Posts from the ‘God’s love’ Category

Love… the world’s definition or God’s definition?

‘Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone except God.’ -Billy Graham
‘Until sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet.’ -Thomas Watson

From the two quotes mentioned above, you can tell why the people’s perspective on love differs from God’s definition of God. If we go back a little into history to the fall of man mentioned in Genesis 3, you would know that the fall saw Adam and Eve receive to themselves their own standard of righteousness (Gen 3:1-6), forsaking the righteousness of God in the process. This self-righteousness continues to be passed down to all of Adam’s posterity through procreation. So, now the world’s definition of love stands outside God’s definition of love because they serve different interest. From the fall, man is a god to himself because what he primarily serves is his own interest, meaning… his self-righteousness is fashioned to serve his own interest but the truth is man is not God and so whatever man does from his selfishness is naturally evil. God on the other hand, in serving His own interest accomplishes good because the truth is He is indeed God. So, from Billy Graham’s quote above, we see that unbelief is not just about people naturally having a lack of consideration for God’s sentiments but about how this nature arises from the tendency to suppress the righteousness interest of God, lest their own interest be revealed as counterfeit and they be proved liars, which their damn self-righteousness will just not allow. To capture what I am saying through scripture, I would like to quote an excerpt from Proverbs 8 for you.

Prov 8
35 “For he who finds me (God) finds life
And obtains favor from the Lord.
36 “But he who sins against me injures himself;
All those who hate me love death.”

So, if you asked: is the love the world seeking different from the love that God is (1John 4:8), I’d say yes… all the way. The devil is in the detail literally because the love the world is seeking is an acceptance of its sin as its identity in society. Yes, Christ did die while we were still sinners (Rom 5:8) but in Christ we are called to the righteousness of God (Mat 5:20). Salvation is freely available to all who receive Jesus as their Lord and Saviour but this is only made possible with the elect (Jn 1:12-13) in whom God overcomes their nature and desire for sin (Rom 3:22-25) and replaces it with a love and zeal for him (Heb 10:16). For the rest of the world, this Salvation is freely available to them in Christ but that righteousness of God, with which the believer must persevere for the cause of Christ serves as a deterrent to those self-serving fools. Take a look at the world today and see how the liberals are fighting for homosexuals and paedophiles to not just be integrated in society but also in the Church. The problem with the world is that people are looking for a love that excepts them as they are without correction (Heb 12:8) because they want to continue serving their own wicked interest and be loved all the way through to the grave and to hell. The best part is, their heads are so swollen that they expect God to be such a subject of their wishful thinking. I’d must leave you with an excerpt from 1Corinthians 6 that you may see God’s perspective on love towards the repentant sinners.

1Cor 6
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

I’d like you to think for a moment of a wife who is filled with zealous love for her husband and vehemently acts out against all that which undermines the interest of her spouse. So, though she may exhibit hatred towards those who undermine the interest of her husband, she is not acting out of hatred but out of a selfless and zealous love for her husband. By this I am in no way justifying the Islamic execution of unbelievers, I am simply saying the feeling of indifference between the Church and world is mutual and this enmity God has decreed (Gen 3:15) keeps the world out the Church and the Church out of the world. Please note that unlike Islamic society a Biblically nurtured society is not fascist because we recognize that it is God who makes believers and not men. However, in following after God, His Church has to swim against the flow of the world. So, the Billy Graham’s Quote is also conversely true… i.e. in following after God’s interests, believers many a times cannot avoid offending the people of world. Why? Because we admit God is for real and He and his righteousness is greater than the world and its love for sin (1Jn 4:4).

John 15:18-19
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

So, what the world knows as true love is only true in the sense that it genuinely serves their own fallen interest and appetite for sin. The love of God on the other hand as described in scripture is longsuffering (Numbers 14:18) and it is from His nature of great forbearance that true love is defined in the Bible as patient and kind (1Cor 13:4-6). Love is indeed a perfect attribute of God but so is His justice and when you look at Num 14:18 in which God speaks of His love, He also says He shall by no means clear the guilty. This is where the substitutionary atonement of Christ comes in because His Justice demanded the wages of sin (death) be paid but in His love, He gave us His own Son in human flesh (Jn 6:23) that we may have true life (Jn 14:6) and be adopted into the family of God as sons (1Jn 3:1). I would like to leave you with a last piece of scripture, it’s not every day that you read John 3:16 in its rightful context.

John 3
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His [e]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

Before you go, I need to also say this… sex may be the pinnacle expression of the world’s love but sex was only given to us that we may bear the responsibility of raising Godly stewards upon the earth with joy but the world sees sex not from God’s purpose but from its own wicked purpose and in doing so… Kills More People Every 4 Months (by way of abortion) Than The Holocaust Did In Twelve Years. It’s no wonder people who are polyamorous and philanderers just keep piling years on themselves. Take look at Bill Clinton and Donald Trump who are both 71, Clinton looks like walking cadaver while repentant Trump looks like he is still sailing through his fifties or sixties. Here’s a head’s up people there is neither male nor female after death (Mat 22:30) because there is no need for procreation, whether you be in heaven or hell. It’s as I said, everything including you was made to glorify God’s purpose, not your purpose. So, you shall either glorify God’s mercy in Jesus Christ or glorify His justice in following after your own wicked appetite. Remember, if the saving love of God does not interest you don’t blame him for the misery in the world because all that misery is the result of the extent people go to meet their own selfish interests (Prov 8:36).

I would like to close this post with this righteous, apt and well intended salutation: May God bless you in the saving love of Jesus Christ – Amen!

A godly discourse in overcoming communal hatred in India.

In the light of all the communal rioting that is happening in Mumbai and around India, I would like to make this clear… what I am campaigning for is #IndiaAgainstHate and certainly not #IndiaAgainstGod because the Bible teaches that God is Love (1John 4:8) and that He seeks people to worship Him in Spirit and truth (John 4:24).

Mat 5:9
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.

It is a very atheistic mind set to throw God out of our lives for the sake of peace, but peace will never come at that cost because if we are afraid of pointing out where people err spiritually, then letting everyone be right in their own eyes is certainly no solution for peace. Rather, it breeds anarchy where each are a law to themselves, judging right and wrong only as per what is most convenient to them in that moment. Why don’t you take a look at societies around the world? You will notice that most of the developed nation are those which were shaped by the Gospel. Though you may see some terrible back sliding today in the west from being a God-centered society, you will also notice that where they are now coming to something any self-centered fool anywhere in the world can very well relate with. As for the middle-east, they are only rich because of their oil and being the poor/wicked/ungrateful stewards (Mt 25:26-28) they are, this blessing of theirs is also their curse (Malachi 2:2). Let’s take a look at the blessing a nation enjoys in God.

Ezekiel 36 (look at this from the construct of Jn 3:3, 16)
27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. 28 Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. 29 I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you. 30 And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations.

It’s time we all stopped fooling ourselves and learned that the only dividing line that really exists are those who put God first & those who put themselves first. If we were to look at the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20 in the light of what Jesus said in Mat 22:36-40, we understand that there will never be an equality among people unless God is first in our lives. Look closely at the 10 Commandments, you will see that the first 4 commandments teach us the awe filled reverence we are called to have for God. Now look at the other 6 commandments, they teach us to love and respect people around us just as much as we love and respect ourselves. This precisely is what Mat 22: 36-40 teaches us, that the greatest commandment is to love God with all our strength and the second is to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Now owing to our fall from grace in Adam, we have a natural inclination to throw God out of our lives but when we do that, it is only because we consider it is better to be self-centered as over being God centered. So, thanks this fall of ours in Adam, we have usurped that place God must occupy in our lives with ourselves. This is turn effects our relationship with those around us because now we see people only as objects that serve our vested interests. This truth however remains that we are not God and so our selfishness is wrong and sinful. So, religion estranged from the truth about God, does nothing but create unrighteous divisions and exploits people from the vested motives of those in power. Let’s now look at how the Civil Law given us in the Bible protects the interest of various people in society.

Exodus 20
10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Contrary to how world religions represent themselves, a Biblically established society is not fascist because each is accountable to the same God, no matter where a person may be in the hierarchy of power. So, a foreigner’s/unbeliever’s rights are protected, and he/she enjoys as much liberty in that society as a believer/native does under God (Exo 20:10). The other thing is, true religiosity cannot be forced upon unbelievers/foreigners in such a society because religious devotion is calling from God and cannot be imposed forcefully by (Jn 1:12-3). This however does not mean that the Gospel won’t be preached as the means of saving souls in that society. The Bible teaches us that the most precious resource on this earth are “Human Beings” because we were made in the Image of God, not even the angels have this privilege. This precious resource can only be valued in true religion and not in the lies the world has concocted about God. Where this Image of God remains broken, lies a spiritual state where the salt has lost its saltiness (Mat5:13), it isn’t even good enough to be used in the manure pile and is thrown out (Lk14:34).

John 1
12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

It is so sad that people today are scared to take a stand in their seeking the truth about God because they are afraid of hurting other people’s sentiments. I hope you can see the extent of unbelief underlying in this psychology because these cowards are more concerned about not hurting people’s sentiments than they are about honouring God in their lives (Mat 10:32-33). This lukewarm nature typifies their unbelief in which they choose to honour people’s misplaced sentiments about God in lieu of bearing witness to His divine majesty and the atonement He offers us in His Son Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 9
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

So, to those who God is stirring to seek Him in their lives, I have this to say from Isaiah 62:6-7 & Eph 2:11-13. Do not be ashamed of the Gospel because in it lies the elixir of learning to speak the truth boldly, constructively and with love (Eph 4:15) for the upliftment of society, for though we may be few are as salt… where just a little is needed to flavour a whole lot of food.

One Baptism! (an attempt to explain the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”, misrepresented by Charismatics)

I find myself in a very awkward position to write about this but thanks to the Charismatics who bear the name of Christ, I find the need to explain the so called Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Mat 21
24 But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things:
25 The baptism of John — where was it from? From heaven or from men?” And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’
26 But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.”
27 So they answered Jesus and said, “We do not know.” And He said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things

Eph 4
4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Mat 3
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Acts 11
15 “And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning.
16 “And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
17 “Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?”
18 When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”

Apparently one of Apostasies trademarks since Adam, is de-establishing (Gen 3:1-4)what God has set as truth. The Church historically has held to “One Baptism” and even mentions it in the Nicene Creed, which is the Catholic Statement since about 325AD.

I have learned through my fortunate stay with an apostate charismatic body that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is given according to the will of men. In most cases, when their Pastors lay hands on an individual, that person, who is prompted then (today [… not relevant because the Word of God is complete, given us in the Bible that we may not seek further revelation outside scripture 2Pet 3:11-12/Rev 22:18-19]) to speak gibberish (they call it tongues) is said to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. These hypocrites may caution such statements of mine as blaspheming the Spirit but I certainly am not doing that but it is they who blaspheme God the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:29). For theirs is a religion devoid of accountability unto the Moral Law (Mat 5:17-20 & 22:37-40) from a baptism devoid of repentance (2Pet 2:17-24) to aid magnifying not God but their own worth (Luke 14:11) via instruments such as the prosperity Gospel.

Rom 10
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”–that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,
9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

You see, when an individual/family/society experiences “Romans 10:8-10” as an absolute reality in the context of “1Cor 12:3” is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 11:15-18). You see the baptism of John was only to prepare the heart/s to receive Christ (Luke 1:17)… make straight the way for Jesus Christ the Lord to be received as Savior (Mark 1:3).

John 3
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

You see, in the Son of God (who is absolutely God) taking upon Himself the complete nature of man but without sin, He is foreordained as the firstborn of us brethren (Rom 8:28). Being not creation but the creator Himself (Col 1:16) with the Father & the Holy Spirit, He is the First to be raised from the dead and the first to receive the Holy Spirit in Baptism (Mat 3:16-17). A Leader who teaches us to follow only by example; His Salvation (Jn 5:21-23) is His, to give to whom He so chooses (Jn 15:16) for He is Good Lord and Good Shepherd.

John 6
44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Heb 12
6 For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives.”
7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

Looking at Jn 6:44 & Heb 12:6-8 in the context of Jn 12:24-26, we understand that “one baptism” is given as a sacrament signifying the undoing to Original Sin, where Adam received (Gen 2:16-17) and passed to all his posterity a nature of righteousness governed by self and not God (Rom 5:14-15/1Cor 10:16-17). The charismatic idea Spirit baptism by laying hands on people who already are given by God to believe in Jesus can be likened to the Pope canonizing Christians unto Sainthood (1Cor 1:2-3).

Exodus 31 (in the context of Heb 2:8-18)
13 “But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.

To conclude, Sanctification is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9) unto His elect, transforming His Church into the likeness of His beloved Son Jesus Christ, unto Salvation (Phil 1:29). Baptism thereby Indicates: salvation is impossible for men & women by themselves but possible only by God (Mark 10:26-27). How or why, then would the righteous suffer in this fallen world but such is the furnace experience where we are sanctified (kept in the furnace) not beyond what we can endure (1Cor 10:13). No harm but only blessing befalls from Christ who cleanses us through our trials in which He is absolutely present (Dan 3:25) upholding us by His absolute might (Phil 4:13).

Baptism… its Godly essence!

Attended mass today at a Roman Catholic Church & must say I was impressed to hear some sound Biblical preaching… which is always welcome among those Catholics/Christians, who are not embarrassed of the Gospel for its incapacity to please people’s love for sin.

The Priest sought to explain why Jesus was baptized though He is/was without sin. If we are to understand the nature of Jesus Christ, we must know that He is fully God & also fully man. Sacraments instituted in the Church are only those, which Christ has established. Now concerning baptism, it is circumcision carried forward from the Old Testament. As Isaac was circumcised when he was 8 days old (Gen 21:4), so too Jesus was circumcised when He was an infant (Luke 2:21)! Knowing John was only a few months older than the man Jesus Christ, the baptism of Jesus as an infant is ruled out.

John 1
32 John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him.
33 “I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’

Luke 1
34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.

1 John 5
7 For there are three that testify:
8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.
9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His Son.
10 The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son.
11 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
12 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

The Baptism of Christ is therefore seen that is was not about Christ having sin in Himself to required repentance but that the testimony of God be witnessed concerning His Son, that the Lord Jesus Christ is thee Messiah, anointed by the Holy Spirit (Jn 1:32-33 & Lk 34-35).

Genesis 17 (Circumcision was given to MEN ONLY, as being dedicated to the Lord)
12 And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants.

23 Then Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all the servants who were born in his house and all who were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s household, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the very same day, as God had said to him.

Romans 2 (Baptism is given to MEN & WOMEN, as being dedicated to the Lord)
14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,
16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh.
29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

Knowing Baptism replaces Circumcision (Gen 17:12-23 & Rom 2:14-29), infant baptism is hence Biblical. However many disagree with this, even among those who were baptized as infants, as I too once did. It must be understood that parents baptizing their children as infants, are taking the responsibility of bringing their children up to know and serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15). So it is that these children baptized as infants and unfortunately later as adults again (Eph 4:5), are unable to decipher that the poor Godly stewardship their parents exercised over them, is the reason they found interest in God outside their immediate family. Such is the spiritual ignorance (Hos 4:6) most Christian households are dealing with. As it is with any conversation you have, it is very important to see scripture in the context of scripture, to know what God is speaking out, to you, through the 66 books of the Bible. Adult baptisms as adult circumcisions (Gen 17:12-23 & Rom 2:14-29), were only required by new converts to Christianity (Spiritual Israel) and such was not just given them as individuals but to their whole household (Acts 16:27-33) including children.

Hosea 4
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

Acts 16
27 When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.
28 But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!”
29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas,
30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
The Jailer Converted
31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house.
33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household.

What is essential in baptism is a heart ready to receive the Lord. If you have a heart filled with love for yourself, you can recite your baptismal promises till Christmas comes and goes without making any difference in your life.

Understanding that the Church is Israel (Eph 2:11-13) since Adam i.e. counted as Abrahams spiritual descendants (Gal 3:29), we learn that Baptism points to being born of God (Jn 3:3) as in born from above, so that our hearts may proclaim Jesus is Lord and believe in His resurrection as victory over death (Rom 10:8-11). Now to steer of the Charismatic definition of Holy Spirit baptism, I need to state (Jn 3:3, 19-21 & 16:8-13)- that being born from above has to do with being convicted as a sinner in the light of God’s majesty unto repentance to believe the Gospel (Mk 1:15)& so receive the righteousness of God over our own (Jn 12:24-26).

John 3
18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.
20 “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
21 “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

Luke 23
39 One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!”
40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?
41 “And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”
43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

To conclude, I must state: one who repents of Himself to receive Christ as Lord is saved though he/she may not be baptized before they fall asleep but this cannot easily excuse those who refuse or delay their baptism out of: the fear of men OR out of the overwhelming love they may have for themselves.

Salvation: the capacity to do the will of God!

Matthew 7 (Jesus’ word)
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

Matthew 21 (Parable of Two Sons)
28 “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’
29 “And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went.
30 “The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go.
31 “Which of the two did the will of his father?” They *said, “The first.” Jesus *said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you.

Mat 7:21 is best seen in the light of Mat 21:28-31, we understand that the Lordship of Jesus Christ requires the Christian to do the will of ‘God the Father’. If one calls upon the Lord Jesus while his life bears testament only to rebellion against the will of ‘God the Father’, this person remains among those the Gospel has invited but not among those God has chosen (Mat 22:1-14).

Having said this, it must be stated that the will of God is always carried out in the world to its nth degree precision and accuracy. Every man that has ever existed will either glorify God’s mercy & grace OR His wrath & justice. We know from the Bible that God being righteous and good does not delight in the punishment of the wicked (Ezek 18:23,32). So when the Lord Jesus teaches His Church concerning doing the will of His Father, He is teaching us to abide in His will of grace and mercy. This is precisely what we pray in the Lord’s Prayer, which Jesus taught in Matthew 6.

Mat 6
10 Let your kingdom come. Let your will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.

In understanding ‘His will be done on earth as it is in heaven’, we ought to know that we are asking God to grant us the capacity to act according to His will and good pleasure, espoused in His mercy and grace. It surely does not mean that His will is done lesser on earth as it is in heaven. To take you deeper into the subject and bring out an explanation, let us consider that when Satan fell, 1/3rd of the angels fell with him, these have been cast into this fallen world. So, in heaven the angels (2/3rd) who serve God are holy to the extent that they are slaves to righteousness. So when we pray that God let His will be done on earth as it is in heaven, what we are really saying is: Dear GOD, let Your will on earth be not mixed with wrath & justice because You do not delight in it but let Your will here on earth be of grace and mercy just as it is in heaven that we may be granted the capacity to serve as your holy angels. This precisely is the will of God for those who are His people, who yearn for holiness, being susceptible to sin only up to the point of death, when they are released from the final bondage of the flesh and made holy as the angels – slaves unto righteousness.

Luke 20
36 for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

Now for those who have the question, as too what is the will of God! The answer is: obeying God’s Moral Law. This requires the believer to:
1. Love God foremost with all his strength even beyond the believer himself
2. Love his neighbour, whoever that may be (even his enemy Lk 10:26-37) just as the believer loves himself.

Psalms 40 (Old Testament)
8 I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.”

Romans 2 (New Testament)
13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.

It is important to note that God is sovereign to the extent that neither man nor angel can do His will, unless that man/angel is given the capacity to act according to the will of God. We see that in man, when Adam was created, God breathed life into him… meaning God granted him a living spirit of ‘God the Holy Spirit’… the giver of life (Nicene Creed). So Adam remained righteous until he took upon himself his own standard of righteousness which was separate from God and so Adam died in the spirit, thus losing his capacity to obey God perfectly. This is precisely why James 2:10, says that he who keeps all the law but yet remains disobedient to one, is considered guilty of all because even one sin is telling of a dead spirit, thanks to Adam. In Christ, the believer has more to rejoice over than the sorrowful onslaught of Adam. This happens for the reason that Christ’ perfect sacrifice purchased for the believer: Salvation, which even encompassed the grant of a living spirit unto the believer from ‘God the Holy Spirit’ (John 15:26). Unlike unfallen Adam, a believer’s salvation is not merited from himself but by Jesus Christ who paid the price in blood (Rev 5:9). From this transcends not only the obedience purchased for the believer through a living spirit but also substituting the believer in the fatal wages paid out for imperfect righteousness, which arises from the believer’s susceptibility to sin.

John 20
19 So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and *said to them, “Peace be with you.”
20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and *said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

Since I have spoken to you about the Holy Spirit, I might as well caution you against the Charismatic movement. Please understand, that up to the time the Bible was compiled: miracles, prophesies and healings bore testament that the Church is from God. However from the time, the Bible has been compiled, congregations are recognized as His Church only from the manner they adhere to His teachings in the Bible.

John 10
25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me.

Mark 13
22 for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect.

2 Timothy 3
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Today we have ministries like Benny Hinn, which claim to be connected with many miracles and though some may indeed be miracles; today, we cannot let these miracles testify that that ministry is genuine! According to Benny Hinn, he knows he is doing the right thing ONLY BECAUSE of the miracles he is witnessing in his ministry and so his doctrine on the Holy Trinity being three persons in three persons i.e. totally nine persons, should be right. Similarly, Benny Hinn’s divorce and money laundering is also seen as the right thing because charismatics like him think that as long as God presents miracles in the ministry through healing, prophesies and testimonies, they feel surely God approves of all they do and whatever they believe.

Mat 7 (Jesus’ word)
22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’
23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

John 3 (Nicodemus to Jesus)
2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

What I am meaning to say through all this is that… YES, in the time of His Old Testament Saints, the Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles, during this time God performed such great miracles that people who witnessed them approved that the Church is from God. However, this does not apply today. What today certifies an institution as Godly is how much it is governed by the moral (religious) teachings of the Bible.

Mat 5 (Jesus’ word)
17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
18 “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
19 “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

So, I conclude asking you to remember and reflect on the Law of God in all your dealings with God and all your dealings with your every neighbour. May doing the will of ‘God the Father’ be your life’s priority unto the capacity the Lord Jesus Christ has given you in Salvation!

Anxiety Vs the Fear of the Lord!

Anxiousness has a very different meaning in today’s society. The word anxious however comes from the word anxiety which is defined as “distress or uneasiness of mind caused by the fear of anticipated danger or misfortune”. Anxiousness is something we all have to deal with in some form or the other, we may react to it differently but none of us escape it. One may react to anxiousness with rage while another may react to it with alcohol; the fallen man attempts to mitigate anxiety always with either: Pride, Pleasure or Power (1 John 2:16) or a combination of these.

1 John 2
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

Such anxiety stems from Adam because by nature we have a law (of flesh) at work in us which is different from the Law of God (Rom 7:23). This anxiety we suffer is the result of broken communion with God. All suffering in this world is what God has ordained according to His purpose. Anxiety on the other hand stems from seeing God’s hand at work in creation as something totally hopeless. Anxiety is an ungodly and unholy fear because it fears ‘trusting in the good Lord’ rather than fearing God. Anxiety by nature distrust God but the ‘fear of the Lord’ on the other hand trusts God and is obedient to His Law even in the face of death. For the ‘fear of the Lord’ grants the believer the wisdom to fear Him who can destroy body and soul for eternity (Mat 10:28) as over men’s circumstances (Isaiah 51:7), which at most can only action death.

Psalms 111
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.

Proverbs 15
16 Better is a little with the fear of the LORD Than great treasure and turmoil with it.

Psalms 34
11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Hence we see that there is such a thing as holy and unholy fear, where holy fear (fear of the Lord) constitutes that of a servant acting in obedience to His Master even in the face of death for that servant knows His Masters commandments and so serves His Master in total humility because to that servant his duty to His Master outweighs his humans concerns. We therefore see that it is in this state of holy fear that the servant’s life is practically trusting God.

Having explained the difference between the ‘fear of the Lord’ and Anxiety, what remains to the said is that one can never know the ‘fear of the Lord’ without knowing about the ‘Moral Law of God’ and if that person does not know God’s Moral Holy Law then that person has not witnessed the Salvation that is of Christ (Mat 7:23).

Isaiah 41
10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Philippians 4
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Anxiety is something we can only cast on the Lord Jesus Christ, who is seated at the right hand of the God the Father. This is the grace (unmerited favor) God grants the believer, because natural man’s communion with God is broken, he is spiritually dead since Adam (Gen 2:17) and hence restoring this communion can never be the onus of man who is spiritually dead but only of God who is life (John 11:25). This precisely is what Jesus did on the cross; He became that sinless sacrifice substituting the believer with Himself to receive the full wrath of God i.e. to pay the full price sin because man fell short of the glory of God.

Rom 3
21 But now apart from the Law righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.

What we notice from the above scripture is that Godly righteousness is given to the believer through Jesus Christ. It is in the Lord Jesus Christ that a person is granted a spirit of obedience (Romans 16:25-26) and thus establish the Moral Law as though it were written on his/her heart (Jer 31:33). When this Moral Law is established in our hearts, we then learn as though it were our instinct what Romans 8:28 teaches us even in our most difficult circumstances.

Rom 8
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Psalms 94
12 Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O LORD, And whom You teach out of Your law;

It is therefore only the Lord Jesus Christ in whom we can cast our anxiety through prayer and supplication and learn the Holy fear of God (2 Cor 5:10-11). I must state that though we are saved by grace through faith, when we appear before the judgment seat of Christ, we shall be judged by our deeds (James 2:17-20) because our deeds are the evidences of the grace we have received (1Cor 15:10). Yet we must know that though we are to be judged by our deeds on the Lord’s Day, our salvation is not from our own merit but from the merit of Christ. For it was on that cross that He purchased a Spirit of obedience for His people (Rev 5:9) and it was Him was spurned for our disobedience (Isaiah 53:5) that stemmed from the believers’ natural Adamic nature.

2 Kings
37 “The statutes and the ordinances and the law and the commandment which He wrote for you, you shall observe to do forever; and you shall not fear other gods.

39 “But the LORD your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.”

Acts 9
31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, were multiplied.

To conclude, I must state Jesus’ teachings on anxiety in Mat 6:25-34 emphasizes on the Christian: the Law of God because it is in His Commandments (Moral Law) that we learn a structured approach to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Mat 6:33), which as stated in Mat 22:37-40 teaches the Christian that his first duty is to love God with all his heart, soul and mind, while his second duty remains to love his neighbor as himself.

The Parable of the Sower

All who have read the Bible are familiar with this parable in Mat 13. It principally states four different outcomes in the delivery of the Gospel. These four outcomes are as follows

1. The Gospel is not received at all by the person
2. The Gospel is received, but the man has no root in himself (v21) i.e. the word of God does not become the foundation of his life. He is not standing on the rock that is Christ and so he falls away rather than being sanctified in affliction.
3. The Gospel is received but this person attempts to serve two masters: money and the Lord. But as much as this person thinks he is in Christ, he is deceiving himself because the branch cannot bear fruit unless it abides in the vine i.e. Christ.
4. The good soil alone is the Christian example, it must be understood here that the good soil is not good by itself; you may want to consider the example of John the Baptist. It was prophesied of him to make straight the way of the Lord in John 1:23 and so John preached a Baptism of Repentance. But repentance is the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer (Acts 11:18 Acts 5:31). So just as a farmer treats the soil to receive the seed. The Spirit readies the foreordained believer to receive Christ.

There are many who read the parables as plainly as the morning newspaper but for some reason these same people cannot come to terms with what Mat 13:10-15 plainly says. It seems so hard for these seemingly Bible believing Christians to understand that God hates the reprobate and loves the Church. As blasphemous as this may sound: the school of thought that says God hates sin but loves the sinner, attempts bring God to the feet of the unbeliever in believing that God’s love is subject to human volition in being reciprocated. Contrarily scripture states that we love because he loved us first i.e. had it not been for His love, we would not have the capacity to love Him beyond our flesh. 1 John 4:19 is therefore seen as matter of ‘cause and effect’ i.e. the absence of the effect means only the absence of the cause.

To oppose this many people may bring scripture showing that Jesus received and ate with sinners but it is interesting to note that Jesus detested the seemingly righteous Pharisees of his time. Since the Bible is internally consistent, an interpretation of scripture is only valid if it harmonizes with the rest of the Bible. Hence when Christ says that that He came to call sinners and not the righteous: so speaking in the light of Romans 3:23, it means to say He came to calls only those who had been prepared for Him in repentance. Take the Parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, scripture ridicules the self righteousness of the Pharisee saying in Luke 18:11 that the Pharisee’s prayers were said to himself not God.

John 12
24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.25 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.26 If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

The response of the servant who was given one talent in the parable of talents can also be seen in the context of parable of the sower.

Mat 25
24 “And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed.25 And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’
26 “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed.27 Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest.28 Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’

Mat 13 (from the parable of the sower)
12 For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.

From Mat 13:12 we see the Godly reproach upon the wicked servant in Mat 25. Notice the phrase: ‘whoever has’ and ‘whoever does not have’, it does not say ‘whoever has MUCH’ or ‘whoever has little’. It becomes only the question of having or not having. So when we see this in the context of the Parable of the Sower and the Parable of the Talents, the ‘has’ and ‘does not have’ becomes a question that is answered in Mat 13:11.

Mat 13
11 Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.

2 Timothy 1
9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,

So we see from 2 Tim 1:9 that the calling does not materialize unless it has been granted unto us in Christ according to His own purpose. To the antinomian the call to Christ is a call to a grace separate from the Law but that is not so because it is a call to obedience unto the Moral Law of God. The Gospel actually gives the believer a new heart to walk in statutes of God and follow His Law (Ezek 36:26-27). What the antinomians refers to as the weakness of the Law, was in actual a weakness of the people not the Law (Heb 8:7-8). The Law was meant to convict transgression and so sin got it power to kill from the Law but when man is born of the Spirit as stated in John 3:5 he receives the salvation of Christ and comes to life fulfilling the requirements of the Law (Moral not Ceremonial) in obedience because he now has a new heart upon which is written the Law of God.

Romans 8
3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

We therefore come to understand that in the very beginning God chose a people unto Himself and blessed them consecrating them as priest whom He would love and bring them to know Him and worship Him forever. We see that such a blessing can only come out of grace, His grace. In Eden man disobediently took a righteousness of self that is contrary to the righteousness of God. This self righteousness of man, has seen man see himself differently from the way God sees him, which has been in effect ever since the fall. Like the parable of the laborers in the vineyard who grumble against their Master concerning their wages, so too we see man grumble in regards to the doctrine of Sovereign Election because it makes no sense according to the self righteousness he has come to possess. God’s ways are not man’s ways so the Bible says and so the ‘parable of the sower’ tells us how the Sovereignty of God extends to the elect that He draws them through the Holy Spirit’s sanctification, out of the corruptions that has become of their nature and selves. This is the power of Almighty God that even angels look on (1 Peter 1:12) to see His Salvation at work in His elect.

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