Why I am a Christian!


The Apostle John, writing in 1 John 5:9-12 - "We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life."

Why Is It So?

A testimony is an assertion offering firsthand authentication of a fact. For the Christian Disciple, classically it is generally expressed as how they became a Christian Disciple.

But I think it is more than just how, and should expressly include why you are a Christian Disciple. I wonder what is your testimony about how you became a Christian Disciple? When was the last time you thanked our God for your testimony? Have you even thought about your testimony of how you became a Christian Disciple?

I am sure you have all heard kids in the supermarket yelling out "Why?" to their parents. We all have, I am sure, questions we want to know the answer to. Why? The question I am often asked is "You are a Christian. Why is it so?"

My father, was and remained throughout his life a convinced agnostic and in the few conversations we had about religion and Christianity, he could never understand why it was, that I could not just admit that I would never know if God existed or not, far less a God who was personally interested in me. My reply as ever, was that the very question "Why is it so?" needed to be answered, in order for me to be satisfied.

Why I am a Christian?

Now I could say that at the age of 12, we moved to a town on the coast of Australia, and was invited along to a local youth group and several weeks later, gave my life to Christ and became a Christian. Of course that is partly true. I can't even claim to be a Christian because I was raised in a Christian country. Australia was and is probably the second most secular country on this planet. Sure Australia has its moral base grounded in historic Christianity, but for the latter part of its history, Australia has been thoroughly secular and non-religious. Even if I had been raised in a country such as England, with Christian parents, that would also, only be partly true and I could have rejected Christianity as many people do. The reason that I am a Christian is not because I chased God, but rather He chased me. Unknown to me at the time, God was chasing me and following my every path with the urgency of a lover after the beloved, just as described in the Song of Songs 2:2-14.

God had been pursuing me

This piece of poetic Scripture speaks about the love that God has for his people, and the energy He puts in to calling his people to Himself. He is always reaching out, for all to return to His arms. As for me, it wasn't until I was a 12 year old that I heard that I needed to accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. Before that I didn't know I had to do anything with this Jesus. Jesus was only a curse word for me at the time. That or was just someone or something that the RE teachers bored me with at school.

We are primarily Christians, not because we come to church services or just happened to have been born in a supposedly Christian country. We are primarily Christians, because God first chased and harried us into His arms. We are Christians, if you are one, because God first loved you. And as a tremendous lover, He beckons and calls people all the time to respond to His call, and back to Him. How does He chase us with His love?

God chases each person differently, just as each Christian testimony is different. Take for instance the Apostle Paul in Acts 8 & 9. God chased him through Paul's mind and his religious upbringing and education. Paul had known about God from his childhood. Paul was a righteous Pharisee who saw persecuting these ‘Christians' as his religious duty, so that he may somehow find favour with God. As Paul was gloating over the death of the martyr Stephen, God was pursuing Him, probably raising doubts in Paul's mind as to why Stephen would say at the point of death "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit and forgive them for what they do" (Acts 7:54-60). Surely doubts must have been raised in Paul's mind as he approved of this death (Acts 8v1).

Paul was also wrestling with his conscience. Externally he was a righteous man, a Pharisee of Pharisees. Yet when he internally examined himself and his heart, he found himself failing regarding covetousness, which is the last of the Ten Commandments. Then finally, Jesus himself makes a sudden and dramatic appearance before Paul and confronts him directly, "Why are you kicking against me? Why are you rejecting my advances?" (Acts 9) Paul's conversion to Christianity is often described as being sudden. But the only thing sudden about his conversion was this climatic appearance of Jesus.

Just as that was true of Paul, it is true of me, just as it is true of all those who profess to call themselves a Christian Disciple. I am a Christian Disciple not because of anything I have done, but rather because He first chased me, and because He first loved me. Jesus himself said "I came to seek and to save the lost" (Luke 19:10).

If you are a Christian today, it is not because of anything you have done. It is because of the events at Christmas and Easter that you are a Christian, when God entered this world as a human baby and took all the necessary steps so that all people could have the choice to be His people or not. In my more smug moments I used to congratulate myself for being a Christian. How proud I was that I, was a Christian and that God was a jolly lucky God that I had decided to follow Him. It was during one of my less self-deluded moments, that I examined myself and I found God pricking my conscience and correcting me, and I read the New Testament "For the Son of Man came, not to be served but to give His life as a ransom for many" (Mark10:45).


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Alfie brings you a WOW Word

WOW Word - God of Judement

~Today Alphy the WOWChurch Cat shares about

the WOW Word - God of Judgment!


We have all at some point liked to think of God as being only about love and never judging. People say “It will be alright in the end, because the love of God conquers all.” Well, remember also, that love involves judging. God is the judge of all the earth, the writer of Hebrews reminds us (Hebrews 12:23). This judgment has several aspects to it:


God shows no favoritism (Romans 2:11). God is eternally just and righteous. It is a reflection of His mercy, that nobody can claim God is unfair.


Jesus Christ will judge the whole world with justice (Acts 17:31). Everybody is destined to die once and after that to face judgment (Hebrews 9:27). What is common to everybody, is a universal sinfulness (Romans 2:1). What is in the murderer or the thief is in everybody, everywhere and all the time. That is rebelliousness against God and that is sin and it must be judged. Judgement will be before the Great White Throne of Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).


Judgment of unbelievers: Those who do not profess Jesus, as God, will be judged according to their sinfulness. They are already guilty, because they didn’t take up the offer of salvation through Grace during their earthly life. These people will be cast into the lake of fire with satan and his angels (Revelation 20:15; Matthew 25:41). This punishment is eternal (Matthew 25:46). Judgment of Christian Disciples: And that is not all.


Judgment of believers: Those who are believers, Christian disciples, and are actively engaged in a relationship with Jesus Christ, will also be judged. Does that surprise you? While these people have accepted God’s free offer and are declared righteous by faith, they will be judged according to the things they have done with, and in, their faith. Belief and faith are to be supported by good works (Romans 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

As a Christian Disciple, you will not be judged for sin - this has been judged (Isaiah 53:4-6; again I find that odd since it is quoting from before the event, which raises all sorts of questions about scripture. Why not Romans 6:21? Peter 2:24), and you have salvation on that basis. This judgment is not for your salvation but for your crown, your rewards (2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Peter 5:4). As a Christian Disciple, you will be asked to give an account of yourself (Romans 14:10), and you will be judged according to what you have done (2 Corinthians 5:10). The quality of your work will be tested (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). Your motives will be exposed – either you did things for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 4:4-5) which is acceptable, or you did them for some other reasons which are not.

As a Christian Disciple, you will give account of the opportunities and abilities entrusted to you (Matthew 25:14-30). Rewards may be gained or lost (1 Corinthians 3:14-15). These rewards are described as:

  • an incorruptible crown (1 Corinthians 9:25)
  • a crown of glory (1 Peter 5:4)
  • a crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8)
  • a crown of rejoicing (1 Thessalonians 2:19)
  • a crown of life (James 1:12)

So, go this day. Go this week. Go tell somebody of the crown waiting for them, if only they are willing to enter into a living and dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ. Remember - do all you do, for God’s glory and not your own.


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January 28, 2019

Think Spot 28 January 2019


Think Spot - 28th January 2019

Charlotte Bronte - “Life appears to me to be too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrong.

Many people nurse a guilty conscience owing to holding onto animosity or wrongs done to them or having done wrong things to others. As a consequence, their life is filled with turmoil and bitterness. You may well be like that – I don’t know!
What I do know is that your conscience is the faculty which is sensitive to right and wrong, and judges your actions and attitudes. Everybody has a conscience and all are sensitive to spiritual truths, whether they are immediately aware of it or not.

According to the Bible, a clear conscience is essential for inner peace and joy, confidence in prayer, good health, effective service, .right relation-ships, effective witnessing, making right decisions, and victory in spiritual battle. A clear conscience is the inner joy and peace of spirit which results from having all personal wrongs made right with those whom a person had offended - either God or someone else.

However- many Christians carry around guilty consciences due mainly to unconfessed sins, affecting relationships with God, other people and themselves. If left unchecked, a conscience which is guilty, slowly grows 'dead', cold and silent. That is until such time that the guilt has been assuaged and put right.

If at the moment you are burdened by a guilty conscience, ask the Holy Spirit to show you clearly what is affecting your conscience. Then decide, at any cost, to clear it up in the power of the same Spirit. He will help you! Pray to the Father and ask forgiveness, (1 John 1:9), and fully accept His love and forgiveness. If there is anyone else involved, then you will also need to ask for their forgiveness (Matthew 5:23-24).

Ask the Father to help you go, and the Spirit will help you, because one of the hardest things in the world to say is: “I was wrong! Please forgive me." Your conscience can be cleansed because of what Jesus did on the cross!

Hebrews 9:14 “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
Go into this week, ready to serve the living God, being confident that the Holy Spirit living within you, empowers you, is transforming you and desires that your conscience be clear. He will help you overcome if you ask!

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Investigating Jesus

Investigating Jesus Part 16
Jesus’ Teaching (Part 1)

What did Jesus teach?

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus appeals to the Old Testament scriptures in every facet of his teaching. We see that Jesus frequently used Old Testament Scripture in his teachings concerning morality and the Laws (Matthew 5:14-8), the historical stories (Matthew 24:27-29) and in his debates with the religious leaders.

Quite possibly, the supreme example of his teaching can be found in what we call the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-7:29). Whilst mainly speaking to his disciples, he allowed the crowds to listen. In this discourse, all of Jesus’ teachings are exhibited. Key themes from the Sermon on the Mount include: a Christian Disciple’s character, influence, righteousness, religion, devotional life, ambition and relationships. We look now at just 2 topics that Jesus taught.

Firstly Regarding Himself: Whilst Jesus never directly claimed to be God, he did things only God could do. He claimed authority to forgive sins (Matthew 9:1-7). He also claimed exclusivity in being alone as the only way that a human could be engaged in an active & dynamic relationship with God. We see that when Jesus said:
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).

Jesus’ claim to be the prophesied and long awaited for Messiah, or Son of Man, is an appeal to Old Testament texts and their subsequent fulfilment and completion in Him (Mark 8:29-33). Primary amongst this, was his teaching that the Messiah must suffer and be glorified, which was also an appeal to Old Testament scripture (Luke 9:31; Luke 12:50; John 10:11-15).

Now secondly, regarding the Kingdom of God: Jesus preached that entrance to the kingdom of God was through repentance (Matthew 3:2) and this repentance led to a spiritual rebirth (John 3:1-8). He calls all Christian Disciples to seek it first (Matthew 6:33) and to pray for it (Matthew 6:10). But what is the Kingdom of God?

The Kingdom of God as taught by Jesus, was not a political uprising against the Romans, as thought by some people, including his disciples James and John (Mark 10:35-45). The Kingdom of God is a personal inner spiritual relationship with God as the ruler over the life of the Christian Disciple, but it is also the Christian Disciple exhibiting this relationship with God in a visible new society (Matthew 25:34; Luke 13:29). Parables such as the corn and weeds (Matthew 13:24-30) and the mustard seed (Mark 4:3-32) typify Jesus’ teaching on this.

Next episode we will look more specifically at who Jesus taught

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January 26, 2019

Highlights in Hebrews 24

Highlights in Hebrews
Highlights in Hebrews
(with Roger Kirby)
Part 24 - Hebrews 10:10–14
We are holy!

“… we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."

Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”

The dominant word here is ‘holy’, appearing twice. That is difficult because ‘holy’ is one of those words which tends to mean something rather different in our everyday usage from what it means in scripture. Holiness in common usage tends to mean something like being ‘so heavenly minded as to be no earthly use’! That is far away from scripture usage.

‘Holy’ is the prime attribute of God. He is pure; he is perfect love; he is true justice; he is different from everything else; he is wholly other and above and beyond all else. When the word ‘holy’ is applied to somebody or something on the earth it means they, or it. are so close to God that some of that holiness has ‘rubbed off’ onto them.

We need to put together what our writer says here with what Paul says in Romans 12:1-2. To take what Paul says first he is interested in the practical effects of being holy. He says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

There is no beginning suggestion there, or anywhere else in scripture, that holiness requires withdrawal from every day life. It might be easier if it did! But it doesn’t. We have to live in the world but not in the way of the world. We have to have a different mindset, a different worldview, a different focus of all our endeavours. A different Lord.. We have to please God; we have to let as much of the holiness of God rub off on us as we can. That can only happen if we live in close proximity to him as much as possible. Or, to put it another way, we are to walk hand in hand with the Holy Spirit.

That is Paul’s emphasis. But what about our writer here? He is more concerned with how this can possibly have happened. It is all because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. This is the positive aspect of what Jesus achieved. We probably, rightly, think more of the negative, of what he did as securing forgiveness of sin for us, sin past, present and future. Positively he set us on a way, a pathway, which we are to walk with the Spirit. He has perfected us! Perfected us in the sense that we cannot, could not, be any more acceptable to the Lord of All than we are through Jesus. We have reached an end a completion of our lives and characters. Wow!

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