Thursday, 23 April 2015

Called By God

Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours(1 Cor1:1-2).
From Paul's salutation to the church in Corinth, we learn a vital truth:  He was " called by the will of God"(vs1) and this is true of every believer; we are also "called by the will of God": "called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus"(vs 2 see also Rom 8:29-30, Joh 1:12-13 ).

Why are we called? We are called to be reconciled to God from sin. We are called to be transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of God. We are called to become children of God (John 1:12-13), set apart for His use Holy use: "sanctified in Christ Jesus" God's call was made before the foundations of the earth and we contributed nothing to it. If you are a believer, you were set apart  as a chosen vessel to reveal His glory and be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29, 9:23).

Paul was called by the will of God to be an apostle. The believers in the church of Corinth were also called. God's calling is in no relation to any inherent good in us. Our calling is rooted in God's mercy and His grace (Eph. 2:1-10 ). Remember Paul was a persecutor of the church of His day, before his encounter with Jesus.

Like Paul and the Corinthian believers; every believer is called with an assignment to fulfill. We are not on a "self-sent" assignment on earth. Our lives, our breath, our purpose for existence all takes its source from God. "In Him we live, move and have our being"(Acts 17:28). We are all on God's assignment.  He brought us on earth for His purpose, His will, His plan and His agenda. Our life originates and evolves  around God and what He created us for.

If there is any truth that will sustain us, it is that we take our existence from God. We are, because He is: self-existent and all sufficient. We take our sufficiency from Him. We are complete in Him (Colossians 2:10 ) and without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5 ). God Is Our source of Existence.  The Bible opens with the words "In the beginning God..."(Genesis 1:1).Our lives and the whole of the Universe takes its source from God(Rev. 4:11, John 1:3-4)

Sunday, 5 April 2015

What Does Easter Mean To You?

Last year, I gathered a group of friends to pen their thoughts on what Easter means to them. These thoughts were compiled  in an ebook--What Does Easter Mean To You?-- availabe here free download.

Now, the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ which we celebrate in this season as Easter is a fundamental tenet of the Christian faith. He died and rose again thus reconciling sinful humanity to the Father through the efficacy of the finished work on Calvary. He died in our place as a ransom for our sins. He appeased God's  wrath for the punishment of our sins. (See Isaiah 53:4-6). His death and resurrection paved the way for anyone who will believe in Him to be reconciled to God from sin.

For the Christian, the resurrection of Christ is not a problem. But to the critic and atheist, Christ and Christianity are a hoax. Is the death and resurrection of Christ an historical event? Or just a hoax? Let's attempt to look into the mind of Saul -- a critic―a vicious enemy of the Christian faith― who later in his life embraced "The Way" and became one of its number one advocate. What happened to Saul who later became Paul? He experienced the resurrected Christ. He became an eye witness of what he was opposing. On a journey to Damascus to apprehend Christians and execute them, he met with the Lord Jesus. (Acts 9) This same enemy of Christ and Christianity, later on wrote to defend the resurrection. If Christ did not resurrect from the grave, then Christians have no hope:
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:  And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 1 Corinthians 15:12-15).
Paul's turn around to embrace the gospel can only be based on the fact that he experienced the truth. He also became a witness to the resurrected Christ. This ebook celebrates our redemption by looking at what Easter means from individual perspective.

Blessed Resurrection Sunday.
He is Risen!
Soli Deo Gloria