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Rediscover the Resurrection

• Greg Boyd

This Easter we heard from Greg Boyd on how the resurrection confirms that Jesus is the true revelation of God. Jesus is the exact representation of God and the truth is that the mercy of God triumphs over judgment. It is our task to align or re-align our picture of God with the person of Jesus seen in the resurrection.

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The resurrection confirms that Jesus is the true revelation of God. Greg begins by looking at the passage in John 14:8-9 where Jesus proclaims to Philip that if you want to see the Father you just need to look at Jesus. This type of statement confronts us and requires us to make a choice. We can either dismiss Jesus as a lunatic or we can worship him as Lord.

Your picture of God is the most important question related to your relationship with God. Greg grew up with a jaded view of God and was always in trouble with authority. He was saved in a church that believed you are only as saved as your last sinless moment. As a teenager struggling with an addiction to pornography he was saved and un-saved almost daily in this battle. He eventually got to a point where he gave up on the game of trying to live perfectly to appease God and this sorrow and frustration moved to rage towards God. In the midst of this anger Greg threw open his Bible and read Romans 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” and had his eyes opened to a God whose mercy actually triumphed over judgment. This picture of God seen in the person of Jesus loves us without qualifications and without expectations on us to determine how worthy we are of this love. The resurrection of Jesus confirms that this is the ultimate picture of God since the crucifixion and resurrection shows a God that would die for his enemies in hopes that they might come to Him. The love of God is greater than all things and this love is perfectly seen in the person of Jesus. As is noted in Hebrews 1:1-3, while there were glimpses of God in the past the exact representation and picture of God is seen in the life of Jesus.

If the God of the universe looks like Jesus then you are loved with an everlasting love that can’t be extinguished. The only question is whether we will trust that love and surrender to that love so that it can begin to transform us and make us whole again.

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Topics: Identity in Christ, Resurrection, Transformation

Sermon Series: Rediscover


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Focus Scripture:

  • John 14:8-9

    Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

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2 thoughts on “Rediscover the Resurrection

    Peter says: Tuesday April 5, 2016 at 12:00 am

    The testimony that Greg gave at the beginning of this message is interesting. While he was brought up in the Roman Catholic faith, the call of God then took him to the Pentecostal faith where we saw how ingrained sin can be in our lives. However, in one way or another, most of us can identify with Greg…not necessarily with the same form of sin, but perhaps an addiction to some other aspect that keeps us from truly relating to God.

    Greg was able to see the hypocrisy of his actions/life over that time where he questioned his faith in a legalistic (Pharisaic?) community. This led to the crisis/desperation of belief where he/we cry out to God to (effectively), reveal Himself to him/us. And we may find through the grace of God an event or revelation that satisfies our situation and moves us closer to God.

    When this happens, our testimony is usually along the lines that we cried out to God and He heard us and met our needs….and while this generally satisfies the ego (ie ‘I’ cried to God and He heard ‘me’), it is only later that we realise that it is God, seeing our sinful plight, is asking questions of us like…how can you continue to live in sin like this?…why do you live the life of an hypocrite? etc., that puts us under conviction and, hopefully, leads to repentance and a far deeper faith as children of God.

    Part of the reasoning behind this is perhaps twofold. Firstly, Paul quotes in Romans 3:10-12,

    “None is righteous, no, not one;
    no one understands;
    no one seeks for God.
    All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
    no one does good,
    not even one.”

    This indicates that man is so fallen that, of himself, he will never seek after God (or should I say the true God – as there are many other false gods that man does seek after). It is only the Good Shepherd that seeks the lost through grace.

    Secondly, we do not seek God (of ourselves) as we are like Isaiah in the Temple (Is 6:4-5),

    “And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

    As we are a people of ‘unclean lips’ and would tremble and be undone before a Holy God, we would not seek Him unless called. Similarly, Isaiah in one sense was not seeking God…’the voice of him who called’ was seeking him.

    The focus scripture that Greg has used is also interesting given Greg’s testimony and his relationship with his (human) father who, at that time became an atheist and used pornography such that Greg similarly declared himself to be an atheist and also became addicted to pornography. So, in a sense, Greg could say (at that time), if you had seen me you have also seen my father! This is not meant in anyway to be disparaging but in fact is probably the situation for most of us. School teachers especially know in most cases, if they have seen the children, then they have seen the parents….or at least from the behavioural elements replicated in the children apart from the physical similarities.

    (As an aside we are reminded of the latter part of Jn 8 and more specifically Jn 8:42-47,
    “Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

    Also, Thomas Merton makes the following observation in his book, ‘The New Man’ (p170),

    “But if my true spiritual identity is found in my identification with Christ, then to know myself fully, I must know Christ. And to know Christ I must know the Father, for Christ is the Image of the Father. The “identity” which begins to make itself known and felt within me, under the action of the Holy Spirit, is the identity of a son of the Father: a son who is re-created in the likeness of the only Son, Who is the perfect Image of the Father. The beginning of self-realization in the fullest Christian sense is therefore a sharing in the orientation that directs Christ, as Word, entirely to His Father. And here we truly enter into the deep mystery of God.”

    While the aspects covered by Merton are indeed tantalizing, to say the least, and much more could be said, but in the interests of trying to be succinct they will have to be left.)

    While each of us has our own unique ‘personality’, our purpose as sons of God is, as mentioned above, to reflect through obedience our true Father/parent, just as Jesus did….so that each day of grace it is less of ‘me’ and more of Him, so that we grow towards true sonship, having ‘the mind of Christ’.

    Reply
    gary says: Saturday July 2, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Are our pastors telling us the truth regarding the authorship of the Gospels and the evidence for the Resurrection?

    Is there really a “mountain of evidence” for the Resurrection as our pastors claim or is the belief in the Resurrection based on nothing more than assumptions, second century hearsay, superstitions, and giant leaps of faith?

    You MUST read this Christian pastor’s defense of the Resurrection and a review by one of his former parishioners, a man who lost his faith and is now a nonbeliever primarily due to the lack of good evidence for the Resurrection:

    —A Review of LCMS Pastor John Bombaro’s Defense of the Resurrection—

    (copy and paste this article title into your browser to find and read this fascinating review of the evidence for the Resurrection)

    Reply

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