Skip to main content

Don’t deceive yourself: Receiving, practicing, and being true to the Word (I)


From the Pastor’s Desk: Rev. Simon Lee

Dear brothers and sisters of RCAC,

In preparing for the sermon (James 1:19-27) last week, I came across the commentary on the passage by Warren Wiersbe with the title: Quit Kidding Yourself, which I thought was brilliant as it summarized the whole passage so well. I like to recap some of his insight here in this article to share with you all.

The Bible tells us that “The human mind is more deceitful than anything else. It is incurably bad. Who can understand it?” (Jer 17:9, NET) I was struck by the translation that “deceitfulness” is “incurably bad”! James in addressing his Christian readers talks about this deception twice: “deceiving your own selves” (1:22) and “deceiveth his own heart” (1:26) Wiersbe states: “If a Christian sins because Satan deceives him, that is one thing. But if he deceives himself, that is a far more serious matter.”

“Deceiving” is from a verb found here and in Col 2:4, meaning “to cheat or deceive by false reasoning.” “The deception comes from thinking they have done all that is necessary when actually listening to the Word is only the beginning.” (BKC) Sometimes Christians, even those who have been Christians for a long time, can fool themselves that they are walking with God and serving Him, when in fact they may be walking in the ways of sinners and serving themselves (cf. Rev. 3:17). Again, Wiersbe says, “Spiritual reality results from the proper relationship to God through His Word. God’s Word is truth (John 17:17), and if we are rightly related to God’s truth, we cannot be dishonest or hypocritical.” So, the critical question here is are we truly walking with God and guided by His Word. The true follower of God has the following responses towards God’s Word: receiving, practicing and being true to the Word.

  1. Receiving the Word (19-21)

Drawing from imagery of the Lord’s parable of the sower (Mt 13:1-9, 18-23), James describes the Word as “the message implanted within you” by God Himself, the Word that we should  “welcome”, or “receive with meekness.” Often when we have become Christians for a long time, we think that we already know it all. The “seed” is the same, it is the hearts (soils) that are different, either “hard,” “shallow,” “crowded,” or “fruitful.” Today, there are many reason why our hearts are hard, shallow, and crowded, but I believe the most common problem is we are “dull of hearing” (Heb 5:11) because our spiritual life is in fact decaying.

Therefore, James teaches us that if the seed of the Word is to take root in our hearts, we should “be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” (1:19) Our personal behaviour and interpersonal relationship must reflect this obedience to His Word. I often apply this verse to communication skills which of course are totally applicable, but I was again struck by the reason behind this verse is much much deeper as explained in verse 20: “for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” The goal is ultimately not just building human relationship, but producing lives that reflect the righteousness of God. This also means “put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness.” (1:21)

It is my prayer that we are all hearers as well as doers of the Word. Let’s “Quit kidding ourselves”!

(Next: Don’t deceive yourself: Receiving, practicing, and being true to the Word (II)  

Your servant in Christ,
Rev. Simon Lee




在我準備上週(雅各書1:19-27) 的講道時,我參看到了聖經學者維爾斯貝(Warren Wiersbe) 對這段經文的詮釋,標題是:別自欺欺人了,我認為這很有見地,因為它一針見血地總結了整段經文。我想在本文中再思他的一些見解,在此與大家分享。

聖經告訴我們:“人心比什麼都詭詐。是無可救藥的腐敗。誰能測透呢?”(耶17:9 英文新譯本)“詭詐”是“無可救藥的腐敗”的翻譯令我震驚!雅各在向基督徒讀者發表講話時兩次提到這種欺騙:“欺騙自己”(1:22)和“欺騙自己的心”(1:26)。維爾斯貝說:“如果基督徒犯罪是因為撒但欺騙了他,那就是受到欺矇。但如果他是自欺欺人,那就更嚴重了。”

根據維爾斯貝(Wiersbe )的解釋:“欺騙”一詞來自本段經文和歌羅西書2:4 中的一個動詞,意思是“用錯誤的推理欺騙或矇騙”。“欺騙或矇騙來自本身錯誤地以為已完成了所有必須的事情,而實際上聽道只是起點”。有時基督徒,即使是那些已經成為基督徒很長時間的人,可能會自欺欺人,以為他們是與神同行並正在事奉神,而實際上卻可能是走在罪人的道路並為自己而行事(參:啟3:17)。維爾斯貝繼而指出:“屬靈的實況在於透過神的話語與神建立適當的關係。神的話語就是真理(約17:17),如果我們與神的真理建立正確的關係,我們就不會不誠實或虛偽。”所以,在這裡的關鍵問題是:我們是否真的與神同行並被祂的話語所引導。真正跟隨神的人對神的話語有以下反應:領受、實踐和忠於主道。

1.領受主道 (19-21 )

雅各很可能從主所講撒種的比喻中汲取靈感(太13:1-9, 18-23),將神的道描述為神自己“植入內心中的信息”,我們應該“敞開心田”或“溫柔地接受。”許多時候,在我們成為基督徒年日已久之後,我們會誤以為對很多經文已知道了。其實“道種”是一樣的,只是在於心田土壤的不同,分別在於“硬土”、“淺土”、“生長被擠住”之土、或是能“碩果纍纍”之土。今天,讓我們的心變得堅硬、膚淺和擁擠的,有很多因素,但我相信最常見的問題是在於我們“聽而不聞”(來5:11),因為我們的屬靈生命實際上正在腐朽。

因此,雅各教導我們,如果要讓聖道的種子在我們心中生根,我們就應該“快快地聽,慢慢地說,慢一點動怒”。(1:19) 我們個人的行為和人際關係必須反映出對神話語的服從。我經常把這節經文應用在溝通技巧上,當然這完全適用,但我再次被這節經文背後的原因所震懾,正如第20節所解釋的意思:“因為人的忿怒並不能成全神的義。”最終的目標不僅僅是建立人際關係,而是在生命中反映出公義的神。這也意即:要“擺脫一切污穢和所有的邪惡”。(1:21)

我所祈求的就是: 願我們都成為神的道的領受者和行道者。讓我們不要“自欺欺人”! (下期:不要自欺欺人:領受、實踐和忠於主道(下))


A Long Drive Through God’s Word

May 7/8, 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk: Pastor Alex Poon

Dear brothers and sisters of RCAC,

Have you ever been on a long drive? It’s wonderful, of course for those of us who aren’t affected by motion sickness.

Going on long drives reminds me of James’ exhortation for the Church. “Be doers of the Word, and not just hearers only” (James 1:22).

How do we become doers of the Word? First, it involves the deep and consistent work of understanding the Word of God. Before we may respond to Scriptures, our minds must first comprehend the Scriptures.

And to do this, long journeys in a car remind me of three similarities between a road trip and meditating on God’s Word to us.

Both, ask us to (1) slow down to soak in the scenery, (2) be intelligent to understand the task at hand, (3) grow in patience, so we may find joy.

Slow down and soak in the scenery.

Slow down on your road trip so you may shift your gaze from not only what is in front of you – but all around you. Like a drive through the deep forest – did you see that birds nest way up high? Did you notice the bright sun in how its light hit the treetops?

Slow down as you receive the Word of God. Scriptures doesn’t only give us words of comfort, or the words we are longing to hear… it gives us an argument, a reasoning, a logic – how can we understand the train of thought when we don’t take time to ponder?

Did you notice the nuance of the Biblical authors, in how they used the most descriptive expressions to call attention to this one specific aspect of our glorious Creator? Did you see the fine-tuned word that is written to tune our hearts to His? Did you pace yourself – just enough – to see the majestic detail hidden in the author’s language?

Did you give yourself time to admire, to be mesmerized, so that your heart may be moved?

Be intelligent to understand the task at hand.

The pathway towards worship in our hearts begins first with our minds.

On the Emmaus Road, when Jesus finally revealed himself to those he was walking with, the men asked each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us?” (Luke 24:32). Every disciple of Jesus wants to feel something with God. And to light their hearts ablaze; Jesus opened the Scriptures to them, interpreting it all for them. Their touched hearts started first with their minds.

So, follow the logic behind each thought. Bring your intelligence into the task of reading Scriptures, and let the reason evoke your mind.

Grow in patience so we may find joy.

Patience is a virtue we all need. When we prayerfully and thoughtfully take lingering step after step towards the heart of God, we will know what He says to us, and how He says it.

And with the aiding of the indwelling Spirit who proclaims the truth of God to us, we will feel His presence so near to us, and joy in worship will arise.

His Servant
Pastor Alex Poon










在以馬忤斯路上,當耶穌最終向與眾人顯現時,他們彼此說:“我們的心不是火熱的嗎?” (路加福音24:32)。我們有否有這種敏銳的心呢?我們需要全人的投入,才能夠感受。




Christ Our Sanctified – Sermon Series

April 30 /May 1, 2022

From the Pastor’s Desk Rev. Simon Lee

Dear brothers and sisters of RCAC,

What a joy to witness on Easter Sunday this year 10 persons were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! This follows 19 persons baptized last October on Thanksgiving Sunday. I am totally amazed by the work of God Himself amidst the COVID pandemic, that after almost two years of the Church being locked down, altogether there are still 29 new members through baptism. Yes, it is all the grace of God!

At the baptism, each baptismal candidate is asked two questions. First, do you know you are a sinner, and you accept Christ as your Saviour who washes away all your sins? The second question is will you from now on follow Christ as your Lord, obey His teaching and grow in your faith daily? It is so exciting each time to hear each candidate answers very affirmatively “I will!” The whole congregation all reacts with joy to witness that, just like the angels in heaven!

But all of us as Christians struggle in our faith after we put our faith in Christ. It is part of the growing process when we face all sorts of trials in our daily lives. At such time it is important to remember that Christ is not only our Saviour, but also our Sanctifier. Christ will help us grow as Christians so as to conform to His image. Peter teaches us: “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (I Peters 1:14-16, quoting Lev.19:2) So for the next two months, we are going to look at the theme of “Christ Our Sanctifier.”  We will do this by studying the Book of James.

The Book of James is most probably written by James, the brother of Jesus. James, together with Peter and John, were the pillars of the church (Gal. 2:9). He was the recognized leader of the Jerusalem church as we can see in his speech at the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15).

The purpose of the letter of James is to encourage the early believers to grow in Christian maturity and holiness of life. James teaches young Christians how to achieve spiritual maturity through “a confident stand, compassionate service, careful speech, contrite submission, and concerned sharing.” (BKC) It deals with every aspect of our Christian walk.  James emphasizes “practical holiness,” how faith and conduct must come together when we walk with Christ, in all situations of life. The series is as follows:

Christ our Sanctifier 1: The testing of your faith (1:1-18)
Christ our Sanctifier 2: Hearing and doing the Word (1:19-27)
Christ our Sanctifier 3: The danger of prejudice (2:1-13)
Christ our Sanctifier 4: Faith without work is dead (2:14-26)
Christ our Sanctifier 5: The taming of the tongue (3:1-18)
Christ our Sanctifier 6: The challenge of worldliness (4:1-12)
Christ our Sanctifier 7: The challenge of the wealthy (4:13-5:12)
Christ our Sanctifier 8: The prayer of Faith (5:13-20)

Brothers and sisters, please read ahead and wait for a word from Christ our Sanctifier. Shalom!

Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Simon

基督我們的成聖者 – 講道系列



繼去年10 月感恩節主日有19位弟兄姊妹受洗後,我們十分歡喜快樂地在今年的復活節主日一同見證10 位弟兄姊妹奉父、子、聖靈之名接受洗禮!在新冠病毒大流行中,神自己的工作讓我感到非常讚嘆驚訝,在教會被封鎖近兩年後,總共還有29位新成員藉著洗禮加入教會。無可置疑的,這全是神的恩典!




1: 信心的試煉(1:1-18)
2: 踐道於行(1:19-27)
3: 偏見之危機(2:1-13)
4: 信心缺行為是死的(2:14-26)
5: 舌頭的馴服(3:1-18)
6: 屬世的挑戰(4:1-12)
7: 財富的挑戰(4:13-5:12)
8: 信心的禱告(5:13-20)



RCAC @ Tsawwassen

From the Pastor’s Desk: Pastor Mark Liu

Dear brothers and sisters of RCAC,

Hello brothers and sisters, it is by God’s Grace that I have the opportunity to share with you some of the thoughts I have received from God.

This week’s theme is about the Great Commission. This was commanded by our Lord Jesus before He returned to the heavenly home. This is our mission. As for the Mandarin Ministry, thank God for giving us the opportunity to participate in this great commission.

I remember that in February of this year, I talked with my wife about whether we could carry out some gospel work in Tsawwassen. Afterwards, we prayed, and we felt that this was a good opportunity for our ministry to go out and directly participate in the work of the gospel. I shared this idea with Pastor Simon and gained his support. I also learned that in his heart, he had always hoped to have the opportunity to bring the gospel to this place. I believe this is the work of the Holy Spirit.

Carrying out the work of the gospel requires the partnership of a local church. I was reminded of Pastor Matthew Wong, because he told me before that he wanted to take me to visit Tsawwassen Alliance Church (TAC), hoping to build a relationship with the church. With Pastor Simon’s encouragement, I called the church and contacted the church’s senior pastor, Pastor Cory Anderson. I shared with him the vision and expressed the wish that Pastor Simon and I could visit him. Coincidentally, Pastor Cory mentioned to us that he also has a vision to encourage brothers and sisters in his church to participate in the Great Commission. However, what he did not expect was that a Chinese Alliance church would take the initiative to contact him about the ministry of evangelism. God’s work is truly beyond our imagination.

With the support from Pastor Cory, I immediately discussed the details with two interns (Reuben and Phoebe), and at the same time, shared this idea with Pastor Ming. What a surprise is that a couple who participated in Pastor Ming’s church also planned to move to Tsawwassen. They were contemplating about whether God’s intention was for them to participate in evangelism work in Tsawwassen. All of these are prepared by God. We participate in it and find that God has already prepared everything we need well in advance, and when the time is right, everything will be revealed to us. It is not what we can do for the Lord, but the Lord invites us to experience Him so that we can taste the joy of working with Him.

We will hold a Mother’s Day event at TAC on 5.7, hoping to attract the Chinese living in the local area. Through origami and calligraphy, we hope that we can get in touch with the Chinese living in the local area. You’ll find a poster for this event at RCAC. RCAC is a blessed church, and we need to bring this blessing to the place where God leads. Hope you can pray for this event. I would also like to express my special thanks to the Board of Elders for their support. May the name of the Lord be exalted and be glorified.

His Servant
Pastor Mark Liu

RCAC @ Tsawwassen










The first and last temptations of Christ (3): The last temptation and the final victory

From the Pastor’s Desk: Rev. Simon Lee

Dear brothers and sisters of RCAC,

Easter is here! Christ is risen, He is risen indeed! On this day, we celebrate the complete victory of Christ, over death, over sins and temptation, and ultimately over Satan.

When I first started this series of article on “The first and last temptations of Christ,” I was struck by the fact that three times in the last days of Jesus was “tested” on politically sensitive, theological and ethical issues, by the religious leaders of the day, trying to put Him to death. Jesus was able to answer all these “tests” with divine wisdom. I then remembered that Jesus when He began His ministry was first tempted by Satan three times also. As I re-study these temptations, I realized that were not like the cunning traps that the religious leaders laid for Jesus, but that they were challenges of much greater cosmic significance. Satan wanted Jesus to listen to him and demonstrate in Satan’s ways that Jesus was the “Son of God,” and so not follow the plan of God the Father, which was the way of the cross. But Jesus did not fall for Satan’s craftiness and rebutted him every time with the Word of God. I finally realized that the three first temptations were but one, whether Jesus as the Son of God would follow Satan or follow the will of God.

Therefore, in this final article of the series, I would like to change the focus instead to Christ’s final real “test” (temptation), the one that He faced in His spiritual struggle in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mt 26:36-46).  The crux of the trial was expressed in Jesus’ prayer to His Father, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Mt 26:39)

Jesus was not afraid of death or the pain He knew He would suffer, that was not the test. The “cup” referred to here is the cup of suffering due to sin and eventual death. Jesus knew He would be separated from the Father (Mt 27:46) and He would bear the sin of all humanity (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24). The Father has never forsaken His Son before. A cup, figuratively in the Old Testament, refers to wrath. The wrath of God was on Christ because of the sins of all humanity now were borne by Him.

Indeed later, at the ninth hour on the day Christ was crucified, “Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mt 27:46, quoting from Ps. 22:1) Therefore, in Gethsemane, Jesus was exceedingly grieved or sad to the point of total distress.  This distress was not helped by the fact Jesus’ most trusted disciples: Peter, James and John, were not able to stay awake, and watch and pray with Him.

The last and final “temptation” of Christ was not wrestling with or resisting God’s will. As perfect man, Jesus felt the heavy burden of repelling sin. Yet as the Son of God, He was ready to yield to the will of God and fulfill the mission that the Father sent Him to accomplish. This “struggle” comes from the mystery of His humanity and deity, the fact that Jesus the Son of God was at the same time the Son of Man. Christ was already victorious when He rose after the prayers in the Garden to face those that were going to betray Him and crucifying Him on the cross.

Before Jesus yielded up His spirit and died, he shouted, “It is finished! Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!” (Jn 19:30)  It was a shout of victory, as Jesus the Son of God had obeyed fully the will of the Father. Jesus was triumphant over Satan and all his deceptions. His mission was accomplished.

We read that on the day Jesus rose from the dead, in the early morning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb…, an angel of the Lord said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead…, So …with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. (28:1-9)

Yes, Christ has risen. He is victorious over all temptations, sin, death and Satan. Let us all come and worship Him, for He is indeed the Son of God. He had died and rose from the dead to make us all children of God.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” (John 3:16-18)

Your servant in Christ
Rev. Simon Lee





當我第一次開始撰寫關於“基督的首次和最後的試探”文章系列時,令我懾服的是,耶穌於在世的最後日子裡,當時的領袖和宗教人士,企圖置祂於死地,曾三次在政治敏感問題、神學和倫理問題上 “考驗” 祂。耶穌均能夠以屬神的智慧一一應對所有這些“考驗”。我也記得,當耶穌開始祂的事工時,祂亦曾三次受到撒但的試探。當我重新研究這些誘惑時,我才意識到這與末後宗教領袖為耶穌設置的狡猾陷阱截然不同之處,是先前的試探含蘊著具有更大「超宇性」(cosmic)意義的挑戰。先前撒但希望耶穌聽從牠的獻計,不要遵循聖父上帝的計劃而走上十字架的道路,並以牠的方式來證明祂自己是“神的兒子”。但耶穌並沒有中了撒但的詭計,而是每次都用神的話來駁斥牠。我終於明白,先前三個試探實為三連於一,要耶穌選擇跟隨撒但的意思或跟隨神的旨意,以表明神兒子的身份。

因此,在本系列最後的一篇文章中,我的重點轉到關注基督最後的真正“考驗”(試探),即祂在客西馬尼園的屬靈爭戰中所面對的考驗(太 26:36-46)。試煉的癥結關鍵在於耶穌對天父的禱告 “我的父啊,可能的話,求你使這杯離開我;但不要照我的意思,只要照你的意思”(太26:39)

耶穌的考驗不在於畏懼死亡,也更不在於畏懼祂自己知道將會遭受的痛苦。這裡所說的“杯”是指因犯罪而受苦和最終死亡的杯。耶穌知道他將會與父神分離 (太27:46) ,並且他會承擔全人類的罪在祂身上(林後5:21; 彼前2:24)。父神從未離棄過祂的兒子。“杯”,在舊約中比喻為忿怒。神的忿怒傾在基督身上,因為現在全人類的罪孽都由祂承擔了。

事實上,接著,在基督被釘十字架那天的第九個小時,“耶穌大聲喊著說:以利,以利,lema sabachthani?意即,我的神,我的神,你為什麼離棄我?” (27:46,引自詩篇22:1)回顧在客西馬尼園,耶穌極度悲傷及傷痛,甚至到極度痛苦的地步。事實可見,連耶穌最信任的門徒彼得、雅各和約翰也無法保持清醒,與祂一起守望與祈禱,門徒並沒有分擔減輕祂的痛苦。


耶穌在將祂的靈魂交付於神,斷氣之前,他喊道:“成了!父啊,我將我的靈魂交在您的手中!” (約19:30)  這「成了」是勝利的呼喊,因為神的兒子耶穌完全順從了天父的旨意。耶穌戰勝了撒但和牠所有的詭計。主的使命完成了。

我們讀到,在耶穌從死裡復活的那天,清晨,抹大拉的馬利亞和另一個馬利亞去看墳墓……主的一位天使對婦女們說: “不要怕,我知道你們尋找被釘十字架的耶穌。他不在這裡,已經照他所說的復活了。你們來看安放他的地方吧。快去告訴他的門徒,他已經從死人中復活了……,她們又害怕,又十分歡喜,跑去告訴耶穌的門徒。忽然,耶穌向她們迎面而來,說:你們好!她們就上前,抱住他的腳拜他。(28:1-9)