What are the marks of true shepherds? And how do we distinguish them from false shepherds? Following are a few thoughts:
True Shepherds Tend and Feed the Sheep: The first mark of a true shepherd is that he feeds the flock of God faithfully. This was Jesus’ charge to Peter in John 21. Three times Jesus exhorted Peter to feed his sheep. A true shepherd feeds God’s sheep with knowledge and understanding (Jeremiah 3:15). In other words, a true shepherd teaches his flock the word of God faithfully. He imparts understanding of the word of God and helps them to apply it in their daily lives. False shepherds, on the other hand, are unconcerned about feeding the sheep. They handle the word of God carelessly and do not impart understanding to their flock. As a result, the sheep are malnourished — without knowledge — and vulnerable to attacks of the enemy. Continue reading True and False Shepherds
Romans 6 is the classic passage to prove the doctrine of believers’ union with Christ. In this passage, Paul describes how believers are united to Christ in his death and in his resurrection. As believers, we often concentrate on this doctrine in our fight against sin, and rightly so. For without it, we can never overcome the power of sin in our lives. Notwithstanding the importance of this doctrine, I wonder whether we often miss out on concentrating on another complementary doctrine. Which doctrine do I have in mind? It is the doctrine of union with the saints — or union with other believers. Continue reading Union With the Saints
Last week I had the privilege of attending the 182nd Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America in Marion, Indiana. For my Indian brothers who are unfamiliar with the concept of a synod, here is a simple definition: a synod is the highest court of a presbyterian church. Elders from across denomination come together to consider matters which affect the entire denomination.
I will not be able to describe each day of the Synod (as has been done here) but I am simply going to list the main things that I learned from attending it.
Synod Exemplified God’s Generational Faithfulness
The moderator of the Synod constituted the court by saying: “Welcome to the 182nd synod of Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America.” Immediately all those passages in Psalms which speak of fathers teaching their children the word of God generation after generation came to my mind. I was so thankful that God has preserved this church (now my church!) for the last 182 years. In my estimation, the RP church has remained faithful to God for this long because she has clearly confessed her theology through the Westminster standards and RP Testimony and has passed this legacy on to her children generation after generation. Presbyterian polity, which she inherited from her Scottish forefathers, has also given her ecclesiastical robustness. Of course, none of these ecclesiastical features in and of themselves insulate her from apostasy but God has used these to keep her faithful. And for these reasons I was thrilled to be part of the RP synod. Continue reading RP Synod 2013
Back in 2004, I was a young Christian. I was zealous for the Lord and dreamt big things for the Lord. In that year, I was attending a conference and in that conference we were asked to get together in groups and come out with a vision for Christ particular to India. Four of us got together and we came up with an idea, largely at my initiative, which seemed absolutely outlandish. I led the group in drawing an outline of India with the Parliament building at its center, and with an open Bible at its center. All this was to say that one day Jesus Christ will be acknowledged even by the Indian government. One member of my group, although he had reluctantly agreed to go with my idea, after our presentation, smiled at me and said that I am dreaming an impossibility. Although I resented his comment at that time, in the course of years, after I was introduced to the radical Dispensational eschatology and a missional theology that interprets all occurrences of the word “nation” in the New Testament as “people groups”, I myself felt that I had entertained silly ideas and gave up my “childish ways.” Continue reading Christ’s Kingship
Although I arrived in US only a month and a half ago for my seminary internship here at Second RP, I have found myself preaching to my new local church three times! I have done two psalm explanations and have preached once in the evening service in this short time. The first two times I went up to the pulpit I had my detailed sermon notes firmly tucked into my Bible lest I forget what I am going to say! I faced the congregation, an American one, with a lot of trepidation. Keeping the time limit and following my outline was on top of my mind. All this seemed like an examination in which I was desperately trying to excel often causing me anxiety. Continue reading They Need to be Fed!