2021 Advent Reading – Hope for the World: Advent with John Wesley

Day 19 Saturday 25 December 2021

The Birth Of Christ – Homily by St John Chrysostom – Part 2

What shall I say to you; what shall I tell you? I behold a Mother who has brought forth; I see a Child come to this light by birth. The manner of His conception I cannot comprehend. Nature here rested, while the Will of God labored.

O ineffable grace! The Only Begotten, Who is before all ages, Who cannot be touched or be perceived, Who is simple, without body, has now put on my body, that is visible and liable to corruption.

What shall I say! And how shall I describe this Birth to you? For this wonder fills me with astonishment. The Ancient of days has become an infant. He Who sits upon the sublime and heavenly Throne, now lies in a manger. And He Who cannot be touched, Who is simple, without complexity, and incorporeal, now lies subject to the hands of men. He Who has broken the bonds of sinners, is now bound by an infants bands. But He has decreed that ignominy shall become honor, infamy be clothed with glory, and total humiliation the measure of His Goodness. 

For this He assumed my body, that I may become capable of His Word; taking my flesh, He gives me His spirit; and so He bestowing and I receiving, He prepares for me the treasure of Life. He takes my flesh, to sanctify me; He gives me His Spirit, that He may save me. 

Come, then, let us observe the Feast. Truly wondrous is the whole chronicle of the Nativity. For this day the ancient slavery is ended, the devil confounded, the demons take to flight, the power of death is broken, paradise is unlocked, the curse is taken away, sin is removed from us, error driven out, truth has been brought back.

To Him, then, Who out of confusion has wrought a clear path, to Christ, to the Father, and to the Holy Ghost, we offer all praise, now and for ever. Amen.

2021 Advent Reading – Hope for the World: Advent with John Wesley

Day 18 Friday 24 December 2021

The Birth Of Christ – Homily by St John Chrysostom – Part 1

Now let us again turn to one of the most famous Christmas homilies delivered by one of the early church fathers. His name is St John Chrysostom. That sermon has been preached and read by Christians all over the world for many generations.

BEHOLD a new and wondrous mystery. My ears resound to the Shepherd’s song, piping no soft melody, but chanting full forth a heavenly hymn. The Angels sing. The Archangels blend their voice in harmony. The Cherubim hymn their joyful praise. The Seraphim exalt His glory. All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead here on earth, and man in heaven. He Who is above, now for our redemption dwells here below; and he that was lowly by divine mercy raised.

Bethlehem this day resembles heaven; hearing from the stars the singing of angelic voices; and in place of the sun, enfolds within itself on every side, the Sun of justice. And ask not how: for where God wills, the order of nature yields. For He willed; He had the power; He descended; He redeemed; all things yielded in obedience to God. This day He Who is, is Born; and He Who is, becomes what He was not. For when He was God, He became man; yet not departing from the Godhead that is His. Nor yet by any loss of divinity became He, man, nor through increase became He, God from man; but being the Word He became flesh, His nature, because of impassability, remaining unchanged.

And so the kings have come, and they have seen the heavenly King that has come upon the earth, not bringing with Him Angels, nor Archangels, nor Thrones, nor Dominations, nor Powers, nor Principalities, but, treading a new and solitary path, He has come forth from a spotless womb.

Since this heavenly birth cannot be described, neither does His coming amongst us in these days permit of too curious scrutiny. Though I know that a Virgin this day gave birth, and I believe that God was begotten before all time, yet the manner of this generation I have learned to venerate in silence and I accept that this is not to be probed too curiously with wordy speech.  

For with God we look not for the order of nature, but rest our faith in the power of Him who works. 

2021 Advent Reading – Hope for the World: Advent with John Wesley

Day 17 Thursday 23 December 2021

Who is this Jesus Christ?

Reflection

Even though John Wesley never published any sermon on Christmas in particular, his brother Charles Wesley wrote one of the most beloved Christmas Hymns called “Hark the Herald Angels sing”. This hymn is littered with who Christ Jesus is:

  • He is a newborn King. He does not later become King. He is king at his birth.
  • He brings peace on earth and he reconciled God and sinners.
  • Christ is God in heaven adored. He is the everlasting Lord. Again he does not become Lord and God after birth. He was God and Lord at his birth.
  • He is the Word becoming flesh. He is God incarnate.
  • He is the Emmanuel. He is God condescending and living among us.
  • He is the Prince of peace.
  • He is the Sun of righteousness as mentioned in Malachi 4:2.
  • His birth is to redeem us by given us a second birth. A new birth in Christ and to give us everlasting life.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly father, thanks for given us Jesus Christ. One who is fully God and fully human to save us sinners and given us hope for a new life. An everlasting life with you. Amen.esus Christ.

2021 Advent Reading – Hope for the World: Advent with John Wesley

Day 16 Wednesday 22 December 2021

God is with us to the end

Reflection: Journal of John Wesley February 24, 1791

John Wesley lived to a good old age of 88. The following account was written by Betsy Ritchie, one of the saints of early Methodism:

On Sunday morning, with a little of Mr Bradford’s help, Mr Wesley got up, took a cup of tea and seemed much better. Many of our friends were all hopes: yet Dr Whitehead said he was not out of danger from his present complaints.

Tuesday, March 1, after a very restless night (though when asked whether he was in pain, he generally answered “no”, and never complained through his whole illness, except once) he began singing: “All glory to God in the sky, and peace upon earth be restored.” Having sung two verses his strength failed but after lying still awhile he called on Mr Bradford to give him a pen and ink; “I want to write” but “ I cannot”. Mr Bradford said, “Let me write for you, sir tell me what you would say.

“Nothing,” he said, “but that God is with us”.

When his thigs were getting ready, he broke out in a manner which, considering his extreme weakness, astonished us all, in those blessed words:

     I’ll praise my Maker while I have breath

         And when my voice is lost in death,

     Praise shall employ my nobler powers

         My days of praise shall never be past,

    While life, and thought, and being last,

         Or immortality endures.

……… His speech failed; and those lips which used to feed many were no longer able to convey their accustomed sounds…… Finding we could not understand what he said, he paused a little and then with all the remaining strength he had, cried out, “The best of all is, God is with us”, and then, as if to assert the faithfulness of our promise keeping Jehovah and comfort the hears of his weeping friends, lifting up his dying arm in token of victory and raising his feeble voice with a holy triumph not to be expressed, again repeated the heart reviving words, “THE BEST OF ALL IS, GOD IS WITH US!”

Prayer

Echoing the prayer of St Bernard of Clairvaux, “We remember the first coming of Christ, he comes to redeem us sinners and given us new birth. We long for his second coming to fully manifest his glory and redeem us from all our pain and sufferings on this earth. In all the while, living in this world with its many trials and temptations, sufferings and pains, He promised to be our rest and our consolation. He promised to be with us till our dying breath. The best of all is, God is with us. O come, O Come Emmanuel. Amen.

2021 Advent Reading – Hope for the World: Advent with John Wesley

Day 15 Tuesday 21 December 2021

Faith in Christ. Trust him and him alone for our salvation.

Reflection: John Wesley was transformed inwardly on May 24th 1738 when he attended the Aldersgate society when the Martin Luther’s Preface to the Epistle to the Romans was read out

Here is the summary of Martin Luther’s Preface to the Epistle to the Romans:

  • This letter is truly the most important piece in the New Testament. It is purest Gospel.
  • You satisfy the demands of the law with works, whether your heart is in it or not. God judges what is in the depths of the heart. Therefore his law also makes demands on the depths of the heart and doesn’t let the heart rest content in works;
  • Everyone finds inside himself an aversion to good and a craving for evil. Where there is no free desire for good, there the heart has not set itself on God’s law. There also sin is surely to be found and the deserved wrath of God, whether a lot of good works and an honorable life appear outwardly or not.
  • The works of the law are everything that a person does or can do of his own free will and by his own powers to obey the law. But because in doing such works the heart abhors the law and yet is forced to obey it, the works are a total loss and are completely useless.
  • But to fulfill the law means to do its work eagerly, lovingly and freely, without the constraint of the law; it means to live well and in a manner pleasing to God, as though there were no law or punishment.
  • It is the Holy Spirit, however, who puts such eagerness of unconstrained love into the heart.
  • That is why faith alone makes someone just and fulfills the law; faith it is that brings the Holy Spirit through the merits of Christ. The Spirit, in turn, renders the heart glad and free, as the law demands. Then good works proceed from faith itself.
  • Faith is a work of God in us, which changes us and brings us to birth anew from God. It kills the old Adam, makes us completely different people in heart, mind, senses, and all our powers, and brings the Holy Spirit with it. What a living, creative, active powerful thing is faith! It is impossible that faith ever stop doing good. Faith doesn’t ask whether good works are to be done, but, before it is asked, it has done them. It is always active. Whoever doesn’t do such works is without faith; he gropes and searches about him for faith and good.

Application

May you receive during this season of Advent the greatest gift of all that is, Jesus Christ. Don’t ask how do I have this faith? Come to the manger, the place where our Lord Jesus is born and trust in him with all your heart, mind, strength and soul and He will work his power in you to bring you a birth anew. Faith doesn’t ask whether good works are to be done, but, before it is asked, it has done them. May all glory and honour be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

2021 Advent Reading – Hope for the World: Advent with John Wesley

Day 14 Monday 20 December 2021

For those who have Christ in their hearts, they have inner joy and peace in all circumstances

Reflection: Journal of John Wesley dated May 24th 1738

[John Wesley was almost in despair. He did not have the faith to continue to preach. When death stared him in the face, he was fearful and found little comfort in his religion. To Peter Böhler, a Moravian friend, he confessed his growing misery and decision to give up the ministry. Böhler counseled otherwise. “Preach faith till you have it,” he advised. “And then because you have it, you will preach faith.”]

I asked P Bohler again whether I ought not to refrain from teaching others. He said, “No; do not hide in the earth the talent God hath given you.”

Friday 19:  Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I had continual sorrow and heaviness in my heart.

Wednesday 24: In the evening, I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to The Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ. I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust I Christ. Christ Alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.

I began to pray with all my might for those who had in a more especial manner despitefully used me and persecuted me. I then testified openly to all there what I now first felt in my heart. But it was not long before the enemy suggested, “This cannot be faith; for where is thy joy?” Then was I taught that peace and victory over sin are essential to faith in the Captain of our salvation; but that, as to the transports of joy that usually attend the beginning of it, especially in those who have mourned deeply, God sometimes giveth, sometimes withholdeth, them according to the counsels of His own will.

After my return home, I was much buffeted with temptations, but I cried out, and they fled away and They returned again and again. I as often lifted up my eyes, and He “sent me help from his holy place.” And herein I found the difference between this and my former state chiefly consisted. I was striving, yea, fighting with all my might under the law, as well as under grace. But then I was sometimes, if not often, conquered; now, I was always conqueror.

Application

For many, this year does not represent Joy and Peace. It is more a year full of calamities and chaos. John Wesley’s experience above reminded us that the devil will use this to bring us down and to tell us that there is no faith in us. Do not despair. Trust in Christ and him alone for our salvation. And we will have peace and victory over sins. This joy sometimes will be manifested outwardly and sometimes it will not. God gives and withholds them according to the counsels of His own will.

2021 Advent Reading – Hope for the World: Advent with John Wesley

Day 13 Friday 17 December 2021

On Working Out our own Salvation –  Part 4 (Final)(Philippians 2:12-13)

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.

Reflection

Q: If it is God that worked in us both to will and to act, what need is there of our working? Does not his working thus supersede the necessity of our working at all? Does it not render our working impracticable, as well as unnecessary?

A. Not at all. If we consider the matter more deeply. We shall then see there is no opposition between these, “God works; therefore, do we work;” First, God works; therefore you can work. Secondly, God works, therefore you must work.

Q: What does it mean by God works, therefore you CAN work?

A: It is impossible for any man, for any that is born of a woman, unless God work in him. Seeing all men are by nature not only sick, but “dead in trespasses and sins,” it is not possible for them to do anything well till God raises them from the dead. It was impossible for Lazarus to come forth, till the Lord had given him life. Therefore inasmuch as God works in you, you are now able to work out your own salvation. Since he worketh in you of his own good pleasure, without any merit of yours, both to will and to do, it is possible for you to fulfil all righteousness. It is possible for you to “love God, because he hath first loved us;” and to “walk in love,” after the pattern of our great Master.

Q: What does it mean by God works, therefore you MUST work? A:  You must be “workers together with him,” (they are the very words of the Apostle,) otherwise he will cease working. Even St. Augustine, who is generally supposed to favour the contrary doctrine, makes that just remark, Qui fecit nos sine nobis, non salvabit nos sine nobis:+ “He that made us without ourselves, will not save us without ourselves.” He will not save us unless we “save ourselves from this untoward generation;” unless we ourselves “fight the good fight of faith, and lay hold on eternal life; “unless we “agonize to enter in at the straight gate,” “deny ourselves, and take up our cross daily,” and labour by every possible means to “make our own calling and election sure.”

Prayer

Say with our blessed Lord, though in a somewhat different sense, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” In consideration that he still worketh in you, be never “weary of well-doing.”

Go on, in virtue of the grace of God, preventing, accompanying, and following you, in “the work of faith, in the patience of hope, and in the labour of love.” “Be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” And “the God of peace, who brought again from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep,” (Jesus,) “make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you what is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever!” AMEN.

2021 Advent Reading – Hope for the World: Advent with John Wesley

Day 12 Thursday 16 December 2021

On Working Out our own Salvation –  Part 3 (Philippians 2:12-13)

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.

Reflection

Q:  How are we to work out this salvation?

A: The Apostle answers, “With fear and trembling.” In singleness of heart; with a single eye to the will and providence of God; “not with eye-service, as men-pleasers; but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;” doing whatever they do as the will of God, and, therefore, with their might. (Eph. 6:5.)  The Apostle clearly imply two things: First, that everything be done with the utmost earnestness of spirit, and with all care and caution. Secondly, that it be done with the utmost diligence, speed, punctuality, and exactness.

Q: What are the practical ways for us to work out this salvation?

A:

  • The Prophet Isaiah gives us a general answer, touching the first steps which we are to take: “Cease to do evil; learn to do well.” By the grace already given, fly from all sin as from the face of a serpent; carefully avoid every evil word and work; yea, abstain from all appearance of evil.
  • And “learn to do well:” Be zealous of good works, of works of piety, as well as works of mercy; family prayer, and crying to God in secret. Fast in secret, and “your Father which sees in secret, he will reward you openly.”
  • “Read the Scriptures:” Hear them in public, read them in private, and meditate therein.
  • At every opportunity, be a partaker of the Lord’s Supper. “Do this in remembrance of him: and he will meet you at his own table.
  • As you have time, do good unto all men; to their souls and to their bodies. And herein “be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” It then only remains that ye deny yourselves and take up your cross daily.
  • Deny yourselves every pleasure which does not prepare you for taking pleasure in God, and willingly embrace every means of drawing near to God, though it be a cross, though it be grievous to flesh and blood.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly father, during this season of advent, help me to reach out to my friends and families who are in need. Help me to have the strength to see to it that I am there to support them in all the ways I can. Help me to be zealous of good works, of works of piety, as well as works of mercy. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

2021 Advent Reading – Hope for the World: Advent with John Wesley

Day 11
Wednesday 15 December 2021

On Working Out our own Salvation –  Part 2 (Philippians 2:12-13)

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.

Reflection


Q: What is the meaning of the phrase “to work out your own salvation”?

A: “Work out”, implies the doing a thing thoroughly.

“Your own”; for you yourselves must do this, or it will be left undone forever.

“Your own salvation”:

  • Prevenient Grace: Salvation begins with what is usually termed (and very properly) preventing grace; including the first wish to please God, the first dawn of light concerning his will, and the first slight transient conviction of having sinned against him. All these imply some tendency toward life; some degree of salvation; the beginning of a deliverance from a blind, unfeeling heart, quite insensible of God and the things of God.
  • Convincing Grace: Salvation is carried on by convincing grace, usually in Scripture termed repentance; which brings a larger measure of self-knowledge, and a farther deliverance from the heart of stone.
  • Saving Grace: Afterwards we experience the proper Christian salvation; whereby, through grace, we “are saved by faith;” consisting of those two grand branches, justification and sanctification. By justification we are saved from the guilt of sin, and restored to the favour of God; by sanctification we are saved from the power and root of sin, and restored to the image of God. All experience, as well as Scripture, shows this salvation to be both instantaneous and gradual. It begins the moment we are justified, in the holy, humble, gentle, patient love of God and man. It gradually increases from that moment, as “a grain of mustard-seed, which, at first, is the least of all seeds,” but afterwards puts forth large branches, and becomes a great tree; till, in another instant, the heart is cleansed, from all sin, and filled with pure love to God and man.

Meditation

Let’s spend a bit of time to reflect back on your salvation. How God has brought you into his fold through his prevenient grace, convincing grace and saving grace. Dear Lord, thanks for bestowing us your grace upon grace.

2021 Advent Reading – Hope for the World: Advent with John Wesley

Day 10 Tuesday 14 December 2021

On Working Out our own Salvation –  Part 1 (Philippians 2:12-13)

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.

Reflection

Many Christians wrongfully believed once they have accepted Christ, there is nothing more they need to do. Christ has purchased for them the salvation by being a propitiations for their sins. There is nothing more they need to do. John Wesley denounced this type of thinking and through this Epistle of Paul, he exhorted us to be a person who “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.”

Q: Therefore, who is actually the one working in us, God or ourselves?

A: It is God who works in us to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose. The meaning of these words may be made more plain by a small transposition of them: “It is God, in order to fulfil his good purpose, works in you both to will and to act.” This position of the words, connecting the phrase, “of his good purpose”, with the word “works”, removes all imagination of merit from man, and gives God the whole glory of his own work. Otherwise, we might have had some room for boasting, as if it were our own merit, some goodness in us, or some good thing done by us, which first moved God to work. But this expression cuts off all such vain conceits, and clearly shows his motive to work lay wholly in himself-in his, own mere grace, in his unmerited mercy.

Q: How does he work in us?

A: He works in us to will and to act. Here, “to will”, implies put in our heart every good desire and “to act”, whatever outward results flowing from the good desire. In summary, God breathes into us every good desire, and brings every good desire to good effect.

Q: How should we treat all such good desire and blessings from God?

A: If we know and feel that the very first motion of good is from above, as well as the power which conducts it to the end; if it is God that not only infuses every good desire, but that accompanies and follows it, else it vanishes away; then it evidently follows, that he who glories must glory in the Lord.

Meditate

During this season of Advent, let’s take a moment to reflect on this truth and pray and give thanks for all the good desires and acts that we do. May we learn to give all glory to God.

2021 Advent Reading – Hope for the World: Advent with John Wesley

Day 9
Monday 13 December 2021

Are you someone who is simply an Almost Christian Or an Altogether Christian?

Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”. Paul replied, “Short time or long – I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”

Reflection

The Second part of this sermon Almost Christian, outlines to us what it is to be an Altogether Christian. It is no secret that John Wesley labored for years in striving to earn and merit salvation by every sort of religious devotion and good works. It brought him to a place of futility and utter despair. In other words, he was an almost Christian for many years before he understood what it is to become an altogether Christian.

So what more is needed in order to become an altogether Christian?

A) You must be in love with God. The first commandment is “love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all my mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). This love fills the heart, fills the emotions, fills the soul, fills the whole of one’s personality. If you love the Lord your God in this way, you are continually rejoicing in God your Saviour (Luke 1:47). Your delight is in the Lord who has now become everything to you, and you thank him for everything. Whoever is in love with God in this way is forever saying to him, “What else have I in heaven but you? Since I have you, what else could I want on earth?” (Ps 73:25) You are dead to the way of the world and of the flesh. You are dead to pride of every kind, for love has no place for pride.

B) You must love your neighbour: Jesus said, Love your neighbour as you love yourself. (Mark 12:31). If anyone asks “who is my neighbour?” we reply “everyone”. Friends and enemies alike, even the enemies of God, we must love them as much as Jesus loves us.

C) We must have true faith. There are different kinds of faith. True Christian faith is not only to believe in the truth of the bile and the creeds, but also to trust that we shall be saved from damnation by Jesus. When you believe that your sins have been forgiven and that you have been reconciled to God through the merits of Jesus, then you will find a new love in your heart. You will be ready to obey God’s commandment mentioned above (A) and (B) above. This is the faith which purifies the heart from all sin and fills it instead with undying love towards God and those around you. A love which does the work of God, rejoicing in every opportunity of helping others, a love which joyfully endures the reproach of being a Christian, and bears whatever trials God allows the forces of evil to inflict upon us. Whoever has faith, working by love, is not only almost, but is altogether a Christian

During this advent period, let’s invite this Jesus Christ into your heart. Awake from your sleep and call upon him. Do not let the busyness of the season to stop you from calling upon him. Cry to God, day and night, until you know that you can trust him and can say “My Lord and my God! (John 20:28). Keep on praying and do not give up until you can look up to heaven and declare truthfully, “ Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” (John 21:17)

2021 Advent Reading – Hope for the World: Advent with John Wesley

Day 8
Friday 10 December 2021

Are you someone who is simply an ALMOST CHRISTIAN?

Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”. Paul replied, “Short time or long – I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”

Reflection:  What does it mean to be an Almost Christian?

1. Almost Christian is someone who is honest. Someone who has a worldly honesty. They practice a sense of fairness. He/She does not oppress the poor nor rob or steal from others.

2. Almost Christian is someone who is truthful and charitable. By worldly standard, someone who is does not lie and show love for others.

3. Almost Christian is someone who is outwardly religious. He has an outward appearance of the sort of godliness which is described in the gospel. He is not a hypocrite but someone who genuinely does not do anything that the gospel forbids such as using vulgar language, keeping Sunday as a day of rest, keeping clear of all sexual immorality, avoiding gossip, etc.

4. Almost Christian is someone who go to church or pray often.

5. Almost Christian is someone who is sincere and strive to do God’s will for His sake.

In summary, being an almost Christian means that you must decide to please God in every way, deed and word, in things done and things not done. The aim of pleasing God must be the guiding principle if anyone is to aspire to become an ALMOST CHRISTIAN. By now you will ask, “How can you get this far and yet be only an Almost Christian? What more is needed to be an Altogether Christian?” John Wesley’s answer is derived from his own personal experience and the bible.

Reflection

You may have all the above and it might be the case that you are still an Almost Christian. More is needed to be an Altogether Christian. May God shines his light on your heart to move you from an Almost Christian to an Altogether Christian.

2021 Advent Reading – Hope for the World: Advent with John Wesley

Day 7
Thursday 9 December 2021

Preach this Gospel during the Advent Ephesians 2:8

It is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith

Reflection The final part of this Sermon is John Wesley’s conclusion to urge believers to preach this gospel at all times

Q: If people cannot be saved by their own works, will this drive them to despair?

A: Yes it will and it ought to because they cannot trust in the merit of Jesus until they have completely renounced their own. On the contrary, this is the only teaching with any comfort in it. It is comforting to all self-condemned sinners. It is comforting to know that whoever believes in the Lord will not be betrayed by him. “You are stained red with sin and I will wash you as clean as snow (Is 1:18).”

Q: Why is it so important in preaching this doctrine as a starting point?

A: “God has already placed Jesus Christ as the one and only foundation, and no other foundation can be laid (1 Cor 3:11). So the foundation and beginning of our preaching must be that whoever believes in Jesus will be saved.

Q: Not everyone will be saved, should we preach this doctrine to all? A: To whom then are we not to preach it? The poor? The uneducated? The young? The rich? The respectable? For the command of Jesus is to go and preach the gospel to everyone (Matt 16:15).”

Benediction

Satan knows that faith alone can overturn the foundation of his kingdom. This is why he stirred up earth and hell to destroy those who first preach it. He did his very best, by means of lies, threats to frighten Martin Luther away from reviving it. Though you are weak, you need not fear that strong man, Satan. You will defeat him and overthrow him. You will march forward under the leadership of Jesus, the captain of salvation, conquering until all the forces of evil are destroyed and even death are swallowed up in victory.

Doxology

Thanks be to God who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit be praise, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, honour, power and might, to our God forever and ever. Amen.

2021 Advent Reading – Hope for the World: Advent with John Wesley

Day 6
Wednesday 8 December 2021

We are saved from what? Ephesians 2:8 Part II

It is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith.

Reflection:  The fifth part of this Sermon continued to explain what this wonderful salvation delivers us from.

Q: We are saved from what? Further than saving us from all our past guilt and fear, we are also saved from:

1. We are saved from the POWER of sins. St John reminds his reader that, “So everyone who live in union with Christ, does not continue to sin. (1 John 3:6a). God delivers us from the power of sins through the presence of Jesus in our heart.

2. We are saved from habitual sins. Habitual sin is a dominating sin and sin cannot dominate a believer’s life. But sins cannot dominate in those who are believers. People who are born of God cannot say that they never sinned in the past, but they can rejoice that they have the power to not sin now through the work of the Holy Spirit in their hearts.

Q: What is another word for this salvation from sin and consequences of sin?

A: Justification.

Q: So does that mean that this faith is opposed to holiness and good works?

A: No. This faith leads to good works and holy living

Reflection

Often we as Christians, still live a life without power. God does not just forgive all our past sins, He also send us the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives us the power to break us from the bondage of sins. We have the power to flee from temptation and not to continue sinning. We ought to live with power and strength.

2021 Advent Reading – Hope for the World: Advent with John Wesley

Day 5
Tuesday – 7 December 2021

We are saved from what? Ephesians 2:8

It is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith.

Reflection:  The fourth part of this Sermon explains to us what this wonderful salvation delivers us from

Q: Is this salvation something that we can attain here and now?

A: Yes. This salvation is a present state. Something that we can attain here and now on earth. “It is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith.” Here the Apostle Paul used a verb in the perfect tense to describe something already accomplished.

Q: We are saved from what?

A: 1. We are saved from the guilt of all past sin. We need to realise that every human being is guilty before God. But God said that he will pronounce us “not guilty” because of the redemption that has been made available for us in Jesus. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins. He used his blood and our faith to remit our past sins and declare us righteous. “There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1).

A: 2. We are saved from fear. We no longer look at God as a slave looks at his owner. Christians have been adopted by God as his children and they can call him “Father”. His Holy Spirit tells them in their heart that they really are God’s children (Rom 8:15-16). Although it is the belief of John Wesley that one may fall away from the grace of God and so lose the benefits of his promises, Christians are saved from the fear of doing so, thus he/she has peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom 5:1)

Reflection

We no longer have to live in fear for all our past sins have ben forgiven once we accepted Jesus Christ as our saviour. In this season of Advent, we anticipate the first and second coming of Christ with peace and rest.

St Bernard of Clairvaux said “We know that the coming of the Lord is threefold: the third coming is between the other two and it is not visible in the way they are…. At the first, Christ is our redemption (birth), at the last, he will become manifest as our life, but in the middle way He is our rest and our consolation.”

2021 Advent Reading – Hope for the World: Advent with John Wesley

Day 4
Monday 6 December 2021

What kind of faith do we need? Ephesians 2:8

It is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith

Reflection: Part 3 of this Sermon talks about the type of faith needed in order to be saved.

Q: What kind of faith do we need to be saved?

A: It is not the faith of the non believer/heathen. Faith of a non-believer is a faith to conduct moral virtue, justice, mercy and truth towards their fellow creature. They do not trust in Jesus or trust in God through Jesus.

A: It is not the faith of the devil. The devil also has faith that is further than the faith of the non-believer. The Devil believes that there is a wise and powerful God who rewards graciously and punish justly. He believes that Jesus is the son of God, the promised Messiah and the saviour of the world. The Devil’s faith is simply an intellectual agreement about the truth of the collection of facts and idea.

A: It is not even the faith that the Apostles had when Jesus was on earth before his death and resurrection. They had power to work miracles and healing and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God. This faith is not saving faith.

A: Christian faith is more than all the above. We have to trust in what He achieved through his life, death and resurrection, we depend on him as our atonement and life and we hold on to him as the only way in which we can become holy, redeemed, wise and right with God. “If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from death, you will be saved” (Rom 10:9) In a word, Christian faith is our salvation.

Doxology

Dear Lord, pray that we have a true Christian faith. The faith that trusts wholly in your life, death and resurrection. A faith that depends on You as our atonement and life. We hold on to You as the only way in which we can become holy, redeemed, wise and right with God. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

2021 Advent Reading – Hope for the World: Advent with John Wesley

Day 3
Friday – 3 December 2021

How is God’s grace manifested? Ephesians 2:8

It is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith

Reflection: Part 2 of his Sermon, Salvation by Faith talks about this grace of God that was manifested fully in person of Christ Jesus.

Q: Who can make amend for the wrong things we have done?

A: Only God can through his gifts including the gift of salvation. That gift of salvation is in the form of Jesus’ death and resurrection. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). It was while we still sinners that Christ died for us (Roman 5:8).

Q: How can I be saved and what do I need to do to be saved?

A: It is by grace then, that we are saved through trusting in God. Grace is the source of salvation and faith is the condition if we are to be saved.

Doxology

During this Advent season, we proclaim: Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Amen.

2021 Advent Reading – Hope for the World: Advent with John Wesley

Day 2
Thursday- 2 December 2021

What is God’s grace? – Ephesians 2:8

It is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith

Reflection – John Wesley preached the sermon, Salvation by Faith on 11 June 1738. He reminded Christians of this wonderful salvation that God bestows on those he loves. The sermon has been reformatted into Q & A format and divided into a few days of reflections.

Q: What is the meaning of God’s grace?

A: The word “grace” means free and undeserved favour. It is sometimes called free grace from God.

Q: What are some examples of God’s free grace?

A: It is his free grace that he created human beings. It is his free grace that he made human beings the dominant species. And it is his free grace that sustains us day by day.

Q: Do human beings have any automatic right to this free grace?

A: No.

Q: So there is nothing that we can do to claim that free grace?

A: No. Absolutely none.

Q: Can we do something good (good deeds) to claim the free grace?

A: No. Isaiah 26:12 said that, “Lord, everything that we achieve is the result of what you do.” In other words, even the good deeds that we do are a gift from God.

Q: Why do human beings unable to do anything to claim this free grace?

A: The human heart was originally created in the image of God. But it has fallen from that original state of goodness and is now COMPLETELY bad. The whole human race stands before God without a word to say, since we have no good works of our own, not even our good intentions to offer in defence. In fact, human beings are unable to do even a single good deeds by themselves, without God’s grace. Jesus said, “ A bad tree cannot bear good fruits. (Luke 6:43)”

Doxology

Thank you Lord for your free and undeserved favour. Without it, human beings can never attain this wonderful salvation that you have bestowed upon us. Amen.

CMC English Bulletin – 7/08/2022

Sunday Service

Our Fellowship Groups

REEF Group (for high school students)Friday night 7:15pm
CORE Group (for university students and young workers)Wednesday night: 7:30pm
ECG (for adults and others)Wednesday fortnightly: 7:30pm

Announcements

  1. Warmly welcome any newcomer who joins our service today. Please fill in the Newcomer card so that we can keep in touch with you.
  2. Seminar on Interpreting Revelation (7 August 1:30PM) – Stay back after the service for this seminar. We invite everyone to join in person to study this book together.
  3. Baptism & Confirmation Classes (13 Aug 3-4:30PM) – These classes will be conducted at church. For those who want to be baptised or be confirmed of their faith in Christ, please register with Ps Philip.
  4. CMC Coffee Club (NOW OPEN 10:15AM Sunday): Come early to enjoy fellowship with others over a cup of coffee or espresso. Put in your order early before the coffee bar closes at 10:50AM.
  1. Ministries at CMC: Come join us and have fellowship

EFT Details

ACCOUNT NAME:Carlton Methodist Church (NSW) Inc
BSB:012-341
ACCOUNT NO:475290574
Note:Please indicate details of your donations and how you would like to be identified on the notice board

Responsive Reading: Psalm 148

Praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
    praise him in the heights above.
Praise him, all his angels;
    praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon;
    praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens
    and you waters above the skies.

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for at his command they were created,
and he established them for ever and ever—
    he issued a decree that will never pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
    you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
    stormy winds that do his bidding,
you mountains and all hills,
    fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals and all cattle,
    small creatures and flying birds,
11 kings of the earth and all nations,
    you princes and all rulers on earth,
12 young men and women,
    old men and children.

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for his name alone is exalted;
    his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
14 And he has raised up for his people a horn,
    the praise of all his faithful servants,
    of Israel, the people close to his heart.

Praise the Lord.

Sermon

Title: Exodus 20; 21-23 – The Law & Covenant

Speaker: Ps Philip Ng

Bible Passage: Exodus 20:1-17

2021 Family Discipleship Seminar

2021家庭门训讲座 Family Discipleship Seminar

中文:8月13-15日 英语:9月10-12日
13-15 August (Chinese) & 10-12 September (English)
网上注册 Online Registration:  https://cmca.org.au/familydiscipleship

上帝对于婚姻的目的是什么?而上帝对于家庭又有何用意呢?我们是否能以个人或家庭的形式活出以福音及基督为中心的生活,在生命中荣耀神呢?而这又是怎么样的生活呢?我们将会为你解答这些问题。

What is God’s purpose for marriage?  What is God’s purpose for family?  Can every individual or family be a gospel-centred, Christ-centred, and God-glorifying person for God?  And how does that look like?  We will try to answer some of these questions …

神的祝福:福音与家庭  God’s Kingdom Blessings:  The Gospel and the Family

讲员:郑摩西牧师博士 (与郑师母)
Theme Talks Speaker:  Rev. Dr Moses Tey (and Cathy Tey)

日期和时间:墨尔本时间(AEST, UTC/GMT +10 hrs)
Date and Time: Based on Melbourne time (AEST, UTC/GMT +10 hrs)

中文讲座

第一讲  星期五 8月13日 8.30-10pm
第二讲  星期六 8月14日 11am- 12.30pm
第三讲  星期六 8月14日 8.30-10pm
第四讲  星期日 8月15日 8.30-10pm
*第一讲 – 哥前十五 1-5 – 福音为上帝国度的首要
*第二讲 – 创二 – 家庭为上帝国度的核心
*第三讲 – 路二 – 下一代信仰的关键
*第四讲 – 申六 – 家庭门训为最大诫命的核心

讲员介绍:

郑摩西牧师很深入地由创世记第一章至启示录第二十二章探讨上帝如何建造他的教会,并提供一个上帝如何以家庭为核心建立教会的架构。这阐明了当今教会所面对的挑战,包括领袖栽培、维持婚姻、栽培下一代,以及教会活动的激增。郑牧师团队的事工遍布于中国(250万人次的现场参与)、美国与东南亚。持有电子工程学位的郑牧师也同时拥有道学硕士、神学硕士,以及传播博士学位。他和他的妻子Cathy 目前在美国南浸信会神学院攻读博士学位。他们结婚27年,育有两名爱主的儿子。

– 讲座负责人: 林文光牧师, 陈芳恩牧师, 年议会基督教教育部
– IT, Zoom 及 YouTube 与报名等– Dennis Wong
– 若想知道更多详情及报名等,请扫QR码或联络您的主理牧师

English Seminar

Session 1   Friday 10 September, 8:30-10:00 pm
Session 2  Saturday 11 September, 11:00 am-12:30 pm
Session 3  Saturday 11 September, 8:30-10:00 pm
Session 4  Sunday 12 September, 8:30-10:00 pm
*Session 1 Topic 1 – 1 Corinthians 15:1-5 – Gospel of First Importance
*Session 2 Topic 2 – Genesis 1 – The Family at the Heart of God’s Kingdom
*Session 3 Topic 3 – Luke 2 – A Key for Next Generation’s Faithfulness
*Session 4 Topic 4 – Deuteronomy 6 – Family Discipleship at the Heart of God’s Great Commandment

Speaker Introduction:

Moses’ intensive biblical exploration of how God builds His church spans from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22.  At the heart of this comprehensive framework is the family of God.  This framework addresses many challenges churches face, including developing authentic leaders, marriages, children as they become adults, and the explosion of church programs.  Moses’ team serves in China (2.5 million live attendance), USA, and part of SE Asia.  Upon graduating with an Electrical Engineering degree, Moses pursued a M.Div at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, ThM at Asbury Theological Seminary, PhD of Communications at the University of Kentucky.  He and his wife, Cathy, are currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Church and Family.  They have been married 27 years with two adult sons who love the Lord.

-Event Coordinator – Rev. Gloria Ling, Rev. Michael Ting, Board of Christian Education, CMCA
-IT, Zoom and YouTube (and registration) etc. – Dennis Wong
-For more information and registration, please scan the QR code or contact your local church pastor in-charge.

Certification Guide for Church Leaders and Volunteers

OUR BELIEF

CMC believes that a child or young person should never experience abuse of any kind. We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people and to keep them safe. We are committed to practice in a way that protects them.

CERTIFICATION NEEDED

This GUIDE provides a quick reference to the certifications needed for each ministry at CMC. It applies to all staff, including senior leadership, manager, coordinators, paid staff, volunteers, students or anyone working on behalf of CMC.

Each person-in-charge of their ministries should make sure their team members acquire the relevant certification before commencing their service.

This is essential to ensure our church is compliant with various legislations for child protection in Australia.

Ministry AreaSafe Church Awareness Training Certificate *Working With Children Check **Remarks
General LCEC MinistriesRequired  
Sunday SchoolRequiredRequired 
REEF groupRequiredRequired 
Mainly MusicRequiredRequired 
    

* Class-room workshops and online training classes are available at https://www.ncca.org.au/scp/scp-upcoming-events

https://courses.safeministry.training/

Valid for 3 years

** Application for WCC can be obtained from Service NSW https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-working-children-check. Valid for 5 years