Archive for the ‘Evangelism’ Category

All Of God’s Human Deliverers Need Deliverance Too

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Part 1a, 24min: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/01-2017-01-08-all-of-gods-human-deliverers-need-deliverance-too-judges-14-16-tah-part1a1.mp3”

Part 1b, 27min:“https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/01-2017-01-08-all-of-gods-human-deliverers-need-deliverance-too-judges-14-16-tah-part1b1.mp3”

Full Message: 51min: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/01-2017-01-08-all-of-gods-human-deliverers-need-deliverance-too-judges-14-16-tah.mp3”

Main Passages: Judges 14:1-9 – Judges 16:4-5,15-30

Theological Theme:

God – Father, Son, and Spirit, works even through the defeats of sinful leaders to bring about His plan. [“God Loves human beings. God Loves the world. Not an ideal human, but human beings as they are; not an ideal world, but the real world. What we find repulsive in their opposition to God, what we shrink back from with pain and hostility, namely, real human beings, the real world, this is for God the grounds of unfathomable love.”] – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Christ Connection:

Samson’s downfall was the result of his own disobedience, and yet God – The Father used his death to begin the deliverance of His people. Jesus’ death was the result of His perfect obedience and our disobedience. God used His death to bring deliverance “once for all” for His people. [“The bible teaches that what matters isn’t what we think is right, but what GOD says is right and what GOD does in the person of JESUS”] – TJBrassell

Missional Application:

God – The Holy Spirit, calls people who feel defeated by sin and evil to put away their sins by turning back to God for deliverance. [“There is no sin that God cannot forgive and has not forgiven in Christ! There is no end to his mercy! But today YOU can choose to TRUST GOD in CHRIST and trust him to receive and forgive ALL of your sins and you can live the kind of life that we all need to, and that is, THE LIFE OF GRACE and THE LIFE OF WORSHIP!”] – TJBrassell

Photo Courtesy: http://www.greenvillegrace.org: http://www.crossmap.com

 

BEing.

I like to play golf. I’m not very good at it. I’m fairly good at it, just not very good. My best friend is very good at it. I, however, just enjoy being outside, fellowshipping with others, and the occasional score under 90.

Last summer I began to believe that I possessed the physical, mental, and emotional abilities necessary to improve my game. One of the things I have done is take golf lessons. I have a coach named Adam who is very knowledgeable and helpful.

A few Saturdays ago, in lieu of a lesson, we went out and played a few holes together. The idea was for Adam to be able to take a look at my whole game. Instead of just working on short irons, driver, chipping, or putting he was going to evaluate a variety of my shots on every hole.

When I arrived that day on the course Adam said, “Hey do you want a lesson today or do you want to go play a few?” “No contest.”, I thought. So we headed over to the first tee. When we stepped onto the tee box Adam informed me that he was going to hit all of my shots for me. I would just stand by and watch.

Ha ha! No, that last bit isn’t true at all. Adam did not hit all my shots for me. What kind of instructor would he be if he just did it all for me? I had to participate in my learning to be

Par 3 11th

Brookwoods G.C.  Hole 11, Par 3, 173 yards. (yep… I made the birdie putt)

a golfer. While it is very exciting to see a good golfer hit the ball a foot from the cup from 180 yards away, it is even more exciting when, through hours of practice and thousands of range balls, you do it yourself. (See pic)

The Father, Son, and Spirit have included the human race in their life of love, fellowship, goodness, mercy, justice, laughter, dancing, and mutual other-centeredness and love us so much that we are called to believe and respond to that inclusion. Peter said, that because our sins have been forgiven we are called to respond.

The whole of humanity are the children of God and we are called to believe that we are the children of God and so grow into the fullness of what it means to be His children. We are called to participate, not in any way that creates our reconciliation or redemption, but we are called to participate as children of God so that (as Dr. C. Baxter Kruger says), “the way of our being aligns with the truth of our being.”

Every analogy concocted fails the greatness and profound mystery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ but in my limited capacity let me say this. Jesus is the great I AM who believes perfectly on our behalf so that in him we might have our own true personhood and distinction. This is why he sends the Spirit. We are not him and he is not us, but by the Spirit we get to participate in His humanity! We are really us! We matter and God will have us truly be his children in love, in laughter, in relationships, in giving, in sharing, in altruistic action, in faithfulness, and in every aspect of our lives!

In the very Person and Being of Jesus, your humanity is saved, adopted, included, and you are God’s beloved child. Therefor; in his grace, and by the Spirit, will you be His saved, adopted and included child, responding in relationship to Him; responding to other human beings the way he does?

~Bill Winn

Wingnuts Must Be Wingnuts!

Wingnuts Must Be Wingnuts!

Last year a couple of close friends of ours told us about an anarchist’s house in Richmond called the Wingnut House. As one might imagine, I was curious. I had to see it. The more we learned about the house the more I wanted to see it.news30_wingnut

The Wingnut house was a large home in the Barton Heights area of Richmond. It was an anarchist collective. The folks there believed in a variety of things… such as mutual aid, anti-authoritarianism, and direct action. The house was generally open to the public, it was a drug-free/ alcohol-free place where food, live music, community,  and, I’m sure, spirited debate were in ample supply.

At the core of anarchism is the belief that the governments of mankind are illegitimate and bring mostly oppression, poverty, and violence. There are actually a few tenets of anarchism that, I think, have a ring of truth about them. But anyway on with the story… you’re gonna love this.

So our friends got in the church van with us and began showing us the way to the Wingnut House. I was excited! So as we pulled alongside the house what struck us was that large portions of the house were covered in expertly painted murals containing various themes and messages relating to the care of humanity and anti-authoritarianism. On the front of the house there was said to be a mural dedicated to people killed by the State and I wanted to see it but there was a one-way street in front of the house and I didn’t want to drive all the way around the block so… yep you guessed it.

I thought, “What the heck, it’s an anarchy house so we’ll “stick it to the man” and drive the wrong way down the one-way street. (Since there was nothing coming in this quiet neighborhood) So picture it, we’re in the Richmond Grace church van, going the wrong way down a one-way street just to see a mural painted on an Anarchist Collective house called- The Wingnut. It is one of my favorite memories.

What happened next shocked me. (No we didn’t get pulled over by the police, that would not have shocked me) There were about a dozen or so people sitting on the front porch and steps of the house and as we passed by some began to shout at us that we were going the wrong way!

Can you believe it? The anarchists were upset that we were going against the signs put up by man-made governments. I began to laugh and then it hit me and I thought, “Be what you are.”

I must confess as we passed by the house going against the designated flow of traffic I was eager to receive accolades from the anarchists. I awaited my fist pumps and upward turned thumbs but… it didn’t happen. I’m not sure why my “anarchy” wasn’t celebrated but it got me thinking.

Do we, as believers, sometimes find ourselves unwilling to celebrate the achievements and freedoms of those who might not think and believe as we do? I catch myself sometimes grumbling to the Father, Son, and Spirit about the blessings and successes of those around me who don’t give nearly as much time, energy, and resources to the life of the Church, who perhaps don’t give God a second thought, and maybe don’t even believe there is a God.

As a Gospel preacher I know that “Jesus gives life and breath and all things to all mortals” (Acts 17:25) Notice that Paul distinguishes life from breath. The Greek word for life is zoe, meaning spiritual life. Yes Trinity and Humanity reader… Jesus gives you life with His Father in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and he gives it to your Buddhist, Atheist, Agnostic, or Muslim neighbor. The difference is, that when we begin to see and believe, our minds are transformed and we begin to recognize that Jesus is truly at the center of everything we do. It’s a Gospel fact, but much of the prevailing thought in our day would have us believe otherwise. Believing the Gospel in the world might just be a little like going the wrong way on a one-way street.

So our mission, as those who believe and especially at Trinity and Humanity, is to inform and educate every person in the world that they have been included in the Triune Life of the Father, Son, and Spirit. Whether that message is popular or widely accepted is only an indication of how much work there is for us to do as “Gospel educators.” Sometimes, to get the message out, it’s okay to go against the flow of traffic or be called a nut… I’ve been called worse.

 

~Bill Winn

The Law’s Blessing and Curse

Deut 10-11 Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law

Part 1, 24 mins :https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/16-10-02-the-laws-blessing-and-curse-part-a-deuteronomy-10-11-tah-guest-andrews.mp3”

Part 2, 24 mins :https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/16-10-02-the-laws-blessing-and-curse-part-b-deuteronomy-10-11-tah-guest-andrews.mp3”

Full Sermon:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/16-10-02-the-laws-blessing-and-curse-deuteronomy-10-11-tah-guest-andrews.mp3”

 

Theological Theme: The law is God the Father’s good gift [holy, just and good], but it cannot save us from the penalty of disobedience.

Christ Connection: Obedience to God-Father, Son and Spirit’s law brings a blessing. Breaking God’s law brings a curse. Jesus is the One who took the curse of our law-breaking humanity in order that we might experience the blessing of His law-keeping humanity, all of Grace!

Missional ApplicationIn response to the awesome works He has accomplished for us Jesus sends us His Holy Spirit, conforming us to Himself as we participate in and reflect His character toward others.

*picture courtesy of knowing-jesus.com

So Why Not Say You’re Gay, or…?

 

col-3-hidden-in-christ

…Black, White, Asian or Hispanic??? Or Republican, or Democrat? Or why not say you’re a Millennial, Boomer, or a Gen X’er??? (After all everyone else calls themselves by their age, too?) Why not call yourself ESFJ, or INTJ – for those familiar with the Myers Briggs personality inventory?

Because, simply put but complexly true, according to Jesus Christ and the God Revealed in Him, you are not any of those things! You certainly may exhibit some of those traits but…

 Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.

– Colossians 3:3-4 (The Msg)

According to Jesus, from the Father and through the Holy Spirit in the Apostle Paul, that’s why you shouldn’t identify as just any old “thing”, or even as your own thing! So if you’re struggling with your identity, it is probably because you’ve forgotten, or never knew the Truth God points out  through this scripture:

1.) Your identity is not in some thing (your sexual attraction, your skin color, your political party or age), it is in Someone outside yourself, namely, in Jesus Christ, in God. You’re going to have to look outside yourself in the first instance to discover your identity! You should receive and look to Jesus because your real life is hidden in him. Your true humanity is hidden in him. He is your life! (By the way, what largely remains hidden to you now is the glorified humanity Jesus has for you; the humanity that will never die and is incorruptible. What isn’t hidden is all of the other stuff revealed and witnessed to about Jesus in the bible!)

2.) If you’re going to receive who you really are, you’re going to have to follow Jesus and let him show and tell you. Because he is a Person and you are a person, that means discovering your identity is not static but dynamic, or relational and active. Identity is not a thing that can be discovered in isolation from others (as in “I’m a hermit”). Your identity is a discovery that comes in relationship with Jesus and the God Revealed in Him.

3.) One of the greatest and common places Jesus is pleased to meet you is in the scriptures! Perhaps you, personally, are having more clarity about your identity through the scripture just quoted. It wouldn’t surprise me! This Relational God – Father, Son and Spirit is the one who inspired and left us these books we call the bible through which he would encounter us and witness to himself! If you like reading books, he left you quite a few to catch up on! Lol! If you are getting clarity about your identity through the scripture notice that we went to a passage through which God has been pleased to witness to himself (though He’s NOT the bible!) Through that passage he was pleased to speak to you not only about who he is but also about who you really are!

4.) Notice also that this isn’t a scripture only about you, it’s about every one of us! Because of who we are speaking of, Jesus, the God/Man and One who created and sustains every single person, your fellow human beings also have their identity in Him! Jesus is literally the One Human for all! Pointedly, this means you should seek to see your neighbor also for who they are in Jesus who represents all humans in his humanity, namely, your brother or sister, or neighbor in Christ!

Imagine for one moment how transformed our world would be if we referred to all others as “brother” or “sister” or “neighbor” “in Christ” rather than the things I noted in my first few sentences? Can you see the difference that would make in our treatment of each other? Can you sense the other-centered love in humility that could thrive, and the self-centered pride that could die? Wow!!!

By the way, none of this means that you become Jesus or that he becomes you! No! He will still be Jesus and you will still be distinctly you. It does mean that Jesus intends to share with you his awesome and glorified human nature so you can relate with God and each other in a way that partakes of the divine nature, as one made in the image of his image in Jesus (2 Cor 4:4)! His life reveals what it really means to be human and those who trust him get to participate in that!

Here’s the link to a GREAT read through which I was encountered by God – Father, Son and Spirit and got stirred to write this article:  http://www.livingout.org/why-not-say-you-re-gay-

As author Jonathan Berry writes in his last paragraph:

“We’re often warned of the dangers of identity theft in an increasingly digital age. As a Christian I feel passionately that I don’t want to allow myself to be robbed of the enjoyment of these great blessings, by falsely embracing any other identity. In his letter to Christians in Rome, Paul urges his readers not to “conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). For me, a really important aspect of that mind-renewal process involves ditching any unbiblical labels and securing my true identity as being in Christ.” (underline emphasis mine!)

Amen!

– tjbrassell

*photo courtesy of rhemafromgod.blogspot.com

 

The Triune God of Our Relationships

exodus-20-a-god-who-is-a-relationship

Part 1:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/16-08-28-the-triune-god-of-relationships-pt-1-exodus-20-12-21-tah.mp3”

Part 2:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/16-08-28-the-triune-god-of-relationships-pt-2-exodus-20-12-21-tah.mp3”

Full Sermon:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/16-08-28-the-triune-god-of-relationships-exodus-20-12-21-tah.mp3”

 

Theological Theme: God the Father’s law reflects God’s intention for human flourishing in society.

Christ Connection: As the sinless Savior, Jesus is the only One who has kept the law perfectly. He demonstrated His love for others by laying down His life in their place.

Missional Application: Because we have experienced God’s great love toward us, we are called to love and seek the good of our neighbors in the Grace and Power of the Spirit.

*photo courtesy of tourguidepastor.wordpress.com

Breaking News: Jesus Is Renewing T/His Church! pt.7

acts-2-45-47-party-fellowship

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/16-08-07-breaking-news-jesus-is-renewing-t-his-church-part-7-acts-2-42-47-tah.mp3”

As Hugh Halter has written:

“From the beginning of time and throughout the scriptures, God’s people patterned their lives around celebration, feasts, social gatherings, levity, story-telling, eating, drinking, laughter, and listening…

…Remember, when teaching about the gospel of the kingdom, our living metaphors are that of a wedding feast, a banquet, and a supper. It’s time to include this in our own spiritual formation.

That’s what this message is about as a congregation literally throws a party for the community!

*photo courtesy of santabanta.com

Breaking News: Jesus Is Renewing T/His Church! pt.6

john-13_34-35

Part 6a: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/16-07-24-breaking-news-jesus-is-renewing-t-his-church-part-6a-john-13-tah.mp3”

Part 6b: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/16-07-24-breaking-news-jesus-is-renewing-t-his-church-part-6b-john-13-tah.mp3”

Full Message: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/16-07-24-breaking-news-jesus-is-renewing-t-his-church-part-6-john-13-tah.mp3”

This message asks along with author Tim Chester, “When will we introduce [the world] to the network of believing relationships of which are privileged to be a part? When will they see us participating in the trinitarian life. When will they see that we not only submit to God’s will, but actually know God as a Father through the Son and by the Spirit? When will they see our relationships with one another: not perfect relationships, but relationships that reflect our experience of triune grace? When will they see a supernatural community that reflects the sending by the Father of the Son in the power of the Spirit, and the glorification by the Spirit through the Son of the Father.

Only as they experience the reality of the work of the Trinity in the lives of believers, and our vibrant relationship with the triune God, will the doctrine of the Trinity cease to be an academic game and become their living Hope.”

*photo courtesy of pinterest.com

Primary Function: What the Father, Son, and Spirit are on about.

Recently our church family began serving a newly-opened retirement community and we  are just getting to know some of the residents there. So far we are conducting a worship service that the residents are free to attend (or not attend), collecting large print books for their library, and I am visiting to eat lunch once a week.

So yesterday I was eating lunch with Rick (not his real name). He’s a retired father of 4 with fascinating stories to tell about the dozen or so states he’s lived in while he was a career man.

I noticed Rick sitting alone and decided to introduce myself. “I’m Billscrabble-included.”, I said. “May I join you for lunch?” He looked at me quizzically and replied, “Suit yourself. I’m not much of a conversationalist.” I sat down. I ordered a salad and the broccoli soup. The soup never came but the salad was amazing and huge so I didn’t miss the soup anyway.

During our conversation Rick asked me a question that vexed me so powerfully that I sidelined my prepared blog for today and am writing this now. Rick, I think, was having trouble believing that I was there without an agenda -other than to just love on and serve the fine folks in that community. Then he asked me the question. I might, in fact, describe his query as the throwing of a dart. His question caught me off guard and penetrated my heart.

He asked, “What would you say your primary function as a Pastor is?”

I was stunned. I gave him an adequate answer I hope, but last night lying awake at 2 AM I thought of a better answer. Isn’t that just the way it often happens?

My ministry as a Christian and as a Christ-centered Pastor is simply to participate in what the Father, Son, and Spirit are on about.

The Blessed Trinity has, as I see it, one primary goal and that is to see to it that the entire human race comes to know the Father with the Son in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. In the finished work of Jesus Christ humanity has been brought into eternal objective Union with God. The primary function of the Church is now to educate the human race, to declare their identity in Christ, and to work alongside the Holy Spirit to break the chains of brokenness and bondage.

So when Rick (again, not his real name) asked, “What would you say your primary responsibility as a Pastor is?”- a better answer would have been, “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives…” Isaiah 61

~Bill Winn

Breaking News: Jesus Is Renewing T/His Church! pt.5

jonah-1-psalm-139

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/16-07-17-breaking-news-jesus-is-renewing-t-his-church-part-5-jonah-1-psalm-139-tah.mp3”

As Hank Coates has written: “Jonah, the Prophet who ran away, is the Lord’s. And the Lord won’t let Jonah go. And the Lord gets what the Lord wants. And what the Lord wants is that all people come to know his saving love that stands on the side of the oppressed, makes the crooked straight, and releases the captives from their chains.”

That’s what this message is all about as a local Church heads “outside the walls”, witnessing in Word and Deed to God, Father, Son and Spirit – The Lord! Check it out!

*photo courtesy of shainadomatilia.wordpress.com

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