Archive for the ‘identity in Christ’ Tag

The Preeminence Of Jesus Christ!

Part A:

Part B:

Full Message:


Bible Verses: Colossians 1:15-24 2: 3


Introduction:

What is the outlook you have in your life? Do you see Jesus?

How and what we see is so important for the life we live today, the relationships we have, and to the words we speak today. Our outlook/view is so important to our walk, ministry and testimony.

“We should be focused on The Father, Son and Holy Spirit and The God who is revealed in Jesus”

“We should be (given the context of the lives that we live today, given all things that we’re going through, through the tears, celebration, through the relationships, through the work and through the worry) focused on Jesus, who is supreme, who is central, and who is sufficient in and for all things, and for all times.”

Paul wrote the letter to the church at Colossae when he learned through Epaphras that heretical teachings were running through the church. Paul’s letter pointed the church to the person and work of Jesus Christ. The cross of Christ is not merely a theory for theologians to ponder; it’s a real-life, realtime reality that heals, restores, and reconciles. Through the cross, Christ reconciled us to the Father, reconciles all things in Himself, and reconciles us to one another.

Paul focuses on the reconciling work of Jesus and focuses our attention on reconciling in 3 different areas in our lives:

1. Christ is preeminent in His reconciling all things. (Col. 1:15-20).

2. Christ is preeminent in His reconciling us to God. (Col. 1:21-23).

3. Christ is preeminent in His reconciling us to one another. (Col. 1:24–2:3).

Theological Theme:

Through His work on the cross, Christ is restoring the world and reconciling us to God [Father-Son-Holy Spirit] and to one another.

Christ Connection:

Jesus is the preeminent one. Growth and maturity are firmly established on that precept.

“For everywhere He is first; above first; in the Church first; for He is the Head; in the Resurrection first.” –John Chrysostom

In prison, Paul encouraged God’s people by proclaiming the magnificence of Christ—His identity as God’s Son and His work on the cross to reconcile us to God. Christian growth and maturity does not take place through moving beyond the gospel to other Bible teaching but through continually refocusing our attention on Christ—who is the focus of the Scriptures and the head of the church

Missional Application:

God, through His Holy Spirit, calls us, as those who have been reconciled to God, to be heralds of reconciliation to the world.

Conclusion:

Just as Christ is preeminent in His reconciling creation, He is preeminent in His reconciling us to God, which He accomplished through taking on flesh and then laying His life down on our behalf. Because of the blood He shed on the cross, we are no longer alienated, hostile, and evil. That is the old person who has been put to death with Christ on the cross. In that person’s place, we have received new life, new identity, in Christ. And it is this new person who has been declared holy, faultless, and blameless whom Christ presents to the Father. This is the fundamental change of Christ’s reconciliation. He has undone sin’s curse. He has restored that which was broken. He has made right that which was wrong. He, not us, has accomplished this work of reconciliation. And this is why He receives all the glory of our salvation.

By the cross, Christians enter into a personal relationship with the Man of Nazareth who, being fully God and fully man, suffered with us, suffered for us, and suffers through us as we “weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15). The beams of the cross point us upward (Christ), downward (grounded in the faith), and outward (loving others). Be careful to keep those three beams together, for if we become deficient in one, the others will fall apart. May we proclaim a whole redemption through a whole Christ to a world that is not yet whole.

Photo Compliments:

http://www.crosswalk.com

Toward An Enduring Identity!

Part A:

Part B:

Full Message:


Watch On YouTube (via Zoom)

Main Bible Verses: 1 Peter 2: 1-17


Introduction:

We are each a part of the body of Christ. Chosen by God, receivers of great mercy, we have been given a new identity that we are to work out in our lives. With Christ as our foundation and example, we’ve also been given a new purpose and calling to be set apart for the work and glory of God.

Theological Theme:

The church is a sign and instrument of the kingdom of God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, constituted and commissioned by Jesus Christ.

Each of the four preceding descriptions of the church—a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people for God’s possession— reminds us that we are fundamentally different from the world. We are, as Peter put it, strangers and exiles in this world. This is our new identity in Christ, and it is from this identity that our changed behavior should flow. Who we are should always be the root of our behavior.

Christ Connection:

The early Christians faced persecution and experienced suffering for their faith in Christ. Peter reminded them of their identity as God’s people—formed by Christ and sent out on His mission. United to Christ, the One who suffered for us on the cross, Christians can expect God to use suffering to make us into the image of His Son.

God has graciously provided a solid foundation for us to experience His goodness for eternity. That foundation was laid through Christ’s obedient life, sinless sacrifice, and powerful resurrection, and by faith in Him, we can stand firm on it……Peter teaches about the enduring, living hope we have through Christ. He records glorious truth after glorious truth about the gospel—the work of Christ on our behalf so that we might enter into a permanent relationship with God…..Since the great mercy of God has rescued us and given us a living hope and an imperishable inheritance, therefore, we take action. It’s important to understand that if the sole purpose of salvation were to rescue you from eternal damnation, there would be no reason for you to continue to exist in this world. Our lives are about more than our individual deliverance. We remain on this earth to be stones of grateful testimony who declare the salvation of our glorious Lord to every one who will hear.

Missional Application:

God, through his Holy Spirit calls us to be an otherworldly people for the good of this world, to stand against the world for the sake of the world.

One key to living out our new identity and purpose is to understand our new citizenship. We cannot live out the call to be holy with one foot immersed in the patterns and conduct of the world and another in the lifestyle of Christianity. This is a false reality for the two are incongruent with one another. Even the goodness of the world and the social norms that might jive with our biblical worldview cannot be our goal. The world does good in order to be seen as good. The Christian does good in order to point to our good God.

“Advance in the Christian life comes not by the work of the Holy Spirit alone, nor by our work alone, but by our responding to the grace the Holy Spirit initiates and sustains.” –Donald S. Whitney

Conclusion:

We have been saved with a great purpose. Yes, we personally benefit from the rescue we’ve received, but ultimately, our salvation is not about you and me. The glorious reality of our redemption is to be proclaimed for the sake of those who still yet need it, all for the glory of our Redeemer. Therefore, we must take seriously our calling to live an otherworldly life. With our feet firmly planted on the bedrock of Christ’s character and provision, we get to live out our calling as a child of God, with all the hope of an eternal future with our glorious King.

Contending For The Faith Delivered To The Saints! – Part 12

Contending for the Faith

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fCnlbFY-m0

Audio: Part 12a: 32 min

“https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/18.12.12-contending-for-the-faith-delivered-to-the-saints-part-12a-john-4.1-42-tah.mp3”

Audio: Part 12b:  30 min

“https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/18.12.12-contending-for-the-faith-delivered-to-the-saints-part-12b-john-4.1-42-tah.mp3”

Audio: Full Message:

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/18.12.12-contending-for-the-faith-delivered-to-the-saints-part-12-john-4.1-42-tah.mp3”


Main Passages: Jude 1  John 4 


This Specific Message Concludes the Series of 12 messages addressing today’s big questions regarding relationships, race, marriage, love, gender/sexual identity, politics, and worship and witness as it relates to the Christian God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Photo Compliments: http://www.lifeassuranceministries.org/proclamation/2010/4/Resources/octnovdec2010fea.jpeg

 

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 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.

The Triune God Who Gives New Names!

Genesis 32 The Triune God Who Gives New Names

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/16-04-10-the-triune-god-who-gives-new-names-gen-32-35-tah-guest-vinson.mp3”

Theological Theme: Encountering God leads to a fundamental change of identity and purpose.

Christ Connection: God’s renaming of individuals in the Old Testament reflects both privilege and responsibility. As Christians, we bear the name of Christ. We receive both the privilege of salvation and the responsibility of mission.

Missional Application: God calls us to live in a manner worthy of the name we have received so that others may praise God for His transforming power.

Why Jesus’ Church Fellowships More And More! pt.7

No_Fear_In_Love_

On this 10th Sunday after Pentecost, Pastor Timothy Brassell of New Life Fellowship of Baltimore, Proclaims the GOOD NEWS of The God Revealed in Jesus Christ out of Hebrews 10, CONCLUDING this Gospel Series with a message entitled, “Why Jesus’ Church Fellowships More And More!”, pt.7

In this last message of the series, we understand more clearly the judgment of God, Father, Son and Spirit in the relational way that reflects our being made in His image, as acted out in drama by Pastor T and NLF member Jeff Steffen!

Check it out!

Why Jesus’ Church Fellowships More And More! pt.6

Body of Christ 1

On this 9th Sunday after Pentecost, Pastor Timothy Brassell of  New Life Fellowship of Baltimore, Proclaims the GOOD NEWS of The God Revealed in Jesus Christ through Hebrews 10, continuing with pt. 6 of this Gospel Series, entitled, “Why Jesus’ Church Fellowships More And More!”

In this second to last message in the series, we understand more clearly:

  • That God, Father, Son and Spirit is the Church’s Object of Faith and that the preaching and teaching of the church should not make itself the object of faith, nor should be preoccupied with itself.
  • The Church is not the Kingdom but is to be the concrete and visible manifestation of the coming kingdom.
  • That by the Word and Spirit and in union with Christ, the people of God can give concrete evidence in time and space, and in flesh and blood, to the watching world, the character of the coming kingdom.
  • The church, in unconditional and covenant love, can bear witness to the lordship of Christ in its worship and in its common life as well as in its service to bring about the common good of those not a part of the Christian community.

Check it out!

Bring Me a Coin

Since the dawn of time there have been those who have wanted to assert their authority and power over others and if they had no authority or power to assert many have worked diligently to acquire some.

One of the fasted ways to get on the bad side of the powerful is to threaten their authority or legitimacy. This is why some presidents, prime ministers, dictators, and religious leaders hide what they are doing from public scrutiny, lock out the press, and make their deals and bargains in secret. It is often a hallmark of wrong-doing. Power structures do not like to be challenged.Perichoresis Coin

The Pharisees and religious leaders of the early first century were no different and they resented Jesus for many reasons. For one… he did not announce himself to them first when he became a human being and for another he persistently worked to rip down the hierarchical power structures they had created for their own benefit.

Well as you might know, the Pharisees often attempted to trip Jesus up with questions and scenarios that seemed to have no safe way of answering. One of those occasions is found in Matthew 22, Mark 12, and Luke 20. The scene sets up like this… a tax was owed for going to the Temple and Jesus was asked by the Pharisees whether it should be paid. They knew the tax was unpopular with the Jews so he could not come out in favor of the tax without enlisting the ire of the people and on the other hand he could not oppose the tax publically without being in jeopardy from the Roman rulers. They had him… or so they thought.

When asked about the tax Jesus asked them to bring him the coin used for the tax and inquired, “Whose image is this on the coin?” Their answer was, “Cesar’s.” Jesus replied, “Then give to Cesar that which is his and give to God what is God’s.” WOW… do you see it? How amazing is Jesus’ answer?!? Can you say, “Checkmate?”

I do not believe that Jesus was, in this encounter, validating the system of Roman taxes where money was extracted under the threat of violence or imprisonment. I do not believe Jesus would ever endorse a system where the powerful confiscate wealth by the sword.

Nope, what Jesus was doing here was speaking to the logic of these people’s being. Those listening were Hebrews and would have been very familiar with the creation narrative in which Triune God proclaims, “Let us make mankind in our image… so male and female he made them.”

When Jesus implies that the way we know who the coin belongs to is to look at whose image is on the coin he is deflecting the intent of their question and using it as an opportunity to let them know that, because they each bear the image of God as human beings, they belong to God and should give themselves wholly to him.

Do you see that? You are created in the image of the Triune God… you bear the image of the Father, Son, and Spirit… Jesus wants you to know that no matter what… you belong to him!

You belong to the Father, Son, and Spirit. You always have. You always will. The Father loves you and likes you. You are his beloved child. Amen!

~Bill Winn

Why Jesus’ Church Fellowships More And More! pt.5(c)

fellowship5

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/15-07-05-why-jesus-church-fellowships-more-and-more-pt-5c-hebrews-10-luke-2-mark-6-tah.mp3

On this 6th Sunday after Pentecost, Pastor Timothy Brassell of  New Life Fellowship of Baltimore, Proclaims the GOOD NEWS of The God Revealed in Jesus Christ through Hebrews 10: 1-26, in the continuation of pt. 5 of this Gospel Series, entitled, “Why Jesus’ Church Fellowships More And More!” This is a series designed to help us re-think WHO and WHAT we are in light of Jesus Christ, and who and what we are called to be and do AS THE BODY OF CHRIST!

We understand more clearly in this message:

  • The FIRST thing we Christians MUST do when we are faced with any “WHY?” question!
  • How challenging and exciting it can be to work through our civic  and Church responsibilities in this time between the present evil age and the age to come!
  • What a Christians PRIMARY Job is as a citizen of both heaven and earth!
  • 9 “down-to-earth, on-the-ground-and in-the-flesh” 21st Century practical Job and Civic reminders that will help you as you think through participating more creatively and properly with Christ in your various roles in this world!

Check it out!

 

 

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