THE Trinity in Jersey http://thetrinityinjersey.org THE Trinity in Jersey - a series of weekly newsletters under the title "info for islanders" linking the Bible, Jesus Christ and Jersey. Immediately after his resurrection and just before his ascension in AD 33, Jesus Christ instructed his key followers to make disciples of all nations. They were to do this in two ways: first, by immersing them into the name (all the attributes and facts about) the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; second, by teaching them to observe and obey all that he had commanded them. THE Trinity in Jersey "info for islanders" seeks to assist in both those ways in making disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. en Mon, 24 Sep 2018 17:29:58 EDT A display of glory at a marriage (2) http://thetrinityinjersey.org/newsletter.htm?id=609 Bible Jesus Christ Sinner Syvret The third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus was also called to the marriage with his followers. Lacking wine, the mother of Jesus speaks to him, “They have no wine” and Jesus speaks to her, “Something for me and you, woman? My hour is not yet arrived.” His mother speaks to the servants, “Whatever he may speak to you, you do it.” Now there were six stone water-jars lying down there from the cleansing of the Jews, each having space for two or three measures. Jesus speaks to the servants, “Fill the water-jars with water” and they fill them up until above full and he speaks to them, “Now draw up and carry to the architriklinos.” So, they carry. But, as the architriklinos tasted the water having become wine and did not know its origin (but the servants who had drawn up the water knew), the architriklinos calls the bridegroom and speaks to him, “Every man puts down first the good wine, and when they may have well drunk, the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and displayed his own glory, and his followers trusted in him. John 2: 1-11 ‘If you feel you have no faults, that’s another one.’ (Anon.) ‘The ultimate tragedy of man’s self-understanding is that he believes himself to be free, has all the feelings of a free agent, but does not realise that he is a slave to sin and serves the will of the Adversary.’ (Sinclair Ferguson) From last week’s Info, we saw that, at a marriage in Galilee, an invited man, acting in secret, apparently does something which displays his own glory. ‘This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and displayed his own glory, and his followers trusted in him….’Early on the wine runs out. Jesus’ mother tells Jesus about it. But he replies, “Something for me and for you, woman? ...” This cryptic reply might relate to a key incident at the very beginning of the first book in the Bible – Genesis – written around 1350 BC. Jesus didn’t do “self-seeking”. http://thetrinityinjersey.org/newsletter.htm?id=609 Fri, 28 Sep 2018 00:00:00 EDT A display of glory at a marriage (1) http://thetrinityinjersey.org/newsletter.htm?id=608 Bible Jesus Christ Sinner Syvret The third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus was also called to the marriage with his followers. Lacking wine, the mother of Jesus speaks to him, “They have no wine” and Jesus speaks to her, “Something for me and you, woman? My hour is not yet arrived.” His mother speaks to the servants, “Whatever he may speak to you, you do it.” Now there were six stone water-jars lying down there from the cleansing of the Jews, each having space for two or three measures. Jesus speaks to the servants, “Fill the water-jars with water” and they fill them up until above full and he speaks to them, “Now draw up and carry to the architriklinos.” So, they carry. But, as the architriklinos tasted the water having become wine and did not know its origin (but the servants who had drawn up the water knew), the architriklinos calls the bridegroom and speaks to him, “Every man puts down first the good wine, and when they may have well drunk, the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and displayed his own glory, and his followers trusted in him. John 2: 1-11 ‘If you feel you have no faults, that’s another one.’ (Anon.) ‘The ultimate tragedy of man’s self-understanding is that he believes himself to be free, has all the feelings of a free agent, but does not realise that he is a slave to sin and serves the will of the Adversary.’ (Sinclair Ferguson) ‘Every lock of sorrow has a key of promise to fit.’ (Anon.) ‘No physician like the Lord, no tonic like his promise, no wine like his love.’ (C H Spurgeon, speaker, writer and minister, 1834-1892) At a marriage in Galilee, an invited man (not the bridegroom, not the bride’s father, not the best man) does something which displays his own glory. ‘This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and displayed his own glory, and his followers trusted in him….’Not a good idea? Agreed – at first blush quite inappropriate. But….The marriage feast is going well until the wine runs out. Jesus’ mother (as mothers do) gives him a hint. “They have no wine.” Clearly, she knows that her son has very exceptional authority. Instead of an unhappy end with joyful celebration no longer available, his authority could restore the marriage feast. http://thetrinityinjersey.org/newsletter.htm?id=608 Fri, 21 Sep 2018 00:00:00 EDT last first and first last http://thetrinityinjersey.org/newsletter.htm?id=607 Bible Jesus Christ Sinner Syvret “In this way the last ones will be first, and the first ones last.” Matthew 20: 1-16 ‘If you feel you have no faults, that’s another one.’ (Anon.) ‘The ultimate tragedy of man’s self-understanding is that he believes himself to be free, has all the feelings of a free agent, but does not realise that he is a slave to sin and serves the will of the Adversary.’ (Sinclair Ferguson) ‘Every lock of sorrow has a key of promise to fit.’ (Anon.) ‘No physician like the Lord, no tonic like his promise, no wine like his love.’ (C H Spurgeon, speaker, writer and minister, 1834-1892)‘When it comes to generosity some people stop at nothing.’ (Anon.) ‘He who is not liberal with what he has deceives himself when he thinks he would be liberal if he had more.’ (William S Plumer, author and educator, 1802-1880) Do you ever think about what people are really like – inside? In Matthew’s first century biography of Jesus Christ one comes across: - men wanting easy divorces; men thinking that, if divorce isn’t to be easy, then it’s better not to marry at all; disciples of Jesus having no time for little children but only for people who mattered – to them; a wealthy young man finding that he couldn’t earn unending life because his own wealth and accompanying self-interest stopped him from giving to others; Jesus’ disciples asking him what was in it for them when they would follow him. http://thetrinityinjersey.org/newsletter.htm?id=607 Fri, 14 Sep 2018 00:00:00 EDT conflict http://thetrinityinjersey.org/newsletter.htm?id=606 Bible Jesus Christ Sinner Syvret “If your fellow human being sins against you yourself, go convince that person between you and that person alone. If that person may listen to you, you have won your fellow human being. If that person may not listen……..” Matthew 18: 15-20 ‘If you feel you have no faults, that’s another one.’ (Anon.) ‘The ultimate tragedy of man’s self-understanding is that he believes himself to be free, has all the feelings of a free agent, but does not realise that he is a slave to sin and serves the will of the Adversary.’ (Sinclair Ferguson) ‘Every lock of sorrow has a key of promise to fit.’ (Anon.) ‘No physician like the Lord, no tonic like his promise, no wine like his love.’ (C H Spurgeon, speaker, writer and minister, 1834-1892)‘When it comes to generosity some people stop at nothing.’ (Anon.) ‘He who is not liberal with what he has deceives himself when he thinks he would be liberal if he had more.’ (William S Plumer, author and educator, 1802-1880)‘A sin is two sins when it is defended.’ (Henry Smith, preacher and writer, 1560-1591) ‘As virtue is its own reward, so vice is its own punishment.’ (Anon.) Someone once said that there are two certainties in life – death and taxes. Maybe you’ll agree with me that a third life certainty is conflict. Arguments, oppositions, claims, lawsuits - are everywhere. For example, every Jersey contract of employment must, by law, contain a dispute resolution statement, setting out a process for the resolution of workplace conflicts. How do you deal with the conflicts which arise for you – conflicts where no resolution method is specified? Do you have a plan? http://thetrinityinjersey.org/newsletter.htm?id=606 Fri, 07 Sep 2018 00:00:00 EDT avoid these like the plague http://thetrinityinjersey.org/newsletter.htm?id=605 Bible Jesus Christ Sinner Syvret (A) At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the realm of the skies?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like the children, you will never enter the realm of the skies. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the realm of the skies. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever may cause to stumble one of these small ones who trust in me, it would be better for him that a donkey-sized millstone may be hung around his neck and he may be drowned in the depth of the sea. Sorrow to the world for stumblings! For it is necessary that stumblings come, but sorrow to the one by whom the stumbling comes! (B) If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and let it go away from you. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be let go into the eternal fire. If your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out and let it go away from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be let go into the waste incinerator. See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. (C) What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18: 1-14 ‘If you feel you have no faults, that’s another one.’ (Anon.) ‘The ultimate tragedy of man’s self-understanding is that he believes himself to be free, has all the feelings of a free agent, but does not realise that he is a slave to sin and serves the will of the Adversary.’ (Sinclair Ferguson) ‘Every lock of sorrow has a key of promise to fit.’ (Anon.) ‘No physician like the Lord, no tonic like his promise, no wine like his love.’ (C H Spurgeon, speaker, writer and minister, 1834-1892)‘When it comes to generosity some people stop at nothing.’ (Anon.) ‘He who is not liberal with what he has deceives himself when he thinks he would be liberal if he had more.’ (William S Plumer, author and educator, 1802-1880)‘A sin is two sins when it is defended.’ (Henry Smith, preacher and writer, 1560-1591) ‘As virtue is its own reward, so vice is its own punishment.’ (Anon.)‘Trust always shows itself in the whole personality.’ (D Martyn Lloyd Jones, preacher and writer, 1899-1981) ‘Trust God even when the pieces don’t seem to fit.’ (John Hercus, surgeon and writer, 1912-1986) Last week we caught a glimpse of a young child in the centre of a room full of adults – totally vulnerable – but with Jesus alongside. The year was AD 30 and the men in the room had just asked Jesus, “Who is the greatest – the megas - in the kingdom of the skies?” (A) above.Jesus said that it was this young child who was the greatest in the heavenly realm. Why? It seems that this was because the child – Jesus used the word mikron to describe it - was minute in its own eyes, and in the eyes of others and, maybe for that reason, totally trusted in this Son of Man, Son of God. http://thetrinityinjersey.org/newsletter.htm?id=605 Fri, 31 Aug 2018 00:00:00 EDT Paedons: mikrons are megas http://thetrinityinjersey.org/newsletter.htm?id=604 Bible Jesus Christ Sinner Syvret At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the realm of the skies?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like the children, you will never enter the realm of the skies. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the realm of the skies. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever may cause to stumble one of these small ones who trust in me, it would be better for him that a donkey-sized millstone may be hung around his neck and he may be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18: 1-6 ‘If you feel you have no faults, that’s another one.’ (Anon.) ‘The ultimate tragedy of man’s self-understanding is that he believes himself to be free, has all the feelings of a free agent, but does not realise that he is a slave to sin and serves the will of the Adversary.’ (Sinclair Ferguson) ‘Every lock of sorrow has a key of promise to fit.’ (Anon.) ‘No physician like the Lord, no tonic like his promise, no wine like his love.’ (C H Spurgeon, speaker, writer and minister, 1834-1892)‘When it comes to generosity some people stop at nothing.’ (Anon.) ‘He who is not liberal with what he has deceives himself when he thinks he would be liberal if he had more.’ (William S Plumer, author and educator, 1802-1880)‘A sin is two sins when it is defended.’ (Henry Smith, preacher and writer, 1560-1591) ‘As virtue is its own reward, so vice is its own punishment.’ (Anon.)‘Trust always shows itself in the whole personality.’ (D Martyn Lloyd Jones, preacher and writer, 1899-1981) ‘Trust God even when the pieces don’t seem to fit.’ (John Hercus, surgeon and writer, 1912-1986)‘Children need love, especially when they don’t deserve it.’ (Harold S Hulbert, American psychiatrist, 1897-1949) ‘A weak hand may receive a rich jewel.’ (Richard Sibbes, devotional writer and preacher, son of a wheelwright, 1577-1635) Many English words in everyday use today originate in the Greek language of over 2,000 years ago. Take the word “paedophile”. In Greek a “paed” is a child of either sex and “phile” means “lover of”. Paedophile? “Lover of young children”. Do you, like me, greatly regret that such a good thing – the love of children – can become so debased and corrupt? One of the disciples of Jesus, a well-educated taxation entrepreneur, wrote a first-century eye-witness biography of Jesus. In it there’s an incident when Jesus calls to himself a little child and places the child next to him in the centre of the room. Matthew uses the word “paedon” to describe this child. This is a diminutive of “paed” so this was a young child. But the most surprising thing is that Jesus tells his disciples that unless they turn around and become like a young child they will never enter the kingdom of the skies.What is it about a young child that, if in us, will gain entry above? What wonderful attribute does a young child have which is vital for all to have for entry into the realm of the skies? http://thetrinityinjersey.org/newsletter.htm?id=604 Fri, 24 Aug 2018 00:00:00 EDT three takers between two givers http://thetrinityinjersey.org/newsletter.htm?id=603 Bible Jesus Christ Sinner Syvret As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to his followers, “The Son of Man is about to be given (Greek didomi) away into the hands of men, they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” They were greatly distressed. When they came to Capernaum, those taking (Greek lambano) the half-shekel tax came up to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” He said, “Yes.” When he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take (Greek lambano) duties or taxes? From their sons or from others?” When he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. However, so as not to offend them, go to the sea, cast a line, lift up the first fish that comes up, and, opening its mouth you’ll find a shekel. Take (Greek lambano) that and give (Greek didomi) it to them for me and for yourself.” Matthew 17: 22-27 ‘If you feel you have no faults, that’s another one.’ (Anon.) ‘The ultimate tragedy of man’s self-understanding is that he believes himself to be free, has all the feelings of a free agent, but does not realise that he is a slave to sin and serves the will of the Adversary.’ (Sinclair Ferguson) ‘Every lock of sorrow has a key of promise to fit.’ (Anon.) ‘No physician like the Lord, no tonic like his promise, no wine like his love.’ (C H Spurgeon, speaker, writer and minister, 1834-1892)‘When it comes to generosity some people stop at nothing.’ (Anon.) ‘He who is not liberal with what he has deceives himself when he thinks he would be liberal if he had more.’ (William S Plumer, author and educator, 1802-1880)‘A sin is two sins when it is defended.’ (Henry Smith, preacher and writer, 1560-1591) ‘As virtue is its own reward, so vice is its own punishment.’ (Anon.)‘Trust always shows itself in the whole personality.’ (D Martyn Lloyd Jones, preacher and writer, 1899-1981) ‘Trust God even when the pieces don’t seem to fit.’ (John Hercus, surgeon and writer, 1912-1986)‘Children need love, especially when they don’t deserve it.’ (Harold S Hulbert, American psychiatrist, 1897-1949) ‘A weak hand may receive a rich jewel.’ (Richard Sibbes, devotional writer and preacher, son of a wheelwright, 1577-1635) ‘God alone made life, and God alone can tell us its meaning.’ (J I Packer) ‘The most important thing in life is to live your life for something more important than your life.’ (William James, American philosopher, 1842-1910) Many will know that the Ten Commandments were given by God to Moses and that they’re recorded in a book called Exodus. This book, along with four others, was written down by that same Moses. All five books – which date from around 1300 BC - are part of the national archives of Israel, part of the Jewish Canon of Scripture. They’re included in all Christian Bibles.Why the literature lesson? It’s because, in Jesus’ day, around 30 AD, the Jews were still keeping to an interesting, little known requirement of Moses’ laws. You won’t be surprised to know that it related to a kind of tax – only a half-shekel per person per annum. Moses carefully recorded that every Israeli had to give (yes, it was supposedly, but only euphemistically, a gift) a half-shekel a year to the representatives of the LORD God as a gift to pay for their lives – an annual religious acknowledgment that they owed, to the LORD God, the life that was in them. Because they were using their life for their own purposes – for themselves – this annual gift acknowledged that they needed to acknowledge God’s ownership of all life. http://thetrinityinjersey.org/newsletter.htm?id=603 Fri, 17 Aug 2018 00:00:00 EDT everlasting restoration http://thetrinityinjersey.org/newsletter.htm?id=602 Bible Jesus Christ Sinner Syvret And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he has seizures and he suffers terribly. Often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17: 14-20 ‘If you feel you have no faults, that’s another one.’ (Anon.) ‘The ultimate tragedy of man’s self-understanding is that he believes himself to be free, has all the feelings of a free agent, but does not realise that he is a slave to sin and serves the will of the Adversary.’ (Sinclair Ferguson) ‘Every lock of sorrow has a key of promise to fit.’ (Anon.) ‘No physician like the Lord, no tonic like his promise, no wine like his love.’ (C H Spurgeon, speaker, writer and minister, 1834-1892)‘When it comes to generosity some people stop at nothing.’ (Anon.) ‘He who is not liberal with what he has deceives himself when he thinks he would be liberal if he had more.’ (William S Plumer, author and educator, 1802-1880)‘A sin is two sins when it is defended.’ (Henry Smith, preacher and writer, 1560-1591) ‘As virtue is its own reward, so vice is its own punishment.’ (Anon.)‘Trust always shows itself in the whole personality.’ (D Martyn Lloyd Jones, preacher and writer, 1899-1981) ‘Trust God even when the pieces don’t seem to fit.’ (John Hercus, surgeon and writer, 1912-1986)‘Children need love, especially when they don’t deserve it.’ (Harold S Hulbert, American psychiatrist, 1897-1949) ‘A weak hand may receive a rich jewel.’ (Richard Sibbes, devotional writer and preacher, son of a wheelwright, 1577-1635) ‘God alone made life, and God alone can tell us its meaning.’ (J I Packer) ‘The most important thing in life is to live your life for something more important than your life.’ (William James, American philosopher, 1842-1910) ‘No one is restored except through unmerited mercy, and no one is condemned except through merited judgment.’ (Augustine of Hippo, theologian, AD 354-430) ‘Christ uncrowned himself to crown us and put off his robes to put on our rags. He came down from heaven to take us out of our hell. He came from heaven to earth so as to bring us from earth to heaven.’ (Anon.) Matthew’s eye-witness, first-century, biography of Jesus Christ – Jesus the Anointed One - is well worth reading. This 38-page record rather shockingly discloses that about half-way through his public life Jesus began to teach repeatedly that he must suffer many things from the political, legal and religious establishment, must be killed and on the third day rise again. Immediately before that it discloses that this planned death of Jesus was, in fact, the death of someone vastly transcendent. On the mountain his “face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light”. This man, although alive in AD 30 Palestine, also didn’t belong to the realm of time – he spoke on the mountain with Moses (c. BC 1350) and Elijah (c. BC 800).Death was not only the plan of Jesus for himself but also the plan of His Father God above. All on the mountain heard the words “This is the loved-in-action Son of mine, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” But Matthew then placed on record one more thing about this death: it was to be part and parcel of the restoration of all things – including the restoration of human beings from their misery. http://thetrinityinjersey.org/newsletter.htm?id=602 Fri, 10 Aug 2018 00:00:00 EDT Clinging to this life http://thetrinityinjersey.org/newsletter.htm?id=601 Bible Jesus Christ Sinner Syvret After six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was metamorphosed before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And, look and see, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good that we’re here. If you wish, I’ll make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when, look and see, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is the loved-in-action Son of mine, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were exceedingly fearful. But Jesus came and held onto them, saying, “Rise up, and don’t fear.” Lifting up their eyes, they discerned no one else save Jesus only. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one what you have seen until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” The disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” He answered, “Elijah indeed is come, and he will restore everything. But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him precisely what they wanted. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist. Matthew 17: 1-13 ‘If you feel you have no faults, that’s another one.’ (Anon.) ‘The ultimate tragedy of man’s self-understanding is that he believes himself to be free, has all the feelings of a free agent, but does not realise that he is a slave to sin and serves the will of the Adversary.’ (Sinclair Ferguson) ‘Every lock of sorrow has a key of promise to fit.’ (Anon.) ‘No physician like the Lord, no tonic like his promise, no wine like his love.’ (C H Spurgeon, speaker, writer and minister, 1834-1892)‘When it comes to generosity some people stop at nothing.’ (Anon.) ‘He who is not liberal with what he has deceives himself when he thinks he would be liberal if he had more.’ (William S Plumer, author and educator, 1802-1880)‘A sin is two sins when it is defended.’ (Henry Smith, preacher and writer, 1560-1591) ‘As virtue is its own reward, so vice is its own punishment.’ (Anon.)‘Trust always shows itself in the whole personality.’ (D Martyn Lloyd Jones, preacher and writer, 1899-1981) ‘Trust God even when the pieces don’t seem to fit.’ (John Hercus, surgeon and writer, 1912-1986)‘Children need love, especially when they don’t deserve it.’ (Harold S Hulbert, American psychiatrist, 1897-1949) ‘A weak hand may receive a rich jewel.’ (Richard Sibbes, devotional writer and preacher, son of a wheelwright, 1577-1635) ‘God alone made life, and God alone can tell us its meaning.’ (J I Packer) ‘The most important thing in life is to live your life for something more important than your life.’ (William James, American philosopher, 1842-1910) ‘No one is restored except through unmerited mercy, and no one is condemned except through merited judgment.’ (Augustine of Hippo, theologian, AD 354-430) ‘Christ uncrowned himself to crown us and put off his robes to put on our rags. He came down from heaven to take us out of our hell. He came from heaven to earth so as to bring us from earth to heaven.’ (Anon.) ‘A dead man cannot assist in his own resurrection.’ (W G T Shedd, theologian, 1820-1894) ‘Let them pretend what they please, the true reason why any despise the new birth is because they hate a new life.’ (John Owen, Welsh theologian, 1616-1683) Matthew’s eye-witness biography of Jesus Christ (Christ is Greek for ‘Anointed One’) makes it clear that there was a turning point in Jesus’ life on earth when he began to teach that he must be given away to the religious and the powerful and must be killed – and on the third day be raised.What happened was that Peter, the fisherman disciple, told him not to teach that he must die. Jesus said Peter was thinking like a man – not like God. Do you, like Peter, think like a man - clinging to life? It’s the natural thing, isn’t it? http://thetrinityinjersey.org/newsletter.htm?id=601 Fri, 03 Aug 2018 00:00:00 EDT Motivated to be killed http://thetrinityinjersey.org/newsletter.htm?id=600 Bible Jesus Christ Sinner Syvret After six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was metamorphosed before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And, look and see, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good that we’re here. If you wish, I’ll make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when, look and see, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is the loved-in-action Son of mine, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were exceedingly fearful. But Jesus came and held onto them, saying, “Rise up, and don’t fear.” Lifting up their eyes, they discerned no one else save Jesus only. Matthew 17: 1-8 ‘If you feel you have no faults, that’s another one.’ (Anon.) ‘The ultimate tragedy of man’s self-understanding is that he believes himself to be free, has all the feelings of a free agent, but does not realise that he is a slave to sin and serves the will of the Adversary.’ (Sinclair Ferguson) ‘Every lock of sorrow has a key of promise to fit.’ (Anon.) ‘No physician like the Lord, no tonic like his promise, no wine like his love.’ (C H Spurgeon, speaker, writer and minister, 1834-1892)‘When it comes to generosity some people stop at nothing.’ (Anon.) ‘He who is not liberal with what he has deceives himself when he thinks he would be liberal if he had more.’ (William S Plumer, author and educator, 1802-1880)‘A sin is two sins when it is defended.’ (Henry Smith, preacher and writer, 1560-1591) ‘As virtue is its own reward, so vice is its own punishment.’ (Anon.)‘Trust always shows itself in the whole personality.’ (D Martyn Lloyd Jones, preacher and writer, 1899-1981) ‘Trust God even when the pieces don’t seem to fit.’ (John Hercus, surgeon and writer, 1912-1986)‘Children need love, especially when they don’t deserve it.’ (Harold S Hulbert, American psychiatrist, 1897-1949) ‘A weak hand may receive a rich jewel.’ (Richard Sibbes, devotional writer and preacher, son of a wheelwright, 1577-1635) ‘God alone made life, and God alone can tell us its meaning.’ (J I Packer) ‘The most important thing in life is to live your life for something more important than your life.’ (William James, American philosopher, 1842-1910) ‘No one is restored except through unmerited mercy, and no one is condemned except through merited judgment.’ (Augustine of Hippo, theologian, AD 354-430) ‘Christ uncrowned himself to crown us and put off his robes to put on our rags. He came down from heaven to take us out of our hell. He came from heaven to earth so as to bring us from earth to heaven.’ (Anon.) ‘A dead man cannot assist in his own resurrection.’ (W G T Shedd, theologian, 1820-1894) ‘Let them pretend what they please, the true reason why any despise the new birth is because they hate a new life.’ (John Owen, Welsh theologian, 1616-1683) ‘God does nothing in time which he did not purpose to do from eternity.’ (William Jay, preacher, 1769-1853) ‘The true measure of God’s love is that he loves without measure.’ (Anon.) Do you enjoy biographies? What about auto-biographies? With auto-biographies there’s a real risk that the world being described by the writer is not the real world but instead the world which shows him or her in a good light. The world described may well attribute failure and evil to others for that same reason.Does that apply to biographies as well? Not really. The problem with biographies is different. It’s that the biographer may never really have been able to work out the motives of the person about whom they are writing. Are motives important for our understanding of people?Look with me then at the incident above from Matthew’s first century biography of Jesus the Anointed One. Immediately before, Jesus has been teaching that he must go to Jerusalem, must suffer many things from the political and religious establishment there, must be killed - and on the third day be raised.Not only that but, in this 17th chapter of 28 in this biography, Jesus is teaching that his followers must all, similarly, deny self and take up a cross to do that.What’s the motive for that? What has made Jesus decide to allow those things to be done to him? What does Matthew the biographer say is driving Jesus to this willingness to die? http://thetrinityinjersey.org/newsletter.htm?id=600 Fri, 27 Jul 2018 00:00:00 EDT