My Old-Fashioned Faith

I have an old fashioned faith. I believe that the Bible is the sole authority in understanding and knowing God, the only infallible guide that teaches man how to be saved through the saving death of Jesus at the cross and His resurrection. I sing because I know I have been saved and that not by works. I sing, not because the melody suits present day tunes, modes and ambiences, but I sing because I am a sinner who has been forgiven. I rejoice at this thought so my song is one of rejoicing, even as it is also that of pain, knowing that countless many others are in need of this same rejoicing. I do not seek to promote a sense of euphoria by showing human wisdom and feigning that God will speak to me as more privileged than the next saved man beside me.

My faith is old fashioned. I remember my fathers before me, who endured the nails and spikes like what my Savior endured, the lions and the crosses, the fire, the storms that engulfed them for their stand of this old fashioned faith. I do not seek adulation or to adulate performance, whether it be in the name of this faith, by which many have forgotten how much tribulation and trials must we endure to make us richer in the maturity of this old fashioned faith.

I am an old fashioned Christian, and looking at a fashion, I can say that not even the best wardrobers this world can offer, can promote my growth and that of my fellow believers in the Word and never be a stumblingblock on the faith of the young ones. I have my liberties, but my love is as old-fashioned as my faith. I seek to hear the Bible preached at the pulpit and not science, fiction nor opinion. I seek the truth of God and Him speaking through His Word rather than the dreams and aspirations of human wisdom.

I look forward to my Fashion Designer, who crafted my old fashioned faith, who clothed the most magnificent lilies of the valley and who has fashioned me a new, blessed and incorruptible body, which none of this world’s best fashions can ever match, or is even one wit capable, to clothe.

Form and Content

When our Lord Jesus was here on earth, He taught and preached. The difference being in the MANNER of transmission. He taught his disciples and interacted with them, yet He preached against the scribes and Pharisees in a discourse that involved both form and content.

In Matthew 23, we see how our Lord berated them for their FORM of godliness (I immediately remember 2 Ti,. 3:5). They had the form, not the true value of godliness. They were devoid of CONTENT.

It is sad that today we see a lot of these today. People talk about having all the forms of godliness. While it is specially true that the Christian will always have the fruit of the Spirit such as love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. There are those who IMPLY that once you do not have temperance or any of the other fruits, you may not be living a godly life or you may not be a Christian at all.

When Peter had meals with the Gentiles, he did eat well with them. However, when certain men (Jews) from James came, he dissembled himself from the Gentiles, most likely because he did not want to be discovered by his fellow Jews that he did eat with Gentiles (Gal. 2:11-14). Was Peter there when the scribes and Pharisees also berated the disciples when Jesus ate with sinners and publicans (Luke 5:30)? Would he have forgotten how the Lord replied them and how he corrected them.

The form with which the Lord rebuked the scribes and Pharisees may be deduced here. It is not pretty. It was the use of the an analogy of a physician and the sick which drives home the point. When Paul rebuked Peter for his hypocrisy mentioned above, he WITHSTOOD HIM TO THE FACE. I am not saying that we should not be gentle and meek. What I am saying is this – CONTENT is more important than FORM, though we are not to dispense the latter, though it is of much less significance.

Let us not be misled with what our priorities in our Christian life should be. Paul, in teaching Timothy, told him to preach the word, instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Doctrinal purity is of utmost importance in the church. With it, the gospel may be diluted, polluted, contaminated or perverted. Hence we see today.

We must defend the truth, regardless of form, though we try as much as possible to have it. What matters most is the meat, not the tin can that houses the meat. Yes, it is also important, but let us not forget to get our priorities right.

1 Kings 10 – The Splendor Which Is Of God

So is this chapter so aptly titled.

The splendor that was attributed to Solomon was not his, but God’s. Even the wisdom that he so possessed which impressed so many peoples, or different languages and races and the Queen of Sheba, who visited him and saw his splendor and witnessed his wisdom and thus remarked “it was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom”. The queen was delighted in behalf of the people, of whom Solomon ruled. Lessons no. 1 – when the Lord blesses a certain leader, the blessings flow into the entire constituency.

Prov. 29:4 - The king by judgment establisheth the land: but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it.

2 Sam. 23:3-4 - The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.

The splendor of Solomon was not his, it came from God.

When we obey God, seek His truth, study His Word diligently (2 Tim. 2:15), and immerse ourselves in His Word (Joshua 1:8), then our way and our conversation is led in His truth and we can walk in uprightness because His Word will guide us through and through.

But if for any reason when those who teach and lead, only study or teach what we think should be taught in the fear that  we may offend others, we do not fulfill wholeheartedly what His Word teaches (see the words “all things” in Matt. 28:19-20).

May the Word of God saturate us all and may He reward us with His splendor, be it spiritual, in terms of the quality of growth reached souls will pursue.

Then we can say all the time, all that I have are not mine but simply given to me of God.

1 Kings 9 – The Covenant with Solomon

This chapter in 1 Kings saw the accomplishments that Solomon did for Israel. Foremost, he built the temple of the Lord. This would be the temple that would be later be destroyed by the Babylonians.

He also built a house for his wife, the daughter of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. He also built several cities and Millo (must be the fortress within Jerusalem).

After his completion of the building of the temple, the Lord appeared again to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon (v.2).

The appearance of the Lord to man after Moses had been decreasing. In fact, as the Bible was nearing completion, the appearance of the Lord to man also decreased. This indicates that the Bible contains the revelation of the God to man and once completed, it was sufficient enough for man to come and know about God, for He has revealed Himself to man (Eph, 3:1-5).

The temple that Solomon built, whom God allowed him to build for him, and not his father David, was a source of pride and glory for Israel. This temple was to the most grand building in the known world at that time. People from different countries would like into it as the symbol of the protection of God over His people and through it, people would know about the God of Israel.

But God, in his vision to Solomon, specifically warned that should he, Solomon, and his people turn away from Him and serve other gods, God would not hesitate to cast it out of his sight (v. 6-9).

In our Christian service, we build “our” ministries, forgetting these are not our own and God can tear them down as He tore the magnificent temple that Solomon build. None that our own hands can build can be pleasing to God than complete obedience to Him and not turning to other gods of prosperity, fame, lusts and fortune. God will tear them down, if we persist in not following after Him.

May this be a lesson to all of us. When we say we have done so much for the Lord, let us remember, we were only able to do them because God did it for us but the moment we stray away from Him, He can and will cast it out.

If He did not spare the temple, He also will not spare any unworthiness in our part. May we serve the Lord faithfully.

When Will We Start Thinking?

What went wrong in Tacloban? The typhoon or the disaster preparation planning and implementation? Which was more controllable?

Was there any advice from any agency that certain types of houses cannot withstand a 250kph gust? Was there any planning and advanced mitigation for massive water diversion?

What steps are being done now? Have the looters been searched after and justice to be meted out? If there is another typhoon that will come in a month’s time, are there plans already how to inform and educate the populace?

We cannot always fight fires. Definitely, we cannot fight typhoons. But we can build shelters. Or start building. When should we start? When it is too late again? In a country that is always ravaged by storms, should we not build these shelters and also act as bomb shelters? When should we prepare for war? When war is a few weeks away? Do not trust those prophets who say “Peace, peace”. For peace is as illusive as a dream.

Who is doing the thinking in our country? Our politicians? With our 289 Congressmen, 3 times more per capita than the US, should we thought 3x better than America? But why are we thinking 3 times less than the Americans? Although of late they can’t differentiate what is right from left. Many of them cannot tell what is man from woman or vice versa. Thanks to Obama.

When should we start thinking? They say work – so work without thinking and see where you will be going.

November 10, 2013 Badminton Fellowship

Just want to thank and praise God for the success of this fellowship. Thank God for Teo and Jordan, my colleagues, who came. Missed Bryan, Keith, Zuri, Liezl, Jordan and Nerest who left ahead before this group picture-taking. Welcome to all first-timers. Although physical exercise profiteth little and godliness profit more, let us strive to give glory to God in everything that we do, even eating and drinking. To God be the glory and honor always.

SBBC Badminton Fellowship2