• Service times

    Services times are:

    Saturday night 7:30 pm for our Chinese/English service. (Pastor Daniel Choi.)

    Sunday 10 am for our English language service (Senior Pastor Jeff Whittaker).

    Sunday 11:30 am for our Chinese (Mandarin) language service. (Pastor Daniel Choi.)

  • Contact details…

    Physical and postal address:
    4 Inverary Avenue,
    Epsom,
    Auckland 1023,
    NEW ZEALAND.

    Email:
    epsombaptist@clear.net.nz

    Telephone:
    (0064 9) 6306010

    Contacts:
    Rev. Jeff Whittaker
    Pastor Daniel Choi

  • Church Officers…

    Church Treasurer: Ann Guan

    Church Secretary: Margaret Whittaker

    Church Deacons: Anne Bartley, Ian de Stigter, Kristy Choi, Willa Hui, Donglan Zhang and Alfred Zhou.

God gave them up…

Down the years, I have sometimes had to confront people over behaviour inappropriate to their Christian confession. This is always a very difficult exercise; I have never found a person who welcomes such confrontation. One argument sometimes used as a defense is: God hasn’t beaten me up about this, and so it must be OK.

Such an argument actually means that the person has not understood how God works with human beings. It buys into the cultural caricature of God as an ever- present ‘cop’ just waiting to whack us for behaviour that’s bad enough to annoy God. I think the reality is much more sobering. In the book of Romans, Paul suggests that, when people obstinately refuse to live appropriately, God simply steps back and allows them to have their way. Of course, the result is often not good for the one who thinks that the lack of restraint from God’s Holy Spirit indicates divine permission. The language that Paul uses is: God gave them up… It draws – as does much of Paul’s thought in Romans – from the book of Deuteronomy. In Deuteronomy 32: 30 Moses is reported as telling the people of Israel that military defeat to lesser enemies had been a sign of God’s giving up of his people to their determined foolishness.

Image taken from the blog-site 'The Apartment,' in a blog entitled 'Glory, Honor, Evil and Foolishness.'

Image taken from the blog-site ‘The Apartment,’ in a blog entitled ‘Glory, Honor, Evil and Foolishness.’

All this tells us that seasons of spiritual struggle are to be welcomed. They mean that God is active in our lives, and seeking through persuasion – and thus not coercion – to help us choose pathways that bring us to greater blessing, the more abundant life. The thing that should alarm us is when a course of action that seems to have been checked before suddenly seems to be given the green light. We need to then beware in case we have been given up to experience the rewards of our own folly.

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