THE FULHAM FELLOWSHIP NEWS

17th May 2015

Message from the minister:
WHO WAS PAUL, AND HOW SHOULD WE UNDERSTAND HIS EPISTLES?

We are studying the book of Hebrews in our Tuesday Prayer & Bible Study. Although the author is not stated it is widely believed to be The Apostle Paul, one of the most prolific writers of the New Testament.

Besides Jesus, no single figure was more influential in the beginnings of Christianity than the apostle Paul.

Of the 27 books of the New Testament, 13 are attributed to Paul.

Take a look at a Bible map showing the missionary journeys of Paul, and you will be astonished to see the territory he covered—not just geographically, but culturally as well.

He was a Jew from the tribe of Benjamin, and he became an impassioned member of the Pharisees (Rom. 11:1closeRomans 11:1 The Remnant of Israel 11:1 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. (ESV) closeRomans 11:1closeRomans 11:1 The Remnant of Israel 11:1 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. (ESV) The Remnant of Israel 11:1 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. (ESV) ; Phil. 3:4-5closePhilippians 3:4-5 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; (ESV) closePhilippians 3:4-5closePhilippians 3:4-5 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; (ESV) though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; (ESV) ; Acts 23:6closeActs 23:6 Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” (ESV) closeActs 23:6closeActs 23:6 Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” (ESV) Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” (ESV) ).

He came from the city of Tarsus, grew up in the midst of Greco-Roman culture, and was a Roman citizen.

This remarkable background meant he was able to speak the gospel into urban settings. He was comfortable in Jerusalem, but also capable of moving into places like Crete, Greece, and Rome. His adaptability was amazing. He spoke with magistrates and philosophers and tradespeople.

image1

Trial of the Apostle Paul, 1875, Nikolai K. Bodarevsky

His strong views about faith in Christ were most certainly tempered by his dramatic conversion on ‘The Road To Damascus’.

In the New Testament there is no more radical story of personal change than the story of the young man who was drafted by his fellow Pharisees to actively investigate and prosecute the early followers of Jesus. He stood by as the first Christian martyr, Stephen, was stoned to death. But while traveling to Damascus in Syria, to find and arrest more of Jesus’ followers, he had a supernatural encounter with Jesus and would soon undergo the utter change of mind and heart, which in his epistles (letters) he describes as conversion or repentance.

It wasn’t easy for the other apostles to accept this persecutor in their midst, much less endorse him as a teacher. But with the passing of years, Paul eventually set out on his first great journey with a few close companions in tow.

There is a wide variation in the epistles of Paul. Four are called his “prison epistles” because he wrote them from prison (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon). The stress of being in prison comes through at points. For instance, while writing the epistle to his dear friends at Philippi, he states that he believes he may be close to execution.

Of these four, one is written to one person about a runaway slave (Philemon), whereas another, Ephesians, seems to have been written for a whole region of churches.

Three of the epistles, written very late, are usually called “the pastoral epistles” because they contain instructions to Paul’s companions Timothy and Titus on how to protect order, harmony, and correct teaching in their churches.

Not surprisingly, these are epistles that we church leaders look to in shaping ministry roles in congregations. The qualifications for elders and deacons found in 1 Timothy. 3 and in Titus 1closeTitus 1 Greeting 1:1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior; To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. Qualifications for Elders This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. 10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. 11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12 One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work. (ESV) closeTitus 1closeTitus 1 Greeting 1:1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior; To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. Qualifications for Elders This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. 10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. 11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12 One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work. (ESV) Greeting 1:1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior; To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. Qualifications for Elders This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. 10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. 11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12 One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work. (ESV) , for instance, describe essential leadership characteristics and are easily applied in our own church today.

Romans is a powerful, comprehensive description of the whole of the gospel. It covers creation, sin, redemption, and our eventual restoration. The special issue of righteousness and grace is emphasised in Romans, as it also is in the epistle to the Galatians.

First and second Corinthians’ offer great insight into an apostle trying his best to respond to tensions in a troubled church, to challenge bad values, and to call people to action. There is a special poignancy in 2 Corinthians as Paul describes his own hurt through the efforts of those trying to discredit him, and his anxiety about his relationship with the Corinthian Church. Here we see the humility of Paul, even as he describes himself as unimpressive in physical appearance and unremarkable as a public speaker. Now that is astonishing to read! The apostle Paul, a so-so preacher.

So what do my college tutors suggest we should bear in mind as we read and try to comprehend the epistles of Paul?

In order to understand the epistles of the New Testament, we must begin (As always) with context. Every epistle was written to a specific audience and for a specific purpose. If we dig around, we find out what false teaching the book of Colossians is countering, what slavery looked like, what family life was like, what the features of the culture were at the time. Then we can ask: “What universal and timeless truths is the author drawing on, truths that apply to us today?”

We may not “greet one another with a holy kiss” (Rom. 16:16closeRomans 16:16 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you. (ESV) closeRomans 16:16closeRomans 16:16 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you. (ESV) 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you. (ESV) ) today, but Christian grace and civility still apply. First Peter 3:3close1 Peter 3:3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— (ESV) close1 Peter 3:3close1 Peter 3:3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— (ESV) Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— (ESV)  recommends not wearing gold jewellery because in that culture it was ostentatious to do so. Today, avoiding ostentatiousness still applies, though having a gold ring or a gold cross does not rise to that same level. Having elders oversee the ministry of churches today still applies, although having one man appoint them (as Paul instructed Timothy to do) isn’t typically the method of selection that is used.

The epistles of Paul extend the richness of Holy Scripture, and they remind us once again that the word of God is truth in relationship. I recommend them to you. Remain blessed, love Pastor Mark

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY:

Monday Cornerstone Café is from 10am to 12pm.

Tuesday Prayer & Bible Study is at 7.30pm in the Fellowship hall. This week we are in Hebrew’s Chapter 3.

Wednesday Luncheon Club is from 12pm to 1pm

Thursday Prayer & Bible Study is at 3pm

Sunday Worship is at 11am with Pastor Mark.

FOODBANKS AND STREET PASTORS IN LONDON

For the 150th LBA anniversary I have been asked to write a piece on London Baptist contributions to Foodbanks and Street Pastors. If your church has played a role in these areas could you contact me on 07731 846301 or carol_bostridge@hotmail.com

Thanks

Rev Carol Bostridge

 

OFFICIAL INVITATION TO THE LAUNCH OF TURKIC BELT MINISTRIES. 

Date: Friday 12th June

Time: 7:00pm

Venue: Streatham Baptist Church

This year we are celebrating our ministry’s official launch and I would like to invite you to come to join us on It is a historical moment for us and our Trustees and I would be thrilled if you can come to support us.

Yours in Him,

Elnur Jabiyev

 

CALLING ALL YOUNG(ER) LEADERS!!!

Being church leaders today, especially in London, brings both incredible opportunities and significant challenges. And for those of us who are perhaps a little younger and newer to the leadership life, this is especially true! Therefore it is important to make sure we are learning not only from God but from each other, sharing and supporting one another as we seek to serve God and serve our city! Pete James (The King’s Cross Baptist Church/LBA) and Dawn Cole-Savidge are currently looking to connect with others in church leadership positions, and are aged 18-35 years to see if we can perhaps better support, equip and inspire each other. If you find yourself in this bracket, or you know someone in church leadership (but not youth workers), who is then please do get in touch as we start up a new group to connect, resource and equip each other!

Just email either Pete on kcbcstudents@yahoo.co.uk or Dawn on d.savidge@hotmail.co.uk (or even both) and they will fill you in on details for the first get together in May!

Student and Young Adults Worker

The King’s Cross Baptist Church
& London Baptist Association
Vernon Sq. Islington, London, WC1X 9EW

www.thekingscrossbaptistchurch.com

 

LIFE-ISSUE SESSION AT GODALMING BAPTIST CHURCH

Date: Thursday 11th June 2015

Time: 9 am – 1 pm

How we feel about ourselves and the way we communicate can greatly affect how we feel emotionally.

This workshop is for anyone over 18 who would like to improve emotional well-being for themselves, their friends and family or the people they work with.

 

ONE WAY UK PUPPET TRAINING EVENT

Faith Baptist Church, Tottenham

30th May 2015

A practical hands on day suitable for both adults and children, where there will be plenty of opportunities to develop your skills and be inspired with new ideas!
This exciting puppet training day is designed to give you hands on experience within the following areas: basic and advanced puppet manipulation skills, solo and theatre style puppetry, how to start a puppet ministry (including finances, equipment, recruiting etc.), props and scenery, choreography, putting a song together and much more!
The day is for adults and young people, schools workers, church leaders, Sunday school teachers, youth/children’s workers, those already involved in puppet ministry and wanting to improve their skills or even if you are just curious as to how puppetry can enhance your outreach!
There will also be a large range of resources available for you to try out and purchase, including the latest puppets from the One Way UK Creative Productions workshop! There will be performances and demonstrations throughout the day to give you plenty of starting ideas.
Cost: £15 per person if booked 10 days prior to event, or £20 thereafter. The day will commence at 10am and finish at 4pm. Registration starts at 9.30am.
Refreshments will be available but please bring a packed lunch and a puppet if you have one. There will be a selection of practice puppets available for you to use if needed. Please note the training day is not suitable for children under the age of 9, unless they are an active member of a puppet team.
For all our latest events around the country speak to Jenny in our events department on 01472 241068 who can answer any questions you may have and if you are interested in One Way UK coming to your church to host a training day!

We would be very grateful if you feel this is something you could do for us. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions
Jenny Jones
Events Co-Ordinator
One Way UK Creative Ministries
Training: 01472 241068   |   Sales: 01472 362810

 

PROJECT LOAVES AND FISHES

If we are going to continue making Jesus known in our communities, we need to find ways of releasing money for mission now and in the future.

Project Loaves & Fishes has been commissioned by the Baptist Steering Group to undertake a thorough review of Home Mission income and its sustainability, and we need your input. Whatever your views or understanding of Home Mission, we want to hear from you in the following ways:

·         Our online survey by 19th June 2015 – https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/loaves

·         Or by email to fivebarleyloaves@gmail.com

 

LEARNING COMMUNITY TASTER DAY

Balham Baptist Church

Date: Saturday, 13th June 2015

Time: 10:00 to 16:30

Venue: Balham Baptist Church, 21 Ramsden Road, SW12 8QX London

You are invited to a Learning Community taster day of teaching, interactive seminars, networking, and a chance to hear how God is bringing transformation through Missional Communities of ordinary disciples, and have a taster of what it looks like to be part of a Learning Community. We will hear the story of what God has done through a church in Sheffield, and the principles learned along the way….

For booking, please email philjules@aol.com for more information.
We hope you can make it!
Phil Stokes

 

IS SOMEONE YOU KNOW LOOKING FOR A NEW JOB?

A new Ignition job search course, designed to help find a satisfying job, starts soon at Chatsworth Baptist Church, West Norwood, SE27 9HN.  The Ignition course is for anyone who is trying, or thinking of trying, to get a job – whether unemployed or employed.  The course covers everything from identifying your skills, understanding the employer’s perspective, learning the ‘head, hands and heart’ concept to help demonstrate you are the right person for the job, to techniques for job applications and interviews.

If you know anyone in your church who would be interested in coming to the seven session course, which is running on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings in June, starting on 2 June, from 7.00 to 9.30pm, please contact cbcignition@virginmedia.com.

The course is free and open to all.

 

NEW QUIET DAYS AT SPURGEON’S COLLEGE

Spurgeon’s College is launching a series of Quiet Days, as part of its new Centre for Spirituality. Starting in May 2015, the College will be setting aside its building and grounds one Friday each month to encourage and enable people to connect with God.

Each Quiet Day will be based around three chapel services, led by College staff or invited guests, designed to provide points for reflection. The rest of the day will provide freedom to walk around the gardens, reflect in the chapel, enjoy a coffee in the onsite café, read or just sit quietly. Participants will be given a guest bedroom for the day, which can be used as their own quiet space.

Revd Dr Peter Morden, vice principal and director of the Spurgeon’s Centre for Spirituality said: “Our Quiet Days are open to all. Whether you are a Christian in leadership or a lay person, if you recognise the need for more ‘quality time’ with God, we invite you to spend a day with us focusing on God. In taking time to pause and listen to Him, we can have our eyes lifted above our present circumstances, our energy renewed and our ‘first love’ restored.

“We welcome people who have never been to Spurgeon’s before – who may be surprised to find such an oasis of peace in London – as well as those who have been here many times. Come and experience our Christ-centred community and journey with us as we seek to put ‘first things first’ and draw nearer to God.”

Quiet Days are the first in a series of initiatives being developed by The Spurgeon’s Centre for Spirituality. Other events will include conferences on spirituality, annual lectures, and the promotion of writing and research in Christian spirituality.

Quiet Days cost £25 with lunch (£20 without lunch). In 2015 Quiet Days will be held on 22 May, 19 June, 17 July, 18 September, 16 October, 20 November and 18 December. Participants need to book in advance at www.spurgeons-college.myshopify.com

Spurgeon’s College provides theological and counselling training for Christian leaders and lay people. Its theological courses, which can be studied in College or online, range from a single module at Certificate level, through to Doctorates. The College is associated with the University of Manchester, a member college of the Baptist Union, a member of the Evangelical Alliance and a member of the Micah Network.

Paula Eason

Development & Fundraising Officer

Spurgeon’s College, South Norwood Hill, London SE25 6DJ

p.eason@spurgeons.ac.uk

www.spurgeons.ac.uk

 

OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE 

Families & Children’s worker – Worcester Park Baptist

This is an exciting new role at our church near Kingston, in South West London. If you a Christian looking for fresh opportunity to apply your passion, gifting and experience of church and community-based work with families and children, we would love to hear from you. http://www.londonbaptist.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Families-Childrens-worker-advert-WPBC.pdf

Lucy Wright

Basement Youth Centre Co-ordinator, YMCA London South West | YMCA England

The Basement at John Bunyan Baptist Church, Kingston upon Thames is run by YMCA London South West. They are making an exciting appointment to develop the youth centre further. Please get in touch with Rev Ken Walker rev.ken@hotmail.co.uk

 

Children’s Worker in South Croydon

Croham Road Baptist Church

What: This permanent full-time position is an opportunity to work with a Community-minded Church to develop their children’s work.

Where:  Croham Road Baptist Church

Who: We are looking for a committed Christian who has the energy and drive to develop a children’s programme that can help them to come to know Jesus Christ and grow in their relationship with him. The role will involve ministry to young children and their families from crèche up to children in Years 7/8. It will include leading a team of volunteers from the church.

Experience:  The successful candidate will have church-based experience with suitable qualifications.

Salary:  Up to £20,000 – £25,000 commensurate with experience & qualifications

Email:    david.rogers@crohamroadbaptist.co.uk

Closing date for applications: 29th May 2015

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