NICODEMUS AND EVANGELICAL OUTREACH

Nicodemus is mentioned in John’s gospel record only; and quite briefly, at three places.
 
At John 3:1, he is described as being a Pharisee, and 'ruler of the Jews'.
 
As a Pharisee, he was a member of the group which undertook leadership in religious matters, and which had undertaken something of a revival shortly before Christ's earthly ministry.

The Sunday before Advent – 2001

Next Sunday will be the first in Advent. During the four-week-long season, Christians can undertake self-assessment, and make mental and spiritual preparations for the celebration of Christmas.
 
Self-assessment can be positive, in appraising progress already made; and in being thankful for blessings so far received. It can also be filled with hope based upon assurance, as we refresh our vision of what still lies before us
 

THE UPPER ROOM

(Notes for an exegesis of John 20: 19-29 + Luke 24: 36-43).
V.19. begins with: ‘On the evening of that first day’. The writer wants us to understand that it was still that ‘first day’ of Christ's Resurrection; when the disciples hardly dared to believe the stories, that he was alive again.

THE WISE AND FOOLISH VIRGINS

Several of Christ's parables and other teachings, touch on his Second Coming; and the need for his people to be ready for that event; expectant to the point of being prepared for it to happen at any time.
 
And this is the thrust, and drive, of the parable of the 'Wise and Foolish Virgins', which could, equally, have been called 'The parable of the prepared, and the unprepared'.

THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS

(Matt.25:14ff). The key features of the 'Parable of the Talents', are these:
 
The 'man going on a journey' is an image of Christ himself; and we are to see the 'journey' as being that time between the 'going away' of the Ascension, and the 'coming again' of the Second Advent, at some time in the future.
 

OUR PLACE IN GOD'S GREAT SCHEME OF THINGS

Readings: Genesis 22: 1-14, Matthew 10: 40-42.
When our two readings are examined together, they begin to open up some very powerful thoughts…about our standing in God’s great scheme of things: about our importance within; and beyond, Christ’s Church: and about self-estimation: and give us clearer insights, as to who we really are.
 

THE FALL

In the story at Genesis 3, Adam and Eve did something, which they knew to be wrong, because they had been told so.
In our text from ‘Romans', St. Paul says that we can all know what to do, and what not to do, because the commandments of God tell us so, and point up the difference between 'right' and 'wrong'.

TEMPTATION 2

Temptation: what do we make of it? How do we overcome it?
 
Biblical teaching makes it clear, that any worthwhile consideration of what temptation actually is: requires a belief in the existence of the Devil, and of personified evil, as well as in God, Christ and righteousness.

TEMPTATION

Matthew 4: 1. says: “When Jesus was led by the Spirit, into the desert, to be tempted by the devil”, and it is clear that the 'Spirit' is the Holy Spirit of God himself. This has puzzled many Christians…
 
…but, Christ had to be 'in the world', otherwise he could not function as Messiah and Redeemer; and the fact of living in our world, placed Jesus in exactly the same position as us; subject to temptation.

BEHOLD, I STAND AT THE DOOR

Christians believe that the 'Book of Revelation' is every bit as much part of God's word, as any other part of the Bible; yet comparatively few of them attempt to get to grips with it.
 

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