Welcome to this morning's Worship service.
Worship today is led by Malcolm Wilson (in church and online this week)
Our Zoom services are every other week and if you are not currently on our mailing list please contact Rev Christine: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click below on the red play button to start this morning's service video. You can also find the service on YouTube here if it isn’t working on the blog.
God Bless x
If you'd like to connect with Grangewood please contact us.
Rev Christine Fox: email@example.com
Thank you to all those who have been part of putting together this weeks service.
Below you can find this weeks Message. Click here to find the whole worship sheet.
The Work of the Holy Spirit
“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father – the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father; he will testify about me; and you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.” (John 15:26-27)
Here we have Jesus, only days away from his crucifixion, giving his disciples an insight into what would happen after his resurrection and ascent into heaven. Jesus was clearly telling them what was to happen and what they would need to do.
The Spirit himself would bear witness to Jesus; and though initially the disciples were slow to understand, gradually it would emerge into their minds that this man truly was none other than the Son of God.
They had this sense that Jesus was the hinge of all history and that with his coming therefore, life and the world, could never be the same again. They believed that in Jesus, God had arrived in person on the scene of human history.
It was all the work of the Holy Spirit.
There are many today, who seem to have ruled out any possibility of God intervening into the events of the life of the world. And as a consequence they wander through life searching for meaning and fulfilment in their lives.
But God is still present, seeking and saving the lost, and the Holy Spirit is still calling people to know him and to witness to the saving love of Christ.
And so Jesus says to his disciples “You will be witnesses about me.”
And I believe that in Jesus, God still calls us to witness to this Love.
There are three elements in Christian witness.
Firstly, a witness is a person who says of something, ‘this is true.’
I used to work in the Criminal Justice System and one of the most effective witnesses I ever saw was a woman giving evidence about an incident she had seen; a barrister cross examining her, was trying to get her to say something other than the truth. She said, “You, can put it any way you like, but I am telling you the truth, and I know it.”
The Christian life in essence, is a life in which, by the power of the Spirit, we come close to Christ and his love within us, a love in which we experience the gift of knowing Jesus and the power of God in our heart.
We can witness for Christ only when we have been with him; when we know him.
At the heart of it is the Holy Spirit within us; moving us to respond to Jesus.
It’s then, that we can truly say, ‘This is true and I know it.’
Christian witness comes from a personal relationship with Christ.
The second element of Christian witness comes from inner conviction
Personal conviction is one of the most unmistakable things in the world.
Donald English told of how his tutor at college would say some crushing things to his students. To one student who had preached, the tutor said, “You said some very good truths there, but I do wish you would say them with more conviction, people might actually believe then what you are saying.”
Without conviction Christian witness risks being ineffective.
At Prince Philip’s funeral, Desmond Tutu told of his experience of knowing the man. As he spoke, you knew that he was speaking out of belief.
It was unmistakably the truth; because it was said with conviction.
When the Holy Spirit; witnesses to us, of all that is good and right and true, it enters into the human heart and it transforms our lives.
That is what eventually happened to the disciples: they were changed from being fearful, hesitant people, some of whom would even deny knowing Jesus, into people of conviction who knew the truth of the good news of Christ.
There can be no effective Christian witness without this inner conviction which comes from personal fellowship with Christ.
And it is all the work of the Holy Spirit in us.
Finally, Christian Witness proceeds in outward testimony
A witness is not only someone who knows that something is true, but someone who is prepared to say so. Once you know Christ, you want others to know him too.
A local preacher once told me of what he was like when he first found Jesus. In the printing shop where he worked, he put post-it labels on every colleague’s machine with the words, ‘Jesus loves you.’
He could not keep the good news of Jesus to himself; he wanted to broadcast it to the world.
A Christian witness is someone who not only knows Christ but wants others to know too; that Jesus is the ultimate source of hope and the ultimate demonstration of God’s goodness and faithfulness.
We love Jesus not because we’re commanded to, but because, with the help of the Spirit, we begin to see how much he loves us.
It’s more than hearing that he cares for people like you and me. It’s experiencing for ourselves the promise of Christ to make the wonder of his unseen presence and Spirit real to us in our daily living.
Jesus is not merely someone about whom we have read or heard, he is someone whom we can meet and know: a living presence in our lives.
And God invites each one to know the wonder and the gift of a risen life, and to know that we are safe for eternity.