Lest We Forget (II)

In the last editorial, I mentioned that through the ecclesiastical contacts of First Evangelical Reformed Church (FERC) in Singapore, the Arminian doctrines of common grace, the well- meant offer of the gospel, and the conditional covenant have made inroads into the Reformed churches in Singapore. In ten short years after their adoption of divorce and remarriage, these Arminian doctrines have found fertile ground in FERC.

Lest we forget, it was only ten years ago in 2007 that FERC still belonged to a faithful denomination, the Evangelical Reformed Churches in Singapore (ERCS). For over twenty years, the ERCS confessed the sovereignty and particularity of God’s grace in salvation. Prior to her institution in 1982, she had   received   distinctive   instruction in the Reformed faith through her contact with the Protestant Reformed Churches in America (PRCA).

As early as 1979, emissaries from the PRCA began instructing the young group of believers in Singapore concerning the heresy of common grace and the particularity of God’s grace. These emissaries reported the instruction that they gave:

We stressed that the grace called common is a non-entity and exists only in the minds of those who seek justification for fellowship with the world, whose good deeds are ethically ever only corrupt, while they indeed may be good in a functional sense. We emphasized the absolute antithesis established by God’s particular grace as our God calls children of light out of the children of darkness, life out of death, etc. This speech was very appreciatively received by many and they saw clearly that we are called to an antithetical walk.1

The emissaries also explained the PRCA’s rejection of the well-meant gospel offer:

We emphasized that the truth of election is not an hindrance to missions as is often alleged, but that it is instead an incentive for the guarantee that God has His people and that Christ has sheep which He must gather through the preaching of the Gospel by the Church.2

In 1982, after the young group of believers was organised into the ERCS, they expressed wholehearted agreement with the truths confessed by the PRCA:

We believe God has blessed you in a very special way and given you a measure of the truth that is largely lost to the churches of our day. We believe that God who gives you this truth so that we may learn from you, will in no wise leave you no avenue to proclaim it…We in the E.R.C.S. love the truth your churches have brought us…3

Through the ministries of two PRCA ministers working in the ERCS, Rev. Arie den Hartog and Rev. Jason Kortering, the ERCS continued to be instructed more fully in the Reformed faith. The two ministers on loan to the ERCS were instrumental in developing the young church’s understanding and conviction of the Reformed faith. Zealously,   they   preached,   taught, and gave much advice to the young church. They officiated at many weddings, instructing young couples in the biblical truth of marriage and the covenant home. They were also actively involved in the mission work of the ERCS. Their faithful ministries were used powerfully by God to develop the ERCS into a faithful Reformed church.

The Lord prospered the ERCS in those years. Many were gathered into the church out of heathendom. Marriages were aplenty. Young, godly families were characteristic of the ERCS. The denomination was entering into another phase of life, where the second generation   of   Reformed   believers was rising. In 1986, a daughter congregation, Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church, was organised. At their peak, the ERCS numbered over three hundred members. The denomination was spiritually healthy and vibrant.

In 1996, based on the reports of the ERCS’ minister-on-loan, Rev. Kortering, the PRCA’s Contact Committee reported that the doctrinal distinctives concerning the preaching, God’s   covenant   and   grace   were preached:

Although the ERCS has not taken an official position on the doctrines of the covenant, common grace, and free offer, they continue to preach and teach the faithful Reformed position.4

In   1997,   Rev.   Kortering   reported that the doctrinal distinctives were understood and settled:

The doctrines of the covenant, the well- meant offer, and common grace are no longer issues in the ERCS. The ERCS have grown in their understanding and appreciation of the Reformed position in these areas. The ERCS are also being more and more identified with the PRC by the church community in Singapore.5

Giving hearty approval to the instruction given by the ministers on loan, the ERCS expressed their unity in the faith with the PRCA:

This indeed is another golden opportunity for our two churches to express our unity in the faith and support of each other in this increasingly dark and sinful world of unbelief…The Reformed faith, which we have come to know and love through the ministry of your churches, we will uphold and defend with all our might in the Far East…In our observation of you, we continue to notice, with great delight, your steadfast defense of the Reformed faith in all your publications. Your undaunted effort to clarify your fine theological position is helping the Reformed community more and more to develop in greater depth of understanding of the truth.6

A Broad-Minded Spirit

Nevertheless, trouble was already brewing in the ERCS. When emissaries from the PRCA’s contact committee visited the ERCS in 2003, they expressed some “real concerns about a ‘broad-minded’ spirit in the ERCS”. This broad-minded spirit would surface a year later in the controversy over divorce and remarriage that wrecked chaos in the denomination. This broad- minded spirit manifested itself in an eagerness to learn and embrace the doctrine of divorce and remarriage that was taught by other denominations, which doctrine had been repudiated by the two PRCA ministers during their lengthy ministries in the ERCS. Today, the broad-minded spirit is very much alive in FERC. Ministers of different theological stripes are invited to preach there.

Recounting the history of the ERCS, Rev. den Hartog astutely observes that one of the main reasons for apostasy in the ERCS was a broad-minded spirit in her leadership:

 

There were those in the ERCS who in these controversies became convinced that they did not want to continue in the direction presented by men from the PRCA. The direction was considered too narrow, and there arose a desire instead to have closer fellowship with other churches. There was a strong desire on the part of some of the leaders to be more broad minded and open in tolerating different doctrinal teachings in the church that came from several different denominations which came through new members who joined the ERCS over the years.8

A broad-minded spirit always spells the destruction of a faithful denomination, as history proves. Broad-mindedness necessarily implies a toleration of different doctrines, worldviews, and practices in the church. When a church is not narrowly on guard against the wolves that seek to enter the sheepfold, she becomes susceptible to many errors and temptations.

The only remedy for a broad-minded spirit is the narrow-mindedness of Scripture and the narrow-mindedness of the Reformed confessions. In an age which celebrates an open-mindedness to every conceivable false doctrine and immorality, being narrow-minded is not popular. It is scorned and rejected by many. Jesus Himself told us: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-4). Many indeed prefer the broad and comfortable way, but shun the narrow and difficult way of the cross, of the holy Scriptures, and of the Reformed faith.

But Jesus assures us that the narrow way is the way of life and of salvation. That narrow way is the way of walking faithfully in His Word, and rejecting all things contrary to it. That is the way that CERC embraces. We are a narrow- minded church. In the way of the narrow-mindedness of the Scriptures and the Reformed confessions, we remain a faithful Reformed church.

 

1 Acts of Synod and Yearbook, Protestant Reformed Churches in America, 1979, 71-2.

2 Acts of Synod and Yearbook, Protestant Reformed Churches in America, 1979, 71-2.

3 Acts of Synod and Yearbook, Protestant Reformed Churches in America, 1982, 82.

4 Acts of Synod and Yearbook, Protestant Reformed Churches in America, 1996, 97-8.

5 Acts of Synod and Yearbook, Protestant Reformed Churches in America, 1997, 91.

6 Acts of Synod and Yearbook, Protestant Reformed Churches in America, 1996, 151-2.

7 Acts of Synod and Yearbook, Protestant Reformed Churches in America, 2003, 93.

8 Arie den Hartog, Lessons from the Beloved Church of Jesus Christ Now Among Us, in the Salt Shakers (Aug. 2014, Issue 27), 22.

 

Written by: Aaron Lim | Issue 42

Lest We Forget

2017 – a special year for Reformed churches the world over.  Lest we forget, this year we commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. If anything stands out from the Reformation, it is the reformers’ fierce struggle for the truth. They counted God’s truth above all. They would readily lose their lives for the sake of the truth. In the words of Guido de Bres, chief author of the Belgic Confession, the persecuted believers would “offer their backs to stripes, their tongues to knives, their mouths to gags, and their whole bodies to fire, rather than deny the truth of God’s Word”1. We are humbled and grateful to be the children of the Reformation, and to call its glorious heritage our own.

2017 is particularly significant for CERC, because she will celebrate her 30th anniversary. Thirty years ago in 1987, she was organised and instituted as a church. CERC’s history mirrors the history of the Reformation, a history marked by painful and bitter struggle for the truth. When she was first organised, CERC was made up of first- generation Christians. They were new believers who had just come to know the Lord. Most of them had come from pagan backgrounds, formerly worshipping idols, ancestors, and were deeply entrenched in superstition. Many suffered persecution on account of their faith. But forsaking their unbelief by the sovereign grace of God, they remained steadfast in the faith, and were organised into an instituted church.

Graciously, the Lord has preserved CERC through numerous trials. Today, CERC is growing spiritually with a group of second-generation believers. Many of them were raised in the church and have married, cleaving to those who love and confess the same truths as they do. Besides, God has added many others who were not born in covenant homes to CERC. There is doctrinal strength, and true, spiritual unity that is based upon the truth.

There is good hope for the future in CERC. The third generation arises. Plenty of covenant seed are being added to the church. God is demonstrating His gracious promise to be a God unto His people and to their seed after them. He has not cut us off in our generations. Sovereignly He maintains His covenant of grace with us and our children. He sees to it that His truth is believed, confessed, developed, and maintained in our midst. He uses false doctrines in other churches, in Singapore and elsewhere, to sharpen our understanding of His truth. Always God uses apostasy to increase a love for the truth in His people. He uses the lie in order that His truth is defended, developed, and cherished by faithful believers.

Only ten years ago, lest we forget, CERC still belonged to a denomination of Reformed churches, the Evangelical Reformed Churches in Singapore (ERCS). Ten years ago, the ERCS denomination was dissolved, and the only two member churches – First Evangelical Reformed Church (FERC) and Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC) – went their separate ways. Several years after the split, CERC reunited and became sisters with the Protestant Reformed Churches in America (PRCA) and their sister church, the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church in Northern Ireland (CPRC). FERC recently became a sister to the Free Reformed Churches of Australia (FRCA), whose distinctive doctrine is that of a conditional covenant2.

These developments in Singapore are not only ecclesiastical in nature. They are doctrinal. Although the split ten years ago concerned the doctrine of marriage, differences then have led to differences today over the doctrine of God’s covenant, common grace, and the well-meant offer of the gospel. Ten short years was all it took to expose these differences. Through her ecclesiastical contacts, FERC has introduced the doctrines of common grace, the well- meant offer of the gospel, and the conditional covenant into the Reformed churches in Singapore.3 These are important doctrinal developments that deserve our analysis.

Through the controversy over divorce and   remarriage   that   raged   in   the ERCS, CERC was led by God to see the glorious and beautiful truth of marriage. Her members now confess the lifelong permanency of marriage, which Scripture incontrovertibly teaches in 1 Cor. 7:39 and Rom. 7:2-3. With humble boldness we reject, repudiate, and condemn the false doctrine of divorce and remarriage, which doctrine permits the “innocent party” of a lawful divorce to remarry. This doctrine not only violates the clear teaching of Scripture, but also makes marriage a conditional relationship, a relationship dependent on the faithfulness of a spouse. If a spouse remains faithful in the marriage, then the marriage bond remains intact. But if a spouse becomes unfaithful and commits adultery, then the “innocent party” may divorce and remarry. This weak view of marriage destroys what God has joined together, and disobeys what He has commanded not to be put asunder (Matt. 19:6). This conditional view of marriage ultimately denies the power and efficacy of God’s grace to maintain what He has established.

CERC will not permit divorce and remarriage. God will not allow it.

Unashamedly we confess that marriage is an unconditional relationship of love and friendship. Husband and wife love each other unconditionally in marriage. They cleave to each other for life because God has made them one flesh in marriage (Gen. 2:24). At no time is their marriage conditioned on the faithfulness of either spouse. Where there is sin against each other, even the grievous sin of adultery, there is forgiveness in the cross. In the comforting words of the Reformed Form for the Confirmation of Marriage which repudiates divorce and remarriage, married couples have the “certain assurance” of the grace of God in all their afflictions.4 They do not, and may not, take it upon themselves to break up their marriage. God’s grace gives them the “certain assurance” that He will uphold them in all their trials and afflictions. This is the comfort of the gospel of grace. Believing this comforting gospel, faithful believers are assured that God’s grace enables them to assist each other faithfully in “all things that belong to this life and a better”. Believing this faithful promise of God, married believers vow “never to forsake” the other, and to live holily in marriage as long as they both shall live.

Behind the marvellous truth of marriage’s lifelong permanency stands God’s everlasting covenant of grace. God’s covenant is His bond of marriage- friendship with His elect people in Jesus Christ. That covenant is described in Scripture in terms of a marriage (Jer. 3, Ezek. 16, Eph. 5:22-33). Jehovah is married to His beloved Bride, the Church. Faithfully, He maintains His marriage to her, even though His wife sins against Him so grievously, and ever so often. He remains married to her, for theirs is an unconditional relationship of love and friendship.

CERC believes, confesses, and preaches the unconditional character of God’s covenant. That God’s covenant is unconditional means that it is not dependent on man’s will for its origin, establishment, or maintenance. God is absolutely sovereign in establishing and   maintaining   His   covenant.   By His sovereign decree of election He chose a people for Himself, bringing them into His covenant in time and in history by the preaching of the gospel. He maintains His covenant with them sovereignly, and perfects it in the new heavens and earth, where His people will dwell with Him in perfect bliss. Never is God dependent on the will of sinful man for the establishment or maintenance of His covenant. The covenant is His.

Today, after ten short years, the evil root behind the false doctrine of divorce and remarriage is exposed. What the last ten years proved beyond any doubt is this: the doctrine of marriage is inseparable from the doctrine of God’s covenant. Touch the doctrine of marriage, and the doctrine of the covenant will necessarily be affected. So close, so intimate is the relationship between the earthly and the heavenly marriage, that to spoil or to exalt the one would impact the other. If marriage is conditional, so is God’s covenant. If marriage depends on the faithfulness of a spouse, so does the covenant depend on the faithfulness of man. Conversely, if marriage is unconditional, so is God’s covenant. If marriage does not depend on the faithfulness of a spouse, neither does God’s covenant depend on the faithfulness of His people.

Today, those who stood for the truth in the controversy are vindicated. History has vindicated them. History is making it clear that the split ten years ago was a divide between the truth and the lie. History is making it clear that God’s blessings abide with those who are faithful to His truth, and that those who reject His truth further apostatize from the faith through false doctrines and heresies.

Ten years have passed, and many of the younger generation in CERC do not know the bitter struggle for the truth only ten years ago. Lest we forget our history, it is imperative that the church continues to instruct the younger generation what happened ten years ago. Lest our children forget their parents’ and grandparents’ bitter struggle for the truth, we must teach our covenant seed to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to their forefathers. To those who find themselves in churches where false doctrines have made inroads, search the scriptures! Return to the old paths; remember your first love! The Lord will confess those who overcome, and clothe them in white garments (Rev. 3:5).

The church of Jesus Christ is always a militant church, so long as she is in the midst of this world. Like the reformers of old who counted all things but loss for the sake of the truth, it is our high calling to teach our children to battle for the truth in these last days. The words of Rev. Herman Hoeksema, who warned those who would shy away from controversy in the battle for the truth, is fitting: “Let those who are shy of controversy remember that in this world it is impossible to maintain the truth unless one is ready to defend it against the gainsayers”.5

 

1 The Confessions and the Church Order of the Protestant Reformed Churches. Grandville: Protestant Reformed Churches in America, 2005, 22.

2 Acts of the 2015 Synod of the Free Reformed Churches of Australia, Baldivis, 2015, 36-7. Taken from http://synod.frca.org.au/2015/acts/Acts_Of_FRCA_2015_Synod.pdf. See also The Covenant of God and the Children of Believers by David Engelsma. Jenison: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 2005.

3 See the speech “What is the Grace of God” by Maurice Roberts. (http://ferc.org.sg/OtherRecordings.aspx). For Wes Brendenhof ’s conditional covenant theology, see “I Will Be Your God” – An Easy Introduction to the Covenant of Grace” by Wes Brendenhof (Inter League Publication Board, 2015).

⁴ The Confessions and the Church Order of the Protestant Reformed Churches, 306-10.

⁵ Hoeksema, Herman. God’s Goodness Always Particular. 2nd Ed. Jenison: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 2015. EPub Edition.

 

Written by: Aaron Lim | Issue 41

Our Children’s Education (IX)

Covenant education for Covenant seed is faithfulness to Jehovah’s Covenant. Leaving our children to fend for themselves in the ungodly education of public schools is contrary to all the precepts of the Covenant. We rob our children of their Covenant privileges when we give them an ungodly education instead of a Covenant one.

It is sheer folly to expect godly, spiritually mature men and women to be raised under an ungodly education. As a corrupt tree cannot produce good fruit, so an ungodly education cannot produce godly children.

Jehovah’s calling for Covenant parents is not to raise up the political and business leaders of this world. It is to raise up “Davids”, “Daniels”, and “Pauls” for the church of Jesus Christ; it is to rear mothers in Israel.

Educating our children carefully in the ways of the Covenant will serve an important purpose. We will raise a generation that knows their Reformed faith intimately; by God’s grace, they will love it, confess it, maintain it, defend it, live by it, and even die for it. We will raise a generation who will be jealous for their precious Reformed heritage because they have a God who is jealous of His glory. We will raise a generation whose chief end in life is the glory of their God.

It is extremely crucial for parents in CERC to understand and be convinced of Covenant education. Most of our second generation members have undergone the public education process and know of its evil consequences. If the Reformed faith is to survive and be developed in all its splendour and beauty, the next generation must not be bystanders in their children’s Covenant education.

If CERC pursues the path of Covenant education for her young (using whatever means the Lord provides us), we will be very much alone. Most churches in Singapore have carelessly given their Covenant seed over to the public schools and are suffering its devastating consequences. We must not be afraid to be alone, for God’s people always constitute a very small remnant.

 

I have no doubt that Covenant education in Singapore is a difficult path that will involve much sacrifice. It is, nevertheless, the path that Scripture directs for us as Covenant parents. God assures us that He will bless us in the way of obedience.

God has provided the Protestant Reformed Churches (PRC) as an example for us. There is nothing cultural about the PRC’s insistence on providing a Covenant education for her children. It is Biblical. It is confessional. It is Reformed.

For reformation to take place in the church of Jesus Christ, we must give serious consideration to the education our Covenant children receive and make significant effort to be greatly involved in it. The Christian education of our children is not a matter of choice. It is our Covenant duty. It is our Covenant privilege.

It is a Covenant necessity.

Written by: Aaron Lim | Issue 39

Our Children’s Education: A Covenant Necessity (VII)

Our church fathers wisely understood that the church had an important role to play in the education our children receive. Article 21 of the Church Order of Dordrecht, binding upon CERC as our own Church Order, reads,

“The consistories shall see to it that there are good Christian schools in which the parents have their children instructed according to the demands of the covenant.”

In Article 41 of the same Church Order, the president of the classis is mandated to ask the delegates from each church whether “the poor and the Christian schools are cared for”.

Explaining the fourth commandment to keep the Lord’s Day holy, the writers of the Heidelberg Catechism instructed that the “schools be maintained” (LD 38, Q&A103).

Although CERC does not have a Christian school presently, there is much that the church can do. Office- bearers, to whom Christ entrusted the welfare of His flock, can and must point out the evils of public education to Covenant parents. They must demonstrate precisely from Scripture the sinful and spiritually devastating consequences public education has for Covenant seed, especially if parents are not careful. Scripture is not silent about the subject. Because they are His children, God has much to speak about the rearing of Covenant seed in His Word.

When the church establishes a clear and distinctive spiritual vision for Covenant education, God’s people will not perish. Covenant parents will be convicted of their high calling to rear Covenant seed. They will see the need for a solid Covenant education that has God’s Word as its central focus. Any knowledge gained apart from Scripture is meaningless. They will understand that Covenant children must be raised Covenantally.

While the establishment of a Reformed school may only be a long-term goal for now, the office-bearers can give much needed support to the parents for this cause. There must be support both for parents who home-school their children and for those who have children in public schools. The church can give much needed support, direction and instruction to them so that every family may pull together in the same direction of establishing a Christian school one day. The church is our spiritual mother that showers us with loving instruction and care. The church that truly loves the Reformed faith will do all in her power to give her children a Covenant education.

Written by: Aaron Lim | Issue 37

Knowing That We Are His

Introduction

Every human being is born dependent. The sense of belonging to someone and somewhere is most fundamental and important for the healthy growth and development of the human nature. Without this sense of belonging, one lacks the confidence to venture into the unknown.

In the Christian life, there are many new and unknown territories for a child of God to experience. Some of these spiritual experiences can be quite frightening with serious consequences. Fear is not the best place for a normal learning experience. We learn and grow best and con dently in this world when we know that we belong to its caring Owner and Provider.

Thus, the Psalmist commands God’s people to know how they are related to their God – “…we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”

Why We Are Jehovah’s

Things belong to each other as they are meaningfully related to each other, and together they function in harmony and unity. Think of the different pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. The curvy sides of each piece fit those of others perfectly, and together they present a beautiful picture. The pieces belong to each other. They belong to each other because they have the same creator who determines their respective shapes and images. Each piece is lost and meaningless when it is not placed where it rightly belongs, according to the design of the creator.

As Christians, we must know where and to whom we belong before we can live meaningfully and happily in this world. The Book of Genesis is the book of beginnings in the Bible, the Word of God. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and all things therein. And man was created after the image of God. So we Christians, as human beings, belong to God by virtue of Creation. He did all things according to His own good pleasure and out of His infinite wisdom. We are the way we are because of God’s determination. We belong to Him and find our meaningful place in Him. Any form of denial of the Almighty Creator is the forsaking of the proper place to which we rightly belong and from which, alone, we can begin all rightful thinking.

The Jehovah Who establishes His Covenant (friendship) with us is this God, our Creator. He made us, and not we ourselves. We must know that among our many friends in this world, there is one who is the Mighty Creator of all things. And we belong to this Mighty One Who knows us through and through because of His own determination of all things concerning us! What a wonder and privilege to have such a friend!

It is He Who has brought us into existence, both physical and spiritual, and not we ourselves. He creates and redeems us in Jesus Christ. We are doubly His!

The Implication Of Being His

Being possessed and owned by another means that we are not alone, but belong somewhere and to someone. Such a thought of being owned can either bring joy and comfort or it can bring misery and great apprehension. It all depends on who the owner is.

If we belong to the evil one, we are indeed in deep trouble, as he cares not for us but only seeks to use and dump us finally. Oh yes, the evil one will first deceive with his wicked lies

and then show his true colours when we are safely in his hands, doing his bidding. We then become wicked like him and condemned of God to eternal perdition. Here, we have no comfort.

But, on the other hand, to belong to Someone as good as God Almighty Who changes not, there is no greater comfort and joy. This is because He shows Himself able and willing to take care of His own according to His good promises to His own. He is the Sovereign One ruling over all and causing them all to fall out according to His eternal good council which serves our well-being.

That we belong to Him means that He has undertaken to be responsible for us. Whenever something or someone is in trouble, we not only consider the state and condition of that troubled object itself, but also look for any other who may be responsible for its being and well-being. So, when a child is in trouble, we look for his guardian – the one who has undertaken to care for him. An irresponsible guardian may disappear at such an hour, shirking his responsibility. But we may not have such an idea of God. He is never irresponsible like sinful men. When He has undertaken to do something, He will make it good with His whole being.

He has undertaken to make us His people and the sheep of His pasture. We belong to Him as His people to show forth His praise. We belong to Him as His sheep to enjoy His shepherding.

The Blessing Of Knowing That

The word ‘know’ used in Scriptures can refer to the different depths of perception of things. For example, Adam was said to ‘know’ Eve and she brought forth a son. The ‘know’ used here speaks of intimate, sexual, physical knowledge. But ‘know’ can also simply refer to being acquainted or familiar or aware.

God wants us to know that we are His in a deep way. In a super cial way, in the messages we have heard, we have come to know this truth that we belong to God. When the Psalmist commands that we should know that we belong to Jehovah, he calls us to an in-depth knowledge of that. We must know that in our experience and, in our soul, be able to rejoice in it. We can ever grow in greater depth of such knowledge. He becomes ever more precious to us as we become more aware that we belong to such a Mighty God.

To be a good and faithful member of a good church is a sure way to know this God and all His glory better. This is so because a true Church not only declares the true Word of God, but also ensures that Its discipline is upheld to the glory and honour of His Name. Such a Church is also very supportive of all who would walk in Jehovah’s way.

The more we know of His perfections and our miserable conditions, the more we desire to belong to Him. It is always our lingering doubt of being His that gives rise to problems in our Christian walk. The Lord knows who are His, but do we know whose we are? And do we know how great He is to whom we belong? For the perfect knowledge of such things we must wait for Heaven. And, since God commands us to know them in this lifetime, He Himself will teach us as we go along with Him.

The sure signs of true spiritual growth are:
1. The growth in deeper appreciation of God in His attributes and perfections.
2. The growth in knowledge of our own unworthiness and total dependence upon Him.
3. The growth in confidence that we belong to Him as His people and sheep under His guidance and care.

Conclusion

God created us, and redeemed us in Christ. We are His because He brought us into existence. He is responsible for our well-being because He chose to save us from sins and destruction. Having began a good work in us, He will perform it until the Day of Jesus Christ.

We must learn to trust Him in all things, and to obey Him, knowing that what He requires of us is only good for us. We can trust our Good Shepherd to help us overcome the many difficulties along the path of obedience.

God will uphold His own good name. He will not allow Himself to be known as a God Who has failed to save His people and His sheep. We must know and understand that, and walk in His way confidently. In that way, we can be happy Christians, come what may.

This is to walk by faith. Whatever is not of faith is sin and we are called to cleanse ourselves of such sins in the Blood of Christ. Amen.

“Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” Psa. 100:3

Written by: Pastor Lau Chin Kwee | Issue 5