49 Third Avenue, Chula Vista
Covenant Reformed Church
Pastor: Gil Baloy
Born: Subic Bay, Philippines
Formation: San Diego State University, San Diego; Westminster Seminary, Escondido
Years Ordained: 15
San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?
Pastor Gil Baloy: I would preach the gospel of Jesus Christ because the gospel, the good news, is the message of salvation. Salvation isn’t just the ticket through the door — justification — but it’s also living the Christian life and being saved from the power of sin. So really it’s an all-encompassing, comprehensive teaching. It’s something that should color all other studies because it touches on our relationship with God and the necessity of that relationship to live according to his will.
SDR: What’s your main concern as a member of the clergy?
PB: Shepherding the flock because that’s my calling — to feed the flock or feed the lambs and the sheep. That’s my primary calling…. The Lord couldn’t have used a better paradigm for us as sinners than the image of sheep. It’s a given that we’re going to have issues, so the first line of defense is self-discipline and helping God’s people to learn the word.
SDR: Why did you become a minister?
PB: It was not something I chose. I wanted to be a teacher in junior high or high school, but I never considered the ministry for a long time and thought such work was way beyond my ability…. It really was a call from God and people encouraging me to consider it, such as my pastor who mentored me for quite a few years.
SDR: What is the mission of your church?
PB: Our mission is to reach as many people with the gospel as possible. It is missionary in the sense of the great commission of Christ (Matthew 28:16–20). It’s not just coming to know Christ but following Christ and living his glory. In outreach, I seek to lead other brothers and sisters to tell a friend or invite people to our community, to have a simple grasp of the gospel and share that with people on the spot.
SDR: Where is the strangest place you found God?
PB: When people are in crisis or having serious trials in their life…. I would say one of the places I’ve seen God make himself real to people is when they’re at their lowest ebb — through a marital or financial difficulty, for instance — and that’s the place where I believe people can find God, and some don’t. I think that God is including me and other Christians in people’s lives to help these people understand that these trials are for a purpose — so they might know God or know him better.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PB: I believe there is a heaven and a hell, and those who are believers in Jesus Christ will go to heaven and those who do not believe will go to hell, because they do not have the basis by which they may enter heaven. Jesus said he is the way, the truth, and the life, and no man can come to the father but by him (John 14:6). Our Lord said in John 3:36 that “he that believeth in the son has everlasting life, but he that believeth not the son shall not see life but the wrath of God lieth upon him.” From the Bible, it is plain that Christ is the way to eternal life in heaven.