Η αληθινή προσκύνηση/λατρεία

Δημιουργηθήκαμε για να είμαστε λατρευτές /προσκυνητές του Θεού. Όταν η αμαρτία εισήλθε στον κόσμο , ο άνθρωπος δεν έπαψε να είναι προσκυνητής/λατρευτής, όπως δεν έπαψε να είναι άνθρωπος. Όμως η αμαρτία μόλυνε και διέφθειρε την ικανότητα του να λατρεύει τον Θεό.

Ότι κάνουμε, είτε σε λόγο είτε σε έργο είναι λατρεία. Έτσι, το πρώτο ερώτημα μας δεν είναι εάν είμαστε λατρευτές/προσκυνητές, αλλά μάλλον τι ή ποιόν προσκυνάμε! Εάν δεν λατρεύουμε τον αληθινό Θεό, τον Δημιουργό μας, τότε λατρεύουμε την δημιουργία. Δεν υπάρχει άλλη επιλογή και δεν μπορούμε να είμαστε ουδέτεροι. Ότι κάνουμε, σε λόγο και έργο δίνουμε δόξα και τιμή σε κάτι ή κάποιον. Μπορούμε να λατρεύουμε ανθρώπους, ζώα, φαγητά, χρήματα, σέξ, υπάρχοντα, αξιώματα, ιδεολογίες, μουσική, σπορτς κ.λ.π. Όλα αυτά δεν είναι κακά πράγματα από μόνα τους. Όλα όσα ο Θεός δημιούργησε είναι καλά, όλα όμως διαφθείρονται από μια ειδωλολατρική καρδιά.

Ο άνθρωπος δημιουργήθηκε κατ’ εικόνα Θεού, με την ικανότητα να λατρεύει τον Θεό, να απολαμβάνει και να εξουσιάζει πάνω σε όλα τα δημιουργήματα με ένα υγιή τρόπο. Όταν όμως η αμαρτία εισήλθε στην καρδιά του ανθρώπου, τότε τυφλώθηκε ως προς την εικόνα του Θεού, την εικόνα που σύμφωνα με αυτή είχε δημιουργηθεί και την οποία μόνο θα έπρεπε να προσκυνά. Η αμαρτία σε κάθε της έκφραση είναι ειδωλολατρία και διαφθείρει την καρδιά του ανθρώπου και την μετατρέπει σε ειδωλολατρική. Ειδωλολατρία είναι υποδούλωση στην δημιουργία, σε πράγματα που έγιναν για να τον υπηρετούν και όχι αυτός να τα υπηρετεί.

Ο δρόμος μας πίσω στην ελευθερία από κάθε ειδωλολατρική αλυσίδα αρχίζει όταν συνειδητοποιήσουμε την ανάγκη μας να λατρεύουμε τον αληθινό Θεό. Η γυναίκα από την Σαμάρεια όταν συνάντησε τον Ιησού, ήλθε σε μια τέτοια συνειδητοποίηση και ρώτησε τον Κύριον: Οι πατέρες μας προσκύνησαν σε τούτο το βουνό, και εσείς λέτε ότι στα Ιεροσόλυμα είναι ο τόπος, όπου πρέπει να προσκυνούμε. Ο Ιησούς της λέει; γυναίκα, πίστεψε Με ότι έρχεται ώρα κατά την οποία ούτε σε τούτο το βουνό ούτε στα Ιεροσόλυμα θα προσκυνήσετε τον Πατέρα. Εσείς προσκυνάτε εκείνο το οποίον δεν ξέρετε, εμείς προσκυνάμε εκείνο που ξέρουμε διότι η σωτηρία είναι εκ των Ιουδαίων. Αυτή η γυναίκα ρώτησε τον Κύριον, που και πως πρέπει να προσκυνούμε τον Θεό. Μια ερώτηση που ευλόγως εγείρετε όταν συναισθανθούμε την ανάγκη μας να λατρεύουμε τον Θεόν.

Μόνο όταν το φως του ευαγγελίου της δόξας του Χριστού, Οποίος είναι η εικόνα του Θεού, λάμψει στην καρδιά και στον νου μας, τότε, και μόνο τότε μπορούμε να είμαστε αληθινοί προσκυνητές του Θεού. Β’ Κορινθίους 4:4-6

Ο νόμος δόθηκε δια του Μωυσή αλλά η χάρης(ικανότητα) και η αλήθεια(η πραγματικότητα)έγινε δια του Ιησού Χριστού. Ιωάννης 1:17

Ο νόμος ήταν σκιά των μελλοντικών αγαθών και όχι η αυτή εικόνα των πραγμάτων. Εβραίους 10:1 Ενώ τώρα δια του Ιησού έχομε την αλήθεια, το αληθινό και όχι την σκιά της αλήθειας.  Ο ερχομός του Ιησού Χριστού ήταν εισβολή της αλήθειας! Οι Ιουδαίοι μέχρι τότε λάτρευαν τον Θεό, όχι όπως πραγματικά θέλει να Τον προσκυνούν. Πριν τον ερχομό του Ιησού δεν υπήρχε αληθινή λατρεία αλλά μόνο ο τύπος και η σκιά της. Οι Ιουδαίοι γνώριζαν αυτό που προσκυνούσαν όμως δεν μπορούσαν να είναι αληθινοί προσκυνητές μέχρι που ήρθε η χάρης του Θεού, ο Ιησούς ο Κύριος.

Ο Ιησούς της λέει: γυναίκα πίστεψε με ότι έρχεται ώρα, κατά την οποία ούτε σε τούτο το όρος ούτε στα Ιεροσόλυμα θα προσκυνήσετε τον Πατέρα. Εσείς προσκυνάτε εκείνο που δεν γνωρίζετε, εμείς προσκυνάμε αυτό που γνωρίζουμε, επειδή η σωτηρία είναι από τους Ιουδαίους. Όμως έρχεται ώρα και ήδη είναι όταν οι αληθινοί προσκυνητές θα προσκυνήσουν τον Πατέρα με πνεύμα και αλήθεια, επειδή ο Πατέρας τέτοιούς ζητάει να είναι αυτοί που τον προσκυνούν. Ο Θεός είναι πνεύμα και εκείνοι που τον προσκυνούν με πνεύμα και αλήθεια πρέπει να τον προσκυνούν. Ιωάννης 4:21-24

Επειδή Αυτός ήλθε, ήλθε η χάρης και γι’ αυτό είπε έρχεται ώρα και ήδη είναι που οι αληθινοί προσκυνητές θα προσκυνήσουν τον Πατέρα με πνεύμα και αλήθεια. Ήλθε Αυτός και ήλθε η αληθινή λατρεία, Ο Ιησούς Χριστός είναι η αληθινή λατρεία. Προσπάθησε όσο πιο πολύ θέλεις και όσο πιο ειλικρινά θέλεις να λατρεύεις τον Πατέρα, εάν δεν είναι διά του Ιησού Χριστού δεν είναι αληθινή λατρεία.

Το θέμα της επιστολής προς τους Εβραίους είναι η λατρεία με την χάρη του Θεού στην καινή διαθήκη. Ο απόστολος τους λέει πως η λατρεία κάτω από τον νόμο του Μωυσή στην παλαιά ήταν σκιά της αληθινής και υποδεέστερη, η οποία έδειχνε προς στην καινούργια και ανώτερη λατρεία που γίνετε μόνο με την χάρη του Κυρίου Ιησού Χριστού. Και όπως Μωυσής προειδοποίησε τους Ισραηλίτες λέγοντας τους: Προσέχετε στον εαυτό σας, μήπως κάποτε λησμονήσετε τη διαθήκη του Κυρίου του Θεού σας που έκανε σε σας και κάνετε για τον εαυτό σας είδωλο, εικόνα κάποιου την οποία ο Κύριος ο Θεός σου απαγόρευσε. Επειδή ο Κύριος ο Θεός σου είναι φωτιά που κατατρώει, είναι Θεός ζηλότυπος. Δευτερονόμιο 4:23-24 Με παρόμοιο τρόπο o απόστολος τους προειδοποιεί να μην καταφρονήσουν την καινή διαθήκη, τον Ιησού Χριστό αλλά αφού παράλαβαν μια ασάλευτη βασιλεία να κρατούν τη χάρη, δια της οποίας να λατρεύουν ευάρεστα τον Θεό, με σεβασμό και ευλάβεια. Επειδή ο Θεός μας είναι φωτιά που κατατρώει. Εβραίους 12: 25-29 Αυτοί που φοβούνται τον Θεό δεν τολμούν να προσκυνήσουν το Θεό παρά μόνο με την χάρη Του, διά Ιησού Χριστού. Ο απόστολος στην επιστολή του, υποδεικνύει στους Εβραίους πως ο Ιησούς διά του αίματος Του της καινής διαθήκης και της προσφοράς του σώματος Του, τώρα μπορούν να λατρεύουν αληθινά τον ζωντανό Θεό. Και πως η καταφρόνηση του Ιησού, του αίματος της καινής διαθήκης και του Πνεύματος της χάρης δια της οποίας μόνο μπορούν να λατρεύουν ευαρέστως τον Θεό έχει χειρότερες συνέπειες από τις συνέπειες που είχαν οι πατέρες τους κάτω από τον νόμο.

Αυτοί που φοβούνται τον Θεό, Τον προσκυνούν μόνο με την χάρη, διά του Ιησού Χριστού. Ακόμη μπορούμε να πούμε ότι, το να λατρεύουμε είναι να τον φοβόμαστε ή αντιστρόφως. Ο Ιησούς λέει στον Ματθαίο 4:10 ότι είναι γραμμένο: τον Κύριο τον Θεό σου, θα προσκυνήσεις και μονάχα Αυτόν θα λατρεύσεις. Εδώ ο Ιησούς αναφέρετε στο Δευτερονόμιο 6:13 όπου διαβάσουμε: Κύριον τον Θεό σου να φοβάσαι και Αυτόν μόνο θα λατρεύσεις. Για τον Ιησού, το να φοβάσαι τον Θεό είναι να τον προσκυνείς.

Αυτοί που φοβούνται τον Θεό, προσκυνούν μόνο Αυτόν και τον λατρεύουν μόνο με την χάρη διά του Ιησού Χριστού. Με την χάρη Του, μας ικανώνει και μας κάνει αληθινούς προσκυνητές στο πνεύμα. Στο πνεύμα είμαστε όλα όσα χρειάζεται να είμαστε και δεν είναι από εμάς αλλά εξαιτίας της χάρης Του.

Ότι και να είμαστε ή ότι και να καταφέρουμε να κάνουμε με την σάρκα είναι σκύβαλα ενώπιον του Θεού. Ο απόστολος Παύλος θα μπορούσε να καυχηθεί για το ποιος ήταν και πόσο ειλικρινά λατρευτής ήταν σύμφωνα με τον νόμο. Όμως είχε ανακαλύψει ότι όλα αυτά ήταν ζημιά και σκύβαλα εις στο να είναι αληθινός προσκυνητής στο πνεύμα. Στο πνεύμα δεν υπάρχει καύχηση ή εμπιστοσύνη στην σάρκα άλλα η εμπιστοσύνη είναι στον Ιησού Χριστό. Κάτω από τον νόμο είναι η προσκύνηση της σάρκας. Κάτω από την χάρη είναι η αληθινή προσκύνηση με το πνεύμα και με αλήθειά .

Εμείς είμαστε η περιτομή αυτοί που λατρεύουν το Θεό με το πνεύμα και καυχόμαστε στον Ιησού Χριστό, και χωρίς να έχουμε την πεποίθηση στην σάρκα. Φιλιππησίους 3:3

The true worship of God

We are created to be worshipers of God. When sin entered in the world, man didn’t cease to be a worshiper as much as to be a man. But sin contaminated man and consequently his ability to worship . Everything we say and do in every moment of our lives is worship. So, the first question is not if we are worshipers or not, but what or whom do we worship? If we are not aware of the true God, our Creator, then we worship the creation. There is no other option. We can not be neutral. Every word and action of ours, gives glory and honor to something or someone. We can worship persons, humans, animals, sex, food, money, possessions, positions, ideologies, music, sports… and the list is going on. All these are not wrong by themselves, everything that God created is good, but are perverted in a idolatrous heart.

Man was created in God’s image with the capacity to worship Him and enjoy and rule over all the created things on earth in a healthy way. When sin entered the human heart, man became darkened and blind to the image of God, the image that was created and in which only should worship. Sin perverts the heart of man to idolatry. Idolatry is slavery to created things that are created for man’s service and not man to serve them. The way back to our freedom from every chain of idolatry begins in our awakening to our need to worship the true living God. The Samaritan woman after she met Jesus,she became awared of that need, so she asked Jesus: where should men worship God because our fathers worshipped in this mountain, you( the Jew)say in Jerusalem? Jesus said though we(the Jews) know what we worship and you don’t, it comes a time that not even in Jerusalem the true woshipers must worship. Actually this woman asked Jesus for us the second question which always arise when somebody becomes aware of his need to worship God. WHERE/HOW CAN I WORSHIP GOD?

Only when the light of the gospel of the glory of Jesus Christ,who is the image of God shines on a man’s heart and mind, then and only then is able to be a worshiper of God. B’ Corinthians 4:4

For the law was given through Moses, but grace(the ability) and truth(the reality) came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17

The law was a shadow (not the reality )of the things to come Hebrews 10:1 but through Christ we have all the TRUE/REAL thing.  Jesus Christ’s coming was an invasion of truth. The Jews until that time they were worshiping God but not as the Father really wants. Before Jesus Christ’s coming there was not true worship only a shadow of it. The Hebrews/Jews knew whom they were worshiping but they couldn’t be true worshipers until the coming of God’s grace, Jesus Christ the Lord.

Jesus said to her, Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship you know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:21-24

Because He came, His grace came, Jesus said the hour comes and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth. True worship of the Father is only in and through Jesus Christ. When He came, true worhip came. Jesus Christ is the true worship. Try as hard and sincerely as you want to worship the Father, unless is not through Christ is not true worship.

The subject of the letter to the Hebrews is that the old worship under the law of Moses was a shadow and of course an inferior way which was pointing to the superior, new, real and only way to worship God, which is by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, we have grace whereby we worship God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:28

In Deuteronomy 4:23-24 the Hebrews are warned of idolatry because God is a consuming fire. In the letter of Hebrews again are warned to worship by grace because God is a consuming fire. Actually the consequences of not worshiping God by grace is more severe for them than the consequences they had under the law. They that fear God they don’t dare to worship Him but by His grace, through Christ.

This points to the fact that to worship God is to fear God and vise versa. Jesus said in Matthew 4:10 it is written, worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only. Jesus here refers to Deuteronomy 6:13 which says fear the Lord your God. For Jesus, to fear God is to worship God. We fear God and worship Him through Jesus Christ. By His grace, He has made us and enable us to be true worshipers in the spirit. In the spirit we are all we need to be and it’s not of us but of His grace. Whatever we are and whatever we might be able to do by the flesh is rubbish before God. Paul could had boasted of who he was and how much and sincerely worshiped God by the law but He discovered that all that were rubbish in order to be a true worshiper in spirit. In the spirit there is no boasting or confidence in the flesh but all boasting and confidence is in Christ Jesus. Under the law is the worship of the flesh. Under grace is the true worship, the worship in spirit and truth.

For we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh. Philippians 3:3

Jesus is the answer

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

I cannot overemphasize the fact, that whatever your need is, the answer is Jesus. It does not matter what you need , or think is now more grievously urgent for you, Jesus is the answer. God’s supply to you is inclusively packed in Jesus. Receive Jesus, have Jesus and all your needs are met.

Let me help you by pointing to you the greatest need you have whether you are aware of it or not. You need to do God’s will and be pleasing to Him. All your needs, whether are spiritual, emotional, physical are just symptoms of this one great need. If you’re a christian, you are aware of this need. You have already tried to do all you can to be and do all that is pleasing to your God, but down deep in your heart, you know that something is missing. Nothing of what you do or even all the sacrifices you have done is enough. You are not in rest, and you have no peace in your heart. Why it is so? Because you are looking to find the answer for your need in yourself. You can never be or do by yourself, what God wants you to be and do in His sight.

Only receive His love in the person of His Son. You believe in His love if you believe in Jesus. Only through Him, and because of Him you’re pleasing God the Father. Jesus is the only answer to this fundamental need. Only in knowing and believing God’s love, you will have real rest and peace in your heart. Receiving and believing in Jesus, brings such pleasure to God the Father in a similar way as an earthly father (how much more your heavenly Father) takes pleasure in meeting the needs of his children. Believe in Jesus and believe that all your needs are met. Know Him and you know that all your needs are met. This is the obedience that God wants from us. It’s called the obedience of faith or the obedience of the gospel. When we receive Jesus, then and only then, we truly obey God. When we believe in God’s love for us in the person of His Son, then and only then, we are truly pleasing God. Any action of ours no matter how noble or godly it might looks, unless is an expression and an overflow of our reception of His love, it’s sin. Our actions can have God or self as their source. If you consider,that you need to do something else, from just believing in Jesus, your actions of “obedience” will just derive from yourself. Receiving Jesus by faith, is not what we do once in order to be saved, but is what we are doing always if we want to live and walk in a pleasing way to the Father, where all our actions are from the overflow of God’s love, JESUS!

The most misunderstood Person

For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son so that  whoever believes in Him shall not be perish but has eternal life. John 3:16

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3

These two statements were made by the most important person who ever walked on the earth and tells us that our greatest and essential need is to know the true God. The world did not know Him and could not know Him if God did not love the world and did not give His Son for his sake. The world would be lost without hope, if God did not give Jesus for his sake.

The initiative was from God Himself. He gave His Son, because He wants every man to know Him. No man can on his own initiative know God. The Lord does not say that anyone who will love God in such a way to give himself to God will know Him and have eternal life. But man, out his great need to know God, does desperately all he can to fulfill his need. A need that most of the time is unable to identify and in his ignorance turns his attention to secondary needs that usually are the product of not knowing God.

God by giving Jesus, Who is the eternal life, fully fulfills man. Everyone who receives Jesus has eternal life and knows the true God. What is the man’s part? To receive, to accept Jesus Christ, to accept the love of God.

God wants us to know Him more than we want to get to know Him. He knows how much we need to know Him and His love. He knows that from our thirst to be loved we will turn to other sources that are never able to quench our thirst for love.

God is the most misunderstood person in the universe. Most people think that He is thirsty for love and woe to whom He does not love Him. They think that if a man does not stop sinning, God does not want to have any relationship with him. Did the world has ceased to sin and then God loved the world and gave Jesus to have eternal life?!!!

Our sin does not stop God from loving us and wanting to make Himself known to us. He does not stop wanting to be with us and have a close relationship with us. He is not afraid that He will be contaminated with our sin. But the opposite, He wants to have relationship with us in our sinful condition that He might impart His holiness to us.

Most people think that God is the most difficult person to please in the universe who asks for so much that whatever you do, He will not be pleased. When you hang out with Him, He will continually point out to you, your mistakes, and He will be nagging with you complaining about your sins and how little you love Him! Right now I can hear some say, but this is not what God usually does? NO “one million” NO. Can we do something by ourselves for our sins? If we could, we would not need to know the true God by receiving eternal life.

God is the most delightful person in the whole universe to get together. Being with Him is the most delightful thing in the world but also the most constructive. It is the only person who can love us as we have been created to be loved. His pleasure is to be with us and to love us. So, how difficult is it to please Him? So much difficult as to hang out with the most gracious person that exists and to accept His love. He takes pleasure when we are with Him and we are receiving His care and love.

God wants to have a relationship with us, so we will constantly grow in the knowledge of Him and His love, because this only can transform the way we live and without realizing it we will get rid of sins and evil ways and bad habits that we are struggling for years to get rid of. How can one get rid of poverty? Can he give it away and get rid of it? No. Only if  he receives wealth he will be delivered of his poverty. So God gave the riches of heaven, Jesus Christ, to deliver us from our poverty after receiving Him.

My friend, you do not need to change yourself to have a relationship with God but your relationship with God will transform you into the image of His Son as you are growing in the knowledge of the true God. You will be enriched by His riches! You will be enlightened by His light! You will be sanctified by His holiness! You will be embellished by His beauty!

And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. John 5:20

The true christian life

Christianity is not a religion.Christianity is not a set of moral rules and commandments and laws that we should obey.
Christianity does not differ from religion because it has better or more moral laws.
The sad thing is that we (Christians) turn our Christianity to another religion among the others because we don’t understand the huge difference between law and grace. We think that man needs law to tell him what is wrong so he will avoid it and what is right so he will do it. It is always amazing how much unbelievers and atheists know about what is right or wrong. But this is the result of man’s sin after he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

John 3:16 doesn’t say God gave the law and whosoever obey it can receive life but it says He gave His Son so that through faith in Him man will receive eternal life. Man’s need is life not laws. God gave the law to Israel through Moses. Did the Israel people receive life? No, Paul says Galatians 3:21 that the law couldn’t give life.

Man’s need was life but not just any kind of life, but God’s eternal life and this life is Jesus Christ the Lord.
Jesus Christ is the only One able to live the christian life and He wants to live it through all who believe and receive Him.
Christ is the big difference from all the religions.
True christian life is a person and His name is Jesus.
Real christian life is Christ living through a man.
If our christian life is around commandments and an effort to obey and conform our lives with them we are missing the mark(this the definition of sin).Romans 14:23 whatever is not of faith is sin. When we realize that holy living is Christ living and expressing His life through us then we will realize also that even good behavior which was achieved by our effort to be conformed with the law it doesn’t express Christ life within us and we are missing the mark(sin). Galatians 3:12 the law is not of faith.
Jesus explanation of His life was His Father,If we are living a real christian life then we have no other explanation but Christ in us.
If we live under the law we are still living our own lives and we are producing our own righteousness and holiness and there is no other explanation but ourselves.
But under grace we have no life, no righteousness or holiness but Jesus Christ.
The law makes us self-centered,self-conscious and sin-conscious. Grace makes us Christ-centered,Christ-conscious and righteous-conscious.
Under the law we live in the flesh but under grace we live in the spirit.
Under the law is what we have done and do but under grace is what Christ has done and does through us.
Under the law we are living but under grace Christ is living through us.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

We are not trying to live for Jesus but we are allowing Him to live through us.

The true gospel of Jesus Christ

The gospel is Jesus Christ himself, what He did on the cross and what He does in and through us. Everything that Christ is, and all that He did are the best news anyone could ever hear in this life. There is not and there will be no good news for us, in this life, which could be compared with the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is true, since there is nothing that could be compared with Jesus Christ.

You might wonder, why is good news, what He did and who He is the Christ unto us? Well, all that He is and all that He did, He is and He did them all, for us. The gospel is good news for us is not good works from us. It is not what we do, but what He did. A preaching that tells us to become and do for God is not the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Such preaching is only necessary so we may realize our  lack and our inability to be and do what God requires from  us. We should never think that we could ever meet the requirements of God, since such a thought would lead us to despise the gospel of Jesus Christ. You see, the good news is that Jesus Christ is for us what we could never be.Also He did for us and does through us, what we could never do. If we think that we can meet the requirements of God, then there is no room in us for the gospel.

God loved us and gave to us His Son Jesus Christ. This is the pure gospel. If we add or subtract something from it, we will distort it. It might look like it, but will not be the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

Faith and acceptance of the gospel is the only thing we can do, nothing else. Jesus Christ was given by God the Father, that we might believe and receive Him, nothing else.