April 26, 2019

“The church united by love”, Class 3 – “All Things Together In Jesus”, Chris Birtles, Thames Valley churches of Christ

Preacher:
Service Type:
You might find the slides helpful. You can download them below.
  • The unveiling of God’s plan: Eph 1.7-10
  • All Things Together: Col 1.17-20
  • All Things Together In Jesus: Jn 1.3; Col 1.20
  • This World is Not My Home? Jn 18.36; Matt 6.10
  • Give to Caesar… Matt 22.21 / 1 Maccabees 2.68
The Ministry of Reconciliation: 2 Cor 5.16-20
Human Vocation
  • Adam and Eve: Eden as Temple – stewards of Creation
  • Israel: Love the LORD your God / Love your neighbour
  • Ekklesia: Ministry of Reconciliation
  • NTW: Reflect God onto the world / Reflect praise back to God
  • Transformation through love
Onesimus and Philemon
  • Two letters – Pliny and Paul
  • Pliny: repentance and forgiveness
  • Paul: Onesimus the runaway slave has become a Christian
  • Paul does not look to build a bridge but be the bridge between Philemon and Onesimus
  • Pliny: reset equilibrium
  • Paul: showing Philemon how he can participate in the transformation - the reconciling of all things in Christ
  • Transformation – slave and master become brothers through the cross – all things together in Christ
  • Love and unity in Jesus
See this article by NT Wright on Philemon below.
Welcome and Partnership: Philemon 1.17; Jn 13.35
United By Love: 1 Cor 10.32; Gal 3.28
Corinth – Lord’s Supper: 1 Cor 11.21
  • Roman/Greek society based on social hierarchy
  • Slave – Caesar
  • Agape feast – adoption of gentile/pagan practice of joint meal
  • Corinthians maintained social hierarchy in celebrating agape feast
  • The church in Corinth is not allowing itself to be transformed
  • Not putting welcome and fellowship into practice
  • Embarrassed by Paul’s imprisonment and bluntness?
The Choice For Corinth: Romans 8:29-30; Jn 13.35; Rev 2.5
Eyes to See: Paul wants the Corinthians to learn to see the world clearly
How? By:
  • Renewed Mind: Rom 12.2
  • Jesus the King: Rev 1.5,6. He is king whether it looks like it or not.
Ministry of Glory
  • The Corinthians are embarrassed by Paul
  • They have requested a letter of recommendation
  • It may not look like it but Paul’s ministry is glorious
  • Paul echoes the Exodus, Jeremiah and Ezekiel to prove this
The New Covenant: Jer 31.31-34, "I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts;"
A Soft Heart: Ezek 11.19-20, “the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh"
Exodus
  • The Law on tablets of stone
    • Now through the Spirit the Law is written on the hearts of Christians
  • After the rebellion of the golden calf YHWH dwells with the people but outside the camp
    • Now God dwells in the heart of every disciple
  • 2 Corinthians 3:18
The Letter of Recommendation: 2 Cor 3.7-11
  • The Corinthians must recognise the kingdom and allow themselves to be transformed and become a living letter of recommendation to the world
What Does This Mean For the Church?
  • The Temple was where Heaven and Earth came together
  • They now come together in the body of Jesus
  • Jesus has reconciled us to God and shown us a new way of being human
  • Christians must be reconciled to one another so that we can prove this new way to the world
Thank you for listening to this podcast. You can find more episodes in our feed. Our web site is http://www.tvcoc.org.
Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.
Do you have a question about the Bible or the Christian faith? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send us your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: tvcochrist@gmail.com.
Thanks again for listening. Have a super day.
God bless,
Malcolm

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