A Christian’s life must be built on righteousness, power and love. In last weekend’s sermon, Pastor Kong Hee expounded on what it means to walk in light, spirit and love.
It was a milestone for City Harvest Church since COVID-19 hit Singapore’s shores almost two years ago. Dec 11 and 12 marked the first weekend the church returned to the main hall in Suntec Singapore for its weekend services.
As Singapore slowly resumed activities after the COVID-19 disruption, churches were also able to increase its seating capacity gradually. After almost two years, CHC members returned to the main hall for service with a maximum capacity of 1,000 people, in line with safe management measures.
In spite of the strict measures that were in place—attendees were seated in fives and no inter-mingling was allowed—CHC members were excited to see their friends from afar. Groups of people were seen waving excitedly from their seats to others across the hall, while some were busy taking selfies with those in their row. There were also those who sat silently in their seats, enjoying the new welcome graphics on the LED wall.
TO WALK IN RIGHTEOUSNESS, POWER AND LOVE
“Salvation is not just the mere pardon of sin; it is a Christlike transformation,” CHC’s senior pastor, Kong Hee, preached as he began his sermon. “This is a key Pentecostal ethos—a distinctive belief of us Pentecostals.”
The goal for Christians, therefore, is not simply to gain head knowledge on theology and doctrine but to make room for the presence of God as well. “If your spirituality is just reading alone, you will become very dry and possibly very argumentative. That is why prayer and worship are very important—they revive the heart,” the pastor explained.
“Christianity is about an intimate relationship with God; coming into the fullness of His divine life,” he preached. “If you miss this, you miss the whole reason why you became a Christian.”
It is, therefore, important to walk in the light, just as God is light; to walk in power, just as God is Spirit; and walk in love, just as God is love.
To walk in light is to walk in righteousness. There is no darkness in God and His believers must be righteous in order to have a relationship with Him. “On your own, you can never achieve this. The good news is, because of the cross of Calvary, God has now declared you righteous in Jesus,” Pastor Kong explained.
A believer then has to live out this righteousness in his daily life. The Bible teaches that sin no longer reigns in a born-again believer—that means he has the power to not repeat the same sinful behaviour.
“Secondly, we want to walk in power because God is almighty,” the pastor continued. God gives believers His power—through the Holy Spirit—to overcome temptations, to be effective witnesses for Jesus and to battle against Satan.
“But righteousness and power must be grounded in love,” Pastor Kong asserted. Because God is love, love must be the source that inspires a believer to deny himself and live a righteous life. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13 that without love, all the power he has to prophesy and move mountains is nothing.
Pastor Kong emphasised that a Christian and a church must be built on all three qualities—righteousness, power and love. Righteousness provides the structure on which a Christian’s life or a church is built. Love is the content on the inside and the power of God is the force.
Speaking on love, Pastor Kong taught that love is the real evidence that the Holy Spirit is flowing inside a believer. The early Pentecostals looked for four things as evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit; besides speaking in tongues. Firstly, they looked for the intense hunger for righteousness. Then, they look for the deep crucifixion of self and thirdly, continual praises to God. Finally, they looked for an unspeakable love in the believer for God and for others.
“Love is the most important key to Theosis—this is how you come into spiritual union with God,” the pastor noted.
“With righteousness, love and power come with certain affections,” Pastor Kong preached. “As spiritual Christians, we don’t shy away from affections because genuine Christian faith involves very deep emotions.”
He gave the example of Christians crying in the presence of God and at times, breaking into holy laughter. Without Christian affections, Christianity would be dry, mechanical and religious. However, Christian affections are much deeper than feelings—feelings come and go but the affections form a Christian’s temperament.
With this, Pastor Kong shared three Christian affections that Pentecostals have been cultivating since the Azusa Street Revival in 1906.
“Gratitude remembers what God has done and what He continues to do in your life,” the pastor elaborated.
Even in times of hardship, believers know that all things will work out well for their eternal good. They understand that sufferings are meant to purify their faith so that they can become more like Jesus. This gratitude towards God will help them develop humility and bring God into the picture in their lives every day.
The word passion in Latin means “suffering”. To have compassion means that a person has long-suffering love.
Jesus is a man of love—love that is patient and kind. That is what attracts people to Him. “When Jesus saw how the people were lost and struggling in sin, enslaved by carnal passions, He was moved with compassion and wanted to save them from their sins,” the pastor said. “In the same way, when you have the compassion of Jesus Christ, you will want to do something about your own sinful passions on the inside.”
The love of Jesus will move a person to face his flesh and mortify his sinful behaviours. The same compassion will then move him to reach out to others, to see them set free by Jesus.
“When the Holy Spirit empowers you, the Spirit of God pours courage into you to resist the devil and to tear down spiritual struggles,” Pastor Kong taught. “Courage gives you the confidence and the hope that God has a wonderful plan, a future and a hope for your life.”
“From this day, you must start meditating on gratitude, compassion, courage,” he urged the church. “You must try to live them out in your life, and you will find the Holy Spirit transforming you more and more to be like Jesus, drawing you closer and closer to the Father.”
CHURCH WITHOUT WALLS: THN AND CHINESE SERVICE EFFORTS
The Harvest Network had recently concluded a two-day Virtual Missions conference. In line with CHC’s relaunch of the Church Without Walls movement, 41 churches in THN had reached a total of 7,488 families, many of whom live in the poorest slums in the region. Some of the churches also blessed children with school bags and vouchers to buy school materials. This was all captured in a video that was shown to the church that weekend.
Pastor Kong also encouraged the church to log on to The CHC App or CHC’s YouTube channel to catch the videos of the conference’s Encounter Night. “You will want to worship God together in your own Quiet Time,” he promised.
Next, Sun Aizhen, a pastor in CHC’s Chinese Service, came up on stage to share about a visitation project the Chinese congregation has embarked on. “In the past two years, many members were unable to come to church, so we started a visitation ministry,” she said in Mandarin. “We brought the church to them. In groups of twos, we shared the gospel with them, prayed with them and read the Bible together with them.”
When Pastor Kong relaunched the CWW movement, the Chinese congregation was inspired to be a part of it. As such, 319 volunteers committed themselves to visit 114 homes, deliver gift packs and share the love of Jesus.
Pastor Aizhen also appealed to CHC members to write in to CHC if they wanted the Chinese congregation to visit their Chinese-speaking parents to build relationships with them, pray for their needs, and share the gospel with them.
In closing, Pastor Kong urged the church to not just stay at the door of forgiveness, but to enter into the fullness of the love of Jesus. “This is what theosis or spiritual union is,” he concluded.