‘Encounters with Christ’ was the title of RBC Ministries’ one-day Bible conference in London, on 8 March.
More than 500 people gathered at the historic Westminster Chapel to hear Bill Crowder, associate Bible teacher with RBC Ministries, give four papers on people who had encounters with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Gathered from all different denominations, believers who have been encouraged by the Our Daily Bread reading notes published by RBC Ministries lifted up their hearts and voices in praise, with hymns new and old throughout the day.
The morning sessions were on the Roman centurion and Gentile woman, from Matthew 8 and 15 respectively. Mr Crowder spoke of the centurion’s sense of his own worthlessness, of his faith in Christ’s worthiness, and his acceptance that a word from the Word was ‘a powerful combination’.
He said, ‘Faith is the bridge between our inability to secure our salvation and Christ’s ability to save. This event shows us where we should place our trust, and in whom we should place our trust’.
The Gentile woman demonstrates how we are to worship and honour Christ. Mr Crowder explained: ‘The disciples are still not sure who Jesus is, but this woman knows who he is and calls him by his messianic names. She humbled herself before Christ, accepted his purposes in her life and knows that she is still welcome in the Lord’s house’.
After lunch, we met with the woman in sin, the adulteress of John 8. Mr Crowder said this was a good case study of what it looks like when heartless people use another human being to advance their own interests.
He said, ‘She was probably “set up”, in order for the religious leaders to accuse Jesus and try to impale him on the horns of a dilemma. But Jesus, being God, redefined the terms of who was allowed to judge the woman. He didn’t condemn, but he did not condone. What we have is Jesus balancing compassion and correction in the life of this woman’.
Lastly, Mr Crowder introduced the man born blind, whose story was told in John 9. He said, ‘God’s ways are higher than our ways. He had already declared himself to be the light of the world, and now this man, who was in darkness, is able to walk in the light.
‘We need to trust that God, in moments, seasons, years of suffering, will bring us through, in his strength, as lights in the world’.