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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The Godhead

Since man has known God, there has been some confusion about who God is. This confusion basically comes from false teachings about God and His nature. When we read the Bible as a whole, we can clearly see who God is and what He consists of.

Who is God? In the very first verse of God’s Word, the Bible, we see who God is. Genesis 1:1 says, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Here we see that God is the Creator. This gives us an idea of how powerful and magnificent God is.

Let’s consider a few other important facts about God. He is eternal, which means without beginning or end (Psalm 90:2). He is all powerful, so powerful that He even created the world and us!  He is all knowing; nothing can be hid from God (Proverbs 5:21; 1 John 3:20). He is everywhere, at all times (Psalm 139:7-10; 2 Chronicles 16:9). He is perfect, and does not sin (1 John 1:5). He is unchanging, and will always remain the same (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8). He is a Spirit, not flesh (John 4:24; Luke 24:39). This is the God you and I serve!

It is also important to realize that God is one. Isaiah 44:6 says, Thus saith Jehovah, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, Jehovah of hosts: I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there is no God. Galatians 3:20 says, God is one!” Mark 12:32 says, And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he. The Bible clearly teaches there is only one God (James 2:19; Romans 3:30).

If God is one, why do we read about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in reference to God in the Bible?  This is where one must begin to understand the Godhead or Trinity, as this is often referred to. Trinity comes from a Latin word which means, “three-one.” This gives us the clear Biblical idea of three-in-one! But how can God be three-in-one?

As followers of God, we must understand that the same Bible which teaches us that God is one also teaches us that God has different personalities. In Genesis 1:26, God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness… Notice the inspired Word of God here quotes God referring to Himself by using Us,” and Our.” This verse, as well as others, shows that although God is one, He has three distinct persons. These personalities are separate in function, yet one in thought and purpose. They are unified as one, perfect, complete God!

Let’s notice the distinct personalities in the following verses. In Ephesians 4:6, Paul said, one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all. Paul refers here to the one God, known as the Father.” Matthew 1:23 says, Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, And they shall call his name Immanuel; which is, being interpreted, God with us. Here we see a reference to God, the Son (John 3:16). Finally in Acts 5:3-4, we see the final personality of God: But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thy heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land? While it remained, did it not remain thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thy power? How is it that thou hast conceived this thing in thy heart? thou has not lied unto men, but unto God. Here Peter told Ananias that he had not lied to men but to God, the “Holy Spirit.” These three personalities make up the one Godhead.

For example, let’s again look at Genesis, chapter one, where we read about God creating the heavens and the earth. We have already mentioned verse 26 where God said, Let Us make man. Let’s see how the Godhead (Trinity) was present at this creation. In verse 2, we read, And the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Notice the Spirit of God moved over the waters. In Colossians 1:14-17, we read, in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins: who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him; and he is before all things, and in him all things consist. Here we read that all things were created by Christ, God’s Son (also see John 1:1-4, 14).

Is it so difficult to believe that God’s Son is also called God and that His Spirit is also called God?   As humans, are we not given a family name? If one’s father is called John Smith, then the son can also be called Smith, even though the son’s first name may be different. They are both Smith, but they are separate beings, unique, yet one in name. They are together as a unified family.

The reason we have such a difficult time understanding the Godhead is because we try to understand it from a physical standpoint! Remember that God is not physical but spiritual. He created all that was created. Thus before He created the heavens and the earth, there was nothing. In Isaiah 55:8-9, we read, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. We are not God, so it is difficult for us to think like Him. Why question a Being with such power and magnificence? Let’s have the faith to accept God in the way He has taught us through His Word (Hebrews 11:6; John 8:24; Mark 16:16).


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Why Jesus Came to Earth

There are two main reasons why Jesus left Heaven to come to earth. It is important we know these reasons. The first reason was to give men an opportunity to have their sins forgiven. Why do men need a Savior? They need a Saviour because of sin. The Bible clearly says, “for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Every person who can tell right from wrong commits sin (1 John 1:6-10).

What is sin? It is “missing the mark” (Romans 3:23). It is transgression of the law of God (1 John 3:4). John adds, all unrighteousness is sin (1 John 5:17). Paul says that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). Christ came to the earth to bring us back to God (2 Corinthians 5:20-21; Ephesians 2:16).

From where did sin come? The answer is given to us in the first book of the Bible. After God created Adam and Eve, He put them in the Garden of Eden and gave them everything they needed. He also gave them commands to obey (Genesis 2:15-17).

God clearly told them what to do. They were not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The third chapter of Genesis tells us what happened (Genesis 3:1-6).

Through Adam and Eve sin entered into the world (Romans 5:12). But God already had planned to send Christ to the earth to save man from his sins. The angel said of Mary, And she shall bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name JESUS; for it is he that shall save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). Jesus told Zacchaeus, For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). Paul adds, For while we were yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly…But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6-8).

The other reason Jesus came to earth was to purchase His church. The following passages show the church was planned before God created the world:

Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops, to feed the church of the Lord which he purchased with his own blood (Acts 20:28).

…knowing that ye were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers; but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot, even the blood of Christ: who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was manifested at the end of times for your sake (1 Peter 1:18-20).

…to the intent that now unto the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places might be made known through the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord… (Ephesians 3:10-11).

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I also say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:17-18).

It was never in God’s plan to have hundreds of different denominations. His plan was always to have just one church, and all believers were to be part of that one church. The Bible teaches unity, not division (1 Corinthians 1:10-13; Ephesians 4:3-6). Christ is the only head of the one church He promised to build. It is in His church that we are able to be saved from our sins (Ephesians 5:23).

Jesus came into the world to die for our sins and to establish His church. Let us obey His gospel so that we can be added to His church and be saved from our sins (Acts 2:36-47).

(source: tftw.org)

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Christianity Is Sharing, Not Holding

Christianity is a religion of self-denial and commitment (Matthew 16:24-26). The teaching and behavior of the church of God is sharing, not holding. Acts 2:44-45 says of the Christians in Jerusalem: “And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according as any man had need.” (See also Acts 4:32-35). There was a need in the church in Jerusalem. To meet that need, the Christians, who had property, willingly sold it and gave the money to help feed their fellow Christians.

There are many examples of such unselfish sharing in the New Testament. In Acts 4:36-37, we read of Barnabas, who sold his field, and gave the money to the apostles to help others. In Acts 6:1-7, we read of needy widows who were fed by the church. In Acts 11:27-30, we read of prophets who told the church at Antioch of a great famine, which was coming. “And the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren that dwelt in Judea: which also they did, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.” In Acts 20:35, Paul, the apostle, reminded the elders at the church at Ephesus of his example: “In all things I gave you an example, that so laboring ye ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he himself said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Not only does the New Testament teach that Christians are share with the needy, but it also exposes religious money making schemes. In Acts 16:16-20, Paul and Barnabas cast an evil spirit out of a young woman. Her masters were not happy because they used her to make money. Therefore, they accused Paul and Silas and had them beaten and thrown in prison.

In Acts 19, we read of the silversmiths in Ephesus who made money by selling shrines of Diana. When many people accepted Christianity, and therefore no longer worshipped idols, their trade was gone. Demetrius stirred up a great multitude against the Christians. Paul was forced to leave because of it.

Our Saviour left Heaven in order to come to earth so that we can be saved. (II Corinthians 8:9). The early evangelists went out to preach because of their sacrificial commitment to Jesus Christ. We today must be willing to leave worldly things in order to take the gospel to the world.

The New Testament teaches that we must give in order to help those who are in need (Matthew 25:34-40; I John 3:17). We must also give in order to help support the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:3-5). By our giving, we show our love for one another (Acts 4:32-35). By our giving to the Lord and His work, we also are laying up treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21). Christians want to give because it makes them happy (Acts 20:35).

Christians must plan so that they will be able to give to the Lord’s work. They should not make debts which they can not pay. They should not buy things which they do not need. By doing this, they will be able to provided for their own needs and have enough left over to help others (Ephesians 4:28).


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Confessing Christ

God’s plan to save man from his sins includes the confession of our belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. People can know of our faith in Jesus Christ only if we confess Him. At Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked His disciples, Who do men say that I the Son of Man am? (Matthew 16:13-19). People were not sure that Jesus was really the Messiah. Some thought He was John the Baptist. Others thought He was Jeremiah, Elijah, or one of the prophets. But Simon Peter was sure that Jesus was the Christ. He confessed: Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God (v. 16). Jesus told Peter he would be blessed because he made this confession: Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it into thee, but My father who is in heaven (v. 17). Every person who makes this same confession Peter made will be blessed.

When we confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, we are confessing His deity. John wrote: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). He then explains who the Word is: The Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). Jesus is Immanuel,” which means God with us (Matthew 1:23). When we confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, we are confessing that He was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). We are also confessing He lived a perfect life, without sin (I Peter 2:21-22; Hebrews 4:14-15). This confession includes belief that the miracles of Jesus were real for they proved His deity (John 3:2; 20:30-31).

When we make the good confession that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, we are accepting His authority (Matthew 28:18-20). Our authority is not Moses, or Elijah, or one of the prophets. We must listen to Jesus Christ (Matthew 17:5). We will be judged by Him and His Word at the Last Day (John 12:48; Acts 17:30-31).

When we confess Christ, we are also submitting ourselves to be His servants. Paul wrote: But thanks be to God, that, whereas ye were servants of sin, ye became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto ye were delivered; and being made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness (Romans 6:17-18). We must make up our minds who we are going to obey (Matthew 6:24). If we confess Christ, this means we will obey His commands (Matthew 7:21-23; John 14:15).

In addition to the occasion at Caesarea Philippi when Peter confessed Christ, he also made it clear on other occasions that he believed Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God (John 6:69).

Many others also confessed Christ. John the Baptist confessed Christ as the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world! (John 1:29). After Philip had preached Christ to him, the Ethiopian eunuch confessed, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Acts 8:37). This was the only way Philip could know the eunuch believed. Philip then baptized him (Acts 8:38). If we want to go to Heaven, we too must make the same confession the eunuch did (Matthew 10:32-33; 1 John 4:15).

There were others who did not confess Christ. The parents of the blind man healed by Jesus would not confess Him (John 9:22). Others among the rulers would not confess Him (John 12:42-43). They believed in Him, but would not confess Him, and therefore could not be saved. This shows us that faith alone will not save!

One cannot become a Christian unless he confesses that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Romans 10:9-10). One day, everyone will confess Christ (Romans 14:11-12; Philippians 2:9-11). But if we wait until Judgment Day to confess Christ, it will be too late for us to be saved! Behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). If you believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, then confess Him today and be baptized into Him (Galatians 3:26-27).

source: tftw.org