A flashlight is a very handy tool when the lights go out. With it, you can find your way safely in the dark. Yet when standing in the warm brilliance of the sunlight, the flashlight become completely unnecessary. If fact, one who chooses a flashlight over the sun would be considered… misguided.
That is exactly what we’re talking about this week. Through the first 5 chapters of the book of Romans, Paul lays our human hopes bare, pointing us to the truth. And this is the truth, that to live by faith leads to a sure hope and eternal community with God through Christ. Holding on to our hereditary past in Adam, is like saying that the flashlight is the best thing in existence. To turn, by faith, and follow Christ is even better than stepping into the shining brilliance of the noon day sun. It is stepping to the light of the eternal, one and only Son, Jesus!
There are a few inescapable questions we all have to answer in this life. Some questions are easy to answer, some questions take a bit of thought, some questions create anxiety within us and some questions just flat out confound us.
Jesus asked the disciples a very pointed question part way through his ministry with them. The question Jesus asked was this: “Who do you say I am?” There were many theories going around as to who Jesus was. Was he John the Baptist reincarnated? Was he Elijah returning from heaven? Was he some other prophet? Peter’s response to this question was that he was the Christ, the Messiah, the anointed one. That is the inescapable question that all of us will answer at one point or another.
This is a question to which there is only one acceptable answer. What Jesus goes on to explain to the disciples, is that the answer to that question will shape your life. Jesus explains that to declare him as Christ; we must deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him.
DId you know that Jesus had a favorite way of referring to himself? As you read through the gospels, you will find 81 times where Jesus is referred to as the “Son of Man”. Christians have often taught that this referred to his humanity and the name “Son of God” referred to his divinity. But as you study this through the Old Testament, you find that the title “Son of Man” is more often used of the divine. So what was Jesus referring to when He used this title of himself and how does this shape our lives as we seek to follow him?
In this sermon we will see how the title “Son of Man” links Jesus to the divine saviour who was prophesied of in Daniel 7 and how he came to show servanthood and humility. These two attributes would shape his kingdom and would serve as a template for his disciples who would follow him.
The most famous verse in the bible finds itself set within a passage that speaks plainly about God’s love and His wrath. In the pre-Christian era, the gods were deities that were meant to be feared. Mankind did all kinds of crazy things to ward off the wrath of the gods. The gods were only wrath and no love. In modern times, we are more comfortable with a god of only love who loves in a way that we want Him to love. Wrath, fury and condemnation are not words we want to use to describe God.
What we see in this famous passage is that God’s wrath is real and it is loving. The wrath of God and the love of God meet in a beautiful and perfect plan on the cross. It is a perfect plan because it allows God’s wrath to be poured out and satisfied without destroying all of mankind and creation. Now we stand as recipients of this greatest act of love, a love that could have only been secured by the perfect Son of God. Will you believe?
Throughout the gospels, we see the word “Lord” being used in a variety of circumstances. It was used to refer to an owner, a master, an emperor and even a title of courtesy. But then Thomas the disciple meets Jesus after his resurrection and he declares, “My Lord and my God.” And from that moment on, the New Testament and Christians only refer to God and Jesus as “Lord”.
What does it mean to call Jesus our Lord and not just our Saviour? This appears to be a very relevant question that bears with it the weight of eternity. At the end of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, he tells us that not everyone who calls out “Lord, Lord will be saved.” What does he mean by that?Jesus begins to unpack this by ending his sermon with a parable that many of us know well; the parable of the wise and foolish builder. In this sermon, we look at the difference between these two builders and why one builders work stood firm and the other builders work was utterly destroyed.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have been alive when Jesus walked the earth? Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to follow him as he walked the earth as a rabbi?
Is Jesus still our rabbi today?
The short answer is yes, Jesus is still our rabbi today. The fact that Jesus is still our rabbi has two practical applications for our life.
1. We need to continue to be discipled by Jesus
2. We need to make disciples of Jesus.
The big question people often have is how? How do we make disciples? Four things we can learn from Jesus' example are:
1. Model your spiritual life
2. Don't pretend to be perfect
3. Humbly invite others into your life
4. Be committed to life transformation, not just knowledge growth.
Listen to hear us unpack these things.
Behold the Lamb of God - John 1:29
Looking at a man, in appearance like any other standing there, John points to him and says, “Behold, the Lamb of God, come to take away the sin of the world.” I can only imagine the absolutely silence as this radically iconoclastic statement slammed into the crowd. A lamb in the form of a man? Human sacrifice was simply not practiced. He was a lamb provided by God himself? And even if the sacrifice is legit, it takes away the sin of more than just the Israelite people?
Jesus, consistently, completely, and often controversially, shatters our known world only to stoop down and reform the pieces into something of infinite, reflective beauty.
Listen to 3 stories of God preparing his people, preparing them through the use of reflective symbols, helping them to see that one day, they themselves.... we.... would be all about reflecting him!
Have you ever stopped to think about those sounds we make thousands of times a day, sounds to communicate, sounds laced with symbolism? What is a word… really? At the most basic level, words are symbols for ideas. We use a word to illicit an idea in someone else. When my wife asks me to pick up milk at the store, she says “milk” and I understand what she means. But the word for milk is different in every language, so the english word and the object are not a necessary link. I suppose she could say "우유 주세요," and if I spoke Korean I would still show up with milk. Yet when we begin communicating beyond the basics, there is always a risk of misunderstanding, because we almost always filter what we say and what we hear, through our emotions, past hurts, and ongoing struggles.
So when God speaks to us using words, words through which to know him, he left nothing up to subjective interpretation. The Word of God is not just a sound linked to an idea, the Word of God is a person… Jesus! Why does this matter to us today? Well, listen and find out!
Our Podcast can be found on: