Monday, January 2, 2017

pivotal & foundational

Ok, 2 big passages you just gotta read!

This first one is the apostle, John, writing at the beginning of his Gospel about the life of Jesus.

He lays our the ground work right off the bat as to who Jesus is & what His coming is all about.

It's one of those pivotal passages in the Bible

John 1

1 In the beginning the Word already existed.
  The Word was with God,
  and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.
3 God created everything through him,
  and nothing was created except through him.
4 The Word gave life to everything that was created,
  and his life brought light to everyone.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
  and the darkness can never extinguish it.

6 God sent a man, John the Baptist, 7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony.

8 John himself was not the light;

he was simply a witness to tell about the light.

9 The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

10 He came into the very world he created,

but the world didn't recognize him.

11 He came to his own people,

and even they rejected him.

12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.

13 They are reborn - not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan,

but a birth that comes from God.

  14 So the Word became human and made his home among us.

He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.

And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father's one and only Son.

  15 John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds,

"This is the one I was talking about when I said, 'Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.'"

16 From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.

17 For the law was given through Moses,

but God's unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.

18 No one has ever seen God.

But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father's heart.

He has revealed God to us.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

And this is from Paul's second letter to the followers of Jesus in Corinth.

It talks about our life after we die.

But then maybe more importantly it is also about who Jesus is & what is life means & does for us.

Another passage that is foundational for us to hold on to.

2 Corinthians 5

1 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down

(that is, when we die and leave this earthly body),

we will have a house in heaven,

an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.

2 We grow weary in our present bodies,

and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.

3 For we will put on heavenly bodies;

we will not be spirits without bodies.

4 While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh,

but it's not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us.

Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life.

5 God himself has prepared us for this,

and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.

6 So we are always confident,

even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord.

7 For we live by believing and not by seeing.

8 Yes, we are fully confident,

and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies,

for then we will be at home with the Lord.

9 So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him.

10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged.

We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.

11 Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others.

God knows we are sincere,

and I hope you know this, too.

12 Are we commending ourselves to you again?

No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart.

13 If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God.

And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit.

14 Either way, Christ's love controls us.

Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.

15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves.

Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.

  16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view.

At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view.

How differently we know him now!

17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.

The old life is gone;

a new life has begun!

18 And all of this is a gift from God,

who brought us back to himself through Christ.

And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.

19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people's sins against them.

And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.

20 So we are Christ's ambassadors;

God is making his appeal through us.

We speak for Christ when we plead,

"Come back to God!"

21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

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