LEIGH BAPTIST CHURCH “MESSENGER” JULY 2023
VERNON ST / CHURCH ST . LEIGH. WN7 1BH
Website : www.leighbaptistchurch.org.uk Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastoral Leader – Val Hulme ( Day Off Fridays)
email : email@example.com TEL 07817142192
Check LBC website for updates and info also LBC FACEBOOK page
Sunday 2nd July: 10:45 am Val Hulme
Sunday 9th July: 10:45 am Open service - bring along a Bible reading/reflection/hymn to share
Sunday 16th July: 10:45 am Sunday Bible Study
Sunday 23rd July: 10:45 am Communion Service Val Hulme
Sunday 30th Jul: 10:45 am Worship Service and Church and Congregation Meeting
Wednesdays 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th July: Prayer Meeting, 10:00 – 11:00 am. Meet at 9:45 am for tea/coffee/chat.
Thursday 20th July: 1:00 pm Deacons' Meeting
Saturdays 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th July: 10:00am - 12 noon English Conversation Group (To be confirmed)
Other groups using our building:
Tuesday 4th July 12:00 - 2:30 pm Leigh Ladies' Luncheon Club
Wednesdays 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th July 7:15 - 9:45 pm All Singers' Great and Small Community Choir
Wednesday 19th July 1:00 - 2:30pm Churches in Leigh Working Together (Leaders' Lunch)
Thursdays 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th July 10 - 12 noon Atherton and Leigh Foodbank
Thursday 13th July 7:30 - 9: 30 pm Aglow
Advanced date for your diary : Community choir, All Singers Great and Small, will be performing their latest concert, ‘The Street 2023’, in church on Saturday 9th September.
Our Pastoral Leader attended the Baptist Assembly in Telford in JUNE
God’s Answer to Sin.
Why is it that in very recent times there have been so many individuals and groups committing crimes against people, public figures being accused, sometimes falsely, of corruption and other wrong doings? There is also trial by the media, including social media, and so much unrest amongst workers in different countries.
It can be said that there are many reasons why these things are taking place, but we need to look beyond the obvious answers to what causes people to act in these ways. The answer is given very clearly in the Bible. Most people will have heard the words, “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23 AV), but how often do we hear the warning in 1 Peter 5:8 to “be alert, be on the watch! Your enemy, the Devil, roams round like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 GNB) No one is immune to that, not even those who go to Church. Verse 9 says, “Be firm in your faith and resist him, because you know that your fellow believers in all the world are going through the same kind of sufferings.” So what is the answer to the sin in the world? Because mankind has been separated from God because of sin, Jesus died on the cross to open the way for us to bring us back to God. A symbol of this was the veil of the Temple being torn in two as Jesus died.
Recently I have been reading books and Christian magazines which have made me think more deeply about passages or verses of scripture that I have known for years. One of these is John chapter 3 where there is the account of a Ruler of the Jews, Nicodemus, who went to find Jesus at night because he wanted to ask Him how he could have Eternal Life. He was a Pharisee and a teacher in the synagogue. He would be highly respected and would be expected to know everything pertaining to the Jewish religion. But here he was asking Jesus about Eternal Life. He recognised that Jesus was different from the leaders of the Jewish nation. He said, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with Him.” (v2) But he was not prepared for Jesus’ answer, “I tell you the truth, no-one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again.” Even a learned man like Nicodemus could not understand how anyone could be born again, nor could he understand what Jesus went on to say “---- no-one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.” (v5 NIV) There are different interpretations as to what is referred to by being ‘born of water’. I am not a theologian, but I tend to agree with those who say it probably refers to John the Baptists’ baptism of repentance from sin, which Jesus is saying is not enough to enter the Kingdom of God. One needs the miraculous birth of the Spirit.
This has made me wonder if we Christians speak enough of what it really means to be a Christian and to have the promise of Eternal Life. We have always accepted the fact that not everyone who goes to a Christian Church is a born again Christian. I remember a time when it was not the done thing to talk too much about your faith, even in the church. Fortunately I had other Christian influences to lead me to join in with evangelical Christians. But there is still the thought that we can put people off by talking about it. However, when the opportunity arises, we should not be afraid of speaking about our faith and warning people that unless they have real faith in Jesus, and trust Him to guide them in their lives they are not born again and they do not have the promise of eternal life in God’s Kingdom. The way we live should reflect our faith. It is “by grace you have been saved through faith, -- not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV)
Recently, in the ‘Word for Today’ readings we were reminded of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 5:20 to that church, “we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” (NKJV) This made me think, how much of an ambassador for Christ am I? I know that at certain times in my life God has been able to use me more than at other times, but I know that I have missed many opportunities to witness for Him. The early reserve that was instilled in me does still affect the way I speak about my faith, even now. No one is perfect, but let each one of us be guided by the Hoy Spirit who leads us into all truth and makes Christ’s will known to us, welling up as a spring of living water within each one who is born again.
May the Holy Spirit guide us in our every day lives, prompting us to pray for all those in need of prayer, including those being persecuted for their faith; and for the defeat of those perpetrating evil deeds in this world, and may God’s name be praised.