Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Jesus - God's final Word to humanity

During Old Testament time God gave His Word in written and audible form.
For example, God gave commandments to Moses in the form of written on stone tablets. (Exodus 24:12)
And then God inspired Moses and many other Old Testament personalities to write down His "spoken" Word.

Now when it come to us (New Testament time), instead of using written or spoken Word, He used "flesh" Word.

Word became flesh - John 1:14

He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.- Revelation 19:13

And that is His final Word to humanity. He has nothing else to say other than what He presented to us through Jesus (His Word in Flesh)

Look at this passage from Hebrews:

1God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,
2in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, (H)through whom also He made the world. - Hebrews 1:1-2

Is there any other revelation to be revealed? No

Because He has already spoken (past tense) to us "in His Son".

Many people wish that God open the heaven and talk to them in a audible voice. Well, even if He does that today He has nothing else to say other than Jesus (His Word).

What ever He revealed to us through His Word (Jesus) has been recorded in the Bible.

Why not check it out instead of going after some so called "prophets" who claim that they have "new" revelations from God?

Bible says He has already spoken to us in His son!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Can we trust our "feelings"?

I remember watching movies with pounding heart because of anxious scenes on the screen. Sometime horrified watching horror scenes. Sitting at the edge of the chair with popped out eyes. I have seen people watching some scenes with tearful eyes.

What is wrong with us? Don't we know it is just a movie?

The fact is we all have a good knowledge that it is not real. But why do we still feel anxious and horrified?

The answer is, here our "emotions" supersedes our wisdom and knowledge. We, in our knowledge know it is a movie. But our "feeler" do not want to trust that.

So now, can we really trust our "feelings"?

Well, the movie experience says we cannot. This is true in spiritual life as well. During our spiritual journey we may get in to many situations where our emotions (feeling) supersedes the reality. The reality of the truth. The truth of God's Word. We may fall in to the trap of trusting our emotions rather than the truth of God's Word. We have to deliberately trust the TRUTH. We have to deliberately trust the reality of God's very Word.

When difficult situation comes our "feeler" would say God is not in control and I have to go through this by my own. But can we trust that feeling? Look at what the Word says:


Should we trust our feeling or the Word of God?

In the story of pharisee and tax collector, pharisee "felt" he was righteous because of his "works". But was his "feeling" right?

At the same time tax collector "felt" he wasn't righteous. But Luke 18:14 says, he was justified. He can still continue to "feel" unrighteous if he believe what his "feeler" says.

The danger I observe among today's Christians is, many of them trust their "feeling" instead of trusting what God says in His Word.

Many born again Christians live with a heavy load of guilt. Because they go with their emotions rather going with God's Word. They feel they are not fully forgiven, are not fully accepted by God. But look at what the Bible says, once we are in Christ we are:

a "new" creature, "old" is gone. -2 Corinthians 5:17
forgiven and righteous in His sight. - Colossians 2:13, 3:13
justified. - Romans 3:24
perfected and sanctified. - 1 Corinthians 6:11
clothed with Christ. - Galatians 3:27
saint or holy one. - 1 Corinthians 1:2,
secure and children of God. - John 1:12, 10:28
"in" Him and He is "in" us. - Romans 8:1, Colossians 1:27, John 17:23
seated in the heavenly places with Him. - Ephesians 2:6
citizen of heaven. - Philippians 3:20
loved and accepted. - John 17:23, Romans 5.5
members of Christ's body. - 1 Corinthians 12:18, 27
free from condemnation. - Romans 8:1
(the list goes on...)

Our "feeler" do not trust these all the time.

Another side of this is:

When people do not "feel" accepted, they look for something to satisfy their feeler. They want to "feel" good.
They need some "sight" instead of "faith". They need evidence. They need "special" experience. They need miracles. They need some "Holy Ghost hype". They need some "slain" experience. They need heart pounding music to stir them up.

Now where is their focus? on their "experiences"...(unfortunately) They eventually turn away from the truth of what Jesus did on the cross. They turn away from the finality of the cross. They forget the fact that the all sufficient God dwells in them. They forget the fact that they already have everything they need for life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3)

Emotions itself has no intelligence. It doesn't distinguish the time (past, present or future). But God's infallible Word has all the intelligence. Jesus is the treasure of all the wisdom and knowledge. And we get to know Him through His Word.

Don't trust the "feeler". Trust God!. He is sovereign. He is unchangeable. He is trust worthy. He is the ROCK....

Stand on that solid Rock!

References: Growing in Grace (Bob George), Lifetime Guarantee (Bill Gillham)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Pharisee Vs Tax collector

The two Jewish "sects" we see during the time of Jesus were "Pharisees" and "Sadducees". These two were always in opposition with Jesus and his teachings.

We see another group of people who are not necessarily Jews called "Tax Collectors". A tax collector was considered by the Jews to be a traitor and very probably a thief. Because the land of Israel was occupied by Rome and the taxes collected went to Rome.

Luke 18:9-14 talks about a pharisee and tax collector going to the temple to pray.

Pharisee prayed: "I" am not like other person. "I" am not a swindler. "I" am not unjust. "I" am not an adulterer. "I" am not a tax collector. "I" fast two times a week. "I" am a faithful tither.

In other words, I have my "own" righteousness.

Tax collector prayed: God, have mercy on this "sinner". (He stood some distance away and was unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven)

In other words, I do not have my "own" righteousness, so I need yours!

If you look Pharisee's prayer is pretty long, but tax collector's is short.

Verse 14 says who received the justification.

I believe there are modern day "pharisees". Another name we may use to call them : Legalists.

Legalists are the true enemies of God. Many people think sinners are God's enemies. But this passage proves it wrong.

Today's "churches" trying to produce "pharisees". They develop principles, laws, rules, do's, don'ts, steps, commitments, programs, codes, patterns etc.

But bible calls them "white washed tombs" and "brood of vipers"!

Pharisees are satan's master pieces. There heart is blocked to God's Grace. They do not understand it. They block others from receiving it. They think they are righteous. They think God is well pleased with them. They think they are going to Heaven!

Bible says, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble - James 4:6

Jesus while on the earth embraced tax collectors and "sinners" (Matthew 9:10-13) but had many conflicts with Pharisees.

"For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners" (Matthew 9:13)

After all Aposlte Mathew was a tax collector (Matthew 9:9)
[Matthew was a Jew who worked for the Roman government and therefore, he too was hated.]

Hey! From Man's standard, pharisees (or modern day legalists) are "good' and acceptable. They obeyed the law. They fasted. They tithed. They didn't kill anyone. They didn't commit adultery. They were not public nuisance. They build orphanages. They help the poor. They are there in "church" every time the door is open. They are board members. They teach Sunday school. They even preach "Gospel"!!!

But God has a HIGHER standard! That is the standard of Jesus! and His standard can be achieved by Him alone!

Apostle Paul condemns legalism more than any other apostles, in the book of Galatians. He calls them "Foolish Galatians"! Now substitute "Galatia" with our own town. We can see some hard core pharisees every where.

The saddest thing about them is that their Jesus is NOT the Jesus of the Bible and they don't know it!

What we need today is not "pharisees", but "tax collectors" who can say "THANK YOU" for God's Grace.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Put no confidence in the flesh

Many people (including me) start out their Christian life in the Spirit and then later lose their focus and try to be perfected by the flesh. There by being frustrated and disappointed to see that they have lost the joy of their salvation.

We see a lot of joy and excitement in a newly converted Christian. But many old, "matured" christians do not have the same joy... Have you ever wondered why?

The answer is quite easy - The focus of a new Christian is in the Lord, not in the flesh.

When we are looking unto Jesus for our life and godliness we are walking by the Spirit. When we are looking to the law for righteousness and perfection we are walking by the flesh.

Bible says, if we have Christ we have everything we ever need for life and godliness. There is nothing we can add to that by our "works of the flesh".

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.- 2 Peter 1:3

Apostle Paul had many things to be boastful in the flesh-

circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. -Philippians 3:5-6

But he says he count all these as loss in order to gain Christ...

He said-

for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh - Philippians 3:3

If Apostle Paul says to put no confidence in the flesh, we better take it!

He calls the people who put their confidence in the flesh as "foolish".

Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? - Galatians 3:3

We cannot add an inch of perfection by our work. period. We have the full perfection by inheriting the perfection of Jesus. We stand on His perfection, not ours.

We cannot trust our flesh, but we CAN trust the Spirit who dwells in us!

So lets put our confidence in the Spirit who lives in us... and walk by the Spirit...