I Believe in one God, the Triune GOD, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
God has a special place for the nation Israel. The Church has not replaced Israel. The Church is the Bride of Christ. This is what Paul wrote about his own kinsmen in chapter 9 of Romans
For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all,blessed forever. Amen.
And then he shares this great good news, that eventually the nation Israel will be restored both physically and spiritually.
The Mystery of Israel’s Salvation: Romans 11:25-29
Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
“and this will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”
As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
Manu Smriti 1.31. “But for the sake of the prosperity of the worlds he(god) caused the Brahmana, the Kshatriya, the Vaisya, and the Sudra to proceed from his mouth, his arms, his thighs, and his feet.”
It is a derogatory and condescending to call someone a Dalit or a Dalit Christian. This idea of “Dalit Christian” is borne out of a pervasive influence of Hindu culture. We must reject and refute this repulsive teaching. There are two inherent problems with this notion of classification or grouping.
- First It denies Genesis account of the creation of man. God created Adam the first man in His own image.
Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
We are all descendants of Adam therefore, we all are of one race and one caste. We all human beings are either “Brahamins” or all “Dalits”. If Dalit means low, untouchable, depraved race then according to Romans 3:23 all humans are depraved and fallen short of the glory of God. It is an attack on our Fundamental doctrine of creation. Therefore, we must oppose and reject this repugnant classification of mankind.
2. Second this classification of Christians discredits what Christ has accomplished through his death and resurrection. It undermines and belittles our glorious status in Christ Jesus. It is an assault on our doctrine of Salvation. We must militantly defeat and dismiss this abhorrent unbiblical categorization of Christians.
“…Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” Luke 2:10
Joy is a wonderful thing and a gift of God; it is a special gift of God to mankind and best that can happen to you during Christmas. I wonder if you have experienced Joy this season. It is not shopping, decorating and lights, Christmas tree or even having a big meal with your family. There is so much of mindless activity – but many go through these activities without Joy. I am not referring to happiness.
Happiness is a wonderful thing at the Christmas and like all the world’s virtues, it is temporal. Happiness is related to your circumstances. When circumstances are right and favorable there is happiness; but when things are not going according to your expectations happiness departs. It is not this way with joy. The source of Joy is God. It is based upon what God has done, and it is given to the Christians by God and is sustained by God. Nothing destroys joy except disbelief in God’s provision of Salvation and unfaithfulness with God.
I pray that God may give joy to you. I would like you to have the experience of entering into the kind of joy that Mary and Joseph and the shepherds had on that first Christmas morning. Did they have joy? Of course, they did! But think about their condition and circumstances! They were not in a good or an ideal situation. Mary and Joseph were far from home, in distant town without even a room to themselves in which Mary could give birth to the Child. But I imagine that the joy of this couple on this occasion was the greatest this world has ever known or seen. Why do you think it was so? Because this joy was given to them by God Himself and was centered on the birth of the Savior. This Child was given to be their Savior.
His name will be called JESUS because “he will save His people from their sins”. Mathew 1:21
If you know this and believe then Joy is yours. You can go on, as the shepherds did, to give glory to God; and you can possess that peace of heart and soul which transcends understanding. Share your Joy and source of Joy.
When Christ Jesus comes again, it is written, that He will wipe all our tears. This will be an appropriation of Eternal Joy.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4
During Christmas we always go to see the lights in different places of our town. There are some houses where one can see nativity scenes displayed in the yards. I have noticed Joseph standing behind Mary. And they both are beholding the baby (Jesus) placed in the manger. Often after seeing that, my mind has always wandered to the time past and I had wondered about Joseph, who remained silent and never questioned. He kept doing whatever he was told to do and remained obedient and even remained righteous and pure in his relationship with Mary till the birth of Jesus. I believe he was still trying to make sense of all these things in his mind. It was beyond his comprehension! But Joseph remained submissive to the will of God. The nativity scene is a beautiful picture of two ordinary people who were willing to risk and give up their social standing. I am amazed and inspired by their willingness to be scrutinized and ridiculed by their friends and their community.
Remember Joseph was going to put her away secretly after he came to know that Mary is with child. Who told him? How did he come to know.? We do not know, but it seems it became evident after three months of pregnancy. It was obvious that few people came to know about Mary and the news reached to him. I believe when he heard the news, he was both shocked and heartbroken. He must be tormented by hundred of thoughts, things and questions in his mind after hearing this ridiculous bad news. But he remained calm under these circumstances. He must be asking, “Why all this happened to me?’ His dreams of being happily married to Mary shattered.
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. “ Mathew 1:18-19
Joseph came to know about the pregnancy of Mary after three months because Mary went to her cousin’s place soon after she received the message from the Angel, Gabriel. Luke 1:56 He was thinking of what could have transpired in the three months while she was at her cousin’s place. He must deliberating what are his options and what is the best way to deal with this situation. He remained thoughtful and concerned about Mary and her future.
“But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”. Mathew 1:20
“Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife.” Mathew 1:24
Again, this was not an easy thing for him. It was a shameful and sinful thing for a young woman to be impregnated before lawful marriage in that culture. The culture in which he was living, would have stoned Mary to death. Unlike today’s culture in the west, where hundreds of babies are born out of wedlock, but no one cares or dares to ask question to young people. Many don’t think it is a wrong thing or sin!
He found out that it was a God’s plan for him and Mary. The angel told him “don’t be afraid”. Joseph was willing to be submissive to the heavenly voice of the Angel. He must have told his parents, relatives and friends that he will not give up on Mary and will take her as his wife. He was going to do one big ridiculous thing which was unheard of in that culture. We do not know the Bible describes him, that “he was a just man”. There are handful men in the NT who are called “ just or righteous. He was the first “just man of New testament” we read about in Mathew 1:19. He did exactly what just man must be willing to do for the sake of Christ. He was willing to be ridiculed and scorned by his friends, family members and neighbors.
Are you willing to be ridiculed by your friends, relatives, and countrymen? Christmas is hijacked by postmodern culture. People don’t want to say “ Merry Christmas!” but “ Happy Holiday!” People want to sing “Santa Baby, ” “ twelve days of Christmas” Rudolf the red nose deer” etc.
- Please say “Merry Christmas” to everyone.
- Play Christmas Hymns and songs.
- Hang Star or a Cross in your window or in your yard.
- Make Christ known and be known for your faith.
Don’t be afraid, let the world ridicule you. Let them say whatever they want to say about you and your faith.
Be willing to be ridiculed this Christmas!
Peter forewarns Christians in his epistle that in the last days they will be mocked for their belief in Christ’s Second Coming!
“… knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:3-4
Don’t be afraid! Be willing to be ridiculed for your Faith!! Don’t give up, Jesus is coming again soon!
Some of you have already put your Christmas lights up and some of you are going to put up soon. Christmas time is a joyous time and it seems everywhere you go to- like shops, malls, streets and houses in your neighborhood are all glittering and shining with the lights.
When Christ was born, there was a Star shining in the east in the night. Wise men from the east came, .. and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Mathew 2:2. There was not only a Star that was shining, but Jesus who was the Light Himself came to call us out of the darkness into His marvelous Light. Are you walking in the light? Paul was changed forever when he was confronted with the Light- Jesus Christ on the way to Damscus. (Read Acts 9) “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4-5
At His Second Coming, it will again a night but without a light or a star, it will be a dark night. “….those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Mathew 24 :29-30.
Do you have the light? Jesus said ” I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”. Its not about the lights on the house but the light in the heart !
What I have appreciated about the country is the freedom of religion in this country. One can travel to any country but would not find such a freedom of expression, speech and religion anywhere. I have come to appreciate it. We should appreciate the freedom of religion that we enjoy in this country because there is not a single in this world where people enjoy such a religious freedom. Read how Christians are persecuted and Christianity is opposed and Christian missionaries are not allowed.
On this day, July 4th, I would encourage to give thanks to God who have blessed us with such a freedom. I have also appreciated Christian values and principles on which this country was founded.
People from different faith and cultures have come to enjoy this freedom. On the other hand, there are countries where Christians are persecuted and tortured. This is one good thing America can teach the world to respect and allow freedom to preach, promote and propogate.