Monday, 30 May 2011

Truth and Lies All Mixed Up

What would you say if someone showed you this. To be sure there is truth in here, but it's mixed up with so much misconception. Unravelling it is quite a task:

A Thought on The Great Marriage

It's interesting to note that when God makes his salvation promise to the human race after the fall in the Garden of Eden, he doesn't include Adam, he only includes Eve (Gen.3:15). Why is that?

This isn't because God is giving Adam the cold shoulder treatment, rather he is pictorially presenting a spiritual truth, namely, that Adam is (spiritually) dead. He can no longer bring life and health to the human race. Yes, he and Eve will have children, but his offspring will be spiritual stillborns and will not inherit eternal life. If they want eternal life, Adam, Eve and their descendants will have to seek it from a source other than their biological father.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Sibbes' Prayer

I found this prayer of Richard Sibbes (1577–1635), quoted in the introduction to Ron Frost's doctoral dissertation, which Dave Bish kindly forwarded to me recently. I've copied and pasted it here and attempted to keep the style whilst "bridging the language gap" for the sake of those reading this who are not familiar with ye olde Englishe, (e.g. those in our church family whose first language is not the same as mine). I apologise in advance for anything lost / disfigured in the bridging process. :-)
Gracious and holy Father who has...

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Jonathan is a Type of John the Baptist

Jonathan, the son of Saul, is, unlike his father, quite a man of God. He sees what God is doing and rather than getting in the way, he does all he can to ensure it comes to pass. As I've pondered this, I'm beginning to think that Jonathan's life be a prophetic picture (a type) of John the Baptist. Here's a comparison, by no means exhaustive - feel free to comment with observations:

They are both born into a royal household.
Jonathan, the son of King Saul - 1Sam.14:40
John the Baptist, tenuous I know, but related as a cousin of Jesus who was a direct descendent of King David - Lk.1:35-36

Friday, 20 May 2011

Am I Antichrist or Just Struggling With Sin?

A friend of mine told me that in their lifegroup discussion of the recent sermon I preached, they discussed the difference between someone who is antichrist, and someone who is struggling with sin. It's an important distinction to make. If, as a Christian, I give in to sin, does that mean my heart is antichrist?

These kinds of of discussions can be fraught with difficulty and need a lot of pastoral wisdom and my desire is to comfort the disturbed, but also disturb the comfortable. So, given that my sermon threw up the discussion point, here is a slightly more thought out version of what I might have said, had I been in on the coversation...

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Looking Forwards Not Backwards

A spin off meditation from Sunday's sermon:

I know it's stating the obvious, but no one drives anywhere by looking into the rear view mirror, for the simple reason they will soon hurt themselves (and others) or if they're really unlucky, kill themselves (and others).

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The Wheat and the Weeds

At last night's Biblical Thinking Forum, we talked about how God's people have always been in conflict with Satan's people. It was a great session - possibly my favourite from the year so far! I think people are beginning to understand the way my quirky mind works! ;-)

Here is a copy of the handout - feel free to steal / rehash etc as appropriate.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Forsaken the World : Rooted in Christ

Sermon Notes on 1 John 2:15-27.

John has been going through some tests whereby Christians can see if their confession of faith is genuine and also see who is trying to lead them astray into a false gospel. Here are two more: 1. How you love the world, 2. How you discern and deal with the antichrist.

Do not love the world (v15-17)
Love of the world and love for God are mutually exclusive, (Luke 16:13): “No servant can serve two masters, but there’s more to it than that – if we love the world, the Father’s love is not in us. We’re not really saved.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Clothing Share

Something a bit different from the Bible in a year plan... (If you want to hear more on Saul and David, come to the next Biblical Thinking Forum.)

Psalm 104:2 talks about how Israel's God - Jehovah - wraps himself in a garment of light. Clothing in the Bible is less to do with avoiding lust and shame, (something that the legalists and moralists would lead you to believe) and more to do with glorification, authority and position.

So that the LORD is wrapped in light in this Psalm is not because he is feeling exposed, but because he is highly exalted and truly glorious!

Having recently read Ruth, my mind went straight back to the moment when Ruth asked Boaz to spread his garment over her (Ruth 3:9) i.e. to become her kinsman redeemer and marry her. Boaz duly and speedily did so. That is a picture of Christ and his church.

The garment of righteousness Christ gives to his church is not so much one that she walks off with, but one that she joins him inside. The two become one flesh - wrapped up in glorious holy light - united together forever - Rev.7:15 - in the kingdom of Christ and his Father.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Jesus - Time and Eternity United As One

In his book Beyond Smells and Bells, Galli quotes Pope Benedict XVI (before he became pope). The Scripture refs are my own insertion:

Cosmic time, which is determined by the sun, becomes a representation of human time, [Eccl.6:12] which moves towards union of God and the world, [Rom.8:21-22] of history and the universe, of matter and spirit - in a word, towards the New City whose light is God himself. Thus time becomes eternity and eternity is imparted to time.[2Cor.5:4]

Galli picks up the significance of this with reference to the incarnation - the Son of God becoming like one of us - when he says:

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Beginnings of Promise

1 Samuel 9-10

I find Saul a tragic, but fascinating character. He begins with such promise, but ends in such ignominy. How can one do that? Especially when God is in control? There are loads of things I don't understand. This is one of them.

Rather than say anything more, I'll repost something I wrote 18 months ago, It's my best guess to date at trying to understand how it could all go so terribly wrong...

Premature Kingship

1 Samuel 5-8

Often sin is not taking the wrong thing, but taking the right thing at the wrong time. It was always God's intention to share his divine nature with us (2Pet.1:4), but Adam grasped for it at the wrong time, he didn't want to wait for God's appointed time (Gen.3:6).

When Moses gave the Israelites the Law, he said they would have a king, (Deut.17:15) but they now demand this good thing the at the wrong time and with the wrong motives.

Monday, 2 May 2011

To AV or not to AV?

I can't in all honesty say I have wrestled over the question if AV vs FPTP, but I have pondered it a little with the help of these guys, had brief chats with friends who know a lot more than I do and come to a conclusion in time for Thursday's referendum. I'll let you guess what it is. :-)


Judges 3-4

It would appear, according to Samuel's opening comment that appearances of the Son of God were not common in this period of Israel's history. He was no doubt so appalled at the spiritual adultery of his people and especially his priests that he withdraws from them.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Hannah and Mary both Top of the Pops

It is certainly possible that Samson (Jud.13:24) and Samuel were contemporaries, James Jordan thinks so.

Both Hannah, who gave birth to the great judge and deliverer, Samuel, and Mary who gave birth to the true and better Samuel aka Jesus sing about the birth of their sons.

One can't help but feel Mary had studied Hannah's song before she thought up her own with the help of the Spirit. Hannah sings: