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Exhortation-English - 2017

Martin Luther’s Definition of Faith

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Sunday, 15 October 2017

An excerpt from “An Introduction to St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans,” Luther’s German Bible of 1522 by Martin Luther, 1483-1546. Translated by Rev. Robert E. Smith from DR. MARTIN LUTHER’S VERMISCHTE DEUTSCHE SCHRIFTEN. Johann K. Irmischer, ed. Vol. 63 gen: Heyder and Zimmer, 1854), pp.124-125. [EA 63:124-125]

Faith is not what some people think it is. Their human dream is a delusion. Because they observe that faith is not followed by good works or a better life, they fall into error, even though they speak and hear much about faith. “Faith is not enough,’’ they say, “You must do good works, you must be pious to be saved.’’

They think that, when you hear the gospel, you start working, creating by your own strength a thankful heart which says, “I believe.’’ That is what they think true faith is. But, because this is a human idea, a dream, the heart never learns anything from it, so it does nothing and reform doesn’t come from this ‘faith,’ either...


The Duties of Elders

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 08 October 2017

Teaching of the Church:

According to 1 Timothy 3:2, elders must be “apt to teach”. In Titus 1:9, elders are expected to be “holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” The Greek word translated as “exhort” (parakaleô) can also mean “encourage”, “comfort”, etc. Thus, the ruling elder’s teaching – though not formal or on a full-time basis like the pastors who are teaching elders – includes informal counselling and words of encouragement. The elder should also be able to “convince the gainsayers” by sound doctrine (Titus 1:9). The Greek word translated “gainsayers” (antilegô) refers to “those who speak against”. Hence, elders must acquaint themselves with the biblical doctrines and practices of the church, that they may give a sound response to those who object to the doctrines of the Word of God...


Ruling Elders - Part II

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 01 October 2017

When a person is ordained as an elder of the church, he is being entrusted with God-given duties to fulfil. His ordination is a public acknowledgment of his calling and equipping by the Holy Spirit to carry out the God-given duties of an elder. Below, some of the major biblical duties of an elder are briefly discussed.

The Duties of Elders

Oversight of the Church:

In conjunction with the pastor (the teaching elder), the elders take the oversight of the spiritual and administrative matters of the church...


Ruling Elders

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 24 September 2017

Following today’s worship service, we shall hold our Annual Congregational Meeting and the Election to the Church Session. The candidates to the Church Session (2017-2019) are all men who have been serving as elders and deacons. The only change among the candidates in this election is Dn Francis Lee’s nomination to the office of eldership. His nomination has been approved by the Board of Elders upon prayerful examination of his doctrine and life.

It is important that we understand the biblical necessity, nature and importance of ruling elders in our church...


Information on Candidates for Election to the Church Session 2017–2019

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Sunday, 17 September 2017

The election to the Church Session (2017-2019) will be held along with the Annual Congregation Meeting next Lord’s Day (24th September) at 1.45 pm. All communicant members are advised to attend the ACM as it is our constitutional duty.

As it was mentioned before from the pulpit, the Board of Elders has decided that all the present members of the Session will be nominated to serve for the next 2-year term of the Session. The BOE has also approved the proposal to nominate Dn Francis Lee to be an elder of the church, having interviewed and determined his calling, giftedness and biblical qualifications to be an elder...


Mission Report from Vizag, India

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Written by Sujith Samuel Sunday, 10 September 2017

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

I thank the Lord for helping me to be in Vizag for the last three months. I was totally new to the city. But God helped me to slowly settle down here. There are many difficulties, but God is sovereign and He is guiding. Through this report, I like to update the church regarding the work here.

When I came here, I did not have a place to stay. I stayed in a hotel. After searching fruitlessly for a place myself and also through my contacts here, I thought I would not be able to get a place to stay. Many house-owners were not giving rooms to single persons...


Christians’ Hope

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 03 September 2017

Though the Bible predicts perilous times in the last days, Christians are urged to live with the hope of glorious experiences of heaven which their Saviour has promised them. They might live through many troubles and sufferings in this present world, but they can live in the hope of a glorious eternity. Every Christian can say confidently, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).

The apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 8:24 that “we are saved by hope … But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Romans 8:24-25). Our salvation that we have received by faith also kindles within us an undying hope. We hope in the promise of Christ concerning our eternal heavenly home – “then do we with patience wait for it...


A Young Christian Mother’s Testimony

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Sunday, 27 August 2017

Gethsemane Young Mothers is a special ministry of our church that ministers to the spiritual needs of the young mothers in our midst. But it is also attended by other Christian young mothers. One of them is Sis Chui Yin. She worships in Calvary Pandan BPC together with her husband, Jack and their two little children. Both Jack and Chui Yin are medical doctors. However, in order to fulfil her biblical role as a wife and mother (Titus 2:4-5; 1 Timothy 5:14; Psalm 113:9; Psalm 128:3) she became a homemaker. Recently, her pregnancy led to a severe medical condition and the loss of her child. The testimony of God’s help in her trial was published in Calvary Pandan weekly; and it was brought to my attention by Sis Low Hui Lin. For the glory of God and for the edification of all the young mothers in our midst, I publish the WhatsApp message I received from her on Friday and also her testimony below....


Unfaithful Servants

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Written by Andrew Koh Sunday, 20 August 2017

Introduction

No one should ever barge into any area to serve God. God is the One who calls Christians and puts them in particular areas to serve Him. He endows every member of the church with spiritual gifts, “dividing to every man severally as he will” (1 Corinthians 12:11), so as to serve Him. Since God is the One who has given to each Christian a particular area to serve Him, Christians must therefore remain faithful in service till the end. Christians must be unwavering and steadfast to the work that God has given. God requires every Christian to have a constant and loyal commitment to the tasks appointed by Him.

The quality of being faithful in service unto God has always been important, all the more so today, as it is very common to see people giving up serving God. Full-time workers of churches who have been serving God for many years quit. Bible-college students give up studying before their graduation. Christians who are on duty rosters grow tired in their service and find excuses to give up. These people may once be full of enthusiasm and excitement when they first started to serve. However, they lose their zeal and passion over time and finally, they leave the stations that God has given to them...


Children & Worship - II

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 13 August 2017

(Previously published on 9 March 2008)

With a view to a more careful adherence to the Biblical model, which I have showed you last week, I would suggest that children who are in primary 4 and above – though there need be no arbitrary distinction as some younger children might well be able to be present at an earlier age – should be present in the public meetings of the church (especially on the Lord’s Day). I would also suggest that parents consider bringing children to midweek prayer meetings, as much as possible.

The children should sit quietly and attentively, endeavouring – to the best of their ability – to participate reverently and intelligently in the various exercises of worship. To attain such a goal requires that parents be diligent and thorough in preparing their children for attendance at and participation in the public meetings. In order to help parents and the church accomplish their Biblical responsibility, please consider the following guidelines, which I hope will act as an aid to such preparation...


Children & Worship - I

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 06 August 2017

(Previously published on 2 March 2008)

This topic has been a great concern in my heart for a long time. As I have recently mentioned in the church, I strongly believe that we must let our children join the main worship service with the adults as early as possible. There is no biblical warrant for separating children from the main worship, especially those who have grown beyond their toddler stage. I sincerely think that there is great godly wisdom in integrating our children into the main worship, especially those who are 8 years old and above. (In fact, most children can be trained to sit through the main worship service from the age of 6, and some even earlier.)

Biblical Evidence of Children in the Main Congregation

When God’s people in the Old Testament were required to come together to worship the LORD in the hearing and exposition of the Law, the children came together with them. Children were neither excluded nor segregated from the adults who came for worship. The following are some examples of adults and children coming together to hear the Word of God...


Unashamed of the Gospel

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 30 July 2017

Christianity has spread all over the world because of men who have unashamedly gone forth to preach the Gospel everywhere. Hence, we can say that the history of the church is the history of valiant men of faith. Chief among those men is certainly the apostle Paul, who said in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

Paul was an unashamed preacher of the Gospel. It was then a very unpopular thing to be a preacher of the Gospel. However, he travelled from city to city, together with a team of fellow believers, and preached Christ with unashamed boldness. He wrote, “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness” (1 Corinthians 1:23). Though the wise of this world rejected the Gospel as foolishness, it has been Paul’s joyous passion...


Joy of Harvest @ Lions Home Ministry

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 23 July 2017

On 6th August, three elderly folks from Lions Home for the Elders (Bedok) will be baptised. They turned to Christ upon hearing the Gospel brought to them by those who serve in the Gethsemane Lions Home Ministry. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

We praise God for the commitment and zeal of all who serve in this Gospel outreach ministry, led by Pr Jeremiah Sim. “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things...


O Lord, Send More Labourers!

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 16 July 2017

Every true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ knows deep in his soul that it is his solemn duty from the Lord to pray for full-time Christian workers. Who among us would forget our Lord’s earnest words - “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest” (Luke 10:2)?

Those words of Christ confirmed in my heart His call in 1982 that I may serve Him as a preacher of His Word. Since then, those words of Christ have also placed in me a deep desire to see many others also serving the Lord for the salvation and edification of souls. After my marriage, my wife and I prayed that the Lord would call our children to serve Him full-time according to His good pleasure...


Our Blessed Hope

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 09 July 2017

In View of the GBI Course on Eschatology

Christians live on earth with an anticipation of a “blessed hope”, which is spoken in Titus 2:13 – “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ”.

The Christian’s hope of Christ’s return is called “blessed”. The word “blessed” denotes all the blessings of His divine presence (cf. 1 Timothy 1:11; 6:15). What a blessing it is to have such a hope! Eternal blessings await Christians at His coming. When He comes, we shall be eternally delivered from all the temptations and trials of this world, and shall enter into eternal sinless perfection, joy, bliss, rewards and glory. We live every day with that sure hope...


Need is a Frying-Pan, but Debt is the Fire

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 02 July 2017

Living in debt has caused not a few lives and families to be cast into horrible pits of disarray and troubles. Have you not seen heart-breaking news headlines, like “Debtridden farmers end life”; “Debt-ridden students opting for ‘sugar daddies’ to pay rent, tuition, etc.”? Before anyone casually responds by saying, “Well, those reports do not really show that loans and debts really affect people at large”, let me assert from anecdotal evidence and my counselling encounters that living in debt is a widespread problem that affects even Christians.

 

In recent months, I have had conversations with some youths who have been troubled by the burden of bank loans taken by their parents or by they themselves for their tertiary education. This phenomenon of our time is an omen of severe spiritual, financial, familial and social troubles that will oppress and wreck our people in the days to come...


Be Patient in Your Trials

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 25 June 2017

There are some brethren among us who are facing destabilising problems, and excruciating pain and sorrow. Here is a WhatsApp message that I received recently:

“Hi Pastor Koshy, so sorry that I have to pull out of the Missionary Conference… due to post-shingles pain. It has been 67 days since I contracted shingles. S-virus is eradicated but post-pain persists. No improvement. Pain has been erratic – from a scale of 5/10 to 7/10 every day. Some relief (of a few minutes) every now and then from the GRACIOUS LORD, otherwise a throbbing or triggering pull...


14 years of Our Gospel Work in Chinese

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 18 June 2017

As we commemorate the 14th anniversary of our Chinese Ministry, the words of Paul in 2 Thessalonians 3:1 are fitting to be recollected and meditated on – “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you”. Here we see that Paul desired that the Word of the Lord will be spread unhindered. As the Gospel preachers dedicated themselves to be industrious in their preaching ministry, they also urged the brethren to support them with their prayers – “Brethren, pray for us”. Preachers labour to declare the Word, and the rest of the church co-labour with them in prayer for the advancement of the Gospel. No one in the church should be disengaged or withdrawn from the burdens of the Gospel work. All members of the church, young and old alike, ought to be prayerpartners in the Gospel-work.

“And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you” (1 Corinthians 12:21). All believers together form “the body of Christ, and members in particular” (1 Corinthians 12:27). This mutual dependence is acknowledged by Paul in his request for the Thessalonians’ prayers...


Report of Bible Witness Web Radio (BWWR) Ministry

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Written by Melissa Mah Sunday, 11 June 2017

Thanksgiving

Through the Bible Witness Web Radio (BWWR), the power of the Gospel preaching has been brought to the hearts of many people over the past 10 years. BWWR resounds long after the preacher has descended the pulpit of Gethsemane BPC and also of sister churches. (Please read the short words of thanksgiving below, from some BWWR listeners. Praise the Lord that the message that Pastor preached in 2011 – “The Prayers of Apostle Paul” – continues to work even 6 years later in the hearts of those who heard it for the first time.)

 

From Singapore

I had always been looking to listen to Christian radio online. And it’s always so hard to find. I was glad when I came across this, and it’s something so close to home, thank you...


Eight Spiritual Blessings of Separation

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 04 June 2017

Every biblical doctrine is a blessing to those who believe and apply it fully in their lives and ministries. Our Lord Jesus said, “Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it” (Luke 11:28). God’s truth profits everyone who believes and obeys. Isaiah the prophet said, “Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit... O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea” (Isaiah 48:17-18). God’s truth (regardless of differing opinions), if adhered to passionately, will provide great blessings to the soul. They who believe and obey the truth of God’s Word can be expectant of glorious eternal blessings – “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory” (Psalm 73:24).

Every doctrine of the Scriptures is to be received and practised. So, the doctrine of separation, being a clear teaching of God’s Word, must be upheld. Nonetheless, many reject it as an unpleasant, burdensome, useless doctrine. Some refer to it as a “minor doctrine” or “non-essential doctrine”. However, this doctrine is the very channel of divine blessings...


Seniors’ Ministry 12th Anniversary Testimonies

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 28 May 2017

All honour and glory be unto God for sustaining the existence and work of the Gethsemane Seniors’ Ministry all these years. God’s compassionate love and care have been lavished upon the Seniors’ Ministry throughout the past 12 years.

Indeed, when the Seniors gathered together to commemorate the 12th Thanksgiving Service held at Aloha Changi Chalet on 17 May 2017, joy overflowed from the hearts of many who have been looking forward to witness the goodness of the Lord through that meeting...


Rebuke by Preachers is the Best Remedy for Carnality Within the Church

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 21 May 2017

Scripture clearly teaches us that the remedy for the onslaught of carnality is preaching that confronts sin with burning words and bold rebuke. Consider the preaching of the prophet Isaiah. In the very first chapter itself, Isaiah delivered a startling rebuke of sin. Isaiah denounced the Israelites’ sacrifices as hypocritical! He boldly declared that God despised their oblations, the incense, their holy days and feasts. Then in no uncertain terms, he told them that God would not hear their prayers because their hands were full of blood. Again in that chapter, he denounced them for oppression of the poor, for their rebellion against God, and for their spiritual harlotry. He was unflinching when he remarked that not only did their princes run around with thieves, with everyone looking for bribes, but also that the leaders did not give honest protection to widows and orphans...


Our Father Knows!

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 14 May 2017

Our 5th Missionary Conference is drawing very near. In just about three weeks, about 255 participants will gather together in Kuching (E. Malaysia) for the event. May all glory be unto our gracious God, who has called us and guided us thus far.

We had many concerns about the funds needed to support all our preachers and invited guests to gather together. However, His bountiful provision through the generous, and even sacrificial, giving of many has helped the fund to reach S$46,565/-. This amount is very close to our targeted sum of S$50,000/- and will help us to meet much of our needs...


Remembering Brethren in Bogo & San Antonio

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Written by Mah Chin Kwang Sunday, 07 May 2017

The Lord was pleased to use His servant – the late Pr Dominino dela Cruz, Jr (husband of Sis Sharon and father of Nehemiah) – to establish a mission church in Bogo, Cebu, the Philippines in 2008. In the following year, another mission church in San Antonio (which is a nearby village where he grew up) was also inaugurated. Despite the many trials and oppositions encountered, our missionary and the two congregations stood steadfast and pressed on. He served joyfully together with his family for 3 years, before the Lord called him home on the Lord’s day, 7 July 2013 to his eternal rest after a hard-fought battle against cancer.

Elder Eliezer Ortega, who was then taking care of The Gethsemane Care Ministry in Cebu City, an outreach to former drug addicts and offenders of the law, yielded to the Lord’s call to lead the much-saddened flock...


Visit to our Mission Churches

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 30 April 2017

Though a detailed report would be submitted to the church by the mission team upon their return, I thought it would be good to write to you a few things that God has enabled us to do thus far. As I write this very brief report, the mission team is already into its second day of ministry here in Bogo. Yesterday (i.e. on Thursday), the team members were divided into different groups to engage in street evangelism and home visitations. Today, while some are conducting a one-day Gospel programme for the children, others are engaging in street evangelism and home visitations.

Before the arrival of the mission team, Preacher Dennis and family have visited Davao City and ministered the Word to his contacts. Over the last weekend, he preached to about 50 people who had gathered on the excellencies of Christ from Hebrews 1:1-4. We thank God that Pr Dennis was able to conduct a three-day preaching visit to Davao...



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