On Sunday 01 May 2022, Bishop Bradley Adonis conducted the central AVT divine service at Silvertown congregation. The divine service was conducted in English and interpreted in South African Sign Language (SASL) at the altar by Beryl Botha.
The Bishop was accompanied by Shepherd Peter Groenewald, a music ensemble and the NACTV crew. This divine service was made available on NACTV, Cape Town TV on DSTV channel 263. For members who were unable to watch the divine service, please find a detailed summary of the sermon:
Opening Hymn: Safely faith through life will guide us (EH: 207)
Bible word: “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” (Hebrews 13:15-16)
My dear brothers and sisters in the congregation of Silvertown and all those who are connected to us, our friends and those who are tuned in to this divine service. We welcome you here on this first day of May. I can't believe that the year has flown by so quickly. But we are still in this Easter time. We still remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We still remember His bitter suffering and death. We are still aware that Jesus died for us. And He was sent by God our heavenly Father because God loves humankind. God had an intention for us that we spend eternity with Him. And because of that, and sin setting in, He had to do something, or He wanted to do something, and He sent Jesus Christ. And therefore, we are the beneficiaries of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
When we hear our Bible word, “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God,”. We know that we sing hymns and songs of praise. And when we read the words, it is easy to sing it but it's more difficult to put it into practice. And here the Lord says to you and me that we must sacrifice the song of praise. That means we need to do it in a practical way. A concrete way. Not only sing it. We need to do it in a concrete way. When we look at the background of this word, we see how the Jewish people went into the temple. When they had transgressed, they went into the temple and made sacrifices, made atonement for doing something wrong or sinning. And maybe for our children, I give an example of what atonement is. When I was young, I broke a window. My mother was at work, and I broke the window. And when she got home, all the dishes were washed. The kitchen was clean. The house was swept and mopped. And she asked, Bradley, what is happening here? And I said I just wanted to do something for you. And then when she went into the yard, she saw oh, this is why I wanted to make an atonement, to make right for what I did wrong. I use this as an example. And this is what they did. And now the Apostle teaches that Jesus made the sacrifice. And this one sacrifice is worthy of all the sacrifices that anybody else could do. We read in Hebrews 10:10, ‘By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.’ So that sacrifice is worthy of all the sacrifices. And when we come into our time today, we do not want to forget the sacrifices of Jesus Christ. We want to remember this because it helps us to overcome sin and temptation. And as we sang in our opening hymn, “Safely faith through life will guide us”, that's where our message comes in this morning, that faith in Jesus Christ determines our thoughts, our words and our actions. Faith in Jesus Christ determines how we think, how our words are spoken, and what we do. And this is very important because then people will know that we are the children of God.
When Paul and Silas went to Philippi, and they were on their mission, they were chucked into jail. They were stripped. They were beaten. And people couldn't understand because while in prison, they were singing the praises of God. Are we able to do this? To sing the praises of God when we are in difficulty? When we have trials and tribulations? Personally, on our own, will we be able to do that? But if we have faith in Jesus Christ, then we are able to do that. When we have confidence in our God, then we are able to do that. Because this is the message for you and me, the God that sent His Son Jesus Christ to sacrifice His life for us. And if we have faith in Him, safely faith through life will guide us. Through our spiritual life will guide us. That's what will happen to you and me. And this is what God intends for us. We want to ensure that we have this faith, this solid faith in Jesus Christ. Why? Because God sent Him to die for you and me. That's the reason we have this faith in our God and in Jesus Christ. We have this faith and this confidence in God and Jesus Christ because they prepared a future for us. So, we know that this God that we have faith in, that we have confidence in, has prepared a future. What does this mean for you and me? That we have peace in our hearts. We have confidence. We have the ability to know that God is on my side. Jesus is leading me through the Apostles of Jesus in the end time. I need not fear even though I have circumstances and I don't understand what is happening to me. I don't understand, but I trust my God. I have confidence in Jesus. And I know they only have thoughts of peace towards me.
When we know that faith in Jesus Christ determines our thoughts, our actions, our words, then what do we do? We want to do as our Bible word says, ‘Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruits of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.’ To do good is to love your neighbour. We know in the time wherein we live, is a time of injustice. A time when people only care for themselves, unfortunately. Because it's almost like survival of the fittest. It is difficult to care for others, to share if you only have enough. Again, we come back to our faith in Jesus Christ. Our confidence in Jesus Christ. Because then I know if I share, if I care, God, through His Son Jesus Christ, will take care of me, will take care of you. And that's the confidence that we have because of our faith in Jesus Christ. Is that not beautiful? Is that not a source of great comfort to you and me? We want to allow our faith in Jesus Christ to set priorities for us. Because that brings about our confidence in God. And what is our priority today? Worthiness for the return of Jesus Christ. That's a priority for us. Yes, we live our life. But a priority for us is the return of Jesus Christ. And therefore, we want to ensure that our faith in Jesus Christ does not wane, does not waver. Because there are many waves coming. There are many clouds that cloud our thoughts, our commitment to God and to Jesus Christ and His work. But look to God. He is our future. He is with us. We have a future in Christ. That's what it means to have faith in Jesus Christ. We want to allow our faith in Jesus Christ also to determine what we do for and with our neighbour. Yes, we can share our time, our talents, our gifts with our neighbour. But it will be good for us if we can share what we receive in the house of the Lord. It will be good for us if we can share that we know faith in Jesus Christ brings to you and me and all those who believe in Jesus, an eternal future. That's what we can have. And we can share that with them. We know that faith in Jesus Christ brings that priority in your and my life that we want to share, that we want to care.
And it's difficult, but what do we want to do? We have an example. We have a standard. And that standard is Jesus Christ. He is the standard for us. And He has done so by the example that He has set. That even in His last breath He said forgive them. They do not know what they do. On his last. And that's what we want to do. And I almost want to say we will not have an excuse because the Lord gives us an example. He gives us the strength to do so through His word. And He gives us guidance through the apostolate. That's what we need. That is what faith in Jesus Christ means for you and me. Our Bible word says ‘…But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.’ Is it not our desire to please our heavenly Father? I don't want to speak about me now, but my intention to mop the floors and all that was to please my mother, but also to make sure that I don't get punished. Our God is a forgiving God. He is a gracious God. But our love must not be one-sided, only coming from God. We must also reciprocate that love. We must also show that the love that is in our hearts is also towards our God. And it also presents itself by how we treat our neighbour. Yes, we help, we give, we share. We do not only give food. We do not only give money, but we also cry with them. We also listen to them. Sometimes our neighbour, our brother and sister, they speak with us, and we have an answer before they even completed the sentence. Jesus was a good listener also. He listened to everyone. And this is what we want to do. ‘Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good…’ Jesus was also a good listener. And this is what we want to do. We want to listen to our neighbour. We want to encourage our neighbour to have continual faith in Jesus Christ. And we want to do likewise.
And when we look at everything that God has done for us, we say God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for you and me. And what does it do to have faith in this Jesus? It sets priorities for us for the return of Jesus Christ, our worthiness. It gives us the strength and the courage to be able to treat our neighbour in a manner which pleases our heavenly Father. And when we do this, the hymn says, “Safely faith through life will guide us”. Safely faith in Jesus Christ will bring us eternal life. Amen.