Sunday, April 03, 2011

The Mystery of Resurrection

resurrection
Artwork: John Marr

First Corinthians 15:50-58:
“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” NKJV

There are many questions that would arise in the mind of anybody reading of resurrection. Some of these questions include: “Who shall be resurrected? In what form shall the one being resurrected be resurrected? Is there any particular order? Shall all people have to die before they are resurrected?” And many other such questions.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Three Crosses at Golgotha

The 3 crosses

Luke 23:26-49 
“Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus. And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’ Then they will begin ‘to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”’ For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?” There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots. And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.” The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.” And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew:

THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Our Prophetic Role: Spreading the Gospel

This message is part of a sermon series. For the rest of the sermon series go to  A Royal Priesthood

sleeping on duty

1 Timothy 2:1-7; Psalm 60:1-12

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle — I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying — a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

God, You have cast us off; You have broken us down; You have been displeased; Oh, restore us again! You have made the earth tremble; You have broken it; Heal its breaches, for it is shaking. You have shown Your people hard things; You have made us drink the wine of confusion. You have given a banner to those who fear You, That it may be displayed because of the truth. That Your beloved may be delivered, Save with Your right hand, and hear me. God has spoken in His holiness: “I will rejoice; I will divide Shechem and measure out the Valley of Succoth. Gilead is Mine, and Manasseh is Mine; Ephraim also is the helmet for My head; Judah is My lawgiver. Moab is My wash pot; Over Edom I will cast My shoe; Philistia, shout in triumph because of Me.” Who will bring me to the strong city? Who will lead me to Edom? Is it not You, O God, who cast us off? And You, O God, who did not go out with our armies? Give us help from trouble, For the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly, For it is He who shall tread down our enemies. NKJV

In our two earlier discussions, we had looked at prayer as the duty of the Christian in times of national crisis. We have seen him on his knees to win the men and women “for whom Christ also died”. We have seen him changing lives as he works in partnership with the Holy Spirit. We have seen him causing the rulers and all those in authority change their policies and making us to live godly and peaceable lives. We have seen him, like Christ, making intercession for all men because this is “good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour”. We have ended the last discussion on the note that “God our Saviour will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Our Priestly Role: Praying for those in Authority

This message is part of a sermon series. For the rest of the sermon series go to  A Royal Priesthood

prayer

1 Timothy 2:1-7

"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle — I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying — a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth."

In our first discussion, we looked at prayer as our communication with God as His children in Christ Jesus. The Bible assures us that “He who did not spare His only Son, but offered Him for us, would He deny us anything which we ask of Him?” So we are enjoined to pray, believe and we receive as we ask. But Paul here exhorts us to pray for all men especially for those in authority. Does this include the wicked rulers? Should I spend my time both in the public and in the private to pray for those whose rules have caused me so much head and heart ache?

Monday, March 07, 2011

Our Priestly Role: Praying for all men

This message is part of a sermon series. For the rest of the sermon series go to  A Royal Priesthood

A royal priesthood

1 Timothy 2:1-7;  1 Peter 2:9-10 
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle — I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying — a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.


But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

In our earlier series, Christ our Great and Perfect High Priest,  based on Hebrews 7:25-28, we had looked at the High Priestly office of our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ. We saw His merits and qualities that qualify Him to this High office. We saw that He is more than able to perform the mediatorial office in that He lives forever to make intercession for those who come to Him. He is holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners and made higher than the heavens; He does not need to offer sacrifices daily for His own sins but had once offered Himself, a sacrifice that is whole and acceptable to God. Because of all these and more “He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him” 

We now wish to consider the priestly office of the believer. Christ is making intercession for us so that we can “stand against the wiles of the devil”; so that we can “let our lights so shine before men, that they may see our good works and glorify our Father who are in heaven”; so that having reconciled us unto Himself, we can be agents of reconciliation; so that having comforted us in all our troubles and sorrows, we can with the same comfort, comfort them who are suffering; so that having called us out of darkness into His marvellous light, we can “be witnesses unto Him both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth”. In short, He is our Great High Priest in Heaven, so that we on earth can be the priest of the otherwise lost world.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

As The Eagle Stirs Up Her Nest, Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

Reading: Deuteronomy 32:1-12 

"As an eagle stirs up its nest, Hovers over its young, Spreading out its wings, taking them up, Carrying them on its wings, So the LORD alone led him, And there was no foreign god with him." Deuteronomy 32:11-12

Bald Eagle Nest
Photo by Lorne Sykora (License)
The allusion made to the Eagle here is based on the belief that a hen-eagle makes a beautiful nest on a high mountain or tree to lay her eggs and incubate them till they hatch. She jealously watches over them but this has a saddening effect on the baby eagles. They feel very complacent and satisfied as their mother hunts for them. When they have grown a little the mother-eagle deliberately scatters the nest and the young eagles. The natural consequence is that the young eagles will begin to fall to the ground but the mother-eagle does not let them. Let us look more closely at verse 11 to see all that the mother-eagle does. “As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young; spreading out her wings, taking them up, carrying them on her wings”

Sunday, January 16, 2011

We Are Being Watched

We are being watched
By U.S. Navy photo by Journalist Seaman Apprentice Marc Rockwell-Pate [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Text: Hebrews 12:1-2
"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Bible Reading: 2 Timothy 2:1-10
"You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things. Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory" 


The Bible presents the Christian life under a wide range of figures, all of them suggestive and descriptive of the believer’s experience. He is compared to a child, a sheep, a house, a temple, a farm, a pilgrim, a soldier, a bride, members of a body, and many other things. One of the most colourful is that of an athlete, running in a race to obtain the prize or trophy. Such is the figure with which Hebrews 12 opens. “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”(NKJV)

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Welcome to 2011

Happy New Year
The Lord Is Waiting For Us In 2011 

"For the LORD your God is bringing you into is a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper. When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you” (Deuteronomy 8:7-10)
For the land which you go to possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and watered it by foot, as a vegetable garden; but the land which you cross over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year.” (Deuteronomy 11:10-12)
The year 2010 will in a few hours pass into history and shall never again be with us. At the same time we stand at the verge of the unknown 2011. There lies before us a brand New Year and we are marching forward to possess it. Who can tell what we shall find in 2011? There are a few things we shall at least, expect to find – new experiences, new changes that shall come, new needs that shall arise and new and perhaps sterner measures.