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Showing posts from June, 2013

Peace Inspite of Suffering

Romans 5.1-5

It’s interesting that in Romans Paul talks about finding peace and hope and grace, but then goes on to link it so strongly with suffering. We know that he speaks from experience when he says that suffering produces endurance and builds character. I guess that’s what we might expect him to say. Perhaps it’s more surprising to find that he thinks suffering and adversity also produce hope which prevents us from being disappointed when things go wrong. Instead he says that God’s love, poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, makes suffering and danger bearable.

Set Free From Fear

Romans 8.14-17, Acts 2.1-21
It’s interesting that Luke tells us so much about the fears dangers which the early Christians faced. He begins the story of how the first disciples responded to the resurrection by telling us that they were so frightened and demoralised that even when they were with Jesus they still felt doubtful and afraid. Yet Luke quickly follows that account with the transformative events of the Day of Pentecost, when the disciples were suddenly emboldened and empowered.

If we look closely at the language he uses we will see that it was actually a very alarming experience. There are violent sounds which fill the house where the disciples are gathered, there’s a sense of light and heat, there’s bewilderment and perplexity as strange sounds come out of their mouths, and even when Peter tries to restore calm - with a reasoned explanation of what’s happening - he still says some pretty alarming things.

This is, he says, is the End Time predicted by the Prophet Joel. Peter war…