Confession, conversion and practice, be followers of the way of Jesus

Confession alone is not complete for our healthy development as Christian into mature sons and daughters of God, while we wait for Jesus to return.

We all started here –

(Romans 10:13)

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

But that is just the beginning of our journey of faith with Jesus. We need to go further and be wise steward of our time and resource –

(John 3:17-21)

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

These words recorded in the Gospel of John were spoken by Jesus Himself and it is best we take heed.

Jesus addressed “darkness”, “evil deeds” and “wicked things” present here on earth, in this world we are living in and they still exist.

How should we response?

Live in isolation? No, but we learn to expose the works of darkness, reject them, walk and live in the light and truth of Jesus.

Jesus and the Apostles addressed “sin” like no other religion, and for the most part people don’t like to hear “sin” mentioned.

A common Evangelistic message for the lost soul is that we are separated from God and we need to return to God through Jesus.

Yes and true but the problem is there are plenty of people who think they have their choices and prefers to remain separated from God. But one way or another all of us will meet God when and after we die.

Let’s do a fact check here. This separation from God is not a freedom of choice, but a result of disobedient and rebellion.

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the Earth, there was no religions, no philosophy, no meta-physical understanding about God. There was no such thing as the theory of evolution with regards to the origins of mankind!

Man was a unique and deliberate creation of God to represent His image and authority here on earth.

God and Man spoke face to face in reality and in presence, like we would go for a business conference or a high profile diplomatic engagement.

We knew what happen in the Garden of Eden, mankind was separated from God due to disobedient and rebellion. Means to say, we are supposed to return to God through obedience and trust.

Our confession means a change of heart first and foremost. We believed and accept the fact we rebelled against God’s plan, purpose and commandments.

We are sinners before God and we are at fault.

Next, our conversion process will teach us to renounce disobedient and rebellion against the plan and purpose of God and to live according to the teachings and commandments of Jesus –

 

(Romans 6:4)

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

 

 

The next difficult thing we need to work on is to change our mind because this means to change our practices and habits –

(Romans 12:1-2)

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

People have become creatures of habits, this have been a root problem why people after confession and conversion are still stuck with old ways and mentalities of doing things.

This is where we address our “practices”.

This is where we subject ourselves to character molding, changes, transformation and renewal, by the conviction of the Holy Spirit, through consistent knowledge and understanding of the words and teachings of Jesus.

Imagine most of us from childhood having gone through years of educations and growing up to professional training, the average age of university graduates is about 20 years old. We are stuck with a whole lot of worldly teachings and doctrines in our heads.

Now with regards to our spiritual growth with Jesus, we are dealing with things of eternal values, how much more important and priorities we should give attention to it!

Effective Christian educations are fundamental in producing mature sons and daughters of God, and this is one important area many churches are still struggling with.

We don’t give up! We need to put in more effort!

All we need is consistency and persistent.

We need to promote consistent spiritual disciplines.

The enemies of the cross, the opponents of Jesus, those who are against doing the will of God, they will attack and destroy discipleship program. But we take our commandments from Jesus our Lord and Savior –

 

(Matthew 28:18-20)

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

That’s right; there is no other authority higher than that of Jesus.

Therefore if Jesus gave us the authority and commandments to make disciples, let’s do it.

Discipleship is a faith movement of producing mature sons and daughters of God.

Effective Christian education is a faith movement of trust and obedience to Jesus.

Confession, conversion and practice are acts of faith.

The church of the living God is a faith movement, not a religion.

As Christians, we are people of faith!

Faith to trust and obey Jesus

 

In-His-Service

David Z

 

 

“The Last Supper”, “Holy Communion”, “The Lord’s Table”

That night Jesus was betrayed,

(Luke 22:13-20)

13 And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the PASSOVER.

14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.

15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this PASSOVER with you before I suffer:

16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:

18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.

19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

“The Last Supper”, “Holy Communion”, “The Lord’s Table” was instituted by the founder of our Christian faith Jesus Christ, the same who redeemed us from sin and death with His own pure, precious holy blood, and established a New Covenant for us between Man and God.

As disciples of Jesus, whenever we to do this in remembrance our Lord and Savior, we are coming together to partake of something with Jesus and with the Body of Christ.

 

Question – what are we sharing in?

 

The last supper was happening in the event of The Passover.

The Passover had a very clear and definite teaching about delivery from slavery in Egypt, moving towards The Promised Land and living under the Provision and Protection of God.

Those called to be sons and daughters of God will no more live under slavery to idols and men, but to live under the freedom and blessing of God.

In the Old Testament text, God reminded the Israelite countless times they must not forget how they were delivered from bondage and slavery in Egypt and never to go back to such slavery and bondage again.

The Passover also marks the beginning of a new journey of faith with God, and observation of their covenant relationship with God by walking according to the ways and ordinances of God.

In fact that first Passover they had when coming out of Egypt mark the beginning of  a new year, not just the beginning any new year, but the start of a new life time journey of faith with God together as a nation.

The Passover was sacrificed for community and for nation.

Having settled into The Promised Land, the Israelite were instructed to keep the “Passover Feast” year after year, in remembrance and in honor of God’s promises to preserve and protect.

Finally that last supper event instituted by Jesus is THE Passover of all Passover feast, because Jesus is THE Passover Lamb of God, and with His own blood sacrifice delivered us from sin and death and established a New Covenant between Man and God with better promises.

 

First – Set free from bondage and slavery to Sins

Egypt on the surface represented physical bondage. But mankind had been subjected to spiritual bondage to sin and death.

Jesus through His blood sacrifice redeemed us from our sins and condemnation thus setting us free from being a slave to sins. Not that we become infallible, but we are set free not to sin. Therefore the first important principle of partaking the Lord’s Table … is that we are to walk away from sin, indeed we have received freedom to walk away from sin!

Remember the Passover is to be observed with unleavened bread –

(1 Corinthians 5:7-8)

7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our PASSOVER is sacrificed for us:

8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

 

Next – Walking in new life as according to the plan and purpose of Jesus

Under the provision of the New Covenant Jesus establish for us we are to live according to a new life new identity as according to the plan and purpose of God for good.

Renewal and transformation are part and parcel of walking in this new life Jesus provided for us.

(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 

But we have been warned not to treat the Lord’s Table lightly.

(1 Corinthians 11:27-29 KJV)

27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

What was Paul unhappy about? In simple plain truth, the Corinthians had broken these two important principles of the Lord’s Table –

 

walk away from sin

walk towards the new life Jesus has provided for us

 

To partake of the Lord’s Table is to partake of our commitment and promises to walk away from sins and walk towards newness of life Jesus provided for us.

It is our commitment and our duty to live in obedience to God’s call for holiness. To be holy is to set ourselves apart to serve our Lord and Savior.

To love our God with all our heart, soul and mind.

Like in the time of Exodus when God delivered the nation of Israel from Egypt, led them through the wilderness into The Promised Land, and taught His people to live in faith and obedience, to trust and obey God.

 

Third – Towards eternal life

Every person alive here on earth, we have to face death someday.

The ultimate promise and provision of this New Covenant with Jesus is eternal life, in the presences and fellowship of God.

The resurrection of Jesus is God’s guarantee of eternal life.

In the Old Testament, the people of God observed Passover with a killed lamb that remains dead. But in this New Covenant relationship with God, we celebrate Passover with a resurrected Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.

Christ was crucified, died, but on the third day made alive again by the power of God.

(John 1:29)

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

(Revelation 5:6)

And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

When we partake of the communion we partake of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and we are to remain faithful in our commitment to keep our covenant relationship with our Lord and Savior.

The Lord’s Table is about sharing in the promise of God to receive eternal life as we continue our journey of faith with the shepherd of our soul Jesus Christ.

Repentance, renewal, putting on our new identity in Christ is part of our process of being born-again that we may enter the kingdom of God. We are on a journey of re-generation towards Christ-likeness, for the glory and praise of our Father in heaven.

We partake of the communion in faith and hope that when we meet Jesus in person, we shall be like Him –

(1 John 3:2)

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

 

In-His-Service

David Z