Pilgrims of the Dispersion

24 Oct

pilgrims of the dispersion

Pilgrims Of The Dispersion (1:1)

INTRODUCTION

1. Throughout the New Testament, various phrases are used to describe
those people of God who make up the Lord’s church
a. Individually, they are referred to as disciples, saints,
believers, priests, Christians, etc.
b. Collectively, they are called the church, the church of God,
churches of Christ, the body of Christ, the temple of God, the
family of God, etc.
— Each of these terms describe various relationships maintained by
those who are Christians

2. An interesting phrase not commonly used in reference to the people of God is found in 1 Pe 1:1, where Peter addresses “the pilgrims of
the Dispersion”

1 Pe 1:1 Peter an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughhout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia.

3. A proper understanding of this phrase can be very beneficial, and give us insight into:
a. What the Christian life is
b. An important responsibility expected of Christians
c. Our true home, and goal in this life

[Let’s start by…]

I. DEFINING “PILGRIMS OF THE DISPERSION”

A. THE WORD TRANSLATED “PILGRIM” IS INTERESTING…
1.Tansliterated from Grk., it is parepidemos {par-ep-id’-ay- mos}which is a combination of three words:
a. para – “alongside of”
b. epi – “upon”
c. demos – “used in Biblical Greek of the people of a heathen city” (Wuest)
2. Here, then, is how Thayer defines the word…
a. “one who comes from a foreign country into a city or land to reside there by the side of the natives”
b. “a stranger”
c. “sojourning in a strange place, a foreigner”
d. “in the NT metaph. in reference to heaven as the native
country, one who sojourns on earth: so of Christians (1 Pe
1:1)…of the patriarchs (He 11:13).”
3. Another definition: “One who stays in a place as a stranger or visitor; to describe Christians whose final citizenship is in heaven and who are regarded as temporary dwellers on earth.” (Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia Of The Bible)

B. THE MEANING OF THE WORD “DISPERSION”…
1. The Greek word is diaspora {dee-as-por-ah’}
a. It is noun form of the verb diaspeiro
b. Which means “to sow, to scatter seed”
2. The term is found in Jn 7:35, and there it refers to the Jews
who were scattered among the Greeks
a. As a result of the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities
b. This has caused some to conclude that Peter was writing to
Jewish Christians
c. Who were living in the regions of Asia Minor (modern day
Turkey) – cf. 1 Pe 1:1
3. But there is good reason to believe that Peter was writing to
ALL the Christians, both Jewish and Gentile, who were cattered
throughout Asia Minor
a. Comments are made in this epistle that cannot be understood
in reference to the original recipients being Jews – cf.
1 Pe 1:14,18,20-21
b. More likely, Peter employs terms once limited to the Jews,
but now applicable to all who are in Christ
1) For example, terms like “elect” (1:2), “holy nation”
(2:9), “people of God” (2:10)
2) Even as Paul did: “circumcision” (Ph 3:3), “Israel of
God” (Ga 6:16)
4. If this be so, then Peter implies by using the term “pilgrims
of the dispersion” that all Christians are:
a. Pilgrims living in a world not their own
b. Like scattered seed, spread out among those in the world

[With this understanding of the phrase, “pilgrims of the dispersion,” we can now draw insights that are implied by it…]

II. INSIGHTS FROM BEING CALLED “PILGRIMS OF THE DISPERSION”

A. THIS PHRASE REVEALS WHAT THE CHRISTIAN LIFE REALLY IS…
1. It is but a JOURNEY, begun when we first became Christians,
ending only when we reach our true destination
a. This ought to affect our entire perspective on life
1) It is not an end in itself
2) Only a temporary trip toward our final destination
3) Our homes, our jobs, take on a different meaning when
viewed in this light
b. This ought to affect our perspective on death
1) Not the end of life, but the end of our journey!
2) Not the end of life, but the beginning of eternity in our true home!
2. Embarked on this JOURNEY, we become like our spiritual father,
Abraham
a. Notice He 11:8-10, 13-16
b. If this be our attitude towards this life…
1) Then God is not ashamed to be called our God
2) And we can honestly sing songs like “This World Is Not my Home”

B. THIS PHRASE REMINDS US OF AN IMPORTANT RESPONSIBILITY…
1. Our responsibility as “pilgrims” is to be SEPARATE – cf. 1 Pe
2:11-12
a. We may be “in the world,” but we are not to be “of the
world” – Jn 17:15-16; 2 Co 6:14-7:1
b. Remaining separate may cause some in the world to think we
are strange – cf. 1 Pe 4:3-4
c. But Jesus said this would happen, even as it did to Him –
Jn 15:18-19
2. Figuratively speaking, we should be like those foreign refugees now in our country:
a. Who resist giving up their heritage, their language
b. Who resist attempts to “Americanize” them and destroy their
cultural traditions
3. Can it be said of us who are Christians, that we are keeping
ourselves SEPARATE from the world?
a. Are we allowing the world to influence our…
1) Speech?
2) Dress?
3) Conduct?
b. If we so, then we are no longer “pilgrims,” but “naturalized citizens” of this world!
c. Remember John’s warning in 1 Jn 2:15-17

C. THIS PHRASE OUGHT TO REMIND US OF OUR TRUE HOME…
1. Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we eagerly await our
Savior – Ph 3:20-21
2. We are to be looking for “a new heavens and a new earth” –
2 Pe 3:13-14
3. That is where we will find our true home, the CITY…
a. “which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
– He 11:10,16
b. That is “the one to come” – He 13:14
c. That “comes down out of heaven from God” – Re 21:1-22:5
— That is where we, who are now simply strangers and
foreigners scattered like seed in this world, will one day
be gathered together!
4. Those who are truly “pilgrims” will think often of their true
home
a. When my family lived in Chicago, we thought often of our home in the Ohio
b. And so we will think often of our heavenly home, if we are
truly “pilgrims of the Dispersion”!

CONCLUSION

1. Are we “pilgrims of the Dispersion”? We are, if as Christians we…
a. View our life here on earth as a journey in a foreign land!
b. Keep ourselves separate from things in the world that would lead
us away from God!
c. View as our true home, the heavenly city God has prepared from
those who confess they are strangers and pilgrims on the earth!

2. But you are NOT a “pilgrim of the Dispersion” if…
a. You have not yet begun your spiritual sojourn by obeying the
gospel of Christ!
b. Having done so, you allow the attractions of the world to
discontinue your journey and “settle down” in things which would
separate you from God!

Are YOU a “pilgrim of the Dispersion”?

Australian Catholic University Brisbane

10 Aug

My Time at the Australian Catholic University Brisbane

ACU Campus

 

I can’t help but give this great university a plug. I absolutely loved my time there. Compared to some, it is a relatively young university but with a great history. It also has a great reputation for producing some top students .
I studied for my bachelors in theology and philosophy. It was primarily based on the history of Christian tradition as well as biblical studies, Christian thought and Christian practice.

I took the option to study other religions as well as liberal arts.     ACU

Graduates in Theology can pursue a range of careers in areas such as teaching, work in church agencies and ministries, chaplaincy, social inclusion, pastoral work, and social work. You can also pursue careers in other areas that utilise the skills you have acquired in your degree, such as research, journalism and media, administration, and public relations. Hence my work as a consultant with certain religious organizations.

I attended the university in Brisbane which has more than 3000 students at any one time. It is large (over 40 hectares) and relatively modern university starting in 2003, but the buildings have a history dating back to the late 1800’s, making it a very interesting place to study.

You can live on or off campus in specially designated properties. Most are self contained rooms with shared facilities and this is what I lived in for my three years.

CA group

The campus has its own sports facilities and swimming pool, library (where I spend many a happy hour) and the food isn’t bad either and relatively cheap. It is possible to spend your whole time on campus as there is lots to do, however you would be mad not to enjoy some of the brisbane night life and make the most of your time.
I thoroughly enjoyed my three years there and would recommend it to anyone looking to get into one of the employment areas I have mentioned.

ACU Campus 2

How to relate Insurance to Christianity

1 Aug

Insurance and Christianity

With the recent changes is every aspect of human life, from social life, political, economic and environmental life, churches have turned out to be center of attention. Such changes in human life and general world wave places church at a risk of several losses. Therefore, it becomes a responsibility of the church to ensure that her flock is protected. Some of the insurance covers available for the church to undertake may include:
Natural catastrophe cover, In the event of natural calamities such as floods, church may incur greater losses in terms of infrastructure destruction, to prevent this, churches need to take precautions and cover in advance as a measure to prevent future inconveniences in the event of such calamities.
In recent years, the growth of churches has seen development of institutions sponsored by the same churches, institutions like elementary schools, Bible colleges, Christian colleges, and seminaries needs to be protected. Since the church have insurable interest in such institutions and its operations may be altered in the event where these institutions get damaged the church must by all standards take insurance asylum.

Youth groups in churches always involve in gospel related activities like retreats and religious camping. Some of these activities may be carried in areas with unfavorable conditions, since gospel is universal and should not be spread sparingly but instead globally, the church must insure for the security of its youths in their gospel endeavors.

With the insurance principle of indemnity, the church will see its youth successfully accomplish their missions and return home in their sound mind and in good state as they hard left. They might need annual travel insurance and this is something the church could look at adding on to their existing policy.

Death is a natural and inevitable occurrence in human life, important members of church, take for instance bishops and even cardinals, when such personnel pass on life should never end to their families, besides, they are respectable individual who deserve a respectable send of.

When church have Burial and funeral insurance cover, it become so easy for the families of the departed to handle funeral expenses.
“The outward reform begins with the inward renewal………….. Who is not against us is on our side” Mark 9:40, 41 when Jesus found His disciples arguing who was the greatest amongst them. Jesus never condemned them but instead taught them virtues such as honesty. It is therefore responsibility of the church to observe the insurance principle of Utmost Good Faith “uberrima fides” when undertaking church activities which involves contract signing like construction of church buildings, involvement in community development projects like recreational centers among many others.

This way, the church can be compensated by the insurance company. This is because truthful and honest information was giving during the signing of contract. If at all the church overlooks the virtue of honesty hence the principle of utmost good faith, there is always less possibility for compensation by the insurance company in the event of occurrence of loss.

Church Insurance

11 Jun

Church Insurance

church insurance
A Church, just as any other entity is under threat and may fall a victim of circumstances that may result into unwarranted losses.

Such losses need to be covered against, through the application of insurance and appropriate policies in different segments of the church. It is therefore appropriate for the church to consider the following insurance cover:
Burglary:

Churches in the contemporary world have seen many technological developments from musical instruments used within the church, this would easily attract thieves. Further, some churches uses copper metals for air conditioning within the church, given that copper metal is a precious commodity, burglars are constantly attracted by such expensive commodities leading to a greater risk of theft.

Therefore, churches should take insurance cover against burglary to be able to get compensation in case of such incidence.

Missionaries’ accidents insurance: church interior

Jesus Christ had several mission works during His reign on Earth, disciplines such as Apostle Paul too went for missionary work. It was evident of the risks they faced during their mission to spread gospel of Christ. Missionaries today are not excluded from the same risks. Today, this missionaries in the event of spreading gospel, the may be victims of accidents among other risks. Churches should therefore have insurable interest on their missionaries and hence cover them against risk incidence like accidents by taking accident cover for the missionaries.
Health insurance:

Churches do involve into activities such as outreach, outward bound adventures and volunteering to do community work. During such productive activities, the involved parties are always at risk of getting infections and even deadly diseases due to exposure to adverse and unusual conditions. Churches should have in place insurance cover for health related occurrences that may spring up during community activities.

Life-Endowment policy:

Sometimes, priests and or even church members may die while on church assignments, this can have a massive impact to the family of the deceased, Therefore the church must have in place insurance cover to cater for its members who might have lost life in the event of performing a church duty. Life-Endowment policy is also applicable for a case where the insured survives to the end of specified coverage term of age.

In our churches today, due to the increasing numbers of the believers, building, and construction in attempt to expand churches to accommodate members is so common.

However, builders may be subjected to different kinds of risks while performing their construction duties, workers compensation policy need to be taken by the church to protect the workers from events such as injuries, disability, or death.
Generally, fire possess great challenge to infrastructures in church compound, since this may result from electrical faults in our churches, to prevent this, the church needs to take cover to protect it’s properties and or members from an incident that may result from a fire.

Here, a Fire Legal Liability or fire cover policy should be taken by the church to ensure compensation in the event of fire out break with the church or in event where a spread of fire from a neighboring enterprise causes loss to the church, in case of the spread of fire, it will be covered by Fire Legal Liability.

Is Christianity Real?

6 May

cartoon

 

This of course is the sixty four millon dollar question.

There are believers and non believers who both make arguments for and against. To me the simple answer is do you believe Jesus existed as Christianity is Jesus. Jesus proclaimed himself the son of god, he was borne of a virgin birth, performed miracles, was killed and then rose from the dead. Therefore christianity can only be as true as Jesus is true.

Did Jesus rise from the dead? Was Jesus the Son of God and was Jesus God in Flesh? If you do not believe these things and Jesus existed then you could argue Jesus was mad because non of these things were true and therefore christianity does not exist.

Although the bible was written a long time after the events concerning the son of god, they are all accounts from different individuals and their perspective of what happened. More than likely these stories were passed down from generation to generation and their maybe elements of exaggeration over time. However several of these accounts contain similar information and can be used to verify that Jesus did exist.

Christianity is the only religion that is rational and can be verified in first person accounts. All other religions are either irrational or have no basis for verification.

Did Jesus perform miracles and did he rise from the dead. The easy answer would be to say no they are not, however there are many things in this world that we cannot explain. UFO’s, and the supernatural to name but two. So whilst they would appear to be fantastical we cannot say they are impossible. Many miraculous things have happened to our world over the centuries.

Existence itself is a miracle. Being born is a miracle. The fact that we are able to breath the air on this planet and that billions and billions of cells working in coordination together must be seen as a miracle because the odds of that happening by co-incidence are staggering.