Peter Moelker is the pastor of the Reformed Church of Avondale in West Auckland. Born in Canada, he has been married to his wife Lisa for 20 years and they have been blessed with 8 children. Peter has served churches in Ontario, Canada and in New York, U.S.A. before coming to New Zealand in 2010.
Peter has graciously offered his time to answer some questions about himself and what he’ll be speaking about at this year’s North Island STAND conference.
1. Briefly share with us how you became a Christian.
Having grown up in a Christian home, I am thankful to the Lord for Christian parents who regularly read the Bible with me, prayed for me, brought me up in the fellowship of the church, and sought to live out the Christian faith before me. Despite the blessings of growing up in a Christian home, I was one of those who mistakenly believed that being a Christian was a matter of osmosis rather than regeneration. After seeking joy, love, and peace outside of Christ, by God’s grace I was brought to the conviction that I did not really know the God whom I knew was there. At a particularly difficult time of life when I had many questions, much despair, and felt without hope, the Lord brought life and light through Psalm 50:15 – “….and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honour me.”
2. Why do you think what you’re teaching on is an important topic?
The gospel of the Kingdom of God is the gospel proclaimed according to the Scriptures. Unless we have a full and hearty conviction that the Scriptures are the very breathed out Word of God, our confidence in the gospel will not be the kind of confidence which makes us love that gospel, cling to that gospel, and live lives worthy of that gospel. In a day when the authority of the Word of God for all of life is again being attacked from both outside and within the professing Christian church, we must recover our commitment to the foundational authority which undergirds all that we believe.
3. What do you hope will be filling people’s minds and hearts as they walk away from your seminar?
My prayer would be that we would have a renewed joy and confidence in the absolute trustworthiness of the Word of God and a renewed humility and desire for our need to grow in grace and to be further sanctified by the truth.
- “How sweet are Thy words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103)
- “The sum of Thy word is truth, and every one of Thy righteous ordinances is everlasting.” (Psalm 119:160)
4. Is there any passage of Scripture that sums up what you’ll be sharing?
“And the tempter came and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’ But He answered and said, ‘It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”
– Matthew 4:3-4 (NASB)
5. Can you expand on one point that you’ll be making in your message(s)?
Often the Pharisees are held up as examples of legalism and what happens to a Christian when they become too concerned with the Law of God and deny the freedom that comes through faith in the gospel. The problem is, the Pharisees are not condemned in the Bible because they loved the Law of God too much, but because they loved the Law of God too little. It was their own laws, their own traditions, their own ways of living which were more precious to them than every Word which proceeded from the mouth of God.
In a time when the church of Jesus Christ is being pressured from every side to “do church” in a different way and cast off the bondage of a past age, what is it that really makes a Christian “radical” today? The word “radical” means going to the root or the origin of a matter. And Jesus tells us that part of being a faithful Christian today is being a radical Christian – a Christian who is always going back to the root – the Word of God – and being sanctified according to the truth.
6. How has what you’re going to speak on affected your own life?
All that we believe and live out as the people of God is founded upon the authority of the Word of God. It is clear from the Scripture and especially demonstrated in the life of Jesus, that those who live lives worthy of the gospel are those who are utterly and unashamedly committed to the Word of God.
In my own life, it becomes increasingly clear that there are areas of Christian thought and Christian practice which have not yet been brought under the full liberating authority of the Word of God. Despite the reformation heritage of many who claim the reformers as their ancestors in the faith, we have perhaps not taken to heart the need for the church to be always being reformed according to the Word.
I have become convinced that our problem is not that we love the Word of God too much, but too little. My desire is to be a radical Christian and encourage a radical Christianity in the best sense of the word “radical” – that is, being a follower of Christ who believes, loves, and lives out the truth of Jesus’ words to Satan – namely, that true life is found in living on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
7. Can you recommend any books, articles, websites, or materials on this topic?
It would be helpful to carefully read through Psalm 119 and Mark 7 in preparation for this seminar.
8. What would you say to someone who is trying to decide whether or not to come to STAND conference?
The STAND conference is a wonderful opportunity:
- in a day of increasing individualism, to live out the Bible’s call to gather with other believers to draw near to God in worship;
- in a day when the culture discourages us by its lack of concern for the things of God, to be encouraged by Bible teaching which helps us to hold fast the confession of our hope;
- in a day when we may be tempted to view the church as existing solely to serve our needs, to make the most of every opportunity to stimulate one another to love and good deeds;
- and in a day when we have become so earthly minded that we may be of no heavenly use, to encourage one another, and all the more, as we see the day drawing near.
Join Peter and others in rejoicing in the Gospel, proclaimed according to the Scriptures. For more details and to register for STAND 2015, visit: http://www.standforthegospel.org/conference/stand-2015/.