Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Radical

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. (Matthew 5:38 NIV)

At the start of the twentieth century, a man from India – a lawyer who lived in South Africa – picked up the New Testament and started reading. The lawyer’s homeland was plagued by discriminatory laws enforced under British rule. The lawyer searched for an effective way by which he would resist the tyranny of the ‘Raj’, and he found it when he read the Sermon on the Mount. At one time, during one of his speeches, the lawyer simply stood up and recited the Sermon on the Mount and told the gathered to follow it. He would say, “Christ’s Sermon on the Mount fills me with bliss even today. Its sweet verses have even today the power to quench my agony of soul.” In a way, I think it is safe to say that India owes its independence to Christ.

Before Mahatma Gandhi, was the Christ. At the dawn of the first century, the Jews eagerly anticipated the arrival of the Messiah. The Jewish mindset of that time envisioned the Messiah as one who would fight the Roman Empire, claim the throne of King David, and liberate the Jewish people from foreign rule. Little did they know that the coming Messiah, who would indeed be the Liberator – but of a different sense, would also challenge the very core of human society.

When Christ preached the Sermon on the Mount He set off a chain reaction that continues to polarize the world today. Before Christ there was Rome, Babylon and Egypt, powers that ruled the weak with an iron fist. When Christ arrived He gave a sword to the weak, the sword of love and peace. That sword scared the living daylights out of the ruling party of Jesus’ time, and it continues to scare the powers-that-be today.

Christ took centre-stage and told the masses to ‘turn the cheek’ and not retaliate. He commanded his people to ‘love their enemies and pray for those who persecuted them’. By hearing this, the crowd was dumbfounded. Certainly, they had expected, the Messiah would urge them to take up arms against Caesar. They altogether missed the point that the real enemy was not Caesar; the real enemy was Satan who controlled Caesar.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 NASB)

Today, Christians think that Christ established a new religion – set of beliefs or a code of conduct – but in reality what Christ initiated was something revolutionary in that it stood contrary to the pattern of the world (Romans 12:2).

Christ was often at odds with the establishment of society.

Society favors the rich and the strong but Christ champions the poor and the weak.
Society glorifies evil but Christ rebukes it.
Society is self-preserving but Christ denies self-preservation.
Society spreads sin but Christ cleanses the sinner.
Society kills its opposition but Christ Himself died to save us.

The radical message of Christ today continues in the form of Christ’s church. The church is the Body of Christ and therefore we must not conform to the pattern of the world but to the pattern of Christ. It is up to the Body of Christ to challenge the sinful actions of society by means of Christ-like living.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16 NIV)

A friend of mine once asked me, ‘How can you spread the message of non-violence all by yourself?’ So many times we make the message all about ourselves, but it was never about us. Christ is that message pure and simple, like Shane Claiborne says: “We’re just the jackasses that get to bring Jesus into our community.”

Let’s have confidence that we are not alone.

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b NIV)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Christ in us

There is a scene in the 2003 film Luther that captivated me the moment I saw it. In the scene, Luther (portrayed by Joseph Fiennes) steps down from the pulpit and goes to each member individually as he preaches with passion.

“He does not live in the bones of dead saints or relics. Christ lives in you!” Luther says pointing to each member of the laity in a church marred by tradition and superstition.

Paul boldly declares that his own self died in baptism and in its stead Christ lives in him.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20 NASB)

In Romans 8:9 Paul says that the Spirit of God dwells in us. And he says, in verse 11, that through this dwelling of the Spirit we receive life.

Today Christians are marred by a different kind of superstition. In the 1990s a trend started among the youth in America, ‘WWJD – What Would Jesus Do?’ Evangelical Christians began to wear bracelets with the initials ‘WWJD’, and they would contemplate on the question before each and every action of their day to day lives. These practices, in the light of Biblical truths, deserve nothing more than a face-palm reaction.

Believers act as though Christ is a mere person who lived and died two thousand years ago, but scriptures tell us that Christ is alive… and not just alive! Christ’s magnificent and wondrous story continues today by His indwelling Spirit in us.

When Christ came to earth in human form He often preached about ‘eternal life’. What is this ‘eternal life’ that Christ so often spoke about? Is it our ‘ticket’ to heaven? Most people assume that it means nothing more than immortality. Christ says in John 10:10, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." Again, what is this ‘life’ that Christ spoke about?

John, the beloved disciples, writes:

"The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us." (1 John 1:2 NIV)

Jesus says:

“I am the way and the truth and THE LIFE" (John 14:6 NIV) emphasis mine

That same Jesus, who turned planet earth upside down and spinning, is the same – magnificent, wondrous, almighty, powerful – Christ who dwells in us! The eternal life is none other than Christ Jesus – the beloved Son of God.

Colossians 1 and 2 speaks volumes of the vastness of Jesus Christ. The titanic image of Christ grows more and more when Paul says all creation is held inside Him (Colossians 1:16-17). All creation, even time itself, is inside the Giant that is Christ Jesus! Indeed, Christ does say "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end" (Revelation 22:13 NASB). It is this indwelling of Christ’s life in us that truly humbles us.

Through our sinful nature we deserved the death that resulted from it – alienation from the fellowship of God. God, through His Son Christ Jesus, reconciled us to His fellowship by dying a torturous death on the cross. But the real eternal purpose lay not only in salvation, as so many think, but in that God made His dwelling among us (Ephesians 3).

People tend to think that eternal life is separate from God. It is not separate from God but it is in Christ Jesus Himself. It is a ‘Gift IN Christ Jesus’ according to Paul in Romans 6:23. When we are baptized into the death of Jesus Christ it is no longer we who live but Christ in us.

"For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory." (Colossians 3:3-4 NASB)

Let us then rejoice that Christ Jesus abides in us. He doesn’t look upon us from far away but moves wherever we move, just like the song goes “Anywhere with Jesus I can safely go.” Let us be joyful as Christians in a church which is in fact a colony from heaven, for Jesus has promised to be with us forever.

“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b NASB)

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Kingdom of God is like Kefir Grains..(A modern day parable)

The following article was written by my good friend Samuel Mathew. You can visit his blog: His Kingdom Now.

The Kingdom of God is like kefir grains, that a man took and hid in a jar filled with milk, until it turned to kefir.

What is Kefir?
"What in the world is Kefir", some may ask! Kefir is a "living" fermented milk drink, which contains beneficial bacteria (probiotics), yeast, minerals, essential amino acids and easily digestible proteins. Consumers of kefir (including myself) tout the myriads of health benefits this drink provides. You can learn more about it at

But the purpose of this post is not to educate you or convince you of the amazing drink that kefir is. Rather, it is to share what I learnt about Jesus Christ, who is the embodiment of the Kingdom of God.

The Process
Let me explain the simple process of making kefir. You take a jar of milk and put a few kefir grains in it and set it aside for 24 hours. The bacteria and yeasts in the kefir grains start working in the milk and convert it to kefir. After 24 hours you simply strain the kefir for drinking and use the same kefir grains in a new batch of milk for another nutritious kefir drink . Another amazing thing that happens in this process is that the kefir grains, which is the source of life, so to speak, keeps growing. When it grows in quantity, you can either, (1) share some of your grains with others (2) eat the grains or (3) throw the excess (I don't think anyone would want to do that).

The Parable explained
The jar is our 'earthen vessel', our body. The milk in the jar, is the unregenerated human spirit within the body, which is dead in transgressions and sins (Eph 2:1), darkened in its understanding and separated from the 'life' of God (Eph 4:18). The kefir grain teeming with 'life', represents our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the treasure in our earthen vessels (2 Cor 4:7).

Jesus, who is 'life' (John 14:6), the bread of life (John 6:35), came to give life to raise up dead mankind (John 10:10) . This "zoe" life is the very life of the God by which He exists. Jesus is the Tree of life, the vine that supplies life to the branches (John 15:5). He came so that we could once again eat from the Tree of Life and live.  He is the incorruptible seed or grain of wheat containing life, that fell to the ground and died. But on the third day that life burst forth and He became a 'life giving spirit' (I Cor 15:45). Just as the kefir grains give life to the milk in the jar and turns it into something new - Kefir, the seed of Jesus regenerates the human spirit, giving birth to the New Man, born from above - a brand New Creation. The life in the kefir grains permeates the milk, becoming one with it. He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit (I Cor 6:17).

The health benefits of drinking kefir are many. Consuming Jesus Christ, not only gives you His life, but you get all the blessings in Him as well, which impacts your overall well-being (Eph 1:4). When Jesus takes up residence in us by the Holy Spirit, He moves in with the whole package, the fullness of the deity (Col 2:9)!

The life of Jesus not only nourishes you, but just as the kefir grains grow, His life in us grows.  We begin to experience and manifest more and more of Him. This is what is called 'growing in grace' or 'growing to the fullness of the stature of Christ'. What do you do when the kefir grains grow? Of course you can eat them (eating more of Jesus individually). But you are so teeming and overflowing with His life that you can share the life giving grains with others. Those grains produce kefir(life) for them and they then share the grains with others out of their abundance and so it goes on and on..until the earth will be filled with the image of Jesus Christ and the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea (Hab 2:14).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Suffering Servant

The unbelieving world assumes that Christians know not a thing about suffering. I recently came across this internet meme doing the rounds on social networking sites. It’s a picture of an African boy looking amusingly at a woman.

‘So you’re telling me that Jesus loves me even though I’m homeless and starving to death?’ The words were meant to be sarcastic in nature.

The general assumption of the non-Christian world, and even in the church, is that when trouble besets a father, mother, or a child, Christians do nothing more than just whisper a soft ‘Jesus loves you’. This could be true – I have come across, on many occasions, people who left the church because of strife in their domestic lives. People often find it hard to comprehend how a loving God could seem to be so far away in times of trouble. And much too often, offering sympathy is just not enough.

There is no easy answer to why we suffer in this world or why God allows the suffering to take place. It is one thing to write an apologetics work on the subject, but to convince a mother facing the inevitable death of her cancer-stricken child – that’s a different thing altogether. But it helps to tell a story once in a while to the afflicted. Stories remind people that the agony they face has been faced before, that the suffering they endure has been endured before, and that the loss they feel has been felt before.

Mankind’s sinful nature brings about a hideous consequence that is often borne by the little innocents of this world. We can see examples of this throughout the Old Testament. When God cast His judgment on the Amalekites in 1 Samuel 15, His judgment fell on the innocent children as well. Similarly in Exodus 11 the firstborn children of the Egyptians received death. This does not mean that God is some kind of a ‘heavenly hit-man’. God does not take pleasure in the death of anyone (Ezekiel 18:32), but He loves us relentlessly. It is His relentless love for us that causes Him to cast His wrath upon us.

When Jesus saw a large crowd before Him, he felt compassion (Mark 6:34). We can guess the evil, the sorrow, the hardship, and many other things evident in the lives of people who formed that crowd. People like you and me were in that crowd, and some of them were the worst of sinners. Nevertheless, Christ did feel compassion for them.

When God told Isaiah about the suffering Servant who was to come, Isaiah must have been startled.

Surely He took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered Him punished by God,
    stricken by Him, and afflicted.
But He was pierced for our transgressions,
    He was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on Him,
    and by His wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on Him
    the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:4-6 NIV)

Here was God, ready to come into the world in the flesh and share our suffering!

The very nature of Christ’s birth indicates that God was more than willing to share in our poverty. Is this God’s relentless love for us, that He chooses to be born among the poor and afflicted and actually live with us? The popular singer Bono says it beautifully.

“Love here describes itself as a child born in straw poverty, the most vulnerable situation of all, without honor.”

The wonderful thing about Christ Jesus is that He made His dwelling with us (John 1:14). Scriptures say that Christ had no luxurious upbringing and no powerful connections. Instead He was often at odds with those who had luxury and power. Scriptures say that Christ became nothing for us (Philippians 2:7).

Would it be too much for me to say that Christ can relate to our suffering? When Christ cried on the cross – "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" – He experienced that painful loneliness of being separated from a loved one. When Christ Jesus prayed in anguish before His trial – “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me…” – He felt the agony many of us face in our lives. When Jesus wept at Lazarus’ grave he felt the loss of Mary and Martha in the same way many of us feel for our brothers and sisters.

In Isaiah 53:3 (KJV), Christ is known as ‘a man of sorrows’. In this Man of sorrows we can relate our own sorrows and we can hope for glory. Paul was no stranger to this. He writes:

For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. (2 Corinthians 1:5 NIV)

When we look at the story of Jesus, we can hope for glory in our suffering. Christ died an agonizing death on the cross, it was a level of suffering on par with Auschwitz, Hiroshima and Dresden. But through His death came the glory of the resurrection and the hope of eternal life in mankind.

I know a close friend of mine who suffers from this incurable skin disease. I cannot imagine what it must be like for him to bathe in his daily life. Once I asked him, “How do you go through this every day?”

“Jesus”, he replied, “He suffered for me, didn’t He?”

In Christ Jesus we who believe on Him can relate our pain and sorrow.

Jesus once said, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28 NASB)

P.S. I highly recommend Jim McGuiggan’s wonderful book ‘Celebrating the Wrath of God: Reflections on the Agony and the Ecstasy of His Relentless Love’.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

King Jesus

It was a tensed atmosphere at the Fortress Antonia in upper Jerusalem. The Roman governor stood face to face with a Jewish nobody, this ‘nobody’ was already bruised and battered by part of the mob that stood outside. The governor asked this ‘nobody’ a question, a question he would have been least bothered to ask anyone else.

“Are you the King of the Jews?”

The Kingship of Jesus is unanimously declared across the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament Daniel proclaims to king Nebuchadnezzar of a coming kingdom which will endure forever (Daniel 2:44). In the New Testament Paul the apostle, bound inside a dark dungeon, boldly proclaims Jesus as the ‘King of kings’ (1 Timothy 6:15).

“Are you the King of the Jews?” The Roman governor asks. Outside, the mob grows increasingly impatient; some want the young innocent Jew to live while others, outraged, want him to die an animal’s death. Among those who want him dead are the Sanhedrin – high priests – men of great power, great knowledge, and great prestige.

“We have no king but Caesar.”

King! What comes to your mind when you think of that word? What image? Alexander, Napoleon, Caesar… all of these men were known to be rulers, great rulers. But these men were also known to be brutal, relentless, unforgiving, savage, haughty, insecure, timid, and last but not least, dead!

Then there are the puppet rulers, those who are kings only in name and end up doing the bidding of others. And there are the figurehead monarchs, whose pictures and deeds would be on the tabloids, like the ones in modern Britain, but whose authority would be of no value whatsoever.

“… no king but Caesar”, cried the Sanhedrin.

Indeed, the unbelieving world has no king but Caesar. But what of the churches with rulers who act as ‘proxy’ between clergy and laity, between God and God’s children? Most churches today get so carried away by these ‘church celebrities’ that they tend to forget about the King himself. Recently, a pastor of a ‘megachurch’ had the audacity to have someone crown him ‘king’ of the church!

Who is the real King? Who is the absolute ruler? Who is the one whose kingdom would last forever?

Enter the King of kings. When you became a follower of Jesus Christ you became a subject to your only King. You became a subject to the one who redefined the word ‘Kingship’. Imagine a King – meek and humble, loving, caring, gentle, patient, nurturing, and calling his subjects to be his own. Sounds more like a father, yet that is the King we worship! Imagine a King – wrapping a towel around his waist and getting down to wash the feet of his subjects. Sounds more like a servant, yet that is the King we proclaim! Imagine a King – crowned not with silver and gold, but with a crown of thorns. What? Imagine a King ready to die, and died he did, for his subjects. That is insane! No, that’s King Jesus – the real King, the absolute ruler, and King forevermore.

Here is a King ready to share the sufferings and agony of his subjects. Here is a King who would take the consequences of our sickening thoughts and actions. In this world we often associate the word ‘King’ to a man who has elevated himself above everyone else. Jesus changed all that. He not only redefined the word ‘King’, but he also showed his followers how to be true subjects. He showed us how to be true subjects in this age when men love to ‘lord it over the flock’. In him we have the revolutionized image of the King – not the ‘megachurch’ king – but the serving King. The King who showed how to serve.

“Are you the King of the Jews?” Pilate asked.

“IT IS AS YOU SAY.” Jesus replied.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


This is the most beautiful prose I have ever read about the beauty of Jesus Christ. It's written by Kat Huff, she writes on her blog "Harvest of Pearls". 

You can read her prose by clicking on the below link:

"CHRIST IS" by Kat Huff

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Christ: Triumphant over death

Ever since the creation of mankind and the eventual fall of Adam and Eve, humanity has been plagued by one of its most menacing enemies – Death itself. It is important for us to note that death was not the original intent of God’s plan and have never been part of his eternal purpose (Genesis 1 & 2). However it is due to Adam and Eve’s (and ours) transgression of God’s commandment that God had to inflict this penalty on them and their descendants – the penalty of death (Genesis 3).

The Grim Reaper has ever since dogged us, hunt us down one by one, ruthlessly pounced on us regardless of time and circumstances, and taken away our loved ones.

“…for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:19 NIV)

"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away…” (Job 1:21 NIV)

Eventually, man’s egoistic nature did not allow him to repent. Instead, man took great pride in death and soon men started inflicting death on each other. Cain killed his brother Abel (Genesis 4:8) and when God asked him about Abel’s whereabouts Cain replied: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9)

Man became pleased at the death of fellow man. Clarence Darrow once said, “I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.”

But the same cannot be said of God.

"For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone", declares the Sovereign LORD. "Repent and live!" (Ezekiel 18:32 NIV)

God cares about us and God wants us to repent and return to Him.

'…As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die…?' (Ezekiel 33:11 NIV)

Death, in God’s word, meant a physical death – separation of soul from body, and a spiritual death – eternal destruction of the soul in hell. Adam’s sin brought with it both the physical death as well as the spiritual death.

God knew that mankind would never be able to overcome death on its own. Victory over death required a sinless human being to fight the battle and eventually triumph. So the all powerful and almighty God took the form of a human – Jesus Christ. Christ took death face on and fought a grueling and vicious battle with the Grim Reaper himself!

It was a battle of the ages! Christ – the Son of the living God – on one side and Death – Satan’s most powerful ally – on the other. Mano-a-mano! But tragedy struck! They flogged Him, battered Him with everything they could, and they finally nailed Him to the cross. There, on that hill, Christ died a brutal death. His body was taken down, wrapped in linen, and buried in an unmarked tomb. Was it the end? Had Satan finally triumphed over God?

Wait a minute! Jesus once said, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." (John 2:19 NIV)
Didn’t He mean his own body? There had to be a mistake! No there isn’t any mistake, because…

“HE HAS RISEN”, cried the angel at Jesus’ empty tomb. Three days later, our Lord, our Supreme Lord, resurrected from the dead and visited His disciples! How did it happen? God the Father came to the rescue, He sent His Spirit to quicken the body of His Son. For He had once declared, “I will not allow my loved one to see decay.” (Psalm 16:10) God raised up His Son and there stood Jesus, triumphant over death. He came in the form of a man and fought out battle for us, in our name, and He defeated the oldest enemy of mankind. Christ became the ‘last Adam’ and reversed the effects of the first Adam.

Paul says,
So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:45 NIV)

Does this mean that we will never die physically? Of course not! What we can cherish through Christ’s resurrection is an abundant life both before our physical death and after it. Christ Himself is the ‘Life of all ages’. We will one day be with Him and with the ‘Eternal Life’. He who has triumphed over death is Life itself.

"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies..." (John 11:25 NIV)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Christ: Triumphant where others have failed

In one of the long list of meetings and seminaries I had attended, I heard the preacher encouraging the viewers to be more like Solomon and not be like David.  The particular example he was giving was of Solomon when he had prayed to God not for wealth or power but for wisdom, and that King David had given in to adultery on part of Bathsheba.

However I was puzzled in the early years of my new spiritual life. There were a host of personalities from the Bible – Moses, David, Solomon, etc. Which of these are worthy enough to be a role model for the Christian? Would it surprise the reader when I say – none? No one, absolutely none whatsoever!

Let me tell you why. While Moses, David, and Solomon, all of these men were heroes of faith and worthy of their place in the Word of God, each of them had their special shortcomings. Moses for example was told by God to ‘speak’ to the rock and water would gush out of it (Numbers 20:8). But Moses wanted to be the ‘action hero’ and preferred to strike the rock with his staff (Numbers 20:11), not once but twice! As a result of Moses’ antics God effectively barred him from the Promised Land (Numbers 20:12).

David’s scandalous affair with Bathsheba, who was a married woman, was equally detested by God and as a severe punishment God took away their first born child (2 Samuel 11, 12:1-22). Solomon, David’s son, was thoroughly blessed by God with material wealth as well as spiritual wealth. But Israel’s ruler of the ‘golden era’ would soon lose his way by having scandalous affairs with numerous women, many of them pagans. Under the influence of his pagan wives, Solomon was led to worshipping idols (1 Kings 11:1-6). As a result of this act of idolatry and infidelity, Solomon’s son did not inherit his father’s entire kingdom (1 Kings 11:9-13).

So seeing these heroes and their tragic moments, who would I follow? Who would be my role model? The answer lies in a Man who walked the earth two thousand years ago and triumphantly defeated Satan and his demonic minions by dying a brutal death on the cross. Not only did Christ die a brutal death but three days later He was raised from the dead, completing His victory over death.

Paul, a messenger and apostle of Jesus Christ, endured much hardship.

“…I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-27 NIV)

But Paul refused to boast in himself and chose instead to boast in the Lord Jesus Christ as ‘the power and wisdom of God’.

…but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:23-25 NIV)

Also he said.

“Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:31 NIV)

Unlike any other person in the entire Bible, even prophets and kings, Jesus had no shortcomings. Where the devil tried to tempt Him to sin, He resisted the temptation (Matthew 4:1-11). Where scheming Pharisees tried to trap Him, He reversed the trap (Mark 12:13-17. Where those who were helpless before Him needed forgiveness, He provided mercy (John 8:1-11).

It was and still is clear now whom I should follow. Not Moses, not David, and not Solomon. It is clear in God’s Word that where others have failed, Christ Jesus has emerged triumphant.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Christ: Triumphant over the gods

I spent the days of my youth reading myths of Hindu gods and goddesses waging war on evil asuras, falling in lust with mortals, and other feats that would put Superman to shame. These gods were, in a way, a reflection of the agonizing quest of millions of Indians to find that one and only perfect man. Fallen man had always needed perfect and supreme deity who would lift mankind from the bottomless pit of spiritual insanity. Unfortunately the gods man had created would turn out to be fallen themselves. The ancient rishis realized that they, like their gods, had fallen into bondage. Here is a prayer from one of the ancient Indian texts:

From unreality lead me unto the Reality,
From darkness lead me into Light;
And from death lead me unto Life Eternal.

Around two thousand years ago, a physician by the name of Luke wrote to the Greeks who, like the ancient rishis, were searching for the perfect man. Unlike the man-made gods, Luke's Saviour came face to face with evil, withstood the temptations of sin, and triumphed over the powers of darkness. Luke's Saviour was truly the perfect and supreme Deity man had been looking for throughout the ages. Luke's Saviour was: the perfect Teacher (Luke ch. 6), the perfect Servant (John 13:5), the perfect Prayer (John ch. 17), the perfect Lover (John 15:10), the perfect Warrior (Revelation 19:11), and the perfect Ruler (Revelation 19:15-16).

Luke's Saviour was none other than...

Christ - The Teacher of God
Christ - The Servant of God
Christ - The Prayer of God
Christ - The Love of God
Christ - The Warrior of God
Christ - The Almighty God

Where does Christ Jesus stand compared to the gods of man? I leave that to a man named Heinrich Heine and his description of Christ entering the feast of the gods.

Then suddenly approached, panting, a pale Jew with drops of blood on his brow, with a crown of thorns on his head, and a great cross laid on his shoulders; and he threw the cross on the high table of the gods so that the golden cups tottered, and the gods became dumb and pale, and grew even paler till at last they melted away into vapor.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


The following article is written by Jim McGuiggan. Jim is the author of "Celebrating the Wrath of God"; "The God Who Commands the Impossible"; "Jesus: Hero of Thy Soul" and "The Dragon Slayer". His website is

“In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good.” 1 Corinthians 11:17; do see 11:17-34.

His following remarks rise out of what was happening at the Eucharistic (Thanksgiving) meal in particular. They had the bread and the wine to eat and drink but it wasn’t the Lord’s Supper they were eating (11:20); it was an exhibition of crass selfishness and bitter resentment.

The setting seems clear enough. They were having a “love feast” at which time they engaged in what was to be Holy Communion and Thanksgiving (see 1 Corinthians 10:14-22).

If there’s a section in the NT that shows us that ordinances without heartfelt understanding and commitment to God in Jesus Christ are worse than useless it is this one. The meaning and purpose of the Lord’s Supper is obliterated in practice despite the fact that the bread is eaten and the wine drunk with the correct prayerful words if the assembly is divided against itself (11:18).

The body of Christ speaks of Christ himself! While the bread and wine always remain just that, bread and wine, they are no longer merely bread and wine when God’s assemblies eat in faith. In the refrigerator at home or in the pantry the wine and bread are merely wine and bread but when we place them as provided by the Lord before him in the Lord’s Supper they are no longer merely bread and wine. Now they are a sign of his presence by his Holy Spirit who indwells the Church, the Body of Christ. Something happens to the bread and the wine. It isn’t magic and there’s no molecular change in their structure but if shot through with truth and visioned by faith the bread is food and the wine is sustenance and the Lord by his Holy Spirit is present in the midst of his people.

At the “haves” brought plenty of food and wine and gorged on them while sitting there beside them were the “have nots” who burned with resentment at being betrayed by brothers and sisters. So when some shepherd rose to “offer thanks for the bread” it was merely bread they ate! When the prayer was offered thanking God “for the blood of Christ” it was merely wine they drank! Even the mere bread and wine was now less than mere bread and wine—the Lord had been driven from the entire proceeding.

The “haves” did not remember (for they had no heart to remember) that on the night the Lord was betrayed he said, “This is my body which is given for you.” He gave himself and they would not give so much as a decent meal to the hungry and needy. The “have nots” in their burning bitterness at betrayal forgot (for they had no wish to remember) that on the night in which Jesus was betrayed his response was not one of rage and resentment but of self-giving for the forgiveness of sins.

 “Do you think I should praise you because you come together as an assembly and have the ‘correct emblems’ when you humiliate and rob the needy among you or burn in unbridled resentment at those who sin against you? You think I should praise you because you are ‘doing what the Lord has commanded’? I certainly will not praise you! You eat and drink condemnation to yourselves.” Compare 11: 22, 27-29.

The assembly missed completely the body of Christ in the bread and the wine!

The assembly missed completely the body of Christ in the people who sat around them!

The Supper became an occasion for the various factions to express the absence of the Lord Jesus from their hearts and minds. There’s something frightening about a head bowed in seeming piety while the heart chooses to enjoy the humiliation or hatred of others.

The Supper is a celebration of joyous redemption and peace for penitent sinners.
The Supper is a unity meal that says in Jesus we’re one body.
The Supper is a covenant renewal meal in which we commit to the meaning of Jesus, his mission and his method.
The Supper is a time of feeding on Jesus and all that he means to God for us and all that he means to us for God.

Thursday, May 31, 2012


This is a guest article by a friend of mine: Ian Terry. Ian is an evangelist from the churches of Christ in Houston, Texas. He teaches on how to effectively share the gospel to people of other faiths. His website is:

When I lived in New Zealand there was a huge slaughterhouse located just outside the city of Wellington. Great herds of cattle and flocks of sheep were processed daily for the export market. You could see these animals waiting quietly but nervously for their turn on the killing chain.

As the animals were slaughtered their blood was hosed down channels that carried it out to a stream which flowed past the meat-works and on into the sea. It was a river of blood, and there was a spreading crimson stain at the place where the river ran into the ocean.

In the Old Testament, God required that animals be sacrificed as offerings for sin. Even though countless cattle, sheep, and goats must have been slaughtered throughout that period, the Bible teaches that no actual sin was forgiven (Hebrews 10:4). The purpose of the sacrificial system was to render a provisional forgiveness until the real price was paid by Jesus on the cross (Romans 3:25, Hebrews 9:15, 10:3).

Since it is, “...impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4), if every clean animal that has ever existed was sacrificed, the price would still not be enough to procure the forgiveness of a single sin!

In fact, if every human being who ever lived was sacrificed, even that price would not be enough to purchase the salvation of one soul (Psalm 49:7-8).

The magnitude of the sacrifice required to redeem the souls of men is so great that only God Himself has sufficient holiness and merit to pay such a price. And this He has done through the infinite value of the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross (Hebrews 9:11-14).

The Bible says that Jesus is the one who, “...loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood...” (Revelation 1:5).

God cares for the souls of men. He was willing to pay the ultimate price to redeem them. Do we care enough to do what we can to minister that salvation to the lost souls of our community?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Breath of Life

In the book of Genesis we read of the creation of the universe and mankind. It is clear that the creation of mankind is the most wonderful creation of God, and it is because man was created in the image of God. Let us now look closely at the way God created the first man - Adam.

Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7, New American Standard Bible)

So God breathed life into the man and the man became a living being or, according to the King James Version, a living soul. It is also interesting to note that this 'breathing method' - the breathing to impart life or soul - is practiced by God alone in the Old Testament. This 'breath of life' is what keeps every human being alive as David rightfully asserted in Psalm 39 (v. 5,11).

In the New Testament the 'breathing method' makes a comeback, but this breathing is used to impart an entirely new form of life - not the physical life describe in the creation account but the spiritual life of which Jesus speaks in John 3.

After His resurrection, the Lord paid a visit to His disciples.

So Jesus said to them again, “ Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. (John 20:21-22, New American Standard Bible)

The Lord breathed the Holy Spirit into His disciples and with the second Adam - Jesus - began a new creation and a new life. This second breath - Holy Spirit - extended into more men and women on the day of the Pentecost when about three thousand people were baptized into the church of Christ (Acts 2). This new life that was imparted into mankind would forever change the relationship between mankind and its Creator.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. (John 1:1-4, New American Standard Bible)

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Dove

In the book of Genesis we are told of the story of Noah and the flood. During Noah's time the world was filled with wickedness. Evil had consumed the world so much that God decided to drown all of mankind in a flood that would last a hundred and fifty days. God revealed to Noah that only his family would be spared, and so He gave Noah the tasks of building an ark and gathering a pair of each species of animals for the continuation of life.

After forty days of being trapped inside the ark, Noah did a curious thing to check if the waters had receded outside.

After forty days Noah opened a window he had made in the ark and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him. (Genesis 8:6-12 NIV)

One of the most popular symbols of world peace is a dove. Noah first sent out a raven and the bird kept flying around rather than report back to Noah! I remember having a good laugh with my Muslim friends about the raven's shrewdness. The dove, on the other hand, kept coming back until finally it disappeared. Where did it go?

When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:21-22 NIV)

Isn't it ironic that the Holy Spirit descended upon our Lord in the likeness of a dove? Peace itself would not become subject to man. Man often tries to send a dove of peace to his adversaries and in the process man tries to glorify himself. It is Jesus who is the real Prince of peace, without Him there can be no peace.

Theologians and historians may laugh at this explanation of why Jesus is the Prince of peace, but our God often catches the eye of the poet in our midst.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Focus on Jesus

Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. (Luke 2:41-52, NIV)

The gospel of Luke never ceases to thrill or amaze me. This book, written by a Gentile-Christian, narrates the only account of the child Jesus. The account is that of Jesus and His parents' visit to the temple in Jerusalem. On the return trip from Jerusalem, Jesus' parents lose track of Him and that itself is an incident to ponder upon. Joseph and Mary knew that their child, born out of the miraculous conception of the Holy Spirit, was the Son of God. They knew that Jesus was the Messiah and the Salvation of God, and yet they lost track of Him! Note that they were only fulfilling the ordinances of God. Do we lose track of the Lord at times in our lives, especially when we follow God's commands? Food for thought!

Vance Havner once wrote, “Jesus’ parents lost Jesus at church, and they were not the last ones to do so.”

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The President

When you enter the assembly places of many denominations and churches of Christ you will see a person occasionally 'calling' people up to the pulpit to pray, sing and preach. This person is often seated away from the assembly or near the pulpit. He is the 'director' or the 'presider'. He is equivalent to the 'master of ceremonies' of the secular world. He is the president, when you look at him you can read the words on his face that says: "I call the shots around here so don't get in my way or you suffer the consequences... my consequences."

My Dorling Kindersley dictionary says that the president is: head of the republic, society, college, public corporation etc. Strange, first of all I thought the church was a kingdom under the kingship of Lord Jesus Christ. The church isn't a republic, it certainly isn't a democracy, where the members have power to elect or appoint substitute 'heads' over them. The headship of Christ over the church is absolute. Looking at these things, I am amazed at how the simplest inventions of man can radically alter organic structure of Christ's body.

In the Old Testament God did appoint priests over the assembly of Israel, but sadly this doesn't justify the inclusion of presidents in the New Testament assembly.

But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light... (1 Peter 2:9, New American Standard Bible)

When Peter said these words, he didn't address them to any appointed official but towards entire congregations (1 Peter 1.1). It is imperative that we "the called out" maintain the headship of Christ, even in our assemblies. I think Christ has enough power to preside over his congregations than any mere mortal. All we need to do is to trust him. Are you willing to trust Christ as your Presider?

Friday, February 3, 2012


So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. (Galatians 6:10, NASB)

What exactly did Christ meant when He said "We should be like the shining light"? The early Christians were persecuted and killed for their faith, but that did not stop them from doing good to others. They didn't just care for the fellow believers... they cared for the nonbelievers as well. Here is an excerpt from an article.

Not a few times a plague would sweep through a city, and all the pagans left town immediately, leaving their loved ones to die. That included the physicians. But it was the Christians who stayed behind and tended to their needs, sometimes even dying in the process. (The Missio Dei by Frank Viola)

And here is a quote from an historical source to clear your doubts. In 362 the last pagan emperor, Julian “the Apostate,” wrote to a pagan priest, “For it is disgraceful that, when no Jew ever has to beg, and the impious Galileans [the Christians] support not only their own poor but ours as well, all men see that our people lack aid from us.”

What motivated these Christians to support and care for their pagan neighbors? Perhaps they took the words of Jesus Christ to heart.

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you... (Matthew 7:12, NIV)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ekklesia - part two

A long time ago a girl was found locked up in a bathroom. When she was rescued she was almost a retard. She couldn't speak properly, eat properly, or even walk up straight. All this because her parents had locked her up ever since she was born. Whenever she wanted to step out she would shout, and end up being beaten within an inch of her life. Eventually doctors, examining her, had learnt that her DNA had been altered.

This is the state of the church in our times. Does that statement shock you? Let me explain why I’m writing this.

When Jesus walked the earth two thousand years ago His opponents were men of religion and tradition. These people, the Pharisees, locked up God’s word in a cage – the cage of tradition. Man-made traditions dominated the time in which Jesus lived. The Pharisees had even turned God’s name into a business. They twisted God’s laws and prophecies to keep the people’s attention away from the Christ in scriptures. Jesus became furious at these things and remarked.

… why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? (Matthew 15:3, NIV)

Again and again Jesus, the ultimate Revolutionary, confronted the Pharisees.

‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” (Mark 7:7-8, New American Standard Bible)

Little do we realize that these man-made traditions are the very things tearing up the church today. These traditions prohibit Jesus from taking control and encourage men to ‘lord it over the flock'. These traditions create a barrier between believers and labels them ‘clergy’ and ‘laity’. These traditions destroys the beautiful bride of Christ and turns her into a retarded little girl.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ekklesia - part one

What is the cause of so many divisions in the church today? Is it because of doctrinal issues? You bet! But what if I told you that the real cause is to withhold the supremacy of Christ? Does it surprise you that “not allowing Jesus to dominate” is the real cause of division?

A Christ-centered church is the solution to the problem of divisiveness. A majority of the church believe that unity is not possible. But a minority, including me, believe that it’s possible. Why? The solution is simple!


A man-centered church is good for nothing. A Christ-centered church – The Ekklesia – “THE CALLED OUT” – is just what we need. The church is a body- a living being- able to function naturally under the Brain. The Brain is Christ – only He alone has the capability to direct all the members of the body. The left hand cannot make the right hand work and the right leg cannot make the left leg work. Cut off the head and you have a lifeless body. Cut off Jesus and you have a spiritually dead body – A dead church – A moving decapitated ghoul!

Read these words of Jesus to the Ephesian church:

"I see what you've done, your hard, hard work, your refusal to quit. I know you can't stomach evil, that you weed out apostolic pretenders. I know your persistence, your courage in my cause, that you never wear out.
"But you walked away from your first love—why? What's going on with you, anyway? Do you have any idea how far you've fallen? A Lucifer fall!
"Turn back! Recover your dear early love. No time to waste, for I'm well on my way to removing your light from the golden circle.

Putting Jesus aside is a sin of the gravest nature. The Ephesian church was found guilty of this and Christ commanded them to repent or suffer the consequences.