John the Baptist desired that God must increase, but he must decrease. How far do our desires comply with John the Baptist? Even if we want to reduce ourselves, the humiliation attached to it does not allow us to accept our decline. We thereby resist our willingness to decrease ourselves and fight against our decline….
Many children of God still live in fear despite being delivered from the clutches of fear. To come out of this fear, we should be aware of the tricks of the evil one. Looking at the Old Testament, we see people living in terror all the time. Knowing how God has delivered us from those…
In the final defence of his authority, Paul painfully shares a personal out-of-body experience. He speaks about himself in the third person, lest anyone would think he was boasting about his experiences in Christ. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in…
In the last section of his letter to the Corinthians, Paul changes his tone from the theme of the earlier part of the letter, as he seeks to confront the ‘Super Apostles’, who were tarnishing all the good work done by him in the province of Achaia. He withdraws his claim of not indulging in…
A passage that is quoted often before the time of giving in our Sunday services, Paul’s challenge to the Corinthian church has been used as a template to inspire and encourage the practice of tithing. However, Paul’s emphasis seems to be on the transformation of the heart and understanding the commitment that the church had…
After writing the severe letter to the Corinthians that was full of rebuke, Paul was troubled, especially when his companion Titus was held up in the Achaia province. Upon successful reunion with his protege, Paul finally found peace as Titus recounted the kindness that was shown to him by the Corinthians. Hearing reports that the…
As the Church in Corinth started growing in numbers, the people started to think that they were impervious to the sins of the world around them. They thought that they were immune to the pagan ways of their city, but slowly that fallacy caught up with them as they fell prey to their own vices….
Tents were the earliest form of shelter for the early Israelites. Noah, Abraham and even Moses all lived a nomadic existence and depended on tents to protect them from the harsh weather. Later on, tents became obsolete as Israelites started moving into cities and into houses made of stone. No one desired to live back…
Paul heard that his opposers were also tarnishing his name and the credibility of his gospel. Defending the integrity of his message, Paul wrote this section of his letter to the people of Corinth. Unlike the other preachers who peddled the word of God to make a name for themselves or to extract monetary benefit…
With the rise of false preachers and deceitful messengers, the church in Jerusalem (which was the base for all missionary journeys) started issuing letters of recommendation to all its patrons about the ministers they would send to them. Paul himself would use such letters to introduce his associates when he would send them to a…
Paul did not want to go to Corinth immediately after sending the letter full of rebuke at the hands of Titus. He was not sure how the church at Corinth would react and wanted to give them time to process and act on his rebuke. He says that he had confidence in the people to…
Regarded by most Bible scholars as the fourth letter that Paul wrote to the Corinthians, it serves as an affirmation to its readers who had heeded to Paul’s harsh rebuke in the preceding letter. Paul also wanted to prepare the hearts of the congregation for his next visit and remind them of the commitment they…
Peter and Andrew left their nets and followed Jesus to fulfil the desire of His Father. However, these followers depended on what they saw and failed to visualize the unseen God, who had sent Jesus to this world.
“Don’t be over-righteous” is a familiar caution often given to those who seek God in truth. These are from ‘well-wishers’ who tell their fellow brothers and sisters to attend a Sunday Service and discourage them from involving in spiritual activities like meaningful Bible Studies, Outreach Ministries or Personal Devotion. They are satisfied with what they hear in the Sunday sermons and want others to be satisfied with that without ever reading the Word of God.
Paul wrote letters to the church in Corinth in response to various allegations and accusations he heard among the church members.
We have been given the Spirit of God to judge for ourselves what is right and wrong. The Spirit of God within us will make known the plans that God has for us. Let us not get swayed by human leaders and apostles and forget what Jesus wants in our lives.
For Christ to increase, we need to decrease, but leaders sometimes are worried about their followers and disciples perceiving them as imperfect people. They put on a show in front of their congregations, lest someone should think of them as sinners like the rest of us.
Paul started addressing specific incidents that deeply troubled him because of how sexual immorality was running rampant in the church of Corinth. He cites one particular incident of a congregation member who was having sexual relations with his father’s wife, perhaps a callback for us of how Reuben slept with his father’s wife.
The people of Corinth had started corrupting the greatest temple of the Lord, their own bodies and Paul sought to make them realize the gravity of their actions.
From its very inception, the institution of Marriage was supposed to unite two individuals to serve God as one body. Over the years mankind, especially the forefathers and other leaders have had a hand in corrupting this sacred union. Marriage became a means to bear offspring and not a way for its members to unite in their sole purpose to connect with God. However, Paul’s instructions to the Corinthians on the subject of marriage may seem like a concession rather than the norm.
Corinth being a melting pot of cultural diversity, made it hard for the new believers to separate themselves from the pagan traditions that surrounded them. One such issue that Paul tries to address is eating of meat that was sacrificed to the pagan gods. Since only part of the animal was used for sacrificial purposes,…
In his letters to the believers in Corinth, Paul not only addresses the failures of the church but also addresses the allegations levelled against him. When immorality is allowed to take the driver seat in a church, it will try its best to bring down the workers of God. If Paul’s ego would have been…
As the church in Corinth continues to struggle with the rampant sexual immorality, Paul tries to rein in the congregation by taking them back to the very purpose of creation. After dealing with cases of unfaithfulness among the men and women in the church, Paul tries to take a step back and addresses the need for discipline in hopes of bringing back order to the worship in the church.
Our Remembrance of Jesus’s sacrifice should not be only on Sundays when we are standing in the communion line but throughout the week and should be reflected in everything we do.
Being a relatively new church, the Corinthians had lot of queries regarding their order of worship. One of the main concerns was the mystery that surrounded the spiritual gifts given to the members by the Spirit. They saw these gifts as a means to create a hierarchical order between themselves rather than using it for the purpose that God intended.
With the growing thirst for Spiritual Gifts among the church at Corinth, Paul points out the greatest gift that they all needed in their lives, something greater than any other gift and without which all other gifts are worthless.
The purpose of group worship is to gather together and praise God. If the purpose was for each one to talk to God personally, that could have been done from the comfort of their homes.
Depending on our fellow believers will only get us so far and might even lead us away from God. The only way to defeat death is to depend on the heavenly man and follow His path.
Let us learn from the bitter experience of Paul and his fellowship with the Corinthians that we should not depend on human beings for love and compassion but on God for His grace and mercy.
Jesus is keen on keeping our relationship with Him as personal and He is eager to reward us personally. If we expose His intimate relation to earn riches and fame, then Jesus warns us that we have already been ‘rewarded’ with riches and fame. If we keep it personal between ourselves and Him, He is assuring us a reward from our heavenly Father.
In the entire history of civilization, the importance of removing the social disparities that have widened due to status, colour and race are strongly felt. Human rights are being valued highly and people have become conscious about equality. However, all these endeavours have failed in removing the social disparities and the differences have become wider, resulting in endless debates and social unrest.
The pattern repeats itself again later in the final chapters of the book, where Nehemiah thinks he has won over the enemy only to find the enemy had already infiltrated their camps.
We may recall the Government officials hiring Judas Iscariot to identify the Messiah, as they were unable to recognize Jesus on their own, as they did not have the Spirit of God. Whereas the ten lepers who were staying away from their village, were able to recognize Jesus in a remote place.
When we reconcile with our brethren, we receive a temporary peace, our peace of mind. But what Jesus offers us is much more. It is the ultimate peace in our hearts, knowing that our broken relationship with The Father has been fixed by His death on the cross.
The present freedom is a provision of grace that has to be received by faith. This freedom is available exclusively when people realise the gravity of their situation when they were slaves to sin, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead them in penitence and self examination. Self righteousness does not allow people to cherish this freedom in fullness.
The disciples were always with Jesus, yet they were unable to feed the crowd. They were traveling with Jesus, yet were unable to calm the storm. Above all, they were right next to Jesus listening to Him explaining what will happen to Him and the redemption plan of God, yet they were unable to grasp any of it.
The revival in Ephesus did not sit well with the silversmiths in the region. Demetrius gathered his fellow craftsmen started a riot in Ephesus. The ‘Way’ had created a huge crater in their business. Playing with the people’s sentiments towards traditions and rituals, the idol makers of Ephesus created an uproar among the people.
True fellowship is a friendship based on a mutual bond between two believers and that mutual bond must always be God.
In the final section of the book of Acts, Luke records the last years of Paul’s ministry. Luke leaves us without closure and we do not know what happens to Paul. Either he was executed or Luke’s narration had led up to the present day and even Luke does not know what will happen next. However, Luke gives an extensive account of the works of the Holy Spirit which was the purpose of writing the book.
Paul’s final Missionary Journey to spread the Jesus movement.
We desire to get the latest phones for the minor upgrades that they offer, upgrades that we may never even need in our lives. How often do we upgrade our walk with Christ?
God has knitted every organ of our body and made us a living being. These organs are sensitive to any foreign body. They do not easily get accustomed to a new environment but strongly raise an alarm against a foreign object, such as pain and nausea. In the same manner every sorrow and grief coming against our soul should raise alarming signal against disobedience to the word of God and should lead us to repentance.
Paul set off in his second missionary Journey across Europe and makes new companions along the way.
An age old tradition threatens to derail the Jesus movement.
Most of us feel lost when we miss even a single Sunday Service. Is it due to a change in our routine or did we truly miss the word? Many people do not even know the very purpose for which they attend church.
Jesus tells us not to fear people who can only destroy us physically and cannot do anything to our soul. While on the one hand we realize the sovereign power of the Almighty who has authority over our physical body and soul, but on the other hand it ignites frequent doubts about martyrs among many of us and we respond exactly opposite to what Jesus calls us to do.
Our christian lives are sometimes influenced by the people around us. There are so many theological schools of thought that we sometimes find it hard to know what we believe.
We fairly understand the love of God but at the same time are unable to understand the eradication of condemnation. Because of this lack of understanding many are still under the clutches of guilt and keep asking for pardon for their sins without knowing the truth, that God has already pardoned all our sins through His son’s sacrificial death on the Cross.
At the outset, John in his book introduces the ‘word’ as God Himself. John 1:14 says that God became flesh and dwelt among us. As we are celebrating Christmas, we need to understand why God became flesh. The author of Hebrews explains the reason in Hebrews 2:14-15
We are called to bear witness for Christ Jesus but many believers misunderstand this in their lives and struggle to bear witness. Most of the time we expect miracles to happen in our lives to bear testimony. It is easy to do so when miracles happen but if nothing works out then bearing testimony to Christ Jesus seems difficult.
When King Herod had killed James the brother of John, he understood that it had pleased the Jews. This is the strategy that Satan uses even today. No one has any reason to hate Jesus but the persecutions are in order to please the majority. In Acts 12:5 we read that in order to please the Jews, Peter was put in prison but this brought displeasure to the church, the body of Christ. The church was praying for the protection of the life of Peter and his release. Church ought to pray for the protection of the servants of God and for their boldness to preach the Gospel without distorting its truth to please people.
Luke narrates this incident by introducing Martha who welcomed Jesus into her house. Even John in his book tells that Martha was the one who first met Jesus when she had lost her brother Lazarus. This shows evidently that she is a dominating person among her family members and seems to be a laudable …
David says in Psalm 31: 21-22 that he became fearful and was afraid that he had gone far from Him. Similarly we also face this fear many times in our lives and become worrisome and don’t get justice hence, all our work gets spoiled. David says that he was not of any use but still God showed His mercy and gave him victory. God, whether we believe in Him or not, whether we love Him or go far from Him, will be with us and never leave us alone.
Faith comes from Jesus, the author of it. It helps the mankind to obtain salvation. Whatever was foretold about Jesus Christ has been fulfilled by Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection on the third day. If one believes this, as a child the faith increases. This pleases God. Paul reminds this in his…
Temptation and being tempted is something we human’s face in our day to day life. But God will not put us in a state where the temptation will become overbearing. Paul in his letter to the Church in Corinth says, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and…