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Conferences: Birmingham Conference

June 2015 | by Philip Hambridge

Birmingham conferenceOn Friday 27 and Saturday 28 March, many gathered for the sixth Birmingham Conference, at Ebenezer Chapel, Old Hill, organised by the Christian Worship Trust.

The aims include strengthening one another in the great doctrines of the faith, against a background of increasing secularism and compromise, encouraging heartfelt experiential devotion and promoting vigorous evangelism.

The 2015 conference did not disappoint in these aims, with stirring and helpful addresses and warm fellowship between meetings. The main speakers were John Greer (Ballymena), Jonathan Northern (Baldock), Alun McNabb (formerly of Dudley) and Ibrahim Ag Mohamed (London).

John Greer gave two powerful addresses on the priesthood of Christ — a glorious and wonderful theme, focusing on Psalm 110 and Hebrews. All false religion has its ‘priests’ who come woefully short of sinful man’s real need, but the believer’s true needs is met by Jesus, our great High Priest, whose priesthood is unchangeable.

The second address dwelt on Hebrews 4:14-16, and particularly underlined that, while all works-based religion effectively says, ‘We do … and therefore we have’, the true believer in Christ proves the opposite, that, ‘We have a great high priest … therefore we hold fast’.

Types of Christ

Jonathan Northern gave a helpful address on ‘Profiting from Old Testament types’, in which we were given guidelines for identifying and using Old Testament types, while avoiding some of the pitfalls that exist with this approach to Scripture.

This was coupled with examples from David, Joseph and Boaz. It was far from a dry study and it was wonderful to be reminded of God arranging Old Testament characters and events so that they speak, in type, of the person and work of Christ.

Ibrahim Ag Mohamed gave an engaging and helpful address on ‘Witnessing to Moslems’. Alun McNabb addressed a full chapel at the Friday evening preaching rally on John 13:34-35 and the sermon focused our minds on Christian unity, urging us not to let needless issues cause division. Unity in the truth is so vital amongst the Lord’s people.

A discussion session for men, led by Dewi Higham, focused on leading public worship. This resulted in many helpful comments from attendees and the panel of conference speakers.

A feature of this conference is that wives of men in church leadership are welcome to attend, and a separate discussion session is held for them. This year it was led by Lis Northern on ‘Adorning our faith’. From all reports it was a most profitable time.

This conference would not be possible without the kind and generous help of the pastor and members at Ebenezer.

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