MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Light out of Darkness – Conclusion

June 30th, 2018 Viewed 144 times

Conclusion

As we walk away from these first few verses of the book of John’s Gospel, let us marvel anew about who Jesus is. He is God, who came in the flesh to dwell among us. He is God, the one who Created all things. He is God, the light that came into the darkness and lights the way to salvation.

May we be worthy to carry that light into the darkest places, the places where the truth needs to be heard, and to share that light so others may see and glorify Him.

photo by: Kevin M. Gill

Light out of Darkness – The Gospel of John is Not About John

June 29th, 2018 Viewed 130 times

The Gospel of John is not about John

Each of the four gospels is geared toward a specific audience.

  1. Matthew – Christ as King
  2. Mark – Christ as Servant
  3. Luke – Christ as Man

Written between 85 and 95 AD, John’s book is the most theological of the bunch, written to teach us that Jesus is God. The focus of the book is not on the author. He’s an eyewitness and the beloved disciple.

photo by: Kevin M. Gill

Light out of Darkness – Jesus is the Word

June 28th, 2018 Viewed 102 times

He is the Eternal Word

He existed with God at the beginning, not because He was created then, but because He is eternal. The word “was” in the first verse in the imperfect tense, which focuses on continual existence in past time. In contrast with the aorist tense in v. 3 talking about something that happened once in the past.

This echoes Jesus very claim about Himself (John 8:48-58). In response to the Jews asking about Jesus casting out a demon, Jesus said that Abraham would have rejoiced to see His day. When they challenge Him, He responds with “before Abraham was, I AM.”

John is here, telling us exactly who the Word was. There is no clearer verse than this on the Divinity of Jesus. This verse had to be rewritten the Jehovah Witness bible to say was “a god” because they do not believe Jesus is God. The fact that Jesus was God makes it so that the eternal punishment of our sin could be paid. Only the blood of the Eternal Son of God could pay the eternal price of the sin of mankind. Only God could fulfill the entire law.

photo by: Kevin M. Gill

Light out of Darkness – Jesus is the Light of the World

June 27th, 2018 Viewed 95 times

Jesus is the Light of the World

John begins the book by taking us back to the very beginning

Genesis 1:2 – God creates light out of darkness

“God created light to serve as a boundary to darkness. Here light is not only instantly linked to God’s presence but also institutes time and order over the chaos of the formless void. God creates a functioning, orderly environment for people, and the creation of stars gives humanity seasons and cycles of time by which to order their lives. The link of light with the Creator also acts as a symbolic tie between light and life. If light symbolizes God’s presence, and God is the author of life, then surely where God is, life abounds.” – Lexham Bible Dictionary

Light is created before the current orbs of light we have in the sky. John is making a statement about who Jesus is by tying Him to the Creation and calling Him the light.

Darkness is not an equal to the light, it cannot comprehend or overcome the light (vs 4). The darkness is beholden to the light. The light and the darkness are not equal powers. Walking in the light is equated to walking in God’s purposes. Those that walk in darkness have seen a great light (Isaiah 9:2). Light is also linked to concepts of wisdom, understanding and character.

If God’s presence is light and life, then opposition to Him brings darkness and death. If condemnation and death are spoken of as darkness, then salvation from these evils is also spoken in terms of light. Thus also God Himself … becomes a light leading a person out of darkness, toward salvation. The tone of confidence that pervades the [Old Testament Scripture] demonstrates that there is no doubt that God’s presence as light will conquer and even eliminate the darkness. Old Testament prophesies of the ultimate restoration of God’s people are full of the language of light and dawn.

This ties into various Prophecies…

Isaiah 60:1-3 – Darkness shall cover the earth, but light will shine forth such that the Gentiles shall come to your light.

The light will shine out of the darkness and it will be so bright that it will make you bright and the Gentiles bright.

Ezekiel 43:2, 5 – God’s glory will shine in the east and His glory will be seen.

Ezekiel is in Babylonian captivity at the time. The light of God’s glory in Jerusalem is seen from there.

In New Testament times teaching was often layered and calling back to previous things that people would have known growing up

While the words of the opening of the Gospel of John are powerful in themselves, John means something more.John is calling forth the prophecies of the Light coming forth out of darkness to tell us something about this Word that became flesh and dwelt among us.The readers of John’s Gospel would know that John was saying that Jesus is

  • God
  • Salvation
  • Hope
  • The Promised One

John the Baptist

John the Apostle wants to make sure that we make a distinction between John the Baptist and Jesus. John’s light is not of His own, he is witness to the light. He is like the moon, reflecting the light.

Our job as believers is to reflect the light, because we are not the light:

  • No matter how smart we are
  • No matter how successful we are by the world’s standards
  • No matter the size of the people that listen to us
  • No matter the size of our Facebook followers

We are simply servants who are trying to show others salvation and the Master. We are witnesses to the Light, trying to share that Light with others.

photo by: Kevin M. Gill

Light out of Darkness

June 26th, 2018 Viewed 114 times

Introduction

When I say C.S. Lewis, many of you would think of the Chronicles of Narnia, and I could blame you because it will soon feel like we’re the ones with 100 years of winter! But Lewis wrote more than these famous children’s books. He also wrote a science fiction space trilogy, and the first book is entitled Out of the Silent Planet.

Like Narnia, these books have allusions to Christianity. The main character, Ransom, travels to the planet Mars where one of the pieces of information that he learns as he’s wandering around is that Earth is called the Silent Planet. This is because Earth had turned evil and rebelled against the ruler of the Universe. Communication with it had become non-existent.

When man fell and cursed Earth, the Earth became bent. Another way to put this is that the Earth went dark, no longer in harmony with its Creator, and without the Creator’s intervention it would be doomed to destruction. With this background, John enters the scene to tell us about that Light that shined out of the darkness.

photo by: Kevin M. Gill

Jesus Calls Us to Follow Him

May 17th, 2018 Viewed 120 times

Matthew 8:18-27: Jesus cuts through all of this and calls us back to seeing things from His perspective

The scribe comes up to him and asks to follow Jesus wherever He will go. Jesus responds by telling the man that he will not have the comforts that He’s used to.

This is the same for us: The world tells us that there are certain things that we must have, certain expectations to have a good life. The world would call you insane if you gave up that which you could have to follow Christ, and yet God calls for all of us.

Another comes up and asks to bury his father first. Jesus tells him to let the spiritually dead bury the physically dead. The culture told him that it was right to go bury his father, Jesus said that following Him was more important than cultural practice.

photo by: DrGBB

Discipleship Modeled

April 26th, 2018 Viewed 252 times

What does Christian Discipleship look like?

The idea of having disciples or apprentices was not a new one to the time. In fact, our modern forms of education would look foreign and wrong to people who passed on their skills to primarily their children and a few other apprentices. It was very common for parents to teach their sons their trade, and then, if they wanted to learn another one, they would always have their primary trade to fall back upon.

If you were headed in a Spiritual direction, you would learn in Scriptures occurred at the feet of a rabbi. This is what Paul is referring to in Acts 22:3 that his heritage was who he grew up under. This is why it wasn’t unheard of to have Jesus choose disciples, for many learned Rabbis would have disciples that would learn what they knew to follow in their footsteps.

photo by: Chris Yarzab

Christ Has a Plan For the Future

April 20th, 2018 Viewed 142 times

His Work Will Not End with Today

He is coming again! In the last post we talked about the fact that he left because it going to prepare a place for us so that we can go to be with Him. Therefore, He has to return to get us. This is the blessed hope of His return. This is the city that even Abraham looked for whose builder and maker is God. This is the fulfillment of the promise of eternal salvation with God and a home together with Him!

Because God is just, we also know that He is going to judge the world. Not only is He returning to receive us unto Himself, but He is going to judge the unrighteous. Those that refuse to accept as their Savior will face the consequences of their decision. He will also judge those that are His according to the works done in the flesh. The Bible talks about rewards that will be handed out for faithfully following God. There’s also the idea that some will hear from Him, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Some items done in the flesh will be considered wood, hay and stubble to be burnt, and some gold, silver and precious stones when done for Him. Lots to do!

photo by: dieg88

Christ is Working Today

April 19th, 2018 Viewed 149 times

In the last segment we discussed how Jesus was working at Creation and then through the Old Testament. In the New Testament we are introduced to the incarnation. Jesus, born of a virgin and under the law, came to live a sinless life and die on the cross– our punishment– so that we might live. Then He arose, appeared to the disciples, and then ascended on high.

The rest of the New Testament chronicles His disciples’ work at carrying out the mission He gave them– go into all the world and make disciples. He appears a couple of more times in visions, and then the Bible ends.

However, His work did not finish there, or even finish on the cross. Jesus is still active and working today!

photo by: iansthree

The Biggest Problem Facing America Today

August 16th, 2016 Viewed 1205 times

America is a country in crisis.  Not a week goes by that we do not hear about some atrocity committed in different places within our borders.  People are dying from acts of nature and acts of other individuals, and one wonders how much more this nation can take.

But this country’s biggest problem isn’t the character of the individuals running for office, immigration, or any of the other issues of the day.  The biggest problem is that its people need a Savior.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most powerful thing in the world.  Stronger than any man, more powerful than any nuclear device.  The power that raised Christ from the dead is the same power available to the believer.  It’s the power that is available to every believe, and it is a transformational power.

It is this power that changed Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus from a persecutor of the church to one of its greatest proclaimers.  It allowed many men and women to endure fierce persecution, more brutal than anything that ISIS has done, and one day it will be triumphant over the whole world.

It is the duty of every believer not to force Christianity upon a nation or people, but to proclaim the Gospel.  That is part of what makes Christianity so different.  It is a free gift– something that’s offered but should not be forced– though some down the years have tried.  There’s never a command for a believer to kill those that do not believe, only to walk away– sometimes knocking the dust off their feet to let God decide what to do with that place.

This is something that we should do, regardless of who is in the government or who is running for government.  If we would do that, and the Spirit would work, we would see serious change in this nation.  Without, we seem destined for fracture.

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.