God’s Foreknowledge and Man’s Free Will ?

I have read some part of Dave Hunt’s book -” What Love is this” and read  a part where he says that Luther and Calvin posits that man can never be free since God is omniscient and has foreknowledge -and then tries to argue against it.

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See this post on his errors : http://conversationsincalvinism.blogspot.com/2006/08/dave-hunt-man-myth-dishonesty.html

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Though recently deceased -his misrepresentation had affected a lot of people in not considering the truth of God’s eternal election and His subsequent rescue of radically depraved man.

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I have not read those part of Luther and Calvin where they said that -but I can be wrong -but that is not the point. My reason for bringing it now is – does Hunt believes that when God created this world/ universe (which is the only one we know – though God can make multi-verses) -does He not know that Man -with his freedom -will not fall into sin -due to the instigation of the Devil?

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Or was it possible that the angel Lucifer and the Man -Adam -after being created – and with freedom – will still choose -in their lifetimes to remain holy and righteous? This does not mean that God can only create a imperfect creature – based on our perspective …but is it not part of freedom to be always to be wrong and counter against the standard? Yes -this are speculative questions -but it seems that Hunt’s belief is that the perfect -perfect universe is  that no creature will go against his Creator.

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My belief? I believe that God – after making the decision to allow free creatures- fire sees that eventually someone will disobey Him and rebel against Him. It is not a question of if -but of when. So with infinite / multiple simulations in His Mind – He decided that gifting His Son with these people -His Son will make sure that -they will remain in Him until the end -no matter what -so that they will praise His Father -through the Holy Spirit – He -the Son will die for their rebellion -to pay for their sins. This is before time ..and even before the historical creation of Adam at Eden.

Sinner Saved

 

Eventually  -after the first week -Man will always be seen as not totally free- because of the choice of the first Man -Adam -he will always be in bondage to his sin-nature- but still be able to freed by someone like him. Here will the mystery of election and regeneration and effectual calling and perseverance and eternal security comes into the picture. Though free to be a sinner -his hope is in the eternal transaction of love between the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Only love can rescue him – restore him and make him mature as a son to his heavenly Father.

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The devil is not so. Because he was created as an adult/ mature -and with full knowledge -his one time decision fixed his destination to hell. There is no repentance -nor regeneration for him. He will remain as a reminder that freedom and full knowledge is not always to the advantage of the creature. Time and being time-bound is a gift -for us to change and be changed. Asking for something to be like the eternal- is in fact a gift not worth having.

Sovereign Grace and the Teleological Understanding of Election

An answer to this series of posts and a book at > http://www.pastorshearer.net/Bible%20Studies/Calvinism%20studies/tothereadercor.html

His teleological interpretation of predestination -meaning that Paul viewed this doctrine based on what is the intended purpose of election is NOT that we are secured in our destination as Christians and children of God -but that the intended output or plan of God is that there will be a group of people that will be holy and blameless in the end -but God is not determining such people – but only announcing intended output in the end – is pure Arminian , Pelagian understanding of what the universe is all about -about Man as the determining factor in his salvation and in his life.

The doctrines of Sovereign Grace as expounded in the Canons of Dordt does give credit to the nature of man as a free agent and as a responsible creature before God -but that Adam’s fall had corrupted his nature -that every good things in himself is always skewed in the wrong manner- towards himself, the world and the devil. This -is not accepted Arminians or Pelagians – they always rely on that – little something good in man – and act as if this true in this world. They don’t realized that we are not little angels with broken wings -but that we are like a tank filled with water and contaminants -just waiting to be stirred by calamities, sickness or misfortune or even plain discomfort.  

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We must realize that this world -among many – is a gift of love by the Father to His Son through the Holy Spirit -and we His children-are just caught up in this love – and the love of Jesus for his people -which He set His love before time -among so many enemies. And therefore -we must learn to see it from that side -instead of our human side -with all our concerns and myopia. Only then we will understand that – “…we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.” -Ephesians 1: 11-12.

Why Paedobaptism is not a proper Christotelic conclusion

This post is from an answer form these blog> http://nct-blog.ptsco.org/2012/09/03/christotelic-hermeneutics-part-1/. I find the answer so succinct and so I will post it here:

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I will attempt to answer your question regarding the NCT refutation of “the supposed link between circumcision an paedobaptism.” Now at the start, I must say that there is an analogical connection between circumcision and baptism – strictly in the sense that both are analogies of conversion or regeneration/spiritual resurrection or saving faith. For example, Romans 4:11 instructs us that Abraham “received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised.” The New Testament (NT) uses water baptism as a symbol of spiritual resurrection. Consider Romans 6:4: “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” 1 Peter 3:21 also states: “And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you– not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience– through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” However, in saying that there is an analogical connection between circumcision and baptism, I categorically reject the Presbyterian teaching that this connection in any way justifies the practice of paedobaptism.

Although circumcision and baptism are both analogies of conversion or regeneration/spiritual resurrection or saving faith, Scripture posits a vast chasm of difference between the two. First, circumcision also functioned as an ethnic marker, differentiating Jews from Gentiles. However, with the coming of Christ and the establishment of the New Covenant, race, and therefore circumcision also, is now meaningless – as seen in the Apostle Paul’s arguments throughout his epistles (Contra Race: Rom 10:12; Gal 3:28; Col 3:11; Contra Circumcision: 1 Cor 7:18-19; Gal 5:2-6, 6:15). In contradistinction to circumcision, baptism is not an ethnic marker. Second, the NT Scriptures (and the NT must have interpretive priority over the OT) indicate that the true counterpart of bodily circumcision is spiritual circumcision, not water baptism. Colossians 2:11: “in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.” Thus, when the Holy Spirit regenerates individuals and leads them to faith, Christ performs a “a circumcision made without hands” in that He removes “the body of the flesh” – in other words, the believer is given a new heart in fulfillment of Ezekiel 36:25-27, resulting in the reality that not only is the flesh no longer the guiding principle in a believer’s life but also that the person’s heart now craves, thirsts, and seeks after God. Thus, NT baptism parallel circumcision one another analogically, but they are not equivalent to one another. Now, that being said, spiritual circumcision is not a distinctly New Covenant concept, since Moses commands Israel in Deuteronomy 10:16, “Circumcise then your heart, and stiffen your neck no more.” However, this is impossible for unsaved man to accomplish; spiritual circumcision must be performed by God Himself. God did exactly this for the believing remnant of ethnic Israel, as Deuteronomy 30:6, “Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart…to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live.”

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Third, although bodily circumcision guaranteed an ethnic Jew a place among the people of Israel as part of the physical seed of Abraham (cf. Gen 17:14), it did not guarantee any Jew a place among the spiritual seed of Abraham (i.e. the believing ethnic remnant). This is confirmed by the Apostle Paul’s teaching in Romans 9:6-8: “But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; 7 neither are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: ‘through Isaac your descendants will be named.’ 8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.” In other words, just because you were ethnically Jewish (and, therefore, circumcised) you were not guaranteed a place among the redeemed, believing remnant of Israel – this honor being bestowed solely by God’s sovereign, distinguishing grace. Thus, we begin to see that Old Testament (OT) Israel was a mixed multitude in that the vast majority was unregenerate with relatively few regenerate Israelites. Hebrews 3:16-4:2 also demonstrates this:

“For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 And so we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief. 4:1 Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.”

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In other words, the author of the Hebrews warns his readers not to follow the example of the unregenerate Israelites who emerged from Egypt and did not unite what they heard with faith – as a result, they died in the wilderness and did not receive what was promised – entrance into the Promised Land. This is where the radical distinction between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant begins to come into focus – a radical distinction, which traditional Covenant Theology radically undercuts with their theologically-deduced overarching Covenant of Grace.

Fourth, the New Covenant is radically different in nature from the Old Covenant. Both Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Ezekiel 36:25-27 strongly indicate this. The New Covenant is “not like the covenant” (Jer 31:31-32) which God made at Sinai, that is to say, the Old Covenant – that covenant which Israel “broke” (Jer 31:32). So, how is the New Covenant radically different from the Old Covenant? Whereas under the Old Covenant relatively few of the covenant people knew the Lord, under the New Covenant all covenant members shall know the Lord (Jer 31:34). God promises under the New Covenant that all will know the Lord because God will “put” His law “within them” and “write it” on their hearts (Jer 31:33), give them “a new heart” (Ezek 36:26), “put a new spirit” within them (Ezek 36:27), put His Spirit within them (Ezek 36:27), and “cause” them “to walk in My statutes” (Ezek 36:27). What is the result? All true members of the New Covenant “will be careful to observe” the Lord’s ordinances (Ezek 36:27b). Some have erected the straw man that advocates of New Covenant Theology, by saying this, either do not understand or altogether reject the visible versus invisible Church distinction. This accusation is false. In saying that all members of the New Covenant are regenerate, NCT does not advocate or believe that everyone who sits in a church pew or even claims the name of Christ is truly a member of the New Covenant. Only those who are truly regenerate are truly members of the New Covenant. In other words, an individual may be a member of a visible, local church, but he may not be a member of the invisible Church – that is to say the true Church. And, if one is not truly a member of the invisible Church, he or she is not truly a member of the New Covenant. Thus, NCT affirms and maintains the visible versus invisible Church distinction. Furthermore, since all members of the New Covenant are regenerate, the Church, the body formed by the New Covenant, is not a mixed multitude, like Israel, the body formed by the Old Covenant.

This is where the practice of paedobaptism comes into direct conflict with both Biblical teaching, not to mention the Reformed soteriology which has historically characterized Presbyterians. First, recall bodily circumcision in the OT guaranteed an ethnic Jew a place among the people of Israel as part of the physical seed of Abraham (cf. Gen 17:14), but it did not guarantee any Jew a place among the spiritual seed of Abraham (i.e. the believing ethnic remnant; Rom 9:6-8). As a result, OT Israel was a mixed multitude, that is to say, made up of believers and unbelievers. Second, inclusion into the ranks of the elect is bestowed solely by God’s sovereign, distinguishing grace. Third, God promised to establish “a new covenant” where all its true members would be regenerate and know the Lord (Jer 31:31-34; Ezek 36:25-27). Thus, if all members of the New Covenant are regenerate and know the Lord, the true Church (i.e. the Invisible Church) is not a mixed multitude (i.e. a combination of believers and unbelievers), like OT Israel, where the vast majority of the nation was unregenerate. Fourth, not everyone who sits in a church pew or even claims the name of Christ is truly a member of the New Covenant. Therefore, if God promised that all true members of the New Covenant would be regenerate and know Him, and if God alone sovereignly bestows the gift of salvation upon whomever He will, how can advocates of Covenant Theology legitimately claim their children as “covenant children,” that is to say, covenant members – apart from an informed profession of faith (which in itself is not a 100% guarantee that the individual is a regenerate believer) on the part of the children?

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To designate baptized infants as “covenant children” and include them as “members of the New Covenant” has four unfortunate consequences. First, it redefines the Church as a “mixed multitude” (which directly contradicts the New Covenant promises of Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Ezekiel 36:25-27), thus blurring the distinctions between the invisible Church versus visible Church. Second, the Covenant Theologian practice of paedobaptism flattens the radical newness of the New Covenant. The New Covenant is an entirely new covenant – not merely a subsequent administration of the theologically-deduced overarching Covenant of Grace. Logically, how can the Old and New Covenants both be distinct administrations of Covenant Theology’s Covenant of Grace, when God Himself declares that the New Covenant will “not” be like “the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them” (Jer 31:31-32). Third, paedobaptism appears to make salvation dependent upon, or at least influenced by, an ecclesial act performed upon an infant at the behest of his or her parents and the local church. This results in making an individual’s covenant membership within the New Covenant at least partly dependent on who his or her parents were – like it was under the Old Covenant! However, Romans 9 and John 1:12-13 teach with resounding clearness that salvation is not based upon man’s will, man’s effort, his particular people group, his parents, his genetics, and so forth; salvation is and always has been dependent on the sovereign and distinguishing grace of God – “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion” (Rom 9:15). The early seventeenth century Particular (i.e. Calvinistic) Baptists (e.g. John Spilsbery and Thomas Patient) leveled the same argument against their Christian brothers who were advocates of paedobaptism. Fourth, paedobaptism is the result of allowing the Old Testament interpretive priority over the New Testament – in that it allows OT bodily circumcision to define our understanding of NT water baptism. Although there is an analogical connection between OT bodily circumcision and NT water baptism, the former was a socio-ethnic marker for Israel, whereas the latter is not a socio-ethnic marker for the Church – since race is meaningless in the New Covenant. Recall also that Abraham received circumcision as a seal of the faith God gave him; if this is the original intent of circumcision, as the New Testament in Romans 4:11 tells us, should we not likewise on the basis of circumcision’s analogical connection with baptism (in that both are symbols of conversion or regeneration/spiritual resurrection or saving faith) only administer water baptism in the presence of the fulfilled prerequisite of an informed and credible profession of faith? After all, Galatians 3:7 instructs us, “Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.” Furthermore, paedobaptism also comes into conflict with the regulative principle in that there is no explicit command or example of paedobaptism in the entire New Testament (and the New Testament has interpretive priority over the Old Testament).

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As an addendum to my comments above, I must point out that whereas circumcision was the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen 17:11) and the Sabbath was the sign of the Old Covenant (Exod 31:15-17; Ezek 20:12, 20), water baptism is not the sign of the New Covenant – another point that undermines Covenant Theology’s understanding of the connection between circumcision and baptism. Although water baptism is one of the two ordinances specifically commanded for the Church, the true sign of the New Covenant is the cup of the Lord’s Table. Luke’s account of the Last Supper clearly teaches this: “And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood’” (Luke 22:20). So, if paedobaptism truly incorporates infants as “covenant children” of the New Covenant, should not Covenant Theologians also extend to their infants and young children the Lord’s Table – for the sake of theological consistency? However, the New Testament clearly instructs us that individuals must examine themselves prior to partaking of the Lord’s Table (1 Cor 11:26-31) – something that an infant or an extremely young child cannot do. This is very telling, and the implications are obvious. If one is not able to or should not partake of the true sign of the New Covenant (the Lord’s Table), how can they logically be considered members of the New Covenant or “covenant children” of the New Covenant? In my opinion, they cannot. In the Old Testament, if one did not honor or fulfill the sign of the Abrahamic or Mosaic Covenants, he was cut off from the people with regard to the former (i.e. the Abrahamic – circumcision) or put to death for the latter (i.e. the Mosaic – Sabbath)! Finally, 1 Peter 3:21 defines baptism as “an appeal” or “a pledge” to God for a good conscience (the KJV says “an answer of a good conscience toward”). How can an infant or a young child who does not understand the faith or does not have the mental faculties yet to properly understand or has not been taught the faith or more importantly has not been elected by the sovereign, distinguishing grace of God (which is not up to parents or the local church) make “an answer of a good conscience toward God?” Again, I believe infants to be incapable of this.

Brother Bobby, I hope this answers your question. Thanks again. Soli Deo Gloria.”

 

Women and Old Men –Witnessess of the Resurrection

This is the outline of the message I will be giving to San Pedro CRC- today at 6 AM during the Easter Sunrise service:

Redemptive /Fallen Condition Focus:
1. Instead of fear – be courageous in the Spirit in witnessing to the Lord Jesus
2. Instead of uselessness –being used for hidden opportunities to share the Gospel

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Introduction
Read Ecclesiastes 12:
Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”;2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain,3 in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those who look through the windows are dimmed, —6 before the silver cord is snapped, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern,7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

Have we consider how we view life now that we are old –do we think we are still useful ? Are we just being left out- waiting only for our deaths?

Usually in male-dominated world-business and defense – old men and women are no threats

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Women –taking care of household chores and children –I am not demeaning you –I am just stating what is common..

But Men are! In business and in war

Men like Spartacus and his gladiators and the Jews in the Revolt were all crucufied!

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That is why the twelve cowardly apostles are in hiding for three days since Jesus arrest! They are a threat and they know it . Their Jesus is a leader of an insurrection against Caesar –as seen in the wood above Jesus head.

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But crucifixion in the time of Jesus is different but still women are no threat,

Why is Jesus a threat ?

Because He came as a king to Jerusalem though in peace

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And He threaten the monopoly of the Pharisees in truth and the socio-economic tyranny of the priest collaborating with the Romans in the Temple –when Jesus cleansed it from thievery and usury.

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Especially Annas- father-in-law of and Caiaphas

Many are glad of the Son of David coming to Jerusalem –but this wane easily when He was arrested in the night and ws not able to fight off a late night trial.
No one –not even his disciples were able to defend Him from the combined Priestly, Roman and Mob that condemened Him to Death.

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Critical – Did Jesus really died on the cross –there is no resurrection if there is no death;

Read Mark 15
40 There were also women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome.41 When he was in Galilee, they followed him and ministered to him, and there were also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.

Since they are not perceive as threat- able to see His crucixion –John? Priestly clan?

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They serve Him from Galilee – but they did not know it will lead to His death at Jerusalem.

Did He really died? Flogged, nailed, lance at His Side, feathers at the nose, with linen cloth wrapped, close quarters tomb, sealed tomb, with soldiers- YES

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He did not just died because of physical abuses –but of the sacrifice for SINS –OURS.

Read Mark 15
42 And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath,43 Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the Council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.44 Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead.45 And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph.46 And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.

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Joseph of Arimathea with Nicodemus –bold enough, when old –secretly –forced to be bold before Pilate – to ask for Jesus body.

Ensures that Jesus body is not thrown to common grave or eaten by carrion birds or dogs.

Ensures that Body is taken care of- before Sabbath starts at 6 PM.

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Tomb of Jesus – low head room, with first chamber …

Word on Pauline and Markan Priority

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Paul’s epistles written first:
Essential Gospel and How to live under the Lordship of Jesus:

Galatians
1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians
1 Corinthians
Romans
II Corinthians
I Timothy
Titus
Colossians
Ephesians
Philemon:
Philippians
II Timothy

Gospels: Order of Being Written:
Basic Story of Jesus for Gentiles- then eleboration for Jewish and Gentile Believers
Then John going back to the basic Gospel –believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as Son of God and be saved:

Mark
Matthew
Luke-Acts
John

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Mark- Q – dependence of Matthew and Luke to Mark but still large part is independent research or knowledge and also the possibility of sayings remembered by many disciples-Q- for source…See table for percentage ..

And so based on Paul
1 Corinthians 15: 3
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me

Peter..then Twelve..then 500 then James..then to Paul… highlighting usual local legal witnesses needed –men

But women –if two or more can witness –in those times:

So did Jesus died and rose form the grave?

Occupied or empty?

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Resurrection as History:
5 criteria that support the historicity of any event:
1. Multiple, independent witnesses – If several witnesses who aren’t copying each other say the same thing, the event is more likely to have happened.
2. Enemy witnesses – If an enemy of the event admits the event happened, it’s more likely to have happened.
3. Embarrassed witnesses – If a recorded event is something that wouldn’t have been made up by the author because it is embarrassing to his cause, the event is more likely to have happened.
4. Eyewitness testimony – Eyewitness testimony is more valuable than hearsay.
5. Early testimony – The closer a source is in time to the events it describes, the less time there was for the story to be embellished and corrupted

Also :
Minimal Facts Approach – Habermas & Licona -for the Resurrection:
1. Jesus died by crucifixion.
2. Jesus’ disciples so strongly believed in the Resurrection that they were
willing to suffer or die for their beliefs.
3. The Christian persecutor Paul suddenly converted.
4. The skeptic James, brother of Jesus, suddenly converted.
5. The tomb was empty.

What is resurrection body? Not spirit or ghost but corporeal- bodily –but not without the limitations of this body.

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1 Corinthians 15: 42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable.43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power

Some would say that we easily forget the details fo the death of our loved ones?
Is it true?

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Also see-
John 14: 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.
25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

I still remember the death of my Father in the hospital and morgue and of course of Nathaniel-April 14 2012 at a Taytay, Resort.

And so did the Women:
Mark 15:47-16:8
47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.
Mark 16:
1 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb.3 And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?”4 And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large.5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed.6 And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”8 And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Their love shown –even they He is dead..They wills serve Him..by anointing His body with spices.
They cannot get anything from Him when He is dead –but they persist in their devotion and love of Him.

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They fear they need two able bodied men to roll the stone
But it was already opened.
With a young man…an angel of the Lord..
Telling them that Jesus had already risen
With the Linen cloth left behind – the body and head cloth –left!

and they need to go to Peter –who betrayed Him three times :
Remember Mark is the nephew of Peter- He allowed this to be written.

By being there –still not a threat to men or the Roman Empire or the priests- they are able to be the first witnesses of the resurrection.

Mark 16: 8 And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Eventually –conquering their fear – Peter and John was able to know about this…and so the story goes on…

Jesus is now more dangerous to the Roman Empire and the Sanhedrin or the Priests now that He is Risen…and salvation can now be preached under His Name.

See the summary of the Gospels, Paul’s and Acts

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And Jesus showed Himself to the Apostles where they are hiding and in Galilee-

His Resurrection changes everything!

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Application:
1. Fear – Witness- despite of –but rely on the Holy Spirit and Scriptures always.
2. Feel that we are of no use anymore? – not seen as a threat; therefore witness and assist the spread of the Gospel.

Slide44

And someday we will be in the presence of the Risen Lord –as He is with us –in the Lord’s Table….

Think About these Things: CONCERN AND CONTENTMENT

I shared the Word to San Pedro CRC last March 16, 2014 on these topic. This is the first time I only made an outline of the message instead of the full text :

PHIL 4:8-23

Redemptive/Fallen condition Focus:
1. May dwell on negatives instead on the good things from God
2. May experience stinginess and insensitivity in helping church workers instead of being generous and open hearted.

Intro :

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What stories, values are expressed, reminded, remembered? Besides improbable scenarios and repeated formulas

Dwell on negatives, wrong perspectives, kill time

Need for better use of time.

Outline: Think, Be Concern to and Be Contented

Read:
1. Think on These Things
8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

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Not about yoga or TM or sitting and breathing somewhere else
Amidst real life and ministry challenges

Slide8

What are we supposed to be thinking?
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1. “True” (alethe) means valid, honest, and reliable (cf. Rom. 3:4).
2.”Honorable” or “noble” (semna) means worthy of respect (cf. Prov. 8:6; 1
Tim. 3:8, 11; Titus 2:2).
3. “Just” (dikaia) refers to what is just and upright.
4.”Pure” (hagna) denotes cleanness and connotes moral purity.
5. “Lovely” (prosphile) means what is amiable, agreeable, or pleasing.
Beethoven symphony, Doing good for Tacloban
6. “Commendable” or “admirable” (euphema) refers to what is praiseworthy
because it measures up to the highest standards.
This is not mere abstract virtues –common among non-believers –but this refers to:

Phils 4: 9What you have learned and w received and heard and seen x in me—practice these things, and y the God of peace will be with you.

Context is –as a summary of what he taught in life to them:

Slide11

Comment: Peace? Does not come in disobedience

Slide12

a. Partnership in the Gospel

Example is that the Caesar’s household is reach by the Gospel:
21Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. q The brothers who are with me greet you. 22 r All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.
23 s The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

b. To Live is Christ
c. Mind of Christ
d. Righteousness in Christ
e. Maturity in Christ
f. Being One in Christ
But there is one left lesson to teach –why we give?
READ:
2. Concern For…
10I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length z you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.

14Yet it was kind of you e to share [3] my trouble. 15And you Philippians yourselves know that f in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, g no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only.

Slide14

A. How ? We express our concern thru sharing …

Love and not show actions? Never works that way
Courting and yet no flowers and bringing up her things? Enervon
We should give financial assistance to those who share the gospel..
There is a receiving and giving.

Not an employer –employee –but PARTNERS

Slide15

B. Why give? Need /Affliction/Pressure:

14Yet it was kind of you e to share [3] my trouble
16Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again.

Pastors and missionaries are human too –clothes, daily food, transportation
Friend at ATS –Aung Mang –Burma –daily walk for 3-4 bible studies

Slide17

Why Give? It is TO GOD when we do:

[4] 18I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, j having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, k a fragrant offering, l a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.

Slide19

Paul using Temple Sacrifice language here: Fragrant offering –sacrifice acceptable.
Though Temple still standing when He wrote it –AD 70 Fall; and yet transferring it to the Mission work-spread of the Gospel…

When the heart full –it wants to give back to God what He gave..

C. How Much?
16Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again.
18I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, j having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent,

Slide21

Slide22

Full – Well Supplied – Paul, so he can share and share…
We should not be stingy, or tight-fisted- think of them living well –and not harried in mind- hard to pastor when family is in dire straits.
Not only once but recurring.
We eat everyday

Slide23

D. Effect on the Giver:
17 h Not that I seek the gift, but I seek i the fruit that increases to your credit.

19And my God m will supply every need of yours n according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20To o our God and Father be p glory forever and ever. Amen.

Paul is concern that Givers has an increase credit – when they give- and should we sharer of the Gospel- give opportunity for others to give-and be blessed by God!

But the basic return is that every necessity-food and shelter – GOD is guaranteeing the supply –whether in regular or in crises situation

According to His Riches: WOW! Not our need –but His Supply! So Give to legitimate MINISTRIES.

Slide25

OFW just went home to someone who made it BIG there

Slide26

3. Content in Whatever Situation
11Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be a content. 12I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and b hunger, abundance and c need. 13I can do all things d through him who strengthens me.

Proper attitude of recipient:

Slide28

We should not upgrade our lifestyle but remain simple. Not gusgusin- but presentable …but not luxurious…Toyota Vios –not Camry or BMW

Slide29

How? Remember Jesus Christ…Make other rich…but Himself simple and humble.

We can do more for Christ –whether with big or small resources –it depends on HIM not on what we can see or touch.

CONCLUSION:
Slide30

 

I Will not sing those New Songs…

Most Truly Reformed brethren will not be found within a foot of evangelical or Neo-Pentecostal asemblies- (besides the tongues speaking and other peculiar to those groups- which I am not advocating ) and here are some reasons why they hate or don’t like the singing within these assemblies:

Passion-Con-2

1. Their songs are childish
2. Their songs are repettive
3. Their songs are loud and noisy
4. Can anyone sing with that loud band?
5. Singing led by bands tends to highlight performances instead of worship
6. Their songs are not biblical
7. The words of their songs are NOT biblical-even pagan
8. The singing is after an experience and encounter and not to understanding
9. The singing is eclipsed by the musicians who always goes to solo guitar riffing.
10. The theology of their songs are heretical/false teaching.

What do you think -are these valid concerns?

False and True Security

This will be the message I will be sharing today-Febuary 23, 2014 to San Pedro CRC:

Philippians 3:1-16

Outline
1. Loss and Gain (Phils 3:1-9)
2. Press on , Hold On (Phils 3:10-16)

Fallen Condition/ Redemptive Focus:
1. We are tempted to be confident on our past achievements, associations, racial background, or even knowledge – instead of on holding onto Christ Jesus Only-
2. Instead of False Security and Insecurities –to venture forth in Faith In Christ – in the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Slide2

Intro:
When I was young – I was hoping to enter UP Diliman but since Electrical Engineering was a quota course – I failed –and so I just told my mother that I will enroll anywhere were it is safe to study-since it is still Marcos era –and rallies are everywhere. And so we chose UST, it was no big deal then -1981- but now? After UP, Ateneo or Dela Salle…UST is now a brand name…. Our schools or educational attainment -something to be proud of…

And now in the social media –Facebook or Instagram- we share our experiences –those we can be proud of –instead of being thankful. We are proud of our travels, gadgets, our food, the color of our skin…and for some of their family associations , our surnames, our jobs.

Though it truly defines us…it is wrong to ultimately find our security –eternal and abiding- in them –for they shall all pass and be nothing. One thing will only remain in the end. We will be discussing them now.

1. Loss and Gain (Phils 3:1-9)
(Phil 3:1 [ESV])
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.

(Phil 3:2 [ESV])
Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.
(Phil 3:3 [ESV])
For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh-

(Phil 3:4 [ESV])
though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more:

Have you observed –as we grow older –our fathers seems to be repetitive? Either they are saying the same thing becasue it is really important-or we continue to forget or disobey their counsels to them. This repetitiveness springs from our concern of those under our care.

And so Paul started at v .1 that these things he will be saying it for their safety…their protection that he has to say these things again. And what are these things?

It is about the Judaizers, supposed to be Christians still clinging to the past –to their source of their righteousness.

In v2, Paul strongly equates those of the Judaizers with those outside the kingdom…outside the church that he called them dogs, evil workers and mutilators –like that of mention Leviticus 21:15 that Moses when he led the nation -warned them about these things …for they are …more concerned of outward religion instead of what is real in their hearts.

In v3 So Paul defined for us –what Gentiles under Christ…under the New Covenant – not under the Sinai Covenant – we should be.

Slide4

One of my distant relative is an Adventist and she was ostracized for her strange beliefs- very anti-Catholic and even anti-Protestant even. And so my interests is checking on how divergent the theologies of Armstrongism and the Seventh Day Adventist on their preoccupation with Food, Festivals and Laws of the Mosaic Covenant..and sometimes I just smile when Evangelicals and even Reformed Christians try to do what ther are doing .

For the past 10 years there is a new rage from the works of James Dunn and NT Wright aboiut how we Protestants like Luther misinterpreted Paul.

Their teaching is that Justification is about the acceptance of Gentiles in the New Covenant of Jesus. That the whole Judaizing heresy is not abut Justification per se but acceptance within the covenant community. There is truth in their allegations…and that it is true that the preoccupation of 1st century Christians with Jewish boundary markers is in fact disloyalty to the Messiah Jesus.

Slide6

We are no longer defined- if we sacrifice at the Temple or that we even make animal sacrifices..nor observance of Sabbaths, Food Laws or the annual Festivals or whatever is related to the Temple sacrifices.

For they are shadows..the reality is in Jesus…his Person and Work. Not just Justification but also our sanctification is first and foremost in Jesus and the Holy Spirit He sent to us –starting at Pentecost.

For we the true circumcision..in our hearts…we worship in Spirit and Truth –who was given to us…we take pride in Jesus our Savior and Lord…And we don’t take any confidence in our flesh- our achievements or who we are in this world. We rely only in Jesus. And this is the key – the chord that resonates in the music of the salvation and taught by Paul in chapter 3.

Confidence in the Flesh
(Phil 3:4 [ESV])
though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more:

(Phil 3:5 [ESV])
circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee;

(Phil 3:6 [ESV])
as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

In v5 – Paul –tries to stooped to their level –for arguements sake –for He has much to be confident in the flesh…for he was not hastily circumcised when he was already old but since birth –on the 8th day as required by the Law. He is from the Nation of Israel-an Israelite…both of his parents are Jews- Hebrew of Hebrews, from the tribe of Benjamin who remains loyal to Kingdom of Judah and did not secede from it and went to the Northern Kingdom.

And as for the Law- in its exacting demands – in ritual purity, Sabbath observation, food laws, and temple sacrifices –he is a member of the strictest sect –Pharisees…the seperated ones- and was mentored by the esteemed Gamaliel. In terms of righteousness demanded by Law and the Sacrifices- he is blameless- without fault! No one can bring an accusation to him before He became a Christian –in terms of outward conformity to the Law.

Slide7

He in fact boasted that his zeal is real –for he pursues the followers of that blasphemer and criminal and accursed Jesus to the ends of the earth. Not until he encountered the Risen Lord at Damascus and realized that there is an alien righteousness coming from Jesus.

This is what it amounts to- if Law is seen without what Christ Jesus has done and accomplished in the Cross and His Resurrection …. it is just zeal not according to knowledge.

And there are still many out there who will demand from us to gain and maintain salvation to do this or that. As if Jesus did not die in the cross and was not resurrected from the dead and is now at the right hand of God-reigning and interceding for us.

Gains and Loss

(Phil 3:7 [ESV])
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.

(Phil 3:8 [ESV])
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ

(Phil 3:9 [ESV])
and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith-

Slide9

Verses 7 to 11 is interesting from a business point of view..for it speaks of loss (forfeiture) and gain (financial assets ) and then even went to the other extreme of considering or accounting it all these gains (plural) as rubbish- dug- waste given to the dogs.

In v7 he considered all things –yes all things – as ONE BIG LOSS

and then at v 8 he speaks of gain-asset because of knowing Jesus Christs- which is to him is of supreme worth –to the next level in our lingua, nothing can compare to it …so that he can have that righteousness that comes from trusting Jesus..

2. Press on , Hold On (Phils 3:10-16)
(Phil 3:10 [ESV])
that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

(Phil 3:11 [ESV])
that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

And then he spoke of something crazy – “and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” – becoming conformed with him.

Let us review some views of how we view sufferings:
1. The Catholic view – they inflict lashes on their bodies hoping they can atone or suffer here now in this earth –so they can merit heaven
2. The Muslim jihadist- They inflict pain and death to others-infidels- so that they can merit paradise with so many virgins waiting for them –like Valhalla that of Norse myth.
3. The Prosperity Gospel- health, wealth to the the Christian who have faith- which is the twin opposite of
4. Job/s friends view- all sickness, calamity and poverty can be explained by the lack of faith or the sin of the Christian.
5. Pauline’s view on suffering- in this side of heaven –suffering happens to the Christian who shares and partners in the Gospel- and thus he experience the power of resurrection in this life.

Most often – we try to avoid pain and loss and for good reasons- we have inherent instinct to self-preservation..but not all pain and suffering are evil…sometimes it is for our sanctification, our growth as disciples, our growth in wisdom.

So many times in the past- when I was suspended as an elder without trial nor appeal in the Presbyterian church, when my father died, during Milenyo, Ondoy and Maring-Habagat our house in San Pedro is inundated by floods-as high as almost waist deep inside in the house, when my nephew-Nathaniel died of drowning, and then last November’s hospitalization due to diverticulosis-during the Yolanda typhoon.

I have to go through pain, isolation and fears – And I need to surrender all..my knowledge..my treasure …my idea of security – so that I will know this intimate knowledge of Jesus.. That it is still my direct relationship- my bare and naked connection to the Lord –which is more important.

And so with my recent bout with my diverticulitis..and subsequent clearance colonoscopy last January 2014- He wants me to hold onto Him whatever happens. Even when alone in the endoscopy unit.

Salvation is free..because Someone paid for it –for we cannot pay –how much we worked for it…and we cannot pretend that we can still do something about it… we must surrender all-consider all things loss…and learn to hold only to Jesus. We must learn to let go . The New Covenant is defined by this newer loyalty.

When Douglas Macarthur came to Japan – it is no longer just the Emperor that people should have loyalties to…it is to the American Caesar or Shogun that they should be loyal to as well … To us it is more – it supplants, it replaces totally our earthly allegiance – No king but Jesus.

During Lord Supper –when we eat the bread and drink the cup..I am reminded of a scene from a movie- Highlander – starred by Chris Lambert and Sean Connery who belongs to a race called Immortals – there was a scene where Lambert- was sipping the wine and je was remembering what is happening in that year…maybe he reign of a Napoleon ..or his defeat at Waterloo.

What do you remember when you drink the cup- we should remember His death and His resurection –yes and primarily yes…but as those with Him..we must also raise a toast to the goodness of our Lord-through the years…the years of pain of sorrow, of pain, pf our isolation , of being misunderstood- for he stood by our side .

And through the joys, the fellowship, the triumphs , the times when we were all together as one body …For The Lord is good and always to be trusted…in death and resurrection.

The death of Jesus for Christians –cannot be divorced or separated from His resurrection. The meaning the intent and extent of His work at the cross is packaged with His Rising from the grave and that this is applicable in totality to Christians…not just Justification but also sanctiifcation.

It is not only the penalty of sin we escaped from –but now in our lives we should experience and expects deliverance as well from the power of sin –and then in the end –its presence as well! Great is the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Phil 3:12 [ESV])
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.

(Phil 3:13 [ESV])
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,

(Phil 3:14 [ESV])
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

(Phil 3:15 [ESV])
Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.

(Phil 3:16 [ESV])
Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

Sometimes we take pride in what we know or how we are called – like we are Reformed or Pentecostal or Baptist or Fundamentalist – and that we know more of the ways and mind of our Lord in this world.

Slide12

We have undergo in the past –trainings and seminars and so many activities –and we take pride that we are part of the inner circle of a local church –and as time goes on – we no longer grow or sympathize with those new believer being drawn by the Lord to our church- we stopped sharing and discipling others in the basic of the Faith.

We also no longer take risks for the faith or in reaching out others- “been there-done that before” and so instead of stretching out for the faith and discipling others for the Lord- we stopped growing and we turn inside our cocoon and hide in our shells.

From v 12 to 14-Paul addresses those more mature in faith- in the Christian life- He reminded them –that like him- They have not yet actively obtained nor passively was perfected yet.

Like an athlete- or our lone Sochi delegate –Michael Christian Martinez -there is growth as sons and disciples – We must continue to press on knowing more and more of Jesus and his calling to us in this world- we must remember that this a call heavenward –to God –and this is part of being a Christian.

We must remember this as our target for we might forget. It must be our mark- our crossline in our scope.

In our office we have a 3 year goals, annual goals and then the quaterly goals so that we might not lose trackor be distracted.

We must forget our past achievements – so as to root out pride and be lax or no longer venturing forth.

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,

And we must strive in all our might- our whole heart, mind and strenght must strive to lay hold of Jesus as we are held by Him …We must not let go and be bullied by our fear of defeat or irrelevance.

Others may think otherwise..saying it is time to rest..to be out of the limelight..to lay low… Maturity does teach us to NOT be hugging the forefront- to be succesful merely in the eyes of the world ..but to be faithful to the one calling us- everyday…For we have not yet arrived in heaven yet nor we have the resurrection body yet…

We must live consistent lives and not eventually falls by the wayside and forget who we are. Walking the same rule- same mindset- we continue to serve the One Lord.

Slide13

There is a tv series of a Chemistry teacher –Mr White –who when he learn he is dying from lung cancer- instead of redressing his life- turn bad- “Breakig Bad’- instead use his knowledge of chemistry in making high grade shabu and which involves later in the series- murder and so many evils-until he died.

There is a real danger here..Jesus died sometime AD 30 and Paul will also die by 67AD-and maybe He wrote these epeistles when he was imprisoned around 62 AD. 30 years is a long time –waiting for the Lord to avenge against His old covenant nation and against the Mighty Roman Empire. And we might also think now also-which is more than 2000 years ago since Jesus –physically left this earth.

It is a call to perseverance…Those who ears…hear…

A christian-a true christian should not be eaten by despair and succumbed to the world. If you think otherwise- Paul is confident –that God will reveal-confront you later of this.

As Spurgeon said here-“Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Let us keep all the good that we have received; let us not give up the truth that we have learnt; let us not leave the way along which we have traveled so far; and let us keep together, let perfect unanimity prove that the work of grace is going on in one as well as in another.”

What would you do?
When the love had gone cold- will you run to someone warmer or will you listen to the whisper in your ears –saying -You are my child…see I love you so that I gave my one and beloved Son for you..Don’t be lonely –for I am with you …always…
When your the one you have known so many years- is now sick and is now dying and heaving his last breathe – Will you remember –that there is a Father that will leave you nor forsake you as an orphan in this world?
Someday these lowly bodies will be transformed- no more be ashamed of our sickness or diseases. We will be like Jesus glorified bodies. We will use the energy that He will use in His Second coming in subduing the whole creation to trasform us.
By then we will no longer live by Faith- but we shall see Him face-to-face.
What would you do now knowing there is still a future for us-a heavenly hope for us?
Conclusion:
1. We must be in full confidence- in the identity we have in Jesus
2. We must trust not on ourselves or what this world offers- but only in Jesus
3. We must act as mature – holding onto what we have learned and yet continue to press on the claims of Lordship in this dying world.
4. We must remain a people of Hope…That Jesus will come again and with Him we will be resurrected in glory.
Tomorrow when we arises from our sleep and go to work, school or stay in our neighborhood –this perspective- positive, confident and yet humble before God – be our guide as we talk to other persons, neighbors..let us express and spread that there is hope beyond this world –this space and time- and let us point to the person who makes it all possible- the Lord Jesus Christ.