Upcoming Events

Please see "Who is Who?" for further contact information!

Sunday 15th October 2017 11:00
Sung Eucharist for the Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity followed by Coffee Hour
Celebrant: Rev'd Nathanial
Preacher: Jack Noonan

Sunday 22nd October 2017 11:00
Sung Eucharist for the Ninteenth Sunday after Trinity followed by Coffee Hour
Celebrant and Preacher: Rev'd Nathanial

Become our fan at Facebook!



Or follow us on Twitter ;-)

Follow AnglicanPrague on Twitter

8th September 2017

Dear Worshippers, Friends and Patrons of St. Clement’s,

Please join us for worship this coming Sunday..

Sunday 10th September at 11.00 – Sung Eucharist for the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity
The Gospel reading is Matthew 18:15-20 whilst the supporting readings are Exodus 12:1-14 and Romans 13:8-14. Our Preacher will be Jack Noonan.

There will be parallel Children’s Ministry and following worship, Cool Drinks and Refreshments at the back of the church.

A few other things…

Following worship this Sunday, there is Church Council Meeting. If you have any concerns, complaints, comments, or even `ideas` for St. Clement`s; grab, phone or email your `Councilor of choice` or me.

My sermon from last Sunday, is now available to listen to, on our church website. The sermon is about the Biblical assurance that GOD SEES, HEARS AND CARES for His people. Click here.

Celebratory Prayer for birthdays and wedding anniversaries or any other such occasion is now a part of our regular service. You are invited to send to me the details of your birthday or any special occasion for which you would like us to pray, by email to this address.

Prison Fellowship Czech Republic is looking for volunteers
for their annual Christmas project `Angel Tree`, which runs September to December, to provide Christmas gifts for children of incarcerated parents. Contact (English): Žaneta Dvořáčková, secretary@prisonfellowship.cz

Yours in His Service,
Nathanial

3rd September 2017 – Twelfth Sunday After Trinity – Rev’d Nathanial BM

Sermon (Click Link to Listen)

Readings: Exodus 3. 1 – 15 ; Romans 12. 9 – 21 ; Matthew 16. 21 – 28

1st September 2017

Dear Worshippers, Friends and Patrons of St. Clement’s,

Please join us for worship this coming Sunday..

Sunday 3rd September at 11.00 – Sung Eucharist for the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity
The Gospel reading is Matthew 16:21-28 whilst the supporting readings are Exodus 3:1-15 and Romans 12:9-21.
During the service, the baptism of Dim Isabella Kosisochukwu, daughter of Dim Jonathan and Katerina, will take place. There will be parallel Children’s Ministry and following worship, Cool Drinks and Refreshments at the back of the church.
It being the first Sunday of the month, after our service in Prague, I will be off to Brno for our regular monthly service.

Sunday 3rd September at 17:00 – Holy Communion for the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity in ‘The Upper Room’, corner of Jezuitska and Mozartova, Brno
Please pray for our Brno congregation to grow both physically and spiritually. As I have said before, if any of you have English-speaking friends or family living in South Moravia, do tell them about our services.

A few other things…
My sermon from last Sunday, is now available to listen to, on our church website. The sermon is about how God favours and crowns his chosen people and it moves on to the principle duty of His chosen people as discussed by Paul in Romans 12. To listen, click here.

Celebratory Prayer for birthdays and wedding anniversaries or any other such occasion is now a part of our regular service. You are invited to send to me the details of your birthday or any special occasion for which you would like us to pray, by email to me.

Yours in His Service,
Nathanial

27th August 2017 – Eleventh Sunday After Trinity – Rev’d Nathanial BM

Sermon (Click Link to Listen)

Readings: Exodus 1. 8 – 2. 10 ; Romans 12. 1-8 ; Matthew 16. 13-20

20th August 2017 – Tenth Sunday after Trinity – Jack Noonan

Sermon 20.8.2017
Focus Scripture: Rom.11: 1-2a, 13-29.

Each Lord’s Day since the 18th of June we have visited Paul’s letter to the Romans. Readings commenced with extracts from chapters 5 right through to today’s extract from chapter 11.

Chapter11 is the final chaper of a section that started with Ch 9. The central consideration is the status of the non Christian Jews in relation to God and His promises.
The key issue is ….
Had God chosen and supported the Jews down the millennia only to now totally reject them and cast them off forever?
What prompted Paul to raise and addess this question?
I suspect that Paul had intuited some undercurrents among gentile Christians that needed calling out .

Some pastors comment that these chapters in Romans are full of ‘skipology’.
Meaning if you can, avoid preaching on them..do……and if you cannot avoid addressing this section, then go through it with a skip and a hop. For the scant treatment of these chapters by the historic christian church fathers and subsequent church leaders,laid the groundwork for the immoral christian rejection, persecution and deaths, down the generations, of millions of God’s own people.

In chap 9-11, Paul addresses the the status of the non Christian Jews in relation of God’s covenantal promises and prophetically shoots warning shot across the bows of Gentile Christians, with regard to the spiritual debt they owe to the guardians and beneficiaries of the Covenants God made with the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and then on Sinai with Moses where ‘…the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.’

In ch 9 we hear Paul’s anguish over the spiritual position of those Jews who do not acknowledged Jesus as the expected Messiah.
”I am speaking the truth in Christ…I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people…. They are Israelites, and to them belong (PrTense) the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong(PrT) the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah…

In Ch10 Paul tells the Roman church, that his;

‘…heart’s desire and prayer to God for them/the Israelites/ is that they may be saved. I can testify that they have a zeal for God, but it is not enlightened and not according to (correct and vital) knowledge.
For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish a means of salvation of their own, they have not submitted to God’s righteousness.
For Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
In short the purpose + function of the Mosaic law was fulfilled in Christ Jesus.

*So what was is the status of the Jews who did not believe the gospel?
*Had God rejected and turned His back on His ancient people as some of the early church fathers taught?
*In Jews rejecting the Messiahship of Jesus was God now starting afresh, establishing a totally new people ,a gentile church and discarding synagogue?

Hear Paul

 I ask, then, has God rejected his people?
His answer:
By no means!
Paul says: I am proof of it…
I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham… God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.
The current rejection of the gospel by the people of Israel, Paul explains is ‘a God send…’a blessing in disguise’ for us Gentiles/Goyim.
Their temporary loss is our eternal gain. We are the beneficiaries of their current stubbornness. The offer of salvation moves on to us…we got salvation on the rebound.
Oh how inscrutable mysteries of God are !
For if their ( the Jews) rejection is the reconciliation of the world (to God)…. what will their acceptance be but life from the dead!
We Christians must take good note of God’s intentions and give no further quarter to the spiritual pride, dehumanising arrogance that has historically marked Western and Orthodox Christianity in its demonic pursuit and degregation of Hebrew soul.
Paul alerts us;
So that you(gentile Christians) may not claim to be wiser than you are (so that you may not boast)… I want you to understand this mystery: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.
And so all Israel will be saved…’
This statement blasts out of the water the ‘immoral reasonings’ of historic church leadership who declared the Jews beyond the pale of redemption.
Paul saw great blessing, in relation to us, coming from the antipathy of the majority of Jewish society had towards the gospel. And he is adamant that this antipathy does not place them outside God’s love a mercy and covenants.
”As regards the gospel they are enemies of God for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved, for the sake of their forefathers
Why ?
For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable…”
God does not go back on His commitments.
Remember Jesus’ politically incorrect statement…..let the world like it or not: ‘Salvation comes from the Jew’.

By way of graphic illustration, Paul introduces an image from horticulture to illustrate the symbiotic relationship between Christians and Jews:
Behind and underneath all this there is a holy, God-planted, God-tended root. If the primary root of the tree is holy, there’s bound to be some holy fruit. Some of the tree’s branches were pruned and you( outsiders), wild olive shoots were grafted in.
Yet the fact that you are now fed by that rich and holy root gives you no cause to crow over the pruned branches. Remember, you aren’t feeding the root; the root is feeding you.
It’s certainly possible to say, “Other branches were pruned so that I could be grafted in!” Well and good. But they were pruned because they were deadwood, no longer connected by belief and commitment to the root. The only reason you’re on the tree is because your graft “took” when you believed, and because you’re connected to that belief-nurturing root. So don’t get cocky and strut your branch. Be humbly mindful of the root that keeps you lithe, green (and alive)…
If God didn’t think twice about taking pruning shears to the natural branches, why would he hesitate over you/outsiders /blow-ins? ….
And don’t get to feeling superior to those pruned branches down on the ground….
He certainly isn’t going to have any trouble grafting branches back into the tree they grew from in the first place. Just be glad you’re in the tree, and hope for the best for the others.

By way of conclusion I would like to testify to my own ‘Jewish’experience.
Some years ago I sought among the Jewish community someone who would teach me Biblical Hebrew so as to inform my understanding of the Old Covenant.
A 74 yr old rabbi agreed to ‘take me on’. Time and energy has come between me and my uneven studies ,but over the years a deep friendship with him has rooted itself and grown in the crucible of argument, respect, suffering and love.
Over time met and was befriended all his adult children ,their spouses and his grandchildren. I travelled with him to Eretz Yisrael and am now invited to family bar/bat mitzvah celebrations. One of the family has invited me to address their Midrash meeting in his local synagogue near Tel Aviv.
In Prague I was invited to attend Midrash classes and privileged, as one of the few gentiles to receive seurity clearance and an ID card granting me access to the Jewish Community Centre.
Paul said: ”I can testify that they have a zeal for God,” This is so true. I asked and it was OK, to attend the synagogue occasionally on shabbot. That was an eye opener for me. Between sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday folk attend the synagogue some 4/5 times………..totalling some 5-6 hours of DivineWorship. During the week there are at least 3 daily Services. This stands in marked contrast to us Christians. An hour and a half on Sunday and maybe attend the midweek Bible study.
Prayers in the synagogue are according to the Siddur, the prayer book. I heed the prayers; for in prayer the heart, mind and soulof a people is revealed.
I have experienced great grace, great blessing, deep humility and the love of God during these services.
It is an honour to be in this place with the praying people whose dna the Father chose to beget our own most observant of Jews and rabbi, Jesus the Messiah.
The great British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, a Jew who became a Christian and member of the Anglican Church said:
”In all church discussions we are apt to forget the second Testament/Covenant is avowedly only a supplement.
Jesus came to complete ”the Law and the Prophets”.
Christianity is completed biblical Judaism, or it is nothing.
Christianity is incomprehensible without Judaism, as Judaism is incomplete without Christianity.”

Being rooted into the Judaic roots of our faith…………..upgrades us from 2D to 3D Christianity .
Fullness of depth lending High Definition to our insight, understanding and multi-dimensional faith in the One God our Almighty Father.

Let us pray…

18th August 2017

Dear Worshippers, Friends and Patrons of St. Clement’s,
Do plan to join us this coming Sunday….

Sunday 20th August at 11.00 – Sung Eucharist for the Tenth Sunday after Trinity
The Gospel reading is Matthew 15:21-28 whilst the supporting readings are Genesis 45:1-15 and Romans 11:1-2a, 13-29. Our Preacher will be Licensed Reader Jack Noonan. Following worship, there will be Cool Drinks and Refreshments at the back of the church.

And…

My sermon from Sunday 6th August is now available to read on the church website. The link is http://anglican.cz/6th-august-2017-eighth-sunday-after-trinity-revd-nathanial/ The sermon focusses on the Miracle of Feeding Five Thousand and it’s application in our lives today. It is about offering our little something to God who then pours his love and grace resulting in overflowing barns and how He uses the ordinary to make the extraordinary.

And sermon from Sunday 13th August is also available to read on the church website. The link is http://anglican.cz/13th-august-2017-ninth-sunday-after-trinity-revd-nathanial/ The sermon is about the Biblical assurance that our faithful God is with us even when we are in midst of the storm or in the darkest pit. We need to keep on eyes on Him and and just like a piece of coal, after a lot pressure, eventually turns into diamond, our Lord will make us shine.

Please pray for our Brno congregation to grow both physically and spiritually and if you have any family/friends who would like to be a part of our service there please direct them to our church website or you may put them in touch with me through email.

Celebratory Prayer for birthdays and wedding anniversaries or any other such occasion is now a part of our regular service. You are invited to send to me the details of your birthday or any special occasion for which you would like us to pray, by email.

Yours in His Service,
Nathanial

13th August 2017 – Ninth Sunday After Trinity – Rev’d Nathanial

Prayer:- Through the written word, and the spoken word, may we know your living word, Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen

Bible tells us that everything works for good for those who love Christ. Timings matter. But, do you agree with me that when we are in difficult situations we often forget that our Lord is much more powerful that our situation. He can turn any and every difficulty into our favor. David writes beautifully in Psalm 23.. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me.

Today’s readings beautifully tell us that even if we are in a pit or in midst of a storm or going through the darkest valley.. or facing any difficult situation and we see no sunshine. We need to remember that our Most High Living God is WITH US.. and just like a coal after a lot pressure turns into diamond.. Our Lord will make us shine..

In today’s gospel passage, Jesus, right after feeding a crowd of 5,000 people, made the disciples get into the boat and go before them to the other side. And what did Jesus do? HE PRAYED.. God’s son.. all powerful.. yet He PRAYED and PRAYED ALONE! If you just notice how important it is for us to pray with believers and to have our own personal prayer-time. While he was doing so, at the fourth hour (roughly between 3 am to 6 am) the boat was beaten by the waves.
Just like Jacob’s beloved son Joseph was beaten by the situations.. thrown into a pit, later sold to Midianite traders and was taken away to Egypt. It was not very easy. He was made a prisoner, was falsely blamed but God was with him all throughout. God made all odds work in His favor. God gave him great honor and repute.

Coming back to today’s Gospel Passage.. in midst of the storm, Jesus came! He was fully aware of the situation.. To show wonders! This time He was miraculously walking on the sea! The disciples were afraid! Was it actually too difficult for them to realize that it was Jesus? The one who performed many miracles.. and the last one, of feeding the 5,000, was performed the same evening. Same happens with us! Miracles happen every other day in our life yet when we face difficult situations we focus on ‘the difficulty’ rather than on Jesus. We instantly forget or deliberately ignore the countless miracles we have seen in our lives and in the lives of the people around us. If we are facing any difficulty today, the word of the Lord in Matthew 14:27 says, “Take heart, it is I, Do not be afraid.” It is he, who is walking on the water, in midst of the storm to save us. We must not mistake His presence. There may be a plan of you being sent to a foreign land, a new office, in midst of new people, new friendships.. Do not doubt.. in Proverbs 3:5&6 the Bible tells us to not rely on our own insight. Lean not on your own understanding.. Like, Peter, do not doubt.. It is He.. He who is with you.. My dear friends, the Bible tells us that just like eagle, God spreads his wings to catch us and to carry us aloft.

We need to understand four important things:-
1) God sends us into what looks like storms.
2) He sends us into storms to show his faithfulness.
3) It is not our faith that saves us, but IT IS WHAT OUR FAITH IS ON that saves.
4) God will reach out his hand and take hold of us.. like he did with Peter.

We must remember, my dear friends, God is faithful even when we are faithless.

In Matthew 14:33, we see that those in the boat worshipped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Are we acknowledging Him and thanking Him once we are out of the storm? Are we really doing so or we doubt and think if it was just by chance or by luck?

In Romans chapter 10, Paul writes – because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.”
In the same chapter, it is further written that – “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
BUT
This poses genuine questions, written by Paul.. But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him?
There are many people in the world.. around us.. they know nothing about Jesus.. about their creator.. they don’t know that our wonderful God who has saved us is willing to save them too!

Very recently I had an opportunity to share about Jesus with one of my friends in Pardubice. I came to know that she had a Bible at home but she never opened it and no one ever encouraged or told her about it. It was kept at her home since ages! And in midst of this conversation, a small girl came up to us and said someone is standing here.. my friend said – I don’t understand what is wrong with this little girl. There is no one yet she is able to see someone here. I quickly understood that it’s God’s presence when I was talking about Him.

When I was reading theology, our mentors introduced to us the concept of PRAYER WALK. We used to go for walk.. and pray in our hearts and minds for people we used to see, we used to meet. And, we did come across some people from those areas, those localities who accepted Christ as their Saviour, sometime later.
Wherever we go and whom so ever we meet.. We should try to tell them about Jesus.. It is our duty to accomplish the task of spreading the good news! Share His love and peace with them. There are many who are in midst of troubles which look unending.

We also should note that in both the account in Matthew 8:23-27 and our text at hand, Jesus ends up in the boat with the disciples. A ship was one of the earliest symbols for Christianity, and this story indicates why it was attractive: when surrounded by adversity, troubles and struggles; peace, safety and salvation are experienced in the church with Jesus in its midst. But remember that a ship is not a static symbol. It is a vehicle used to get somewhere. We know that a ship is fragile and it is only because of Jesus, that it stayed intact in midst of the storm. Ultimately, we may ask, “Why did Jesus and the disciples cross the sea?” The answer is given in the following verses 14:34-36. They wanted to get to the other side to minister to those people there. That ship which is the church is where we want to be, and it can provide the way for us to get to other places, so that disciples of the Son of God can be moving throughout the land! As Paul says in today’s reading, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!

6th August 2017 – Eighth Sunday After Trinity – Rev’d Nathanial

The feeding of the 5,000 is one of my favourite Bible stories. I believe it is very familiar record to most of us. Apart from the resurrection, which in itself is a miracle, this is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels. It is wonderful and, certainly, of surpassing importance.

Feeding 5,000 people with just five loaves and two fish is extraordinary in itself. If we read Matthew 14:21, 5,000 is only male count. The women and children present were not included in this count. Many Bible scholars believe the actual number fed that day could have been between 15,000 to 20,000 people. Don’t you think it is -Absolutely amazing!

It is important to note the setting for this miracle. Jesus and the disciples had been ministering to the crowds all day. It was getting late, and they were in a remote place. Knowing the people needed food and places to stay for the night, the disciples wanted Jesus to send them home.
But.. Jesus had a different plan – a plan that was based on what most people would consider absurd – five loaves of bread and two fish. Can you imagine what the disciples would have thought after hearing Jesus’ plans? They had seen Jesus perform miracles and his works full of wonder, but feeding thousands of people with five loaves of bread and two fish was unbelievable in their terms.

Jesus asked the disciples to bring Him the bread and fish. He then gave thanks, broke the bread, and gave it to His disciples to hand out to the people. The entire crowd was fed with the lunch of a young boy … and there were leftovers!
It is for us to learn the truth that God has the power to bless – everything we are and everything we have when we place them in His hands – our talents, dreams, hopes, resources, even our mistakes and our pain

God will take them all and transform them into a trophy of His grace and power. As the old gospel song says, “Little is much when God is in it.”
A rod in my hands might keep away a wild animal. A rod in the hands of Moses will part the mighty sea..
A slingshot in my hands is a kid’s toy. A slingshot in David’s hand is a mighty weapon.
Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in my hands is a couple of fish sandwiches. Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in God’s hands will feed thousands. It depends on whose hands it’s in.

God loves to use the ordinary to create the extraordinary. God wants to do just that in our life, we need to place ourselves in His hands.

That leads to the second point; using what we have to bring people to the saving grace of God.

In verse 16 Jesus said to them, ‘They need not go away; you give them something to eat.’ The disciples were astounded and embarrassed because they did not have the means to meet such a request. No one could feed such a vast multitude!
Two things are happening at once in this story. First, Jesus wants his men to realize that without him they can do nothing.
They might have realized their own inadequacy. That is why they needed Jesus? We only need a miracle when we can’t do it ourselves. 

Some of us may be in a situation where we know that there we are unable to find the solution of the problem on our own -it may be a health problem; a serious marital or family problem, a financial problem or a desperate need for work. It may be a personal problem, such as loneliness, guilt, anger, bitterness, or anxiety. It could be some life-dominating sin, such as alcohol, drugs, pornography, or gambling. Whatever the problem may be, Jesus has a solution!
In Genesis 32, Jacob faced that kind of crisis. He was returning to Canaan in obedience to God, but that meant he would have to face his brother, Esau, whom he had cheated 20 years before. Jacob didn’t know how Esau would receive him. When Jacob’s messengers came back and said that Esau was coming to meet him with 400 men, Jacob froze with fear. Esau could easily wipe out everything that was of value to Jacob, including Jacob! And so he prayed, “Oh, God, deliver me from Esau!” (32:9‑12).
There are times in life when only a miracle can save; disciples in this story and Jacob in the Old Testament did not have any solutions to their problems. If you’re in a situation that needs a miracle, give God room to work through ways you never imagined or dreamed. Sometimes the miracle is not what we expect, but God knows what we need!

Third, by saying “you give them something to eat”.
Jesus wanted His disciples to have compassion and love for the people.
God calls us to show our love and gratitude for Him in our good works of hospitality, compassion, and care. We have been called to care for others just as our Lord did. We are called to care by reaching out to the homeless, the hungry and to the heart broken. Our Lord Jesus, who is our role model exemplified it in the way He responded to such people.
DO WE REALLY CARE ABOUT PEOPLE WITHOUT CHRIST?
I am talking about the people we work with – our neighbours, our friends, our relatives – children and elderly. Do we really care about them and do we really care that they don’t know Jesus Christ?
Paul says, in Romans 9: 2 “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart, for I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race.” Look at the words Paul uses, “I have great sorrow, unceasing anguish.” He adds, “I would even be willing to be cut off from Christ if it would mean that they would be saved.”
Do we really care about lost people? As we are in Christ and Christ is in us do we really have a burden for lost people. Do you see what Paul said at the very beginning in verse 1? He said, “I speak the truth in Christ” That’s the key. Paul was in Christ and Christ was in Paul, and the more we are in Christ and the more Christ is in us, the more we will be concerned about people who don’t know Jesus because Jesus was concerned about people who didn’t have a relationship with God. In Luke 19:10, Jesus said, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” The more we are full of Jesus and the more we are full of the love of Jesus, the more we’ll be concerned about people who are without Christ. The more we are full of ourselves and selfishness, the less we will be concerned.
Conclusion
In conclusion I would like to encourage you to think about the “five loaves and two fish.” We need to make a list of our talents, our gifts, our resources and everything God has given us and surrender it all to Him and ask Him to transform the ordinary in our life to the extraordinary.
Without Jesus’ active involvement, all our plans are doomed to fail. Until we see that our human resources are bound to fail, we will depend on our money, our organization, our staff, and our connections to make things happen. But when we at long last come to the end of our hoarded resources and cry out, “Lord, this is impossible. Help me!” all heaven comes to our aid. Jesus is always more than enough for those who dare to trust in him. What are we willing to do so others can know Christ?

4th August 2017

Dear Worshippers, Friends and Patrons of St. Clement’s,

Many thanks to all who contributed to our worship last Sunday especially Jack Noonan for the wonderful sermon, Gordon Truefitt and Diane Tvaroha for arranging other things. It was a delight to have the Canadian choir `OXFORD CHURCH MUSIC` and other guests who made it very special.

We had an amazing congregation – ninety in total (including forty choristers) – bearing in mind that it is summer and most of our people are not in Prague.

Now to this coming Sunday….

Sunday 6th August at 11.00 – Sung Eucharist for the Eighth Sunday after Trinity
The Gospel reading is Matthew 14:13-21 whilst the supporting readings are Genesis 32:22-31 and Romans 9:1-5. Following worship, there will be Cool Drinks and Refreshments at the back of the church.

A few other things…

If you have missed or would like to read Jack Noonan’s sermon from last Sunday, please follow the link. The focus scripture is Romans 8:26-39 and is about the unimaginable heights and depths of God’s love for us. It strengthens and firmly grounds our God-given faith.. for it overflows with assurance and reassurance, certainty and comfort, confidence and consolation, together with encouragement and hope.

Celebratory Prayer for birthdays and wedding anniversaries or any other such occasion is now a part of our regular service. You are invited to send to me the details of your birthday or any special occasion for which you would like us to pray, by email to me.

Yours in His Service,
Nathanial

30th July 2017 – Seventh Sunday After Trinity – Jack Noonan

Sermon 30.07.2017.

Focus Scripture: Romans. 8: 26 -39.

This morning I’d like to focus on the reading from Romans.
The passage is truly wonderful because it tells us of the unimaginable heights and depths of God’s love for you and me.
The passage feeds, strengthens and firmly grounds our God-given faith….. for it overflows with Assurance and Reassurance, Certainty and Comfort, Confidence and Consolation, together with Encouragement and Hope.

In Romans 8 we see writ large, that we believers are securely and eternally loved by our Sovereign God and Almighty Father …who has freely given us all things necessary for salvation ,in Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus the Christ.

This extract is the climax of what many believers rightly consider to be the greatest chapter in the Bible….A chapter where through Paul the Holy Spirit declares to us who responded to God’s call to faith:

… that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God gives Himself no wriggle room with this declaration. And as Almighty God Himself is the guarantor, His promises move into the realm of certainties.

We learn, that as lovers of Jesus, even though we stumble, we will not ultimately be separated from God’s redeeming love by anything that is created.
No created being or demonic force can permanently stem or block the flow of Christ’s love toward us …Jesus has all authority…meaning the devil has none….other than what we give him.

For God’s irresistible grace will not only overcome the obstacles that obstruct and hinder us but, as with the cross for Jesus, and the thorn in the flesh that plagued Paul; God transforms these curses, converting them into sources of personal victory and eternal triumph to His glory.
Because…
We know, in fact, that God works all things together for good to those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.

It was Divine Love that redefined the cross, making it forever a sign of victory and not defeat.
It was Divine Love that transformed Paul’s attitude to his thorn in the flesh…Satan’s messenger… from something that plagued him to something that had him rejoicing in his weakness….In weakness God’s strength blazes.
So also will it be with the spiritual blockages and beleaguering hindrances that trip us in our own walk with Him.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

In the radical assertions of this passage our God stands firm, and true to His Word. There is no small ‘get kicked out of heaven’ clause hidden here. Almighty God Himself is the guarantor of our salvation. His grace is sufficient. Fact.

So let us step out in faith and with a bounce in our hearts let’s take God at His word and start rejoicing…..about ‘the good-in-the-news’.
It is not our grip on God that matters but God’s grip on us. Remember the Father’s word in Isaiah:

”Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hand.”

The Scottish Presbyterian theologian William Barclay once said;

”There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why. ”

It is God who gives our lives true focus, meaning and purpose.
We believers, since hearing, recognising and answering God’s call …..a call uttered by the Holy Spirit, have been set on a journey into eternity.
We do not journey alone. A Christian ‘going solo’ is an oxymoron,….for from the beginning of His ministry, Jesus formed an assembly of brothers and sisters.
The Holy Spirit of Christ now presides over this assembly and we believers are its members looking always to Jesus, the author and finisher of our great, total and complete, no-holes-barred salvation.
Our journey into Christ is not always plain sailing…especially when we have a lot of excess baggage to shed…..but throughout our process of sanctification we are not without help;

”… the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs/groans too deep for words.( track down the descriptions of Jesus at prayer)
And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for…” us.

‘Prayer is the divine in us ….appealing to the Divine above us.” (C.H. Dodd)
We journey into our unique wholeness, a wholeness that is completed in Christ Jesus.
Our Christlike wholeness, will bring glory to God as our familial resemblances to the glorified Jesus begin to show in us … as John says:

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him…’

So when we read earlier

‘… that God works all things together for good to those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.’

It begins to dawn on us that our heavenly Father has set a co-labouring goal for us:

For those whom he knew long ago( us believers) he long ago designed/marked out in advance(predestined) to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the first born among many brothers.

These scriptures speak of us, believers ,changing into a likeness that we will derive from the Lord Jesus Himself…..not surface cloning…but moving into a conformity…into a likeness of His essence and resurrected nature.

The resurrected Christ is the firstborn within what will be a very very large family.There will be a new humanity modelled on Jesus, the last Adam. Our new humanity will be united in essence to Jesus, the Son of God…This resurrected humanity is being prepared now within His Bride,the Church… as we co-labouring with the grace of His Holy Spirit change from glory into glory.

Those ( us believers) whom he long ago marked out in advance(predestined) for this purpose, he also called; and those whom he called he put into a right relationship with himself; and those whom he put into a right relationship with himself he also glorified.

Notice the past tenses of the verbs. It is already done. We must seek to realise who and what we are in Christ.

What God expects of us, His grace enables in us. We need not fear what life or the devil may throw at us.
We are loved in and through Christ by the Almighty God who is our hope and strength who ‘will never leave us or forsake us’
So……..
What shall we then say to these things?
If God be for us, who can be against us?……..No one
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Absolutely true
 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect (us)? Waste of time…
Because…It is God that justifies/makes us right .
Who is he that condemns? (doesn’t matter who tries)
Because…. It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
And returning to where the sermon started;
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Nay,( not a hope in hell) in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

Then….Let God’s promise and purpose in our lives give us confidence to let go of our past mistakes…

Let God’s promise and purpose in our lives give us courage to press into our eternal future together with other lovers of Christ.

Let God’s promise and purpose in our lives strengthen in us commitment to co labour with Him today, in this time of grace and favour ,so that with Timothy, and our ancestors in The Faith we shall:

”Fight the good fight of the faith. (and)Take hold of the eternal life to which you/we were called…”

Toplady

A debtor to mercy alone, of covenant mercy I sing;
Nor fear, with Thy righteousness on, my person and off’ring to bring.
The terrors of law and of God with me can have nothing to do;
My Saviour’s obedience and blood hide all my transgressions from view.

The work which His goodness began, the arm of His strength will complete;
His promise is Yea and Amen, and never was forfeited yet.
Things future, nor things that are now, nor all things below or above,
Can make Him His purpose forgo, or sever my soul from His love.

My name from the palms of His hands eternity will not erase;
Impressed on His heart it remains, in marks of indelible grace.
Yes, I to the end shall endure, as sure as the earnest is giv’n;
More happy, but not more secure, the glorified spirits in Heav’n.