Hari Pentakosta, yang terjadi 10 hari setelah kenaikan Yesus ke surga atau 50 hari setelah kebangkitan Yesus, adalah hari turunnya / dicurahkannya Roh Kudus. Kalau dahulu Roh Kudus hanya diberikan kepada orang-orang tertentu saja (seperti nabi dsb), maka sejak hari Pentakosta dalam Kis 2:1-13 Roh Kudus diberikan kepada semua orang yang percaya kepada Yesus (Kis 2:38 Ef 1:13).
Roh Kudus itu menghendaki supaya kita menjadi kudus dan Ia memimpin dan mengarahkan kita pada kekudusan. Karena itulah setiap orang percaya pasti berjuang untuk hidup kudus dan membuang dosa. Ini ciri dari orang percaya yang sejati!
Tetapi bagaimanapun kita semua tentu pernah merasakan adanya dosa-dosa yang terus melekat dalam diri kita, di dalam dosa mana kita sering jatuh bangun, sehingga tidak jarang kita mengalami perasaan frustrasi karena hal ini.
Karena itulah maka hari ini saya akan membahas tentang mortification.
Banyak orang berpendapat bahwa self-confidence (= keyakinan / kepercayaan kepada diri sendiri) adalah sesuatu yang sangat penting untuk bisa sukses, baik dalam hal bekerja, maupun study, olah raga, mencari pacar, melayani Tuhan dsb.
I) Sikap Kitab Suci terhadap self-confidence.
Ay 13 menunjukkan orang yang mempunyai self-confidence. Adanya self-confidence itu menyebabkan orang itu bisa memastikan akan:
- saat keberangkatannya (‘hari ini atau besok’).
- tujuannya (‘kota anu’).
- lamanya ia tinggal di sana (‘1 tahun’).
- apa yang akan dikerjakan di sana (‘berdagang’).
- kesuksesannya (‘akan mendapat untung’).
Apakah Yakobus / Kitab Suci memuji orang itu karena self-confidence yang dimilikinya? (more…)
What do you think and feel about the cross of Christ? You live in a Christian land. You probably attend the worship of a Christian church. You have perhaps been baptised in the name of Christ. You profess and call yourself a Christian. All this is well: it is more than can be said of millions in the world. But all this is no answer to my question, “What do you think and feel about the cross of Christ?”
I want to tell you what the greatest Christian that ever lived thought of the cross of Christ. He has written down his opinion: he has given his judgment in words that cannot be mistaken. The man I mean is the Apostle Paul. The place where you will find his opinion, is in the letter which the Holy Ghost inspired him to write to the Galatians; and the words in which his judgement is set down, are these : “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Now what did Paul mean by saying this? He meant to declare strongly, that he trusted in nothing but Jesus Christ crucified for the pardon of his sins and the salvation of his soul. Let others, if they would, look elsewhere for salvation; let others, if they were so disposed, trust in other things for pardon and peace: for his part the apostle was determined to rest on nothing, lean on nothing, build his hope on nothing, place confidence in nothing, glory in nothing, except “the cross of Jesus Christ.”
Reader, let me talk to you about this subject: Believe me, it is one of the deepest importance. This is no mere question of controversy; this is not one of those points on which men may agree to differ, and feel that differences will not shut them out of heaven. A man must be right on this subject, or he is lost for ever. Heaven or hell, happiness or misery, life or death, blessing or cursing in the last day,—all hinges on the answer to this question: “What do you think about the cross of Christ?”
(A letter by , addressed to a young lady in the year 1741)
My dear young friend,
As you desired me to send you, in writing, some directions how to conduct yourself in your Christian course, I would now answer your request. The sweet remembrance of the great things I have lately seen at your church, inclines me to do anything in my power, to contribute to the spiritual joy and prosperity of God’s people there.
1. I would advise you to keep up as great an effort and earnestness in religion, as if you knew yourself to be in a state of nature, and were seeking conversion. We advise people under conviction, to be earnest and violent for the kingdom of heaven; but when they have attained to conversion, they ought not to be the less watchful, laborious, and earnest, in the whole work of religion, but the more so; for they are under infinitely greater obligations. For lack of this, many people, in a few months after their conversion, have begun to lose their sweet and lively sense of spiritual things, and to grow cold and dark, and have ‘pierced themselves through with many sorrows;’ whereas, if they had done as the apostle did, (Philippians 3:12-14) their path would have been ‘as the shining light, which shines more and more unto the perfect day.’
2. Do not leave off seeking, striving, and praying for the very same things that we exhort unconverted persons to strive for, and a degree of which you have had already in conversion. Pray that your eyes may be opened, that you may receive sight, that you may know yourself, and be brought to God’s footstool; and that you may see the glory of God and Christ, and have the love of Christ shed abroad in your heart. Those who have most of these things, have need still to pray for them; for there is so much blindness and hardness, pride and corruption remaining, that they still need to have that work of God wrought upon them, further to enlighten and enliven them, that shall be bringing them more and more out of darkness into God’s marvelous light, and be a kind of new conversion and resurrection from the dead. There are very few requests that are proper for an impenitent man, that are not also, in some sense, proper for the godly.
What do you think about the cross of Christ? The question may be one that you consider of little importance: but it deeply concerns the everlasting welfare of your soul.
Eighteen hundred years ago there was a man who said that he “gloried” in the cross of Christ. He was one who turned the world upside down by the doctrines he preached. He was one who did more to establish Christianity than any man that ever lived. Yet what does He tell the Galatians?—”God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. vi. 14).
Reader, the “cross of Christ” must needs be an important subject, when an inspired apostle can speak of it in this way. Let me try to show you what the expression means. Once know what the cross of Christ means, and then you may be able, by God’s help, to see the importance of it to your soul.
The cross in the Bible sometimes means that wooden cross on which the Lord Jesus was nailed and put to death on Mount Calvary. This is what St. Paul had in his mind’s eye when he told the Philippians that Christ “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. ii. 8). This is not the cross in which St. Paul gloried. He would have shrunk with horror from the idea of glorying in a mere piece of wood. I have no doubt he would have denounced the Roman Catholic adoration of the crucifix as profane, blasphemous, and idolatrous.