Ablaze UK 2010: History in the Making (or Tuesday Evening Part 2)

History was made on Tuesday evening when, for the first time ever, an Anglican bishop spoke at the Apostolic Convention. The Right Reverend Michael Nazir Ali was the 106th Bishop of Rochester in the Church of England. He was born into a Shi'a Muslim family in Pakistan and came to faith in Christ as a university student.

The Bishop's main point on Tuesday night was that Jesus is Himself the Kingdom. It is Jesus who makes the Kingdom present to the world and to us.

There is a rumour around about Jesus, and even in the most hostile people there is something about Jesus that they cannot ignore. Yet sometimes they turn this into blasphemy. Many give Him a place, but not the place He deserves on the throne.

What did Jesus say about Himself?

To answer John the Baptist's disciples, Jesus talks about Himself in terms of Isa. 35, a chapter which speaks about the coming of God. Jesus also spoke about Himself in terms of the Old Testament concept of wisdom.

He called Himself the Son of Man, a reference to Daniel 7, where we are told that all nations will worship Him.

We cannot talk about Christ's Kingship without referring to His work. The Pentecostal revival has highlighted the link between the Cross and healing. In Matt. 8 after Peter's mother-in-law is healed, there is an immediate reference to Isa. 53. All healing flows from the cross. There is no healing of body, mind or relationship, unless it flows from the blood of the Lamb.

At the very minimum, the Cross is an example to us. 'Take up your Cross and follow me'. The Cross also reveals God's love to us. But the Cross is much more than that. On the Cross humanity is remade, a re-creation. It is God making once again humanity in His own image. Col. 1 tells us that Jesus is the icon of God. He is our representative and our substitute. He does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. He stands in our place and deals with God's wrath which is directed at our sin and makes us friends of God, we who were alienated with no life in us.

He has won the victory. As Athanasius said, 'because Christ died for all, His victory is also for all. Because death cannot hold Him, it cannot hold us'.

The person and work of Christ both reveal His sovereignty. If He isn't Lord of all, then He isn't Lord at all.

How is He Lord of all?

He is the Lord of culture. He is behind all that is good in human culture. We can see this in every virtuous page in the history of our country. E.g It was Christianity that led to the abolition of slavery and universal education. Nothing will rescue this nation but the Christian faith. No civilisation or culture can match up to God's purpose; this can only be fulfilled by God's grace. It's not about the Christianization of culture, but about salvation through the gospel. Transformation of culture must be accompanied by the salvation of souls.

The church in this country has been salt (invisible and almost taken for granted, but now must be light (visible communities bearing witness to the gospel).

We have a King who transforms people and households and nations. The Bible condemns all false religion. Jesus' harshest words were for false religion that trusted in human rules and human works.

God is preparing people to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. John's gospel tells us that the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and righteousness. How does this witnessing of the Spirit turn into the salvation of souls? Through the witness of the church. Evangelism is of great importance in affirming the kingship of Christ. There is no substitute for a personal sharing of the gospel. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop