“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)
Have you wondered why there is so much preaching in our church, whether it be in the Lord’s Day worship services, Tuesday night prayer gatherings, fellowship meetings, retreats, or camps? Why are we so occupied with the exposition of God’s Word? Should we give so much attention to the preaching and teaching of God’s Word?
As a church, we make no apology for being unabashed proclaimers of the truth of God’s Word. Our reason for giving primacy to the preaching of God’s Word in our church is to put the glory and majesty of God on public display. His Word is His self-revelation of His very eternal being, His plans, His purposes and His power.
There is a great need to emphasize the absolute necessity of robust, courageous preaching of God’s Word. Even in our church, some will become weary of the constant priority that we give to the preaching of God’s Word, just as Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”
So in the coming 4th Missionary Conference (23–27 June 2014), we will take time to search the Scriptures on the theme, “Primacy of God’s Word in the ministry of the church.” This theme will be expounded by varying pastors and missionaries who will attend the conference. Please pray that the Spirit of God will empower the speakers of the conference to expound to us the teachings of the Word of God in a clear and convicting manner.
To whet your appetite for this very necessary and glorious topic, I would like to publish below an article that I recently wrote for the ‘Daily Devotions for 2014” in our church website.
When Apostle Paul and his team arrived in the city of Ephesus, they preached the Gospel to the Jews first. Paul went into the Jewish synagogue and “spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God” (Acts 19:8). But some of the hearers “were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude” (Acts 19:9). He was forced to move out of the synagogue; and subsequently taught in the school of Tyrannus. Notwithstanding the hostility, Paul continued preaching the Word undaunted, influencing the Jews as well as the Greeks in that city and its surrounding region (Acts 19:10).
Another giant obstacle to the Gospel advancement was the city’s enchantment with sorcery and witchcraft. Ephesus was renowned for the statue of Artemis and her temple. The statue had mysterious engravings on the crown, girdle, and feet. Those mystic writings, referred to as “Ephesian scripts”, were considered to have magical power. Sorcery was part of Ephesian culture. Some of the Jews also practised wizardry. Acts 19:13 reports, “Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.” When seven sons of the chief of the Jewish priests, named Sceva, tried to exorcise a demon in the name of Jesus, they were violently attacked by the demonic man. This incident brought much fear among the people.
Nonetheless, the preaching of the Word of God turned many away from their diabolical practices. “And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver” (Acts 19:18, 19)! Mightily did the Word of God grow and prevail in that city, where once deep-seated unbelief and fierce demonic activities had stood in its way.
In our own day, many are dabbling in horoscopes, tarot cards, crystal balls, Ouija boards, séances, and other mystic and demonic activities, which are dangerous to their minds and emotions. If the church is committed to preach the Word faithfully and fervently, we will see some people being turned from unbelief and delivered from the enticement and enslavement of the devil. Assuredly, the preaching of the Word shall prevail over all demonic powers!
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]hank God for the provision of Sunday Live Broadcast. I was not able to be present in the church at last Sunday’s Worship Service, due to a freak accident that hampered my movement. However, I was not deprived of the privilege to ‘feast’ on His Word, as I was able to listen to it from home. I was blessed spiritually by the sermon, “Building with the Messianic Hope”, a timely message for the last Sunday of the year 2013. Sunday Live Broadcast is serving its purpose well, edifying the souls of the saints. May the Lord continue to bless the hands that have ploughed in this ministry. “Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul” (Psalm 103:21–22).
A thankful listener
“Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High” (Psalm 50:14).
I would like to call all the leaders, members and regular worshippers of Gethsemane B-P Church to once again come together this Tuesday night to avow ourselves to our God in the New Year during the Prayer Meeting.
Making a vow before the Lord is a solemn act of worship, thanksgiving and consecration to God. It is a matter that requires utmost sincerity of heart. We should not come with a flippant attitude before God, especially when we bind ourselves to Him with vows.
For your careful preparation of hearts to renew yourselves before the Lord in taking the two vows of allegiance to God’s Word and personal sanctification, I publish below, “Chapter XXII: Of Lawful Oaths and Vows” from the Westminster Confession of Faith:
19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.