He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by 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. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 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. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (Colossians 1:15-20)
Jesus is the image of of the invisible God. When we could not come to God, he came to us. When we could see God, the man Jesus – in whom all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell – appeared. If you want to know how much God hates sin, look at the cross. If you want to know how much God loves you… look at the cross. Continue reading →
Harvey Turner at The Resurgence writes You Are Not Jesus. He claims that the gospel is good news, and news must be proclaimed. You cannot, therefore, live the gospel or be the gospel, a premise which troubles me greatly.
Yes, the gospel is good news. But when we are transformed by his redeeming power old things pass away and we become new creatures in Christ (2 Cor 5:17). It is no longer we that live but he lives in us (Gal 2:20). Our goal is to conform to the image of Christ, who himself was the image of the invisible God (Col 1:15). We are filled with the indwelling Holy Spirit, and are commissioned to carry the gospel to a lost and dying world. I am not Jesus, but if I give a cup of water to the least of his children Jesus says it’s as if I gave water to him. We, the church, are the body of Christ and he becomes the head of the body. Jesus says his believers become one with him just as he and the Father are one. We are grafted into the family of God through a glorious adoption. Continue reading →
No, I’m not saying that I hate theology. “I Hate Theology” is the title of an essay that has been reposted at Internet Monk, and I got the chance to read for the first time. This is a link to the original post, here is an excerpt that gets to the heart of the message:
I hate this, and I am not ashamed to say so. Christ didn’t call theologians, he called disciples. Let’s follow Jesus, not just talk about the two natures. He didn’t establish a seminary or a library, but a church, which is a pretty down and dirty business that does a lot more than just stare at its confessions in wondrous rapture and awe. He didn’t give the great debate assignment, but the great commission. We’re on mission with a God who is doing great things in history. Or are we? Some of us are theologizing about ministry so much that we appear to be undermining ministry itself. It’s a great commission to make disciples of all nations, not a great commotion about who can be more literal about the elements of the Lord’s Supper.
I’ve written a lot lately about being the salt and the light, and I’m probably not done yet. This is what iMonk is saying; you can debate and discuss all the things that ministry should be and do, but then someone still has to do them. Discussing the salt of the earth and being salty are not the same thing. Jesus actually mentions this. Telling someone to go their way and be fed is not the same as feeding them.
This is just one point iMonk makes in his essay. You really should read the whole thing, and don’t get mad too quickly. It might not be what you think it is (the whole book by its cover sort of thing). I listen to a lot of preachers, I read lots of blogs. Very few things you hear or read are worth putting into practice in your everyday life. I’m suggesting this is one of them.