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Posts Tagged ‘ascension’

For Sermons…

It’s an annual tradition at Christ the Truth to listen to Dev Menon’s Classic Sermon.

[audio http://www.christthetruth.org.uk/AscensionSermonDevMenon.mp3]

Paul Blackham’s teaching is equally fantastic

John B recommends Scott Hoezee’s sermon, “How We See Things–Psalm 47″

And an essay by Stephen T. Davis, “The Meaning of the Ascension for Christian Scholars”.

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For Prayers…

The Collects from BCP:

Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

or this

Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that as we do believe thy only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into heaven, so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with him continually dwell; who liveth and reigneth with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

The South Indian Anglican Collect:

O God, whose blessed Son, our great high priest, has entered once for all into the Holy Place and ever liveth to intercede on our behalf: grant that we, sanctified by the offering of his body may draw near with full assurance of faith by the way which he has dedicated for us and evermore serve thee, the living God; through the same thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

.

For Songs:

words here

We thank Thee Jesus, Dearest Friend

And here are a couple of my own:

A kids song about the ascension

A kids song about Jesus moving house (eventually to heaven)

“He Rose Up”
[audio http://www.christthetruth.org.uk/HeRoseUp2.mp3]

(lyrics below)

He rose up among us, as told.
He rose up the Promise of old.
My Brother in strife,
Assuming my life.
Exalted, the Father’s Decree
He rose up, He rose up for me.

He rose up humanity’s Last
Man’s Answer in life unsurpassed
My Champion living,
God’s life of thanksgiving.
Exalted as I’m meant to be
He rose up, He rose up for me.

They raised Him, my Saviour, on high
Man lifted, accursed, left to die.
My Priest in atonement,
My Lamb in enthronement.
Exalted on destiny’s tree,
He rose up, He rose up for me.

He rose up from death He arose,
Immortal to crush all His foes.
The Lord of all history,
My Christ has the victory.
Exalted the darkness must flee,
He rose up, He rose up for me.

He rose up to heaven, He rose,
Ascended beyond other thrones.
My Friend in high places,
My Fountain of graces.
Exalted, my heavenly Plea,
He rose up, He rose up for me.

I rise up, I rise up in Him,
Emboldened in spite of all sin.
In Jesus attaining,
My destiny – reigning.
Exalted, with angels to sing,
I rise up, I rise up in Him.

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Outgoing – Session 8B – 27 October 2011

Michael Milmine

Audio

Text

Powerpoint


Raised – part two

The Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus

Is God like a father?  No! God is Father

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When Christ ascends to His right hand He declares/ anoints/crowns/seats the Man Jesus. (Heb 1:5; Act 13:33)

Man is now in the presence of God.  And we are in Him!!

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Colossians 3:1-4 – We are raised with Christ!

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What are the benefits?

Saved from damnation

Accounted righteousness

Brought to life

Given His riches, inheritance and honour

A life of purpose…

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But these are not the greatest benefits of the Gospel.

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What is the greatest benefit of the Gospel?

We are given Christ Himself!

All other benefits are found in Him.


Discuss: What difference does it make to our evangelism and Christian lives that God offers us Christ, instead of abstract salvation ‘stuff’ zapped into us?



If the Gospel gives us commodities– we need to keep hold of them

If the Gospel gives us Christ – He keeps hold of us.

Therefore, we are not walking a tightrope, we are in our Head forevermore.

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Therefore we are saved by grace alone through faith alone

The gift of God to be received.


Common Objection:  What’s to stop people doing what they want and sinning?


Recommended Reading: Hebrews 1-5

What makes Jesus a good High Priest?

What is the quality of the Christian’s relationship to God?


 

Next Week: A Priestly People

How do we live our lives in Christ?  We rely on the Priesthood of Christ.  And we are a priesthood to the world.

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Sermon Audio

Powerpoint Slides

Today is Ascension Sunday.  It’s the Sunday after Ascension Day which is always a Thursday.

It’s the day Jesus made the ultimate journey – He journeyed from earth to heaven in order to sit down on the throne of the universe and rule the world as our Brother, our Priest, our King.  On Ascension Day Christians remember we have a Friend in very high places.

On Good Friday we remember His death on the cross.  On Easter Sunday we remember His rising from the dead.  For 40 days afterwards He appeared to His followers, He gave “convincing proofs” of His resurrection (as we learnt this morning).  He ate and drank and walked and talked with His friends and He gave us a little snapshot of what resurrection life looks like.  It’s country walks, fishing with friends, barbecues on the beach, it’s feasting and friendship and glorious joy.  But then after 40 days, Jesus ascended to heaven.  And so there’s a sense of Christ’s absence in the world now.  Jesus is not here, He is not among us, and we miss Him.  But He also promised to send us His Spirit, which is the day we celebrate next Sunday.

Because 10 days after Jesus ascended is the day of Pentecost.  On that day He sent the gift of His Spirit in a special way upon the church so that the church can be Christ’s witnesses to the ends of the earth.  That’s what we learnt this morning.

So let me tell you that story again and let me use some language that might be familiar to you from our reading.

Today we celebrate ASCENSION – the ASCENT of Jesus.  On Good Friday, He had gone down into death and curse and hell.  On that cross He was EXILED from God’s presence – He was shut out, EXILED, from the presence and blessings of His Father and He endured the curses that we deserve for our disobedience.

In other words you might say He was like the temple torn down on the cross.  He is GOD’S HOUSE – the meeting place of God and man, and as He said in John chapter 2, He would be torn down on the cross only to be raised again in three days.  So He’s like God’s house torn down and raised up.

Or you could say He’s like a Seed that goes down into the ground.  That’s what He said in John 12.  He’s the Seed who gets planted into the ground.  But on Easter Sunday He sprang up from the ground into resurrection life.  He came through the exile and curses and was RESTORED.  And there was an incredible joy at His restoration.  It’s a joy that’s meant to be carried to the whole world.  The nations are meant to look on at this restoration and praise God for it.

And then Jesus tells His disciples to stay IN Jerusalem .  Another name for Jerusalem is ZION.  But in Zion, Jesus is going to give a blessing – His Holy Spirit.  And 10 days later the promised blessing from Jesus comes on His people:  The Spirit is given to equip Christ’s disciples to witness to the nations.  In ZION, the PEACE AND BLESSINGS of the LORD come upon His people.

So that’s the Gospel story.  It’s a story of Ascension, a story of Exile, a story of about God’s House torn down and raised up, of the Seed planted and then blossoming, it’s about a joyful restoration and it’s about peace and blessings that fall down upon Zion.  Are any of those words familiar?

Well our Psalms for this evening are called “Songs of Ascent.”  That’s interesting.  On Ascension Sunday.  There are 15 “songs of ascent” in the book of Psalms and we’re covering them at Souls at Seven, three at a time.

The Psalms are SINGING ABOUT GOING UP.

People has speculated that these Psalms were sung by Old Testament believers on their way up to Jerusalem for the festivals.  They went up to Zion and they sang about GOING UP on their way.

But we too are on our way up.  We’re on our way up to the Heavenly Jerusalem, the true Zion.  As we make our journey through life, these songs will help us too.

But ultimately Jesus is the One who made the true Ascent from earth to heaven.  He made the ultimate journey through the sins and sufferings of this world and into God’s presence.  And the Jews of the Old Testament and we today look to Jesus to make sense of our experiences of going up.

So let’s dip into our three songs for tonight.  We’ll give a very quick overview and we’ll try to unpack a couple of things.

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And while He was blessing them, He left them and was carried up into heaven.  (Luke 24:51)

…And He hasn’t stopped blessing us.

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Happy Ascension Day!

For archived stuff on the ascension (including awesome sermons like Dev’s!) go here. Or read Dan Hames here.

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Hebrews 12:14-29 Sermon.  Audio here.  Text below.

Mountains are often thought of as spiritual.  A mountaintop experience is a spiritual experience.  People say they often feel closer to God or closer to spiritual things when they’re on a mountain.

And the bible begins in Eden which is described in Ezekiel 28 as “the holy mountain of God.”  Genesis 2 says that rivers flowed out of this mountain garden and down to the rest of the world.  So humanity began on high.  And the fall, was literally a descent down the mountain, away from God’s presence.

If anyone were to get back into God’s presence, not only would they have to get past the guardian cherubim, these angelic bouncers with their flaming swords barring the entrance.  They would have to ascend the hill of the LORD (Psalm 24).  And that’s just commonly the way the bible speaks.

The bible speaks of Jesus having descended from the heights.  And as He lived among us He lived the perfect life.  The life of other-centred love and sacrifice that you and I should live but don’t – Jesus did it.  And then He died the perfect death as our sacrifice for sins.  And then, when He arose, He ascended back into the Most Holy Place – heaven itself – and He went there as our perfect Priest.  We have a Friend in very high places.

That’s the argument Hebrews has been making for the last 12 chapters.  Jesus has come and lived our life for us.  He’s entered into the depths of our suffering and struggle and He’s lived the faithful life we never could.  But He did it FOR US.

And then He died the perfect sacrificial death on the cross.  And He did it FOR US.  You and I deserve to die in the depths because of our filth and uncleanness.  But His godforsaken death in the depths is counted before God FOR US.

And then He has ascended as the perfect Priest into heaven FOR US.  We don’t have the right to be in the holy presence of God, but He is there on our behalf.  He represents us in the highest place imaginable.

If we trust Jesus then we get joined to Jesus.  And His life is our life, His death is our death, His ascension to God is our ascension to God.

And after 12 chapters of this kind of argument, the writer says in this section: “Don’t you know where you are?  Do you have any idea where Christ has brought you?”

You are on the mountaintop.  You have reached the summit.

These verses are here to wake us up to our mountaintop experience with God.  And once we realize where we are – where Christ has brought us – then this passage will tell us how to move out into the world from these height.

That’s how we’ll study this chapter.  We’ll begin on the mountaintop.  We’ll appreciate where we are – secure on the high ground.  And then we’ll consider how we’re meant to walk out into the world

But first the mountaintop experience.

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Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel in the breastpiece of judgment on his heart, when he goes into the Holy Place, to bring them to regular remembrance before the LORD.  (Ex 28:29)

We have such a High Priest, One who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a Minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man.  (Heb 8:1-2)

It would be interesting to do a poll regarding which ‘moment’ of gospel activity shapes our theology/spirituality the most.  Is it incarnation, or life, or death, or resurrection, or ascension, or pentecost or return?  I know they all belong together but if I had to tick only one box I might well identify ‘ascension’ as the moment that most shapes my Christian outlook.  Either cross or ascension anyway.  Thankfully we don’t have to choose and in Hebrews (which we’re preaching through at the moment) the sacrifice and the priest are kept very much together.  But ascension is so close to my heart because it blows my mind to think of the One on the throne as my Brother!

A Man occupies the true seat of power.  Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh rules heaven and earth.  The very One who was down here – teaching and healing, washing our feet, cleansing the temple, gathering the children, denouncing His enemies, silent on trial, dying in agony, forgiving His executors, risen with those same wounds, walking and cooking and eating and drinking with His friends and speaking of the kingdom – He’s the One who is up there.  We have a Friend in High Places.  The greatest Friend in the highest place.

And if we’re in Him we’ve arrived.  We are already safe, already secure, already sat down, already blessed in the heavenly realms, already beloved, already honoured, already in the circle of God’s triune love. The Anchor of our souls is secure in the very safest place (Hebrews 6:19f).  In the meantime we’ll be blown about here and there but “My Anchor holds within the veil.”

Chin up – He’s ascended.  And we in Him.

To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.  (Rev 3:21)

Some Ascension Day resources here.

And here’s the audio of Dev’s ascension sermon.  Text below…

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Ascension resources

Gearing up for Thursday.  Please add to this list:

For Sermons…

You can’t go past Dev’s classic here.

And Paul Blackham’s teaching is fantastic

John recommends Scott Hoezee’s sermon, “How We See Things–Psalm 47″

And an essay by Stephen T. Davis, “The Meaning of the Ascension for Christian Scholars”.

.

For Prayers…

The Collects from BCP:

Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

or this

Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that as we do believe thy only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into heaven, so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with him continually dwell; who liveth and reigneth with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

The South Indian Anglican Collect:

O God, whose blessed Son, our great high priest, has entered once for all into the Holy Place and ever liveth to intercede on our behalf: grant that we, sanctified by the offering of his body may draw near with full assurance of faith by the way which he has dedicated for us and evermore serve thee, the living God; through the same thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

.

For Songs:

words here

We thank Thee Jesus, Dearest Friend

..

And here are a couple of my own:

A kids song about the ascension

A kids song about Jesus moving house (eventually to heaven)

.

“He Rose Up” (lyrics below)

He rose up among us, as told.

He rose up the Promise of old.

My Brother in strife,

Assuming my life.

Exalted, the Father’s Decree

He rose up, He rose up for me.

.

He rose up humanity’s Last

Man’s Answer in life unsurpassed

My Champion living,

God’s life of thanksgiving.

Exalted as I’m meant to be

He rose up, He rose up for me.

.

They raised Him, my Saviour, on high

Man lifted, accursed, left to die.

My Priest in atonement,

My Lamb in enthronement.

Exalted on destiny’s tree,

He rose up, He rose up for me.

.

He rose up from death He arose,

Immortal to crush all His foes.

The Lord of all history,

My Christ has the victory.

Exalted the darkness must flee,

He rose up, He rose up for me.

.

He rose up to heaven, He rose,

Ascended beyond other thrones.

My Friend in high places,

My Fountain of graces.

Exalted, my heavenly Plea,

He rose up, He rose up for me

.

I rise up, I rise up in Him,

Emboldened in spite of all sin.

In Jesus attaining,

My destiny – reigning.

Exalted, with angels to sing,

I rise up, I rise up in Him.

.

Read Full Post »

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