Kerusso Blog


The 4-Fold Ministry Philosophy of Koinonia Fellowship

By Pastor Ray Viola

The vision statement of Koinonia Fellowship is on the back of our monthly Kerusso church magazine. Since the very inception of this church in December of 1984, this statement has been the biblical, driving motivation for why Koinonia exists as a local church. To know Christ. To grow in Christ. To proclaim Christ. To glorify Christ.

It has been the deep conviction of my colleagues in ministry and myself that this vision statement is something that needs to be presented to you and embraced by each and every one of you who call Koinonia Fellowship your church family. We will take each one of these vision statements individually with the goal of inspiring you to use your God-given gifts both inside and outside of these church walls for the glory of God.

I lay no claim to originality in this vision statement. I believe wholeheartedly that this vision statement is Scripture-based, God-centered, Christ-exalting, and led by The Holy Ghost. This vision statement is not meant for a select few; it is directed towards each and every one of you who call Koinonia your church home. Each one of you is important to Jesus and important to us as well. Just as you depend on every part of your body to do its job, we depend on each and every one of you to step up and step into your God-given role.

At times, these four statements may overlap, and that is because they are woven together within scripture. They are more than "biblical principles" or a set of "how to's". Every statement has a relational aspect on the vertical and horizontal levels. They are both personal and interactive. They will invade our personal "comfort and convenience zones" for the simple reason that there is no way to comfortably or conveniently die to self to live for the glory of God. Each one of these statements are verbs. They require action, discipline and devotion, first of all to Jesus Christ, and secondly, to one another. We are to be engaged in these things in season and out of season. When we feel like it, and when we do not feel like it. When the conditions are favorable or not so favorable. No retreat. No excuses. No regrets.

This isn't about building Koinonia. This is about being Christ-like disciples for the glory of God. This is about harvesting souls with the gospel of Jesus Christ for the glory of God. This is about being a Word-based, God-centered, Christ-exalting, gospel-preaching, disciple-making church for the glory of God. For it is only when we say, “for me to live is Christ”, that we can then say, “and to die is gain”.


John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Knowing Christ is the foundation of our faith. Jesus Christ is The Solid Rock of our salvation. At the final judgment, the basis of who spends eternity with Christ is by whether or not you know Him.


Dealing with the Obvious

By Pastor Ben Hiwale

It's not "the culture," as we often hear, that poses the most significant challenge for the church today. It's the culture of the church.  We have reduced the Gospel to an abstract message of salvation that can be believed without having any necessary consequences for how we live. In contrast, the redemption announced in the Bible is clearly understood as restoring human thriving in creation.

Redemption is not just a restoration of our status before God through the life and work of Jesus Christ, but a restoration of our relationship with God as well. And our relationship with God is expressed in how we live. Salvation is about God's restoring our whole life, not just one invisible aspect of our being (our soul), but our life as lived out in the world in ways that are in keeping with how God made us. The goal of salvation is blessedness for us as human beings. In other words, we are saved so that our way of life can be fully in keeping with God's ordering of reality.

There is no question, we have been influenced too much by the broader culture.  The dominant role of technology in our lives promotes the deep assumption that we can fix anything. The way we allow proliferating mechanisms of convenience erodes the virtues of patience and longsuffering. The way in which we allow the elimination of standards of public propriety and manners undermines assumptions about the legitimacy of authority and deference to the communal needs; and the way in which the high prestige accorded to entertainers creates the conviction that every valuable experience should be entertaining. This is just scratching the surface.

How can the Church be relevant to the way of life of its neighbors? True seekers are looking for something different, radically different. If people are just looking for a religious band-aid or spiritual Prozac, they are not seeking the redemption promised in the Gospel, which calls them to die to self and live (really live) to Christ. If I were drowning, the most relevant reality I could long for would be someone who was a really good swimmer. If my house were on fire, I would want a man with a hose, not a lighter. If my life were plunged into darkness, light would be the most relevant thing imaginable.

Word Watching

There’s an old adage that we’d do well to follow. It is: “Say what you mean, and mean what you say.” After all, God does. To question the Lord’s intentions, or doubt His accuracy or truthfulness is to be of a devilish mindset (Genesis 3:1,4). But to always speak truthfully, and that includes speaking with complete accuracy with regards to spiritual reality, is contrary to our fallen human nature (Isaiah 6:5), and we need to be aware of that battlefront.

I recently heard someone say, “Third time’s the charm.” Not for Christians! Instead of mindlessly agreeing with that saying, we need to realize that our faithful God, who is “working in us that which is pleasing in His sight” (Heb 13:21), patiently and repeatedly prompts us to keep trying until we get things right, or learn to persevere! The reality is there is no such thing as ‘luck’ (‘good’ or ‘bad’!), ‘fortune,’ ‘mis-fortune’ or ‘chance’ (in the mystical sense of those words), (magic) ‘charms’, etc., for those who truly believe in an almighty, sovereign God, so we need to be very careful how we use those words. Don’t they make us sound like the world? Charms, luck, chance, etc., are part of the vocabulary of superstition, witchcraft, and paganism – denying the reality and power of God. “ ‘But I say to you that for every idle (or careless) word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.’ ” (Matthew 12:36,37) Jesus said that. Do you think He means it? “God is not a man, that He should lie, … has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19) He also warned: “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.” (Luke 12:2,3) While these verses certainly pertain to gossip and other types of wicked speech, they can also be applied to words spoken carelessly or in ignorance, which are contrary to the reality of our salvation. God knows everything we say and even think (Psalm 139:4), and He is fully aware of our lack of comprehension (darkness) behind too much of it.

“So what’s the big deal?” you might ask. “They’re only words; they’re harmless.” Are they? Proverbs 18:21 declares: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue,” and James warns us about its use and misuse (James 3:1-10). We don’t really comprehend the power of words or their effect in the spiritual realm. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11) Remember, God uses ordinary people to speak His word so that He alone will receive the glory for the extraordinary results (2 Corinthians 4:7). Remember also that our God spoke the universe into existence out of nothing (Psalm 33:9)! That’s POWER! 


The Power Of Music: Part 1

By Pat Tharp

Recently somebody expressed to me after a night of praise and worship how blessed they were; and made the comment that we could actually save people money from not having to go to a counselor, if they would just come and sing to Jesus.

That got me thinking; music is more powerful than we realize. Music has the emotional and informational power to shape culture, countries, and kingdoms.

When Stalin took control of Russia, all composers were expected to write optimistic and patriotic music for the masses. There was no room for dissension or free thought that opposed the Soviet Union’s political and social regime.

Similarly, when Hitler took over Germany, he implemented a propaganda machine called, “The Ministry for Public Enlightenment.” This government office while working with the SS and Gestapo, enforced through the local Chamber of Commerce, conformity to Nazi doctrine and their ideological actions. All streams of music, movies, art, radio and newspapers came under the control of their authority.

The “Hitlerjugend” or “Hitler Youth” movement incorporated boys and girls into their training and indoctrination. A memo from this group records this, “Songs possess the strongest community-building power. Thus we use them deliberately at those moments when we want to waken the consciousness of being part of a community, in order to deepen the power of such an experience.”

These monsters of history and even modern musicians understand this. Bono said, “Music can change the world, because it can change people.”  It was the philosopher Kant who once called music, “The quickening art.” 

Worship Wars

I once heard about a conversation that happened after a Sunday morning service. One person complained that the worship band was terrible. His friend reminded Him that the worship wasn’t for him, it was for God! Sometimes we forget that.

We all come into the Church community with a culture, a context, a history, and a background of personal preferences. And with a mix of all of those, we have our own worship prejudices. We have an opinion on the songs that are sung, the number of words in those songs, the familiarity or lack of melody, and of course the ever-popular “volume” issue. It’s too loud or it’s too soft! Some like piano music, a solo acoustic guitar, or the full onslaught of a big rocking band with guitars-a-blazing!

Depending on your own Church history, tradition, culture, and context, we all have “comfort zones.” We all have personal preferences that help us connect with the Lord and express adoration of our great God through the songs we sing. I have the great privilege of having many seasoned saints who have tracked a lot of time with Jesus, encourage me and express their joy when we sing the hymns. I also have many people who comment that they appreciate the new music we are doing that is currently being shared in and through Church communities across the country.

The tension among a congregation between singing the “oldies” and reaching forward with new songs from this generation continues today. Some churches even split over opinions and preferences when it comes to worship music. We, by God’s grace, at Koinonia have a very loving and gracious flock that spans a broad spectrum of Church tradition. I am so thankful for that! The older saints often like the memorable and familiar hymns while the younger generation connects with songs rooted in different ethnic and modern expressions. And then there is every opinion in between.

The reality is that much of what we currently call “contemporary” worship is actually, from a cultural aspect, about 15 year old! If we truly wanted to have music that was “contemporary,” we would have a techno-urban, bass-booming, rap-laced worship service. For some that would be heaven, for some it would be hell. Regardless of our culture, our context, or our comfort zones, worship is not about you or me! It’s all about Jesus! His glory, His faithfulness, His truth, His might, His salvation, His heaven, His judgments, His righteousness, His blood, His cross, and His worth! (Revelation 4:11)

East Rochester, Our Jerusalem

By Jack Janson

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Acts 1:8

As I was preparing to go to India with Pastor Ray this past October, I attended a prayer meeting at church. I got a conviction from the Lord that I was called to be a witness. Surprisingly, the burden I felt was not for India or some other far-away place; it was for right here in East Rochester, the hometown of our Fellowship

The whole time I was away and after I returned, the thought kept coming back to me: East Rochester is my Jerusalem. I’m not an evangelist, but I started praying that the Lord would show me how to bring the good news of the gospel to this village. I knew he was going to have to lead me, because I wasn’t going to get there on my own 

Like sheep without a shepherd

But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they were scattered and weary, as sheep having no shepherd. Matthew 6:36

This verse really speaks to me about the condition of our culture today. Behind the closed doors of their tidy homes, many people in East Rochester face problems that we associate with the inner city. There is hunger, drug and alcohol addiction, teenage delinquency, and prostitution.

Over half the households are led by single mothers. Even if they manage to avoid major problems, people today are “scattered and weary,” overloaded by the burdens of work and family, trying to make ends meet and keep it all together. We are all lost sheep in need of a guiding hand.



I Will Hope Continually

By Pat Tharp

Meditation: Psalm 71

Hope…it is a powerful ally to the heart. It will give a person strength to wait, endure, and keep moving forward despite the adversity around them. Medically, statistics show that people who have hopeful expectations of recovering from illness often heal quicker and live longer lives despite physical adversity. Many testimonies during the holocaust revealed that those who lost hope died quicker than those who had the “hope” of being set free. Hope is often the buoy that preserves us over those stormy waters.

But true and enduring hope for a Christian needs to be more than “wishful thinking” or a peppy optimistic viewpoint; it must be anchored in a solid and immovable foundation, because “hope” will be tested in the storms of life. Charles H. Spurgeon once said, “Hope itself is like a star - not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity.” No one needs hope in the days of answered prayer, smooth sailing, and sweet days of rest and relaxation. Hope is like the necessary oxygen our bodies need; it is the air of our spiritual lives.

Paul penned a chilling description of our lives “before” Christ in Ephesians 2:12. He wrote that we at one time were, “without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” Having “no hope” and “without God” is a dark place to be! “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Verse 13. Amen!

A heart that has present hope and a future hope anchored in Christ will worship! Psalm 71:14 says, 

“But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more.” As children of God our hope in Christ works in us in amazing ways. 

We have a hope…

  • That rests…Psalm 16:9
  • That takes courage…Psalm 31:24
  • That doesn’t disappoint…Romans 5:5
  • That makes us bold…2 Corinthians 3:12
  • In this life…1 Peter 1:3
  • That testifies…1 Peter 3:15
  • That purifies…1 John 3:3
  • A hope that calls…Ephesians 1:18
  • In heaven…Colossians 1:5
  • That is anchored…Colossians 1:23

A heart that is hopeful because it is anchored in the hope bought and brought by Jesus will sing, praise, and worship with a present assurance and a future confidence that come what may, you can say, “It is well with my soul.” Dear Saint, don’t lose hope because of where you may be now. Hope continually in the One who is our hope…Jesus Christ!



Main St. temporarily closed on Wednesday evening, July 23

Main Street will be temporarily closed from Elm Street to the Avenue beginning at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, July 23 for a town event - a concert and Chicken BBQ in the park. Access to the church for regular Wednesday evening activities is available from East Avenue. 



Physical and Spiritual Fitness

By Lynn Metier

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable, which is your reasonable service of worship." (Romans 12:1)

When we as believers begin to understand even a little of what God has done for us, then we want to serve Him out of thanksgiving for His gifts and blessings to us. Paul tells us to do this by being a "living sacrifice", by surrendering our bodies to the Lord's use. Let's think about this. We're not urged to present our spirits or our souls, but our physical, temporal, earthly bodies. Of course, to be fully surrendered to God means to let the Holy Spirit control our spirits and souls too, but Paul makes a point of exhorting believers to take conscious, deliberate action in presenting our bodies to God. Why? Well it's rather obvious that, if our bodies are dead, we'll no longer be able to serve God in this physical world. Only He knows how many of His saints have been limited in their ministries, or even been prematurely removed from them, because of failing health brought about by their own ignorance, neglect, or even abuse. Yes, God is sovereign and He knows the number of our days, but that doesn't negate the natural consequences of the choices we make concerning our bodies. Galatians 6:7: "whatever a man sows, this he will also reap" also has a very practical and true application to our earthly body, and neglect or misuse of our body ALWAYS (barring God's miraculous intervention) - sooner or later - will have a detrimental effect on our soul and spirit as well.

One of the erroneous philosophies of mankind is the notion that the spiritual realm is somehow disconnected from the physical; that, in order to be "spiritual", one should ignore or even abuse the physical. While that ideology is clearly prevalent in Eastern mysticism, Western culture has gone to the opposite extreme in glorifying the physical, often even while still abusing it! Neither way is God's design or desire for mankind, whom He created in His own image (Genesis 1:27). So what is our attitude supposed to be toward our bodies? Well, Paul's exhortation continues: "And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:2) Paul is here telling us that we've got to change our thinking. This is where we must start. We have to look at the beliefs that are behind the habits we've formed - dietary, exercise, work and rest patterns, etc. - and assess them in light of God's word and will for us. We're not to live the same way as the world does! So, since we're to reject the world's attitudes and ways, let's see what the Bible says about our bodies.

America Through the Years

By Pastor Ben Hiwale

America became a free country on July 4, 1776; however, what many may not know - or remember - is that America is also a nation under God founded on Christian principles.

54 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were Christians, 27 held theology degrees. Our first president, George Washington, took the oath of office and put his hand on what? (The Bible).  What was his first official act as President? (Kissed the Bible, then held a 2-hour praise & worship session in Congress). How did they determine to open sessions of Congress? (Prayer). Who would lead in those prayers? (Chaplains). How would they be paid? (Tax dollars). Does all of that sound like they wanted to keep God out of government? By the way, opening in prayer is a mystery to investigate. Why is it that the little boys and girls cannot, but the big Congressmen can? Who decided to put “In God We Trust” on our coins? (Because they pulled a fast one on a government that wanted to keep God out of government!) Congress adopted it in 1956!

In 1776, 11 of the 13 colonies required that one had to be a Christian to be eligible to run for political office. In 1777, the Continental Congress voted to spend $300,000 to purchase Bibles for distribution in the nation. The GETTYSBURG ADDRESS states "...this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom..." 94% OF THE WRITINGS OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS OF THE U.S. CONTAINED QUOTATIONS FROM THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. THE STATE CONSTITUTIONS OF ALL 50 STATES MENTION GOD.

On that First "Thanksgiving", who do you think the people were giving thanks to? To God!

The famous "Liberty Bell" has part of Leviticus 25:10 inscribed on it: "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”


By Rev. James R. Harden, M.Div.

President/CEO, CompassCare

It is an outrageous injustice that the personhood of any human is a matter for political debate. Yet that is exactly what has happened with preborn children. Much like Blacks in Great Britain and the U.S., and Jews in Hitler’s Germany—preborn babies have been stripped of their personhood. When the personhood of a human is denied or ignored, that person can be treated as an object to be used, manipulated, or disposed of at the whim of the powerful. For anyone to determine the criteria for who qualifies as a human is an act of unparalleled arrogance and the very fountainhead of mass human injustice. Furthermore, for anyone to accept such insidious self-appointed power and not destroy it is to accept that the vulnerable can be owned by the powerful. To not stand in opposition is an act of complicity denying the very nature and image of God in each person, an act which ultimately is a denial of God Himself.

It is for this reason that Christians, like you and I, are often found at the forefront of the epic battles against human injustice. When confronted with this depth of human atrocity it is our belief in the Creator God that causes a righteous rage to resonate in our souls. Humans are the crown of His creation, made in His very image and likeness. Any dehumanization of this form is not only an affront against every human, but against God Himself. You and I understand that any criterion used to disqualify a human from personhood can never be anything but arbitrary and capricious. This is why Christians were instrumental in fighting British tyranny, with men like Rev. John Witherspoon and Rev. Jonathan Mayhew at the forefront. This is why we saw men like Rev. John Wesley, Rev. James Ramsey, and Rev. John Newton rise up against slavery in Britain. This is why we saw a man like Rev. Dietrich Bonhoeffer plunge headlong back into Nazi Germany, away from American safety, knowing that death could await him for his actions. These men prayed, they preached, they wrote, they ran for political office, they picked up arms, they assisted with ‘underground’ operations, and whatever else might affect the change required to protect the dignity of the disenfranchised and dehumanized.

These great Christian servants recognized that they had laid all claim to themselves at the feet of Jesus and now lived only unto Him and in service to Him for their fellow man. They were wise, swift, resourceful, insistent, indignant, unrelenting, and ultimately victorious. They implicitly understood God’s expectation upon His faithful to, “Remove the evil deeds from My sight” (Isaiah 1:16b), and that this required ongoing and arduous effort. It is only logical that for great evil to be eliminated only those who know God as the Standard of good are able to recognize evil and be the first to stand against it. An evil world cannot be expected to stand against evil. An unjust nation cannot create for itself justice, having no knowledge of the Good, which can only be found in God.

God commands His people to, “Learn to do good” (Isaiah 1:17), according to His moral code. He commands us to, “Reprove the ruthless,” to restrain anyone who oppresses another. He demands we, “Defend the orphan,” and actively pursue justice for those who have no father—protecting and providing for them. He expects that we, “Plead for the widow,” standing for those who have lost their standing. Our task is to leverage our resources for the weak, the vulnerable, the disenfranchised, and the marginalized because we reflect our God who did this for us in Christ.

You and I understand that only in this battle against sin is there hope for the world, only in our struggle against injustice can the vision of the gospel be fully realized in our lives. “Come now, let us reason together...though your sins are as scarlet, they will be white as snow...If you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land” (Isaiah 1:18-19).

What does abortion represent? The greatest injustice the world has ever seen, with an annual death toll of 40 million worldwide, 1.2 million in the U.S., and New York State as the abortion capital of the nation. Women are never more widowed than when facing unplanned pregnancy. They have been intentionally abandoned, not only by boyfriends, but by a culture of ‘independence’ that screams, “You are on your own!” Children are never more orphaned than before birth, having been dehumanized by the U.S. Supreme Court and thereby officially excluded from all legal protection and recourse. 

It is because of Christians just like you, intolerant of human injustice, that great crimes against humanity have been identified and eradicated. It is through the sacrificial service of Christians, just like you, that God will encourage other believers to always be ready to rebuke, defend, and plead. It is because of Christians like you that the inhumanity of the world has been and can continue to become ever more humane and welcoming for each person, no matter their stage or station in life.

P.S. For more information visit CompassCare’s Facebook page at



Is the Church Caught between Methods and Message?


By today’s standards in the American church, Jesus wasn’t cut out to be a pastor, nor would His ministry be highlighted as a model for church planters. Consider these facts:

Jesus had the greatest preaching, teaching and healing ministry in history. Thousands came to hear Him, followed His every move and lined the streets to get a glimpse of Him or simply touch Him. Yet amid His rock-star popularity, He intentionally offended religious leaders, challenged potential mega-donors and weeded out casual followers with tough teachings. Not exactly the textbook strategy you’d find today to grow your church, much less your Facebook likes and Twitter followers.

After Jesus spent three and a half years ministering to thousands, His church consisted of only 120 disciples gathered in the upper room. And even that was a low turnout, considering He had appeared to more than 500 people after His resurrection (1 Cor. 15:6).

But we know the rest of the story: how the 120 quickly became 3,120 and grew daily to where even unbelievers credited Jesus’ followers as those “who have turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). The truth is, we know that Jesus’ divine church-growth tactics surpass all others—with the proof being a global church that, 2,000 years later, refuses to die while it works to fulfill His Great Commission.

Why, then, do we in the 21st-century American church focus on all the elements that Jesus didn’t? He focused on training and equipping 12 disciples; we focus on growing our crowds and spheres of influence, regardless of whether those people follow Jesus. He preached an uncompromising message of truth; we sugarcoat the gospel until we’re saccharine-high on deception. He walked among His enemies in love; we ostracize our enemies by blasting them for all their sins.

Indeed, most of the U.S. church is enamored with size over substance and microwave growth over true reproduction. Research shows that while 235 million people call themselves Christians, only 40 percent of those meet regularly with fellow believers and only a fourth (at most) read the Bible on a regular basis. It’s time we discovered the marks of the real church, measured by Jesus’ standards rather than our own trendy metrics. 

Who Will You Be?

By Lynn Metier

Many years ago a philosopher named Rene Descartes claimed: "I think; therefore I am." The world considered his deductive reasoning profound. But many years before that statement was uttered, Jesus had said: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” (John 14:6)  That statement truly is incredible. Jesus - in just that one sentence - was claiming to be the DIRECTION in which we must go, the REALITY that we must know, and the PURPOSE for our very existence.

Are you just wandering through life; bumping along from one circumstance to another; reacting to one crisis after another? Look to Jesus. He has a plan for your life. “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for peace and not for evil to give you a future and a hope.’ ” (Jeremiah 29:11)  Perhaps you are unsure of your way because of darkness. Psalm 119:105 tells us that God's word is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path. Jesus is the Living Word of God, for, as Peter pointed out in his first epistle (2:21), Christ left "an example for you to follow in His steps". If you are following Jesus, you are going the right way. Any other direction is a mis-direction; meaning, you took a wrong turn. How do we avoid those erroneous turns? By studying God's Word because that is how we keep our eyes on Jesus. Isaiah 30:21 tells us:  "And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk ye in it,' whenever you turn to the right or to the left." After Jesus rose from the dead, an angel at His tomb instructed the women who had come to anoint the body to tell His disciples not only that Jesus was alive, but also that He was going before them into Galilee, just as He had previously said (Mark 16:1-7). Jesus does not leave His followers wondering where He is or how to get to Him. He gives us “the way”.

Jesus also claimed to be “the truth”. This implies much more than just being a person of honesty and integrity. Jesus was saying that He is authentic, genuine, without hypocrisy. He is sincere, pure, and without pretense. Isaiah 53:9 states that there was not "any deceit in His mouth"; and Hebrews 13:8 assures us that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever." In other words, Jesus is REAL and an unchanging REALITY. In our Western culture especially, we are so attuned to and impressed by the physical world that we struggle to comprehend the reality of the spiritual realm. But the spiritual is actually more real since the physical is only temporary and is dying, decaying, and passing away. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” (Mark 13:31) He also said, “If you abide in My word... you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31,32)  

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