Jesus, the Recycler looks at how Jesus takes people who would be thrown away by the world and were considered worthless by society, and recycles them to be worthwhile and useful in God's Kingdom.
Have you ever stood on unstable ground? Maybe the sand that washes away from your feet in the ocean, or mud that you sink down into, or maybe slippery ice or gravel on the side of a hill, or maybe you have been in an earthquake where the solid ground wasn’t solid anymore. In any of those cases people wish they had something solid and safe on which to put their feet. The Psalmist felt this way spiritually. He says in Psalm 73:2 “But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped.” A solid spiritual foundation is even more important that a physical one, because our eternity depends on it.
If we tried to make our own foundation it wouldn’t be very trustworthy, so it’s a good thing for us that God didn’t leave it to chance or to us. He provided the best foundation that we could have. Now when we talk about our foundation, sometimes we are talking about the truths that are spoken in the scriptures and how believing and knowing them gives us something to build our lives on. We see this kind of idea when we are told to add to our faith, virtue and then knowledge, etc.
But most important is what those scriptures tell us our faith is to be built upon and the church is to be built upon. Peter confessed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God and Jesus praised him for that statement of truth and explained that this fact was the rock on which he would build his church, Matthew 16:16-18. Paul drives this point home in 1 Corinthians 3:11 where he says, “For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Our foundation for life, faith, the church, salvation, and eternal life in Heaven must be built on this solid foundation of Jesus or it will crumble.
Is your foundation Jesus? Is he the one that is holding up everything you are building in this life and for the life to come? No other foundation will hold up, build on the only eternal foundation, Jesus.
No audio for Jesus and Personal Evangelism, but the main points from John 4 are in the slideshow below.
In Hebrews 12:2 we are told to look to Jesus. We are also told that he is the author (some translations say leader, head, or founder) of our faith. (We have already looked at this description of Christ.) In addition to this we are told that he is the finisher or perfecter or completer of our faith. Notice how this easy to read version puts it: “We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith, and he is the one who makes our faith complete. He suffered death on a cross. But he accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy he could see waiting for him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God's throne.” He makes our faith complete. He finishes what he started.
I don’t know about you, but I have not finished everything I have started in my life. I try to with the important things, but there are many unfinished projects on my computer and in my garage and more in my mind that I started there but never moved out of my thoughts into reality. Chances are you can empathize. What condition would we be in if Jesus had started but never finished when it came to the faith that we need to know to be saved? What if he was a quitter like I have been on so many projects? Of course we know exactly where we would be, lost, but praise be to the Lord he was not a quitter.
When Jesus found obstacles in his way he continued pushing through and he pushed through all the way to the cross. Then when he faced the cross the stress of it nearly killed him. His sweat was mixed with blood, but he prayed and he was heard and angels strengthened him. Then as he hung on the cross he didn’t say, “I quit!” No, on the contrary, he said, “It is finished!”
He finished it and he did it perfectly! He wants that faith to be perfected in your life, too. Won’t you let him finish what he has started in you? Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
In Matthew He is the Christ the Son of the Living God. In Mark He is the Miracle Worker. In Luke He's the Son of Man And in John He is the Door by which everyone of us must enter. In Acts He is the Shining Light that appears to Saul on the road to Damascus.
In Romans He is our Justifier. In 1st Corinthians our Resurrection. In 2nd Corinthians our Sin Bearer. In Galatians He redeems us from the law. In Ephesians He is our Unsearchable Riches. In Philippians He supplies our every need. And in Colossians He's the Fullness of the Godhead Bodily. In 1st Thessalonians He is our Soon Coming King. In 2nd Thessalonians He is the coming Judge of the world. In 1st Timothy He is the Mediator between God and man. In 2nd Timothy He is the one who stands by us when no one else will. In Titus He is our Blessed Hope. And in Philemon He makes master and slave, brothers.
In Hebrews He's the Blood of the everlasting covenant. In James it is the Lord that heals the sick. In 1st Peter He is the Chief Shepherd. In 2nd Peter He is bringer of the end to this world and maker of the new heaven and new earth. In 1st John He is our defender before God. In 2nd John He is our God who came in the flesh. In 3rd John He resists those who domineer over his sheep. In Jude He is the Lord coming with 10,000 saints.
And in Revelation.....Lift up your eyes, Church, for your redemption draws nigh. He is King of kings and Lord of lords.
Jesus is all of these things and so much more in the pages of the New Testament. As we continue getting to know him better we will have a better relationship with him and a better understanding of how he impacts our lives.
The Spirit paints pictures of both the Father and the Son throughout the pages of scripture. In the Old Testament the image of the Father is very clear, but there are outlines and shadings of the Son that will be made clear in the New Testament. Let’s look at some hints and portrayals of Christ being depicted in the Old Testament.
In Genesis Jesus is the Ram that spared Isaac. In Exodus He's the Passover Lamb. In Leviticus He's the High Priest. In Numbers He's the Cloud by day and pillar of fire by night. In Deuteronomy He's the City of our refuge.
In Joshua He's the conquering hero. In Judges He is our Judge. In Ruth He is our Kinsman redeemer. In 1st Samuel He's our Trusted Prophet. In 2nd Samuel He establishes his Kingly line. In 1st Kings He builds his kingdom. In 2nd Kings He is the faithful future king. In 1st Chronicles He's our Reigning King. In 2nd Chronicles He disciplines his rebellious subjects. In Ezra He is our Faithful Scribe. In Nehemiah He Rebuilds all that is broken. And in Esther He is the one directing from off the stage.
In Job He's our redeemer that ever lives. In Psalms He is my Shepherd. In Proverbs He's our Wisdom. In Ecclesiastes He is the meaning of life. And in the Song of Solomon He's the Beautiful Bridegroom.
In Isaiah He's the Suffering Servant. In Jeremiah He is the voice of warning being ignored and rejected. In Lamentations it is Jesus that is the Weeping Prophet. In Ezekiel He's the one like a human above the throne. And in Daniel He is the Fourth Man in the midst of a fiery furnace.
In Hosea He is my Love that is forever faithful though I am not. In Joel He baptizes with the Holy Spirit. In Amos He's our Burden Bearer. In Obadiah our Savior. And in Jonah He is the Great Foreign Missionary that takes the word to the Gentiles. Micah shows him as the Messenger with beautiful feet. In Nahum He is the Avenger. In Habakkuk He is the Watchman that is ever praying for revival. In Zephaniah He is the Lord mighty to save. In Haggai He is the Restorer of our lost heritage. In Zechariah He is our Fountain. And in Malachi He is the Son of Righteousness with healing in His wings.
There are 3 passages in the New Testament that discuss Christ as our deliverer. Let’s consider each of them.
In Romans 7:24, after describing the human inability to overcome sin on his own, Paul asks, “Who will deliver me from this body of death?” The answer for all who are unable to deliver themselves is made abundantly clear throughout the New Testament: Jesus Christ. So first we see that Jesus can deliver us from our own sinfulness.
Paul addresses the issue again in Galatians 1:3-5 where he explains that the Lord Jesus Christ gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age. Here we see that Jesus not only delivers us from our own sinfulness, but rescues or delivers us from the evil all around us in this wicked world.
In the final passage, Hebrews 2:14-15, We see humans enslaved not just by their sinfulness, but also by the fear that they will have to face physical death. Christ is shown becoming flesh and blood like us and then facing physical death so that he could destroy the devil and his power of death. In the process of that he delivers all of us from having to be afraid of death because seeing him conquer the grave gives us the confidence and courage to face our own graves knowing that he can raise us up.
How much of your life have you spent being afraid of death and even enslaved by that fear? Death is not our friend, but Christ has conquered it and we don’t have to fear this enemy any longer. Have you allowed Christ to deliver you from yourself, the evil world around you, and the fear of death? Let him be your deliverer.
Christ is referred to in Luke 1:78 and 2 Peter 1:19 by two related terms that both indicate the light he brought into the world. These 2 concepts are translated several different ways in different English versions, probably because the phrases are not being used literally and figurative speech is difficult to translate.
The KJV and ASV are similar. Luke 1:78, “Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,” the ESV says, “because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high”. The Greek word that is translated as dayspring and sunrise is used 9 other times in the New Testament and literally translated ‘east’, but east obviously wouldn’t fit in this verse. The idea of a new day dawning is probably what is aimed for. Jesus is the source of a new day, a new light shining in a world full of darkness.
The King James in 2 Peter 1:19 says, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” Others translate ‘day star’ as ‘morning star’. This is the only place this Greek word appears and it is different from the word for the Sun. In this case again the idea of a new day and enlightenment is presented. Peter specifically tells us the day star is going to rise not in the sky, but in our hearts. We can have the light of Christ, the understanding of the prophecies about him enlighten us so that we recognize him for who he is, the true light of the world.
Have you allowed the Day Star to bring light to the darkness of your world? Is he shining in your heart? Satan wants to darken our understanding, but Christ strives to illuminate our hearts and minds. Don’t let Satan win.
Articles from our bulletin. Mostly written by James Pasley, our preacher and Sunday's Sermons.