Posts tagged ‘religion’

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!

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…

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.

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.

His Bride – His Church

For a God who is love, what else can be the motivating factor for His people to be obedient to Him? It is love! If tomorrow, a believer chooses not to partake in any way, in the worship of any other god, his conviction is the love that comes from the faithfulness, like that of a wife to her husband. The intimacy this bride is to share with her Groom that is Christ, that relationship can be shared with no other, for such will be playing the harlot to her Groom who is God Himself.

The body of believers is who the Church is and she is His bride. Her beauty is seen in her conviction and obedience to Him for that declares her love to her God eternal (John 14:15). Just as Adam could not build a relationship with any of the animals as he did so with Eve, because she was made in his likeness. In the same way God cannot build a relationship with His Church, unless He sanctifies her into His likeness and that is one reason why we are called to continuously grow into Jesus’ likeness. This amazement with which Adam then un-fallen first looked at Eve (Gen 2:22-23) can give one the idea of how Christ looks on (SnSol 4) as His Spirit sanctifies His Church.

Rev 19:17
7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”

Those who wait on Him in trust have their records of sin wiped to the extent that they come to be called virgins who wait for their groom and He is Sovereign to the extent that the love they have for Him is what He has given them through His Spirit (Mat 25:1-13). This love for God is so zealous that it makes the believer see the fear of the Lord in waiting on Christ in trust, which is clean and enduring forever; such people are deemed righteous according to his judgment.

Psalms 19
9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.

This bride’s beauty is in her meekness because it is her Groom who chooses her out of the world (John 15:16), for reasons over which He is completely sovereign. Just as father Abraham made his servant take an oath in Gen 24 that he would not bring Isaac a wife from among the Canaanites but from among his own people. In the same way our Heavenly Father sends the Holy Spirit to search out for His Son a bride from only those whom He has called and that is His Church (Mat 22:14). The Holy Spirit with His Church invites the ‘called’ to come receive the free gift of Salvation, which He paid for with His life.

John 6
44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’

Rev 22
17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

So His bride and His Church say unto God: I love you Jesus Christ!

Sovereign grace Vs Legalism and Antinomianism

There are large numbers of Christians, who have become subject to views of antinomianism or those which are legalistic. Legalism is that which says that one is saved purely by works of Law while Antinomians hold a view that the grace of God covers them to the extent that even though their carnal nature is not made subject to true repentance, they are still saved because of grace. Mat 1:21 speaks to both these extreme apostate ideas by showing the legalist that Salvation is in Christ alone, while it shows the antinomians that Christ’ deliverance is not “in our sins” but “from our sins”

Mat 1:21
21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

A preacher once said: one can only enjoy the benefits of Christ’ Cross when he bows before the claims of Christ’ Crown. What this refers to is essentially that one truly receives Christ in his life only when he receives Him as SAVIOR AND LORD. For those who try to merit Salvation it shows they have not truly received Christ as their Savior and for those whose nature shows no elements of any sanctification, they have not truly received Jesus as their Lord.

Sanctification is the work of His Spirit. To many believers, the Holy Spirit is generally associated with how much noise can be made at a spiritual gathering. The work of the Holy Spirit is very deep and for one to associate the Spirit primarily with the gift of tongues today is almost blasphemous. The gift of tongues was given only to the early Church, who did not have the compilation of the Bible, once the Bible was compiled in about the third or fourth century, the gift of tongues and prophesies ceased because the Bible is complete and sufficient to edify the Christian and cursed is that person who tries to add or take away from it. It is for this reason, that the many noise makers in spiritual gathering do not find one interpreter today for three of these people who are said to have this gift of tongues.

Quoting from the Nicene Creed, which was a faith declaration of the early Church, this is what is stated when it speaks of the Holy Spirit: “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life”. We know when God created Adam from the soil, He breathed life into Him. We also know that scripture in God breathed. So though it was His Holy Spirit, that God had put into Adam to give him life, which Adam lost in his disobedience. In the same way the Word of God in the Bible, is God breathed (Holy Spirit) proceeding from Father and Son as One, given to us in scripture that we may believe and have life.

It is interesting to note that the Exodus came before Mount Sinai, what I mean to say is that God first delivered His people from Egypt and then gave them the Law at Mount Sinai. It was not the other way around. As a preacher I know once said, it took God one day to get His people out of Egypt but it took 40 years to get Egypt out of His people. We see from all of this that though a believer is saved by grace and not His own merit, lawlessness cannot be a part of his life. He is always subject to the Moral Law of God, where He puts God first and his neighbor at par with himself.

1Thes 2
13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.

You see the reason, we can do the stuff that is pleasing to God, is ONLY because of the life given to us in Christ i.e. His Holy Spirit. Had we not received Christ, we would not know or have the slightest inclination to please Him. So the word of God in the scripture, is the life given to us in Christ, which His Spirit i.e. God; who is at work, in us who believe. Thus even after we have been sanctified, the only statement we shall render to God is the one in Luke 17:10.

Luke 17
10 “So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.'”

Such is Sovereign grace, that he who receives it humbled not exalted in himself, for the very meaning of grace is unmerited favor i.e. when one receives (especially concerning Salvation) what he does not deserve. I need to emphasize here that sanctification is not our work but the work of God in us, it is hence seen from the parable of the master who calls people to work in the vineyard that he who is called to work even at the very last moment, receives full wages i.e. even the person who is on his death bed and repents unto Christ, he too receives the full measure of Salvation; for just as Salvation is of the Lord (Lam 3:26), Sanctification too is by Him (Lev 20:8) and so He does with what is His own as He pleases… Sovereign Grace!

Mat 20
15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’16 So the last shall be first, and the first last.”

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