Friday, 25 August 2017

Relationship and Healing by Pastor Seumean Kuon dated 20.8.17

What hinders someone from coming to Jesus Christ?  Is it wealth? Is it education? Or hurt and pain?

When you experienced hurt and pain in your own family, you will usually argued that you cannot go out there to serve Jesus. But with God it is possible.

Illustration of a family scenario that can happen in any place in the world.  He said a family was getting ready to go to church on Sunday, but the parents were quarrelling and the children had difficulties getting ready.  Mom and dad quarrelled over themselves and the children.  Everyone was angry with each other and they yelled as each other in the car. However, when they arrived at the front door of the church while greeted by the pastor, everyone smiled and said all was well.  They behaved normally in Church but as soon as they got off church, they were back to quarrelling.  Many Christians behave this way.

Pastor Seumean said 80% of children who were brought up in Church left Church in their teens when they attend college.  The reason is that they observed that their families behaved one way in church and another when they are out of church.  To them this is not real.  We are losing our young people to the secular world everywhere.  We need to do more.  Why?

John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Jesus has come to help us.  Why are we still struggling and hurting?
John 8:32 “ Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” We need to know the truth of Jesus.

In Luke 4, Jesus was tempted by the devil.  We are also tempted in many ways.  If we put our hearts on something more than God, these are idols.  They can be our hobbies, work, etc.
Hurt and pain got us to do things that are sinful.  But there is good news. Let go of hurts and pain.  It will be easier to hear from God and experience His love for us.  We need to do what He wants us to do. No need to wait until we are in heaven to experience no pain and no hurts.


Is wealth preventing any one from God?  Not necessary.  There are rich people who are Christians.  Money is not what is evil, it is the love of money.

1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
Colossian 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,”


It is harder to share Christ with people who are educated.  This is not necessary true.  Paul was the most educated disciple of Jesus.  He was the Pharisee of Pharisee.  Yet, he met Christ, and became a disciple.  It is not about how much or how little we know.
Act 4:13 “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

Many of Jesus’ disciples were uneducated men.  The key was that they were with Jesus.  The requirement to be Jesus’ disciple is not education but to be with Jesus!

Christianity is not a religion but a relationship.  It is our relationship with God.  This is often connected with love, a loving relationship.
 Matthew 22:39 “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.”
We are commanded to love our neighbour as ourselves.

Our God is awesome and He is near us when we prayed to Him.
Deuteronomy 4:7 “What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?”

Jesus Come Back to Peter by Rev. Andrew Carter dated 6.8.17

This sermon is based on Matthew Chapter 26:31-35 and John Chapter 21:1-19

In John 21:10-19 the passage described where Simon Peter and the other disciples when out to fish and caught nothing.  We do not know why Peter and the others went back fishing.  Rev. Andrew suspected that may be Peter felt ashamed that he has failed Jesus.  He was commissioned as “fisher of men”.  Some commentator said that by going back to fishing, Peter was falling away from following Jesus.  Prior to this scene many things had happened and perhaps the disciples did not know what else to do.

In Matthew 26:31-35 Jesus predicted that Peter will denied Him three times.  Peter claimed he was different from the others and he will never disown Jesus even if he had to die.
In John 26 the disciples caught no fish, but when Jesus told them to throw their net to the right side, they caught 153 fishes.

In Luke 5:1-11, where Jesus called His first disciples, the scenario was similar.  They caught no fish, but Jesus told them to put their net in a deeper end and they caught so many fishes that the net was about to break.  This was the occasion Jesus commissioned Peter to be “fisher of man”.

From these two scenarios, we can see how Peter and the disciples failed.  When Jesus appeared in the scenes, they were successful in catching the fishes.

Rev. Andrew postulated that Peter must have felt like a failure and he did not want to see the Lord again.  He denied Jesus three times before.  He returned to secular work that was fishing.  He was falling away from following Jesus.

But Jesus was not giving up on Peter, He “came back to Peter” and re-commissioned him.  In John 21:15-17 Jesus asked Peter three times whether he loves Jesus.  Peter replied three times he did. Commentators said this was because Peter denied Jesus three times before.

After this re-commissioning we can see how bold Peter was in preaching and sharing the Word with others.


What did the narratives told us of Jesus? What kind of man was Jesus?
Jesus restored us from our failures, even big failures.  When we messed up, no matter how big, Jesus gives us many chances to come back to Him.  Just like Jesus re-engineered the situations for Peter and re-commissioned him for greater works.  Jesus can use our failures to turn into successes.  Failures are part of growing up.  When we failed, Jesus does not forget us He helps us to come back.  During Pentecost, Peter became a bold man.

What about you and I? Have we lost our ways?  May be we have broken our promises to follow Jesus all the way and now we seek “cheap ways” to satisfy ourselves.  May be we are weighted down by failures like Peter?  If we are far away from Jesus, we need to come back.  We need to repent. We may be in the fire place of failures, let us come back to the fire place of restoration.

Jesus loves us and want us to come back to Him.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Roman 6:15-23 - Make Me A Captive Lord and I Shall Be Free by Dr. Thomas Chung dated 30.7.17

The title is a vital paradox of spiritual logic.
1: “His service is Perfect Freedom”  ( vs 15 – 19)
2: “Salvation and Sanctification  through separation from the world. God’s free gift of Eternal Life”             ( vs20 - 23)
The Apostle Paul uses Metaphor to explain the Paradox.
-( A metaphor- the use of words to indicate something different from the literal meaning e.g. “ He has a heart of stone”)
-The word “ slaves” is used six times in this passage ( RSV)
-(i) one quarter of the work force were slaves at the time of Paul
-(ii) slaves were bought and sold as a trade
-(iii) a slave in the ancient world was not a person but a commodity
-(iv) they had no status , no rights, existed in this world for only one purpose, to serve and obey their master
The word “slave” ( Gr. doulos) or slavery is used frequently in the New Testament with reference to:
(i) “Slaves of sin”  (vs 20)
(ii) “Slaves of God”   (vs 22)      
         You are not your own , you were bought with a price. So gloryify God in your body” ( 1 Cor 6:19,20)   
 The word “slave” ( Gr. doulos) or slavery is used frequently in the New Testament with reference to:
   - (iii) of the Apostle Paul
    “ Paul a servant (slave- doulos) Of Jesus Christ called to be an apostle (set apart) for the gospel of God” Romans 1:1
Paul in Rom 6 was expounding about what it means for him  (theologically and doctrinally) and for Christians to be slaves of Jesus
But in Rom 7 he goes on to explain about the inevitable conflict of being both saint and sinner
( i.e. the inconsistencies or paradox of what we are doctrinally (saints) and what we experience
 ( sinners) in life. Like mixing oil and water is the soap )    
(iv) of Jesus
    “ …Christ Jesus , though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with form of God a thing to be grasped but emptied himself taking the form of a servant (doulos – slave) …He humbled himself and became obedient unto death even death on a cross…” Philippians 2: 5-8
He did the job of the lowest slave. He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel… ( John 13:5)
Isaiah refers to Jesus as the Servant King ( Isaiah 53:11)
To be a slave speaks of Ownership, Allegiance (loyalty), Obedience, Total Commitment , Sacrificial Service.

The Apostle Paul was saying a Christian can only have one Master ( vs 16)
Jesus said “ no man can serve two masters…” ( Matt 6:24)
(a) We are not free to do what we want ( in which case we will be “slaves to sin”),
        but to do what God wants ( in doing so we become “slaves of righteousness” ) ( vs16)
(b) to be perfectly free we must be totally obedient to God
We have “… become obedient from the heart ( a willing obedience)to the standard of teaching to which you were committed” (vs17)
i.e. obedience to the word of God , obedience to the will and commands of God
Jesus said, “ If you love me keep my commandments” ( John 14:15)
(c) We are to will to separate ourselves from the evil ways of the world and surrender to living for God called ‘righteous living’ .
Sanctification means separation to God.
It means to be separated to do God’s work ( vs 18,19)
the two words Anointing and Holiness find their roots in the word ‘Separation’ , i.e. separation to and for God
(d) the Apostle Paul also apologises for using the term slavery
But says that it is a metaphor they will understand
“I am speaking in human terms, because of your human limitations” ( vs19)

(a) In Christ we too have died to sin. Our sins were buried with him and . We have risen with him to a new life ( resurrection)
“ We were buried with him by baptism into death just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” ( vs4)
“… united with him in a resurrection like his” ( vs5)
(b) walking (living) in newness of life (vs4)
  If we have died with him… we shall also live with him “ (vs8)
“… dead to sin and alive with to God in Christ Jesus “ ( vs11)
(c) Slaves of Christ but also Children of God
(i) we receive adoption as children …so you are no longer a   slave but a child and if a child also an heir through God”  (Galatians 4:5-7)
(ii) “Endure trials for the sake of discipline .  God is treating you as children “ (Hebrews 12:7)