2017-09-16

Does Grace free us from the consequences of sins? Jeremiah 7 in Modern Times

Grace is given to us freely through Jesus on our request to empower us to live the life we should. But some have mistakenly considered grace as forgiveness of our sins and abuse it as the license to sin, sinning without the penalty.  That could not be so as we can see how God would treat His people in the time of Jeremiah where they have the His Temple with them. God changes not and in the New Testament, we have Hebrew 12:6 "the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son".
In the time of Jeremiah, there was the Temple of God, showing God's acceptance of the people.

The people proudly proclaimed the power of their God (Jer 7:4)

  • Jer 7:4  Don't trust deceptive words like these, and say, 'The Temple of the LORD, the Temple of the LORD, the Temple of the LORD,' 
and made sacrifices there too (Jer 7:21-23).

  • Jer 7:21-23  This is what the LORD of the Heavenly Armies, the God of Israel, says: "Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat the meat. Indeed, when I brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt, I didn't speak or command them about burnt offering and sacrifice, 23  but I did give them this command: Obey me and I'll be your God, and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways that I command you so it will go well for you. 

But at the same time, they continued to do evil in the sight of God, trusting their temple and their sacrifices to save them(7v9-10).
  • Jer 7:9  Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear by false gods, burn incense to Baal, follow other gods that you don't know, 10  and then come to stand before me in this house that is called by my name and say, 'We're delivered' so we can continue to do all these things that are repugnant to God? 
But God through Jeremiah warned them to change or else He would destroy them including His Temple(7v14).

  • Jer 7:14  Just as I did to Shiloh, I'll do to the house in which you trust and which is called by my name, the place that I gave to you and your ancestors. 

But if they only repent, He would let them stay (7v3,5).
  • Jer 7:3  This is what the LORD of the Heavenly Armies, the God of Israel, says: "Change your ways and your deeds, and I'll let you live in this place. 
  • Jer 7:5  but rather, truly change your ways and your deeds. If you truly practice justice between each person and his neighbor, 
Even so, God will be merciful and give us many chances to repent (7v13).

  • Jer 7:13  Now, because you have done all these things," declares the LORD, "I spoke to you over and over again, but you didn't listen. I called to you, but you didn't answer. 

However, there will be a time where it would be too late. Hence, wake up and change our way now.

Replace the word "temple" with "grace" and read Jeremiah 7 again. As they trusted in the Temple as we do with Grace today, we are to heed the warning of God. The consequences of our sins, the discipline of our Lord, are to awaken us to the evilness and the harms, to ourselves and to those related to us, of our sins.  If God just removes the consequences of our sins, we will have a distorted view of life, of right and wrong, and we would not be able to live rightly and realistically. We are not loved but spoiled, to become like a devil!

Repent and seek the Lord for the true grace that empowers us to live the life that we should.
See also "Grace is Unmerited Favor" - This Common Definition is wrong.

Lim Liat (c) 16-9-17




2017-09-01

The Greatest Sin of Present Generation - Ungratefulness - Isaiah 28

A popular Chinese saying is "饮水思源", "Remember the source when we drink.". It is a reminder that no one is a self-made person. "I did it myself" or "I did it my way" are but pride and ungratefulness working in us and it will be our eventual downfall. God condemned the people of Israel in Isaiah 28 precisely of their pride and subsequent disobedience and illusion, ignoring the fertile land that God had provided for them to be rich. God established the Law of Sowing and Reaping and hence we reap what we sow. Sow in pride and ignoring God will reap in sins and destructions. Remember our Source and live well.
Isaiah 28 Mind-map:
Please note some verses were re-ordered and shortened to reflect the message clearer.


Isaiah 28 The Ungrateful Proud Drunkards & Their Destruction

The Lord Will Judge Samaria - The Northern Nation
  • Samaria/Ephraim was a rich land given by God

  • The Blessings
    • 1c its beautiful splendor,
      • situated at the head of a rich valley,
      • the crown of those overcome with wine.
    • 4b its beautiful splendor,
      • situated at the head of a rich valley,
    • others want it
      • will be like an early fig before harvest –
      • as soon as someone notices it,
      • he grabs it and swallows it.

  • Warning of Coming Judgement
    • 1a The splendid crown of Ephraim’s drunkards is doomed,
    • 1b the withering flower,
      • 4a The withering flower,
    • 2 Look, the sovereign master sends a strong, powerful one.
      • With the force of a hail storm ...
      • ... a driving, torrential rainstorm,
      • he will knock that crown to the ground
    • 3 The splendid crown of Ephraim’s drunkards will be trampled underfoot.

  • Drunkard State - Everyone including the Priests & Prophets - A Fully corrupted Place
    • 7 Even these men stagger because of wine,
      • they stumble around because of beer –
      • priests and prophets stagger because of beer,
      • they are confused because of wine,
      • they stumble around because of beer;
      • they stagger while seeing prophetic visions,
      • they totter while making legal decisions.Drunken Judge vs Wise Judge v6
    • 8 Indeed, all the tables are covered with vomit;
      • no place is untouched.

  • God's Standard & The True Crown - What it should have been in the 1st place
    • 5 At that time the LORD who commands armies will become a beautiful crown ... for the people
    • 6 He will give discernment to the judges.A wise & fair Judge to establish righteousness
    • and strength to those who defend the city from attackers.A powerful Commander to defend the city

  • Refusal for Correction & Their boastings - The Pride & Boastfulness
    • 9 Who is the LORD trying to teach?We can decide for ourselves.
      • To whom is he explaining a message?
      • Those just weaned from milk!
      • Those just taken from their mother’s breast!
    • 10 Indeed, they will hear meaningless gibberish,Don't nag at us.
      • senseless babbling,
      • a syllable here, a syllable there.

  • Using a Foreign Force to teach them since they were not hearing God's words- God used Others to get them to listen since they refuse to listen to God.

    • 11 For with mocking lips and a foreign tongue
      • he will speak to these people.
    • 12 In the past, he said to them,
      • “This is where security can be found.
      • Provide security for the one who is exhausted!
      • This is where rest can be found.”
      • But they refused to listen.
    • 13 So the LORD’s word to them will sound like
      • meaningless gibberish,
      • senseless babbling,
      • a syllable here, a syllable there.
    • As a result, they will fall on their backsides when they try to walk,
    • and be injured, ensnared, and captured.

  • The sin of the Northern Kingdom ... We did it ourselves and we don't need God to teach us where in reality they are blind and drunk in their evil deeds.
The Lord Will Judge Jerusalem - Capital of the Southern Nation
  • The Southern Kingdom is similar too
    • 14 Therefore, listen to the LORD’s word, you who mock, you rulers of these people
      • who reside in Jerusalem!

  • They trusted their own intelligence but was deceived. They Made a Treaty with Evil to Protect Them! It was a deception. It was useless
      • 15 For you say,
        • “We have made a treaty with death,
        • with Sheol, we have made an agreement.
        • When the overwhelming judgment sweeps by
        • it will not reach us.
        • For we have made a lie our refuge,
        • we have hidden ourselves in a deceitful word.”

  • God's Leader & True Protection
    • 16 Therefore, this is what the sovereign master, the LORD, says:
    • “Look, I am laying a stone in Zion, an approved stone,
    • set in place as a precious cornerstone for the foundation.
    • The one who maintains his faith will not panic.
    • 17 I will make justice the measuring line,
      • fairness the plumb line;
      • hail will sweep away the unreliable refuge,
      • the flood waters will overwhelm the hiding place.

  • The Warnings
    • 18 Your treaty with death will be dissolved;
      • your agreement with Sheol will not last.
      • When the overwhelming judgment sweeps by,
      • you will be overrun by it.
    • 19 Whenever it sweeps by, it will overtake you;
      • indeed, every morning it will sweep by,
      • it will come through during the day and the night.”
      • When this announcement is understood,
      • it will cause nothing but terror.
    • Their wisdom is foolishness. It has the deceptive appearance.
      • 20 For the bed is too short to stretch out on,
      • and the blanket is too narrow to wrap around oneself.

  • The Judgement
    • 21 For the LORD will rise up, as he did at Mount Perazim,
      • he will rouse himself, as he did in the Valley of Gibeon,
      • to accomplish his work,
      • his peculiar work,
      • to perform his task,
      • his strange task.
    • 22 So now, do not mock,
      • or your chains will become heavier!
      • For I have heard a message about decreed destruction,
      • from the sovereign master, the LORD who commands armies, against the entire land.
    • 23 Pay attention and listen to my message!....

  • The sin of the Southern Kingdom is that they don't trust God to protect them and make a treaty with evil nations to protect them not knowing such plans were useless.
God teaches the Principle of Agriculture - Sowing & Reaping in Order over Time
  • 26 His God instructs him; he teaches him the principles of agriculture.

  • Plough
    • 24 Does a farmer just keep on plowing at planting time?
    • Does he keep breaking up and harrowing his ground?

  • Level
    • 25 Once he has leveled its surface,

  • Sow Seeds
    • does he not scatter the seed of the caraway plant,
    • sow the seed of the cumin plant,

  • Different Seeds in Allocated Spaces
    • and plant the wheat, barley, and grain in their designated places?

  • Reaping & Crushing with the Right Tools
    • 27 Certainly, caraway seed is not threshed with a sledge, nor is the wheel of a cart rolled over cumin seed. Certainly, caraway seed is beaten with a stick, and cumin seed with a flail.
    • 28 Grain is crushed, though one certainly does not thresh it forever.
      • The wheel of one’s wagon rolls over it, but his horses do not crush it.

  • God's Laws operate. Changes do not happen without randomly and without reasons. Changes follow an order over time. We reap what we sow.
The Lord Instructs & Guides -Always Consult the Lord First
  • 29 This also comes from the LORD who commands armies,
  • who gives supernatural guidance and imparts great wisdom.
Summary
  • The Sin - We do not trust God and do our things without God.
    • When we are successful we said we did all by ourselves and hence rot in pleasures to our destruction.
    • When we are in fear, we make our plans, even with evils, ignoring God, but those plans fail to work.

  • The Law of Sowing & Reaping
    • 1 The Blessings
    • 2 The Success & Pride - I Did It Myself
    • 3 The Drunkard State - Decays And Decline Set In
    • 4 The Warning - Pending Doom
    • 5 The Refusal To Repent And Change
    • 6 The Judgement From Foreigners
    • 7 The Repentance
    • 8 The Restoration

    • Ecclesiastes 3:2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to reap ...

    • Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
  • Always Consult the Lord First and then Obey His guidance and follow His Words
Reflection:

As adults, we even asked, "Why should we pray and give thanks to God for the meals we are taking? Did not we worked very hard to pay for and cook the meals?" Yes. We did. However, we are but at the last link of the long food chain. It is God who created the ingredients and provided the environment for their growth. It is many others who work to produce the food. The last link of a chain does not make the chain. Never forget the Source. Always be grateful for the contributions of others. That is the reality and enables us to live life better.

Lim Liat (c) 1-9-17

2017-08-28

After Discipline Comes Restoration - Isaiah 4

After discipline, there must be a restoration, for assurance of forgiveness and acceptance. The principle of life, established by God, spoken in Matthew 6:33, never change. It is, sins bring forth evil and poverty. Repentance and correction bring forth restoration and abundance. Economic development follows after spiritual revival. Isaiah 4 emphasizes the restoration and acceptance of God after His purification of His people.
A Touching Testimony:

A pastor shared about the discipline given by his earthly father. When he was young, he stealing from a family piggy-bank was discovered by his father. His father gave him a severe caning. However, the next day, his father brought him for lunch at a good restaurant where he could order any food he liked. He was shocked. But his father explained that the special lunch was to assure him of his love despite the caning. The stealing was wrong and the caning was for correction, but the person is always loved. The love for the prodigal son was never lost despite his rebellion and wasteful living. The prodigal son realization and repentance quickly brought back the restoration of his acceptance and restoration. Our Heavenly Father deals with us that way too. When we fail to see our sins, He will use the circumstances and people to discipline us to get our attention. His love for us is never lost but that our sins just block out his love and cause us to suffer. Once we realize and repent, He is ever ready to accept and restore us back. He is ever waiting for us to return to Him. The decision is ours to make. Wake up quickly and return to the Lord.

Isaiah 4 Mindmap:
The Bible text is rephrased and reordered to show the sequence of events.



A Consequence of Discipline
  • verse 1 is a continuation of the last chapter on the punishments by God. Most men were killed in battles.

  • 1 And seven women shall grab hold of one man in that day, saying, “We will provide for ourselves, only let us be your wives to have your name to remove our shame."

  • A typical kind of sin for many, like King Saul of the past, we are more concern about how we look in the eyes of others rather than of God. We go after the symptoms rather than the root cause.
The Restoration & Presence of the Lord
    • The Nation is cleaned with the righteous remain

      • 3 And those left in Zion and in Jerusalem will be called holy ...

      • God protects the righteous fulfilling the promised given in Isa 3:10  Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds. 

      • 4 The Lord washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion & Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and of burning.

    • The Restoration after a Spiritual Cleansing and Revival

      • 2 In that day the branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honor of the survivors of Israel.

      • Economic Developments come after Spiritual Revival --- Matthew 6:33 His Kingdom --> All Added

    • The Protection & Glory - God is with His people.

      • 5 Then the LORD will create over the whole site of Mount Zion & its people, a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; there will be a cover of glory.

      • This was the same glory of the presence of God in the Exodus time. A reminder that He is the same God that free them from slavery.

      • 6 There will be a shelter for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.

      • The protection against the harmful elements of nature.

Summary & Applications
  • The Principle
    • Righteousness brings Blessings and Sins bring forth Destruction and Death - Matthew 6:33

  • After Discipline comes Restoration

    • Punishment is past oriented - for the wrong acts already committed.

    • Discipline is future oriented development using the tools of punishment for correction

    • After punishment, acceptance and restoration must come.

    • Parents who discipline their children must take extra effort to assure them of their love and acceptance. They must be taught the separation of bad actions from the person that is loved.

Lim Liat(c) 28-8-17

2017-08-25

The Causes and the Symptoms of A Decaying Nation - Isaiah 3

A nation does not fall overnight. There are causes and there tell tale signs. The basic cause is going against God righteousness and justice and is even proud of doing so. That will leads to the wrong use of resources. Exploiting the poor to serve the waste of the luxurious living of the leaders. In fighting, poverty and death will be the natural consequence. 
Isaiah Chapter 3 The Downfall of A Nation Mind-map:
The order of the verses are re-arranged and grouped together to get the sequence order, from causes to consequences. 



The Content:

  • The Cause
    • Isa 3:8 For Jerusalem and Judah has fallen,
      • because their speech and their deeds are against the LORD, defying his glorious presence.
      • Isa 3:9 ... they proclaim their sin like Sodom; ... For they have brought evil on themselves.They were even proud of their sins!
    • The Sins
      • Isa 3:14 The Leaders have devoured the vineyard, and took the spoils of the poor
      • Isa 3:15 crushed and grind the face of the poor
      • Isa 3:16 The daughters of Zion are haughty, wearing jewellery, glancing wantonly, going around partying ...Ladies of the Leaders were more concerned about their beauties & pleasures

  • God
    • Judges
      • Isa 3:13 The LORD stands to judge peoples.The Lord stands up for the oppressed
    • Protects the Righteous
      • Isa 3:10  Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds. 
    • Punishes the Wicked
      • Isa 3:11  Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him. 

  • Destruction of A Nation
    • Remove Resources
      • Isa 3:1 For behold, the Lord is taking away from Jerusalem and Judah support and supply, such as bread, water. 
    • Replace Leaders
      • Isa 3:2-3 the mighty man, soldier, judge, prophet, diviner, elder, captain of fifty, man of rank, counselor, magician etc,
      • Isa 3:4 boys to be their princes, infants shall rule over them.Get the Foolish to be Leaders
      • Bad Leadership
        • Isa 3:12  My people—infants are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, your guides mislead you and they have swallowed up the course of your paths. 
    • Cause In-Infighting
      • Isa 3:5 The people will oppress one another, his fellow and his neighbor; the youth will be insolent to the elder, and the despised to the honorable.

  • Resulting in Poverty
    • Isa 3:6 For a man grabbed hold of a relative, saying: “You have a cloak; you shall be our leader, and this heap of ruins shall be under your rule”;
    • Isa 3:7 And he will reply, “I will not be a healer; in my house, there is neither bread nor cloak; you shall not make me a leader of the people.”No one knows what to do with the mess of poverty
    • Ladies Lose their covering, beauty, ornaments, spouses, and children.
      • Isa 3:17  therefore the Lord will strike with a scab the heads of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will lay bare their secret parts. 
      • Isa 3:18 The Lord will take away the finery of the anklets, the headbands, and the crescents;
      • Isa 3:19-23 the pendants, bracelets, scarves; headdresses, armlets, sashes, perfume boxes, amulets, signet rings, nose rings; festal robes, the mantles, cloaks, and the handbags; mirrors, linen garments, turbans, and the veils.
      • Isa 3:24 Instead of perfume there will be rottenness; and instead of a belt, a rope; instead of well-set hair, baldness; instead of a rich robe, a skirt of sackcloth; and branding instead of beauty.
    • MenLose their lives
      • Isa 3:25  Your men shall fall by the sword and your mighty men in battle. 
      • Isa 3:26  And her gates shall lament and mourn; empty, she shall sit on the ground. 
  • Summary
    • Cause - The leaders & their ladies went against God's righteous laws without repentance. In particular, they exploited the poor for their own indulgence in luxurious living.
    • God upholds His Laws of Justice and the bad leaders brought forth their downfall.
    • The symptoms of a decaying nation: wrong use of resources (from needful production to wasteful luxurious living), bad leaderships, exploitation of poor, luxurious living of the elites, internal strife, and fighting. It actually self-destructs!
Lim Liat (c) 25-8-17

2017-08-23

The Path to World Peace - Isaiah 2

Many of us believe that men with increasing intelligence and understanding will eventually be able to have world peace. But history tells us otherwise. If we continue to exalt our own abilities we would eventually have a great world war that destroys all if God did not step in earlier. The good news is that God will and will establish His Kingdom on earth providing world peace and abundant living for men. But men need to go through the judgment of the Day of the Lord where God reveals His power and humble men. This is my learning from Isaiah 2.
Isaiah Chapter 2 - The Key Verses Mind-map:


The Path to World Peace:
  • His Kingdom on Earth & World Peace

    • Isa 2:2 In the latter days, the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest, and all the nations shall flow to it,Jerusalem to be political center of the world

    • Isa 2:4 He shall judge between the nations, peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

      No more war but peace prevails. No weapons but productive equipment

  • The Day of the Lord and the Humbling of Man
    • Full of Idols
      • Isa 2:8  Their land is filled with idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their own fingers have made. 
    • Man is Humbled & God is Exalted
      • Isa 2:11  The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. 
    • Trust Man Not
      • Isa 2:22  Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he? Man greatest achievements and power could not stand against the power of God.

  • Summary
    • The paths to world peace
      • The painful
        • Men exalted himself, with his technological brilliance to create the smartest and most powerful things, only to destroy himself if God does not step in.
        • God judges men in the Day of the Lord unleashing His power and glory.
      • The better
        • Men acknowledge God as creator and Lord to be worshipped and obey.
    • God establishes His Kingdom on Earth with Jerusalem as the center for governing for world peace.
Lim Liat (c) 23-8-17

2017-08-22

Change and Be Blessed - Learning from Isaiah 1

Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. But some men are wiser. Instead of giving up their sins, they want to use substitutes, doing more religious things to cover their sins, hoping they will get away. But God is not fooled. Unless they change and depart from evil, God cannot bless them despite their religious activities. Such is the teaching of Isaiah 1.
The Key Verses of Isaiah 1 
in a mind-map form:


The Content:
  • The nation was in a poor state - depression
    • Isa 1:7  Your country lies desolate; your cities are burned with fire; in your very presence foreigners devour your land; it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners. 
  • The people kept the religious ceremonies, praying for God to revive the economyIt did not work at all. Why?
    • Isa 1:13  Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. 
  • Repent & Put things right first
    • Isa 1:17  learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause. 
  • Then God Will Forgive and Restore
    • Isa 1:19  If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; 
  • The Unfaithful CityBut they continued in sins!
    • Isa 1:23  Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves. Everyone loves a bribe and runs after gifts. They do not bring justice to the fatherless, and the widow's cause does not come to them. 
  • Summary
    • Their present dire state is due to their evilness where their religious activities could not get God to bless them. They were to change first and then restoration will come.
    • Principle:
      • Fix the guilt by repentance and not cover-up with religious activities
      • Don't give excuses or use substitutes instead of cutting off the root cause or activity.
  • Applications
    • Are you having any problem?
    • Have you found a cause and a solution?
    • Is your solution working?
      • If NOT
        • then You have not found the root cause.... go back to look again, never give excuses but objectively and calmly examine the facts
Lim Liat (c) 22-8-17

2017-08-15

The New Life Order Under Grace - Freedom from Enslavement to Sin - Romans 6

Our sin tries to find loopholes in the Grace offer of new life and perpetuates its existence. It says let sin more that grace may abound. It also says let sin freely then since there is no law under grace! Paul gave the answers in Romans 6 and explain what grace is all about and our responsibilities.
Romans 6 mind-map:



The Content:
  • Shall we sin under grace?

    • Rom 6:1 Excuse#1 Sin to Glorify Grace!
      • What shall we say then?
      • Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?The expected answer is No.
      • Grace is given to overcome sin (see chapter 5), to save us from sin so we should not and need not sin to show grace power. Not sinning reveals grace power.
      • Similar Excuse is given in Rom 3:5,7 - My sin highlights God's righteousness, so I shouldn't be punished for my sin.

    • Rom 6:15 Excuse#2 Not Under Law, so free to sin.
      • What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.The answer is No. We shall not sin though we are no longer under the law.
        • Gal 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.We are to use our freedom for good and not for evil. We are saved from evil and so we don't and shouldn't return back to evil again.
        • 1Pe 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
        • Jud 1:4 ... ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
        • Rom 7:7 -What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. 
        • Rom 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
      • We have moved from the old order of the Law to the new order of Life under grace that we no longer are under sin enslavement to sin but under grace to live rightly and freely of from sinning. Rom 6:2-5 shows the how.

  • Death to Sin
    • Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
    • Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
    • Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:
      • that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father,
      • even so we also should walk in newness of life.
    • The new life under grace comes first from death and then a rebirth of resurrection.
    • Ravi Zacharias. “Jesus Christ did not come to make bad people good, but to make dead people alive.”

  • New Life in ChristDeath to Life
    • Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death,
      • we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
    • Rom 6:6 Knowing this,
        • that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
    • Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
    • Rom 6:8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
    • Rom 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
    • Rom 6:10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

  • We do the reckoning
    • Rom 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves
        • to be dead indeed unto sin,
        • but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
    • Rom 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

  • We do the yield Not
    • Rom 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

  • Before: Slavery to Sin
    • Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
    • Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
    • Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
    • Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
    • Rom 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

  • Now: Servant of Righteousness
    • Rom 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
    • Rom 6:20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
    • Rom 6:21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
    • Rom 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

  • Grace is
    • Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  • Summary
    • The Gospel of Grace is not about making bad man good but making dead people alive.
    • The old Order of Law reveals man sin and man inability to follow the law. The Law condemns sinful man to death.
    • The new Order of Life under grace is about dead of the old man to sin and resurrection of the man freed from sin to live under righteousness and freedom from any bondage.
    • We don't need to sin to glorify grace because grace is meant to overcome sin. Sinning not reveals grace.
    • We don't sin because we are not under law because grace empowers us to live rightly above the demands of the Law.
    • It is our responsibility to live out the new life. Consider ourselves as dead to sins, let us not let sin reigns in our body, but yield our body to God as His instruments for righteousness.
            Lim Liat (c) 15 Aug 2017

            2017-08-14

            Grace of Jesus Overcomes The Sin from Adam - Romans 5

            The grace made possible by Jesus' Cross and Resurrection, freely given to everyone, enables us to break free from Adam's sin and the curse, that we may be reconciled back to God eternally.
            Romans 5 mind-map:



            The Content:

            • Rom 5:1-5 The Complete Grace Message from Romans 5:1-5

            • Christ died for us while we were yet sinners
              • Rom 5:6
                • For when we were yet without strength,
                • in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
              • Rom 5:7
                • For scarcely for a righteous man will one die:
                • yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
              • Rom 5:8
                • But God commendeth his love toward us, in that,
                • while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
                • Meditation on Rom 5v8
            • Much More Power & Blessings Now that we have been made right with God
              • Rom 5:9
                • Much more then,
                  • being now justified by his blood,
                  • we shall be saved from wrath through him.
              • Rom 5:10
                • For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son,
                • much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
              • Rom 5:11
                • And not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
                • by whom we have now received the atonement.
            • Adam's sin brought death to all
              • Rom 5:12
                • Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin;
                • and so death passed upon all men, for that, all have sinned:
              • Rom 5:13
                • Sin was in the world: but sin is not known when there is no law.
              • Rom 5:14
                • Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.Whether we know or not, the truth will rule. The consequence of sin, death, rules even before the law was given.
            • Jesus' death brought life to allSalvation is a free gift
              • Rom 5:15
                • But not as the offense, so also is the free gift.
                • For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and
                • the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
              • Rom 5:16
                • And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation,
                • but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification.
            • Grace is greater than Sin
              • Rom 5:17
                • For if by one man's offense death reigned by one;
                • much more they which receive abundance of grace
                • and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.
            • The Same Principle of Spreading
              • Rom 5:18
                • Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation;
                • even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
              • Rom 5:19
                • For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners,
                • so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
              • Rom 5:20
                • Moreover, the law entered, that the offense might abound.
                • But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:Grace overpower sins. No one can say he is beyond salvation.
            • Grace is greater than SinEternal life over death
              • Rom 5:21
                • That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so, might
                • grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
            • Summary
              • Christ died for us while we were yet sinners. He accepted us despite our sins.
              • But He loves us too much to leave us enslaved by sins and so give us the grace power to overcome sin.
              • Grace, a free gift, made possible by Jesus Christ, is given to overcome sin and to give us eternal life with God
            Meditation on Romans 5:8 While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us:



            Lim Liat (c) 14 Aug 2017

            2017-08-12

            Justification is by Faith as Shown by Abraham - Romans 4

            Religions go by justification by the works of the Laws. But Christianity is justification by faith and not works. This is shown in the example of Abraham. He was counted as righteous because he believed in the promise of God and acted accordingly. The promise and acceptance by God occurred before the giving of the Laws and circumcision. The circumcision was a later sign of earlier inward faith in God. This justification by faith in Jesus Christ is available to anyone who believes. Adam sinned by not believing God and Abraham was justified by believing in God. That is right isn't it?
            Chapter 4 Mind-map:


            The Passage:
            • Faith vs Work
              • Abraham
                • What was gained by Abraham, the forefather of the Jews? Rom 4:1
                  - It is Righteousness by Faith
                • If Abraham was justified by works, then he can boast , but not before God. Rom 4:2 -  Abraham was not justified by works
                • The Scripture says,"Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness." Rom 4:3
                • A wage is not counted as a gift but as a due of his work. Rom 4:4
                • And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as for righteousness, Rom 4:5
              • David
                • "Blessing is when God counting him righteous without the works" Rom 4:6
                • "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; Rom 4:7
                • blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin." Rom 4:8
            • For WHO? Circumcised & UncircumcisedFaith Before Circumcision
              • Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised?
                • For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. Rom 4:9
              • How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised?
                • It was not after, but before he was circumcised. Rom 4:10Circumcision is a sign for inner faith
              • The purpose was to make him
                • the father of
                  • all who believe without being circumcised,
                    • so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, Rom 4:11
                  • the true circumcised are those who not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith of Abraham Rom 4:12
            • By Faith
              • For the promise
                • to Abraham & his offspring
                • that he would be heir of the world
                • + did not come through the law
                • but through the righteousness of faith. Rom 4:13
              • For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. Rom 4:15
              • it depends on faith,
                • that the promise may
                  • rest on grace and
                  • be guaranteed to all his offspring
                    • --not only to the adherent of the law
                    • but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham,
                      • who is the father of us all, Rom 4:16
            • The Promise
              • as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations"--
                • in the presence of the God in whom he believed,
                • God who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. Rom 4:17
            • Abraham's Faith
              • In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, "So shall your offspring be." Rom 4:18
              • He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body,
                • which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old),
                • or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. Rom 4:19
              • No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, Rom 4:20
              • fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Rom 4:21
              • That is why his faith was "counted to him as righteousness." Rom 4:22
            • Believe in ChristSalvation is for All
              • But the words "it was counted to him" were not written for his sake alone, Rom 4:23
              • but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, Rom 4:24
            • Summary
              • "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness." Rom 4:3
                • fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Rom 4:21
                • That is why his faith was "counted to him as righteousness." Rom 4:22
              • David referred to the forgiveness of sins as well 4v7
              • The promise to Abraham was given before circumcision and the giving of the Laws 4v10
              • Circumcision comes after acceptance and is just a sign of the inward faith.
              • All who believe in Jesus, circumcised or not, will be saved. 4v11,24
              • Jesus was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. Rom 4:25
            Back to the Original Sin of Adam:

            Eve sinned by believing the Devil rather than God. She used her senses to see that it was good for food and pleasant and chose to believe what the devil had said about making one wiser and so she ate and gave to her Adam who also ate without asking. Since it was unbelief that caused the first sin, it makes sense that God now enable us to be saved, a second chance, by believing in the redemption of Jesus Christ. God is reconciling us back to him through a relationship of trust and obedience.

            See also The Branding of Believers - The Ten Commandments

            Lim Liat (c) 12 Aug 2017

            2017-08-10

            Let Sin More to Glorify God? Faith Upholds the Law - Romans 3

            Does not salvation by faith gives us the license to sin? If our sin reveals God's goodness, then why should we be punished for our sin? Paul addresses such questions in Romans 3. His conclusion is "Faith upholds the Law" and hence if you truly understand and have the faith in Jesus, then you have fulfilled and will continue to uphold the Law.
            Romans 3 Mind-map:

            note: the bible verses are my own. Please read the original translations if you have any doubt.


            The advantage of Jews
            Or what is the value of circumcision? Rom 3:1
            Jews were entrusted with the knowledge and laws of God. Rom 3:2

            Unfaithful Jews but Faithful God
            Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? Rom 3:3
            No. Let God remains true though everyone was a liar, as it is written, "That God is justified in His words, and judged right in any court". Rom 3:4

            Sin More to Glorify God!?That is a big distortion of the truth.
            But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (From a human point of view) Rom 3:5
            Of course not! If God is not righteous, then how can He judge the world? Rom 3:6
            But if my unrighteousness shows God's glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? Rom 3:7
            Some people accused us wrongly, that we preach "why not do evil that good may come?. Their distortion and condemnation are just. Rom 3:8

            Why this argument is wrong?As Paul pointed out in verse 4, God's Laws and Judgement are always right irrespective of our sins. God does not need our sins to show His righteousness.

            Are we Jews any better off?In terms of being more righteous because of knowledge of God's Laws & Circumcision
            No, not at all. Both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, Rom 3:9
            as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; Rom 3:10
            no one seeks and understands God. Rom 3:11
            All have turned aside; becoming worthless; no one does good, not even one." Rom 3:12
            They lied and speak evils. Rom 3:13
            "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness." Rom 3:14
            "They are quick to shed blood; Rom 3:15
            they leave behind destructions and sufferings, Rom 3:16
            and they do not seek peace " Rom 3:17
            "There is no fear of God " Rom 3:18

            Purpose of LawTo reveal sin and not for justification because everyone has sinned.
            The law applies to who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. Rom 3:19
            For by works of the law no man will be justified since through the law comes knowledge of sin. Rom 3:20
            The law reveals the sin of every man and no one can be justified in the law.
            But now the righteousness of God has been revealed apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it-- Rom 3:21

            Righteousness by Faith
            The righteousness of God is (gained) through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction (Jews nor Gentiles): Rom 3:22
            for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Rom 3:23
            and are justified by God's grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Rom 3:24
            whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. Rom 3:25
            It was to show his righteousness at the present time so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Rom 3:26
            Note: God's righteousness is shown in His Laws is just - revealing man's sin
            His judgment is just - punishment on His Son on the cross.
            His love is true - anyone can receive Jesus' redemption by faith and be accepted by God.

            No BoastingAll are saved by Faith, not works
            We cannot boast about our justification by our work. But we can proclaim the law of faith. Rom 3:27
            For we hold that everyone is justified by faith and not from works of the law. Rom 3:28
            Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, Rom 3:29
            since God is one--who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Rom 3:30

            Our Faith upholds the LawDo we then overthrow the law by this faith? No, not at all! On the contrary, we uphold the law. Rom 3:31Because through Jesus who paid the penalty of sin, we complete the demands of the law.

            Summary
            • The Jews have the advantage of knowing God and His law. But knowledge alone does not justify a person.
            • Man's unfaithfulness does not cause God to be faithless. God's character remains intact irrespective of the actions of man.
            • So we cannot argue that our sins reveal God's righteousness and so God should not judge our sins. Neither can we sin more to show forth God's greater saving grace.
            • The purpose of the Law is to reveal man's sin but the Law does not have the ability to save man from his sins.
            • So God has to use another means to save man from his sins. It is by the offering of His Son to pay the penalty of man's sins as demand by the law. Then, man can be righteous through faith in His Son's redemption.
            • Hence, salvation is by faith in Jesus and not by following the Law. No one can be justified in the Law because all have sinned. There is also nothing for man to boast except by faith in His Son.
            • The Law of Faith does not nullify the Law. The Faith, in fact, agrees that the Law is right that whereby the sacrifice of His Son is needed. Faith completes the demand of the Law.
            • So, Faith in Jesus gives us the power to fulfill the Law as will be shown in subsequent chapters.

            2017-07-31

            Godliness is Not in the Mind Only - Romans 2

            Godliness is not in the mind only. Knowledge of the Laws without following actions still brings condemnation. There is nothing to be proud of if we just have the knowledge without action. We are just hypocrites. The best is to internalize the Laws within our heart and acting out in our bodies. True Godliness must be in our heart, mind, and body.
            Romans 2 Mindmap:


            Judging Fairly - Judging Others begins with ourselves
            • Pointing at others sins does not save us from our sins. We can distract and fool men but not God.

              • Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because of you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2:1Condemning Others does not excuse our sins.
                Others wrongful acts do not justify our wrongs.
              • We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 2:2God punishes the unfair judges
                • Do you suppose, O man--you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself--that you will escape the judgment of God? 2:3
              • Mat 7:5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
            Delayed Judgement - Repent now before it is too late
            • Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 2:4God's delayed judgment does not mean God is not going to judge nor God is ignoring our sins. But rather, it is to give time for us to realize our sins.
            • But because of your hard and impenitent heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed. 2:5Continuing in our sinful acts will just add up to God's wrath.
            God's Judgment - Life for righteous and Wrath for evil
            • He will render to each one according to his works 2:6 impartially 2:11Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
            • Eternal life; 2:7
              • to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality,
            • Wrath and fury. 2:8
              • those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness,
            • Tribulation and distress
              • for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 2:9
            • Glory, honor, and peace
              • for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 2:10
            How of Judgment - By the Disclosed Laws or Conscience
            • For God shows no partiality. 2:11
            • For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law,
              • Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves 2:14The moral sense of right and wrong is built in.
              • They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 2:15
            • all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 2:12
            • not the hearers of the law who are righteous but the doers of the law who will be justified. 2:13
            Jesus Christ the Judge
            • on that day, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. 2:16
            The Benefits of Jews - Knowledge of Laws & Wisdom
            • But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God 2:17
            • know His will & approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; 2:18
            • If you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 2:19
            • an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth-- 2:20
            Justification is by Actions -Not by talking or teaching.
            • you who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 2:21
            • You say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 2:22
            • You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. 2:23
            • For, as it is written, "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you." 2:24
            Circumcision is of the Heart - Outward ceremonious action is useless
            • For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. 2:25
            • So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 2:26
            • Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. 2:27
            • For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 2:28
            • But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God. 2:29
            Summary
            • Knowing God's Laws is Good
              • It is wisdom to teach and guide us
              • But knowing is not a basis for righteousness. Nothing to boast about
              • Judging & teaching others the Laws begins with ourselves first
              • The Laws must be internalized in our heart with corresponding actions
              • Knowledge without Following Actions is useless; it brings shame instead.

            Lim Liat (c) 31 July 2017