Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Get a blessing from God without asking 2/2


(cont. from part 1) We know she did not have the benefit of the gospels or Paul's epistles to learn about the grace of God. But what does she have? The bible says she heard about Jesus. Hearing about Jesus made so much difference in her that she was able to do such an amazing exploit. No wonder the bible says 
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17, NASB)
No wonder my Pastor always says faith is the hand that takes. It is clearly seen here. Hearing about Jesus gave her so much faith she went to take a blessing from God so boldly. She was sure she is going to get it. Wow. How amazing is that. No wonder the Lord told her it was her faith (good opinion of Him) that made her well.

Yet, it is interesting to note that she isn't one of the two in the bible whom Jesus says has great faith. The two are the Roman Centurion (Matthew 8:1-13) and the Syro-Phoenician woman (Matthew 15:21-28). My Pastor has an amazing revelation about this. For me, I find that both person whom the Lord said has great faith all asked the Lord to do beyond what He said He could do. A friend S first pointed this out to me and I do agree with his observation. The Roman centurion asked the Lord not to come to His house to heal, though the Lord had offered, but instead asked Him to do the seemingly harder thing (harder in the sense that it is harder for us to believe, not harder for the Lord to do) of just speaking the Word. The Syro-phoenician woman went forth in the face of the Lord's seeming belittlement, and still insisted she would be able to receive under that seeming belittlement. Both of them asked the Lord to do beyond what He has offered. And their boldness to receive that Good from the Lord probably glorified the Lord's goodness. Not only were their wishes grant, but the Lord marveled at their great faith. 

This is the reason why the Lord had needed to look for the lady who was healed from her issue of blood. Though the lady received her healing, she did it by stealth, cos' she wasn't sure if Jesus would agree to heal her. And the Lord wanted her to know it is alright that she has taken without first asking Him, and that He is also willing to heal her and He wanted her to know. He encouraged her and called her "daughter", an endearing term, instead of reprimanding her. How kind is our Lord! Not only that, He caused her to enter into His shalom. The "in" in "go in peace" is Greek "eis" which means "into". It isn't a normal well-wishing. And the word "go" is in present imperative. It means it is a command from the Lord that has continuous effect. 

The woman who wanted to obtain her blessing without permission is now left encouraged that her faith is in the right place. The Lord did not allow her to leave without being sure that He will willing for her to receive her healing. She also obtained the blessing of entering into the Lord's Shalom. That day she obtained from God exceedingly, abundantly above all she asked or think, even though she did not start out right initially. Isn't Jesus amazing?

Shalom. 

Get a blessing from God without asking 1/2

When I was a student, I went to the UK with a few friends and we visited a famous castle. There was a "knight" there who was dressed as a knight of old and riding a horse. We saw someone going forward to him, spoke to him and they took a photo together. At that time I did not know I could also walk up to him and take a photo as well. So what we did was to take a photo with the knight in the background a few meters behind us. When he saw us doing that, he told us we should have come forward to take the photo with him. We are not sure if he was angry with us and being timid, we were quickly on our way.

We did not realized as students that the "knight" exists to take photos with tourists. He would have been glad if we went forward to have our photos taken with him. Since we were not sure if he will approve, we took a photo of him without his permission. And we did not get the best photo we could take.

What if that knight is God? If we are not sure about approaching Him to get a blessing, can we take it without first seeking His permission? Is it possible? Would God get angry with us for doing that? Did anyone in the bible did that? Yes, it is possible, and a person in the bible did just that. Continue reading to the end to see Jesus' response.
And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. And Jesus said, “Who is the one who touched Me?” And while they were all denying it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You.” But Jesus said, “Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.” When the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling and fell down before Him, and declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” (Luke 8:43-48, NASB)

In this story, no one could heal this woman and she got worse from all the treatments that also drained all her money. But she heard of Jesus and she knew that if she just got to touch the helm of His garment she would be well. She did just that and indeed she was healed instantaneously after 12 years of suffering. Amazingly she obtained her healing without first asking God for permission. She just took it. I am hard pressed to think of anyone else before her who did that. I always read about people coming to Jesus to ask for healing. Like the leper. Not obtaining it without asking. And the amazing thing is that she was successful. That means the Lord allowed it. The Lord designed it that way. If not she would not have been successful. Her desperation had led her, it seems, to God's secret. His healing is free for all to come and take. But at that time nobody knows to come and take but her, who had nowhere to go to. The crowd was there pressing on Jesus that day but they may have come and test Him out, to see what happens. That's why of all who touched Jesus, only her touch made the difference. She did not go there to touch, she went there to take.

She did something that I am not sure if anyone has done before or dare to do. We know she does not have the benefit of the gospels or Paul's epistles to learn about the grace of God. But what does she have? (cont in part 2)

Monday, February 25, 2013

JC's revelation on eating and health

By JC

I had gastric pain few days ago, and I suspect it's the food I ate. The pain was a score of seven out of ten. My first reaction was to take pain killers. After taking pain killers and one hour later, the pain intensified. At that time, as I was doing quiet time, the Lord asked me why I'm trying to do something that He has already done for me. I did not understand what He meant. Then I remembered myself taking the painkillers for the reason of getting myself healed. So i changed to taking healing communion and confessing that I'm already healed. The pain was still there though, so I went to sleep. After I woke up, the pain was gone. And I reflect on the times on simple things I did to get the blessing that God already gave. Like I eat because I think I can put on weight, for health. But then I think again, it probably does not work this way. Because health comes from God, and He gave it to us at the Cross. I have seen people who try to eat, but whatever they eat, they vomit. They do not have the health. So i sense, that health was already given at the Cross. So I do not eat to be healthy, yet I eat, because God has given me health. There are people who could not eat because they do not have the blessing of health. And because God give me health, I can eat and know that I am already healthy, and God keeps me. Its about changing mindset, and God help me repent to see whatever I need from the perspective of the Cross. So now by HIs Grace, I do things not because I do not have or want to get it, but rather, I do it because God has already given, and when He has given, I have the confidence to do. I am still not there yet, and I need God to guide me for the whole of my life, because I alone am weak.

A beautiful verse: Jeremiah 17:14

Heal me, O Yahweh, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for you are my praise. (Jeremiah 17:14, WEB)

This has always been a very romantic verse to me. Full of love and trust for the Lord. Can you feel it? 

If you are a husband to a wife, imagine your wife telling you, "Protect me, my husband, and I will be protected; hug me, and my life shall have warmth: I have always boast that about you to my friends."

If you are a wife to a husband, imagine your husband saying this to you, "Love me, my darling, and in my life I shall be loved; be kind to me, and I shall have kindness in my life: I have always praise that about you to my buddies."

The verse shows the complete trust in our Lord. The sentence structure implies when the Lord provides for us in any area, in that area, we shall have no lack but be richly provided for. And the verse ends with saying that Lord is our praise. The word "praise" (Strong's 8416: "Tehilla") also means "song of praise". Normally we will burst into song and praise when we have obtained our answer. But in this case, we are so certain of our Lover's sure goodness in our lives that we rejoice about Him and His salvation before the answer comes. The verse did not say "I praise you because you heal and save me". It says "I know you will heal and save me, because you are who I praise". It boasts about the goodness of our Lord. Do you know the Lord actually asks us to do exactly that?

Thus says Yahweh, Don't let the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, don't let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he has understanding, and knows me, that I am Yahweh who exercises loving kindness, justice, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, says Yahweh. (Jeremiah 9:23-24, WEB)

So brothers and sisters, meditate on Jeremiah 17:14. Savor it. In your prayers, you can also pray in that way. It really carries the right spirit towards our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Shalom.



Sunday, February 24, 2013

Why did Jesus appear on my right side?

If you have read the posts (so long I split them into 4 parts) about my testimony on how the Lord found me, the third part of the testimony mentioned that Jesus appeared to me in a close vision facing me. But the Lord was not standing directly in front of me. He was standing in front of me, to my right.

It was a presence. I did not see His face. But His important attributes were revealed to me in an instant (the details are in the post).

For a long time I could not figure why the Lord would appear to me at my right. It has been over 12 years now. And recently I realize why. He must have finally revealed it to me!

Do you know why? Think about it and scroll down for the answer.




















Ans:

If the Lord and I are facing each other and He is standing to my right, that means to Him I am standing to His right as well. Since everything is created by Him, through Him and for Him (Romans 11:36), everything should be taken from His reference. Not from our reference.

This means I am the one who is standing on the right side of the Lord. Wow! That has great significance. The right-hand side of the Lord is the place of favor (Psalms 110:1, Matthew 22:44). The Lord in His kindness, has put me in the place of favor. Praise His Holy Name! At that time I was a non-believer on the way to receiving Him. How much more favor He would give to everyone who believe in Him! We are greatly blessed indeed!

Shalom.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

How my dad died and I did not get to see it - where is Jesus? 2/2

(cont from part 1) Though many circumstances surrounding my father's death may have caused me to doubt Him, thank God I did not.

I guess it is important to know someone's heart. I have more than one close friends from the past who went from being my very good friends to suddenly not speaking with me because they felt something I said offended them. They took something I said and felt I meant to say something else. It is because they were focused on a problem they had that nobody knew. And focusing on their problem causes them to understand things differently. For example, say at the pantry you see a group of colleagues speaking and laughing and one of them take a quick look at you. On a normal day you might just walked off without taking note. On another day you might walk over and see what they are chatting about and join in. But on a day you feel depressed thinking that no one likes you, you will immediately think that they are talking bad about you and you may get angry with them. At that moment it depends whether you know what your colleagues stand for, whether with your doubts do you still trust them to be good to you - whether you still know their heart. If possible, clarify the matter with them, and give them the chance to be able to explain.

In the same way, if we have experiences that make us feel offended with the Lord, it is good to: 
  1. Remind ourselves that the Heart of the Lord is for us, knowing that He remains the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrew 13:8). If He is kind to us in the past, He would not suddenly be unkind to us. He died for us to save us even when we are still sinners (ref 1).  In our most challenging moments when circumstances cause us to change our opinion of Him, He will not change His opinion of us and will still be good to us. Jesus is always our answer, He is always on our side. If we feel He isn't for us just because we have bad experiences, then we must know we are mistaken. Look to the cross and consider how Jesus loves us and gave Himself for us (ref 2).
  2. Allow ourselves time and opportunity to clarify matters with Jesus. Like if things are not well, cry out to the Lord and seek Him. He cares for us deeply. Like the prodigal son story (Luke 15:11-32), our Father would respond very quickly to turn things around. The worse thing we can do for ourselves is confuse our only help as the source of our problem. 
  And that's what I did then. 
  1. When I considered Jesus, I knew God will never play me out. God sent Jesus, His only Son, to die for me and my dad. Jesus was beaten and publicly humiliated. He was betrayed by one of His closest disciples through a kiss. All whom He loved and spent time with forsook Him. The person who pledged to die for him denied knowing him by swearing 3 times within meters from where He was laid captive. Jesus was rejected by His own people publicly when they chose Barabbas the criminal and sent Him for cruxification. Jesus was stripped naked for all to see, and nailed to the cross. He was publicly mocked. He lost everything He had. At the cross, God put all my sins on Jesus and God punished all my sins on Him. Even His own Father was against Him at the cross. And at the cross He bled and died my death for me. That today I can live as a righteous person part from works (ref 3). That I may be healed and my friends will not forsake me. I have honor in place of humiliation. I am made rich as a result of His poverty. And God became my Father who will never be against me because He was against Jesus with my sins at the cross. Jesus lost everything at the cross because He gave everything He has to me. I can never doubt Jesus who died for me that way. If God my Abba has given me Jesus, He would never withhold from me the requests I made about my father in harm to me (ref 4)
  2. In the bible, it says that God is Love (ref 5). This means if we ever have any capacity to love and be loved, it is because we got some of it from Him. And God is Compassion (ref 6). If we ever have compassion for anything, that compassion also comes from Him. And He is the God of all Comforts (ref 7). I would be wrong to think I have more compassion and love for my dad. That's not knowing my place before God.
  3. I will clarify the matter with God my Abba and Jesus when I see them in heaven. But I know God has eyes to see and ears to hear all the prayers I did in my spare room before I left the house for the hospital. God is going to explain to me what He did for me in answer to my prayers and how He has helped me and my father during those times. And I am sure the end result is that I am going to be in awed at His loving kindness and tender mercies towards my family. There is no other possible outcome. God is not going to fall off His chair. He is not going to tell me He isn't faithful to me. God is faithful. I am the lesser one (ref 8). 
All these years I never really understood what happened. But I have full confidence that after I have prayed to God, what happened is the best that could have happened under the circumstances, whether I can see it or not. 

You know my dad suffered all his life. He and my mum were estranged for as long as I know. There are many things that I don't know about my dad and I would not have arranged it better for him compared to God. It is better for me to pray for what I know in my human limitations and let God take care of everything else because God is better. My prayers will never be the best for my dad. But from the point I pray, God is able to exceed my prayers beyond what I ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). 

My dad and I are so close that when he passed on, I felt I have lost over 50% of my relatives. But thanks be to our Savior Jesus, I never really lost him. My father is in a much better place now. A place that I very much longed for. And if there isn't needful work for the Lord to be done here, I would rather go Home as well. I know my father will be there waiting for me. I will see him again and we will be together forever. Together with Jesus and our Abba Father. But for now, he is cheering me on, together with my Lord Jesus and God my Abba.

Shalom.

Bible references:
  1. But God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, WEB) 
  2.  ...... That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20, WEB) 
  3. But now apart from the law, a righteousness of God has been revealed, being testified by the law and the prophets; (Romans 3:21, WEB)
  4. He who didn't spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how would he not also with him freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32, WEB) 
  5. He who doesn't love doesn't know God, for God is love. (1 John 4:8, WEB)
  6. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. (Mark 5:19, KJV)
  7. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 cor 1: 3-4, NASB)
  8. If we are faithless, He remains faithful. He can't deny Himself." (2 Timothy 2:13, WEB) 



How my dad died and I did not get to see it - where is Jesus? 1/2

This is how my father died.

It was about 10 years ago. At about 3am I was awakened by the persistent ringing of the phone. I was still sleepy and it was pitch-dark. I remember sitting up in bed and wondering if I was dreaming. It was real. When I picked up the phone, a woman's voice screamed at the other end. It was my sister. She was hysterical, screaming and sobbing at the same time. My dad had collapsed in bed, face down. She tried to turn him around and his tongue was sticking out. He was in seizure. I asked my sister to carry out CPR but she did not know how to and she did not dare touch my dad again. I asked her to get an ambulance and send him to the hospital immediately.

My daughter was just about 4 over month old then. I woke up my wife and asked her to prepare to bring our daughter to the hospital, getting ready for the worst scenario if my daughter were to see her grandfather for last time. Then, I went into an empty room, knelt down and did all the things I have been taught in church. I pleaded the blood of Jesus on the situation, prayed to God to save my father. I bound the devil. I spoke in tongues. I gave thanks to God. Then I went out of the room to meet with my wife and we took a cab to the hospital. Our car was in the workshop then so it is not the best time for an emergency. At the hospital, my two sisters were already in the hospital waiting room. We waited for about 15 minutes and a doctor came in, and said "sorry" and passed us a bag of my dad's things. I saw his ring, his wallet, etc in the bag. It dawned on me that that's the end. I wasn't prepared for that moment. Sorrow suddenly overwhelmed my heart, and tears flowed uncontrollably. I cried. That's about the 3rd time I ever cried in my life.

I never thought it would end like this. Between my dad and me. I always think there is more time. I always think I would get to see him at his death bed and talk to him one last time before he goes. I saw that in movies. But he went from a normal person to being dead so suddenly and I did not even say goodbye. I was told when the ambulance arrived, its door were jammed and they could not open it for quite a while. I believed they carried him out through the ambulance window. Precious time must have been wasted then. I have heard of people who shared that God informed them beforehand that their loved ones will be moving on to be with the Lord soon. And they have time to do something before their loved ones leave them. I did not have that.

I have a friend who faced a similar situation. She was praying for her mum to be cured from cancer but her mother died. Her relationship with God is affected. Have you faced an extreme challenge in life that shook your faith in God's goodness? You begin to think perhaps God isn't good. And our thoughts begin to depart from His Words.

Thank God in my case that did not happen. I did not blame God for what happened. Read the next post to find out why (cont in part 2).

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Start doing small things for God 3/3


(continue from part 2) For every believer, walking with the Lord and growing in Him is a journey. A blessed journey where God is the active partner. God knows that we need to grow in Him. It is a process. And going through a process is good for us. David was anointed long before he became king. After Moses ran away from Egypt, it is another 40 yrs before the Lord used him to lead His people out. Joseph had his dream of his family bowing to him, but it took him a long journey to become Pharaoh's second man.

God will be able to cause growth to come to every believer who serves Him. He will give us the grace to serve Him. I actually think we will not be able to even serve God if not for His Grace. Even the great Apostle Paul needed it.
of which I was made a servant, according to the gift of that grace of God which was given me according to the working of his power. To me, the very least of all saints, was this grace given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, (Ephesians 3:7-8, WEB) 
So if you have found a desire in your heart to serve the Lord, to know His Word, don't hesitate :). Whatever positions you hold in your current job. Start small. Keep your focus on Him and seek favor. You will see growth very quickly. 

I hope the few simple principles listed in these 3 posts work in some way to help you. God bless you richly.

Shalom. 

Start doing small things for God 2/3


(continue from part 1) Notice Ruth looks to Boaz and not to the harvesters. Thus, when we serve, there is no need to belittle ourselves thinking we will never have revelations like this great man of God or we will never do great things for God like that great man of God. No. That's a distraction and is the wrong focus. We are to stay faithful to the Lord and keep our eyes on Him. Don't be sidetracked.

So be encouraged. It is ok to start small. Start serving the Lord in a simple capacity. Start reading the bible even if you don't understand many things at first. 

Starting small might be a challenge for those who are holding senior positions in their job. When they enter the church, sometimes they may feel a little challenged if they need to submit to a leader who holds a more humble position outside the church. But they should remain sober. But if the grace isn't there, they will struggle if they are given leadership positions in God's house based on their worldly positions. The people they lead will be affected and stifled, and they will find it very hard to step down.
For I say, through the grace that was given me, to every man who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think reasonably, as God has apportioned to each person a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3, WEB) 

The bible principle is always to take a low seat and let the Lord promote you to a higher seat. It is different from the world where we are taught to aim for promotion. 
He spoke a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the best seats, and said to them, "When you are invited by anyone to a marriage feast, don't sit in the best seat, since perhaps someone more honorable than you might be invited by him, and he who invited both of you would come and tell you, 'Make room for this person.' Then you would begin, with shame, to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes, he may tell you, 'Friend, move up higher.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 14:7-11, WEB) 
The biblical principle for a believer, be it at the workplace earning a living or in church serving, is always to choose a lower seat befitting ourselves. And the Lord will promote us in due time. And when that happens, you will be honored in the sight of men. You might have experienced yourself at some point in time but are unaware of the scripture reference. A believer never needs to strive to be promoted, be it at work or in church. You might be surprised. Think about it. If we had strive to obtain a promotion, how would God get the glory? Something to think about :) (continue in part 3)

Shalom.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Start doing small things for God 1/3

Many great men of God start from humble beginnings. If you are thinking of serving God, doing something with humble beginnings is a good way to start. 
And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after one in whose sight I may find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.” (Ruth 2:2, NASB)
In the verse above, Ruth is a type of believer, while the owner of the field, Boaz, is a type of Christ. In the story, Boaz is the kinsmen redeemer, representing Jesus, who is the kinsmen Redeemer of all mankind. In that story, Ruth just followed her mother-in-law back to Jerusalem so she was just starting out. What she said is a picture of the believer starting out to serve God. 

Notice Ruth pleaded to be able to go to the field. Today we serve God because we want to. Because we have a revelation that it is a privilege to serve the King. The bible says a day in the house of the Lord is better than a thousand days in the World (Psalms 84:10). And those with that revelation want to be in the house of the Lord to serve Him and to partake of His blessings in His House. God is not in need of servers. In 1 Kings 19:9, Elijah was running for his life from Jezebel's persecution. In verse 10 and verse 14 he repeatedly told the Lord this,
He said, "I have been very jealous for Yahweh, the God of Armies; for the children of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and slain your prophets with the sword. I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away." (1 Kings 19:10,14, WEB)
Well, the Lord corrected Him, and revealed to Elijah that He has 7000 men in Israel who are faithful to Him. Wow. That's embarrassing isn't it? Similarly if we don't have a revelation to serve God, God will have others who will gladly take it up.We don't need to serve Him. We get to.

Ruth said she will go and glean
‘When you reap the harvest of your land, moreover, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field nor gather the gleaning of your harvest; you are to leave them for the needy and the alien. I am the LORD your God.’” (Leviticus 23:22, NASB)
In Leviticus, the children of Israel are instructed that when they harvest, some grains will drop away from the main gathering. Those grains are called gleaning. They are to be left for the poor, the foreigner and the needy to gather and the action of such gathering is to glean. 

To me Ruth's gleaning can represent two things to a believer today: 
  1. Some Christians may have large revelations about the bible, but the Lord will always leave smaller truths that the new believer can pick up.
  2. Some Christians may be doing big things for God. But God will always leave simpler tasks so that the new believer can contribute as well.
In any case, gleaning is a humble act and represent small beginnings. But don't despise that. Because a faithful new believer will purpose to "glean after the one in whose sight they will find favor" as mentioned in Ruth 2:2. This means although they glean, their sight is not on the harvester, not on those more experienced guys who can do big things. No. Their eyes are on the owner of the field, Jesus. And as they glean and keep their eyes on Jesus, they are really following Him, His leading. The new believers are protected always while they are in His field gleaning and they will soon find favor with the Lord. Like Ruth, they won't stay as gleaners for very long because of the goodness of their Savior. Like Ruth, the Lord would give them a position and they would find increase. Amen. (continue in part 2)

Shalom. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Can we answer questions about God with certainty?

As a Christian when we interact with the people around, we are often asked questions. They can be about God, about the bible, about the Christian way of living, about the Christian perspective to a real-life problem or just to obtain a general advice.  The questions may come from our brothers and sisters in Christ. It can also come from friends and relatives who are not believers. It may even be a question that we have on our own.

I will just be very frank here. I used to think that the bible must be confusing as it says so many things. And people around me all have different interpretations. And they may all tell me they are following God. I would think the bible is not a clear source of information. But I was wrong. My opinion about God's Word totally changed when I see this promise in the bible years ago:
19 ..........I have taught you today, even you. 20Have I not written to you excellent things of counsels and knowledge, 21To make you know the certainty of the words of truth that you may correctly answer him who sent you? (Proverbs 22:19-21, NASB)
The bible is designed by God to educate us and enable us to answer with certainty so that we can be empowered to provide the right answers.
  1. Firstly, God Himself says that He is teaching us through His writing, which are "excellent things of counsels and knowledge". Could anyone's material be better? Is any writer in the world better than Him?  Does anyone know our learning style better than God? The answers to all the questions are clearly "no". God's material contained in the bible must have been the best there is for us.
  2. Secondly, the way the Lord describes it, that He is teaching "even us" and "haven't He wrote to us..", shows the dis-appropriate level of help He is giving us. Would you ask a billionaire to teach a little boy how to make a quarter by selling one ice cream? The billionaire is overqualified and could do much more for the boy. But comparing God to us, it is even more glaring. He is clearly infinitely overqualified as a Teacher. By speaking that way to us, God is telling us that He Himself is doing this and He is very confident that we will succeed.
  3. Thirdly, because He will teach us through His writings, the verse says that the end result is that we will know His Truth for sure and that we may provide those whom He send us to with accurate answers. This statement alone is astounding. 
God's Word cannot be wrong. Start reading the bible today. The Lord will teach you Himself. You will get solid food, not confusion. You will be sure and certain about His Truth. And you will be able to provide the right answers when the occasion arises. Exciting!

Shalom.

Friday, February 15, 2013

What should we do if we are angry with God?

I heard recently that a friend A we used to know wrote online that he thinks God does not care. He was having tough times at work and went into debt. All the while unbelievers around him seem to get all the good breaks, but him. He wonders if God enjoys seeing him suffer. And he wonders if any of his hard work ever count.

Another close friend B also wrote to me recently about him quitting a full-time ministry path in some point in his life due to work stress, jealousy, doubts. And many years later he stopped attending church as he is disappointed at his lack of achievements.


Have you struggled in life? I think we all have our fair share. If you don't have them yet, don't ask for it to happen :). I used to work in a company and was doing quite well in my department and was about to be promoted the next year. However, an ex boss asked me to join his department. I agreed but shared with him about my promotion so he knew. But once in the new department they completely ignored my promotion and I had to start all over again. But I had worked hard in the past years and finally was going to be promoted and then that. Being reset. Having to start all over again. All along the ex boss knew he is not going to fulfill that obligation. I was not smart enough to be careful about that. I thought I was following the Lord's leading but how did it lead to that? Boy were that few years tough. Peers overtaking me by two grades. I see with my eyes how non-believers are blessed one by one, but me. Like my friend, A, I also asked God how can this be right?


Of all the people I see and hear and looking at myself, I do learn one thing overtime. That God is my Blesser, and I cannot bless myself. I can work hard, do my best, save money, give myself better things while being stingy to others. But these are not blessings. These are struggles. Blessings can only come from God.  


We need to cease from our struggles - all the self inflicted striving, trusting that our plans and actions will bring what we want with God's help. God is not an assistant to our plans. He is the Blesser and He does it His way. We need to stop trusting our plans to success. If we were such good planner and know exactly what's best for us, then why are we still struggling? No. God's plans are better. We need to jilt our plan and be open to His leading. He is our leader. Not an assistant to our plans. So we stop trusting in whatever we want to be best for us. And we ask God for help and then we rest. Trust that He will work it out. Let the Blesser go to work in our lives. This is very hard to do - doing nothing when all your senses scream at you that things are not well and you should do something. Pray this way.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7, WEB)
Ask God. And then close your prayer with thanks giving, because He has heard you and will answer.

And you know what? God isn't slow to bless. God will not rest till He has completed that blessing in your life. It will be better and beyond anything you have imagined (Ephesians 3:20). 
Then she said, "Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will fall; for the man will not rest, until he has finished the thing this day." (Ruth 3:18, WEB) 
The verse above is a picture of Jesus (Boaz is a type of Jesus in the OT) working to complete His answer to our request.

But how does God sees a man who come to Him for blessings and then rest? Is this wrong? No. Not only is it not wrong to come to God for blessings, it is the antidote to being angry with Him.
 
Between man to man, it is more blessed to give, yes. But what can you give if you have not been given by God? Thus, even in being a blessing to others we need God to bless us first. It all starts from receiving from Him. 

Now between God and I, it is more blessed for me to receive from Him. If you want to do the right thing in life you cannot be anymore right than be in an act of receiving from Him. This statement may surprise you but it is a very good statement.

  • Once day Jesus went to visit Martha and Mary at their home. The bible said Martha was "distracted and troubled greatly" (Strong's 4049). Then Martha became mad as she was serving alone and Mary was sitting at Jesus' feet, listening to His Word. Martha charged the Jesus to ask Mary, who has left her alone to serve, to help her, saying that He did not care. A person who is distracted and troubled by serving the Lord will finally get angry with the Lord Himself and with the people around them. Is it a great place to be to be mad at Jesus? No. Look at what the Lord said. The Lord said, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her." What is the instruction of our Savior? That between Him and us, only ONE thing is needed. That is to sit down, rest and receive from Him. This story is found in Luke 10:38-42. Martha started out probably with good intentions. Like many believers they wanted to serve the Lord and neglected that receiving from Him is more important. Thus, something that supposedly started "right" in time becomes wrong at the end. Have you experienced serving and then being a bit displeased with God? Have you seen people experiencing this? Now did Mary do any good thing to earn that place? No, she just sat down, even if other people don't appreciate it, even if it is against the culture at that time. Today, you can just sit at Jesus' feet. You don't need to be qualified to do that. Don't strive. Sit down.
  • In the old testament there is a guy whose mum bore him in pain and called his name "sorrow" - Jabaz. What a sad life. Being treated that way by your loved one. How would you grow up? Inferior? Blaming God? Mad at others? How did his life turned around? Simple, he asked God to bless him. He said this to God, "Oh that you would bless me indeed, and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from evil, that it not be to my sorrow!"  This story is found in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10. The bible says God granted him His request but the bible also said he is more honorable than all his brothers! To God, it is not our good work that impresses Him. God finds us asking from Him a very honorable thing. And that is how our life can turn around.
  • Jesus recounted the story of a son who asked his inheritance from his father, squandered it in a far away country in wayward living and then went home finally in order to be a servant to work for food. But what he did not know (and I am sure as believers we also did not expect this) is that his father, a picture of God, has been looking out for his son all those years the son was away. When the father saw him from a far, had compassion on him, ran to the son (against the culture of that time), hugged (Strong's 1968 - "to fall upon", the same word used when the Holy Spirit fall upon Cornelius' household, the first ever gentile believers recorded in Acts 10:44) him and kissed him repeatedly (Strong's 2705 - "to kiss fervently). Without the son asking for it, the father reestablished his son as righteous before him (gave him the robe), restored his son's inheritance (gave him the ring) and reinstated his position as a son (gave him the shoes). The father than killed the fattened calf in order to eat and celebrate, "for  this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found." Notice God isn't angry at the son. He did not scold him for coming back to receive some more. God's response to a wayward son is not discipline. It is an immediate response to giving some more, giving more than the wayward son can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). Would we have agreed with this treatment of a wayward person? That in church we can tell this type of believer who insult God in His face, squandered away His blessings by his own wrong doings, that he can freely receive without first counselling the person to change his ways?
Let's consider friend A who is angry with God and wanted God to bless him based on his efforts, friend B who drifted away due to a lack of achievements and me in my company desperately trying to get a promotion. All 3 of us wanted desperately to receive blessings in our line of work. But instead of resting and asking God we strive and struggle, and go by our own actions and stick to our plans for success. And at best we end up confused with God. We can behave holy and everything when things are well but when things are not well, at the end it all boils down to can we get what we want from God? If we cannot we will think God doesn't care, we will fall away, we will struggle to try to bless ourselves and faces frustrations. 

That is why teaching people to receive from God is so important. 
  1. To God, only one thing is needed, sit at his feet and receive. Don't strive or struggle. Between Him and us, it is more honorable to receive.
  2. If only we can end our struggles and turn back to God as our only source, He would have ran out and pour forth His blessings on us. And you know what? It is not His discipline that will change our attitude towards Him. It is His goodness! Or do you despise the riches of his goodness, forbearance, and patience, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? (Romans 2:4, WEB). No wonder the father in the prodigal son story was quick to restore.
  3. Like in the prodigal son story, the blessings of God is fast coming and it is given beyond our wildest imagination. Think about the father in the prodigal son story who ran to the son even as the son approahes and restored everything with haste. Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, (Ephesians 3:20, WEB). It would have opened up the mind of the 3 of us that God's blessings is beyond a good job, so-called natural achievements in public opinion, promotions. It is way richer, way better. 
  4. Being small minded, we were turning in circles, and we have no idea. But the secret even believers do not know is that only the blessings of God will turn our life around.
  5. And finally, a believer who can only serve well if he can receive well (think about Martha and Mary). Do you know Mary is the only woman who successfully anointed Jesus for his burial while the other woman who went after Jesus died never get to? Isn't that serving well? 

Right now, friend A has not got out yet. As for Friend B, God has led him back to church. He now looks at his life and realizes it is great. He has a wonderful business and a wonderful family. And now he knows a day in the house of the Lord is better than a thousand days in the world. As for me? The Lord led me to another job and I am so much happier and fulfilled. But what saved us is that we can come to God to receive His blessings unqualified. And His blessings open up our eyes, and causes our hearts to turn to Him. Indeed, His blessings are better than we can ever think, imagine or plan.

Notice the father in the prodigal son story said when the son is lost, he is dead. But when he is found in the Father's house, he is alive. How did the prodigal son finally find his way home and then experience life all over again? When he went home to receive a blessing. Leading people to receive blessings from God will save their lives.

It is not our hardwork nor goodness that finally saves us. It is God's faithfulness. It is God's goodness at work in our lives that saves us. We need that. We need to receive that. We desperately need it. Whether we know it or not.

Shalom. 


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Examining Gal 5:5 thru' the Interlinear

Growing up I realize I have a peculiarity. As a student I need to work out my own solutions to problem sums. I could not derive good understanding by reading other people's solutions. I have a friend who is a lot smarter than me. When we were students in school he would collect worked solutions from all of us. He will then by reading them understand what we are trying to do, how the question is solved and he is even able to point out our mistakes. I thought that's really smart! But alas! I was never like him.

I was having a chat with my wife last night and I realized that trait is the reason why reading commentaries never really work for me. Even reading different bible versions made me feel like I needed to find out more. I had needed to check out the verses on my own if I am unsure of what it is saying. I attribute it to my own peculiarity.


I say that to tell you that you can read your bible like you always read it. Don't be inclined to always check multiple bible versions etc unless there is something that baffles you. Frankly, day-to-day I also just read my HCSB bible in printed form. I only investigate when something curious occurs.


That happened to Galatians 5:5 when I read it last year. It says this:

For we, through the Spirit, by faith wait for the hope of righteousness.(WEB).

I was confused. Does the verse mean I am waiting for righteousness? I thought the blood of Jesus has purchased for us righteousness as a gift. (Romans 5:17, Ephesians 1:7, 2Cor 5:21). I try to ask friends but I did not get a sure answer. I try to check different bible versions but there is no conclusion. In fact, bible versions contradict one another.


1. ESV, NASB, HCSB, KJV, YLT all mentioned waiting for the "hope of rightousness", which is about the same as WEB. These versions did not help my doubt. 

2. NIV and NLT say that we are waiting for righteousness. 
    -   But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. (NIV)
    -   But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has  
promised to us. (NLT)

3. Amplified bible says we are waiting for the blessings brought about by the righteousness that we have with God.   
    - For we, [not relying on the Law but] through the [Holy] Spirit’s [help], by faith anticipate and wait for the blessing  and  good for which our righteousness  and  right standing with God [our conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action, causes us] to hope. (AMP)

So are NIV and NLT correct or is the Amplified correct? I began reading a few commentaries. But there isn't a clear direction. A good source is this page http://bible.cc/galatians/5-5.htm. In that webpage, the bible versions are shown on top, below are the various commentaries and on the right contains TSK references. In this case TSK also did not really help me as I am not sure why Gal 5:5 is linked to those referenced verses.

Then I start to look at the Interlinear, which sheds light. It is found here http://interlinearbible.org/galatians/5-5.htm and I cut and paste it below under resources. In the Interlinear form, Gal 5:5, with its cases in brackets are as follows:

we (nominative) indeed by Spirit (dative) by faith (genitive), hope (accusative) of righteousness (genitive) await (present indicative middle)

Let's examine this: 

1) Nominative is the subject of the sentence. Thus "we" is the subject. 

2) "Spirit" has the dative case. Dative case shows the means whereby something is done. So here the wait is by means of the Spirit. 

3) Genitive case qualifies an accompanying noun. "faith" thus qualifies "Spirit". And "righteousness" qualifies "hope". 
  •  This means the Spirit is of faith. This Spirit is a spirit that believes in the goodness of God
  • The "hope" mentioned in the sentence is based on "righteousness". This hope is described by righteousness.
4) Importantly, "hope" is of the accusative case. This means the subject is awaiting hope. The subject is not waiting for righteousness.

5) The word "await" has the present indicative middle tense. Present indicative refers to an action currently taking place in the present time. This means even today, we are waiting. It is a continuous wait. Middle voice refers the subject in the sentence carrying out the action on himself, the subject is not carrying out the action on others.

6) The word "await" is apekdechomai in greek (Strong's 533) and it means to "expect eagerly". 

7) The word "hope" is elpida in greek (Strong's 1680) and there are 18 occurrences in the NT and looking at those verses (letting bible interpret bible), the hope here probably means blessings that righteousness brings.

Thus put together, the sentence may look like 

we indeed by the Spirit (by faith) are always expecting eagerly the blessings (of righteousness)

Then it is also important to check the context of the sentence. If we interpret a verse but it does not fit in the context of where the verse sits, then it should be wrong. In this case, this interpretation fits the context nicely. The context is talking about receiving the promises of God through promise and not through the law. We see that Gal 4:30 refers to inheriting and Gal 5:2 refers to us profiting.

Mystery solved! Praise God! 

Resource:
1. Interlinear for Gal 5:5 at http://interlinearbible.org/galatians/5-5.htm. Click to enlarge.

2. Explanations for NT greek noun cases are found here http://ntgreek.org/learn_nt_greek/nouns1.htm

3. Explanations for NT verb tenses are found here http://www.ntgreek.org/learn_nt_greek/inter-tense.htm

          

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A children's story based on the leper healed by Jesus

In Matthew 8, there is a story of a leper who approached Jesus. Let's look at the verse.


1When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2A man with leprosya came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 3Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was curedb of his leprosy.

The leper is sure Jesus can heal him. His question is "Is the Lord willing to heal me?". Jesus put aside any doubt in his heart by touching him and healing him. The Lord's action is extraordinary as no one touches a leper under the law. Touching a leper would make one unclean. Jesus wanted to have compassion on him and wanted him to experience a human touch again. And that kind human touch also healed the leper. That touch of Jesus is a dose of God's kindness and healing power.

This seems like such a simple story. The best story I have read that is based on these verses is actually a simple children's picture book I read to my daughter when she was young. I am not sure if I can find that book but I can recall parts of it by memory:
The story is narrated from the viewpoint of a little boy. His father is a carpenter working on a table for a neighbor. In the afternoon his father and him would spend time together to play. In the evening they would go home, wash up and have dinner together as a family. He has a little sister. His mother is loving and his father is kind.  They have little but they are happy. But one day his father began to see spots on his hands. At first he ignored it, but later it got worse. As it gets worse as the days go by, he can sense his parents becoming worried. One day during dinner, his father announced that he is going away. He was asked by his father to take care of the family, being the only man left in the house. His father told his mother that the table he is working on is completed and the money fetched would support the family for a period in time. The next day, his father left the house and the family bid him goodbye in a tearful farewell. The little boy is not allowed to hug his father anymore. The little boy looked on as his father disappeared into the horizon. From that day on, the dinner table would always have an empty seat. His mother tried to encourage the little boy and his younger sister by asking them to trust God. That God would make everything well. They all tried their best to believe. As the days go by, their money dwindled and soon they may be left with nothing.

His father actually left because he had contracted leprosy, and his father left for the leper camp outside the city. One day, his father heard that there is a man in town and that man is able to heal the sick. Conjuring up his courage, his father ventured to the man. He asked the man if the man is willing to heal him. The man has kind looks in his eyes for the boy's father, touched him and healed him. 

One day the little boy was sitting outside his house and he saw a silhouette approaching from afar. As the man comes nearer for a moment the little boy thought he looks like his father, but of course it couldn't be. As the man walked closer and closer the boy realized that that is his father! The whole family hugged and his father recounted to the family how a man, Jesus, has compassion for him, and healed him.

As I read the story to my daughter when she was young, I would tear uncontrollably as the story goes on. I can very much identify with the leper. Leprosy to me is like sin. I am so grateful that a man called Jesus came and out of His kindness He saved me, that I won't lose my family and can continue to be with them. If you are a believer, you have received the same healing, the same salvation. What a kind savior we have!

Shalom.

Two questions on studying the bible answered

After reading an earlier post on "Examining Ephesians 2:15 through the interlinear", a friend asked if there is a fixed way to bible study. Do we need to use the interlinear all the time? Is there a fixed methodology - like the steps to follow till the truth is found? To me, the answer is no. Knowing the various mechanics of studying the bible is fine (covered in an earlier post "Mechanics of Studying the Bible"), but for every new verse we should be guided by the Holy Spirit and not follow a rigid methodology. This is because every situation is different and the Word of the Lord is so rich.  You can read the same verse and every time the Holy Spirit can reveal new truths. I don't think anyone is able to work out a system of bible study in fixed steps that can work the best in every instance. It is much better to just take it easy and go with the flow at that time that you are reading the verse. Enjoy the process of finding out the truth about Jesus in that verse guided by the Holy Spirit. The methods are tools. Don't set up a system of study and get locked into it. To me it takes the joy out of reading the bible. However, if you are someone who feels much better if you have a fixed workflow, then do feel free. That may mean your flow is having a fixed method.

The second question is: "Is there only one correct way to look at a verse?" My answer would be no as well. Again, the Lord's Word is so rich. I think everyone who studies the bible always think they got it. But I am sure there are more truths to be discovered. The fact that we think we are finding out more truths than the people we know will also mean that there could be people we know or don't know who are getting more truth in the verse than us. The Teacher, the Holy Spirit will bring all things of Christ to our remembrance. In our study of God's Words, just enjoy what the Holy Spirit is showing us. No one has the last word on God's Word. I think only God does :)

Shalom.

Monday, February 11, 2013

One contradiction in the NASB: Did Jesus abolish the law or not?

Well in the last post, we said that NASB is the best translation for Ephesians 2:15.

We know Ephesians 2:15 says that:  
by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, (NASB)

Ephesians is given after Jesus died. But before Jesus died, he said this in Matthew 5:17: "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. (NASB)

Is there a contradiction? The Lord has said he won't abolish the law, but then why is it abolished after His death? Give it some thought. Then see below.

The reason has got to do with the two words. The word "abolish" in Matthew 5:17 is katalusai (Strong's 2647) which means to destroy, to overthrow. The world "abolishing" in Ephesians 2:15 is katarg─ôsas (Strong's 2673) which means to render inoperative, to abolish. 

The Law was given at Mount Sinai (Exodus 20) after the children of Israel came out of Egypt and it has always been there before Jesus died up till now. Jesus did not destroy it or overthrow it. What the Lord did is to fulfill it by dying for us at the cross. This is because anyone who sin must die (Romans 6:23). The Lord took our place and died for us, and thus render the law inoperative in our lives. So for the believer, he is no longer under the bondages of the law, as it has been annulled by the Lord for him. But for non-believers, the law is at work in their life and the hostility (the law is against them) has not been removed (Romans 2:14-15).

Praise God we are no longer bound by the law! 

John 8 34Jesus answered them, "Most certainly I tell you, everyone who commits sin is the bondservant of sin. 35A bondservant doesn't live in the house forever. A son remains forever. 36If therefore the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.  

So in this case our best translation, NASB, from the last post isn't so good here. There is no best bible translation. Everyone has their own preference. Choose a translation you like best. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. You will be fine :).

Shalom. 
   

Examining Ephesians 2:15 thru' the Interlinear

In the post on the "Mechanics of Studying the Bible" we listed the various ways that you can use to study the bible. Here, we look at a verse I am recently studying and see how the study methods can be applied. I hope the general reader will be able to persevere, and stay with me. I think the results is worth it. It is like climbing the mountain. The climb may be steep, but you do get to see the high view once up there.

I was studying Ephesians 2:15. I use the WEB (it refers to the World English Bible) regularly. And it says this:

having abolished in the flesh the hostility, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man of the two, making peace; (WEB)

However, different bible versions do say it a little differently (see resource section below for the versions). KJV and NASB are recognized as the best formal equivalence translation (translate word-for-word) and they are about the same as WEB. However, NIV, NLT, ESV, HCSB all did not contain the word "hostility" or "enmity". Including that word could make a difference to the way we read this verse. This is because WEB and KJV seems to infer that the law of commandments is an enemy to us that the Lord need to bear it in His own flesh to abolish. This is even more explicit in NASB.

So the next step I did is to look at the interlinear, where the Greek language and English language are written side by side. The link is http://interlinearbible.org/ephesians/2.htm. You will see that if you try to read the verses in English from the interlinear you nearly cannot. This is because the original language is Greek so literal translation into English is awkward at best. 

First, from the interlinear, I check that verse 14 is complete on its own and there isn't a part of verse 15 that is found in verse 14. This can happen, as verse numbers are manually placed into the original text for indexing purpose. So we cannot be too careful. You also also notice that verse 15 can be split into 2 parts. The first part of the verse comprises of the words before the word "that" with Strong's number 2443. The second part of the verse comprises of the words starting with word "that". We will concentrate on the first part of the sentence, which is where our interest lies. Notice the last line of the interlinear contains abbreviations. These are the Greek grammar of each word. At the original interlinear webpage if you put your cursor over the abbreviations, you will be able to see the grammar in detail. 

The sentence, with the case of the noun in brackets would then look like:
"the hostility (accusative) in the flesh (dative) of him (genitive), the law (accusative) of commandments (genitive) in decree (dative) having annulled (nominative)"

Nominative case refers to the subject of the sentence. Thus, "Jesus having annulled" is the main action of this sentence. Accusative case refers to the object of the sentence. This means the annulling is done on the two nouns with the accusative case - the "hostility" and the "law". Genitive case is a noun that qualifies another noun and thus give it another additional layer of description. Thus the "flesh" is that of Jesus' ("him") and the "law" is that of the commandments. Dative case shows the means by which something is done. Thus, how is the hostility annulled? Ans: by means of the Lord's flesh. How is the law of commandments given? Ans: It is decreed. If you put all these understanding together you will find that WEB, KJV and NASB are accurate, while the rest of the translations mentioned, which did not mention the world "hostility" or the world "flesh", are not as good.

This is important. Why? This is because the original text has the meaning that the law of commandments that were decreed is hostile to us. And that it is by the death of Jesus that it is taken away - thus it is a valid process. These are important foundational truths for a believer to know.

To the credit of the other versions, now while WEB and KJV inferred that the hosility that the Lord annulled in His flesh is the law of commandments decreed, the rest of the versions simply state that what is annulled is the law. Why?

I believe this has got to do with the gender of the words. The word "having annulled" has the masculine gender. For the two nouns with the accusative case ("hostility" and "law"), only "law" has masculine gender, while "hostility" has the feminine gender. Thus, while the word "hostility" appears first in the sentence, the grammar itself could have help to link the subject to the accusative noun "law" through the gender of the words. This could have equated the annulling action to both "hostility" and "law", linking the two together if we read between the lines.

Thus, the most accurate translation, in my opinion, is the NASB. Cool, isn't it :)

Resources:

1)  To learn what the cases of nouns mean in a quick way go to http://interlinearbible.org/ephesians/2.htm.

2) Interlinear on Ephesians 2:15 cut and paste from http://interlinearbible.org/ephesians/2.htm




3)   Ephesians 2:15 in different versions

KJV - Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

NASB - by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,

NIV - by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace,

NLT- He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups.

ESV - by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,

HCSB - He made of no effect the law consisting of commands and expressed in regulations, so that He might create in Himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace.