Monthly Archives: March 2011

WE PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED

John 3:14, ‘ And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.’ John 12:32, ‘ And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me.’ John 3:18, ‘ Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.’ Acts 4:12, ‘ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.’ Ephesians 1:7, ‘ In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.’

Have you ever noticed that when you talk about God, everyone agrees, but as soon as you say about Jesus Christ, they disagree. This is not a new thing. It has been this way even when Christ was in this world. People liked the works of Jesus, but they did not like his teaching. Many followed by seeing His work, but when they heard His teaching, they drew back. It is not the work that make people stumble, but it is His word that is hard for them. Even today, everyone likes the works of Jesus. He is a healer and the source of all blessings. He is loving and kind. …amen!! Jesus is more than this, but when it comes to His commandments, they have no ears. Jesus Christ is not a savior for some groups and religions. He is the only savior of all mankind. The literal meaning of Savior is ‘redeemer’ or rescuer. Now you may ask, ‘are we fallen into something that we need to be rescued?’ Yes, we (Mankind) have fallen into the pit of sin and we need to be rescued. Sin is universal. Psalms 51:5, ‘ Surely, I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.’ So the need of redemption from this bondage is universal. No one was born holy here except Christ Jesus. Luke 1:35 ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God ‘.There is no saint who doesn’t need redemption and there is no sinner who cannot be redeemed by the blood of Jesus. Romans 3:23, ‘ for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ Since all mankind is in the pit of sin, no one can save themselves and no one can rescue himself. Man made his own rope of religions and traditions in this horrible pit of sin but no one is getting saved.

No one can form a religion and save mankind from the pit of sin, because the one who forms a religion himself is in this pit. A hand from above is the only way to take us out from the pit. A rescuer is the one who is not in the pit. He is outside the pit . This means that only a sinless man can only save a sinful man. When Bible says that all have sinned and fall short from the glory of God, we can see the sinless one who left the heavenly glory and came humbly to the world, to rescue the sinful man to give him back the glory which was lost due to sin. About Him, we preach and His name is Jesus Christ. Jesus who knew no sin and who had no sin, is the redeemer and the only redeemer to redeem the mankind from the horrible pit of sin.
2 Corinthian 5:21, ‘ God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.’

Now let me come to the main point. I have taken five verses from the bible which co-relates with each other and proves that Jesus Christ is the only Savior. These five verses can be broken into 5 points

• Jesus was lifted up to lift us up from the pit of sin
• Whoever believes this is not condemned but saved
• Salvation is found only in Him
• In Him we have liberation and forgiveness of sin
• Salvation is by grace and not by works.

May His grace take us into the details of these points, one by one.

When the children of Israel sinned against the Lord and His servant Moses, they were bitten by poisonous serpents (Exodus 21:5 -9). And when the people confessed their sins, God told Moses to make a brass serpent and to put it on a pole and when any victim would look unto that brass serpent, he or she would live. This resembles the disobedience by the first man, Adam. Eve was deceived by the cunningness of the serpent and both were bitten by the serpent i.e Satan… the poison (sin) was transformed from the outer world to the mankind.

Just as some people of Israel were dead due to the poison of the fiery serpents, man was spiritually dead after he fell into sin. What is the remedy to lift up this man from the pit of sin and from the bondage of devil ? I was sharing this with a friend who was boasting about his religion and the saints; I kept quiet for a while and asked him only one thing at the end….’is your sins forgiven?’ I could see a big question mark in his face…and he has not answered me till now. Your boasting about the religion and tradition is zero…Only one question I want to ask you today…are you saved from the horrible pit of sin?
When the children of Israel cried and repented, God told Moses to make a brass serpent and to put it on the pole, so that anyone who would look unto that brass serpent would live…Similarly, the remedy to be saved from sin is to look unto Jesus who was crucified on the tree. When the Israelites looked unto that brass serpent, the poison was removed and they lived. Likewise, if we look unto Jesus, and believe in Him and his sacrificial death, the poison of sin will be removed from us and we will be justified through his blood.

Many of the Christians do not know as to why Jesus was crucified. Some believe that it was the plan of some kings in the Roman Empire. I have heard one preacher saying that it was the plan of devil. Some say that Jesus was a good man but people did not like him, for which he was crucified…All such reasoning’s are because of poor knowledge about the word of God.

What does the Bible teach us? First of all, Jesus Christ was not killed. No one can take his life, because he himself is the life and in him is the life (John 1:4) In him was life, and life was the light of all mankind. Secondly, Jesus Christ laid down his life himself for the lost sheep. John 10:17-18, ‘therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.’ So we conclude here that Jesus was not killed. But he himself laid his life for us. It was not the plan of devil but it was the plan of God that through him mankind should be redeemed.

Why is Jesus Christ the only Savior ? It’s because no one else has and no one else can pay the price for sin. Jesus paid the price for the sins of all mankind.

Romans 3:23-26, ‘ for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.’

These verses are the heart of the bible; everyone should carve this onto their hearts.

God is the right judge. He judges uprightly and in Him there is no partiality. What do we understand from this? There is a punishment for sin. If God forgive us just like that, then he cannot be called as right Judge. To demonstrate His righteousness and to show us that He is just, he set Jesus as propitiation and laid our sins on Him. The meaning of propitiation means ‘satisfaction’ or ‘appeasement’ by which it becomes consistent with his character and government to pardon and bless sinners. The propitiation does not procure his love or make him loving; rather, it renders it consistent for him to exercise his love towards sinners. Every writing that was against us was laid up on Jesus. The cup which we should drink was given to Jesus. The one who believes and accept this will be justified freely and will be saved by His grace. To understand this better I will bring two verses into light. Romans 1:18 , ‘for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness’ & Romans 5:1, ‘Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’:
The underlined words tells us 3 things
1) The wrath of God is revealed
2) Justified freely through redemption that is in Lord Jesus Christ
3) We have peace with God.

No one can stand in front of the wrath of God, but because Jesus drank the cup of wrath, we have peace with God. The marred fellowship is restored; the hand which was shortened is now upon us. Let us not boast and be haughty, but let’s humble ourselves and fear in His grace.

We were wild olive tree by nature, but are grafted with the good one by His grace to bear good fruits. Be wise and know the true grace of God. God is love and His faithfulness is boundless. He is gracious, compassionate and slow to anger, but don’t just deceive yourself by knowing one side of the His grace. Let us also know the other side i.e living according to His steps with reverence fear towards Him. Be Holy, because He is holy

God bless you


I will make you fishers of men

Luke 5:10, ‘And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.”’

Simon Peter is one of my favorite characters because, though he was a man full of weaknesses, he was a different man when he responded to the calling of Jesus. God doesn’t look unto your weaknesses and act accordingly, but He sees how you respond to His calling. It is He who makes changes in us. We just need to respond to Him. Moses hesitated initially, when God promised that He would make him a leader. Mosses were not eloquent in speech. And a leader must speak fluently. See, how God chose a dumb man to lead 2.5 million people.

Elijah was the most timid fellow; he ran to save his life and at the end, he cried to take his life. Fear had influenced him to such an extent, but yet God used him to divide the river of Jordan and God took him away in a whirlwind. Jeremiah was a young boy. He didn’t even know how and what to speak. But when God touched his mouth, he was transformed to a crying prophet. David, a ruddy young boy, just knew how to feed the sheep, but God anointed him and put him in a place for which he was not trained before. Samuel, a lad who had never heard the voice of the Lord, and who had never seen a vision was called by God to judge his people. The Samaritan woman, who lived a wretched life, becomes a missionary when Jesus opened her eyes. She carried the gospel into the town of Samaria. God transformed the valiant Saul into humble Paul. All these characters confessed their weakness, so that the strength of God is made perfect in their weakness. Our weak points and our past experience pull us back from our calling. These two things had influenced my life very much. I was not an eloquent speaker and am a man full of weakness. I am weaker than anyone around, but the word of God and the power of Holy Spirit strengthened me. Besides, characters like Peter, Moses, Elijah and Abraham strengthened me a lot. All these men were not supermen. They were weak and timid, but the hand of God was upon them. Qualifications and good looks doesn’t matter. But if God’s hand is upon you, will be a changed person. Amen!

My life is a big testimony. Those who know me personally know my weaknesses, but God turn them around completely when His strength was perfected in me. I am not boasting that I have attained something here, but I have shared this to encourage you. If God can use this timid and dumb person, He is able to use you too…Just humble yourself, come to God, and respond to Him.

We all know that Peter toiled the whole night, but caught nothing. That’s the time when Jesus came to his boat, and his boat was filled….It was a miraculous catch. Yes! Our God is an awesome God. God can turn around your failures to success. Your Child, your business, your future may be a failure, but when you allow God to intervene your situations, He will turn them around. Peter put all his efforts but was in vain, till he allowed Jesus to intervene. Unless and until you give your boat of life into the hands of God, he cannot change you. God blocked those multitudes of fish to open the eyes of Peter. Yes! Sometimes God will close some doors and block some ways to open your eyes. Had Peter caught some fishes that night, we would never have seen him in the picture. Some people have known Christ better today, because of some blocks and shortages they had in their previous years. That’s why David said in Psalms 119:71, ‘it is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn your statutes.’ With this miraculous catch, two important things happened in the life of Peter, which made him follow Christ.

He came to know about Jesus Christ: Luke 5:5, ‘But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at your word I will let down the net.”’

He came to know about himself – Luke 5:8, ‘When Simon Peter saw it; he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, and “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”’

If anyone understands these two things, he is saved. Peter came to know about himself, because he came to know about Jesus. If you want to know about yourself, look unto Jesus. If you think you are perfect, you have not met Jesus- There is no darkness in Him ( 1 John 1:5). If you think that you are still the worst sinner, you have not met Jesus- ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’. (1 John 1:9)

What was that changed one of the robbers who were on the cross? One thief looked at himself and his pain, but the other one looked at Jesus. The latter realized that he was a sinner, and so he feared God. Peter realized that he was a sinner. He understood that his experience as a good fisherman is null, and his eyes were opened. He asked Jesus to depart from him. When you look unto Jesus, then only you realize how worthy and holy He is. When Prophet Isaiah, who spoke against the uncleanness of the people, saw the Lord, he realized that he himself was “a man with unclean lips”. Now, after Peter saw his own sinfulness, Jesus said, “I will make you fishers of men.” Unless and until you confess who you are, God cannot make you and mould you. The clay must submit itself completely into the hands of the potter, in order to be transformed to one of his master pieces. We know God as a giver but do you know that He is also a maker?? It doesn’t matter who you are today. He is able to make you a different man and a different woman…do you believe this? Jesus said to Peter “I will make you Fishers of Men”. It was not Peter who was going to make himself, but Jesus who was going to make him ‘fisher of Men’. God does not see your outer appearance. He seeks your inner appearance. He sees as to how sensitive your heart is towards him. He sees your inner thirst more than outer desires…Many have outer desires but doesn’t have inner thirst. If God has called you or given you any vision, do not make an attempt to fulfill it by yourself. Leave it in the hands of God- wait for it- expect it-it will come-surely it will come because God has said it.

Abraham tried all his attempts to fulfill God’s promise, and we know the outcome- God had not said that his maid would bear a child. He had said that his wife, Sarah would bear a child.

Note, Jesus said “From now on you will catch men”. The transformation started when Peter believed and accepted Jesus. The moment you receive the word of God, transformation begins. At the first step- Peter brought his boat to the land, forsook all and followed Jesus. What a great transformation this was. This is the true born again experience. This is true repentance. The man who toiled whole night for fishes now forsook everything. The man, who desired to have some fishes in the boat, forsook multitudes of them. What was most important was now least important….People might say that Peter was a fool. But he was not a fool in the sight of God. Indeed, God chooses the foolish ones to shame the wise. He had chosen the lowly ones to put down the proud. One of the things that deeply touched me is that initially, Peter denied Jesus thrice because of the fear of the Jews. But the same Peter, when filled by the Holy Spirit, he was a different man altogether. He stood up, raised his voice and boldly proclaimed “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved”. The rulers and priests where astonished by seeing the courage of Peter and John who was unschooled and ordinary. The promise to Peter was fulfilled. Indeed God made him to catch men. The Holy Spirit gave him the words to speak and thousands were saved through his sermon. Your present qualification is enough for God to use you. Don’t look unto your weakness. Rather, look unto Him who will give strength to your weakness. The world chooses the strong ones, but God chooses the weak ones. The world chooses wise ones but God chooses foolish ones. God is not only a giver. He is a maker too. He makes the foolish ones wise and weak ones strong!

God bless you


Looking Beyond The Suffering.

Hebrews 12:2-3, ‘ looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.’

Praise the Lord.

Life becomes very hard when we cannot see things beyond obstacles. Every believer has a hurdle and a speed breaker to cross, but the only one component that helps him to cross all these is his faith in God. Faith shows us the things beyond obstacles, which makes it easy to cross the hurdles. Jesus laid a perfect example for all of us. If you are discouraged, look unto Him who endured everything that came in front of Him. You may not able to answer every hurdle like questions that come before you, but if you cry to God, He will give you the grace to endure. Sufferings and persecutions are like waves. They come and go. They don’t have legs. But if you have faith in God you will stand still, even if the waves overflow you.

Jesus endured the cross and despised the shame because of the joy that was set before Him. Is there any joy in the cross? Certainly not! Then what made Jesus endure and despise all the shame that was spoken against Him ? Hebrews 2:10, ‘ For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.’ The joy that was set before Jesus was bringing many sons to glory. For that everlasting joy and salvation of mankind, He endured the light affliction of the cross. He did not focus on the pain on the cross. Instead , He focused mankind. Jesus came in to the world to save the mankind from the horrible pit of sin and to give him back the lost glory . So instead of looking into the sufferings, Jesus looked unto the will of Father. There is a joy set beyond every cross that comes before you. In order to have that joy, you need to look beyond the cross with eyes of faith. Israelites walked in the wilderness for 40 years. Many grumbled and fell short of entering the promised land. But the few who saw the promised land in the wilderness, entered it joyfully. While we are in wilderness, we need to see the promised land. The life of wilderness will be easy when we look unto the promised land. Our eyes must be tuned to the promised land, even though we walk in the wilderness. Have you noticed a radio ? Even though it is in our living room, it is not influenced by any thing around it. It’s because it is tuned to a certain station and it speaks what it receives from that station. This must be our attitude. Even though we are in this tent ( body ), our heart should be tuned to heaven and our tongues should speak what we receive from heaven. When we receive from heaven, we will think and speak about heaven, which we see in faith and which is kept for us by the captain of our salvation. Hebrews 11:13-16 ‘…These all died in faith, not having received the promises but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. and truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out they would have had oppurtunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God. For He has prepared a city for them.’ We must confess that we are strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Even though we live on this earth, we should not posses anything, because our possesion is in heaven. Can you say about anything that you really possess on this earth – money, house , job etc? We have no possessions here because our inheritance is in heaven. Since they sought heavenly possession, they put their heart on that heavenly country, and concluded that what they saw was just temporary. And what they could not see was permanent. They all walked by faith and not by sight. A person who does these things will see beyond the sufferings which is for fraction of seconds when compared to the glory that will be revealed in us. Paul speaks this in a terrific way. He says that present time sufferings are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us. We need to compare the ‘shortness’ of the present time with the ‘longevity’ of eternity and ‘sufferings’ with the ‘glory of God’ that will be revealed in last days. When we do that, we will also be able to say like Paul that present time sufferings are not worthy to be compared to the eternal glory. In another part, he says that our light affliction is for a moment. II Corinthians 4:17 -18, ‘ For our light affliction which is but for a moment is working for us far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporary but the things which are not seen are eternal.’

Let us see how Paul considered the sufferings :

‘Light’ affliction when compared to the ‘weight’ of the glory ( II Cori 4:17)

‘Momentary’ sufferings when compared to the ‘eternal’ glory.

‘Not worthy’ to be compared with the glory that will be revealed in end times.
Rom8:18

Paul had suffered a lot for the sake of Christ. He went through fire and water but he reckoned all these tests as light and momentary, because he received the revelation of greater riches that is in Jesus Christ. If we want to see beyond sufferings, we need to have knowledge about the riches that is kept beyond the present sufferings. None of us can despise present shame if we do not have the knowledge of honor we will receive.
Faith is the real component for looking beyond the sufferings. But with faith, we must also have knowledge about what “suffering” really means. In today’s Christendom, we find many teachings that say that sufferings are a curse, and so many of them are busy breaking this. Very few really teaches about sufferings of a believer. Off course, I am not talking about the sufferings that are caused because of one’s mistakes . I am talking about the sufferings for the sake of Christ – the suffering that comes, not because of our wrong doing, but comes because of the world’s hatred for Christ. Jesus said, “ in the world you have tribulation”. Can anyone deny this statement and teach that tribulations are a curse? Certainly not! But a true believer will not fall in all these tribulations . He will overcome, since Christ has overcome the world. Christian life is not breaking (avoiding) suffering, but it is a life living through sufferings . One should take prosperity and sufferings in a balanced way. Extreme teachings on either is not bibilical, but purely satanic. A child of God will not have extreme sufferings alone [ I Cori 10:13) and neither will he have extreme prosperity alone(Romans 5:3-4). But both prosperity and suffering will work together for good to equip him as a true disciple of Christ. None of the Christ’s disciples preached about extreme prosperity ( wordly) or extreme sufferings. They talked about both in a balanced way, thereby, edifying us about the hope of the inheritance that is incoruptible and undefiled, and that does not fade away but is reserved for us in heaven by the power of God.

We see that Paul had a clear definition about the present suffering and glory which is to be revealed . That made him to reckon that the present sufferings are not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us. Do we have the right definition about the sufferings and the glory that will be revealed in us? Let see what Peter exhorts us through his epistle.
I Peter 1:6, ‘ In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while it need be, you have been grieved by various trials.’ Peter clearly says about what we should rejoice. He speaks about the living hope, incoruptible and undefiled inheritance. Are we just thinking about the sufferings we are going through ? Do we think that we are at the end of the rope of our life ? Pray to God to to open your eyes to see beyond this tribulation, because what you see now is not permanent . It’s as temporary as waves!
We learnt from two people who had a clear definition about sufferings and eternity. Paul considered sufferings as ‘light’ when compared to the ‘weight’ of the glory. Peter asked us to rejoice while we are tested…So to see beyond sufferings, we too need to have clear understanding about the same. Only then can we have the right attitude towards ‘sufferings’ for Christ sake.

Now Paul makes a remarkable statement which is also our keyword, Hebrews 12:2-3

Look unto Jesus who endured cross for the joy that was set before him
Consider Jesus lest you become weary and discouraged.

‘Looking unto’ Jesus and ‘considering’ Jesus are two different things. Here the meaning of the word ‘ looking unto’ is ‘learning from’ and the word ‘consider’ means ‘giving value’. So, if you are struggling to find a road in the midst of trials, learn from Christ and give Him the priority/ value in your life. Peter could walk on water because he was looking unto Jesus. He could walk on that water which tried to drown him before. Those who look unto Jesus will never be put to shame. Let us look and consider Him who walked before us and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. There is a life after this wilderness. There is joy,peace and greater riches after we endure this present tribulation. Let us consider and imitate Him.

God bless you