Thursday 20 February 2020

THE CLASH OF OPPOSED WILLS basic difference between Jesus and people around Him was that Jesus was out to fulfill the will of God the Father whereas the people around Him sought their own will. He proved that He was the Son of God by subjecting Himself to His Father’s will and setting His will on learning obedience to His Father through His sufferings. In this He was led by the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of God. Jesus also called Him the Spirit of Truth. Because He was driven by the Spirit of Truth, He meant what He said, and His actions never contradicted His speech.

On the other hand, the people who opposed Him were driven by the spirit of the world. Ephesians 2:1-3 says this about it:

“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” spirit made them sons of disobedience. When he works in them, they invariably end up serving their ‘self’ through lusts of flesh, and desires of the flesh and mind. Bible calls these desires evil. Because they center in their self, it renders them absolutely limited in scope. Because their very ‘self’ is limited. In the light of Jesus’ presence, they felt being exposed. They knew their reality so well that in order to justify themselves and what they were doing, they took recourse to false light, that is, hypocrisy.

I would like to draw your attention to the path they follow, led by their hypocrisy:

1.   They wanted to eat Passover, but they just ate it without believing in the Passover! They had a form of godliness but denied its power.
2.   They said that according to the Law, Jesus must die. Ironically, according to the Law, Jesus must indeed die! But they said that He must die according to the Law because He was a sinner. The truth was that He had to die according to and in fulfillment of the Law; because He was the Paschal Lamb which must be sacrificed to redeem the nation of Israel and set her apart from the world (the Egyptians). The Passover was a sign/promise of Jesus’ coming as the Passover Sacrifice, and in Him the Passover was fulfilled with finality. He perfected the Passover. By calling Him a sinner, they had insulted Passover which they said they believed in and honored by making themselves holy so that they might eat it. Actually, they were defiling themselves before taking Passover. It was their way of hurting Passover.
3.   They called Him King of the Jews just to mock Him. Their king was Caesar.
4.   They did not want to consider Jesus as their king; therefore they called Caesar to be their king.
5.   They knew that He was righteous; therefore they punished Him.
6.   They said, according to the Law, Jesus must die because He claimed to be the Son of God. But in the Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 1, it is written: “You are the children of the Lord your God.” Thus, they falsified the Law by which they tried to condemn Jesus who was indeed the Son of God.
7.   They, by punishing Jesus for calling Himself the Son of God, and by evoking the Law in doing so, declared that they were not the children of God. That was the reason why they actually worked against the Law through their actions.
8.   They blackmailed Pilate by saying that if he would let Jesus go unpunished, he would prove that he was not a friend of Caesar. In other words, they said that he must prove himself to be Caesar’s friend. The same people were actually not friends of Caesar. Therefore, they asked Pilate to free Barabbas instead of Jesus. They became Caesar’s friend just because their enmity towards Jesus was greater than that which they bore against Caesar. In forcing Pilate to prove that he was a friend of Caesar, they made him an enemy of the One who they knew was God.

They did and did not mean anything; they did and did not accomplish anything. It was Jesus who accomplished all that He did. Hallelujah. Therefore, only what He did is established forever; what His opponents did was destroyed along with them. There is wisdom in being part of God’s plan. That’s the whole point. It requires obedience to God.


Tuesday 18 February 2020


We must lead a holy life

Dear Friends,

Today I come to you not as a preacher or a biblical scholar; rather I come as a warrior who is defeated in battle. My defeat has opened my eyes to see few facts regarding spiritual life which I would like to share with you.

Very often in my life I managed to attain to a spiritual status which made me indulge in self-complacency. And it has been my experience that on such occasions I would consistently fall into temptation, and that too so easily that after being overcome by it I could not help wondering how terribly weak and miserable a being I was.

I spend considerable time in reading Bible, praising God and doing prayers. I frequently observe fast. But, nothing really helped me overcome temptations. It is truly frustrating. At times my defeats literally make me a pessimist, bending me to view myself as a confirmed failure and a good for nothing. last time I lost my battle, I underwent a lot of mental conflict as usual. And one thing I realized was that it was easier to kill a Goliath than to stop oneself from sleeping with a Bethsheba. King David loved God enough not to care for his life when he challenged Goliath who insulted Him. But when it came to overcoming his lust upon watching Bethsheba bathing, he failed. Not only he did not stop at violating her chastity, he even went on to murder her husband who remained loyal to him till the end.

There was time I used to consider myself a better person than David. I was not mature enough then. It is only after repeated failures in my spiritual life that my vision got clear enough to enable me to see myself as I was. Of course, it did not help me better myself. On the contrary, for such a long time I continued to lose my battles that very often I thought of giving up my profession as a warrior and retire myself to lead a civilian life. By civilian life I mean a life that is confirmed to the ways of the world which lead people away from God. It makes them friends with the world, and the Scripture says that friendship with the world is enmity with God. That’s what it is.

But having once known the truth and walked a long way in its light, it became impossible for me to confirm to the ways of the world. So I tried to stick to the Way and the Truth and the Life and kept on failing…consistently. I kept on doing what I did not want to and did not do what I wanted to. I agreed with St. Paul when he said, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Unfortunately, my agreement with St. Paul did not make me the man that he was. I could not go beyond the ‘wretched man’ situation to be able to say,

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:12)

So, for a long time I wondered how the solution he found in Jesus and in the Spirit of God worked itself out so well in his life. I too believed in Jesus and accepted Him as my personal Savior. I also received the Spirit of God as the guarantee of all the promises that I found in Him. Yet I kept on committing sin! How? did not find answer to this question till I lived out more than half of my life. Then, all of a sudden, one day I realized that all my life I saw only Jesus hanging on the cross on my behalf, and thanked Him out of my heart of hearts for that. I thought that if He had not taken upon Himself my sins and suffered for them on the cross, I myself would have to die on the cross. It was the last thing I desired.

I loved myself so much that I never saw myself actually hanging there on the cross with Jesus! I did not want to see myself hanging there even in my imagination!...Even after hearing Jesus umpteen times say in Matthew 10: “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”

I never thought that there was any need to be worthy of Him! I thought what He did for me sufficed to make me worthy of Him! In other words, I never truly understood what actually He did for me! How very strange and surprising, isn’t it?

It rendered my faith as good as dead! It could not lead me to bow down on my knees and say to God, “…not my will, but Yours, be done.” I could not exercise my free will to subject it to God’s will. Therefore, the Spirit of God could not help me in spite of His willingness. How could He help me against my will?
Only when we are ready to do God’s will in our life, our belief in Christ’s supreme deed on cross is confirmed. And only when we believe in Jesus in this way, the Spirit of God can step into our life and fulfill all the promises that we have in Jesus.

Speaking from the point of view of the present discourse, the Spirit of God takes us out of the order of the body of sin and subjects us to the order of the spirit. Once in the order of the spirit, the order of the body of sin has no hold over us. Then, and then only, we are able to lead a holy life. There is no other way out.

We must lead a holy life; for that is the purpose why we are called.

It is the greatest challenge that we, as believers, can face in this world. And we can never meet it adequately unless we receive help from the Holy Spirit. We can never receive help from Him unless we seek it from Him. If King David wants to enjoy Bathsheba’s beauty even though it is sinful, he will not seek the Holy Spirit to help him overcome his lust. In that case, He will stand by and let him have his will at his expense.

In this case, faith can never reach its logical end. Therefore, if we truly believe in Jesus, we should not mind denying ourselves. It is the way of life. It makes us worthy of Him, and of all the benefits of the faith that we put in Jesus.


Sunday 9 February 2020


My little attempts to do missionary work in my area gave me insight into religious attitude of many people. The moment I talk about Jesus to them, they become defensive. Straightaway they suspect me of attempting to convert them to Christianity.

So, they take stance against Jesus, I would not say against me because I do not preach myself. It did not take long before I realized that they weren’t quite religious, and were not so much driven by their faith in their religion as by their vain egotism. they say ‘My religion’, it is not the religion on which they put stress; rather it is the word ‘My’ that is important. I follow this or that religion; how can anyone, find fault with ‘My’ religion? They don’t care a hang for the ‘religion’; it is important just because they follow it. What they think matters; not the religion.

Because they follow their religion for themselves and not for the sake of religion, whenever anybody finds fault with it, they think he/she is finding fault in them and in their choice. So it is purely to stress their ‘self’ that they stand up for their religion. And since they don’t know much about their religion, their attempts to defend it are absolutely irrational. One good example of this is the Anti-conversion Law in India.

In many parts of the country, the missionary work has shown light to many, bringing them to Jesus. The Hindu fanatics aren’t too happy to see this. Therefore, they have put in place the Anti-conversion Law to check the influence of Christianity here. It works by putting checks on the missionary work and also on the people who want to embrace Christianity. It has made it mandatory for the people who want to become Christian to make affidavit, stating that they are not changing their faith for money or under pressure. When they make such an affidavit, they expose themselves to persecution from the Hindu fanatics in various ways.

Now, the Hindu who consider this law to be an effective way to check the missionary work and stop the Hindu from becoming Christian, are quite unmindful of the implications of this law and how it affects them. They don’t see that it is not working against Christ’s last instruction to His disciples to preach His gospel to the world; rather it has compromised their own freedom to choose which religion they want to follow! If it becomes impossible, the missionaries would stop the missionary work. Simple! They are not going to lose anything., just consider how seriously the fanatic Hindu will find their own freedom compromised if in case they themselves want to follow Christianity or any other religion in the time to come! They have put in chains their own religious freedom; they haven’t put hurdles in the way of Christian missionaries. They support such a law and they are not even aware of the fact that they have willingly chosen to live under ‘spiritual bondage’! Even the British did not subject them to this kind of bondage! The ‘spiritual bondage’ they have chosen for them is worse than any other form of bondage conceivable under the sun.

Regarding such people Jesus once quoted the Book of Isaiah in Matthew 13:

“Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes are they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.”

People don’t want to be healed! The sickness that Indians have been suffering from is slave mentality. It tell-tales a spiritual condition. That is the reason why in its entire history, India has hardly experienced 70 years of freedom. It seems this freedom they have found difficult to digest. Small wonder that they are well on their way to lose it again. And this time that they lose it, they won’t have another chance to get it back.

Coming to the point, Jesus has come into the world to spiritually liberate it. He said that the Holy Spirit that He would send into the world after His departure would lead people to the Truth, and the Truth will set them free. Let me remind my readers of the fact that Jesus has said that He is the Way and the Truth and the Life. We can learn from His teaching that life is no life at all if it is not free. Bible says that God created Adam and Eve to be free – free to enjoy His blessings. Therefore, He gave them the ‘free will’. It is Satan who turned them into slaves – slaves of sin, curse, diseases and death. They became full of sorrows because of this., the missionaries, are preaching the life which is not bound by sin, curse, diseases and death. We are preaching the life that is eternal, holy and perfect – life full of endless joy. Jesus is that Life. Accept Jesus; accept the life that is endless and marked by unadulterated happiness. And the life that He offers is spiritual, not a physical that ends one day. And the spiritual life He offers is lived in Heaven, where God lives. Living together with God in the same place! Could you imagine it! That’s what Jesus offers. Please do not be hard with yourself by irrationally denying it. Leave aside your vain egotism. It will only destroy your ‘self’ – mind, body and spirit.