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Showing posts from 2011

My Prayer-Wish for 2012

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~ That God’s name be honored more and more by all professing Christians.

~ That more Christians would truly seek God’s kingdom first than their own personal advancement and fame.

~ That members of the Church of Jesus Christ would truly demonstrate to the world that they belong to God by loving one another in the truth.

~ That the Lord would continually meet the needs of His people that they might be able to faithfully fulfill the Great Commission.

~ That believers would learn to humble themselves before God and seek His forgiveness and the forgiveness of those whom they have offended.

~ That by His Spirit, Christ would lead His Church to daily overcome worldliness, temptation and sinful desires.

~ That true followers of Christ Jesus would live their lives in light of the return of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Love for Biblical Doctrines

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I am very excited with what’s going on in our church today. Why, because I am seeing our young children learning Biblical doctrines in our Sunday School and catechism classes. It’s amazing to hear many of our children memorize Bible verses together with Bible doctrines from our Heidelberg Catechism. Ask one of them What is true faith, and I’m sure you would get an answer like,

“True faith is not only a knowledge and conviction
that everything God reveals in his Word is true;
it is also a deep-rooted assurance,
created in me by the Holy Spirit through the gospel
that, out of sheer grace earned for us by Christ,
not only others, but I too,
have had my sins forgiven,
have been made forever right with God,
and have been granted salvation.”

Oh it’s wonderful to hear our children recite with us the Apostle’s Creed, or pray with us the Lord’s Prayer. I am hopeful that when my generation is gone, our…

Hope Focused on Christ and His Return

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(A short meditation on 1 John 3:3)

“And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure" (1 John 3:3 ESV).

I’ve heard it said that your eschatology, that is, your doctrine of future things, determines your present conduct. What that means, I suppose, is that your view of the future shapes and forms your behavior and lifestyle now. So if you think that there’s no life after death, you wouldn’t care what kind of life you have now. It doesn’t matter anyway.

But if you believe that there is really life after death, and there is a God who will judge you according to your works, whether good or evil, then you would surely be careful and watchful with the way you live now. So how does your view of the future affect your life?

You see, some people are fascinated to study future things. They are interested to learn about the second coming of Christ, millennium, rapture, final judgment, etc. But for some reason their knowledge of these things doesn't move them to right …

The Ancient Love Song (A book review)

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(This is my book review of The Ancient Love Song: Finding Christ in the Old Testament
by Dr. Charles D. Drew)

All throughout, this book very well shows that Jesus Christ is not only present in the Old Testament but also that apart from Him all the Old Testament promises and portrayals of the Messiah would not find ultimate fulfillment. Properly interpreted, all the Old Testament books talk about, even record, the words of Jesus Christ.

The author begins the book discussing the benefits of understanding the Old Testament well, stating that it is God’s “rich and beautiful proposal of marriage, designed to win not only our faith but also our affection” (2). In other words, the Old Testament is an ancient love song, designed to win the heart of every believer (200).

In the first chapter, Charles Drew argues that the rest of the Scripture is the unfolding of God’s loving plan in Genesis 3:15, to save fallen man and to restore him to a wonderful union and communion with Him even though he…

Grateful or Grumbling?: How Sound Theology Keeps Us from Worrying

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(this is an article written by Pastor Steven J. Cole in October 1997)

Helen Keller, born blind and deaf, wrote, “I have always thought it would be a blessing if each person could be blind and deaf for a few days during his early adult life. Darkness would make him appreciate sight; silence would teach him the joys of sound.”

Her words lead me to ask, Do we truly appreciate each day as God’s gracious gift to us? Are we filled with gratitude for the many blessings He gives us? It’s so easy to slip into a grumbling, negative attitude, frustrated by the problems and irritations we face, not seeing even these things as sent from the hand of a loving God. As His redeemed people, our lives should daily overflow with gratitude for His gracious salvation, even in the midst of trials (see Col. 1:10-12; 2:7).

I just finished reading a wonderful section in [John] Calvin’s Institutes in which he argues that God’s providence rules over every aspect of His creation. Even inanimate powers, such as s…

Humility, Prizes and Pride

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(This is a reflection of my son, Yuri, during his NSC 2011 experience in Roxas City, Capiz on October 15-22, 2011)

Perhaps, it was pride. No, not probably. It was pride. Pride that – as a former delegate of Soli Deo Gloria Christian Academy (SDGCA) for two years – I had earned seven medals – five in the Junior Student Convention (JSC) 2009 and two in the National Student Convention (NSC) 2010. I took up a first place medal in the JSC and two fourth place medals in the last NSC. I felt like I was a medal-winner, and that was my weakness.

I remembered Sir JP, our P.E. teacher. About a month before the NSC this year, he shared about how he related his experience of a dislocated joint (I’m not exactly sure) to the story of how Jacob wrestled with the stranger. He related how God injured Jacob because, according to the Bible, he was a very strong man and was probably proud in this area. He said that God gave him his condition in order to rebuke him of how proud he was in the area of spo…

Why A High View of God Is Necessary?

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(taken from the Preface to A. W. Tozer's "The Knowledge of the Holy')

The message of this book....is called forth by a condition which has existed in the Church for some years and is steadily growing worse. I refer to the loss of the concept of majesty from the popular religious mind. The Church has surrendered her once lofty concept of God and has substituted for it one so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly unworthy of thinking, worshiping men. This she has done not deliberately, but little by little and without her knowledge; and her very unawareness only makes her situation all the more tragic.

The low view of God entertained almost universally among Christians is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhere among us. A whole new philosophy of the Christian life has resulted from this one basic error in our religious thinking.

With our loss of the sense of majesty has come the further loss of religious awe and consciousness of the divine Presence. We have lost our sp…

Thoughts on Coveting

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My son, Yuri, and I are doing regular reading from Bob Schultz “Boyhood and Beyond: Practical Wisdom for Becoming a Man” as part of his homeschooling. There are a lot of insights from that book about real “practical wisdom” that are worth reading, re-reading and applying in daily life. This morning we came to that chapter on coveting or greed that really struck me as we read it. I would like to share some of Bob’s thoughts here. I hope it will help you fight against this idolatry which is very “rampant” among us and which we should "put away" and replace it with the precious word of God (James 1:21).

“When man covets, he is unable to enjoy the presence of God. Foremost in his mind is the item he wants. He dreams about it. He schemes about how to get it. He becomes so full of his desire that his heart has no room to experience God's presence. The man has lost his trust in God to supply his need ["according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19)]. …

Some Helpful Principles in Hermeneutics

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(this is based on an email message by Dr. Rowland Ward in one of those discussion groups, which I forgot)

Montgomery Boice's little work - "Standing on The Rock" (Tyndale). Not only is it written in layman's terms, it also does a fine job of discussing problems with scientific (so-called) evidences, and has a great section on the Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy, and the Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics. It's 157 pages, paperback and an excellent resource all around.

He includes a very quick and cogent section he calls "ten principles of proper Bible interpretation." I cover these with my congregation at least once a year. Perhaps Boss Stamper will forgive the length in consideration of the fine help it is. They are worth repeating here.

1 - The Principle of Unity. Since the Bible has one author, namely, God, the parts of the Bible must go together to form one overall story and present one consistent theology. If they do not seem to do…

Thank You for all Your Prayers and Assistance

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July 9, 2011

Dear friends and prayer partners,

Thank you for all your prayers and assistance to our members and attenders who were hit by the flash flood on the night of June 28, 2011. Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity. For sure that means a lot already for the families who are trying to recover from their loss and the trauma caused by the flood.

We took turns in going to the flooded place to bring food and help in any way. Cathy also did some shopping for their immediate needs. The members gave some gifts and relief stuff – cash, clothing, kitchen wares, etc.

Our deacon and I went to their place again Sunday afternoon (July 3) after church to bring some stuff – mats, blankets, pillows, towels, mosquito nets, etc. – which they said they need. They told us that some of them were sleeping on towels the previous nights. Hopefully with some financial assistance you're going to send we could buy some mattress and extra blankets to keep them warm in the coming days.

Cleaving Unto God

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(This is a summary of Abraham Kuyper's devotional thought "Cleaving Unto Him" from his book Near Unto God)

"Therefore choose life...loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days,..." - Deuteronomy 30:19b-20a (ESV)

Religion, that is, the worship of the triune God, is the best means that enriches our heart. Yet it is in religion at the same time that sin best thrives. What started as true devotion to God degenerates into cold formalism, lacking in zeal and heartfelt service, because of sin.

Even though the West may appear better than the East in terms of religion, yet many have corrupted it to a great degree of disappointment. In God's point of view, out of millions who profess devotion to God only a few are really devoted to Him.

Yet God continues to issue His command, saying, "Choose life...holding fast to [the Lord]" (Deut. 30:20). Everyone of us, even the most saintly and godly amon…

Theology of the Reformers: A Review

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(This is my review of Dr. Timothy George's Theology of the Reformers)

In a time such as ours when many books and journal articles have already been written about the life and works of Protestant Reformers, particularly about Luther and Calvin, Timothy George's yet another volume on the subject deserves commendation. This book is well-researched, especially its frequent reference and quote of the primary sources. It is also carefully written that scholars, pastors, students of history, and interested Christians from every status and station in life can easily understand and appreciate.

Dr. Timothy George himself is Dean and Professor of History and Historical Theology at the Beeson Divinity School. As one of the most respected historians in the evangelical world, Dr. George is the author of more than 20 books and a hundred of journal articles, and editor of The Reformation Commentary on Scripture with InterVarsity Press. He has been active in the evangelical dialogue with th…

Bullinger and the Second Helvetic Confession

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Written by John M. Cromarty
From Our Banner: June 1976
Available at http://www.pcea.org.au/writings/church-history/bullinger-and-the-second-helvetic-confession/

1. INTRODUCTION

It is recorded that during the great spiritual upheavals of the 16th Century a Roman Catholic asked a Lutheran, 'Where was your Church before Luther?' It was an endeavour to stigmatise the Lutheran's religion as a recent innovation and a human invention. An answer was given in the form of another question, 'Where was your face this morning before you washed?' Under the hand of God the church was being revived and reformed. Man-made traditions could not stand the scrutiny of the Scriptures, and 'the Sword of the Spirit' wielded by its supreme Author was accomplishing that which God had determined. The 'face' of the Church was being cleansed 'with the washing of water by the Word' (Eph. 5:26) and the King and Head of the Church was equipping men with the gifts and …

The Content and Method of Home schooling

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(This is also taken from the article COVENANT AND HOME SCHOOLING by Mr. Slabbert Le Cornu of South Africa, which is available at http://www.spindleworks.com/library/slabbert/ezera_nov.htm)


Deuteronomy 6:7,8 points to the fact that all our thinking ("between our eyes") and all [we] do (hands), must be in service of God. Therefore, the Word of the Lord cannot be restricted to family and Church life only; for, as Scripture teaches: " ... on the way, when you lie down, when you rise up, etc." - in all you do - you must be led by the law of God. This is one of the advantages of home schooling, that the child experiences education and upbringing as a way of life and not as something that is done only on certain hours of the day, at school, or in Church, catechism classes, or society life.

At home they learn diligently, have work to do, they can play, everything according to the law of the Lord. Therefore, home schooling must not take place in isolation, for in Deut. 6:9…

The Presence of the Kingdom: A Review

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(This is my review of the book "The Presence of the Kingdom" by Jacques Ellul)


In this book, the author simply explores and answers the question, “How should the Christian live in the modern world?” In this age of technological advancement and mass media, Ellul vigorously pleads for Christians to live out their identity as the salt of the earth and light of world to this decaying and darkened society. Christ calls His followers to function as “visible signs” of the presence and reality of God's kingdom here on earth.

In order to fulfill their mission, Christians ought not to separate themselves from the culture as most pietists do. However, they ought not to be triumphalistic either, engaging themselves deeply into the culture in order to conquer it or “redeem” it. While modern men are fascinated with, even enslaved by, technology and progress, Christians, however, should be preoccupied with God's kingdom and His righteous rule in the world, living as loyal subjects…

Building Strong Christian Marriages

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(A message shared at Harold's and Pam's wedding based on Ephesians 5:22-33)

Many of us, if not all of us, would agree that “When marriage is founded on God’s Word, it is more enjoyable, more fulfilling, even though misunderstandings and mistakes exist.” The trouble is that many marriages – even by couples who are professing Christians – are not governed by God’s Word and the consequences of this are tragic.

What I’ve just read from Ephesians 5 is one of the clearest guidelines and most life-transforming passages in the Bible pertaining to marriage. And marriages founded on the Word of God are strong and healthy, not without problems, of course. And a healthy marriage makes a healthy home.

But you and I know that although we know these things pertaining to marriage, it doesn’t automatically follow that our marriages will turn out healthy and strong. I am aware that many Christian couples here – whether you are living consistently your faith or not – are hurting and are bearing …