mmmm 2 corinthians 5 mmmm

Mmmm Spicy Moroccan Eggs with Haloumi Cheese & Coffee Mmmm

In Sydney, we have a vibrant cafe culture with great coffee & yummy food!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College this semester, I’m eating big mouthfuls of the New Testament.

14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:the old has gone, the new is here!
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God.
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:14-21

2000 years ago the city of Corinth in Greece was world famous for sexual immorality.

The ceremonial worship in Temple of Aphrodite (goddess of love) involved prostitution.

Ordinary citizens were often promiscuously infatuated with unnatural sexual relations.

Even some of the Corinthian Christians were boasting about their sexual exploits.

Fast forward to today and nothing has changed: our World is obsessed with Sex!

Paul wrote this letter to remind readers of the gospel message.

Many of us have read the Bible or heard that Jesus died on a cross.

But why did he have to die and why is this significant?

The Bible passage above is a great summary of the Good News that Christians celebrate.

From the Old Testament, God required a perfect spotless lamb to be sacrificed every year.

This sacrifice allowed humans to atone for their sins and be declared righteous before God.

In the New Testament, Jesus took on this role of the sacrificial “Lamb”.

When Jesus lived on Earth he led a perfect sinless life.

So he was the only one on Earth able to die for others providing atonement.

We deserved to die for our own sins but Jesus took our sin on himself and died in our place.

So in Jesus, we can be declared righteous before God and have a relationship with Him.

God no longer counts our sins against us because of the cross of Christ.

Jesus died for all Christians once and for all.

So we don’t have to go through the Jewish ritual of atonement year after year.

Our old self has been crucified with Jesus and we have been given new lives.

So if we now trust Jesus, why would we return to the sins in our past?

If we were sexually immoral before, why would we choose to return to this promiscuity?

The cross of Christ is at the centre of every Christian’s life.

We are now his ambassadors telling everyone we meet about this Good News.

As God’s representatives on Earth, it is our mission to make Jesus known to everyone.

Are you confident that God will declare you righteous when you meet Him?

Is Jesus at the centre of your life and how has he transformed your life & actions?

As a Christian, are you still involved with sexual sin?

How are you going with sharing the Good News with your family, friends & neighbours?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm philippians 2 mmmm

Mmmm Spanner Crab Tagliolini with Chilli Mmmm

In Australia, we have amazing, fresh seafood!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College this semester, I’m eating the delicious New Testament.

5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing,
    taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    and became obedient to death –
        even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11

Remember there was this craze several years ago for “WWJD” bracelets.

WWJD” stands for What Would Jesus Do?

Teenagers would wear these bracelets to remind them to make godly decisions in life.

Last week my lecturer rightly pointed out “WWJD” should be “WDJD”.

What Did Jesus Do?

The Bible passage above shows exactly what Jesus did for us 2,000 years ago.

Jesus is God and enjoyed the perfect relationship with his Father.

He gave up this relationship to be born into our world as a Man.

Compared to his relationship with his Father, he became “nothing”.

He was not born in a luxurious palace, instead he was born in a farm shed.

He took on human form with all its sickness, hunger, pain and disappointment.

He was a King in Heaven and became a Servant on Earth.

Instead of being served as a King on Earth, he came to serve us humans.

He humbly obeyed his Father and died a humiliating death on a cross.

Crucifixion was the lowest form of punishment reserved for the worst criminals.

Jesus died in our place taking the punishment that we deserved.

Because of his obedience, God raised Jesus back to life again.

Jesus has conquered death once and for all.

God made Jesus King of the Universe again.

Jesus will come again and judge all human beings.

At that time everyone will acknowledge that he is indeed the Lord of everything.

Jesus offers eternal life with him for all his followers.

But those who reject him will face eternal death.

Do you have a real relationship with Jesus?

Do you have the eternal life that Jesus offers?

Can those around you see your actions reflecting that Jesus is LORD of your life?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm 1 corinthians 15 mmmm

Mmmm King Prawn Bee Hoon Chinese Noodles Mmmm

In Australia, we have amazing, authentic Asian food!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College this semester, I’m eating the delicious New Testament.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance:
that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
and that he appeared to Peter,and then to the Twelve.
After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time,
most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead,
how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?

13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.
14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God,
for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead.
But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised.
16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.
17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
21 For since death came through a man,
the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.

22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

1 Corinthians 15:3-6; 12-17 & 20-22

Christians know that Jesus died on a cross – we still celebrate this on Good Friday in Australia.

We also celebrate his resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday.

2000 years ago some Corinthians denied the resurrection of Jesus.

Apparently they were too sophisticated and smart to believe in such foolishness.

They could not accept the fact that anyone could come back to life after dying.

But the resurrection is the cornerstone of the Christian faith.

Why is the resurrection so important?

The resurrection of Jesus proves conclusively that there is life after death.

Today as my non-Christian barber cut my hair, I asked whether she celebrated Easter.

She hesitated and unconvincingly claimed that there was no life after death.

I asked, “How can you be so sure?”

Can atheists prove to me that there is NO life after death?

What evidence can they show me that our souls DO NOT live on beyond the grave?

Jesus IS the proof that God has conquered death once and for all.

Our hope rests on the eyewitness accounts of 500+ followers who saw Jesus alive and well.

1 or 2 sightings could be dismissed, but how can you dispute 500 sightings?

So what is the hope that Christians have?

We celebrate God raising Jesus to life as King of the Universe.

After we die, we will also be raised into new bodies and seated in heaven with Jesus.

Death is not the end – death is the gateway to new life.

Earth is our temporary home before we join our King forever.

Are you afraid of dying in this world that is beyond your control?

Death is a certainty – so what will happen to you after you die?

Do you know the King of the Universe now and in the future?

mmmm Bible mmmm

I do not endorse the advertisement you may see below my blog:

mmmm 1 corinthians 13 mmmm

Mmmm Vietnamese Beef Pho with fresh chilli & mint Mmmm

In Australia, we have amazing, authentic Asian food!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College this semester, I’m eating the delicious New Testament.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails…

1 Corinthians 13:1-8a

This famous passage about love is often quoted at Christian weddings.

I’ve even seen this plagiarised by marriage celebrants in secular weddings!

But the original context of this passage is quite different to modern day romance.

The author Paul was addressing a serious problem with his Corinthian church audience.

Church members were fighting over the spiritual gifts of tongues and prophecy.

This dispute was causing disunity and division in this young church.

Paul encouraged the Corinthians to exercise their gifts in a loving way.

Fast forward 2000 years to today.

This passage is still extremely relevant to churches and Christians everywhere.

We are not perfect and sometimes we have disagreements within our Christian family.

We are strongly encouraged to resolve our differences with love and forgiveness.

We are not to be like non-Christians who hold grudges, fight and even kill each other.

It’s OK to use this passage at weddings but it can be applied more widely in our community.

As Christians, we are known by the world for our brotherly love and care.

It is dishonouring to God if we fight and bring shame to his name.

Ultimately this passage points towards Jesus’ death on the cross for the sin of the world.

  • Jesus is patient and kind.
  • Jesus did not envy or boast or treat people rudely.
  • Jesus sacrificed himself and if we trust in Him – he won’t keep a record of our sins.
  • Jesus is sinless and is THE truth:  He is the only way to heaven.
  • Jesus persevered through immense suffering on the cross to show love for his enemies.
  • Jesus never fails.

Do you have the perfect loving relationship with your husband/wife/family?

Do you know anyone prepared to die in your place to show you love?

Who can forgive your sins and give you eternal life?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm acts 2 mmmm

Mmmm Roast Duck & Orange Salad Mmmm

In Australia, we have amazing fresh produce & restaurant food!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College this semester, I’m eating the delicious New Testament.

38 Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.’
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’
41 Those who accepted his message were baptised,
and about 3,000 were added to their number that day.
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
44 All the believers were together and had everything in common.
45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
47 praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Acts 2:38-47

In the book of Acts, we see Peter sharing the good news of Jesus with a large crowd.

3000 listeners decided to repent and accept the gift of salvation.

Their journey of faith did not stop there.

They met regularly in fellowship – this is one of the earliest descriptions of “church” in the Bible.

What did these new Christians when they met together (church)?

  • They listened to the apostles teaching about Jesus and how to live the Christian life.
  • They ate meals together.
  • They prayed together.
  • They shared their possessions and helped each other.
  • They praised God with glad and sincere hearts.

Fast forward 2000 years to today.

Christians still meet together weekly on Sundays in churches across the world.

Those who only go to church twice a year at Christmas & Easter are fooling themselves.

This irregular attendance does not make you Christian or give you eternal life.

Even regular church attendance does not give you eternal life.

Only accepting the forgiveness of Jesus’ death & resurrection gives you entry to heaven.

So what is the purpose of the 21st Century church?

Church gives Christians the opportunity to share their lives together.

We are not called to be private followers of Jesus in isolation.

We are part of a wider community who love God and each other.

So those who think they can live the Christian life without church are WRONG.

  • We need the encouragement of others to keep growing & maturing as Christians.
  • We need the love & prayers of others when we face difficulties in life.
  • We thank God & celebrate together as we overcome obstacles.

Most of all, we continually remind each other of the death & resurrection of Jesus.

  • When was the last time you went to church?
  • Did you hear the Bible read & taught at church?
  • When was the last time you shared a meal with other Christians?
  • When did you last pray with other Christians?

mmmm Bible mmmm

I do not endorse the advertisement you may see below my blog:

mmmm 1 corinthians 1 mmmm

Mmmm Fresh Chinese Tofu at Yumcha Mmmm

In Australia, we have amazing, authentic Asian food!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College this semester, I’m eating the delicious New Testament.

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

19 
For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’
20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles…

1 Corinthians 1:18-23

We have started learning about the 1st letter to the Corinthians in class.

Corinth was an important trading centre in Ancient Greece.

Greek culture was focussed on philosophy, education and knowledge.

Paul wrote to the newly established church about the gospel of Jesus.

Jesus died on a cross so that his followers could be saved from eternal death.

Christians cannot save themselves but rely solely on Jesus.

No one can earn their way to heaven by being good – it’s impossible.

Instead Jesus is the only way to heaven and eternal life.

This concept seemed crazy to Greeks in Corinth.

They preferred human wisdom and human philosophy.

But all their accumulated knowledge did not prevent them from dying.

Fast forward 2000 years to the modern age we live in now.

There have been incredible advances in science and technology.

Our educated society admires highly intelligent professors and doctors.

But they still haven’t found a cure for death.

Humans think they are so smart that they don’t need God in their lives.

In reality we are not in control of our lives and cannot predict when we will die.

The message of the cross and faith in Jesus seems foolish to modern scientists.

But even modern scientists are powerless in the face of death.

Christians rely on the power of God to save – this is true wisdom.

God’s wisdom gives hope and comfort in an unpredictable world.

Christians aren’t afraid of death because it is the doorway to eternal life.

Are you afraid of dying?

Will all your knowledge and education prevent death?

What will happen to you after you die?

mmmm Bible mmmm

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mmmm isaiah 9 mmmm

Mmmm Grilled Japanese Scallop Sushi Mmmm

In Sydney, we have awesome, authentic Asian food!

But that’s not the only food that is mouth-watering.

At Bible College last semester, I ate mouthfuls of Old Testament.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and for ever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

Isaiah was an Old Testament Prophet that lived 700+ years before Jesus.

During this period the people of Israel & Judah turned away from God to worship idols.

Isaiah prophesied the consequences of the sin of his people.

Israel & Judah were soon invaded by foreign enemies resulting in mass exile.

During this time of judgement, there was still a glimmer of hope.

Isaiah prophesied that a Messiah would be born in the future to save his people.

We read about this Saviour in the passage above.

This leader would be descended from King David as blogged about in 2 Samuel.

His government would be marked by justice, righteousness and enduring peace.

This was in direct contrast to the war and conflict that surrounded Jerusalem.

Look at the incredible titles of this Messiah:

  • Wonderful Counsellor
  • Mighty God
  • Everlasting Father
  • Prince of Peace

It was obvious that this future leader was no ordinary earthly king or governor.

Nor was he a military warrior that would defeat the invading armies.

This Messiah is Jesus and he rules over a spiritual kingdom now and forever.

Australia recently elected a new government that has quickly caused controversy.

We will be sorely disappointed if we put our trust in earthly Prime Ministers.

Likewise we cannot find security in wealth and possessions that easily fade away.

Instead as we celebrate the New Year, let’s trust in Jesus who will never fail.

Place your hope in Jesus who has conquered death and sin once and for all.

Look forward to a kingdom where there is no more death, darkness, pain and crying.

  • Who do you trust?
  • Where do you find hope?
  • What do you look forward to?

Consider Jesus in this new year and stop worrying about financial security and materialism.

mmmm Bible mmmm

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