Revolution of Easter

Chapter 13

Good Monday Morning to this week 13 of 2021

“The message of Easter is that God’s new world has been unveiled in Jesus Christ and that you’re now invited to belong to it.”  N. T. Wright

a few more thoughts of the book “Surprised by Hope”

Let’s go back to the ancient Jewish expectation, which is rooted in Daniel and in the Psalms and Isaiah, that one day God Himself would come back and would overthrow the powers that have been running the world.

This is the great revolution, which like revolutions of our own day, is all about people who have been chafing under alien rule and feel their lives being squashed and crushed when they suddenly find that someone has done something to overthrow the tyrant.

That is precisely what happened when Jesus died on the cross. The “revolution” was secret for two and half days because it was only with Jesus’ resurrection that anyone could look back at His cross and say, “He’s defeated sin so the power of sin, the power of evil, has been overthrown.”

Easter a genuinely revolutionary movement that happened.

Easter commands us to think about a non-corruptible physicality, about a physical world that isn’t subject to decay and death anymore.

How about another angle to celebrating Easter? We could do in creative new ways: in art, literature, children’s games, poetry, music, dance, festivals, bells, special concerts, anything that comes to mind. This is our greatest festival. Take Christmas away, and in biblical terms you lose two chapters at the front of Matthew and Luke, nothing else. Take Easter away, and you don’t have a New Testament; you don’t have a Christianity; as Paul says, you are still in your sins…

…if Lent is a time to give things up, Easter ought to be a time to take things up. Christian holiness was never meant to be merely negative…. The forty days of the Easter season, until the ascension, ought to be a time to balance out Lent by taking something up, some new task or venture, something wholesome and fruitful and outgoing and self-giving. But if you really make a start on it, it might give you a sniff of new possibilities, new hopes, new ventures you never dreamed of. It might bring something of Easter into your innermost life. It might help you wake up in a whole new way. And that’s what Easter is all about.”

Wishing you a blessed start into this new week!

Philemon

Omnis Sciptura divinitus inspirata

Chapter 12

Good Monday Morning to this week 12 of 2021

Omnis Scriptura divinitus inspirata ….

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2. Timothy 3.16

A few thoughts from Peter Enns : The Bible Tells Me So

If your dominant vision of God is of a sovereign king, enthroned above, who communicates to his subjects through written decrees mediated to inspired men borne along by God’s spirit to insure the accuracy of the divine oracles, you will likely describe the Bible as necessarily: historically accurate, logically consistant, self-evidently divine, inerrant, fully and absolutely authoritative in all it teaches.

Passages, such as 2 Tim 3:16, are elevated as a super-authoritative standard that trumps any alleged “evidence” to the contrary.

Perhaps it is not the view of God that yields the expectation of Scripture, but the need for a certain type of Scripture that yields a particular view of God.

Ot maybe a little of both?

Either way, our view of God and our view of the Bible go hand in hand—paying attention to the one will always tell us something about the other.

The Bible presents a variety of points of view about God and what it means to walk in his ways. This stands to reason, since the biblical writers lived at different times, in different places, and wrote for different reasons. In reading the Bible we are watching the spiritual journeys of people long ago. Jesus, like other Jews of the first century, read his Bible creatively, seeking deeper meaning that transcended or simply bypassed the boundaries of the words of scripture. Where Jesus ran afoul of the official interpreters of the Bible of his day was not in his creative handling of the Bible, but in drawing attention to his own authority and status in doing so. A crucified and resurrected messiah was a surprise ending to Israel’s story.

This is the Bible we have, the Bible where God meets us. Not a book kept at a safe distance from the human drama. Not a fragile Bible that has to be handled with care lest it crumble in our hands. Not a book that has to be defended 24/7 to make sure our faith doesn’t dissolve. In other words, not an artificially well-behaved Bible that gives false comfort, but the Holy Bible, the Word of God, with wrinkles, complexities, unexpected maneuvers, and downright strangeness. This is the Bible God has given his people. This Bible is worth reading and paying attention to, because this is the Bible God uses, as he always has, to point its readers to a deeper trust in him.

We are free to walk away from this invitation, of course, but we are not free to make a Bible in our own image. What the Bible looks like is God’s call, not ours.

Wishing you a creative handling of your spiritual journey this week.

Philemon

When the Kindness appeared

Chapter 11

Good Monday Morning to this week 11 of 2021

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared Titus 3.4 following to 7

The power source is the transforming love of three in one God announced in the gospel.
Apostle Paul wrote a very beautiful poem to help us UNDERSTAND IT.

****************
When the KINDNESS and LOVE

of GOD our Savior appeared,

He SAVED US

Not because of our right behavior,

But because of His mercy

We were saved through the WASHING

of REBIRTH and RENEWAL

Through the HOLY SPIRIT,

Whom God poured out on us through

JESUS  the Messiah, Our Saviour.

And so we are DECLARED RIGHTEOUS

By His G R A C E

And become heirs

of the HOPE of ETERNAL LIFE

*****************

Wishing you week filled with the kindness and love
of God!

Philemon

Justified Equality

Chapter 10

Good Monday Morning to this week 10 of 2021

But above a servant, a brother beloved. Philemon 1.16

Philemon is a one page letter, the shortest book of the Bible.

Onesimus is a metaphor for us all.

This letter mainly concerns a slave named Onesimus who belonged to
Philemon and, at one time, had been rather useless; but after being with Paul and
receiving the gospel, was changed and became useful.

Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Forgive as the Lord forgave.

Christianity is a faith which erases ethnicity, social distinctions, employment status, etc. All are equal in Christ and must be treated as brothers and sisters.

Christ forgave us everything, and welcomed us in as equal brothers and sisters we are one in Jesus.

So this onus is for us, now that we are all “useful”.

The power of the gospel will and can transform a person from useless into useful, from someone with a slave mentality to a son and daughter, to a brother and sister in the family of God. Christ alone can work these holy transformations, changing a temporal servitude into an eternal brotherhood

And that, my friends, is why this little “book” is such an important part of our Bible.

Wishing you a good start to this week in this concept of justified equality.

Philemon

Hide in His faithfulness

Chapter 9

Good Monday Morning to this week 9 of 2021

How does one find and write about “only one” verse to write about in Hebrews? There is so much wisdom shown in and through this book.

And now we have run into his heart to hide ourselves in his faithfulness. This is where we find his strength and comfort, for he empowers us to seize what has already been established ahead of time—an unshakeable hope! 19 We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God himself. Our anchor of hope is fastened to the mercy seat Hebrews 6. 18-19 TPT

The consolation (comfort after loss, disappointment or distress), received from God, is strong enough to support us, His people, under their heaviest trials. Here is a refuge for all who flee to the mercy of God according to the covenant of grace, laying aside all other confidences.

Though we be as ship at sea, tossed up and down and in danger of being cast away, we need an anchor to keep us sure and steady. First we experience his consolation as we hide in his faithfulness. Out of this place of protection, tent of his faithfulness we find, this certain hope, strong and unbreakable, as an anchor in the storms of this time empowering us to seize what is promised and lies ahead of us.

Wishing a very good start to this week!

Philemon