Posts

Showing posts from March, 2014

Five-fold Ministry

Adapted from Ralph Mahoney, "The Five Leadership Gifts," The Shepherd's Staff (World MAP, 1993)

Ephesians 4:11,12

1. Apostles

a. Three Groups
(i) "Twelve apostles of the Lamb" (Matt.10:1-5; Rev.21:14) have a special relationship to the nation of Israel (Rev.21:12). In the age to come, they will sit on twelve thrones judging Israel (Matt.19:28)
(ii) "Ascension apostles" have a special relationship to the Gentile church. Those mentioned in the New Testament are Paul and Barnabas (Acts.14:14), Andronicus and Junia (Rom.16:7), James (Gal.1:19), Silas and Timothy (1Thess.1:1; 2:6) and others (1Cor.9:5; 2Cor.8:23)
(iii) "False apostles" are those who make boastful public claim to being apostles but are not (2Cor.11:13; Rev.2:2). A sign of a false apostle may be this boastful claim to being an apostle.

b. Signs of True Apostles
(i) Godly Character (2Cor.12:12)
(ii) Signs, Wonders, and Miracles (Acts 2:42; 4:30; 5:12; 14:3; Heb.2:2-4)
(iii) Preach the Gospel …

Can We Pray the Lord's Prayer?

"In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as [it is] in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen." (Matt.6:9-13)

I've found the Lord's Prayer (so called not because He prayed it but because He taught it) to be the strongest and most readily answered words I could say in times of need. Of course, I agree with other teachers that it is a model ("after this manner") that we need to follow whenever we pray. But, I have no reason to agree when they ask us to cease repeating the very words that He taught us to pray - firstly, because the Lord never said "Don't repeat it as it is"; secondly, because there is no theological inconsistency in repeating the scriptural words; thirdly, …

Resolutions

PETER Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. (Acts 3:6)
PAUL

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (1Cor.2:2)

GEORGE MULLER'S FOUR RULES 1. Not to receive any fixed salary
2. Never to ask any human being for help
3. To take this command (Luke 12. 33) literally, ‘Sell that thou hast and give alms,’ and never to save up money, but to spend all God entrusted to him on God’s poor, on the work of His kingdom.
4. Also to take Rom. 13. 8, ‘Owe no man anything,’ literally, and never to buy on credit, or be in debt for anything, but to trust God to provide.

JOHN G. LAKE'S CONSECRATION AS A CHRISTIAN I, this day, consecrate my entire life to glorify my Heavenly Father by my obedience to the principles of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. All my effort from now on will be directed in an effort to demonstrate the righteousn…

To preach the Gospel where Christ is not named

"I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man's foundation....But now no longer having a place in these parts...." (Rom 15:20,23)

Mission emphasis has seen focus shifts from geographical to people-group, and more recently to age group (4-14 Window). But, while we look at the other identifiers like people-group and age-group, we must not forget the full picture of the Great Commission to go into all the world (geographical) and preach the gospel to every creature (personal) and make disciples of every nation (ethno-anthropological). Some falsely interpret mission to be denominational church planting (they disregard the local churches in an area and make it a goal to plant their own denomination, in addition!). Some have the mission to start linguistic churches for their diasporic groups only (closed to others). But, just because all these paradigms "work" don't mean that they are right. There is a …

We Played Games As Children

We played games as children
Enacting whole sets of scenes;
We played roles as children
In these little sets of scenes;
We played parents and children,
Teachers, toddlers, and teens;
We still play games, O children,
But games that live on dreams!

....in the teaching uncorruptedness, gravity.... (Tit 2:7-8)

"... in the teaching uncorruptedness, gravity, incorruptibility, discourse sound, irreprehensible..." (Tit 2:7-8 YLT)

There are few rules of teaching:
(1) Don't air opinions; speak the truth alone
(2) Don't entertain with unedifying jokes; speak reverently out of passion for God
(3) Don't skip the important elements (redeem time properly); teach everything needed to protect the doctrine from corruption and make it stand out -- each munch is just a little munch, of course, but it must be wholesome
(4) Don't speak disconnectedly and illogically; speak clearly, cogently, and convincingly
(5) Don't use words, illustrations, or gestures that would violate the spirit of edifying speech; speak in a way that glorifies God

Wisdom

Wisdom is the ability to rightly use knowledge in order to solve problems, make the right choices, and take right decisions.

There are different kinds of wisdom, but not all are good:
1. Worldly Wisdom (foolish) - The wisdom that comes from the world (James 3:15; 1Cor.1:20)
2. Carnal Wisdom (sinful) - The wisdom of the flesh, its desires and passions (James 3:15; Rom.7:18,23)
3. Demonic Wisdom (wicked) - Ideas that come from the devil; demonic doctrines (James 3:15; 1Tim.4:1)
4. Divine Wisdom (good)- The wisdom that comes from God (James 3:16)

How to obtain Divine Wisdom
1. By practicing fear of the Lord (Prov.1:7)
2. By asking for wisdom in prayer (James 1:5)
3. By associating with wise children of God (Prov.13:20)
4. By studying and meditating upon God's Word (2Tim.3:15; Col.3:16)
5. Through the gift of the word of wisdom (1Cor.12:8)
6. By choosing to act wisely (Matt.10:16)
7. By obeying the word of God (Matt.7:24)

Meaning of Life

Meaning of Life
1. Doesn't consist in the Abundance of Wealth one has (Luke 12:15)
2. Doesn't consist in the Amount of Work one does (Eccl.2:4-6, 11; 4:8; Rev.2:2,4)
3. Doesn't consist in the Applause of the World one gets (John 5:44; Luke 16:15)

Meaning of Life Consists In
1. Knowing God in Obedient Faith (John 17:3; Ecc.12:1,13)
2. Doing Good in True Love (Isa.1:17; Mic.6:8; Luke 6:27; Gal.6:10; 1Cor.13:3; 2Thess.3:13; 1Tim.6:18; James 4:17)
3. Doing God's Will With Wisdom and Finishing His Work (John 4:34; 17:4; Rom.12:2-8; 2Tim.4:7)

Empty Desire, Encounter with Stranger, The Call of Drunkenness, and Pursuit of Wisdom (Poetic Excerpts from Stranger)

Read the novel at Google Books

EMPTY DESIRE
(Caged within Lust's tormenting cell, the man pulls out the Scroll and reads...)

Vacuum, the barrenness of empty desire;
Insatiable craving, abysmal mire;
Deluded by Lust, the cunning liar;
The end of all ends, brimstone and fire…
Leave the dark dungeon behind;
Leap into the Light;
Break through the hideous blind:
Flee! Stand not to fight!

ENCOUNTER WITH STRANGER 

(Stranger comes to the man's assistance. The man asks Stranger who he is and what he does and gets this reply)

“Ask the ground beneath your feet what it does,
Ask the firmament above your head what it does,
Ask the daystar that fills the world with energy what it does,
(Now hidden from your view; yet, not annulled)
Ask the heart that beats within your breast what it does,
Ask the cold rain pouring from the fiery sky what it does;
Who has appointed it? What office does it hold?
Is it paid from the treasures of Hamartia?
Or does Sarx marshal it like he does the forces of wild D…

Keeping the Gospel Free (A Preacher with a Price Tag is Anathema)

"What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel." (1Cor.9:18)

I heard of a recent conversation between two pastors that went something like this:

Pastor A: Do you think we can get AA to come and preach in our church?
Pastor B: Well, he's too big; your church can't afford him.

I was at another place and a pastor began expressing grave disappointment about a preacher/artist whom his friend had invited to come and preach in his television channel. The preacher placed the following demands: To and fro Flight tickets (or reimbursement), 5 Star Hotel room, and 100,000 rupees. The friend chose not to invite him. But, another acquaintance invited the same preacher/artist, and after some negotiation, he accepted to "perform" Gospel songs at their wedding anniversary for (if I'm right, something like) 50,000 rupees.

Now imagine David placing a price on his playin…

Fear

Fear can either be positive or negative, healthy or unhealthy, helpful or hindering.

Fear is positive when one fears what one is meant to fear.
Fear is negative when one fears what one is not meant to fear.
Fear is healthy when fear keeps our body, soul, and spirit sound.
Fear is unhealthy when it hurts our physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Fear is helpful when it helps us to move forward.
Fear is hindering when it stops us from growing and moving forward.

Examples of Positive Fear
Fear and reverence of the Lord (Departing from evil, Job 28:8; Prov.16:6)
Fearing foreseen danger (Hiding from evil, Prov.22:3)
Fear of authorities in the sense of proper honor and respect is positive and expected (Rom.13:7)

For example, if I hear the horn of a car behind me, I jump off; this protects me from an accident.

Examples of Negative Fear
Fear of the non-existent enemy (Prov.22:13; 26:13)
Fear of false danger (Matt 10:28; Luke 12:5)

For example, if someone fears that he may get cancer just because he saw so…

Patience

Patience is forbearance, i.e. the moral capacity to endure and forbear delay or imperfection. Other words that explain its meaning are longanimity, fortitude, endurance, tolerance, and longsuffering. Patience is, thus, a word related to time. It is the measure of our durability in faith.

1. Patience is giving allowance to more time (Neh.9:30; Matt.18:26,29). Allowing more time is a process of suffering (loss, pain); therefore, patience is also longsuffering.
2. Patience is the ability to hold on, i.e. to possess one's self, to endure, to allow things to grow (Luke 21:19; 8:15)
3. Patience is connected with a future hope. Unless one has hope, one cannot allow patience (Rom.15:4; 1Thess.1:3)
4. Patience is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22). Only the Spirit who sees everything from the beginning to the end and stands above time can guide our hearts into all patience.

Sources of Patience
1. God (Rom.15:5; 2Thess.3:5)
2. Scriptures (Rom. 15:4)
3. Being strengthened with all might, acco…

Four Pillars of Learning and Theological Education

Image
Workshop Talk Delivered at NATA-AGM, March 2014

In its Report to UNESCO in the document Learning: The Treasure Within (1996)[1]also referred to as the Delors Report, the International Commission on Education for the 21st Century, proposed the following four pillars of education as listed below:
Learning to knowLearning to doLearning to live togetherLearning to beLearning to know involves “combining a sufficiently broad general education with the possibility of in-depth work on a selected number of subjects.”[2] The goal is “to provide the cognitive tools required to better comprehend the world and its complexities, and to provide an appropriate and adequate foundation for future learning.”[3] The scheme is first to provide general education as an introductory foundation for special education later on.

Learning to do involves “the acquisition of the practical skills needed in the workplace along with the ability to contribute as part of a team and to demonstrate initiative.”[4]

Learning…

Adam, the Last

This is the title used for Jesus in 1Cor.15:45-47. As the Last Adam, Jesus is contrasted with the

First Adam. A few contrasts are as follows:
1. The First Adam was not born of any sexual union; the Last Adam was not born of any sexual union.
2. The First Adam is called son of God (Luke 3:38); the Last Adam is the Son of God.
3. The First Adam brought sin into the world; the Last Adam put an end to sin.
4. The First Adam was made a living soul; the Last Adam was a life-giving Spirit.
5. The First Adam was the head of the sinful race; the Last Adam was the one in whom sin came to an end.

The related title of Jesus is Second Man. As the Last Adam, He is the end of the old sinful race; as the Second Man, He is the head of the new holy race, the Church of the Firstborn.

Feasts of Israel: Three Functions

1. Commemorative . Helps to remember an event.
2. Instructive. Helps to instruct this and the next generation.
3. Celebrative. Is a celebration of God’s goodness.

Exodus 12
1. It is Personal – “to me” (Ex.12:8)
2. It is Social