August 21, 2022

My Name in His Name

Written by:
Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy

This is the testimony of Bro. Andronicus Koshy, which was submitted to the Board of Elders (BOD of GBWL) for his interview prior to his appointment as a staff of GBWL. We thank God for graciously granting Andronicus the assurance of his calling to salvation and full-time ministry. He joined GBWL as a full-time staff on August 15, 2022. Being a graduate in Media (Animation), his joining of GBWL is indeed a divine provision as the Bible Witness Web TV is about to be launched. Though BW WebTV will begin as a small-scale effort, we pray that it will grow from strength to strength in the months and years to come, for the extension of His kingdom.

Part 1: My Name

“Even when we were dead in sins, (God) hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” (Ephesians 2:5).

I was born into a family that was in a long generational line of Christians and preachers. As such, since birth, I was exposed to, surrounded by and, on a few occasions even lived in, the church. Despite this, I was not saved growing up.

As much as a birth name is chosen by a child’s parents, I felt that Christianity was something appointed to me. I learnt the ways of behaving, speaking and thinking like one till it became part of my identity, yet somehow not what I wanted to be a part of. In other words, a Christian only by name. Hence, I soon found that anything outside the church attracted me more, and this continued longing for an experience outside of where I belonged made everything of it seem suffocating.

My dad often expressed his conviction and the importance of living by example as a pastor and a pastor’s family. But as a child of the family, I struggled, knowing that if I revealed my unbelief, his submissiveness to God and my lack thereof would lead to his eventual resignation. Hence, over the years, I maintained being a superficial Christian, adopting an appearance of godliness, attending services, and even serving in ministries, but only to ensure no one from the church would find out my “real” self.

I did come to enjoy certain elements of being part of the church. After all, most of my childhood revolved around it. However, though friends and playing with them in church excited me, I also vividly remember my apathy towards every other aspect. As I matured through GCM, prayer meetings and Sunday services, my Bible knowledge increased, but my application did not. So, while I did genuinely appreciate the Bible’s teachings as generally good and even often wise, my unending internal conflict gradually hardened my heart; apathy steadily grew from disinterest to disassociation.

My home felt like an extension of the church, and staying with my family was equally repressive, to the point where even though I didn’t enjoy most subjects, attending school was ironically the highlight of each week. Being given remedial classes and having multiple CCAs also meant that I had more hours away from home, and I gladly took any opportunity there was to not think of God. Needless to say, this meant that going to polytechnic was a high point for me. The extra hours needed for travel gave me an excuse to have more time on my own, and for the first time, I felt “free”.

I had learnt to draw distinct lines between the two worlds by now (my family together with the church being the first, and school as the second), and how to switch personalities while I was present at either. By the end of year 3 (in polytechnic), I had strayed past the point of guilt. I had long thrown out any remaining semblance of biblical wisdom and fully embraced the unfiltered world that I had so long coveted after. I became bolder in my excuses to go out and internally rejected God’s control entirely, even identifying with the agnostic clique I hung out with.

Numbers 32:23 warns us to “be sure your sin will find you out”. And as sure as day, on a night in early 2016, my sins caught up with me. This led to a confrontation with my dad. Distraught, he asked me why. As rehearsed, I replied that I never did believe in Christ but had only gone to church for ‘filial piety’s sake’. But calm as I tried to be, I was shaken. After years of “serving two masters”, the two worlds I had built up (within me) had collided unexpectedly, and I was exposed. He asked again point-blank if I was sure I did not believe. As I sat there, doing my best to deny God while facing my dad, I felt shame. He told me to go to God in prayer.

For the first time in many years, I kneeled by my bed that night to pray. Then I trembled, not out of anger, but in that moment’s realisation of the years I had spent being dead in sin and the implicating weight of it all. Surely, the past years spent in the church were not in vain, for I remembered God’s promise of immediate and accompanying saving grace; so for the first time in my life, I cried in repentance.
At 20 years of age, I finally understood what it meant to be saved.

Part 2: In His Name

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).
So, though I have now lived 26 years with the church, I often feel like a young believer. After all, it was merely 6 years ago that I verbalised my faith in prayer to God.

Tried as I had in denying Him, I was always quietly aware of His presence, and I praise His name that God in His mercies made me run bitterly for many years before bending me to His side. For it was only through this that I could know God personally and understand His will.

Having completed my Diploma and Bachelor’s Degree in Animation, I have grown to love the medium, but have seen the power and lasting influence it has on minds, both young and old. In recent years, the interest and demand for it have also increased tremendously, as video became the communication means of choice in our modern world. On this wise, there have been (and will be) many windows of opportunity for me to make use of my talents and thus, in a commercial way, this puts me in a position with plenty of potential openings.

But Mark 8:36 calls me away from that path. To what end should I continue chasing the world? Out of various Scripture verses through which God spoke to me, this remains as the most prominent. It serves as a cautious reminder of my past wantonness, but also my call to use my abilities for His glory and work, which alone bring true purpose and blessing.

I know that whether through monetary gain, fame, lusts, or labour, the world will always be there, temptingly ripe for me to partake in all its forms. But I have tasted it and know that in the end, vanity of vanities, all of such is dust.

Ecclesiastes accounts the ventures of King Solomon, and his perplexity while being the greatest achiever of his time. With all wisdom, wealth and power at his disposal, he chased education, pleasure and work to their full extents in search of life’s purpose. Yet after traversing each of those “ventures”, and having “seen all the works that are done under the sun”, the common conclusion was “and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit” (cf. Ecclesiastes 1:14). At the height of human significance, even he determined that the ultimate purpose of man is for God (Ecclesiastes 12:13). This book has similarly called me away from pursuing a career in the world, as well as gave clarity in my understanding of Mark 8:36.

God has not only used these Scriptural texts to convince me, but His people too. On top of my parents, I have witnessed the life testimonies of other members in the church who have chosen to give their lives to Christ, and how, though deemed simple in the world’s eyes, there is undoubted peace and joy in knowing their treasures are laid up in heaven (cf. Matthew 6:19-21). Since salvation, I noticed God moving me to prioritise and covet after these eternal securities, and these individuals and families in the church were silently used by God as living testimonies of the path I should follow.

For these reasons, I am convinced that God has prepared a place for me in Gethsemane’s Bible Witness Media Ministry, where in recent years, much groundwork has been laid out with regard to video work. The harvest is there, and so is the timely need. How can I still run away while I hold the tool to harvest?
In conclusion, I end this testimony with the story of Eleazer, son of Dodo, and one of the three mighty men with David in 2 Samuel 23:9-10. When “…the men of Israel were gone away: he arose and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the LORD wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil.”

My name is Andronicus, and it means “victorious man”.

For many years in my wandering, I have wondered if there was a greater purpose and significance to my life and work. Now I know my calling, and I pray God would grant me the similar courage to arise and be instrumental in fulfilling His intentions even if others turn away, valiantly living up to my name for His name’s sake.

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Gethsemane Prison Ministry

(Bro. Yong Choon Leong, a member of Truth Bible-Presbyterian Church, joins Pr Jeremiah Sim in the weekly preaching and teaching in Changi Prison.)

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

I thank God for the opportunity and privilege to conduct weekly Bible Study on Tuesday afternoons for the inmates in Changi Prison. There are an average of 10–15 inmates who attend this Bible Study class each week. About 80% of them profess to be Christians, while 20% are seekers.

The object of my Bible Study class is twofold: (i) to encourage and strengthen the believers, and (ii) to preach to the seekers of the truths of the Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation.

Generally, the students are attentive to the Bible truths taught and are responsive to the questions asked. Nonetheless, it is a great challenge for me, a layman, to prepare a 1 ½-hour Bible lesson weekly. By God’s special providence, I am provided with the following, which I use regularly, to prepare my Bible lessons:
Lecture notes, my assignments, and my exam papers from my studies in FEBC. (Suddenly, those documents became very apt and useful).

Bible Witness magazine and other publications (which are readily available on the websites and in digital formats). These are excellent tools for those who seek and share biblical teachings. What blessings they are from Gethsemane B-P Church!

With the availability of all the above resources, and by His grace and strength, I am able to serve in the prison ministry. I am glad to experience His faithfulness, and receive His goodness that provide such wonderful help to those who cry unto Him.

Please pray for us, weak earthen vessels. We need to have wisdom, strength, and a faithful spirit to share the Bible truths with the inmates. Pray also that the Holy Spirit will work mightily in the hearts of the inmates through the preaching of His infallible, inerrant, and preserved words of God.

All praise and glory to God our Heavenly Father. Amen.

Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church adheres to the system of faith commonly known as the “Reformed Faith” as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
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SingPost Centre
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