“Searching the Scriptures begins with the awareness of a great need – the need for spiritual growth.”
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2Tim. 3:16-17.
JOHN WESLEY WAS A SELF-
PROCLAIMED HOMO UNIUS LIBRI – that is, a man of one book, the Holy Bible. He studied the Bible with fervour, and knew it thoroughly. He firmly believed that the Bible was God’s unique and most important revelation to man, and it provided the authoritative reference for all believers in their faith and living.
John Wesley studied the Bible passionately for its intellectual as well as spiritual teaching. He was convinced that it was not enough to merely know the Bible. He believed that the truth in the Bible, by God’s grace, had to be practised in our lives.
He made a clear distinction between “studying the Bible” and “searching the Scriptures”. The former involves learning about the background of the books, facts and events, personalities, names of places, the chronology, and dates, etc. Such knowledge is not of much benefit to the spiritual growth of believers.
Searching the Scriptures, on the other hand, begins with the awareness of a great need – the need for spiritual growth. It is to satisfy this need that we search the Scriptures with all our heart so as to know God and His will for us.
John Wesley strongly advocated that we searched the Scriptures as the way for us to encounter God and grow spiritually.
The Chinese Annual Conference (CAC), during its current quadrennium, will encourage its members to study the Bible and also to search the Scriptures.
The former involves the re-introduction of DISCIPLE Bible Studies in all local churches. All four volumes of the DISCIPLE course, as well as another programme, Companions in Christ, have now been translated into Chinese. Studying of the Bible will be systematic and structured.
The CAC will also be giving emphasis to the need for its members to search the Scriptures. Believers must be clearly aware that God’s Word is the anchor of our lives. is anchor holds, and we will not be easily swept away by the current trends or doctrines which go against the Bible’s teaching.
All believers, including those who cannot read and therefore need audio-tapes as resources, will be encouraged to have regular times set aside to search the Scriptures, to immerse themselves in the Word, and to feed on the bread of life. At the same time, they will put into practice in their daily lives the truth they have learnt from the Bible.
The Rev Dr Chong Chin Chung is the President of the Chinese Annual Conference.
WHAT SPIRITUALITY MEANS TO ME
Ten disciplines that help me grow
ALTHOUGH IT MAY SEEM TO BE A CLICHÉ my understanding of spirituality as a pastor is grounded in Mark 12:30-31: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
The second is this: Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
My faith is the spirituality that I expressed from deep within my being and my faith is nurtured through Christian disciplines.
A pastor needs also to be a disciple and grow in spiritual disciplines. I want to develop my spirituality through the following disciplines which I have strived to teach and instil in my congregation:
Loving God with …
my heart – 1. through the discipline of worship;
my soul – 2. discipline of the surrendered life through prayer, fasting and silence;
my mind – 3. discipline of study;
my strength – 4. discipline of service;
5. discipline of giving;
Loving my neighbours – (To be a shelf is to be a support for them)
6. discipline of Social Holiness;
7. discipline of Evangelism;
8. discipline of Love and forgiveness;
9. discipline of Fellowship;
Loving myself –
10. discipline of rest.
This is a simple way that the Lord has helped me to develop to ensure that my growth as a disciple of Jesus Christ is well balanced.
There is no end point for there is a possibility for growth in depth and breadth in every area of discipline.