Today @ Healingsprings fellowship

For the Jewish authorities, the embarrassment, excruciating pain, and suffering that hallmark’s crucifixion was meant to bring the activities of a fringe group, following a little known Rabbi called Jesus to an end.

For the followers of Jesus, his arrest and subsequent death would have meant that their messianic hopes had been dashed. God had not shown up to vindicate their leader, and only hope against the scourge of the Roman authorities, and the oppression of their corrupt and short sighted religious leaders.

Jesus had died only because he was “a friend of sinners”. For the Jewish leaders, he was messing up their religious and philosophical foundations. Sinners should be Exiled from the community, in other instances, killed.

But who were these sinners? Those within their community that didn’t measure up to their incredibly high standards. The lepers, widows, orphans, poor, Samaritans, divorced, and those in debt. Even amongst these people, not all believed in Jesus. A lot had given up all hopes, hence the reason why they chose Barabbas instead of Jesus. The wealthy and those from nobility were righteous. To a very large extent this is still the case. The time and setting might have changed, but the mind set is still the same.

His followers were lost completely unsure of their future until his appearance at various locations, following his resurrection.

To this end, I will be exploring Jesus’ Crucifixion with a view to recapture it’s essence, and strengthen us as we anticipate his Second Coming.

Join us for the series: God was in Christ.

3pm – 4:30pm

The Parish Hall

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road,

Sidcup,

Kent DA14 6BX

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Today @ Healingsprings fellowship

Miracles were not unique to Jesus. In fact, there were mystics before his time, in his time, after his time, drawn from other cultures, and faith.

However, a number of lessons stand out with Jesus. For instance, miracles were acts of love and compassion. He freely offered them. He was not after gains or fame. In the synoptic gospel, he refused to demonstrate any ‘signs’ when his opponents made demands. By the way, their position was based on the signs Moses performed before the elders of Israel and Pharaoh to vindicate his Calling by Yahweh to lead his people out of Egypt.

He also warned his disciples to follow his model on many occasions, for example: ‘freely receive, freely give’. Not to ask for money or favour, but as an extension of The Father’s love and compassion, knowing that “God is not unjust to forget our labour of love”.

To this end, I will be exploring the subject of Miracles from the accounts of the Evangelists (the gospel writers), with a view to recapture it’s essence.

Join us this for Jesus’ Miracles within the series: God was in Christ.

3pm – 4:30pm

The Parish Hall

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road,

Sidcup,

Kent DA14 6BX

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Today @ Healingsprings fellowship

Parables were not unique to Jesus. They are part of an oral tradition for teaching universal truths in the ancient Middle East. In fact some of the parables in the gospels were known parables that were expanded by Jesus, providing radically new meaning. Hence Jesus’ audience note that he spoke like, ‘one with authority’ (Matthew 7:29), emphasising that he was breaking known conventions.

Contrary to the notion that Jesus used parables because they were easy for his mostly uneducated audience to understand, we now know that Ezra et al’s reform meant that all Jews had a basic education through the instruments of the local Rabbis and synagogues from the age of 5. We also know that their curriculum covered what we now refer to as the Old Testament, as well as other classical texts and Jewish commentaries.

In using parables Jesus was keeping with Rabbinic tradition. Interestingly Matthew saw Jesus’ use of Parables as further evidence of his messianic credentials (Matthew 13:35), with reference to Ps 78:2.

Parables form about 30% of Jesus’ recorded teaching, as such they are crucial in understanding the ‘mind of Christ’ – 1 Cor. 2:16. And in deciding Jesus position on matters that are not explicitly covered in the Texts, especially modern challenges.

Join us this Sunday as we explore Jesus’ Parables within the series: God was in Christ.

3pm – 4:30pm

The Parish Hall

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road,

Sidcup,

Kent DA14 6BX

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

This Sunday @ Healingsprings fellowship

Our ideology shapes our outlook, actions, and lifestyle. A core part of our ideology is our faith or beliefs. In other words, what we know to be true, and what we believe matters.

For example, in a bid to move the Church from inaction to social action, the writer of John’s Gospel emphasised that miracles were Signs, and the role of the Holy Spirit was to inspire the Church to continue the work of Creation.

By this, he shifted the thinking of the church from being solely dependent on ‘spiritual’ intervention, thereby moving them towards the use of their minds, skills, and talents collectively; in making real and lasting change in their communities.

This Sunday I will be building on the foundations I laid last week where we looked at Jesus’ life, teaching and ministry. In fact Paul described him as the, ‘Image of the invisible God’ – (Col 1:15). Therefore it is fitting that scriptures are interpreted through his framework. 

This position however, puts to question the doctrine or notion of Biblical Inerrancy, as we see Jesus exposing gaps and correcting wrong ideas in Scriptures and traditions. Hence he is the last interpreter of the Scriptures.

Join us this Sunday for: I and the Father are One (John 10:30)

3pm 

The Parish Hall 

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road, 

Sidcup, 

Kent DA14 6BX

Today @ Healingsprings fellowship

Foundations: God Bearers

Over the course of history Jewish leaders (priests, prophets, rabbis) have seen Scriptures as their foundation and most valuable asset. For instance, the study of the text was the only reason for a man to forego marriage once he has reached the age of responsibility.
With this in mind, we can understand the continuos reference of words like: “and God said…” in the creation story in Genesis, the power of the God’s word bringing to an abrupt halt the construction of the Tower of Babel, the admonition in Deuteronomy 8: “man shall not leave by bread alone, but by God’s decree”, etc. This cross cutting theme is also reflected in different guises in every book in the Old and New Testament. 
So, dear friends if words are powerful, then Divine Words are super powerful. Destinies can be shaped by right teaching, and derailed by misguided or short sighted teaching, more or less what Jesus termed “old wine, in new wine skin”
This Sunday I will make the connection between God and the bearers of his Word. It is important to note that since God spoke through people, to be an oracle of God was the most noble of vocation. As such Priests, Prophets, and much later Rabbis were held in very high esteem, as they laid and sustained the foundations on which all that lasts are nurtured and established.
The destiny of the people and the nation at large rested on the shoulders of these people, therefore in return, their welfare was the responsibility of the people.
Join us as we set foundations for 2017
We march in the light of Nahum’s assertions: 
(For the Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob, as well as the majesty of Israel, though ravagers have ravaged them and ruined their branches.) – Nahum 2:2
3pm 

The Parish Hall 

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road, 

Sidcup, 

Kent DA14 6BX

Today @ Healingsprings fellowship

Foundations.

Over the course of history Jewish leaders (priests, prophets, rabbis) have seen Scriptures as their foundation and most valuable asset. For instance, the study of the text was the only reason for a man to forego marriage once he has reached the age of responsibility.
With this in mind, we can understand the continuos reference to words like: “and God said…” in the creation story in Genesis, the power of the God’s word bringing to an abrupt halt the construction of the Tower of Babel, the admonition in Deuteronomy 8: “man shall not leave by bread alone, but by God’s decree”, etc. This cross cutting theme is also reflected in different guises in every book in the Old and New Testament. 
So, dear friends if words are powerful, then Divine Words are super powerful. Destinies can be shaped by right teaching, and derailed by misguided or short sighted teaching, more or less what Jesus termed “old wine, in new wine skin”
Since God spoke through people, to be an oracle of God’s was the most noble of vocation. As such Priests, Prophets, and much later Rabbis were held in very high esteem, as they laid and sustained the foundations on which all that lasts are nurtured and established.
The destiny of the people and the nation at large rested on the shoulders of these people, therefore in return their welfare was the responsibility of the people.
Join us as I set the foundations for 2017
We march in the light of Nahum’s assertions: 
(For the Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob, as well as the majesty of Israel, though ravagers have ravaged them and ruined their branches.) – Nahum 2:2
3pm 

The Parish Hall 

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road, 

Sidcup, 

Kent DA14 6BX

Summary of the Book of Ruth

First let’s consider the term Exception Clause. In law, it is defined as a statement allowing that which is contrary to normal expectations. 

With that in mind let’s consider the law concerning Moabites:

“No Ammonite or Moabite shall be admitted to the assembly of the Lord. Even to the tenth generation, none of their descendants shall be admitted to the assembly of the Lord, because they did not meet you with food and water on your journey out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam son of Beor, from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you. (Yet the Lord your God refused to heed Balaam; the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loved you.) You shall never promote their welfare or their prosperity as long as you live.” – (Deuteronomy 23:3-6)

Using the book of Ruth as a test case or case study, in the first chapter we realise that Ruth was a Moabite. Also, not only has she been accepted into the assembly of Israel, she marries Boaz, a prominent Jew. 

On one hand the kinsman in the story who turned down the offer of marrying Ruth could easily be vindicated for upholding ‘the integrity’ of the law, however, Boaz and Naomi who were technically in violation of the law were the focus of the writer’s message.

As with the writer of Ruth, and in blatant disregard to Deut. 23:3-6. the prophet Isaiah declared:

“And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it, and hold fast my covenant— these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. Thus says the Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, I will gather others to them besides those already gathered.” – (Is. 56:6-8)

Conclusion:

Just like all human endeavours, though inspired, the writers and editors of the Scriptures had their biases. Clearly the writer of Ruth was challenging the notion of a True Worshipper of Yahweh: one that is born a Jew, or one that lives out the spirit of the law? 
In the same vein, a true Christian is not necessarily one that ‘upholds the integrity of scriptures’, but rather, one that goes beyond the letter of the scriptures. One that lives out the scriptures in the context of their time. One that reinterprets scriptures in the spirit of Christ, in line with human development and advancement, and the challenges of their era. 

Dare I say, one that sees the Exception Clauses in every situation.