This Sunday @ Healingsprings fellowship

The incarnation provided the platform for the inauguration of Father’s Kingdom by Jesus.

Paul captures two themes on the subject in 2 Corinthians 5:19, where he posits that, “in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.”

First and foremost the role of Christ as the reconciler, bringing divinity into humanity. Secondly our role as the Church through the power of the Holy Spirit in the continuation of the work of reconciliation here on earth.

To this end Stanley Hauerwas argues that:

[t]he salvation promised in the good news is not a life free from suffering, free from servitude, but rather a life that freely suffers, that freely serves, because such suffering and service is the hallmark of the Kingdom established by Jesus. As Christians we do not seek to be free but rather to be of use, for it is only by serving that we discover the freedom offered by God. We have learned that freedom cannot be had by becoming “autonomous” – free from all claims except those we voluntarily accept – but rather freedom literally comes by having our self-absorption challenged by the needs of another. “ – After Christendom? 1991, pp 53-4

Join us this Sunday for my new series: God was in Christ.
This Sunday I will be laying some foundations to enable us build through sound knowledge. Over the coming weeks we will be examining Jesus in history and Jesus in Christian doctrine. This is with a view that we recover what has been lost, and review that which we have for the future and posterity of the faith and humanity.
3pm 

The Parish Hall 

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road, 

Sidcup, 

Kent DA14 6BX

The life I now live: flaws of religion

In Paul’s letter to friends in Galatia, he was stirred to make this profound statement:

We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law. But if, in our effort to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have been found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 1But if I build up again the very things that I once tore down, then I demonstrate that I am a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.

(Galatians 2:15-21 NRSV)

In light of recent debates with regards to Jihad and the Islamic agenda, it is fitting to have a quick look at Christianity’s recent history.

For instance: Protestants, Jews, and non-conformists were humiliated, persecuted, and tortured in utterly gruesome showcase events by church authorities in medieval times.

Believers were: killed, brutalised or imprisoned for meeting privately, or even trying to make the scriptures accessible to the common man.

Puritans who left the shores of Europe in search of spiritual freedom in America, became oppressors themselves, with record of genocide against the Indian population, not to mention slavery, and the most inhumane torture Africans suffered. The awful treatment and brutality against women and children also needs mentioning.

Sadly, these were all done based on the world view and legalistic interpretation of scriptures by ‘Christians’ not dissimilar to what we see in ‘radical Islam’ today. Therefore I submit to you dear friends that religion is the problem – hence Christ!

May the just truly live by faith and trust in Jesus’ finished work at Calvary. May we hold back from casting stones at people that do not agree with our view point. May we express love to all, regardless of faith, gender, background, sexual orientation, race, beliefs, or non-beliefs…

Amen.

2015: Our year of Indescribable and Glorious Joy!

Theme: 1 Peter 1:8-9 (NRSV)

8 Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

The Words of Our Elders: R.C. Sproul

The visible church may be distressingly and sorely fractured and fragmented into all different kinds of denominations and groups, but the invisible church is the true body of Christ. Everyone who is in Christ, and in whom Christ dwells, is a member of this one universal church.

~ R.C. Sproul

The words of our elders, are words of wisdom.

Spiritual Intelligence: Do Your Utmost To Come Before Winter

Be diligent to come to me quickly; for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.And Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come—and the books, especially the parchments.

Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works. You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words.

At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them.

But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve mefor His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!

Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick.

Do your utmost to come before winter.

Eubulus greets you, as well as Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brethren.

The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.

 

Leadership can be a lonely road sometimes… Perhaps one of the reasons why many do not stand-up to the challenge. A leader must gravitate towards the object of the call. Hence those that are called by God undergo a process of transformation even as they draw towards the One that has called. On this subject Paul wrote;

Follow me, as I follow Christ

This shows a chain of connectivity with Christ as his source and Paul (the leader) as the conduit. This of-course does not make him superior to his followers as we are called to serve one another, for the body functions to optimal capacity with each cell, tissue, and organ playing its role effectively – so also the church.

However this also poses a major problem as those closest to the leader are likely to run out of emotional and spiritual capital needed to respond to this pull as things get tougher, or as the heat increases. Little wonder why Paul mentioned his experience with Alexander and Demas, as he beckoned on Timothy to come before winter in my opening scripture.

The Rabbi Himself suffered doubt from his cousin John, evident as he sent his disciples to verify His messianic credentials. This is the same John that heralded;

Behold the lamb of John that takes away the sins of the world

Even Peter denied him thrice during His passion.

Friends I pray this morning for strength, determination and courage to withstand and overcome the opposing tides of our time. To stand-up and be counted when it matters most. To be a beacon of hope in a lost world. And to help reclaim the kingdom once again. So help us God. Amen.

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~ Sabali