Grace Baptist Church, Portsmouth, recently celebrated its 18th anniversary. Brian Edwards (Hook Church, Surbiton) visited and spoke on three occasions.
The weekend’s theme was revival. Brian surveyed five of its hallmarks: awesome awareness of God’s presence; deep conviction of sin; longing for holiness; passion for the lost; and joy in worship and prayer.
Brian also underlined the heightened sense of the privilege and importance of prayer during revival, along with an enlarged vision of the God whose throne we approach.
Brian’s preaching was straightforward, impactful, and relational. Deep truths were communicated simply. Brian showed how Jesus exemplified such a method in John 17.
Brian’s preaching was also comprehensive, covering Old Testament shadows as well as New Testament fulfilments.
His exposition of Exodus 33 had a missional edge. Moses’ humble question was how would the pagan peoples know of the Lord if he did not accompany his people?
The prayer meeting is the engine of the local church. Brian showed how prayer and revival are organically linked, drawing on his knowledge of church history to illustrate the point (he authored the book Revival in 1990).
In his annual report, Pastor Evan Richards — now 10 years into ministry at GBCP — linked his six points via the acronym MATURE. GBCP has reached the age of majority, you might say.
Looking back gratefully and looking forward expectantly, we press on in Christian service. Sermons from the anniversary are available from the church’s YouTube channel.