"It's talking about things that are not physical, but they're more in the realm of existence, but not necessarily something with your eyes to see. But it's also what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that this world is made up of more things than just the ones that can be analysed by the professors at university. This world is made up by more than all the principles of education. And there's more than the learning to be done, that is good learning."
"It only really works for the musketeers to give themselves a role. It only really works if the king is a good king. If the king is not a good king, the whole expenditure of their loyalty isn't really worth it. Now, in the case of the Beatitudes, we have the one person who is a good king. It is the Lord Jesus Christ. And the Beatitudes are about how we can come."
"We have a continuation today of the topic that we're working through about the move from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. And the Bible reading reflected all the Beatitudes plus going on to what in the bulletin I've called the Three Amigos. And that idea of calling their bee to be Three Amigos has a little bit of taking the nomenclature, the names given in some of the films, where the idea of three people being called to help the politics has happened in the film world."
"It is a feature of our Biblical revelation that there was an Old Covenant that God instituted through Moses, and then a part of what that Old Covenant involved with the prophets who came in that period of time was to predict there to be a coming Messiah. And the coming Messiah would be the leader of a New Covenant. And we were talking last time from the Old Testament and the prophecies about that New Covenant. And so we're continuing that today, and we'll start in the Scriptures from the book of Ephesians."
"There's an aspect of the old covenant which is very, very strict and paints a picture that is stark and often causing folk to reject religion and reject Christianity because of the wrath of God as seen in the Old Testament. That is, however, not the full picture that is fair to God and who he is because even in the old covenant, there is a graciousness that is represented."
"I particularly had in mind the fact that I wanted to speak this morning on the verse in Revelation 3.20, a very famous verse where Jesus says, Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come on in to that one and fellowship with him and hear with me, or I'll eat with him and hear with me."
We all know a lot of different people but it is normal to be able to identify "who is our crowd - with whom we fit and have common values". Nicodemus had "his crowd".John 3:1 says: "There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus." They were his crowd. John's Gospel has three places where the development of Nicodemus eventually believing in Christ is spelled out. But to do so, he had to go against the ideas and pressure of "his crowd". Whether you're "crowd" is a group you socialize with, or you are a sporting person wearing t-shirts about it, or you have a club with which you identify, or on the other hand, your style is to stay more hidden, nonetheless everyone has a crowd. But coming to Christ and being counted as His, often can cut across all the other commitments with which we ordinarily live. In John 3:1-15; 7:40-52; 19:38-42 we see Nicodemus coming out into the open with his devotion to Christ. With Joseph of Arimathea he goes to Pilate and requests the body of Jesus. That was a very dangerous thing to do, but Nicodemus displays how his story line eventually worked out. Has your commitment to Christ eventually similarly led you to confess Him no matter what the cost?
"I also want to say that it was a joy for me to come this morning here and I immediately saw a beautiful illustration of what I'm going to be getting into from our passage, which is from the Beatitudes. And we're up to the one where Jesus said, blessed are those, well it's there on the screen for you to see, verse 7, blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy. And about the relationship of what exactly is mercy, how does it differ from grace, what is going on in the Beatitudes as Jesus is talking about how to come to God in the early ones."
"So today we're reading, looking at Matthew chapter 22. It's a really politically laden passage. There's a lot of drama going on. But before we dive into that, I just wanted to reflect on how words are important. And you know, what we can say can often reveal something about who we are and what we think, right?"
"Blessed are those, verse six, who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled, the older versions used to read, or satisfied. Now when we listen in to people who comment on the Beatitudes and tell us what they think it's about, and probably if you took a survey of popular opinion, the general consensus is that the truth that's there is that God is the one who satisfies the basic needs of human living. And that there is a sense in which hungering and thirsting is a very common experience for people, and by coming to God, we find an answer to it."