-GOSPEL IN ACTION-

Hello Welcome to Gospel in action. In the last video series, we have learnt about the events in John chapter 4 and at the end we have seen Jesus’ second sign i.e., to heal the official’s son. In this video, let us try to learn about healing overall from the Biblical standpoint. The purpose of this video is also to clear all misunderstandings about God healing His people. So, whenever we pray for healing for a particular sick person or even for ourselves, we tend to go to Isaiah 53:5 which says with his wounds we are healed Or to Psalm 103:3 which says God who forgives all your iniquities, heals all your diseases etc. But, the context of these two verses is not for the physical healing of the 21st century believers. So, it is incorrect to use these two verses for healing for those who are in the New Covenant. Let us understand why, in this video.

Please note that God does heal people even to this day, as we have seen in the last video where Jesus healed the son of a nobleman, an official in the King’s administration. God heals His people because He is compassionate.

If anyone gets healed, just like the nobleman and His family, there is a great chance that they might also believe in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, give their lives to Him and be saved. But in a believer’s case it is different. A believer is already saved. He does not need a healing or a miracle so that he may be saved again. Right? And believer is the one who denies himself, takes up his cross daily and follows Jesus according to Luke 9:23. So, in a believer’s case, God might heal him so that his faith may increase manifold and in turn he may be used more for the work of the Kingdom of God. But most of the times, God chooses to not heal the believer in order to teach him something or to keep him grounded for him to continue to trust in God for everything. So, God can use physical pain in believers’ lives to grow their faith. For example, when Paul asked God to heal him, what did God say to him? Paul shares that in his testimony in 1 Corinthians 12:9-10 like this -But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Isn’t it amazing? Don’t we all want to be like Paul i.e., to be at the level of his faith? When we are at the peak of our faith, frankly speaking, apart from Jesus, we wouldn’t need anything else including healing or a miracle of any kind. We have Jesus and Jesus, Himself is our healing. That is the Joy in a believer’s life that the Bible talks about. Joy is the assurance that God is with us in everything including our suffering. Look at what Paul says in Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Don’t you think that Paul said it in His unexplainable Joy? That should be our attitude for ourselves as matured believers. But when we are praying for others who are weak in faith, for their physical healing, we should be like Jesus showing compassion towards them and believing that even God would show compassion and heal them from whatever sickness they are suffering from. Comme j'ai dit, the result from faith is immediate. Prayer brings assurance immediately. But the reward of faith takes time. Sometimes, God wouldn’t heal a person unless he is glorified. In such cases, we will never know how God is comforting that person. It should be between the person suffering and God. we must never take the authority of Jesus into our hands like all these faith healers do. What they are doing is mass deception to drive you away from God even more. So, beware of them. Know that, whenever God heals, it will be a full and complete healing. Please go through the list of Jesus’ healings and let me know in the comments below which miracle of His is partial? There is none. We must never forget the fact that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So, always be alert and expect deception from everywhere. Be like the Berean Jews of Acts 17:11 who received the word with all eagerness, and they examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. So, stay awake and do not be deceived under any circumstances. Always, be eager to unlearn and relearn the right theology. Also, please do not depend on the experience but give utmost importance to the word of God. Please do not do things out of emotion but do it only according to the will of the Lord. To know the Will of the Lord, we must first know the word of God in its entirety with correct understanding. Without knowing the Will of the Lord, if you say “I rebuke you, Satan” in your anger, do you know what response you will get? The evil spirit will attack you, instead. Let us quote the scripture. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. This is according to Acts 19:15-16. By saying all this, I am not undermining your intent or the physical experience of the Holy Spirit. In fact, physical experience is part of my own testimony. So, physical experience is a good thing, but ultimately, it should drive us more towards the word of God which should be our priority no matter what. Our goal must be only to know and do the Will of the Lord through the Word of the Lord. Victory over everything lies only in doing the Will of the Lord. We might face a lot of obstacles on our path in doing His Will. Matthew 24:13 says but the one who endures to the end will be saved. Enduring what? Enduring and overcoming the deception, the persecution, the tribulation, and the suffering. So, stay put and never take your eyes off Jesus. Jesus is our everything.

Now, let us understand the right theology of healing from the Bible. We have seen that healing in the New Testament through Jesus, is only because He was compassionate towards His people. Yes, Jesus died for our entire selves and we know that He did not die for us partially, but the complete healing of our entire beings will not be received until we reach our Heavenly abode i.e. when we receive our glorified bodies.

So, when we pray, we must ask God in the name of Jesus, to show mercy and compassion towards our fellow brothers and sisters to relieve them from their pain. Now, going back to the old testament, whenever the Bible says that God heals all our diseases and with His wounds, we are healed (like in Psalm 103:3 and Isaiah 53:5), it means that God would heal all the diseases that are inflicted on the people (in this case, the Israelites) who disobeyed and broke their covenant with God. Those are the diseases inflicted because of their sin. They broke the sacred oath that they made to God and sinned greatly against God. So, God, as promised, inflicted all the diseases of Egypt upon them. Let us look at the scripture reference for that in Deuteronomy 28. Let us look at verse 15 onwards to get the context. God is warning the Israelites who wholeheartedly agreed to the stipulations of the covenant i.e. the Old covenant. “But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you.

Now, verse 21 – The Lord will make the pestilence stick to you until he has consumed you off the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 22 The Lord will strike you with wasting disease and with fever, inflammation and fiery heat, and with drought and with blight and with mildew. They shall pursue you until you perish.

Verset 27 - The Lord will strike you with the boils of Egypt, and with tumors and scabs and itch, of which you cannot be healed. 28 The Lord will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of mind.

Verset 35 - The Lord will strike you on the knees and on the legs with grievous boils of which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head.

Verset 59 - the Lord will bring on you and your offspring extraordinary afflictions, afflictions severe and lasting, and sicknesses grievous and lasting. 60 And he will bring upon you again all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you. 61 Every sickness also and every affliction that is not recorded in the book of this law, the Lord will bring upon you, until you are destroyed. Did you see that? Those are the curses for those, who were under the Old covenant and in fact, they all faced and suffered from all those diseases because of their sinful actions. We will see a couple of examples in the next video. But later, the Lord has promised them that they will be healed from all those diseases forever because the Savior will come to take upon Himself all those diseases inflicted upon them because of their sin. That is the reason why Isaiah says – with His wounds we are healed. So, how does this scripture apply to us now that we are not under the Old covenant but under the New covenant. It would still apply to us. In fact, it is a complete healing from all the diseases that are a direct result of the curses and the judgements of God. Yes, so if you are using verses like in Psalm 103:3 and Isaiah 53:5 in your prayers for physical healing, then you are assuming that God cursed them and gave them that particular disease because of their sins that they committed in their lives. That is very wrong. Jesus healed us from all such diseases and the penalty for our sins has already been paid. So, let us correct our understanding of physical healing from the Bible.

Let us break this video here and when we come back, we will look into the scriptures more on healing to get a complete understanding. Remember, God speaks to us only through the scriptures. Please ask God about your beliefs on physical healing today. Do we have any diseases today as a result of a curse from God? Pray about it. He will speak with you and show you the truth of the Bible. Until then, please stay tuned to gospel in action and to know more about me, please find the link to my testimony and contact details in the description below. Please also feel free to ask your questions, if any, in the comments below. We do encourage you to subscribe to our channel to support us but only if you think the videos are beneficial for you to understand the bible in more depth. Thank you again for watching.

Hello, Welcome to Gospel in action. In the last video, we have seen the truth about the Old Testament diseases and how God promised them that He would heal all their diseases when the Son, the savior comes and takes upon Himself all the diseases caused by sin, to save all of us from the curse and Judgement of God. In this video, we will conclude what we started on the healing along with how we are to pray as mature believers in Christ with regard to physical healing.

As we concluded in the last video, now, there are no diseases that exist today that are a direct consequence of our sin. Jesus died for our sins and hence He has taken away all the diseases caused by sin. So, no true believer of today can ever say that God inflicted this disease upon me because I sinned against God. There is no chance of having such diseases for anyone who are in the New covenant. We are healed forever from all such diseases i.e. for example from the diseases of 2 Samuel 24:15 where God kills 70,000 Israelites in a pestilence caused by their sin or the leprosy of King Uzziah because of his sin in 2 Chronicles 26:21.

Peter says that we have been healed from all such diseases i.e. by His wounds so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness in 1 Peter 2:24.

That is the main purpose of our deliverance. That is, to live righteous and blameless lives as there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus according to Romans 8:1. No condemnation means no curses and no judgements. Everything has already been taken care of by Jesus on the Cross. However, this does not mean that we will never get any diseases or that we will never suffer due to them. So, you may ask, then, what is the nature of the diseases that we are facing today? Je peux te promettre that these are not the diseases, please listen carefully. These are not the diseases that are being inflicted upon us by God as a result of our sin. These diseases are not upon us, today, as curses or God’s judgement upon us. Jesus has already taken the brunt of God’s wrath and died in our place. Hence, I would say that most of these diseases are the diseases that come because of our lack of wisdom and our poor living habits like eating fast and processed foods, drinking carbonated and sugary drinks or smoking and drinking excessive alcohol or even consuming drugs etc.

Some diseases are carried forward genetically. For example, if our ancestors abused alcohol in the past, and developed a rare liver disease, that same disease might have passed on to the later generations. We are living in a sinful fallen world.  Likewise, we will never know what diseases we are passing as well to our offspring because of our sinful and selfish choices today. There are even chances of evil spirit afflictions in the case of believers who are weak in faith or on those who are on the verge of coming to faith in the true God as well. The simple reason is that Satan hates if you are choosing to come to God. So, he will try his best to stop you and deceive you by various means. It is important that you are aware of it so that you can take measures to guard yourself, by being under the wings of a strong biblical mentor.

Some diseases could just be natural genetic disorders and God may use them for His own glory as said in John 9:3 where Jesus said, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

Some diseases could occur just by the ignorance or even evil intentions of others. Only God can protect us from such mishaps. So, there is a need for us to distinguish and explain the difference between the nature of diseases mentioned in the Bible and today’s diseases so that people may not be deceived. Having said that, as we are living in the end times, there are still natural disasters and pestilences that are happening. God would even allow all that to happen because these are a part of end time events where God displays a lot of patience for unbelievers to come to the saving knowledge of Christ but we, as believers need not worry at all for ourselves, as our future is secure in Him.

So, even if we are suffering with a sickness or a disease, we will not go through it alone. We will always have God with us on our side who will comfort us every step of the way. We will go through the sickness with tremendous joy in our hearts. Whereas if, in case, as explained in the last video, the disease is inflicted by God Himself as a result of a curse or judgement, then there will be no God to comfort them, hence no joy and no hope. That will be a very bad place to be but fortunately, for us, Jesus bore all that burden and took the brunt of God’s wrath for us, in our place. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5).

So, let us summarize everything we have learned on healing overall.

Does God heal people today? The answer is yes but He heals out of His compassion.

Does He heal everyone? The answer is no because we would never know how God is using that pain in a person’s life to teach HIM and to sanctify HIM.

Did Jesus heal every sick person during His earthly ministry? The answer is clearly and obviously, No.

Does God inflict diseases upon people today, because of their sin? No. No more. We are in the New covenant and are under the cover and protection of Jesus Christ. So, we are already healed from all diseases inflicted by sin.

Will God still cause pestilence to take over? Yes, God does this to trigger revivals in the world before the end comes. we are living in the end times and there are still a lot more people that are yet to come to the saving knowledge of Christ.

Will we, the believers be affected by these end times pestilences? Yes, but we need not worry because we know that God is in complete control and He will comfort us in our suffering every step of the way. He will protect us and keep us from the hour of trial according to Revelation 3:10.

So, what should be our attitude on healing as mature believers in Christ? Our attitude must be like Paul’s. We should be able to say whole heartedly “To live is Christ and to die is gain” because no matter whether God heals us in this life or not, we know that we will receive the new glorified bodies where there will be no disease, no pain and no more death.

That is the hope that we all must live in. That is God’s promise for us, and we know for a fact that God is not a man that He should lie according to Numbers 23:19.

So, should we continue to pray for the sick? Absolutely! For others, we must show the same compassion that Jesus showed and intercede for them that God may show mercy upon them. We must pray for the world in general that there might be peace established as soon as possible.

However, the only time, that is possible is after Christ’s return when Satan is permanently thrown into the lake of fire and burning sulfur according to Revelation 20:10. So, in essence, when we pray like that, we will be indirectly praying for His return soon. But for ourselves in regards to physical healing, we should pray the same prayer that Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Shall we all pray for ourselves now? Let us now bow our heads and pray whole heartedly like how God wants us to pray, as matured believers in Christ.

“Lord, your Grace is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9). We don’t need anything but you. We love you and we will glorify you even in our pain and suffering because we know that one day, you will redeem us from all of this (from all of our sufferings, even from death) and that we, now, consider that the sufferings of this present time are not even worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us (Romans 8:18) then. We know that we will have great days ahead when we see you face to face (1 John 3:2). We understand that in this fallen world we will have tribulation. But we will take heart because we know that you have overcome the world (John 16:33). We know that you were victorious on the cross. We know that you have defeated the devil on the cross. And we understand that the only thing we need to do is to believe that it is finished (John 19:30) and to keep hearing and knowing about you through your Word to build our faith (Romans 10:17) to a level from where we will never look back, to a level where we will never be deceived by anyone by their incorrect theologies and subtle deceptions. So, Lord, our lives are in your hands as we have surrendered our lives to you. So, we will no longer live lives for ourselves, but we will live for you and you alone, because you have died in our place and rose again for our sake (2 Cor. 5:15). We are committed to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). So, Lord, for that purpose, we need your strength, we need your resources and we need good health. If it is your Will for us to efficiently fulfill your mission for our lives, heal us Lord. But if in our suffering, your purpose is being fulfilled, Lord, may your Will be done. Today, we pray the same prayer that Jesus prayed on the Mount of Olives i.e. in the Garden of Gethsemane – “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done (Luke 22:42). Amen.”

This should be our prayer. This should be our attitude. This should be our destiny. Let us be strong Christians and be the disciple makers i.e. to make other believers stronger.

If God heals us, all glory to Him. If not, let us glorify Him even more in our suffering because when we are weak, we are strong in Him. I hope this message and this heart felt prayer, cleared a lot of confusion in your minds on healing. I pray and bless that this message reaches and touches your hearts in such a way that you would make biblical changes to your lifestyles esp. in the time of this COVID-19 pandemic. God wants you to look towards Him, and come back to Him if you are living a sinful lifestyle up until this point. This may be your last call to come to Him. God bless you. Let us break this video here and when we come back, we will learn about how we should behave and act with respect to the governments according to the Bible. Until then, please stay tuned to gospel in action and to know more about me, please find the link to my testimony and contact details in the description below. Please also feel free to ask your questions, if any, in the comments below. We do encourage you to subscribe to our channel to support us but only if you think the videos are beneficial for you to understand the bible in more depth. Thank you again for watching.

 

Marriage – Part 1

Hello – Welcome to Gospel in Action. In the last video series, we have learnt so much about deep theological issues that must have cleared a lot of doubts in many of you about how God works out salvation in individuals. In this video series, let us relax and learn about marriage and how to make it beautiful.

Note that, this series is both for the unmarried and for the married people. I will also be sharing a lot of personal experiences, including mistakes even in a successful Godly marriage. I will bring my unique experience with marriage, having been married twice – one to a woman of same culture and the other to a woman of completely different culture, one without God in it and the other with God in it. I will bring my experience as a person who also went through a very painful and long divorce as well. Let me know in the comments below, which one of you has a better experience with marriage than me? Introduction:

Marriage is an institution designed by God for mankind. Every divine marriage must include only one man and only one woman. This is a divine decree and we as humans, have no right to mess with that institution. we all need to get our basics right. Marriage was mentioned in the 2nd chapter of the Bible. Genesis 2:24 – Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Hence, it is one of the holiest institutions that God has instituted, and man was supposed to keep it holy. But, unfortunately, many who do not understand the true meaning of marriage are suffering greatly in today’s generation. Some have decided that they will never get married but will enjoy the benefits of it by just living together without any commitment. They fail to understand that there will be long term consequences if they do that. Today’s generation is all about fun and short-term benefits which will be fatalistic in the long run. They fail to understand or rather I should say they choose to rebel against the institution itself because of the amount of pain it brought to their parents and grandparents because of their uninformed decisions in their past. What are these uninformed decisions? Why did the older generations suffer and why did they become bad examples to their children of this generation? What caused it? Let us dive into it.

One must take into the consideration that Eastern countries are a generation behind the western countries. So, it is a great opportunity for the Eastern countries to NOT follow the example of the Western world. Anyway, coming back to our context, the prime reason for suffering in marriage or for that matter, in any aspect of life, is rebellion against God. If they were humble and surrendered their lives to God, they would have never suffered. This suffering that I am talking about is the suffering for wrong reasons or the suffering that could have been easily avoided by making conscious changes in ones’ lives. I am not talking about the suffering for the righteousness sake that the Bible talks about, where we suffer for Christ and His Kingdom. Well, I am not exaggerating when I say this – ‘Yes, in my 8 years of Christian life, I have never seen a true Christian marriage suffer for wrong reasons and as a result fail because of such suffering.’ So, through this video series, I am rest assuring you that it is never too late for you to humble yourselves before God and study the Bible as He speaks to you. Please make God, the center of your marriage and silently observe your marriage being healed right before your own eyes.

Being prepared for marriage:

Let me briefly give you what I did, as part of preparing for my current marriage. This way, you may relate to me on a personal level. As you know, I went through a very painful separation with my first wife in the year 2013. Fortunately, I found Christ and gave my life to Him just a couple of months after a very painful and suicidal experience. I would not shy away and say that I lived a sinless life ever after. No, but I yielded myself to Christ, for Him to heal me and sanctify me. I did date a few women and sinned against God on multiple occasions even after coming to Christ. But He convicted my heart a year later i.e. in June of 2014. That is when I have decided that I would never date any woman until God shows me the one, His own daughter. That is it, I stood by my decision for 4 long years and God taught me many wonderful things. It was God who delayed the process of divorce. I struggled, cried, begged and prayed for God to pass the divorce but it did not happen until I gave up on it and prayed a prayer like this – God, if it is your will that I should go back to my wife as a husband and minister to her, may your will be done. I prayed that prayer although I did not want that to happen. I continued saying, God, if that is not your will, and that there is someone so beautiful at heart, your own daughter on the other side, waiting for me, may your will be done.’ After that prayer, I never looked back and never worried about what my future would look like. Boom, within 6 months, the miracle finally happened i.e. March of 2018, the courts approved the divorce in India. And within 6 more months from then, in September of 2018, I was married to a wonderful American lady from Wisconsin (I would rather say, from heaven – tailormade for me, a direct download from God, His own daughter). Anyway, what made this even possible? The following is what I learned when I examined and analyzed my life.

God stopped my sin by severely convicting me in June of 2014, following which I took a decision that I will never date anyone unless God allows me to. In short, it was a sin to even think of any other woman when I was legally still married. So, I led my life with God as the Bible says I walked with God. As I said, He guided me and taught me many things. He taught me how to study the Bible through some wonderful mentors. He taught me how to pray and communicate with Himself back and forth knowing that the Spirit of God, now dwells within me.

He taught me how to search for unconfessed sins within me and how to forgive people. That is being sanctified to become more and more like Jesus Christ. Last but not the least, He taught me how to prepare for a life of a Godly marriage. In fact, I have the proof of that. Note that, when God teaches something, it will right from the Bible. We will investigate the details on how all the wisdom that I am going to share below is only from the Bible, in the coming videos. The following is what I wrote to someone who asked me on how to prepare for a marriage. This was written 4 years ago i.e. in 2017.

This is what the Lord put in my heart today to share with you. This message is for both married and unmarried people. If anyone is planning to get married or if you are already in marriage, you are called to die to yourselves first. This is very important. Please do not plan on adjusting or compromising. Love is sacrifice, not an adjustment. Before committing to any man or a woman, just ask yourselves “will I die for this person?”. If your answer is a yes, then go ahead.

Those who are believers and future believers, we understand (or rather will understand) the love of Christ as we thoroughly study the Word of God. Just as He died for His bride, the church i.e. for us, we need to die too. Therefore, marriage is very decisive in proving that our faith is real. If we are faking our faith, we are doomed because our salvation is by grace and through faith alone.

Whoever God shows you to marry, prepare in your heart that once you get married, the likes/ dislikes/ hobbies/ interests/ career/ ambitions etc. must die whether you are a man or a woman. The husband will die for his wife, and the wife will die for her husband. The resultant life is that both of you will live together as one body and one in spirit with the Lord. His thoughts/ interests will become her thoughts/ interests and her thoughts/ interests will become his. This is only possible if the couple, together are consistently seeking the Lord, studying the word together and applying it to their lives as it is not possible for any human to achieve that feat by themselves. Therefore, marriage was never between two individuals but three (therefore, 3 knots). Who is the Lord in your marriage?

So, marriage is much necessary for a human to walk out a life of faith and towards eternity. Not that, unmarried people won’t be able to, but to be unmarried, you need to be very special in God’s sight. We are not that special, so better get married and that is God’s will for all of us.

Anger/ frustration/ jealousy/ possessiveness/ lack of trust exist to some extent in every marriage. God wants us to go through all of it. It’s the fire of refinement. So, unless, we die to ourselves in our marriages, we can never overcome those hurdles to reach eternity.

If your faith is real, then you will have or are having a wonderful marriage.

So, in short, I knew how I must act in a marital relationship i.e. keeping God at the center and dying to self. That means to deny myself before my future spouse i.e. to place her and her needs first before fulfilling mine.

The basic must things in a marriage are to love our spouses as they are, to let them be the way they are, to release the hard knuckles regarding anything and to just go to God for everything (and not to our spouses) because our spouses do not complete us as the world thinks. Our spouses will fail us as they are human as well, but God will never fail us. Do you know how then we would become whole? We become whole only when we allow God to complete us together along with our spouses.

Please note that the most important thing about marriage is that it is not for our happiness. It is primarily to glorify God. Happiness is the natural byproduct of glorifying God. If we understand this one truth, then almost every marriage will be a successful marriage in the sight of God. Now, let us break this video here and when we come back, I would like to share my personal testimony on how God forgave my sin and gave me a second chance to be that husband for His own daughter. Until then, please stay tuned to Gospel in action and to know more about me, please find the link to my testimony and contact details in the description below. We encourage you to please subscribe to this channel, if you think the videos are beneficial for you to understand the Bible in more depth. Thank you again for watching.

Hello – Welcome to Gospel in action. In the last video, I have basically introduced this series to all of you and how this marriage series is going to look like. We have also identified the pain points. In the following videos, we will work through each pain point and see what we can do to change ourselves first to make our marriages beautiful. This will also be a great learning experience for the unmarried people as they can prepare themselves better for their future spouses. In this video, sit back and relax to listen to the rest of my story.

If you are not aware of the story on how I came to Christ, you should first watch to get the background. The link to my story or commonly called the testimony is in the description of this video. I came to Christ in April of 2013. Since then, though I was facing all the problems in my life with my mental health due to separation from my ex-wife, issues at work because of that with threats of being deputed back to India, I began to have the joy of the Lord in whatever I did. I started studying the word and the Lord spoke to me in various ways, comforting me through His word. The book of Romans, though I did not understand much of it back then, proved to be like a therapy. I would cry my heart out realizing how much God loves me. C'était incroyable. God answered my prayers and started bringing me out of the mess that I was trapped in. One of the very first miracles was tremendous strength from within me to move forward from the disastrous first marriage. Other miracles followed one after the other like receiving a secure new Job with 100% salary raise, and later being completely healed of the mental issue of Bipolar disorder. Comment est-ce arrivé? I was soaring high with confidence that God was with me but still I was on the medication prescribed by my Psychiatrist. I attempted to stop taking the medicines on at least one occasion, but the symptoms came back and I was scared. But a few months later, I prayed a prayer like this with high confidence – “Lord, they say that you are a great healer. Your word confirms it. You have healed many people during your earthly ministry. If you say that I am your child, you will take care of me. I am taking this decision of not continuing these medications from this moment and I believe that you are going to take care of me.” Then, I stopped the medications though I would suggest people going through similar situations, not to stop the medication suddenly unless God specifically speaks and confirms just like He did with me. That day, I was delivered from the evil spirit forever as the symptoms never came back – not after a week, not after a month and not after years. Yes, I believe almost all mental illnesses are the evil spirits possessing the human body. I called my doctor after 4 months and told him that I stopped the medicines. He was shocked and said, “What! You are not supposed to stop them like that. It could have a dangerous withdrawal effect. When did you stop?” I said, “Doctor, its already been 4 months.” Then he said, “Ahh! If you are functioning well, then you are good.” Regarding the dissolution of my first marriage, I had to wait 2 more years before my ex-in laws were convinced that they cannot do anything about uniting us again as there was irreparable damage done already from both of us. They applied for the divorce in the court of India in June of 2015. The lawyer assured us that the judge would pass the sentence within 3 months, but it took two and a half years more because of unnecessary political delays and the mistake of the lawyer in not giving my proper address etc. As I mentioned in the last video, the rest was history as the court granted the divorce in March of 2018. I know that it was God who did that miracle in my life and delivered me from that bondage according to His will. I give all glory to Him and Him alone. Remember, if you are in Christ and are being hindered to do His work freely, you are under the bondage of the enemy. But be rest assured that God will deliver you according to His purpose. The same thing happened in my life but before God does anything, we need to confess our sins, surrender our lives completely to Him and trust that He is able deliver us from any bondage. I did that and within six months of my confession to God that the fault was entirely mine in my first marriage, He delivered me. Now, the only thing left was for God to make me whole and this was my strong desire as well. Merely saying that we have the desire to get married wouldn’t suffice. God wants us to ask this question of ourselves – what have we done to prepare ourselves for a successful marriage in the future? Did we ask God to mold us accordingly for the marriage? Note that, the change would not happen overnight. When we have the desire and take steps towards it in terms of learning, God changes us from inside out, to be that near perfect husband for His precious daughter of His. Note that, by no means I am a perfect husband to my wife.

Now, how did I meet my wife? I would say that it was a pathway to God’s daughter. I considered it a green signal from God that the divorce was His approval for me to get married again as soon as possible. But a man of God told me that this was the time I needed to be wise and display a lot more of patience because the Lord, who has brought me thus far, will finish what He started, but in His time. So, I waited but very impatiently. I did make a few mistakes in those 2 months, but I never stopped praying. One day, I was told by my father and also a few godly women on a separate occasion, to create an online profile on a matrimonial site though I was hesitant to do it at the beginning because I was not sure if that was God’s will for me or not. So, I made an honest profile on that site. Little did I know that the woman that I was searching for, would contact me herself within hours of me being on that site, 27 hours to be precise. It was God who did that, again. Somehow, she was attracted to my honesty in my profile. We started texting in the first week and graduated to talking on phone for the next two weeks. We spoke for 5 hrs. a day on an average, mostly trying to know each other, sharing our stories, testimonies and last but not the least the theology i.e. the belief system. Note that, having the same belief system is very important in every marriage and this is the basic rule for a successful marriage. She was a perfect match for me at least in that aspect. After the first three weeks, we both were convinced that everything was in place for a successful marriage. Now, it was time to give ourselves an opportunity to know what God thinks about taking our relationship to the next level. We decided to fast from each other with no communication whatsoever and individually praying in the meantime to know God’s will, for the next four weeks. We successfully did that with tremendous self-control and became permanent examples for all the youngsters and unmarried people who are running after dating and lustful pursuits before getting married. They are all in rebellion with God running after the gods of the world. The sad thing is that they don’t even realize their sin because dating has become an integral part of their culture. We appeal together to all such people to stop trusting in themselves in testing their respective partners but let God do the choosing for them just like how we allowed God to take the lead role in our relationship. We allowed God to do the choosing for us for four weeks i.e. for the time more than we have known each other. Note that, we haven’t even seen each other even in a video call at this point of time. So, you may ask – if you don’t call the first three weeks “dating,” then what would you call it? I would say that the first three weeks, in our case, was knowing each other phase with an intension to get married. The next four weeks was the period of fasting and the last period i.e. after the commitment to get married until we got married was called courting. We never dated in the sense that we never even kissed before we got married. we waited and waited to get to the end of the period of fasting that we decided. We literally counted days, prayed and successfully made it through. We met each other for the very first time on June 30th, 2018. We liked each other at the first sight, and it was confirmed in our hearts that we were getting married. It was just the matter of time to make the arrangements for a grand wedding.

Just like any other opposition for marriages esp. arranged by God, even we faced a lot of opposition from my parents who are not yet, the believers of Jesus Christ and later surprisingly from the Pastor of the church that I was attending. My mother accused me of doing something which is against the nature. For her, marriage with a woman of a different race was against the natural order of things. This was a very immature understanding of God’s creation. Although I respected my parents’ desire for me to not talk to my fiancée initially, once I knew that their reason was unbiblical and against the word of God, I chose to obey God over my parents. Jesus taught us to do that in Luke 14:26. The rest was history. My parents never opposed me ever again when they were convinced that I was serious in my decision to marry her. They are extremely happy now, witnessing our relationship. Regarding the Pastor of the church, he initially agreed to get us married on the day that we chose. But after a week, he unusually makes a phone call to me and tells me that he does not feel right in his spirit and that he cannot get us married. I wondered how he even got my phone number in the first place. I meant to say that he never even knew me personally. Not just that, he said almost in arrogance that no other Pastor in the whole church would get us married overruling his decision. He wanted us to date at least a year before getting married. Though I did not agree with him, I did not oppose him initially. I accepted immediately as he was my pastoral authority. But when we came across certain unbiblical facts about him and how he was treating us showing his control over us, we decided that we should listen to God even over the pastor. “Note that no pastor would pray that unmarried people should get into fights to learn how to resolve marital issues, no pastor would say things to unmarried people so that they would even hate him for saying such things and no pastor would encourage unmarried people to date for 2 years without even knowing where they were in their walk with Christ (In other words, allowing them to succumb to temptation). Yes, and lastly, no pastor would listen to a third person who knew me six years ago when I was still a new believer.” So, as we planned before, we decided to get married as soon as possible. My fiancée’s Pastor was gracious enough to get us married in his church in Wisconsin. We got married after four and a half months of knowing each other i.e. on Sept 29th, 2018 which was also my birthday. She, now, became my legally wedded wife. We made sure that we made our honeymoon into a trip to meet every friend and family member we know both in USA and India. We know that we missed a very few families but be rest assured, we will meet you soon. In the next video, let us learn the art of being a biblical husband.

Hello – Welcome to Gospel in action. In the last video, I have shared a little bit of my marriage testimony and on how we got married. In this video, we will focus on how men, as heads of their families, should behave in their marriages.

Being a Godly husband or a wife is an art. The society has completely forgotten the role of husbands and in fact, it has come so far as to totally hate the biblical role of a wife. That is the reason for all this confusion, and a lot of unnecessary suffering with ever increasing divorce rates and so on. Anyway, let us investigate several scriptures that will make us be better husbands, in this video. We will investigate the role of a Godly wife in the next one. Before we dive into it, the basic rule for every Christian is this.

2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? So, never ever even think of marrying or partnering with unbelievers because the unbelievers are still choosing to live in darkness whether in ignorance or in rebellion, but we are living in the true light that Jesus Christ has revealed. We must be in a place where we lovingly lead all those unbelievers to Christ but not partner with them by participating in the things that God does not want us to do. Now, let us look at Ephesians 5 starting from verse 25.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,

Loving our wives is a command from the Lord. 2 John 1:6 says And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. Love, here, is NOT a feeling. It is a commandment. It is better understood if we say Love has feelings instead of falsely defining love as a feeling itself. In fact, it is right to say that Love is a choice and it has feelings. Love is something that you give sacrificially and never expect it back from the same person because expectations do hurt. Yes, expectations hurt when we deal with other human beings whether it is our spouse or not, but instead if we expect from God, we will never be disappointed. In fact, the Bible never told us to fall in love as the world describes. God told us to walk in love as said in Ephesians 5:2. We are not asked to feel love although the feeling is a natural outcome of our choice to love. Understand that love in God’s terms is considered more like a verb i.e. a form of work or service. Anyway, God commands us to love our wives, True. But He did not leave us clueless on how we should love. So, let us be obedient to God’s command to love. We have the example in Christ. So, we are to love our wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. This is what I meant when I said in the first video, that we need to die to ourselves first to have a great marriage. Let me clarify again that dying to ourselves means to put our wives’ needs above ours, until we die. Are you ready for that challenge? Anyway, why do we have to do that? Let us read verse 26.

26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

Christ loved the church so that he might sanctify her with His word. He, first, cleansed her by the washing of water which indicates that He forgave her sins and made her clean first once she trusted Him. And then as she is obeying Him through His word, He is sanctifying her so that He might present her to God Himself as a spotless, wrinkleless bride who will be holy and blameless. In the same way, we have the responsibility to take care of our wives so that we may be able to present her holy and blameless before God. Remember that, we are one flesh with her and one in Spirit with the Lord. At least, the aim of our married life should be that. Therefore, we must become more mature in Christ that we may be able to absorb all her faults and mistakes and claim all those as our faults and our mistakes. So, at times, we, the husbands, are called to simply suffer for our wives’ mistakes and just forgive. This is walking in love, i.e. the sacrificial love of Christ. Jesus humbled Himself, came down for us, He died for us for our sins, He put our needs far above His own. And then, He forgave us and drew all of us to Himself in love. Can we do at least 1% of what Christ did, for our wives? In short, we, the husbands as the heads of our wives, are our wives’ covers and Christ as our head, is our cover indeed. We are called to take care of our wives’ needs first just as our needs are already taken care of by our head, our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. It is such a beautiful picture of a biblical marriage. Let us read verse 28.

28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

As I said, our aim in marriage should be to behave as one flesh as we have already become one flesh after consummating the marriage. So, the Bible says, that the husbands should love their wives in such a way that they love their own bodies just as Christ loves us as His own body. Are we not called the body of Christ? 1 Corinthians 12:27 says Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. Likewise, our wives are part of our bodies whether we agree or not. So, whoever loves his wife like the way explained above, understands the meaning of love and truly loves himself as well. On contrary, whoever does not love his wife, does not understand the meaning of love and does not love himself as well. This is the reason why the love between a husband and a wife is different and much more intense when compared to any other love like the love i.e. between parents and children or brotherly love or love among friends. Why does the Bible say that? Let us look at verse 29.

29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body.

Here is a small summary of what we have learnt till now. We all know that no one really hates his own body. Now that, we know that our wives are part of our bodies, we are encouraged to nourish her and cherish her as well. We are not left with having no example to follow. Christ showed us the way. We are to nourish her just like how Christ nourishes us with His word and cherish her just like how Christ cherishes us as we are the members of His body that He purchased from the dark world into the ever-lasting freedom. Note that, nourishing our wives would mean that husbands have the role of providing for their wives not just financially but also spiritually i.e. in every way possible. There are strong warnings in the bible for husbands who does not want to take care of the home. In 1 Timothy 5:8, Paul says But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. I am sure we do not want to be in that state. Coming back to the context, cherishing is to give tender care or be that warmth in her life i.e. be that comfort in her life. It is in a way, showing that she has a precious place in our lives.

In Colossians 3:19, God says – Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.

He says, instead be kind and love them with steadfast love according to Proverbs 19:22.

Again, love is a commandment from God and Jesus said If you love me, you will keep my commandments according to John 14:15. If we say we love God, we will obey whatever He asks us to do. Again, talking about feelings, just as we do not have feelings for God, instead we show our love for God through our actions, we need to do the same for our wives. In fact, our actions do speak louder than words. Now, the next verse is the same verse which was mentioned at the beginning in Genesis 2:24.

31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

The bible repeatedly says that we are one flesh with our wives. Even Jesus Christ mentions it in the gospel of Matthew, in chapter 19 and verse 5. He continues saying in verse 6, So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Who has joined the husband and a wife together to make them one flesh? It was God. That was the design. So, let us live by that masterful and complex design of God. Paul concludes the chapter of Ephesians 5 saying that is a mystery of God’s masterful design. Let us look at verses 32 and 33.

32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

We will see the wife’s role in the next video, but we need to understand that our wives are God’s daughters. Just imagine how God feels about giving His daughter to us. Right? So, our ministry begins at our home first. As husbands, we are to respect this institution of marriage which a profound mystery designed by God. So, let each one of us love and honor our wives as ourselves. Remember, women in general are the weaker vessels i.e. they are physically weaker when compared to men as said in 1 Peter 3:7 which says – Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. Men and women are wonderfully different by God’s design. So, this makes us, the husbands, even more responsible in taking care of them. The verse says that our wives are the heirs with us of the grace of life. That is our wives are our full partners in Christ as they are made in the image of God as we are according to Genesis 1:27. And hence, we are to honor her more and put her needs above ours always. In short, the upholding of this ministry of marriage is crucial so that our prayer lives may not be hindered. Yes, the health of any marriage is directly proportional to how close we are to God and vice versa.

That is, the closer we are to God, the better our marriages will be. So, if you are the husband or the future husband, will you make that change in your life to honor God and your marriage? Let us break this video here and when we come back, we will talk about wife’s role in marriage. Until then, please stay tuned to Gospel in action and to know more about me, please find the link to my testimony and contact details in the description below. Thank you again for watching.

Hello- Welcome to Gospel in Action. In the last video, we have learnt about the role of a biblical husband called the lost art of biblical manhood. In this video, we will try to put forth a few points explaining the role of a wife in a biblical marriage. While the role of a husband has completely been forgotten by today’s society, the role of a wife has become the most hated topic.

As I said earlier, rebellion to follow God’s principles in marriages is leading to all this confusion, and a lot of unnecessary suffering with ever increasing divorce rates and so on. Anyway, let us investigate several scriptures that will make women as better wives, in this video. Again, the basic rule for every Christian is this. 2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

So, if you are an unmarried woman and a believer of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, do not make your life miserable by marrying an unbelieving husband. These are not my words. The bible says it so and there is plenty of evidence and plenty of examples of miserable lives right around you. A biblical husband would be the only option for you because as I said in the last video, he chooses to love you no matter what happens unlike other men who fail to understand the very basics of godly love itself which is Agape. A biblical husband is, indeed, commanded to love you. Let us begin with verses from 1st Peter chapter 3. Let us look at verse 1 and 2.

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct.

Now, the Bible commands the wives to be subject or submit themselves to their own husbands. This is where the problem begins. The world has a very wrong understanding of the context of the word, submit that is being used here. It is regularly misrepresented and constantly attacked almost everywhere in our society today. But here, in this video, we are going to learn the truth of the Bible. Submission in the Bible is not the ugly, icky, oppressive, and a devaluing concept that the world sees it as. Submission is the most beautiful and fulfilling idea. It is not a forced submission but rather it is free and willing choice that every true Christian makes. It is putting other people’s needs above our own as said in Philippians 2:3-6. In this case, it is putting our spouse’s needs above our own. In fact, submission is a regular part of a normal Christian life. We learn to submit to the government; we learn to submit to our parents; we learn to submit to our masters and teachers or just we learn to submit ourselves to one another out of reverence for Christ as said in Ephesians 5:21 etc. The biblical opposites of submission are ego, pride, and selfishness. So, a woman’s submission to her husband must be understood like as we submit or surrender our lives to Christ on our own terms and by our free will choices. So, a woman must submit to her husband on her own terms and she must not be demanded by the husbands to do that. Submission is, hence, one of the most important roles of a woman to be well equipped in a biblical marriage. Having said that, whether the woman obeys God and submits to her husband or not, the husband or the society around her has no right or should have nothing to do with her decision, whatsoever. The husband is still commanded to love her unconditionally. Therefore, the entire issue of submission to her husband must be between her and God. This should eliminate even a thought of any kind of abuse she might face in the future as she will not be forced into doing anything. This sound teaching must be taught to every young woman by the older women in the church to make their lives and marriages fruitful. This is according to Titus 2:3-5. So, in short, 1 Peter 3:1-2 says that when women become mature enough in Christ and submits themselves to their husbands, the Bible says that even those husbands who do not obey the word, may be won for Christ without a word being spoken. That is because of the wives’ respectful and pure biblical conduct. And when the husbands are won, they will repent and will have the fear of God within them in everything they do. So, as they submit themselves to God, God makes them become those ideal husbands to their wives and in turn, blessing their marriages. Now, let us look at Ephesians 5, verse 22.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

Again, even here the Wives are commanded by God to submit to their own husbands, as to the Lord. In case you think there is an error in this verse, Colossians 3:18 also teaches the same thing. The Bible is infallible. Note that, the Bible NEVER commanded women to submit to other men in general. So, what does it mean then to submit as to the Lord or as is fitting in the Lord? This means that if the woman chooses to not submit to her husband for whatever reason, she would be rebelling against God who commanded her to do it in the first place and would be in sin of disobedience. That is why it is a big deal, as it is not about the husband, who would not be looked at as the head of the household but ultimately it is about the King of the Kings and the Lord of the Lords that she would be rebelling against. Some women would rationalize this teaching saying that God never meant for us to submit but just to respect the husbands. The truth is that respect is good and it’s a good starting point, but respect is not the same as to actually submit. Submitting to your husbands means to rank yourselves under your husband but no one will have the right to force it on you. You will have to do it by your own choice and by your own prayers to God as He speaks to you through His word. This implies that you must be willfully and wholeheartedly under the authority of your husband. You must accept your husband as your leader and support the decisions he makes for the family. You may suggest your husbands about decisions, but the husbands should be the ones who make the final call in every important decision in a marriage. This must be the order of things according to the Bible. Why should it be that way? Let us look at verse 23.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

Did you understand the point here? Just as we, the church, are in submission to Christ, as wives, you should also submit to your husbands, not in a few things but in everything. You must accept that your husband is your head just as Christ is the head of the church and is Himself her savior. So, one of the roles of your husband is to protect you from any harm as well because he becomes the savior of the family on a smaller scale. Anyway, if for any reason, a wife feels that accepting her husband as her head is offensive to her, then we can conclude that it is the beginning of the end of that marriage. That is because her ideas of marriage are against God’s wonderful design. A wife simply cannot be the head in a marriage. If that is the case, it is going to become a disastrous relationship. So, all women must humble themselves, accept who they are in His design and unlearn and relearn things to become those ideal wives that God wants them to be, in the wonderful institution called the marriage, created by God. We, inherently, have an issue with submission. But now that we are born again, we should no longer have an issue with it because the sin has no power over us anymore. The first step of overcoming this rebellion is to acknowledge it. Unless we acknowledge our sin, confess it and repent, even the Holy Spirit will not do anything about it. I agree that it is not going to be easy change in our lives. But whatever we do, we do it wholeheartedly unto the Lord. So, don’t do it for your husbands or anyone but just be obedient and do it for the Lord.

Anyway, this whole message is individually taught to all the wives including those who have unbelieving husbands. This message is not for the husbands. We have already looked at the message specifically for the husbands in the last video. So, husbands were not told to control or forcefully exercise authority over their wives. That will be abuse and must be reported. This whole message is for the wives for them to willfully submit to their husbands and willfully accept their authority over them. By loving their wives, as mentioned in the last video, the husbands naturally command respect and submission from their wives. So, love comes first from the husband and then the submission naturally comes from the wife just as Christ loved us first and then we were able to love Him back according to 1 John 4:19. Therefore, this whole give and take alone becomes a harmonious relationship in a Biblical marriage. Note that, we have not addressed the ‘what if’ scenarios like if the husband is a drug addict or abusive in this video. In such situations, safety of the wife and the children in the household must be the primary concern and all such cases must be reported to the governmental authorities or to the Church. And only in such cases, there is no authority anymore because there is no love. So, remember, the husbands rightfully would be the head of the families only if they are obedient to God’s call, in the first place i.e. to love their wives. Having said all this, a marriage can function with disfunction, but it doesn’t mean that it is going to be good and wonderful. If in your marriage, you are not following these biblical principles, you will go through several issues and rough seasons.

I can guarantee you that your marriage will not be fruitful if you are rebellious or if you are ignorant of these principles because you are going against the very design of God.

On that note, Let us break this video here and when we come back, we will go back to our scripture are deal with John chapter 4. Until then, please stay tuned to Gospel in action and to know more about me, please find the link to my testimony and contact details in the description below. Thank you again for watching.

Hello – Welcome to gospel in action. In the last couple of videos, we have seen the roles of a husband and a wife in a marital relationship. The Bible clearly commands the husbands to love their wives while the wives to submit to their husbands. If anyone tries to deviate from this design of God, they might still function, but they are going to see several problems spiraling up and pushing them to extreme emotional and physical pain. This is the truth whether you wish to perceive it or not. In this video, we shall see the role of the church in strengthening this wonderful institution of marriage.

we are a work in progress to become more and more like Jesus Christ i.e. also to become that near perfect husband or that near perfect wife in our marriages. So, as we are yet imperfect people, having problems in any marriage is inevitable and as I said before, that is our fire of refinement. So, the role of the church emerges at this point. Church is nothing but a body of believers together called the body of Christ. The primary reason for the existence of the body of Christ is to represent Jesus Christ to the world. For that to happen according to God’s perfect Will, the church needs to be spiritually healthy which directly implies that every family within the church should be spiritually healthy. So, the church is a support system for all the families within that church body and the Pastor of the church is the leader and overseer of the spiritual progress of the church. Church is also a safe place for accountability. Many of us may be struggling with many issues both physical and spiritual. The body of Christ must be the place of comfort for all such issues and the members of the church must strengthen each other by helping each other. Paul says in Philippians 2:1-2 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. That’s the mark of a good biblical church i.e. loving everyone and being of one mind. Hence, now is time for us to realize the importance of being part of a sound biblical church. So, the first point is that the church must carefully monitor every family and constantly assess their progress in their journey of walking with the Lord. If a church is not willing to do that or not willing to have that relational bond with the congregation, then I can boldly tell you that – that is the kind of church that you should avoid going to. This is the basic principle in being wise and not choosing bad churches. This is very important because a bad church can ruin your marriages and in turn, can ruin your lives as well. Alors, méfiez-vous! There are churches that profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work according to Titus 1:16. The churches in this category are all people pleasing churches. They promise health, wealth and prosperity no matter who you are, and they claim that you can attain all that by faith. They stoop down to any level in order to attract more people to their churches. Often, the deception begins when people are not biblically strong. So, people, please be wise and be biblically sound to recognize this deception. These are all false churches. All they care about is numbers and the money that can be generated through you. So, how will you recognize them? A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits according to Matthew 7:18-20. You will recognize them by the teachings of the Pastor and by the conduct of the members of the church. I am talking about the leadership in those churches. On the other hand, if a church is controlling your life and that you are feeling the pinch of it, then run from that church and never look back. Christ never controlled anyone. Instead, in Christ, there will be love and freedom. In Christ, there will be rest, rest for your souls. There will be comfort. So, choose that church where you feel loved, where you know that you will not be judged, where you are being led towards righteousness, where you have freedom and where you will have peace and joy in worshipping the Lord together. Now, the role of the church leadership. The Pastor must be like how a shepherd is for the sheep, not only overseeing everyone’s wellbeing but also should not be afraid to lovingly correct the members of the congregation whenever he sees anyone living in sin or not truly walking in the Will of the Lord. Having said that, the leadership of the church must have their primary focus on the institution of marriage and the Pastor must be leading the families to live fruitful marital lives. This is because the society will be united only when the families are united. So, to disturb the society and push it into chaos, Satan attacks the families first. Those families who are not rooted in Christ and are not studying the Word of God both individually and together, are most vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks. As I said before, I have rarely come across problems in marriages of strong believers in Christ. So, make this your rule of thumb – if you have issues in your marriage, the root cause of that is that you are either not grounded in the word of God and not living by the word of God or that your theology is totally off. So, I repeat again – to have a successful, peaceful and content marriage, you must make a commitment to the Lord to know Him through His word and make sure what you are learning is the right theology. The leadership of the church must be there to help the congregation in this matter i.e. to rightly divide the word of God and explain to them. There are weird theologies and absurd understandings of the word of God out there. So, the Pastor and the elders of the church need to play a key role, here. In order to keep the church healthy, all the leaders’ lives must be thoroughly examined before they are assigned the roles. The Bible outlines the qualifications for people who are to be promoted to leadership roles. Some of the characteristics mentioned in 1 Timothy 3:1–7 are that the leaders must be above reproach, husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive. He must not be a recent convert. Titus 1:8–9 adds that he must be a lover of good, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. So, no one should ever even consider becoming a leader of any kind if they fail even in one of the above-mentioned traits and most importantly, if they cannot teach the word of God and hence, cannot disciple people. The Pastor of the church must prayerfully choose and appoint the elders. All of the leaders together, must be there with such families who are struggling in their marriages. They should be able to build relationships with them, counsel them, correct them and feed them with the true spiritual food. All other church members should always be there for physical and mental support for each other. Paul says in Titus 2:2-8 that Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. That’s another scripture reference explaining the ideal conduct of the church. Please note that the maturity of the church is directly dependent on what kind of theology the Pastor holds and what kind of teachings he teaches. If the Pastor holds a weak theology, the whole church will be in chaos and there will be a lot of problems esp. within the individual marriages of the members of that church. So, please examine your lives. Is your marriage on the verge of a failure or are there too many problems in your marriage? Then, the root cause might be your own church. Either you are not regularly going to your local church or that your Pastor is not investing time into your lives or that he and the church holds a very weak theology. Weak theology is not only wrongly interpreting the Bible, but it could also be not encouraging the families to spend time with each other first, before taking care of the church or ministry. The Bible says that the family is the first ministry. No one should ever even think of going into any kind of ministry before first getting their home right with God because if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? This is according to 1 Timothy 3:5. Are we not witnessing several families breaking just because the husbands are away on a ministry trip? Remember, God would never call anyone for any kind of ministry at the expense of separating themselves from their families. And remember, never call a church your home church just because your friends or other family members do. So, people, choose your Pastor and the church, wisely. On the other hand, if a Pastor holds a strong theology, he would know how to deal with families that have issues by investing more time and prayer into those families. He would give right counsel to them and build them up for them to be better disciples of Christ Jesus. Once they become better disciples, everything will fall into place because they would now know their roles of being a biblical husband and a biblical wife as I explained in the previous videos. When they become a better family together, they will contribute for a better society.

Let us break this video here and when we come back, we will investigate the love languages of God and how can they help the married couple. This will also a good preparation guide for unmarried people. Until then, please stay tuned to gospel in action and to know more about me, please find the link to my testimony and contact details in the description below. Please also feel free to ask your questions, if any, in the comments below. We do encourage you to subscribe to our channel to support us but only if you think the videos are beneficial for you to understand the bible in more depth. Thank you again for watching.

Hello – Welcome to Gospel in action. In the last video, we have seen the role of the church in individual marriages. We have also seen who should be in the leadership roles in a church to help the families of the church. In this video, we will focus on the love languages of God based on the book by Gary Chapman and how they are part of God’s design. And how exploring these love languages can help the marriages in this society. I would like to explain keeping in mind my experience and the culture that I grew up in. By God’s wonderful design, the fundamental love language of a man is that he naturally seeks respect from his wife and the fundamental love language of a woman is that she naturally seeks love from her husband. This is the sole reason why the Bible emphasizes and commands the wives to submit to their husbands and husbands to love their own wives as Christ loved the church. This is our basic understanding until now. We have also seen, in the last video, that the church must play a very important role in making the husband and wife understand who they are in Christ by discipling them, to make their marriages stronger. It is the church’s responsibility to make them understand their individual roles in a Godly marriage. The purpose of this video is to further divide this language of ‘love and respect’ into smaller sections to give much more clarity on how exactly a husband and a wife must behave and act in a marital relationship for marriages to be fruitful in every aspect. Let us name these smaller sections as love languages because even the respect comes out of love for a person. Hence, love is the greatest of all. The entire universe is running by love. Anyway, the following are the five love languages that both the spouses in a marriage must speak – 1. Words of affirmation, 2. Quality time, 3. Gifts, 4. Acts of service and 5. Physical touch. In God’s design, every single person on this planet would respond positively to all these 5 love languages. But each of us should have a primary love language that is dominant out of all the five. That is, one of the five love languages speaks more deeply to us emotionally than the other four. Identifying this primary love language is very important in a marital relationship. We will investigate why, in this video.

We must always remember that love is not a solo experience. Love requires both a lover and a responder. So, if God is a divine lover, why don’t all His people feel His love? Many don’t feel it because they are looking in the wrong direction. They are rebellious and are in darkness. They are looking to fill their void or emptiness from elsewhere. But unfortunately, they fail to realize that nothing can fill their void except the love of God. Well, it is never too late for them to accept Jesus Christ who is the true and exact representation of God on earth as their only Lord and savior. This is according to Hebrews 1:3 which says He (i.e. Jesus Christ) is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. So, just as we appeal to all people to not search for love apart from God’s love i.e. the Creator’s love, we appeal to all married couple to not look for love elsewhere but look for those specific areas within their marriages to make it beautiful. People, by nature, are very specific whether they know it or not. So, even their love towards others and their receiving of love from others can also be very specific. For example, if a husband doesn’t speak his wife’s primary love language, she will not feel loved and her need for love goes unfulfilled. Similarly, if a wife doesn’t speak her husband’s primary love language, he will not feel respected and his need for respect goes unfulfilled. And usually, that is the beginning of the end of their marriages because they tend to look out for love and respect elsewhere. In fact, this is exactly what happened with me in my first marriage which ended up in a very painful and a long divorce. I have learned my lessons and I am here to teach you from my own experiences. So, why is identifying our primary love language so important? As I said, people are drawn to other people who speak the same primary love language and likewise, they will wonder whether the other person really loves them or not when the other person does not speak the same primary love language. This happens because the love languages are deep and emotionally linked. So, often, the divorces happen because of the ignorance of this emotional root cause issue. So, once this is understood, half the battle is won. Human relations in general (not just in a marriage), are greatly enhanced when we learn to speak the other person’s love language. Now, let us learn a bit more on these five love languages.

1. Words of affirmation – Words of affirmation is the usage of nice words to affirm the other person irrespective of whether they achieved something or not. This is a keyway to express love. It is including words like Thank you, Sorry, please as in requesting something, words of appreciation etc. I, now, feel the need to share with you more on my story on how my upbringing was. I grew up in a culture where there was no concept of words of affirmation. Even to this day, my father says that there should not be sorry’s and thank you’s within our family. In short, the culture promoted sorry’s and thank you’s only to the outsiders who do not belong to our family. But within our family, everything should be understood. For example, if my mother wrongs me in anything, she would not feel the need to apologize to me. She would later talk as if nothing had happened and the apology must be understood in the way she speaks. To be very frank, I craved for words of affirmation from my own parents. I wanted them to appreciate me for every good work or even for every small achievement that I have made. But it was very rare that I got an appreciation. I needed to earn my appreciation. So, I would suggest the parents of today – please don’t wait for your children to earn an appreciation. Instead, appreciate them daily. Give them confidence in whatever they are doing. I would not say that I never got any appreciation ever. My father did appreciate me on several occasions, but the appreciations were only when I lived up to his expectations. I grew up with the same cultural mindset until I met my current wife. I am not exaggerating but not an hour goes by without me getting a form of a word of affirmation i.e. of course, when we are together. That gives me confidence, happiness and most importantly security in my marriage. And likewise, I give my wife the words of affirmation too. In fact, I called her ‘God’s own daughter’ in this video series. Now-a-days, who is calling their wives, God’s own daughters? Are you? It takes practice and a conscious effort to implement this beautiful love language in all our marriages. Be creative and be honest!

2. Quality time – Quality time is giving the other person, our undivided attention. We give so much undivided attention to useless things in our lives. Out of all that time, even if we consciously make efforts to spend 1% in a day i.e. 15 mins with our spouses, it would make a world of difference. Again, growing up, I craved quality time, but I knew that I would never get it from my parents because of their way of parenting. So, instead I found it elsewhere. I used to spend a lot of time with my friends in my younger years. I had so much fun but at one time i.e. from 2003 to 2009, I was very lonely. I did not have any friends and I slipped into having severe inferiority complex, social phobia and as a result irritable bowel syndrome. And because of all that build up, when I had the opportunity to be with a woman, I grabbed it just as a starved beggar grabs his food. I made the worst decision of my life. This, probably, is the reason why my primary love language today, is Quality time. Anyway, having quality time with your spouses is very important. In fact, it is the basic need for any human being because of the nature of our being. We are social beings by design. So, quality time is planning an event with your spouse like a regular date-night or an occasional vacation etc. The important thing is not the activity but that the two of you having time together. The meaning of giving quality time is that you are giving your spouse a part of your life. In our marriage, we consciously make time to go out on a date-night once a week. And our usual vacations are road trips where we have amazing time with each other.

3. Gifts – Giving gifts is a universal expression of love. Again, from the culture that I come from, giving gifts is a rare phenomenon. So, even to this day, I am so bad at this gift giving love language. Although gift giving or gift receiving is not my primary love language, I am getting better at it. But my wife is an incredible gift giver. I have never seen such a generous giver in my entire life.

4. Acts of service – Acts of service is doing something that you know the other person would like for you to do. That is an expression of love. Before coming to Christ, I was one of the most mean, lazy and selfish persons ever born on this planet. Of course, I am exaggerating. Christ convicted me of my sin nature and my gradual process of sanctification began. During the process of preparing for a life of Godly marriage, I understood that I wouldn’t last long in a marriage if I continue to live the way I was living. So, I made conscious and mental transitions and prepared myself for the future marriage. But still, as acts of service is not my primary love language, God knew what He was doing. He got me married to a person who loves to serve others. It was truly a tremendous blessing. Again, I admit that I will have to put in more work to get better from where I am right now in this area of loving others.

5. Physical touch – In a marriage, this love language is the most crucial one. The emotional power of a physical touch is often underestimated. From the time, we were babies, we craved for physical touch. Again, in the culture that I grew up in, I feel sad for the children who are often deprived of physical affection after a certain age esp. the young girls. It is a taboo in the society if a father even touches his own daughter. Remember, if a child’s love language is physical touch, then nothing is more important. Our spouses were the same children years ago who craved the love of physical touch. So, in marriage, we must never deprive ourselves of physical touch. In our marriage, along with words of affirmation, we hug and kiss each other several times in a day. Again, may be because of the culture that I grew up in, physical touch is not my primary love language. But still I love the idea of physical touch in a marriage. So, we encourage the married couple to, often, keep touching each other in some or other form to maintain that emotional bond.

Now, clearly, my primary love language from what I shared, is spending quality time with my wife. What is yours? It is seriously time to examine yourselves and make changes to your lives to make your marriages beautiful. Let us break this video here and when we come back, we will learn what exactly does the Bible say about God healing people. Until then, please stay tuned to gospel in action and to know more about me, please find the link to my testimony and contact details in the description below. Please also feel free to ask your questions, if any, in the comments below. We do encourage you to subscribe to our channel to support us but only if you think the videos are beneficial for you to understand the bible in more depth. Thank you again for watching.

Romance 9: 1-5

Hello – Welcome to Gospel in Action. In the last video series on John 3, we saw what it meant to be born again and we learnt that we must believe in Jesus Christ and in His finished work on the cross for us to have eternal life. In this video series, we will establish that God does not do things randomly and does not choose people unconditionally for salvation. We will learn that God chooses only those people who freely choose to believe in the Son by their own free will. We are also starting from Romans chapter 9 as this book starts a new theme in the book of Romans. One can understand this to be part-2 of this amazing book of Romans. We will learn that Romans chapter 1 through 8 explains the sinfulness of man, man’s need and God’s glorious provision through the work of Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. Now, through the rest of the chapters, Paul explains that God brought about this salvation for everyone irrespective of their ethnicity. A disclaimer here is that one has to be well versed with the history of Israel to understand Romans 9. So, here we go. We have learnt that God chose the nation Israel to bring the Messiah through their lineage and thus, bringing salvation to the whole world through Him. But we know that Israel failed miserably by literally trashing the opportunity of being called the most privileged nation on earth. So, the question that Paul addresses in this chapter is – did God forget Israel because of their rebellion? The answer is of course, No. Here, Paul explains how God used even the rebellion of His chosen people to include the people of all nations to come into His Kingdom, thus putting both Jews and Gentiles on the same spiritual footing but Jews will receive everything first i.e. only if they are obedient. This is evident throughout the whole book of Romans as Paul repeatedly mentions the place of Jews and Gentiles and that every blessing that God bestows will first be for the Jews and then for the Gentiles. This is not new. Everything that Paul teaches in this book is grounded in the Old Testament. Paul is not teaching a new religion here. So, we can say that the New Testament Gospel is the Old Testament Truth. Now, as we progress through this chapter, we will learn and confirm that even Israel will be saved through faith in their Messiah, Jesus Christ and not by their ethnicity. Hence, this whole chapter is about Israel to make them understand, this one truth. Note that this chapter is not about Gentiles and it will be incorrect to replace ourselves with Israel. But it will be beneficial for us to understand this chapter if we see things through Jewish eyes. We will learn that as we read through the verses. So, without wasting much time, let us dive into our scripture. Let us start reading Romans chapter 9 and verses 1 and 2.

I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.

Clearly, in the opening verses of this chapter, Paul was expressing great sorrow and unceasing anguish in his heart for a group of people. He is also specifically stating that he was speaking the truth and that he was not lying. He says that his conscience bears witness to his unquenching pain for these people and that he was expressing all this in the name of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. It was kind of saying that if he was lying about it, he would indirectly be denying his faith and hence, even his life. He was that serious about his words. Now, who are these people? Why and what is the source of this continual grief in his heart for them? Paul tells us now in verse 3.

3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.

Paul was deeply troubled. He was troubled about a great thing. It was for the salvation of his countrymen i.e. his own brothers i.e. the people of Israel. His pain was so deep within his heart that he wished that he could die in their place and be cut off from Christ, but they be united with Him because he knows that the salvation for any man is only through Jesus Christ. We read that in John chapter 14 and verse 6 – Jesus said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” So, Paul wished that he switched places with them so that they could be saved, and he be doomed in their place. He knows that it is practically impossible but by what he is praying for them, we could witness his loving and sacrificial heart for them. We see that this is the transformed nature of Paul’s heart because he has the same sorrow even for the Gentiles who were lost. But he was more pained knowing that Israelites had every blessing of God before they chose to rebel against Him and that they are losing everything because of their rejection of their own savior. Let us see that in verses 4 and 5.

4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

Paul looked at the people of Israel and he considered all the great privileges that God has bestowed upon them. In fact, the Israelites had everything – the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the law, the worship, and all the promises of God. The patriarchs belonged to them and not just that, God Himself, who is the Creator of the Universe, the God over all, became flesh and took birth on earth from their Jewish race, to save the world. The adoption here is that God adopted Israel nationally. In Exodus 4:22, God says Israel is my first-born son. Israel as a nation had a father and son relationship with God because God chose them for a specific purpose i.e. to fulfill His will on earth. Again, God’s will, is to rescue every person from the perishing planet but He is not going to force His will upon anyone. They will have to come to God on their own accord. Coming to the covenants, Israel had all the covenants from God. For that matter, even the New Covenant was for Israel because it says the Jews first and then the Greeks or the Gentiles. Imagine this – no other nation on the face of the planet had all these privileges. God had a special relationship with Israel. So, Paul now says that it is all the more tragic now as they are rejecting this very God, their own savior. It is tragic that they seem to be cursed and perhaps even cast out by God because of their sin. Paul wanted them to come to Christ and be saved. Not just that, He wants them to come into the fullness of what God has for them.

Isn’t it wonderful that Paul was selflessly thinking and praying for his fellow countrymen in the midst of his own distress? It is not an exaggeration to say Paul led a hard life. He faced persecution, shipwrecks, famines, stabbed in the back by his own associate, traveling through life threatening storms etc. He was not troubled about any of that. He never complained to God on why he had to go through all of it. But he was troubled that the people he knows and loves so much, don’t know Jesus. This is the same trouble that every true Christian will inherently have because he cannot witness his own loved ones being perished by their own choices.

Anyway, the lesson that we learn here from Paul is that if we focus on a bigger problem, i.e. when we reach out to lost people with the gospel of Jesus Christ, all our insignificant problems will be wiped out. We need to have that passion to reach out to our lost fellow brothers and sisters.

The great passion of souls that Paul had gave him perspective, his purpose on earth, that the lesser things did not trouble him because he was troubled by a great problem – i.e. his own people perishing. He was pleading with God that if it would somehow be possible to send him to hell to bring salvation to his countrymen, then may it be done. Who can pray a prayer like that? That is intense. Praying to God to save people at the expense of his own salvation! Unimaginable! Paul had the heart of Jesus, who took the sin of the world upon Himself to save the world so that the world might be blessed through Him. Think about this – if Paul had this much burden to save his fellow countrymen, how much burden will God have for them to want them to follow Him so that they may be guided away from destruction. Paul’s desire and prayer for them, is a reflection of God’s desire for the same Jewish people. In fact, God loves everybody, and He loves all of His creation deeply.

He wishes that no one should perish but everyone should reach repentance according to 2 Peter 3:9. We are all, after all, His own creation. Knowing that His people are rejecting Him, God did express His grief. Jesus wept over Israel’s rejection of God’s way of salvation in Luke 19:41.

Now, the question for all of us is – Do we have the heart of Jesus Christ so that we may pray like how Paul prayed for our lost fellow loved ones?

Let us break this video here and when we come back, we will dive into the meat of Romans chapter 9 where Paul establishes that the true Israel are, for sure, the descendants of Abraham but are also the children of the promise but not of the flesh. We will also investigate the unanswered question – what happened to God’s commitment to the nation Israel, now that most of them rebelled against Him? Did God’s word fail? We will find that out in the next video. Until then, please stay tuned to Gospel in action and to know more about me, please find the link to my testimony and contact details in the description below. We encourage you to please subscribe to this channel, if you think the videos are beneficial for you to understand the Bible in more depth. Thank you again for watching.

Romance 9: 6-9

Hello – Welcome to Gospel in action. In the last video, we have seen the heart of Paul. We have seen his sacrificial love for his fellow countrymen and how he desperately wanted them to know Christ and be saved. In this video, we will see how Paul establishes that the true Israel are the descendants of Abraham but are the children of the promise and not of the flesh. We will also see how God is sovereign enough to choose a descendant line from which He would bring the Messiah. Let us read from verse 6.

6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”

Paul here is continuing to deal with the issue about Israel. We all know that most of the nation Israel rebelled against God and hence are on the path to destruction. So, Paul was addressing the question – if the nation Israel rebelled against God, does that mean that the promise God gave to Abraham has failed? Non. God’s promise to Abraham never failed because God brought the promised Messiah through the remnant of the believing Israel and is continuing to save the world, even to this day. Let us try to understand this first from the promise of God. So, what was the promise, in the first place? Let us turn our attention back to Genesis chapter 12 and verse 2. God promised Abraham like this “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” The important part to be noticed in this verse is God promised that He will make this great nation a blessing to many people. So, God promised Abraham that He will bless him and make him and his descendants into a great nation (i.e. the nation of Israel), so that they will all together be a blessing to the rest of the world. Again, what exactly is this blessing? The blessing is that – Because of His great love for the world, God desired to reveal Himself first to the nation Israel and through them, to the rest of the world although all the world is sinful and in rebellion with God. God was planning a rescue mission to save the perishing world through Israel. So, Paul was confirming that the word of God that Abraham received, to bring about this blessing to all the people of the world, has not failed, and he explains why. First, he wanted to clear all misunderstandings that the Romans had about God’s chosen nation Israel. He was defining who is a true Israelite in God’s mind when He made that promise to Abraham. We need to understand the meaning of Israel before we move forward. Israel literally means “Governed by God.” So, when we say that the nation Israel is chosen by God, it means that God desired to govern the nation Israel and make it an example for all other nations to follow. In verse 7 Paul says – not everyone who are of the ethnic descent from Abraham belong to the true Israel. That means not all will be governed by God who are the physical descendants of Abraham. But only to the descendants of the child of promise i.e. only to Isaac’s offspring belonged all the promises of God and not to Ishmael’s offspring. And hence, Abraham’s offspring i.e. the nation of Israel would be born, only through Isaac, although Abraham had other sons. This is because Isaac alone is the child of promise. So, God wanted to initially govern only Isaac’s descendants and teach them the ways of God so that, they could be an example to the whole world and ultimately attract all nations towards God. God decided to do this even though He knew that most of these people would still fail Him. But we know that God is not a man that He should lie according to Numbers 23:19 and if He makes a promise, He will keep it. Hence in His wisdom, God chose an obedient descendant line, to bring the Messiah through their lineage i.e. through Isaac’s lineage, to save the world. So, Paul confirms that the word of God did not fail.

God in His foreknowledge knew that there always will be that remnant or a portion of Israel within the entire nation of Israel who will genuinely love God, have faith in Him and will receive and accept the promise of the Messiah. As we study more, we will understand how God sovereignly chose the descendant line to bring the Messiah. The Messiah did come to earth in God’s perfect timing and plan. For this reason alone, the nation Israel would still be remembered as a great nation and a blessing to many because the salvation to mankind, actually, came through them i.e. through Jesus Christ who is one among them, a Jew. Coming to the salvation aspect, the sad truth is that, even among Isaac’s descendants, many people will perish because of their rejection of their Messiah, the savior Jesus Christ. So, it is not about being a physical descendant of Isaac, but it is all about living a life of a child of God being governed by God to be saved. We will see that in the next verse. Let us look at Verse 8.

8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

In this verse, Paul is clarifying that God is very clear in making his choice known. Just as God counted only the children of the promise as Abraham’s true offspring through whom the world will get saved and not through the children of flesh, God’s choice of putting all of us in Christ, for us to be the Children of God and Abraham’s descendants in the spirit, is based on our faith. This is according to Galatians 3:7 is which Paul says – Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. We have also learnt that John said – But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God in John 1:12. Did we not receive Jesus through our faith? Yes, we did. Hence, we, the Gentile believers became the children of promise because we channeled our faith to receive the Messiah, Jesus Christ and surrendered our lives to Him to become the true children of God. So now, we have a role to play as well, in saving the rest of the world i.e. by pointing the world to Jesus. So, as I said, it really doesn’t matter if anyone is truly a descendant of Abraham or Isaac to be saved but what matters is whether we are the children of the promise, willing to be governed by God or not. If we are willing, then our father of faith will be Abraham because he was the first one to be chosen and be governed by God as I said in Galatians 3:7.

Hence, because of our faith in Christ, we became the spiritual Israel of God and are now being governed by God i.e since when we first believed and received Jesus Christ into our lives and surrendered our lives completely to Him. So, there are two aspects of God’s choosing that we learnt. One – God choosing Israel first to bring the Messiah through their lineage, the physical Israel. This also includes God choosing the apostles to be trained by Jesus Christ to be sent into the world to spread the Gospel.

John 15:16 – You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

Now, the second aspect of God’s choosing is like this. God choosing to put all of us in Christ, once we accept the gospel message, that was brought to us by the apostles, i.e. through our faith. We then became the spiritual Israel of God.

Being part of the spiritual Israel is nothing, but the salvation and it is the same for everyone including the Israelites i.e. one can get saved only through his faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on his behalf irrespective of his ethnicity. That means that the physical Israel must also become a part of the spiritual Israel of God to be saved. So, these two aspects of God’s choosing must never be confused – one was to bring the good news to the world and the other was to gift the salvation to those who believe. It is as simple as that.

Coming back to the context of Israel, God excluded the children of the flesh i.e. the children of Ishmael from the covenant He established with Isaac in Genesis 17:21 although Ishmael was the older son of Abraham. This was because Ishmael was the son Abraham had, in his lack of faith in God and his promise that He would give him a child of promise. That is why, here, the descendants of Ishmael are referred to as the children of the flesh and not of the promise. Hence, it was not going to be from Ishmael’s lineage that the Messiah would come but He would only come through Isaac’s lineage. Now, going back again, let us look at what exactly was the promise about the son, that God was to give to Abraham. Let us look at verse 9.

9 For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.”

Paul was reminding the Romans about God’s promise to Abraham about giving him a son. This was referenced back to Genesis 17:21 where God says to Abraham “But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” So, only Isaac’s descendants are the true heirs of the promised blessing of Abraham. And hence, only Isaac’s descendants will become a part of the true Israel. But we know that even among the descendants of Isaac, not everyone was chosen to be privileged to be called the true Israel. As I said, only a small portion of the descendants of Isaac, truly believed and stuck to God. Hence, God in His foreknowledge and sovereign choice, chose the descendants of Jacob, second son of Isaac, to bring the Messiah from. He chose Jacob and his descendants when Jacob was still in his mother’s womb i.e. before Jacob did anything good or bad. This is interesting! Why did God not choose the older son of Isaac, Esau and his descendants to be part of the lineage of the Messiah? The story unfolds in the next few verses and let us reserve that for the next video.

Isn’t it amazing how God works? Although this chapter is all about the Jewish people from their past into their present, there is a lot for us to learn from about what our place is in God’s master plan. Now, let us break this video here and when we come back, we will continue with our chapter and learn about God’s sovereign choice of choosing the ancestors of Jesus. Until then, please stay tuned to Gospel in action and to know more about me, please find the link to my testimony and contact details in the description below. Thank you again for watching.

Romance 9: 10-13

Hello – Welcome to Gospel in Action. In the last video, we have learnt that God chose the descendants of the child of promise i.e. Isaac’s descendants and within them, only the true Israelites that are obedient and willing to be governed by God, to bring the Messiah through their lineage. In this video, we will investigate God’s sovereign choice, within the descendant line of Isaac, of choosing Jesus’ earthly ancestors who needed to be believing in God and being governed by God. Let us look at verses 10 through 12.

10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”

Clearly, Paul is talking about the events that happened during the Old testament i.e. about God’s dealings with the Jews esp. in choosing Jesus’ ancestors and that too based on their faith and obedience. These verses are not talking about the New testament salvation of the Gentiles although in the chapters 9 through 11, as a whole, the goal of Paul was to explain how God initiated the programmatic transition of His legacy from the rebellious Jewish nation Israel to the Gentiles of the rest of the world. God did that to provoke the Jews to emulation. He did that to invoke the jealousy within them so that they may realize what they were missing. We will see that in detail as we come to the end of this chapter. The Jews always thought that they were the superior race as they were the first choice of God and that they have all the promises of God. In fact, they failed to understand that all the promises of God are based on certain conditions mentioned in Deuteronomy chapter 28. The summary of that chapter is that God promised they will have everything, as long as they continue to walk in His Will and continue to be governed by Him. But they did not choose to obey God and His commandments. Hence, in the process, they are choosing their own destruction. As I said, not all of Israel rebelled but there are a very few obedient Jews, who are the remnant and are the true Israel of God. It is through that remnant Israel, did God bring the Messiah, Jesus Christ to save the world. These remnant Israel are the messianic Jews of this day i.e. the Jews who believe in Jesus Christ as their only Lord and savior.

Coming back to the verses in context, Paul reminded the Romans that Sarah not only gave birth to Isaac according to the promise of God but Isaac, the forefather of the Jews and his wife Rebecca, also gave birth, to not one but two sons, Esau and Jacob. These two sons of Isaac would become two nations according to the prophecy in Genesis 25:23 in which The Lord said to Rebecca, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” The prophecy said that the older will serve the younger. Even Paul reminded the Romans about this in verse 12. But we know that the older son Esau never really served the younger son Jacob in his lifetime, but the descendants of Esau served the descendants of Jacob i.e. the nation Edom served the nation Israel. Remember, God changed the name of Jacob to Israel in Genesis 32:28. In fact, the nation Edom was later even annihilated by the nation Israel with God’s help according to the prophecy in Obadiah 1:10 which says Because of the violence done to your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off forever. So, Paul had in mind the nations of Edom and Israel when he was referring to Esau and Jacob and that sits well within the context of the whole chapter as well, as he was referring to the descendants of the child of promise that are the true offspring of Abraham from the beginning of this chapter. So, now that we know that Jacob and Esau are two nations, let us read verse 11 again to understand better.

11 Though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls.

Again, who are these two nations? These two nations are the direct descendants of Isaac, the forefather of the Jews. So, these two nations are in fact, the children of God’s promise to Abraham. So, Paul was explaining to the Romans that before even these two nations were born, and before even they had done anything either good or bad, God in His foreknowledge chose Jacob i.e. the nation Israel to continue the purpose of His election. The word election, here, simply means choice. God chose Israel for a very specific purpose. So, what was God’s purpose again? God’s purpose was to govern the nation of Israel and teach them the ways of God so that, they could be an example to the whole world and ultimately attract all nations towards God. So, God chose Israel for service and that service was to reveal God to all people. Now, we know that Israel as a nation, messed up this responsibility. But God in His wisdom still brought the Messiah through the very few obedient remnants of Israel. It was the Messiah, Jesus Christ who revealed God to the entire human race. Isn’t that the truth? Now, coming back to our verse, God chose Israel over Edom not because of works i.e. not because they did anything either good or bad but because God knew beforehand that the remnant from whom the Messiah would come will be in the descendant line of the believing Israel only. So, based on this foreknowledge, God called Israel for this service. Similarly, God chose only Judah out of the twelve sons of Jacob before even he did anything either good or bad, to carry the descendant line from whom the Messiah would be brought forth. This is the reason why; the Messiah is also called the lion of Judah. Likewise, God chose the descendants – Perez, Hezron, Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, King David and so on, to be the ancestors of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Note that none of these people were perfect people but at the end of the day, they all repented and followed God to be that special remnant Israel to bring forth the Messiah to this world. It is only through these men that God’s purpose of election continued and not because of their works but because God called them by His foreknowledge. Do you notice something here? God is narrowing the promise slowly by choosing the descendants, to reach to one last person in the lineage i.e. Jesus Christ through whom the promise of – blessing the whole world will be kept. That means that even among the faithful Israelites, God chose certain people in His wisdom through whom the Messiah will be brought from. So, this verse has nothing to do with the New testament salvation, but Paul explained how through God’s sovereign election of certain faithful remnant people of Israel, i.e. the carriers of the promise, brought forth the promised Messiah to this world, to save the entire world. Let us look at the next verse and close. Verse 13.

13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

This literally has nothing to do with God hating certain individuals before they did anything either good or bad. If God hates, He will have to hate each and every person born on this planet because the bible says no one is righteous. But we know that God is love according to 1 John 4:8. That is the reason why He showers full of mercy upon those who are willing to repent and receive His forgiveness. Coming back to our verse, in fact, Paul referred this verse from Malachi chapter 1 of the Old Testament and that is why he began with “As it is written.” The Lord says to Israel in Malachi chapter 1 and verse 2 like this 2 “I have loved you,” says the Lord. But you say, “How have you loved us?” “Is not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.” Clearly, the Lord was talking about not the person Esau but his descendants because there is approx. a 1000-year gap between the time of Esau and when Malachi was written. The Lord knew in His foreknowledge that the nation Edom would sin against Him and His chosen people and hence, in His righteous judgement, He annihilated them from the face of the earth later. How could God bring the Messiah from the wicked and rebellious nation of Edom and when He knew that He was going to annihilate them forever. Right? Hence, God chose Jacob and his descendants, Israel for that purpose. Note that God did not pronounce judgement on the nation Edom before they did anything either good or bad. God rightfully judged them because of their rebellion. He called them the wicked country in Malachi 1:4 which means they did vile and wicked things in the sight of God. Apart from that, a lot of times, when the Bible uses the word love or hate, it indicates God’s preference or non-preference of the one over the other. In Luke 14:26, when Jesus says if anyone does not hate his father or mother, he cannot be my disciple. Did Jesus mean that everyone should hate their parents? No. That will be a violation to the 5th commandment which is to honor your father and mother. So, Jesus meant that if anyone’s parents are suggesting them to do things contrary to the word of God, then follow God instead and not the parents. Likewise, in this case, God’s first choice was Israel to bring the Messiah from their lineage. This does not mean that He hated the Edomites without any reason. God loved them and gave them equal opportunity to repent and to follow His ways. But when they rebelled and continued to multiply their sinful deeds, they rightfully received the just punishment i.e. annihilation.

Is God sovereign enough to do that? Of course! This is because we serve a loving and a just God at the same time.

Let us break this video here and when we come back, we will learn more on God’s justice and His mercy. Until then, please stay tuned to Gospel in action and to know more about me, please find the link to my testimony and contact details in the description below. We encourage you to please subscribe to this channel, if you think the videos are beneficial for you to understand the Bible in more depth. Thank you again for watching.

Romance 9: 14-16

Hello – Welcome to Gospel in Action. In the last video, we have learnt interesting things about God’s sovereign election. God kept His promise to Abraham by choosing from the Children of the promise when He chose Isaac, but not according to the bloodline. And when He chose Jacob and his descendants, Israel, He chose not according to works but by His foreknowledge of who could rightfully be the one to be in the descendant line of the Messiah. In this video, we will try to apply the principle of God choosing people not according to the bloodline and also not according to works, to the second aspect of God’s choosing as well. That is, God’s choosing to put all of us in Christ, is based only on our faith and nothing else. We will also learn about God’s justice and on contrast His mercy as well. It will be interesting to see on whom God showers His mercy upon while satisfying His justice at the same time. Let us look at verse 14.

14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!

Before explaining this verse, let me ask you a question. Does God love everyone irrespective of race or religion? I am sure most of you would answer with a thumping ‘YES.’ As I said before, the inherent nature of God is love according to 1 John 4:8. We were never told that God is hate. Jesus Himself says love your enemies in Matthew 5:44. Do you think God requires you to love people that He doesn’t love? Absolutely No. So, God has His love i.e. Agape love for all people but that does not mean that everyone is going to be saved because God is a God of justice at the same time. He is a loving Father and a just judge at the same time. Psalm 7:11 says God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation with the wicked every day. How can a loving God feel angry? God feels angry with the people He loves, His own children. He disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son according to Hebrews 12:6. Now, coming back to this verse, why would anyone accuse God of injustice or unrighteousness? With respect to choosing Isaac, God did what He promised i.e. He chose the child of Promise and hence no one would accuse Him for that. But the people of Edom might accuse Him of not choosing them initially to bring the Messiah through their lineage and choosing Israel over them as both nations are the descendants of Isaac only, who is the child of promise. Did God really do injustice to Edomites, then? The answer is No because as I said, God chose Israel in His foreknowledge that there will be a remnant of faithful believers within them. And God planned to bring the Messiah through that faithful remnant, in fact, to save the rest of the world including the Edomites. On a parallel track, Paul raises this question, also keeping the New Testament believers, in mind as he is writing to Roman believers. He, then, asks “is God just in accepting only the believers who imitate the faith of Jacob and not the others?” Paul explains all this in detail in the following verses. Let us look at verse 15.

15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

This is another verse where most people stumble upon. God does not do anything randomly. While all people equally deserved to be condemned, God showers mercy and forgives anyone who repents and confesses their sins. In that, God displays His eternal love for them. God forgives and saves them based on their faith that Jesus died in their place to satisfy the justice of God. So, it is incorrect to say that God showers mercy only on those few people whom He chose unconditionally. First of all, God never chose anyone unconditionally. In fact, He showers mercy on everyone equally, but that mercy is always conditional. We can find that throughout the scriptures. So, looking back, the whole context of God blessing His people Israel is based on His mercy and not on their works. This mercy that He showered on the faithful Israel, was from His foreknowledge that these people would repent, confess their sins and trust in their future savior.

Note that, the foreknowledge of God simply means that God knows the end from the beginning as said in Isaiah 46:10.

God knowing the future, does not mean that He determines the free Willed choices of the people. People are free to choose God and be saved. Likewise, they are free to reject God and be doomed. In fact, the fall of Adam did not affect the free will of man at all. It affected their relationship with God and hence, without God in their lives, all people that were born since the fall, were born spiritually dead i.e. born with no knowledge of God and not knowing whom or where to put their faith in. Naturally, we, the spiritually dead people, therefore, chose to put our faith in the wrong things i.e. in anything but God. But when God called us through His gospel message, we, the few out of many, have responded and were able to redirect our faith to the right person i.e. to Jesus Christ. It is only after that, that we were born again and found ourselves in the Kingdom of God. It was God who did that miracle in our lives. Coming back to the context, Paul explains that God never showed injustice to anyone. It was the Edomites’ fault that they did not respond to His call, although they were the descendants of the child of promise, Isaac. They always had the opportunity to choose to follow God, but they did not. So, God showing mercy and compassion on the faithful Israel, was totally dependent on their faith in God and their future Messiah. God never discriminates and He shows no partiality according to Romans 2:11.

In fact, God desires to shower mercy on all people according to Romans 11:32. God’s mercy is available to all people, but it must be received through faith. Now, let us go back to the original context from where Paul is quoting this verse from. Paul is quoting from Exodus 33:19 where Moses asks God to show His glory. To that, God responds saying that He will show His goodness instead, because no man can see His true glory and live.

This, in fact, means that God’s glory on earth, lies in His goodness i.e. in His character. In short, God says to Moses that if anyone truly seeks Him, He is going to show them a glimpse of His goodness and in that context, God said that He will be gracious to whoever that seeks Him and that He will shower mercy on whoever desires to have that true relationship with Him.

Likewise, Paul was sending a message to the Roman believers that God showers the same mercy and compassion on all of us when we truly seek Him and desire to have that lost relationship back with Him. That mercy came in the form of Jesus Christ, who died in our place and rose to be victorious over death and be seated at the right hand of the Father. Jesus says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” In Matthew 7:7-8.

In short, Jesus was saying – ask for mercy and you will be forgiven, seek for God and you will find Him and knock the door of understanding and your eyes will be opened to the truth. I hope this gave all of you a good understanding of God’s impartial and good character. Let us move forward to verse 16 and understand more.

16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

So, Paul clarifies that God’s blessings rested on the faithful Israel because they are the remnant ones who trusted and believed in God. Their blessing of bringing the Messiah through their lineage depended totally on God’s mercy and not on their will or exertion i.e. it did not happen by their own choosing or physical or mental effort. Through this, we can conclude on a principle that we can apply to the New testament salvation as well. Hence, God’s spiritual blessings to anyone is based on His mercy alone and not by human determination or human effort. Paul explains what exactly he meant by human will that he used in this verse. He explains that in Romans 10:3 where he says about majority of the nation of Israel like this – “For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.”

Paul explains that Israel sought to establish their own version of righteousness through their own will instead of submitting themselves to God’s righteousness, falsely thinking that God would bless them. They were deceived by their own pride. So, whoever thinks that they can please God through their works of righteousness, are all foolish. No one can earn God’s blessings by doing anything. The bible, hence, even says that all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment to God because we have all been tainted by sin according to Isaiah 64:6. Hebrews 11:6 says And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. This means that one can never get right with God by their good works, but the righteousness of God comes through one’s faith alone and faith alone pleases God. So, it depends totally on God, who has and who showers mercy on anyone who seeks and believes in Him. So, there is nothing to boast about ourselves as we did nothing to deserve His love and all His spiritual blessings. We, hence, are all saved by God’s mercy, and that mercy is nothing but the cross of Christ.

So, if you are not a believer of Christ, this is the time to accept Him into your lives. He loves you. When you repent and confess your sins to Him, He will show His mercy and He will forgive you of all your wrong doings. You will then be free from all your guilt. If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed according to John 8:36.

Let us break this video here and when we come back, we will look at why God hardens that hearts of certain individuals. Is God just in doing that? Until then, please stay tuned to Gospel in action and to know more about me, please find the link to my testimony and contact details in the description below. We encourage you to please subscribe to this channel, if you think the videos are beneficial for you to understand the Bible in more depth. Thank you again for watching.

Romance 9: 17-18

Welcome to Gospel in Action. In the last video, we have seen God’s choosing to put all of us in Christ, was based only on our faith and His mercy. It is not based on our bloodline nor our righteous works. We have also learnt about God’s justice and on contrast His mercy as well. In this video, we will see why God hardens the hearts of certain people and in Paul’s day, who were these people? What exactly is hardening? Let us look at verses 17 and 18.

17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

Paul takes the believers in Rome, back to the Old Testament book of Exodus where God was dealing with Pharaoh of Egypt to release His chosen people Israel from 400 years of slavery in that nation. He deliberately went to the book of Exodus to make them understand that God sometimes does harden people to achieve a greater purpose. What is hardening? Hardening is to deliberately do something so that the will of rebellion against God becomes stronger in a rebellious heart. Or

hardening could also be – God, deliberately not revealing the consequences of what is going to happen if anyone rejects Him by not doing His will and ignore His call on their lives so that they will be blinded to the truth. Whereas it is not forcefully interfering with people’s free choices. God never does that, and He never does anything arbitrarily. Paul explains that just as God hardened Pharaoh’s heart in that day, God has hardened the hearts of all unbelieving Israel so that they will not be able to recognize their own Messiah and ultimately crucify Him. We will see that in detail in this video. So, it has nothing to do with God hardening the hearts of some of the unbelieving gentiles of today because there is no good reason for Him to do that. Let us investigate all this.

It is better to understand a little bit of the history of Israel before we understand our verses in context. To be honest, the book of Exodus is a super intense part of the biblical story. Pharaoh was the King of Egypt and was the worst person the Bible ever describes. This Pharaoh, the cruelest of all Kings of Egypt kept the Israelites in captivity and during his rule, he ruthlessly made them do the tasks of intense slavery. But God, at last, after 400 years of Israel’s slavery in Egypt, showered mercy on them. For this task of releasing them from their slavery, God chose Moses as their leader and a prophet, to fight against the Pharaoh. This is to, ultimately, fulfill the promise that God made to Abraham. God appears to Moses in a burning bush and asks him to go to Egypt and face Pharaoh. Moses refuses initially but God assures him that He will be with him always in Exodus 3:12. God even sends Aaron, Moses’ brother, with him as Moses complaints that he is not eloquent with his words. So, Moses finally agrees. Then, God begins to tell him all about the plan of Exodus of Israel. He says to Moses, “when you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go, “according to Exodus 4:21. This was the first mention of God hardening Pharaoh’s heart. Yes, God told Moses that He will harden Pharaoh’s heart i.e. dans le futur. As I said, this is not to be understood as God interfering with the freewill of man. If we study carefully, we understand that Pharaoh hardened his own heart against God at least for the first 3 times. Pharaoh hated the people of Israel. Let us check out the scripture references and read them in sequence. God first says he “knows” that Pharaoh will resist the demand to let the Israelites go (Exodus 3:19-20), and so God says that he will harden Pharaoh’s heart (Exodus 4:21, Exodus 7:3). This was according to His foreknowledge on how people will react to certain situations. So, it was only after Pharaoh resisted the will of God, did God harden his heart i.e. God did certain things like sending in the plagues to trigger Pharaoh’s ego and pride. By doing that, God made the will of Pharaoh stronger so that He will become more hard-hearted and resist the release of Israel. God did this as a judgement against him because of his initial sin of rebellion against the will of God. In other words, God was sending a message to Pharaoh like this – “do you want to hate my people? Fine, I will let you hate them even more.” This is also called God’s judicial hardening. Do you understand the point here? God gave Pharaoh what he wanted. Pharaoh brought God’s judgement upon himself by his own actions. Remember, God loves all people equally, but as I said, at the same time, He is also the God of justice. So, now, let us look at the actual sequence of events to prove the point that Pharaoh hardened his own heart first.

The plague of Blood: Pharaoh’s heart “became hard” (Exodus 7:22), The plague of Frogs: Pharaoh “hardened his own heart” (Exodus 8:15), The plague of Gnats: Pharaoh’s heart “was hard” (Exodus 8:19), The plague of Flies: “Pharaoh hardened his own heart” (Exodus 8:32), The plague of Livestock dying: Pharaoh’s heart “was hard” (Exodus 9:7).

Now, after the first five plagues, the Lord sees Pharaoh’s rebellion and pronounces judgement against Him in the form of judicial hardening. It can be understood as God arousing Pharaoh’s anger resulting in more arrogance. God also did this to show His glory i.e. to show His power in him, and that His name might be proclaimed in all the earth as said in our verse in context i.e. Romans 9:17. Let us look at what happened during the last five plagues.

The plague of Boils: “The Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (Exodus 9:12), The plague of Hail: Pharaoh “hardened his own heart again” (Exodus 9:34), The plague of Locusts: God announces that he has “hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (Exodus 10:1, Exodus 10:20), The plague of Darkness: God “hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (Exodus 10:27), The plague of the Death of the firstborn: God “hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (Exodus 11:10).

Do you see the sequence here? So, now let me ask you the question. Is it fair on God’s part to judge Pharaoh? The answer is yes because Pharaoh was rebellious even after witnessing all the destructive miracles of God. Pharaoh’s only rebellion was to resist God’s will i.e. the demand to let the Israelites go. So, God judging Pharaoh is justified because we have seen that God initially called Pharaoh to humble himself before Him, acknowledge that God is his authority and that he cannot redefine good and evil on Egyptian terms. But Pharaoh never let go off his arrogance, asking for more trouble. Paul also mentions that when God says that He has raised Pharaoh up for that very purpose, God meant that instead of striking Pharaoh down immediately because of his rebellion, He chose to harden him by triggering his ego and pride first, and then destroying him fulfilling His judgement. He did it all to glorify Himself. This is a direct reference from Exodus 9:15-16. Does God show mercy on whomever He wills and hardens whomever He wills? The answer to it is YES but as I said, God does not do anything randomly. He does it fulfilling His love and His justice at the same time. In fact, it is up to people on how they will respond to God’s love and mercy as God shows mercy to whoever confesses their sins and repents. Sometimes, God hardens the hearts of whoever resists the Word of God and rebels against doing His Will as well. But note that, God chooses this type of justice i.e. judicial hardening or making their evil will even stronger by arousing them, only if it serves a greater purpose. In Pharaoh’s case, the purpose was to spread His name in all the earth so that all people will have an opportunity to believe in Him and come back to Him. Now, the question remains, whom did God harden in Paul’s day? Why did Paul bring up this topic in the middle of Romans chapter 9? Paul deliberately brought this up to explain to the Romans, that God did harden the hearts of the nation of Israel who have mostly become hard-hearted to the love of God, just as He hardened the heart of Pharaoh. We know the hearts of the people of Israel from John 1:11 where they openly rejected their own savior, Jesus Christ. God could have annihilated Israel for their rebellion immediately as mentioned in verse 29 just as He did to Sodom and Gomorrah, but God chose judicial hardening for them, to achieve a greater purpose and also keeping the promise He made to Abraham, at the same time. Now, what was the greater purpose for which God chose judicial hardening for Israel? As I said, it is the execution of Jesus on the cross. Yes, if Israel knew that He was the promised Messiah, they wouldn’t have executed Him and if they didn’t do that, then the justice of God for the sins of the whole world, would not have been satisfied. This is the reason why Jesus spoke in parables, so that Israel would not understand what He was saying but He explained everything in private to His chosen apostles and other disciples in order to train them for the great commission i.e. to spread the gospel throughout the world. This was according to Mark 4:34.

And if they are healed, as I said, they wouldn’t have crucified the Messiah which was necessary for the redemption of the world. So, God chose to be patient by judicially hardening Israel because of their rebellion and allowed them to crucify their own Messiah, so that the world might be saved through Him. Therefore, God chose to shower mercy on the rest of the world by hardening the rebellious Israel.

But now, Israel is free to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and make that decision to follow Christ. Let us pray that they realize this truth sooner than later i.e. before it is too late. Now, let us break this video here and when we come back, we will look at the potter and clay analogy that Paul used to explain further on how God deals with the nations and also understand how the salvation of individuals work. Until then, please stay tuned to Gospel in action and to know more about me, please find the link to my testimony and contact details in the description below. We encourage you to please subscribe to this channel, if you think the videos are beneficial for you to understand the Bible in more depth. Thank you again for watching.

Romance 9: 19-21

Hello – Welcome to Gospel in action. In the last video, we have seen who Pharaoh is and how he treated the Israelites before God rescued them out. We have also seen that God does not do anything arbitrarily and that He showers mercy on whoever confesses their sins and repents. He even sometimes, hardens whoever resists the word of God and rebels against doing His will, only to achieve a greater purpose. In this video, Paul continues to explain to Romans that God does not do anything randomly. He also explains to them, on how God works with respect to salvation of individuals, in a Potter and clay analogy using the scripture from the old testament, again, as he is building this case from the beginning of this chapter.

19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?”

Paul continues His defense for God from verse 18. So, now, someone may question God like this “why did God put Pharaoh in such a situation that he would resist His will? Is God not unjust in doing that? So, if God does everything by His wisdom and foreknowledge, why does He even find fault with us for resisting Him? It is God’s fault that He made us like this. Moreover, He always knew that we would resist Him and if He plans to do something, He does it anyway. So, who can stop God and who can resist His will?” We see such rhetorical questions being asked in Paul’s letters. It is typical of Paul to assume his audience’s questions and then answer them. The reason why he asked this question is because he knew that the most sinful people would blame God for their sins as He has made them, the way they are. These people try to evade their responsibility saying if God has everything predetermined, there is nothing that they need to do. That is why, the idea of predetermination is such a fatalistic idea. Remember that this is in the context of Paul explaining to the Romans that God hardened the hearts of the rebellious Israel. The same analogy is being applied by many unbelievers today saying that if God chose certain individuals for salvation already, then what have I to do? It is anyway, not in my control and hence, I will continue to live as I want satisfying my fleshly desires. They had a completely wrong understand of what God hardening people means. God kept Israel from recognizing their own messiah and hence, kept them from understanding the truth that He spoke as He spoke in parables. So, it never meant that unbelievers of today, have no responsibility. The truth of the matter is that man’s responsibility or man’s free Will is not a separate thing that we can even compare against God’s sovereignty. Man’s responsibility is included or comes under the umbrella of God’s sovereignty. We cannot separate both. Anyway, let us investigate on how Paul responded to this question. Let us look at verse 20.

20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded, say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”

Paul questions such people back saying “who do you think you are? Do you think you are God’s equal, to answer Him back?” Paul is not reprimanding in vain. There are real people, as we witness in our everyday lives, who are angry with God because of perceived issues like God didn’t allow this or allowed that or caused that etc. They are mad at God because things may not have happened according to their limited perception. Whatever may be the case, they cannot question God, who is their own Creator, like that. They cannot ask God – why have you made me like this? All of us may humble ourselves and genuinely ask Him anything but not in arrogance, as if we know more than God. We are the clay and God is God. We have been molded by Him, to be this perfect creation of His. So, our creator’s judgements are perfect. So, the truth that I believe, is that we are like this, because of our own decisions and actions. Today, those who are not at peace with God and those who are not having that joy in their lives always and those who are not content in their lives, they are like that because of their own choices. The good news, however, is that – all that can change in their lives. If you are that person, you are one decision away to make your life complete. So, come, come to Jesus. Your life will be changed for good. If we are in Christ, we will have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us, through whom we can choose to be joyful always and choose to be content in every situation. The power of sin will no longer be upon us.

Anyway, the conclusion is that there is no place for attacking or arguing against God because God is God, a perfect judge. We must be humble in every aspect, before God. He does everything in perfect love and perfect justice. We don’t need to doubt that one bit because if we read the passage, clearly, God’s hardening is not arbitrary. The passage implied that God showers mercy on people because of their obedience and on some occasions, hardens them because of their rebellion. So, God sometimes does harden people because of their evil works, to achieve a greater purpose. God knows everything. He is omniscient. Now, with this understanding, let us get into Paul’s potter and clay analogy in verse 21 to understand more on how God works with respect to the salvation of individuals.

21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?

Paul is quoting this from Jeremiah chapter 18 and verse 6 which says “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. Paul’s audience knew the context, the moment he mentioned the potter and clay. The context before this verse i.e. in verse 4 was that the clay was spoiled in the Potter’s hand and so he reworked it into another vessel for dishonorable use i.e. not what the clay was originally intended to be used for. But as most people in today’s day are not familiar with the old testament and have loads of presuppositions, they could not see things clearly and so, they are being stumbled. When Paul asks, “has the Potter no right over the clay?”, he did not mean that God is a monstrous god displaying some sort of a tyranny, who can do whatever he wants. There is a reason why He does things, the way He does, satisfying both His love and justice. In this case, the clay was spoiled which directly implies that Israel turned away from God and did evil things. So, now, let us see what God has to say to them in verses 7 through 10 – If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, 8 and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it.

9 And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, 10 and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it. In short, God says this to all nations that – although the consequence for turning away from me and doing evil things is destruction, I will show mercy and relent of the disaster that I intended to do to you, if you repent and turn from your evil ways and follow me.

And likewise, as in the case of Israel, God says – I will relent of the good that I intended to do if the nation rebels and does evil in my sight even after I have promised to build it and plant it. So, God initially intended Israel to be used as a vessel for honorable use i.e. He chose Israel for a very specific purpose and that purpose or service was to know God and reveal this good God to the rest of the world. But we know that Israel as a nation messed up this opportunity. So, as this vessel was spoiled, He turned it into a vessel for dishonorable use. Likewise, God would have showed mercy on the Pharaoh of Egypt and relent the disaster intended for him and his people, if he gave in to the demand of God of letting the people of Israel go. But he chose to harden his own heart and brought disaster upon himself and his nation. So, now, let me ask you – does the potter have the right over the clay? Yes, absolutely. He has the right to make out of the same lump, one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use. But it is dependent only on their responses to God’s call on their lives.

Likewise, He has the right to show mercy and forgive our sins when we repent and put our trust in Christ and then He transforms us to be the vessels for honorable use i.e. of worshiping Him forever.

And, He has the right to harden certain individuals and leave them for dishonorable use i.e. for them to die in their own sins and ultimately rot in hell, if they continue to be rebellious to the loving call of God on their lives. All this because our God is also the God of justice. He is impartial and upholds the justice of the highest order.

So, what category of people group do we want to be part of? Do we want to be part of the vessels of honorable use or the vessels of dishonorable use? Yes, we can choose. We have the free will. Paul confirms this again in 2 Timothy 2:20-21 where he says Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable.

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. In short, Paul appeals to everyone that in God’s great house, there are vessels for honorable use and others for dishonorable use like we described earlier. Now, how can anyone become honorable? If anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will become a vessel for honorable use.

Here, cleansing is being born of the water and of the Spirit as mentioned in John 3:5 which means to be cleansed completely from our sins and to be filled and be sealed with His Holy Spirit i.e. through our faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross.

When we cleanse ourselves by our faith, we will be set apart as holy, useful to God and be ready for every good work. Make no mistake here. It was God who initiated the process of salvation and then, we believed.

He loved us so much that He gave His only begotten son to die on the cross in our place, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life according to John 3:16. I hope this message cleared up a lot of confusion in your minds and blessed you with the truth.

Let us break this video here and when we come back, we will investigate whether God gives enough chances and be patient with the vessels of dishonorable use before destroying them or not. Until then, please stay tuned to Gospel in action and to know more about me, please find the link to my testimony and contact details in the description below. We encourage you to please subscribe to this channel, if you think the videos are beneficial for you to understand the Bible in more depth. Thank you again for watching.

Romance 9: 22-26

Hello – Welcome to Gospel in action. In the last video, we have seen how God justly makes a group of people for honorable use and the other group for dishonorable use depending on their responses to God’s call on their lives and not arbitrarily, in the Potter and clay analogy. In this video, we will investigate how God dealt with the people of dishonorable use i.e. the vessels who prepared themselves for destruction. We will see God’s patience towards such people. Let us look at verse 22.

22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?

Notice that, this verse starts with a ‘What if.’ It is a question that Paul is asking, for the Romans to think clearly about God’s glory, God’s justice and God’s patience. He is clearing their misunderstanding on why God sometimes hardens people’s hearts instead of annihilating them immediately for their actions. As I said, it is to achieve a greater purpose i.e. to uphold His glory. It does not give God pleasure to annihilate His own creation, but justice must somehow, be served. So, for the justice to be upheld, God could have annihilated Israel from the face of the earth for their rebellion just like He eliminated Sodom and Gomorrah. Note that, wrath or anger is not an eternal attribute of God. God never displayed wrath with the eternal Jesus or the eternal Holy Spirit. There was only love between them. But, in time, God expresses wrath in order to deal with unrighteousness and to make His power known. Anyway, if God eliminated Israel, His glory would have been compromised because of His promise to Abraham that He would make him a great nation so that his descendants would be a blessing for the rest of the world. In Pharaoh’s case, however, there was no promise and when God successfully brought Israel out of their slavery, everyone praised Him, and He glorified Himself. However, if Pharaoh repented, God could have spared him, but he did not. Paul says that in Israel’s case, God endured with them for so long. He gave them many opportunities to choose to come to Him by sending various prophets, all through the Old Testament. But Israel never came back to God till date. Now, let me ask you – what did Israel now become? The hard-hearted Israel tested God’s patience and became a vessel of the wrath of God and prepared themselves for destruction. If not for God’s promise to Abraham, God would have eliminated them from the face of the earth. But God could not do that. How could He compromise His glory which is necessary for all people of the world to come to Him? Although, He desired to show His wrath over Israel, He wanted to make known of His power i.e. His glory to the rest of the world because He knows that He is the only hope for the rest of the world, if it were to be saved. If the world does not accept God and Christ’s sacrifice for them, they will all be destroyed ultimately in their own sins. God does not want that for them. Now, let us continue to read verse 23.

23 In order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory.

While the vessels of wrath are the rebellious nation of Israel in this context, vessels of mercy are whoever repents, confesses their sins, trusts and believes in Jesus Christ as their only Lord and savior. Note that, the vessels of wrath could also be anyone who deliberately chooses to not obey Jesus Christ. John 3:36 says the wrath of God remains on such people as there is no other way apart from Christ, that the wrath could be lifted. But we witness God’s great patience towards all those people as well. Anyway, the verse says that God has endured with much patience with the rebellious Israel, the vessels of God’s wrath, in order to make known the riches of His glory for the vessels of mercy, in this case, the Gentiles. So, Paul is letting the Romans know that – as part of the great plan, God has extended the salvation to the Gentiles because of Israel’s rebellion to ultimately bring Israel back through the Gentiles. But the salvation to the Gentiles must come from the Jews only according to John 4:22 and this was decreed by God beforehand i.e. long long ago. For that purpose, i.e. for the sake of the Gentiles, God endured Israel’s rebellion with much patience. And now, the Gentiles are being saved through their faith in Jesus Christ, who is a Jew. Thus, God kept His promise to Abraham, now that the salvation to everyone is still coming from the Jews i.e. through Jesus Christ. God did all this to uphold His glory. Note that, this verse says, ‘He has prepared them’ whereas in the last verse it did not say that implying God saves those who are the vessels of mercy, who are anyone who believes and in the case of the vessels of wrath, they prepared themselves for destruction, clearly stating that God did not prepare them for destruction. In Greek language, this distinction can be very clearly seen. Now, let us move on to verse 24.

24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

In this verse, Paul is clarifying to the Roman believers on who really are these vessels of mercy. The vessels of mercy, hence, are all those people who are not only from the remnant of the believing Israel i.e. the messianic Jews, but also all those people who are born again into the Kingdom of God from the Gentile world i.e. the rest of the world. Paul rejoices that God has called all of them including him to be part of the Kingdom of God and are now, one family in Christ. This is beautiful And Paul also clarifies that this plan of God to include the Gentiles for salvation was not a new plan, but it was decreed by God long ago through the prophet Hosea in the Old Testament. Let us read verses 25 and 26 as Paul quotes directly from Hosea 2:23 and Hosea 1:10.

25As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’” “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”

Do you see that? In the context of Hosea, God was calling Israel as ‘Not His people,’ and ‘Not beloved’ because of her rebellion and whoredom. But God promised that He will bring Israel back and that He will shower mercy upon her by alluring her and speaking tenderly to her in Hosea 2:14. Here, Israel is referred to a woman and hence God is calling the nation as ‘her.’ And the prophecy goes on as Israel would respond to God saying that God is her husband and she will no longer call Him Baal in verse 16.

And then later, the prophecy states that God will make a covenant with Israel and will betroth her forever in faithfulness and then she will know the Lord truly in verses 18 and 20.

That was the time when God says to Israel that they are His people and Israel will say that He is her God in verse 23. So, let me ask you – who is this Israel that God is talking about? He is talking about the physical Israel becoming the spiritual Israel of God. We already know who all are included in the spiritual Israel – it is both the physical Israel who began to believe in God i.e. the messianic Jews and whoever are truly born again into the Kingdom of God from the Gentile world i.e. us.

The covenant that God made in Hosea 2:18 is the New covenant that He made with Israel and in that New covenant, He included everybody. That was God’s plan from the very beginning. Can God do that? Can He include the Gentiles in His plan of salvation? Of course, Yes. He is sovereign enough to make that decision. Will that arouse Jealousy in the hearts of the people of the rest of Israel? Absolutely i.e. only if they still have the love of God within them which is currently dormant. They are cold right now because their hearts are still hard. During this time of most of Israel’s hard-hearted rebellion, many Gentiles are being gathered into the Kingdom of God according to Romans 11:25 i.e. who are actually ‘Not God’s people’ are becoming ‘God’s people’ and who are originally ‘Not His beloved’ are now becoming ‘His beloved.’ This has also been prophesied by Isaiah in Isaiah 56. He says in Isaiah 56:8 that The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, “I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.” This was prophesied 700 years prior to Jesus Christ. Paul also quotes Isaiah 65:1 in Romans 10:20 explaining the same thing. The Lord said, “I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me”. The Lord was referring to the gathering of the Gentiles in the future while Israel is still in rebellion. This is how we were all saved in the first place.

Now, those of you who have not yet believed in Christ, do you want to be called God’s people? Do you want to be called God’s beloved? The invitation from God is open for you to freely come to Him. What is stopping you? Are you worried that your family will ostracize you? Are you worried that you will put your family to shame on a public platform? I can relate to your pain because I was once in that confusion. But remember, the world itself is in darkness and you are trying to come into the light. When you do that, you will not be disappointed. God will work things out with your family members just as He is doing in my case. I have a great relationship with my parents today. Through they are not Christ’s followers yet, they accepted my faith and appreciate the work I am doing to reach out to humanity. So, please don’t waste any more time as the time is short. This is the time for salvation. Come, come to Jesus. All your life’s questions will be answered, and you will have joy, peace and contentment in your life. God bless you.

Let us break this video here and when we come back, we will see the fate of Israel whether all of Israel will be saved or not saved. Until then, please stay tuned to Gospel in action and to know more about me, please find the link to my testimony and contact details in the description below. We encourage you to please subscribe to this channel, if you think the videos are beneficial for you to understand the Bible in more depth. Thank you again for watching.

Romance 9: 27-33

Hello – Welcome to Gospel in Action. In the last video, we have seen how God dealt with the people of dishonorable use i.e. the vessels who prepared themselves for destruction. In this video, we will see how God could have annihilated Israel because of their rebellion and how they failed in pursuing the righteousness while the Gentiles pursued it through faith. Let us look at verses 27 and 28.

And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.”

Paul is quoting this from Isaiah 10:20-25. This was a prophecy from Isaiah which was already fulfilled for Israel. The prophecy was that the Lord would judge Israel for its disobedience. The judgement would come in the form of an attack from the empire of Assyria upon the Northern Kingdom of Israel and in a lesser sense, also upon the southern Kingdom of Judah. Isaiah prophesies that despite this coming attack of the Assyrians, upon the nation of Israel, God tells the nation to not be afraid of the Assyrians. Because God says that though the judgement and correction are coming, I will destroy and put an end to the Assyrian army. He says that whoever are remaining and are aware of this prophecy, will have an opportunity to trust and believe in God again and glorify Him for the victory that He will give them.

Hence, in verse 20, Isaiah says that in that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more, lean on him who struck them, but will lean on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. So, Paul brings this past of Israel and connects it to the present. He asks that if God saved only a remnant in the Old Testament and promised that only a remnant would survive judgement, what makes the Jewish people of his own day feel secure that their Jewishness will save them?

Again, Paul was emphasizing the fact that even the Jewish people will have to believe and trust in their Messiah, to be saved and that they will not be saved through their ethnicity. He was trying to clear their huge misunderstanding. So, in these verses, he was expressing his grief that if Israel does not humble themselves and does not believe in their Messiah, out of the innumerable sons of Israel as good as the sand of the sea, only a few handful of them who genuinely surrender their lives to Christ, will be saved and that the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the whole earth fully and quickly. So, Paul is appealing to all the Jewish people of the earth to recognize their Messiah and come to Him without delay because Jesus may return at any time to bring the final judgement. If that happens, it will be too late for all people who have given a rebellious deaf ear to the gospel of Jesus Christ. He says that the Lord is enduring with much patience with respect to all of them, i.e. the vessels of wrath who prepared themselves for destruction. Let us continue reading further. Verse 29.

29 And as Isaiah predicted, “If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring, we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah.”

Paul continues his point by quoting Isaiah 1:9. He says that Israel was acting like the people of Sodom and Gomorrah which was the epitome of sin. Paul continues saying that if not for Abraham’s promise, God would have judged the entire nation just like He judged and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. He further says that Israel as a nation are fortunate to have any survivors because God demands justice and not mere sacrifices. This was according to Isaiah 1:7-17. As I said before, God is a God of justice and at the same time, He is a God of mercy. He requires people’s hearts and not their works of righteousness or sacrifices. These are all warnings against Israel even to this present day. Now, let us move on and read verses 30 and 31.

30 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith.31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law.

Here, Paul was emphasizing a very important point of the whole of the Bible. From the time, God called Abraham in the Old Testament, salvation to mankind was always through faith and not based on anything else. Paul dedicated an entire chapter in this book, i.e. Romans 4 explaining that Abraham was justified by faith and not according to works. So, he explains why Gentiles are being saved and not the Israelites in his day. The Gentiles who never had the law or rather who never knew the law, did not pursue righteousness by the law. They pursued righteousness by believing the good news of Jesus Christ. They pursued it by their faith and God saved them. On contrast, Israel were stuck in their traditions, and rituals where they continued in their misunderstanding, gave a deaf ear to the truth and to this day, trying to pursue righteousness through the law, by which they will never succeed. In fact, no one can keep the law perfectly and live except one man who did it i.e. Jesus Christ. For this reason, everyone needs Jesus Christ as their savior, a savior who lived a perfect life, who kept the law and who died in their place to redeem them from their sins so that they may live His life in such a way that it will lead them to Holiness.

Paul says in Romans 3:10 that None is righteous, no, not one but righteousness of God can only be attained through faith in Jesus Christ i.e. for all who believe as said in verse 22 of chapter 3. So, because Israel only pursued the law in terms of human effort instead of trusting in God, who transforms the hearts, they will perish but only a remnant of them who understand this, and who would respond to God’s grace from their hearts i.e. the messianic Jews will be saved. Now, let us read verse 32.

32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone.

In fact, Israel did seek the law but missed the whole point of the law by stressing the works rather than the faith. Faith was the law’s point. Faith was the right approach to the law. So, because Israel failed to follow the right approach to the law and pursued righteousness by mere human effort, they have stumbled over the stumbling stone. That means, they have stumbled when it was time to recognize their own Messiah who came to save them. Jesus Christ was the stumbling stone upon whom they stumbled upon. And hence, they rejected Him and killed Him. It is not too late for them, even to this day. They can still choose to repent and accept Jesus Christ into their lives. That was what Paul was saying in the last verse.

33 as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

In this verse, Paul was following a common Jewish interpretion practice of blending scriptures together. He used Isaiah 28:16 and Isaiah 8:14 together because the former probably alludes back to the later. This type of blending probably made sense to his then, Jewish readers than anyone.

Anyway, the whole point of Paul was that the same stone that caused Israel to stumble in Isaiah 8:14, which also speaks of the stone as a sanctuary implying that it is Jesus Christ Himself, would save those who believed in Isaiah 28:16. This is exactly what Paul was conveying from the beginning of this chapter. So, let us do a quick summary of Romans chapter 9 as we came to the end of it. Paul explained how he had burden for his fellow brothers who are being perished because of their rebellion. He expressed his anguish on how they all had every spiritual blessing and that they are trashing everything by their own actions. Then, he went on explaining that although they rebelled, God’s word has not failed. He explained God’s plan from the beginning of time and how it is now being unfolded. He began with Israel’s beginning and how God dealt with them. Paul explained how God hand-picked Israel not by the blood but by the promise and not by the works but because of His call i.e. through His wisdom and foreknowledge, so that no one can boast. Why did God do that? He did that to keep His promise to Abraham and to bring the Messiah through their lineage to fulfill that promise. Paul further goes on to defend God saying that no one can find fault with Him and that He did everything in perfect justice upholding His glory. Just like He hardened the heart of the Pharaoh of Egypt because of his rebellion before annihilating him through the process of slow judgement, God has judicially hardened the rebellious Israel so that He can include the Gentile world into the Kingdom of God, during this time of Israel’s slow judgement. During this time, God is still displaying tremendous patience towards Israel who are now the vessels of His wrath who prepared themselves for destruction. As a last resort, God is giving them, yet another opportunity to feel jealous looking at the progress of the Gentiles, so that Israel may repent, confess their sins and come to Him for Him to save them. As part of this opportunity, God is using the saved Gentiles to evangelize to these hard-hearted Jews so that they can be saved and be once again included as part of God’s spiritual Israel i.e. His eternal Kingdom. You may now ask – how can Israel believe if their hearts are hardened? Yes, their hearts are hardened, or I should say, that they have been kept away from the truth for a little while because of their rebellion. This was only until God’s purpose of executing the Messiah has been fulfilled and the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. Hence, Israel are now mostly free to hear the message of the gospel, understand it and respond positively. The Bible says that they were still partially hardened according to Romans 11:25 in Paul’s day. We have come a long way since then. So, God wants Israel to respond to Him through faith and not by works. Let us break this video here and when we come back, we shall begin the marriage series. Until then, please stay tuned to Gospel in action and to know more about me, please find the link to my testimony and contact details in the description below. We encourage you to please subscribe to this channel, if you think the videos are beneficial for you to understand the Bible in more depth.

Romance 9: 17-18

Welcome to Gospel in Action. In the last video, we have seen God’s choosing to put all of us in Christ, was based only on our faith and His mercy. It is not based on our bloodline nor our righteous works. In this video, we will see why God hardens the hearts of certain people and in Paul’s day, who were these people? Let us look at verses 17 and 18.

17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

Paul takes the believers in Rome, back to the Old Testament book of Exodus where God was dealing with Pharaoh of Egypt to release His chosen people Israel from 400 years of slavery in that nation. He deliberately went to the book of Exodus to make them understand that God sometimes does harden people to achieve a greater purpose. What is hardening? Hardening is to deliberately do something so that the will of rebellion against God becomes stronger in a rebellious heart. Or

hardening could also be – God, deliberately not revealing the consequences of what is going to happen if anyone rejects Him by not doing His will and ignore His call on their lives so that they will be blinded to the truth. Tandis que it is not forcefully interfering with people’s free choices. God never does that, and He never does anything arbitrarily. Paul explains that just as God hardened Pharaoh’s heart in that day, God has hardened the hearts of all unbelieving Israel so that they will not be able to recognize their own Messiah and ultimately crucify Him. We will see that in detail in this video. So, it has nothing to do with God hardening the hearts of some of the unbelieving gentiles of today because there is no good reason for Him to do that. Let us investigate all this.

It is better to understand a little bit of the history of Israel before we understand our verses in context. To be honest, the book of Exodus is a super intense part of the biblical story. Pharaoh was the King of Egypt and was the worst person the Bible ever describes. This Pharaoh, the cruelest of all Kings of Egypt kept the Israelites in captivity and during his rule, he ruthlessly made them do the tasks of intense slavery. But God, at last, after 400 years of Israel’s slavery in Egypt, showered mercy on them. For this task of releasing them from their slavery, God chose Moses as their leader and a prophet, to fight against the Pharaoh. This is to, ultimately, fulfill the promise that God made to Abraham. God appears to Moses in a burning bush and asks him to go to Egypt and face Pharaoh. Moses refuses initially but God assures him that He will be with him always in Exodus 3:12. God even sends Aaron, Moses’ brother, with him as Moses complaints that he is not eloquent with his words. So, Moses finally agrees. Then, God begins to tell him all about the plan of Exodus of Israel. He says to Moses, “when you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go, “according to Exodus 4:21. This was the first mention of God hardening Pharaoh’s heart. Yes, God told Moses that He will harden Pharaoh’s heart i.e. in the future. As I said, this is not to be understood as God interfering with the freewill of man. If we study carefully, we understand that Pharaoh hardened his own heart against God at least for the first 3 times. Pharaoh hated the people of Israel. Let us check out the scripture references and read them in sequence. God first says he “knows” that Pharaoh will resist the demand to let the Israelites go (Exodus 3:19-20), and so God says that he will harden Pharaoh’s heart (Exodus 4:21, Exodus 7:3). This was according to His foreknowledge on how people will react to certain situations. So, it was only after Pharaoh resisted the will of God, did God harden his heart i.e. God did certain things like sending in the plagues to trigger Pharaoh’s ego and pride. By doing that, God made the will of Pharaoh stronger so that He will become more hard-hearted and resist the release of Israel. God did this as a judgement against him because of his initial sin of rebellion against the will of God. In other words, God was sending a message to Pharaoh like this – “do you want to hate my people? Fine, I will let you hate them even more.” This is also called God’s judicial hardening. Do you understand the point here? God gave Pharaoh what he wanted. Pharaoh brought God’s judgement upon himself by his own actions. Remember, God loves all people equally, but as I said, at the same time, He is also the God of justice. So, now, let us look at the actual sequence of events to prove the point that Pharaoh hardened his own heart first. These were the Ten Plagues that God sent upon Egypt as Pharaoh refuses to let the people of Israel go.

The plague of Blood: Pharaoh’s heart “became hard” (Exodus 7:22), The plague of Frogs: Pharaoh “hardened his own heart” (Exodus 8:15), The plague of Gnats: Pharaoh’s heart “was hard” (Exodus 8:19), The plague of Flies: “Pharaoh hardened his own heart” (Exodus 8:32), The plague of Livestock dying: Pharaoh’s heart “was hard” (Exodus 9:7).

Now, after the first five plagues, the Lord sees Pharaoh’s rebellion and pronounces judgement against Him in the form of judicial hardening. It can be understood as God arousing Pharaoh’s anger resulting in more arrogance. God also did this to show His glory i.e. to show His power in him, and that His name might be proclaimed in all the earth as said in our verse in context i.e. Romans 9:17. Let us look at what happened during the last five plagues.

The plague of Boils: “The Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (Exodus 9:12), The plague of Hail: Pharaoh “hardened his own heart again” (Exodus 9:34), The plague of Locusts: God announces that he has “hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (Exodus 10:1, Exodus 10:20), The plague of Darkness: God “hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (Exodus 10:27), The plague of the Death of the firstborn: God “hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (Exodus 11:10).

Do you see the sequence here? Alors, now let me ask you the question. Is it fair on God’s part to judge Pharaoh? The answer is yes because Pharaoh was rebellious even after witnessing all the destructive miracles of God. Pharaoh’s only rebellion was to resist God’s will i.e. the demand to let the Israelites go. So, God judging Pharaoh is justified because we have seen that God initially called Pharaoh to humble himself before Him, acknowledge that God is his authority and that he cannot redefine good and evil on Egyptian terms. But Pharaoh never let go off his arrogance, asking for more trouble. Paul also mentions that when God says that He has raised Pharaoh up for that very purpose, God meant that instead of striking Pharaoh down immediately because of his rebellion, He chose to harden him by triggering his ego and pride first, and then destroying him fulfilling His judgement. He did it all to glorify Himself. This is a direct reference from Exodus 9:15-16. Does God show mercy on whomever He wills and hardens whomever He wills? The answer to it is YES but as I said, God does not do anything randomly. He does it fulfilling His love and His justice at the same time. In fact, it is up to people on how they will respond to God’s love and mercy as God shows mercy to whoever confesses their sins and repents. Sometimes, God hardens the hearts of whoever resists the Word of God and rebels against doing His Will as well. But note that, God chooses this type of justice i.e. judicial hardening or making their evil will even stronger by arousing them, only if it serves a greater purpose. In Pharaoh’s case, the purpose was to spread His name in all the earth so that all people will have an opportunity to believe in Him and come back to Him. Now, the question remains, whom did God harden in Paul’s day? Why did Paul bring up this topic in the middle of Romans chapter 9? Paul deliberately brought this up to explain to the Romans, that God did harden the hearts of the nation of Israel who have mostly become hard-hearted to the love of God, just as He hardened the heart of Pharaoh. We know the hearts of the people of Israel from John 1:11 where they openly rejected their own savior, Jesus Christ. God could have annihilated Israel for their rebellion just as He did to Sodom and Gomorrah, but God chose judicial hardening for them, to achieve a greater purpose and also keeping the promise He made to Abraham, at the same time. Now, what was the greater purpose for which God chose judicial hardening for Israel? As I said, it is the execution of Jesus on the cross. Yes, if Israel knew that He was the promised Messiah, they wouldn’t have executed Him and if they didn’t do that, then the justice of God for the sins of the whole world, would not have been satisfied. This is the reason why Jesus spoke in parables, so that Israel would not understand what He was saying but He explained everything in private to His chosen apostles and other disciples in order to train them for the great commission i.e. to spread the gospel throughout the world. This was according to Mark 4:34. It was first prophesied by Isaiah in Isaiah 6:9-10 in which God said to him, “Go, and say to this people:” ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”

And if they are healed, as I said, they wouldn’t have crucified the Messiah which was necessary for the redemption of the world. So, God chose to be patient by judicially hardening Israel because of their rebellion and allowed them to crucify their own Messiah, so that the world might be saved through Him. Therefore, God chose to shower mercy on the rest of the world by hardening the rebellious Israel.

But now, Israel is free to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and make that decision to follow Christ. Let us pray that they realize this truth sooner than later i.e. before it is too late. Now, let us break this video here and when we come back, we will look at the potter and clay analogy that Paul used to explain further on how God deals with the nations and also understand how the salvation of individuals work. Until then, please stay tuned to Gospel in action and to know more about me, please find the link to my testimony and contact details in the description below. We encourage you to please subscribe to this channel, if you think the videos are beneficial for you to understand the Bible in more depth. Thank you again for watching.

Romance 9: 19-21

Hello – Welcome to Gospel in action. In the last video, we have seen who Pharaoh is and how he treated the Israelites before God rescued them out. We have also seen that God does not do anything arbitrarily and that He showers mercy on whoever confesses their sins and repents. He even sometimes, hardens whoever resists the word of God and rebels against doing His will, only to achieve a greater purpose. In this video, Paul continues to explain to Romans that God does not do anything randomly. He also explains to them, on how God works with respect to salvation of individuals, in a Potter and clay analogy using the scripture from the old testament, again, as he is building this case from the beginning of this chapter.

19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?”

Paul continues His defense for God from verse 18. So, now, someone may question God like this “why did God put Pharaoh in such a situation that he would resist His will? Is God not unjust in doing that? So, if God does everything by His wisdom and foreknowledge, why does He even find fault with us for resisting Him? It is God’s fault that He made us like this. Moreover, He always knew that we would resist Him and if He plans to do something, He does it anyway. So, who can stop God and who can resist His will?” We see such rhetorical questions being asked in Paul’s letters. It is typical of Paul to assume his audience’s questions and then answer them. The reason why he asked this question is because he knew that the most sinful people would blame God for their sins as He has made them, the way they are. These people try to evade their responsibility saying if God has everything predetermined, there is nothing that they need to do. That is why, the idea of predetermination is such a fatalistic idea. Remember that this is in the context of Paul explaining to the Romans that God hardened the hearts of the rebellious Israel. The same analogy is being applied by many unbelievers today saying that if God chose certain individuals for salvation already, then what have I to do? It is anyway, not in my control and hence, I will continue to live as I want satisfying my fleshly desires. They had a completely wrong understand of what God hardening people means. God kept Israel from recognizing their own messiah and hence, kept them from understanding the truth that He spoke as He spoke in parables. So, it never meant that unbelievers of today, have no responsibility. The truth of the matter is that man’s responsibility or man’s free Will is not a separate thing that we can even compare against God’s sovereignty. Man’s responsibility is included or comes under the umbrella of God’s sovereignty. We cannot separate both. Anyway, let us investigate on how Paul responded to this question. Let us look at verse 20.

20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded, say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”

Paul questions such people back saying “who do you think you are? Do you think you are God’s equal, to answer Him back?” Paul is not reprimanding in vain. There are real people, as we witness in our everyday lives, who are angry with God because of perceived issues like God didn’t allow this or allowed that or caused that etc. They are mad at God because things may not have happened according to their limited perception. Whatever may be the case, they cannot question God, who is their own Creator, like that. They cannot ask God – why have you made me like this? All of us may humble ourselves and genuinely ask Him anything but not in arrogance, as if we know more than God. We are the clay and God is God. We have been molded by Him, to be this perfect creation of His. So, our creator’s judgements are perfect. So, the truth that I believe, is that we are like this, because of our own decisions and actions. Today, those who are not at peace with God and those who are not having that joy in their lives always and those who are not content in their lives, they are like that because of their own choices. The good news, however, is that – all that can change in their lives. If you are that person, you are one decision away to make your life complete. So, come, come to Jesus. Your life will be changed for good. If we are in Christ, we will have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us, through whom we can choose to be joyful always and choose to be content in every situation. The power of sin will no longer be upon us.

Anyway, the conclusion is that there is no place for attacking or arguing against God because God is God, a perfect judge. We must be humble in every aspect, before God. He does everything in perfect love and perfect justice. We don’t need to doubt that one bit because if we read the passage, clearly, God’s hardening is not arbitrary. The passage implied that God showers mercy on people because of their obedience and on some occasions, hardens them because of their rebellion. So, God sometimes does harden people because of their evil works, to achieve a greater purpose. God knows everything. He is omniscient. Now, with this understanding, let us get into Paul’s potter and clay analogy in verse 21 to understand more on how God works with respect to the salvation of individuals.

21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?

Paul is quoting this from Jeremiah chapter 18 and verse 6 which says “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. Paul’s audience knew the context, the moment he mentioned the potter and clay. The context before this verse i.e. in verse 4 was that the clay was spoiled in the Potter’s hand and so he reworked it into another vessel for dishonorable use i.e. not what the clay was originally intended to be used for. But as most people in today’s day are not familiar with the old testament and have loads of presuppositions, they could not see things clearly and so, they are being stumbled. When Paul asks, “has the Potter no right over the clay?”, he did not mean that God is a monstrous god displaying some sort of a tyranny, who can do whatever he wants. There is a reason why He does things, the way He does, satisfying both His love and justice. In this case, the clay was spoiled which directly implies that Israel turned away from God and did evil things. So, now, let us see what God has to say to them in verses 7 through 10 – If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, 8 and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it.

9 And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, 10 and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it. In short, God says this to all nations that – although the consequence for turning away from me and doing evil things is destruction, I will show mercy and relent of the disaster that I intended to do to you, if you repent and turn from your evil ways and follow me.

And likewise, as in the case of Israel, God says – I will relent of the good that I intended to do if the nation rebels and does evil in my sight even after I have promised to build it and plant it. So, God initially intended Israel to be used as a vessel for honorable use i.e. He chose Israel for a very specific purpose and that purpose or service was to know God and reveal this good God to the rest of the world. But we know that Israel as a nation messed up this opportunity. So, as this vessel was spoiled, He turned it into a vessel for dishonorable use. Likewise, God would have showed mercy on the Pharaoh of Egypt and relent the disaster intended for him and his people, if he gave in to the demand of God of letting the people of Israel go. But he chose to harden his own heart and brought disaster upon himself and his nation. So, now, let me ask you – does the potter have the right over the clay? Yes, absolutely. He has the right to make out of the same lump, one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use. But it is dependent only on their responses to God’s call on their lives.

Likewise, He has the right to show mercy and forgive our sins when we repent and put our trust in Christ and then He transforms us to be the vessels for honorable use i.e. of worshiping Him forever.

And, He has the right to harden certain individuals and leave them for dishonorable use i.e. for them to die in their own sins and ultimately rot in hell, if they continue to be rebellious to the loving call of God on their lives. All this because our God is also the God of justice. He is impartial and upholds the justice of the highest order.

So, what category of people group do we want to be part of? Do we want to be part of the vessels of honorable use or the vessels of dishonorable use? Yes, we can choose. We have the free will. Paul confirms this again in 2 Timothy 2:20-21 where he says Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable.

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. In short, Paul appeals to everyone that in God’s great house, there are vessels for honorable use and others for dishonorable use like we described earlier. Now, how can anyone become honorable? If anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will become a vessel for honorable use.

Here, cleansing is being born of the water and of the Spirit as mentioned in John 3:5 which means to be cleansed completely from our sins and to be filled and be sealed with His Holy Spirit i.e. through our faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross.

When we cleanse ourselves by our faith, we will be set apart as holy, useful to God and be ready for every good work. Make no mistake here. It was God who initiated the process of salvation and then, we believed.

He loved us so much that He gave His only begotten son to die on the cross in our place, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life according to John 3:16.

Let us break this video here and when we come back, we will investigate whether God gives enough chances and be patient with the vessels of dishonorable use before destroying them or not. Until then, please stay tuned to Gospel in action and to know more about me, please find the link to my testimony and contact details in the description below. We encourage you to please subscribe to this channel, if you think the videos are beneficial for you to understand the Bible in more depth. Thank you again for watching.

Romance 9: 22-26

Hello – Welcome to Gospel in action. In the last video, we have seen how God justly makes a group of people for honorable use and the other group for dishonorable use depending on their responses to God’s call on their lives and not arbitrarily, in the Potter and clay analogy. In this video, we will investigate how God dealt with the people of dishonorable use i.e. the vessels who prepared themselves for destruction. We will see God’s patience towards such people. Let us look at verse 22.

22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?

Notice that, this verse starts with a ‘What if.’ It is a question that Paul is asking, for the Romans to think clearly about God’s glory, God’s justice and God’s patience. He is clearing their misunderstanding on why God sometimes hardens people’s hearts instead of annihilating them immediately for their actions. As I said, it is to achieve a greater purpose i.e. to uphold His glory. It does not give God pleasure to annihilate His own creation, but justice must somehow, be served. So, for the justice to be upheld, God could have annihilated Israel from the face of the earth for their rebellion just like He eliminated Sodom and Gomorrah. Note that, wrath or anger is not an eternal attribute of God. God never displayed wrath with the eternal Jesus or the eternal Holy Spirit. There was only love between them. But, in time, God expresses wrath in order to deal with unrighteousness and to make His power known. Anyway, if God eliminated Israel, His glory would have been compromised because of His promise to Abraham that He would make him a great nation so that his descendants would be a blessing for the rest of the world. In Pharaoh’s case, however, there was no promise and when God successfully brought Israel out of their slavery, everyone praised Him, and He glorified Himself. However, if Pharaoh repented, God could have spared him, but he did not. Paul says that in Israel’s case, God endured with them for so long. He gave them many opportunities to choose to come to Him by sending various prophets, all through the Old Testament. But Israel never came back to God till date. Now, let me ask you – what did Israel now become? The hard-hearted Israel tested God’s patience and became a vessel of the wrath of God and prepared themselves for destruction. If not for God’s promise to Abraham, God would have eliminated them from the face of the earth. But God could not do that. How could He compromise His glory which is necessary for all people of the world to come to Him? Although, He desired to show His wrath over Israel, He wanted to make known of His power i.e. His glory to the rest of the world because He knows that He is the only hope for the rest of the world, if it were to be saved. If the world does not accept God and Christ’s sacrifice for them, they will all be destroyed ultimately in their own sins. God does not want that for them. Now, let us continue to read verse 23.

23 In order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory.

While the vessels of wrath are the rebellious nation of Israel in this context, vessels of mercy are whoever repents, confesses their sins, trusts and believes in Jesus Christ as their only Lord and savior. Note that, the vessels of wrath could also be anyone who deliberately chooses to not obey Jesus Christ. John 3:36 says the wrath of God remains on such people as there is no other way apart from Christ, that the wrath could be lifted. But we witness God’s great patience towards all those people as well. Anyway, the verse says that God has endured with much patience with the rebellious Israel, the vessels of God’s wrath, in order to make known the riches of His glory for the vessels of mercy, in this case, the Gentiles. So, Paul is letting the Romans know that – as part of the great plan, God has extended the salvation to the Gentiles because of Israel’s rebellion to ultimately bring Israel back through the Gentiles. But the salvation to the Gentiles must come from the Jews only according to John 4:22 and this was decreed by God beforehand i.e. long long ago. For that purpose, i.e. for the sake of the Gentiles, God endured Israel’s rebellion with much patience. And now, the Gentiles are being saved through their faith in Jesus Christ, who is a Jew. Thus, God kept His promise to Abraham, now that the salvation to everyone is still coming from the Jews i.e. through Jesus Christ. God did all this to uphold His glory. Note that, this verse says, ‘He has prepared them’ whereas in the last verse it did not say that implying God saves those who are the vessels of mercy, who are anyone who believes and in the case of the vessels of wrath, they prepared themselves for destruction, clearly stating that God did not prepare them for destruction. In Greek language, this distinction can be very clearly seen. Now, let us move on to verse 24.

24 même nous qu'il a appelés, non seulement des Juifs, mais aussi des Gentils ?

In this verse, Paul is clarifying to the Roman believers on who really are these vessels of mercy. The vessels of mercy, hence, are all those people who are not only from the remnant of the believing Israel i.e. the messianic Jews, but also all those people who are born again into the Kingdom of God from the Gentile world i.e. the rest of the world. Paul rejoices that God has called all of them including him to be part of the Kingdom of God and are now, one family in Christ. This is beautiful And Paul also clarifies that this plan of God to include the Gentiles for salvation was not a new plan, but it was decreed by God long ago through the prophet Hosea in the Old Testament. Let us read verses 25 and 26 as Paul quotes directly from Hosea 2:23 and Hosea 1:10.

25As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’” “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”

Do you see that? In the context of Hosea, God was calling Israel as ‘Not His people,’ and ‘Not beloved’ because of her rebellion and whoredom. But God promised that He will bring Israel back and that He will shower mercy upon her by alluring her and speaking tenderly to her in Hosea 2:14. Here, Israel is referred to a woman and hence God is calling the nation as ‘her.’ And the prophecy goes on as Israel would respond to God saying that God is her husband and she will no longer call Him Baal in verse 16.

And then later, the prophecy states that God will make a covenant with Israel and will betroth her forever in faithfulness and then she will know the Lord truly in verses 18 and 20.

That was the time when God says to Israel that they are His people and Israel will say that He is her God in verse 23. So, let me ask you – who is this Israel that God is talking about? He is talking about the physical Israel becoming the spiritual Israel of God. We already know who all are included in the spiritual Israel – it is both the physical Israel who began to believe in God i.e. the messianic Jews and whoever are truly born again into the Kingdom of God from the Gentile world i.e. us.

The covenant that God made in Hosea 2:18 is the New covenant that He made with Israel and in that New covenant, He included everybody. That was God’s plan from the very beginning. Can God do that? Can He include the Gentiles in His plan of salvation? Of course, Yes. He is sovereign enough to make that decision. Will that arouse Jealousy in the hearts of the people of the rest of Israel? Absolutely i.e. only if they still have the love of God within them which is currently dormant. They are cold right now because their hearts are still hard. During this time of most of Israel’s hard-hearted rebellion, many Gentiles are being gathered into the Kingdom of God according to Romans 11:25 i.e. who are actually ‘Not God’s people’ are becoming ‘God’s people’ and who are originally ‘Not His beloved’ are now becoming ‘His beloved.» This has also been prophesied by Isaiah in Isaiah 56. He says in Isaiah 56:8 that The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, “I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.” This was prophesied 700 years prior to Jesus Christ. Paul also quotes Isaiah 65:1 in Romans 10:20 explaining the same thing. The Lord said, “I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me”. The Lord was referring to the gathering of the Gentiles in the future while Israel is still in rebellion. This is how we were all saved in the first place.

Now, those of you who have not yet believed in Christ, do you want to be called God’s people? Do you want to be called God’s beloved? The invitation from God is open for you to freely come to Him. What is stopping you? Are you worried that your family will ostracize you? Are you worried that you will put your family to shame on a public platform? I can relate to your pain because I was once in that confusion. But remember, the world itself is in darkness and you are trying to come into the light. When you do that, you will not be disappointed. God will work things out with your family members just as He is doing in my case. I have a great relationship with my parents today. Through they are not Christ’s followers yet, they accepted my faith and appreciate the work I am doing to reach out to humanity. So, please don’t waste any more time as the time is short. This is the time for salvation. Come, come to Jesus. All your life’s questions will be answered, and you will have joy, peace and contentment in your life. God bless you.

Let us break this video here and when we come back, we will see the fate of Israel whether all of Israel will be saved or not saved. Until then, please stay tuned to Gospel in action and to know more about me, please find the link to my testimony and contact details in the description below. We encourage you to please subscribe to this channel, if you think the videos are beneficial for you to understand the Bible in more depth. Thank you again for watching.

Romance 9: 27-33

Hello – Welcome to Gospel in Action. In the last video, we have seen how God dealt with the people of dishonorable use i.e. the vessels who prepared themselves for destruction. In this video, we will see how God could have annihilated Israel because of their rebellion and how they failed in pursuing the righteousness while the Gentiles pursued it through faith. Let us look at verses 27 and 28.

And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.”

Paul is quoting this from Isaiah 10:20-25. This was a prophecy from Isaiah which was already fulfilled for Israel. The prophecy was that the Lord would judge Israel for its disobedience. The judgement would come in the form of an attack from the empire of Assyria upon the Northern Kingdom of Israel and in a lesser sense, also upon the southern Kingdom of Judah. Isaiah prophesies that despite this coming attack of the Assyrians, upon the nation of Israel, God tells the nation to not be afraid of the Assyrians. Because God says that though the judgement and correction are coming, I will destroy and put an end to the Assyrian army. He says that whoever are remaining and are aware of this prophecy, will have an opportunity to trust and believe in God again and glorify Him for the victory that He will give them.

Hence, in verse 20, Isaiah says that in that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more, lean on him who struck them, but will lean on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. So, Paul brings this past of Israel and connects it to the present. He asks that if God saved only a remnant in the Old Testament and promised that only a remnant would survive judgement, what makes the Jewish people of his own day feel secure that their Jewishness will save them?

Again, Paul was emphasizing the fact that even the Jewish people will have to believe and trust in their Messiah, to be saved and that they will not be saved through their ethnicity. He was trying to clear their huge misunderstanding. So, in these verses, he was expressing his grief that if Israel does not humble themselves and does not believe in their Messiah, out of the innumerable sons of Israel as good as the sand of the sea, only a few handful of them who genuinely surrender their lives to Christ, will be saved and that the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the whole earth fully and quickly. So, Paul is appealing to all the Jewish people of the earth to recognize their Messiah and come to Him without delay because Jesus may return at any time to bring the final judgement. If that happens, it will be too late for all people who have given a rebellious deaf ear to the gospel of Jesus Christ. He says that the Lord is enduring with much patience with respect to all of them, i.e. the vessels of wrath who prepared themselves for destruction. Let us continue reading further. Verse 29.

29 And as Isaiah predicted, “If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring, we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah.”

Paul continues his point by quoting Isaiah 1:9. He says that Israel was acting like the people of Sodom and Gomorrah which was the epitome of sin. Paul continues saying that if not for Abraham’s promise, God would have judged the entire nation just like He judged and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. He further says that Israel as a nation are fortunate to have any survivors because God demands justice and not mere sacrifices. This was according to Isaiah 1:7-17. As I said before, God is a God of justice and at the same time, He is a God of mercy. He requires people’s hearts and not their works of righteousness or sacrifices. These are all warnings against Israel even to this present day. Now, let us move on and read verses 30 and 31.

30 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith.31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law.

Here, Paul was emphasizing a very important point of the whole of the Bible. From the time, God called Abraham in the Old Testament, salvation to mankind was always through faith and not based on anything else. Paul dedicated an entire chapter in this book, i.e. Romans 4 explaining that Abraham was justified by faith and not according to works. So, he explains why Gentiles are being saved and not the Israelites in his day. The Gentiles who never had the law or rather who never knew the law, did not pursue righteousness by the law. They pursued righteousness by believing the good news of Jesus Christ. They pursued it by their faith and God saved them. On contrast, Israel were stuck in their traditions, and rituals where they continued in their misunderstanding, gave a deaf ear to the truth and to this day, trying to pursue righteousness through the law, by which they will never succeed. In fact, no one can keep the law perfectly and live except one man who did it i.e. Jesus Christ. For this reason, everyone needs Jesus Christ as their savior, a savior who lived a perfect life, who kept the law and who died in their place to redeem them from their sins so that they may live His life in such a way that it will lead them to Holiness.

Paul says in Romans 3:10 that None is righteous, no, not one but righteousness of God can only be attained through faith in Jesus Christ i.e. for all who believe as said in verse 22 of chapter 3. So, because Israel only pursued the law in terms of human effort instead of trusting in God, who transforms the hearts, they will perish but only a remnant of them who understand this, and who would respond to God’s grace from their hearts i.e. the messianic Jews will be saved. Now, let us read verse 32.

32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone.

In fact, Israel did seek the law but missed the whole point of the law by stressing the works rather than the faith. Faith was the law’s point. Faith was the right approach to the law. So, because Israel failed to follow the right approach to the law and pursued righteousness by mere human effort, they have stumbled over the stumbling stone. That means, they have stumbled when it was time to recognize their own Messiah who came to save them. Jesus Christ was the stumbling stone upon whom they stumbled upon. And hence, they rejected Him and killed Him. It is not too late for them, even to this day. They can still choose to repent and accept Jesus Christ into their lives. That was what Paul was saying in the last verse.

33 as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

In this verse, Paul was following a common Jewish interpretion practice of blending scriptures together. He used Isaiah 28:16 and Isaiah 8:14 together because the former probably alludes back to the later. This type of blending probably made sense to his then, Jewish readers than anyone.

Anyway, the whole point of Paul was that the same stone that caused Israel to stumble in Isaiah 8:14, which also speaks of the stone as a sanctuary implying that it is Jesus Christ Himself, would save those who believed in Isaiah 28:16. This is exactly what Paul was conveying from the beginning of this chapter. So, let us do a quick summary of Romans chapter 9 as we came to the end of it. Paul explained how he had burden for his fellow brothers who are being perished because of their rebellion. He expressed his anguish on how they all had every spiritual blessing and that they are trashing everything by their own actions. Then, he went on explaining that although they rebelled, God’s word has not failed. He explained God’s plan from the beginning of time and how it is now being unfolded. He began with Israel’s beginning and how God dealt with them. Paul explained how God hand-picked Israel not by the blood but by the promise and not by the works but because of His call i.e. through His wisdom and foreknowledge, so that no one can boast. Why did God do that? He did that to keep His promise to Abraham and to bring the Messiah through their lineage to fulfill that promise. Paul further goes on to defend God saying that no one can find fault with Him and that He did everything in perfect justice upholding His glory. Just like He hardened the heart of the Pharaoh of Egypt because of his rebellion before annihilating him through the process of slow judgement, God has judicially hardened the rebellious Israel so that He can include the Gentile world into the Kingdom of God, during this time of Israel’s slow judgement. During this time, God is still displaying tremendous patience towards Israel who are now the vessels of His wrath who prepared themselves for destruction. As a last resort, God is giving them, yet another opportunity to feel jealous looking at the progress of the Gentiles, so that Israel may repent, confess their sins and come to Him for Him to save them. As part of this opportunity, God is using the saved Gentiles to evangelize to these hard-hearted Jews so that they can be saved and be once again included as part of God’s spiritual Israel i.e. His eternal Kingdom. You may now ask – how can Israel believe if their hearts are hardened? Yes, their hearts are hardened, or I should say, that they have been kept away from the truth for a little while because of their rebellion. This was only until God’s purpose of executing the Messiah has been fulfilled and the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. Hence, Israel are now la plupart free to hear the message of the gospel, understand it and respond positively. The Bible says that they were still partially hardened according to Romans 11:25 in Paul’s day. We have come a long way since then. So, God wants Israel to respond to Him through faith and not by works. Let us break this video here and when we come back, we shall begin the marriage series. Until then, please stay tuned to Gospel in action and to know more about me, please find the link to my testimony and contact details in the description below. We encourage you to please subscribe to this channel, if you think the videos are beneficial for you to understand the Bible in more depth. Thank you again for watching.