Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

You can subscribe, assent or intellectually attach to a creed.  But a gospel is a message and it must be told.  We’ve been given a gospel, a message that is intended to be communicated to everyone.  That’s what Jesus said.  Yes we have creeds to govern the truth of that message but the essential thing is the message (truthfully held) and the continued proclamation of that message.  In the end our effectiveness as gospel bearers comes down to two main criteria: BELIEF and VALUE.  Let me explain.

It’s been raining a lot lately so let’s use rain as the analogy.  When it’s cloudy, the weather forecast says it’s going to rain and you start to feel the first few drops on your nose ( I think mine must stick out a way cause that’s where I usually feel it first) you believe it’s going to rain.  Your BELIEF is so strong that it causes you to act according to what you VALUE.  You value the dry clothes on the washing line so you bring them in off the line.  You value the upholstery in your car so you shut the windows.  If you’ve missed the rain for such a long time and it’s breaking the drought then you’ll probably go out in it and let it soak you to the skin (praise God for the rain).  You BELIEVE that it will rain, you BELIEVE that it is raining and you act on that BELIEF according to what you VALUE.

So back to the gospel.  The message that came to you.  God’s revelation of His purposes, His attitude and your only hope.  Let’s be more specific.  God told you that He is going to make it rain.  The storm is brewing.  The rain is judgement, fire and hell.  Devastating rain.  Jesus presents himself as the only fire proof umbrella, the only hope for you or anyone and you say you believe.  I say I believe.  But do I really believe?  Does it make you act on behalf of the things that you value?  Does it make you get out of your comfort zone and bring that message of  judgement and salvation to the sea of souls drowning all around you?  Does it make me pray about my neighbours, my family, my friends, my country, my leaders and ask for opportunities to tell them the message – to pass on the gospel?  Or do my actions prove what I really believe and value.  Does my obsession with what people think of me govern my words, the way I dress, who I hang out with?  Does my addiction to pleasure whether sinful or legitimate make me choose fun over edification and evangelism?  Does my insatiable appetite for comfort, security and ease drive me to spend every waking moment thinking how I might turn this conversation, or this activity or this person into another part of my ever expanding kingdom when really I should be thinking how I might turn all these opportunities to the service of my King Jesus.

What do you believe?   What do you value?

What are you going to do about it?

May we be humbled by God to see the weakness of our belief – the amazing grace of our saviour and the pressing needs of  everyone who has not heard the gospel.  It’s the most important message and if we believe it’s true, we need to tell it to those we value.

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OK – still looking for more of Easter? I don’t think u can get a much finer Easter Sunday message than this one on Luke 23:50 – 24:12.

  • Why is it so hard for people to believe Jesus is risen from the dead?
  • Why were the first witnesses a group of women?
  • Why did Jesus have to die and be risen again?
  • Are we foolishly seeking the living among the dead?    
     

These questions an more are answered in Fred Van Hulst’s Easter Sunday message.

A Jesus Category

Posted: November 9, 2007 by Daniel in Jesus, theology
Tags: , ,

I was reflecting on a recent conversation with my wife. She had been a part of a talk we had with someone and and I was shocked when she told me that I had not made explaining Jesus a big focus. I also came to think about the categories that we give posts on this blog – we don’t have a Jesus category. Well that has to change. When I think about it, it is often easier for me to explain what Jesus has done, instead of who Jesus is.

…the prism through which all light concerning God is reflected is Jesus Christ. This means that Christology is the beginning and the end, better, the starting point and summary, of all Christian thought. Christology is Paul’s theme when he writes, “For it is the very God who said. ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)… Christology is the subject of theology. More precisely put, Jesus Christ is the subject of theology. (more…)

In the bible we read Jesus repeatedly explaining himself to be the exclusive means of forgiveness. Jesus does not give room for any other paths to God. He is clear that things such as forgiveness, love, joy and heaven are found exclusively in him. According to Jesus any other ‘way’ is not a way at all but a sham; Jesus claims nothing less than exclusive authority and ability to save sinners. (Jn. 14.6; Mat. 7.13-14)

So to why is Jesus so narrow minded?

because there is only one God

The bible teaches that there are not many Gods but rather just one. And from this one God everything that has been made was made. This same God now sustains everything with his own power & sovereignty. People may claim that there are other Gods, however, God, in response, says that this is not true. God is intolerant of competition. (Is. 44.6-8; Acts 17.24-28)

because of the high standards of God

God has made everything for himself, to give him pleasure. His standard is inflexible. He demands absolute perfection. The way in which this shows itself is by loving him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. This is shown through passionate devotion & obedience to God.

Even the slightest variation from God’s design is rebellion & God views rebellion as worse than treason. The consequence for rebellion is death; expressed now in terms of death, sickness, and inability to earn his favor, and ultimately in terms of eternal condemnation. Where perfect love for God is lacking certain & relentless divine judgment is present. (Mat. 22.36-40; Rom. 3.23; Rom. 6.23; Col. 1.16; Jam. 2.10)

because it is the truth

Jesus himself being God is perfect & cannot lie. So we must remember that if Jesus said it then it is true! Jesus became a man to live here on earth. In his life he showed perfect & sinless love through obedience to God. Jesus is the only substitute for rebels. Our responsibility as humanity is to please God according to his standards (this we did not do), however, Jesus did.

And further Jesus also satisfied the inflexible justice of God by bearing the eternal judgment of God on the cross. Jesus distinguishes himself as the only one eligible to live perfectly and pay adequately for rebels who stand in God’s righteous crosshairs. (2 Cor. 14.6; Tit. 1.2; Heb. 1.3)

JESUS’ narrow MESSAGE for everyone

God was satisfied with Jesus work furnishing proof by raising him from the dead. Now Jesus commands his followers to tell everyone the glorious truth that he is the only Savior; the only one who is able to give rebels forgiveness, life, joy & heaven.

This forgiveness is not automatic like voting when we are 18; instead it comes by recognizing Jesus as king & ruler over our lives. In doing this we turn from rebellion (sin) & turn to Jesus (submission). It is this posture of submission to Jesus as king & following him as Lord that characterizes the Christian life & gives God pleasure.

While there is not room on Jesus’ narrow road for other saviors, there is room for everyone who will come to him for life. Jesus’ truth telling then shows him to not only be the exclusive Savior, but the loving Savior! (Jn. 14.6; Acts 17.30-31; 1 Tim. 2.5; Jn. 3.16-18)

This gospel presentation has been downloaded from Irish Calvinist. It is available as a free tract download. Thanks to Irish Calvinist for their ministry.