All posts filed under: Jesus

From death to life – the incredulity of grace

© October 12, 2018 | Schulter Etyang Jesus, in the book of John, introduced us to this symbiotic relationship that he had with his Father. (John 5:17-47 NKJV) The Greek word pater, is the equivalent to the Hebrew word Abba, for father. Jesus was, of course, speaking in Aramaic, and he would have used Abba in reference to his Father. The Jews heard this phrase and instinctively knew he was making himself equal with God and that made them mad. Mad is an understatement. They made plans to kill him.  Jesus, then, described this symbiotic relationship he had with his father. And in his long discourse, he made this shocking and improbable claim. John 5:25 (NKJV) Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.

Ideas, principles, keys, steps, how to’s, and grace

© October 5, 2018 | Schulter Etyang  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  John 1:1-2 (NKJV) The Greek word that John used for the Word is logos. When John wrote these words, the Greeks believed in the logos. The Greeks defined logos as the divine reason implicit in the cosmos, ordering it and giving it form and meaning.  I will not go into detail in trying to explain how the logos evolved within Greek and Jewish philosophical thought. Needless to say, the simplest definition of logos is this – logos means reasoning or logic gathered together in the mind, and expressed in words, that gives our lives meaning. In our times, the Greek logos is ideas, principles, keys, steps, and how to’s.

The Haman in all of us and how Jesus​ frees us from him

© September 27, 2018 | Schulter Etyang  In all of us is a Haman. Haman? Who is Haman? Haman in Jewish folklore is the man who plotted against the Jews, to destroy them. He hated the Jewish people and conjured a plan to have all of them destroyed. His real irk, however, was against Mordecai. Haman had been promoted by the king and had a seat above all princes. Whenever the king’s servant saw him they would bow down before him to show respect. But Mordecai refused to bow down or show him respect. When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect, he became mad. And it’s at this point when he came up with a plan to destroy the Jews – a  plan that was later sanctioned by the king. This same scene plays itself out later. Haman was invited to the palace to a banquet. He was the main guest. As he left the party, he saw Mordecai sitting at the palace gate, not standing up or trembling …

How Jesus humbles, affirms and authenticates our heritage

© September 24, 2018 | Schulter Etyang  In South Africa, September 24th is Heritage Day – also known as Shaka’s Day or National Braai day. It’s a public holiday. On Heritage Day, we acknowledge and celebrate the ethnic, racial and cultural heritage of the diverse populace of our nation.  The day has a feel-good factor about it. We don our different cultural attires, speak our languages, and many celebrate the day with a traditional meal. The different shades of South Africa come alive on this day.

God’s I WILL in the law and God’s I WILL in the gospel and why it matters

© September 14, 2018 | Schulter Etyang Whether you are a Christian or a non-Christian, in order for you to know and understand the Christian faith, you need to get somebody who is able to rightly divide the Bible and its contents for you. I cannot emphasize this point enough. It is crucial, even lifesaving, that you understand the Bible, to then properly apply its teachings. If the Bible is misunderstood, it can lead to untold suffering. Yes, it can. The Bible in the hands of a novice will become an Uzi submachine gun – a novice with trigger happy fingers, ready to shoot and kill at will. The Bible, on the other hand, in the hands of a gospel centered expert, will become a well spring of joy. When the Bible is properly understood, it can lead to unspeakable joy and delight.

The scariest​ verses in the Old Testament

© August 8, 2018 | Schulter Etyang  In my view, these are the scariest and most devastating verses in the Old Testament. Jeremiah 15:1-2 (NKJV) Then the Lord said to me, “Even if Moses and Samuel stood before Me, My mind would not be favorable toward this people. Cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth. And it shall be, if they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then you shall tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Such as are for death, to death; And such as are for the sword, to the sword; And such as are for the famine, to the famine; And such as are for the captivity, to the captivity.” If I were a Jew, these words would have devastated me. I would have broken out in a cold sweat. A chilling shiver would run down my spine. 

Jesus obeyed all of God’s commands​ for you

© August 1, 2018 | Schulter Etyang  Jeremiah 11:3-5 (NLT) This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Cursed is anyone who does not obey the terms of my covenant! For I said to your ancestors when I brought them out of the iron-smelting furnace of Egypt, “If you obey me and do whatever I command you, then you will be my people, and I will be your God.” I said this so I could keep my promise to your ancestors to give you a land flowing with milk and honey—the land you live in today.’” Then I replied, “Amen, Lord! May it be so.” Which covenant is this?  It is the Old Covenant, the law of Moses given to the nation of Israel in Exodus 20 NLT.

How beautiful are the feet​

© July 30, 2018 | Schulter Etyang  A few months ago, I met a Christian leader who wanted me to help him set up his blogging site. In our discussions, he specifically insisted that his bio must reference his work as a life coach. He did not want any outright reference to his work as a minister. His take was that most people don’t want spiritual talk or solutions to their issues. In his view, most people he encountered wanted principles that would make their lives better. Therefore, he needed to shed off his ministerial references if he could reach a wider audience other than just the church. Many years ago, I wanted my bio to read the same. I wanted to become a leadership guru. My theological and ministry training was geared towards acquiring top-notch leadership knowledge and skills to train leaders and run a world-class organization. I also did not want any reference to my religious credentials. 

The nameless servant

© July 24, 2018 | Schulter Etyang The prophet’s words in Isaiah 42:1-9 reveal an unnamed servant. “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! Who is this servant? Of course, the prophet’s prediction was about Jesus. The prophet tells us that Jesus, the second person of the Godhead would show up, and be without a name, and be seen and not heard.  He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street This is ridiculous. We know what a servant does, right? The Hebrew word used is ebed from abad, which means to work, to serve, to enslave, to keep in bondage, to make to serve. 

Thank you, Nelson Mandela!

© July 17, 2018 | Schulter Etyang Nelson Mandela, what a man! What a life. His persona, endearing. His heroic deeds, unmatched. A man who lived way before his time. A man who peered into the future, anchored himself in the present, reconciled the past and led not only South Africa but also the rest of the world into the future he envisioned. His future? Black and White living together in a non-racial South Africa – all of humanity living together in harmony. This was his vision. A few events have been planned around Johannesburg to commemorate the centenary of Nelson Mandela. This year, he would have been 100 years old. In particular, Barack Obama, the first African American president of the United States will deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, in partnership with the Motsepe Foundation, in Johannesburg on 17 July 2018.