Archive for the ‘T.F. Torrance’ Tag

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

Scripture: Revelation 21:1-8


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.

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


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


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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