February 15, 2012

Transfiguration Was the Ultimate Epiphany Experience

An Epiphany moment is when we see something in a dramatic new way. In this case Peter, James and John see Jesus with his body and cloths changed in a dramatic, visible way; talking to Elijah and Moses (Mark 9.2-13). This is not a dream. There are three very awake and frightened witnesses. The witnesses are having the epiphany moment of their lives. They are seeing Jesus as part of another eternal spiritual dimension. This is nothing less than the heavenly kingdom in visible form intruding on our physical world.

1. We have trouble with the Biblical supernatural worldview
  • We have been raised in a culture based on science and reason
  • The Age of Reason and Enlightenment rejected this view as Biblical myths
  • Modern Theological Liberals often reject the supernatural as superstition
  • Anglican Church theology based on Scripture, Tradition and Reason
  • Anglican Church Reformation rejected authority of “Experience”
  • Good News is we still acknowledge the work of the Holy Spirit
  • Healing Ministry gives us ‘observable and repeatable evidence
  • My experience – physical healing from cancer
  • Reading Scott Peck and seeing Dr. Kraft do an exorcism
  • Family Foundations International and release from oppression
  • People who have not had personal experiences of the supernatural can not be expected to completely believe these stories
  • Good News is all Baptized Christians do receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit and will eventually have some experience of the supernatural
 2.    God says “This is my Son, whom I love, listen to Him” (Mark 9.7)
  • There is nothing vague here - Jesus is very, very special
  • Jesus is God’s Son - not just a prophet, but more than a prophet
  • This is where we differ from our Islamic brothers
  • Jesus has a special status and authority as the Son of God
  • Secondly we are told God loves Jesus.
  • God desires to have a love relationship with His creation.
  • Challenges us to go beyond simple obedience to rules
  • The love of God, like all love, requires a response of love.
  • The expected response is clear - we are to behave like Jesus
  • Why we are called “Christians” - not “Goodians” or “Nicenes”.
 3. So why don’t people listen to Jesus?
  • Apostle Paul tells us that the reason people do not listen - or at least do not hear; is that “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers...” 2 Corinthians 4.4).
  • Who or what is the ‘god of this age’ - money, sex, popularity’, ‘power’ or is it all “all about me”?
  • The modern Psychological answer of human self-centeredness and self-deception is true – but there is something more
 4. The Biblical worldview reveals a different ‘god of this age’
  • The Bible also tells us that we are not alone in this world
  • The world is not a neutral place or a ‘level playing field’ where all problems can be solved by dialogue and education
  • The Bible tells us that we have a spiritual enemy – Satan
  • Satan is a fallen angel who rebelled against God and is now totally devoted to the destruction of Creation.
  • The Bible tells us how Satan first tempts us to take our eyes off Jesus and very gradually distracts us ever so slowly from listening to Jesus.
  • When we do give in to distractions, he accuses us of failure
  • You could put a positive spin on it and think of Satan as God’s helper in testing humans.
  • This is the supernatural worldview of the Bible that modern people find hard to believe without personal experience
Our spiritual life is a series of Epiphany moment experiences
·         Epiphany moments challenge us to grow and change in our thinking
·         Transfiguration changed how the Disciples thought about Jesus
·         The biggest challenge is to really believe in the supernatural worldview of the Bible and the reality of our relationship with Jesus
·         Our Epiphany moments will come sooner if we remain open to small experiences of healing and forgiveness as evidence of this supernatural worldview

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