Apostle Paul’s Privilege

Sunday May 31 message by Wong

bible

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power.

Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭3‬:‭1-13‬ NIV)

Intro
When man sinned, God was not taken by surprise
Christianity is not merely about the salvation of sinners & forgiveness of sins

Review Ephesians Ch 1-2
God’s people, he church has a heavenly calling

1. Our salvation is founded upon God himself

  • Predestination- by the Father
  • Redemption – by the Son
  • Sealing – by the Spirit

2. God’s power – Manifested in Chris, all believers

3 Paul’s Privilege (v1-8)
Mystery revealed, Ministry entrusted

The ministry entrusted to Paul (v7-13)

  • a) Make known Christ’s riches to the Gentiles (v8)
  • b) Making known he mystery to all men (v9)
  • c) Making known God’s wisdom to the cosmic powers

Major Lesson: The Church has a central place in His plan

Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25

The Church is central to history
His everlasting promise: ‘I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
In today’s world, boundaries are constantly redrawn as wars rage & powers wane. But God’s people are the church around the world

The Church is central to Christian living
Serve & strengthen one another; Live lives pleasing to God; Privileges comes with responsibilities

Conclusion

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭3‬:‭16-19‬ NIV)

What I perceive my God to be

Sunday message by Cheah

faith

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (‭Luke‬ ‭4‬:‭18-21‬ NIV)

The Lord is very protective of His people; ever willing to be their protector
Compassion for people; Healed the sick
He is gentle & approachable
Sent the Holy Spirit who indwells every believer – the comforter
Give the not merely life, but abundant life

Character Study: Stephen

Sat YP message on Stephen by Stephen

Introduction
Today we will hear the story of an apostle 2000yrs ago named Stephen.
Stephen an apostle of Jesus Christ – A servant, witness for Jesus & martyr who died for Jesus.
This morning we will learn to always trust in God & to help you forgive people who hurt you.

trust-god

A. Trusting

Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen. But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke. Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. They produced false witnesses, who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.” (‭Acts‬ ‭6‬:‭8-14‬ NIV)

I – Stephen attacked by men. But God gave Stephen wisdom on what to say.
A – In what areas in your life do you need to trust In God
A – How will you trust God to be your Guide?

B. Suffering

why-suffering

“However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says: “ ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?’ “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.” (‭Acts‬ ‭7‬:‭48-53‬ NIV)

I – We are often stiff necked turn away from God. Back in Israel’s time Israelites stiff-necked make idol of golden calf. God killed them by sword & plague.
A – How have we grieved the Holy Spirit? What do you need to confess, ask forgiveness & repent?

I – Stephen faced persecution. Jesus persecuted. Christians today persecuted.
A – Where have you sinned in persecuting others? Friend in school? Foreign worker in mamak? How will you change your behavior?

C. Forgiving

forgive

When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. (‭Acts‬ ‭7‬:‭54-60‬ NIV)

I – Stephen’s response to pray & ask God forgive those who hurt us
I – Jesus teaches us response to turn our cheek if anyone slaps you (Matthew 5:38-40)
A – What do you do when friends despise & forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer.
A – How do you forgive someone who has hurt you deeply?

Conclusion
Stephen’s life not easy as attacked & hurt by others.
Today our life is not easy as well.
Especially life as a Christian is often filled with challenges & suffering.
But God allows us to trust in Him.
God gives us right words to say. God tells us the right thing to do.
God forgive our sins. God helps us forgive others who hurt us.
God gives us joy. God gives us eternal life.
Like how today Stephen is with our loving Father in heaven.

When I called, you answered me; You made me bold & stouthearted. ~Psalm 138:3

Perseverance

Perseverance by Johnny

Perseverance

Ernest Shackleton expedition on the Endurance to cross Antartica by foot; Trapped for 9 months; Expedition abandoned; Abandoned dream only want to get home.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (‭James‬ ‭1‬:‭2-4‬ NIV)

In contrast with our desire for quick changes & quick solutions, we need to realize that God is in control of the situation & knows the situation that we are in.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12‬:‭8-10‬ NIV)

The team were in an impossible situation. There was no rescue ship. No one thought they would survive through this ordeal. But don’t give up. God’s power is more powerful than any difficult situation. Persevere through difficulty. Be faithful through prayer. He can change people & situations.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (‭Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭12‬ NIV)

The Local Church in Corinth – It’s Problems

Sun May 3 message by Mr Ung Kim Cheng

Resurrection

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15‬:‭3-4‬ NIV)

Answers Qs on
1. Doubts regarding resurrection of those buried
2. Doubts regarding the resurrection body
Solution: Only the resurrection of Christ could solve these problems

Intro
Corinthians believe in resurrection of Christ but unsure of resurrection of Christians

A. The resurrection of Christ (1 Cor 15:1-34)

B. The nature of the resurrection body (1 Cor 15: 35-50)

C. The resolution of problems in the church (1 Cor 16:1-22)

Conclusion (16:22)
Maranatha – Look the Lord comets
Anathema – If you not love the Lord Jesus Christ
Agape – Love in the Lord for all creatures

Berita Bethel Ung website