3:12.  

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God's Covenant with Abraham

Dear Friends,

One of the most important lessons for understanding the Bible is to look at the context of the passage. After Genesis chapter 9 and the story of Noah and the ark we have a list of the table of nations which is the account of Noah’s sons who spread out across the world. Then in chapter 11 we have the epic fail of the tower of Babel where people tried to build an identity without God. After 11:9 there is no general list of nations. From 11:10 to 32 there is a genealogical list but this is focused on the line of Seth and specifically how it leads to Abraham.  

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Our Power to Protect

Dear Friends,

Last year at Synod there was a significant discussion about Domestic Violence and the need to ensure that our church families are safe place for husbands and wives and children. I am currently involved in a committee formed as a result of this discussion which is seeking to make recommendations about how to respond to the problem of domestic violence within the church. God’s Word teaches us to use power to protect, nurture and care for others, especially those who are vulnerable. The Bible not only teaches how to respond to difficult situations it also teaches how to work at prevention and build healthy family and community life which also embraces single people. 

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