What is Faith really?

The last five days, we conduct #ENfast2019 and its amazing for us to be refreshed with People of Faith that we see in the Scriptures and that is our preparation for the #GreatFaith series. So let’s begin.

What is Faith really? Well in the heart of the Word of Faith movement is the belief in the “force of faith.” It is believed words can be used to manipulate the faith-force, and thus actually create what they believe Scripture promises (health and wealth) and in short for them, Faith is a force. But does it really define what Faith is?

Look at Hebrews 11:1,6:

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen….And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Now compare. This is what the Bible defines Faith. It is totally opposite to the Word of Faith’s definition. Here in these verses, we can see that Faith, as defined by the Scripture, is anchored on who God is, the Sovereign God. Faith is about Trusting the Sovereign God even in times of Uncertainty.

You see, if we get more deeper, Simply put, the biblical definition of faith is “trusting in something you cannot explicitly prove.”
This definition of faith contains two aspects: intellectual assent and trust. Intellectual assent is believing something to be true. Trust is actually relying on the fact that the something is true. A chair is often used to help illustrate this. Intellectual assent is recognizing that a chair is a chair and agreeing that it is designed to support a person who sits on it. Trust is actually sitting in the chair.

In short, Faith will not be Faith until you experience it. Faith will be Faith if we actualize it combined with Trust. It is applicable in Salvation and in Progressive Christian Walk.

As i end, Why is this definition of faith so important (Of course, hindi dahil sa yun ang series natin)? Why must trust accompany agreeing with facts? Because “without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). Without faith, we cannot be saved (John 3:16). Without faith, the Christian life cannot be what God intends it to be (John 10:10).

The Beauty of Redemption

The word redeem means “to buy out.” The term was used specifically in reference to the purchase of a slave’s freedom. The application of this term to Christ’s death on the cross is quite telling. If we are “redeemed,” then our prior condition was one of slavery. God has purchased our freedom, and we are no longer in bondage to sin or to the Old Testament law. This metaphorical use of “redemption” is the teaching of Galatians 3:13 and 4:5.

I remember a story of a Slave Person who was sold and everytime someone would pass by and interested to buy that slave, they will spit their master out of anger and shame. Well, when the Master came to the Slave, the Slave spit on him and vent out his anger. But after he was bought he said: “I buy you so that you can go free.”

If you were a Slave, how would you feel? Same thing with Jesus. He buys us so that we can go free.

This is How Redemption Works: Our natural condition was characterized by guilt: “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Christ’s redemption has freed us from guilt, being “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 3:24).
The benefits of redemption include eternal life (Revelation 5:9-10), forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7), righteousness (Romans 5:17), freedom from the law’s curse (Galatians 3:13), adoption into God’s family (Galatians 4:5), deliverance from sin’s bondage (Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:14-18), peace with God (Colossians 1:18-20), and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). To be redeemed, then, is to be forgiven, holy, justified, free, adopted, and reconciled.

Look at how the Scriptures define us the Redeemed:

Psalm 130:7-8;

“O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD there is lovingkindness, And with Him is abundant redemption. And He will redeem Israel From all his iniquities.”

Luke 2:38

“At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.”

Acts 20:28.

“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”

If we can describe and celebrate our redemption this Christmas, the hymn would say this way:

I’m redeemed by love divine! Glory, glory! Christ is mine, Christ is mine!
All to Him I now resign, resign I have been redeemed, redeemed!

Merry CHRISTmas and Have a Blessed 2019 Ahead!

Who Is JESUS according to Apostle John?

Hello! Allow me to give you the Expositors Bible Commentary on John 1:1-17:

In the opening verses of this Epistle we have a sentence whose ample and prolonged prelude has but one parallel in St. John’s writings. It is, as an old divine says, “prefaced and brought in with more magnificent ceremony than any passage in Scripture.”

The very emotion and enthusiasm with which it is written, and the sublimity of the exordium as a whole, tend to make the highest sense also the most natural sense. Of what or of whom does St. John speak in the phrase “concerning the Lord of Life,” or “the Lord who is the Life”? The neuter “that which” is used for the masculines “He who”-according to St. John’s practice of employing the neuter comprehensively when a collective whole is to be expressed. The phrase “from the beginning,” taken by itself, might no doubt be employed to signify the beginning of Christianity, or of the ministry of Christ. But even viewing it as entirely isolated from its context of language and circumstance, it has a greater claim to be looked upon as from eternity or from the beginning of the creation. Other considerations are decisive in favour of the last interpretation.
(1) We have already adverted to the lofty and transcendental tone of the whole passage, elevating as it does each clause by the irresistible upward tendency of the whole sentence. “The climax and resting place cannot stop short of the bosom of God.”
(2) But again, we must also bear in mind that the Epistle is everywhere to be read with the Gospel before us, and the language of the Epistle to be connected with that of the Gospel. The procemium of the Epistle is the subjective version of the objective historical point of view which we find at the close of the preface to the Gospel. “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us”; so St. John begins his sentence in the Gospel with a statement of a historical fact. But he proceeds, “and we delightedly beheld His glory”; that is a statement of the personal impression attested by his own consciousness and that of other witnesses. But let us note carefully that in the Epistle, which is in subjective relation to the Gospel, this process is exactly reversed. The Apostle begins with the personal impression; pauses to affirm the reality of the many proofs in the realm of fact of that which produced this impression through the senses upon the conceptions and emotions of those who were brought into contact with the Saviour; and then returns to the subjective impression from which he had originally started.
(3) Much of the language in this passage is inconsistent with our understanding by the Word the first announcement of the Gospel preaching. One might of course speak of hearing the commencement of the Gospel message, but surely not of seeing and handling it.
(4) It is a noteworthy fact that the Gospel and the Apocalypse begin with the mention of the personal Word. This may well lead us to expect that Logos should be used in the same sense in the procemium of the great Epistle by the same author.
We conclude then that when St. John here speaks of the Word of Life, he refers to something higher again than the preaching of life, and that he has in view both the manifestation of the life which has taken place in our humanity, and Him who is personally at once the Word and the Life. The procemium may be thus paraphrased. “That which in all its collective influence was from the beginning as understood by Moses, by Solomon, and Micah; which we have first and above all heard in divinely human utterances, but which we have also seen with these very eyes; which we gazed upon with the full and entranced sight that delights in the object contemplated; and which these hands handled reverentially at His bidding. I speak all this concerning the Word who is also the Life.”

Interestingly, The entire Gospel of John give us a bigger picture of who Christ is that we simply do not see everytime Christmas hits, Most of the time we read that during the Holy Week.

In the First chapter, we see the clear description of who Jesus is: The Word of God who became flesh and dwelt among us, He is full of Grace and Truth and as being described by John the Baptist: The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

John MacArthur on his commentary sermon on John 1 said: “John opens his gospel with 18 verses that we would call a prologue, a prologue. This is John talking theologically.
Starting in verse 19 he goes into the narrative part of it in which he starts to tell the story of Jesus’ life in the world. And he goes into the statements that Jesus makesand the works that He does and the miracles He performs, and gives us the wonderful story all the way to the cross and the resurrection. But in the opening prologue he makes his thesis statement. And the statement in the opening prologue is that Jesus is God in human flesh. That He is the Creator of the universe who has become a part of His creation. He is pure, eternal being who has become a man. That is John’s message, that Jesus is not a created man; He is God in human flesh. And that, dear friends, that is the most essential doctrine in the Christian faith. That is it. And that is why there have been and continue to be so many heresies concerning Jesus Christ, concerning the essence,or the nature, or the person of Jesus Christ. This is the important doctrine in the Christian faith. It must be known; it must be believed for someone to escape hell and enter heaven, that Jesus is God.

Summed up in four words at the beginning of verse 14, “The Word became flesh.” “The Word became flesh.” That is the central truth of Christianity. That is the theme of John’s gospel. And that is the required conviction for anyone who will escape hell, to understand that “the Word became flesh.”

If we want to understand the True Message of Christianity and even Christmas, The Book of John will give us the message.

The Book of John gives us a glimpse of who Jesus is so that we can understand that Christmas is Truly about Him. Here it goes:

1.JESUS is the Ressurection and the Life.

2.JESUS is the Bread of Life.

3.JESUS is the Living Water.

4.JESUS and the Father are ONE.

5.JESUS is the Good Shepherd.

6.JESUS is the Door of Salvation.

7.JESUS is the Way, Truth and Life.

So what was JESUS’ Prayer for us as Christmas is now fast approaching?

“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3, NASB)

Christmas is about Eternal Life in Christ Jesus.

Not about Monito Monita.Not about Parties. Not Even about Exchange Gifts. Not even Commercialism.

King of Kings and Lord of Lords: Who is Jesus we are Celebrating this Christmas?

As Christmas is fast approaching, let us reflect seriously on who Jesus is as the King. But this time, i will emphasize How Jesus is as King of Kings and Lord of Lords and this what we are Celebrating this Season.

The phrase king of kings is used in Scripture six times. Once, the title is applied to God the Father (1 Timothy 6:15), and twice to the Lord Jesus (Revelation 17:14; 19:16). The other three (Ezra 7:12; Ezekiel 26:7; Daniel 2:37) refer to either Artaxerxes or Nebuchadnezzar, kings who used the phrase to express their absolute sovereignty over their respective realms (Persia and Babylon). The phrase lord of lords is used by itself in Scripture twice and refers to God the Father (Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalm 136:3).
In Revelation 19:16 Jesus is given the full title “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 17:14 switches it: “Lord of lords and King of kings”). The title indicates someone who has the power to exercise absolute dominion over all His realm. In the case of the Lord Jesus, the realm is all of creation. In John’s vision, Jesus is returning to judge the world and establish His earthly kingdom, as He predicted in Mark 13:26.
When Jesus is called “King of kings and Lord of lords,” it means that, in the end, all other rulers will be conquered or abolished, and He alone will reign supreme as King and Lord of all the earth. There is no power, no king, and no lord who can oppose Him and win. There are myriad references to this absolute rule of Jesus and His preeminence over other rulers throughout Scripture. To mention just a few, Isaiah 40:23–24 says that the Lord brings “princes to nothing” and makes earth’s rulers “emptiness.” The mere breath of the Lord will “carry them off like stubble.” Daniel’s vision of the son of man in Daniel 7:13–14 is of one whom he calls “the Ancient of Days” whose everlasting dominion is over all people, nations and languages. In the New Testament, we get a better view of the One these passages refer to. The writer of Hebrews speaks of the Lord Jesus: “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3). The next verse speaks of Jesus being “much superior” to the angels. Clearly, His rule over creation is absolute.The phrase king of kings is used in Scripture six times. Once, the title is applied to God the Father (1 Timothy 6:15), and twice to the Lord Jesus (Revelation 17:14; 19:16). The other three (Ezra 7:12; Ezekiel 26:7; Daniel 2:37) refer to either Artaxerxes or Nebuchadnezzar, kings who used the phrase to express their absolute sovereignty over their respective realms (Persia and Babylon). The phrase lord of lords is used by itself in Scripture twice and refers to God the Father (Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalm 136:3).
In Revelation 19:16 Jesus is given the full title “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 17:14 switches it: “Lord of lords and King of kings”). The title indicates someone who has the power to exercise absolute dominion over all His realm. In the case of the Lord Jesus, the realm is all of creation. In John’s vision, Jesus is returning to judge the world and establish His earthly kingdom, as He predicted in Mark 13:26.
When Jesus is called “King of kings and Lord of lords,” it means that, in the end, all other rulers will be conquered or abolished, and He alone will reign supreme as King and Lord of all the earth. There is no power, no king, and no lord who can oppose Him and win. There are myriad references to this absolute rule of Jesus and His preeminence over other rulers throughout Scripture. To mention just a few, Isaiah 40:23–24 says that the Lord brings “princes to nothing” and makes earth’s rulers “emptiness.” The mere breath of the Lord will “carry them off like stubble.” Daniel’s vision of the son of man in Daniel 7:13–14 is of one whom he calls “the Ancient of Days” whose everlasting dominion is over all people, nations and languages. In the New Testament, we get a better view of the One these passages refer to. The writer of Hebrews speaks of the Lord Jesus: “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3). The next verse speaks of Jesus being “much superior” to the angels. Clearly, His rule over creation is absolute.

Now, Let me share to you the insight out of this absolute as i adapt it from the song, I Believe (This Little Child) and most of you know this and here it is:

Many years have come and gone Yet this world remains the same Empires have been built and fallen Only time has made a change
Nation against nation Brother against brother Men so filled with hatred Killing one another
And over half the world is starving While our banner of decency is torn Debating over disarmament
Killing children before they’re born And fools who march to win the right
To justify their sin….
Oh ev’ry nation that has fallen Has fallen from within Yet in the midst of this darkness
There is a hope a light that burns This little child the King of kings
Some day will return!

When Jesus was born, He was in tyrannic regime of Octavian, also known as Augustus Ceasar. If you look at today’s world, we are living in a Tyrannic World.

This Christmas, despite the Tyrannic Depravity of Man, recognize this: Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

The Significance of “Immanuel”

In the prophecy of the virgin birth, Isaiah 7:14, the prophet Isaiah declared, ‘Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel.’ This prophecy refers to the birth of Jesus in Matthew 1:22-23, ‘All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ which means, ‘God with us.” This does not mean, however, that the Messiah’s name would actually be Immanuel.

There are many names given to Jesus using the phrase “He shall be called,” both in the Old and New Testaments. This was a common way of saying that people would refer to Him in these various ways. Isaiah prophesied of the Messiah, “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). None of these titles was Jesus’ actual name, but these were descriptions people would use to refer to Him forever. Luke tells us Jesus “shall be called the Son of the Highest” (Luke 1:32) and “son of God” (1:35), but neither of these was His name.

Now Interestingly, the word “Emmanuel” was making a powerful description on the advent of Christ as stipulated in the Book of John, the First Chapter: “For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”(John 1:16-18, NASB) and that is actually the actual definition of the word “Emmanuel”. That is why Isaiah don’t say it in the casual way because he knew deeply that the word itself would be described not just by Matthew but John himself in the first chapter of his Gospel.

This Christmas, may we celebrate Jesus as our Immanuel as described in the First Chapter of John.

God Bless and Happy Weekend!

What Can we Learn from the Widow’s Simple Generosity?

The Narrative of Jesus observations between the rich Religios Folks who gave their extravagant offerings until He noticed the simple Generosity of the Widow. What can we learn from the Widow’s Simple Generosity?

*1.God sees what man overlooks. The big gifts in the temple were surely noticed by people; that’s probably what the disciples were watching. But Jesus saw what no one else did: He saw the humble gift of a poor widow. This was the gift that Jesus thought worthy of comment; this was the gift that the disciples needed to be aware of. The other gifts in the treasury that day made a lot of noise as they jingled into the receptacles, but the widow’s mites were heard in heaven.

2.God’s evaluation is different from man’s. The widow’s two mites added up to a penny, according to man’s tabulation. But Jesus said that she had given more than anyone else that day (Mark 12:43). How could this be, when “many rich people threw in large amounts” (Mark 12:41)? The difference is one of proportion. The rich were giving large sums, but they still retained their fortunes; the widow “put in everything—all she had to live on” (Mark 12:42). Hers was a true sacrifice; the rich had not begun to give to the level of her sacrifice.

3.God commends giving in faith. Here was a woman in need of receiving charity, yet she had a heart to give. Even though the amount was negligible—what could a widow’s mite buy?—she gave it in faith that God could use it. The widow’s faith is also evident in the fact that she gave the last of her money. Like the widow of Zarephath, who gave her last meal to Elijah (see 1 Kings 17:7–16), the widow in the temple gave away her last means of self-support.

Does that mean the widow left the temple completely destitute, went home, and died of starvation? No. The Bible teaches that God provides for our needs (Matthew 6:25–34). We don’t know the details of this particular widow’s future, but we can be certain that she was provided for. Just as God provided for the widow and her son in Elijah’s day (1 Kings 17:15–16), God also provided for the widow in Jesus’ day.*

Now, God is not impressed with the Big Amount that you give. God is more impressed if it is done from the Heart and with the right motive and with the right faith and clothed with Sacrifices.

What Sacrificial Generosity Look Like?

1.Real Giving must be Sacrificial.

2.Sacrificial Giving is Radical.

3.Sacrificial Giving is an outward indication of an inward condition.

4.Sacrificial Giving is really about the amount your return to God.

5.Sacrificial Giving is about faith.

6.Sacrificial Giving is a Heart Issue.

God Bless you!

(*from Got Questions Article on the Widows Mite)

The Right Perspective on Tithing

Of all the debatable issues of the day, Tithing is the most debatable issue. Many Evangelical Christians have been divided on this issue.
Tithing is an Old Testament concept. The tithe was a requirement of the Law in which the Israelites were to give 10 percent of the crops they grew and the livestock they raised to the tabernacle/temple (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26; Deuteronomy 14:24; 2 Chronicles 31:5).

In fact, the Old Testament Law required multiple tithes—one for the Levites, one for the use of the temple and the feasts, and one for the poor of the land—which would have pushed the total to around 23.3 percent. Some understand the Old Testament tithe as a method of taxation to provide for the needs of the priests and Levites in the sacrificial system.
After the death of Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law, the New Testament nowhere commands, or even recommends, that Christians submit to a legalistic tithe system. The New Testament nowhere designates a percentage of income a person should set aside, but only says gifts should be “in keeping with income” (1 Corinthians 16:2). Some in the Christian church have taken the 10 percent figure from the Old Testament tithe and applied it as a “recommended minimum” for Christians in their giving.
The New Testament talks about the importance and benefits of giving. We are to give as we are able. Sometimes that means giving more than 10 percent; sometimes that may mean giving less. It all depends on the ability of the Christian and the needs of the body of Christ. Every Christian should diligently pray and seek God’s wisdom in the matter of participating in tithing and/or how much to give (James 1:5). Above all, all tithes and offerings should be given with pure motives and an attitude of worship to God and service to the body of Christ. “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

Having said that, allow me to say the right perspective on Tithing is the issue of the Heart not the percent.

Why? Many christians when they apply Malachi 3:10 and Luke 6:38, it’s like the percent itself has the magic luck to prosper people. It’s like making God a genie in the bottle like those in the Prosperity Gospel or the Word of Faith Movement. Yeah, they gave to the Church but it is done legalistically. Allow me to say that it clearly misses the point.

My dear friends, in the book of Matthew 23:23, Jesus called it hypocrisy. While Jesus endorsed Tithing, Jesus also endorsed Justice, Faith and Mercy. It is more than the percent. Its the issue of the heart.

Oo nga, nagbigay ng tayo ng 10% sa Simbahan pero ipinagpalit natin ang mga mahahalagang bagay na mas higit sa ikapu. Nagbigay ba tayo sa mga nangangailangan? Naging makatarungan ba tayo sa ating paghawak ng finances natin? Naging tapat tayo sa Diyos ng buong puso?

Jesus emphasizes on what truly matters and whats essential.God’s Kingdom isn’t all about making money or getting rich. It is about extending love, justice, and righteousness to those who need it the most.

Are we yielding to it?

Let me conclude that the right perspective on Tithing is this: Hypocrisy is a heart issue. Tithing is a Heart issue.Neglecting what matters is a heart issue.Therefore, every heart issue is the Lordship issue.

God bless you!