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Scottish Community Centre

10:00am Sunday Worship

8886 Hudson Street

Vancouver, BC

 

Ministry Centre

#110 - 1200 West 73rd Ave

Vancouver, BC

V6P 6G5

 

Tel: 604-261-3339

Fax: 604-261-3660

 

 

I Will Make a New Covenant Jer 31:31-34
Written by John Tsang   
Monday, 23 March 2015 20:23

In Jeremiah 31, we've reached the pinnacle of this book. Here we see one of the greatest covenantal promises of Scripture, the assurance of a New Covenant. Why was there the need for a New Covenant? There was nothing wrong with the Old Covenant per se, the problem was with the people because "they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them." (Jer 31:32) So God took the initiative to establish a New Covenant in which He will put His law into our hearts and minds. (Jer 31:31). This promise of a New Covenant was not fulfilled in the lifetime of the exiles and not even in the descendants of those who returned from the exile. This, we now know, was fulfilled through the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

 

When Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper with his disciples, he said, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you." (Luke 22.20) The author of Hebrews wrote:

"The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

"This is the covenant I will make with them

after that time, says the Lord.

I will put my laws in their hearts,

and I will write them on their minds."

Then he adds:

"Their sins and lawless acts

I will remember no more."

And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.” (Heb 10:15-18).

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 March 2015 16:40
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Pray, Fast, Give - Matt 6:1-18
Written by John Tsang   
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 06:35

This past Sunday, we reflected on a portion of the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus taught on giving (v1-4), prayer (v5-15), and fasting (v16-18). These three are the spiritual practices that Christians have observed particularly during the season of Lent. To be sure, there are more spiritual practices from our Christian tradition. Richard Foster who reintroduced spiritual discipline to the Evangelical world in 1978 through his book, Celebration of Discipline, presented a list of twelve. Foster grouped the twelve under three major categories. Inward Disciplines include meditation, prayer, fasting, and study. Outward disciplines include simplicity, solitude, submission, and service. Corporate disciplines include confession, worship, guidance, and celebration. Even this list is not exhaustive but Foster gives an excellent foundation for followers of Christ to learn the practice of the spiritual life.

 

Dr. Barbara Mutch helped us to understand the importance of these 'holy habits'. When we include a wide array of spiritual practices into our lives, we place ourselves in an environment where the Holy Spirit can bring growth and as a result, gradually form and shape our character toward Christ-likeness. Essentially, this is what we call spiritual formation. There is an assumption that those who claimed to be religious practiced these things but Jesus focused on the inner motive. We do not engage in these practices to let others know how devoted or pious we are, we engage in them purely to know God in a deeper way.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 March 2015 06:47
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Exiled - Living in a Strange Land Jer 29:1-14
Written by John Tsang   
Monday, 09 March 2015 20:55

In Jeremiah 28, Hananiah told the people that the exile would last only 2 years. However, the Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah and so he wrote a letter to the exilic community (Jer 29). The Lord's message was different, the exile would last 70 years, and they were instructed to build houses, plant gardens and eat its crops, and start families. In short, their calling was to live missionally in Babylon, and to pray and work towards Yahweh's vision of peace (KJV) or better translated "shalom". The Jewish vision of shalom includes peace, compassion, moral goodness, justice, and righteousness. They were not to retreat to form little pockets of people to protect themselves from the bad and evil society.

 

The apostle Peter began his first epistle with these words,

1"Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God's elect, exiles scattered throughout the province of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia". (1 Peter 1:1)

New Testament writers like Matthew, Peter, and John understood the historical exile of Jerusalem into Babylon as a metaphor for the Christian life. Therefore, if we are to see ourselves as an exilic community, like the early disciples regarded themselves, then the word to us sounds very similar:

11Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (1 Peter 2:11-12)

We too are to live missionally in the city that God has placed us.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 March 2015 13:32
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