Introduction

The titles of believers reminds us of the virtues a believer ought to have. These titles are meant to help us reflect and examine if we are befitting of these titles.

So far in our studies we have examine 2 titles

The most common title is a believer
The most basic title is a disciple.

But the most identifying and accurate title is a Christian. why do I think it is the most accurate?

When one are called a believer, you would need find out about his belief. When a person is called a disciple, there is a need to find his master. But when one is called a Christian, he is known to be a believer and a disciple of Jesus. For there is only one Christ and one Jesus.

The term Christian did not originate from Jerusalem as we read in Acts

And when he had found him, he brought
  him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole
  year they assembled with the church and
  taught a great many people. And the disciples
  were first called Christians in Antioch.”- Luke (Acts 11:26)

There are many who think that Christian was a form of mockery. But personally I find the lack of evidence to support that claims. But those in Antioch must have heard the name of Christ mentioned often. They can see that these people are focused on Christ and they often mentioned him. Perhaps that is why they decide to call them Christian.

Today if one is known as a Christian, it  is no longer a form of mockery. But if a Christian fail to behave or fall short of the teaching of Jesus. Then it would be a mockery to call him Christian.

In the gospel, Jesus defined what it meant to be a Christian, let us study these definition closely. 

PT 1 : Christians Belong to Christ

“If you were of the world, the world
  would love its own. Yet because you
  are not of the world, but I chose you
  out of the world, therefore the world
  hates you.” – Jesus (Jn 15:19)

A Christians belong to Jesus, He had chosen them out from the world. As they were called out from the world to follow him, therefore they belong to him and not the world. So the first question we need to ask ourselves is if we truly belong to Christ?

“Do you look at things according to the
  outward appearance? If anyone is
  convinced in himself that he is
  Christ’s, let him again consider this
  in himself, that just as he is Christ’s,
   even so we are Christ’s” – Paul (2 Cor 1-:7)

Paul wanted Christians to consider if they truly belong to Christ. If we indeed belong to Christ, are we like Christ? Let us not be Christians by name but with behaviour that are unlike Christ. For Paul wrote to the church in Phillipi

“Brethren, join in following my example,
  and note those who so walk, as you have
  us for a pattern.
 
For many walk, of whom I have told you
  often, and now tell you even weeping,
  that they are the enemies of the cross
  of Christ:  whose end is destruction,
  whose god is their belly, and whose
  glory is in their shame—who set their
  mind on earthly things. 
  For our citizenship is in heaven, from
  which we also eagerly wait for the Savior,
  the Lord Jesus Christ, “- Paul (Php 3:17-20)  

We need to pay attention to disciples who walk in Christ. Paul and the apostles are such examples for we read of how they love Christ, how they forsake everything and was willing to suffer for Christ. They have gave up everything and they never regret or recant their faith in face of persecution, whipping and even death. These are evidence that they belong to Christ.

On the other hand there are those who appeared to have good behaviour but are actually the enemies of the cross.  How are these people enemies of the cross? The teaching of the cross tells us of Jesus being God who came in the form of flesh, it tells us to obey the teaching of Jesus. But these people had their belly as their God, they choose to obey their lust and refuse the teaching of Jesus.

The message of the cross tells us that God wanted to forgive the sins of man and to grant them eternal life. But these people focus only on their lives on earth but not that eternal life. They set their minds on things of earth and forget that the belong to heaven. They will rather pursue the things on earth and not the things about eternal life. They often go against the teaching of the cross.

They accused Christians for being impractical and obsessed about eternal life. They felt that Christians had forgotten about the daily suffering that the people faced. They feel that the sermons spoken by Christians are high and mighty, empty talk that are useless in life. For those who hear it remains poor and hungry and it brought no benefit to the hearers. They ask “What is the point of worshipping God if one is hungry and poor”

The fact is that going to church will not make a person reach. The Church will not be able to provide monetary support or food. In most of my church, you would only receive a free lunch, and the queue is often so long. It is not surprising that many find sermons empty and impractical.

But is the teaching of Jesus that impractical and empty? 

Jesus remind us not to labour for food that perish but food that leads to eternal life. Jesus is not talking about something empty. He is here on earth to give us that eternal bread. He is here to remind us that if we only seek physical bread, our end will be death and destruction. That is why we need to seek that bread which God wants to give to us, one that leads to eternal life.

We need to seek for the things above and hope in his second coming. Sometimes if that means suffering and poverty it is not a big problem, For life on earth is short and life is more than just eating and drinking. 

PT 2 : Christians Emulate Christ

Jesus tell us that a Christian is someone who emulate Christ.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,
  for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and
  you will find rest for your souls.”- Jesus (Matt 11:29)

Jesus wanted us to learn from him because we belong to Christ. We need to have the life of Christ within us. We need to manifest Christ in our lives. The essence of that life is being gentle and lowly in spirit.

In the world, different type of lives exhibits different kinds of instinct. A butterfly will always be attracted to the fragrance of flowers and you will always find them in the garden. But a housefly is attracted to stench and they will always be found at the rubbish dump.

A Christian should be inclined to love in the way of Christ, for we must follow his example, be humble and gentle. We need to get rid of anger and pride. Those that belong to Christ will live out the character of Christ.  That is why Paul reminded the Philippians

“Only let your conduct be worthy
  of the gospel of Christ, so that     
  whether I come and see you or
   am absent, I may hear of your     
  affairs, that you stand fast in one
  spirit, with one mind striving
  together for the faith of the gospel,”- Paul (Php 1: 27)

A Christian behaviour must be worthy of the gospel of Christ. The gospel teaches that we belong to Jesus and are a new creation. Our old sinful self dies with him in baptism, and a new man emerges from baptism. So are we a new creation or are we our old self?

If a Christian conduct is unworthy of the gospel, it would look like a terrible match. The Chinese had an interesting phrase to describe it. It is  狗尾貂续. It is like a Sable tail  joined to a tail of a dog.

In ancient china the tail of a sable considered a luxurious commodity. It is said the mother of Genghis Khan gave a gift of sable tails to the wife of the Khan as a gift. But to pair a sable tail with a dog tail is an irony. On one end it looks luxurious as beautiful and at the other its so cheap and ugly.  

In the same way, the gospel of Christ is something precious and if the Christian fall short of that standard, it would be an irony and a mockery. For it would be like a new cloth being sew into an old garment. The new cloth will shrink and make the tear worst.

Christians are suppose to remove their old garment and put on the new garment. If we patch a new cloth onto our old garment, it will not match We need to put aside our old garments and put on the new one.

Let us not be called Christian by name, let us be a true Christian, a new creation.

PT 3 : Christians are witness for Christ

Jesus tells us that

“Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary
  for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the
  dead the third day, and that repentance and
  remission of sins should be preached in His
  name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 
  And you are witnesses of these things.” – Jesus (Lk 24:46-48)

Jesus is on earth to preach the gospel of salvation.To fulfil salvation, he had to be nailed on the cross, and be raised from the dead on the 3rd day. These events proves that he is the savior and his gospel is the gospel of salvation. 

That gospel is one that can forgive sin, today we are witness to that gospel, we have enjoyed the grace of God. But we are not to enjoy this grace alone, we need to preach the message to others so they wlll become Christian.  We need to share this message with our family especially.

(Extracted from Acts 26:27-29)

Paul : “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”
Agrippa : “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”
Paul: “I would to God that not only you, but also all
            who hear me today, might become both almost 
            and altogether such as I am, except for these chains”

Paul is a man who preach Christ in season and out of season. He was arrested for the sake of the gospel and he stood trial before King Agrippa. Paul wishes that all those who heard him would become a Christian.

Today whenever we share the gospel, often those who hear us will not listen. But we are to continue in this work, and not be discourage. We need to be like Paul to seize every opportunity to persuade them, for Paul knew that faith will only come through hearing. and hearing will only happen when we speak. If we choose to remain silent how can they hear and believe?

We need to ask ourselves if we had did our best to preach the gospel. We are not to just preach with our mouths, we need to testify through our behaviour We need to show that we are indeed Christians, for actions speak louder than words.

In my church in Taiwan there are many natives. They bore a good testimony for their faith. Even though they are persecuted for their faith, they did not give up.  They listen to the words of God and they changes their behaviour they indeed become a new creation. In the past they used to be drinkers, they get into fights and live their lives immorally . But after they became Christian and they changed and the  government officers can see the change in them.

Let us not forget our status as witness, if we know our responsibly and status, we will understand that Christ had called us out to be his witness. Will our testimony be glorifying God or a mockery before God.? 

PT 4 : Christians are followers of Christ

Jesus tells us that a Christian is a follower of Christ

“The following day Jesus wanted to go to
  Galilee, and He found Philip and said to
  him, “Follow Me.””- John (Jn 1:43)

In those days, there are many who are willing to follow Jesus, but they their method of following Jesus is different. These are something we need to consider. For we all wanted to follow Jesus, but how do we follow?

“After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being
  a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear
  of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might
  take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate
  gave him permission. So he came and
  took the body of Jesus. 
  And Nicodemus, who at first came to
  Jesus by night, also came, bringing a
  mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a
  hundred pounds. 
  Then they took the body of Jesus, and
  bound it in strips of linen with the
  spices, as the custom of the Jews is
  to bury. “- John (Jn 19:38-40)

Here records of 2 followers of Christ, Joseph is a rich man and Nicodemus is a council member, an officer of the Jews. They were disciples of Christ in secret, they followed him secretly. Nicodemus was a man who seek Jesus in the night. They are both aware that Jesus is the Christ, but they did not have the courage to openly profess that they are Christians. So they followed in secret

But after Christ was crucified, they witness the love of Christ on the cross, it touched them deeply, so they made the resolve and repented. They openly profess that they believe in Jesus. They went to collect his body and bind it with spices and buried him. They completed that last beautiful deed for the Lord. But what is most important is that they are no longer Christians in secret.

So how do we follow Christ? are we doing so openly or in secret? Sometimes those around us may not even know that we are Christians . Perhaps we have good reason to hide that identity. But if we recognised the love of Christ on the cross, it will touch us greatly. We will be like Joseph and Nicodemus, to be open and courageous about our faith.

There is also some who follow Jesus from afar.

“But Peter followed Him at a distance,
  right into the courtyard of the high priest.
  And he sat with the servants and warmed
  himself at the fire.”- Mark (Mk 14:54)

Peter followed Jesus but he did so from afar. He was afraid. If we also choose to follow the Lord from afar, we will fall just like Peter. But what we can be assured of , is that Jesus did not give up on Peter even though he fell. When he denied Jesus 3 times, Jesus turned and looked at him. When Peter saw his eyes, he will know that it is not one of rebuke but one with mercy.

For Jesus already told him that he will deny him 3 times and he had already prayed for him. Jesus had given him a chance, reminding him to strength his brethren when he return. When he recalled the words of Jesus, when he saw how he had denied Christ. When he saw how far he was as he was following Christ, his failures and his weakness. He went out to weep. But that weeping changed his life. From then on he no longer followed Christ from afar, he followed Christ closely. He follow even onto death, he no longer give up or change his resolve.

Conclusion

We all have our moments of weakness, perhaps we used to be zealous and now we are cold. Perhaps we used to follow Jesus closely and now we are afar off. If we continue in that state, what will happen to us at the very end?

We need to consider if we are true Christians, for Jesus wanted us to follow him, he want us to follow closely and not afar off. We need to be open about our belief and never change.

Are we a true Christian? 

Today is a special day. I would like to  wish the love of my life a happy birthday. This time I am unable to be with her physically. It is making me really sad. At this point of time I wish i can go back and see her.

Therefore I would like to dedicate this song to her.

To those who were watching this MTV. Just to put the story into context. This is set in ancient China where a famous swordsman rescued a damsel who was captured by a group of thugs. After freeing the girl, he went into a life of recluse away from his former life of fighting and feuds.

As they lead their lives happily, eventually their enemies found them and attacked. The swordsman died allowing the damsel to flee. I remember scrolling through the comments and some were wondering why the lady abandoned her lover. Apparently the answer was in the text on the screen. The swordsman told her “You escape now, we would meet at the usual spot”. That is why she was waiting for him at the lake. Unfortunately he must have died which is why he did not appear.

Even though the MTV looks very well made. I still think they should have escape through the back door.   I would think that would be a smarter move instead of facing all the enemies at the main door.

I found the lyrics very beautiful. It is not easy to translate it to English effectively. But I gave it a shot nonetheless

Title : 红尘客栈
Artist : 周杰伦天涯的尽头是风沙
红尘的故事叫牵挂
封刀隐没在寻常人家
东篱下
闲云 野鹤 古刹
tiānyá de jìntóu shì fēngshā
hóngchén de gùshi jiào qiānguà
fēng dāo yǐnmò zài xúncháng rénjiā
Dōng lí xià
jiān yún yě hè gǔ chà
快马在江湖里厮杀
无非是名跟利放不下
心中有江山的人岂能快意潇洒
我只求与你共华发
kuài mǎ zài jiānghú lǐ sīshā
wú fēi shì míng gēn Lì fàng bu xià
xīn zhōng yǒu jiāngshān de rén qǐ néng kuàiyì xiāosǎ
wǒ zhī qiú yú nǐ gòng huáfà
Chorus
剑出鞘
恩怨了
谁笑
我只求今朝拥你入怀抱
红尘客栈风似刀
骤雨落
宿命敲
Chorus
jiàn chūqiào
ēnyuàn liǎo
shéixiào
wǒ zhǐqiújīnzhāoyōngnǐ rùhuáibào
hóngchénkèzhànfēng sì dāo
zhòuyǔ  luò
sùmìng qiāo
任武林谁领风骚
我却只为你折腰
过荒村野桥
寻世外古道
远离人间尘嚣
柳絮飘执子之手逍遥
Chorus ends
rèn wǔlín shéi lǐng fēngsāo
wǒ  què zhǐ wèi nǐ zhéyāo
Guò huāngcūn yěqiáo
xún shìwài gǔdào
yuǎnlí rénjiān chénxiāo
liǔ xù piāo zhí zi zhī shǒu xiāoyáo
檐下窗棂斜映枝桠
与你席地对座饮茶
我以工笔画将你牢牢的记下
提笔不为风雅
yán xià chuāng líng xié yìngzhīyā
yù nǐ xí dì duì zuò yǐnchá
wǒ yǐ gōng bǐhuà jiāngnǐ láoláo de jì xià
tíbǐ bù wèi fēngyǎ
灯下叹红颜近晚霞
我说缘份一如参禅不说话
你泪如梨花洒满了纸上的天下
爱恨如写意山水画
dēng xià tàn hóngyán jìn wǎnxiá
wǒ shuō yuán fèn yīrú cānchán bù shuōhuà
nǐ lèi rú lí Huā sǎmǎn le  zhǐ shàng de tiānxià
ài hèn rú xièyì shānshuǐhuà
Repeat Chorus

任武林谁领风骚
我却只为你折腰
你回眸多娇
我泪中带笑
酒招旗风中萧萧
剑出鞘 恩怨了

Repeat Chorus

rèn wǔlín shéi lǐngfēngsāo
wǒ  què zhǐ wèi nǐ zhéyāo
nǐ  huímóu duō jiāo
wǒ lèi zhòng dài xiào
jiǔ zhāo qí   fēng Zhōng XiāoXiāo
jiàn chūqiào ēnyuàn liǎo

Translation

Title : The Tavern Of Life

The ends of the world is the wilderness
The stories of life are about longing
I sheath my sword and vanished into reclusion
Among old temples and wild cranes

To ride and kill in the past,
all for the sake of fame and glory.
One who long to rule the world will never live free and simple
Now I long to grow old with you.

Chorus
Who rejoices in fighting and feuds
I would rather have you in my arms
The Traven of life is filled with violence
The rain falls and karma strikes

It doesn’t matter who rules the world
For I will only submit to you
To seek a simple life, to live in recluse,
Away from the bustle and hustle of life
To live a simple and carefree life.
Chorus End

The branches rustles outside of our old window
As I drank tea face to face with you.
I inscribed you in my mind through paintbrush
with graceful and bold strokes

As sunset approaches with beauty
Fate became as silent as though in mediation
Your tears fell like flowers to my drawing
Emotions like strokes within the painting

Chorus

It doesn’t matter who rules the world
For I will only submit to you
I smiled and tear as you glance back
As the banner flew desolate in the wind,
Sword unsheathed, gratitude’s and feud ended

 

 

As it was my custom since 2010, I would specially post a hymn on the 3rd may of the year.  3rd may had always been a special day in my life.

So far I have shared the following hymns

What A Friend I have In Jesus” – May 3rd 2010
“Thanks to God” – May 3rd 2011
“Day By Day” – May 3rd 2012
“All The Way The Savior Leads Me” – May 3rd 2013
“Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer” – May 3rd 2014
”Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus” – May 3rd 2015
”Hold Thou My hand” – May 3rd 2016
”My Father Watches Over Me” – May 3rd 2017

It is quite interesting to say that everything around me started to fall apart 2 months after that last post. I can still remember that last happy weekend where I was travelling down Bui Vien street enjoying Vietnamese egg coffee and coconut coffee

From that weekend onwards, peace seem so far away. It was tore away bit by bit.  It started out at work, with projects falling apart, team shrinking. We continue to fight on back at work for the next 6 months, until it it finally led to unemployment.

The only happy thing that came was the birth of my daughter, yet in the midst of that joy. The worry of not being able to find employment and to take care of her looms ominously in your mind. The probability that I may need to be separate from my children are there.

This is on of the times you wish that there are some comfort from God, but you find God awfully silent. Yet instead you are surrounded by misunderstandings, accusations, criticism, and the demands of love, completely isolated and in pain

It is one of these time that you wonder what is the point of holding on. What is the point of enduring? Actually there are plenty of reasons to give up.  But as these thoughts are running through my mind. The song by Prophet Habakkuk was ringing in my mind.

“Though the fig tree may not blossom,
  Nor fruit be on the vines;
  Though the labor of the olive may fail,
  And the fields yield no food;
  Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
  And there be no herd in the stalls—    
   Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
   I will joy in the God of my salvation.

   The Lord God is my strength; 
  He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
  And He will make me walk on my high hills.” –Habakkuk (Hab 3:17-19)

That is why for this time. I would like to share this hymn                   

I Will Sing
Don Moen

Lord, You seem so far away
A million miles or more, it feels today
And though I haven’t lost my faith
I must confess right now
That it’s hard for me to pray

But I don’t know what to say
And I don’t know where to start
But as You give the grace
With all that’s in my heart

I will sing, yes, I will praise, even in my darkest hour
Through the sorrow and the pain
I will sing, I will praise, lift my hands to honor You
Because Your word is true, I will sing

Lord it’s hard for me to see all the thoughts
And plans You have for me, yes it is
But I will put my trust in You
Lord we made Your die to set me free
Oh thank God You did

But I don’t know what to say
And I don’t know where to start
But as you give the grace
With all that’s in my heart

I will…

So far, we have studied the following

1. The Holy Spirit Is Here To Lead Us Into All Truth  (Part 1, Part 2)
     a. Aspect 1: To lead individuals to develop a relationship with the Truth 
     b. Aspect 2: To lead the church into all Truth 
2. The Holy Spirit is here to lead the church into all truth (Part 3, Part 4)

Let’s continue to explore the other misconceptions about the Holy Spirit 

Misconception 6: Only Holy Spirit Calls Jesus Lord

Paul once said

“Therefore I make known to you    
  that no one speaking by the Spirit
  of God calls Jesus accursed, and no
  one can say that Jesus is Lord except
  by the Holy Spirit.” – Paul (1 Cor 12:3)

That is why many in Christendom today believe that only people who are moved by the Holy Spirit will address Jesus as Lord. Therefore, whoever who calls Jesus Lord is moved by the Holy Spirit.  They have the Holy Spirit living within them and therefore they belong to Christ. 

Some may even go on and  supplement their case quoting

“that if you confess with your mouth
  the Lord Jesus and believe in your
   heart that God has raised Him from
  the dead, you will be saved.
  … …
  For “whoever calls on the name of the
  Lord shall be saved.””- Paul (Rom 10:9,13)

But is this what the bible teaches? Is that what Jesus says?
“Not everyone who says to Me,
  ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the
  kingdom of heaven, but he who
  does the will of My Father in
  heaven.”- Jesus (Matt 7:21)

The right question to consider is to ask ourselves if we indeed obeyed and did the will of God. While it is true that the Holy Spirit can move someone to call Jesus Lord, but the Holy Spirit is supposed to lead a person to call upon the name of God and seek God.  The Holy Spirit will never go beyond the words of Christ.

It is good to call Jesus Lord, and it is good to call upon his name. These are all truths in the bible. But they are only part of the Truth that the Holy Spirit is here to teach. He is also here to teach us to love one and another and to lead a life without sin.

Important Concept: Complete Truth Includes The Truth Of Salvation

The truth mentioned previously are all truths found in the bible. But there are more to it within the words of Jesus. The Holy Spirit is here to lead us into all truth, not just a partial truth. Today we see many Christians moved by the Holy Spirit, believing in Jesus and practicing the love of Christ in their lives. These are all good and are truth taught by Jesus but the Holy Spirit is meant to lead us into all truth. 

What am I referring to? Jesus once instructed his apostles

“teaching them to observe all
  things that I have commanded
  you; and lo, I am with you always,
  even to the end of the age.” – Jesus (Matt 28:20)

Those were the command of Jesus, we are to teach one another to understand the teaching of Christ till the end of the age. We are here to teach the whole truth, not part of the truth. We are here to teach all that Jesus commanded, and the Holy Spirit is here to lead people into all truth. Especially regarding the forgiveness of sin and salvation.

Many Christians today are moved by the Holy Spirit, they believed in Jesus, they are full of the love of Christ. But those are part of the truth. The Pneumatology of Christ tell us that the Holy Spirit is here to lead us into all truth, Jesus tells us to keep his words and command. We must do it ourselves as well as to teach others to follow.

Jesus is not talking about only part of his teaching, but his complete words. We know that by the first century CE, the Holy Spirit stop descending, the teaching of the church had deviated and they no longer keep the complete truth. The truth taught were correct, but they have stopped talking about the other aspects of the truth.   They no longer keep the teaching of the bible, even though they claim to be believing in Jesus

An Example Of A Incomplete Truth

But a partial truth is not the same as the complete truth.Even though the words are still correct, but the missing pieces negate the effect of that truth brought.  The Didache was compiled by the early Christians.  but even from within it we know that the church no longer keep the complete truth taught by Jesus.But by reading it we know that the church no longer held to the complete truth taught by Jesus.

For example, chapter 7 to 10 of the Didache talks about Baptism.  Within the gospel, we know that Jesus and John the Baptist, as well as the Apostles baptized by full immersion using living water (Living water is flowing water, from the stream.)

As quoted in Wikipedia
Baptism is to be conferred "in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"[ with triple immersion in “living water” (that is, flowing water, probably in a stream). If that is not practical, in cold or even warm water is acceptable. If the water is insufficient for immersion, it may be poured three times on the head (affusion). The baptized and the baptizer, and, if possible, anyone else attending the ritual should fast for one or two days beforehand.

Comparing this to what Jesus had done, it proves that even in the first century, the Christians no longer keep the teaching of Jesus fully. Even though they believe in Jesus, they have downplayed the need for baptism, and they no longer esteemed baptism.

They had forgotten the fact that Baptism taught by the Apostles is for the Remission Of Sin, they have forgotten how the disciples conduct baptism. They allowed their view to supersede the words of Jesus.  They added their own recommendation, which is that those attending baptism should fast one to two days beforehand. Which is not commanded by Jesus.

Misconception 7: One should listen to the Spirit and not the words of man.

There is another misconception from Christian that arises from the words of Paul in  Gal 1:11-12

“But I make known to you, brethren,
  that the gospel which was preached
  by me is not according to man. 
   For I neither received it from man,
  nor was I taught it, but it came through
  the revelation of Jesus Christ.”- Paul  (Gal 1:11-12)

Over here Paul is talking about the moving of the Holy Spirit, how he was led to the truth. For Paul did not receive the teaching from man. He was not taught by men and his teaching came as a revelation from Jesus Christ

Since the Holy Spirit had led him to understand the truth of Jesus, therefore we must allow the Holy Spirit to guide us freely. We need to ignore the perspective of a man completely.

Those who took this view seriously may even advocate that we should destroy all books and teaching written by man, and that only the bible, dictionary and concordance are allowed. For Paul received instruction from the Holy Spirit and no one else.   

But this is a dangerous view to hold, for that will mean that one should only pray and not listen to a sermon. For only the Holy spirit is allowed to teach and no one should teach one another. On the long run, this may lead to a more serious issue.

Just imagine if the Holy Spirit had taught an individual, they compiled and wrote them down in a book, for they believe that it is important, when they pass away, the next generation of Christians burnt their book, and begin that cycle again. Then the libraries will be filled, burnt up and filled again, 

But is this thinking in accordance with the words of Jesus? This is in fact a dangerous path to take.. I can think of a few immediate dangers.

But is this according to the teaching of Jesus?

It is actually dangerous to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth. While we understood that the Holy Spirit is here to guide us and lead us into all truth.  But that does not mean that we should just listen to Spirits and ignore the teaching of others.

It is actually correct to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us and help us understand the truth. But it is not right to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth. For it is against the teaching of Jesus. There are many dangers that will arise and let us examine these dangers together. 

Pt 7. : A Potential Foothold For The Devil

By asking the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth we would leave a foothold for the devil to work. We are giving him a chance to lead us away from the truth. This danger can cause great damage to the church. For many Christians are misled by the devil. We need to use the bible to help us understand and explain the truth.

Let us imagine a scenario. Today, if through prayer and the revelation of a Spirit. We perceive certain truths. What happens if these revelations had no basis in the scripture? Will we choose to believe it? There is a risk that some in the church will think that the revelations are not inspired by God.  This will lead to a split in the church, for there will be 2 groups of people in the church. Some will choose to believe while others will not.

We need to understand that the Holy Spirit is given to help us understand the word of God. He is not here to go beyond what Jesus had taught. Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit will not speak on his own authority, he will take those that belong to Jesus and give it to others. He will never speak contrary against the teaching of Jesus.

The Warning Of Paul

“Now, brethren, concerning the
  coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
  and our gathering together to Him,
  we ask you, not to be soon shaken in
   mind or troubled, either by spirit or
  by word or by letter, as if from us, as
   though the day of Christ had come. 
   Let no one deceive you by any means;
  for that Day will not come unless the
  falling away comes first, and the man of
  sin is revealed, the son of perdition,”- Paul (2 Thess 2:1-3)

In those days, the church in Thessalonica was curious, they ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to them. They did not pay attention to the teaching of Jesus nor do they bother about the teaching of the Apostles. Since they know that the Holy Spirit is here to lead them to understand the truth.

They did receive truth that no one knows,  and they feel that it is God who revealed it to them, Those truths are different from what the Apostles commonly taught. So the Christians there were wondering whether to believe in these revelations or not. For they have heard from people filled with the Holy Spirit, full of love and of good teaching.

But the teaching of these men was confusing and it is full of destruction. For they are sharing a gospel that altered. These teachers preach it since they believe that they are guided and moved by the Holy Spirit.  So they wrote letters to the Thessalonians talking about their belief, which are different from what Jesus and the Apostles taught.

That is why Paul tells them to careful, be it in Spirit, Word or letter, they need to discern what is being shared.

The Advice Of John : Test the Spirits

Elder John teaches us the same thing 1 Jn 4:1-3

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit,
  but test the spirits, whether they are
  of God; because many false prophets
  have gone out into the world.
 
By this you know the Spirit of God: Every
  spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has
  come in the flesh is of God,  and every spirit
  that does not confess that Jesus Christ has
  come in the flesh is not of God. And this is
  the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have
  heard was coming, and is now already in the
  world.”- John (1 Jn 4:1-3 )

There is a need for Christians to judge and discern if a Spirit is indeed from Christ. But how do we discern? What is the basis for our judgement? Should we believe them just because they come in the name if Jesus? What was John talking about?

What John was talking about in 1 Jn 4:2. In his time there were people who claim that Jesus Christ is not from God. They do not believe it because in their opinion, the Holy God will never take the form of an unholy body. They believed that the body is sinful and unclean, capable of sinning and vulnerable. They questioned whether God will stay in a body that is prone to sin. 

While today this problem no longer exists as most Christians believe that Jesus is indeed God in the flesh. But during the time of John there were some who regarded Jesus as a mere illusion, even though he appeared as human but he is not a man. They went one step further to say that he came in the form of man but without a physical body.

Sometimes this debate carried on into modern day Christianity.

So how should we discern the Spirit? Is it as simple as asking, “Do you confess that Jesus had come in the flesh?”. If we do so, is that not childish? If a man wants to deceive you, will he answer truthfully? Perhaps he may confess, but he may be an anti Christ in disguise. 

We tend to picture the devil as ugly and scary. But Paul tells us

“For such are false apostles, deceitful
  workers, transforming themselves into
  apostles of Christ.  And no wonder! For
  Satan himself transforms himself into an
  angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing
  if his ministers also transform themselves
  into ministers of righteousness, whose end
  will be according to their works.”- Paul( 2 Cor 11:13-15)

Let us not be surprised that the devil can disguise himself as an apostle. They can even manifest the power of the apostles, to heal the sick and cast our demons. These are things that many cannot do.  

The Corinthians saw their miracles and believed that these people are the apostles. But Paul warned them that Satan can come as an angel of light. In the same way, his servants can pretend to be ministers of righteousness. They will be able to heal the sick, cast out demons  making others believe in them. If these ministers can perform miracles, but not teach the truth. Then it is a huge problem. That is why I would like to side-track a bit and discuss the following question.

Is the Holy Spirit Here To Perform Miracles Only?

The Holy Spirit has the power to heal the sick and cast out demons. But that is not his main purpose. In the same manner, Jesus can perform these miracles, but his sole purpose on earth is not to heal the sick and to cast out demons.

That is why when many came to Jesus with their sick and demon possessed, Jesus left them and went somewhere else to preach the gospel.  For that is his true purpose why he was on earth. The Holy Spirit had the power to heal the sick and cast out demons. But according to the Pneumatology of Christ, his greatest duty is to lead Christians into all truth. That is why we need to discern what is truth and what is not

If we examine the words of John carefully in 1 Jn 4:2-3. He tells us to examine the Spirit and not the man. John is indeed wise and watchful for he knows that man can choose to be deceptive.  They can disguise themselves as a minister of righteousness and deceive you. They can even profess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord, but yet the spirit of the antichrist is within him.

That is why he tells us not to examine what is external but look into his spirit. Let us examine a man base on his way of life and what he does. Let us judge if he had indeed led his life according to the teaching of Christ. Let us ask questions such as “Did he submit to the truth? Has he truly repented?” that is how we can discern between what’s real and what’s false.

That is why John taught this

“We are of God. He who knows
  God hears us; he who is not of
  God does not hear us. By this we
  know the spirit of truth and the
  spirit of error.” – John (1 Jn 4:6)

Only those who are of God will listen to the words of God. Those who are not of God will not listen. That is how we differentiate between the Spirit of  truth and Spirit of error. Ultimately, it is the truth that will help us discern the Spirit, if one indeed receive the Holy Spirit, he will be moved by the Spirit and submit to the words of God. For the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth

The Spirit of Truth will never go against the truth, but the Spirit of error will. The Spirit of Error will only pay lip service, but his actions will truly reveal who he is.

Conclusion

Truth will always be true forever. Falsehood can pretend for the moment by that façade will disappear eventually. The Chinese had a saying 驴要知马力,日久见人心. If you ride a horse for a while, you will discover its strength, if you observe a man for a while, you will understand his heart.

Let us not believe in every spirit, but let us test the Spirit. For many false prophets had gone out into the world. We need to observe their Spirit, we need to discern them, then we can differentiate between the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error.

If we are not familiar with the words of God, we would end up not following man blindly without discernment. We will be deceived by his outward appearance,  and we would not be able to tell if his actions are against the truth.

Let us start by having a basic understanding of the scriptures. Let the word of God dwell richly within us. Let us be doers not hearers. Let us not just learn bits and pieces from various sermon speaker, but aspire to go forward and read the word of God ourselves. Let us allow it to dwell richly within us, then we could use the word of God to help us discern the Spirit.

Introduction

As the year 2017 comes to a close, it is a time for us to consider how our previous year is like. So for tonight as it is less than 1 hour to the new year. Therefore, I would like to spend the last hour thinking. If there are things that I have neglected this year.

According to the dictionary neglect means failure to take care or to give attention to something. Neglect can happen when we overlook or if we are uninterested in something. Someone who is careless and does not pay enough attention to thing, runs the risk in neglecting something.

Let us consider 3 points for tonight.

Pt 1: Do not neglect the needy

“Now in those days, when the number “
  of
the disciples was multiplying, there
   arose a complaint against the Hebrews
  by the Hellenists,because their widows
  were neglected in the daily distribution.”- Luke (Acts 6:1)

In this record, the church neglected something that they should not neglect. In those days, the church helped orphans and widows by providing daily necessities for them. But then the church neglected the widows who are in need of their care. This neglect happened probably because of a lack of workers.

As the result, the Hellenist (Greek speaking Jewish Christians) had a complaint against the Hebrew speaking Christians, and if this neglect is unchecked, it will lead to further criticism and fights within the church. It can potentially divide and destroy the church.

The Apostles understood the magnitude of the problem. But their main duties are to pray and minister to the word of the Lord. Therefore, they selected 7 deacons to help take care of the administrative function of the church. They hoped that by sharing the load and responsibility the number of neglected widows would decrease over time.

From this story we can see that as Christian we cannot neglect the brethren who needs our help. The duty of taking care of them does not fall to the minister and church leaders only. It is also the responsibility of every brother and sister. Everyone of us had a part to play in creating a loving atmosphere within the church. That is why we need to watch out for our brother and sister who needs help.

Besides not neglecting the needy in the church. The Bible reminds us of 2 other issues that we must never neglect. Let us consider them together.

 Pt 2: Do Not Neglect Salvation

“For if the word spoken through 
  angels proved steadfast, and every
  transgression and disobedience
  received a just reward,
  how shall we escape if we neglect
  so great a salvation, which at the
  first began to be spoken by the Lord,
  and was confirmed to us by those
  who heard Him,”-Author of Hebrews (Heb 2:2-3)

Over here the Author of Hebrews warn us, how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? Let us resolve not to neglect the salvation we receive from God. For it is the grace of Christ.  Jesus brought this grace with him when he preached about the kingdom of God

This grace is better than the Law that was given through angels (messengers and servant of God). In the wilderness the Israelites followed the Mosaic law delivered to them through Gods messenger Moses. To the Jews, that law is the most precious gift from God.

But that Law cannot be compared with the gospel preached by Jesus. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (Jn 1:17). For our grace of salvation is taught by Jesus Christ. He is the originator of the new Covenant. While the Old Testament Joshua wrote the law onto stone tablets as he renewed the Mosaic Covenant. The New Testament Yeshua (Jesus) completed the work of salvation by dying on the cross and nailing the curse of the Law onto the cross.

As the Author of Hebrew continues telling us

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little
  lower than the angels, for the suffering
  of death crowned with glory and honor,
  that He, by the grace of God, might taste
  death for everyone.”- Author of Hebrews (Heb 2:9)

Only Jesus can give us this grace, and it is confirmed by those who hear him. When the Author of Hebrew wrote the word Us in verse 3. He is referring to the 2nd and 3rd generation Christian of his time. For the first generation received the gospel from Jesus directly. They were the eyewitness of Jesus. The gospel that was preached by Jesus was affirmed and preached by them to the 2nd and 3rd generation Christians. God himself gives a witness to them, confirming their teaching with signs miracles and wonders. These signs bore witness that what Jesus said is true.

Throughout history to even today, God had preserved the word of God faithfully so that the church in the end days can still find the words of salvation within them. If we were to consider these facts, we will see that this grace of Salvation is not something easily obtainable.
Jesus needs to proclaim it to the disciples and eyewitness first. Then they are supposed to hand it down to the next generation of Christians, finally to be preserved in the new testament. On to the church in the last days over a span of 2 millennia. Throughout the process, God continues to use signs, miracles and wonder to affirm this message. Even today he had given us the Holy Spirit so that we have a witness from God concerning our beliefs. In order to bring this salvation to us, everyone needs to play a part.

What a sin it would be should we neglect this salvation!

The Lesson for Us Today

When the author of Hebrews wrote Heb 2:2-3, the believers were undergoing persecution, that is why he began the chapter by telling them

“Therefore we must give the more
  earnest heed to the things we have
   heard, lest we drift away.”- Author of Hebrews (Heb 2:1)

In the same way, Christians today ought to be diligent to ensure that we continue in the grace of God. For Christ had already sacrificed his life and destroyed the power of Satan. He suffered so that he can redeem us who were once slaves of sin.

God has planned to bring us into eternal glory, Jesus had completed his part of the work, it is our work to take heed of what we heard and not drift away from God. As Heb 2:2 remind us. “Every transgression will receive a just reward". If we fail to take heed of our salvation, we would receive our just reward as well.

What does he mean by just reward?

Just reward refers to the end result we get for what we have done. If a worker were to perform his duty, the boss would need to pay him. If he did not do his job well, his reward will not be good.

Jesus had chosen us out of the million of people on earth and he had given us this grace. We need to repay him by preserving this grace that he had given. If we did this successfully, we will receive our reward in the kingdom of heaven.

But if we choose to neglect it, if we feel that our faith is unimportant, and we allow it to die and drift away. Then God will reserve for us our just reward, for he had given us so much grace, and instead of treasuring the grace, we allow it to die. As the author of Hebrews continues to warn us

“For it is impossible for those who were
  once enlightened, and have tasted the
  heavenly gift, and have become partakers
   of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the
  good word of God and the powers of
  the age to come, if they fall away,
  to renew them again to repentance, since
  they crucify again for themselves the
   Son of God, and put Him to an open
  shame.

   For the earth which drinks in the rain
  that often comes upon it, and bears
  herbs useful for those by whom it is
  cultivated, receives blessing from God;
 
but if it bears thorns and briers, it is
  rejected and near to being cursed,
  whose end is to be burned.”- Author of Hebrew (Heb 6:4-8)

Their end is to be burned. Sometimes we wonder why is God so cruel. But that is because they did not treasure the grace that God had given, they wasted the grace of God.

That is why to neglect salvation is a severe sin. God had prepared the kingdom of God for his children, the bible had described it as a big feast. He had given us a sample of the feast by giving us the Holy Spirit. We have tasted and tried everything that God had prepared, we have used them in our lives and God had blessed and satisfied us.

We have already begun that spiritual journey when we accepted Christ, and were baptized in his blood. We have already partaken that feast. Now that we have eaten it half way, we decide to throw it away. Is that not a great waste of the grace of God.

Let us remember the preciousness of this grace and never neglect this grace of God

Pt 3: Do Not Neglect Our gift

It had just passed midnight, I am able to see 2 location of fireworks from my apartment.

The third point came from the writing of Paul

“Do not neglect the gift that is in you, 
  which was given to you by prophecy
  with the laying on of the hands of the
  eldership.”- Paul (1 Tim 4:14)

Paul reminded Timothy not to neglect the gift that is given to him. In the same way , let us not neglect the gifts given to us by God. To Timothy, his gift is granted through prophecy and the laying of hands by the elders.

That is why in my church, we have a tradition where ministers would pray and lay hands on the workers before they begin ministry. God will grant his worker gifts, so that they can edify the church. For God wanted them to work together to establish a glorious church.

God granted Timothy a gift, so that he can be an example to the believers. Through his preaching, he could guide them to learn to fear God. Paul reminded Timothy to be a good steward of the Lord, and never neglect or despise the gift he had given. Instead, he ought to accept all opportunities to serve God.

Paul wanted to encourage Timothy, for it is something he needs, for Timothy is a younger preacher, inexperienced. Sometimes he had doubts if he could guide the church since he is young. He neglects the gift given to him by God, for he felt he was young. He refrained from using his gift, which resulted to setbacks in his service to the Lord.

That is why Paul emphasized and encourage him. “To be courageous, and not despise yourself because of your youth"

Meditate on these things; give yourself
  entirely to them, that your progress
  may be evident to all.”- Paul (1 Tim 4:15)

Paul reminded him to meditate on these gift, use them often so that others can see his progress. Paul was writing as a teacher of Timothy, he is speaking from the perspective of being a teacher.

As teachers, we wanted our students to grow, we willing impart knowledge to them all the time, but how well they will learn depends on how much they pursue. Some student put in a lot of effort to listen and to take notes, while others waited for the lesson to end. The only way to track their progress is to test them and see how they applied their knowledge. That will reveal who had been paying attention.

Learning From Experience  

Paul is reminding Timothy that he needs to learn as a student, even though he may not have the right experience, he can continue to learn. He can learn from others and grow. He can let others see his progress, when God gives a gift, it doesn’t mean that we are experts in using it. We would still need experience, and on the job learning. That requires us to encounter many setbacks for it will not be a smooth sailing journey.

Let us not give up thinking that we are failures and unprofitable, for if we think like this we will remain unprofitable. But since God had already given us the gift, let us improve and work on it. We need to have an attitude of a student, be willing to learn.

Today there are many youths who think that they cannot serve God, they did not have the experience in life to do it. But they forgot the fact that when Jesus rode into Jerusalem, he chose to ride on a young donkey’s colt. It is a young and inexperienced donkey, but Jesus sent his disciples to fetch it. He used it to enter Jerusalem at his most glorious moment. That donkey was never ridden before, yet the first person who rode it is the Lord.

There are various degrees of church work, and God had given us the gift to serve him. Even if we feel that we are young and inexperienced, though we may not have the courage to serve yet.
Let us not neglect the gift that God had given us. We need to seize the opportunity and learn. If we persist in this, our progress will be clear to others.

Take Heed To yourself and to the doctrine

Paul encourage Timothy one more point

“Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine.
  Continue in them, for in doing this you
   will save both yourself and those who
  hear you.” –Paul (1 Tim 4:16)

This is something we need to continue in our work in serving the church, we must not give up on this. There will always be work in a church that requires our help and we need people to participate in these ministries. Even though serving the church may be tough, but it will allow us to work together with the Lord. With God on our side, he will always give us the strength we need. But to do some we must choose not to neglect our gifts

Conclusion

Today, we learn about 3 things that we should not neglect in our lives of faith
   a. Let us not neglect the brothers and sisters in need of help and concern 
   b. Let us not neglect that great grace of salvation given to us by God
    c. Let us not neglect the gifts God has given us

May these be the directions for us in this new year.

Introduction

The bible tells us that a Christian is given many titles. Each of these titles holds a different significance to the Christian. Each of these titles highlights the different virtues a Christian ought to have. Let us examine these virtues and see if we live up to the standards of these titles.

In our previous post of this series, We learnt that the most common title of a Christian is a believer

But the most basic title is a disciple.  This title was  mentioned by Jesus

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of
the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to
observe all things that I have commanded you;
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end
of the age.”-Jesus (Matt 28:19-20)

Jesus did not say, “Make everyone a believer” but instead he tells us to make disciples for him. He wanted them to be his disciple. A disciple is one who learns and follows a master. In the old days, the disciple is a student of a master. He is supposed to live with his teacher and learn a skill from him.

Being a disciple is more than just believing in Jesus. He needs to be baptized, to come under the name of Jesus and learn the word of God. He need to serve God, and that is what it meant to be a disciple.

Today, many of us are baptised, we are in the Lord, but have we become his disciple? How do we know if one is truly a disciple of Jesus?

Fortunately, Jesus did define for us what it meant to be his disciple. If we are his true disciple, we need to learn from these and practice them in our lives

PT 1: A True disciple abides in the word of Jesus

“If you abide in My word,
you are My disciples indeed.”- Jesus (Jn 8:31)

When Jesus spoke these words, he is not addressing unbelievers. He is talking to the Jews who believed in him. In those days, and even today, there are Jews who believe, but are unable to follow his words. That is why Jesus tells us that only those who abide in his words are his disciples.

For one day Jesus will ask us “Why did you call me Lord and not follow my word? Are you really my disciples?”

There was a group of chickens who wanted to soar in the skies like eagles. So they approach an eagle and begged him to teach them how to fly. In the midst of learning, they suffered a lot, they fell and got bruised. But finally they are able to fly in the skies.

So the eagle is proud of his students, before he left, he told them “Now you can fly with your wings freely, you do not need to walk anymore”. After that, he parted ways with them and flew away. As he flew away, he was feeling proud and joyful. Since he had taught the chickens well and he wanted to see how well they are flying. But as he turns back and look, he did not see any chickens flying. Initially, he was surprised, he thought they have flown farther than the eagle, but as he look hard on the ground, he saw them walking on the ground. The eagle was disappointed, he shook his head. “Why bother to learn to fly if all they wanted is to walk?” the Eagle was wondering.

If a disciple of Jesus, cannot abide in his words, Jesus will ask why did he called Jesus Lord and refuse to do as Jesus commanded. If we truly believe in Jesus, we must abide in the words of the Lord. If we fail to do so, we will be cast out.

“ There will be weeping and gnashing
of teeth, when you see Abraham and
Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets
in the kingdom of God, and yourselves
thrust out.  They will come from the east
and the west, from the north and the
south, and sit down in the kingdom of God.
And indeed there are last who will be
first, and there are first who will be last.”- Jesus (Lk 13:28-30)

The descendent of Abraham will be seated in the kingdom of God. But the bible tells us that some will be thrust out. That is because even though they have the faith of Abraham, they did not obey God. For if we do not abide in his words, we will fall behind, we will be thrust out. For there are people who are first who will turn out last.

No one likes to lose out in life, that is why we will change if we notice we are falling behind our peers. For they used to be walking behind us and now they are ahead of us. That is a good attitude to have. Why don’t we apply that to our faith? In the same where there are others who used to fall behind and now they are in front of us.

Jesus is not telling us to judge others, but rather we should consider if we are walking in front or not But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. That is why Jesus reminds us

“Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I say to you, will seek to enter
and will not be able.”- Jesus (Lk 13:24)

Will we be able to enter into the door? Or will we be thrust out?  We need to be a good disciple to enter through the door.

PT 2: A true disciple is one with love

“A new commandment I give to you,
that you love one another; as I have
loved you, that you also love one another.
 By this all will know that you are My
disciples, if you have love for one
another.”- Jesus (Jn 13:34-35)

People will know that you are a disciple if you love one another. We know that loving one another is found in the bible, even in the old testament. Why then is this a new commandment?

For love in the New Testament had a new standard. We need to love one another with the love of the Lord. The disciple of Jesus will not love with the love of man, but love with the love of the Lord. Why is this so? For the love of man is selfish and incomplete. A man will love those who love them. They will love only when others bring benefits to him. Such love is troublesome, it had the risk of turning bitter and having disappointment.

The love of Christ is perfect, selfless. If one love with a love of God, there will be less problems, it will reduce unhappiness. It can bring more joy and more hope. In the past we love with the love of man, but now as disciples of Christ, we love each other with the love of Jesus.

Let us look at what that love means

“You have heard that it was said,
‘You shall love your neighbor
  and hate your enemy.’
But I say to you, love your enemies,
bless those who curse you, do good to
those who hate you, and pray for those
who spitefully use you and persecute you,[
 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven;
for He makes His sun rise on the evil
and on the good, and sends rain on the
just and on the unjust.”"- Jesus (Matt 5:43-45)

It is easy for us to love our neighbor and hate our enemies. Everyone one Christian and non Christian alike can love those who love us, and hate those who hate us. But now we need to love our enemies, pray for our persecutors.

The latter is hard, for how can we love someone who hates us? We always wanted revenge, we wanted their life to be miserable as well. But the fact is, we will never be sure if we inflict any damage or hurt to the other part. But one thing is for sure, those who hold on to that hatred, will be unhappy. Whenever we think about that person we hate, we will lose our appetite and our sleep. By choosing to hate them, we wanted to make their life miserable, but the truth is, we are the ones who are suffering.

To forgive is to release yourself.

“Judge not, and you shall not be judged.
Condemn not, and you shall not be
condemned. Forgive, and you will
be forgiven.”- Jesus (Lk 6:37)

To forgive here  ( ἀπολύω  G630) also carries with it a meaning of release. To forgive someone is to release yourself from the pain and suffering.

How To Forgive?

We often think that by granting forgiveness, we are allowing the aggressor to win, and that feeling makes us indignant. But if we allow hatred to bind us we will be even more unhappy. If we take the advice from the bible and forgive, on the surface it appears as if we have taken a position that is disadvantaged.

But the fact is that we have released ourselves from the anger, and found true freedom and peace. The  Chinese character for anger is very interesting.

This character is formed by 2 separate Chinese words. 奴(Which means “Slave”)  and 心 (which mean “heart”). A person who is bound by anger enslaves his own heart. This was understood by the ancients and they constructed the word in such a manner.

This is easy to understand as theory, but the question is, “"How do we forgive our enemies? How do we love them?”

Loving your enemies is not about hugging them like lovers or long lost friends. I understand that it is difficult to do, kudos if one can do it sincerely and well. But all the Bible requires us to do is to pray for them. We need to forgive them in our prayer. If we can release ourselves of that hurt, we will not remember the hurt he had cause us. Then we will be able to greet him with a natural smile. There is a difference between a natural smile and a compelled smile.

But isn’t love a matter of choice? Can we be compelled to love? Why did Jesus command us to love like this?

There is a big reason why this love comes as a commandment. For it is easy and natural for us to love someone who love us. But in life we will encounter people who are just plain unlovable, someone who is petty, selfish, proud and bad tempered. By instinct, we will stay away from such characters. For they are hard to love

There is no need for God to command us to love the ones who love us. Since we can do this willingly, with joy and without any complain. But love as a command is targeted at those who are unlovable, whom we deem are unworthy of respect. It is targeted at these people who we will avoid by instinct.

That is why Christians are given the command to love those we can’t love, our enemies. We want them to experience the love of God, hopefully one day they will change. We want our own love to grow and not be selfish. If we are true disciples of Christ, we need to love them with the love of the Lord.

PT 3: A true disciple bear fruits

“By this My Father is glorified, that you
bear much fruit; so you will be My
disciples.”- Jesus (Jn 15: 8 )

Jesus said that his disciples will bear fruit. In verse 5 he was describing himself as a vine and the disciples being the branches. The value of the branch lies in its ability to bear fruit. If the branch does not bear fruit, it will be a waste of the nutrients from the tree. That is why that branch will be cut off, so that the other branches will bear more fruit.

“Every branch in Me that does not bear
fruit He takes away; and every branch
that bears fruit He prunes, that it may
bear more fruit”- Jesus (Jn 15:2)

There are 2 types of cutting off, one is to cut away the branches that bear no fruit, the other is to prune the branch so that it will bear more fruit. A branch may be able to bear fruit, but its yield may be less. In order to make the branch bear more fruit, its useless stump will have o be removed.  That is because these stump make use of the nutrients from the tree and bears no fruit. By cutting these off, the nutrients could be used to make more fruit.

How To bear more fruits?

In order to bear more fruit, we need to accept the pruning from God. It is meant to remove our weakness and imperfections within us.

Take for example

Every Christian had the heart to bear fruits for the Lord, many are willing to offer to God. But because they had many other desires which requires money, they often find it hard to offer. But if these desires are cut off, they will have more resources to offer to God willingly.

Every Christian wanted to be able to serve God and spend more time in the ministry. But sometimes we do not have the time. The fact is, God had given everyone 24 hours, and every Christian need to work and take care of their family. But some are able to find time for God while others don’t. This is more a question about how we use our time, if we have used them on things that are important.

If we want to handle our lives well to cut waste and to find time to serve God, we need to be able to free up our time and resources. Sometimes our desires hinder us from getting what we need to serve God.

How to be pruned by Jesus?

But how does God prune us so that we can bear more fruit?

“For the word of God is living and powerful,
and sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing even to the division of soul and
spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is
a discerner of the thoughts and intents
of the heart.”- Author of Hebrews (Heb 4:12)

The word of God is living and powerful, it can pierce through our hearts, discerning our intentions and thoughts. It will point out what is not good within us, what is unnecessary and where to prune. It is not meant to hurt us, for that is the pruning of God to help us identified the aspect of us that need improvement. God’s word is like a sword that pierce our hearts, but it is not meant to hurt us, it is meant to prune us, help us improve ourselves.

Today, if we feel hurt when listening to a sermon. Let us not be unhappy and offended by it. For that is a good thing and we have discovered where our weakness is.

There are 2 common responses we see in people, some will continue in their wrong, and pile more sin and mistakes on top of it. Others will acknowledge their mistakes and repent. If the word of God is right and we are offended by it. Do the fault lies in the word of God or in us?
How should we go from here?

That is the exact moment when the word of God prunes us.

If we allow the word of God to prune our character, if we listen to it and repent, we will be renewed. Perhaps we may repeat our mistake in our moment of weakness, but if we turn to God he will help us overcome it.

That is why, if we feel that the word of God had hurt us, we should submit to it, give thanks and allow it to pierce into our heart. It will bring about change and it will cleanse us

You must be joined to Jesus the true vine to bear fruit

Besides allowing God to prune us, we must be joined to the Lord to bear fruit.

“I am the vine, you are the branches.
He who abides in Me, and I in him,
bears much fruit; for without Me you
can do nothing.”- Jesus (Jn 15:5)

We need to ask ourselves if we are abiding in the Lord or not. Abiding in the Lord is not about our church attendance . It doesn’t mean that those who are not physically in the church building do not abide in the Lord.  For many are able to come and sit in the church hall, but their hearts are far away from the Lord.

Is our hearts in the church? Have we examined ourselves?  Sometimes our hearts can run around while we are siting in the hall. But Jesus wanted our heart to be in service as we are gathering  in church.

We need to worship in Spirit and in truth, our hearts must be joined to the Lord. This is important, especially when we sing a hymn, pray or listen to a sermon.  For Jesus continues to tell us

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you,
you will ask what you desire, and it shall be
done for you.”- Jesus (Jn 15:7)

Whenever we gather in churches, read the bible, pray or listen to a sermon, we are abiding in his words, we are attaching our hearts to the Lord. Some may think that coming to church is a habit, for they come in and leave on time. It is a good habit, but good habit does not help one grow in faith. If our worship of God is a habit, it is a good habit to have, but we cannot allow our faith to become a habit. For faith is a communion with God and his words. It is through prayers, hymns and listening to his word,s we have communion with God.

Do we only focus on how well we sing? Do we sing with our hearts and mean what we sing? We may be singing about being a disciple, but are we truly his disciple?  IF through the hymn we examine ourselves, discover that we are far from the standards of God. If we repent and ask God for forgiveness and mercy, than a simple hymn is all that it needs to bring us closer to God, to have our hearts aligned with God.

But its sad, ‘since we often sing with our lips and our hearts are not there, we may come to church but we lead our own life outside of church. One who is truly joined to the Lord will sing with his heart and his faith. Those who practice this will have a different life of faith, they will improve over time.

We do not sing a hymn or speak for the sake of receiving applause from man.

The same principle applies to prayer, the truth is there is no rules in the bible that demanded people to pray for a specific length of time, but we know that if left by ourselves, our prayer will only last for seconds. What is important is not about the length of prayer, but whether we prayed with our hearts. If we pray with our hearts, we will feel the Lord before us. There are times when we pray and it felt as though God had left, but that is usually because we have many other things that had replaced the position of God in that prayer.

These are all lessons we need to know, if we can do this well, we can bear more fruit.

PT 4: A True disciple loves God above everything

“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his
father and mother, wife and children, brothers
and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot
be My disciple. ”- Jesus (Lk 14:26)

In order to be disciples, we must love God above our family. This is one of the hardest verse in the bible and the one that draws the most irk from readers. But the bible is not saying that Christian are not to be filial nor love their parents.

But today if our parents or family obstructs us from believing in Jesus, and they stop us from serving God. We need to overcome their objection. There is no need for us to openly disobey them, or to say hurtful words to hurt them. But  we need to make our stand clear. If our family object to our faith as Christians, that is not right. While we can submit to them on many occasions, but we should not give in for this is wrong. There is no need for us to fight them but we ought to make our stand clear.

Let us learn to persist in our stand and be loyal to God. Let us not betray the Lord

Finally, let us consider

And whoever does not bear his
cross and come after Me cannot
be My disciple”-Jesus (Lk 14:27)

We need to bear our own cross as disciples. Every Christian has their own problem and their own troubles. Some are easy to solve while others add on to sorrows. Perhaps we may have prayed about it often and it appears that God remained silent.

So sometimes we murmur against God and ask why he did not help his disciples.  But Jesus had already told us that his disciples need to carry their cross.

Indeed, there are times we need to bear the cross, and it is a trial for us. Trials are like exams, while we will gladly help a friend with their assignment interfering with their exams will bring harm to them. In our life of faith, there are crosses we near to bear.

It is true that sometimes we can choose to throw the cross away and stop believing in Jesus. We can do whatever we want, and be as low and dirty as some may play. We can choose to ignore conscience and not care about anything. We can defend ourselves and get back on our aggressors. As long as we are cruel enough, we can resolve many problems. That is the way of the world

Sometimes being a disciple is hard, by choosing to hold on to our faith, we bring trouble upon ourselves. We cannot do what the people of the world do. But we must be willing to carry that cross. For Jesus bear the cross for us in the first place.

The gospel is the message of the cross, its followers tread on the way of the cross. We need to be willing to bear the cross and walk down that path. For we know that no matter how heavy the cross is it is worth it. It is worth more than our lives.

For the end of that path is the glorious heaven, that is the way that Jesus had walked.  If Jesus had to walk on that path to be glorified. How can his disciples be spared of it? Jesus had already carried the cross on our behalf so that we can receive this glory. Let us carry our cross and follow the Lord

May God grant us this faith, may we truly be his disciples.

So far, we have studied the following

    

1. The Holy Spirit Is Here To Lead Us Into All Truth  (Part 1, Part 2)
     a. Aspect 1: To lead individuals to develop a relationship with the Truth 
     b. Aspect 2: To lead the church into all Truth 
2. The Holy Spirit is here to lead the church into all truth (Part 3)

We have taken a detailed look on how the Holy Spirit is able to lead us into truth. Now it is time for us to examine the second point of the Pneumatology of Christ

Pt 2: Holy Spirit  will not go against Word of God

Let us examine the words of Christ again

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth,
  has come, He will guide you into all truth;
  for He will not speak on His own authority,
  but whatever He hears He will speak;
  and He will tell you things to come.”- Jesus (Jn 16:13)

Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit will not speak on his own authority. He will only tell us what he heard  from God. Jesus continues tells us
 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what
   is Mine and declare it to you” – Jesus (Jn 16:14)

The Holy Spirit will not tell you that which does not belong to Christ. He will never go beyond the words of God or speak against it. This is an important concept that we must understand, for it will affect how we discern the truth.

The modern Christendom is full of people who claims to be moved by the Spirit. But if any of them spoke against the word of God. Then he is speaking on his own authority and is not led by the Holy Spirit

Misconception 3.  Must we listen everything revealed by the Spirit?

Today are many religion including Christianity believes in the inspiration and revelation of a Spirit. But ironically, many of these inspired word from the Spirit goes against the truth from the Bible. These inspiration were not the words of Jesus.

That is why it is so important for Christians to learn to discern. There are some who feels, that since the Holy Spirit is here to lead us into all truth. Therefore, whatever the Spirit said must be right and should be accepted.

But is this the right concept to hold? Jesus tell us that the Holy Spirit will never speak on his own. He will only tell you what he had heard, he will only take what belongs to Jesus and declare them to us. That is the right understanding we ought to have.

What are “Things To Come” in John 16:13?

But when we read John 16:13, we understood that the Holy Spirit will tell Christians about the things to come. But what is it referring to? Those things to come concern the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Those are things that had yet to happen at the point of John 16:13.

Why must Jesus die? How will he resurrected? Why must he ascend to heaven?  What does all these have to do with our faith as a Christian? Those are questions that the apostles are still unable to understand at the point of time.

When the Spirit came, he lead them into all truth, they have wrote their understanding in Greek for the sake of the wider audience  and today these writings form the New Testament that we read. These words they wrote are based on the words of Jesus, not revelations from Spirits. The Holy Spirit allowed them to recall the words of Jesus, when they entered into all truth, they are able to understand its spirit and its meaning.

As Christians we ought to understand that the Holy Spirit will never go against the truth. Why is it so? Let us examine the reasons behind it.

Reason #1 : The Holy Spirit Is The Truth, Just like Jesus

One of the simplest and the most important reason is the fact that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth.  We know that Jesus is the truth. How can the Spirit of Truth go against the Truth of Jesus?

But where in the bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is Truth? 

“This is He who came by water and blood—
  Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by
  water and blood. And it is the Spirit who
  bears witness, because the Spirit is truth
  For there are three that bear witness in
  heaven: the Father, the Word, and the
  Holy Spirit; and these three are one.”- John (1 Jn 5:6-7) 

John explains why the testimony of the Holy Spirit is authoritative. That is because the Holy Spirit is truth. The same John wrote in the gospel that Jesus is the truth. Can there be two truth? no, for the Truth is only one. By calling the Holy Spirit truth, he implying that the Holy Spirit is one with Jesus.

Just as Jesus is one with the father, and the Holy Spirit is the spirit of Jesus, that makes him the truth.  So how do we know that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus? 

“Now when they had gone through Phrygia
  and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden
  by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. 7
 
After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go
  into Bithynia, but the Spirit[ did not permit them.” –Luke (Acts 16:6-7)

Luke was narrating about the missionary journey of Paul. Here the Holy Spirit stopped them in Asia and they went to Bithynia, now the Spirit did not permit them. Some  translation included the text “Spirit Of Jesus”

The Apostles uses the term Holy Spirit and Jesus interchangeably as if they are the same.  Interestingly, these are concepts that most in Christendom cannot accept. There are some who even thinks that the Holy Spirit is merely the power of God. Others believed in the Trinity where God is 3 distinct and separate being yet are one. People with such belief will not regard the Holy Spirit to be the same as  Jesus. 

But the Apostles through the guidance of the Holy Spirit came to this understanding. The Holy Spirit is one with Jesus, just like Jesus is one with the father. John called the Holy Spirit the truth, and Luke called the Holy Spirit the spirit of Jesus. 

The Disciples Only Understood This After Receiving The Holy Spirit

This understanding is not something they have at the beginning when they followed Christ. They understood it only on Pentecost. Perhaps some will wonder how I came to this conclusion?

“A  little while, and you will not see Me; 
   and again a little while, and you will
   see Me, because I go to the Father.”- Jesus (Jn 16;16)

This words are spoken very soon after Jesus talked about the Holy Spirit. The disciples was very puzzled about what Jesus was saying at that point of time.  They did not know what Jesus meant. Where is Jesus going? will he return tomorrow? Will they ever get to see him again?

They were wondering among themselves

“What is this that He says to us, ‘A little
  while, and you will not see Me; and again
  a little while, and you will see Me’; and,
  ‘because I go to the Father’?”  – Disciples (Jn 16:17)

Jesus was saying that he will go to the Father. This seem to suggest that the disciples did not see him for he will die. But yet Jesus said “A Little while later you will see me.”

Jesus went on to tell the disciples

“Therefore you now have sorrow;
  but I will see you again and your
  heart will rejoice, and your joy
  no one will take from you.

  And in that day you will ask Me    
  nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you,
  whatever you ask the Father in My
  name He will give you.” – Jesus (Jn 16:22-23)

Jesus was in fact talking about what will happen after his resurrection.  He will come and he will see them, and their hearts will rejoice.   The joy they will receive is not a normal joy,it is a joy that will never be taken away from them.

He also said that when he comes again, they will not need to ask anymore. For they will understand all things. When that happen, they can ask from the father and he will grant you.  This is something the disciples cannot understand initially, they understood only later.

For after Jesus had died, resurrected and appeared to them again. They are able to experience the joy of seeing Jesus again. This joy happen even when they are living in fear.When Jesus appeared them in Jn 20:19. When Jesus come and said “Peace be with you” when he show them his hand and his sides. That is when they rejoice. That is the point of time where they understood what he meant. For a little while they will see him.

Indeed when they see Jesus after his death, they were full of Joy. But how long did that joy last? We know that Jesus later ascended to heaven. Did their joy depart because Jesus had ascended to heaven?

Keeping Difficult Sayings Of Jesus In Our Heart

But Jesus promised them that he will see them forever,they will dwell together.

“I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. 
  A little while longer and the world will see Me
  no more, but you will see Me. Because I live,
  you will live also.  At that day you will know
  that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and
  I in you.”- Jesus (Jn 14:18-20)

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give
   you another Helper, that He may abide with
  you forever—”- Jesus (Jn 14:16)

Jesus  promised that he will not leave his disciples, and he will come to them. A little while longer the world will see Jesus no more. But his disciples will see him. They will not just see him but they will know that Jesus is in the father, and they are in him and he is in them.

These are things they cannot understand at that point of time. When Jesus spoke these words, he was standing before them, they have seen him eating and drinking just like a human. How can Jesus be in them and how can they be in Jesus?  This is  something that they cannot understand how it works.

There was another occasion where Jesus said that one need to eat his flesh and drink his blood to have life. (Jn 6). These are things they are unable to understand, how can a man say this? This is a hard saying, but it is an important saying, for it concern salvation and life.

The 2 points above are different form stories about miracles of  casting demons and healing of the sick. Stories about miracles are easy to understand, but they are unable to cleanse a person of sin. It cannot bring about salvation. Even today we have many who received miracles from Jesus and were unable to find faith. That is why many departed from Jesus  just because

This is different from stories of casting out demons and healing the sick. Those are stories that are easy to understand. But they are unable to cleanse one from sin. It cannot bring salvation.  Today there are many who received miracles and are unable to believe. Many departed from Jesus after they heard the hard teaching.

Only those who really believe that the words of Christ are life. Only those who believe that his words are truth that can cleanse us from sin, to lead us to God and save us. Then the words of Jesus will be important to us.

The Holy Spirit is here to help us understand these truth spoken by Jesus. These words have life and are able to save us. We need to remember them. Even if we do not understand them, we need to keep them close to our hearts. When we hear someone explaining it, the Holy Spirit will guide us to understand it. That is the point of time when we enter into the truth and have a relationship with God.

Building Your Faith Upon The Word Of God

When our lives developed a relationship with Christ, That relationship is not built upon a mere rational understanding of God. It is a faith built upon the words of God.

Before the arrival of the Holy Spirit, the disciples were unable to understand many things. But the day will come when they could understand it. When Jesus ascended to heaven, they prayed for another 10 days until the day of Pentecost. When the Holy Spirit finally came they understood and experienced joy. That is a joy that no one can take away from them.

The facts speaks for themselves. the apostles are thrown into prison and whipped. They did not complain against God. They did not expect the Holy Spirit to come and protect them so that they will not feel any hurt or pain. They are willing to be flogged and they did not complain. Instead they were filled with joy and the joy cannot be taken away.

For the Holy Spirit had proven that the things they know, and their belief is true. For Jesus is indeed God and saviour. He did not leave them as often. He dwells with them through the Holy Spirit, bringing them peace, joy in their heart. 

The Holy spirit is not just a witness to our faith, he is able to lead us to peace and joy. The peace and joy that comes from the Holy Spirit cannot be understood by others. It is amazing, especially to those who were looking at the disciples.  Their actions amazed the officers, scribes and the Pharisees.

What is most important is that the Holy Spirit allowed the disciples to understand the words of Jesus.

“And in that day you will ask
  Me nothing. Most assuredly,
  I say to you, whatever you ask
  the Father in My name He will
  give you”- Jesus (Jn 16:23)

For the Holy Spirit will lead them from then on. Today the Holy Sprit is still the as the Holy Spirit of the Apostolic Church. The promise of Jesus is not restricted to the disciples, it is given to us as well. For God will not leave us as orphans. The Holy Spirit is a precious promise.. It is a promise from Jesus never to leave us as orphans.  It is through the moving of the Holy Spirit we know that our faith is true.

The Importance Of Submitting To The Holy Spirit

Today it is important for us to submit to the moving of the Holy Spirit. I am not referring to just about marriage or work or  matters concerning our lives on earth. We need to submit to the Holy Spirit to allow him to guide you to that truth that save our souls. Only then can we really fulfil that commission given to us by Jesus, to preach to our friends and relatives.

Then our direction in life will become intertwined with the salvation plan of God. Then our lives will truly be of value. All work on earth must come to an end, but only the work of God had eternal value. This work is not reserved for ministers but it is entrusted to all disciples of Christ.

The Holy Spirit is not a mere guarantee it is not given just for the sake of assurance of our heavenly inheritance. Man often mistaken that that is the sole purpose of the Hoy Spirit, but it is not his only work. The Holy Spirit spoken off by Christ is more than that. Jesus had mentioned it in the gospel.

If we take heed and learn about the Pneumatology of Christ, than when he arrives he will guide you into all truth. But the question is whether we would be willing to listen and submit to the truth. The Holy Spirit will help us achieve a life of righteousness and be a new man. He will also want to propagate the gospel through us. We will examine this a while later

Now let us look at some common misconception that will arise with this aspect

Misconception 4 : Holy Spirit Will Reveal The Date Of 2nd Coming

There are some in Christendom that believes that the Holy Spirit will reveal the date of the second coming of Christ. But now we understand that the Holy Spirit will never go against the teaching of Christ. He will only speak according to the word of God and never go against it.

Let us examine a practical example that demonstrate this. So that we can understand the work of the Holy Spirit fully. There are some Christians who quote the words of Paul

“But God has revealed them to
  us through His Spirit. For the
  Spirit searches all things, yes,
  the deep things of God. 
  For what man knows the things
  of a man except the spirit of the
  man which is in him? Even so no
  one knows the things of God except
  the Spirit of God.”’ – Paul (1 Cor 2:10-11 )

Then they conclude saying that since the Holy Spirit searches all things including the deep things of God. Therefore they say that the Holy Spirit will reveal certain spiritual mysteries to man. So today, if someone who claims “I know when will Christ will come again” Should you believed in his words?

Definitely not, for Jesus once said

“But of that day and hour no one knows,
  not even the angels of heaven, but My
  Father only.”- Jesus (Matt 24:36 )

These are the words of Jesus. no one knows the day and the time, not even the angels of heaven. Only the father knows it. It is from this verse we know that what he said was wrong. But what if he claims “This is revealed by the Holy Spirit who searches the deep things of God.”Now he claims that it is God who had revealed this to him. should we believe in him?

If we remember the pneumatology  of Christ. If we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us to the truth. Then we will understand that the Holy Spirit will never speak against the word of Christ. The Holy spirit is the spirit of Truth, he is the truth and he is Jesus.

Misconception 5 : Will God Change His mind And Reveal It through The Spirit?

There are also some in Christendom who thinks, perhaps in the past God would not want to reveal it but now he changed his mind. But when you question him further why he thought so he simply says. “The Holy Spirit said it, so now I am telling you”. This appears to be logical. But that is base on the teaching of man.

What did Jesus tell us about the Holy Spirit? Is truth relative? Can truth change suddenly?

Paul gave us an important principle when it comes to discerning the truth

“But as God is faithful, our word to you
  was not Yes and No. For the Son of God,
  Jesus Christ, who was preached among
  you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—
  was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes.” – Paul (2 Cor 1:18-19)

There is only one Truth and the Truth is unchanging. That should be the basis of faith. A truth that changes over time, that is relative only to the era is an incomplete truth. If a truth needs to be supplemented, how can this truth be complete, how can it be used as a foundation and the basis of faith?

Knowledge that belongs to man can change over time. That is because our understanding may not be perfect. That is why there are new discoveries, and why we need to add supplements to our knowledge. That result to a more complete and a more correct understanding.

But that cannot apply to the truth of God, we cannot say that the truth of God was imperfect. If it is true that the Holy Spirit need to make supplements to itself, so that the truth will be perfect. What shall we do if the Holy Spirit comes back next year with a new truth?

A truth that changes over time is not the truth. They are not truth but the precepts of man. But the Truth from God is absolute, Paul tell us that all in God is yes. God will never say “Yes and no” especially when it concerning salvation.

The Truth of salvation is given once and for all to the saints. That is why Paul remind us that the things he teach is not “Yes and no”. It is given one and for all to the saints. The Truth is not revealed over time, it is given as one complete package. It is complete, and all the components are presents. there is no need for supplements to be sent to it.

that is why Christians ought to contend for the truth that is given to us.

Conclusion : Discerning The Word Of God

Jesus once said

“Heaven and earth will pass away,
  but my words will not pass away” – Jesus (Matt 24:35)

Jesus will never change his truth, nor will he need to supplement to it. There will be not be corrections. This is something we need to understand. The Holy Spirit is here to help us understand the truth and to built our faith upon Jesus

We need to use the word of God as the yardstick to help us discern what we hear. This is important especially in the last days where there are many false prophets and false price. They will talk of marvellous things, things too good to be true. They will even back up their claim by saying that this is a revelation of the Holy Sprit. They will even appear with the power and authority of God. They will perform many miracles, they can cast out the demons and heal diseases. they will appear to have come from God.

If we use miracles to testify and judge the truth. We will be at risk of being deceived. We need to compare their words to see if it is truly from God. We need to check if what they speak is in accordance to the truth. We need to judge if he had went beyond the truth

May God help us to understand and discern the teaching of the Holy spirit. May it preserve our faith and help us in discerning the truth.