23 Nov 2013 by Donna Uning CM –
“Without unity in the church God will not be glorified, but Satan will be glorified,” said Rev George Tay at a church family camp at Damai Beach Resort, Santubong recently. He was talking about unity with three distinct persons of the Godhead; Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. “They are present and active at Jesus’ baptism,” he added, “And never at odds with one another.”
“We too need to be in unity with God and one another,” he said. Rev Tay was joined by his wife, sis Eunice Tay for the three-day sessions.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Being in unity with the Father, starts with the fear of God. This fear derives from a healthy reverence of God; all our desires are known to Him.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well, His nourishment was doing the will of the Father. His disciples were talking about physical bread but Jesus was talking about the Father’s will. “Without obeying God, is there true repentance?” asked Rev Tay, adding, “Without true repentance, is there salvation?”
"My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
“Before Christ, people know God partially; with Christ, people know God fully,” he said. Jesus is fully God and fully man. “Christianity is Christ and Christ is God,” he continued telling, “The law can never save us, the law reveals sin.”
“It is very important that every Christian must grow up in spiritual maturity, but many remain spiritual babies,” he said. The law may reveal sin, but Jesus saves us from sin and death.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
To be in unity with the Son, we must be like Jesus. It’s a tragedy to be a ‘spiritual baby.’ “Milk is easy to digest, but solid food is difficult to digest,” said sis Eunice. “To change our lives, is not just with head knowledge which cannot bring us to heaven; but with heart knowledge, which brings us closer to God,” she said.
Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature , attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
“Jesus’ last words before He ascended into heaven were about the empowerment of the Holy Spirit,” continued Rev Tay about unity with the Holy Spirit.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
The outpouring was very necessary in order for the disciples to receive the power from on high. They needed something extraordinary, the anointing to share the gospel near and far, he said. “We need the Holy Spirit to be effective witnesses,” he said. What did the bible tells us?
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
“It was a life changing and spectacular event,” continued sis Eunice. The disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and they were speaking in tongues. They were bold and 3000 received Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:7-10,
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.
There were nine spiritual gifts mentioned. “No one spiritual gift is greater than the other,” she said, adding, “They are given by the same spirit; they are given for common good.” The gifts given may not be something we can utilize all the time. It can be temporary, permanent, or for a specific occasion; it is up to the Lord to choose and decide.
“There are other natural gifts; different people are given different gifts and some more than one,” said Rev Tay. “It is rare to have all nine or more, but not impossible.”
“The nine gifts must come together with the nine fruits of the spirit for the church to take off,” he said.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
The nine fruits of the spirit are Godward (love, joy, peace), man-ward (patience, kindness, goodness); and self-ward (faithfulness, gentleness, self-control). “These are the characters of God,” he closed. “If you love God, you love people because God created them.”
The theme for the camp was taken from John 17:21, “That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.” About 200 people gathered for the church camp at Damai Beach Resort, Santubong, Kuching.
Rev George Tay is currently serving in the Diocese of Kuching, specifically in the areas of Discipleship Training (DT), Leadership Training (LT), and Evangelism Explosion Training (EE). He was the founding Vicar of the 27th Parish, St Andrew’s City Church (SACtC), Singapore. He was also the Dean of the Deanery of Indonesia (DOI). Sis Eunice Tay is serving in the National Kidney Foundation. A lawyer by training, she has been in the healthcare industry for more than two decades. She is actively serving in various Christian ministries; particularly in the areas of music, missions, and training and equipping.
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