在一個充滿動盪和不確定性的世界中，安全的家園是確保兒童成長的必不可少的社會基礎制度。 因此，必須確保夫妻之間的良好關係。 聖經的確在這方面有很好的教導。
以弗所書 5:25-33, 25 你們做丈夫的，要愛你們的妻子，正如基督愛教會，為教會捨己， 26 要用水藉著道把教會洗淨，成為聖潔， 27 可以獻給自己，做個榮耀的教會，毫無玷汙、皺紋等類的病，乃是聖潔沒有瑕疵的。 28 丈夫也當照樣愛妻子，如同愛自己的身子，愛妻子便是愛自己了。 29 從來沒有人恨惡自己的身子，總是保養顧惜，正像基督待教會一樣， 30 因我們是他身上的肢體。 31 為這個緣故，人要離開父母，與妻子聯合，二人成為一體。 32 這是極大的奧祕，但我是指著基督和教會說的。 33 然而你們各人都當愛妻子，如同愛自己一樣；妻子也當敬重她的丈夫。
(2) 其次，妻子方面：以弗所書 5:22-24, 22 你們做妻子的，當順服自己的丈夫，如同順服主； 23 因為丈夫是妻子的頭，如同基督是教會的頭，他又是教會全體的救主。 24 教會怎樣順服基督，妻子也要怎樣凡事順服丈夫。
必須強調的是，聖保羅通過基督與他的新娘（即教會）之間的關係來塑造表達人類的婚姻。 婚姻制度是上帝所命定的。 也就是說，它是在天堂由上帝創造的，而不是由人類不適當和不道德的解釋/制度所造。 根據上帝的教導，夫妻成為一體是來面對世界挑戰的。
22 耶和華神就用那人身上所取的肋骨造成一個女人，領她到那人跟前。 23 那人說：「這是我骨中的骨、肉中的肉！可以稱她為女人，因為她是從男人身上取出來的。」
確實，亞當的內心只有一個夏娃，他比珍惜自己，更珍惜她。 只有一個亞當和一個夏娃。 上帝如此明確地教導我們有關其在創造中的意義。
A loving family which follows Christ (New)
In a world of chaos and uncertainty, a safe home is an essential societal infrastructure to ensure a nurturing place for children. Thus, it is imperative to ensure a great relationship between husband and wife. The Bible indeed has great teachings on this subject.
(1) First, on the husband’s role and manners towards his beloved wife:
Ephesians 5:25-33, 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
(2) Secondly on the wife’s part:
Ephesians 5:22-24, 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
It is important to emphasize that Saint Paul patterns the human marriage with the relationship between Christ and His Bride (i.e, the Church). The marriage system is ordained by God. That is, it is made in heaven by God and not by human’s inadequate and immoral opinions/laws. According to the divine teaching, husband and wife become one flesh in facing the challenges of the world.
Husband shall cherish his wife because this is the will of God in His creation of the universe.
22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
23 And Adam said:
“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
Indeed, there was only one Eve in the Adam’s heart and mind, and he cherished her better than anything in him. There is only one Adam and one Eve. God made it so to teach us so clearly as to its implications in the creation.
For you and me in the 21th century AD, we need to absolutely protect our marriage against frontal attacks by the liberals, and against serious deceptive perversions by the devil. The devil and his cohorts know it very well: A loving family which follows Christ, will nullify his deceptive schemes in corrupting the human being society!
Futile Political Correctness Living 政治正確性的虛妄生活
1 Peter 1:18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers
彼得前書 1:18 知道你們得贖，脫去你們祖宗所傳流虛妄的行為...
Do you know what is the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors? Obviously handed down to us from our ancestors means traditions, cultures, and customs. Certainly not all handed down to us are the empty way of life. You might ask what is the empty way of life? New American Standard Version called it “your futile way of life”. New King James Version called it “your aimless conduct received by tradition”. Thus, we were redeemed from the empty way of life, from our futile way of life, and from our aimless conduct. These unfruitful ways of life came from traditions inherited from our ancestors. What are they? Anything that is not lasting, anything that is futile, and anything that is temporal without eternal value.
您知道祖先傳給您虛妄的生活方式是什麼嗎？ 顯然，祖先傳給我們的是傳統，文化和習俗。 當然，並非所有傳給我們的都是虛妄的生活方式。 您可能會問什麼是虛妄的生活方式？ 新的美國標準版本將其稱為“您徒勞的生活方式”。 新國王詹姆斯版本將其稱為“您的傳統所接受的毫無目的的行為”。 因此，我們是從空虛的生活方式，徒勞的生活方式和漫無目的的行為中得到了救贖。 這些虛妄的生活方式來自我們祖先的傳統。 這些是什麼？ 任何不持久的東西，任何無用的文化，任何暫時的，沒有永恆價值的傳統。
Best way to understand this is by examples.
Example 1. The futile way of worshipping the gentile idols. There are millions of people in this category.
Example 2. The aimless conducts of political correction to silent conscience of right and wrong. This category includes millions of people living and being deceived by political doctrinarians such as political dictatorship or religious dictatorship like jihadists, and political correctness in various societies.
示例1. 崇拜外邦偶像的徒勞方式。 此類別有數百萬人。 發生在亞洲無處不在的寺廟。
例子2. 跟隨政治正確，破壞和沈默了對與錯的良知。 此類別包括數以百萬計的人，這些人生活在政治專制和宗教專制的社會之中和政治正確性里邊.
Thus, we were redeemed from idol worship. We were redeemed from political correctness.
We were redeemed from corruptions of this world. Do not sell our souls for lusts, power, and money. Our God provides all necessary provisions and grace for His children to live a decent and holy lives in this perishing world.
我們是從這個世界的腐敗中得救贖了。 不要為了慾望，力量和金錢而賣掉我們的靈魂。 我們的上帝為他的孩子們提供了一切必要的準備和恩典，以使他的孩子們在這個滅亡的世界上能夠過敬虔聖潔的生活。
We all know that this pandemic causes shutdown of businesses in the world. Most businesses temporarily closes down and millions of people lose their jobs. For the people with immune system
deficiencies, especially seniors, consequences of being affected by this virus are very severe including death.
我們都知道，這種流行病導致世界各地的企業倒閉。 大多數企業暫時關閉，數百萬人失業。 對於免疫系統缺陷的人，尤其是老年人，受此病毒影響的後果非常嚴重，包括死亡。
But in addition to physical health, the impacts of this pandemic also include mental health issues such as fears, depressions, extreme loneliness due to isolation, and loss of group
fellowship such as traditional church activities and family gatherings.
This virus has caused severe disruptions of normal daily activities including shopping, driving, schooling, and commercial/medical behaviors. In fact, there are many doubts, uncertainties,
and stresses in our families, schools, and societies. For example, lots of confusing information on the effectiveness of masks and gloves cause further confusions and stresses.
該病毒已嚴重破壞了正常的日常活動，包括購物，開車，上學和商業/醫療行為。 實際上，我們的家庭，學校和社會存在許多疑慮，不確定性和壓力。 例如，關於口罩和手套有效性的許多令人困惑的信息會引起進一步的混亂和壓力。
With all the damages and difficulties of this pandemic, how we maintain calms and deal with this difficult time? How to maintain a positive attitude toward this situation at home? How to
live our lives in a manner consisting with our belief? How to support each other, particularly members of our families?
在這場大流行帶來的所有損害和困難之後，我們如何保持冷靜並應對這一艱難時期？ 如何在家中對這種情況保持積極態度？ 如何以一種與信仰相伴的方式生活？ 如何互相支持，特別是我們的家庭成員？
In a distressful time like this, we, as Christians, should even spend more times in prayers and look to our Merciful Lord Jesus Christ, who loves us to the end, to protect us, to
strengthen us, and to lead us through this pandemic disaster. We need to pray, help, and support for each other as well!
在這樣一個令人痛苦的時刻，我們作為基督徒，應該花更多的時間禱告，並仰望愛我們到底仁慈的主耶穌基督，來保護我們，加強我們，並帶領我們度過這場大流行災害 。 我們也需要互相祈禱,幫助和支持！
The Bible teaches us how to handle all the difficulties in our lives. List below are a few examples:
1. Hebrews 4:14-16,
Jesus the Great High Priest
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
14 我們既然有一位已經升入高天尊榮的大祭司，就是神的兒子耶穌，便當持定所承認的道。 15 因我們的大祭司並非不能體恤我們的軟弱，他也曾凡事受過試探，與我們一樣，只是他沒有犯罪。 16 所以我們只管坦然無懼地來到施恩的寶座前，為要得憐恤，蒙恩惠，做隨時的幫助。
2. 2 Peter 1: 3-11
Confirming One’s Calling and Election
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
3 神的神能已將一切關乎生命和虔敬的事賜給我們，皆因我們認識那用自己榮耀和美德召我們的主。 4 因此，他已將又寶貴又極大的應許賜給我們，叫我們既脫離世上從情慾來的敗壞，就得與神的性情有份。 5 正因這緣故，你們要分外地殷勤：有了信心，又要加上德行；有了德行，又要加上知識； 6 有了知識，又要加上節制；有了節制，又要加上忍耐；有了忍耐，又要加上虔敬； 7 有了虔敬，又要加上愛弟兄的心；有了愛弟兄的心，又要加上愛眾人的心。 8 你們若充充足足地有這幾樣，就必使你們在認識我們的主耶穌基督上，不至於閒懶不結果子了。 9 人若沒有這幾樣，就是眼瞎，只看見近處的，忘了他舊日的罪已經得了潔淨。 10 所以弟兄們，應當更加殷勤，使你們所蒙的恩召和揀選堅定不移。你們若行這幾樣，就永不失腳。 11 這樣，必叫你們豐豐富富地得以進入我們主救主耶穌基督永遠的國。
3. 1 Peter 5:7-11
7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
彼得前書 5:7-11 須將憂慮卸給神
7 你們要將一切的憂慮卸給神，因為他顧念你們。 8 務要謹守、警醒，因為你們的仇敵魔鬼如同吼叫的獅子，遍地遊行，尋找可吞吃的人。 9 你們要用堅固的信心抵擋它，因為知道你們在世上的眾弟兄也是經歷這樣的苦難。 10 那賜諸般恩典的神，曾在基督裡召你們得享他永遠的榮耀，等你們暫受苦難之後，必要親自成全你們，堅固你們，賜力量給你們。 11 願權能歸給他，直到永永遠遠！阿們。
4. Philippians 4:4-7 Final Exhortations
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
腓立比書 4:4-7 門徒當在主裡喜樂
4 你們要靠主常常喜樂，我再說，你們要喜樂！ 5 當叫眾人知道你們謙讓的心。主已經近了。 6 應當一無掛慮，只要凡事藉著禱告、祈求和感謝，將你們所要的告訴神。 7 神所賜出人意外的平安，必在基督耶穌裡保守你們的心懷意念。
5. Psalm. 23
A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
詩篇 23 耶和華為牧者
當然，我們都知道那些試圖”取悅包括世界在內的所有人”的所謂基督教精英領袖。 他們玩政治正確，並聲稱自己是保護教會和平純潔的精英。 讓提醒我們自己，聖經在這方面的教導，是非常有啟發性的：
約翰福音 3:19-21, 作惡的恨光
19 「光來到世間，世人因自己的行為是惡的，不愛光倒愛黑暗，定他們的罪就是在此。 20 凡作惡的便恨光，並不來就光，恐怕他的行為受責備； 21 但行真理的必來就光，要顯明他所行的是靠神而行。」
約翰福音 15:18-19, 恨主者必恨信主的
18 「世人若恨你們，你們知道，恨你們以先已經恨我了。 19 你們若屬世界，世界必愛屬自己的。只因你們不屬世界，乃是我從世界中揀選了你們，所以世界就恨你們。
15 不要愛世界和世界上的事。人若愛世界，愛父的心就不在他裡面了。 16 因為凡世界上的事，就像肉體的情慾、眼目的情慾並今生的驕傲，都不是從父來的，乃是從世界來的。 17 這世界和其上的情慾都要過去，唯獨遵行神旨意的，是永遠常存。
So-called pleaser on all sides
Surely we all know about those so-called elite christian leaders who try to please everybody including the world. They play political correctness and claime that they protect the peace and purity of the churches. It is very enlightened to remind ourselves about the teaching of the Bible in this area:
1. Nature of our conflicts with the world as revealed by our Lord
John 3:19-21, “19 And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light; for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, so that his deeds will not be exposed. 21 But the one who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds will be revealed as having been performed in God.”
2. Our Lord has been hated by the world and the world also hates His followers
John 15:18-19, Disciples’ Relation to the World
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.”
3. You can not be a pleaser of all if you are a Christ believer
1 John 2:15-17, Do Not Love the World
15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God continues to live forever.
In 2015, we added this new web page called "For the believers" in order to deal with issues which are of interest to our day-to-day struggles in this perverted generation and in this wicked world. We will discuss the issues in this web page from the perspective of the believers in Jesus Christ our Lord. In other words, we assume the readers of this web page holding the fundamental view of the Scripture as stated in the right column,(Reminder Section), of the home web page.
This is my Father’s world. O let me never forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done:
Jesus Who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heaven be one.
Daily Prayer-- Please let us diligently study the Bible everyday and may we grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
This Section contains the following: 本網頁的內容包含如下:
1. Know the cultures of our days and Know where we stand
2. Self denial is taught by our Lord to His disciples.(4/2015)
3. Lesson learnt from Adam and Eve
4. How to live your Christian Life?
5. True or Fake Vine
6. Is that all there is for this life?
7. The Pilgrim's Heart
8. Stop to reorient towards our Heavenly Home
9. Whose servants/maids are we? (11/2015)
10. Know what we have (11/2015)
11. The 2015 Year End Reflection
12. Looking Forward in 2016 (1/2016)
13. In the world but not of the world (1/2016)
14. An enduring question 一個存在很久的問題 (3/2016)
15. Simple yet Profound 簡單而深奧(4/2016)
16. Live as Christians! 什麼是基督徒的生活！(4/2016)
17. By All Means Save Some 無論如何 總要救些人(8/2016)
18. Our Mission 我們的使命 (9/2016)
19. In Christ 在基督裡 (5/2017)
20. To Glory Christ Jesus Our Lord 榮耀我們主耶穌基督 (5/17)
21. Free will 自由意志 (6/17)
22. Surviving Well 保守生活 (6/2017)
23. A Tale of Two Natures 兩種本性的故事
24. On Temptation and Evil 誘惑和邪惡 (11/17)
25. Corruption and Pollution腐敗與污染(3/18)
26. Information Overload 資訊爆炸(5/18)
27. Human Relationship in a Chaotic World 混亂世界中的人際關係(12/18)
It is very important for a believer to know the cultures of this wicked world. First of all, we live in an era of post-modernism. This era is characterized by the following:
1. Extreme liberalism characterized by self-ism.
2. Rejection of traditional values such as traditional marriage
3. Rejection of any absolutes such as God and the Bible
4. Grand scale social experiments on any life-styles, and any values
5. Entitlement mindset and ungrateful to friends, parents, society, country, and God
6. Technology based instant gratification mind set. Tomorrow is too far to even think about.
7. Easy frustrated without patience and always blame others
Do not blame on others because we also are pre-conditioned to some of these traits. So we should know the following:
a. Christian values are no longer the main stream values of the societies as portrayed by the liberal media. However, the silent majority of
the Euro-american public still holds truth to the biblical values.
b. Believers are the minority of the society as again pertrayed by the media and are being marginalized by the main stream media and educational institutes.
c. We should look to the Bible for guidance rather than political leaders for guidance
d. Be watchful always on the information so readily available in the internet. Internet does provide all kinds of information (right or wrong, good or bad, all kinds of biases).
How to live in this world and true to our conviction to our belief is the driving force behind this web page. May you pray to our Lord to ask His divine provision to guide us that we can provide in this web page with reminders to honor Him in our daily activities.
It is actually beneficial to assess where we stand at many social/political/cultural issues. Are you a conservative or liberal on an issue? You may say that you are biblical. That is fine until you actually know what are the biblical standards for various issues. But just to know your position on many issues will help you to see if you are taking the prevalent world views on those issues or not.
One thing is for sure. It is very difficult to change ourselves unless that we are really honoring Jesus Christ our Lord and willing to correct ourselves for His Name sake. We definitely need right view of the Scripture to guide us. The following are a few suggestions:
1. Try to have a few faithful Christian friends to form a small group to discuss issues and support each other.
2. Try to find out where the die-hard orthodox Christian leaders stand on those issues.
3. Try to find out where the main stream media stand on the issues.
4. What are the position of the Church in history on those issues. Check a few bible commentaries as well.
5. Try to find out what we say here in this web site
6. Do compare everything including your own to the Scripture
7. Do pray and meditate and be patient for divine illumination and guidance
When we come to the truth finding, be professional. That means only one thing-- Right knowledge through right training, right tools, and right way of seeking it. Just think about how a plumber will fix a pipe leak comparing with how you will fix it. You will surely get the picture of "What is the meaning of professionalism".
a. 雖然主流媒體大大地宣告基督教價值觀不再是主流價值觀, 但大多數歐美洲不作聲的公眾仍舊保持基督教的價值觀。
There are many things in life frustrated us, Part of that is due to our inability to battle our corrupted nature. The best way is to follow the teaching of the Bible. Battle of wills are one of the key life-long lessons for the self-denial teaching. This is especially true for a believer to learn in the nurture of his/her relationship with family members particularly with his/her spouse.
First of all, battle of wills may not even come from bad or evil motives. They can simply come from a conflict due to personal habits etc. For example, during a trip to the supermarket, a wife may want to take a particular route or a husband may want to park in a particular section of the parking lot. By taking the wrong route or parking at a different section may be interpreted by a party that the other party deliberately try to "hurt" him/her. You may think this type of reaction may be extreme and is a manifestation of other more serious underlined issues. Be it as it may, battle of wills is indeed a major cause of numerous events contributing to many sour relationships. One of the key factors in battle of wills may be due to the fact that one party may not even think about it or even think it matters to anything. But it is certainly very sensitive to the other party to cause a conflict. Why there are so many divorces in our society-- more than 50% of newly wed will get a divorce in California and in many other places as well. A simple consideration to the loved one's "will" or "feeling" will certainly go a long way to a happy marriage.
Self denial is taught by our Lord to His disciples. Actually, Jesus gave a new command to His disciples (that is to you and me) in John
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
We know very well that many people are not very lovable and to some that may include ourselves as well. So the only way to love a not-so-lovable person, particularly your loved ones, is through self-denial devotion. Why call this devotion? Because it takes great effort in self denial of your will to even close to be able to practice this aspect of love.
Interesting enough, the Bible actually gives us examples in this area. For example, eating meat which was offered to idols caused many conflicts in early churches. In 1 Corinthians 8:9-13
9 But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idols temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? 11 For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. 12 And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.
9 只是你們要謹慎，恐怕你們這自由竟成了那軟弱人的絆腳石。 10 若有人見你這有知識的在偶像的廟裡坐席，這人的良心若是軟弱，豈不放膽去吃那祭偶像之物嗎？ 11 因此，基督為他死的那軟弱弟兄，也就因你的知識沉淪了。 12 你們這樣得罪弟兄們，傷了他們軟弱的良心，就是得罪基督。 13 所以，食物若叫我弟兄跌倒，我就永遠不吃肉，免得叫我弟兄跌倒了。
It should be pointed out to practice this love is not a small matter because substantial portion of the meat sold in a pagan market in that time came from the meat sacrificed to idols. That means you do not eat meat at that time of the church history. It is also very important to remind you that if our liberty or our ignorance causes our brothers to stumble, we sin against Christ. So be particularly patient to your love ones for the love of Christ indeed.
You can think many circumstances like this. Another example given in the Scripture is the washing of dirty feet by our Lord to His disciples just prior to His going to the cross as described in John 13.
" Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. " (John 13:1)
In a postmodernism world of our days, it is even more important to practice self denials. Following is a few scriptural reminders:
1. Self denial of your pride of your knowledge : Apostle Paul reminded us in 1 Corinthians 8: 1-3
Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. 2 If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; 3 but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.
論到祭偶像之物，我們曉得「我們都有知識」。但知識是叫人自高自大，唯有愛心能造就人。 2 若有人以為自己知道什麼，按他所當知道的，他仍是不知道。 3 若有人愛神，這人乃是神所知道的。
2. Self denial of your positional privileges
(1) Ephesians 4:1-3
4 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
(2) 2 Corinthians 3:4-6
4 Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, 6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
(3) 2 Cor 6:1
And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain
(1) 以弗所書 4：1-3
我為主被囚的勸你們：既然蒙召，行事為人就當與蒙召的恩相稱， 2 凡事謙虛、溫柔、忍耐，用愛心互相寬容， 3 用和平彼此聯絡，竭力保守聖靈所賜合而為一的心。
(2) 哥林多後書 3：4-6
4 我們因基督，所以在神面前才有這樣的信心。 5 並不是我們憑自己能承擔什麼事，我們所能承擔的，乃是出於神。 6 他叫我們能承當這新約的執事，不是憑著字句，乃是憑著精意；因為那字句是叫人死，精意[a]是叫人活。
(3) 哥林多後書 6：1
3. Self denial of your fleshy desires
(1) Col 2: 9-11
9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;
(2) John 6:63
63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
(3) Romans 8:5-8
5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
(1) 西 2：9-11
9 因為神本性一切的豐盛，都有形有體地居住在基督裡面； 10 你們在他裡面也得了豐盛。他是各樣執政掌權者的元首。 11 你們在他裡面也受了不是人手所行的割禮，乃是基督使你們脫去肉體情慾的割禮。
(2) 約翰福音 6:63
(3) 羅馬書 8:5-8
5 因為隨從肉體的人，體貼肉體的事；隨從聖靈的人，體貼聖靈的事。 6 體貼肉體的就是死，體貼聖靈的乃是生命、平安。 7 原來體貼肉體的就是與神為仇，因為不服神的律法，也是不能服； 8 而且屬肉體的人不能得神的喜歡。
4. Self denial of the sharpness of your tongue--According to Chinese word character of "tongue", a tongue is equal to one thousand of mouths. So keep
your tongue in check to your mouth only. More importantly,
(1) Col 4:5-6
5 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
(2) James 3:5
5 So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things.
See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!
(3) Ps 19:14
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.
(4) Matt 12:36-37
36 But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
4.自我捨棄、你的舌頭的伶俐度 - 據中國字“舌頭”，一個舌頭等於1000張嘴巴。因此，要將你的舌頭、只保持在你的一張嘴內。
(1) 西 4：5-6
5 你們要愛惜光陰，用智慧與外人交往。 6 你們的言語要常常帶著和氣，好像用鹽調和，就可知道該怎樣回答各人。
(2) 雅各書 3:5
5 這樣 ,舌頭在百體裡也是最小的，卻能說大話。看哪，最小的火能點著最大的樹林。
(3) 詩 篇 19:14
(4) 馬 太 福 音 12:36-37
5. Self denial of the traps of this perverted world
(1) 1 John 2:16-17
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
(2) 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
(3) Galatians 5:16-17
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
(1) 約翰一書 2：16-17
16 因為凡世界上的事，就像肉體的情慾、眼目的情慾並今生的驕傲，都不是從父來的，乃是從世界來的。 17 這世界和其上的情慾都要過去，唯獨遵行神旨意的，是永遠常存。
(2) 哥林多前書 6：19-20
19 豈不知你們的身子就是聖靈的殿嗎？這聖靈是從神而來，住在你們裡頭的。並且你們不是自己的人， 20 因為你們是重價買來的，所以要在你們的身子上榮耀神。
(3) 加 5：16-17
16 我說，你們當順著聖靈而行，就不放縱肉體的情慾了。 17 因為情慾和聖靈相爭，聖靈和情慾相爭，這兩個是彼此相敵，使你們不能做所願意做的。
Adam and Eve were created by God with full provision of almighty God in a paradise. Adam and Eve were to manage the created world per God's instruction.
Because of the Devil's deceptive scheme, Adam and Eve sinned and hence lost their privilege in God's paradise.
Once being evicted out of the paradise, Adam was forced to survive in a corrupted world. Life was tough indeed for him and Eve. You can read Genesis Chapter 3
and 4 to get a glimpse of the family life then. Furthermore, they had to endure a family tragedy : one of their children was murdered by his brother. All in all, the life after the loss of the
paradise was indeed very bad. Men were forced to survive in a sinful world.
The lesson of Adam and Eve was " Do not wait till you lost it to cherish what you have. Take all necessary watchfulness and diligence to cherish and protect it". For example, do not abuse your health until you lose it. This lesson should be heeded so that we have a better quality of life.
Lately, a Christian friend told me that his principle of living is 3F--faith, family, and fitness and he has been very active in protecting his principle by
living in it. Not bad, isn't it?
The world is so full of deceptive schemes that we need to continuously watch out things and traps that affect our faith. The society is so wicked in promoting
" lust of eyes, lust of flesh, and prides of this life" that we do need to protect our family very hard from all the pollutions.
So do cherish your faith and work at it everyday to be in Christ so that we would not wonder away and deceive ourselves without noticing it. Do invest time and
energy to protect our family to avoid being in the broken family's statistics. And do exercise and watch what you eat to keep yourself and your family healthy.
You may think that Adam and Eve 's lesson was easy to learn. This is certainly not true either individually or collectively. The statistics of divorce rate is
one in two in newly weds. In last century, we had two world wars. We have numerous regional wars even today.
Sadly to say even to this day, there are still numerous people who chose not to recognize God as God. They do not acknowledge God, let alone thank God
for His provisions for their daily lives. We should never forget this: the post-modernism society of today continues to devaluate Christian values as revealed in the Bible.
Since this article is for the believers, do you know the status of your faith. Are you very seriously in pursuing holiness or are you still in full speed
in pursuing worldliness. Many people are deceiving themselves in playing the game of being a Christian in Sundays only and are not pondering on God's word from Monday to
Just being a religion leader may or may not lead you to Jesus Christ's heavenly kingdom. The Bible reminds us that two thousand years ago, it was the so
called very religious leaders in the apostate Jewish establishment who were bitterly against Jesus Christ. So we need a quiet time to exam whether we are in faith or
Here are a few reminders for our meditation:
1. We are so busy that we forget God all together during the week?
2. We see nothing wrong with the world and do not exercise our due diligence to protect
and fight for our faith.
3. Do we constantly protect our family and ourselves from the debase pollutions of this
4. Do we keep Jesus Christ's commandments?
5. Do we rely on ourselves or are we really trusting our Lord Jesus Christ?
6. Do we really know Jesus Christ?
7. Do we know that being a Christian, we have the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. Do we
know the Holy Spirit? If not, how can we be led by the Holy Spirit in our daily life?
8. Do we know our heavenly Father?
9. Do we hate our sinful bends?
10. Do we grief over the evil things of this world?
11. Do we evangelize whenever the opportunity arises?
12. Do you love the Church? Not just "your" church but all the saints that our Lord loves.
7. 我們應該知道 作為一個基督徒，我們有聖靈內住。我們認識聖靈嗎？如果沒有，我們怎麼能由
It is all boiling down to either you are in Christ or not. It all comes down to this: Do you obey Jesus Christ commandments or not. If you are not sure, then from now on, take your faith seriously as the top priority of your life. You may ask how? Excellent question. Pray to our Lord who is the source of wisdom and who is our creator and who is our redeemer and who is our sanctifier and who is our precious almighty Lord and who is our adoration and joy and who is our Savior who died for us at His first coming and will give us glory in His second coming. Why don't all of us pray to Him and ask Him. Do you know that He has promised us to answer our questions and fulfill our requests in His precious Name? You may ask how do you know that. A great question! Here is the answer revealed in the Holy Scripture:
13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. 15 If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
約翰福音 14: 13-15
13 你們奉我的名無論求什麼，我必成就，叫父因兒子得榮耀。 14 你們若奉我名求告什麼，我必成就。 15 你們若愛我，就必遵守我的命令。
Please meditate on these precious verses and find out their context and their meaning and apply them to your life.
For many of us, we do not like to be told what to do. This presents a great problem for adults. For small children, they go to school to be taught by teachers
from Monday to Friday of each week. For adults who became Christians, there is no mandatory school for them to attend. As a matter of fact, they are encouraged to attend Sunday adult Bible study.
Some are active in learning the Bible. Others are just going to church for worship service only.
If we are not involved in bible study groups, chances are that it will take a long time for us to know enough of the Bible to help us grow in Christ. This is indeed a very unsatisfied situation. We cannot become a soldier without a formal basic camp training. We cannot be resourceful and rejoice in the Lord without meditating on God's word. We cannot mediate on God's word unless we first know the God word to be meditated.
We are not talking here about becoming a seminary student. We are talking about studying the bible to help us grow in Christ.
We need God word to grow is just like that a newborn baby needs milk to grow. If you ever be a parent, then you know that a baby needs to be fed every 4 to six hours round the clock day and night. The Bible tells us the following:
1. 1 Peter 2:1-2 As Newborn Babes
Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, 2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,
2. Key attributes of God word, Ps 19: 7-11
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.
所以，你們既除去一切的惡毒、詭詐，並假善、嫉妒和一切毀謗的話， 2 就要愛慕那純淨的靈奶，像才生的嬰孩愛慕奶一樣，叫你們因此漸長，以至得救。
2. 上帝話語的關鍵屬性，詩篇 19: 7-11
So it is imperative that we form a habit of reading the Bible, say half a hour every day. I would suggest that we do it preferably first thing in the morning
after we pray to God our heavenly Father for blessing and guidance for the day. For a late riser, do it in the evening last thing before you pray to thank our heavenly Father for His providence
and protection for the day.
Following your church guidance of reading the Bible. If your church does not have the bible reading guidance. Ask your pastor for the guidance. If not, we
suggest that you read the four gospels first to get to know our Lord first. Then the Acts and the epistles to know the teaching of apostles concerning churches.
As a new Christian, we need to read the Bible and learn to pray to our God everyday. As we grow in grace, we need even more to read the Bible and learn
to pray not only for ourselves, our family, our friends, others in need, our nation, and our brothers and sisters in faith in other part of the world who are suffering because of their
The following are a few reminders from the Bible concerning this matter:
1. Ephesians 2:19-22
19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of Gods household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
2. Read Ps 119
3. John 17:16-17
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.
4. 1 John 2:14-15
14 I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
5. John 15:7-8
7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
19 這樣，你們不再做外人和客旅，是與聖徒同國，是神家裡的人了。 20 並且被建造在使徒和先知的根基上，有基督耶穌自己為房角石， 21 各[a]房靠他聯絡得合式，漸漸成為主的聖殿， 22 你們也靠他同被建造，成為神藉著聖靈居住的所在。
16 他們不屬世界，正如我不屬世界一樣。 17 求你用真理使他們成聖，你的道就是真理。
14 父老啊，我曾寫信給你們，因為你們認識那從起初原有的。少年人哪，我曾寫信給你們，因為你們剛強，神的道常存在你們心裡，你們也勝了那惡者。 15 不要愛世界和世界上的事。人若愛世界，愛父的心就不在他裡面了。
7 你們若常在我裡面，我的話也常在你們裡面，凡你們所願意的，祈求，就給你們成就。 8 你們多結果子，我父就因此得榮耀，你們也就是我的門徒了。
True or Fake Vine
Throughout human history, there have been cases after cases of people claimed to be Messiah. Even today in 21 century, same scheme has been used. False prophets, false teachers, and false Christ are abound. When we look at the artificial flowers for example, they are colorful and some even touch like a real flower. But fake flowers do not have life in them no matter how real they look like real ones.
In John 15:1-2, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.". This teaching is taken traditionally as part of the Upper Room Discourse our Lord gave to His disciples in the night before His crucifixion. His disciples would be shocked to hear this statement because their prevailing understanding was that the vine generally referred to the nation of Israel. For example, Isaiah 5:7 indicates:
For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel
And the men of Judah His delightful plant.
Thus He looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed;
For righteousness, but behold, a cry of distress.
在約翰福音15：1-2，「我是真葡萄樹，我父是栽培的人。 2 凡屬我不結果子的枝子，他就剪去；凡結果子的，他就修理乾淨，使枝子結果子更多」。這經節、在傳統上被認為是頂樓論道的一部分;
Yet, there are many examples that Israel in Old Testament time often wandered off from God. Hosea 10:1 rebuked Israel for forsaking their role as a vine.
Israel is a luxuriant vine;
He produces fruit for himself.
The more his fruit,
The more altars he made;
The richer his land,
The better he made the sacred pillars.
The function of a true vine is to produce much fruits to glorify God, not to glorify itself or pagan gods. When a nation wanders away from God, it may still
have all the external rites and religion form. Yet, there is no life in it and hence it can not produce fruits to honor God.
Our Lord further teaches us in John 15:5
" I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing."
We are the branches of the vine. Thus it is very important that we are truly the branches of the true vine. You may ask what do you means by that. Make sure that we are not attached to a religion with all its external forms and rites but not really connected to Jesus Christ the true Vine. Make sure that we are not just go through the motions. Let say that I go to church on Sundays but I have vague idea who Jesus is and I do not know or care to know what His redemption work. Worse then, I live on my own term Monday through Friday pursuing the world entertainment in my spare time. I have no interest in Bible and I do not treasure God 's word. What do you think where this branch of me is attached to?
There are so many deceptions in the religion world today. Make sure that we truly attach to Jesus Christ of the Bible the true Vine. How do you know who is the Jesus Christ of the Bible? Well, the first step is to take an intense interest in the Bible. And do spend time in reading it and ponder on it. Actually, if you truly treasure your eternal life, then you will do it.
It is interesting to note the following:
1. Young children ask a lot of questions "Why this?" and "What that?"
2. Young people likes to explore many places to experience the life?
3. The more age we have, the less questions we raise. Most of old people appear to accept the life as is and seldom to ask "Why?"
Lately, it bothered me that people live and people dies, yet many people are kind of resigning to the fate of death. If we open our eyes to observe this world, we see that contents of life among each generation or each century are quite similar. Societal issues are similar as well. Life consists of the following:
1. A growth process from baby, child, teens, adult, middle age, and old age.
2. Life activities include education, working, family building, recreation, and relationships.
3. Societal issues are food, clothing, sheltering, laws, transportation, wealth distribution, education, health, environmental protection, and justice.
4. Conflicts are from local, region, to global scale. Also from individual to society to nation. Scope of conflicts could be racial, cultural, moral, religion, economic, territory, and gender, etc.
Yet, out of all hustling and bustling activities of all lives, the mother of all questions for an individual is still "the eternality of life" question or put it in another way, "Is that all there is for this life?
It seems OK for young people to avoid the question for a while. But living in deteriorating health environment for older folks, it is quite urgent, time wise, that they need to get a firm foundation to their lives. Yet, it is sad that not many old folks have energy or inclination to pursue this key issue! It appears that they are heavily laden and were beaten down by the wear and tear process of this life.
From the historical evidences that all men die, it is futile to seek the solution to this question individually or collectively within human wisdom, rationality, and experience. Yet, the pursuit of this key question depends heavily upon your perception of the reality of human life.
If you think that life is of only materialistic aspect, then there is no eternally of life since we all die. However, if you think life consists of flesh, soul, and spirit, then there are something beyond the physical life of our body. That is where the issue of faith coming in.
If you accept that life ends when last breath is taken or last heart beat done, then you do not have to ponder this issue. You might as well stop reading this article and do what you think is best for you. But if you think that there is life beyond this life, then you cannot just do nothing and resign to what you are now.
As Christians, we believe what our Creator reveals to us as recorded in the Bible concerning His purpose of creation of life, nature of life, and eternity of His blessed fellowship with us.
So let ask again "is that all there is in this life?" Now if you are not yet believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and take Him as your ultimate treasure in this world, we beseech you to check it out. You owe yourself to seek Him out. If your life and relationships are perfect without regrets, and you do not want to have an end to your party, then you need to seek Him out as your blessed Lord. If your life and circumstances are hard, misfortunate, and full of frustrations, then it is even more important to check Jesus out to have His blessing for this life and beyond! In any event, we are all like people standing in the check-out line of a supermarket. it is not the question of "if" but "when" our turn of checkout will arrive soon.
For Christians, we need to ask the same question in a different light, do we live in the abundance of life prepared for us by our merciful, and kind, and loving Lord Jesus Christ or are we still wasting our lives away because we have not joyfully obeyed Him.
Perhaps. it is worthy to ponder what does eternal life means? It is true that eternality does not have an end. One thing we need to be reminded of: who care the eternality if it is lonely, hard, and suffering. But the eternal life Jesus gives us is full of His peace, joy, love, and glory to share with us. Furthermore, if you have Son, you have Father and Holy Spirit as well. Another thing needs to be clear; we shall experience the eternal life in this life. We need to rejoice in the Lord and have a sweet fellowship with our God in this life and then we will have unshakable faith to lead us toward our heavenly home.
This is why our Lord define eternal life as:
The High Priestly Prayer
1 Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, 2 even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. 3 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
17 耶穌說了這話，就舉目望天說：「父啊，時候到了，願你榮耀你的兒子，使兒子也榮耀你！ 2 正如你曾賜給他權柄管理凡有血氣的，叫他將永生賜給你所賜給他的人。 3 認識你獨一的真神，並且認識你所差來的耶穌基督，這就是永生。
The Truth Will Make You Free
31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
31 耶穌對信他的猶太人說：「你們若常常遵守我的道，就真是我的門徒， 32 你們必曉得真理，真理必叫你們得以自由。」
Believe in Jesus Christ and you will have eternal life
39 This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
39 差我來者的意思就是：他所賜給我的，叫我一個也不失落，在末日卻叫他復活。 40 因為我父的意思是叫一切見子而信的人得永生，並且在末日我要叫他復活。」
The more we ponder the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, the more we get the understanding that this life of ours is indeed a pilgrimage towards our heavenly Father's home. From a Christian's perspective, God created heavens and the earth and the mankind ancestors Adam and Eve. The purpose of our lives on this earth is to grow in the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13) and to glorify Him in our body. This means that we should have Christ-like attitudes and Christ-like mercies and grace in our daily life.(see Philippians 2:5)
As Christians, we should always take our heavenly citizenship very seriously just as the Holy Scripture instructs us in Ephesians 2:19, " So then you are no
longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of Gods household." Our Lord clearly teaches us in John 17:16-19, "16 They are not of the world, even as
I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they
themselves also may be sanctified in truth."
作為基督徒，我們要始終非常重視、我們在天上的公民身份，正如聖經在以弗所書2:19教導我們，“19 這樣，你們不再做外人和客旅，是與聖徒同國，是神家裡的人了”。我們的主在約翰福音17：16-19，明確地告訴我們，“16 他們不屬世界，正如我不屬世界一樣。 17 求你用真理使他們成聖，你的道就是真理。 18 你怎樣差我到世上，我也照樣差他們到世上。 19 我為他們的緣故，自己分別為聖，叫他們也因真理成聖”。
Thus, it is essential that we know who we are. This means by our nature we are the temple of the living God:(2 Corinthians 6: 16-18)
16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 17 Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate, says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. 18 And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me, Says the Lord Almighty.
16 神的殿和偶像有什麼相同呢？因為我們是永生神的殿，就如神曾說：「我要在他們中間居住，在他們中間來往；我要做他們的神，他們要做我的子民。」 17 又說：「你們務要從他們中間出來，與他們分別，不要沾不潔淨的物，我就收納你們。」 18 「我要做你們的父，你們要做我的兒女。」這是全能的主說的。
Thus, we should be "but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses,"(2
因此，我們應該 “4 反倒在各樣的事上表明自己是神的用人，就如在許多的忍耐，患難，窮乏，困苦，”（哥林多後書6：4）。
As we are still in this world, we should really have the attitude of a pilgrim through this world. When we go away for vacation, we always have the sense of going home after the vacation. This understanding is so crucial in our spiritual maturity and our day-to-day outlooks that we should have this sense everyday as we travel through this world. May all of us cherish this great Grace from our Lord Jesus Christ and may He be praised from our lips and from our hearts evermore in our journeys towards our heavenly home, Amen!
John 16:28 - I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.”
約 翰 福 音 16:28 - 我 從 父 出 來 ， 到 了 世 界 ； 我 又 離 開 世 界 ， 往 父 那 裡 去 。
One of the key natures of the Jesus Christ's followers is our sense of belonging to our heavenly home. This point is very clear in our Lord's teaching in the
Upper Room Discourse recorded in the gospel of John from Chapter 13 to Chapter 17. This sense of belonging is proportional to our faith. We all know that we are prone to wander off in this world.
Many Christians sometimes concentrate on many church activities. But we sometimes forget this sense of belonging to our heavenly home.
You may ask why is it so important. Our Lord teaches us that we do not belong to this world. You may ask what does it means. It means that we are like an
ambassador to a foreign country. Now an ambassador to a foreign country represents the home country. The ambassador does not belong to the foreign country. Furthermore, if you are the ambassador to a
hostile country, you will be hated and prosecuted for sure. But you will be prepared because it comes with who you are.
Since we do not belong to the world, we are like a pilgrim in this world. We are just traveling through and continue traveling towards our heavenly home. So we are not part of the fads of the world. Besides, we are chosen by our Lord to do His work just like an ambassador residing in a foreign country is to do the work assigned by the home country.
So at the end of each day we may be asking ourselves what happened today and are we walking with Jesus Christ today. This is indeed a good question. We are not talking about perfection. Sometimes, we may forget God for many days and wonder off onto our own way for many days or even months. Now we can be sure that this will not happen if we have a sense of belonging about who we are and whom do we belong to.
This is why Apostle Paul admonishes us the following:
A. Philippians 3:20 New King James Version (NKJV)
20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
B. 2 Timothy 2:15-16 New King James Version (NKJV)
15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.
C. 1 Timothy 6:11-12 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Good Confession
11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
A. 腓 立 比 書 3:20
B. 提 摩 太 後 書 2:15-16
15 你當竭力在神面前得蒙喜悅，做無愧的工人，按著正意分解真理的道。 16 但要遠避世俗的虛談，因為這等人必進到更不敬虔的地步。
C. 提 摩 太 前 書 6:11-12
11 但你這屬神的人要逃避這些事，追求公義、敬虔、信心、愛心、忍耐、溫柔。 12 你要為真道打那美好的仗，持定永生；你為此被召，也在許多見證人面前已經作了那美好的見證。
May all of us keep this sense of belonging in each day of our journey towards our heavenly home.
Psalm 36:9 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.
詩 篇 36:9
In a postmodern me generation, even saying “whose servant/maid are we?” will offend somebody. Many people think that they are of their own free persons and subject to nobody. But this is not what the Bible says. According to the Bible, I am either slave to the devil who is the prince of air of this world or I am a bond servant to our Lord Jesus Christ by our own choice.
According to Ephesians 2: 1-3, I was a slave to my sins and indeed a captive slave of the devil.
2 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
Actually, these Bible verses describe pretty well many unbelievers in this world although they may not aware what kind of spiritual state that they are
According to a media survey several years ago, their survey found that there was not too much difference in divorce rate among the people called themselves
Christians as compared with the general public. This could not possibly be true. After reviewing the surveying data, they classified people as Christians if they answered that they attended
church regularly. Obviously, false classification would result in wrong survey result. But this brings out a good question. What are Christians?
A Christian believes in Jesus Christ as his/her personal Lord and Savior. According to Ephesians 2:1-3, before one became a Christian, he/she spiritually was
dead in trespasses and sins and cannot respond to any spiritual truth. That is why the Scripture says that we need to be born again before we can see the kingdom of God. To be born again is not
due to our effort just as our first birth was not due to our own will or merit. But to be born spiritually means that we need to be born by the Holy Spirit. This means that within us there is a
new inner man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.(see Ephesians 4:24) This means that if we were born again by the Holy Spirit, we could not possibly still live in
sins continuously like before our conversion.
So whose servants are we? To be a servant means that we need to follow our Lord’s calling and do His commands. Let us suppose that during a single day there
are 20 things happened to a person and at the end of the day this person never in an instant think about Jesus Christ once in dealing with the 20 things during the day. Let we suppose that this
person deals with all 20 things by himself/herself. What do you think whose servant/maid this person belongs to? How can we be servants of Jesus Christ if we never follow His
Here are a few Scripture verses for our meditation on the pattern and example of our Lord Jesus Christ:
18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.
30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
49 For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”
49 因為我沒有憑著自己講，唯有差我來的父已經給我命令，叫我說什麼、講什麼。 50 我也知道他的命令就是永生。故此，我所講的話正是照著父對我所說的。
As people grow older, sometime they forget what they have. Every year, we heard of the situation of older folks living very poorly because they forget that
they have bank accounts. As a Christian, do we know what we have been provided by our loving God to assist us in our pilgrim journey towards our heavenly home.
In His upper discourse given by our precious Lord during the evening before He went to the cross to complete His redemption work for us, He did make many great promises to His disciples and those who believe Him through the witness of the disciples throughout the church age. One of the blessed promises is to send the Holy Spirit to dwell with each believer as recorded in John 14:16-18.
16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
This is indeed an amazing grace of God towards His children. A resident Teacher to guide, to teach, and to encourage us along us in our journey towards our heavenly home. Our precious Lord who loves us to the end promised us that He will come to live within us in Holy Spirit. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit will lead us into all the truth and that the truth will set us free from all the traps of this wicked world.
Our Lord told us in the Upper Room discourse that the world will hate us because the world hated Him first. Why? Our Lord taught us very clearly in John 15:18-19.
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
Furthermore, our Lord told us that we will have tribulation in this world and encouraged us to be steady and confident in our journey towards our heavenly home.
33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
We need all the resources that our precious Lord have provided us to be of good cheer in this world. He commanded us to love our brothers and sisters in this world to march towards our heavenly home together.
Apostle Paul instructed us in Romans 8:5-6 to closely follow our indwelling Teacher to live our daily life.
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
We need to learn to follow the Holy Spirit closely in each moment of our life. Why? because our unredeemed flesh will lead us astray if we do not follow our indwelling Holy Spirit closely.
As we all know, the Holy Spirit is God and has unsurpassed power to lead us in our sanctification process and in our blessed pursuit to know our Lord Jesus Christ more and more.
So do not like some old folks who lives in poor conditions just because they forget what they have in their bank accounts. So to us Christians, we shall not
forget that that we have an indwelling powerful Comforter who will lead us home safely and joyfully.
May each of us know and be grateful for who we are and the unsurpassed resource we have in the Holy Spirit.
As the year 2015 comes to a close, it is perhaps beneficial to reflect on the year. As you know, some regard every day of the year is the same but others do
celebrate different holidays of the year. We are all blessed to have the 2015 year as part of our lives. Praise the Lord for His loving kindness to all of us for the year.
As we reflect on the events of the year, the world was as chaotic as ever. There were terrorist bombings in many places throughout the world. Also there were
natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and wild fires. On the plus side, we all grew a year older and continued to journey towards our heavenly home.
As we count the blessings for the year, it is important to remind ourselves that we Christians are indeed blessed. According to the Bible, our inheritance,
which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, has been prepared and reserved in heaven for us (see 1 Peter 1:3-4). And that we are protected by the power of God through faith for
a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (see 1 Peter 1:5). It should be noted that all things in this world are subject to decay and defilement. Thus, our inheritance is indeed very
glorious indeed. Even more precious than that, we should be able to see the glory of our Lord when we are with Him. What a joy that will be indeed.
In all the things we experienced in 2015, some are happy and some are not happy. But for Christians our hope, our desire, and our encouragement are in heaven
even though our lives in this world may be quite hard and very difficult indeed. That is why Saint Paul reminded us in Colossians 3:1-2;
“If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth”
You may ask what are things above. The Bible told us the place above is “ where Christ is seated at the right hand of God”. The right hand of God is the position
of power and honor and glory. Since it was the Father’s good pleasure for all fulness to dwell in Him (See Colossians 1:19), we shall seek Christ in each of our days in this world.
As we reflect on the year, we should reflect on this; do we seek our Lord each of 2015 days and is He the preeminence of our lives. This is the ever
learning experience of our lives and the fellowship with Him is indeed a great blessed privilege and ever increasing joy of our lives.
So as we look forward to a new year of 2016, may we, with the in-dwelling Holy Spirit guidance, continue seeking our blessed Lord each day of the new year. May
our Lord richly bless each of us in our joy to love Him more and more in 2016.
23 Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.
路 加 福 音 6:23
23 當那日 ，你們要歡喜跳躍，因為你們在天上的賞賜是大的。他們的祖宗待先知 也是這樣 。
The 2016 is upon us. Many people take this opportunity in making new year resolutions to get a fresh start. This is all good. However, it is more beneficial to
have right attitudes towards the new year. From a Christian perspective, we should remind us the following:
1. One of the key problems in this world is the ungratefulness of the people towards their Creator. This is indeed the underlining cause of so much evils in
this world which in turn cause tears and sufferings. Romans 1: 20-23 clearly warn us about this issue;
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not [a]honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
Even when God sent His Son Jesus Christ to the earth to redeem mankind, people still refuse to accept Him and instead killed the Prince of Peace as recorded in
9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
9那光是真光，照亮一切生在世上的人。 10他在世界，世界也是藉著他造的，世界卻不認識他。11他到自己的地方來，自己的人倒不接待他。12凡接待他的，就是信他名的人，他就賜他們權柄做神的兒女。 13這等人不是從血氣生的，不是從情慾生的，也不是從人意生的，乃是從神生的。
We Christians are the ones that accepted God’s Son Jesus Christ as our Redeemer and received Him to be our Lord in our hearts. This is indeed a greatest
blessing towards each of us; giving us the faith of a great hope to receive our eternal life as promised in the Bible;
1 Peter 1:3-5
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
3 願頌讚歸於我們主耶穌基督的父神！他曾照自己的大憐憫，藉著耶穌基督從死裡復活，重生了我們，叫我們有活潑的盼望， 4 可以得著不能朽壞、不能玷汙、不能衰殘、為你們存留在天上的基業。
So what we should do in 2016 is to live each day of 2016 with thanksgiving and gratefulness. We all know that some of the 2016 days are going to be great. We
need to thank our Lord for His guidances and provisions. Try to enjoy our blessings with gratefulness. All good things come from our Heavenly Father. When we feel that this is a good life, do humble
ourselves before our Mighty God and express our thanks and love towards our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now what happen if some of our days of 2016 are frustrated, difficulties, and sufferings? Read 1 Peter because it was written to encourage the churches which
were under prosecution and sufferings. We need to know what are the God’s promises to us and need to grip the hope tightly to His promises because we trust our Holy God who can not lie. In those dark
days, we still need to thank our God for His protection and provisions to walk with us in time of needs.
2. We need to have joys of fellowship with our Lord. Our Lord Jesus Christ promised us that Holy Spirit will walk along us as His representative- a Comforter
in-dwelling in our hearts- to reveal the glorious unsurpassed richness of Jesus Christ our Lord. That is why King David expressed so joyfully in Psalm 27:4.
One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord And to meditate in His temple.
God is Love and God is Almighty. That is why in the Upper Room discourse in the last evening before going to the cross to redeem us, our Lord promised to give
us His peace in a perverted evil world. So in 2016, we should seek our Lord with all our heart, our mind, and our strength. He is indeed a fountain of spring that those who go to Him should not
thirst. This fellowship is sweet and inspirational, and unceasing joys.
3. We should take heeds to avoid the snares and fleshly traps of this world. Try to live Romans 12:1-2 everyday of 2016.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
As the Bible tells us in 1 John 3:1-3, what a privilege and a unsurpassed blessing to be a Christian!
See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
In Summary, we should remind ourselves the following for 2016;
1. Live one day at a time with thanksgiving and with steady faith for our merciful Lord Jesus Christ.
2. Seek our Lord to know Him more and more for His unsurpassed riches and glory. Live each day with Him as preeminence in our daily life.
3. Have a keen understanding of the fleshly trappings of the perverted world. We need to fix our eyes on Jesus Christ our Lord and He will free us from many useless wonderings of wasting our lives. We certainly need to learn self-denial in order to obtain more excellent and rewarding life. Always remember that our Lord teaches us in John 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”
May 2016 is the year that we truly love our Lord Jesus Christ. In Jesus precious name we pray . Amen.
In our precious Lord’s high priestly prayer of John 17 :14-16, He prayed for us “14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because
they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the
world.”. So all true Christians are in the world but not of the world. This “ in the world but not of the world” nature of our lives has great implication about our lives.
Before we present the truth for our meditation, we need to know a few things about this world. According to the Scripture, the world we live in has been
usurped by the devil who was called the prince of this world in John 14:30, and the ruler of the kingdom of the air in Ephesians 2:2. Per 1 John 5:19, “We know that we are of God, and that the whole
world lies in the power of the evil one.” Thus, we know that this world is under the power of the devil.
While He was in His first coming to the Earth to die for us to redeem us, our Lord was in the world but not of the world and hence was prosecuted by the world.
And He warned all His followers that they are in the world but not of this world while they live in this world. Thus, they will be prosecuted as well.
It is therefore very important for us Christians to realize, sooner the better, the following: we are journeying towards our heavenly home through this world which is indeed not friendly at all to us. It was so throughout the history and you can get a realistic view just looking at the Christians today in Middle East and other places of this world.
You may ask what does it means to be in the world but not of the world. To be in the world part is very easy to understand because we live in this world.
The “but not of the world” part is a little bit harder to fully understand. A better explanation would be as follows; since we are not part of this corrupt world system, we are not
following its worldview, its value system, and its fads. The real issue is not what we understand but what are our deeds in this world. The Bible clearly states that if we love the world and its
things, then we do not love God. You may ask “could not we love both the world and God?” The Bible says No. Why? Because there is no darkness in light. We can not have fellowship with God if we are
It is indeed a grave mistake of ours if we think that we could base upon ourselves to resist all the traps and all the dots from the Evil One. This is a
cosmic spiritual war which involves both physical and spiritual worlds. The warfare of this cosmic spiritual war are very complicated. It involves self-consciousness versus God-consciousness
in every aspects of our lives such as cultural, education, commerce, and many other fields. If we keep all our eyes on all things on the earth and try to use will, mind, feeling, and
rationale to be not of this world, we are missing the whole point. Why? because we will be deeper and deeper of the world just like a man can not fight the sinking sands to save himself from
sinking sands. He needs outside help.
You may ask what kind of outside help do we need to be not of this world? Let us see what the Bible teaches us on this subject.
1. What kind of this cosmic spiritual war is it?
Ephesians 6:10-12, 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
So this warfare is not just in the physical and materialistic realm. This should not be a big surprise since the devil is a fallen archangel and he carried one third of the angelic force in his revolt against God. Since this warfare involves both physical and spiritual elements, we need to put on full armor of God in fighting to be not of the world.
2. How big or extent of this war?
Per Ephesians 6:12, our enemies include the rulers, the powers, the world forces of this darkness, and the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. In other word, they are the whole dark empire organizational elements. Just a simple example will help us observe other elements of this warfare. 1 John 2:16 tells us clearly the following; “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” Now just take the lust of eyes for example, the advertisement of many commerce activities are here in this war. Similarly, the whole human sex trafficking, and whole pornography industry are the schemes of the devil to prevent us from seeing the true light of the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord. Please do not think that we just refer to all the illegitimate businesses. Lust to control other people and nature world may permeate throughout many cultural, political, religious, and educational systems.
3. What is the real situation of this war?
Many of us including pastors tend to underestimate the seriousness and extent of of this warfare. For example, many of our failures involve the pride of this life indeed. Just like an animal trapped in a cage, people who are trapped by addictions such as gambling, pornography, sexual immoralities, stealing, greeds, power hungry, alcoholics, and drugs, can not get out of the traps by their will, mind, and fleshy powers.
4. What is the way, the truth and the life then?
Although our enemies are powerful and extremely cunning, our God is almighty and supreme. Just remember that the Devil was created by our God as an archangel before his pride of life corrupted him. Since no one is greater than our God, either within time and space or beyond time and space, we just need to rely solely on God rather than on ourselves. That is why it is so crucial that we cultivate this lifesaving habit of meditating the scripture verses (one at a time, day and night) to reinforce our faith daily.
Apostle Paul recognized this warfare clearly. He exhorted us to put on the whole armor of God in this war. Furthermore, he personally experienced the trench fights of this war that he showed us the way in Romans Chapter 7.
Apostle John knew this warfare well. In 1 John 3:9, he told us clearly “9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he
cannot sin, because he is born of God.”. In order to be “ in the world and not of the world” , we need to be first born again. That is , to be “of God” first in order to be “not of the world”.
Who are the children of God? We became children of God because we were redeemed by our Lord Jesus Christ and belong to Him. Here is the truth and the unsurpassed power in crushing the
devil’s schemes: Romans 8:5-11,
5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Please mediate these Bible verses very carefully with conviction and gratitude towards our God because quality and joy of our lives depend on our union with
In summary, back to the great encouragement of the teaching of our Lord in the upper room discourse,
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
John 15: 5
5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
Just remember that Our Lord is the means and the truth and the life back to our heavenly Father. The holy Bible clearly states that in 1
30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,
What a blessing to all Christians! We are His workmanship. Our Lord will take us home safely. We just need to trust Him, thank Him, and adore Him in every breath of our lives. Amen!
When I was a bit younger, I remembered that it was a great desire of mine to ask someone (especially people who have long experience in following our Lord Jesus Christ) what He is like. My question was not what our Lord looks like or sounds like but rather what He is like in their relationships with Him. Originally, I was thinking about asking pastors, but somehow I did not, probably because that they may be offended by my question.
But the question is still very valid today for me. But the table turns around, it is more valid to ask myself rather than others because He is my Lord
and I should know. Through the years, I learned that we should not be presumptuous and forget what we are — a finite created being which was corrupted with a sinful nature. So whatever I ponder
about anything of infinity nature, I know that my view would be of a very limited scope and nature. If my view on things of infinity nature is already so limited, let alone try to comprehend an
infinite being. But this question is of such enduring nature and will certainly impact one’s spiritual growth and joy of unceasing nature, I need to try to know my Lord Jesus Christ more and more
One of the world biggest problems is that we human beings forget our Creator. Just look at our human history, no lacks of politicians, philosophers, kings,
queens, premiers, prime ministers, presidents, chancellors, witches, dictators, and wise gurus throughout different eras all tried to solve the world’s problems and the results were not effective.
You may ask why? It is because that we have forsaken our Creator who created this universe with unlimited power and wisdom, and resources.
More importantly on an individual basis, our biggest personal problem is not trying our best effort to know our own Lord Jesus Christ. It seems to me the more
I know my Lord the more that I will love Him. And the more I love Him, the more that I will know Him. This may be why Apostle Peter said in 2 Peter 1:2 “2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you
in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” and why Apostle John said in 1 John 1:3-4, “3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly
our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.
更重要的是在個人基礎上，我們最大的個人的問題是，沒有用我們最大的努力、來認識我們的主耶穌基督。在我看來，我越認識我的主，我會愛祂更多。而我更愛祂，我就認識祂更深。這可能就是為什麼大使徒彼得在彼得後書1:2說：“2 願恩惠、平安因你們認識神和我們主耶穌多多地加給你們！”。以及為什麼大使徒約翰在約翰一書1:3-4說：“3 我們將所看見、所聽見的傳給你們，使你們與我們相交；我們乃是與父並他兒子耶穌基督相交的。4 我們將這些話寫給你們，使你們的喜樂充足。“
Come to think about it . The best resources of knowing our Lord are through (1) the revelation in the Bible, and (2) through our indwelling Holy Spirit’s
illumination of the Scripture and personal guidance in our individual life. In this short article, I would like to share with just a very important nature of our Lord Jesus Christ— His uniqueness.
You may ask what do you means by that. He is unique in many aspects and a few of them are as described below:
1. He is the one and only Savior of the mankind
Actually, this was predicted in Genesis 3:14-15 when the talking snake, the Devil, was cursed. There is only one seed of woman who is Jesus Christ born
of Mary through the virgin birth as stated in Luke 1:26-35. So Jesus Christ our Lord is the Son of God incarnated as stated in John 1:14.
The Word Becomes Flesh
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
14 耶和華神對蛇說：「你既做了這事，就必受咒詛，比一切的牲畜野獸更甚！你必用肚子行走，終身吃土。 15 我又要叫你和女人彼此為仇，你的後裔和女人的後裔也彼此為仇，女人的後裔要傷你的頭，你要傷他的腳跟。」
26 到了第六個月，天使加百列奉神的差遣往加利利的一座城去，這城名叫拿撒勒； 27 到一個童女那裡，是已經許配大衛家的一個人，名叫約瑟，童女的名字叫馬利亞。 28 天使進去，對她說：「蒙大恩的女子，我問你安，主和你同在了！」 29 馬利亞因這話就很驚慌，又反覆思想這樣問安是什麼意思。 30 天使對她說：「馬利亞，不要怕，你在神面前已經蒙恩了。 31 你要懷孕生子，可以給他起名叫耶穌。 32 他要為大，稱為至高者的兒子；主神要把他祖大衛的位給他， 33 他要做雅各家的王，直到永遠；他的國也沒有窮盡。」 34 馬利亞對天使說：「我沒有出嫁，怎麼有這事呢？」 35 天使回答說：「聖靈要臨到你身上，至高者的能力要蔭庇你。因此，所要生的聖者必稱為神的兒子。
Our Lord is so unique that He is the only human being born without sinful corrupt nature. He is the only Lamb of God to redeem us (John 1:
The Lamb of God
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Just ponder that my Creator who created cosmos, galaxies, and our solar system just by His Word even came to die for me at the Cross! His boundless love for me
indeed is worthy of my adoration, and praises, and worship forever and ever!
Just ponder about this: Of all billions of the human beings past, present, and future, He is unique and no other human being is like Him.
Actually, there was a very moving description of uniqueness of His Person and Work as stated in Rev 5:1-14. Please read that precious passage.
5 我看見坐寶座的右手中有書卷，裡外都寫著字，用七印封嚴了。 2 我又看見一位大力的天使大聲宣傳說：「有誰配展開那書卷，揭開那七印呢？」 3 在天上、地上、地底下，沒有能展開、能觀看那書卷的。 4 因為沒有配展開、配觀看那書卷的，我就大哭。 5 長老中有一位對我說：「不要哭。看哪，猶大支派中的獅子，大衛的根，他已得勝，能以展開那書卷、揭開那七印！」
6 我又看見寶座與四活物並長老之中有羔羊站立，像是被殺過的，有七角七眼，就是神的七靈，奉差遣往普天下去的。 7 這羔羊前來，從坐寶座的右手裡拿了書卷。 8 他既拿了書卷，四活物和二十四位長老就俯伏在羔羊面前，各拿著琴和盛滿了香的金爐。這香就是眾聖徒的祈禱。 9 他們唱新歌，說：「你配拿書卷，配揭開七印，因為你曾被殺，用自己的血從各族、各方、各民、各國中買了人來，叫他們歸於神， 10 又叫他們成為國民做祭司，歸於神，在地上執掌王權。」
11 我又看見且聽見寶座與活物並長老的周圍有許多天使的聲音，他們的數目有千千萬萬， 12 大聲說：「曾被殺的羔羊是配得權柄、豐富、智慧、能力、尊貴、榮耀、頌讚的！」 13 我又聽見在天上、地上、地底下、滄海裡和天地間一切所有被造之物都說：「但願頌讚、尊貴、榮耀、權勢都歸給坐寶座的和羔羊，直到永永遠遠！」 14 四活物就說：「阿們！」眾長老也俯伏敬拜。
2. His Name is unique and supreme.
During our Lord’s first coming to this earth, He declared God the Father through His Person and Work. His obedience to His Father is complete and perfect.
Please listen to Holy Spirit’s declaration in Philippians 2:5-8.
The Humbled and Exalted Christ
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
5 你們當以基督耶穌的心為心。 6 他本有神的形象，不以自己與神同等為強奪的，7 反倒虛己，取了奴僕的形象，成為人的樣式； 8 既有人的樣子，就自己卑微，存心順服以至於死，且死在十字架上。
9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
9 所以神將他升為至高，又賜給他那超乎萬名之上的名， 10 叫一切在天上的、地上的和地底下的，因耶穌的名無不屈膝， 11 無不口稱耶穌基督為主，使榮耀歸於父神。
Therefore His Name is unique and supreme. This Name was given to Him above every name.
Acts 4:12 “12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Do you know that during His Ministry on the earth, He protected His disciples except the son of perdition through this name given by the Father?
Similarly, even today, you and me are protected by this powerful Name. (See John 17:11-12.)
11 從今以後，我不在世上，他們卻在世上，我往你那裡去。聖父啊，求你因你所賜給我的名保守他們，叫他們合而為一，像我們一樣。 12 我與他們同在的時候，因你所賜給我的名保守了他們，我也護衛了他們，其中除了那滅亡之子，沒有一個滅亡的，好叫經上的話得應驗。
3. He is uniquely everything to you and me. Listed below are just a few for your mediation;
a. He loves us to the end eternally (John 13:1, Romans 8:34-35)
b. In Him, we are children of God and will inherent eternal life.(John 1:12)
c. He is our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.(1 Corinthians 1:30)
d. We overcome this world temptations through Him( Romans 7:24-25; 8:37-39)
d. 我們通過祂克服了這個世界的誘惑（羅馬書7：24-25; 8：37-39）
34 誰能定他們的罪呢？有基督耶穌已經死了，而且從死裡復活，現今在神的右邊，也替我們祈求。35 誰能使我們與基督的愛隔絕呢？難道是患難嗎？是困苦嗎？是逼迫嗎？是飢餓嗎？是赤身露體嗎？是危險嗎？是刀劍嗎？
24 我真是苦啊！誰能救我脫離這取死的身體呢？ 25 感謝神！靠著我們的主耶穌基督就能脫離了。這樣看來，我以內心順服神的律，我肉體卻順服罪的律了。
37 然而，靠著愛我們的主，在這一切的事上已經得勝有餘了。 38 因為我深信：無論是死，是生，是天使，是掌權的，是有能的，是現在的事，是將來的事， 39 是高處的，是低處的，是別的受造之物，都不能叫我們與神的愛隔絕；這愛是在我們的主基督耶穌裡的。
What we should do? I would like to quote Jude 20-21 and his benediction Jude 24-25 because his message is fitting for our apostate situations in this 21 century modern societies.
(1)Jude 20-21 Maintain Your Life with God
20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
(2)Jude 24-25 Glory to God
24 Now to Him who is able to keep you[a] from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
25 To God our Savior,[b]
Who alone is wise,[c]
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,[d]
Both now and forever.
(1).猶大書 20-21 21 保持自己常在神的愛中
20 親愛的弟兄啊，你們卻要在至聖的真道上造就自己，在聖靈裡禱告， 21 保守自己常在神的愛中，仰望我們主耶穌基督的憐憫，直到永生。
(2).猶大書 24-25 榮耀歸於上帝
24 那能保守你們不失腳，叫你們無瑕無疵、歡歡喜喜站在他榮耀之前的我們的救主獨一的神， 25 願榮耀、威嚴、能力、權柄因我們的主耶穌基督歸於他，從萬古以前並現今，直到永永遠遠！阿們。
I am always amazed by the profound truth declared so simply and concisely in the Holy Scripture. For example, description of the fallen world of ours is so vivid and simple, yet so profoundly accurate in 1 John 2:16 that the infinite wisdom of our Creator is indeed being displayed in front of our eyes. Of all the activities of the fallen world, the Bible clearly summarizes its essence for us in a simple sentence. Amazing indeed! If you think that I exaggerate it, just check it out that it takes 9 pages to deal with the word “evil” in the Catholic encyclopedia.
1 John 2:16-17
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
16 因為凡世界上的事，就像肉體的情慾、眼目的情慾並今生的驕傲，都不是從父來的，乃是從世界來的。 17 這世界和其上的情慾都要過去，唯獨遵行神旨意的，是永遠常存。
For us Christians, it is essential that we clearly understand the reality of our lives. Without the clear picture of what this world is all about, we are very
easily being led astray by the cunning schemes of this world. We may say that we are not naive and have tons of experience in detecting deceptions. Before we place too much confidence on ourselves,
let us remind ourselves how many times that our Lord comes to rescue us in our mistakes and ignorance. That is why studying the Bible and particularly the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ is so
essential in our wellbeing.
There are so many traps in this world that one can fall into it. Take “the boastful pride of life” for example. I can list a whole bunch of my mistakes and
ignorance in this area. And if I add amount of time in my life that I wasted, the relationships that I lost, and joy that I could have, the penalty is indeed staggering. And this is because that I
did not follow the teaching of 1 John 2:16. The Bible to an extent can be taken as a mirror to reflect one’s own life. As a good exercise, why not make a list of our own evil deeds or serious
mistakes in this area. Come to think of it; millions of millions of people fell as victims to the boastful pride of life of the despots in the human history. Conflicts within a family and wars
between nations are also the results of “the boastful pride of life” as well.
You may ask how about the lust of the eyes. Just survey the schemes used in the commercial advertisement will tell the story. The world wants to convince us
that this is all innocent and no serious harms can come out of it. Don’t believe the lies. There are always great penalties not only in this world. But more importantly for us Christians, the
purposes of our lives are as a top priority to glorify our Lord in our lives. Try to learn not to waste our lives.
Then, how about the lust of the flesh? There are so many traps in this area that we need to pray for the protection of our Lord. Drugs and illicit sex are just a few examples that have ruined so many lives. Never forget that there are millions of victims in these traps. There are whole industries in promoting each of the traps. Just think about how many marriages are ruined because of them. The cost of human suffering is indeed beyond description.
You may wander why we talk about this. Please read Romans Chapter 7 which describes clearly the struggles of all Christians including you and me in this world, particularly relative to our old fallen nature.
May we ponder on the teachings of the Bible and live our life with peace and joys of our Lord Jesus Christ who loves each of us always to the end. Indeed,
blessed are those who are in Christ overcoming the world through the Holy Spirit.
As Christians, the main goal of our lives is to follow our Lord Jesus Christ ; to do His commandment of sharing the gospel to people around us; and most
importantly, to abide in His love and to worship Him forever and ever. But in our daily life, we all know that there are many factors preventing us from this goal. To be a Christian is to
belong to Jesus Christ our Lord. You may ask what are the main obstacles of our spiritual growth.Main obstacles are the time and life wasted by us in pursuing the lust of eyes, the lust of flesh, and
the boastful pride of this life. Of course, this is one of the schemes of the devil, who would do anything to blind people’s eyes from seeing the glory of the gospel of Jesus
There are many traps of this deceptive world; fame, pride, and power to control on one hand and greed, pornography, drugs, and alcohols on the other hand. Tens
of millions of people were and are being deceived by all kind of ideologies including religious extremisms. Religious terrorism is the worst because it traps people to harm themselves and others with
no concerns of innocent lives at all. Since the deceptions are so complex and sophisticated that we urgently need the guidance of the Bible to lead us through this treacherous
It is important to realize that with our corrupt human nature, we all are prone to wonder off into various traps in this world. All Christians are reminded
that we are in the world but not of the world. In other word, we have been separated from the world to belong to our Lord Jesus Christ. Christians do not have to sin because we are no longer
under the tyranny of sin.
To be a Christian is to have a new nature, to have a different world view, and to have a different life style. Let us learn from the Bible the following:
1. What kind of the new nature?
In John 3, our Lord taught us that no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born again (John 3:3). WE need to heed our Lord’s teaching:
5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Thus, unless we were born again with new nature, we can not be a Christian. We may ask what kind of new nature is it? The question was answer in another part
of the Bible. In Ephesians 4:20-24.we were told as follows;
20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Thus, we were born again into a new nature which was created in righteousness and holiness of the truth in the likeness of God. That is why Apostle Peter
encouraged us in 1 Peter 1:15-16:
15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
It is noted that to be born again is not due to our own doing. It is all grace upon grace from our Lord Jesus Christ! Please read Ephesians 2:8-10;
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
2. A New World View
When we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, the Bible tells us that we were delivered from the darkness of this world as indicated in Colossians 1:13-14.
13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
We have a new world view and no longer followed our old path of life but rather begin the journey towards our heavenly home. See the following verses:
2.1 Ephesians 2:11-13
Brought Near by His Blood
11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
2.2 Ephesians 4:17-24
The New Man
17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:
22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,
23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
當我們相信耶穌基督、作為我們的救主，聖經告訴我們，我們是從這個黑暗的世界脫離，如歌羅西書 1:13-14 所示：
3. A New Life Style
Listen carefully to the Bible guidance in this area. In Romans 12:1-2, the Bible teaches us the following: Romans 12:1-2
Living Sacrifices to God
12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
So what should our life style look like? First, we do not conform to this world fads and life styles. Secondly, we strive to be like our Lord. That is ,we shall humble ourselves per Philippians 2:5-8, “5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Thirdly, we shall serve our Lord willingly as indicated in Philippians 2:14-16, 14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
12 所以弟兄們，我以神的慈悲勸你們，將身體獻上，當作活祭，是聖潔的，是神所喜悅的；你們如此 事奉乃是理所當然的。
2 不要效法這個世界，只要心意更新而變化，叫你們察驗何為神的善良、純全、可喜悅的旨意 。
14 凡所行的，都不要發怨言、起爭論， 15使你們無可指摘，誠實無偽，在這彎曲悖謬的世代做神無瑕疵的兒女。你們顯在這世代中，好像明光照耀，
In essence, to be a Christian is not on the church membership, not on the knowledge of the church or religion, and not even on the position you have/had
in the church. To be a Christian is to show a life style, a world view, a new nature powered by God grace. Our Lord promised His disciples in the upper room discourse that “18 I will not leave you
orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18). Indeed, our Lord did send Holy Spirit to dwell in each believer and will guide each Christian into the truth as indicated in the Bible;
16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, each Christian can be sanctified. With our own strength and will and knowledge, we can not make it.
Thus a key principle of this born again life is that we live according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. We may ask what this life style look like again?
A. According to the Spirit
According to Romans 8:5,
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
B. Works of the flesh
We may further ask what are the things of the flesh? They are defined in Galatians 5:21;
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
C. Things of the Spirit
Things of the Spirit are closely related with the works of the Holy Spirit. They are;
a. Sanctification of all believers into the truth.(See John 16:13)
b. Convicts the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. (See John 16:8)
c. Glorifies Jesus Christ our Lord (See John 16:14)
d. Empower us overcome the flesh (Romans 8:1-2)
e. Pray for us in our weakness to strenghen us(Romans 8:26-27)
f. Seal us and keep us in Christ(Ephesus 4:30, 2 Cor 1:22)
e. 聖靈幫助、替我們禱告(羅 8:26-27)
f. 聖靈印記我們、得救憑據(弗4:30, 林後!:22)
In conclusion, it is our faith that demonstrates our true identity. Our new nature, our world view, and our living according to the Spirit manifest that “16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,”(Romans 8:16). We are in Christ if the Holy Spirit lives in us. It is indeed grace upon grace showering so lavishly onto all the believers by Jesus Christ our Lord. Finally, praises be onto God for It is indeed God’s grace that we are in Christ Jesus;
1 Corinthians 1:30
30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,
It is very important to realize that people commit sins because they are sinners first. Similarly, Christians are instrument of righteousness because they are born again to be new creatures after God's image first.
May all of us love our God more and more every day and worship God for His love onto us which is so wide, so high, so deep, so rich and beyond our comprehension!
Apostle Paul is a great example of a Christian who loved Christ and loved Church. Just as he said in 1 Corinthians 9:26, “Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; “, he determined to serve the Lord and His Church in a focused way. In our era, we must learn from Paul’s never ceasing determination to serve the Lord.
Let us listen to what he said:
By All Means Save Some
1 Corinthians 9:22-23
22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. 23 I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.
One may ask why?
There are at least two good reasons to react that way.
First, every Christian was called by our Lord Jesus Christ for a purpose. Each saint is like a branch of the vine to bear fruit. We are branches and Christ is the vine. We are provided and supplied with all the nutrition from the vine to grow to bear fruits. This has been a clear teaching from our Lord in the Upper room discourse. See John 15: 1-8 below:
Jesus Is the Vine—Followers Are Branches
15 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
Secondly, all of us Christians were purchased by our Lord with a very heavy price— His precious blood at Cavalry. We belong to Him and are not of
ourselves. Just as Paul said,
1 Corinthians 15:9-10
9 For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
We can all ask ourselves this simple question: who am I even getting this amazing grace?
Next , our resolutions, if like St. Paul's, are even more precious! Can we each try our best in spreading the gospel to bring people to the Lord that the grace of God with each of us did not prove vain.
Thus, back to the beginning of this article, by the grace of God with each of us by all means save some. And let us remember also, just as Apostle Paul taught us “it is not me but the grace of God with me.” May all of us live as all Christians suppose to live, be in Christ to bear fruits to honor our heavenly Father, amen!
Our mission is "in God's Grace for God's Glory", we pray that this website will serve as a reminder of the following truth to all in this evil wicked world ;
* A Living God shall be received as the Living God with reverend, trust, obedience, and adoration because He is our Mighty Creator with supreme sovereignty and He loves all of us. When we were reconciled with God through the blood of Jesus Christ our Lord, God promises "He who overcomes, will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son." Hence, the most important action in our daily life is being satisfied in God through our Lord Jesus Christ because it glorifies God to do so.
* Our Lord Jesus Christ loves us believers to the end. He even died for us at the Cross and purchased us with His precious blood. We shall love Him each day with all of our heart, our mind, and our strength. He is our wisdom, our righteousness, our sanctification, and our redemption. We shall learn from Apostle Paul "For I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ and Him Crucified","I count all as loss and dung for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ and to be found in Him", and "May be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge"! We shall also listen to Apostle Peter's last exhortation to all saints to whom he wrote "but grow in grace, and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen."
* The Holy Spirit who dwells in each believer will guide us into all truth. The Bible which is the Word of the Living God is the only light we need to guide us in this perverted generation and through this deceiving world. We must study the Bible each day and pay great attention to the Holy Spirit’s illumination of the Bible passages to be applied to our lives.
* Our transformation to holiness comes from beholding the glory of God revealed to us in the face of Jesus Christ through the Bible. Joy and Peace of our Lord are necessary to resist temptation and are the result of our being union with Christ as His branches of the True Vine to bear fruits to glorify God. It is imperative that we have an active prayer life and meditate on the grace upon grace extended so lavishly to us each day in Christ. After our prayers, let us have the faith to follow our Lord Jesus Christ to spread His Gospel to the world.
* 我們的主耶穌基督，永遠愛著我們信徒到底。祂甚至為我們死在十字架上和用祂的寶血救贖我們。我每天應該全心、全意、全力來愛祂。祂是我們的智慧，我們的公義，我們的聖潔與我們的救贖。每天務要學習大使徒保羅『只知道耶穌基督、並他釘十字架』、『為要得着基督、並且得以在他裏面』、『並且能以和衆聖徒一同明白基督的愛、是何等長闊高深、並知道這愛是過於人所能測度的』! 並要聽從大使徒彼得最後對聖徒的叮嚀『你們卻要在我們主救主耶基督的恩典和知識上有長進。願榮耀歸給他、從今直到永遠。阿們。』
* 我們能轉變成聖潔，是來自我們通過聖經啟示，看見上帝的榮耀，顯在耶穌基督的面上。 我們擁有，主給我們的喜樂和平安，我們才能抵制誘惑，也讓我們能與基督聯合，作為祂真葡萄樹的枝子結果實，來榮耀上帝。至關重要的是，我們有一個積極的禱告生活，默想上帝每天在主耶穌裡所賜給我們恩上加恩的豐富。我們的祈禱後，要大有堅定的信心，追隨我們主耶穌基督，傳播祂的福音到世界各地。
As a Christian, we need to know who we are, where we stand in this world, what is our purpose in life, what is our mission, where we are going, and who is our true strength. It is indeed mouthful to ask so many questions. But do you truly understand each of the above questions.
It is indeed a great blessing to be a Christian because we are blessed without bounds to be children of the Creator and Almighty God. The world does not conform to the biblical standard. In other words, the world does not know God and Jesus Christ sent by Him to save the lost. Thus, the world hates Jesus Christ and also Christians. That is why we are taught in John 16:33,
" 33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
" 33 我將這些事告訴你們，是要叫你們在我裡面有平安。在世上你們有苦難，但你們可以放心，我已經勝了世界。"
Today, we know that Christians in some regions of the world are under severe prosecutions including cruelties, beheadings, discriminations, and evictions from home. Indeed, waves of refugees in the Middle East region testify to this grave situation. So all Christians should know that the world hates Jesus Christ and the world hates all Christians
Just as our Lord instructed us in John 16:33 our way of peace is to be in Christ in dealing with the world. Of
course, we need to know what in Christ means in practical living. In order to be in Christ, we need to know who He is and What He did and how much He loves us. To be in Christ is not by our feeling
or our fancies but is of our faith. As you know, our faith in Christ has its contents of believing Jesus Christ as revealed in the Holy Scripture. This faith is handed down throughout history
from saints going back to the apostles who were eye-witnesses of our Lord.
Just remember this truth and we need to contemplate it everyday—“ These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world”. May all of us abide by our Lord teaching and His love all the days of our lives in this wicked world! Please read the Gospel of John; Chapters 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17 if you are confused or in doubt of understanding the questions posed in the first sentence of this article. May our merciful Lord bless us to serve Him joyfully and faithfully in our lives. In Jesus precious Name we pray, Amen.
我們要記住這個真理，而且要每天想到 這ㄧ真理，即是 “我將這些事告訴你們，是要叫你們在我裡面有平安。在世上你們有苦難，但你們可以放心，我已經勝了世界“。願我們所有的人，活在這邪惡世界的每一天，遵守我們主的教訓和生活在祂的愛裡！如果您在理解本文第一句中提出的問題、感到困惑或疑慮時，請閱讀約翰福音書第13至17章。願我們仁慈的主祝福我們，在我們的生活中、快樂而忠心地服侍祂。我們以耶穌寶貴的名、祈禱，阿們。
All Christians know that Christ will resurrect us and glorify us when He returns. Romans 8:28-30 clearly teach us that God through Christ will glorify us at the end.Romans 8:28-30:
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
However, not many Christians convict themselves that the main purpose of Christians’ lives is to glorify Christ. To glorify Christ is to complete the mission that He gives each of us to do in our lives. This is a clear teaching from Christ our Lord as revealed in the following:
A. John 15:16
16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.
A. 約翰福音 15:16
B. In His High Priestly Prayer in John 17, our Lord shows by His example what to glorify His Father means in John 17:4,
4 I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.
C. Our Lord further teaches us how we shall glorify His Father in John 15:8,
8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
D. Our Lord also confirms that He has been glorified in His disciples in John 17:10.
10 and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them.
It is indeed the greatest honor of each Christian that he/she was chosen by our Lord and sent by our Lord to bear fruit to honor Him and His Father. Let us pray that He will strengthen each of us to be faithful in completing the work that He sent us to do and that each of us will have the conviction to carry out the main purpose of our lives each day.
First of all, what is free will. Free will means to live according to individual’s will. To live means to deal with all matters related with life. So what is wrong with free will. Actually, there is nothing inherently wrong with free will because free will was part of God’s creation on all animal world including human being. However, when the free wills of individuals cause conflicts, then peaceful living becomes impossible for the world. So in order to keep peace, free wills of individuals are subject to societal laws. Furthermore, our Creator also sets the boundary for human free wills. In other word, mankind need to listen to God’s commandments.
We all know what it will become in a lawlessness society. In that society, evils of wicked men will rampage just as there is no justice for all in a dictatorship regime. You may ask where the evil begins? Evil began when a human being puts his/her will above the commandments of God. In other word just as Romans 1: 18-23 clearly state that evil began when men do not recognize God as God and elevated himself/herself as god in rebelling against their Creator.
God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
18原來，神的憤怒從天上顯明在一切不虔不義的人身上，就是那些行不義阻擋真理的人。 19 神的事情人所能知道的，原顯明在人心裡，因為神已經給他們顯明。20自從造天地以來，神的永能和神性是明明可知的，雖是眼不能見，但藉著所造之物就可以曉得，叫人無可推諉。
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
If you looks at the world carefully, you can see clearly that free wills of evil men and women are main causes for all the problems of the world. Here are a few examples:
1. crimes are committed by criminals in their wills against societal laws.
2. all wars are due to conflicts caused by a country’s will against another country’s will.
3. divorce comes from conflicts of wills between husband and wife.
We do not need any more examples. Just look at the conflicts in Middle East and it will show you clearly the effects of evil wills. Since men have not be able to live peacefully throughout the human history, conflicts will remain with us in our age as well. You may ask what should we do then? We do need to return to our Creator. This means that we need to be taught by His truth as revealed by His word in the Bible. One thing we can do right away to improve our lives is to be aware of "how we exercise our wills". Just to admit the limitation of our will will be a great start in improving our relationship with others in our midst. More importantly we need to obey God’s commandments as revealed in the Bible. That is why our Lord Jesus Christ taught us to deny ourselves and follow Him.
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
That is why He preached repentance in Matthew 4:17
17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
May we all hear the call of Jesus Christ: Repent! Deny ourselves and follow Him.
How do you survive well in a rapidly changing evil world?
Answer: By maintaining fellowship with Jesus Christ our Lord. He is the word of life. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
In this website, we reminded you many times about characteristics of the post modernism world in which we live. Particularly, we warned you frequently about hidden agenda of information sources. With so much talks without meanings and so many TV pundits without absolute moral standards, watch your time carefully and be watchful that we are not led away from the fellowship with Jesus Christ our Lord.
Relative rationalism is the fads of the age. Confusion is the order of the days. We need to protect our mind. Saint Paul warned us in Romans 12:1-2 and please do not be ignorant of it:
Romans 12:1-2, New International Version (NIV)
A Living Sacrifice
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Please watch out our transformation in Romans 12:2 is a passive mode. We are not renewed ourselves by our intellect or by our rationalism, let alone by the
pundits’ garbage. As Christians, we have indwelling Highly Spirit who will guide us into fellowship with Jesus Christ our Lord.
Here are a few reminders from the Scripture.
A. Our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 John 1:1-4
New International Version
The Incarnation of the Word of Life
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son,
Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make your joy complete.
生命之道的化身: 太初有道 道成肉身
B. We are led by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Choose life over death! Choose light over darkness! Choose love over hate.
New International Version
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.
C. Christians are concerning life and yes, eternal life which is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
New International Version
The Word Became Flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
May you survive well as indicated by the following precious Bible verse.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. (Ephesians 5:8-10)
The life of every Christian can be viewed as a tale of two natures. This is not true for persons who are not Christians. You may ask what do you means? Since this is a very important subject, it is important that each of us clearly understand this subject.
Our Lord Jesus Christ taught us in John chapter 3 that no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. When we were born again, the Holy Spirit created a new nature in each of us. Thus, all Christians have a two natures just as John 3:6, “ Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”. Apostle Paul described this situation as “Old Man” and “New Man” inside each of us.
Our old man’s nature was corrupted by sins. Our new man’s nature was born of God— “ to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesian 4:24) These two natures within each of believers are against each other. Let understand a little bit more about these two natures.
我們的舊人的本性，是因罪而敗壞了。我們新人的本性，是由上帝生的 —“24 並且穿上新人，這新人是照著神的形象造的，有真理的仁義和聖潔”。（以弗所書 4:24）每個信徒中的這兩種本性，是相互抵觸衝突的。讓我們更進一步、了解這兩種本性。
(1) Our old nature is following the lusts of the flesh. So when I am following my old nature, I live according to the flesh and I set my mind, my time, and my energy on what the flesh desires. I would forget about the Bible teaching and I would shy away from my prayer life. It is important to know the true color of my old nature.
(i) There is no good about this old nature just as “ For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” (Romans 7:18)
(ii) Worst, The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. (Romans 8:7) That is why a Christian may be deceived by the flesh and wonder away from the teaching of the Bible and committed sins in offending his/her loving Lord.
（1）我們的舊本性是隨從肉體的慾望。所以當我跟從我的舊本性時，我是過體貼肉體的生活，而且我把我的心思、我的時間、以及我的精力，都放在肉體慾望上。我會忘記聖經的教訓，我會避開我的禱告生活。知道我古老本性的真實色彩，是很重要的。 （i）古老的本性是沒有良善，就像“18 我也知道，在我裡頭，就是我肉體之中，沒有良善。因為立志為善由得我，只是行出來由不得我。“（羅馬書7:18) (ii) 最糟糕的是，”原來體貼肉體的就是與神為仇，因為不服神的律法，也是不能服。” (羅馬書8:7)。這就是為什麼一個基督徒，可能被肉體所欺騙，並遠離聖經的教導，而且犯了、冒犯他/她所愛的上帝的罪。
(2) Our new nature is from God and the Holy Spirit caused us to know that we are children of God because every child of God is dwelt by the Holy Spirit. This new nature can not and will not sin. That is why Apostle John taught us “ We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.” (1 John 5:18).
(i) There is no power of living this new nature by myself. That is why I need to be led by the Holy Spirit. That is why Romans 7 taught us that our Lord Jesus delivered us from the deeds of the old natures. Romans 7:22-25: For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
(ii) All children of God are truly blessed because our God will encourage us and enable us to abide with this new nature.
The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
羅馬書7:22-25，22 因為按著我裡面的意思，我是喜歡神的律， 23 但我覺得肢體中另有個律和我心中的律交戰，把我擄去，叫我附從那肢體中犯罪的律。 24 我真是苦啊！誰能救我脫離這取死的身體呢？ 25 感謝神！靠著我們的主耶穌基督就能脫離了。這樣看來，我以內心順服神的律，我肉體卻順服罪的律了。
(3) It is important to recognize that there is different fruit associated with the deeds of the old nature and the deeds of new nature respectively. That is why we can recognize a person’s true nature not by words of profession but by the fruit of individual’s life. We need to pay attention to the following scripture verses.
1 John 2:28-29,
And now, dear children, continue in Him, so that when He appears we may be confident and unashamed before Him at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of Him.
28 小子們哪，你們要住在主裡面。這樣，他若顯現，我們就可以坦然無懼，當他來的時候在他面前也不至於慚愧。 29 你們若知道他是公義的，就知道凡行公義之人都是他所生的。
Thus, a Christian life is a tale of the conflicts of the two natures. Are we following the Holy Spirit or are we following the lust of the flesh? And the answer is in the Scripture and this is the sanctification process of our lives.
This is why Apostle John encouraged each of us by the verses:
1 John 2:14,
I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father.I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning.I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
This is why Apostle Paul encouraged us in the following verse:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
And this is also why Apostle Peter encouraged us in the following verses:
1 Peter 1:22-25,
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For,
“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.
22 你們既因順從真理潔淨了自己的心，以致愛弟兄沒有虛假，就當從心裡彼此切實相愛。 23 你們蒙了重生，不是由於能壞的種子，乃是由於不能壞的種子，是藉著神活潑常存的道。 24 因為，「凡有血氣的盡都如草，他的美榮都像草上的花。草必枯乾，花必凋謝， 25 唯有主的道是永存的。」所傳給你們的福音就是這道。
According to statistics, there are many Christians struggling with temptations in the internet. We pray that this posting may shred some light in our fighting with this evil. Although a bit long, we are sure that God's word will teach us truth and the truth will set us free. 根據統計，有很多基督徒正在奮力抗拒、互聯網上的許多誘惑。我們祈禱、期待這篇文章，能在我們與這個邪惡的戰鬥中，散發出一點亮光！雖然文章篇幅較長，我們確信上帝的話、會教我們真理，而真理會讓我們自由。
On Temptation and Evil 誘惑和邪惡
Part 1— Set the stage
Many older people are alarmed with the scope of the evils in this world. As far as this world goes, temptations rampage everywhere like a roaring lion trying to devour people. It is important to ponder how can each of us go through our own life without being trapped by various temptations and hence contributes to evils. There is no such thing as victimless crime. Entering a temptation is like walking on a slippery slope and all temptations lead invariably to evils.
Although the format and form of evils may change due to technological and cultural settings, basic causes of all evils are still the same. Why? It is because depravities of human nature have not changed since the Fall of Adam and Eve. The source of evil is sin and the origin of sin is the rebellion against God. This is clearly taught in Romans 1:21, “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Come to think of it. All problems associated with human activities can be viewed clearly from this biblical prospective. For example, all crimes are from depravities of human nature. All conflicts ranging from individuals, groups, social classes, and nations are also from the same causes. Furthermore, conflicts within self, marriage and family issues, and social problems are all part of this giant fiasco and therefore chaos and evils ensue in this world.
You may wonder why we want to talk about this subject. To put in another way, why we even bother to talk about it. There are
basically two reasons: first is to avoid being deceived by the propaganda or fake news so that we are not part of the evils, and secondly to live a healthy and joyful life according to the commands
of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Since the Fall, the human race is at war with its Creator and this is manifested in two fronts both physically and
spiritually. Physically, we encounter evils in the world due to various conflicts among people, and spiritually, we struggle with self conflicts to do right. The only solution is for each human
being to repent and return to our blessed Creator Jesus Christ our Lord.
One of the things that needs further consideration is the infrastructure of our self conflicts. You may or may not be aware of the spiritual truth: after the Fall, we are separated from the presence of God. Worst, we are His enemies. We reject God and each of us lives by
our own ways. Many of the post modernism illuminati would claim that God is dead and finally human race can live freely what we want without restraints. This is particularly evident in our time since
the sexual liberation of the 1960’s and onwards. But the problems with all these self appointed elites are that their minds are blinded by the prince of this world-the devil, and they also fell into
slavery of his dark kingdom. Consequences are very severe because the sufferings of countless millions of people, particularly children and innocent people, are beyond description.
The Bible clearly tells us in the following verses how sinners like us are saved not by our own doing but by grace of God through our faith.
Ephesians Chapter 2:1-10,“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of
this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the
desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were
dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the
coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift
of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in
There are many infrastructural elements revealed in the above-mentioned passage. To understand our own depraved mind, we need
to grasp the following truth.
(1) First of all, we need to clearly understand that once corrupted it is very hard to restore to its pre-corrupt stage.
Thus, when anyone becomes a Christian, he or she was born again with a new nature. That is why every Christian is a new creature. This is what St. Paul describes, in Ephesians 4:20-24, the new inner
man or new self in us. Ephesians 4:20-24
“20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”
Several things should be clear here. First, this born again regeneration is not our own doing. It has been done for the
believing sinner by the death of Christ. Secondly, A believer has a new nature as the result of regeneration by the Holy Spirit. Thirdly, “put aside the old self” means that we are not to live in the
habits of our old self interesting in me only. We are not to allow our old self to control our lives. As the result of the death of Christ, the believers are in-dwelt with the Holy Spirit.
Thus, “to put on the new self” means we walk in the Spirit. Furthermore, “to put off the old self” means that we do not live according to “lusts of deceit of our flesh”.
(2) We do not get rid of this old self in this life because our body has not been redeemed yet as explained in Romans 8:23, “
And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.” Thus,
we need to grab the truth that we as Christians have two natures within each of us. We are in the self conflict of living according to the Spirit or living according to the flesh. This is a
very important point. Romans 8:5-8 clearly show us the truth.
“5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Thus, it is critical for each Christian to know what stage he/she is in for each hour/day of our lives.
(3) It is very important to know that every time we sin in our Christian lives, we lose our peace and are not in our
fellowship with God. Why? Because when we sin, we are in darkness. God is light and there is no darkness in Him. We need to confess our sin and repent right away just as St. John taught us in 1 John
“2 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” Our fellowship with God is so essential that we must follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our daily living.
因為我們與神的相交是極其重要, 因此, 日常生活中我們必须聽從聖靈的引領.
So what is the essence of Christian life or put in another way, how to live a life in light pleasing to our Lord Jesus Christ. Or how to have peace and joy in our lives. This is very important. Why? Because many of us are struggling against the temptations of “lust of our eyes,lust of our flesh, and pride of this life” in this corrupt internet environment. We are wasting our lives away in the deeds of flesh as explained in Galatians 5:19-21,”19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Part 2— What should we do
So what should we do. It is very important to know that our old nature is hostile to God and our flesh always lives according to fleshly lust even towards death as Romans 8:6 warning us: “6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,”. Thus, we cannot rely upon ourselves to overcome the world’s temptations. Then, what should we do !
Let listen to what the Bible teaches us. You may ask why we keep going back to the Bible. Because the truth set us free and the Word of God is the truth. We need to meditate on John 17:17, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”
1. First, let us get a pointer from St. Paul, an Apostle to us, the gentile. In Romans 7:21-25, he taught us essence of the conflict between our two natures: ”21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”. Thus, The only solution is “through Jesus Christ our Lord”. We need by our prayers and petitions to ask our Lord Jesus Christ to fulfill our true desire which is to be like our Lord Jesus Christ. We need to follow Philippians 4:6-7, “6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Indeed, we need to trust our Lord. He will do it for His own because He is the finisher of our faith as revealed in Hebrews 12:2,”2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Praise our Lord indeed !
2. Secondly, we must get a pointer from St. John. 1 John 3:9 teaches us: “9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.” Thus, by who
we are through the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, we will rely on the power of God and not by ourselves to overcome the world. The following is a very precious promise in 1 John 3:1-3,”3 See what
kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God's
children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself
as he is pure.” We are God’s workmanship: our Lord will finish our sanctification for us because He is our sanctification as revealed in 1 Corinthians 1:30. Praise the Lord indeed! Our Lord
further instructed us in John 13:14 to wash each other feet. In other words, to be accounted for each other and to mutually cleanse each other in words of God. We need to be a keeper of other
believers who come to our lives. And even more importantly, we need to cleanse ourselves daily with words of God.
3. Also, We must get a pointer from St. Peter as well from 1 Peter 4:7-8, “7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” Thus, If you really love your brothers/sisters in the faith, you will not hate them and stir up strifes in church. If you really love your spouse or your children, you will not hurt them by the deeds of your flesh. One of the key powers of darkness is to seduce us to only care about “me” without regarding to the needs of others. Listen to St. Peter teaching in 1 Peter 4:1-3, “4 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. 3 For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.” We know from our previous ways and from our own experience: nothing good will come out of evil. Enough is enough. We do love our Lord Jesus Christ who died for each of us. This love whether we know or not is part of our essence and we love our Lord Jesus Christ as St. Peter shows us in 1 Peter 1:8, “8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.”
4. This is what our Lord teaches us in John 6:63, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” Listen to our Lord who is our Creator. He knows each of us very well indeed. That is, why He said in Matthew 16:24-26, “24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” Clearly, self denial is the key to put to death the deeds of flesh. Each of us should define for himself or herself what is self denial means relative to what weaknesses we have had in each of us !
5. One of the most precious desires in Christians’ lives is the continuing fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ every moment in our lives. One of the key wisdoms is to know and to cherish the preciousness in life . For example, life is priceless. So why I throw it away by flirting with temptations? Just as our Lord teaches us “what shall a man give in return for his soul?” Why then should we waste our lives in heinous corruptions of “power, sex, fames, money, and drugs” at all. Consequences of not protecting the few preciousness dear to our heart are disasters of the first degree. If Adam and Eve really cherished God preciously and enjoyed the paradise preciously, they would not exchange their love for God and blessing from God for anything at all. Consequence of losing fellowship with God cannot be measured at all. If one truly treasures one’s spouse, one will steer away from all things/deeds impacting one’s marriage! How joyful we should be when we are healthy and not contaminated with a disease. How beautiful it is when we are in light !
6. Our salvation is from grace upon grace of God. Being a limited/depraved/mortal man, there is nothing we can do or claim to have a right to have relationship with the infinite God. So the fellowship with God is not due to any merit of our own doing. It is the greatest gift from God to give His Son to save us. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” We need to regard the fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ is priceless and protect/cherish it with every ounce of energy we have !
7. A final thought.
In Old Testament time, it was imperative to bring sacrifices to the temple in order to be able to draw near God. God mandated that only after the oxen, or lambs were killed and the priests brought their blood into the sanctuary, then, sins can be forgiven by God. So it was impossible indeed to be able to draw near God in Old Testament time without blood sacrifices.
In New Testament time, we are able to pray to God and to have fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ because our Lord Jesus Christ died for each of us at the cross and His precious blood continually cleanses us. We also know that our Lord is the heavenly High Priest serving in the heavenly temple and we are His royal priests on the earth. Now, a function of the priests is to offer sacrifices. Because our Lord Jesus Christ is the sin offer once for all, we cannot do any sacrifices for sins. However, we can offer our sinful body as a living sacrifice on the altar just as Romans 12:1-2 to fulfill our priestly duty. Romans 12:1-2, “12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” 。
Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, do you know what living sacrifice means? In Old Testament, the altar is sacred, any sacrifice which touches the altar becomes sacred. (See Exodus 29:37, Seven days you shall make atonement for the altar and consecrate it, and the altar shall be most holy. Whatever touches the altar shall become holy.) So our sinful body became sacred once on the altar as a living sacrifice. To be sacred means to belong to God. This clearly means that our body belongs to God. This is a great blessing! The Holy Spirit dwells in our body and our body becomes the temple of God. Our life belongs to God and is to serve God. This is why Galatians 2:20 “20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Now, ”What I have been crucified with Christ” means? Clearly this is what Galatians 5:24 means, “24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” In other words, our old self was crucified and we no longer live according to the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and pride of this life.
In conclusion, we shall cherish our Lord because He loves us to the end (See John 13:1). He offered himself as the propitiation for our sin so that we can be back to our heavenly Father’s love just like a repented prodigal son coming home. May we love our Lord Jesus Christ with all our heart and may we have sweet fellowship with the Father and His beloved Son Jesus Christ our Lord. May we also have a sweet fellowship with each other believer to enjoy Ephesians 3:14-21 Amen.
One of central issues of life is “eternal life”. Every person in history regardless of race, culture, and gender has this problem. Actually, all activities of
human race are related to this problem. You may ask why is it so? The following is just a few examples:
1. Whole medical care system such as doctors, nurses, hospitals, nursing homes, pharmaceutical industry, insurance companies, etc., exists for maintaining and extending lives of patients.
2. People form family, society, nation, united nations, etc. to protect lives from enemies.
3. Whole employment system is for individuals to earn a living to sustain and nurture lives.
4. Whole entertainment industry including sports, movies, music, art, etc is for the enjoyment and hence sustenance of life.
Ever since the beginning of our lives, we learned by observations, and lessons told us by our family, teachers, and recorded history. Most people know that people live and die. However, due to harshnes of life, most people struggle to survive in day to day living issues and tend to ignore the ultimate mother of all issues - the eternal life issue. The real problem is still the eternal life whether we avoid it or not.
There are many philosophers, politicians, religion gurus inventing many isms, and religions to solve the problem. This situation even causes more confusion because people need to sort out deceptions and evils from the truth which leads to eternal life.
It is easy to convince a person to go to see a doctor for his/her medical problem to solve a temporary issue of life than to bring a person to the Bible which leads us to eternal life through the only Savior Jesus Christ our Lord. You may ask why this is so?
We believe this is due to ignorance of corruption and pollution issues of life.
1. Pollution Issue is a health issue
Here we refer the pollution as the contamination to our physical bodies. Pollution includes environmental pollutions such as air pollution and water pollution. But it also includes societal and cultural impacts to our living styles such as junk foods, and drug addictions etc. Basically, pollutions affect our health and our ability to serve our Lord.
2. Corruption Issue is a faith issue
Here we refer the corruption as the contamination to our soul. That is corruption to our hearts. The issues here are spiritual. Corruption issues can not be solved by human means. That is why the Scripture tells us repeatedly that a person needs to be born again in order to see the Kingdom of God. Otherwise, we live in Ephesians 2:1-3 and are dead in trespasses.
2 你們死在過犯罪惡之中，他叫你們活過來。 2 那時你們在其中行事為人，隨從今世的風俗，順服空中掌權者的首領，就是現今在悖逆之子心中運行的邪靈。 3 我們從前也都在他們中間，放縱肉體的私慾，隨著肉體和心中所喜好的去行，本為可怒之子，和別人一樣。
Here are examples of the Bible verses which are very helpful to us.
1. Where corruption starts and when the death comes from
Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
2. One cannot have eternal life unless be born again.
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” 4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.
3. How to be born again: Need to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord.
10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
4. Unless we were born again and separated from corruption, we can not fellowship with God
2 Peter 1:3-4
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5 That is Why We need to pursue holiness because we need to in Christ to be able to fellowship with our Lord.
1 John 3:1-3
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
1 Peter 1:13-17
13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.
彼得前書 1:13-17 應當聖潔因主是聖潔的13所以要約束你們的心，謹慎自守，專心盼望耶穌基督顯現的時候所帶來給你們的恩。14你們既做順命的兒女，就不要效法從前蒙昧無知的時候那放縱私慾的樣子。15那召你們的既是聖潔，你們在一切所行的事上也要聖潔。16因為經上記著說：「你們要聖潔，因為我是聖潔的。」17你們既稱那不偏待人、按各人行為審判人的主為父，就當存敬畏的心度你們在世寄居的日子。
In a post-modernism era with information overload, we are bombarded day and night, 24x7, with all kinds of information. This situation is in fact very serious and harmful to us. I do not know if you realize this situation. In our daily struggles to make a living, we believe that not many people recognize the harmful effects of information overload.
It is interesting to note that when the air is polluted with pollens and harmful pollutants, our physical body will exhibit bad reactions such as sneezing and
severe coughing to warn us. Just talk with people with severe allergies will tell you how miserable the suffering could be.
Now do you have a warning signal telling you that you are in deep troubles with the current day information overload? Some of you may think that what is the
big deal with information overload? Why not just tune it off! This is easy say than done. For example, you may say what is the big deal with air pollution: just do not go out of your home or just do
not breathe the bad air!
We would like to remind you a few things about the current situation of information overload:
1. Most of people have learned the habit of google “something”. We all know that there are tons of information in the internet; good, bad, and ugly. So how to tell the difference when we are trying to learn a new thing or try to get an answer to our question is in itself a big deal.
2. One of the big impacts to quality of our lives is the effort needed to sort out the good from the bad, and the ugly. The trouble is that most of information is a mixture of good, bad, and ugly.
3. The biggest concerns are the issues of pollutions to our minds. We are part of the products of our cultural/societal influences. This is specially relevant that how do we be faithful to our Christian belief.
This reminds me of a Bible verse of Ephesians 5: 16, “16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” I used to wonder why making the most of my time has to do with “the days are evil”. Now I know when the days are evil, the evil system wants to waste most of our time. So we need to be smart and watchful about where our time goes in each day. May we all are skillful in protect our precious time!!
In this world, quality of life depends greatly upon your relationship with people close to you. This is particularly
obvious in a chaotic world. First of all, our world is indeed a chaotic world. Chaos often reign in our daily lives. Chaos come from conflicts from situations surrounding us— mostly from chaotic
human relationship. People’s hearts grow cold in a busy world.
在這個世界上，生活的品質，在很大程度上取決於、你與親近的人的關係。這在混亂的世界中尤為明顯。首先，我們的世界、確實是一個混亂的世界。混亂，常常影響到我們的日常生活。混亂來自我們周圍的矛盾衝突 - 主要來自混亂的人際關係。人們的心，在繁忙的世界裡變冷了。
All chaos come from hearts that have no peace of God. People do not have peace because they do not know God and
therefore, can not enjoy themselves and their surroundings. In other word, they do not have an “appreciating attitude”. An easy test: Those who are self centered, do not have grateful attitudes.
Chaos ensue when you put two self centered folks together.
A conflicting world exist because people forget that it is God who sustains their lives. Romans 1: 21-25, “For
although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they
became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires
of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the
Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.”
一個相互衝突的世界會存在，是因為人們忘記了、維持生命的是上帝。羅馬書1：21-25，“21 因為他們雖然知道神，卻不當做神榮耀他，也不感謝他，他們的思念變為虛妄，無知的心就昏暗了。 22 自稱為聰明，反成了愚拙， 23 將不能朽壞之神的榮耀變為偶像，彷彿必朽壞的人和飛禽、走獸、昆蟲的樣式。24 所以，神任憑他們逞著心裡的情慾行汙穢的事，以致彼此玷辱自己的身體。 25 他們將神的真實變為虛謊，去敬拜侍奉受造之物，不敬奉那造物的主——主乃是可稱頌的，直到永遠！阿們“。
So especially during this holiday season, first of all, “be grateful to our Creator.” Secondly, be
grateful to those dear to us. Once we appreciate our lives and people close to us, we will have a “grateful mind” about services we received from other people. Often selfish people do not recognize
services they receive. As a starter, how about clean water from faucet in your house or roads that you travel. All infrastructures of a society does not materialize by itself but come from hard
work of many people.
So be grateful. Even better, show some gratitude to your society by providing with some kindness acts to other
people surrounding you. Even more important, show kindness to people dear to you: husband to wife, kids to Mom, parents to kids, wife to husband, …. particularly some kindness to people coming your
Merry Christmas to you all and do have blessed hearts in the chaotic world. Just remember that Christ did die for you
—righteous for unrighteous. “8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary,
repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3: 8-9)
祝所有的人聖誕快樂，並且祝福您在混亂的世界中、擁有受祝福的心。要記得基督為你而死 - 就是義的代替不義的。 “8 總而言之，你們都要同心，彼此體恤，相愛如弟兄，存慈憐謙卑的心。 9 不以惡報惡、以辱罵還辱罵，倒要祝福，因你們是為此蒙召，好叫你們承受福氣。“（彼得前書3：8-9）
以色列阿，你要聽！耶和華 ─ 我們神是獨一的主。
There is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.(See 1 Coringthians 8:6)
萬物都是藉著他有的, 我們也是藉著他有的。(歌林多前書 8:6)
Supremacy of Jesus Christ our Lord - Phil 2:9-11; Col 1:15-20
The name which is above every name that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
主耶穌的絕對優越性—無不口稱耶穌為主 (西 1:15-20)
Inerrancy of Holy Scripture - Psalm 19:7-9, Matt 5:18
Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Glorious Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ which demonstrates the love of God - John 3:16-18
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of Go
神愛世人，甚至將他的獨生子賜給他們，叫一切信他的，不至滅亡，反得永生。 因為神差他的兒子降世，不是要定世人的罪，乃是要叫世人因他得救。 信他的人，不被定罪；不信的人，罪已經定了，因為他不信神獨生子的名。
Obedience to God is much better than offering sacrifices - Hos 6:6
For I delight in loyalty
rather than sacrifice.
And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
The righteous shall live by faith alone - Habbakuk 2:4
Self-denial and be patient in enduring afflictions are the God's ways for us in following Jesus Christ our Lord - Matthew 16:24
Goal of Redemption is in Sanctification of the Spirit, through Obedience to Jesus Christ, and be Holy to the LORD. Be Ye Holy, For I am Holy.
(1 Peter 1:15-16; Lev 11:45)
救贖的目的是藉著聖靈，順服耶穌基督，歸耶和華為聖。 你們要聖潔，因為我是聖潔的。（彼得前書1:15-16; 利11:45）