Upholding Singleness

Song of Songs is a beautiful book that millions of Christians, both single and married, have read and studied with great profit. However, for some – and in particular those not currently in a relationship – it can be difficult.

In any church family there will be folk who are single – those who have never been married and those who have been married and are now single. Due to a breakdown in relationship, divorce, death of a spouse, a struggle against same-sex attraction, or other reason, Song of Songs may push some unhappy buttons.

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Sermon – Gospel-driven guidance: Discovering God’s Word to us

In this, the second of three sermons on Gospel-drive guidance Geoff Lin shows us what the Bible has to say about how we can find out how God wants us to live (God’s moral will). Geoff explains how the Bible should be the primary way we discern this and reminds us in 2 Timothy 3:14 we read that the “holy Scriptures are able to make us wise for salvation”.  Geoff then provides sound advice for as to how we should do this – by reading and being challenged by, the whole of the Bible – all of “God’s Word to us”.

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Read the Bible texts: Judges 6, Acts 1:12-26, 2 Timothy 3:16-17

English Support Handout

What does a Christian do with the Bible?

What place should the Bible have in a Christians life? Any tips?

An essential Christian discipline is to read or listen to the Bible regularly through the week. It would be a shame if the secular news cycle had more of a voice into your life each week than the Word of God.

The battle to put the Word of God before the word of the world is ongoing. Each time you read or watch the news (an activity which in itself is not wrong), you subject yourself to the opinions of the journalist who is accountable only to an opinion that makes news! Our secular press are rarely accountable to anyone but their ratings – it is not difficult for truth to get lost or skewed in the pursuit of a growing readership.

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God makes himself known – look at his Word!

The clearest way to know God is to listen to what he says!

One of the first things that we learn about God in the opening Chapter of the Bible is that he talks. ‘In the beginning God created’ and how did he do that? By his word ‘And God said: ‘Let there be light’…., and then God said: ‘Let there be an expanse between the waters…, and then God said: ‘let there be sky’… and so it goes on for seven days (Genesis 1:1-2:3).

Each of the special acts of creation come about by the word of God. What he creates is new and wonderful and he does that by uttering his words.

If the significance of that is lost on you, give it a go! Test the power of your words. Create something by your words and only your words – ‘Let there be a ham sandwich’! How did you go? I think I can guess!

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Lessons Learned

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Friends it has been a while since the last 5pm Update (a good indication that things have been a bit full on!) – in fact there has not been an update since I returned from Study Leave for Easter. Thanks for allowing me time to get away.

Study Leave meant that I could attend a series of Conferences, visit a series of Churches and check-out some theological colleges. Refreshing? – Yes! Challenging? – At times! Educational? – Mostly! Beneficial? – I hope so, but you will need to be the judge of that.

There were so many times that I just felt immensely thankful to God for Trinity City and for 5pm Church and for the leaders we have and for the ministry that we do – and thankful because I could see other examples in the States of similar ministries or conversely I could see examples of things that were not done half as well as how Trinity does it (under God of course).

Here are 5 reflections with 5 corresponding challenges which may be of benefit for us.

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Why leave a ‘church’?

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The question ‘Why leave a ‘church?’ may be a dangerous question to ask, especially on a church blog!

The reality is that all churches have people leave them – for both wise and unwise reasons. It is worth spending some time thinking about why one would take the step of leaving a ‘church’ and then further considering how to do that well. That said, I am hoping that no one reading this will in fact leave 5pm Church as a result!Trinity City 'Five by 5' Challenge - hand

In the previous two articles we have considered ‘What is ‘Church’?’ and then ‘What to expect of ‘Church’?‘ which as background should help establish that leaving a church should be thought about carefully – that is not a decision that should be made hastily or prayerlessly. If ‘church’ is about God’s people gathering as a family in Christ around his Word, it should give some pause for thought to a person when deciding to stay or to go. Leaving means leaving a family and a place where God’s word should be key to their fellowship.

Changing churches or leaving church altogether is no small thing.

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