The 2017 Northeast Summer Retreat concluded on August 20 in Dover, New York, as lectures throughout the three-day event affirmed the joy of salvation in Christ and hope for the glory of God as members gathered from Northeast churches with members attended including adult and children's programs.
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The retreat program had the theme from Romans 5:8 which states "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." A total of seven messages and sermons were preached from Romans 5-8, describing and explaining the justification, sanctification, and glorification that believers have in Jesus Christ.
The lectures shared with the participants the joy and hope for the glory of justification through faith in Jesus Christ. The lecturers took the partakers to experience the journey of the life of a believer, and ultimately the restoration God wants to bring to this fallen world.
The lecture started with the personal salvation that Jesus gave us which allowed believers to rejoice in the glory of God and also rejoice in the sufferings they experience. Participants heard how we have peace with God after being reconciled by Jesus who paid the price for our sins.
They learned how death was overcome for all mankind through Jesus, overturning the fallen history of Adam who sinned, allowing death to reign. God set up the law to allow the sin to be clearly seen, but now through Christ, he has brought eternal life for all.
The lectures also showed how believers are no longer slaves to sin, but made alive in Jesus. Lecturers covered passages where Apostle Paul exhorts believers to no longer offer any of them to sin. Ultimately the Apostle says we are now slaves to righteousness, obeying the Lord with gratitude.
The process of becoming more holy in Christ, or sanctification, was explored as believers' experience being set free from sin and now becoming slaves to God for eternity. The lecturers explained how believers are no longer bound by the law but have been released to serve by the Spirit. While we desire to do good, we cannot at times and there is a constant struggle. In the end, we are delivered from our struggles by Jesus Christ.
Finally, reaching the conclusion, listeners could see how, in Christ, we are not condemned but know that Jesus has condemned sin through himself so the law could be fulfilled and we could live by the Spirit.
After the lectures, the retreat participants could take part in a breaking bread period that allowed all of the message to be discussed and more deeply understood from different perspectives. The first day ended with a prayer meeting led by the Elim International representative. The second night included a Jubilee praise and prayer night.
The retreat also featured great contributions from volunteers for the children's programs which had a highly coordinated event which involved programs for toddlers, and older children. More than 100 children took part with help from volunteers.