Iosif Trifa si Oastea Domnului – Incercari de reforma in Biserica Ortodoxa Romana (Part 5) Descoperirea Bibliei

Memorialul Durerii – Documentar VIDEO despre Traian Dorz

VIDEO Traian Dorz la batranete – Duioase amintiri

  1. Citeste Part 1 – Introducerea aici
  2. Citeste Part 2 – Revelion 1922 – „Hotarirea”
  3. Citeste Part 3 – Nu este destul sa spui „nu” unor pacate + VIDEO cu Traian Dorz la batrinete.
  4. Citeste Part 4 – Lucrarea Tainica si Dumnezeiasca a Nasterii Din Nou 
  5. Citeste Part 5 – Decoperirea Bibliei
  6. Citeste Part 6 – 1928 – Miscarea Oastea Domnului Se Extindea Vertiginos. Cum se intra in Oastea Domnului?
  7. Citeste Part 7 – Ce trebuie sa nu faca un Ostas al lui Hristos

„…Sint zece ani de cind am inceput sa citesc intiia data in Biblie. Atunci, la inceput, mi se parea Biblia o carte ca oricare alta, dar cetind-o regulat si azi si miine, am aflat in ea o comoara nebanuita. Am aflat in ea comori pe care niciodata nu mi-as fi putut inchipui ca le are –    de nu le aflam chiar eu. Astazi, de cite ori citesc Biblia, imi pare ca am intrat intr-o mina de margaritare scumpe. Din ce intru si din ce sap mai adinc… dau peste noi si noi comori.

Cind va veti infatisa la Judecata inaintea lui Dumnezeu eu socot ca una din intrebari va fi aceasta: Ti-am trimis o scrisoare in care te instiintam despre starea ta pe pamint, despre starea pacatului care te omoara, – si despre iertarea Mea care  iti da viata prin Singele Fiului Meu. Si iti aratam in aceasta carte, cum sa traiesti ca un Fiu al Meu. Ai citit tu aceasta scrisoare?

–Doamne, vei raspunde tu, am auzit ca Tu ai avut o Carte pe pamint, dar eu n-am deschis-o niciodata. Vai va fi tie cititorule, daca nu vei putea da alt raspuns.’

(Part 5) Descoperirea Bibliei

Plinatatea vietii in Hristos este deci – dupa nasterea noastra din nou – taina biruintei noastre in toate luptele cu pacatul si cu diavolul. Aceasta este taina si puterea noastra de rodire in viata de credinta si  de mintuire sufleteasca. In plinatatea acestei cunaosteri si vietuiri in Hristos si prin El, sta si taina ridicarii noastre si ca popor si ca fratietate duhovniceasca.

Se cere neaparat citirea si trairea Bibliei.

Dar pentru dobindirea acestui dar ceresc se cere in primul rind cunoasterea si adincirea Sfintelor Scripturi. Se cere neaparat citirea si trairea Bibliei. Acest insemnat lucru este tot ceea ce ne-a lipsit si ne trebuieste noua acum, pentru a birui raul de care suferim, pentru a ne ridica din decaderea in care sintem, pentru a ne inalta la starea vrednica de Dumnezeu si ceruta de credinta in Hristos Mintuitorul, pe care o marturisim.

Vindecarea si mintuirea noastra, ca insi si ca neam, nu va putea veni niciodata prin altceva decit prin cunoasterea si trairea Sfintelor Scripturi.

Astfel in vara aceluiasi an, 1923, retras pentru un timp de meditatie intr-un concediu de sanatate, parintele Iosif a adincit puternic si cu o lumina noua Sfintul Cuvint al lui Dumnezeu, Biblia.

Reintors la gazeta el va marturisi: „… in citirea si adincirea Scripturilor mi-am petrecut cele doua luni… si acum ma reintorc la aceasta gazeta  si mai hotarit pentru Isus Hristos si Evanghelia Lui. Ma reintorc la Sibiu schimbat. Adica ma intorc hotarit sa traiesc mai deplin lui Hristos si pentru Hristos. Si sa hotarasc si pe altii sa apuce aceasta cale de indreptare si mintuire sufleteasca…”  Lumina Satelor Nr 37 din 23 Sept. 1923

Astfel Duhul Sfint i-a descoperit inca de la inceputul Lucrarii Oastei ca dezgroparea Bibliei de sub lespezile nestiintei si de sub praful nepasarii de veacuri, va fi pina la urma o prima conditie pentru dezrobirea si ridicarea din pacat si inapoiere, a feicarui suflet si a intregului popor. Numai lumina Evangheliei va putea aduce primavara si invierea noastra sufleteasca. Numai puterea Cuvintului si a Duhului Sfint ne va putea trezi si invia la o viata noua pe noi toti mortii in patimi si ingropati in pacate. Pe toti cei tinuti in robie si in orbie sufleteasca de catre satana, dusmanul cel de moarte al sufletului nostru si al neamului nostru.

Sfinta Scriptura trebuie deci adusa la tot poporul si tot poporul trebuie adus la ea! Sfinta Evanghelie trebuie scoasa din altar si dusa in familii, in societate, in mijlocul lumii si in viata fiecauri om.

Mintuitorul si Domnul nostru Isus Hristos nu trebuie sa fie numai un „Prizonier”, un „Condamnat” al chivotului si al altarului, la Care sa mergem doar din cind in cind, ca la un scurt „vorbitor”. Dupa care noi apoi sa-L lasam pe El iarasi tot acolo. Si mergind, sa ne traim afara viata tot fara de El. A sosit vremea sa-L luam pe Isus de acolo, sa-L „eliberam din altar”, sa-L scoatem si sa-L ducem pretutindeni in viata oamenilor, in problemele lor, in umblarea lor,,, si in munca noastra de toate zilele. Isus Hristos trebuie sa fie zilnic Domnul si Stapinul nostru. Tovarasul si Indrumatorul nostru, Lumina si Pilda trairii noastre.

Pe El trebuie sa-L intrebam De El sa ascultam. Lui sa I ne marturisim. Si pe El sa-L iubim, devenind una cu EL, fiecare si toti. Cuvintul Lui sa devina dreptarul vietii fiecaruia dintre noi. Duhul Lui sa devina felul nostru de a fi.

Partasia si Prezenta Lui sa ne devina conditia noastra de viata, fara de care sa nu mai putem trai!

Desigur, o munca si o lupta uriasa se prevede ca va trebui dusa pentru ajungerea acestui scop si acestui nivel! Marile puteri potrivnice sint multe si tari. Marele intuneric si marea nepasare de veacuri, devenita „traditie”, se vor impotrivi din rasputeri oricarui suflu inoitor.

Comoditatea inghetata si pacatele incetatenite, care se vor vedea amenintate din primavara Evangheliei, – vor stirni din greu crivatul urii si al calomniilor impotriva razelor binefacatoare pe care le va aduce Soarele Bibliei, care isi vesteste rasaritul ceresc peste hotarele tarii noastre si a inimilor noastre.

Dar Praznicul Pastelor noastre, Sarbatoarea renasterii noastre in Hristos, tot va trebui sa vina odata! Ceea ce Dumnezeu a facut prin Cuvintul Sau Sfint in viata altor popoare, care L-au descoperit inaintea noastra, trebuie sa vedem si la noi, odata si odata, oricit de lung va fi drumul urcusului nostru spe aceasta luminoasa tinta. Oricit de grea va fi lupta noastra pentru aceasta slavita biruinta si oricit de multe vor fi jertfele care ni se vor cere  pentru aceasta fericita implinire, Dumnezeul mintuirii noastre tot ne va ajuta s-o ajungem odata si odata, daca lucram si luptam cu o neclintita statornicie si nadejde pentru aceasta.

O, ce negraita si fericita va fi atunci bucuria culesului pentru cei care umbla acum plingind cind isi arunca saminta acestui sfint inceput! O, cu ce cintari de veselie vor secera multimea, acei care incep sa semene acum cu atitea lacrimi! (Psalm 126:5-6)

……………………………………………………………………

Iata citeva din cuvintele cu care parintele Iosif indemna inca de la inceput la citirea si trairea Bibliei:

„…Sint zece ani de cind am inceput sa citesc intiia data in Biblie. Atunci, la inceput, mi se parea Biblia o carte ca oricare alta, dar cetind-o regulat si azi si miine, am aflat in ea o comoara nebanuita. Am aflat in ea comori pe care niciodata nu mi-as fi putut inchipui ca le are –    de nu le aflam chiar eu. Astazi, de cite ori citesc Biblia, imi pare ca am intrat intr-o mina de margaritare scumpe. Din ce intru si din ce sap mai adinc… dau peste noi si noi comori.

Toata taria mea este Biblia. Ea ma insoteste, ma indeamna, ma lumineaza si ma intareste in toate imprejurimile vietii mele. Ea imi da caldura inimii si lumina mintii ca sa-L aduc pe Hristos in orice chip la cunostinta (Filipeni 1:18). Ea imi da toate armele ce trebuiesc unui „nebun ostas al lui Hristos”.

Acum, dupa zece ani, simtesc ca Biblia face parte din insasi viata mea. Biblia este o parte intregitoare, o lipsa a vietii mele intocmai ca si apa pe care o beau, ca aerul ce-l rasuflu si piinea ce o maninc. In fiecare zi citesc in Biblie, pentru ca simtesc o sete a sufletului care ma mina sa caut cuvintele ei si sa ma hranesc cu ele in fiecare zi (1 Timotei 4:6)

Biblia este legatura mea zilnica cu Mintuitorul. De cite ori o deschid si citesc in ea, simtesc ceva ca trece din ea in mine si imi umple casa sufletului meu cu lumina, cu putere, cu tarie si bucurie sufleteasca. Prin citirea Bibliei, in toata ziua ma intilnesc cu Mintuitorul meu Isus Hristos si stau de vorba cu El si El cu mine. Tot ce sint si tot ce am este al Bibliei. Biblia scrie si „Lumina Satelor”. Luati-mi Biblia – si mi-ati luat totul. Opriti-ma sa nu citesc in ea si „Lumina” se va stinge.

Dar de cite ori citesc Biblia simtesc si o mare durere. Imi vine sa pling de durere cind ma gindesc citi oameni nu au aflat si nu cunosc inca comorile sufletesti ale Bibliei. Citi se pogoara in pamint, ianinte de a gusta din izvoarele Bibliei. Cititorule, ai tu Biblia in casa ta si citesti tu regulat din ea?”

„Lumina Satelor” Duminica 4 Martie 1923 Pag.1

Biblia este cartea cea mai raspindita de pe pamint. In vemea din urma, raspindirea Bibliei este in tot mai mare crestere. In decursul razboiului s-au raspindit atitea milioane de Biblii incit Societatea Biblica nu mai putea razbi cu tiparirea Bibliei noi. Chiar si aceasta raspindire minunata a Bibliei arata ca ea nu este o carte ca oricare alta, ci ca este cartea lui Dumnezeu si se va predica aceasta Evanghelie in toata lumea ca sa slujeasca de marturie tuturor neamurilor…”

Lumina Satelor 1923 Nr. 8 pag. 3

„Biblia” este cartea lui Dumnezeu. Dumnezeu a ales pe oameni in inima carora a pus cuvintele Sale pe care ei apoi le-au scris. In acest inteles zice si apostolul Pavel: …”Toata Scriptura este insuflata de Dumnezeu si de folos spre invatatura” (2 Timotei 3:16) Cind, asadar, cineva ia in mina Biblia, trebuie sa o ia ca pe o carte, ca pe o scrisoare a lui Dumnezeu. Cind va veti infatisa la Judecata inaintea lui Dumnezeu eu socot ca una din intrebari va fi aceasta: Ti-am trimis o scrisoare in care te instiintam despre starea ta pe pamint, despre starea pacatului care te omoara, – si despre iertarea Mea care  iti da viata prin Singele Fiului Meu. Si iti aratam in aceasta carte, cum sa traiesti ca un Fiu al Meu. Ai citit tu aceasta scrisoare?

–Doamne, vei raspunde tu, am auzit ca Tu ai avut o Carte pe pamint, dar eu n-am deschis-o niciodata. Vai va fi tie cititorule, daca nu vei putea da alt raspuns.’

Lumina Satelor‘  1923, Nr. 8 pag. 3

‘… Numarul acesta de gazeta l-am inchinat Bibliei, ca sa facem cunoscuta cititorilor nostri aceasta Carte a vietii. „Lumina Satelor” le duce nu numai vesti care se schimba de la o zi la alta ci le duce si Cuvintul lui Dumnezeu care ramine in veac. Gazeta noastra tocmai aceasta o vrea! Sa se faca o scoala in care sa stam de vorba si de invatatura cu cititorii nostri, asa cum sta dascalul in scoala cu scolarii sai.In numarul acesta in gazeta noastra am vorbit despre Biblie. In celelalte numere vom vorbi despre multe si multe lucruri de folos din ea. Cine ne va citi cu drag si regulat, cu multe invataturi bune se va alege…’

‘Cititorule, Biblia este o Carte scrisa anume pentru sufletul tau, pentru framintarile, dureirle si bolile sufletului tau. Citesti tu aceasta carte? Biblia este o carte, o scrisoare, trimisa din Cer anume pentru tine, –desfaci tu aceasta scrisoare ca s-o citesti?

Daca ti-ar veni o scrisoare de la Imparatul, ai alege grabit si nesilit sa citesti ce-i scris in ea. Si iata ca aici Imparatul Ceresc iti trimite o carte cu stiri despre mintuirea sufletului tau, iar tu nu vrei sa o deschizi si sa citesti in ea.’

Lumina Satelor‘ 1923 Nr. 8 pag. 3-4

Pentru incurajarea citirii si a raspindirii Bibliei, parintele Iosif incepu curind prin foaie „O scoala Biblica”, incurajind cu premii in bani si carti, cu indemnuri si tilcuri – pentru cercetarea si adincirea Sfintei Scripturi.

Curind ideea aceasta a intrat in obisnuinta adunarilor ostasesti unde incepura sa se tina seri de „Scoala Biblica” in care toti cei care luau parte la ele se intorceau     cu o tot mai adinca cunoastere si traire a Cuvintului Sfint. Si cu tot o mai mare dragoste fata de Cartea Domnului, Biblia.

– Ce idei mari erau acestea! Ce viziune profetica, ce initiative salvatoare, ce moment unic. Ce curs fericit si-ar fi urmat prin ele si de la ele, destinul poporului nostru si chiar istoria Bisericii noastre daca le-ar fi primit, daca le-ar fi urmat. Dar unde erau oare acei care trebuiau sa se patrunda, sa se insufleteasca si sa poarte fericiti pretutindeni acest mesaj divin! Ce mici sint vremurile marilor oameni!”

Articol scris de Iosif Trifa in 1932

Pe tot parcursul lucrarii sale in Oastea Domnului, preotul Iosif Trifa a insistat mereu, mereu, ca centrul atentiei omului in religia crestina trebuie sa fie Isus Cristos.

Mai redam aici un citat aici un citat dintr-un articol scris de Iosif Trifa in 1932 pe aceasta tema:

„… Temeiul si temelia mintuirii noastre este Isus Cel Rastignit. Toate Scripturile ne spun acest lucru (Ioan 3:16: F. Ap. 4:12)… A cauta mintuirea in afara de acest izvor al mintuirii inseamna a pierde vremea si a pierde mintuirea… A cauta mintuirea fara Isus Cel Rastignit este a incerca sa faci piine fara faina… E o slabiciune generala a crestinilor de azi de a-L lasa afara pe Isus Cel Rastignit din framintarile mintuirii lor… Diavolul e siret mare. El lasa crestinilor framintarile mintuirii, el lasa crestinilor toate rinduielile, toate obiceiurile, toate formele. El isi bate capul doar cu un singur lucru: sa le fure faina de piine, sa le fure mierea din fagure, sa-L fure pe Isus Cel rastignit din framintarile mintuirii lor.

Se zice ca nicaieri nu doarme mai linistit diavolul decit acolo unde se pastreaza cu sfintenie toate rinduielile si datinile, dar lipseste Isus Cel Rastignit si Viu, viata si puterea din El… De aceea sfintul Pavel   il apara cu atita indirjire pe Isus Cel Rastignit fata de „litera legii”, fata de „pazirea poruncilor”.

Astfel de luptatori se cer si azi. Caci ispititorul parca aici a facut cele mai mari ravagii sufletesti… Si le-a facut chiar acolo unde Isus Cel Rastignit trebuie aparat mai cu hotarire. Eu ma uit spre pilda si la biserica romano-catolica si vad un lucru care ma doare. Cultul exagerat ce s-a facut si acolo in timpul din urma cu sf. Tereza, este o mare greseala. Citesc foaia lor „Lumina crestinului” din Iasi – si in fiecare numar se publica sume si daruri de bani de la cei ce spun ca sf. Tereza i-a mintuit din fel si fel de necazuri si vor ajutorul ei. „Trimit 200 de lei pentru ajutorul ce mi l-a trimis sf. Tereza de am scapat de un mare necaz”– scrie unul. „Trimit 100 de lei sa-mi ajute in dorinta pe care o am – scrie altul – rezervindu-mi dreptul sa intregesc suma aceasta, daca imi va ajuta”. Un adevarat tirg. Eu de cite ori citesc aceasta urita pagina imi vine sa pling si sa zic ca sf. ap. Pavel: daca oamenii se pot ajuta si mintui in felul acesta, apoi „in zadar a murit Hristos” (Galateni 2:21). Jertfa Lui este de prisos.

Noi insta il vom vesti mereu numai pe Isus Cel Rastignit, oricite impotriviri se vor ridica in contra noastra… Caci stim si credem ca numai in Numele Lui si puterea Crucii Lui este viata si mintuire adevarata…”

(„Ceva despre Credinta”… O.D. Nr. 40 din 2 Oct. 1932)

va urma…

The PASSION EVENTS – Friday/Saturday and Palm Sunday through Easter – Day by Day Events (Check here daily)

Interactive Google map of PASSION week

Visit the full page here.

Click on the red balloons to open description of day and event for that day. You can also scroll in closer using the + key and scroll to East, West, North and South using the arrows.

If you want to move around on the map-click and hold mouse key down and drag in the direction you want to go.
If you run into trouble and lose the red balloons playing with the map, just refresh your page.

Passion Week Songs, Poems and videos

  1. Easter songs: True love and Give me Jesus – Christ our eternal hope and salvation!!!! Christ is risen!!!! Hallelujah!!!! Easter songs –
  2. Easter song- Thank you for the cross, Worthy Is The Lamb, Crown Him .. Crown Him With Many Crowns – [lyrics]
  3. Gospel Easter songs – Garden Tomb and On My Father’s Side by The Barn Again Gang
  4. Revelation song on Easter Video: Jesus’ Crucifixion
  5. Petra – Show Your Power, Oh Lord, our God
  6. The hurt of Peter’s denial of Christ-’Just as I am’, Brian Doerkson
  7. Poem – The thief on the cross – Justified by John Piper
  8. Video clips from „Passion” The last 7 sayings of Jesus Christ on the cross
  9. Misty Edwards – I belong to the man from Nazareth
  10. Brooke Fraser – Hosanna in the highest!
  11. Mahalia Jackson (1960) – Holy City –and Paul Wilbur – Jesus enters Jerusalem
  12. Marantaha Singers – Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord: Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna (see the video below in this post)

Post Resurrection

What Happened Sunday

What Happened Saturday

What Happened Friday

What Happened Thursday

What Happened Wednesday

What Happened Tuesday

What Happened Monday

What happened Palm SUNDAY

John 12:12-13 – Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,

“Hosanna!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Blessed is the king of Israel!”

Some Greeks seek Jesus. He responds to unbelievers, weeps over Jerusalem, enters and looks around the temple area, and then returns to Bethany.

(1) Tears of Sovereign Mercy– Jesus weeps over Jerusalem Luke 19:28-44

(2) He (Jesus) sets His face to go to Jerusalem (Palm Sunday)

(3) Jesus Declares His Kingship (Palm Sunday)

SONGS FOR PALM SUNDAY

 (1) Maranatha Singers – Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord (video below)

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(2) Ofra Haza – Jerusalem song

(3) Mahalia Jackson – Holy City: Jerusalem, Jerusalem and Paul Wilbur – Entry into Jerusalem and Up to Jerusalem

(4) Brooke Fraser – Hosanna in the highest (video below)

gospelinnovation.com

I see the king of glory
Coming down the clouds with fire
The whole earth shakes, the whole earth shakes
I see his love and mercy
Washing over all our sin
The people sing, the people sing

Hosanna, hosanna
Hosanna in the highest

I see a generation
Rising up to take the place
With selfless faith, with selfless faith
I see a new revival
Staring as we pray and seek
We’re on our knees, we’re on our knees

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me
Break my heart for what is yours
Everything I am for your kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity

What happened Friday/Saturday

A.  Friday/Saturday Jesus arrives at Bethany(click here for story)

Jesus arrives in Bethany; Mary anoints Jesus during a meal; the crowds come to see Jesus

This is a telling of the Gospel story and event of Jesus and Mary who annointed Jesus’ head with oil, one week before he was to be crucified.

B. Palm Sunday – (1) Tears of Sovereign Mercy

You can listen to the audio here from Desiring God, John Piper.

Luke 19:28-44

And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, „Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, „Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, „The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was drawing near – already on the way down the Mount of Olives – the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, „Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, „Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, „I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” 41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, „Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Before we get back to Romans 9 the Sunday after Easter, I wanted to preach a message that is partly an overflow of one of the books I worked on during the writing leave. (It will probably be called Don’t Waste Your Life.) Actually, this message is the overflow of more than the book.

  • It’s the overflow of conversations with John Erickson about his vision for ministry in the city.
  • It’s the overflow of conversations with my son Benjamin about what it means to be a merciful person on the street.
  • It’s the overflow of reading Timothy Keller’s book, Ministries of Mercy: The Call of the Jericho Road.
  • It’s the overflow of the seminar I did on Prayer, Meditation, and Fasting a few weeks ago, as I pondered what it really means to enjoy fellowship with Jesus and anticipate meeting him face to face very shortly and giving an account of the way I have thought, for example, about giving to people who ask for money. I remember, specifically, in one of those hours asking the class: Suppose you die and you’re standing before Jesus Christ, who surrendered his body to spitting and shame and torture and death so that undeserving sinners (like you and me) might be drawn into eternal joy, and he inquires how you handled the people who asked you for money – you know, panhandlers, beggars, street people, drunks, drifters. What would you say?I suggested to them, and I suggest to you now, you’re not going to feel very good about saying, „I never got taken advantage of. I saw through their schemes. I developed really shrewd counter-questions that would expose them. So I hardly ever had to give anything.” Do you know what I think the Lord Jesus is going to say to that – the Lord Jesus, the consummately, willingly, savingly abused and exploited Jesus? I think he is going to say, „That was an exquisite imitation of the world. Even sinners give to those who deserve to be given to. Even sinners pride themselves on not being taken advantage of.” Well this message is a spillover of some of those thoughts.
  • And it’s a spillover of a conversation that Noël and I had at Annie’s Parlor a little over a week ago as we assessed our lives how we wanted the next ten years to look – if God gives us ten – in regard to practical deeds mercy. What do we want Talitha to see in the city? What kind of Jesus do we want her to see living through us in Philips neighborhood on 11th Avenue? Do we want her to remember someday when we are gone: my folks were shrewd? Or do we want her to remember: My folks were merciful?

Palm Sunday: An Event of Insight and Misunderstanding

Well, that’s what led me to choose this text for Palm Sunday. It’s a Palm Sunday text. Palm Sunday is the day in the church year when traditionally we mark the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem for the last week of his life. It’s an event of great insight and great misunderstanding. The great insight was that this Jesus really is „the King who comes in the name of the Lord” (Luke 19:38). He was the Messiah, the Son of David, the long-awaited Ruler of Israel, the fulfillment of all God’s promises. But the great misunderstanding was that he would enter Jerusalem and by his mighty works, take his throne and make Israel free from Rome.

It wasn’t going to be that way: he would take his throne but it would be through voluntary suffering and death and resurrection. The first sermon Peter preached after the resurrection comes to an end with the words, „This Jesus God raised up” so that he was „exalted at the right hand of God” (Acts 2:32-33). And the apostle Paul says that he is now King: „He must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet” (1 Corinthians 15:25; see Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1).

So Palm Sunday was a day of insight and a day of misunderstanding. The insight gave joy, and the misunderstanding brought about destruction – the murder of Jesus a few days later, and the destruction of Jerusalem 40 years later. And Jesus saw it all coming.

And what I want to focus on this morning is Jesus’ response to this blindness and hostility that he was about to meet in Jerusalem. Indeed, he met it already in this very text. The crowds were crying out in verse 38, „Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” But in the very next verse it says, „Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples’” (Luke 19:39).

So Jesus knew what was about to happen. The Pharisees were going to get the upper hand. The people would be fickle and follow their leaders. And Jesus would be rejected and crucified. And within a generation the city would be obliterated. Look how Jesus says it in verses 43-44:

For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.

God had visited them in his Son, Jesus Christ – „he came to his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11). They did not know the time of their visitation. So they stumbled over the stumbling stone. The builders rejected the stone and threw it away. Jesus saw this sin and this rebellion and this blindness coming. How did he respond? Verse 41-42: „And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.’” Jesus wept over the blindness and the impending misery of Jerusalem.

How would you describe these tears? You can see from the title of this message that I call them, „Palm Sunday Tears of Sovereign Mercy.” The effect that I pray this will have on us is, first, to make us admire Christ, and treasure him above all others and worship him as our merciful Sovereign; and, second, that seeing the beauty of his mercy, we become merciful with him and like him and because of him and for his glory.

Admiring Christ’s Merciful Sovereignty and Sovereign Mercy

First, then let’s admire Christ together. What makes Christ so admirable, and so different than all other persons – what sets him apart as unique and inimitable – matchless, peerless – is that he unites in himself so many qualities that in other people are contrary to each other. That’s why I put together the words „sovereign” and „merciful.” We can imagine supreme sovereignty, and we can imagine tenderhearted mercy. But who do we look to combine in perfect proportion merciful sovereignty and sovereign mercy? We look to Jesus. No other religious or political contender even comes close.

Look at three pointers in this text to his sovereignty. First, verse 37: „As he was drawing near – already on the way down the Mount of Olives – the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen.” Jesus had made a name for himself as the worker of miracles, and they remembered them. He had healed leprosy with a touch; he had made the blind see and the deaf hear and the lame walk; he had commanded the unclean spirits and they obeyed him; he had stilled storms and walked on water and turned five loaves and two fish into a meal for thousands. So as he entered Jerusalem, they knew nothing could stop him. He could just speak and Pilate would perish; the Romans would be scattered. He was sovereign.

Then look, secondly, at verse 38. The crowds cried out: „Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Jesus was a King, and not just any king, but the one sent and appointed by the Lord God. They knew how Isaiah had described him:

Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 9:7)

A universal, never-ending kingdom backed by the zeal of almighty God. Here was the King of the universe, who today rules over the nations and the galaxies, and for whom America and Iraq are a grain of sand and a vapor.

Third, verse 40. When the Pharisees tell him to make the people stop blessing him as a king, he answers, „I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out (Luke 19:40). Why? Because he will be praised! The whole design of the universe is that Christ be praised. And therefore, if people won’t do it, he will see to it that rocks do it. In other words, he is sovereign. He will get what he means to get. If we refuse to praise, the rocks will get the joy.

It is remarkable, therefore, that the tears of Jesus in verse 41 are so often used to deny his sovereignty. Someone will say, „Look, he weeps over Jerusalem because his design for them, his will for them, is not coming to pass. He would delight in their salvation. But they are resistant. They are going to reject him. They are going to hand him over to be crucified.” And so his purpose for them has failed. But there is something not quite right about this objection to Jesus’ sovereignty.

He can make praise come from rocks. And so he could do the same from rock-hard hearts in Jerusalem. What’s more, all this rejection and persecution and killing of Jesus is not the failure of Jesus’ plan, but the fulfillment of it. Listen to what he said in Luke 18:31-33 a short time before:

And taking the twelve, he said to them, „See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written [planned!] about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. 32 For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. 33 And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.”

The betrayal, the mockery, the shame, the spit, the flogging, the murder – and so much more – was planned. In other words, the resistance, the rejection, the unbelief and hostility were not a surprise to Jesus. They were, in fact, part of the plan. He says so. This is probably why it says at the end of verse 42, „But now they are hidden from your eyes.” Remember what Jesus said about his parables back in Luke 8:10: „To you [disciples] it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’” God was handing them over to hardness. It was judgment.

We have seen all this in Romans 9. The mercy of God is a sovereign mercy. „I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion” (Romans 9:15). But here is the point I want you to see today: This sovereign Christ weeps over heard-hearted, perishing Jerusalem as they fulfilled his plan. It is unbiblical and wrong to make the tears of mercy a contradiction to the serenity of sovereignty. Jesus was serene in sorrow, and sorrowful in sovereignty. Jesus’ tears are the tears of sovereign mercy.

And therefore his sovereign power is the more admirable and the more beautiful. It’s the harmony of things that seem in tension that makes him glorious: „Merciful and Mighty,” as we sing. We admire power more when it is merciful power. And we admire mercy more when it is mighty mercy. And, as I said, my prayer is that as you see his mercy and admire his mercy, you will become like him in his mercy.

There are at least three ways that Jesus is merciful, which we can draw out of this context. And I pray that I will become like him in all of these. I pray that you will too.

Jesus’ Mercy Is Tenderly Moved

First, Jesus’ mercy is tenderly moved. He feels the sorrow of the situation. This doesn’t mean his sovereign plan has wrecked on the rocks of human autonomy. It means that Jesus is more emotionally complex than we think he is. He really feels the sorrow of a situation. No doubt there is a deep inner peace that God is in control and that God’s wise purposes will come to pass. But that doesn’t mean you can’t cry.

In fact, on the contrary, I appeal to you here: pray that God would give you tears. There is so much pain in the world. So much suffering far from you and near you. Pray that God would help you be tenderly moved. When you die and stand before the Judge, Jesus Christ, and he asks you, „How did you feel about the suffering around you?” what will you say? I promise you, you will not feel good about saying, „I saw through to how a lot of people brought their suffering upon themselves by sin or foolishness.” You know what I think the Lord will say to that? I think he will say, „I didn’t ask you what you saw through. I asked you what you felt?” Jesus felt enough compassion for Jerusalem to weep. If you haven’t shed any tears for somebody’s losses but your own, it probably means you’re pretty wrapped up in yourself. So let’s repent of our hardness and ask God to give us a heart that is tenderly moved.

Jesus’ Mercy Was Self-Denying

Second, Jesus’ mercy was self-denying – not ultimately; there was great reward in the long run, but very painfully in the short run. This text is part of the story of Jesus’ moving intentionally toward suffering and death. Jesus is entering Jerusalem to die. He said so, „We are going up to Jerusalem . . . and the Son of Man will be delivered up . . . and they will kill him” (Luke 18:31-33). This is the meaning of self-denial. This is the way we follow Jesus. We see a need – for Jesus is was seeing the sin of the world, and broken bodies, and the misery of hell – and we move with Jesus, whatever it costs, toward need. We deny ourselves the comforts and the securities and the ease of avoiding other peoples’ pain. We embrace it. Jesus’ tears were not just the tender moving of his emotions. They were the tears of a man on his way toward need.

Jesus’ Mercy Intends to Help

That leads us to the third and last way Jesus is merciful. First, he is tenderly moved, second he is self-denying and moves toward need. Now third, he intends to help. Mercy if helpful. It doesn’t just feel – though it does feel – and it doesn’t just deny itself – though it does deny itself – it actually does things that help people. Jesus was dying in our place that we might be forgiven and have eternal life with him. That’s how he helped.

What will it be for you? How are you doing in ministries of mercy? How are you and your roommate, or your housemates, doing together? How is your family doing? (That’s what Noël and I asked at Annie’s Parlor.) What is tenderly moving you these days? Is there movement toward pain or suffering or misery or loss or sadness, that means denying yourself – in the short run – and multiplying your joy in the long run? And what help are you actually giving to those in need?

Two prayers: Oh, that we would see and savor the beauty of Christ – the Palm Sunday Tears of sovereign joy. And oh, that as we admire and worship him, we would be changed by what we see and become a more tenderly-moved, self-denying, need-meeting people.

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

Passion Week A. Friday/Saturday: Jesus arrives in Bethany

This post corresponds to the related Google map of Jesus’ Passion Week you can access here.

This is a telling of the Gospel story and event of Jesus and Mary who annointed Jesus’ head with oil, one week before he was to be crucified. The Gospel is told by C.J.Mahaney and transcribed by Alex Chediak for a Desiring God conference in 2007. You can read the entire message here

Message Title: Extravagant Devotion

We then were asked to open our Bible’s to Mark 14:1-11. C.J. read the text. C.J. assured us that his text, Mark 14:1-11, revealed a truly historic moment as it contained a profound pronouncement. Nobody else except this woman receives this promise from the Savior: „wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” Why? Why her? Why now? Just her. Why her? C.J. wanted to help us discover „why her” so that we all might be affected by her.

The Mark 14 passage begins with disturbing descriptions of the chief priest: Only Jesus’ popularity and the threat of a riot slow have slowed them in their goal of killing him. That’s the backdrop to our passage. At the end of the evening, the chief priests will get some help from Judas.

The Alabaster Flask

And in between the intrigue of verses 1-2 and 10-11, there is a party taking place in Bethany. Jesus and his friends are gathered. They are in the home of „Simon the leper,” who – had he still been a leper – could not have been hosting the get-together. C.J. suggested he might have been previously healed by Jesus. John’s gospel, in a parallel passage, informs us that Lazarus was present, having recently been raised from the dead.

[C.J. joke: „Imagine being there with Lazarus. I’d find some way to recline next to him at some point in the evening. I’d have lots of questions for him. It’s not often you meet someone who has died. What was it like to die? Is it a bummer you have to do it again? What was heaven like? Who broke the news to you that you had to go back? How did they break the news to you? ‘Lazarus, your sisters won’t stop crying, now the Savior is crying, you’re going back, pal.’ And what was that like? Hearing the Savior say, ‘Lazarus, come forth.’ Going from Paradise to the graveclothes. What was that like? If I’m disoriented by frequent travel, how disoriented is Lazarus?”]

John also tells us Martha is present; the quintessential servant, she is catering the party. And most important, the Savior is there. Presumably, he is the guest of honor. One would expect the atmosphere to be warm and friendly – there are no Pharisees or chief priests present. Only those with every reason to be grateful to Jesus are present (except perhaps Judas, who is still under the radar at this point).

Suddenly, a woman (John tells us it was Mary) stands by Jesus and proceeds to break an alabaster flask of very expensive perfume. She pours the entirety of its contents over his head. The fragrance fills the room. It was impossible to ignore this public, dramatic, passionate display of affection. The disciples do not appreciate this act, and they scold her. The scene is no longer festive. Suddenly there is a dramatic change in the mood and atmosphere. A voice says leave her alone.

The Savior then makes the profound promise: „wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” Why? Why does he make this promise to her at this moment? What she has done must be told wherever the gospel is preached, because Mary uniquely exemplifies the transforming effect of the gospel, which is extravagant devotion to the Savior. She demonstrates the effect of the gospel by her extravagant love for Jesus. She was to be an example of piety to the church universal throughout history. Her story is told so that we might evaluate if we have been appropriately and effectively transformed by the gospel. Not just applause, but application: We should evaluate ourselves in relation to her.

Two points to be drawn:

1. Extravagant devotion is an evidence of conversion.

Earlier in Mark’s gospel we encounter a teacher of law who is told, „You are not far from the kingdom of God” (Mark 12:34). It was surely both an encouragement and a warning to this man. You are near, but not in. Well, it is clear that Mary’s not simply “near.” She’s “in.” Big-time. This is what being “in” looks like.

Where there is a profession of faith without affection for and obedience to the Savior, it’s authenticity should be questioned. Be assured if you are truly saved. If you have genuine affection for the Savior, and genuine obedience to the savior, then you can have fresh assurance.

C.J. expressed concern regarding the prevailing tendency among many in the church to grant false assurance to those who profess faith in the Savior, but whose lives bear no evidence to the miracle of regeneration (namely, affection for and obedience to Jesus Christ). C.J. lamented that in the U.S. evangelical church, it is quite common for someone to retain the lifestyle of those in the world, but with the (false) confidence that they possess eternal salvation.

Where does that confidence come from? In his novel The Painted House, John Grisham describes a Sunday school teacher eulogizing a mean character Jerry Sisco, killed the night before: “She made Jerry sound like a Christian, and like an innocent victim. As baptists we’d been taught that they only way you get to heaven is by accepting Jesus. Accept Jesus, or you went to hell. That’s where Jerry Sisco was, and we all knew it.” C.J. exhorted us not to emulate the example of this Sunday school teacher who gave false assurance to someone whose life displayed no evidence of salvation: affection or obedience. We are not serving the children we have the privilege to lead if we impart false assurance to them. Let us not encourage assurance where there is the absence of affection for, or obedience to, the Savior.

Given the size of this conference, C.J. noted, he would be remiss to assume that everyone present is genuinely converted. „I think I can assume most everyone here is, but given the large number, it would be unwise to assume that all are converted, and perhaps even now God is drawing near those who have maybe even made a profession of faith, are serving in children’s ministry, but without evidence of affection or obedience. There are other things you are more passionate about than the Savior. If that is a description of you, I would warn you right now to receive this plea as an expression of God’s mercy. If you are not genuinely converted recognize that God is demanding you to turn from your sins to the Savior for the forgiveness of your sins. Because extravagant devotion is an evidence of genuine conversion.” (My paraphrase of C.J.’s warning)

If I witness a person who is unaffected by truth, uninvolved in the local congregation, and uninterested in spiritual things, that individual is very unlike Mary, and therefore unconverted. Extravagant devotion to the Savior cannot be concealed. It must find expression. It is evidence of true conversion. This is the significance of Mary.

2. Extravagant devotion is the increasing experience of the converted.

C.J. asked us to consider if we recognized ourselves in the following illustration:

A woman took her children to the park to break the monotony of the summer days. Instead, she broke her heart. A young attractive woman skipped to a picnic table in a secluded spot. The mother wondered who she might be so eager to see. The mother grew preoccupied with her children and forgot to watch. But when she did look again, it made her heart hurt. The young woman was reading her Bible. She had so eagerly run from her car to meet the Lord. The mother knew she had lost this passion. Something had happened over the years of her walk with the Lord. She would not now be one to skip to meet the Lord. She wept in the park for her loss.

The question C.J. put to us is: Are we still skipping? Now all who are genuinely converted can, at times, recognize themselves in this illustration. In the Mark 14 episode, we are sometimes more like those criticizing Mary than we are like Mary.

What should have happened there in Mark 14? As Mary stood over the Savior pouring out the perfume, affectionately, passionately, appropriately, over His head….quietly, everyone present should have gotten up and formed a line behind her and should have said to her, “Mary, could you please save some for me to pour? For he has forgiven all of my sins. Mary, can I pour some? For he healed me of my leprosy. Mary, thank you for your example. Can I follow your example?” That’s what should have happened.

So who do you resemble more? The arrogant and critical disciples? Or humble Mary, expressing her love for the Savior through this extravagant display of affection. How can we become more like her? How can we cultivate extravagant devotion to Christ?

Application: We must review and reflect upon the gospel.

We must regularly read, and meditate upon, the gospel, particularly the events surrounding Christ’s death. The transforming effect of the gospel is extravagant devotion to the Savior. Therefore, if extravagant devotion is diminished, it normally means the gospel has been neglected. Charles Spurgeon said:

Are you content to follow Jesus from a distance? O, let me affectionately warn you for it is a grievous thing when we can live contentedly without the present enjoyment of the Savior’s face. Let us work to feel what an evil thing this is – little love to our own dying Savior, little joy in our precious Jesus, little fellowship with the Beloved! Hold a true Lent in your in your souls, while you sorrow over your hardness of heart. Don’t stop at sorrow. Remember where you first received salvation. Go at once to the cross. There, and there only can you get your spirit aroused. No matter how hard, how insensible, how dead we may have become, let’s go again in all the rags and poverty, and defilement of our natural condition. Let’s clasp that cross, let’s look into those languid eyes, let’s bathe in that fountain filled with blood – this will bring us back to our first love; this will restore the simplicity of our faith, and the tenderness of our heart….The more we dwell where the cries of Calvary can be heard the more noble our lives become. Nothing puts life into men like a dying Savior.

How often do we dwell where the cries of Calvary can be heard? Those cries were all necessary because of our sins, and those cries were sufficient for our salvation. The transforming effect of those cries is extravagant devotion to the One who uttered those cries.

C.J. than cautioned that if we don’t intentionally review and reflect upon the gospel each day, we will inevitably review our own sin – and, consequently, be more aware of our sin that of God’s grace. Reflection upon sin should be a means, never an end. Cry out for grace, and be amazed by grace.

C.J. encouraged us to custom-design a play so that we can each day survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died. And express extravagant devotion each day through the experience of dwelling where the cries of Calvary can be heard.

If our affections have grown cold, C.J. suggested we consider restricting our spiritual diet to dwell where the cries of Calvary have been heard. Study a gospel, particularly the passion week. Study the Savior as he resolves to go to Jerusalem, as he is overwhelmed in the garden of Gethsemane, and contemplates the experience of God’s full and righteous wrath against sin.

C.J. movingly recounted Jesus’ words on the cross as we sat with eyes closed. He then encouraged us to have Christ-centered, Sunday school curricula, so that the attention of our children is drawn to Christ and Him crucified with regularity. Finally, he prayed that all present would be encouraged in their ministry and sense the Savior’s pleasure, even as we take appropriate measures to maintain our first love for Christ.

Books which C.J. commended for „dwelling where the cries of Calvary can be heard”:

J.I. Packer quote C.J. displayed:

The preachers’ commission is to declare the whole counsel of God; but the cross is the center of that counsel, and the Puritans knew that the traveler through the Bible landscape misses his way as soon as he loses sight of the hill called Calvary.

Dr. John R.W. Stott – John Stott on the Bible and the Christian Life (Audio – Chapter 1 – in his own words)

via 

John Stott sheds light on the authority of the Bible, the „dual-author” nature of the Bible, biblical interpretation, the problem of culture, developing a Christian mind, and making an impact on society.

Available in print, audiobook format and DVD format. In the six-session DVD curriculum, author and pastor John R. W. Stott–recently named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine–addresses key areas of Christian beliefs in his typical clear, balanced, biblically based, and intellectually rigorous manner. Sessions include:

  1.  The Authority of the Bible;
  2.  The Nature of the Bible: Double Authorship;
  3.  The Interpretation of the Bible;
  4.  The Problem of Culture;
  5.  Developing a Christian Mind; and
  6.  Making an Impact on Society.  Also includes a discussion guide.

Videourile Vodpod nu mai sunt disponibile.

Al Mohler – Shepherd’s Conference 2012 – The Calling of a Preacher

Introduction from the message given by Al Mohler. See video for flu message:

Let’s admit it. There’s a lot of mysteries in the christian life, but one of the greatest mysteries is why God would in His sovereign, omnipotent and omniscient, and wisdom and righteousness, and mercy choose the likes of folks as we… to do this. You might think that if we were orchestrating this, we might have angels doing the preaching. Everybody would listen to an angel, wouldn’t they? Of course,  not American angels. We domesticate little angels, we paint little pictures of cherubs and hang them in the bathroom. It’s a completely different reality. Just remember in the Gospel of Luke, the angelic hosts showed up to the shepherds and the first think they had to say is, „First of all, don’t die” – „Fear not, we bring you tidings of great joy”. Meanwhile, most Americans, in our weirdo, fake, postmodern spirituality think they’re channeling with little cherubs in the bathroom.

But God doesn’t assign angels to do the preaching. He assigned human preachers, men whom He has called because when an angel shows up to preach you don’t ask, „How did God do that?”. But, when we show up to preach you’re looking at me going (saying), „He’s just flesh and blood. He’s nearsighted. He only speaks one language. He’s gonna be hungry soon. He fell asleep during a Greek lecture, thirty something years ago and you’re letting him preach?” Well, it’s as the apostle Paul says, „It’s so that the glory would be all of God’s and not ours. So that the excellence would be His excellence that’s demonstrated and not ours.”

Admit it: you’d love to be doing this, and then admit it: That’s a good thing. And then let’s just admit it together, it’s just a priceless thing that we get to be together for these days and these hours, to preach and to hear preaching and to be encouraged, not only by each other, but by the Holy Spirit of God in this calling that has come to us.

How is it that there can be such confusion about the calling of the preacher?

There are many things I can understand that can confuse us. We’re rightly confused about many things. There are simple some things that are vexing and confusing They’re not easily understood. But when it comes to the calling of a preacher there is such Biblical clarity. How in the world do you get confused about this? When you look at the contemporary church life, it is very, very clear that there is wholesale confusion about what the preacher is supposed to do. Not only in academia are they talking about getting the sage off the stage just to be the guide on the side.

There are an awful lot of preachers who think they’re not supposed to declare, they’re not supposed to proclaim, they’re not supposed to rebuke, they’re not supposed to exhort. All they’re supposed to do is kind of hint… suggest… maybe a little insinuation, here and there.

Have you noticed how many churches don’t have a pulpit anymore? Because it implies something that’s supposed to take place here. I think one of the reasons a lot of churches don’t have pulpits is because you can just sort of glide here and there and make a few suggestions. Whereas, a pulpit has a history. It’s a substantial piece of furniture that says: This is actually a place where something is supposed to happen. Now, a lot of those pulpits weren’t very useful because they had a tiny place to put anything on. Everything about this pulpit says that it is here for one reason: teaching. But there’s an antipathy towards this, there’s an incredible confusion and I’ll admit I just don’t understand it.

I think, that it just might be, that the most dangerous place on planet earth is in an evangelical Bible study. One of those unguided Bible studies, like some churches have. Where everybody slouches in a chair with their own copy of God’s word, open on their lap. And you read a verse and you know the question that’s coming: What does this verse mean to you? I don’t wanna hurt your feelings, but I don’t care what this verse means to you. I wanna know what it means and that’s when you’ve actually gotta have someone who can teach, who’s equipped, who has studied to show himself approved, a workman who needs not to be ashamed.

I remember back in junior high school when we had these non directed Bible studies. They told us to get together. You imagine 14 year old boys in  a room, sitting at the table, reading a Bible. We read a text and said, „What do you think?” „I don’t know” After going around we closed the Bible and asked, „Ok, what’s your favorite team?” They have to be taught. We have to be taught.

It is the privilege and the responsibility of the preacher to teach.

 „How will they hear without a preacher?” asked Paul. The Ethiopian Eunuch had to be taught by Philip. The clear assignment to the preacher is to preach the word in season and out of season. And we wonder with an exhortation, a commandment that is that clear, how could we possibly get it confused?  And yet many do.

by Grace Community Church at Vimeo

Colossians 1 (ESV)

Greeting

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the saints and faithful brothers[a] in Christ at Colossae:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints,because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant.[b] He is a faithful minister of Christ on your[c] behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11  May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12  giving thanks[d] to the Father, who has qualified you[e] to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

The Preeminence of Christ

15  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by[f] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

21  And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless andabove reproach before him, 23  if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation[g] under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Paul’s Ministry to the Church

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25  of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26  the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27  To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

Blogosfera Evanghelică

Vizite unicate din Martie 6,2011

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