Category Archives: Doctrine

Book Review: “Who Is Jesus According to the New Testament?” by Dr. Isabelo F. Magalit

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I was so happy that OMFLit published this very controversial book that addresses the Iglesia ni Cristo church. This is a very bold move not only from the publisher but also from the author, Dr. Isabelo F. Magalit. There are books already published about INC but this one is something that is very unique. Written by one of the sharpest mind in the evangelical scene, reading this booklet for me, will give a deer in the headlight for a INC member. This book didnt tackle all of that is need to tackled about this cult but it struck nerve in a few topics it has raised. Another thing its a short read and the price is very affordable that you will want to buy one to give to an INC member or to your congregations library.

“Who Is Jesus According to the New Testament?” in its few opening pages discuss salvation by faith alone. Then further Dr. Magalit allows it to mix with the main theme of the book, which is the the deity of Jesus. Read it twice to throughly absorb it and everytime I read it, my jaw drops. Dr. Magalit presented his case with precision. This may not be a silver bullet but it does penetrates.

“Who Is Jesus…?” I think should bag one of the best release of OMF in 2014! If you are one of those people who came to MIBF without taking this book home, I will tell you, You missed alot! Big time! But if you want not just to reach out our Iglesia ni Cristo friends (tip: buy multiple copies) also to equip yourself with biblical knowledge on the deity of Christ, go get it now. This short book by Dr. Magalit will be a staple to the local apologetics book scene for years to come. Highly recommended!

Marianito “Nitoy” Gonzales is a 30 something blogger who wears many hats. But his passion is to preach the gospel and make God know to all men. He blogs at Delighting Grace (https://delightinggrace.wordpress.com). You can reach him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

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.

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…)

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…)

5 Indispensable Things You Should Know on Your First Time Preaching

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So your pastor asked you to preach next Sunday. You got excited and also got all rattled up. In your mind you keep asking: what should I do? Well here are 5 helpful tips for your first baptism of fire in preaching:

  1. Prepare the sermon at hand – maybe a week or so will be the ideal time for preparing your sermon. Pray, re-read the text, add ideas and adjust it to make it powerful.
  2. Don’t forget the artillery – Bible, notebook, I-pad, and multimedia gadget etc., just the essentials. Don’t clutter the pulpit. It might also distract you. Our pastor advised me not to bring a pen. In my nervousness I might play with it. He was right!
  3. If you’re nervous don’t look at church members faces-Different reactions may distract you. Look beyond the crowd or at corners of the building if you’re not confident enough to take a glimpse.
  4. Be time conscious – not that long preaching is bad but there is another program coming after your delivered your sermon or you pastor set a time for you, then you must follow. He might let you get away with it for the first time but next time stick with the time allotment.
  5. Let the Holy Spirit guide you – with all this preparation I might say we are still human and limited. That’s why we need to pray and ask God that the Holy Spirit will lead us as we preach His Word. Let John 14: 26 and Mark 13:11 assure you He will help. He has done it in my preaching ministry for 3 years now and He will do help you too.

I would like to hear some of your tips for those who will preach. Let me see your reaction on the comment section.

5 Indispensable Truths Youth Leaders or Pastors Must Know

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For those youth pastors or leaders these are some truths I’ve learn in just a few years as a youth leader in our church. They always reinforce me to seek God and depend more to Him in ministry:

  1. You can’t please everyone- there is only one you should please and that’s our living God. Be an audience of one today.
  2. Problems won’t go away – Problems upon problems may come to your ministry but Christ is always there for you.
  3. Your identity is not your ministry – Christ is your identity and what He has accomplished for you as his follower.
  4. People change – that is a very true. Some will give you headaches; some will leave you and go back to you. But be sure God’s promises will not.
  5. Don’t forget your personal time with God – don’t sacrifice your personal dealings with God in the altar of ministry. It is the most essential thing to be able to have a strong standing before God.

Anything you can add to the list? Please use the comment section.