New Wine for New Wineskins February 2012

By , February 1, 2012 1:38 am

JesusHistoryOurDestinyLogoJesus’ History Is Our Destiny

Part 1

John 20: 30 – 31

30 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

It is easy  to get locked into studying and talking or teaching about the historical Jesus with the result that we become nothing more than a monument or memorial to a historical Jesus or a previous move of the Holy Spirit that has been consigned to history.

This may still be sufficient to continue to bring people to initial salvation but it can never release people into the fullness of the other miraculous signs that were Jesus’ history and are now our destiny!  Jesus emphatically stated that we would do the same things that he did and so it is important that we always look at Jesus’ life and ministry in the context of his plan and purpose for our own life and ministry!

Let’s catch this – the New Covenant clearly reveals to us that Jesus’ history is our destiny! Paul said it for us when he declared that it was no longer him whom lived but Christ (the Anointed One with his anointing) was now living in him and the life he was now living in the flesh was being lived by faith in the Son of God who loved him and gave himself for him!  Apart from Jesus, Paul is the person whose life and ministry is recorded in the greatest detail in the New Covenant.  And what do we see in Paul’s life and ministry?  Basically, it is a continuation of Jesus’ life and ministry – preaching, teaching, healing the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead!

And so we are going to take a trip through the first few chapters of the Gospel of John and not only see Jesus’ history but also discover our destiny!

Although all four gospels give an account of Jesus’ life the Gospel of John is unique in that it doesn’t follow a chronological sequence of events but more of a topical order.  In this gospel account we are introduced to many different aspects of Jesus’ identity and ministry, and so we have a clear picture of who we are to be in him as his history becomes our destiny!

Let the journey begin!

John Chapter One

In Chapter One we are introduced to Jesus THE Son of God!

In the beginning! Jesus is the original!  He is the firstborn among many brethren!  He was born right the first time – we have to be born again!  He is the only begotten Son – we are sons by adoption!  He is THE word – a walking, talking demonstration of the Father and his good, acceptable, and perfect will for mankind – and now we are to a continuation of that demonstration as the word comes alive and is made flesh in us!  It is important that we maintain an understanding that Jesus is always the original and everything that we are is in him and because of him!  That will keep us right but it will not hinder us from being everything that he was!  The word clearly states that we are as he is in this world! (1 John 4: 17)

1.    THE LIGHT

John 1: 1 – 18

Jesus – the Son of God – was born into this world!  He came as a light into the darkness!  The life – the God-kind of life – that was in him was the light of men!  The darkness could not overcome or extinguish the light!  Although there are those who reject the light, to the many who believe and receive Him he gives the right to be called the children of God – to be lights in the darkness!

Our destiny is to be a light that the darkness cannot overcome or extinguish!  We are born of God to destroy the works of darkness!  The whole of creation is crying out under the burden of darkness and is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God!

Isaiah prophesied it!

Isaiah 60: 1 – 3

1 Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.
2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people;
But the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.
3 The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.

Jesus confirmed it!

Matthew 5: 14 – 17

14 “You are the light of the world. A city (multitudes of people) that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

The problem with some faith people is that they believe for themselves and then stop there!  But we need to become great faith people who receive from God ourselves and then go on to believe for the same blessing on others!

If Jesus is the light of the world then so are we!  We can go on talking about a historical Jesus who is the Son of God or we can fulfil our destiny as the sons of God!

Verses 19 – 28

A lot of people want to have a John the Baptist-type ministry but the truth is that such a ministry is no longer relevant!  Although Jesus said that there had never been anyone born of a woman who was greater than John the Baptist he also said that even the least in the kingdom (born of God) was greater than him!

2.    THE LAMB

Verses 29 – 34

Jesus – The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!  He came as the sacrificial Lamb whose sacrifice would be accepted once and for all as sufficient by God to reconcile man to himself!  The sin problem was no longer just covered – it was taken away!

Even before he went to the Cross he was getting into trouble for telling people that their sins were forgiven!  The religious leaders demanded to know who had given him the right to forgive sins!  He was the Son of God – and more than that he was God the Son who came to give his life as a ransom for the people of the world – and so he had every right!

God the Father validated Jesus’ identity when the Holy Spirit descended upon him and we know from other gospel accounts that the Father spoke and said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased!

He is also the Baptiser in the Holy Spirit!

So what does all that have to do with us?

John 20: 22 – 23

22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Not only that but Paul said that we have been given a word and ministry of reconciliation!  What is the good news of the gospel – “God is mad at you”?  That is not good news unless you are a weirdo!  The good news is that your sins are forgiven!

Matthew 28: 18 – 20

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

We have to ensure that people don’t miss out on any of God’s provision for their lives!  When we are born again a cry is opened up on the inside of us – “Abba, Father”!  When we are baptised in the Holy Spirit our identity as sons is validated as we receive supernatural power to do and to be what we could never do and be on our own!

We are to live sacrificially on behalf of others.  Jesus said:

Luke 10: 3

3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.

If Jesus is the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world then our lives should also be effective in removing the curse of sin and its effects wherever we go!  We are to bring the good news of reconciliation and get folks baptised in the Holy Spirit so that they can live a brand new life in a brand new way!

We can go on talking about the historical Jesus who was the Lamb of God or we can go out and fulfil our ministry as God-commissioned lambs among wolves – living sacrifices who are agents of transformation!

3. THE LEADER

Verses 35 – 51

You know you are a leader if you look behind you and someone is following you!  Jesus had the insight of all good leaders in being able to identify good followers who in turn would make good leaders themselves!

Kingdom leaders are innovators, trailblazers, pioneers – they are engaged in radical creativity!  They are always seeking and examining new ways of reaching the lost and teaching the found!  Kingdom leaders are team-builders – they know that they can’t do everything themselves!

Jesus had men and women from very different backgrounds following him.  Paul invited others to follow him as he followed Christ!

If Jesus is a leader then we are to be leaders also!  Peter very clearly defined kingdom leadership when he said that we were not to lord it over people but to be an example to them!  That is always the nature of true leadership – it is a servant role rather than authoritarian or domineering!  Jesus the leader said that we were to follow his example in leadership and serve one another!  Kingdom leadership is about taking more responsibility to serve more people!

We can continue to talk about the historical Jesus who is the Leader of the church or we can become the leaders that God destined us to be and lead others out of darkness into the light, out of death into life, out of the curse into blessing, out of sin into righteousness, out of sickness into health, out of oppression into freedom, and out of poverty into prosperity.

Remember – Jesus’ history is our destiny!  The religious people could denounce and decry Jesus but they could not deny him!  The evidence that he was the Son of God was everywhere in his life and ministry!  It should be the same with us – people should be able to see the reality of our sonship in our lives!  We might attract some flak but it cannot extinguish the light!

Hebrews 2: 10 – 11

10 In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.

Let’s follow the real Jesus and fulfil our destiny as the lights, the lambs, and the leaders that he has called, equipped, and commissioned us to be!

For too long all most people have had is a historical Jesus which has left them confused as to his true identity!  It is time for the many sons of God to arise and reveal his glory!

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