Saturday, February 26, 2011

"Soli Deo Gloria" sa buhay ng mga anak ng Diyos

  • "Sa ganitong paraan pagliwanagin ninyo ang inyong ilawan sa harap ng mga tao upang makita nila ang inyong mabubuting gawa. Sa gayon ay luluwalhatiin nila ang inyong Ama na nasa langit" (Mateo. 5:16, Ang Salita ng Diyos).
  • "Mangagingat kayo na huwag magsigawa ng katuwiran sa harap ng mga tao, upang kanilang makita: sa ibang paraan ay wala kayong ganti ng inyong Ama na nasa langit" (Mateo. 6:1, Tagalog Ang Biblia).
Ang mga talatang nasa itaas, sa unang tingin, ay tila nagsasalungatan. Dapat nating ipakita ang ating liwanag sa ibang tao sa pamamagitan ng ating mga mabubuting gawa, ngunit dapat tayong magingat na huwag gumawa ng katuwiran sa harap ng mga tao upang kanilang makita. Paano natin mapagtutugma ang dalawang talata? Siyempre, alam ni Jesus kung ano ang kanyang sinasabi sa dalawang talatang iyan. Ang layunin natin sa pagpapakita ng ating liwanag ay upang madakila ang Ama sa pamamagitan ng ating mga buhay, hindi upang tayo'y makatanggap ng pagkilala o papuri mula sa mga tao.

Ang ating puso ay likas na makasarili, na naghahangad ng mga pagkilala at papuri, lalo na kung tayo'y nakagagawa ng mga mahuhusay na bagay na sa tingin natin ay karapatdapat lang purihin at bigyang-pagkilala. Gayunpaman, tayo ay pinaalalahanan ni Jesus na dapat tayong maging kagaya ng isang mapagpakumbabang alipin, na gaya rin naman niya. Hindi dapat ipagmalaki ang mga mabubuting bagay na ating ginagawa sapagkat ang Diyos ang siyang nagtalaga at tumawag sa atin sa ganoong gawain (Efeso 2:10).

Si Cristo ay naparito sa pagpapakumbaba, hindi upang siya'y paglingkuran, kundi upang maglingkod (Mateo 20:28; Filipos 2:3-8). Bilang mga tagasunod ni Cristo, dapat tayong matuto mula sa kanyang halimbawa, at maglingkod sa ating kapwa na may pagpapakumbaba (Colosas 3:12). "Upang ang iyong paglilimos ay malihim: at ang iyong Ama na nakakikita sa lihim ay gagantihin ka" (Mateo 6:4, Ibid.).

Yamang pagaari ng Diyos ang ating mga buhay, dapat nating ibigay sa kanya ang buong kapurihan sa lahat ng bagay. Ayon sa apostol, "Sapagka't kayo'y binili sa halaga: luwalhatiin nga ninyo ng inyong katawan ang Dios" (1 Corinto 6:20, Ibid.). Tayo'y namatay na kalakip ng kanyang Anak at binuhay na maguli sa panibagong buhay sa pamamagitan ng kanyang Espiritu; samakatuwid, lahat ng pagkilala, papuri, at kaluwalhatian hinggil sa ating mga pagpapagal ay nauukol lamang sa Kanya na nagbibigay sa atin ng pagnanais at kakayahang tuparin ang kanyang mabuting kalooban (Filipos. 2:13).

Soli Deo Gloria! (Sa Diyos lamang ang kapurihan!)


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Calvinism's rightful place in the Southern Baptist Convention

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., current
president of SBST
I can preach anywhere all day about my Calvinistic convictions on predestination, grace, freewill, atonement and everything -- but not in my very home church. I hate to admit it, but my mouth zips when my church superiors are around.

Two years ago when I was yet new to Calvinism (or a "cage-stage Calvinist", as they call it), the fire for reformation burned in heart. The doctrines of grace so astounded me that I couldn't help voicing out to everybody in our church my new-found belief. I have desired to see our church reformed as that of C.H. Spurgeon's Metropolitan Tabernacle. However, it wasn't until last year when one of my superiors confronted me of my somewhat radical view on the sovereignty of God in salvation that I began to lie low in my endeavor. I was told that my views are going somewhat beyond the doctrinal norms of our denomination (i.e. Southern Baptist) and that my insistence to impose those strange doctrines to my church-mates might tear the church apart. Of course, I  tried to prove my case from Scripture, but all to no avail. I was advised to keep silent. Avoiding further arguments and possible heated discussions (being aware that I'm under their divinely appointed leadership), I humbly complied.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Why did Christ have to be righteous & sinless?

"He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened
not his mouth..." (Isaiah 53:7)
Jesus Christ was a good man. I mean a really, really a good man in an exceptional sense. St. Peter says He has never committed any sin, and neither was deceit found in his mouth (1 Pe. 2:22; cf. Isa. 53:9). St. Paul made it plain that He has led a life of consistent submission to His Father's will and has known no sin (1 Co. 5:21; Php. 2:11). St. John says the same thing to that effect (1 Jn. 3:5). Our Lord himself admitted that He's sinless (Jn. 8:29, 46). Old Testament prophecies speak of Him as the "holy One" of God (Psa. 16:10; Isa. 49:7). It was announced to Mary by the angel Gabriel that she would conceive in her womb God's holy Son, and indeed Christ was (Luk. 1:35). There are plenty of other evidences throughout Scripture that proves Jesus' sinless perfection.

But why did Christ have to be righteous? Why did He have to be sinless? Some may respond and say: "Well, he didn't really have to. Being God, He is by nature holy. So if He lived righteously, it's because that's just what He is in the first place." I am in full agreement that Christ is divine and is by nature holy, but the Lord himself testifies that one purpose for which He came into this world was to fulfill God's holy precepts (Mat. 5:17). In short, He had to. It was His mission (Jn. 6:38). So the question remains: What for?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

An Open Prayer Of A Disheartened Man

Heavenly Father, I thank you for moving me to make this prayer. I call upon you in the name of your Son, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and beseech you not to close your ears to this man's desperate cry for relief!

Father, you know everything (Mat. 6:32). You are fully aware of what I'm going through right now. I'm now in pain and it consumes me all over. I'm losing hope. The emotional torture is too heavy that my focus for the things that are vital for my spiritual well-being has been digressed. Lord, I don't wanna be here. Please take me out this dark room. Grant me the sufficient strength I need to get over all this for I only got a few drops of hope and motivation left to press on. The devil at this point is working double-time to destroy me (1 Pe. 5:8). He is sucking all my faith off me so that I'd be forced to end up all these with my own hands. That opportunist. I know that he's powerful than me, Lord, but you are far more powerful than him (Jn. 16:33)! Strengthen my faith, therefore, so that I won't fall over his lies (Eph. 4:27; 1 Jn. 5:4-5). Preserve me from all acts of unrighteousness and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me (Psa. 51:12; 119:107). I am yours, Lord. Protect me!

Lord God, please always remind me of the sufferings of Jesus Christ and his terrible death on the cross, compared to which my own agony is just a piece of cake (Heb. 12:1-4). You have said in your Word that you have granted me for the sake of Christ not only to have faith in him but also to suffer for his sake (Php. 1:29). Please help me live with it. I know that you've got plans for me. You told me that you are making all things work together for my own good and that nothing, even the greatest trials, can ever separate me from your love (Rom. 8:28, 31-39). You are greater than all and nothing can snatch me out of you and your Son's custody (Jn. 10:28-29) so I put my trust wholly in your mighty hand. I'm casting all my sorrows, pain, and hurts upon the cross of Christ, trading them for your joy which transcends all understanding (Php. 4:7).

I praise you Lord for your goodness and faithfulness from the bottom of my aching heart. Please take over. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Los Angeles Archdiocese to Dismiss Priest Over Admission of Molesting Girl

(This is taken from, published Feb. 12, 2011.)

Rev. Martin P. O’Loghlen
LOS ANGELES — A priest accused of having a long-term sexual relationship with a teenage girl, writing her decades later to ask for forgiveness and declare that he was a sex addict, is being removed from ministry in a parish, and the diocese’s vicar of clergy has also resigned, officials of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles said Friday.

The priest, the Rev. Martin P. O’Loghlen, was once a leader in his religious order and was appointed to an archdiocesan sexual abuse advisory board, although officials at both the order and the archdiocese knew at the time about his admission of sexual abuse and addiction. He served on the board, which was meant to review accusations of abuse by priests, for at least two years in the late 1990s, according to church and legal documents.

Tod Tamberg, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said church officials planned to announce the removal of Father O’Loghlen from his current parish in San Dimas on Sunday. Church officials decided to act after being contacted by a reporter about the priest’s history of sexual abuse.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Spurgeon On Humility

From his sermon Pride and Humility, delivered at New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, 1856:
“Now let us briefly enquire, in the first place, what is humility? The best definition I have ever met with is…to think rightly of ourselves. Humility is to make a right estimate of one’s-self…
Humility is to feel that we have no power of ourselves, but that it all cometh from God. Humility is to lean on our beloved, to believe that he has trodden the winepress alone, to lie on his bosom and slumber sweetly there, to exalt him, and think less than nothing of ourselves. It is in fact, to annihilate self, and to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ as all in all.”
From his sermon A Mournful Defection, delivered at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, 1877:
“Remember, dear brethren and sisters, if you would be preserved from falling, you must be schooled in humility, and keep very low before the Lord. When you are half-an-inch above the ground, you are that half-inch too high. Your safety is to be nothing. Trust Christ, but do not trust yourself. Rely on the Spirit of God, but do not rely on anything that is in yourself.