Category Archives: ITCS Students

PLAIN AND CLEAR TEACHING

International Theological College and Seminary, Cambodia

Name: James Wen Date: March 25, 2015

Course: Pastoral Theology Prof.: Dr. White Y. Jeon

PLAIN AND CLEAR TEACHING

Introduction:

Teaching, in any organization or religion, is equipping others, through many ways such as communication. As we are concentrating on the Christian Education, Apostle Paul emphasizes in 2 Corinthians 11: 6 “Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.” The point he made here is as we teach others, our teaching should be plain and clear to the learners.

  1. As we make the teaching plain and clear to others, first of all, the teacher must understand the material.

In a way it is a teachers’ responsibility to make the lesson understood by himself first. If a teacher’s object is to teach, why not speak in a manner that you understood? There is no better way to make a good cause prevail than to make it as plainly, and as universally and as thoroughly understood as possible. To be unclear is to show that you have not really digested the subject matter well. Therefore, in order to make the teaching material plain and clear to the learner, the teacher must be well equipped with the message.

The truth should be revealed as the light shines to everyone. Truth loves the light. It is the most beautiful when it is the most transparent. For it is a sign of an envious enemy to hate the truth. It is a sign of a hypocrite to do this under the presence of revealing it. The very act of making truth to be revealed plainly and clearly is the motivation of loving the truth with the will of sharing.

  1. All our teaching must be as plain and evident as we can make it. He that would be understood must speak at the level of his audience.

The last and the most important issue is: doesn’t matter how intelligent the teacher is, how well organized is his teaching philosophy, or how brilliant is his syllabus, if what he teaches understood by no one, he is beating the air.

Jay Adams says: a good preaching style is to be plain. The language used in teaching must be common to teacher and learner. However, we may question then, why Jesus did not make his teaching plain to the people as he teaches. Though hard to understand the meaning, but Jesus does explain every time to his disciples with plain and clear speech, so that those who were not worthy of Jesus’ teaching may not hear and understand (Luke 8: 10). Second, if we see from another point view, Jesus’ teaching with parable actually is a style of plain and clear teaching, for he takes all the examples and objects from people’s daily observation, such as mustard seed, oil and lamp, and wine skin, etc…

Conclusion (my observation):

One bird in your hand is better than ten in the jungle. If one of your teaching is plain and clear enough to be understood by others, it is much worth of hundreds of your lectures which could not be understood by the hearer.

As a teacher or preacher, make the message to be clearly understood by the hearer is the final goal, and reaching up to this goal, we need wisdom not only to teach, but also to learn for teaching.

References:

  1. Adams, J. E. Shepherding God’s Flock. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1975.
  2. Adams, J. E. Preaching With Purpose. Philipsburg: P & R Publishing, 1982.
  3. Baxter, Richard. The Reformed Pastor: A Pastor for Personal Growth and Ministry. Oregon: Multnomah Press, 1982.
  4. Gregory, John M. The Seven Laws of Teaching. Boston: Congregational Sunday School and Publishing Society, 1886.

The Desire to Dwell in the Word of God

International Theological Seminary and College, Cambodia

Submitted By : Kakrona Muong
Submitted To : Prof. White Joen
Course Title : Psalm
Year of Student : 3rd B.A
Date : March 15, 2014

The Desire to Dwell in the Word of God

Text : Psalm 119: 33-40

Title : The Desire to Dwell in the Word of God

Telos : You must live with the word of God, because the word of God gives the faith and helps you to overcome every problem

Introduction

Usually the biggest purposes of the people are three things: Those are Money, Power, honor. Therefore, every day almost the people of one hundred percent in the world try to complete their desires. In Psalm 119: 33-34 we see the desire of David. What David wants was the word of God because the word of God is better than everything in his life.

I. Why do we desire the word of God? Because we can get the faith

1. First, I want to discuss about a body, how can a body grew up from a childhood to adulthood? It’s easy to answer it because it’s not mystery. Everybody knows about this. It’s “by foods”. But if we ask them about a spirit, maybe they cannot understand our question and make them wondered about your question. This is the serious question to the people because they did not know what a spirit is. Perhaps all thought a Christian may have understood it too much, but they don’t know how to be grown up in spirits.

2. Why? Because they did not pay attention the word of God. Three confessions of David before the Lord, that we can see in Psalm 119:33 “Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end” First: Teaching, second: following, and third: keeping. When I read this verse, I am very surprised at it because I never did so before. Ten years ago I accepted Jesus Christ, but I never do as David did. This is very important in Christian’s life. The Christian should do as David did. First, he should ask God to teach it and second, he should try to follow what God commands us to do, and third, he should keep the word of God.

II. Because we can keep in our heart by understanding the word of God (34)

Psalm 119: 34 says “Give me understanding and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart”

Here, the Phrase “Give me understanding” for me is wonderful interestingly. When we want to do something, we have to understand about your work, otherwise, the work will be not progressing well. Anyways if you are a student, you have to understand what your teacher talks about; otherwise, your knowledge will be not advanced.

A. You have to understand the word of God so that your faith may be strength.

The word of God is the distinguished out of everything because you cannot understand by yourselves, unless God illuminates to you. As you know, the Book of 2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scriptures inspired by God…” That why did David ask for God to make him understood God’ word, and especially known the purpose of God. When you understand what the purpose of God, it shall make you to do and to follow him easily. A lots of Christian that I have seen before, they always were lost the faith and separated from God, because they don’t know the word of God clearly. Of course. Everything is in God, and God can do everything. As Matthew 19:26 says: Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Everything is possible for God. So, God has authority to remove everything, so, we should depend on the Lord. Why any Christians were always failed? Because they didn’t understand the word of God.

B. when you understand the word of God you shall overcome every problem

Many times the Bible said about the power of God that works in believers when they have a faith and trust in God. As 1 John 5:4 says, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith. By our faith in the word of God”. We can overcome a problem. And Jeremiah 1:9 says “They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you,” declares the LORD. This is God declaration, God shall deliver us. Let us overcome all.

Conclusion

Christian should love the word of God and desire understanding them and also keep them in our heart. Moreover, when we pray to the Lord, don’t forget that we ask God to make us understood his word. This is the way that we can have the confidence when we occurred with a problem and we can overcome everything that shall be happened to destroy us. So, please trust in God, depend on God, and live in God only.

Certainty about Basic Doctrines

Name: Joseph Jiang Subject: Pastoral Ministry
Submitted to: Dr. White Jeon Date: March 4, 2015

Presentation: Certainty about Basic Doctrines

Introduction

In pastoral ministry, a Pastor or a church leader is obligated to teach the basic doctrines to the congregation. The purpose is to let them know God and Christ, because the Bible teaches us that “to know the only true God and Jesus Christ is the eternal life” (John 17:3). Here, the Greek word γινώσκω (ginosko) has a meaning more than mere a knowledge or an understanding of the object, but there is a deeper meaning, which corresponds to the Hebrew word ידע (yada`), for instance, in Genesis 4:1, “Adam knew Eve, and she conceived, and gave birth to Cain.” The word points to the intimate relationship between Adam and Eve, as they became one flesh (cf. Gen. 2:24). Thus, “to know God and Christ” is meant to build the intimate relationship with God and Christ, that is, to be united with the Lord. Just like the apostle Paul, who confesses that “Christ lives in me…I live by faith in the Son of God…” (Gal. 2:20). Even the Lord Jesus Christ Himself teaches us, “If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Concerning the certain things about basic doctrines, first, we need to consider what to teach. Our target is to focus on the most important thing that is for the eternal life, salvation. Second, since our life-time is limited, we need to concentrate on certain essential things to teach the congregation, in order to get the most effective.

1. What to Teach?

Richard Baxter says, “To teach Christ to our people is to teach everything.”1 As a puritan, he shows us how to focus on Christ. Scripture clearly shows us that evangelism must bear the witness to the record that God has given of His only begotten Son (Acts 2:3; Rom. 16:25; 1 Cor. 2:2; Gal. 3:1). Christ is the center of the whole Bible: the Old Testament reveals the pre-incarnation of Christ through the symbols, types, events, etc. and in the New Testament the incarnation of Christ has fulfilled, as “the Word became flesh” (John 1:14). According to Thomas Adams (1583-1652), “Christ is the sum of the whole Bible, prophesied, typified, prefigured, exhibits, demonstrated, to be found in every leaf, almost in every line, the Scriptures being but as it were the swaddling bands of the child Jesus.”2 The puritans thus taught that any preaching in which Christ does not have the preeminence is not valid preaching. William Perkins (1558-1602) said that the heart of all preaching was to “preach one Christ by Christ to the praise of Christ.”3

Like the apostle Paul, the puritans preached Christ crucified (cf. 1 Cor. 2:2). J. I. Packer says, “Puritan preaching revolved around ‘Christ, and him crucified’—for this is the hub of the Bible.”4 The Puritans were lovers of Christ and wrote much about His beauty. Thomas Goodwin (1600-1680) concluded, “Heaven would be hell to me without Christ.”5 Therefore, to teach Christ to our people is needful, other truths may be desirable, because only by the name of Christ we can be saved, and “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (4:12).

2. Life-time Is Limited

Since life-time is limited, we need to remember that the necessity is a great planner of time. If we are sufficient for everything, we might well take up the whole encyclopedia. But the life is short and we are limited by time. So, it is very necessary and precious to focus on the eternal truths that our souls depend on.

The apostle Paul urges us, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16 KJV). The Greek word ἐξαγοράζω (exagorazo) also means “to buy,” or “to make the best use of.” Since the days are evil, everything around us tends to corrupt and mislead, so it is difficult for godly persons who walk among so many thorns to escape unhurt. Such corruption having infected the age, the devil appears to try to take over the dominion of the Lord in this world, so that our time cannot be dedicated to God without being in some way redeemed. And what shall be the price of its redemption? To withdraw from the endless variety of temptations which would easily lead us astray; to get rid of ourselves from the cares and pleasures of the world. Thus, the apostle Paul always urges us to “set our minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Col. 3:2).

Since life-time is limited and the days are evil, a Pastor needs to make best use of time to gain advantage to the souls of congregation by teaching them the needful doctrines, so that they may dedicate their lives to God.

3. Focusing on Essentials

Since the essentials are few, a preacher must often focus upon the same things. However, do not therefore be tempted by novelties or new things, yet we must abominate the essentials with a variety of expressions, because the wordy and tedious controversies, which so waste our time and trouble us, are made up of options rather than the essential truths. Such as the doctrinal controversies of liberals and high-Calvinists, their doctrines are beyond what God has revealed us in the Bible. As Gregory Nazianzus says, “Essential are common and obvious. It is the superfluities over which we waste time, laboring for and complaining that we did not achieve them.”6 Ministers, then, need to be observant in order to know for the sake of their flock what are the priorities. Augustine said, “I would rather have speeches that are true than which contain merely nice distinctions. Just as I would rather have my friends who are wise than merely those who are handsome.”7 Therefore, Pastors must be wise in teaching the essentials to make the flock most effective in gaining the benefits for their souls.

Conclusion

The godly Christian life is based on the foundation of the sound doctrine; the sound doctrine is based on the Word of God. To teach the Word of God is teach Christ. “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17). Teaching Christ is the basic of the basic doctrines which is very needful for the souls. Since life-time is limited, Pastors must focus on the essentials, but not to make the essential truths to the wordy and tedious controversies that so waste our time and are unnecessary. At last, taking the words of Paul, in this corrupted world Pastors must “not as unwise but as wise” (Eph. 5:15), both in life and ministry with diligence, sincerity and faithfulness.

1 Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor (Oregon, Portland: Multnomah Press, 1982), 15.

2 Joel R. Beeke and Mark Jones, A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life (Grand Rapid: Reformation Heritage Books, 2012), 961-62.

3 William Perkins, The Art of Prophesying (Pennsylvania, Carlisle: The Banner of Truth Trust), 79.

4 J. I. Packer, A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life (Wheaton: Crossway, 1990), 286.

5 Joel R. Beeke and Mark Jones, A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life, 962.

6 Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor, 16.

7 Ibid.

References:

  1. Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor (Oregon, Portland: Multnomah Press, 1982).

  2. Joel R. Beeke and Mark Jones, A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life (Grand Rapid: Reformation Heritage Books, 2012).

  3. William Perkins, The Art of Prophesying (Pennsylvania: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1606).

  4. J. I. Packer, A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life (Wheaton, Ill: Crossway, 1990).

Take the Testimonies of the Lord as Your delight and Counselors!

INTERNATIONAL THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE AND SEMINARY, CAMBODIA

Submitted by : Touch Am
Submitted to : Dr. White Jeon
Course : The book of Psalm
Yare : 4th
Date : March 5, 2015
Text: Psalm 119:17-24

Title: Take the Testimonies of the Lord as Your delight and Counselors!

Telos: You can be a blessed man by keeping and seeking God’s testimonies with your whole heart.

Introduction

When you read this chapter it starts with the word of God as Psalm 119:2 says, “Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, ​​​​​​​​who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!” Especially verse 24 says, “Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.” What is the testimony? What will guide your pilgrim path? And what does God promise for you who keep his Word?

  1. What is the meaning of testimonies?

A. According to a dictionary, the testimony is the example of spoken or written statements that to something is true, especially those given in a court of law. The others are the proof of something to be clear.

B. But what does the Word of God say?

1. In the Old Testament we can see that the testimony is a witness to prove of an agreement or a covenant. A testimony is a way to show that one is faithful to an agreement or a covenant. God gave the Ten Commandments as a way of showing His faithfulness to Israel. Israel was to give the testimony to the covenant by obeying the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments were kept in the Ark of the Covenant. So, the Ark of the Covenant was called the ark of the Testimony.

2. In the New Testament we see that Jesus Christ is the testimony, the witness of the New Covenant. He made this testimony of the love and grace of God for all people. He revealed His life, death, and resurrection. Those who receive Christ as their Savior receive Him as the testimony of God. The Holy Spirit gives us the witness of God. The Holy Spirit gives the witness to Christians that Christ is the true testimony. So, according to the Old Testament and the New Testament we can know that the testimony is referring to “the Bible” or the “gospel life.” 2 Timothy1:8 says, “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God”

  1. What shall guide you on your pilgrim path?

  1. The Word of God will guide you on your pilgrim path. For the Psalter knew the wonderful lead of the testimonies of God, verse 23 says “Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes.” So, Ps. 119:9 says, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” And also II Timothy 3: 16-17 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. How does the Word of God guide us? Only the Scripture guides us to the eternal house of the Father.

  1. What is the Bible? The Bible provides a reliable standard by which to measure our claims to be guided by the Holy Spirit through our thinking or feelings. “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” (Rom. 8:5-6). I Cor. 2:18 said, “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. The Holy Spirit guides us through the Scripture. John 16:13 says, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” And Luke 12:12 said, “For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” We who follow the Scripture should be peaceful in the dark world.

  1. What does God promise for us who keep his Word?

  1. God will bless those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with whole heart. Verse 2 says, “ “Through His testimonies they will be full of delight in their heart. And also they will have the wisdom of God. The wisdom of God is the eternal life in His Kingdom. (Jn17:3) Psalm 1:1-3 says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; ​​​​​​​​but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” And he enjoys the delight and the wisdom in his statutes. The writer confesses that he meditates the testimony in his suffering (v 23).

  1. God will be with him always. And also verse 20 says, “My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times.” And I John 3:22- 24 said, “And whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us. Just like such confession, to abide in his testimonies is the blessing of blessings on the earth.

Conclusion

My brothers and sisters in Christ, take the testimonies of the Lord as your delight and your counselor. Let us keep his commandments, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you the prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you shall find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.

Let your Bible be your trusted counselor. God will abide with you forever. When Christ abides with you and you will bear a lot of fruit in life. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he shall prosper.”

Why There Are No Longer Apostles?

“Why There Are No Longer Apostles?”
– Sokhen Chea, BA 3rd Grade ITCS –

In the New Testament, Jesus came to the earth for doing His ministry. During that time He had chosen twelve Apostles to serve His work and had brought them to every place wherever goes. Jesus had called for them from each different place. Many people cast a question, “Why there are no Longer Apostles? Before we discuss more, the first of all, we should understand “what is apostle?” In the New Testament. “The Apostle” is one who was called by God as “an ambassador” that we see in II Cor. 5:20. Jesus had chosen twelve Apostles who had a special relationship to Him, during his ministry on the earth.

When we collect all the connected New Testament information, at least, three experiences arise as a form to one becoming an apostle in the official intellect. First; an apostle has to be an eyewitness of the Lord Jesus Christ and His resurrection (Acts 1:22; 22:14; 1 Cor. 9:1). Second, an apostle is specifically selected by the Lord or the Holy Spirit (Matt.10:5; Mark 3:13-14; Luke 6:13; Acts 1:26; 9:15). Third, an apostle is invested with the ability to perform miracles (e.g., Mark 3:15; 16:17-20; Luke 9:1-2; Acts 2:43; 4:29-31).

What is the work of Apostles? Through the Bible Apostles’ work is as followings: the Apostles were commissioned by Jesus to introduce the Christian faith (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-48). Second, the Apostles have most responsibility for making the New Testament available first in spoken form and, more exactly, in written form that we can see in (I Corinthians 14:37; Galatians 1:12; Ephesians 3:3-4; I Thessalonians 5:27; II Thessalonians 2:15; 3:14; I Peter 1:12; 2 Peter 1:12-21; 3:15-16). The Apostles exactly described their roles in the early church as giving themselves to “the word of God” and “the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:2, 4).

John Frame’s book, Doctrine of the Word of God tells us about Apostles as followings: “The Spirit will allow the memories of the apostle, so that they will remember Jesus’s words. Jesus as divine voice has given to his disciples teaching that is an absolutely necessary foundation for their life and ministry. The word of apostle preserves the word of Jesus. Jesus has shown the apostles things that are to come in the future. So the Spirit give them revelation about the past (the word of Jesus), the present (“all the truth”), and the future (“thing that are to come”).” I Cor. 4:1 tells us that “the apostles are the overseers of the secret of God”.

So God gave the Apostles, like the prophets of the Old Testament, the revelation in Word, which they communicated in their proclamation. In this revelation, their words are the word of God (I Thess. 2:13). So they showed the qualities of the divine voice itself: power (Rom.1:16-17), authority (Gal. 1:9), and divine presence (I Thess. 1:5). There was no decrease in any of these makings when the Word of God moved from lips of God to lips of the prophet and the Apostles.

Therefore, there are no Apostles today, because Paul declares that “He is the last of Apostle” that we can see in I Corinthians 15:8 “and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born”. Another thing, now a day as we see no person living today can meet the experiences given in Scripture for being an Apostle, no one that Christ has selected to be apostolic role. No one can do miracle like the Apostles did, anymore, and God never reveal some revelation to someone like he revealed to his apostle and no one can see and witness about Jesus resurrected and no one can did the miracle like the Apostle has been did. Jesus warned that false prophets would come in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they would be ravening wolves (Matthew 7:15). Furthermore, anyone claiming to be an apostle today who teaches anything in adding to the New Testament is clearly not an apostle of Christ! No human being on the earth today can claim that he has been personally singled out and chosen by Jesus to be an Apostle.

The Bible was written by the human through the Spirit of God. The Bible is the Word of God and the Scripture has completed, it is very important in our Christian life. Without God’s word we have no relationship with Him. ‘Without his command he is not our Lord, for the Lord is by the definition one who gives authoritative promises either, so he cannot be our Savior.1

The Scripture itself tells us not to add or take away that we can see in (Deut. 4:2; 12:32; and Rev.22:18-19). John warns to everybody who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book”.

Conclusion

Through above explanation we could know more clearly about “Why there are no longer Apostles?” and we know that there are no longer Apostle because no one that Jesus appoints to be Apostle and no one can do a miracle as the Apostles of Jesus did.

Reference

a.i.1. Frame, John M. Salvation Belongs to the Lord: An Introduction to Systematic Theology. Phillipsburg: P&R, 2006.
a.i.2. Frame, John M. Doctrine of the Word of God: A Theology of Lordship. Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing Company, 2006.