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Liberty Church Blackpool

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Big Jesus Blog


Big Jesus At Pride

Big Jesus wins award for the 'best community entry' in the parade.

                         

We had a unique perspective on Jesus, His fame and renown. If the crowds were silenced even the stones would have cried out to Him. This must be what it was like for Jesus to enter Jerusalem, re-enacted for the benefit of his LGBT people... What does this say for us and for Him?  

Photos of ‘Big Jesus’ appeared in ‘The Guardian’ photos of Pride around the world!

https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/53e8a957e4b0380cb18e4165?page=3 


LGBT Walking Group

The last walk of the year will be on Saturday the 24th November. A moderately easy 5 and a half mile walk from Whalley. We will go over the Nab, and along the River Calder. The walk is mostly through fields, and good tracks. Meet for 11am outside Checkmate clothes shop. Postcode is: BB7 9SW. There is on street parking. Please bring food, water, proper footwear, and waterproofs. Chance of a pint after.

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Addison and Louise are planning a meal on Christmas Day at Church followed by a film or games. Please let them know if you are interested.

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Extracts from Jim’s Preach ‘The Gift of Eternal Life'

John 10:24-30 The Jews gathered round Jesus, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly." Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no-one can snatch them out of my hand.

My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no-one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one."

Eternal life: the fifth of the seven gifts that Jesus gave to His Church.

Salvation is a work of the Trinity. It is through the Grace, Truth and Living Water of the Trinity that we became Christians and received the gift of Eternal Life.

It is a mystery that the Trinity are one, and it is a greater mystery that as Christians we are also one. Each of us can say, like Jesus, I and the Father are one.

Jesus’ words in John 6:63 The Spirit gives life; our humanity counts for nothing.

At the very moment we first believed, Jesus gave us eternal life. This is our legal standing in Jesus, fixed, permanent. The Spirit gives us tastes of the experience of eternal life.

It is only in the life that the Spirit gives, that we can ever hope of fulfilling two very important teachings given to us by the apostle Paul.

Col 3:17 ...whatever you do, whether in words or deeds, do it all in the Lord Jesus,

1Co 10:31 ..whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.’

This cannot possibly or remotely be achieved in our humanity. In ourselves the standard is to high, but in Jesus they are possible.

As Paul writes, ‘Whatever we say or do, do it all in the Lord Jesus.’ The mystery of living out our Christianity is this ‘do it IN Jesus’. In the oneness that is freely available to us.

Listen to Paul’s testimony in Gal 2:20 “I died with Christ Jesus; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in my humanity I live by the faith of the Son of God.

It is only when we come to the point that we are able to rely on Jesus in all aspects of our lives we can join Paul and truthfully say those words, that our humanity counts for nothing. Then we experience living ‘by the faith of the Son of God’. Then as we walk on in life our reliance on Jesus glorifies God.

We have had centuries of man made church practices, church activities and church traditions and never achieved anything like becoming one. That is because church practices that rely on human effort, divide. Living in trust and faith in Jesus unites.

The only time Christians of different flavours experience oneness with each other is when we are all worshipping together, all expressing our love and adoration for our Lord, and our focus is on God alone. Its only when we get into discussing theology or religious practises that division comes.

When the apostle Paul became a Christian it was as a Jewish Christian, the Judaeo-Christianity that he would later oppose. At first Paul kept all the Jewish religious rules and traditions, for example he baptised new converts. Then the Spirit took him into the wilderness of Arabia.

It was there Paul says that his Rabbi Jesus revealed the good news of grace. A grace not mixed with Judaism, but absolute grace, a grace that was unadulterated by Judaism.

That means he relied totally on God’s grace for his spiritual life, without relying or adding in any religious practices to gain merit or acceptance.

Out of Paul’s new understanding of the purity and simplicity of grace, he stopped practising his previous Judaeo-Christianity. This change is highlighted when he says;

1Co 1:17 For Christ Jesus did not send me to baptise, but to preach the gospel of grace; and not with words of human wisdom like in the past, but in grace alone so that the cross of Christ could not lose any of its power.

When I became a Christian I unknowingly followed many Jewish practices like repenting of sins, confession, communion, baptism, all taken from the instructions laid out in a Judaeo-Christian document called the ‘Didache’ written for the Gentiles in Rome.

But now I understand the simplicity of grace and I no longer needed my previous Judaeo-Christianity.

The gifts of Grace, Truth, Living Water, bring oneness when nothing else is added. No more law, no more condemnation, no more guilt, no more shame, no more blame, no more feeling unworthy, no more religious practises, no more a second rate Christian, no more a sinner, but always a saint.

It is never by what we say or do in our humanity that brings glory to God. Glory given to God relies solely on the gifts of Jesus. The glory of God lives in us as a gift from Him.

So who are we? Verse 29 of tonight’s reading tells us, Jesus said “My Father, has given them to me’.. That’s who you are, a Gift from God to Jesus.

 


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Liberty Church Blackpool,

86 High Street,

Blackpool

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Liberty Church Blackpool