Written by Pastor Prabhudas Koshy
For 10 years, The Gethsemane Care Ministry (TGCM) has been labouring to declare the glorious freedom which Jesus Christ, the Son of God, offers to those who are held captive by sin and Satan. Once again, we are eager to bring Christ’s message of liberty to you.
Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34). He also said, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man” (Matthew 15:19-20a). The ensnaring chains of sin keep every man under its bondage! Yet, many do not acknowledge that they are caught in the subtle and vicious grip of sin.
Over the past 10 years in TGCM, we have ministered to more than 100 men who were addicted to drugs and vices. All of them acknowledged that they had serious problems of substance abuse and other vices. They all wished to be delivered from their addictions, and so willingly submitted themselves to the regime of a disciplined life which TGCM has put in place for all those who seek its help. Alas, after a brief period of a life of discipline at TGCM, many presumptuously think to themselves that they now have the power within themselves to completely resist the temptation and lure of drugs and past vices. But without having a firm commitment to follow Christ, they prematurely go headlong back to the world. Invariably, not too long after their departure from TGCM, they are again overpowered and subjugated by their old habits of sin.
One needs to accept the truth of sin’s enslavement of one’s soul, which Jesus emphatically taught. Man has no power to break the tyranny of sin. He is dead and buried “in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Ecclesiastes 7:20). Besides, “yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead” (Ecclesiastes 9:3b)!
We cannot trust in our own sin-ridden heart for the power to overcome the perils and attacks of sin. The Bible unmistakably warns us: “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26a)! Self-confidence is not the solution to our sin problem. In fact, too much of self-confidence makes us prideful and defiant before the Lord. The Bible unequivocally declares that “the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7).
A self-conceited mind is darkened with pride and all kinds of sins, and is thus alienated from God (cf. Ephesians 4:18). Such a mind is steeped in spiritual ignorance and moral corruption. One needs to repent of one’s pride and humbly yield to the grace, wisdom and power of God to be delivered from the bondage of sin.
It is to save helpless, lost sinners that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to this world. Christ declared assuredly, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). What amazing good news it is that Christ grants freedom from the bondage of sin!
He does not reject those who are dejected and miserable because of their sins. He graciously offers them freedom. He will not reject you for your failure or lack of self-confidence. No poor sinner who comes to Christ with repentance and faith will be turned away by Him. Christ, by His mighty truth, love, and grace, will break the miserable bonds of sin for all who humbly trust Him. That is not all; He will then strengthen them to live righteously.
Christ’s claim is not without proof. Millions have been set free from sin by Christ. Today, TGCM also stands before you as a testimony of His power to break the power of sin’s fetters. Though many turned away from Christ, those who have believed and surrendered their lives to the loving and gracious words of Christ enjoy His rich and glorious salvation. When Christ frees them from the bondage of sin, He frees them to live a life of righteousness, peace and blessing. True liberty is being able to live in obedience to God as His blessed servants now that they have trusted in Christ. As liberated men free from past bondage, our earnest prayer is that we will “stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1).
Some of you think that you can never be freed from your “fetters”. But we, having tasted the joy of His freedom, boldly and unashamedly attest that Christ indeed frees sinners who come humbly and contritely to Him! We therefore beseech you to follow Christ and His truth in faith and obedience.
One of the blessings that God has wrought through TGCM this year is her hosting of the GBI-Online lectures. GBI-Online is an Internet ministry of Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church of Singapore which is set up to supplement and further enhance the Gethsemane Bible institutes (GBI) established in the church’s mission fields in Ethiopia and the Philippines. GBI-Online is also geared to serve Christians everywhere for their further spiritual growth and fruitfulness.
The brethren in TGCM had willingly put their skills and strength to work to get the classroom refurbished and ready for lectures and video-recording. They have regularly prayed for God’s blessings to be upon the lectures. They have also availed themselves to drive the church vans to fetch students who need transport from the MRT station. With warmth and cheerfulness, they have welcomed and hosted the students.
Now they are also enthusiastically giving themselves to learning the biblical doctrines. In the process, they meticulously prepare themselves for weekly quizzes and assignments. They are determined to have their doubts and questions cleared so that their minds may be well established in the sound doctrines of the Scriptures. Furthermore, they often testify how they have profited from the lectures and enthusiastically encourage other brethren in the church to participate in the future classes.
TGCM brethren’s response to the GBI classes bears out the truth of the prophet Isaiah’s words concerning a repenting and renewing Israel – “They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine” (Isaiah 29:24).