Monday, August 28, 2006

Making sense out of witnessing.

Picture of Frankston Pier, Australia- courtesy of Nains

I have once said how agreeable we can be to being witnesses of Jesus Christ. The Great Commission in Matthew 28 is perhaps, one of the most frequently-memorised verses in the Bible and one which is preached over and over again in churches throughout all ages. It merely reiterates again and again, the seriousness of being called a disciple of Christ and the implications that surround it.

For a start, we must stop being foolish into thinking that the world is all evil and therefore, commitment to the public sphere ought to be kept at a bare minimum. The fact that Jesus did not bring any of the disciples with Him when He ascended to Heaven, signified that we were called to live in this world and be in touch with the public sphere everyday.

But at the same time, we are also called out both singularly and communally to leave our world with significant marks of allegiance to Christ. It is an attestation of His salvation for us, not only from Sin but also for True Life. And we are to attest this at work, at school and at home, as much as we testify His love in church.

The means of attestation have already been said- through giving the firstfruits of our gifts for His Kingdom and upholding justice and righteousness in a twisted world. But, while they ought to be encompassed in our daily Christian living, we are never to view them as equivalent alternatives to proclaiming the Gospel. Instead, proclaiming the good news of salvation ought to be the most glaring modus operandi. All platforms that serve to create space to preach the Gospel must pale in comparison to the actual preaching of the Word itself.

Therefore, the presentation of the Gospel must be clear, crisp and downright plain to understanding. Many a times, we find platform stages and concert lightings so blinding, they distract people from receiving the Good News. Other times, the Gospel is reduced to making us happy and secure without making references to our need for a Saviour from our sins. In the end, Jesus is only known as “friend” but not “Lord”.

A careful reading of the Great Commission in Matthew 28 tells us that we are to make disciples, not merely going to. Making disciples is more than just hoping for people to fall on their knees in evangelistic rallies- it is a continuous process of saturating believers with the Word of God so that they may turn from their sins, turn to God and obey Him. The marks of a true Christian must eventually prevail.

Yet, we must never credit our participation in the Great Commission to ourselves, as though our salvation is enhanced by it. The work performed by Jesus on the cross is complete. None of us can ever tamper with it nor can we jointly take pride in it. Such is the same in the office of the Holy Spirit that prompts and ministers to the hearer. It is only by His strength that we are enabled to preach the Good News. Nothing is of our own.

And so, our ultimate calling is this- to love Him with all our hearts, souls, strength and minds that no treasure is too precious which we cannot forsake for Him; and to love our neighbours as ourselves that we shall not bear to look away when they cry of oppression.

More so, to preach this love to people of all tongues and tribes, simply because He has first loved us.

(Read again!)

Making sense out of giving

Making sense out of justice

1 Comments:

Anonymous Jason Loh Seong Wei said...

Wow ... what a breathtaking pic!

7:49 PM  

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