Archive for the ‘T.F. Torrance’ Tag

Participation In The Coming Of Jesus Christ…!, part 7

jesus-heaven-clouds

In this 7th and last message of the Gospel series at New Life Fellowship of Baltimore, Maryland, entitled: “Participation in the Coming of Jesus Christ…!“, Pastor Tim continues to Proclaim the Good News of the God Revealed in Jesus! In particular he helps us ask and answer:

“If God is HERE, and the Life of the Age to come has BEGUN, and our LIFE HERE HAS MEANING TOO, then why do we yet look for Jesus’ Reappearance?”

Pastor T also considers:

  • What we can and should be doing as we wait for Jesus’ reappearance
  • How we can take part in paying God the highest compliment ever in the meantime,
  • And responds to 3 questions from the audience in the light of the Jesus proclaimed in this series

Check it out!

Participation In The Coming Of Jesus Christ…!, part 6

ADVENT/EPIPHANY – All of Humanity Included In the Love and Life of the Whole God

TrinityIncluded

In this 6th message of the Gospel series at New Life Fellowship of Baltimore, Maryland, entitled: “Participation in the Coming of Jesus Christ…!“, Pastor Tim continues to Proclaim the Good News of the God Revealed in Jesus! In particular he helps us see:

  • How the mix of Greek philosophy with Christianity has affected songs we write and sing about “G-O-D” (You’ll get a laugh out of one “hit” song and maybe understand your grandparents a little better! haha!)
  • How we might better understand the term “Son of Man” and what is being conveyed more meaningfully to us about the God Who is with and for us on our side!
  • The 4 “D’s” that represent ways we take part with Jesus RIGHT NOW in His coming that match up with Who God is, and who we are in Him in His Ministry of Good News as believers!

We laughed a lot, too! Check it out! 🙂

The Trinitarian Faith

One of my favorite works of theology has become The Trinitarian Faith by T.F. Torrance. I am currently working my way through it for a second time, highlighting and underlining as I go. In this book Torrance goes line by line through the Nicene Creed and shows the Biblical basis for the Creed as well as the thinking of the Church Fathers who lived at that time and wrote the document.

To whet your appetite for the book, I offer this excerpt, taken from his discussion of the Creed’s statement about the Son and the Fathers’ writings about what the reality of Christ means for humanity.

Athanasius . . . insisted on the universal range of the vicarious work of Christ . . . due to the fact that it was not just a man who suffered and died for us but the Lord as man, not just the life of a man that was offered to save us but the life of God as man. . . . he never tired of asserting that what Christ accomplished . . . applied to all without any qualification. . . the profound interaction between incarnation and atonement in Jesus . . . has the effect of finalising and sealing the ontological relations between every man and Jesus Christ. . . he [Jesus] has now anchored human nature in his own crucified and risen being, freely giving it participation in the fullness of God’s grace and blessing embodied in him. Since he is the eternal Word of God by whom and through whom all things that are made are made, and in whom the whole universe of visible and invisible realities coheres and hangs together, and since in him divine and human natures are inseparably united, then the secret of every man, whether he believes it or not, is bound up with Jesus for it is in him that human contingent existence has been grounded and secured. ~ The Trinitarian Faith, pp. 182-183

~ Jonathan Stepp

The Value of the Christian Calendar

Time matters. Dates are important. Just think of these milestones in your life: your birthday, your husband’s birthday, your wedding anniversary, the day you graduated from high school, or the day you retired – these dates, and the time that has passed between them, tell the story of your life. Remembering birthdays, anniversaries, and special events helps us understand ourselves, our lives, and the story of who we are.

The same is true of the story of Jesus. His coming was prophesied (Advent.) He was born (Christmas) he was baptized (Epiphany) and  he resisted the devil in the wilderness (Lent.) He entered Jerusalem to acclaim (Palm Sunday) he instituted the bread and wine as symbols of his humanity (Holy, or Maundy, Thursday) and he died on the cross (Good Friday.) He rose again the third day (Easter) he ascended to the Father’s right hand (Ascension Sunday) and he poured out the Father’s Spirit on humanity (Pentecost.)

Every aspect of Jesus’ life – from his birth, to his death, to his ascension – is a part of his saving work to adopt humanity into the life he shares with the Father and destroy the sin and death that would have robbed the Father of us, his beloved children.We are saved by Jesus in the totality of his life. We are saved not only by his death but his resurrection and not only by his resurrection but by his ascension and not only by his pouring out of the Holy Spirit but also by his birth from the Virgin Mary. T.F. Torrance expressed it this way:

…the whole life of Christ is understood as a continuous vicarious sacrifice and oblation which, as such, is indivisible, for everything he assumed from us is organically united in his one Person and work as Savior and Mediator. ~ The Trinitarian Faith, pg. 152.

Therefore, all of Jesus’ life is worthy of remembrance and celebration. Through the Christian Calendar of worship we are empowered to tell the story of the whole life of Christ. We celebrate not only his birth for us but his baptism for us. We remember not only his death for us but also his Lenten discipline for us. We shout for joy at not only his resurrection from the dead but also his ascension into heaven.

Why? Because when he was born of the Virgin Mary and born of the virgin tomb, humanity was born again (see T.F. Torrance, The Mediation of Christ, pp. 85-86.) When he was baptized humanity was baptized. When he said “no” to the devil he reversed Adam’s “yes” to the devil. When he died, we died, and when he rose, we rose. And in his ascension humanity itself is ascended to heaven at the right hand of the Father.

This is the reason for the Christian Calendar and the value it has for us as believers. It enables us to construct a year of worship that acknowledges that time matters and dates are important. As surely as I will never fail to gather with my family to celebrate the birth of my children or my marriage to my wife so I will also never fail to gather with the Church to celebrate the adoption, salvation, and rebirth of the universe in the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.

As you celebrate Holy Week and Easter this year may the Holy Spirit fill you with the joy of the Father’s love for you through Jesus Christ!

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