'For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord….'

Archive for February, 2010

It’s not about you…

Such a brilliant piece from Keller below, showing how key OT figures simply foreshadowed the main man…

Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:27)

Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is imputed to us (1 Corinthians 15).

Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, has blood now that cries out for our acquittal, not our condemnation (Hebrews 12:24).

Jesus is the true and better Abraham who answered the call of God to leave all the comfortable and familiar and go out into the void “not knowing wither he went!” to create a new people of God.

Jesus is the true and better Isaac who was not just offered up by his father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us. While God said to Abraham, “Now I know you love me because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love, from me”.   Now we can say to God, “Now we know that you love me, because you did not withhold your son, your only son, whom you love, from me.”

Jesus is the true and better Jacob who wrestled and took the blow of justice we deserved, so we, like Jacob, only receive the wounds of grace to wake us up and discipline us.

Jesus is the true and better Joseph who, at the right hand of the king, forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his new power to save them.

Jesus is the true and better Moses who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant (Hebrews 3).

Jesus is the true and better Rock of Moses who, struck with the rod of God’s justice, now gives us water in the desert.

Jesus is the true and better Job, the truly innocent sufferer, who then intercedes for and saves his stupid friends (Job 42).

Jesus is the true and better David, whose victory becomes his people’s victory, though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves.

Jesus is the true and better Esther who didn’t just risk losing an earthly palace but lost the ultimate and heavenly one, who didn’t just risk his life, but gave his life to save his people.

Jesus is the true and better Jonah who was cast out into the storm so that we could be brought in.

So…….Jesus is the real Rock of Moses, the real Passover Lamb – innocent, perfect, helpless, slain so the angel of death will pass over us.  He is the true Temple, the true Prophet, the true Priest, the true King, the true Sacrifice, the Lamb, the Light, and the Bread.

The Bible is not about you — it is about Him.


One body, many members…(Part Four)

Part Four   ‘Earnestly desire the greater gifts’  (vs.31)  (Click here if you missed part 3)

This is the final instalment of study.  Did you know that your gifts are chosen for you by the Holy Spirit?  No matter what you desire, you are not going to get it unless the Holy Spirit has already chosen it for you!

It’s important here to realise that in this verse Paul is addressing the whole church and not individuals, as if one could collect a ‘full set’ of desired gifts.  He is talking to the local Corinthian church and saying that as an assembly they should desire to have in their midst a good selection of the gifts that edify.

He’s saying that the best gifts are those that are most useful to the congregation, rather than those that are the most gratifying in a spectacular sense to you as an individual.

The spiritual gifts given to each person by the Holy Spirit are special abilities that are to be used to minister to the needs of the body of believers.  There are many gifts, and individuals have different gifts.  Some people have more than one gift!

It’s important to remember that one gift is not superior to another.  All the gifts come from the Holy Spirit, and their purpose is to build up Christ’s body, the church.

The gifts are given to enable us to achieve in increasing degree, by mutual exercise, the fruit of the Spirit.  It’s the fruit that God is after, and every congregation should be much more concerned with the fruit or outcome of the spiritual activity than they are with the gifts of the Spirit.

The authentic church, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is vibrant and stunning!

By all means…(even the iphone)

‘Be all things to all men’.  That was the Apostle Paul’s recipe for communicating the good news of Jesus Christ.

At CCK we take engagement with our City very seriously.  The Brighton Marathon  is one example where we will be cancelling our two morning services and marshalling the event using 300 of our members.  This is how we build permissions and bridges for communicating the gospel.

Here’s another.  This one, however, has a global reach……we are about to submit an ‘app’, and the media have cottoned on to us!

One body, many members…(Part Three)

Part Three   ‘And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honoured, all the members rejoice with it’  (vs. 26)   (Click here if you missed Part Two)

A few years ago, I had an invasive knee operation in an attempt to repair a sports injury.  Following the operation, it swelled up and got very sore.  The rest of my body was so concerned that it sat up all night for many nights, just to keep it company!

Notice my body didn’t just say, ‘Oh, go to sleep!  Go off and hurt over in the corner and let me go to sleep.’   No, it suffered with it all night long.  That is what we as the body of Christ, the church, should do also.

The same principle is also at work with regard to honour.  If some member of the body performs an outstanding activity that opens the door for say the salvation of many people, or even a few people, and ministers the grace and the love of Christ, then everybody touched by that will be blessed by it!  It will cause them to regard the body in greater honour than before.

So the responsibility for the reputation of the body rests with every one of us, and how we act is going to determine how other people see the church at work in our culture today.  We belong together, and we suffer together.