Category Archives: Salvation

Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit

“Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God’s mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy [ of God ] that we shall be saved.” – St John Chrysostom

Sow the seed of the Word of God

“Are you sowing into the Kingdom of God?”, that’s one question both good and corrupt preachers tend to ask their ‘flock’ these days. If you hear the preaching on TV chances are more that once you may heard “Are you sowing into the Kingdom of God? And if not then don’t expect God to bless you.” and so on. Questions of these sort make people fear a lot at times while others go even more miserly!

First off we are not to give our offerings to anyone who is preaching a false gospel. Secondly it’s not a sin to give our offerings which can help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all the nations. And thirdly we are not called to live in deception. So, don’t get entangled into giving ‘seed’ offerings to those who are only looking forward to consuming your offerings for their personal luxuries instead of using it actually preach and by preach I mean preach the Gospel in its entirety. Those who preach prosperity as the sole output of believing in the Gospel need a lot of preaching as to why the 12 Apostles of Jesus except for John died by martyrdom instead of living like actual princes. O people of God, please check whom are you considering as a real preacher of the Gospel before you send your offerings to them. I once heard, that which preacher you give your offerings to, you end up partaking of their spiritual legacy. I that to this; so be careful if the preacher is not of the right spirit because you’d end up receiving the bad effects of the same!

With all this being said, there is less emphasis these days especially by quite a lot of preachers who are not telling their TV ‘flock’ to sow the seed of the Word of God into the lives of others. Now I’m not talking about brainwashing others into causing them to give their offerings at so and so ministry or preacher. But rather this is about preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others. Now for many reasons, there are people who are still not able to define ‘others’. So let me make it real to you; your numerous friends, relatives, colleagues, people everywhere who have still not heard of the Gospel  are the ‘others’.  Let me make it clear your aim is preach whenever possible. However don’t make an excuse that it’s not possible to preach at all. I’d say that if your life is in righteousness in the Lord God, then there is no reason to fear sowing the see of the Word of God into others you can reach out to. I’m not saying go to a remote desert or island and find people to preach to. If that’s however the call of God for you then I won’t mind at all, in fact I’d encourage you. My point is; there are others near enough to preach the Gospel to, so go out and reach to them.

Now even before you decide to preach to others, I’d strongly suggest that you get right with the Lord God. Don’t get disqualified when you aim to help others to grasp the Gospel and embrace it. Any sinful tendency must not cling to your heart when preaching. Don’t lie to your heart ever; that unless you tackle sin you won’t preach the Gospel but you don’t know when you’d stop sinning.  Self deception is a great hindrance to preaching the Gospel! Some take pride in ‘living’ a holy life and consider themselves superior to  sinners. That pride itself is a sin. If you are not sinning, then don’t exalt yourself but praise the Lord God for that.

The work that you do for the Lord God in sowing the seed of the Word of God into the life of others, must also be accompanied by sincerity and humility, else it would be dead works. You’d not like to lose your eternal reward that comes from the Lord God due to silly reasons like clinging to pride or lack of belief in the Gospel. But if you preach the Word of God for the love of God and in purity then be assured that your reward will surely endure forever in heaven and in new heaven and new earth to come.

 

Reflect on the below verses:
31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But Jesus said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 36 Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” (John 4:31-38)

Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus and Jesus

Lets first read the following verses as we reflect on the Lord Jesus Christ and how he brought change in Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus by his death. Here we go:

31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.

33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:

34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.

36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.

41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.

42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

(John 19:31-42)

 

Joseph of Arimathaea is not heard of in most part of the Gospels except just after the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Who was this man and what did he have to with Jesus? Also what does Nicodemus have to do in all this?

From what we read in the Gospels (Matthew 27:57–60; Mark 15:42–46; Luke 23:50–53; and John 19:38–42) it’s known that he was a disciple of Jesus Christ. However he followed Jesus secretly as he feared the Jews. He was actually a part of the Sanhedrin which was the council of Jewish religious leaders who strived for Jesus’ crucifixion. However,  the Gospel says that Joseph of Arimathaea did not give his consent but rather opposed their decision. That makes him a good man doesn’t it. Besides he was rich. God made him wealthy for a purpose that only few can ever receive from the Lord God. He took a personal risk of life and of reputation when he went to Pilate to receive the dead body of the One True Savior of the World who is none other than Jesus Christ. And by his wealth he could arrange for Jesus to be laid in a tomb (sepulchre). When Jesus was born he was born in manger as there was no place available for him. But at his death this one man from Arimathaea did all he could so that the Savior could be given some dignity after his death.  Joseph of Arimathaea did not care for his life anymore as he knew he had to honor the Son of God the giver of eternal life more than anything.

Now to speak about Nicodemus. This man due to his short height had to first meet Jesus by climbing the sycamore tree. Though this man was a great sinner, Jesus came to dine in his house much to the dismay of the religious leaders. Yet Jesus led this man Nicodemus to repentance and salvation. In the due course of time, when Jesus died on the cross, Nicodemus did not flee nor abandon Jesus like most of the disciples of Jesus Christ. Very few men were brave enough to stand up for the Lord in public after the crucifixion. This man was one of them. He served the Lord well by bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes so that Jesus’ body could be wrapped in linen with these spices as per the Jewish burial custom. 

Jesus at his death caused Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus to manifest the courage and right action no matter what the circumstances for the sake of the Lord. If you were in place of these men at that would you have done the same for Jesus? It’s a hard question to be honest. But the simple answer would be your actual actions in such times. However there should be nothing keeping you from standing up for Jesus Christ no matter where and when, if you truly believe that he is the Son of God. Yet again, were only courage and good works what Jesus woke these to men to by his death? Not at all, because by his agonizing death on the cross and his glorious resurrection from the dead he made available not just for them but for everyone who believe complete justification and salvation. You don’t earn your salvation by your good works but yes once you accept your salvation by your faith in Jesus and his Gospel then by your good works you can indeed give glory to God. The power of the Lord Jesus in his death and resurrection goes beyond inspiring courage and good deeds. For it has healing for sick, forgiveness for the sinner, deliverance from the darkness, friendship with God and life everlasting. Blessed are those who have not seen Jesus and yet believe. Amen.

Quick Reminder: Do not live in Sin

  • Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. (Romans 11:22-24)
  • But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8)

It is a false doctrine to tell Christians that after their first repentance, they never need to repent again for new sins. The blood of Jesus does not automatically wash away FUTURE sins, sins need to be repented of after they are committed. If you disagree, just ask Ananias and Sephira about their pre-forgiven sin. This is why repentance in mentioned in the Lord’s Prayer.

Quick Reminder: Live and preach the Gospel

  • There is nothing colder than a Christian who does not seek to save others.(Saint John Chrysostom)
  • For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! (1 Corinthians 9:16)
  • Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
  • But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:27)

 

Quick Reminder: Purity and faith are pleasing to God

 

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1)

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true),  and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:8-10)

Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. (1 Thessalonians 4:1)

True

Beware of false Christianity which is not Christian at all

True

Daily Yielding Control to God

This method can help you daily give God control of your life by using the six major parts of the body as a guide for what specifically to turn over to God. You can turn over additional things as well.

And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.Romans 6:13

Heavenly Father, I thank You for the Holy Spirit living within me. I yield to You and ask that the Holy Spirit will take full control of my life using these six parts of the body as a guide: mind, eyes, ear, mouth, hands and feet.

Mind: I ask that You will allow my mind to think only on what You want and not on the things I shouldn’t be thinking about.

Eyes: Have my eyes look at what You want me to see, and not anything detrimental to me.

Ears: Allow my ears to hear what You want me to hear instead of negativity.

Mouth: Direct me to say what is pleasing to You and to not say things that could be hurtful to anybody.

Hands: Guide me to do things that are gratifying to You and keep me from  the activities that are not helpful to me.

Feet: Direct me to walk to places that are pleasing in Your sight and turn me from any roads that lead to destruction.

Thank you that when all these parts of my body are under the control of the Holy Spirit I am able to lay aside my own desires and instinctive actions, enabling me to grow in my Christian walk.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Note: The above article is through the courtesy of 

%d bloggers like this: