----- "Let your light shine before men" (Matthew 5:16) -----

 
   
 
Internet Edition No. 68 --- March 2009 ---
Cover Page of print edition
Table of contents
Title Author
   Editorial
      Kootu velakkaarum Kudumba sandhaaranavum
Pastor K.A. Mathew
   Appreciation or acceptance Pastor Shibu Joseph
   Consequences of Adam's disobedience Jefreys K. Samuel, USA
   Humbleness Rev. Dr. Baby Varghese
   Meditation:
       Let the Spirit rest upon you
Saju Mathew
   Love without borders Merilyn Johnson, New York
   News & Views Johnson K. Samuel
   Personalities encountered by Jesus - 12:
      Lazarus
Selected
   "Children's corner" "Shiny Aunty"
   Young writers' corner "Baptism"
by Priscilla Cherian, Pune
"Church and its youth"
by Simon Ninan
   Malayalam section:
      Karthaavintey prathyaagamana
      pratheekshayudey urappu
Pastor Mathew Samuel
   Malayalam section:
      Kristheeya swaathanthryam
      durviniyogam cheyyaruthu
Pastor Veeyapuram Georgekutty, Dallas
   Malayalam section:
      Aathmeeya aaraadhana Vs. Ring tone
V.C. Mathai, Jabalpur
   Malayalam section:
      Aasaya vinimayam
Pastor Babu Cherian, Piravom, Kerala
   Malayalam section:
      Sneha prayathnam
Thomas Nainan
   Malayalam section:
      Kavitha: "Ruth"
Sabu Kaaramvelil
   Malayalam section:
      Londonil nireeswara vaadikal
      theruvu yudhathilekku
Raju Ponnolil, Florida
   Malayalam section:
      Avaganikkappedunna Malayaalee upadesimaar
Varghese Kollakompil
   Sponsor's page:
      "Remembering our dear Philipachayan"



Editorial
Kootu velakkaarum Kudumba sandhaaranavum

Pastor K.A. Mathew


[mal-art1]

Post your comments on this article

«« Top  




Appreciation or acceptance?
Pastor Shibu Joseph

The writer states that today many are like the wise men from the East, who found Jesus as the king and gave gifts to appreciate him. On the other hand, shepherds found a Saviour in the manger!

Today Christianity and its message swing around the external affairs of human beings. In the age of consumerism and globalization, people and preachers are becoming more materialistic and reflect it in their life. Faith has often been used to focus on the outward matters of people. This approach unfortunately creates a u-turn in the splendid purpose of the message. Honestly speaking, no one wants to talk about the transforming power of the cross but simply to revolve around the physical deliverance. Perhaps this kind of approach would draw applause and appreciation from people of all walks and faiths, regarding what Jesus can do in their lives.

However nobody counts really, how many such people accept Jesus into their hearts as the saviour. Today, most tele - preachers and crusade (?) contractors want to present Jesus as an 'Economist' - solving all financial problems, an 'Engineer' - who builds every sort of structure; an 'Entertainer' - who always makes us merry and cheesy and so on!

When it matters to the Kingdom purpose, surely Jesus may deal with the problems of men, but this is not the legitimate plan of Almighty.

The very purpose of Jesus is not to feed the lost sheep in its 'lostness' but to find out and save him from the destructive clutches. In these days preachers move around with sympathy to satisfy the emotional needs of people, rather than showing the saving power of Jesus.

The writer Luke portrays an interesting story of Simon the Pharisee and a woman from the city (Luke 7:36-50). Simon was well-wisher of Jesus and appreciated Him. On the contrary the sinner woman accepted Jesus as the forgiver of her sins! Jesus in His earthly abode received many such applauds but he never did focus to their babbling. Another example: one day a woman cried among the multitude, "Blessed is the womb that bare thee and paps which thou has sucked" (Luke 11:27). But Jesus corrected her, rather blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep them" (11:28). Jesus never wanted the appreciation of people but their accepance of Him as Saviour and Lord.

Many are today like the wise men from the East, who found Jesus as the king and gave gifts to appreciate him. On the other hand, shepherds found a Saviour in the manger! They gave nothing as such but glorified God and preached about the Saviour (Luke 2;11-20). For many, a ruler is a better choice than a dying lamb; Saviour being crowned than bearing cross; being in mansions than on the mount with Jesus!

If we, preachers, do not lead people to see their Saviour in Jesus, we are likely to be mere stars of the wise men. We must become the angels (Greek angelos means messengers) to proclaim that Jesus is the Saviour of sinners. Sinners need Jesus. While the Baptist John saw Jesus walking and spouted, "behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world", soon disciples followed him! John never figured him as the king of kings or a miracle worker and problem solver. (Even his few words about Jesus as the Saviour became all sufficient for some to follow Him). This is the word of the cross; the Gospel of salvation, good news of eternity and glory of the death.

Let us not minimize the miraculous power of Jesus only to external matters of people, but rather make all efforts to take Jesus beyond these things, by maximizing the power of Jesus, through our presentation of Gospel. Let us not look unto appreciation, but call people to accept Him. In this new year, we have to reset our priorities and purposes favouring the Kingdom plans. Saviour must be lifted up, cross must be elevated; His death must be glorified. Healing of inner being should be proclaimed. Songs of Redemption must be blossomed. May the wilderness rejoice, lonely people be glad! Yes, not just for appreciation but acceptance of Jesus. Appreciation is lasting but acceptance is everlasting!

Post your comments on this article

«« Top  



Consequences of Adam's disobedience
Jefreys K. Samuel, USA

Adam's act of disobedience affects the whole humanity until the saints of God receive their glorified and resurrected bodies, explains the writer

After the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden, God instituted a covenant with Adam. This covenant affects the whole humanity until the saints of God receive their glorified and resurrected bodies. God told Adam, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'you must not eat of it,' "cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return" (Gen. 3:17-19 - NIV).

The curse of the covenant affected four entities, the serpent, the woman, the man, and the ground. (Gen. 3). The Dispensation of Conscience started at this point. The Webster International Dictionary defines Conscience as "the guiding recognition of right and wrong as regards one's actions and motives; the faculty which decides upon the moral quality of one's actions and motives, enjoining one to conformity with the moral law". Lord God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live for ever" (Gen. 3:22-24). So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. The penalty for disobedience was death. God told Adam, "you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die" (Gen. 2:17). Disobedience introduced sin into the new creation. Sin, in turn, would infect humanity and result in death. Eve was deceived by the serpent and she disregarded God's command. Adam, even though he realized Eve's wrong doing when she ate the forbidden fruit because he did not want to separate from his beloved wife (1 Tim. 2:13-14). Thus Adam and Eve were subjected to Spiritual death first, followed by physical death. The substance of the spiritual death is the separation of the spirit from God. Christ provided us a way to escape from spiritual death by washing our sins by his blood shed on Calvary and accepting him as our Lord and Savior. People who are not washed by the blood of Jesus are dead spiritually. All mankind has to go through physical death even though for a Christian it is temporary and he has eternal life through Jesus Christ.

The animal kingdom was cursed through the curse of the Adam, even though serpent was the first one cursed by God. God said, "Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shall thou go, and dust shall thou eat all the days of thy life" (Gen. 3:14). It is important to note that during the coming Millennium, the animal kingdom will be restored to its original condition in Eden. They will be free from the bondage of the curse. "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox" (Isa. 11: 6-7).

The Woman was cursed for her disobedience to the command of God. As a result of the fall, the woman's pain in childbirth would be greater than what was originally intended. "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shall bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee" (Gen.3:16). The good news is that the child birth reminds us the promise of God that through "the seed of the woman" the Messiah would come. The serpent was defeated. "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heel" (Gen.3:15). Jesus was willing to be born to a woman to become a sacrificial lamb to save humanity and at Calvary he bruised the head of the serpent. If God's covenant with Adam had been conditional, He could have banished Adam and Eve forever from His presence. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

The ground was cursed by God. The ground is no longer being productive as before. Thorns and thistles infested the fertile earth. The nature was plagued by the curse of the Adamic Covenant. The universe is running out of its energy. Everything tends to move from order to disorder. The physical universe is running down. The hypothesis of the theory of evolution is that life is evolving from "lower" to "higher" forms. But, in fact, God created a perfect universe for mankind to enjoy and to live with Him for ever. But man through his disobedience destroyed everything. Sickness and death constantly remind us that we live in a fallen world. As long as the Adamic Covenant remains in force, these conditions are unavoidable.

The evil effects of Adam's sin are not permanent. The messiah Jesus will come soon to take away His people from this sin cursed world. Our bodies will be resurrected and glorified and we won't be afflicted by the curse.

"So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory" (1 Cor. 15:54).

"...the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time" (Rom. 8:21-22 - NIV).

Let us prepare and look forward for that glorious day. Praise the Lord

Post your comments on this article

«« Top  



From the pulpit:
Humbleness

Rev. Dr. Baby Varghese, Dallas, USA

"The Lord lifteth up the meek, he casteth the wicked down to the ground"

The sign of a great person is his humbleness and humility. Jews, Christians, and Muslims consider Abraham as "the father of believers". Yet, Abraham spoke to God saying, "And Abraham considered himself and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes" (Gen. 18:27).

King David was a great king and poet and he lived according to God's heart. Yet, he said to himself, "but I am a worm and no man" (Psa. 22:6). Once a politician asked a bishop "What should I do to get the knowledge to rule this country?" At that time, it was raining. The bishop advised him to go outside and stand in the rain for half an hour. The politician did as he was told and returned. The bishop asked him whether God had given him any instructions. "I feel that I am a fool", he replied. "Yes for a good beginning, that thought is more than enough", the bishop replied. Paul describes himself as an untimely born baby in 1 Cor. 15:8: "And last of all, he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time". Though Paul felt this way, God used him mightily because of his humility.

Even though we have great ambitions and goals in our life, it is not possible to achieve all of them. Therefore, we should humble ourselves.

Thomas Moore was martyred in the time of Henry VIII, the king of England. He wrote, "We have to stand straight before becoming a hero. Nobody becomes a hero by disguising himself as a hero. We have to be courageous in dangerous circumstances that come against us, then only will we become a hero". Engel wrote to Vera Satchulich, who led the Russian revolution, the following words, "Those who started the revolution will soon think what was the result and they could not finish it".

It is not only Hitler or Lenin who went away from this world desperately. Old church fathers were also stunned by the change in the result of their hard works. Martin Luther, who led the renaissance in the Roman Catholic Church, was also worried about it. John Wesley was also concerned in the same way.

We should never boast. So many mission leaders have also experienced the same fate in their lives. We are not created to create lasting victory. We are created as useful vessels to be used by the Creator.

His plans are being fulfilled in our life. "...for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings..."

Post your comments on this article

«« Top  



Meditation:
Let the Spirit rest upon you!

Saju Mathew
Reading: Num. 11:16-17; 24-30

"Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke with him... and put the Spirit on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not do so again" (Num. 11:25 - NIV).


Modern man is so restless that his ability to concentrate on anything is almost zero! He cannot even watch the same Television channel for more than an hour. (Curiosity leads him to restlessly keep changing channels). We allow no one or nothing to "rest upon" us.

God asked Moses to select 70 elders from the congregation of Israel, so that He could pour His spirit upon them. He did so and when the Spirit "rested" upon them, they prophesied! The spirit has to "rest" upon us. Only then, He can work on us.

Should the governor of your province come to your home to help you... to bestow upon you a merciful gift, what would you do? Won't you invite him in, seat him comfortably, offer a drink and make him rest? Only then, he will enter into his business. The spirit, likewise, is seeking to "rest" in you.

The word 'rest' here means, "Settling down" in the original text. It also means 'sleep' or 'slumber'. What does it tell us? The Spirit should feel comfortable in you. Only then, He can "settle down". It is like carrying someone on your shoulders and walking. If you keep moving, the person seated on your shoulder cannot rest.

We seldom concentrate on God. We do ask the Spirit to come upon us but we seldom prepare room for Him. Even when we sit in the presence of the Lord, our body rests there, but our minds wander to a hundred places. How then can the Spirit settle down upon us? Remember, each time our minds go after worldly things, it is a hindrance for the Spirit upon us to "sleep".

Also, remember, the Spirit doesn't just come, help and go. He comes to live with you and become your permanent helper for your entire life. He is very sensitive. You also should be sensitive to the Spirit. If He becomes restless, He may retreat!

Prayer: Lord, I understand your Spirit seeks rest in me O' God! Let me be sensitive to the Spirit, Amen!

Further reading: Eph. 4:30-32; Matt. 12:30-32

Post your comments on this article

«« Top  



Youth Forum
Love without borders

Marilyn Johnson

The writer recounts her experiences on her mission trip to Maharashtra. She says, we are a new generation of warriors whose strength does not come from skill, but obedience.

January 2008, old burdens resurfaced and I found myself in Maharashtra, India on a short-term mission's trip along with PYPA and India Pentecostal Assembly. We began our days in the city of Mumbai, with daily group devotions empowering us for the day ahead. Here, we met Navajeevandhara, a team of young people, who have dedicated their lives to spread the gospel of Christ through music ministry. We were also touched by the ministry of SEAL, an organization of believers who rescue the wounded, sickly and orphaned left to die in the streets of Mumbai.

Prior to leaving for Maharashtra, I vowed to be faithful in observing and learning all I could from those around me. However, my self-titled role as 'observer' was short lived. One morning, Pastor Finny asked if I would speak at an orphanage. I was petrified. "One willing heart is all God needs, the Holy Spirit will do the rest", my sister gently reminded me. Yet, each time Pastor asked me to speak, my mind was filled with conflict. I rummaged through every reason why I could not be the one God wanted to use. I was silenced by my fears. I felt ill-prepared and yet so fully determined to give something of myself to the children of Mumbai. The next morning, as I stood to my feet, a rush of boldness, love and power filled my entire being. Several portions of Scripture I had meditated on, took on new meaning as the Holy Spirit filled my mouth with His words. You see, God does something wonderful with our 'willingness'. It's quite surprising and unbelievably exciting to tap into this power that is beyond our understanding. Somewhere between "Praise God" and my last "Amen", God found a way to take me across the mental bridges I had built.

One evening, I recall the believers from the tribal villages of Navapur welcoming us with a garland ceremony. When I asked a young girl why we were being received in such a grand manner, she simply replied, "Do you not come in the name of Jesus Christ? Is this not how you should be welcomed? I realized then, the depth of love these men, women and children had for the Lord. They knew something that we so often forget - you only give your best to the Lord and His people.

We are a new generation of warriors whose strength does not come from skill, but obedience.

For in God's army, it is always the obedient who trump the skillful. Obedience requires us to come out of our protective, comfortable turtle shells. There will always be an internal conflict; the desire to step forward and the impulse to retreat. Fortunately, from time to time, we get curious about how much courage we have inside of us and we are willing to move, to act, and to speak. I've learned that we can only cultivate this curiosity by making it an ordinary part of our lives.

There is a turning inside when you go on a mission's trip; when you stare at hungry, eager faces, searching for truth, love, and peace. You realize what you know is too powerful a truth to keep inside of you; too wonderful a love to lock within you.

The mission trip to Maharashtra changed my life. I see with greater clarity and better understand the greatness of God and the depth of His love for me. As the missionary C.L. Studd so aptly stated, "what is done on earth will quickly fade, only what is done for Christ will last...let us not glide through this world and then slip quietly into heaven, without having blown the trumpet loud and long for our Redeemer, Jesus Christ".

Post your comments on this article

«« Top  



News & Views
Johnson K. Samuel

8 million Christmas gift boxes sent out

In a project called 'Operation Christmas Child' sponsored by 'Samaritan's Purse', 8 million gift boxes have been sent out to needy children in more than 100 countries in December. The boxes are filled with toys and each one also has a gospel tract in the language of the people that will be receiving it. The organization claims this to be the biggest Christmas project in the world and a landmark in its mission effort and has arranged 100,000 volunteers worldwide for the distribution of the gifts.

Let us hope and pray that the gospel of Jesus Christ spreads through this great mission.

Charles Darwin's 200th anniversary

February 12, 2009 was the 200th birth anniversary of Charles Darwin, the originator of the Theory of Evolution. As part of the celebrations, US scientists were forced to organize lectures defending the theory. Top researchers gathered in Chicago and presented papers showing how evolution can be proved. But most of the public are sceptical. Just 40 per cent of Americans say they believe in the theory of evolution, according to a Gallup poll published on February 11. Others believe in the creation story of Genesis. The group of people who run the "Creation Museum" (where the Biblical story of creation is depicted in animation) are hosting a free conference refuting evolution.

In the last decade, the general public are increasingly tending to support the idea of an "intelligent design" - the contention that life is too complex to have originated without a creator - as an alternative to evolution.

Scientist says: Egyptian plagues were caused by nature and not by God!

British scientist Rogger Wotton has come up with explanations for the plagues in Exodus. He says that they are all caused by nature.

Some examples:

"Rivers of blood" could have been caused by heavy rainfall on baked soil, leading to sediments of water flowing into Nile.

The sediments could have killed the fish.

Plague of frogs could have been the sudden appearance of frog-like toads from hiding places after a sudden rainfall.

An abundance of biting insects would have led to the "pestilence" that caused the death of cattle.

The "fiery hail" could have been large hailstones accompanied by lightning.

A dense storm could have produced the darkening of the skies ----- and so on.

Wutton argues that "myths" arise around natural events when no rational explanation is immediately apparent.

We must be thankful to the scientist for providing natural explanations for the Egyptian plagues described in Exodus. Biblical miracles are all activities of the Creator God who has control over nature. They were all caused by nature, but at the instance of the Master. Explanations may not be immediately apparent, but may be found at a later time with the increase of man's knowledge and understanding. Explanations do not rule out the intervention of God.

Wait till June to buy Christmas presents!

Dave Renick, Editor of Sky and Space Magazine in Sydney, Australia quotes scientists to say that Jesus was born on June 17 and not on December 25. Astronomers have mapped the positions of stars and planets back to 2000 years ago using a computer program. They have found an unusually bright star in the sky which can be ascribed to the star seen by the wise men from the east. But that star seem to have appeared on June 17. Moreover, it was not a star, but a conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, appearing in the same direction as a single, bright object. Wise men observed this unusual object in the sky and started their journey to Bethelehem. Scientists have also determined that this unusual occurrence happened on June 17 of the year 2 B.C.

So, if this discovery is accepted, the usual sceneries of a starry, cold, snowy, winter night as depicted on Christmas cards will have to be replaced by sceneries of a moonlit summer night. And it stands to reason that during a summer night, the shepherds watching their flocks in an open field heard the heavenly angels declaring the birth of the Saviour of the mankind. So if you have forgotten to buy presents or send cards in December, do not worry. There is still time!

North Korea: No. 1 in persecution of Christians:

According to Open Doors' 2008 World Watch List, North Korea is ranked as the worst prosecutor of Christians. They have earned this dubious distinction for the seventh year in a row. The communist government, under dictator Kim Jong II, denies human rights to its citizens. The countries of Saudi Arabia and Iran closely follow in the list.

But it is a well known fact that as persecutions grow, Christian believers also grow in numbers.in all these countries.

Black Americans, more religious than others

A survey finds that 87 percent of African-Americans describe themselves as belonging to one religious group or another. 79 percent of blacks say religion is very important in their lives, compared with 56 percent of all U.S. adults. 76 percent say they pray once at least daily, compared to 58 percent of the total U.S. population. They surpass others in a range of expressions of faith, from praying more to attending religious services more frequently.

It will be interesting to see what percentages come up if someone takes a survey among the Christians who have migrated from India to USA!

Prayer for revival in London

In London, more than 100 Christians from varied denominations and traditions prayed together for the country during the last week of January. Pastor Jonathan Oloyede, convener of Global Day of Prayer London 2009 says, "Great Britain that was once a powerhouse for mission has become a ship adrift from her moorings. She has lost her bearings and God is bringing people from all over the world to say that this nation belongs to Jesus and that the devil is not going to have this nation. It is time for us to say let God's will be done, let His Kingdom come".

It is a fact that England has been on a downward slide morally and spiritually. It is, indeed, heartening to see that God's people have realized the need for tarrying in prayer for the onset of a revival in that country.

Post your comments on this article

«« Top  



Personalities encountered by Jesus - 12:
Lazarus

"Selected"

".... Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face" (John 11:43,44)

It is easy to understand the confusion, unbelief and astonishment of the people who witnessed this event. Lazarus, the friend of Jesus and the brother of Martha and Mary, had been dead four days. When Jesus asked them to take away the stone cap of the dead man's tomb, the practical Martha told Jesus: "But, Lord, by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days".

Saddened a little by the lack of faith even in His closest friends, He lifted His eyes heavenward in a brief prayer: "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me".

Then He called into the dark tomb: "Lazarus, come forth".

Lazarus came tumbling out, still wrapped in his grave clothes. Jesus said: "Take off the grave clothes and let him go".

As Lazarus walked again and flexed his muscles painfully, he may have tried to recall what it had been like to be dead and entombed. He could probably recall only a blank state of unconsciousness, similar to sleep.

Both Martha and Mary had earlier reproached Jesus : "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died".

The answer that He gave Martha is the answer that lives even today as the solace of all Christians who mourn for their loved ones:

"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die".

«« Top  



Children's corner:
Let us grow in His knowledge

"Shiny Aunty"


The sparrows in the nest at our window seemed to be very happy as they cheerfully chirped and hopped about. I thought they were aware of a God who was there to take care of them and also provide for their needs. Every morning they seemed to sing God's praises, thanking Him for one more new day to glorify His name.

Dear children,

We serve a God who is the creator of this universe and who controls every little organism and the large galaxies. He is a God who is all powerful and all knowing. If only we realized His greatness and His power we would have been so happy and peaceful at the thought that we are His children. We need to grow in His knowledge each day to be able to appreciate His virtues and His works. We can grow in His knowledge by reading and meditating His word and prayerfully seeking Him to open our inward eyes to know Him (Prov. 2:1-5). As we grow in His knowledge we would stop worrying about our needs and problems because we know that we are in His care and He is able to keep us at all times. We would then be happily praising God for His goodness. Our God wants to see His children happy just like our parents who want their children to be happy. Take time each day to meditate His word and grow in His knowledge day by day.

God bless you.

«« Top  




Young writers' corner:
1. "Baptism" by Prisilla Cherian, Pune
2. "Church and its youth" by Simon Ninan


"Baptism"

Baptism is an act of obedience by a person to start a successful Christian life. It is a turnaround or it is a sign that we have buried our sinful life and risen into a new and a spiritual life.

We see that some churches baptize when a child is born and that child is allowed to participate in the Lord's Holy communion. But is this baptism?

We read in Matt. 3:13-17 that Jesus was baptized by John. He was fully immersed into the water and when he came out of the water God said. "This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased." Here Jesus shows us what is baptism.

Why do we need baptism? In Acts 2:38, when people asked Peter what should they do to be saved, Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized."

What is repentance? Now for one person to be baptized he should first repent. It is a total turning from the sin and the world towards God and his holy ways.

What does baptism symbolize? When a person is immersed into water it shows that he is dead to this world and its lusts, sin and when he emerges out of the water it shows he is risen into a new life, a born again life. And that he has left all his impurities back and entered into brand new life.

But only baptism in water is not all. In Acts 1:5 Jesus says. "For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with Holy Spirit."

What is Baptism in Holy Spirit?

It is to be filled with the Holy Spirit our helper that God gave us so that we might lead a successful Christian life till Jesus comes back to take His bride to eternal life.

For a Christian to please God by walking in His ways, baptism in Holy Spirit is very necessary.

Where does baptism and repentance lead us to?

It leads to eternal life and eternal glory with God and Jesus Christ our Saviour.

We will be taken up into heaven during the second coming of our Lord and this is the great hope of every Christian.

But to be a part of God's army and Christ's bride we need to start our life from the very first - repentance and baptism and then baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Post your comments on this article



"Church and its youth"

The basic definition of church is that it is the Body of Christ. Church consists of members of varied ages, cultures, languages etc., but when we look at the Body of Christ, the identities of people disappear and are seen as various organs of the same body, unitedly working together. Youth also form part of the same Body. In I Peter 4:10, Peter exhorts us to use our gifts as each of us has received. This does not exclude the youth.

Funnily enough many mainstream churches keep youth away from church activities or many youth decide to stay away from church activities. Either way both are going to lose out. Youth are symbols of every innovation. If involved they can do much for the kingdom of God. Youth who stay away must realize that one is expected to submit to one's elders as Paul advises. The energy and innovation of the youth coupled with the experience and wisdom of the elderly is the success mantra of any successful and growing church.

I Tim. 4:12 says that do not let anyone look down upon you, because you are young, but be an example to others. Holy and righteous living should be the hallmark of any Christian, but specially the youth, since it seems easier for us to slip and fall into temptation.

Hence Solomon says in Ecc. 12:1: 'Remember our Creator in the days of youth'. Let's look at an average church, youth go about arranging chairs, bringing water to the Pastor etc. In short it would benefit the church to find out what the youth think about the church and to gather their consensus in any issue that the church faces. Youthful energy can be and should be channelized for the extension of his kingdom.

Youth generally get impatient fast. Studying and observing exemplary elders could help us learn virtues that we lack sorely. Every Paul, Samuel, Barnabas and Billy Graham began by first working under someone. In the secular world every actor / director works initially as an asst. director in other ventures before starting out independently. Even great players in the beginning had to sit out on many occasions before they became experts.


Post your comments on this article

«« Top  



Malayalam section:
Karthaavintey prathyaagamana pratheekshayudey urappu

Pastor Mathew Samuel

[mal-art2]

Post your comments on this article

«« Top  



Malayalam section:
Kristheeya swaathanthryam durviniyogam cheyyaruthu

Pastor Veeyapuram Georgekutty, Dallas, USA

[mal-art3]

Post your comments on this article

«« Top  



Malayalam section:
Aathmeeya aaraadhana vs. Ring tune

V.C. Mathai, Jabalpur

[mal-art4]

Post your comments on this article

«« Top  



Malayalam section:
Aasaya vinimayam

Pastor Babu Cherian, Piravom, Kerala

[mal-art5]

Post your comments on this article

«« Top  



Malayalam section:
Sneha prayathnam

Thomas Ninan

[mal-art6]

Post your comments on this article

«« Top  



Malayalam section:
Poem: Ruth

Sabu Karamvelil

[mal-art7]

Post your comments on this article

«« Top  



Malayalam section:
Londonil nireeswara vaadikal theruvu yudhathilekku

Raju Ponnolil, Florida

[mal-art8]

Post your comments on this article

«« Top  


Malayalam section:
Avaganikkappedunna malayalee upadesimaar

Varghese Kollakompil

[mal-art8]

Post your comments on this article

«« Top  


Sponsor's page:
Copyright 2009 Suvartha Publications, Bombay, India. All rights reserved