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CSI Good News
(Church of South India Good News)



 

Vol. 10 / Issue 18 / June 5 2008

Contents of this issue

Editorial
Message of the Cross
A very special Father's Day Ecard is waiting for you

News Items (Common to all issues) :
Through the Valley of Death & other Books
Download Articles in Handheld Computers
Kids Page - Free Tutorials
Hindi / Malayalam/Tamil Bible Online
Your Spam Folder
Your Feedback

Editorial

By Sherly Isaac

Bible says in Prov 9:6, “Forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding.”

Time and time again Bible speaks that “life” has direct connection with “wisdom”. Forsaking foolishness is the key of life. But the question is, "how can a person forsake foolishness?" We read in Prov 9:10-11, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For by me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you.”

There was a man named Saul in the Old Testament. God chose him to be king of Israel. He was blessed with God’s anointing and Holy Spirit. But he chose not to fear God and not to walk in His holy ways. You can see how he spent his whole life in foolishness, chasing a young man named David who was a mere shepherd boy in his kingdom. He used his all might and power to find David even knowing that God was with David. Often he realized that David’s life was spared by the supernatural intervention of God. Even David asks Saul in 1 Sam 24:14, "After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? A dead dog? A flea?” But Saul was determined to follow his folly. He knew that God was with David and one day he will become king of Israel. That fear was eating him up and he wanted to hold his kingdom tightly. And when he died, Bible says why his life was a failure in 1 Chr 10:13, “So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the LORD, because he did not keep the word of the LORD, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance.”

Indeed a life spent in foolishness!

We read about another person in the Bible who spent his life in foolishness, who was one of the disciples of Jesus Christ. His name was Judas Iscariot. He was chasing after money all his life. In John 12:6 we read, “This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.” His love for money doomed him to death. When he found an opportunity to betray Jesus by handing over Jesus to the Pharisees for thirty pieces of silver, he was happy to do that. But later he felt sorry and committed suicide. What a foolish life he led thinking that money is everything. Indeed a life spent in foolishness!

But we see another man in New Testament named Saul (Paul) who was a Pharisee, a very learned man and a great scholar who learned scriptures in great detail. But was pursuing his zeal to kill those who put their trust in Jesus and became Christians. But a day came in his life when he met God and his life changed forever. He spent his life working to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ and to show the love of Christ. His life was no longer a foolish one but spent wisely.

Today also we need to think about ourselves, "what are we pursuing?" Are we pursuing God or the world? Are we spending our lives foolishly or wisely? We are not going to stay in this world forever. But those who believe in Jesus Christ will live forever as we read in John 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

Today you can accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and can live for Him and can have eternal life through Him.

Message of the Cross

By Vinod Isaac

1 Cor 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Cor 1:19 For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent."
1 Cor 1:20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
1 Cor 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.


Paul says that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Now the Question arises, “What is the message of the cross”?

CSI (Church of South India) Liturgy captures the answer very beautifully. Following few lines are direct quote from the liturgy.

Hear the gracious word of God to all who truly turn to Him, through Jesus Christ.

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28

God, so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him, should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

Faithful, is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Tim. 1:15

If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 2: 1-2

All the above verses that are taken from Bible represent the message of the cross and the message is very simple that Jesus died for the sins of the world. If you noticed, “to all who truly turn to Him” that tells very clearly that there are people who truly turn to God and there are people who do not truly turn to God. That sentence also makes it very very clear that turning to God is through and only through Jesus Christ.

If you look into the history of Christianity, you will find that “Jesus came into the world to save sinners”, “Jesus shed His blood for our sins” or “Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away our sins” is the central message of Christian faith.

That is why Paul is writing to Timothy that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners is the faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. But there was a time when Paul hadn’t joined the list of people who accept that Jesus came to die for the sins of the world. He being a very learned theologian and thinking about himself to be very wise and very educated went about killing those who believed in this central message of Christian faith. Well he sincerely believed that this message of the Cross that “Jesus died for the sins of the people” is foolishness and those who proclaim it should be killed. One day he had an encounter with Jesus when he was going on the road of Damascus with the mission to kill. That one encounter changed his life forever. He realized that with all his wisdom, with all his education and with all his zeal, he was the biggest fool not realizing that God works through the simple message of the cross that Jesus died for your sins and my sins and that those who truly repent of their sins receive the forgiveness of sins.

When you read 1 Cor 1:20 again, you can see that he is trying to say exactly the same that his wisdom and his theology study were of no value instead God has more simpler and more foolish method and the good thing is that the simpler method works and the wiser method doesn’t work. That’s why he says, 'Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?'

1 Cor 1:20, Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

In other words, all the wisdom that he thought he had was just foolishness or that God has turned them to look foolish. Well yes when a method doesn’t work isn’t that method really foolish? How very wonderfully and craftily worded it may be but if it doesn’t work then it doesn’t work. It is useless.

So what is this simpler method that looks foolish but works and works wonderfully? Answer is found in verses starting from 1 Cor 1:21

1 Cor 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

In this verse again we read “world through wisdom did not know God”. There is no way a person can know God through wisdom or through his/her literary knowledge. Instead people know God through the foolishness of the message (of the cross) preached and that is through saving those who believe in the message of the cross.

So if a person wants to get saved or to know God there is only this method that he/she needs to hear someone preach to him/her that Jesus died for his/her sins and that he/she can receive forgiveness of sins through the shed blood of Jesus. After hearing this message when the person responds by believing and repenting from his/her sins, he/she gets saved or receives the knowledge of God. This person begins to know God personally one on one because this person is now a Child of God.

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

Well it is unfortunate that today many liberal theologians are straying away from this central Christian faith. They are trying to come up with new interpretations of the message of the cross. There are theologians who have hard time believing that Jesus resurrected from the dead and now there are theologians who even don’t believe that Jesus died on the cross. Reason is simple. In many of the churches and seminaries the message of the cross is not preached any more and because it is not preached these theologians are not able to know God or in other words are not able to connect with God, because no one can know God through wisdom but only through the preaching of the message of the cross.

To these new generation of liberal theologians, because the message of the cross looks foolish, they are trying to come up with new interpretations of even the message of the cross. While the portion from the liturgy says that it is “worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” 1 Tim. 1:15 but it looks for these theologians this line from 1 Tim 1:15 is not acceptable.

It is disheartening to see that even not only the message of the cross is made fun of, but those who preach the true message of the cross are ridiculed by these liberal theologians. Reason is simple that they have strayed away from the central Christian faith and even from the true faith of the Church.

Well now you may have a question that, 'how can you know God? Or how you can get saved from your sins? Or how can you become a child of God?'

Answer is simple, turn to God with true repentance and faith. Let me try to explain little further with the help of CSI (Church of South India) Liturgy.

Order of service starts with the following

Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy Holy name. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

That is an acknowledgement before God that He knows every wrong doing and that every single sin we did is open before Him.

Well if a person really acknowledges that God knows everything and that hearts are open before him, probably half of the sins he/she does will not be done. When he/she will open the mouth to speak lie a thought will go through that God knows and sees everything and I will be caught and will be in trouble.

The second acknowledgment is that we are sinners and that our hearts need to be cleansed.

Further down liturgy reads

O Lord, the only begotten Son Jesus Christ, O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takest away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us; thou that takest away the sin of the world, receive our prayer. Thou that sittest at the the right hand of God the Father have mercy upon us.

This is an acknowledgment that Jesus is the only begotten Son and that means there is no other avatar or son through whom a person can receive forgiveness of sins

It is also an acknowledgment that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Following few sentences emphasizes the same acknowledgment that Jesus is the Lamb of God.

Then starts the prayer of confession.

Then the presbyter says:

Brethren, we have come together to hear God’s most Holy word. Let us therefore kneel and examine ourselves in silence, seeking God’s grace that we may draw near to him with repentance and faith.

All kneel and bow heads. After a short silence the presbyter says:

Ye that do truly, and earnestly repent you of your sins and are in love and charity with your neighbors and intend to live a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from hence forth in his holy ways, make your humble confession to almighty God, that you may be reconciled anew to him through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The presbyter leading, all say together :

Heavenly Father, we confess that we have sinned against thee and our neighbor. We have walked in darkness, rather than in light; we have named the name of Christ, but have not departed from iniquity. Have mercy upon us, we beseech thee; for the sake of Jesus Christ, forgive us all our sins; cleanse us by the Holy Spirit; quicken our consciences; and enable us to forgive others; that we may hence forth serve thee in newness of life, to the glory of thy holy name. Amen.

Again this portion makes it clear that only those who draw near to God with repentance and faith will receive a reconciliation with God through Lord Jesus Christ.

A sinner’s prayer of repentance follows that.

So the bottom line is for a person to turn to God

1.) He/she needs to acknowledge that he/she is a sinner
2.) He/she needs to acknowledge that God is Holy and nothing is hidden from Him
3.) He/she needs to be remorseful for his/her sins.
4.) He/she must be ready to turn away from sinful lifestyle.
5.) He/she should have an 180 degree turn from his/her sins. (#3,4,5 put together is true repentance)
6.) He/she should believe that Jesus dies on the cross for his/her sins. In other words he/she should believe in the message of the cross.
7.) He/she should believe that Jesus’ (Lamb of God’s) blood cleanses from all sins (#6,7 put together is faith)
8.) He/she should ask forgiveness for his/her sins
9.) He/she should ask the Lord Jesus to come into his/her heart and to take full control of his/her life. Jesus coming into the heart of a person means a person is reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.

If you do all of these things from the bottom of your heart then you become a child of God. And the message of the cross no longer remains foolishness to you instead it becomes the power of God. This is the power that resurrects a person who is dead in sins. May God bless you.

A very special Father's Day Ecard is waiting for you

A very special Father's Day Ecard is waiting for you.

You can view this at:
http://ecards.jcsearch.com/pickup/pickup.asp?CardID=44022G29E2H131577

OR just enter your CardID

by going to Card Pickup site at http://ecards.jcsearch.com/pickup/pickup.asp

Your CardID is: 44022G29E2H131577

Through the Valley of Death & other Books

As many of you know that in the year 2005, our dad was very sick even unto death. God miraculously healed him. We have compiled it in a book form. I sure believe that it will inspire you and encourage you greatly.

This book is available for purchase at JasmineCorp Store

Also read these two books by Sherly Isaac "Allah and Elohim - Are they the same God" Available at JasmineCorp Store, and "Is Jesus God?" Available at JasmineCorp Store,

Both books compares the Bible and the Quran and read eye opening facts about Jesus, God of the Bible, Allah and Islamic faith. I am sure that you want to read this.

Download Articles in Handheld Computers

You can now download articles in Palm Doc format for your palm handheld computer. It will work with any devise that has Palm OS and Palm Doc Reader installed. To download click on the link named "Palm Doc Format" i.e. at the top of this page by the side of each articles.

Kids Page - Free Tutorials

Now you can learn Graphics and web designing online at Kid's page. These tutorials are free for kids who subscribe for CSI Kids Newsletter. Currently tutorials for Paint Shop Pro, HTML and Dreamweaver are available.

So please enroll your kids by going to http://kids.csinewsletter.org/member/join.asp

And visit CSI Kid's page at http://kids.csinewsletter.org

Hindi / Malayalam/Tamil Bible Online

Now you can read Bible in Hindi online at http://www.hindibible.org
in Malayalam online at http://www.malayalambible.org
in Tamil online at http://www.hindibible.org?ver=tamil

Your Spam Folder

If you are getting this newsletter in your bulk/junk/Spam folder please hit the "not junk" or "not spam" button so that you could receive it in your mailbox. Also adding news@csinewsletter.com email address into your contact list can avoid this email from ending up in your bulk folder.

Your Feedback

Your feedback and comments are Welcome. Please send your Parish news & articles to Editor (Sherly N. Isaac) at this address News@csinewsletter.comThe messages submitted will be checked whether they are correct according to the word of God. Editor reserves the right to accept, reject or edit the messages. The writers are responsible for the contents of their writings.



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