Sunday, November 4, 2018

All Glory Only for God

31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

Richard Lenski called this principle the ultimate principle of all Christian action.”[1]  This principle is indeed very foundational.  What makes it interesting is the fact that the Apostle Paul speaks of this principle to address an issue of eating in the church of Corinth.  But why so serious?  Isn’t eating just a small matter?  Every day we eat.  Commonly we eat more than once a day.  We eat rice, bread, meat, veggies, candies, ice cream, and the list goes on.  Eating as an issue is not as big as murder or adultery or blasphemy.  But for this seemingly small matter, Paul has to reveal to the Corinthians “the ultimate principle of all Christian action.”
There was an issue among the Corinthians regarding eating.  The problem was that in the meat market some meats sold there were first dedicated to idols.  This issue was huge in the first century because the worship of idols was a hot topic among Christians.  Eating meat that was first used to worship idols was an extension of the main issue of idol worship.  While the Christians eating the meat did not actually take part in the idol worship, some Christians thought that the meat was considered defiled by the idols, and thus ought not to be eaten by Christians, otherwise those who eat it would be defiled as well.  This matter might not be a big issue for the 21st century Christians, but it was then.
Now, the issue was first surfaced due to the Jewish’ influence.  Richard Pratt studied the history and pointed out:
The rabbis placed many restrictions on Jews who lived in pagan cities like Corinth. Jews had to be sure they bought meat only from shops that were kosher.[2]
Some of the believers adopted the Jewish’s code of conduct regarding kosher food.  The tendency to maintain superficial purity was strong, that even a simple dinner invitation could be a case for spiritual judgment.  Pratt observed:
But this was not Paul’s policy. Believers could eat anything sold … without raising questions about whether the meat had been sacrificed to an idol. Paul supported his counsel by quoting Psalm 24:1: The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. Jews often used this phrase in mealtime prayers. Paul used it to assert that the Lord is the only true God of all things, and that idols are insignificant. Followers of Christ could eat without raising questions of conscience—without asking questions about the meat’s history that might trouble the conscience of others.[3]
Thus this becomes a serious matter for Paul.  Eventually this seemingly small issue is not small at all.  The ultimate principle, or what Robertson Nicoll called as “The supreme maxim of duty[4] must be spoken so as to govern even the smallest action.  John Calvin reflected on this and commented:
Lest they should think, that in so small a matter they should not be so careful to avoid blame, he teaches that there is no part of our life, and no action so minute, that it ought not to be directed to the glory of God, and that we must take care that, even in eating and drinking, we may aim at the advancement of it.[5]
The main operating word here is “to the glory of God.”  This is the heart of the ultimate principle.  But what exactly is the meaning of “the glory of God”?  We are often blinded by the big word that its meaning slips away from our consciousness.  Paul Ellingworth and Howard Hutton explained the meaning of “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”:
“do everything in such a way that God will be honored.”[6]
If even eating and drinking, those small matters that we often take for granted, we must do it so that God will be honored, how much more things that are greater than those?
            This principle is in no way small or easy to do.  If we are honest, we often stumble upon this principle.  The Westminster Catechism lists this as the first and most important teaching we must internalize as a human being.
What is the chief and highest end of man?
Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, (Rom. 11:36, Cor. 10:31) and fully to enjoy him forever. (Ps. 73:24–28, John 17:21–23).[7]
We find it difficult to fathom the depth of this principle.  We are overwhelmed by the word “to the glory of God” so that we become confused.  We often use this word without really grasping its meaning.  And we quickly desire an easy solution or a quick fix, just like those in Corinth who preferred to give in to the superficial purity.  Thus we ask: “How then should we honor God in our action?”  We are ready to leave the discussion about God’s glory and honor.  Focusing on our action is much easier than truly grasping the height of God’s glory.  So we abandon our quest to fathom God’s glory and honor, and substitute it for the practical dos and don’ts.  In our confusion we feel more secure to stick to the restrictions, even if we do not understand why we do or not do those things.  But that is not what we are supposed to be.
            As followers of Christ, we ought to understand the true meaning of God’s glory and honor.  We must strive to grasp it to the best of our knowledge.  And here I shall attempt to elaborate to you the meaning of it before we even attempt to put this passage into our daily Christian practice.  Now, we have known the boundary of our conduct, in which Paul teaches that in everything we must seek God’s honor.  That’s our boundary.  Let me borrow from Abraham Kuyper’s most famous quote:
“and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human life of which Christ, Who is Sovereign of all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’”[8]
Therefore, every single thing that we do must intentionally be done so that God will be honored.  In short, the boundary is everything.  This includes our breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as snacks in between.  This also includes the usage of our time, what we do with our gadgets, how and what we think, as well as our entertainment and relaxation choice of activities, the words we speak or not speak, the work and job that we do, and the list is infinitely long.
            Now that we know that nothing should be exempted from honoring God, we must turn to the true meaning of glorifying and honoring God.  The skeptics would say: “I can’t fathom God’s glory, so why even bother to glorify God?”  Let me tell you that what the skeptics say is not true.  Because we know deep down the meaning of glorifying and honoring God.  A very important way to understand a word is by understanding its opposite.  This is a general rule in philosophy.  So before we try to ponder the meaning of glory and honor in its positive force, we shall attempt to understand it in its negative force.  So let me pose the negative force question here: “What does it mean to dishonor or not glorify God?”
            Let me bring this to the human level so that we could understand easier.  We all have parents or at least someone who took care of us as we grew up, I assume.  Because I do believe that we do not just grow up on our own.  Someone must have taken care of us.  This is just basic nature for humans.  Now, what does it mean to dishonor our parents?  Dishonor is closely tied to the context of shame, embarrassment, or humiliation.  Let us try the word “humiliate” here.  Do we honor our parents if we humiliate them?  I believe we all can answer that question with a resounding “No.”  And you are right, when we humiliate them, we do not honor them.  Thus, it is safe then to understand the meaning of honoring as not humiliating.  This is the first and very important meaning.  And this meaning is also very practical.
            How can we humiliate our parents?  One example is by speaking harshly to them in public.  Another example is by speaking badly about them.  Yet another example is by mocking them in front of our friends of their quirkiness and whatever things they did that we consider to be outdated.  How do we then honor our parents?  Simply by not doing things that would humiliate our parents.  In the same way we honor God by not doing things that would humiliate God.  This is the first practical thing to do and the very first level we may attain in the matter of honoring.  Let me give you an example.
            There is a Christian by the name of Boris.  He diligently goes to church every Sunday and actively serving the Lord in his church.  This year Boris is elected as an elder in his church.  Now, Boris is a trader.  He had a stock of corn in his storehouse.  He advertised his corn that his corn is the best corn there is.  Thus Boris sold it with quite a high price.  His friends came to Boris buying his corn.  Finally Boris sold all his corn.  But then all his friends quickly came back to Boris complaining about the sale.  Andrew, Nina, David, Betty, and many more sent Boris messages in his whatsapp telling him that the weight is not accurate.  Andrew said that his 100 kg corn weighed only 90 kg when he measured it in his store.  Nina’s 1000 kg of corn weighed a mere 900 kg when she measured it.  David lost 50 kg as he measured his 500 kg corn he bought from Boris.  And Betty’s corn weighed 80 kg less than what she purchased.  Finally it was found out that Boris had cheated 10% from the weight measurement.  His friends sent to Boris a message saying: “I thought you are a Christian Boris, why did you cheat me?  Aren’t Christians not supposed to cheat?”  Brothers and sisters, did Boris honor God or humiliate God in his shrewd dealing?
            How about the positive force of glorifying and honoring God?  Let me caution you that we can’t exhaust it here.  But let me focus on one thing at this point, obedience.  Actively obeying God means positively glorifying and honoring God.  Why so?  Obedience is our voluntary act to follow and do what God has commanded.  When we obey God, we are in tune with Him.  Just like our body, when our hand is in tune with our head, then as our head commands our hand to pick up the book, the hand would obey and do as told without grumbling or complaining.  Why Moses was considered dishonoring God when he strikes the rock twice?
10 Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11 And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. 12 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” 13 These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the Lord, and through them he showed himself holy.  (Numbers 20:10-13)
Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces. And the glory of the Lord appeared to them, and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.” And Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he commanded him.  (Numbers 20:6-9)
The Lord did not instruct Moses to strike the rock, but merely tell the rock to yield water.  The miracle was meant to be performed through mere words, no striking necessary.  Yet Moses disobeyed the Lord.  When Moses disobeyed the Lord, he dishonored the Lord.  To demonstrate God’s holiness, Moses was supposed to mimic the Lord.  As the Lord gave instructions to the people, Moses too was supposed to instruct the rock.  The Lord’s instruction was to be obeyed, and so when Moses, as he was supposed to do but didn’t, instructed the rock, the rock would obey.  The Lord did not need to strike Israel so as to command their obedience.  In the same way, Moses did not need to strike the rock so as to command its obedience.
            Therefore, to positively glorify God we are to actively obey Him.  The Lord instructs His people to do to others what they would want others do to them (Matthew 7:12).  Boris was supposed to deal with his customers honestly.  He should not cheat.  Boris too would not like it if someone cheated on him.  So he ought to positively obey the Lord’s instruction, and in that way he would honor the Lord.
            To glorify God in everything we do is “the ultimate principle of all Christian action.”  Whatever we do, we must intentionally aim them to honor God.  Negatively, if it does not honor God, do not do it.  Positively, if what we are about to do is in tune with His command, then we must do it regardless of the consequences that entail.  God’s ultimate grace to us is when He gave His Son to redeem us from sin and eternal death.  Jesus actively obeyed the Father and in that way He honored the Father.  Jesus obeyed the Father even when life came to Him unjustly and brutally.  Thus in Him we are now saved.  This is the ultimate grace.  And moreover, Jesus’ act of obedience, His act of honoring God, serves as our ultimate model of life that is glorifying God.  There are many more things we can elaborate regarding the matter of glorifying God, but space and time does not allow us to do so right now.  I want to close with this: if we truly put this simple teaching into practice, we can truly sing the glory of God – the doxology: “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36).  Amen.

[1] R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Paul’s First and Second Epistle to the Corinthians (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 1963), 424–425.
[2] Richard L. Pratt Jr, I & II Corinthians, vol. 7, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 169.
[3] Richard L. Pratt Jr, I & II Corinthians, vol. 7, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 169.
[4] W. Robertson Nicoll, The Expositor’s Greek Testament: Commentary, vol. 2 (New York: George H. Doran Company, n.d.), 869.
[5] John Calvin and John Pringle, Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, vol. 1 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 347.
[6] Paul Ellingworth, Howard Hatton, and Paul Ellingworth, A Handbook on Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1995), 237.
[7] The Westminster Larger Catechism: With Scripture Proofs. (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).
[8] Kuyper, Abraham.  Sphere Sovereignty: A public address delivered at the Inauguration of the Free University, Oct. 20, 1880, tr. George Kemps, p. 26.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Reforming Our Minds

27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
Romans 3:27-28

Nearly 2,000 years ago, Paul argued sharply against a theology that was widely held and believed by many, including many Christians.  The influence of Judaism clearly infiltrated Christianity during the time of Paul.  This theology continues to live on since the Fall.  This is what I would call as the work-based salvation theology.  The logic of this theology is simple: Salvation is to be earned by the offender.  The implication is massive.  In order for someone to gain salvation, one must work very hard to achieve it and to secure it.  It also suggests, thus, that sinful humans can please God enough so that the balancing scale of Divine justice may be tipped to our favor.  The imagination, therefore, is that sinful humans can reach heaven from below.
Based on such theology, even Christians in Rome then diligently worked on their religious rituals and requirements.  The purpose of such diligence was to gain heaven.  Salvation was understood as whether someone does more good than evil.  If someone does more evil than good, then he/she won’t be saved.  On the other hand, if someone does more good than evil, then he/she will be saved.  Many religions in the world are basically teaching this sort of theology.  But Christianity is not teaching this theology at all.  When the Holy Spirit moved Paul to write this Epistle to the Romans, the work-based salvation theology was already accepted by Christians in Rome.  Paul had to bring them back to the truth.  He had to argue from the very basic in order to reform their minds.
1,500 years after Paul, the Roman Catholic Church spread a similar kind of theology and thus led many Christians astray.  The core problem with work-based salvation theology lies on our sinful nature.  Humans fall into this theology from time to time.  This theology never gets old.  It always comes back with a different twist.  Human sinful nature deceives the mind into thinking that we can save ourselves, that we have the power to write our own destiny, that we can overcome even the obstacle of sin and death.  This brokenness fits the work-based salvation theology perfectly.  Thus when people hear such theology, they quickly match it with their sinful tendency, which then prompts them to believe that work-based salvation theology is true.  It feels good to their broken soul.  No wonder, even after 1,500 years, people kept coming back to the old theology that Paul had already refuted in the first century AD.
The infamous “indulgences letter” that the Roman Catholic Church sold became the trigger for the reformation movement widely accepted to be started by Martin Luther.  Without going too much into the complicated historical details, I shall paint a simple picture here regarding the “indulgences.”  The “indulgences” were meant to be a certificate of salvation for the deceased.  The Roman Catholic Church at that time taught that if anyone would wish that their deceased loved one(s) to be saved, then all they needed to do was to purchase an indulgence letter.  As soon as they purchase the letter, then the soul of the deceased would jump straight away to heaven.  Salvation thus could be obtained by way of “work” and in this case by someone purchasing an indulgence letter for those who had passed away.
When Martin Luther contemplated on this issue, he realized that the church had gone too far.  Luther also knew that the church actually abused the sale of the indulgences in order to build Basilica St. Peter.  As God’s people being led astray and God’s truth being twisted, the Holy Spirit moved Luther to protest to the church.  In 1517 Luther nailed his world famous 95 these on the gate of the Wittenberg church in Germany.  Luther called for the church to be reformed.  One of his most basic biblical foundations of his theology was our passage for today, particularly verse 28: “28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
Luther held on to that verse very strongly.  That verse convicted him that salvation can’t be obtained by works, no matter how many good works he could do or even how good the good works were.  He himself personally struggled with sin and his guilt.  Luther would punish himself severely even if he just thought of a small sinful thought.  As taught in the Roman Catholic Church, Luther first believed that he could appease God by punishing himself so hard for his sin in the hope of balancing the scale of the Divine justice.  But the more he contemplated Romans 1-3 the more he realized that whatever good deeds he did or was doing could not earn him salvation.  Finally he opposed the church for misleading the congregation.  He opposed the church for exploiting the human need for the assurance of salvation.
Reformation was a wake-up call for the Roman Catholic Church.  The church at the time had not been representing Christianity.  They had expressed a different Christianity, which was not Christianity at all.  They might use Christian symbols and all, but the meaning of those symbols had been reinterpreted according to something that was foreign to the Scripture.  The main problem was on what meaning that was assigned to the word or symbol.  Today we are still struggling with the same thing.  We battle our sinful tendency within that continues to tempt us to believe that we can save ourselves through our good deeds.  And we are also surrounded by many other teachings, including some of them within Christianity itself that teach work-based salvation theology, such as the Arminianism.
The Scripture teaches us very clearly that salvation cannot be attained by our works.  Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote the truth that we can only be justified by faith.  Salvation is only through faith in Christ Jesus.  Thus one of the maxims of the Reformation is “Sola Fide” which means Faith Alone.  Jesus said in John 6:44: “44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.  Ephesians 1:3-14 spells out the strongest biblical passage that salvation is a gift from God.  We should read this passage so that at least we know what it says plainly.
Many Christians, even today, have wrongly and secretly believed that our good deeds determine our salvation.  But there is one scene of the cross that defies such belief.  If you are a Christian, then you must remember the scene of the criminal who was crucified on the side of Jesus.  The criminal repented right there and then.  And Jesus told him that he would be with Jesus in paradise that very day.  Now, we know that the criminal had no way of piling up good deeds in order to balance the scale of the divine justice.  If salvation is about doing more good deeds, then the criminal certainly wouldn’t be in paradise as he died on that cross.  Does it mean that Jesus was lying?  But how could that be?  If Jesus were lying, then our faith has come to nothing.  Christianity crumbles completely and won’t ever be restored.  We know that Jesus can never lie.  And so the work-based salvation theology can never be true.  None of our good deeds can ever save us.  Only by believing that Jesus dies on our place on the cross we are saved.  This is “justified by faith” as mentioned in Romans 3:28.
And this is actually a good news.  A great news, even!  Why is that so?  Let me explain a little bit.  This is deep theology, but I shall not hide it from you.  I will reveal the mystery to you.  Some of you might find it difficult to understand, but you will have time to dig deeper.  Let me first ask you this question: If God is just, then our punishment must be in proportion with our sin, isn’t true?  Now, then, answer me: Why does God punish us for eternity in hell when we sin temporarily on earth?  Isn’t it quite excessive to punish a temporal sin with an eternal hell?  Shouldn’t temporal sin be punished by temporal punishment?  Is then God just by doing so?  Anybody would want to answer?
Now, let me explain to you why it is just for God to punish our temporal sin with eternal hell.  It is just because our temporal sin is actually of eternal quality.  This is simply because we sin against God whose quality is eternal.  Let me illustrate to you.  Supposedly you suddenly feel the urge to slap a goat in the face.  Would the goat demand justice that you too be slapped in the face?  Now, that won’t happen, would it?  Simply because the goat is way lower in status than us humans.  Now, supposedly you feel the urge to do a small prank to your friend, i.e. hiding his sandals.  Your friend is then mad at you.  In order to restore the relationship between you and your friend, something must be done.  And for sure you don’t have to go to jail for the small prank you just pulled.  You might need to be “punished” temporarily.  Or simply you can ask for his forgiveness.  Small prank, small punishment.  Now, supposedly you suddenly feel the urge to throw your shoe at the newly elected governor.  What do you think your punishment would be?  Do you get where I’m getting at?  The higher the status of the person we hurt, the more severe the retribution would be.  Now, let us apply this to our sin against God.
God is our Creator.  He deserves a trillion more (and more even unto eternity) of our honor than what we even give to our parents who gave birth to us.  But yet we sin against Him.  Just imagine throwing our dirty and smelly shoe at Him.  What do you think the punishment should be?  Since His quality is eternal, your sin is also counted as of eternal quality.  So God must punish you with an eternal punishment, comparable to His eternal quality.  The eternal punishment is what we know as hell.
Now, how can we escape that eternal punishment?  For sure we can’t!  Imagine that we are on the waiting list.  Waiting for what?  Waiting to be punished in hell.  We are what many would call as the “dead man walking.”  Meaning we might look like we are alive, but in fact we are already dead in our status waiting in line in the death row.  What good deeds we could possibly do to cancel out our eternal punishment while we are waiting in our death row?  We are already dead as far as heaven is concerned.  No one in the eternal death row can do good deeds that should be considered to cancel the punishment.  It is absurd to think that we try to do all the good things while waiting our turn to be punished with the hope that the Judge will notice our good deeds and calculate the good deeds to nullify our offence to the most honorable and glorious Being in the universe.  Good deeds mean nothing at all here.
Now, the Judge desires to save some of those in the death row.  He then chooses out of His free will some He wants to rescue.  But the offence can’t just be wiped out as if nothing happened.  The justice of God must be satisfied.  The eternal punishment must be executed before true salvation can be bestowed upon the offender.  How?  An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, blood for blood.  This is the law of substitution.  If one person is to be saved from the death row, then an innocent person must replace him/her, that is a person who is not in the death row.  Because if the replacement is also in the death row, the law of substitution can’t be applied.  It would be a complete foolishness to replace a rotten egg with yet another rotten egg.  Even in our ordinary life we can’t do that.  Romans 3 has made it clear than not even one human being is innocent.  And so this route is blocked completely.  What about replacing one person with one lamb?  But this won’t work either, would it?  Why?  Simply because the quality is vastly different.  A lamb is infinitely of lower quality than human.  The law of substitution demands that the one replacing that which is to be saved must be of equal intrinsic value.  Not even an infinite amount of lambs can replace one person.  Jesus indicates that a human soul is much more valuable than even the value of the entire world combined.  Mark 8:36-37:
36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul?
Nothing on earth can replace a human soul except a human soul.  And in order to replace a human soul in the death row, an innocent human soul must be available.  We are stuck.
            So we ask: Can’t an angel replace a human?  For sure angels are not stained by sin.  This might be a good solution.  But again the answer is no.  The law of substitution prohibits it since a human being is not of equal intrinsic value as an angel.  This also then eliminates the possibility of God Himself replacing human.
            But God has a way.  God the Son incarnated into the world.  He became a human being.  And He was totally and completely sinless.  Jesus was the only human soul that can satisfy the law of substitution in this case.  But wait a minute.  Isn’t Jesus only one person?  How can He replace so many?  One sinless soul can only replace one sinful soul.  It would be unfair for one to replace many.  If we buy 7 apples from the store, and it turns out that all 7 apples are rotten, I suppose we won’t accept the store to replace only with 1 apple, would we?  So how could 1 Jesus save many, millions, even billions people?  Anybody wish to answer this question?
            Let me tell you the secret of heaven and earth.  This is how 1 Jesus saves even billions or trillions or infinite numbers of humans.  The doctrine of Christ reveals that Jesus is not only 100% human being, He is also 100% God.  The quality of being God can handle as many humans as possible, while his human quality allows Him to substitute humans.  If the offender is human, then the substitute must also be human, cannot be a lamb, or an angel, or even God.  But since the God quality is infinitely more valuable than the human quality, thus infinite numbers of human can be saved by even 1 Jesus.
            Now, this is also why there is only one way of salvation, that is through Jesus Christ.  Because Jesus is the one and only person who has 100% quality of man and 100% quality of God at the same time.  This is the genius of God.  Therefore, when Jesus was punished on our place on the cross, He represented us as human, and at the same time overcame the requirement of quality for the infinite numbers of human to be saved.  No other way may open the gate of heaven.  Only when God’s punishment was poured out on Jesus, thus His justice was satisfied, then the redeemed may be completely free from the punishment of eternal death.  This is also one big reason why good deeds can’t gain us salvation, because the divine justice must be satisfied through the execution of the punishment.  No ordinary human being can withstand God’s eternal punishment and live.  Only Jesus could, because of His God quality.
            This is what the Reformation movement fought for 501 years ago.  Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Knox fought for this truth at the core, and worked to reform the church to obey the word of God.  This is also what we are supposed to be doing now.  We continue to return to the Scripture.  We fight for the truth.  We seek to establish the truth.  So that God’s people may not be misled.
            Another thing I have to speak to you, but I can’t go into the detail about it because of time.  I need you to understand that we continue to do good deeds.  But it is not to attain salvation.  It is an expression of who we actually are in Christ Jesus.  Meaning, we do good deeds because we are already saved in Christ.  We are restored to Christ’s image.  And it is only natural for us to do good deeds because that’s a natural expression of Christ Himself.  No wonder we are called Christians, don’t you think?  And “Christian” means “little Christ.”  May the Lord bless you all.  Amen!