Everyone would get the occasional spam message now and then that they have won $1,000,000 in a giveaway and that they must redeem the prize before the deadline. Underhandedly, they would also ask for your account information, insisting that this is the only way to claim the sweepstake. Most of these messages are filtered out … Continue reading The Church of Thyatira
Do we get rewards in heaven?
If one of your Christian friends were to ask you this question: Here's your friend: Do we get rewards in heaven? What would be your initial thoughts? If this is the first time you've ever encountered such a question, my best bet is that it would have made you quite uncomfortable! You were probably lost … Continue reading Do we get rewards in heaven?
Does the command to “take up your cross” no longer apply to us today?
Last night at ACG, one of our members asked this interesting question during QnA about the relevance of Jesus' command to "deny himself, take up his cross and follow me" for believers living in today's culture (see Matt. 10:38; Matt. 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; Luke 14:27). She mentioned how she recently heard a conference … Continue reading Does the command to “take up your cross” no longer apply to us today?
Should I feel guilty for not studying enough?
One of our members at ACG asked me this question recently because she's been feeling guilty for sleeping through her alarm, especially during her exam period. She's a overthinker, an overworker, and an overachiever. She's busy juggling many different responsibilities in her life and she tends to sacrifice her health to prioritise her studies. She … Continue reading Should I feel guilty for not studying enough?
What is the purpose of fasting?
Question: What is the purpose of fasting, and why don't modern Christians seem to fast as much anymore? What is fasting? To cut to the chase, fasting is a voluntary and deliberate abstaining of something that is good, namely food, for a temporary period of time for the primary purpose of intensifying our spiritual need … Continue reading What is the purpose of fasting?
How to Listen Well to Sermons in an Online World
Most Christians consider the Sunday sermon to be a staple meal of their spiritual diets that they receive throughout the week. It is the nutritious meal that every family of believers share around the dinner table, as they open up to the weekly bible passage together and are fed through the reception of the preaching … Continue reading How to Listen Well to Sermons in an Online World
Why do we refer to God in masculine terms?
Question: Actually received this question from one of my youth and we were quite perplexed with regards to how to answer! She was basically asking if God has no biological gender (neither female nor male), then why do we refer to God as "He" or "Him"? I suspect this might have something to do with … Continue reading Why do we refer to God in masculine terms?
How should Christians think about saving, giving or spending money?
Question: How should Christians think about saving money? How should we balance offerings to church, financially supporting overseas/local ministry work, money spent on daily living (e.g. expenditures from gathering with brothers and sisters, raising a family, etc.) and saving? From a purely financial standpoint, it is shrewd to save, but doesn't saving also raise issues … Continue reading How should Christians think about saving, giving or spending money?
Are there different degrees of punishment in hell?
In his earthly life, Jesus spoke on the topic of hell more than he ever spoke about the kingdom of heaven. He describes hell using vivid imagery all throughout the gospel accounts, illustrating it as a place of unquenchable fire (Mk. 9:43), outer darkness (Matt. 8:12), and eternal torment (Lk. 16:23) where there will be … Continue reading Are there different degrees of punishment in hell?
Blessed Are The Pure In Heart
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8). Purity in heart is the sixth key to living a blessed life. Jesus draws our attention immediately to the internal workings of our own hearts, and not to the pious appearances we might display in the public realm. God sees what is … Continue reading Blessed Are The Pure In Heart
Can true Christians fall away from the faith?
Two ACG members have asked a series of similar questions concerning the topic of assurance in light of last Friday’s exposition, and so I make it my aim to answer all these as succinctly as I can in this article: Question 1: In light of John 6:37, how do we make sense of those who … Continue reading Can true Christians fall away from the faith?
God’s Call to Busy Australians, Be Still!
As we currently sit in our homes quietly during the lockdown, Australians all across the country are on edge with what’s to come. As our government implements strict measures to contain the further spread of this virus, it has made a catastrophic impact on our economy to say the least. A month ago, it was … Continue reading God’s Call to Busy Australians, Be Still!
Blessed Are Those Who Mourn
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). Jesus throws our minds into confusion once again with this maxim that runs in direct contradiction to the world’s logic. The literal definition of the word ‘mourn’, according to the Cambridge dictionary, means “to feel or express great sadness…” If that’s the case, … Continue reading Blessed Are Those Who Mourn
Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit
"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 5:3). We come to the very first Beatitude of the series and we see Jesus breaking open his sermon with such a peculiar opening statement! What does he mean when he says “blessed” or “happy” are the poor in spirit…? The … Continue reading Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit
Introduction to the Beatitudes
French mathematician Blaise Pascal famously said that: All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step … Continue reading Introduction to the Beatitudes
3 Ministry Lessons To Learn During This Pandemic Season
On the 14th of March, as I was grinding out my sermon draft in preparation to preach in a couple of weeks time, I received the following text message from my pastor at 10:30pm with some rather unpleasant news… “Heads up for you. Tomorrow will be the last Sunday we will meet for the rest … Continue reading 3 Ministry Lessons To Learn During This Pandemic Season
Video Conferencing Etiquette
Hi ACGers! You should all know that starting tonight, ACG will be going online via Zoom! This will be a first for all of us and the leaders are doing what they can to stimulate community as much as we possibly can on Friday nights. To help us help you, Elliot and the leadership team … Continue reading Video Conferencing Etiquette
Are women supposed to be silent in church?
The following questions come from the passage 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 Is the women not speaking directive aimed at church governance and involvement in teaching, or is it just a general command to be quiet during service? I'd hope it's not the latter because I know the women at our church are not mute every time … Continue reading Are women supposed to be silent in church?
Questions about Head Coverings, Submission, and Authority in 1 Corinthians 11
The following questions come from the passage 1 Corinthians 11:3-16. In 1 Cor 11 verse 3, it talks about how the 'head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God', and in the NIV they use the term 'woman' and 'man' instead of … Continue reading Questions about Head Coverings, Submission, and Authority in 1 Corinthians 11
What does it mean when Paul says that the unbeliever is sanctified by a Christian spouse in 1 Corinthians 7:14?
Hello! I have some questions about some passages in 1 Corinthians that I was hoping you could perhaps answer and bring some clarity to. 1 Cor 7:12-16 My question(s) specifically focuses on verse 14, where Paul says 'For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy … Continue reading What does it mean when Paul says that the unbeliever is sanctified by a Christian spouse in 1 Corinthians 7:14?
1. Kicking off the Galatians series As most of you should know already, our first book series for the year will be on the Book of Galatians and we will be dedicating 15 weeks to studying this book in extensive detail. This book in particular is awesome to read because this epistle encapsulates themes that … Continue reading February Announcements
Summer NT Plan – Week 12 Devotion
Day 78. 1 Peter 1-3:7 Day 79. 1 Peter 3:8-5 Day 80. 2 Peter Day 81. 1 John 1-3:10 Day 82. 1 John 3-11-5 Day 83. 2 John; 3 John; Jude Day 84. Revelation 1-3 Devotion This is now our twelfth week of the Summer Reading Program and we are nearing the end of this reading plan! What a journey it … Continue reading Summer NT Plan – Week 12 Devotion
Summer NT Plan – Week 10 Devotion
Day 64. 1 Thessalonians 4-5 Day 65. 2 Thessalonians 1-3 Day 66. 1 Timothy 1-3 Day 67. 1 Timothy 4-6 Day 68. 2 Timothy 1-4 Day 69. Titus 1-3Day 70. Philemon Devotion What makes a good leader? Is it their looks? Their charisma? Filled with confidence? Incredibly ambitious? Great communicator? Proficiency in multiple skills? Or perhaps their self-sufficiency and independence? … Continue reading Summer NT Plan – Week 10 Devotion
How can the Bible be God’s word when there are so many interpretations?
Generally my blog writing doesn’t get much traction, so I’m always super thrilled whenever someone leaves a reply on one of my articles! A short while ago, a spicy skeptic posted a rebuttal to some of the points I’ve made in my article on Scripture Alone and this was his reply: “How can the word … Continue reading How can the Bible be God’s word when there are so many interpretations?
Summer NT Plan – Week 8 Devotion
Day 50. 2 Corinthians 1-3 Day 51. 2 Corinthians 4-6Day 52. 2 Corinthians 7-9 Day 53. 2 Corinthians 10-13 Day 54. Galatians 1-2 Day 55. Galatians 3-4 Day 56. Galatians 5-6 Devotion This marks our eighth week of the Summer Reading Program. We are about two-thirds of the way through the New Testament, so we are definitely over halfway until … Continue reading Summer NT Plan – Week 8 Devotion
Summer NT Plan – Week 6 Devotion
Day 36. Acts 19-21:36 Day 37. Acts 21:37-25:22 Day 38. Acts 25:23-28 Day 39. Romans 1-3 Day 40. Romans 4-6Day 41. Romans 7-8 Day 42. Romans 9-11 Devotion This marks our sixth week of the Summer Reading Program. If you have been consistent with your readings up until this point, props to you! As you continue your devotions throughout the … Continue reading Summer NT Plan – Week 6 Devotion
Why you should write up your own mission statement
2019 was a busy year for many of us. And as the year concludes, it calls for a time where we can pause and reflect on what we have learned and been taught, on our greatest joys and highest points, as well as on our deepest sorrows and lowest points of our year. One of … Continue reading Why you should write up your own mission statement
Summer NT Plan – Week 4 Devotion
Day 22. Luke 22-24 Day 23. John 1-3 Day 24. John 4-6 Day 25. John 7-9 Day 26. John 10-12 Day 27. John 13-16 Day 28. John 17-18 Devotion This is now our fourth week of the Summer Reading Program! For the majority of your readings this week, you will encounter the life of Jesus … Continue reading Summer NT Plan – Week 4 Devotion
Summer NT Plan – Week 2 Devotion
Day 8. Matthew 23-25Day 9. Matthew 26-28 Day 10. Mark 1-3 Day 11. Mark 4-6 Day 12. Mark 7-9 Day 13. Mark 10-12 Day 14. Mark 13-16 Devotion We are now on our second week of the Summer Reading Program and I hope the ample devotional reading has been both a challenge but also a … Continue reading Summer NT Plan – Week 2 Devotion
1. Summer NT Reading Plan from December 2019 - February 2020 As you may have seen with Elliot's recent post, we are once again kick-starting our 2019-2020 Summer NT Reading Program. This was a ministry initiative we launched in 2018 and we have seen much growth in our members through their saturation in the Word. … Continue reading December Announcements
Ministry Apprenticeship FAQs
1. So John, we’ve heard about why apprenticeships are one of many (though crucial) strategies for raising and training Gospel workers. Tell us a bit about your journey in arriving at this space where you want to be a ministry apprentice. So I have been thinking about doing a ministry apprenticeship at the same time … Continue reading Ministry Apprenticeship FAQs
Chasing after Girls, Captured by Christ
I recently received membership at my church at GracePoint and as a way to commemorate this rather special occasion, I’ve decided to share my testimony to show you what God has been doing in my life. I’ve broken down this testimony into 6 defining moments (or 6 episodes) of how I came to faith, structuring … Continue reading Chasing after Girls, Captured by Christ
We have just finished a series of topicals and you are probably wondering what is on the agenda for the next couple of Fridays. Well from here on out, there are a couple things you can look forward to! 1. No formal program this coming Friday! If your micro-group leaders have not told you already, … Continue reading November Announcements
1. ACG End of Year Retreat In about 2 months from now, we will be having our End of Year Retreat, where it will be an opportune time for all of us to reflect on what God has been doing in our lives this entire year! It will be held on Friday the 13th to … Continue reading October Announcements
1. What is Sola Scriptura? Sola scriptura is the Latin phrase that means ‘Scripture alone’ and it was coined as one of the legendary slogans of the sixteenth-century Reformation movement against the false teachings of the Roman Catholic church. Chapter 1 Point 6 of the Westminster Confession of Faith summarises this doctrine nicely: The whole … Continue reading Scripture Alone
Introduction to the Five Solas of the Reformation
There was once a time when the church was headed on a collision course with the dethronement of scriptural authority and spiritual deprivation. Grace-seeking sinners were at the mercy of the papacy, indulgences - cancellations of sin - were sold to the guilt-trodden and many entrusted the wellbeing of their souls to the medium of … Continue reading Introduction to the Five Solas of the Reformation
How do you battle anxiety?
Question: Regarding last friday’s ACG bible study on Daniel, my microgroup members raised up two questions which I thought would be good to write in here. 1. If after recognizing our fears, we still hold onto it and it is somehow very hard to resolve, does this mean we aren’t trusting God after all? And … Continue reading How do you battle anxiety?
3 Unhelpful Phrases Single People Don’t Need to Hear
You know you have hit your mid-twenties when it seems like half your weekends are spent attending bachelor parties, wedding ceremonies, and evening receptions. No doubt it seems like one of the most exciting things to do on these occasions is to speculate about who would be most likely to be wedded off next. Before … Continue reading 3 Unhelpful Phrases Single People Don’t Need to Hear
When does humour become sinful?
Humour is one of the great blessings God has given to mankind. Spontaneous joy is often received through our laughter at the comical incidents we experience in the world and with those we interact with. Scripture also presents humour and laughter as expressions of delight: Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who … Continue reading When does humour become sinful?
1. Trivia and Games Night For those of you who are wondering what is going on this coming Friday, we will be running another ACG social! I can’t reveal too much about the specifics but you can be guaranteed it will be a great evening where we will spend more time fostering relationships and having … Continue reading July Announcements
The Right Way to Pray – Matthew 6:5-13
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is … Continue reading The Right Way to Pray – Matthew 6:5-13
Why must we keep seeking forgiveness from God if He has already forgiven us?
Reflecting back on my adolescent years when I attended a Catholic high school, we were often encouraged to pay an occasional visit to the chaplain of our school (or to the local priest nearby) to lay bare any sins that trouble our mind from the last time we visited them. These visits could be as … Continue reading Why must we keep seeking forgiveness from God if He has already forgiven us?
1. Prayer and Praise Night Prayer and Praise Night is happening next Friday on June 21st, so do not bring your John booklets and it will start at 7:30pm! We will need a couple volunteers to help Selina set up the room for the night. If any of you are keen to help her out … Continue reading June Announcements
What’s Best Next – Matt Perman
Don’t you often feel bogged down with too many things to do, and having too little time to do it? Don’t you often wish that you could do things quicker, so you could free time to do other things you really care about? And don’t you often wish you were more productive with the time … Continue reading What’s Best Next – Matt Perman
Why did Thomas tell the disciples to go and die with Jesus?
Quite a number of you guys (including me) were quite stumped on the meaning on this verse regarding Thomas’ unusual statement, when we were reading through John 11 in Jess and Sherilyn’s study last Friday: Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may … Continue reading Why did Thomas tell the disciples to go and die with Jesus?
Can Christians commit the unforgivable sin in Matthew 12:31-32?
Those who have read the gospels would be well-acquainted with this rather daunting passage, when Jesus spoke these infamous words: “And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be … Continue reading Can Christians commit the unforgivable sin in Matthew 12:31-32?
Is evolution compatible with Scripture?
From the early onset of childhood to late adolescence I was catechised by our education system that my very existence came about as a result of an evolutionary process, where every single living creature on the planet shared a common ancestor from a miniscule germ that lived billions of years ago. And alongside the vast … Continue reading Is evolution compatible with Scripture?
Can sinful people have righteous anger?
Question: We are called to be slow to anger (James 1:19-20) because it does not produce righteousness that God desires. But we've also read how God can be angry and it is justified considering how sinful we, his people, are. God's anger is thus a righteous anger. I'm wondering if we can too claim this … Continue reading Can sinful people have righteous anger?
Godly Regret Paves the Way to New Life – 2 Corinthians 7:8-12
8 Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— 9 yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became … Continue reading Godly Regret Paves the Way to New Life – 2 Corinthians 7:8-12
Is it wrong to call Jesus my ‘friend’ or ‘brother’?
I heard that a couple of you guys in the muso team have been recently discussing particular lyrics in a worship song of choice, as to whether these lyrics exhibit theological truths that are potentially unhelpful (at the very least), or catastrophic (at its very worst) to our congregation, who will be singing these songs … Continue reading Is it wrong to call Jesus my ‘friend’ or ‘brother’?