Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

Don’t Know How to Share the Gospel? Tell People “Come and See”


This excerpt is from my sermon series called, Experiencing Jesus:Unexpectedly Finding the Expected Messiah

We invite our unbelieving family and friends to the church, despite it being neither a pleasant place for them to be nor a perfect place for them to spend time together in an intimate dialogue. This is a place that can be as weird as it could be for a non-believer. All the music, songs and the sermon can be pretty boring for someone who has no intention whatsoever to know Christ personally. Yet, we must help them understand this that the church is not a mass of perfect individuals but a bunch of former liars, wicked, slanderers, fornicators, murderers and you name it but now transformed by the divine power of the Holy Spirit. Also this is vitally important to let them know that no person who identify themselves with Christ in the congregation came to Jesus clean and without guilt.

Everyone has their own story that they wish they could travel back to time and undo it. Nevertheless, it is redeemed by Jesus through the completed work on the cross. Those people have become a church, a body of believers, which is an assembly of God’s sanctified people. This is where some even weirdest things happen. This is where God is going to meet his corporate body. God is also going to meet the unbelieving persons with rest of his people when we bring them to the church. Thus, we should never hold back to invite people in the church. Simply tell them to come and see if you do not know how to share the Gospel.

Zealous to Mislead. Why not Become Zealous to Save?


Recently, I noticed that the presence of Jehovah’s Witnesses is getting thicker in my neighborhood. Just last week, a woman in her 70s rang the door bell in my house for what they are probably best known for. A group of women was knocking on door-to-door to distribute the literature. Upon opening the door for her while holding a baby in one arm, she handed me a tract and asks if I believed in resurrection.

Today I bumped into another woman in her late 60 in the office of Secretary of State. I had my child with me. She approached me with big smile. I thought she was smiling at my child, since little kids draw attention of most adults. As she was less than 10 inches closer to me, I knew now that she was not smiling at my cute child but faking that big smile to simply hand me the same tract that I received a week ago which read whether I believed in the resurrection. I was shocked and blown away by the fact that she was in her walker thus could not walk without the help of the walker. Yet, she was out there in the cold chilling day in the mall to hand out the tracts and spread her belief.

Are evangelicals really slacking when it comes to reach out in public? Yes. In this pluralistic society where truth is relative is not so unopposed to Christianity. The excuse of opposition, however, does not hold much water in its claim. Do not get me wrong, as I am not saying that we have to follow the exact example of those people that I have mentioned earlier. What I am saying is that we can reach out to people in our neighborhood and introduce ourselves. Handing the Gospel tract is not the only way to introduce Jesus to people. Your neighbor next door might not be far away in terms of geography but in a personal level, we can be way too distant from each other. We might not have been able to connect to each other or relate to because we see them someone different than “I”. Have we introduced ourselves to them? Do we have that sort of zeal to earn the name “Christian” just as early believers in Antioch had? If JWs can invest their so much time and effort to knock on door-to-door and mislead the souls away, can we, at least, commit to pray for our church and people who are working in the ground to bind the wounded souls and bring the healing through the Holy Spirit?  Or how about inviting people who are broken  to partake with you in your table? Or how about we extend our helping hands little bit to partner in the Gospel by taking the financial burden off of our missionary brothers and sisters? Why do we not become zealous to reach out our lost sisters and brothers with love of Jesus Christ?

What if we take the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) and the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40) seriously and live it out?

Scriptures Understood as Messianic Texts and Applied them to Christ in the NT


Prasha Maharjan

Acts 4 is an account of Peter and John who were seized and brought to the Jerusalem council. Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of high priest’s family were there to interrogate them. Some of them in the Jerusalem Council were also a group of people who were involved in crucifying Jesus. They were thus displeased that Peter and John were preaching the gospel. They demanded of Peter and John to stop preaching. However, Peter and John filled with the Holy Spirit replied that they had the authority from heaven to do so. They had a witness to testify to what they were preaching- a crippled man for forty years was miraculous healed through their prayers in the name of Jesus. Both were then released with the warning that they not preach the gospel anymore. Later, they shared all this with their people and recalled Psalm 2 “Why do the nations rage and the people plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against the Anointed One.”

The messianic importance of Psalm 2 was fulfillment of the scripture that King David penned down. The rulers of the earth would gather together to torture and plot against the people of God. This came true when Jesus was crucified and in the above incident as well.

In Matthew 21 is the account of Jesus entering the temple and overturning the tables. He was furious that people were using the temple of God for inferior and unholy purposes. The blind and the lame came to Jesus and he healed them in the temple. Children were exclaiming, “Hosanna to the Son of David”. At this, the chief priests and the teachers of the law were indignant and asked Jesus what all that was about. Jesus simply quoted Psalm 8:2, “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.”

This was another prophecy about the Messiah that children and infants through their innocent faith would silence the learned and self-proclaimed holy men. It is not the proud ones who will enter the Kingdom of Heaven but the ones who have faith.

Psalm 22 has significant scriptures foreshadowing the ways the Messiah would be crucified. Throughout the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John- we see several prophetic scriptures from Psalm 22 being fulfilled. When Jesus was crucified on the cross, he exclaimed Psalm 22:1, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” King David who is a part of what Christ would be spoke these words when in despair. Similarly, there were people around him proclaiming, “He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him.” Furthermore in Luke and John, there is a clear depiction of the Jesus’ crucifixion. The enemies pierced Jesus’ hands and feet, they stared and gloated over him and also divided his garments among them and cast lots for his clothing. All these prophesy in the Psalms came to happen in the life and death of Christ so the scriptures may be fulfilled.

Psalm 45:7 recurs in Hebrews 1:8-9. The author of Hebrews is showing how Jesus is the most superior of angels. God did not call other angels ‘my son’. But God was pleased with his Son because Jesus loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God set him above his companions by anointing him with the oil of joy. Truly, Jesus was a sinless man and lived a sinless life while on earth. The messianic importance is the significance of Jesus’ holiness that sets him apart from all other angels.

Psalm 110:1 occurs in the books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. All these gospels account the day when Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees in the synagogues. The Pharisees tried to trap Jesus with their smart questions. Then Jesus asked them who the son of David was and why David had written- The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” This has an importance messianic significance. Jesus was from the line of David’s genealogy. It was prophesied that the Messiah would come from David’s blood line. Yet David called the Son Lord in the Spirit. This is a powerful allusion of the equality of Christ with the Lord. He only kept those on his right hand that he highly favored. God highly favored Christ and promised to make all his enemies his footstool. Jesus, the Son of God would crush his enemies and be resurrected and be at the right hand of God.

 

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Scripture Reading: John 3:1-8


ΚΑΤΑ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΝ 3:1-8

SBL Greek New Testament (SBLGNT)

 1 Ἦν δὲ ἄνθρωπος ἐκ τῶν Φαρισαίων, Νικόδημος ὄνομα αὐτῷ, ἄρχων τῶν Ἰουδαίων· 2 οὗτος ἦλθεν πρὸς αὐτὸν νυκτὸς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· Ῥαββί, οἴδαμεν ὅτι ἀπὸ θεοῦ ἐλήλυθας διδάσκαλος· οὐδεὶς γὰρ [a]δύναται ταῦτα τὰ σημεῖα ποιεῖν ἃ σὺ ποιεῖς, ἐὰν μὴ ᾖ ὁ θεὸς μετ’ αὐτοῦ. 3 [b]ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω σοι, ἐὰν μή τις γεννηθῇ ἄνωθεν, οὐ δύναται ἰδεῖν τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ. 4 λέγει πρὸς αὐτὸν [c]ὁ Νικόδημος· Πῶς δύναται ἄνθρωπος γεννηθῆναι γέρων ὤν; μὴ δύναται εἰς τὴν κοιλίαν τῆς μητρὸς αὐτοῦ δεύτερον εἰσελθεῖν καὶ γεννηθῆναι; 5 [d]ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς· Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω σοι, ἐὰν μή τις γεννηθῇ ἐξ ὕδατος καὶ πνεύματος, οὐ δύναται εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ. 6 τὸ γεγεννημένον ἐκ τῆς σαρκὸς σάρξ ἐστιν, καὶ τὸ γεγεννημένον ἐκ τοῦ πνεύματος πνεῦμά ἐστιν. 7 μὴ θαυμάσῃς ὅτι εἶπόν σοι Δεῖ ὑμᾶς γεννηθῆναι ἄνωθεν. 8 τὸ πνεῦμα ὅπου θέλει πνεῖ, καὶ τὴν φωνὴν αὐτοῦ ἀκούεις, ἀλλ’ οὐκ οἶδας πόθεν ἔρχεται καὶ ποῦ ὑπάγει· οὕτως ἐστὶν πᾶς ὁ γεγεννημένος ἐκ τοῦ πνεύματος.

John 3:1-8

My Literal Translation

1 There was now a man of the Pharisees, Nicodemus his name, a ruler of the Jews; 2this one came to him (Jesus) by night and said to him; “Teacher, we know that you have come from God as a teacher; for no one [a] is able to do these miracles/signs which you do, unless God is with him. 3 [b] Jesus answered and said to him; “Truly truly I say to you, unless a man was born again/from above, he is not able to see the kingdom of God.” 4Nicodemus says to him, “How is a man able to be born being old? Is he able to enter into the womb of his the mother second time and be born?” 5 Jesus answered; “Truly truly I say to you, unless one should be born out of water and Spirit, he is not able to enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That having been born out of the flesh is flesh, and that having been born out of the Spirit is spirit. 7 You should not marvel that I said to you, “It is necessary you have to be born again. 8The wind blows where it wishes, and the sound of it your hear, but you know not from where [from what place] it comes and where it goes;  In this way/ [so] it is with every one having been born out of the Spirit.”

Footnotes:

  1. ΚΑΤΑ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΝ 3:2 δύναται ταῦτα τὰ σημεῖα WH Treg NIV ] ταῦτα τὰ σημεῖα δύναται RP
  2. ΚΑΤΑ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΝ 3:3 ἀπεκρίθη WH Treg NIV ] + ὁ RP
  3. ΚΑΤΑ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΝ 3:4  WH NIV RP ] – Treg
  4. ΚΑΤΑ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΝ 3:5 ἀπεκρίθη NIV RP ] + ὁ WH Treg

Scripture Reading: John 1:29-34


ΚΑΤΑ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΝ 1:29-34

1881 Westcott-Hort New Testament (WHNU)

29τη επαυριον βλεπει τον ιησουν ερχομενον προς αυτον και λεγει ιδε ο αμνος του θεου ο αιρων την αμαρτιαν του κοσμου

30ουτος εστιν υπερ ου εγω ειπον οπισω μου ερχεται ανηρ ος εμπροσθεν μου γεγονεν οτι πρωτος μου ην

31καγω ουκ ηδειν αυτον αλλ ινα φανερωθη τω ισραηλ δια τουτο ηλθον εγω εν υδατι βαπτιζων

 32και εμαρτυρησεν ιωαννης λεγων οτι τεθεαμαι το πνευμα καταβαινον ως περιστεραν εξ ουρανου και εμεινεν επ αυτον

33καγω ουκ ηδειν αυτον αλλ ο πεμψας με βαπτιζειν εν υδατι εκεινος μοι ειπεν εφ ον αν ιδης το πνευμα καταβαινον και μενον επ αυτον ουτος εστιν ο βαπτιζων εν πνευματι αγιω

34καγω εωρακα και μεμαρτυρηκα οτι ουτος εστιν ο υιος του θεου

The Gospel of John 1:29-34

[My Literal Translation]

29The next day he sees Jesus coming to him and he says; “Behold, the Lamb of God, the one taking away the sin of the world.” 30This is he on behalf of whom I said; after me comes a man who before me has been,[a] for first/before/preceding me he was. [b] 31And I knew him not, but that he would be known/manifested to the Israel on account of this I (emphatic I) came baptizing in water. 32And John testified saying that “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven and he abode upon him. 33And I knew not him, but the one having sent (who sent) me to baptize in water that One said to me; “Upon whomever you should see the Spirit descending and remaining upon him, this is the One baptizing in the Holy Spirit. 34And I have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.

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Word Order Notes:

[a] who has been before me…

[b] he was before/preceding me.