Covenant

Easter Sunday: Wake Up! The Son Has Risen

 

 

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;” 2 Corinthians 5:17, 18

When we wake up in the morning, we get to welcome a new day. It’s the sun that makes this possible. The sun set the previous evening and rose this morning. And so we could welcome today with open arms. Well, the Son (of God) died on Good Friday, was buried and came back to life on the third day. So by the same token, it’s the Son who makes it possible for us to put to death our old, sinful and wretched life, and put on the New Life that God has envisioned for us.


Some people say Easter was apparently a pagan festival celebrated by people in some regions of the world. They worshipped a fertility goddess. So the Easter egg may have been a symbol of fertility. Some other people believe that the Easter egg is a symbol of the empty tomb of Jesus. What’s the truth about Easter, then? Well, I think it does not matter. What matters is that you believe that Jesus Christ is God’s answer to save mankind from sin and its effects, 
which is eternal death in hell.
Read this blog post to find out how you can be a beneficiary of God’s plan of salvation for mankind.

Posted by admin, 0 comments

God Saves Households – Not Just Individuals

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” – Acts 16:31 (KJV)

Let’s continue from the first part in this series on family salvation promises in the Bible. If you have not read that part yet, head over to Salvation of Loved Ones – Comfort in Times of Discouragement and then come back here.

God is good not just at shooting promises off His mouth. He backs up His Word too. He does not utter (write/promise) any word unless He is serious about bringing it to pass. It applies both ways – in matters of judgement and in matters of forgiveness (or salvation/deliverance/healing etc.) too. Read further, beyond verse 31 in Acts 16:

Verses 32, 33: “And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.”

We see that the jailer’s family too believed and all of them got baptized in water before daybreak. Take that as proof that God fulfills the promises He makes, provided we fulfill the part we need to. In this case, our part is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (believing that he is the Son of God who died for the forgiveness of our sin and who came back to life to give us everlasting life). So if you are born again, you have already fulfilled your part. So God fulfilled the first part of His promise – He saved you. Now He will also save your entire household.

“But my family members are not yet saved” you say. Yes. One of the factors preventing their salvation can be your doubting God’s willingness and ability to save them NOW. If you doubt that God really wants to save them or that He really can save them, flip through the pages of history and you will find that in spite of maybe nobody to believe or pray for your salvation, He did save you, did he not? How much more then, would He want to save your folks – with you praying for them and standing on the promises of His Word (not yours). Read through a list of promises and prophecies in the Bible and their fulfillment. You will soon discover that you are dealing with and trusting on the God who has always delivered what He has promised. If anyone, it is He who is trustworthy. You can calmly and without being anxious, place your trust on our God Jehovah, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Rest assured, God will never let you down, because He will never let His Word down. He has promised an He shall fulfill.

Will continue this series. If any of your family members got saved in the meantime, do leave a comment and allow me to rejoice with you! Until then the peace of God Yahweh Shalom be with you.


Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” – Isaiah 26:3
Amen.

Posted by admin, 0 comments

Salvation of Loved Ones – Comfort in Times of Discouragement

Today we begin a series on God’s promises in the Bible, to save not only individuals, but their entire households, through that individual’s activated faith. We will look at Bible verses and meditate (mentally dwell on) these promises.

“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” – Psalm 12:6 (KJV)

Have you ever felt discouraged praying for the salvation of your loved ones and not seeing them receive Jesus? If you have, do not worry. Read the verse above again. 

God is true to His Word. His Word is a Gentleman’s word. As goes the cliché, God says what He means and means what He says. He has said it and will perform it. “Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” (Jeremiah 1:12 – ESV) In fact, He is eager to perform His Word speedily, if you go by the King James Version: “Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.” (Emphasis added)

Do not just look at the present rejection of Jesus by your loved ones. Look ahead through the ages and see a picture of Heaven, with your future generations standing before the throne of God. Know that they will thank God for being able to stand before Him to worship Him, because one ancestor of theirs chose to stand his ground – you! You are the one because of whom thousands of your generations and their spouses will have eternal life on Earth and in Heaven. But you can stand only because there was one who humbled himself before God the Father. And his name is Jesus – God the Son.

So cheer up. Heaven is banking on you to be a sticky note on which are imprinted the promises of God. Satan’s fiery darts cannot rip off this sticky note, if you are grounded on the promises of salvation found in the Bible.

At some point, you have to decide and settle the fact in your heart and mind – that God’s Word is in your favour, it is sure and it is unchanging. When He promises it, He fulfills it. So just believe that God is good and He wants to save your folks, and that He does not lie. Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” The point here is not that man says lies – whether or not you are born again, you should not lie. The point is that man has the capacity to lie, but God does not have that capacity. Satan the devil is the father of lies. God is the opposite of Satan – so He cannot say lies. Also, the meaning of the word ‘repent’ is ‘change’. God does not change His mind. God has decreed salvation for your household and it shall come to pass. You are the only breaker – the one who can lean on and trust God’s Word and watch God’s salvation come to pass. Or the one who can doubt God’s intention, willingness and ability.

So choose to be the former. Trust in Him, as per Psalm 118:8…

“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”

Stay tuned for more in this series!


If your loved ones’ hearts are convicted and they want to receive Jesus, then head over to Good News Friday and have them pray the Sinner’s Prayer. God and I bless you and your loved ones!

Posted by admin, 0 comments

3 Keys to Express Evangelism


“to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” – Isaiah 53:1

On the judgment day, God would be justified if he adds the words “by you” before the ‘?’ I once heard a preacher rightly say that the Church is notorious for being slow. There are probably tens of thousands of humans dying every day and about 80-90% of them are being consigned to hell because they have died as sinners. Even if no one ever preached the Gospel to them, they are accountable before God (as per Romans 1:20), because if they were really sincere about seeking God and wanting to know Him – their Creator – they could have called out to Him in the privacy of their bedroom or slum or forest/cave and God would have definitely revealed Himself to them. 

But that notwithstanding, we believers in Jesus have been commissioned by God by default, to preach the Gospel…to evangelize. ‘By default’ here means that since we have believed in Jesus as the Saviour and repented of our sins, we are automatically supposed to fulfill the Great Commision (or G.C., if you will!), even though the G.C. was given 2,000 years ago.

I work in an NGO where we are developing a surgical simulator to train ophthalmologists to perform cataract surgeries using a low cost technique. Someone in my office once said:

“There are 3 major reasons for slow progress: skepticism, lack of communication, and the burden of proof. These factors have contributed to the delayed acceptance of medical simulation.”

I thought about it. The same applies to Christianity. The message of salvation as a free gift through faith in Jesus Christ, has not been proclaimed as well and as speedily as it should have been, due to skepticism, and communication issues. Let’s look at each of the 3 points mentioned by my colleague:

1. Skepticism

The Gospel is not being received universally because there are many skeptics. Skeptics owe it to at least themselves and God, to conduct an objective, unbiased research and find out the Truth. Anyway, Romans 1:20 applies to them: “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” We can overcome their skepticism by overcoming our…

2. Communication Problems

once heard a preacher or apologist say, that a survey revealed that about 80% of Christians never win even one soul to Christ. Sounds like Jesus gave the Great Commission only to 20% of us! If you start getting comfortable in your church seat, maybe it’s time to get un-comfortable! If you shared the Gospel but the hearer did not believe, then it’s fine. At least you tried. But before preaching, do pray that they receive the Gospel message or tract willingly and that they pray the sinner’s prayer with a true repentant heart. Every Gospel tract should have a salvation call, with a model sinner’s prayer, in case the person wants to articulate their receiving Jesus. The conversion of heart might already have taken place between the time they hear the Gospel and pray the salvation prayer. But to be certain, it helps to have the prayer included in the tract or as a part of your sharing the message.

Another way of evangelism is to pray for those who are sick. You can tell them that Jesus has paid the price for their healing. Lay hands on them and pray (command healing to manifest in Jesus’ name). Once you have done this, you can say, “Just as Jesus paid the price for your healing, he also bore the penalty for your sins and paid the price for your forgiveness.” Then go ahead and share with them the good news of salvation through Jesus. In case you do not believe that bodily healing is in the atonement, then right now read the blog post titled Is Healing in the Atonement? 

3. Burden of Proof

The Bible says that God is watching over His Word to perform it. “The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.” (Psalm 12:6)  God has given us plenty of resources to prove to people that He is who the Bible claims He is – a blesser…always good…His mercy endures forever. Check out site like AllAboutGod.com, AnswersinGenesis.org, etc. If we go out and preach the Gospel, heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out demons, God will back up His word with an amazing work. He has promised in Exodus 34:10 even to Old Testament saints:

“And he said, “Behold, I am making a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been created in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the LORD, for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.”

God has already proven His Word. Now it’s up to the skeptics to dig out the truth – and up to us believers to help them in this endeavour.

Liked this post? Then read this one too: How Not to Fulfill the Great Commission
(Excuse my grammar – it should actually have read: How to Not Fulfill…!)
Posted by admin, 0 comments

Is Sin Related to Sickness?

“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)” Galatians 3
The previous blog post “Does God Allow Sickness for His Glory? received a great response on LinkedIn. Some readers cited verses to argue that God lovingly (?) uses sickness to glorify Himself. Others cited verses to claim that God never allows sickness for His glory. At one point, it seemed to me like a game of tennis with aggressive and prolonged volleying from one end of the court to the other. So does it mean that the Bible contradicts itself? No! Not if you interpret it correctly.
One question that bothers people sometimes is this: “My friend is saved – her sins have been forgiven and she does not have any unconfessed sin in her life; then why did this sickness come upon her?” When I began this series of posts on healing, I said it was on healing. So in a sense, whether you are sick because you committed sins or you are sick even though you have no unconfessed sin in your life – it does not matter. Jesus did not command “they shall lay hands on the sick who have repented, and they shall recover.” He simply said “they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Mark 16:18)
Once you are healed – or during your healing – if you repent of your sins before God, the sickness loses legal grounds to be in you. But if you have not repented, the sickness can come back to you. But there it is – it can come back. This means it can go. So if a born again child of God commands in faith and with the authority he has, for healing to take place, the healing has to take place. In fact, Jesus did not even ask us to ‘pray’ for healing. He simply said we would lay hands on the sick and they would recover.
One more thing – those who fatalistically accept sickness saying it is God’s will for them to be sick; these people still go to the doctor to get treated. Why? If you do not want to tolerate the sickness physically, then why should your Father who formed your inward parts (Psalm 139:13) tolerate it? Wouldn’t He pull out all stops to ensure you got your healing? As I see it, it is basically a matter of indoctrination and sticking to your guns. But at all times Truth must stand. We children of God here on Earth, need to enforce God’s will (the Truth) here as it is in Heaven.
In the next post, we will discover why even sinners (saved and unsaved alike) can be healed even though they may have unconfessed sins in their life. Later, we will also see that the original promoter of sin was the devil – not God, Adam or Eve.
Praise the LORD!
Posted by admin, 2 comments

Does God Allow Sickness for His Glory?

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32

Not convinced? Try this verse:

“If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?” Luke 12:28
Or…
“If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?” Luke 11:11
Would I allow sickness to come upon my son for my glory? I certainly would not. And mind you I am a normal human father, one who is not the Creator of this universe. Do you think our Heavenly Father, who has made all the mountains and the valleys, the seas and the fields, and the 100 billion galaxies; and most importantly the Father who gave His Son Jesus as a sacrifice to pay for our sins – would such a loving and great God be glorified and be happy watching His creation – including His born again children – writhe in pain?
On December 30, 2009, I lost my cousin brother to leukaemia. The side effects of the chemotherapy – hair fall, weakness, galloping infection…do you think God rejoiced in his suffering? My uncle spent his fortune behind the treatment – 4 million Indian Rupees – close to US$ 85000 (which is quite a lot of money here in India). I don’t think my cousin’s suffering brought God any glory. You might ask, “What about John 9:3 and John 11:4?” Well, at that point of time, Jesus had not yet sacrificed his life. The event in that verse took place in between Isaiah 53:5 (“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”) and 1 Peter 2:24 (“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”). As you read this, Jesus has already died, been buried, been resurrected, presented his blood in Heaven before the Father, come back to Earth and ascended to Heaven. It is really finished! In fact, it is almost time for his return for the Rapture!
True, unsaved people cannot command sicknesses to go away as their sins are not yet forgiven. But we as believers can pray for them – in fact, we are commanded to lay hands on the sick and they shall recover – and thereby prove that what we preach is the Truth. The Old Testament says in Isaiah 54:17, that the heritage of the servants of the LORD is such that “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.” Jesus said (in the New Testament – John 10:10) that “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” If no weapon formed against Old Testament saints would prosper, do you think God would allow anyone to form a weapon against New Covenant Christians and then allow it to prosper too – so that He would (?) be glorified…?
Well, I could possibly go on for many more pages. I will…but we will split these up into a few more posts. So do keep commenting. I can gain greater insight and do my bit so that the Body of Christ (of which I am a part) is built up and strengthened by the Word of God and by praise and worship that are done in Spirit and in Truth.
Posted by admin, 12 comments

Psalm 128’s Promises for You!

“Blessed is every one who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways.” (Psalm 128:1)

Okay. So you fear the LORD reverentially. You try your best to obey His commandments. But what does God promise to do for you in return? Let us look at the answer one verse at a time.

Psalm 128:2
“When you eat the labor of your hands, You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.”


God promises you that if you honour Him, He will bless your work and the wages you earn. You will be content with your work and your earnings and the tide will be in your favour. Remember, walking in His way (in this verse) includes being faithful in your tithes and offerings. You cannot rob God (read Malachi 3) and expect things to “be well with you.” The Bible clearly warns us, that “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked.” (Gal. 6:7)

Psalm 128:3
“Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine In the very heart of your house, Your children like olive plants All around your table.”

I have personally experienced this. I do try to obey the LORD in all respects. The result is mine to see – my wife is one of the hardest-working and smartest women I have come across (just like my mom!). And when I watch my son ride his tricycle around the table as I type away on my laptop, this verse speaks to me all the more. You realise that the Bible is indeed what it claims to be – the Living Word of God. It has breath.

Psalm 128:4
“Behold, thus shall the man be Who fears the LORD.”

Here, God re-states what He promised in the preceding verses. He tells you that He’s really serious about blessing you by fulfilling these promises. And He wants to convey that to you. Hence the need to have this verse here.

Psalm 128:5, 6
“The LORD bless you out of Zion And may you see the good of Jerusalem All the days of your life. Yes, may you see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel!”

God will surely open the windows of Heaven if you walk in the way the He leads you to. In fact, he already opened the windows in a broad sense by sending Jesus and the Holy Spirit!
‘Jerusalem’ here signifies you – your body – your life. ‘Israel’ denotes your family. As Jerusalem is the chief city (not capital) of Israel, so are you the representative of Christ Jesus in your family (even if the others are saved too).

The LORD promises that each day of your life will be a good day. He promises you with good health and a long life – at least enough for you to see your children’s children. I have literally seen this promise being fulfilled by God. A deliverance minister I knew spent most of his energy serving God by healing others. He probably did not take adequate care of his own health with the result that he died of heart trouble at the age of 49. But by that time his elder daughter had already delivered a baby girl. Amazing, isn’t it? God will never back out of His promise if you are faithful, because it’s not just an agreement or a contract – it’s a Covenant relationship!

His promise to shower blessings applies to your family too if you abide in His Word (read Acts 16:31). When the LORD makes promises, He keeps them! That’s a good reason to do what Psalm 118:8 asks us to do:

“It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man.”

Posted by admin, 0 comments

Covenant vs. Contract vs. Agreement – Part 2

In Part 1 of this two-post series, we saw the meaning of an agreement, a contract and a covenant. Now let us look at a few similarities and differences between them.

SIMILARITIES

  • All three are, at their most basic level, agreements of some kind
  • They are entered into for the benefit of at least one of the parties (obvious)
  • An agreement often has terms and conditions, just like a contract and a covenant (though not always)
  • Violating the conditions of a contract and a covenant can have legal implications – only, in the case of the Biblical covenant with God, the implications are primarily spiritual in nature.

DIFFERENCES

  • A simple agreement that has no evidence backing it, will not stand in the court of law. A contract is written and will stand in court. E.g. a couple in love who simply ‘agree’ to live as partners cannot become a husband and wife unless they have a marriage certificate.
  • In a (Biblical) covenant, at least one of the parties is sure to fulfil the conditions. But in a simple agreement or a business contract, all parties are vulnerable to violating the terms. Or they may opt out of the contract by fulfilling certain conditions. If man fulfils his part, God will never back out!

So what’s this discussion got to do with God and the Bible?

A lot! The entire Bible is a series of incidents where God, having made a covenant with man, shows His longsuffering nature before striking judgment. Seeing that we have a sin nature, He also works out a plan for us to obtain His pardon though we do not deserve it. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) The Law of Moses was a covenant. Man broke it. God warned them to repent. Many did – many did not. Those who did not, faced the wrath of God.

The new covenant through Jesus Christ makes it far simpler for us. God promises to fulfil His commitment despite our failures. We only need to believe and receive His grace to obey His commands. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12)

If you want to know more about how you can obtain forgiveness of sins and God’s grace, read the Good News here.

Posted by admin, 0 comments

Covenant vs. Contract vs. Agreement – Part 1

How is a covenant different from an agreement and a contract? Do they have anything in common? Let us look at what each of these 3 terms means:

  1. Agreement: When two or more parties agree upon something, it is called an agreement. It can be oral or written. It can be expressed or implied. In the olden days (and even today in certain situations/places), a “gentleman’s word” was an agreement. E.g. when your house walls gave way, your neighbour or relative would give you shelter. This happened in January 2001 in a massive earthquake in India. This implied agreement is a gentleman’s unspoken word. Despite not knowing Jesus, they kept his commandment: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:39)
  2. Contract: I belong to India. In college, I was taught that according to the Indian Contract Act, 1872, “A contract is an agreement enforceable at law.” This would be pretty much the same the world over. To be valid, it must be expressed in writing. It would also have its Terms and Conditions (T & C). Violating the T & C could lead to legal action.
  3. Covenant: A covenant is much superior to an agreement or a contract. It is a promise. E.g. the Law of Moses with the Ten Commandments. Or God’s promise to save all humans who repent of their sins and turn to Him through belief in His Son Jesus Christ: “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

In Part 2 of this series, we will look at the similarities and differences a covenant, a contract and an agreement. We’ll also see how a covenant is much superior to an agreement and a contract.

Stay tuned.

Posted by admin, 0 comments