1st January 2017

New Year’s Message from Pastor

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

1 Cor. 2v2

Going back to school after the Christmas holidays, for me as a child, always had an air of inevitability, if not predictability, about it: the opening assembly of the new term would invariably have as its subject the making of New Year’s resolutions. The Headmaster would give the whole school a speech on how we should resolve this year to do this good, to give up this bad habit … to begin to cultivate some interesting and wholesome practice for our New Year’s resolution. If the theme stopped there, we would be surprised; in all probability our form class discussion would centre around the same theme … and then, particularly dreaded by me, the English class would see us putting pen to paper as we were given an essay to write on the same subject!
The verse above, from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, has within it the apostle’s own determined resolution: against a background of much trouble in the church at Corinth – having within its ranks schism, immorality, the defiling of the Lord’s table, Christian taking Christian to court etc., – it would have been both natural and usual for Paul to have been taken up with these issues primarily. They could so easily have dominated his thinking and taken over his time and consumed his energy; but he, seeing the dangers, decidedly resolves upon this resolution: ‘not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified’
A noble resolution indeed! In fact, the best of all resolutions for all and any – in any time, in any place. The highest of resolutions for us as we go into this next year of our lives – as a church and as individuals with the church.
If we are not yet Christians, this resolution is most vital for us, for without a knowledge of the dear Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ – a knowledge of His Person, of His Gospel saving work when He was crucified in the place of believing sinners – without this knowledge we shall be lost, eternally. If you are not a Christian please then make this your decided resolution for the year ahead – to know Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
If you are a Christian, the resolution still holds good. Paul himself wrote, after years in the faith, of his great desire – to know Christ and the power of His resurrection (Phil 3v10). Surely we recognise that this is a knowledge in which we have so much more to grow and mature in. If we indeed love the Lord Jesus Christ, this will be our driven desire and resolution: to know Jesus Christ better, and Him crucified, better and deeper. It has been remarked of the Christian life, that the more we know, the more we realise that there is so much we do not know. This shall ever be the case when it comes to Christ and His Gospel, for He is an infinite Person, His Gospel work on the cross displaying an bottomless mine of treasure, to move our souls and melt our hearts in love and gratitude unto Him.
So as we begin 2017 – whatever our age, position, spiritual standing – let this be our resolution to grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ; to know Him and Him crucified. What could be more blessed and more profitable than this. May God help us all!!

Pastor Paul Ackerley