Continue in what you have learned and believed – the book

In one of his last letters, the apostle Paul wrote to his apprentice, Timothy, “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching with faith and love in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim 1:13). He repeated that exhortation. “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Tim 2:2). As I reach retirement from pastoral ministry, I have been reflecting. Which of “the things you have heard me say” would I most hope the churches I have served might remember and wish to pass on?
Through the years, I hope my ministry has made it easier rather than harder for other people to follow Jesus. Within that, here are ten vital truths which have shaped and characterised all my preaching and teaching, beginning with the most important.
1 God loves you!
2 Eternal life is our relationship with God
3 Prayer is at the heart of our relationship with God
4 The work of the Holy Spirit is essential
5 The Bible remains central to Christian life and faith
6 Effective outreach to today’s world is vital
7 Being a disciple is very important
8 Church is not an optional extra for Christians
9 Science and Christian faith – not either/or but both/and
10 The church still needs ministers
These principles have always been important to me, and this compilation of sermons and articles explores them in turn. Paul also urged Timothy, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it” (2 Tim 3:14 in the New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition 2021). That is my hope and my prayer for myself, for my friends and for my churches: keep on going.
I have put these important messages together in my new book, “Continue in what you have learned and believed”, published by the College of Baptist Ministers. If you would like an free electronic copy, or to buy a print edition, do get in touch!

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