By Not Known
This year Singapore marks 30 years of “Total Defence” which was initiated to remind us that there are 5 pillars which support Total Defence: military, social, civil, economic and psychological. On the TD logo which is shaped like a hand with 5 fingers, there is a handwritten tagline: “It’s personal. Play your part.” It is a necessary reminder that each citizen can and must contribute to the defence of our nation.
On our church’s 158th anniversary, it is important for us to remember this as well. Just as an army’s overall effectiveness is determined by the sum total of each individual soldier’s proficiency, so we too must keep ourselves “fighting fit” and constantly remember that teamwork is essential in our “operations”. Discipleship is a means by which each Christian is strengthened and nurtured by a discipler (an experienced “soldier in Christ”). What an experienced soldier does is to impart all his know-how as a soldier – what he has acquired over the years from extensive training as well as first-hand experience in “combat” – so that the younger soldier benefits from it and is prepared to take his place on the “battlefield” ie, the world where God our commander places us.
We take our cue from the Lord Jesus Christ, the great Discipler who equipped His 12 disciples for mission, and who commissioned them before His Ascension, to do the same as He had done i.e., discipling others who would disciple still others to do the same (Mt 28:19). In this way, more and more believers would be equipped to do exactly what Jesus did during His earthly ministry, i.e. to model Christ-likeness and grow to spiritual maturity – a “combat-ready soldier of the Kingdom”. Paul in Eph 4:11-12 instructed pastor-teachers to equip the saints for the work of ministry, not to do the ministry themselves. This transmission of knowledge, skills and “battlecraft” is absolutely necessary for the Christian army to stand up for Jesus in every generation. Being soldiers for Christ is not just attending a 90 minute “classroom session” every Sunday and then being dismissed to become anonymous, passive undercover civilians the rest of the week. Soldiers have to be soldiers wherever they are, 24/7.
On this anniversary we need to recruit more and more soldiers who are willing to be equipped, trained and prepared for Christian discipleship, and who in turn will prepare generations of Christian soldiers who are ready to do the same. In this way, the whole army will become stronger with fitter individual soldiers. Want ORPC to be a strong church? For that to happen you yourself have to be strengthened. Time to sign up and stand up to be a disciple for Jesus Christ!