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17th January 2021

We can't all meet together in person at the moment, you will find details about how to make a request to join us on zoom here. Below is an order for a service for this Sunday, including Bible passages, sermon and and song lyrics. Please join with others this week at 10.30am.

Welcome

“Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38



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Crown him with many crowns,
the Lamb upon his throne;
hark, how the heavenly anthem drowns
all music but its own!
awake, my soul, and sing
of him who died to be,
your saviour and your matchless king
through all eternity.

Crown him the Lord of life,
triumphant from the grave
who rose victorious from the strife
for those he came to save:
his glories now we sing,
who died and rose on high;
he died eternal life to bring
and lives that death may die.

Crown him the Lord of love;
behold his hands and side -
those wounds yet visible above
in beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky
can fully bear that sight,
but downward bends his burning eye
at mysteries so bright.

Crown him the Lord of peace,
his kingdom is at hand;
from pole to pole, let warfare cease,
and Christ rule every land!
A city stands on high,
his glory it displays,
and there the nations, ‘Holy’ cry
in joyful hymns of praise.

Crown him the Lord of years,
the potentate of time,
creator of the rolling spheres,
in majesty sublime!
All hail, Redeemer, hail,
for you have died for me;
your praise shall never, never fail
through all eternity.

M Bridges & G ThringCopyright © Jubilate Hymns

Confession

Lord, we have come to see that our lives fall far short of your glory.
Have mercy and forgive us.
Lord, you have given your life for us, and poured out your Spirit,
yet we fail to return your love with all our heart.
Have mercy and change us.
Too often we are selfish and proud, we ignore you, Lord, and neglect others.
Have mercy and cleanse us.
Lord, when we do not truly trust and obey you,
we are overwhelmed by self-pity, fear and worry.
Have mercy and deliver us.
In Christ we are given a sure hope and secure love,
yet we follow the false hopes and desires of this world.
Have mercy and forgive us.
Father, through the redeeming death of your Son on the cross,
by your Spirit and through your word, transform and renew us to follow you with joy.
All this we ask, confident in your unchanging faithfulness. Amen.


May the Father forgive us by the death of his Son and strengthen us to live in the power of the Spirit all our days. Amen.

Lord's Prayer

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.




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Are you thirsty, are you empty
Come and drink these Living Waters
Tired and broken, peace unspoken
Rest beside these Living Waters

Christ is calling, find refreshing
At the cross of Living Waters
Lay your life down, all the old gone
Rise up in these Living Waters

There's a river that flows
With mercy and love
Bringing joy to the city of our God
There our hope is secure
Do not fear anymore
Praise the Lord of Living Waters

Spirit moving, mercy washing
Healing in these Living Waters
Lead your children to the shoreline
Life is in these Living Waters
There's a river that flows...

Are you thirsty, are you empty
Come and drink these Living Waters
Love, forgiveness, vast and boundless
Christ, He is our Living Waters
There's a river that flows...

There our hope is secure
Do not fear anymore
Praise the Lord of Living Waters
Keith & Kristyn Getty & Ed CashCopyright © 2016 Getty Music Publishing (BMI)


Statement of Faith

Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
he was buried,
he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
he appeared to Peter, to the Twelve and to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time.
From 1 Corinthians 15:3-5

Reading: Acts 2:1-21




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I will see the world to come
for one has suffered in my place
now there is grace awaiting me, awaiting me.
Judgement’s done, atonement’s made
the ransom’s paid, no guilt remains
now there is grace awaiting me, awaiting me!

Grace - a welcome from the Father
Grace - forgiveness full and free
Grace - that’s greater than our failings
Oh there is grace awaiting me.

I take comfort in the hope
of the thief upon the cross
for I am worthy of as little love as he.
Like this man, I won’t despair
for life’s ahead, what joy we’ll share
now there is grace awaiting me, awaiting me!
Grace - a welcome from the Father...

Jesus you have loved and bought me
by your death my debts are paid
I am yours, I stand beside you
fearless face the coming day.

I will see the world to come
despite the sin that I have done
for there is grace awaiting me, awaiting me.
All who call upon the Lord
will rise to life with peace assured
for there is grace awaiting me, awaiting me.
Grace - a welcome from the Father...
Copyright © 2013 Simone Richardson & Philip Percival

Reading: Acts 2:22-47


Sermon



imageActs 2 Phil Peddar.mp3


We continue our new series in Acts which is about all that Jesus continued to do and teach on earth after his ascension (1:1-2). The disciples were left staring into the sky as Jesus returned to heaven (1:10-11) but they would not be alone because he would always be with them by his Spirit. Jesus promised that they would be baptised with the Holy Spirit who would empower them to be his witnesses throughout the world (1:5, 8). In chapter 2 we begin to see that promise fulfilled.

The apostles had remained in Jerusalem, as commanded by Jesus (1:4), and were together in one place (possibly accompanied by others – see 1:12-15). Suddenly, the house was filled with the sound of a violent wind from heaven and the Holy Spirit descended on each of them in the form of tongues of fire (2:2-3) – a visual sign depicting speech and power. To the utter amazement of fellow Jews in the city, they spoke in numerous languages as the Spirit enabled them. Jews had gathered for Pentecost from all over the known world and these Galileans declared the wonders of God to them in their own native tongues (2:4-11)! Some questioned the meaning of this supernatural event while others mocked (2:12-13).

Peter, who weeks early had denied and deserted Jesus, now stood up in front of the crowd to explain what was happening (2:14). The apostles weren’t drunk as some had concluded. The arrival of the Spirit might have seemed strange and surprising but it wasn’t completely unexpected. Hundreds of years earlier, God had promised to pour out his Spirit on all people and was now fulfilling that promise (2:16-21; cf. Joel 2:28-32). This was the beginning of a new age – the ‘last days’ before the day of the Lord – during which the Spirit would work in and through men and women of all ages and nationalities.

It’s striking that the event is the arrival of the Spirit and the explanation is all about Jesus (2:22-35). We need to be wary of people who try to separate the Son and the Spirit because they go together – the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus (16:7). The Spirit empowers Peter to speak and the message he gives him describes Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and exaltation. Peter shows that Jesus’ coming as the Christ (or ‘Messiah’) was not unexpected but promised by God in the Scriptures. When King David said to God, “you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay” (2:27; cf. Psalm 16:10), he can’t have been speaking about himself because he died and remained dead. Rather, he was speaking about Jesus whom God raised to life. Equally, when David said, “The Lord said to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’” (2:34-35; cf. Psalm 110:1), he can’t have been speaking about himself because he didn’t ascend to heaven. Rather, he was speaking about Jesus whom God exalted to his right hand as King of kings. Peter’s conclusion centres on Jesus whom God made both Lord and Christ (2:36).

It’s also striking to see the heartfelt response of Peter’s hearers. Luke tells us that they were “cut to the heart” and their question suggests a sense of desperation: “Brothers, what shall we do?” (2:37). It may have been God’s plan but they had still crucified the Lord of glory (2:23)! More than that, he had come back to life as victor and judge… what were they to do?! Many of us have heard the message of salvation countless times and it can soon feel very familiar. While we were not there 2000 years ago and you may not feel ‘cut to the heart’ as you read Acts 2, it should serve as a helpful reminder to approach God with humility and gratitude because we are no less responsible for Jesus’ death. As we sometimes sing, “mine was the sin that drove the bitter nails and hung him on that judgement tree.” (Song: ‘I will glory in my Redeemer.’) Fortunately, Peter tells us them and us what do (2:38-40). By turning back to God, whether for the first time or the thousandth time, we can experience his forgiveness and salvation, which we do not deserve.

Finally, Luke shares the wonderful result of Peter’s sermon (2:41-47). Not everyone accepted his message but many did and were baptised. Already, we see God’s kingdom growing in Acts from 12 apostles to 120 believers (1:15) to more than 3000 (2:41). Luke portrays a wonderful picture of the early church who devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship and prayer. They were united, fully committed to each other and shared with those in need. In a sense, their experience is tantalising: perhaps now more than ever we perceive the benefit of meeting day by day to worship God together and enjoy each other’s company over a meal. God willing, it won’t be long before we can meet again in person. In the meantime, we share their joy because we believe in the same God and have received the same Spirit. We thank him for the technology that allows us to stay in contact, whether via post, phone or the internet. And we look forward to the day when we will join all believers in eternal praise to God before his throne in heaven. Come, Lord Jesus!

Prayers

Praise God the Father for keeping his promise to send his Messiah, Jesus our Lord and Saviour. Thank him for keeping his promise to send his Spirit who now lives in our hearts.

Ask God to keep you humble and grateful as you remember Jesus' death in your place and enjoy the benefits of church despite current corona virus restrictions.

Pray for the work of Release International as they offer prayerful, pastoral and practical support to persecuted Christians around the world.

Almighty and everlasting God, ruler of all things in heaven and on earth: in mercy hear the prayers of your people and grant us your peace throughout our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



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Facing a task unfinished
That drives us to our knees
A need that, undiminished
Rebukes our slothful ease
We, who rejoice to know Thee
Renew before Thy throne
The solemn pledge we owe Thee
To go and make Thee known

Where other lords beside Thee
Hold their unhindered sway
Where forces that defied Thee
Defy Thee still today
With none to heed their crying
For life, and love, and light
Unnumbered souls are dying
And pass into the night

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ the Lord

We bear the torch that flaming
Fell from the hands of those
Who gave their lives proclaiming
That Jesus died and rose
Ours is the same commission
The same glad message ours
Fired by the same ambition
To Thee we yield our powers
We go to all the world...

O Father who sustained them
O Spirit who inspired
Saviour, whose love constrained them
To toil with zeal untired
From cowardice defend us
From lethargy awake!
Forth on Thine errands send us
To labour for Thy sake
We go to all the world...

We go to all the world …
His kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ the Lord

Original Words by Frank Houghton. Original Music by Samuel Wesley. New Words and Music by K & K Getty, Ed Cash, Fionan de BarraCopyright © 2015 OMF Intnl, Getty Music Publ (BMI), Alletrop Music (BMI), Fionan de Barra (all admin. By MusicServices.org)


Final Prayer

May the grace of Christ, which daily renews us, and the love of God, which enables us to love everyone, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, which unites us in one body, make us eager to obey the will of God until we meet again, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Contact us on 01892 327734 or email office@stpeterstw.com
St Peter's Church, Bayhall Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 4UX
Charity number: 1131548

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