Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Holy and Blameless

Ephesians 1:4 ... we should be holy and blameless before Him in love.


Months ago I noticed a vacation magazine in America mentioning something about 'Hornbill Festival' in Nagaland.  For many that is all they know of Nagaland.  Even if a tourist come and experience the Hornbill Festival, he or she still has not seen most of Nagaland and knows very little about the State. 

The above can be an illustration of how many people read (or understand) a few selected passages in the Bible and stop from there.  Or say, let us narrow it down to the book of Ephesians.  Many people are aware of chapter 2:8-9, the salvation by grace passage.  The sad part is that their understanding is incomplete and that is why they go back to the world and live worldly and still think they have been 'saved by grace'. 

Yes, Ephesians 2:8-9 is a wonderful passage, but if we study the book of Ephesians in its entirety (instead of just a few favorite verses), we will discover that a truly 'saved person' cannot and should not live worldly.  For example, if someone claiming 'grace' is still filled with 'foul language', he may still be in darkness (Ephesians 5:3-8).  Jesus warns us not to judge (Matthew 7:1), but we are admonished to check for fruit in a person's life (Matthew 7:15-20). 

One solid sign of a truly 'saved by grace' person is that he/she tries to live 'holy and blameless' (Ephesians 1:4).  God has commanded that we should be holy and without it no one will see God (1 Peter 1:16; Hebrews 12:14).  Here I would like to touch on the background idea of 'blameless' a bit more.

As the Lamb of God (John 1:29), because Jesus was blameless, His sacrifice on our behalf was a sweet-smelling aroma to God (Ephesians 5:2).  (The opposite is a stench in the nostril of God, defective worship, Isaiah 65:5).  A person saved by grace is called to be a 'living sacrifice' that is sweet-smelling (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 2:14-15).  When the Temple was standing, God will not accept an animal offering that is blind, diseased, or crippled.  The lamb or sheep for sacrifice must be 'blameless'. 

Remember in the book of Malachi, the people were worshiping God in vain because they were offering defective animals, because of which, instead of blessings God cursed them (Malachi 1:6-14).  Scary, isn't it?  When you come to worship God in Church, make sure you are striving to be 'blameless' before the Father.  From your heart, praise Him and thank Him, and go out to do good works (Hebrews 13:15-16; Acts 11:29).  The desire of Jesus Christ is to present you 'blameless' before the Father (Jude 24-25).  Amen!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Wedding Garment

The Wedding Garment

(my devotion this morning)...


Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Kehilah (believers' assembly, church). He is loving, kind and considerate to sinners, but at the same time uncompromising against sin, and He demonstrated it by dying on behalf of sinners on the cross.

If we can put it this way for the sake of compassionate understanding, God has a problem, a dilemma: God is holy and cannot coexist with sin. God loves us but will not accept us unless we are cleansed by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus), via repentance and forgiveness of sins (Acts 11:17-18).

In light of the above, read the parable of the wedding garment in Matthew 22:8-14. (verse 14 can also be interpreted this way: 'For many are called, but few choose to respond properly ... thus disqualifying themselves).

Sadly, some preachers also preach a defective gospel, and fail to prepare hearers to respond properly ....

For the sake of inclusiveness, some preachers/teachers are telling others they don't need the 'wedding garment' to partake in the Kingdom of God; they emphasize on God's love but ignore His Holiness and justice; they inflate God's grace but ignore 'repentance' and forgiveness of sins.

One hot issue in some American churches is to brainwash people to view 'practicing homosexuals' as acceptable before God, while painting the uncompromising ones on this matter as intolerant, unloving and unspiritual --- in America the secular media ridicules the Christian position of one man one woman in marriage. Not two men or two women.

The question is: in the name of love, grace and tolerance, should the church endeavor to make all comers comfortable and refrain from telling them the King's demand for 'wedding garment' to partake in His Kingdom?

The garment of holiness (Ephesians 1:4... holy and blameless). (Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 1:16; Jude 20-21). (Connecting the dots: People saved by grace are to live holy, Ephesians 1:4; 2:8).

Holy Holy Holy, Lord God Almighty!


Sunday, May 4, 2014


  1. Doctrine of Christ... (2 John 9)

    Are you building your life and Church on Christ and His Word? When faced with conflict between human philosophies, opinions, theologies and the PLAIN WORDS OF CHRIST, where do you gravitate?

    We build on Christ when we make a right confession on Christ. Jesus said that to Peter in Matthew 16:17-18. Well, this is what Peter (Petros, masculine noun) confessed to Jesus: "You are the MESSIAH, the Son of the living God" (v.16).

    [Jesus never established a position called "the chair of Peter" (pope). Peter is only a pebble (petros). Jesus gave five-fold services to the Church, in Ephesians 4:10-13 ... and Peter was an apostle in it ]

    [ In the first century in the epicenter of Christianity that is Jerusalem, the first Bishop was Apostle James (the step brother of Jesus). Peter was not. James was Bishop and undisputed acknowledged leader until he died around 64 AD, about the same time Peter died. ]

    Jesus used the confession of Peter into a 'ROCK' metaphor (petra, feminine noun) and promised to build His (Jesus') Church on the foundation of Himself: the Christ the Son of the living God.

    Jesus is the ROCK (petra) : 1 Corinthians 10:4.

    Every word of Jesus is the Rock (petra) : Matthew 7:24-25.

    If you are a pastor, periodically ask Jesus Christ to evaluate your church as He did the Seven Churches in Revelation 2-3. Ask and you shall receive. Fast and pray for Almighty God to open your eyes. Make time to listen to the Holy Spirit (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22).

    (This is a good way to stop playing church and drifting along whatever makes people happy theology, Ephesians 4:14).

    (Many modern churches are exposed to a compromised Gospel and in danger of Matthew 7:21-23 --- preachers and congregations alike).

    The ROCK is the answer.