Announcements (26 Jan 14)

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Jan 262014
 

Lunar New Year:  The Session wishes all worshippers a blessed Lunar New Year. Please collect the Mandarin oranges packed for you as you leave this morning.

Chinese New Year Worship Fri 31/1 @ 9am: All are welcome to the worship service which is conducted in Chinese. Sp: Rev. Daniel Khoo

Sunbeam Choir: Practice starts from 16 Feb at the Music Room from 10.45- 11.20am. Children up to Sec 1 are encouraged to participate. Parents, do encourage your children to serve the Lord at their young age. Let us uphold Sis Mei Hwa as she takes care of the Sunbeam Choir this time.

Indonesian Bible Study is conducted on the second and fourth Sunday. Please encourage your helpers to attend the BS. Please pray for Sis. Roselyn Chua who is in charge of this ministry.

New Life “In-conversation” on Sat 15/2: This is an informal fellowship where all members are welcome to interact with each other and discuss things concerning our church. It is a platform for the session to better understand the members and for members to appreciate the workings of the church.

Membership Roll checking continues TODAY. Please ensure that your name is included for the ACM. Please also ensure that your record is up-to-date.

Annual Congregational Meeting (ACM) and Triennial Election of Session 2014 – 2017 (27/4)

Nomination opens TODAY and closes on 9 Feb. Please take note of the following:

  1. Any member – regardless of age – can make a nomination.
  2. Please use the green nomination form that is inserted in the Newsline today for the nomination of candidates.
  3. Please use one nomination form per candidate.
  4. Be sure you complete every section of the nomination form – any part left incomplete shall invalidate the form.
  5. Please drop your completed form into the box outside the Sanctuary in the foyer.

26 Jan 14 – “Love the Unlovable”

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Jan 262014
 

“Love the Unlovable”

By Rev. S. V. Nathan

“For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:46-48

Introduction:

“There was a person neurotic by temperament, always tense, anxious, irritated, depressed and selfish. Every one of his friends and relatives insisted that he must change. The man himself made earnest attempts to change for the better, but nothing happened. He remained the same. The more they insisted, the more he felt powerless and trapped.

One day one of his closest friends said, “Don’t change. Don’t change; I love you as you are.” Those words were music to his ears. He relaxed, felt comfortable. No more the compulsion to change. And suddenly he changed! He could not change till he found someone who loves him whether he changed or not. Is this the way God loves every one of us?” (Dr G Francis Xavier, The world’s best Inspiring Stories for Successful Living, Vol One, page 101). This story reminds us that we look for love and acceptance from our fellowmen who love us only when we are “good”, whereas God’s love is unconditional.

Keeping this in mind, as Bible-believing Christians, let us make a resolution in this New Year in relation to our spiritual walk with Him and to His children. Thus, I invite you to think with me on the topic of “Loving the unlovable” and encourage you to obey His second commandment, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Mat 22:39). Let us try to understand two aspects of relationship from the above passage.

1.     The Divine Demonstration of God’s Love (vs 48):

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

In Christ we have heard and seen the message of love. On the Cross He demonstrated the love for His enemies by dying. Thus, ‘it is God’s perfection to forgive injuries and to entertain strangers, and to do good to the evil and unthankful, and it will be ours to be like him’ (Matthew Henry’s Commentary). Hence, we have the perfect God in Christ, who is our model to follow in loving our unlovable enemies. After seeing the divine demonstration of love on the cross, will I say no to my unlovable neighbour?  We ought to follow His footsteps and do it with utmost sincerity and this will promote us to the spiritual perfection like our heavenly Father.

2.  The Divine Directives to love the unlovable (vs. 46):

 “For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?

He, who loves only his friends, does nothing for God’s sake. The very “publicans” would do the same. When one starts to love without any personal preference, one is noble in one’s gestures and displays spiritual maturity. It is a portrayal and evidence of the divine transformation that has taken place in one’s life. No doubt this is a sincere follower of Christ – like St Stephen who enacted Christ as his model in his death (Acts 7:54-60). He finished the earthly course willingly by loving and praying for his enemies like His Savior at His death on the cross. This is great commendation, even so to us. Shall we display our spiritual maturity by loving the unlovable?

Conclusion:

As a faithful and sincere follower of Christ we need to think beyond our ability, act beyond our capacity, and accept others beyond human weaknesses – which will reflect our spiritual maturity and will promote us to the spiritual perfection.

Jesus says, ‘Love one another as I have loved you’. Ask yourself this morning, ‘Am I like Jesus? Do I resemble Him in the love that I offer others’? St Augustine said: ‘Good for good, evil for evil – that is natural. Evil for good – that is devilish. Good for evil that is divine’. The ability to love the unlovable, to hate the sin but to love the sinner – these are characteristics that show God’s divine nature is at work in our life.  Ask God to give you an inner strength to obey Him completely. Wishing you a Blessed and Christ centred Chinese New Year 2014.

Announcements (19 Jan 14)

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Jan 192014
 

Catechism Class will begin TODAY @11.30 in the Kindergarten office. Please pray for the number of youths attending the class this round! Tr: Rev Gabriel Gan

Session Meeting: Session members are requested to attend the meeting TODAY at 1.30 pm. in the Conference Room.

Membership Roll checking TODAY. Please ensure that your name is in the roll as this will give you voting rights at the ACM. Please also ensure that your record is up-to-date.

Annual Congregational Meeting (ACM) and Triennial Election of Session 2014 – 2017 (27/4) Members of New Life, please start praying for the candidates you wish to nominate. Nomination opens on NEXT SUNDAY 26 Jan and closes on 9 Feb.

Ushers: Would you like to serve in the ushering ministry? Kindly see Dn Wee Boon for more info.

Floral Gift 2014: A few slots still not taken! Please fill the chart as the Lord leads you!

Sunbeam Choir: Practice starts from 9 Feb at the Music Room from 10.45- 11.20am. Children up to sec 1 are encouraged to participate. Please see Sis Mei Hwa.

19 Jan 14 – What is Revival?

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Jan 192014
 

What is Revival?

By Rev. Gabriel Gan    

As our Church’s theme this year is: “Revive Us O Lord,” it is important that we understand the meaning and the nature of revival.

The term “revival” is one which is grossly misunderstood. In many quarters today it is employed to describe evangelistic meetings. Thus a church may announce it is going to hold revival meetings on a number of evenings during a certain week. Now, while the salvation of sinners and the restoration of backsliders are to be desired, revival is not a set of church meetings. In seeking to find an answer to the question, “What is revival?” I take the liberty of quoting freely from several authorities who have written on the subject.

William B. Sprague says: “Wherever you see religion rising up from a state of comparative depression to a tone of increased vigor and strength; wherever you see professing Christians becoming more faithful to their obligations, and behold the strength of the Church increased by fresh accessions of piety from the world; there is a state of things which you need not hesitate to denominate a revival of religion.”

Charles G. Finney defined revival as “nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God. Just as in the case of a converted sinner, the first step is a deep repentance, a breaking down of heart, a getting down into the dust before God, with deep humility, and a forsaking of sin.”

Joseph W. Kemp, in a presidential address to the Baptist Union of New Zealand, declared:

Revival, strictly speaking, means the reanimating of that which is already living but in a state of declension. It has to do principally with the Church as a whole and Christians as individuals. Evangelism, in our usage of the word, as well as in its derivative sense, refers primarily to the proclamation of the gospel to the unsaved. To make evangelism a synonym of revivalism is untrue to the teaching of the New Testament. The Church is responsible for evangelism and not for revival. We are summoned to evangelism; for revival we are cast upon the sovereign grace of God.” (Emphasis in italics, mine)

G. J. Morgan put it this way: “It is reviving humanity, strictly speaking, to the sense of God—through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit—to reanimate the life of the believer, not to the unregenerate, as they are ‘dead in trespasses and sins’. There can be no reviving, as there was no life to revive. But whenever Christians are revived, there will always be the conversion of men. It has a twofold meaning, implying the revival of spiritual life and vigor among Christians and the conversion of sinners. It is God manifesting Himself through human life, His redeeming power bursting forth in fruits of righteousness and holiness, in the constitution of His Church, the reproduction of spiritual life, a fresh incarnation of the gladness, the rapture of the gospel of the Galilean fields, of the anguished cry of Pentecost rising into a doxology of redeeming love.”

J. Edwin Orr, who has written so extensively on revival, and whose notable work on the Second Evangelical Awakening in Britain should be read by all, sums up our theme in this fashion: “The best definition of revival is the phrase, ‘Times of refreshing…from the presence of the Lord.’ ”

Geoffrey R. King in a booklet entitled, Rend the Heavens, summarizes the concept of revival in these words: “Revival is a sovereign act of God upon the Church whereby He intervenes to lift the situation completely out of human hands and works in extraordinary power.”

We gather, then, that revival is that special and sovereign work of God in which He visits His own people, restoring, reanimating and releasing them into the fullness of His blessing. Such a divine intervention will issue in evangelism though, in the first instance, it is a work of God in the church and among individual believers. Once we understand the nature of heaven-sent revival we shall be able to think, pray and speak intelligently of such “times of refreshing…from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

If you’re not a Christian you don’t need revival, you need regeneration. But if you are a Christian there is a good chance that during the course of your Christian life you will need a few revivals. Nowadays I think that God’s church is so subnormal that normal seems abnormal. As a result, I think that in a very real sense, God’s church is like a sleeping giant. And Satan’s motto is to let sleeping saints sleep. Therefore, in order for the church to function as the body of Christ, God has to bring revival to his church.

Revival happens when God visits His people and He wakes them up spiritually. And it can happen in many different levels. For example, Revival can happen at the group level, at the individual level, at the community level, and even the national level.

Now, when revival comes, some great things will happen. God’s people will have a new passion for prayer and for worship and for God’s Word and you are not going to have to beg them to come to church. When revival comes you are going to see a renewed confession, even a ruthless confession, of sin and a real, renewed commitment to holiness. And a lot of the things God’s people used to tolerate they won’t tolerate in their lives anymore. Then you are going to see an increased burden for the lost and an emphasis on evangelism. Revival is almost always followed by great numbers of people coming to Christ. But the amazing thing about revival is that it cannot be manufactured. If it could, I would have already bought the kit and we can have it right away. But revival is heaven-sent and not man made! “Wilt thou not revive us again, that thy people may rejoice in thee?” (Psa. 85:6).

Announcements (12 Jan 14)

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Jan 122014
 

Sunday School: A class for every age Please consider joining a class today! Time: 11.30am – 12.30pm. There is an exciting syllabus for every class. One example: YA3 Class will be studying the Book of Romans with Bro. Goh Mia Hock @ YAF Room. More details of the other classes are on the Sunday School notice board.

Children’s Programme: Please look at the insert. There is Sunday School class and Junior Worship  for your children – all appropriate for their age!

Catechism Class will begin on 19/1. Potential candidates will be interviewed by the Elders TODAY @11.30 in the Kindergarten office.

Chinese YF Anniversary THIS Sat 18/1 @ Chapel. All fellowship groups kindly send fraternity greetings. Dinner provided. All are welcome.

Session Meeting: Session members are requested to attend the meeting NEXT SUNDAY at 1.30 pm. in the Conference Room.

Annual Congregational Meeting (ACM) and Triennial Election of Session2014 – 2017 (27/4) Members of New Life, please start praying for the candidates you wish to nominate. Nomination opens on 26 Jan and closes on 9 Feb.

Membership Roll will be available for checking next Sunday 19/1. Please ensure that your name is in the roll as this will give you voting rights at the ACM. Please also ensure that your record is up-to-date.

Ushers: Would you like to serve in the ushering ministry? Kindly see Dn Wee Boon for more info.

Floral Gift 2014: A few slots still not taken! Please fill the chart as the Lord leads you!

Calendar 2014: Do collect one for your office as well!

12 Jan 14 – The Things To Remember

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Jan 122014
 

“THE THINGS TO REMEMBER” (2 PETER 1:12-16)

By Rev. Lim Chee Boon   

Peter wrote to the Christians who were scattered throughout the provinces of Asia Minor because of persecution.  The persecution brought great suffering to the believers.  In spite of this hardship, the Christians remained faithful to God and His word, and persevered in their good testimony before the pagan and hostile society.

There was yet another serious threat to the Christians Peter was writing to.  False prophets were among the people of God.  And they were propagating their “damnable heresies” surreptitiously.  This matter warranted the writing of the second epistle. “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” (2 Peter 2:1)

The intent of the second epistle is apparent in 1:12, “Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.” Take note of the phrase, “Putting you in remembrance.”  It appears four times in the second epistle. (1:12, 13, 15 and 3:1)  When someone says something to you and reminds you again and again for four times, that must be an important matter.  Look at the first part of verse 12 – “Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things.”  What are “these things” we must remember?  The verses before this provide the answer:

1.     We are saved by grace (2 Peter 1:1, 2)

v. 1 “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

Here Peter speaks of the precious faith that comes from the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Our faith comes from God.  Apart from Him, we cannot have faith.  When the gospel is shared to us, God works in us.  He convicts us of our spiritual need; we are lost in sin and we need to be saved.  Faith in God is when we agree with God’s statement about our condition and we trust in His provision for our salvation through Jesus Christ.

In presenting the gospel to an unbeliever it is imperative to tell the person that he is a sinner.  Sin is the breaking of God’s law.  Therefore the rejection of God itself is sin.  Unless the person realises he is a sinner, he cannot have a saving faith.  The Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas, “”What must I do to be saved?”  And they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thy house.”  (Acts 16:30-31) Why believe in Jesus Christ?  The reason is He is the Saviour and He saves us from our sin.

Back to 2 Peter 1:1, Peter reiterated the words of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God.”  Peter was putting the readers of his epistle to remembrance – they were saved by grace.  My brethren, we must not forget how God saved us. Only when we realise our deplorable past and sinful condition then can we truly be thankful to God for His unmerited favour in our salvation.  “It is the gift of God.”

2.     We are to grow in grace (1:3-9)

Look at verse 5-7, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”

In these 3 verses there are 7 Christian graces – virtue or moral uprightness, knowledge, temperance or self-control, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.  Christian should grow in these graces.  Many of us have been in the faith for many years; it behooves us well to check ourselves to see if we are growing in these graces.  If we are not bearing fruit in our Christian life, then something is wrong with our faith.

Turn to 2 Peter 1:12 again.  The second part of the verse says, “though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.” We are saved and we are going to heaven, these are truths we know but we have taken them for granted.  So Peter said to the believers – “though ye know them,” but there is something else I want you to know.  You must be established in this truth.  Why did Peter call the truth as the present truth?   He is not talking about a new truth.  The word “present” means at this moment.  He is saying at this moment do we still believe in the truth.  He asked this because there were professors of the faith who had turned away from Christ.  They denied the faith because of persecution and the allurement of false prophets.

For this reason Peter had to put the believers in remembrance of the truth they had already known.  We are reminded that it is our duty to grow in the truth and to be established in it.  May this be our resolution for the New Year.

Announcements (05 Jan 14)

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Jan 052014
 

Blessed New Year! The Session wish all worshippers at New Life BP Church a blessed new year. May all New Lifers re-consecrate themselves to the Lord to serve Him with gladness and in love.

Promotion Sunday All the Sunday school Junior Classes will gather in the Chapel to celebrate Promotion Sunday. Parents are also welcome! Time: 11.30am

Sunday School for All Ages Please see the insert on information on these classes and their venues. Do consider joining a class and study God’s Word.

Annual Congregational Meeting (ACM) and TriennialElection of Session (27/4) Members of New Life, please start praying for the candidates they wish to nominate for Session 2014 – 2017. Nomination opens on 26 Jan and closes on 9 Feb.

Ushers: Would you like to serve in the ushering ministry? Kindly see Dn Wee Boon for more info.

Chinese YF Anniversary Sat 18/1 @ Chapel. All fellowship groups kindly send fraternity greetings. Dinner provided. All are welcome.

Calendar 2014: Please collect one if you have not taken any.

Catechism Class will begin on 19/1 Potential candidates will be interviewed by the Elders NEXT SUNDAY. Please register for the class by today.