Monday, 27 December 2010

Luther on Galatians

Hello,
it's Nicolai here, and I wanted to share something I found in Dr. Martin Luther's commentary on Galatians. I love the way he quotes Psalms. This is part of his comment on the verse where it says, "cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree":

Paul does not say that Christ was made a curse for himself, but for us. Christ is innocent as far as his own person is concerned, and therefore he ought not to have been hanged upon a tree. But because, under the law of Moses, every thief and criminal had to be hanged, Christ too had to be hanged, for he sustained the person of a sinner and of a thief - not just one, but all sinners and thieves. We are sinners and thieves and therefore guilty of death and everlasting damnation. But Christ took all our sins upon him and for them died upon the cross Therefore, it was right for him to be "numbered with the transgressors" (Isaiah 53:12).

No doubt the prophets all foresaw that Christ would become the greatest transgressor, murderer, adulterer, thief, rebel, and blasphemer that ever was or could be in the world. Being made a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, he is not now an innocent person without sins, not now the Son of God born of the Virgin Mary, but a sinner who carries the sin of Paul, who was a blasphemer, an oppressor, and a persecutor; of Peter, who denied Christ; of David, who was an adulterer and a murderer and caused the Gentiles to blaspheme the name of the Lord. In short, Christ bears all the sins of all people in his body. It was not that he himself committed these sins, but he received the sins that we had committed; they were laid on his own body, that he might make satisfaction for them with his own blood (see Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 20:18-19). Therefore, this general sentence of Moses includes Christ too (even though in his own person he was innocent), because it found him among sinners and transgressors - just as the magistrate takes a man for a thief and punishes him when he finds him among other thieves and transgressors, even if he never committed a crime himself. Christ was not only found among sinners, but of his own accord and by the will of his Father he was a companion of sinners and took upon himself the flesh and blood of those who were sinners and thieves and plunged into all kinds of sin. When the law, therefore, found him among thieves, it condemned and killed him as a thief.

Some people will say it is quite absurd and slanderous to call the Son of God a cursed sinner. I answer that if you deny him to be a sinner and to be cursed, you must also deny that he was crucified and died. It is no less absurd to say (as our faith confesses and believes) that the Son of God was crucified and suffered the pains of sin and death than to say that he is a sinner and cursed and the greatest of all sinners (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). He is truly innocent because he is the unspotted and undefiled Lamb of God (John 1:29). But because he bears the sins of the world, his innocence is burdened with the sins and guilt of the whole world. Whatever sins I, you, and all of us have done, or will do later, are Christ's own sins, as truly as if he himself had done them. In short, our sin has to become Christ's own sin, or else we will perish forever.

Isaiah says of Christ that "the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6). We must not make these words less than they are. In these words of the prophet, God is not playing games but is telling us earnestly and out of great love that Christ, the Lamb of God, would bear the sins of us all. But what does it mean to bear them? If it menas Christ is punished, why is he punished? Is it not because he has and bears sin? The Holy Spirit tells us in Psalm 40 that Christ has sin: "My sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head" (verse 12; see also Psalm 41:4 and 69:5). The Holy Spirit is speaking in the person of Christ and clearly says that he had sins. This testimony is not the voice of an innocent, but of a suffering Christ who took upon him the person of all sinners and therefore was made guilty of the sins of the whole world.

Christ, therefore, was not only crucified and died, but also (through the love of the divine majesty) sin was laid on him. Therefore, Paul is quite right to apply this general statement of Moses to Christ. Christ was hanged on a tree; therefore, Christ was cursed by God.

It is an extraordinary consolation for all Christians to clothe Christ with our sins, to wrap him in my sins, your sins, and the sins of the whole world, and so to behold him bearing all our iniquities. Seeing him like this will easily overcome all ideas of justification by works. If we think that faith adorned with love takes sins away and justifies us before God, we strip Christ of our sins, make him innocent, and charge and overwhelm ourselves with our own sins and look upon them not in Christ but in ourselves. This makes Christ utterly useless to us. If it is true that we take away sins by obeying the law and by works of love, then Christ does not take them away. If he is the Lamb of God cursed for us, we cannot be justified by what we do. God has laid our sins not upon us, but upon his Son, Christ, so that he, bearing the punishment for them, might be our peace, and so that by his wounds we might be healed (Isaiah 53:5). Therefore, they cannot be taken away by us. All Scripture bears witness to this; and we also confess it in the articles of Christian belief when we say, "I believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who suffered, was crucified and died for us."

Merry Christmas =)

Saturday, 25 December 2010

John 1:1-18 Christmas Planned Before Creation

Christmas is in the air! Well, down at Drake’s Circus, all along New George Street and across Armada Way, Christmas has been in the air pretty much since September! The shops have been making sure we’re well prepared for Christmas.

They all claim to have the perfect present – whether it’s a warm pair of gloves, the latest mobile phone, a must-watch DVD, or the best-selling book…

And M&S – they’ll tell you that you need the perfect turkey – and surprise surprise, they actually sell them! – along with all the trimmings that you must have if you’re going to have a perfect Christmas dinner.

Well, all these things aren’t bad in and of themselves! Don’t get me wrong… I’m definitely not against presents so if you’ve brought me any… do pass them on! And food – man Jesus enjoyed eating so much that people accused Him of being a glutton! And myself – I’m looking forward to being more stuffed than a turkey!

But I’m sure you all know what the problem is with Christmas on the high street! Jesus is largely missing. More and more, the world is trying and succeeding in taking Jesus out of Christmas. Think about it – it’s increasingly hard to find Christmas cards. Having replaced Jesus and the nativity scene with pretty scenery, holly, bells, Santa and snowmen, it’s no longer a Merry Christmas, but a mere Season’s Greetings or Happy Winter!

According to an article on the BBC, “Recent trends have shown that Christmas is gradually becoming a traditional British holiday rather than a Christian one. It is increasingly taking on a secular and commercial character…”

Here’s what someone whom they interviewed said: “We just see Christmas as a nice celebration. I just love the atmosphere. We really enjoy all the snow, the tinsel and the carol singers. It's a lovely time of year. I especially love the build up to Christmas. There are massive amounts of present buying. We go to my parents' house and have Christmas dinner with crackers and on boxing day all the family come round with the kids and we have another meal. The house is decorated with trees, stars and we always watch Christmas TV… We do everything to do with Christmas, except celebrate the birth of Jesus.”

Thing is… if we take Christ out of Christmas, then we no longer have Christmas. We can call it whatever we want, but it just won’t be Christmas that we’re celebrating!

Well, we’ve all battled the cold and icy roads to get to church tonight. It’s a great opportunity – you know, before it all goes a bit mad tomorrow – to just regain a sense of perspective as to what Christmas is about and why we should indeed celebrate it wholeheartedly and lavishly!

Unlike that lady whom the BBC interviewed, Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus. Yet, we’re not merely celebrating the birth of Jesus in the same way that a Muslim might celebrate the birth of Muhammad or a Buddhist the birth of Buddha.

Look at John 1vv1-2 – In the beginning was the Word [it’s one of the many important titles for Jesus], and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

Jesus did not begin to exist on that very first Christmas Day, He didn’t begin to exist when He was first conceived in His mother’s womb! No… in the beginning, before anything or anyone else existed, Jesus was already there. As the eternal Son of God, Jesus has always existed with His Father and the Holy Spirit.

And Jesus is the creator of everything. vv3-4 – Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life and that life was the light of men.

Right in the beginning, on Day 1 of creation, the Father sent Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit to create everything. Even before the sun – S-U-N – was created, Jesus was already the true life and light to all creation – sent to be the creator and sustainer of everything. Right now, we’re breathing because Jesus keeps us breathing, our hearts are beating because He makes sure that they’re beating. And tomorrow, as we open our presents and feast with family and friends, we’ll be enjoying the gifts that Jesus has lavished on us.

So this evening and all day tomorrow, we’re not merely celebrating the birth of some founder of religion. Jesus is the founder of the universe and at Christmas, we’re celebrating the day Jesus, the divine, eternal and powerful Word of God became one of us.

Quite a few years ago Joan Osborne sang “What if God was one of us?” It wonders and speculates what it might be like if God was one of us. Thing is, she didn’t have to speculate or guess. Christmas reminds us that God is one of us! John 1:14 – The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only Begotten Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

God is one of us! The eternal Son moved into the neighbourhood and lived among humanity – walking, talking, sleeping, eating, laughing, crying, even dying! God has been seen face to face, seen for who He is and what He’s like.

Have you got any questions about God? Are you searching for the Living God? Go to the only place where He may be found. Go to Jesus, the Word who has been sent by the Father precisely to make Himself known to us. Without Jesus, God is silent. Without the Light that gives light to all men, we can only grope around in darkness.

Now, as it has always been, all questions about God find their answers in Jesus – John 1v18 – No-one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only Begotten Son, who is at the Father’s side, [He] has made Him known.

So the question is not ‘what if’ – but ‘why’? Why did the Father send the Son to become one of us? Why did the Father communicate Himself to us in Jesus?

We’re probably familiar with how Jesus was sent to bring us salvation – forgiveness of our sins and eternal life. These are awesome things that we desperately need – they are part and parcel of salvation, but compared to the full extent of God’s gift to us in Jesus, they’re like the wrapping paper and box around the full gift, they’re like the trimmings around the turkey! Because more than forgiveness and living forever, salvation is about being brought into the family of God, brought into the Trinity – John 1v12 – to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, he gave the right to become children of God.

I wonder if you’ve thought about salvation or Christmas is such a way before? Christmas was planned from before the creation of the world. In fact, the world was created so that Christmas could take place. The world was created as a family home for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and they want to share this home with humanity!

And it’s not because they are looking for a bunch of slaves to serve them and pander to their every whim and fancy! That’s not the kind of God that we see in Jesus at all! No… the Father, Son and Holy Spirit wants us to share their home as part of their family.

And for that to happen, Jesus was sent to become one of us. When Christmas happened, God became our blood relative! In His physical body and by the Holy Spirit, Jesus has brought God to us and us to God. And when that happens, when we’re part of the family of God – then we share in the eternal love that the Father has for the Son.

Unlike the Santa who’s coming to town in that song, when Jesus came to town, He doesn’t frown upon those who pout or cry. Instead, He shared in all our sadness and tears! This means that even if Christmas is a hard time for some of us – it’s ok. We’ve got a God who knows exactly what we’re going through and feels for us. May you know the comforting peace of Jesus even this Christmas.

And unlike Santa, when Jesus came to town, He didn’t come with a list that he’s made and checked twice. He wasn’t bothered about who’s naughty and nice, or who’s been bad or good. Jesus didn’t come to reward boys and girls who’ve been good or to put coals in the socks of those who’ve been bad. When Jesus came, He was sent by the Father as a gift to ALL – that all may share and find rest in the very same love that He has for the Son!

We all know we’re more naughty than nice, we’re more bad than good – but no matter. As children of God – the Father’s pleasure, delight and love rests on each of us. And right now, what He says to Jesus, He says to each of us, who have become His children – You are my child whom I love, with you I am well-pleased. Every nano-second of every day! And I’ll never ever disown you! Not on your life!

What wonderful peace, joy and assurance! How wonderful, kind, beautiful, gracious and loving is the true and living God! May all of you know, enjoy and be comforted by God’s gift of Himself to you this Christmas – maybe even for the first time! To all who receive Jesus, to all who believe in His name, He gives the right to become children of God!

Happy Christmas! Amen!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Heavenly Signs

Joel 2:31   31 The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. 








Interestingly the moon turns to blood red when the world casts its shadow on it....

A solar eclipse however is when the moon comes between the world and the sun...

So then.. what does that mean ? =)

Spiritual Blessings

What is a spiritual blessing? (cf Eph 1)

In the talks below:
http://youarethechrist.blogspot.com/2010/12/one.html

What i said was this:

"I'm going to give someone a spiritual blessing right now

Who wants to volunteer?

(a guy comes up to the front)

(I stretch my arms and do some finger exercises)

Are you ready?

You have no idea what I'm going to do - do you? \

Ok - come closer... closer...

(I give him a big hug)

Brother, I appreciate you so much for being a great friend-in Christ this year
thank you for doing ... and ... (specific to the guy)
I love you man
Thanks to Jesus

(he sits down)

There.. I have just given you a spiritual blessing, in Christ - even - in the heavenly places"


What do you think? =)

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Planning for Leviticus

Help! I know it's only Christmas, but of course even as we think about the birth of Jesus, His death is not far from our minds! So, our church is already planning for Easter and I've been given a 5-week series on Leviticus. I've got some ideas but any suggestions will be very helpful, especially with titles, since we'll be printing term cards soon and I'm sure I'll be asked for them. Am struggling for catchier titles. But here's what I got so far...

Overall Series Title: Lent with Jesus in Leviticus

Exodus 40: Building Blocks (aim is to have tabernacle as the context, with Leviticus showing us what must take place for man to enter into the Most Holy Place)

Leviticus 1-7: Jesus: Our All-Sufficient Sacrifice

Leviticus 8-10: Jesus: Our Great High Priest

Leviticus 16: Jesus: Our Man in Heaven

Leviticus 23: Jesus: Our Reason to Celebrate / Our Cause for Joy[ful Celebration] / Our Joy

Monday, 13 December 2010

One - Theme Song

This was our theme song for the camp (from Stuart Townend)

I have seen a mystery, 
The hopes of prayer and prophecy, 
And rising from all peoples see, she comes.
Rescued, ransomed, lifted up, 
Crowned with mercy, clothed in hope, 
The object of all heaven's love, she comes.

It is the church, 
The hope of all the world, 
And here I fix my heart and hand, 
I cannot turn away!
It is the church!
The passion of God's Son, 
The goal of history, come.
You'll see we've nearly reached the day.

And she will be all glorious;
Fitting for Him whose bride she is. 
In that day, in that day,
In that day, in that day.


It is the church...

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Infant Baptism

Just did a briefing on infant baptism today

i would actually argue that not baptising a child born in a Christian (or semi-Christian) home - is tantamount to making him think that he must earn his salvation

would even go further and say that anything except raising him up with the full assurance that his Father loves him as a true child of God will cause him to backslide

though i am happy for the child to as many times as he wants - affirm and reaffirm his faith and trust in the Father seeing his own failings

i wonder if this is the problem we put on '2nd generation' Christians - we bring them up with an inherent lack of assurance

and i suspect that this is motivated by our own pride at what 'we've accomplished' as Christians ourselves (think of the disciples preventing many from coming to Christ)

to my own children i hope to always tell them - you are children of God - 100% true... you never have to doubt this... but He would love to hear you affirm it everyday

One

5 days on Ephesians - mainly chapters 1 till mid 5 - to 13-18 year olds
(just a note - Singaporean 15 year olds are very well behaved and pretty educated.. =) )

Theme: One Lord, One Love, One Family

Excuse my Singaporean-ese and you can obviously tell that it isn't scripted - so have mercy on my countless repetitions or hesitations

One Plan

One Hope

One Family

One Bond, One Body

One Bond, One Purpose

Let me know what you think...

Friday, 10 December 2010

Weakness?

2 Corinthians 12:9  My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."


How does weakness tie in with gifting?

For surely the gifts of God are not given so that we can 'do' things that we are not gifted in? - that would be quite  illogical

Weakness is not about inability - weakness is about understanding that you cannot do things alone...

Inherent to our creation is our gifts, but also our need for our Father and our Brother, and fellow brothers and sisters

when we understand - we are rightly weak... and pray about weakness rightly..

"without ME you can do nothing...."

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Faithfulness

To be faithful means to never walk away from a person..

therefore if we grow in faith - we keep returning to Christ, and to every person that our Father puts in our way...

Only they can walk away

Monday, 22 November 2010

The Doctrine of Revelation and Its Implications on Evangelism

Here is an essay I wrote earlier this year..

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0ByH-45su4eeRY2ZhMDcyNjktNzkyNC00YjA5LTgzMmUtOTNmM2Q0NTk2OGVh&hl=en&authkey=CNCyqvoO

many thanks to Leon for all the Karl Barth quotes... =)

comments are welcome!

Inviting the Lamb in

another fantastic sermon from Leon:

http://www.emmanuelplymouth.co.uk/
- Look for the one he does on Luke 19

the website seems to be down at the moment.. i suspect from the thousands of requests to download his sermons =)

Friday, 12 November 2010

Chalcedon

Ok.. this will really show my ignorance...

but someone please explain to me these things...

So in Chalcedon it was proposed that Christ is 1 person (proposon), 2 natures (homostasis), consubstantial with the Father and with humanity

i.e. trying to get 2 different 'models' of the incarnate Logos to agree with one another

then the monophysites are not happy with the 2 natures - and end up with 1 nature, mixed but not mixed!?

then the nestorians are not happy with the 1 person - and want to say 2 persons, but not really.. it's 1 person?!

now... in terms of how the Logos (Word) and Sarx (flesh) come together

the 2 views were... 1, the Logos is clothed with the sarx.... and 2, the Logos and sarx are 'side by side'

the reason for all this is they don't want the Logos to be 'changed' by the sarx - i.e. God cannot change

Now another question... is the idea of changing in the Logos because we have a wrong view of what it means to be Spirit and unchangeable?

would it be too wrong to say the resurrected Christ is the Spirit of God going through the Logos, into the sarx,  forming a new 'way' a new creation..

basically in an eschatological sense - how are we eventually united with the divine nature, if the Logos and sarx never interpenetrate???

or am i off track?

The Benefits about Studying in Asia

Is you get to hear Asian Christianity..

This is from China - 7th Century AD


There was a true stillness, a natural constant, and primordial void of the Most High from which the Spirit of the void emerged, the Most High Lord. He enlightened the Holy Ones. He is Yahweh who embodies the three subtle and wondrous bodies and was condemned to the cross to save the people of the four directions. From the beaten up primordial winds he created two vapours and from the grey emptiness came the sky and the earth. The sun and the moon were set and night and day arrived. He created myriad things and then people. They had the original nature of goodness and were appointed as guardians of creation. Their minds were empty, their hearts were simple and innocent and they were content. They had no desire but Satan influenced them towards glitter and gold. They fell into death and lies and the 365 forms of sin. They put themselves inside their own web of retribution. There is material gain, some think they gain blssings from prayers, and some are treacherous. They get nowhere and within the wheel of fire they find themselves burnt and obliterated, unable to return [to goodness].
Ye Su, from the three subtle bodies, became human and came on behalf of the Lord of Heaven giving the good teachings. A virgin gave birth in the Da Qin Empire [the West]. The message was given to the Persians who followed the bright light with gifts. The 24 holy Ones have given the teachings, and heaven decreed that the "Three in One Purity that cannot be spoken of" (226) should be proclaimed. The teachings can restore goodness to believers, restore dust to truth, reveal the gate of the three constants, lead to life, destroy death and destroy evil forever. He set afloat the raft of salvation and compassion so we can ascend to the palace of light and unite with the spirit. He carried out deliverence and when done ascended to immortality in daylight. He left 27 books of scriptures, revealed the workings of the Origin and gave the method of purification by water. He gathered the four radiances to be united with the void.
"The Eastern facing rites can give you the path of life. Those who choose to grow beards, shave their heads, travel on the open roads, renounce desire, have neither male nor female slaves, see all people as equal, and do not hoard material goods, are followers of My rites of purification." (226)

________________-

What do you think? Good?

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Salvation and Swallowing

Following a thought from here:
http://youarethechrist.blogspot.com/2010/07/more-scaffolding.html

Salvation seems to come from both inside - i.e. work within the heart
and outside - clothed with righteousness

what i suspect is the outer clothing is a corporate covering
i.e. the covenant that embraces the whole family

so Immortality clothes the church, then the Spirit penetrates the swallowed deathly flesh
and begins to crucify and transform it into a Spirit-fused flesh
(think digestion)

then what is not filled with the Spirit is spewed out of the Immortal Body - immortal as well, but in the outer darkness forever (think Adam and Eve if they were not clothed sent out of the garden)

The rest is now Spiritual Flesh - the new man/thing/creation that lives the new life for eternity

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Salvation (3)

Regarding the post below...

Think about it this way..

If you are a father, are you not in someways almost totally in control of your children?

therefore if you are a good father - do you not cultivate freedom in your children to be who they should be

How much more then how Father, who will set us free to be who He made us to be
"love God and do whatever you want"

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Tim Chester etc.. all talk about the person who must be free to be a person

The orphan is forced to live a stereotypical orphan life - and we can predict his behaviour - selfishness, greed, cynicism, etc..

The child is free to do anything... anything within the love and power of his Father

Friday, 5 November 2010

Salvation (2)

here's another thing i've been thinking about

we tend to debate the Sovereign God vs Free Will

but realistically - one can only have Free Will if you have a Sovereign God
it is when we work 'outside' the will of God (i.e. outside of Christ) - you are  a slave,
for all your actions are controlled by a tyrant
so you are a puppet

this is not impaired free will - but total predictability of actions - based on the nature of the slave-driver

When we are under the total control of God - initiated by His saving grace,
then we are free - free to choose, free to act, free to love, free to serve, free to make legitimate choices

i think the early NT church understood this -  especially some of the early Fathers..

so there is no tension - but it is a logical conclusion

and it happens in our families too
only when we know the total security and safety of our father, husband etc..
are we not then free?
if we are not secure, we are predictable, enslaved, controlled - and we can diagnose with pinpoint accuracy what actions we will take based on our situation
(which has many pastoral implications)

Come to the Son, let Him save you, then you are free indeed... that is the truth

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Salvation

Great comments from Dave Bish here:

http://thebluefish.org/2010/11/calvinism-arminianism-and-fathers-heart.html

currently i have this theology of salvation:

Jonah 2:8-9 - paraphrased - "Those that cling on to foolish idols forsake the steadfast love (grace) that is already theirs..." "Salvation belongs to the Lord"

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Relational Exegesis

So since we know that reading the Bible is mysterious - i.e. it must be revealed to you...
http://youarethechrist.blogspot.com/2010/10/two-ways-to-read.html

we then can come to a conclusion that exegesis is also relational

sometimes people are always accused of reading Scripture anachronistically..
i.e. you read it using information they did not know at the time

so examples of this are reading the OT purely Christologically
which of course can be called allegorical reading, but sometimes it's simply called 'jumping to Jesus'

or more recently - reading the gospels in the light of Paul

but exegesis is always relational - i.e. the Bible is always read in the light of something else
whether that is your own culture, your own prejudice, your own experience, etc

like history - no one can have an objective view of Scripture

theologically - your relationship is with the world, i.e. with Satan, the voice of the world - who has many facets of a split tongue

so whatever you read - you will put in your light into it

So then as much as you try to read 'just the gospels' or 'just the OT'
you are going to either put the NT into it, or something else into it
it is NOT an objective - therefore right - reading of Scripture!!

Scripture then has to be read using relational dynamics

i.e. you read, it tells you something about Jesus, then knowing that thing about Jesus, you read 'that Jesus you know' back into Scripture, at the same time, trying to discover more about Christ - pointing back to Him

of course this sounds like an impossible cyclical argument

but the Christian arguments are not cyclical - they are spiral
you either spiral upwards or downwards

so the more you know Jesus, the better you understand any part of Scripture - in the Light of Him
and then you know Jesus more.. 

of course the necessary added 'element' here is prayer
i.e. a direct communication with the 'real Jesus' by the Spirit

then the exegesis is truly no longer stationary..
because He Himself begins to correct you and push you up the spiral of knowing Him

That is how the church fits in as well,
individual exegesis is incomplete, because it cannot have the whole picture - since that is the nature of the Spirit's work - He is many-fold in His revelation of Christ

Relational Exegesis comes from communicating with the Jesus you NOW know, and Him pointing more of Himself to you (plural - i.e. the fellowship), by being there in your twos and threes - you read Him not just out of the text, but out of each other 

It is the light of Christ you see in each other that adds to the Light of Scripture - you read the text based on the relationships you know - so the more Christ-like a teacher is - the more you read Scripture according to Him

and of course the downward spiral is true as well....

So how do we read Scripture better? 
1.Put the Jesus you know into your exegesis
2. Ask the Jesus you know to help you know more about Him, starting from what you know
- therefore this will have practical consequences as He tells you to deal with things in your life before you can move on
3. Hang out with Jesus-like friends, who illuminate more Jesus characteristics into your Bible reading - their lives will help your exegesis
- and yet they will also, being Jesus friends, make sure your life is also put on track

thus you will then read Scripture rightly - pointing to Him, knowing Him and having legitimate transformation - through prayer and the church

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Who's Wisdom

I'm still of the opinion it's the Spirit, not the Son...

here's another reason why:

Proverbs 8:1-3  Does not wisdom cry out, And understanding lift up her voice?  2 She takes her stand on the top of the high hill, Beside the way, where the paths meet.  3 She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city, At the entrance of the doors:

Isaiah 42:1-2  "Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.  2 He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.

they seem to have quite different ways of operating no?

Monday, 11 October 2010

Two Ways to Read

I think i've finally figured out how this Scripture thing works:

1st - if you cannot be bothered - you won't read it - you'll just pick the verses you like... too bad for you...

2nd - what happens if you can be bothered - and you study diligently?

1st option - you study it to improve yourself (like most secular education) - inevitably you end up being a Pharisee - this can be known as the Satanic way of reading Scripture

2nd option - you study it to know Christ alone - you become like Christ, since you now are beginning to love Christ


Therefore if you read any passage,  OT, parable, NT, etc...
without going to Jesus - you inevitably become more Pharisaical
you are not reading it 'spiritually' - because that implies reading it 'relationally'

e.g.  Psalm 1
Blesed is the man,.... etc, etc right?

what were the Pharisees doing? not walking with sinners, not eating with prostitutes, etc....  Psalm 1 followed?

what did Jesus do? walked with sinners, ate with prostitutes - Psalm 1 understood in the Jesus context means to not associate with the Pharisees!

take ANY ANY ANY passage in the Bible - try it out
you will always be a Pharisee if you don't read it looking for Jesus

YET - our natural tendency IS to read it the Pharisee way (if we are bothered with studying it) - so our first conclusion to every passage is not Sola Christus, Fide, Gracia, etc..
it is always, works-based, legalistic, pride causing moralism...

Read again.. with prayer, with humility, not trying to justify yourself, but looking for Jesus to either affirm or rebuke you...

Very hard to do...

So Scripture will always always be Mysterious....

Friday, 1 October 2010

Spaced out...

here's a bit of me going bonkers:

previously i commented on Gunton's need for 'space' in the Trinity - http://youarethechrist.blogspot.com/2010/06/space.html

Now think about this...

In childbirth, the mother makes 'space' for her baby.. it is space for new life, and that new life grows until it is permitted 'to have life in itself' and comes out of the mother...
yet of course is utterly linked to the mother in various ways,
first in the milk,
then in being provided for
then in genuine spiritual relationship

therefore it is no wonder that Christ makes space within Himself for His creation - of course all this done within the Spirit

yet by Christ making space, He only does what the Father has always done, made space within Himself for Christ - i.e. Christ is begotten eternally

but by making space for Christ, He Himself gets bigger - just like any pregnant lady

So the Father always enlarges Himself even as He constantly makes room for Christ and allows Him to grow

now the Son also has for the first time enlarged Himself - and in creation we see 1 cycle of an eternal expansion in God - something the Son has been subjected to ad infinitum

no wonder then creation and redemption are but 'the corner of His robe'

practically speaking - it means as Christ makes space for us, we must enter into the darkness with Him, and let Him feed us

for others, we make space for them - but only when we ourselves are full of the seed, and filled to the full..
then can they grow within us, and we hand them over to Christ (think John 4)
yet not apart from Christ when they are in us (think John 5) for Christ is in our flesh (Gal 2)

???????????????????

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Bringing in the Dove

The story of Jonah...

listen to Keller here:
http://www.allsouls.org/ascm/allsouls/static/sermons/showsermon.flow?id=11783
http://www.allsouls.org/ascm/allsouls/static/sermons/showsermon.flow?id=11784
http://www.allsouls.org/ascm/allsouls/static/sermons/showsermon.flow?id=11785
(he's basically paralleling Jonah to Romans 1-11)

then listen to Glen here:
http://christthetruth.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/sinners-slaves-or-sons/

Now then.. Jonah the idolater amongst idolaters

Bring it back to Jesus and the context:

Matthew 12:22-45
- the demon casting
- the accusative Pharisees
- the sign of Jonah
- the evil generation that will be accused by Nineveh and Ethiopia

Make sense now?
Jonah is from an evil generation church heading to an evil generation pagan nation
Jonah's condition is the same as that of the Pharisees
Yet it is the sinners who will accuse the religious

The warning of Jesus in Matt 11 - is the most stern..

The focal point of Jonah : "Salvation belongs to the Lord"
Grace or Sheol

Jesus brings the idol out of Jonah - chp 4
Jesus brings the demons to light to the Pharisees

True grace forces out the idols - who cannot match the Living God
they do not save

Jonah.. learn the lesson - God has come in peace to the wicked
you are also in the same boat in the storm - Christ is asleep on the cushion - rouse Him and He will save

now go and save others... i release you to bring the olive branch to where?
Go back to Israel - save the church
that's why I took you out to Nineveh

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Day of Rest

From "O Day of Rest and Gladness" by Christopher Wandsworth - 1862

verse 2:
On Thee, at the creation, the light first had its birth;
On Thee, for our salvation, Christ rose from depths of earth;
On Thee, our Lord, victorious, the Spirit sent from heaven,
And thus on Thee, most glorious, a triple light was given.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Elijah

I did this for a school assignment - what would you do if you saw it? How would you grade and comment it?
If you let me know I  will tell you what the aim of the assignment was.


1 Kings 17:1-6:

Firstly the name Elijah means Yahweh is God, and he points to the one who will be a forerunner or bride for Christ – the one who comes after him, Elisha (meaning Jesus is God). Elijah lived in Gilgal, meaning "whirlwind", which indicates how Elijah will be swept up in a whirlwind back to his God and Bridegroom when he finishes his ministry of the Word on earth – also since Tishbite can mean stranger. Therefore we see the stranger in the world sent to preach the Word of God, who will signal the coming of the true Word of God – which is Christ. As the New Testament agrees, Elijah is a picture of John the Baptist.

The ancient John then goes head to head with Ahab, the husband of Jezebel – the Satan figure. Here we see Christ’s bride face up to Adam, the one who sleeps with Satan. The church-Elijah then holds back the promises of God from the natural man while he himself goes to the Kerith Ravine, or the Cherith Brook. He goes to the death-river called ‘drought’, instead of the river that symbolizes life through death – the Jordan.
During her time on earth, the church will not be fed by the provision of the world – through natural means, but by the very bread brought by the winged messengers of God Himself. The raven, although an unclean animal, symbolizes - as we see from Noah – that the earth is still not yet producing fruit. And the dove of peace has not come – this is not the new creation.

Yet the Lord uses unclean means to bring provision to His people, both bread and meat, in the morning and evening – every day He is fed by the Lord Himself. So when the people of God preach the Word of the Lord, they declare judgment on the world, and withhold its blessings, while the Lord blesses them richly in secret – though the world assumes they die by the death-brook of drought – they know how to live daily on the Word alone. Elijah holds his baptismal water away from the Pharisees of the church, and he alone has true holy communion with Christ.

In a side point, we also see the ravens, though unclean, can still be used for God’s purposes. The creatures, accustomed to eating carrion, can also be made clean – to serve His purposes. But also a warning, Jesus claims that many will do things in His name, but still be unclean. We must be wary of this – that our outer works are not our assurance, but only faith in Jesus Christ.

Reversing Light and Darkness

In the sermon on the mount Jesus says:

you retreat to the darkness to do evil deeds, and come into the light to show off false goodness

this is how you create a black hole
you shine falsely while inside you are dying - and in the end - you suck the light out of everything
how great is the darkness

now do the reverse
retreat to the darkness to do your good deeds, and come into the light to show off your true evil self

That is how you create a star...
let the dust clouds be seen while you ignite from within - and then your shining will be glorious...

Monday, 13 September 2010

More Pail Grabbing

In the light of John 4 - the woman at the well


Isaiah 12:1-6  You will say in that day:"I will give thanks to you, O LORD, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me.  2 "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation."  3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.  4 And you will say in that day: "Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted.  5 "Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth.  6 Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel." 

Friday, 10 September 2010

Grab a pail

Jesus and the woman at the well...

John 4
7When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" 8(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)


11"Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?


Prov 20
 5 The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters,
       but a man of understanding draws them out.


Woman... I've come to draw your water
I have found your well is dry

Draw from Me and be satisfied...

Prov 20
6 Many a man claims to have unfailing love, 
       but a faithful man who can find?


John 4

16He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back."
 17"I have no husband," she replied.
   Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. 18The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."


You have found not just a prophet - but a faithful, righteous lover judge-King

He now reaps in His harvest:


Prov 20
 4 A sluggard does not plow in season;
       so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing.




Thursday, 2 September 2010

What is the problem?

Glen this one is for you...

from here

It is not sin that's the problem, or the wrath of God that's the problem

It is God's love that's the 'problem'

The reason God hates sin is because it destroys those whom He loves, His Son, His children and their brothers and sisters...

The problem the world faces is that it's God and Creator and Father loves it too much to leave it alone...

Monday, 30 August 2010

Failure

Something i recently published in the church bulletin:


Failure is necessary in Christian growth
Actually that’s not completely true, Jesus did indeed increase in maturity (Luke 2:40) without ever failing – in the sense that He always trusted His Father.

However, for the rest of us, who are riddled with sin, failure is necessary. We fail in our Christian service because we don’t know the love of God from eternity past. Sin means we naturally rely on ourselves, we always think we can do it – or even – we think we can’t do it. Faith means we put all that reliance directly onto Christ and He’ll tell us whether we can or can’t do something.

When Jesus’ followers faced their first solo demon confrontation, they failed miserably (Mark 9:18-19). Jesus doesn’t accuse them of being incompetent, but faithless – worse still, a perverse generation. They didn’t rely on the Holy Spirit for help – they did not cry out to Him, and worse, they were trying to gain glory for themselves (Mark 9:34) – that’s the perversion.

Failure in our Christian service is necessary because it exposes the sin within us. If we don’t serve, then we are content to sit in our sin-bubble, our little realm where we are in total control of everything we do (or so we think). The minute we actually step out to serve Jesus, we always fail - sin is revealed. Then we are left with the choice of returning back to sin-comfort-zone or deepening our relationship with Jesus (Mark 9:29).

If we long for maturity as Christians in whatever is left of 2010, then we must begin to serve Him wherever the need arises, whether we think we are competent or not – especially in ministries that involve dealing directly with other people. Yes, we are going to fail – but the kingdom of heaven is not a meritocracy… it is a kingdom of grace. That means we can have the confidence of growing through failure, because our God is our Father who loves us and will guide us through.

So then in Zion Bishan: Let us serve and fail - then come to Jesus and serve again. In our community of grace, we must reflect the grace of God that allows failure, so that growth may result. We walk people through the mistakes that they’ve made – the sins that have been exposed, and point them back to a faithful and forgiving God – for healing and growth to begin.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Dying Inside

From my last hermaneutics lecture:


In the mediaeval period the Song of Songs was one of the most commentated-on books in the Bible: the commentary was usually allegorical in nature.

A relatively late example of this approach is found in the writings of C.H. Spurgeon, the 19th-century British preacher.

We can consider his sermon on Song of Songs 1:13, preached in 1864.

This verse reads: ‘My beloved is to me a sachet or myrrh that lies between my breasts.’

Spurgeon begins by setting out his interpretative approach:

Certain divines have doubted the inspiration of Solomon’s Song; others have conceived it to be nothing more than a specimen of ancient love-songs, and some have been afraid to preach from it because of its highly poetical character. The true reason for all this avoidance of one of the most heavenly portions of God’s Word lies in the fact that the spirit of this Song is not easily attained. Its music belongs to the higher spiritual life, and has no charm in it for unspiritual ears. The Song occupies a sacred enclosure into which none may enter unprepared. “Put off they shoes from off they feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground,” is the warning voice from its secret tabernacles.

He interprets the theme of the Song as the intimate love which the Christian believer may experience with the Lord Jesus. This is an allegorical approach.

He interprets Song 1:13 under the heads: (i) Christ is very precious to believers; (ii) there is good reason why he should be; (iii) mingled with this sense of preciousness, there is a joyous consciousness of possession of him; (iv) therefore there is an earnest desire for perpetual fellowship with him

In his detailed exposition of the verse Spurgeon applies the phrase ‘bag of myrrh’ to Christ in a variety of ways: it points to Christ’s preciousness, his pleasantness, the way he perfumes the believer’s life, his preserving qualities, his power to cleanse and heal.

In effect his interpretation involves asking two questions: What are the properties of myrrh? And (having answered that question): How does Christ demonstrate these properties?

But is this really the way to interpret the text, by engaging in a series of word associations?

Later on in the volume, expounding 2:13 (‘Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me’), and following a similar kind of exegesis, Spurgeon applies the text to the failure of the church in England and Europe to disestablish itself in the decades after the Reformation.

Christians heard Christ’s call to ‘come with me’, but did not respond as fully and as trustingly as they should have done. (Spurgeon was a Non-Conformist, not a member of the established Church of England.)

This is all very interesting: but is it what the text is really talking about?
(Most commentators on the Song today would answer: No.)

____________________

I only just succeeded in restraining myself from laying hands on people....
What response would you have given?


Sexy Evangelism

Effective evangelism is like sex don't you think?

You have to be overflowing with love and joy, etc... to be able to truly sow the seed

we are shameful, but He has gently uncovered our nakedness, and embraced and filled us - so we overflow with joy (John 4)

Thursday, 26 August 2010

A feeble attempt at hermeneutics

Glen has a great series here, here and here.


Here is a simple diagram of my understanding so far...

























So basically... all Scripture, when Spirit-led - points to Christ, regardless of style or genre

By drawing us into Christ, it draws us closer to one another
By drawing us into Christ, it draws us to the Father - that we can now determine the Father's will
the Father's will is not independent of Christ, neither is it individualistic - it is always corporate, but relating to persons within the community

our ultimate goal... is to follow the will of the Father, showing that we are true sons of God, united with and living as Christ

then is our 'growth' complete - cf John 4:34, Rom 8:29

since only then are we perfect in faith - fully encompassed by His love, and in total (unresistant) union with Christ, completely indwelled and constantly filled by the Spirit

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Church

What is church and the community?

Listening to quite a bit of Crowded House stuff...

So far what I figure...
is that church must be based on eternal Trinitarian relationships revealed to us in Jesus

There is an entrance point - that is Christ
There is a reference point - that is the Father

The church is invitational - hence proclamation
Yet confrontational - since you imply in the invite that you are not part of it

The community is perichoretic - interpenetrating, with individuals breaking down in confession and being rebuilt as a community of persons in Christ - one body

Liberalism causes the church to be informal and 'uneventful' - since there is no serious consideration of sin

Legalism causes the church to be only in the structure and events - since the leaders think they can run a system since they are not sinful

True church is a household - where there is interaction and activity
Where there is an understanding of sinful separatedness and those informal interactions or formal events are all purposeful - designed to break down the separatedness between each other, and re-reference ourselves with the Father - hence the events of the Word in proclamation, corporate study, visible sacrament, etc

All this is what it would mean to be Spiritual

The goal of church is unnatural love for one another (grace), lead and exemplified by Jesus, founded on the love for the Father, actualised by the Holy Spirit

or something like that....

Thursday, 19 August 2010

What does it mean to be faithful?

A sermon I did on 2 Timothy 2:1-13

Link here

Managed to fit in this wonderful quote from Spurgeon:
“Eternal Faithfulness Unaffected by Human Unbelief”:

“Christ sits at the receipt of sinners waiting for them to mention their wants. He is watching for you. I tell you again that he cannot reject you: that would be to alter his whole character and un-Christ himself. To spurn a coming sinner would un-Jesus him, and make him to be somebody else, and not himself any longer. “He cannot deny himself.” Go and try him: go and try him. I wish some trembling soul would at this moment go and cast himself upon Christ, and then report to us the re-suit. Come, poor quivering seekers, sing in your heart, unbelieving as you are. Oh, but if you were to perish at his feet, you would be the first that ever did so out of all those who have ever come to him; and that first man has never been seen yet. Go and try my Lord and see for yourselves. Well now, you Christian people, I want you to come also. If you believe your Lord he will be faithful to you. Suppose it is a time of trouble with you: he will be faithful to you; go and cast your burden upon him. Suppose at this time you, are much exercised with spiritual distress: go to the-Lord as you did at first, as poor, guilty, rebellious sinners, and cast yourself upon him, and you will find him faithful. “He cannot deny himself.” If my Lord were not kind to me to-night when I go to him with my burden I should think that I had knocked at the wrong door; because the Lord has been so good and so faithful to me hitherto that it would take my breath away if I found him changed. Oh, how good, how exceeding good is my Lord! I could sing that with all my heart, and I hope many of you could earnestly join with me. So how surprised you would be if I were to meet anything but love from my dear Lord after all these years of tenderness, There is no fear of it, for “he cannot deny himself.”

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Cracked Eyesight

Matthew 6:22-24 22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24 "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.


Proverbs 22:9 9 Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor


Interestingly the Hebrew word for 'eye' is also the same word for 'spring'(as in water)

Thus if our eyes are bad - we have cracked springs - barren desert that sucks in the 'water' from others - ground that is always thirsty and never satisfies

Wherelse the Spirit will 'open our eyes' yet He also makes us filled up with living water welling up to eternal life - a fountain flowing with living water
filled to the full and able to supply others

perhaps then our natural eyes are black holes
and the eyes of Christ are truly the eyes of the Sun

God can only be God if He is the Graceful Giver

The Living God is God because of Grace

Only when God is allowed to give - can He be the undebted God

Every other 'god' feels owed - they are needy
they have to be satisfied outside themselves
They have to be paid their dues

only the Living God is self-satisfied - The Son satisfies the Father and the Father the Son

He needs not

He can give and give, and give in abundance

When we come into the Satisfied God, through His Giving Abundance,
We are Satisfied in Him,
and He is satisfied with us and in us - through Christ

here's the great Sola Series from Glen:
http://christthetruth.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/grace-alone-sermon/
the rest of the links can be found on his website

Monday, 16 August 2010

Love Languages

Anyone ever posted thoughts on the 5 love language thingy?

Been wondering about it..

I figure the reason we are unable to communicate in any type of love is not because of personality types - but rather sin

since love is a fruit rather than a gift...
and because very young children are quite receptive to all the languages usually - and quite unable to give it out in any language

then surely the goal would be to find the 'right language' to minister to them
but then to grow to be able to both receive and give in every language..

after all the Spirit is a Spirit of all tongues?

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

The Core 'Function' of Prayer

What is the purpose of prayer?

the more I go through the Lord's prayer...
the more i wonder

I look at my son...
I realistically don't NEED him to talk to me...
in fact - things are much simpler when he does NOT talk to me..
i.e. no crying, no arguing, no talking back, etc.

If I am an experienced father, with 100s of children
I would not need to hear him speak
I would immediately 'know his thoughts'
just by looking at his actions and the time, etc..
I could tell if he was hungry, thirsty, sleepy, needed to go to the loo, sick, etc..

I could pre-empt and satisfy every one of his physical needs

so why talk?


The only reason is the answer to question 1 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism

So that I can enjoy him... and him me...


Prayer - conversation with God - teaches us how to come into enjoyment with Him
Beyond anything else - surely this is the point

Monday, 2 August 2010

Sickness and Medicine

If everything tells the gospel

then so should every sickness and every appropriate treatment

now then we should have doctors and scientists study carefully each one
that we may apply them in relational terms..
first to God, then to each other

so for example.. leprosy being the picture of sin, cutting of from both God and man
so what is the gospel of antibiotics? how do they work?

what about bone-rotting disease - how they cripple a person
that tells us loads!
is calcium our best cure?

what about a broken bone?
healing works by just temporarily fixing both ends together
how's that for reconciliation ministry!?

so much to discover....

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Calling

What is our 'calling' in life?

A slightly informal seminar I did: http://www.mediafire.com/?35kq03a2dn1h1b2

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

What's the Difference?

Ultimately, as we get more Trinitarian and 'eternal' in our theology..

we should be mapping every aspect of Christian life and mechanics to the unchanging dynamics and character of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as they have always interacted with each Other

But yet not everything is the same....

there is one other element to add in that is different from what has been happening in eternity

The Cross (meaning from incarnation to ascension)

The Cross is necessary because when God created - creation was outside Himself, as in creation is separate from Him
And so He goes into creation to bring it back to Him

We can summarise all of creation into 1 being - Adam

Adam (the fullness of created things) is apart from the Other Being - Christ (in which is the fullness of Deity)

Adam first must break, then Christ comes into Adam, then Christ must break, then Adam comes into Christ

now then we are back to eternal Trinitarian dynamics - church incorporated

what ever is 'left over' is thrown away... a strange new dynamic of eternal sinfulness

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Confession

These are fantastic quotes from Bonhoeffer - taken from here

'In confession there takes place a breakthrough to community. Sin wants to be alone with people. It takes them away from the community. The more lonely people become, the more destructive the power of sin over them. The more deeply they become entangled in it, the more unholy is their loneliness. Sin wants to remain unknown. It shuns the light. In the darkness of what is left unsaid sin poisons the whole being of a person. This can happen in the midst of a pious community. In confession the light of the gospel breaks into the darkness and closed isolation of the heart. Sin must be brought into the light. What is unspoken is said openly and confessed. All that is secret and hidden comes to light. It is a hard struggle until the sin crosses one’s lips in confession. But God breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron (Ps. 107:16) Since the confession of sin is made in the presence of another Christian, the last stronghold of self-justification is abandoned. The sinner surrenders, giving up all evil, giving the sinner’s heart to God and finding the forgiveness of all one’s sin in the community of Jesus Christ and other Christians. Sin that has been spoken and confessed has lost all of its power. It has been revealed and judged as sin. It can no longer tear apart the community.’

‘In this connection, we are talking exclusively about confession between two Christians. A confession of sin in the presence of all the members of the congregation is not required to restore one to community with the entire congregation. In the one other Christian to whom I confess my sins and by whom my sins are declared forgiven, I meet the whole congregation.’


‘In confession there occurs a breakthrough to the cross. The root of all my sin is pride.’


‘Confession in the presence of another believer is the most profound kind of humiliation. It hurts, makes one feel small; it deals a terrible blow to one’s pride.’

‘It is none other than Jesus Christ who openly suffered the shameful death of a sinner in our place, who was not ashamed to be crucified for us as an evildoer. And it is nothing else but our community with Jesus Christ that leads us to the disgraceful dying that comes in confession, so that we may truly share in this cross. The cross of Jesus Christ shatters all pride.’


Confession is to be broken before one another
Christ shows us that the only way we can be part of Him - is if He is broken that we may enter - and we have to be broken as well (blessed are the broken in spirit)

To create true community - we must break before each other - otherwise sin holds us intact, and apart....

Sabbath Rest because of Death?

In the Sabbath year the ground is allowed to lie fallow...
or rather, left to rest

in this rest it replenishes (or renews) the nutrients it needs to grow the crops again for the next 6 years

the nutrients however - i guess - would mainly come from the death of the last crops which are no longer maintained and allowed to decompose - similar to how a forest fire would severely enrich the soil

if that's a correct understanding of agriculture...

then our Sabbath is only possible because of the death of Jesus
because He dies, we can have rest in Him..
as His body is the manner in how we are renewed...
as we take Him in and now grow in Him

yea?

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

More Triniarian Hierachy

Even when it comes to understanding 'space'

The Trinity makes sense only in a hierarchical structure

Think Biblically - the Son is always where He is in reference to the Father
so where is the Son now?
on the right hand side of God

is the Father on the Son's left hand side? No! Never!

so is the Son facing the opposite direction so that the Father is on His right hand too.. of course not

The Son is always at the Father's right hand
the Father is where the Father is... that's it

the whole world is where it is in relation to the Father's throne

more specifically
the world is where it is in relation to the Father, and where the Son is in relation to the Father, and where we are in relation to the Son
in that specific order


now have a think how this works with relation to 'time' =)

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

More scaffolding...

Previous post here: http://youarethechrist.blogspot.com/2010/01/scaffolding-of-city-of-god.html

With Glen's post here: http://christthetruth.wordpress.com/2010/02/08/in-praise-of-going-through-the-motions/

And Irenaeus's theology here: http://christthetruth.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/creation-and-salvation-irenaeus-and-athanasius-7/

Everything about this age is a shadow, the creation, 1st Adam, the law, etc...
it is scaffolding

not that it should be done away with

but it is the precursor of what is to come - the City of God, the 2nd Adam, the gospel, etc..

therefore it is important we have scaffolding, or we cannot build the house

but then the real house is build within the scaffolding, filling it up, bursting through it, destroying the scaffolding, which is burned

Mortal is Swallowed up (from the inside) by immortality...

Monday, 12 July 2010

Youth

A simple talk for Youth Sunday

based on 2 Tim 1

Upward Spiral

Leithart on his post here: http://www.leithart.com/2010/07/03/harmony-in-god/

states:
So it seems that harmony in God must include some moment from dissonance to closure. Or, to put it in the paradoxical form that is probably inevitable: The Triune God is always moving toward the resolution that He has always already reached. As Robert Jenson has put it, there does seem to be room for the notion that the Spirit resolves and reconciles Father and Son, so that the Speaker and His Word are harmonized in His breadth.

i'm assuming this is about 'God's being is in His becoming' kinda stuff

but i'm wondering if this is still a 'static' view of God

why not the dynamic relationship between the Father and the Son be an 'upward spiral'
since according to Scripture sin is a 'downward spiral' - towards singularity - true lonely selfishness

then the eternal Triune God must be a constant outward expanding relationship
that overlaps itself in greater and greater proportion

this is why creation was almost 'inevitable'

and the endless ages to come - a great un-expressable joy!

so in musical terms... there is always a melody resulting in closure, yet that closure becomes the starting point for a new and greater harmony
so God is never unresolved, yet also never 'closed'

again.. i have very little idea of what i'm talking about

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Understanding Corporate Identity

people complain that we can't be responsible for Adam's sin...etc..

the breakdown of family units and societies
leads to the rise (or re-rise) of individualism
that we are all apart from each other

yet take one look at World Cup Soccer..
and you know this is rubbish

everytime someone you don't know loses or does poorly
you are so physically affected that people kill themselves

we have corporate identity -
we just have a new corporation - football or sport
instead of the kingdom of heaven and the King...