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Showing posts from July, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Suffering as part of Mission 2 Corinthians 11:16-31 Sherin Abraham
St. Andrews MTC, NY 30. If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
This passage talks about Paul’s sufferings he endured as part of being a missionary for Christ. Paul is one of the prominent members in Christianity who is widely regarded as the Apostle of the Gentiles. When we think about who Paul was before he met Jesus, he was probably one of the most hated person in the early Christian world. He was a Pharisee who persecuted the people who followed Jesus and even supervised the murder of Stephen and many more. After his encounter with Jesus on the way to Damascus (Acts 9), he radically changed to become a missionary for Jesus.
Paul was writing this letter to people in Corinth to show his authenticity as the one sent by God. He wanted them to know why they should believe him rather than the false teachers who were spreading false teachings. What Paul is humbly trying to boast is that his credibilit…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Holy Baptism: Born from Above John 3:1-8
Daniel Thomas
Orlando MTC 3. In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again."  4. "How can a man be born when he is old?"  Nicodemus asked.  "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"  5. Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit."
Baptism is the outward act of an inner experience.  It is one's union with Christ as well as an identification with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:3-5).  While under house arrest in Rome, Paul wrote to believers in Colosse (Turkey) that, "having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead" (2:12).
The idea of rebirth - new creation, new life, regeneration -  in the passage (John 3:1-15), can be seen all throu…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Holy Baptism: Born from Above Exodus 2:1-10
Dr. Prathik Manuel Philip Carmel MTC Boston MA
"She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother." The story of Moses' birth is one that we all remember from our days in Sunday School. In the narration, Moses is described as a "fine" child and the mother hid him for three months believing that God had a plan for Moses and that he was not meant for death. Through her faith(Hebrew 11:23), she saved the child who would later free the Hebrews and one day lead them out of Egypt toward the promised land.
The Nile river meant death to so many baby boys during that time period. God used this same river to deliver Moses into the arms of Pharaoh's daughter. Only through the mercy o…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Holy Baptism: Born From Above Acts 8:9-24 Mereen Mammen Carmel MTC (Boston) 18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” This passage in Acts has an interesting take on the happenings in Samaria. The Book of Acts describes the journey and revealing of the Holy Spirit to so many new believers in Christ. Among the new believers, we have Simon, who was once claimed to be “The Great Power” in Samaria. After Simon was baptized, he followed Philip around to see all the miracles performed, but he wanted more. In Verse 18, we find Simon offering the disciples money in exchange for the power of the Holy Spirit. We are all Simons in our own nature, claiming to have our own ‘power’ when we are farthest away from God, but when we get closer to Him, we want more, but on our terms. We want God to work through us, but preferably if He c…

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Holy Baptism: Born from Above Colossians 3:1-11 Daniel Thomas Orlando MTC for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
In the early church the ceremony of baptism was the only means of becoming a member of the Christian church, and that practice has remained so ever since except a few Christian groups.  The Salvation Army is one.  Churches may differ the “when” (age), and the “how” (mode) of baptism.  There is no difference, however, of the purpose and meaning of it.
Baptism is the outward act of an inner experience.  It is one’s union with Christ as well as an identification with the death and resurrection of Christ (Mark 10:38).  Paul, in Colossians, makes the same point (3:1-3).  In baptism the person dies and rises again. It is like being resurrected to a new life.  He says in Galatians, “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you baptized into Chr…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Holy Baptism: Born from Above Genesis 8:1-14Dr. V. T. Samuel
Sehion MTC, Dallas. Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and saw that the face of the ground was drying.

Noah’s ark and the flood reminds us of God’s plan for redeeming the people when human race was turning away from God (Gen 6:13).  Instead of wiping out the entire living beings, God selected Noah’s family and two each from all living creatures in the process of recreating the world of the living.  This new beginning was to re-establish the sovereignty of God because of the unfaithfulness and infidelities of the people on the earth (6:1-6). To the new generations of living beings of post-Flood, God gives the same instructions:  "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth..." (Gen 1:28 and 9:1).  This re-creation process of God continues in every generation of humans, animals and environment silently and sometimes through catastrophic events.  
When sin abounded in the universe, God spoke through the pr…

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Holy Baptism-Born From Above. 1 Peter 3:16-22

Alex Thomas & Dr. Susan Alex, Jackson, TN.
20 who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21 And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
The word Baptism is derived from the Greek word "Baptisma" and it is similar to the Aramaic word, "Mamodisa", which means, immersion or washing". Christian baptism is a symbolic illustration of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Through baptism, "we die with Christ and rise with Him".  It also represents our death to sin and new life in Christ as it washes our sins away. In baptism we die to sin (Romans 6:11) and are raised to a brand new life (Colossians 2:12). "Through baptism, you are i…

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Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ
Romans 6:1-11
Ninni Jacob
Carmel MTC, Boston, MA 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

When we were growing up, we were taught that if we are a Christian, we should not do certain things, like seeing movies, playing cards, dancing, drinking, smoking, etc.  As we grow older not only in age but in Christianity and faith in God, we may resolve to stay away from anything that would displease our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Do we have a changed heart? Do we exhibit the fruit of the spirit?  The scripture says: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”  (Galatians 5:22-23) Augustine of Hippo (534 -440) is quoted to have said “Love God and do what you will.” If our love of God is real and profound, then obedience and faithfulness, right thinking and right actions will flow irresistibly from that lo…

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Holy Marriage - Lasting Life of Love Matthew 19:1-6 Daniel Thomas Orlando MTC 4 He answered, “Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” There is a saying that, "marriages are made in heaven."  But what happens now-a-days tell another story.  The bride and the groom repeat after the celebrant their vow, "I, (bride/groom) take you (groom/bride), to be my (husband/wife), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from this day forward until death do us part."  Then the subsequent events unfold, it seems that their vow was just a ceremonial repetition and not from their heart.  The married lif…

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Making of the Faithful Hebrews 11
Iype Chandy (Anil) Connecticut Mar Thoma Congregation
13 All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them.
Being a faith based community, this passage resonates with us. The Biblical characters mentioned in the passage embody faith-in-action.  These individuals exhibited their faith by responding to God’s call, believing in His promises, offering heartfelt sacrifices to God, fearlessly going out into the unknown, courageously resisting evil governments, dutifully helping others, speaking out against injustice and sin, offering their own lives in obedience to God’s will, and never abandoning their identity as Christians even to the point of death.  Our Biblical fore-fathers and fore-mothers recognized that their belief in God had to be manifested by their actions.  Do we exhibit faith-in-action?  Does our belief compel us to go out into the world and spread the Gospel?  Do we engage in the same f…

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Holy Marriage-Lasting Life of Love
1 Cor. 13:1-13,14:1
Christin Mathew
Epiphany MTC
8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, was responsible for many of the epistles in the New Testament. Paul wrote to various people that made up the 1st century of believers. To this day, nearly two millennia later, we reflect upon the truths that he eagerly wanted to share with the early churches. When trying to understand why he wrote these letters, we have to take the context into consideration. To whom is he writing? What truth is Paul trying to reveal?
Difficulties in Corinth: The people of Corinth did not have a solid faith foundation. To get some insight regarding their predicament, we have to look at where they were living. Corinth is situated in present-day Greece. At that period in history, Greece was a land of commerce, great minds and cultural diversity. Also,…

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Freedom : Participation in Decision-making Galatians 5:1-6Daniel Thomas Orlando MTC 1. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.  Our mother country, India, gained freedom from British domination on August 15, 1947 by the tireless and peaceful resistance of Mahatma Gandhi, known as the Father of India.  Even though India is a free country today, majority of the masses do not experience the true freedom.  Let us hope and pray that the day is near, not far, for every citizen to enjoy his/her fair share of the fruit of freedom assured by the constitution of India. People love their liberty, freedom from, as well as their freedom to - freedom to pursue one's dreams, freedom from a forced religion, freedom to live according to one's belief.  At the same time, how many of us understand the true meaning of freedom?  The New Testament presents true liberty as serving Christ, and emphasizes that we can …