Moving to a New Spiritual Level

Last week, I wrote about being reliable in serving the Lord. In other words, in whatever Sunday ministries you serve, be faithful. This requires you to be proficient in your tasks, be it operating the AV system or collecting offerings, etc. More importantly, be dependable, that is, you can be trusted to perform your duty. These are important ministries because they are done for God.

But there is another thing that is far more important than what you do: it is what you are as a person, or your spiritual life. The above can be compared to parts of a computer: what you do is like what you see on the computer screen; what you are as a person is like the software of a computer. Only when the software is functioning properly, then can what you see on the screen be correct. Similarly, only when what is in you as a person is right, then can what you do for the Lord be right. In Jesus’ words, it would be: “no good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit” (Luke 6:43).

As we move into the new church premises, let us not just look at the beauty of the new place. Rather, let us focus on the unseen things, namely, the spiritual things: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor 4:18).

The premises have been made new. Make new also your heart towards God. As a pastor, I am particular that a Christian make effort (and fight against our lazy self) in the following areas because they are critical for a healthy spiritual life: your personal daily Bible reading and prayer life, Sunday Worship service, Sunday School, and fellowship/cell-group meetings.

You need to allocate serious time to study God’s Word in depth. God’s Word is learned during Sunday sermons and Sunday School. Christians must know your Bible very well. First, work hard and read large portions of the Bible daily. Second, you must be proficient in interpreting passages of the Bible, especially learning to connect the thoughts between individual verses, that is, understanding contexts. Sunday School teachers, especially in the Adult Sunday School, train you to do that every lesson. If I were to pick randomly a passage of the Bible and ask you interpret it, how confident are you in giving it the right meaning? Every Christian should aim to be able to do that. Third, you must know your Christian doctrines very well. Can you tell me what the essential truths are for the topics on salvation, God, humans, sin, church, person and works of Christ, the last things, etc.? Are you able to tell me which books and chapters in the Bible support your understanding of the above-mentioned topics? This then is what I meant by knowing well your Christian doctrines. Do not think that the above are meant only for the more mature Christians. If you work hard at understanding sermons, attend Sunday School, and read daily a chapter of a book on Christian doctrines, e.g., the Westminster Confession of Faith, you will very soon be proficient at interpreting the Bible and with Christian doctrines.

But a Christian is a good Christian only when he/she puts into practice God’s Word. If you have truly understood God’s Word, it must be shown in how you live your life: how you handle life sufferings and how you relate to people in a godly way. One good indicator is: are you the light and salt in your company and family? Do people see the love and holiness of Christ in you? Do you attract people to Christ, or do you push people away from Christ? As we move to new premises, let us move to a new spiritual level too.