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REMAIN IN MY LOVE

  ABIDE IN MY LOVE 9As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. 12“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16You 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. 17These things I command you, so that you will love one another. JOHN 15:9-1

LEARNING TO DISCERN THE MEANING OF WORDS

  LEARNING TO DISCERN THE MEANING OF WORDS Many times I have heard discussions over the meaning of words in the original language of Scripture, especially over topics that are not clear at first sight. The tendency of many, familiar with Greek and Hebrew, it is to subject the open interpretations, to the strict literal meaning of a main word, submitting all surrounding context to it, but ignoring the context in the process of translation. This may seem to many, but thank God not to the experts, the natural procedure to come to understand the meaning of a passage, beyond empty speculations; however, in the amateur enthusiasm, basic reality is forgotten, and left aside in the search of a accurate meaning. Like in any other language, the biblical languages also contain synonymous, local expressions, and not specific terminology in many cases. Let us see some examples: One example is 2Thessalonians 2:15, where St Paul encourages the Thessalonians to keep the ‘traditions’ they lea

THE TRUE VINE

  I AM THE TRUE VINE 1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. JOHN 15:1-8 COMMENTARY In this speech, Lord Jesus warns us to remain always

WHEN YOU SEE ALL THESE THINGS, KNOW THE TIME IS NEAR

  WHEN YOU SEE ALL THESE THINGS, KNOW THE TIME IS NEAR One of the most important parts of Jesus’s preaching, was the eschatological warnings He gave us. His words in his famous speech about the future of Jerusalem, encompasses all his teachings on the topic: “When you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates” Matthew 24:33 When Jesus said this, He was referring strictly to the future destruction of Jerusalem by Titus (Matthew 24:2), almost 70 years afterwards. But according to other tones in the prophecy, it is clear He also meant it as a call to watch his return (Matthew 24:29-31). We have seen many problems in the world in history. From political disturbances, to increase in crime, and natural disasters; but the world still goes on. In fact, the early Church expected the return of our Lord Jesus Christ sooner of what it has taken (Romans 13:11; 1Peter 4:7; James 5:8), and we are still waiting, so what has happened with the return of Christ?. Som

JESUS, THE GOOD SHEPHERD

  JESUS THE GOOD SHEPHERD 11I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So, there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” JOHN 10:11-18 COMMENTARY This speech was motivated

THE RIGHT TO REBEL

  THE RIGHT TO REBEL Christians are commanded in the NT to submit to the authorities, and declares that they exist by God’s will. (Romans 13:1-2; Titus 3:2; 1Peter 2:13). And this becomes even more peculiar, when we consider that by the time these epistles were written, the times fall within Nero and Domitian (55 to 81CE), known enemies of Christianity and Judaism. But are we supposed to submit to all authorities under any circumstance? GOD THE SURPREME AUTHORITY Parallel to this principle, the Bible also teaches that we must obey God before men (Acts 4:19; 5:29). This is based on the premise, that God’s authority is the source of any other authority in the Universe, and obedience to God is above obedience to any other authority on Earth. Interestingly, Paul also recommends to solve our legal problems within ourselves rather than appealing to the secular systems of Justice or government, declaring that if we, the believers in Christ, will judge Angels, what would be the r

THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN BODY

  THE SACREDNESS OF THE BODY The Bible teaches that humans were made in God’s ‘Image and Likeness’ (Genesis 1:26). ‘Likeness’ is the group of faculties that are reflection of God’s natural abilities, like the faculty to create, govern, organize, learn, love, morality, etc. These faculties were not given to any other creature in our creation, except humans, the only ones created ‘in the Likeness’ of God. The Hebrew בְּצַלְמֵ֖נוּ ( Be sal menu), which we translate as ‘In our Image’, it is based in the word   צֶלֶם ( Tselem), which literally means ‘Resemblance or Image’, in a corporeal sense. Since ancient times, the word ‘Tselem’ has been used to denote physical appearance, among the Hebrews. Stories like in Exodus 33:17-23; where Moses sees the back of God but not his face; or the time when Lord God YHWH, the Father, comes and has lunch with Abraham in the region of Mamre (Genesis 18:1) and even when God appears to Adam and Even in a physical manner in Eden (Genesis 3:8); denote

JESUS's FIRST APPARITION

  JESUS FIRST APPARITION 36As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “PEACE TO YOU!” 37But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38And he said to them, “WHY ARE YOU TROUBLED, AND WHY DO DOUBTS ARISE IN YOUR HEARTS? 39SEE MY HANDS AND MY FEET, THAT IT IS I MYSELF. TOUCH ME, AND SEE. FOR A SPIRIT DOES NOT HAVE FLESH AND BONES AS YOU SEE THAT I HAVE.” 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “HAVE YOU ANYTHING HERE TO EAT?” 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate before them. 44Then he said to them, “THESE ARE MY WORDS THAT I SPOKE TO YOU WHILE I WAS STILL WITH YOU, THAT EVERYTHING WRITTEN ABOUT ME IN THE LAW OF MOSES AND THE PROPHETS AND THE PSALMS MUST BE FULFILLED.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46and said to them, “THUS IT IS WRITTEN, TH

GOF's FORGIVENESS

  THE FORGIVENESS OF GOD The Bible teaches that ‘without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness’, speaking about the necessity of offering of Jesus blood for the forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). It is also said that this necessity of atonement for sinfulness and imperfection is born from the supreme perfection of the divinity, which cannot be compromised or modified to accept any variant that is not sheer perfection and holiness (1Peter 1:15-16), which necessarily demands payment for sins, as well as reward for virtue. Considering these two things, the thought arises, that God never really ‘forgave us’, but only judicially absolved us in virtue of the payment received from Jesus on our behalf. If this is correct, that alters all our conception of God, from being a loving forgiving Father, to be a strict Supreme Judge who is either unable or refuses to forgive anyone, since real forgiveness is giving in exchange of nothing, otherwise it is not ‘forgiveness’, but retrib

THE FAITH OF THOMAS

  THE FAITH OF THOMAS  19On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “PEACE BE WITH YOU.” 20When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “PEACE BE WITH YOU. AS THE FATHER HAS SENT ME, EVEN SO I AM SENDING YOU.” 22And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT. 23IF YOU FORGIVE THE SINS OF ANY, THEY ARE FORGIVEN THEM; IF YOU WITHHOLD FORGIVENESS FROM ANY, IT IS WITHHELD.” 24Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” 26Eight days later,

DOES GOD PUNISH SINNERS TODAY?

  DOES GOD PUNISH SINNERS TODAY? It is a question that comes to mind in many new Christians, and that is answered in different ways. Some think that God does not punish, not only because it is against his perfect loving nature, but also because now we are living under the alliance of Grace (John 1:17; Romans 6:14); in other words, God is obligated to endure human sinfulness with patience until the time of Judgement comes. Others think the opposite. They consider that God does punish people on Earth who are stubborn in their practice of sin, since He is almighty and alone can decide when to punish and when to be lenient. GOD’s PERFECT NATURE Firstly, we must understand the nature of God. God is the maximum perfection in the universe. Any other kind of beauty and harmony, emanates as a created reflection of the eternal beauty and harmony of God’s nature, and so with other virtues, and knowledge and goodness in the universe, at all levels. And one of them is Justice. As Supr

THE RESURRECCTION OF JESUS - MATTHEW 28:1-10

  THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS – MATTHEW 28:1-10 1Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” 8So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his f

THE CRUCIFIXION - MATTHEW 27:27-54

  THE CRUCIFIXION – MATTHEW 27:27-54 27Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. 28And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him. 32As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. 33And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. 36Then they sat down and