Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Epistle of James

 Introduction

Epistle of James - Word Cloud
James was the oldest half-brother of Jesus (Mark 6:3; Matthew 13:55). He was the full brother of Jude who wrote the Book of Jude.
James was an unbeliever prior to the resurrection of Christ (John 7:3-10)
Christ then appeared to him (First Corinthians 15:7). He later appears in the Upper Room awaiting Pentecost (Acts 1:14)
He became the first pastor of the Jerusalem Church (Acts 12:17; 15:13, Galatians 2:1, 9-12)
His Epistle is perhaps the earliest in the New Testament, dated around AD 45. The Synagogue is mentioned as the place of meeting, rather than the Church (2:2). It was thus written when the Church was still in the circle of Judaism.
He presided over the meeting of The Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15, which set the guidelines for the admission of the Gentiles into the Church.
It is the most Jewish Book in the New Testament. M. F. Unger, a Bible Commentator writes: “If the several passages referring to Christ were eliminated, the whole Epistle would be as proper in the Canon of the Old Testament as it is in the New Testament. In fact, the Epistle could be described as an interpretation of the Old Testament Law and the Sermon on the Mount in the light of the Gospel of Christ.” It may be considered as the Proverbs of the New Testament.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Our Citizenship is in Heaven

Our Citizenship is in heaven

Philippians 3:7-17
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern
Philippians 3:20-21.
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” (NKJV)

One second after his conversion, Paul laid aside all confidence in rite, race, religion, reputation and human righteousness. He now possessed God’s righteousness. Earlier in the Chapter he had listed what he set aside for Christ’s sake. Now let us see what he gained in return

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Our Appraisal and God’s Appraisal

Self appraisal

Revelation 3:14-22
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:  “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.   Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ - and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked -   I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.  “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”  NKJV

Our AppraisalQuite often we have reasons to make an appraisal of the situation of events and of ourselves and sometimes of others. Most often our appraisal of the situation is far from what the true situation is. The reason for our error may be many, some of which include: - incomplete data, ignorance and wrong interpretation. It is sad when we base our dealings with others on a wrong appraisal of their person, motives and action. This, no doubt, generates disagreement and sometimes enmity.