Thursday, 25 April 2013

GENESIS 1 - 11 SUMMARY 21.4.2013


The following questions addressed in our series in Genesis 1 - 11.

Where am I?
What am I doing here?
What is this place, even planet earth, that I’ve found myself on?
How does it work?
What’s my place within it?
What is God thinking this side of the flood?
Are we in danger that at some point God will look down, see our hearts and decide: “That’s enough!”?

2 questions in this Post-Flood world:

1.      How will God relate to sinful humanity?

§ Unbelievable Kindness

Despite the wickedness of humanity for centuries, and all over the world – God looked down many times, seen our hearts and yet restrained his anger.
We are living in a world day by day that is simply not getting what it deserves.

The word translated rainbow is simply bow  as in bow & arrow.  God the warrior has laid down his weapon and it’s God who will remember his covenant. It shows what matters is not what we do, but what God does.

The rainbow is not the only sign like this that God gives his people.
The Bread and the Wine again are signs given by God pointing us to what He has done in Christ. And these promises are even better than the rainbow.
The rainbow tells us that as long as this world endures, the flood won’t come to wash everything away.

But this world will end when Jesus returns. The Day is coming when all this anger that is being stored up will be poured out. As we await that Return, the Bread and the Wine remind us that we need not fear that Day. They point us to the Cross where we find that refuge that we need from God’s judgment. They reassure us that we are safe.

§ People matter to God

The image of God in humanity is marred by the Fall but it’s not obliterated. Sinful humans are still like God – his representatives on earth – and to be treated as such. No one has the authority to take the life of another. Taking the life of another is to take away the image of God and seek to destroy God himself: abortion, euthanasia or taking pain as meaning a life is not worth living.

The question often asked: “What’s the best thing to do in these circumstances?”

The best thing, of course, is to listen to God. And he’s told us the value on each & every person he created – the value he puts on them. So from conception to death, any and every human being bears God’s image.  This is the basis of the way we are to treat every human being that God puts across our path.

We are to think whose image do they bear? God cares for the human race and so should we. Love your neighbor, all of them.

2.      How will God rescue sinful humanity?

How will God deal with the heart?

Noah also took 7 pairs of every clean animal (Genesis 7:2,3) for the purpose of sacrifice (Genesis 8:20).

Sacrifice reaches the parts that the flood cannot reach. Sacrifice deals with the problem of our hearts. When this fragrant aroma of the sacrifice goes up to the Lord, his heart is changed.

And he can act graciously towards the people.

God’s kindness towards humanity is demonstrated because he values humanity so much that he provides a rescue. We need a perfect savior, like Noah but better, he’s going to come from Shem’s line, and it’s got something to do with sacrifice that is offered. He himself proves to be, an effective sacrifice, which changes God’s attitude towards us.

Genesis 1 - 11 is clearly about SIN - the proud unity of rebellious humanity against God the Creator and Ruler, God’s judgment on humanity and the true unity of humanity that comes from calling on the name of the LORD.


What this offspring of Shem did: Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Genesis Chapter 10 and 11 by Dr. Thomas Chung dated 14.4.13

The first 11 chapters of Genesis deal with the “1st Chapter” of God’s Creation. Genesis chapter 10 and 11 deal with the transition. Transition usually retains the old and going into the new. E.g Beethoven’s music marked the transition of the romantic period. Genesis chapter 11 deals with “2nd Chapter” of God’s plan, the call of Abraham. This chapter lasted for 2000 years. Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. Abraham’s sons were Ismael, Isaac, and Jacob. “2nd Chapter ended with the coming of Jesus Christ. “3rd Chapter was when Jesus came. “4th Chapter was when the angels sounded the trumpets.
Birthing of Nations 
The sons of Noah and Abraham gave birth to the nations.( Genesis 10 ). At the beginning they had one language only and perhaps they spoke other dialects too. The families became clans. All the people were descendants of Noah’s three sons.  
Birthing of Kingdoms 
With the birth of nations there were also birthing of Kingdoms. They were a) kingdom of Satan b) Kingdom of Man and c) Kingdom of God. All the Kingdoms were affected by the death of Jesus. Christians are transformed from the Kingdom of darkness to Kingdom of light. 
Genesis 11:3 talks about the Kingdom of man where buildings were built with bricks and mortar.
Attributes of the fallen that God hated  
In Genesis 11:4 we can read of these attributes. 
a) Self centeredness of man. “I” took the place of God. Man thinks he is greater than God. This leads to all sort of problems.
b) Deficiency of man. Man challenged God. He wants to build the tower to reach the heaven. Today’s scientists are like this, they thought they knew better. They mocked God. E.g John Lennon the famous Beatle who mocked God and later was short to death.
c) Pride of man. He wants to make a name for himself. He wants to be well know, famous. 
d) Conspiracy of man. Man conspired to gain power to do evil. Gen 11:6 man acted like nothing is impossible for him, he wanted to build a tower reaching the heaven. Seem like the sky is the limit. Earlier people spoke only one language, but due to man’s sins God confused their language and they could not understand each other. Gen 11:8 the word “babel” means to confuse. 
Forced Migration 
After God confused their language, the effect was a kind of forced migration. People started to leave their home land and migrated to all parts of the world. Even today we witness such migration due to wars and other causes. Perhaps God had plans for such migration?  
Three Nations 
2 Chronicle 20 – three nations, the Moabites, Ammonites and Edomites came together to fight the Jews. The Jews prayed and fasted. God sent confusions to the armies and they ended fighting each others. 2 Chronicles 20:22-23. Dawn of the Kingdom of God The Kingdom of God started with Abraham. Gen 12:1-2. It was the call of Abraham. God blessed Abraham and he blessed others. Similarly God bless us so that we can bless others. 
Revelation 11:15
The “4th Chapter.
The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” 
We have to receive Jesus in us, otherwise our lives are meaningless. We need to receive Jesus in our hearts.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Let Go and Let's Go by Dr.Stanley Ling dated 7.4.2013

Let Go & Let’s Go by Dr. Stanley Ling dated 7.4.13 

Dr. Ling told a story of the Golden Valley where people go there to collect gold bars and they need to get out of the valley before day break. Many greedy people collected too many bars and were weighted down by the weight and could not leave before day break. The sun came and tremendous reflection from the sun on the gold bars killed them. One person was not greedy, as the bars became too heavy he threw them away until he got just one bar and he managed to get out of the valley alive. The moral of the story is not to be greedy be satisfied with what you have and let go of the past. In the Old Testament there was a similar story of how Lot’s wife turned to a pillar of salt because she was not ready to let go. God wanted to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and instructed Lot and his wife not to turn back to look, but Lot’s wife could not help it and she turned back. We should let go and we will continue to grow.
Peter decisions to follow Jesus three times .

Matthew 4:18-20 – Jesus called the first disciples and they left their fishing nets to follow Him.

Luke 5:8-11 – the disciples did not catch any fish earlier and Jesus instructed them to cast their nets further to sea and they caught a large catch. Peter fell on his knees acknowledging Jesus as God and asking Jesus for forgive him of his sins.  

John 21:17-19 – Jesus asked Peter three times whether he loves Jesus and Peter was irritated that Jesus asked so many times. Jesus told Peter that his death will glorify God. Despite this negative message Peter was ready to follow Jesus. We need to learn from Peter. Each time he encountered Jesus Peter responded positively. God guide us and we must response positively.  

Importance and Growth  
- It is not as important where you are now 
- It is important where you are heading, if you grow you will move on.

Motivation and Growth 
Why do you follow Jesus? 
Out of admiration? 
Out of needs? 
Out of material blessing?
 Indeed really we need to examine ourselves. What are our motivations in following Jesus.

Value Systems – Chasing the 5-C Dreams 
Dr Ling said in his travel all over the world every place is similar as each country has similar 5 Cs. In Taiwan his friends told him they have 7 Cs! The other 2 Cs are a) Company – to own a company of your own b) Concubine – the desire of people to have other wives. Dr. Ling joked that we will be in trouble if we desired the last C-Concubine! 

Secular World 5 Cs : 
1. Career
 2. Car 
3. Cash – credit card 
4. Club membership 
5. Country house / condo 

Christian 5 Cs: 
1. Career for Christ – in the work we do we do for the Lord and not for ourselves. Dr.Ling told a story of a brother in his church who told him he wanted to change job as a cleaner in a complex although he got this job about 4 months ago. When Dr.Ling asked him why. He said he was ashamed because many of the church members go to that complex and he was ashamed to be seen as a cleaner. Dr. Ling advised him not to feel ashamed but to do his work like he is doing for the Lord. This brother understood and he continued with his work and had not change job since. 
2. Compassion for people – have compassion for people who have less than us. Like if you have a car volunteer to bring the elderly or disable to church or to the hospital. 
3. Credit in heaven – do not lay treasures on earth but lay our treasures in heaven. Give generously to organizations or churches which are doing God’s work. 
4. Church Membership – it is important to belong to a church that you frequent regularly. You should not hop from one church to the other. Dr.Ling said sadly this is happening in Singapore where he is residing. He compared these people to be like dragon flyers flying and stopping on many spots on the water surfaces. 

Key to Letting Go 
The story of Abraham told of his obedience to God. Hebrew 11:8 he did not know where he was supposed to go nevertheless he followed God’s instructions to leave his home country. 

The centrality of obedience is to die to ourselves. We need to trust God. We have to take up our crosses to follow Jesus Matthew 16:24 and Deu 8:11-14. 

What is means to trust God? 

Dr.Ling told a story of a tight rope walker who dared his audience to follow him across the valley on tight rode. None dared, but his son volunteered. He trusted his father. They both walked across successfully. Like this story, we need to trust God. Jesus will carry us and we will not fall.

Dr.Stanley Ling’s Testimony

 He was inspired by Malachi 1:8
 “When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the LORD Almighty.” 

Before he left his job as a CEO more than 12 years ago he pondered when he was suppose to leave his job to go full time. This verse inspired him to leave when he was able bodied. To him it was not right to serve Him when he is frail and may not be useful to God. 

Let Us Respond 
Goer – go to the mission when you are called by God 
Mobiliser – if you cannot go yourself, mobilize others to go 
Sender – you can support missions financially Welcomer – there are many missionaries coming to our cities, welcome them, serve them.
Intercessor – pray for the missionaries, they need all your prayers.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Easter Sunday by Dr. Thomas Chung dated 31.3.13

What is the meaning of Easter Sunday to us and the church? What is the meaning of the Cross? Dr.Thomas Chung related that he was invited by his son’s auntie for a drink before coming to the church this morning, and he was served 3 in 1 coffee mix. He realized this 3 in 1 coffee mix is also the message of the Cross. He said the 3 in 1 drink mix referred to the 3 kingdoms, a) Kingdom of Satan b) kingdom of the world c) Kingdom of God.

Matthew 27:50-54 – The kingdom of Satan is never the same again after Jesus resurrected from death. Jesus said “It is finished” in His last breath. The kingdom of Satan had been shocked by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The first Resurrection in Matthew 27:52 – many holy people were raised from the dead as the tombs opened when the earth was shaken.
1. The Kingdom of Satan was devastated because Satan could not hold on to death.
2. The kingdom of the world was never the same again because of the earthquake after Jesus’s death.
3. The kingdom of God is never the same also after Jesus died. Hebrew 7:24-25. Jesus interceded for us and prepare a place for us in heaven.

The Significant of the Cross 

The significance of the Cross is that if Jesus did not die our faith will be futile. Jesus is both man and God. He was also a human who demonstrated his humanity. He died as a man. After that he was raised from the dead. 1 Cor 15 Resurrection of Christ – He overcame death. We also died in Jesus and now we live because of Jesus. He died as a Son of Man and raise from death as the Son of God. Jesus is our hope. Hebrew 9: 28 – Jesus died once to bear the sins of many and He will come back the second time. Our hope is in Him because a) He was raised from death b) He will come back again.

What is the significant of His raising? 

Why did God raise Jesus? In Jesus’ Resurrection God declared that in His Resurrection it was sufficient to atone us of our sins. The death of Jesus satisfied God. The death of Jesus is the perfect and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the world. 1 Cor 15:17-22 – if Jesus was not raised from the dead our faith is futile. We will still be in sins. The blood of Jesus washed our sins.

What is the significant of the resurrection to me today?

 Two resurrections a) we live a resurrected life b) living a resurrected life is signify by water baptism.

Roman 6:3-5 – we are baptized into His death so that as Christ was raised from death we can walk in a new life.
1. Died with Christ
2. Sins buried
3. Resurrected to a new life
In Christ we are new Creations. We are fresh, alive in Christ our hope of glory.

How do we live in Christ? 

We are to be preoccupied with Jesus. Beside the needs of our daily living we are to be preoccupied with Jesus.
a) Think of Him throughout the day. Philippians to live is Christ and to die is gain.
b) Thought of Jesus throughout our lives. Think about what He want us to do in life. 1 Cor 2:16
c) Busy about our Father’s business, some say to be in the house of our Father.

The challenge of Easter 2013 is to press on like an athlete dashing pass the finishing line.