Aslan

Following on from my post “Why aren’t you scared of God?” I remembered this well known quote from C.S. Lewis regarding Aslan.

In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Lewis tells the story of four children who enter into the magical world of Narnia. Lewis represents Jesus as the lion Aslan. In Narnia, the children meet Mr and Mrs Beaver, who describe Aslan to them.

“Is he a man?” asked Lucy.

“Aslan a man!” said Mr Beaver sternly. Certainly not. I tell you he is King of the wood and the son of the great emperor-beyond- the-sea. Don’t you know who is the King of the Beasts? Aslan is a lion – the Lion, the great lion.”

“ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he – quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”

“That you will, dearie, and no mistake” said Mrs Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” said Mr Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

How do you think of Jesus? I thank God I will stand before him washed by the blood of Jesus and in His righteousness. That said I imagine I shall be full of Godly fear.

Spurgeon on Christ

chs_pic.JPGExtra material from sermon preparation. I love the way Spurgeon paints the greatness and glory of Christ.

“All the attributes of Christ, as God and man, are at our disposal. All the fulness of the Godhead, whatever that marvellous term may comprehend, is ours to make us complete. He cannot endow us with the attributes of Deity; but he has done all that can be done, for he has made even his divine power and Godhead subservient to our salvation. His omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, immutability and infallibility, are all combined for our defence. Arise, believer, and behold the Lord Jesus yoking the whole of his divine Godhead to the chariot of salvation! How vast his grace, how firm his faithfulness, how unswerving his immutability, how infinite his power, how limitless his knowledge! All these are by the Lord Jesus made the pillars of the temple of salvation; and all, without diminution of their infinity, are covenanted to us as our perpetual inheritance. The fathomless love of the Saviour’s heart is every drop of it ours; every sinew in the arm of might, every jewel in the crown of majesty, the immensity of divine knowledge, and the sternness of divine justice, all are ours, and shall be employed for us. The whole of Christ, in his adorable character as the Son of God, is by himself made over to us most richly to enjoy. His wisdom is our direction, his knowledge our instruction, his power our protection, his justice our surety, his love our comfort, his mercy our solace, and his immutability our trust. He makes no reserve, but opens the recesses of the Mount of God and bids us dig in its mines for the hidden treasures. “All, all, all are yours,” saith he, “be ye satisfied with favour and full of the goodness of the Lord.” Oh! how sweet thus to behold Jesus, and to call upon him with the certain confidence that in seeking the interposition of his love or power, we are but asking for that which he has already faithfully promised.”

CH Spurgeon

Spurgeon on Christ

More extras from sermon preparation. I love the way Spurgeon paints the greatness and glory of Christ.

“All the attributes of Christ, as God and man, are at our disposal. All the fulness of the Godhead, whatever that marvellous term may comprehend, is ours to make us complete. He cannot endow us with the attributes of Deity; but he has done all that can be done, for he has made even his divine power and Godhead subservient to our salvation. His omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, immutability and infallibility, are all combined for our defence. Arise, believer, and behold the Lord Jesus yoking the whole of his divine Godhead to the chariot of salvation! How vast his grace, how firm his faithfulness, how unswerving his immutability, how infinite his power, how limitless his knowledge! All these are by the Lord Jesus made the pillars of the temple of salvation; and all, without diminution of their infinity, are covenanted to us as our perpetual inheritance. The fathomless love of the Saviour’s heart is every drop of it ours; every sinew in the arm of might, every jewel in the crown of majesty, the immensity of divine knowledge, and the sternness of divine justice, all are ours, and shall be employed for us. The whole of Christ, in his adorable character as the Son of God, is by himself made over to us most richly to enjoy. His wisdom is our direction, his knowledge our instruction, his power our protection, his justice our surety, his love our comfort, his mercy our solace, and his immutability our trust. He makes no reserve, but opens the recesses of the Mount of God and bids us dig in its mines for the hidden treasures. “All, all, all are yours,” saith he, “be ye satisfied with favour and full of the goodness of the Lord.” Oh! how sweet thus to behold Jesus, and to call upon him with the certain confidence that in seeking the interposition of his love or power, we are but asking for that which he has already faithfully promised.”

CH Spurgeon

CONFRONTATION AND CONFLICT

ACTS 14:22 – We must go through many tribulations to enter the Kingdom of God.

A list of persecutions in ACTS is given at the bottom of the page.

MARK 10:29, 30

MATTHEW 10:24, 25

1 PETER 4:12-19 – v14 – on their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.

a) REASONS FOR CONFLICT

1. DIFFERENCE

Tropical Fish Tank
John 17:15, 16 – Anot of this world@

2. DISRUPTION

URC Youth Event
Acts 17:6 – Aturned world upside down@

3. RIGHTEOUSNESS/TRUTH

monthly expenses

1 Peter 2:20 – when you do good and suffer this is commendable before God

Matthew 5:10 – blessed

4. RUMOUR/REPUTATION

Acts 28:22 – Athis sect we know that it is spoken against everywhere@

5. FAITH

the devil hates faith
Eph. 6:16 – the fiery darts of the wicked one

6. SUCCESS

theological college exams
– jealousy/hatred

7. GOSPEL

grocers shop/ouija board/Bible

2 Tim. 2:9 – gospel for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer

b) DANGERS ON OUR PART

1. Develop a martyr complex

– chip on shoulder

2. Excuse for own stupidity

Prov. 10:7 – when a man’s ways please the Lord he makes even his enemies to be a peace with him

3. Cover for dishonourable actions

4. Escape from reality

– unbalanced lifestyle/odd views

5. Failure to change where necessary

6. Transfer blame to others for own incapabilities

c) OPPORTUNITIES AND LESSONS

1. PROVIDES OPPORTUNITY FOR TESTIMONY

– Prayer Meeting in bushes

– Paul – Felix/Festus/Agrippa

Sometimes it is only turbulence that will bring us
to the attention of leaders/media etc.

2. OPENS DOORS FOR NEW STRATEGY / STEP

– a new phase of life often emerges out of the
disruption.

3. DEMONSTRATES GOD’S ABILITY TO PROVIDE A WAY OUT

1 Cor. 10:13 – no temptation has…you – but God is faithful – but with the temptation will also
make a way of escape

Acts 22:28-30 – Paul’s citizenship

4. DEVELOPS CHARACTER + SPIRITUAL LIFE

Phil.. 3:8-10 – that I may know him

5. LEARN TO CALL ON SPIRITUAL STRENGTH + POWER

2 Cor. 1:8,9 – Athat we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead@

6. DEVIL OVERPLAYS HIS HAND

Gen. 50:20 – as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good

7. ALLOWS US TO EXAMINE OURSELVES /MOTIVES / ACTIONS

1 Peter. 4:17 – Atime for judgement to begin at the
house of God.

8. PRAY FOR THOSE WHO OPPOSE YOU

Matt. 5:44 – Apray for those who spitefully use you
and persecute you@

1 Peter 4:1

LIST OF OPPOSITION IN ACTS OF APOSTLES:

ACTS 4:3 apostles were arrested and imprisoned

5:18 apostles were taken into custody

5:27 were interrogated by the religious authorities

6:12 Stephen was forcefully brought before the Council

7:58 Stephen was driven out of the city and stoned to death

8:1 strong persecution broke out against the church

9:24,25 Jesus spoke to the newly saved Saul – “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

12:2 James (John’s brother) was executed by the sword

13:45-50 Paul was reviled, contradicted and driven away from Antioch

14:5-19 Paul fled Iconium and was stoned in Derbe

16:22-24 Paul was whipped and thrown into jail in Philippi

17:5-10 an uproar broke out in Thessalonica; Paul fled to Berea

18:6 Paul encountered opposition in Corinth. He was reviled by the Jews and brought before the judgement seat (v12)

19:29 an uproar broke out in Ephesus. There was controversy over “the Way” (v23)

21:11 Paul was warned by the prophet, Agabus, of the persecution which would arise in Jerusalem. Rioting broke out in Jerusalem and Paulwas imprisoned.

22:25 Romans wanted to take Paul hostage

23:1 Paul stood before the Council as a prisoner and was then taken to prison in Caesarea

24 Paul was brought before the governor, Felix, and was imprisoned for two years

25 Paul was brought before the governor, Fetus

26 Paul was brought before King Agrippa

27 Paul was sent as a prisoner to Rome

28 Paul was in Rome. He was opposed, but had liberty to preach

Moralisitc Therapeutic Deism

be nice.jpgI am into Sundays sermon preparation, this week the text, Colossians 2:6-23, includes “hollow and deceptive philosophy”. No title yet but the germ of an idea – well many germs actually.

One thought to cross my mind was about the type of religion that modern Christianity espouses, ideas such as “God helps those who help themselves” etc., at which point I remembered the research below as reported on this website and many others.

When Christian Smith and his fellow researchers with the National Study of Youth and Religion at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill took a close look at the religious beliefs held by American teenagers, they found that the faith held and described by most adolescents came down to something the researchers identified as “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.”

As described by Smith and his team, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism consists of beliefs like these:

1. “A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.”

2. “God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.”

3. “The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.”

4. “God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.”

5. “Good people go to heaven when they die.”

Is this what you think the Gospel is? Where might you differ in your own definition? Is there anything heretical about the five points above?