On Sundays at 3pm. Please contact Bro Jose Lagapa: 81853623 anytime.
Dear Brethren and Friends,
Welcome to the Filipino Bible Fellowship!
We thank the Lord that the first issue of our Cebuano RPG (Pagbasa, Pag-ampo, Pagtubo or PPP) finally reached the hands of the brethren in the Philippines. Although we were late for this first quarter because of some concerns, the Lord is gracious to grant us wisdom to still move on. Many are thankful for the PPP as it is written in their dialect. Let us pray that the Lord will continue to give wisdom, strength and diligence to our translators, editors and others who are involved in this ministry. Please pray also that we can have the Tagalog RPG soon!
The acronym PPP is later realized to be so significant since this is used for nominal Christians who go to church only to “sit, listen and go home” (in Cebuano, Pungko, Paminaw, Pauli). They just consider Sunday worship as a habit and a routine but their hearts are far from it. May the Spirit of God use His words in the Cebuano RPG to awaken sleeping souls and give life to those who are still dead in Christ. Please pray that the 2nd quarter will arrive in the Philippines before April.
Glorifying God and Enjoying Him
The Westminster Shorter Catechism question number one is “What is the chief end of man?” The answer given is “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” How do we glorify God? Is it by enjoying all we have here on earth that gives God the glory? This is the false teaching creeping into many churches today, is this true?
The Hebrew word translated “to glorify” means “to make honourable or to make weighty.” This describes an action which gives praise and adoration to God for who He is and what He is doing in our lives. It is to express highly and proudly the great works He has done and will do in our lives as His people. In Greek, the sense is the same, “to glorify” means to acknowledge highly or to magnify, make big what He has performed and provided for us. These definitions do not imply that we talk more than who God is and what God has done for us, for nothing can exactly describe His Excellency. It is therefore giving the best we can ever tell about Him according to His words in the Bible.
What then is the relationship between glorifying God and to enjoy Him forever? Thomas Boston (1676–1732), a Scottish pastor who wrote a commentary on the Shorter Catechism, explains the nature of enjoyment that the Westminster Divines mentioned. He says there is a twofold enjoyment of God, imperfect and perfect. He describes imperfect enjoyment of God as consisting the union with our Lord. This refers to the salvation we have in the Lord Jesus Christ. By this follows our enjoyment in communing with God in prayer, learning of His Word, worshipping Him and the fellowship with the rest of His children. The enjoyment is from our participation of the benefits of the saving relationship we have with our Lord and Saviour. It is only felt by those who are truly born-again Christians, where their souls are reconciled with the Lord in receiving of the graces, particularly of faith and love.
The perfect enjoyment of God, as written by Boston, consists in the immediate presence of souls in glory (Psalm 16:11), wherein upon death the spirit of the believers reside together with God, and they shall ever be with the Lord, enjoying His glorious presence. The soul of the believers are brought near to His throne, and standing before Him, in this place and situation the believers have their inconceivable and immeasurable joy. In seeing Him as He is (1 John 3:2) the Christians shall have a full, satisfying, and never-ending sight of God, and of all his glorious perfections and excellences, and they shall be delighted with the view of their Lord and Saviour forever.
Boston further explains that in this perfect union with him (Revelation 21:3) He will be their God and they shall be His people. No more enmity between, only love and joy to be with the Holy Triune God! They are united to God in Christ here by the Spirit and faith, and made partakers of a divine nature. Here on earth, only in part, but in heaven they shall perfectly partake of it. There shall be a most close and intimate union between God and them. God shall be in them, and they in God, in the way of a glorious and most perfect union, no possibility of separation. Boston also said that in this immediate, full, free, and comfortable communion with God, there is an infinitely superior communion than all they ever had with Him in this world, and which no mortal man can suitably describe. Lastly, he said that full joy and satisfaction resulting from these things is for ever, (Matthew 25:21). The presence and enjoyment of God and the Lamb, shall satisfy them with pleasures for evermore. They shall swim for ever in an ocean of joy, and every object they see shall fill them with the most ecstatic joy, which shall be ever fresh and new to them, through all the ages of eternity.
Boston explains that glorifying of God is put before the enjoying of him because the way of duty is the way to the enjoyment of God. According to him, holiness on earth must necessarily go before felicity in heaven (Hebrews 12:14). He says, there is an inseparable connection between the two, as between the end and the means, so that no person who does not glorify God here, shall ever enjoy him hereafter. Obviously, Boston understood the phrase “enjoy Him forever” as joy in the Lord and more of the heavenly bliss than in this earthly life.
An explanation of the Shorter Catechism by Thomas Vincent (1634–1678) on “What is it to enjoy God?” This author says, to enjoy God is to acquiesce or rest in God as the chief good, with complacency and delight (Psalm 116: 7). “Return unto thy rest, my soul.” He also explains “How is God enjoyed here?” He clarifies that: 1) God is enjoyed here, when people settle themselves upon, and cleave to the Lord by faith, Joshua 23:8, “But cleave unto the Lord your God.” 2. When they taste the Lord's goodness, and delight themselves in the gracious presence and sensible manifestations of God's special love to them. Psa. 34:8. “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Romans 5:5. “Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.”
Why are the glorifying of God and the enjoying of God, joined together as one chief end of man? Because God has inseparably joined them together, so that men cannot truly design and seek the one without the other. They who enjoy God most in his house on earth, do most glorify and enjoy him, (Psalm 84:4). And when God shall be most fully enjoyed by the saints in heaven, He will be most highly glorified by the saints (2 Thessalonians 1:10). Vincent refers the joy of man in the house or in the presence of the Lord not in man’s own pleasure and joy.
The question, “Why ought men chiefly to desire and seek the enjoyment of God for ever?” is clarified in Vincent’s answers: 1) because God is the chief good, and in the enjoyment of God consists man's chiefest happiness (Matthew 10:17, Psalm 4:6,7); and, 2) because God is but imperfectly and inconstantly enjoyed by the saints here on earth, and they cannot be perfectly happy, until they come to the eternal enjoyment of God in heaven, (1 Corinthians 8:9,10).
Therefore the false teaching today that when you enjoy and are having pleasure here on earth you are in effect glorifying God is misleading many to destruction. Please be careful, because this will lead people to carnal and material enjoyments. The truth is, it will not lead man to eternal joy in the Lord, instead it will lead to eternal sadness and suffering in Hell and eternal Lake of Fire! Seeking earthly joys and satisfaction shows that a person is not thinking of life after this world. This is already one sign of an individual who is not yet truly born-again in the Lord Jesus Christ! “… Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour today so that you can glorify God and enjoy Him forever!
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