Category Archives: College Life

College Life Class of 2017

by Josh Liu

I have been able to personally witness God’s grace and faithfulness in many of this year’s graduates’ lives, which brings me to praise God for His glory. I want to simply highlight the LBCSD members that are graduating. This is an insufficient testimony to God’s work in their lives; there is so much to be said about each student’s experience and encouragement to the church family. Yet I hope it will spur your own interactions with these graduates. Please take a moment to pray for them and personally bless and encourage them.

Amanda Gon, B.S. Kinesiology

  • Note to the Church: I have been so blessed by this church body and how the members truly seek to love God and people. I have learned so much from the biblical teachings and really appreciate how Lighthouse has a high view of God and His word. There is so much I am thankful for in how the leaders and the church seek to foster a deep Christlike love and care for each other and practically living out the gospel through various ministries and in serving one another. It was here where I grew the most spiritually and thankfully, it is here where I am excited to continue to grow and serve for at least the next three years in grad school. There is so much I can continue to go on saying, but I just wanted to end by saying how thankful I am to have gone through college with the love and the support of my class, College Life, and the church as a whole.
  • Future Plans: SDSU Doctor of Physical Therapy Program (three years).

Andrew Chiang, B.S. Chemical Engineering

  • Note to the Church: LBC has been such a big stepping stone for my faith in college. Without LBC facilitating opportunities for fellowshipping and theological learning, I would have still been blinded by my sins. God sovereignty ordained my exposure to Christianity here and has been growing me ever since my initial visit. I earnestly yearn to see this church family continue to love God and people with its many gifts. Continue to love as radically and scandalously as He does.
  • Future Plans: I will be pursuing my PhD degree in Macromolecular Science and Engineering in University of Michigan, Ann Arbor for the next four to six years.

Andy Yeung, B.A. Human Development

  • Note to the Church: I am so incredibly thankful for Lighthouse Bible Church and its foundation in the Word of God. Upon entering college, I was merely pursuing my conception of who God was, not holding His word in high regard as to what was true and who He really was (and is). God has used Lighthouse to reveal Himself and His character to me through both His word and the example shown through His people. I could not have asked for a better church to serve and be served by!
  • Future Plans: In the immediate future I will be pursuing a career in technical recruiting, possibly considering MBA programs further down the line.

Brian Wong, B.S. Microbiology

  • Note to the Church: Through the preaching of God’s Word from the pulpit as well as the application of it among the congregation, I cherish Christ as my Lord and Savior so much more now than I did before coming to San Diego. Older members, thank you for your display of faithfulness and commitment to Christ and the church. Younger members, thank you for reminding me of the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ our Lord. Thank you for being a church that I can confidently call my home!
  • Future Plans: Lord willing, I’ll be going with the Argentina Missions team in July. Aside from that, I’ll be staying down here for work.

Curtis Yee, B.A. Cognitive Science

  • Note to the Church: Hi Church! I am so incredibly thankful to have spent the last 4 years – and maybe best four years – of my life with all of you. The members of this church have been instrumental in my spiritual growth. Whether through teaching, encouragement, rebuke, or reconciliation, I have always seen this church exemplify Biblical care in the best of ways. This church has some of the most generous hearts I have ever come across and it has spurred me on to love others in that very same manner. Continue to love all the people who come into this church, whether they be students, singles, families, weirdos, atheists, introverts, the socially awkward, people that only wear neon orange shirts, people that never wear closed toed shoes, people that only wear snuggies, or people who do soul cycle.
  • Future Plans: Who knows. The sky is the limit.

Erica Truong, B.A. Political Science

  • Note to the Church: Throughout my college career, I have been so encouraged by the way that the pastors have continuously and faithfully preached the gospel on the pulpit. I have also been highly encouraged by the church body, in that I was able to form so many meaningful and intentional relationships. With each conversation that I was able to have, I could see how genuine the people were in striving to love, care, and minister to those around them. I have learned so much and I am truly grateful for all the ways that the body has enabled me to love Christ and know Him more. Thank you for making my time in college all the more special!
  • Future Plans: Planning on working; location is irrelevant (just wherever I find a job).

Greg Hall, B.A. Political Science

  • Note to the Church: Hi Church! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being a blessing to me in so many ways these past four years of college. I’ve been so grateful for times we’ve rejoiced together when we were walking well in the Lord, as well as grateful for the love and care the church has bestowed upon me when I personally wasn’t.
    COLLEGE LIFE: I want to give a huge thank you to those who helped nurture me, run alongside me, and pave the way when I was just a young freshman, sophomore, and junior. To those whom I’ve had the pleasure run alongside with this year, it’s been awesome growing with you towards greater godliness! Thanks again for all the laughs, the Korean hearts, and the portrait mode pics. Remember to keep trusting in God in all things! Through it all, this I know is true: that God is good. He always has been, and always will be. This is hopefully not a goodbye, but if and when it comes time to go our separate ways, may God be glorified and His kingdom reign forever and ever!
  • Future Plans: I’m hoping to find work down in San Diego and continue to attend LBC! Salt & Light, I’m coming for ya!

Hosanna Koo, B.A. Human Development

  • Note to the Church: Hello church! God has definitely used the past four years and this church family to bless, sanctify, and show me more and more of the immeasurable riches of His grace and how good He is. I have loved spending time with the church and getting to know collegians, singles, and families. The relationships I have built here have pointed me to true fellowship and have pushed me to pursue Christ as my only treasure. I’ll always remember college retreats and serving on VBS as a few highlights of my college years. Thank you, church, for all that you have done and for all that you have invested into me, whether it’s been relationships, time, energy, or food.
  • Future Plans: I will be returning to UCSD as a graduate student in the M.Ed and Teaching Credential program for the next year! Yay! I get to stay in San Diego with all you lovely, godly folk!

Jeremy Tsui, B.S. Molecular Biology

  • Note to the Church: I thank God for all the ways that Lighthouse has ministered to me through the solid teaching and counseling. I’ve grown in my love for the Word and for that I am so grateful for. I will miss you all!
  • Future Plans: Going home to take a gap year to prepare for entering optometry school in the fall of 2018.

Joyce Christine Tai, B.S. Human Biology

  • Note to the Church: I’m incredibly grateful for my time at this church for nearly the past four years. You, my church family, have been a resting place from the day to day grievances of sin’s effect on the world. Lighthouse has been a place where I’ve had abundance of opportunity to not only continue learning the depths of the holiness and beauty of our God, but also to so very intimately practice the calls of the gospel in learning to love the body. While surely there were difficulties and painful seasons of endurance, at the same time, my college career here in San Diego has been an overflowing season of sweet blessings predominantly because of you. God has lavished grace upon grace for me by our unique fellowship by the blood of Jesus Christ. He has used this church body perfectly and so wisely to shape me more into his image, and to treasure him alone all the more. You, my church body, are beautiful to me because Christ is our perfect head.
  • Future Plans: After returning from Czech missions and taking a few weeks’ break to spend with family and friends, my plans are to work as a nurse aid here in San Diego!

Joyce Lam, B.A. IS Economics

  • Note to the Church: I’m so thankful for the pastoring staff for leading in God-honoring and biblical ways, for the support and craziness of my class, the generosity of brothers and sisters in serving me and loving me, and the discipleship of various moms- I have learned so much from all of you. Through the past 4 years, my love and joy in Christ has deepened through tested trials, and through these, Christ and the church has become so much more precious to me. I am humbled daily by what Christ has done for me- the gospel that was presented to me in the form of a savior nailed to a cross to save sinners like us. To pick up our cross daily is indeed a battle, but it is one most worth fighting. May we continue to keep the faith and fight the good fight for the glory of God.
  • Future Plans: Moving up to norcal for work in finance, and solidifying my reputation as a crazy chinchilla lady because I just found out that my chinchillas will probably live for another 16 years (I thought they were gonna die by the time I graduate).

Kevin Wilby, B.A. Cognitive Science

  • Note to the Church: I cannot describe how much love I have received from the church during the short time I have been attending. I have been inspired more than ever to be Christ-like and to fulfill the Great Commission. Being held accountable for my character and encouraging others to grow in their faith has not only enriched my college experience but my personal relationship with Christ as well. I look forward to visiting the church after graduating and maintaining the relationships I have formed with my brothers and sisters in Christ.
  • Future Plans: I plan on moving back home to Los Angeles while pursuing further studies in either speech therapy or nursing. I also look forward to maintaining regular fellowship with members of my home church and continue to evangelize to my friends and family that are not saved.

Wesley Wong, B.S. Computer Science

  • Note to the Church: For as big as this church is, it’s the closest thing to family you can get.
  • Future Plans: Software Engineer at Cisco

One Body: Running Together for the Faith

by Josh Liu

How would you evaluate your understanding of church? How would you evaluate your heart attitude toward the church? How would you evaluate your participation, involvement, and commitment to the church? We would do well to elevate our view of the church to the beauty, priority, and responsibilities Scripture instructs. For that, I am deeply thankful that our College Life Retreat addressed the theme of the local church.

Chris Gee

Overview

The 2017 College Life Retreat theme–One Body: Running Together for the Faith–focused on the beauty, commitment, need, and responsibilities of the local church. Pastor Chris Gee presented a thoroughly robust ecclesiology! Here is a brief overview of the sessions:

Session 1 – What Is the Church? (Selected Scriptures)

The church is the temple of God, a pillar of the truth, the bride of Christ, and the family of God. If the church does not feel like family, serve!

Session 2 – For Better or For Worse (Selected Scriptures)

The case for church membership and why being committed to a church will result in the deepest and most authentic love. The early church models church membership, our leaders’ responsibility to us implies it, church discipline necessitates it, the one another commands demand it, and the metaphors for the church illustrate it. The greater the commitment to one another, the deeper the love we will experience.

Session 3 – One Another (John 13:34-35; Heb. 10:24-25; James 2:1-13)

We love sacrificially like Christ loved; we fellowship in a way that provokes each other to holiness; and we love and serve in the church without partiality. We do not show favoritism and we do not exclude people.

Session 4 – The Power of Encouragement (Eph. 4:29)

Our tongues play a big role in promoting unity in the church. Biblical encouragement can draw us together. Good encouragement is God-centered, specific, genuine, thoughtful, and verbal.

Session 5 – Give Your Life Away (Acts 20:17-38)

The greatest joy is found in giving your life away to God and to others. Apostle Paul models for us what it is to knit your heart to a group of people so closely that you sweat, weep, and bleed for them.

Beside the sessions, other retreat highlights include discussion groups, lost nametag punishments, playing outdoor games in the rain, hosting a “lipdub” music video competition, and corporate sharing!

Below are brief reflections from the sessions that serve as a primer to meditating on, studying, and applying ecclesiology.

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Five Brief Reflections

Reflection #1: The Church Is Important (cf. Acts 20:28)

This might seem elementary, but many do not understand the depth of the importance of the church. Practically, there are many in the church who treat the church as a low priority (e.g., committing to extracurricular activities over the church).

Pastor Chris powerfully reminded us of the importance of the church: “Why is the church worth your life? Why is the church valuable enough to give your life? Because Jesus thought it was valuable, so valuable that He gave His own life. Christ thought the church was precious enough to die for; we ought to think the church is precious enough to live for.”

Reflection #2: The Church Is Needed (cf. 1 Cor. 12:14-27; Heb. 10:25)

The pictures and metaphors (the temple of God, a pillar of the truth, the bride of Christ, the family of God, the body of Christ), responsibilities of, and commands to the church make it needed for each believer to be committed to a local assembly. It is within the church that the believer beholds the fullness of Christ, faithfully carries out the good works that God prepared, and stands as a corporate witness to the world.

Pastor Chris shared an account about Charles Spurgeon (which I have adapted from other sources but have not been able to verify as fact, yet believed it was a helpful illustration):
One day a young man came to visit Spurgeon and the young man said to him, “I can be a Christian without the church; I don’t need others.” They were sitting in the lounge by an open fire and Spurgeon picked up some tongs, took a coal from the blazing fire, and placed it on the hearth. They continued talking and after awhile, Spurgeon said, “Look down at the hearth. What happened to the coal I took out of the fire?” The young man answered, “Well, it’s become black. It’s lost its heat and its flame.” Spurgeon replied, “Young man, that’s why you need to be part of the church, because it is only together we are stimulated and together that we grow. But like this coal taken out of the fire, on its own it dies out. But in the heat of the fire all the other coals are stimulating it to go on glowing and give off heat.”

Reflection #3: The Church Is Active (cf. Rom. 12:4-8)

There are many who simply attend church without any participation or involvement in the body of Christ. The church is not simply a program or service to witness, after which an attendee returns to his or her life. Each individual member of the body of Christ is expected to be active for the healthy functioning of the whole body.

Pastor Chris highlights three myths about serving in the church: (1) my church does not need me to serve; (2) ministry is programs; and (3) I am too young to make an impact.

Scripture describes every believer as a unique part of the body with spiritual gifts given for the edification of the church, since ministry (i.e., church) is people, not program. There are no age prerequisites for the active functioning within the church.

Reflection #4: The Church Is Beautiful (cf. 2 Cor. 3:18)

I cannot help but be in awe of the biblical descriptors of the church! Too many find the church as an unattractive religious institution, outdated or offensive.

God sanctifies His saints from one degree of glory to another, unto Christlikeness. It is a beautiful image of the Gospel of Christ. The church is the temple of God (1 Pet. 2:4-5), the pillar of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15), the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:25; 31-32), and the family of God (1 Tim. 3:15; 5:1-2). It reflects the glory of God and His redemptive work!

Reflection #5: The Church Is Family (cf. Rom. 8:16-17; 1 John 3:1-2)

Many complain about a lack of intimacy, fellowship, or community in the church. There may be valid points for particularly difficult experiences; however, each believer is united in Christ becoming a child of God, brother and co-heir with Christ, and joined to the family of God.

The family of God produces authentic intimate community, overflowing in acts of love, unified in experience and devotion, and pursuing the same direction of life (cf. Acts 2:41-47; Rom. 12:9-21; Matt. 28:18-20).

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Conclusion

Implied above is that there are many who have a distorted, unbiblical understanding of the church. They often consider the church unimportant, irrelevant, unnecessary, passive, unattractive, and, at best, weekend acquaintances. These reflections serve as primers–preliminary thoughts and exhortations–to studying and being a faithful member of the church to the glory of Christ–the head of the church.

Romans 7 and the Doctrine of Sanctification

by Josh Liu

Editor’s Note: Josh has once again graciously re-worked a seminary paper (or as I like to call it: “Pastor Mark’ed an article”), this time on the topic of Romans 7. For those who don’t know, this is a somewhat controversial chapter since opinions vary on exactly what Paul intended his readers to understand, given some rather interesting syntactical maneuvers.

On the offhand chance that anyone reading this paper also reads the blog over at the Gospel Coalition, let me just say that Josh absolutely describes Thomas Schreiner’s position qua BECNT accurately, but Dr. Schreiner does seem to have modified his view somewhat since that was published, as seen in his contribution to that blog series. Even theologians change their minds from time to time. But as Dr. Schreiner points out at the end of that article, the different positions aren’t that far apart in the greater context anyhow.

Enjoy!

A Brief Overview of Covenant Theology

by Josh Liu

Editor’s Note: There’s been a fair amount of discussion at LBC regarding Covenant Theology and Dispensationalism lately. Josh has graciously reworked a paper from his time at seminary that provides a helpful introduction, and I heartily recommend it to you.

Seriously, I know it’s long. And a PDF. Read it anyways. It’s very, very good.

If you’ll permit me one additional editorial comment: while LBC unashamedly takes the Dispensational position, we also recognize that the Covenant Theology position falls well within the boundaries of historic orthodoxy. Folks who subscribe to alternative positions (including traditional Westminster Covenant Theology, New Covenant Theology, variations of Dispensationalism, etc.) but are unwavering on the gospel are brothers and sisters in Christ. To use an actual example: if John MacArthur and RC Sproul can be best friends and golfing buddies, then we would do well to emulate both their unwavering commitment to Biblical truth and their graciousness.

But really: read Josh’s paper. He worked hard, and I may quiz you on it.

Total Depravity

by Josh Liu

During seminary, I was presented the following scenario and question:

I have heard a lot of talk lately about the doctrine of “total depravity.” What is total depravity? I have some neighbors who are not Christians but they actually seem pretty nice. Are they totally depraved? They are actually nicer and more gracious than a lot of Christians I know.

Unfortunately, the experience that some unbelievers are “more gracious” than believers is a scathing evaluation of how many Christians are not living in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. It’s true that many non-Christians are genuinely nice! However, that is not what the doctrine of total depravity refers to.

Total depravity refers to the fallen nature of man. Man (or mankind) is completely polluted by sin in such a way that sin affects everything that he does, says, thinks, and desires. As such, man cannot change himself. There are two parts to this doctrine.

First, every person, both non-Christian and Christian, is born totally depraved–sin has corrupted every part of man. Every person is sinful. The Bible attests to this fact. Genesis 6:5 says, “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” This assessment of man is true of every unregenerate person presently. In 1 Kings 8, Solomon, addressing Israel after the Ark of the Covenant is brought into the Temple in Jerusalem, makes a comment that “there is no man who does not sin” (v. 46). Even the New Testament affirms this teaching. The Apostle John says, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). The Apostle Paul drives home this teaching in Romans 1:18-3:20, where he declares Jews and Gentiles are sinners. He emphasizes this reality by declaring, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). No on escapes this condition. King David recognizes that he was born depraved: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me” (Ps. 51:5). The reality of man’s total sinfulness is also seen in Ephesians 2:1-3,

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

Man is ultimately dead in his depravity to the extent that he lives according to his depraved nature (e.g. disobedience, indulging the desires of the flesh). The only way this can be changed is God’s merciful intervention to transform man’s nature:

Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. (Ezek. 36:25-27; cf. Eph. 2:4)

Second, man’s depravity touches every aspect of humanity; hence, “total” depravity. Man’s will is polluted by sin (cf. Rom. 1:32; 7:18-19; Eph. 2:2-3). Man’s intellect is polluted by sin (cf. Rom. 1:21; 1 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 4:17-18). Man’s heart is polluted by sin (cf. Gen. 6:5; Jer. 17:9; Mark. 7:21-23). Man’s actions are polluted by sin (cf. Is. 64:6). As a result, man cannot please God. Romans 8:8 declares, “those who are in the [sinful] flesh cannot please God.” “Niceness” is not enough. If you aren’t part of Christ, which is only through repentance of sins and faith in Christ’s life, death, and resurrection to transform your depraved nature, then you can’t be good before God (cf. John 6:44; 15:5).

All of this is not to say, however, that every person is as evil as he could possibly be at all times. Depraved sinners can manifest some “goodness” at times, which is attributed to God’s common grace and restraint of sin. Also, this is not to say that sinners can’t “do” good things. Unbelievers can certainly contribute positive things to society, relationships, and so on. Yet Scripture is clear that such “good works” do not please or honor God since they are not in right relationship with Him (cf. Matt. 7:21-23).

The doctrine of total depravity recognizes that there are varying degrees of manifestations of one’s sinful heart, as well as varying degrees of the seriousness of individual sins. So, you can’t conclude that someone like Adolf Hitler was necessarily more depraved (in the doctrinal sense) than someone like Mother Teresa. Every person is totally depraved, in the sense that no part of their material or immaterial being is exempted from the influence of sin. It is by God’s grace that not every person manifests that evil in every way possible, or to the greatest extent possible. In other words, it is by the grace of God that we fail to live up to our evil potential…but we all still have it.

For your non-Christian friends that seem like good people, remember that they are not “good” before God. Remember God’s perfect standards. He, being the perfect, righteous judge has declared “for whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all” (James 2:10). Yet we have not just stumbled at one point in God’s perfect law, but our offenses are perhaps uncountable. Even more so, we ourselves have fallen short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23). You may commend good works in others, but don’t confuse that with equating it to being good before God. Remember Christ’s warning that those who did “good works” but aren’t in a right relationship with God will be cast away in judgment (cf. Matt. 7:21-23).

For your Christian friends, encourage and exhort them to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel, which will manifest the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (cf. Eph. 4:1; Gal. 5:22-23). May you live as salt and light, bearing testimony to the transforming power of the gospel so that those who see will give glory to God (cf. Matt. 5:13-16). Praise God for His mighty power and lovingkindness to transform a depraved sinner to a new nature, covered by Christ’s righteousness!

In His Image

by Josh Liu

What is man? What are his origins? What is his purpose? These are important questions. Thankfully, the Bible provides answers. Scripture states that man was created in the image of God.

The “image of God” is an important aspect of biblical anthropology. Genesis 1:26-27 says:

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Only man, no other created thing, has been described to be made in the “image” and “likeness” of God. While no direct definition of these terms is given, their meanings can be understood. Even after the Fall, man is still described to be made in the image of God (cf. Gen. 5:1-2). Sin and human depravity do not abolish the image of God in man. In fact, the image of God is the basis for condemning murder (cf. Gen. 9:6). The New Testament also refers to the image of God, specifically in the contexts of men’s and women’s roles and the sanctity of life (cf. 1 Cor. 11:7; James 3:9).

Wayne Grudem observes that when God says, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Gen. 1:26), God plans to make a creature similar to Himself. Both the Hebrew word for “image” (tselem) and the Hebrew word for “likeness” (demut) refer to something that is similar but not identical to the thing it represents or is an “image” of. The word “image” can also be used of something that represents something else. I think Grudem summarizes the biblical understanding of these words well:

When we realize that the Hebrew words for “image” and “likeness” simply informed the original readers that man was like God, and would in many ways represent God, much of the controversy over the meaning of “image of God” is seen to be a search for too narrow and too specific a meaning. When Scripture reports that God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Gen. 1:26), it simply would have meant to the original readers, “Let us make man to be like us and to represent us. Because “image” and “likeness” had these meanings, Scripture does not need to say something like, “The fact that man is in the image of God means that man is like God in the following ways: intellectual ability, moral purity, spiritual nature, dominion over the earth, creativity, ability to make ethical choices, and immortality [or some similar statement].” Such an explanation is unnecessary, not only because the terms had clear meanings, but also because no such list could do justice to the subject: the text only needs to affirm that man is like God, and the rest of Scripture fills in more details to explain this. In fact, as we read the rest of Scripture, we realize that a full understanding of man’s likeness to God would require a full understanding of who God is in his being and in his actions and a full understanding of who man is and what he does. The more we know about God and man the more similarities we will recognize, and the more fully we will understand what Scripture means when it says that man is in the image of God. The expression refers to every way in which man is like God. (Systematic Theology, 443)

What are some implications of this doctrine? There are specific aspects of our likeness to God that impacts how we live.

  1. First, man, similar to God, rules. Man is said to rule, or dominate or have dominion, over creation twice in Gen. 1:26-28. Man is also commanded to subdue the earth, or to bring it into bondage. Eugene Merrill says, “man is created to reign in a manner that demonstrates his lordship, his domination (by force if necessary) over all creation” (“A Theology of the Pentateuch,” 15). God, who Himself rules over all creation (cf. Ps. 103:19), created His image-bearer to rule over the earth by Divine appointment (cf. Ps. 8:4-8). The concept of this appointed rulership is also reaffirmed for the servants of Christ who are His ambassadors (cf. 2 Cor. 5:20).
  2. Second, since all men, male and female, are created in the image of God, every person has been created equal. Each person carries a special dignity and uniqueness from the rest of creation. Animals are not equal to human beings. Also, no particular ethnicity or gender is inherently superior to another. Thus, to murder or curse another human is an offense against God whose image each person bears (cf. Gen. 9:6; James 3:9).
  3. Third, since man is like God and represents Him, man ultimately belongs to Him. Man is not ultimately independent and self-existing. He was created, and will always belong to the Creator. That which has been created cannot successfully rebel against its Creator (cf. Ps. 2; Rom. 9:20-21). So, every person is responsible and accountable to God (cf. Matt. 12:36). Also, each person is created for God’s purposes (cf. Is. 43:7). To disregard these implications will incur God’s wrath (cf. Rom. 1:18-23).

Why is this important? Being made in the image of God is truly foundational. It rejects the secular worldview.

  1. First, it rejects the evolutionary theory. Man is not essentially an evolved complex animal. Man is not an image of animals. So the quest for a common ancestor to trace back to the progenitor of life is completely baseless and a futile search.
  2. Second, man as an image-bearer rejects the arguments, beliefs, and lobbying of animal activists (i.e. that animals deserve the same inalienable rights as humans). While Scripture does not condone the abuse of animals, man is above the animal kingdom. Animals do not share the same dignity and value as humans. While there are physiological similarities between humans and animals, animals ultimately lack the image of God (along with human intellect, values, relationships, etc.). Some animals may demonstrate some extent of “intelligence,” but they cannot demonstrate true rationality, consciousness, imagination, and complex language (e.g. written), all reflective of God. Animals do not make plans in their hearts as man does. Animals do not express the full range of emotions as man (and God). Animals do not discern morality.
  3. Third, the image of God upholds the sanctity of life. Abortion, euthanasia, and assisted suicide ultimately conclude that life is negotiable. Life does not belong to the individual, but to God whose image he/she bears.

What are the applications of being made in the image of God?

  1. First, your individual worth begins with who God is (cf. Ps. 139:1-24). Instead of focusing on improving yourself or lifting up your self-esteem, pursue Christ-likeness who is the perfect image of God (cf. Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3; 2 Cor. 3:18; Rom. 8:29).
  2. Second, our purpose in life must revolve around the worship and glory of God (cf. Is. 43:7; 1 Cor. 10:31).
  3. Third, our functions and roles in life are determined by God (cf. 1 Cor. 11:1ff; Eph. 4-6). Living out our roles faithfully glorifies God and reflects the differing roles between the Persons of the Godhead.
  4. Fourth, show compassion and kindness to all for each person bears the image of God.

Mini-Series on Suffering

by Josh Liu

The regularly scheduled midweek Bible studies have taken a break for the summer. Instead, there has been a combined Bible study for the Youth, College, and Singles on Fridays. For the month of July, College Life was responsible for hosting the combined Bible study (e.g. leading praise, preaching, etc.). With the opportunity to lead a mini series, I decided to revisit my messages on suffering.

My desire is to equip us with good sufferiology: a biblical understanding and response to suffering. The following is an overview of the three part series.

Part 1: The Suffering of the King (Is. 53:1-12)

The purpose of the Book of Isaiah is to foretell the future wrath to come upon Judah and the world because of their offense against God’s holiness, while also foretelling the future comfort to come through the Suffering Servant because of God’s grace. Is. 52:13-53:12 is a five stanza description of God’s anointed Servant, who is Christ. The central thought is the humiliation and suffering of the Servant.

Often times, we focus on external circumstances or personal suffering in a way that causes us to neglect God, doubt God, or accuse God. We may be tempted to think that God does not love us.

However, God indeed loves. Is. 53:1-12 describes four demonstrations of the King’s love through His suffering:

  1. He was rejected so that you would be accepted (vv. 1-3)
  2. He carried your sins so that you would be righteous (vv. 4-6)
  3. He was killed so that you would live (vv. 7-9)
  4. He was crushed so that you would be redeemed (vv. 10-12)

Part 2: Making Sense of Suffering (The Book of Job)

The Book of Job is an amazing account of God’s sovereignty, possible spiritual (invisible) activity, and the raw emotions of shock, confusion, and disorientation after tragedy.

It is helpful to understand the outline of the book. Many are aware of the first three chapters of Job (Job’s life, tragedies, and anguish) and the final four chapters (God responds to Job and restores his fortunes). However, many are unaware of the middle 35 chapters. After a week of silent despair, Job opens his mouth and pours out the anguish in his heart (3:1-26). What follows is a three-cycle debate between Job and his friends Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar: Cycle 1 (4:1-14:22), Cycle 2 (15:1-21:34), Cycle 3 (22:1-27:34). Also, a young man named Elihu shares his two cents (more of a monologue) concerning his opinion about Job’s suffering (32:1-37:24).

We can observe five perspectives of suffering from the Book of Job:

  1. Narrator: Suffering is a part of God’s plan
  2. Job’s friends: Suffering is a consequence of sin
  3. Job: Suffering is under God’s sovereignty and is unexplainable
  4. Elihu: Suffering does not impugn God’s character
  5. God: Suffering is an opportunity for faith

Part 3: Wrestling with Despair (Pss. 42-43)

The Psalter is a praise book filled with raw pleas and cries to God. It is amazing that such emotional prayers are inspired by God. Psalms 42-43, which should be taken as one, is a lament psalm, wherein a soul wrought with despair is unable to worship God in the temple and is experiencing much suffering and persecution.

Understanding the psalmist’s experience with internal despair may help us better understand, process, and articulate internal strife.

We observe three experiences of the despairing soul:

  1. Longing for God yet afar (42:1-5)
  2. Remembering God yet forgotten (42:6-11)
  3. Pleading with God and hopeful return (43:1-5)

From this three-part series, we are reminded to never forget the suffering of God, understand the multifaceted perspectives of the reasons for suffering, and to always hope in God and respond with worship despite external and internal suffering.

College Life Class of 2016

by Josh Liu

It has been my personal joy and privilege to share my first year of College Life ministry and seminary graduation year with the class of 2016! I have been able to personally witness God’s grace and faithfulness in many of the graduates’ lives, which brings me to praise God for His glory. I want to simply highlight the LBCSD members that are graduating. This is an insufficient testimony to God’s work in their lives; there is so much to be said about each student’s experience and encouragement to the church family. Yet I hope it will spur your own interactions with these graduates. Please take a moment to pray for them and personally bless and encourage them.

Ashley Hur, B.A. Literature/Writing

  • Note to the Church: It wasn’t until coming to LBC that I heard & understood the gospel for the first time. Even though I’m still learning, I can confidently say that I’m a sinner saved by grace. While the teaching here undoubtedly helped me to grow in my faith, the community has encouraged me as well. Since becoming a member, I’ve been so thankful for the encouragement, patience, and love I’ve received from my brothers and sisters. LBC is my home and Lord willing, it will continue to be!
  • Future Plans: I will be staying in San Diego and attending LBCSD for another year as I work at the Cambridge School!

Amy Lee, B.A. Economics, Accounting & Business Minors

  • Note to the Church: I’ve been so encouraged by the tremendous amount of love behind member care. I also love the unity we have as a body of Christ. I am so amazed by God’s sovereignty and His work on the cross in bringing us together despite our differences, pasts, and sinful struggles.
  • Future Plans: Moving to Manhattan Beach to start an audit / tax job in August. Currently looking for a local church.

Celeste Hahm, B.S. Human Biology

  • Note to the Church: One of my favorite memories throughout college is being surrounded by people who love Jesus. It was the first time I had people my age and having the older collegians adopt me as their younger sibling. It was the first time someone lovingly challenged my faith and asked more about my testimony and why I want to live for Christ. I have been shown so much love and have had so much truth poured into my life. College has always been fun and there has always been a reason to be joyful. Even if I was struggling with school or relationships with others, I always had someone to remind me of truth, spur me on, encourage and challenge me. Even when I was super stressed out, I had people who graciously served me and supported me. I was always remind of Christ. Another favorite memory is trying new types of foods. First time having boba and pho and other authentic Asian foods. My food experience has been expanded beyond the horizon.
  • Future Plans: For the summer, I’m going to Texas to work at Nature Nate’s honey company. I will be testing the quality of the honey in the lab and gaining other useful experience. After that, I hope that I’ll be able to return to San Diego, find work and serve in the church.

Derek Dang, B.S. Computer Science

  • Note to the Church: I am thankful for the culture of discipleship and intentional relationships that are built here. This is truly a church family that loves God and loves people. Reflecting on my time here I appreciate how the church seeks to live in obedience to God and to live out the MVP. I have come to call LBCSD my home church and will always be excited for what God has in store for Lighthouse!
  • Future Plans: I am planning on staying in San Diego to continue to serve in the church and looking forward to be a part of Single Life ministry.

Elizabeth Kang, B.S. Cognitive Science (Human Computer Interaction)

  • Note to the Church: I’m incredibly thankful for the love that this church family has shown me throughout the past four years. I’ve been encouraged to see how God has been growing and using each member here as an instrument in the furthering of His kingdom. Thank you for being an example to me of what it means to desire to glorify God in various aspects of your life and what it means to truly love others. I’ll miss you all so much but I’m also excited to see how God will continue to challenge you to loving and knowing Him more.
  • Future Plans: Going back home to Cerritos.

Faith Garcia, B.A. Communication

  • Note to the Church: I am so thankful to have had lighthouse as my church family these past two years. The love and care I have received here has encouraged me to grow in my love for Christ and others. I have seen wonderful examples of Christ-likeness that have pointed me back to the faithfulness and grace of God. I will miss everyone so much, but I will keep you all in my prayers! It may have been short but I praise God for His grace in placing me at Lighthouse San Diego.
  • Future Plans: Will be moving to Oxford, Mississippi for work.

George Fang, B.S. Structural Engineering

  • Note to the Church: I initially came out to this church because I was learning God’s truth from the teaching and sermons. I stayed at this church mainly because of the love that was shown not just to me, but to each other in the church family. I learned what it means to be intentional in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity (1 Timothy 4:12), and to be exemplifying that in the way I live my life as a young adult who follows after Christ.
  • Future Plans: I plan to go back to my hometown in LA at the end of June after serving in VBS here at LBCSD this summer! Currently still applying/interviewing for jobs and hearing back so it is TBD. I will be attending LBCLA when I am back home in LA.

Humphrey Lin, B.S. Biochemistry and Cell Biology

  • Note to the Church: Thanks Lighthouse for helping me grow and mature in my faith, and I look forward to serving alongside you in the following years!
  • Future Plans: Master’s in Biology at UCSD

Jessica Yu, B.S Human Biology

  • Note to the Church: To the church family, thank you so much for the spiritual support provided through informal meet-ups, prayer, and intentional conversations. Your words of wisdom and even the fun chats were instrumental in my college years. During my transition to college, this made the greatest impact in my life to see the Gospel and teaching of God’s Word lived out in the body. I pray that Lighthouse Bible Church will continue to grow in greater intimacy with Christ and that you may continue to show more grace and love towards all people as you interact with those in and out of the church!
  • Future Plans: I will moving back north to the bay area. I plan on applying to PA school in a year as I finish prerequisites and find clinical work. Please keep me in prayer as I look for a church to attend and to urgently seek fellowship and accountability in this transition back home.

Liannu Khai, B.S. Human Biology

  • Note to the Church: As I reflect on my 4 years of college, I can safely say Lighthouse has played the biggest role in making my college experience such a sweet time. It was here that God revealed to me my deep depravity and need for a Savior through the teaching of God’s Word. It was here that I experienced for the first time what fellowship was and how wonderful it is to be part of one body, sharing the same testimony, striving towards the same goal. Every single person at this church has had a role in growing me and encouraging me, whether through conversation or observation. I am so thankful for all of you!
  • Future Plans: I will be staying in SD for full time work :)

Lorraine Yeung, Biochemistry and Cell Biology, B.S.

  • Note to the Church: Dear LBC family, thank you for being such a huge blessing during my college years. I am so grateful for the ministry at Lighthouse. Thank you for upholding Scripture and preaching Truth to the congregation. Moreover, thank you for your dedication in living out the MVP. I have been so encouraged to see many of you exemplify your love for the Lord through your service- using your God-given gifts and investment of time to build one another up. Praying that as you continue on this race, you will stand firm in the faith, grow in the knowledge of our God, and your love for Him never ceases. Continue to hold fast to the hope in Christ Jesus our Lord, for He is the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2)!
  • Future Plans: I have still yet to decide on that… as of now I will be either staying in San Diego or moving back home to the Bay Area.

Michelle Wang, B.A. Human Development

  • Note to the Church: One of the biggest impacts the body at Lighthouse has been on me is the way that Christianity is modeled. I’ve learned that a hunger for the Word, a cherishing of Christ, and an outworking of the Spirit’s work is not a “super Christian” way of life, but in fact, normal Christianity. I’ve seen that living for Christ is an everyday, minute by minute dependence on Him no matter the circumstances we face, whether as collegians, working adults, single, married etc. Thank you, church body, for being faithful to God’s Word, for being passionate about His kingdom, and for spurring me on to do the same!
  • Future Plans: I will continue to work at my current job as a rehabilitation aide at a physical therapy/occupational therapy clinic and continue to serve at LBCSD for the next year.

Jason Wong, B.S. Computer Science

  • Note to the Church: I’m very thankful for the support and teaching that this church has provided me. Your constant encouragements and fellowship has allowed me to grow toward Christ for the past four years. I look forward to continuing doing so as one body in the future.
  • Future Plans: I am working full-time here in San Diego so I will be staying at LBCSD!

Samantha Lung, Bachelor’s in Child Development

  • Note to the Church: I feel like I have been able to grow so much through the LBC ministry and cannot fully express it through text. However, I will briefly share some of the things that have stood out and contributed to my spiritual growth. The love that people in the church have for one another has constantly and continues to encourage me. Seeing members serve in the church through all different ministries such as the children’s, music, cooking, rides, cleaning, etc. has been such a blessing. I cannot express enough how encouraged I am by members’ joyful hearts to serve others and how much I absolutely love the church. Through many trials, challenges, and the loving support of those in the church, I strive to place my utmost trust in the Lord.
  • Future Plans: Teaching Credential Program at SDSU

Sister’s Appreciation Night

by Humphrey Lin

The church was unrecognizable, as black and white streamers drooped from the ceiling, string lights snaked up the sanctuary poles, and hand-painted portraits of flowers, fruits, and sceneries covered the walls of the foyer. A hundred collegians crowded the foyer, the men dressed sharply in black and white, and the ladies looking stunning in colorful dresses and elegant heels. A hush came over the crowd as a voice announced: “please enter the sanctuary, Sister’s Appreciation night is about to begin.”

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The Preparation

Hours before the event, the church was bustling with commotion, as the College Life men busied themselves decorating the sanctuary and foyer, setting up chairs and tables, and creating centerpieces for the night. Twenty to thirty collegian men of all classes worked tirelessly as the church was slowly transformed into an elegant banquet hall, while more labored in the kitchens of the Costa Verde apartments, creating over a hundred portions of stuffed mushrooms, bruschetta, pork loin, and panna cotta. This night would be the culmination of weeks of planning, deliberation, and practice, not to mention hundreds of dollars in donations. But it was all worth it—to appreciate our sisters to the glory of God.

The Night

The freshman guys darted between tables of excited diners, delivering food, clearing trash, and refilling empty cups of water. Dinner was in full swing, as collegians laughed and conversed over plates of handmade Italian cuisine and an eclectic band of College Life men played Italian folk songs in the background. A short intermission followed dinnertime, and as the guests sat back down, stage lights dimmed, and an unexpected video started playing. A moustache-twirling villain had stolen the freshman guys’ meal cards, and the girls must solve a riddle to get them back. It appeared that each class of the collegian men was in some sort of danger, and the girls must rescue them in turn. As the villain’s plans (and accent) evolved, so did the challenges, and interweaved between hilarious videos, chaotic games, and over-the-top theatrics, each class of College Life men shared special performances to express their appreciation for their sisters in Christ. More than a few tears were shed.

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The Reason

The Bible instructs us as a church to encourage one another with words and acts of service (Ephesians 4:29; Romans 12:10-11). Nights like these are for the purpose of building up, that through our displays of gratitude and service, members of the body would be pushed more towards love and strive more towards Christlikeness (Ephesians 4:15-16). But why specifically the sisters?

Throughout much of history and in many places around the world today, it is incredibly difficult to be a woman. The curse of sin resulted in cruel and oppressive cultures in which the women are regarded as second class citizens and objects of men’s selfish desires. Even though it is much easier to be a woman socially and economically in modern day America, Bible-believing Christian women face pressures from all sides to conform to the twisted beliefs of the world; on one side, media and pop culture seek to objectify women and glorify the physical image and on another, feminism seeks to destroy the Biblical foundations of marriage, submission, and the sanctity of life.

The women of Lighthouse Bible Church College Life live in a world that says physical perfection is beauty, submission is humiliation, and gentleness is weakness. But as a shining light in a time of darkness, they live in a way that demonstrates that the Bible is their foundation and Christ is their Lord, and to be wise is to be beautiful and to submit is to be exalted. Their worth is not found in physical beauty or social status, but rather in “the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (1 Peter 3:4). The women of College Life are rare and beautiful, and they often don’t realize it. But we (the brothers) do, and so does the Lord our God. So with a collective voice and a small token of our appreciation, the men say “thanks, hope you enjoyed the night.”