This Sunday @ Healingsprings fellowship

The question: why is there evil in the World is one that has been with us for a very long time. Different cultures and traditions have their explanation, in fact some do not even see these problems as ‘evil’, but as part of a complex system of self-regulation of the Universe. 

For some of the Jewish prophets recorded in the Old Testament the Messiah will bring about God’s judgement on his enemies, and a just rule here on earth through Israel. For others, there will be new heavens and earth. 
In Judeo-Christian tradition everything hinges on the Genesis story, especially chapter 3. Paul’s formula for human salvation is centred around Christ. For Paul, Jesus is the Second Adam that brings the whole of humanity back to God. And his resurrection is the seal of our promise of eternal salvation (1 Cor. 15:12-19). Hence he argues that,

“in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.” – (2 Cor. 5:19)

In light of this I will be crystallising my subtopic: Incarnation, Nativity and Second Adam.

Join us on as we continue with: God was in Christ.

3pm 

The Parish Hall 

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road, 

Sidcup, 

Kent DA14 6BX
Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

What is the point with the Old Testament?

With the understanding of our New Covenant in Christ, many people question the role of the Old Testament in Christianity. 
The answer to this pertinent question can be captured in Paul’s challenge to Timothy,

[do] your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth. (2 Tim. 2:15)

At the time of writing, Christianity was still at its formative state, hence there was no text known as the New Testament. Clearly this admonition was for the study of the Torah, Mishnah, Midrash, and other classical Jewish writings. 
Paul himself had studied under Gamaliel, a known Rabbi with intellectual lineage to back his teaching and worldview. With a view to assert his authority, Paul gives us a preview of his credentials when he notes,

“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia,but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.” (Acts 22:3)

Paul, and by proxy Timothy, were both baptised or filled with the Holy Spirit; yet he exhorted Timothy to study these texts. 

Dear friends, Paul was passing on old Jewish culture or tradition, in this case: lineage of knowledge or philosophy, and excellence in vocation. For example, like Jesus, Paul’s studied the equivalent of a degree in Theology; while Gamaliel would have stood on platforms as a Professor of Theology. 
In fact when the gospel writer asserts that Jesus,  

“taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” (Matthew 7:29); 

they were highlighting the fact that he was doing something unique with the text; in other words, shifting from his lineage. The same is done about John the Baptist when the writer notes that ‘he shall be called John’, and that he was, ‘in the wilderness until the day of his showing to Israel’.

To this end the Old Testament serves the following primary purpose:
1. It provides us with materials to explore the rich history, culture, context and worldview of the Jews, for the purpose of understanding and teaching 

  1. It shows us the theological progression of the Jews, and the intersection by Christ, in his effort to Reconcile the ‘Gentiles’ into a New Covenant
  2. It gives us an understanding of what the New Testament writers were trying to achieve in their effort to bridge the gap between Judaism and what we know today as ‘Christianity’ 

  3. It gives a blue print for the Christian faith. Which can be best described as a universal form of Judaism whose vision is for a kingdom bound by a common faith and destiny that is centred around Christ, as to a kingdom bound by heritage.
    Father, enlarge our hearts. Give us a vision for humanity. We ask through you son Jesus Christ. 

To a blessed week!

Today @ Healingsprings fellowship

Our God is sovereign!

Not just in principle, but also in practice.
And that we have been endowed with Free Will, a gift that can either add value to our lives and humanity at large, or diminish it. 

Last week, I examined Prov. 11:14 & 15:22; using 1 Kings 22:1-40 as our Case Study. During the course of my talk, I stressed the importance of quality advice and guidance in fulfilling our purpose.

So, today I’ll be building on that foundation, this time with a closer look into the life of Micaiah, someone I see as an outlier. As with most of the prophets of old, I believe that those at fringes of their calling are about to be rewarded for their values, faithfulness, and vision.

So, we continue in the strength of our theme for 2016: Our Year of Plenty (Gen 41:46-49), as we plant seeds of prayers, prophetic declaration, and thanksgiving for 2017 (Our Year of Restoration).

We march in the light of Nahum’s assertions: 
(For the Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob, as well as the majesty of Israel, though ravagers have ravaged them and ruined their branches.) – Nahum 2:2

Join us!
3pm (light refreshment afterwards)

The Parish Hall 

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road, 

Sidcup, 

Kent DA14 6BX

The Challenge of Our Times

Like the current Brexit debate which hinges on 3 core positions: hard Brexit, soft Brexit and no Brexit; the disciples were faced with similar challenges after the death of our Lord. 

By way of background, Judaism was not originally a missional faith. Converts were meant to be attracted to the faith through the actions of the Jews, and God’s glory in their midst. But during the time of our Lord there was already a missional drive by the Rabbis, hence Jesus’ rebuke to the Pharisees (Matthew 23:15), for the negative impact of their efforts.

It is also important to note that Jesus was a prophet of his time. In otherwords, he addressed issues of his time, challenged the ‘ideals’, and reinterpreted scriptures. Jesus didn’t come to set-up Christianity (as many would love to believe), but rather to reform the Jewish faith, and to open its doors for mission to the wider-world. In fact, most of what we know today as Paul’s teaching or insight are from Jewish commentaries on the Old Testament (the Talmud and Mishnah). 

Equipped with the Holy Spirit, the apostles (who had the mandate to ‘go’ and tell the world about the messiah) were still caught between: hard Judaism, soft Judaism or no Judaism. But they were never shy of these debates. The sharp end of their arguments are evident in most of the letters in the New Testament. 

As we know through history, Judaism has always moved with the times. From the invisible God who communed with the patriarchs, the Tabernacle, the temple, destruction of the temple, the exile, the second temple; the faith has always been resilient, adapting to the forces of change and pace of human advancement.

These changes were led by people with inspired vision, people with strong convictions, radicals – willing to go against popular opinion. 

In the same vein, the faith we know today as Christianity needs to keep evolving dear friends. We need to challenge the status quo. Ask the difficult questions. Revisit scriptures, and interpret them in light of the speed of change in our world. The reformation was not meant to stop after the efforts of the reformers, rather, it should be part of our DNA.

Are you willing to stand up and be counted? 

This Sunday @ Healingsprings Fellowship! 

The Book of Amos is inexhaustible. 

It possesses a rich tapestry of poetry, literature, philosophy, ethics, history, culture, spiritual context, and theology. 
It is perhaps the single most important Book in the Old Testament for life in the Middle East before the Exile. 
This is particularly important for Christian Theology because without his insight we fail in fully apprehending life pre and post the Exile. Like volcanic lava, this period shaped the spiritual landscape for our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ – especially his moral and ethical teaching. In fact the writer of the Book of Revelation will go on to use his format as a template for his oracle to the early church. 
Over the last couple of months I have taken Healingsprings Fellowship on a journey in an attempt to project Amos’ theology, prophecy, visions and teaching into the 21st Century. This is in the hope that his ideas will challenge our thinking, and permeate every facet of our lives.
So, in crystallising this seminal piece of Hebrew literature, this Sunday I’ll be treating his: Vision of the Altar, post-exilic prophecy, and other key themes.
Join us at 3pm 
The English Room, Bexleyheath Academy, Woolwich Road, 
Bexley DA6 7DA 
Ps: Share with people within your network and community

This Sunday @ healingsprings fellowship 

In our studies on the Book of Amos we explored Amos’ Theology in light of his Oracles and Sermons.

Lessons from this book is important especially at a time when our nation is bitterly divided spiritually, intellectually, socially, economically and politically.  

To this end I will be treating Amos’ visions, their meaning and the success of his intercession in averting the calamities from the nation. 

As part of my lecture, I will give close attention to 3 subtopics: prayer,  intercession and visions. 
In the words of Amos, 

“Surely the Lord God does nothing, without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.” – Amos 3:7

So, join us at 3pm. 

Bexleyheath Academy, 

Woolwich Road, 

Bexley DA6 7DA

Leadership: And of You. (Ex. 32:10)

Simply put, ministry is the out working of our regeneration (new birth) to humanity, in other words our vocation. With this in mind, our vision is our unique contribution to humanity, in light of our personality, natural gifts, and spiritual gifts. 

To this end, people (this includes workers) are beneficiaries and shapers (in the sense that they help align and realign our impact) of our ministry, and God remains the inspiration (the breathe or life) behind our vision. 
This wisdom is particularly important for leaders who suffer from what I call ‘people dependency syndrome’, especially in a church setting.

So back to our scripture focus. God said to Moses after the people had created and worshipped a golden calf, not long after he delivered them with his mighty hands from Egypt:

Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation. – (Exodus 32:10)

And of You, glory to God!

You, and no one else. You are on His majesty’s mission. You are God’s emissary, his agent, his delegate. 
You matter dear friend, and your ministry and vision matters. 

Stay focused,
Pastor Clem