Young People's Away Weekend
The 18th–21st of October marked the bi-annual young people’s Weekend Away at Arbroath, with some sixty plus young people in attendance – some travelling from as far away as Holland to attend the weekend!
The theme given for the weekend was ‘The Precious Blood of Christ’, consisting of five addresses by the Rev. Achille Blaize, recently retired from Grace Baptist Church in London, now resident near Bristol. For the first address on the Friday night (from 1 John 3), we were encouraged to consider Christ’s sacrifice, looking at the need for His sacrifice, the manner of His death and the uniqueness of His sacrifice.
For his second address on Saturday morning, our focus was turned to Christ’s death as a propitiation for our sins. Rev. Blaize first outlined what propitiation did not mean, turning next to its meaning as laid out in Scripture. Finally, we were encouraged to consider what it meant for us as the supreme display of God’s love for us, and the absolute necessity of the shedding of Christ’s blood for us to secure our salvation.
The Saturday evening message looked at Christ’s precious blood shed as a ransom for us. We looked firstly at the language used to describe Jesus’ death in Scripture. Rev. Blaize highlighted that Jesus Himself described His death as a ransom, emphasising that His death was not a ‘hijack’ or ‘theft’ (two common reasons for a ransom today), but was a necessary price to be paid to set His people free from the slavery of sin and Satan. This lead onto the reasons as to why a ransom price had to be paid – to rescue us from the curse of the law, as well as to free us from the ceremonial law laid down for the Jews to follow in the Old Testament. In view of this, we were encouraged to consider what we once were, and what we are now as a result of the ransom price; also of where we are now, in union with Christ, and what we are given – our responsibilities and privileges as the Lord’s people.
For the Sunday morning address, we considered together the reconciliation that the shedding Jesus’ blood provided – what the word ‘reconciliation’ means from Scripture, its evidences as laid out in Scripture, and the blessings that it brings.
For the final address on Sunday evening, Rev. Blaize spoke from Romans 8 on the weakness of the Law, and the power of God. We were reminded of what God did in condemning sin in the flesh, by sending His only begotten Son to die for us, as well as looking at some of the reasons why God did it, as laid out for us in Romans 8. We were greatly encouraged to be reminded of our security as Christians – that it is impossible for Satan to snatch us from God’s hand, as it would require him to defeat the entire Godhead to do so. As a result, we were reminded that the whole Trinity has guaranteed our entry into Heaven, and that no power of Hell can prevent us.
During the weekend, we were privileged, via Skype, to renew fellowship with the Rev. Partheepan Nixon, minister in Sri Lanka, and to hear of the progress of the work there.
On the Saturday evening, we were encouraged in hearing of how God had dealt with two young people attending the weekend, leading to their conversion. This was followed on the Sunday evening by the testimony of our speaker, Rev. Achille Blaiz, telling of how God had taken him from Catholicism and brought him to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
We were greatly appreciative of those involved in the running of the weekend – to Mrs Isobel McQueer and Mrs Annette Campbell, who acted as cooks, and to Mr Nathan Roberts who organised the weekend, and supervised the recording of each of the addresses.
Above all, we give thanks to God for His goodness in providing this weekend, for the spiritual food from His Word, and the unity and fellowship with each other that we were able to enjoy.
The next weekend, God-willing is to be held on 7-10 February 2014.
Recordings on www.bible-sermons.com
Our thanks to Andrew Pendleton, Derby, for the report.