Monthly Archives: September 2012

Looking For Love

This is the working outline for the September 23, 2012 message at San Pedro CRC. It is not complete –since I will enflesh when I preach it.

 Lookin’ for Love

by Johnny Lee

Well, I spent a lifetime lookin’ for you
Single bars and good time lovers were never true
Playin’ a fools game, hopin’ to win
Tellin’ those sweet lies and losin’ again

I was lookin’ for love in all the wrong places
Lookin’ for love in too many faces
Searchin’ their eyes, lookin’ for traces
Of what I’m dreamin’ of
Hopin’ to find a friend and a lover
I’ll bless the day I discover
Another heart lookin’ for love

Text: John 6: 35-40

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.

37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.

39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.

40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

Intro:

I was starting to teach the Youth regarding the so-called 5 points of Calvinism which is a hallmark of Reformed Christians:

G-God’s Free Choice

R-Radical Corruption

A-Atonement Definite

C-Continuing Preservation

E-Effectual Calling

Instead of God’s food- the Bread from heaven – we rather eat our own food. Thus we are unable…

  1. 1.     Unable

Rom 5:6-7

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

Eph 2:1-6

2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,

Why are then unable… the symptoms are we throw a lot of Objections:

Objections:

a) This worldly concern

 John 6:  22 On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone.23 Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks.24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.

25            When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?”26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.27 Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”

– This the Lotto mentality…we only need God when we need something form Him-especially our daily needs…And if we perceive that He is not giving it …or the way it should be for us –we raised more objections…

b) Traditions or Miracles:

John 6: 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform?31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'”

It is either you do want our religion does or we will not follow you-or if we will break those traditions at least show a miracles-from heaven-just to be sure.

c) Jesus is only a Man and that Bible is just a human product:

John 6: 41 So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”

Some are too wise on their eyes that they think Jesus, Buddha or Islam is on the same page-just a man-made religion. Gawa-gawa lang yan para pagkakitaan.

d) It is absurd or gross:

John 6: 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

Is he making us Vampires or Cannibals? Is this religion for crazy men? Many will not remain one moment because we cry in our Praise and Worship and then laugh at the same time when we are reminded of God’s goodness-and that the Lord answer our prayers from the rain, the sun and even the tuyo and sinangag we eat this morning. We are truly crazy men.

e) The pull of the crowd:

John 6: 60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this?62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.64 But there are some of you who do not believe.”

Some people started with us and then when others like their family or their friends speak against Jesus-and what we do with our lives-then we thought it would be better to protect ourselves and so leave following Jesus.

And besides the objection why are sinners are not able to come to Jesus and do the work of God? Because they are..

b) Blinded

2 Cor 4: 3  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing.4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

What are we missing if we do not believe in Jesus and come to Him?

What does it mean that Jesus is our Bread?

How can the Lord Jesus be the Bread Of your life?

John 6: 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

35            Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

Bread is the staple food of the Jews -as rice is our own-we never felt satisfied unless we eat rice in our meals.

1. He is the staple food of your life.

How many times you eat the whole day- 3X at least- some even 5X a day- How do you feel if you miss one- I am sure you will feel something in your body-then your head aches because of the lack of carbohydrates or energy.

We need Jesus like food…you don’t ‘eat’ Him only once-but everyday- and not just once a day –but the whole day. Jesus is like that-without Him we will be powerless-and desperate for that food.

John 6: 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”

2. You don’t eat the food you hate-but you eat the food you really love eating.

You don’t look forward to food you have allergies or something you will throw up after eating. I don’t like snails or suso or similar food –so don’t expect me being excited seeing lunch and dinner with said delicacies. But I am excited even waiting for food that I love. Do you love being with Jesus every moment of your life? Do you enjoy being with Him in the Word, in the Songs, in the quiet moments, amongst God’s people, amongst the work He prepared for you to do?

3. You become what you eat.

If you eat mane, menudo, kare-kare and dinuguan-you are sure to get Gout later in life.

If you eat anger and hatred and worry and jealousy and greed and Mammon every day and night-be sure you will look like it. But “eat and drink” Jesus –in His Word –in His Spirit – in His very Presence with God’s people –and in the privacy of your prayer time- then you will like Jesus to others-caring and giving oneself to others also.

If Jesus is the Bread of Our Life then –He will take care of everything:

John 6:  38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

And so He will be our everything –He will make sure that everything is covered for by His blood up to the Last day.

But can we really believe that? Will not our heart falter?

In all the centuries Christians believe Jesus as their all in all-and yet they were subjected to persecution, to discomfort –even lose of properties and families and then even death –

2 Cor 11: 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers;27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.29 Who is weak, and I am not weak?

Hebrews 11: 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

And yet do we really walk away ?

Jesus asked us : John 6: 66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.67 So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

Take heart – He has overcome the world …

Romans 8: 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;

we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37            No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

And so now please come to Him:

Application:

If you are long time comers here or just passed by or just a few weeks here-but now you understand what it means to truly believe Jesus-I am invite you now….

Entrust your life to Him and may He be your Daily Bread and be always desperate for Him.

Concluding  Verses:

John 6: .45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me–46 not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father.47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.

Song- Breathe

This is the air I breathe

This is the air I breathe

Your holy presence

Living in me

This is my daily bread

This is my daily bread

Your very word

Spoken to me

And I … I’m desparate for you

And I … I’m lost without you

Song title: Air I Breathe Chords
By: Hillsong Darlene Zschech 

Advertisements

Can I Trust My Heart-Radical Corruption

This is an outline of my message at SPCRC for September 9, 2012- The sentences are incomplete as I usually flesh it out while preaching:

Text: Romans 5:6-11

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Intro:

Last month- Isaiah 6:1-9 I mentioned to you the 4 qualities that a Calvinist- or better all Christians should possess: He exalts the Lord in Glory, He See himself as sinner, He extols the atonement –sacrifice of the Lord Jesus in the Cross-and He is willing the serve the Lord in the Mission of God-sharing the Gospel.  These are the qualities of the Reformed Christians in history and so should we.

And so we would start with the so-called 5 points of Calvinism : TULIP (spell it out) but I would like to replace it the 5 points of Sovereign Grace-

G-God’s Free Choice

R-Radical Corruption

A-Atonement Definite

C-Continual Preservation & Perseverance

E-Effectual Calling

I will preach on R-Radical Corruption today –and why?

If I don’t –and others won’t:

  1. You might have false confidence on yourselves /your flesh on how good you are and capable of everything-if you just wills it. It is called Positive thinking or Pelagian error.
  2. You might think that some few persuasion, messages, worship concerts –can convert a sinner to Christ. You might salvation is easy-easy believism
  3. You might think that evangelism is just sales and marketing-instead of relying in time and tested evangelism, prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit.
  4. As a corollary- those society that believes in the radical (radix- root) corruption tends to also believe in check and balances in government and believe in limited government-not idolizing the state for everything.

So How do you feel when I say this:

  1. May Pulis sa labas vs. May NPA sa labas?
  2. May langgam sa kape mo vs. May langgaw o ipis sa lugaw mo?

Will you still drink the coffee and eat the rice porridge?

  1. May nakakawalang aso sa labas vs. May leon na nakakawala sa labas ng bahay

Will you go out of the street

This is the big difference between Man as a a bit of a sinner vs. the radical corruption of the nature of man. Total depravity or better radical corruption means that man is as bad as he can be- like Idi Amin, Hitler or like Satan=but that sin affects every aspect/area of man’s nature.

Sin permeates the very core or root of man’s being. It is not only his heart or just the emotions-but the mind, the will, his imaginations, his intellect, his supposed goodwill upon others, his dreams, his ambitions, his religiosity. Man is an idol factory-he thought he is doing something good for others or for God but he is really uplifting himself.

Not a dot in a stick figure but a grayish stick figure

1 John 2:16-17 “16For everything in the world — the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does — comes not from the Father but from the world.”

So what do mean by radical corruption?

1.     In Adam we all sinned :

Rom 5:12-14 “

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13 for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.

…18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

Call it unfair but we are in Adam when God created him-he is the pattern of the one to come-but til next installment. Adam was our Federal Representative –our Covenant head (next year we will discuss about this concept as well) All men are in Adam-and in his sin we all sinned. And thus guilty of death and with sinful nature since birth.

Since Augustine propounded the doctrine of original sin this has been controversial but it was his response to Pelagius who taught that man only knows sin because of imitation-his parents, environment, upbringing, education, his early choices or crises that force him –He can blame everything except himself. The teaching means that the original sin of Adam-means we inherited his sinful nature instead of the original righteous, truthful, obedient nature God created him in the beginning.

This is as relevant as today’s headlines- or Tv shows like Criminal Minds, or CSI.

2.     Unwilling

Rom 1:18,21,28

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. …

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. ..

28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done

Rom 3:9-18

9 What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10 As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;

11 there is no one who understands,

no one who seeks God.

12 All have turned away,

they have together become worthless;

there is no one who does good,

not even one.”

13 “Their throats are open graves;

their tongues practice deceit.”

“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”

14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”

15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;

16 ruin and misery mark their ways,

17 and the way of peace they do not know.”

18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 

Man suppresses the truth, represses the evidence that there is a God and he is accountable to His laws. Man knows that this life and all that there is here comes from God and yet he replace them with idosl of his making so that he will not be accountable to the real God. Others worship science and their reason –but in the end it is themselves that they will bow only.

An no one –none exempted – except the Son of God-in the flesh- seeks for God and tries to understand His will .

As is it said in John 3:19-21 “19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

It is as easy for a sinner to come to God as to a criminal thief to come to a policeman or an officer of the law.

It is like a desert nomad who found a tent –in the middle of the tent are dates-and a candle lighted-due to hunger-he tries each dates-but found worm inside- so he tried 3 time and yet still with worms inside- So what would you do? Your hungry…so you put off the light and continue eating the dates to fill your hunger.

So is a Sinner—true food is waiting for him in God –but he rather eat a dates with worms –and kills the light than to come to God.  As is it said in John 3:19-21 “19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

If you have a bad relationship with your parents-what do you do to show your defiance –your rebellion?

  1. You ignore them and their wishes
  2. When asked to do something –you don’t put any effort to  your assignment-haphazard, half-hearted
  3. You do not don it right-always something lacking or amiss
  4. You insist on not doing it-and even voice your opinion  against it.

And so is every man not born-again as a Christian. We are unwilling and rather do our own things ourselves-our agenda-our wishes.

For something good to be truly done-It must be commanded by God, Done for the Love of God-him and him alone, and done properly and proper time and season. This is a good act and we know we always fail in this.

3.     Unable

Rom 5:6-7

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

Eph 2:1-6

2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.

John 3:3-7

3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

John 6:43-44

Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:64-65

For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.

Rom 8:6-8

6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

1 Cor 2:14-15

14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The picture is not one in a hospital sick and weak but can still take his medicine as other Christians would like us to believe-but one of the dead-a corpse living inside a body –awaiting the final judgment. We can hear, see and even feel the gospel call –but it is like a dream where we cannot respond or or arise from. For we are dead men. We need to be resurrected! Unless the Spirit gives us vision-for we are blind-we cannot see the kingdom of God. Unless the Spirit gives us right to be children of God –we cannot enter that Kingdom.

Unless the Father draws us-drags us like in…

Sample of being elko-drag:

Acts 16:19

19 When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities.

We will be in a slumber of death and cannot respond in faith ton the Gosple call.

We may know the words of the Gospel and maybe we understand some of it –but we are prisoners of our own sins-and we are prisoners of our nature and the god of this world –and we cannot break free on our own.

Unless we become new creation- we will continue hating God, Jesus and His offer of peace and friendship –we will rebel against Him. Against His messengers-against His Word.

We are like Medusa’s victims –turn to stone, or Ring Wraiths of Mordor -kings and yet slaves of Sauron forever-never to see the light of day. We are like men born in the Matrix-being utilize by the Machine for their electricity. We thought we are free –but we are but slaves.

Rom 6:20-21

20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.

 4. Spiral of Degradation

Rom 1:24-32

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator — who is forever praised. Amen.

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

In this life –gross and unnatural sins is its own judgment –as decreed by God. Man is not as evil as he can be-but without the Providence-(God’s control of whatever comes to pass, or without His Common Grace -which we will discuss next year) he will be as worst he can be . like what happened to Nazi Germany, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Afghanistan, North korea. If God withholds His Hand- we will be like animals or brutes –like apes gone wild.

It is like a drum of filled with water  -we thought it is all clean but when we stir it up from above-and the rust and dirt are disturb below-we will see how dark and unclean the water is.

Sometime it is crises that show our true color –if not for the Common Grace of God:

Matt 24:10-13

10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,

Like leptospirosis or rabid bite of a dog.. it is just time that death or madness that will engulf us and we will be non-human in our actions and words. God help us in our sins.

Application:

So what should we do:

  1. If you have not known yourself as a sinner describe this way-then you have not know Jesus as the savior that you really need…then it is time to submit your life to the Only Lord that can raise you from the dead and give you a new life.
  2. If you have been a Christian for along time and yet take foolish and arrogant confidence on what you are and what you can do-realize now that –if not for the Grace of God –we are filthy sinners on the road to hell and we don’t deserve one look of mercy from God.
  3. If you think you are a sinner that cannot come to the Lord because of your sins-then realize that He knows you and He died for such a person-Once you are still alive –you have hope and you can be rescued by the savior. If yu think you are not worthy to become his child-then you are right-and yet to such like you that He died for you on the Cross and Rose from the Grave to give you new life.
  4. If you know someone who needs the Gospel then go and share –but remember that Words can fall and be not understood if your efforts are not coupled with effectual prayers and the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Don’t rely on human wisdom and manipulation –but always say the true message of the Cross and rely on God to reward your efforts.

And in the end –may we realize and glory more in our Savior and Lord who died for us in the Cross…

Concluding  Verses:

Ephesians 3:

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Lead me to the Cross…song:

Savior I come

Quiet my soul remember
Redemptions hill
Where Your blood was spilled
For my ransom
Everything I once held dear
I count it all as lost

Lead me to the cross
Where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees
Lord I lay me down
Rid me of myself
I belong to You
Lead me, lead me to the cross

You were as I
Tempted and trialed
You are
Te word became flesh
Bore my sin and death
Now you’re risen

To your heart
To your heart
Lead me to your heart
Lead me to your heart

Why Calvinists are like Mutants

This is an outline of my message at SPCRC -August 11, 2012- The sentences are incomplete as I usually flesh it out while preaching:

Text: Isaiah 6:1-9 and Colossians 3:12-16

Isaiah’s Commission

6 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy , holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”

4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for. ”

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? ”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

9 He said, “Go and tell this people:

“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’

 Intro:

CRC is from Protestant reformation-Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Bucer and Knox. The Anabaptist was from the same time but not considered as Protestants.

Time magazine article-Young,restless and Reformed. Calvinists can be like mutants-but they can choose to be like the Xavier’s men-X-men or they can be like Magneto’s. Either helping humanity with our knowledge or angry and isolating ourselves from them-thinking we are superior from fellow Christians of different persuasion.

Arrogant pastors –and male chauvinists and authoritarians –like Mark Driscoll and  CJ Mahaney that teaches the 5 points of Calvinism-and yet mind-control their congregation bring dishonor to Christ and his teachings.

It is said in 1 Corinthians 8:1b “We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up.”

Isaiaih lived in an era of 5 kings starting with Uzziah and ended with evil king Manasses who saw him in half.  For 52 years before his calling Uzziah reign peacefully since Assyria was in decline –but after his death –under Tigleth Pileser II –there was resurgence and reconquering –and Israel-the Northern kingdom was the buffer state between that empires.

Isaiah’s message is >trust not in idols; do not ally with Assyria –or foreign nations; and do justice. He was against Idolatry, immorality and injustice. Judah was confident of their position with Uzziah-who was relatively good king-but usurp the function a priest and thus died of leprosy-and this was this time that Isaiah was called and saw the real Lord and King.

Sometimes –it is  through crisis and disasters that we are brought before a realization of who are true King is. Milenyo, Ondoy and even Habagat. Not really sin or sins but our dependence on other that the Lord .

What can be the traits of real Calvinists? Not only on name but also in spirit? Not just Calvinists-but also of all true Christians.

1.     Above and Beyond v. 1-3 [See’s God’s glory as his first concern]

High and lifted up- above everybody-not similar to us-different, transcendent

Seraphims- burning ones-holy ones- 2 wings covering faces and feet0not worthy to gaze and be naked before God’s glory.

Holy 3X –superlative , antiphonal, answering back each other, Worship is the proper response.

Lord of the Heavenly Hosts- More than any earthly empire

His Glory is not just in the temple –but whole world.

Epiphany- earthquake, Voice (Ezekiel, Job) amd smoke (incense perhaps to cover for man-God’s glory-always with clouds in the Exodus event.

Like Close Encounters of the third kind, Independence day, even Dragonball Z.- Copied by secular or other religions.

Christians does not have just an intellectual –head knowledge of God’s glory-he knows it-and especially in communal worship. In his life this glory is his incentive=palpable –he can ‘experience’ it.

2.     I am Dead v. 4-5 [Consider oneself as a sinner –and do not half self-confidence]

Man’s initial reaction to God’s glory is  that he fails to meet it (23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,) and that he is under judgment-

Unclean- not worthy to enter the presence of God

and Woe is word of lament –meaning a funeral language-meaning –I am dead! Peter in Luke 5:8 “8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”

So is Paul’s “chief of sinners” or the woman who broke the alabaster jar with perfume and wipe the feet of Jesus –all experience the dread of knowing that we should be dead in hell –in judgment because we are sinners.

Not our lineage, bloodline, family upbringing, environment, education-not even choices –but we ourselves.

We are also not proud of our barkada- our peers- for we either let them be the same –or they let us be the same-no change for the better in holiness and dedication. Kunsinti natin sila .

We have no superiority complex- considering other better than oneself.

My own story- may help you on this. Even good intentions can turn upside down when the self regains prominence in one’s life ***

But this cannot be complete if we live in this life downcast because…

3. Paid for and forgiven v. 6-7 [Confidence in Jesus Death and Resurrection- and His Atonement]

The altar from which the live coal was taken is probably during the annual Day of Atonement)

Leviticus 16:11-13

11 “Aaron shall bring the bull for his own sin offering to make atonement for himself and his household, and he is to slaughter the bull for his own sin offering. 12 He is to take a censer full of burning coals from the altar before the Lord and two handfuls of finely ground fragrant incense and take them behind the curtain. 13 He is to put the incense on the fire before the Lord, and the smoke of the incense will conceal the atonement cover above the tablets of the covenant law, so that he will not die.

The stress is on the purification necessary for approaching God. The altar symbolizes purification by blood, and the fire, purification by the Spirit.

Only after one sees his state of being a sinner that one values atonement-that someone righteous must die in order for him to be forgiven.

In the New Covenant it is the blood of Christ and the ministry of the Holy Spirit that cleans and enables believers today.

In his life this is the source of his confidence and energy-not his achievements. Status, education not even position in and outside of the church. And here most Calvinists fail. Instead of honoring Jesus Christ- he honors his theological system.

He disqualifies others by his prejudice instead of welcoming those covered by the blood of Jesus.

True Christians / Calvinists will not fail in their lips in extolling or lifting up the name of Jesus and His Cross and His Resurrection form the dead. This is his power and motivation.  In fact he rather be called Christian than the elitist term-Calvinist.

4.     Mission v. 8-9a [Here I Am , Send Me-Sharing the Gospel, Witness, Discipleship-even planting churches for pastors]

A Christian filled with the three qualities of Exaltation, Abasement and Extolling-will necessary be a witness ready to share the Good news to others. He will also share the way to make disciples so that others can also share that same experience of forgiveness and empowerment. He is not an armchair theoretician, not sulking in one corner-and keeping God’s news of salvation to oneself. He will volunteer-be the first to be in front of line of fire. He will not burn in God’s glory but he will burn in the service of the one who died for him. Even though some will not listen to him (like Isaiah) this will not deter him as he pleases the Lord who stoop down to him so that He can be forgiven forever and considered as his brother and friend.

Exaltation, Abasement, Extolling and Service –those are the qualities of the reformed Christians in history and so should we. The arrogance and authoritarianism we are now experiencing is not the biblical portrait of the one who sees God’s glory and His forgiveness.

So how should we then act towards others and especially other Christians of different groups and persuasion?

Colossians 3:12-16

New International Version (NIV)

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

We should exemplify the Lord Jesus who walked on this earth: with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

We are ready to forgive and bear other’s weakness and failings.

We guard our heart with the peace that Jesus bought on the Cross.

We are gracious in our words to others that differed from us.

Next month I will start with distinctive of the Reformed Faith which I hope will not make you arrogant but be like Isaiah in his response.

I Smell Something Fishy Here

Are they ganging up against Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno?

See this comment:

“Senator Joker Arroyo hopes Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno will not mistake “God’s will” for infallibility… After the Chief Justice expressed her belief that she was anointed by the Good Lord as chief magistrate, I hope she would not think she has now the infallibility in her judicial opinions,” Arroyo said, tongue-in-cheek.”

And this :

And this-from Rappler.com:

“Jose Mejia, a member of the 8-member body, told reporters on Monday, September 3, that the body will probe how the results of the psychological tests – which were supposed to be confidential – were disclosed to others. The Manila Times earlier reported that Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza got a grade of 4 in the tests. A grade of 5 means failure.

The newspaper quoted from the supposed results of the report, which described Sereno as someone who “projects a happy mood but has depressive markers too. There is a strong tendency to make decisions based on current mood thus, outcome is highly subjective and self-righteous.”

And see this as well:  PNoy to Carpio: Unlike

My take:

Did President Noynoy railroad many hopes of private individuals or companies when their champion ( 5-6 Senior SC Judges) was not chosen by the president? Have they expended so much money or resources in the previous years for this people so that they will move hell and high water so that she can be dislodge by this “maitim at maliit na maligno” form this office where she can do much reform in the next 16 years?

We really should pray for our President and his appointees- we can only move forward if all the level of government is filled with righteous and clean people with sincere heart –serving the people-just like Sec Robriedo –who the politicians fried in the papers before we really learn who he really is when he died.