Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Zambian Reformed Conferences—Fifth & Final Day

Yesterday was the final day of the conferences. I missed the morning sessions. In the afternoon, there was a question and answer session. Ronald Kalifungwa moderated, while Don Carson and “yours truly” answered the questions. Some of the questions were about cremation, being baptised for the dead, generational curses, spiritual warfare, postmodernism, how an impeccable Christ could be tempted, etc. It was good to have Don present to answer the more difficult ones!

Q&A session in the afternoon: Ronald, Don, and "yours truly"
The evening session was the final plenary session of the conferences and it was led by Lukonde Makupe. Isaac Makashinyi spoke about the Lusaka Ministerial College (LMC). He gave a brief historical account of the college and went on to talk about its latest excursion into the Western Province with the new Liseli Pastors Training College (LPTC).

Thabiti Anyabwile closed with a sermon on “Finding Assurance” from 1 John 5:13-21. In this passage he spoke about:

Lukonde receiving final details from Ronald before leading worship
1. John’s purpose in writing (v.13). John was addressing believers. He wanted them to know that their belief was not in vain. He wanted them to be confident of this. God wants every believer to have this assurance. It is very easy for “eternal life” to lose its lustre because of over-use. Eternal life is eternal and thus cannot be lost. It comes from Jesus and is tied in with him.

2. The five blessings that flow out of a life of assurance.
(a) We have confidence in prayer (v.14-15). God hears us and we have what we ask for. The Creator and Governor of the universe is not at all too busy to hear us and answer our requests.

Isaac Makashinyi speaking about Lusaka Ministerial College
(b) We can offer saving prayers (v.16-17). We ought to have a brotherly concern for those brothers who are taken in sin and this concern should express itself through prayer. Although some see this as spiritual death, it must be referring to physical death. God cares more about the quality of our lives than about the length of our lives.
(c) We have blessed assurance of deliverance from sin and the devil (v.18). The habit of such a person is not in sin. We are also kept safe from the father of sin. “Deliver us from the evil one” has been answered through Christ.

Thabiti Anyabwile giving the closing address on "Finding Assurance"
(d) We are under the Lord’s control and not the devil’s control (v.19). Listening to the news gives the impression that the world has spun out of control. Yet we know that God is still in control and we are under his spiritual protection.
(e) We enjoy our union with Christ (v.20). Jesus gave us understanding, which results in our having knowledge of him, which results in us having all the blessings that are in Jesus. The Christian faith is to experience this rich fellowship with Christ.

Don Carson receiving a token of thanks from one of the Namibian ladies
3. John’s final exaltation (v.21). This seems like a very abrupt ending. Let us keep ourselves from everything that takes our attention away from God in Christ Jesus. Let us keep growing in the knowledge of his Word. Amen!

It was on this note that the 24th Zambian Reformed Conferences came to an end. It was a wonderful week of rich instruction in the Word, with about 1,400 brothers and sisters in attendance from across Zambia and other countries. We are already suffering from post-conference withdrawal symptoms. When is the next conference?

The concluding hymn was sung with much exuberance 


  1. Your post is really well written and insightful. Glad I found your website, warm regards from me!
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  2. I can only find three of the audio sermons from Don Carson on Sermon Audio and the Kabwata Baptist Church website seems to be down. Are the others available anywhere that you know of?