Posts Tagged 'presence'

The Present That Lasts Forever

The Present That Lasts Forever

Hebrews 7:1-3; 25-28

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to receive as a gift was a model. I had model ships, model planes, model cars: anything that I could build to help me understand the construction of a thing was a huge hit. I **still** have some models that I’m looking forward to completing. Models can teach, models can inspire.

Does God Use Models For His Ministry?

OT: Model of the Promise ~ Hebrews 7:1-3

  • 1 king+priest; ONLY good example of mixture of religion and government in all of Scripture
  • 2 righteousness+peace=antitype of Jesus, the perfect combination of kingship, righteousness, and peace with God
  • 3 this OT character just “shows up” unexpectedly in the narrative; often, Jesus does the same: He shows up in our lives when we don’t expect Him. How has Jesus shown up for you?

NT: Messiah is the Present ~ Hebrews 7:25-28

  • 25 OT priests were place-holders, fulfilling an office (the PERSON filling the office changes, the OFFICE does not); Jesus lives, and permanently fills the requirements of go-between for God and humanity
  • 26/7 He has no sin; wages of sin is death; He died as a sacrifice on our behalf (not His own need): THAT is why He is the Highest Priest Possible!
  • 28 “made perfect” Christ’s journey is complete: the Son let go of Godhood, became human like us, took on our sin, died and canceled it out, rose again to give us new life, and finally re-entered God’s presence as the perfect go-between for both US and God: from the TOP to the BOTTOM and back to the TOP.

I’m intentionally playing with a triple pun in English:

  1. at Christmas, we give each other gifts, and we call them presents
  2. Christ was God’s gift of Himself to all of us: Emmanuel, His Presence
  3. Jesus enables us to live with God regardless of time: eternally the present

Advent: Preparing for the Presence

Advent: Preparing for the Presence Sermon Audio Here

Mat.11:2-11; Isa.35:1-10

When we hear the word “presence” around this time of year, we assume the topic is “presents”. But instead of focusing on gifts given and received, what about considering the closeness of Christ? What happens when we’re in God’s presence?

What Can We Know About God’s Presence?

The Facts of the First Advent ~ Mat.11:2-11

  • v2/3 The question: who is Jesus, really? We try to verify that we’re really in God’s presence
  • v4/6 the answer: look at changed lives
  • v7/11 the experience: pointing out that God changes lives can lead to confusion: we don’t EXPECT God’s presence to make the kind of difference He actually does

God’s presence in the present is what we see from Matthew; consider the ancient promise of His presence, from Isaiah:

The Surety of the Second Advent ~ Isa.35:1-10

  • v1/2 God’s glory will be known
  • v3/4 God’s justice will be felt
  • v5/6 God’s people will be healed
  • v7/8 God’s creation will be remade
  • v9/10 God’s family will be gathered

We have already received the first part of the promise of our salvation; the presence of Jesus, of which we’re reminded every Advent. We can also trust the surety of our salvation; the world to come with the Second Advent. Let us wait and watch for both this season.

Pastor Ed Backell

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