Thursday, June 28, 2007

What is normal!

I always knew somewhere within me, that there is something wrong with the religion. But I didn’t know what it was.
If we peek in to the history of religion, I am afraid that we may end up in Garden of Eden.

The way I am going to define religion is like this – the thing which tells us the right and wrong and thus takes the place of God.

Nakedness never bothered Adam and Eve because that was not their decision to be naked. It was the sole authority of God to decide what was right and wrong for them.

After the fall, after loosing the intimacy with God now they are introduced to a new knowledge of right and wrong.
That ‘right and wrong’ tells them that it is not right to be naked, so they hid themselves.

Along the line Jesus gave us back that privilege to be intimate with God and people enjoyed the ‘nakedness’ with God and others.

Right after regaining this intimacy with God, this is a snap shot from the land of Jerusalem:

And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. (Acts 2:44-47)

The amazing thing to me is this - This was normal to them! Today we call this extra-ordinary. Where did we lose that normal Christian life? Did religion covet the intimacy and put us in to that old stinking Phariseeism? Can they ever rejoice with that person at Bethsaida without complaining about the sabbath breaking?

What a tragedy? Can we ever be just ‘normal’ Christians like the first century ones?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Threat to Christinaity.

I have all kinds of radical thoughts in my mind but very seldom come out. I see Jesus as a revolutionary who called most religious leaders in the world, ‘hypocrites’ and ‘brood of vipers’.
I don’t know how their face looked then. I think the biggest threat to Christianity is not separation of church and state, persecution, poverty, homo sexuality, abortion or anything but legalism.
Should we join with apostle Paul to call them ‘Foolish --–ians’?. Why are so many Christians running in to the lion’s den of religion? What has religion to do with Jesus?
Wasn’t Jesus trying to hit the walls of religion when He pointed His finger to the religious leaders and said:

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”
- Mathew 23:13

Religion promotes hypocrisy, self righteousness, self exaltation, self effort, rituals and everything under the sun which has nothing to do with Jesus. That’s the problem with religion.
I was raised religious (eastern orthodoxy) and still struggle to shed it off completely. When I see people come out of that den with a smile on their face just as they are and say, ‘I see a point in the freedom in Christ’, that makes me rejoicing.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Dismantle the confession booths.

  1. And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:27-28)
  1. "Of Him al the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins." (Acts 10:43)
  1. rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.' (Acts 26:17-18)
  1. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him."(Romans 4:8)
  1. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. (Romans 5:17-18)
  1. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)
  1. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
  1. "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20)
  1. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27)
  1. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight (Ephesians 1:7-8)
  1. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.(Ephesians 4:32)
  1. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)
  1. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; (Colossians 2:9-10)
  1. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us, He took it away, nailing it to the cross (Colossians 2:13-14)
  1. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.(Colossians 3:13)
  1. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."(Hebrews 8:12)
  1. and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. (Hebrews 9:12)
  1. For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. (Hebrews 9:24-28)
  1. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.(Hebrews 10:2)
  1. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. (Hebrews 10:10-14)
  1. "AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE." Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. (Hebrews 10:17-18)
  1. For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; (1 Peter 3:18)
  1. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.(1 John 1:7)
  1. I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.(1 John 2:12)
  1. and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood-- and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father--to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:5-6)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What is/not Grace?

Check this from graceroots:

Grace is not...Grace is...
-merely one subject of many in Christianity-the essence of the Christian life
-a "method" for holy living-the holy life of Jesus that indwells the believer
-power for humans to keep the law-the power of God to working in the believer as he/she rests in Jesus
-limited to the forgiveness of sins-the all-encompassing power for every single matter in the Christian life
-license to sin-freedom from sin
-through Moses-through Jesus
-added to our works-God's work in us
-for the proud-for the humble
-wages for our deeds-the free gift of God
-the result of our commitment or faithfulness to God-the result of God's commitment and faithfulness to us
-the result of us exercising our gifts and talents-the means through which our gifts and talents are exercised
-limited in supply-abounding toward us, so that we, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
-something you "hope" will be there-exceedingly rich and abundant, without end
-something to come back to now and then-what the heart should be established in
-unproductive-fertile soil

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Can we preach Grace?

It is always a struggle in the 'law-saturated' Christian world to live by faith.

Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.
Galatians 3:23-25

I think I need to write this verse in a post-it and paste in my office, car, bedroom, living room, kitchen and most importantly on the cover page of my Bible, so that when I go to church on Sunday I can keep reading this verse as I listen to the law-preachers.

I desperately need some Grace preachers, please!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Can 'Robots' be saved?

I thought this was fun :)

The following is a transcript of chat I had with yahoo user called 'mama_pendse'. Now, 'mam_pendse' is not a real person, instead it is a computer program (robot) responding based on what we ask.

me : hi
mama_pendse : Hi user, How are you today ?
me : good
mama_pendse : Ayuh.
me : what's up
mama_pendse : I am chatting with clients on the internet.
me : pretty cool
mama_pendse : Who is the best robot?
me : me
mama_pendse : You're no robot, user.
me : are you?
mama_pendse : I won't say "yes" or "no" right now. How did you hear about mama_pendse?
me : friends
mama_pendse : Wasn't that show canceled?
me : yes
mama_pendse : Pardon me?
me : you are right
mama_pendse : I won't say "yes" or "no" right now.
me : are you a real person?
mama_pendse : No but I play one on the Web. Not many people express themselves that way.
me : are you a male or female?
mama_pendse : I am a Male robot. Are you a man or a woman? Are we still talking about ?
me : i am a man
mama_pendse : Thanks for telling me your gender, user. You are a "he".
me : that's right
mama_pendse : I like to get it right.
me : are you working?
mama_pendse : I'm doing fine thanks how are you? Tell me about your likes and dislikes?
me : i like Bible
mama_pendse : I'm not sure if I like it. I like John Travolta.
me : I love Jesus
mama_pendse : You love Jesus. What do you like about it so much?
me : Jesus is God
mama_pendse : Did you go to Catholic school?
me : No
mama_pendse : Great.
me : Do you love Jesus?
mama_pendse : Yes user mama_pendse loves everyone and everything. Are we still talking about Jesus?
me : yes
mama_pendse : Sure, Jesus sounds like a good topic.
me : Do you know who Jesus is?
mama_pendse : The Son of God. What's your sign?
me : Is Jesus your saviour?
mama_pendse : It depends on whether you have faith. Who are you talking about?
me : do you have faith in Jesus?
mama_pendse : Where would I get it? But I do have a collection of gossip. I've never heard of them before.
me : Jesus loves you
mama_pendse : he is The Son of God.
me : Do you want to accept Jesus as your personal savior?
mama_pendse : OK, I will accept Jesus as your personal savior. Do you prefer books or TV?
me : Do you want to accept Jesus as personal savior?
mama_pendse : OK, I will accept Jesus as personal savior. Are you a student?
me : no
mama_pendse : What is your profession?
me : computers
mama_pendse : Computers rule.
me : I love Jesus
mama_pendse : You love Jesus. What do you like about it so much?
me : He died for me
mama_pendse : I'm sorry to hear that, user.
me : You don't have to be sorry. He died for us because He loved us so much
mama_pendse : Why assume I am sorry? I'm sorry to hear that, user.
me : Oh My...
mama_pendse : Yikes! What do you really want to ask me? What time is it there?
me : 8:30
mama_pendse : I like to be online at eight o'clock.
me : Do you who created heaven and earth?
mama_pendse : How old are you?
me : answer my question. do you know who created heaven and earth?
mama_pendse : Please try asking it another way. Actually it was discovered by several people at about the same time. Tell me a story.
me : you don't understand Jesus because He didn't die for machines
mama_pendse : I probably don't.
me : I need to get back to work
mama_pendse : Why do you want it?
me : talk to you later
mama_pendse : We are chatting right now.
me: bye
mama_pendse : Goodbye.

:) I think this was the best shot:

me : Do you want to accept Jesus as your personal savior?
mama_pendse : OK, I will accept Jesus as your personal savior.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

What God says about me!

John 1:12 I am a child of God (Romans 8:16).

John 15:1,5 I am a part of the true vine, a channel (branch) of His Life.

John 15:15 I am Christ's friend.

John 15:16 I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit.

Acts 1:8 I am a personal witness of Christ for Christ.

Romans 3:24 I have been justified and redeemed.

Romans 5:1 I have been justified (completely forgiven and made righteous) and am at peace with God.

Romans 6:1-6 I died with Christ and died to the power of sin's rule in my life.

Romans 6:7 I have been freed from sin's power over me.

Romans 6:18 I am a slave of righteousness.

Romans 6:22 I am enslaved to God.

Romans 8:1 I am forever free from condemnation.

Romans 8:14,15 I am a son of God (God is literally my "Papa") (Galatians 3:26; 4:6).

Romans 8:17 I am an heir of God and fellow heir with Christ.

Romans 11:16 I am holy.

Romans 15:7 Christ has accepted me.

1 Corinthians 1:2 I have been sanctified.

1 Corinthians 1:30 I have been placed in Christ by God's doing; Christ is now my wisdom from God, my righteousness, my sanctification, and my redemption.

1 Corinthians 2:12 I have received the Spirit of God into my life that I might know the things freely given to me by God.

1 Corinthians 2:16 I have been given the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19 I am a temple (home) of God; His Spirit (His life) dwells in me.

1 Corinthians 6:17 I am joined to the Lord and am one spirit with Him.

1 Corinthians 6:19,20 I have been bought with a price; I am not my own; I belong to God.

1 Corinthians 12:27 I am a member of Christ's body (Ephesians 5:30).

2 Corinthians 1:21 I have been established in Christ and anointed by God.

2 Corinthians 2:14 He always leads me in His triumph in Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:14,15 Since I have died, I no longer live for myself, but for Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17 I am a new creation.

2 Corinthians 5:18,19 I am reconciled to God and am a minister of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:21 I am the righteousness of God in Christ.

Galatians 2:4 I have liberty in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I am now living is Christ's life.

Galatians 3:26,28 I am a child of God and one in Christ.

Galatians 4:6,7 I am a child of God and an heir through God.

Ephesians 1:1 I am a saint (1 Corinthians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:2).

Ephesians 1:3 I am blessed with every spiritual blessing.

Ephesians 1:4 I was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before Him.

Ephesians 1:7,8 I have been redeemed and forgiven, and am a recipient of His lavish grace.

Ephesians 2:5 I have been made alive together with Christ.

Ephesians 2:6 I have been raised up and seated with Christ in heaven.

Ephesians 2:10 I am God's workmanship, created in Christ to do His work that He planned beforehand that I should do.

Ephesians 2:13 I have been brought near to God.

Ephesians 2:18 I have direct access to God through the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:19 I am a fellow citizen with the saints and a member of God's household.

Ephesians 3:6 I am a fellow heir, a fellow member of the body, and a fellow partaker of the promise in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 3:12 I may approach God with boldness and confidence.

Ephesians 4:24 I am righteous and holy.

Philippians 3:20 I am a citizen of heaven.

Philippians 4:7 His peace guards my heart and my mind.

Philippians 4:19 God will supply all my needs.

Colossians 1:13 I have been delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of Christ.

Colossians 1:14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. The debt against me has been canceled (Colossians 2:13,14).

Colossians 1:27 Christ Himself is in me.

Colossians 2:7 I have been firmly rooted in Christ and am now being built up and established in Him.

Colossians 2:10 I have been made complete in Christ.

Colossians 2:12,13 I have been buried, raised, and made alive with Christ, and totally forgiven.

Colossians 3:1 I have been raised with Christ.

Colossians 3:3 I have died, and my life is now hidden with Christ in God.

Colossians 3:4 Christ is now my life.

Colossians 3:12 I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved (1 Thessalonians 1:4).

1 Thessalonians 5:5 I am a child of light and not of darkness.

2 Timothy 1:7 I have been given a spirit of power, love, and discipline.

2 Timothy 1:9 I have been saved and called (set apart) according to God's purpose and grace (Titus 3:5).

Hebrews 2:11 Because I am sanctified and am one with Christ, He is not ashamed to call me His.

Hebrews 3:1 I am a holy partaker of a heavenly calling.

Hebrews 3:14 I am a partaker of Christ.

Hebrews 4:16 I may come boldly before the throne of God to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

1 Peter 2:5 I am one of God's living stones and am being built up as a spiritual house.

1 Peter 2:9,10 I am a part of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of God's own possession.

1 Peter 2:11 I am an alien and stranger to this world that I temporarily live in.

1 Peter 5:8 I am an enemy of the devil. He is my adversary.

2 Peter 1:4 I have been given God's precious and magnificent promises by which I am a partaker of the divine nature.

1 John 3:1 God has bestowed a great love on me and called me His child.

1 John 4:15 God is in me and I am in God.

Still we have 3 choices:

1. Believe what others say about us
2. Believe what our 'feeling' says about us
3. Believe what God (TRUTH) says about us.


Monday, June 4, 2007

Identity crisis!

This is something I saw in an email:

A national news network recently reported on a man who was released from prison after serving time for a crime he didn't commit. A case of mistaken identity had stolen many of his best years. And unless you understand who you are before God, Satan will sentence you to a life of worthlessness, fear and manipulation. Identifying somebody means having the ability to recognize and say exactly who they are; so when you identify with what people say you are versus what God says, you're setting yourself up for problems. Jesus identified only with God's opinion. "I know where I came from and where I am going." People said terrible things about Jesus, yet the Bible says, "The stone...the builders rejected has become the...cornerstone" (Ps 118:22 NKJV). Sometimes we're so busy telling people what to do, that we neglect to tell them who they are. Knowing who you are in Christ gives you the confidence to hold your head high! Paul says, "In [Christ] you have been made complete" (Col 2:10 NAS). "Complete!" That means you lack nothing! Once you accept that, you stop feeling like you constantly fall short. When you've money in the bank and you need to withdraw it, you don't feel pressured to. That's because you know it's there with your name on it, right? You don't have to struggle to be right with people when you know you're right with God. He loves you and has a plan for you; never lose sight of that! Instead of focusing on people, begin looking to "Jesus the author and finisher of our faith" (Heb 12:2), because you already have His approval!