We are glad to share with you what God has done in the past months in this part of the world. Campus Bible Fellowship is a ministry for building holistic development among students through God’s Word, Christ’s church and godly Fellowship. Here’s the May 2015 CBF Newsletter. To God be all the glory!
First, please understand that we intend no offense in the wording of this question. We genuinely receive questions, from Catholics, along the lines of “What is the difference between Catholics and Christians?” In face-to-face conversations with Catholics, we have literally heard, “I am not a Christian, I am Catholic.” To many Catholics, the terms “Christian” and “Protestant” are synonymous. With all that said, the intent of this article is that Catholics would study what the Bible says about being a Christian and would perhaps consider that the Catholic faith is not the best representation of what the Bible describes. As a background, please read our article on “What is a Christian?”
A key distinction between Catholics and Christians is the view of the Bible. Catholics view the Bible as having equal authority with the Church and tradition. Christians view the Bible as the supreme authority for faith and practice. The question is, how does the Bible present itself? Second Timothy 3:16-17 tells us, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” This text tells us that Scripture is not “just the beginning,” or “just the basics,” or the “foundation for a more complete church tradition.” On the contrary, Scripture is perfectly and fully sufficient for everything in the Christian life. Scripture can teach us, rebuke us, correct us, train us, and equip us. “Bible Christians” do not deny the value of church tradition. Rather, Christians uphold that for a church tradition to be valid, it must be based on the clear teaching of Scripture and must be in full agreement with Scripture. Catholic friend, study the Word of God for yourself. In God’s Word you will find God’s description of, and intention for, His Church. Second Timothy 2:15 declares, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
A second key difference between Catholics and Bible Christians is the understanding of how we can approach God. Catholics tend to approach God through intermediaries, such as Mary or the saints. Christians approach God directly, offering prayers to no one other than God Himself. The Bible proclaims that we ourselves can approach God’s throne of grace with boldness (Hebrews 4:16). The Bible is perfectly clear that God desires us to pray to Him, to have communication with Him, to ask Him for the things we need (Philippians 4:6;Matthew 7:7-8;1 John 5:14-15). There is no need for mediators or intermediaries, as Christ is our one and only mediator (1 Timothy 2:5), and both Christ and the Holy Spirit are already interceding on our behalf (Romans 8:26-27;Hebrews 7:25). Catholic friend, God loves you intimately and has provided an open door to direct communication through Jesus.
The most crucial difference between Catholics and Bible Christians is on the issue of salvation. Catholics view salvation almost entirely as a process, while Christians view salvation as both a completed status and a process. Catholics see themselves as “being saved,” while Christians view themselves as “having been saved.” First Corinthians 1:2says, “To those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy.” The words “sanctified” and “holy” come from the same Greek root. This verse is declaring that Christians are both sanctified and called to be sanctified. The Bible presents salvation as a gift that is received the moment a person places faith in Jesus Christ as Savior (John 3:16). When a person receives Christ as Savior, he/she is justified (declared righteous –Romans 5:9), redeemed (rescued from slavery to sin –1 Peter 1:18), reconciled (achieving peace with God –Romans 5:1), sanctified (set apart for God’s purposes –1 Corinthians 6:11), and born again as a new creation (1 Peter 1:23;2 Corinthians 5:17). Each of these is fully accomplished at the moment of salvation. Christians are then called to live out practically (called to be holy) what is already true positionally (sanctified).
The Catholic viewpoint is that salvation is received by faith, but then must be “maintained” by good works and participation in the Sacraments. Bible Christians do not deny the importance of good works or that Christ calls us to observe the ordinances in remembrance of Him and in obedience to Him. The difference is that Christians view these things as the result of salvation, not a requirement for salvation or a means of maintaining salvation. Salvation is an accomplished work, purchased by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ (1 John 2:2). God offers us salvation and assurance of salvation because Jesus’ sacrifice was fully, completely, and perfectly sufficient. If we receive God’s precious gift of salvation, we can know that we are saved. First John 5:13 declares, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
We can know that we have eternal life, and we can have assurance of our salvation because of the greatness of Christ’s sacrifice. Christ’s sacrifice does not need to be re-offered or re-presented.Hebrews 7:27says, “He sacrificed for their sins once for all when He offered Himself.”Hebrews 10:10declares, “We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”First Peter 3:18exclaims, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice was absolutely and perfectly sufficient. Jesus declared on the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Jesus’ atoning sacrifice was the full payment for all of our sins (1 John 2:2). As a result, all of our sins are forgiven, and we are promised eternal life in heaven the moment we receive the gift God offers us – salvation through Jesus Christ (John 3:16).
Catholic friend, do you desire this “so great salvation” (Hebrews 2:6)? If so, all you must do is receive it (John 1:12) through faith (Romans 5:1). God loves us and offers us salvation as a gift (John 3:16). If we receive His grace, by faith, we have salvation as our eternal possession (Ephesians 2:8-9). Once saved, nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39). Nothing can remove us from His hand (John 10:28-29). If you desire this salvation, if you desire to have all your sins forgiven, if you desire to have assurance of salvation, if you desire direct access to the God who loves you – receive it, and it is yours. This is the salvation that Jesus died to provide and that God offers as a gift.
If you have received Jesus Christ as Savior, by faith, because of what you have read here today, please let us know by messaging us. Welcome to the family of God! Welcome, Catholic friend, to the Christian life!
(c) “Catholic Christian Question” www.gotquestions.org
A dictionary definition of a Christian would be something similar to “a person professing belief in Jesus as the Christ or in the religion based on the teachings of Jesus.” While this is a good starting point, like many dictionary definitions, it falls somewhat short of really communicating the biblical truth of what it means to be a Christian. The word “Christian” is used three times in the New Testament (Acts 11:26;26:28;1 Peter 4:16). Followers of Jesus Christ were first called “Christians” in Antioch (Acts 11:26) because their behavior, activity, and speech were like Christ. The word “Christian” literally means, “belonging to the party of Christ” or a “follower of Christ.”
Unfortunately over time, the word “Christian” has lost a great deal of its significance and is often used of someone who is religious or has high moral values but who may or may not be a true follower of Jesus Christ. Many people who do not believe and trust in Jesus Christ consider themselves Christians simply because they go to church or they live in a “Christian” nation. But going to church, serving those less fortunate than you, or being a good person does not make you a Christian. Going to church does not make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile. Being a member of a church, attending services regularly, and giving to the work of the church does not make you a Christian.
The Bible teaches that the good works we do cannot make us acceptable to God.Titus 3:5says, “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” So, a Christian is someone who has been born again by God (John 3:3;John 3:7;1 Peter 1:23) and has put faith and trust in Jesus Christ.Ephesians 2:8tells us that it is “…by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
A true Christian is a person who has put faith and trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ, including His death on the cross as payment for sins and His resurrection on the third day.John 1:12tells us, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” The mark of a true Christian is love for others and obedience to God’s Word (1 John 2:4,10). A true Christian is indeed a child of God, a part of God’s true family, and one who has been given new life in Jesus Christ.
cc: “What is a Christian?” by www.gotquestions.org
Foreword paragraph #3 page iii
Excerpt: The purpose of this manual is to provide pastors, workers, supporters, volunteers and members of the Campus Bible Fellowship with the information needed to carry-out the campus ministry in accordance with the laws, rules, policies, processes and procedures. Good decisions in the organization can only be achieved when appropriate policies and standards are applied and established procedures observed.
Love bears all things, believes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. — 1 Corinthians 13:7
My life before was just full of miserable and dull moments. In short, it was boring! At some point of my life, I felt so much depressed on what is happening to me. I hate myself. All of these things ruined my entire living here on earth. But, at a sudden, KESWICK CONFERENCE change it. It is truly “Lives change lives.” (Ptr. Leon Cross). The people behind this really change my way of living — the way I think, the way I act and the way I live as a Christian.
My Keswick experience? I would describe it in three words — it was so ENJOYABLE, AWESOME and BLESSED! I was amazed with this activity because I felt the energy and happiness. People offered me a warm welcome. In fact, I am happy when I met a lovely lady. She was Ate Kris. When I saw her, I ask myself, “How can she live her life in that kind of situation?” (I then realized that we can live just through the Words of God. As long as you bring and keep all the teachings in your heart and live with it, you will not worry anymore.) We had a conversation together with Ate Mish. During that night also, there was another person who made my stay enjoyable. Guess who? It was Ptr. Leon Cross, a Singaporean Pastor. On the last night of our stay, we met another person. I felt so blessed because of the story of his life. He was former Capt. Gerardo Gambala. Thanks be to God to all of these persons. They show me in their character and testimonies the essence of God in our life.
I learned a lot of things in attending Keswick Conference. I learned about these 5 points that is important in life. First thing, God is sovereign and supreme of all. We cannot govern and do all things all by ourselves. He is in control of everything — even our life here on earth. Second, I realized that God is able. His love never fails. Though there are times that we disobey Him, He always forgive us, give us chances and grant those things that we do not deserve. That’s how amazing His grace is. He is also the most loving God of all. As what the Bible says in JOHN 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”In addition, God is the most faithful friend of all. He is always there for you — in good or bad times, in happiness and sorrow. Jesus is truly a good example of this. People did not believe Him and curse Him but still He sacrificed His life for us. He His Father’s will, for He is a faithful Son and for He loves us He gave up everything for us. That’s a quality of a true friend- someone who can sacrifice everything just for the sake of his friends. And lastly, learn to let go and let God do. Trust His perfect timing. Let Him be your personal driver and bring you to your proper place. Problems occur, however there is God who is our greatest refuge during our troubled times. Pray and ask for His guidance.
Life is the most precious gift given to man while happiness is the greatest reward of life. God wants us to enjoy every single day of our life with Him. Use the talents He gave and bring back the glory to Him. He wants us to be the happiest person. If you feel sad, remember that God is our strength when we are weak. In times of problems, God ONLY can give you the best solutions.
This is the new me. A man that is renewed by the amazing grace of God. I am grateful to God for this discipleship. I pray for the continuous growth of this group –a group who touches the lives of everyone through evangelism and sharing the words of God.
What about you? Does God have a part in your life as a Christian? Join us and you, too can experience the love and grace of God. Be a disciple who make disciples! Follow Jesus. Know Him, Know Love and Peace!
S O L I D E O G L O R I A!
Action movies always portray a man who saves the world, and he is always with a leading woman. Action heroes are .Imago Dei of Jesus Christ,
This is the picture of Jesus Christ, the real action hero, who saves the bride from the world and saves the world with His bride. His bride is the church. Being a part of a church, you are part of this action-romantic true-to-life movie. Together with the hero, you work together in saving this world from the villain.
Praise God for another project the Lord was able to provide through the people whom He used to sponsor, give and support. Little donations and buying of fund raising items accumulated through time and we’re able to put up this signage along the busy street. This will help build identity and recognition of our ministry in the Town. As the physical signage lights the paths in darkness, so we continue to work and pray together that CBF will serve as a “Lampstand” of the Gospel for a dark world. Be our partner in this labour, let us work together in fulfilling the call to the harvestfield and together let us make disciples of all nations.
We also praise God for the New Desktop computer set made available because people sacrificially gave as the Lord led them. One of the greatest definitions of leadership is IDENTIFYING THE NEED AND SOLVING THE NEED. This is the very motive behind this facility. We have dedicated this in the church and asked the Lord for blessing that this will be used for the expansion of His Kingdom. This is used to attend to the needs of the students for their projects, theses, and other computer-related works. To God be all the glory!