His Grace is Truly Amazing!

"But he spoke more vehemently, "If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" And they all said likewise." (Mark 14:31).

There are many times that we make strong resolves and many times that we fail. But, the Lord knew us even before we made those resolves, and loved us despite of our failures. His Grace is truly Amazing!!

Four Principles of Rational Fideism

From Epistemics of Divine Reality

Principles of Rational Fideism

Four principles of rational fideism will be discussed here. The principles follow from the subjective-objective hypothesis of rational fideism and the discussion of the Indian criterion. The principles are as follows:

Consistency is not the same as conceivability. The rationality of Revelation requires the consistency of its content. However, the inability to conceptualize the Divine as reported by Revelation cannot be qualification for its rejection as being inconsistent. Conceptions are basically empirical. Therefore, an attempt to conceptualize the Divine is tantamount to doing empirical epistemics and not rational fideistic epistemics. To cite as an example, it is evident that the doctrine of Trinity must not be approached empirically. For that will only lead to frustration. Consistency is not the same as correspondence; for in that case, the positivist law of verification would determine theological justifiability. But this law has already been shown to be inapplicable to theological epistemics owing to its failure to be applicable to itself in the first instance. The law transcends itself and proves the non-empiricality of itself thus violating its own proposition. Experience doesn’t provide a sure basis for divine knowledge and possess a high degree of ambiguity and probability. In addition, truths that transcend the limits of ‘present’ experience cannot be sourced from experience. For instance, one can know nothing about the truth of the origin of the universe, if Revelation reveals of it, since no one has witnessed any origin of the universe in order to know what it is like with which the revelatory content must be in correspondence. Consistency, however, means that the revelatory content must not conflict with itself on any given point. However, this doesn’t mean that divine reality can’t find any conceptual analogy (though misty) in experience.

Faith must anchor in the ultimate. Existential fulfillment must be anchored in the knowledge of divine reality. However, divine reality cannot attract faith unless it manifests itself as concerned with human reality. Unless God is concerned with humans, all human striving is pointless. Further, unless God reveals Himself to man, faith as nothing substantial to base itself on. Rational faith cannot build castles in the air. It needs a solid ground on which it can stand. Therefore, Revelation must give some ultimate basis in which faith can lay its anchor. Consequently, any Revelation that assumes ultimate reality to be a transcendent negative (as in non-dualism) or an immanent anything (as in pantheism or polytheism) offers no ground for rational faith. A transcendent negative equals nothing and an immanent anything is not only dispersive ground but also an attempt to pull oneself up by one’s bootstraps, for human reality is itself co-immanent with everything else. Therefore, Revelation must provide a content to the transcendent ideal. As seen earlier, two necessary anchoring attributes of the transcendent must be personality and concern without which a meaningful I-Thou relationship is impossible. To say that the transcendent cannot be known is to obstruct the epistemics of divine reality. Further, in that sense, Revelation itself is no revelation at all: it reveals nothing but that nothing can be known. Therefore, it is argued Revelation must provide a positive, yet transcendental anchoring ground for faith.

Supernatural phenomena do not serve as data for rational fideism. Faith may wish to be strengthened by phenomenal religious experience of signs, wonders, visions, and miracles. However, supernatural phenomena in, of, and by themselves have no revelatory content to serve as unambiguous data for rational fideism. Such phenomena can serve as data for empirical epistemics but not for rational fideism; and the results of empirical epistemics have been discussed at length to conclude that it leads us nowhere beyond the horizons of our experience alone. Such empirical epistemics can ultimately lead only to some form of naturalism, even if qualified by the ideal of divinity. Further, there is no reason to doubt that the supernatural phenomena might be designed in such a way as to mislead humans. This possibility is heightened by the biblical proposition that the spirit-world is divided into two antagonistic kingdoms with a political system and strategies, of which one kingdom is all set for deceiving humanity to believe its lie.  In such a case, it is almost or absolutely impossible for humans to really know whether he is being deceived or not. Thus, no supernatural phenomena, even religious experience such as visions of ‘God’, can be the grounds for the rational fideistic epistemics of divine reality. This has already been demonstrated earlier. It needs only to be added here that only when supernatural phenomena is given an interpretive revelatory content can it assume the status of ‘proof’, though in a relative sense; however, it can never assume the status of data for theologizing in the rational fideistic epistemics.

Rational fideism is not fusion epistemics. On the other hand, it is harmony epistemics. The only fusion possible is at the dispensing of the other. Harmony is the gaining of value not from within the system of contingent being but from without. Fusion, it has been seen, either leads to the attribution of the transcendental attributes to the empirical world or the contentment with the empirical attributes as constituting reality. Thus, reason, as in non-dualism, looks at all empirical reality as illusion, while experience sees the pluralistic and contingent nature of reality as self-evident and regards the concept of rational or metaphysical reality nonsensical, useless, and in Hume’s words, consignable to the flames. Reason and experience cannot fuse together absolutely to form some new epistemics. However, they can be harmonized in their distinctions as distinct tones are harmonized in music. The question of rational fideism is whether any revelation can provide such harmonizing content to resolve the paradoxical disharmony between reason and experience in the existential person. This also defines the inquiry of rational fideism.

The Trinity and the Existential Paradox of Reality

From Epistemics of Divine Reality (2007, 2011)

pp. 213-214

The Trinitarian perspective of the Divine as Triune (Unity in Trinity) and the image of God in man as a social unity of plurality (‘male and female…multiply…have dominion’) has been seen as one way of resolving this existential dilemma of unity-plurality. The Divine Community created the human community in its own image of unity in plurality, a concept that cannot be explained fully in either rational or empirical terms. The existential element that harmonizes the paradoxical senses is the divinely rooted gift of Love. Love is neither rational nor irrational, it is trans-rational, it is spiritual (‘the fruit of the Spirit’). It flows from Divine Nature, the Trinity, and resolves the confoundedness of sin-stricken humanity.

Sin brings confusion,[1] according to the Bible, because of its revolt against relationships for the sake of the ego, that wants to be autonomous. It begins with a revolt against the Divine Community, which also means a revolt against community. As a result the unity-plurality lose existential harmony. Confusion is related to the experience of shame. Shame is the sense of disharmony between self and community. Shame is the result of spiritual lovelessness, of the hesitancy of transparency, the emotional awkwardness of unrelatedness. According to the Bible, the permanency of inner disharmony owing to the presence of sin and the factuality of total depravity rationalizes shamehood. Shamehood can only be dispelled by the experience of infinite death. Dignity can only arise in the New Creation. Thus, shame is not sinful, since it is the existential emotion arising out of the in-built failure to harmonize the dilemma of the sense of unity and plurality within the community through spiritual love. Shamelessness is sinful, since it is the suppression of a justified metaphysical sense in revolt to the harmonizing gift of Love. Shamelessness is Love crucified. Romans 1: 18-32 tells that shamelessness is characterized by the sacrifice of the metaphysical for the physical, by the obfuscation of the plural with the real. It can also be the obfuscation of the non-plural with the real. Biblically, however, the real is a harmony of both the plural and non-plural, of the unity-plurality. Thus, the Bible, in essence, attempts to resolve the problem of unity-plurality through Love.


Following is an illustration of how the rational-empirical paradox may be resolved in the biblical revelation of divine reality:

i. Unity-Plurality and Divine Tri-unity. The biblical God is essentially a unity-plurality that possibilizes his relationality. He is not a monad, nor is the God-head made up of three gods. On the other hand, the God-head is a trinity. Accordingly, oneness is the attribute of the three and threeness is the attribute of the one. Thus, the Trinity is seen as a harmony of both unity and plurality, in the sense that the Trinity is both a unity and a plurality. It is not one at the disposal of the other, but one in harmony with the other. The existential bond of the Divine Community is secured by Divine Love. The existential distinction is preserved by personality, the divine is three persons, which is the condition of love.

ii. Necessity-Contingency.  God is essentially a necessary-contingent being which possibilizes his relationality. As necessary, God is absolute; as contingent, the three persons within the Godhead work in unamity and love. There is no egoistic centre. Contingency can be seen within the Holy Trinity in the sense that each person within the Divine Community is related to the other.

The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.

…The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

…the Spirit of truth…shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. [2]

iii. Immutability-mutability. God is essentially immutable and dynamic which possibilizes his relationality. He is the eternally unchanging God. And yet, He ‘comes down’ to meet His people, He ‘visits’ the poor, He walks on the waves of the sea, and discourses with man in His inner being. The Bible begins with an acting God: ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.’[3] A God who works is a God in motion. God is certainly the God who doesn’t change in essence. However, He is also the God who creates, repents, judges, and saves. The Incarnation is a major example of this. In the Incarnation God did not change in essence but still took on a permanent nature of the human. The Word became flesh doesn’t mean that it was no longer Word but only flesh. The hypostatic union, in this case, secures both the divinity and the humanity of Christ. The noteworthy fact, however, is that the Word became flesh in some point in time and has remained so ever since. Thus, in essence God is unchanging but in His relation He is changing. He is essentially unchanging God who is dynamically active.

iv. Transcendence-Immanence. God is essentially a transcendent and yet immanent being which possibilizes his relationality. God is not only beyond the universe but also in the universe. He is not only Spirit but also the Omnipresent Spirit. He is not only the ‘wholly Other’, but also the ‘wholly Present’; ‘the mystery of the self-evident, nearer to me than my I.[4] God is everywhere and yet not everything. God transcends the universe, He is not the universe. In contradistinction to the pantheistic and panentheistic position, the biblical God, in His essentiality, is not affected by any change in the universe since He also transcends it as Spirit.

v. Infinity-finitude. God is essentially infinite and finite which possibilizes his relationality. He is infinitely infinite and infinitely finite. Therefore, the infinitely finite division of space is not devoid of the personal presence of God. God is infinite in power yet He cannot do many things, like He cannot destroy Himself or be the cause of his own destructibility as in the polytheistic myth of Bhasmasur.[5] Also, He cannot sin, nor can He justify the wicked. Thus, He cannot do many things. The infinity of God, further, does not disallow the existence of the world. Neither is the infinity of God prevented by the existence of the world. Moreover, God is also seen as involved in temporal historical time and yet transcending the temporality of historical time. Thus, God is infinite, but not in the material sense, for that would be empirically impossible. He is spiritually infinite in being, power, and knowledge. However, He can involve Himself in the finite spatio-temporal world. He cannot be contained in a temple made of bricks and stones. But He is said to indwell the heart of a believer. Thus, in divine reality the infinite-finite find harmonious co-existence.

A few illustrations of Biblical theologizing by the existential application of the principles of rational fideism have already been given in the section on the subjective dimension of divine epistemics. Hopefully, such applications will eventually serve to unravel an understanding of the divine not just in the objective dimension but also in the subjective dimension. Thus, also hopefully, the objective cognizance of God will be met by a subjective anchoring in Him. And such anchoring will constitute the substantiality of the faith in divine reality which is not of things seen (empirical) but of things unseen. Thus, according to rational fideism, in matters of knowledge pertaining to divine reality, ‘faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’[6] Such a view of faith as not only existential but also rational will finally lead theology into a discovery of both subjective and objective meaningfulness in Revelation

[1] Cf. Daniel 5: 8: ‘O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face…because we have sinned against thee.’ (KJV)
[2] John 3: 35; 5: 19; 16: 13-14 (KJV)
[3] Genesis 1: 1 (KJV)
[4] Martin Buber, I and Thou, p. 79
[5] Bhasmasur, a demon, was given the boon of turning to ashes anything by laying of hands; however, he in turn attempted to lay his hands on the god who gave him the boon which made the god take to his heels to protect himself from destruction.
[6] Hebrews 11: 1 (KJV)

© Domenic Marbaniang, 2007, 2011


The Importance of the Doctrine of Trinity

1. Ground of Morality
Provides the rational-eternal basis for moral categories - If God was a not a Trinity, then categories such as love, joy, and goodness couldn't be absolute.

2. Ground of Relationality
Provides the relational basis for interpersonal relationships. Therefore, Christ could pray regarding His disciples, "that they may be one, as We are" (Joh. 17:11).

3. Ground of Knowability
Provides the rational-empirical basis for epistemic categories - if God was not a Trinity, then the knowledge as a subject-object relationship, as analytic-synthetic distinction, and Truth as such couldn't find an original ground.

4. Ground of Plurality
Provides the metaphysical ground for a pluralist reality, and unity in diversity of the uni-verse.


त्रिएकता की महत्‍वपूर्णता


त्रिएकता का सिद्धांत बाईबल में बडा महत्‍व रखता है। यह न केवल तर्कसंगत है बल्कि बाईबल आधारित है।

1. त्रिएकता सदगुण का आधार है

सदगुणों का अस्तित्‍व आनादीकाल से है। वे अनंत है इस कारण से निरपेक्ष्‍ा है। वे अनंत इस लिए है क्‍यों कि उनका अस्तित्‍व त्रिएकता परमेश्‍वर में है। परमेश्‍वर निर्गुण नही है। अगर वैसा होता तो भलाई और बुराई, शुभ एवं अशुभ का कोई शास्‍वत अर्थ नही रहता। बाईबल बताती है कि परमेश्‍वर प्रेम है। और प्रेम अनेकता में एकता का सदगुण है। यदी परमेश्‍वर जगत के निर्माण से पहले अकेला ही होता तो प्रेम अर्थहीन होता क्‍योंकि फिर वह किस से प्रेम करता। फिर प्रेम स्‍वयं एक लौकिक आवश्‍यकता बनती और इसका आलौकिक आधार नही होता। अनादीकाल से पिता, पुत्र, एवं पवित्रात्‍मा की एकता ही सदगुण का अनंत आधार है।

2. त्रिएकता संबंध का आधार है

भाषा में भी हम तीन व्‍यक्तित्‍व का प्रयोग जानते है। मै, तुम, और वह। अनंतकाल से त्रिएक परमेश्‍वर आत्‍मा का प्रेम के संबंध में एक है। यही एैक्‍य मनुष्‍यों में भी प्रेम पर आधारित रिश्‍तों का आधार है।
यह एकता अहम रहित है। यही सच्‍ची संगती और सहभागिता का आधार भी है।

3. त्रिएकता सत्‍य का आधार है

वही व्‍यक्तिवाचक एवं विषयवाचक का आधार है। यदी ईश्‍वर जगत के निर्माण से पहले त्रिएक न होता तो उसे किसी वस्‍तु का ज्ञान भी नही होता, अर्थात सत्‍य ज्ञान का अस्तित्‍व भी नही होता। पर पिता, पुत्र, एवं पवित्रात्‍मा अनादी काल से एक दूसरे के ज्ञान से परिपूर्ण है। यही जगत में भी सत्‍य का आधार है।

यह जानना आवश्‍यक है कि त्रिएकता का अर्थ त्रिमूर्तीवाद या तीनैश्‍वरवाद नही है। परमेश्‍वर तीन नही पर एक है। तीनों व्‍यक्तित्‍व की केवल एक ही तत्‍व है। और वे एक है। यह समझना मनुष्‍यों के लिए कठिन है, पर यह तर्क द्वारा अपेक्षित भी है।

Epistemics of Divine Reality - Synopsis (Powerpoint)


Explorations of Faith - Studies of the Heroes of Faith in Hebrews 11

Number of Pages: 185
Dimensions: 5.5 inch x 8.5 inch
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Explorations of Faith is a study of the Heroes of Faith in Hebrews 11. It makes a deep theological analysis of the Biblical concept of Faith and pursues an understanding of it through the experiences and lives of these ordinary men and women with faith in an extraordinary God.

Seminary, Theology, and the Preacher

Someone recently told me that their Church is against Seminary trained preachers, and against theologians. I replied that this was incredible. A preacher without theology is like a pilot without map and compass. A casual glance at history reveals these great leaders, Paul, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Finney, and others, all theologians. And, Spurgeon didn't go to Seminary, but he had theology that was rigorous because he was a rigorous self-learner all his life. In order to condemn bad theology, you must need good theology in the first place. Or, else you're worse than an existentialist. A theologian without the Bible, however, is like a plane that has lost contact with the ground -- it can't land!

Books Vs Bible

There is one problem that I usually face with the educated. "Have you read this book" or "...that book", they ask, while never quoting or referring much to the Bible, almost to the extent that one begins to feel reading the Bible is too simple; and, yes it is, because it is God's Word to Every Man. But, I can hardly skim through most of these books, while I can drink every letter of the Word of God and be highly energized! Have you read your Bible today?

What is Life? - Sermon

Text: John 10:10
Mon. Sept. 12, 2011.

1. Life is a Gift

It is a gift of God.
What we do with a gift shows how much we regard the Giver. Some keep old letters as a treasure, because it was written by a special one whom they love. Some treasure autographs. God has given us the gift of life. Let's live it in honor of Him. Never despise any fellow being or life-form, for God has created them all. Jesus said if we call our brother a fool or Raca, we will be in danger of hell fire. Never forget that all life is a gift from God and must be received as such.

2. Life is a Mission

We are not here just out of nowhere, thrown in, without any purpose, meaning, or destiny. God has created us with a purpose, and this life is all about fulfilling that purpose, to know Him and glorify Him. We must not look at life as complete and rounded in itself. It is not the end, but only a means for the fulfillment of a mission, which is the Kingdom of God in our lives. Are we living with God's mission mandate in perspective and with eternity in mind? Let's follow our Shepherd and not the world in knowing what to do and where to go in this world we live in.

3. Life is an Opportunity

There is only this one life given to us, and it is the only opportunity for us to do what can be done before the Judgment. The Bible commands us to make the best use of every moment. "Redeem the time," it says "for the days are evil". Do we buy each opportunity in order to do good and glorify the Name of our Lord? If not, it is the right time to repent and surrender ourselves into God's hand, so that our times will really be in His hand and life will be fully lived only for Him, for Whom all things are made.

God bless!

Glory of the Son - Part 4

JOHN 17:1
"Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You.”


We saw
1. Revelation of Glory (John 1:17)
2. Foretaste of Glory (2 Cor.3:18)
3. Christ in us, Hope of Glory (Col.1:27)
4. Christ Glorified in the Disciple’s Death to Self
5. Christ Glorified in the Disciple’s Pursuit of Him
6. Christ Glorified in the Disciple’s Full-Hearted Service
7. The Son Glorified through Love in His Body
8. The Son Glorified through Care in His Body
9. The Son Glorified through Unity in His Body

JOHN 1:14: The Glory of the Son

1 Jn.1:1-2

1. The Glory of His Unction

Acts 10:38 – How God anointed Jesus…

But His anointing was not on earth
He was foreordained – from the foundation

CHRISTOS – The Anointed One
Not an but the Anointed One

The Glorious Ordination Service of Christ (Heb.1:8-14)
The Declaration (Heb.5:4-6,10)
The Order (Heb. 7:1-24): According to Promise and Not According to Law (i.e. not Aaronic)
1. It is Eternal: Melchizedekian Order (v.3, Without Beginning, Without End)
2. Made after the power of an endless life (v.16,17)
3. Made by God’s Oath (v.21,28)
4. An Unchangeable Priesthood (v.24)

Therefore, ALL prayer is only accepted in JESUS’ NAME

1. Gives authority over all flesh (Jn.17:2)
2. Gives authority to give eternal life
3. Gives authority to manifest God’s Name (v.6,26)
4. Gives authority to pass on God’s Words (v.8)
5. Gives authority to pray (v.9)
6. Gives authority to sanctify (v.19)

Earthly Priests:
shadows that pass away
approach with fear and trembling

The Shekinah that dwelt in the Holiest has now dwelt among us in flesh and blood: IMMANUEL
The Glory of God is wrapped in the nature of man


Anointing by the Spirit

He gave us the Spirit
The Anointing within us (1Jn. 2:20,27)
Are we doing what Christ did (Acts.10:38)
Greater things…

2. The Glory of His Passion

The disciples noticed something magnificent about Jesus. He was zealous for His Father.
- When He overturned the tables of changers in the temple
- When He spoke with authority before the Scribes and leaders
- When He wept for Jerusalem
- When He prayed to the His Father in His agony

Can you see the zeal of the Son of God? It is glorious.

To His parents: “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” Luke 2:48
To the people at the temple, He cried out: “Take these things away. Make NOT my Father’s house an house of merchandise!” Jn.2:16

The Disciples remembered Jn.2:17, “The zeal of Thy house has eaten me up.”

It aches my heart when I see people, Christians, possessed by some other passions – money, pleasure, earthly things…

Haggai 1:3,4,9; CALL 1:8; 2:15

“I have kept whom You gave” He did it for the Father. He drank the cup for His love.

Can’t you see the passion, when each time in this Chapter He says “Father!” v.1,5,11,25

3. The Glory of His Salvation

The Wisdom – Mystery 1Cor.2:7-10

1Pt.1:10-12; Eph.1:18-21; Col.1:26,27

A freedom that is true
A forgiveness that is forever
A life that will never end
An inheritance that will never perish
A joy that is fully satisfied
A glory that never fades
A kingdom that remains forever
In which dwells righteousness and truth


Glory of the Son - Part 3 (Glory in the Church, His Body)

JOHN 17:1
"Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You.”


We saw
1. The Revelation of His Glory (John 1:17)
2. The Foretaste of Glory (2 Cor.3:18)
3. Christ in us, Hope of Glory (Col.1:27)
4. Christ Glorified Through Our Dying to Self And Living To Him
5. Christ Glorified Through Our Following Him
6. Christ Glorified Through Our Serving Him

Heb.12: Looking beyond the Cross for the Joy: The hour when the Son will be glorified.
The victory lay on the focus beyond the Cross.

JOHN 13:1-17: Christ Glorified in His Body, the Church

Eph.3:21; Jn. 17:10

1. Christ is Glorified When There is Love Among Each Other in the Body

John 13:34,35

- Loving your own (your God, your neighbor, your spouse….) Jn.4:20,21
- Loving to the end (1Cor.13: Love’s First Characteristic – “suffereth long”;
Love’s Last Characteristic – “never faileth” E.g. Jesus loved Peter to the end

Learning to forgive (Eph.4:31) – without knots (worldly love when once broken can never be mended; and even if it were, it would harbor knots).

2. Christ is Glorified When We Serve Each Other in the Family

John 13:14,15

- 13:3. Knowing Who You Are (Have a right identity of yourself. To serve doesn’t mean to lose identity) Illusion: The Church must conform to the world in order to win it. NO, there must be a separation.
- A Humble Servant Attitude (Phil.2:6ff)
Laying aside His garments (The Robe of Divine Glory), He came down to serve us
TOWEL: Readiness to Serve
Water in Bason: Word of God (Eph.5:26; John 17:17)
How much water do you have in your bason?
Don’t try to remove the speck when you have a log in your eye.

Serving: Building each other, Teaching, Reproving, Correcting, Encouraging, Exhorting, Cleansing…

If you sit with sinners, you get dirty (Ps.1:1)
Sit with saints – Be cleansed

TOWEL: Wiped it on His bosom
Cover somebody’s shame. Don’t be a talebearer, gossiper, slanderer, a devil’s agent; be a servant of Christ – cleanser, a priest.

E.g. Good Samaritan. It did cost him something to serve. He didn’t serve for any payment. He served as the Good Samaritan.

3. Christ is Glorified When There is Unity in the Body

John 17:11; Eph. 4:3

Unity in faith – Don’t stray from the Apostles’ doctrine
Unity in fellowship – Don’t give up gathering together
Unity in service – Get involved in God’s work

Don’t allow seeds of disunity. Heb.4:12,13; 12:15; Jude 19-25


Broke Bread and Gave to Them: LOVE, SERVICE, UNITY

Glory of the Son - Part 2 (Glorifying God through Service)

JOHN 17:1
"Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You.”


We saw
1. Revelation of Glory (John 1:17)
2. Foretaste of Glory (2 Cor.3:18)
3. Christ in us, Hope of Glory (Col.1:27)

John 12:23-26

1. To Serve Means to First Die

“He that loves life…”

- Dying to Self
- Dying to other interests/affections
- Dying to other commitments

Becoming a zero (Phil. 2)
Humble yourself and He will lift you up

E.g. Sadhu Kishan Singh while on journey through Himalayas. The heat of carrying that person on his back kept him from freezing; but, his friend who was in a hurry and wanted to save himself was found frozen to death.

JESUS CHRIST – THE WHEAT/SEED: Dies and falls to the ground in order to bear fruit

Do you glorify your Master by dying to the world and living for Him?

Paul: CROSS: The Great Divider (Gal. 6:14)

2. To Serve Means to Follow

- Being Where He Is
- Learning What He Wills/Desires
- Doing What He Wants

Surrender your rights in His hands
Until you surrender, He won’t honor your offering/work

Are you where your Master likes to be? Are you where He is?
Fellowship, Ministry

Elisha followed Elijah (Gilgal-Bethel-Jericho)
Ruth followed Naomi
Peter failed by Christ restores

Gehazi… ran after what his master rejected
Away from his master: “Didn’t my heart go after you?”

Do you glorify Your Master by following Him?

3. To Serve Means to Set Christ as Your Primary Object of Service

“Serve HIM”

100% Commitment
100% Attention/Sensitivity

People say they can’t know God’s will because
1. They are not fully committed (“all your heart…soul”
2. Not fully tuned (no consistency)
3. Not staying close to the frequency (out of God’s coverage area)

E.g. Paul sought for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ (Phil.3:8)

A Listening Heart
An Understanding Heart
An Obedient Heart

Glorify the Father through Service

Jesus says:
“Father will honor you.”

Glory of the Son - Part 1 (Cana Episode)

JOHN 17:1
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You.”

John uses some important terms again and again: Light, Truth, Love, Glory, Hour

We will look at some events where Jesus talks about this hour…

John 2

1. God’s Hour

Why did He say “What have I to do with thee?”

A Ministry that is
- Not compelled by need
- Not compelled by passion
- Not compelled by circumstances
- But by the Hour of God

Mary is the earthly mother, but the ministry belongs to the Eternal Father.
He was faithful as a Son (Heb 5)
He was obedient to death (Phil 2)

Dr. Kurien Thomas: I am a servant, but not a servant of men; I am servant of God.

2. Christ’s Glory

Why did He turn the water into wine?
Why didn’t He turn the stones into bread in the wilderness?
Why choose to do this miracle in a remote country like Cana? Why not start in Jerusalem?

Answer: To reveal His glory to His disciples

Some of His miracles were simply just for His disciples
- The Fish net
- The Fig tree
- The Feeding of the 5000
- This one

John 1:17; Rom.3:23; 2Cor.3:13-18; Col.1:27

“And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one” (John 17:22)

Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs (1Cor.13:5)

THERE is an ancient proverb in Hindi which says
Rahiman dhaga prem ka mat todevu chatkai,
Tootei to phir na miley, miley ganth parijai.

[Do not snap the thread of love o Rahim;
For, if it breaks it can't be be joined; and if joined, it leaves a knot.]

It is not easy to forget the wrongs that someone has done against us. And, even when we get reconciled sometimes, there is some knot, some painful reminder, some grudge that is left behind. But, the Bible teaches us that we need to learn not only to forgive, but also to forget the hurt, or else the reconciliation is not perfect. Divine love, the fruit of the Holy Spirit (not of our own self), makes that possible. When Jesus forgave us, He kept no record of our wrongs. The Psalmist says "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us" (Psa 103:12). The prophet Micah could say "You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea (Mic.7:19). Isaiah could say "You have cast all my sins behind Your back" (Isa. 38:17). He also wishes us to deal with others as He deals with us. There is an interesting story told by Leo Tolstoy of how two children once get into a fight, which in return draws their parents into a big quarrel. But, while the quarrel gets heated higher and higher, someone points to the two little children away from all this fuss, playing again, being totally forgetful of their fight a little while ago. Jesus told us that unless we become converted and become like little children we cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. It is these records of wrongs that give birth to so much of hatred, strife, and wars in the world. But, love keeps no record of wrongs.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for forgiving me so much and for not dealing with me according to my transgressions. Sometimes, it is really not easy to forgive, and even harder to forget because of the hurt. But, when You took my sins on the Cross and bled to die for my sake, You set for me an example of true love, and it is Your desire, O Lord that I walk in Your love and glorify Your name. So, I repent of any grudge against anyone that I still hold, O Lord, and surrender my heart in Your hands. Make me and mold me and fill me with Your love, so that every thought and act of mine will reflect the majesty of Your all-loving and all-forgiving kindness.

10-Fold Power of Faith

Sunday, Sept 4, 2011
Pentecostal Church, Sanjaynagar

Jesus said that if you had faith like a mustard seed, you would tell a mountain to be removed and cast into the sea and it would obey. Faith has tremendous power; but, faith unrelated to truth is blind and false. At the same time, truth that is not believed in is ineffective. Faith also must be obeyed through works, or else it is dead. Faith combined with truth and works has great power.

1. Faith has SAVING power (Acts 16:31; Rom.1:16)
2. Faith has PURIFYING power (Acts 15:9)
3. Faith gives power for LIVING (Gal.2:20; Rom.1:17)
4. Faith has PRAYING power (Mt.21:22; Jas.5:15)
5. Faith has OVERCOMING power (1Jn.4:4,5)
6. Faith has HEALING & MIRACLE-WORKING power (Jas.5:15; Matt.9:28)
7. Faith has PROTECTING power (Eph.6:16)
8. Faith has PRESERVING power (1Pet.1:5)
9. Faith has UPBUILDING power (Jude 20)
10. Faith has UNITING power (Ep.4:13)

FOLLOW ME - Bible Study

NGORA, Shillong
August 2011

F  O  L  L  O  W

F - Fixed-mindedness
Ps.57:7; Jas.1:5-7

O - Orientation of Life
Col. 1:16-21; Eph.1:10

L - Listening Ears
Jn. 8:43; 10:35ff

L - Learning Heart

O - Obedient Will
1Jn.1:3-6; 5:3; Jn.14:23,24

W - Witness of Christ
Acts.1:8; Lk.9:26; Ro.1:16

Take Up Your Cross And Follow ME

Saturday, Aug 27, 2011
NGORA, Shillong


Separated from world by calling.
2. MAP OF DESTINYA path and goal to follow.
3. MOOD OF DEVOTIONAttention, Affection, Zeal, Focus
4. MISSION OF DEATHLife through death.

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