Tag Archive: salvation


Key points:

  1. Do versus done – rest in God’s love & salvation
  2. Being before doing
    • Be repentant; be forgiven
    • Be with Jesus; be like Jesus
    • Be obedient; be compelled; be prepared

Slides here.

Opening the Door to Faith (Acts 14.1-28)

1. What is faith? (Saving faith is trusting in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life (resting on Christ alone & what He had done) (Eph. 2.8-9))
2. What are your objections/obstacles to faith?
3. How can we respond to the gospel? (Turning from sin; turning to Jesus)
My faith has found a resting place – I need no other argument, I need no other plea, it is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me. (Lidie H. Edmunds)

Journey to the Cross

As the season of Lent approaches (beginning with Ash Wednesday on 14 Feb), it is worth for us to prepare our hearts to reflect on the Lord’s death and resurrection. We have been preaching through the Gospel of Mark, covering events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion – Peter’s confession of the Messiah, Jesus’ transfiguration, and His triumphal entry, to name a few. How do we prepare ourselves as Good Friday and Easter draws near?

Firstly, we are to bear the marks of a disciple – self-denial, cross-bearing and obedience (Mk. 8:34). Often the period of Lent is marked by prayer and fasting. But more than the activities and disciplines, in what way does God want us to take up our cross and follow Him?

Secondly, we are to run the race with endurance, fixing our eyes on Jesus (Heb. 12:1-2). Luke 9:51 records, “As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” Christ set His face towards the cross, determined to fulfill His Father’s will and mission, to die for the sins of the world. What has God called and purposed for you to do, in this season, in your life? Are we fixing our eyes on Him, the author and perfecter of our faith, so that we will not lose heart and grow weary?

Lastly, we are to reflect Christ through our life and witness. Do others see Christ in us, in the way we speak or act, or the way we serve or work? Do we feel compassion for the lost around us and beyond our shores, being convicted and proclaiming that indeed, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)?

He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.

Animal salvation

It’s been interesting how often this topic has come up over the past year or so. It first surfaced as we were preparing for youth thematic month last year, and going through the questions our youths were interested in. Besides other religions and life & death, animal salvation came in a strong 3rd in frequency. So it is not surprising that one would pose this question through our semi-regular segment, Ask Pastor Time, that just started this year.

Animals and pets have been a big part of my life. From my early formative days, I remember my family having an array of pets ranging from fish and terrapins, to parakeets, hamsters and rabbits. But it was only until I was halfway through primary school, when my tuition teacher’s dog had a litter of puppies, that I got my first dog, a cross-breed silky terrier, and my first taste of owning and taking care of an animal firsthand. Sadly, my parents made the decision of giving it away to SPCA when we moved around end of primary school. A few year later, eventually, my younger brother somehow managed to pester my mum to get a pure, toy-breed Maltese newborn puppy (from Australia), and we had “her” for 11 years, until she passed (mainly of old age, & jaundice) just 6 months before my wedding (and I was moving out again).

The Bible is not explicit on the topic of animal salvation. Animals feature greatly in the creation accounts, in fact, they are created before God gives Adam a helpmate, the first woman, Eve. Here we have the Adamic covenant, to rule or have dominion over all creation (flora and fauna). In some camps, this is known as dominion theology. In the early years of Israel’s birth as a nation, God establishes the temple sacrificial system, where animals are sacrificed in place of humans in atonement for their sins. Scattered throughout the Bible, there have been interesting and memorable mentions or God using animals in His grand masterplan of salvation history. The pairs of animals that were saved along with Noah and his family during the flood, the dove that bore the olive leaf after Noah sends it out after the flood, the ram that God provides in place of Isaac asked to be sacrificed by his father Abraham, the first Passover where the blood of sacrificed lambs saved the firstborns of Israel, Balaam’s donkey that rebukes him, the donkey that Jesus rode on his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, etc.

Whilst we might not be certain whether animals go to heaven after death, it seems that they have a special place in God’s heart, and feature significantly throughout Bible times. Hope as much we can, ultimately we have to trust and rest in God’s sovereign and perfect plan, and know that whether we will see our favourite pets one day again lie in the hands of our almighty God, who created each of them by His will and word, for His glory and purposes alone.

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The Black Eyed Peas – #WHERESTHELOVE ft. The World

People killing, people dying
Children hurt and you hear them crying
Can you practice what you preach?
Or would you turn the other cheek?
Father (x3) help us
Send some guidance from above
These people got me, got me questioning
Where is the love?

This chorus from a song by the Black Eyed Peas in 2003 encapsulates both the state of the world as well as the burning questions on many hearts. Why do we live in such a broken and messed-up world? Why can’t people just love one another? After all, “all you need is love,” isn’t it?

Unfortunately, or sadly, no. God’s word teaches us that mankind, because of our sinful nature, continually chooses to disobey and reject God. They, instead, worship creation rather than the Creator God. It is not finite human love that is the answer to the world’s problems.

God provided the only solution through His Son, Jesus Christ, and what He has done for the world by dying on the cross and being raised from the dead. For Christians, Paul exhorts us not to be ashamed of the gospel, as “it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” (Rom. 1.16) What the world needs, and has always needed is love, the love of God, which alone will lead us to repentance and salvation through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.

Hosanna in the highest!

Today is Palm Sunday, when Christians and churches commemorate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem a week before His resurrection, where the crowds laid palm branches in front of Him as He rode through on a donkey. This is recorded in each of the four gospels, fulfilling the prophecy in Zech. 9:9. The choice of riding on a donkey, as opposed to a horse (symbol of war), could have symbolised peace, or Jesus as the Prince of Peace. Palm leaves or branches, in certain traditions, were a symbol of triumph and victory.

Hosanna is often thought of as a declaration of praise, similar to hallelujah, but it is actually also a plea for salvation. The Hebrew root words are found in Ps. 118:25, which says, “O Lord, save us”. The Hebrew words yasha (“deliver, save”) and anna (“beg, beseech”) combine to form the word that , in English, is “hosanna”. Literally, hosanna means “I beg you to save!” or “please deliver us!”

So as Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem, the crowds were perfectly right to shout “Hosanna!” They were acknowledging Jesus as their Messiah (as shown in their address “Son of David”). Theirs was a cry for salvation and a recognition that Jesus is able to save. That’s exactly why Jesus had come. Within a week, Jesus would provide the world with the gift of salvation and eternal life, not just by dying on the cross for our sins (Good Friday), but ultimately overcoming sin and death through His resurrection (Easter Sunday). This is the significance of Palm Sunday, and the reason why Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem was indeed triumphal.

Are you in need of a Saviour today? For those who have been saved, how do we live our lives in the reality that Jesus indeed is our Saviour, our Messiah? In this season leading up to Easter, may God grant us opportunities to hear the gospel afresh, to come with grateful hearts of thanksgiving for all He has done for us on the cross, and to be a witness of our Saviour who indeed is mighty to save.

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes …” (Rom. 1:16)

"Proof of Purchase" Youth Camp

Proof of Purchase CampJust got back from our youth camp. This year’s theme was on discipleship, entitled “Proof of Purchase” (POP). For the messages, I focused on the major aspects of the gospel, our salvation, namely Justification, Sanctification and Glorification, looking at the book of Romans, namely chapters, 3, 5, 6 and 8. We also had workshops on Apologetics, Cults, Mentoring and Grey Areas.
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A Barna survey in Oct 2004 shows that out of the 98 million adults and children who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour in the United States (38% of all adults, and one-third of all teenagers), 43% did so before age 13, 64% before 18, and 13% between 18-21. Less than one out of four (23%) accepted Christ after age 21.

(read more)

Paul Washer’s “shocking” message, preaching from Matthew 7:13-27.

Download the transcript here (transcribed by http://www.bibletranscripts.com).
Distributed by Grace Community Church @ San Antonio, Texas

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