Checklist for churches

1 Cor 1 - 6

     The Apostle Paul was a great letter writer. Most of his letters were addressed to particular churches, or groups of churches. However, one letter was addressed differently. Which one? His first epistle to the Corinthians.

     How did Paul address it?

     "To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ - their Lord and ours."

     Isn't it the only Pauline letter addressed to all Christians everywhere?

     But isn't what Paul wrote in his other letters to churches also applicable to all churches? Yes, but in 1 Corinthians, didn't Paul take pains to deliberately write a letter about things common to all churches; things that needed correcting? What are these things?

     Today, the trend in writing is towards small "sound bites" or short sentences. Paul was a Greek to the Greeks, so if he was with us today, I believe he would probably re-write 1 Corinthians with short sound bites. Like a checklist with explanatory notes, for Christians to check the spiritual health of their churches? Below is what I imagine Paul's Ten-Item Checklist [or TIC] would look like.

  1. Are there divisions or quarrels within our church? oYes oNo
    If Yes, then make every effort to "agree with one another so that there are no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought". [1Cor 1:10]

  2. Do members profess to follow particular pastors or preachers, instead of following Jesus Christ? oYes oNo [1Cor 1:12; 3:3]

  3. Is the message of the cross and Christ crucified being preached in our church? oYes oNo
    If No, make sure the cross and Christ crucified are preached. [1Cor 1:23]

  4. Are members of our church still infants in Christ who need spiritual milk instead of spiritual meat? oYes oNo [1Cor 2:6; 3:2]

  5. Are members of our church spiritual or worldly ? [1Cor 3:1]

  6. How do we view our pastors?

    • As our masters?

    • As servants of Christ? [1Cor 3:5]

  7. Do our pastors view themselves as servants entrusted with secret things of God, [like the gospel, the way to Heaven, and what Heaven is like] which they have to share with others? oYes oNo [1Cor 4:1]

  8. How are church members behaving?

  • Arrogantly?

  • Humbly, in accordance with Paul's personal example?

Paul wrote: "When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it;when we are slandered, we answer kindly." [1Cor 4:12,13]

  1. Do church members continue to associate with any member who is:

"sexually immoral, or

greedy, or

an idolater, or

a slanderer, or

a drunkard, or

a swindler"? [1Cor 5:11]

  1. Do church members sue each other in the law courts instead of bringing their disputes to other church members to judge? oYes oNo

     Happy TICking as you check how your church measures up to Paul's checklist drawn up from the first six chapters of his letter.

     But what of the other ten chapters where Paul has packed so much to guide individual Christians in daily living? Why not make a separate checklist for yourself, and refer to it frequently to apply Paul's teachings in your own life?

     But as Paul himself says, do not unwittingly become followers of Paul. Paul expounds on and clarifies what God and Jesus teach in the rest of the Bible. So, check: Am I a follower of God and of Jesus or am I following Pastor Tom, Dick, Paul or Harry?

SPECIAL REPORT

     We continue our presentation of our recent graduands. Praise God with us for Kim Jong Kuk, Hosea Lai Chin Kok, and for others to be presented next week.

MASTER IN CHRISTIAN STUDIES

Kim Jong Kuk

BA, University of Jeon Buk

M.Div, Chong Shin Theological Seminary

MCS, Biblical Graduate School of Theology

     Jong Kuk is a Pastor of Open Blessing Presbyterian Church, Jeonbuk, Korea, where he will be serving after graduation. He aims to study towards a Ph.D. His life-verse is Prov. 3:5: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.’

 

Thesis Summary: ‘Jesus’ Self-Understanding of his

Deity in the Temple Incident in Mark 11:11–12:12’

     In the Old Testament there is a clear understanding that the builder of the Temple is God (Ex. 15:17). That idea is picked up in various pre-exilic OT texts, in the visions of Daniel, and in post-exilic prophecies of the rebuilding of the temple (Hag. 2:9; Zc. 6:12). Intertestamental texts and some of the writings of the Qumran community also develop these ideas. The erection of the temple has a twofold symbolism in biblical theology: (1) God dwells among his people as their true King; (2) Israel is God’s elect people. The temple is the meeting-place of God and his people. If this is so, the destruction of the temple would symbolize God’s judgment upon his people.

     According to Mark’s testimony, Jesus entered Jerusalem as the King of Israel who would fulfill the prophecies of Zechariah and other OT prophecies. His action in cleansing the temple clearly implied that a physical temple was no longer needed as a meeting place with God. To press this point further, Jesus proclaimed God’s judgment on ethnic Israel by cursing the fig tree. Jesus concluded his arguments by pointing to his own crucifixion and resurrection, which would declare him to be the builder of the True Temple. With that the teaching is complete: Jesus saw himself as God and his deity is a fundamental teaching in the Christian Faith.

Hosea Lai Chin Kok

BA (Social Work), National University of Singapore

TESOL Certificate (distinction)

Dip CS, Biblical Graduate School of Theology

MCS, Biblical Graduate School of Theology (cum laude)

     Hosea is a member of Holy Grace Presbyterian Church. After graduation he will be engaged in mission work. His life-verse is 1 Cor. 3:6: ‘I planted the seed… but God made it grow.’

Thesis Summary: ‘The Incorporation of Christian Moral Values into the Teaching of English as a Second Language for Tentmaking Ministry’

     There is a pressing need for a moral education programme to curb the increasing moral problems of drug abuse, stealing and teenage pregnancy among the students of Hong Bang Military School in Wa, Myanmar. However, moral education is not part of the school curriculum. The purpose of the ministry project is to restructure the curriculum by incorporating Christian moral values into the teaching of English as a second language. The project involved a visit to the Student Missionary Outreach in the Philippines to conduct interviews with the trainers of the Moral Values Programme. The interviews gave valuable insights into how Christian moral values education can be effectively implemented. Imparting such values requires a student-centred approach and the building of relationships with students. A model lesson was created to illustrate how Christian moral values can be incorporated into the teaching of English as a second language in the course of the tentmaking ministry.

A TALE OF TWO CITIES

Dr Quek Swee Hwa will be giving a series of talk on ‘Jerusalem & Babylon’ 
at Bethesda Church Bukit Arang, 114 Serangoon Ave 3,
Tel. 6288-8811
Dates: 2, 9 & 16 Mar (8.00-9.15pm).

  1. CONDOLENCES. The staff and council of BGST extend our heartfelt sympathy to Serene, our office administrator, on the demise of her father, Mr Woon Wah Kit, who went home to be with the Lord on 23 Feb 03.

  2. COURSES COMMENCING NEXT WEEK:

Vocation, Work & Ministry (commencing 4 Mar)

TENT: Understanding Culture (commencing 4 Mar)

Gospel of Luke (commencing 7 Mar)

TENT: Intro & Biblical Basis of Tentmaking (7 Mar, 7.30-9.30pm & 8 Mar, 2-6pm)

  1. CD audio dubbing service now available at the library. Please contact library staff for details.

  2. Dr Ng Peh Cheng will be conducting two sessions for parents and teachers at the Faith Methodist Church on Child Development and Ministry on 1st and 8th March.

  3. CHAPEL NEXT WEEK, March 5th, will be taken by Dr Ng Peng Cheng. This week, on Feb 26th, Prasia, a 9-member singing group from the Philippines gave a powerful rendition of Christian music in English and Tagalog to an appreciative audience from BGST and others who responded to our announcement last week.

God's Richest Blessings to our Birthday Stars!

Mr Edwin Chak Han-Chih 24/2

Mrs Jessie Tan 27/2

Mr Henry Yeong 28/2

Mr Ravi Shakar 28/2

Mr Lawrence Chiam 29/2

Mr John Sim 29/2

Mrs Sharon Quek 1/3

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This page is updated on 26 Feb 2003 by Leong Kok Weng
    © Feb 2003