1 Corinthians 15:3b-4 "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures."
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a very important doctrine of our Christian faith. Some of the important implications of Christ’s resurrection are mentioned below:
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
I was born and raised in a Hindu family, praying and offering sacrifices to idols. Growing up, like most of the teens in my neighbourhood, I started mixing around with bad company. I joined gangs and started smoking and drinking. I even became very rebellious and strayed to the wrong path, engaging in all kinds of illegal activities, including peddling of drugs on the streets. Soon, I started abusing drugs and became addicted myself. My parents detested me and my siblings wished I were dead. I failed in my responsibility as a son and a brother. All I cared for was my friends in the drug circle. Because of my drug addiction, I’d been in and out of prison 6 times!
On my second last “visit” (i.e. my 5th time) to prison where I was sentenced 2 years, I started attending Chapel and Bible services inside prison, but I wasn’t too serious about it. Upon my release in 2013, one of my childhood friends, Rufus, kept talking to me about Jesus and his church. During that time, I was going through a lot of financial and social problems, I started drinking a lot and also consuming a lot of depression pills. Out of desperation one day, I “blindly” followed my friend Rufus to this big church called “New Creation Church”. During the worship, I felt so guilty about what kind of person I was and whatever I did in my life. The pastor, after preaching about “Love of God Calling Sinners to Repentance and New Life in Christ”, asked who wanted to accept Christ. I immediately put up my hand and repeated the sinner’s prayer. After that church service, I signed up for water baptism, and I was baptized in New Creation Church on 17 May 2014.
Though a new Christian, I wasn’t really serious in my walk with God. I just thought it was “cool” being a Christian worshipping in a mega church. I really didn’t understand the truth of God’s salvation work. New Creation Church kept preaching about the Gospel of grace, and that we need not worry about our current and future sins because Jesus had paid for them at the cross. I took it somehow as a licence to sin because I had the misguided confidence that whatever sins I did, Jesus will forgive them. I backslided, and somehow went back to my old ways. Soon, I stopped attending church and chose to spend time with my drug circle friends once more. Sadly, I was back on drugs and again ended up in prison (for the 6th time). At that point of time, my family really gave up all hope on me. They even said that the so-called Hindu gods were angry and were punishing me for becoming a Christian. I knew I deserved all the bad things they said about me, but it really pained me and made me feel so guilty when they despised Christianity because I had brought shame to it.
That was when I went on my knees inside my prison cell and cried out to God. I asked God for forgiveness and told Him to guide me henceforth. I started reading my Bible every day, as well as attending the in-prison Bible Study conducted by Pr Kelvin from Gethsemane BPC. Slowly, Pr Kelvin guided me and taught me God’s Word. God also gave me a strong desire to read His Word. When I was out of prison and came to “The Helping Hand” for my rehabilitation programme, I continued to keep in touch with Pr Kelvin, who invited me to Gethsemane Church a few months later. I thank God for this church and for Pastor Koshy who expounds God’s Word accurately and teaches us without fear or favour. My belief system and way of thinking changed as I was impacted by the messages, week after week in Gethsemane. I really am so grateful to the Lord for Gethsemane that I decided to be a member after a year of attending the church. By the grace of God, I have faithfully attended all of the lessons of the Catechism Class.
During this Catechism Class, I have learnt much truth from God’s Word. I’ve learnt much about Creation and the origin of man; about what sin is and how much God hates sin; about our Lord Jesus Christ’ life, death and resurrection; about God’s plan of salvation; about bearing a good testimony for Christ and prayer; about the end-times and the Lord’s return. Through this Catechism Class, I have been taught the doctrinal stand of GBPC, as opposed to the false teachings of the Charismatic Movement.
I have learnt a lot after attending Gethsemane. God has opened my eyes to His Truth. I really want to thank God for His grace and mercy for me that have found and met me at the lowest point in my life. As broken relationships in my family are being restored, I want my family to witness my redeemed life and see the living God working in my life. God has opened a way for me to take part-time courses at FEBC. I want to encourage more brothers like me who are in the bondage of drugs and are suffering silently. I pray that God will show mercy on all these souls that I will be reaching out to. I am so grateful to God, and the leaders of this church for working so hard for Christ. I want to be a part of Gethsemane Church. Finally, after learning the truth about baptism and the reason why we believers have to go through it, I sincerely wish to be baptized and continue growing here as well. May God answer my heartfelt prayer, and may His “goodness and mercy … follow me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23:6).
I was born and raised in a Roman Catholic family in the Philippines. I grew up, being surrounded with non-Christian friends influencing me to drink and do many worldly things. In year 2017, I was invited to a Christian church, where by the power of God’s Word preached by the pastor, I believe in Jesus that day. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”. I rejoiced in this verse and was convicted that Jesus is the only way for me to be saved as a sinner.
In 2021, the Lord answered my prayer and led me to Singapore to work as a domestic helper. Deep in my heart I felt something missing, as I wanted to go to church and worship God but didn’t know how. One day, I met Asher Vijay on Facebook, where he invited me to worship at GBPC. When I first attended GBPC on 24 March 2022, I was impressed by the warm and welcoming church people, who also invited me to attend GFF. For a foreigner like me coming from overseas to work here, this felt like “home” to me. By continually attending GBPC, I got to know more and more of God’s truth in His Word. Pastor Koshy’s preaching is very encouraging and motivating for me as a new believer. It helps me to learn to walk more closely with the Lord, and not in the ways of the world.
God has put a desire in my heart to attend the Catechism Class, and I thank God for the opportunity to learn His Word, and for such a blessing for my spiritual life. Thank God for the church elders who teach this Catechism Class. Through the true teaching of the Bible, I began to understand many church doctrines and Gospel truths which I previously didn’t know about. God showed me how much He loved and cared for me by sending His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to live a perfect life that I cannot live. Though I have been living a sinful life, yet because of His love for me, He died a horrific death on the cross for my past, present and future sins. He thus became my Substitute for my sins. I know that I have been living a selfish life of materialistic ambitions and self-delusion. I’ve cried to God, and I repent of my sins and surrender my life to Him. Not only I must believe, but I must also surrender everything to Him, and follow Him by obeying His words and commandments. I will trust and love Jesus with all my heart, and mind, and strength, because He has loved me first.
Though difficulties and struggles may come, and relationships may fail, I will trust in Him. I do not know what the future holds for me, but I know my heavenly Father holds my future. “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple” (Psalm 27:4). I thank God for GBPC and for all His faithful servants. To God be the glory and honour.