Acts: The Gospel of The Holy Spirit (Part 8)

Watch the latest video from McGuiggan Reflections.
For the next few months, we will be exploring the book of Acts in a series titled Acts: The Gospel of the Holy Spirit. We hope you enjoy and can benefit greatly from this study. To contact Jim, feel free to email him at holywoodjk@aol.com or visit his website at http://www.jimmcguiggan.com.
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Nothing! Absolutely Nothing!

“And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,
if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”
Romans 8:17.
Heirs with Him, sufferers with Him, glorified with Him.
It’s fairly easy for us to think we are heirs of whatever God has in mind for us (see 4:13, 16) and the promises of Abraham, expanded by Paul from Canaan to “the world.” Note 8:18-21.
Those of faith are heirs but 8:17 says Christ too is an “heir”. Jesus Christ is the man GOD is being but it’s critically important that we remember that He is the MAN God is being. He’s one of us. What God’s law/will for us couldn’t bring about because of our moral/spiritual corruptness (5:6-8) God accomplished by sending His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh (humanity)—8:3; John 1:14; Hebrews 2:10-14.

Romans 5:20-21 provoked the need for Paul to defend his gospel and its relation to the law/will of God (6:1-2) and the discussion goes all the way through to 8:13. At that point he returns to the Abrahamic promises (4:1—5:2) as they are fulfilled in the Lord Jesus (note 5:17, 19, 21). Note the words “glory” and “reigning” and “tribulation”.
Well, that’s all very well, in Adam we inherit sin and death and in Jesus we inherit forgiveness and life, but where’s the glory? It’s coming, in its fullness. Yes, that sounds like “fine print” that undermines the reality promised. If glory is “in Christ” those who have trusted themselves ought to have it now. Where is the glory that’s promised?
We inherit and reign with Him if we are “in Him” and are one with Him (8:17). He is not only the author and guarantee of life and glory He is the way, the model, of how it comes about! This entire section 8:17-39 is part of a theology of suffering that multiplied millions never earned in a world they didn’t build. But it deals particularly with the mission and destiny of the Church.

8:28-29 says all things work together for the good for the called who love God, “for whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren…”

The section is not saying Jesus was kind, compassionate, righteous and more—of course He was/is all that. That’s not the point here. God eternally purposed a People (the Church) who would image the Lord Jesus in His suffering and the glory that followed (see 1 Peter 1:11; Luke 24:25-27, 44-46; Matthew 16:21-23; Acts 17:2-3, passim).
He came into the world to share the suffering of the world, to weep and hurt, to anguish over their disease, to take on His heart their illnesses and destroy Death(Matthew 8:16-17; Heb. 2:14) and experience the injustice they lived under—He wanted to be our brother and wasn’t ashamed of that (Hebrews 2:10-11; 11:16). He modeled life lived for God in a world that has experienced a cosmic moral wreck (1 Peter 2:21; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Ephesians 5:1-2).
He saw their weariness and watched the powerful humiliate them and enslave them, He saw religion that should have lifted their hearts and given them assurance become chains that bound them and further wearied them. He denounced and damned all that but He did more, He chose to share it. He didn’t worship pain! He didn’t shrug at injustice and oppression, He came to expose and destroy it! This is what the Church is called to be and do—image Jesus Christ. Jesus is not the firstborn alone! He wouldn’t have it that way! He chose to be the firstborn among many sisters and brothers! He wouldn’t distance Himself from us; He was GOD with us! Living with us amid the ruins!
So we aren’t getting our rights, so we’re suffering injustice, so our prayers aren’t being answered how and when we think they should be. So we’re sharing the world’s cancers, heart diseases, broken marriages, humiliation, loneliness, confusion, so we wrestle with drives we never invited into our lives and can’t yet get rid of them—so we don’t get exemption from the crushing experiences of the human condition. Should we shrug at all that as if it were nothing? He didn’t! Look at Jesus! Dear God, look at Him! Does He look or speak as if such things don’t matter to Him? Was He sadist or masochist? Did He act like that?
Romans 8:31-39 says nothing we see, hear or experience proves God doesn’t care! Nothing! Over against all the horrors, the agony, and anguish, over against all the unanswered questions and the hard religion and theology that arms itself with verses from here and there—over against all that stands Jesus Christ and beside Him men and women, girls and boys who have been called to be conformed to image Him that He might be the preeminent One among many fellow-heirs.
The current suffering is not worthy to be compared
to the glory to come. (8:18)

(Holy and Compassionate Father, you know how hard it is for the real sufferers to believe you care. For them life is savage! But if you are really imaged in Jesus Christ we trust you because He trusted you and we wish to image Him as He images you. Help us to believe that our share in their sufferings plays a part in glorifying Jesus. We’re profoundly glad that you will judge the world in fairness and righteousness in and through our Lord and Savior Jesus and we think noble things of you. In the name of Christ and for the sake of the plundered poor whose brother He is we pray.)

 

 

Acts: The Gospel of The Holy Spirit (Part 6)

Watch the latest video from McGuiggan Reflections.
For the next few months, we will be exploring the book of Acts in a series titled Acts: The Gospel of the Holy Spirit. We hope you enjoy and can benefit greatly from this study. To contact Jim, feel free to email him at holywoodjk@aol.com or visit his website at http://www.jimmcguiggan.com.
Watch on Youtube via IFTTT

Acts: The Gospel of The Holy Spirit (Part 5)

Watch the latest video from McGuiggan Reflections.
For the next few months, we will be exploring the book of Acts in a series titled Acts: The Gospel of the Holy Spirit. We hope you enjoy and can benefit greatly from this study. To contact Jim, feel free to email him at holywoodjk@aol.com or visit his website at http://www.jimmcguiggan.com.
Watch on Youtube via IFTTT

IT’S A MYSTERY

Jesus repeatedly made the point that the entire OT came to fulfillment in Him. It’s foolishness to think He meant every verse and every event recorded in some immediate way has Him in view. It’s also foolishness to think that He meant we should look for a prediction here and there, put them like pearls on a necklace and we’d have Him. He at least means (as Stephen in Acts 7 and Paul in Acts 13 showed) that the self-revelation of God in keeping with His creation and redemptive purpose & in keeping with His promises remain constant and that they are to be seen in the narrative and words of Moses, Prophets & Psalms (Writings) That’s the claim of Jesus in John 5, Luke 24 (twice) and elsewhere.

“It all comes to fulfillment in Me,” Jesus claims and His witnesses agree. See texts like Romans 1:1-4; John 1:45; Acts 2 & 3; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “according to the scriptures”; 2 Corinthians 1:2, passim.

We see Jesus mainly as a savior from sins and most of our speech is about His cross and His dying. We don’t teach/preach much on His resurrection and the little we hear about it has to do with what happens when He returns. Nothing much is said that relates it to God’s creative purpose to create a human family, glorious and immortal to be His companions in unending LIFE and adventure, righteousness, joy and peace with the incarnate Lord Jesus and even less about Jesus indwelling the Church now by His Holy Spirit.
Our doctrine about Christ must include the deity and humanity of Jesus of Nazareth. Not only does He work our redemption and deliverance from all that is satanic, that is anti-God, anti-human and anti-life, He is Himself the complete embodiment of the triumph over the satanic forces. As a human, the human that God is being, Jesus of Nazareth conquered Sin by resisting all satanic temptation and deception, by refusing satanic promises of power, by totally rejecting self-sufficiency and relying completely on God to give Him life—In all that He triumphed over Sin (see the temptation narrative in Matthew 4:1-11). In rising from the dead never to die again He conquered Death.
And all He was and did He was and did as “the Seed of the woman.” Not as the seed of the man! Note the Genesis 3:15 text. God makes the woman to be the satanic figure’s enemy, God makes the woman’s children the enemies of the satanic figure’s children and God makes the woman’s particular child the crusher of Satan and it is the woman’s child that is bruised in accomplishing that triumph. (Note Romans 16:20 for her children’s victory.)
Paul reminds us in Galatians 4:4 that Jesus was “made of a woman.” Not that He was made of a man! The Greek text doesn’t say He was “born” of a woman but that He was “made” of a woman. I’m taking it that this is an echo of Genesis 2:22 where the woman was “made” (built) of a man.
In Jesus we have the perfect union of male and female, distinguishable (!!) yes, but not separable. Here in Jesus we have the new “image of God” (see Genesis 1:26-27; 5:2).
In His rising immortal, triumphant over Sin & Death humankind rises with Him. The image of God in the first phase of creation chose death without God (Genesis 1:26-27 and 3:1-13) and the new image of God chose LIFE in and with God (see Colossians 1:15; 2 Corinthians 3:18 and 4:4).
The old mortal image of God (Genesis 1:26-27; 5:2) dies in creaturely weakness and the new image of God ascends to immortality, power and glory. The old mortal image brought Sin and Death, the new image (last Adam) brings life and righteousness (Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:45ff, “life-bringing spirit). The one who is received up in glory is triumphant humankind, male and female, the glory and image of GOD, not separable though distinguishable (see 1 Corinthians 11:11)

“This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.”

[Holy Father, deliver us from all that is satanic that sets women against men and men against woman and enable us to sense the great and wondrous mystery. This prayer in your Son who is the embodiment of yourself in union with man and woman.)

Acts: The Gospel of The Holy Spirit (Part 4)

Watch the latest video from McGuiggan Reflections.
For the next few months, we will be exploring the book of Acts in a series titled Acts: The Gospel of the Holy Spirit. We hope you enjoy and can benefit greatly from this study. To contact Jim, feel free to email him at holywoodjk@aol.com or visit his website at http://www.jimmcguiggan.com.
Watch on Youtube via IFTTT