GODíS LOVE FOR THE HUMAN KIND
HAVE YOU ACCEPTED THE FATHERíS LOVE?
There was once a king who had come to his town to move among his subjects. He was dressed in his kingly apparel and with great pomp sat in his special royal carriage. Suddenly he saw a poor but beautiful young maiden. He approached her to talk to her and maybe get her to agree to become his bride. But the young woman who felt out of place and utterly belittled in his magnificent presence, fled from him in a hurry.
When the king returned to his palace he knew he had lost his heart to the girl. He was deeply troubled and was thinking of a plan to meet her again. He put on some old worn out clothes of a shephard, wore a pair of sandals and took up a cane so that he might not be recognized. Taking with him a few sheep, he went towards the young maidenís home. At destination he let the sheep into the girlís front yard and pretending to chase them out he went in and met with the girl.
This time the girl saw a poor young man of her own calibre and social standing, so she had no fear to talk to him. The king managed to persuade the girl to marry him.
Dear friends this story reflects our loving Godís plan to come close to us and save us. To shed more light on this subject I would like to refer you to Godís Word in the Old Testament, when God was communicating with the Israelite community through Moses.
In the book of Exodus 19:9-13, The LORD said to Moses"I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you." Then Moses told the LORD what the people had said. And the LORD said to Moses, " Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and be ready by the third day, because on that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, ĎBe careful that you do not go up the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. He shall surely be stoned or shot with arrows; not a hand is to be laid on him. Whether man or animal, he shall not be permitted to live.í"
It was Godís command that No Being could come near the Holy of Holies.
On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightening, with a thick cloud over the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the LORD decsended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.
The LORD decsended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up and the LORD said to him,"Go down and warn the people so they do not force their way to see the LORD and many of them perish. Even the priests who approach the LORD must consecrate themselves, or the LORD will break out against them."
God the Almightyís command was so strict just for the people to see Him through the dense cloud, let alone for a sinner to see Him face to face.
When the house of Israel saw the thunder and the lightening, the smoke from the furnace and the loud sound of the trumpet they trembled and standing afar told Moses, "We cannot dare to be present to hear the voice of the LORD. You Moses, go and receive the commandments of the Almighty and bring it to us, for we cannot stand before His awesome presence." This in human terms is rather similar to the young maiden who could not stand and speak to the king.
The LORD so loved His creatures that He put a plan together for them not to fear His presence.
Friends, let us study Godís plan together. Godís Word specifies that before Jesus Christ was formed in the womb of Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, he was in existence even before the creation of Adam and Eve.
Jesus was in eternity and the whole of the universe was created by him. Some of the biblical references to this are as follows:
Isaiah 9:6-7"For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given and the government shall be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign Davidís throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this."
Prophet David in Psalm 2: 7-8 says of the Messiah; I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me,"You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession."
The gospel of John 1: 32-34 reads, Then John gave this testimony;"I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ĎThe man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.í I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God."
In Matthew 28:18 Jesus says,"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me."
DIVINE ATTRIBUTES OF JESUS CHRIST
John 5: 16-29states, ĎSo, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him. Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am working." For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.í Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no-one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.
I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the death will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out - those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.
JESUS CHRISTíS EQUALITY WITH THE HEAVENLY FATHER
The following verses reveal to us Jesus Christís divinity.
In John 5:18Jesus considered himself equal to God.
5:17Jesus and the heavenly Father are at work together.
5:19,20Jesus and the Father are equal in their knowledge.
5:21,28,29Jesus and the Father are equal in raising the dead.
5:22,27Jesus and the Father are equal in Judgment.
5:23Jesus and the Father are equal in honor.
5:24,25Jesus and the Father are equal in giving life.
JESUS CHRISTíS AUTHORITY OVER NATURE
InMatthew 8:23-27 we read, Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat, but Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "LORD, save us! Weíre going to drown!" He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the waves obey him!"
JESUS CHRIST RAISES THE DEAD
Luke 7:11-17states, Soon afterwards, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out - the only son of his mother and she was a widow, and a large crowd from the town was with her. When the LORD saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, " Donít Cry." Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, "Young man, I say to you get up!" The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. They were all filled with awe and praised God. "A great prophet has appeared among us" they said. " God has come to help His people." This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.
JESUS CHRIST IS THE WORD OF LIFE
John 1:1-5states, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. In this same chapter in verse 14 we read, The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Apostle Paul in Philippians 2:6 writes of Jesus Christ,"Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be graspedÖ."
Also inJohn 14: 8-14 it is written, Philip said, "LORD, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." Jesus answered: "Donít you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, Ďshow us the Fatherí? Donít you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father, You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
In the Epistle toColossians chapter 1:15-20 Paul writes, He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
In Corinthians 8:6 it states,"Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one LORD, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live."
The LORD Jesus Christ, in John 17:5 clearly states his eternal being:"And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began." Is it possible for an ordinary person to make such a claim? NEVER.
In John 8:58, Jesus said to them,"I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I Am."
Genesis 18:1-14documents the meeting between Jesus Christ and Abraham, "The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground." He said, "If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way - now that you have come to your servant."
"Very well," They answered, "do as you say." So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. "Quick," he said, "get three seahs of fine flour and knead it and bake some bread."
Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. He then brought some curds, milk, the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree. Where is your wife Sara? They asked him. "There, in the tent," he said. Then the LORD said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son."
Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure? Then the LORD said to Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh and say, Will I really have a child, now that I am old? Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.
In John 8:24 The LORD Jesus emphasizes the"I AM" which was the word used in Exodus,
"I Am, who spoke to Moses in a burning bush." This sentence was to confirmExodus 3:1-14.
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight - why the bush does not burn up." When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!" And Moses said, ĎHere I am.í "Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is Holy ground." It was there that the LORD Jesus Christ sent Moses to lead His people Israel and said. "I AM WHO I AM, this is what you are to say the Israelites, "I AM has sent me to you."
In John 8:24 Jesus also said,"I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins." What an important caution is given to us, if we donít believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal LORD, we will die in our sins.
Exodus 33:20-23,But, He said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live." Then the LORD said, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by, then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not seen."
To this end Jesus Christ put on flesh and we the people saw him and touched him. Otherwise we could not have looked at him in his glory and survived. Micah in his book chapter 5:2 prophesied, "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel,whose origins are from the old, from ancient times." Micah the prophet not only prophecies that he will be born in Bethlehem but also that his origins are from of old, ancient times.
So with all the testimonies and the prophesies of the prophets and the apostles, he (Jesus) was considered above man and the loving child (Son) of God. We can only know him in truth through the Holy Spirit of God.
WHAT WAS GODíS PLAN?
Jesus emptied himself of his heavenly glory, took up servanthood, put on a good shepherdís clothes and lived among us human beings. People saw him as an ordinary person like themselves, so they had no fear meeting him. In the same way the young maiden did not fear the king in old clothes of a shepherd. Everyone came close to him and listened to his teachings and spiritual messages. They observed his loving miracles and learned from it. One of his disciples (John) could even lay his head on his chest which was filled with affection and kindness.
The LORD Jesus Christ gathered his believers and followers in this manner and made them one body as the church. In the New Testament it is referred to as his bride. We see God, our loving Father planned this so that we could again get close to Him spiritually.
One day, God willed that Jesus Christ His only begotten Son would be shown to Moses in a burning bush. Another day as an Angel of the LORD, he would appear to Abraham by the great trees of Mamre and yet another time on the Island of Patmos to apostle John in different forms. When He wills to send Jesus Christ into the world as a mere man to help and save us, He leaves no room for questions and expressions of our opinions.
THE MEANING OF MESSIAHíS DEATH?
To clarify this subject we need to refer to the book of Leviticus in the Old Testament. God commanded Moses that the Israelites had to offer animal sacrifices for the atonement of their sins. These sacrifices could be made of Lamb, Ram, Goat, Cow, Young Bull and Doves. Each person had to make offerings according to the sin they had committed and their financial capability. The priests had to perform the sacrifice offering. However, the priest had to conduct a sacrificial offering for his own sins first. Only then, when he was made clean, he could make offerings for the sins of others. These ceremonies had to be performed all over again if the sins were repeated. The animal sacrifices would amount to 1,200,000 a year. In Godís plan, Jesus, His loving child left his divinity and heavenly glory and became man. He lived for thirty three years in this world and like us humans was tested and tried through temptations. With his unique works, words, miracles and teachings he proved his wholeness and purity. So much so that no one could accuse him of any sin or wrong doing. Like a lamb without blemish he carried the sins of the world upon his shoulders and went to the cross. He offered his own blood, once and for all time, for the sins of the world.
This was an action replacing the sacrifice of the blood of animals that had to be given according to the Law.
Let us give some thought to the day the LORD Jesus was crucified. He wore a crown of thorns, his feet and hands were nailed to the cross, he hung between heaven and earth and became a subject for mockery for the crowd. Every passing minute his pain and suffering becoming more unbearable. For crucifixion as such was filled with all the pains of death, like fever and great thirst, ever increasing pain, suffering, and shamefulness in public.
It was noon, the brightest time of the day, however darkness took over the earth. Nature could not stand this sight hence recalled its light and it became dark. This darkness affected the watchers immensely. They stopped mocking and teasing and began leaving. Jesus was left alone, so that in loneliness and shame he might die. Something even worse was awaiting. Jesus, who was in constant communion and oneness with God the Father, realized that both people and God had left him. The cry of Jesus who said; "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" meaning, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" puts shivers down our spines even today.
At the time the sun covered its face from the earth, Godís presence also left. Jesus had experienced people leaving him many times, but he turned to God his Father each time with confidence. This time God had left him too. The reason is clear. All the sins of the world with all their ugliness and shamelessness were upon him at that moment. Hence the LORD God who is Holy and hates sin, turned His face away from Jesus until his death.
2 Corinthians 5:21 says,"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
Jesus inherited the sins of the world, this includes my sins and yours too. It was absolutely necessary for him to accept the punishment for our sins. At last the final moment arrived, Jesus put his head down as he gave up the ghost and said;"It is finished." Through his death, our salvation became possible. So there is no need for any religious rituals such as pilgrimages, sacrifice offerings, giving alms etcÖ But only the acceptance of this salvation offered to us through faith in Jesus.
Yes, this great salvation has been made available to us through Jesus Christ. It does not need any human effort and wisdom. It suffices for us to accept the unconditional grace that God has made available to us. He offered his life on the cross for us, but on the third day he rose from the dead in glorious victory and shall never die.
In John 14:19 Jesus says:"Because I live, you also will live." God has done it all, so that we might have eternal life. He has completely paid for our sins. If you want to accept the Heavenly Fatherís love, you must accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and repent of your sins.
WHAT IS SIN?
In Romans 3:23-24 Godís Word states,"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."
The acts of sinful nature are:impurity, debauchery, idolatry, witchcraft, palmistry, spiritism, wickedness, evil, seeking psychic advice, hatred, discord, murder, theft, adultery, homosexuality, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, pride, greed, depravity, dissensions, vengeance, factions, envy, judging others, filthy imaginations, swearing, deceit, malice, arrogance, boastfulness, gossip, drunkenness, orgies, and the like. These are all considered sinful before God.
According to the Law, commitment of only one of the above mentioned sins is dishonoring God. Because, in the Law we have the embodiment of knowledge and truth. If we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts, God will forgive all our sins. We become as though we have never sinned. We are saved from the power of sin and receive strength to fight off our sinful nature.
Although we live in the world, we can have communion with God and have a relationship with Him. When we leave this world, we shall live with God in His Kingdom forever. If we accept the LORD Jesus Christ in our hearts, we will be born again and become a child of God and He will become our Father.
Jesus Christ is standing at the door of your heart and knocks, if we open the door, he will enter and wash us from all our sins. This salvation is solely dependent on your acceptance dear friend, so that through him you might be acceptable to God and prosper. For Jesus in Matthew 11:28says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Dear Friend, God loves you just as you are. He longs to receive you and comfort you by taking all your burdens away. If you are ready to receive him in your heart and allow him to be the LORD of your life then please repeat this prayer with me;
"O LORD, I thank you for Your truths. You have freed me from yoke of bondage. Thank you Lord because Jesus redeemed me, not with corruptible things like gold and silver, but with his precious blood. Dear Jesus please forgive my sins and cleanse my heart from all unrighteousness and fill my heart with the Holy Spirit. I submit myself to the Holy Spirit and ask that He control my life. Help me now Father to abide in Jesus, that I may bear the fruit of Your goodness in my life and glorify You. Amen."