12 September 2019

The Dwelling Place of God

Whenever I travel to a European city, whether it is Rome, Paris or Vienna, I make it a point to visit the cathedral and some other churches. Recently I told my son, as we sat quietly together in the pew of a church in Barcelona, gazing at the magnificent architecture, ‘John, whatever else we may think about this place, it is a tribute to the zeal and devotion of Catholic people to God. They built this wonderful church because they believe that Jesus dwells in the place.’

King David expressed similar feelings as he prepared for the building of the Temple in Jerusalem. He said, ‘The house that is to be built for the Lord must be exceedingly magnificent, of fame and glory throughout all lands’ (1 Chronicles 22:5). David loved the Lord and he wanted to honour him by building a beautiful dwelling place for him.

1 September 2019

Seize the Day

'You only live once! Enjoy the moment and do not worry about the future,' people say.

The Apostle Paul argues that if death is the end of everything, if there is no such thing as a resurrection, the sensible thing to do in life is to enjoy ourselves to the full while it lasts. He writes, 'If the dead are not raised, 'Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.'' (1 Cor. 15:32).

Is this not the outlook of many people in our day? They do not believe that Jesus was resurrected or that the dead will be raised to life on the last day. But if this is so, how should we live?

25 July 2019

Full of Grace

Grace is the brilliant theme of the gospel message. We receive God’s amazing blessings from His gracious, merciful and generous heart, and not because we deserve them.

Mary was bewildered when the angel greeted her with the words, “Hail, favoured one! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). Why was she so favoured? What was the special grace that God was pleased to give her? Gabriel explained that she found grace before God because she was to give birth to a child, who is God’s Son, the Messiah.

6 June 2019

What will you ask Jesus?

Two men had indulged in evil all their lives. They had now come to the end. In a short time, they will appear before their Creator for judgment.

This was their last opportunity to speak to Jesus and request whatever they desired.

The first man was not sorry for the evil deeds he had done. He had no interest in Jesus; he only asked him to spare him from death. He desired to return to his former manner of life and continue to enjoy the pleasures this world can offer. Jesus did not answer him. The man died and he was eternally lost.

28 May 2019

The Apostles' Power to Forgive

The Lord Jesus Christ obtained forgiveness for sinners by his death on the cross. How would Jesus' sacrifice be of any benefit to us if the story of Calvary remains unknown?

When the risen Saviour appeared to his disciples after his resurrection, he entrusted them with an important mission. He commissioned them to make known God’s mercy to the world, by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is what he told them: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld” (John 20:23).

The Lord, who alone has the prerogative to forgive sins, gave to the disciples the responsibility to forgive! How was this to be done? What was the role of the apostles and disciples in this regard? The correct answer is not to be found in human opinion or church tradition, but in the very Word of God. The same Scripture which teaches that the disciples forgave sins also informs us how this was actually done. It leaves nothing open or to our imagination.

1 May 2019

The Holy Trinity

The word ‘Trinity’ is derived from two Latin words, tres, three, and unitas, one). It is used in Christian theology to express essential biblical truths about God, namely: (1) the unity of God; (2) the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God; (3) the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are distinct Persons.

One God

Our belief in one God is fundamental; Christianity is a monotheistic religion. The Old and New Testaments both assert the unity of God: ‘Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!’ (Deut 6:4); ‘I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God’ (Isa 44:6); ‘There is one God, and there is no other but He’ (Mark 12:32).