Saturday, February 10, 2007



Nearly 2.000 years ago, Jesus asked the question, "What do you think of Christ? Whose Son is He?" (Matthew 22:42). A person's answer to that question can determine his or her eternal destiny.


The Apostle John declares Jesus' preexistence in John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Jesus says He is "the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End" (Revelation 1:8). Jesus reigns eternally (Hebrews 1:8), and He exists before all thins (Colossians 1:17).


Jesus did not become God-He has always been God (John 5:18), and is the second Person of the Trinity. (Also see: "What We Believe: The Trinity.") Referring to His deity, Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I Am" (John 8:58). The preexistence of Jesus Christ and the deity of Jesus Christ are inseparable. It is impossible to accept one and deny the other.


The word incarnation means "in flesh." It denotes the act in which the son of God took to Himself the nature of humanity through the Virgin Birth (Matthew 1:23). John writes, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14).


For Jesus to represent sinful humanity, He had to become a man. His Virgin Birth, which was essential for Him to be sinless, was prophesied long before it occurred (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:18, 23; Luke 1:34-35; and Galatians 4:4). Jesus experienced everything in life that we do: pain, suffering, thirst, hunger, sorrow, anger, and so on. However, Jesus was without sin (Hebrews 4:15).


The penalty for our sins is death (Romans 6:23). Jesus died in our place and paid our penalty (Matthew 20:28; John 10:17-18; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18). Jesus' death on the cross laid the foundation for a righteous God to pardon guilty and sinful people without compromising His righteousness in any way.


Jesus' resurrection assures us of our future resurrection. Because of His victory over death, we have victory as well. Without the resurrection, there would be no gospel message. His resurrection has been proven beyond a shadow of doubt (Matthew 28:5-8; Luke 24:39; John 20:27028). The empty tomb, the shape of His linen wrappings, and His appearances to many after His crucifixion were just a few of the credible evidences of His resurrection.


After His resurrection, Jesus visibly departed from His disciples into heaven (Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9). His ascension and exaltation were necessary to complete the redemptive work of God. His work was not complete when He rose from the dead (Mark 16:19; Philippians 2:9; Ephesians 1:20-21; Hebrews 1:3).


Jesus Christ will return to this earth and receive His church, the body of Christ, to Himself (John 14:4; Acts 1:11; Revelation 1:7).

Friday, February 09, 2007



God created humanity with a capacity to know, love, and worship Him. Worship is that place where the heart of God and the heart of His child meet.

Oswald Chambers said, "Worship is giving God the best He has given you." Worship carries the idea of showing reverence to God. It's an active, adoring response whereby we declare His worth, or "worth-ship". To worship means to bow down and pay homage to God: "Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker" (Psalm 95:6).


Jesus said, "You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve" (Matthew 4:10). People are not worthy of worship, and neither are the idols which people make. God alone is deserving of our worship.


We worship not to get something for ourselves, but because God is the Lord and is worthy of our worship (Psalm 45:11). The Bible declares, "You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power" (Revelation 4:11). We worship God because of the splendor of His being. God always has sought after worshipers, and continues to do so. He doesn't need our worship, but He desires it-not for His benefit, but for ours.


"God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24). Worshiping in spirit means giving God the homage of an enlightened mind and an affectionate heart. Worshiping in truth is to worship God according to the truth He has revealed in His Word, the Bible.


Worship is not a "spectator sport" where we sit and watch others. Worship requires participation. We worship the Lord through our words of praise and exaltation of God; by giving thanks to God in all things; by blessing His name through living a godly life; and by sharing His love and with others. In short, we worship God with our entire life.

Worship is a sacrifice. The Apostle Paul instructed believers, "offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship" (Romans 12:1 NIV).

We can make every day a worship experience when we yield ourselves to the Lord. God has created each of us with a mind, heart, and spirit-and wants us to use them for His glory. True worship is not lip service, but life service. Worship can be demonstrated in every area of our lives, every day of our lives.


We express our worship as we read the Bible (Psalm 119), pray give tithes and offerings, and offer praise through music. But the greatest demonstration of worship is through the lives we live.


True worship always magnifies God and our outlook toward Him. As God is magnified, everything else becomes insignificant. We begin to see beyond our circumstances and limitations, our fears diminish, and our spirits become refreshed.

  1. He deserves it.
    Revelation 4:10 - "You are worthy O Lord to receive glory honor and power for you created all things and by Your will they exist and were created".
  2. He desires it.
    John 4:23-24 - "the hour is coming and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit adn in truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him".
  3. He designed us for it.
    1 Peter 2:9 - "You are a chose generation, a royal priesthood, a Holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of HIm who called you ourt of darkness into HIs marvelous light."
  4. He demands it.
    Isaiah 43:21 - "This people I have formed for Myself. They shall declare My praise".

Friday, January 12, 2007

What About Holiness?

Look at my holey jeans!! My brother held his pants with the holes in the knees as if they were sacred! Neither one of us knew what "holy" meant. If you wonder whether you need to know what holiness means, consider this: "Make every be holy, without holiness no one will see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14). Though holiness is essential to our relationship with God, it is difficult t define because its meaning is several layer deep.

Holiness has to do with a Person: God. Holiness is not an attribute of God, it is His nature. Angels in the presence of god continuously sing, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8). Why aren't they chanting "Love, love, love," or "Good, good, good"? What are they saying about God? Here is the key to understanding the first level of holiness.
The angels are saying something about the central feature of God's nature: His otherness or transcendence. God's awesome majesty is unparalleled by anything we can know or experience (Exodus 15:11). His splendor (Psalm 96:9), truth (Revelation 6:10), and moral perfection are beyond human comprehension (Isaiah 5:16). God is the "Holy One" (Isaiah 43:15).

God alone is the source of all holiness, so other things become holy only as they relate to Him. Therefore, at the next level, holiness is a relational word meaning "something that belongs to God". The Sabbath was holy because it was God's day. The temple was a holy building, Zion a holy mountain, Israel a holy people - all because they belonged to God. Belonging to God meant they were "marked off, separated, withdrawn from ordinary use" (W. Eichrodt) because of God's exclusive ownership.
The New Testament word "saint" or "holy one" simply means a person who belongs to God. The words "sanctify" and "hallow" mean to make holy. Through the sacrifice of Jesus we've been make holy so we can live in God's presence.

If being holy means we belong to God, it also means we recognize His ownership and obey Him. This moral level of holiness requires us to "purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God" (2 Corinthians 7:1).
In the Old Testament, holiness includes ceremonial purity as well as right moral behavior (Leviticus chapters 11 and 19). The motive behind these regulations is, "Be holy because I, the LORD, am holy." Only by moving into God's sphere of holiness can we hope to relate to Him. Therefore, holiness has religious as well as daily application (1 Peter 1:14-16).

Here is where many people distort their faith. The command of God is to "be holy," not "do holy things." You won't become holy by doing holy things - even "unholy" people can do holy things. Only after God has make us holy by His Spirit, word, and sacrifice of Christ are we really able to do what's right (Romans 15:16; Ephesians 5:26; Hebrews 10:10).
R.C. Sproul reminds us we aren't supposed to conform to the world. But he says the answer isn't nonconformity - like wearing different styles of clothing or boycotting entertainment. The biblical response isn't to be non-conformed, but transformed (Romans 12:2). Holiness is a work of God that transforms our hearts leading us to integrity and complete devotion to His will.
Some Christians think holiness means flawless perfection. They tend to be legalistic and judgmental. But every church Paul addressed as "saints" also had to be told to give up anger, greed, theft, lies, gossip, and immorality. Like other aspects of Christian growth, becoming holy is a process that is worked out in our daily actions as we walk with God.
Our holiness is important enough to involve God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 10:10; 13:14; etc.). Because Moses underestimated the importance of standing up for God's holiness, he was barred from entering the promised land (Deuteronomy 32:51).
Holiness - which is also related to health and wholeness - affects our whole being; spirit, soul, and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24). God's goal is for your life to be wholly His.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

What About the Lord's Supper?

In a sense, every meal is sacred. We "bless" God each time we sit down to eat. But in the Bible, one meal is more important and meaningful than all the rest.

Formal churches refer to the Lord's Supper as "Eucharist" - which means "to give thanks." This describes what we do when we receive the Lord's Supper.
Independent churches cal the Lord's Supper "Communion" in reference to our communion with Jesus (1 Corinthians 10:16). This word describes what occurs during the Lord's Supper. It is in 1 Corinthians 11:20 that we find the term "The Lord's Supper."

Worship makes use of rituals and symbols to represent spiritual truth. Symbols put within our reach invisible and intangible realities. They're powerful tools for worship.
The ingredients of the Lord's Supper are simple; bread and wine. Jesus gave them new meaning. They are symbols of His body, which was "broken for us," and His blood which was "poured out for us." Thus the cross of Jesus is the key to our relationship with God.

Throughout history, God revealed Himself through great acts. As wonderful as these great acts were, they raise a problem for later generations. How can we have the same relationship with God if we haven't experienced the same events?
The answer is worship. Rituals re-present those events. Through rituals we bring into the present, events from the past. In this way, all the benefits of those events become ours. We don't try to relive the events, but encounter the God of those events.
The Lord's Supper enables us to receive the benefits of Jesus' death. We encounter God and seal a covenant relationship with Him (see Matthew 26:28).

Today we stand between two great events - Jesus' first and second coming - and we're to live in the dynamic power of them. Somehow the Lord's Supper connects us to both.
Jesus designed the Lord's Supper for us who live in the middle of His two comings. He told His disciples, "Do this in remembrance of Me," but He also told them "I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the Kingdom of God comes." Paul makes the same point when he says by receiving the Lord's Supper we "proclaim his death until He comes."
We don't have the resurrection or return of Christ in our grasp, but we do have the Lord's Supper. This is how Jesus presents Himself to us now and nourishes our spiritual life.

It isn't enough for followers of Jesus to hear His teaching. His life must somehow enter us. This is what happens when we receive the Lord's Supper. Jesus enters us, not through the bread and the wine, but through faith.
The Lord's Supper provides us with direct access to God. Whenever we observe it, we treat it with reverence.
But remember, the Lord's Supper is for people who need help. It's for us who have weaknesses, pain, trouble, and fears. The Lord's Supper renews our hearts and refreshes our spirits. And it helps us become intimate with Jesus.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

What About Heaven?

Would you get excited about a vacation if no one could tell you where you were going, what you would do there, or how to get there? If we're going to be happy about visiting a new vacation site or moving to a new city, we have to have some basic information.

Christians would be more excited about Heaven if the information they had wasn't so vague. Our lack of enthusiasm for Heaven shows in our low level of spiritual growth. Why strive to go to Heaven or give up earthly pleasures if we don't know what Heaven is all about? Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19-21). Too many Christians store up their treasures here on earth.

The popular picture of Heaven is people in white robes, sitting around on fluffy clouds, playing small harps. The Christian picture of Heaven as an eternal church service is even less appealing. Heaven isn't an amusement park nor a retirement home; it isn't boring or silly.

People get the wrong idea when they interpret metaphors of Heaven literally. Heaven isn't "up" above the sky. In fact, Heaven doesn't occupy space in the physical universe. Theologian J. Buswell said, "I do not think that Heaven is any great distance away. If it were the will of God, we could see the face of our Lord Jesus Christ at any moment." Heaven lies in the very real, spiritual universe which God also occupies.

Heaven is a city (Revelation 22:1-2). Heaven is a busy city where the gates are open and the lights are on twenty-four hours a day (Revelation 21:25; 22:5). Heaven is a secure city - no death, crime, grieving or pain exists inside its walls (Revelation 21:4, 8). Evil and occultism are banished from Heaven (Revelation 21:27; 22:14-15). A pure river flows through the city, and its waters are life-giving. Trees with medicinal leaves grow on each bank of the river (Revelation 22:4-5).

We shouldn't think of Heaven as a castle in the clouds; it's solid and real. Though Heaven isn't imaginary, we may use our imagination to fill in some of its inexpressible beauty (2 Corinthians 12:4).

The best news about Heaven is God lives there (1 Kings 8:30; Revelation 21:2-3). The inhabitants of Heaven enjoy the pleasure of seeing His face (Revelation 22:4). Heaven has no temple "because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple" (Revelation 21:22). Jesus promised to prepare a place for His followers in Heaven, then return for them so they could be with Him (John 14:3). Jesus is Heaven's treasure and there we will worship Him with unrestrained joy (Revelation 4:6-14). Even now, every encounter with Jesus is a taste of Heaven.

In Heaven we'll be busy doing a lot of the same thins we do now. There will be all the activities associated with city life as well as travel, social interactions, and magnificent worship. Imagine the joy of music, singing, feasting, and loving without threat of violence, theft, or broken hearts.

We will have "spiritual bodies" adapted for Heaven and eternal life
(1 Corinthians 15:35-49; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10). In the resurrected body of Jesus we have a preview of what our new bodies will be like (Philippians 3:20-21). Jesus ate, held conversations, explained, instructed, and traveled in his glorified body (Matthew 26:29, etc.). He was still interested in relationships, but He wasn't bound by physical restraints.

Our life in Heaven won't be completely different from our present life. You will be the same person your are now, and you will still be making progress in your knowledge of Christ (Ephesians 2:4-6).

Revelation 22:17 is a universal invitation. "The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!"...Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes , let him take the free gift of the water of life." You're invited to Heaven, but the question is, What does it take to get there?

Jesus Christ provides a "bridge" from death, into life (John 5:24; 1 Corinthians 15:20-28, 56-57). To get to Heaven the first thing to do is put your complete faith in Jesus; trust Him to remove the guilt of your sin through His death and strive to know Him. You should do this immediately, because time runs out (Luke 12:16-21; 13:23-30; Isaiah 55:6). As soon as you give your life to Jesus Christ, you become a citizen of Heaven and from that time on "our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Finding Hope At School

September 12, 2006 Vol. V Issue70 211,000
Do you remember what you felt when you first received Jesus as your Lord?

The assurance of salvation and hope for eternity were unexplainably wonderful gifts! Jubal has the privilege of leading dozens of children to Christ in the remote area of South India where God has called him to serve. Through his Bridge of Hope center and school, Jubal is able to touch the lives of children like Rohit, who had no future but poverty and hopelessness. Read Rohit's story here.

Thank you for your prayers for these children and their families who are finding hope in Christ for the first time. You are making an eternal difference in their lives! Yours for the unreached, K.P. Yohannan Founder & President

P.S. Did you know that if you are a federal employee, including serving in the military, you can make payroll deduction donations to GFA through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC)? Just designate our CFC number: 2989.