Our living hope

2016 Autumn Lectures

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:13 (NIV)

As Christians we have peace with God and are adopted into his family. Yet our outlook is sometimes dominated by pain or trials which can appear to be the more pressing reality. In a dark world, how can believers avoid losing sight of our glorious hope?

These lectures challenge Christians to set their hope fully on the life-giving promises of God, and to live accordingly. By hoping in ‘what is not seen’ but what is eternal we are grounded in the God of hope and also inspired to live with confidence now.

This series helps to assure believers in the reality of biblical hope and its relevance here and now.

1. Our resurrection hope

By Dr Andy Gemmill

Christ’s bodily resurrection is the ground of our Christian hope. But the glory of that victory isn’t fully worked out yet. We all face the last enemy – death. The first century church in Corinth tried to ignore it and put all the emphasis on this life. But the apostle Paul reminds them that death leads on to glory for the believer. So it was for Jesus, and for his people. In this lecture Andy Gemmill encourages us to face the difficult reality of death and be confident in those things that are invisible and last forever.

2. Patience under injustice

By Revd Dr Richard Turnbull

How does our Christian hope guide us while we suffer injustice? There are tensions between patiently bearing wrong, submitting to authority and the godly desire to stand up for what is right. Christians have been at the forefront of abolishing slavery, yet this was done by legal means. And in English history we can think of non-conformists barred from certain occupations, or miners who became Christians and had to suffer unjust working conditions. In this lecture Richard Turnbull will consider how Christians should live under injustice.

3. Living in light of our hope

By Revd Angus MacLeay

In his first epistle, the apostle Peter reminds Christians of their glorious hope through the new birth. He urges believers to ‘set their hope fully’ on this “salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time”, and to live it out in the here and now so that others may glorify God because of us. Angus MacLeay will show us how the letter of 1 Peter teaches us to live in light of our great hope, despite ‘various trials’ and hostility from an unbelieving world.

4. When believers despair

By Revd Dr Kevin Bidwell

The Bible is very realistic when it comes to suffering in the Christian life. In Psalm 43 we find a mourning and despairing believer who cries out to God and encourages himself in God’s worship. And in church history many believers have suffered depression and melancholy throughout their lives, such as the hymn writer William Cowper. In this lecture Kevin Bidwell draws on Psalm 43 and also the life of William Cowper to help us see that we can keep walking by faith, trusting in Christ our Saviour, despite intense discouragement.

5. False hopes and a better story

By Dr Glynn Harrison

One of the biggest false hopes in our society is the freedom and fulfilment promised by the sexual revolution. In contrast, speaker and author Glynn Harrison helps us understand the Bible’s better story for human flourishing, including the goodness of the boundaries God has set in creation and the picture of Christ’s faithful love for his church in marriage. Professor Harrison challenges Christians to face up to their own failures, and to stand confidently on the Bible’s true and life-giving vision.