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7th Jun 2020

Testimonies from the Online Bible Conference (III)

Peter & Sharon (Brunei)

Thank you for hosting the Online Bible Conference – our first. We enjoyed the solid spiritual feeding – underscoring the focus on God’s Word, biblical truths and doctrines as the basis of our faith. Obeying God and doing what is right and pleasing to God will enable us to have a good conscience. The Conference makes us more aware of the spiritual warfare we are constantly battling in. With ever so subtle and destructive an enemy as Satan, there is the real need to put on the full armour of God as a soldier for Christ. Just as Paul discipled Timothy, it is so important to continue the teaching and discipling of our younger generation in sound biblical truths and doctrines so that they can, in turn, teach and disciple faithful men. Our thanks to Pastor Koshy and the team who co-laboured with him.

Dn. Gee Eng & Annie (Brunei)

We are very blessed by the messages which expounded on the theme: “Holding Faith and a Good Conscience”. Sound biblical doctrines as the foundation of our true faith, as well as teaching and passing these truths on to faithful men with the charge of safeguarding the truths / doctrines without compromising or taking God’s Word lightly. Good warning and timely reminder!

Michelle Kho

The Online Bible Conference certainly spurred me to be conscientious and intentional about my sanctification! I would like to thank Pastor Koshy for his courage and conviction to preach, with firmness and love, this urgent, “unappetising” truth that believers (myself included) need to hear. Amid our daily pursuits and responsibilities, it is easy to slip into longer work hours and put God in second place – when He deserves our first love, with no other gods before Him!

Karen Quek

Thank God for another opportunity given to us to receive God’s truth through the Online Bible Conference.

It was a timely reminder to us concerning “Holding Faith and a Good Conscience” (1 Tim 1:19), that we may wage a good warfare against the world and Satan. We need to nourish ourselves in the Word of God so that we can be good soldiers of the Lord Jesus. Thank God that when we are equipped with His Word and live with a good conscience, we can be overcomers, just as Christ who overcame the world (John 16:33). Praise the LORD!

Dorcas Koshy

Our Lord has been very merciful – as we wait upon Him in our chambers, within shut doors, “until the indignation be overpast” (Isa 26:20). He has not forsaken us but has tenderly visited us to feed us with the Written Word. I found that staying at home for the study on the theme of ‘Holding Faith and a Good Conscience’ in this period of ‘Circuit Breaker’ afforded us an ideal setting, possibly more conducive than having it in a resort. To “give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1 Tim 4:13b) at this time was nothing short of a blessing, and it showed how God’s Providence continues to be upon His people in love.

Knowing that the greatest enemy in the spiritual warfare is myself – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, the pride of life – I pray for daily grace and mercies to “exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men” (Acts 24:16); to submit to the King’s servants through whom His charge is ministered to my soul; to love, cherish and pray for the many witnesses with whom I have received the words of faith; to not abandon ship based on hasty presumption; to revisit and hold “the things that (I have) heard” (2 Tim 2:2a) with a humble, teachable and peaceable spirit; as well as to strengthen my spiritual sensitivities and powers against my unseen enemy, lest I be lifted up in pride and be made shipwreck to the shame of my Saviour’s name.

Connie Ng

Praise the Lord for laying the burden in the hearts of Pastor Koshy and his team to organise the GBPC’s Online Bible Conference, and for His grace in bringing it to fruition. I have been very blessed by the 5 days of Singspiration, Morning Devotions and Theme Messages. I thank God for granting wisdom to Pastor Koshy in explaining and expounding His Word so clearly, showing how “holding faith, and a good conscience” is necessary to being a good Christian and minister. I am brought to remembrance the need to be nourished up and grounded in the Bible, and to be committed to an unwavering devotion to God’s Word. Indeed, every aspect of a genuine believer’s life must be guided by the Word of God so that he may live a life of purity for His glory. I am also reminded of the unceasing spiritual warfare I am engaged in on many fronts, and thus the need to be geared up with the armour of God to fight a good warfare.

May God help us to remember what we have learnt through this Conference, and enable us to remain steadfast, persevering in “holding faith, and a good conscience” till we can say, like the apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Aileen Yan

All praise and thanks be unto our God Almighty for enabling us to participate in the Online Bible Conference. What an opportunity it was for all of us to receive spiritual nourishment from His precious WORD! The main messages based on 1 Timothy 1:19, “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck”, were very edifying. I thank God for blessing Pastor Koshy to deliver God’s Word faithfully to exhort us to live an obedient and godly life all through our life on earth.

I have been convicted of my many sins from which I must repent and seek God. I acknowledge my lack of obedience and diligence, which have fragmented / shipwrecked my life in some areas. I pray the Lord to teach me to be a better Christian, bearing a good testimony, especially to my loved ones at home. Being a retiree, I hope to use my time to continue with the study of His Word and to serve the Lord in the church.

I am happy that I have learned many spiritual truths, particularly regarding (i) what ‘holding faith’ means, (ii) what a good conscience is, and (iii) what it means by “some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck”. I put my trust in my God, my King and my Saviour, that He will enable me to be diligent to hold fast my faith and have a good conscience.

I also give thanks to God for our preachers – Ho Kee How, Jeremiah Sim, Daniel Lim and Samson Hutagalung – who preached God’s Word in the morning devotions, and for our church elders who led the Singspiration sessions and prayer. Thanks also to our Pr Kelvin, Pr Jeremiah, Bro Cornelius and Sis Luan Kheng for teaching the children participants.

I would like to thank my brethren in GBPC Online Bible Conference Committee for their heartiest service to the Lord with their time and efforts in managing registration, logistics and monitoring of our daily meeting times, operating Zoom conferencing, etc. “Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness” (Psalm 150:2). All glory to God.

Edeliza Ballega

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

It is amazing how the mighty hand of the Lord works upon His people. I praise and thank God for the zealous labour of our church, led by our devoted Pastor Koshy, elders, deacons, preachers and brethren to organise a well-coordinated Online Bible Conference in a very short time. Despite the unprecedented pandemic we are facing, our God brought about so much good through the faithful preaching of God’s Word to the rest of the world. May the Lord continue to bless and use them mightily for His glory.

The purpose of the Conference has been well served. Many of our relatives in the Philippines were able to join freely. We were very delighted that my parents, parents-in-law, siblings, nephews and nieces participated in the Conference. They were very enthusiastic about listening to the exhortation of the Scriptures (even though the internet connection was unstable in their place). We pray that the Holy Spirit would lead them to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, and that they will worship and walk with the Lord with gladness, and enjoy Him forever.

Praise God for enabling and sustaining Pastor Koshy as he expounded the Scripture portion of 1 Timothy 1:19, on the theme: “Holding Faith and a Good Conscience”. Not to mention how the Lord helped everyone to persevere in studying the Scriptures. I thank God for the week-long programme, which provided abundant spiritual blessings, including the respective sessions of “Singspiration and Prayer” led by our dedicated elders, which cheered our hearts and prepared us for the Morning Devotions by our faithful preachers. Likewise, the “Bible Trivia” sessions during the Fellowship Time in the afternoon, conducted by our kind brethren, refreshed our memory concerning the biblical events and GBPC’s history. It reminded me of how wonderful the Lord is in preserving and nurturing our church till this day.

I pray that our church will be found faithful and steadfast until the day of Christ’s return. Thank God also for the passionate labour of our sisters and Children’s Choir. I rejoiced as I listened to their joyful singing of “Thank you, Lord” and “Bringing in the Sheaves”. Indeed, our salvation is so rich and free! Those songs gave us comfort that despite the hard work, heavy burdens and tears during the planting of the Gospel seed, we shall reap the fruit of our labour as people come to the Lord for eternal life.

Indeed, as I am being nourished and equipped with the great truths of the Bible, I also desire to walk worthy of God as I exercise my faith and grow spiritually. I pray that by God’s grace and wisdom, I will submit and obey His “charge” with a good conscience. May the Lord teach me to relate to my husband with a humble and submissive heart as his godly wife and good helpmate (though not an easy task for me). As a mother, I pray the Lord will strengthen me in this God-given role to raise my son according to His sovereign purpose. “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalm 127:3). May the Lord bless my husband and me as we minister to the spiritual needs of our son and cultivate him for the Master’s use. Also, I am greatly thankful to God for providing us with Gethsemane Children’s Ministry, where God’s Word is faithfully and lovingly taught for the care of our children. Finally, I thank God for preserving our family by leading us to Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church, which has been a true vessel of God for our spiritual growth. I pray that my family shall be joyfully committed to carrying out the sovereign will of our great King in our lives (cf. Luke 22:42), lest we be made shipwreck, engulfed by our sin and unfaithfulness. May our Almighty Lord keep and preserve us in His most loving hand, and His glory be exalted in our life. Amen.

Carolyn Koshy

I am thankful to God, who has helped my family to ‘co-host’ the recent Online Bible Conference in our home. I thank God for Andronicus and Dorcas who handled the technical aspects ‘behind Pastor’ in the confines of our flat. I thank God that amid this busy schedule of the Online Conference, He has enabled Dorcas not to miss any message, though she was busy working on her final submissions of the last year of her musical studies.

Praise God also for all who have a part in handling the administrative, technical, organisational aspects of the Conference. Indeed, thanks to God for giving grace to Cornelius (amongst other teachers) to teach the children; for all our elders who chaired and prayed for God’s blessings upon all the meetings; for all the singers who laboured to pre-record the hymns to guide us in our singing, as well as all who have mixed those individual recordings of the brethren to make them into congregational singing; and for all our devotional speakers who have delivered to us the infallible Word of God. Last but not least, I thank God for using Pastor to preach on the topic, “Holding Faith, and a Good Conscience”, taken from 1Tim 1:19 – “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck”. Below, I share an excerpt of Pastor’s messages – (i) to remind participants what have been expounded to us from the Word, and (ii) to benefit those who could not participate in the Conference.

The theme of the Conference encapsulates a genuine Christian’s life and ministry. The word “faith” here means the whole Bible, not just the act of believing. Pastor exhorted us that our lives must hold forth the Bible (“faith”). We must not only learn the biblical doctrines but live by them. When our desires, thoughts and motivations are biblical, we will have a good conscience before God and man. Thus, we can live in the strength of a good testimony borne out of faith and a good conscience. We then become like the one who builds his house upon the rock: strong, happy, calm and without fear amidst all the temptations and trials of life.

“Holding faith, and a good conscience” was mentioned by the apostle Paul in connection to a Christian’s responsibility to “war a good warfare” (1 Tim 1:18). Christians are God’s soldiers in the spiritual battle against Satan and his minions’ attack on His kingdom. To equip us against these formidable enemies, who are mightier than us, God has provided us with “the whole armour of God”. This potent spiritual arsenal for every Christian’s use is the Word of God. All of God’s truths, wise counsels and commands are our aid in the battle. The royal command from the KING eternal (1 Tim 1:17) is to fight this noble war for Him. Hence, as soldiers, we have a great responsibility to remain loyal to Him. Nothing should deter us from His charge to fight a good fight of faith. We must bravely march onward through all trials of life, enduring hardness, undeterred and undistracted. We cannot retreat but fight on. Then we’ll have victory over the Satanic foes.

Our conscience will accuse us if our outward religion is without inward faith in all that God has charged us in His Word. A soldier of Christ cannot abandon God’s call. He must not quit where the Lord has appointed him unless the divine providence transfers him to another area of service. We do well to bear in mind that we are not called to serve among a group of holy angels, but among sinners in this terrible world of satanic ambushes. But God will give us the grace to fulfil our responsibility to fight a good warfare, not a weak one. Then our fight will end well, and finally, we can echo Paul’s words: “I have fought a good fight” (2 Tim 4:7)!

No Christian knows fully the vastness of his work, but as he moves forward, defeating all enemies, it slowly comes to full light. Ministry is a service for the King and His Kingdom which has no end. So, everyone in the church must be dedicated to his King’s cause with reverence and fidelity. Why do we insist on right doctrine? Because right doctrine drops “as the rain” and “as the showers upon the grass” (cf. Deut. 32:2), transforming Christians to live a godly and pure life which pleases God. Even preachers must renew their mind constantly and nourish up continually on right doctrine to be able to “put the brethren in remembrance of these things” (cf. 1 Tim. 4:6).

There are many fronts to a Christian’s warfare, of which I will only mention two.

Firstly, false doctrine by brethren or teachers. They are licentious seducers, fun-loving at the expense of Christ, bringing us back into the bondage of sin. Paul has cautioned us against them in the following verses: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (2 Cor 11:13-14); “For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts” (2 Tim 3:6).

Secondly, Satan and demonic hosts. 1 Cor 7:5 counsels regarding husband and wife relationship: “Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” Furthermore, 1 Tim 5:14 advises young unmarried ladies: “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully”, which unfortunately, some did not take heed – “For some are already turned aside after Satan” (1 Tim 5:15). In this regard, we read of Paul chastising so-called believers, by leaving them to Satan because they had gone after Satan (1 Tim 1:20). This means that no ministerial attention would be offered to that person, as a form of chastisement. The church needs to take disciplinary action against those who unrepentantly walk in defiance of His truth and holiness. Otherwise, their ill influence would cause terrible shipwreck to others in the congregation concerning faith and good conscience.

What are the dangers of not holding faith and a good conscience? The enemy may take advantage of the soldiers, who have slept instead of keeping watch, to tarnish the testimony, unity and faithfulness of the church. They may become spiritually lethargic, disappointing the church amidst her battle!

Allan A. Ebarle

I, for one, have been greatly blessed by the sermons and exhortations heard during the Online Bible Conference. The precious lessons I received were edifying to me. To know and see that I am not alone in this spiritual battle enables me to stand up together with brothers and sisters of like-minded faith. I praise the Lord for the singing of hymns and for the faithful preaching of God’s Word.

I thank Rev Koshy, the elders, deacons and preachers for sharing the Word and guiding us in the ‘Singspiration’ sessions. I also would like to thank those who worked behind the scenes – brothers and sisters who laboured to organise this Online Conference.

May God bless us all!

Posted under 'Pastoral Exhortation'