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Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2011

Gethsemane Bible Institute

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By the mercies of God, our church will have the blessed opportunity to witness the beginning of two Bible Institutes. God willing, the first of which will be inaugurated in Cebu, the Philippines, on 17th July, and the second will be on the 10th December.

As we prayerfully await the inaugurations of these two institutes, I would like to share in this article our vision of Gethsemane Bible Institute, wherever it might be established.

Our Vision of Gethsemane Bible Institute (GBI)

The vision of GBI is derived from the eternal counsels of God's Word - "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (2 Timothy 2:2). If the preaching of the Gospel, which the Lord has committed to our church, is to be faithfully and fervently carried out in all our mission fields and even to more places, we need to equip faithful men to the ministry of the Word. In keeping with the Biblical counsel, the Reformed and Presbyterian traditions always required the theological and ministerial training of men. This is also our Bible-Presbyterian heritage. Likewise, the primary goal of GBI shall be to prepare men to be preachers, pastors and missionaries. It is our desire to produce preachers who know God and His Word, and who can passionately, effectively and accurately communicate the Word of God to others.

Though our primary mission is to train prospective preachers and pastors, we also intend to equip laymen as well to help them to serve more efficiently and effectively for God’s glory and the good of the church. So GBI's courses will be geared to meet those two goals.

GBI will be a ministry of Gethsemane Bible- Presbyterian Church, and hence it will adhere to the church's doctrines and practices, as delineated in its constitution. It will function under the supervision and management of the Interim Committee of the respective local churches (until a presbytery/synod is formed in those countries). The Interim Committee or the Session may appoint a committee, if necessary, to look into its management.

The teachers of GBI must be those who are the pastors and preachers of Gethsemane B-P Church. We will also welcome pastors and preachers who are like-minded in doctrines and practices of Gethsemane B-P Church.

It must never be forgotten that GBI is established for the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and also for the defence of the Biblical, Reformed, Premillennial doctrines of Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church. GBI also unashamedly stands for verbal, plenary inspiration and preservation of the Bible in its original languages. The King James Bible, which is the best and most faithful translation of the Bible in English, shall be the English Bible for all its courses. It shall practise biblical separation from all unbiblical doctrines, alliances and practices in ministry and life. GBI believes that it is crucial for it to be always unapologetic and uncompromising in its commitment to a Reformed theology that is Christ-centred, biblical, evangelistic, premillennial and separatist.

Though our main focus is to provide biblical training for members of Gethsemane B-P Church and all its missions, we will accept students from other churches or denominations if they are prepared to undergo the training without opposing the doctrines of the Gethsemane B-P Church, which is taught in the institute. GBI will admit students of any race, colour, national or ethnic origin to all programmes, activities, rights and privileges, generally accorded or made available to students at the school.

It is our prayer that those who study at GBI will increase in faith, love and knowledge of God, the Gospel and the whole counsel of God. May Gethsemane Bible Institute everywhere be always characterised by devotion to God, sound doctrines, faithful preaching and humble service. Let us all pray that the teachers and students alike will have a burning zeal for the glory of Christ and the advancement of His kingdom.

Pastoral Exhortation