Archive for the ‘Unconditional Love’ Tag

In Jesus, The Church Is The Spirit’s New Community!


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Bible Verses: Acts 2: 42-47 1Cor 7: 17- 24


Introduction:

Because Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son has come and lived, and suffered, and died, and risen from the dead, and ascended into heaven, in our glorified humanity, sending the Holy Spirit to us,  a new world order has been inaugurated from the Father, through Jesus the Son, and in the Holy Spirit! A new humanity is breaking in and rising up in believers who share in the responses of Christ in the holy Spirit, through Jesus, and to the Glory of the Father! This New Humanity, or New Creation, breaking into our present is what it means to be a part of the Church, a part of the Father-Son-and-Holy-Spirit-God’s New Community!”

Theological Theme:

“There can be no doubt, however, that the New Testament is pervaded with the joyful sense of God’s actual presence in Jesus Christ, and with the realisation that the coming age has already broken into the present and overlaps it. That is precisely the good news of the gospel, that here and now in Christ Jesus God is present in all his royal power, not only to speak a word of pardon but actually to enact it and fulfil it in the liberation of the children of God.” – T.F. Torrance

Christ Connection:

“…when we do hear God’s voice through Jesus Christ, It calls us out of ourselves into community with God and man. And then individual Gospel and social Gospel become all one. We can’t separate them, without killing both, and running away from God…God was incarnate in Jesus Christ, and He created in the world a new community – the fellowship of the Holy Spirit – to draw us out of ourselves into community with God and man, for our own salvation and the salvation of the world.” – Donald Baillie

Missional Application:

“And if you, my friend, feel your heart pierced, in this your day and generation, by the woes of your fellows, that is perhaps the beginning of God’s work in your heart, saving you from yourself, drawing you out of yourself, into a life worth living, where you wiIl be lifted above your own temptations and defeats by the enthusiasm of the service of God and man, in the Community of the Holy Spirit. God is beginning that work in you – let Him have his way.” – Donald Baillie

The scriptures indicate what Salvation in Christ sounds and looks like in Acts 2:

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

37 When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.

43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. 44 Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. 45 They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”

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In Jesus, The Church Is God’s New Humanity!


Part A:

Part B:

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Bible Verse: Acts 2:42 – 47 Romans 8


Introduction:

Because Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son has come and lived, and suffered, and died, and risen from the dead, and ascended into heaven, in our glorified humanity, sending the Holy Spirit to us,  a new world order has been inaugurated from the Father, through Jesus the Son, and in the Holy Spirit! A new humanity is breaking in and rising up in believers who share in the responses of Christ in the holy Spirit, through Jesus, and to the Glory of the Father! This New Humanity, or New Creation, breaking into our present is what it means to be a part of the Church, a part of the Father-Son-and-Holy-Spirit-God’s New Community!”

Theological Theme:

“There can be no doubt, however, that the New Testament is pervaded with the joyful sense of God’s actual presence in Jesus Christ, and with the realisation that the coming age has already broken into the present and overlaps it. That is precisely the good news of the gospel, that here and now in Christ Jesus God is present in all his royal power, not only to speak a word of pardon but actually to enact it and fulfil it in the liberation of the children of God.” – T.F. Torrance

Christ Connection:

“…when we do hear God’s voice through Jesus Christ, It calls us out of ourselves into community with God and man. And then individual Gospel and social Gospel become all one. We can’t separate them, without killing both, and running away from God…God was incarnate in Jesus Christ, and He created in the world a new community – the fellowship of the Holy Spirit – to draw us out of ourselves into community with God and man, for our own salvation and the salvation of the world.” – Donald Baillie

Missional Application:

“And if you, my friend, feel your heart pierced, in this your day and generation, by the woes of your fellows, that is perhaps the beginning of God’s work in your heart, saving you from yourself, drawing you out of yourself, into a life worth living, where you wiIl be lifted above your own temptations and defeats by the enthusiasm of the service of God and man, in the Community of the Holy Spirit. God is beginning that work in you – let Him have his way.” – Donald Baillie

The scriptures indicate what Salvation in Christ sounds and looks like in Acts 2:

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

37 When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.

43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. 44 Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. 45 They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”

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Jesus Says To You, “You Know The Way Church!”

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Bible Verses: 1 Cor 8: 1 Luke 18: 9-14 Luke 12: 8 Acts 2:42-47


Theological Theme:

Jesus continues to share through His earthly Body – the Church – what he said in John 14: 1“Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may be also. 4 You know the way to where I am going.”5 “Lord,” Thomas said, “we don’t know where you’re going. How can we know the way?”6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Christ Connection:

“While there were contenders, pretenders and usurpers who had no power nor will to create or give life, Jesus has overcome, has vanquished, all enemies who refused his reign. As the incarnate agent of the Father in the power of the Spirit, this Son opposes all that opposes his good creation and God’s good purposes for all creation. The strength of his opposition to all that would maim and destroy his good creation and deviate from his glorious ends is proportional to his love for his good creation. Were he not to oppose that which would undo his creation, he would not be its loving Lord. This Jesus with his heavenly Father and Holy Spirit is implacably opposed to all evil that distorts, twists and destroys life and loving relationships in fellowship first with him and in turn with each other and creation. To bring about his original ultimate purposes, all opposition to his rule and right must submit in repentance or be undone. Evil has no future in the kingdom of God.” – Gary Deddo

Missional Application:

Oh how relevant this message of Jesus is to the people of all times and our own times. A time in which the Holy Spirit is still being poured out upon men, women and children right in the middle of a wicked and corrupt generation! And Jesus’ disciples are still encouraged to call all of his brothers and sisters to repent because of the forgiveness of their sins in Him, a call to receive the Holy Spirit! And not only a call to be saved from their sins but to be saved FOR God and also saved for love toward their neighbor! [But who will believe our report and to whom will the arm of the Lord be revealed? John 12:38] = Those who will receive the great abundance of the Lord’s forgiveness!!!

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Our Father’s Hope For All: In The Faith Of Jesus Shared With Us! Part 10

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Part 10 B:

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Main Bible Verses: Romans 14 Acts 2: 21-41


Theological Theme:

In his life and in relationship with His Father Jesus overcame the old humanity filled with sin, hate, prejudice, brutality and evil, and pulled off a life of New Humanity. He now shares this New Humanity with us by pouring out the Holy Spirit on us! Through the Spirit he shares with us his faith in what he has done so that our ultimate faith is not even in our own faith or beliefs but only in him and his faith on our behalf. We are therefore less judgmental of our brothers and sisters and absolutely demanding of our own way, rather we trust Jesus for every person because, in him, we still stand and are saved by his grace. Will we share in this faith of Jesus and live in his unity?
Romans 14 “Welcome anyone who is weak in faith, but don’t argue about disputed matters. 2 One person believes he may eat anything, while one who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 One who eats must not look down on one who does not eat, and one who does not eat must not judge one who does, because God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge another’s household servant? Before his own Lord he stands or falls. And he will stand, because the Lord is able to make him stand.
5 One person judges one day to be more important than another day. Someone else judges every day to be the same. Let each one be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 Whoever observes the day, observes it for the honor of the Lord. Whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; and whoever does not eat, it is for the Lord that he does not eat it, and he gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives for himself, and no one dies for himself. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 Christ died and returned to life for this: that he might be Lord over both the dead and the living. 10 But you, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will give praise to God. 12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” – Christian Standard Bible

Christ Connection:

Just as in Christ, our sin nature was put to death and we were given new life in him through his forgiveness and reconciliation, so, as we are united to him in the Spirit as his brothers and sisters,The church dies to its own righteousness and lives solely by the righteousness of God alone. Because they have died to their sinful nature and live as forgiven sinners, the saints proclaim God’s forgiveness and reconciliation to the world.  Christians are called not only to proclaim forgiveness but also to bear the sins of fellow Christians. “Thus the call to follow Christ always means a call to share the work of forgiving men their sins. Forgiveness is the Christlike suffering which it is the Christian’s duty to bear.”47 True preservation of the community does not come through judging and fighting for recognition but through confession, forgiveness, and repentance.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Missional Application:

As Dietrich Bonhoeffer also wrote,The only way in which the church can defend her own territory is by fighting not for it but for the salvation of the world.”  A church that fights for the world, not its own preservation, is a community characterized by forgiveness and repentance.”

Because the Life, Crucifixion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus proclaims the absolute and complete healing of our human nature from sin and corruption, it means that Christians carry forth the same message to our world today that the Apostle Peter proclaimed nearly 2000 years ago:

Acts 2: 32 “God has raised this Jesus; we are all witnesses of this. 33 Therefore, since he has been exalted to the right hand of God and has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, he has poured out what you both see and hear. 34 For it was not David who ascended into the heavens, but he himself says: The Lord declared to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand 35 until I make your enemies your footstool.’ 36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” 37 When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” 40 With many other words he testified and strongly urged them, saying, “Be saved from this corrupt generation!” 41 So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added to them.

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Toward Love In Action!

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Main Bible Verse: 1 John3: 10-18


Introduction:

We cannot evade the God-Father-Son-Holy-Spirit’s command through the Bible to love. It comes through loud and clear, running throughout the pages of Scripture, in both the Old and New Testaments. As those who have been rescued from our sin, we now have been given a new identity and the fruit of love will be evident in our lives. This love is not something kept within us; it will naturally be shown through our actions.

Theological Theme:

Love for the Father-Son-Holy-Spirit-God and love for others is the fruit of true Christianity.

Christ Connection:

In teaching the church about the nature of true love, the apostle John reminded Christians that love is
not merely a matter of feelings or words but of action. Love was demonstrated and defined most clearly
by God the Son’s action of clothing Himself with human flesh as the Lord Jesus and laying down His life for His people.

Missional Application:

God-Father-Son-Holy-Spirit calls us to participate with Jesus in the opening of our eyes to see who is in need and what we can give as a demonstration of His love in the power of the Holy Spirit.

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Our Father’s Hope For all: In Jesus’ Body Being His Church! Part 9

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Main Bible Verse: Acts 2


Introduction:

The Father has poured out His Spirit upon all that all will receive Jesus as Lord, personally, receiving His invitation that He might indwell them. Jesus, in His Father’s mission continues to go out in the power of the Spirit, drawing every person, everywhere, to Himself, and with the special participation of believers, His Church! Jesus, through His Church, still has an earthly and historical Body unified in the Spirit that worships Him, witnesses to Him, and joins Him in the ministry of calling all to trust Him as Lord and Savior in Relationship!

Theological Theme:

Even In the middle of pandemic, prejudice, police brutality, panic and pandemonium, Grace and Peace is upon us from God our Father through the Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus is the One Who baptizes in the Holy Spirit that we might participate with Him in His Life and relationship of Love with the Father! His is not just any old kind of love but Love as it has been revealed in the life, words and deeds of Jesus Christ as attested to in holy scripture. Jesus Christ is the Revelation of Who God is! Jesus Christ is the revelation of what it means to be a Real human being and, through His Holy Spirit, is intent to share his humanity with us that we might be more truly and fully human, glorifying our Father!

Christ Connection:

“The church is commanded to lift up its head in joy, for its ‘redemption is drawing near’ Meantime in all its waiting and expectation the church is commanded by its Lord to lift up its head in thanksgiving and joy, for its ‘redemption is drawing near’. The church of the risen Lord has no right to be a prophet of gloom or despair, for this world has been redeemed and sanctified by Christ and he will not let it go. The corruptible clay of our poor earth has been taken up in Jesus, is consecrated through his sacrifice and resurrection, and he will not allow it to sink back into corruption. Hence the whole creation groans and travails waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, looking forward with eager expectation to the hour of final liberation and renewal in the advent of its risen saviour.” – Thomas Torrance, Atonement: The Person and Work of Christ, page 348 (Chapter: The Nature of the Resurrection Event)

Missional Application:

“The church must learn to take into its mouth the good news of the resurrection and new creation, for that must be its primary note, one of limitless joy and thanksgiving. That is how the church began its mission at Pentecost where the dominant emphasis in all its preaching was the resurrection of the crucified Christ and the astounding fact that because of Christ the Spirit of God himself was poured out upon men and women. They knew that the last times had overtaken them and that they were caught up in the onward and outward thrust of the resurrection of Christ toward the new creation in which all nations and peoples and all times would be brought to share. The involvement of the church in the suffering of mankind must never be allowed to stifle that supreme note of resurrection triumph or to smother the eschatological joy at the astounding events that have broken into history and pledged for mankind the final day of regeneration.” – Thomas Torrance, Atonement: The Person and Work of Christ, page 348 (Chapter: The Nature of the Resurrection Event)

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Our Father’s Hope For All: In God The Holy Spirit! Part 7

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Main Bible Verses: Luke 24: 44-49 Acts 1: 1-11


Introduction:

“Meantime in all its waiting and expectation the church is commanded by its Lord to lift up its head in thanksgiving and joy, for its ‘redemption is drawing near’. The church of the risen Lord has no right to be a prophet of gloom or despair, for this world has been redeemed and sanctified by Christ and he will not let it go. The corruptible clay of our poor earth has been taken up in Jesus, is consecrated through his sacrifice and resurrection, and he will not allow it to sink back into corruption. Hence the whole creation groans and travails waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, looking forward with eager expectation to the hour of final liberation and renewal in the advent of its risen savior. The church must learn to take into its mouth the good news of the resurrection and new creation, for that must be its primary note, one of limitless joy and thanksgiving. That is how the church began its mission at Pentecost where the dominant emphasis in all its preaching was the resurrection of the crucified Christ and the astounding fact that because of Christ the Spirit of God himself was poured out upon men and women. They knew that the last times had overtaken them and that they were caught up in the onward and outward thrust of the resurrection of Christ toward the new creation in which all nations and peoples and all times would be brought to share. The involvement of the church in the suffering of mankind must never be allowed to stifle that supreme note of resurrection triumph or to smother the eschatological joy at the astounding events that have broken into history and pledged for mankind the final day of regeneration.” – Thomas Torrance

Theological Theme:

‘Truly our fellowship (koinonia) is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.’ The early church fathers expressed this by saying that he who was the eternal Son of God by nature became Son of Man, our brother, that we ‘sons (children) of men’ might become ‘sons of God’ by grace–in him and through union with him. Thus, whether we are Jews or Gentiles, ‘through Christ Jesus, we both have access by one Spirit to the Father’ (Eph. 2:18).” –James B. Torrance

Christ Connection:

Our consolation is that God has become man in Jesus, and has taken up our Fallen Human nature that we might share in his healed human nature! And Jesus making it through His human life and having the victory means your making it through and having the victory IN HIM! In the very birth, life, suffering, death, resurrection, ascension and final appearing of Jesus we see that God has not allowed anything that He cannot redeem, perfect and make it work out for His good purposes! Therefore Jesus ascends to the right hand of the Father and sends us His Spirit that He might return in the Spirit with Whom He is One. In and through the Spirit Jesus remains here with us till he returns bodily to transform these mortal bodies into glorious and immortal bodies, strengthening us to participate with him in hope.

Missional Application:

“On the basis of the eternal will of God we have to think of every human being, even the oddest, most villainous or miserable, as one to whom Jesus Christ is Brother and God is Father; and we have to deal with him on this assumption. If the other person knows that already, then we have to strengthen him in that knowledge. If he does not know it yet, or no longer knows it, our business is to transmit this knowledge to him. On the basis of the knowledge of the humanity of God no other attitude to any kind of fellow man is possible. It is identical with the practical acknowledgement of his human rights and his human dignity. To deny it to him would be for us to renounce having Jesus Christ as Brother and God as Father.” – Karl Barth, The Humanity of God, p. 53. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1982.

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Living By The Spirit!

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Main Bible Verse: Ephesians 1: 13 – 14


Introduction:

How are we supposed to be living our lives in these times?

Scripture reminds us that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit who is the guarantee of our inheritance. “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1: 13-14

Theological Theme:

These times bring insecurity but God’s [Father, Son and Holy Spirit] great desire for His people is that we feel secure in His love and power. Therefore, the perspective we have of this life should not change as the Spirit leads us to Jesus Christ.  

God wants us to have an abundant life but we need to ask “what is our TRUE inheritance and what are we supposed to learn?’ Everything in this life may be unstable – We live in some very unstable times in our society but we are to live by The Spirit and not by our own ways.

Christ Connection:

John 3: 16 – God so LOVED US that he gave us JESUS. He is so passionate to having a people for His own possession that He gave us Jesus/His Son so we can be His possession, who live forever for the praise of His glory.

“By giving us the Holy Spirit, God seals or stamps us as his own at our conversion. And then the Holy Spirit continues to testify, authenticating the reality of this relationship by making us more and more like Jesus. The God who has thus authenticated this relationship will most certainly protect his people through trials and difficulties.” – Erik Raymond

Missional Application:

God sends us His Holy Spirit as a preserving seal to lock in our faith – as an authenticating seal to validate our son-ship, and as a protective seal to keep us out of destructive forces. God wants us to feel secure and safe in His love and power.

Conclusion:

If we are having insecurity issues in understanding that we are to LIVE BY THE SPIRIT and WALK ACCORDINGLY, then we need to read scripture and remind ourselves, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.”Acts 14: 22    and we need be in fellowship “strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith….”John 6: 63

Circumstances will dictate other thoughts and you can forget who you are in Christ, what The Father did through His Son, and what that means for YOU but no matter how hard you are on yourself we have to be reminded that God has CHOSEN YOU and has REDEEMED YOU!

“To be sealed with the Holy Spirit is the gracious gift of God, whereby he demonstrates the authenticity of the believer’s relationship with him and his authority, ownership, and commitment to his people.” – Erik Raymond

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Toward An Enduring Identity!

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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.

Our Father’s Hope For All: In Jesus’ Reconciliation! pt. 5

Part 5A:

Part 5B:

Full Message:


Main Bible Verse: 2 Corinthians 5: 1-21


Introduction:

Celebrating Jesus as Our Resurrection

“Our Father’s Hope For All” emphasizes what Jesus’ reconciliation is for all, what it accomplished for all and how we, by the Grace of the Holy Spirit shared with us, can participate in what Jesus has done for all to the glory of God our Father.

According to T.F. Torrance (1992): “As our Representative and Substitute, Jesus Christ is our human response to God.’- T.F. Torrance: Union with Christ through the Communion of the Spirit

Theological Theme:

God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, sent Jesus Christ to humanity so that whomever believes in him, trusts and receives Him, would not perish due to trusting in Jesus and in His power by The Holy Spirit. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3: 16

“God loves you so utterly and completely that he has given himself for you in Jesus Christ his beloved Son, and has thereby pledged his very being as God for your salvation. In Jesus Christ God has actualised his unconditional love for you in your human nature in such a once for all way, that he cannot go back upon it without undoing the Incarnation and the Cross and thereby denying himself. 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 Savior.”- (T. F. Torrance, “The Mediation of Christ,” 94)

Christ Connection:

Jesus Christ is “The Center Of The Center (of everything in Creation).” He is the world’s Lord and Savior. When you want to understand the central purpose for everything, you must look to Jesus Christ because, apart from Him, we can’t know anything as it should be known. We can’t know His Father, and we can’t know anything about his Holy Spirit, and we can’t even really know anything about ourselves or Creation.

Jesus is the Mediator between God and man. He is the One who mediates our humanity to God and who mediates God to fallen man. In total dependence we look to Him, look at life through Him, and receive along with Him His Father in the Spirit. Empowered by Him we look with Him beyond our own self-centeredness first to his Father and then in that love to our neighbors – loving them as we love ourselves and with the very love with which Jesus has loved us.

What Jesus did and does as The Resurrection is so that we might have a share in HIS LIFE, HIs Resurrection.

A life first filled with Jesus’s relationship with His Father in the Spirit. And then a life filled with his love for everyone and everything else.

Our identity lies only in Jesus Christ who has taken up our cause, our humanity, our human nature and Who alone has put us right before God, sending His Spirit that we might trust Him as the one and only source of life. JESUS – the center and core of our personal identity!

We are being encouraged by Jesus Christ, The Resurrection, to receive our new humanity in these feeble bodies now, while also looking with hope to the complete renewal of our human bodies in the future at His return. We are encouraged by our Father to prepare for the resurrected life in which we will be even more gloriously and fully human, in a human body, just like Jesus.

Jesus judged sin in sinful flesh. He killed sin thoroughly and by his life, suffering, death and resurrection. On the third day he raised up a new human nature and a new body in His resurrection. It is a humanity that is totally responsive to The Father in The Holy Spirit. This is what it really means to be a human being; what Jesus did, how He lives and responds in His human flesh.

Torrance (1986) writes: “Jesus Christ… embodies in himself what he mediates, for what he mediates and what he is are one and the same. He himself in the wholeness of his Person, Word and Act, is the content and reality of divine Reconciliation. He is the Propitiation for our sins; he is our Redemption; he is our Justification. It is in this identity between Mediator and Mediation that the living heart of the Gospel is to be found.” (pp. 475, 476)

Missional Application:

Every human everywhere has a great need for The Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the actual bond of love between the Father and the Son through whom it is possible for us to share in the love of the Father and Son. The Holy Spirit is also God of God and He is the One who makes Jesus and The Father known to us. He is the One who enables each person and all of us to trust Jesus. He is the One who empowers us to live with Jesus and to love our neighbors. In this time period where we can’t see Jesus, Jesus sends his Spirit to us to be an Advocate for us, to teach us what Jesus is doing so we can participate with Jesus, share in His power, and live transformed. We not only receive the Spirit personally, but encourage everyone else to do the same, for God desires all to be saved and to share in his love and life!

Conclusion:

When we declare that ALL are included, we are affirming:

Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior of ALL humanity.

Jesus Christ died to redeem ALL. He has atoned for the sin of EVERY single person. Through what He did God reconciled ALL people to Himself in Christ.

Jesus Christ is The Mediator between God and humanity.

Jesus Christ has made ALL His own by virtue of His redeeming work. He is for ALL and against NONE.

Jesus is The Judge of ALL so that none might experience the condemnation. His saving is done on behalf of ALL and that work includes His Holy and righteous responses to The Father in The Spirit. Responses characterized by repentance, faith, hope, love, praise, prayer, worship and obedience.

Jesus is in Himself EVERYONE’S justification and sanctification.

Jesus is EVERYONE’S substitute and representative.

Jesus is EVERYONE’S hope and life including eternal life.

Jesus is EVERYONE’S profit, priest and king.

ALL PEOPLE have been included in God’s love and life in and through Jesus Christ by The Holy Spirit.

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