Posts tagged ‘true religion’

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 future is brighter because God is good!

If there were two essential things the Bible teaches about Christ reigning as King, it is that God is sovereign and God is good. How can we ever find hope in the Gospel if these two things were not in place? The Church is the bride of Christ, who is so ardently in love with Him and believes so passionately in His provision that she gives a damn about the low opinion the world has about God and His righteousness. However, from the beginning we have had some anti-social elements in the Church who chose to ravage the Church of her faith in God concerning her provision and future. Take a look at the scripture presented below and you will know that this is not about Satan being in the blue corner and Jesus being in the red corner of a boxing ring. In fact it’s just that the wicked are put in place to serve the purposes of God.

Prov 16:4
The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil.

John 17:12 (the Lord Jesus referring to Judas)
While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.

2 Cor 12:7 (Paul referring to the thorn in his side)
Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me–to keep me from exalting myself!

When I think about the premillennialists with their escapist eschatology and the amillennialists with their defeatist eschatology, I wonder what hope exactly do these fools draw from the Gospel. The premillennialist with his escapist worldview has devised the rapture, while the amillennialists is more convinced that wickedness is on the rise just as much as the righteousness of God is. The two seem to display a dualism concerning what they believe to be sovereignty of God in Salvation because when it comes eschatology, the amillennialists as well as the premillennialists seem to have thrown the sovereignty of God out of the window. Let’s take a look of the verse below, concerning how Israel got her name. If you would like me to leave you with some insight, the Old Testament Church i.e. Israel means she perseveres with God and with men by the power of Christ and prevailes.

Gen 32
24 Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.
25 When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him.
26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.”
28 He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.”

It was the same in the case of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They stood for the righteousness of God and faced execution by way of the fiery furnace but as this affliction was levied on them by God it was God Himself who was sustaining them in that fiery trial. Besides glorifying the good deserving justice of God, another purpose the wicked serve, even Satan for that matter, is being a sanctifying instrument of God in the lives of the Godly. This is what being Israel is all about, that we who belong to Christ are sanctified in the world, according the will and purpose of God. Such is the Sovereignty of God in all things including salvation.

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

Daniel 3
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter.
17 “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king.
18 “But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

A look at Hab 2:14, Is 11:1-10 & Heb 8:11 helps us understand that we are living in the new covenant of Christ figurative thousand-year reign. A reign in which God will slowly but steadily usher in His peace in reconciling all creation to Himself. For some reason, I believe the premillennialists and the amillennialists share the world’s purview very much on the progress of righteousness in the world. Simply because I believe they are no different from the world is seeing events from the perspective of their own interest as over seeing it from the perspective of scripture. Take the ISIS for instance, CNN reported in February that the ISIS had killed over 2000 people and injured thousands more but what about killing of the innocent unborn children? According to the WHO, every year there are about 40-50 million abortions around the world. How is that we can turn a blind eye to these murders and talk so ecstatically about terrorism?

Ezek 37 (in the light of Jn 3:6-7, 16-18)
11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.’
12 “Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel.
13 “Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people.
14 “I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it,” declares the LORD.'”

Islam and its terror is nothing more than a chastening rod which God is using to wake us up from our slumber. Just like in Old Testament Israel, that when they were disobedient, he brought other nations to rule over them that they may learn a lesson (Is 10:1-20). The same thing is happening now but today owing to our ignorance of the Bible, we want to believe God is a God of love, so that we could all continue living as please i.e. till we are thrown into hell I suppose.

​His Saints Persevere with Holy Fear!

Phil 2
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

We live in a world that requires us to take a righteous stand without having the masses back us because God makes it to be so that we don’t trust in people but trust in Him alone (Jer17:5, 7). Though we are saved by grace (2Tim1:9), works is the evidence of our change in heart (Ezek36:26-27/Jn3:3/Phil1:6), which turns from serving ourselves to serving God.

James 2
14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

If you look at the definition of Israel from the perspective of Phil1:29, we get a glimpse of God’s might and sovereignty. The Church is the new Israel (Gen32:28), whose name signifies one who strives against God and men, and prevails. This is best explained from Dan 3:8-28; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the furnace for not paying homage to the golden statue of King Nebuchadnezzar. Now you see, to the world this may seem as the repercussions for being righteous. However, this is merely God sanctifying His people in the furnace of affliction (Ps119:71-75). Why, because God is worth it (Phil1:29). So, who sustains His Church in the furnace, it is God Himself. He is like a silver smith who fans the flame of the furnace while holding the silver in a crucible to purify the silver. So it is with the Sovereign Lord, who sanctifies us in this world into the likeness of His Son (Rom8:29).

Heb 12
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

In Jesus is life and in Him we turn from serving ourselves to serving God. In serving God we acquaint ourselves with holy fear, which drives us to live our lives according to the Moral Law, not because we otherwise don’t want to but because we realize the sheer weight of God’s good pleasure in our existence. The world lives by a counterfeit standard of religion, where wickedness is the very means of their survival and so they are given to act unrighteously under the sway of Satan (1Jn5:19). True religion on the other hand understands our life and its sustenance is practically in the hands of God and so just as the world is given to unrighteousness from unholy fear of wicked repercussions, so too the Godly are given to act righteously from the holy fear of God.

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.

This is what separates the world from God’s Church, the world is given to wear the mark of the beast on their right hand and forehead from their fallen desire for counterfeit religion (Rev13:16-17), while His Church is given to wear the Moral Law on their right hand and forehead (Deut6:8) owing to Jesus who has propitiated their sinful nature (1Jn4:10) unto the righteousness of God (Rom5:17). Please note that to wear something on the forehead and right hand symbolizes one who thinks (wear on the forehead) and acts (wear on the right hand) from that particular standpoint.

Isaiah 40:31
Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

If you were to go through the TULIP, you would come across the Perseverance of the Saints and this is precisely it, because to Persevere in His righteousness in the midst of Trial even with fear and trembling is to wait on the Lord, just like the parable of the ten virgins, where the righteous five are given to burn the oil in their lamps in waiting for the Lord (Mat25:3-4) because I guess burning the oil in their lamps is synonymous with exercising the righteousness of God while waiting on Him and trusting in Him to bring that breakthrough in His time.

Acts 16
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized.

To conclude, Salvation is in knowing Jesus Christ is Lord over your life, meaning your life is accountable to Him. With such a godly bearing on life, we are to persevere in the righteousness of God because though the godless masses may seem like Goliath before you, it is only to provoke that holy fear in you to God’s own glory because He is worth all your anxiety in following after Him. After all, He is God! In any case, knowing Jesus as Lord over your life empowers you by His Holy Spirit (Phil4:13), making you capable to do His good pleasure and who then can be against you when God is for you (Rom8:31) because you are learning to want what God wants (Ps37:4) and there is no stopping you then.

Rom 8:28
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

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