Monthly Archives: August 2013

Christ is Enough

This is the message I will be preaching at San Pedro CRC today -August 18, 2013

Hebrews 10:1-25 (For Reading v 5-10)

5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:

“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,

but a body you prepared for me;

6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings

you were not pleased.

7 Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—

I have come to do your will, my God.’”[a]

8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

temple

Fallen Condition /Redemptive Focus:

1. Holding into rituals instead on the completeness of Jesus’ Work on the Cross

2. Repetition instead of the Once and For All

3. Outward Conformity instead of Internal Law

4. Giving up instead Drawing Near..

Introduction:

For the past few weeks I am struggling with some views being propagated by teachers who profess to be Christian and yet by their message is trying to lead believers to a lifestyle and attitude that is not helpful-even dangerous to their Christian lives: Prosperity Gospel.

Some of them had used this verse from Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.” which in the old version like in KJV as -“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” and interpret faith as something of as a Force -an ethereal substance that we can will to produce or destroy something…this is clearly not a New Testament teaching…but in order for me to define Faith as the writer of Hebrews defines it – I have to go to Hebrews 10- the immediate context of Hebrews 11.

So this is part 1 of a 2 part series on What is Faith? in fact I already have another message -but that is for September.

I would have to go through the difficult passage at Hebrew 10:26-27

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

regarding falling away -but that would be clear once we go through this first.

But before- that I need to got through you this simple message regarding Prosperity Gospel- which teaches that God always wants you to be rich or healthy -and the implications is that if you are poor or sick -then you are always in sin or sinning or rebelling or disobedient…which is hellish accusation .

There are times that we are sick or poor because of our sinful behavior and attitudes like those I helped before to have a job -but then goof at their jobs and even acted as if they are the boss- or we are always late at work and we don’t focus on our jobs- we are being paid for a job we did less. Or that we maintained two families because of our lust.

But sometimes – we suffer these things because precisely we are faithful- especially in Communist Korea, Moslem Egpyt,Saudi or Catholic South America…and sometimes -for a time we are being taught by God in the school of patience , holiness and humility -before we will be used for more kingdom witness – Like Joseph,Daniel, Peter and Paul…

Hear these words of the Scriptures:

1 Timothy 6

Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

and at Matthew 19:24

24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

And so running amok towards richness is dangerous to one’s soul – we must learn to be content :

Philippians 4:10-13

11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

or this Old Testament prayer:

Proverbs 30:

7 “Two things I ask of you, Lord;
do not refuse me before I die:
8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.

Also see what faithful men and women receives in the Old Testament:

Heb 11:13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.

Heb 11:39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.

prosperity teschers

So for now -this is enough for you to combat the errors of these teachers -for :

Proverbs 30:5 “Every word of God is flawless;

he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

6 Do not add to his words,

or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.

1. Shadow

1The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.

3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Rituals are what religious people wants to show that they do believe in God and they are trying to please Him. Whether it is the Roman Catholic -eucharistic mass or a Muslim thowing stones around the Kaaba at Mecca or a Mormon baptizing himself for his relatives- they are to them -not merely symbolic or an act of remembering- but in actuality is accomplishing something in the Spirit world-either atonement/ forgiveness/ salvation.

A Jew going to the Temple of Jerusalem before it fell on AD 70 is hoping that his sins are covered and he recieves forgiveness. But it seems it has only an effect for a while- maybe a year -and then it had to be repeated again and again.

The best effect of such is you forget that you have sins -and thus can walk heads up high and hope for the blessings for the year to come…and yet the repetition is the reminder that it only have this effect for awhile.

They are just covered for a while -but never internally cleanse.

Much like a rent for an apartment -or a pain-killer that only last for 2-3 hours-and then the pains begins again.

I have an uncle who have cancer when he was 60+ years old and the pain killer -as time goes- have shorter and shorter effect. Rituals are such like that.

blur

They are like sketches or blur version of a sharp picture that should be taken with care. A pale reflection of a sharp and distinct picture.

Or the image of ourselves in pool of muddy water- you cannot really see the reality, HD or 4D TV of what the reality is like. The word use here is ikon- the  exact and distinct replica of the real thing.

The Law -the whole OT Law -and especially the sacrificial aspect (which by the way was not seperated in the scriptures from the moral and civil and political laws) was merely a preparatory aspect- something that makes an OT believer expectant of the age of the Messiah- of the Holy Spirit.

The Law can only remind them of their sins- it cannot save us nor empower us to live holy lives.

But it seems their leaders is more expecting of throwing the yoke of the Roman Empire instead of the purity of the heart.

2. Body

5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:

“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,

but a body you prepared for me;

6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings

you were not pleased.

7 Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—

I have come to do your will, my God.’”[a]

8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

When we celebrate the Lord’s Table once a month -we don’t offer it again -in a bloodless manner- the one atonement made by Jesus in Calvary -we are just reminded or remembering of the atonement -the forgiveness that was pain in full by Jesus.

lord supper

He came in order to supersede the offerings and sacrifices that cannot really clean ourselves from sin’s power and influence. The First order is the one introduce by Moses -and it was replaced by Jesus by His death on the cross.

All those offerings and sacrifices were instituted by God in the Law -so that for a time ~ 1500 years  before Jesus came-so that His people will be prepared and be expecting of His Son-but even they – were hard of heart and thus majority of them did not recognize Him when He came.

It is said that a good verse for Christmas is this- ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll – I have come to do your will, my God.’”. This is precisely His primary mission.

The Lord prepare Him a body -a soma – so that the mystery of the Incarnation may happen-God in flesh-Jesus as God and Man- one person united in two natures.

And He did it Once and For All- Minsanan lamang at para sa Lahat.

It need not be repeated…For to expect it that way -is to misundertand the nature of the once and for all incarnation of Jesus here. It was meant to be once -and for all time…

3. New Covenant

11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

16 “This is the covenant I will make with them

after that time, says the Lord.

I will put my laws in their hearts,

and I will write them on their minds.”[b]

17 Then he adds:

“Their sins and lawless acts

I will remember no more.”[c]

18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

When a teacher teaches -she always stands and goes about the front of the room..she only sits when she is conducting some test for her pupil-meaning she already completed her duties in teaching and is now making a judgement on whether they learn something form her or not.

Supreme Court judges- when they enter the room -all those inside -also stand to give honor to them

So this is standing and sitting symbolism is common to us.

A High Priest -once he enters the Holy of Holies -must conduct His job – sprinkling and washing and offering -and if he sat inside it-must be probably struck dead by God for some impurity not seen by man-but is seen by the All-seeing eye.

So when a priest sits down and was not struck dead -and even was raised up and now sitting at the most powerful position of the universe -commanding His troops in conqueirng the hearts and minds of the whole world-then it is proof  that His once and for all sacrifice was accepted by the Justice by God.

So what happens to those in the New Covenant?

new covenant

BTW-advertisement :On October 26, 2013 we will have a Pre-Reformation Day Seminar -that will be given a missionary (Pastor Joseph Krygier) who usually goes to Davao only- but will give us 4-5 hours of teaching re: Election in the Gospel of John; Redemptive-Historical Preaching and then on the Benefit of the New Covenant – Mark that on your calendar -we are expecting 20 or so participants.

Repeat this- “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”

A past…that affects the present…that will continue on …until forever…

>our sins are forgiven…it will be no longer remembered

>there will be internal change in our hearts and minds…our emotions, our priorities..our willing…our desires -all this world can offer will no longer be that insurmountable…He will change us within…through the new birth…being born-again…

>We will be change from glory to glory-until He comes back again…

Have you eaten a cake -amnesia cake- that once you tasted and eaten it- you will no longer eat anything again…so to speak…parang JCo donuts…once is enough pero -you can’t have enough of it…That is our Lord…to taste His goodness is enough and yet you keep coming for Him in the Word, in prayer , in song of praise – for more of Him.

“For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever..’

4. Let us ..

19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,

22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching…

Many Jews in their time is being tempted to return back to their old ways -where they are more connected or related to the Jewish nation-its Temple and Sacrifices and their customs…
Being related now instead to Jesus- to his being a criminal -a blaphemer- who died on a cross is not easy to take.
it is like a Filipino in Taiwan during the time when the Taiwanese fisherman was just shot dead by our coast guards.We also look like criminals to them.
As if we are all a nation of Flor Contemplacion -when she was hanged in a Singapore prison…
In time of great discrimination, persecution…Christian fellowship tends to be sparse -infrequent…like in
Japan- duirng the time of the Shogun and Samurais-where you can be beheaded if they found out you are a Christian
or in Communist Russia,China and North Korea…you rather not be part of an underground church that meets in a building different from the building you entered in…
What if we are in Nigeria -where someone will profess to be Christian -in order he can rammed a truck filled with explosives to our church building-will you still attend fellowship and worship services.
But “We have decided to follow Jesus…no turning back…no turning back…” says a song..
access to road
The Jews for Jesus -knows that He is the ultimate sacrifice and High priest of God- It is only through Him that our sins are atone for-we are cleanse from our sins-and in the end of time -in hope -we will be vindicated that we will not be punished like the whole world -but be saved in Him.
Our hearts are cleansed…our bodies with pure water -coming from the sacrifice of Jesus.
What more can we ask for? We have access to God…not unlike in the Old testament wherein the Temple is closed to us for the whole year except for one day…Jesus made a way for us come to God.
Will you ask help from someone you know will reject you and even be mad against you? No!
Our guilt feelings drive us away…If we have not known Jesus yet….come…
If you are already a Christian and you have committed a sin..and been there for a long time….confess and be cleanse again
If you are a Christian and yet feel so shallow or dry in your spiritual life..draw near ot Jesus -in the Word..in Spirit..in prayer…in worship…come…
fellowship
We must draw near to Him in prayer and in fellowship with one another…Let us shout..rally even our fellow brother about the living Hope we have in Heaven…our brother…our friend..our Savior and Lord Jesus -who is sitting at the right hand of the Father in Heaven.
As we draw near to Him -let us teach, sing , testify, shout about His goodness and how He works in our lives -so that our fellow brothers will hold on to Jesus…as we are being presssured, stressed -in some cases tortured by this world…
I would like to share three stories to encourage you:
My colonoscopy…I  just slept through it
My son’s rescue waters of Buendia
And Labuyo and other Typhoon’s lessening of strenght or changing direction
So let us share and not fail to be together …for He is coming back soon..Maranatha…
Application :
Two things-One to remember:
“…we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
“For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”
The other…resolve to stand firm in that hope and say:
“We have decided to follow Jesus…no turning back…no turning back…”
Let us pray….
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Update on my Health & my Family-as of May 7, 2013

Just to update you on what I am going/gone through

Last Feb 22- the night I treated my team to Shakey’s/Sitcom LAs Pinas- I
was experiencing some minor discomfort in my lower abdomen and slight
fever.

This led me to a urinalysis -with blood found through an outside clinic

Which led  me to a consultation with Dr Gatchalian (Kidney specialist..etc) to have me a ultrasound and a CT Stonogram at Cardinal Santos on the same week. After week of medicine wrt possible stones-Dr Gatchalain found out that I don’t
have stones but there’s and enlargement of my large intestines- so I am
referred to Dra Peña.

600_hl_colonoscopy_0223

Dra Pena(Gastro) -in preparation to my colonoscopy on April 20, 2013 at
Cardinal Santos -gave me 2 set of antibiotics for 2-3 weeks. One medicine I
had to discontinue because of nausea in the early morning.

hi-colonoscopy-rtr

I have to prepare for the whole night and early morning for the colonoscopy and I did not enjoy it at all. The words by Sis Sandy Cayetano helped me a lot to hold onto God’s promises. After the colonoscopy -there was 7 polyps that were burnt -and I am schedule for a follow-up this afternoon.

Before the colonoscopy – I went through clearance two doctors Cardio and
Endocrinologist. Dra Valera (Endo) have me go through a battery of blood
works to check my Sugar and Uric Acid level- after a week – I was found out
to be borderline disbetic- and my medicine was change for the uric acid as
well.

She also referred me to a Rheumatologist -Dy Sytam at Cardinal Santos -last
Friday- and gave me a maintenance medicine for my Gout.

I hope that the last of it (for I felt bad for the last two months or so)
-and being grateful to God & with my only daughter’s 18th birthday last May
2- I was able then to planned since last week for our family vacation:

Singapore2013 136

Our family of six (6) is now booked with PAL and YMCA-Orchard Road,
Singapore from May 18, 2013 (Saturday) to May 21, 2013 (Tuesday) . We will arrive at NAIA by 11PM