On the 18 April 1521, a young, fallible monk named Martin Luther took a stand for the gospel of Jesus Christ against others who preached a different gospel, a Christ plus works gospel. When asked to recant his convictions, he said:
“Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen.”
STAND is an annual gathering in New Zealand that intends to faithfully proclaim the same gospel, calling everyone everywhere to repent from sin and trust Jesus Christ for salvation (Mark 1:15; Acts 2:38; 17:30):
The gospel is the biblical truth that the eternal, holy creator of the Universe, planned before the foundation of the world a means for sinful men to be reconciled to Himself. Each of us has sinned against God, breaking His law and rebelling against His rule, and fully deserving of eternal punishment in hell.
But in God’s love, he sent His Son Jesus Christ, fully God and fully Man, to live a perfect, sinless life in obedience to the Father. Jesus then submitted to the Father, and suffered a cruel death on a cross, and satisfying the divine wrath of God for the sins of the world.
Jesus then rose triumphant from the grave three days later, conquering sin and death for all those who put their faith in Him alone for their salvation. (Matt 1:21; Luke 1:68; Eph 1:7; Col 1:20). He now reigns in heaven, and offers forgiveness of sin, righteousness in Him, and hope of eternity in God’s presence for all who repent of sin and trust in Christ alone for salvation.
All who participate in STAND (speakers and attendees alike) are weak, fallible, and desperate, all in need of this glorious gospel. We meet together to encourage each other to proclaim and hold fast to the gospel that has been entrusted to the church.
We have found the following reasons to be a helpful summary of what we pray the Lord would be pleased to accomplish through STAND.
- To preach the gospel in its simplicity, and especially to show how salvation is based, not upon feelings or even upon faith, but upon the finished work of Christ; that justification is ours the moment we believe, and we are to accept and claim our place as accepted in the Beloved without regard to our inward states of feeling or emotion.
- To lead believers to know their saved state, and to realise their standing in Christ, great numbers not only of disciples, but even preachers and pastors, being themselves destitute of any real peace and joy in the Lord, and hence unable to lead others into joy and peace.
- To bring believers back to the scriptures, to search the Word and find its hidden treasures; to test everything by this divine touchstone and hold fast only what will stand this test; to make it the daily subject of meditative and prayerful examination in order to translate it into daily obedience.
- To promote among all true believers brotherly love, to lead them to make less of those nonessentials in which disciples differ, and to make more of those great essentials and foundation truths in which all true believers are united; to help all who love and trust one Lord to rise above narrow sectarian prejudices and barriers to fellowship.
- To strengthen the faith of believers, encouraging a simpler trust, and a more real and unwavering confidence in God, and particularly in the sure answers to believing prayer, based upon His definite promises.
- To promote separation from the world, and deadness to it, and so to increase heavenly-mindedness in children of God; at the same time warning against fanatical extremes and extravagances, such as sinless perfection while in the flesh.
- To fix the hope of disciples on the blessed coming of our Lord Jesus…
(From Arthur T Pierson’s, George Müller of Bristol. Seven reasons for George Müller’s preaching tour.)
STAND is a conference hosted by Howick Baptist Church to encourage and equip Christians in Aotearoa, New Zealand to stand for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
As the Lord wills, we meet together annually to encourage each other to proclaim, and hold fast to the gospel that has been entrusted to the church.
- Al Mohler
- Bibles in Action
- Biblia – bible study online
- Bob Kauflin
- Brian Croft
- D.A. Carson
- ESV online
- Getty Music
- Justin Taylor
- Of First Importance
- Reformation 21
- Thabiti Anyabwile
- The Gospel Coalition
- the kiwifruit blog
- Thinking Matters NZ