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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Blessed Are Those Who Are Not Rude

One of the definitions that Webster applies to the word “rude” is “discourteous & impolite.”  The English word “rude” is found only once in the Bible (2 Corinthians 11:6) “But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.” but  does not carry the definition noted above.

However, the Bible does note that we are to have the character of one who is not rude in the sense as defined above.  Oh how people today need to understand and practice not being rude.  It seems that people seem to make a fine art of being rude.  Even when extending a helpful hand one may be met with a rude reply.  When there is disagreement many see that as an automatic licence to be rude.

The sad fact is that rudeness has even found its way in among the church.  God’s people should desire and seek after happiness, kindness, joy, goodness, etc,…..; yet these cannot truly be gained by means of rudeness.  Often people find a certain contentment and satisfaction in their being rude.  However, such is an evil contentment and wicked satisfaction with selfishness being at the core of these actions.

Truly those who seek to follow the Lord will seek after goodness and hospitality that will reflect Godliness.  God calls for Christians to extend this kindness, hospitality and goodness to one another as seen in the verses that follow:
Romans 12:10 – “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Ephesians 4:32 – “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
John 13:35 – “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
John 15:12 – “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
1 Pet 1:22 – “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

We do not use the harshest and most spiteful word on the ones whom we love. We always teach our children to be respectful to the elders and teachers.  Have we forgotten the teachings of our Lord when we deal with our brethren? Are children the only ones who need a lesson on manners?  It is very surprising that Timothy, a younger preacher, needed a reminder. (1 Timothy 5:1-3) “Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity. Honour widows that are widows indeed.

Having spiritual authority does not remove the need to respect those who are older.  Like Timothy, all of us should treat people older as our own parents.  This is not just manners but sincere reverence.  Those who are younger should be treated as our own siblings. For men, most importantly, when interacting with church members of opposite sex, we treat them either as mothers or sisters, with purity.

Perhaps we do not speak harshly to older people.  But, have we treated them with dignity and honor as the Bible required?

How are my church manners?  Especially when someone has disagreed with me or hurt me?  Do I treat people in the family of God the same way I treat my parents and siblings?

(1 Peter 3:8) “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous

Often, “how” we say is always louder than “what” is being said.  Let us heed the Lord’s command that is to be humble in our ways and in our speech when dealing with one another.

 

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Do justice, love kindness, walk humbly with God –
With these three things as your rule and your rod
All things worth having are yours to achieve
If you follow God’s words and have faith to believe!

~ Helen Steiner Rice

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The Gospel is Unique

There is no other message that can compare to the Lord’s gospel—it is unique, being in a class of its own.  What’s so special about the gospel?  What makes it unique?

The gospel of the Christ is unique because THERE IS ONLY ONE.  It is not one among many gospels, but is “the” gospel (Romans 1:15-16) By the Spirit Paul wrote, (Galatians 1:6-8) “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Any message other than the gospel of the Christ which men may try to pass off as a “good” religious message is a falsehood—a mere counterfeit, an imitation that lacks the power of the gospel of God.

The gospel is also unique because IT CAME FROM THE LORD GOD.  Because God is the source of it, it is called “ the gospel of God” (Romans 1:1).  Paul said that this “gospel of God” is what he preached in the city of Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 2:2).

In that same chapter he went on to declare the reception that the gospel received: (1 Thessalonians  2:13) For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

What message did Paul preach to them? “The gospel of God,” which is “the word of God.”

Jesus’ gospel is unique because ONLY IT REVEALS THE SAVIOUR.  The day that Jesus was born an angel of God proclaimed to shepherds, (Luke 2:11) “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Time and again the gospel message points to Jesus as being “indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world” (John 4:42).  Thank God for the gospel—it tells the wonderful message of how lowly sinners, which all men are (Romans 3:23), can be saved from their sins by the blood of “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)

The gospel of God’s dear Son is unique because ONLY IT REVEALS WHAT MAN MUST DO IN ORDER TO BE SAVED (become a saved person).  The gospel gives instruction about how one can go from being a lost person to being a saved one.  That is why Jesus told His apostles to go preach the gospel to every person in the world: the goal is for each hearer of the gospel to obey it and “be saved” (Mark 16:15-16). “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

The gospel reveals that in order for a person to have his sins washed away for the very first time in his life, he must hear and believe the message of the gospel (John 20:30-31), Repent of every past sin (Acts 17:30), Confess faith in Jesus (Romans 10:10), And be immersed in water (Acts 22:16)

Without the gospel we would have no knowledge of what to do in order to be saved from sin!

Why is the gospel unique?  Because IT AND IT ALONE REVEALS WHAT MAN MUST DO IN ORDER TO REMAIN SAVED.  It is one thing to have sins forgiven once—at the time of baptism into the Christ (Acts 2:38, Romans 6:3).  It is another matter to continue to be in a saved relationship with the Lord.  Only the gospel gives instruction about how to do that.  The gospel instructs a child of God that has sinned to repent, pray to God, and confess his fault (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9).  If we walk in the light as our Lord is in the light, then the blood of Jesus will continue to cleanse us from all sins (1 John 1:7).  The gospel and gospel alone is able to strengthen us and give us an inheritance among those that are sanctified (Acts 20:32).

Finally, the gospel of the Christ is unique because ONLY IT IS THE POWER OF GOD THAT CAN BRING ABOUT OUR SALVATION. (Romans 1:16) “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

(1 Corinthians 1:18) “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” No message other than the gospel can save the soul for it alone is God’s power unto salvation.  Men may deny or make fun of this idea, but God’s word claims that it is so!  Enough said.

The gospel of God’s Son truly is a unique message.  We have shown six basic reasons why this is so.  May these truths become deeply engrained in our hearts.  May we always be grateful to our loving God that has given us His glorious, one-of-a-kind gospel.

 

~ By Roger Campbell


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The First Step

Two unmarried sisters had so bitter a ruckus that they stopped speaking to each other. Unable or unwilling to leave their small home, they continued to use the same rooms and sleep in the same bedroom. A chalk line divided the sleeping area into two halves, separating doorway and fireplace, so that each could come and go and get her own meals without trespassing on her sister’s domain. In the black of night each could hear the breathing of the other. For years they coexisted in grinding silence. Neither was willing to take “the first step” to reconciliation.  How sad! What could have been a fulfilling relationship became a terrible burden because neither would take the initiative in restoring the severed relationship.  Just think of what they missed!

Due to our sin, you and I are separated from God. Our relationship with God has been severed by SIN. “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2).

When a relationship is severed, love takes the initiative in mending it. If one of the sisters mentioned above had just taken it upon herself to seek reconciliation, it could have been saved. Yet, neither would take “the first step”, and so…the relationship died.

When it comes to OUR broken relationship with God due to our sin, God took the initiative to reconcile US to Himself. 

Although you and I are the offenders, the Offended One made the first move to heal the broken relationship. God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us … For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! (Romans 5:8, 10).

God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins so that we can be forgiven through Him. When we accept God’s offer of forgiveness, He accepts us! We become His children, related to Him by BLOOD – the cleansing blood of Christ that washed away our sins – the cause of our separation.

God took the initiative in mending our broken relationship due to sin, but you and I must respond to His love. The appropriate response to God’s love through Christ is to place our faith in Him (Hebrews 11:6) “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Repent of our sins (2 Corinthians 7:9-10), Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.  For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death

Confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

And be baptized (immersed) so that our sins can be washed away (Acts 22:16). And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord

Then, as we walk in the light of His Word, the blood of Jesus continues to cleanse us from all sin (1 John 1:7). “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Due to our SIN, we are separated from our loving Creator. But Love took the initiative. “In this is love, NOT that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).


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The Power of Love

In Romans 12:20-21 we read: “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Of all the forces in the universe, love is the most powerful.  It is more powerful than physical force, sarcasm, or argument.  Let us consider the power of love from three different views.  First of all is the reaction of the power of love on ourselves.  Every emotion, good or bad, reacts upon us as we experience it.  The man we hate suffers as a result of our hatred, but certainly not to the degree that we suffer.  There is no way in which we can hurt a brother without hurting ourselves.  Hatred is mental poison, which destroys the finest qualities of the soul.

On the other hand, the man we love is blessed by our love, but not to the degree that we are blessed (Acts 20:35) “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

We cannot help a fellow man without helping ourselves.  Though our love may fail to touch the enemy’s heart, it is never in vain, for it purifies us, (Romans 13:8-10) “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.  For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” It also makes us more like God. (1 John 4:8) “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

We need also to examine the power of love on our fellow man.  When other people become aware of our love, happy results follow.  Love disarms the foe, hushes the cynic, and puts the enemy to shame.  When drastic methods fail, as they always do, love wins. (Proverbs 15:1) “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

While hatred drives people from us, love draws them to us; and it not only draws them, but it also binds people to us. (Colossians 2:2) “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;” Love, then, is the element that preserves the unity of God’s people.  Love may be said to ennoble, to encourage, to stabilize.  Love makes life worth living.

Finally, there is the power of love on God.  Love causes the great Spiritual Force in the universe to operate in our favour.  It reaches up and takes hold of the throne of the Almighty and moves it.  It is in the loving heart that God takes up His abode. (John 14:23) “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

By deeds of love, the Divine memory is refreshed, (Hebrews 6:10) “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” (Romans 8:28) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Though we are weak, a mighty force is within our grasp.  Let us take it and use it—not selfishly, for when the element of selfishness enters it ceases to be love.  Life is sweeter, the circle of our influence is wider, and we are more powerful when love motivates us.  Love makes us kings in our realm. (Galatians 5:6) “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availed any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love

Let us make proper application of the power of love.  In order to do that, we must be reminded that this love is centered in God and His will for our lives.

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The love you give to others
Is returned to you by the Lord….
And the love of God
Is your soul’s rich reward.
~ Helen Steiner Rice

One man gives freely, yet grows all the richer;
Another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
(Proverbs 11:24)