Friday, September 23, 2016

Gospel Triumphs

Each week in worship we rehearse the wonderful story of the Gospel! A story of sin and brokenness that is ultimately redeemed in love and rescue. It is a story that is cosmic in nature; a story that catches us up and teaches us to pray, “ Thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.”

But sometimes it seems that God’s Kingdom will never come. We see this clearly in Acts 12. The chapter opens with James dead, Peter in prison and Herod triumphing. We can certainly relate to this seemingly insurmountable set of circumstances. The headlines remind us daily that our politicians are corrupt, our ability to relate cross culturally is challenged, and morality is on the decline. Surely God’s kingdom is a long way from coming on earth, even if we do believe that it may exist somewhere off in heaven.

But read the rest of Acts 12. Did you notice the startling turn of events? Here is how John Stott describes it:

The chapter opens with James dead, Peter in prison and Herod triumphing; it closes with Herod dead, Peter free and the word of God triumphing. Such is the power of God to overthrow hostile human plans and to establish his own in their place. Tyrants may be permitted for a time to boast and bluster, oppressing the church and hindering the spread of the gospel, but they will not last. In the end, their empire will be broken and their pride abased.

The overthrow of the empire is very much on Paul’s mind as he addresses the Colossians. This week Pastor Steve is going to attempt to scale the heights of the marvelous Christ hymn in Chapter 1:15-23. Here Paul says, in the face of an emperor who has splashed his image throughout society, there is only one true Emperor, namely Jesus Christ. He is THE Image. The one to be believed, obeyed and adored!

We are indeed being swept along in a wonderful story. It is not a story confined to Paul’s day, but it is the continuing outworking of the Gospel for you and me.

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