Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Blueprint of God’s Ultimate Purpose Part 4

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For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. (Zephaniah 3:9-11 KJV)

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:21-24 KJV)

The last thing that God’s ultimate purpose brings to the church is:

2.) ownership – we need to again look at verse 10 and notice the word “my”. God claims his people. The reason why we are saved is not just to put us in a safe place, out of danger of God’s wrath but also to own us that we might “bring mine offering” including worhip to our King. We dont just know Him, but also we know Him because He acquired us for Himself to be fitting (because of Christ) to worship. We are saved to serve, first and foremost to serve God. What are our excuse for not complying to this? Nothing. Because in verse 11, we see God knocked out the barriers for not worshipping Him. Christians, dont make excuses not to unite with the church. Dont make excuses for not giving what God demands from you. Obey Him and give what He requires from you!

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (Acts 20:28 KJV)

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: (1 Peter 1:22 KJV)

Conclusion:

Where do you fit in this big picture? Do you see yourself in this church cuddling your complacency? Are you not willing to be in one with the church to worship God? Stop and consider you have been saved for this sole purpose. Reexamine yourself and repent if youre not giving God that reason you are created.

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The Blueprint of God’s Ultimate Purpose Part 3

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For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. (Zephaniah 3:9-11 KJV)

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:21-24 KJV)

Before we move on, lets check out again the three components of our salvation:

1.) regeneration – verse 9 we read “then will I turn to the people a pure language…” It is necessary for us to receive the things from God. Dead in sin made alive.
2.) faith – again in verse 9 “that they may all call upon the name of the Lord…”. Faith is the means to grab hold on to Christ’s promises to save. Faith originates from God.
3.) adoption-we draw that from verse 10 “From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.” In salvation, we become sons of God. Now we are able to call and legitimately worship God.

The graciousness of God to us undeserving sinners is truly staggering. Understanding this what should be the church response? What does it brought to us members of His body? Zephaniah 3:9 gives us two (the last one is for next week):

1.) Unity – verse 9 states that we “to serve him with one consent”. In other versions, “one consent” can rendered “one accord” (ESV), “shoulder to shoulder” (NIV) and “with a single purpose” (Holmans Bible). So it is our business as redeemed people of God to unite for the sole purpose to glorify Him and eventually worship Him. We cannot as a church effectively worship God if we dont have this sort of oneness. Unity is what we do and giving our best. Church, we need each other. Let us unity because we are saved. Let us unite for God’s ultimate purpose! Remember the early days of the church in Acts 2: 46:

“And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,”

(To be concluded next week…)

Book Review: What Does the Lord Require? by Walter C. Kaiser Jr.

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I can place biblical ethics into two things. One, it is a sticky topic, since the Bible is somewhat silent or unclear in some issues under morality. Two, the most asked questions comes from this area. So the usual response will be either ignore it, compromise it and be a legalist. Though their are many response, one result the will be on everybody’s mind will be that Bible is not relevant to the 21 st century.

“What Does the Lord Require?” focuses on the sticky topics related to Christian ethics. This book will unglue you to those situation and see it in a biblical perspective. From relational (cohabitation, adultery), stewardship (environment, financial), law (civildisobedience, capital punishment), media (entertainment, pornography), health (stem cell research, genetic engineering) etc; all pack in this one great volume. You dont need to check one or two books, you can get it all here. A no nonsense book that feed you biblical response not only to give you answers but also helps you teach it. Kaiser’s experience in classroom and church setting is indistinguishable while reading the book. That means this book will work in any settings.

What so great about this book, Kaiser provided an ready-to-preach outline for pastors and preachers so they can communicate it easily to the church. The indexes are accommodating to readers who wants to find specific topics.

This is great book for the church to digest and for unbelievers who ask questions. More than a guide book to pastors, Christian professionals working in teaching environment will benefit from this book. Well arranged and well written, a clean cut book that you should place in your study table. Highly recommended.

Book Review: Jesus The Evangelist by Richard D. Phillips

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So far I’ve been blessed in reading Richard Phillips works. He may be outshadowed by other Reformed authors but I really appreciate how his writes subjects with depth and clarity. If their is a topic I didnt understand from John Piper, I go to R. C. Sproul. And if I still dont understand Sproul I go to Richard D. Phillips.

The premise of this book, “Jesus The Evangelist” is to teach Christians how to share the gospel biblically by looking at the first four chapters of the Gospel of John. Rarely do I see the Gospel of John placed in this light having read books on John’s Gospel (now I’m checking “John” by R. C. Sproul). So this is an evangelism book,which has two target Christian audience,
“committed and biblically motivated Christians who do little in the way of evangelism” (pg. 12) and
“zealous witnesses who would profit from strong biblical reflection on Jesus’ own approach to evangelism” (pg.12). He aims to reinforce zeal with biblical content in sharing the gospel. As I read the book, Phillips laid a primer and a refresher for those two types indulge. Both parties will essentially benefit from this book.

The book is divided into three parts: biblical principles for evangelism, theology of the gospel, and
practice of evangelism. Having those sections in the book makes a clear and well arranged book that you wont get lost. All the sections do hold water but the theology of the gospel and practice of evangelism gets the cake. Since this is about evangelism you can find drizzles of methods and examples of it all over the book. Phillips made little mention of other way to propagate the gospel (like giving gospel tracts). As you go on reading this you’ll realize that one on one evangelism is the priority of the book. “Jesus the Evangelist” didnt made a full discussion of modern evangelism prevalent in our time but mentioned it in passing. Lacking those issues doesn’t make the book weak because the author right away goes on to the main issue at hand.

Phillips presents not only the biblical way of sharing the gospel but encourages us believers by reminds us that even in what we think as a weak effort we, by God’s mercy, win souls for Christ (giving his conversion as an example).

The book ends with a challenge to Christians holding the Calvinist view that evangelism matters for a God who is sovereign. God’s sovereignty and evangelism is not at odds with each other but highlights both for the excellency of God.

Notable Quotes:

“God loved this evil world not after but before the Savior came to turn our hearts back to heaven; God’s love is the reason we can be forgiven and born again to inherit eternal life.”

“The greatest need of Christians is to exercise their faith in Christ—to make their belief not a mere assent but a living practice and habit.”

“A true Christian church is not only evangelical, in that it holds to the biblical gospel, but it is evangelistic—it zealously spreads and shares that gospel. This means that to be a Christian is to be called as an evangelist.”

“The distance between us and God is infinite in every way. But God’s love is infinitely great to span that distance. ”

“Apart from a willingness that comes only from God and the new spiritual life that only God can give, our witness will never lead to faith and salvation. ”

“If its glorifies Jesus that He makes salvation possible for everyone, it glorifies Him even more that He actually saves particular individuals. Christian salvation is universal in its offer but particular in its application.”

“Jesus the Evangelist” by Richard D. Phillips is a book that assist you by giving you a biblical perspective in evangelism.

You can grab a copy of this by checking out the Ligonier or Amazon. Ligionier Ministries provided the review copy of this book for this post

The Blueprint of God’s Ultimate Purpose Part 2

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For then  will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. (Zephaniah 3:9-11 KJV)

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:21-24 KJV)

Now we turn to the second and third components of our redemption. As a Christian we must know this so that we can get in full terms with God’s ultimate purpose that is the worship of Himself.

2.) faith – “that they may all call upon the name of the Lord…”. After they have been regenerated, meaning restored from being lost to chosen, they are now able to accept the salvation by God. And they can only acquire it by faith. Lets look at the following verses:

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Acts 2:21 KJV)

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (Romans 10:13-15 KJV)

So faith is essential to establish the saving power of God.

3.) adoption. Verse 10 reveals this component, “From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.” After being regenerated and receiving faith to accept salvation, now God gives us the rights to be His. “My suppliants” and “my dispersed” shows the possessiveness of God. This gives His redeemed ones authority and ability to call God in a more personal level. He didnt just leave us regenerated, nor just saved but He gave us dignity. Check these verses out and see how God is good in adopting us:

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12 KJV)

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (1 John 3:1-3 KJV)

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26 KJV

Being regenerated, receiving faith to believe and being adopted we must put it in mind that we are very privilege. Knowing this we should carry on that benefit to live for Jesus and to this dying world. And thats why we are elected to salvation. By now we are grasping the purpose of God for Himself.

Having now salvation as the key to God’s ultimate purpose, as a church what does it bring to us and how does it connect to the worship of God? How do we bring about the reason why everything exist as the apex of God’s purpose?

(To be continued next week…)

The Blueprint of God’s Ultimate Purpose Part 1

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For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain. (Zephaniah 3:9-11 KJV)

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:21-24 KJV)

When we say blueprint it is a detailed outline or plan of action. God has a ultimate purpose. He created this universe and everything in it for a reason. You and me were created because of that reason. So one may ask, what is God’s ultimate purpose? The answer is: the worship of Himself! But how do God accomplish this specifically for us, Christians? One may consider that their is a key for this purpose laid out for a believer. And that key is: SALVATION.

In our lesson, we will seek to view “God’s Ultimate Purpose”. But we need to go from the start, or in other words the basics. And whats more basic that to view our salvation.

What are the some of the components of our salvation?

1.) regeneration – verse 9 we read “then will I turn to the people a pure language…”. Regeneration is spiritual birth or restoration. It happens before we have faith. We are decaying with sin but by God’s mercy, He restored us back to we can take the faith necessary to be saved.

And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. But as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord God. Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. (Ezekiel 11:19-22 KJV)

As you can see without regeneration, its impossible to be saved and follow God. Notice the “I” mentioned. It came from God not to men’s effort. How magnificent God’s mercy to sinners that He done something to us that are undeserving!

(To be continued next week…)