Confession content – Sin or Savior?


Have you ever wondered as to what we should be confessing to God? In other words, what should be the content of our confession? Searching the Holy and infallible scripture gives us the answer, relative to when the confession is made. I learn that there are only two confessions that matter with and to God.

Before we have accepted Jesus and believed in His Name, we need to confess our SINS, for he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
After we have accepted Jesus and believed in His Name, we need to confess our SAVIOR – Jesus Christ, who knew NO sin, but was made sin for us, so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Point(s) to ponder:

  1. Have you confessed your sins to Jesus Christ, so that he can cleanse us of all our unrighteousness?
  2. If you have had that confession of sin, then are you/I confessing the savior?

1 John 1:9 (KJV)
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (KJV)
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

The proof of the Risen Jesus is …


In the article entitled ‘Signs of life‘, we learn that the two vital signs of life is that we ‘rise up’ and ‘speak’ as did the son of the widow who was raised by the Lord Jesus from his coffin where he lay dead. This is recorded in Luke 7:11-15. But the scripture continues to record the events that transpired after this miracle of resurrection took place. Luke 7:16 states  “And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.

We must recognize that the signs of life that were evident in the dead man who came to life, when Jesus said ‘ARISE’ leads the crowd to fear and glorify God and exclaim that a great prophet (Nazareth’s Prophet) was RISEN among them and that God had visited his people. Jesus’ words that make the spiritually dead ARISE must in fact make those who are watching recognize that JESUS is RISEN among them.

The proof of the Risen Jesus is US; you and me, who believe in His Name. The question that needs to be answered is, “Is our lives lived in such a manner that it is evidence of our resurrection from death unto life, so that those who are watching us, will turn to fear and glorify God, and exclaim that Jesus is the Risen One of God and that God has visited them?” Think about it.


Luke 7: 11-16 (KJV)
11
And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people.
12
Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.
13
And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.
14
And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.
15
And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.
16
And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.

Signs of life


Luke 7:11-15 records the miracle in which Jesus resurrects the dead son of the widow who was laid bare in an open coffin. Jesus told the dead man, “Arise” and the dead man, sat up (or arose) and began to speak (Luke 7:15).

Did you ever wonder as to why, the getting up and the speaking of the man who was raised from the dead, is explicitly called out? It is important to recognize these two signs of life – “arose” and “spoke”.

The Bible says that those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God, sent to save His people from their sins, shall never die (John 11:25-26). But do we as believers, demonstrate the signs of life? Are we rising up from the spiritual coffin that we once lay and are we speaking about Jesus, The One who has given us life; life abundant, life eternal?

We ought to rise up and speak if we have been made alive in and by Christ Jesus.

Luke 7:11-15 (KJV)
11
And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people.
12
Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.
13
And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.
14
And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.
15
And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.

The Demand of Christ of each Christian


Neelanthil Vilunda Godumai ManiA verse that would accurately demonstrate the life of my earthly father, Dr. R.A.C. Paul, when he was with us in his earthly body is John 12:24. John 12:24 reads “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” In fact, the biography of his and my mother’s pioneering work, which has touched the lives of many, was originally written in Tamil, and entitled “Neelathil Vilundha Godumai Mani” which by interpretation means “The Fallen Corn of Wheat”. It is now translated into English and entitled “Pioneering on the pinda.” When my dad was alive as a missionary, there was little that he personally saw, as the fruit of his labor for the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, but since his departure to be with the Lord on September 30, 1986, there are many churches that stand firm today, which reflect as a testament to his faithfulness to the call. Truly God has given the increase, though my dad, Dr. Paul planted and/or watered.

Jesus came so he could draw all men to himself and bring many sons to glory (John 12:32, Hebrews 2:10). The demand of Christ for all Christians today is accurately stated in John 12:24 and is quite simple. We ought to die to live and bring life to many! He who is alive to themselves abides alone. He that is willing to die to sin and self, brings forth many fruit. Our lives need to be the seed that first dies and when watered by the Holy Spirit, germinates into a sapling that grows in the fear of the Lord and in the appointed time blossoms into a heavenly flower, so that others who see us as a beautiful and glorious flower in God’s garden, will glorify God THE gardener.

John 12:24 (KJV)
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

Know God or Known of God


An interesting verse in the Holy Bible is the one recorded to the Churches in Galatia, recorded in Galatians 4:9. It reads “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” The part of this verse that caught my attention was “… ye have known God, or rather are known of God, …” and as I pondered, I wondered as to why such an explicit  distinction was made.

There are many who know Jesus, a.k.a know God, but what is vitally important is that to determine if they truly know God or are rather known of God. Even those who don’t believe that Jesus is the Christ know who He is, but to truly know God, what does it mean? To truly know God and to be known of God is quite a different matter in its entirety. Who are those who are truly know God or are rather known of God? The scripture gives us the answer to that question and it is quite simple. Those who keep God’s commandments are the ones who know him (1 John 2:3) and those who love God are the ones who are known of him (1 Corinthians 8:3). Jesus said, if you love me, you will keep my commandments (John 14:15).  To fear (love) God and to keep his commandments is the chief end of yours and mine (Ecclesiastes 12:13) and in doing so, not only do we affirm truthfully that we know God, but what a great thing it is to recognize that we are known of God.

Point(s) to ponder:

  1. Do you/I know God? a.k.a. are you/I keeping his commandments?
  2. Are you/I known of God? a.k.a. Do you/I love God?
  3. We ought to know God AND be known of God – Think about that!

I John 2:3 (KJV)
3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

1 Corinthians 8:3 (KJV)
3
But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

1 John 2:4 (KJV)
4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

My Father and your Father; My God and your God


Jesus is recorded to have used the phrase, ‘my Father’ many times when referring to God, who sent Him, while he was on earth. But did you realize that the King James Version of the Bible, reflects the phrase “My God” as used by Jesus, only twice. Once it was on the Cross (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34) and the next time, it was post resurrection, in his conversation with Mary Magdalene. Jesus told Mary, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. (John 20:17)

Not only is this statement one that makes us the brothers (and sisters) of Jesus, but the relationship starts to get even more intimate. We are co-heirs with Christ, because Jesus makes God, His Father, our Father as well, when he says “and your Father”. In John 8:44, Jesus refers to those in whom His word had no place, and those who did not love Him (which makes up pretty much for all those unsaved, including you and me, before we heeded to the word of God and believed in Jesus) as being the children of the devil when he says “Ye are of your father the devil”. But with his act of sacrifice that was acceptable to God, His Father, we see that the lost relationship of God with man as Father and son has been restored because of Jesus’ death and Resurrection.

What a privilege it is to be adopted into God’s family as sons (and daughters) of THE Only True God who sent Jesus, His only begotten Son, so that we can believe in Him and have eternal life (John 3:16; John 17:3).  But let us pause for a moment. Jesus did not just make us sons (and daughters) of God, but he also made us servants of God. He said, my Father and your Father; and my God and your God, not just My Father and your Father. We are sons AND servants (meaning we are expected to serve) God, the Father, but many of us just want to be sons, and not servants. We tend to use God as a loving Father who fancies our every indulgence, but seldom want to have him to be the LORD of our lives; to be our God.

Note how on the Cross, Jesus addressed God as “Father” and cried “My God, my God” not “My God, your God”. However, with His act of love, dying in our stead, taking the punishment for sin for us, and His sacrifice being acceptable to God (Hebrews 10:1-18), He changes his address from just “Father” and “My God, my God” to “My Father and your Father; My God, and your God“. While this establishes a long lost relationship, let us recognize that we are not merely sons but servants as well, and are expected to inherit with Christ while serving God, Our Father. Jesus affirmed that God is “Your Father and Your God” and he meant both.

John 20:17 (KJV)
17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

GRACE defined …


2 Corinthians 5:18
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

Isaiah 1:18
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Ephesians 2:7
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Romans 3:24
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

2 Corinthians 5:21
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Brother Jesus


It is only a few days since we celebrated Resurrection Day 2010, and I wonder as to why we don’t celebrate the Risen Lord Jesus Christ, every day of our lives. Jesus conquered death once and for all, for all those who believe in His Name and that is reason enough for everyone that believes in Him to rejoice always, and yes again I say rejoice (Philippians 4:4). And it is today that I also celebrate the birth of my brother, Ragland Remo Paul. He was named ‘Ragland’ by my missionary parents, Dr. R.A.C. Paul and Dr. Iris Grace Rajakumari Paul, in memory of the English missionary, Rev. Thomas G. Ragland (1815-1858), who gave his life serving Jesus on his mission to the people in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu, India. My brother’s middle name  ‘Remo’ was given by a lady of the Bondo tribe, to whom my parents had been called and chosen to serve. ‘Remo’ in the Bondo dialect means ‘man’. So ‘Remo’, my brother celebrates his birthday and I thank God for having appointed it so that I would be related to him, who I vividly remember as my friend and protector, while I was growing up, after the death of my earthly missionary father. My other siblings, David Livingston Paul and Mary Smrutha Paul would agree that Remo has also been a provider. But besides, Remo (and David), I want to also remember and celebrate another brother of mine.

John 20 records the appearance of Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ to the Mary Magdalene outside the tomb. Many expositors have preached on this, but I am yet to hear of anyone preach on the conversation that ensued between Mary and Jesus. Jesus tells Mary that she is not to cling on to him but to go to his brothers and tell them that he was to ascend to God, our Father and our God (John 20:17). Did you notice the establishment of a new relationship in those words? Jesus escalates his intimacy with His believers. In John 15:15, he called his disciples, not servants but friends, and now from being friends of His, these disciples had turned to be his brothers (and sisters). Who is it that is the brother (or sister or mother) of Christ Jesus? All those who do the will of God, the heavenly Father (Matthew 12:50).

So today, I thank God for my brother Remo, and his life. And I thank God for Jesus who loves me enough to call me His brother! Happy birthday, brother Remo. Thank you, Brother Jesus.

Point(s) to ponder:
Are you/I doing the will of God the heavenly Father so that Jesus can call you/I His brother or sister or mother?

Life and Labor – more abundantly


Apostle Paul in his letter to the church in Corinth ascertains facts about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, stating how Christ appeared to Cephas and then to the twelve disciples, and to five hundred others, then to James and all of the apostles and last of all to Paul himself, who considers himself to be the least of the apostles. (1 Corinthians 15:1-9)

This man who considered himself to be the least of the apostle expresses something immediately thereafter, which at the onset may seem to be more boastful than humble, when he says that he labored more abundantly relative to the all the other disciples and apostles (1 Corinthians 15:9), but closer inspection reveals that Paul’s claim of his abundant labor was not out of pride but because of the grace that had been bestowed on him (1 Corinthians 15:9).

Paul, a murderer who was ordering to put to death the lives of those who followed the life giver (Acts 8:1-3), was himself given life (Christ in him – Galatians 2:20) because of the grace of the Resurrected One; the Lord Jesus Christ; the life giver. Jesus said, that He came so that His people (sheep that follow Him) shall have life and have it  more abundantly (John 10:10).

The secret to Paul’s ability and affirmation of laboring abundantly is because he was given life more abundantly.

Point(s) to ponder:

  1. Have you accepted Jesus Christ, the life giver? In other words, have you gotten life, abundant life? Got Jesus = Got Life!
  2. If you/I have been given eternal and abundant life, are you/I laboring more abundantly for Him as well?

1 Corinthians 15:3-10 (KJV)
3
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5
And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6
After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7
After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8
And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
9
For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Why seek ye the living among the dead?


When visiting the Holy Land Experience in Orlando, I took a picture of what was recreated as the tomb in which Jesus was laid, and what was interesting is that within this tomb, there was a plaque which read “He is not here, He is risen.” We just celebrated Easter in the year of the Lord 2010, and remembered his power over death and the grave (1 Corinthians 15:55-57), and his resurrection from the dead according to the scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4), but did you realize that on the first Easter, there was a question that was posed, right in the tomb where Jesus was laid.

The first question that was asked in the tomb where Jesus Christ was laid after his resurrection by angels of God (Luke 24:23) was “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5-6). They further went on to affirm that “He (Jesus) is not here (in the tomb), but is risen”.

The answer to this question is of paramount significance. Within a tomb is dead men’s bones and uncleanliness (Matthew 23:27). When Jesus arose, He arose in His physical body (bones and flesh). This He affirms when He tells the disciples “that a spirit has neither bones nor flesh, as you see me have” (Luke 24:39). Acts 2:27,32 refers to Christ Jesus as the Holy One who was raised by God and He who is Holy is not unclean.

Jesus proclaimed verily that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6); He is the Resurrection and he that believes in Him shall have eternal life, even though he was dead (John 11:25). Jesus is Life!

“Why seek ye the living among the dead?” is akin to asking “What communion can Light have with darkness?” Think about it, when you shine a light in a dark room, that room is no longer dark. The shining light takes over the darkness. So is the case, when Life encounters death, death is consumed. The sting of death is vanquished by the victory of Jesus’ resurrection ( 1 Corinthians 15:55-57) . Just as light and darkness cannot co-exist, Life and death cannot co-exist. You are either dead (not knowing Jesus Christ and God the Father who sent Him) or you are alive (knowing Jesus Christ and God the Father who sent Him) (John 17:3)

And of this we are to be witnesses (Luke 24:48), proclaiming that we don’t have to seek the living (Resurrected Jesus) among the dead (in the tomb), because Jesus is the Holy One of God, resurrected in his body (bones and flesh) and those who believe in Him; the Resurrection; shall have eternal life, i.e., be themselves resurrected from death unto life; unto newness of life. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Revelation 20:6 (KJV)
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

For a related article, see “Living among the dead