Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Unity in Christ

1 Corinthians 3

Yesterday was a tough day physically. Got a stomach flu and I was out cold for 24 hours.
Waking up today was refreshing, even though not completely recovered, it is refreshing non the less.

Paul continues to stress the importance of unity in Christ.
As he states, the most basic fundamentals of being a disciple of Christ is the foundation of Jesus Christ.
How you build after is, in hope, aligned with God's will.
As some people might refer to it as the "essentials" and "non-essentials" of Christianity.

Ultimately, we have everything, all knowledge of God, so use it accordingly to God's will.

So what is this foundation?
I think the is the million dollar question, and so there are many, many denominations out there that will tell you what you want to hear.

So what is the truth?
The truth is understanding God by not what you want to hear, but by what God is truly saying.
I have the basic principles on one of the links.

To God be the Glory.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wisdom from the Spirit

1 Corinthians 2

Our lives is a living testament of what the Spirit does.
If we are humble, we can discern what God's will is through the Spirit.
We, who has the Spirit, are therefore only under the discernment from God, and not from the discernment of this world.
One without the Spirit cannot understand what God's will is.

V15: "The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment."
V16: "...we have the mind of Christ."

To God be the Glory.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

No Divisions

1 Corinthians 1

After further studies, we can come to the conclusion that the Corinthians were mostly gentiles.
So if we read it from the point of view, it clearer as to what Paul is addressing.

V 10:"...be perfectly united in mind and thought."

V5,7: "For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge... Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed."

As much as there was division in the church, Paul was thankful of God's grace given to them.
He then continues to appeal to them to be unified and stay on course.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Be united

Romans 16

For the finale, Paul re-enforces his love for all the Saints. He commends those who continues to do the will of God.

He also "urges" to be careful of those teaches contrary teachings, and "Keep away from them." V17

Paul's love and indignation for God is overwhelmingly obvious.

To God be the Glory.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bear with one another

Romans 15
Paul continues to encourage the Israelites, especially, to accept the Gentiles as brothers, disciples, as Saints. As much as they are new to this, they have equal rights to God's Kingdom.
V9: "...Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy..."

V13: "...May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

To God be the Glory

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Be conscience

Romans 14

It seems that Paul is mostly addressing the manner of how we come together and eat. Food seems to be the main topic here and it seems to be a really important matter.
I imagine eating together is like a party, a celebration, or a special occasion. Just like Jesus had his last supper before he died.
Ultimately, it is the same message: building one another up, living in peace with each other so we may all be strong and be ready to give an account to God.

The main point is not to be condemning to the believing brothers, but to help or be mindful to keep them strong. We have to encourage them to do what is right rather condemning them because they are not "strong" enough.

Paul refers to situation like these as "disputable matters."

To God be the Glory.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Submission to God's governance on earth

Romans 13
God has established governing authorities on earth and therefore it is our duty to submit to God's establishment here on earth.
We are in debt to God just as we are in debt to his will here on earth, even paying taxes!
However, as Paul writes, we are even more in debt to the relationship God has commanded us to do, love one another. V10: "Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law."
We must:
v12: "...put on the armor of light."
v13: "...behave decently."
v14: "...clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ,"

To God be the Glory.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The opposite

Romans 12

Be opposite to the believe and living practices of this world.
We are no longer obligated by the "pattern of this world."
Do not conform to it and be " transformed by the renewing of your mind."
To transform the mind, or renew the mind takes a knowledge. Knowledge from God. The Bible.
It is when you acquire this knowledge from the Bible that is from God, it is when you can see if "God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

With great knowledge comes great power, and hence do not be arrogant, but be aware of the the measure of faith God has given me.

Use the gift and continue to teach, share and give to others, just as Christ gave to me.

The next section is super convicting and challenging at times.
Loving your enemies is one principal that defies worldly patterns.
Next time someone that is following me too closely on the road, or tailgating, I have to "bless" them, not curse them or hate them. Forgive and move on.

To God be the Glory.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Romans 11

This chapter has a lot of meat.

All in all, as a gentile who has come to believe in God, consider myself, lack of a better word, lucky.
Fortunate enough that God opened his doors to us from his covenant with Abraham.
More than anything, I must not ridicule the faith of the Israelites, but more grateful than anything.
The time for God to come is when, "...but this will last only until the full number of Gentiles comes to Christ."

Glory be to God.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Ingrafted

Romans 11

Their loss, our gain.
V11: "...salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious." That is humbling.
However, when the Israelites repent and becomes a disciple of Christ, their reward is far greater than the Gentiles.
V20-21:"Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief... For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either."
V22: "...[God's] kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off."

Again, a continuing comparison of the Israelites and the Gentiles.
What our roles are and ultimately, be grateful and continue in God's kindness.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Remnant of Israel

Romans 11

It's Friday, and I am getting this time in so I can be more focused in the get together this morning, and this is a powerful chapter.

I will focus on the first section and hence the title.
Clearly as Paul says, I am the elect, the adopted, the remnant, the chosen because I am not of Jewish descent.
I can see why the Israelites have issues since God is "letting" others into his kingdom that is not of his own.
The Israelites (most) have turned away from him and worshiped something else, some to the point of the evil one. Their hearts were hardened.

I should be even more grateful.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

God's open arm

Romans 10

At this point, after the past "9" chapters of pleading, Paul is again with humility and love, continues to plead for the Israelites to believe and turn towards God.
In this chapter, unfortunately one of the most miss used scripture resides. A lot of people come and says, all you have to do is... well, you know.
However, they fail to realized that Paul had been explaining the situation in the last "9" chapters.
As he appropriately says: "...their zeal is not based on knowledge."

It is more and more convicting, and humbling for me to read, and understand these words in this chapter and the letter from Paul to the Romans.
The love of God for me, and all of us humans is just unbelievable, and I guess that is why it takes faith!

To God be the Glory.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Chosen 2

Romans 9

This chapter is reasoning with the Jews, who were the chosen people, that now even the Gentiles are able to be part of God's Kingdom. As much as it does not seem fair, it is God's will. God is choosing, or allowing people in with his grace and not attainable through works. Maybe if we look at the Abraham's descendants, they were chosen not because of their works, but because of Abraham's righteousness. The only "works" were after the fact that they were chosen, and because they sinned against God, that sacrifices for the atonement of sin was necessary.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Chosen

Romans 9

I would like to re-look at Romans 9 again. I do not think I got the most out of it yesterday. I was stuck on a couple of issues and had to work it out through the day.
Starting off, Paul explains his love for the Israelistes by letting them know the "great sorrow and unceasing anguish in [his] heart." He wishes all Israelites can be saved. He wishes he can give his life over to hell, and use it as a redemption to save the Israelites that are not chosen by God.
That is an amazing heart. I am speechless and humbled by his compassion towards his race, his people, his family.
As much as his desire, his will, his idea is amazing, it is not possible. We know that no one can enter through the doors of heaven except through Jesus. Jesus is the only perfect human that was able to be the atonement for us, the sinners here on earth. As much as Paul is a really nice, amazing person, he is still obligated to sin and fallen short the glory of God.
So as the letter continues in v16, it does not depend on our human efforts or desires, but on God's mercy.
I will stop here for today and continue tomorrow.

Monday, September 15, 2008

God's choice

Romans 9

V11: "God chooses people according to his own purposes..."

We all agree that God is God. We are not God. I am not God nor a god. Therefore, if someone that is going to be a part of God, it will have to be according to his purpose.
1 Timothy 2:3-4 "This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."
As we read earlier, Paul mentioned some have not come to accept or believe God. Believing and accepting that Jesus is the son of God is our own free will. However, it is not up to us to make them believe or forgive them of their sins because we are not God. Nor can we change God's plan and purpose to fit our own. Only those that accepts what God has brought forth can be part of God's kingdom.
There are some that will never change, example, the evil one. Those who chooses to follow him will never see God's Kingdom but they will be in hell.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Life in the Spirit

Romans 8
Living a life lead by the Holy Spirit is what we are bound by and is pleasing to God.
V11, "...And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you."
I must rely on the the Spirit to live righteously, because...
V13, "For if you live by its dictates, you will die..."
We receive the Spirit through Baptism.
V15,"...you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children."
However, it is not all peachy and easy...
V17, "...But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dead to Sin

Romans 7
We died with Christ through baptism and therefore we are no longer held by the accountability of what we deserve.
V4: "As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God."
However, as Paul points out, just as he is human as I am human, there is a war going on inside of us, but thanks be to God, we, disciples of Christ, have the power to overcome the desires of this world.
For "the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

Romans 6
V2-4, "...all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."

As much as we, disciples of Christ, were baptized into his death, we are still susceptible to the wicked desires of this world. It is still possible for us to be slave to sin, therefore, continue to live righteously and resist the evil one by counting yourself dead to sin.

The Roman disciples, Jews and Gentiles were sinning up a storm, and Paul is calling to them to a Godly repentance. Grace be to God that he allows us to repent.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A New Hope

Romans 5
V3-4: "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."
I guess it says it plainly that we have to go through sufferings in his name to understand what hope is. Tough to hear, but it is what it is and it is worth it.
We have hope because of the gift of the Holy Spirit.
As death entered the world through one man, it leaves with one man.
We were once enemies of God, but through Jesus' death, we are his beloved children.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Credited as righteousness

Romans 4
What is credited as righteousness?
According to Paul, in Romans 4, righteousness is an act that is achieved, or taken in according to your faith in God.
Abraham does convict me because of his faith in God, and rightly so since he is accredited by God as righteousness and became the father of many nations.
Faith is really a challenging force. To be really honest. As much as it is easily said, "Just have faith, brother!" It is a challenge because it is time dependent. It seems faith gets tougher when it does not come in a "timely" manner. Maybe I should say, faith gets tougher if it does not come to fruition in "my" timely manner.
V19-20, "Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God."
I know I waver, sad to say and happy to confess.
The challenge that I face within me comes from knowing if this is what God wanted.
Thanks be to God, that I am still able to read, understand, learn, and continue to grow in Christ to be perfect till the day arrives.
Glory be to God.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

God is Righteous

Romans 3

The Jews were entrusted with the words of God. They have the revelation of God. However, some were unfaithful and unbelieving, but that does not nullify God's truthfulness or faithfulness.
We at times would like to blame God for the sins we commit. Some might say, I know, my futile thinking has been there, since God created us, therefore he must not be perfect. That is a very human and limited perspective.
Some even go the extra step of justifying their sins as a tool to help others see the power of God. Now if that is not a human perspective, I do not know what is.
Sin brings death, while Godly righteous repentance away from sin brings life. Therefore sinning on purpose does not get you closer to God nor letting others see God's mighty power.

As Paul continues, as much as Jews were the chosen ones, God has allowed gentiles into his love as well. Therefore, we are all alike and sin now separates us from God.
v23-24 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

Ultimately, there is one God, and we are all under his mercy and grace.

Monday, September 8, 2008

God’s Judgment of Sin

I do not have a better title. It is from Romans 2 NLT.
When you start, it came across as if I cannot judge, and I am the pits. Further reading reveals that Paul is directing the conversation to people professing to be Godly, yet not keeping with God's righteousness. They are but using God's knowledge to put others down.
Vs 12 is powerful, because it somewhat answers the question what if someone who does not know God, or the opportunity to know God, what happens? "...they will be destroyed, even though they never had God’s written law." As you can see, I did not write that nor was it my opinion, it is written in the Bible.
And for those who knows God,"...who do have God’s law, will be judged by that law when they fail to obey it." Voila.
V13: "For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight."

For the next section, "The Jews and the Law", Paul is addressing the heart, and more importantly the issue with circumcision.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Romans 1:18-32
As much as God made himself known to us, some decided not to accept God.
We, us humans, all know who God is, however some of us, as it is written, "they neither glorified him as God" NIV,NKJV, "they wouldn’t worship him as God" NLT, "they did not honor Him as God" NASB, etc. However, more importantly. from each of the translations, this is what was followed: "nor gave thanks to him".
Being thankful and grateful towards God results in glorifying, worshiping and honoring God.
For those who are not thankful, and ultimately not glorifying, worshiping, or honoring him, God gave them over and abandoned them to what they crave, which the bible describes as wicked, and depraved thinking.
Some might say, how can God do that? My God is a kind a merciful God!
Yes, he is. It is us who chooses. God gave us the opportunity to know who he is.
Vs32: "They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too." NKJV.
Is that not the truth? Is that not scary?
I choose to do what is right and what is wrong. I know what is right. I know what is wrong.
From the description of wickedness is, I cannot refute it. I can only choose what is right and that is God's righteousness. Following it and doing it.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


I missed yesterday.
As much as it was a great morning yesterday with a discussion group regarding the Word of God, none the less, a personal time with God is more important.

I am starting Romans to study Paul's convictions and humility.

Romans 1

Paul is always consistent in his address to whomever he writes.
He comes across with such grace, humility, respect and authority.
With that, it is followed by his acknowledgment of his love and longing to be with them, so that they may be mutually encouraged with each others faith.
He is always desires to strengthen them with spiritual gifts so that the people he is addressing can continue in their walk with God and increase their ability to be stronger to defend against the evil one.

The people he address, in this book and others, are the people who do God's will. We call them "Christians" today. He calls them saints, people loved by God.

vs 16-17: "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

His introduction alone can teach us so much.

I will follow up with the rest of Chapter 1 tomorrow.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Selfish Jonah?

Jonah 4:1-4
I have read this many times and understood this passage many times before, but for the first time, I see.
God ask Jonah to do something but he refused, and hence rebelled against God.
From the looks of it in verse, it seems that Jonah was very content and happy being at home. He knew who God was and knows what he can do.
The rebellion came when God asked Jonah to leave his comfort zone, his home, stop whatever he is doing and go help save a nation. However, Jonah's perspective was that God is BIG and POWERFUL enough that God can do it himself.
At times, I wonder, what is my calling and what is my mission for God?
I am sure Jonah's day to day responsibilities were of some importance and this is one of the few or just one major assignment that came up.
I know my day to day responsibility is to be growing in Godly righteousness so that I can go and help others come to know God. The Great Commission.
It seems like, if I may be so lucky, that God would make it clear as to a major assignment would come up that needed me to stop whatever I am doing and make a drastic, maybe temporary change, in life so that others may be saved.

It is funny, or maybe not, that after what was said and done, Jonah had the guts to tell God to take him away from this earth put him out of his misery.
Does that mean he would rather be in hell than on earth doing God's will or does he mean that he is done with the turmoils on this earth that he is ready to go "home" into God's kingdom, heaven?
I think it is heaven that Jonah was referring to, because he feels like God owed him from the following passages.

In a lot of ways, I find myself like Jonah. I look at this world and I think it should suit me just fine.
If something happens that is not of my liking, I get angry, just like Jonah.
But thanks be to God, he is gracious enough, patient enough, loving enough to even provide shelter and teach us of his wonderful message of love that I can, sometimes slow, learn the true meaning of happiness and joy on this earth.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

God of compassion

God is all loving, compassion and understanding God.
God cares and is hurt by the sin people are getting into.
The Word did not mention what they have fallen into, but enough to catch God's attention.
Some questions might be, why did he need Jonah to go?
Is there no one else?
Can God not do some miracles?
Did God know the city, not just one or two people, but the whole city was going to repent towards him?
Or did God know the whole city was going to repent, but just did not know when in the next 40 days?
God gave us a choice, just like Jonah going in to Nineveh, choose good or choose evil.
Choose good, and live a long prosperous life.
Choose bad, and you are fending for yourself, and ultimately, hardship.
I believe the most important environment God was maintaining, and still is, is the relationship between each and every human being.
The sins of this world has not separated us from the richness of the world, but the richness of the relationship that we have within one another.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Jonah repents

Jonah 2
Do we all pray to God when we are in distress?
Probably not. Some "cling" on to their worthless idol.
Jonah repents with songs of thanksgiving.
I know when I have to opportunity to repent, I am grateful.