The 28th Annual Scottish Reformed Conference
The 28th Scottish Reformed Conference took place on the 13th May. The Conference is arranged not only to be a time of hearing the Word of God expounded for the instruction and benefit of God’s people, but also a time of mutual encouragement for all who attend, coming as we do from a number of different denominations and fellowships of not only in Scotland but also from the North of England and Northern Ireland. We are grateful to God that in each previous year the aims and purposes of the conference have been achieved, and this year was no exception.
The preachers were ‘…an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman.’ Not this time a joke, but the most welcome guests of the conference – being Rupert Bentley-Taylor, Warren Peel and David Meredith.
Rupert Bentley-Taylor who serves the Lord in the lovely city of Bath, and one time President of the FIEC preached from Isaiah 55 on the Power of God’s Word. Leaning quite rightly on the work of Alec Motyer, he divided up the passage thus: The Imperative vv 1 and 2, The Promises vv 2-5 The Pleadings vv 6-7 and the Grandeur vv 8-13. Just as Isaiah intended Rupert grabbed our attention from the beginning summoning us to hear and heed the Word of God, then to make our response to Him. Our joy in receiving the Word of God is solemnised by the fact that the same word that softened our heart hardened the hearts of others. We are debtors to the grace of God, for God’s Word proclaimed is God at work.
Warren Peel, from Northern Ireland, preached from Colossians 1 vv 3-14. He pointed out that the way we learn to speak is reflected in the way we learn to pray. For both we need good models to set before us not only the tone of prayer but also the vocabulary, manner and method of prayer. He urged us to observe carefully Paul’s prayer, to find instruction in how to pray with thanksgiving with respect to faith, love and hope; faith is in Christ Jesus, love is for all the saints, and hope is the source from which these spring. Then, we were invited to notice (in verses 9 to 13) what Paul asks for and why he asks thus. We ought to pray for the wisdom and understanding of the Christian faith that have their origin in the work of the Holy Spirit. For why? Because he alone is able to make us, through them, lead a life worthy of the Lord.
David Meredith is now Mission Director of the Free Church after a particularly fruitful ministry in Inverness. He preached from Joshua 23 addressing the pertinent issue of The Danger of Impending Apostasy. For many of us in Scotland this was a most challenging exposition. He had four headings: 1. Passing on the legacy, v1ff, 2. Giving the credit, v 3, 5 and 8, 3. Obeying the Law v6, and 4. Making the choice v9. At this particular time when we are in the midst of a raging spiritual battle we needed to have this exposition to spur us on and not to give up.