Sunday, February 19, 2017

Jesus the Word

Meditations on the Gospel of John
                                                                     
“He was in the world,......the world did not know Him”
In John 1, the distinctive uniqueness of the “Word” is presented.
The “Word” (Logos) – the manifestation of God
                                    the substance of God
         the voice of God
        the light of God

           The World was created by Him
                                                  and for Him
              The world is alienated from Him
                                         and has rejected Him

  It is the tragic description of the human condition that “the Light “ has come into the world, but the world has not apprehended it. One translation is “ the darkness did not comprehend it”  - It is true that the creation at large did not know who He was when He appeared in humanity. The Jews should have known, -  they had the scriptures pointing to the promised Messiah. The demons seemed to know more than the people. Another translation is “ the darkness did not overcome it”  - it is also true that the attempts to extinguish the Light of God in Christ, failed . Herod tried. The religious leaders tried. The Devil tried. The cross seemed to be a success to overcome the light , but by the resurrection, the light now shines more brilliantly than ever. The more recent ESV translation is “the darkness did not apprehend it”. After looking at the various translations of this word in other places and putting it into the context of John’s Gospel, I think this is the better translation. It means that the Light indeed came, but the creation chose not to know Him. John the apostle and John the Baptist expressed their purpose – “that all might believe’ – and the evident contrast in this gospel record, is those who believe and those who choose to stay in darkness.

John records the abundant signs to verify the “Light”
John records the utterances of Him who “spoke the words of God.”

John shows the great blessing that is for all who ‘apprehend’ the Son of God by faith.

This Gospel makes very clear the responsibility of mankind to believe, but also points out the ‘grace‘ of God in ‘willing’ that people be born again.(John 1.12,13). Such is our darkness that it is not the will of natural flesh, nor the will of refined man, but rather the will of God that makes the change. This takes me to the place of worship – to worship God revealed in the “Word”, and to worship God for bringing me into the light. How illuminating, how humbling.


May  I encourage you the read again the first chapter of John’s Gospel and be blessed indeed.

JRM

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Bible Prophecy

Prophetic Doctrine

I have just finished my meditations through the book of Revelation. It can be confusing, mainly because us westerners don’t use or understand the literature form. It is so important to see it as connected to the Old Testament. Because of our limitations, it is subject to misinterpretation; however it is indeed the word of God, with much blessing for all who read it.

In the search for prophetic doctrine I suggest the following :

Read the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ. He taught much about the future, especially in seed form. He knew about the great tomorrow better than anyone else.

Connect the teachings of the Lord with the Old Testament. He quoted it often and made clear its authority as given by God. Care must be taken in the study of the Old Testament as to time period, context, already fulfilled, yet to be fulfilled, and the peoples/ persons involved.

The teachings of the Apostles, who were sent and commissioned by the Lord , are vital to understanding of prophecy. By the Holy Spirit they were able to expound the Lord’s teachings, and give much help on the Old Testament prophecies. As the Lord Jesus promised, the apostles would lay the foundation for ‘Christian faith’.

In  many cases the prophet did not understand all that was being spoken (or written). Such are the communications of the all knowing God. Many people interpret prophecy within the framework of their doctrinal / denominational bias. This is somewhat unavoidable; however we should seek clarity by letting the scripture interpret scripture. It is important to have some understanding of history to know what has already been fulfilled.

All prophecy connects with the Lord Jesus Christ, and His glory is the ultimate purpose.

Much speculation over the years has done much damage. Let us major on God’s majors, leaving the detail for God to work out.

The Lord Jesus has said – “I will come again”
We can truely respond – “Even so come Lord Jesus”

I would be delighted to write more on the major points of prophecy if anyone would like more. Send me an email to set me going.

johnmckee@internode.on.net


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Eternal Gospel

The Eternal Gospel

God has been calling to all people in all of history. This call has taken various forms. The call of creation, to worship the unseen creator remains as an opportunity to avoid idolatry by seeking God so great and so generous.

For the Israelites, the call of God was to obey the law given to them through Moses. Their God directed worship and lifestyle was intended to be as a light to the nations (but sadly failed).

At the appropriate time, God sent His Son as the final call of God. This good news for all people has brought light and life to millions who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. For humanity that is ruined on the inside and attacked from the outside, this is good news indeed. Through Jesus Christ we can be born again ( a fresh start in the family of God), we can know God (through the Holy Spirit) and we are given a hope that penetrates into eternity( acceptance with God and the promise of eternal life).

God communicates this Gospel in many ways :- the voice of an angel, the words of a preacher, dreams, books, Bible reading, etc.
God speaks, and ours is the responsibility to respond.

The title ‘Eternal Gospel’ is found in Revelation 14.6
It is explained as “fearing God, obeying Him, and to give Him the glory”.
“Fearing God”  - to honour His holiness in all that He has done and is doing. ‘To  obey’ the call to repent (turn away from sin).
“Give Him glory” -this applies to many situations, but foremost it  is the acceptance of Jesus Christ as sent by God from heaven. This is the greatest honour we can give to God – to acknowledge God at work in the coming , the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This was the Gospel to Abraham.
This was the Gospel through Isaiah the prophet.
This was the Gospel to the shepherds near Bethlehem.
This was the Gospel preached by the apostles to the nations.
This is the Gospel call today.
This will be the Gospel for all time.

Revelation 14.12  “they keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus”

In a world of many distractions, may we listen for His voice, obey His call, and find our all, in the Eternal Gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord.


Want to know more? Email me at  johnmckee@internode.on.net


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

HIS HOLINESS

It is our privilege to pray   “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your Name” (Matthew 6:9)

One prophet had a glimpse into heaven and there the seraphim said:  “Holy, holy, holy,  is the Lord of Hosts”. (Isaiah 6)

The Lord Jesus looked up into heaven and addressed God  as “Holy  Father” (John 17)

Peter the apostle quoted God as saying “You shall be holy for I am holy”. (1 Peter 1:16)

The final Revelation given through John the apostle repeatedly declares God as holy. I quote just one:
“You are just in sending this judgement O Holy One, who is and who always was. “ (Revelation 16:5)

In the presence on His Holiness, we ought to humbly cover our faces and our feet, and say ‘woe is me for I am unclean!’
But this is the God who has established an alter. To those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ the scriptures are written:-
“By the will of God we have been sanctified ( made holy) through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews10.10)

How great is our God, to include us, the unworthy, in His holy purposes!

How great is our God, that He will purge the earth of all evil.


Well might we sing:

         ‘Holy, holy ,holy, Lord God almighty
          All Thy works shall praise Thy Name,
            In earth, and sky and sea
             Holy, holy, holy merciful and mighty!
              God in three persons,

               Blessed trinity!  


John McKee