Ministers’ Conference in Manila 2013
CUBAO REFORMED BAPTIST CHURCH 23rd PASTORS’ CONFERENCE, MANILA.
The conference was opened with a fine sermon by Pastor Jorge Gumop-as of the Sovereign Grace Church of San Pedro, and I also preached on Hebrews 12:1-2. This was supposed to be the closing message but in order to give relief to Dr Densham it was the closing session of the second day. Each day during the conference three different books were given free to each of the participants. They therefore went away with nine good books.
Over 300 men attended the Conference with about 260 being present each day. (This is not a residential conference although some from very far away sleep on the floor in our Sunday School rooms). The majority therefore come from the greater Manila area and nearby provinces. Again quite a few men were new to the conference. There was a good spirit and much discussion. Many men expressed how they have been coming to embrace the doctrines of God’s sovereign grace. We are also grateful to the Lord that for the first time we have had our worship hall air-conditioned making such a difference to the concentration of the men gathered. Once again many of our members gave themselves unstintingly to all the hard work behind the scenes to make this occasion a blessed time of challenge, fellowship and encouragement for the men gathered together. The Lord is at work in the Philippines and churches are leaving easy believism and charismatic claims to turn to the old paths of the Reformers, the Puritans and the Particular Baptists. To God be the glory.
We are grateful to God for all his many mercies. This conference which began back in 1991 with about 60 men has grown over the years in numbers and also in the encouragement that it brings. In 1971 the Conference was divided down the middle with those who had recently come to embrace the doctrines of sovereign grace and those who almost seemed to sneer and ridicule in their opposition to the messages preached.
For many years now that has changed and the atmosphere again at this year’s conference was one of encouragement and warm acceptance of the truths taught and the challenges given. In fact this was one of the best and most heartening conferences that we have held. Pastor Jon Hueni of Grace Fellowship Church, Bremen, Indiana brought three fine messages on ‘The Pastor’s Love for Christ’, ‘The Pastor’s Love for the Church’, and The Pastor’s Love for his Family’. Dr. Ian Densham (UK), a regular at our conferences, brought us three excellent messages on the ‘Doctrine of Providence’. He is a passionate preacher and struggled due to his voice breaking up on him. Yet that in no way stopped him being fervent in his addresses. Pastor Noel Espinosa, the Principal of Grace Ministerial Academy, our four year training programme, brought his usual analytical skills to bear on the subject of prayer, principally in the books of E.M.Bounds. His concluding message, however, focused on the 450th anniversary of the Heidleberg Catechism. He concentrated on the opening questions of the catechism concerning the sin and misery of the unconverted, showing particularly the need for preaching the Law of God to bring conviction of sin in gospel preaching and the challenge for Christians to live a life of godliness.
Please pray that the ministry of the Word and the books that have been distributed through the Conference will be blessed in the lives and churches of all the men who attended. The Lord willing we are now beginning to plan for next year’s conference scheduled for February 3-5. Please pray with us that the right preachers will be able to be with us and that we will seek to do all for the glory of God.
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