The theme this year is â€˜Out of the Depths: God's Forgiveness of Sin'. The opening topic this month will be â€˜Out of What Depths?' There can be a number of responses to the notion of the forgiveness of sin. One is that it is not necessary at all, because really there is no such thing as sin. Or that forgiveness is a fairly light and obvious matter. Or that forgiveness is actually impossible.
These are the areas over which our first study will range. What is sin, and what makes it so bad? We will find that gross ingratitude lies at its root, with fearsome consequences. Is that something that can be dismissed with a wave of the hand? Or by some sort of condoning or compromise? What about sin that is not just personal, but national, and globalâ€”â€˜the sins of the world'? If such is the case, can God forgive sin? If so, does not this let us get away with murder? And so, even if God can forgive sin, should He? We will seek to trace biblical answers to all these questions.
We will also find, throughout the series, that forgiveness comes from corresponding depths in God. As Corrie Ten Boom discovered in concentration camp: â€˜There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper'. â€˜If you, Lord, should note what we do wrong: who then, O Lord, could stand? But there is forgiveness with you: so that you shall be feared.'
After 27 years of pastoral ministry with the Anglican Church in rural, outback and suburban churches, and 15 years with the New Creation Teaching Ministry, Martin Bleby, author of a number of books on the Bible and composer of Christian songs, now does part time preaching and...