6th Jan 2013, Sunday
On the 6th of Jan 2013, Geenu and I attended City Harvest Church worship service at Singapore Expo Hall 1. We were late for the service and missed the praise but we were just in time for the worship. The Presence of God was beautiful during the worship. I enjoyed every moment and wished it continued longer.
After Praise and Worship, we had Holy Communion. Pastor Kong shared the sermon by quoting John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
He stated that the eternal life starts at the moment we receive Jesus Christ in our heart.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The gift of eternal life is wrapped in Jesus Christ. It’s more than living forever, it’s about the quality of life.
2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
New creation means someone who never existed before.
6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
God looks at us not just as His servants but as sons of God. He asks us to come boldly to the throne of Grace.
After speaking about eternal life, Pastor Kong preached about Righteousness.
All have sinned and sin demands punishment. Sin is inherited from Adam due to his disobedience and was passed onto all human beings.
4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born[a] of a woman, born under the law,
Jesus was conceived in the womb of virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit. Sin was not in the flesh of Jesus. On the cross, Jesus bore our sins. He paid the penalty of our sins. He died as a lamb but rose as the High Priest, carried His own blood to the throne and we are blessed with righteousness.
Pastor Kong highlighted 3 benefits of Righteousness in Christ.
1. Righteousness removes the remembrance of sins. The word atonement means “covering”. In the OT, blood of animals covered the sins. But the blood of Jesus, not only covers but cleanses and washes our sins completely until there is no memory of our past sins.
Hebrews 8:12 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds[a] I will remember no more.”[b]
13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood,[a] the forgiveness of sins.
There are 4 main points from the above verse. 1. we are delivered out of Satan’s authority. 2. We are brought into the Kingdom of God i.e. born again. 3. Because of Jesus, in whom we have redemption, Satan loses his hold over our life. 4. There is now remission of our sins. God washes our sins as if we have never committed those sins.
“Once the blood of Jesus is applied to our life, God makes a willful choice to forget our sins. God removes the remembrance of our sins. The moment we are born again we have no past” highlighted Pastor Kong.
“Righteousness is more powerful than forgiveness. This is what Grace of God is all about” stressed Pastor Kong. He quoted example of David and Ziklag as an example of Grace of God.
David received the word of God to pursue Amalekite as mentioned in 1 Samuel 30:8. We learn that God will show up when you are going through the worst time of your life.
David recovered all that he lost 1 Samuel 30:18-20 and later David forgave 200 people who gave up and did not join him in defeating Amalekites. Thus we see the example of God’s grace through the life of David. 1 Grace gives us what we don’t deserve abundantly. 2. Rewrites history. 3. imputes to us a different motive. 4. Gives us strength when we are weak.
Throughout the Bible we read God calling up weak people for His purpose. He calls Gideon a mighty man of valor, He calls Samson a hero of Faith. God calls Barack, a weak indecisive general hiding behind prophetess Deborah as hero of Faith.
God never stops believing in you even when you stop believing in yourself. “God deals with us today based on what He sees in future” mentioned Pastor Kong. God sees a great future for you in 2013.
1 Peter 1:2
2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
We must look upon the people from the viewpoint of God.
2. Righteousness is the divine nature that overpowers sin. When Jesus gives us the freedom, it is not to sin but to live away from sin.
1 John 3:6-9
6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
God gave us the power over sins when Jesus died on the cross. Jesus was made sin with out sinfulness to give us this righteousness. We are new creature. Two things happened on Cross. 1. God declares us righteous i.e. Righteousness by Faith. and 2. we are made new creature in Christ i.e. Righteous by Nature.
Satan the devil, wants to keep us ignorant about what Christ has done in our lives.
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
The devil knows our weaknesses, he whispers to our ears, but the truth remains we cannot sin because God broke the power of sin. So the devil tries to remind our past.
2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
Sin consciousness destroys faith, puts fear and doubts in our heart. The more sin conscious we are, the more we will go into the direction of sin. So how do we live a life of freedom from sin? Romans 6:7-11: 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Jesus is our example, our hero. Like Jesus, we must reckon to dead to sin. When God says we are righteous, we reckon it.
1 Corinthians 15:34
34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
The more sin conscious we are, the more we do it. The more righteousness conscious we are, the more we become so.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
How do we move in to righteousness?
- By believing
- By Confessing
2 Peter 1:4
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
The more we believe and we speak God’s promises, the more we partake His divine nature.
I am the righteousness of God in Christ. We must renew our mind and believe in Him.
21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
3. Righteousness gives us boldness in God’s presence. Boldness means ability to stand in the Presence of God without guilt, condemnation or inferiority.
1 John 3:21-22
21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
God cannot bless us unless we ask.
Finally, Pastor Kong asked everyone to stand up and hold hands to pray for the sick. The anointing of God was powerful as the worship team led the people into Presence of God and the people prayed for the sick.
Later the service ended with beautiful praise. We had lunch from Changi point and headed back home by MRT.
Praise God for an awesome time