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January 2018



January 2018


January 7


With the intention of instructing the young Timothy, the Apostle Paul sends him a second letter in which he compares the authentic believer with a soldier, with an athlete, and with a farmer, wanting to suggest to his young disciple the association between the characteristics of the lives and activities of the three professions with the Christian life. In the second part of chapter 2, the elder Paul compares the believer with a vessel. In the figurative sense, the Bible uses the word “vessel” in reference to people. God says even about Paul: “…this man is my chosen vessel to proclaim my name to the Gentiles” (Acts 9:15). In addition, the term vessel is used figuratively referencing the heart of a man. The Bible speaks about vessels that were used in household activities or in holy services. The vessels mentioned in the Bible were made of different materials: gold, silver, wood, stone, clay, ivory, brass, iron, marble or alabaster. The destiny of the vessels mentioned in the Bible is also different: the vessel that held manna in the desert, the various vessels in the house of God, the usual household vessels or pots, vessels used for ceremonial cleansing, the potter’s vessel mentioned by the prophet Jeremiah, etc.
The apostle Paul once again uses the comparison of a believer with a vessel in his letter to the believers in Rome, remarking the fact that vessels, similarly to men, can be special or common (Romans 9:21). What are the conditions for a pot to be used by a housewife in the kitchen or a man to be used for the kingdom of God?
1. The vessel must be empty (2 Kings 4:1-3). A man full of pride, of the lusts of the flesh and of the world’s projects cannot be used by God.
2. The vessel must be clean (2 Timothy 2:21a). God is not corruptible and He does not associate with people who live in sin. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). Sometimes it is said of the persons who come to church yet live by worldly principles and desires “It is better still for them to come to church!” This is true, it is good that they come to church, but while they come to church will they agree to live by God’s principles in the Bible that are spoken about in church? Coming to church does not save anyone, but rather creates the opportunity for salvation, because a person hears, understands, and then either accepts or refuses.
3. The vessel needs to be consecrated. No one can use a vessel that is in someone else’s china cabinet. Just the same, God cannot receive the ministry of a man that is not consecrated for ministry.
4. The vessel needs to be useful. The vessel that you’ve never used, you’ve bought in vain and it takes up space in vain. What use does God have for a man who can never be used, who is too busy, too ungrateful, has other opinions, etc.? Sometimes battles with people, generated by competition, jealousy or dissatisfaction, can make people futile to God.
The vessel that the Bible speaks about, symbolizing the authentic Christian is like a porcelain vessel in a display case – clean, white, resistant, available for any situation in which the housewife will use it. We have begun a new year through the mercy of God and, motivated by the goodness of the Creator manifested in our lives and homes, we commit to being a porcelain vessel belonging to God, a special vessel of honor, a clean vessel, a useful vessel.


  January 14


The Messiah promised in Scripture is the great liberator of humanity. Just as God promised in Eden in the beginning, Christ, at the appointed time, was victorious over the devil through holiness, overcame sin through death, and was victorious over death through His resurrection. Following these victories, man is forgiven of the guilt of his sin, is restored to the position of son, and is reconciled with God. This position puts man in conflict with the devil, the enemy of God. Through the given Holy Spirit, through the power of the Word of God, man needs to fight against the devil, against sin, against the desires of the flesh, and live in obedience to the heavenly father and in holiness.
   The born-again believer first needs to overcome self by abandonment of self. Then he needs to overcome the devil through Christ. He needs to overcome sin through restraint. He needs to overcome desire through holiness, the word through faith, and greed through generosity. He needs to overcome hate through forgiveness, pride through modesty, and hypocrisy through transparency and openness. He is called to overcome lies through sincerity, indifference through passion, carelessness through initiative, and loneliness through fellowship and communication.
   Just like his Lord Jesus Christ, the believing man needs to overcome wickedness through goodness, egotism through altruism, materialism through spirituality, addiction and dependence through freedom in the name of Jesus Christ. The follower of the Savior needs to overcome nakedness through decency, mediocrity through vision, compromise through integrity, nepotism through respect for the divine calling, and the use of dirty jokes through holy and balanced speech. He will need to overcome the worldly being through the Spirit, secularism through sacredness, superficiality through responsibility, violence and adversity through peace and meekness. He will overcome evil spirits through the name and authority of Jesus Christ, populism through humbleness, competition through unity, jealousy through repentance and the desire to be first through brotherly love. The battle will continue until the end, overcoming premarital or extramarital sex through abstinence, weakness through discipline, hell through heaven.
   The last enemy that will be overcome is death, which is why the born-again believer, just like his Lord, will overcome death through resurrection. “But as He who has called you is holy, so be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy’.” (1 Peter 1:15-16). “But now, having been freed from sin and having become slaves of God, you have fruit unto holiness, and the end is eternal life” (Romans 6:22). This is the way of life of children of God; they are victorious. This is their destiny – to be overcomers! This is their destiny, alongside the great Overcomer!

  January 21


One of the big questions people have is “how can man have a correct relationship with God?” The answer is painful: man cannot have a correct relationship with God because he has sinned and because he is sinful by nature, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Still though, the Bible teaches us that man can enter a correct relationship with God and be justified by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). The work of salvation was planned, realized and applied by God and implicates many actions:
1. The call to salvation that God addressed to each human being
2. Rebirth (regeneration) through which God gives us a new life in Christ
3. Justification (sanctification) through which God gives us a legal status in His Kingdom.
4. Adoption, through which God makes us members in His family.
Justification is not our defense nor the result of a process of self-forgiveness. It is not merely our own confession or the calming sentiment that may overcome us following confession. We are justified by God as a result of Christ’s work of atonement and redemption. Justification is a legal decision God makes and does not infer that people become more holy in the moment of a proclaimed decision. When a judge acquits someone, he does not make that person honest or without fault; in that moment there is no change produced in the acquitted person, but rather he is acquitted of what has happened until that given moment. The judge does not speak to the character of the person, but rather declares his decision that the person is acquitted of the accusation that was brought forth.
It is true that justified people will be implicated, with God’s help, in the process of sanctification - that takes an entire lifetime. In conclusion, the justification by faith is the act through which God declares the believer a righteous man, not based on his own deeds, but on the basis of Christ’s sacrifice. In this way God declares that He accepted Christ’s sacrifice as payment for the debt of humanity to the divine righteousness, and in the place of our sins, He confers to us the righteousness of Christ. Without God’s participation there is no possibility of holiness for anyone. God is holy, man is sinful. There is no man that can be justified without outside help. Sanctification is God’s gift, “But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets. This righteousness of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all and upon all who believe, for there is no distinction. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith, in His blood, for a demonstration of His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins previously committed, to prove His righteousness at this present time so that He might be just and be the justifier of him who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:21 26).
If the first sign of sanctification is justification, in other words the decision for forgiveness of the past through Christ Jesus, the second sign is the spiritual and moral transformation of the believer in the present. Just as justification implicates freedom from the punishment of sin, sanctification gives freedom from the power of sin. Justification is an event, sanctification is a process, a process that continues even today. In the absence of the continuation of the process, there is no evidence of the presence of God in the lives of men and their intention of getting to heaven.

  January 28


Moses’ passion that God would pour out His Spirit upon the people and Joel’s prophecy with regards to the filling of the Holy Spirit remain through the ages one of the main important objectives of God’s Church. These were fulfilled in the lives of the apostles on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the 120 believers in the upper room. The terminology used in the New Testament to describe the baptism of the Holy Spirit is varied and is formed by 8 verbs:
1. To “baptize with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 3:16, Acts 1:5, 11:16)
2. To “fill with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4, 4:8,31, 6:3,5, 7:55, 9:17, 11:24, 13:9,52)
3. To be “clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49)
4. To “fall on” (Acts 10:44, 11:15)
5. To “pour out upon” (Acts 2:17-18, 33, 10:45)
6. To “come upon” (Acts 1:8, 19:6)
7. To “receive” (Acts 2:38, 8:15,17 10:49, 19:2)
8. To “give” (Luke 11:3)
The Baptism with the Holy Spirit does not have a soteriological role, in other words, it does not bring salvation, but rather, it is given to those who are saved. The role of the baptism is charismatic, in other words it endows with supernatural gifts for the service of the Church of Jesus Christ. In all five experiences of baptism with the Holy Spirit mentioned in the book of Acts, the role of the baptism is charismatic – the baptized manifest the gifts of the Spirit: speaking in tongues, prophecy, Peter preaches his first missionary sermon… The noun “supplication” is found once in the (Romanian translation of the) Bible (Ephesians 6:18). The verb “supplicate” is found many times (Acts 1:14, 2:42, 6:4, Romans 12:12, Colossians 4:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:7).
Perseverant prayer is characterized by a few factors:
1. Importance, and the conviction that something must be done no matter the cost.
2. Insistence, repetition of the opinion or attitude in order to gain something desired.
3. Perseverance, a disciplined attitude to consistently do what is important, resisting the factors that provoke wavering.
4. Patience, the character trait to resist the idea of change.
God has given people three great gifts:
1. The gift of the Decalogue, the Word of God revealed to mankind
2. The gift of a Savior, Jesus Christ who came to mankind
3. The gift of the Holy Spirit, poured out in mankind. The first filling is called baptism with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:2-4), while the subsequent fillings are called refilling (Acts 4:31). The Scriptures say, “Be filled with the Spirit…” (Eph. 5:18).
When one of the aspects of the spiritual life is lost in the church, this happens first in the practical dimension and then in the theological (teaching). The practice of perseverant prayer, of the fervent desire to be filled and then especially refilled with the Holy Spirit, has visibly diminished. Materialism makes people have no time. Worldly distractions predispose people to no longer be interested. The lack of spiritual maturity makes them careless. If the Pentecostal Church of our generation is on its way to losing something important, it is the filling and especially the refilling of the Holy Spirit – something we are all responsible for. Even if this phenomenon is real in our generation, we as a people and as a local church have the grace to manifest interest, availability, passion, an open heart, prayer and fasting… so that the miracle of the presence of the Holy Spirit would be real in our lives, so that we may not be dried up and lifeless.