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April 6, 2016
“It is the Spirit who gives life”
What/who gives life? This is the question today. Jesus told us that “it is the Spirit who gives life.” (John 6:63) He is talking about the Holy Spirit. A Chinese woman had just jumped down from a high-rise building in a busy prosperous modern city and ended her life. She just came back to work from her maternity leave. She worked in a big corporation with lots of staff who hardly had time to know each other. She was away for sometime and had just returned to work. She just had a baby. But she suddenly ended her life.
According to some Chinese tradition of ancestors’ worship this is the time of the annual tomb festival and they go to visit their ancestors’ cemeteries and perform their filial rituals there. It is a bit like the All Souls’ Day (Day of the Dead) practiced by some Christians in the West. Although many treat this as a traditional or even cultural event to remember the dead loved ones, there is spiritual implication and influence in the spiritual realm which can manifest in the physical realm and affect lives on earth, as I have written before. The apostles have warned Christians about such evil that affect minds. (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:10-18; Philippians 4:8)
What should Christians do on such mass celebration of the dead? I believe we can find Bible verses to guide us. Christianity does not focus on the dead. Jesus talks of life and life more abundant. He has given many words about Hi giving life and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of life, His words are life. He speaks of His resurrection from the dead. He tells us that we shall be resurrected too. Believers of Jesus shall not remain dead when Jesus returns. We shall not taste the second death the rest of the world will go into. The whole Bible actually focuses on the life that God has given to mankind and the born again life that the Holy Spirit will give to those who believe in Jesus. Jesus speaks of His mission as, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Bible verses: James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:10-18
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.