Archive for the ‘Confession’ Tag

Jesus Is Risen! So Go…Make Disciples! Part 3

Disciples who make disciples

Audio – Part 3a: 24 min”

Audio – Part 3b: 22 min”

Audio – Full Message:”

Bible Verses: Matthew 28

 This Good News series is about Jesus’ Believers and Disciples “GO”ing in Active Participation with Him, Wherever He Says to “Go!…” AND MAKING DISCIPLES WHO CAN MAKE DISCIPLES!

Theological Theme:

Christian Disciples are those who willingly, by grace through faith, and in loving obedience, participate with Jesus in offering their total humanity in allegiance to the Father, through the Son and in the Spirit! Christian Disciples participate with Jesus in his repentance and baptism, being incorporated into his body, the Church. Christian Disciples become fully committed to making disciples of Jesus who can make disciples of Jesus that make disciples of Jesus – in the Spirit, through the Son and to the Glory of our Father!

Christ Connection:

Who is Jesus? Jesus is God’s concrete love, revealing that God’s love has substance and is personal and dynamic! God Himself is his love toward us in Jesus! God the Father’s love is JESUS himself and therefore not a loosey-goosey “just do whatever you want, whenever you want” non-love that overlooks transformation. We don’t go out with a sappy sentimental human-centered love but with God’s real love (Jesus!) that supports and challenges others to receive the Spirit, personally, and become truly human, according to what the Father has made of us in Jesus and the fully human way he lives. We must remember though that God’s love respects the differences and uniqueness of each person, just as Jesus is a different and unique person. Jesus can help you discern the unique ways you might witness about him to each person, in the Spirit, without being tied down by laws and rules.

Missional Application:

Because we are united toJesus and his Father in the Love and Communion of the Holy Spirit, we go with him in his outgoing love and compassion, witnessing to all persons about him, but especially to those who don’t know and trust him yet! Disciples can and will be made by God-Father-Son-and-Spirit with our participation, so let’s go together and make disciples!

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The Risen King And The Doubter



Audio – Full Message:”

Bible Verses: John 20:24-29

At first reading it looks like Thomas was more unbelieving than the other disciples, but this was not necessarily the case. They do not seem to have believed Mary Magdalene when she said she had seen the Lord—it was not until Jesus appeared to them that they were filled with joy (v. 20). Earlier references to Thomas reveal one who was dogged in his commitment to Jesus (11:16) and honest about his doubts (14:5). He refused to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead unless he actually saw the prints of the nails and spear wound for himself. By the way, this shows that the disciples and the evangelist were talking about a bodily resurrection of Jesus, not some spiritual survival beyond death.”  – Colin F. Kruse

Theological Theme:

Faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.

Christ Connection:

Although Thomas doubted the testimony of the other disciples, he was blessed to encounter the risen Jesus for himself. He saw Jesus in His resurrected and glorified body and placed his hands in the scars from the cross, the signs of Christ’s unfailing love for His people. Though we have not seen Jesus with our eyes, with Thomas we confess by faith that Jesus Christ is our Lord and our God.

“Christ demonstrates his victory over death, not by feats of strength, not by more and more spectacular miracles, but by wounds: nail holes, spear marks. Behold, the lamb who was slain.” – Mark Buchanan

Missional Application:

God the Father calls us to be patient with doubters as we bear witness to His Son, whom we have seen only with the eyes of faith, in the Spirit.

“But do thou, when thou seest the unbelief of the disciple, consider the lovingkindness of the Lord, how for the sake of a single soul He showed Himself with His wounds, and cometh in order to save even the one.” 17 –John Chrysostom (circa 347-407)

Faith Biblical faith is the resting, or trusting, in Christ alone for salvation (John 3:16-21). More than being simply a mental agreement of historical facts, genuine faith begins with a recognition and confession of the truth of the gospel (1 John 4:13-16), followed by a receiving of Christ as Lord and Savior of one’s life (John 1:10-13). Biblical faith is not blind faith, for it rests on the historical life, death, and resurrection of Christ. – The Gospel Project

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On Confession

On some days I miss my old theology, because at least THEN I had some control over things.

I did my thing called “faith,” which obligated God to make my afterlife pleasant by putting me in a nice (non-flaming) neighborhood.  But since then I’ve learned that my Papa already loves me, that Jesus has already included me within his forever-life with Papa, and their Spirit is already saturating every moment of my life with experiences of this Truth.  I’ve learned that my belief or non-belief doesn’t change any of that.

So why is my life a cauldron of shame?

I can’t blame it on God anymore.  Jesus, his Papa, and their Spirit treat me royally; they always have and always will.  The problem is not God.  The problem is not my location or circumstances.  “Going to heaven” won’t make it better.  “Going to hell” won’t make it worse.  Because the problem isn’t “out there.”  The problem is in me; the problem is that I hate the truth.

Don’t get me wrong; I like the idea that God loves me, etc.  That part rocks.  I am happy to confess that truth.  It’s the other part of the truth that I don’t want to confess.  The truth about the things I’ve done, the lies I’ve told, the people I’ve hurt.  The truth that I’ve loved darkness and still sorta do.

FESS means “to speak.”  CON means “with.”  To confess is to SPEAK-WITH God.  To say what God says, to tell the truth with Him in one voice together. I’ve done plenty of confession in prayer; I’m well aware that my misdeeds are not news to God.  And I’ve always tried to be pretty open about being a guy who has an ongoing history of brokenness, just like everybody else.

So why is my shame still here?

Addicts learn a painful lesson in the Twelve Steps, especially Step Five:  We discover that we cannot break free from shame without confessing “to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”  Or, as Brother James puts it: “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5.16).  When we connect with the truth (with God, with ourselves, and with others), we begin to become unbroken/healed/saved.

Now, if you keep secrets about your past but still feel completely shame-free, that’s wonderful.  I don’t know how you manage that, but I’m happy for you.  All I know is that I cannot keep secrets if I want to be free from shame.  I need to have a small circle of people-my wife and a couple friends-who know everything.  The whole list, with all the relevant details.  If I withhold relevant facts (about past or present), it is because I believe they will reject me if I tell them.  That belief is the voice of shame, and I refuse to listen to it anymore.  I am no longer willing to let toxic shame have any place in my life.

If a secret unpleasant truth is poisoning me on the inside, confession is how I expel it from my body.  I believe I will survive the process because Jesus has taught me that the truth will set me free.  I want freedom more than I want the artificial comfort of keeping my skeletons in my closet. “We have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception” (2 Cor 4.2).

I am choosing to accept and confess the truth about myself.  I am choosing to believe in the ability of God (and His people) to love me anyway.  So that “by believing I may have life” (John 20.31).

~ by John Stonecypher

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