In the Light of 1 Corinthians

During the last semester, students taking the course on 1 Corinthians were
required to review lessons from the Bible-Presbyterian movement from the
book, Son of A Mother’s Vow, in the light of 1 Corinthians. The following are
excerpts of some of their analysis.

Better to Be Single: Learning from Dora Yu

The book recorded the author’s (Timothy Tow) childhood days when he was
in China and how he was converted in Singapore under the ministry of Dr
John Sung. The Lord used Reverend Timothy Tow to start the Bible-
Presbyterian Church movement in Singapore and in Southeast Asia. He was
also the founder of the Far Eastern Bible College.

It was not easy to be a Christian in China in the 1900s because of the
government upheaval against Christianity. Reverend Tow’s grandfather
escaped the Boxer Rebellion. However, Revernend Ting Li Mei, a
contemporary had to suffer for the Lord. He was cast into prison and beaten.
He was then released afterwards through the intervention of the American
Presbyterian Missionary, Dr W.M Hayes. Thank God for His mercy.

God had in His faithfulness always provided good preachers before, during,
and after such difficult times. Examples include William Chalmers Burns,
Hudson Taylor, George Smith, Tan Khai-lin, Dora Yu, Wang Ming Tao, John
Sung and many others were the faithful servants who had ministered in China
fervently. It was the author’s mother vow and desire for Rev Timothy Tow to
serve the Lord as a pastor.

One thing I have learned from the life of Miss Dora Yu was how she devoted
her whole life to the Lord’s ministry. 1 Corinthians 7:34-35 says, “There is
difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth
for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit:
but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may
please her husband. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may
cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend
upon the Lord without distraction.” Miss Dora Yu was engaged to a young
doctor, but due to her temperament and faith and for the sake of her ministry,
the engagement was annulled and after that she never married. She
lived uprightly and pursued a godly and holy Christian life. She served our
Lord without distractions and became a powerful preacher in China as well
as in Korea.

Pastor’s Note: Miss Dora Yu (1873-1931) was originally trained in Western
Medicine in Suzhou. She later became a prominent evangelist in China. The
mother of Timothy Tow was saved by the Lord under her preaching.


Reconciliation Among Church Leaders During the John Sung Revivals

One lesson worthy of consideration involves stolen sums of money which
were publicly returned to the Lord by Elder Heng Mui Kiah and the team.
They publicly repented of their sin. Reconciliation and restitution were made
between the team and the Church. Feuding elders and deacons of the same
Church settled their differences and made up with one another without
bringing one another to the secular court. “Dare any of you, having a matter
against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do
ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be
judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not
that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this
life?”1 Corinthians 6:1-3. This passage teaches us to forgive our fellow
brethren even if they have defrauded us. Because we as believers will inherit
the Kingdom of God in the Day of the Lord to judge the world and the
angels. There is no need to go to a secular court to be judged by the pagans
for the smallest matter. Believers need to learn this lesson well.


Pastor’s Note: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one
another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Eph. 4:32)

Give Cheerfully Unto the Lord

In 1 Corinthians, Paul asked the Corinthians believers to give offerings to
help the believers in Jerusalem. The Corinthian church was rich but the
believers in Jerusalem were poor and needy. They listened to Paul and gave
cheerfully to the poor believers in Jerusalem.

The lives of Reverend Tow and the Apostle Paul taught me precious lessons
on real spiritual wealth. Reverend Tow did not have much money with him
when he went to study in China and even in America. However, he had no
lack and was able to complete his studies. As Reverend Tow desired only
for the extension of God’s kingdom on earth, God poured down His
blessings and millions of dollars were collected for many building
projects and mission works. This is possible only by the earnest prayers
of Reverend Tow and his church, and his obedience to do God’s will in
his life. The Apostle Paul laboured all his life to go on many missionary
journeys to spread the gospel. He never accumulated any wealth for
himself. But he toiled and laboured and his health was poor due to the
hardships in his life. Yet, the Apostle Paul had spiritual inheritance in
heaven as he served God faithfully.


Pastor’s Note: See 1 Corinthians 16 for Paul’s teachings on giving to
needy saints.

Unity Versus Division in the Lord’s Work

Reverend Tow had sought to build more churches or to accommodate
larger congregations in Bible-believing churches. It was the willingness
of God’s people to give unto the Lord’s work as well. They gave even
when it was the last of their savings, they gave out of the burden in their
hearts for brethren and for the preaching of the Gospel.

This stands in contrast to the Corinthian Christians in 1 Corinthians who
were carnal, respector of persons and discriminating the poor. That was
all because they felt that they had the Christian Liberty to do what they
wanted. They failed to see that God is the One who has given them all
these things, and that they ought to use all things for the glory of God.

Paul then rebukes and exhorts them to be good stewards of God’s
provisions, and that they ought to joyously and willingly give to God’s


(To be continued)