We are continuing today with, "Foundations of the Christian Faith," and the title for today is going to be about as foundational as anything could be. That title is going to be. "The Meaning of Christianity." Turn to Colossians 1:27. Colossians 1:27 makes the following statement: Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Now I think that in this one sentence -- better than perhaps any other place in the Bible -- is a definition of Christianity. It tells us the meaning of Christianity: "Christ in you, the hope of glory." There is a lot that goes into that, and there's a lot that emerges from it, but in the final analysis, a Christian is one in whom Christ dwells. Thus, Christianity is, "Christ in you, the hope of glory."
Christ In You Fulfills the Word of God
Now just for a few moments, I want to look at this passage in a little more detail. I want to back up a bit to verse 25 where Paul begins to talk about his ministry. He says that he... ...was made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which was given to him.
That word, "dispensation," means, "distribution of property." That's what the word comes from in the New Testament Greek. And so, Paul is talking about a ministry wherein he is assigned by God the task of receiving the Truth, and then distributing it to other people, through Jesus Christ. And he says, I was made a minister in this way... ...according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you TO FULFILL THE WORD OF GOD.
There’s a reason that God commands all men everywhere to repent. It’s “…because He has appointed a Day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man Whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31, italics added). We can have assurance that the Day of Judgment will take place and that Jesus will judge the earth—because of the resurrection. So should we then try and convince an unbelieving world of the resurrection? Many do, by pointing to the 500 witnesses who saw Him after He was raised, to the disciple who actually touched His side, to those who were willing to be martyrs for Christ, etc. But is Islam true because of its martyrs who give up their lives for their faith? What if someone doesn’t believe the Bible when it speaks of the 500 witnesses, etc.
‘Diversity’ is now enforced in the workplace by law 1 How does that impact on the day-to-day lifeof a Christian?
A Christian friend was recently instructed to attend a compulsory Diversity Course at his place of work. It seems that ‘Diversity’ is becoming the modern equivalent of ancient Rome’s ‘Lord’s Day’, when every citizen under Roman authority was required to acknowledge that Caesarwas ‘Lord’.
by Melanie Phillips
It has become the orthodoxy in the West that freedom, human rights and reason all derive from secularism and that the greatest threat to all these good things is religion.
I want to suggest that the opposite is true. In the service of this orthodoxy, the West is undermining and destroying the very values which it holds most dear as the defining characteristics of a civilised society.
War is being waged against Western culture from within which is in essence a war against Christianity and its moral origins in the Hebrew Bible. By attacking these Biblical foundations in the name of reason and human rights, the culture warriors of secularism are sawing off the branch on which they sit. The only way to defend Western civilisation is to reaffirm and restore its Biblical foundations. My argument is a development of ideas I first explored in my 2012 book The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth and Power.
We are living in an era which extols reason, science and human rights. These are said to be essential for progress, a civilised society and the betterment of humanity. Religion is said to be their antithesis, the source instead of superstitious mumbo-jumbo, oppression and backward-thinking.
Some of this hostility is being driven by the perceived threat from Islamic terrorism and the Islamisation of Western culture. However, this animus against religion has far deeper roots and can be traced back to what is considered the birthplace of Western reason, the 18th-century Enlightenment.
Actually, it goes back specifically to the French Enlightenment. In England and Scotland, the Enlightenment developed reason and political liberty within the framework of Biblical belief. In France, by contrast, anti-clericalism morphed into fundamental hostility to Christianity and to religion itself.
(By Michael Brown ) In the aftermath of the Orlando massacre, leftist voices are not only blaming conservative Christians for the tragedy, they are now calling on Christians to renounce their sacred beliefs and historic convictions, as if holding to a biblical definition of marriage leads to mass murder. This is not only ridiculous and reprehensible. It is also logically absurd. Consider these alternative scenarios. Let’s say that for years, gay activists vilified conservative Christians in the ugliest ways, not only calling us bigots and hypocrites and equating us with Hitler, the Nazis, the Taliban and ISIS, but also saying that we deserve to die, sending us death threats, posting death wishes on social media and holding up posters at rallies with lines like, “Throw them to the lions!” (For the record, this is not hypothetical. I can document every word of this in sickening detail.)
Needs a summary
How can churches achieve a balanced view without compromising the Gospel?
‘When I affirm my belief in the promises of God to Israel, someone always comes along to take away my freedom’. This was a confession made to me by a Pastor I was visiting. I spend quite a bit of my time speaking to church leaders about Israel and their churches. Many have a story about people in their church who have an unhealthy focus on Israel to the point of obsession. And for some pastors, parking the whole subject is the easiest option.
By Kay Wilson
While the blood of innocents was being mopped up off a theatre floor in France, a video titled, “A father and son have the most precious conversation,” goes viral. In the clip the boy tells his father, “We should leave Paris because Les Mechants (the villains) have guns and they will come to shoot us.” The father reassures his son that although the villains have guns, they (the French) have flowers and candles. “Do the flowers and candles protect us?” asks the son. When the father answers in the affirmative, the boy protests, “but flowers don’t do anything!” He is given a reassuring hug by his father and the clip is concluded by the interviewer asking the child if he “feels better,” to which the boy nods and breaks into a smile.
By Melanie Phillips
A few commentators have begun to stumble towards the fact that the policy of becoming “carbon neutral” by 2050, as adopted by the UK and the EU, would undo modernity itself.
On Unherd, Peter Franklin observes that, if carried through, the policy will have a far greater effect than Brexit or anything else; it will transform society altogether.
“It will continue to transform the power industry, and much else besides: every mode of transport; how we build, warm and cool our homes; food, agriculture and land use; trade, industry, every part of the economy”.
Franklin is correct. Even so, he seems not to grasp the full implications of the disaster he intuits – because he thinks there’s some kind of middle way through which the imminent eco-apocalypse can be prevented without returning Britain to the Middle Ages.
In similar vein he quotes Rachel Wolf, a co-author of the 2019 Conservative manifesto, who is prone to the same kind of magical thinking. She wrote:
“Government has committed to ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions because it does not want the side effects of the energy sources we have used for centuries to destroy the planet. At the same time, we do not want to return to an era where children (and their mothers) regularly died, and where the majority of people lived in what would now in the UK be considered wholly unacceptable poverty. This is a staggering challenge”.
This is what we might call an understatement. What is truly staggering is, first, that any sentient person thinks this can be done and, second, that it should be done.