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The Journal

Knowing great truths of the Bible

Dear Friends,
Today we welcome Anton Triyanto and Ahn and their son Angus. Anton is a staff worker with AFES in Brisbane working in University Ministry. University Ministry is a very important ministry in seeking to win people for Christ as they think about their lives and what the future holds. Last week at our baptism service we read the Apostle’s Creed. This ancient document is a summary of the essentials of the Christian faith. Often the doubts or discouragements which we experience in our faith are because we have an atomistic approach to the Bible. We know bits of it but when something happens in our life we can become disappointed with God because lack a thorough grasp of the whole story. In effect our approach to the Bible needs to be comprehensive where the great truths as outlined in the Creed are well understood by us so that when a trial comes we have Biblical resources to 
draw on and so can gain strength from God’s Word. In the morning Anton will be looking at Philippians 2:1-11 which is a wonderful summary of the incarnation and identity of Christ and His work on the cross and subsequent call on people to submit to Him as Lord and Saviour. Jesus is Lord and Saviour because His being is very nature God. He came to earth as a servant emptying himself of His glory ! In the evening we are looking at the book of Jude and in particular v3 encourages us to contend for the faith. This takes up the idea of wrestling for our faith. Interestingly our faith is described as “the faith” meaning that even at this early stage in the life of the church it is seen as a body of teaching which has come down from the apostles - see Acts 2:42, Ephesians 2:20. Jude is warning against false teachers who had come into the church. Jude warns us to not be led astray and so we need to both know the great truths of the Bible well and also build ourselves up in our holy faith. God’s Blessing David O’Mara

 

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The Word who takes away all your words

Dear Friends,
John intentionally uses the Greek word “logos” to describe Jesus. In its original setting “logos” described a life principle which gave meaning to life and was the desire of all to align with. John has taken this philosophical term and enlarged and enriched its meaning. Jesus is the “logos” who is personal and has come to earth and who can be known. In the first section 1:1-4 John explains that this Word was with God and is God and always existed. The Word is divine. Further John explains that all things were made through this Word and that He gives life to all men. The Word is our creator and so we owe him our allegiance because our life is a gift from Him. In the second section 1:5-11 we learn that despite the witness of John the Baptist pointing to Jesus as the true light people rejected Him. In v5 the word “understood” or “overcome” is intentionally ambiguous and carries the sense that people are ignorant of 
this Word who gives life and this is also the result of their rebellion against God. This rebellion is the reason why people also want to overcome Him or control Him. Incredibly this Word came to earth and came to the Jewish people and was rejected by them. It is a reminder that people can see God and yet still reject Him. But in the final section 1:12-14 the good news is that despite this rejection this Word offers us the right to become children of God. This is a gift which we cannot earn or inherit through human effort. Indeed it is the work of the Holy Spirit. In 1:14 this Word became flesh and so is identified as Jesus. He lived amongst us and came from God and reveals the glory of God. The glory of God is the heaviness or weight of His goodness and love and power and purity and grace. Jesus is the true light and unless we know Him we walk in darkness 1:5. Pray for the Lord to give us a revelation of His love and goodness and glory. At the 5pm service we conclude our series on John’s letter. In 3 John John writes to his dear friend Gaius. He is praying for him and in fact John says what motivates him is to hear that believers are walking in the truth. John’s heart is for the health of the church. Despite the good things happening in the church community John mentions that Diotrephes wouldn’t welcome believers. This person is a leader and he is also involved in spread malicious nonsense as well as ejecting true believers from the church community. There are enemies of the Gospel even in church and we have to exercise godly discipline to encourage them to repent. God’s Blessing David O’Mara

 

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Hope beyond death - it was ok anyway