Friday, August 28, 2015

Emotions

Understanding emotions and controlling them is very important for young people, because more than anything, emotions can become a weak spot for the devil by which he can destroy young lives. That’s why the Bible cautions:

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Prov.4:23).

In other words, God wants every young man to make it a priority to guard his/her heart above anything else. “Heart”, in the Bible, is the seat of thoughts, emotions, and decisions, and is the most vulnerable part of the human soul. Therefore, God wants us to protect it. We cannot protect it physically, but only by the power of the Spirit.

A person who is overcome by emotions can become an easy prey for the devil. For instance, if a man gives in to anger, he gives the devil a foothold.

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. (Eph 4:26,27 )

A foothold is a secure place to stand upon. In other words, the devil very securely stands and finds a firm foothold on unforgiven anger. Anger opens the door for the devil to get in.

Similarly so with fear, worry, discouragement, frustration, and such negative emotions that contradict the fruit of the Spirit.

Three-fold Human Personality
To understand emotions, it is important to first understand the human personality. Man is made up of spirit, soul, and body (1Thess.5:23). Some people think that the soul and the spirit are the same, but the Bible tells us that the soul is as different from the body as the joints are from marrow.

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Heb 4:12)

The Body of Man has three functions: Sensation (senses), Instinct, Stimulus-response

The Soul of Man has three functions: Intellect(Mind), Emotions, Volition (Will)

The Spirit of Man has three functions: Conscience, Intuition, Communion

Through Body (Greek, Soma) we have world consciousness
Through Soul (Gk, Psuche) we have self consciousness
Through Spirit (Gk, Pneuma) we have God consciousness

Similarly, there are three kinds of lives:
Bios is physical life (which even the animals have)
Psuche is psychological life in which one has experience of memory, education, reasoning, feeling, and determination
Zoe (in the Bible) is spiritual life and zoe is always used when talking of eternal life.

A person who is controlled by bodily appetite and cravings is a carnal person.
“for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” (1Cor 3:3 )

A person who is controlled by emotions, feelings, and pride is a soulish person.
“But the natural (psuchikos) man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1Cor 2:14 )

A person who is controlled by the Spirit of God is a spiritual person.
“Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (Gal 5:16)

God wants us to be spiritually minded, or else we end up becoming enemies of God; for those who are not spiritual are enemies of God in their mind, even if they don’t realize it. They will be doing things that oppose God.

“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. (Rom 8:7)

“And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled… (Col 1:21)

The Place of Emotions
Emotions have a very important role in human life. They make life exciting and full of enthusiasm and vigor. Can you imagine an emotionless life??

However, emotions that are not according to the Spirit can be very destructive. Some examples of destructive emotions are:

Fear
Anxiety
Discouragement
Anger
Sorrow
Suspicion
Frustration
Hatred


The Spirit controlled person has the fruit of the Spirit:
Love
Joy
Peace
Longsuffering
Gentleness
Goodness
Faith
Meekness
Temperance

The Spirit controlled person is one whose volition (power of decision) is directed by the Holy Spirit; therefore, such person can be temperate, patient, and longsuffering. He has gentleness, meekness, and abounds in goodness and faith.
“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. (Prov 16:32)
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2Tim 1:7)

In modern times, a new terminology has emerged: Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ). EQ is considered more important now than IQ. Because, there are many who can be intellectually strong, but emotionally weak. In business and any human endeavor, EQ is very important. Job interviewers try to check the emotional aspect of a candidate’s behavior because bad emotions can damage the functioning of teams and companies.

Emotion and Personality
Tim Lahaye talks of four kinds of personalities in his book, Spirit-controlled Temperament:
Sanguine – These people are usually very optimistic and cheerful. They have a happy face always. They like to talk with people and be in groups.
Choleric – These people get angry very quickly, but then their anger goes down as quicker as well. They are very passionate and speak out things without thinking much.
Phlegmatic – These people seem like having no emotions at all. They may not laugh at jokes, not cry when watching an emotional drama, and seem to be very calm in all situations.
Melancholic – These people usually appear to be serious and sad most of the time. They like to be alone and are introvert. They can be very philosophical. If they get angry, that anger can remain inside for a long time. Many Biblical personalities like Moses and Elijah seem to have been melancholic in personality.

People can have combined personalities like Sanguine-Choleric, or Melancholic-Phlegmatic, etc.

It is very important that no matter what our “natural” temperament is, we must bring our temperament under the reshaping hammer of the Holy Spirit to be transformed into the image of Christ.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.(Rom 12:2 )
“and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph 4:23,24)

Some Characteristics of Emotions-Dominated Life (1Cor.13)
1. Is Impatient
2. Is Unkind
3. Is Envious
4. Is Boastful
5. Is Over-Confident and Has Vain Self-Esteem (Thinks of Own Self as Better than Others)
6. Is Rude in Behavior
7. Is Self-Seeking
8. Is Easily Irritated, Provoked, Seduced, Inflated
9. Is Insensitive to Others
10. Is Not Sad About Sin
11. Enjoys False Stories and Jokes
12. Has Intolerance and Wants things to Be Its Way
13. Is Suspicious
14. Is Discouraged and Frustrated
15. Loses Patience and Control

Some Characteristics of Spirit-Controlled Life
The Spirit-controlled life is a Love-controlled Life
1. Love endures long and is patient and kind;
2. Love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy,
3. Is not boastful or vainglorious,
4. Does not display itself haughtily.
5. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride);
6. It is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.
7. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking;
8. It is not touchy or fretful or resentful;
9. It takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
10. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness,
11. But rejoices when right and truth prevail.
12. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes,
13. Is ever ready to believe the best of every person,
14. Its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances,
15. And it endures everything [without weakening]. (1Cor.13:4-7, Amplified Bible)


Being Filled With The Spirit and Having and Emotional Healthy Praise Life
Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the [Holy] Spirit.

Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [and instruments] and making melody with all your heart to the Lord, At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. (Eph.5:17-20)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hating in Order to Truly Love (Lk 14:26)

"If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple." (Luke 14:26)

~The chasm between what is of Adam and what is of Christ is abysmal. It is only through hating them apart from Christ that we can truly love them through Christ. Isn't it obvious that no matter how much we love our own present Adamic life, we can't protect it from death when it comes? The same extends to all human relationships. The grave shuts the door on all. There is no hope apart from the Resurrected Christ. He who seeks to save this life will lose it, but he who loses it for Christ's sake will gain it. Thus, anyone who loves anything above Christ is going to lose both self and all, and so is unfit for discipleship, is unfit for the new life. Anyone who prefers to keep the Adamic against the riches of Christ has no part with Christ. He is like the rich young man who became sad because his heart could not part with earthly riches, and so his covetousness forced him to abandon both Christ and the treasures of heaven.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

7 Reasons Why Jesus Was Chosen As the Lamb of God

It was not just because He was sinless; for, even the Father and the Holy Spirit are sinless.

1. It was because all things were created through Him (Jn.1:3); therefore, only through Him could all things also be redeemed (Eph.3:9; Col.1:16; Heb.1:2).
2. It was because He is the heir of all things (created for Him); therefore, He alone had the right to redeem all things (Heb.1:2,3).
3. It was because the old creation was through Him; therefore, it's end could also be through Him (1Cor.15:45; Jn.5:22)
4. It was because the old creation was through Him; therefore, the new creation could also be through Him. (Rev.21:5)
5. It is in Him that all things consist (Col.1:17); therefore, it is in Him that all things (in heaven and on earth, not below earth) can be reconciled and gathered together (Eph.1:10).
6. It is by the word of His power that all things are upheld (Heb.1:3; 2Pet.3:7); therefore, it is by the word of His power alone that all things can be preserved for immortality (Jude 1:1).
7. It is because Jesus is the only begotten Son of God; therefore, it is only through Him that humans can obtain adoption, the redemption of the body (Rom.8:15,23,28; Eph.1:5), and inheritance (Heb.9:15); so, that the only begotten Son of God could be the Firstborn among many brethren (Rom.8:29).

Does the Bible Encourage People-Group Church Planting?


Pentecost has a number of theological implications for missions that cannot be ignored. The ethno-linguistic-geographical division that resulted at Babel was obliterated at Pentecost; and the pouring of the Holy Spirit entailed not only the transcending of linguistic barriers but also the ingathering of both Jews and Gentiles into one. "If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?"(Acts 11:17). Of course, though this doesn't mean that barriers and divisions are no more, it does certainly mean that missionary methods must honestly conform to the biblical picture of the Church.
Theologically, we can recognize at least four distinctions in God’s ordering of the history of humanity: the original ordering, the divisive ordering, the in-gathering ordering, and the final ordering.

1. The Original Ordering. In the original ordering, humanity is one. Nationalities didn’t exist because plurality of language and culture was unknown. This original ordering began to break down after sin when man first understood the sense of shame and guilt as the man and the woman hid behind trees to hide their nakedness. Later, jealousy, murder, and lustful imagination employed the original ordering to infect the entire humanity to the extent that God desired to wipe off the entire human race. A global flood became the only resolution.

2. The Divisive Ordering [Babel, Gen.11]. After the Flood, humanity was given a divisive ordering.  ‘Confusion’ was the word used to describe this division because humanity was ordered in such a way that each nationality wasn’t able to so much understand another. Division should have prevented any religious epidemic to be globalized irresistibly. The divisive factor was language and the barrier helped develop cultural variety. On Mars Hill, Paul understood this divisive ordering to have a singular purpose: that mankind would seek God and haply find Him (Acts 17:27).....

3. The In-gathering Ordering. ...The New Testament declares Christ as the Mediator – the one in whom all walls of division between God and man, and man and man, are broken. Man is no longer an enemy of God and the Jew has no advantage over the non-Jew. This was announced on the Day of Pentecost through the outpouring of the Spirit with the manifestation of tongues (understandable to everyone trans-linguistically). The Body of Christ was not based on a political covenant like Israel was based upon; the new covenant transcended all linguistic and cultural barriers. Interestingly, Paul describes praying in tongues as praying with the Spirit (non-understandable to anyone except God). The Great Commission calls forth the church to preach the Gospel to all nations and make disciples of them because the new covenant was no longer the property of a particular race or nation. The New Testament was written in Greek because God was not just the God of the Hebrews. The Gospel had to get global because God was global and His new covenant was global. The church at Jerusalem was not divided into a Greek Church and a Hebrew Church, despite their disagreements. The in-gathering ordering is captured in this statement of Jesus: ‘And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.’ (John 10:16 NKJ) Spiritually, this comes to be through the Holy Spirit; consequently, all bias, division, and hierarchization among believers is carnal (1Corinthians 3:1-4). It is not from the Spirit.

4. The Final Ordering will happen at the end of times when all things, in heaven and on earth, will be gathered together in Jesus Christ (Eph.1:10). Then, one will say that the Kingdom of Heaven had fully come. [Gospelization and Globalization....]
When Jesus talked about preaching of the Gospel among every nations and making disciples of every nation, the spirit of the commandment was to break through the Jewish privileged mentality and break across to every nation. It was the commission to be ethnically impartial and universal in the communication of the Gospel. The Gospel was for all nations. However, it is important to understand that this command was in no sense a command to go and plant ethnic churches. At any cost, Jesus never meant the planting of separate Greek and Hebrew (linguistic or community/caste based) churches in the same region. That is not a biblical ideal or goal at all. While vernacular language (the language spoken by the majority of people in an area) has its role, neither language nor people-group division determines the nature of biblical mission. Mass community/caste movements in history are not Spirit given examples for doing mission in the world.

On the other hand, we have more region-based church planting strategies encouraged in the Bible:
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."(Acts 1:8)
And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation [ethnos] under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.(Acts 2:5-6)
Now in the church that was at Antioch [not the Greek or Hebrew Church of Antioch] there were certain prophets and teachers....(Acts 13:1 )
"For so the Lord has commanded us: 'I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.' "(Acts 13:47)
And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region.(Acts 13:49)
...to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's sphere of accomplishment.(2Cor 10:16)
"To the angel of the church of Ephesus [not Roman Church of Ephesus or Greek Church of Ephesus]...(Rev 2:1) [all emphatics above mine]
Of course, with regard to easing of communication barrier, one can speak in matters of grammatical-conformity without doctrinal compromise (whether related to cultural semantics of verbal). Thus Paul says: "and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some (1Cor 9:20-22). Similarly, "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.(1Cor 10:31-33) Obviously, Paul is not talking about people-group church planting; but, doing whatever was lawfully right and necessary to save some. In fact, he asserts to the Church at Colosse that they must put on the new man (created in Christ) and not walk according to or in order to celebrate or idolize the ways of Adamic humanity (to idolize culture or tradition above the new man). "Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.(Col 3:9-11).