“Expectant of That Great Day…”

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Another doomsday prophecy took the social media in a ‘meme’ storm. It was said by some that the rapture will happen this month. Others have furthered the theory of a Planet X—or Nibiru—to collide with Earth on September 23. But, are they really in tune with what the Bible has to say? What should be our attitude with regard to these things? Continue reading ““Expectant of That Great Day…””

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My Father Who Art in Heaven

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It’s Father’s Day around the globe and people would pay homage to their fathers today. I would like to use this brief opportunity to give my father a praise that he deserves. My father taught me the practicalities of life. Without his labor and discipline, I might not be where I am today. He might not be perfect, just as I am not a perfect son, but he’s all that I need and will ever need. If the LORD wills, I hope to be like him – a father with hits and misses; nevertheless, a good father indeed. I thank God for him. Continue reading “My Father Who Art in Heaven”

In Christ, We Have True Freedom

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Too many poems, hymns, and novels were written under the melody of liberty. Truly, the sound of freedom is music to the ears. Tears will be brought into the eyes and smiles will be painted in the lips of those who will hear the words of emancipation. It is sweeter than honey; it is more beautiful than the breaking of dawn. But to us who has seen the beauty of the Lord, there is nothing more magnificent than the freedom that we now possess because of Jesus Christ.

But, what are the things which belong to such freedom? I’ll give some examples from the abounding grace we found in God’s love: Continue reading “In Christ, We Have True Freedom”

Brief Thoughts on Gethsemane

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Today marks what is traditionally called as Good Friday. This is the day when the Lord Jesus Christ was arrested and later crucified at the cross. It fits the occasion to read the Passion narratives in the gospel accounts.

The night in the garden of Gethsemane always remains a poignant scenery to me. In Matthew 26:35, the disciples firmly resolved that they will never leave the Lord no matter what.

“Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you,” they said.

Came the crowd with swords and clubs to arrest Jesus. What did they do?

“Then all the disciples left him and fled” (v. 56b).

Consider that these men left all to follow Him yet left Him for they knew not what. I cried because I know that if I would be in that moment, I will also do the same.

It is a testimony to human weakness. There might come times when we believe we are standing firmly in our faith only to find ourselves caving in when hard circumstances meet us. We are reminded of Peter who resolved strongly yet ended up weeping bitterly at disappointment of denying the Lord. But in spite of men’s weaknesses, Christ took the cup of wrath and offered Himself as a peace offering at the cross. The Word who became like us is the same High Priest who sympathizes and knows our weaknesses. Praise be to the One who was forsaken by His people yet is the One who will never forsake His people.

Hope for Restoration

Satan always wanted to lead God’s beloved into destruction. Our Lord Jesus told Peter that “Satan demanded to have [him].” But Christ prayed for him that his faith may not fail (Luke 22:31-32).

Thrice did Peter deny the Lord. But thrice did he also affirm his love to Him (John 18:15-27; 21:15-17).

In the same way, we are like Peter. We will fall at times but we will also rise. Isn’t it comforting to know that Satan has no power over us and that Christ prayed for us (John 17)? Now, we can live according to that comfort.

This is My Father’s World

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“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

Most of us probably have started their year by committing themselves in a Bible reading plan. We are too acquainted with the Bible’s first verse. We can recite it by memory without a single sweat. That God has created all things is one of the cardinal doctrines that we Christians hold dear and believe as true. Our common confession starts with this fact; the Apostles Creed begins with the declaration “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth…”

There are three things that we should consider at this point. First, the creation is a Trinitarian act—God the Father created the universe through the Son (John 1:3) and the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:2; Job 33:4). Second, God created all things ex nihilo, or in other words, out of nothing. He spoke and things came into existence. Lastly, the creation of all things visible and invisible is God’s free act. It is not necessary. He is not obliged to create anything for only “by his will they existed and were created” (Rev. 4:11). Contrary to a popular opinion, God did not create the world because He was lonely. He is not in need of anything (Acts 17:25).

Just as the world and everything in it did not just sprout by its own will, the whole creation could not also take care of itself. At this point, we should maintain against the pantheists that neither the creation is an extension of God nor all of creation is God. On the other hand, we should also contend against the deists that God did not just leave the world to let it run at its own course. While creation is not a part of God, it is not independent from God. Unlike the watchmaker in the tired analogy, God did not forget the world like a watch in the road. Instead, He keeps it and upholds all things by His power and might (Acts 17:28; Hebrews 1:3). Under His divine providence, God orders and maintains the universe. He gives food (Psalm 136:25). He preserves “the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them” (Nehemiah 9:6). “In him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). God ordains and works all things according to His will and good purpose (Ephesians 1:11; Philippians 2:13).

The knowledge of these things does not just give us something to memorize. Knowing that God created all things out of nothing brings comfort to us—if He could create all things by His power then He could also keep us and frustrate the plans of the evil one. And He did, does, and will do! In the same way, we could also take refuge in His providence, which is over and above all things. Here, we know that all things come to pass under His fatherly hands. We should not doubt or worry since all things happen for the good of His children (Romans 8:28).

Oh, what comfort it is to us upon knowing that the God who is the Creator of all things and its Sustainer-King is also the same God who created us in His own image and a loving Father who cares for us! Because of Christ, His beloved Son, all of those in Him by faith have received the “Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:15).

Our Lord invites us to look at His creation. Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, but look at how they are well-tended! Look at the little birds in the sky, see how the Father feeds them! Even the hairs of our heads are all numbered. We should not worry; aren’t we of more value than they? (Matthew 6:25-34; 10:29-31).

Just like Maltbie Davenport Babcock, we could sing:

This is my Father’s world.
O let me ne’er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world:
why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!

Let us praise the LORD our Creator for all his glorious works (Psalm 104). Praises to our “God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist” (1 Corinthians 8:6).

“Think God’s Thought After Him”

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Herman Bavinck:

“[F]rom the viewpoint of Christian orthodoxy, dogmatics is the knowledge that God has revealed in his Word to his church concerning himself and all creatures as they stand in relation to him. Though objections to this definition in the name of faith often miss the mark, it must never be forgotten that the knowledge of God, which is the true object of dogmatic theology, is only obtained by faith. God cannot be known by us apart from revelation received in faith. Dogmatics seeks nothing other than to be true to the faith-knowledge given in this revelation. Dogmatics is thus not the science of faith or of religion but the science about God. The task of the dogmatician is to think God’s thoughts after him and to trace their unity. This is a task that must be done in the confidence that God has spoken, in humble submission to the church’s teaching tradition, and for communicating the gospel’s message to the world.”

“The Science of Dogmatic Theology,” in Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics, vol. 1, ed. John Bolt and trans. John Vriend (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003)