Saturday, April 20, 2013

Jesus Christ is life


I am at an interesting point in my life. I have now read the Bible through several times. Had you asked me a few years ago if I was learning a lot of new concepts as I read the Bible I would have exclaimed that most of it was new to me. Don’t misunderstand what I am about to say by thinking that I am saying the Bible has gotten old for me.

I am at a point where I am not really learning many new concepts as I read the Bible.  For the most part when I read I am reminded of and challenged by familiar truths. As I read I am making connections that I have never made before, but generally those connections are just deepening a truth I already know.

Tonight something wonderful happened! As I was digging in the Scriptures, I learned something I did not know. The most incredible thing was that it is something so glaringly obvious. I am excited to share this great spoil.

Jesus is life.

John 14:6I am…the life
John 11:25I am…the life
John 1:4In him was life
John 5:26so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
John 6:35I am the bread of life
Colossians 3:4Christ…is our life
Acts 3:15the Prince of life

Knowing that Jesus is life Himself has already brought wonderful light to two familiar passages. It has radically changed my concept of what eternal life is. Eternal life is not some substance or material that God delivers to us, but rather to have Christ is to have eternal life because He is life! Then, once I am in Christ, Christ is in me, and He who is life is my life and lives in me.

1 John 5:12
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

Galatians 2:20
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Lord's Supper

I'm thankful that there is liberty in this subject because much of it is preference and each church is autonomous; if you belong to a church that does things differently, please don't allow what I am about to say to cause problems. Here are some particulars I have about the Lord's Supper.


It should always be administered in the setting of the local church.
Only believers walking with God should participate (one way to make sure while not policing is only invite members of the church and have it on an off night when you don't normally have service).
The Bible never says that wine is one of the elements.
Jesus did it with His disciples the week of the Jewish Passover, so one way of doing it is once a year on the Tuesday night before Jesus was crucified and resurrected.
Since the Supper was instituted during the Jewish feasts of Unleavened Bread and Passover, the bread they used was unleavened; we too use unleavened bread which may better commemorate the sinless body of Christ.
It is the Lord's Supper, not breakfast, so we do it in the evening.
Jesus said to do it in memory of Him so it is vital to meditate on the blood He shed and His body that was broken for us when He sacrificed Himself on the cross.
It should be a somber moment of self-examination.
No Christian should ever be surprised that he is partaking of the Lord's Supper.
Lord's Supper is as important as baptism; if a Christian chooses to not participate in the Lord's Supper then there is a serious problem in their life, and church discipline may be in order. Choosing not to partake should be dealt with as a serious thing.
As with all things we do in our walk with God, the Lord's Supper should never become just some ritual.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Possible Command


Twice in the Scriptures we see the Lord Jesus Christ telling people to “sin no more” (John 5:14 & John 8:11). According to my understanding, as long as we live our lives in this present flesh, this is an impossible command to obey. In John’s first epistle he write these words inspired by the Holy Ghost, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). So we know that no matter who we are, we will battle a life-long struggle with sin until the Lord returns and changes “our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21). This, therefore, is my understanding of the Lord’s command to “sin no more”: it is a command that we will never be able to completely obey, but we are to do our very best.

There is another command in Scripture that I used to believe was similar in the sense that we will never be able to completely obey it in this lifetime, but we were supposed to give our very best effort. Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” I thought, “Every creature? That’s impossible, but I’m going to try my best.”

I was wrong, though. It is not impossible.

1. Biblical example shows us it can be done.
In Paul’s ministry there was a time when he spent three years in Ephesus. There he labored and as a result every creature that dwelt in what was then called Asia heard the gospel. Acts 19:10 says, “And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.” An example of a group of believers that dwelt in Asia and who did not live in the place where Paul was would be the Colossians. They lived about 100 miles inland from Ephesus and the believers there had never seen Paul’s face (Colossians 2:1). Yet there was a church! Most likely Paul had reached Epaphras, who was himself a Colossian, trained him, and then he was sent to plant a church in Colossae (Colossians 1:7 & Colossians 4:12). The point here though is the fact that due to Paul’s ministry in Ephesus, every inhabitant of a specific region heard the gospel. Look at what it says happened during Paul’s first missionary journey with Barnabas in Acts 13:49, “And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.” How about the example of Philip the evangelist after he won and baptized the Ethiopian eunuch? It says in Acts 8:40, “But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

If these biblical examples are not enough to prove that getting the gospel to every creature is possible, then surely what we read in Paul’s letter to the Colossian believers seals the deal, “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;” (Colossians 1:23; see also Colossians 1:6)

2. History shows us it can be done.
Take the example of the great Missionary Charles Cowman in the orient. Charles Cowman left the comforts of home to preach the gospel to the Japanese over one hundred years ago. The heartcry of Cowman and every great missionary has been, “The evangelization of every creature in our generation.” At the time he left for Japan there were a total of 10,376,700 homes in that country. Having led a successful ministry in Tokyo, Cowman became increasingly burdened for the rural populations of Japan. He devised a plan that developed into what he called, “The Great Village Campaign”. The goal was to systematically take the gospel to every home in Japan. Their great team was successful in that they sent personal workers to every home in the country; these workers left a portion of Scripture and preached the gospel to everyone they met. One would think this daunting task must have taken a lifetime, but that is not true. Charles Cowman and his team of workers managed to get the gospel to over ten million homes in just six years. This man proved it can be done.

God did not mean for the great commission to be done little by little over 2,000 years so that by the time He comes back the gospel would have gotten to every part of the earth. The thrust of the great commission is individuals and it is something that must be actively accomplished during every generation. Each generation of believers is responsible for the evangelization of every creature during their generation. We can’t trust the generation before us because they had a generation of their own and now they are dead. We cannot trust the generation to come because they will have their own generation to reach and ours will have died. We have a window of opportunity during our short lives to get the gospel to every creature in our generation.

How can it be done?

Every church must have a ministry that constantly works to get the gospel to every creature in their region. That church also must consistently support missionaries who are doing the same work (getting the gospel to every creature in their region) through prayers and financial support. The philosophy of every missionary should be, “To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you” (2 Corinthians 10:16). Those missionaries in turn must go to the regions beyond and start churches that will continue the cycle of evangelizing and discipling while dedicating themselves to the evangelization of every creature in their region and supporting missionaries who are doing the work in regions beyond them.

Not only is “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” something that we can do, but it is something that we must do. We will do our part in our region, and we will support those in the regions beyond us; what will you do?

[This article was originally written by myself as a guest blogger on a friend's blog: http://pastorstrother.com/]

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Finances

This is a great outline that I was taught by Pastor John Wilkerson, and now I have taught it personally. Yesterday I translated it to be able to teach it here in Chile. Here it is in both languages:


Finances

I. God is the source (Job 41:11, Psalm 24:1, Psalm 50:10 & 12)
II. Giving is a must (Proverbs 3:9-10, Malachi 3:8-10, Deuteronomy 14:22-23)
A. The offering
B. Alms
C. The tithe
1. It’s His- Malachi 3:8-10
2. It’s pre-law (Abraham & Jacob)
3. It’s one-tenth of all income
a. Genesis 28:22
b. Genesis 14:20
4. Where does it go?
a. Old Testament- house of God & His ministers (Tabernacle/Levites)
i. Malachi 3:10
ii. Numbers 18:21 & 24
b. New Testament- house of God & His ministers (Church/Pastors)
i. 1 Timothy 3:15
ii. 1 Timothy 5:17-18
3. Go to work (Proverbs 6:11, Proverbs 22:29, 2 Thessalonians 3:9)
4. Guard against debt (Proverbs 22:7, Matthew 6:24)
5. Gain contentment (Philippians 4:11, 1 Timothy 6:6-8, Hebrews 13:5)
6. Get on a budget (Luke 14:28-29)
7. Generosity (Luke 6:38)

If you are in trouble, get counseling (Proverbs 11:14)


Finanzas

I. Dios es la fuente (Job 41:11, Salmo 24:1, Salmo 50:10 & 12)
II. El dar es necesario (Proverbios 3:9-10, Malaquías 3:8-10, Deuteronomio 14:22-23)
A. La ofrenda
B. La limosna
C. El diezmo
1. Es Suyo (Malaquías 3:8-10)
2. Es pre-ley (Abraham & Jacob)
3. Es un décimo de todos los ingresos
a. Génesis 28:22
b. Génesis 14:20
4. ¿A dónde va?
a. El Antiguo Testamento: la casa de Dios y Sus ministros (Tabernáculo/Levíticos)
i. Malaquías 3:10
ii. Números 18:21 & 24
b. Nuevo Testamento: la casa de Dios y Sus ministros (Iglesia/Pastores)
i. 1 Timoteo 3:15
ii. 1 Timoteo 5:17-18
III. Trabaja (Proverbios 6:11, Proverbios 22:29, 2 Tesalonicenses 3:9)
IV. Evita la deuda (Proverbios 22:7, Mateo 6:24)
V. Ten contentamiento (Filipenses 4:11, 1 Timoteo 6:6-8, Hebreos 13:5)
VI. Usa un presupuesto mensual (Lucas 14:28-29)
VII. Se generoso (Lucas 6:38)

Si estás teniendo problemas, busca consejo (Proverbios 11:14)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Dead Sea vs. the Sea of Galilee


In his book, The Challenge of Missions, J. Oswald Chambers said, "The Dead Sea takes in and takes in, but it never gives out; hence it is stagnant. The Sea of Galilee takes in but it also gives out; hence, it is filled with life; and its water is fresh."

Oh, Lord, help my life to be a funnel and not a bucket!


Luke 6:38
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. 

God will give through you what He will not give to you.