The festival of joy took place on 21st of October 2010 and the entire congregation was blessed by Gods presence in our midst. Please join our mailing list to keep up to date with future events.
Pastor spoke from Rev 2:1-5 about the Church in Ephesus, which had immaculate doctrine, yet had forsaken their first love. The priority of God, is love. God doesn’t want to hurt our pride, he wants to kill it. He challenged to offer our lives as living sacrifice to God.
Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored.
Numbers 13:30-32 (NIV)
Attitudes can change everything. You know the story. Moses sent spies into the promise land to see what it was like. All twelve men saw the same thing but came back with different conclusions. Two saw possibilities born out of faith and hope in God’s love and power. The others saw defeat, death, dying and doom. The people believed the second story. Why is that? Why can we believe the death, dying and doom story so much easier than the land of milk and honey? What is it that keeps us from believing in the goodness of God? We don’t doubt whether He can do good, we doubt whether He wants to. Dallas Willard in his book Hearing God shares why even the miracles of Jesus could not convince some people of His love and Lordship. Willard writes, “Our preexisting ideas and assumptions are precisely what determine what we can see, hear or otherwise observe.” You see Caleb’s report could not change what the people already believed in their heart. They did not believe that God loved them. Deep in there heart they believed they were better off taking care of themselves. What do you believe? Seeing a miracle won’t change it. A good report won’t change that deep down doubt. Only repentance and a relationship can. Repent of unbelief, doubt and fear and then spend time with God. Don’t quit; every day get to know Him until you sense His concern and His deep passion and love for you. Come to Him today, ask Him to show you His love. He will. The promise land is waiting. – Ronald
Two terms used by theologians
1. Imputed righteousness
2. Imparted righteousness
Imputed righteousness: Says that we are unrighteous and there is nothing in us that deserves me the favour of God. But what Jesus does is, He comes and covers us and when God looks at us He doesn’t look us but Christ and declares us righteous. It is imputed to us on the merits of Christ, he covers, overwhelms us and God looks at it and says “I see Jesus there and because of Jesus I don’t hold anything against you, you are now my child.” But imputed righteousness itself is incomplete.
Imparted righteousness: Jesus doesn’t only cover us from outside and leave us unclean inside. God says “yes the imputed righteousness is come to you, but I want to impart my righteousness in you.” Meaning that Christ not only is going to cover you but He is going to come inside you and He wants to clean you from the inside. Hence the sanctification is also called baptism of the Holy Spirit. Therefore holiness is simply the life lived under the total lordship of Jesus Christ.
Holy Spirit is simply Jesus in the Spirit form. And He has come to indwell us. And so the distinguishing mark of the person filled with the Holy Spirit is basically and essentially the reflection of the character of Christ, because the character of Christ begins to be reflected in our hearts and the image that we lost in the garden, the image that God has created now begins to be restored and the process begins.
There is a marked distinction between a pure heart and a maturing character. The pure heart is the result of sanctification. But the result of what has happened in the sanctification is the growth that now begins the maturity that now begins to come who is filled with the Holy Spirit. The maturity of character comes after the self been crucified and after everything has been surrender to Christ, as we go moment by moment in our lives, the maturity doesn’t come instantly, overnight. A baby cannot be expected to leap and jump in an early age. The baby has to fall down sometimes, taught, instructed, supported and the baby makes mistakes. Same way we as sanctified believers make mistakes and fall down. And falling down is not the problem, but staying there.
There is a difference between a sinful nature and human nature. Sinful nature is simply the self-centredness with which we were born. It is a condition that we live in. Therefore the sinful nature is a broken relationship with God. This condition has so permeated our lives and hearts, but in sanctification God has purged us and taken out the self-centred element at our kneeling down and surrendering it and asking Him to crucify it on the cross for us. But what we are left with is our human nature. It will not be eradicated; this will have its personality and its characteristic traits. Some people have the humorous personality. God is not going to take that humorous heart but He will purify it by taking out the self-centredness out of it and use it for His glory.
The book of Isaiah 6 gives a graphic and glorious illustration of the doctrine of sanctification.
V3 “Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty” all the angles singing to him “holy holy holy.” They are looking at the very face of God and describing who God is. They are bringing forth the beauty of God’s nature. They are bringing in the revelation of the very being of God. They are proclaiming the very substance of God. They are giving us the glimpse into the very depth of God in making us realise what really is the essence of God.
Unless and until, we have the right concept of God we will not have the right concept of life, sanctification and we will not understand what victory is and way before we reach for it we will be defeated. What they are saying is “Holy the father, Holy the son, Holy the Holy Spirit.” The glorious trinity is revealed. The trinity is involved in sustaining me, in sanctifying me and in giving me the status to stand on. What then is the essence of God? What is the substance of God?The very substance of God is Holy, Holy, Holy. God is:
1. Holy Holiness – He is spotlessly and immaculately holy. If he was all holy, all glory and all majesty to him then we would not be able to have relationship with him. He is pure and there is more to it.
2. He is Holy Love – Love is intertwined with his holiness. And his agape love, which brings him down to us. And because of that love he does not treat us as our sins deserve. But as the east is far from the west he removes our sins from us. He pities us.
3. Holy Grace – If we were to hold God’s holiness and his love for us to see, there is one thread that runs through these two elements and it is the Grace. His divinity is on this grace and that’s what is revealed to Isaiah. The grace of God is that unmerited favour to man. We do not deserve it, we cannot earn it and we cannot work for it and yet he bestows it upon us. We cannot even repent upon our own. As the book of Romans tells that it is your grace that leads me to repentance.
What are we supposed to do? The bible tells us that such a God has made you and me in his likeness, in his image. If we have a mirror and if we like to see the image we need to stand before the mirror in the right position. And if you and I are image of God then we need to stand before God in right position. He created us like him and therefore he is loving and he wants us to be loving. He is holy and he wants us to be holy and he is grace and he wants us to have the grace.