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Must We Forgive Anybody & Everybody?

I am compelled to write on the topic of forgiveness because just like when we speak out against sins like homosexuality, we are told that we must not judge, the world has similarly misconstrued Jesus’ teachings on forgiveness to only suit themselves. After all, the people of the world are gods to themselves, who love to use the Word-of-God to serve their own wicked interests. It’s a very painful thing to forgive the wrong people but the world doesn’t care as long as they can fool the innocent into keeping their guard down, so they can be taken advantage of further. Such is the sadist nature of many people in this world. It’s funny that the world’s people, who have no desire to follow Jesus, with not even an inkling whatsoever of what a Godly demeanor is, can have their heads filled with all these silly notions of religiosity that God requires of the believer, which highlights nothing but their wishful thinking & ignorance. The Bible is available to anybody and everybody who wishes to know God and it is usually lethargic fools who succumb to the world’s idea of forgiveness, which does not serve God’s interest but only the interests of the wicked who delight in sinning against their neighbour. Ideally the Fear-of-the-Lord is the beginning of wisdom but with such humanist teaching flagrantly being taught in Christian circles, what Christians today are learning is not the fear-of-the-Lord but the fear-of-people, which is why the nominal devout Christian is a fool even by the standard of this godless world.

John 20
22When He had said this, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld.”

Mat 16
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”

Yes, I am aware of all the verses that teach us to bless those who persecute us, curse us and speak evil against us (Mat 5:44) and that God shall forgive us only as we forgive those who sin against us (Mat 6:12). I also know that we are taught to turn the other cheek but this is in the context of not returning evil for evil (Mat 5:38-39). For instance if somebody breaks into my house and steals from me, Jesus doesn’t require me to keep the doors wide open thereon, neither am I to break into their house and steal from them to set things even but I have all the right under the moral and civil Law, as provided by God to take action against this person who stole from me. Remember, scripture must be studied and understood in the light of scripture so that we understand the Word-of-God on God’s righteous terms and not on the World’s ridiculous terms. What I am talking about is studying scripture by way of exegesis and not via an eisegesis. We must understand that scripture teaches us to conform to the likeness of Christ (Rom 8:29) in whose image we were made. So, just as there is no salvation without repentance, we are not required to forgive unless the person who has sinned against us is sorry for what he/she has done. In this context, even if the person who has sinned against us apologizes to us seventy times seven (Mat 18:21-22), we are to forgive in imitating the meek nature of Jesus Christ (Is 42:3) but to those hypocrites who are unrepentant being right/wise in their own eyes (Isaiah 5:21), we are under no obligation to forgive them and we can even pray to God asking for His justice that the perpetrator may be softened with humility (Luke 18:7), so those necessary interactions we make with them are bearable or better still that he/she may repent and turn to God through our witnessing for the Gospel.

Luke 19
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. 3 Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. 4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. 5 When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 And he hurried and came down and received Him [b]gladly. 7 When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone [c]to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8 Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

The above portion of scripture shows us that an apology/repentance is not an empty word because the Bible requires people (Rom 2:12) to back it up with the action of restitution as you can see (Luke 19:8) and God loves a cheerful giver (2Cor 9:7). Even if you we were to look at the Judicial Law concerning protection of property and social responsibility in Exodus 22, we understand that the Judicial Law demands restitution only because the Moral Law which it serves to hedge demands it. Though the people of the world might have a good laugh on this subject of restitution, it only shows why pagan societies are so inconducive compared to western societies which have been shaped by the Gospel. It is important to note that though Jesus cried out on the cross “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34), not all but only those (elect [Acts 13:48]) who repented of their sin were forgiven. For instance: the centurion who stood before Jesus when He breathed His last (Mark 15:39), this centurion exclaimed just as the Apostle Peter did (Mat 16:16)… saying truly this Man was the Son of God. However, in the case of Judas who betrayed Jesus (John 17:12 [below]) and the Pharisees who wickedly tried Him (John 19:10-11 [below]), there was no forgiveness for them and these were handed over to their own destructive lusts (Ps 81:12/Rom 1:24). Judas hanged himself & as for the Pharisees, they saw Jerusalem fall and the destruction of the temple in just a span of 37 years from Jesus’ death. Unless I have to really spell it out for you, Judas and those who wickedly tried Jesus received no forgiveness. The historian Josephus described Jerusalem as having reached a state very similar to what liberal Hollywood portrays as the future of the world (judging from movies like Pacific Rim Uprising, Resident Evil Retribution, Mad Max etc.); 70 century AD Jerusalem not only saw the destruction of the Temple but also the people’s plight reduced to what was prophesied in Isaiah 3. There is one account of this looting party who broke into this woman’s house because they smelled something cooking and when they got in they found a woman cooking her own baby. Though these people had hit an all-time low in their depravity, they left the house being unable to even stomach the idea of woman sharing with them her food which was her own child which she was cooking as food.

John 17
12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

John 19
10 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?”
11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore, the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”

To conclude, it is rather ironic to notice those who believe that one must forgive even when the other is not sorry, extend this idea to their doctrine thinking, genuinely believing in the Gospel can exist without repentance unto Christ (Jn 12:24-26). However, God doesn’t rebuke His people for praying to Him for justice, when the world has dealt unjustly with them individually or collectively (Rev 6:10). The Bible also teaches that the Gospel is veiled from the unbeliever (2Cor 4:3) by his/her own unrepentant nature (Mat 11:20). So, if we who are made in the image of God, are taught to imitate God, in His likeness as revealed to us in Christ, we are not bound to forgive those who aren’t sorry, just as God does not forgive those who do not repent & believe in the Gospel.

John 8
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Faith & Works, are these separate in God’s sight?

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James 2:14-17
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

As a reformed Christian believer, I do believe that “justification is by faith alone” but very often we have humanist fools who differentiate faith from works because somehow, they want to credit the salvation God offers us in Jesus Christ to the works they do by their own volition. So, they like to see faith separate from works because they would like to see this all coming from their own volition. After all, their faith exists because they choose to believe from their own free will and since this faith arises from their own volition it must not reflect their depraved spiritual condition, lest their faith be proven counterfeit. It’s as Jesus says that you can tell a tree from its fruit (Mat 7:19-20), a good tree bear good fruit and bad tree bears bad fruit. As for most unbelieving goats (self-righteously stubborn humanists) who are wise in their own eyes, they subconsciously realize that if faith and works are not considered separate, then their wicked lives would prove that their faith is useless and so they fool themselves into believing that faith and works is separate in the sight of God.

Titus 1
13 This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

If you were to read the account of the fall of mankind in Adam as reported in Genesis 3, you would notice that what Adam willingly chose over the righteousness of God was the righteousness of self. In Adam, we have this natural apathy for the truth about God and His righteousness (Is 5:20) but in Christ the elect are spiritually reborn (Jn 3:3), being given this living hope which is from God (2Cor 4:8-10). It’s very important that scripture be understood in the light of scripture because when you look at scripture like Phil 3:14 in the light of Phil 4:13 or for that matter Eph 2:10 in the light of Eph 2:8-9, we understand that works is simply the evidence of genuine faith. This is why on one hand the Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6) while on the other hand it says that faith without works is dead (Jam 2:26).

Eph 2
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

The faith and works argument is very much like the grace and law argument. The humanist however argues that faith and works are separate because he/she foolishly believes faith & works are actuated by his/her own free will and not by the Sovereign will of God as the Bible teaches (Eph 2:8-10). When it comes to grace and law, the humanist goes on another wild goose chase because he/she believes that the grace he/she receives in salvation is a license for him/her to live as he/she pleases (Rom 6:15). However, grace seen from a Biblical perspective teaches us that saving grace is that unmerited favour by which God turns us around from ourselves unto Himself (Jn 12:24-26) because truthfully, we are not God but God is God. It is therefore in turning to God that we learn there is standard we are to live by. The Moral Law is the very nature… the very image/character of God in which we were made (Gen 1:26). Imagine the immense privilege we have been given by grace (unmerited favour) to share in the very nature of the Almighty Triune God! Though we are not under the Law but under grace (Rom 6:14), those who won’t live by the Law shall perish apart from the law (Rom 2:12-16) because if we won’t glorify God by conforming to the image of God-the-Son (Rom 8:29), we have no right to the life offers us in Himself (Jn 14:6). The Bible says that the Law is like a mirror, which the elect look into and make amends in their own nature (Jam 1:23), in willingly conforming to the nature of Christ as revealed in scripture. The aspect of grace is in this, that Christ died for us while we were still sinners (Rom 5:8) that we may not just share at His table but also share in His nature. A nature which is now a Law we live by! Still, we are justified through faith alone and not by works because if we were justified by our works then the salvation we have in Jesus would not be by the power of God but by the power of our own will, and this blasphemes the redeeming merit of Jesus Christ who secured for all His people, salvation in all its fullness which is lacking in nothing. I hope you are able to see how works identify genuine faith by which we are justified just as the Moral Law identifies with saving grace by which we are saved. By grace alone… through faith alone… in Christ alone!

Mat 22
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

To conclude, remember how Jesus cursed the fig tree for not bearing fruit that the Lord of lords may eat and be satiated (Mark 11:12-25)? This is very much along the lines of Mat 7:21 where Jesus says not all who call Him Lord shall enter His abode but only those who do the will of His Father because just like faith and works aren’t separate, so too recognizing Jesus as Lord over our lives is not separate from obeying His Commandments/Law in our lives.

Why God must come before country!

Have you ever thought of what distinguishes a land? It is its inhabitants! And have you ever wondered what distinguishes these inhabitants in their land? It is its belief system, which becomes the law of the land, so to speak. Many times, I happen to come across some serious drama in the news over Muslims who put their religion before their nationality, and I totally get it because the Sharia Law they choose to go by, is fascist & lacking in liberty with every intention to replace the law of the land. However, the humanist/democratic law we are under isn’t much good either because though such a system is supposed to treats all people equally, it appeals to those who are in power to govern that land/nation. Did you know, according to the Oxfam India report: 58% of India’s wealth is owned by only 1% of its population? Now, if you were to read Rev 13:12 where the beast of the land (Apostate Religious Power) brings the people to adhere to the beast of the sea (Apostate Political Power), you understand that Hinduism devised such a thing as the caste system so as to keep the rich & powerful, rich & powerful. Democracy is a sham because it is blind to God who exist and so it attempts to govern its people by appealing to the kind of power it is familiar with, which is the pull of the upper crest of society. Hence there is really no equality in democracy because those who favour it are either those who are blind to God and fooled by its promise of equality or those in high society who don’t fear God and use democracy to further their own vested interest. Think about it, in a world where it is each man to himself, how can democracy ever be about people equality? Who really are you fooling… an unbelieving people?

1 Pet 3
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

Mat 10 (Jesus instructs His disciples)
37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

As much it is the fear of the Lord and not the environment I grew up in, that taught me to honour my parents (Exo 20:12), it is my identity in Christ and not so much the people around, that teaches me to be good and responsible Indian (Rom 13:1-3). Jesus says whoever is not with Him is against Him (Luke 11:23) and so a government that does not rightfully identify itself with Christ (Is 9:6), stoops to pleasing its people by licensing their sins against God like with murder by way of abortion, LGBT rights etc. while dealing severely and even executing those who commit treason against the interests of the State. Unlike democracy, Biblical theocracy teaches us to put God first because it is when God is first that we understand what people equality is really about (Mat 22:36-40). If God is not first in our lives then what’s first is ourselves, and our neighbours are simply people we deceitfully use to serve and further our own interests. Such is the curse, mankind bears from the fall of Adam, that in receiving our own righteous standard, we have become gods to ourselves (Gen 3:4), chiefly serving our own interest in everything we do. But, if God is first, the playing field is automatically leveled and you learn to love your neighbour as yourself, which in turn makes you a good citizen. Knowing creation reflects the glory of God, so then as much as the planets in our solar system revolve around the sun and moths hover around a burning bulb, the point of reference (Ps 89:15) or shall I say the cornerstone of all life is always God (Acts 4:11).

Gal 3
6 Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. 7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you.”
….
16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ.

Act 4
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, 9 if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. 11 He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

Yes, we still do have liberal hypocrites like Lord Acton who justify their poor stewardship over what they have been given charge of, with statements like “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” but we also have godly dissidents like Deitrich Bonhoeffer, who take life like a bull by the horn or shall I say take up their cross and follow Jesus in saying “Silence in the face of evil is evil itself: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” So, our purview of life in this world, is dependent what we turn our ears too (Luke 12:34). Are we moved by unholy fear to be discouraged by life’s perils from those who are poor stewards (Mat 25:24-29), or are we willing to take a stand for what is right and listen to those who encourage us in living for the glory of God? Make no mistake, a leadership which operates to appease corrupt people in power and not God in His righteousness, is akin to Hitler’s leadership over Nazi Germany which thought it was right to kill over 6 million Jews in supposedly purifying the Aryan Race in Europe or even President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan for that matter, who enlisted the help of the Arab Militia, to wipe-out over 300 thousand non-arab ethnic people in the Dafur region of Sudan.

Ezek 36
27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
29 I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.

Though the above verse was spoken to the nation Israel before they were to move into the promise land, we understand this applies to all whom God calls to Himself in His Son Jesus Christ (Col 1:16-20) because the spiritual Israel are a people who God sanctifies in the afflictions of this world, while the spirit of Jesus ennobles and sustains them through every fiery trial as He did with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace of Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 3:25). So, as I have said before, a person will either live their life to please God and serve His interest or he/she will live their life pleasing people so as to serve their own interest, and the latter is what is happening with people who are running the country here in India. Under the pretext of serving the people and pleasing the masses with what they have done for the country, politicians are lining their own pockets with taxpayers’ money; even in the army where soldiers claim to give their lives for their country, when these rise up the ranks they reveal their true colours with every kind of multi-crore scams that squanders their countrymen’s money, whose livelihood they have sworn to protect. Even if I was to consider the many who gave their lives for their country or any other righteous cause in India, it in no way excuses a person from living by a standard, where pleasing the people is prioritized over pleasing the Triune God Almighty, because one cannot value what he/she is given, over God who has given it to him/her freely, according to His will, that is unless he/she is what colloquially referred to as a Namak Haram.

Psalm 37
3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

To conclude, sometimes I think we only boast of our rich diversity to mask our differences. Just take a look at the news, the people of the North East are like legal aliens in other parts of the country. People from Uttar Pradesh and beaten up by political activist in Maharashtra for simply making ends meet in the city. If you go down south to Tamil Nadu, there is contempt for the Hindi language and they will either speak to Tamil, Malayalam or English but not Hindi. It’s almost like India as a country has over 1.3 billion conflicting interests pulling it in different directions and I believe this will be the case for so long as it is: to each his own but a day is coming when the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth like the waters covers the sea (Hab 2:14) and all the earth shall know the truth about God (Heb 8:11). The sooner that happens, the better it will be for us because nothing will streamline progress in India like its people aligning their hearts to the truth about God (Ps 37:4).

Religion: the world’s way Vs God’s way!

When I look at how people begin smoking tobacco at a very young age under the influence of peer pressure, I am reminded of the Genesis 3:1-6 account of the fall of man. Like the statuary warning on every cigarette pack, Adam too was warned by God that if he would eat the fruit of self-righteousness, he would die spiritually in that very moment for having forsaken the righteousness of God. This is very much like smokers today, they see the warning on the pack but it does not matter much to them because they are wise in their own eyes and that purview they have of themselves is estranged from all truth. It’s like the lines in that famous anti-smoking advertisement: “with a cigarette in my hand, I felt like a man… with a cigarette in my hand, I was a dead man.” This is precisely what happened to Adam under the deception of Satan, his self-righteousness fired up his rebellion against God and in doing so brought about a death in his spirit. This spiritual death, Adam has passed down to all his posterity through procreation but it did not thwart God from keeping His people in Christ (Col 1:16-20) even in the midst of Satan’s bastards who serve instead as that furnace of affliction, under God’s sovereign hand to burn out the dross (Heb 12:4-8) and sanctify the Godly into His image (moral likeness) in which we were made.

Psalm 84:10
For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

Proverbs 8:34-36
Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

Unbelief is more like that lemming kind of mentality, where the goal of their lives is to bring death upon themselves simply because they find their strength in numbers and not in the truth of that Salvation, which God presents us in Jesus Christ. So, if we look at verses like Isaiah 55:8-9 and Rom 3:4 we understand that true religion requires us to swim against the world’s idea of religion. This is not accomplished by the power of our will but by the power of Christ in us (Phil 4:13) that we may overcome the world’s lethal but sweet lies and persevere our way unto God as worshipers genuine in spirit and truth (Jn 4:23-24). This is only possible for those who are called out of this world to unite with their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ because their salvation is not powered by their own will but by the will of God who saves (Jn 1:12-13). The capacity therefore to please God is not about you going out of your way to do something good but about receiving a whole new nature in Christ (2Cor 5:17), which shifts your orientation/worship from serving yourself to serving God.

Mat 16:13-18
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

Looking at Mat 16:13-18 above, we see that Jesus is not too concerned about what the masses say of Him, as much as he is concerned about His people knowing who He is. It is for this reason that those who believe their survival is dependent (serve their own interest) on pleasing the people around them find it outside their nature to take a stand for the Gospel. This situation is what the Lord Jesus sights in the Parable of Sower (Mat 13:7-22) of those who try to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds, concerning remaining pleasers of the world while trying to adhere God in His righteousness. These people do not have that gumption to trust Jesus with their lives because their unbelief makes them look to their peers and not to God for their survival. There is nothing wrong with helping people in need, the question really is who are you doing it for, to please whom, and from what motive? So, it all boils down to… are you motivated by holy fear/zeal to please God and serve His interest or are you moved by unholy fear to please the people in power and serve your own interest? This is precisely the difference between the people of God and the people of the world (1Jn 4:1-6), we are all human and the only difference is: what is at work in us and to what purpose? Either Satan’s deception is at work in you by way of your self-righteousness or the righteousness of God is at work in you by the saving power of Jesus Christ. In any case, unbelievers always live under the fear of being left out because the world is moving at such a fast pace, and so they try to do all they can to further with their godless take on life. The truth is, unbelief is going to be wiped out from this world (Hab 2:14/Heb 8:11) and that is why their conscience as unbelievers is filled with that unholy fear (Is 2:19/Rev 6:16) of being left behind while their estranged relationship with God and the truth about Jesus, keeps them away from God’s solution to a fulfilling life. Now, here’s some scripture we could look at to learn the crux of a Godly life.

Jer 9:23-24
23 Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:
24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.

Mat 6:30-33
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

The world is so conditioned with pleasing people to serve their own interests that they don’t get the goal of a godly life, because it is not within their fallen nature to please God and serve His interest. It’s sad to see humanist fools interpret verses like Mat 23:11-12 as speaking of the humility required of the believer as not unto God to serve the needy (Mat 25:40) but unto pleasing those who wield corrupt power so as to serve themselves. I am reminded of a very apt quote in Christian circles that says “a man that kneels before God, stands up to the world”, which is very true indeed because you are either spiritually adopted/restored in Christ (1John 3:10) to be a lion unto the world and a lamb unto God or a bastard son of Satan continuing from the fall of Adam to become a lion unto God and lamb unto world. The only thing is, unlike God, Satan has been a murderer from the beginning & deception is like his mother tongue (John 8:44) in bringing forth the fall of mankind while fabricating every counterfeit world religion and superstition in people’s mind to keep the ball rolling.

Proverbs 9
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For by me your days will be multiplied,
And years of life will be added to you.
12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
And if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

Mat 10
28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

32 “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

I would like to conclude this post by saying this, if you truly understand the sheer majesty of God and privilege His people enjoy in worshiping Him, you will understand that God is worth everything you can give, even your life if it is called for in bearing witness for the Gospel (Mat 16:25). Please note, that I am in no way implying that in coming over to Christ, you have to go suicide bombing public assemblies to help the world take notice your new-found religion while you get a direct passage to heaven, because that is certainly not a Christian teaching, it is an Islamic one, and there is a heaven and hell difference between these two religions. Bearing witness to the Gospel only requires you to resist that peer pressure and remain faithful to God by way of keeping the Moral Law and when you do that you will understand to what extent this godless world is fascist but then if the Sovereign Triune God Almighty is for us, it really doesn’t matter who is against us (Rom 8:31, 38-39).

Take Care & God bless!

Then God said “Let there be light”

I am writing this post to extend my support to my Sister Najma Zaman (in Christ), who is conducting a study for her Masters in Psychology on the effect of Christian practice in people’s lives. A study, which required me to reflect on Gen 1:1-3 over a period of two weeks and check for any improvements on my well-being by way of a psychometric test carried out before and after the reading period.

Let’s look at Gen 1:1-3 & John 20:20-22…

Gen 1:1-3
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

John 20
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.

When we look at the above verses, we get this idea that there was something formless and void, which God illuminated by simply saying “Let there be light”. Such is the power of God’s word. In this context, it would help you understand that prophesy in the Bible is not just God looking into the future and tell His people what shall come to pass but He instead defines the future by saying what He shall do in that time by the sheer power of His will. So too, the Bible is referred to as the Word of God because in it is that life giving breath of God, which gives the elect spiritual life. This is the spiritual life God breathed into Adam after he formed him out of dust, which Adam lost in his disobedience (Gen 2 below). This spiritual life was/is restored to God’s elect by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus, who paid the price of Adam’s disobedience with His perfect obedience to the point death (Phil 2 below), thus taking our place in death to pay the wages of our sins that we may have life in Him (Rom 6:23).

Gen 2
7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Phil 2:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
….
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Reading Rom 5:17 should help you understand the context of the two verses, mentioned above. Gen 1:1-3 also has some startling similarity with baptism, where Rom 6:4 says that in baptism we die with Jesus to our sin and are raised to new life. It’s also interesting to note from Joshua 1:2 that the Israelites had to enter the Promise Land by crossing the Jordan. The waters of baptism therefore represent repentance where we are quickened from that spiritual death, which defines our self-righteousness, to spiritual life God offers His elect in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 12:24-26). About the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus when He was baptized, we must remember that the reason Jesus was baptized because He shares two complete natures perfectly i.e. Man (without sin) & God. So as much as it was not God the Son who died on the cross but the Man Jesus who did, so also it was not God the Son was baptized but the Man Jesus, to indicate He is the first born of the brethren leading them unto Salvation (Rom 8:28/1Pet 2:24). Let’s take a look at the baptism account of Jesus as given in John 1.

John 1
29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

So, what is the take home from this study? Well, for long as you out there in the world living for yourself and serving your own interest, you do not have spiritual life… your life lacks form and is void. The conversion however happens when we rest our faith in Jesus, who is the light of the world (Jn 8:12) and as we conform each day into His likeness, we become the light of Christ to a world (Mat 5:14) sold to darkness and bondage of sin. Remember, we were made in the image of God (Gen 1:26), meaning we were made to reflect that very nature of God in our being, and so in dying to ourselves and living for God, our spiritual ideology takes shape as we find divine purpose in life. It is also intriguing to note that scientifically as you journey into the depths of the oceans, there comes a point where there is no light and the creatures here that produce their own light as some of the most hideous creatures you’ve seen. I guess that is how spiritual death (sin) manifest itself in the lives of the reprobate that the farther they are from the righteous of God (light of Christ), the more hideous these creatures are who live by their self-righteousness (making their own light). Luke 5:31-32 is a nice verse to read in this context.

Luke 5
31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. 32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

I shall now close this post, hoping that my effort in reflecting on Gen 1:1-3 in the light of scripture compliments Najma’s efforts in her study of Christian beliefs/practice positively affecting people’s lives. All the best dear Sister.

God bless!

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!

God’s Law & How We Are Answerable!

This post is a tribute to my dear brother Melvin Everingham on his birthday. A man whom God has used as a conduit of His reproof and blessing in my life. Mel is someone I look upon as an elder brother for the study resources he has provided me to satiate my yearning to know the Lord. Another reason am writing on this subject is because Mel asked me to do so a while back.

Let’s take a look at Rom 2:12-16

Rom 2
12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

A look at the above passage helps you understand that the truth is: life is best enjoyed on God’s terms because life is powered by God (John 14:6). The unbeliever might see that there is no place for God in the world but what characterizes the world’s ignorance about God is their wishful thinking and their lack of interest to connect the dots, which comes from their nature to alienate themselves from the truth about everything including themselves. The reason the world finds truth generally bitter is because they are estranged from God. From the fall of Adam, man is a law to himself because the interest he serves is his own (not God’s) and when he looks at the world, he sees no future for himself in it and so his perspective on the future of world is one which is filled gloom and despair. Take a look at the popular movies like Mad Max, Resident Evil and Terminator created by unbelieving Hollywood, these movies showcase a future where the earth is desolate. The case of the unbeliever is thereby one of deep despair because no matter how far up the social ladder he is in life, he is not conscious of the fact that world exists to serves God’s purpose and not his own. So, the unbeliever in his conceit naturally fantasizes of the desolation of the earth for such is the fate he succumbs to outside God. The unbeliever from his incapacity to grateful to God, fails to understand that he couldn’t be where he is currently, with the kind of degenerate outlook he has towards life and God, but such is common grace and sovereign nature of God, that He is Lord over the unbeliever as He is over the believer, while He reveals Himself as a Saviour only to the believer through Jesus’ saving grace (John 1:12-13, 17-18).

Exodus 20:14 (Action)
“You shall not commit adultery.

Leviticus 20:10 (Penalty)
‘The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death.

Mat 5 (Intention)
27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Before I talk about the verses above, if you are not familiar with the Moral Law of God, I would suggest you read about Judicial Law and Moral Law, so you would get a deeper perspective on the subject. Now we know that man was created in the image of God, in the sense that man was created to share the very nature of God. This nature is revealed in the Moral Law and hedged by the Civil/Judicial Law. It is within the confines of this Law that we can live and enjoy life to the fullest because we are simply men living in God’s world. You might ask, how can this be possible? My answer is, it is only possible in Christ because in Jesus, God overcomes our rebellion and supplants our fallen self-serving nature with a nature that yearns to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. This is the spiritual rebirth a believer enjoys in Jesus Christ and it is this living spirit we share which make us brothers & sisters in Jesus because if blood can make people siblings since life is in the blood as the Bible teaches, then how much more does the life giving Holy Spirit make those who believe in Him, brother and sisters in Jesus. Now coming back to the scripture quoted above, we need to look at these in the light of Deut 6:8, which teaches that the believer both meditates and acts on the Law of God in his life because to bind God’s Law on your forehead refers to meditate on His Law while to bind His Law on your right hand is to be a doer of His Law. It is for this reason James 1:23 teaches that the Law of God is as a mirror (yardstick) into which the believer looks and works upon his own character in willingly yielding to God who calls the believer out of the world and grafts them to His family adopted in Christ (Rom 8:29). It must be understood that Jesus did not come to do away with the Law (Mat 5:17-20) but to enrich our understanding of it. In Mat 5:27-28 above, we see that Jesus is not merely emphasizing on how our actions must adhere to the Law but also how our thoughts must adhere to it as well as emphasized in Deut 6:8. This is made possible through spiritual regeneration in which we receive the mind of Christ (1Cor 2:16). This goes to show that we are answerable to God not just for our actions but also for our intentions (Prov 16:2/Jer 17:10). So the Judicial Law hedges the Moral Law in the sense, that it is when a person actions his wicked intention, by acting them out against his neighbour/s, that the Civil/Judicial Law kicks in and eliminates him from society in order to maintain the civil aspect of civilization. Now let’s continue reading from Mat 5:28 above, through verses 29 & 30 and though these are figuratively speaking, you will find some startling similarity with what it is said in Deut 17:6-7 (below).

Mat 5
29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

Deut 17:6-7
 On the evidence of two witnesses or three witnesses, he who is to die shall be put to death; he shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness.  The hand of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So, you shall purge the evil from your midst.

For all those hyper-grace antinomians posing as Christians out there, I would like to add a small disclaimer to this piece I have written. Please note: we are not saved by the Law, we are saved by grace through faith alone (Eph 2:8-10). As much as a seed is not its fruit so to salvation is by grace through faith alone but we know that the seed is for real when it grows into a tree and bears fruit. The Christian life is not a lawless one, the Christian life has a Standard and that Standard is the Moral Law… the very nature/image of God in which we were made and restored to in Christ (Rom 5:17). As for the rapture believing premillennialist, it is the tares that go first because unless you haven’t noticed the wicked die early (Job 21:7-13). As for the #karma believing humanists of the world, please understand that that karma (Luke 6:38) you go ga-ga about, only protects your interest because as I sighted in Rom 2:12 at the start of this blog post, those who sin without the Law happen to also perish without the Law. For those of you who differ with me concerning what defines godliness, please know I have nothing personal against you. I am only focused on speaking the truth about God here and the truth about God is known make unbelievers uneasy, after all it reveals the intention with which your Creator made you, and though a Godly life is tough, the detour/denial is even tougher because there you are on your own. It’s either God’s way or the Highway. Finally, for those you who are seeking the Lord and feel God calling out to you in His Son Jesus (John 15:19), to you brother/sister I have a duty given me in the Great Commission (Mat 28:18-20) and I must tell you that God loves you as I leave you what Jesus requires of you. So, go in the peace of Christ to love and serve the Lord dear brother/sister.

Mat 22
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

God bless…

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