Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Tag

Sin and God’s Authority

Part 1A

Part 1B


Scripture: Gen 3:1 – 4:8


Introduction:

Summary and Goal:
In the previous session, we saw that after the flood, God reaffirmed His creative purpose for people to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth (Gen. 1:28; 9:1,7). Sin, no matter how grievous and pervasive it may be, cannot stop God’s plan from marching forward. But the account of Noah ends in a surprising way, with Noah drunk and disgraced in front of his sons. The flood had brought judgment on the world, but it had
not removed sin. In this session, we pick up the story and see that it did not take long for humanity once again to shake its fist at God in active rebellion against Him. God’s command to spread out to fill the earth was not simply ignored but rejected in the city of Babylon, or Babel, as its residents sought to glorify their names instead of God’s.

Theological Theme:

Sin drives people to seek to make themselves great, even in direct disobedience of
God, but sin cannot halt God’s plans.

Christ Connection:

God confused the language of and scattered those who wanted to make a great name
for themselves. At Pentecost, God tore down the language barrier so that His people
would scatter across the world and make known the great name of His Son. One
day, God will gather together people from every tribe and language to worship Him
in unity.

Missional Application:

Because we have experienced the greatness of God through His gracious salvation
through Christ, we set aside all desires to make our names great and instead seek to
proclaim the kingdom of the Son of God throughout the whole world.

Photos compliments: pinterest.com

“Jesus: ‘Look, I Am Making Everything New!'”, Part 2

Scripture: Revelation 21:1-8


Introduction:

The Lord Jesus Christ Is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! So, “Who is Jesus Christ?” “Who are you Lord? And the answer he gives is that He himself is the Resurrection and the Life! The scriptures themselves testify to Jesus Christ as the person around whom all things revolve and the One to Whom we should all turn and be directed.

Theological Theme:

Holding this two all together we can say that the Gospel is the Good News about Jesus Our Resurrection, and therefore the Resurrection is primarily about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (personal doesn’t mean individual! It means sharing in Jesus relationship with his Father, the Spirit and all things!) It IS also about a glorified body! But it must be clarified in our day that Easter/Resurrection is a proclamation of the Fact that: You’re not just going to rise from the dead, you’re going to rise before, and accountable to Jesus Christ!

Christ Connection:

Relationship with Jesus is a priority ahead of receiving a new and glorified body! Because Jesus is not only the Resurrection but the Father’s Son, He is God and therefore present to us now in the Holy Spirit! He is Not first far off, but up close! He is “The God who made the world and everything in it—he is Lord of heaven and earth— [and he] does not live in [things] made by hands. 25 Neither is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives everyone life and breath and all things. 26 From one man[e] he has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live. 27 He did this so that [we] might seek God, and perhaps [we] might reach out and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28 For in [the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit] we live and move and have our being,” – Colossians 1:24-28a

The picture you should have in your head about God is one where the Father embraces and seeks to embrace you through his arms of Jesus and the Holy Spirit! And Jesus is central because he is the one who takes us to the Father and sends us the Holy Spirit, so…

We proclaim him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 I labor for this, striving with his strength that works powerfully in me.” (Col 1:28-29)

Missional Application:

In participation with Jesus Christ, by the Spirit, and to the Glory of the Father, we continue to proclaim Jesus to all and encourage all to place their faith in Him and enter a trust relationship with Him!

“the ministry of the Holy Spirit is personal and personally transforming—it is dynamic and interactive, bringing about receptivity, responsiveness and participation. And the result is that we are on a journey towards spiritual maturity and full sanctification, being changed into the likeness of Christ. But this journey is not automatic, causal, or impersonal. It is not mechanically imposed on all believers…receptivity and participation do make a difference, [and so] the New Testament indicates the differences it makes and encourages, exhorts and even commands us to be receptive to the Word of God and the ministry of the Spirit out of trust in God’s faithfulness through the Son and in the Spirit. As Paul exhorts in Eph. 5:18, we are to be “filled with the Spirit.”

These personal distinctions related to personal participation should not be taken to mean that God is faithful to some but not to all. The difference our personal responsiveness makes does not condition God into changing his purpose and aim for us and all humanity. It does not make God for some and against others, and it certainly does not lead him to want to see those who are unresponsive perish.

Our personal response (or lack thereof) to God cannot undo the fact that Jesus is and remains Lord and Savior of all. The character and purpose, mind and heart of God remain just as they have been revealed in Christ. The finished work of Christ is never undone—God remains, in Christ, reconciled to all people, no matter their response. He has and holds out forgiveness for them, is ready to receive them back into fellowship with him, and in that sense accepts them. However, while God accepts them, he does not accept their rejection, their sin, their rebellion, but accepts them in order to do away with what is against them and against their participation in the reconciliation accomplished for them in Christ. Nothing changes that reconciliation (with all it means), not even a person’s complete or partial rejection of God’s gift. However, our personal response (participation) does affect the quality of our lived relationship with God and thus our personal experiencing of the benefits of Christ.”

-Dr. Gary Deddo

Photos compliments: etsy.com

“Jesus: ‘Look, I Am Making Everything New!'”


Scripture: Revelation 21:1-8


Introduction:

It is not just the work of Jesus that saves us, but Who Jesus IS as our Resurrection, plus what he has done, that saves us! As The Resurrection He was making things new inside our humanity even as he was killing our death in his Incarnate life!

Theological Theme:

In short, we believe:

  1. God, Who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is Love; and God Loves You. (If Jesus wasn’t the Father’s Son then we’re not loved!)
  2. The Father made plans to include you in his Love and Life forever, through Jesus, and in the Spirit. (If Jesus wasn’t the Father’s Son then we aren’t included in God’s Love and Life!)
  3. The Son, Jesus, Accomplished the Father’s Plan 2000 years ago, and IN HIM Who is united to our human nature, we are Forgiven and Included in His Relationship with His Father. (If Jesus wasn’t the Father’s Son then God’s plan isn’t accomplished in him, our nature is still corrupt and headed to eternal death, and we’re not forgiven!)
  4. The Holy Spirit invites You to Believe this Good News; and in Believing, to Enjoy and Freely Share it with others as the Adopted Child the Father Always Wanted! (If Jesus wasn’t the Father’s Son, then he couldn’t send the Holy Spirit Who he said was vital for us to receive if we wanted to enter the Kingdom, be righteous, have peace, and be saved!)

If Jesus was someone other than THE One who takes us to the Father and sends us the Holy Spirit, then what he did would have no meaning or ability to get us into a relationship with the only God there is: the Father, Son, Holy Spirit God!

Christ Connection:

We’re not waiting for our bodily resurrection before Jesus becomes the actual King over everything! Jesus, the Resurrection and King, wasn’t talking about making things new simply in the age to come in the future, he was talking about beginning to make all things new right now!!!!

We don’t have to wait for Jesus to make all things new fully and finally! He is already beginning right now to make all things new!!

“For me the most radical demand of Christian faith lies in summoning the courage to say yes to the present risenness of Jesus Christ.” (and everything else that Christ already is right now even though we can’t see it!)

“For me the most radical demand of Christian faith lies in summoning the courage to say yes to the present risenness of Jesus Christ.”

– Brennan Manning

We get to go into the resurrection alive! We get to rise from death before we rise from death!

Missional Application:

Jesus is so near and available that just as he walked among people in his day calling for a response to him, he is right now calling for people to make an immediate response to him! His Kingdom on earth has already been inaugurated, just not consummated! It has started, it just hasn’t finished, but behold He’s already making all things new, so we call on people to believe and receive this Good News and relationship with Jesus!!

We also remind people that there are real consequences to accepting or rejecting Jesus when he approaches us! Overlooking these serious warnings also has an effect of minimizing the meaning
and significance of what Jesus has done and is doing. If there are no real consequences to our encounter with God and his grace in this life then our responses to him are relatively meaningless and insignificant. Presuming upon God’s Grace is a Rejection of God’s Grace!!

The Father, Son and Holy Spirit God is not trying to wait to be King over everything, and especially you, he’s wanting you to receive and live under His Kingly Lordship Now!

“God loves you so utterly and completely that he has given himself for you in Jesus Christ his beloved Son, and has… pledged his very being as God for your salvation….Jesus Christ died for you precisely because you are sinful and utterly unworthy of him, and has thereby already made you his own before and apart from your ever believing in him. He has bound you to himself by his love in a way that he will never let you go, for even if you refuse him and damn yourself in hell his love will never cease. Therefore, repent and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.”

-T. F. Torrance, The Mediation of Christ, 94.

Photos compliments: outreachmagazine.com

I Am the Resurrection And The Life!

Part 1A

Part 1B

Scripture: John 11:17-27


Introduction:

On this Easter Sunday, the Resurrection has something first of all, and primarily, to do with the Father-Son-Holy-Spirit God and His Activity as the Father-Son-Holy-Spirit-God, especially Revealed in Jesus Christ!

Theological Theme:

The most fundamental thing that Jesus has revealed about the resurrection is that HE, HIMSELF, is the Resurrection. We don’t want to keep mistaking resurrection primarily and only as rising up from physical death in the life of the age to come.

Christ Connection:

You don’t have to wait to until the life of the age to come to participate in rising from death. You can rise from death now, because this is meant not only physically but spiritually, and Christ shares himself with us NOW through the Holy Spirit conforming our humanity to his! Forget ONLY waiting to rise from the dead in the future. You can begin to rise and share in the life of the age to come right now, from the Father, through the Son, and in and by the Holy Spirit!

Missional Application:

Because Jesus is Himself the Resurrection, receiving and enjoying the Resurrection is primarily about receiving and enjoying Jesus Christ (along with him the Father and the Holy Spirit!) This is the Good News we seek to share with all that they too may participate actively in the relationship Jesus graciously gives!

Photos compliments: http://www.pinterest.com

Made In The Image Of God

30 mins.
27 mins.

Bible Verse: Genesis 1:26-31


Introduction:

Because the primary goal of God-Father-Son-Holy-Spirit is that we share in the Divine nature, as it says in 2 Peter 1, we are properly pointed to the primary point of all Christian teaching!

Theological Theme:
God the Father created everything good for His Son. He also created everything good in His Son Who is the pinnacle of creation — sharing in our humanity. In doing so, The Father-Son-Holy-Spirit-God created people to be unique from the rest of His creation and to bear His image in every facet of life. It is in bearing God’s image revealed in Jesus Christ that we find our dignity and purpose and the foundation for our relationships with God and others.

Christ Connection:

Jesus is the image of the invisible God, and as such, He is the perfect Ruler over the world, the One whose perfect work earns our everlasting rest, and the One who restores our relationships with God and others.

Missional Application:

Because we are image bearers of God, in the power of the Holy Spirit we reflect His glory in how we steward the earth, work and rest, and cultivate relationships with Him and others.

Photo Compliments: pinterest.com

John Has A Vision Of Jesus!

Part A:

Part B:

Full Message:


Bible Verse: Revelation 1


Introduction:

In the Book of Revelation, Jesus revealed Himself in a vision to His beloved disciple John. He revealed

Himself in the glory of the most holy triune God, affirming that He is the Son of God the Father. He

revealed His power over time, death, and hell, each of which factor significantly in the Book of Revelation.

This vision also revealed Jesus with His church—with us—giving us hope and confidence as we strive to

remain faithful to the mission He has given us while waiting for His return.

Theological Theme:

The reality of Jesus’ glorious presence gives hope to Christians today.

Christ Connection:

When Jesus revealed Himself to John, He pointed to His identity as the First and the Last, the Living

One. He also pointed to the work He accomplished while on earth—defeating death and hell through

His crucifixion and resurrection. The same Jesus who was once crucified in shame is the Jesus who is

now exalted in glory.

Missional Application:

God-Father-Son-Holy-Spirit calls us to believe John’s testimony about Jesus and to trust that Jesus is present with His people as they fulfill His mission!

Photo Compliments: youtube.com

JESUS: The Most Important PERSON and TASK For Everyone! Part 5 (Jesus’ Crucifixion / The Biblical Worldview)

Part 5A:

Part 5B:

Full Message:


Bible Verses: Mark 15 Psalm 22 Isaiah 53


Introduction:

On this Transfiguration Sunday we are reminded that the Whole God Father Son and Holy Spirit loves you/us so much that he has suffered for you/us in the Life of the Son made flesh! The Father-Son-Holy-Spirit-God loves you so much that together, in Their utter Oneness, Each distinct Person somehow shares in the humanity of the Son of God in Jesus (only the Son became human!), having suffered for you and having resisted all evil and every temptation on your behalf and in your place! In Jesus, Who sustains you from within his own human nature, you have victory over all evil principalities and powers. Even your present sufferings cannot and will not prevent you from receiving your victory in Christ! Christ’s victory is so full of the glory and love of God that you will consider your present sufferings to be light in comparison to the glory you will receive! Whereas sin and evil have no future, you have an immortal and eternal life to look forward to with Jesus in His eternal relationship with the Father Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus Transfiguration is a picture of our transformation in Him!

Theological Theme:

On one hand is the non-relational, unfeeling god of our sinful imaginations; the God more interested in law and punishment and sin than he is interested in us. On the other hand is the One and only True God – Father-Son-Holy-Spirit – Merciful and compassionate! The Relational, loving God revealed in the Person of Jesus! The triune God WITH US & FOR US despite our sin! The God Who includes us all in His Life & Love, permanently, in Jesus – Who atoned for the sins of the world!

Christ Connection:

Do you have this great vision of the Gospel before you????? You are being made fit for eternal life, and by God-Father-Son-Holy-Spirit you WILL be fit with the spiritual muscle of Jesus Who has transformed our human nature in His own, turning it back fully to the Father. Our Father does nothing halfway! In Christ and by the Spirit you are becoming who and what you really are and you will be that (or you won’t be at all!) The death of Jesus means the death of death, and a nature turned from God and corrupted now turned back to God in a glorified and permanent way.

Missional Application:

As believers in union with Jesus Christ, and in the light of Who He is and what He has done, we proclaim and witness to others not yet in spiritual union with Jesus that, as George Hunsinger has well-stated “There’s always more grace in God, than there is sin in us!”, therefore, repent and believe, receive the Good News and enter a trust relationship with the Father, through the Son and in the Holy Spirit!

JESUS: The Most Important PERSON and TASK For Everyone! Part 3 (Jesus’ Suffering / The Biblical Worldview)

Part 3A:

Part 3B:

Full Message:


Bible Verses: Luke 4: 1-28


Introduction:

In this series we continue understanding the Person of Jesus and the Father’s Work in Him, and what the entire course of His Incarnate Human Life (God in Human Flesh) meant and means for us. We’re understanding more accurately and biblically what it means to place our trust in and say “Jesus Christ!”

Theological Theme:

We’re in the process of answering the question “Who are You Lord?” and Jesus’ own answer back to us as the revelation of God, in the Holy Spirit, is that He is, Himself, God, and therefore He is the human expression of God’s Love. It is Revealed in Jesus that because God is Love and God is a Relationship in His own Being, God stoops and draws near to His creation, to sustain it, and, when it falls into sin, He seizes and lifts it up again in His Son, renewed. He does not forsake His own or turn from what He has made, He fulfills that which He has purposed! He literally fulfills it in Himself! The story of Who God is and Who he has revealed Himself to be for us in Jesus is the Greatest Love Story there is!

Christ Connection:

As the One Who becomes human taking our place in the entire range of our human activity, Jesus is also the one who substitutes for us in our suffering, and our death. With Representation, Substitution and Renewal in mind, we can receive that the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus isn’t about the wrath of the Father against His Son, but the Father, Son and Holy Spirit against sin and for our complete and total salvation! The suffering of Jesus is not about God the Father needing to have a pound of flesh (or an eye for an eye, or a tooth for a tooth) so that he could be satisfied (the Lord does not take pleasure in the death of anyone – Ezekiel 18:23, 32, 33:11!) but because the Father is intent to absorb every drop of evil out of our nature and give us a renewed and healed nature in its place! The suffering and cross of Jesus is not about the Father punishing His Son because He hates us, but about us punishing His Son because we have hated him in the evil of sin! Jesus did take on the punishment we deserved but it was sinners who dealt it out!

God is not afraid of sin as if he is intimidated by it and can’t get near to or touch it. He can and must get near it (assume it by getting inside of it) to get rid of it. His goodness absorbs it completely because he is completely righteous and doesn’t sin at all, therefore “mopping up” the mess of sin – undoing it !

Missional Application:

Because of Jesus, sinners can draw near to God to be healed, reconciled and redeemed. God in Christ touched lepers! Sick people touched him! It was the sickness that was defeated and overcome when Jesus drew near, not Jesus! This is what we proclaim to the world of pre-believers that they might turn from their sin and put their trust in Jesus. This is also why St. Augustine wrote about the Spirit Jesus now sends in this way:

“There is nothing too subtle or dense for the Spirit to penetrate or too sinful for the Spirit to cleanse or too weary for the Spirit to refresh or too dead for the Spirit to breathe life into again. The Spirit strives with us, prays for us, groans with us (Rom. 8:18–27; Augustine, Hom. on 1 John 8).”

Photo Compliments: http://www.crosswalk.com

“JESUS: The Most Important PERSON and TASK For Everyone! Part 2” (Jesus’ Human Life / The Biblical Worldview)

Part 2A:

Part 2B:

Part 2C:

Full Message:


Bible Verses: Luke 2: 52 (Various Scriptures)


Theological Theme:

In relationship with Jesus His faith in us causes us to seek understanding about Who He is in His Person and Deeds, taking into account the entire course of His Human Life, with the help of the Holy Spirit. We’ve rehearsed Jesus’ Person and Work by grasping more of the meaning of His Virgin Birth. In this message we understand more basic and fundamentally the meaning of His Incarnate Life!

Christ Connection:

When Jesus lived He lived our life, meaning that as the Son of the Father united to us in our human nature He was the God/Man renewing our fallen human nature from the inside because he never sinned in it. Just as in Adam the human nature in which we all have shared became fallen, so in the one person of Christ the human nature in which we all shared was made right and saved! Jesus is more significant than Adam because He not only shared in our fallen human nature, but was also the One in, through, for and by Whom all things are created and made! He was both God and Man. This means that by his one human life, the human nature of everyone is now set on an entirely new basis! Where sin abounded (Adam), God’s grace in abounds even more (in Jesus!!)

Missional Application:

“Jesus embodied the unreserved presence of God with and for sinners. “Those who are well have no need of physician,” Jesus declares, “but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mt. 9:12f.). Christ’s incarnate humanity — his entire life, death, and resurrection among and on behalf of sinners — provides the basis for and the reality of reconciliation. He stands in our place and acts on our behalf to heal our humanity. His vicarious humanity — i.e., his substitutionary life and death in our place and representative humanity on our behalf — reconciles us to one another and to God. Social reconciliation is both an indicative and an imperative of the gospel of Jesus Christ, both gift and task, both command and promise.” – Ray Anderson

So, as we experience reconciliation with the Father-Son-Holy-Spirit-God that Christ accomplished, and because it is social – touching the lives of every human being – we share this Good News with others that they, too, might trust Christ and experience the gift and promise of real human life before the Father along with other believers!

Photo Compliments:

http://www.dinglemount.org

JESUS: The Most Important PERSON and TASK For Everyone! Part 1 (Our Christian and Biblical Worldview)

Part 1A:

Part 1B:

Part 1 C:

Full Message:


Bible Verses: Luke 2: 52 (Various Scriptures)


Theological Theme:

God-Father-Son-Holy-Spirit proclaims in a living personal relational way that:

  • God the Father does not stand far off from sinners but he draws close to sinners in His Son.
  • Though we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, we still have human dignity from the fact of our being God’s good creation from our conception and beginning, and now from the stronger fact of Christ living in our human nature and uniting it to his Godly nature forever!
  • God-Father-Son-Holy-Spirit has revealed in the virgin birth of the Son that God does the dirty work of dealing with the tensions and paradoxes of our dignity and brokenness and heals them in HIMSELF, in our humanity that he has now taken on and assumed!
  • The Father takes responsibility for His creation and He loves us so much that He even subjects Himself to taking on our sinful flesh, suffering flesh and, ultimately, even evil for our sakes, in His Son. In the power of His Spirit he destroys sin and evil, and preserves us by grace!

Christ Connection:

“If there are two sides to humanity, ”Ray Anderson proclaims, “Christ will be on the wrong side. “1 Jesus embodied the unreserved presence of God with and for sinners. “Those who are well have no need of physician,” Jesus declares ‘but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mt.9:12f.). Christ’s incarnate humanity – his entire life, death, and resurrection among and on behalf of sinners – provides the basis for and the reality of reconciliation. He stands in our place and acts on our behalf to heal our humanity. His vicarious humanity – i.e., his substitutionary life and death in our place and representative humanity on our behalf – reconciles us to one another and to God. Social reconciliation is both an indicative and an imperative of the gospel of Jesus Christ, both gift and task, both command and promise.”

Missional application:

“A key understanding of our theology has to do with what God has accomplished for all humanity in and through his incarnate Son, Jesus Christ….. God [in and through Jesus Christ] has reconciled all people to himself.

This theological declaration is based on the biblical revelation that Christ died for all and that God has loved and reconciled the world to himself.

Because this reconciliation is accomplished, and thus a present reality, God’s desire, which is fulfilled by the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit, is for all people everywhere to come to repentance and faith so they may personally experience (receive and live into) this reconciliation and so not perish...

[from God the Father in a variety of ways, all people in all places and times have been included in God’s love and life in and through Jesus and by his Spirit. In that we rejoice, and on that basis we make our gospel declarations.” -Gary Deddo

Conclusion:

Because of the virgin birth and what it reveals about God in Christ having to replace us even from our conception, we can see that we do not gain enlightenment through meditation and mindfulness practices. We cannot look inside ourselves and come to realize what it takes to meet our true selves and the true power of self-compassion and self-love! No! We gain enlightenment through JESUS ALONE! We must look outside of ourselves to Him to find the fullness of humanity we were meant to bear! In Jesus, the Father is filling us and our human nature with His life and love as GOD – The Father Son and Spirit. Receiving this enlightenment by grace can then lead to the fruit of our practicing with Jesus His meditations and mindfulness of His Father and the Gospel, in the Holy Spirit!

Photo Compliments: http://www.halomtidings.org (edited)

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