Wednesday, October 14, 2020




Philippians 2:12 - 13 (ESV)


Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.


            A verse that we have often read and heard is Philippians 2:12 where we are commanded to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.  Some have misunderstood this verse, thinking that we need to work to earn our salvation.  However, this command calls us, not to work for our salvation, but to live out the saved life.  We all know salvation is something not earned but given us by God out of His grace, a gift given to undeserving people like myself.  We know also that genuine saving faith must be seen in how we live out our Christian witness through word and works, for faith without works is dead (James 2:17).  Faith and works are not mutually exclusive, each falling on the opposite side of the spectrum, but rather, interconnected.  While it is faith in Christ alone that brings about salvation,  the life of godliness should be the outflow of that salvation. 


            The problem when we take this command out of its context is that we may end up thinking that living the Christ-like life is all up to us.  Salvation has been given us by grace, but living the life of sanctification is now totally dependent on my own strength and will.  This will result to us becoming driven to perform and leading to despair because, if we are honest, we know we are unable to fulfill the command.  On my own, it is impossible for me to walk with the Lord every day in fellowship,  to love others sincerely and sacrificially, and to shine His light in the dark places of this world.  Attempting to live the Christian life on my own strength has led to seasons of frustration and weariness.  It is because I would end up doing things according to my own understanding and my own way, my "default setting", so to speak.


            Thankfully, we are not left to our own device when it comes to living out our salvation.  Paul, in Philippians 2:13, tells us that it is God who works in us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.  Sanctification, just like our salvation, is all a matter of the grace of God.  Just as God makes us positionally righteous because of the work of Christ, He also enables us to live righteously through the enabling of His Holy Spirit.  It is no wonder Paul would confidently write near the end of this epistle, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)".  He knew that the key to effectively working out one's salvation lies not within himself but in God.  Yes, he still needed to do his part by obeying the Lord's commands, but he was confident that God will give him the grace needed to live the sanctified life.  Instead of settling for our "default setting", we are to use our new "custom setting", to live the Christ-like life by the enabling of the Holy Spirit, by allowing Him to have His way in us, to lead us.  We are to cooperate with God if we want to be able to live out our salvation. 


            To help illustrate this truth, think of how a baby grows.  For a baby to grow, the parents must feed him or her with nutritious food.  However, it is equally true that for the baby to grow, he or she must eat the food offered by the parents.  God has given us grace to help us mature in our walk with Him; we must do our part by accepting that grace and doing what he would want for us to do. 


            I like how Pam Mark Hall described the need for God's provision in her song, "Love Supply What Love Demands".  In the song, she confessed that she needed God's love in order for her to be able to love others.  She also established the fact that she needed God to provide what He requires and that God graciously gives this help to us.  There is also a song by Scott Wesley Brown entitled "Grace Alone" where everything we do for the Lord that brings blessing to others is possible only by the grace of God, thus we must go forth, meaning we must walk the path of holiness, in grace alone. 


God wants us to live out our salvation with fear and trembling; He makes sure to provide us with the enabling to do so.  This is how we should walk the path of sanctification.  Anything less than the enabling of the Lord will surely lead to us falling short in our effort to be holy and to be like our Lord Jesus.  We all need to make the conscious decision to let God empower us as we do our part diligently. 




Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)


fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;

I will strengthen you, I will help you,

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.


Six months have passed since the start of government-imposed lockdown as part of the measure to control the spread of COVID-19 and we aren’t seeing much improvement as the number of cases continue to rise.  These past six months have placed upon each of us enormous pressure and testing and it is so easy for us to surrender to our fears and anxieties.


For some, we fear contracting the virus, especially when we have other health issues.  For others, they are worried about the economic impact of the lockdown on the profitability of their businesses.  Some are currently unemployed as a result of the economy slowing down and this has led to anxieties about how they’re going to survive without money to buy essentials.  This pandemic has indeed heightened our fears and anxieties to new highs.


However, instead of succumbing to fear, the Lord lovingly commands us, “FEAR NOT”.  Instead, He wants us to remember His PROMISE, His PERSON, and His PROVISION. 


PROMISE. God has promised that He will be with us.  In Deuteronomy 31, as Moses passed the mantle of leadership to Joshua, he reminded him that God would never leave or forsake him as he leads the people of Israel into the Promised Land.  Moses made sure Joshua understood God’s promise because it was repeated twice (v. 6 & v. 8).  The promise of God’s presence holds true for us today, even as we face the challenging times brought about by the pandemic.  Knowing that God has promised and that He never lies, we need not be afraid or anxious over what is happening around us.


PERSON.  The one making the promise is God Himself.  What this means is His promise is guaranteed 100%.  He not only has good intentions for us, He has the power, the means, and the wisdom to fulfill what He has promised.


PROVISION.  The promise of God’s presence is seen in His empowerment, His help, and His upholding us in our time of trouble.  He provides all these generously when we ask from Him.


Fellow pilgrim, are you anxious and afraid because of the pandemic and the outcome it produced?  The Lord is telling us right now, FEAR NOT.  Will you heed His command?

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

When Praying Seems Difficult

When Praying Seems Difficult

- Alexander Uy

Romans 8:26 – 27 (ESV)

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

    Have we ever found it hard to pray, like the words just evade you and you can't express yourself? I know this feeling. I've been through it quite a number of times especially during the seasons of life that I feel abnormally sad and listless and I wonder what is happening to me. While I read the Word regularly, it seems that they bounce right off me, having no effect whatsoever. While I try to pray, yet I am unable to pray with the right words. During these moments of being “stuck in the mud”, I sometimes wonder if God understands and knows what I am going through.

    The apostle Paul most likely felt the same way at times, yet he discovered an important truth that helped him through tough moments. In Romans 8:26 – 27, Paul wrote about the Holy Spirit helping us in our time of weakness. One way in which the Holy Spirit helps us is in the area of prayer. The Holy Spirit is interceding on our behalf and He understands even the groanings of our hearts. When we don't understand what we are going through, rest assured, the Holy Spirit knows and He is bringing us before God's throne of grace, knowing that we are in need of help. He also prays in accordance to the will of God, an assuring thought as this means His prayers on our behalf are sure to be answered as they will not go against God's will for us. And it is because the Holy Spirit is praying for us according to God's will that all things then work for good to those who love God (Romans 8:28).

    In the moments when you are weak and you don't know what you ought to be praying for, hold on to the truth that the Holy Spirit is praying on our behalf and He is helping us in our time of weakness. He is indeed our advocate, our helper!

Friday, May 29, 2020

Lord, Open My Eyes!


“Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. . . O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.”

2 Kings 6:16, 17 (ESV)

            The COVID-19 pandemic has struck fear in the hearts of a lot of people.  There are those who are fearful of the financial and economic repercussions that the lockdown has brought about.  For them, there seems to be no relief in sight for their financial woes.  Then there are those who are afraid of being infected by the disease for which there is no vaccine available as of the moment. 

            But even without this disease, we are prone to becoming fearful.  We fear for our present situation.  We fear about the future.  We fear for our safety.  We are anxious about the performance of our stock portfolio.  This is because our hopes have been misplaced in things that are uncertain. 

            Elisha's servant was afraid for his life when he saw the army of the King of Syria surrounding the city of Dothan.  From a numerical standpoint, he knew that Israel would be no match for the Syrians.  If Syria succeeded in conquering the city, it would signal the end of his life as well as that of his master and of all the residents of the city.  It seemed to be a dark and ominous certainty than just being a mere possibility.  Yet, we find his master, the prophet Elisha, calm and unperturbed by the presence of the Syrian army.  As it was early in the morning, Elisha may have been enjoying his breakfast while watching the massive swarm of soldiers readying themselves to attack the city and to capture him.

            Why was Elisha calm even though there was a great reason to fear?  It was because he recognized an important spiritual truth, that those who were on his side were much more than those who oppose him.  Elisha was referring to the presence of the LORD and His massive and far superior army of angelic beings.  This servant may have been unconvinced by Elisha's answer; thus, Elisha prayed that the LORD would open his eyes.  Then, the servant saw for himself that the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha (2 Kings 6:17).  God was protecting Elisha as well as the city of Dothan.  There was indeed nothing to be fearful about.

            God's presence with His people during this time of crisis should ease our fears.  God has not abandoned us; He continues to be with us to comfort, to strengthen, to embolden us.  He will protect us.  We need only to trust that God is able and is willing to protect us.  We need to stop trembling in fear and to start praising the LORD for His presence and protection; choose to believe that the LORD is on the side of those who acknowledge and fear Him.  If God is for us, who can stand against us (Romans 8:31)?

Let Your Light Shine!

Matthew 5:16 (ESV)

… Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

An article entitled “Atheists in Praise of Christianity?” was published on May 19, 2020 by a website called In the article, author Jonathan Van Maren wrote on how a growing number of atheists are acknowledging that Christianity was responsible for transforming the world. He cited the book of historian Tom Holland (not to be mistaken with the Spiderman actor!), Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World, wherein Holland makes a historical defense of Christianity. Holland cited how Christianity changed the world for the better such as the teachings on sex and marriage, and on the elevation of the status of women as being equal with men. Holland would point out that without Christianity, the world would not have perceived the wrongfulness of social injustice.

Holland is not the sole atheist defending Christianity. Others mentioned in the article included Douglas Murray who believes that the decline of Christianity has led to the rejection of the sanctity of human life. Even the most outspoken atheist of our generation, Richard Dawkins, has admitted that Christianity has good effects on society. Psychologist Jordan Peterson wrote that without Christianity, cruelty is inevitable. While these scholars will not go so far as to say that Christianity is true, they are starting to believe that Christianity is necessary.

While the Christian faith can be defended rationally like what the late Rev. Ravi Zacharias was famously known for, what seems to speak loudest to people who are outside of the Faith are not the carefully crafted defense of the Christian faith, though they are needed. Instead, what spoke loudly and clearly to people, even to the scholastic atheists, is that the way the early Christians took their faith seriously and lived it out carefully has radically affected the world in a positive way.

Ravi Zacharias said, “We are living in a generation that listens with its eyes and thinks with its feelings. If they cannot see the gospel in you and me they will not feel the persuasion of what you and I are trying to present to them.” The truth is important, but if we don’t live out the truth, then who is going to believe our message?

It is no wonder that our Lord Jesus commanded us to let our light shine before others so that others may see our good works. It is when people see the consistency of our life with our words that they will be attracted to the Christian faith. It is when we faithfully obey God’s Word, as seen in our actions and in how we treat others, that people will then give us a fair hearing as to what we have to say regarding our Lord Jesus.

Do people know that you are a Christ-follower when they see how you live your life? How you treat others well? Are your words truthful yet loving? Do they know that you stand for the truth and for justice even in small ways? Our faithfulness to Christ as seen in our way of living speaks loudly; even atheists and agnostics are paying attention. Live for Jesus every day. Do good to others. Then declare why you live in such a manner – that it is all about Jesus.

(for those interested in the article, this is the link:

Saturday, September 13, 2014

GGC Ministry Center on full-blast!

 Basement Parking
 Basement Parking
 View of the upper ground floor from Mangga Avenue
 Elevator Shaft
 Elevator Shaft and stairs
 Fire Exit
 Entrance leading to the Ministry Center
 Ramp leading to and from basement parking
Lower Ground Floor parking

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Right Man for the Job (Hebrews 2:5 - 18)

The Right Man for the Job
(Hebrews 2:5 – 18)


One of the biggest headaches a homeowner usually faces is the problem of termite infestation. We've encountered the same problem also in our home, not just once, but probably around 3 to 4 times already. Termites are very destructive. They consume things like wood, fabric or cloth, and paper products. When we had an infestation a few years back, we discovered it by accident when we were moving some stuff in one of our rooms when I noticed that a carton box was disintegrating and there we saw some termites eating the carton.

So, what should we do with these termites? Definitely, we shouldn't ignore them like nothing's wrong. If we choose to ignore them, it won't take long before every inch of wood in your house will be consumed and you'll be left with a house that will collapse at anytime. The other thing some people do is to attack the termites by spraying them with insecticide. Now, the termites that get sprayed will definitely die, but the termites that are hiding inside will sense the danger and will go elsewhere within the house to feed and destroy. So, it isn't wise to attack the termites by yourself. The best solution is actually to call up the pest control company and pay them to do the work. You see, the people who work in reputable pest control companies don't just go around spraying pesticide, they actually understand the behavior of common household pests such as the termite, and with that knowledge they know how to control infestation by using different kinds of chemical pesticides or by using baiting systems that will slowly poison the entire colony. We could say that the pest control people are the “right man for the job” when it comes to pest control.

Its not only in the issue of pest control that we look for the right man for the job. If we want to build a house, we look for people like architects and building contractors as well as licensed plumbers and electricians. If we are sick, we go to the doctor. If our tooth aches, we visit the dentist. If we want our garden to look really green and flourishing, we call a gardener to tend the garden. We all want the best person for the job we need done. I don't think you would want to entrust the building of your house to a dentist. You wouldn't want the doctor to be doing the electrical circuits in your house. You surely wouldn't think that the gardener would be capable of drawing an elaborate design of a house or perform root canal on your tooth. We all go to the person who is well-trained and who specializes in certain fields for our needs.

This morning, we continue to look into the Book of Hebrews, in particular, Hebrews 2:5 – 18. In this section of Scripture, we will understand why Jesus is the right man for the job. What exactly am I talking about? I am talking about Jesus Christ being the right man to be our Savior, our Great High Priest, and as our Restorer.

This morning's message is an important one because we are looking into and affirming the importance of Christ's humanity. You see, the humanity of Jesus Christ is crucial in at least three areas – our salvation, the restoration of our human dignity, and his being able to understand and empathize with us as our high priest. In our day and age, many people deny that Jesus is God. They think of him merely as a human being. The deity of Jesus is important because, according to Scripture, he is the creator and sustainer of the universe as well as the judge of all humanity. If Jesus were not God ,he cannot fulfill these roles since he would merely be a created being. During the time of Jesus, many did not believe in the deity of Jesus, because this was a blasphemous idea, especially for the Jews. However, some time after the resurrection and ascension, a group of so-called believers denied the humanity of Jesus. For them, to be human is to be sinful. They speculated that the supposed human life and death of Jesus was nothing more than a fantasy (sort of like the movie “Inception”).

However, the author of Hebrews makes clear that the humanity of Jesus Christ is very important. As I've mentioned a moment ago, Jesus is the right man to be our Savior, our Great High Priest, and our Restorer. We will use this as our outline and I will explain why I call him the right man for the job.

Jesus: The Right Man To Be Our Savior

First of all, Jesus Christ is the right man to be our Savior. According to Hebrews 2:10, he is described by the title “author of their salvation”. What this title means for the translators of the NIV is that Jesus Christ is the one who created and designed our salvation. In other translations of the Bible, the phrase from the original language is translated differently. In the latest revision of the NIV, the phrase was translated as the “pioneer of their salvation”, meaning, he is the pattern of the new life we are to trust and to follow. In the King James Version, He is called the “captain of their salvation”, meaning, he is the one who gives the orders and steers our life in the right direction. The various versions of the Bible have different takes on how they understood the phrase, but what is clear is this: Jesus created and designed our salvation. He patterned the new life for us to trust Him and to follow Him. He is the one who steers us in the right direction we are to take in order to be saved.

In describing Jesus as the author of our salvation, we read that he tasted death for everyone (v. 9). What this means is that Jesus took our place, bearing the penalty of sin upon himself and dying for us. He did this in order to destroy the enemy (v. 14) who holds sway over people with the power of death and to free us from the fear of death (v. 15). Satan is the one who induces people to choose sin and to fall under the penalty of death. He uses this power over us. When Jesus took our place, he gave fallen people like you and I the power to overcome death by first taking the penalty of sin upon himself, and then by defying death through resurrection. I don't know if you remember something Jesus said in Mark 3:23 – 29. Jesus here said that no one can enter the house of a strong man and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. In other words, there has to be someone stronger who can defeat the strong man. Jesus is the stronger one who has defeated the strong man who has held all of us hostage because of sin. All this is possible because Jesus came as a human being. At the same time, his being God ensured that he was sinless. Being a sinless human being meant that He would be the perfect or the right sacrifice for us. Hence, he was the right man for the job of saving us.

If Jesus were not a human being. How can he complete work of salvation? How can he be the perfect substitute for us on the cross? You see, for the Lord Jesus to be our Savior, he has to be a human being. If he were not a human being, he could never die. If he couldn't die, he couldn't take our place on the cross and defeat Satan. That is why Jesus is the right man for the job of salvation. He came as the perfect sacrifice who can take our place.

Jesus: The Right Man To Be Our Restorer

Secondly, Jesus is our restorer. Now, when I say “restorer”, I am referring to Him as being the restorer of our humanity. When God created the human race, his intention was for them to have dominion over the earth and to have fellowship with Him. Humanity was the apex of God's creation order and we were meant to reflect God's glory. Sadly, Adam and Eve, the first human beings on earth, sinned against God by disobeying Him. This marred the entire human race as all who were born afterwards were marred by sin and by the propensity to sin. We all fall short of God's glory (Romans 3:23) and we all are separated from God because of our sins. Man was originally given a high position, just a little less than the angels, yet close to God's heart. Sin brought man down from his high position, from one who was intended to shine God's glory to one who insulted and mocked God. Instead of possessing a high position in God's kingdom, we became slaves to sin and slaves to the power of death. Instead of being a part of God's family, we have become part of the kingdom of evil.

Aside from our salvation, Jesus came in order to restore that which was lost, namely the high position of man as well as the original purpose of God for creating man. If you are familiar with the quotation mentioned in our passage, it is actually Psalm 8. This Psalm is used when talking about the high stature of man in God's order of Creation. The author of Hebrews used Psalm 8 not to talk about man in general but to refer to Jesus Christ himself, as the man who fulfilled God's original purpose for humanity of bringing glory to God.

Where Adam and Eve failed utterly, Jesus triumphed completely. When Adam and Eve were tempted, they were tempted in three areas – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. They thought of the forbidden fruit as being good for food (the lust of the flesh); they perceived of the fruit as being pleasant to their eyes (the lust of the eyes); and they desired for the knowledge of good and evil so that they can be like God (the pride of life). Yielding to the temptation, Adam and Eve ate the fruit and they fell into sin. Jesus, on the other hand, was presented with three different temptations but all three fall into the three areas of temptation. Satan suggested that Jesus turn the stone into bread in order to ease his hunger (the lust of the flesh), that he jump from the pinnacle of the temple so that the angels can rescue him and prove to all that he is the Son of God (the pride of life), and that he bow down to him in exchange for all the kingdoms of the world which he showed to the Lord (the lust of the eyes). Jesus did not yield to the temptations of Satan but he battled Satan with God's Word and came out victorious. I am sure this was not the only episode in Jesus' life where he was tempted, but the important thing was that he triumphed over them all. In so doing, he was bringing glory to God as a human being, the original purpose that human beings were created for. Furthermore, according to some Bible scholars, he was representing humanity in those moments of temptation in order to restore back to humanity that which was lost – our high position before God and our original purpose of bringing God glory.

If Jesus Christ did not come at all in the flesh, there is no restoration work that can be done for humanity. We can never be brought back to God's original purpose as to why he created us. We would be forever be under the subjection of Satan. Thank God that Jesus came in human form in order to be our restorer! Thank God that He was the right man for the job.

Jesus: The Right Man To Be Our Great High Priest

Finally, Jesus is our Great High Priest. We find mention of this position in verse 17, where Jesus is described as our merciful and faithful high priest. For the Jewish believers, this was a familiar picture. They had been taught about the sacrificial system as recorded in Leviticus. They had visited Jerusalem and the temple during holy days. They probably even know someone who was a priest or even the high priest. The position of high priest during the time of the temple was a significant one. It was a great responsibility as the high priest was the only person who could enter into the Holy of Holies inside the temple once a year in order to offer the atonement sacrifice to God. The High Priest was the representative of the people when it came to approaching God. They were sort of the middleman between God and the people doing the work of intercession and offering the sacrifices that were intended to please the Lord.

The problem though was that the high priest in the Jewish faith was just a human being who had the same problem with sin as everyone else had. Before he could even offer sacrifices on behalf of the people, he had to offer a sacrifice for himself, for the cleansing of his own sins (see Hebrews 7:27). The sacrifices he offered were not effective as he had to keep doing this over and over again. The high priest was just as much a sinner as the other person. He could not claim to be holier than others for in the sight of God he was just as much a sinner. If the people were weak spiritually, the high priest was very much just like them. Furthermore, he was also under the same penalty of sin as everyone was.

The author of Hebrews declared that Jesus Christ is our great high priest. His being the great high priest is linked with his humanity. Look at verse 17. It said that he was made like his brothers (to become a human being) in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Jesus needed to become a human being so that he could empathize and understand what we are going through. Not only that, by being human and going through temptations and triumphing over them, he is able to help us when we are tempted. By being human, he could represent humanity before God. By being God, he was holy, blameless and pure (Hebrews 7:26). What a combination!

One important thing regarding Jesus as our high priest is that he is our permanent high priest since he lives forever and because he presented the ultimate sacrifice of himself, he is able to save completely all who come to him in faith.

If Jesus did not come in the flesh, he could never be our great high priest, for he would not have been able to offer the ultimate sacrifice that would save us completely. He would not be able to truly empathize with us and to understand what we're going through. He would not have been able to set the pattern of the victorious Christian life if he had not faced temptation personally and triumphed over them.

Conclusion – What does it mean for me?

We've learned that Jesus Christ was the right man for the job. He was the right man for the role of Savior, Restorer and High Priest. You may be asking, “What does it mean for me? What are the practical implications?

First, as the right man to be our Savior, anyone here this morning who has doubts about Jesus and his offer of salvation should reconsider their position. Jesus' death on the cross ensures that the power Satan wields over us can be broken if we trust Jesus as our Lord and Savior. So, will you put your faith in Him, believing that he has already done everything needed to give us salvation? I hope you will receive Him into your life as your Lord and Savior. If you need to talk with any of our pastors and church leaders about Jesus and his offer of salvation, feel free to do so.

Second, because Jesus is our restorer by winning back the dignity of humanity and by fulfilling the original purpose of man in glorifying God, we can look to his pattern of life as recorded in the Gospels and use it to guide our life so that we too can live according to God's original purpose for us – to glorify Him. Let it be our lifelong pursuit – to follow in the steps of Jesus. I encourage you all to take time to read and meditate on the Gospels and learn from the pattern and teaching of Jesus and put them into practice everyday.

Finally, because Jesus is our merciful and faithful high priest who understands us and who has gone through everything we experience in life and has come out of it victorious, we can confidently approach him through prayer and pour out to him what is in our hearts . We need not fear rejection from him for he welcomes us and he wants for us to tell him everything that's in our hearts, and he knows how to answer us correctly.

Jesus is the right man for the job. Do you believe and trust Him? Will you follow his pattern of life? Do you have confidence in his guidance and answers for you? I hope we all can say “yes” with confidence to all three questions.