The Siblings Found by God, United in Christ (Baptism Edition)
Last week, CERC celebrated 6 baptisms at our annual camp! We want to not only encourage those who got to witness the baptism, but also all the brothers and sisters in Christ in the Klang Valley. Therefore, we interviewed the Lai siblings who got baptised together. How awesome is God who saves both of them!
Meet Chris and Haley! Both of them studied at and graduated from Monash University. They are three years apart and grew up in a Buddhist household. How did they come to know Christ? We hear your question. Continue reading to find out more!
How did you come to know Christ?
It all started when I went for a student exchange program at Monash University, Clayton Campus in Melbourne, Australia. My housemates tried inviting me to their campus Christian fellowship known as Overseas Christian Fellowship, which mainly consisted of Malaysian or Singaporean students studying in Australia. At first, being someone who rejects God’s truth and his gospel, I refused to join, turned myself away, and shut myself in my room every time my housemates were talking about God and Christianity. Then, I started slowly opening up to my housemates. We talked about Christianity and other religions, and I agreed to do a simple Bible study with one of my housemates. We went through the Gospel of John briefly, but that only gave me a brief idea of what Jesus has done, instead of who He is as depicted by John.
I was then invited to their Winter Camp. Throughout the camp, I learnt a little bit more on Christianity, but it was not so clear because it was too much for me to take in. After my exchange program, I came back to Malaysia and I started attending the Christian Fellowship in Monash Malaysia campus. I met Kae Sheng and Melody there and they did Bible Studies with me, mainly on the epistles such as Romans and Ephesians. Only after that did I start to understand what sin is, how we have rebelled against God, and therefore, how we are in need of our Saviour Jesus Christ so that we can serve God as a new creation, just like how God planned. Through that experience, I was convicted and started devoting myself to live under the Lordship of Christ.
I was first introduced to Christianity by Chris after he came back from Australia. As I started attending college, I was introduced to a member of CERC, Joo Hui, and she brought me to a Bible study known as “5555” near Sunway University (now known as Sunway SOLIDD). As I read the Bible with Joo Hui, and continued to attend 5555, I started to understand Christianity better.
What convicts you to repent and turn to God?
What convicts me to repent is understanding the fact that God, as revealed in Scriptures, is the one true God and Creator of the whole universe, and the so-called gods I believed in are false and just mere idols. Once I understood this, I was convicted of my sin of idolatry and rejection of my Creator as my Lord, and therefore in desperate need of a Saviour who is able to save me from my depravity and regenerate me, so that I can now worship God.
As I repent and turn to God, everything in my life has been turned upside down because the purpose in my life is no longer earning a lot of money and having a family, but worshipping God and serving him and his church as I submit my whole life under Christ’s Lordship.
I have learnt that I should no longer love and only care for myself, but instead love Christ’s church, even to the extent of sacrifice, for their growth and maturity.
Although I grew up in a Buddhist/Taoist family, I was not taught about how our religion came about, and what the rationale of believing in this religion was. I questioned why we burned incense, why we used joss sticks, but my parents only gave me a “just do it” answer. At 15, I saw that life was really just “living, learning, working, dying”. It is a cycle that does not end. I often questioned: “What is the point of life? Why is life so unfair for some people? Why is it that people hurt each other? Why is the world suppressing the truth by telling us that tomorrow will be a better day when time is just slipping away and death is approaching?” I was only living for my parents’ sake, since they brought me into this world and gave me everything that I needed and wanted through blood, sweat and tears. When I was 18, I attended a Bible study, and saw the reality of life vividly explained by the Bible. I still remember how Luke 16:19-31, the first passage of the Bible I read, challenged and answered my questions about life.
The reality of sin, death, hell and heaven was so real to me.
I saw myself as the rich man who was, in his heart, a rebel against God, who did not listen to God and obey Him. I saw that I deserved hell because of what I did in my life, and I was in a state of panic. By God’s grace, through thorough understanding, reflection and questioning of the Word, I was convicted of the truth in Christ with the help of Joo Hui and other fellow Christians. I became a Christian a few months later in 2015.
What is baptism? And what is it to you?
Baptism is the outward proclamation of a person who has died to sin and been made alive by Christ’s work on the cross, who therefore has a regenerated life and worships God. Baptism is a day where I have been waiting for a long time since I became a Christian back in 2015.
I thank God that he has persevered me together with my sister as we struggled in the midst of family persecution.
Although baptism does not determine whether I am saved, to me it is an important ritual because it tells the world that I now belong to the King of all Kings, serving Him all my life. Furthermore, it is also an important reminder for me not to look back to my old life of rebellion and keep running the good race that our forerunner has set for us (Heb 6:19-20).
Baptism signifies the regeneration of a sinner by the power of the Spirit into a new life through his/ her union with Christ, who died and resurrected. In this new life, they are called to put away their old selves and put on their new selves to live for God. It is the Christian’s declaration to the world that we no longer belong to the world, but belong to Christ’s body, the church.
Do you have any encouragement to the church?
As Christians, our lives are marked and filled by sufferings and persecution as we strive to be faithful to Jesus and His gospel. But we proclaim His truth, even though it is difficult. I really thank God for CERC that, although we are an imperfect church, we fight for God’s truth even when enemies are against us. I pray that CERC will know our blessedness (Matt 5), and continue to preach and proclaim the gospel boldly, pleasing our Lord. I look forward to serving the church even more as I join the next membership batch, and I pray that I will use my gifts given by God to serve His church in the future.
We have to always remember that Christians have been baptised into one body, which is the body of Christ, by the Holy Spirit. Each member of the body depends on the other, and none can live without the other (1 Cor. 12:12ff). Let us, in mutual encouragement, not only build up one another in love, but in this manifestation of love continue to disciple more people in our daily lives until our LORD comes back!
Thanks for the encouraging testimony, Chris and Haley! We pray that both of you will keep striving for the kingdom of God, teaching and making more disciples till the return of our King Jesus (Matthew 28.18-20). May God be with you both.
Posted on 20th September 2019