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This Easter, be doers of the Word, not just hearers

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Last week I had the privilege of being responsible for the Wilberforce Academy, a week of teaching and relationship building for students and young graduates looking to be witnesses for Christ in the various arenas of public life such as law, media, business and politics.

Our nation is crying out for a new generation of Christian leaders who can speak with clarity, conviction and compassion to the pressing issues that we face.

Years of silence from the Church in this country has opened the door for legislation which has seen the death of over 7 million unborn children, thousands of divorces and broken families and the marginalisation of Christian faith in public life.

This silence has been a silence of cowardice, not compassion.

As the prophet Isaiah said long ago, truth has stumbled in the public square. It has been allowed to stumble because God’s people have not contended for it where it has been under threat.

It is all very well to hear the Gospel in our churches week in and week out but if we fail to live it out in every area of life – for every area of life belongs to Jesus – we are living a lie; Christ is seen as Lord of the church only, not of the whole earth.

This kind of thinking is seen in the Prime Minister’s latest contribution to the same sex marriage debate. Whilst saying that “the values of the Bible, the values of Christianity are the values that we need” and that he commends the Christian “fightback” against secularism, he restated his commitment to introduce same sex ‘marriage’ with the nonsensical assurance that marriages in churches will not be affected.

There are not two forms of marriage. There is only one, as Jesus Himself taught. If Jesus is Lord, as we profess this Easter, then the veracity of His word extends beyond the Church to the whole world.

At the closing banquet of the Wilberforce Academy, I read this passage from James:

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in hisdoing.(James 1:22-25)

My challenge to the delegates was to buck the trend that has affected the British Church for so long and be doers of the Word and not just hearers.

At Easter time we celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a time to remember both the nature of His Lordship and the scale of His Lordship.

The nature of His Lordship is that He did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. He is not a harsh oppressor but a gracious King, laying down His life for us and taking the punishment that we deserve.

The scale of His Lordship is universal. Death could not hold Him. He rules over all things.

In the light of these truths, let us not just hear them this Easter but live them out in all their fullness, proclaiming ‘Jesus is Lord’ not just in church services but in the public square and, as ever, let us pray for David Cameron, that he too would have the courage to be a doer of the Word for the good of this nation.

Andrea

 

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