Why do we have to justify ourselves all the time in this world?

Because our moral and culture grounded not in a Sacred Order but by an Appeal to Self

Because we put it on ourselves. We appeal to self. When we put all the weight upon ourselves, because we want liberty, freedom so we can make moral judgements to be whatever we want to be. But that comes with a big costs, and we can’t carry the weight of that cost. When we say we make decision about ourselves, without regard to the thousands of years tradition, church morality established in the sacred book, Bible, we are throwing away the sacredness of God and substituting with the finite broken human instincts. We think we are getting a great deal to be our authentic self, but really? Our authentic self needs to be changed! That’s the point.

Rieff and Truman makes it clear as below:

The culture with no sacred order therefore has the task – for Rieff, the impossible task – of justifying itself only by reference to itself.’ – Trueman, Rise and Triumph

It is impossible to justify yourself by reference to yourself! The point is if you are wrong, and no one can be right all the time, how can you reference to yourself and make it right? Therefore we need a sacred order, someone beyond ourselves, external to us. And that’s what we call God.

God is not going to control you, restrict you, constraint you, rather God is coming in the person Jesus Christ to liberate us from our bondage, from our slavery to sins, all the ugly things we don’t want people to know but it’s eating us up. The only way to real freedom is to surrender ourselves to the sacred order, God, because we can’t keep looking into our selves for authenticity per se only, because even it may be the real you, it could be the real bad you! And to carry the weight of self-justification is too heavy, its suffocating! Why? Because we are not it!

The pleasures we get from this transient world by indulging into our fleshly desires, though giving us pleasures on a temporal way at the moment, it will not only hurt ourselves, but our loved ones, our families and friends in the long term. In fact, they need the sacred order as well, and everyone does. We are blinded by our fleshly desires and gave in to sins, and constantly seeking ways to justify them. John Bavinck says there is a constant humming of God’s voice at the back of our conscience even as we run away from God.

One thing I have noticed is that people who run away from God’s moral judgments, carry within themselves a sense of guilt. It’s like running away from family, seeking a sense of pleasures, freedom, but deep inside carries a sense of guilt especially from good families. And when we run away from God, who is perfectly good, merciful, kind, affectionate, we will never be able to shrug off that guilt. So what’s going to happen is, we will always seek to justify ourselves. People try drugs, sex, and al kinds and ended in even deeper emptiness and the results is devastating in the news . Some will read books, articles, seeking ways to fill that empty voids to justify ourselves, to tell ourselves that we are alright for the sake of the pleasures we get. It’s like Eve took that forbidden fruit and passed to Adam who also took it. When God walked in the garden calling out to him, he hid himself from God, because that was a sense of guilt sinking on him. That’s the first guilt in this world.

Genesis 3:9–10  9 Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”

Adam said, “I was afraid because I was naked”. Well, he’s been naked before that and there was no fear, but now why suddenly? That’s because the real reason, is they feel shame, they feel guilt from rebelling against God. And immediately he tried to justify himself, by saying:

Genesis 3:11–12 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me some of the fruit of the tree, and I ate.”

God asked him “who told you that you were naked?”  You see before the fall, Adam didn’t feel shame for being naked. Nothing has changed on the outside, but everything has on the inside. That’s the onset of the power of sin, devouring him on the inside immediately. The relationship he had with God was immediately broken, Satan instantly became the prince of this created world that was supposed to be run by Adam. Adam blamed the woman God gave to be with him that caused him to fall. First he blamed his wife, then ultimately he blamed God!

We will always be trying to justify our wrong doings if we carry the guilt. And honestly that guilt is before God, not just before other humans, so it will never go away without the redemption of our souls from sins.

So much for justifying selves. Come back to God by having a reality check, and like the prodigal son who had to be shaken up to conscience when he was impoverished by hunger trying to get pig’s food. Only then he woke up. No matter what, we always have a loving heavenly Father waiting for us to return to Him. Heaven is waiting. Your loved ones are waiting and praying.

Come home.

Running the Race for the Pleasure of God

There’s a difference between running the race for your existential reason and running the race for God

1 Corinthians 9:24–27 (NASB 2020)

24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. So they do it to obtain a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way as not to run aimlessly; I box in such a way, as to avoid hitting air; 27 but I strictly discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

There’s a difference between running the race for your existential reason and running the race for God. When I say running the race for God I mean running the race of your life for the calling of God in your life, not your own ambition, nor your own desire, but God’s will. God’s desire, God’s plan. Remember that in the movie Chariots of fire.

That British Jewish runner Harold Abrahams. He competed against supposedly against the star of the Chariot of Fire, Eric Liddell, but because of because the race was put on Sunday Sabbath day, he decided to honor God and pulled out of the Olympics in 1924. Abrahams took over the 100 meter race. Ended up Aaron that is the only man representing Britain to race in the Olympics for 100 meter dash. And the during the training time by his coach, you know, training him for the final days training for the 100 meter dash, he made a major statement.

“ I have 10 seconds to justify my existence”

He said his race, his preparation to run to compete in the Olympics, 100 meter race. By the way they all from scratch for Cambridge University. In preparing for the Olympics 100 meter dash, he said this, “ I have 10 seconds to justify my existence.”

That’s profound,  that is there is a passion crying out from his heart to really win for himself. That says something for his identity because his identity is all muddled in that race. So it’s all about that race now to justify his very existence because he’s put everything inside their race.

“When I run, I feel the pleasure of God.”

But Eric Liddell runs not for his existential reason. He runs for God. This is really true story. Liddel gave up 100 meter race and they put him back in the 400 meter race on another day away from Sunday. And he took the race, the 400 meters race. OK, so. It makes it even more dramatic halfway through the race, I think somebody knocked him down and he got up and he pushed with everything he had.

He won the 400 meter gold Olympic. He came back to England. There was so much more celebration about the fact that he stood for God for his believing faith in God. And gave up his 100 meter, which is his really strong race item and opted for the 400 meter race and he still won for the glory of God.

Liddell made a major statement there, he says, “ When I run, I feel the pleasure of God.”

That is such a beautiful statement for us folks. That is exactly what I want. I want you to have that spirit and enjoy God. When you serve him Hallelujah, I don’t want you to serve God with a long face pulling, pulling your legs and pulling yourselves and pulling everyone else.

A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever- Westminster Confession

Westminster Confession: Q. 1. What is the chief end of man? Our chief end as man and woman is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever!

Don’t serve God with a long face

Because I’ve done that. I’ve gone through that myself. At times I just don’t feel like it great, and down. We live in a broken world, and that’s the time when it just feels heavy. I’ve been a pastor before ….Try to motivate my folks and try to push them to serve God in all this. You could do this even in a little bit of legalistic way, sad to say that was my past days ’cause I didn’t have the reformed theology of the sovereignty of God and the and the joy in God looking back. I did that. Quite a bit. Now that is totally bad. We’ve produced churches and discipleship. But there will not be that much so much more better, if we had done it and call it said when I served, feel the pleasure of God. You know who else says that in the Bible? Paul says, “ I regard everything that I have achieved as rubbish. Compared to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ in his life. “

Paul says, “ I regard everything that I have achieved as rubbish. Compared to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ in his life. “

Paul had so much pleasure in knowing Christ Jesus. I don’t believe that Paul served mightily as a apostles and risking his life getting jailed numerous times,  for the glory of being apostleship, or even for the glory of the path of his love for the people of God. And in those remain Romans church, Philippians, surgical Asian. Just efficient just as etc. And these are all beautiful. Fantastic, but I believe the primary reason that drives him is because he feels the pleasure of God when he serves and walks with God.

Did you see that? When he pleaded with Christ, so taken with pain in his body, something tormenting him for. I don’t know for how long he pleaded it with Christ three times and Jesus appeared and spoke to him. Jesus said, “My Grace is sufficient for you.”  Because of the surpassing greatness of revelations in him, he needed this to keep him humble and he accepted it. Everything Paul talks about is with such a God centrality. The biggest factor in his driving force to make him such an extraordinary, successful impeccable? It is not the apostleship, not the revelations, but its God takes pleasure in him and how much he enjoys.

He loves Christ. That is the primal. Primeval , that should be primal over everything else that is the one. With all this, even going through jail time and he feels the pleasure of God. I just want to conclude saying this.

1 Corinthians 9:24–27 (NASB 2020)

24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. So they do it to obtain a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way as not to run aimlessly; I box in such a way, as to avoid hitting air; 27 but I strictly discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

Bible says that we all have a race to run the race. Um, with focus on Christ and run the race. OK, we run the race to win, not to lose, but we will do it just like that guy that the chairs of fire 100 meter dash. He runs to win for his exit to justify his existence. There will be so wrong because that is man centered, but if we run like add Liddell that we run because I feel the pleasure of God when I run that it’s God centered, you know everything. I right I want to teach a God centered orthodoxy.  When you serve God with it, when you feel the pleasure of God not the pleasure of you.

You going to come on top, you going to go a long haul you want to win this race. Sadly, many Christians don’t even know there’s a race in life. We just want to be going every day and just another day, another day and God enjoy just wanting God’s Providence had about their race before you. The providence comes for you to win the race. Blessings didn’t come to you for you to rest in your laurels. We have to win the race and we have to win this race of life running on the pleasure of God. It is God’s pleasure and his delight to call Paul to call Eric Liddell to call you to call me to run this race in this world. Folks, let’s all aspire and pray for that, that we run the race and we feel the pleasure of God the Lord blessing.

Why Predestination is not God making us into Robots?

The idea of predestination has confused a lot of people including Christians. The question is why God decided to predetermine everything even before we were born? Some were destined to go to hell, some destined to go to heaven.

The important thing to understand is when God calls us to do something he does not coerce us. In other words when God predestines as, there is no elimination of our responsibility. Let’s say I caused someone to hit someone else, the responsibility of hitting the second person does not lie on the first person but on me. That’s coercion. But for God it is different.

When non-Christians object towards God’s causations or actions or predestination in this case, we are presupposing a univocal action or causation. What is it?

Univocal Action Vs Analogical Action

Univocal action accurately describe God when we say univocal means one to one. It’s like whatever God does, we understand as is. However the reality is God’s action is not univocal. It is actually what we call as analogical. It’s only an analogy, it is not the one on one reality. And now the words analogical causation of God means we do not understand most of the actions of God because it’s it is only analogical. [1]Now this is very very important.

Because it is analogical, when God predestines, it is not on the one to one understanding of human terms as it is called in the philosophical world. But it is only an analogical action. Which means we can only understand a small portion of it, the majority of which we do not accurately describe God’s action at all. Therefore when we say God predestines, it is not like he decided how exactly how we should live, but the reality is a lot of which we do not understand. But the most important thing is God’s action is analogical to our action or causation.

God can cause us to do something that is compatible to our responsibility

In other words God’s causation of us or in other words God’s predestination of us does not eliminate our causation. It does not violate our responsibility. We still are responsible to do it according to God’s predestination. A lot of which we cannot truly understand, precisely it is because it’s only analogical. It is not univocal. When I talk to you it is univocal you understand exactly what I say is as long as I explain sufficiently. However when God does it we only understand a little portion of it because it is only an analogical causation it is not a univocal or one or one causation or work, knowledge.

One good example is the Omnipresence of God. OK so if we say Johnny cannot come here, because johnny’s presence is unique univocal of my presence. What that means is if I stand on this location precise location here, Johnny cannot stand exactly where I stand. Because my presence is univocal of his presence. However God’s presence is that he can stand where I’d stand exactly, and it does not cancel my presence. But it actually establishes my presence. It is analogical. That’s what it means the omnipresence of God as an example.[2]

[1] Reference to Aquinas theology of first causation, potency to actuality

[2] Apologetics Class–Dr Gray Sutanto

When Christians Disagree with the Sexual Ethics of the World

In a modern world today in America, there’s a huge cultural war about the sexual ethics in our generation. Sexual transformation is happening in a rapid way that unravels the traditions of family, and the orthodoxy of the entire church history. Jesus said a man shall leave his parents and be cleaved to his wife and become one person. (Genesis 2:24 & Matt 19:5) And that’s the sexual ethics given by Christ.

In the book of Romans and others, Paul defines the wrath of God against anything unnatural in the sight of God, based on the holy scriptures in Romans 1. In Genesis chapter one God destined a man shall have a suitable helper in the sense of compliment to become complete. When God created Adam, he felt lonely because all he had was animals of all kinds in all the vegetations round him. In the garden of Eden, God said it is not good for men to be alone. So God put Adam to sleep and pull the rib out of Adam and created woman, and brought the woman to Adam. Adams upon seeing the woman coming to him, he said this is truly bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh. And she shall be called woman. And they became one. They were naked and felt no shame because sin had not entered into the world.

But now we’re in a sexual revolution like how Truman said in his book ‘The Rise & Triumph of Modern Self’ the rising sexual agenda, he said enlightenment would love to get rid of God and bringing the enthronement of human reasoning. The only problem is they fail to understand the broader picture of the metaphysical and ontological being of the whole universe. To get rid of God like Nietzsche says, we got rid of all reasonings power in our human capacity. Our reasoning power is anchored and given by God. Therefore if there’s no God everything else collapse.

In this area of sexual ethics, when somebody as a Christian called out disagreement of the sexual ethics of this liberal world, this rapidly developing and happening now, he will be called or potentially be called as phobia either transphobia or homophobia of the sort. This labeling is actually targeted at the person who disagrees with the sexual ethics in the world and not the reason for calling that. For Christians we have a moral order standing as a norm above both of us and all of us. We’re not judging. We are not being phobic. We know our culture has such a presuppositional undertones, unless it is empirical proven, it becomes emotivism. That’s the natural only route when you reject God and have no scientific or empirical way to prove why you reject God.

Everything is based on their feelings for their psychological judgment. Because there is no way to empirically or scientifically prove their personal emotional preference, the only alternative is the move into the so called emotivism. Which means decision based on your feelings what is inside of you and they call it being authentic. The metaphysics and epistemological theory they are assuming is, why you are so fearful and hateful? Being transphobia? You see the thing is my stand of disagreement with your sexually sexual ethics in the world has nothing to do with my stand it’s actually about the moral order or reality above both of us and that is from God.

We Christians will only make that call not as a personal intelligence or wisdom, but based on something totally beyond all humans, the transcendent God who instituted the Ten Commandments by fire on Mt Sinai with Moses. That’s the God who told Moses, my name is I AM.

Exodus 3 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.[c] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

That’s the transcendent voice who made that call. Nothing about Christians. There should be a clear distinction of creator & creature relationship. In other words, we are not God, and we don’t make that judgement call, but only the transcendent God who’s above us all, can make that call, and him alone. And it must be understood and best obeyed for the human flourishing of mankind. Simply because He is the creator.

The reality is this: When you get rid of God’s absolute moral standard, you have no other standards to fall upon, except yourself. That’s the only way out, and this is exactly what’s happening with the modern progressives calling it as being what’s really in you to make that call on sexual ethics or anything else. That’s effectively ended the transcendent God’s attributes and divine authority, and transferred all that to your emotion and feeling. And that’s becoming so subjective that no one can make any call. And if this goes on, why have laws?  It will be anarchy. The wisdom is our universe can’t survive without God. And indeed so, Jesus holds and sustains this universe we stand on. Amen!

Hebrews 1:3 (NASB 2020)

3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high

Delight to do God’s Will or Desire to do God’s Will

St Augustine’s book of Confession is so powerfully written to demonstrate the power of desire, lust, and delight. I will write on that a lot in future.

Psalm 40:6–8 (NASB 2020)
6 You have not desired sacrifice and meal offering;
You have opened my ears;
You have not required burnt offering and sin offering.
7 Then I said, “Behold, I have come;
It is written of me in the scroll of the book.
8 “I delight to do Your will, my God;
Your Law is within my heart.”

The key thing that I want to bring up here is the word I delight to do your will O my God. This is an incredibly powerful important word. I delight, not I want to, not I will. You know we say a lot we will serve the Lord with our hearts and all this is from all mental cognitive power I will. However this is I delight to do your will.

“I delight” comes from the heart, “I will” comes from the mentor power attitude. You may not really enjoy or want to do it, but you could be saying but I will do it for whatever reason. It could be because of obligation; it could be you under compensation. By here in the Psalm 40 this is clearly talking more than just David, this is talking about the Lord Jesus Christ the son of God. He said I delight to do your will that is in NASB & ESV. In NIV, i it says I desire to do your will. Now I desire to do your will is better that I will do your will. However I desire is a step lower than I delight into your will. Do you see the difference? I desire is like I want to it, is good to do. But when I say I delight to do your will I will do it with joy. I enjoy doing it.

Christians should get to the posture of saying I delight to do your will. That means when we do God’s will, it is no more an obligation on our part as Christ followers. Other perspective is I should be doing it for the sake of obedience. All for the sake of blessings. That’s religion!

Best is I delight to do it. Whether there is compensation or blessings or not I actually really want to do it as I enjoy it. Because that is how I find so much joy doing it even if you don’t pay me I would do it, even there’s no blessings for doing that I would do it. That’s a kind of attitude. Doing it for the Lord because you are affectionate for him. You don’t need to do it for a reward, because your reward is the Lord, and that means whatever He has for you will be great! You have to trust him for everything. He is the first cause of your very existence. Can’t he not take care of you?

Col 3 23 Whatever you do, do your work [a]heartily, as for the Lord and not for people, 24 knowing that it is from the Lord that you will receive the reward [b]of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

Realistically it’s always a mixed bag of I delight, and I desire, and even I will. The worst is you are out of all these combo. You don’t want to be in the group of “I will do my own will”. That’s a way to destruction.

But even if you have a I will , slowly, you just need to meditate and pray for the Lord to work in you, and you will birth the I desire. Eventually you move into the I delight. But even with that, things fluctuate, and you find yourself popping back and forth between them, and it’s okay. You just need to be like what Jesus said, I am the Olive, abide in me, you will bear much fruit.

Our delight in God’s will, can only come from abiding in Christ. Christ is the absolute fulfilment of all the power and blessings of God. He is the image of God, and He is God.

John 15: Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

Abide means like a branch hang onto the Vine-and Jesus is the Vine. There is no formula as a Christian, but there is a relationship with Christ.

Christian Nationalism Replaced by Christ’s Kingdom

Reading the Christian hospitality and Muslim migration book by Matthew Kaemingk. An intriguing book it’s part of my apologetics class and it’s interesting in the book he analyzed the rationale of nationalism which is kind of a big word specially in America now, even mentioned that with the rise and fall of right wing politicians who wanted to stop Muslim immigrants. They want to bring the ideology in line with American values especially the previous administration.

In Europe there’s a reaction to incidents of terrorists radicalized Muslims in Europe. Clearly, so it’s a very intriguing talking about how Christians can practice hospitality and to welcome them to honor their rights.

First and foremost the idea of Christian nationalism really comes from the Old Testament which is a theocracy when God is the King seriously now that God has the power to dethrone and appoint new king. So if you look at the dynasty of David for example King David and Israel and Judah and all this you can see clearly that God is very intimately connected to the administration and the running of the nation of Judah and Israel and is a very direct intervention by the prophetic words of prophets etc on the running on the political scene of the nation of that time. That was like you know 3000 years ago or so but now this is very different as our society does not have a theocracy, but we practice a democracy because that democracy we elect political leaders etc. to run the country. Very much like that the time of Paul, Peter James and John though there was no really democracy at that time but theocracy is out of the question as well.

So to bring that Christian nationalism into the country is a misrepresentation of Christianity now because there’s really important directly from the Old Testament which is no more the case. God is not the king of this world now though that eternal Kingdom is in the process but the geopolitical Kingdom our God is not the king but he will be the eternal king encompassing the geopolitical in the consummation of the age but now he’s not! Because of that we cannot introduce and push Christian nationalism and the way to do this is really how Christ becomes the answer for the problems today in this world politically and culturally. And what the cultural thinkers calling pluralism how does pluralism work? For example Jesus said love thy neighbors as yourself as one of the commandments.

Who’s your neighbor?  Jesus gave a parable of the Good Samaritan. A Jewish man was robbed and wounded on the road and the Pharisee walked past did nothing . it was a Samaritan man who passed by and he just stopped and he took care of him. He helped him out and brought him to the hotel and then in the hotel in the hotel he brought oil to treat the fellow and told the hotel guy to look after this guy until his healing. And he told the hotel man that  all this expenses will be on him and he left the place. This is a quite stunning.  This is a total stranger and you have to understand at that time Samaritans are outcast to the Jewish people. Jewish people do not even mingle with them don’t talk or eat with them. Here Jesus chose to show the reverse psychology show how you should love the people who are different ideologically from you and it was the Samaritan who was despised by the Jewish people actually went out to help the Jewish man injured on the road. It was the pharisee Jewish pharisee who knows Torah well and did nothing but just passed right this Jewish injured man on the road. So what is Jesus trying to tell us is  we are to reach out to our neighbors and even people we look down or we look up to. Or people with a very different ideological cultural even religiously.

This is this is a huge contrast from the days of old in the Old Testament when God commanded the kings of Israel totally annihilate the philistines and all this Edomites and all these people who were worshipping the false gods sacrificing children to idols. God told them to go and wipe them out kill them. If you take that you will see that God is basically saying that those people who bring the false God, wipe them out but here comes Jesus , he totally changed everything and the reason he can change everything is because he fulfilled the wiping out of enmity between people have different of the false idols false gods in the Old Testament sense of the word. The reason that Jesus can ask us to reach out to all these people who seemingly would definitely worship a different God even there’s a lot of darkness involved and not to wipe them up like in the Old Testament is because Jesus himself took upon himself the wiping out and upon himself on the cross when he was annihilated ,murdered. He paid the price and therefore the common grace is like going to steroid!  

Therefore we Christians don’t do that anymore like a theocracy time as Christ changed everything and the reason he can change everything is because he fulfilled the requirement of the Old Testament.

There is the phenomenal understanding we must get hold of, and without getting hold of that, we will end up acting like Old Testament Christians thinking that with theocracy pumping our fists under nationalism!  There is no nationalism and our faith is in Christ not in our nation, not in America or any country. We follow our God and therefore we are called to extend hospitality and loving to all people different kinds different from us even with different God. We are called spread the good news through the gospel with them. However,  if any of those people like in the book said that caused terrorism and all this violent crimes, that will be a judicial issue to take care of them and to bring them to task .

To enforce a policy that will help that enforcement is really complex that will be another time but now I just want to say why we are treating very differently because of Christ because Christ took all the punishments for the philistines for the Philistines & others . When God called Joshua to annihilate every one of them every single one of them even women ,even kids so it was so brutal and dark. So we ask why? Just wanted you guys understand if there’s no judgment of God, if there’s no hell, he ceases to be God as justice cannot be fulfilled because as a God of justice the Simplicity of God means the Aseity (Self Sufficiency) of God means his character and his actions are one together. There’s no difference whatever he says, happens, there’s no potentiality and actuality for him for God is. (The Great I AM).  He doesn’t just love, he’s love! So that’s a quick synopsis of that I talk to you some other time the Lord bless you. 

God’s Faithfulness Comes Through in Different Ways in different Times & People

The way God looked out and protected Abraham in the Old Testament it’s  quite eye-catching. I was doing my devotional and the way twice God protected Abraham from someone taking his wife. One time was he faked his wife as his sister because his wife was so beautiful, and the second time is exactly the same situation with Abimelech. And first time God gave Pharaoh a dream so that he will not touch Abraham’s wife. Second time God inflicted the King’s household with sickness so that that the king won’t touch Abraham’s wife and relented and repented.

I’m intrigued and how specific and intentional God protected and guided his called one specifically in Abraham. Abraham is unique. His call is to fulfill a great covenant of God to be the blessing to the whole world. God promised to bless him so that he would be a blessing to the whole world. Abraham is no ordinary folk. God tested him one time too have him offer up his one and only son Isaac while he was only a teenager. And Abraham obeyed diligently consciously immediately the next day early in the morning he brought Isaac up the mountain Moriah to offer up his son Isaac. He had the audacity to put out his knife and almost pierced through the belly of his son Isaac, when the Angel of the Lord stopped him saying “Abraham do no harm your son but I know that you fear God.” And God responded saying, “Because you have done this that you feared God I swear will definitely bless you and make you into a great nation.”

15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring[b] all nations on earth will be blessed,[c] because you have obeyed me.” (Gen 22)

Note the emphasis here, God swore. He didn’t just say. He swore by His Name, because He really wanted to emphasize it and send a message how impressed, how blessed and encouraged He was with Abraham!

Now if you compare all these events, you can clearly see that not everyone it’s called to offer up , sacrifice his very own son. And therefore quite clearly not every everyone who is called by God gets singled out and protected it in a very specific way and intentional way like God did for Abraham. One may wonder why did God do all this for Abraham? The answer is clear, Abraham carries a great mandate, a great covenant in his body. In fact, the promised child for Sarah’s old age at 90 years old or so, was not even born at the time of threat of being taken up by the king to be to be his wife. Therefore the covenant of God will never be broken in any circumstances even in this temporal world. God is all out to protect his called ones.

Now we come to the New Testament, the fascinating story of Jesus is even more intriguing. Jesus was not only called by God, but he actually is God himself and also the son of God. With him being incarnated into the world, to take up the sins of the world and to redeem mankind on the cross is what I call ‘scandalous’ (for what extent God is going out for his people!)at any level but so beautiful and soul glorious showing the love of God. In his growing up even at a young tender age of being a baby, king Herod tried to kill him. And his parents took him and fled for Egypt just like the Old Testament prophesized “I will call my son from Egypt.”  Jesus’s life is almost word for word fulfillment of everything written in the Old Testament. God protected him. But at the cross God seemed did not protect him. That is simple to understand. Because that’s precisely what Jesus came to the world to do. I would argue that God protected Jesus so He could endure the sufferings and even apparent rejection of the Father on the cross. To me, God protected and shielded Jesus for a higher purpose than the apparent rejection on the cross. We folks need to learn and see the higher purpose of God than the immediate sufferings and hardship!

But now if you apply all this to our lives, can we see possibly such intentionality or protection and guidance upon our lives as God did to Abraham? As I said before, not everyone has a calling like Abraham. Therefore my first point is this, there is a special hand of God upon those who are called by God to do specific tasks at different period, different times, different people. Now one may argue that Paul had a huge special calling in his life, but he got sent to the jail, he got beaten up and all this seemingly God was very quiet and did not protect him. That’s the hardest part to understand. New Testament seems to be much demanding dispensation of God’s dealings with his chosen ones. But thats how God protected and strengthened Paul to go for that extra mile, the highest calling. Folks, apparent temporal worldly downcast doesn’t not mean a failure on an eternal plane. Thats exactly how God brought His glorious will and plan to pass in Paul’s life. What a mighty apostle who planted more churches, strong churches, and written more epistles, and most powerful theology! I’m talking in the context of being called and chosen by God. Israel was called and chosen by God as a nation. Now the church is being called and chosen by God as the body of Christ. In the epistles we are the chosen people, royal priesthood, to proclaim the excellencies of God. But this is a group calling. This is a group choosing. This is not individual calling. And would God do the same thing as he did to Abraham to the group of we called the church today?

Of course he will. But in a very different way. Sometimes it can be very tangible like what he did to Abraham, sometimes he’s very silent : just like the way how he did with the greatest apostle Paul , this makes us wonder. However we must understand that the suffering produced the best in him. And similarly in the epistles Paul wrote about we rejoice even in our trials and sufferings, because sufferings and trials produce perseverance, produce character and produce glory. So in the context in all this, it’s really a mixed bag. So one could also argue did Abraham experience a mixed bag? I said definitely yes, but in a very different way. For example, Abraham was childless all the way to when he was about 100 years old when he was promised by God decades ago about him being chosen father of many nations. He endured such childlessness. And in those silent years,

Romans 4: 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

That’s a tough time that Abraham had to face. But I would say the hardest time is when God tested him to sacrifice his only child. So looking all in all we could say is GREAT is the faithfulness of God. He will see us through. Those he has chosen he will bring it to completion.

Like the in Philippians says he who started the faith in you will bring you into completion. To God be the glory.

Phil 1 I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

And remember God is ALL out to save you!

With him being incarnated into the world, to take up the sins of the world and to redeem mankind on the cross is what I call ‘scandalous’ (for what extent God is going out for his people!) at any level but so beautiful and soul glorious showing the love of God.

Our Lives must experience the Joy & Reality of our God before We Can truly Serve Him & Proclaim His Name

One of the most important things in church to mobilize people for evangelism outreach and proclaim God’s name in our faith, is the fact that we ourselves have to experience the goodness of the Lord and the flourishing result of walking with God first and foremost. If we don’t, we then have nothing to proclaim to the world. If we don’t experience the reality of the transcendent God in our own lives, experience the love of community towards one another, there is little hope of a message to the world outside. While we brag about the glorious future that is coming we must take care of what we experienced God’s word now in life.

Any transactions or divisions or disagreements in church must be put to rest ASAP as per Paul’s warnings and exhortations in the epistles.

Romans 16: 17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.

While it is most important shepherds look for the lost sheep, and to reconcile any misgivings in church, the onus lies on the leadership to resolve and having said that, move on. If we can’t move on, the whole church is stuck. The church that is the very bride of Christ. And the faith that we are profoundly passionate about will come to a grind. Not knowing how to proclaim the faith that we have been so profoundly impacted by the richness of the grace of God which God lavished upon us in Christ Jesus. It will be such a shame. No dry bone can serve the Lord! And that needs prayer, determination, submission and humility to the Holy Spirit’s leading and guidance.

Having said that, by going through some trials in lives individually and the church as a whole, we must all submit ourselves to the authority of God’s word. This eventually, if we overcome the trials as a church, we will emerge stronger and more beautiful. This is going to be so pleasing to the Lord , encouraging to the body of Christ in a local church, and will be a really uplifting process.

The Bible says honor one another and preferring one another.

Romans 12:  Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Loving one another and honoring one another comes hand in hand with serving the Lord. No one can really truthfully serve the Lord in honor, without also loving and honoring one another.

The Bible also says people’s lives will be changed by feeding the sheep God’s word.

John 21: 15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

Seriously my point here is that without feeding the people God’s word, people won’t grow spiritually, and it will be even harder to overcome trials, grudges and be humble towards one another. Only the Word of God in the anointing of God will break the yoke, renew our minds and be transformed.

Romans 12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Our minds must be renewed daily, so we can truly be transformed. Only the transformation of the hearts can bring forth revival.


The Absoluteness and Personalness of our God–Apologetics Argument

The most helpful to me is the doctrine of God in His being in the absoluteness and personalness of God as the gridline for our worldview. This also relates to the Simplicity and Aseity of God.

Matter and energy themselves are not the most fundamental, the first, and the basic constituents of all reality. They are part of the creation of a personal God who proceeds and exceeds them. First our God himself is not reducible or anything more basic than God. (Watkin) God is the first causation of everything. There is nothing external to him that caused his existence. God is self-defining, self-authenticating. All existences in the world come from Him, and He is the eternal being that is the first cause of all realities.

To me, that’s a powerful message, because the secular world’s ideas of evolutionary progression of mankind essentially can reduce us humanity to mere elements. But God is the one who gives us meaning, dignity in life, as man and woman created in the image of God. Not of elements! In other words, God of Christianity is absolute, meaning self-existent, self-sufficient, and self-contained, not relying on anything outside of himself for his existence, and also fundamentally, not able to be broken down into more basic parts. Van Til calls that God is dependent upon nothing beyond his own being.

The  principles of truth, goodness, or beauty are to be thought as identical with God’s being; they are the attributes of God. In other words, there is no principles of goodness, kindness, beauty that is next to God or above God, because they are part of God’s attributes. (Watkin)

All these demonstrate the absolutes of God that clearly defines the origination of the cosmos that makes sense, because there is just no way to drill back any further than God himself in our search for the question, “Where do we all come from?” And the question of such irreducibleness and absoluteness of God.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight

You know any servant of God can be looked as courteous, polite, thoughtful, kind, zealous for God, so forth, but what goes on in his thought life can go rotten at times. That’s why I was burdened to write this because that’s in the inner condition. Thought can be fleeting, lust or greed thoughts can just flash over your mind. So when I read from Psalm 19: 14, how David prayed that his words and the meditation of his heart be acceptable in God’s sight, his Lord, his rock, and his redeemer, I am pumped to want to know how he did it.

First he acknowledged God as is Lord, rock, and redeemer. Rock is his refuge, as many psalms show that. He is clinging unto the Lord as His protector, etc. SO when he asked for meditations of his mind to be pleasing to God, he’s really wise and speak right into the hearts of millions of men and women. So how?

Psalm 19:7–14 (NASB 2020)
7 The Law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19 :14 says “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. This is in the context of wanting to be pure and righteous before God. In Psalm 19 verse v1 to 12 or 13 talks about the law of the Lord’s perfect restoring the soul. You can never be meditating on the things that are pleasing to God if you don’t experience the restoration of the soul.

How does the restoration of the soul happen? It happens because the law of the Lord is perfect. Because it is perfect it can help to remove the dirt and the resistance and darkness of our soul. They’ll be restoring my soul. He also goes to say the testimony of the Lord is pure making wise the simple. All these are pointing to the restoration of the soul.

V18 says the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. Do you know that by meditation upon the word of God it would make our hearts rejoice? We will rejoice because our hearts which have been wrong , and now by the precepts of the word of the Lord we are made right. When we read the word of God , it causes our hearts to rejoice. When our hearts rejoice, it’s so easy to be pleasing to the Lord not just in external actions, but in the meditation of our thoughts. Our emotional joy will have a chain reaction to our thought life, because its just so beautiful and wonderful the Word of God.

Thought life can be the most dangerous and lethal because it is unseen. It needs to be cleansed, purified by the precepts and the word of the Lord. Verse 8B states the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. That’s another beautiful word for enlightening our eyes. That means our eyes are dull normally, and therefore we cannot see and perceive the beauty of the word of God and therefore our heart never rejoices. But now the word of the Lord is pure it has the power to enlighten or open our eyes. All this is powerful.

They are more desirable than gold than pure gold sweeter than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. What else do we want? The psalmist David says mostly in verse 12 and 13 who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults. David goes into the deep level of his hidden life and hidden thoughts. And ask that God keeps him from presumptuous sins and let not them rule over him.

Do you know that sins can rule over you? By such prayer we will finally be liberated to have the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. Amen.