Tag Archives: Word

Change of Blog Name-Walk by Grace thru Faith

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Because of my commitment to believer’s/disciples baptism that I chose to change my blog name from Critical Time to Grace Thru Faith –without neglecting the Reformed emphasis on all of life is Grace. But since it is not really Justification if man does not receive the gift of salvation without faith.

But as I continue in my spiritual journey I realize that  being justified is not the complete story of our salvation – there are people out there that will enslaved us again –to the Law, to works-oriented Christian life –to forgetting our adoption in Christ. Not relying in the resurrection power of Jesus but in trying to kill the old self-the flesh with earthly weapons-instead of relying in the power of the Holy Spirit.

As I was preparing the message for the youth service of San Pedro CRC last 1st week of July- I stumbled upon this outline from Ephesians 5-which is:

I. Walk in Love

2                      And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

3                      But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.

4                      Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

II. Walk in the Light

8                      for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light

9                      (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true),

10                   and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.

III. Walk in Wisdom

15                   Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,

16                   making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

17                   Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

 And so I expropriate it to my blog-calling it “Walk by Grace, thru Faith” regaining the perspective of a life live as well in Grace –and not just in Faith for salvation- i.e. from beginning from Grace (in eternity)to this life now-and then at our final Justification –which is eternally secured because of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The theme of that July message was on Honoring Parents- and because :

  1. The Lord says so-it is His claim on our life
  2. It is proper and right because in our natural life –even unbelievers honor their parents.
  3. Because it insures that our life will be long and well (quantitatively and qualitatively    

So –it-the Word of God really surprises me when I prepared that message –I also realize that walking in love means being committed to purity in life and tongue and sexual fidelity,  living in the light means that I consider –goodness,righteousness and truth. And that wisdom is making sure that every  opportunity is considered as witness to Jesus. The Lord be praised for His unexpected gifts to us.

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Abandoned and Yet Delivered-2 Timothy 4

Introduction:

Graduates of Electrical Engineering not ready for real work.

Need to be taught- like Gallie –CBK Kaliraya, Maki-Northwind Ilocos norte, and Hendrix at Mitsubishi Japan. Great to be of help when they are at Meralco.

When we apply for a job –we need to know some info:

  1. Employer: v. 1

God and Jesus

Judge at his appearing and kingdom- 70AD and Last Judgment

Its difficult if you don’t know your boss-like Heart Evangelista-na bos niya pala si Mark Herras-eh taray taray niya sa kaniya. Kasakasama niya-eh sinusulit na pala siya actual.

  1. Task : v 2-6

Note: Two extremes: Read 2:2 “and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

All Leaders (no experts in wisdom and experience in handling the word) (Gifts and calling)

One Leader (Local pope-one who knows all-and decides all) –Picture for Jesus only –and not any man.

But Faithful Men- Laymen and at least one professional trained and called by God and congregation. So I am addressing this to present leaders and future leaders-of the next generation of this congregation-you know who you are.

  1. Preach the Word (story of FISUEL -3 languages-one topic-Safe Installations and Inspections)
  2. Be ready (a soldier in a war-always on guard and ready for battle)
  3. In season, out of season –eukairos, akairos- fruit of season.

Not cultural preference, fad, fashion or what most are doing.

Old wisdom-speak only when timely. New Wisdom-ask the Lord if we must still speak-even when we feel that it is not a good time-like when they will kill us if we speak for the Lord (Columbine Senior Student killed by 1 of the 2 crazy disturbed gunners)

  1. Convince, Rebuke and encourage

Tell him he is wrong, why it is wrong, show what is right and encourage them to do what is right. It is not the preacher who does these things-but it is the Word of God. It is not our agenda to be right always and correct others. But the word of God sets our agenda.

  1. With patience

Not arrogant or suplado-take time to show them: We are not always right-and cool and calm disposition will sort things out.

  1. And teaching

To teach is to make sure that what you taught was also understood. By questions or actual demonstration. 7 Laws of the Learner and teacher.

Many thought that t be faithful is to be stubborn. To be prod of your learning even it is from seminary. But it must be based from the Scripture. Remember many Adventist, INC, Mormons, Jeh Witnesses are also seminary graduated.

Our faithfulness is geared especially to Jesus and His Gospel of Grace. To be open to the Spirit which gave life and light in the Word of God.

  1. Endure affliction

And we must endure being maltreated and misunderstood. Walang pusong mamon.

  1. Do work as an evangelist-always share the Message of Jesus. The man of God is not a big shot that does not need to share the simple message of the Gospel-it is always his task. Jesus and His Word do not change. But we must change because of our exposure to it. We must continue to be conformed to beauty and grace of our Lord. Someday we will be as kind and strong as our Lord.

Being stubborn and hard-headed is not a virtue-being faithful to the lord is.

  1. Fulfill the ministry (Make full proof of your service-not mere men-pleasers only) not for facebook or picture-taking only.
  2. Accomplish the task to the end:

“7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

His departure is coming-Like my mentor who died May 5, 2010 Arizona-85 years old-always sleeping and then suddenly he died in his sleep. Their ship sails on-it will never be found in this side of the sea-until we meet again in the end of time.

  1. Challenges
  2. Your future market will not listen to you: v 3-4

-Itching ears-pleasant messages that appeal to the emotions –and no truth or part a lie. The preaching of the Word is demanding to its hearers.

Teachings must lead the emotions-not emotions our teachings.

-Listeners will not endure nor tolerate listening to the Word. Listening is learn behavior-ask Call center agents.

-But the one with the Spirit will have the motivation to hear it. We are like AM radio with antennas being rotated for better reception. But without batteries there is no value in rotating the antenna. Some people are like that-they are here-but they are not hearing. They have no Spirit-and thus they need to be entertained in the church instead of being fed by the Word.

  1. Internal problems: co-workers undependable: v 10 Demas –in Phiemon 24 he was called fellow laborer, in Col 4:14 –he even greeted others in Paul’s writings.

And v.18 all forsook me

Example: Tug-of-war, -(James Bond’s Golden Eye- your enemy is your ally)

  1. External problems: Competitor against you in the court of law: Alexander the coppersmith (idol-maker) v. 14-15

Being imprisoned:

Being alone in a different place –he room is either small or bigger than what you are used to…The food –is either too bland or too salty or too spicy…The language-is different from what you are used to …sometimes you resort to sign language to cope. No real intelligent conversation. Oh such miserable situation.

Sometime we feel abandoned by those we needed the most. Like our best friend, our siblings, our parents, our wife – so that we will not rely on anyman but on God alone. They cannot fill the place of the Lord it is too big. Sometimes we must stand alone for truth. No one will follow you-you are just alone-but not really alone… Later we will discuss it.

Demas don’t want to be identified with a criminal-a prisoner-and thus walk away in defending Paul. Who wants to side with a loser? A prisoner? You might get imprisoned too.

Better to separate and get lost in the crowd –so as not to be pinpointed to be his companion-just what happened to Jesus in his trials before Pilate and the Sanhendrin. Be part of a world and its victors!

Out of the lion’s mouth v17-refers to Emperor Nero-the Roman Beast who will eventually have Paul executed-the antichrist of his time. A servant of Satan-there will be a lot like him in history until the end of time.

  1. Rewards or Compensation
    1. Brothers-in-arms v. 10b-12-Luke, Mark, Tychicus and others

2 Tim 4:13-14 “When you come, bring with you the cloak I left in Troas with Carpas and the scrolls, especially the parchments.”

The man of God –even when near death will not part with his scriptures-and studies of it. The congregation may want visuals and visual aids-but the man-of-God is man of the spoken and written Word. Beware of the one who does not relish the word.

  1. The Lord stood…and delivered me v. 17 (God’s presence and deliverance)
  2. Heaven v. 18 and Crown of righteousness v. 8 (and not only to me but those who love his appearing).

What was the feeling of seeing Lakers winning the NBA series this Friday-it was long Finals- seven games.

Application:

Current Leaders: You know the priority of any Christian Ministry-Jesus, The Gospel and the Word-do not exchange it for another.

Future Leaders- do not be discouraged by who you are now and what you can do or understand now- God will supply all our needs-and change us from glory to glory. If you hear his voice-do not ignore him-make plans to fulfill his task-and do it.

Congregation: Make it your commitment to study the Word on your own-so that no preacher or teacher will be able to stand here with just his stories and opinion –without even reading, interpreting and applying the Word to our lives.

Let us make our commitment to “fight the good fight, to finish the race, to keep the faith”.

Amen!

Famine in the Land

We already have a famine of the Word of God.

For the past year I am observing in different churches-VCF-Alabang,Word for the World-Makati,Bread of Life, GCF, Union Church of Manila. Most would start with a text-4 churches would continue with it-but only 2 will only really do expository preaching and end with an application that is derived from the text. Most will go on topical preaching and hop from one text to another to finish their message. Their application does not tally with the text.

And these are the big churches. Is there something wrong with our seminaries that taught these pastors? or are these pastors following a different model?

Pastors/Elders -please be faithful preachers of the Word-and we must show faithful and relevant preaching-or this generation and the coming one is lost. We must look into how we teach our children regarding their biblical education. We must show to them that His message is exciting and yet have great depth and breadth. And we must make sure that they read the Word-on their own. They must be conversant and intimate with the biblical text. They must be able understand it within their context and canonical position.

Preaching as if there is still tomorrow

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James 4:13-17 

 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”– yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

 1Corinthians 2:1-5

 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

 1Corinthians 2:13-14

 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

 Preaching as if there is still tomorrow

 Some preachers will like to reach out to people-really- with the Word of God. Only they want it in bites and sizes that can be easily digested by their hearers. Nothing wrong with that-in fact it is commendable. It is when the content of such messages is change from what is urgent and essential to something contemporary and mundane.

 I have read magazine articles of cults like the old Worldwide Church of God and Jehovah’s witnesses discussing things regarding home life, personal enrichment and some political and economic viewpoints. They are in fact tailored and well edited articles and they are geared to the needs of their readers. Much like the Reader Digest or similar magazine. However, this does not addressed what is essential and urgent to the lives of unbelievers.

 I believe in soft selling the Gospel i.e. sugar coating the medicine of the gospel by contemporary concerns-but it must still contain the medicine. And there is no good news without the bad news. Or the hearers might think that the medicine is for something else more pedestrian or common-not the one that need surgery or organ transplant.

 Consider this also-not every unbeliever we meet still has their 1000 days to spare-maybe tomorrow or next week=they have to meet their Maker-and they will be found wanting or naked of the needed righteousness before the throne room of God.

 And even how much we change our language-our message is still on to rough translating by our hearers-they cannot really get it or understand it- There will always be a heart problem that only a fully proclaimed Word-then explained and then applied-will an unbeliever be forced to face his lack of Mediator before God due to his sins and transgression of the law. That is if they were also enlightened and reborn by the Holy Spirit. Without this rebirth-we will be only talking to dead spirits of living men and women.

 So-now-we must have confidence: to share the Word –interpret, explain, illustrate and apply. Our message must rely fully to the content and thought of the Word of God. Or else the conversion we thought that the unbeliever or hearer is undergoing or undergone may not be real conversion. Merely spurious or false. We might just delude them to eternal destruction. And woe to us if they stumble to the darkness because we are not faithful to the message. There are bare minimum in terms of the content and sooner or later-we must tell it to our dear friends and neighbors. They must not only know about Christ-they must be confronted by Him. And the only way is through the faithful preaching of the Word of God.

By the way- I am not defining preaching exclusively as church building pulpit preaching. I am more emphasizing the ordinary sharing of the Word in the byways of life. Brethren-we might have all the time in the world-but our unbelieving generation does not. And let us not be afraid of doctrines. It is just teaching-the INC,Jehovah,Mormon , Muslim and what have you-always thrive in this situation and they are  multiplying in adherents. It is cowardice that make us manufacture all these excuses not to share the Word. If you want training-there are many local churches and parachurch organization who are willing to teach us.

To my Timothy’s

For all those I shared my bible knowledge, insights and theological directions like Gerwin, Teddy, Romy, Samuel, Rovic and others through the years-here are my suggestions -in order that you may still grow and mature in the faith and life:

1. Remain faithful to the Lord Jesus -not how your church tradition or peers conceive him to be-nor other scholars -especially the “historical Jesus” group nor the “high scholasticism Jesus” conceive him to be.

2. Be faithful to the Word of God-but learn first how to understand it-by reading it, understanding its language, historical and cultural milieu and knowing the broad sweep perspective of the whole bible.

3. Use your reason and insights in applying your bible knowledge. Do not forget your common sense -and do not be intimidated by others-in applying what is wrong or right-even if others are no longer living (the great authors of previous years).

4. Use tradition or the voice of the church fathers/reformers/confessions -as long as they retained their secondary status with respect to Scriptures. You must remember Scripture better than your confessionsional standards.

5. Ask advice from almost everybody-even your enemies-maybe they have the right perspective in understanding the truth-you just have to extract it from them. It is true that “whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future. Everything belongs to you,23 and you belong to Christ”…

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6. Always believe in defending freedom before any human authority. We only bow down before Divine authority-everything else is relative.

7. Always allow room for your own personal or others experience in your search for truth. It is not infallible butu it is also not dispensable. Use and learn how to use it