Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Chicken or the Egg, Christ or the Father, who do you trust first?

Chicken or the Egg, Christ or the Father, who do you trust first?
I didn't trust God the Father. Growing up I blamed all my unhappiness on the Father. He was all powerful and he could intervene if he wanted to. I prayed every night to not wet the bed (into early teens, I'm ok now, but that day may be coming again now that I'm getting old) and woke every morning soaked. How could I believe that God the father loved me? Then I read the gospels and met Jesus who said "If you've seen me, you have already seen the Father." Jesus was so incredible. He loved the unlovely. He loved people like me.  Jesus taught me to trust the Father.

1 Peter 1:21-25 NLT
"Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory."

Jesus is the reason I trust the Father. 
The Father is the reason I trust Jesus. 

I trust Jesus because the Father raised him from the dead. If Jesus didn't rise from the dead, I would not have trusted him, but the evidence of the resurrection was overwhelming. The Father raised Jesus from the dead, and gave him glory." So I trusted Jesus. Jesus taught me to trust the Father and the Father taught me to trust Jesus. Great teamwork!

" You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart."

Faith is a verb. I was cleansed from my sins when I "obeyed the truth". In the NT that usually took place at baptism. People trusted Christ by obeying the call to repent and be baptised. Faith demands obedience. Jesus never commanded us to raise a hand, fill in a response card, etc. (all good things) but he did say to "Repent and be baptised" and we see this pattern in the NT over and over again. New believers need to start with an act of obedience and baptism is still the best way to do that. 

And then, "Love each other deeply" radically.

"For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. As the Scriptures say, “People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. But the word of the Lord remains forever.” And that word is the Good News that was preached to you."

The gospel message is the "eternal, living word of God" that causes a person to be born again. My physical life is going to be really short: 90 years if I'm lucky. But the new creation born in me when I obeyed Jesus is still an embryo. I will live forever. What power the gospel contains! What potential! 

Father, you brought Jesus back from the dead. I trust you and love you. Jesus, you showed me what Father was like. I trust you, I love you. Your Word, the good news that was preached to me has power to create new life, eternal life within us. This week I want to be faithful and bold in sharing the good news. Holy Spirit take the gospel message and use it to impregnate, to engender new life, eternal life in the lives of people around. Amen