The Christian Primary Creeds – ‘The Apostles’ Creed’ (2)

The Christian Primary Creeds – ‘The Apostles’ Creed’ (2)

Apostles’ Creed– Virgin Birth and Resurrection

“… and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. On the third day, he rose again from the dead.”

Matthew walks us through this portion of the Apostles’ Creed to show us how it:

  1. Affirms the historical humanity of Jesus;
  2. Affirms the immense love of Jesus, and
  3. Affirms the power of the deity of Jesus.

The church today is not different from modern society in its engagement with contemporary issues. They get engaged in silly arguments like the Pharisees and Sadducees at the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry. They get solely engaged in the minors leaving the majority of our Faith. The real focus should know the Scriptures and God’s power.

Born of the Virgin Mary became essential due to the heretical teachings of some Jews. The story was about Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera (c. 22 BC to AD 40), a Roman soldier whose tombstone was found in Bingerbrück, Germany, in 1859. A historical connection from this soldier to Jesus of Nazareth was hypothesized by James Tabor, based on the claim of the ancient Greek philosopher Celsus, who said that some Jews claimed Jesus was the result of an affair between his mother, Mary, and a soldier.

Celsus said Mary was “convicted of adultery and had a child by a certain soldier named Panthera” [1]. Tiberius Pantera could have served in the region at the time of Jesus’s conception[2]. The hypothesis is considered extremely unlikely by mainstream scholars, given that no evidence supports this Pantera in particular[3]. Historically, the name Pantera is not unusual and was in use among Roman soldiers[4].

Jesus was not born of a sinful nature. If he had a human father, man’s sinful nature would have been transferred to him, but he touched humanity only by the Virgin Mary. The virgin birth was complicated for the pagans to believe or comprehend. It is the man, not the woman, through which the sinful nature comes from. So Jesus had to come without the sinful nature of man. Virgin Mary and the executioner were mentioned in the Apostles’ Creed because these are documented Roman records.

Jesus died a painful death to bring us Salvation. He died for us because He deeply loves us. The point of the Resurrection is to prove there is life after death. The power of the Resurrection is to tell us that Christ has made our lives significant. There is Power and Hope because of Resurrection. The Apostles Creed consistently serves as a starting point or benchmark to constantly measure where you are in your beliefs. Because so many different kinds of churches emphasize various doctrines, beliefs, and practices radically different from one another, it can be challenging to understand what is essential and what is non-essential.

There are essential doctrines like Jesus’ gruesome death on the Cross and his miraculous Resurrection that are required beliefs to be an authentic Christian. So the Apostles Creed is imperative for all Christians to affirm and accept because it points us back to Jesus. While our relationship with God can only be mediated through Jesus Christ, our Faith points to the life, death, burial, and Resurrection of a natural person whom we now commune with through the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit.

Apostles’ Creed– Ascension and Return

…. On the third day, he rose again from the dead. He ascended to Heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there, he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Apostles’ Creed is significant to Christians. It explains things that make Christianity special. Our lives as Christians center on a King and His Kingdom. Eyewitnesses saw Jesus ascending to Heaven. Jesus Christ is equal with the Father and rules and reigns with Him; God rules with His Righteous Right Hand. Jesus is God’s Righteous Right Hand. Death cannot hold Jesus, for he has the supreme power – Eph. 1:19 and He has given the believers the same authority – Luke 10:19. He is alive forever – 1 Cor. 15:1-8. All other dead religious founders have their bones in their graves; none arose except Jesus. Jesus triumphed over the grave by His Resurrection, and His grave is empty – Matt. 7:25, 1 Cor. 15:12-13. The world’s blackest assumption is that Jesus was not raised; If Jesus was not raised, where is our Faith as Christians? And if Christ has not risen, our Faith is futile; we are still in our sins. 1Cor. 15:17

The Apostles’ Creed – Unity

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the Resurrection of the Body, and the life everlasting.

The word “Catholic” used here means Universal Church. When one uses the word “catholic” and writes with a small ‘c,’ it refers to the Universal Church of Christ. The alphabet ‘C’ is always written in Capital letters for a denomination like the Catholic Church. The Apostles’ Creed speaks about unity within the local church congregation and throughout the global church. The Universal Church is One Body, and Christ is the head of the Body. This Creed re-emphasizes the congregational unification, the work of the Holy Spirit since Pentecost, and the forgiveness of sins in the blood of Jesus on the Cross.


  •   [1] James D. Tabor, The Jesus Dynasty, New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2006, 64-72
  • [2] Tabor, 64-72
  • [3] James Whitehead, The panther: posthumous poems, (Michael Burns 2009), 15-17; Maurice Casey, Jesus of Nazareth: An Independent Historian’s Account of His Life and Teaching, 2010, 153-154
  • [4] A. Evans, “The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: Matthew-Luke,” Volume 1, 2003, 146;

Join me next Sunday, February 19, 2023, for the Final analysis of The Apostles’ Creed

The Christian Primary Creeds – ‘The Apostles’ Creed’ (1)

The Christian Primary Creeds – ‘The Apostles’ Creed’ (1)

For the next three Sundays, I will discuss one of the Christian Primary Creeds, The Apostles’ Creed. I am giving an overview of the dates of other Creeds.

 Creed                                    Date                                        Accepted by

Apostles’ Creed                     200-900                       Western Christian denominations

Creed of Nicaea (Nicene)     325                              Western Christian denominations

 Creed of Jerusalem               350                              Nearly all Christian denominations

Nicene-Constantinopolitan   381                              Nearly all Christian denominations

Early Christian Creeds

Apostles’ Creed: The origin of this Creed is less clear than that of the Nicene Creed. The most common view is that Nicene Creed was initially developed in the first or second century (325 A.D.

Athanasius Creed (500 A.D.)

Chalcedonian Creed (451 A.D.)

Canons on the Council of Orange (529 A.D.)

Statement of Faith of the 3rd Council of Constantinople (681 A.D.)

Reformation Confessions:    Luther’s 95 Theses (1517 A.D.)

Augsburg Confession (1530 A.D.)

Belgic Confession (1561 A.D.)

Heidelberg Catechism (1576 A.D.)

Canons of Dort (1619 A.D.)

Westminster Confession (1647 A.D.)


Westminster Shorter Catechism (1647 A.D.) and

Waldensian Convession (1655 A.D.)


Christianity produced through Church history some Creeds and Reformation Confessions as listed above. Creeds are summaries of the Christian Faith. Different Creeds have different reasons for coming into existence. Even though they do not always agree with each other 100% of the time, they divulge the Truth of the Christian Faith in essentials.

By 70AD, Roman Empire had destroyed Jerusalem and put Christianity out of its own. The tremendous persecution was focused on the Church. Many claimed to be Christians, but their beliefs and actions did not align with the Apostles or the earlier followers of Christ. There are Christian doctrines; these are a set of beliefs held by Christ’s followers. There were weird intrusions into Christianity, leading to heresies. At times, some Christians prioritize the minors that divide the Church, like today setting aside the major. What we see in the Creeds is the major. Apostles’ Creed is the backbone of Christian Faith and Belief. The main thing is devotion to Jesus. The most important and well-known Creed is the Apostles’ Creed. This Creed conveys the Church’s important message and affirms the Truth to a believer. As a spiritually formed Christian, it is essential to recapture the intent of early church fathers.

According to critique Marcion, the Apostles’ Creed is a product of the first ecumenical council of Nicaea, which tried to solve the Arian Controversy. Apostles’ Creed served as a tool to communicate the Christian Faith’s essence during a time of great persecution. In answering the question of who is a Christian or what it means to be a Christian, the early Church set up mechanisms to teach the same thing, so they set up Creed, which is like a mission statement. Apostles’ Creed was used as a tool for early Church baptism.

Significant questions for baptism in the knowledge of the Christian Faith are embedded in the Apostles’ Creed. Tradition says it was put together on the day of the Pentecost and that each of the Apostles wrote each statement that formed the Creed, but some scholars disagreed with this traditional statement. These scholars said the Creed is called the Apostles’ Creed not because the Apostles themselves did produce it but because it contains a summary of their teachings. It sets forth their doctrine “in sublime simplicity, unsurpassable brevity, beautiful order, and liturgical solemnity.” Its present form is dated no later than the fourth century. More than any other Christian creed, it may be called an ecumenical symbol of Faith. [1] The important thing is that this Creed was and still is a rule of Truth, the doctrine of Faith. A complete Creed built on the Apostles’ Creed is the Nicene Creed.

Apostles’ Creed:

(The CRC Synod approved this translation of the Latin text of 1988.)

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried;

He descended to hell. On the third day, He rose again from the dead.

He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty.

From there, He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic* Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


We are called to be Holy as God is Holy. The creeds were expounded to address some salient issues in Christendom. I am doing a thorough exegesis on the first of the widely accepted Creed – The Apostles’ Creed to establish Christians’ stand in the Faith. The Church’s most ancient statement of belief is the Apostles Creed; this Creed guards us against veering off on our own opinion. Our belief must be sound and based on sound doctrine to be spiritually formed. The Church leaders decided to set up quiet rules to beat the virus of heresy. Doctrine drives our devotions in the right direction. Another strength of the Apostles Creed is its ability to connect us with Christians throughout time. The Creed we have today is very similar to the Creed when it was first scribed 1900 years ago. So even though it was penned in a time and culture radically different from our own, it connects us via the timeless Truth concerning the testimony of Jesus to Christians past, present, and future. In today’s culture, where things are constantly changing and in flux, the need to connect with the past is ever-pressing and growing. So our Faith is not created by some existential crisis of an individual dissatisfied with the status quo but instead is based on a historical event that took place in real-time and natural space.

Apostles’ Creed – ‘Doctrine of Trinity

God is ‘One’ but also Three (3), all divine, all-powerful with different roles. The Trinity is one True God, and Trinity is convened in the Apostles’ Creed. The strength of the Apostles Creed is its ability to safeguard or protect us from veering down paths that lead us far from the norms of the Church. When we read the Apostle’s Creed, we hear of a Trinitarian God who exists in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We read about the preeminence of Jesus Christ as both human and divine, and we also read about His promised return. This concise statement of Faith points to our Faith’s core and forms the cornerstone for us today.

Besides Christianity, are other forms of religion? The idea of a Father, Son, and Holy Spirit looks absurd to these groups. Some out rightly denied the humanity or divine nature of Christ. The worst is Arianism which denies the divinity of Christ. The word ‘Trinity’ is not mentioned in the bible but was coined by Tertullian of Carthage, an early church father, but the doctrine is in the bible.

The Old and New Testaments reflect the doctrine of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – Genesis 1, 2 Cor. 13:14, Matt. 28:18-19. We must understand God’s three faces and see Him equally. God has always been speaking; we have not always been listening. He is seeking those who would serve Him. He speaks to our minds, or intellect, so that we may clearly understand His Will and purpose for us.

There are many facets of God’s mission or purpose for humankind, the Great Commandment and Great Commission, and the strategy God has given us to build His Kingdom. We explore God’s World, God’s Word, God’s Work, and God’s Ways, understanding, as did Moses (Exodus 3), that it is never about humankind but always about GOD. The Christian Mission is the Call of the Father. The work of God the Son is from purpose to power to programs (or procedures) in the method of engaging the Will.

God seems to work from the head to the heart to the feet. Jesus died for us to be redeemed and become children of God and co-heirs of the Kingdom of God with Him. God’s revelation of His heart for the world demands a response on our part. Our relationship with God is not just cerebral: He gave us hearts to love Him and emotions to respond to His overtures toward us. He does not expect us to live the Christian life in our strength. He gave us a dynamic Person to dwell in us and empower us to serve Him in response to the clarion call to evangelize and disciple the nations (the mission). Here we explore the Trinity, emphasizing the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit and our utter dependence upon Him for daily living. In engaging our hearts and emotions, the Holy Spirit plays His role.

Next Sunday (February 12, 2023), I will continue. Please join me.

Note (1)


Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (2)

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (2)

Living Water (Wisdom) – John 4:10

Jesus promises the woman a spiritual drink (fresh and pure water that will quench her Spiritual thirst forever). By this, living water is meant for the Spirit. Under this comparison, the blessing of the Messiah had been promised in the Old Testament. The graces of the Spirit, and His comforts, satisfy the thirsting soul that knows its nature and necessity. What Jesus says figuratively, she took literally. Christ shows that the water of Jacob’s Well yielded a very short satisfaction. Of whatever waters of comfort we drink, we shall thirst again. But whoever partakes of the Spirit of grace and the comforts of the Gospel shall never want that which will abundantly satisfy his soul. Carnal hearts look no higher than carnal ends. Give it to me, saith she, not that I may have everlasting life, which Christ proposed, but that I come not hither to draw. The carnal mind is ingenious in shifting off convictions and keeping them from fastening. But how closely our Lord Jesus brings home the conviction to her conscience! He severely reproved her present state of life. The woman acknowledged Christ to be a prophet. The power of His Word in searching the heart, and convincing the conscience of secret things, is proof of Divine authority. It should cool our contests to think that the things we strive for are passing away.

Location and Mode of Worship

A critical factor in the Jews-Samaritans’ animosity was the issue of the place of worship. The Jews started rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem after the exile from Babylonia, rejecting the input of the Samaritans, apparently on ethnoreligious grounds. The Samaritans built their temple at Mt. Gerizim in opposition to that of Jerusalem; this temple was destroyed by the Maccabean king John Hyrcanus in about 128 b. C. E.[viii] The Jews excluded the Samaritans from the Jerusalem worship. However, Jesus pointed out the reality that the spiritual Jerusalem, where people worship in Spirit and truth. [ix] The Samaritans also rejected the writings of the prophets, Psalms, and historical books; they accepted only the Pentateuch[x] and had their scriptures different from that of the Jews. There is a similarity to the Muslims that accept part of the Old Testament, inserted in their Qu’aran and reject the New Testament. They also uphold their scriptures called “the holy Quran.”

Even so, Samaritans continued to worship in their temple on Mount Gezarim — in the land of Jacob, home of their ancestors— as seemed proper to them (Jn 4:19–20). Jesus made it clear that the location of worship does not matter but the mode of worship. In John 4:23-24, Jesus clearly states, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is Spirit, and His worshippers must worship in Spirit and truth.” Reason teaches us to consult decency and convenience in our worship places. Still, religion gives no preference to one place above another in respect of holiness and approval with God. By the Scriptures, those who have obtained knowledge of God know whom they worship. The word of salvation was of the Jews, and it came to other nations through them.

Christ justly preferred the Jewish worship before the Samaritan, yet here he speaks of the former as soon to be done away. God was about to be revealed as the Father of all believers in every nation. As influenced by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit or the soul of man must worship God and have communion with him. As shown in fervent prayers, supplications, and thanksgiving, spiritual affections form the worship of an upright heart, in which God delights and is glorified. The woman was disposed to leave the matter undecided until the coming of the Messiah. But Christ told her, I that speak to thee am He. Our Lord revealed Himself to the Samaritan woman more fully than he had done to any of his disciples. No past sins can bar our acceptance of him if we humble ourselves before him, believing in him as Christ, the world’s Savior. (Jn 4:27-42). The object of worship will continue the same, God, as a Father, but an end shall be put to all differences about the place of worship.


 Karris[xi] said the Greek word menein, meaning ‘to stay,’ has more than a theological meaning in John’s Gospel, which can be translated as ‘to dwell.’ Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman began an interpersonal relationship based on mutual trust and openness. It is the same relationship Jesus advocated and called us to establish with other people despite the differences in ethnicity, religion, and barriers. Dialogue is a two-way communication and is not just a rational consensus but the emergence of a community of love. Dialogue enables those involved to understand their different standpoints, perceive the value of each other’s traditions, and appreciate them, which opens up an exploration of new areas of reality and truth. Streng[xii] said, “to understand another person requires not abstract analysis but human encounter – emerging from the dept of another person’s life in dialogue.” Jesus showed the way out in the dialogue with the Samaritan woman; if imbibed, it can bring peace to the world.

Jesus proves the Gospel is for everyone, regardless of race, social position, or past sins. Jesus’ true mission on earth is to save sinners. Jesus proclaims He is the way, the truth, and the life. He tells the Samaritan woman about the Spiritual harvest. Jesus cares for her soul to be saved and speaks to her at the Well. This woman is ultimately used to reach out to other lost souls and convert many of the Samaritans. [xiii] Jesus reveals that God the Father seeks worshippers that will worship Him in truth and Spirit [xiv].


  • [viii] Peter F. Ellis, The Genius of John: A Composition-Critical Commentary of the Fourth Gospel
  • (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1984), 69.
  • [ix] Efren, Rivera, Key Words in Christian Living (Manila, Salesian Publishers inc., 1990), 8.
  • [x] Lucius, Nerepambil, “Jesus and the Nations,” Jeevadhara 14/80, 1984, 147.
  • [xi] Robert J., Karris, Jesus and the Marginalized in John’s Gospel, (Collegeville, Minnesota:
  • Liturgical Press, 1990), 69.
  • [xii] Frederick, Streng, Understanding Religious Life, 3rd edition cited in E. S. Idowu, “Faith in
  • Interaction”, ORITA, 1985, p. 55
  • [xiii] John 4:39
  • [xiv] John 4:24.

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (1)

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (1)

Text: John 4:1-45


Jesus’ theology was misinterpreted or not understood, bringing many conflicts between the Jewish Rabbis and Jesus Christ. His core theology is hinged on peace, justice, and holiness. Samaritans are mixed races and mixed cultures. After the northern kingdom, with its capital in Samaria, fell to the Assyrians, many Jews were deported to Assyria, and foreigners were in to settle in Jews’ land and to keep the peace. (2 Kings 17:24). The intermarriage between the foreigners and remaining Jews resulted in a mixed-race, impure, in the opinion of Jews who lived in the southern kingdom. The Jews did everything they could to avoid traveling through Samaria. Jesus did not live through those cultural restrictions. The route through Samaria was shorter, so he took it. The Jews hold in contempt the Samaritans. Samaritans are despised groups because they are half-Jews. The Jews believe they are the only righteous group in the world. The Jews also hold that a woman might be divorced twice or, at the most, three times; one is not sure if the Samaritans hold this same standard. There are cultural, racial, and religious differences between the Jews and the Samaritans.


The Samaritan woman’s issues are:

  1. a member of the hated mixed-race
  2. known to be living in sin
  3. Presence in a public place (the Well)
  4. And with five husbands, the life of the Samaritan woman at the Well has been exceedingly immoral and decadent.

Therefore, no respectable Jewish man will talk to such a woman under those circumstances, but Jesus did.

Relevant Questions:

  1. What is the Dialogue in John 4: 1-45 concerning Broken Barriers and Conflict Resolution?
  2. What did Jesus mean by “Living Water”?
  3. Which is more important, the location or mode of worship?


The Dialogue – Jesus and the Samaritan Woman

Jesus was gender-friendly and associated with sinners, tax collectors, and the marginalized in society. His action was a departure from the ‘so-called’ pious Jew’s behavior, especially the Pharisees. Still, in doing this, Jesus showed a great example of unifying people, reconciling ethnoreligious, and eliminating barriers.

The Samaritan woman raised two questions with Jesus:

  1. why is he speaking with a Samaritan, and
  2. why is he speaking with a Samaritan woman?

Jews and Samaritans were bitter enemies (Jn 4:9), and any interaction between the two groups would be heavily charged by the geographic, ethnic, and religious barriers that divided them. It would be naive to think that the relationship between Jews and Samaritans was one of polite disagreement. The Samaritan experience was oppression by the Jews, marked by discrimination and violence against their people. 

Jewish rabbinic laws were stringent on two critical matters:

  1. Jewish men were not to have public and open contact with women, and
  2. Jewish rabbis considered Samaritan women to be “menstruants from their cradle” and therefore perpetually unclean.

Jewish rabbis condemned all Samaritans to be tainted by that same standard because men were in contact with impure women, and their “purity rules could not be guaranteed.” “He who talks much with womankind brings evil on himself. He neglects the study of the Law and, at last, will inherit Gehenna.” If speaking with a woman can cast one into Gehenna, how much more will be drinking from the same cup? According to Jewish rules, “The spittle of a menstruant was contaminating to a very high degree.” So, in John 4:1–42, Jesus is doing much more than asking for a glass of water from a stranger — He is boldly breaking Jewish taboos with a purpose. As theologian David Daube articulates, “By asking the woman to give him to drink, Jesus showed himself ready to disregard that hostile presumption respecting Samaritan women.

The dialogue between Jesus and the Samaritan woman is one of the acceptable models for breaking barriers or resolving conflicts. This kind of exchange is based on mutual respect, trust, understanding, and acceptance of the parties involved in the dialogue. In John 4:5-29, Jesus sets an example by initiating a conversation with a marginalized, persecuted, discriminated, despised, rejected, unloved, and a non-person in the eyes of the Jews (v.9); and a woman of different ethnic background. Jesus did not allow over 400 years of hate [i] to put a barrier between him and the Samaritan woman. Jesus – Samaritan woman’s model can be viewed in our present society engulfed in confrontations due to ethnic, religious, and political hostilities. Jesus bridged the dividing line of hostilities and broke down the wall of prejudices that separated the Jews and the Samaritans. He did this by asking the woman to give him a drink – hospitality (v.7). The prejudices of sex and nation were broken down by this first teaching beyond the limit of the chosen people[ii]. It was unthinkable for a Jew to talk to a Samaritan, let alone a woman, as exhibited in the disciples’ reaction when they saw Jesus. In this particular encounter, Jesus’ Jewish’ origin is essential for developing this dialogue[iii]. Jesus led the woman to a deeper level of understanding by using her past, feelings, and psychological thoughts to win her over.

The purpose and context of this dialogue were summed up in v.10, “the giver of life and the Savior of the world” [iv]. Jesus’ foreknowledge manifested profound thoughts in the woman. Kinast said in dialogue that “honesty, respect, and willingness to share one’s views relying on the intrinsic value” [v]. The message of Jesus envisages the possibility of going beyond all people-made boundaries and acknowledging a metaphysical reality of communion in which all people are children of God, the same Father, and our brothers and sisters among themselves. [vi] Jesus broke down the walls of religious and social separation between the Jews and Samaritans, setting an example for reconciliation in modern-day ethnoreligious barriers and conflicts.

The divine knowledge of Jesus Christ in the Samaritan woman’s private life confirmed Him as the expected Messiah, which she shared with others. Hendrickx[vii] asserted that the universality of Christ’s mission was revealed in the Samaritan woman. Jesus accepted the outcasts and the marginalized people.


  • [i] Frederick, Herzog, Liberation Theology: Liberation in the light of the fourth Gospel, (New York:     the Seabury Press, 1972), 72.
  • [ii] B. T., Westcott, The Gospel According to St. John, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: W. B. Eerdmans
  • Publishing Company, 1976)
  • [iii] Francis J., Moloney, Belief in the World, Reading the Fourth Gospel: John 1-4 (Minneapolis:
  • Minnesota, Fortress Press, 1995), 139.
  • [iv] Peter F., Ellis, The Genius of John: A composition-critical commentary of the fourth Gospel
  • (Collegeville, Minnesota, The Liturgical Press, 1984), 72.
  • [v] Robert L., Kinast, If only you recognized God’s Gift: John’s Gospel as an illustration of Theological
  • Reflection, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1993), 68.
  • [vi] Lucius, Nerepambil, “Jesus and the Nations,” Jeevadhara 14/80, 1984, 147.
  • [vii] Herman, Hendrickx, The Fourth Gospel, (Manila, Phil. 198), 140.

Dialectic Sermon: I Know why the Caged Bird Sings Versus Luke 1:39-55 (3) – Final

Dialectic Sermon: I Know why the Caged Bird Sings Versus Luke 1:39-55 (3) – Final

 Text 1: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings By Maya Angelou

 Text 2: Luke 1:39 -55

 Antithesis 1: Human Pride

Pride is refusing to accept God’s gifts or taking credit for what God has done.

Humility is accepting the gifts and using them to praise and serve God.

God promised Abraham to be merciful to God’s people forever (Genesis 22: 16-18). Christ’s birth fulfilled this promise, and Mary understood.

Antithesis 2:

The caged bird experiences Colonialism, imperialism, heterosexism, materialism, sexism, classism, and racism; All are noises of oppression that people face today in a grossly unjust societal context that lacks the proclamation of the anointed sound. It is no secret that the Political Economy orchestrates oppression. The noises of oppression are unpleasant and annoying. Sadly, the caged birds have forgotten their vows of solidarity and servitude. They are no longer instrumental but sounding brass and tinkling symbols temporarily misplaced melodies of justice, chords of peace, and the harmony of equality. The defenseless, denounced, discounted, dismantled, and discredited need our symphonic prayers and actions.

The current state of affairs allows us to be isolated, criticized, demoralized and dehumanized under the tyranny of systemic pharaohs. Particularly for black and brown people, we have succumbed to the fret noise of sex trafficking and organ harvesting (among other threats such as forced labor, inadequate housing, and healthcare). We are plagued with nooses strategically camouflaged by police (the klan in blue), politricks, prestige, poverty, power, and prejudice. We listen to the mumbled, muted, and muffled chaos of an immoral political and economic social structure that turns a deaf ear, thus, growing more unjust with each passing day.

Antithesis 3:

In his book “A Colony in a Nation,” Chris Hayes describes a “nation” of white Americans who see in themselves complete individuality except in one way: They are an organic part of the national body. The “colony” is the imported other, the virus that exists inside the American body but is not of it, and it is viewed solely as a collective. The colony’s members have no individual traits, and they are an amorphous menace, and the nation regularly acts to police the colony and contain it. By depicting the colony as collectively violent, criminal, and scary, it can be removed at any time — with those learned stereotypes as justification and with the police as allies in keeping the colony under control. To be white in America is to assume, with total self-confidence and little afterthought, the personal ownership of public spaces. To be white in America is to have the confidence to say, without a second thought: this space, this neighborhood, this city, this county, this country is mine.


Denying, belittling, or ignoring your gifts instead of thanking God for them and using them for His Glory.

The corruption and exploitation of authority and elites in society dehumanize humans. The anointed sound only breaks the walls of corruption, exploitation, and dehumanization. The decibels of the sound should be so anointed that liberating the oppressed, releasing the captives—breaking the division of the walls between rich and poor, between men and women.

The sound of liberation will center on a conversion to the neighbor, the oppressed person, the exploited social class, the despised ethnic group, and the dominated country. Our call is to commit ourselves lucidly, realistically, and concretely to the liberation of the poor and oppressed. Anointed signifies one being tuned for the undertaking and called to it. It is time to drive out the unjust structures in the community and construct the socio-politico-economic corruption and exploitation in the nation. Our sound is our commitment to the oppressed, their struggle for liberation, and the down social barriers encrusted in customs and traditions and entrenched in social structures. Our sound is the chorus to those treated as non-persons: the poor and deprived, the outcast and the marginalized, the oppressed and the downtrodden, the sick, and those who do not count like children and women.

Spirituality of liberation will center on a conversion to the neighbor, the oppressed person, the exploited social class, the despised ethnic group, and the dominated country. Our sound of liberation should empower those oppressed by systematic structures in our society and labor to eliminate those cultural and social policies of corruption, exploitation, and dehumanization which cause oppression. The anointed sound should sing of Jesus that the psalmist declared the syllables were melodic to the hearing. The clarion song is:

Verse 1– we sound the alarm of spiritual, social, and political redemption to the poor and the disdained who are spoken of with contempt, constrained by the bonds of guilt and corruption, the unfair distribution of power and unequal resources, and denial of opportunities.

Verse 2– we proclaim the release of political captivity. There is a release from the noise of bondage, from the capitalistic prison of lack and not enough.

Verse 3– we apply the salve of redemption for vision. There is recovery from the figuratively and blinded eye closed to the maltreatment of others. We comprehend that where there is no vision, the people perish. We give action to our vision so that our words become verbs. We cancel the noise of discrimination against the disabled, disadvantaged, and disenfranchised. And we say receive your insight and foresight.

And together I sing because I’m happy

I sing because I’m free

His eye is on the sparrow

And I know He watches me (He watches me)

His eye is on the sparrow

And I know He watches

I know He watches

I know He watches me

For I’m Chained to His will

Tied to His word

He has my life

I’m a prisoner of Christ


The cadences of Mary’s canticle call into question any traditional silencing of women’s voices, whether in scripture or throughout the tradition. Mary’s song is the prayer of a poor woman. The term for lowliness in Greek describes misery, pain, persecution, and oppression. Mary’s low-down self-characterization is not a metaphor for spiritual humility but is based on her social position. A young female, a member of a people subjected to economic exploitation by powerful rulers and afflicted by outbreaks of violence, she belongs to the poor. The second part of the Magnificat articulates the tremendous biblical theme of reversal, where lowly groups are defended by God while the arrogant end up losers. Proclaiming her song, Mary continues this deep stream of Jewish faith in the context of the advent of the Messiah, now taking shape within her.

The approaching reign of God will disturb the order of the world run by the hard of heart, the oppressor. Through God’s action, the social hierarchy of wealth and poverty, power and subjugation, is to be turned upside down. All will be well because God’s mercy, pledged in covenant love, is faithful through every generation. Rooted in the biblical heritage of Palestinian Jewish society, this is a revolutionary song of salvation whose concrete social, economic, and political dimensions cannot be blunted. People are hungry because triple taxes are exacted for Rome, the local government, and the temple. The lowly are crushed by the mighty on the thrones in Rome and their deputies in the provinces. Now, with the nearness of the messianic age, a new social justice order is at hand. Mary’s canticle praises God for the kind of salvation that involves concrete transformations.

Historically, women have played vital roles in biblical history, the proclamation of the Gospel, and the establishment and growth of churches. Yet they play second fiddle in the top leadership of some churches, at best, being second to men. Despite decades of human rights agitations and resolutions to protect women’s rights, gender policies still expose them to stressful working conditions, economic deprivations, and political/religious discrimination. They are often victims of terrorism that have led to the death of their husbands and children or displaced their families. The principle of human rights is universal and the foundation of international human rights law. This principle was first emphasized in 1948 in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and has since been echoed in numerous international human rights conventions, declarations, and resolutions.

The 1993 Vienna world conference affirmed the promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms regardless of political, economic, and cultural systems. Biblical perspective on human rights is accentuated in the book of Genesis, Chapter One: Male and Female, God created human beings as equal partners. [1] Women’s history – economically, politically, and religious includes the study of the history of the growth (or decline) of women’s rights throughout recorded history. The millennium development goals summit in 2010 stated, “investing in women and girls has a multiplier effect on productivity, efficiency and sustained economic growth.” The world bank, at different forums, has shown that increasing women’s access to quality education, good jobs, land, and other resources contributes to inclusive growth, sustainable development, and long-term prosperity.


  •   [1] The “battle of Gender” is disobedience to the Will of God, as revealed in the Bible. The Bible teaches the full equality of males and females in the church, in the home, as well as in the general society through mutual respect and submission, e.g., Galatians 5:13, Romans 12:10. The Genesis creation accounts show that both male and female were created in the image and likeness of God, and were given the equal mandate to fill the earth and take responsibility for the rest of the earth – Genesis 1:26-28; Genesis 1 and 2

Dialectic Sermon: I Know why the Caged Bird Sings Versus Luke 1:39-55 (2)

Dialectic Sermon: I Know why the Caged Bird Sings Versus Luke 1:39-55 (2)

Text 1: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings By Maya Angelou

 Text 2: Luke 1:39 -55

 Thesis 2: The Joy of Mary

  • “Joy to the World!”
  •  “O Thou Joyful, O Thou Wonderful”
  • “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore You”
  • “How Great Our Joy!”

 Mary and Elizabeth were pregnant at the same time. Elizabeth was old and past the age of child-bearing, and Mary was a young virgin. They were both on their first pregnancy; they both became pregnant through a mighty act of God. God sent the angel Gabriel to announce both conceptions and births, and they both were given a child who played a crucial role in God’s plan of salvation. Mary arrived when Elizabeth was in her sixth month of pregnancy (Lk 1:36). Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home (Lk 1:56). And Mary said:

(Lk 1:46-47) My soul glorifies the Lord (47), and my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior.

A joyful Mary breaks out into song. Mary’s great desire in her song is to magnify the Lord, not herself. So, again and again, she points to what God has done.

 First, Mary recognizes what God has done for her: He has been “mindful of the humble state of his servant” (Lk 1:48); He “has done great things for me” (Lk 1:49).

 Second, Mary recognizes what God has done for all believers. “His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation” (Lk 1:50); “He has performed mighty deeds with his arm” (Lk 1:51); He “has lifted the humble” (Lk 1:52); “He has filled the hungry with good things” (Lk 1:53). The song of Mary is closely allied to that of the mother of Samuel (1 Samuel 2) and contains several sentences taken from the Book of Psalms. Mary celebrates her happiness with deep humility and holy restraint. Hannah completely surrenders to the feeling of personal victory, in her first words breaking forth into cries of anger against her enemies.

Mary gives these consecrated words an entirely new meaning and a higher application as to the borrowed Biblical phrases. F. Godet. C.S. Robinson says of the Magnificat that it strikes us with wonder in these modern days that a peasant woman of Galilee should be able to chant in so holy a strain. Then observe the femininity of this song. No one but the queen of her sex could have composed it. Mark the delicacy of turn in the sentences, the mingling of dignity with humility, the majesty as sublime as Ezekiel’s, and the tenderness more gentle than John’s. It shows the mind and heart of just the one woman whom Elisabeth could call the “Mother of her Lord.”

Third, Mary recognizes what God has done for Israel: He has been “merciful” (Lk 1:54); He has “remembered” His promises to Abraham and his descendants (Lk 1:54).

Thesis 3: God’s Promise, Gifts/Blessings

When Mary said: “From now on, all generations will call me blessed,” was she being proud? No, she was recognizing and accepting the gift God had given her.

The text ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ is about a person (girl) presented in a multiracial region. The person who is a black girl first wishes she was “a long and blonde-haired, light-blue eyed, white girl,” describes how a strong character in a person helps to avoid the effects of racism, such as trauma that prevent the victims from succeeding and achieving their goals (Maya 3).

The autobiography, therefore, aims at strengthening the character, which can assist in overcoming situational challenges. The poem is about social life, focusing on individual freedom with the illustration of the caged bird. The caged bird is struggling in silence since it is unable to out the issues preventing it from moving out of captivity. The caged bird uses its stronger character to overcome challenges such as trauma that develop when individuals are denied personal freedom to grow. The author states that she could not have made it because of her strong character.

Challenges in the community help develop a character that would help navigate through the restrictions of society. Eventually, the caged bird talks about the challenges and how a more significant character helped overcome them and thus can equip itself with the free bid. The poem presents a revolution for blacks who have taken place to eliminate racial discrimination.

Maya Angelou tells us of a bird, a person, if you will, facing two separate but equal in their life. One area is a song of struggle and silence sung by a voiceless caged bird. The second is a free bird when one finds her voice and words to The song of salvation. Salvation is as in liberty and justice for all. We explore the evolution of the caged bird from a song of silence to a tune of redemption. Scholar Liliane Arensberg calls this presentation Angelou’s “identity theme” of being word made flesh… As in: was, is, and is becoming. From a bird’s eye view, This fractured system shows no semblance of shared struggle as we sojourn from Egypt to the ideal Canaan that Yah intends.

Yet, we find that Yah, through history, has liberated the shackled, shaken, and slaughtered children of Israel. Within the council halls of Heaven, Yah has determined how and when Yah will deliver us and has invited us to consciously participate in altering the trajectory of this nation to become the catalyst for change to ensure global harmony. We must understand that liberation is a constant composition of scripture. Micah 6:8 tells us to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our Yah. We also find that 2 Chronicles 7:14 instructs us to release the sound that can be heard in heaven so that the land can be healed harmoniously.

So, we assemble our mouthpieces as centennials and millennials and reiterate the music of Sojourner and Nat Turner, intricately composed by the tripartite Godhead, Yah, the holy father and mother, the holy spirit and the only begotten son, Yeshua, our model compass. The sable-skinned Savior, the Lukan Yeshua, whose complexion is kissed by the equatorial sun and whose head was anointed with the oil of liberation, reimagined the scroll of Isaiah’s tradition in the 4th chapter and the 18th verse of Luke’s Gospel. This same Lukan Yashua, whose womanist theology was carved out through a mother drenched in melanin magic, descended from the line of Shem; lineage from Noah through Abraham with black blood pulsating through his veins included five self-determined black women.

Tamar, Hagar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Miriam. He exchanged piercing noise with the sound of nail-pierced hands and feet. Yeshua, being the good news, was arrested by the Roman government and imputed the chorus of poverty, captivity, blindness, and oppression. Our position is to sound the alarm that sings of Yeshua, whom the psalmist declared the syllables were melodic to the hearing saying, “Jesus the sweetest name on earth,” but we must render ourselves both active and valuable to the cause for faith without works is dead. Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Let us recall our vows of solidarity and servitude and serenade God with liberty and justice for all. Let us begin to be instrumental and not sound brass and tinkling symbols temporarily misplaced melodies of truth, chords of peace, and harmony of equality.

The anointed sound is the liberation from all noises of oppression. Jesus, whose head was anointed with the oil of liberation, changed piercing noise into an anointed sound. Jesus, being the good news, was arrested by The Roman Government and took on poverty, captivity, blindness, and oppression. The sound was good news to the poor. The sound was the announcement of pardon to prisoners. The sound recovered sight for the literally and figuratively blind.

The sound declared the burdened and battered to be free. It was his sound that challenged religious exclusivism that divided Jews and Gentiles. He dared to touch the untouchables and called women his close disciples. His love was the frequency that touched the miserable lives of the outcast, unshackled their chains of non-dignity and insecurity, and ushered them into freedom and joy.

The sound was liberation heralded by the voice of God and hearkened unto by the oppressors. As is penned in our text, the sound produced by the anointed utterance of the Lukan, Jesus, works on varying levels. We need to understand its full significance; we need to integrate the personal-spiritual aspect emphasized in classical Protestantism, the individual-physical aspect emphasized in Pentecostalism, the socioeconomic aspect emphasized by liberationists, and the ecological aspect highlighted by the Sabbath principle.

Relevant Question: So, this raises an interesting question: What are the lyrics sung by the caged bird?

***To be concluded on Sunday, January 15, 2023.


Dialectic Sermon: I Know why the Caged Bird Sings & Luke 1:39-55 (1)

Dialectic Sermon: I Know why the Caged Bird Sings & Luke 1:39-55 (1)

 Happy New Year, 2023. We give God the Glory and Honor of allowing me, you, and all of us to witness a new year. There are many unpalatable incidences and events in 2022, but God saved us from all types or forms of evil to be counted among living human beings.

Congratulations to us as we enter a new week, month, and year 2023. May God’s overflowing Anointing and Grace abide on us throughout the year. Amen.

My site is changing from daily blogging to once a week (Sundays only). But reposting my YouTube Channels videos on Tuesday and Friday would continue to complement a week thrice publishing on site.

I will discuss the above dialectic sermon topic in three series of Thesis and Anti-Thesis with a conclusion. Each series would be published on Sundays, meaning the next three Sundays starting today, January 01, 2023. I am starting this Sunday with a Dialectic Sermon. (1). 

Text 1: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings By Maya Angelou:

The free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wings in the orange sun rays and dares to claim the sky. But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through his bars of rage his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of the things unknown but longed for still, and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom. The free bird thinks of another breeze and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn, and he names the sky his own. But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams; his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream his wings are clipped, and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom.

Text 2: Luke 1:39 -55:

v39, In those days, Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, v40, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. V41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped into her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit v42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. v43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? v44 For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. v45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be[e] a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” v46 And Mary[f] said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, v47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, v48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on, all generations will call me blessed; v49, for the Mighty One, has done great things for me, and holy is his name. v50 His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. v51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the pride in the thoughts of their hearts. v52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones and lifted the lowly; v53 he has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty. v54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, v55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors, Abraham, and his descendants forever.”


A confined or caged element mainly desire liberation from confinement. The caged bird presents Angelou’s isolation resulting from racism and oppression. Angelou uses the metaphor of Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem of a bird struggling to escape its cage. The poem explains two negative experiences between two birds. One bird can live in nature as it pleases, while another feels caged and suffers in captivity. The long for the liberation of the caged bird leads it to sing to cope with the circumstances and express its longing for freedom. The free bird symbolizes people unfettered by the prejudice of any type, whether natural, socioeconomic, philosophical, or psychological. 

In Luke 1: 39-59, Mary, the mother of Jesus, visits Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist.

v.46-55 is regarded as the song of Mary. The song is often called the Magnificat, the first word in the Latin translation of this passage. Mary’s song is commonly used as the basis for choral music and hymns. Mary glorified God in song for what he would do for the world through her. The style and themes of Mary’s song are Semitic and pre-Christian, indicating that Luke incorporated them from a source earlier than his Gospel. Scholars debate the origins, but there is no reason to doubt that Mary, familiar with the singing of the psalms, could have composed the song as reflections on the auspicious events.

Thesis 1: God is the Liberator, pictured as a champion of the poor, the oppressed, and the despised.

God is Omnipotent. Omnipotence is the property of being all-powerful; it is one of the traditional divine attributes in Western conceptions of God. A belief in God or gods is central to the vast majority of the world’s religions. There is a continuing debate among philosophers about the reasonableness of trust in God, the problem of evil, the possibility of miracles, and the proper analysis of religious experiences.

The Liberation theologians’ drive is to seek liberation for the oppressed people using scriptures as a foundation. Gustavo Gutierrez, a Peruvian Roman Catholic Priest, first used the term Liberation theology in 1973. The Latin American Catholics’ school of thought demands that the church concentrate its efforts on liberating the people of the world from poverty and oppression.

The central methodology of liberation theology is to do theology (i.e., speak of God) from the viewpoint of the economically poor and oppressed of the human community. Liberation theology focuses on Jesus not only as Savior but also as Liberator. Emphasis is placed on those parts of the Bible where Jesus’ mission is described in terms of liberation. Feminist theology studies how women relate to the divine and the world around them as equal creations in the image of God.

Feminist theology is a movement found in several religions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and New Thought, to reconsider the traditions, practices, scriptures, and theologies of those religions from a feminist perspective. The conviction in God as a liberator is due to God’s Character and Attributes. Structured as a thanksgiving psalm, the Magnificat has two parts.

The first praise God’s mercy to the speaker, and the second reflects God’s victorious deeds for the oppressed. The two pieces are linked by a profound sense of God’s unwavering compassion, by the joy that results in the lives of the liberated, and because Mary herself is a member of the oppressed people who experience redemption. Together, they reflect a way of life essential to Jewish and Christian traditions: spirituality and social justice.

**Continuation on Sunday, January 8, 2023. Join me that Sunday as we go through the Dialectic Sermon Part 2.

The Purpose of God’s Law: The End Year 2022 Message

Let me wish all my readers a Happy New Year in advance. Today, December 31st is the last day of the year 2022. By God’s Grace, we shall witness in good health the year of the Lord, 2023.

The policy of this site is changing from daily blogging to once a week, every Sunday, in the year 2023. But the regular posting of my YouTube videos on Tuesday and Friday will continue on the website.

To end the year, I am on the Pulpit preaching “The Purpose of God’s Law.” We must start the new year 2023 by embracing God’s Law for our benefit.

The Purpose of God’s Law:

Text: Eze. 38: 8–13; Col. 3: 1–11; Jn. 16: 23-33


The Sovereign LORD says: on that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme.” – Ezekiel 38: 10. Since the Fall of man, man’s thoughts and deeds have always been evil in total disobedience to God our Creator. God gave Moses the Ten Commandments for the Israelites because of their hardened hearts, yet they were disobedient to God’s Law. A cursory look at the Ten Commandments shows separate teachings that guide our lives. In Matthew’s account of Jesus’ confrontation with the Lawyer, Jesus confirms that there are only two commandments. The first Commandment is to Love God with all your heart, mind, and soul. That is what Jesus called the Great Commandment. The Commandment deals with our relationship with God, and four of the ten commandments fall under this. They are:

  • You shall have no other gods before you.
  • You shall not make, worship, or serve any graven images.
  • You shall not take the Lord God’s name in vain.
  • Six days shall be thou labor; honor the Sabbath; keep it holy.

The second Commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves, which we know as the Great Commission. I love my lost brother and sister for sharing the Gospel and bringing them into the kingdom. I love my saved brother and sister by bringing them to their full maturity in Christ to expand the kingdom. The remaining six commandments fall under this second law and have to do with our relationships with others.

  • Honor your father and mother.
  • You shall not kill
  • You shall not commit adultery.
  • You shall not steal.
  • You shall not bear false witness.
  • You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, servant, animals, or possessions.

What, then, is the Purpose of God’s law of Love, Loving God and loving our neighbors?

The Purpose is in three parts:

  1. Holy Calling – A call to spiritual resurrection; a call to be a Christian; a call to have Faith
  2. Holy Affection & Ambition –  A call to Holy living; a call to Love and be Loved; a call to total Obedience and
  3. Holy Affirmation – A call to the certainty of human expectations; a call to have your prayers answered.

In dealing with these three purposes, I will use the New Testament reading: Colossians 3: 1 – 11, and the Epistle, John 16: 23 – 33

Body Of Message:

A. Holy Calling – Col. 3: 1-11; John 16: 27

  • A call to be a Christian in Faith– Colossians 3
  • Raised with Christ vs.1
  • Setting your heart and mind on things above vs. 1b & 2
  • Christ is all and is in all – vs. 11; No segregation, No class distinction, No ethnicity, No tribalism, etc.
  • Father loves you because you have loved Christ and believe He came from God.

B. Holy Affections & Ambitions – Col. 3: 5, 8, 9, 10

(i) A call to Holy Living – Entire Sanctification having being Justified

  • Put to death earthly nature – External dynamics vs. 5; all forms of Impurity, Sexual immorality, Lust, evil desires, and greed are classified as Idolatry.
  • Rid yourself of inner dynamics vs. 8 – anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips (Tongue is the fire of human parts and has the power of life and death, so you must tame your tongue.)
  • Do not lie to each other vs. 9

We exhibit Love when we do all these.

(ii) A call to Obedience

– Learning to be a Servant of God. You are obedient when you become a servant of God.

To be a servant of God, you must be moldable and remain in the hand of the Master. Many Scripture passages describe Jesus as God’s servant. He came as a servant to accomplish God’s Will in the redemption of humanity. Here is what Paul said about Jesus in Phil. 2: 5-8.

  • Servanthood requires Obedience. The Biblical concept of
  • servanthood is different from the world. You do not get
  • orders and then go out and do them. You relate to God,
  • respond to Him, and adjust your life to Him, so He can do whatever He wants to do through you.

(iii) A call to a relationship with God.

A relationship with God improves your relationship with others. I think God is crying out and shouting to us, “Don’t just do something; stand there! Enter into a love relationship with me. Could you get to know me? Adjust your life to Me. Let me love you and reveal myself to you as I work through you. The Purpose of God’s law is a deeper relationship with God and others. Relationships with God must come first. When you obey God’s Law, you experience God’s work.

(I will obey and experience God’s work)

  • God wants you to come to more excellent knowledge of Him.
  • He wants to establish a love relationship with you.
  • God wants to involve you in His Kingdom’s purposes.
  • He wants to accomplish His work through you.
  • Your job is simple: Find out where the Master is; that is where you need to be.
  • So, Put on the new self, renewed in knowledge in the image of the Creator vs. 10

 C. Holy Affirmation – John 16: 23 – 33

Holy Affirmation is a call to the certainty of answered prayers. God gave us the Scriptures as a guide for Faith and practice. We often ask the wrong question and get the wrong answer. The right question brings out the correct answer. The right question is, What is God’s will? In other words, what is God proposing where I am? Once I know what God is doing, I know what I need to do. The focus needs to be on God, not my life. For Holy affirmation, watch to see where God is working and join Him. A call to walk in Faith

Jesus Christ is the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. The Bible teaches about using His name in prayer.

  • Whatever you ask in Jesus’ name, you receive-vs. 23
  • Ask to receive in Jesus’ name, and your joy will be complete vs. 24
  • You will have Peace in Christ, and the world affliction v 33
  • In this world, you will have trouble; Take heart! Jesus has overcome the world. Vs. 33


Three words describe this Purpose: Faith, Love, and Obedience. 

The Purpose of God’s Law is to ensure we are not spiritually dead, permanently cut off from God’s presence. Life is concise, but God is eternal. The Purpose is in His Holy Calling, Holy Affection, & Ambition for us, and Holy Affirmation that all is well with us on earth and we have life everlasting by believing in Jesus Christ, His Son.

God’s Word is sufficient to be wise, and the secret of wisdom is the Purpose of God’s law.


You may have been frustrated in your Christian experience because you know God has a more abundant life for you than you have experienced, OR you may be earnestly desiring God’s directions for your life, ministry, or business. You may have experienced tragedy, like losing a loved one. OR you are standing bewildered in the middle of a broken life; you don’t know what to do. Whatever your present circumstances may be, my earnest prayer is that today that you have learned the Purpose of God’s law, you will be able to:

  • Confess and repent of your sins
  • Believe in Jesus Christ that He died for your sins, arose from the dead, and He’s coming again.
  • Having been justified, seek Sanctification
  • Hear when God is speaking to you
  • Identify the activity of God in your life
  • Believe Him to be and do everything He promises
  • Adjust your beliefs, character, and behavior to God and His ways
  • See the direction that He is taking in your life and what He wants to do through your life.

God’s Grace has enabled us this far, and By God’s Continous Grace, we shall all witness God’s New Glory in the year 2023 starting tomorrow.

The Political and Social Background Of Palestinian Judaism (6-Final)

The Political and Social Background Of Palestinian Judaism (6)

Languages That Were Current In Palestine:

Palestine is divided into three regions: (1) Mountainous Region; (2) Fertile Crescent, and (3) Desert Region. The Fertile Crescent was the most affluent part of the world, and everybody wanted to occupy the region. The Jews came in from the Desert region into the Fertile Crescent, so groups tried to dislodge each other.

Palestine is a Cosmopolitan Country in which several different languages are current.

1. Latin was the first official language of those that conquered Palestine (the Romans). The Roman Governors and officials and the Soldiers on parole used this language. The Jewish Palestine don’t know Latin; very few can speak the language. Most Palestinians do not know or speak Latin, i.e., Centurion, Legion, Denarius, and Praetorium. Legate, Colony, etc. The trial of Jesus before Pilate could have required an interpreter. At the time, Latin was the language of Politics and Diplomacy.

2. The Greek Language; this was the language of Commerce. Greek was widely understood in Palestine, especially in the North (Galilee of Gentiles). It was here that the Jews came into contact with the Greek Gentiles and enabled them to communicate; there was a need for bilingualism which became an economic necessity. It has its root in the 2nd Century before Christ when the Seleucid dynasty was in charge of Syria. Acts of making non-Greek, Greeks are known as Hellenising or Greecising. The Greek they were speaking was called ‘Koine Greek,’ a kind of pidgin that the ordinary people were speaking.

3. Aramaic language was the mother tongue of most Jews. Post-exilic Jews could not speak fluent Hebrew, but the language commonly spoken was Aramaic. At the beginning of the Christian era, in Palestine’s Synagogues and Babylon, the Old Testament was read in Hebrew and Aramaic. But that Aramaic was paraphrased known as Targum. The reason was that the people knew little or nothing of Hebrew. The hometown of Jesus was Nazareth, and by this time, Aramaic had become the language of Nazareth, so Aramaic was Jesus’ native language. As time went on, it became necessary for Jesus to know Hebrew and Greek. Jesus preaching and teaching was done in Aramaic, but when it came to debates with the Scribes and teachers of the law, he needed to know Hebrew. Also, he needed to know Greek to communicate with the centurions and Phoenicia women.

Cultural And Religious Background Of Palestinian Judaism:

The social and Political background of the New Testament is essential for any Biblical Scholar. Still, in truth, the Cultural & Religious background is more important to enable us to know the religious thoughts of Jews during this period and what shaped their thoughts. What are the books that influence the thinking of Jews in Palestine? Who are the Scribes? What is pious thinking? The answers to these questions are needed to understand the matrix in which the Christian Church emerged.

Survey Of The Intertestamental Period:

Apocrypha books are divided into:

  1. Historical,
  2. Legendary or Novelist,
  3. Wisdom or sapiential,
  4. Apocalypse,
  5. Historical Apocrypha,
  6. 1 and 2 Maccabees,
  7. Legendary Apocrypha, and
  8. Tobit

The Political and Social Background Of Palestinian Judaism (5)

The Political and Social Background Of Palestinian Judaism (5)

Herod Antipas 4BC – 39AD:

Antipas was a son of Nalthace, full brother of Archelaus. After his father’s death in 4BC, he was appointed the Tetrarch of Baternea, Trachonotis, and Aurantis. He built his residence in Genesaret and named it after Tiberus, the reigning Emperor John 6:1. The city where he built his house was a former cemetery. Hence, the Jews regarded it as unclean and refused to live there. He always pursued his desire and interest. Herod Antipas was first married to the daughter of the Nabataen king, ARETAS. While visiting his brother, he fell in love with his brother’s wife, Herodian, and snatched her from him. That marriage to Herodian produced a daughter Salome. He divorced Aretas. John the Baptist denounced the relationship of Herod Antipas with Herodian, his brother’s wife. Nabataen king would not take kindly to the disgrace to his daughter Aretas, so he waged war against Herod Antipas, disgraced and defeated him.

Many Jews saw Herod Antipas’s defeat as a divine judgment, especially for the beheading of John the Baptist. Herod Antipas was the Ruler of Jesus’ own Country. When he heard of Jesus, Antipas thought Jesus was John the Baptist he killed – Mark 6: 14-16; Luke 9:9. Herod tried to see Jesus thinking he was John. Later on, Pilate sent Jesus to Herod. Herodian persuaded Herod to ask the Roman Emperor Caligula to bestow upon him the title of a king, but this advice misfired for Caligula became suspicious of Herod Antipas, so Caligula sent him into exile to France in 39 AD.

Philip The Tetrarch – 4BC – 34AD:

Phillip the Tetrarch was given the Northern territories over which Herod himself had ruled, primarily in the North and eastern Jordan across the Sea of Galilee. He married his brother’s daughter called, Salome. Philip the Tetrarch was the only Jewish Ruler with a coin minted bearing the name of a Roman Emperor. Unlike most of his brothers, he was a reasonable man well-liked by most people. Cleopatra was Philip the Tetrarch’s mother. He was fair to so many people and well-behaved. Luke 3:1. He died in AD34 without leaving behind a successor.

Herod Agrippa 1:

Palestine came under attack, but at the end of the day, it came under the rule of a Jewish king. Agrippa 1 is a grandson of Herod the great, and he stayed in Rome for many years. During this time, he was able to get the favor of Garnigula. So in AD 37, Garnigula gave Agrippa 1 a territory that Phillip had ruled. At Rome, he lived with the Emperor’s family, and at one point, he commented that Tiberius should have handed over to Caligula, which made Caligula give him the title of a king. Still, when Caligula was murdered in AD 41, Agrippa was in Rome, and he helped Cladius to become Emperor of Rome. As a result, Claudius gave Agrippa Judea, Samaria, and Idumea to rule. During the period he was on the throne, a sharp conflict broke out because Caligula instructed that his Statue be erected in the temple in Jerusalem.

There was excitement among the Jews saying this is another one – Mark 13:14. Agrippa 1 lived all his life in Jerusalem and carried himself like a regular Jew. Agrippa carried himself as a devout Jew and observed the rigid rights of Judaism. In his attempt to please the Jews, he became the first government official to persecute the church of Christ. Like his grandfather, Agrippa wanted buildings erected in his honor. When with the Hellenists, he behaved like them. Agrippa was the one that said he had a divine mandate to become the manifest one. When he died, his throne was not given to his son, who was still underaged; instead, the entire Country was governed by the Roman Procurator, who was subordinate to the Roman governor. He was the one that died with maggots coming out of his body.

Agrippa 11 (AD 50 – AD 110):

Agrippa 11 was the son of Agrippa 1 and the great-grandson of Herod the great. He was 17 when his father died and was not considered mature enough to be crowned. When Agrippa 11 grew up, he was given a small kingdom Chalcis to rule. Later on, he eventually reigned over the former kingdom of Phillip The Tetrarch. He became something of a religious advisor to Roman rulers, which could have been why he was in Syria when Fetus became the procurator of Judea. At that time, he became Agrippa 11 – Acts 25:13; 26:32.

Agrippa 11 appointed the high priest, which infuriated the Jews. The private life of Herod Agrippa 11 was marked with scandal. He had a sister Bernice; they were so close that they did everything together that people concluded they were involved in an incestuous relationship. So the people hated him. During the war between Rome and the Jews, he sided with the Romans; because of that, he retired to Rome.