Christian should sustain the gospel and obedient life to Lord Jesus. The power source is the transforming love of three in one God announced in the gospel. Apostle Paul wrote a very beautiful poem to help us UNDERSTAND IT.
When the KINDNESS and LOVE
of GOD our Savior appeared,
He SAVED US
Not because of our right behavior,
But because of His mercy
We were saved through the WASHING
of REBIRTH and RENEWAL
Through the HOLY SPIRIT,
Whom God poured out on us through
JESUS the Messiah, Our Saviour.
And so we are DECLARED RIGHTEOUS
By His G R A C E
And become heirs
of the HOPE of ETERNAL LIFE
(TITUS 3: 4-7)
Previously, in my post entitled Why Jesus Alone Qualified? Snapshot on Book of Hebrews I mentioned that there are three areas in which Christ alone qualifies to provide a perfect salvation:
(1) He alone qualifies in His person to attempt salvation (1:1–4:13).
(2) He alone qualifies in His work to provide salvation (4:14–10:18).
(3) He alone qualifies in His position to effect salvation (10:19–13:25).
Today, I would further our studies on why Christ alone qualifies in His person to attempt salvation? The author of the Epistles to the Hebrews spans the whole realm of creation, and the entire span of time to see if there could be found someone who might qualify as the Savior of men. In a simple word, he was showing us the macro picture of the entire realm of creation all the way to the micro picture of it. He affirms that none but Deity Himself can possibly qualify for the standard set by Deity for the salvation of lost mankind. He identifies the only One who can qualify as the Son.
In order for us to understand even better, I would suggest the readers to study the Epistle to the Hebrews from chapter 1 until chapter 4 verse 13. In this first unit of the book, we can have four subpoints that proved the idea of Christ alone qualifies in His person to attempt salvation.
- The Son—far greater than the Prophets (1:1-3)
In the first three verses of this epistle, Apostle Paul explains why Lord Jesus is greater than the prophets represented God to man. The prophets represented God to man spoke His message as it was revealed to them. In the other hand, the Son is the creator and His words are powerful. The prophets spoke the message of God; the Son was the message of God. He is the WORD!
- The Son—far greater than the angels (1:4–2:18)
In the second section of this first part of the Epistle, the Son is “so much better than the angels” (1:4). This interesting point is proven by quoting seven different Old Testament passages in Chapter 1, and three more in Chapter 2.
In summary, the Son is greater in two ways:
(1) He is the Creator, we are creatures (chapter 1)
(2) He identified Himself completely with humanity (chapter 2).
Angels are always angels so they cannot do what Christ did for man. Angels serve man; but the Son became man in order to serve in a far greater capacity.
- The Son—far greater than the great deliverer, Moses (ch. 3)
According to the Torah and Jewish tradition, Moses is considered as the great deliverer of the nation. The author is making a point that Moses delivered the entire nation from bondage but Jesus Christ is even greater. Jesus delivered the entire humankind from the bondage of sin. Furthermore, in this part, Jesus is the Architect and builder of the house (3:3), whereas, Moses was a servant in the house. While Moses was a servant in the house but Christ is the Son (3:5-6). As the Son is superior to the servant of a house, likewise was the Messiah superior to Moses. This is the second point that proved that Christ alone is qualified as a person to attempt salvation.
The Son—far greater than General Joshua (ch. 4)
In Hebrews 4:8 the word “Jesus” is the Greek word for “Joshua” and so should be understood. Joshua led the nation into the land, but he could not give then rest. Since a rest was promised, there remained One who is greater than Joshua to come and bring them into a place of SHABBAT because He had “ceased from His own works.”
The exhortation is given to the Hebrews to “enter into that rest” (4:11). The throne of grace is the place of rest (44:16). The rest is provided because a greater than Joshua ceased from His own work as God did from His. He is the LORD of the SHABBAT!
The illustration is that of God’s rest of creation. When He finished creation He pronounced everything “very good” and then He experienced a Sabbath rest. Then something happened. Sin came in, and there was no more rest for God. Only after the Lord had a redeemed people, redeemed through blood, He reinstitutes the SHABBAT rest for them.Yet there still was no rest for God. Only after Christ exclaimed: “It is finished” there was rest. Today Christ sits on high in the Throne of God because the work is over. We can enter into His rest or SHABBAT of a completed work. This is why we are still observing SHABBAT as a sign of this Everlasting Covenant and Remembering God on Lord’s Shabbat day. Have you done this? I would extend the invitations to you to enjoy and experience the Shabbat and Salvation. God bless you.
“We say that we belong to Christ and we are not our own, but bought with a price. Do we live as if it were true? Come, let us take up the position now of being altogether Christ’s own sheep. If the sheep could speak it would say, ‘There is not a fragment of wool on my back that belongs to me: there is no part of me that is my own. I belong to my shepherd, and I am glad to have it so.’ You belong to Christ as absolutely as that.”
Says Pastor Charles Spurgeon in one of his sermons. The greatest truth that ever told is the fact that we are #redeemed by the precious blood of #Jesus Christ. In my previous blogs, entitled “I am Redeemed!“and “I am RECONCILED with GOD!“, I explain and encouraged every one of us to focus and meditate on Jesus and how we were bought by the precious blood of Lord Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:19-20). The fact that we are redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ is the most amazing, awesome and marvelous fact in the history of the life of a believer. It is an undeniable truth that through pain, anguish, torture and shedding of our Saviour’s blood that we were bought by God. What a price He paid! God gave His only Son to be tortured and killed, that we might escape God’s wrath, and be given an everlasting inheritance as His children.
In 1 Corinthians 7:23, Apostle Paul penned that, “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.”(HCSB) We were bought by the precious blood of Lord Jesus Christ. What is our value? We are not bought by 30 silver coins as Jesus was bought by the Pharisees. We were bought by the shedding of our Saviour’s blood on that cross. Shedding of the MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD. Furthermore, In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Paul advised,”Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.” (HCSB) Since we were bought at a price, then we were advised to glorify God in our body. We are not our own. Yes, indeed! There is no part of me that is my own. I belong to my shepherd, and I am glad to have it so. I believe You belong to Christ as absolutely as that. Therefore, we can gladly say these four facts :-
- I have been bought by God
- God owns me
- I no longer belong to myself
- My old way of life no longer owns me
I pray that the Love of God that demonstrated at the cross of Calvary would be the most central theme in our life. I hope that we would be known as having no other passion than that. As Apostle for Christ, Paul determined, “For I didn’t think it was a good idea to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”(1 Corinthians 2:2 – HCSB) I thank God that He is so faithful to us. He is so faithful to continue the work He started in all who believe on Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He is even faithful in molding us more into the image of His Son, the LOVE. Let us with great confidence and faith say that I AM BOUGHT WITH A PRICE AND BELONG TO GOD! Amen.
This beautiful skit done on Saturday night at Winterfest in Knoxville TN. 2006. This painfully beautiful skit shows how God fights for us, how God protects us and how God loves us.
Jesus is all we want, He is all we need, and HE is EVERYTHING! Let us FOCUS JESUS!
What is the difference between Jesus’ ministry of intercession and His ministry of mediation? The truth is that some of us are still struggling to understand Jesus’ ministry of intercession and ministry of mediation. Do you know that they are not the same?
The ministry of intercession involves Jesus pleading for the fallen man who needs to be justified. In the other hand,The ministry of mediation involves Jesus restoring the broken relationship between God and man. He brings the human to God through reconciliation and sanctification.
In this specific Jesus’ ministry of mediation, Jesus involves in the reconciliation of the broken relationship between God and us. God wants to reunite with us through His only begotten son, Immanuel. In the Epistle to the Romans, Apostle Paul wrote, “ For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life!” (Romans 5:10 – HCSB) We were behind the enemy’s lines, Jesus crossed that line and we were reconciled to God through His death at the cross. Paul enlightens us in the following verse the reason for our rejoicing “And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have now received this reconciliation through Him.”(v11-HCSB) The real rejoicing comes through receiving this reconciliation through Lord Jesus Christ. It is by believing that we are reconciled, we will have true happiness and joy in our lives.
Furthermore, joyful Paul wrote to the Church of Corinth saying that, “Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 (HCSB) The ministry of reconciliation is a
gift from God. God doesn’t care about your past life. He doesn’t care how bad were you in your previous life. He is not counting your trespasses. He forgives your sins and redeemed you wholly. Since, in Christ, we are reconciled to Himself, therefore, we shall be rejoicing and have a closer walk with Him.
- I have been reunited with God
- The anger that was between us is gone
- Because of Jesus, I now have free access to God
- I am rejoicing for receiving this reconciliation
Joyfully, let us confess that “I am persuaded that I am RECONCILED with GOD!” God bless you.
“Once you were alienated and hostile in your minds because of your evil actions. But now He has reconciled you by His physical body through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him” Colossians 1:21-22(HCSB)
“Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return,
And come with singing unto Zion;
And everlasting joy shall be upon their head.”
Sings my heart this famous Christian song. I am #REDEEMED. Every one of us shall sing the song of the Redeemed. In Ephesian 1:13-14, Apostle Paul wrote, “When you heard the message of #truth, the #gospel of your #salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory.” (HCSB) We are redeemed to the praise of His glory and sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. This is the message of truth and the gospel of our salvation. Many Christians are confuscated by Satan the message of the truth and the gospel of our salvation. Many still believed in Salvation by Work, whereas, the Bible is very clear that We are saved by Grace and through Faith, and it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast about it.(Ephesians 2:8-10) Apostle Paul stated in Colossians 1:14, “We have redemption,the forgiveness of sins, in Him.” (HCSB) Christ Jesus is our only Redeemer and the Lamb of God that take away our sins. Salvation is only through Jesus Christ.
Once, one of my church youth asked me, ” Pastor, if we are redeemed and saved through faith, does that mean that we shall not do any good works? In Titus 2:14 and Ephesians 2:10, clearly says that we need to do good works. Since we are redeemed, our lives shall transform and need to do good works of Love. It is not perfectionism as some Christians claimed. It is about being full in love.(Galatians 5:22) My Professor, Dr. George R. Knight a Church Historian stated in his book I Used to be Perfect – A Study of Sin and Salvation, “Perfect love is not perfect performance, perfect skill, or perfect human nature. Rather, it is rendering obedience in relationship to both the God of love and the great principle undergirding His LAW. Attempts at “becoming perfect” divorced from a living relationship with Jesus and the loving heart of His LAW are sterile, cold, dead, and often ugly – a truth frequently demonstrated by those of Pharisaic disposition.” (p74-75) This message of the truth and the gospel of our salvations echoes in both Old and New Testaments.
There are many Christians still in doubts that they are redeemed. Sometimes, in my ministry, I come across with members who are at the dying bed. Clearly, I can identify that millions of anxious thoughts in regards to their salvation clouded their minds. We are struggling to digest the truth that we are redeemed. All we have to do is to BELIEVE and ACCEPT the truth that the Lord Jesus Christ Redeemed us. We are given the second chance by God so that we will BELIEVE, some of us misunderstood the second chances that are given to us. At the end of the day, some of us became Pharisees or legalist. In the other hand, this is what those who are redeemed will do. When we meet those who are at the dying bed or those who are healthy. We assure them with the greatest promise of redemption that Lord Jesus Christ has promised each and every one of us. We will assure them that they are redeemed and purchased by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. We will assure them that their sins are forgiven. Yes! We are redeemed! “He entered the most holy place once for all, not by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.” (Hebrews 9:12 HCSB; see also 1 Peter 1:18) Let us not be ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.(Romans 1:16)
In conclusion, these are the things that we need to remember :-
- I am redeemed
- I have had my life debt covered, and my future holds an inheritance from God.
- My life is no longer a worthless debt to sin
- I now look forward to rich meaning and purpose in God’s future plan for me.
Let us with confidence sing this song,
“Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return,
And come with singing unto Zion;
And everlasting joy shall be upon their head.”
I am Redeemed! Thanks, Lord Jesus! AMEN!
Lately, I have been writing on Who I am in Christ. On previous writings on the subject, I explained Who I am in Christ in relation to the Creation Account. Today onwards, I’m focusing on what He has done for us on that Old Rugged Cross. It is because Jesus died, He can offer #forgiveness. Because #Jesus rose from the dead, He can give us #life and #victory. Forgiveness, life, and victory give us identity. We now live #forgiven, abundant and victorious lives. Our lives are not perfect since we are still experiencing pain and suffering. However, our hope is firm because it is based on Lord Jesus’ victory over death.
In Ephesians 1:6-8, Apostle Paul penned that, “to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.
We have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” (HCSB)
Yes my dearest friends, He favoured us above all. That’s why we have redemption in Him through His blood and the forgiveness of our trespasses. All of these we received through His riches and glorious grace.
Furthermore, in Romans 8:1 he penned, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus“(NIV). As long as we are in Christ Jesus, there are no condemnation for us. No one can condemn us into damnation. It is because Lord Jesus is our Saviour and Redeemer. Therefore, Paul continues in verse 38, saying, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither heigh nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the #love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NIV) Nothing can separate us from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Nothing can condemn us into damnation.
In conclusion, All my sins are forgiven before God. God will not condemn me for:
- Bad things I have done
- Good things I have left undone
- Evil things I have said
- Wrong things I have thought
YES! I am persuaded and convinced that all my sins are forgiven, so does yours. Let us with confident say this “I am FORGIVEN”. Amen!
(Photos by Robert J Agustin)
Previously, we meditate and ponder on Genesis 1:26-31. Today, Let us read and meditate on Genesis 2:19-24.
“So the Lord God formed out of the ground every wild animal and every bird of the sky and brought each to the man to see what he would call it. And whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.20 The man gave names to all the livestock, to the birds of the sky, and to every wild animal; but for the man no helper was found as his complement.21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to come over the man, and he slept. God took one of his ribs and closed the flesh at that place.22 Then the
Lord God made the rib He had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 And the man said:
This one, at last, is bone of my bone
and flesh of my flesh;
this one will be called “woman,”
for she was taken from man.
24 This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.” HCSB
What do these verses tells us who we are in Christ?
Yes! we are formed and created by our Lord God. Our Lord God affirms this to Isaiah saying that, “It is I who made the earth and created mankind on it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.“NIV(Isaiah 45:12) Furthermore, we discover that we are created to be God’s caretaker of His creation. God made me for caring responsibility. Today, we are told by our Lord God that He made us to experience a Christ-centered and loving relationship with all the living creatures. How does Adam do that? It is through the authority given by the Lord God, Adam named every one of them. These verses are very clear that Adam is the one who named every living creatures. Adding to this, Even Adam named Eve as “Woman”, Adam’s bone and flesh. As his Creator, it is through naming, he is building a loving relationship with them. Our Creator God is relational. Our God is an intensely relational God who calls us to emulate his commitment to relationship.
The relationship is at the heart of the Christian faith, reflecting the fact that we as humans have been made for healthy and Christ-centered relationship. #Jesus did it! He named His disciples and loved them unconditionally.
In conclusion, God made me to relate to his entire creation:
- I am made to love my wife/husband as God loves me
- I am made to love humans as God loves me
- I am made to love and enjoy God’s creatures and nature
Continue to #love and live in #Christ-centered relationship. God bless you.
God created the different species of plants and animals. God created the different species of birds, insects and fishes. “This is what the LORD says‑your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him”. After creating all of them, God made humankind be the caretakers. Humans are responsible for creation as caretakers.
According to Genesis 1:28, God made humans as the ruler of the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky and every creature that crawls on the earth.
“God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.” HCSB
God’s purpose in giving us his image is that we might rule the created order on behalf of the heavenly king and his royal court. So the divine image, however, it is defined, gives us the capacity and/or authority to rule over creation.
Furthermore, In Genesis 2:15-17 God commands that human to work it and watch over the garden of Eden. He even commanded them to eat from any tree of the garden, but except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
“The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree
of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.” HCSB
In reality, as Christians, we are not being accountable to watch over God’s creations and this earth. We think that this world is not our home and we are just living here for awhile. Furthermore, Joyfully we sing the song, “This world is not my home, I’m just passing through.” Which makes us think that we are not caretakers of this earth. It is creation mandate for us to be a caretaker of God’s creation. This responsibility is given to every individual to be the caretakers of God’s marvelous creation.
In summary, I am made to be God’s caretaker of His creation. God made me for caring responsibility:
- I am made to help God in his ruling of creation
- I am made to care for His earth
Let us be the caretakers of this earth. God bless you.
(Photos by Robert J Agustin)