Resurrection the core

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4). The Christian life is energized by the resurrection. Very rarely we find a foundation without anything being built upon … [Read more…]

Resurrection the basis

“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith”…”And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (1Corinthians 15:14, 17). On Good Friday, we answered the question, “What is good about Good Friday?” The question for today is, “What is … [Read more…]

He came to justify

The disciples and those close to Jesus, have witnessed the greatest tragedy they ever encountered in their lives: the arrest and interrogation of a good man; the false accusations, unfair judgment and floggings he endured; His crucifixion, death and burial. They were still in shock and confusion and in fear. Just when things started to … [Read more…]

He came to serve

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Following tragic events that result in loss of life, in many countries government buildings fly their flags at half-mast. Half-mast refers to a flag flying below the summit … [Read more…]

God, first and last

“When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen…” (Luke 19:37). The events preceding the birth of Jesus had an aura of royalty. The heavens were filled with great … [Read more…]

He came to seek

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means “God with us. (Matthew 1:23). We are fast approaching the celebration of Christianity’s most important event: the Resurrection Day. Paul put it this way, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are … [Read more…]

Grow in the Lord

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen” (2 Peter 3:18). Plant growth is a natural process in the sense that the plant has all the necessary information and structure that promotes growth. Where does the plant get the information … [Read more…]

Gifts from God

“Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy” (Acts 14:17). Paul speaks to a crowd of people who, most likely, did not have a clue about what … [Read more…]

The Lord is patient

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).   Today, I will meditate upon our passage from Peter’s point of view, as he endeavoured to encourage his readers to stand firm … [Read more…]

The Lord’s coming 2

I trust that last week‘s message was not only challenging but also beneficial in understanding the concept of allowing “Scripture to interpret Scripture”. Doing anything less will lead some to all kinds of erroneous and wrong conclusions. Such conclusions have the potential to not only lead people astray (and in worst cases into certain separatist … [Read more…]

The Lord’s coming

Following last week’s message, we find Apostle Peter continuing his warnings about the false teachers and their harmful heresies that made it into church. Here in particular, he reminds his readers to focus on the messages spoken by the holy prophets and the Lord himself (3:1). Previously, Peter wrote that the Old Testament prophets did … [Read more…]

Wells without water

”These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them” (2 Peter 2:17). Wells are a symbol of life….water means life. A well without water is a symbol of death…there can be no life without water. A dry well – a well without water – offers a … [Read more…]

Eyewitnesses of His majesty

Peter was more than ready and willing to remind his brothers and sisters about the need to confirm their calling and election…that is to live continuously in a state of: knowledge of God and Jesus, the Lord; participation in the divine nature, by “escaping” the worldly corruption “caused by evil desires”; making an effort to…grow … [Read more…]

Confirming our calling and election

”Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:10, 11). Peter’s experience, augmented by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration led … [Read more…]

A new celebration

“I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29). The great message of Christmas was/remains that God is with us. This, I believe is the essential meaning of Christmas. God is so … [Read more…]

Do not worry

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Generally, the … [Read more…]

Into His marvellous light

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1Peter 2:9). God is calling us out of “something” into “something” better. God is calling people out of sin into … [Read more…]

The true grace of God

“With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it” (1Peter 5:12). Peter wrote his letter to encourage the church to stand firm facing the troubled times. He did so by … [Read more…]

Called to eternal glory

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1Peter5:10). Reading Peter’s letter, one can hardly miss five major themes that are mentioned and expanded. It is not that we can … [Read more…]

Sharing in Christ’s suffering

“But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed” (1Peter 4:11-19). Suffering often brings confusion, but also brings a greater perspective on life. The Church was doing it tough. Peter wrote, “…don’t be surprised…” Reading Acts, one may get the impression that the … [Read more…]

Good stewards of God’s various grace

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1Peter 4:10). We operate on two levels/departments/dimensions: -the mental level: knowledge; experience; education; etc. – the mind level; -the practical level: actions; attitudes; We find this idea reflected in the way the Holy Spirit instructed … [Read more…]

Revere Christ as Lord

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may … [Read more…]

Together heirs of God’s gift

“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands…” (1 Peter3:1). “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner…” (1Peter 3:7) Peter wrote his first letter to a church that faced some kind of hardship: 1Peter 1:6; 2:12; 4:12; and … [Read more…]

Called to follow in His steps

For the first 300 years or so, the Christian Church faced persecution in many places throughout the Roman Empire. The persecution of Christians started in Jerusalem. The religious leaders of the day persecuted “The Way” (as it was called then) because it clashed with their traditional beliefs and practices. As the Christians spread in other … [Read more…]

A people of God

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1Peter 2: 9).   “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect … [Read more…]

A life changing hope

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” (1 Peter 1:3). God is the source of life – wherever God is, there is life; whatever God … [Read more…]

A living hope

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” (1 Peter 1:3). The new birth (being born again) comes with a living hope, infusing the mind and … [Read more…]

The blossoming almond tree

”…the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along, and desire fails, because man is going to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets…” Ecclesiastes 12:5 We moved to Adelaide in June 1992. One of the lasting memories about our move here is the blossoming almond trees we were seeing as we … [Read more…]

Temple of the Holy Spirit

The majority of people, unfortunately, live their lives in these two realms: biological existence and social environment. The prevalent view/attitude is, “Let’s eat, drink and be merry…for tomorrow we’ll die” (Luke 12:19; 1Cor.15:32). People live/make use of their bodies to this extent. Our spiritual birth is not the result of a natural process or the … [Read more…]

The power of His resurrection

“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection…” Philippians 3:10 In the immediate context of our passage, we find Apostle Paul saying that for the surpassing value of knowing Christ, he now counts all things rubbish and a loss. In other words, whatever achievements and accolades that earned him a type … [Read more…]

Father’s Day

“Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons” (Luke 15:11). Why would Jesus start His parables/teaching like this…so earthly…so story like. You could almost hear, “Once upon a time…” Why didn’t He begin His teachings something like, “See friends, where I come from…” or “There are sooo many stories where I come from. Listen … [Read more…]

Knowing Jesus

“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection…” Philippians 3:10 Before the Lord met him on the road to Damascus, Apostle Paul was quite confident that he could attain eternal life on the basis of his circumcision, his pedigree (he was an Israelite, of the tribe of Benjamin), his position as … [Read more…]

Hands to work

”The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people” (Titus 3:8). As we are born (again) into God’s family our hands receive a new functionality: hands … [Read more…]

Feet to walk

“It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us” (2 John 1: 4). Faith in God brings about a significant transformation: a complete rebirth. Jesus used the term “born again” or “born from above”. With spiritual birth comes spiritual growth; With spiritual … [Read more…]

A safe place

“I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety” (Psalms 4:8). Too often, we find ourselves in need of help. At times help is readily available. Other times, help is nowhere to be found. And, often we realise that there is but one place our help … [Read more…]

Ears to hear

“Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Luke 8:8). The Bible has quite a lot to say about hearing. Today we will explore some of … [Read more…]

Eyes to see

“Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink” (Genesis 21:19). The OT has two parallel functions: -the history of the Jewish nation and a pointer to Christ (Galatians 3:24). No doubt, we are more familiar with … [Read more…]

The temple and the table

”And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts…” (Acts 2:42; 46). This is a “classic” passage, giving us a vivid picture … [Read more…]

The house of God

“When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it. He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven” (Genesis 28:16, 17). The present reality and the … [Read more…]

God’s table

“On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoplesa feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined” (Isaiah 25:6). One important aspect of the future kingdom of God is a banquet…a feast…a table (Matthew 8:11; 26:29; Revelation 19:6-10). The table: … [Read more…]

Salvation in – salvation out

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Phil. 2:12-13). Is the Christian life … [Read more…]

In His likeness

“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1John 3:2). As soon as we are born again/born from above, we start the growth process … [Read more…]

Pentecost – the message

“Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know” (Acts 2:22). Let us have an exercise in imagination. Imagine: You live during those eventful times following Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection and ascension. … [Read more…]

A life worthy of the Gospel

“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel…” (Philippians 1:27). It looks like … [Read more…]

Jesus the son of Mary

“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him” (Mark 6:3). Mary’s motherhood was a gift from God – God’s favour to a humble young woman. It came with moments of … [Read more…]

Mary the mother of Jesus

“This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18). Happy mother’s day to all mothers reading this newsletter. Given the special day – Mother’s Day – … [Read more…]

The divine relationship

The resurrection event, “forced” the disciples to “make sense of it”; to find out where it fit in God’s great plan; and so on. The cross event dealt with the past….once for all, a sacrifice was offered for all sins (Hebrews 7:27). The resurrection event dealt with the future…forever became accessible. The cross brought us … [Read more…]

The eternal inheritance

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into…an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you…” (1Peter 1:3, 4). Some build it. Some fight for it. Some migrate to it. Some talk about it. Some dream … [Read more…]

The living hope

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you…” (1Peter 1:3, 4). For the … [Read more…]

God will finish what He began

Throughout his letters Apostle Paul wrote about many foundational truths and doctrines of the Christian faith such as justification by faith and grace alone, the two natures of Christ, the human condition before and after regeneration, about the present and future things, and the list can go on. A theme is always present in every … [Read more…]

The Resurrection Day

The resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is the central event of human history. Nothing like that happened before and nothing like that has happened since. Paul, the apostle, places the resurrection at the very pinnacle of the Christian proclamation and teaching; or to put differently, the resurrection is the foundation on which Christianity stands (1 … [Read more…]

God works for our good

When it comes to the cross, we look at it retrospectively…that is we “look back” at the events which were unfolding in Jerusalem. As we look back at the cross, we can’t see it clearly…we have to use our imagination extensively. And even if our imagination works perfectly, our view of the cross is still … [Read more…]

The time of God’s coming

Jesus was making his way toward Jerusalem (Luke 19:28-44). This time the journey was made openly (John7:10). It was a special journey, a symbolic journey – a fulfilment of an ancient prophecy. The King was to come surrounded by joy and shouts of acclamation. He did. The crowds were shouting, “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of … [Read more…]

A New Life

For those familiar with the Bible, Nicodemus is the “man who came to Jesus at night”. He was an important man of the Jewish society (John 3:1ff). People were talking a lot about Jesus. There was no better way to separate fact from rumour than to talk with Jesus personally. Perhaps Nicodemus was afraid of … [Read more…]

Yours is the glory

“For Yours is the kingdom and power and the glory.” (Matt 6:13). We often read about great prayers and the great things that have been accomplished as a result. OT: Moses prays with his hands lifted up and the Israel’s army is winning; NT: The church prays for Peter’s return. As they pray, he knocks … [Read more…]

Lead us not into temptation

“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matt 6:13). Two words stand out in the first part of this petition. The word “lead” seems to imply that God intentionally and actively “leads” the believer into situations which may be harmful to his/her body and soul. The word here translated “temptation” … [Read more…]

Deliver us from the evil one

“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matt 6:13). Reading a few verses prior to this (v.13), we can imagine the Pharisees of the day, standing at prominent places, all dedicated to a prayer that was meant to catch the people’s attention. Jesus had something to say about them and … [Read more…]

Harvest Thanksgiving

Every country has its own important days, which are celebrated often with a nation-wide holiday – a day of rest and merriment. In our country we have Australia Day as a national holiday. It celebrates the process that led to the formation of Australia as a country. That process began in 26th January 1788 with … [Read more…]

Forgive our trespasses

“Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us” (Matthew 6:15). Praying for “daily bread” – or means for our sustenance, affirms our dependence on God. He is the un-failing Provider – Jehovah-Jireh. Our Father in heaven is providing generously and faithfully for our daily bodily needs. But man doesn’t live on … [Read more…]

Give us today our daily bread

“Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:15). Today’s part of the Lord’s Prayer is clear and easy to understand. There are no theological or interpretative difficulties present. Simple as it is, it provides for us a path which as we follow it we discover the wonderful and rich blessings of God. What path? The … [Read more…]

Your will be done

“Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…” (Matthew 6:14). As God’s children, we ought to live our lives under the “umbrella” of God’s will as it has been presented to us in the Bible. Last Sunday, the Old Testament reading contained the (well known) verse: “He has told you, O man, … [Read more…]

Your kingdom come

“Your kingdom come…” (Matthew 6:14). One of the ancients observed that God “…has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). (Actually it was a divine inspiration rather than observation…). What is eternity? … [Read more…]

Faithful till the end

“Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). There are … [Read more…]

Our Father in heaven

“This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…” (Matthew 6:9) Making New Year resolutions is a tradition, most common in the Western World  “in which a person resolves to continue good practices, change undesired behaviour, accomplish a personal goal, or otherwise improve their behaviour at the beginning of … [Read more…]

Worship the King

“…Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him” (Matthew 2:2). A picture is worth a thousand words. The “Christmas picture” is a mundane/common picture: it represents a normal life event. A baby being born is a normal life … [Read more…]

Grace Upon Grace

“From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another” (John 1:16) Let us use our imagination, shall we? This is the challenge: What would Christmas look like – without the Gospel stories about Jesus’ birth? No visiting angels; no heavenly host; no star… Without the well-known ‘nativity scene’? Without the … [Read more…]

The House Of Bread

”And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David…” (Luke 2:4) The promise of a deliverer – “the serpent’s head crusher” was made to “cancel” the evil one and his plans. … [Read more…]

A Different Kind Of Worship

I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD… where the tribes go up…to praise the name of the LORD…” (Psalm 122:1, 4). Coming to planet earth, Jesus revealed to us the heart of God. We came to know that God desires a certain kind of worshipers … [Read more…]

Not ashamed of the Gospel

God “moved heaven and earth” in order to make salvation available to everyone who believes. The good news has the “power” to open the hearts of the hearers unto salvation. Don’t be ashamed: spread the good news!

He came to save

”Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners —of whom I am the worst” (1Tim 1:15). Last Sunday we reflected on the fact that the Son of Man – Jesus came to seek.The fact that He came to seek (the lost) allows us to see … [Read more…]