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Northern Ireland

January 2015 | by Stephen Murphy

The Irish Biblical Reformation Conference was held on 8 November 2014 at Edenmore Golf Club, Magheralin, Northern Ireland. The guest preacher was Pastor Jeremy Walker of Maidenbower Baptist Church, Crawley.

He began by asking, ‘What is thechurch and what is a church?’, and ‘Who cares, and why should they care?’ The answer is that God cares profoundly, and therefore Christ-like men and women will care.

Pastor Walker used the church in Corinth as a case study. Corinthian society had sin and need in common, but Jesus came ‘not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance’. There are no obvious candidates for grace. But by grace they were ‘washed, sanctified and justified’. In the spiritual sinkhole of Corinth there was formed the church of the living God.

Pastor Walker began session two by quoting Ephesians 3:15-21. The New Testament gives many beautiful images of the church — garden, body, flock and temple — but what is the church for? The answer is the glory of the living God. ‘To him be glory’ is not a command but a statement.

How then do we give glory to God? Our praises draw attention to who he is and what he has done. They testify to his glory, but do not add to it. While the crime of mankind is to wilfully forget this, how much should the church give glory to God? If God is not glorified by his church, then where will he be glorified? Our worship, fellowship and evangelism need to focus on this end.

The conference was well attended and the ministry much appreciated.

Stephen Murphy

 

 

 

 

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