Remembering the Past for Tomorrow’s Sake

Even the most inaccessible and smallest of groups still can command attention be it from the other end of our world! Located in Papua New Guinea, the Binumarien tribe had been decimated by warfare and expulsion from their tribal land and now numbered only 111 villagers. In 1970 translators came to their village. What followed next became fixed in memorial. From a routine rendering of Christ genealogy into their language,  the tribes people suddenly became animated about Matthew’s listing of Christ ancestry,  so much  that an  emergency meeting was called for that very evening for all the villagers to attend. In the company of Wycliffe Bible translators a representative of the tribe announced that Jesus had to be a real person since no-one would bother to write down the ancestors of spirit beings. Not long after hearing about Christ bloodline, the majority of the villagers turned away from their beliefs in spirit beings and black arts to embrace Christ as their Savior. Today, the official religion listed in the encyclopedia for the Binumariens is Christianity.

Genealogies are important for a number of reasons. They trace our roots, where we come from which may hint at where we are headed. Understanding family trees helps to mark your past. For 1st century Israel, it provided them their national identity as a nation that inherited the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, those belonging to God’s chosen people. Without correct knowledge about our beginnings, thoughts about our origins drifts into the same space that we purport to be from, where supposedly life was jump started by space dust which over billions of years has magically transformed itself into the animal kingdom, with you as just another animal at the end of a long chain stretching back in time. While believed by some, better to let the real Creator do our thinking for us. The Bible teaches that human beings are descendants of Adam, originally made in God’s image. Recent genetic research suggests that all females are descended from a single female and all males from a single male do correspond well with the Biblical account of Adam and Eve. We share a common ancestry in Adam. Understanding our Adamic roots shows us that we not only share physical descendantcy but spiritual too. Which means we are spiritually fallen creatures and in need of Christ. Now according to American demographics 113 million Americans have begun to trace their family roots, but have you taken the time to consider your legacy from the start point of mankind Biblically speaking?   Cemetery records cannot take you far enough in history but the Genesis account can and teaches that each of us share Adam’s fallen nature, we are sinners not because we choose to from birth but because of our relation to our paternal connection to Adam and sin instinctively.  Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—  (Ro.5:12).

So then where do we go from here? Thankfully, there is no need to abort plans for ever getting to heaven. If we follow the genealogy of Jesus, we will discover that there is real hope for all of us.

See that when taken together both Mathew’s and Luke’s gospel provide helpful genealogies from Christ heritage. Luke tracks Jesus lineage back to Adam in order to show He is the one who is the Savior of mankind while Matthew’s trail ends with Abraham to show that He is the long-awaited Messiah that the Jewish people have been waiting for.  And as far as the remaining two gospels no descendantcy is credited to John’s account instead we learn that Christ origins lie in eternity, He was with God in the beginning. (John 1:2).   Mark’s gospel commences with these words:   The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God ( Mark 1:1) is a concise statement about Christ identity that ends later on the same note with the centurion’s declaration that “certainly this was God’s Son at the cross” (15:39).

Perhaps like those in Christ day, you are still hesitant about who Christ is and what He means to our lives.  In the following months, the identity of Christ will be the subject of our study.  You can be sure that Christ pedigree is of royal decent dating back to the David’s royal line where Jesus is found to be the rightful heir to the throne of David. He has divine authority over His creation.  His kingdom is even now near at hand where men, women and children are entering into it by believing in Him and repenting of their sins. (Mark 1:15). One day He will return for His people. Today, Christ can be your Savior and Ruler — place your trust in Him to have your sins pardoned and receive eternal life in God`s heaven.

Living on Earth – Whose Standards Should We Live By?

The tragic event from a week ago reminds us about the condition of a sinful society. A man performs an evil act purposing punitive murders against innocent women. Alek Minassian in cold-blood slaughtered innocents, targeting mostly women. He is not alone, sad to say. Some subcultures in our hemisphere and religious groups abroad support an ideology ripe with cruelness toward women and continue to openly denigrate and abuse them.   Reports out of Pakistan tell of over a thousand women who have been killed in various manners, some burned alive or disfigured with acid to the their faces and bodies for violating their family or community’s supposed honor by refusing marriage proposals.  Ghandara News and Analysis reports that many Islamist parties in Pakistan have opposed reforms such as a progressive law that granted women greater rights and protection in eastern Punjab Province in February. Instead, they have advocated alternative legal frameworks that have even called for allowing “light beating” of wives. (gandhara.rferl.org/a/pakistan-why-are-women-burned-to-death)  What takes place in Pakistan is reminiscent of what took place in the latest attack on a Toronto street. Ideologies are based on ideals, principles, doctrines upon which subcultures and entire nations form their practises. From reports in some Islamic countries, the torture and killing of women is considered honorable and permissible. The Western world does not condone such ruthless treatment of women or toward anyone else for that matter. The murderous act in Toronto typifies the violence against women in some form or another in other parts of our world where it largely goes unpunished mostly because of a defective and evil ideology, a way of thinking that among other things reduces women as inferior. Islamic scholars say that people read the Koran selectively, taking phrases out of context. They may insist on that saying mostly the same as on other issues, but proper treatment of women is not even debatable since clearly women are subjugated to men in their regime. Thankfully, you will find a safer and more human belief system currently in our world today that has been in place since the beginning of man.

You will find in the Sermon on the Mount a moral code far superior and unmatched by any found anywhere in the world.  Early in Christ ministry, he taught a select compilation of teaching that was superior to the values of the religious elite of that time. We would be fooling ourselves to think that attempts to create our own way in this life can rival what is found in this sermon by Jesus, especially when you weight in the immorality and debauchery that goes on today and how it is taken so lightly, as though values is a choice we make to match our own individual needs. Recently a small gathering of pro-life folk saw their flag taken down outside of city hall in preparation for a March for Life event. It seems that Jim Watson and some counselors decided for us that abortion is a moral right in our country and nothing should detract from that, not even those who wish to witness their beliefs in the sanctity of life. Too bad, flag lowering by our city leaders remonstrates against the ethics of Jesus since He advocates the protection of life too in His Word.

The acceptance of a higher moral code is demanding and not everyone will ascribe to it since it calls for us to follow Christ. Let us be clear here. If you wish for a middle-of-the-road set of morals by hacking away at Jesus teachings to fit into your own set of rules you wish to live by, it cannot be called Christian. When Jesus says that unless your standards exceed that of Pharisees and Sadducees He means it, and we muddy the message when we attempt to modify the clear and unmistakable requirements set for us to live spiritually healthy lives. Let’s be clear on another point. There is no ill intent at any stage of the Lord’s sayings; He means for us to have rewarding and stable lives, no violence toward anyone, and definitely no forced conversions.  Jesus life and mission was about helping people, to make them see their need of forgiveness and lovingly persuade them to come to Him for salvation.  Sometimes that meant displays of healings and miracles, other times simply a gracious appeal to their understanding through teaching them His truths. His sermon marks a distinctive lifestyle that gives direction and purpose in the lives of individuals of every age. It is all about living for something far more elevated than what we can conjure up for ourselves, to set our sights on God’s glory. Our nation’s people need to understand this and their need for Jesus Christ. At the centre of Christian ethics is Jesus. Christ places before us clear directives and grants us the ability to obey Him. Christianity is founded on truths that are both wholesome and fair. Murder is wrong, the act of adultery is wrong, marriage relationships are to be permanent, honesty is demanded, and we are to love our enemies is a strong ethos meant to be carried out without hypocrisy. This is possible when Jesus is in control of our lives.  Jesus says For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Mathew 5:20).

Do not get caught up in this world’s system, eventually it will catch up with you and you will perish along with the world and its lusts (1 John 2:17). Your refusal to trust Christ as Savior and repent of your sins and to follow Him will exact a hefty price. Your soul will be impoverished and you will suffer eternally. Do take the opportunity to consider Christ as Savior and obey His truth to guide you in this life. Pray that God forgives you of your sins through Christ meritorious death on His cross and His resurrection — be saved and start a new life in Him.