We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
He maha hoki nga mea e tapepa ai tatou katoa. Ki te kore tetahi e tapepa i te kupu, he tino tika tena tangata, e taea ano e ia te paraire te tinana katoa.
A Message from Chris
Kia ora whānau,
Our reason is a good gift of God. The very form of a considerable portion of Scripture is based on reasoning argument (the book of Romans is a majestic example). Our reason reflects the fact that our Creator reasons.
And yet our reasoning faculties, like the rest of us, are both fallen (due to sin) and limited (due to our nature as creatures rather than God). Therefore, as we, after quite a long hiatus, come back to our series on reading the Bible well (you can see previous emails on this here), I want to encourage us both to use our reason as we read the Scriptures, and at the same time to subject our reason to what God has revealed in Scripture, supremely in Jesus.
This means, as we read the Bible, we need to expect to engage our minds and think hard in following and understanding what God is saying to us. And at the same time, we need to be careful not to simply jump from what a part of the Bible says to what we think this must imply, and then take that implication as certain truth.
To give an example of this danger, consider God’s strong message through Paul that we are saved by grace alone (eg Romans 3:20-26). We might logically extrapolate from this to the idea that it doesn’t matter how we live. However, if we check our reasoning by subjecting it to scripture more widely, we will find that our extrapolations are quite wrong – the fact we are saved by grace alone, perhaps surprisingly, is accompanied by the teaching that it really does matter how we live (as we are hearing so powerfully from James, not to mention Paul himself in other places!). That is a bit of an obvious example, but logical extrapolation of this kind, without careful subjection to the wider Scriptural revelation, has led to all sorts of heresies and errors in church history.
Perhaps that is not surprising, because while God is indeed reasonable, to humans his most central ways often seem foolish. As we read in 1 Corinthians 1, the message of the cross is foolishness to many. And yet God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom. That is why, as we read the Bible, we need to keep coming back to God’s wisdom by not just looking up and away from the Bible to consider what we think something must imply, but rather continually bringing our reasoning back to careful and sensitive reading of the Bible, in the constant effort to test and correct and refine our thinking – trusting God is at work as we do.
With love from your fellow wisdom-seeker,
Tono Karakia/Prayer Requests
Please pray for:
- The leadership at SPOTR.
- The appointment of our new Parish facilitator.
The church prayer meeting is held every Wednesday morning, 7:00 a.m. at the church office. For more information please use our contact form.
For those who regularly attend SPOTR, more personal prayer requests are included in the weekly email. If you would like to be added to the email list, please contact Chris.
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14
Other Bits and Piece
March for life: abortion is a tricky and sensitive topic, which touches many people. The Christchurch March for Life is one opportunity to show support for mothers and the unborn, 16 September. More info here.
Women’s Convention: this excellent event is on Sat 16th September – more details and registration here, and there will be flyers at church on Sunday.
SPOTR runs a number of growth groups. To join one please contact Chris. Details of groups below:
– Tuesday and Wednesday night mixed groups
– Wednesday daytime seniors’ group
– Wednesday night women’s group
Caregivers room – We now have a video feed of the sermon playing in the parents’ room. This is available every other week. (The Rocks group use it on in between weeks. Apologies for inconvenience, we are outgrowing our building so juggling the rooms). If you want to take your young child out during the service, this is the place to go. Please note, this is an unsupervised room: parents/caregivers need to stay with their children. Children are always welcome in the main auditorium, and toys are available at the back of the room.
Church Directory – If you want your details adding to our directory, please email [email protected] with your email/phone. This page is password protected. Only those who are in the directory have the password.
Giving – You may have noticed we do not take a collection during our services. If you would like to contribute financially to SPOTR please contact Trent (our treasurer) for details, use the box at the back of church or use this link (scroll to bottom of page when you are transferred). please note: for anyone who gives to the church by standing order, our bank account number is 03 0674 0274 673 000 Thank you.
SPOTR IRD Number: 134-501-266 The Treasurer has asked for this to be included here as it may be needed for dealing with tax donation claims.
A list of the rostered jobs that we have at SPOTR can be found here. Thank you to all our volunteers who help to keep the church running. Please use contact form if you would like to be added to the roster.😊