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Showing posts from April, 2015

Love is an act- 1 John 3

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1 John 3:16-24

We live in a world where we are surrounded by words. There are words on billboards, on our computer screens, in magazines, on signs. You go into the bathroom and there is advertising and graffiti. As we drive through the city words pour over us through the radio and from billboards. At home they spill out through the TV and computer. Words are used to manipulate us into buying things, to persuade us to vote a certain way, to inform us of news and of what they believe to be truth, to entertain us, and you name it. We seem to swim in a sea of words with very little silence, and if there is silence we are likely reading words.   
A downside to living a life swimming in words that are often used to manipulate and persuade us is that we have become suspicious of words. We don’t really take them very seriously. We say things like “Words are cheap” and “put your money where your mouth is”. We know words are easy to say- Even words we don’t really believe, or don’t believe enough…

Being Children of God- 1 John 3

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1 John 3:1-7
I would like you to close your eyes for a minute or so. … I want you to imagine Jesus in front of you. … Just take a moment to solidify him before you in your mind. Imagine different moments in his life- teaching the crowds, healing diseases, dying on the cross, resurrected and standing among his disciples. … Now I would like you to describe his character.  What is he like? What words come to mind? …
In John’s first letter he says,  “Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him… .” The words you just used to describe Jesus is what God is wanting to transform us into- “we will be like him”. In Christian theology this is called sanctification, or theosis. It is becoming holy by reflecting something of God’s character. It is the broken image of God in us becoming whole and powerful. God wants us to learn to be like Jesus    
The church has often done a good job of naming what…

Easter- What happened on the cross? Did it really happen?

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Today I want to look at two questions. What does the death and resurrection of Jesus mean? And did the death and resurrection of Jesus actually happen?
For the last few days we have been exploring the Atonement. ‘Atonement’ has been the word used to describe what happened on the cross. The word “atonement” means to bring two things into unity. We are told that what happened on the cross brought what was divided (God and humanity), into unity.
There are a variety of ways to understand the Atonement. I also want to remind you of what C. S. Lewis has said about the atonement- That understanding how it works is less important than understanding that it works. He says it is like nutrition. People were eating food and drinking long before there were any theories of how the body broke down food to nourish cells.  When you are hungry it is enough to eat, and it works.  Jesus’ work on the cross is like this. We don’t have to dedicate ourselves to one particular theory about how this works. Wha…