In the past, God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by His Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom we made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.
Hebrews 1:1-4 [NIV]
- Jesus is the final and definitive revelation of God and all reality to us.
- When we sing to Jesus, we are singing to the Creator of all things.
- When God wanted to reveal what he was like, Jesus was the answer – we see Jesus, we see God, as God wanted us to see him and know him.
- He is the one who continues to keep all things going right now, this very instant, including the breath in my lungs to utter a phrase or the movement in my fingertips to type these words.
- He did the work of sacrifice to overcome the train-wreck that I made and continue to make of honouring God, when he died for my sins on the cross and rose again from the dead.
“To imagine that Jesus merely rehashes some general ethical principles of benevolence and altruism is a fantasy. According to him, our ‘hearts’ (ie.what drives our inner self) are broken, and can only be renewed as we ‘come to our senses’ and find our Father again (Luke 15:11-32). He dreams of us entering a new ‘kingdom’, where all orbit joyfully around his Father. His life’s work begins to make that dream a reality.”
Andrew Cameron, Joined-up Life (Nottingham: IVP, 2011), 92.
Aslan on the Stone Table.
One thing that has puzzled me ever since I went to church as a teenager was the line I used to say in the Apostle’s Creed: “He descended into hell”. When I said this, my mind was filled with all sorts of fantastic images of Jesus plummeting through the earth on Easter Saturday to a place where the devil lived and where the fire burned continually. I didn’t really know what it meant, but I was happy to say it, because, after all, it was in the creed that the apostles had written, right?
It came as a surprise to me in more recent years to find out that:
- the apostles didn’t actually write that creed
- people have felt comfortable about replacing the line “he descended into hell” with “he descended to the dead”; and
- at least one scholar within the evangelical ranks, Wayne Grudem, had called for the line to be removed altogether!1
I felt that perhaps it was time to have a closer look at the idea of Jesus’ descent into hell. Let’s look at what the Bible says.
[Read the rest of this article I wrote for The Briefing in their Library here]
Filed under Jesus, videos
Starting this Sunday, my church is seeking to connect with out community with the message of Jesus. We’ve called the week, ‘No Perfect People Allowed’
We’ve chosen this theme and this title because there remains a common misconception that a church is a place where people, who think they are better or more moral than everyone else, gather to look down upon the rest of the world. Maybe you’ve experienced a church, or people who go to church, who are like that.
Nothing could be further from the message and intentions of Jesus himself. It is true that Jesus made some radical demands of anyone who would follow him. It is true that he taught that those who would want to be a part of the kingdom of God that they must ‘be perfect’
. But then, the tax collector who had cheated all of his countrymen, and the prostitute who sold her body and its intimacy to countless men, and the not-so-bright fisherman, and the murderer of the early church and its leaders – all these far-from-perfect-people found a place in Jesus’ eternal kingdom.
How could that be? Come along during the week and find out, and hear the best news you’ll ever hear.
You can check out more about the week and what’s happening at the dedicated website, noperfectpeopleallowed.net.au
. If you live in the Hills, love to see you there. I’ll be one of the non-perfect ones who are part of the crowd.
Filed under church, Jesus
Having seen MJ’s wordle of his thesis on martyrdom, and read then JM’s theory that a sermon should perhaps have ‘Jesus’ as it’s biggest feature in a Wordle map, I thought I would give my last sermon, on Romans 7, a Wordle treatment. Here’s the results (clikc for a larger image):
But, I have 2 qualifications:
1. This was taken of my typed transcipt – there were additional hand scrawled notes on the manuscript I actually preached off! (and I’m sure some of those would have mentioned Jesus…)
2. I read lots of the text in my sermon, and, lets face it, out of 25 verses, ‘Jesus’ is only mentioned once. And law is mentioned, well, quite a bit!
At least ‘Christ’ is up there amongst the big boys!
This is a new venture founded by John Dickson and Greg Clarke, well worth checking out!
I’ve added their site to the links.