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BIBLICAL GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY

Issue No. 02 11 - 17 Jan 2010

 New Year Message from the new Provost

by Steven Lee

I will be sharing with you Psalm 8, which I feel would be appropriate for this time of the year. It is a psalm written by David of thanksgiving and glorifying God for the goodness that he had received from God. Similarly, at this time of the year it is good to reflect on what God has done for us in the past year and to be thankful to Him and give Him Glory for all He has done for us.  Some scholars have entitled the title of this Psalm as “Death of a Champion” and attributed it to David having written it after he defeated Goliath.

This Psalm starts by glorifying God, and ends also by glorifying God. In verse 2, we have David looking back and acknowledging what God has done in helping him to combat his enemies. In v. 3, 4, 5 and 6, David reflected on God’s awesomeness and the exceptional favour God has given to us his children. We were made only a little lower than God (NLT), and He has crowned us with glory and honour, even though we are insignificant compared to God’s other creative acts. He made us to rule over all of His creation.

WHY do we need to glorify God?

We need to give God the glory for being who he is, the almighty God, the creator of the heavens and the earth. He made us in His image just a little below Himself to have dominion over all of His creation. He chose to bring us back into fellowship with Him by sacrificing his Son on the cross for us (John 3:16). He is the Alpha and the Omega. Everything starts with God and ends with God, the Almighty (Rev.1:8). There are many other reasons as to why we should give Him glory. Each one of us like David, have many reasons to be thankful to God. We must not in our busyness forget to reflect on God’s hand over our daily lives. We need to be mindful that our God cares for us as individuals and that each of us has a special place in His heart. Rom. 8:28 tells us that we know that in all things, He works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called to His purpose.  

HOW do we glorify God?

We can glorify God by worshiping him with our whole heart. When we sing praises to Him, we must mean what we are singing and not let it be a ritual. Songs must be chosen carefully, as often contemporary songs do not convey a reverence for God. I am not saying all contemporary songs are bad, but that they must glorify God and not ourselves or something that just makes us feel good. Worshiping God is not confined to just singing praises to Him, it is a time where we put God first and focus our attention upon Him acknowledging His sovereignty in our lives.

We can glorify God in our daily activities as well, whether verbally extolling His goodness to others, or in helping others and showing them love. To be right before God, our lifestyle must reflect the

character of God to those around us. I believe that our speech, our actions our emotions, must be in line with what our God expects of us. We cannot say one thing and do another.  Matt. 25:35-40 tells us that helping a brother in need is what is expected of us. Do not just pay lip service, but go that extra mile for a brother.

WHEN do we glorify God?

Both in bad times and in good times, we need to give God glory for all the things he has done for us. Many of us are aware that following Christ is not going to be a bed of roses; we are going to have to encounter some disappointments from time to time as well. What we have is a promise from Jesus that God will provide a counsellor to be with you always, who will teach you all things (John 14:26). To help us handle each and every situation we encounter.

Finally, the best way we can glorify God is to live our lives the way he has ordained for us.  “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be (Ps. 139:16). God is faithful and will provide us with the necessary tools in the form of the many spiritual gifts available for us to succeed in accomplishing what he has ordained for us (Rom. 12:6-8). Whatever our gifting, whether in prophesying, in serving, in teaching, in encouraging others, in giving, in leadership, or the gift of showing mercy to others, we must use it not for any personal gain, but for the sole purpose of furthering God’s Kingdom on earth. Each of us has a special place within the body of the Church. Just like different parts of the human body have different functions, similarly, the various members of the body of Christ have different functions to perform (1Cor. 12: 12-27).  All of us have a part to play in God’s greater scheme of things, to bring the ‘Good News’ to all nations of the earth. We need to be mindful that the Great Commission given in Matt. 28:19 is not only meant for pastors and full time ministry workers, but it is also what God expects of us as individuals to do. We on our part should not take it as an obligation or price we have to pay to be part of God’s family; we should count it a privilege to be able to partner God in fulfilling His plan for the world at large. It is the least we can do for Him. We can never outdo God or even come close to doing so. This does not mean that we should all pack our bags and go to the unreached peoples of the world. If this is your calling, then do so. For most of us, it could simply be to just reach out to our neighbours, our loved ones or to those we come into contact with in our work areas to share the ‘Good News’ with them. God will do the rest.

In conclusion, we must make our life count for God. I would like to end this short sharing by wishing all of you a very blessed year ahead and may the peace of God be with you always.

Courses commencing in January, Term 3, 2009-2010

Biblical Studies OT & NT
The Gospel Of Isaiah (Isa 40-55) (OT363, 1.5cr);
Feb 4, 11, 18, 25 Mar 4, 11, 18, 25 (New starting date) (Thu 7.30-9.30pm)
Lecturer: Dr Augustine Pagolu

Old Testament Foundations II (OT102, 3cr);
Jan 15, 22, 29, Feb 5, 12, 19, 26, Mar 5, 19, 26,
Apr 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7, 14 (Fri 7.30-9.30pm)
Lecturer: Dr Philip Satterthwaite

The Parables of Jesus (NT216, 1.5cr); 
Jan 22, 29, Feb 5, 12 (Fri 7.15-10.15pm)
Lecturer: Dr Aquila Lee

Biblical Languages
*Greek Exegesis I (BG211, 3cr); 
Jan 18, 25, Feb 1, 8, 22, Mar 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Apr 5, 12, 19, 26, May 3 (Mon 7.30-9.30pm)
Lecturer: Dr Aquila Lee

Christian Education & Spiritual Formation
Facilitating Adult Learning (ECF512, 1.5cr) (MTh 2cr);
Jan 12, 19, 26, Feb 2, 9 (5 sessions)
(Tue 7.15-10.15pm)
Lecturer: Dr Ng Peh Cheng

Spirituality For Christian Formation (ECF503, 3cr);
Jan 20, 27, Feb 3, 10, 17, 24, Mar 3, 10
(Wed 7.15-10.15pm)
Lecturer: Mr John Chong Ser Choon

Counselling
*Counselling Skills: Working with Children (ECF515/CO235, 3cr);
Jan 18, 25, Feb 1, 8, 22, Mar 1, 8, 15, (Mon 7.15-10.15pm)
Lecturer: Mr Yam Keng Mun

Theological Studies
Theological Foundations I (TS211, 3cr);
(Group Tutorial); Jan 12, 26, Feb 9, 23, Mar 9, 23, Apr 6, 20 (Tue 7.30-9.30pm) [Required for MDiv & MCS]
Lecturer: Dr Douglas Milne/Tutor: Dr Edwin Tay

Apologetics (TS230, 3cr); (Group Tutorial);
Jan 13, 20, 27, Feb 3, 17, Mar 3, 10
(*final session to be announced)
(Wed 7.30-10pm) [Required for MDiv]
Lecturer: Dr Douglas Milne/Tutor: Mr Brian Thomas

* Courses marked with an asterisk are not offered on audit basis.

Reminder on Course Fees Revision

As announced earlier in June 2009, the course fees will be revised w.e.f. 02 Jan 2010 to $110/credit i.e. $330 for 3 cr course; $165 for 1.5 cr course; for audit $230 for 3 cr and $115 for 1.5cr course. Visit http://bgst.edu.sg/pdf/fee_revision.pdf for full details.
Announcements

Our Chapel speaker on 20th Jan is Mr Quek Tze-Ming. He will be speaking on "The Language of Scripture". Chapel begins at 12pm every Wednesday. You are welcome to join us.

NEW STARTING DATE
The Gospel of Isaiah (Isa 40-55), OT363, 1.5cr
Lecturer: Dr Augustine Pagolu
Dates: Feb 4, 11, 18, 25, Mar 4, 11, 18, 25
Time: 7.30-9.30pm
"Isaiah 40–55 addresses many issues of great concern for Christians today. How are we to understand God’s action or lack of it for his people in contexts where they are a minority group or where they face ridicule, marginalization or even persecution? How are we to respond to growing secularism and materialism? Is prosperity and well-being guaranteed for Christians everywhere? What is the nature of salvation and well-being? How does God reveal his will to his people today? Does being a witness to Christ mean only cross-cultural mission?"

For more information on the course visit our website: www.bgst.edu.sg

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