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Think Spot 22 May 2017

 
Matthew 17:1-8 - After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
 

The Jesus I see is full of majesty and awe. He is not simply a king with a crown on his head. He is the King of all Kings and the Lord of Lords. This Jesus Christ did not decay in the grave - He overcame death in the grave and was raised again majestically.

As Paul said that Jesus is “the first-born from among the dead”. Paul writes later in Colossians 2:3, that “in Jesus Christ, all the majestic treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.” Jesus Christ the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who with unparalleled majesty, is the head of His body, the church. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, the church would not be in existence 2,000 years later, let alone 2 years after his death. Jesus’ majesty meaning I can depend upon Him for all matters of life.

Go into this week in full confidence that Jesus is fully of majesty! WOW!

 

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Exploring The Bible

16. New Testament

Colossians--A.D. 60-62

 

G'day and welcome to our series, "Exploring the Bible" This is also the title of our latest book available on Amazon by clicking here or visiting PulpTheology.com

Key Verses:

  • Colossians 2:9-10
  • Colossians 3:1-3

 

Paul is in prison as he writes this too. He writes to believers that are growing in spiritual maturity. His major thrust is toward their continued growth, even in the face of opposition.

Paul stresses the pre-eminence of Jesus, the Christian’s relationship to him and his own divinely given function in God’s purpose. Paul warns them about false teachers and discusses the Christian's life with Jesus, and daily life in various settings. Again, most of what he says is remarkably upbeat. It shows the power of the gospel and the Holy Spirit in one’s life.

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Gems in the Letter of 1 John

Part 97 - 1 John 1:4
Discipling



‘We write this to make our joy complete’ says John. And even before we start into the epistle proper that simple statement raises a big question. Who are the ‘we’? (I am going to call it an epistle, even although that word really means ‘letter’. It is a slightly posh word, appropriate here because it has no statement about who wrote it, or who it was to, or any of the other things we expect to find in a true letter. It is more like an essay, a statement of intent, a document to be sent to many people.

 
So an epistle it is.) Because neither the Gospel of John nor this epistle ever says who wrote them we cannot be sure who they were. The writers of the very early church very soon decided that John, one of the sons of Boanerges, the apostle, the beloved disciple, was the author of both. The decision makes good sense so I am going to refer to the writer as John and assume it was the same person as the writer of the gospel. Both assumptions seem to be very likely right. The other assumption we must make is that this epistle was written after the gospel, although, as we saw in the last study of the gospel John was probably very old when he wrote the gospel and it may even have been put together by some close helper. That person, a close disciple of John, may also have had a hand in this letter, compiling it on the basis of things John had said and taught in his old age in the city of Ephesus. That is important to note because quite a lot of the things he says in this epistle seem to refer to a particular atmosphere and line of teaching which was building up in the fellowship of which John was, or had been, a part and probably the leader.

Another reason for assuming the direct authorship of John is the tone of these first few verses. They clearly refer back quite deliberately to the opening words of the Gospel, which in turn refer back to the opening words of the book of Genesis. ‘In the beginning’ figures large in all three places. But then John goes on here to express his joy at what he has been privileged to be a part of. Had he been a child he would quite clearly have been jumping up and down with exuberant joy at what had happened. We heard, we saw, we touched, he says - obviously meaning he heard and saw and touched Jesus. He wants to share the emotions those facts and the attitudes that they caused to erupt in him that he enjoys so much. That way he feels that he will be able to establish a joint shared delight with his readers in the words, the actions and the meaning of Jesus, his life, death and resurrection.

I started off accepting that verse 4 is about ‘our joy’ but you will note that the footnote in your Bible almost certainly suggests it might equally be ‘your joy’ and since we are the recipients of the epistle that is now ‘our joy’. Wow! . Let us try to believe and therefore to act in the sort of way that John does, even if our experience is necessarily not as exciting as his, for we do not hear, see and touch the real living Jesus, the Son of God, as he did.

Think back. Count up the top moments of your walk as a Christian follower of Jesus and rejoice. Perhaps, like me, you are too old to literally jump up and down with joy but do so in your heart, in your imagination. He is worthy. He is glorious. He is our promise of eternal life as John has just pointed out.

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Partakers Friday Prayers!

19th May 2017

 

We pray together and when Christians pray together, from different nations, different churches and different denominations - that reveals Church unity! Come! Let us pray together!

 

A Prayers Of William Laud

Lord,
Here I am,
Do with me as seems best in your own eyes;
Only give me, I beseech you, a penitent and patient spirit to expect you.
Make my service acceptable to you while I live,
And my soul ready for you when I die.

Lord,
Take our minds and think through them;
Take our lips and speak through them;
Take our hearts and set them on fire
with the desire to do your holy will.
In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

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Consequences 04

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Consequence 04

 

 

 

The Message 1 – The Cross

 

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In this brief series called Consequences, we are looking together at 7 consequences of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Today we start to look at the message of the early church regarding this Jesus – a message which is also relevant to us today! This message is the Easter story – Jesus’ death and resurrection!

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Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’

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The Problem!

There is a problem in the world, which has been a problem since time almost began! That problem is sin. Sin is anything that separates humans from God, which as a consequence leads to both a spiritual and physical death (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Isaiah 59:2). Under the Old Testament Law or Covenant, sins were dealt with by blood sacrifices of atonement for sin (Leviticus 17:11), for without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sin (Hebrews 9:22). A blood sacrifice was God's way of dealing with sin. These blood sacrifices of the Old Testament signified several things:

  • They provided a covering for sin.
  • They showed the great cost of sin.
  • They were an exchange or substitution.
  • They were only always going to be a temporary measure as they pointed forward to Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross.

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The Solution!

However, the ultimate solution to sin was not the continual animal sacrifice of the Old Testament because the blood of animals was unable take away sin because they were only a veneer. That was why it was necessary to repeat time and time again! But those animal sacrifices pointed forward to a time when they would no longer be necessary! They pointed forward to the time when only through the Christ’s death on the cross, that sin would be taken away (Hebrews 9:11-15, 26-28) and not merely covered or coated!

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What has this to do with Jesus? We see in the Gospels how Jesus Christ was tempted and taunted by satan to disobey God to the extent of not going to his death on the cross. If Jesus had ever succumbed to temptation, and sinned against God in thought, word, action or inaction, then He Himself would have needed a Saviour. That is why Jesus is the perfect sacrifice – because he never sinned and he always did what He saw God the Father wanting Him to do. Because of the cross and resurrection alone, satan, death and sin have all lost their sting and have been vanquished. WOW!

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The Cross is a choice!

And there is yet more to the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ! All human beings, in their natural state, are born sinners and have rebelled against God (Romans 3:23). However, because of Jesus’ death on the cross, God offers forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7), Peace (Romans 5:1) and reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:19). Through the cross, humanity can choose to be made just before God (Romans 3:24-26) as it cleanses from sin (1 John 1:7) and makes humanity right before Almighty God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Because of the Cross, we can choose to have direct access to God (Ephesians 2:18) and Jesus Christ intercedes for us (Hebrews 2:17-18). Because of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, all those who choose to follow Him have freedom from slavery to sin (Galatians 5:1) and freedom from the power of the devil (Hebrews 2:14). None of the above things are true if you are not a follower of Jesus Christ.

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Ultimately the Cross brings you to a choice. You can accept the cross and therefore be guaranteed peace with God. The cross of Jesus Christ epitomises God’s glory. Jesus Christ, as the Son of God who was simultaneously fully God and fully human, died on a cross, taking on Himself the sins of the world, paying the greatest price, so that you can be restored into a peaceful relationship with God the Father. That is for all people, of all nations, ages, generations, statuses and gender. There is a price to pay for those seeking to be followers of Jesus Christ! They must surrender completely to Him, be prepared to identify with Him in suffering and death and be willing to follow Him obediently, wherever He leads.

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Jesus death on the cross was preached by the early church! That is also to be our message as church in the 21st century, but that was only part of their message! The second part of the message we will look at in the next of our series, “Consequences”! See you soon at Partakers!

~

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Born Again!

 

Come hear the explanation of today's WOW Word "Born Again"! It confused an ancient and educated Jewish leader, Nicodemus! It continues to confuse some people even today! Perhaps you? 

John 3:3-7 - Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.’ Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’ ‘How can someone be born when they are old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!’ Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, “You must be born again.”

 

 

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