Monday, 5 March 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 Bible Study

We will continue our Bible study tomorrow at 1:00pm in the Student Centre. Please join us if you can make the time and please bring your Bible along with you. For those who cannot make the study time, you can get the reading material on our blog. Grace be with you all. 

Christian Students @ York University

Date: Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Location: Student Centre (Room 311B)
Time: 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Monday, 13 February 2012

February 13, 2012 Meeting

Hello everyone,

We will continue our Bible study tomorrow from 12:30 -1:30 pm in the Shulich building. Please remember to bring your Bibles if you have one. If you need a copy, kindly let us know and we can bring some extras for you. Tomorrow we will meet at 12:25 pm in the lobby of the Schulich building. 

For those who cannot make it, please check the blog for an update and a post of the reading material. Grace be with you all.

Christian Students @ York University

Friday, 10 February 2012


In this message we will cover the vanity of religion shown in the condemnation on the religious (2:17 - 3:8). As we have pointed out, Paul deals with condemnation in four aspects: on mankind in general, on the self-righteous in particular, on the religious specifically, and on all the world totally. This is very meaningful. From these aspects of God’s condemnation we can see four things: the source of wickedness, the way of restriction, the vanity of religion, and the totality of hopelessness.


Let us first consider the vanity of religion. Human culture is the best human invention, and within this culture the foremost item is religion. Religion is the apex of man’s culture. Human culture needs religion, for without it culture is wild. If religion were eliminated from human culture, culture would remain crude. Therefore, most people respect religion. Among the human race the two best religions are Judaism and Christianity. These are the typical religions. They are genuine, sound, and fundamental religions. Both proceeded out of the same source, the divine revelation in the Bible. Along with these two religions, we have Islam, a counterfeit of Judaism. Judaism was the source of Islam. The Koran, the sacred book of the Moslems, is actually an imitation of the Old Testament, although its contents have been changed in order to propagate lies. The Koran even speaks about Christ, saying that He is greater than Mohammed. According to the Koran, Christ was never crucified. As the people attempted to nail Him to the cross, angels descended and took Him away into heaven. The Koran even tells us that this Jesus will return. It is evident, therefore, that Islam and its sacred book, the Koran are counterfeits.

On this earth there are just three religions—the genuine religions of Judaism and Christianity and the counterfeit religion of Islam. Even with the two genuine religions there is still nothing but vanity. We do not need religion. We need a living Person. We do not need something related to God; we need God Himself. We do not need a way to worship God; we need the living Person of God to come into us. When God gave us the Bible, He had no intention of giving us a religion. God’s intention was to reveal Himself into us through the Holy Word, not to have a religious form. Nevertheless, the stronger a religion is, the more vanity it contains.

The word Christianity is sweet and precious to the ears of many Christians, and it is offensive to them for a man to say that Christianity is vanity. If you are offended by this, it proves that you are exceedingly religious. I do not say that Christ is vanity and I do not say that Christians are vanity, but I assert strongly that Christianity is vanity. We want Christ, Christians, and the church, but we do not want any “anity.” If we return to the pure Word in the New Testament, we find the term Christ and the term Christians (Acts 11:26). However, the terms Christianity or Christmas are not in the Bible. A kind of “anity” or “mas” has been added to Christ. Christmas is vanity. When people hang lamps on a little tree, that is “anity” and “mas.” That is vanity. We must beware of religion: religion is vanity.

A. Having an Outward Name

Now we need to consider a few matters about the vanity of religion. First, religion has an outward name (2:17). Some people attend Mass only once a year at Christmas time. Here we see an example of the vanity of religion: attending Mass once a year as a religious duty in order to keep the name of being a Catholic. What kind of believer is this? A believer with a mere outward name. If you are real in the spirit, meaning you are a genuine believer, that is wonderful. However, if you lack the reality and simply keep the outward name, it means nothing. It is vanity.

B. Knowing God in Outward Knowledge

We need such an inward and subjective knowledge of God.

C. Having the Scriptures Outwardly

The third item of the vanity of religion is having the Scriptures outwardly (3:2). Both Jews and Christians have the Bible, but the Bible, for many of them, has become a superstitious book. They hold the Bible in a superstitious way. Some Christians use the Bible to find guidance in an extraordinary way. They open the Bible, point their finger to a certain place, and follow the leading given in whatever verse they locate. I once heard of a superstitious person who opened the Bible and placed his finger on the verse which said that Judas went out to hang himself (Matt. 27:5). I wonder what he did. It is terrible and absolutely superstitious to handle the Scriptures in this way. All of these vain practices must be torn down.

Of course, most orthodox Jews and genuine Christians do not handle the Bible in such a superstitious way, but they do not take the Scriptures in a real and living way. They care for the teachings in letters; they do not care for Christ, the living Person. In John 5:39-40 the Lord Jesus told the Jewish religionists that they search the Scriptures for knowledge, yet will not come to Him for life. Today many Christians are in the same category.

D. Keeping the Outward Form in Letter

Some religious people keep the outward form in letter (2:27-28). Take the example of baptism. Many dear Christians cling to their concepts about baptism by immersion in water. I myself am strongly in favor of baptism by immersion according to the Scriptures and I would never baptize people by sprinkling them. However, this matter of baptism has almost entirely become a mere outward form. We must avoid all outward forms.

E. Lacking Inward Reality in Spirit

Religion is vanity because it lacks inward reality in spirit (2:29). Romans 2:29 says that whatever we are, whatever we do, and whatever we have must all be in spirit. If you are a Jew and are circumcised, your circumcision must be in spirit. If you are a Christian and are baptized, your baptism must be in spirit. Everything must be in spirit. The spirit here, of course, is the human spirit. Why must everything be done in our spirit? Because our spirit is the very place within us where God can dwell. The spirit is the site, the ground where God can act on our behalf. If you are a Christian in your spirit, this means you are a Christian with God. If you act in your spirit, this means you act with God. Without God, everything is vain; with Him, everything is reality. Therefore, we must return to our spirit. If we love other people, we must love them in our spirit. Otherwise, our love is not genuine. It is a political love. However, if we love in our spirit, our love is with God. Our spirit is the organ through which God can touch us and through which we can touch God. Everything we are and everything we do must be in our spirit. This is not religion; this is reality.

F. Doing Evils as the Unreligious

Eventually, the religious people practice the same evils as the unreligious (2:21-22). It seems that there is no difference between the unreligious people and the religious people. All are the same. Although the Jews were religious, they behaved even worse than the Gentiles.

In this portion on the condemnation of the religious, we see that religion means nothing, that it is vanity. Therefore, we must stay away from religion and have nothing to do with it. We need the living Person of the Triune God.

Source: Witness Lee, Life-Study of Romans, Message Four

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Romans (Part 4) - The Condemnation of the Self-Righteous

The portion of Romans on the condemnation of the self-righteous (2:1-16), along with the condemnation on mankind, shows us the way of restriction.

A. The Way of Restriction

Now we come to the way of restriction, the way to restrict evil and wickedness. All of us, especially us young people, need to pay our full attention to this way of restriction.

1. Knowing God by His Creation

The first item in the way of restriction is knowing God by His creation (1:19-20). The invisible things of God, His eternal power and divine nature, can be apprehended by His creation. The heavens and the earth manifest the invisible things of God. Einstein was once asked whether or not he believed in God. He replied, “Your question is an insult to me. How could a scientist such as I not believe in God?” If you study science, it will tell you that there is a God. Our teeth are marvelously designed. Our front teeth, the incisors, act like two knives, cutting whatever is placed in between them. Then the tongue sends the food back to the molars which are like grinding stones, grinding the food into a digestible substance. As the molars grind, saliva is secreted to liquefy the food. This is marvelous. Who made it? We must say, “Lord, thank You. You are my Creator. You have made me in such a wonderful way.”

When we behold creation in general and the human body in particular, how can we say there is no God? Even an atheistic medical doctor has to confess there is an Almighty One who created the human body. Therefore, by the things made we can apprehend the eternal power and the divine nature of God. When we see God in the beauties and wonders of His creation, we have to worship and glorify Him. Knowing God by His creation is the first aspect in the way of restricting evil.

2. Holding the Truth in Righteousness

We must hold the reality of God in righteousness, approving of keeping God in our full knowledge (1:18, 28). We need to glorify, thank, worship, and serve Him (1:21, 25). It is very important to practice these four things. Nothing is more important in your human life than worshiping God. The greatest blessing in human life is to be trained to worship our God.

3. Obeying the Laws of Nature

Next, we need to do things according to our nature (2:14). Some people are so spiritual that they condemn everything natural. They seem to feel that nothing natural can be good. Our original nature, as created by God, was good. Everything created by our Father, including our nature, was good originally. Of course, our nature was poisoned by the fall. There can be no doubt about this. Nevertheless, as human beings, we have a nature which God created good, and we need to act according to it. We should take heed to this nature. Although you may argue that it is not wrong to steal from others, the nature within you protests whenever you are tempted to steal. Even bank robbers will admit that, as they rob banks, their nature tells them, “Don’t do this.” However, they will not listen. It is the same with every evil-doer. Whenever they do something wrong, their nature disagrees. We need to observe the requirements of the nature within us.

In Romans 2:14-15 Paul says that when the nations who do not have the law practice the things of the law, they prove that the function of the law is written in their heart. The law of God has a function in our nature. In other words, our nature corresponds to God’s law because our nature was made by God. God’s law was given according to God’s nature, for a lawgiver always enacts a law in accordance with his own being. God created man according to what He is. Therefore, the law given by God and the man created by God correspond to one another. Thus, we do not need an outward law because we have the function of the law written in our nature. We simply need to live according to our nature.

4. Listening to the Conscience

Along with our good nature, we also have a conscience (2:15). The conscience is a wonderful entity, and we should listen to it. Although medical doctors cannot locate it, no one can deny that we possess it. Our conscience protests continually. When you argue with your parents, the conscience says, “Don’t do this.” If you offend your parents, your conscience will trouble you. Every husband seeking to divorce his wife will also be convicted by his conscience. All men have a conscience. This is a great matter. In the normal Christian life we must all take care of our conscience in a suitable way.

5. Caring for the Proper Reasonings

In addition to our nature and our conscience, we have the reasonings in our mind (2:15). Do not be so spiritual to say that our mind is absolutely useless. In our mind we have the good reasonings. Sometimes these reasonings accuse and condemn, and other times they excuse and justify. Often, as we set out to do a certain thing, we experience a conflict in our reasonings, with some reasonings saying, “Yes, that’s right,” and others saying, “No, that’s wrong.” We have all experienced this. We need to take care of our nature, our conscience, and the reasonings within us.

We have seen the five items in the way of restriction: knowing God by His creation, holding the truth of God in righteousness, living according to our nature, listening to our conscience, and caring for our proper reasonings. If we observe all these things, we will be restricted from every kind of evil.

Although we all are saved and are living somewhere in Romans Chapters 5 through 8, we still need to know the source of evil and the way to be restricted from doing evil. Hallelujah, we have found it! We need to know God by His creation and hold His truth in righteousness. We need to act according to our nature, heed the voice of our conscience, and care for the proper reasonings within us. If we practice all these things, we will be protected.

Source: Witness Lee, Life-Study of Romans, Message Three.


O God, Thou art the source of life,
Divine, and rich and free!
As living water flowing out
Unto eternity!

In love Thou in the Son didst flow
Among the human race;
Thou dost as Spirit also flow
Within us thru Thy grace.

Though we have often slighted   Thee,
Thy Spirit often grieved,
Yet Thou dost still as Spirit come
As life to be received.

Thou as the Spirit in the Son
Hast mingled heretofore;
Thou wilt thru fellowship anoint
And increase more and more.

The love of God, the grace of Christ,
The Spirit's flowing free,
Enable us God's wealth to share
Thru all eternity.

The Father, Son, and Spirit - one,
So richly care for us;
Thy love with one accord we sing
And e'er would praise Thee thus.


Monday, 30 January 2012

January 31 - Bible Distribution

Hello everyone

We will be taking a break from our regular scheduled Bible Study this week to hand out some Bibles. We realize that while our deep study of the Word of God is important, it is equally important to go out onto the York University campus and share this treasure with other people. We will therefore be setting up a table in Central Square from 10am to 3pm to hand out copies of the Recovery Version of the New Testament courtesy of Bibles for Canada (BfC). Please join us if you can or drop by to say hi. We hope to see many of you there tomorrow.

Grace be with you all

Kofi and Wincy

Date: Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
Location: Central Square
Time: 10:00am - 3:00pm


Monday, 23 January 2012

January 24 Meeting

Hello everyone

We will continue our Bible study tomorrow at 12:30pm in the Student Centre. Last week we covered Romans chapter one, on the source of wickedness. This week we will come to chapter two of Romans to see the way to restrict evil. Please do not forget to bring your Bible if you can join us. For those who cannot make it, please check the blog for an update and a post of the reading material. Grace be with you all.

Wincy and Kofi

Date: Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Location: Student Centre (Room 311C)
Time: 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Romans, Part 3: The Source Of Wickedness And The Way Of Restriction


Scripture reading: Rom 1:18-32

Paul presents the matter of condemnation in four aspects: on mankind in general (1:18-32), on the self-righteous in particular (2:1-16), on the religious specifically (2:17-3:8), and on all the world totally (3:9-20). Whether we are good or bad, religious or non-religious, we are under God’s condemnation. First, we will see the source of man’s wickedness. Second, we need to see the way of restriction. There is a way to restrict this wickedness. Since we have been saved from condemnation, we need not give it much attention. However, we need to return to it long enough to learn the source of evil and the way to restrict evil.


A. The Source of Wickedness

1. Holding Down the Truth
in Unrighteousness

What is truth? Truth is not mere doctrine or knowledge. Truth is reality; it is solid and substantial. There is reality in this universe, and the prime reality is God Himself. God is real. No one can deny the reality of God or disclaim the fact that He exists, for the existence of God is a reality. However, from the very beginning, mankind did not respect the reality of God, but suppressed it. Why are there so many shameful things in the leading country of the world? Because so many people will not maintain the truth, but instead, wrongfully hold it down.

2. Disapproving of Holding God
in Full Knowledge

Although mankind knew there was God, they tested and tried Him, eventually deciding not to hold Him in their full knowledge. Many professors and professional people do not believe in Christ. If you ask them about God, they will say, “We know there is a God, but we don’t like to believe in Him.” Such people disapprove of holding God in their knowledge. We must hold God in our knowledge, for it is dreadful to refuse to do this.

3. Not Glorifying God and
Not Worshipping Him

Refusing to glorify God, thank God, worship God, and serve God is a major aspect of the source of wickedness. We need to realize that glorifying God, thanking God, worshiping God, and serving God are extremely important. Suppose I have a bad temper, a shameful and ugly disposition. If I try to suppress it, I will never succeed. However, if I thank and praise God continually, I will find the best method of escape from my poor disposition. Whenever you are about to lose your temper, you should say, “I am going to serve God. I don’t have time to lose my temper. God, I thank You that You are my God, that You are my Creator. Without You, I would have no being. I owe my very existence to You. I thank You, worship You, and serve You.” If you do this, you will be freed from your disposition immediately. How much we need to worship God!

4. Exchanging God

Then mankind exchanged God (1:23, 25). Most of the people in America have learned not to worship visible idols, although some people do practice this. Nevertheless, many people in this country have exchanged God for their self-made idols—their future, positions, degrees, and goals. This means that their future, position, degrees, and goals have become their idols. They care for these idols, not for God. Therefore, they also have exchanged God for idols.

If we consider carefully these four aspects of the source of wickedness, we will see that they constitute the origin of every kind of evil and sinfulness.

B. The Result of Giving Up God

1. Being Given Up by God

When you give up God, this forces God to give you up. We must say to God, “Even if I let You go, don’t let me go. Perhaps I will be so foolish as to give You up. Lord, be merciful to me and never give me up.” We need to pray in this way, for it is awful to be given up by God. When a person has been given up by God, he will never do good things. He will not improve but only descend lower and lower.

According to Romans 1, God gives people up to three things. First is uncleanness (1:24). When a person gives up God and forces God to give him up, that person will be defiled, immediately becoming involved with uncleanness. Second, God gives up people to passions of dishonor, to shameful lusts (1:26). Such people may become sodomites, indulging in evil passions and unrestricted affection, dishonoring their bodies with one another. Third, God gives people up to a disapproved mind (1:28). If you disapprove of holding God in your knowledge, God will allow you to have a mind that He disapproves. The mind of sinful men can never be approved by God. People are so foolish and shameful in their sinful ways. Their behavior is absolutely improper. Nevertheless, they continue in sin because God has given them up to a disapproved mind.

2. Having Fornication—
Confusion in Order

The people who have been given up by God will do almost anything to break God’s principle. The result is fornication, confusion in order. Why do people engage in this? Because of uncleanness, passions of dishonor, and their disapproved minds. When people give up God, He gives them up to fornication.

Every kind of wickedness issues out of this fornication (1:29-32). At the end of Romans 1, Paul enumerates the various kinds of evil and describes the wicked persons, such as the whisperers, backbiters, and God-haters. By this we can see that if a person gives up God, God will give him up to lusts, confusion, and every evil imaginable

Thy mighty love, O God, constraineth me, As some strong tide it passessth on its way, Seeking a channel in my self bound soul, Yearning to sweep all barriers away.

Shall I not yield to that constraining power? Shall I not say, O tide of love, flow in? My God, Thy gentleness hath conquered me, Life cannot be as it hath hither been.

Break through my nature, mighty, heavenly love, Clear every avenue of thought and brain, Flood my affections, purify my will, Let nothing but Thine own pure life remain.

Thus wholly mastered and possessed by God, Forth from my life, spontaneous and free, Shall flow a stream of tenderness and grace, Loving because God loved eternally.

Source: Witness Lee, Life Study of Romans, Part 3