Jesus Doesn’t Meet Needs, He Exceeds Them

The woman taken in adultery
The woman taken in adultery

A Series on Love, Part 5

What overcomes you and prevents you from loving other people like you are supposed to? How could you be more like Jesus in expressing love? Consider John 1:5 “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Jesus overcame His enemies with Love. God so loved the world He gave and His giving overwhelmed the need of fallen man. It united all believers from every tribe into one Body. Our sin was not too much for Him. Jesus overcame evil with love. He cast out the darkness with His perfect light. This is our story. This is our hope. This is the reality in which we repent, marry, raise children, go to the bank, commune in worship, gather in each other’s homes and greet our neighbors over the fence. This is what we are to imitate. Jesus commands us to love like He has loved.

1st Corinthians 13:7 “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Love overcomes. We are going to consider a few specific examples, over the next couple of posts, of Jesus’ love overcoming.

People brought Jesus their needs and Jesus responded by giving them what they needed and then some. Think of the paralytic who Jesus healed on the Sabbath. The guy just wanted to walk, but Jesus also forgave his sin. He gave the paralytic a better life and eternal life. More poignantly, Jesus saw people in need that hadn’t come to Him and He gave them what they needed and then some. Continue reading “Jesus Doesn’t Meet Needs, He Exceeds Them”

God Vowed to Walk There With Them

Zampieri - Adam et Ève (détail)
Zampieri – Adam et Ève (détail) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Adam stood outside the Garden, with God, in the valley of death; ashamed and defeated. God cursed the ground on Adam’s behalf, increased the pain of labor for Eve and spilled the blood of a substitute to make a covering for His wayward and fallen children. In the midst of the first evil, God promised a son to restore the lost and broken relationship that God had  enjoyed with man.

In the pain of that moment, betrayed, accused and hated by His own children whom He had given the world, God knew something profound. That all the sons of Adam and Eve would be unable to bear the burden, were too weak and broken to fight back against the dragon. God knew that the Son that was promised would be ravaged and that the battle would cost that Son his life. And God knew, God promised in that moment, at the very beginning, with the tears of betrayal fresh on His cheeks, that the Son whose blood would be spilled for mankind, would be His own Son; His only Son. Continue reading “God Vowed to Walk There With Them”

The Wise man’s heart

To teach us God trains us with Grace as it says in Titus 2:11-12. How does God do this?

Ecclesiastes 7:2-4 “It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of face the heart is made glad. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.”

The house of mirth is a house of amusement. Think theme park or a Budweiser commercial. Now there is nothing wicked about a theme park, but if you lived there, how would ever face the more difficult and trying aspects of life?Mere amusement does not cause us to reflect on our condition as fallen men. Sorrow causes us to closely examine our lives. If your heart dwells in the house of mourning you remember who you were in Adam and who you are in Christ. Continue reading “The Wise man’s heart”

A Man of Sorrows and Acquainted with Grief

Introduction

Every child from Adam to the baby born in the middle of this sentence, has taken out a huge knife of iniquity and stabbed God in the heart with it. God has suffered at the hands of everyone who has ever sinned, which is every man and woman who has ever lived.

This all started at the dawn of time, in the paradise of the Garden, where God’s chief Creation and representative on earth bowed down and worshiped Satan before the very face of God. And just as Adam’s teeth tore into the forbidden fruit, our sins tear at the heart of God.

Our treachery separates us from the LORD. Adam’s rebellion unleashed a conflict directed at God’s throne which man has perpetuated throughout history down to the present day. Continue reading “A Man of Sorrows and Acquainted with Grief”

The Suffering Servant

A sermon delivered on February 10th, 2013.

Do you suffer? Have you experienced a broken heart or a broken arm? Have you been betrayed or falsely accused? Are you alone and misunderstood? Why in an otherwise decent world, full of beauty and good things, do events occur that have no apparent upside? Why does a good God allow suffering?

We have to turn back to the beginning to find out. Have you ever wondered what Jesus was thinking at the moment that Adam ate the fruit, God the Father, commanded Adam not to eat? Adam bit into the fruit and by his action Adam called Jesus’ Father, our father, a liar. The father whom Jesus loved. Who Jesus adored, served, obeyed and revered. Adam bit into that fruit and called God’s Holiness, evil. In that act, in the midst of a paradise, as the king of earth, Adam bowed down and worshiped Satan before the face of God. Adam chewed the fruit and each bite was a tear and gnarling wrench of God’s heart. And at that moment, Jesus entered His suffering at the site of God’s chief creation, God’s image bearer, prostituting himself for the promises of an idol.

At the dawn of time, still rejoicing over the creation made in and through him, Jesus not only witnessed the treachery of man but Jesus was, in that moment, sentenced to death. And that suffering of the Father and the Son and the Spirit would continue as generation after generation proved themselves to be just as treacherous and evil as Adam.

That suffering continued until Jesus laid down His life only to take it up again as the resurrected LORD. And that suffering continues as Christ’s blood spreads from the rivers to the ends of the earth, cleansing everything Adam stained. And what is even more profound about this moment is that it was decreed by God. It was not a shock to Him. “Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward,” it says in Job 5:7. Man’s fall plunged God’s world into suffering.

We are fallen creatures and the evil that we experience is the result of what we’ve done to God. No matter what we suffer or experience. Evil that befalls evil creatures is not evil. It’s par for the course. The only one who experiences true evil and who truly suffers is God himself. Continue reading “The Suffering Servant”

Genesis

A.    Name – The word Genesis comes from the Greek word meaning “beginning” or “generation.” The word “genesis” is translated “generation” in Matt. 1:1. Genesis contains 10 references to the “generations of…” (2:4; 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10; 11:27; 25:12: 25:19; 36:1; 36:9; 37:2)

B.    Purpose – The Bible is the story of God’s Son. It is a story told through the stories of many sons; sons of promise and blessing that foreshadow Jesus and stories of fallen sons at enmity with God that are antithetical to Jesus. Genesis is the story of beginnings, recounting the creation, kingship and fall of Adam and subsequently, all mankind (1-3). Genesis focuses on the warring families that resulted from God’s promise of enmity, salvation and seed in Gen 3:15 (4-10). Many sons are born who are believed to be the promised heir, but they all fall short. In the midst of this war, the family of Abraham is chosen specifically to bear the covenant relationship and responsibility on earth to restore man to his rightful place. This family’s story is recounted in the largest portion of Genesis (11-52). Joseph rises to rule the known world. Genesis ends with Joseph’s death while the restoration of mankind remains unfulfilled. Abraham’s descendants never enter the Promised Land but instead are living in Egypt at the close of Genesis. When would the true heir come? When will the bondage of sin and death be defeated? Continue reading “Genesis”

The Story of God’s Son

In the Beginning the Triune God created the heavens and the earth as His kingdom. God created His first son Adam from the dust of the earth with the mission to protect and cultivate His garden-home and rule over all the other creatures. God gave Adam a wife as a helpmate to cultivate and fill the earth with faithful children.

Adam failed to protect his wife and his garden-home by disobeying God. Adam worshiped and believed the lies of the dragon and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil that God had commanded Adam not to eat. Through Adam’s disobedience, sin and death entered the world God had made. Adam was cast from his garden-home, his wife’s labor was increased, the ground would no longer produce fruit without toil and estrangement consumed Adam and his relationships. Within this just judgment of Adam, God cursed the dragon and gave a promise that another Son would come and crush the head of the dragon. God decreed the two warring families would come from the wife of Adam; the sons of God and the sons of the dragon. These warring families are the context of the promised heir, the true Son of God who would restore the Creation and Glory of God in His kingdom.

Continue reading “The Story of God’s Son”