A Brief History
The congregation in Ipoh was established on 2 January 1983 when a group of Christians met at the residences of Bro. Frank Leong. From one family, the church grew with the addition of several other families, among which are that of brethren Lee Han Seng, Chan Kwok Meng, Albert Koay, Chan Kok Leong, Ting Kong Eyo, Chan Tat Hin, Lee Tuck Lup, Poh Hee Hong and Prakash Rao. To date, the Ipoh church of Christ comprises roughly 40 members (including children of members), discounting members who have left for studies and work elsewhere.
Over the past 2 decades, our meeting place has shifted 5 times within a 5-kilometer radius of Ipoh Garden. From Brother Frank’s residence, the church shifted to the shop house opposite to accommodate the growing number of Christians. Subsequently, the church shifted to the new shop houses on the next row twice. In 1998, the church once again shifted to a rented premises, which is in Bercham. Finally, in August 2004, we acquired our own building and we have been worshipping in this building since then.
Even though the congregation in Ipoh is operating without a full-time minister or evangelist, we are actively involved in evangelism. With God’s blessings, we managed to convert an average of 2 souls per year. By the first half of 2004, there were already 2 souls added to us. This indeed does not mean that we can rest from our duty for the rest of the year, but all the more it should spur us to work harder for our Lord.
The Ipoh church of Christ has been blessed with people from all walks of life and with all sorts of talents which are very useful for the expansion of the kingdom of God. The church in Ipoh seeks to reach out not only to the community in Ipoh Garden but also to the entire Ipoh population, currently at 500,000.
A Statement of Faith
There is only one true God. He is the Creator of all life and the Supreme Ruler of the universe. He has always been (He is eternal) and co-exists equally in three Persons – God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. We learn about God through His creation, His Word, and His Son. God loves us more than we can imagine.
Jesus Christ is the one and only Son of God. Co-equal with God the Father and God the Spirit, He came to earth and became man. He was completely God while at the same time being fully man. He revealed to us who God is. His miraculous acts, sinless life, and life-changing teachings all confirm the fact that He is God’s Son. His purpose for coming to Earth was to show God’s love by dying on a cross, thus taking the sins of all mankind upon Himself, and paying the penalty that we deserve. His bodily resurrection from the grave and His promise to return someday are testimonies to the fact that He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus desires the deepest of relationship with every person.
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with God the Father and God the Son. He dwells in each member of God’s family as a Helper and Guide. It is through the work of the Holy Spirit that a person comes to salvation. At the point of salvation, the Holy Spirit comes to live in our physical bodies as His home. He provides help to every Christian to do what is right, strength to serve Jesus, and direction for living life God’s way. Every Christian is to allow God’s Spirit to help him on a daily basis.
The Bible is God’s written Word. The process that God used to give us His Word is called inspiration, which means God-breathed. The Word of God is without error and is truth. It tells us who God is, why He loves us, and what His plans are for us. The Bible is the authority or standard for living our lives according to God’s will for us.
We are created in the spiritual likeness or image of God. God gave us free will – we have the ability to choose to love as God loves, to choose to do right in the likeness of God’s righteousness, and to choose to value what God values. God created us because He wants a family who will love Him because we want to love Him, and not because we have to love Him. The first man, Adam, chose to sin, and now every person lives in a marred creation with a marred spiritual nature. As a result, every person will eventually choose to sin and subsequently become separated from God.
We need salvation because we have sinned. Sin separates us from God who desires relationship with us. It is impossible for any man to restore that broken relationship with God by any amount of personal goodness, religious deeds, or by belonging to a church. We cannot earn, merit or achieve a right relationship with God by our own efforts. The death of Jesus was not an accident. It was God’s plan from the beginning to save us from our sins through the death of Jesus Christ. The Bible calls God’s act of love, grace. His grace is His gift to us. The way we receive His gift is by entering into a covenant relationship with Jesus by placing our trust and faith in Him. When we decide that we will follow Jesus for the rest of our lives, we demonstrate our trust in Jesus by obeying His command to be immersed (baptized) in water demonstrating the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
The Church is God’s spiritual family. It is made up of all those who have chosen to place their trust and faith in Jesus and who are His followers (disciples). The Church is not a building or one particular group of believers. To belong to the Church, is to belong to Jesus. The Bible uses the analogy that Jesus is the Head of the Church, which is His body. God’s will is for the Church to gather regularly to worship its Head, Jesus, to use its various gifts and abilities to serve its Head, to love and encourage those who are in the body, and to work diligently to maintain the unity of the body. As the members of His Church love one another and maintain unity of purpose and relationship, the world around us will recognize that we belong to Jesus. The Church or body is to seek to do the will of God, which also includes loving and saving the world through Jesus Christ.
When God created you and me, He created us with a soul which will never cease to exist. Those who choose to follow Jesus as Lord, and have a growing relationship with Him, will spend eternity with God in Heaven. Those who reject Jesus by refusing to follow Him will spend eternity in Hell. Heaven, like salvation and grace, is a gift of God. Hell is the due consequence for those who have not accepted God’s offer of forgiveness. Heaven and Hell are real places.
Our plea is the call to examine the New Testament church and to restore all of its essential elements in the present age. It is the plea to return to the authority of the scriptures. It is an effort to duplicate the church established by Christ so that we have the same organization, the same worship, the same teaching, the same practice, and the same way of salvation as existed in God’s original plan before it was corrupted by the doctrines and commandments of men.
Our plea is distinctive. We believe in the divine inspiration of the entire Bible and that it is sufficient to guide us in all matters of faith; in the death of Jesus Christ and His atonement of our sins; and that after death all men will be rewarded or punished in another life for the way they have lived here. We insist that moral principles of Jesus are absolute truths to be exemplified in the personal righteousness of the child of God.
We, therefore, have no creed or catechism to present, but accept Christ as our only creed and the Bible as our only guidebook.
No book but the Bible, no creed but the Christ, no name but the Divine, no plea but the gospel, no aim but to save.
In matters of faith, unity; in matters of opinion, liberty; in all things, charity.