Encounter More / Day 4

BIBLE READING

Philippians 2: 5-11

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

who, being in very nature God,

did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

rather, he made himself nothing

by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,

being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man,

he humbled himself

by becoming obedient to death –

even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place

and gave him the name that is above every name,

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

Romans 8: 11 (NLT)

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

This week we are summarising the key messages from our ‘Encounter More’ conference which took place this past weekend.

SUMMARY OF PETE HUGHES' MESSAGE ON FRIDAY MORNING

Story knowers become story writers become story tellers. Those who find their purpose and hope in the story courageously tell the story to the surrounding culture and they then begin to rewrite the stories of their cities.

Michael Margolis says, “If you want to learn about a culture, listen to the stories. If you want to change a culture, change the stories.”

We have the greatest story to tell. It not only transforms lives, it transforms institutions, it transforms cities. We owe it to the world to share our story.

We want to be a community that indwells the Biblical narrative. It is a story that moves from creation to de-creation to re-creation.

The creation story is Genesis 1 and 2, humanity made in the image of God, fully alive in God’s presence.

In Genesis 3 sin enters the story and with it comes pain and suffering. Created order begins to unravel. This is de-creation. Martin Luther defines sin as “a life turned in on itself.” It is the narcissistic mindset.

In Genesis 6 we have one of the lowest points where we read that the earth was filled with violence and God’s heart was filled with pain.

From Genesis 12 onwards we have the story of re-creation when God calls Abram to be the father of a new nation Israel. Israel were to be a vehicle of healing, restoration and redemption. But they reject that calling and so God wraps Himself in human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. He lives, dies and rises for us to usher in this new creation, this re-creation.

The end of our story is glorious. In Revelation 21-22 God comes down and makes His dwelling place with humanity and Heaven and earth unite. There is no sin, sickness or suffering.

God sits down on His throne and declares: “Behold I am making all things new.” The Greek word for ‘new’ is ‘kainos’ which means a restoration to how things were meant to be, a renewal back to its original design.

Austrian philosopher, Ivan Illich, said this:

“Neither revolution nor reformation can ultimately change a society, rather you must tell a new powerful tale, one so persuasive that it sweeps away the old myths and becomes the preferred story, one so inclusive that it gathers all the bits of our past and our present into a coherent whole, one that even shines some light into our future so that we can take the next step... If you want to change a society, then you have to tell an alternative story.”

We have the greatest story to tell – the story of God on a mission to make all things new. We need to live in the story so we can live out the story.

In Philippians 2 Paul explains how God makes all things new. He says Jesus is our model.

He begins with the incarnation, God wraps Himself in human flesh and jumps into our pain.

All of the sin which lead to created order unravelling is laid upon Jesus at the cross. He dies our death, he rises to new life so we can experience the life we were made for. If you extract the cross from the story, you are left with sanctified humanism, and this can never change the world.

We’ve been given a message to proclaim, a life to live and an example to follow.

Paul says in Romans 8 that resurrection power is coursing through our veins bringing us to life and bringing life through us to our cities.

God is on a mission to make all things new and He invites us to join Him on that mission.