The Message - Sermon

Deceitfulness

Deceit-  One of the weapons that the enemies of our faith use and mostly it starts from lying.  

Though the heart redeems the error of the mind, the heart is also deceitful. It knows when to play around with our mind and knows when to be lower than the mind. Our heart is located in the middle of our body with a purpose, to supply the needs of the body.  The heart that works with Spirit gives life and inspiration to us. There will be a conflict if my heart says no and my mind says yes.  Which one do you think will prevail? 

When our eyes see beautiful things around us, the mind follows.  Just like when the nose smells something good, the mind says yes it is good; when our ears hear a smooth and relaxing sound, the mind says yes it helps. It’s the same when our tongue tastes something delicious, the mind says, the same thing it is delicious and when we feel the joy of the day, the mind says I feel blessed!

Why our mind does always follows the dictate of our senses. If our senses say no, it is already assumed that our minds would say no.  When will our minds follow the dictate of our hearts? Our mind is obedient to our soul while our heart clings more with spiritual value. The mind works with our spirit really well during our silent hours with God. There are always a distractions that cannot be avoided due to the nature of the body that allows the souls to be shaken (barking of the dogs; neighbors, roommates, etc…)

We have the mind that follows the free will that would either lead us to continue what is right or wrong. We need to be mindful and stay focus that the presence of the Holy Spirit of God in our body is available and all we need is to ask. At the end of the day, the mouth speaks whatever the hearts says to speak it out! 

The mind listens so as the senses. When the mind detects that the heart is beating faster, we have to stop and let the mind figure out and give a moment for the heart to calm down.

The Spirit of God works with wonder.  If disagreements of opinions on a certain Scripture; the Scriptures itself reminds us that it is not worth to talk about it. If someone asks who are you going to believe in too, the teachings of Jesus or the teachings of Paul?  This question is more of having a doubtful mind.  It is alright if that is what it is, but the Bible says when in doubt, let our faith move it.

What we have to worry about are people with a mindset or rooted in what they believe and they do not want to open their minds to gain new knowledge. Perhaps, they may have heard the matter and just ignoring it or sometimes they become judgmental and accuse the other of being a cult and they do not want to be one; of course; who wants to be a cult?

We have to be careful when talking to someone you cannot change because everyone thinks differently; to somewhat they already believe for many years is the truth and that is it! If that will be the situation, we cannot claim that the Bible is progressive as it is no longer a living organism it becomes irrelevant to this progressive time and the versions should not be changed as they wish from time to time.

If we will only remain focus on the teachings of Jesus Christ which is the Kingdom at hand and the Father Almighty; the one true God, many will not get lost in translation.  The apostles and disciples of Jesus continued the teachings of Jesus and some of them even taught the baptism in the name of Jesus only; some made him God which Jesus never claimed he is, and some other group made him God to the extreme as God of all creations.

When Jesus was charged by his accuser of claiming to be God, he humbly said “isn’t It the Bible said you can be gods, sons of the highest.” What more knowledge and explanation do we need when we already have literally enough?  The potential of man to be gods is true, but the question is how we can be one?

When we belong to the family of God it may not be a question anymore as Jesus prayed: John 17:20-21—NIV: “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”  We will all be as one.  We can say we, the Father and the Son are one.  Isn’t it clear enough that Trinity exists? The completeness of the Trinity has been mentioned in the prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ.

What can you say about this passage? To belong to the Trinity we have to hate someone: “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. Matthew 10:37.

The parallel: “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26

Are these the requirements to join the family of God? Let us take note and carefully read it with understanding by what Christ said in Luke 14:26: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.”

Christ commanded us to love one another like loving our neighbors as ourselves and even loving our enemies—Matthew 22:39; Luke 6:27.  If hate does not mean hate the opposite of love, what then will be the meaning of hate? The Bible does not contradict itself (John 10:35), like many great commentators of the past gave a different meaning of hate or hatred. Almost all of them said in one voice that hate means less love.

Therefore Jesus’ sayings in Luke 14:26 cannot mean that we actually need to hate someone. We embrace the truth of the Bible and we believe that the Bible is a living organism, it progresses as the people progress, and it updates itself.  Jesus even said that he does not speak on his authority.  Any word that comes out of his mouth is not his but from the Father that sent him.

“Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.” (John 14:10)

“I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.” John 12:49.

The Father is a jealous God.  He doesn’t care whether you are wealthy or not, smart or dumb; mature or immature all He wants us to acknowledge His existence and Him alone is the Father to us and no one else. Loving Him first before anyone else could be what it meant and should not hurt our relations with our earthly parents and siblings.

Hate according to Bakers evangelical dictionary means: Hate derives from a strong dislike or ill will toward persons or things. As an emotional attitude, a person may oppose, detest, or despise contact with a thing or a person. Love and hatred often stand opposed. Wisdom says, there is “a time to love and a time to hate” (Ecclesiastes 3:8). In the biblical record, every living being may express or experience hate.

Hate is hate no matter what the great commentators of the past said and they are not perfect too like us.

“If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life… that comes from wisdom.” James 3:13

Bishop Joseph

Dr. Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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