It is part of John’s aim to show that Jesus showed forth His glory NOT IN SPITE of His earthly humiliations, buy precisely BY MEANS OF those humiliations. Supremely is this case with the cross. To the outward eye this was the uttermost of degradation, the death of a felon. To the eye of faith it was (and is) the Supreme Glory.
- LEON MORRIS
The weather has taken a change for the better this past month, and when the weather changes it feels like the city just explodes into life. More people are walking the streets enjoying the sunshine by the river Avon that continues to be the prevailing image of this city, and everyone’s countenance seems a little brighter, a little more engaging, and just a tad more optimistic. Personally, 2012 has been the year of falling in love with Bristol. Seeing the city as a place to get to know intimately and not just a mission to save. I think often times church planters, and I include myself, can have the habit of falling into an attitude of seeing only a depravity and not a people, as a shepherd all I was seeing was a broken leg and not a wounded lamb. This attitude led to a season of bitterness and legalism in my heart that had to be rooted out and repented of. It took a softening of my heart to remember what the Lord spoke to me when I first came to Bristol in 2009, that He was going to use a sinner to reach a sinful city, and as I stood at the edge of that river and heard the calling that the Lord placed on my heart and my family’s, there was a kinship the Lord placed between me and Bristol. A city that I had no reference of, no contact, and no commonality, except that there is a Gospel that has changed my eternity and can change Bristol’s as it has in the past. This past week marked our one year anniversary of living in this city, and I believe more than any other year in my life has the Lord marked this year with testimonies of His faithfulness and blessing toward our personal lives and our ministries. My constant prayer is that the Lord would continue what He has started, that the roots that He is planting presently would run deep and strong in spite of my flesh and my weaknesses, and that He would plant this church for His purposes and for His glory.
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. II Corinthians 2.14
“The Bible takes sin seriously because it takes humanity seriously. As we have seen, Christians do not deny the fact of diminished responsibility, but we affirm that diminished responsibility always entails diminished humanity. To say that somebody “is not responsible for his actions” is to demean him or her as a human being. It is part of the glory of being human that we are held responsible for our actions. Then, when we also acknowledge our sin and guilt, we receive God’s forgiveness, enter into the joy of His salvation, ands become yet more completely human and healthy. What is unhealthy is every wallowing in guilt which does not lead to confession, repentance, faith in Jesus Christ and so forgiveness.
- John Stott, The Cross of Christ
Thanks Mike for the link!
It is striking how regularly Jesus approached people from the perspective of their potential. Our concern to declare sin and fallenness of those we witness to must not inhibit our recognition of the possibilities of grace.
God give us the eyes of Jesus.