Wednesday, July 1, 2009

"Holy Scriptures is Needed as Guide and Teacher for Anyone
who would come to God the Creator" (Calvin’s Institutes Book 1, chapter 6)
God bestows the actual knowledge of Himself upon us only in the Scriptures
Despite what the universe has revealed about God, we require another and better help to direct us to its Creator. And this help we have in God’s Word, which kept the Jews from sinking into oblivion. This same Word now gives Christians the knowledge of God, which disperses our dullness and clearly shows us the true God, just as a pair of spectacles help us to read distinctly.
There are two stages in the knowledge, which Scripture gives us. First, it is the knowledge of God as Creator: not only that we should worship some God, but that He is the God whom we should worship. And secondly, the knowledge of God as Redeemer (which will be dealt in Book 2). At present, we will deal with how Scriptures teaches us that God, the Creator of the Universe, can by sure marks be distinguished from the throng of false god.
The Word of God as Holy Scripture
There has been a most remarkable unbroken transmission of truth throughout all ages. God spoke to the patriarchs through oracles and visions and these oracles were subsequently recorded when they should handed down to posterity. Still later, prophets were added as interpreters of the law. True religion, which consists of both faith and true knowledge, has its origin from a reverent study of Scripture and obedient acceptance of what God has there been pleased to witness of Himself.
Without Scripture we fall into error
Men have powerful tendencies to wander away from God, which makes the written proof of the heavenly doctrine very necessary. It is only the Word of God that vividly describes God from His works and if we leave this Scriptural path, we will always wander in error and never reach our goal.
Scripture can communicate to us what revelation in works cannot
David in Psalms 19, 29 and 93 teaches us that, since God in vain calls all men to himself by the contemplation of heaven and earth, the law constitutes the unique school of God’s children. This
is also the purpose of Jesus’ teaching to the Samaritan woman.
Pastor Paul Goh

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A sermon on Matthew 5.5 by Pastor Paul Goh

(Preached at Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore on 7 June 2009 in the afternoon worship service)

Beloved saints,
The sermon on the mount is rightly called "The constitution of the kingdom of heaven". And the beatitudes which the first section of the sermon of the mount is not what a person must do in order to be a citizen of the kingdom of heaven, rather it is a description of a citizen of the kingdom of heaven. In truth, all citizens of the kingdom or Christians must have these beatitudes, otherwise, he is outside this kingdom. The beatitudes are not mere wishes that that his disciples will have in their life. But, rather they are pronouncements or declaration of blessings of the King of the Church. They are the Word of God itself that proceeds from His mouth of the Son of God.

Looking at this beatitude, in the first place, no earthly king would want to have his citizens to be meek ! He wants them to be assertive, pushy in order to get what they want. In the second place, this beatitude is a paradox. The world would say, the meek would definitely not inherit the earth!! But, nevertheless Christ promises his followers that they will inherit the earth. In the third place, the Jews must have reacted with shock and disbelief. What! be meek! No way. We want to be strong, assertive and fierce in order to fight the Romans and drive them out of our land. The Jews were looking for a political saviour while we look for a Saviour who will come to free us from our sins and teaches us meekness as the citizens of the kingdom of heaven.
Now, beloved, let us notice with me, the theme of the sermon: THE BLESSEDNESS OF THE MEEK. In the first place, we will look at THEIR IDENTITY and in the second place, we will look in THEIR BLESSEDNESS that Christ has promised them.

Meekness is a Christian virtue which is the fruit of grace produced by the Holy Spirit in the life of the elect. Meekness is also his attitude towards himself and his attitude as reflected towards others. In the first place, meekness is not a natural quality that is seen in man so that some people may seem to be not so pushy, more humble, gentle and willing to submit to others. In the second place, meekness is given to us according to the grace of God. It is through the love and grace of God at the cross of Christ that we receive salvation. This is something we are not deserving at all. In fact, the only thing we deserve is punishment and hell. And so, it is God the Holy Spirit who works meekness in our hearts. And He is the one who gives new life in Christ to us and the fruit of love, joy and peace, including meekness.

What are the characteristics of meekness? In the first place, meekness is characterised by a lowly and humble heart. Jesus says, "come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heawrt, and ye shall find rest unto your souls". And the apostle Paul beseeches the Ephesian Christians to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith they are called, with all lowliness and meekness. In the second place, meekness is expressed in gentleness. According to II Cor. 10, verse 1, "Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and mercies of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you". And the apostle writing to Titus, that he is to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness. In the third place, meekness is the opposite of wrath, anger and irritation. James writes to the believers that they are to be slow to wrath because the wrath of man works not the righteousness of God. Therefore, they are to lay aside all filthiness and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save their souls. Here meekness is the opposite of sinful wrath. In the fourth place, meekness is having a teachable spirit. Isaiah 61 prophesies that the spirit of God is upon Christ to preach the good news to the meek. And in Psalm 25, verse 9, that the meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. This means that to be meek is to teachable in the ways of God.

The reason why the Christian feels this way in his heart is because of his relationship to God. He is conscious that he is a sinner before God and he is unworthy in the sight of God and therefore, nothing in his sight. Meekness will also be seen in our attitude towards others. In the first place, we will have an attitude to submission and quietness towards God. God puts in our pathways many afflictions. Sometimes, we struggle in accepting the ways of God, we sometimes fight it, or procrastinate our actions or even rebel against it. And we find it so difficult to accept God’s will. Meekness is coming to accept God’s will in our lives. In the Scriptures, there are a few examples. One such example is Eli. He was an indulgent father and the Scriptures tells us that he did not restrain his wicked son when they committed grave sins against the worshippers. And so, through the mouth of boy Samuel, God declared that he would judge the household of Eli. And his response was "let the lord do as seemeth to him". That was meekness when he accepted God’s judgment for his family. A second example is Aaron. His 2 sons, Hophni and Phinehas have been killed by God for offering strange incense in the tabernacle. They did not worship God in the manner in which God was prescribed for the high priest and therefore, God consumed them with fire. God says that Aaron is not to mourn for his sons. Do you not think that sounded like an reasonable demand from God? But, Aaron in his great grief, submitted to God. That is meekness. In the second place, our attitude towards others make us approachable persons. Meekness is the opposite of pride, boastfulness, cruelty or being spiteful in our words. And we get along and work well with others because meekness is after all mildness of manner, gentleness and kindness. Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 11.28, the Lord says, "Come unto me, and all ye that labour and are heaven laden". But why? Because I am meek and lowly in heart. That is, you will find your comfort in me and I will meet your needs. We learn meekness when we come to Christ, who is the meek and lowly one. In the third place, our attitude towards others is seen in bearing is seen in bearing patiently the insults and injuries from the hands of others. These come to us when we live as godly Christians in this world. The wicked or non-believers dislike us, ostracize us from their conversation and company and do not include us in their activities. And as a result, we lose our jobs and lose our livelihood and our children will and may even get thrown into jail. It is natural for us to retaliate or hit back at those who hurl insults at us by their sharp and unkind words. We might even be tempted to say underneath our breath, "you watch out. I will get you some day" or you might scheme how to get your pound of flesh. It is just so human to do so. Now, we do not retaliate or fight back or threaten our persecutors but be silent. But, how can I be silent? You know what he did to me? The secret is to pray to the Lord, commit this matter unto the Lord and leave it there! And use the words of God, "vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord". Vengeance is not yours to give, it is God’s. Just be faithful to the Lord and God will give you the judgment that is due. Did not Peter tells us that when Jesus was reviled, he reviled not again. When he suffered, he threatened not: but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously. Did not Isaiah prophesy that the Suffering Servant of Jehovah, our Lord Jesus Christ was like a Lamb dumb going to the slaughter? Did not Pontius Pilate marvelled at the silence of Christ when he was accused of many things of the Jews. We must not fail to mention the supreme example of meekness in the live of Moses. It was by meekness that Moses did not react with bitterness or anger when his own brother and sister attacked him. But, towards the end of his life, the meekest man failed to be meek when he struck the rock for water instead of speaking to the rock, according to the command of God. For that, Moses could only view Canaan and he died in the mount and could not enter in. It is difficult to be meek but the Lord has reserved a wonderful promise for us - we shall inherit the earth.


It does not mean that we will become great property magnates and own vast land holdings. Neither is Christ teaching the prosperity gospel that all of God’s people will be rich since we will inherit the earth. What a great comfort for the believer who has lost all things. He will inherit the earth. The apostle Paul says towards the end of I Cor. 3, that all things are yours, and ye are Christ’s and Christ is God’s. The Lord will reward us according to the sufferings and persecutions we endure for his sake. It’s a reward of grace and what an encouragement and incentive to be meek. An so meekness gives us the enjoyment of our earthly position. We are contented, happy with what God has provided us in this life: no complaints, no dissatisfaction, nor always whining what we do not have but forgetting what they already have. Meekness brings contentment and learns how to be content, whether to have much or little. Listen to the wonderful testimony of the apostle Paul in Philippians 4, verses 11 to 13, "not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me". We will not only inherit the earth but also the new earth.

To the Jews, the earth refers to the land of Canaan. This is the land that God promised Abraham when God called him out of the Ur of the Chaldees. This land does not belong only to Abraham but to Abraham and his seed. Abraham did not view the land of Canaan as the final filfillment of God’s promise. Heb. 11.10, tells us that Abraham looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God - he is looking for a heavenly city, new Jerusalem. So, the land of Canaan is only a type of heaven. Jesus promises a new earth. This refers to the future earth or what Scripture calls it the new heaven and the new earth. This is the final abode of the saints, where at the judgment seat of Christ, he will declare to us justified and welcomed unto heaven, on account of Christ’s death on the cross for our sins. But the wicked will also be judged to be guilty and wicked before God and they will be cast into hell, where there will be the everlasting fire. When will this take place? This will take place with the coming of Jesus Christ in the clouds of glory. This present world will be destroyed by fire and the elements will melt as fervent heat as the folding up of a garment. And the holy city, new Jerusalem will come down from heaven and come to earth, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Heaven will make its abode on the new earth. This is why Christ speaks of earth and not of heaven. And the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them and they shall be his people, and God shall be with them, and be their God. There will be no more tears, sorrows or death in the new creation. No more pain for God will wipe away each and every tear from our eyes. And we will be with the presence of God. And we will become heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ. And we will dwell with God in Jesus Christ and have perfect fellowship with God. Beloved, do you hear the voice of Christ who say to us, "Blessed to the meek, for you shall inherit the earth". Amen

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Christmas Special from RFPA

Reformation Day Conferences

Edifying Links

Pray for INDIA

Kindly pray for the situation in India.

1. The southern part of India is very badly struck by cyclone and several cities in our State are under water and suffer power failure continuously. The cultivation in thousands of acres of land is lost due to rain.

2. Mumbai, the financial city is under attack. There are severe bombings in ten places within the city. Three major hotels in Mumbai are under siege. Hundreds of the tourists and local people those who were staying in these expensive hotels are held hostages. Both the Americans and the British have a tough time with those Muslim terrorists, under the title Deccan Mujahideen. The fight is on the go since yesterday evening.

3. Pray for my elder Sister Pown Selvi, of whose husband Rev.John is a Pastor -working with Church of South India -the Major Christian Denomination in India. She met with an accident, as she was travelling by a public transport. The break failure in the bus caused the bus to run uncontrolled. By God's grace, it didn't run off the road and fall into the 500 meter pit; rather it had a hit by the other side and turned upside down. In this one passenger was dead at the sport and many other were severely wounded. My sister was standing while travelling hence she suffered less amount of injury internally. She is under medical treatment. Kindly pray for her...

4. Ramya, one of the children in our Grace Foster Home orphanage is under medical treatment, especially preoperative procedure. She is need of a surgery at both of her legs in order to correct her cleft foot. Please pray for the necessary funds for the surgery.

5. Please pray also for the upcoming trip of the delegation from Georgetown PRC, to India. We are excited about it. Please pray for the necessary travel mercy and protection from everything during their visit here in India.

We are thankful to the Lord for this privilege to request you that you may pray for us. If time permits, please write us. Thank you...

with prayer
Missionary for the cause and spread of Reformed Faith in India

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Preacher on the Fence

A Preacher on the Fence

From out of the millions of the earth
God often calls a man
To preach the word, and for the truth
To take a royal stand.
“Tis sad to see him shun the cross,
Nor stand in its defense
Between the fields of right and wrong:
A preacher on the fence.

Before him are the souls of men
Bound for Heaven or Hell;
An open Bible in his hand,
And yet he will not tell
All the truth that’s written there, It haveth an offence -
The joys of Heaven, the horrors of Hell
-A preacher on the fence.

Now surely God has called the man
To battle for the right.
“Tis his to ferret out the wrong
And turn on us the light.
And yet he dare not tell the truth,
He fears the consequence,
The most disgusting thing on earth
Is a preacher on the fence.
If he should stand up for the wrong,
The right he’d not defend;
If he should stand up for the right,
The wrong he would offend.
His mouth is closed, he cannot speak
For freedom or against.
Great God deliver us from
A preacher on the fence.

But soon both sides will find him out
And brand him as a fraud,
A coward who dares not to please
The devil or his God.
Oh God, free us from fear of man,
From cowardly pretence;
Cleanse out the dross and fear of loss,
And keep us off the fence.

–Author Unknown