True and False Shepherds

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

Union With the Saints

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

The 5 Solas of Reformation (Part 1)

October 31 2010 was the 493rd anniversary of what has now come to be known as the Reformation Day. On the same day in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg. That event sparked off the Protestant Reformation which altered the course of Christian History decisively.

However, sadly, this event has been forgotten with the passage of time. Indian Christians, especially, have very little knowledge about it. Hardly any churches have this important day in their church calendar to commemorate it.  Many also think that since the Reformation got sparked off in Europe, it is something specific to that geographical region and is probably irrelevant to Indian Christians. However, as I pointed out, this event was so crucial to the universal visible church as a whole that it shapes our church life even to this day. All of us who identify ourselves as protestants need to know what we are protesting about. Hence it is good to remind ourselves of the real issues in the Reformation.

Continue reading The 5 Solas of Reformation (Part 1)

Relinquishing Rights

The book of Philemon is a short letter written by Paul to Philemon in which he pleads with him to take back his (Philemon’s) runaway slave, Onesimus, who had now become a Christian. The way Paul goes about doing this is something exemplary and contains many lessons for us – out of which we will concentrate on one. Continue reading Relinquishing Rights