Monday, 13 February 2012

Good start of meetings with Rev Dr Stephen Sizer

On Monday evening we had Stephen Sizer speak at St John's in Maadi, where 150+ people showed up for a superb lecture with a great ppp. (The picture is of Rev Paul-Gordon Chandler introducig him) Lots of questions asked afterwards, appointments with some media made for interviews, books sold.


Anonymous said...

Hi there,
God’s call to Abraham in Genesis 12; 1-3 is the beginning of salvation history, and includes both universal and specific promises (for examples of the latter, see Psalm 105; 7-11 and Jeremiah 31; 35-37). This is because his love for Israel is the first expression of his love for all humanity. His eternal promises to Israel are not in conflict with this (Luke 2:32), but are a guarantee of it (Romans 11:16). They were called to be a nation of priests (Exodus 19:6), to show God’s ways to the rest of humanity.

Israel were called because God loved them (Deut 7: 8), rescued from slavery, given God’s laws and a good land, yet with all this they still sinned. They sinned to the point of killing his own dear son, Jesus. Israel shows us that we cannot make it to God through our own efforts, even with God’s own care and help, yet we fail. Now, is that then the end of the story, God’s love and promises thwarted by our weakness and sin? NO!, for as Paul tells us, in his discussion of Israel, “the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.” God’s love is greater than our sin.

Israel will then say, “We are monuments to the love and grace of God, given every divine help, we sinned, we turned our backs on God, we killed Jesus, yet that was not the limit of his love. In every generation a remnant were saved, and finally, ‘all Israel will be saved’.” (Note this passage includes its own definition of Israel, “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins." As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable.”)

In Zechariah 12-13 we find how Israel are saved. It is when they look on him whom they have pierced (conviction of sin), when they mourn for him (repentance), and as a fountain is opened for them for the removal of sin (baptism). That is, they are saved just the same way you and I are. Just as they showed the world that we cannot reach God in our own strength and that the wages of sin is death, so they show that the free gift of God is eternal life. When all the nations of the earth come against them, they show the whole world the way of salvation (see above), and so fulfill their calling as a nation of priests (Zechariah 8:20-23).

At present, they have been re-gathered in unbelief, just as Scriptures says, are still sinning, just as you and I are, and need the gospel. At the same time, when I sin, when I let God down, when I wonder if God could ever forgive and use me again, I look at re-gathered Israel and take hope. If God has not given up on them, he will not give up on me. As a gentile Christian, I am glad God has re-gathered Israel, that he still cares for them and is working for their salvation.

Isaiah 11:12 He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.

Jos Strengholt said...

"At the same time, when I sin, when I let God down, when I wonder if God could ever forgive and use me again, I look at re-gathered Israel and take hope." Really? I look at Jesus.