18 July 2014 by Jason Law CM –
I have never really entered into tNCC before the 5th of July 2014, when I was invited to the Bob Fitts concert, but what I experienced over the following week really touched me. tNCC is well-known as a growing church in Malaysia. From a handful of people when it was first started in 2009, today the church encompass a still growing weekly attendance of close to 600. tNCC’s culture is an effervescent one that emphasizes the bond among Christians and with God within a Grace-based family setting.
The visitor sees this in the numerous things they put in practice. They make it a point to open the floor for testimonies and thanksgiving to God every week, and people answer the call with enthusiasm. Communion is taken every Sunday service not to devalue it, but to value what Jesus said in Luke 22:19, and the words Paul reminded us in 1 Corinthians 11:24: ‘Do this in remembrance of me.’ Additionally, they have mid-week Wednesday services, and every ministry and even offerings are given voluntarily through the goodwill of people.
I took up the offer to attend their Family Camp when I was asked. Altogether, about 500 people attended the camp in Bukit Gambang from the 11th-13th of July. During my conversation in the camp with brothers and sisters in Christ of the church, they shared that many of them had come from backgrounds where they had felt tired of the superficiality of their former relationship with God.
One brother shared, ‘I felt that I was following a system, and did not possess a genuine connection or excitement for God. I go to church every week but did not feel much impact beyond knowing that I had to fulfill certain laws’.
Pr Bertie conveyed in the camp about truly knowing the magnitude of God’s Grace. He explained, for example, that the moment Jesus was born on Earth, God had already intended to redeem us, and that when Jesus was baptized by John, He was already taking the sins of the world upon His shoulders (compare Leviticus 16:21-22).
‘Many Christians think this is a last-minute thing on the cross, where suddenly all the sins of the world were dumped onto Jesus but it is not. It was the culmination of God’s redemption work which was already set in motion much earlier. This is the Grace of God; it is completely unmerited favor. Grace is the divine influence that brings forth the manifestation of the Spirit. It influences the hearts of people, forms the frame of our being, and changes our relationship with God and men’.
‘Grace and divine influence has been God’s nature from the beginning. Influence comes from people we trust, and when we learn to trust Him and grow more and more intimate with Him, we will see the things and the world the way He does. When we are completely in God’s presence, we produce His fruits naturally because then it is the Almighty who lives in us,’ he imparted. Pr Bertie also shared about Paul’s struggle with the Law and sin in Romans 7 and what God’s Law really mean.
The worship in each session was vibrant, and though we sang two songs in particular in every one, they became anthems and never got old; Sadhu Sundar Singh’s ‘I Have Decided To Follow Jesus’ and ‘This Is My Story’, good songs that became truly powerful and meaningful because they were heart-felt. On 13th of July 2014, a number of the members of the church were baptized into His Kingdom.
tNCC is a communal church in which three core values are highlighted:
1. To lift up Jesus and His finished work on the cross in every part of their worship and work
2. As an oasis of rest and care, where people get to learn, experience, and grow the new life they have in Christ
3. Where everything is done, not through obligation, but from a joyful outflow and Spirit-led response to what Jesus has done for us
You can find out more about them on http://www.tncchurch.org/who-we-are/
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NOTE: Pictures of tNCC camp courtesy of THe New Covenant Church (tNCC)