Baptisms and Transfers -- 26 Jun 2021
On 26 Jun, we welcome with great joy 16 new members to the GBC family! "Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!" (Ps 34:8)
After close to two months of not being able to gather in person for worship, it was with great joy and thankfulness that we gathered for worship last Saturday (albeit with a limited capacity of 50 worshippers), and to witness the baptism of Chua Yee Ling, Genieve Gan and Joshua Lee, as well as welcome Bernard & Janine Lim, Ryan Ang, Deborah Nga, Cory & Sarah Zimmerman, Jordan Ng, Jocelyn Soon, Low Jay Sen, Thia Hui Thing, Cindy Neo and Jake & Jennifer Sauer. You can read their encouraging testimonies here.
Pastor Oliver, smiling from ear to ear, expressed what a privilege it was for us to witness the baptism of Yee Ling, Genieve and Joshua. He explained that Jesus commanded His followers to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt 28:19), and that was exactly what the disciples did after the ascension of Jesus. The Book of Acts tells of multiple instances of people coming to believe and being baptised—faith, repentance and baptism are bound tightly together.
Baptism thus gives us a picture of the gospel of Jesus Christ, an external sign of an internal reality—that by the grace of God, those who believe have become a new creation in Christ, the old has passed away and the new has come (2 Cor 5:17). Romans 6:1-4 tells us that as they go under the water of baptism, they are being buried with Jesus into death, "in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we [they] too might walk in newness of life."
Chua Yee Ling
Yee Ling shared how her friends shared the gospel with her and showed her who Jesus is through their lives and actions. She wrote in her testimony,
God is faithful, and He sent loving and patient friends to journey with me who helped me confront my unforgiveness. Jesus paid a heavy price when He died on the cross so that we can be forgiven of our sins. This reminds me that I am only saved by grace and compels me to love God and obey His commands to love and forgive others, even when it is difficult to do so. I can do it with His strength!
In responding to Ps Ollie's question on why she wanted to get baptised, she answered that she wanted to obey God and to declare her faith in Jesus.
Genieve shared how she has been led to Christ during university and since then, has tasted and seen that the Lord is good! She wrote,
In 2015, my first year of university, I was being led to an on-campus Christian ministry, and I started to re-explore further who this "Christ" is. A pastor then mentioned to me: The only way to know that the chair can hold us, is to trust and put your weight on it. Similarly, the only way to know that God can hold you, is to trust and put your weight on Him...
There is no turning back for me. Now six years on with life in Christ has not always been a bed of roses, but I have had multiple opportunities to trust on this "chair" that I sit on. I have tasted and see that our Lord is good, and He has never failed. This baptism is my declaration of faith and affirms the union between Christ and myself.
Joshua grew up in GBC and started to recognise his need for a saviour during his youth. He explained,
As I slowly got to understand the character of God, I quickly realised how in need of a saviour I was. That Jesus Christ the perfect lamb took on my sin so that I might become the righteousness of God. In addition, from the many Christians who have been investing in my life, such as the youth leaders just to name a few, I realised that all of them do the work of the Lord just because they love Him and me. So, this got me thinking; if everyone who loves me does it because Christ loves them first, this love that Christ first showed must have something so special about it that I only see it in Christianity. As to when this happened, I could not point to a single period but it happened throughout my walk with God.
We praise God for Joshua's decision to take this step of obedience and we rejoice with many who have seen him grow and have been patiently waiting for this day!
We are so grateful to God for His mercy and grace, for His pursuit of these three young adults: (L-R) Yee Ling, Joshua and Genieve, and how they have encouraged us with their declaration of faith in Jesus Christ.
Apart from baptisms, we also welcome 13 new members via transfer of membership. We are so encouraged by their testimonies, reminding us of the faithfulness of God and His mighty work in their lives. At the end of the service, with great joy and warmth, Pastor Eugene introduced these new members. They are:
(L-R) Bernard & Janine with Baby Archie, Ryan and Deborah.
(L-R) Cory & Sarah with Baby Samuel, Jordan, Jocelyn and Jay Sen.
(L-R) Hui Thing, Cindy, Jennifer and Jake.
Ps Eugene explained that it is a difficult season to join the church as we don't see one another regularly enough, and urged the church to take time and effort to get to know these members. These new members have graciously provided their emails in their testimonies and we can welcome them by sending them an email to get to know one another.
We are grateful for how God has added to our spiritual family and we pray that we will love and build one another up so that together we will grow in Christlikeness. We pray that He will give us patience and help us to make extra effort to reach out to one another, to get to know one another, to open our hearts and lives to one another. We pray that we will be faithful to live out the words of the covenant that we make with one another—may we be devoted to one another in brotherly love, help us to watch over, pray for, patiently bear with, forgive, encourage and admonish one another with love, humility and gentleness; so that our lives together will display more and more the beauty and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. We commit these members and ourselves to God, praying that He will strengthen us in the gospel for His name's sake!
You can watch the baptisms and service here: