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Posted on Dec 24, 2015

Jesus was before he came

Jesus was before he came

John 18:37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”  The words, “I came into the world” indicate that Jesus is telling Pilate that he existed outside of the world before he entered into it. Jesus is telling Pilate before I came into this world I was a king, now it does not look as though I am a king, but I have come to testify to the truth. Before Jesus came into the world, before he was born, the person; the spirit; the essence of Jesus, existed. He wasn’t in the body he had when he was born, but from eternity past he has existed. He is the alpha and the omega – the first and the last. He is without beginning or end. He is uncreated and all things depend on him,...

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Posted on Dec 23, 2015

A Christmas saying

A Christmas saying

1 Timothy 1:15-17 “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” A lot of things will be said this Christmas; lots of conversation exchanged with family and friends no doubt. Some will be good and others not so. Which is all the more reason to have a trustworthy saying at our disposal, and Paul has one for the occasion. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”. This is the most straight forward and yet the most glorious reason for Jesus’ birth. Jesus came into this world of sin to save his enemies from destruction. Is...

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Posted on Dec 22, 2015

God’s glory visible

God’s glory visible

2 Corinthians 4:6 “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” One of the amazing things about the incarnation of God is that we have the benefit of being able to see in human terms what God is like. The massive gulf that exists between us as natural and God as supernatural means it’s difficult for us to understand the nature of God’s glory.  This text tells us that God’s glory is displayed in the face of Chist. In other words, Jesus as the exact representation of God, bridges the comprehension gap for us. We all need knowledge of God’s glory. Knowledge of God’s glory is light to our souls. When it is missing our souls are empty, but when God’s glory shines in our hearts then our souls are filled. The point for this Christmas is that the knowledge of God’s glory...

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Posted on Dec 21, 2015

Mission: Fulfill

Mission: Fulfill

Matthew 5:17-18 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” When it comes to thinking about why Jesus came into the world; why he was born; why God decided to become incarnate, we can’t afford to ignore the reasons he directly gives. This text is one of those examples. Jesus gives a reason for his coming by highlighting what he didn’t come for to begin with. What he didn’t come to do was to abolish the law and the prophets, but on the contrary, he came to fulfil them! What does he mean? When he speaks of the law and the prophets he speaks of the first or old covenant that God established with the people of Israel. Now...

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Posted on Dec 20, 2015

Jesus: hope of the world

Jesus: hope of the world

John 3:17-18 “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” We know, because the bible tells us, that when Jesus comes to this world the second time, he is coming to judge the living and the dead (2 Tim 4:1). But this text in the gospel of John is clear, Jesus did not come into the world the first time to condemn. Far from it, he came to do the opposite – to free people from condemnation. Condemnation has at least two connotations. The first is that of intense disapproval or censure. The second is the passing of sentence as punishment for crimes committed.  Jesus’ ministry certainly included disapproval and censure of the sins he saw people committing, but his purpose on earth wasn’t to punish those...

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Posted on Dec 19, 2015

Shine Jesus shine

Shine Jesus shine

Isaiah 60:1-3 “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” This prophetic passage is pregnant with anticipation. It directs us to wake up out of our Christmas slothfulness and in radiant joy acknowledge the coming of the Light of the World. Christmas is full of revelry, but Isaiah commends us to revel in the best possible way; to revel in the rising of the glory of the Lord. Jesus’ birth is God’s glory rising like the first rays of dawn and we are meant to be blown away by the sight of it. Tim Peake said yesterday, that the thing that surprised him most about space was the deep deep darkness of it. That’s what Isaiah has in mind when he speaks of...

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Posted on Dec 18, 2015

Overthrow

Overthrow

1 John 3:8 “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” The devil works we are told by John. We ought not to think the devil is benign. He is not; he is a roaring lion; he is on the prowl; he looks to devour. And the way that he devours is by enticing his subjects to indulge in sin with an insatiable appetite and undiminishing delight. He moulds his people after himself, he’s been sinning without ceasing from the beginning we’re told. The devil is a created being on a mission and nothing can cause him to deviate from his purpose, he is transfixed with the idea that he can usurp God, and he fashions his followers to do the same. John tells us that Jesus appeared to deal with this issue. He appeared to destroy the devil’s work once and for all....

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Posted on Dec 17, 2015

Gloria in excelsis deo

Gloria in excelsis deo

Philippians 2:9-11 “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Jesus laying his glory aside by becoming a man and being considered striken and afflicted for our sakes might look to us all very weak. After all it’s not the Hollywood hero plot we’re used to. It’s rather mean and lowly it would seem. Surely there are more dramatic ways that God could have devised to redeem his people. But it’s not like that at all; anybody who thinks that, can’t have considered these verses. Here we discover that the manifestation of God’s glory is also in the exaltation of Jesus. Now, for Jesus to be exalted He had to be debased to begin with. In other words without the humbling of Jesus –...

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Posted on Dec 16, 2015

Glory to God in the highest!

Glory to God in the highest!

John 12:27-28 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” These are the words of the Lord Jesus, spoken out of the anguish of His soul in the hours preceding His death. And although they are about His impending sacrifice upon the cross, yet they point us back to the reason why He came in the first place. The last advent thought focused on this question also: why did God have to become a man? Here Jesus tells us another aspect of the reason that He came, and He couldn’t have said it more starkly. Should I say, ‘Father save me? No!’ Jesus didn’t come to potentially die, he came to shed blood and tear flesh for the sake of His people. But to what end you might ask? And here we have the crux of it: to glorify the name of the Father. What does he mean?...

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Posted on Dec 15, 2015

Jesus simply had to become a man

Jesus simply had to become a man

Hebrews 2:14-15 “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” We might find it strange that God refers to Himself as having children – “since the children have…“, but it is true God does have children. He has people whom He has adopted for himself to receive an inheritance as His own sons and daughters. His children are made of the same stuff all people are – flesh and blood, but crucially they are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God – that’s what makes them different! We’re told in the text, that the precise reason for Jesus’ incarnation; for his being made a human being, is that we have flesh and blood – in other words, because we do, he had to also. He had to share in our humanity, but...

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