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Acts volumes 1 and 2: from Jerusalem to Rome

by Dr. Andrew C S Koh

Amazon ranking No 1 in Life Application Christian Bibles.

Description:

Acts is a sequel to the gospel of Luke, written by Luke between 70-90 AD, in Rome. This is a historical narrative of the first-century Christian church from 33 to 60 AD. It is an action-packed, fast-moving, Hollywood-style narrative on the adventures of Peter, Paul and others.

Reviews:

This is an educational journey in the Book of Acts as only Dr. Koh can so brilliantly explain. A good book

R E Creech, Bookbub, Goodraesd, 5 stars

A very informative read about the travels of Peter and Paul, two Apostles who greatly influenced Christian teachings. Those amazing miracles and sermons help us to think differently about our lives. Very inspiring book. Beautiful prayers accompany each chapter. I am on the ARC team. I leave an honest review. I recommend this book to other readers

J Sharmani, Amazon, 5 Stars

What an excellent novel to use as a guide for a weekly Bible Study Group. Many of us do not know that Acts is a sequel to the gospel of Luke. It is written by Luke somewhere between 70-90 AD. Luke looks back on the world of the first-century Christian church. Take a chance to step out of our tightly conservative view of the church and follow along with Luke, Peter, Paul, and others as they journey through the world of the first Jewish Christian believers. We travel with the first believers from Jerusalem to Samaria all the way to Rome. This book will introduce the reader to the sermons and testimonies of Peter and Paul. You will come across many “firsts” in Acts, e.g., the birth of the first-century Christian church, the first miracle, the first sermon, the first Christian martyr, the first Christian burial, the first Gentile convert, the first European Christian convert, etc. This is the time of the first hundred years of our heritage. What a joy for the reader. I received this novel from StoryOrigin. This is my true and honest review

P A Reinert, Bookbub, 5 stars

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bible study devotion

Devotion: the greatest of these is love

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Prayer

Heavenly Father, open our spiritual eyes to see, ears to hear, minds to understand, and hearts to apply and obey the truth of Your words. Help us engage in Your word for the transformation of hearts and renewal of minds, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. Love is not a spiritual gift but it is the first fruit of the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Commentary

1 Corinthians 13 is the love chapter.

The Greek word for love is agape, which means selfless, sacrificial love, and unconditional love. Agape is the highest form of love. 

Without love, speaking in tongues is noisy and irritating. Without love, prophesy, words of knowledge, faith, selfless giving, and even martyrdom are valueless in God’s eyes. 

Paul spelled out the 17 characteristics of what love is, what love is not, and what love does and does not do. Love is patient, kind, not jealous, not boastful, not proud, not rude, not abusive, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not rejoice in evil and injustice, rejoices in truth, never gives up, always trusts, always hopes, always persevere, never fails. Even, prophecies, tongues, and knowledge will fail but not love. 

On this side of eternity, we do not have full revelation, perfect vision, and comprehensive knowledge. Our speech, understanding, and thoughts are only partial at best. We are works in progress being sanctified by the Holy Spirit into spiritual maturity. 

Comparing the three virtues of love, faith, and hope, the greatest of these is love.

Application

Love is the first and greatest fruit of the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23. Love covers a multitude of sins, 1 Peter 4:8. Love is the greatest commandment, horizontal love to others, and vertical love to God, Matthew 22:23.

Do you love the Lord with all your hearts, souls, and minds? Do you love your neighbour as yourself? 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23, NIV

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

1 Peter 4:8

Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’

Matthew 22:23

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for teaching us to love. Help us to obey Your commandment to love You with all our hearts, souls, and minds and to love our neighbours as ourselves. Help us to love others just as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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Devotion: charge that to my account

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Philemon: 10-25

Philemon is a story on providence. Onesimus escaped to Rome and met the great apostle Paul. Paul saved his soul and gave him a new life, a new faith, a new hope, and a new beginning. Reconciled to his old master Philemon and freed from slavery, he served his new master Jesus Christ. 

Philemon 10-25

10 I beg you for my child, whom I have become the father of in my chains, Onesimus,11 who once was useless to you, but now is useful to you and to me. 12 I am sending him back. Therefore receive him, that is, my own heart, 13 whom I desired to keep with me, that on your behalf he might serve me in my chains for the Good News. 14 But I was willing to do nothing without your consent, that your goodness would not be as of necessity, but of free will. 15 For perhaps he was therefore separated from you for a while, that you would have him forever, 16 no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much rather to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. 17 If then you count me a partner, receive him as you would receive me. 18 But if he has wronged you at all or owes you anything, put that to my account. 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it (not to mention to you that you owe to me even your own self besides).20 Yes, brother, let me have joy from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in the Lord. 21 Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even beyond what I say. 22 Also, prepare a guest room for me, for I hope that through your prayers I will be restored to you.23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, 24 as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. 25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Philemon:10-25

Commentary

Paul converted, mentored, and adopted Onesimus as his spiritual godson. Onesimus in Greek means useful. Note the wordplay. The Greek word for useless is “achreston”. The Greek word for useful is “euchreston”. Onesimus, (useful), who was once useless (achreston) to Philemon was now useful (euchestron) to him. 

When he knew that Onesimus ran away from Philemon, he quickly sent Onesimus back to him. He urged Philemon to extend his right hand of fellowship to Onesimus.  

Paul wanted to keep Onesimus but not without Philemon’s blessing. Paul urged Philemon to receive Onesimus as a brother in Christ and set him free. In the first-century world, a runaway slave had committed a capital crime. Paul took a risk by sending Onesimus back. Onesimus could face capital punishment. 

Paul told Philemon to charge all of Onesimus’s crimes into his (Paul’s) account reminding him (Philemon) that he owed him (Paul) his soul. Paul emphasised that he hand-wrote this letter. 

Paul urged Philemon to forgive and release Onesimus. Paul requested Philemon to pray for his own release and prepare a guest room for him

Paul was a team player with a personal touch. He sent greetings from Epaphras, Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke. Epaphras was also a prisoner in Rome. He pronounced a blessing of grace to Philemon. 

Application

Onesimus ran away from his master. Have you run away from your master Jesus Christ? If you have, you must come back to Him and be useful to Him again, 1 John 1:9. 

No matter what circumstances you may be facing today it will eventually work for good in your favour. You may not see it now but you will see it in the future, Romans 8:28. 

You and I are sinners before a Holy God. We owed a debt of sin to God that we could never repay. Jesus Christ paid for our sin debt 2000 years ago, when He died on the cross. Jesus charged our debt of sin into His account.

According to tradition, Philemon forgave and freed Onesimus and he became a bishop of Ephesus. Onesimus was arrested, tortured, and martyred for his faith.

Jesus Christ forgave us. He restored us to fellowship when we come back to him in repentance.

Romans 6: 23, “for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord’’.

2 Corinthians 5:21, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”.

Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose”. 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the epistle of Philemon. Thank You for the promise of Romans 8:28. Thank You for the forgiveness of sins, salvation by grace, justification by faith in Christ, sanctification, and the gift of eternal life. We pray for those who have run away from You to return back to You and be useful to You in the kingdom again, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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bible study devotion

Devotion: Grace and Peace

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Setting

Paul wrote 4 prison epistles during his first Roman imprisonment between AD 60-62, Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon. Nero arrested Paul and put him under house arrest in Rome where he awaited trial. He lived in a house chained to a Roman Pretorian guard 24 hours a day. Epaphras visited Paul with a love gift from the Collosian church. 

Philemon was a wealthy man from Colossae whom Paul converted and mentored in Ephesus. He (Philemon) returned to Colossae and planted the Colossian house church. Onesimus was one of Philemon’s slaves who ran away and escaped to Rome. There, Onesimus met Paul who converted and mentored him. Tychicus accompanied Onesimus to Philemon with this personal letter from Paul, Colossians 4:7-9. Ancient Colossae was a Roman province along the Lycus River valley in Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey.

Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him

Acts 28:16

 Philemon: 1-9.

Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon, our beloved fellow worker, to the beloved Apphia, to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the assembly in your house: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers,hearing of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all the saints, that the fellowship of your faith may become effective in the knowledge of every good thing which is in us in Christ Jesus. For we have much joy and comfort in your love because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.Therefore though I have all boldness in Christ to command you that which is appropriate, yet for love’s sake I rather beg, being such a one as Paul, the aged, but also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. 

Philemon:1-9

Commentary

Paul mentioned his spiritual godson, Timothy, as his co-worker, in his opening salutation. Paul considered himself a prisoner of Jesus Christ and not Nero. Paul had great insight. He new that it was Jesus Christ and not Nero who put him in prison.  Nero had no power to incarcerate and imprison Paul unless Jesus Christ sanctioned it.

Paul greeted Philemon, Apphia, and Archippus, his co-workers in the gospel. Scholars believed that Apphia was Philemon’s wife and Archippus was Philemon’s son, who was also a pastor of the Colossian house church. The Greek word for grace is “charis”, which means getting what we do not deserve to get. The Hebrew word for peace is “shalom”, which means tranquility. Paul combined the Greek greeting of grace with the Hebrew greeting of peace. Grace and peace come to us from God, the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace precedes peace. Justification and forgiveness of sin result in triple peace, peace with God, peace from God, and peace of God, Philippians 4:6-7, Romans 5:1-2. Paul was a prayer warrior. He wrestled with God in prayer every day, remembering all his friends, and co-workers, by name, and interceding for them. Paul took the time to pray specifically for Philemon.

Paul was encouraged by Philemon’s love for the Lord, love for the saints, and love for the Gospel. The Greek word for saint is “hagios”, which means holy or separated. Christians are saints because they are holy and separated to serve God. Christians are holy people and a royal priesthood, 1 Peter 2:9.

Paul was refreshed when he remembered the time he spent with Philemon in Ephesus. The Greek word for refreshed is “anapsucho”, which means relief. Paul found joy, encouragement, comfort, and relief in Philemon’s love and faithfulness.

Paul was old by now. Although he had the apostolic authority to command Philemon to free Onesimus, he preferred to be diplomatic.

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light

1 Peter 2:9

For this reason, I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church

1 Corinthians 4:17

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light

1 Peter 2:9

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus

Philippians 4:6-7

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God

Romans 5:1-2

Application

Paul was a prayer warrior. Even though in chains, he spent time interceding for everyone. Are you a prayer warrior? Do you pray for all your family, relatives, friends, colleagues, church members, acquaintances, and co-workers, mentioning them by name and interceding for them at a personal level?

Paul rejoiced even though he was in chains. Paul thought about others even though he was incarcerated. He was Christ-centered, and others-centered but never self-centered. Are you Christ-centered, others-centered or self-centered?

Have you experienced the peace from God that transcends all understanding? Have you experienced the triple peace, peace from God, Peace with God, and the peace of God? 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, help us to rejoice even when things are not going smoothly in our lives. Help us to be Christ-centered, and others-centered but never be self-centered. Help us to be prayer warriors. Help us to take the time to intercede for our family, friends, and co-workers by name, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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1 Corinthians: the greatest of these is love

By Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Amazon Ranking No 1 in King James Christian Bibles.

Foreword:

by Archbishop Ng Moon Hing, Anglican Archbishop of Southeast Asia

Many people, including Christians, are looking for a perfect church. Someone once said this aptly, ‘

If you find a perfect church, please do not join it; because once you join it, it will become imperfect.’

Christians today are always very critical of their church and leadership. They seem to think that the grass is greener next door. They are unconsciously hoping for a ‘Garden of Eden’ within their church. Unfortunately, some Christians resolve to leave their church, which is imperfect, and journey to the next church, which they think is better.

Reviews:

Dr. Andrew C S Koh has done a wonderful job in creating this Bible study on 1st Corinthians. As a Religious Studies major, this book of the Bible was one of my favorites to study and it was nice to have this book to revisit those favorite passages and dwell in thought on them

R E Creech, Goodreads, Bookbub, 5 stars

1 Corinthians is a Christ-centered, life-changing, Bible study, and daily devotional guide for readers from all walks of life. Dr. Andrew C S Koh emphasized that all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and all are given for us to learn and grow. The study is well-written, and broken down into units for each participant to review and learn from the word of God. I received this novel from StoryOrigin. This review is my honest opinion

P A Reinert, Goodreads, 5 stars

A Great Read and a very inspiring book on the teaching of Apostle Paul. A clear explanation of each chapter for a good Bible study. Apostle Paul did not mince words but was very direct in his words. His great love for God was shown in these teachings. There are inspiring prayers too in each chapter. I found this book very informative and better understand these teachings. I am on the ARC team. I leave an honest review. I also recommend this book to other readers

S Jeyaram, Amazon, 5 stars

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books written by Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Book Series: Gospels and Acts

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book series
  1. The Gospel according to Matthew

2. Daily Devotion: Gospel of Mark

3. The Gospel according to Luke

4. Daily Devotions: Gospel of John

5. Acts: from Jerusalem to Rome

Book Series: Pauline Epistles

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  1. Romans

2. 1 Corinthians

3. 2 Corinthians

4. 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, Philemon

5. Galatians

6. Pastoral Epistles, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus

Book Series: Prison Epistles

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  1. Prison Epistles: Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians

2. Ephesians

3. Philippians

4. Colossians

Book Series: Genesis

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  1. Understanding Genesis 1-11: From Adam to Abraham

2. Faith Journey of Abraham: Genesis 12-25

3. Life Story of Jacob: Genesis 26-36

4. The Story of Joseph: Genesis 37-50

Book Series: Non Pauline Epistles

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  1. Hebrews

2. General Epistles: 1 Peter, 2 Peter, & James

3. 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, & Jude 

Stand Alone

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  1. Memoirs of a Doctor

2. ABCs to Amazon Self Publishing

3. Expository Preaching

4.Apocalypse: Understanding the book of Revelation

5.Moses: let My people go, Exodus 1-20

6. Manna of Life

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bible study devotion

Devotion: rapture

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Rapture

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with God’s trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first, 17 then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. So we will be with the Lord forever (please read the rest of 1 Thessalonians 4 on your own).

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

Commentary

Paul spelled out the end-time prophecy concerning the rapture in this passage. The word rapture is derived from the words caught up in verse 17. The Greek word for caught up is harpazo.  The Latin word for harpazo is raptura. Rapture comes from the Latin word raptura. The Thessalonians Christians were worried because many of them had died but Jesus did not come back. They wondered whether they had missed out on the second coming. Paul reassured them to the contrary.

Rapture is not the same as the second coming of Christ as these are 2 separate and different events. On the day of rapture, Jesus Christ will come down from heaven preceded by an angel’s shout and a loud trumpet blast. The trumpet is a shofar or ram horn. Christians will be caught up to heaven to meet the Lord in the sky. Two groups of Christians will be raptured, The first group will be those who had died before the rapture. The second group will be those who are still alive at the rapture. The rapture is imminent, meaning that it can happen at any time. No one is privy to the exact day or time, except God, the Father, Matthew 24:36, 41-21.

But no one knows of that day and hour, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Matthew 24:36

Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and one will be left.

Matthew 24:41-42

The rapture will come suddenly, like a thief in the night, 1 Thessalonians 5:2. Those raptured will be transformed into spiritual, imperishable, and immortal bodies to meet the Lord in the sky, 1 Corinthians 15: 52-53. Even those who died a long time ago will be resurrected and raptured. How this is even possible is a mystery and God is revealing this to us. 

For you yourselves know well that the day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night.

1 Thessalonians 5:2

Behold, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.For this perishable body must become imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 

1 Corinthians 15:52-53

There are three theological positions on the timing of the rapture i.e. pre-tribulation, before, mid-tribulation, at the middle, and post-tribulation, at the end of the 7-year tribulation. The second coming of Christ will take place at the end of the 7-year tribulation, Revelation 19. Christ will set up His millennial kingdom on earth. for 1000 years, Revelation 20. This theological position is called pre-millennialism.

Application

If you subscribe to pre-tribulation rapture, the rapture is imminent, which means it can occur at any time. However, if you subscribe to mid or post-tribulation, it will not be imminent. Certain events must happen first, for example, the anti-christ appearing onto the world scene, the signing of the peace treaty, building of the the third temple, and so on before the rapture can occur. 

Are you rapture-ready? Are you sure, you will make it to the rapture? Are you sure, you not be left behind?

Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart. If you are not a Christian yet, you can become one right now, right where you are. In a simple prayer, confess to Jesus that you are a sinner, acknowledge that you believe He died for you on the cross, and surrender your life to Him. Find a Bible-believing church near you, inform the pastor about your prayer, join in the fellowship of believers, and grow in the faith.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of salvation by grace and justification by faith in Jesus Christ. Thank You that You died on the cross to pay the penalty of our sins for us. Thank You for speaking to us through Your word. Help us to be ready before the rapture by accepting You as our Lord and Saviour. Help us be vigilant of world events even as they unfold and be aware of the times that we are in. We pray for mercy, grace, protection, wisdom, and knowledge, in Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

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Devotion: Who can separate us from the love of Christ?

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Bible verse

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Could oppression, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Even as it is written, “For your sake we are killed all day long. We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”, Psalm 44:22. 37 No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from God’s love which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8: 36-39

Devotion

Paul formulated and answered his own rhetorical question and for our benefit. He asked his audience and us, can anything separate us from the love of Christ? What things? He went on to name some of the things, oppression, anguish, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, and even martyrdom. These are the trials and sufferings we faced in life as Christians. What about wars, accidents, and natural disasters like landslides, floods, earthquakes, typhoons, hurricanes, cyclones, volcano eruptions, etc? When such things happened to us, does it mean that He did not love us? These are the things that Paul himself went through in his life. He was persecuted mercilessly by the Jewish leaders from day one and eventually faced martyrdom at the hand of Nero, yet he never even once doubted the love of Christ.

Paul went on to name even more things. What about death, life, angels, demons, present things, future things, powerful things, heights, depths, or any other created things? Can these separate us from the love of Christ? Paul’s answer? Nothing! No way! By no means! 

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

Go back to the cross whenever you begin to doubt the love of Christ for you. Jesus died for you and me on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins for us. This is how much Christ loved us. He died so that we can live. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s for another. Yet, Jesus died for you and me when we were still sinners and did not love Him. God loved you and me with an everlasting love.

Yahweh appeared of old to me, saying, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love. Therefore I have drawn you with loving-kindness”

Jeremiah 31:3

Application

Right now, we are witnessing a brutal war in Ukraine, entering into its ninth month. Does this mean that Christ do not love the Ukrainian Christians? By no means! Christ loved the Ukrainians just as much as He loved everyone everywhere in the world. He died on the cross for everyone irrespective of race, religion, custom, creed, geography, or pedigree. God is a God of love.

Be careful of what you hear on the pulpit or read from the internet. Countercheck everything you hear or read with scripture and come to the correct and balanced conclusion.

Do not blindly believe and follow someone’s opinion hook, line, and sinker, without counterchecking with scripture. I was once following a Bible teacher on the internet, but when he kept on saying that God is not a God of love, I stopped following him!  

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for speaking to us today right out of scripture. Thank You for your agape love for us. Thank You that while we were still sinners, You died for us. Thank You for doing something for us that we will never be able to do for ourselves. You paid the debt of sin for us on the cross which we will never be able to pay. Thank You for the truth that nothing can ever separate us from Your love, in Jesus’ name. Amen.  

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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

Categories
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Book: Philippians

Rejoice always in the Lord

https://drandrewcskoh.dashnexpages.net/philippians-rejoice-always-in-the-lord-dr-andrew-c-s-koh/

A Christ-centred, life-changing, verse-by-verse expository commentary, bible study guide, and daily devotion on the book of Philippians: rejoice in the Lord always,, by Dr. Andrew C S Koh

Description

Philippians is an expositional bible study on the Epistle of Philippians. This book is a valuable teaching aid to Christians of all denominations of all levels of maturity for personal enrichment, to encounter the God of the Word through the word of God. I have given a clear background and simple explanations of Philippians on a verse-by-verse, paragraph-by-paragraph, and chapter-by-chapter basis in 11 lessons to be used as a bible study guide over 11 weeks. Any reader who goes through this study guide carefully will gain a good foundational understanding of one of Paul’s prison epistles Philippians.

What people are saying

“A great study of the bible on Apostle Pauls’s journey to Philippi where he converted Lydia and her family, the Philippians jailer and his family, and established the church there. This is an easy-to-understand and great book of devotion. I received this book free and I leave an honest review. I recommend this book to other readers”

— J Sharmani, Bookbub, 5 out of 5 stars

“This was the second missionary journey of Apostle Paul to Philippi. Here, the conversion of Lydia and her family took place. Apostle Paul was jailed after he exorcised a slave girl but God saved him. He converted the Philippians jailer and his family. The Philippians church was established by Apostle Paul with Lydia, the Philippians jailer, and his family. A beautiful study of the bible and the miracles Apostle Paul did in the Philippians. I received this book for free and I leave an honest review. I recommend this book to other readers”

— J. Sharmani, Goodreads, 5 out of 5 stars