For God so Loved the World! (II)

Key Scripture: John 3:16(KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

SUMMARY

The world exists because of the everlasting love of God. The largest mammal on the earth is the Blue Whale which many might not have seen but God the Creator already approved and has created it; this shows the greatness of God! Though the moon stars and nations are like a drop from a bucket in God’s hand yet He humbled Himself to come and dwell amongst us; such is His grandee and love for humanity. Therefore, this Christmas let us understand His outmost love for us and imply His love over our lives!

SERMON POINTS

God has a standard in life. The sin that crept and separated mankind in the Garden of Eden had to be made right; man of unclean blood had to be brought back to Him. God is nobody’s debtor yet He chose to love us, the love which is beneath and over us all the time. Therefore, God the Father so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten Son which changed the spectrum of every human being.

John 1:1(KJV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

In the gospel of St. John we read that in the very beginning was the word and it was with God and the word was God; for and through Him all things existed who came to us in Bethlehem and accepted to be born in a filthy manger. Today there are many distractions around the world but we should never miss out on the cross! Believe in Jesus and know that we are under His covering of love all the time.

Implications of His love:

1) Eternal Life:(John 3:16)

Death is an inevitable factor. Our mortal bodies will perish with the physical death but our spirits will never perish.  Once the earthly tent we lived is destroyed, we will be taken to an eternal house in heaven. We should understand that God gave the best gift of Jesus to us and as we believe in the Son of God, eternal life is guaranteed by God.

2) Children of God:

I John 3:1(KJV) Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

In the Old Testament times people couldn’t worship God freely. There was a distance in knowing and experiencing God. In the New Testament time, we are given the privilege of being His children and thereby we can know and love Him better. Christians were considered crazy and mad by the world at that time. Nero burnt Christians and used it to light the path. Yet St John was encouraging the believers to see the love and experience the greatness of His love. We become His children at salvation and at our resurrection we will be like Him. The world never knew Jesus then and now, they never believed in the Son of God. Therefore, it is obvious that the world will not know us too, we will be tagged an outcast but  God calls us His own, His children.

 I John 3:23(KJV) And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

The word of God says that it is His commandment that we believe in Jesus His Son, who is pure and righteous. It doesn’t matter if the world would know us because we are known, loved and called the children of God.

3) Freely receive Everything:

Romans 8:32 KJV
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

God has given us freely the gift of salvation. We didn’t have to earn it or labour for it! It was granted to us freely. When we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour we have everything for free in our account; the power and authority to trample the enemy, the power to rebuke sickness and diseases, to pray for healing and to receive freely the word of God through His servants.

I Peter 1:12(KJV) Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

St. Peter writes that the angels desire to look into the salvation that is freely given unto us and the things of the gospel which is preached. The angels that are dispatched for our security don’t have an excess to this free gift; this is the measure of God’s love for humanity.

4) More than an Over-Comer:

Romans 8:35-39 KJV
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord..

Whatever be the situations, we are more than conquerors through it all. His love gets beyond the situations and engulfs us in His presence. In spite of all negativity and sufferings , we see His love drawing us closer to Him.  Thus the more we suffer and are ridiculed we are held more closer by His love and we become more than conquerors .

 Daniel was a mighty man of God, whose prayer moved the heavens and changed the nations. He had great faith in God and the scripture says that God sent His angel to shut the mouth of lions in the den. God made him an over comer in the midst of the trouble. Today, He is the same God whom Daniel served; if we imply His great love in our lives He is ready to shut the mouth of any great obstacles and hurdles in life. Can we all believe that His love is more than sufficient today?

CONCLUSION.

Humans were never a failed project of God. He knew it all before He formed us. He formed the world  the John 3:16 moment. We are made to be the Epicenter of His love.

God gave the most beautiful gift of His Son to us, a free gift of salvation that whosoever believes in Him will have an eternal life. We are called under the son-ship of Jesus; we receive the power and authority freely to overcome the world. Therefore, let us not look at the wrongs, the hurts, the offence and the wounds that we face today because these things are so titchy in comparison to the wounds of our Saviour.  Come let us adore Him, the King who is the fairest of ten thousand to our soul!

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For God so loved the World(1)

Key Scripture: John 3:16(KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

SUMMARY

Throughout the scripture from Genesis to Revelation we read about the great love, forgiveness and a continuous fellowship of God with His people. Our God is the ‘Great I Am’ who never leaves or forsakes us. Therefore, this season let us gaze upon the magnitude of His love who sent His only begotten Son to redeem us from our sins . God and the world represents two ends .Sin brought the divide and it was necessary that someone would bridge the gap and act as mediator. God loved the world while we were not worthy. He sent His Son , to express His great love to a fallen world. We cannot fathom with our finite minds yet the greatness of His love but one day we will find it all beyond comprehension as we walk through the gates of heaven.

SERMON POINTS

We know that John 3:16 is the most influential verse around the world. In this verse St. John has mentioned two important things; God and the world as two separate entities. To understand the magnitude of His love we need to understand the beauty of the Son.St John introduces Jesus as the Son of God using different witnesses. In chapter one, John the baptist is the witness besides Andrew and Peter. In chapter two,the wedding house at Cana stands in the witness box and in chapter three St John found a great witness in Nicodemus.

John 3:1(KJV)There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

We read that there was a certain man called Nicodemus who was the ruler of the Jews, who knew the law and had also heard about Jesus. Though Nicodemus himself was an expert in the law and teachings, he found something different about the Lord Jesus. The way He spoke and did things, it was a different proposition all together.

John 3:2(KJV) The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

It was this inquisitiveness that led him to Jesus;

We need to understand that if the ruler of the Jews, a man who knew the law came humbly to Jesus by night how much more should we be keen in knowing the Lord. At the end of the day our reputation, dignity and stardom doesn’t really matter when we are all groping in the darkness unless we come to ‘The Light’ called Jesus. As St John mentions night, it also signifies the spiritual darkness mankind is groping under.

Genesis 1:5 (KJV) and God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

In Genesis we read that God called the light day and darkness night. Let us understand that unless we find Jesus we are in the darkness. As Nicodemus came to Jesus by night, he was also in the darkness away from the Saviour, but once he came to Jesus, the light of His glory and revelation filled Him. Similarly, when we also come seeking Jesus, our spiritual life will be uplifted and our outlook, character and mission changes forever. Nicodemus though a teacher and ruler of the law could not dispel the darkness and vacuum he had and rightly he came to the Lord Jesus. He called our Lord as “Rabbi” which means teacher.

He was convinced of the miracles and teachings of Jesus and had no doubt that He came from God.  Our Lord Jesus was the teacher David was looking for and Nicodemus came to the ultimate place.

Psalm 143:10(KJV) Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.

Similarly In John 4 we read about the Samaritan woman, who goes to the city of Jerusalem testifying, “The Messias cometh, had come which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things.” Thus, she also affirms that God loved the world that He gave His Son Jesus who is to be preached unto all generations for an everlasting life.

John 3:3(KJV) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

As Nicodemus speaks to Jesus about His teachings and miracles which only signified that Jesus came from God; yet our Lord didn’t bask in the glory of men but says unto Nicodemus that until he is born again nobody could see the kingdom of God for He is the kingdom and without Him nobody could enter the kingdom of God. Remember seeing the kingdom is different from entering the kingdom of God. When we are born again we see the kingdom of God with Jesus as the King ruling the kingdom and entering His kingdom with the currency of faith.

The Criterion to Enter into the Kingdom of God:

John 3:5,6(KJV) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Until a man repents of his sins and goes through the waters of baptism and is born of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. The one who is born of flesh will remain a flesh but one who has the Holy Spirit we will get the revelation of Jesus and will be healthy and powerful. The Spirit of God works in our lives and we are transformed from being a sinner to the image of the knowledge of His Son. Our character and desires change; our lifestyle and mission changes and we no more live for the temporal pleasures of sin, but we are strengthened by the Holy Spirit to be conformed to the image of Jesus, the Son of God.

To understand the greatness of the Son, we will come to the chapter one of St John and see the four revelations of the Son of God that acts as a fulfilment to the Law of Moses

FOUR REVELATIONS OF THE SON OF GOD FROM JOHN 1 

John 1:1(KJV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

  1. THE WORD

St John begins his gospel by a sharp striking similarity to the Torah. Genesis 1:1 starts with “In the begininng God created…”. St John goes to the beginning before the Torah. “IN the Beginning was the Word”. The Word was with God and the Word was God. Our Lord Jesus is the Word in flesh. He is the Word that we see echoed in the Torah.

Jesus is the beginning and the end. If we have not known Jesus as the beginning then we have not known where we began. Everything was made by Him and without Him nothing could be made.

2. THE LIGHT

“In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”(John 1:4)

“Let there be light” and there was light. St John was introducing the Lord Jesus here as the light of the World that shines beyond the darkness. He is the light that bridges the World to God.

3. THE TABERNACLE

John 1:14(KJV)  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 1:14(YLT) And the Word became flesh, and did tabernacle among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of an only begotten of a father, full of grace and truth.

Our Lord Jesus tabernacled among us. Tabernacle was a significant structure to a Jew.Tabernacle was the place where God’s glory dwelt. St. John says that the word which was in the beginning was now made flesh to dwell amongst us. Jesus is the tabernacle where His glory dwelt and praise God He did tabernacle among us. Jesus is our Great High Priest who has opened a new way, so that we can experience the presence of God and hear His voice.

4. THE LAMB

John 1:29(KJV) The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

For a Jew the lamb also was significant as sacrifices were of primemost importance. St John introduces the Son of God through the words of John the Baptist as the Lamb that carries away the sins of the World. A perfect Lamb to be slain for the sins of the world. He is the perfect sacrifice whose blood was shed on the cross for the remission of our sins. Hence, now we understand that Jesus is the only begotten Son sent from Father in heaven to be sacrificed for the sins of the world and that whosoever believed in Him will not perish, but have an everlasting life.

CONCLUSION.

To know God and to have a relationship with God are two different things; there can’t be a connection with the stripes when we don’t have the connection with the Healer. Otherwise, we would be like the Israelite’s who heard, knew and experienced God yet they never had a relationship with Him. Jesus is above any ruler and the Law who came from the Father in heaven. He is our Great High Priest who has opened a new way, so that we can experience the presence of God and hear His voice. Jesus was from the beginning, the Light, the Word and the perfect Lamb that was slain for us. Therefore, never forget the price He paid for us and that we were made by Him to worship, thank, honour, love and praise Him with all our heart! FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD.

The Dynamics of Thanksgiving.

Key Scripture: I Thessalonians 5:18(KJV) In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

SUMMARY

As followers of Christ we should understand that thanksgiving and grace are interconnected. In Spanish a ‘Thank you’ is addressed as ‘gracias’, in Italian they say ‘Grazie’ and in Latin they say ‘Gratias.’ In the New Testament times St. Paul introduced thanksgiving under God’s grace. Much grace much thanksgiving and much thanksgiving much grace. Thanksgiving is a powerful instrument that can shake the schemes of the enemy and bring in the blessings of God in our lives. Therefore, let us give thanks to God whole-heartedly on a  daily basis and praise His holy name!

SERMON POINTS

In the bible we read that the Old Testament saints always murmured instead of giving thanks in the wilderness. Though they experienced the miracle of God everyday yet they chose to rebel against God and Moses; hence at the end they died in the wilderness and never reached the Promised Land. As children of God it is dangerous when we harden our heart towards God like the Israelite’s; instead let us choose to thank and praise Him continually because when we thank God a spiritual growth is bound to come in our lives.

Six dynamics of Thanksgiving:

1) Thanksgiving is a language of the New Testament Saints:

Ephesians 5:18 (KJV) And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

The book of Ephesians says not to be drunk with wine but to be filled with the Holy Spirit. How can we be filled with the Holy Spirit? Filling in of the Holy Spirit can only happen when we empty ourselves and allow God to fill us with His power. We read about Job who is referred in the bible as ‘perfect and upright’ who feared God, and eschewed evil. The bible says that God boasted to Satan about Job’s goodness because Job chose to thank and praise God in every test. Once we have the infilling of the Holy Spirit thanksgiving becomes our new language instead of murmuring. We show our gratitude to God in action by clapping of our hands and praising His holy name

2) Thanksgiving keeps our heart sweet:

Psalm 51:17(KJV) The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

When we have thanksgiving in our heart, we speak to our situation through Psalms and hymns; singing and making melody in our heart. As we sing songs to the Lord He will build us spiritually and all the bitterness goes away. Understand that it is not the food and the air but the body of Christ that keeps us healthy and the ones who  are alive in Christ will praise for the blessings to come down.

3) Thanksgiving reveals our maturity in Jesus.

Colossians 2:6,7(KJV) As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Walking into the maturity of Christ is not a simple process. It dictates few things:

  • Arriving into the maturity of Christ needs a daily commitment and a walk with Him. We commit to walk in the environment inside of Him, a life in Him and a covering under Him.
  • As we walk in Him we are rooted in Him and we pull out life from Him through the Holy Spirit. Isaiah 53:5(KJV) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. The truth of His suffering for our sins is engraved into our hearts and our negativity is cut off from us.
  • As we stay rooted in Jesus, He supplies all the energy and nutrients to us and we are built up in Him. Faith is established and we are taught to abound in thanksgiving. A thanksgiving before the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings.

4) Thanksgiving is the conduct of Saints:

Ephesians 5:3,4(KJV) But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

When thanksgiving becomes our pattern and methodology, we abstain from all forms of sin. We become His saints who delight in the Lord. Our ultimate desire would now be to desire the Lord. The world might say that ‘attitude determines the altitude of life,’ but as followers of Christ we would say, “our gratitude should be our attitude.”

5) Thanksgiving has the Power to Cleanse:

I Timothy 4:4,5(KJV) For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

In the book of Leviticus we read that in Old Testament Times there were certain clean and unclean foods that the people could eat but now in the New Testament Times the word says that every creature of God is good and when we receive it with thanksgiving by the word of God in prayer it has the power to cleanse.

6) Thanksgiving will enable us to enter His gates of Heaven:

Psalm 100:4 (KJV) Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

In the book of Daniel we read the power of praise, thanksgiving and an insistence of prayer. Daniel’s prayer was powerful which indicated his desperate need for God and not a compulsion to pray. When we also pray a prayer like Daniel with thanksgiving and praise desperately seeking God, then we will be able to enter His gates of heaven.

What is the Gates of Heaven?

Genesis 28:11-15(KJV) And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

Jacob dreamt of a ladder set upon the earth to heaven and the angels of God ascending and descending. Though we might not have dreamt of a ladder like Jacob did, but by the grace of God we have Jesus, an “Everlasting Ladder” who rises from earth to heaven to bridge the gap to the Father. The blood that was shed surpasses all the galaxies, the celestial bodies in heaven to unite us to the Father. As we have Jesus as the Ladder, the angels of God ascend to heaven taking our prayer and supplications to the Father and through Jesus the angels descend bringing in the blessing that gets deposited into our lives. Therefore, as we give thanksgiving to God it will enable us enter the gates of heaven with Jesus Christ as our “Everlasting Ladder” that connects us to the Father.

CONCLUSION.

Jesus Christ ‘A beautiful and a blessed ladder’ has shifted us from the dark demonic territory and illuminated our lives to the angelic territory with joy and peace. Therefore, let us stay rooted in His love, firmly grounded in Jesus so that nothing will shake our faith in Him. Never forget that though we are sheep’s sent among the wolves yet we have a Shepherd who would always protect and cover us under His shield. Therefore, let us continually praise and thank Him for what Jacob dreamt has become a reality and a revelation to all our lives.

 

God’s Dream for His Children.

Key Scripture: Acts 2:41-47 (KJV) Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

SUMMARY

God the Father has a dream for each one of us, like every other parent on earth. However, the difference is that the plan of God originated in His heart before the creation of the world and He is ready to watch it happen in our lives through the church. As earthly parents love to see the dreams for their children being fulfilled, God the Father also wants to see His dreams for us being fulfilled through the church that would gladden the heart of God.

SERMON POINTS

Church is not a building or an organisation; it is an organism. It is a vibrant, living and an on going movement that must grow. Once we acknowledge what our big God can do with one man available, loving the Lord and wholeheartedly obeying His word and faithfully committing to His call we would grow. Growth comes only when we dream big.

Zephaniah 3:17 (KJV)  The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV)    For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

As children of God it is important that we make His heart glad by carrying out His plans. Our God is emotional about His people; He rejoices over us and sings over us. His plans for us are not to harm or pull us down but to give us hope and a bright future.

The Fine Blueprint of God for His Church:

Acts 2:41-47 (KJV) Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

In the book of Acts we not only read the historical facts about the birth and growth of the church after the resurrection of Jesus but also see a fine blue print of what and how God wants to see the church and His followers today.

The twelve pointer layout of the Church that God dreams of:

  1. Teaching the apostles doctrine- that is whatever Jesus taught them.
  2. Fellowship in prayer and breaking of bread.
  3. Worship.
  4. A sense of awe
  5. Many signs and wonders
  6. Sharing and generosity; a community life.
  7. Unity in one accord, oneness
  8. Gladness
  9. Sincerity of the heart
  10. Praising God
  11. Favour with God and men
  12. Daily salvation which add the people into His church.

 The reality of God’s dream being fulfilled:

Acts 1:1-5 (KJV)   The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

The biggest question is can we compare the blueprint of God with our churches today? Sadly when we consider these points, we are so far from seeing God’s dream being fulfilled in our lives through the church.

A Declaration of Lord Jesus aboutone the Church:

Matthew 16:18 (KJV)   And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

This statement that the Lord Jesus declared, though simple, holds the entire doctrine about the church.

  • There is only one Church.

The Lord said that He will build His Church and not churches. Though there are many denominations which the Lord allowed but He does not divide churches on that basis and tells us that there is only one church where His name is honoured and His word alone is obeyed and preached.

  • The Church belongs to Jesus Christ.

The church does not belong to any bishop, the pope or even the apostles. It belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said that He will build His church and it is only in the church He builds, where the devil cannot prevail. If it belonged to men, then only those they prefer would be a part of he church but the Lord in His great mercy died for every soul, so that everyone who comes and acknowledges Him as Lord and Savior is saved to be a part of the Church.

  • Church was and is the plan of God.

The Church was the plan of God. It is not the product of man’s imagination. It is the plan of God even before the beginning of time therefore, by being in the church we are in the glorious plan of God!

 Why did God plan the church?

Acts 1:8 (KJV)   But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

1) To Create a Force That will ignite the storm By the fire of the Holy Spirit:

God in Heaven wanted to create a force that will ignite and take the planet by storm with the fire of the Holy Ghost. We read that at the Day of Pentecost the disciples waited and received the power of the Holy Ghost before they could be sent. Though they didn’t know how the Holy Spirit would come or for how long they had to pray yet in obedience to God’s word they waited and they prayed continually. Similarly, in our lives too when we get God’s vision which is big and there is uncertainty to achieve all we have to do is wait in obedience to God and He will equip us. Remember the disciples gathered in the upper room in one accord and prayed which was enough to bring fire from heaven.

2) To fulfil the vision of God the Father which is the great salvation:

Salvation is the great plan that originated in the heart of God even before man was created; this vision of God the Father was to save humanity which as a mission was given to be fulfilled by His Son, Jesus Christ. As Jesus shed His blood on the cross for the remission of our sins He fulfilled the vision of God with His sacrifice. Therefore, now Jesus has imparted the mission of going into the ends of the world and making disciples by sharing the good news.

Today our churches need to be given united and continual in prayer to catch the vision of God the Father and make it our mission.

3) To understand who He really is:

When we understand God for who and what He is, the more we will love Him. Though our salvation is free yet it comes with a great cost to our Heavenly Father for the sacrifice of His only begotten Son. This great salvation needed a spotless, pure and holy blood; therefore, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Lord Jesus had the blood of His Father in heaven and that is why we can only be saved by the blood of Jesus alone.

When we know this great love He has for us and His great plans for us we can never keep quiet. Even the twenty four elders in heaven get up from their thrones, fall prostrate, laying their crowns at the feet of God Almighty to worship Him. Similarly, when we understand what He has done for us, we will offer all that we have and worship Him.

John 4:10 (KJV) Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

This is the purpose for God to plan His church so that we will acknowledge who He is. We read in gospel of John that Jesus says to the Samaritan woman that if she only knew who Jesus was then she would ask Him for the living waters.

As followers of Christ, if we only acknowledge how great our God is then we would dare only ask Him for the impossible. Ask big, dream big because He is an able God.

What can bring the presence of God from Heaven?

As the disciples prayed an earnest prayer that brought down the fire of the Holy Ghost from heaven similarly the Lord expects His church to pray an earnest prayer that can bring the presence of God.

 The presence of God can come only when:

  • We gather in one accord in obedience to God’s word, the presence of God will come. In the church there is no being the greatest or being the leader but being united in prayer.
  • We submit our will to the will of God. In the garden of Gethsemane when our Lord Jesus cried out to the Father in heaven to remove the cup from Him, but who also submitted to the will of God. Therefore, when we submit ourselves to His will; to pray, to evangelise, to missions then will come the fulfilment of His work, His vision in and through our lives.
  • When we devote in earnest prayer and obedience in faith and will never give up on God. Throughout the bible we read about incidences where Jesus called the disciples, “O ye, of little faith!” while the Lord found great faith among the heathens. We should always remember that a smallest expression of His grace is enough to meet our greatest need.
CONCLUSION.

Our God the Father in heaven has a dream for His children through His church. As we imprint the blueprint into our hearts and walk in building His church with obedience, earnest prayer and faith we will live to fulfil His dreams and make His heart glad. Therefore let us dream big and live to complete the mission Jesus Christ has imparted to us and never give up on Him.

Praise Principles!

Key Scripture:1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV)In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

SUMMARY

St. Paul was a man of thanksgiving; he never ceased in praising and giving thanks to God irrespective of the place and circumstance. From addressing the churches to being in the darkest prison cells, his epistles were underlined with a heart full of thanksgiving and praise to God. Rev. Billy Graham once said, “A spirit of thankfulness is one of the most distinctive marks of a Christian whose heart is attuned to the Lord. Thank God in the midst of trials and every persecution.” Therefore, as believers no matter what life holds for us, in every ups and downs let us keep thanking and praising the Lord for He deserves it; The One, who has made us worthy and able to be the heirs of His kingdom!

SERMON POINTS

Luke 17:11 – 19 (KJV) And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

In the gospel of Luke we read that Jesus enters into a certain village where He encounters ten lepers who were banished from the society as unclean and that they stood afar off. However, as the lepers acknowledged and valued the presence of God and His power they cried out in desperate need of help for healing.

Understand that Jesus was also interested in the simplicity of the village and attitude of the lame and needy lepers. Today though the world has become a complicated zone with humans more tangled remember that God is interested in simple, plain, upright and a heart that longs for Him. The scripture records that as soon as the lepers cried out and praised Jesus as ‘The Master,’ He saw them and responded with compassion and provided the healing.

What is Meant by Praising the Lord?

Praising the Lord comes with a greater and immeasurable experience in the Lord; it is intimate and personal. We see Him alive in every situation, good or bad and in everything we give Him thanks.

Principles of Praise 

1) Praise Signifies the presence of Christ in our Life:

Luke 17:11-14 (KJV) And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,

We read that Jesus entered into a certain village and met the lepers. Jesus told them to go to the priest as they lifted their voices for healing; as they went to the priest  they received the healing and were cleansed. Here the Lord teaches us a great lesson of faith; the lepers took the word of Jesus in faith and were touched. Today, do we listen to the voice of God and His will? If not then sadly, we will not be touched, healed or cleansed wholly by God.

All ten received the healing. The healing manifested in their bodies. Yet only one came back to say thanks. Praise is the sign of allthose who recognize the presence of Christ. Only one saw Christ while others were satisified with the healing. Only one came back to give praise, thanksgiving and glory to God because he experienced the person of Jesus. Today when the world is losing out in a simple ‘Thank You’ gesture, let us as believers fill in the void with praise and thanks giving for His presence in our lives.

Luke 19:40 (KJV)And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

Like Merlin R Carothers who was a remarkable person of praise, are we glad that Jesus died for us? Are we glad of His nail pierced hands & feet?  Do we express our thanks to God,that our mouths will praise and worship God, for who He is. In the word of God (Luke 19:40)our Lord Jesus mentions that stones will cry out and praise God if we fail to do so.

2) Praise Reveals the Sincerity in Prayer:

Luke 17:13 (KJV)And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.

As Jesus met the lepers they lifted their voices in prayer. They all wanted healing but only one prayer was deeply sincere of them all. Only that person returned to give thanks. Others wanted healing but was not sincere enough to appreciate and acknowledge the healing.

Philippians 4:6 (KJV)Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

In Philippians we read that everything should be made known by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving and praise to the Lord. When we submit our weakness and brokenness through praise and worship, His power will give us rest that will reveal the sincerity in our prayer.

Psalm 116:1,2 (KJV) I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.

The Psalmist loved the Lord and gave thanks as the Lord heard his prayers. Praise reveals the sincerity of faith we have and the sincere desperation we have for His touch. Once He answers our prayers, we are glad and we rejoice.

3) Praise will Come from Those who have a Wholesome Healing:

Luke 17:17 (KJV) And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?

Sin closes the heart from seeing the presence and power of God. However, praise shall come only from those with a wholesome healing.

All ten were healed on the outside but only one experienced wholesome healing. Only one chose to be broken on the inside to be thankful to God. Only those who are healed inside of their ego, pride and hurts can praise God on the outside. The nine were free on the outside but were still bound on the inside that they could not see the Lord who healed them.

Psalm 33:1 (KJV)Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.

The Psalmists says that praise comes from an upright heart; if we have Christ in us, we will automatically ignite the praise to God.

Psalm 51:15-17 (KJV) O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

The brokenness in heart and jubilation both should come from praising God. God delights when we come with a broken and a contrite heart with trembling.

Out of the ten healed lepers only one returned with a loud voice glorifying God. He fell down at Jesus’ feet and gave Him thanks. Therefore, the coming back of the leper signifies that our praises will come from those who are wholly healed, touched and cleansed by the Lord. The good news is a wholesome healing is available to those who believe in Jesus by His precious blood!

4) Praise is Individualistic and is a Way Back:

Luke 17:18 (KJV)There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.

Out of the ten lepers whom Jesus had healed, only one returned to give praise and glory to the King. He understood the greatness of the person of Jesus and made his way back to praise God. Our Praises are personal moments with God- Its always a way back; We make our way back to God by praises in the jight for His mercies during the day. We make our way back to praise God on a sunday for His blessings during the week. However, making our  way back to praise is not that easy. It might also prick our self-esteem. We should make our way back to the cross from where it all began. All our blessings come with a tagline “From the cross of the Lord Jesus.’ Our healing, deliverance and provision all comes from the cross

5) Praise Attests Our Faith:

Luke 17:19 (KJV) And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

As the leper returned with thanksgiving, praise and valued his healing, the Lord blessed him to arise and go; for his faith had made him whole. Faith causes us to be grateful; it is a divine influence from God. Every hallelujahs and amen that we proclaim to the Lord, it attests our faith.

CONCLUSION

Being a child of God we should always have a routine of giving praises and thanksgiving to the Lord. If the hallelujahs and an amen can plunder the plans of the enemy then it can also bring in the presence of God in our life. Our praises brings the sincerity in our prayers; we hear God’s voice which will manifest as a wholesome healing. It also builds our personal relationship with the Lord and when we choose to return to Him remember all our praises are tagged the cross. Therefore, lets us praise God today so that it attests our faith and imprint a testimony to the world!

Reformation Inscribing the Essence of the Gospel!

Key Scripture: II Thessalonians 2:3 (KJV) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

SUMMARY

Today, as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of Reformation that rediscovered the essence of the precious gospel of Christ; His resurrection and His Second Coming. Let us thank God for the saints who sacrificed their lives in bringing the enlightenment to the history of Christianity. Martin Luther and William Tyndale are the most influential figures in Christian history; Luther began the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century when he found in Romans 1:17 “The just will live by faith.” And William Tyndale who helped in translating the first English Bible directly from Hebrew and Greek texts that led to a direct challenge to the hegemony of both the Roman Catholic Church and the laws of England which led to his execution. Therefore, let us not forget the price they paid in rediscovering the truths and making the word of God readable for us today! The great Reformation builds our faith upon the Resurrection of Christ and His Second Coming!

SERMON POINTS

The world is fading today with calamities and disruptions indicating the end times. Sadly, the truth is the world seems to be ready for the return of Christ unlike us ‘The sleeping Christians.’ Who need to set up a wake up call to say, “Lord we are eagerly waiting for you to come” Which will be a sweet melody to the Lord and He will be pleased with our request.

The Introduction to the Tribulation:

Luke 21:25-27(KJV)And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

We are in perilous times. The bible says that in the last days, men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. We would see natural calamities like earthquakes, food shortages, droughts and famine; there will be signs in the sun, moon and the stars; the bible further says that there will be great distress upon the face of the earth.

Matthew 24:8(KJV) All these are the beginning of sorrows.

The Gospel of Matthew says that these signs would just be the beginning of the sorrows. Jesus will introduce the tribulation on earth before His Second Coming.

What will happen to the Believers?

Romans 8:21,22(KJV) Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

The word says that when the nature groaneth and travaileth in pain, we the believers will be delivered and liberated from the bondage of corruption. However, the scripture says in Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Those who love and obey the Lord, praise and worship God at all times and regular to the church are some set terms and conditions which will help us to be in the mid air with the Lord.

The Two Phases of the Second Coming of the Lord:

  • The Day of Christ (Secret coming)

Luke 17: 34-36(KJV) I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

The Greek word for rapture is “harpazo.” It is an end time event when all believers living and the dead will rise into the mid air and join with Christ for eternity.

 John 14:28(KJV) Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

In the gospel of John, whatever our Lord said about the rapture was given to the apostle Paul many years later when he wrote his first letter to the Thessalonians.

  • The Day of the Lord:

Jude 15,16(KJV) And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

The Lord will come this day with His saints to execute judgement upon the people on earth.

What will happen in the Rapture?

1.The Church will be taken.

I Thessalonians 4:16-17(KJV) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

St. Paul stated that Christ will come from heaven with the shout, the voice of the archangel with the trump of the Lord. The rapture of the church will be accomplished; the believers who have died and believers who are still alive will be raised together to meet the Lord in the sky as an act of deliverance.

2. We will be in the Mid Air.

I Thessalonians 4:14(KJV) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

When Jesus comes from heaven, He will be universally visible and audible. Every believer that had died and is living will be visible in the mid air and every eye shall witness the glory of God.

3. Our bodies will be Transformed:

I Corinthians 15: 52(KJV)In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

In the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, the dead will be raised imperishable and that Christ will transform our lowly bodies to be like His glorious body.

4. Anti Christ will be Revealed:

Revelation 6:1,2(KJV) And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

After the church is taken, the Antichrist will be revealed. As we have the Holy Trinity, there is also a trinity of the enemy which consists of the Satan, beast and the false prophets.

The Future Event of the Antichrist:

  • He will blaspheme:

Revelation 13:1(KJV) And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

The Satan will have the power over the beast and according to the word of the dragon, the beast will seek false prophet to make a statue and recommend every one to worship him.

  • The Mark of the Beast:

Revelation 13:16(KJV)And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

After the glorious Rapture, the world will be under the total control of Antichrist and his New World Order. The False Prophet will work closely with Antichrist to deceive the unraptured people who are left behind on glorious Rapture day. The left behind Christians who are now zealous for the Lord Jesus Christ will be persecuted and martyred horribly and they will be forced to accept the mark of the beast either in their right hands or foreheads.

  • He will exalt himself as God:

II Thessalonians 2:4(KJV) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

The Antichrist will achieve a worldwide power and will pretend that he can create an orderly society. The False Prophet will work miraculous wonders by the power of Satan. His benevolence will turn to malevolence later when he will fiercely persecute and attempt to slaughter all who accept Lord Jesus Christ and refuse be worshipped as “God.”Antichrist will conduct a reign of terror bringing death to multitudes, both Jews, left behind believers and unbelievers. The Antichrist will take over the Holy Temple built by the Jews and use it to proclaim to the world that he himself is God.

Daniel 9:27(KJV)And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

In the book of Daniel it says that the Antichrist will put a stop to sacrifices and sets up the abomination of desolation before the return of Christ.

Jesus will Judge the Nations:

Matthew 25:31-33(KJV)  When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

The Sheep and Goat judgement will occur on earth just before the thousand year reign of Christ. The Sheep nation will be those nations who like Israel and Goat nation would be who didn’t like the Israelite’s.

Jesus will come back to the earth to set-up a thousand year kingdom on earth. Just before the kingdom is set-up, the bodies of all of the saints from all ages are raised and all the believers will then enter the kingdom and reign with Jesus but the unrepentant will be casted to the lake of fire at the final judgement.

Why Second coming of Jesus should be believed?

  • It is declared by Jesus himself. John 14: 1-3; Hebrews 6:18
  • Confirmed by the Holy angels. Acts1:9-11
  • Approved by the Apostles. Philippians 3:20; Revelation 1:7; 1John 2:28;
  • Old prophets have talked about it. Eg. Isaiah, Malachi
  • All the legends lived after the Lord have talked about the second coming.
CONCLUSION

The Scripture says that the eye is the lamp of the body, so let us keep our eyes focused on the Lord, His word and monitor our life style. Remember only Jesus can save us; therefore be prepared and make sure that we know the truths of the scripture. Let us have a belief that faith alone would bring salvation and encrypt it into our heart asking the Lord to come back soon so that we will reign with Him till eternity!

The Church and the Treasures of Darkness.

Key Scripture: Isaiah 45:3 (KJV) And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.

SUMMARY

The Lord promises us today the treasures which are greater and unsearchable riches that are hidden in secret places. Our God is a personal God who expresses Himself to each one of us as the God of Israel and this great revelation in our lives would help us see Christ Jesus as our greatest riches in the treasure! Our Lord Jesus is the manifold wisdom of God. We are foreknown by Him, as a plot and a thought of God. In the book of Ephesians it unravels the mysteries of knowing our identity in Christ that are available to us in finding Him in these treasures.

SERMON POINTS

A Promise to a Gentile:

The Lord God of Israel gives this promise ‘the treasures of darkness’ to King Cyrus, a gentile king, even before he was born. So, that he would know who the God of Israel is and many years later as prophesied by Isaiah, King Cyrus literally had the way to plunder the temple treasures from Jerusalem.

Similarly, we are gentiles like King Cyrus who are called to know the importance and greatness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Today, the Lord is calling us personally to experience who He is, ‘The hidden riches in Him.’ He is a personal God who wants to lead us by taking hold of our right hand as He held Cyrus’ hand to give us the hidden riches of secret places.

 Jesus Christ A Mystery Hid with God.

Ephesians 3:8,9 (KJV)Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

St. Paul considers himself as the least of all saints to whom the Lord revealed many spiritual truths of Christ to be preached to all men, the unsearchable riches which have been hidden from mankind since the beginning of the world. In the Old Testament times no one knew who Christ was because He was a mystery hid in God but in the New Testament times the mystery is revealed and we now know that God created all things by Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 3:3-5 (KJV) How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

The mystery of Jesus who was hid in God was not made known to the sons of men such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, David and other men though they spoke and prophesied about Jesus yet the mystery was still hidden in God. However, today our Lord Jesus is being revealed to the holy apostles and prophets by the Holy Spirit; to experience Him and be an eye witness to His ministry on the earth.

As Jesus himself was a hidden mystery in God, He unravels three spiritual truths as the hidden treasure that reveals His mystery and riches.

1) Church is a Treasure:

Ephesians 2:19,20Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

The bible says we are no more strangers and foreigners, but citizens with the saints of the household of God and we are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets in truth to the word of God. Every believer is meant to be a teacher, an apostle, a prophet for the kingdom extension on whose foundation the Church is built and Christ Jesus being the chief corner stone. Therefore, when our foundation is strong our stability will be strong; no storms, temptations or problem can shake us for it stands on the grounds of truth in Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 3:10(KJV) To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.

As Christ was hidden in God, the principalities and powers in heavenly places had no clue about the Son of God; but it is now revealed unto them through the manifold wisdom of God that is the Church.

Ephesians 6:12 (KJV) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places

Many a times we experience the enemy’s attack in our life even though we are saved and in the church the simple reason is we go to the church without His presence, and Christ Jesus is never manifested in our lives. When the devil realises that the Lord is not inside of us, he gets the permission and the audacity to lay his hands over our life and our family.

Remember our fight is not against flesh and blood but against the principalities and the evil powers in high places and therefore, we must reveal Christ in us. As we identify ourselves in Jesus, His riches is manifested and revealed through the Church as the manifold wisdom of God and the enemy has no control over us.

2) Marriage is a Treasure:

Ephesians 5:31-32 (KJV) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

The Lord has ordained marriages for us to understand the relationship with Him. Our marital lives reveal Jesus to the world and this is a great mystery, a hidden treasure concerning Christ and the church. A husband is commanded to leave his parents and joined together as one flesh in love and sacrifice, the same love and sacrifice of Christ for His church.

Our family life reveals the riches and love of Christ who endured the cross for us. The wives must honour their husbands as they do so to the Lord. A committed marriage showcases the hidden riches and treasures in Christ Jesus.

3) Five-fold Ministry in the Church is a Treasure:

Ephesians 4:7-12 (KJV) But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

In the book of Ephesians we read that before Jesus resurrected, He went to the lower parts of the earth. The purpose of Jesus to descend into the lower parts and then ascend was to fill all the things and to give grace gifts to men. Jesus wanted to redeem all things. There are five chambers of the underground:

  • Sheol or Gates of Grave Sheol is the place where the spirit of man reaches instantly after his death. Before the ascension of Christ, all the spirits had to go through Sheol. It means the place of the ‘dead’ or the place of the ‘departed souls’ are held.
  • Paradise-The part reserved for saints was also called Paradise. Jesus went to Paradise before His resurrection as all saints were held captive there as the sacrifice of their sins was not yet done.
  • Tartarus Tartarus is a place where the demons who sinned against God are kept. It was more like a victory parade in front of them who tried to destroy the seed of the woman.
  • Pit – Pit is a place of destruction, dark and with immeasurable depth.
  • Gehenna or The Lake of Fire the Lake of fire is a symbol of eternal destruction. This lake of fire represents eternal punishment in the form of permanent destruction which is also known as the second death.

Jesus went to all these places so that He will fill all things. He went to the chambers of hell to redeem the souls of the saints that were held captive.

Jesus wanted to redeem and reveal His riches through the treasure of the five-fold ministry.So, that the Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers would carry out the work with grace for the edification of the church.

Purpose of The Ministry:

Ephesians 4:11,12 (KJV) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

  • For the perfecting of the saints.
  • For the works of the ministry.
  • For the edification of the body of Christ.
CONCLUSION

As Jesus was hid in God from the beginning of the world and was not known until the hidden treasures and riches of Jesus was revealed through the church, ministry and our family life. As we are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with the chief corner stone as Jesus, then the manifold wisdom of God is revealed through the church, which is the treasure. Be committed to the church, marriage and the ministry so that we will grow and be matured in the nature of Jesus as His precious treasures!