The physical resurrection of Jesus is a great encouragement to those of us who love sport. When Jesus was raised from the dead he began the new creation. Eternal life will be spent in a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1). The hope of every believer in Christ is a resurrection body just like Jesus – transformed and perfected in every way.
Sport is one of most bodily activities we can do. We love to see elite Olympians and professional athletes achieve amazing records and feats of endurance. It is rightly inspiring. We can imagine Jesus’ resurrection body as the strong, muscular and powerful frame of the King of Kings. Our bodies are God’s gift, we await his gift of a transformed body in glory.
Without the hope of a bodily resurrection we can easily fall into a pagan dislike of our bodies. Hypothetically, Paul suggests if there is no resurrection we may as well say: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” (1 Corinthians 15:32). That is, without the physical resurrection hope we would have no encouragement to honour and protect our bodies.
Jesus has risen from the dead, as the first fruits of what is to come for us. What a great affirmation of the physical, and a great affirmation of sport! Let us honour Jesus in our bodies, enjoying them in holiness and purity, using them to serve God and getting ready for their eternal resurrection transformation.
This book is fast becoming one of the most recommended Christian books to give to thinking non-Christians. It is written by Rev. Timothy Keller, who is a conservative Presbyterian pastor in New York who has a thriving evangelistic ministry.
Keller engages in a thoughtful fashion on topics such as “Science has Disproved Christianity”, “How Could A Good God Allow Suffering?”, and “The Church is Responsible for So Much Injustice”.
The first half of the book deals attempts to dismantle these common objections. Keller interacts thoughtfully with intelligent sceptics and shows that the most common objections can be overcome.
The second half of the book establishes the positive reasons for faith in the God of Christianity, including understanding the cross and the Trinity. He is particularly strong on distinguishing between religion and grace, showing the difference the gospel makes to approaching God.
Previously the most classic Christian giveaway book was CS Lewis’ “Mere Christianity”. Keller’s book is a helpful addition to more modern intellectual sceptics. Both these books are on our church bookstall for $10. Read them yourself to be equipped to evangelise, and buy a copy to give away to a non-Christian friend!
One inspiring part of the Olympics is the dedication and sacrifice of those who seek to achieve something glorious. A Christian is called to be a spiritual Olympian.
We have a race to run, to serve Christ to the end. We are not in a sprint but a marathon. We must endure and persevere.
Loving Christ requires discipline, courage and self-sacrifice. We are not just existing in the present, we are set apart for a higher calling and purpose.
There is a glory awaiting us in heaven that far exceeds all the suffering of this life. At the end of his ministry the great apostle Paul said: “… the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6-7).
If you are reading this visiting a BAC service today, we want to tell you how glad we are to have you today.
The Holy Spirit draws people to God. We thank him for drawing you here today.
The Lord Jesus told many parables of invitation – he invites to anyone and everyone to enter into the Kingdom of God.
God our Father is like the welcoming father in the parable of the prodigal son.
God invites and welcomes you. We invite and welcome you.
You are in the right place. Please stay!
Our expectations deceive us. Somehow people get it into their head that the Bible is boring, and then never actually read it to correct their foolish misunderstanding. Nothing God says can be boring.
Consider the following gems of Scripture:
“The prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread” Proverbs 6:26
“First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” Matthew 7:5
“Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” 1 Peter 5:8
“The donkey said to Balaam, ‘Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden to this day?’” Numbers 22:30
God’s word is provocative, colourful and challenging, but never boring. Some parts may be difficult. But the difficulty is overcome with familiarity, study and prayer. More often than not the Bible is more earthy and funny than we are. We are too prudish and boring. God has many surprises in his Holy Word!
Wayne Schuller – firstname.lastname@example.org