Thursday, November 17, 2016

Evangelism: Two Compellers

1. The Terror of the Lord - "Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men" (2Co 5:11)
2. The Love of Christ - "For the love of Christ compels us" (2Co 5:14)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Deceitful Things

1. Charm is deceitful (Pro.31:30)
2. The heart is deceitful (Jer.17:9)
3. Riches are deceitful (Mat.13:22)
4. Sin is deceitful (Heb.3: 13)

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Hindrances and Helps to Faith

Jude 1:20 - Building up in your most holy faith....

1. Not hearing God's Word (Luk 8:12; Rom. 10:17; Matt.13:15)
2. Forgetting the Word (James 1:23; Psa.119:16)
3. Doubting God's Word (Matt.14:31; Matt.21:21)
4. Worldly and Carnal Distractions (Matt. 13:22)
5. Not Seeking Pure Conscience (1Tim.1:5,19; 3:9; Tit.1:15; Heb.10:22)
6. Not Fighting the Good Fight of Faith - Being Slothful (1Tim.6:12; 2Tim.4:7; Heb.6:12)
7. Lack of Prayer (Jude 1:20)

1. Listening to God's Word (Rom.10:17; Acts 4:4)
2. Speaking to each other Words of Faith (2Cor. 4:13; Eph.4:15; 5:19; Mark 11:23)
3. Acting according to Faith. Matching faith with actions (James 2:17-20)
4. Trusting God with all our heart and not relying on our own understanding (Pro.3:5,6)
5. Having constant communion with God (Ps.42:8; 130:5-6; 1Jn.1:3-9)
6. Having regular fellowship with saints (Heb.10:23,24; Matt.18:20; 1Thess.5:11; 1Cor.12:20-26)
7. Loving God above all (Eph.3:17; Gal.5:6; Philem 1:5; James 2:5)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Pleasing God

Pleasing God (1 Thess.4:1)

Everyone is trying to please someone or the other. Christians are called above all to please God.

1. Please God as a Servant pleases his Master (Gal.1:10; Matt.6:24)
2. Please God as a Son pleases his Father (Matt.3:17; Heb.3:6; Mal.1:6,8)
3. Please God as a Friend pleases his Friend (James 2:23; 4:4; Prov.16:7; Ps.41:11)
4. Please God as a Wife pleases her husband or vice versa (1Cor.7:32-34)

1. Please God by a Pure and Holy Offering (Mal.1:18; Gen.8:21; Rom.12:1)
2. Please God by Walking in the Spirit (Rom.8:8,14)
3. Please God by Obeying the Commands of Jesus (1Thess.4:1,2)
4. Please God by Focusing on the Calling and Not being Distracted by the Affairs of the World (2Tim.2:4)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Lying vs Speaking Truth

A lying tongue is one of the seven things God hates. The others are, a proud look, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren (Prov.6:16-19; 12:22)
It is not becoming to a prince to have lying lips (Prov.17:7)
Those who wish to become rich by speaking lies are on the path of death (Prov.21:6)
The one who conceals hatred has lying lips (Prov.10:18)
Those who speak lies hate those who are victims of their lies (Prov.26:28)
A lying tongue will not last long (Prov.12:19)
Those who love and practice lying will by no means enter into the City of God (Rev.21:27; 22:15).

The devil is called the father of lie (John 8:44)
The anti-Christ will come with lying wonders (2Thess.2:9)

In contrast,
No lie is of the truth (1John 2:21)
God cannot lie (Tit.1:2)
Jesus came to bear witness of the Truth (John 18:37). He often used the words, "Truly, truly I say unto you..."
The Holy Spirit is called true, and not a lie (1John 2:27). He is called the Spirit of Truth who will guide the disciples into all truth (John 16:13)
Paul stressed several times, "I am not lying" (Rom.9:1; 2Cor.11:31; Gal.1:20; 1Tim.2:7)
The Bible commands Christians to put away lying and speak truth with their neighbors (Col.3:9; Eph.4:25).

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Handling Doubt

We must understand that doubt is not rational questioning of false beliefs, hasty conclusions or theories. Doubt is a choice to disbelieve in face of sufficient reasons to believe. Doubt is an attempt to find reasons, unreal as they may be, to believe in anything else than what has been made clearly evident by God; in that, it is idolatrous since it finds a false alternative to God’s truth. Doubt is an action inconsistent with belief in God.

There are chiefly seven Greek expressions that have been translated as “doubt” in the New Testament (KJV): aporeo (Jn. 13:22; Gal.4:20) meaning “to be perplexed”; diaporeo (Ac. 2:12; 10:17) meaning “to be thoroughly perplexed”; meteorizo (Lk. 12:29) meaning “to suspend as in mid-air”; airo psuche (Jn. 10:24) meaning “to keep the soul in suspension as in air”; dialogismos(Rom. 14:1; 1 Tim. 2:8) meaning “to reason” or “to argue”; diakrino(Mt. 21:21; Rom. 14:23) meaning “to judge differently” or “to discriminate”; and distazo (Mt. 14:31; 28:17) meaning “to waver”. We can clump these into four groups in order to understand each kind of doubt and how we can handle it.

1. Doubt as Uncertainty (aporeo, diaporea). This kind of doubt arises from lack of sufficient information. This leads to lack of certainty and inability to take a confident decision. It can best be understood as “uncertainty” or “perplexity”. A Christian may find himself in a state of uncertainty or loss of answer; however, he never allows that situation to make him lose his hope in God. Thus, Paul confessed that though the apostles were at times perplexed (aporeo), they were never in despair (2Cor.4:8).

2. Doubt as Suspense, Anxiety, and Fear (meteorizo, airo psuche).Several times, doubt sets in not because God hasn’t given us reasons to believe, but because we are too unwilling to believe in His Word. In some believers, this doubt takes the fearsome form of anxiety and fear. They are in a may-or-may-not-be situation. Thus, they are afraid when their children go out, staying in suspense and anxiety until they hear from them or find them back home. They are in anxious doubt about what is going to happen the next day. Jesus told His disciples to not have an anxious mind with regard to things of this world. If the Kingdom of God is assured for us, things of this world are far less to worry about (Luke 12:29-32).

3. Doubt as Rival Argumentation (dialogismos)This is a more active form of doubt that involves aggressive anti-faith reasoning or speculation on the part of the doubter. Futile imaginations and sophist speculation are foolishness in the sight of God (Rom.1:21; 1Cor.3:20). We see a contrast of true faith and futile reasoning in Luke 5. The people who brought in the sick man had faith (Lk.5:20), but the Pharisees only had doubtful reasoning (Lk.5:21,22). Obviously, the unwillingness of the Pharisees to accept Jesus as God-incarnate led to their accusing Him of blasphemy. Many times human or tradition-inherited speculations prevent people from accepting the faith of God. For instance, traditional views that object to the present active work of the Holy Spirit will make people skeptical of the manifestations of the Spirit in modern times. Sometimes, lust and pride makes it difficult for people to humbly submit to the simplicity of God’s Word. As a result, they end up in wrathful disputations and foolish thinking.

4. Doubt as Double-mindedness (diakrino, distazo). A double-minded person is utilitarian in nature. He keeps both options at hand, so that in case one doesn’t work, he has the other handy any way. This double-mindedness is the greatest enemy of faith, because it actually is nothing but sinful doubt. Therefore, the Bible says that a double-minded person can receive nothing from God as he is unstable in all his ways (James 1:6-8). This kind of person has no faith; he can neither believe nor is reliable for anyone to believe in him.

How to Handle Doubt

1. Do not neglect faith because of the uncertainty of doubt. The Bible says that “faith is substance”. In other words, absolutely certainty is in the nature of faith. God’s hope, faith, and love guards our heart against all uncertainty of doubt.

2. Keep a healthy conscience against double-mindedness. Double-mindedness is unfaithful and adulterous thinking. It is like a person who claims to be married to his wife but has affairs with other women, lacking any sincerity and commitment to his own wife. Faith in God and faithfulness to Him go together. A person who prays to God for something, and then goes about to other sources is wishful, independent, and faithless in his prayer life. He has a doubtful mind. His conscience is defiled (Titus 1:15). God calls us to keep our conscience clean (1Tim.1:19).

3. Cut off sources of unbelief. Avoid negative company, anti-biblical literature or media, carnal talk, coarse jokes, and anything that tries to plant in the mind seeds of unbelief. “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2Cor 6:14)

4.  Listen to the Word. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of the Lord (Rom.10:17). What a person fills is heart with is what will work in his life. "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). Therefore, God wants our hearts to be filled richly with the Word of Christ (Col.3:16).

5. Look to the cloud of witnesses (Heb.12:1). The Bible recounts life stories of men and women of faith. There are also testimonies of people of God around us that help us in our faith. Biographies of faith abound. When doubt hits your heart, get encouraged by God’s work in your own life and the life of the people of God.

6. Run forward looking unto Jesus (Heb.12:2). He is the author and finisher of our faith. The fact of the incarnation of Jesus, His death, and resurrection is the strongest basis for our faith. His teaching and His works fill us with faith.

7. Don’t allow the trap of human wisdom against the power of God. “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1Cor.2:4-5).

8. Act in accordance to faith, not doubt. Refuse to allow doubt and the visible appearance of things to gain over faith and the invisible realities of God. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2Cor 5:7). If Abraham had responded to God according to what he saw about his body, he would have wavered and never could have believed in the power of God. But, he didn’t consider the condition of his weak body as a problem for God, and therefore he saw the miracle of God in his life. When God makes a way, He doesn’t care if He has to make it through the Red Sea. Let’s act according to faith, and not according to doubt.

Monday, June 1, 2015

How to Worship

Worship in Spirit (Jn.4:24; Phil 3:3) Not external, ceremonial, slavish, but spiritual.... Not carnal worship that focuses on performance. Not a worship that is connected with location or tradition. Worshiping God in the Spirit means to know God, not after the flesh, but in the Spirit; to not have confidence in the flesh but to rely in the Spirit of God.

Worship in Truth  (Not False, Rom 1:25; Psa 51:6). Sincerity in worship means that the worship is not a wearisome, burdensome act; it is sincere and sacrificial. Worship in truth also means to worship God according to knowledge of truth, not according to imagination. To worship God in truth, one must know the Scriptures.

Worship with Understanding (Psa.47:7; 1Cor.14:15). To worship God with understanding means to be attentive and watchful about what one is speaking and doing. It means to worship God reasonably and meaningfully; not just as a formality or as a ritual. It also means to serve God with having our whole mental attention focused on Him.

Worship with Fear (Psa 5:7). One must approach God with reverence in heart. To come into the Church and to be playing with mobile phones, or to have a careless attitude, or to sit with a judgmental spirit indicates a lack of reverence for God. When one is engaged in worship, whether it be corporate or personal, one must have an utter sense of respect and awe for God (Eccl.5:1).

Worship in beauty of Holiness (Psa.29:2). Without holiness no one can see God. God calls humans to draw near to Him with their hearts cleansed by the blood of Christ and sanctified by the Spirit of Christ. Only holiness is beautiful in the eyes of God.

Worship in Complete Surrender (Rev 4:10). To worship God means to enthrone Him, to put Him in the center. A worship leader who wishes to hear applause and a Church that wishes to be known for its music have not surrendered themselves to God. In their hearts, they still pretend to be king and take the place of God, though with lips they praise Him. True worship is a falling down at the feed of Jesus with our crowns laid before Him.