Jesus – Friend of Sinners

Jesus – Friend of Sinners

I feel very compelled and urged to give both an encouragement and also a warning at the same time just because there are always two sides to a coin.

Firstly, I want to bring clarity to the belief and fact that Jesus is definitely a friend of sinners! The entire canon of Scripture attests to the fact that God, in the Old Testament, and Jesus also in the New Testament befriended sinners because, after all, how in the world was He meant to show friendship to sinners without associating Himself with the very sinners He came to save!. We can see and understand quite clearly from Scripture that Jesus’ whole goal was to come and save the lost – those who are caught up in sin – and heal and save them from their iniquities. One needs to understand that for Christ to save sinners He had to expose sin for what it was and in order to expose sin He had to shed light into darkness thereby opening the eyes of the blind – the heart of man – and allowing them to repent of their sins in order to be saved.

Secondly, and this where the other side of the coin comes into play is that; JESUS, A FRIEND OF SINNERS, DOES NOT GIVE US LICENSE TO SIN! The phrase, “Jesus, a friend of sinners” has been abused, stretched out of proportion; out of bounds to a great extent, and the result is that we have so many Christians running around with lives full of sin, sinning on a whim, living lives as they please just because that they believe that Jesus is a friend of sinners. They, therefore, have the false and perverted belief that they can do anything and everything they please just because “Jesus is a friend of sinners”

Yes, Jesus is a friend of sinners in order to show them the light and truth that comes from God. But, because He has redeemed us, we are now commanded to follow Him in and with obedience. It is our post-redemption obedience that shows our love for Christ and in turn, His continual friendship with us!

Shane Bryant (OMIN CLC, CLDIP, ADIV)

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Getting you out of Egypt but Getting Egypt out of you!

Today was a rainy day, and the recording will testify to that. Nevertheless, we thank God for His water in a dry and weary land; the Wilderness. Quite strangely this gave an ambience to today’s sermon.

The wilderness is also often synonymous with pain and suffering, but this is also the place where we hear God’s voice the most, because that is the time when many of us really and truly cling to Him. Unfortunately, this is not true for a lot of Christians, and when trials and trouble comes their way then that is the time they give up on God and become disillusioned with Him. I find it quite ironic though because the very word, “disillusioned” implies that God was actually an illusion to begin with! God may have indeed seemed sort of real in the beginning, especially when a person gave their life to Christ, but unfortunately and most likely it could possibly have been because of the hype and emotions that that person experienced and maybe even the goose-bumps that he or she may have felt. Obviously there could be hundreds of other reasons that I do not have time to mention, but the fact remains that; just like the seed that fell on rocky, when the time of testing comes they fall away (Luke 8).

Trials are there and come our way so that God can get “Egypt out of us”. In other words, trials come so that we might press into God and as that good old song says; “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full into His wonderful face; and the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace”.

The more pertinent question is: How enculturated have we become in “Egypt” as opposed to The New Way – The New Culture – in Christ. He is always busy getting that enculturation out of us and thereby enculturating us into His way! This, my friends, is an everyday, every minute and every second journey with Him; reading His word and living His word!

Shane Bryant (OMIN CLC, CLDIP, ADIV)

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The Rapture Part 3 – The Bride of Christ

 

Follow with me in this series entitled: The Rapture, to see if indeed the common evangelical teaching; that Christ will secretly rapture His Church, is a true or false teaching.
I want to continue with the series on the rapture. However, I want to take a bit of a break on the “how and when” of the rapture and concentrate on the Bride of Christ because, after all, we as a church community need to know:
Who is the bride of Christ?
What type of bride is Christ coming back for?
What constitutes the bride of Christ.
I want to take a journey down “memory Lane” to help us see why God is so in love with His church – His Bride – and hopefully this will be an encouragement to those that truly belong to Him.I want to, this time, move away from the theme of “Judgement” to that of a theme of “Love” because I feel our church community also needs to see the heart and love of God. I want us, as I said, to take a trip down memory lane, if you will; all the way back to the Book of Exodus and I want us to look at a Marriage Feast between God and Israel. The Israelites had been led out of Egypt with God’s mighty hand, crossed the red Sea, and eventually in Exodus 19 they land up at the Mount of Sinai where God is going to give the law to Israel. Now, this is where the story gets very interesting in a very Jewish way, and it is this Jewish way that gives us such a beautiful picture of a Bridegroom and Bride getting married.

Shane Bryant (OMIN CLC, CLDIP, ADIV)

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