Sunday, 5 April 2015

Jesus is Alive!!

Hallelujah!! Jesus is Alive! 

Man’s Death, separated us from God.  God created us for fellowship and intimacy with Him.  He is heartbroken at our separation from Him and He is taking every effort to bring us back into intimacy with Him.  God does not want anyone to perish.  When Jesus Died our Death, the separation between Man and God was bridged and we could enter the Holy of Holies. 

Once Christ had completed His task on the cross, the mortal had to put on immortality; corruption had to put on incorruption. Resurrection was mandatory.  It had to happen.  At resurrection, Death was dealt a death blow.  Death was swallowed up in victory. 

Satan can no more intimidate us with the threat of Death.  Death has lost its sting.  In Christ we have victory over Death.  Obviously, this does not mean that we will not leave this earthly house, this tent.  We, in fact, groan to be clothed with our new habitation, which is from heaven.  We desire that mortality be swallowed up by Life.  Paul goes to this extent to say, “For me ... to die is gain”

The second victory that we enjoy because of resurrection is that we now can live here on earth, victoriously over the power of sin.  The resurrected Christ lives within us.  He invites us to be crucified with Him and the life, which we now live, will be no more ours but the life of Christ.  Once we have come to Christ and received His forgiveness, we cannot go back to live for the ‘self’.  This is the crux of the gospel.  The gospel only becomes personally applicable, when a person lives no more for the self but for Christ.  This experience of dying to the self and living for Christ is a constant, ongoing experience for a Christian.  This is not about our effort but trusting Him constantly.  This is why the Christian life is a Life of Faith. 

Thirdly, when we personally appropriate the work of Christ on the cross by repenting of our sins, seeking His forgiveness and inviting Him to be the Lord of our lives, Jesus became our Life.  God gives us eternal Life and this Life is in His Son.  He who has Christ has Life and he who does not have Christ does not have Life. 

There is a book in heaven called the Book of Life. Anyone who is not found written in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death.  Man without Christ, though physically alive, is already Dead.  Physical life that Man lives is given for Man to repent, turn to Christ and have Life.  When Man is physically living, he has the opportunity to have his name included in the Book of Life.   

This is also the basis for missions and evangelism.  Every physically living person is living only for one reason and that is to have the opportunity to receive Jesus into his life.  We, who know Christ, are ambassadors of Christ, pleading on God’s behalf, with every physically living Man to turn to Christ and thereby be reconciled with God.  If a person dies physically, without entering into a relationship with Christ, his name will not be included in the Book of Life and he will be cast into the lake of fire. 

God is pleading for Man to come back to His intimacy and embrace.  

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Death Died

The wages of sin is death.  The opposite of Death is Life.  What is Life?  God breathed His breath into Man and Man became a living being.  So, Life is the breath of God.  This is the Life that Man had in the Garden of Eden.  This Life would Die in Man when Man broke relationship with God.  This is exactly what happened when Man ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Man Died. 

The serpent told Man that they would not Die if they ate the fruit.  This was a lie and Man still believes the lie since Man thinks that physical life is Life and physical death is Death.  Now we can understand why Man runs after saving physical life.  Whereas, whoever saves this life will lose it but whoever loses this life for Jesus and the gospel will save it.  The truth is - the purpose for physical life is to lose it for Jesus and the gospel - This is Man’s only hope. 

Now, Man is Dead.  How serious is Death?  What is Death?  There are three perspectives of Death.  The first is Man is now eternally separated from God.  Death has finality to it.  Man and God relationship is eternally broken. 

In the court room of heaven, Satan is the prosecutor and he has been able to get his evil aim executed over us.  Satan, who tempted us to sin and thus caused our Death, stands diabolically gleaming over us, the accused, with this verdict written over us – DEAD. 

The second perspective of Death is that we are Dead in our sins.  Sin has a Death grip over us.  Even if we desire to do good we are not able to, since Sin working in us causes us to further sin.  We are captives to Sin and we are Dead in our sins.  Nothing we can do can set us free from the Death of Sin working powerfully in us. 

The third perspective of Death is that there is a second Death, which is the lake of fire.  Anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.  All of these three perspectives give us the understanding of the seriousness of Death. 

On the cross, Jesus became Sin for us.  He had no experiential knowledge of sin but He became Sin.  Each of us has different experiences of sin but none of us can claim to know Sin in its totality.  I'm a graduate in Agriculture but I can never claim that I personify Agriculture.  Agriculture is a vast subject.  Similarly with sin but Jesus became SIN for us.  The entire length, breadth, height and depth of SIN were placed on Him and He became the personification of Sin. 

This is when the relationship with the Father snapped and Jesus could only call God and say, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”  JESUS DIED.  Very often we look at the physical death of Jesus on the cross and we say Jesus died.  Jesus surely died physically just as every Man born on earth dies but Jesus Died our Death

Let’s go back to the court room of heaven.  Remember, we left Satan standing over us, with a wicked glee, saying, “You are Dead”.  Now walks in our advocate, Jesus, presenting His Death on our behalf to the God the righteous judge, saying, “DEATH DIED, since I Died Man’s Death once and for all”  There is an incredible silence in the court room.  Then comes the resounding over-ruling from the Judge, for all of heaven and earth to hear, ‘Man’s Death Cancelled, Declared Righteous’.  Satan defeated. 

Sunday, 25 January 2015

The Good News

Man died.  This was the finality of sin.  Yet, what did it mean for Man to Die? 

Man’s death meant that we were now sinners (and therefore would continue to commit sin); we were recipients of God’s wrath; we were enemies of God; we were lost; we were resistant to God; we were offenders against God and we were judged and condemned. 

Only if all of these conditions were turned around fully would Man be Alive again.  

The fig leaves weren’t sufficient to solve the problem and neither were the tunics of skin.  This was only a temporary covering of their shame, but not good enough to give Life to Man again.  Isn't it strange that to a large extent, Man has not understood his predicament even today, nor has he understood that none of the items he uses to cover himself can ever give him Life again? 

All of Man’s achievements, successes, attainments and accomplishments put together, cannot give him Life

Someone, who had no personal sin, had to become Man and take Man’s sin on himself.  Since Man’s sin was to be placed on Him, this person would become a recipient of God’s wrath, would become an enemy of God, would be rejected by God and would need to be judged and condemned to death, by God, in place of Man. 

Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God was that person.  Jesus died, just as Man died in the Garden of Eden.  This was the extent of Jesus’ love for you and me.  Yet death could not hold Him and He rose again.

Man’s predicament had been solved for all of time.  Nevertheless, each person born on this earth needs to make a personal choice to repent of his/her sin and receive the solution that Jesus alone provides.  The individual will need to receive the Life of Christ by dying with Jesus on the cross by faith and rising with Him.

Jesus died in Man’s place so that we should no more live for ourselves, but for Him who died for us and rose again.  Without death of our selves we can never expect to live out the Life of Christ.  Sin is wrapped with our self and therefore the self must go.  We are crucified with Christ, but we now live because it is His Holy Spirit, who is now living through us.  This is a constant faith experience. 

This is the Holy Spirit walk that enables us to manifest the Christ life.  It is in this Spirit walk that we are taken back to the initial relationship that we had with God when He created Man.  The old has gone the new has come.  We are now prepared and reinstated to take our designated places as co-rulers with God.  We reign with Him though He holds the title deed.  He is the owner of all of creation and we are His steward-rulers.  All of creation is eagerly waiting for the sons of God to be revealed. 

As we walk this Holy Spirit walk, we seek the coming of Christ’s Kingdom and His will to be done on earth.  We wage a spiritual war against principalities, powers and the rulers of the darkness of this age in order to pull down spiritual strongholds and usher the Kingdom of God here on earth.  We are hastening the coming of the King, who will establish His eternal Kingdom here on earth. 

This is the Good News!

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The Fall

The sad story of the Fall of Man is too painful to comprehend, but examine and understand the ‘Fall’, we must!  For therein lies our hope for a turn-around to fullness of life.

The tree and its fruit was surely a topic of regular conversation for Adam and Eve, since Eve was thorough on every aspect of the command of God - not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 

Every time they discussed the tree and all that it represented, it should have sent them into a deeper measure of worshipful awe of the Creator.  Sadly, the story reveals that this was not to be.  There seems to be an ebbing away from a passionate love relationship with God to a mere obedience of Him out of fear of the consequences.  God created Man so that God and Man could be in a deep, passionate, love relationship with each other.  Man’s obedience to God was to be an expression of his love for God. 

The story discloses to us that there was an emotion, bordering on resentment, welling up within Man towards God.  God never told them not to touch the tree, but the manner in which this incorrectness is added in their response to the serpent, reveals a heart that seemed ready to rebel against God.  Should they not have been strong, firm and accurate in their response to the serpent?

Why was it ‘their’ response and not just Eve’s, to the serpent?  The fact is, Adam was there, throughout the conversation between Eve and the serpent. This was not a dialogue, as it appears, but a trio-logue, except that one party was a silent participant.  

Why would Adam be silent during this most crucial conversation concerning Life and Death for all of creation? The answer is too heart-breaking.  He was a participant of the gradual change of heart towards God.  He too was bent on rebellion.  The fact that Adam remained silent during this conversation reveals a plot to provide a way out for him, if this objective to eat the fruit, should all go wrong; which was proved later!

Does it surprise us then, that they ate the fruit?

Eating the fruit sealed the Fall of Man.  Till the time of actual disobedience, there was still hope of coming back to God, renewing their relationship with the Creator and growing into His likeness on a daily basis.  At the Fall, Man died.  It was finished. 

There was now a separation between Man and God, which no one could bridge.  God alone had to save Man, who was doomed.  

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The Marriage Vows

As Adam woke out of his deep sleep, he knew, without a doubt, that the person, whom God was ushering towards him, was his wife. 

In a moment of great realisation and intense joy, Adam knew that the colossal emptiness in his life was now over and he burst into spontaneous and brilliant poetry.  What Adam pronounced in that exquisite moment were the first marriage vows.  Rightly so, isn’t it?  Only the marriage vows would be fitting for that moment. 

God instituted the husband-wife marriage relationship, but it had to be the man, who had to initiate and pronounce the marriage commitment.  The relationship of marriage was a covenant built on the commitment that Adam pronounced.  It would be wise to look closely at the major themes within the marriage covenant. 

Woman is a unique creation of God, but made out of man.  The husband is made complete by the woman, whom God brings into his life.  Similarly, the wife is made complete by the man, whom God brings into her life.  This completeness consists of every element of their personalities.  It includes their physical makeup, their emotional build-up, their intellectual development, their social capabilities, their spiritual growth and their relation with the environment.  Therefore, the husband and wife, in total abandon, give themselves to each other in order to make the other complete. The husband does not selfishly seek his own completeness through the marriage relationship, but he desires to make his wife complete.  Similarly, the wife’s desire is to make her husband complete. 

For the husband and his wife to give themselves to each other in total abandon, requires for them to delink from every other previous relationship.  There remains a mandate though, for the husband and his wife to be responsible towards all of their previous relationships.  They now ensure that these responsibilities are conducted within and through the development of their own covenant relationship with each other.

To nurture the husband-wife covenant relationship, they both are always in a state of celebration and romance.  Yes, there will be differences, but every issue that causes a spark will result in them being drawn closer and growing fonder of each other.  The sexual celebration experience is looked forward to with anticipation and excitement. This experience is reserved exclusively by God for the husband and his wife.  The husband and wife therefore protect each other from falling prey to temptation in the area of sex.  They guard and nurture the sexual celebration experience within the marriage covenant. 

Marriage is instituted by God and under His authority, wisdom and strength we are bequeathed to enjoy great marriages. Let us not, foolishly, cast away our inheritance.