Jurong Outreach

"whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ."

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Christ Our Hope

The world places hope in the wrong things. Jesus is our hope to overcome our sins. He is also our hope to overcome worry and anxiety. He is the central figure of the Bible. It is amazing that preachers spend so little time preaching about Jesus Christ. Some hardly mention Him. Week after week, they attempt to correct the problems of the church, and often it is the case that Christ is not mentioned. As one good man said, “The members take their beating and go home.” But, please consider that Christ is our only hope.


The angel said: “You shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Nobody can save himself. After we have done all things commanded, we are still unprofitable servants (Luke 17:10). Paul wrote, “Salvation is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (2 Timothy 2:10). Jesus said, “The Son of man came to seek and save that which is lost” (Luke 19:10). “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

What is Christ to you? An old preacher once said: “This audience is too generous. Those on the front pews pass the message back to those on the next pew, and so on to the back row, and they pass it out the door.” But someone says: “Christ is all the world to me,” or “He is my Saviour,” or “He is my everything.” Others feel that “Christ means nothing to me; I have no part or lot with Him; or I am not interested.”

Christ must first be our Saviour. The gift of God is eternal life through Christ (Romans 6:23b). This was never said before of any prophet, priest, or king. He is our Saviour because He is willing to save and desires that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9). He came to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15) and invites all men to come unto Him (Matthew 11:28-30).

Christ can save to the uttermost those who come to God by Him (Hebrews 7:25). He is not our Saviour simply because He can save, but the sinner must come to Him in order to be saved. He stands at the door and knocks, but everyone must open to Him (Revelation 3:20). There is salvation in no other name than that of Christ, but all must accept Him (Acts 4:12). Each one is responsible for his own salvation (Acts 2:40).


Without Him we can do nothing. He knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation and provides the way of escape (2 Peter 2:9; 1 Corinthians 10:13). Everyone desiring salvation should feel as the apostle Paul. Temptations to him were strong, but he said: “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God – through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 7:18-25)! Have we felt the same? Can we answer as did Paul? Christ died to deliver here and hereafter (Galatians 1:4).

Nobody can deliver himself alone. God took thousands of years to teach the Jews and the world that they could not save themselves. When David defeated Goliath, he did not depend upon himself, but upon the living God (1 Samuel 17:32). We can overcome the giants of temptation with the Lord’s help (Philippians 4:13). Thus, Jesus is our Saviour from the bondage of sin.


This should give great comfort to those who believe in Him. Jesus told His sorrowing disciples: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3). Some day He will come in the clouds of Heaven and gather His faithful home with Him to be in Heaven forevermore (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Peter 1:4). Paul said that “if our earthly tabernacle is dissolved, we have a building from God, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1).

Christ is the Way, and any who go to the Father must go through Him (John 14:6). In order to know how to be a real Christian, look at Him. Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” This means to have the same spirit or disposition of heart that characterized the Christ, Who never sought to please Himself, but always sought to do the will of the Father (Romans 15:3; John 4:34; John 6:38).

Some object, saying: “But one preacher differs from another in what the way is, so how can I know the way?” The Bible does not say to follow the preacher, unless he follows Christ as Paul did (1 Corinthians 11:1). Christ went through the world and made the way and sent the apostles to reveal all things and record them (John 16:13-15; 1 Corinthians 2:9-13; 2 Timothy 2:2). One is a Christian only to the extent he follows the instructions of the Christ recorded in the New Testament. Besides the accounts of the life of Christ, there are fourteen books that teach us how to follow Him. Someone correctly said: “Christianity is the life of Jesus Christ, so that our thoughts, feelings, purposes, words, and deeds are like His.” Christ is the light of life, and those that follow Him shall not walk in darkness (John 8:12).

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Blessings In Christ

What does the word “blessing” mean to you? It really carries the idea of reward or happiness. To be blessed is to be happy or rewarded. Certainly all of us in this life desire to be blessed, but where do we seek those blessings? Do we seek them in the things of this world, or from sources other than the ultimate source of all blessing — Jesus Christ?

The apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the Heavenly places in Christ.” This expression of praise and thanksgiving from Paul contains not only the reason for the praise, but also the statement of a very comprehensive fact: God’s grace was not bestowed in vain in Paul’s case–His heart was responsive in gratitude to the grace of God, and his life bore bountiful and obedient testimony to its unfailing quantity and quality. No one appreciated the grace of God more than did the apostle Paul. No one can walk with God without a similar feeling and a similar obedience. If David of old, living in the moonlight age under a less glorious covenant, the Mosaical covenant, could say, “O, that men would give thanks to the Lord for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” how much more should the thanksgiving of Christians, who are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, swell up in the heart and find expression with the mouth in song, in prayer, in conversation, and in everyday life.

Paul makes no mistake in naming the source of these blessings: “Blessed be God…” — God is the source. And the apostle Paul was conscious of the ever-watchful care of the Heavenly Father and of his absolute dependence upon him. In his sermon on Mars Hill in the city of Athens, Greece, he said, “In Him [God] we live, and move, and have our being.” In the same sermon, he said, “He gives to all life, and breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25). Pity the man who, like the pig devouring acorns, never looks up to see from where his blessings come and who never expresses any gratitude.

What about the quantity of blessings that are received? Ephesians 1:3 declares the quantity of those blessings, when Paul says, “Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing…” Every blessing in the heavenly sphere, or the heavenly realm – that is, in the church, the spiritual realm. There is absolutely no spiritual blessing left outside of Jesus Christ. It also tells us that no spiritual blessings may be received outside of Christ. They are all in Christ – none is left out!

What about the quality of these blessings? They are spiritual blessings sent to nourish the inner man and to develop the new creature. They are blessings for the spirit, for the soul. Blessings for the spiritual man may be enjoyed by the sinner as well as the saint. He sends the rain on the just and the unjust, Matthew 5:45 declares, but only to those who are in Jesus Christ are the blessings of the Heavenly places given.

Where does this verse, Ephesians 1:3, tell us these blessings are received? “In Christ”, meaning, in Christ’s body, the church. His body is the church, as Paul declares it, in Ephesians 1:22,23: “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” The same inspired writer said to the church at Corinth, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…” (1 Corinthians 12:13).

To the church at Rome, he wrote, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3, 4).

Now, listen carefully and see when and where this new life begins: “…as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27). This not only tells how we get into Christ, but also when faith saves us, or when we become children of God by faith. The faith that saves is the faith that truly obeys. In Hebrews 5:9, the writer there declared of Jesus: “He became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him.” Where are these spiritual blessings received? In Christ – meaning in his body, his spiritual body, the church. The Scriptures clearly declare it.

There are so many blessings given to those who are in Christ! All could not be named, they are so bountiful. But among them, one is that our prayers are answered. What a great blessing that is! Of course, the conditions of acceptable prayer must be met. They are praying in His name, according to His will, in faith, and with unselfishness. But, when we meet these conditions, we have the assurance our prayers are answered. That is one of the great blessings in Christ.

Another is newness of life. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul said that “…in Christ…old things are passed away…all things are become new.” We are new creatures, new creatures in Christ Jesus.

Of course, the great blessing of forgiveness of sins is in Christ. In Ephesians 1:7, Paul said, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” This is superior to the old law, the old covenant under which there was remembrance of sins every year. But in Christ there is absolute forgiveness.

Also, we have fellowship one with another in Christ; “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). Fellowship with one another and fellowship with Christ are ours if we walk in the light.

Finally, we have the greatest hope ever offered to mankind–the hope of eternal life, given only to us in Christ. And only those who are in Christ have the hope of eternal life. All others cannot share that hope. In Titus 1:2, Paul wrote, “In hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.” He promised to those who would follow him, becoming obedient to him through Jesus Christ, the hope of eternal life, where there will be freedom from pain and sorrow, no more tears, and no more death.

Oh, it is a blessed thing to be in Christ and to continue in Jesus Christ! “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ!”

Do you enjoy those blessings now? You may enjoy them through simple and sweet obedience to the will of Jesus Christ.

Believe that he is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Repent of your sins and confess Jesus as Christ and Lord. Be buried with him in baptism, as we have described in this lesson, in order to have that newness of life, to walk with him in the light as he is in the light, added to his body the church upon your obedience.

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Parable of the Sower

The Lord Jesus Christ commonly referred to the natural world for illustrations in His teachings. One such teaching has come down to us as ‘The Parable of the Sower’ (Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:3-20; Luke 8:5-15). It is one of the best loved parables of our Lord. His original audience could easily relate to the mental picture as theirs was very much an agricultural society. The farmer working in the fields under a hot sun, the scattering of seeds, the birds that eyed the seeds for food – this was a common sight in first century Palestine. The Word of God is eternal. There are some pertinent points we could glean for our learning from this parable that are still very much applicable for those of us who live in a rural setting in the twenty-first century.

Working on a farm is hard work. Not many of us can appreciate the sheer amount of physical labour until we have put our hands to the plough. The farmer has to rise early, and he usually works till the sun begins to set. Always anticipating a good harvest, the farmer carries out his back-breaking work without complaint. Even today when machinery helps tremendously to ease the burden, the work remains physically demanding.

In this parable, the Lord explained that the seed is the Word of God (Luke 8:11). Sowing the seed of the Word of God requires hard work and diligence. The evangelist was commanded to “preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine…but watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry (2 Timothy 4:2, 5).”

All Christians are bound by the Great Commission to “go…and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16).”

Diligence alone, however, is not the whole picture. The farmer has to sow the right kind of seeds. He would be a laughing stock to his neighbours and friends if at harvest time he discovered that what he had sown was not what he meant to harvest. In the spiritual realm, this has a more serious consequence. We are to sow the ‘Word of God’; that precludes all forms of men’s doctrines, so-called ‘church traditions’ or creeds, philosophies and novel ideas. Both the natural world and the Scriptures affirm this basic principle: “…for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Galatians 6:7).” The title of a book by Thomas Warren says – “The Bible only makes Christians only and the only Christians” – not the creeds or traditions or whatnot from the fanciful imagination of men. The life-giving power is not in the one who sows the seed, but in the seed itself. It is the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ that saves (cf. Romans 1:16).

The condition of the soil that receives the seed is important too. The seed may be the right kind and of the finest quality, but if the soil is in poor condition, the harvest will be affected. This parable teaches us that there are at least three ways of hearing the Word of God in vain.

Birds swooping down and snatching up the seeds that fell by the wayside – that describes those who hear without understanding. God has given each of us the mental faculty to reason and comprehend, and He expects us to use it. To hear without seeking to understand is not to hear at all. The Lord’s warning to “Take heed therefore how ye hear… (Luke 8:18)” and “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear (Matthew 13:9)” plainly place the responsibility on us to seek to understand.

God told His prophet Ezekiel, “And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not (Ezekiel 33:31-32).” This is an apt description of the stony ground. Many hear the gospel or a sermon and agree with it, perhaps even draw much comfort and encouragement by it. But the stony condition of the heart prevents the Word from taking firm root. When troubles come – and they shall surely come – such a person shows his true condition and withers. Warm, fuzzy feeling during worship or religious activity is never a proof of true faith.

The Lord taught in the Sermon on the Mount: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24).” The thorny ground depicts those whose hearts are drawn by this world, and they teeter on the brink. They want to commit and surrender all to the Lord Jesus, yet they constantly look over their shoulders at what the world offers them in terms of material gain. Such will become unfruitful. The irony is that they get nothing either from the Lord or the world. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul (Mark 8:36-37)?”

“But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty (Matthew 13:23).”

Those whose hearts are good ground hear and understand the Word. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).” Hearing and understanding are followed by doing. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves (James 1:22).” Obedience is indispensable and paramount. Obedience is not following where one’s emotions lead, or the call of some charismatic leader. The Scriptures leave no doubt that true obedience is subjection to the Word of God.

Only those whose hearts are good ground will bring forth a bountiful harvest unto the Lord. Many attend a place of worship every Sunday. That is well. But important questions we need to ask ourselves are these: how is our hearing? How is our understanding? Do we do the Word of God?

The conditions of our hearts determine how we shall answer.

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Acts 2: The Hub of the Bible

The hub, or center of a wheel is very important. Without it there could be no wheel. All the spokes of the wheel come together at the center. It has been said that Christ is like the hub of the wheel. In Christ all come together to form a perfect circle of unity by which the church moves forward in its work of saving souls, helping the needy, and edifying one another in love. Without Christ this cannot happen. In a similar analogy, the second chapter of the book of Acts has been called “the hub of the Bible.” In our lesson today we are going to see why this is true.

In Acts 2 we have the culmination of God’s plan for saving mankind. In this great chapter the beginning of the church of Christ is recorded. The church was in the mind of God long before the Old Law, the Law of Moses, was ever established. It was God’s eternal purpose to save man through the church which Jesus Christ would establish after his death, burial and resurrection. The time of this beginning of the church is right here in Acts 2, on the first Pentecost day following the resurrection of Jesus.

In Acts 1 we read of the ascension of Jesus back to the Father in Heaven. In that same chapter, prior to His ascension, Jesus promised the apostles the power of the Holy Spirit, and He taught clearly that the church, or kingdom, would come when that power came upon the apostles. Here, in Acts 2, we see the fulfillment of that promise, and the fulfillment of God’s plan for saving the world from sin. That plan would be through Christ and His church.

Let us read Acts 2:1-4. “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” The Holy Spirit enabled the apostles to speak languages they had never learned in order to communicate to the Jews gathered there from “every nation under heaven,” as the text says. They needed to tell these Jews the good news that Jesus, Whom they crucified, was actually the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the living God. The purpose of the preaching was to convince them of this fact, to cause them to repent, or turn, from their sins and to come into the church which was being established on that very day.

As they began to speak, the multitude was amazed that these apostles could speak in their different languages. This was a miracle designed to convince the audience that what was spoken by these servants of God was truly from God. All of the multitude did not believe what they heard, but about 3,000 did believe and were added to the church, as we shall soon see.

Of all the preaching done on that day of Pentecost, only part of Peter’s sermon is recorded by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. However, it is designed to produce the same reaction in men who read it today as in those who heard it on the day it was preached. It was a powerful use of the prophecies of the Old Testament, which the Jews claimed to believe. By these prophecies, Peter was able to demonstrate to the honest hearers that day that Jesus is the Christ, and that they had been a party to His crucifixion. The climax of this great sermon is seen in verse 36, where Peter says, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” What was the reaction? Verse 37 tells us: “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?‘”

They were obviously asking what they must do to be saved from their sins, to rid themselves of the awful guilt of crucifying one whom they now knew to be the Son of God. When we see the answer Peter gave to these penitent, sincere believers, we will know what any man must do to be saved from his sins. What did Peter tell them? Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Notice he said “repent and let every one of you be baptized … for the remission of sins.” They already believed in Jesus, so it was not necessary to tell them to believe. Peter simply took them from where they were and told them what to do to get to where they needed to be. He told them what to do to be saved. From other passages in the New Testament we also see where men confessed their faith in Christ as the Son of God. Therefore, we know that confession was also involved here, even though it is not specifically stated. We must take all of God’s word on any subject, not part of it.

Therefore, we know that a person who desires to be saved from sin must believe the gospel, repent of his sins, confess Christ as Lord, and be baptized for the remission, or forgiveness of his sins. We also know from the Scriptures that baptism is a burial in water, and that no other method may be substituted. Our burial in water is the likeness of Christ’s burial, and only in the burial in water is the blood of Jesus applied from heaven to take away our sins.

Now, how does the church fit into this plan? The answer is seen from this great chapter in Acts – the hub of the Bible. Notice verses 40 – 47. “And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation.’ Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”

Those who were being saved from their sins by obeying the apostles’ teaching were being added to the church by the Lord Himself. Thus, we see that when we believe, repent, confess and are baptized into Christ, we are baptized into His spiritual body, the church. He adds us to the church. Can one be a Christian without being in the church which Jesus built? No. When one becomes a Christian he is automatically added to the church, as he is saved from past sins.

It is not a matter of joining the church of one’s own choosing; it is a matter of being joined to the one church by the Lord when one obeys His commands. How then can denominationalism be approved by God when they teach man-made creeds, doctrines and traditions? We must get back to the hub of the Bible, Acts 2, to see the church of Christ’s choice, to which believers were added when they obeyed the good news of salvation.

How important is the church of Christ, about which we read in Acts 2? It is so important that everything before Acts 2 in the Bible points toward its beginning, and everything after Acts 2 looks back to its beginning. It truly is a necessary institution; we must be members of it in order to be saved, and the only way to become members of it is by doing what these 3,000 or so did on Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2. Have you done that? You have now heard the gospel. Will you believe as they did? Will you repent of your sins, confess Christ as Lord and Saviour and be buried in baptism for the forgiveness of sins, so the Lord may add you to His church?

We may identify the church of Christ today by looking at the church in the New Testament. Denominationalism does not fit that description. Come away from that man-made religion and come to Christ and His church through simple obedience to His gospel. Seek out a true congregation of people wearing the name church of Christ and practicing the pure religion of the New Testament. Some may wear the name, but we must be certain they are following the pattern for the church as given in the New Testament. We can send you more information on the church. We will be happy to assist you in your further study of these important truths about the church which began on Pentecost long ago, as recorded in Acts 2.