Five Points Blog

Christ Fills All By You

It may surprise us to find that we, the blood-bought Church of Jesus Christ, are called “the fullness of him who fills all in all” in Ephesians 1:23. Christ is so united with his beloved people, his world-wide body of Christ, that by this society of believers, the living Christ fills all things. The continents of the world will never be filled with Christ apart from joyfully obedient believers going there.

Christ fills all in all. Christ means to be the centerpiece of all he has made. He fills every sphere, every dimension, every place of created reality with as much of himself as he deems wise. Jesus Christ fills all things with the exertion of his kingly rule in the lives of real believers bowing before his throne. Christ’s mighty power will be experienced by every person in every place as he deems wise.

What stuns the careful reader of Ephesians 1:23 is that this fullness and authority will be applied by Christ’s beloved body, the Church. He is a king over a wide dominion with many rebellious territories. In his authority he could trounce every rebellious corner of his kingdom. But he does not. In patience and mercy he extends overtures of reconciliation to his disloyal subjects. In his wisdom he sends forth ambassadors, emissaries, and heralds to proclaim his royal offer of amnesty. That is the gospel of the kingdom.

Christ’s body is the fullness by which he fills all things. Those breathtaking words signal the high and holy role for redeemed sinners like us to play in God’s global plan! What power and grace we need from him to obey him. 

O reigning Christ, supply what you command!

Join us this Sunday for Bible Study Hour at 9:30am and for our morning worship service at 10:45am as we revel in the fullness of Christ.

Narnia—What’s It All About?

As we draw closer to the “Voyage into Narnia” seminars (May 28 & 31), it may be advisable to give a brief highlight of the upcoming topics. The Chronicles of Narnia may have been written for children, but they are anything but simplistic surface stories.

The tales’ underlying theme is the battle of disputed sovereignty. It is the battle of rebellion against God. Lewis commented about his hope for the Chronicles, “I thought I saw how stories of this kind could steal past a certain inhibition which had paralyzed much of my own religion in childhood.” Lewis was hoping that the imaginary world could strip away the impersonal sterility of typical church education and make the truths of God appear, for the first time, in their real potency. To accomplish this, Lewis drew from the medieval worldview of God-centered cosmology, which he knew so well, being a professor of medieval literature at Oxford.

In his book, Planet Narnia, Dr. Michael Ward demonstrates that Lewis wove the characteristic traits of one of the seven planets of medieval cosmology into each Narnia story. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe embodies the jovial, festive, and kindly spirit of Jupiter; Price Caspian includes the warlike character of Mars; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader moves always toward the golden shining Sun; The Silver Chair, with the moon whose metal is silver; The Horse and His Boy is ruled by the shifting metal of Mercury; The Magician’s Nephew, all about creative love is governed by Venus; and The Last Battle is presided over by Father Time, the image of ancient Saturn. Thus, Dr. Ward has revealed to us the deep structure of the Narnia tales, which once again, reinforces the theme of sovereignty.

For children, the Chronicles of Narnia are enjoyable fairytales. For adults, they are much more. When our children spend time reading well-written stories embedded with Christian virtue, layered with themes of sovereignty, written by a Christian Oxford scholar, we can rest easy. There are so many quality books available to us today—let’s steer clear of the shallow and dive deep into the creative genius of Lewis.

Join us for an event that will help you understand and appreciate more of C. S. Lewis and his world of Narnia. Dr. Michael Ward, author of Planet Narnia, and The Narnia Code, will be with us on Wednesday, May 28, at 7:00 pm to discuss the imagery of Narnia that C.S. Lewis uses to speak to our souls and draw us God-ward. Stay tuned for a post giving an overview of what Joe Rigney, author of Live Like a Narnian, will speak on at part two of the “Voyage into Narnia” seminars on Saturday, May 31.

Marked by His Power

Imagine the power it took to raise Jesus Christ from the dead. When the Apostle Peter preached in Jerusalem, mere weeks after Christ rose, he said, “God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it” (Acts 2:24). The grave terrorizes all who reject Jesus Christ. For them, no enemy exists stronger than death. But in Christ, and Christ alone, death was defeated; the grave’s grip could not hold him. It was impossible for the Lord of Life to remain dead.

As mind-stretching as Christ’s resurrection is, it is only the beginning. We who cherish him will join him!

          If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give
          life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you (Romans 8:11).

  And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power (1 Corinthians 6:14).

We will die. And if we die in Christ, we will be raised by the same power that raised him from the dead. This is what Paul means in Ephesians 1:19 when he speaks of, “the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe.”

How does that power exert itself in your life? The main way God’s power works in you is by causing you to be born again. The Apostle Peter explains, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3). When you are called by God to his glory, it is his divine power at work in you.

This Lord’s day we will exult in the power of God at work in all who cherish his Son. Pray for such power to be present in both our worship together and your life this day.

Power for Promises

How do we know the grand promises of God are true? What warrant exists to certify the Bible’s claims that we, who hope in Christ, have a gloriously rich salvation awaiting us?

Paul sees the question coming. It should. He prayed our spiritual eyes would be given light to see the great hope to which we’ve been called. That is, true life is found in seeing our “glorious inheritance in the saints,” which is God himself given to us in infinite joy forever.

But how do we know these things are so? Ephesians 1:19 answers, “that you may know…what is the immeasurable greatness of his power towards us who believe.” Behind the promises is immeasurably great power. The Ephesian church and we have every right and are welcome to question how God can keep his immensely great promises. God invites us to ask.

We know this because his answer is lavish. His power...

is immeasurably great,
works according to his great might,
mirrors the power he worked in Christ,
raised Christ from the dead,
seats Christ (and us) at his own right hand,
overrules spiritual, human and natural forces,
establishes Christ's rule forever,
elevates Christ as supreme ruler over all things, and
enthrones Christ as head of his church. 

And all this from just one passage: Ephesians 1:19-23. Are you convinced by such a demonstration of power? Paul was. So were the Ephesian church and the Church of Jesus Christ for the past 2,000 years.

How does such power hold sway in your life? The answer emerges from verse 19, “his power towards us who believe.” There it is: faith. Believe, not in history or doctrine, nor organization or dramatics, nor persons or progress; believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved! Trust Christ. Hope in Christ. Cherish Christ and the power of God will be at work in you to achieve all he promises.

Meditation in a Toolshed

Have you ever sat in a toolshed or old barn on a warm summer day and looked out across the room at the old tools, planting pots, or bales of hay and noticed the sunlight creeping in through the cracks and spaces in the walls? You can actually see the beam of light as it reflects off the dust in the air. It forms a streak of light that passes across the room and lands on the floor, forming a bright spot. The brightness of the beam illuminates the room, but at the same time can also obscure the contents behind the light. We are looking at the light from outside of it. This is one way to observe the light beam, to look at it. 
There is another way to observe the light and that is to move into the light beam itself, to look along the beam of light and not at it. Walk into the beam and place your eye in its path and look toward the source of light coming through the wall. Now you are in the beam itself, you are part of it. The objects in the room around you are much dimmer now, less distracting, but something new has appeared which was previously unseen. Now you can look up the beam of light out through the crack in the wall and into the meadow and the tree line beyond. A new world of the light has become known to you. What was once just observed is now experienced, as you stand in the light. A new appreciation and understanding of the beam of light is gained when we experience the light by looking along it and not just at it.
C. S. Lewis uses this illustration in his essay, “Meditation in a Toolshed,” to explain to his readers why story and myth can be such an effective way to communicate a truth. We can contemplate a thing but we do not know it deeply until we experience it. Isn’t this the very thing we find comforting concerning God? God did not just create and then comprehend us in our condition, but he became flesh and dwelt among us. He became our high priest and worthy unto death to bare our sins, since he was tempted in every way like us but without sin. In this we have hope. God knows us deeply and personally and we can trust him because he did not spare his own son, but gave him up for us. God has more than intellectual knowledge of us; he also came to us in human form.
Why do you suppose God has told us the way of salvation through the Bible in story form as opposed to a bulleted list of doctrinal requirements? Story engages our imagination, and our imagination touches our souls. Both reason and imagination are part of the human make-up. Likewise, God moves on us, through us, and in us by both reason and imagination. The use of stories and myths touch our passions and move our imaginations, and by them we can experience a truth more deeply. We do not just look at the light, we step into it.
Come join us the evening of Wednesday, May 28, to listen to Dr. Michael Ward bathe us in God’s light through Lewis’ story of Narnia and on Saturday, May 31, to hear Joe Rigney apply Lewis’ myth to the Christian life.

‹ First  < 2 3 4 5 6 >  Last ›