|CN PHOTO: Poh Yang Zheng|
Why Bible education is important for every believer.
As a genuine believer, one cannot deny the desire to want to know God more, to have a deeper understanding of His Word. This stirring in the heart, when met with the call to attend Bible school, should constitute a “perfect match.” Yet many resist it, some for the reason that they have known the Lord for a year or less. Others think Bible school is only for those intending to serve God full-time, so they dismiss it. Still others hesitate due to the busy-ness of life, with demands from work and family.
Whatever the reason, having a better understanding of why Bible school is important will bring a revelation that will prompt you into action and change your life.
There are God-given tasks assigned to each one of us, the purpose of which is to prepare us for our lives in eternity. We cannot be so busy about daily chores that we neglect the preparation process God is orchestrating in our lives to make everything
beautiful in His time. We should be occupying ourselves with “the Father’s business” (Luke 2:49) and we are best able to do so after being trained in Bible school.
Hosea 4:6 relates the sad plight of God’s people whose lives were destroyed and the society (then) in chaos, solely because they did not know God’s will or promises. His will for each one of us, and His promises to all of us can be found in the Bible. Scriptures also reveal that the only way Christians should live is “by faith” (Hab. 2:4, Rom. 1:17, Gal. 3:11, Heb. 10:38), and our source of faith is derived from the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). So if we lack an understanding of God’s Word, we will suffer a crisis of faith, we won’t know His promises to us, and won’t have a clear idea how to walk in the specific will and calling of God.
For this lack of knowledge, many Christians live a sub-standard life of mediocrity, settling for an uneventful life waiting to enter eternity, instead of the abundant life that Jesus had given to us in John 10:10. An abundant life is more than physical possessions, emotional satisfaction, earthly achievements, or even our heavenly destination. It is about knowing God, dwelling and serving in His presence. As we step out of our comfort zone to be trained and equipped to do His work here on earth, we will face challenges and life-changing experiences, and be able to make a difference to the people around us (Matt 6:32-33). This is the abundant life.
Hence, we need a good Bible school that will provide the right environment for the necessary spiritual education. School of Theology was birthed in 1994 as part of God’s call to train and equip Christians with the Word of God and practical ministry skills, so that they can serve effectively as ministers of Christ in the marketplace. World missions, church work, signs and wonders are all part of what one will experience in SOT, along with the development of a strong prayer life and increased faith.
Healing And Restoration
Lam Gin Chia, 24, dance choreographer and instructor
“I attended SOT in 2008 and it was a season where I encountered God in a tangible way in my life. During these five months, one of the main things I learned was to rely on the Holy Spirit for strength when I was tired, as I had to work after school. At the same time, my knowledge of the Word increased and I developed a closer relationship with God.
“However, the highlight of my time in SOT was definitely the miraculous healing that took place during one of the sessions
in class. There was a call for healing and my classmates laid hands on me. During one of my dance concerts, I had fractured my last vertebra. That affected my legs and I became very demoralized since my career was at stake. But that day, I had a life-changing experience. While we were praying, I felt a sensation in my limbs as the healing power of God flowed through my body. After the prayer, the pastor asked me to try a dance move that I couldn’t do before, and I was able to do it without any pain. I was healed!
“Today, I can dance like never before with a confidence that God has given me this gift which no one can take away. Since then, God has used me as a testimony in the dance industry and I’ve had opportunities to testify of God’s goodness in my life. Till today, I cannot forget the healing touch of God that came upon me that morning in SOT. Whatever I have learned does not only apply within the four walls of our church, but is very relevant for us in the world outside. More than this, God has given me a greater purpose in life. I now have a vision for my future and I dare to dream bigger dreams!”
Obedience Begets Blessing
Cheng Chiang Heng, 52, director of an interior design and renovation business
“Over the past years, many of my church leaders encouraged me to attend Bible school and I always procrastinated because I didn’t feel I was ‘ready’. Going back to attend lessons was a major challenge for me—the last time I attended classes was more than 30 years ago! But in 2009, I finally decided to take that step and attend SOT in the middle of the global financial crisis and recession as I was expecting a quiet year for my business. I felt that I would have more time on my hands and could concentrate at school.
“The five months of school included reading the entire Bible once, doing book reviews, preparing sermons for preaching tests, studying for exams, and going for one mission trip. The experience helped me to increase my confidence and capacity as a person. God is faithful and He will not shortchange us. When I sacrificed my time, God blessed me in other areas of my life. What I thought to be a quiet year turned out to be one of the best years for my business, with my company’s turnover doubling from S$1 million in 2008 to S$2 million in 2009. At the same time, the cell group I was leading also multiplied as God brought in many souls into the kingdom.
As I look back the past year, I can see how much God has blessed me in my personal life, ministry life and in my business. Bible school has also deepened my understanding of the Word and my relationship with Him is stronger than ever.”