Located in San Francisco, we are a church that seeks to live out the teaching of Jesus. Our goal is to be a vehicle of blessing to the community around us. Our prayer is that your life will be enriched by experiencing the authentic Christ. It is our hope that we can be a spiritual blessing to you.
Come and join us this Sunday!
English Worship Services:8:30am - Worship Center - 3638 Lawton St.11:30am - Worship Center - 3638 Lawton St.
Cantonese Worship Services:10am -Worship Center - 3638 Lawton St.11:30am - CE Auditorium - 3635 Lawton St.
Get Directions to Sunset Church
Cecil Wong is the Christian Education Director at Sunset Church. Check out some of his thoughts about learning and life, especially with regards to real application of God's Word and the Gospel at home. Send your comments or questions to email@example.com.
It's been nine months since I've logged into this corner. Guess I might’ve been lazy but I haven't really felt the need to write stuff, especially since I didn't think I had anything that seemed important. Well, I don't know if what I'm entering is earth shattering, but I am sharing something that the Lord has been teaching me to apply both to my personal life and ministry at Sunset Church.
It is intimacy.
There are numerous explicit references in Scripture to this most significant spiritual core of God. We first see it in Genesis 2 where the man and woman became one flesh, were naked and knew no shame. The first marriage was a place where two people joined bodies and souls to discover and reveal the beauty and power of God.
This is the blueprint for image bearers of God to have godly dominion over the earth. This would be the key to faithful reflection of the Creator that would enable humans to righteously subdue all creation. You see, when a family’s culture consists of values, attitudes, and behaviors that create real connections, where transparency is the norm and individuals are not shamed, healthy hearts, minds, and bodies result.
Most importantly, children can grow up as God intended, in an environment of real life, love, and family. However, when this design breaks down, nothing goes right. Of course, this is exactly what happened when sin entered through Adam and Eve's failure in the temptation with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Recall their firstborn became a murderer.
Another reference to consider is Deuteronomy 6:4-9, where we find the greatest commandment. God's people are commanded to love Him with their whole heart, soul, and strength. The passage begins with the declaration that the Lord Himself is one. There's some ambiguity in that statement but I don't think it is a far stretch to understand it with implications for intimacy and oneness. It makes sense when we look at the intensity of the commandment. Why would He require such love unless it first exists in Him? Verses 6 to 9 instruct parents to make this love the pervading culture of their home. This love would teach children about the Lord who is one and how His love was relevant to daily life and functions.
We find many times in Scripture where God declares the purpose of His activities is for His people to know Him, and this "knowledge" is not merely cognitive but rather, experiential. Deep in God’s soul is the passion and desire for profound connection. Not just positive ones either. Remember the Gospel? Half involves unbelievable pain and agony. Through Jesus, we share in this eternal life of the divine Spirit. (John 17:3)
And what about the incarnation? God the Son became a man to know (experience deeply) us and through that knowledge (oneness), redeem us from the fatal captivity of corruption and mortality. The blueprint of intimacy from the very foundations of creation became the means through which God would reconcile the world unto Himself. What is it about oneness that is able to powerfully redeem even the very worst of mankind? Is this the solution to our overwhelming challenges today?
Again, in John 17 where we see Jesus’ high priestly prayer, what does He pray for? Yep, oneness. Three times Jesus asked the Father to make His disciples one as They are one. In verse 22, Jesus said He had given His disciples the same glory that the Father had given Him! Can you believe that Jesus has attributed to His followers / brothers the same significance that the Father ascribes to Him? It’s the same intensity (and more) that two lovers feel for each other, or parents and their children! This was the very core of Jesus as He was preparing for the cross, perhaps only 12 hours away.
Real oneness is obviously motivated by the strongest desire to be connected to and belong to another. It is love that is stronger than death. It is passion that cannot be assuaged with anything less than equal desire and commitment.
But to obtain this goal, God has shown us the cost – everything! Mere sacrifice of resources would be contemptible (Song of Songs 8:7b). Everything means laying down what makes us secure, significant, and strong – yes, our very lives. To lay bare our souls, i.e. to be naked, and yet not ashamed, this is what Christ did for us. He did this in our place on the cross. He took our sin and shame upon Himself and laid Himself on the altar of the cross, faithfully suffering God’s rejection of our sin. For an entire Hebrew work day (6 hours), our Lord Jesus served us by trusting in God while being one with us by experiencing heart breaking shame, loneliness and rejection. And He did this without ever doubting the goodness of God!! The level of divine vulnerability based trust demonstrated by the Perfect Human Representative satisfied God’s holy passion for oneness and by this great work, we have freedom, healing, and forgiveness forever.
This oneness will fill our homes with Christ. This oneness will connect us with God’s Word way beyond reading, studying, and meditation (as good as those activities are). Let us pursue godly intimacy, discover it in our homes, lead our kids in it and truly experience real life, love, and family.
3638 Lawton Street, San Francisco, CA 94122 | 415.665.5550 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgCopyright 2011 © Sunset Church - All Rights Reserved