Let's Study the Bible Together!

Jesus the Master

clock June 29, 2009 16:21 by author wtsang

Matthew 8:19

And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.

The master taught us that we should make our priority right that is to seek first God's kingdom and righteousness before pursuing everything else (Matthew 6:33). The famous psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed in his 1943 papers that psysical needs such as breathing, water, food, sex and shelter are the most fundamental and required to be satisfied first in his hierarchical model of needs which are like a pyramid with the pysical level of needs at the bottom, and self-actualization at the top. By our common sense thinking and observation, this seems to be true. But, humans are different and it has an even more important and more fundamental basis of our life that must first be satisfied that is having a right relationship with God. Unlike animals, humans are created in the image of God. Because of sin, we all have a broken relationship with God. Without a right relationship with God, our soul can never be satisfied. We may invest our whole self struggling to pursuit and climb the hierarchical pyramid of needs. Most failed but some may think they reach the top. One thing for sure, this top experience is only temporary if it really exists because death will surely come and take away this so call the level of self-actualization (Matthew 16:26). Not only this, there will be judgement and all humans need to give an account for the things they do in their lives (Hebrews 9:27). Unfortunately, many people ignore this spiritual level all together or put this level to a low priority. The master Jesus points out this common error and told us to make the pursuit of God's kingdom and His righteousness the utmost important thing and He introuduces Himself as the way to achieve this fundamental requirement of life (John 14:6).

John 14:24

He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

Mark 1:22

The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.

Matthew 6:33

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 16:26

What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

Hebrews 9:27

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,

John 14:6

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

The world's views of happiness consist of things the world may provide such as prosperity, power, freedom, achievement of self-directed goals, fame or high regard given by others, and with good health to enjoy them. These things may not be bad, but they miss the vital ingredient of resolving the problem of sin in one's life and the broken relationship with God. Jesus taught that the way of happiness or blessing starts with a realization of spiritual bankruptcy (Matthew 5:3). We can be decent and law abiding human beings but, in view of God's holy standard, we are all deficient spiritually. The first right attitude is a very humble opinion on our spiritual condition and look to God for forgiveness and help. For God is merciful and gracious and even the door of the Kingdom of heaven will open to remorseful and repentent sinners (Matthew 5:3).

Our realization of our spiritual bankruptcy will lead to the natural consequence of mourning as Jesus taught (Matthew 5:4a). We tend to be sad for loss of loved ones, and properties or unfulfilled goals and dreams. Jesus was teaching here about sadness about our sin before God and how much we failed to live up to His image inherent in us. God values this sadness and it will lead to repentence and His forgiveness will bring us real comfort (2 Corinthians 7:10; Matthew 5:4b).

Matthew 5:3

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:4

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

2 Corinthians 7:10

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

One reason that many Jewish people rejected Jesus as the Messiah whom they had been waiting for was that Jesus did not overturn the oppression by the Roman Empire they had been facing and established Israel as a powerful and prosperous nation. Instead, Jesus appeared as a humble carpenter's son and they rejected His teachings (Luke 24:44-47) for they could not accept God's plan of salvantion in human history according to His infinite wisdom and love. Jesus also taught about meekness as a blessed attribute that God will reward, namely to inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). Being meek is not being weak and cowardly but to show gentleness in human relationships which are bound to create conflicts. A meek person will control his or her bitterness and let God take over and guide him or her rather to release the distructive force of aggressive response. A great example is the meekness was Abraham showed towards Lot when their servants engaged in conflicts over the control of land and resources for their flocks. Abraham, though a senior, let Lot pick the terrioty of his choice first to avoid any conflict (Genesis 13:8). Being meek is also a relevant attribute of a person who realized that he is spiritually bankrupt and relied totally on God's forgiveness and restoration. He is a humble person and sympathetic towrads the weakness of other people. He or she tends to be loving and forgiving, let alone showing aggression towards others. In fact, God will one day take over the world and sin will be done away with and judgements will be served in Jesus' second coming in His glory and power.

Luke 24:44-47

44 He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." 45Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Matthew 5:5

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Genesis 13:8

8 So Abram said to Lot, "Let's not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Let's part company. If you go to the left, I'll go to the right; if you go to the right, I'll go to the left."

When repentant sinners realized their past was filled with unrighteousness and failed meserably in light of God's holiness, they would be sorrowful before God and asked for forgiveness. God values the humility and repentance of sinners and their sins will be forgiven based on the sacrificial redemptive work of Christ. Sinners are declared righteous when they trust in the Lord Jesus who has died in the cross for them. Sinners may still have to pay for the requirements of justice due to earthly legal system, for instance, serving terms in prisons. But, the most critical and eternal justice requirement, that is God's justice requirement, has been settled by Jesus (Romans 3:21-24). Jesus then taught us that repentant sinners will not just stop at being sorrowful, humble and meek, though they have been comforted and justified by God. But, they will thrive to seek the righteousness of God (Matthew 5:6) that is to live a new life pleasing to God. This is a natural consequence of salvation for humans redeemed from a spiritually dark and blind situation will awaken and seek to restore the original image of God that is inherent in a human being. And it is the Holy Spirit who lives in every believer's life that accomplishes it and the life of believers will manifest this change as if he or she is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Romans 3:21-24

21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Matthew 5:6

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

As a believer in Christ progresses in spiritual life, the grace of God will overflow from his or her life. The first four blessings Jesus taught concern the inward conditions of a disciple. The fifth blessing Jesus taught concerns the change in outward view towards others, namely being merciful. It is a blessing to be merciful to others as we receive mercy from God (Matthew 5:7). Mercy may mean forgiveness extended to others who has done us wrong. It can also mean the giving of physical resources towards needy people. Most importantly, it means the care of spiritual needs of others who are spiritually blind and wondering in the world without a right relationship with God. The sufferings of the fallen world are great, but they are beyond compare to the loss of salvation grace God gives to the world through Jesus Christ. When Jesus saw a large crowd of people wondering like lost sheep without a shepherd, the very first thing Jesus did was to give them the words of God (Mark 6:34). Jesus introduced Himself as the one sent from God. Jesus also performed the miracle of five loaves and two fish that fed more than five thousand people. Even the miracle itself was not performed solelyy to fill the physical needs, but let the people know that Jesus was the one who said He was. Although many of the people that enjoyed the miraculous meal could only take the physical benefit and missed the spiritual significance of the miracle (JOhn 6:26-27).

Jesus taught that purity in heart is a blessed attribute for people with pure heart will see God (Matthew 5:8). Heart concerns our inner motives, values and thoughts and is invisible from the outside although one's behaviours may reflect what the heart is about. Jesus points out that where we invest ourselves and place our aspirations in reflects what our heart realy values (Matthew 6:21). It is the heart that God will look at and our inner thoughts are visible to Him all the time. A positive example is Nathannael, one of the chosen disciples of Jesus, was seen by Jesus as a true Israelite for within him there is no falsehood (John 1:47). A negative example was some religious Pharisees who looked good from the outside by their clothing, lawful behaviors, and their prominent community status. However, Jesus saw through their hearts and pointed out the inconsistent conditions inside (Matthew 23:27). Also, we should understand that according to God's holy standard, an impure thought is considered sin even without actual action such as lustul thinking (Matthew 5:28).

Matthew 6:21

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

John 1:47

When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false."

Matthew 23:27

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean.

Matthew 5:28

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Purity in heart is a blessing for it is a prerequisite to be able to see God. The Bible teaches us that no one living in this life be able to see God. As a matter of fact, a great faithful servant of God Moses pledged to see God's glory, but was rejected for it was simply impossible to see God and live (Exodus 33:20). However, Job being declared righteous by God, suffered greatly due to Satan's affliction revealed to us in Job 19:26 that he would be able to see God in his resurrected body (Job 19:26). It is indeed a blessing to be able to see God for it implies glorious resurrection and eternal life.

Exodus 33:20

But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live."

Job 19:26

And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God;

Jesus then taught that peacemakers are blessed for they are called the sons of God (Matthew 5:9). One thing this world does not have is peace. People are at war all the time: individuals between individuals, tribes between tribes, and nations between nations. Conflicts even within a family are common. The reason for lack of peace in this fallen world is sin such that people are basically self-centered and incline to pursue benefits and controls even in the expense of others. Enmities and struggles are the natural consequences. The peace Jesus taught about is based on the fundamental truth of the gospels. There will be no true peace between people as long as people live according to sinful nature. The ultimate peaceful solution is being born again by the power of the Holy Spirit when people are saved by God's grace through faith in Christ Jesus and become the children of God and they too become peacemakers in the world (2 Corinthians 5:17-20).

Matthew 5:9

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

2 Corinthians 5:17-20

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.

The last blessed character of a Christian Jesus taught in the beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount is the evidence of strong faith and obedience to God's words. For he or she is ready to stand firm and be persecuted because of asserting the words of God as truth in this fallen world which is controlled by the ungodly and satanic power. Jesus emphasises that this is a double blessing for he or she will enter the kingdom of heaven and receive a great reward (Matthew 5:10-12). All these beatitudes are not the naturial characters or cultivated by our own efforts and determination in our old sinful nature, but manifest in a transformed life of believers of Jesus with the power of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

Matthew 5:10-12

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.

Jesus a Man of Sorrows

clock May 24, 2009 02:00 by author wtsang

Isaiah 53:3

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Jesus is the Word became flesh and came to the world and made His dwelling among us (John 1:14). Word (or logos in Greeks) means wisdom and rational thought which is an invisible attribute. Christ is the expression of God's wisdom and thought manifested in the flesh living among us so that we may have a close, direct communication with God. Moreover, Jesus is a living example of all human beings that are followers of Christ the way of living pleasing to God. Humans are originally created in the image of God and have the inherent attributes of God. Therefore, it is reasonable for God to demand holiness of all humans (1 Peter 1:16). However, sin and death came to the world through the disobedience of Adam and all humans are subject to the bondage of sin and its consequence namely death and we all suffered from the broken relationship with God. The situation is beyond our power to overcome and avoid. However, God is love and He does not want us to be enslaved by sin and opressed by the power of the devil Satan and perish. God sends His one and only Son Jesus Christ to come to the world as a human identified with us and saved us from sin. When we repent and put our trust in Jesus, He will transform us into a new creation and be reconciled with God. The grace of God is more than offset the curse we inherited from our ancestor Adam. How graceous, wonderful and powerful is our God (Romans 5:10, 17).

John 1:14

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.

1 Peter 1:16

for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

Romans 5:10

For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

Romans 5:17

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Jesus grew up in Palestine in a poor family while Israel was under the rule and oppression of the Roman Empire. As a human being, He must have suffered the hardship in life as every one else did. However, the main cause of His sorrows was the rejection by people of the teachings and the way of salvation that He brought to the world. People have all kinds of reasons and excuses not to respond to Jesus' invitation to life. Basically, people do not respond to the gospel because they have no faith in the words of God. They desire to stay in their familiar position and put a low value on the precisous gospel which is in fact the power of God which can transform a sinful life into abundant life that lasts untill eternity (John 3:19; Romans 1:16). Some even created a strong case for themselves to reject the gospel by attacking the humanity side of Jesus without a deligent pursuit of the truth. For example, some people in Jesus' hometown despised Jesus for His humble social status (Matthews 13:55-57). Had they do a little research, they should have found that the Messiah was a descendant of king David as written by the prophets. They could also see the miracles that Jesus performed and believed that He was sent from God. But, out of their unbelieving heart, they rejected Jesus and could only see that Jesus was a carpenter's son.

God does not desire seeing people enslaved and destryoed by sin but to receive forgiveness and life (John 3:16;1 Timothy 2:4). However, few listen and value His grace through Jesus Christ (Matthews 7:14). Let's participate in bringing the good news to more people of all nations for this is a beautiful thing to do. For the Bible teaches us that there is great joy in heaven over one sinner who repents (Luke 15:7).

Perhaps the most sorrowful situation Jesus experienced while on earth was when He was put to death by the people He loved and intended to save. Moreover, He was betrayed even by one of His disciple. His exclaimation over Jerusalem reflects His sad and disappointed situation (Matthews 23:37).

John 3:19

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

Romans 1:16

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

Matthews 13:55-57

55 "Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56Aren't all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?" 57And they took offense at him.

John 3:16

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

1 Timothy 2:4

who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Matthews 7:14

But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Luke 15:7

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Matthews 23:37

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.

Jesus the Rock

clock May 15, 2009 02:00 by author wtsang

1 Corinthians 10:3-4

3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.

When the Israelites were released from the bondange of salavery in Egypt, they did not enter directly into the land promised by God. Rather, they wandered 40 years in the wilderness before settling in the promised land. During this long journey, they arrived at Rephidim where they could not find any water and became thirsty. They quarreled with Moses and compalined their being led to the desert and died there. By this event, we can see that the Israelites had forgotten the power and grace of God who saved them from the bondage of slavery in Egypt and their continuous protection, guidance and provision in the desert. Their lack of faith and gratitude were revealed in a simple test of thirst. Instead of praying to God for provision, they turned to be a dissatisfying crowd of people and were ready to stone Moses to dead. Again, by God's grace, they were not punished by this offense. Instead, God answered Moses' call and performed a miracle in Horeb to quench their thirst. Moses was asked to strike a rock at a place called Horeb and water would come out of the rock (Exodus 17:6). This miracle is an image of Christ being striken (Isaiah 53:4) such that all sinners who come to Christ may receive the living water such that a sinful, and dissatisfying life can be transformed into a new and abundant life in Christ by the work of the Holy Spirt (John 7:37-39). How gracious is our God who does not remember our sins and paid for the wages of sins by His Son and blesses us with a new life born with the Holy Spirit when we come to Jesus Christ.

Exodus 17:6

6 I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink." So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel.

Isaiah 53:4

Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.

John 7:37-39

37 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

An evidence that we have faith in Jesus is that we have the living water that is the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised. If the Holy Spirit lives in our life, we will be reminded of the teachings of Jesus as recorded in the scriptures John 14:26. When we put His teachings into practice we are like building a house on the solid rock. Difficulties, challenges and temptations in life bound to come to all people including believers of Christ. But, Jesus promises that it will not result in a disastrous collapse as houses built on other temporary and unreliable foundation (Matthew 7:24-27). Indeed Christ is the one we can trust. His words are effective and true that we can depend on until eternity.

John 14:26

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Matthew 7:24-27

24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

Jesus the Lord of lords

clock May 7, 2009 02:00 by author wtsang

1 Timothy 6:15

which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords,

When Jesus came to the world as a suffering servant, he took the image of a human being in order to communicate and be identified with us. He did not came as a man of nobility or great wealth. He was born as a baby in a manger and grew up in a poor family. When Jesus began His ministry, He was despised and rejected because of His humble social status (Mark 6:2-3). However, this situation had been fortold in the book of Isaiah (Isaiah 53:3). Like the homeown people of Jesus who rejected Him, some people even of today miss the true understanding and faith of who Jesus really is. They only see the human side of Jesus but fail tragically to see the deity of Jesus who is the Word became flesh that wlaked among us (John 1:14). They failed to see that this humble and suffering servant is actually by nature the almighty God who came to the world to save sinners (Philippians 2:5-11). He is indeed the King of kings and Lord of lords. Unlike emperors in world history who expand their domain of rulership by conquest and pluder, Jesus is the Lord of lords by His very nature and ownership right. Firstly, Jesus is the originator of everything - living and non-living things. He owns and holds the title deed of everything in the universe. Therefore it is a reasonable demand that everything to be subject to Him. Secondly, since all things were made through Jesus, He knows how things work and it is wise for every creature with intellectural capacity to listen to His guidance and subject to His rulership. Think about an automobile, the designers and engineers of the automobile are the most qualified and trustworthy persons to prescribe how to operate and maintain the vehicle because they have the intrinsic knowledge of the vehicle: its strengths and weakness, pitfalls to avoid and how to optimize its durability and performance. Likewise, it is wise for us to walk according to the words of God who created the us and the universe. He definitely what will not work and what will work. Thirdly, Jesus does not become the Lord such that He may exploit us when we are subject to his rulership. Conversely, when we went astray and were walking on the path of destruction, He came to save us and guide us to walk on the right path. As a matter of fact, Jesus came to set us free from the bondage of sins and a new and meaningful life that will last forever (John 10:10).

Mark 6:2-3

2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. "Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! 3Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.

John 1:14

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.

Isaiah 53:3

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Philippians 2:5-11

5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father

John 1:1-3

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

John 10:10

10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Although the universe is created and owned by Jesus, not every human and angelic being will accept His authority and title. The book of revelation has revealed to us that the anti-christ and his subjects will raise war against Christ at the end time and the Lord of Lords will overcome them (Revelation 17:14). By the way, when we believe in Jesus, it does not mean that we simply acknowledge His existence and has some knowledge about Him because even the demons know about God (James 2:19). Believing in Jesus really implies that we acknowledge and accept His Lordship in our lives such that with the help of the Holy Spirit, we live the new lives abiding in the words of God.

Revelation 17:14

They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers."

James 2:19

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

Jesus the Judge

clock April 30, 2009 02:00 by author wtsang

Jesus came to the world and established His ministry as a humble servant. He was finally arrested and put to death by sinful people. This way, Jesus fulfilled the atonement for sins of all who trust in Him (Hebrews 2:17). After resurrection, Jesus returned to heaven. But, one day He will return (Acts 1:11). However, Jesus will not return with ordinary human appearance but with glory, power and authority to rule and judge all people past and present (Matthew 25:31-32, 16:27;1 Peter 4:5).

Hebrews 2:17

For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.

Acts 1:11

11"Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."

Matthew 25:31-32

31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

Matthew 16:27

For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.

1 Peter 4:5

But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

The great white throne judgement will be held before the new heaven and new earth is ushered in to replace the old. This is the judgement of the death (Revelation 20:11-15). This also suggests different degrees of punishment. Friends, without Christ we cannot stand before the Holy God. We might be good citizens having not broken any law. But, we are all sinners in light of God's holiness (Romans 3:23). The only work we can do to satisfy God's requirement is to repent and accept Jesus as the Saviour who has paid in full for the wages of sins for all (John 6:29). Then we may be declared righteous based on the grace and work of atonement of Jesus (Romans 3:24).

Revelation 20:11-15

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Romans 3:23

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

John 6:29

29Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

Romans 3:24

and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Jesus the Shepherd and Overseer of our Souls

clock April 22, 2009 02:00 by author wtsang

1 Peter 2:25

For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Jesus is the good shepherd for He loves and cares for the sheep to such an extent that He suffered and died for the sheep. He actually fulfilled His great love by His suffering and death on the cross so that we who believe in Him will not perish due to judgement and wages of sins. For Jesus has paid it in full for us. He also gives us the Holy Spirit to transform our life from darkness to light and experience a new and abundant life (John 10:10). An abundant life that Jesus gives is not characterized by the world values such as fames and materialistic prosperity as clearly stated by Jesus (Luke 12:15). Rather, an abundant life in the Lord is characterized by satisfaction and peace as described by Psalm 23:1-2. The good shepherd leads the sheep to enjoy a satisfying meal and rest beside quiet waters.

John 10:10

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:11

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Luke 12:15

Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

Psalm 23:1-2

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,

The good shepherd know His sheep and the sheep knows Him and follows His leading (John 10:14). This is a close relationship. Although Jesus is no longer on the earth believers know Jesus through the revelation of the words of God the Bible and the Holy Spirit that dwells in every true believer's life. One evidence that we really know the good shepherd is we are obedient to Jesus' teachings as recorded in the Bible (John 10:16). Incidentally, Jesus also revealed in this verse that there are sheep other than Israel. Gentiles who believe in Jesus can also receive the wonderful blessings God promised to Abraham who is the father of all nations (Genesis 18:18). We now know that these wonderful blessings are the sacrifical love of Christ who redeemed believers of all the world by His sufferings and death (John 3:16). We also receive the Holy Spirit who transforms our lives and we may have an abiding relationship with God forever (John 7:38-39).

John 10:14

"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—

John 10:16

I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

Genesis 18:18

18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.

John 3:16

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 7:38-39

38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

The world is full of strifes, hardships, insecurities, distorted values and temptations because it is a world full of sins. We are bombarded with wrongdoings of each other individually or collectively as a group. Therefore, the common unhealthy words describing the feelings of people are: depressed, bittered, unsatisfied, selfish, agressive, prideful, lewd, envious, deceitful, unfaithful, unforgiving, biased, polarized, guilty. But, Psalm 23:3 tells us that the good Shepherd restores our souls. Soul is concerned our deep inner being and psychological feelings. When we follow the good Shepherd Jesus, He will restore our souls. As Galatians 5:22-23, the Holy Spirit will bring forth fruits in our life and replace those unhealthy attributes of our life with fruits pleasing to God: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfullness, gentleness and self-control.

Psalm 23:3

he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life

clock April 18, 2009 02:00 by author wtsang

John 11:25

25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;

Some people think that life starts and ends with the physical body. When a baby is born, a new life starts. When a person dies, it is the end of a life. In other words, death is the ultimate final event for a life. This view of life and death is not complete and accurate. The physical aspect of life and death is only part of the picture. Indeed the body is an important component of life but not all. It is also true that one day the physical body will die, but physically only. According to the Bible, death is only a temporary condition. Therefore, death is almost synonymous to sleep for one who sleeps will awake. There are two types of resurrection (Daniel 12:2,Revelation 21:8): resurrection towards eternal life and resurrection towards second death (Revealation 20:18, 21:8). Therefore, the former type of resurrection is the good resurrection that God is pleased to give us and Jesus is the source of this type of resurrection. The second type of resurrection is the consequence of sins for the wages of sins is death according to the judgement of God. The Bible tells us that we are all subject to judgement after this life (Hebrews 9:27). But, we may receive the salvation grace of escaping God's judgement when we put of faith in Jesus who paid for the punishment of all our sins (Romans 3:23-24). God's salvation grace is effective and immediate. Anyone who puts the trust in Jesus will transform his or her life immediately and become united with God and the new life will last to eternity (Romans 6:5-7). For people who have faith in Jesus, death has been conquered and will not be able to set a permanent hook on their new life. The physical death is simply a temporary event for one day they will rise and receive a glorious body (Philippians 3:20-21). Jesus demonstrated His power of resurrection in raising Lazarus who had died for three days in His earthly ministry so that we may put the trust in Him. Also, Jesus Himself was raised from the death so that we who believe in Him will also resurrect with Him.

Daniel 12:2

Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

Hebrews 9:27

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,

Romans 3:23-24

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:5-7

5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

Philippians 3:20-21

20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

John 11:26

and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

Revelation 20:14

Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.

Revelation 21:8

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."

Life is not restricted only to the perishable physical body which is limited in a short time span. That is, the phsical body is not the source of real life and it weakens day by day as the body grows old until it dies (John 6:63). If life consists of the physical body only, life is really gloomy and has no future. However, God's gift of life is different for it is abundant, imperishable and has a bright future (John 1:4;John 10:10; 1 Corinthians 15:42). One day, the physical body may die, but a new resurrected body will replace the old physical body which the Bible tells us is a glorious body. Our old life needs to transform into a new life before we may receive this new glorious life which will last forever with God. That is why Jesus teaches us that we must be born again otherwise we will not see the kingdom of God. Being born again is not physically born again but spiritually born again by the Holy Spirt whe we put our trust in Jesus the Lord and Saviour. we can obtain life transformation from nowhere else except from Jesus Christ who is the source of this new and eternal life (John 1:4; John 10:10). The Bible also teaches us that the old life is bounded in darkness which means sin, error or falsehood. The new life that Jesus gives will set us free from darkness and enter light which is a direct contrast to darkness. As a matter of fact, people wihh new life will serve as a witness in the world for most people who are still living in darkness (Ephesians 5:8). Friends, we can put our trust in Jesus who is indeed the resurrection and the life! Friends, when we receive the new life from God, we have the responsibility to shed the light with our new life to people who are still wondering in darkness such that they may see and come and receive God's blessings in Christ Jesus!

John 6:63

The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.

John 1:4

In him was life, and that life was the light of men.

John 10:10

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

1 Corinthians 15:42

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;

Ephesians 5:8

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light

Jesus the Lamb of God

clock April 10, 2009 02:00 by author wtsang

John 1:29

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

The salvation plan of God by sending Jesus as a sacrifical lamb has been prophecised in various places in the Old Testament. As a matter of fact, the practice of animal sacrifices was only a shadow of the real thing which is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ Himself once and for all such that whoever put their trust in Him (Hebrew 9:28 ) will receive salvation. With His great Love, Jesus suffered great pain and sorrow for all sinners, and died a painful death on the cross. All who trust in Him will become the beneficiaries of his sufferings (Isaiah 53:5-7). JesusChrist took on the punishment that was caused by our transgressions and iniquities such that we may receive peace. Our sins are forgiven and the broken relationship with God can be restored. Christ was afflicted with wounds, but we receive healing from God such that our depressive, sin sick, and spiritually blinded soul can be refreshed with love, and joy. Selfishness, agression, anxiety are replaced with peace, patience, kindness and goodness. Pride, deceitfulness, lewdness, self-indulgence are replaced with faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22).

Hebrew 9:28

28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Isaiah 53:5-7

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self- control. Against such things there is no law.

Jesus was not forced to become the sacrificial lamb, but out of His own will and love (John 10:11; John 15:13). Believers are redeemed by the suffering and sacrifice of Jesus (1 Peter 1:18). Notice that Jesus has no sin such that His sacrifice is acceptable to God. This explains why the lambs picked out to celebrate the Passovers must be without blemish as instructed by Moses (Exodus 12:5). As a matter of fact, this is the only effective redemption and salvation acceptable to God (Acts 4:10- 12). Friends, we who trust in Jesus are redeemed at a dear price and therefore we should honor God in our new life (1 Corinthians 6:20).

John 10:11

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

1 Peter 1:18

18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

Exodus 12:5

5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.

Acts 4:10-12

10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 He is " 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.' 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

1 Corinthians 6:20

20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

Jesus the Advocate

clock April 7, 2009 02:00 by author wtsang

1 John 2: 1

1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

Jesus is advocate of all believers. Advocate means helper. In modern concept, it has a similar meaning of defense attorney. The persecutor of believers is Satan who persecutes believers day and night before God (Revelation 12:10). Ordinary defense attorneys defend with arguments such that the defendants may be acquitted and will perhaps present a plea for mercy if the defendants are proven guilty. Unlike ordinary attorneys, Jesus defends us with His sacrificial love by settling the requirement of justice by His own death on the cross. However, we should also understand that Jesus does not defend us such that we may stay in sins. Rather, Jesus paid for the penality of sins for us so that we may live a new and free life. He impowers us to become a new creation that glorifies God (2 Corinthians 5:17). The impowerment is through the works of the Holy Spirt who make us a new human being such that believers are spiritually born again. As a matter of fact, Jesus says that being born again is required to enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5). Notice that believers are born again by the works of the Holy Spirit who renews believers with the word of God (Ephesians 5:26) and believers are not giving birth to themselves by their own efforts transforming themselves acceptable to God (Titus 3:5). Jesus promises that he who believe in Him will receive the Holy Spirit who is like streams of living water flowing within the believers (John 7:38-39). The Holy Spirit came when Jesus was crucified, died and resurrected (John 16:7). Believing in Jesus implies loving Him and obeying Jesus' word (John 14:15-17). This fully fulfills the mission of Jesus who came to the world to save sinners (John 3:17).

Revelation 12:10

10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.

2 Corinthians 5:17

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

John 3:5

5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Ephesians 5:26

26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,

Titus 3:5

5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

John 7:38-39

38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

John 16:7

7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

John 14:15-17

15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.


17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.


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