What is the meaning of life? Why are we here?
The Student Alpha Course is an opportunity for young adults (ages 18-30) to explore the big questions about life and the Christian faith in a relaxed, informal and friendly environment. Course starts Tuesday 21 January at 19h30 in the Thurber Room. Every week as we break bread together our goal is this: to break new grounds in our faith.
No pressure. No follow up. No charge.
Dine. Debate. Discover.
HOW DOES GOD GUIDE ME TO MAKE THE MOST OF MY LIFE
Jesus said this about God's perfect plan for each of us:
'I have come that they might have life and have it to the full.'
Life to the full ... in all that we are and in all that we do. God's perfect plan for you and me is that we should first BE something, and then, from that place of assured identity and security in him, we would DO great things with our lives.
How does that first bit work?
Who or what does God want you to BE?
In Romans 12, St Paul says this:
'Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.'
WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?
For a long time in the church the person and work of the Holy Spirit has been:
a greater concentration on the Father and the Son
'he' not 'it', resisted
he wants to take control
1. The Holy Spirit was involved in creation
• Bringing order out of chaos (Genesis 1:1–2)
• Giving life to humankind (Genesis 2:7)
2. He came upon particular people at particular times for particular tasks
• Gideon – for leadership (Judges 6:14–16)
• Bezalel – for artistic work (Exodus 31:1–5)
• Samson – for strength (Judges 15:14–15)
• Isaiah – for prophecy (Isaiah 61:1–3)
OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
What happened to Cornelius and his household when the Spirit came upon them? (Acts 10:44–46)
1. They experienced the power of the Holy Spirit:
'... the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers ... were astonished' (Acts 10:44–45)
2. They were released in praise
'For they heard them ... praising God' (Acts 10:46)
3. They received a new language
'For they heard them speaking in tongues' (Acts 10:46)
• Tongues – a language that has not been learnt
Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" (Matthew 4:4)
The Bible. God has spoken. Revelation.
- Inspired by God
- 'Theopneustos' – God-breathed
- 100% the work of humans and 100% inspired by God.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16–17)
Prayer is as important for Christians as communication is to any relationship – it helps us develop a relationship with God. Prayer is a two-way conversation with him – he hears our prayers and we can learn to listen to what he may have to say in response. Praying can give Christians peace and help them to experience God’s love – these are just some of the rewards of prayer.
Prayer allows Christians to have access to God through Jesus, his Son.
‘... those who become Christians become new persons.They are not the same anymore, for the old is gone. A new life has begun!’ (2 Corinthians 5:17)
But experiences vary ... some immediately know the difference ... for others it is more gradual train journey. For example: some people will be awake as they cross the border, others will be asleep, but they all arrive at the same destination. When we received Christ, we became a child of God (John 1:12)
God wants us to be sure: 'I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.’ (1 John 5:13)
C.S. Lewis wrote:
'A man who was merely a man, and said the sort of things Jesus said, wouldn’t be a great moral teacher. He’d either be insane; or else he’d be the devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was and is the Son of God, or else insane or something worse. But don’t let’s come up with any patronising nonsense about his being “a great human teacher”. He hasn’t left that open to us. He didn’t intend to.'