Grace

Four Kinds of Love

Four-Kinds-of-Love

                                                                                                      True love exudes the fragrance of many flowers

Bollywood movies have a cliche line that goes: “Pyar ka Doosra Naam Qurbani Hai,” meaning, “Another name for Love is Sacrifice.” How true!

The New Testament portion of the Bible was written in Greek. From the Christian perspective, in Greek, there are at least four words for the word love. Each has a distinct meaning. Let’s look at each of them.

  1. Philia (fil+ya): This is the love friends have for each other. You may be friendly with many people, but you can probably count on only a few who will actively come to your aid, should you ever be in deep trouble. Why? Because they are the ones who love you. That emotion or bond towards you is called philia. As they say, “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” The others are simply acquaintances that are friendly, and probably well-meaning too. By all means, treat them well, for some of your acquaintances of today could become your best buddies tomorrow!
    Drawback
    : Camaraderie between friends can sometimes cross rational limits. When that happens, the person could begin ignoring their duty and sense of belonging towards their family members. Such people tend to hang out more with friends and may even detest the company of their family.

  2. Eros (ee+row+s): Although this is basically a romantic or sexual love, in the context of Christian values, it is the love that a husband and his lawfully wedded wife have for each other. Contrary to the entertainment industry’s portrayal of eros, this type of love is not what engaged couples have for each other. Also, an emotional or sexual attraction between individuals of the same sex in the context of Christian values is not eros, simply because the Bible does not permit such a relationship. It must be between a husband and his wife.
    Over a period of time, a healthily married couple would usually come to love each other emotionally, in addition to romantically and sexually. They are likely to care deeply for each other, and thus their own selves too (or at least, they ought to). At this stage, you can say, their eros graduates to what is called pragma, or mature love between long-married couples. Simply having sex with or sexual attraction towards a person of the opposite gender does not constitute a Godly kind of eros.
    Drawback: Erotic love other than towards your lawfully wedded spouse of the opposite sex can lead to health and morality problems. So it’s not an ideal type of love – just one type of love to be given and received within limits.

  3. Storge (storr+gay): This is a big one – the one that comes with a lot of sentiments attached. Often, rightly so. The love that parents have for their children (not the other way around) is called storge. Parents, especially mothers, often say that there just isn’t any kind of love that is superior to or even equal to their love for their kids.
    Parents will usually go to great lengths to protect their children and fulfill their every need (within reasonable limits) as best as they can. Jesus Christ says in Matthew 6:32, “…your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” Do babies and infants not depend on their parents to have their every need fulfilled? They don’t even know what most of their needs are, yet their parents do and make sure these are met. Even growing children and adolescents depend on their parents for their food, shelter, clothing (accessories included!), school fees, toys, sports gear…and the reassuring hug. Note that storge is basically familial love, and is not restricted to parental love, but could extend to other family members.
    Drawback: Parents can sometimes become so overbearing on their children that the children may never develop the confidence to take on the world alone. At some other times, they may spoil their kids for choice, leading to the child eventually becoming self-centered, rather than service-centered. It becomes a case of “Well, the storge just backfired.” And not only that, parents too are subject to emotional ups and downs. They may not always be at their kids’ beck and call, even if they want to.

  4. Agape (uh+gaa+pee): From the Christian perspective, all the above kinds of love have one drawback or another. Do you know why? Because such love is initiated by a human being. And by nature, we humans are not perfect in our own right. So what is the kind of love that is perfect…that is not given on merit and that cannot be over-given? It is God’s love for his earthly Creation, especially towards mankind. It is the ultimate form of sacrificial love. God knew that man has sinned against him, yet he chose his Son Jesus to incarnate and die on our behalf, because he had compassion on us, knowing that we could not bear the penalty of our own sins or pay the price for our forgiveness. To seal the deal, he raised Jesus from the dead, giving eternal life to all who believe in him.
    Drawback: Drawback? Well, there’s only one – the beneficiary of agape may not reciprocate. But when it comes to God’s love, he loves us with what Charles Finney, that great revival specialist, calls ‘disinterested benevolence‘. God does not love us because he wants it back from us, but because he wants us to be happy. It is superior to parental love in that God is perfect, while human parents are not. And therefore, even though God did not need to, he put into motion the great (yet simple) plan for our salvation. 

Learn more about what God’s plan for our salvation is.

Posted by Ketan Rindani in Bible Study, Cross, God, Grace, Marriage, Sacrifice, 0 comments

Is Christianity a Religion?

No. Christianity is not a religion. Then what is it? It is all of this:

  • Christianity is freedom from religion.
  • Christianity is the state of restored fellowship between God and Man. The fellowship was broken in the Garden of Eden by Adam and Eve sinning, but was restored by Jesus Christ when he died on the Cross 2,000 years ago to bear the penalty of our sins and to pay the price for our forgiveness.
  • Christianity is something other than a lifestyle, because even the hippie style is a lifestyle, but God does not approve of it.
  • To be Christian means to be a Christ-ian. So those who follow this faith or path should try to obey the commandments given by Jesus Christ. He said that “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21, ESV) So if you follow or want to follow Christianity, then the benchmarks have already been set by Jesus’ words. It is not easy, but he makes materialization of victory possible, no matter how difficult your situation – if you choose to elicit his help and obey him.
  • Christianity is experiential. You cannot look at it from the outside and make conclusions. Once you repent of your sins, believe in Jesus’ incarnation, death and resurrection for you, and accept him as your exclusive Saviour and Lord, life becomes different. Then you won’t need to read this blog post again. You will be equipped to write it with your life.

If you have already made Jesus the centre of your life, then keep reading this blog and explore the earlier 100+ posts. If you have not yet made Jesus the centre of your life, first read this post and then read this post.

 

Posted by Ketan Rindani in Christian, Cross, Forgiveness, Gospel, Grace, Life Issues, Mercy, Salvation, 0 comments

Evangelism: Only 10 Percent of World Born Again?

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” – 1 Corinthians 3:16

How many temples of false gods does the world have – can you hazard a guess? Less than 700 million I’m sure. And how many temples of the Living God does the world have? More than 700 million people in the world are born again – actually, close to a billion of us are born again. So who should call the shots? Of course, born again Christians.

Then why has this not happened till the time of writing this? Because of ignorance, theological differences, lethargy, lukewarm hearts, fleshly nature (not dying to self), unwillingness to unite and coordinate, etc. Basically, because of not using the mind of Christ that God has given to us at our new birth.

Our Saviour (and Lord) Jesus Christ has given us the following command in Mark 16:15…
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

If every year, each born again person leads only 1 person to Christ, in 3.5 years, everyone will have been savedOn average, each Christian has to lead only 3.5 people to Christ. That’s it! Maybe you need to preach the good news to many more.  You can sow the seed and someone else may reap the harvest. Your loved one might not believe your preaching but may receive the words of an unknown believer. Never mind – you got your loved one into God’s Kingdom, right? That’s what matters.

So let’s go and evangelize – whether face to face, on Facebook or by sharing your personal testimony. Lead people to Christ by using this sample sinner’s prayer.

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God Saved Their Family, So God Will Save Yours


First read these verses:

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9 (emphasis added)

“Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons
But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” – Acts 10:34,35 (emphasis added)

“For there is no respect of persons with God.” – Romans 2:11

This is our third post in a series of posts on God’s promises in the Bible to save your entire family. It may not be the last.

If you read those verses carefully, then I don’t even need to write this blog post. But still I will – because I love to write!! But seriously, be comforted by this, that if God was merciful and kind enough to save those wretched, shameless sinners (like we were once!), He will surely save your family members. Because He does not discriminate between two unsaved human beings. He is the ultimate grace-giver. Grace means extra time to catch up – to get right with God. Even though man keeps sinning against God daily, God does not kill him – He lets man live some more so he can repent of his sins and accept God’s plan of salvation. That is God’s grace.

So if God gave grace to someone else’s spouse or parents or siblings or children, He will do that for yours too – you have His Word on that!

What, then, is the breaker?

One of the things that make a difference is speaking the change. A preacher’s daughter was sort of in love with an unsaved man. So she began to pray the usual prayers for his salvation: “God, please send someone into his path who will share the Gospel with him…” Then God spoke to her: “Speak the change.” So she began speaking positive confessions about him being saved. Within a month or maybe a few months, he got born again. Now if speaking the change can work for her, it can work for you. If she could marry that guy because of her confessing the Word, so can you have Godly relationships with your people by doing the same thing – declaring, proclaiming the victory that Christ has given us. After all, did he not die to get us all saved!

As you begin your journey of speaking the change, I pray in Jesus’ name, that may God’s Word become flesh in the lives of you and your loved ones. Do keep me updated on your progress. God bless you and use you as a blessing!

Here is a sample Salvation Prayer to lead your loved ones when they want to accept Christ.

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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.

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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.

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God is Generous and Unconditionally Loving

God knew that there will be some people who will reject Jesus and therefore Him. He knew that because of this wrong choice, they will not benefit from the blood that Jesus shed for them on the Cross. Yet He chose to make healing available.to even them (through Jesus being whipped before being crucified) – this, despite knowing that He will never hear “Father!” from their lips, to address their Creator. Oh – how generous and good God the Father is! Truly worthy to be believed in – and worthy of praise from all of His Creation.


Liked this post? You might also like:
Blood of Jesus Vs. Poison of Serpent…and Jesus Wins!

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Hidden Story of Christmas Revealed

We all love Santa Claus, don’t we? Especially if he gives gifts to us or our kids! But did you know that while this fun tradition is good in a sense, it has also concealed the truth behind Christmas to an extent. Christmas is not about Santa. It’s about Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind. While the gifts that Santa gives to kids are perishable, the gift of salvation that God gives through Jesus is everlasting. Here are some interesting facts about Jesus and the Bible:
  1. There are 332 prophecies in the Bible about Jesus Christ.
  2. These include his virgin birth, his birthplace, how he was wrapped as a baby (in a white cloth meant to wrap dead bodies – ‘Kafan’ in Urdu – because he came to die for us), his sinless life, the exact day of his entering Jerusalem riding on a donkey, his death on the Cross, burial in a rich man’s tomb, resurrection, ascension to Heaven and even his return for the battle at Armageddon.
  3. All of these have come true so far. His return is expected too, as all other prophecies till the present time have been fulfilled.
  4. The Bible contains 8,000 promises.
  5. 27% of the Bible is prophetic – meaning, that 27% (8,352) of all (31,124) its verses give a total of 1,817 prophecies, all of which have come true so far.
  6. The Bible predicted thousands of years ago that the nation of Israel would be re-established exactly on 14th May, 1948 and also that it would regain Jerusalem precisely in 1967.
  7. The principle of quarantine to prevent the spread of contagious diseases was discovered from the Bible.
  8. The Bible mentioned thousands of years ago, that the Earth is suspended in outer space – long before Columbus discovered this and Copernicus “formulated a heliocentric model of the universe which placed the Sun, rather than the Earth, at the center”!*
  9. The Bible mentioned thousands of years ago, that the stars in space are innumerable, even though this was discovered by Galileo only a few centuries ago. Until then, people used to believe that there were only a thousand odd stars in the universe!
  10. This same Bible says that all humans have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. But as we ourselves sinned, we cannot pay the price required for the forgiveness of our sins. If we die in our sins, God would have no option but to send us to hell for eternity, because he is a just God (perfect judge). So if we were to get to Heaven where God lives, someone had to pay the price on our behalf. As no one else was worthy, God sent His only begotten Son Jesus as a human being, letting him die on the Cross to pay our penalty and then God raised him from the dead back to life, 3 days later. He has not died since then – he is alive and in Heaven right now. He ascended to Heaven 40 days after his resurrection from the dead.
  11. God worked out this plan for our salvation because He is a just God, yet a loving God. He had to punish sin while leaving the way open for the sinner to be set free. And that salvation plan is found in Jesus.
  12. Jesus is the only person in history so far who has met all the criteria required for a sacrificial Saviour: first-born male, without sin or defect, sacrificed on the Jewish ‘Passover’ festival day (Good Friday)…
  13. The Bible also says that if you confess that you too have sinned, that you cannot save yourself and ask Jesus to save you, he will really save you (your spirit – atma – rooh). His blood will wash away your sin. All you need to do is pray a simple prayer for salvation with a true repentant heart, accepting him as your only Saviour and Lord. Click here to see what that prayer is.

* Source: Wikipedia

If you are to trust your family’s future into the hands of an insurance company, which one would you choose – one that does not have any record of honouring any claim, or one which has honoured a claim in the past – just as it had promised? Of course, the latter! Now if you are to trust your eternal destiny into the hands of someone, then into whose hands would you trust it? Someone who has never come as a human being and understood your pain? Someone who died and you have never heard of them after that? Or into the hands of someone who died, rose again from the dead and has not died again – and thereby fulfilled hundreds of prophecies and promises? Again, of course the latter! 

Well, my friend, the only real historical person who fits in that category is Jesus Christ. I am not trying to convert your religion. Christianity is not a religion. Jesus’ biggest enemies were the religious leaders of his day. It’s not a question of “my god is bigger than your god” – it’s a question of where you want to spend eternity. I urge you that you study the material I am linking to below, and thoughtfully consider praying the salvation prayer – knowing that you will be accountable before God for praying or not praying it. Jesus asked his followers only to preach the Gospel (Good News of forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God in Heaven – all for free!). He did not ask us to convert anybody.
So remember, God has given you a free volition. He has not given you the right to make the wrong choice, but He has given you the power to make the wrong choice or the correct choice. Just like how we have the power to abide by the law of the land or to break it, but we do not have the right to break it. So, then…
If you have doubts, rush to www.allaboutgod.com.
To learn more about the Bible, click here.
To pray the salvation prayer, click here.
God bless you…and have a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Inscribed on the Palm of God’s Hands


Go to one of the tourist locations around the world and you might spot enterprising folks offering to inscribe or write your name on a grain of rice. Those who have never read (or those who have forgotten) the verse above, might be excited to have their names printed on a grain of rice by a stranger – and pay for it. Even if it is really of no consequence at all!

“See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;” – Isaiah 49:16
God is in love with every one of us. In Hindu and Islamic marriages, a bride gets her hands and feet decorated with floral and other designs using henna. Somewhere within the design or pattern, she asks for the name of the person she loves so much to be drawn – her bridegroom’s. Well, God loves us so much, that He has inscribed us on the palm of His own hands – the very hands of the Creator of the entire Universe! And not just on one hand, but on His hands – meaning both of them! O what a privilege to have our refuge in the hands of our Creator!
Dear Reader, if you don’t know what I am talking about, then probably you have not read the Bible. Read the Bible – it is the inspired Word of God. It tells you how much God loves you and that He has a plan for your life much more than simply living for weekends, occasional getaways and children’s convocations and marriages. Draw near to Him – after all it’s He who is your first relative. He conceived your beautiful baby face in His heart before your parents saw your face in the labour room, or even conceived you! He was with you always and now He wants you to be with Him forever into eternity, starting with your life here on Earth.
Road to Eternal Life…
Don’t turn right…neither turn left…but head straight for this page by clicking the link:
God bless you! And now go click the link above!!
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Blood of Jesus Vs. Poison of Serpent…and Jesus Wins!

“…and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

A European in Australia had immuned himself against the deadly Australian Tiger Snake’s poison. He thought he was immune to all types of snake venoms. One day a snake with another type of poison bit him and he died the following day. Such is the tragedy of many people. Even when it comes to sin, they think they are immune from its wages (consequences). But the Word of God shall not pass away (Matthew 24:35). They who sin shall surely die…unless they cleanse themselves with the antidote to the poison – the Blood of Jesus. The life of the flesh is in the blood. And the life given by the Spirit is because of the Blood…of Jesus Christ!
Just as snake venom can change human blood so that it is no longer life-sustaining; the blood of Jesus changes a sinner to a completely new creation through the working of the Holy Spirit. It gives eternal life to the one who accepts God’s plan for their salvation. Learn how
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