Monthly Archives: April 2015

Purpose of Spiritual Gift

Paul in his famous chapter 1 Corinthian 12:1 says, now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Why I strongly feel that many in the Christendom are ignorant about the spiritual gift? Some people stress only on fruit of the Holy Spirit and others on gifts of the Holy Spirit, even I heard people talking that Fruit is more important than the gift. What is the balance teaching on this subject? Let’s see Man Jesus Christ who was Perfect in Fruit of the Spirit and Gifts of the Spirit. Though we can never achieve that perfection while we are in the flesh but we can glean confidence through the life of Christ that as he was Man filled by God we can also be men filled by God and strive daily to that perfection. Paul says, I have not attained that perfection, none of the Apostles and Saints of Christ attained the perfection but all strived and groaned to be like Christ. Study the life of Saints! They not only had fruits but they had gifts. It is through the bearing of fruit, Father is glorified and it is through the gifts, we are established for His Glory. Now, talents and gift of the Holy Spirit is different. A talent is something which is in the blood when they are properly groomed they becomes professionals in it but Gifts is something different which is not inborn but receives from the Almighty by grace. Now God can take your talents and use it for your Glory also! Everyone who is born of Spirit who is saved by the grace has some gift. Do you think God will leave you void after giving you the greatest gift, your salvation? Your salvation is the greatest gift you have received through Christ. All born of the Spirit has some spiritual gift. It is the individual duty as he grows in Christ to seek the Lord and know what purpose he is called for and what he has been gifted with.

The church is the body of Christ and each member are compared to the physical body. Every member of the body has some function to do; it is made for that purpose. Though each members look different and function in a different way but all of them works for the betterment of the body. Our body is sound because in the unity among the members of the body.  Likewise, the soundness of the Church in the unity of the members. I like one verse from Romans 15:5-7 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: [6] That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. [7] Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God. One in spirit, one in mind and in one mouth and then only we can accept each other even if they are different from us. Each and every member should understand where he or she is placed and for what they are placed.

1) Purpose of Gifts

To impart and not to withhold – Paul says, Romans 1:11 KJV
for I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; Gifts are not given for us but for others. We are the channel that carries the gift. The end or the purpose of this impartation of gift is to for the establishment of the people. It is to help others, edify and exhort others. It is not given to use for selfish reasons, evil motives or to bury under the earth. We cannot glorify on our gifts because it is through grace we have received. It is given to use it for God’s purpose, for His Name and His Glory. We are accountable to what we have received. Remember the parable on talents.

Impart to establish others – Paul says, Romans 1:13. That I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles. The purpose of the impartation of the gift of the Holy Spirit is to produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit. I doubt how many of them impart the gift to see the fruit of the Holy Spirit in others’lives. It is to establish others in Christ and make them Christ like. When we use the gift according to the purpose of God we bring glory to the Giver of the gift. Ephesians 4:12-13, 1 Corinthians 12 speaks well on this. If a soldier is successful in destroying the enemy camp. He cannot feel himself very significant because he knows he could have not done that alone but could do it because he is the part of the strong army. If you are using your gift, use it to establish the Body which you belong. 1 Corinthians 12:19 But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster. What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, “Get lost; I don’t need you”? Or, Head telling Foot, “You’re fired; your job has been phased out”? As a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way—the “lower” the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. When it’s a part of your own body you are concerned with, it makes no difference whether the part is visible or clothed, higher or lower. You give it dignity and honor just as it is, without comparisons. If anything, you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher. If you had to choose, wouldn’t you prefer good digestion to full-bodied hair?

Impart with love – Gift without love is irritation because it makes great noise with no divine substance. Paul says Romans 1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; you cannot Long for someone if you don’t love them. Gift without love brings strife, envy and all sorts of confusion. The driving force behind the gift should be out of Love. Jesus had compassion on the people and that’s the way He performed great miracles, He wept before the tomb of Lazarus, Reader, I want you to notice one important thing here…People around the tomb of Lazarus witnessed the Love of Jesus towards the family and believed in the miracle He did. In other words, they said oh! He raised Lazarus because he loved him. Christ did not raise Lazarus just to show the world He is able! But because He loved the Family of Martha and Mary! We have whole chapter on love 1 Corinthians 13. Just after speaking on gifts on chapter 12 Paul shifts his gear towards Love! Now that does not reduce the importance of gifts. Paul mean here is we have use the gift in love. The driving force behind the impartation of the gifts is love.

I have put across some thoughtful insights to my reader from Romans Ch 1 to ponder upon this vast subject by proper reading of the Word of God. God bless you.

In Him,


Secret of prayer

Romans 1:9-12 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; [10] Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. [11] For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; [12] That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.

Paul was a man of prayer. The first time after his conversion we see him praying (Acts 9:11) and the prayer continued throughout his life. That’s the secret of his victorious and fruitful life in Christ. He knelt before God, all his life so he was thankful in everything, careful for nothing and prayerful in everything. Prayer is a softening agent which made him humble and poor in spirit. Void of prayer makes one hard, proud and unloving. A heart of a praying man is sensitive, vigilant and wise. The Preacher, who kneels before God, makes the sinners stand before God. Paul always had the message of God to the people because he carried them in his heart and prayed earnestly for them that’s why his prayers were answered. God may not necessarily answer all our prayers with a YES but sometimes with NO’s too. A grandfather never declines his grandson’s request but a father might sometimes, likewise we don’t have a grandfather in heaven but we have a Father in Heaven. There are always blessings in God’s Yes and No’s so do not be discouraged. Today let’s see the secret of Paul’s prayer.

Prayer from a sanctified heart – For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son. If a person can say, God is my witness then how confident is he with the Almighty. Having clear conscience with God can give such confidence. Before God could hear something from our mouth, He sees the flowing of those words from our heart. A heart ceased from impurity, a heart sensitive to sin, a heart beating for holiness, a heart willing to do His will, a heart of love towards God and people. Such a heart can touch the heart of God and the words which flow from such hearts are answered by God, according to His Will. The secret of Paul’s prayer was it came from the sanctified heart. A heart sanctified by God, by Christ, through the Spirit, through the Word. By Faith sinners are justified by God and in Christ they are sanctified but this is the positional sanctification which every born again believer possess. He needs to grow from this positional sanctification and workout daily in it. He needs to die daily! He needs to run daily! He needs to fight daily! He needs to focus daily! He needs to go through the Word daily and He needs to Pray daily. Sanctification is the process that is exercise daily through the Power of God. A prayer from this sanctified heart pleases God.

Prayer without ceasing – A little laziness in prayer will make us worst sinners. If we stop our personal prayer, we will fall in secret. The root cause of people falling in public is that they fall in secret prayer. Paul prayed without ceasing because it is Christ’s command that we always pray (Luke 18:1). It is very important that we should separate quality time for our prayers and also praying relentlessly. Paul did not pray when it was necessary. Infact, He prayed because it was necessary. Lift up your head and see, surely you will find reasons for prayer. The things around the world, inside the church and in the sinners will make your face fall at the feet of the Almighty. Generations who suppress the truth of God, children that do not believe in God, Churches that loves the world; sinners who are dead are entertained by religious toy. Let us not lose our heart by all this but take it to the Lord in prayer. A man who talks to God cannot live a life of boredom because he always will have something to do.

Making request in prayer – Notice the prayer of Paul was a request to God, not a command or a wish. It was a supplication or a plea to God Almighty. A heart full of pride cannot request, it will command, it wants what it likes. However, a humble heart will cry, it will request because it is poor. Remember, Christ taught this pattern. ‘Give us, our daily bread’ that’s the request of the heart which is humble in spirit. We have to see our spiritual bankruptcy then only our prayers will be requests. Lord, told us two parables on prayer in Luke 18. A parable of a widow and a friend. A Widow pleaded because there was no one to help her; a friend knocked at his friend’s house in the midnight and requested for some bread because he did not have any. See in both the cases, one was weak and one did not have any resources so their prayers were not a command but it was request. We should understand our helplessness to make a request.

Subject of prayer – Can you imagine throwing the dart without a dart board? Exactly the same way many of us throw around our prayers, with no subject in it. We don’t know what we are praying for. Paul had a subject, he wanted a prosperous journey by the will of God, to meet the people whom he prayed and loved in Christ. The Roman believers were his subject; His journey to Rome was the subject. What is your subject? Take that subject before God, seek his will on that subject, hear him and seek his counsel on that subject. My two year old son speaks out but without a subject so I ask him, what he requires? What are you asking for? Are you also like him? Never think that God will answer if we keep on repeating things in our prayers and by the use of more words He will answer. Prayer without subject is like a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. It will make a good noise but not directed to God’s ears.

Intention of prayer – I may have a subject but without substance in it. Some of you have prayer points but God sees the intention behind the subject, purpose behind the prayers. It should have substance that glorifies his Holy Name, His will and His Kingdom. It should not have things that bring confidence in flesh, and glorify man’s work. James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. What was the substance of Paul prayer? I may impart spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; that is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. Paul had a clear subject and valid substance to his subject. He was longing for spiritual fellowship. He was longing to impart spiritual gifts to the children of God so that they may be established and bear fruit for God. Not only the believers in Rome but also himself. He never taught like he attained everything but waited to receive the spiritual fruit from Roman believers too. Mutually growing in Christ. So Paul had a good reason for his subject. So what happened? God heard the prayer from a sanctified heart, which prayed without ceasing, made requests with proper subject and substance that glorifies his Holy name, His will and the establishment of His Kingdom. He answered the prayer of Paul by sending him to the Rome. It was God’s will.

Keep Praying!

May God bless you.


Christ was forsaken for you

My God, My God why have you forsaken me? Psalms 22:1

We have heard the messages on Christ was given for us but let us hear on Christ was forsaken for us. This verse is the fourth saying of our Lord on the cross after 3 hours of darkness. Jesus not only went through the pain, rejection, grief and insult but He went through our darkness too. A man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief, pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins, beaten, whipped and oppressed for our transgression. If you want to know what sin has done you? Just look at the suffering Christ on the Cross! There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to Him. He was representing us on the cross, a High priest before God for men. Perfect Lamb for sacrifice. Isaac asked his father “where is the Lamb for the burnt offering” and at the fullness of time John the Baptist replied “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”. Days before the trial Christ prayed to the Father “If it is your will take this cup away from me” not because He feared death but he knew at one moment Father will forsake Him. He don’t want to leave His Father but for our sake He prayed again “Not my will but let your will be done”. Dear Reader, it is to bring you back home and wash you from all impurities the Father left his only Son. This is a serious. Father loves you that’s why He was willing to give his Son. Rock of Ages! Cleft for me!

Why God forsook Jesus on the cross?

Christ was forsaken to Deal with my sin – Adam tried to deal with his sins but utterly failed and we see the promise given that it is God who will ultimately deal with the sin. Man cannot come back by his own, He cannot deal with it. As sheep cannot come back by its own so too the man. Romans 8 say, He came in the likeness of sinful flesh. He was not sinful but He came in the likeness of it. Isaiah 53:4-5 our sins were laid on Him. Where did Father lay our sins? On Christ body that’s why He was forsaken by God and his Body was subjected to death. God is the righteous judge and so he should condemned sin but who is perfect here to take this condemnation? So Christ who is the perfect Lamb took our condemnation on his flesh. Romans 8: 3-4 explains this, For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did; sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, Christ fulfilled the requirements of the Law through His life and sacrifice and now when the sinner put his trust in Christ he too fulfills the demands of the Law in Christ. The wretched sinner is accepted by God through Christ! The righteousness of Christ is imputed in us by faith and not by our works. The Law was weak because of our sinful flesh. God fulfilled the requirement of the Law by sending Christ in the likeness of sinful flesh. The blood the Lamb cleanses us from all our sins; the sacrifice of Christ was perfect because He was perfect and that’s how He dealt my sin.

                   Not the labors of my hands, Can fulfill thy law’s demands,

Could my zeal no respite know, All for sin could not atone

Thou must save, and thou alone.

Christ was forsaken to justify me – Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. The war is over. I am no more an enemy to God. Sin was the mountain between me and my God. It was my sin that separated me and my God but now God identifies me with Christ and sees me as if I have never done sin. This is called justification. Those who are justified rejoice in their spirit because the peace that transcends all understanding is their own. The richest man in the world is the one who has peace with God. Reader, Are you justified? Do you have peace with God? Romans 4:1-8 speaks clearly on what is justification. The righteousness of Christ is imputed on me and my sins upon Christ and that makes me right before God. Now Justification is purely by faith and not by works. God accepted Abraham even before he could do any good work. Bible says, “Abraham believed God and it was counted for him righteousness”. He received the seal of circumcision after the acceptance of God. That means, this acceptance or justification is not only for the Jews but for everyone since Abraham received it before getting circumcision. God will justify everyone who will have faith like Abraham. What we must believe? Where we have to put our faith? Faith in the complete work of Christ on the cross. Now when we trust this perfect work then God justify us because of what Christ did on the cross. He identifies us with Christ. Can we get acceptance of God through our works? No! It is purely by faith. Justification by faith.

Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to the cross I cling;

Naked, come to thee for dress; Helpless, look to thee for grace;

Foul, I to the fountain fly; Wash me Saviour, or I die;

 Reader, will you accept the sweets from the leper? No! Not because of the fault in sweets but because of the leper. If the leper is cleaned then there is no problem in accepting the sweets. This is exactly how God sees our works. “Sweets in the hands of sinner”. God should wash you through Christ blood; He should dress your nakedness and give your grace to stand! Then only he accepts your works. Let us repeat these words “Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling;”

Christ was forsaken to adopt me – The Greek word for adoption (huiothesia) means to “place as a son” and is used only by Paul in the New Testament. Being adopted by God means that we are accepted into His family and brings a multitude of blessings and responsibilities. Being legally adopted by God means that we receive new rights   | Galatians 4:4-7 | Under Roman law, if you were an adopted son, you had identical legal rights to a son born naturally in the family. An adopted son had the right to the family name of the person who adopted him and the right to an inheritance of the father’s property. Being adopted by God means that He will care for us| Mathew 6:32 |The Father who adopts was also granted full rights and responsibilities of a natural father—he had complete authority over the adopted son and also had the legal role of caregiver. With full, loving authority over us, our Father has accepted His responsibility to care for us and He also has the right, and desire, to correct us when we are wrong and to discipline us when we step out of line. Our Father God is infinitely patient, wise and loving and the Bible tells us that the fact that God does discipline us is proof in itself that we have been adopted into His family. Being adopted by God means that many relationships will change.

Being adopted by God means we become the children of the Living God, God was judge for me but He is now my Father. Being adopted by God changes our relationship with Him entirely and affects all three Members of the Holy Trinity: With God the Father—He is no longer the Judge who must condemn us for our wrongdoings, but truly our loving Father; With God the Son—not only is He our Lord and Saviour, but He also becomes our Brother; With God the Holy Spirit—He not only calls us and sanctifies us, but also becomes the Spirit of Adoption within us. He witnesses to our own spirit within us that we are a child of God (listen to Him). The Holy Spirit becomes our guarantee and our Father’s initial down-payment of the divine inheritance we will receive and a seal upon our hearts that we belong to God. It is through the Holy Spirit that we can cry out to God, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15-17 NLT.

Our adoption by God also changes our relationship with every person in the world—both Christians and non-Christians. Our relationship to everyone else who has been adopted by God is changed, and no matter what the distance is between us—whether they live near or far, or whether they are alive today or have already fallen asleep and passed on from this life, they are all our brothers and sisters. Our relationship with non-believers has also changed, for they are still dead in their sins and we are no longer a part of their family. We have different interests from them now; our interests are no longer selfish and centered on the glorifying of ourselves or of other people, but we should only be concerned with bringing glory to God.

You can write 100 points on why God forsaken Christ. Here I have chosen only three and scratch the surface of this fundamental teaching of Christianity. May God bless you with this. Amen

 

1 Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee;

let the water and the blood, From thy wounded side which flowed,

be of sin the double cure; Save from wrath and make me pure.

2 Not the labors of my hands, can fulfill thy law’s demands;

could my zeal no respite know, could my tears forever flow,

all for sin could not atone; thou must save, and thou alone.

 

3 Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling;

naked, come to thee for dress; helpless, look to thee for grace;

foul, I to the fountain fly; wash me, Savior, or I die.

4 While I draw this fleeting breath, when mine eyes shall close in death,

when I soar to worlds unknown, see thee on thy judgment throne,

Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee.