Saturday, December 25, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Today I want to start a series on one of the most controversial topics in the Church - whether or not healing is in the atonement of Christ. To start with, re-look the above verses and study them. In fact, from my study of the Bible (and indeed of life) so far, I have come to the conclusion that healing is in the atonement. Let me explain why I think so…
Note: This is not a discussion about whether or not the gifts of the Holy Spirit are still in operation. This series deals primarily with whether bodily and soul-level healing are the (new) birth right of every born again child of God.
We have been bought with a price. The first part of this verse says that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. By all accounts, it means our physical body and not the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit is in us - God gave Him to us. So we do not belong to ourselves. We are purchased with a price. If our body were not purchased with a price, how could it be God's property? It would still have to be Satan's property or our own. But it is God's property. Next point… If the body is the temple, can sickness dwell in the house of God? Jesus said:
"It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a 'den of thieves.' " Matthew 21:13
So clearly, sickness (symbolic thief) does not have a right to dwell in the temple of God. What should you do if you spot a thief where he should not be? Evict him, or call the police and throw (cast) him out. Well, then, if there is sickness in the body or mind of a born again Christian, it needs to be thrown out in the name of Jesus Christ or have the police (pastor, elders etc.) cast it out through prayer and/or commands, again in Jesus' name.
And if you think sickness - a state of 'less than perfect, divine health' - can legally be in a believer's body (other than as a result of sin), it means imperfections can be tolerated in the house of God. Then even a handicapped lamb (or a sinful Jesus) could be offered as a sacrifice in the temple. Then the very basis of our Christian faith would be voided! People would say, "Why get cleansed of sin - you would anyway make it to heaven!" So if you believe that bodily healing is not in the atonement, do you know what it implies?
Ahead in the series, we will look at other sensitive issues like:
- Does God sometimes allow sickness to come upon believers for His glory?
- If Jesus is not the answer to our sicknesses (that is, if Jesus is not enough to heal us), should we worship another 'god' to get healed?
- Is sickness totally unconnected to sin (despite being the result of sin)?
- Are medicines to be avoided if you believe in diving healing (consult your doctor!)?
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Gospel music star Don Moen's tour of India this year was a big hit! He conducted a concert and a 'Worship Seminar' each at Chennai, Shillong and Mumbai.
I attended the concert at Mumbai since I live in Mumbai. It was a "Wow!" experience for me right from the time I reached the venue to the time I got back into my car. The stage, the sound, the choice of songs and the audience participation - all were of a very high level. To top it all, Don Moen and Team's performance was excellent! The best part though, was that Jesus Christ was glorified throughout - a great practice session before we worship him forever into eternity. I often feel that one of the reasons why eternal life is eternal is because eternity is what we need in order to thank, praise and worship the Living God! Anything short of that simply wouldn't do.
Coming back to the event, the tour was organised by The Friendship Club (TFC). TFC is a charitable trust that conceives and manages events surrounding the projects they undertake, like the current Project Friend.
A bit about Project Friend…
Project Friend is an initiative to help cancer patients cope up with tough times. It is not restricted to Christians. It covers cancer patients irrespective of religious affinity. TFC believes that cancer patients, especially the terminally ill, have multiple needs. Not all of these can be met by their families. What use are family members if they cannot support the patient emotionally simply because they are forced to look for funds to treat their loved one? TFC solicits charitable donations for Project Friend from various sections of society (in return for an annual membership to TFC) so that the funds collected can be used to arrange for day care nurses, medicines and other such needs. The TFC team can also periodically visit the patient and pray for them as well as counsel them. Who knows - some or all of them can actually recover completely and may even get saved in the process!
I request you to keep the TFC Team and Project Friend in prayer so that precious human souls on the road to an eternity in hell are saved and spend that eternity in Heaven instead - in the presence of God our Creator. I know how important it is, because just December last, I had lost my first cousin - my best friend - to leukaemia. After all, those other cancer patients too are somebody's first cousins - somebody's best friends!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Carrying on from the previous post Why Satan Hates You, we can renew our mind to God's Word by reading it, hearing it, studying it and doing it.
The word hearing in the above verse in the original Greek actually means rhema - the spoken Word of God. So when you give of yourself to God's written Word, He speaks to you and confirms that written Word - the Bible - thereby helping you apply more of "the measure of faith" that He has already given you.
Remember, the Word of God is one the weapons in your spiritual armour. It's the sword - you can wield it to defend yourself and others from Satan. You can also use it to attack and take the fight to the Enemy, because attack is often the best form of defence. But to be able to wield any sword effectively, you must practise using it. How much more, then, the Word of God! And when you practise enough, you will develop a reputation of being a 'commando for Christ' working for his Commander-in-Chief, the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ!
Monday, August 23, 2010
When Lucifer fell from Heaven, he lost all his privileges. God breathed into Adam and created Eve from his rib; and gave them "dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." (Gen. 1:26, 28) Then Adam and Eve too 'fell'. But God covered them by killing an animal and using its skin. God thus made them (and not Satan - formerly known as Lucifer) His chosen ones. Sure, Satan was not amused.
Throughout the ages, God kept assuring His people of a Saviour whose Kingdom would never end. And through His Son Jesus, God promises to exalt us too, as is written in Romans 8:17:
"And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;"
Now just think of this. God seats you at a table in Heaven. He prepares the table with the finest things you can imagine consuming. That not being enough, He anoints you with oil. And when all this happens Satan and his fellow evil spirits stand as mute spectators. The glory that would have been theirs is now yours, even though you did not deserve it. Just imagine their frustration! They cannot do anything - it's too late. If you're a born again Christian, you're already seated in the heavenly places with Christ Jesus - you are a joint heir with him!
Satan's only chance to prevent this from happening (as best as he can prevent it!) is until a human being is saved. Once you're born-again through turning your life over to Jesus, the devil's time is up. He cannot attack your spirit. So his next best targets are your soul and body.
When you're born again, Satan & Co. takes notice of you and swing into action. Whether you survive and thwart the attacks will depend on whether or how much you renew your mind to the Word of God. We will look at this in the next post.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Nepal is probably the world's only officially Hindu country. My India isn't, as it is a multi-religious and non-theocratic State. Now this small country Nepal, with a population less than that of my hometown Mumbai (Bombay) is receiving the Lord Jesus…and how!
Greater Grace World Outreach (www.ggwo.org) has planted 18 churches in the Himalayan country, famous for the Mount Everest. (Update: as of April 2016, there are now 29 Greater Grace churches in Nepal.) You'll be pleasantly surprised to learn that many of Nepal's believers actually live in mountainous caves, hours away from 'civilization'. Recently, our pastor narrated the story of a Nepali pastor from the Praja tribe. This pastor is just 28 years or so and has a family to support. He cannot leave his family behind for years to attend Bible College. So he stays with his folks for a month and goes down to the city for a month. He will do this for the next 3 years, in order to get trained up in the Word of God and carry it back to his folks up in the mountains.
This may not sound too difficult to do. Except when you consider that:
• To reach the city, he climbs down the mountain on a 9-hour journey on foot.
• He climbs down the mountain on which he lives, then climbs up the next peak, then down it, then up the next and then down that one too.
• Along the way, he crosses a river - crossing it 17 times, at its various bends.
• In the rains, the river gets flooded chest-high. So the young pastor wades his way across the river, holding his bag up in the air, as it contains his Bible, books and clothes.
• After his 9-hour descent, he reaches the highway.
• He changes into a dry pair of clothes and takes the bus to the city, which is another 8 hours away.
• He will stay there in the church building with a dozen other pastors in the same room, until better facilities are available.
• He will go back up the same way he came, after investing a month in formal Bible study…
• …all this, to carry the Good News to people just like you and me, so that if they accept Jesus, they will continue to live in Heaven even after they die physically on earth.
The conditions are so tough, that some tribal children have probably never even seen a car. If they want to see one, they must walk their way down to the highway, which is 9 hours away. Pastor remarked that one day, when we get to Heaven, we will probably see a spirit shining like a star; and when we ask Jesus who it is, he will tell us it's that tribal pastor from Nepal, who labored - and not in vain.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Everything is not perfect in this world because Earth is not Heaven! Every adult I know has some problem or the other. And the bad news is that we cannot become children again. But the Good News is that Jesus Christ invites us to hand over our heavy burden to him.
Jesus changes lives!
Jesus has changed - transformed - the lives of billions of people over the ages, some of whom I know personally. Like my uncle, for instance. He was deeply in debt, but when he earnestly prayed to Jesus and began attending church and studying the Bible, God cleared his debts in a matter of a few months.
There's a youngster who was suffering from AIDS. He faithfully prayed to God and began attending prayer meetings at my family friend's church. He was healed completely within a few months! Medical tests confirmed that he was free of AIDS. He even married after that. Now he attends church and you must hear him pray. I am convinced that the Spirit of God gives him utterance as he prays fluently and just right, quoting Scripture!
One pastor I know was a local rowdy trained in martial arts, until he gave his life to Jesus. Now he has been the world over, preaching the gospel. There was a time, he said, when he could not go to sleep at night unless he had hit someone. The Lord has turned his life completely around and dealt a body blow to the devil in this pastor's life! "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)
So if you think your life can do with a makeover, let that makeover artiste be Jesus. He knows a thing or two about turning lives around for the better. He did it for Mary Magdalene, for Saul (Paul) and for me. He can do it for you too. He is the true turnaround expert!
Friday, June 25, 2010
In an earlier post, we discussed about crucifying the flesh through the Word of God. Here, we demonstrate it using an analogy - a biblical one, in a way.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The word 'Amen' appears several times in the New Testament. In fact, the last word in the entire Bible is 'Amen' (Rev. 22:21). Sometimes though, while praying, people tend to take the word for granted (as I used to). But the word is highly potent.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I was watching Daystar the other day when Pastor Tom Deuschle began preaching on crucifying the flesh. In the Old Testament days, he said, there were hooks that would bind the flesh of the sacrificed animal to the altar.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Tele-evangelism has put the gospel vehicle in top gear. Missionaries through the centuries have sown the seeds of Jesus' Great Commission the world over. Many have even lost their lives in the process.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
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.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
- Companionship: God did not want Adam to be alone or lonely.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
"Great marriages make for great families and great families make for great churches."
Saturday, February 13, 2010
And the LORD said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey" (Exodus 3:7, 8)
God had a great plan for the lives of His people. He promised that He would take them out of bondage and being slaves to the Pharaoh in Egypt. He would take them to the Promised Land. However, many of them grumbled.
"...the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth." (Genesis 11:9)
God is the great restorer! The people at Babel thought that by trying to build a tower, they could get to heaven on their own. So the Lord confused their tongues and they began speaking in diverse languages, not understanding each other. Thousands of years later, Jesus gave the promise of restoration. What was it?
Friday, February 5, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
No! Christian apologetics is certainly not summarised that way. What then, is it?
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing." (Psalm 100:1, 2)
All-time great Christian oratorio 'Messiah' was composed by Germany-born composer George Frideric Handel in the summer of 1741. Here's the story behind it
Friday, January 1, 2010
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