Exhortation-English - 2014
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 28 December 2014
God is love.” Though short, this sentence is a statement of eternal magnitude and significance. Never was more meaning encapsulated in so few words than in this short sentence – “God is love.” The Apostle John stated this truth twice in his first epistle (cf. 1 John 4:8, 16). The message of this short verse reverberates throughout the Bible!
Some clarifications, though, are necessary before any further elaboration of this glorious statement is attempted. When John wrote that “God is love”, he was not saying that “love” is the complete revelation of God. In fact, he has already written in the same epistle that “God is light” (1 John 1:5), which refers to God’s holy nature (cf. John 3:18–21; 1 John 1:5–10). So, love is not the only attribute that adequately describes God. God cannot be fully explained by one of His attributes alone...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 21 December 2014
And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19: 40).
Indeed, the stones did ‘cry out’ unto us, like witnesses, when we visited the Holy Land from 1st to 10th Dec 2014. weere were stones galore at the southern part of the Holy Land. No wonder stones featured prominently throughout the Bible. In Bethel, Jacob used them as his pillows to sleep (Gen 28:11), whereupon he dreamt of the ladder reaching to heaven and heard God promising to give him the land. throughout the O.T., stones were heaped together to bear witness to commemorate important events (Gen 31:46, Jos 4:7, 1 Sam 7:12). Furthermore, those who are “biblically instructed” were also grimly reminded that stoning to death was a way of punishment...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 14 December 2014
Since we are commanded to love without dissimulation, should we love all and sundry indiscriminately? Does love demand that we need to accept all without discretion? Can a loving person refuse to accept another in view of sin, falsehood and unrepentance?
In the name of love, Christians are increasingly developing close friendships with unbelieving and ungodly people, while also unabashedly embracing their unscriptural ideas and worldly ways. This is totally contrary to the biblical counsel of Romans 12:9b, “Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 07 December 2014
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4a).
First of all, we have here an invitation to come to the place of God’s worship. Secondly, we also have here an instruction on how we should come to His place of worship.
The verb “enter” is a strong imperative, commanding all His people to be in the place of worship. It is not merely a suggestion that it is good to be in the church, though that statement is wholly true. The divine intention of this command, unquestionably, is that every believer ought to gather together in the appointed place of worship to praise Him...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 30 November 2014
Have you ever considered what would become of a flock of sheep in the field which do not recognise nor follow its shepherd? Surely, many perils await those foolish and wretched creatures. So is a church that does not acknowledge and follow her divine Shepherd. Hence the biblical admonition, “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture” (Psalm 100:3).
“Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves”
Biblical religion is knowledge-based; it is based on the knowledge of the living and true God. True worship never occurs without the knowledge that the LORD is God. False ideas of God lead to idolatry and superstitions. Hence, the admonition to all is “Know ye that the LORD he is God”. The name “the LORD” in Hebrew is “Yehowah”, which is transliterated in English as Jehovah...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 23 November 2014
Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b).
“In the World Ye Shall Have Tribulation”
No Christian is fully shielded from troubles. Jesus says plainly, “In the world ye shall have tribulation”. Jesus has not promised His followers a life totally free from sorrows, poverty, toil, sickness, slander, persecution or any of the common ills of mankind. Instead, He promises every follower a “cross”
You are not promised the admiration of the unbelieving world. In fact, you should not expect or accept much favour from the world. Worldly people will not gather around to admire our piety or our devotion to the Lord. They may like a Christian in return for some favours from him...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 16 November 2014
Dear Rev Koshy and the Session of Gethsemane BPC, Singapore
Greetings to you and the whole congregation in our Lord’s blessed name!
It has been quite some time since I last communicated. The past four months have been both trying and enriching. Despite the various challenges we have been experiencing, God’s mercy has been sufficiently bestowed upon us and His work that is committed to our trust...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 09 November 2014
Last Thursday, there was a news report regarding the “killing of a Christian couple who were beaten and pushed into a burning kiln in eastern Pakistan.”(http://edition.cnn.com/2014/11/06/world/asia/pakistan-couple-slain/index.html). The following day, CNN reported such comments as: “It is an indescribable tragedy that Christianity is now under such threat in the Middle East, an area where Christians have lived for 2,000 years. . .” Yet another report says: “(Christianity) remains the most persecuted faith in the world.” (http://edition.cnn.com/2014/11/05/world/europe/uk-prince-charlesreligion/index.html).
His Love Makes Persecuted Christians Conquerors
Indeed, Christians are conquerors. In fact, v.37 declares that Christians are “more than conquerors”. This is truly a comforting message to Christians...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 02 November 2014
God calls all His elect unto salvation, and so we can say that every Christian is called of God. This we read in Romans 8:30 – “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” This call of God comes to God’s elect through the preaching of the Gospel and as the Holy Spirit works in their hearts to convict and convert – “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:14; cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:5).
Besides, every Christian also has a calling from the Lord to serve Him (cf. 1 Corinthians 7:22; Romans 6:28; 12:11). For this purpose, the Lord has equipped every Christian with at least one spiritual gift (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:7- 11; Romans 12:6-8). Hence, all Christians are urged to be “always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 26 October 2014
Proverbs 10:2a cautions us that “treasures of wickedness profit nothing”. This warning is more pertinent than ever before. Countries, organizations and individuals who once advocated and promoted a morally upright way of life and who also flourished economically, today appear to have lost their determination and mettle to continue in the same perspective about life. In the name of economic security and progress, immorality and destructive lifestyles are accommodated everywhere. This tolerance of an immoral lifestyle for economic reasons will not bring any true gain, according to the Bible.
The Hebrew word for “treasures” (owtsar) refers to wealth and possessions. “Treasures” are often mentioned as God’s gift and as His reward to His servants...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 19 October 2014
In last Sunday’s pastoral exhortation, I have briefly discussed the prevailing sexual immorality of our modern-day society. I would like to continue with the article by presenting to you some of the important Scriptural reasons and advice for avoiding sexual sins.
Scriptural Reasons for Avoidance
Sexual sins distort the purpose of God concerning Christians’ bodies: 1 Corinthians 6:13-14 says, “Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 12 October 2014
Blatant promotion of immodesty and open display of carnal affection in public are increasing day by day. In these days, pornographic images and movies are made available with little resistance; and even children view them with ease. Sexually explicit music is also common. Extramarital sexual activity is regarded as normal. Sexual immorality is like an unstoppable plague of our time, corrupting and destroying individuals and families.
A recent report in our country’s leading newspaper, The Straits Times, is appalling...
Written by Pr Andrew Koh Sunday, 05 October 2014
Is your mind made up before getting any counsel? Christians who are young in the faith may lack the necessary biblical knowledge to make certain decisions in life. This may be due to their lack of understanding concerning some biblical doctrines. When certain situations arise, they do not know what to do. They would usually ask more spiritually mature Christians for advice, as they genuinely want to know and do God’s will.
However, there are those who ask for counsel for the wrong reasons. Some, being driven by personal lusts, seek God’s help to gratify their desires. When they ask for counsel, they ask with the hope that the counsel they receive will be in line with their intentions...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 28 September 2014
The ACM for the Financial Year 2014/2015 will be held today at 1.30pm.
The Annual Congregational Meeting (ACM) of Gethsemane B-P Church is held every year in the month of September. All Communicant Members are required to attend this meeting. The quorum needed for the ACM is one third of the total Communicant Members. During the ACM, the office-bearers of the Church Session shall report on the spiritual and temporal matters of the church, and also inform the church of the plans for the coming year.
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 21 September 2014
We are left with no room to debate or doubt the relevance of the Moral Law (i.e. the Ten Commandments or Decalogue) in the daily life of all who trust in Christ for salvation. We are clearly taught in the New Testament that faith in Christ does not nullify the relevance of the Law in the lives of Christians; rather, Christians are to give the Law the uncompromising place God has always intended and demanded in their lives.
While discussing the Law and justification, the Apostle Paul declared in Romans 3:31, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” Though the Law cannot justify us before God...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 14 September 2014
Why pray for Revival?
The topic for this Saturday’s Bible seminar, “A Prayer for Revival”, is a subject that we can no longer ignore or neglect. Christians and churches everywhere are slipping into dangerous spiritual slumber. Many are under the narcotizing effects of false doctrines, selflove, materialism and carnality. Frighteningly, the spiritual battle may be lost even without a fight! Unfortunately, our church is not spared from this spiritual malady. Unless the Spirit of God awakens us out of our spiritual slumber, I fear that many Christian homes and churches of our time will soon be swallowed up by the fast spreading spiritual delusion of our time!
Does the LORD require it?
It is high time for all of us to watch unto prayer that our lives may be renewed and revived to passionately live godly and consecrated lives. Lack of spiritual discernment is causing many to think that there is no need for a revival...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 07 September 2014
Much patience is needed among the church members so that we may continue to flourish as a loving, united and God-honouring church family. Without patience towards one another, we will not be able to handle weaknesses, shortcomings and even hurts that might occur within our church family. A happy and effective church is a household of believers who bear with one another with longsuffering.
The Apostle James advises Christians, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” (James 1:19, 20)...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 31 August 2014
Jesus repeatedly tells us that terror and fear will increasingly grip the hearts of the people in the days that lead to the end of the world. “But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven” (Luke 21:9-11). He also said, “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken” (Luke 21:26)...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 24 August 2014
The Bible and prayer are closely bound together; they are two integral parts of Christian life and ministry. God communicates to His children by His Word, and they communicate to Him by prayer. Believers ‘inhale’ the words of God, and ‘exhale’ prayers unto God. So both the Bible and prayer are indispensable in maintaining a faithful and fruitful Christian life. While a lack of God’s Word and prayer will lead to spiritual calamities, an abundance of them will result in much spiritual success.
Our Lord Jesus had vividly stated the importance of God’s Word and prayer in John 15:7 – “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 17 August 2014
On 20th January 2013, I wrote at the end of my pastoral exhortation in the church bulletin: “Our need for more space is acute. So we must pray for God’s provision to acquire a larger space for our increasing ministries. I call on the church to pray for and work towards a Building Fund of 5 million dollars by 2015. ‘The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want’ (Psalm 23:1).”
Though all of us have become aware of our need for a more spacious Church Resource Centre and consequently the Building Fund, our giving has been simultaneously directed to several other urgent fundraising to which we have already been committed...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 10 August 2014
In James 5:16, we read, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” The words “effectual fervent” are translated from one Greek word (energoumenē) from which we get the English word “energy”. Here it denotes an energetic, operative prayer.
As God’s children, we must not be contented with weak prayers. We must desire to have an enthusiastic, effective prayer life. The church, being known as “the house of prayer”, must be exuding with effective prayer of God’s saints. We may be short on financial resources, or weak in our physical strength, or despised and ridiculed by those who are hostile toward the biblical doctrines that we hold on to, but the power of prayer belongs to us...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 03 August 2014
Some are prone to point the finger at others and even at God when they fall into temptation and commit sins. So the apostle James cautions us, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God” (James 1:13a). Blaming others for one’s own sin started in the Garden of Eden. Adam said to God, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat” (Genesis 3:12). Adam blamed his wife, and he extended the blame to God as well! He seemed to imply that he would not have sinned if God had not put Eve in the garden with him.
The blame-shifting in the Garden continues today. Proud and unyielding hearts desperately look for someone else to bear the blame when they are confronted with their own sins. There must be someone else— the spouse, sibling, parent, boss, co-worker, pastor, friend, or God Himself...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 27 July 2014
One of the major reasons why Satan easily entraps many Christians in sin is because they are ignorant of the nature of his person and works. Insufficient understanding of the enemy will definitely lead to a lack of proper preparation in facing him. On the other hand, misinformation about the enemy’s character will also lead to an underestimation or overestimation of his capabilities, both of which are detrimental to one’s success in winning the spiritual battle. While underestimation will lead to complacency, overestimation can lead to fear, discouragement and eventual defeat.
Many grotesque myths and bizarre practices exist today in connection with Satan and demons. Christians should not heed these superstitions, for the Bible provides us with the truth about Satan. It teaches us all there is to know about this evil creature who opposes us. We should not allow our minds to think more or less about him than what God has revealed to us...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 20 July 2014
God’s Word holds out to the church many great and precious promises of God. We must be very thankful that we, as a church, are heirs of those divine promises of inestimable value. In the past, we have constantly relied on God’s promises to stand firmly against all tides of false doctrines and ungodliness of our time. We also found God’s promises to be totally dependable, a solid foundation and resource, for all the great and mighty works that the Lord has entrusted us with. As we look forward to bear faithful witness to Christ our Lord and His infallible Word, to thrust forward in building up the congregation in the most holy faith, and to enthusiastically engage in the extension of His kingdom everywhere, His promises are our trusty resource.
In our church, everything we attempt to do is solidly founded on God’s infallible Word. We have always believed that we should attempt to do only that which is sanctioned by the Word of God, and which has the full support of His gracious and precious promises. Our continual reliance on God’s promises has enabled us to overcome many hindrances and trials we had faced in the work of the Lord...
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 13 July 2014
“Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men” - Psalm 12:1.
David cried out in prayer for help, “Help, LORD”! But what was the cause of David’s plea for help? Why was he feeling helpless and deeply distressed? We don’t have to search long to find the answer, for he immediately stated the reason for his plea – “for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.”
The calamitous problem that David was facing was the lack of godly and faithful men. Even the one who was thought to be godly, had ceased to be godly and faithful. David lamented their failures in the rest of that psalm...
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