The Gospel

16 03 2012

The centrality of the gospel is the very person of Christ. In other words, He is the good news. The good news is not the message in and of itself, but the very person and work of Jesus Christ. As Baxter points out “”our Lord’s message was Himself.” The gospel message, whilst eternity itself will not allow us to fathom it, is the truth that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).

via The Gospel.

(thanks … this uplifted site looks to be very helpful)





大对未来的希望

16 03 2012

未来是充满希望,因为未来与目前在复活的耶稣基督亲切的手,现在是。基督徒是那些有信仰,遇见复活的耶稣,谁死了,作为一个人再次上升,超过死亡在这个世界上的胜利。耶稣有反过来向我们表明,在他的生活,尤其是在他钉十字架的恩典,慈爱的神和我们所有的父亲的十字架。

基督徒希望大家看到什么是计划为年龄在上帝创造的一切事物(见圣经以弗所书3:9)隐藏的奥秘。他的计划是,以协调所有的事情,国家和人民,通过热爱生活和死亡和复活的耶稣。这耶稣,他的身份,他的工作,是神秘的世界!

神已经超出我们的梦,这个地球上,这是我们的神奇,美丽的,尚未愉快,往往是痛苦的家庭这整个宇宙中的星系。他已作出一切动物,植物,海洋和山脉,和人类的荣耀(祝福和放大)通过耶稣,一个计划。神已经在地球上每一个国家,包括在这惊人的计划。他呼吁一个特定的国家,以色列是民族的思想,他的计划,以处理通过赎罪罪,将显露。它是通过以色列,耶稣诞生。他来到毁灭的魔鬼,他做的作品。他自己的精神,他是露出胜利,权力,通过他的复活能力的圣灵,他已经倒在世界如此,人类可能会看到什么是隐藏的,听到上帝对我们说,有在这恩典的神,信仰和伟大的未来预期,而在创造充满希望的生活。

圣诞节是庆祝诞生之一 – 神的儿子喜爱的深入和充分,并已受到深刻和全面,爱情,做父亲的良好意愿,并“承担他的身体上树我们的罪(十字架)“。在耶稣的名,神宣告我们都原谅你的罪。神现在在和平,信靠神生活。走在仅通过耶稣基督合理的和平。相信在他的优点。充满神的爱。服务和履行所有的人。这个好消息感到兴奋与别人!警告人们不要错过这个为自己的生命的希望。这是愚蠢的,没有收到这样的保证,从神的种类和生活自由。

复活节包括耶稣死亡的记忆,发生在罗马统治(本丢彼拉多),并与许多犹太领导人的同意和愿望。耶稣是他的真实生活中的对抗,他充满希望的消息!复活节也是神的工作,在处理我们的罪,通过耶稣的死,耶稣受难日的庆祝活动。这也是该安静的庆祝活动,仍然非常神圣星期六,准备(我们经常是)作为神的儿子躺在墓中死亡。希望粉碎。所以它肯定似乎。是的,他死了。但是,他死了我们的死亡,战胜死亡。

复活节是庆祝耶稣的复活上周日上午,他出现的女性,那么男人,然后在同一时间超过500人。这是庆祝所有的影响,代表人类的胜利,战胜了死亡,outworking的历史。

来到附近。来到耶稣,相信,接受他的精神。拿出新的希望。

如果你可以看到与信仰的圣经,那么,更多和更多的真理,难怪这个希望将打破向你敞开,作为上帝的灵“”你伟大的事情。痛苦可以被看作和忍受在创作,并亲自与希望,希望,希望以上的载货,因为它是!如果你没有圣经,仍然寻求生活的主。

感谢你父亲生活,钉在十字架上和生活的主耶稣,亲爱的上帝的精神,你的善良,和亲切的权力,我们的代表。让我们响应和相信。让我们生活不能没有这个希望通过我们的生活,无论我们是如何生病的流动不再悲伤或孤独,多么坏或擦伤,内疚或羞愧。

现在你宽容的装备我们住在创作,服务,服务他人,服务与完整的目的神。这意味着,草,狮子,天空和大海,看到一种新的方式和如此丰富和惊人的未来看到这一切,为的是上帝的承诺!

特雷弗Faggotter





Singers and Dancers

20 08 2011

Singers and dancers alike say, “All my springs are in you.” (Psalm 87:7).

What amazing talents human beings have been given. Singing is something that most people can do—at least, to some extent. Little children, often love to sing away when they are happy.  Even so, a grand, regal, resonating singing voice is surely an extraordinary gift.   Likewise with dancing. To draw upon the presence of God in the exercise of our gifts, is surely something that we can do, consciously and unconsciously, or not. (Some even deny God’s existence, while exercising the gifts he gave). However, when looking to God, and asking him to bless the work of his hands – us – we may well be praying a good prayer, so that, we may be a blessing to others. To cause others enjoyment and encouragement and even a crisis leading to faith—with the gifts he has given us, namely, us the person he has made, has got to be a good thing, I reckon.

Proverbs 4:23 cautions one to, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life”.  Natural water springs are quite a beautiful feature of some of the farming land on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia. When springs are flowing well, life surges and grows.

The theologian and teacher, Baxter Kruger, said something like this: “I knew as a child that something vast, deep, ancient and beautiful, was running through all of life—an invisible river of glory is running through our lives”.

When our springs are in the invisible river of glory, and when we are drawing upon those subterranean resources, the exercise of our gifts, and talents, flow in a river of life, and blessing into the life of others, and so into the world around us.

Jesus once cried out: “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’”  Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:37-39).

Jesus was indicating that he himself, was the source of a river of glory, springs of life, to flow out to others.

Interestingly, this ‘river flow’ had an important background in the rock, that supplied water for Israel in the wilderness – as this whole blog title says: ‘And That Rock Was Christ’.

Interestingly, Moses had to smite, or strike the rock for the water to flow. Jesus was struck, or smitten upon the cross, as he was glorified, before the river of the Spirit began to fully flow. This was the place where the guilt of humanity was entered into and borne by Christ. Guilt is like a great blockage in the flow of human life, and love. Guilt is that which must be taken, to allow a true human flow of life into the world, into the future.

A river flows out from Eden, and flows into the world, and onward unto the future Eden of God, where there is a River of Life waters the Tree of Life, and the trees with fruit bring healing to the nations (Revelation 22:2).

The Word of Life, that the Ascended Jesus speaks, is the action of the outpouring of the Spirit of God—the River of Life—into the parched and dry weary world of suffering, lonely, lost, guilty and therefore uncertain humanity.  This river flushes out the old debris and brings with it new life—welling up to eternity.

To be part of the significant flow of God’s word in  Christ is to be in the flow of our true humanity, and it brings blessing and life. It is what we are created for.

How is it going with you? In the flow? Flowing? Or damn dammed up? May the Spirit flow anew, evoking life, evoking fresh participation in the invisible river of glory, the Word of the Gospel to the nations of the world: look up, receive, believe, Christ is triumphant over death; the Father is the God of ALL grace; he raised Christ and gave him into death for us all-to deal with us, fully in judgment; humanity has a new hope. Let’s begin to live that way!





Edenising the Whole World

25 06 2011

The term ‘Edenising’ is seldom used by theologians and preachers alike—and hardly at all, by the general public.  That is a pity really.

‘Edenising the whole world… that is God’s plan’.  It always has been his plan.

Edensing is a term which encapsulates the story of God, humanity and creation, and the purpose for which all has been created.  It is the whole story and counsel of God from Creation to the New Creation.  From the Garden of Eden, and the tragic event therein, to the “river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing … on either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, … and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations’ (Revelation 22:1, 3)

Some may be familiar with Jonathan Edward’s essay: ‘A History of the Work of Redemption (See The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 1, 1834 (1990), Banner of Truth Trust, p. 533-619). He picks up the details of the biblical story and tells them as a continual flow of events, one story.  This is the story of the Edenising of the world.

The mandate of fruitfulness given to the man, Adam, and his wife Eve, was a word of blessing which forwarded that work. It continued though failure appeared to thwart the whole plan, and it continued through Noah, Abraham, Moses and the whole nation of Israel. It continued through to the coming of Jesus Christ, the most frutiful person who ever lived. His fruitful life, is flowing out into the world now, as he is Lord of creation, and Lord of all fruitfulness.

He will speak his Word and bring forth true action, love and service in that great lan of the Triune God, until that day when he makes all things new, pristine, and full of glory. The glorification, of God, man and creation will be the Edenising of the whole world.

Israel has had a unique role in all this, being elected by God to be the focal point for the revelation of his grace ad love towards all nations.

Edenising the world, how wonderful. In Paradise again, only more fully assured. What a plan. This is the work of the Word of God, as it goes out to turn the peoples of the earth towards the central focus of the people of God – Jerusalem, outside of which Jesus was crucified, so that all through his merit, may enter the New Jerusalem, holy, sanctified, justified ad glorified.

No wonder we like to enjoy a garden and take delight in fixing and tidying it up ready for enjoyment.  No wonder blessing people with love and community in Jesus Christ, is like planting a good rich, vibrant, colourful and varied garden.

Well, by faith, come home to the Gardener, who first planted Eden and placed the man, and the woman, in it. Come home to the Gardener, and share in the work of gardening.

Responsibility and freedom were given to the first couple, with one note of caution. Sadly this warning was not heeded, and so the long saga of human history, battling with sin and death began. But it began in hope, and the flow of the rivier of life continued until it flowed fully from the belly of Jesus Christ – rivers of living water (John 7:38).

As Geoffrey Bingham said of Adam and Eve ‘they are to take what is the special life of Eden and take it to the whole world.’ (G. C. Bingham, Searching For God, RBP, 2000, p. 109)

Edenising the World. That’s the go.

 

 





Public Truth

7 08 2010

I like that term ‘Public Truth’. The Gospel is public truth.

Too often, in a pluralist society, the Christian church has been strangely content to be relegated to a one-option among many type of group. Like a club to join, take it, or leave it. This is not good enough, considering the call of God upon the church, to make known the plan of God, for the world. It is not good enough to be thought of as being ‘nice’.

Leslie Newbigin, a missionary and Christian leader, globally, has written:

‘…the gospel cannot be accommodated as one element in a society which has pluralism as its reigning ideology. The Church cannot accept as its role simple the winning of individuals to a kind of Christian discipleship which concerns only the private and domestic parts of life. To be faithful to a message which concerns the kingdom of God, his rule over all things and all peoples, the Church has to claim the high ground of public truth’.

‘…Europe was a Christian society in the sense that its public truth was shaped by the biblical story with its center in the incarnation of the Word in Jesus’ (Lesslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, Eerdmans, 1989, p. 222)

However, far from advocating a return to the past, Newbigin is interested in the present and future approach to society, as we now find it. He sees the congregation as the hermeneutic of the gospel. That is, the primary reality in having an impact upon public life, is the community of God’s people, the Christian congregation. We are reminded that Jesus did not write a book, but formed a community.

The Christian community bears witness to the world of the public truth of her claims as she is:

1. A community of praise and thanks. It is not to be always complaining, bemoaning problems and whining.

2. A community of truth. Living truthfully. Knowing true freedom. Affirming true human dignity.

3. Not living for herself, but involved in the concerns of the neighborhood. A church, is a church in a place, to affect that place.

4. A Royal Priesthood is not ‘the religious stuff’ but the highly-gifted body of Christ, all out in the daily business of life.

5. Advocating a new social order, where corporate community and individualism is the primary reality.

6. A community of hope. A Risen Lord Jesus was crucified to put an end to sin and death, and to open a new way, eternally.

So, then, may the public truth of what Jesus Christ was and is about, be made known in our day. As Emil Brunner once said (I think it was him), the church exists for the sake of those who are not is members.





A Distinct Bugle Sound

28 11 2009

As a kid, I used to really enjoy the cowboy movies, we were shown on TV; especially the ones where the US cavalry, heard of the impending problems on the frontier, and to the sound of music … came charging over the hill, to the rescue – just in time! US flag held aloft, bayonets at the ready, and a fine stream of horses and riders… (back in the days before it was politically correct, to hate all things US).

Like the urgent call of the fire siren, to the CFS volunteers in a country town, so the call of a bugle was once used to awaken the troops – to do battle.

In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he asks the question: “..if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?” (1Cor. 14:8). Speaking in tongues, a lovely, yet somewhat minor matter, had become the big focus for some, rather than the clear Word of the Gospel, proclaimed to the nations. The Gospel is a bugle blast!  It is a clarion call. It is a trumpeted song of resurrection joy!  It makes great, grand sense of the seemingly sad and sombre notes, that cry forth, in the crucifixion.

The bugle. Yes. For what reason?

Ah, the battle!  The life of faith is undoubtedly, a battle. There is a clash of two kingdoms. The kingdom of the Son of God’s love, and the kingdom of the deceptive, evil one.

We usually nominate the enemies, in our battle, as 1. the world, 2. the flesh, and 3. the devil.  However, a more complete list really comprises of: 1. sin, 2. death, 3. the wrath of God, 4. the law, 5. the conscience, 6. satan, 7. world powers, 8. the world, 9. the flesh, and 10. the idols (see G.C. Bingham, The Things We Firmly Believe, NCPI, p. 115).

People of faith are engaged in a battle, a battle to stand firm in the freedom we have already received. Human beings are being called into freedom, through the gospel, or good news of Christ Jesus. Christians are kept in freedom by that same gospel. However, it really needs to be a clear gospel, a distinct sound. And this needs to be the case, even as we are engaged in the great mysteries, revealed to us.

Clarity. Clarity. Clarity. These three are needed amidst the information overload of our age. Especially, we need gospel clarity. To this end, many rightly turn to modern day teacher, John Piper. I do too.

Recently, however, I reviewed one of John Piper’s small talks: What is the Gospel? I appreciated his words, and work, but felt that they lacked something. I would like to make an important point, therefore. Here is his summary:

The Gospel is

  1. A Plan From Eternity
  2. An Event in History
  3. An Achievement between the Son and Father
  4. A Free offer to the world of these things
  5. Application of this Achievement – Forgiven, Justified (do not stop here, he adds, for many do!)
  6. To Bring us to God (Reconciliation for Fellowship)  (What-Is-The-Gospel—John-Piper).               The wonderful point he makes, is that we are to know, love and enjoy the Triune God. So true. But here in point 7, is a further addition, which connects the benefits of the Gospel, to the setting in which we will always find ourselves, namely – the Creation!
  7. To equip us to participate in running the Universe, together with God, eternally.

In all his writings, and especially in his stories, Geoffrey Bingham taught the significance of Salvation in relation to the Creation, and to the New [renewed] Creation. Only recently, theologians were discussing what was, or is, the priority of God – the story of salvation, or the work of creation, in order to bring humanity into fellowship, eternally.  I think the confusion comes, or the question arises, because we seldom ever glimpse the wonder of creation, from the outset, when all the angels sang and shouted for joy (Job 38:7). As a result, we fail to anticipate the role of humanity in relation to creation, into the future. We, as it were, stop short at fellowship and communion.

The real goal of the plan, is to form ‘a peer community’, together with Jesus the Son, Redeemer, who enjoy one another, in relationship, and in the ongoing action of the creation.

One of the Lord’s dear servants, Geoffrey Bingham, has put it like this: ‘God’s purpose in having a church is to train people up to be able to run the universe, with him, for eternity’.

Now, I believe, this is …. A Distinct Bugle Sound.





“Be of good cheer…” (Jesus)

18 05 2007

Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But be of good cheer, I have conquered the world!’

(John 16:32b-33)

Be of Good Cheer!  Hah. Thanks for saying that Jesus. We are cheered when we hear you say it.

There is always reason to be of good cheer. Even as one is overcome by life’s disappointments, For Jesus to know, “the Father is with me”—with him, was enough. The presence of God, the Father, is a cause for great joy in daily living, even in extreme sufferings. In his cross, through his death and resurrection, Jesus has overcome the powers of  the world—”the self-seeking world system”. He is free as a Man, and gives that same freedom to us, through faith in himself, in union with him in his life, death—resurrected and now, ascended life.  Knowing our sins of unbelief and wrong pursuits—in the cause of cheer—are forgiven, is a huge release for the human spirit.

Union with Jesus the Son, and with God the Father is the source of good cheer! While wine gladdens the heart, the God who made us for glory gladdens all of humanity through his redemptive presence and power!








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