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Msindisi Newsletter #120

September 3, 2014


Number: 120          Sep 2014


P.O. Box 1481

Vryheid 3100

KwaZulu Natal

South Africa


+27 (0) 72 8311008

+27 (0) 72 3843786





KwaZulu Mission Website:


KwaZulu Mission Facebook Page:




August ………. First thoughts are no rain, dust, grass fires. Although it is sometimes difficult to rack my brain and try and remember what took place over the  month. It’s good to look back and see or the opportunities we were given.


Our usual routine always continues around anything else that may crop up.

On sat morning we have been continually ministering along side Celani and Thembisile at kids club. Sal taking the older kids and the three of us taking the smaller ones.


Girl who comes to Kids Club

Girl who comes to Kids Club

Instruments donated to kids club

Instruments donated to kids club


Sunday is collecting brothers and sisters from a area about 15 kms away and fellowshipping together at Celani home in Eastmine.

This Bull was munching nearby while we were collecting water

This Bull was munching nearby while we were collecting water

Tuesday is discipling at Mkhulu homestead, this month Phumulnai and Sal were very excited to see Mkhulu’s wife attend one of the meetings as usually she avoids them. But recently Mkhulu shared that she has repented and given her life to the Lord. Please pray for her as her understanding in the gospel grows. We have given her a bible which she is excited about but she needs to start growing in the faith. We have also experienced a couple of people in the Cibilili community express a decision to follow the Lord but we have not been able to follow up concerning discipleship. Please pray for the people in the community.

Salvador preaching the Gospel in Cibilili

Salvador preaching the Gospel in Cibilili

Wednesday is our town day, with a list a mile long to try and get done while power and Internet are available. This as you know includes teaching at Carebear and Joyland crèche once a month while Sal teaches Joyland teachers each week on the Thurs morn.

On the Wednesday night we attend the baptist church for a prayer meeting and bible study. Jannie the pastor there has been going through the book of John and its been a wonderful blessing to us.

Wonderful African Thorn trees.

Wonderful African Thorn trees.

After returning from town on a Thursday, Sal and Phumulani with Thembisile head off to Cibilili which is about 20 kms away for evangelizing. Phumlani has been asking prayer for a Gogo their called who he has been sharing with. Friday afternoon we all try to head out again before we have cell group meeting in the evening at various homes want to host it for that week. This month we had to say a sad farewell to Nicky who has been coming as she and her husband are moving away from Louwsburg to Richards Bay. With farewell to here comes however a warm welcome to Mandla Nxumalo. Mandla attended the NTM workshop we had in town in the month of May and since then has been coming along to the cell group. He is a blessing to us all.

Thembisile preaching the Gospel in Cibilili

Thembisile preaching the Gospel in Cibilili

This month we are pleased to say that the roof has been finally completed on Tholakele’s hut. After several attempts from some locals who said they could do it and then failed to to the job it’s wonderful to see it completed thanks to the skills of Phumlani and his helper.

Now we would like to see the floor cemented. Tholakele is a widowed mother of 4 herself and the girls will benefit greatly from it,she is very thankful.

Tholakele's roofing sorted on her mud hut.

Tholakele’s roofing sorted on her mud hut.

After fighting a grass fire close to the homestead one night, much to Di’s disappointment as she had just finished washing curtains that day. We had to take a woman into hospital who had been waiting from until 3pm that afternoon for a ambulance. She had had TB, we left her with her family and the hospital had admitted her but all seemed well. It was with much shock that we received the news the next evening that she had passed away.

The grass fire outside of our house.

The grass fire outside of our house.

It is always difficult not to get enraged at the lack of enthusiasm and support patients get when they first arrive at the out patients. When we asked for a wheelchair and some help as the woman was very heavy due to her collapsed state non was forth coming. It took Sal and the two woman with Di to get her into a chair… Then they wondered out. We won’t mention the blood on the floor !!!!!!


Sal was asked to preach at the Bethany baptist church at the end of the month. He spoke on 1 Peter 1-9 concerning the persecution of the elect and it was a blessing to those who came.  On the next day we went to visit the Sicelo crèche to take some donations from Guy and Nicky. The young woman who runs the crèche, Khanyisile, is so full of energy and enthusiasm for the crèche. She is making the best of what she has access to and runs the crèche very professional.

Di was also invited to attend the birthday party at a neighbour’s home

Neighbour's party for baby girl. At the Sithole homestead.

Neighbour’s party for baby girl. At the Sithole homestead.

Lots of food.

Lots of food.

Salvador and Phumlani have started making recordings of instructions on using the discipleship material in isiZulu. Once they are done and uploaded the discipleship book can go to the printers. Phumlani has also been busy buying and selling and providing for his needs. Salvador is making good progress in his research for his dissertation. We praise the Lord for the same sponsor who paid for his studies last year, has with some others paid for the remainder of his studies this year too. When Salvador started the course he believed that the Lord led him into it but at various times his faith was stretched, not knowing how his studies would be paid for. Through the Lord’s guidance, His people and through divinely orchestrated timing the final payments for the degree have been completed.



ROMANS 1: 1 – 17


The book of Romans is of extreme importance. It is the first apostolic epistle in the New Testament, and its placing in the scriptures is not there by accident. Nor is it there because of its chronology as the letters to the Thessalonians, Corinthians and the letter to the Galatians all preceded the letter to the Romans that was written between the years 54 and 58 AD. It is the first epistle because it explains fundamentals of the faith. In 1 Corinthians 3: 6 Paul described himself as a church planter and then in verse 10, of that passage, Paul stated that according to the grace given to him by God, he laid the foundation, and another was building on it. Paul’s ministry was to lay the doctrinal foundation for the churches he planted. The words ‘the grace given him’ in verse 10 are very similar to what he says in verse 5 of Romans 1 and speaks of the gifting that Paul is demonstrating in this letter. Paul had never personally met this church before, but he did know certain people connected to this group of Christians, such as Prisca and Aquila. Though this church was predominantly gentile, as Romans 1: 13, 11: 13 and 15: 15 and 16 all indicate, it also had Jewish people in it as seems to be evident from the list of names in Romans 16. So there would have been issues concerning the Gentile relationship to the Mosaic covenant. One can know from Acts 18 that Claudius, who was Caesar before Nero became Emperor in 54 AD, had expelled the Jews from Rome. However, this must since have been repealed because in Romans 16 Paul asked them to greet Prisca and Aquila. Therefore, they must have been able to go back to Rome. Prisca and Aquila were Jewish.

Romans is a letter of the foundations of the faith, as is evident from verse 15. Paul’s desire was to share the gospel with them, and this is what he did in this epistle. In this epistle, he also deals with the implications of the gospel message. The central theme in this epistle is ‘How can a sinful man obtain a righteous standing before a holy God?’ Is It through works of the Mosaic Law or faith in Jesus? Therefore, this letter is important. Another evidence of its importance is the fact that, along with 1 Corinthians it is one of the longest two epistles in the New Testament. (Revelation is usually classed as apocalyptic literature). Both Romans and 1 Corinthians have 16 chapters in them, and Revelation has 22. However, 1 Corinthians is dealing with many different issues whereas Romans has 11 chapters devoted to explaining issues of the Gospel with its implications on the Jewish people and the Mosaic Law. All scripture is inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Paul was a very busy man carrying the burden of this church and others too. He also had the burden of witnessing and fellowship. Another clue to its importance lies in its use in Evangelism. This letter has been instrumental in the salvation of numerous people, such as John Bunyan and John Wesley. One only has to look at the use of the ‘Romans road’ in evangelism to know that the message contained therein is potent and powerful enough to convict and to convert the hearts and minds of men and women.

1 Timothy 3: 16 and Philippians 2: 5 – 11.

“By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.”

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

The fact that Jesus was vindicated in the Spirit means that He was wronged in the flesh. One can only be vindicated if one has wronged or has been wronged. As Jesus was sinless it stands to reason that He did no wrong so He could only have been wronged. People did not see Jesus for who He was while He was on the earth. It was a rare occasion that someone like Peter would say, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.’ However, Jesus was seen by angels. He only preached to the people of a tiny country, Israel. He said that He came for the lost sheep of the house of Israel. God had promised Abraham that, through his seed, all nations would be blessed. However, in His vindication Jesus was proclaimed among the nations, as documented in the book of Acts. In the flesh, no one believed in Him. 5,000 people followed Jesus for the food but left at His teaching. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, no one believed that Jesus could do it. Even Martha’s faith failed. She had displayed faith concerning the fact that God would give whatever Jesus would ask, and concerning the fact that Jesus was the Christ, the son of God. She had also believed in the resurrection on the last day. When it came to the actual raising of Lazarus, her faith failed. However, in Jesus’ vindication He was believed on in the world. Also, lastly Jesus died a cruel, shameful and humiliating death. He died the death of a convicted criminal, though He did nothing wrong. However, in His vindication He was taken up in glory. Jesus did not snatch at His vindication, but He trusted on the Lord. He waited for God to initiate it, and He responded to God’s leading.


The Gospel shows a relationship between God and man where man is helpless to save himself and has no righteousness of his own. Therefore God, out of His initiative, stepped in and initiated salvation by what Jesus did on the cross and by the Gospel call to repent. God offers salvation, and man must respond. God’s initiation is not only true of salvation but is also true with every blessing. Faith is trusting in God and believing that what He has said, He will bring to pass. Mark 11: 22 says “Have faith in God”. Therefore, faith is not neutral but objective. It is based on something, and its expectancy is derived from the character, will and nature of that object. Faith is, therefore, responding to what God has said in belief. This truth is demonstrated numerous times in the first half of Romans 1 of Romans.


“1 Paul, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,”

Firstly Paul refers to himself as a slave before calling himself an apostle. The Greek word here is Doulos and comes from a word meaning ‘to bind’. This is probably why the New American Standard Bible uses the word, ‘bond-servant’ and is very instructive in a few different ways.

• Firstly it shows the position of servitude. Paul demonstrates that, first and foremost, his identity was in being Christ’s slave. All Christians are in the position of being slaves, but not all are called to be Apostles. So Paul identifies himself as being in the same condition and status as all true Disciples of Christ and not above them. First and foremost he was a Christian. The associate pastor of a local Church I used to attend was sponsored to go to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial Centre in Israel. He went there to attend lectures on how to teach the Holocaust. Everyone had to introduce themselves to the group, and many gave impressive titles. However, he said, “Hi, my name is Paul Wilkinson, and I am a Christian.” Before anything else, before stating that he was an associate pastor or that he was doing a PhD with Manchester University he wanted them to know that he was representing Christ. What is our identity today? What do we pride ourselves in being known as? I went to drama school, and one of the first classes we did was called Celebration and Confrontation. In this class, we looked at the history of the Actor. However, the tutor would speak to us as if we were there. He would say that we were the actors that the people classed as vagabonds, and this would give us a sense of identity. So one of the questions a fellow student asked me in the first year was “are you a Christian who is an actor or an actor who is a Christian?” He was asking, ‘Where does your identity lie?’ ‘What is more primarily you?’ ‘Does your identity rest with Jesus or your acting?’ Because there are Christians who want to be known as Christian rock stars, Christian artists, Christian this and Christian that. However, Paul, who was a Pharisee before he got saved, said that all these things that were gain to him, he counted as loss for the sake of knowing Jesus. All else should be second place or out of the equation altogether. First and foremost Paul was a bond-slave of Jesus Christ.

• Secondly there is the nature of servitude. Paul was Jewish, and his readers had a background understanding of the Old Testament scriptures. In Exodus 21: 2 – 6 the only type of permanent slavery that God condoned concerning the enslaving of other Hebrews. If a Hebrew bought another Hebrew as a slave, he could only remain a slave for six years and then he had to be released. However, if the slave grew to love his master and wanted to remain in his master’s household, he could willingly opt to become a slave permanently. This voluntary servitude was attested to by having his ear nailed to a door. Now the ear was significant of obedience. The Hebrew word ‘Sh’ma’ meaning to hear, also means to obey. Jesus, as a bond-servant, did not have his ear nailed to the door, He had his body nailed to a cross signifying (in this context) that he was completely obedient to the will of his Father. Philippians 2: 7 & 8 depicts Jesus as the prime example that Paul was following when he said ‘Paul, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ’. So believers are also commanded to carry their cross daily, to live a life of submission and obedience to the Lord. However, it has to be done willingly. Even though, believers are called to do this they still have to choose to do it. Just as Joshua called out ‘Choose this day whom you will serve.’ Just as Jesus being in the form of the True God, chose to humble Himself and take on the form of being a bond-servant, so believers too (being false gods on the thrones of their lives) must want to humble themselves and become bond-servants. It is not the initiative of the believer to become servants. God has called them to it. However God calls all believers to be servants. Moreover, though it is His initiative, believers must willingly choose to bend their knee. Paul did this. He was a bond-servant. He decided to take the position of being a slave. However, though Paul wanted to be a slave, he could not choose his ministry. Moreover, even though he was set apart from birth to preach the gospel he could not step into his missionary journeys at the point of his conversion. In Acts 13: 2 the Holy Spirit told the prophets and teachers who had gathered together, to set apart Barnabus and Saul for the work. The Holy Spirit initiated, and it was down to them to respond. Jesus did not exalt Himself. He was manifested in the flesh but was vindicated in the Spirit. He entrusted Himself to the One who was able to save His soul from death. Paul referred to this in Romans 1:3-4. “3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4 who was declared the Son of God with power, by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,” Jesus was revealed in the flesh as a descendant of David. That was Jesus’ willing choice. Philippians 2 said that He emptied Himself. This word ‘emptied’ is in Greek ‘Kenosis’, and it does not mean that He left His Divine nature aside but that while He was on the earth He continually refrained from using His Divine power though He could have done so at any time. It meant that he remained subject to the will of His Father as a bond-servant. Look at Jesus’ temptation. Jesus could have turned stones into bread, but He would not because He did nothing of His initiative but only what He saw His Father doing. No, He did not raise Himself but God exalted Him. Ps 37: 34 says “Wait for the Lord and keep His way, and He will exalt you to inherit the land”. 1 Peter 5: 6 says “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time.” Why do people have to wait on God? Why does it seem that God is taking His time? Because God has got more on His agenda than people think! There is a work He must do during the period of waiting that most people do not know about. He can do more than anyone can even ask or think. God’s people must wait on God’s timing and then they can respond. Now there are many things that believers do not have to wait for because they have already been provided in the Word of God. Therefore, these things are purely a matter of obedience. However, with other things they must learn to be patient and with petition wait for God’s initiative and answer to prayer.

• Thirdly there is the reason for Paul’s servitude. Compare Paul with Judas. Paul was an apostle, so was Judas. Paul preached the Gospel, so did Judas. The miraculous happened with Paul, as it did with Judas. As Geoffrey B. Wilson said “By contrast, the defection of Judas supplies impressive proof that an external call is no substitute for regenerating grace.” That is why Paul said that he beat his body and made it his slave so that after he had preached to others, he would not be disqualified. Is there any greater calling than being Christ’s slave? What other way could God’s people keep the flesh humbled than to be in the position of servitude? The flesh is powerful and self-serving. It does not want to be subject to God’s law. Therefore to be Christ’s slave is a high calling because it pulls the flesh off its false pedestal. Whoever would be great in the Kingdom of God must be the servant of all. Do not come to God with an attitude of being ‘King’s kids’. When a person gets saved, he comes as a servant. That is why there are false conversions and people backsliding. It is because they are told that they can be gods and kings and have a prosperous life. So when the hard times come, they fall by the wayside. Yes, God adopts us as His children, and we have the spirit of adoption even now. However, that is God’s doing, it is his elevation of His people. The manner of coming to Christ should be that of the prodigal son who purposed to say, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me as your hired men.’ However, before he could say ‘Make me as one of your hired men’ his father said, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him… this son of mine was dead and has come to life again.’ Have the attitude of being a servant and then endure the hard times as servants of Christ. God elevates His people in due course.


Paul was raised up to be an Apostle. However, it was not only his calling that came from the Lord. God also supplied the provision to do that which he had been set apart for, as in verse 5. Not only is salvation a gift but also everything we need in order to minister and to walk the Christian life, to fellowship, to be sanctified all come from God too. Everything in the Christian walk is down to God initiating and man responding. 2 Peter 1: 3 says “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness.” When Israel marched into the land who secured their victory against their enemies? It was the Lord who did it in accordance with their obedience! When Samson performed his acts of strength, it was when the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. Before the Apostles were to perform the Acts of the Apostles, they were to wait for the equipping of the Holy Spirit. So man’s part is to receive this equipping and to exercise it by faith. Look in Romans 1: 5; even obedience is the product of faith. Moreover, this obedience is wrought for God’s names sake. The Creator God is the One who loves, the one who forgives, the One who is holy, righteous and the One who saves. He has to save because it is in His nature, and He has to love because He is love. However, obedience must also be wrought because obedience is to do with holiness. God is holy; therefore, those who follow Him must become holy too.

In verse 7, Paul also wishes them grace and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Even here things must be given by God and received by men. A gift received by grace. However, according to the Strong’s exhaustive concordance grace not only means a gift. It also means God’s influence on the human heart. Therefore, God will cause His people to walk in His ways, to minister in the calling He would have them do, as they hear the prompting of the Holy Spirit and obey, trusting in Him by faith. This is godliness; God initiates and man responds.

The godly attitude of waiting on God’s timing is also demonstrated with Paul’s desire of visiting the Roman Christians in verse 10. Paul was a Roman citizen and as such he could have gone to Rome any time he liked. He was a tent maker and so could have saved up the fare to get to Rome. He travelled much. He would have known how to get by. So if he wanted to get to Rome so badly, then why did he not quickly get up and go? It was because God had other matters for him to do presently. Paul had been prevented from going to Rome because there was a work that God had for him to do in ministering the gospel in places where people had not preached about Christ. We read this in Romans 15: 14 – 22. This is why he says that he hoped that he would get to Rome by the Will of God back in verse 10 of the first chapter. It took a long time for God to answer this prayer but in time it did get answered as one can read from Acts 28.


However, why did Paul want to see them? Maybe he had a desire to preach at the centre of the known world. Maybe he was being compelled by Prisca and Aquila to bring some Doctrinal foundation. All this is speculative, but there are some reasons in the text itself.

• Paul had been impressed by the reputation of this group’s faith. Like the Thessalonians, their faith had been proclaimed throughout the whole world. When Claudius expelled the Jews out of Rome, it was at a time after he had granted certain rights and privileges be restored to the Jews that had formally been lost. So what made a man who had been very sympathetic to the Jewish people suddenly expel the Jews from Rome? According to the historian Suetonius, the Jews were engaging in constant riots because of a person called Chrestus. One supposedly pronounced the name, in the same way, as Christus. Judging from the example of how many Jews treated Paul in the book of Acts; it would seem that the faith of the Roman Christians spread because of the persecution that they went through. So we can see that these Christians in Rome were the genuine article, ‘the real McCoy’. Again, they were not ‘King’s kids’ expecting a comfortable ride but, they were suffering servants. Also, Paul was a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, who was THE suffering servant. Paul relates to them from the very first line of this epistle. Therefore, they were all in a position where they could build each other up. It was not simply a matter of Paul deciding he would go in to teach them a thing or two about the faith, but Paul himself wanted to be edified by their faith.

• However, there is another reason he wanted to go to Rome. He wanted to preach the Gospel and to see people saved and become disciples, he wanted to see ‘fruit.’


In verse 15, we read that Paul wanted to preach the Gospel to Christians in Rome. Why would he want to do that? Should he not have rather said ‘I desire to preach the Gospel to those in Rome who do not know the Gospel and have not a faith unto salvation?’ No doubt Paul wanted to reach unsaved people but why preach the Gospel to the saved? Why do people who know the Gospel need to hear the Gospel again? Paul answers this question in Romans 15: 15 where he says that he wrote boldly on some points so as to remind them. One main reason that people need to hear the gospel again is that people are thick headed. They forget. That is why there is repetition in the bible, so that God can drum some valuable lessons into these stupid heads. People can get distracted and set off course from the Gospel by the flesh. They need to keep remembering. Another reason they need to hear the Gospel again lies with 1 Corinthians 15: 1 and 2.

“1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.”

One is saved by the Gospel if one holds fast to it. The first verse of 1 Corinthians 15 says that one stands in the Gospel. It must be noted that this gospel is not something that belongs to the conversion experience and then is left behind and forgotten about so one may move onto the next thing. It is true that one needs to move onto meat and not only milk, but one does not stop drinking milk. A person cannot let go of the Gospel. He is still to crave the pure milk of the word. Rather the Gospel is something that the believer continually stands in for the rest of their lives.

Paul was not ashamed of this Gospel in verse 16. He would preach it fully and faithfully even if he were to be rejected by his people. This rejection is what happened to him in Rome in Acts 28. He would continue to preach that gospel even though he would be persecuted and imprisoned. Even though Nero had now become Emperor and at a later stage would unleash a mass persecution against the Christians, Paul would not be ashamed of the Gospel because the Gospel message is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes. What good news to a people who would feel utterly powerless when the persecution would come.

Who is the Gospel power to? It is powerfully saving for the Christian Believer. If a person is saved today then, the Gospel message is for him as much as it is for any other believer in Christ Jesus. Moreover, note, it is to the Jew first and then to the Greek. Why to the Jew first? Jeremiah 31: 31 says that God made this new covenant with the Jewish people. God is a faithful God, who will never lie, and that is why it has to be to the Jew first.


Finally, the truth of the Gospel is not merely there to convert people but the Gospel also reveals to man the righteousness of God from faith to faith. People do not get it all in one shot. It is sheer arrogance to turn round and say, ‘I do not need to hear the gospel, I have been there, done that and bought the T-Shirt.’ It is amazing that the Gospel that believers call the ‘simple Gospel’ took Paul 11 chapters to expound. So this Gospel is not only something one may study in Bible College. It is something as fundamental to life as the food that people eat. Because whether a person believes it or not it will affect his and her eternal destiny. So the Gospel is not something one may leave behind at conversion. It is not only a message of being justified by faith. However, faith, being man’s response to God’s word in belief, is something that continues throughout the Christian life. Verse 17 does not say ‘the just shall get converted by faith’, or that ‘the just shall have been justified by faith’. It says that the just shall live by faith. Day to day, moment by moment believers are to live in relationship to God. Believers should do all things by faith and whatever is not of faith is sin. If God is continually teaching us and we are always responding in obedience, giving back to Him what He gives with our thanks, praise and worship, then there is communication, interaction and fellowship. Therefore, the Gospel is not only the means of entering into salvation but it is also what keeps people saved.

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