1. Skip to Menu
  2. Skip to Content
  3. Skip to Footer>

Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2010

Thanksgiving Anniversaries

PrintE-mail

Beloved flock of God,

The month of July has seen anniversaries of several of our missions, both local and foreign. Today, we praise God for the 7th anniversary of our Chinese worship service. On the next two Lord’s days, four of our mission churches in the Philippines (Cebu, Bohol, Bogo and San Antonio) will commemorate their anniversaries. A team of brethren will be joining me in visiting these mission churches to rejoice with them during their anniversaries. They are Kenneth Wong and his family, John and Katherine Peh, Francis and Stephanie Lee, Dorothy Ng, Sarah Yong and Ruth Low. A series of Bible expositions on the Epistle of Jude, based on the theme “Earnestly Contend for the faith”, will be held over 5 days in Cebu. Today, we are happy to have a combined service with our Chinese congregation to praise the Lord for 7 years of God’s blessings upon this ministry. We salute all our brethren in the Chinese worship service and congratulate all of you on this happy occasion of your 7th anniversary. May your labour abound for the glory of Christ and for the salvation and edification of souls.

We must thank God for the preacher of the Chinese congregation, Dn Daniel Lim, who has wholeheartedly and faithfully laboured for the past five years to minister to the congregation. Though he began his ministry with much reservation because of his inexperience in ministering in Chinese, he has laboured and progressed in this ministry. We also need to continually pray for him and encourage him to press on in the work of the Lord.

With thanksgiving to the Lord, we also remember all the brethren from our English congregation, who have rendered their help in the Chinese service - Elder Choy, Dn Kelvin Lim, Bro Stephen Yap, Bro Chan Tuck Whye, Bro John Peh and several of our youths who have helped to play the piano for the worship service. We also praise God for preachers from sister churches who came to preach the Word.

Once again, I would like to urge all Gethsemaneans to strive to bring our friends and relatives who are Chinese-speaking to the Chinese worship service. Let us remember the words of our Lord, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few” (Matthew 9:37). Having the truth of salvation in our hearts, will we hide it from others? Will we become ungrateful Christians? Let us prayerfully and patiently persevere in the work of soul-harvest.

Pray for FEBC

Many of you have read in the local newspapers that the judge has passed a verdict against the present board of directors of FEBC. This would mean many troubles for FEBC. Your prayers for godly wisdom in the ensuing matters are much needed and therefore earnestly coveted.

Our church has a close fellowship with FEBC; and all of our preachers and missionaries are graduates of FEBC. In the matters of doctrine, particularly the doctrine of the Bible, we stand with FEBC. Our faith and adherence to the doctrine of inspiration and preservation of the Scripture is founded on Christ and what He has taught.

VPI & VPP

 It has been propagated that VPP (verbal, plenary preservation of the Scriptures) is a new doctrine and it is against VPI (verbal, plenary inspiration of the Scriptures). Is that true? That is absolutely false.

VPP is not a new doctrine, but as old as the Bible: God has revealed in His Word that He will preserve all of His inspired words. Both in the Old and New Testaments, God’s assurances concerning the verbal, plenary preservation of His Word are found. Here are just a few of those promises concerning the preservation of His Word:

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8).

“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10).

“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever” (Psalm 12:6-7).

“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18).

“For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth” (Psalm 119:89-90).

“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33). Take note that the Scriptures record these words of assurance given by Jesus three times.

“For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1 Peter 1:24-25).

VPP does not contradict, but confirms and assures VPI: Does the doctrine of VPP denies or contradict VPI? Certainly not. On the contrary, VPP affirms VPI.

VPP declares that all of God’s inspired words (VPI) exist today because God has perfectly preserved them for us, just as He promised in His Word. In fact, everyone who believes that God has perfectly preserved His Word is assured that not one of God’s inspired words is lost.

VPP does not contradict any of the historical tenets of Christianity: Some falsely charge us that VPP contradicts the historical doctrines concerning the Scriptures. This is far from the truth. In fact, the doctrine of VPP is found in historical declaration of the Christian faith such as Westminster Confession of Faith. Consider the following:

WCF states in chapter 1, para 1 “. . . Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal Himself, and to declare that His will unto His Church; and afterwards for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which makes the Holy Scripture to be most necessary; those former ways of God's revealing His will unto His people being now ceased.”

In Chapter I, para VIII, WCF states, “The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it, was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so as, in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them. But, because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them, therefore they are to be translated in to the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come, that, the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship Him in an acceptable manner; and, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope.”

Dear brethren, though VPI and VPP are newly coined terms or abbreviations, the doctrines they represent are not new, but historical truths. Our stand for VPI and VPP does not make us devisers of new doctrines.

Then why is there a dispute over these doctrines? Because, as almost all of the modern English versions show, there is a wide acceptance of a critical attitude towards the traditionally accepted Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, which are known as Masoretic text (Hebrew) and Received Text (Greek) underlying the King James Bible. We cannot agree with such a frivolous mentality towards the Holy Scriptures. Those English translations also reflect a very casual and, some of them, even a blatantly disrespectful attitude towards the inspired words of the original Scriptures. Those who would like to accept a critical mentality towards the traditionally accepted Hebrew and Greek Scriptures find our unwavering loyalty detestable. Our stand for the perfectly preserved Word of God is a hindrance to their critical attitude to the original words of the Scriptures underlying the KJV. Hence, the dispute.

For the cause of God’s truth, it is important that we do not become weary. No sacrifice is too big in the battle for the truth! We must be ready, as the Apostle Paul said, “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:5-8).

For His glory,
Your pastor.

Pastoral Exhortation