I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another - Romans 15:14
I though I'd carry on with the theme of what the Bible says about being 'Competent'. I love how the Bible continually talks about relationships, and how the way we relate to one another is so key in our walk and life with God.
Paul encourages the church in Rome to instruct one another from a place of fullness, completion and knowledge. There is no lack in God. He is the God of fullness. It was said of Jesus that he did 'all things well' (Mark 7:37). I believe that this truth would have applied to his conversations and interactions with all kinds of people in differing situations.
God's people should be totally competent and full of grace in their relating to one another. We should be also always be ready to relate to the world with a message of power, grace and truth that is found in the fullness and overflow of our life in Jesus Christ
Labels: Community, Confession, Evangelism
Competence at Work
Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 2 Corinthians 3:4-5 (NIV)
Have you have been doing something in your line of work and felt out of your depth? - Well, if your answer is 'Yes' to this then I'm sure you're not alone! There are many times in my life at work when I've felt out of my depth. In most jobs or careers, there are times when you are thrown in at the deep end and expected to make everything work out OK on your own.
As Christians however, we are never alone. Whatever our field of work is, Christ is there. We can confidently know that Christ, the hope of glory, lives in us. The Holy Spirit is in us to equip and train us for all that we face in our workplaces each day.
Our confidence and competence in our work doesn't come from ourselves, but it comes from Christ. He is the reason we can walk into our office, factory or school and live out a Kingdom life of love, power and truth. Jesus is the reason we can be at home, working in looking after children and see people reached through opening that home to those that are lost and in need on your street and neighbourhood.
There is nothing obscure about serving God competently in your workplace. By his grace, he will raise you up and cause your life and witness to shine to those around you as you serve King Jesus in your place of work.
Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings rather than working for ordinary people - Proverbs 22:29 (NLT)
For more articles on being a witness in your workplace, then click here or here for an article on the 'Work:Life Balance'.
Labels: Evangelism, Workplace
Who am I?
In our relationship and salvation in Jesus Christ, we see our true identity in the following verses:
- A child of God, Romans 8:16
- Redeemed from the hand of the enemy, Psalms 107:2,
- Forgiven, Colossians 1:13,14,
- Saved by grace through faith, Ephesians 2:8
- Justified, Romans 5:1
- Sanctified, 1 Corinthians 6:11
- A new creation, 2 Corinthians 5:17
- Partaker of His divine nature, 2 Peter 1:4
- Redeemed from the curse of the law, Galatians 3:13
- Delivered from the powers of darkness, Colossians 1:13
- Led by the Spirit of God, Romans 8:14
- A Son of God, Romans 8:14
- Kept in safety wherever I go, Psalms 91:11
- Knowing the rich provision of Christ, Philippians 4:19
- Casting all my cares on Jesus, 1 Peter 5:7
- Strong in the Lord and in the power of his might, Ephesians 6:10
- Doing all things through Christ who strengthens me, Philippians 4:1
- An heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus, Romans 8:17
- Heir to the blessings of Abraham, Galatians 3:13,14
- Observing and doing the Lord’s Commandments, Deuteronomy 28:12
- Blessed coming in and blessed going out, Deuteronomy 28:6
- An heir of eternal life, 1 John 5:11,12
- Blessed with all spiritual blessings, Ephesians 1:3
- Healed by His stripes, 1 Peter 2:24
- Exercising my authority over the enemy, Luke 10:19
- Above only and not beneath, Deuteronomy 28:13
- More than a conqueror, Romans 8:37
- Establishing God’s word here on earth, Matthew 16:19
- An overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony, Revelation 12:11
- Daily overcoming the Devil, 1 John 4:4
- Not moved by what I see, 2 Corinthians 4:18
- Walking by faith and not by sight, 2 Corinthians 5:7
- Casting down vain imagination, 2 Corinthians 10:4,5
- We live by faith, not by sight 2 Corinthians 10:5
- Bringing every thought into captivity, 2 Corinthians 10:5
- Being transformed by renewing my mind, Romans 12:1,2
- A labourer together with God, 1 Corinthians 3:9
- The righteousness of God in Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:21
- An imitator of Jesus, Ephesians 5:1
- The light of the world, Matthew 5:14
- Blessing the Lord at all times, Psalm 34:1
Labels: Identity, Teaching Notes
Here a few pictures from my mum's birthday in the summer - my mother is a great woman and has been a real example of Kingdom living to me throughout my life! - My parents have set a wonderful example to me of how to trust in God and live by faith every single day.
Also, a few pictures of Daniel enjoying some more of his Daddy's jokes
Have a great weekend everyone!
Labels: Birthday, Daniel, Family
It's Good to Talk
Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard - Malachi 3:16 (NIV)
The Bible calls us to live with a healthy fear of the Lord. When you fear God in his awesome power and majesty - you don't fear anything else!. Roger Aubrey has written a great article on there being 'No Fear' when Christ is the Lord of your life.
“The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else” - Oswald Chambers
I love the verse above from Malachi, it talks about how we should talk and communicate with one another from an awareness and appreciation of God's majesty and power. The people of faith talk with one another in a manner that advances and furthers the Kingdom of God.
Our conversations when fuelled by faith and love are great sources of strength and life. In such a technological age, we cannot lose the importance of talking and communicating with one another.....so on that note, I'm off to talk to some people and leave the blog for another day!
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone - Colossians 4:6
Labels: Confession, Fear of God, Quotes
A People of Distinction
The men of the city said to Elisha, "Look, our lord, this town is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive." - "Bring me a new bowl," he said, "and put salt in it." So they brought it to him. Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, "This is what the LORD says: 'I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.' " And the water has remained wholesome to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken - 2 Kings 2:19-22 (NIV)
Last week, Arne Skagen
shared this verse with us as a Church. He talked about the difference that salt brought to the spring of water, and how healing came to the land. The result was productivity & life, and the water remaining wholesome as the word of the Lord came & salt was added in obedience to that word
In the same way, we are called to be ‘the salt of the earth’ (Matt 5:12-14), our lives are called to carry a distinction that speaks of the King that we love and serve, and His Kingdom that we are advancing as we preach the gospel of the Kingdom.
Salt melts Ice – Our lives, words and actions should soften the coldest and hardest heart with the love and power of the Gospel Message. (Mark 9:50)
Salt is used as a preservative, so the presence of Christians in the world will keep it from moral decay, bringing Justice and Righteousness in its place (Psalms 89:14)
Salt enhances flavour, so Christians are to add a flavour of godliness to a tasteless society. We should stand out and be seen to be different (Colossians 4:2-6)
Salt was not designed to stay in a container but was meant to be sprinkled around. Likewise, Christians should not remain in ‘holy huddles’ isolated from society, but should be totally involved in society in order to have an impact on the world around them.
Salt has an impact out of proportion to its size. In the same way, a small minority of Christians can impact a large portion of their world, similar to the yeast within the dough for a loaf of bread. (Luke 14:34, Matthew 13:33)
Labels: Arne Skagen, Manchester
'All things new'
"I am making everything new" - Rev 21:5
Well, its nearly a year since I started this 'Blogging Adventure'
so I thought the appearance of the blog needed a bit of renewal! - It's not that easy for 'simpletons' like me on computers but you should see a few changes as I get my head round basic 'HTML' in the next few days!
Labels: Blogs, Thousands and Millions
Can Big be Beautiful?
The Beetham Tower (left) in Manchester has been steadily growing and towering over Manchester's skyline over the last few years.
It's construction has certainly caused much debate and discussion over whether its size, mass and scale is appropriate for Manchester. The Manchester Skyline has traditionally has been a pretty low rise cityscape in terms of its buildings and architecture.
In terms of buildings, I would stick my neck out and say that 'Big can be Beautiful'
One local example of this is the CIS Tower in Manchester(right). This building has a proportion and aesthetic that allows it to extend quite a way into the sky, without losing its quality and distinction in relation to its detail and articulation. The Co-Operative Bank have just had part of this building re-clad in Photovaltaic cells which will allow 75% of the power requirements for the building to be drawn from natural sources of energy. Its a great buiding especially when lit at night.
Another example of 'Big being beautiful' is the 'Chrsyler Building' (below) in New York, USA. Again, this building extends some way into the sky but retains a beauty and proportion which is not hindered by its size. It could be argued that its beauty and distinction is directly related to its size and height.
As I thought about this area and topic in Architecture, I thought about the Church. The question of 'Can Big be Beautiful?'
is a pertinent and interesting question for the church. This can be asked in relation to her life, community and size, in terms of numbers of people.
Its not all about numbers, but numbers are important! - I suppose these are 'big' questions for another post in the future!'Can Big be Beautiful in the Church?' 'Can quality and quantity co-exist together'?'Can community be truly outworked in a family of 1'000's'?
Labels: Architecture, Community, Manchester, Vision
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession - Psalms 2:8 (NIV)
We had a great time at the '193'
briefing day in Leicester on Sunday - The vision that was shared by Keri Jones was really inspiring and exciting - to check out more on this, have a look at the website for all the information and vision at www.mission193.com
Labels: 193, ministries without borders, Nations
We are blessed to have Arne Skagen
with us from Norway here with us as a church this week. He is a Ministry of Christ, a great man and a wonderful blessing in all that he brings and imparts to God's people.
Last night in the context of being led by the Holy Spirit, he said something like this:"Character doesn't form our Obedience, Your Obedience forms your Character"
Tommorow, we're going to the '193' briefing day in the midlands - I'm really looking forward to it. Hope you have a great weekend and be blessed. God loves you!
'He who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come' - Matthew 24:13-15
Labels: 193, Arne Skagen, Manchester
Manchester Blog Awards
The first Manchester Blog awards
have just been held and I'm pleased to say that a friend of mine, Geoff Stevenson - author of 'The 43'
Blog won 'Blog of the Year' award. I first met Geoff when he helped out with some youthwork in Old Moat
with King's Church back in 2001-02 when he was on the Xcelerate course with the Message Trust in Manchester.
His co-worker whilst on placement in Old Moat was none other than Sarah Phillips, who has now become his wife! - so if you're looking for a husband or a wife, then get on down to Old Moat, help out with some youthwork and meet your future marriage partner!!
Geoff's Blog is pretty unique, but very creative and well written - it's basically observational comments and poems from his daily travels on the Stagecoach No. 43 bus from Wythenshawe to Manchester. Well Done Geoff!
Labels: Blogs, Manchester, Old Moat
"No one is to appear before me empty-handed" - Exodus 23:15
The message of the Bible calls God's people to a life of love and worship
before the throne of Almighty God. When we come to God, we bring a sacrifice of praise and worship. We bring our lives, our time, our finance and our dreams and we lay them down at the feet of Jesus.
When we were saved, we received the wonderful gift of the Righteousness of Christ through the unmerited favour and grace of God. God lavished his love, grace and mercy upon us as we knelt in repentance and faith before the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords. At the Cross, God delivered the ultimate death blow to satan, and he gave us in exchange for our sin the gift of eternal life. Jesus Christ dealt with the past, and secured our future
. Like the Israelites saw when leaving Egypt, through the atoning work of Christ we see God's hand of redemption to be a mighty hand of blessing to his chosen people"And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed - Exodus 3:21
Today, God calls us to come before him with an offering that brings him pleasure. Our lives are designed and destined to please God when we submit to the lordship of Christ in all that we do. We all have a part to play whenever God's people meet together. Whether that is 10 people in a home, or 500 people in a big celebration. We all come ready to give, ready to participate and ready to engage and encourage one another.
Fruitful hands are a reflection of a thankful heart. Whenever you join with God's people, be thankful, be grateful and see the fruitfulness of God blossom and flourish in a climate and atmosphere of gratitude. This week when we meet in our homes, let the fragrance and the grace of Christ pervade and permeate all that we do, say and accomplish for the fame and honour of King Jesus and his glorious Kingdom.
When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church - 1 Corinthians 14:26
Labels: Church, Community, Fruit
The Word of God brings Light
The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light - Psalms 119:130 (Amplified Bible)
After a long post yesterday, just a short one today! - I read this verse this morning and I was struck once again by the power and impact of God's word upon our lives. It brings clarity, light and revelation where there was once confusion, darkness and ambiguity.
Richard Anniss preached on Sunday with us here in Manchester on the 'Millenium'
, not the Robbie Williams song!, but on Revelation 20 and it all means for us as God's overcoming, glorious and radiant bride, the church of Jesus Christ.
It was a great word and it brought great light and clarity to us as God's people - that's the power of God's word, at its entrance and unfolding it brings wonderful clarity and glori
ous light into any dark and confused situation.
Labels: Bible, Manchester, Richard Anniss
Names of God: Righteousness
"This is his name by which he will be called: The Lord our Righteousness"
Jeremiah 23:6 (NIV)
Further to my recent posts on the names of God in relation to God being our healer
- I wanted to finish this mini-series by looking at 'Jehovah Tsidkenu' - The Lord our Righteousness
. Righteousness can be defined as:The state of being right with God; justification; the work of Christ, which is the ground of justification - Websters Dictionary
God's Righteousness can be seen to be an:
- Attribute of God
- Status given by God
- Activity of God
God’s righteousness is God’s salvation-creating power - Righteousness comes from God through the life and work of Christ, and is then applied and appropriated in our lives. It’s a great instance of the divine exchange of salvation in our lives before God. God acts in righteousness, and we then receive this righteousness through saving faith in Christ, a free gift - totally a work of his grace credited into the bank account of our life.
Our stinking sin is taken on the cross and we receive the righteousness of Christ – his power, his strength, his life, and his anointing. We can stand before the throne of God in his presence only on the basis of the righteousness of Christ in our lives. This inspires us to live a pure life before a powerful God – a holy life in all that we are, and in all that we do. We can'reign in life' and do all things through the gift of the righteousness of Christ.For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ - Romans 5:17
Only in the context of faith can we experience and receive God’s righteousness – works and pure human effort are ineffective to receive this wonderful gift from God. The status of being made right with God in receiving the righteousness of God is linked to the whole concept and understanding of our justification and right standing before God.PRAISE GOD
- We can know life, and life to the full by the power of salvation life that we receive in giving our lives to Jesus Christ. We receive of his love, grace and mercy in the context of allowing his righteousness to be outworked in and through us as we put our faith and lives in his hands.“For God does not want to save us by our own but by an extraneous righteousness, one that does not originate in ourselves but comes to us from beyond ourselves, which does not arise on earth but comes from heaven” - Martin Luther, Lectures on Romans
Labels: Names of God, Quotes, Teaching Notes
Keys of the Kingdom: E.Stanley Jones
My good friend Jon Tenthorey
from Ottawa in Canada introduced me to the wonderful writings of E.Stanley Jones whilst at School of the Word in 2003-04. Here are some great quotes on the Kingdom of God from the said author, Have a great weekend!'The Kingdom of God is God’s Total Order. Expressed as realm and reign, in the individual and in society; and which is to replace the present unworkable world order with God’s Order'
'The Kingdom is the Spirit of Jesus universalised. There isn’t a situation, individual or collective, in heaven or on earth, which would not be solved if the spirit attributes of Jesus were applied to that situation'
'If the Kingdom of God is missing in the magnificent and in the minute, then the key to the meaning, goal, life-redemption, and life-fulfillment is missing….but if you have the key of the Kingdom, you find the master key'E.Stanley Jones, The Unshakeable Kingdom and Unchanging Person. McNett Press, 1995
Labels: Blogs, Kingdom of God, Quotes
Old Moat Park - Green Flag Award
The picture below was taken in Old Moat Park
last week with myself, Councillor Jeff Smith (centre) and Chair of Friends of Old Moat Park, Sharon Smirk (right). The Park has received the Green Flag
award now for the third year running. The award is the result of hard work and close working together between Manchester City Council, Friends of Old Moat Park and ourselves as a Church
. It's a great park and Daniel really loves the swings!
Labels: Manchester, Moativate, Old Moat
Living By Faith
‘Faith is the trunk of the tree whose roots represent grace, and whose fruit symbolises good works. It is the coupling that connects man’s train with God’s engine’William HendricksonNew Testament Commentary, Banner of Truth Trust, Pg.61, 1980
Labels: Faith, Quotes
Names of God: Provider
So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided." - Genesis 22:14
We can testify as a family that God provides; financially, spiriturally and emotionally, in every area of life - God provides.
Abraham received the 'provision' of God on Mount Moriah when he showed that he feared God by being willing to obediently sacrifice his son. When we lay down that which is nearest to our heart, that which we hold dear - the Lord sees our undivided love and reverent fear of him and he responds in great provision and blessing.
The place of God's presence, the place of worship before his throne is the place of provision - in that place God will speak, he will provide and he will show the way to go in any given situation. He is a God who provides, it's his very name, Yahweh Yireh - The God who Provides.
Labels: Faith, Names of God, Provision
Quote on Excellence
"Every job is a self-portrait of the person who does it, Autograph your work with excellence" - Unknown
Labels: Excellence, Quotes
Back to the Homeland!
It was good to be back in sunny yorkshire yesterday!. I was speaking to a church in Wakefield
, which is just down the round from where I grew up in Bratfud!. I spoke on 'Positioning for Increase'
, where the fear of the Lord is the key to the treasure of increase and blessing being released in our lives, families, and workplaces. It was great to be with God's passionate and purposeful people!The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high;he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness.He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasureIsaiah 33:5-6
Labels: Increase, Preaching, Yorkshire
Notes on Romans 1:16-17
To Listen to teaching on this passage of scripture, click here
I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation of everyone who believes; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it written: “The Righteous will live by faith”
‘In these verses the apostle opens the design of the whole epistle’ Matthew Henry
‘There are no two verses of greater importance in the whole of scripture than the two verses which we are now considering’ Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones
These verses state Paul’s theme in the whole of Romans:
1. The Gospel
2. Salvation through faith and belief in Christ.
3. Relationship of Jew and Gentile
4. Righteousness of Christ
5. The Righteous or the Just shall live by faith
In the same way that in Genesis, all the truths of the Bible are seen in ‘seed form’, Romans 1:16-17 is the ‘seedbed’ of the truth of the message for the whole or the book of Romans.
- ‘Not Ashamed’
Not ashamed could be termed to be ‘very proud’ – What am I proud of?
Paul was passionate about the gospel, he lived for the gospel and he was ready to die for the Gospel. His love for Jesus Christ and His Kingdom was such that he was ready to say ‘I am not ashamed’.
Paul was stating his commitment to the gospel in possible light of criticism that he was receiving for his preaching and doctrine. Paul was un-phased by this and continued in his passionate declaration of the Gospel of the Kingdom. How do we respond to criticism and persecution? Does it inspire us or defeat us?
Criticism or Persecution should fuel the flame of our passionate love for the Gospel even more in our life of ‘Making Jesus Famous’
What is the Gospel that was such a part of Paul’s Life & Ministry?
Gospel means ‘Good News’ – Paul takes the word from the OT where it sometimes denotes ‘good news’ about God’s final victory in history (See Isaiah 40:9, Isaiah 52:7, Joel 2:32)
Paul was very passionate about the Gospel. He warned Christians not to depart from it and not believe anyone who tried to alter it
The Gospel of the Kingdom begins with the awesome truth of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that enables us to receive forgiveness and atonement for our sins. However, the gospel doesn’t end there. We should always preach and live according to the ‘full’ gospel. The gospel extends to the full preaching of the Kingdom of God. The good news of the Kingdom of God is that through the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, men and women can be set free to fulfil their purpose as part of God’s kingdom people.
The Gospel of the Kingdom is all about seeing the ‘rule of God in action’ as Bryn Jones states in Radical Church. It is everything happening just as God wants it to happen.
Gospel is part of the eternal nature and BIG picture of God’s plans in the world.
1 Corinthians 15:1-2
Paul’s continuing defence and proclamation of the Gospel – the Gospel of the Kingdom wasn’t just an add on extra to Paul’s life. He didn’t preach or live his life according to the gospel out of duty or dry sentiment but out of a passionate commitment and desire to glorify God and make his name known amongst the peoples he spent time with in his ministry and travels.
Good News of the Gospel resulted in Baptisms for Men and Women.
Matthew 24:14 - Gospel of the Kingdom to all Nations
It’s good to be reminded of the Gospel and it’s importance in our identity, in our lifestyle and in our witness. The Gospel should permeate and infiltrate all that we are, all that we say and all that we do.
- POWER of Salvation
Paul had experienced the power of this salvation in his own life, and ultimately knew that it was the power of God to transform the human condition of sin and the hardness of the human heart
Paul uses the term ‘Salvation’ to show how it bring mankind into the state of:
Righteousness not Guilt (Romans 3:21-26, 5:1)
Holiness not Pollution of the Soul (Romans 6:1-4, 12:1,2)
Freedom not Slavery (Galatians 5:1, 2 Cor 3:17)
Blessedness not Punishment
1. Fellowship with God (Eph 2:13)
2. The love of God shed abroad in the heart (Romans 5:5)
3. Everlasting life (Eph 2:1)
Salvation allows the work of restoration to be outworked in our life with God.
Salvation means to be free from the greatest evil, sin and death – and to be placed in possession of the greatest good – The treasure of knowing Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:1-6 Preaching Jesus Christ
2 Corinthians 5:20 – 6:2 Now is the Day of Salvation
Acts 4:12 Salvation in the name of Jesus Christ
The reason that Paul was not ashamed of the gospel is because it has the power to deal with the problem of sin and provide a person with a right standing with God—a feat impossible for people on their own
- Everyone Who Believes
This phrase repeats throughout the New Testament:
1. John 3:15 - that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
2. Acts 10:43 - All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."
3. Acts 13:39 - Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.
4. Romans 1:16- I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
5. Romans 10:4- Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
6. 1 John 5:1- Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.
This phrase emphasises Paul’s Gospel foundation of salvation by faith and saving grace in Christ for those who believe. Saving Faith in Christ is the foundation for the release of salvation and the power of the gospel into all our lives.
The power of the gospel and good news of the Kingdom of God is sufficient for all, in that it is available to all of the world. However, this gospel only becomes efficient and effective when active faith, belief and confession are in the heart of a sinner who submits and gives their heart and life to King Jesus.
Faith is the basis for all our life in Christ – We have to believe at every step of our life and walk with God.
- First for the Jew, Then, for the Gentile
Progression of Covenants – ‘One new Man’ through the cross – Eph 2:14-15
The gospel went first to the Jews but God has always destined for his purposes and plans to fill the world and to be received by all peoples. God’s original mandate and intention has always been for the world to be full of his glory and for them to come to a knowledge of his glory like the waters cover the sea. The progressive, unfolding nature of God’s covenant is seen in the power of the Gospel and the cross to break down the dividing wall of separation and hostility.
This relationship between the Gospel and the Jews and the Gentiles is developed and explained further later in the book. Paul reveals that the Jews, who have the law need saving, just as much as the Gentiles who do not have the law need saving. With or Without Law, without Christ we are lost – we need the salvation of Christ in our lives. Whatever your background, whatever your upbringing – we all need Christ to help us live a life of holy living and salvation power.
Acts 1:8 – Jerusalem, Samaria and to the World
- Righteousness from God
1. Attribute of God
2. Status given by God
3. Activity of God
God’s righteousness is God’s salvation-creating power – Righteousness comes from God and is then applied and appropriated in our lives. It’s a great instance of the divine exchange of salvation in our lives before God. God acts in righteousness and we then receive this righteousness, a free gift - GRACE credited into the bank account of our life. Our stinking sin is taken on the cross and we receive the righteousness of Christ – his power, strength, his anointing – No Sin before you in the presence of God. This inspires us to live a powerful God – a holy life in all that we are in all that we do. We can do all things through the gift of righteousness of Christ,
Only in the context of faith can we experience and receive God’s righteousness – works are ineffective to receive this wonderful gift from God. The status of being made right with God in receiving the righteousness of God is linked to the whole concept and understanding of our justification and right standing before God.
“For God does not want to save us by our own but by an extraneous righteousness, one that does not originate in ourselves but comes to us from beyond ourselves, which does not arise on earth but comes from heaven”
Martin Luther, Lectures on Romans
Romans 5:17 – Reign in Life through the free gift of righteousness.
- ‘The Righteous will live by faith’
Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 10:38
Romans 1:17 – Emphasis in this verse is on Righteous
A righteousness not of our own or of the law but revealed and given by God. Those who believe God are counted as righteous.
Galatians 3:11 – Emphasis in this verse is on Live
This is the life of the Holy Spirit as opposed to the laws of religion.
Hebrews 10:38 – Emphasis in this verse is on Faith
The need to persevere in believing God so we inherit all that he has promised
In Romans 1:17, Paul expresses the result of faith, with the Greek emphasis on intellectual commitment, which leads to righteousness. This is the first step into God’s Kingdom – justification in God’s eyes through belief in the gospel of his Son.
Calvin: ‘Faith is a kind of vessel with which we come empty and with the mouth of our soul open to seek God’s grace’ – Institutes
Faith from first to last speaks of the continual basis of faith in Christ – we cannot start in faith and then grow by works in our life in God. Faith is the continual heart of the disciple of Christ.
Faith is not a one-off experience that merely changes our legal standing before God. We will need to continually exercise faith as we serve God throughout our lives. Faith in Christ presses us forward into the purposes and plans of God.
‘Faith is the trunk of the tree whose roots represent grace, and whose fruit symbolises good works. It is the coupling that connects man’s train with God’s engine’ – William Hendrickson
Labels: Second Saturday, Teaching Notes
Remember the Poor
'All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do' Galatians 2:10
One of the mandates of an apostle is to 'remember the poor'. It is a real honour and privilege to work with Keri Jones as the Apostle to the church family here. Keri is a great example of a ministry that fulfils the call of the Apostle Paul in Galatians 2:10.
Keri and his wife Carol are currently in the Philippines helping with the relief operation following Typhoon 'Milenyo'. They have taken some money from Churches in the UK, including some finance from our church community here to help with this relief operation.
Keri and Carol are in the Philippines with Noralv and Tone Askeland; they have helped set up a Ministry base and many projects to help the poor across various parts of the Philippines. Praise God for the wonderful opportunity we have to Make Jesus Famous in the Nations through our prayer, involvement and giving to help the poor.
Labels: Keri Jones, ministries without borders, Philippines
We had a great time with Chandrakant Chavada
last week here in Manchster. He was a great blessing in what he shared and equipped us in as a church family. My fellow blogging friend Mark Anderton has posted some quotes on what he said here
, and there is also a good article and summary on our church website
Labels: Blogs, Chandrakant, Church, Manchester
Architectural Urban Gems 06
This has to be one of my top 3 favourite buildings in Manchester. It's the Refuge Assurance Building on Oxford Road, just up the road from King's House
where I am based with my work with our church community
Originally designed as an grand office block, it is now used as a Hotel. It combines the wonderful Manchester 'Red' look with a grandiose appearance that is picked out by the clock tower which is seen by millions every day on BBC's Northwest Tonight!
My other contenders for the top three architectural gems of Manchester would be:
- Manchester Town Hall
- Lowry Centre
- Royal Exchange Theatre
Labels: Architecture, Cities, Urban Gems
The Holy Spirit
“The Spirit is thus the empowering presence of God for living the life of God in the present”
Gordon Fee, Paul, the Spirit and the People of God
I've been reading and studying a bit on the person and power of the Holy Spirit in the Bible recently. The list below is the summary of the work and nature of the Holy Spirit given by Gordon Fee in his excellent book, 'Paul, the Spirit and the People of God'
1. The Key to Christian Experience
2. God Breaking into Our Lives
3. End Time Evidence and Guarantee of Glory
4. God Dwelling in and among Us
5. “God Very God’ – The Whole Aspect of the Trinity
6. Salvation Made Effective
7. A People Called Forth
8. Righteousness Made Possible
9. The Key to Christian WorshipThe Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life - Revelation 22:17 (NIV)
Labels: Gordon Fee, Holy Spirit, Quotes
Thoughts on Excellence
Excellence is the fuel that keeps the engine of vision on course
O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!
Psalms 8:1 (NKJV)
Labels: Excellence, Quotes, Workplace
Power of Sonshine
David Cameron has stated a simple, yet powerful truth in his speech to the Conservative Party conference today. He probably doesn't realise the impact of what he said when he stated:"let sunshine win the day" - David Cameron, Conservative Party Leader
I'm presuming that David Cameron didn't really mean the Son of God when he talked about 'Sunshine' but it still reminded me of what the Bible says about the Son of God and the Sun. The power of the 'Son'
of God shining into our lives is a powerful and life changing experience. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, God himself has died and rose again to bring purpose, freedom and healing to lives that are hurting and oppressed.But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings - Malachi 4:2I've blogged before on the beautiful power of leading in the fear of the Lord being like the 'sunrise' at dawn that brings freshness and life. When you become a Christian by repenting and putting your faith in Jesus, getting baptised in water, and receiving the power of the Holy Spirit - God places a transforming source of life within you. Jesus said that 'streams of living water' would flow from within you (John 7:38). The Holy Spirit rises within us like the Son to bring light, resurrection life and purposeful power to our lives. C.S. Lewis links these two aspects aswell by stating:I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else - C.S. Lewis
Labels: Jesus Christ, Politics, Quotes