To go on with our series on Colossians I made a Bible Study video on YouTube.
At times I see that this letter is quite complicated. I am very grateful to my brothers Bob Landon and Yonathan Woldeul for help and insight they shared with me to understand the letter better.
We have seen that for growth and maturity we must look at the greatness of Jesus Christ more and more, rather than to look elsewhere for our growth and maturity. If He is so supreme that everything was created by and for and through Him, so supreme that He brought redemption on the cross and saved us, than wouldn’t He be sufficient for our growth? When He was able to reconcile us to God, will He not be able to mature us and bring us as mature and fruitful believers in His Kingdom? The way you can be saved is: by faith in Christ (and not in any other way, for instance by your own works). Now we must learn that the way we will grow and become mature is also: by faith, by staying in the hope that the Gospel offers us. This old message is still of great relevance today. This is what the Bible study is about.
Join us for this Sunday Service. Due to the Corona-crisis we are broadcasting this service live on YouTube. Join us in this service and interact via the chat. The Scripture reading will be from Matthew 26 : 20 – 46. Now that it is clear that Jesus is the true King – though rejected (ch.21-22) and the promised Prophet – though neglected (ch.23-25), now the new Passover will begin; the climax of all history. Gods anointed Messiah will overcome sin and death for His people to redeem them, to bring them into Gods Kingdom, the real promised land. As the celebration of the Passover meal is together a remembrance and celebration, now Jesus celebrates Passover with His disciples and tells them how through Him they will be part of a new Exodus. They receive the cup of salvation. But… in order to give them, to give us this cup, Jesus will drink our cup. Priests were there to mediate between the people and God. Priests were praying and bringing a sacrifice. Now we see Jesus as the great High priest. Before the greatest sacrifice ever will be brought – the price for our sins, not silver or gold, not blood of animals, but the life of the Messiah himself – the priest goes into the heavenly sanctuary to pray. Praying He becomes one with the will of His Father to obey and to be Himself the first born who will be killed and receive judgement, to make His sheep, His flock free.Scripture: Matthew 26 : 26 – 46
When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” 22They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?” Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me.The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?” Jesus answered, “You have said so.” While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “ ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same. Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
When Moses and Aaron started to preach and announce the Kingdom of God – while Pharaoh was king in Egypt, this caused a clash of kingdoms. Whom will you believe? Trust and obey? Doing as Moses and Aaron said (prepare for Exodus, for living as property of Israel’s God) was clashing with what Pharaoh required. Many things would happen, while still in Egypt and when they would travel to the desert to the promised land. Plagues. Enemies. Hunger. Rebellion among Gods own people (people who said: we don’t need to listen to Moses and Aaron any longer). Mighty countries and powers, wanting to destroy the covenant people. The same will all be true for you, says Jesus, as you are my new covenant people. Like David, Gods truly anointed king, who was persecuted for a long time before his kingdom would be established, the followers of the Messiah must face a lot of hardships before the Messiah appears in His glory and before His Kingdom will definitely be established and before all enemies will lie crushed before His feet. Jesus prepares His followers for things to come. However, He also helps them to grasp that God is in complete control and that the worldwide Kingdom will certainly come. Yes, they will face suffering. But their Messiah is with them (Immanuel) in their sufferings. In and through Him we will be able to face hardships and to come through all temptations and crises – like the crises we are facing now. (NB: in Matthew 24:7 the King James Version (an old translation) mentions `pestilences’)
Scripture: Matthew 24:1-14
24 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” 3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
After delivering his famous sermon on the mount, the big question is: how is this ’new covenant’ going to work in people’s lives? In a series of short stories, Matthew gives us a few exiting examples of what is looks like when Jesus brings the Kingdom into people’s lives. One of those stories is about Matthew’s own calling to follow Jesus. What is your story?
See, hear more on Sunday 23 February in the New Church, 12:30 hrs.
“Have mercy on me!” The villain calls for mercy in front of the avenger. You can picture the scene, I guess, as it is a familiar image from popular films. Grace means that you are completely dependent on the goodwill of another person. You can only beg for it, but the other one decides about your fate. What do Christians mean when they say that they live by grace? And what does it mean ‘to grow in grace’? This is going to be the topic of our Service this Sunday, December 17, 12:00 in our church.
I look forward to seeing you there!
Pastor Simon van der Lugt
Pastor Simon will be preaching on 2 Peter 3: 18 and we are excited to discover what this text holds for us. We are looking forward to have fellowship with YOU and get to know you if you come for the first time. Be warmly welcomed! Also check out our Facebook event! Share it with your friends, colleagues or neighbors to join us and all be together!
The return of the King – how do you know it is true at all?
How can we be sure that there is a King who will return to establish his reign of justice and peace on earth? Do we have reliable indications of his coming? Actually we seem to see the opposite: in increasing violence in the world, in pain and suffering, and widespread evil. We seem to be far from a just and peaceful world. Isn’t it better to work hard in our study, career and family, to make a better world?
Product of the human mind
That is one of the reasons why many scientific researchers and philosophers argue that religion, also Christian religion, is a cleverly invented product of the human mind. They say that religion is:
‘A psychological or social framework to handle the uncertainties of life.’
‘The belief in a supreme being as a psychological projection against the screen of heaven.’
‘A way to fill the empty space, produced by human unfulfilled desires.’
‘An enemy of sound rational thinking and a danger for the human species.’ Etc.
Reasons for faith
The apostle Peter writes about it in his letter (2 Peter 1:16): ‘We didn’t follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.‘ But he doesn’t overrule us. He gives room to deal with questions about the certainty of faith and existential doubts.
It is honest to realize and investigate our intellectual and emotional doubts. How can we believe what many people seem to reject as foolishness? The apostle however gives clear reasons for faith. It is not just an intellectual conclusion, but a deep, surprising and undeserved relationship between a sinful person and the high and holy God.
The Spirit of God affirming a heartfelt truth
Above all: it is the Spirit of God who affirms the truth of the living God in our hearts. The Gospel is about what God has done above all human thinking and expectation. It is completely different from all kinds of religions that try to satisfy counterfeit gods that are products of human mind, or human society on their turn.
Therefore hear more about this question: how to be sure of the Kings’ return in the coming church service of ICF Delft.
I look forward to seeing you there! Pastor Niek Tramper
“Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.’ (2 Peter 1, 10-11).
The King returns, prepare yourself!
The four weeks before Christmas, the Christian church dedicates time to prepare the return of Jesus Christ. He promised to come, but He did not announce the date. That’s why we do well to live every day so that He finds us well prepared. What does that mean? Discover this coming Sunday, December 3, in our church service.
ICF Delft Potluck Lunch
After the Service we want to invite you to stay for a Potluck lunch.
Everyone just brings some food to church, either savoury or sweet, enough for a couple of people. Just have in mind, that there are only limited warming options in the kitchen. Also feel free to bring homemade or shop-bought food. Everything is welcome!
Also invite your friends to join us after the service if they want to! We look forward to meet everyone and have fellowship with You!
Many of us dream to be settled in career, long for a stable family and work for a harmonious society. Many of us cherish dreams of a peaceful world with no threads of terrorist attacks, wars and climate changes. You are not human if you don’t long for that. It is wonderful if you see your dreams become true. We also know that dreams often are unrealistic. We have to admit that the world is far from what we dreamt her to be.
The disciples of Jesus in their time dreamt to see the settlement of a peaceful nation with economic, social and spiritual welfare. But Jesus promises something different to his students: the gift of the Spirit that sets them in motion. No settlement, but on the move! They will cross barriers of language and culture, personal and social barriers. Why? Because they will be witnesses of God’s new world. They will not stick to the establishment but will announce a new and transformed world. The Kingdom that God promises and that is coming!
How can we do our daily work and at the same time become participants in this movement of the Spirit? Discover more in ICF-Delft-service on 21 May. In this service we make a start with a new series of sermons about the way the Spirit of God moved people to spread the Good News in the early century. And how He does it today! Welcome in ICF-Delft, Sunday 21 May 12. Hrs 15 Génestet Church, Oude Delft 102.