Both our meetings yesterday were led by Major Andrea Still, Major Karen Ramsay being at Strood in the morning to lead the worship there.
The morning worship began with two songs, ‘Come. let us all unite to sing’ and ‘All Heaven declares’, continuing with prayers. The Singing Company brought ‘Change and Grow’ and scripture chosen was from Luke 24:13-35
A DVD clip was shown which included questioning people on the street about the truth of the Bible and the Songsters contributed ‘Grace’ before Major Andrea delivered her sermon entitled ‘How do we know the Bible is truth?’. In summary she said:
In Luke 24 we find two dejected and frightened disciples encountering Jesus and then telling others. All that Jesus said is true.
In 2000 how do we know this is true? It is good to question this and think about it and come to the conclusion that Jesus is alive. Christians should be characterized by their absolute conviction that Jesus is alive.
This morning we are going to look at this through the Salvation Army doctrines and look at:
– The truth of history
– The truth about Jesus
– The truth of our experience.
We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and that they only constitute the Divine rule of Christian faith and practice.
God communicates to us through his word. He is alive for us through the scriptures. Outside of the Bible there is much in history that confirms that Jesus lives. How do we know that the Bible is reliable? It passes all the tests for authenticity. There is a host of original texts which confirm the truths of every book in the Bible for instance there are over 46,000 copies of New Testament originals. The centre of the New Testament is Jesus.
We believe that in the person of Jesus Christ the Divine and human natures are united, so that He is truly and properly God and truly and properly man.
His teaching was centred around himself â€“ truly and properly man and truly and properly God. He didn t point people to where they could find answers but pointed to himself â€“ I am the Light of the World; I am the Resurrection and the Life, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. Jesus claimed to be the model of who a person should be if they believed and followed him. It takes a relationship with him to know unmistakeably that Jesus is alive. This is our experience of transformation.
We believe that we are justified by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and that he that believeth hath the witness in himself.
We need to proclaim what we have experienced through Jesus. The disciples were the original witnesses and their writings of the encounters with Jesus is what we base our beliefs upon. It is faith in this that helps us to recognise the truth that Jesus lives. Even though the disciples on the Emmaus Road were not where they were expected to be (they had left early) Jesus brought them back. It is so with us. Jesus reaches us where we are. The effect of Christianity today is shown by people witnessing through the way they live their lives and influence others to believe in the truth.
The song ‘Set forth within the sacred Word’ gave time for consideration and the meeting concluded with ‘High as the sky’
‘Break thou the bread of life’ was the song chosen to commence the evening meeting followed by the contribution from the Songsters (All that I am) and scripture from John 21:1-14. The song ‘Jesus shall take the highest honour’ preceded prayer time. A DVD clip was shown taking the topic of the morning DVD a stage further.
‘How firm a foundation’ was the song used to introduce a time of sharing favourite scripture and the Band followed with ‘Because he lives’
Major Andrea brought a few thoughts on ‘The Way.the Truth, the Life’ describing how the disciples of Jesus were learning but did not fully understand the truth.
They needed to see the light by the way of the cross. When we are uncertain we rely on Jesus as the way, the truth and the life. When we flounder Jesus is there for us, a message to hold on to. This is a central truth in our faith and we must ask Jesus to help us hold on to it.
The meeting concluded with ‘Thou art the way’
Major Karen Ramsay conducted the meeting at Strood Corps in the morning and was encouraged by the warm reception given her. She, too, focused on the Emmaus journey and how the disciples came to know that Christ had risen. For the children she used two Easter eggs, one with a stone inside and one empty. The children engaged really well and soon grasped the message of the stone rolled away and leaving the empty tomb. A children’s choir sang really well as did a more adult group later in the meeting.
(pictures used by parental permission)
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