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bible study devotion

Devotion: For unto us a Child is born

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Isaiah 9:6

For a child is born to us. A son is given to us; and the government will be on his shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Commentary

Isaiah prophesied the birth of Jesus Christ 700 years before it happened. Isn’t this mind-bogging? Who can make a prophesy 700 years before it happen and fulfill it 700 years later? The statistical chance of this occurring is 1 in 10 to the power of 17.  Suppose you put 10 to the power of 17 pieces of paper into a huge container and mark out one as special. If you pick out one piece of paper at random, the chance of getting that specially marked-out paper is 1 in 10 to the power of 17. This is statistically impossible but with God all things are possible!

A child is born to us

2000 years ago, Jesus Christ was born on Christmas day for us.

A son is given to us

2000 years ago, God gave His Son, Jesus Christ to us on Christmas day, to save us from sin and death, John 3:16. God, the Father, and Jesus Christ are the first and second persons of the Trinity respectively.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:16

And the government will be on his shoulder

Jesus Christ is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords who carries the whole world upon His shoulders. 

His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of peace.

These are four messianic titles of Jesus Christ that are self-explanatory, Counselor, God Almighty, Eternal Father, and Prince of Peace

APPLICATION: 

Jesus Christ is God’s perfect Christmas gift to humanity. This is a free gift, given by grace, by faith, and by Christ alone. A gift is only a gift until you receive it. You receive this gift by faith and by believing in Christ. Have you received God’s perfect Christmas gift for you? You can receive it right now, where ever you are. In a simple but sincere prayer, tell God that you are a sinner and that you believe that Jesus died for you on the cross to pay the punishment of your sins for you. By faith, surrender your life to Him. This is the first step to salvation, but it is the most important one. If you said this prayer, find a local bible believing church, and tell the pastor about your decision. Worship, serve, and grow your faith in the local church.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us Your Son as the perfect Christmas gift to us 2000 years ago. Thank You for salvation, justification, sanctification, and eternal life. Thank You that human beings will live forever more because of Christmas day, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Categories
bible study devotion

Devotion: the Word became flesh

by Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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John 1:14

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we come before You with reverence and awe. We pray for quiet, soft, receptive, and teachable hearts. Speak to us as we listen to You, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

The Word became flesh

The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth

John 1:14

Commentary

I will dissect this verse into 5 parts.

The Word became flesh

The Word is Jesus Christ. The Word became flesh means incarnation. Incarnate means embodied in flesh. Jesus is the embodiment of God in human flesh. Jesus of Nazareth stepped out from eternity into our time-space continuum and became a man 2000 years ago. This explains why the calendar is divided into BC and AD.

In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God

John 1:1

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched, this we proclaim concerning the Word of life

1 John 1:1

made His dwelling among us

The Greek word for “dwelling” is “tabernacle”. God dwelled among the Israelites in the tabernacle and later, the temple.  The tabernacle or temple was a foreshadow of Jesus Christ. Today, Jesus tabernacled among us. The body of a Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit. When someone is born again, the Holy Spirit tabernacled in his/her body. During the inauguration of the first temple, Solomon asked whether God would really dwell in the temple that he built, 1 Kings 8:27. God answered this question 1000 years later when Jesus came to earth and dwelled among us!

But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!

1 Kings 8:27

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

1 Corinthians 6:10

If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make Our dwelling place with him

John 14:23, amplified Bible

we have seen His glory

The Greek word for glory is “doxa” which means splendour. “We” is a plural pronoun. John and the apostles had seen, heard, and touched Jesus. They saw the glory, grace, and truth of the Son of God. John was not only an eyewitness of Jesus but also a reliable one. John was a cousin of Jesus because his mother Salome and Jesus’ mother Mary were cousins. As children, they would have played together as a family. This was how close they were. 

the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father

The Greek word for one and only is “monogenes’’ which means the only unique or the only begotten. Jesus Christ, the unique Son of God, came from the Father as the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.

He was in the beginning with God

John 1:2

No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known

John 1:18

full of Grace and Truth

Grace is to get something that we do not deserve. Truth is something that is authentic. The Hebrew words for grace and truth are “hesed” and “emet”, which means unfailing love and faithfulness. Hesed and emet in the Old Testament correspond to Grace and Truth in the New Testament. Salvation is by the Grace of God through faith in Christ, who is Truth. 

So, the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness

John 1:14 (a), NLT

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

Ephesians 2:8

I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me

John 14:6

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free

John 8:32

Application

Jesus Christ stepped out from eternity into our time-space domain to become a human being. Jesus Christ is God in a human body. He is not just a good man, wise teacher, or prophet. He is fully God and fully man. He is God whom you can know, see, hear, love, and relate to. He is the message, the Word of God. 

Do you know Jesus? Do you want to know  Him? You can know Him right now, right where you are.

If you want to know Jesus say this prayer with me:

Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner. Please forgive me. I believe You died on the cross to pay the punishment of my sin for me. I surrender my life to You, in Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

If you prayed this prayer you are born again as a child of God. This is the first step. Find a Bible-believing church near you, inform the church pastor about your decision, and join in the fellowship of believers to grow and mature in the faith.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son Jesus Christ to step out of eternity into our time-space domain to live among us. Thank You for showing us Your Glory, Unfailing Love, Faithfulness, Grace, and Truth. Thank You for the gift of salvation and eternal life by grace through faith in Christ, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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bible study devotion

Devotion: if God is for us

If God is for us, who can be against us?

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Romans 8:31-34

A rhetorical question is a question that requires no answer. The question is asked in order to make a point rather than to get an answer. Paul’s favorite way of teaching is by asking and answering his own rhetorical questions. In this passage, Paul asked an imaginary opponent four rhetorical questions and answered all of them.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Romans 8:31-34

The first question is found in verse 31, ”what then shall say to these things?”

What things was Paul referring to? All the things preceding Romans 8: 31, for example, the wrath of God, the grace of God, and so on. How do we respond to these things? We must take heed and do what is required.

The second question is found in verse 32, ”If God is for us, who can be against us?” 

God is for us. He does not condemn us. He justified us by grace through faith in Christ. He adopted us into His family as children of God. He sanctified us. 

If God is on our side, then we have nothing to worry about at all. Martin Luther said, ”with God, one is a majority”.

The third question is found in verse 33, ”who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?”

If we ever start to doubt the love of God, we must look back to the cross again. On the cross, God did not even spare his One and Only Son whom He loved. Paul’s argument is this, if God gave us His very best, He cannot give us anything less. If God gave us His Only Son, He can give us anything.

Our hearts can condemn us, but God promised no condemnation for those who are in Christ.

The fourth question is found in verse 34, ”Who is he who condemns?” 

there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus

Romans 8:1

because if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our hearts don’t condemn us, we have boldness toward God

1 John 3:20-21

Satan can condemn us, but God justified us. John Newton said,

I am a great sinner but Jesus is a great Saviour

John Newton

for the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down

Rev 12:10 b

The final answer is found in verse 34 b

Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead so that we can live. He is now seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven to make intercession for us.

Therefore he is also able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, seeing that he lives forever to make intercession for them.

Hebrews 7:25

Application

Do you have trials and temptations? Do you have troubles anywhere? Are you discouraged?

You can carry everything to Jesus in prayer. He gives you peace and bears your sorrows. He knows all your weaknesses. If Jesus is for you, who cares what others think?

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus, Your final answer to Paul’s rhetorical questions. You gave us Your Son to die for us on the cross to give us eternal life. Thank You for salvation by grace and justification by faith in Christ. We claim the promise of Ephesians 2: 8-9,

for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast

Ephesians 2:8-9

in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen