- Who we are
- What we do
It’s hard to imagine the pain of the parents of those Australian girls killed in the attack in London, from the terrible silence when they no longer answered their phones till that final awful moment when the news is confirmed.
There was a father named Jacob who knew of this terrible moment when his children return home with a coat stained with blood belonging to one of their brothers. They told him the news that Joseph, their brother was dead.
However after 20 inconsolable years he discovers that this was a lie and that his son was alive.
As for Joseph the good news for him was that he wasn’t dead, but there were times over the next 20 years that he may have wished he was. He had been sold by his brothers into slavery, falsely accused, thrown into jail and without hope. And yet he trusts in God, and as the story unfolds he rises from a prisoner to a decorated governor leading Egypt though a terrible famine, securing an abundant food supply.
Reunited with his brothers he has this to say
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives”
What does it mean that God can take evil and use it for good? It doesn’t mean that God simply re-labels something bad as good. It doesn’t mean that given enough time we can look back on a tragedy in a new light, as if all that is needed is time.
Evil remains evil.
But God’s goodness is so good that even through evil he can work. It’s terribly hard to see that in our experiences, and I can’t imagine the pain of a father losing a child. But God can because this is his story. What humanity meant as evil in the killing of his son, God planned for our good (Acts 2:23).
The way through the evil in our lives, is not to minimise or redefine it away but to know the good which comes in Jesus – the good that came through evil to bring peace into our world and peace into our hearts.
This Sunday we continue our series on Galatians. In the next talk, Graham Errington will be speaking on the topic, “Freedom Defended” from Galatians chapter 5 verses 1 to 15.
We’re also going to get the special opportunity during the services to meet a member of our church, as we get to know our special community from Oak Flats Anglican.
If you’re wanting to check out our church we’d really love you to pop your head in at either 10am or 5pm. Or if you can’t make it in person, jump online to www.oakflats.tv and watch our live stream.
After months and weeks of planning, preparation and nervous anticipation, this is my last week at church before I leave for Fiji. Earlier this week I received my needles, and whilst I really do not enjoy strangers stabbing me with medicine, I am so excited as I know this is one of the final things I need to do before I go! I leave in just a few days for my month long mission to Fiji, and everything is finally falling into place!
I would like to thank each and everyone of you for your generosity, both in prayer and financial support. Your support has allowed me to successfully raise the money needed, and I am very excited for the mission to begin!
While I am overseas I will be travelling around the main Island of Fiji, serving the communities and preaching the gospel through word and song. In particular, we decided the focus of our mission will be on preaching from the gospel of Mark, chapters 4 to 6, and as we delved into these amazing passages, I was reminded again of the amazing power of God: that this is his mission, and that no obstacle is too great for the Lord of the Universe! I am so excited to see how I will grow whilst overseas, learning from the Fijian people and the Year 13 community.
If you wish to be updated about the mission whilst I am away, you are able to sign up for the Year 13 ‘Bula Blog’, where you can see the word being done, and the prayer points of our team whilst we are overseas. You can find this at: http://year13.net/bulablog.
So, thank you so so much for supporting me, and I ask that you would continue to pray for me in the next few days, and while I am away! Pray that the ministry would be fruitful, and that the children and adults would be able to grow in the knowledge and understanding of our great God.
Jemimah McNeill, Year 13 student
This Sunday we continue our series on Galatians. In the next talk, Simon will be speaking on the topic, “Freedom Enslaved“, from Galatians chapter 4 verses 8 to 31.
We will remember Jesus’ death as we eat the symbolic meal of the Lord’s Supper so be sure to join us.
During our service, we’ll have our weekly question and answer time, and Simon will be answering these questions:
We’re also looking forward to hearing from Jemimah McNeill about the plans for the upcoming Fiji Mission with Year 13.
As always, come along and visit us at 10am or 5pm at 35 Fisher Street Oak Flats, or if you can’t make it in person, jump online at www.oakflats.tv to watch a livestream of our services.
If I were asked that question my first answer would be this: justification by faith.
And in the year of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation my answer would come all the more readily. But I’d be wrong.
I can still remember first reading Knowing God by the famous theologian J.I Packer where I discovered my mistake.
There he explains the greatest blessing we have as Christians is this: adoption as sons.
“Adoption is the highest privilege that the gospel offers, even higher than justification. Justification is the primary blessing of the Gospel because it meets our primary spiritual need. We all stand condemned under God’s judgment. So we need forgiveness of sins and assurance of a restored relationship with God before we need anything else in the world.
But this is not to say that justification is the highest blessing of the Gospel. Adoption is higher, because of the closer relationship with God that it involves.
Justification is a forensic idea conceiving God as judge. Adoption is a family idea conceived in terms of love and viewing God as father. In adoption God takes us into his family and fellowship and establishes us as his children and heirs.
To be right with God as judge is a great thing. But to be loved and cared for by God the Father is a greater.” (p187)
Packer immediately goes on to cite Galatians where justification leads to the greater blessing of adoption:
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Galatians 4:4-6.
And so next time you are thinking of what the greatest blessing we have as Christians is, remember that we are adopted as children of God and we are able to call him our Father.