Archive for August 2012

The Samaritan woman   Leave a comment

samaritan

Samaritan woman

I was having an interesting discussion with a friend recently. She rightly pointed out an attitude I had against homosexuals which was not Christ-like in a post here. The discussion was about homosexuals and from what I read in Romans 1, I associated the words Paul used with them:

“Godless, wickness, pervert, have a depraved mind, God’s wrath is on them, foolish and darkened heart, have shameful lusts, inflamed with lust, filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil…”

You might say that all these appear to be judgmental. It actually does. For example, Paul judged in 1 Cor 5:

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this.”

Let me put it clear from the beginning that the Lord has not defended us to pass on judgment but warned us that we will be judge with the measure we used. In 1 Cor 6, Paul also mentioned that we’ll also judge angels and that we should judge when necessary.

Jesus has been judging the Pharisees and cursing them many times(Mat 23).

His teaching on judging was this:

Do not judge, or you too will be judgedFor in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7

We should be wise in judging. We should look in our hearts if we have a plank before judging others. Paul judged because discipline was needed.  He did not tolerate immoralities but still he had a kind heart and gave himself to care for most people he could. He became like a Jew to win the Jews and lived like a gentile to win the gentiles.

I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.” 1 Cor 9:19.

He went to preach to great sinners, to gentiles, to idolaters with a heart of love. He spoke the truth in love. Paul did not minimise the gravity of the sins but also put a lot of emphasis on God’s solution. People need to know that they are sinners and that God’s wrath is on them. We should not try to dilute this truth in order to be kind. It’s because of this very reason Jesus died on a cross and that people need to repent. God is love, right, but also Holy and does not tolerate sin. God loves the sinners but hates the sin. If people do not understand the gravity of their sinful state, they won’t find the importance of Christ and repentance. It was because of such sins like homosexuality that God’s wrath poured out on Sodom and Gomorrah.

Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.” Gen 18:20

Sometimes Christians want to be kind and tolerant with sins. This should not be so, this is not what Jesus and Paul did.

So far, what I have discussed up till now was my way of reasoning before this discussion with this friend. I was looking on only one side of the coin and neglected the love part.

This sister made me realise the other side of the coin. As much as I put emphasis on the gravity of the sin, the more should I describe God’s mercy and grace.

The story of the Samaritan woman came to my mind. The samaritans were hated by Jews. When the Jews wanted to insult Jesus, they could not find any better words than calling Him a Samaritan and demon-possessed.

 “The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?

Jesus dared to talk with a samaritan. Not only that, this samaritan was a sinful woman.

I saw Jesus showing both sides of the coin. He showed the woman that she was sinful and also gave her hope. This is the attitude we should adopt. The gospel is about both message. If we put emphasis on only one aspect and neglect another, we cannot be effective witnesses.

Let me explain: If you sent me 2 weeks ago to evangelise to homosexuals, they would feel condemned and not really feel Jesus’ love. They would have been on their defense.

If you sent someone who did not want to talk about the sin but just wanted to be kind, the homosexuals would hear about a Jesus who loves but won’t realise why they need Him. They need to realise that they are sinners in order to understand God’s love. This is why we have many people going to church and do not know what Christ did for them. They never realised how sinful they were before knowing Christ. They cannot understand what grace and mercy really mean because they did not experience it. They only know this God who is abounding in grace but don’t want to hear about this God who also has anger against sin. When you talk about God’s wrath or sinful behaviors they say that you’re judgmental and legalistic.
While Jesus taught, some disciples left Him and said:

Many of his disciples said, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?”Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, “Does this offend you?” John 6:60

Sometimes the truth will definitely hurt those who do not want to accept it. But the truth is the truth and we cannot afford to dilute it.

But let’s bear in mind that there’re some who will accept the truth joyfully and others reject it:

At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:66

See well that Jesus was not forcing anyone to remain with Him. This is why He asked His disciples if they also wanted to leave. God is not a beggar. Jesus never made it easy for someone to come to Him. In fact He said that narrow is the way. When He asked the young rich man to sell everything and follow Him, He was not joking or fearing to lose a rich follower.

Jesus came for Israel and at this time was not sent to Samaritans (but after His death, grace was bestowed on everyone). Basically, this woman did not deserve to have a talk with Jesus. Jesus started the conversation with the Samaritan woman and asked her some water. A jew asking an impure Samaritan to drink from her impure jar?

The Samaritan’s reaction was quick and natural:

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)”

This remembers me that some people who are looked down by the society. This was the case by the Samaritans.

Jesus continued the conversation by pointing to God and himself:

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

Jesus showed the woman something He had:

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

The woman realised that Jesus had something she had not and she wanted it:

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

Many people in the world see that we Christians are joyful, have peace and love and want what we have.

As soon as Jesus saw that He got her attention, He pointed to her sins boldly. He told her in detail her sins and what she did. This is one side of the coin.

Jesus told her:

The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

As soon as the woman saw that Jesus unveiled her sins she realised that Jesus was a spiritual man.

Then Jesus gave her hope.

“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.

Jesus told her “YOU” will worship the Father(even if she was still in a state of sin). Jesus also answered the questions she had regarding worshiping God. Do we  Christians answer questions which unbelievers have?

Jesus finally also told her what was equally important, that He is the Messiah. Not only Jesus pointed out her sins, but He gave her a solution.

Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

This discussion might have been difficult if the disciples were there. The disciples would have probably put this woman ill-at-ease. Individual discussion regarding one’s sinful state is often more fruitful than group discussion. For example, as soon as the disciples came, the woman left.

Yes, Jesus showed her one side of the coin which is sin.

Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did.

The woman also saw hope when Jesus showed her the other side of the coin i.e. He is the solution:

“Could this be the Messiah?”

Just because Jesus wisely and rightly showed the woman her sins and gave her hope, this woman publicly confessed that she was a sinner and discovered God’s grace. This woman had a testimony. Many people who go to church don’t have a testimony. They believe in Jesus just because their parents were Christians or some non-personal reasons. They do not know Jesus personally or ever met with Him. The samaritans who heard the woman’s testimony also believed because they themselves heard Jesus speak. This is how we can be effective in evangelism! This is the Good News! We need to show both sides of the coin – Sin/God’s wrath and Jesus/Grace.

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers.

They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

Did you see that these Samaritans confessed that Jesus is the savior of the world? They realised they were sinners and found in Him their solution, their savior! Yeah it’s when we realise we are sinners that we find the value of having a Savior like Jesus.

This friend and sister (which later became my wife)  made me realise that I was not right to point to only one aspect. Even if God hates this sin of homosexuality, He still wants all men to be saved. Jesus came for the sick. Anyone, no matter how sinful he is can receive grace like this Samaritan woman.

Like Christ   Leave a comment

Like Christ

Like Christ

Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.” Eph 4:12,13

In the previous post, I shared about the generous character of God in Ephesians 1 and 2. In chapter 4, we’ll see that the gifts Jesus gave to His people is to edify the believers. It is to build them in their faith, to make them know Christ, become mature and live in unity(John 17:11).

The standard of Christ is perfection. Paul is actually saying that we are to become like Christ. We are to become like Him in our attitude and way of living(1 Jn 2:6).

We are to:

speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.” Eph 4:15

and “ let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” Eph 4:23

Man was created in the image of God in Genesis but sin deformed this image. Since Christ came, He wanted us to become like Him because He actually made provision for it. His sacrifice is so perfect that our thoughts and attitudes are renewed. We should love like Him(John 15), be patient like He is toward us, forgive(Mat 6:15), be kind and gentle.

Jesus said: “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” John 15:12

By our own efforts, we’ll not be able to become like Christ. We need to remain in Him. Only when remaining in the Vine can we bear much fruits.

We are now new creatures(2 Cor 5:17) and we can now live a new life.

For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives” Rom 6:4

Jesus has set the standard high in Matthew . At the end He said:

If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Mat 5:48

Jesus is the one we should imitate. You might say it is impossible to become like Christ. An utopia you think. But this is a lie. The Lamb of God did everything new and it is what His perfect sacrifice can do. Yeah even the perfect image Adam lost is being restored through Christ everyday. We are not perfect but running towards perfection.  He is the one who teaches us. As we follow His commands we’ll grow up in maturity and become like Him. It is God’s will for us to become like Christ. It’s not an initiative from us. Otherwise it would be prideful to attempt to become like Christ. By becoming like Christ, we are not becoming Christ but simply becoming like the Master. The student is not above the divine Teacher but it honors the Teacher to see good students.

The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” Luke 6:40

We have to obey His word:

But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:6

We need to love people and love God. The world should feel Jesus’ love through us. Love is the greatest command.

This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.” 1 Jn 4:17

We need to be ready to give our life to others just like Jesus did:

 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters” 1 John 3:16

We have been predestined to become like Christ:

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” Rom 8:29

The Spirit works within us to make it become true:

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” 2 Cor 3:18

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect” Rom 12:1

Paul wanted Christ to be formed in the Galatians:

My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you” Gal 4:19

Paul often said to the Christians to imitate him just he himself imitates Christ’s examples (1 Cor 4:16, 11:1).

God will put trials in front of us to make us in His image. Like clay in his hands, He’ll make us become like Him. He will prune us.

Even in marital relationship, husbands ought to imitate Christ’s example. They are to love their wives just like Christ loves the church:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” Eph 5:25
Even in suffering we are to follow Christ example:

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” 1 Pet 2:21

Christ also gave us an example as servants:

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” John 13:15

This was Paul’s prayer:

I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” Phil 3:10

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.” 1 John 3

Paul summarises it well:
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” Eph 5

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” Phil 2:5

Posted August 15, 2012 by Cedric in Theology

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The Generous God   1 comment

Generous

The God Who Gives Generously

These last 2 weeks, I have been reading the book of Ephesians. This book has been working my heart. I discovered in it a God who is generous, someone who gives abundantly and what is best because He is not limited by anything. He “has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms” (Chap. 1) and  “is so rich in mercy and grace (Chap. 2). This mercy and grace He showed were so exceptional that God almighty points to us/Ephesians as reference/living proofs/evidence of his kindness. Paul described it as such: “So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.”

Rebels, blasphemers, enemies of God and great sinners as us, humans, were shown grace and mercy. When angels in heaven see what God did for us sinners, it is something amazing. The fallen angels did not have a savior. What could God get by showing grace and mercy to humans? Nothing. There must be a crazy reason which will make the Holy God of heaven do all this for humanity. This reason is love. Love can push a person doing incredible things. Can you imagine God almighty sending the darling of heaven to die like a criminal on earth? Yeah God the Father sent God the Son because this was the only way to restore this communion with mankind. This Jesus who is worshiped since eternity past as the Holy God by mighty angels, left his glorious throne to become like us humans and die. Oh, were not the angels of heaven hurt when we humans insulted and made the glorious Lord suffer? Were not they reasoning like James and John saying “Lord, should we call down fire from heaven to burn them up” Luke 9:54.
But no, it was God’s rescue plan. Jesus came for this very reason, to spare the human race from God’s wrath. Yeah He came to give us the chance to get right with God. This was God’s generous gift, the Son. If God had to prove His love to us humans, He would point to His Son.

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Rom 5:8

He so loved the world, that He gave His Son(John 3:16). Not just a Son He was, He is God Himself. God Himself came.

So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters.For he said to God,

“I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters.I will praise you among your assembled people.”He also said,“I will put my trust in him,”that is, “I and the children God has given me.”Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.

We also know that the Son did not come to help angels; he came to help the descendants of Abraham. Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters,so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:11-17

Jesus Christ presents Himself before the mighty God of heaven. He alone can come before God’s throne and say “Look Father, these are my brothers and sisters whom I have redeemed”. Since we have a sinful nature and we were damned for destruction, the Holy God of heaven could not have fellowship with us rebels. Is there a man on earth who is worthy to intercede and pledge for grace on our behalf? None! All are sinners. Abraham interceded for Lot so that the latter could escape destruction. But there was no one on earth who could intercede for Abraham’s sinful nature. So God sent a man Jesus. But did this man have the credentials to present Himself before God’s throne and act as an advocate? Was He righteous, perfect and had God’s respect? God could not send an angel. Even angels sin and cannot stand before the Holy One of heaven.

Only the Lamb of God has the credentials:

And I saw a strong angel, who shouted with a loud voice: “Who is worthy to break the seals on this scroll and open it?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll and read it.Then I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and read it. But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, “Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne,has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.”Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered, but it was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders.” Rev 5:2-6

This man known on earth as Jesus, is known in heaven as the Son of God. The 24 elders and the mighty 4 living creatures fell down and worship Him!

“And they sang a new song with these words:“You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.And you have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God. And they will reign on the earth….

And the four living beings said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped the Lamb.”

So God gave the best He had to save us. He gave His Son, Emmanuel. God Himself came, He was with us. Let us for a while consider this great gift God gave. This is why we call Jesus the Great High Priest. Jesus is the bridge between humanity and God. He is the mediator and our point of contact to the Holy God. No one come to the Father except through Him. It also occurs that this mediator happened to be God.

The Son gave humans gifts and ministries. God generously poured out His blessings and His Spirit on us. He made us a kingdom of priests.
He gave us His Joy, His Peace, divine wisdom, a heavenly place and great promises. Jesus still generously shows grace to the sick and send deliverance on the captives.

God so loved that He gave. Love is giving and God generously gave what He loved most, the Son. When God gives, He gives what overflows. God is rich and not limited. Remember the fish and bread which Jesus multiplied until anyone had enough to eat? Remember the oil and flour which remained for a long time for the widow of Sarepta? Remember the wine which filled as much recipients which were available? It is also what Jesus said in John 7:  “Jesus stood up and spoke in a loud voice. He said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Does anyone believe in me? Then, just as Scripture says, streams of living water will flow from inside him.”

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ” Ephesians 1:3

However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. That is why the Scriptures say,“When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.” Eph 4:7

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking” James 1:5

For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life

Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.But—“When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love,he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.” Titus 3:3-8

Posted August 15, 2012 by Cedric in Theology

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Epistle to the Hebrews (6:9-12)   Leave a comment

Epistle to the Hebrews

Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation.For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do. Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true.Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.” Hebrews 6:9-12

The author is aware that he has been quite severe in the previous verses and reassures the readers that he does not believe that what he discussed regarding salvation applies to the Hebrews Christians. What he said was a warning because he saw that the Christians were becoming lazy and were still immature. The author believes that these Christians can bear fruits that born again believers should. God will not forget about their deeds and good works. The author is aware of the hardship of these Christians and their brotherly love. He encourages the Hebrews to abound in love. Love is the base of Christianity and on it stands the pillars of the Christian faith and doctrines. This was the reason Jesus came(John 3:16). Love summarised all his teachings and it is the royal command(James 2:8).

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 14:34

Paul rightly pointed out that love fulfills the law:

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,”and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”Romans 13:8

If you love someone, you will not harm that person. You will not steal but will rather give, you will not commit adultery but rather strengthen bonds with your spouse, you will not be indifferent but feel concerned and you will do things which the law does not even ask (e.g. kindness, patience, generosity…). The law said that it is forbidden to work on the sabbath but love has precedence over what the law says. The disciples were harvesting grains on the sabbath and Jesus healed a woman on sabbath day.

I tell you, there is one here who is even greater than the Temple! But you would not have condemned my innocent disciples if you knew the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’For the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!

Jesus said:

“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Mat 22:37

One purpose of the law was  to make the people be consecrated and remember God (e.g. sabbath, tithe, circumcision, sacrifices etc). The other reason was to protect the individuals. If someone stole, commit adultery or murdered someone etc there was a law which dealt with it.

But if you really love God, there’s no need to be reminded of a day for the Lord(sabbath). There’s no need to have a law which obliges you to give a tithe but you give voluntarily and with joy what you want (2 Cor 9:7). If you love God you will not sin by worshiping another God, you will pray and obey what He says. If you love people you won’t do them any harm. This is the power of love. What laws do we need if love is in our heart? God is love and love is divine.

Love is important because “Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent” the author says.

Peter also said that:

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.”

Love is an indication of one’s maturity in the faith. One who loves knows the Lord. He is not spiritually dull and indifferent, he/she has Christ’s attitude and resembles Him.

Paul said in Eph 4:

“..This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.

Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.”

John said:

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7

Love, faith and hope last forever.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor 13:13

The author mentioned these 3 things in verses 9-12. Yes if we have these 3 things in us we’ll grow in maturity, we’ll be productive, we’ll persevere and can expect to receive great things from above. Let us follow the examples of those people who by their faith, love, and perseverance proved to be mighty servants of God and inherited great promises. The author here is probably referring to the heavenly rest.  Keith Green is a man who I admire for his love, faith and perseverance.  The life this man lived inspires me. Paul said to Timothy to imitate his example because he himself imitated Christ’s example. Let us imitate the examples of those people who are mature in the faith and are genuinely led by the Spirit.

Posted August 4, 2012 by Cedric in Theology

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