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Baptisms -- 21 Jul 2019

On 21 July, we celebrated the baptism of 7 believers. It was a blessed time of reflecting on our death and resurrection in Christ as we are joined in faith to Him in the gospel. 

It was such a joy and privilege to witness the baptism of 7 believers last Sunday, and among them was a family of four (Jimmy and Crystalle Cheong with their twin daughters Clarice and Jillian). We are even more grateful for how this family came to know Christ because of the testimony of Gracia Teow who was among the 7 who were baptised. How amazing it is to see the gospel becomes contagious and we are just so encouraged by how the family desires to keep telling people about Jesus as Jillian shared her testimony in Mandarin so that her grandmother will also hear of this wonderful news. We praise God for the marvellous work that He has done, is doing and will be doing in the lives of these 7 dear brothers and sisters-in-Christ.

Below are snippets of the testimonies of the 7 dear ones on how God has been pursuing them and is working in their lives. We pray that the good news of the gospel shared by these 7 believers will be shared out of every hearts that desire to follow Him in obedience. 

David Vun

baptism-david-vunPastor Samuel Beh baptising David in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Ps Samuel played a signifcant role in David's understanding of the gospel.

Having grown up in a Christian family, I was taught from a young age that Christ was my Saviour and to have faith in His great plan. While I considered myself a believer, the truth was that I mindlessly followed and saw church more of a Sunday routine, rather than an intimate time of worship. 

Growing up, this started to change as I became confronted by tough questions, such as “How do we know God is real?” or “Why does God allow suffering in the world?” Shaken by such questions, I began to question my spiritual identity as a Christian and also considered moving to another church that would better suit me. Furthermore, this came at a time where many of my peers in Grace Baptist Church started leaving, seemingly encouraging me to follow suit.

However, I decided to stay rooted in Grace Baptist Church. I was privileged to be personally mentored by Ngiam Xing Yi, Samuel Beh, Aunty Nee Kiah, Matthew Seah, Nathan Tang and Hewlett Chew. They clarified my doubts and help me to grow as a Christian. At times, I felt God’s presence through them, as they taught me to follow Christ. 

It was in GBC that I was reminded of Acts 17, which speaks about how God orchestrates when and where we are born, so that we might 'feel' our way toward Him and find Him. I could not help but realise how God has placed these people in my life so strategically so that I would change for the better... 

Moving forward, I would like to get baptised as a step of obedience to God and as a sign of commitment to this church that has already given me so much. As I continue to serve in the Children’s Ministry, pray that I will have the wisdom and strength to teach God’s Word in a manner that will plant seeds in their young minds.

Esther Tan

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I was born into a loving Christian family, and grew up in Wesley Methodist church where I was baptised as an infant. My parents brought me to church regularly and prayed with me every night. As a child, I knew that God was real and almighty, that He was always with me. 

As I grew older, I sought affirmation by achieving good results and by always doing the right things. Yet, I felt a growing sense of insecurity, emptiness and loneliness within me. God spoke to me through His Word and through the songs I sang during worship in church. He opened my eyes to see the sin in my heart, and led me to repentance. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23)

He made me realise that salvation is by grace alone, through faith in Christ alone. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” (Eph 2:8) When I was 17, I had a Confirmation of faith by sprinkling and declared my repentance and faith in Jesus Christ... 

I started attending Grace Baptist Church in 2004 after I married Reuben, who is a member of GBC. Subsequently we joined a care group after our first child Rebecca came along. The warmth, encouragement and support they showed helped me experience God’s love in His family... 

Today I am getting baptised as an act of obedience to Christ, and to join the family of GBC as a member. I pray that I will continue to grow closer to Him, serve Him faithfully and depend on the Holy Spirit to live a Christ-centred life that glorifies God.

Gracia Teow

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I was born and raised in a Christian family, and have been attending church and Sunday School since I was little. I was blessed with loving family members who taught me about God’s love since I was a little girl. However, due to certain circumstances, I often compared myself to others, frequently envying and idealising other families and their lifestyles, and constantly feeling spiteful about why the problems I faced always seemed more severe than those faced by others. This behaviour eventually fuelled an obsession with earthly goals and ambitions that shifted my focus and trust in God’s providence... 

It was only in recent months, through the church’s sermon series on the book of Romans, Bible study sessions and edifying conversations with sisters-in-Christ, that these words from Scripture came to life in my heart and really nudged me from within. Romans 3:23-26 states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

I thank God for His guidance, blessing and assurance throughout the past years, and for opening up my heart to the truth about His gospel through His word and through many brothers- and sisters-in-Christ. By the grace of God, I take this step of obedience to commit my life to Him, and rely on Him for strength and wisdom to be a channel of His love in me. 

Jimmy Cheong

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I was brought up under the teachings of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism...As I grew older, my beliefs moved toward atheism...In 2018, my wife and daughters were introduced to Christianity at Grace Baptist Church and were steadily drawn to it. Instantly, I rejected it. Every Sunday I would drop them at church and only return to pick them up when they are done with the services. On our way home, they would share what they were learning with me, but with little impact. In my mind, Christianity was inconsistent with our Eastern culture. I wanted to convince them that it is a philosophy from the West that does not belong to us. Alas, I failed to overturn their convictions. And so I quietly engaged in more research and reading to validate its truth.

The transformation of my wife and daughters soon caught my attention...I was intrigued by how God could have such a miraculous effect on them. I started to join them for Sunday services. At that time, I learned the way to understand Christianity is through faith in Christ, not just theory.

I am amazed by how God patiently reached out to me. Truth be told, there was no epic encounter with Him. Yet, God has been quietly pursuing me. God continues to build my endurance and character through my adversities...Through God’s comprehensive providence, I have experienced His ultimate peace, which exceeds anything I can ask for.

Crystalle Chua (Mrs Cheong)

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I came from a non-Christian family. Since young I was fearful and sensitive to evil spirits...I have been living in a world intimidated by demons. I have many unanswered questions in my entire life until I came to believe in the Trinity of 'Father, Son & Holy Spirit' as taught in the Bible. 

The first day I stood in front of the main door of Grace Baptist Church, my heart was already pulled to the Cross. It was as if I was magnetised by it. From that moment, I could feel God’s holiness on me and my faith firmly in God. After months of attending the Sunday services with my daughters, I gradually learnt that God had sacrificed His son Jesus Christ for the world, so that we can have salvation. 

Clarice Cheong

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...I remember that it was one Sunday service in St Helens’, I was feeling particularly discouraged and unworthy due to exam stress. I questioned myself again, "Did I even deserve to have a place in the kingdom of God?" God opened my heart to His word and answered my question with a sermon delivered by the pastor. It was on Exodus 34 when Moses had met with God in Mount Sinai after his successful intercession. God proclaimed to Moses in Exodus 34:6-7 "The Lord, The Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and fourth generation." At that moment, it all seemed so clear, I was never going to match up to God’s standard of perfect holiness. It also dawned on me that I was a sinful child, whose heart is often cold and will go astray like the Israelites, drawn to the vices of the world, and God had to deliver His judgement on me. However, the burden of my sins that were like a deadweight in my heart, were lifted off my heavy chest that day, as I realised that God had sent a better Moses, in the form of Jesus, who is the "propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 Jn 2:2) Through the cross of Christ, God’s judgment and wrath toward humanity’s – and my own – sinfulness has been fully satisfied. Only His blood can wash us clean, so that we can be made right in God’s eyes...

I thank the Lord for His patience in opening my heart through His word, for giving me faith in Christ and trust in His plan for me. I am also deeply blessed for His work in the hearts of my loved ones, my dad, my mom and my sister. In Matthew 6:33, it is written: "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

Jillian Cheong

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Although attending Sunday service in GBC sparked a desire to understand what the Christian life entails, I can’t say that I accepted Christ as my Lord and Saviour with my heart in Singapore. I verbally claimed to be a Christian, but I did not understand why Jesus had to die on the cross for us, why His death on the cross is so significant and missed out on the strikingly accurate description of my corrupted human heart in the Bible. 

I realised later that it was God’s plan for me to discover these truths whilst studying in London. I attended St Helen’s Bishopsgate in London and it was through studying the book of Romans during weekly Bible studies coupled with listening to the sermons during Sunday service which cultivated my desire to know about Jesus and God’s character. 

I was immensely comforted by Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection. I learnt that He willingly went to the cross as a perfectly obedient servant of God with full awareness that it is God’s plan for Him to die on the cross. I learnt that on the cross, He bore the sins of the whole of humanity. I learnt that the blood that He has shed on the cross washes us clean and makes us beautiful (righteous) before God. I learnt that Jesus’ resurrection displays His divine nature – that He is truly our Heavenly Father’s beloved son; the long-awaited Messiah since the Old Testament. I learnt that through belief in Him, we can hope for redemption and that we already have salvation. I became excited by the prospect of being reunited with God, my Maker – who displayed His sovereignty, love, mercy, faithfulness through Jesus’ death and resurrection – and this helped to assuage my fear of death.  

It was through learning of these truths that my heart slowly yielded to Him...I take heart that I do not have to crawl back to God’s good books because I am already made right before Him through Christ. That encourages and gives me motivation to repent of my sins and flee far away from the temptation of the evil one who threatens to separate me from the love of Christ... 

As I dedicate my life to God and choose to trust in Him, I pray for more people to come to know Christ. I pray for them to experience the love that I have felt, for them to know that we can rejoice and hope in our sufferings as “hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Rom 5:5), and for them to be freed from the paralysing fear of death as our belief in Christ means that we can look forward to being reunited with God even after our earthly death. 

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We are so grateful for the grace that God has brought to these 7 dear ones (L-R): David, Crystalle, Jillian, Clarice, Jimmy, Gracia and Esther. We thank God for the miracle of His sovereign affection that has pursued these for generations. We pray that He will grow them deeper into Christ, that we will love them well and be good stewards of these lives.

Apart from the 7 who were baptised, we also welcome Jennifer Chua who joined the church via transfer of membership. We are so thankful that God has entrusted these precious treasures of His to us in His grace. As a church family, we commit:

  • to provide an environment in this church where they can exercise the good gifts that God has given them,
  • to provide an environment that is safe for them to grow deep in Christ, and
  • to love them the best we can.

At the end of the service, GBC members came forward to warmly welcome our new brothers and sisters into God's family. What a joy!

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You can watch the baptisms here: