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Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

The Sin Problem

October 16th, 2018
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The Day of Atonement pictures the role of the high priest in removing our sins and bringing us into the oneness of God..

First look at the problem of sin and how the Bible defines it..

The Bible project has a video on Sin. To view please click here.

Sin is an unsolvable problem for humans. We see that as each government ultimately fails and someone else tries to create the good society.

The book of Hebrews shows that even the beautiful religious system of Israel was inadequate to overcome sin.

There is an exciting chapter in Hebrews 10 which reveals God’s solution to our problem.

It is centred on the events of the Day of Atonement – the holiest day in which the holiest person went into the holiest place. It reveals God’s new way to him.

It also contains an encouragement to enter this oneness and a warning about not treating carelessly this grace of God.

Read Hebrews 10.

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John8(4b) -God’s Freedom

September 19th, 2018
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A lot of people believed in Jesus.

As we saw last time Jesus explains what it means to be a true disciple.

John8:31-36

31 To the Jews who had believed him,
Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.

But then he makes this dramatic statement

32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’

Jesus reveals that he is the one in whom people find true freedom. When he made
this statement, it was of great offense to the Jewish leaders.

33 They answered him, ‘We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?’

This revealed how the Jews had become so deceived, so proud of their heritage as descendents of Abraham, that they denied the fact that they had been enslaved to the Egyptians, the Babylonians, Perians , the Greeks, and that at that time they were under Roman occupation.

But Jesus had a deeper slavery in mind.

34 Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it for ever.
36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

As we showed last time knowing Christ is about holding onto his teaching. It receiving who he claims to be. Jesus, the crucified and risen, living Lord of the universe, is the source and content of real freedom in our life.

Jesus is offering us true freedom. How can he do this? You can only give what you have.

We could say that freedom is the opposite of deception, bondage to death and slavery to sin. But that’s what it isn’t. But what is it?

Jesus wants us to be really free. Freedom in its deepest and fullest meaning. Somehow we sense it has to be associated with being in God’s family forever.

Now God is absolutely and perfectly free. What this means is that there is a total absence of any outside constraints or force or limitations on God whenever God acts — for God, freedom is absolute.

But as we will see he is motivated by who he is: a being in loving relationships. He cannot be untrue to who he is.

So lets look briefly at God’s freedom.

God is free to be who he is.

Exodus 3:14

God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: “I am has sent me to you.”’

 Or I will be what I will be
Or I will do what I will do in the history of Israel and the world.  With the implication that you can know who I am by what I do in your story. There is no slippage in God: His doing is the same as his being.

God is the source and cause of all being and existence. He brings everything into being without anything bringing him into being. He is pure Being, that “Is-ness” from which all other being flows. All things depend upon him for their existence, and he depends upon nothing for his existence.

He can and does change as he, in his uncreated freedom, chooses to change. He cannot be forced to change by anything outside himself, as though he were a created being.

But in his divine freedom, God can, of himself, change and feel.

When God created the whole of existence, God was not limited by any environmental constraints or material constraints in how God created things.

God’s absolute freedom also exists on an even more fundamental level. He could have created everything different from how it currently is. God also had the freedom not to create anything at all. God was not required in any fashion to create existence.Time and space did not have to exist.

Instead, creation was a free choice made by God because it fulfilled some desire or purpose of God.

He is free to create the universe and humanity and interact with them in whatever way pleases him.

And what pleases him is to be faithful to and with his creation.

Our freedom to be who we are in Christ is not a freedom that we have simply by virtue of existing. It is a freedom given to us by God, entrusted to us, and dependent upon God’s own freedom to give it to us.

Lets see this freedom of God revealed to us in Christ.

In his eternal peace, God is not depressed, confused, worried, or bowled over by human sin, tragedy and disaster. After all, he knows his power and purpose and what he is bringing out of it all.

In other words, the universe is not “on its own.” While there is indeed “cause and effect,” “cause and effect” is not all there is. While the universe functions according to general rules laid out by its Creator, it is not detached from its Creator’s free and gracious will and creatively sustaining presence.

In other word there is more happening than just the laws off physics.

God delighted to make things in such a way that they bump and collide their way through what we might call a sort of “randomly ordered” existence. Even our lives are subject to what we call “time and chance,”

Yet we believe, as Christians, that these very real, and often painful upsets of “time and chance” are the mysterious and gracious means through which our loving Father brings us out of darkness into his marvelous light.

The God of the Bible has no problem with changing whenever he decides to, and he remains perfect and perfectly God all the while. He haggled with Abraham over the fate of Sodom, agreeing to change his plan under certain conditions .

God changed his mind about saving the Israelites when they started worshiping the calf at Mount Sinai, then allowed Moses to talk him out of killing them all and starting the whole plan over with Moses’ children.

He accommodated himself to Israel’s desire for a king (1 Samuel 8). He changed his plan regarding wicked King Ahab’s punishment.

“Wait a minute. What about the verse that says, `For I the Lord do not change’? (Malachi 3:6)

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Message for the Day

John8(4a)

September 18th, 2018
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You may remember that last time we finished with

John 8:30

 Even as he spoke, many believed in him.

Was this a true faith or one that is found wanting throughout John?

Well Jesus confronts this himself. Jesus defines who is a real disciple.

John8:31

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.

Other translations have abiding or continuing in my word.

Notice to whom this is said.

Something is going to happen that makes Jesus say later that some of these believers are not believing. Look at verse 45: “But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.”

So he begins this section by saying: If you abide in my word or hold to my teaching, you are the real deal. You really believe. You are really born again. You have passed from darkness to light. You will not die in your sins. You are no longer children of the devil, but children of God.

Lets analyze what Jesus said. We all want to be true disciples.

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