Gospel Priority: Seeking First The Kingdom.

Read Matthew 6: 24-34.  

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6: 33).


In the everyday rhythms of this anxious and busy city how can we have peace?  

If we try to seek first the kingdom of God without His righteousness, we will be self-righteous and religious, but we will miss the true King and His kingdom.  

If we try to seek these additional things before the kingdom of God, they will become our kings and disappoint us with false promises.

If we try to build our mini-kingdoms by seeking the additional things, we will remain outside of His kingdom forever as outcasts!  

If we make these additional things into ultimate things, and try to build our own kingdom, they will leave us empty and crush us in the end.  These additional things that we seek apart from Him are the very source of our anxiety.

So how can we seek the Kingdom of God first and have peace?

  • Receive the greatest King who came to seek you first.  Receive the King of kings who gave up all His wealth to seek and save you from sins that are destroying you.

  • Receive the King who gave His all to save you from your kingdom that was enslaving you with anxiety.  

  • Receive the King who came to be the last even though He is the first, in order that you might be clothed with royal robe in His Kingdom.  

  • Receive His righteousness and renounce yours.  Let His righteousness be your security so that you can be free from the insecurity that these additional things bring.  Let His righteousness free you from a heart of contempt.

  • Rest in His righteousness by repenting of your self-righteousness.  

  • Receive His Kingdom and renounce your little kingdom.  Align everything you do with His kingdom in mind. Say no to former priorities that were preventing you from entering His Kingdom.  Say yes to the priorities that will help you seek His kingdom everyday.  Reimagine your life and job as participation of His kingdom advance.  Lastly, rest in His promise that “all these things will be added to you.”  

什一献金は今日でも必要でしょうか?

Is Tithing Required Today? (for English click here) 什一献金は今日でも必要でしょうか?

什一献金(収入の十分の一を献金すること)について反論や混乱を招いている主な原因としては、それが旧約聖書で定められていた事であるため、「新約聖書の時代の教会でも必要なことなのか」という疑問が湧いてきます。

実際、新約聖書のどこにも什一献金を捧げるべきだとは書いていません。教会によってはマラキ書3:10の聖書個所を乱用して、義務的に献金を行い見返りを期待するよう教えていますが、新約聖書の中では什一献金をするように命令している箇所はありません。

しかし、使徒パウロがコリントの教会に手紙を書いた時、彼は全く異なる方法でアプローチをしました。彼はコリントの教会に惜しみなく捧げるよう励ますため、マケドニアの教会の気前の良さを例に取りました。

パウロは彼らに(2コリント8:1)“マケドニアの諸教会に与えられた神の恵みについて”知ってほしかったのです。それらの教会は(2節)“苦しみゆえの激しい試練の中にあっても、彼らの満ちあふれる喜びは、その極度の貧しさにもかかわらず、あふれ出て、その惜しみなく施す富となった”のです。

彼らの体験した神の恵みがあふれ出て、彼らの貧しさにも関わらず、惜しみなく施す富となりました。彼らを惜しみなく施すよう突き動かしたのは、福音の恵みによる“満ちあふれる喜び”でした。言い換えれば、彼らは什一献金以上(旧約聖書で必要とされていた以上)に捧げていたのです。  

たくさんの恵みを受け取った新約聖書の信者たちとして、パウロは(3節)“彼らは自ら進んで、力に応じ、いや以上にささげ”  たと言いました。

彼らは什一献金以上に捧げました。そしてパウロは義務感や意思の力に訴えかけるのではなく(8節)“私は命令するのではありません”と続けました。その代りに、既に受け取っている福音の豊かさを思い出すように言いました(9節)“あなたがたは、私たちの主イエス・キリストの恵みを知っています。すなわち、主は富んでおられたのに、あなたがたのために貧しくなられました。それは、あなたがたが、キリストの貧しさによって富む者となるためです”。

ティム・ケラーは新約聖書のザアカイがイエスと出会った時の場面を思い返し、ザアカイが悔い改めた後についてこのように言いました。

“ザアカイは収入の50%を貧しい人々に捧げると約束した。それは律法で定められた10%を遥かに上回る額である。今日では、収入の10%を寄付するというと莫大な額のように思われるが、裕福な人々はそれ以上に捧げても快適な生活を送る事ができる。ザアカイは進み出た時にその事を知っていた。彼の心が変えられていたのだ。救いが律法によるものではなく恵みによるものだと分かっていたため、律法を満たすためだけに生きようとはしなかった。それ以上に進み出た・・・イエスは私たちを救うために、自身の命と血の‘十分の一’を捧げただろうか?それとも全てだっただろうか?・・・私たちは神が救いのために成された業を少ししか理解していない者達のように、収入のほんの一部を捧げるような者には決してなりたくない”(ティム・ケラー:偽りの神々)

シンプルな言葉で言うと、新約聖書の信者たちが旧約聖書の信者たちよりも多くの恵みを受け取っているなら、私達にはより自由に捧げる理由があります。

私たちが捧げる量は、無償の恵みという福音をどれだけ理解いているかを表します。または、自分自身のプライドのため(“私は定期的に什一献金を捧げている”)や恐れ(“もし捧げなければ面目が立たない”)によります。

しかし福音の中で、私たちはキリストにある神の恵みの動機づけられて捧げる事ができます“主は富んでおられたのに、あなたがたのために貧しくなられました。それは、あなたがたが、キリストの貧しさによって富む者となるためです”。

イエスは、私たちが永遠に富む者となるために貧しくなられました。神は私たちの心に福音の富を蓄えて下さったため、この地上の誰よりも与える事ができるのです。

パウロが(7節)“この恵みのわざにも富むようになってください。”と言っているのはこのためです。全てを私たちのために捧げて下さった裕福な王を驚き仰ぎつつ、私たちの恵みのわざにも富むようになりましょう。

牧師 Joey Zorina.

This Giving Tuesday: Support Our Church Plant!

This Giving Tuesday, we’d like to invite you to join us in the effort of church planting in the heart of Tokyo. For those of us who are not from the U.S, Giving Tuesday refers to the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States. “It is a movement to create an international day of giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season.”

Recently, a story of our church plant video (below) was published at The Gospel Coalition (article) and Acts 29 (here).

Would you join us by your giving this season?

If you’d like to give, please follow the instructions below. Thank you so much for partnering with us to proclaim the great gospel of our Lord and Saviour.

HOW TO GIVE

To give via Redeemer City to City click Here.

HOW TO GIVE IN JAPAN

Bank of Tokyo-Mistubishi UFJ (三菱東京UFJ銀行)
Name: ザ・ブリッジフェローシップ The Bridge Fellowship
Name of Account Holder:  Joey Zorinsanga.
Noborito Branch:
Branch Code | 店番: 258
Account Number 口座番号 0405889.
Bank Phone Number: 044-922-2131
The Bridge Fellowship Phone number: 080-5479-1895


BANK ADDRESS:

〒214-0014 神奈川県川崎市多摩区登戸2577-3
2577-3, Noborito, Tama-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa, Japan,  214-0014.

Is Tithing Required ?

One of the main objections or confusions regarding giving tithes today is that since tithe (10% of your income) was a requirement in the Old Testament, the question goes: “Why are New Testament churches requiring tithes today?” It is true that nowhere in the New Testament does it say that Christians must tithe. While some churches misuse the text in Malachi 3: 10 to guilt people into giving with great returns, nowhere is there a command to give tithes in the New Testament. However, when the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he took a very different approach. To encourage the Corinthians to give generously to the Jerusalem church, Paul used the generosity of the Macedonians as an example to the Corinthians.

He wanted them to know (v. 1) “about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia.” Although these churches were (v. 2) “in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.” The grace of God they experienced overflowed in a wealth of generosity despite their extreme poverty (not prosperity). It was their “abundance of joy” in the gospel of grace that moved them to give generously. In other words, they gave more than tithes (which was an Old Testament requirement). As New Testament believers who have received so much grace, Paul said, (v. 3) “they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord.” They exceeded tithes.

And instead of appealing to their guilt, or manipulating them to give at the level of their will power, Paul said, (v. 8)  “I say this not as a command.” Rather, he pointed them to the riches of the gospel that they have already received: (v.9) “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich.” 

In his reflection on the story of Zacchaeus’ encounter with Jesus in the New Testament, Tim Keller said that Zacchaeus, after having repented:

“promised to give away 50 percent of his income to the poor. This was far beyond the 10 percent giving that the Mosaic law required. Today, to give away even 10 percent of our income to charity seems an enormous sum, though wealthy people could do much more and still live comfortably. Zacchaeus knew that when he made this offer. His heart had been affected. Since he knew salvation was not through the law, but through grace, he did not aim to live by only fulfilling the letter of the law. He wanted to go beyond it........Did Jesus ‘tithe’ His life and blood to save us or did He give it all? ... We certainly wouldn’t want to be in a position of giving away less of our income than those who had so much less of an understanding of what God did to save them.“ (Tim Keller: Counterfeit Gods)

In simple words, if New Testament believers have received more grace than the Old Testament believers did, we have more reasons to give liberally. Our giving will always be in proportion to our understanding of the gospel of free grace. Our giving will either be motivated by self-congratulatory pride (“I give my tithes regularly”) or fear (“If I don’t give it will make me look bad”). But in the gospel, we can be motivated by the grace of God in Christ “that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich.”  Jesus became poor in order that we might become rich eternally. God has deposited the riches of the gospel in our hearts and therefore we have more to give than anyone else living on the face of the earth.

This is why Paul says, “see that you excel in this act of grace also.” (v. 7). Let’s marvel at our rich King who gave His all for us, and let’s excel in this act of grace also.

Substitute Worship Leader Search

Our church plant is prayerfully looking for substitute worship leader.

  • We're looking for someone who can sing as lead vocals, with a worshipful heart and lead congregational worship. (Preferably with an instrument-guitar or piano/keyboard but only singing is also acceptable).

  • We have a great team of gifted musicians who are ready and willing to be led in a team.

Minimum requirement:

  1. Must be a mature/ godly Christian and have worship leading experience.

  2. Must be willing to commit to our church and team.

  3. Rich devotional life, exemplary character, secure in gospel identity, and able to lead the team.

  4. Able to sing both old contemporary/ hymns and new gospel-centered songs.

  5. Able and willing to serve under guidance and supervision of church leadership.

  • Note: Compensation is paid per Sunday.

If you are interested or know anyone, kindly write to Pastor Joey @ joey@thebridgejapan.com

Or fill in the form below :

Name *
Name

Desiring God Through Prayer & Fasting

 “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matt. 4:4)

As we announced these past two weeks, we will seeking God through fasting and be praying on Sept. 14 & 28.   Below is a great quote on fasting to help you reflect and prepare for this Friday.

“As an act of faith, Christian fasting is an expression of dissatisfied contentment in the all-sufficiency of Christ.  It is an expression of secure Hunger for God....and happy longing for the all-satisfying fullness of Christ.  Christian fasting does not tremble in the hope of earning anything from Christ.  It looks away from itself to the final payment of Calvary for every blessing it will ever receive.  Christian fasting is not self-wrought discipline that tries to deserve more from God.  It is a hunger for God awakened by the taste of God
freely given in the gospel.” 
—  (John Piper)

If you're new to prayer and fasting, we recommend reading "A Hunger For God: Desiring God Through Fasting & Prayer" by John Piper. (Free PDF here:https://document.desiringgod.org/a-hunger-for-god-en.pdf )

We look forward to seeing you at 7:30 p.m.   https://www.facebook.com/events/2160319837536198/

Stay in Your Church!

“just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another”
— (John. 13:34).   

In the world, we can choose friends who are like us.  When we don’t like them anymore, we often unfriend them.  But Jesus taught His followers to more than "like one another."  Since sin entered the world through Adam, human relationships have not only become hard; but to love one another selflessly is impossible.  The good news is: Jesus came to fulfill the command to love perfectly.   

On the cross, Jesus did not die for lovable people because there are none.  In the greatest act of love in history, He gave His life for His unlovely enemies to make them lovely.   In the church, God chooses family members for us—-from all walks of life.   He chose sinners from different backgrounds with different personalities in order that we might love one another selflessly as He loved us.   As Scott Sauls said:  

“We didn’t choose one another, but we have been given to one another by our Father in heaven, who intends for us to stay together and not hit the eject button when things get difficult or irritating or boring.  And when we stay together, we are the better for it.”

 

Therefore, stay in your church for as long as you can and love others who are not like you.  The perfect church is imperfect because it is full of imperfect saints, forgiven by Christ and are learning to love-- forgiving and serving one another. 

The perfect church we all long for is yet to come when Christ returns.  Until then, look at the costly love poured out for you on the cross and embrace the call to costly love. 

Yours gratefully, 

Pastor Joey.