Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Reason For Jesus Christ Being And His Crucifixion

 There are five (5) major prophets [six (6) including the Lord Jesus Christ] and twelve (12) minor prophets in the Bible. Major or minor, so they are called, because of the length of the book of their prophecy.

About seven hundred years before Jesus Christ was born, the prince of all human prophets (Jesus Christ being as exception for He was/is DIVINE), Isaiah, made prophecies recorded in Isa. 53 as follows:

1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life or resurrect] and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (NIV)

Although Isaiah did not specify the name of Jesus Christ when he made the aforequoted prophecies, now after all of the things and circumstances spoken of by him had already happened, it is obviously clear that Isaiah was describing the birth, ministry, purpose and reason for the substitutionary death of our Lord Jesus Christ - - to redeem mankind, for this cause:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).

How do we know that someone is really a prophet ordained by God? Simple. All that he prophesied happened and came true. Otherwise, that prophet is a false one who will go to hell together with all the unbelievers.

The greatest force in the universe is LOVE. Someone said: “The only valid passport to heaven is signed in Jesus’ blood”.

This Holy Week, let us celebrate and thank God the Father for sending our Lord Jesus Christ to redeem us from our sins. This is the primary reason for His sacrificial death by crucifixion in the cross of calvary. What unfathomable LOVE!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hearing And Doing The Word Of God

The Apostle James said, “Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22).

From Saturday to Saturday we hear our sharers of the Word of God who are expert in the exposition of the WORD, but the most important question to ask is: ARE WE DOING what we are hearing? This is most difficult to answer in the affirmative.

For example the simple command “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18 and Matt. 19:19), can we really fulfill this even if our neighbor is not lovable in his/her ways toward us? Most of the commandments of God are not only very difficult to obey or comply: they are IMPOSSIBLE! God knowing this, and being a loving and patient God who does not want anyone “to perish but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 2:9), He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, as a sacrificial lamb, that whosoever BELIEVES on him shall be saved and have ETERNAL life. Jesus himself said, I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, no one comes to the Father (or enter heaven) EXCEPT through me” (John 14:6). Otherwise, heaven will be an empty place because “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

The word BELIEVE is highly significant because it has a deep theological meaning just like the theology that the precious blood of Jesus Christ was shed in the cross of Calvary which covers our sins for “without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness (or remission) of sin” (Hebrews 9:22). As soon as we BELIEVE and ACCEPT with all our heart that only the sacrificial love, shedding of blood and substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on our stead, and continue to do so, our sins though scarlet red, are erased or covered by the blood of Jesus. Consequently, ETERNAL LIFE becomes our inheritance.

Jesus said, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3:14-15)… whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:18 KJV). Thus, theologians say that the heart of the Bible (O.T. and N.T.) is what Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world (mankind) through him” (John 3:16-17 KJV).

How will a true “believer” of Jesus Christ or God in the flesh, that is one “born again” be known? The Lord Jesus said, “By their fruit you will know them” (Matt. 7:16). What is this fruit? The answer is: “But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS AND SELF-CONTROL…” (Gal. 5:22). Stated otherwise, a true believer or disciple of Christ, or “born-again” person has these characteristic traits or spiritual fruit. Have you ever seen one? Are you one of such a person?

This brings and reminds us of what the Apostle James said: “Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22). If we read the Bible or listen as it is taught to us but we fail to put to work or do what we have learned, we do not deserve to be saved from eternal damnation. It is only by the GRACE (or undeserved favor) of God through acceptance or faith in Jesus Christ that our souls are saved. Thus, the Bible says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith (or believing with all our heart [without any doubt whatsoever]) – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works (or good deeds), so that no one can boast” (Eph. 2:8-9 NIV). But, let us continue reading the next verse which says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:10 NIV). Stated otherwise, a true believer/born again person will necessarily do good works for the kingdom of God.

Hearing must be matched by our doing. Even if we take delight to read or hear God’s Word, but it is of NO use or value at all to us unless we do what we heard and learned.

In the famous words of former Philippine Senator, Dr. Juan Flavier who was formerly our Department of Health Secretary (DOH), “Let us DOH do it”.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Guard Your Heart

GOD IS OMNISCIENT or all knowing. King Solomon, the wisest of all men that the Scriptures say, “no one is wiser than him before and after him”, warns:

“Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” 15 Then Solomon awoke—and he realized it had been a dream.” (1 Kings 3:7-15 NIV)

      One’s intention can never be hidden from God. Nothing to Him is secret. He knows the content of a man’s heart, and He can never be deceived. In fact, God knows everything about us.

      Solomon further said, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Prov. 4:23). As true believers of God in these last days, we should purify our hearts (James 4:8) because the heart influences one’s motives and intentions. From the heart comes sincerity of faith and a good conscience. “The heart is deceitful above all things” (Jer. 17:9). So, let us be careful with our heart. When true servants or disciples, or believers of God, have a pure heart, they will live in righteousness and be worthy in His sight. Consequently, He will listen to their prayers, and they will see Him in His Kingdom as the Bible tells us, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God”. (Matt. 5:8)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Knowledge Of Truth On File Only

The tragic sinking of the Titanic – the most luxurious ocean-going vessel of its day is the best example of KNOWLEDGE JUST KEPT ON FILE.

The story goes that on her maiden voyage in 1912, as the Titanic was proceeding at great speed, the operator in the wireless room received a radio message giving a warning that icebergs were in the immediate vicinity. The operator wrote the message on a slip of paper, placed it on file, and continued to perform his duties. The recipient of the message did nothing and even forgot all about the message that it never reached the Captain of the Titanic. The result? The ship sank and more than 1500 lives were lost. The lesson: Information without action can lead to tragic physical death or destruction of properties.

In the spiritual sense, God’s message to us is received in the mind as we read and hear the Word preached. If the Word we read or hear preached to us is merely put on file or stored in our mind and nothing is done, it will lead to both physical and spiritual death. If we just put on file the Word of God, it will never touch our heart or move our will, and more so on other people resulting to INACTION, and eventually to spiritual death. Jesus said, “If you know these things, happy are you if you do them” (John 13:17). James said, “But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves (James 1:22).

The command of the LORD Jesus to all believers or disciples is for them to “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” and Jesus’ assurance is: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe (the unbeliever of the gospel [or good news of salvation] will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16 NIV).

Thanks be to God for our articles on blog in our FGBMFI Davao City Chapter bulletin, the one and only in the world, which are circulated around the world, in fulfillment of the Great Commission to preach and teach the gospel unto the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8).

Thus, the truth of God merely stored (or “filed) in our mind will never do us any good. Until that truth we heard and learned gives birth to faith, and faith gives birth to action or deed, it amounts to nothing. It is just “on file”.

I am personally burdened because our attendance and membership is decreasing, as indicated by the many vacant seats every FGBMFI Saturday morning fellowship meeting at the Mandaya Hotel.

Let us all be obedient to the great commission, and be active and performing disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ who is God in the flesh, remembering that He said, “I tell you… there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents (or converted) than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent” (Luke 15:7 NIV) or “there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents [or converted]” (Luke 15:10 NIV). Also, it is noteworthy that “he who wins soul is wise” (Prov. 11:30) for he will receive a reward. The Lord Jesus promised, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done” (Rev. 22:12 NIV). Be wise, don’t just keep “on file” your knowledge of the Word of God. Evangelize for precious souls of men. Let us do something for the kingdom of God - - the most significant being the souls brought to His kingdom.