Pastor V. Nenglian dedicated the service with a special appeal to God to open up the hearts of the parishioners and the sick and bed ridden to be able to receive salvation in body and mind.Biakna Late Number 170, titled ‘Ka Hinna Nang Kon Pia Hi’ reminded the disciples of the Life and the number of blessed years gifted by God. Two more hymns, ‘Ngaklah tak in Aw Ka en’ and ‘Toupa Nasiam sa lei Mihing te’ followed in succession.
Depending on the level of devotion and hunger for Christ, the worshippers were allowed a brief moment of communiqué with God.
‘Esau Silhpuan’ the outburst of emotion over the undeserved righteousness, is one of the most inspiring gospels in the contemporary Christian life. Even as the worshippers poured out their hearts to God with the music, the offering bowl was brought in. Upa Chinsum executed the ceremonious handing over of the offering.
Point-wise resolutions arrived at during the Tualsung Baptist Saptuam Upa Committee (TBSUC) Meeting held on 15 September, 2013 was heard from Upa Kamsuan, Secretary:-
(i) Election of Baptist Youth Fellowship Committee for 2014 scheduled on October 20, 2013
(ii) Election of TBSUC for 2014 scheduled on Novermber 17, 2013
(iii) Election of Tualsung Baptist Missions Committee and Dorcas Committee for 2014 scheduled on November 24, 2013
(iv) Appointment of Upa G. Khamgoupau as Convenor and Upa Chinsum, Local Upa Khamchin Naulak and Local Upa Songzalian as members of the Committee for the upcoming Christmas and New Year Celebrations.
(v) The planned closure of all department accounts pertaining to the current year by the 31st of December, 2013 and report by the 20th of January, 2014. Local Upa Thangkhosiam as Chief Auditor; and Piangrouding Ngaihte, Goukhangin, Thangson and Lam Benson as Auditors.
(vi) The planned participation in the North-East Choral Competition to be conducted by the Tangkhul Christian Charitable Trust. Upa G. Khamkhanpau would be the Music Incharge.
(vii) The birth of a child from Mrs and Mr Pauzakham of Moonlight Ministry have been felicitated with 5000 INR.
(viii) Award of Penalty is basically aimed at purification and amending of the Church members, which is part of witnessing ministry amongst us mortals, not an act to condemn or discriminate. The following three cases have come up for consideration:-
(a) Ginsuanmung, s/o M. Ginzalian of Pearsonmun, who eloped with Ms Mercy Lalremruati since September 5, 2013
(b) V. Langsong s/o V. Thongkhothang, who eloped with Nengneithem since August 4, 2013
(c) Chingbiaksang who eloped with Aditya Sarin, a non-believer since September 3, 2013.
Through the pastoral prayer followed by public approval as token of having witnessed and being in agreement with the same, the official award of penalty was formalized.
Praise resumed with ‘Who Am I’ through Olivia and Mung after which the Pastor puts a question mark on the significance of ‘Repentance’ in Salvation.
1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,
2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;
4 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
Luke Chapter 3
As part of the subject of Salvation (http://ebccdelhi.org/activities/latest-news/404-holy-communion-service--september-15-2013.html), the Pastor treated the issue of Repentance as a different topic altogether, drawing from the Luke 3:1-14.
It’s common knowledge in Christian society that ‘we are baptized in Christ’s death’. But the crucial question is ‘how?’. If one feels sorry about the sin that inheres in, and manifests through him, that is not simply enough. A change in life comes only through a change at heart.
The prodigal son asked for his share of the property, ran away, spent on friends and pleasures. And when all is gone, he fed pigs. And then he resolved a resolution to be ready to become one of his father’s servants. And then he repented. That’s the Biblical Repentance which is not about reformation, but about transformation and regeneration.
The Vice of Non-Repentance
In the parable of the Matthew Chapter 21 the master told his sons to work in his vineyard. One of the sons refused but repented and eventually went to work nevertheless while the other agreed but did not go to work. In the case of Judas Iscariot, he repented having sold Jesus but he didn’t go back to Jesus. Ultimately he had to commit suicide. Similarly many of us turn from sin, but all those who turned from sin do not necessarily turn to God. That’s where the tragedy lies.
When Jesus kicks off His ministry he said ‘repent’ (Matthew 4:17). And when He sent disciples He told them to “ask people to repent” (Mark 6:24) which is the key to escape peril.
This is an issue of debate among Christian scholars. A rebirth sans repentance is not enough. Without repentance a man is likely to bring in his ego and cause so much of consternation in the Church and the Christian community.
Repentance, the Key to Salvation
We can safely say that being born again was earlier conceived of as ‘change in ownership’ while it is actually freedom from bondage. And there is bound to be no looking back. You have a new set of pre-occupations and matters over which you take delight in. The author of Psalms has appropriately outlined the reward of repentance, ‘..but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night’. That is the message of John the Baptist as may be drawn from St Luke chapter 3 and Mark 1:4, ‘the baptism of repentance’, the ultimate pre-condition for attainment of salvation.
During the days of Herod, Antipas (4 BC to 39 AD) of Galilee, a client state of the Roman Empire which coincided with the days of Anna and Caiaphus in the Jewish society, word came to John the Baptist for repentance of all. Inspite of having performed baptism to numerous people, John was on record saying, “I baptized with water, but the One who comes after me will baptize in Holy Spirit”. Thus there is an undertone that points to the fact that the baptism of repentance the likes of which are administered by John the Baptist, should not be a new birth in the full sense of the term, only paving the way for the ultimate baptism to be given by Jesus Christ. The tradition in the contemporary Churches like EBCC might not follow the exact sequence, but the meaning is clear and unambiguous; the requirement of complete denunciation of pride and prejudice due to ancestry and other worldly virtues as a pre-condition for obtaining baptism by the Holy Spirit.
Changed Perspective and Complete Safety
After such repentance/baptism, a man who has anything- clothes, food, etc is advised to share to the one who has not, a revenue collector not to collect more than what is due, a soldier to abjure from violence and false accusation and be content with his pay.
As a consequence of complete disintegration of the mind, a person naturally turns to his/her master in every situations and circumstances. In other words, even at the moment of your loneliness and frustration you’ll not end up in a rope, because you have the Cross to turn to. Therein lies the value of repentance. For the scripture says that there would be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance (Luke 15:7).
One may be clear about forgiveness, but unless the Biblical Repentance is missing, one is bound to be lonely, frustrated and is liable to end up in extreme steps like jumping or hanging.
The sermon was followed by announcements about (i) test exams last conducted; (ii) discipleship training camp to be held from the 26th September, 2013 onwards; and (iii) introduction of first timers.
Then the congregation rose to the last hymn, ‘Toupa Na siamsa Lei Mihing te’ a musical entreaty to re-herd the scattered believers.
Thereafter the worshippers were blessed by Upa Damsawmthang.