Phillip’s talks are about ‘eschatology’, or a look at the ‘last things’, what God’s plan is and where we are headed. in his first talk he used Ephesians 1:3-14 to expand on what it means if we pray the words of Psalm 31:14-15:
But I trust in you, O LORD;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hands
there was just so much in this talk, i can’t even begin to condense it yet. but the key things that resonated (that may not make as much sense out of context, but dovetail quite nicely with Richard’s talks (below)):
- to say “my times are in your hand” changes our way of thinking, allows us to put ‘last things first’ (the theme of this conference)
- God is blessed as both the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and the God of our Lord Jesus Christ – he has supreme authority and is Christ’s Father and God
- as Christians we have been given every spiritual blessing, even if we don’t feel it, even if others seem to have more or be more successful, even if others tell us we will receive more blessings by doing whatever – if we are in Christ then we already have these blessings. they only come to us in Christ. these blessings are as follows…
- election – God chose us before the foundation of the world to be his people. He is sovereign over all time (my times are in his hands). we have already been chosen to be holy and blameless (Eph 5) therefore we will be seen as holy and blameless on the last day.
- predestination – the reality in which we live under God. God is our king and we are his subjects; heaven is not a democracy! God has all power. My times are in his hands to do as he wills, for he is the creator. The true and living God is in control of all of my life; we are little planets circling him, not the other way around.
- adoption – the chief blessing? a natural child could be an accident, but an adopted child is definitely chosen, is wanted. in love, God chooses that we join his family so we are subjects and slaves, but we are also beloved children. only through Jesus can we call God “Abba, father”.
- redemption – the purchase of freedom of a captive. God’s generosity is very expensive – he had to redeem us to adopt us. Amazing Grace! It’s astonishing.
- revelation – we are not left in the dark, we know the secret of his will. we know that God has planned the end of the world from the beginning.
- Rom 8:28 – God is at work in everything to make me more like Jesus. no matter what they throw at me, I am a child of God and nothing can change that.
- therefore we have understanding (v15) of the riches of our glorious inheritance, so it’s impossible not to see how impoverished we are in the things of this world
i’ve kind of just blurted all my notes here onto the page again. i find it really exciting. i hope some of it makes some sense to you. email me if it doesn’t…