How Did Jesus declare the Gospel?

Sounds Absurd Question. But seriously, that’s a Great Question. Let us look at the narrative of Jesus conversation with the Samaritan Woman. Here, we can learn how to present the Gospel, the way It should present today:

1.Jesus Revealed who He is.

In the conversation of Jesus with the woman, Jesus himself as the living water and those who drink from it will never thirst again. Technically, Jesus declared that He is the one who will satisfy the longing of the Samaritan woman’s Heart.

For sure, prior to her conversation with Jesus, perhaps she is tired of the shame that her sin produced and when He revealed to her of who He is, she began to ask questions: “11 She *said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” (John 4:11-12, NASB) and when Jesus revealed again of who He is, as the Living Water, she asked of it.

2.Jesus confronted the True Condition of the Woman.

Here Jesus revealed to her, the Living Water (which means Salvation and Eternal Satisfaction), by asking her to call her husband. Upon that, she answer confessingly that she has no husband.

There, Jesus revealed the true condition of the Woman. Jesus revealed her Sin and He did not condemn her. He revealed the Truth without fanfare and no compromise.

3.Jesus confronted the False View of Worship of the Woman.

The woman perceived already that Jesus is the Prophet, and she told all the worship practices that her Samaritan Ancestors do and How Jewish people worship.

Yet, Jesus revealed True Worship that confronted her False Worship: “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:21-24, NASB)

Jesus therefore, presented the Gospel to the Samaritan Woman, with a goal of bringing to Himself. Take note: Jesus is the Living Gospel. Nakikita ng lahat subalit hindu siya tinanggap ng mga Hudyo.

Hence, here is how we Declare the Gospel based on Jesus conversation with the Samaritan Woman:

1. Declare who Jesus is Scripturally.

2. Reveal the True Condition of Man and his Eternal Destiny. Never compromise. Be blunt about Judgement and Hell because that’s where humanity goes without Jesus.

3. Reveal who to Worship.

In declaring the Gospel, Speak the Truth, reveal and confront sin, and bring them to the one who will save them.

God bless you.

Your Testimony is Not the Gospel

You are shocked with the Title ha?! But yes. Your Testimony is not the Gospel. I watched testimonies of conversion in TV shows and Church Services. Christians mistakingly think that they shared the Gospel using Testimonies and its not bad but without the Gospel Proclamation and Declaration, It’s Baloney!

You see,Testimonies therefore is the demonstration of how the Gospel transforms the life of the individual and that is followed by the Gospel proclamation.

My friend, Rei Lemuel Crizaldo, shared the dangers of overemphasizing Testimony and completely neglect the Gospel Proclamation in Churches Today:

We got a very big problem with giving ‘powerful testimonies’ in church, e.g., people who are so sick but got supernaturally healed, people whose family is in shambles and eventually got it all sorted out, people who are in deep addiction and later on found a way out.

We drool over such success stories of jaw-dropping change so much that we fail to notice how we have sidelined the complex wonders of grace in the process.

For every 10 Christians praying to be healed of cancer, how many actually come out of alive and well? For every 10 Christians struggling with whatever it is that holds their life in bondage, how many experience complete release after a barrage of intercession and help, both professional and friendly? For every 10 families who are split apart, how many were put together again as a result of a concert of prayer and concern?

Let’s face it. A majority of people coming to our churches live broken lives and they come out as broken as they were this Sunday and the next, and for the next following Sundays. They sit on the pews listening to stories of fellow Christians on how God has moved in their lives and changed it for the better. The majority sit there dumbfounded wondering what the hell is wrong with their faith and their spirituality that they do not enjoy the same story of success. [Of course, they do not have the blasphemous audacity to ask about the obvious elephant in the room: that is, what the hell is wrong with God that He grants healing and favor to the person on stage but not to the hordes of equally desperate people pleading for an ounce of divine attention?]

So, they come back, week after week, to get a needed dose of encouragement that somehow, in the future, they, too, will one day be able to stand on the stage, and speak, as well, of how God has been faithful, because like the many other testimonies said on stage, they, too, are also, finally, cancer-free, or family is now thankfully in perfect shape, or that business has amazingly recovered and is now doing great.

But you see, God’s faithfulness is not limited to such stories, nor it is actually about such rosy stories. The reality is that many people will live their Christian lives with their prayers unanswered and their lives as tough as it was ever before. Yet it does not mean that God is less faithful with them or that they are less faithful as compared to the other successful Christians. In fact, in the midst of people’s deepest cry and anguish over the ugly and painful things in life that simply won’t go away and refuse to pass away, it is where God exactly shows His faithfulness. It is at that low points of our earthly existence that He assures everyone that He is a God not only of the healthy, not only of those with rags to riches story, nor those of former addicts, ex-gay, not even just of those fathers whose blacksheep son has returned home.

No, for it is in the depth of human frailties and troubles that God makes His faithfulness known. That, right in the thick of it, He is with us, long after friends have gone and nowhere to be found, and long before churchmates have decided to dismiss us, relegated to the ranks of hopeless cases. Immanuel. A word that means “God is with us,” no matter if we turned out successful or not. That He has not forsaken us and He refuses to do so. God is with the single parents who will remain so. God is with the devastated homes that never shall see a make-over. God is with us right in the middle of all our struggles and He shall stay even if we fail to come out of it. He shares our pains, our doubts, and our fears, and He embraces us fully with all these tucked in His arms. He is a God who joins us in right in the middle of the confusion and the contradictions of our lives.

He does not need to “turn a mess into a message.” Refuse that crap. The message is right there in the mess. Grace flows through the cracks. And exactly because of the cracks. Anything less betrays the very heart of the Gospel message.

So think about it. You can testify but never forget to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ written in the Bible. That is what people need today. Your testimony will be good but they want to hear the Gospel itself.

Preach the Gospel and explain how the Gospel impacted your life through your Testimony.

Is the Lord’s Brutal Torture, fulfillment of Isaiah 50?

Isaiah 50 captures the prophetic about the brutal suffering of the Messiah. In the Four Gospels, it was consistently outlined the brutal torture that He suffered at the hands of the Jews and Romans.

In verse 6, Isaiah said “I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting.” and the fulfillment was the 39-1 flogging, wearing crown of thorns, mockingly dressed him with purple robe and slapped big time. When Pilate display Jesus infront of the Jews, they shout his death by crucifixion and they declare that His blood be on them and on their children. Interestingly, that declaration fulfills the other part of Isaiah 50: “Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who equip yourselves with burning torches! Walk by the light of your fire, and by the torches that you have kindled! This you have from my hand: you shall lie down in torment.” (Isaiah 50:11, ESV) it means, they declare a terrible judgement that will forever haunt them. When the Jewish Leaders know already that the Body of Jesus was gone, they pay the soldiers to tell the people that the disciples stole His body. Later on, Judgement fell on them when Emperor Titus destroyed Jerusalem at AD 70.

What is noticeable here is he did not speak, He did not even retaliate, nor swear, nor saying defaming words.

In my last blog, I said,

Calvary was known as the place of skull. Usually, all heinous crimes are punishable by death, and everyone who is crucified would hurl curses from people who wanted them dead and passers by who bullied them. It is indeed the place of shame, pain, disgrace and death.

But when Jesus came to Calvary, the very first words of our Lord “Father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” everything changed. His Sacrifice has made Calvary the mountain of life, redemption and regeneration. The place where eternal life begins. Why? When Jesus told the murderer-snatcher who humbled himself to Him, he made a life changing word that made Calvary the place of Eternity: “You will be with me in Paradise”.

The reason why in the perspective of Jesus, Calvary was His path to greatness is because His sacrifice itself, made the place of death to a place of life. Calvary in short was the fulfillment of Isaiah 50.

In the picture, look at Jesus face with the Crown of Thorns, His face looked like a flint just like what Isaiah described.

So, Yes the brutal torture of Jesus is the fulfillment of Isaiah 50.

Are the Rejections that Jesus experienced are in fulfillment of Isaiah 42:2?

Yes. Therefore, let us enumerate in the synoptic Gospels on the similar situations in order for us to understand the rejection that Jesus faced during his three year ministry.

1. Jesus Rejection in Nazareth. (Luke 4:16-30)

2. Jesus Rejection by the so-called Disciples. (John 6:66)

3. Jesus Rejection by the Jewish Religious Leaders.

4. Jesus Parents were rejected by the Inns in Bethlehem and Mary, His mother gave birth instead to the Manger.

Probably the worst kind of rejection that Jesus faced is his betrayal by Judas Iscariot. The Rejections that Jesus suffered showed to us how Jesus was portrayed as the Servant King.

In what way? He did not fight back,He did not boast about His deity, He did not brag about himself.

In His earthly ministry, He was not being famous in the outset. He “…emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:7, ESV) so being born in a manger, rejected in places where He ministered, is the fulfillment of Isaiah 42:2.

Why is that? Jesus Rejection proved to us that He is worthy to be called the Servant King because he experienced every kind of rejection that Man had yet he did not react, nor fight back.

Isaiah’s Prophetic Word is clear: “He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street” (Isaiah 42:2, ESV)

Let me share to you the insight out of this: We are all prone to disappointment and feelings of rejection, and that is especially true in the aftermath of a broken relationship. However, as born-again believers we have a resource in God’s Word that can bring comfort and clarity to the situation. One person’s rejection does not mean we are unlovable. We can allow that one rejection to determine how we feel and allow that feeling to color our idea of who we are, or we can choose to put that behind us and move forward on the basis of something that is far more lasting.

But as believers we are not defined by our past failures or by disappointment or by the rejection of others. We are defined as children of God, born again to newness of life and endowed with every spiritual blessing and accepted in Christ Jesus. That is the defining factor when it comes to victorious living. God has prepared for each of us unique opportunities to walk through the “all things” of this life. We can either walk in our own strength and what the Apostle Paul calls our “flesh,” or we can walk in the power of the provision God has made for us through the Holy Spirit. It is our choice. God has provided us with armor (Ephesians 6:11-18), but it is up to us to put it on by faith.
Therefore, if you are a child of God, you may suffer disappointment in this life, but you need to remember that as a child of the King, this rejection is a momentary bump in the road. You have a choice to either allow that bump to derail you and walk wounded, or you can choose to claim the heritage of a child of God and move forward in grace. Forgiveness of others and of self is a gift that you can give because it is the gift given to you by the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:32).

So if you are being Rejected today, think about CHRIST who suffered Rejection too so that you, who are rejected and broken will be made whole.

Is Jesus Baptism by John the Baptist, the fulfillment of Isaiah 11:2?

Yes. If you look again in the Narrative, after John baptized Him, the Spirit of the Lord descended to him like a dove and the voice of God the Father declared that this His beloved son of whom He is well pleased.

Here in this passage, the Holy Spirit was on Jesus Christ and therefore, during His three years of Ministry, he possessed the following: “the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.” (Isaiah 11:2b, ESV)

Let me give you examples: Parables that He uttered,His Wise Confrontations with the Pharisees, Saduccees and the Teachers of the Law, His wise conversations with His Disciples, and the top of it all, His Obedience to the Will of the Father. The Synoptic NT Gospel was very consistent in outlining how Isaiah 11:2 was fulfilled in the three year ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This clearly shows that Jesus Christ was full of the Holy Spirit in fulfillment of Isaiah 11:2.

The significance of this is the great testimony directly from heaven of the Father’s pleasure with the Son and the descending of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus (Matthew 3:16-17) is a beautiful picture of the trinitarian nature of God. It also depicts the work of the Father, Son, and Spirit in the salvation of those Jesus came to save. The Father loves the elect from before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4); He sends His Son to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10); and the Spirit convicts of sin (John 16:8) and draws the believer to the Father through the Son. All the glorious truth of the mercy of God through Jesus Christ is on display at His baptism.

God bless you.

JESUS: “Calvary is my Path to Greatness”

Gulat kayo no?! Title pa lang gulat na kayo. Oops! teka lang!

“…..even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28, ESV)

Diyan ko kinuha yung Title ng blog na ito. For Jesus, the real path to greatness is calvary. But how did calvary become Path of Greatness for Christ? Let me outline Philippians 2:8-11 and let us see how Jesus walked the Path of Greatness.

1. Jesus humbled himself, become a servant of all (Phil.2:8a). In Matthew 20:28, he clearly illustrated his main purpose to his disciples and they have seen obviously his stripping of his clothes and washed the feet of his disciples.

2.Jesus was obedient even to the point of death (Phil.2:8b). In the four gospels, Jesus was so consistent in declaring His death, burial and ressurection. He know his purpose well. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus knew already that the hour has come and it was so hard for him. But He obeyed and drink the cup of suffering.

Jesus “endured the cross, despising the shame” (Hebrews 12:2, ESV) and now “God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11, ESV). The Point is: For Jesus Christ, Calvary was the path of Greatness.

Interestingly, Calvary was known as the place of skull. Usually, all heinous crimes are punishable by death, and everyone who is crucified would hurl curses from people who wanted them dead and passers by who bullied them. It is indeed the place of shame, pain, disgrace and death.

But when Jesus came to Calvary, the very first words of our Lord “Father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” everything changed. His Sacrifice has made Calvary the mountain of life, redemption and regeneration. The place where eternal life begins. Why? When Jesus told the murderer-snatcher who humbled himself to Him, he made a life changing word that made Calvary the place of Eternity: “You will be with me in Paradise”.

The reason why in the perspective of Jesus, Calvary was His path to greatness is because His sacrifice itself, made the place of death to a place of life.

Is Truth Relative or Absolute?

Recently, as i browse on my Facebook, i come across the controversial vote of the leaders of the United Methodist Church for Biblical Marriage and Gender Issues. As i look upon comments, interestingly there is a rift issue that boils down to a question: Is Truth Relative or Absolute?

It is not new. Jesus, after feeding the five thousand, he told his disciples, who do you say that i am, which speaks of revealing himself as the Christ, and interestingly, when Jesus asked the disciples who He is, they came with different answers.

The point here is: As a totally depraved sinner, when we are confronted with the Truth, we have different understanding on what the Truth is.

Now, let us answer the Question. When someone says that truth is relative, what he normally means is that there is no absolute truth. Some things may appear true to you but not true to me. If you believe it, it is true for you. If I don’t believe it, it is not true for me. When people say things like “that’s fine if God exists for you, but He doesn’t exist for me,” they are expressing the popular belief that truth is relative.
The whole concept of “relative truth” sounds tolerant and open-minded. However, upon closer analysis, it is not open-minded at all. In essence, to say that “God exists for you but not for me” is to say that the other person’s concept of God is wrong. It passes judgment. But no one really believes that all truth is relative. No sane person says, “Gravity works for you, but not for me,” and proceeds to jump off tall buildings believing no harm will follow.
The statement “truth is relative” is, in fact, a self-refuting statement. In saying, “Truth is relative,” one states a purported truth. But, if all truth is relative, then that statement itself is relative as well—which means we can’t trust it to be true all the time.*

Same thing with the outrageous claim of Jesus that He is the Bread of Life and Eat His Body and Drink the Flesh. Look at how the people understand this eternal truth and that is exactly how Relativism works. They think that when he said is Cannibalism, but the Truth is: He is talking about Trusting Him as the Messiah, the True God, True Messenger of God, Son of God. See the difference?

Now, In order to understand absolute or universal truth, we must begin by defining truth. Truth, according to the dictionary, is “conformity to fact or actuality; a statement proven to be or accepted as true.” Some people would say that there is no true reality, only perceptions and opinions. Others would argue that there must be some absolute reality or truth.
One view says that there are no absolutes that define reality. Those who hold this view believe everything is relative to something else, and thus there can be no actual reality. Because of that, there are ultimately no moral absolutes, no authority for deciding if an action is positive or negative, right or wrong. This view leads to “situational ethics,” the belief that what is right or wrong is relative to the situation. There is no right or wrong; therefore, whatever feels or seems right at the time and in that situation is right. Of course, situational ethics leads to a subjective, “whatever feels good” mentality and lifestyle, which has a devastating effect on society and individuals. This is postmodernism, creating a society that regards all values, beliefs, lifestyles, and truth claims as equally valid.
The other view holds that there are indeed absolute realities and standards that define what is true and what is not. Therefore, actions can be determined to be either right or wrong by how they measure up to those absolute standards. If there are no absolutes, no reality, chaos ensues. Take the law of gravity, for instance. If it were not an absolute, we could not be certain we could stand or sit in one place until we decided to move. Or if two plus two did not always equal four, the effects on civilization would be disastrous. Laws of science and physics would be irrelevant, and commerce would be impossible. What a mess that would be! Thankfully, two plus two does equal four. There is absolute truth, and it can be found and understood.
To make the statement that there is no absolute truth is illogical. Yet, today, many people are embracing a cultural relativism that denies any type of absolute truth. A good question to ask people who say, “There is no absolute truth” is this: “Are you absolutely sure of that?” If they say “yes,” they have made an absolute statement”which itself implies the existence of absolutes. They are saying that the very fact there is no absolute truth is the one and only absolute truth.*

In other words, it’s not new.
But let me tell you: TRUTH IS ABSOLUTE.

Who is this Absolute Truth?

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. Oneness with the Father If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.” (John 14:6-11, NASB)

The Absolute Truth is Jesus Christ!
Knowing absolute truth/universal truth is only possible through a personal relationship with the One who claims to be the Truth”Jesus Christ. Jesus claimed to be the only way, the only truth, the only life and the only path to God (John 14:6). The fact that absolute truth does exist points us to the truth that there is a sovereign God who created the heavens and the earth and who has revealed Himself to us in order that we might know Him personally through His Son Jesus Christ. That is the absolute truth.