The Free Gift

Most if not all always look forward for presents especially during Christmas. We’re in a state of bliss upon receiving such gifts. We’re also thrilled because of our excitement as we open the gifts we have received. From all the gifts that we have received, there’s nothing that could be compared to the gift that God is offering to us.

I just want to share the most precious gift anyone could have by means of Ephesians 2:1 to 10. Kindly see my observations and explanations for Ephesians 2:1 to 10. Thank you! 🙂

Verse 1: Believers who were in Ephesus were formerly dead in their spiritual state.

Verse 2: They used to live a sinful lifestyle and this lifestyle is in conformity to the patterns of the world. They were also subject to the reign of the ruler of the air which is satan, and satan is at work in their lives because of they’re enslaved to Him.

Verse 3: Paul qualifies that there’s no one who’s exempted because all believers in Ephesus lived among them at one time. He further described that their lifestyle is associated with self-gratification. Paul’s final and overarching description of verses 1 to 3 is that they are by nature children of wrath. That’s why they did the things that they did.

Their cravings, desires, and thoughts are directed by their sinful nature. Since, all of us are sinners and God is just God. We deserve to be punished because we’ve all broken God’s law even once. God’s standard is perfection. He doesn’t weigh our good deeds with our bad deeds and render judgment base which side has more merit. That’s why Paul refers us as children of wrath. We’re people deserving of the wrath of God.

Verse 4: A theologian once said, “Praise God for the buts in the Bible.” Verse 1 to 3 refers to the bad news that sinners face. Verse 4 is the turning point of this bad news. It refers to what God did towards ill-deserving sinners. It describes God as being rich in mercy. And His mercy motivated Him to show His love towards us. Mercy refers to God not giving us what we deserve. The object of this giving should be in the negative (E.g. punishment). Since, we’re sinners, God did not give us what we deserve: wrath.

Verse 5: God’s love is manifested through His actions. In this passage, God’s action is the impartation of spiritual life with Christ. So, we have this newness of life by virtue of our relationship with Christ.

Verse 6: The body couldn’t be separated from the Head. Since, the Christ is the Head of His church. When He was raised, it’s as if His church was also raised with Him although most of the believers were not yet born. When He was seated at the right hand of God, it’s as if also that we were seated even though our glorification refers to our future state. In the Jewish culture, Jewish writers use the past tense of a verb even though it refers to the future to communicate the absolute certainty that the action will absolutely happen.

Verse 7: The reason why God did this is for us to be the recipients of grace in Christ Jesus.

Verse 8: Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Grace means unmerited favor or unearned kindness. We don’t deserve to be saved by God from His wrath. Yet He did it so that He might show us How wonderful He is. That’s why the package of salvation is referred to as the gift of God because it’s unearned. Faith is the instrument upon which we receive all the benefits and merits that Christ earned in behalf of us. It’s like the medium upon which the graces of God are bestowed to the believer. Faith just simply means trusting in the person and work of Jesus. It’s trusting that He saved you because you couldn’t save yourself. He did it by taking upon Himself the wrath of God because of our sins. He also gives us the perfect righteousness that He earned because of His perfect obedience to the Father.

Verse 9: It’s never attained by works so that no one can boast of His salvation.

Verse 10: We’re new creatures in union with Christ. As new creatures made and designed by our Almighty Creator, we have new dispositions. These dispositions are geared towards God. That’s why we now desire the things that God desires and our actions are directed to the path that God prepared in advance. So, good works is an outflow of the fact that we’re new creatures. God designed us to do good works.

That’s why the author of Hebrews asked a rhetorical question, “How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.

Come to Christ and embrace Christ. He’ll never cast you away and He’ll give you eternal life.

Hope you are blessed. God bless!

 

 

 

The Problem with God’s Visibility and Invisibility — THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

A common objection that comes up quite a bit in discussions about God’s existence is the “I Can’t See God!” objection. In other words, how can we expect people to trust in a being that can’t be seen as a material object. The argument is laid out in the following way: If we can’t see […]

via The Problem with God’s Visibility and Invisibility — THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

When Love and Hate Collide

The phrase “Love and Hate collide” caught my attention to the point that I contemplated the phrase for quite some time. It’s a title of a song that I’m not that familiar of but I was just struck because of the profundity of the title.

I just want to relate the title of this blog with what Christ did for His people. I mentioned that the title is profound because of it’s biblical orientation even though it was a secular song. Reconstructing the phrase and adding few words to it, I’ve arrived at this sentence: Love and hate collide when Christ died on the cross.

I wrote a while ago that it has a biblical orientation. So, I think it’s best first to support it with a solid biblical ground so as to justify the preceding claim. God’s love towards sinners is quoted in Romans 5:8. It states that, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” I think all of us could agree that God is love so there’s nothing quite of a contention in this claim. I think the normalcy of this truth – that God is love – has also it’s downfall if not taken in light of all God’s attributes. Most of us think that God’s chief virtue is love – that He is more loving than He is just. His attributes are all on the same plain for each attribute is infinite. We can’t just say that God’s love is greater that His justice because both are infinite. There’s no solid ground for that assertion because we don’t have a weighing scale that could measure God’s infinite attributes. And since, God’s love and justice are both infinite, it’s best to think that they’re on the same level.

I think there’d be much controversy if ever we encountered a statement as this – God hates us. This stems again from the fact that we have the tendency to think that since God is love, ergo, He cannot hate. However, when we try to analyze that statement carefully, we’ll come to the conclusion that since God is love, ergo, He must hate. Since, God loves children, therefore, He hates abortion. Since, God loves His image-bearers, He hates those who mar their image for it’s also His image. His love is an expression of His righteousness. The problem is we are all responsible in impairing the image that God has bestowed upon us because of sin. There’s no one who’s exempted for all are sinners and all have fallen short from the standard that God requires of us. (Rom. 3:23)

The bible even used the word abhor which is more intense than the word hate. It’s found in Psalm 5:5 to 6. It’s stated as follows, “The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes;
You hate all who do iniquity. You destroy those who speak falsehood; The Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.

So, God hates and abhors sinners but it’s also said that God demonstrates His love towards us in the death of His Son. So, the profundity of these truths would cause anyone who ponder these truths to ask this question: How can God love and hate sinners at the same time? The profundity of this question is answered by the immeasurable significance of the cross of Christ. God poured out His hatred against sinners upon His only begotten Son – Jesus Christ when He bore the sins of His people on His body at the cross. And it’s also at the cross of Christ that God fully demonstrated His love towards sinners when He sent His utterly beloved and only Son to take their punishment on their behalf. Christ took the punishment that is due our sins because of His love towards us. God loves ill-deserving sinners by virtue of Christ because in union with Him sinners are made holy and blameless because of the perfect righteousness of Christ that clothed them through faith alone. Sinners are faultless before the tribunal of God because they’re dressed in His righteousness alone.

This is like God’s way of saying I hate you but I also love you at the same time by virtue of His Son.

That’s why “When Love and Hate Collide” is profound because it points us to the cross of Christ.

If you want to see God’s love for sinners, marvel at the cross. If you want to see God’s hatred for sinners, marvel at the cross.

Hope you are blessed. God bless you.

 

Time Time Time

One of the cliches about time is: time is gold. Indeed, it’s so precious that the usage of it partly determines our direction in life. How we currently invest our time partly contributes  in the determination of our course in life. If we’re investing it in the entertainment of oneself then we’d be more of a people who are self-seeking rather than self-sacrificial. If we’re investing it in the pursuit of knowledge then we’d know more things. All of the activities that we do entails time. So, time is really an essential component in the progression of one’s life.

Lately, I’ve been thinking whether I’m making the most of the time that God has given me. As they say, “we could never turn back time.” So, I think it’s really important to make the most out of it so that when we try to contemplate on the past, we could somehow trace through time’s passage that we didn’t waste that much time for unimportant stuff.

These thoughts came across my head because I was struck with this verse in Ephesians 5:15 which states, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”

The Apostle Paul instructed the Christians in Ephesus to carefully live one’s life by making the most of their time because the days are evil. What I’ve observed in this verse is that wise people make the most of their time because they know that the days are evil. So, every opportunity to do good, to speak encouraging words, and to think about heavenly stuff gives us this sense of urgency to seize to do these things because of the normal evil pattern of the day. On the other hand, we can deduce in the statement, that unwise people don’t make the use of their time and that they don’t live carefully even though they’re aware the days are evil. So, they’re like not resisting the evil tide but are just tossed by it towards the direction that the world wants to be.

To put it in a nutshell, there are two kinds of Christians at Ephesus: the wise and the unwise. Wise people are careful as they live their lives while unwise people don’t exercise a good sense of judgment. The former make the most of their time while the latter people waste their time. Both responded differently in light of the same knowledge that they had – the days are evil. So, we can also say that our response to the circumstances that we face show whether we are wise or unwise.

I think we can apply this verse in our life by first assessing the activities that consume our time. And then after that, we can ask these questions to filter those activities that don’t have eternal value: Am I just doing this for myself or for God? Does this activity show the Lordship of Christ in my life? Does this activity show that I’m a follower of Christ? Does this help me improve to be a better steward of the gifts that God has given me? Does this help building up other people? Does this help me grow more like Christ? Does this contribute to the advancement of God’s kingdom? These questions are not exhaustive but I think it could filter the nonessential activities that we do.

I think it’s not just about filtering out the nonessential activities that counts but it’s also seeking to do what pleases God. So, we can say that making the most of our time should be grounded in one’s knowledge of how to use our time properly. And by that, I mean we do the things that God wants us to do.  Doing the things that God wants us to do starts from the knowledge of the commandments of God. We can’t just do something that we can’t know. So, as part of living wisely, it’s important to know the commandments of God and the activities that please God.

I think it’s important to note that this is not just for the sake of doing things but doing things out of the heart that desires to do better things out of gratitude to God because  of what He did on the cross. So that as people observe the deeds that we do, they’d give praise to our Father in Heaven so that in all things, it’s God alone who’d be glorified.

I hope you’re still with me. Let me summarize what I’ve contemplated.

  1. Time is of great essence because the days are evil.
  2. Since, time is essential because the days are evil, let’s make the most of every opportunity that God gives us.
  3. We do this by knowing the nonessential activities and giving it up.
  4. And replacing those nonessential activities with the things that God wants us to do.
  5. Knowledge of God’s Word is important for us to know the things that should be given up and the things we should give our strength for.
  6. And lastly, to not just do things out of service but out of the heart that desires to please God because of what He has done in our lives.

Hope you are blessed with this post. God bless you! 🙂

 

 

 

A Look at William Lane Craig’s Comment: “The Ultimate Apologetic is Your Life”

THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

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“More often than not, it is what you are rather than what you say that will bring an unbeliever to Christ. This, then, is the ultimate apologetic. For the ultimate apologetic is: your life”-William Lane Craig

This was a quote that I read when I plowed through the Second Edition of Reasonable Faith in 1998. Ever since I read this quote, I have always thought about how my life might be an apologetic. In other words, do my words and actions reflect the One who is one we represent? To be honest, the quote has convicted me over the years. And without giving a sense of false humility, I know I don’t always live the apologetic life. I even know people who are Christians who have observed other Christians who are very well read in the field of Christian apologetics but note that the lifestyle of the individual doesn’t match…

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