Shared at the Dedication of Bethesda Shalom – 24/07/21
As we witness first-hand in our day, the grievous state of decline in this nation of Great Britain is a state most sorry to behold. The speed at which morality is crumbling away before our very eyes leave us without words to fully articulate the peril of the present hour. I find that in life, it’s far easier and quicker to destroy than it is to erect; to pull down than it is to build up!! Spiritually, we’re sliding into Sodom and plunging into Gomorrah; and while the world travails the broad road to destruction, the professing Church of Jesus Christ has veered off the narrow path and has found its way down to vanity fair! Oh!! do some decry this sad state of affairs and I not join them in lifting up my voice? Do others lament this midnight hour and I not also grieve with them! The hour is late, and the need is desperate.
A heart cry goes forth for God to visit His people in revival. There’s simply no other alternative. God…in wrath, remember mercy!!
There are a number of passages in the Book of Isaiah that have come to be known as the “servant passages”. Some scholars put the number at four, others at five; but what binds each of them together, is their description of Messiah in His lowly mission. There are many titles given to our Lord Jesus in the Bible that speak of His glory and majesty, titles that speak of His power and dominion. Yet, the focus of this sermon is not found in these descriptions, but rather is found in that title which serves well to depict the lowly Lord, namely that of a servant!
Ezra was a man of great influence in his day and one who possessed great knowledge of the Word of God. Talk about knowledge? Look no further than the man Ezra, he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses! Talk about pedigree and class? Look no further than the man Ezra, he was a priest of the sons of Aaron! Talk about honour and esteem? The glories of the scribe in his day eclipsed those of the priest! Yet…there was one distinguishing factor that singled this scribe out from among all the other scribes of his day. Not only was Ezra a ready scribe who prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord so as to teach in Israel its statutes and judgments. Ezra set his heart to do it!!!
In John 17, Jesus prayed that “…they all may be one”. He was of course referring to the true Church - those who would come to believe in Him through the Word of the Apostles. This reality has been made possible via the new birth. When one is born again of the Spirit of God, they are grafted into the spiritual Body of Jesus Christ. This is a concrete fact that cannot be disputed. Yet, the great challenge that faces every one of us who names the name of Jesus Christ, is the practical outworking of this reality in a functional, living experience. How does the Body of Christ bring the abstract in line with the concrete? All is brought to light in God’s precious Word!