Baptisms and Transfer -- 15 December 2019
We had the privilege to witness the baptisms of four young adults last Sunday and the great joy of welcoming one member via transfer of membership. We thank God for these five new members and we pray that as a church we will love and encourage them as we journey together with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
At the start of the service, Pastor Ian explained that the word 'baptism' has its origin in the Greek word 'baptizo' which means to submerge or immerse. The baptismal pool is thus meant to represent a grave in which those who believe in Christ demonstrate the picture of the gospel by being baptised into His death, so that we might know the power and hope of His resurrection.
Jessica shared how the pain from a broken human relationship caused her to realise that she could not overcome the struggles in her life on her own and that she needs God in her life to help her, knowing that He is fully dependable and trustworthy and there's no one like Him.
She shared in her written testimony,
"John 15:5 remained at the back of my mind, reminding me that apart from Christ, we cannot do anything. I knew I needed God and had always hoped to find a way back to Him. Proverbs 3:5-6 says to 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.'
True enough in God’s perfect timing, I met Austen who brought me to GBC where we just started the study on the book of Romans and could join Jo and Gerald’s newly-formed CG. God used this opportunity to open my eyes to the great truths of the new covenant that He had established in Christ, putting my understanding of the gospel and the way I was living in perspective. It helped me to acknowledge the immediate need to repent of my sinful ways as I realised that in the past, I kept allowing my feelings to dictate my stance with God rather than to put total trust in what His Word promises and declares about us."
Christina grew up in a Christian home but felt that she had never truly knew God till a trying period in her life led her back to the Word of God.
"A verse in the Psalms stood out to me: 'From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to a rock that is higher than I.'(Ps 61:2) — would David have called out to someone who wasn’t able to help or wasn’t reliable at all? It was a plea that showed me reliance on the One most reliable, and then, came a comfort my heart was never taught to have. After many verses in Psalms later, a journey which started there in the Word, had landed me in fellowship, and then occasionally at GBC, where I met people who are reflective of God's own glory – in their living and yearning for the gospel, leading me to question: 'Just who is this God that these people are so seriously seeking after? What is this gospel that is so good? I want to know too!'"
We are so thankful for the testimony of our young adults who chose to pursue Christ leading others around them to ask and seek after Jesus.
Similar to Christina, Marcus grew up in a Christian home. He shared that he has been putting off baptism as he had felt that he needed to be an 'optimal Christian' before considering baptism. He shared why he finally decided to take this step of obedience,
"...Romans 3:23 'for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God' made me realise the intensity and seriousness of my sin and while no deed of mine will ever live up to God’s glory, I can find immense comfort and freedom in placing my faith in a Saviour who died for my sins.
...What helped to shift my mindset was firstly understanding that I would never reach that standard and that I will always be a sinner in dire need of God’s grace. Secondly, fully grasping that Christ paid for my sins and bore the wrath that I deserve stirred my heart to respond with the desire to outwardly declare my faith. Today I am getting baptised as a step of obedience to commit my life to God and I pray that I will grow closer to Him, serve Him faithfully and continue to depend on the Holy Spirit to live a Christ-centred life that glorifies God."
Ong Koon Han
Koon Han shared how God has been pursuing Him since his youth even though he came from a non-Christian family. He shared how difficult times and struggles in his life have led him to God and he encouraged us to not harden our hearts but to hear the voice of God, turn back to Him and trust in Him.
"However, God is faithful, and when things go wrong, He will put me in the cleft of the rock and cover me with His hand. And as the storm rages on, He reminds me with a still small voice, that He is continually with me, holding me with His right hand and guiding me with His counsel. As the storm passes by, God passes by with His glory.
Truly God is good to His people, to those who are pure in heart. As I join the body of Christ here in GBC, I hope to be a partner of His amazing gospel, of the grace and provision that He has given in and through His Son Jesus Christ."
Cein first heard about Jesus through a cousin when she was about 4 years old and was baptised at the age of 21 while studying in Australia. She shared,
"In June 2014, I started attending Grace Baptist Church (GBC), which I found from the internet by God’s grace. Looking back, I just can’t stop thanking God for His intervention and patience with me despite my unfaithfulness. I also thank God for GBC, where the Gospel is continuously preached and God’s words are faithfully lived by. Due to my quiet nature, not many people in GBC know of my existence in these past 5 years. I tried to make myself invisible and was happy that way. But as I learnt more about what it means to be a Christian through the bible and the sermons, I realised that such preference is not in accordance with what God wants Christians to be, which is to have fellowship with one another, bear each other’s burdens and serve one another. Though I feel very small, I pray that God will grant me an obedient heart to do whatever that pleases Him."
We thank God for these precious treasures He has so generously entrusted us with: (L-R) Cein Chen, Christina Chan, Marcus Kho, Ong Koon Han and Jessica Chen.
At the end of the service, we had the privilege to welcome and thank these five new members for their testimonies. Their testimonies have stirred and inspired us to daily trust in God and to follow Him. We pray that they will find in us a church family that will allow them safety to grow and to exercise the gifts that God has so generously endowed them with.
You can watch the baptisms here: