Posts Tagged ‘Eternal Life’

“Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:43-46‬ ‭NLT

 

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The past week has been the most eventful; no, I’m not talking about the Euro-Cup. 🙂

There is a great ongoing shaking in the world now. An established first-world, democratic nation has turned his back on his fellows; closing the front door permanently. Probably fueled by fear and flesh, xenophobia and even racism; reversing introspectively and with self-occupation. World leaders are scratching their heads, not knowing what to do. Rumors of predicted famines and economic tumblings abounds. Even one of the best from the human race, with it’s proud heritage, establishments and achievements, has again demonstrated that mankind are unpredictable.

At the opposite end of the world as well as spectrum, I have the honor and privilege to witness shaking of another, a spiritual shaking. In a third-world country, without even modern toilet facilities at some areas, large multitudes who opened their doors (philosophically because their huts have no doors) and hearts welcoming the Kingdom of Heaven. The King of kings and Lord of lords, Himself, came with His blessings and offerings of salvation and eternal life!

Through humble and grace-filled servers who are heavenward-looking and selfless; from different ages, different nations, different genders, different cultures and backgrounds, coming together as one people-one body; spreading the gospel and Good News of Jesus Christ; and carried with them an outpouring of grace and love to anyone who is willing to accept.

The harvest is so plentiful and so ready!

To me, the contrast is stark and sobering. You see, the Kingdom of God will come down to anyone who is willing to open his door of his heart; tumbling down walls of obstacles and hearts of stone. Even in the worst living conditions, people who received Jesus Christ into their hearts can still be filled with such heavenly glory.

Which side do you belong to?

The WAY

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!” John 14:6-7

The Helix Bridge in Marina Bay, Singapore :: HDR

 

I have been mourning for the loss of a great man for the past week. A man, who after seeing the failings of humanity and society, took the courage to step out, making self-sacrifices to serve the people he cared about. Through his work and that of his team, he has led his people out of misery, poverty and doom into a place of happiness, prosperity and progress. Like a modern day Moses, he opened the “Red Sea” of economics, democracy and equality to his people.

This week, I remember an even greater Man.

He personally came to fulfill a promise (Matthew 5:17).  From the comfort of His divinity into the world of humanity (John 6:51).  To reveal the loving Father God, the One who cares and heals; Who is slow to anger, always gracious and forgiving, especially with human weaknesses- sinners (John 14:6-7).  He came not to be served but to serve His people (Matt. 20:28).  To bring the Good News of the Kingdom of God, a reunion between God and His people to the nations (Luke 4:43).  To proclaim that captives will be released, the blind will see, the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favour has come to His people (Luke 4:18-19).

He did not come to condemn, punish or pass judgement but He came to save His people from the fallen world.   For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.   John 3:16-17

 

the passion of the christ - nail in jesus hand

Before achieving greatness, there is always a price to be paid. The prize is always determined by the self-sacrifices that has to be first made. In order to save the world, the redemption price was enormous. But it was paid by the very Son of God Himself, Jesus Christ, by His self-sacrifice on the cross. So what kind of finale would you expect?

A redeemed eternity, no less.      

Saved By Grace Alone? -No More Mr Nice Guy

I have recently received an unsolicited comment on this site with the above title, “Saved By Grace Alone?”. It suggested doubts on biblical predestination, salvation not by grace alone (but needs more), and doctrines like baptism for salvation, unsecured salvation, and more. Initially, I really didn’t want to have anything to do with it. However, over time I felt nudged that I should share on my opposing views.

This is not something easy to write as I do not take this debate lightly, and I am not formally trained theologically. My indignation will probably show in my writings; so that’s why the “-No More Mr Nice Guy”. I hope my post will not turn out to be too harsh but if you are likely going to be offended, I would suggest that you stop reading further.

For the rest of the readers, here goes…

  • God is eternal (Isaiah 57:15). He is not bounded by time and space because He existed before time and space. This is something we cannot comprehend now; but what we cannot comprehend, does not mean it doesn’t exist. God the Father foreknew and predestined us as His children through Christ on the cross, because He doesn’t see time chronologically as we mere humans do.   Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Ephesians 1:5-6  
    • When we made a choice to follow Jesus Christ, God already foreknew beyond the constraint of time, and predestined to mound us to be like His Son.   For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.   Romans 8:29.

  • There is another argument that we are saved not only by grace, but we also need faith for salvation to work; which suggest that grace is offered by God but faith, on the other hand, is offered by oneself. But we have forgotten that everything is by the grace of God, not by one’s works.   For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9   When I was little, I was quite proud to put my dollar into the offering bag during service. But what I didn’t realise then was that I didn’t earn that dollar; my mom gave it to me! In the same way, God show us the grace for salvation through Christ and even gave us the faith to enable us to believe and continue believing (Romans 12:3).
    • Both the grace (for salvation) and faith is a gift, by the grace (undeserved favour) of God!
    • If we think we are good enough to conjure up our own faith, we are missing the point.

  • For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.   Titus 2:11   The grace of God has offered salvation to ALL people. Each person has an opportunity to decide and choose if they want to accept the salvation of grace offered.   “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16   
    • Simply put, salvation is offered to everyone, but only those who made a choice to believe in the Son will have eternal life.

  • We have to accept although salvation is offered to everyone, but not everyone accepts salvation. It all sums down to the personal free choice whether to take up the salvation offer.   Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. Ephesians 4:18
    • If some people wander away from life God has offered because of their hardness of hearts, it is their own free choice. So be it.

  • Looking at Romans 5:1-2, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.”     It was argued that Christians have obtained grace by faith; so faith precedes grace; and although grace is available to all men, it is faith through the Lord Jesus Christ make everything works.      => Well, it sounds seemingly correct, but upon closer examination, it is deviously flawed. The argument is putting the cart before the horse.   Faith does not precedes grace and grace is not the cheaper cousin of faith just because it is offered to all men.   For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17   You see,  grace came through Jesus Christ. Moses was given, depicting a servant, but Christ is the very personification of grace itself. If Jesus (grace) didn’t come down to earth and didn’t go to the cross, what faith will there be to even begin with?  Therefore, we are justified through faith, because (in precedence) of what Jesus (grace) had done for us. And so because of faith, we have gained a further grace, the undeserved privilege.  If I were to write a formula, it would be:
    • Grace (Jesus Christ) +produce+ Faith +produce+ Grace (undeserved privilege)
    • in short, its grace upon grace.   For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. John 1:16

  • Can you lose your salvation in Jesus Christ? No, no and no. A Christian can never lose his or her salvation; nothing – absolutely nothing can separate a believer from God’s love.   And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39     Nothing can remove a Christian from God’s hand (John 10:28-29). God is both willing and able to guarantee to maintain the salvation He has given.     With reference to Galatians 5:4, Paul was just warning the Galatians not to fall back into the old form of law of Moses (Judaism) instead of real essence of freedom in Christ. If they did so, they would fall away from God’s grace (undeserved privilege) of freedom in Christ in the new covenant back into the old covenant.  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatian 5:1 
    • In the context, fallen from grace in Galatian 5, is never about falling away from (or losing) salvation. It is only about falling from a higher level of grace in the new covenant to an older and lower level, but still within the net of salvation.
    • Therefore, we should be living confidently in secured everlasting salvation that is based upon the finished work of Jesus Christ.

  • Is Water Baptism Needed for Salvation? is a post I have written before and I shall not repeat here and like you to read it yourself. In short, its great to be baptised and everyone should do it because you are relating to Jesus Christ Himself, His death and resurrection, and also being borne a new creation. A fantastic and beautiful experience, to be enjoyed by all believers. But also don’t be frightened by naysayers about your eternal salvation resting on a ritual, whether you are baptised or not. In Mark 16:16, Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.
    • Did you read anyone who is not baptized will be condemned? Neither did I.

Saved By Grace Alone? -No More Mr Nice Guy

You see, if God the Father did not first show us grace, providing a way for us by sending Jesus Christ, it will be a dead-end for all of us. Nothing will matter much, faith or no-faith / confess or no confessing. So we are saved by grace alone, Jesus Christ the very personification of God’s grace, and absolutely nothing would be required for salvation other than a simple choice of accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour.

Our repentance and faith is a response to all that God has done for us, not a work or our ability we do or have to “get saved.” We are compelled by the testimony of Scripture to assert that we are saved by grace alone! Any other view of salvation robs God of his rightful glory, belittle the sacrifice of Christ’s work on the cross and gives mere humans room to boast. It is nothing of us but wholly on God, Jesus Christ, our saving grace alone.

Prayer For Hope and Joy in My Heart

Dear Lord Jesus, I choose to believe in You and Your Word. The Bible says that because I have received You and follow You, I will have peace, love, and joy. When I don’t feel peaceful or sense Your hope and joy, help me to not trust my feelings. Help me to trust Your Word instead and not allow a work of the enemy try to steal all that from me. Set me free from any wrong thinking so that I can move into the hope and joy You have for me. You gave Your all-Your everything, so I can have Peace, Love and Joy – that’s Your very Presence.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.  Psalm 31:24

Look Forward To Our Blessed Hope - Look Forward to Jesus Christ

For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.   Titus 2:11-14

The grace of God has brought us through, bring salvation to all who believes. Now, we look forward to our blessed hope, awaiting the fulfilment of our promise. In the MSG translation, it says “whetting our appetites for the glorious day”; the glorious day when we meet Jesus Christ, our God and Saviour in the air.

Looking forward to our blessed Hope – Look forward to our Christ… our Lord Jesus.

Salvation In Jesus Christ Is By The Grace Of God-The Father Alone

But God, our Father is so unfathomable rich in His mercy and love; And it is exactly because of His great and intense love for us that the Father raised us back to life when He raised Jesus Christ from the dead; even though we were dead-buried under a mountain of our sins and rebellions. It was His very intention to give us the very life of Jesus Christ Himself; a brand new creation life through His resurrection. So now, we are made alive together in union with Christ-His Son, and as partakers Christ’s salvation.

It is only by God’s grace and unmerited favour that we have been saved! We did not deserve any of this at all, no matter who we are or what we do. We can never earn this by ourselves.

And since we are raised together with Jesus Christ on earth, the Father (not only let but) made us to sit together with our beloved King Jesus on the heavenly throne; as joint-heirs. Through Christ our Saviour, we are now of heavenly royal bloodline. The Father did this so that He can demonstrate convincingly and affirmingly to us that from now to all eternity to come, we will always be in (and will never again fall out of) His immeasurable wealth of grace and goodness in Christ Jesus. We stand as a living testimony of the certain love that was staked on the cross, His very own Son – Jesus the Messiah.

It is purely by the grace of God the Father alone that you are saved from destruction when you believed in Christ through faith. This gift of salvation is from the Father, and not earned, so no one can take credit for it except God Himself.

Salvation is not a reward, it is a free GIFT. This precious gift is something bestowed voluntarily to us by our Father, without the need of any compensation, condition or requirement. God fully paved and paid everything for this salvation; we have done nothing to deserved it, so obviously we have nothing to brag about.

For we are God’s masterpiece, a heavenly crafted art. We are created and recreated, in Jesus Christ; so we can fulfil our destiny of accomplishing the good things ordained by the Father who has prepared for us long ago; living the path of the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live for His glory.

 

a personal reflection of  Ephesians 2:4-10