Fourth Sunday in Lent

It was John Newton, the famous 18th century hymn writer, who once said that he remembered only two things: firstly, that he is a great sinner and, secondly, that Christ is a great saviour.  It is precisely this tension that lies at the heart of the Christian faith.  Only when we realise our own sinfulness can we begin to grasp the breath-taking nature of God’s love for us.  This is precisely the message of this week’s Bible passage from John’s Gospel, chapter 3.  In this, the fourth Sunday of Lent, we see part of this love as Jesus wrestled with temptation for our sakes in the desert.  Although it is not always culturally acceptable to talk about our sinful natures, the message from the Gospels is unequivocal.  Men and women have chosen darkness and condemnation if they reject the light of Christ.  Perhaps in our modern age we do not dwell enough on our sinful natures.  Perhaps in our preaching and worship today we only focus on the love of God and not the wrath of God.  Therefore, it is good to sometimes read old Christian books and sing old hymns so that we don’t get caught in the blind spots of our present culture.  The amazing reality is that, because of God’s grace, we do not need to perish or stand condemned.  Of course, it was John Newton who captured this truth so eloquently in his most famous hymn, ‘Amazing Grace’.  This is a marvelous basis for reflection as we continue to journey through Lent.

DISCIPLESHIP TRAINING COURSE

at Emmanuel Church

Next session:

Training planned for the Summer of 2018 following the end of the School of Theology lectures

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations”
Matthew 28:19

 

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