Andrew Fountain - An Honest look at some Surprising Scriptures
Full sermon notes - An Honest look at some Surprising Scriptures
Links to audio of talks on this subject by Dr. Carl Mosser
- I have never heard a sermon on this subject, or even heard of a sermon
- I’m not going to give you a cut-and-dried answer, but we are going to come to some conclusions
- I’m going to spend about 5 mins talking about the problem, and do a visual object lesson with a volunteer
- We’ll have a 2 min survey of what we are not talking about
- Look at Scriptures for about 15 mins
- Try to formulate an answer, and get volunteer up again to demonstrate
- and also get the country of Iceland involved
How we usually think of salvation
- Visual illustration
- backpack (sin), white coat (righteousness), phone (communication with God), battery pack (power of Spirit), scroll (adoption)
- It’s all good as far as it goes, but does not go far enough.
- There are many Scriptures that suggest at lot more
- That we take on some aspects of God himself
- People have called it “deification”, but I’m going to avoid that term because it is confusing
What it is not
- Greek mythology: humans could become gods
- Mormon teaching: that Jesus was just a man, and became God, and so can we
- New age: We all have to realize the “god” in us
- Eastern Orthodox teaching: mystical participation in the sacraments, experiences of “light”, climbing a ladder of rigorous devotional practices to reach the divine
The Ladder of Divine Ascent
Image source: orthodoxwiki
So here is one of the Scriptures we are talking about:
- that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
- The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,
- I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
- People have been scared away from the truth
- Remember that there is always a clear line between Creator-God and Man-the-created
- Let’s look at the Scriptures and try and formulate a teaching
- There are both present and future aspects
- present “seed of God” inside us, empowering us
- future glory
- Is this about now or after we die?
- What aspect of these verses seems to be saying too much?
- One of the key verses to the early church fathers was this one:
2 Peter 1
- by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature
- Some took this too far and there was some confusion.
More verses about Now: the Children of God theme in John
- But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
- who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
- Introduced at the beginning
- And of course John 3 about being born from above
1 John 3:9,24 & 4:7–8
- No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.
- Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
- Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
- Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
- A key idea is God’s seed in us
- Children who he has fathered
- When does the seen enter us?
Col 2:9–10 & 2 Cor 3:18
- For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,
- and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.
- And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
- This is one of the most helpful
- The idea is of being filled with God
- Daniel 12:3 says we shall “shall shine like the brightness of the sky above”; and “like the stars forever and ever”
- So we do not become God, but are filled with him
- This one starts in the present
1 John 2:29–3:2
- If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.
- See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
- Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
- So the meaning of children is not just that he made us, but that we have a likeness to our parent
Philippians 2; 3:21
- who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
- but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
- And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross…
- …who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body…
1 Cor 15
- The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.
- As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.
- Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
- Image of flashlight, filled with God’s power and glory
- Get volunteer out again
Turks and Caicos Islands
- Tiny group of islands in the Caribbean
- 2011 it was suggested by some of their politicians that the country should become part of Canada.
- You’ll have to excuse me if this idea sounds colonial, so I’m going to change the illustration to Iceland
- I’m giving it purely as an illustration, not trying to make any political point.
Norðfjörður in Iceland
Image source: Ericoides
- Two ways. First way:
- Wipe it’s national debt away
- Give every building there a coat of paint to spruce it up
- Establish a free telephone connection to Canada
- Empower them with some huge development grants
- Pass a law to say that they are officially adopted by Canada
- Second way
- Make them offically part of Canada
- Canadian law, OPP Police stations, healthcare, Canada Post post-offices
- Use the Canadian dollar, Canadian flag
- All Government serives would be in French and English and have the little red maple leaf
- Let’s suppose that large numbers of Canadians would move there there
- (Please note that I’m not saying this would be a good thing—There are many aspects of their culture that I’m sure are superior to Canadian culture and they would be lost.)
- leading to Tim Hortons everywhere, and maybe their own hockey team
- Filled with God
- In summary—it would be filled with Canada
- Canadian people, Canadian flag, dollar, road signs, postal service
- Empowered with all the power of Canada: police, military, total commitment
- In the same way we are filled with Father, Son and Holy Spirit
- Like a flashlight, we are the container, he is the power and the light bulb
- His glory shines out through us
- Taking on the character of God
- If you were to land there, not knowing where you were, you might think you were in Canada
- You accidentally shove somebody, and they apologize the way Canadians do
- They say ‘eh’ at the end of their sentences
- In the same way, as God’s children we naturally behave like him.
- People can see something of God by watching the way we behave
- We carry his stamp of identity
- But it also works the other way:
- Every time Canada wins a gold medal in the Olympics, everyone there would cheer!
- In the same way we are so happy when God has a victory—his success is our success
- But of course it is still not physically part of the Canadian land mass
- Still an island in the North Atlantic
- We do not become God, even though we participate in him
- Our mortal bodies replaced with bodies like Jesus
- We could go one step further
- An issue with us is that we are mortal, we have bodies that are failing
- God is re-making us from a new material, from his Spirit
- God is immortal, and he offers us some of his own immortality
- Suppose it became known that there was a geological problem and the volcanic soil that makes up Iceland was somehow dissolving into the sea, and the capital of Iceland was gradually sinking into the ocean.
- Vast quanties of Canadian soil were shipped there to raise the level
- But again, that would not make it actually Canada, just as it does not make us God
- “We will always remain creatures, but we are destined to become creatures so filled with God that his very glory radiates from us.” —Carl Mosser
Why it matters
- We live out of our identities
- The very life of God is in you
- Your destiny is to shine like the sun
- But even now, you have his glory in you
- The most important thing you can do this week is to keep reminding yourself of who you are, chosing to live out of that identity
- Do it every day, from the moment you get up
Updated on 2014-12-21 by Andrew Fountain