Today, as we celebrate 31st anniversary of our church, may our thoughts be towards our God who has graciously redeemed us from our sins through the blood of His dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and gathered us together over the past 31 years for His praise and honour.
O How He Thinks of Us!
The immensity of God’s love and care for His church is truly indescribable. Each time when I think of the way He has spoken in the Scriptures about the church in relationship to Him, my heart is overflowed with thanksgiving, joy, peace and resolve to serve Him in His church. As I share with you how He thinks of and depicts the church, please take time to think of the richness of His loving purposes concerning us all in the church, as individuals and as a congregation. May the following divine depiction of the church uplift your hearts to joyful praise and service of our God!
- We are God’s flock (Luke 12:32; Acts 20:28; 1 Pet er5:2, 3), His sheep (Matthew 10:16; 25:32-33; John 10:7-16, 26-27; 21:16-17; Hebrews 13:20, 1 Peter 2:25) and lambs (Luke 10:3; John 21:15).
- We are the house of God (1 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 10:21; 1 Peter 4:17; 2 Timothy 2:20; Hebrews 3:2-6), His habitation (Ephesians 2:22), and a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5).
- We are the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 6:16), even a holy temple (Ephesians 2:21).
- We are a building of God (1 Corinthians 3:9; Ephesians 2:21), even the pillar and ground of God’s truth (1 Timothy 3:15).
- We are the household of God (Ephesians 2:19), being of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10).
- We are His chosen generation (1 Peter 2:9), even heirs of God (Romans 8:17; Galatians 3:29; Titus 3:7; Hebrews 6:17).
- We are His kingdom – a holy nation, a royal priesthood, a peculiar people (1 Peter 2:9), fellow-citizens with the saints (Ephesians 2:19), and heirs of the kingdom (James 2:5).
- We are His husbandry (a tilled or cultivated field – 1 Corinthians 3:9). In His field, we are the good seed that He plants (Matthew 13:38), even like a mustard seed that grows into a large tree (Matthew 13:31-32).
- We are also the fruit-bearing branches of Christ, the Vine (John 15:5).
- We are those whom He has grafted into the good olive tree (Romans 11:24).
- We are His Bride (Revelation 21:2, 9; 22:17), His espoused chaste virgin (2 Corinthians 11:2).
- We are the wise virgins who have readied themselves to attend the marriage feast of our heavenly King (Matthew 25:1-13).
- We are His light in this dark world (Matthew 5:14; Ephesians 5:8), even the children of light (Ephesians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:5). Hence we are children of the day (1 Thessalonians 5:5), saints in light (Colossians 1:12), and His golden candlesticks (Revelation 1:12, 13, 20; 2:1).
- We are the salt of this earth (Matthew 5:13).
- We are a band of pilgrims (1 Peter 2:11), and hence strangers on this earth (1 Peter 1:1; 2:11; Hebrews 11:13).
- We are Christ’s soldiers (1 Corinthians 9:25-26; 2 Corinthians 6:7; 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 Thessalonians 5:8-9; 1 Timothy 1:18; 6:12; 2 Timothy 2:4; 4:7).
May we rejoice to fulfil all His desires concerning us as His dear church on earth.
Dear Pastor, the Church Session and our beloved brethren at Gethsemane B-P Church (Singapore),
“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers … Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved … And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common … And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith” (Acts 2:42, 47; 4:32; 6:7).
As I think about the 31 years of the church’s existence, I am reminded of the passages quoted above from the Book of Acts (which are among the passages we considered in the recent Bible Witness Retreat), for I see a resemblance in how the church has grown from strength to strength through the faithful preaching of the Word and by prayer.
In all my years in the church, I have been greatly blessed by the uncompromising, faithful preaching of the unadulterated Word of God. Also, I am witness to how Pastor Koshy would call, if not challenge, the church to pray, even to fast and pray in the midst of the pressing needs and challenges that it has encountered through the years. To mention a few: purchase of the church van, moving of the church worship service from its previous location (in YMCA) to the present (Singpost Building), moving of the old church office into the Sunflower building (i.e. the previous Church Resource Center), the inaugural publication of the Bible Witness Magazine/inception of the Bible Witness Web Radio, the setting up of the TGCM-Singapore, the Ethiopian building project, and the newly acquired property at 33 Ubi Crescent. All these are but some of the manifold blessings the Lord has bestowed upon the church!
Needless to say, the church’s commitment in missions and the mission churches established here in the Philippines and other parts of the world, are all borne out of much prayer by the church.
And how can I forget the lives of every one of you that the Lord has saved and added to the church? No doubt, the Lord is pleased to bless the church in many ways, such that “the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved … And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul … And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied … greatly”.
On behalf of the brethren here in Gethsemane BPC-Cebu, I greet you all: “Blessed 31st Anniversary!” All glory and honor be to the LORD!
Yours in Christ,
Reggor B. Galarpe
Gethsemane B-P Church
Cebu City, Philippines