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Pastoral Exhortation

Daily Vacation Bible School 2017

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 10 December 2017

Gethsemane Children’s Ministry (GCM) praises the Lord for seeing us through this year’s Daily Vacation Bible School (DVBS). This year’s theme – “Sing unto the LORD” – was drawn from Isaiah 42:10, “Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.” The children were taught six lessons altogether from selected Bible passages based on the theme.

The LORD has been good to GCM. It was a challenge to find a venue to host this year’s DVBS, but God had prepared 202B, Ponggol 17th Avenue for our usage. He gave us 49 children (from ages 2 to 12) to learn about “Sing(ing) unto the LORD.” He also provided 7 teachers for the 3 classes: Nursery to Kindergarten (N-K), Primary 1 to 3 (P1-3), and Primary 4 to 6 (P4-6). In addition, He moved the hearts of 14 volunteers to help out in the various aspects of the event...


Our First Gospel Mission in India

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

By the grace of God, our first opportunity of a sustained Gospel effort in India is granted to us through Bro Sujith Samuel, who has returned to India after completing his theological studies in FEBC. In our last Missionary Conference (June 2017), our Board of Elders commissioned Sujith as Gethsemane’s missionary (under probation), and since then he has been prayerfully working in the city of Visakhapatnam – or Vizag, for short – (a central eastern port city of India) to establish contacts and begin a Gospel work.

Recently, I was joined by Benny Skarih, Cornelius Koshy and Andronicus Koshy to visit Bro Sujith. We praise the Lord for the three days of fellowship and activities we had with Sujith and many of his contacts...


Jesus’ Word on His True Servant

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 26 November 2017

Our Lord Jesus said, “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour” (John 12:26).

Who does truly serve Christ?

According to Christ’s own words, it is he who follows Him that truly serves Him. In the context of this passage, following Christ would mean self-sacrifice and even death. He had earlier spoken about His hour of death (v. 23; cf. v. 27) and the need to die like a corn of wheat to bear fruit that will last unto all eternity (vv. 24- 25). Without an absolute commitment (which may even incur death) to go with Christ, one cannot truly serve Him. One should surrender oneself totally to Christ’s leading to be a true servant worthy of His name...


The Preacher

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 19 November 2017

The Self-Ordained Preacher!

God does not want His people to be taught by self-commissioned preachers! He disapproved the teachings of such men among the ancient Israelites – “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied” (Jeremiah 23:21). God warned of their ministry as unprofitable and treacherous – they “… cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 23:32; cf. 14:14; 27:15).

One such preacher was Hananiah. To him, God’s servant Jeremiah said, “Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie” (Jeremiah 28:15). The preaching by a man who is not equipped by the Spirit of God would cause his hearers to “trust in a lie...


Warning Against Theft: A Plea for Honest Work

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 12 November 2017

Paul wrote, “Let him that stole steal no more” (Ephesians 4:28a). This is a prohibition against stealing. The word “stole” in Greek is a present participle verb, which has durative force. Thus, it denotes ‘he who used to steal’ or an actual thief. Whatever form of stealing there had been in a person’s life, once he becomes a Christian, he must stop it utterly.

Jesus said in Matthew 15:18-19 that thefts proceed from the heart and defile a person. Stealing is an unrighteous act that does not befit the followers of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, the apostle Paul listed thieves among those who will not inherit the kingdom of God...


When God Does Not Hear

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Written by Andrew Koh Sunday, 05 November 2017

Introduction

Do not I fill heaven and earth?” (Jeremiah 23:24b) – the omnipresent God asked. There is neither nook nor corner where God is not there. God’s presence fills the vast entire universe. Because of God’s omnipresence, we can be sure that He hears us when we pray. When we pray to Him in the quiet of the night at our bedside, He hears. Out in the field, when a little boy walks and whispers his silent prayer to Him, He hears. Up in the mountain, when a lone hiker cries out to God in his heart, He hears. We pray because He hears us. The psalmist in Psalm 145 expressed this confidence when he sang, “The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him...


Reformed and Reforming

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 29 October 2017

One of the significant theological slogans that emerged out of the Reformation was Ecclesia Reformata, Semper Reformanda (i.e. “The church reformed, always reforming”). It represented nothing more than the Reformers’ desire for the church to return to sound biblical theology. They never thought of their theological work as devising something altogether new. Their intent was singular – renewing or reviving the church according to the saving truths of the Word of God.

Reformers knew that the church had become corrupt, and a change in the church’s beliefs and ministry was critical. Hence, they worked relentlessly to have the church reformed and always reforming according to the Word of God. John Calvin wrote in the preface of his tract, The Necessity for Reforming the Church...


John Calvin, the Reformer

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Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 22 October 2017

As we recall the 16th century Reformation, we praise God for the great work He has done through the Reformers. Among the Reformers, John Calvin (1509-1564), though regarded as a second generation Reformer, had played a definitive role in the Reformation. Calvin is credited, along with Martin Luther and John Knox, for helping to revive biblical Christianity.

It is reported that more than 30,000 Englishspeaking congregations around the world trace their lineage through John Calvin. He was a figure of remarkable significance in the history of the Reformed tradition...


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...



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