Volume. XVIII, No. 27
Sunday, 04 January 2004

From the pastors heart: A new year and new resolutions

This is the first Sunday of 2004. Every beginning is beautiful. The sunrise is always fresh and impresses on our hearts. It is a blessing to have an opportunity to have new beginnings. This first Sunday is the best time of this year to renew ourselves and to make new resolutions. I have been thinking about the theme of this year. There were lots of different ideas and thoughts in my mind.

However, amongst all of them, a familiar verse from Luke 19 had not left from my mind. Verse 10 says, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” This verse explains the purpose of Jesus coming to the world.

If we read this verse in the light of Ephesians 1:3-14, the verse will become suddenly lively:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

The Ephesian passage tells us that God’s plan of salvation has a very long history because it was from before the foundation of the world. In God’s redemptive history, the coming of Christ Jesus is the key. Without His coming, there was no redemption made for mankind. God’s redemption was planned through the blood of Jesus. Therefore, when Jesus said that He came to the world to find sinners and save them, He implied that “evangelism has its roots in eternity” (R. B. Kuiper, God Centred Evangelism, Banner of Truth, 1961, 13). The redemption is plainly explained in Ephesians 1:7, which is the forgiveness of sin. In God’s redemption, the three persons of the God head are all involved. The Father sent His Son to the world as John 3:16 says, and it was a token of the Father’s love for mankind. The Scripture often tells us that it was the Father who sent the Son to us. The Son voluntarily came to the world and gave His life for His redemptive work. In particular, Jesus said in John 17:4, “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” Jesus came to finish the work that the Father had given to Him. The Holy Spirit was involved in redemption through the virgin birth of Jesus Christ and His resurrection. In a word, what I am trying to say is that the plan of salvation is sacred and glorious. Besides, it is extremely important for God; then the issue of salvation should be the foremost important issue for us, His followers. The fact that Jesus came to seek and to save the lost shows that His primary interest was evangelism. I often think of the Lord’s prayer. Especially, Matthew 6;10 says, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” We may interpret this verse many different ways, and find many applications. However, this morning I am thinking about this verse tied to 2 Peter 3:9. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” He wills that not any should perish but all come to repentance. If we consider it as God’s will in heaven, then we ought to live a life of evangelists.

There have been controversies among Bible scholars about the foremost important commandment of God. Jesus said that to love God first is the most important commandment. Then, we ought to love our neighbors as ourselves, which is the next commandment. Therefore, some scholars have said that the Great Commission must not be first. We need to love one another. We ought to practice a love life for our neighbors. It is very correct that the Great Commandment implies our duty to love others. However, we must not forget that the purpose of Christ’s coming was for evangelism, which is part of the Great Commission. In His high priestly prayers in John 17:18, He said, “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I sent them into the world.” As the Father sent the Son to seek and to save lost sinners, even so the Son sent His disciples into the world with the same purpose. The Great Commission is not fighting against the Great Commandment for its priority. Instead, the Great Commission is the fulfillment of the Great Commandment. I have heard about so many godly men and women who loved the Lord so dearly. They were all soul winners. They prayed for lost sinners and gave themselves to evangelize the world. I think of all the apostles of Jesus. How much suffering and hardships they had! The reason for being detained in prisons and beaten by mobs was because they proclaimed the message of Christ for their salvation. Think of Peter, Stephen, or Paul. All of them had a great love for God and for souls.

We often pray for the filling of the Holy Spirit. We tend to be interested in apostolic gifts when we mention the Pentecost two thousand years ago. However, when the Spirit of God touched and moved the hearts and lips of the disciples of Jesus, there was a great evangelistic campaign. Three thousand people in one day were converted to the Christian faith. They were not potential converts. They were worshippers in Judaism which caused the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross. But, they were changed and came to Jesus for salvation. The disciples themselves were weak minded people and they were all scared to be with the Lord Jesus on the night when He was betrayed. But, later all of them were emboldened to stand before soldiers and officials with the message of Jesus Christ. It is something that I’d like to see from you and myself. If we truly believe what we think we believe, then we ought to go out and tell people about the Lord Jesus and his salvation. When one lost comes to the saving knowledge of Jesus, there is exceeding joy in heaven. Even the angels in the presence of God rejoice when they see it happen (Luke 15:10). This year, our theme is Souls for Christ. We will put all our efforts to pray for the lost and to invite them to church so that they may listen to the word of God for their salvation. Daniel 12:3 says, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” Let us pray and go forth boldly as soldiers for Christ. Let us bring souls to Christ for salvation. May the Lord bless us to bring some souls to Christ!

Your pastor

More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question No. 29: Shorter Catechism Question No. 29: How are we made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ? We are made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ, by the effectual application of it to us by his Holy Spirit.

Please continue to pray for Sis. Myung Ki, Rev. George van Burren, Sis. Aranka Rejtoe who will be undergoing surgery at the RAH, Sis. Susan Varadi and Rev. Peter Clements. “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

Thank God for granting journey mercies to Pastor Ki and family, Bro. Dillon Chang and Sis. Jasmin Chua on their safe arrival in Cambodia, Bro. Gabriel and Grace Lee (Perth), the Bethel B-P young people (Melbourne), and Rev. Edward and Sis. Lehia Paauwe (Adelaide). Praise and thank God for protecting those who went on the Kangaroo Island trip. Please pray for journey mercies for Sis. Ayli Chong who is travelling to Sydney this morning.

Please continue to pray for the Mission Team in Cambodia.

A warm welcome to Rev. Edward and Sis. Lehia Paauwe. May God bless their stay here in Adelaide. Rev. Edward & Sis. Lehia Paauwe will minister to Hope Church between 3 Jan-25 Jan. Those who will be able to have them for meals please fill in your names on the sheet of paper kept on the table in the foyer.

A Sunday School Training Course conducted by Sis. Lehia Paauwe will commence this week and will run for three consecutive Sundays. All are welcome to attend.

Rev. & Mrs. Moses Hahn thank all Hopefuls for financial contributions to their children’s education.

Roster for next quarter is placed on the literature table. Please collect your copy.

Flower roster: Those willing to provide flowers for Worship Services in the sanctuary in 2004, please fill in the roster found on the literature table.

Membership/Baptism Service will be held in February. Those wishing to be baptised or become members, please write and send your testimonies to Pastor Ki.



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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041