Tuesday, December 28, 2010

PBBC Welcomed Ex Pastors in 2010

2010 is a special year for PBBC as both the ex pastors Rev. Dr. Lincoln and Rev. Sanno Thuan came back as ordained pastors and shared their messages as well as administered Holy Communion at PBBC. These were the only two pastors since PBBC was established and they were still seminary students when they led PBBC. But now they are ordained pastors serving in different mission fields. Below are their messages, in a concise version on two different occasions:--

Rev. San No Thuan
On February 28, we were blessed to have Rev. San No Thuan, our former pastor who established Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church and now an ordained minister, visiting us and leading the Communion Service. His sermon topic was “How will we measure the growth of our Christian life”, and the scripture text was taken from Roman 8: 28-29, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”(NKJV)

A measuring tape is used to measure the width of the head and the length of the body of a baby to see if the baby’s growth is according to the standard set for its age. Likewise, what is God’s measurement to see how we grow in our life as Christians? What is God’s measuring tool? God has destined us to be conformed to the image of His son Jesus Christ, to grow like Christ. This is how we are able to know how much we have grown to be like Jesus. We must be like Jesus in our characters and attitude. As stated in Phil. 2:5 we must have a heart like Christ. He is the Son of God; He obeyed His Father He came to serve mankind although He had all the authority given to Him by the Father to rule over people. Are we prepared to serve others like Jesus? If so, we can grow as Christians.

Jesus died on the cross for us. He humbled Himself to save us from our sins in order that we might be lifted up. He listened to His Father to die for us sinners. Do we listen to God like Jesus who put us first rather than His life?

Jesus was rewarded by His Father because He obeyed His Father. He was exalted. His life became an example for us. Therefore, if we are followers of Christ we have to be servants of all. In whatever we do, we have to do it for the glory of God. In this way we can lift each other up. This is the growth of our Christian life.

Rev. Dr. LincolnPhiladelphia Burmese Baptist Church celebrated Judson Sunday on July 11 which coincided with an unexpected visit from Rev. Dr. Lincoln who was in the US to attend the Karen Baptist Youth Conference in St. Paul, Minnesota. We were again blessed to have our former pastor to preach and led the Holy Communion service. The topic of his sermon was “Courage to confess Jesus as our Savior” that he based on the scripture text in Luke 12:8-9, “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.”

We give thanks to God for sending Rev. Judson to Burma although he initially went to India to do mission work there. Because God stirred his heart to go to Burma, the people there are blessed to know Christ and have the Light in their life. We could never forget Rev Judson for his sacrifice. Therefore, we must have the courage to confess Jesus as our Savior or else Judson’s efforts would be in vain.

Artificial things look more beautiful and attractive than genuine ones, and it is the nature of most people to be more attracted to them. As they are attractive and cheaper, people want them more. They would rather have the artificial kind than get the genuine one. So, we see less and less people care for genuine qualities, that in our Christian world we see more imitation Christians. Our faith must be genuine only then we can be genuine Christians. We need to examine ourselves.

Are we real Christians? We may look Christians outside but inside we may be like the Pharisees. They were hypocrites who liked people to show respect to them. In fact, Jesus looks for what is inside of us. He looks at the heart. We may seem respectable outside but in our hearts we are sinners who are insincere. Jesus wants us to be His real followers; have genuine love for Him. Judson was a real disciple who gave his life for Christ.

Those who are imitation Christians are apathetic about the Gospel. They hear about Christ but are indifferent. They know the truth but ignore it. They are offenders of the Holy Spirit, and will not get forgiveness from God. We are blessed not to be one of them. But we have responsibility to bring them to Christ; to make them accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.

Those who are genuine Christians confess Christ as their Savior before men and God. We have to walk in faith that is, trusting in what we do not know. If we have the Word of God in our hearts, it can never be taken from us. When we have the Word, we can overcome all obstacles and temptations.

Therefore, if we are real Christians, we can confess our faith without fear. If not, let us ask ourselves these questions. Do we cover up our faith by our indifference to our belief to avoid being criticized by others? Are we real Christians who are not afraid to acknowledge Jesus even if it means having to forsake getting higher positions

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