Archive for the ‘Forgiveness’ Tag

The Godly Meaning Of The Bronze Serpent

Numbers 21 Serpent - Jesus

Part 1, 25 mins :https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/16-10-23-the-godly-meaning-of-the-bronze-serpent-part-1-numbers-21-tah.mp3”

Part 2, 25 mins :https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/16-10-23-the-godly-meaning-of-the-bronze-serpent-part-2-numbers-21-tah.mp3”

Full Message:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/16-10-23-the-godly-meaning-of-the-bronze-serpent-numbers-21-tah.mp3”

Theological Theme: God our Father sent His Son Jesus to become sin in order to conquer sin.

Christ Connection: Just as the Israelites looked upon the bronze serpent lifted high on the pole and were healed, so also we look with faith upon Jesus Christ, who was lifted high on the cross, and experience Salvation from our sin.

Missional Application: Because Christ has become sin for us, getting rid of it, God the Holy Spirit empowers us to share with others that they, too, can and should look upon Jesus, receiving his love shown deepest on the cross, and receive spiritual healing.

*picture courtesy of markglogg.eu

 

Jesus is the Ultimate Atonement and Sacrifice, Part 1

leviticus-1-atonement

Part 1:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/16-09-18-jesus-is-the-ultimate-atonement-and-sacrifice-part-1a-leviticus-1-e28093-3-i-john-2-1-2-tah.mp3”

Part 2:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/16-09-18-jesus-is-the-ultimate-atonement-and-sacrifice-part-1b-leviticus-1-e28093-3-i-john-2-1-2-tah.mp3”

Full Sermon:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/16-09-18-jesus-is-the-ultimate-atonement-and-sacrifice-part-1-leviticus-1-e28093-3-i-john-2-1-2-tah.mp3”

Theological Theme: The burnt offering was for the removal of the people’s guilt before God; the grain offering restored Israel to serve God and neighbor, and the fellowship offering was for the reconciliation between God the Father and His people.

Christ Connection: Because of Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice, we celebrate the removal of our guilt before God, the freedom to serve God on His mission, and the restoration of our relationship with God – Father, Son and Spirit.

Missional Application: Because we who share in Christ’s life have been freed from our guilt, God the Holy Spirit calls us to serve Him by serving others.

*photo courtesy of pinterest.com

I Already Got 5 Dollars

In the Wendell Berry book, Jayber Crow, the main character (Jayber) tells a lie as a young man in order to disguise his aimlessness. He is hitchhiking and a man he knows from his childhood gives him a lift. Jayber is now about 19-20 and he knows the man does not recognize him. Jayber never intended to rob the man but he made up an elaborate lie about a sick mother and hungry brothers and sisters and that he had to go to the city to find work to support them. The truth was, he was lost emotionally and did not know what to do with his life.

When the man dropped him off at his destination he shoved a 5-dollar bill into Jayber’s jacket pocket. Jayber took the money, he needed it, but it was a liar’s wage and he knew it. The 5 dollars became a shameful burden for Jayber.

Well, by and by Jayber made his way back to his home town and became the town’s only barber. The memory of his lie and his “liar’s wage” would not leave him, nor would its shame. One day the man who’d given him the 5 dollars, so many years ago, came and sat in Jayber’s barber chair. Seeing that he was the only customer in the shop Jayber took the opportunity to confess his crime and offered to repay the 5 dollar5vers. The man refused the money by saying, “I already got 5 dollars.”

Do you see it?

Forgiveness, true forgiveness does not require repayment. Since the man had forgiven Jayber he was no longer in a place where he had to have the money back in order for their relationship to be whole. It was not easy for Jayber to accept such free and honest forgiveness but he did and he and the man never spoke of the 5 dollars again.

In the Atonement the Father, Son, and Spirit forgave humanity’s Sin and sins, we were no longer under any obligation to repay a debt. Most amazingly the Father, Son, and Spirit do not even want our attempted repayments. There is no need for penance, no need to try and balance the scales, no need to try and make up for our sins. It may be necessary and beneficial to try to make restitution to a person we have wronged. It may be helpful for us and for them but it will never improve the unconditional forgiveness we have all received in Jesus.

The statement from Jesus on the Cross: “Father forgive them…” is a done deal for us. Trust me there is nothing you can ever give back to triune God that you perceive you have taken. I can almost hear Jesus now, when I let guilt creep into my life over wrongs I’ve done, “Hey Bill, I already got 5 dollars!”

~Bill Winn

Rebellion Against The Redeemer

exo-32-who-is-on-the-lords-side

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/07-24-16-rebellion-against-the-redeemer-exo-32-1-14-tah-guest-marra.mp3”

Theological Them: Idolatry is putting something or someone in the place of God – Father, Son and Spirit.

Christ Connection: The children of Israel needed a mediator to intercede on their behalf. Jesus Christ is the mediator between God and sinful humanity; He intercedes on behalf of His people.

Missional Application: God calls us to intercede for people who need Him, appealing to His character and His will as we pray for their salvation.

*photo courtesy of av1611.org

Breaking News: Jesus Is Renewing T/His Church! pt.2

Make all things new 2

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/06-05-16-breaking-news-jesus-is-renewing-t-his-church-part-2-acts-1-2-tah.mp3″

In part two of this new series on God’s Good News at New Life Baltimore, walk with a congregation preparing to participate and go with Jesus more “Outside The Walls” of the Church by asking the three most important questions of Christianity:

Who is Jesus Christ?, Where is Jesus Christ today? and What am I to do as a Christian?

It is also reinforced that:

*Jesus Christ has no volunteers in His Church, only those who have been called by Him and who stand under his gracious command and free response from the Spirit!
*God is not looking for a perfect response BUT does look for an imperfect one!
*Love is always obedient even though obedience isn’t always love!

 

*picture courtesy of campaign.vpweb.com

How Should You Respond, Properly, To Today’s Troubling Times?

Response in Troubled Times

And there is a proper response! It was proclaimed and lived by Jesus Christ as He stepped into the troubling events of this world in His day. And, through His Body, the Church, He continues to proclaim this same message:

“Re-Think-Act and Believe the Good News!” Mark 1:15 (And for immediate clarity, Mark has already written in Mark 1:1 that the Good News is a Person or, in his words, the “beginning of the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God…”

Yes, that is still the message of Jesus and His people to you, and everyone, in our world, right in the middle of our current and troubling events! Jesus is God’s basic and fundamental response to the political lies and insanity, murder of innocent victims, bombings, and human trafficking – God’s response to everything! He is the proper response because He is GOD’s response shared with us in our humanity to all sin, evil and rebellion within creation! It is the response of Him Who created all things and of the One in Whom we all live and move and have our being. The One in, and through, and by, and for Whom all things are created and sustained (as my brother Baxter Kruger likes to say!)

If you’ve already misheard and think this sounds too simple, or too unrealistic, or too cognitive to address problems compared to the “hands-on solutions” needed in our complex world, then you’ve already misheard what’s been stated, so let me make it a little plainer!

How could it be too simple when it has something to do with trusting the Relational God Revealed in Jesus?:

Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out.” – Romans 11:33 The Msg.

The Solution is simply stated, yes, but simple, NO! ONLY Jesus could, and can, and is, and will pull off helping you to trust Him that He really is your, OUR, only Good News in the face of all troubles!

How could this response be unrealistic when Jesus tells us that our response of peace and reconciliation with each other has been pulled off by and given to us by HIM, God Himself?! That HE has responded for us and acted in our place and on our behalf, in our fallen humanity, as our Good News????

How could this be too cognitive or something just “up in your head” when it clearly addresses the foremost way in which you receive and process troubling events – tossing, turning and dealing with them in your mind, right?! Isn’t it also addressing the problem behind most poor and evil events – NOT thinking along with Jesus about Who He is, and who He says our neighbors and we are in Him? He says we are all reconciled to Him and, in Him, to each other! Check it out:

1But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. –Ephesians 2

How could it be too cognitive when Jesus loved His Father, and commands us to do the same, with all of His heart, soul, MIND, and strength? A response from our whole humanity matters and is given to us from our Father, through Jesus and by the Spirit! Responding in Christ’s love to God and our neighbor:

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[c]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ – Luke 10:27

OF COURSE all of this means participating in some kind of real everyday, human action – to RETHINKACT in relationship! RE-THINK-ACTING in the Light of Who Jesus is as our Good News in flesh, which means:

1.) Your first and primary response to today’s troubles is Jesus Himself, Who has responded properly to His Father in word and deed, on humanity’s behalf, in the Spirit, and Who has “overcame the world” (today’s troubles!) as He puts it! Yes, you are reading me right, JESUS HIMSELF is your proper response to trouble, coming to you and to me freely and graciously, as a pure gift! God is with us and for us IN FLESH! Whew! Wow!

It’s the next few things that become more COSTLY to you because Jesus also shares Himself with us as the One Who “became poor that we might become rich” and Who said “whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves, pick up their cross daily, and follow Me”. Starting to see the cost yet??? Haha

Here are other costly things you can participate in with Jesus as a proper response to today’s troubles:

2.) Place your single-minded faith and trust in Jesus Christ, given to you as a gracious gift, and relate with Him in union and fellowship! Ask Him, personally, how you might respond to any given situation! He knows exactly what to do – but be prepared for plenty of mysterious surprises because His variety of responses to people in situations is as varied as there are people and situations to respond to!

The high cost of trusting Jesus is that you can no longer trust anyone or anything else, including yourself, like you trust Him! In the Light of His Lordship, you understand yourself to be a dependent creature whose entire outlook and motives apart from Him are now called into question and found lacking! If you could have responded properly to your troubles then there was no need for Him to come and do it! You can’t trust what things look like, feel like, or sound like – you can trust ONLY Him despite those things or outcomes! You no longer trust in your own ideas of independence and freedom, your own pride, smarts, things, race, nation, guns, policies, votes, gender, economic status, good works or anything else! You trust ONLY IN JESUS and identify ONLY in and with Him!

This means that despite your daily troubles, and even in the middle of them, you can, and should, cast all of your care upon Jesus for He cares for you! It is the reason so many of us pray to Jesus, and read the bible, and congregate together as His Church (believers) regularly – to meet Jesus there and have Him remind us of Who He is, and who we are in Him, and what He has accomplished and made of the word despite our sin, and the kind of good works He does in the middle of everyday troubles in flesh till He returns!

To conclude, this is both encouragement and a warning because, as Karl Barth has rightly stated: “No neutrality with God is possible. We [YOU] must choose between the true God and idolatry.”

And because God has been Revealed in Jesus, what He gives us as a response will look more like God the Trinity in character. More like self-giving than selfishness. More like other-centeredness than self-centeredness. More like self-sacrificing and forgiveness than living at the expense of others. More like being social and relational than being totally closed and hiding from others. As my friend Rodeen Williams wrote recently “Made in their image, genuine freedom is best realized and enjoyed in the consciousness of our union with Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

As the Holy Spirit encounters you, WILL YOU RESPOND PROPERLY by receiving Jesus and this God Revealed in Him – this God Who has already received you? Will you “Re-Think-Act and Believe the Good News!”? Mark 1:15

The Triune God Whose Plan Involves Suffering

Genesis 37-39 The Suffering God

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/04-17-16-the-triune-god-whose-plan-involves-suffering-genesis-37-39-tah.mp3”

Theological Theme: God is sovereign over our lives, and He uses suffering and injustice to accomplish His plans in and through us.

Christ Connection: Joseph suffered unjustly and was later exalted to a place of prominence. In a similar manner, Jesus suffered unjustly and was later raised from the dead and exalted as Lord of the world.

Missional Application: God calls us to trust Him to fulfill His promises because when obstacles appear to thwart His mission, God is faithful to use even the obstacles as part of His plan to bring glory to His Son.

God The Trinity’s Dysfunctional, Covenant Family!

God's Dysfunctional Family Genesis 27https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/16-04-10-god-the-trinitys-dysfunctional-covenant-family-genesis-27-1-40-tah.mp3”

Theological Theme: God is sovereign over all of life, and He will work out His plan of redemption despite and sometimes through our dysfunction.

Christ Connection: Jacob’s story is a good example of why humanity needs a Savior. Like Jacob, we seek a blessing that is not ours, but we cannot lie, deceive, or trick to receive it. Instead, Jesus shared His blessing with us when He took the judgment we deserve so that we might receive the blessing He deserved.

Missional Application: Because God specializes in showing mercy to unworthy people, we should look for ways God can make visible His grace through our struggle with ongoing flaws and dysfunction.

God’s Goodness Despite The Spread Of Sin!

Genesis 4

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/16-02-21-gods-goodness-despite-the-spread-of-sin-gen-4-1-26-tah.mp3”

As the graciously adopted children of God, Father, Son and Spirit, He calls us to participate with him in slowing the spread of sin by being salt and light in our world and by proclaiming the peace and joy of His Kingdom (Jesus!)

*photo courtesy of dailybiblememe.com

OUCH!

A couple of years ago I built a forge in our back yard. I wanted to have a shelter over the area where I do my blacksmithing and I really wanted to do most of the work by hand… the way things were done in the 18th and 19th centuries. So I chopped down a tree in my yard and set out with a broad axe and an adze to hew two large beams to be the main supports for my shelter. The beams were 18 feet long 5 inches wide and 10 inches tall. It was a lot of work.Forge T and H

During the course of chopping out the beams, I injured myself a bit. I felt a slight discomfort in my right knee and thought little of it. A few days later, I knelt down and was nearly unable to get up. The pain was intense and I wound up seeing a doctor about it only to find out that I had injured something called the iliotibial band. It is just a ligament or something that passes over the knee. Had I not discovered the extent of the injury and followed a physical therapy regimen right away the injury could have become more severe and maybe even permanent.

Kneeling down days after the injury aggravated my wound and sent a very powerful message to my brain, “Something is wrong… something is wounded.” You see poking the wound let me know that there was a need for healing.

Well a good friend of mine recently had a similar experience. He was hanging out with a group friends and people he generally admired. During the course of the day someone said something that was quite innocent but it caused him great emotional pain. He was hurt and a bit angry. After talking it over with one of his buddies, he decided to go talk to the offending person about the incident.

The person who had offended him was older and wiser so my friend’s expectations that the conversation would go well were fairly high. After hearing him out the older wiser man said, “I poked a wound didn’t I?” My friend was a little surprised and what followed was an apology and a lengthy discussion of the deeper issue and what might be necessary for healing. It was beautiful!

Hebrews 12:15 tells us to avoid the bitter roots that can grow deep and cause us years and maybe even a lifetime of pain. When a tree is but a seedling, it is easy to pluck it from the ground. Once the tree is left to grow for only a year or two, more effort will be required to remove it. If we let the tree grow for decades, professional help may be required to extract the tree that has now put down roots dozens of feet deep into the ground.

Our souls are much like this. Some things we want to grow deep such as the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ or the love in our marriages and families. Bitter roots can only do great harm and must be plucked as soon as we are aware of them. You see the Father, Son, and Spirit want so much more for us than to be hobbled by bitter-root wounds and pain.

So if someone inadvertently touches a wound in you I sincerely hope there will be a person there to help you see that this is not always a bad thing. Sometimes Holy Spirit will send someone to poke our wounds to remind us that they are still there and need the gentle healing that only the Father, Son, and Spirit can give.

~Bill Winn

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