6. Amy Carmichael—A Portrait of SacrificeRelated Media
This article is an edited transcript of Susie Hawkins’ audio message on Passionate Faith. Appreciation for the transcription work goes to Marilyn Fine.
We are in our sixth lesson in our series on Women in Church History, portraits of significant women in church history.
We have used the metaphor of an art gallery in this tour. Today, we are walking past the portrait of a woman of whom I hope many of you have heard. Perhaps you have read one of her many devotionals. Her name is Amy Carmichael, a well known devotional writer. A woman whose main work was rescuing children in India where she spent 56 years of her life. She is probably one of the most influential women that has ever lived in church history.
If you have been watching any of the news, we are having some political things going on in our country. I vacillate between being interested and disgusted. I am little bit of a political junkie but then I get so disgusted with all of it that I just say, “Jesus is my savior and that’s all I know and I don’t care about anything else.” Then I am drawn back into it. It is really interesting right now. As you well know, we have this presidential drama shaping up. We have what looks like Obama as the Democratic nominee. Obama who does not look a day over 17. Then, we have John McCain, Republican, who does not look a day over 100. Then, we have the Hillary factor, and do not ever rule her out, people. It is just getting more and more interesting.
As I was watching this the other night I was sitting in bed and I was surrounded by several of these devotional books of Amy Carmichael’s. I could not help but think of the contrast between her and what we hear and see every day about “ the important people that are going to change history.” These are the people who will determine the direction of a nation and be the leaders of the free world. I am not disparaging any of that. It is absolutely true and it is a huge, huge decision that our nation will make. But, you know what? As I sat there I thought, “these people get all the national and world attention and a woman like Amy Carmichael can come on the scene of the world and live a portrait of sacrifice.” What a contrast. So this is our portrait today: Amy Carmichael, a Portrait of Sacrifice.
Now she has faded off the scene and millions of people have never heard her name. However, what she did for the kingdom of God and the cause of Christ is so far reaching that a presidential candidate, a president, a world leader, cannot even begin to touch that kind of influence. Leaders come and go. Do they not? They are seen as the salvation, as the change agents that are all fixing. No, they will not fix everything. Nobody here can fix everything in this world. It is really true that many of those whose influence lasted throughout history are those who have lived quiet, sacrificial lives for the cause of Christ. Amy is one of those.
Amy Carmichael personifies the spirit of missions and of rescuing helpless people. She was a woman missionary with a social conscience. Amy was born in 1867. She died in 1951. Interestingly, she was the spiritual mentor of Elisabeth Elliot. Now, they did not know each other, but she is the woman whom Elisabeth Elliot looked to as her spiritual director. That is why she wrote a very, very thick biography on Amy Carmichael called, “A Chance to Die.” This is a very, very detailed story of Amy’s life. Amy had a call to ministry, but it was all encompassing in a way that few other women in the time she lived had experienced. She was part of a modern mission spirit which swept the world in the late 19th and 20th century.
Now, let’s get a context for a minute of Christian history at this particular time. Remember we had the Reformation with Katie Luther and all of that. We had Susanna Wesley in the 1700s. She was an eighteenth century England woman with a hard life. I am sure you remember her. Then, we have Amy who comes along around the middle of the 19th century, born in 1867. Amy was part of the second wave of the modern mission movement that really began in late 1700 with William Carey. He was a very famous missionary to India. There is a very famous incident where he was at a church meeting in England and they were talking about the need for missionaries to go take the gospel to the east, in particular to India and China. William Carey said that we need to do this. A man stood up and challenged him and said that if God wants to save the heathen He can do it without us. In a way, that statement produced such a backlash that many Christians began to say that is just not what the Great Commission says. It was kind of the statement of the philosophy of the day. “If God wants to save the heathen, well He will do it His own way.” But, there were many other people who did not really agree with that philosophy. So this was the beginning of the modern mission movement.
These early missionaries went to these foreign lands really believing that once they went they would never return. Once they left the shores of their home, England for example, they knew they would never again return. Amy was one of those. Once she left, she never returned.
Now, there are many other. It is hard to pick just one woman out of this group because there are so many. Adoniram and Ann Judson were the first American missionaries to a foreign country. They went to Burma. It took them four months to get there. I just could not even begin to tell you all the things they went through. Physical hardship was just the first thing, because, of course, this is before penicillin. This is before modern medicine. These women who were married had to endure childbirth, losing children, tropical fevers, just everything you can imagine. Yet the Judson’s took the gospel to Burma.
Hudson Taylor, I am sure you have heard of him, a missionary who took the gospel to China. Lottie Moon, our own little Lottie Moon, our little patron saint in the Baptist world, went to China. David Livingston went to Africa. There is a whole line of pioneer missionaries who literally gave their lives to take the gospel into these nations and to establish a presence. Now, it is interesting. Not all of them expected mass conversations when they got there. They were taking the gospel to a certain place and they would begin to pray and bring the work of God into that particular geographical area. Many of them went years and years. The Judson’s went something like nine years before they even saw one convert. At the end of his life, he had buried two wives and three children. I could read you these stories of what he says sitting under the tree where he buried his wife and children. I am telling you, you would all be sobbing. It is just heartbreaking these things, but they stood by their call. They endured unbelievable hardship.
Now, what is interesting is that the cause of missions captured the imaginations of single women. Outside of the Catholic church, where you could go into the convent and find service and education and all of that there, there were not a lot of opportunities for single women. If you were Protestant there really was not an official place where you could serve outside of wife and motherhood. There was really no role for you. Here is where a call to single women began to gather momentum.
Many of these married women missionaries needed help on the mission field. They had domestic duties. They were having babies every ten months. They were having sick children and they were trying to translate the word. Can you imagine having babies, trying to take care of children with tropical fevers, and trying to translate the gospel into a language that did not have the words for heaven, hell, spirit, angels, etc.? So, not only in these languages do you have to learn the language, define an alphabet, put it all together, you also have to come up with a whole new vocabulary. Now, these are just some of the challenges that they had. So, single women began to become interested in this call to missions. Lottie Moon was one of those. Her sister was also. At the same time as all this, an idea gained prevalence that if one could win women to Christ those women were the ones who would Christianize that culture. It is the idea that the hand that rocks the cradle […rules the world]. So they were the ones who could Christianize the culture. Thus their thrust was for women to be reached in missions.
So, that was when mission support groups began. Almost every denomination had some kind of circle, mission group, or missionary union where people would pray for these missionaries. They would support them, take up offerings, and get them money. Mission support was born.
Now, Amy Carmichael came out of this kind of tradition. Amy was born in a seaport town, Millisle, in northern Ireland to a very strong Christian family. They were Presbyterian, and she was raised in a large family. By all accounts she had a very happy childhood. She had a father who was very active in her life. He taught her to ride horses. He gave her education in the classics, in literature, and in language. In reminiscing about her childhood she talked about her father taking all of the children swimming. People, it is so cold up there I can hardly imagine going swimming! Yet he taught them how to swim in the freezing waters of the ocean just in case they ever needed to know how to swim. I picture her as typically British with a stiff upper lip—though she was a blend of Irish and English. If you read her story, yes, she could take it! She could take the hardship. She was not a sissy by any stretch of the imagination. She endured abuse on the mission field, sickness, all kinds of administrative problems, and harassment from local authorities. I am telling you she somehow was able to keep her perspective about all of the hassles and tribulations she had to deal with in order to fulfill her call.
She had spiritual interests from an early age. There is a famous story that at age three her mother had taught her a Bible story that anything you ask God to do, just take it in prayer in believing that it will be done. So, she decided in looking in the mirror that she had brown eyes and she did not want brown eyes. I never wanted brown eyes either. You like what you do not have, right? She wanted blue eyes so she prayed diligently one night and she was so sure the next morning when she woke up that when she went to the mirror she would have great big blue eyes. It did not happen. She was quite disappointed, but somehow she continued on. Later on, she would recount that story with some degree of amusement. Years later, when she was in India rescuing young girls from temple prostitution, she would disguise herself. She would put dirt on her skin to make her skin darker. She would wrap herself in a sari and go into these areas where these young children were brought into prostitution for the temple gods. She and her little team of rescuers would literally pull them out of these temples. She often said were it not for those brown eyes she would have immediately been given away as a foreigner. The brown eyes enabled her to pass through the crowds and to become at one in the Indian’s mind with them. This was another way she knew that God was directing her life from the very beginning.
She went to boarding school as a young person, as many English did, to a Wesleyan school. Remember we talked about the Wesley brothers, with the spirit of revival and holiness. That was their whole emphasis. So, she was taught about a spiritual call on her life in following Christ. One morning, coming home from church with her brothers and sisters, there was a little old woman who was struggling carrying her bags. She fell down on the street and Amy noticed the church people all walked around her. Nobody would stop and help her. So, Amy elicited the help of her brothers and sisters and they stopped and they helped this woman up and carried her bags home for her. She always recounts that story as the beginning of the time when God would put in her mind that her call, her ministry, was to reach out to the needy. She said that “from this pool flowed the stream that is my story.” She had very poetic words and she loved Victorian English. Some of her writings are little bit harder to read. You have to work a little bit to understand them, but she was so poetic.
She began a ministry in Ireland where she would go into these streets, into the ghetto areas, into the poor parts of town, and gather children to come to another area for Bible stories. After Bible stories, they would have tea. You know, you have to give it to the British, don’t you? They are so civilized. They may be in the ghetto, but they are having tea. She would serve them tea. Monday nights or a certain time she would just teach girls. Other times she would teach boys. She began to notice that the lowest of the low class in her town in northern Ireland was a group of women who worked in the factories. They were called the “shawlies.” The reason they were called shawlies is that they were so poor they could not afford hats, which were the fashion of the day. They would just wear shawls over their heads. This is where she found her most meaningful work. She began to meet with them, work with them, pray with them, teach them the Bible, teach them how to read, and how to write. Everyone kind of turned up their nose at her working with these people. She met two women through a “chance” meeting. They had some resources. She told them about her work. Then she challenged them to donate a hall for her Bible studies to meet in for her shawlies and other groups. Lo and behold they did, much to everyone’s amazement. She organized all this by herself. She did not have anybody helping her. She just went to these women and they got it done. She had an amazing ability to persuade people to do things for the gospel.
When I was reading this about her, knowing what I know about her in her later life, it was such an example that as you are faithful in small things, God will give you bigger opportunities. She pursued with all her heart her calling to the shawlies and to the poor children in northern Ireland. Then, God began to give her greater opportunities as He called her in the ministry. She met a man that she worked with for a while who was active in the Keswick movement. He was a big influence to her. She worked for him like a personal secretary for a while and learned a lot about administration.
She was struggling with her call to missions because she knew how difficult it was to go alone. That is what one would often hear from missionaries writing letters back on how difficult and how lonely it was— even for married couples. How lonely it is to be so isolated from family, friends, and from your culture. This is what she said, “One day, many years ago, I went alone to a cave in the mountains, called Arima.” (This is when she was for a short time in Japan.) “I have feelings of fear about the future. That is why I went there to be alone with God. The devil kept whispering ‘it’s was all right now, but what about afterward? You are going to be so very, very lonely.’ He painted pictures of loneliness. I can see them still. And, I turned to my God in a kind of desperation and said, Lord, what can I do? How can I go on to the end? And, the Lord said, Amy, none of them that trust in Me shall be desolate. That word has been with me ever since.” This is the word that she carried with her: I will see that none that trust in me will ever be desolate or alone.
She had a few false starts. First she went to Ceylon (Sri Lanka today). Then she went to Japan. Japan was a disappointment to her. She learned that there was a lot of discontent among missionaries. There was a lot of tension on the mission field. She resolved then and there that if God gave her a place of ministry that she would do everything within her power to promote good will and harmony among the missionaries at her mission station. She found that to be a difficult time in her life.
She was such a writer. She wrote something like 35 books. I could not even begin to share with you all the things that she would write. But, she would write her prayers. Here is one of the prayers she wrote while she was in Japan as she was praying for God to use her and to give her a passion for these people. She write, “Oh, for a passionate passion for souls. Oh, for a pity that yearns. Oh, for the love that loves them to death. Oh, for the fire that burns.” She was constantly seeking that passionate faith.
She became ill with neuralgia. I am not sure exactly what that is, but she had a lot of muscle pain. She had to return home for convalescence and it was during that time that she decided that her call was to India. So, she went to southern India, south of Bangalore, and joined up with a missionary couple there. They begin to tutor her in the language. She began to learn and serve as an itinerant missionary. She would go out into the country, into the villages, and bring the gospel. She would teach and share. This is where she saw first-hand everything that was happening in the Indian culture. She would write letters back home to these mission support societies and tell them what was happening. She was their eyes to see what was going on in the mission field. She began to disciple a group of young girls who were converts. She called them the Starry Cluster. They felt as they prayed that God wanted them to move to another area where there was a greater need and establish a community. They did this and they called it the Dohnavur Fellowship. This is what she is known for now, the Dohnavur Fellowship. This was the name of her ministry.
Interesting enough, all these missionaries that I have mentioned had some kind of social cause that they worked at within the country they were ministering. Do you remember what Lottie Moon worked on? She worked to banish foot binding. This ancient Chinese practice of binding women’s feet until they were literally crushed. It was the most painful thing. If you ever read about it, you know what I am talking about. The Chinese had in their mind that tiny feet were a sign of beauty. It was the upper class women who would bind their feet and it was so painful they could not even walk at the end of their lives. It would cripple them. The Judson’s worked to banish widow burning, which was the practice that if a man died his widow would be burned with him. They did this because when he went on to the after-life, who would be there serve him if she was not there?! We cannot have men serving themselves in the after-life! So the widow would be burned in order to go be with her husband in the after-life. They were diligently working to abolish the practice of widow burning. These are the kinds of social issues that these missionaries worked against.
Amy really found her true calling in this particular area. She had heard about these young girls who were sold by poor families. They were sold to the temples in order to get money for the temple priests through prostitution in Hindu worship. Sometimes they were kidnapped and indeed they were kept there for the rest of their lives. They could never leave. Some young boys were also dealt with this way.
So, they began to pray and ask God, “How can we help these girls?” One day, a woman literally came to her doorstep with a young seven-year-old-girl named Preena. It is a famous story of Amy Carmichael’s. This woman said, “This is Preena. This is her second attempt to escape from the temple. Her mother sold her into prostitution. She escaped from the temple and I found her on the streets. I took her home and her mother returned her again to the temple. As punishment, they branded and burned her palms to where they were just black. They punished her for leaving, for running away.” This little girl must have been a spunky little thing. She ran away again the second time and this woman said, “I found her again and I did not know what to do with her. I know that you want to help us. Maybe you could help this little girl?”
Amy was sitting down when this woman was talking to her, and this little girl walked right over to Amy. She climbed up on her lap, and called her “alma,” which was the word in that language for “mommy.” Well, you can imagine that dramatic event. What is interesting is that Amy instantly fell in love with this little girl and said “I will take her. We will care for her no matter what.” She began to think, “Is there something here? In that language, there is a little proverb that says “children tie the mother’s feet.” This means, as you probably well know, that children limit a woman’s opportunity as far as traveling and being involved in different activities. Amy had been this itinerant ministry person. So, she felt because of this that she had to limit herself to staying home in her area. She began to take in other young girls. Dozens of young girls were rescued from temple prostitution and hundreds of others from poverty and neglect.
She established an orphanage. She eventually established a medical clinic for them. She established a school for the girls, and she also ended up establishing a school for young boys. Her ministry call, was to rescue these girls, to redeem them, to win them to Christ, to give them a Christian upbringing, and to help them to fulfill their calling in the world.
Now, what she endured. It is just unbelievable the difficulties she endured. When she was doing this activities, do you think the temple priests just sat around and said, “darn we lost another one”? No, they harassed her. They burned down buildings. They called her demon woman. They started all kinds of rumors about her. They abused her. She constantly had the harassment of temple officials around her. They were always reporting her to the government or to authorities. She was having to explain herself to the government. Really, I do not know of any other person I have read about that had to endure so much mean treatment all of the time in her life! I think about that little girl learning to swim in the ocean. I think there was something so steely in her, so strong. Her backbone was so strong. Somehow she could deal with the infinite issues that were there every day and stay focused on her call to rescue these young girls. She stayed focused to take the light of the gospel to this foreign land. She was really gifted in that way.
She also learned first hand the results of the devastating caste system. She learned that a mother, even if her child was at the point of death, would not take the child to a doctor if that doctor was of a lower caste. She worked diligently to dispel this kind of viewpoint.
When she was 64, she experienced a fall and it was the downfall of her health. For 20 years, she was a semi-invalid there in India. She wrote 35 books, poems, songs. She was a prolific writer. Anybody hear the little devotional book, “If”? It is a very small little book. She wrote the book after feeling like she was dealt with by the Holy Spirit about Calvary’s sacrificial love. She is a portrait in sacrifice: sacrificial love. She wrote this little book called, “If,” and it is a lot of little sayings. Here are two of them:
“If I cannot in honest happiness take the second place or the twentieth, if I cannot take the first place without making a fuss about my own worthiness, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”
“If I can speak casually of the misdoings of a child, then I know nothing of Calvary love. If in dealing with one who does not respond, I weary of the strain and sweat from the burden, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”
It is the most convicting thing you will ever read. It is so convicting. With her challenges, and her clear sight, what she held on to was Calvary love. She focused on the sacrificial agape love of Christ and then living that out in her life.
She spent 56 years in India. She is buried there today. She never went home. She never returned to her family. At the end of her life, she had a lot of sorrows. A lot of her close workers had died, some had left the fellowship. Yet she died in her sleep in her beloved Dohnavur, surrounded by the girls and her workers.
There are so many analogies here in Amy’s life. Remember how Paul was in prison at the end of his life? I have often thought how the early church must have said to God, “What are you doing letting him be in prison? We need him. He is the one taking the gospel to the Gentiles. He is our spokesman. He is our main man.” We know now in retrospect if Paul had not been sitting in prison, we would not have all those epistles. There was a purpose in that. Likewise, we have Amy’s writings today. It reminds me of Paul in that way. Because of her invalid state, she could still write up until the last month of her life. We have her writings, her devotionals, her thoughts. I encourage you just go online. Google “Amy Carmichael” and you will see a million things that she wrote. But, I think I would best describe her life in the scripture of John 12:24 where Jesus essentially said, “I must fall and die like a kernel of wheat that falls into the furrows of the earth. Unless I die, I will be alone, a single seed, but my death will produce many new wheat kernels, a plentiful harvest of new lives. If you love your life here, you will lose it. If you despise your life here, you will exchange it for eternal glory.” Surely, she was one of those seeds that was planted in the ground and then it began to take root.
Now, here is the thing. You know, when you look back at ministries, churches, and missionaries, they come and go as far as earthly view. The churches of the Revelation for example, were all in modern day Turkey. They are just ruins now. It is not the place. It is not even the actual church. It is the lives that are touched that go on for the influence of Christ. Dohnavur Fellowship was that time for her. It has gone down. It is going to come back. It struggles. Now, all of these ministries do. My husband always says that churches and ministries are a snapshot in time. For that moment, God uses them, but He does his own thing, as we might say. We are not always sure why He does what He does, but He uses people, their words, their influence. I think it is interesting Amy is really the epitome of Jim Elliot’s (Elisabeth’s martyred first husband) saying, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” That is Amy Carmichael.
There is a scripture in Revelation 14:13 that I love. You know of wonderful Christian people who have given their lives to Christ and have gone on through death. We have a great saint at First Baptist Church, Esther Beth Rogers. She was a true saint if there ever was one. I thought about her when I read this verse the other day. In Revelation 14:13 I love this,
“And I heard a voice from heaven saying Write. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says his spirit, “That they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them.”
Amy Carmichael died in 1951, the year I was born. We have been talking about her life, her deeds, her work, her words, her portrait of sacrifice. I pray that it would encourage you as much as it has encouraged me. Go online. Read some of her words. Read some of her poems. It may be a little hard to understand her words at times. It will not hurt you to figure it out. It did not hurt me. It will not hurt you to read something a little out of the ordinary and to understand what some people have done.
When I was in China several years ago, I was visiting with a group of women in the area where Lottie Moon (who I mentioned before) had gone taking the gospel for the first time. One of the women there was sharing that she worked at the university. She said to Gene, “I have students in my apartment every night wanting to know about the Bible. Every night they are wanting to know about Christianity.” She said, “I believe the sinner’s prayer. I have to just lock my door some nights because I have to get some sleep. I then have to turn them over to Christ. I cannot direct them to churches because there is no freedom of religions, supposedly.” She said that the interesting thing is she read a scripture out of John 4:38 where essentially Jesus says, “You have not done the hardest work. You are simply here to reap that which was already worked on by others.” I think of that with Amy. There is a thriving Christian community in India. Granted, it is not all truly Christian, but there is a thriving Christian community. Everywhere these missionaries went, today the ministries do not look the same and they may have different names, but is it not interesting how they have thrived? I am talking about China and Africa and India. Any historian will tell you Christianity has shifted from Western Europe and Northern America east towards China and Korea. Why? You just have to wonder. Is it not because these people, these women, these men buried their lives for the sake of the gospel? One little seed sacrificed now sprouts up a huge crop. Now, they are the ones leading the way in Christian commitment and missions.
Not too long ago, we were in a closed Muslim country, and we were talking with some of our people who were there. They said it is interesting that the people who have the strongest calling to the Muslim world are the Asians. That is because they know nobody is going to listen to the Americans or Europeans. You know, we are the evil empire to many of them. Many there are anti west, but they know that Asians do not have that stigma. They do not have that particular connotation and so they feel like they are the ones God has called to minister to the Muslims. Is that not interesting? You know, God just does what He wants. He uses people who are willing to say like Amy, “Lord, this is my story. I will follow you. I will give my life in this way.”
Let me read you this and then we will be finished. On her deathbed, she wrote this,
One thing have I desired, my God of thee,
that will I seek Thine house be home to me.
I would not breathe in alien air.
I want to be with Thee,
oh Thou fairest of fair.
For I would see the beauty of my Lord
And hear Him speak who is my hearts adored.
A love of love can such wonder dwell in Thy great name of names, Emmanuel,
For Thou with Thy child, Thy child at home with thee.
Oh, Lord, my God, I love. I worship Thee.
Amy Carmichael, a true portrait of sacrifice.
5. God Conquers Fear (Judges 6:1-32, Gideon)Related Media
Judges: A Drifting People, A Delivering God (part five)
We each have rational and irrational fears. We may not be aware of them, but they're there. The biblical story of Gideon is one of God empowering a man who was paralyzed by fear. Gideon was afraid to act and reluctant to say what needed said. He had to be reminded that God was with him. His story encourages those of us with fears that keep us up at night. We're afraid of failure, or that the image we've worked so hard to create might get distorted. We're afraid of losing what we love. We fear the unknown. Can God's presence unleash us from the prison of our fear-driven paralysis?
Lesson 40: God’s Time or Man’s Time? (John 7:1-13)Related Media
December 29, 2013
A young man came to W. E. Gladstone when he was Prime Minister of England and said, “Mr. Gladstone, I would appreciate your giving me a few minutes in which I might lay before you my plans for the future. I would like to study law.” “Yes,” said the great statesman, “and what then?”
“Then, sir, I would like to gain entrance to the Bar of England.” “Yes, young man, and what then?”
“Then, sir, I hope to have a place in Parliament, in the House of Lords.” “Yes, young man, what then?” pressed Gladstone.
“Then I hope to do great things for Britain.” “Yes, young man, and what then?”
“Then, sir, I hope to retire and take life easy.” “Yes, young man, and what then?” he tenaciously asked.
“Well, then, Mr. Gladstone, I suppose I will die.” “Yes, young man, and what then?” The young man hesitated and then said, “I never thought any further than that, sir.”
Looking at the young man sternly and steadily, Gladstone said, “Young man, you are a fool. Go home and think life through!” (Told by Leonard Griffith, This is Living [Abingdon Press], pp. 48, 49.)
Since the old year is almost gone and the New Year is upon us, I thought it may be profitable to revisit the same text that we studied last time from a slightly different perspective, considering the topic of God’s time versus man’s time. In John 7:6, Jesus says to his half-brothers who advised Him to go up to the Feast of Booths and do some miracles to make Himself known, “My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune.” Jesus was drawing a contrast between how He lived in view of God’s time versus how His brothers lived their lives. I want to develop the thought:
Since life is short and eternity is forever, live by God’s time, not by man’s time.
The first point is obvious, and yet worth thinking about often:
1. Life is short and eternity is forever.
Billy Graham was once asked what he was most surprised by in life. He answered, “Its brevity.” (Christianity Today, 10/06, p. 90) An older man gave this perspective on how he viewed time differently as he aged (Dewey Gill, Reader’s Digest [5/83]):
Days were plentiful and cheap when I was young. Like penny candy. I always had a pocketful—and spent them casually. Now my supply is diminished, and their value has soared. Each one becomes worth its weight in the gold of dawn. Suddenly I live in unaccustomed thrift, cherishing hours the way lovers prize moments. Even at that, when the week is ended, it seems I’ve gone through another fortune. A day doesn’t go as far as it used to.
I can relate to those thoughts! We just came from being with my Dad on his 90th birthday. It was sad to see his declining physical and mental condition. But it was also sobering to think that in just over 23 years, if I’m still alive, I will be that old! Life is short and then eternity is forever!
If Jesus had been born in our times, His parents would have recognized that He was an unusually gifted child. They would have begun His education early, put Him on the gifted child track, and had Him preaching by age 12 when He made an impression on the scholars in the temple. By the time He was 20, He would have a huge international following. With a good public relations man, He could have learned to tone down some of His more offensive comments so that the religious leaders would not have plotted to kill Him. Think how much more He could have accomplished if He had lived to 70 or 80!
But Jesus, living by God’s time, didn’t begin His ministry until He was about 30 and after three short years He could pray (John 17:4), “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given me to do.” Amazing!
If we want to think like Jesus, we need to live with the awareness of how short life is and that one day we will give an account to God for how we spent our lives. In Psalm 90, as Moses thought on these things, he concluded with the prayer (90:17), “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and confirm for us the work of our hands; yes, confirm the work of our hands.” If none other than Moses had to ask God to confirm the work of his hands, how much more do we need to pray that prayer repeatedly!
2. Jesus’ brothers were living by man’s time: Their time was always opportune.
Jesus told His brothers that they could go up to the feast whenever they wanted to go, because their time was “always opportune” (7:6). The implication is that they were not living under God’s time, as Jesus was. D. A. Carson (The Gospel According to John [Eerdmans/Apollos], p. 308) says that Jesus meant “that what they did was utterly without significance as far as God was concerned.” We can draw three implications about what it means to live by man’s time:
A. Those living by man’s time are not living under the lordship of Christ.
As John 7:5 adds, “For not even His brothers were believing in Him.” As we saw in our last study, Jesus’ brothers had grown up with Him, so they knew Him better than most people would have. They had heard His teaching and seen some of His miracles. They were good, religious Jews, who observed the various feasts in Israel, such as this Feast of Booths. But they didn’t believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord. They probably did not see their need for a Savior from sin, because they thought of themselves as good, religious Jews in comparison with the pagan Gentiles.
So if you want to live by God’s time and not waste your life living by man’s time, the first order of business is to trust in Christ as Savior and Lord. When you are born again, you repent of the sin of living for yourself and you begin to live for the glory of your wonderful Savior and Lord. You realize that if He is Lord of all, then He is Lord of your time. So you begin to seek Him earnestly to figure out how He wants you to spend your life. If you determine your goals and priorities apart from submission to God and His Word, then you’re living by man’s time, not by God’s time. Such living is ultimately futile.
B. Those living by man’s time go along with their culture apart from Christ.
Jesus draws a sharp contrast here between His brothers’ time and His time. If you’re using your time as our culture does, you aren’t living by God’s time. The brothers went up to this religious feast but they went without Jesus. They went because it was the thing that all Jewish men did at that time of the year. It was a God-ordained ritual, but they did it without reality because they did it without Jesus and without faith in Him. They were living by man’s time, not by God’s time.
We, of course, live in a godless, corrupt culture that exalts selfish pleasure and materialism as the ultimate aims in life. To go along with our culture and live for those fleeting pleasures is obviously to waste your life. But it’s possible to be a part of the Christian wing of our culture, to go to church and go through Christian rituals (such as communion) and yet leave Jesus out. You’re just doing it because it’s the thing that other Christians do. But that is to live by man’s time, not by God’s time.
C. Those living by man’s time operate by worldly wisdom, not by God’s wisdom.
As we saw last time, Jesus’ brothers offered some worldly-wise advice on how He could advance His “career.” They may have meant well, but as I pointed out, their advice was in line with Satan’s temptation for Jesus to jump off the pinnacle of the temple, have the angels float Him gently to the ground, and impress everyone with His miraculous powers. The brothers’ advice was, “For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” (7:4).
As Carson points out (ibid., pp. 306-307), by the world, Jesus’ brothers meant, “to everyone,” but John no doubt saw irony in their comment. We already know that such a display of Jesus’ miraculous powers would have the multitude clamoring to make Him a political Messiah (6:14-15), but it would not have resulted in genuine faith (2:23-25). In one sense Jesus had no intention of showing Himself to the world (14:22). And yet in another sense (Carson, p. 307), “it is in Jerusalem where Jesus reveals himself most dramatically—not in the spectacular miracles the brothers want but in the ignominy of the cross, the very cross by which Jesus draws all men to Himself (12:32) and becomes the Savior of the world (4:42).” The cross is foolishness to the wise of this world, but to us who are called, it is God’s power and wisdom (1 Cor. 1:23-24).
One of the books that has most impacted my life is Shadow of the Almighty [Zondervan], by Elisabeth Elliot. It’s the story of her first husband, Jim Elliot, who was martyred at age 28 in Ecuador (along with four other young men) by the fierce Auca tribe that they were seeking to reach with the gospel. When he was a college student, Jim had written (p. 15), “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Recently the news featured the story of chemistry teacher Ronnie Smith, a young husband and father who was shot to death by Muslim radicals while he jogged in Benghazi, Libya. He was there to show Christ’s love to those lost and hopeless people. I saw an interview with his wife, who said that she loves and forgives those who murdered her husband. The world would say that to go to a fierce, primitive tribe or to a dangerous place like Benghazi to share the gospel, is not wise. But God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. In the epilogue to Shadow of the Almighty (p. 246), Elisabeth Elliot wrote,
W. Somerset Maugham, in Of Human Bondage, wrote, “These old folk had done nothing, and when they died it would be just as if they had never been.” Jim’s comment on this was, “God deliver me!”
May He deliver us all from living by man’s time, in worldly wisdom, rather than by God’s time, in His wisdom. To understand how to live by God’s time, we must look at how Jesus lived:
3. Jesus lived by God’s time: He submitted fully to God’s plan for His life.
Throughout John’s Gospel, there is the repeated theme of Jesus’ “hour,” which refers to the cross (2:4; 7:30; 8:20; 12:23, 27; 13:1; 16:32; 17:1; see Luke 22:53). But here (7:6, 8) John uses the Greek word that refers to an opportune time. Jesus means that the God-appointed time for Him to go up to Jerusalem and reveal Himself was not yet at hand. In other words, in contrast to His brothers, who lived by the world’s agenda, Jesus lived by God’s agenda. This meant five things:
A. To live by God’s time, be directly accountable to Him for how you spend your time.
Jesus always had a sense of obeying the Father with regard to His use of time. He did not allow His own mother to determine when He should turn the water into wine, but He did it as the Father directed Him (2:4). Here, He does not allow His brothers’ advice to govern when He went up to the feast, but went in response to the Father’s timetable. He was accountable to the Father to do everything in His life and ministry as the Father directed.
I’ll grant that it’s not easy to determine God’s will for the specifics of our schedules, whether it concerns the major decisions in life or the daily and weekly schedules that we all must make. But we can determine our overall priorities and goals from the wisdom of God’s Word and prayerfully seek to use our time with the awareness that we will give an account to God for how we spent the time that He gave us. If I may be gently blunt, to spend countless hours watching TV or playing computer games is not a godly way to spend your life.
One New Year’s Day when I was in college, I spent the entire day watching all the college bowl games. By the end of the day, I felt rotten, as if I had stuffed myself on junk food all day. I realized that I had just wasted a precious day of my life. I swore off my TV addiction and have never gone back.
B. To live by God’s time, live with the purpose of glorifying God and accomplishing what He has given you to do.
Jesus came to do the Father’s will and to accomplish the Father’s work (4:34). He finished it in three years, as we have seen (17:4). Jesus’ purpose should be our purpose, namely, to glorify God on this earth and to accomplish whatever it is that He has given each of us to do.
Obviously, God does not call everyone to be a foreign missionary or to serve full time in ministry here at home. But He does call us all to live in such a way that we glorify Him in everything we do (1 Cor. 10:31). All behavior begins in our hearts or thoughts (Mark 7:21), so begin there, by ordering your thoughts in line with God’s Word (Phil. 4:8). All our behavior is to be governed by God’s love, which seeks the highest good for others (Rom. 12:9-10; 1 Cor. 13; 16:14). Also, God has uniquely gifted each one for service so that we might glorify Him (1 Cor. 12; 1 Pet. 4:10-11). So figure out what He has gifted you to do and structure your schedule so that you can do it.
C. To live by God’s time, develop a harvest mindset that views every situation in light of eternity.
As we saw in the story of Jesus with the woman at the well, the disciples had a temporal mindset. They were focused on getting Jesus to eat His lunch so that they could get on with their journey. But Jesus had a harvest mindset. He turned their focus toward what God was doing with His encounter with the woman and the Samaritans in that village (4:31-38). Jesus was aware of God’s perspective in every situation. He never acted out of selfish motives, but only for the purpose of furthering God’s kingdom. He told us that in contrast to seeking all the things that the world so eagerly seeks, (Matt. 6:33), “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
You’ve got to figure out how that verse applies to your sphere of influence. It may apply to rearing your children to know and follow Christ. It may apply to helping a family member, friend, co-worker, or stranger whom you meet come to know the Savior or to grow in Him. Ask the Lord to give you a harvest mindset.
D. To live by God’s time, use reasonable prudence, but do not put personal safety above doing the will of God.
Jesus stayed in Galilee because the Jews were trying to kill Him (7:1), but when it was God’s will for Him to go to the feast, He went. We see the same thing in John 10:39-11:15: Jesus was ministering out of the reach of the Pharisees who were seeking to kill Him, but when it was God’s time, He went to Bethany, just outside of Jerusalem, to raise Lazarus from the dead.
Jeremy Lundgren, our former youth pastor, is writing his master’s thesis on the theology of risk and safety: when is it right to protect yourself from possible harm versus expend yourself for the sake of the gospel? On some occasions, the apostle Paul escaped impending threats to his life (2 Cor. 11:32-33; Acts 17:10, 14; 22:18), but at other times, he was willing to walk into what almost certainly would result in either persecution or death (Acts 19:30-31; 21:11-13). I can’t give you a hard and fast rule for determining when to risk your life for the sake of the gospel and when to use caution and escape. But we all should have the mindset that our highest aim is to glorify God through the gospel. Sometimes that may entail exposing ourselves to substantial risks.
E. To live by God’s time, be willing to confront our godless culture.
Here, Jesus confronted His brothers’ worldly perspective. He never backed away from confronting the worldly or godless views of those He came into contact with, even though it inevitably led to His death. When He went to have lunch with a Pharisee, Jesus deliberately did not follow their custom for ceremonial washing before the meal and then He laid into the Pharisee for his hypocrisy in cleaning the outside of the cup, while inside he was full of wickedness. When one of the lawyers present heard Jesus’ condemnation of the Pharisees, he said (Luke 11:45), “Teacher, when You say this, You insult us too.” Did Jesus reply, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean any offense”? No, rather He said (11:46), “Woe to you lawyers as well!” And He proceeded to expose their many sins. Jesus always confronted the godlessness around Him.
This doesn’t mean that we should be rude or insensitive. Paul tells us that our speech should be both gracious and seasoned with salt (Col. 4:6). He tells us not to be quarrelsome, but to be kind to all and to correct with gentleness (2 Tim. 2:24-25). But probably most of us need to be a bit bolder than we are to speak out against godlessness when we encounter it. I appreciated reading that Rick Warren recently told Piers Morgan on CNN with regard to Warren’s opposition to homosexual marriage, “I fear the disapproval of God more than I fear your disapproval or the disapproval of society.” (http://piersmorgan.blogs.cnn.com/2013/12/06)
To review and offer some specific action points, here are some steps to help you live by God’s time so that your life counts for eternity and isn’t wasted because you lived for man’s time:
(1) Make sure that you have trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior and that you are fully submitted to His lordship. Apart from that, anything that you do will be empty and vain at the judgment.
(2) Write out a one-sentence purpose statement for your life and two or three short-term goals that will help move you in that direction in the coming year. Granted, Jesus probably didn’t write out His life purpose in a single sentence, but He was clear enough about it that He knew when He had accomplished the Father’s work (John 17:4). The same could be said of the apostle Paul. He said (1 Cor. 9:23), “I do all things for the sake of the gospel.” He said that his aim was (Phil. 3:10), “That I may know Him.” He told Timothy (1 Tim. 4:7), “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” Those aims are all in line and show that Paul lived with God’s purpose in mind.
(3) Clear your life of clutter and busyness that do not relate to your overall purpose. Kevin DeYoung’s recent short book, Crazy Busy [Crossway] is helpful in this regard.
(4) Figure out what God has gifted you to do and begin serving Him now. Don’t wait until some “better time” in the future. You may never get to such a time. Start now. What is your “mission field”? Who are the 8-15 people with whom you have regular contact that you can influence for Christ? God wants all disciples of Jesus to help make disciples who make disciples.
(5) Don’t despise the mundane as the place where God wants you to serve. You don’t have to go to the mission field or go into full time ministry to serve the Lord. You can serve and glorify God daily in your present circumstances. As Peter puts it (1 Pet. 4:11), “Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
- When we live under God’s time, how do we determine how much time to spend in leisure or recreation?
- How can a Christian discover his/her spiritual gifts? (See my message on Romans 12:4-6.)
- How does Matthew 6:33 apply to a believer who works in a “secular” job? How can he “seek first God’s kingdom”?
- Prayerfully write a brief life purpose statement and 2-3 goals for the New Year.
Copyright, Steven J. Cole, 2013, All Rights Reserved.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture Quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, Updated Edition © The Lockman Foundation
කිතුණු ඇදහිල්ලේ මුලධර්ම-6 ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේRelated Media
ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ යනු කවුද? ශුද්ධ ලියවිලි තුල උන්වහන්සේ කර ඇත්තේ මොනවාද? උන්වහන්සේ අප උදෙසා කරන්නේ මොනවාද? උන්වහන්සේ ගැන වෙනස් දැක්මන් තිබෙනවා. සමහරු උන්වහන්සේ බලයක් නැතහොත් බලපෑමක් හැටියට සරලව අර්ථ දක්වනවා. 16වෙනි ශත වර්ෂයේ සෝසිනියන්වාදීන් විසින් “දෙවියන්වහන්සේගෙන් මනුෂ්යයා වෙතට ගලමින් ඇත්තාවු ගුණාංගයක් නැතහොත් ශක්තියක්” ලෙස අර්ථ දක්වනු ලැබුවා. නිදහස් මතධාරී දේවධර්ම ධරයින් හා ලබ්ධීන් දරණ දැක්ම මෙයයි. නමුත් ශුද්ධ ලියවිල්ල උන්වහන්සේ ගැන අපට උගන්වන්නේ මෙය නොවෙයි. මතක තබාගන්න, ත්රිත්වය ගැන අපගේ අධ්යයනය තුලදී අප ඉගෙනගත්තේ උන්වහන්සේ දේවත්වයෙහි පියාණන් හා පුත්රයාණන්ට සමානවන පුද්ගලයෙකු හැටියටය.
අප පුද්ගලයෙකු ගැන සාමාන්යෙයන් සිතන්නේ ශරීරයක්ලෙසය. පුද්ගලයෙකුට ශරීරයක් තිබිය යුතුමද? මනුෂ්යයෙක් මිය යනවිට සිදුවන්නේ කුමක්ද? ශරීරය පමණක් මියයයි. නමුත් පුද්ගලයා සචේතනිකව ස්වර්ගයෙහි හෝ නිරයෙහි සදාකල් පවතී. පුද්ගලයෙකුගේ තිබිය යුතුම ලක්ෂණ මොනවාද? දේවල් තුනකි: බුද්ධිය, උද්වේග හා කැමැත්ත. ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ බලයක් හෝ බලපෑමක් හෝ දෙයක් පමණක් වුවා නම් උන්වහන්සේට මේ දෙවල් අයත් වන්නේ නැත. නමුත් ඒවා උන්වහන්සේට අයත්ය.
උන්වහන්සේට පුද්ගලයෙකුගේ ලක්ෂණ තිබෙනවා.
බුද්ධිය: උන්වහන්සේ දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ දෙවල් දන්නා සේක(1කොරින්ති2:10-11). ආත්මයේ සිත(රෝම8:27).
උද්වේග: ආත්මය ශෝකවීම (එපීස4:30).
කැමැත්ත: ආත්මායාණන් “උන්වහන්සේගේ කැමැත්ත පරිදි” ආත්මික දීමනා දෙන සේක.(1කොරින්ති12:11).
උන්වහන්සේ පුද්ගයෙකු සේ ක්රියා කරයි
උන්වහන්සේ උගන්වයි ( යොහාන්14:26).
උන්වහන්සේ හාස්කම් කරයි(ක්රියා8:39).
උන්වහන්සේ මග පෙන්වයි (රෝම8:14).
උන්වහන්සේ පුද්ගලයෙකු ලෙස නම් කර ඇත
Pneuma යන වචනය නපුංසක ලිංගාර්ථ නමුත් භාවිතයේදී එය පුරුෂ ලිංගාර්ථයෙන් ප්රකාශ වේ (යොහාන්16:13-14).
ශුද්ධාත්මයණන් සම්පුර්ණ ලෙසම දෙවියන්වහන්සේද?
උන්වහන්සේගේ ගතිලක්ෂණ ඇත්තේ දෙවියන්වහන්සේට පමණය
පියාණන්වහන්සේ හා පුත්රයාණන්වහන්සේගේ දේවල් ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේටද සත්යය.
උන්වහන්සේ ත්රිත්වයේ අනෙක් පුද්ගලයින් සමග සම තලයක සහභාගිත්වයක් දරයි
යාවේ පරණ ගිවිසුමෙහි යම් දෙයක් කී අතර, ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ අළුත් ගිවිසුමෙහි එය කියයි. ( යෙසායා 6:1-13 සහ ක්රියා28:25; යෙරමියා31:31-34 සහ හෙබ්රෙව්10:15-17).
බෞතීස්ම සුත්රය ( මතෙව්28:19)
පරණ ගිවිසුමෙහි ශුද්ධාත්මයාණගේ ක්රියා
මැවිල්ල තුල උන්වහන්සේගේ කොටස
පරණ ගිවිසුමෙහි එළිදරව්වේ උන්වහන්සේගේ කොටස
මනුෂ්යයින් ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන් විසින් මෙහෙයවනු ලැබ දෙවියන්වහන්සේගෙන් කථා කළා. (2පේත්රැස්1:21).
මනුෂ්යයාට උන්වහන්සේගේගේ ඇති සම්බන්ධතාවය
තෝරාගත්තවුන් තුල වැඩ සිටීම
තුල: උත්පත්ති41:38, ගණන්කතාව27:18, දානියෙල්4:8
මත: 1සාමුවෙල්10:9-10, සාවුල්; විනිෂ්චයකාරයින්14:6, සැම්සන්
ඉවතයාම: විනිෂ්චය කාරයින්15:14 සමග විනිෂ්චයකාරයින්16:20
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ ජීවිතයෙහි ආත්මයාණන්
කන්යා උපත තුල
උන්වහන්සේගේ ජීවිතය තුල-
පිරීම හා මගපෙන්වීම: ලුක්4:1;
හාස්කම් කිරීමට බලවත්ව සිටීම: මතෙව්12:28
උන්වහන්සේගේ මරණය හා නැවත නැගිටීම තුල
උන්වහන්සේම පුජාවක්ලෙස පුජාවීම: හෙබ්රෙව්9:14
ප්රේරිතයන්ට උපදෙස් දීම: ක්රියා1:2
යේසුස්වහන්සේ ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන් එවීමට පොරොන්දු වෙයි
උන්වහන්සේගේ මරණයට පෙරදින රාත්රියේදී, යේසුස්වහන්සේ සහ උන්වහන්සේගේ ගෝලයින් පාස්කු මේසයේ සිටියදී උන්වහන්සේ ඔවුන්ට මීට පෙර කියා නොතිබු දේවල් කී සේක. උන්වහන්සේ විශේෂ කොට කීවේ ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේගේ පැමිණීම සහ උන්වහන්සේ කරන්නට යන ක්රියා ගැනය.
මන්ත්රීවරයාණෝ: parakletos, “ කෙනෙකුට ආධාර වන පිණිස සිටින කෙනා” එම තැනැත්තා නීති උපදේශකයෙක්, මැදිහත්කාරයෙක්,හෝ බේරුම්කාරයෙක් හෝ විය හැකිය.1යොහාන්2:1හි එය යොදා ඇත්තේ යේසුස්වහන්සේටය.ආත්මයාණන්ගේ කාර්ය වනුයේ යේසුස්වහන්සේ මෙහි, පොළොවේ මනු කයක් තුල සිටින විට කළාක් මෙන් ඇදහිලිවන්තයාට දෙවියන්වහන්සේ ඉදිරිපත් කිරීමය. වෙනත් යන වචනය සඳහා, වචන දෙකක් ඇත. එකකින් කියන්නේ වෙනත් වර්ගයක කෙනෙක්.
isone යන වචනයෙන් කියන්නේ එම වර්ගයේම යනුය. යෙසුස්වහන්සේ ස්වර්ගයට ආපසු යමින් සිටියා, නමුත් උන්වහන්සේ සහ පියාණන්වහන්සේ ඇදහිලිවතුන් සමග මෙම පොළොවේ සිටීමට වෙනත් පුද්ගලයෙකු ඒවීමට සිටියා. වෙනත් පුද්ලයෙකුගේ වෙනස වනුයේ උන්වහන්සේලා සමග සිටි ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ, යේසුස්වහන්සේ තුල වැඩ සිට, යේසුස්වහන්සේ ස්වර්ගයට ආපසු යාමය. යේසුස්වහන්සේ ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්, එනම් සත්යතාවයේ ආත්මයාණන් නම් පුද්ගලයා තුල නිතර වැඩ සිටින සේක. කෙසේවුවද මේ වෙලොවේ යේසුස්වහන්සේ මෙන් සියළු මිනිසුන්ට දෙවියන්වහන්සේ විද්යාමාන වන්නේ නැත. ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ පැමිණි කල, උන්වහන්සේගේ මෙවර ප්රථමික වශයෙන් ඇදහිලිවතුන්ටය. උන්වහන්සේ ලෝකයේ තරංග ආයාමය මත ක්රියාත්මක වන්නේ නැත.
අපට නවගිවිසුමේ වාර්ථාව විශ්වාස කිරීමට හැකිවීමට හේතුව මෙයයි. ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන් වහන්සේ සියලු දේවල් උගන්වන බවටත්, යේසුස්වහන්සේ ඔවුන්ට උගන්වා තිබු හැමදෙයක්ම සිහිගන්වන බවටත් තම ගෝලයින්ටපොරොන්දු වී සිටි සේක. නව ගිවිසුමේ දිව්යමය කතුවරයා උන්වහන්සේ පරණ ගිවිසුමේදී වාගේම, ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේය.
ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේගේ මෙහි විස්තර කළ මෙහෙවරෙහි ප්රධාන අංග තුනක් තිබේ.
ලෝකයට: පාපය ඒත්තු ගැන්වීම, ධර්මිෂ්ඨකම හා විනිෂ්චය.
වරද ඒත්තුගැනීම යනු සත්යය ඒත්තු ගැනීමට කරුණු දැක්වීම හෝ අනාවරණය කිරීම.
පාපය ඒත්තු ගැනීම
ආත්මයාණන් මනුෂ්යයින්ට නිකම්ම වරද තබන්නේ නැත; උන්වහන්සේ දෙවියන්වහන්සේ හමුවේ ඔවුන්ගේ ලජ්ජාව හා කරගත හැකි දෙයක් නැතිකම වටහාගත හැකිවන පරිදි වරදෙහි බේරීමට බැරි සංවේදනයක් ඔවුන්ට ගෙනදෙන සේක. දෙවියන්වහන්සේ මනුෂ්ය වර්ගයාට විරුද්ධව දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ නඩුව දෙවියන්වහන්සේට ඉදිරිපත් කර ලජ්ජාවට පමුණුවන නීතිඥයා ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේය. මනුෂ්යයා වරදට පත් කරන ඉහළම පාපය විශ්වාස නොකිරීමයි. මෙය සුභාරංචිය හා එය ඉදිරිපත් කරන ගැළවුම්කරු මුළුමනින්ම ප්රතික්ෂේප කිරීමක්ය.
ධර්මිෂ්ඨකම ඒත්තු ගැනීම
පාපය අර්ථ දක්වන, දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ ධර්මිෂ්ඨකමත් මනුෂ්යයාගේ පාප ස්වභාවයත් අතර පවතින අසීමිත පරතරය දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ ධර්මිෂ්ඨ කමෙහි ප්රමිතියක් ලෙස ආත්මයණන්වහන්සේ පැහැදිලි කරයි. එම පරතරය පියවීම මනුෂ්යයාට තමා විසින්ම කරගැනීමට පුළුවන්කමක් නැත. යේසුස්වහන්සේගේ ධර්මිෂ්ඨකමෙහි සම්බන්ධතාවය උන්වහන්සේගේ නැවතනැගිටීම හා ස්වර්ගයටනැගීම යන කරුණ, යොමුකරන්නේ පාපයට කමාව දෙනු ලැබීම සහ දෝෂමුක්ත කිරීම, දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ ධර්මිෂ්ඨ සේවකයා විසින් කරනු ලබන බවටය.
විනිෂ්චය ඒත්තු ගැන්වීම
ධර්මිෂ්ඨකමෙහි ප්රමිතීන් උල්ලංඝනය වනවිට, විනිෂ්චයක්, වරදට පත්කිරීමක් ඇත්තේය.
කුරුසිය මත යේසුස්වහන්සේගේ මරණය, පසුදා වරදට පත්කිරීම හා “මේ ලෝකයේ කුමාරයා”, සාතන්ට පරාජය ගෙන එන්නට ඇත. වරදට පත්කළා යන වචනය කාලාර්ථයෙන් සමථවු බවක් ප්රකාශ වෙයි. සාතන් දැනටමත් ස්ථිර සදාකාලික විනිෂ්චයක් යටතේය. එයින් කියවෙන්නේ යේසුස් ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ අදහානොගන්නා අයටද එම ඉරණමෙන් බේරීමට පුළුවන්කමක් නැති බවය.
ආත්මයාණන්වහන්සේගේ ඒත්තුගැන්වීමේ ක්රියාව යනු, ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ තම පුද්ගලික ගැළවුම්කාරයා ලෙස පිළිගත්තත් නැතත් එය සත්ය ලෙස පිළිගැනීමට හැකි වන පරිදි ශුභාරංචියේ සත්යතාවය, ගැළවීම නොලැබු පුද්ගලයෙකු හමුවේ පැහැදිලි ආලෝකයක තැබීමය. ඒත්තු ගැන්වීම යනු ආත්මය ගැළවීම නොව, පණිවිඩය පැහැදිලි කිරීමය.
ගෝලයින්ට: මග පෙන්වීම හා සත්යය
යේසුස් වහන්සේ උන්වහන්සේගේ මිත්රයින්ට තව බොහෝ දේවල් කීමට ඇති නමුත් ඒවා පිළිගැනීමට ඔවුන් පරිනත මදි බව කීසේක. ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ උන්වහන්සේට
දීමට ඇති සියල්ල ගැන පුර්ණ අවබෝධයක් තුලට ගෙනඒමට මග පෙන්වන්නට ඇත. ඔවුන් දැනටමත් ඉගෙනගෙන ඇති මුලධර්ම නොකඩවා සංවර්ධනය කරන සේක. උන්වහන්සේ පැමිණෙන සිදුවීම් ගැන උගන්වන්නට ඇත. ඔවුන් ගේ ආත්මික වර්ධයේ ප්රමාණයට උන්වහන්සේ සත්යය එළිදරව් කරන්නට ඇත. උන්වහන්සේ නොදන්නා අනාගතය තුලට මගපෙන්වන්නෙක් වන්නට ඇත.
උන්වහන්සේ පරීක්ෂා කිරීමට
උන්වහන්සේ මහිමවත් කිරීමට
ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේගේ ප්රධාන කටයුත්ත යේසුස් ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ එළිදරව් කිරීම හා මහිමවත් කිරීමයි. උන්වහන්සේගේ අරමුණ තමාම ප්රමුඛ බවට පත්කර ගැනීම නොව, ශුද්ධස්ථානය තුල වු පහන් රුක මත අදෘෂ්යමාන තෙල් වලින් මහිමත්වී දැල්වෙන පහන් ආලෝකයෙන් එළිදරව් කළාක් මෙන්, යේසුස් නම් පුද්ගලයා විශාල කර, එළිදරව් කර මහිමවත් කිරීමයි. සමහරවිට අප ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන් වැඩි වැදගත්කමක් දී යේසුස්වහන්සේ අවම කරනවා එය ශුද්ධ ලියවිලි වලට අනුකූල නොවන දෙයකි. මෙය කරන ඕනෑම ආගමික ව්යාපර වලින් ප්රෙවේසම්වන්න.
ගැළවීමෙහි ආත්මයාණන්වහන්සේගේ කාර්ය භාරය
ප්රති උත්පාදනය (තීතස්3:5)
මෙය ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ අදහාගන්නා කෙනෙකුට සදාකාලික ජීවනය බෙදා දෙන දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ අධිස්වාභාවික ක්රියාවයි: නව ස්වභාවය (2කොරින්ති5:17)
ඇතතුලාන්ත වැඩ සිටීම ( 1කොරින්ති6:19)
ආත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ සෑම ඇදහිලිවන්තයෙකු තුලම, ඔහුගේ ආත්මික තත්වය වැඩසිටින සේක. කොරින්තිවරු සිහියට ගන්න- 1කොරින්ති3:3;
(ලෝකාකාරයෙන්, ලෞකික) 5:1;(අසභ්ය), 6 (මිසදිටු උසාවි වල නඩු අසන)
ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන් නොසිටීම ගැළවීම නොලැබ ඇති බවට සාක්ෂියකි.රෝම8:9
ඇදහිලිවන්තයෙක් තමා තුල ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන් වැඩ සිටින බව දැනගන්නේ කොහොමද?
- දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ වචනය විශ්වාස කරන්න යොහාන්14:16-17
- සාක්ෂි සඳහා කිතුණු අත්දැකීම. ඔබ වර්ධනය වෙමින් සිටිනවාද?
ඔබ තවත් පාපයට සංවේදීද? බෞතීස්මවීම (1කොරින්ති12:13)
ඇදහිලිවතුන් ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ ශරීරය තුල තැබීම.
එය සියලුම ඇදහිලිවතුන් සඳහා
එක්වරක් පමණක්. සාක්ෂි සඳහා සළකුණු නැත.
මුද්රා කිරීම ( එපීස4:30)
පියාණන්වහන්සේ සෑම ඇදහිලිවන්තයෙක්ම ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්ගෙන් මුද්රා කර තිබෙනවා. 2කොරින්ති1:22; එපීස1:13;4:30
සංකල්පය අයිතිකාරිත්වය, අධිකාරිත්වය සහ ආරක්ෂාව යන අදහස් ඇතුලත්ය. මිදීමේ දවස දක්වා අපි දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ අයිතිය හා අරක්ෂාව ලෙස සිටින්නෙමු. එම මුද්රාව කැඩිය හැක්කේ දෙවියන්වහන්සේට පමණය. උන්වහන්සේ අප සුරක්ෂිතව ස්වර්ගයට ගෙන යන බවට පොරොන්දු වී තිබෙනවා.
සහතිකවීම: (2කොරින්ති5:5, එපීස1:13බී14)
අපට ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ සිටිනවා යනු ගැළවීම සමග වෙනත් සෑම දෙයක්ම ලැබෙන බවට දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ සහතිකවීම අපට තිබෙනවා. උන්වහන්සේ අත්තිකාරමයි. ඉතිරිය නිෂ්චිතයි. මෙය අපට දියයුතු කෙතරම් සහතික වීමක්ද!
ඇදහිලිවතුන් තුල ආත්මයාණන්ගේ කාර්යය
උන්වහන්සේ ආත්මික දීමනා දෙයි: සේවය සඳහා දෙවියන්වහන්සේගෙන් ලැබෙන හැකියාවන්
දෙන දීමනවන් මොනවාදැයි කියා තෝරන්නේ උන්වහන්සේය. උන්වහන්සේ පරම බලධාරියාය. සෑම කෙනෙක්ම අන් අය ශරීරය තුල ගොඩනැගීමට සුදානම් කිරීම සඳහා යම් දෙයක් දෙනු ලබයි.
කිවෙකුට සියලුම දීමනා නැත. සෑම කෙනෙකුටම දී ඇති එක දීමනාවක් නැත.
උන්වහන්සේ පිරෙන සේක ( එපීස5:18).
“පිරෙමින් පවතින්නේය, ආත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ විසින් පාලනය කරමින් ඇත්තේය. අප සැබෑ කිතුණු ජීවිතයක් ගතකිරීමට යනවා නම් ආත්මයෙන් පිරීම ඉතා අත්යවශ්යය. (ක්රියා2:4, 4:31).
1.දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ භාවිතය හා පාලනය සඳහා තමාම කැපවන්න (රෝම12:1-2).
2. ආත්මයාණන්වහන්සේට දුක් නොදෙන්න(එපීස4:30).
3. ආත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ මත රඳා පවතින්න. හැසිරීම රඳාපැවතීමේ ජීවිතයකි.(ගලාති5:16)
පිරෙමින් සිටීමේ ප්රතිඵල
එපීස5:18-21: නමස්කාරය, ප්රතිඵල, ගී ගායනය, ස්තුතිවන්තවීම,අවනතවීම, සේවය.
ගලාති5:22-23: ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ වාගේ චරිතය
උන්වහන්සේ උගන්වනසේක ( යොහාන්14:25).
උන්වහන්සේ උගන්වන්නේ කෙසේද? උන්වහන්සේ ශුද්ධ ලියවිලි එළිය කරන සේක. උන්වහන්සේ ඒවා ජීවමාන කර අපේ විශේෂිත තත්වට ව්යවහාර කරන සේක. උන්වහන්සේ පොත්, දේශන, පාඩම්, සහ වෙනත් අයගේ උපදේශන භාවිතා කරනවා ඇත. උන්වහන්සේ ඔබගේ හදවතට ඇතුලාන්ත හඬකින් කථා කරන සේක. නමුත් උන්වහන්සේ කිසිවිටෙක වචනය පරස්පර විරෝධී කරන්නේ නැත. “කෙනෙක් මෙය කිරීමට දෙවියන්වහන්සේ මට මට මෙය කරන්නැයි කීවා” යයි කියනවිට, හා එය ශුද්ධ ලියවිල්ලට පටහැනි වන විට, ඔවුන් රැවටිලිකාරයෝත් බොරුකාරයෝත්ය. සියල්ල බයිබලය සමග පරීක්ෂාකර බලන්න.
උන්වහන්සේ මගපෙන්වන සේක. රෝම8:14).
උන්වහන්සේ ශුද්ධ ලියවිල්ල තුලින්, අවස්ථා තුලින්, අන් අය තුලින්, මග පෙන්වන සේක. නමුත් බොහෝසේ උන්වහන්සේගේ සමාදානය තුලින් අපේ හදවතට මග පෙන්වන සේක (කොලොස්සි3:15)
උන්වහන්සේ සහතිකවම දෙන සේක (රෝම8:16).
අප සැබවින්ම දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ දරුවන් බව ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ සහතික කරන සේක. අපට උන්වහන්සේගේ වැඩසිටීම තුලට පැමිණ අබ්බා පියාණෙනි යයි හඬගැසීමට පුළුවන.
උන්වහන්සේ යාඤා කරන සේක(රෝම8:26).
මම යාඤා කරන්නේ කෙසේදයි හෝ යාඤා කරන්නේ කුමක්දැයි නොදන්නාවිට ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ මැදිහත්වී මාගේ යාඤා තෝරා දෙන විටඑය මට විශ්වාස කළ නොහැකි සුවපහසුවකි. උන්වහන්සේ මගේ දුර්වලකම දන්නාසේක. උන්වහන්සේ දඬුවම් නියම කරන්නේ නැහැ. දොස් කියන්නේවත් අත්හරින්නේවත් නැහැ. උන්වහන්සේ දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ කැමැත්තට අනුව මා වෙනුවෙන් මැදිහත්කම් කරන සේක. දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ කැමැත්තද මගේ ජීවිතයට සැබවින්ම අවශ්ය සියල්ලයි. මා නොව උන්වහන්සේ සතුටු කරන්නට මගේ හදවත පිළියෙල කරගන්නේ නම් එම කැමැත්ත මට එළිදරව් කරන්නේ උන්වහන්සේය.
අපට කෙතරම් ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන් අවශ්යදැයි ඔබ දුටුවාද? උන්වහන්සේ මෙහි අප සමග නොසිටිනාවා නම් දෙවියන්වහන්සේ දුරස්ථ වනවා ඇත. අපේ ගැළවීම හා ආරක්ෂාව ගැන අපට සහතිකයක් නොමැතිවනවා ඇත. අප ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ නැවත පැමිණීමක් කිසිවිටෙක නොදකිනවා ඇත. දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ ලෝකය අප තේරුම් නොගන්නවා ඇත. දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ වැඩ සිටීමවත් උන්වහන්සේගේ ප්රේමය සහතික වීමක්වත් අපට නොදැනෙනවා ඇත. අප සැබවින්ම උන්වහන්සේට අයිති බව සහතික කරගැනීමට නොහැකිවනවා ඇත. අප පාපයට වැඩි සංවේදනයක් ඇති නොවිය හැක. අප කිතුණු චරිතයයෙහි වර්ධනය නොවනවා විය හැක. අපට කාර්යක්ෂමව හා ප්රීතියෙන් ස්වාමීන්වහන්සේට සේවය කිරීමට නොහැකිවනවා ඇත. නමුත් අපට උන්වහන්සේ සිටින අතර වඩාත් ඵලදායි ප්රීතිමත් ජීවිතයක් ඇතිව, සුරක්ෂිතව අපේ කැමැත්ත උන්වහන්සේගේ පාලනය යටතට අප විසින්ම උන්වහන්සේගේ අත්වලට භාර වීමට හැකිය.
කියවන්න 1කොරින්ති2:10-11; එපීස4:30; 1කොරින්ති12:11; රෝම8:26; ක්රියා8:39
1. උන්වහන්සේ බලයක් හෝ දෙයක් හෝ නොව පුද්ගලයෙක් බව ඔප්පු කරන ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්ට ඇති ලක්ෂණ මොනවාද? පුද්ගලයෙකුට පමණක් කළ හැකි, උන්වහන්සේ සිදු කරන ක්රියා මොනවාද? මෙය තේරුම්ගැනීමේ ඇති වැදගත්කම කුමක්ද?
කියවන්න 1කොරින්ති2:11-12; ගීතාවලිය139:7; යොහාන්3:5-6; ලුක්1:35; ගීතාවලිය104:30
2. අත්මාණයන්වහන්සේට ලබාදී ඇති දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ ස්වභාවයන් මොනවාද? උන්වහන්සේට ලබාදී ඇති, දෙවියන්වහන්සේට පමණක් කළ හැකි ක්රියා මොනවාද? උන්වහන්සේ ක්රියා5:3-4 හි කියා ඇත්තේ මොනවාද? මෙය වැදගත්වන්නේ ඇයි?
කියවන්න මතෙව් 28:19;2කොරින්ති 13:14
3. මෙම පද වලින් ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන් දෙවියන්වහන්සේ හා සමාන බව තවදුරටත් ඔප්පු කිරීමට දී ඇත්තේ මොනවාද?
කියවන්න යොහාන් 14:25-27;1526; 16:5-15
4. යේසුස්වහන්සේ ආත්මයාණන් එවන බව කියන්නේ කවුද? යේසුස්වහන්සේට කියන්නේ කුමක්ද? ආත්මයාණන් ගෝලයින් සඳහා කුමක් කරනවා ඇතැයි උන්වහන්සේ කීවාද? හැමවිටම ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්ගේ ක්රියාවල අරමුණ කුමක්ද?(යොහාන්16:13-15)
කියවන්න යොහාන්16:8 තීතස්3:5; 1කොරින්ති6:19;12:13; එපීස4:30
5. අපේ ගැළවීම තුල ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේගේ කාර්ය කුමක්ද? මෙම එකිනෙක ක්රියා වලින් කියන්නේ මොනවාද? මෙය දෙවියන්වහන්සේ සමග ඔබේ ඇති සම්බන්ධතාවය ගැන ඇත්තේ කුමන සහතිකයක්ද?
කියවන්න 1කොරින්ති12:8-10;එපීස5:18; යොහාන්16:12-15;රෝම8:14,16,26
6. ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ ඇදහිලිවන්තයාගේ ජීවිතය තුල කරන්නේ මොනවාද? උන්වහන්සේ සේවය සඳහා අප සුදානම් කරන්නේ කෙසේද? දේව වචනයයෙහි අපගේ අවබෝධය තුල උන්වහන්සේගේ කොටස කුමක්ද? උන්වහන්සේ අපට ආරක්ෂාව දෙන්නේ කෙසේද? උන්වහන්සේ අපේ යාඤා තෝරා ගන්නේ හා හා ඒවා බලවත් කරන්නේ කෙසේද?
7. ඔබේ ක්රිස්තියාණි ජීවිතයේ දැක්ම කෙරෙහි ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන් යන පුද්ගලයා සහ උන්වහන්සේගේ ක්රියා ඔබ කෙසේ තේරුම් ගන්නේද? ඔබේම බලයෙන් ඔබ දේව භක්තික ජීවිතයක් ගතකිරීම දෙවියන්වහන්සේ බලාපොරොත්තු නොවන බව ඔබ දකිනවාද? ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ ඔබ තුල ක්රියා කිරීමට ඉඩදීම සඳහා ඔබ කළයුත්තේ මොනවාද?
සම්බන්ධිත මාතෘකා: ප්රාණ වේදය ( ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්), විෂය මාලාව
6. God Conquers Self-Reliance (Judges 6:33-8:32, Gideon)Related Media
Judges: A Drifting People, A Delivering God (part six)
Sometimes it's easier to rely on the Lord when we've come to the end of our resources. And sometimes God brings us seasons of want so that we can learn to depend on Him. That's certainly what God did to Gideon and his army. To protect Gideon and his men from relying on their numbers in battle, God reduced the army to an absurd level. They were forced to trust the Lord, and compelled to render Him the credit when the dust had settled. But God also wants us to rely on Him when we enjoy seasons of plenty. Will you depend on the Lord in times of plenty and want?
කිතුණු ඇදහිල්ලේ මුලධර්ම-7 කිතුණු සභාවRelated Media
සභාව යනු කුමක්ද? එය පටන්ගත්තේ කවදාද? කිතුණුවන් අතර බොහෝ නිකායන් තිබෙන්නේ ඇයි? මෙම කණ්ඩායම බයිබල් සභාවක නමස්කාර කරන්නේ ඇයි?
ekklesia. යනු සභාවට ග්රීක් වචනයයි. එයින් කියන්නේ විශේෂ අරමුණකට කැඳවා ඇති රැස්වීමක් යන්නය.
අපට ඉගෙනීමට ඇති පළමු දෙය නම් බයිබලය සභාව තුල වෙනස් ආකාර දෙකකට කථා කරයි: ජීවමාන කොටස් වලින් සමන්විතවු විශ්ව සභාව, සහ සංවිධානයක් ලෙස පවතින, ස්ථානික නැතහොත් ප්රදේශබදව ඇති සභාව.
විශ්ව සභාව- කොටස් වලින් සමන්විත
අර්ථදැක්වීම: විශ්ව සභාව ඇදහිලිවතුන් ප්රකාශයට පත් කරමින්, ඉශ්රායෙල් ජාතියෙන් වෙනස්ව පවතින්නාවු, ප්රාද්ශීය නිකායන් වලට හෝ අනුබද්ධ නිකායන් වලට සීමාවී නැති, පළමුවෙනි පෙන්තකොස්ත දවසේදී පිහිටුවන ලද, ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේගේ බෞතීස්මය තුලින්, ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ ශරීරය ගොඩනගමින්,සිටින්නේය. එය පෙන්තකොස්ත දවසේ සිට අද දක්වා, ජීවත්ව සිටින හෝ මියගිය, ඔවුන්ගේ ඇදහිල්ල යේසුස් ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ තුල, තිබෙන අය විශ්ව සභාවේ සාමාජිකයින්ය. ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ හිසව සිටින ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ ශරීරයයි.( එපීස1:22)
යේසුස්වහන්සේ සභාව ගැන කීවේ මොනවාද?
කියවන්න මතෙව් 16:18-19.
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ සභාව ගැන කථා කළේ අනාගතය ලෙසය.
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ මෙම වචන කථා කරන විට සභාව තවමත් අනාගතයේය. එනම් උන්වහන්සේ මෙම පොළොවේ සිටින විට සභාව පැවතුනේ නැත. සභාව ගොඩනගා ඇති අත්තිවාරම කාගේ මත හෝ කුමක් මතද? ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ කියන පර්වතය කුමක්ද?
පේත්රැස් ඔහු විසින්ම කියන්නේ පර්වතය ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ කියාය. (1පේත්රස්2:4-8); 1 කොරින්ති3:11, වෙනත් අත්තිවාරමක් නැත(එපීස2:20).
නැතහොත් එය කියන්නේ පේත්රැස්ගේ පාපොච්චාරණයයි “ඔබ ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේය, ජීවමාන දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ පුත්රයාය. පර්වතයය. විශ්ව සභාවේ සාමාජිකයින් බවට පත්වන සෑම කෙනෙක්ම මෙය පිළිගත යුතු බැවින් එය යේසුස්වහන්සේ ගැන සත්යයයි.
සභාව උපත ලැබුවේ කවදාද?
ක්රියා1:5 සහ 2:1-4
යේසුස්වහන්සේ ආපසු ස්වර්ගයට නැගී දවස් දහයකට පමණ පසු පෙන්තකොස්ත දිනයේදී සභාව උපත ලැබීය.
ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේ සෑම ඇදහිලිවන්තයෙකුම තුල පුද්ගලිකව හා ස්ථිරව වැඩසිටීම පිණිස ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ ශරීරය තුලට පැමිණි සේක. යේසුස්වහන්සේට නත්තල මෙන් කිතුණු සභාවට පෙන්තකොස්ත දවසයි. උන්වහන්සේ පැමිණියේ වෙනස් ආකාර වලින් සියලු ඇදහිලිවතුන්ට සම්බන්ධවීමටය.
පාවුල් සභාව ගැන කථා කරන්නේ එය අභිරහසක් ලෙසය.
කියවන්න එපීස 3:6
මෙම අභිරහස නම් යුදෙව්වරු සහ අන්යජාතිකයින් ශුද්ධාත්මයාණන්වහන්සේගේ බෞතීස්මය තුලින් එකට එකතුවී නව භාවයක් ඇතිවීමය. මෙහි සාමාජිකත්වය සඳහා අවශ්ය එකම සුදුසුකම වන්නේ නැවත නැගිටුන ගැළවුම්කරු තුල අදහාගැනීමය. විශ්ව සභාව යනු මුළුමනින්ම අදහාගන්නාවු යුදෙව්වරු හා අන්ය ජාතිකයින්ගෙන් සැදුම්ලත් අළුත් දෙයක්ය. මේ අනුව පෙන්තකොස්තයේ පටන්, ජීවත්ව සිටින හා මියගිය සෑම ඇදහිලිවන්තයෙක්ම ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ ශරීරයේ, විශ්ව සභාවේ සාමාජිකයෙක් වන බව පැහැදිලිය. මියගිය ඇදහිලිවතුන් අප එක්වීමට බලා සිටින ස්වාමීන්වහන්සේගේ දවසේදී ස්වාමීන්වහන්සේ සමග ජීවමාන වන්නෝය.
ස්ථානික සභාව- සංවිධානයක්
අර්ථ දැක්වීම: ස්ථානික සභාව යනු ප්රකාශ වෙමින් සිටින, නියෝගයන් පවත්වන, ඇදහිලිවතුන්ගේ එකට රැස්වීමක්ය. එය කිසියම් පාලන ව්යුහයක් යටතේ සංවිධානගතව, ඔවුන්ගේ ජන සමුහයට ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ පිණිස බලපෑමක් වෙමින් දෙවියන්වහන්සේට කරන ප්රසිද්ධ නමස්කාරය තුලින් සාමාජිකයින්ගේ ශික්ෂණය, නැතිවු අය වෙත ශුභාරංචිය පතුරවමින් කටයුතු කරයි.
විශ්ව සභාව තුල හා ස්ථානීක සභාව තුල සමාජිකයින් අතර වෙනසක් ඇත. විශ්ව සභාව සමන්විත වනුයේ ඇදහිලිවතුන්ගෙන් පමණය, නමුත් ස්ථානික සභාවෙහි ඇදහිලිවතුන් යයි කියාගන්නා නමුත් සැබවින්ම එසේ නොවන සාමාජිකයින්ද සිටිය හැක. ස්ථානික සභාවේ සාමාජිකයෙක් වුවත් ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ ශරීරයේ සාමාජිකයෙක් නොවෙන්නට පුළුවන.
එසේ වියහැක්කේ නොසැලකිලිමත් කමෙන් හෝ රැවටිල්ල තුලින්ය. සමහර සභාවන් ඔවුන්ගේ චාරිත්ර තුලින් යායුතු බව ඉල්ලා සිටියත් ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ තුල ඇදහිල්ල සැබවින්ම ගළවන්නේ කුමක්දැයි කියා පැහැදිලි කරන්නේවත්, පුද්ගලයා එම තීරණය ගෙන තිබෙනවාද කියා නිෂ්චය කරන්නේවත් නැත. සමහර මිනිසුන්, ඔවුන් විශ්වාස කරනවා යයි කියන්නට පුළුවන, නමුත් බොරුකාරයින් හා කුහකයින්ය. අපේ සභාවෙහි සෑම පුද්ගලයෙකුටම ඔවුන් තම ගැළවුම්කරු හැටියට ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ අදහාගන්නා විට ඔවුන්ගේ සාක්ෂිය ඉදිරිපත් කිරීමට එක්වීමට කැමති අය දිරිමත් කරවනවා. නමුත් තවමත් අප මෝඩයින් වෙන්න පුළුවන්. හදවත දන්නේ දෙවියන්වහන්සේ පමණයි!
කිතුණු නිකායන් බෙහොමයක් තිබෙන්නේ ඇයි?
බොහෝ නිකායන් පටන්ගන්නේ කිතුණු ඇදහිල්ලේ මුලික න්යායන් වලට එකග වෙමින්ය. නමුත් ඔවුන් අනෙක් දේවල් වලට එකග නොවෙයි. එනම් - බෞතීස්ම විධිය, ගැළවීම නැතිවෙන්නට හැකිද කියා, ශාරීරික සුව කිරීම්, ආශිර්වාදාත්මක දීමනා,
සභා පාලනය, නමස්කාර මාදිලිය. මම විශ්වාස කරන්නේ විවිධත්වය වෙනස් පුද්ගලයින්ගේ අවශ්යතා සපුරන බවයි. සමහරු චාරිත්රානුකූල දේවමෙහෙයේ ක්රමයට කැමතියි. සමහරු ශක්තිමත් බයිබල් ඉගැන්වීම් වලට කැමතියි. සමහරු අක්රමවත් මෙහෙයන් වලට කැමතියි. සමහරු බොහෝ උද්වේගකාරීද තවත් සමහරු බොහෝ අඩු උද්වේගකාරී මෙහෙයන්ටද කැමතියි.
සභා පාලනයේ මුලික ආකාර තුනකි.
Episcopalian (Episkopos): සභාවේ අධිකාරිත්වය පවතින්නේ බිෂොප්වරයා මතය. (මෙතඩිස්ට් සරලය; මෙම ගණයේ ඇන්ග්ලිකන් වඩා සංකීර්ණය; රෝමනු කතෝලික, රෝමයේ බිෂොප් පාප්තුමාගේ නායකත්වය යටතේ ධුරානුක්රම පාලනයක් ඇත.)
Presbyterian (Presbuteros): අධිකාරිත්වය පවතින්නේ සභාවෙන්,වැඩිහිටියන් විසින් පත් කරනු ලබන නියෝජිත කණ්ඩායමක් මතය.(ප්රෙස්බෙටීරියන්, ප්රතිසංස්කෘත, හා සමහර බයිබල් සභා)
Congregational: මෙම ආකාරයේ සභා වල, කාරණ වලදී අවසන් අධිකාරිත්වය සභාව සතු කරන පුද්ගලික කිතුණුවාගේ භූමිකාව අවධාරණය කරයි. සෑම සාමාජිකයෙකුටම ජන්දයක් ඇත. (බැප්ටිස්ට්, නිදහස්, ධර්මදුත, බයිබල් හා ස්වාධීන සභාවන්). අපේ සභාව, මෙහි අවසන් දෙවර්ගයෙහි සංයුක්තයකි: වැඩිහිටියන් විසින් පාලනය කරනු ලබන, මණ්ඩලයක් මගින් ක්රියාත්මක වන, සභා පාලක, සහකාර සභා පාලක, හා අයවැය වාර්ථා සභාවේ ජන්ද මගින් තීරණය වන සභාවකි. (මෙහි මුල් ලිපිය රචනය කරන තැනැත්තා)
වැඩිහිටියන්ගේ වගකීම ආත්මික නායකත්වයයි. මෙම කාර්ය මණ්ඩල වලට නියමවන මිනිසුන් හා ඔවුන්ගේ සුදුසුකම් හමුවන බයිබල් පද නම්: 1තිමොති3:1-7 සහ මිනිසුන්ට මෙම කාර්ය තහනම් කරන පද නම් තීතස්1:6-9 සභාව දර්ශනාත්මක වැරදි වලින් ආරක්ෂා කර සභාවට දෙවියන්වහන්සේගේ බැටළු රැල බලාගන්නා එඩේරුන් මෙන් සේවය කිරීම ඔවුන්ගේ වගකීමයි. (ක්රියා20:17,28)
ඩීකන්වරුන් වැඩිහිටියන්ගේ ආත්මික අධිකාරිත්වය යටතේ නායකත්වයේ ප්රායෝගික වැඩ කරනු ලබති. සභා සාමාජිකත්වය තුල අවශ්යතාවයන් ඇති අය ගැන සොයා බලා ඔවුන් ඒ ගැන කටයුතු කරති. කාන්තාවන්ටද ඩීකන් කෙනෙකු වීමට පුළුවන. (රෝම16:1; 1තිමොති3:8-11).
ස්ථානික සභාවේ අණ පනත්
ආඥා: “සභාව විසින් ක්රියාවේ යෙදිය යුතු ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ නියම කළ පිටාතර ආගමික වතාවත්. සමහරු මේවාට සක්රම්න්තු යයිද කියනු ලබනවා.
සක්රෙම්න්තුව: “සක්රෙම්න්තුවක් යනු දිව්යමය ආයතනයකින් බලය ඇති හැඟීම් වලට ප්රදානය කරනු ලබන යම් දෙයක්ය. එය සංකේතවත් කිරීමක් පමණක් නොව, කාර්යක්ෂමව අනුග්රහය අවගමනය කිරීමකුත්ය.- RC Council of Trent.
ස්වාමීන්වහන්සේගේ රාත්රී භොජනය හෝ බෞතීස්මය අනුග්රහය අවගමනය කිරීමේ විධි යයි අප විශ්වාස කරන්නේ නැහැ. අප විශ්වාස කරන්නේ ඒවා කරනු ලබන්නේ ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ නියෝග වලට කීකරුවීම දැනටමත් ඇතුලාන්තයේ, අපේ හදවත් තුල සිදුවී ඇති දේ බාහිර වශයෙන් සිතුවම් කිරීමටය. මෙම අණ පනත් දෙකම, ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ මරණය, භූමදානය, හා නැවත නැගිටීම සිහිපත් කරවන්නේය.
baptizo. යන ග්රීක් වචනයේ ප්රාථමික අර්ථය ගිල්වීමය.
බෞතීස්මය සංකේතවත් කරන, පරණ ජීවිතයට මියයාමත් නව ජීවිතයට නැගිටීමත් සංකේතවත් කරන හොඳම සිතුවම ගිල්වීමයි. නමුත් බෞතීස්මය ගැන වාද විවාද කිරීමත් නිෂ්ඵලය. සෑම ඇදහිලිවන්තයෙක්ම ඔහු හෝ ඇය එය ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ නියෝග කර ඇති බව දැනගත් වහාම බෞතීස්ම වියයුතුය. එය ඔබගේ අනන්යතාවයට හා ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ සමග එක්සත් වු බවට ප්රසිද්ධියේ සාක්ෂි දැරීමයි. ඔබ ඇදහිලිවන්තයෙක් වීමට පෙර බෞතීස්මවී ඇත්නම්,
ඔබ ඇදහිලිවන්තයෙක් ලෙස බෞතීස්මය ලැබීමට පසුබට නොවන්න. බෞතීස්මය යනු ඔබේ ස්වාමීන්වහන්සේට අවනතවීමය.
ස්වාමීන්ගේ රාත්රී භෝජනය, සහභාගිකම, සත් ප්රසාදය
ස්වාමීන්ගේ රාත්රී භෝජනය පැවැත්වීමේ අරමුණු කීපයක්ම තිබෙනවා:
1. එය අපේ ස්වාමීන්වහන්සේගේ ජීවිතය, සහ මරණය සිහි කිරීමකි. මුහුන් නැති රොටී පව් උදෙසා පුජාවක් වීමට සුදුසුකම් ලත් අපේ ස්වාමීන්වහන්සේගේ ජීවිතයෙහි සම්පුර්ණත්වය නියෝජනය කරයි. මිදියුෂ නියෝජනය කරන්නේ අපේ පාප කමා කරන උන්වහන්සේගේ ලේ වැගිරීමයි.
2. 1කොරින්ති11:26 කියන්නේ මෙම සිහි කිරීමේ රාත්රී භෝජනය සුභාරංචියේ මුලික කරුණු ප්රකාශයට පත් කරන බවයි. එය ස්වාමීන්වහන්සේගේ මරණය ප්රකාශ කරයි.
3. එය යේසුස් ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ නැවත පැමිණෙන බව අපට සිහිපත් කරයි. උන්වහන්සේ පැමිණෙන තුරු අප එය පැවැත්වීමට නියමිතය.
4. එය ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ ශරීරය තුල අප එකිනෙකා සමග ඒකත්වයක සිටින බවද එම ශරීරයේ සහෝදර සාමජිකත්වය සමග සහභාගිත්වයෙන් සිටින බවද සිහිපත් කරයි. (1කොරින්ති10:17).
කොටස් කාර විය හැක්කේ කාටද?
යේසුස් ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ මරණය හා නැවත නැගිටීම තම පාප උදෙසා සිදු කර ඇතැයි විශ්වාස නොකරන අය විසින් එය නොකළ යුතුය.
නිකායක සාමාජිකත්වය ගැන නොසලකා ඕනෑම ඇදහිලිවන්තයෙකුට සහභාගි විය හැකිද? ඔව්, මෙය ස්වාමීන්වහන්සේගේ මේසයයි, එයට විශ්ව සභාවේ සියලු සාමාජිකයින් ආරාධිතය. එය බැප්ටිස්ට් හෝ කතෝලික හෝ බයිබල් සභාවක නොවේ. බාධාවීම නිකායික සම්බන්ධයක් පදනම්ව සිදුවේ නම් එය විශ්ව සභාවේ එක්සත්කම සඳහාවන කැඳවීමට එරෙහි වීමකි. (Communion at Lausanne)
අවවාදයය! 1කොරින්ති11:27-32: සහභාගිවීමට පෙර අපේ ආත්ම විමසීම හා පසුතැවිලිවීම අප විසින් කිරීමට ඇත. එසේ නොවුවොත් එය රෝගීවීම හා මරණයට පත්වීම පවා වියහැකි විනය කඩ කිරීමක් වනවා ඇත.
ස්ථානීය සභාවක් සඳහා අරමුණ
1. නමස්කාරය හා ස්වාමීන්වහන්සේ කෙරෙහිවු ප්රේමය පෙන්වීම( එළිදරව්2:4).
2. එහි සාමාජිකයින්ට එකිනෙකාට ප්රේම කිරීම හා යහපත් වැඩ කළ හැකිවන පරිදි මෙහෙවර කිරීම (හෙබ්රෙව්10:24).
3. මහා නියෝගය ඉටු කිරීම කරගෙන යන නියෝජිතයෙකු වීම, ඇදහිලිවතුන්ට ප්රතිචාර දැක්විය හැකි වන පරිදි දේව මෙහෙයන් වලදී ශුභාරංචිය දේශනා කිරීම.
4. සභාවේ අවශ්යතා ඇති අය ගැන සැලකිලි දැක්වීම උදා: වැන්දඹුවන්, අනාථ දරුවන්, හා දිළින්දන් ( යාකොබ්1:27;1තිමොති5:1-6).
5. ලෝකය තුල යහපත්කම් කිරීම (ගලාති6:10)
6. පරිනත ස්ථාවර හා ශුද්ධ කිතුණුවන් බිහිකිරීම ( කොලොස්සි1:28;හෙබ්රෙව්6:1; එපීස4:14-16). සදාචාරමය විනයක් ඇතිව මෙය න්යය තුල පවිත්රව, පැවතීම අරමුණු කරයි. (1කොරින්ති5,2තිමොති:16-18).
විශ්වීය සභාවේ නිරූපණ
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ එඬේරාය, අපි බැටළුවෝය. (යොහාන්10) රැකබලාගැනීම හා ආරක්ෂාව.
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ මිදි වැලය, අපි අතුය. (යොහාන්15)- ඵලදැරීම හා ශක්තිය.
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ කොනේ ගලය, අපි ගොඩනැගිල්ලේ ගල්ය. (එපීස2:19-21) කොනේ ගල දිශාවන් දෙනු ලබන අතර එය තබන්නේ එක වරක් පමණය.
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ උත්තම පුජකයාය, අපි පුජක රාජ්යයක්ය.(1පේත්රැස්2) - අපි අපම පුජා වන්නෙමු, අපේ භාවාර්ථය සහ අපේ සේවය.
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ හිසය, අපි උන්වහන්සේගේ ශරීරයේ අවයවයෝය.(1කොරින්ති12)- හිස හැටියට උන්වහන්සේ මගපෙන්වන සේක; සාමාජිකයින් හැටියට උන්වහන්සේ අපට දී ඇති ආත්මික දීමනාවල අභ්යාස තුලින් අපි එකිනෙකාට සේවය කරන්නෙමු.
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ මනමාලයාය, අපි උන්වහන්සේගේ මනමාලියයි.(එපීස5:25-33), එළිදරව්19:7-8) සදාකාලික ප්රේමය සහ සමීපත්වය.
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ උරුමක්කාරයාය, අපි සබැඳි උරුමක්කාරයෝය.(හෙබ්රෙව්1:2, රෝම1:17)- අපි උන්වහන්සේගේ මහිමය බෙදාගන්නෙමුව.
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ ප්රථම ඵලයයි, අපි අස්වැන්නයි.(1කොරින්ති15:23)- උන්වහන්සේගේ නැවත නැගිටීම අපගේ නැගිටීමද සහතික කරයි.
ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ ස්වාමියාය, අපි උන්වහන්සේගේ දාසයෝය (කොලොස්සි4:1, 1කොරින්ති7:22)- දාසයා කරන්නේ ස්වාමියාගේ කැමැත්තයි. ස්වාමියා දාසයා ගැන සලකන්නේය.
අප මෙම කරුණු භාවිතා කරන්නේ කෙසේද?
අපි සෑම නෙනෙක්ම විශ්ව සභාවේ සාමාජිකයින් බව සහතික කරගත යුතුය. අප නමස්කාර කරන්නේ කුමන සභාවේද යන්න ප්රශ්නයක් නොවේ.
විශ්වීය සභාවේ සාමාජිකත්වය ස්වාමීවු යේසුස් ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ ඔබේ ගැළවුම්කරු යයි විශ්වාසය තැබීමෙන් සුරක්ෂිතවේ. ඔබ විශ්ව සභාවේ, ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ ශරීරයේ සාමාජිකයෙක්, යයි දැනගැනීම මහත්වු සුරක්ෂිත කමකි. මෙම සහතිකවීම ඔබට වර්ධනයවීමට හා සේවය කිරීමට හැකි ස්ථානීය සභාව හඳුනාගැනීමට උනන්දුව ඇති කළ යුතුයි. අපේ සභාව වැනි සභාවන් බොහෝ කාරණ තුල සේවය කිරීමට සාමාජිකත්වයක් ඉල්ලා සිටින්නේ නැත. නමුත් ඔබ ආශිර්වාද ලබන, ආත්මිකව වර්ධනය වන සභාවට සහය දැක්වීම ඔබ පෙන්නුම් කරන හොඳ අදහසක් නොවනවා නොවේද?
සමිබන්ධ වනවා යනු මෙහි සිටින මිනිසුන් ඔබ විසින්ම හඳුනාගැනීමයි. ඔවුන් ඔබේ පවුලයි. ඔබ මුදල් දෙනවා, ඔබ අවශ්යතා ඇති අයටඋදව් කරනවා, ඔබ සහභාගිකම් පවත්වනවා, ඔබ සේවය කරනවා. සම්බන්ධවීම යනු කැපවීමයි! ඔබ මෙම සභාවට නිතිපතා පැමිණ එය ඔබේ සභාව යයි සලකනවා නම්,තමා සාමාජිකයෙක් වියයුතු යයි ඔබ සිතන්නේ නැද්ද? නව සාමාජිකත්ව පංති අඩු තරමින් වසරකට හතර වතාවක් පවත්වනවා. ඒවා පවත්වන්නේ අනුගාමී ඉරුදිනවල උදෑසනය. ඔබ සම්බන්ධවීමට ඉල්ලුම් කළොත් ඔබට ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ තුල ඔබේ පුද්ගලික සාක්ෂිය දිය හැකි වැඩිහිටියෙකු සමග සම්මුඛ පරීක්ෂණයක් තිබෙනවා. ඉන්පසු ඔබ සභාවට ඉදිරිපත් කරනවා ඇත.
අපේ න්යායික ප්රකාශනය ඔබට දැනුම්දී ඇතැයි මා බලාපොරොත්තු වෙනවා. දිරිමත් වන්න, ඔබේ සභාව විශ්වාස කරන්නේ මොනවාදැයි ඔබෙන් අසන ඕනෑම කෙනෙකුට උත්තර දීමට අවශ්ය සම්පත් වලින් ස්ථාවර වන්න.
කියවන්න මතෙව්16:13-18; ක්රියා2;1-4, 41-47
1. යේසුස්වහන්සේ මේ පොළොවේ සිටියදී සභාව ගැන කථා කළේ මොන කාලයෙන්ද? සභාව උපත ලැබුවේ කවදාද? සභාවේ ඇදහිලිවතුන්ගේ චරිත හැඩ ගැසෙන ක්රියාකාරකම් මොනවාද?
කියවන්න 1කොරින්ති3:9-10; එපීස19:22
2. සභාවේ එකම අත්තිවාරම කවුද?
කියවන්න 1තිමොති3:15; 1කොරින්ති12:13,27; එපීස2:19-22; එපීස5:30-32
3. මේ එක් එක් ජේද සභාව ගැන කියන්නේ මොනවාද? සෑම ලාංජනයකම ඇති වැදගත්කම කුමක්ද? ඔබ සිතන්නේ මෙය යොමු කරන්නේ ස්ථානික සභාවටද විශ්වීය සභාවටද? විශ්වීය සභාවේ සාමාජිකයින් කවුද? ඔවුන් ස්ථානික සභාවෙන් වෙනස් විය හැක්කේ කෙසේද?
4. ක්රිස්තුස්තුස්වහන්සේගේ ශරීරයේ සාමාජිකයින් ක්රියාත්මක වියයුතු විධිය ගැන මෙම ජේදය කියන්නේ මොනවාද? අප කවුරුන් වාගේද? වෙනස්ද? එකිනෙකා කෙරෙහි අපට තිබිය යුතු ආකල්ප මොනවාද? අපම කෙරෙහි තිබිය යුතු ආකල්ප මොනවාද?
කියවන්න මතෙව්26:26-29; ලුක්22:19-20; 1කොරින්ති11:23-31
5. යේසුස්වහන්සේ නැවත ලැමිණෙන තුරු පැවැත්වීමට උන්වහන්සේ නියෝග කළ වතාවත් මොනවාද? එය සිහිපත්කරන්නේ කුමක්ද? සහභාගිවීමට පෙර අපි සෑම කෙනෙක්ම කළයුත්තේ කුමක්ද? එය “නුසුදුසු ආකාරයෙන්” ගැනීම කෙරෙහි ඇති දඬුවම දඩුවම කුමක්ද?
කියවන්න මතෙව්228:18-20;ක්රියා2:36-47; රෝම6:1-5
6. යේසුස්වහන්සේ උන්වහන්සේගේ සභාවට පැවැත්වීමට නියෝග කළ අනෙක් වතාවත් මොනවාද? මුල් සභාවේ ඒවා කළේ කවදාද? එය සංකේතවත් කළේ කුමක්ද? එය අන්
කියවන්න යොහාන් 15:9-10
7. ඇදහිලිවතුන් බෞතීස්ම කළයුතුවීම හා රාත්රී භෝජනයට සහභාගිවීමේ ප්රධාන හේතුව කුමක්ද? අපේ කීකරුකම ඔප්පු කරන්නේ කුමක්ද? ඔබ ක්රිස්තුස්වහන්සේ අදහාගත්තාට පසු බෞතීස්ම වී තිබෙනවාද?
8. ස්ථානීය සභාවට කැපවීමට හා සම්බන්ධ වීමට අපට අත්මික පරිනත භාවයකට වර්ධනය වීම අවශ්යය වන්නේ ඇයි? ඇදිහිලිවතුන්ගේ ප්රාදේශීය සංවිධානයක පමණක් සිටීමෙන් අපට මගහැරීමට ඉඩ ඇත්තේ කුමක්ද? “මට සභාවකට යන්නට වුවමනා නැහැ, මමම දෙවියන්වහන්සේ නමස්කාර කරනවා යයි කියන ඇදහිලිවන්තයෙකුට ඔබ දෙන පිළිතුර කුමක්ද?
Issue 017. 2014 February Bible.org Translator's Newsletter
This last month has resulted in 4 new translated articles being added to the site. Thank you for your hard work this month, Tilak!
Hints and Tips
Tip: Have you wondered what free electronic dictionaries were available online to assist you as you were working on a translation?
- A direct search for a dictionary in your language can of course be very helpful, but has/is going through the effort to be a primary directory of “all” online bilingual and multilingual dictionaries and glossaries freely available on the internet.
- has also put together quite a list of easily searchable online dictionaries on their website. Most languages listed have multiple available dictionaries.
- Another website with links to hundreds of dictionaries is .
Hopefully these will be helpful resources to you as you work on accurately translating these important messages about God’s Word!
This month we had the joy of giving out two awards for translation efforts. These awards both went to Tilak for having already passed the 5 and now reached the 10 article milestones. He received ePub versions of the books Teaching as Jesus Taught by Roy B. Zuck and Enjoy Your Bible: Making the Most of Your Time with God’s Word by Irving L. Jensen. We pray that these resources are a blessing to you in your personal life and ministry.
Know someone else who is bilingual?
If you know of anyone else who would have the time and skills to translate articles for Bible.org please consider recommending this ministry to them. Sometimes the most obvious gifts (like preaching or being a leader) are not the ones with the most impact or need. This is a real opportunity to meet a need and impact thousands and thousands of people with the truth of God’s Word.
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I am available and would love to answer any questions you might have. We do have a section on our Translation Series page, but you can always send me an email! I can also be available through Skype for a voice or chat conversation. Simply let me know through email that you would like to talk and we will get it worked out.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Related Topics: Administrative and Organization
Introduction: Give Forth Glimpses of GodlinessRelated Media
How many of you have been to the Grand Canyon? Several years ago my husband Gary and I took a road trip to Arizona because I had always wanted to see it. We planned to watch some baseball spring practice and follow it up with an overnight stay at the Grand Canyon.
Now, the only reason that I was in favor of driving so far was because of this side trip; I’m not really much of a road trip person—all those hours in the car seem so wasted! But to go to the Grand Canyon was worth it! So we planned the trip and reserved a room at the hotel right on the rim. I was very excited!
After driving and driving and driving for what seemed like weeks through New Mexico, we spent several days in Phoenix; then, we headed north and arrived at our destination. The Grand Canyon at last! Here is a picture of me at the rim. As you can see, fog totally enveloped it. We could barely see ten feet in front of us or down the side, much less the other side of the canyon! And the twenty-four hour forecast was more fog, and that was all the time we had! To say that I was disappointed is a huge understatement!
Since we had nothing else to do, we decided to take a walk until lunch and then leave for home. However, as we walked along the rim of the canyon feeling very dejected and staring out into the nothingness, there was a small break in the fog. I could see the light shining on a piece of the canyon wall on the other side. It was beautiful! I was amazed at the colors. Of course, I had seen pictures, but they were nothing compared to this small glimpse of the real thing! I thought, if only I could see the entire canyon! What a sight it must be!
Just as the Grand Canyon is a beautiful and amazing sight to behold, so vast that it is impossible to take in, we have a God who is beyond our comprehension! He is lovely; he is wonderful; he is loving and kind. He has complete power and yet he cares for the least of his creation. His qualities would blow us away if we truly grasped them. But we can only see him through a fog produced by our broken world and lives. At best we catch infrequent glimpses of his true beauty and greatness. Sometimes we are able to peer at his wonder, and other times we see only the fog. But when we do see him, we yearn to see more!
But originally God shaped his creation to reflect his own character. People were purposed and designed to look like him. Even now he calls each of us to give forth glimpses of godliness--
Lesson 41: Jesus: True, Yet Rejected (John 7:14-24)Related Media
January 26, 2014
Cary Grant once told how he was walking along a street and met a man whose eyes locked onto him with excitement. The man said, “Wait a minute, you’re … you’re—I know who you are; don’t tell me—uh, Rock Hud—no, you’re….”
Grant thought he’d help him, so he finished the man’s sentence: “Cary Grant.”
And the fellow said, “No, that’s not it! You’re….”
There was Cary Grant, identifying himself with his own name, but the fellow had someone else in mind! (Leadership Journal [Fall, 1990], pp. 48-49)
The apostle John wrote of Jesus (1:10-11), “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.” So throughout his Gospel John sets forth both the tragedy of unbelief along with the triumphs of belief. He wrote his Gospel to show who Jesus is so that (20:31) “you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” To have saving faith, it’s crucial that you understand correctly who Jesus is.
In our text, Jesus is at the Feast of Booths in Jerusalem, six months before He would be arrested and crucified. Before He showed Himself publicly at this feast, the crowds were debating, with some saying (7:12), “He is a good man”; [but] others were saying, “No, on the contrary, He leads people astray.”
John wants us to see that neither of those are viable options. Jesus could not have been merely a good man and said the things that He said. If a mere man claimed that he could give living water so that the one who drank it would never thirst again; or if he claimed to be the bread of life, so that whoever ate of him would never hunger and would have eternal life; or if he claimed to be the way, the truth, and the life and said that he was the only way that people could come to God; you would not say, “He’s a good man.” You would say, “He’s a crazy megalomaniac!” And, at the same time, Jesus was obviously too good of a man to be a deliberate deceiver. So John wants us to see that Jesus is the eternal Son of God in human flesh. He wants us to see Jesus’ glory so that we might believe in Him as our Lord and God (20:28).
But John knows full well that believing in Jesus isn’t the automatic response to Him. There is always division: some believe, some are indifferent, and others reject Him vehemently. So here John shows us the reaction of the Jewish leaders and the crowds to Jesus when He went into the temple in the midst of the feast and began to teach. Although Jesus was sent from God, taught God’s truth, sought God’s glory, and did God’s miraculous works, people rejected Him because they valued the wrong things; they were not willing to obey God; they were legalistic hypocrites; they were under satanic influence; and, they were judging by outward appearances. Or, more briefly,
Although Jesus is the true and righteous one, people reject Him because of their many sins.
The Holy Spirit did not see fit to tell us the content of Jesus’ teaching on this occasion, but rather had John record the reaction of the people to Jesus’ teaching. But in the narrative, he gives us four solid reasons that Jesus is, as He claims (7:18), “true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”
1. Jesus is the true and righteous one.
When Jesus claims to be “true” (7:18), He means that He embodies all that is true. He adds, “and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” Jesus is claiming to be absolutely true, with no hint of deception (7:12) or sin in Him. Also, as Leon Morris points out (The Gospel of John [Eerdmans], p. 406, n. 39), in the only other places in John where a person is said to be “true,” it is used of God (3:33; 8:26). Thus John wants us to see that Jesus alone shares this quality with God. Four facts support Jesus’ claim to be true and righteous:
A. Jesus is true and righteous because He was sent here by God (7:16, 18).
Jesus emphasizes this twice here. In 7:16, He says, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” And, in 7:18, He says, “He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true….” He will mention it again in 7:28-29, “I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. I know Him, because I am from Him and He sent Me.” It is a major theme in John that Jesus is the one sent to earth by God the Father.
Why did Jesus emphasize this so often? It’s a matter of His preexistence and authority. If He was a religious upstart, who came up with His own ideas and promoted Himself alone, then why believe in Him? But if the one true God sent Him and He is also true, then we had better believe in Him and obey Him. To reject Jesus is to reject the God who sent Him.
B. Jesus is true and righteous because He taught God’s truth (7:14-17).
Jesus did not go up to the feast with His brothers to make a grand entrance, because the people wanted to make Him a political king. But sometime in the midst of the feast, He went into the temple and began to teach. A crowd quickly gathered around Him. Probably, the charge in 7:15 is coming from the Jewish leaders and addressed to the people listening to Jesus (R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of John’s Gospel [Augsburg Publishing House], p. 541). Their “astonishment” did not mean that they were favorably impressed by Jesus’ teaching. Rather, they were amazed at His audacity to take on the role of a religious teacher in the temple when He lacked the proper credentials from the Jewish authorities. They were trying to discredit Jesus in front of the crowd by alleging that “this man” (a derogatory term) purports to be learned, but He has never been educated in our schools. John is again using irony: Here are these proud Jewish leaders calling the eternal Word who created the world (1:1-3) an uneducated fellow (Morris, p. 405)!
Jesus responds to their challenge by asserting (7:16), “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” Jesus is saying, “I don’t need your education and humanly-conferred degrees because I am speaking truth directly from the living and true God who sent Me here to teach.” In spiritual matters, the ideas of philosophers and religious teachers are mere speculation. Such thinkers have not come from God and they can only guess at what He is like. But since Jesus came from God, He could authoritatively teach us about God, man, sin, and how we can have eternal life.
I’ll say more on 7:17 in a moment, but for now note what Jesus says about how a person can know whether His teaching originated with Him or with God: “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.” When you’re witnessing to an unbeliever about Christ, you should challenge him to read the gospels, paying attention to the teaching of Jesus. But many have read and even studied the gospels and come away as unbelievers. The key is to tell the unbeliever, “As you read, tell God that if He will show you that Jesus is true, you will be willing to obey Him.” If the person comes to the gospels as a scoffer, he will read them and go away a scoffer. If he comes with a willing heart to obey God’s will, then God will show him the truth about Jesus.
C. Jesus is true and righteous because He sought God’s glory (7:18).
Jesus continues (7:18): “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” When Jesus came to this earth, He voluntarily laid aside the glory that He had shared with the Father from all eternity and took on the form of a slave, becoming obedient even to death on the cross (Phil. 2:6-8). He is now risen, ascended, and restored to His rightful full glory at the Father’s right hand (John 17:5). He will come again in power and glory to judge the living and the dead.
But when He was on earth, Jesus’ aim was to glorify the Father. He states that this, not rabbinic credentials from the accredited schools, is the test of a true teacher. That is true of all who purport to teach God’s truth: If a man glories in his academic degrees and seeks to exalt himself, he is not a true teacher of God’s truth. When you have any idea of the righteousness and majesty of God, you’ll be painfully aware of your own inadequacy and unworthiness. You’ll cry out (Ps. 115:1), “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of your lovingkindness, because of Your truth.”
Thus Jesus is true and righteous because He was sent here by God, He taught God’s truth, and He sought God’s glory. Finally,
D. Jesus is true and righteous because He did God’s miraculous works (7:19-23).
John 7:19-23: “‘Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law? Why do you seek to kill Me?’ The crowd answered, ‘You have a demon! Who seeks to kill You?’ Jesus answered them, ‘I did one deed, and you all marvel. For this reason Moses has given you circumcision (not because it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a man. If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the Law of Moses will not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made an entire man well on the Sabbath?’”
Jesus draws a contrast between Himself and the hypocritical Pharisees. There was no unrighteousness in Jesus (7:18), but the Jews, who boasted in the Law, didn’t actually keep the Law, as seen by the fact that they were trying to kill Jesus. The crowd, which consisted of Jews from all over Israel as well as from other countries, may not have been aware of the evil intent of their leaders. So they accuse Jesus of demon-induced paranoia.
Jesus responds (7:21) by referring back to the incident in John 5:1-15, where He healed the man by the Pool of Bethesda and told him to carry his mat on the Sabbath. As a result of this one deed, the Jews were persecuting Him and seeking to kill Him (5:16, 18). It’s not easy to understand what “for this reason” (7:22, which the ESV and NIV omit) refers to, but the thought seems to be (loosely paraphrasing F. Godet, Commentary on the Gospel of John [Zondervan], 2:66), “The reason Moses gave you the law that requires circumcising a baby on the eighth day even if that day is the Sabbath is that he was pleading My cause in advance. Moses was requiring you to commit the same Sabbath transgression that you are seeking to kill Me for. If it’s lawful to purify one part of the body by circumcision on the Sabbath, then why was it wrong for Me to heal an entire man on the Sabbath?”
But the point is, as Nicodemus told Jesus (3:2), “No one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Or, as the man born blind whom Jesus healed told the hostile Jewish leaders (9:33), “If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.” Or, as Jesus tells the same religious leaders (10:37-38), “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.”
So there is solid evidence for believing that Jesus is the true and righteous one: He was sent here by God; He taught God’s truth; He sought God’s glory; and He did God’s miraculous works. So, with all this evidence, why do people still reject Jesus as Savior and Lord?
2. People reject Jesus in spite of who He is because of their many sins.
The text reveals five sins that caused these religious Jews to reject Jesus:
A. People reject Jesus in spite of who He is because they value the wrong things (7:15).
As we’ve seen, these Jewish leaders valued their rabbinic training. They had a “good ol’ boy club” of those who had graduated from their schools. When they taught in the synagogues and in the temple, the rabbis would cite the proper rabbinic authorities. But here was this young upstart from the insignificant town of Nazareth teaching the people without citing the esteemed rabbis. He would say, “You have heard it said, … but I say unto you” (see Matt. 5:21-22, 27-28, 31-32, 38-39, 43-44). Matthew (7:28-29) concludes the Sermon on the Mount by noting, “When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.”
While there is nothing wrong per se with academic degrees, if we put such a premium on degrees that we disregard or belittle a godly man who lacks such degrees, we will miss some deep spiritual blessings. John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim’s Progress, did not have any formal training, but he had deep insight into the Bible and he could preach it with power. The king of England once asked John Owen, the learned Puritan theologian who was the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, how he could go and listen to a tinker prate (Bunyan’s trade was to fix pots and pans). Owen replied (John Owen: Prince of the Puritans, by Andrew Thomson [Christian Focus], p. 125), “May it please your majesty, could I possess the tinker’s ability for preaching, I would willingly relinquish all my learning.” If we value the wrong things, we will miss Jesus.
B. People reject Jesus in spite of who He is because they are not willing to obey God (7:17).
We’ve already looked at 7:17, “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.” But note further what Jesus is saying here: The reason that people do not recognize Jesus for who He is does not hinge on having enough evidence, but rather on having enough obedience. If a person is willing to obey God, he will know that Jesus was sent by God and speaks God’s truth. As Augustine put it (cited by Morris, 406, n. 37): “Do not seek to understand in order to believe, but believe that you may understand.”
In other words, if you come to the Bible as a scoffer, you’ll go away a scoffer. Jesus never committed Himself to unbelief (2:24). That’s a basic principle of human relationships. If someone comes to you with a critical, hostile attitude, you’re not going to commit yourself to him. But if he comes wanting to be of help to you, you’re more likely to open yourself up to him. Similarly, Jesus said (John 14:21), “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” The opposite is also true: If you don’t obey Christ, He won’t disclose Himself to you.
C. People reject Jesus in spite of who He is because they are legalistic hypocrites (7:19).
The Jewish leaders prided themselves on obeying the Mosaic Law, but Jesus unmasks them by stating (7:19), “Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law? Why do you seek to kill Me?” The scribes and Pharisees meticulously tithed their table spices, but they neglected the weightier provisions of the law (Matt. 23:23). Here, they want to break the sixth commandment by killing Jesus. Legalism is when a person keeps certain manmade rules or parts of God’s Word that he can do externally, so that everyone will notice how “righteous” he is. But he doesn’t deal with the sin in his heart.
Since the Lord knows every private thought that you have, it’s foolish to try to put on an outward show of “righteousness,” while at the same time you neglect judging sinful thoughts, such as pride, greed, lust, selfishness, and jealousy. You may impress others, but God isn’t impressed at all! Legalistic hypocrisy will cause you to reject Jesus, the righteous one, who sees right through you.
D. People reject Jesus in spite of who He is because they are under satanic influence (7:20).
The crowd may have been ignorant of the leaders’ intent to kill Jesus, but their response of accusing Jesus of having a demon was evidence that they themselves were under demonic influence. Since they thought that mental illnesses, such as paranoia, stemmed from demonic activity, they may have only been accusing Jesus of being crazy. But, still, to charge the true and righteous one of having a demon can only come from satanic influence.
It’s interesting that in John, there are no stories of Jesus casting out demons, as in the Synoptic Gospels, but there are several occasions where Jesus is accused of being demon-possessed (here; 8:48-52; 10:20-21; Morris, p. 407). The apostle tells us (1 John 5:19), “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” Or, as Paul states with reference to those who are perishing (2 Cor. 4:4), “In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” For people to receive Christ, the Holy Spirit must open their eyes to see something of His glory.
Thus, people reject Jesus in spite of who He is because they value the wrong things, they are not willing to obey God, they are legalistic hypocrites, and they are under satanic influence. Finally,
E. People reject Jesus in spite of who He is because they judge according to outward appearances (7:24).
Jesus exhorts these scoffers (7:24), “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” The Greek here may be translated, “Stop judging according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” They were judging Jesus because He healed a man and told him to carry his mat on the Sabbath, which was a violation of their legalistic additions to the Sabbath commandment. But at the same time, they were rejecting the true and righteous one and seeking to kill Him!
Perhaps one of the most misunderstood and misapplied verses in the New Testament is Jesus’ command (Matt. 7:1), “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” If people would bother to read just a few verses further, Jesus commands not to throw your pearls before swine (He was talking about people who are swine, not pigs!). He goes on to warn about wolves in sheep’s clothing. Obviously, to obey those commands you have to make some judgments! The Bible commands us to be discerning with regard to false teaching and demonic activity (Pastoral Epistles; 1 John 4:1).
The point here is that if you judge who Jesus is superficially, you’ll end up rejecting Him as He really is. There are many who think that Jesus was always gentle, kind, and nice. I’m not sure how that myth ever got started! Read the Gospels and you’ll see Jesus strongly confront sin, as He is doing here. You can’t trust in Him and walk with Him without Him confronting your sin. He always does it in love, because sin destroys us. But He does confront it. If you truly believe in Jesus, you will let His Word confront your sin regularly.
That brings me back to 7:17 again. If you want to know who Jesus is and whether He is the true and righteous one, sent by God, you have to be willing to obey God’s will as revealed in His word. The Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard wrote, “It is difficult for us to believe because it is difficult for us to obey.” If you’re willing to obey, God will show you that Jesus is God’s true and righteous one. He is worthy of all your trust!
- How much does a person need to know about Jesus to be able to trust in Him for eternal life?
- Why is willingness to obey God foundational for faith in Christ? How can an unbeliever become willing to obey God?
- What are some lessons that we can learn from Jesus here on how to witness to skeptics?
- Discuss some ways that legalism keeps people from trusting in Christ.
Copyright, Steven J. Cole, 2014, All Rights Reserved.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture Quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, Updated Edition © The Lockman Foundation
Lesson 42: Don’t Be Confused About Jesus! (John 7:25-36)Related Media
February 2, 2014
A story is told of two old ladies who lived together. One summer evening they were sitting on their porch, enjoying the peaceful scene. One woman was listening to the sound of a church choir a few doors away as they practiced. The other woman was listening to the sound of the crickets chirping. The woman listening to the choir said, “Isn’t that a lovely sound?” The woman listening to the crickets replied, “Yes, and I understand that they do it by rubbing their legs together.”
Sometimes confusion can be humorous, but at other times it can be disastrous. That’s especially true when it comes to spiritual matters. Contrary to the prevailing popular view, spiritual truth is not whatever each person prefers it to be. There are not many ways to God, so that you can just pick whatever suits your fancy. Jesus was very exclusive when He said (John 14:6), “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Either He was right or He was wrong. You must decide. Spiritual truth is quite narrow. Spiritual confusion is eternally fatal!
In our text, we see different groups of religious Jews who are confused about Jesus. There is the group that John calls “the Jews” (7:1, 11, 13, 15, 35). This refers to the Jewish religious leaders, whom John also identifies as the Pharisees and chief priests, who were Sadducees (7:32). These groups were often rivals, but they viewed Jesus as a common enemy. So they joined together to try to seize Him (7:30, 44, 45). But they knew that many in the crowd liked Jesus. They also remembered Jesus’ disrupting their business by cleansing the temple. So they had to proceed cautiously.
Also, there is a larger group whom John calls “the crowd” (7:12, 20, 31, 32). This would include Jewish pilgrims who had come up to Jerusalem for the feast from all over Israel and from other countries. Many of them were not aware that the Jewish leaders were seeking to kill Jesus, so when He mentioned this, they accused Him of having a demon (7:20).
Then there is a narrower group that John calls “the people of Jerusalem” (7:25-27). They were confused both about who Jesus was and about why their religious leaders were not arresting Him. Because of misunderstanding both about the origins of the Messiah and Jesus’ origins, they concluded that He could not be the expected Messiah.
So the overall feeling of our text is that a lot of people were confused about who Jesus is. But John (20:31) wants us to know the truth about who He is so that we “believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing [we] may have life in His name.” So John is showing us that …
While there are many confused opinions about who Jesus is, your eternal destiny depends on believing the truth about Him.
1. There are many confused opinions about who Jesus is.
Some of the people of Jerusalem wondered out loud whether Jesus might really be the Christ and whether the Jewish leaders were not arresting Him because they thought that He was the Christ (7:25-26). But they quickly dismissed this idea because, as they said (7:27), “However, we know where this man is from; but whenever the Christ may come, no one knows where He is from.”
These people mistakenly thought that the Christ would suddenly come on the scene unannounced, with a dramatic flash. They may have based this on Malachi 3:1, where the Lord says, “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming.” Jesus actually fulfilled that prophecy when He went into the temple and cleansed it at the beginning of His public ministry (John 2:13-16). But all these Jerusalem residents knew was that Jesus was from Nazareth and He had been around for some time, which didn’t fit their ideas of how the Christ would come and from where He would come. Others, however, knew more accurately that the Christ would come from Bethlehem (7:42; Matt. 2:4-5), but since they didn’t know that Jesus was born there, they also rejected Him as the Christ.
As we’ve seen, the crowd was confused about who Jesus was. Some said that He was a good man; others said that He led the people astray (7:12). Some in the multitude thought that He had a demon because of His comments about the Jews seeking to kill Him (7:20). In response, Jesus had told them (7:24) not to judge according to appearance, but to judge with righteous judgment. But John is showing us the general confusion that resulted from people judging Jesus superficially by appearance. Such superficial judgment resulted in misinformation, open hostility, and mocking unbelief, although many did believe (7:31).
Of course, at the heart of all confusion about Jesus Christ is the great deceiver, Satan, the enemy of all souls. One of the early deceptions that he foisted on the church was that of Arius, who taught that Jesus was the greatest of all created beings, but He is not eternal God. Although Athanasius stood firmly against Arius and the church finally adopted the Nicene Creed, affirming that Jesus is “eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father,” we still have Arianism with us today under the name of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. As if that were not bad enough, the Mormons have still a different view of Jesus, but one that denies the New Testament witness to His deity.
Other false cults talk about “the Christ within us all,” or “the Christ principle.” Liberal theologians deny the possibility of the miraculous, so they have to attribute all of Jesus’ miracles to the gullible imaginations of the apostles. They try to figure out which words attributed to Jesus in the Bible are His true words, and which were invented by the disciples or later followers. Of course, such speculations are just that—speculations based on the liberal theologians’ subjective assumptions. And then there is the confusion of the population at large, which thinks of Jesus as a great moral teacher or a religious reformer, but not as God in human flesh. But they have never carefully examined the Gospels to think about who Jesus claimed to be and who the apostles affirmed Him to be. So there is no end to the confusion about who Jesus is.
Jesus Himself warned with reference to the end times (Matt. 24:23-24, “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” So it’s very important that we not be confused about who Jesus is. Rather,
2. We must believe the truth about who Jesus is.
We don’t know whether Jesus overheard the confusion of the people in the temple or whether He knew supernaturally what they were thinking. But He “cried out in the temple” (7:28, 29; the word refers to a loud shout, so that all would hear), “You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me.” Jesus’ stating that the Jews did not know God must have shocked them. The Jews prided themselves on knowing God, in contrast to the Gentiles, who worshiped many false gods.
But what does Jesus mean when He tells them, “You both know Me and know where I am from”? If they didn’t know God, how could they know Jesus and His origin? In 8:19, He tells them, “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.” So what does Jesus mean when He tells them that they both know Him and where He is from?
It seems that Jesus was speaking with irony, so as to say, “You think that you know Me and where I’m from. I’ll grant, in a superficial sense, this is true. You know that I’m from Nazareth. You know My relatives according to the flesh. But you really don’t know Me at all, as evidenced by the fact that you don’t know God. You don’t know anything about My divine nature and My unity with the Father.” (I am combining the second and third views as explained by J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels [Baker], 3:33.) Jesus here is testifying to the truth of who He is. To know Him rightly, we must understand and believe His testimony.
A. Jesus testified that He had not come of Himself, but had been sent to earth by God.
John 7:28b-29, “I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me.” Jesus again affirms the repeatedly stated truth that He had been sent here by the Father. As I mentioned last time, this points both to Jesus’ eternality and to His authority. There is here the additional thought that since Jesus was sent by God, He was under His providential protection.
1) To be sent by God means that Jesus is eternal.
He did not begin His existence when He was born to the virgin Mary. Jesus existed forever with the Father in glory before He came to this earth. In John 8:58, He tells the hostile Jews, “Before Abraham was, I am” (not, “I was”). They picked up on His identifying Himself with Yahweh who told Moses that His name is, “I AM” (Exod. 3:14). In John 17:5, He prays, “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” Or, as John begins his Gospel (1:1), “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus is the eternal God in human flesh.
Contrary to the Arians (and Jehovah’s Witnesses), there never was a time when Jesus did not exist. When He took on human flesh, His deity was not diminished or mixed together into a hybrid form that was less than God. Witness Lee, who was the main leader of “The Local Church” sect, wrongly used the analogy of a tea bag and water to explain Jesus.* Before they come together, you have two substances, but once they come together you have a new substance, “tea-water.” Even so, he taught, Jesus is now the God-man, a hybrid of both. But that is heresy, because it confuses both Jesus’ full deity and His perfect humanity. Through the virgin birth, Jesus’ deity was not diminished or changed in any way. Rather, to His full deity, He added sinless humanity.
2) To be sent by God means that Jesus operated under the full authority of God.
He didn’t come on His own initiative or make up His own stuff. As He says in 7:16, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” Back in 5:19, Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” In 5:30, He stated, “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” He relayed to us exactly what the Father told Him to say. Thus to reject Jesus or His teaching is to reject the Father who sent Him. Also…
3) To be sent by God means that Jesus was under the Father’s providential protection.
In 7:30, we read, “So they were seeking to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.” We’ve already encountered in John the concept of “Jesus’ hour” (2:4) and we will see it again (8:20; 12:23, 27; 13:1; 17:1). It refers to the cross, which was the ultimate reason that Jesus came to this earth. But the point John makes by using the phrase here is that no one could touch Jesus until the hour that the Father had providentially determined before the foundation of the earth.
We can apply the concept of being sent by God to ourselves. In John 20:21, Jesus told the disciples, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” That applies to all of us who have believed in Christ. He sends us into this world as His ambassadors to appeal to unbelievers to be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:20). As we represent our Divine King, He assures us that He will be with us, even unto the end of the age (Matt. 28:20). As His ambassadors, we can know that He has an appointed hour for each of us and no one can touch us until that hour. For John the Baptist and for Jesus, that hour came when they were in their early thirties. For the apostle John, the hour was when he was about 90. He has a different purpose for each of us. But we can know that we will not die until the hour appointed by our sovereign King (Ps. 139:16).
B. Jesus testified that He knew God.
Although Jesus’ hearers for the most part did not know God (7:28), Jesus plainly stated (7:29), “I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me.” Jesus had a unique and thorough knowledge of the Father because He is one with the Father (10:30) and He alone existed with the Father from all eternity. Thus Jesus can uniquely reveal the Father to us. As John said (1:18), “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”
In John 17:3, Jesus describes the essence of eternal life as knowing God: “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” In Luke 10:22, Jesus makes this profound statement: “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” The only way that we can know the Father is through the Son when the Son wills to reveal Him to us. Are you asking the Lord Jesus to reveal the Father to you so that you might know Him more deeply?
Jeremiah 9:23-24 declares: “Thus says the Lord, ‘Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,’ declares the Lord.” Regarding unbelievers, Paul said (Eph. 4:18) that they are “darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart.” But the goal of the Christian life is that (Eph. 4:13) “we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” Or, as Paul stated his goal in life (Phil. 3:10), “that I may know Him.”
Is that your aim in life? If so, you are reading and meditating on God’s Word daily with the prayer, “Lord, reveal Yourself to me so that I may know You.” If you’ve never done so, I encourage you to read some books where godly teachers expound on the attributes of God. J. I. Packer’s Knowing God [IVP] is a classic. A. W. Tozer’s Knowledge of the Holy [Harper & Row] is short, but deep. So is A. W. Pink’s The Attributes of God [Baker]. Deeper yet (and much longer at two-volumes) is the Puritan Stephen Charnock’s The Existence and Attributes of God [Baker]. Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology [Zondervan] has an easy-to-read treatment of God’s attributes (as do other systematic theologies). But you will only be able to digest these books if you come to them through faith in Christ as your Savior and with the prayer that the Holy Spirit will teach you.
But I remind you that this knowledge of God is not just so that you can have a cozy “personal relationship” with Him. Knowing God will change you so that you become more like Him. This affects your relationships with others, so that the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—become more evident in your relationships with others (Gal. 5:22-23). Also, the better you know God, the more effectively you can represent Him as His ambassador to lost people. The more you have personally “tasted the kindness of the Lord” (1 Pet. 2:3), the more readily you will be able to “proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2 9).
So while there are many confused opinions out there about who Jesus is, we need to believe the truth about Him, which we have in His own testimony about Himself. He was sent here by God and He knew God in a unique way. We can only know God through faith in Jesus. But the final verses of our text give us a solemn warning:
3. Your eternal destiny depends on believing in Jesus while you still have the opportunity.
In John 7:31 we read, “But many of the crowd believed in Him; and they were saying, ‘When the Christ comes, He will not perform more signs than those which this man has, will He?’” Some connect the belief of these people with those that we encountered in John 2:23-25, who believed in Jesus because of the signs that He was doing. But Jesus for His part did not entrust Himself to them. But John here does not say anything negative about their faith, although it seems to have been based on somewhat shallow reasoning: “This guy seems to be doing enough signs to qualify as the Messiah, so we’d better believe in Him.”
But it seems to me that the Lord takes most of us at a pretty shallow level and then graciously deepens our faith as we come to understand more of who He is. I committed myself to Christ as a teenager because I saw a godly couple who had a happy marriage and I thought, “If Christ can give me that kind of marriage, I need to follow Him.” That was totally self-centered and immature! But, He took me in at that point and helped me to grow. The important thing is truly to believe in Christ as Savior and Lord while you have the opportunity.
But some miss the window of opportunity and end up facing God’s awful judgment for rejecting His Son. In 7:33-34, Jesus tells the crowd that He will be with them for a little while longer, but then He would go to the one who sent Him. He knew that His hour was rapidly approaching. But then, after He was gone, they would seek Him, but not find Him. And they could not come where He had gone. They would not be able to go to heaven because they missed the day of salvation.
In typical fashion, the Jewish leaders misunderstand Jesus’ statement. In 7:35-36, they seem to be mocking when they speculate that “this man” (a demeaning way of referring to Jesus) may leave Jerusalem and go among the Greeks. Jesus does not respond to their confusion, but leaves them wondering about what He means. It’s a terrible thing to walk away from the day of salvation and then be left in your confusion about Jesus!
It’s kind of funny when someone is confused about a church choir making music by rubbing their legs together! But it’s really tragic when someone is confused about Jesus and rejects His testimony of who He is. God has given you a measure of light, even through this message. He says (2 Cor. 6:2), “Behold, now is ‘the acceptable time,’ behold, now is ‘the day of salvation.’” Don’t miss the opportunity to trust in Christ as your Savior and Lord today!
*I could not find the tea water illustration’s source in Lee’s writings, although in The Economy of God [Living Stream], p. 12, he mentions the mingling of Christ’s two natures. I got it from a Local Church elder who tried to defend the analogy. The Local Church now has an orthodox statement of the person of Christ, although I cannot recommend many other aspects of their teaching.
- When you try to share Christ with someone and he says, “That’s just your opinion,” what should you say?
- Is every Christian “sent” by God or just some (John 20:21)? What are the implications if you are sent by God?
- What change can you make in your current schedule so that you will grow to know Christ better in the coming year?
- If someone tells you that he is worried that he has missed the opportunity to trust in Christ, how would you respond?
Copyright, Steven J. Cole, 2014, All Rights Reserved.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture Quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, Updated Edition © The Lockman Foundation