Mostly stuff on Christianity by an Anglican priest who reads a lot of C. S. Lewis.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Notes on Ascension Day

For a small group study:

From the Book of Common Prayer: GRANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that like as we do believe thy only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into the heavens; so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with him continually dwell, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.
Luke’s account: Acts 1:1-12

What happened when Jesus arrived in “heaven?” 
- Jesus began his reign as the true King David: Ephesians 1:15-23; I Cor. 15:24-26;
- There was war: John’s account: Revelation 12.*
- There was Pentecost:
Peter’s commentary: Acts 2:14-36
Paul’s commentary: Ephesians 4:7-12; we understand this equipping of the Church to be the very thing that happened at Pentecost (the gift of the Spirit was given, with his gifts), Acts 2:16-17.  Cf. Hebrews 1:3
- We arrived in heaven, too: Ephesians 2:4-7; if you will, this is “the first resurrection” Revelation 20:1-6 (cf. Romans 6).  Rev. 20 is perhaps the hardest part of Revelation to figure everything out.  Cf. Hebrews 2:8 (note the “now and not yet”)

* The book of Revelation is a revelation.  It is something meant to be understood.  In fact, we are held accountable for understanding it (1:3).  There are several places in the book where we are told what is going on to help us with the symbolism (e.g., 11:8; 12:9,17).  The book is also very full of Old Testament references, which, if we know the OT, help us to understand.  We should not get bogged down in the details.  A lot of the details are there to help the narrative to flow; they, in themselves, may not have any particular reference.  The main idea is to follow the main idea and benefit from the encouragement this book gives us about the purposes of our King and his final victory over all his enemies.



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