Thursday, 17 April 2008

NWA Reflections

Well I'm safely back from F-welly (Pwllheli to the welsh) after having an awesome time at New Word Alive.

Terry Virgo started the conference preaching from the last half of Romans 5. His theme was Treasuring Christ and Grace. I constantly need to be reminded that there is now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus, only everlasting joy! I think it was Luther who said that the default mode of mans heart is works. In other words we naturally believe that our works effect our standing before Him. As a result of this we either become proud or full of guilt.
Terry showed us that we are completely righteous. Our justification in Christ is not based on our achievements. Our acceptance with Christ is not altered by how sinful we feel. Justification is founded on the declaration that God has made as a result of His Son's perfect obedience.

He then went on to expound Romans 5v14b: 'You are not under law but under grace'. Terry suggested that the believer is without relationship to the law. His sermon seemed to imply antinomianism as he didn't clearly define that Rom 5v14b is speaking about the believers relationship with the law in terms of obeying it for salvation. We don't keep the law for righteousness. I believe this is the meaning Paul is conveying by saying that we have died to the law.
I think some may have misunderstood Terry's sermon to imply that the law is without use today or we do not need to obey it. Scriptures like 1 Tim1v8: 'the law is good if one uses it lawfully' also Psalm 19v 7+8: 'The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul' on the surfacem, seem to contradict what he said.

Carson went through 1 John in the morning Bible readings. These were very good. He really showed us the passion of John when writing against the Gnostic's. The epistle opens with John's affirmation of the humanity of Jesus. It's powerful to ponder over the greatness of our God being 'contracted to a span' all for us. That we might have life, and as John says that our 'joy may be complete'!

Carson is cool. I like his preaching style. It's down to earth but yet powerful and proclamational. As Carson was preaching I was reminded of the power of true doctrine saturated with love. John is writing against rampant heresy but he focuses so much on the love of God. He challenges us to love one another to a greater extent than we can imagine!

More to follow...

Photo: Ian Davidson

1 comment:

thebluefish said...

Interesting thoughts. I though Terry could have pushed even harder on grace... risk the accusation of antinomianism I say and let's show how glorious Jesus really is.