Wednesday, 29 May 2019

The Eternal Journey - Wayne Goh

There is no other “perfect” teaching except God’s. The different denominations are there for a guideline, to teach its members the way to come before Christ. However, we have to be careful, to critically judge for ourselves whether the teachings are that of Christ. 

I learnt not to judge according to what I feel comfortable, but in everything, referring back to the Word of God. STEP has allowed me to be exposed to what the Presbyterian teaching is about. It also taught me the difference between us and the rest of the denominations. I feel that it is important for Christians to know the difference. It shows that we know what we believe in. 

Though doubts and questions are quite common during the duration of STEP, but I thank God that He is my foundation and kept me going. 


I thank God for allowing me to be part of STEP. I got to know a wonderful bunch of people, and very willing and loving teachers. Without them, I would not have learnt as much and have such an enjoyable time.

The way of worship

Singing praise to the Lord is a way of worship, but that’s not the only way we can worship. It is only a portion of worship. We gather in church not just to worship with songs, we are there for the fellowship, to encourage one another, to be an example for one another, for we are one body of Christ.

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. – Romans 12:4-5 NIV  

Worship does not only begin and ends in church. It is what we have to do every single moment of our lives. The way we conduct ourselves properly is also part of worship. A question that set me thinking was, “Why don’t I sing to the Lord every single day?” I am often guilty of wanting the music to sound nice instead of singing in Spirit and in truth. We must be careful that we sing to the Lord and not for our own satisfaction.

23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” – John 4:23-24 NIV
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:1-2 NIV

We should worship the Lord with our lives, to be the salt and light of the world. That is what I am striving for, to learn how to love even the unlovable. It is not an easy task, and that is why we need God’s guidance.


Love should not only be displayed when you want to spread the gospel. Always love just like how Jesus has commanded. 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:31 NIV

I am reminded about how we must love, not expecting any form of return. I am guilty of wanting to spread the gospel, but my life does not really reflect Christ-likeness. Spreading the gospel then became self-satisfaction, rather than glorifying God. This struck me to be more conscious about my actions.

In STEP, we got the chance to visit Sarah SAC. We do not necessarily need to talk a lot, we just need to lend them a listening ear. That is also an act of love. Love is not something that can be paused. It should be brought along everywhere we go.


STEP is just the beginning, a program which allowed me to learn lots about the history and meaning behind Presbyterian. The types of exposure I received, such as visitation to churches of different denomination, senior activity center, Presbyterian schools, really gave me a new view about things. I am able to think and reflect more frequently. 

It allowed me to know the importance of outreach, and not just doing church stuff. I am very encouraged in this program, but I do not wish for it to end after the program. It is time to step out of my comfort zone, also learning to rely more on God. For is it by grace we are saved, and not through works. We should choose to serve rather than be served. 

Hence it is a good reminder, that I am not saved based on how much I serve, but because of God’s grace and love. 

STEP 2019 Final Assignment - Shaun Yip

Yip Ze Yong Shaun
Synod Training Exposure Programme
May 27, 2019
STEP Final Assignment

          Thank God for being able to join this STEP programme, at first I was quite reluctant to join as I was supposedly going to training for work. But, God gave me a training for my life as a Christian. In the end, I still went for the STEP programme. It was a life changing experience for me as a young Christian that only accepted Christ for only 4-5 years.

           The weekend before the camp I was anxious that I might not be able to make a lot of friends cause I thought that this STEP programme will be a big programme that has 50 over participants. But thank God that on Saturday night, I went for my youth leader, Alvin’s birthday dinner. And during the dinner I talked to a brother-in-Christ that went for STEP last year which is Jia Le. 

And Jia Le filled me in on my doubts when I questioned about STEP, and thank God because He is amazing and He assured me on my doubts and gave me a courageous heart to face the rest of the 3 weeks, regardless of presentations or sharing about my experiences with God in the past, how I came to know Jesus etc.

The first week of the STEP was very enriching and fruitful as I learnt a lot from talking to different people from different churches, and God was speaking through Uncle David to me. I was serving for 2 years in church as a pianist, and during the 2 years of serving, all I knew was that I was serving for God and nothing else more. 

But little did I know that I was slowly turning it into an obligation, then into convenience. I got to this point where I was serving and I don’t know what I am actually serving for, except the fact that I am doing all this for God. And then I start to think about the first time I was serving God. Back then when I was in church for 2 years, I saw all these people serving and I thought one day I want to be like them, serving my God.

And after 2 years later I got the chance to serve Him with myself equipped for it, thank God for giving me the gift and the opportunity to serve Him and I promised Him to do it well. And back to the first day of the STEP programme, God was immediately speaking to me, answering the question I have been asking Him for the answer for the past few months. 

He spoke to me and told me that all these time while I was questioning Him for an answer, I was lacking something very important, which is Love. I did not serve with a loving heart, but instead I was just serving for the sake of it. That was not what God wanted, so He spoke to me and told me serving is not a separated action with my spiritual life and relationship with God, it is all linked together. 

And right after that day I finally understood why I was so troubled the past few months, and it is because I wasn’t putting God as the center of my life, and by not doing that, I was just serving blindly. And thank God after the first week, I was serving on Sunday, and I felt peace from God. And I knew it was God’s work on me. And from the first week I learnt that I need to love God because He first loved us. John 3:16 shows how much God loves us.

          Thank God for the chance to meet all these new friends and learn from them, and being able to join this STEP programme. During the second week, we were assigned to go to HealthServe, it is a place which provided healthcare services for migrant workers, and there was this section of the trip where we were given time to communicate with the migrant workers, and from the conversation, I really wanna thank God for the chance to talk to them, because from then I knew how blessed I am to be a Singaporean and more importantly being a Christian. 

Through the conversation, I learnt that they are actually working every single day in a week, and for more than 12 hours a day. And more importantly is that they have literally no free time to do what they want to, all because they need to send money back regularly each month to their families living in their  home countries that’s relying solely on these migrant workers. 

This showed me how blessed I am living in Singapore and God’s love, as I have a dream in life and I am currently pursuing it, where it is almost impossible for these migrant workers to do that. At one point of the conversation, it stopped because there is always the social status gap in between us no matter how many jokes we cracked. 

But I thank God because only God’s love can fill in the gap between us. God set up this HealthServe to serve these migrant workers for them to see doctors and get any body illness treated as much as they can and the people serving these migrant workers are all volunteers and the clinics and dental clinic or TCM only starts working after 6.30pm, the time where the doctors and dentists and TCMs are off from their work time. And this actions by these people shows us God’s love that these people could’ve went home or enjoyed their time at home or outside with their friends. But instead they committed themselves to serve these migrant workers fully showing God’s love to the migrant workers and others.

          Lastly, I want to thank God for showing me His love, and showing me how I can love others by loving Him first. Thank God for the chance to embark on this journey through STEP.

Theology with the Correct Mentality - Shawn Leow

A brief introduction about myself. My name is Shawn Leow from Living Praise Presbyterian Church (LPPC) and I was introduced to STEP through Pastor Stanley Soh. Prior to signing up, I wasn't sure of what exactly I would be expecting from this programme. However, through the course of the programme, the different theologies taught to us and the church visits really opened my eyes to how the different Churches function.

Why study Theology?

Before I mention anything, I would assume that everyone would know what "Theology" means, but just in case, I will include the Wikipedia definition here which is "the study of the nature of God and religious belief". So, why exactly are people around the world studying theology? They want to know about the History of God, the Science of God, the Thinking of God. My personal opinion is that when one studies theology, one not only gets richer in the knowledge of God but also in doubts about his words. 

Why I would say doubts is because there are many rather questionable actions God has done throughout the bible. That in turn would lead us to prayer, asking him for guidance and understanding of his word which is most important in my opinion. 1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have towards him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. Also, through studying theology we will be better equipped to clear away the misunderstanding others have against our faith, giving us additional confidence in conducting apologetics sessions.

Theology nowadays

Theology nowadays is gaining the knowledge about God and not of God. We know much of what God has done throughout the Bible. His wonderous deeds, he everlasting love, his sovereignty and power, but the thing is how many of us actually have a one to one relationship with him? Knowing some things about someone is quite different from actually personally knowing someone. 

We need to have an interpersonal relationship with God and as what Rev Dr Simon mentions "not to have God as an object of study". Everyone attending a Church has probably done some form of theology in their lives whether they know it or not through their cell groups, Bible study, etc. The question is, do they know their reasons for doing so? Is it just for the sake of learning? If so, I would recommend changing that mentality as there is a larger meaning behind us studying theology.

How should one study Theology

Firstly, we have to accept the fact that we are truly Dead in our sins and acknowledge that only God has the power and authority to make us alive again. Colossians 2:13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses. Secondly, prayer. As mentioned previously, it is through prayer that we will have an interpersonal relationship with God, granting us a greater understanding of his word. Lastly, it is to read meditatively. From my understanding, reading meditatively is to understand the meaning behind the text and pray about it. Therefore, studying with the correct mentality is important here. 

You may be studying simply for the sake of studying thinking that you would grow in the knowledge of God but how many times have you actually prayed and ask God for understanding and guidance through the difficult passages in the Bible? So, study theology along with our spiritual relationship with God.

Different Theological practices

There are multiple different theological practices around us originating from different viewpoints (Catholic, Methodist, Anglican). However, we should also keep in mind that our unity is with Christ in the end and not in our denominations. It is all dependent on the individual to decide which congregation is the one that will be bringing him or her closer to God.


Through theology we learn to love one another, to become more Christ like in order to glorify him. Do not forget to inculcate prayer into all that you are doing. Share the gospel to others perhaps through missiology and apologetics. Whenever you feel as if you are drifting away from God, pray for a big problem to happen in your life and in turn you will be pushed closer to him. Hebrews 12:6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. Do not forget that the true basis of your knowledge has to come from the word of God and also, learn with a mindset of building a relationship with God.

Gospel of Grace by Samuel, STEP 2019

O God, we praise You for Your irresistibly amazing grace. Your knowledge is infinite and how unfathomable! As it is written in John 3:30, “He must become greater; I must become less.” I pray that others will know the Holy Spirit fully working in me and that Your glory will be reflected through this poem, thereby transforming the hearts of all You’ve chosen, for it is written “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit- fruit that will last- and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” (John 15:16).

Gospel of Grace

When my time has come and death beckons,
What will I do when I come before You in heaven?
Will I rejoice of how it was my choice so great,
or will I be humbled by Your will on my fate?

Before Adam and Eve took the wicked bite,
They knew that disobeying You was not right.
Even near God they chose to sin,
How can we say we would have chosen Him?

Because of the Fall, Man was completely doomed,
But You sent Jesus who bled through his wounds.
What we deserve is death, from our Total Depravity,
Yet all is not lost because of the cross at Calvary.

Lord, we did not choose You, but You chose us,
Nothing we do makes us worthy of Jesus.
You sacrificed your son for the world’s redemption,
Exercising your sovereignty of Unconditional Election.

Christ’ death on the cross, a reparation for our sin,
Only will we be saved with the Holy Spirit within.
Limited Atonement by Your sovereign will,
Out of immeasurable gratitude we can only be still.

How great are You Lord, Your love so divine,
That You would choose us despite the Fall of mankind.
Though our faith wavers from the worldly desires we chase,
We will always be drawn back to Your Irresistible Grace.

With our salvation granted by the Almighty God Most High,
Nothing in all creation will be able to separate us to die.
The Perseverance of the Saints gives us assurance of our salvation,
For Your great love transcends all our transgressions.

You declare that just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are Your ways and thoughts higher than ours of little worth.
So as simple and finite humans who were condemned to death,
We will worship and enjoy You with our borrowed breath.

STEP 2019 Final Assignment - Joseph Yong

          STEP has been in some ways been similar to that of the Synod Youth Internship Programme(SYIP), from the allowance of an estimated $5.50/hour to the topics that were covered. However, I did realise that certain questions inside of me have yet to be answered. This short write-up will focus upon the the idea of Calvinism, and how the idea of predestination might interact with that of missionary work. But first, some context.

          I know if you are reading this you probably have a much richer understanding of what the doctrine of predestination is about, but similarly to how Youtubers try to hit that 10 minute mark in videos for monies, I too have word requirements. Besides, maybe its stored in some dusty corner of your brain and some memory jocking will be what aid in the retrieval of that information.

To start things off, the idea of predestination has been mentioned many times in the bible, one of which: Ephesians 1:5 “Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (other verses includes things from Eph 1,4,5, Acts 15 ,etc). This verse highlights how there is this idea that God being eternal, with the foreknowledge of stuff has already foreordained things that will happen in this world (universe too i guess). 

This concept, obviously, can be quite repulsive to some to know that their lives have already been predestined by some cosmic entity. Nonetheless, the doctrine of predestination is one that highlights the sovereignty of God, his omniscience - basically complete knowledge, and his omnipotence - all powerful.

Back to the main point of this discussion. After learning about this whole predestination thing, the question which popped into my head and probably you the first time when u heard it was that of “WAIT bro, if you are saying that God has already decided who he wants to save and who he wants to not save, wouldn’t that mean that I don’t need to go out for missionary???” 

Initially when this question entered my head during SYIP (3 years ago), my main resolution to it was really we go out for missions, because Jesus had commanded us to go for missions, and being that good guai chinese boy who has been in church all my life, I have come to respect the commands of a sovereign and omnipotent God. For it written in the bible in the all so famous verse of Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”. Of course, to follow God’s commands is and should be a good enough reason for one to carry it out, but I however have found out that there exists more than simply that.

In an interview with R.C. Sproul (American theologian, author and pastor), he was asked about this exact topic by the interviewer, that if people are predestined, why do we bother doing missions. In which he very nicely described how it is true that God does not need our help to carry out this spreading of the gospel (He can probably do it in a Thanos-ish manner), but, and I quote him on this “(God) gives me the unspeakable privilege of participating in this work of redemption.” 

In the video Sproul too highlighted how God has not only predestined the end, but also predestined the means. In another interview of John Piper pertaining to the same issue, he give a comparison of how if a nail is to be sunk by a 2-by-4(had to google what a 2x4 was), it had to be hit with a hammer. So in that example, we are the hammer carrying God’s plan of sinking the nail into the piece of wood.

In conclusion, God has predestined us to go out and spread the gospel to who he has already predestined to save. Thus why we need to carry out missions and evangelism. Oh yeah and because Jesus commanded us to.

With that questions hopefully satisfied, time to move on to the more reflective part of the essay: how does this understanding then affect the way in which we carry out our spreading of the gospel? My main takeaways that I will bring with me the next time I spread the gospel can be summarised into two things: Confidence and Gratitude.

Confidence, to know that we are backed by an all powerful God when we spread the gospel would bring confidence. Just like how I feel way more confident that a dish is going to turn out fine when following instructions off my Mother versus some random friend who watched a Buzzfeed video. This topped off with stories and testimonials that I've heard during step really brings forth the idea that God really works in ways unimaginable, so even though I may think a situation is headed downhill, it might just simply be a necessary detour.

Secondly, gratitude. It has been touched on the previous paragraph about how it is a privilege to be able to play a part in God’s plan in redemption of other people, and I do think that this idea can be brought to even other settings like serving in the church. But back to spreading to gospel. It mainly reminding me of how it is true that the very fact that i am able to go for missions, the very fact that I am able to tell my friends around me about Christ is on its own a privilege. Not so much a task to earn brownie points, not just a command given by Jesus, but an opportunity granted by God himself, for a broken and flawed creature to do the work of a pure and perfect being.

All in all, predestination and missionary are complementary and has reminded me to be both confident and grateful when doing so.

STEP Final Assignment 2019 - Joella Seah Ming Hui

If there is one main takeaway I have gained from the entire STEP journey these past 3 weeks, it would be this: Love. As cliche as it sounds, Love particularly resonated with me during the various sharings, church visits and even the other assignments that we had to complete which included the Bible reading of the New Testament (which I might or might not have finished...) Although this word is repeated many times in the Bible, even being described in detail in 1 Corinthians 13, it never fully struck me that Love is indeed universal yet at the same time, simple. The universality of Love is embodied in the very mission of God in the Bible - to save His chosen people by sending His son once for all, reconciling them back to Him.

Love for God

At the forefront of our Christian faith, Love for God should come naturally and unconditionally. With a Love for God, many other wonderful qualities and aspects of Christ-like living can be put to practice. Respect is a form of Love, and respecting God would mean that we seek His words of advice for us and obey His commands as we look to Him as a role model in all that we do. We might not be able to meet God’s expectations of holiness and righteousness, but all He desires is a Love for Him which leads to repentance and faith.

Love for Others

As we Love god, we also Love those around us. Love is selfless and therefore should be spread like a wildfire amongst our circle of friends and family and more importantly, to those beyond this familiar circle. This is where the simplicity of Love comes in. Many would think that loving others would involve a favour of some sort. Yet, a Love for others can actually be as simple as displaying kindness in speech when speaking with another person. With God’s calling for us to be a part of His mission of salvation, Love can also be shown in evangelism manifested as both word and deed. When we Love others, we bring them one step closer to Christ.

Love for Self

We often hear about Love for God and those in our presence, but what about loving ourselves? As much as we are eager to go forth and rain Love on all our fellow neighbours, it is crucial to first remember our identity and take care of our wellbeing. It is easy to forget who we are in this world; we do not belong here in the first place. However, we must never forget that despite the trials and tribulations we go through, despite our sinful nature, despite our flaws, God still loves us no matter what. If a big and sovereign God can Love us - tiny specks in His universe and timeline, what excuse and reason do we have to not Love ourselves too? So while we pick at our every flaw and blemish, let us not forget that we are already made perfect in God who created us in His own image.

After all this time, it might seem strange that I have capitalised the first letter ‘L’ of Love throughout this reflection essay. The reason why: Because God is Love. Love being seen as a person and a pronoun is made possible because God is the essence and perfect example of Love. He shows His love in the greatest way possible - by sending His one and only Son to die on the cross for our sins that we may believe and have eternal life (John 3:16).

We love because He first loved us while we were sinners. Without God’s love for us, we would not have known Him personally and without knowing God, we are then unable to please and glorify Him.   

As an apt summary to end this reflection, there is one basic command Jesus has given us to follow and apply as we go about our daily lives. “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12 (NIV)  

Seah Ming Hui, Joella
Living Praise Presbyterian Church
STEP 2019

The Incomparable Love - Nicole Chung

The 3-week long STEP programme has come to an end. Through this journey, I have gained new knowledge and cultivated new habits but one of my biggest takeaways is Love. The word ‘Love ‘ has been mentioned 538 times in the Bible but how deep is our understanding of Love? John 3:16 says.” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” 

As God’s precious children, we are blessed to have a Father that loves us unconditionally; a kind of love that cannot be found on earth. Even though our love cannot be compared to his, we should still reach out and bless the people around us. Apart from the people we are familiar with; let us not neglect the poor, the needy and the underprivileged as they require genuine care and support in order to fit into our society.

Leadership and Service

I have learnt that leadership is about knowing where God wants people to be. In order for that to happen, we need to know God very well. A quote from John Piper states, “I define spiritual leadership as knowing where God wants people to be and taking the initiative to use God’s methods to get them there in reliance of God’s power.” 

As leaders in church, it is crucial to take the initiative to do things and lead people to the Lord. Mark 1:35 says, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” 

By taking the initiative to pray early in the morning even though everyone else was asleep, he was able to spend more time and have a better connection with God. Likewise, as leaders of the church, we should take the initiative to get to know the members of the church and unify the congregation as the body of Christ. 

Even simple greetings when we see each other could be helpful in building good relationships with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Some of us may not be leaders of the church but there are still many ways in which we can serve him to show our love and gratitude for what he has done for us. 

It can be as simple as using the musical talent that God has given you to serve him in the worship ministry. As long as we bear the right mentality and attitude, anything can be seen as service to the Lord.

Out and Above

Through the lessons about missiology and evangelism, I have learnt that we are often too comfortable living the “Christian” life that we forget to bring others to God. The individual pastors have also highlighted that we should not see Christianity as a routine; going to church every Sunday, but going out to serve the people who may not know about our God. 

Matthew 10:7-9 says, “As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts”. 

As faithful disciples of God, we should go out and spread the good news about Jesus Christ our saviour. Since we have been constantly blessed abundantly, we should take the initiative to bless others around us and lead them to God.  We are saved to be part of God’s mission, not only just to “claim” our ‘eternal life’. 

I also learnt that Evangelism does not only encompass spreading the gospel; even simple acts that are pleasing to God can be considered as Evangelism. For example: helping an old lady cross the road etc.

Vulnerable Wings

As we toured around Geylang and visited Healthserve, I realised that there are many people who are vulnerable in our society. With most of them being foreigners, they come from afar to work in this developing city where growth is rapid. 

Some are worried about their family back in their hometown; some are worried about their safety at work, while others are satisfied just by getting a job in Singapore. 

At Healthserve, we were informed that many migrant workers are getting injured and being exploited by their bosses. While interviewing one of the migrant workers, what struck me the most was when he said, “I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, I’m worried.” 

I realised that at times, we take for granted the things we have and often ask for more. What we see as worthless may sometimes be a necessity to someone else. Proverbs 11:25 says, “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.” 

God has sent us to this world to be a blessing to others and to express our love for those who are in need. Many of them have dreams, just like us; but sacrifice them in order to provide for their families.  


Our visit to Sarah Senior Activity Centre taught me many lessons that cannot be learnt through textbooks. As I visited the old folks there, I realised that most of them were very cheerful and lively. 

Some may not be able to move around very well but when it was time to praise the Lord, a smile was forged on their faces throughout the time of worship. During the home visit, I visited a non-Christian elderly couple who had gone through thick and thin together for at least 40 years. 

Even though it was a tough 40 years, they fought through all obstacles and relied on each other. It was heart warming to feel their love for each other even though their days may be numbered. 

Even as a guest, I felt very welcome and loved; a feeling I do not always get often. As my group was conversing with the couple, I was constantly reminded about my maternal grandparents who are also non-Christian. I have always struggled to talk to them about religion as I was afraid that they would turn me away. 

I was always afraid of rejection and my lack of knowledge but this visit has helped me keep the faith and try. Matthew 17:20 says,” He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. 

Nothing will be impossible for you." I have learnt that with faith, God will work out something in me and help me to lead more people to Christ.

As the programme comes to an end, I give thanks for everything that has been taught and learnt. As we go back to our own lives, let us not forget about the love that God has showered upon us and apply the lessons learnt. 

Let us not forget to be a blessing to others and give all glory to God. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 says: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs." Above all else, love one another because God is love. Without love, we are nothing. 

How Calvinism has shaped the way I think about …… Sophia Chen

Calvinism, mainly consisting of the 5 points of Calvinism (TULIP), has been the highlight of my learning journey in STEP (as well as SYIP) as God has revealed himself to me the most through these lessons. I will be sharing on how Calvinism has impacted/shaped/changed the way I think of certain things such as worship, evangelism as well as assurance of salvation.

How Total Depravity has shaped the way I think about Worship
“ But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4-5)
The fall of one man left humanity dead in their transgressions. Our ability not to sin has been taken away from us and therefore basically the ability to respond to God as well. However, God being full of grace and love for His creation, saved us from what we deserved – death. When the Holy Spirit comes to us, we are then made alive. This is where worship comes in. I realized the importance of worship to us believers as it is the response we should give God now that we are alive and able to respond to God.
 “ Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. “ (Romans 12:1)

This verse is a reminder on how our whole body belongs to God since we are made alive through Jesus and thus we should worship Him in living out a Christ-like life while proclaiming His name.
Moreover, the importance of leading worship in church is to remind people of their depravity and that the reason for worship is because of what God has done and not what we need or have to do. Therefore, centering their minds’ attention and hearts’ affection on the Lord.

How Limited Atonement has impacted the way I think about Evangelism
“I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.” (John 17:9)

I thought about this topic before STEP as I knew about predestination but I think maybe I couldn’t fully grasp the whole idea of it that I did thought about how this idea of “limited” would be a stumbing block for me when it comes to evangelism. ‘If God has already determined who will be saved, is there really a need to preach the gospel?’ i had this thought as im not one who is fluent in apologetics or very biblically knowledgeable and it did cross my mind that God could just use someone else to make His will done. 

However, through STEP I have managed to understand the idea of limited atonement. First and foremost, this doctrine is actually about how Jesus actually didn’t die for the world, but for the elected only and hence limited to these people only. Not that Jesus’ blood is limited to only some.
“Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29b)

I learnt that we should do evangelism whatever opportunity we have and to the best of our ability because we will never know who the elect are. Only God knows. Therefore it is our responsibility to share the gospel to everyone having the mindset that this person could be part of the elect and therefore I could become a useful tool for the kingdom of God. 

In fact, the primary mission of all believers should be to evangelise because we are disciples of God and Jesus has told us to go and make disciples of all nations.

What I took away from Rev Peter Chan’s lecture is that “God want the people more than we do”. 

This really comforts me as although I may not be the perfect evangelist but I know that my God is perfect and He will help and guide me because one way or another, these people will come to God and all I need to do is commit everything to God.

How Irresistible Grace shaped the way I think about Assurance of Salvation
“he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,” (Titus 3:5)

How am I so sure im saved? Will I one day maybe fall out of faith? These are some questions I used to think about on the long bus rides home.

Calvinism suggest that salvation cannot be lost. Once God elects, he will not allow them to fall out of grace. The Holy Spirit will work in them so powerfully in them that they cannot resist but surrender. This suggests that anyone who claim they had faith and then fallen from faith was not truly saved in the first place. I realized that this was more of an encouragement to me, that if I place all hope on Him, nothing can snatch me out of His hands. My heavenly father‘s grip on me is much greater than anything in this world.
“All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” (John 6:37)

As such, my understanding of irresistible grace has allowed me to gain more hope in salvation given to me by Jesus as it is teaching me to be resilient in my walk with God.

All in all, these 5 points of Calvinism has really humbled me as it reminds me of how awesome, all-knowing, sovereign and graceful God is. Although I may have gotten a better understanding of each point and how it applies in my life, I still struggle to totally grasp the idea of it but I guess its just like how we can never totally understand God’s entirety because it is just beyond the understanding of my tiny brain J

STEP 2019 Program Report - Benjamin Koh

Benjamin Koh Wei Ming

         Step 2019 Report.

  1. What’s an Issue that the Singapore church will face in the next decade and what can we do about it?
  2. ‘Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed’ Acts 13:36(NIV) What is the purpose of your current generation in building of the Church? Name at least one issue.
  3. Conclusion

What’s an Issue that the Singapore church will face in the next decade and what can we do about it?

The issue I feel is that the change of worship environment and style more suited for the modern style (music, sermon, etc). 

The idea of a good worship to God is we need to go back to the bible no matter what we do, which every church that worship our God will do. 

The bible is the word of God and following what the word is correct. In the modern sociality, everything is quick and imminently. 
Worship slowly is progressing to that level, even if is minimum. The church cannot lose the main point of worshiping God, evangelism, mentoring and teaching. 

The scripture cannot be changing to suit the general wants not needs, example teaching about wanting materialist things is good and should do it more or money that if you make more money is to progress for the church and the people. 

God want is us to spend time to him not to use things that he already has. Another main issue that is more important is (LGBTQ+) Love community, they promote hate towards people that don’t agree to their point of view and how they say we are a problem and we promote hate (which is very hypocritical). 

We hate the sin but love the sinner is a vaild point but is overly use as our Lord Jesus show us to forgive the sinner. In the bible is state God hate sin which is in Psalm 5:4 (O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness;
    you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked.) and love the sinner 1st john 4: 7-10 (7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.). 

The LGBT community will be a major problem in the future, range from the government to the community who say we need to love everyone (which is not wrong), it will be difficult to come to an understanding and stand together as our community view is very different. 

Singapore as a country follows other country in social conduct (Korea Japan China USA Europe ETC), always taking the best but sometimes something nasty come with it. LGBT is nothing new but in 2009 onwards with Obama allow same-sex marriage open doors to other unseen problems. 

With trump also elected the LGBT community slowly come out to the plus (addition community which is identifying sexual/gender all into the same thing instead of just ending with L&G), that is an upper problem with the identifying problem where gender is a choice and you can be whatever you want bringing up a lot of issue that is not a problem until now, which is (rape and sexual assault) which there was a news about a male rapist who identify as a woman and was brought into a female prison which is weird. 

With opening LGBT+ addition other minor groups in the community like pedophiles and incest that are coming out also. When will it end, because love without any form of logic and understanding is love. That is not how love works, is about commitment and other people will not suffer from your choices that you choose (which is not as they are pushing ideas in our throats). 

I have multiple gay lesbian and even one transgender, they have not pushed my idea down or persecute me which is very grateful for, but it won’t be the same as if the bill of same-sex marriage get pass in Singapore parliament. 

As a Christian and a member of a church, we need to steadfast in our faith and don’t waver no matter what the cost as we need to protect our children and children’s children future. I can write even more but I don’t wish to as is not the main topic of the report, I will finish my thought in a private word document. Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
‘Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed’ Acts 13:36(NIV) What is the purpose of your current generation in building of the Church? Name at least one issue.

Our purpose for my current generation is a pave a stronger foundation for our future generation, in my current generation we will fate much because we are in the time where change happen fast, and a lot of problem will come out to affect the church. We need to hold on to the bible teaching and nurture our future generation in the correct view and idea without changing their own idea or will to do things. 

The world is becoming more harder as a Christian even though there isn’t much war and outright persecution but is more of the community and how social circle affect the youth. I myself is a product of social circle and how it changes me but thank God he slowly pulls me back to the correct path. 

Community plays a big part in our day and age as culture and traditions is becoming more blur. Kids also can be affect by parents and if the parents are very liberal they will change how the kids feel and even if they only feel (if a boy feel like he should be a girl but it is only a small part of growing up and he will grow out of it but the parents allow it they he may change totally and may regret whatever decision he makes (sex change, crossdressing or eating pills)) for a short while.

Also teaching, as we are now in an age where almost everyone has education and can read, teaching will be more open and more questioning as everyone is more curious. It is good, but it can be a double edge sword as they question to the point they question God. It is something we need to have good foundation as our next generation will be even smarter and intuitive in the knowledge of God’s word.

Conclusion of STEP

Is been a learning experience that I receive in the past three weeks. The program has given a lot of information about the fore father of Presbyterian, learning how Martin Luther brought about the 95 thesis and the reformation which was enlightening learning how it was started out. Giving me an idea that is not just the bible predecessor that God uses, also our forefather that live not long ago.

The knowledge of how Singapore Presbyterian came about, through the missionary from England. How Rev Keas berry decided to stay in Malaysia and later proceed to Singapore to spread the gospel and helping to set up church. In turn, making school and association that help the people in Singapore both in their needs and spiritual.

Learning that this program is to urge the young generation of my time to come in full time is understandable, the generation of mine is the one that is not lacking in money but in time and commitment. If God so wish for us to go full time he will show the sign but for now I will continue to help and support the church in whatever they and the people need.

Reading is something that I don’t usually do even though I enjoy it. The lesson teaches me to read more books that is relatable to the bible and will help me to see different views not just mine. Not neglecting the bible of cause. Reading will give me more understanding and knowledge to proceed more in-depth discussion.

Overall a great experience and one that will go with me until I lay rest. Is a lesson that will affect how to proceed in my walk with Christ and how I do my daily devotion. The lesson teaches me to question everything I hear and not to be cynical but critical in viewing teaching in church or sermon. 

With that said, walk with God is very hard and full of suffering but with brothers and sister of Christ walking together and with the knowledge of the bible at our side, it will not be so bad.