Announcements (30 Mar 14)

 Weekly Announcements  Comments Off on Announcements (30 Mar 14)
Mar 302014
 

Deepest Condolence to Sis. Julia Ong and her family whose mother went home to the Lord last week. Please pray for the bereaved family.

Operation Clean Up: Sat 5/4 @ 9am. Let us come together to clean up the house of the Lord. Lunch provided.

ACM Election: Photos of the candidates are on the notice board in the Fellowship Hall. Kindly familiarise yourself with these candidates.

Operations cum Accounts Assistant: This position in the church office calls for any suitably qualified applicants to write in their applications. Please see the notice board at the Fellowship Hall for more details.

Missions Sharing on India by Ps Nathan TODAY @ 11.30am in the Chapel. Sunday school teachers may bring their students to this sharing. All are welcome!

NLBPC Combined Church Camp 2014: Dates: 11 -14 June (Wed – Sat) @ Tanjong Puteri. Fees: Adults $250, Students & Senior Citizens (=>60yrs) $180, and Children (4-10 years) $140. There is a family discount of $20 per person. Registration continues till 11 May.  Camp fee will be collected on 18 and 25 May.  Theme: A Study of Faith and Forgiveness: The Life of Joseph Speakers: Rev. Gabriel Gan.

30 Mar 14 – True Fellowship

 Weekly Article  Comments Off on 30 Mar 14 – True Fellowship
Mar 302014
 

True Fellowship – Emulating the Early Church   (Acts 2:41-47)

By Rev. Lim Chee Boon

The Senior Adult Fellowship (SAF) had its first meeting of the year last week.  This meeting was significant for 2 reasons:  a new committee under the charge of Bro Lim Chin Hong took over this fellowship group from the previous committee.  And on this day the old committee was formally dissolved and a new one is in place to run the programme.  Secondly, the meeting was well attended by over 50 people.  This is a good start.  We pray that the SAF would grow in numbers and spirituality.  If you are 45 years old and above you are invited to join this fellowship.  The next meeting will be held on 26 April.  Be sure you look at the Newsline for more information when the date draws nearer.

What constitutes healthy spiritual growth?  I believe there are 4 elements:  worship, fellowship, service and obedience.  A Christian is spiritually healthy when he is worshiping God regularly, having fellowship with fellow believers, participating in the work of the church and living a life of obedience to God’s Word and Will.  One good sign of spiritual health is fellowship.  We are social beings and we live in a community.  It is definitely abnormal behaviour for a person to want to withdraw himself from the community.

The early church in the Book of Acts shows us what fellowship is.  We learn from the early Christians the true spirit of fellowship.  Acts 2:41-47 records the kind fellowship enjoyed by the believers in the early days of the church.  It was the day of Pentecost when Peter preached a powerful sermon resulting in the conversion of 3000 people (v. 41).   Pentecost was a momentous event.  Some wonderful phenomena were happening in the infant church.  Some people spoke in foreign languages (1:4-6) and the apostles did many signs and wonders (2:43).  But this excitement did not last as these phenomena of tongues speaking and signs and wonders cease.  How do we keep the believers in the church after their first experience?  The early church had fellowship.

The Scripture text shows us the fellowship pattern in the early church.  Some people read this text and say it is not possible to have this kind of New Testament (NT) fellowship.  The problem is never with the Word of God.  We are the problem; our modern ideas of fellowship have become secularized that the word no longer carries the same meaning as it did in NT times.

What is the biblical definition of fellowship?

The New Testament word for fellowship is koinwnia.  It comes from the root word koinos which means, “common, mutual, public.”

1.  The first idea of the word fellowship is to hold in common.

Firstly, in the NT what is shared in common is shared because of a common relationship that we all have in Christ.  1 John 1:3 “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us:  and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” We have fellowship with one another because we all have fellowship with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

Secondly, believers hold in common the teachings of the Bible.  We noted about the new believers: “they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine.” The fellowship of the early church was based upon the doctrines of the apostles.  Truth is the basis for true fellowship.  Outside the truth, there is likely no genuine fellowship.

2. The second idea of the word koinwnia is to share together, to take part together.   In this sense, koinwnia means partnership or participation.

Believers are sharers together in the person and life of Christ.  Therefore we are automatically co-partners in His business here on earth.  What a privilege to be co-workers with the Lord Jesus in His redemptive work.  We cannot save a soul; we are entrusted with the responsibility of telling lost men and women about the saving grace of Jesus.

If we are all co-workers with Jesus we are inadvertently co-workers in His vineyard.  Paul said of his partnership with Titus – “Whether any do inquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you:  or our brethren be inquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ. (2Corinthians 8:23)  Paul also said the same to Philemon – “If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him (Onesimus) as myself” (v. 17)

The partnership between believers is for the cause of Christ.  Koinwnia does not allow anyone to pursue his own interest.  Spiritual partnership is created with the objective of glorifying God.

3.  The third idea is to share with, meaning to give to others.

One of the prominent uses of the koinwnia group of words is its use in connection with sharing material blessings – giving money to meet financial needs.  Of the 36 uses of these words, they are used 9 times specifically in connection with giving.  (References:  Romans 12:13; 15:27; Galatians 6:6; Philippians 4:15)

Romans 12:13 13 Distributing (Koinoneo) to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Also in Philippians 4:15 15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated (Koinoneo) with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.

When we are studying the subject of fellowship in the early church we should look at the spirit and not the substance of the fellowship.  Many of us look at the content and conclude that it is not possible to achieve the desired result.  Some say it’s not fellowship but worship. But to the early church it was indeed a fellowship.

Announcements (23 Mar 14)

 Weekly Announcements  Comments Off on Announcements (23 Mar 14)
Mar 232014
 

Condolence to the family of Sis. Sng Ai Lin whose mother went home to the Lord last week. Please pray for the bereaved family (especially her father).

Stewardship Report 2013: The various Fellowships, Ministry groups and Missions are to send in their reports to the church e-mail nlbpc@singnet.com.sg by TODAY

ACM Election: Photos of the candidates are on the notice board in the Fellowship Hall. Kindly familiarise yourself with these candidates.

Operations cum Accounts Assistant: This position in the church office calls for any suitably qualified applicants to write in their applications. Please see the notice board at the Fellowship Hall for more details.

Mission Sharing on India by Ps Nathan on 30/3 @ 11.30am in the Chapel. Sunday school teachers may bring their students to this sharing. All are welcome!

23 Mar 14 – Overcoming Sin

 Weekly Article  Comments Off on 23 Mar 14 – Overcoming Sin
Mar 232014
 

Overcoming Sin

By Eld. Prasad

The Bible presents several different resources to aid us in our effort to overcome sin. In this lifetime, we will never be perfectly victorious over sin (1 John 1:8), but that should still be our goal. With God’s help, and by following the principles of God, we can progressively overcome sin and become more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us consider four resources from the Bible.

The first resource: – According to the Bible only the Holy Spirit can help us in our effort to overcome sin. God has given us the Holy Spirit so that we can be victorious in Christian living. God contrasts the deeds of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:16-25. In that passage, we are called upon to walk in the Spirit. All believers already possess the Holy Spirit, but this passage tells us that we need to walk in the Spirit, and yield to His control. This means choosing to consistently follow the Holy Spirit’s prompting in our lives rather than following the flesh.
We walk in the Spirit as we try not to quench the Spirit’s promptings (1 Thessalonians 5:19) and seek instead to be filled with the Spirit. It is of God’s choosing that one is filled with the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament, God selected individuals to accomplish a work that He wanted done and filled them with His Spirit (Genesis 41:38; Exodus 31:3; 1 Samuel 10:10). In Ephesians 5:18-21 and Colossians 3:16 we see God chooses to fill those who are filling themselves with the Word of God.

The second resource: – The Bible, says that God has given us His Word to equip us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). It teaches us what to believe and how to live. The Word of God reveals to us when we have chosen wrong paths, it helps us get back on the right path, and it helps us to stay on that path. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Word of God is living and powerful, able to penetrate our hearts to root out and overcome the deepest sins of heart and attitude. The psalmist talks about its life-changing power in-depth in Psalm 119. In the book of Joshua, Joshua was told that the key to success in overcoming his enemies was not to forget this resource but instead to meditate on it day and night and obey it. (Joshua 1: 8) This he did, even when what God commanded did not make sense militarily, and this was the key to his victory in his battles for the Promised Land.

The Bible is a resource that we too often treat lightly. We give token service to it by carrying our Bibles to church or reading a daily devotional or a chapter a day, but we fail to memorize it, meditate on it, or apply it to our lives; we fail to confess the sins it reveals or praise God for the gifts it reveals to us. When it comes to the Bible, we are often either anorexic or bulimic. We either take in just enough to keep us alive spiritually by eating from the Word but never ingesting enough to be healthy, thriving Christians, or we come to feed often but never meditate on it long enough to get spiritual nutrition from it. It is important, if we have not made a habit of daily studying and memorizing God’s Word that we begin to do so. Let us not leave the Word until we have written down something we have gained from it. The Bible is the tool the Spirit uses in our lives (Ephesians 6:17), an essential and major part of the armour that God gives us to fight our spiritual battles (Ephesians 6:12-18).

The third resource: – The crucial resource in our battle against sin is prayer. Again, it is a resource that Christians often give lip service to and make poor use of. We have prayer meetings, times of prayer, etc., but we do not use prayer in the same way as the early church (Acts 3:1;6:4; 13:1-3). Paul repeatedly mentions how he prayed for those he ministered to. God has given us wonderful promises concerning prayer (Matthew 7:7-11; 1 John 5:14-15), and Paul includes prayer in his passage on preparing for spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:18).
How important is prayer to overcoming sin in our lives? We have Christ’s words to Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane, just before Peter’s denial. As Lord Jesus prays, Peter is sleeping. Lord Jesus wakes him and says, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”Matthew 26:41. We, like Peter, want to do what is right but are not finding the strength. We need to follow God’s admonition to keep seeking, keep knocking, keep asking and He will give us the strength that we need (Matthew 7:7). Prayer is not a magic formula. Prayer is simply acknowledging our own limitations and God’s inexhaustible power and turning to God for that strength to do what God wants us to do, not what we want to do (1 John 5:14-15).

The fourth resource: – In our war to conquer sin is the church, the fellowship with other believers. When Jesus sent His disciples out, He sent them out two-by-two (Mark 6:7). The missionaries in Acts did not go out one at a time, but in groups of two or more. Lord Jesus commands us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together but to use that time for encouraging one another in love and good works (Hebrews 10:24). He tells us to confess our faults to one another (James 5:16). In Proverbs 27:17 we are told that as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another and in Ecclesiastes 4:11-12 we are told that there is strength in numbers.

Many Christians find that having an accountability partner can be a huge benefit in overcoming stubborn sins. Having another person who can talk with us, pray with us, encourage us, and even rebuke us is of great value. 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us that temptation is common to us all. Having an accountability partner or an accountability group can give us the final dose of encouragement and motivation we need to overcome even the most stubborn of sins.

Sometimes victory over sin comes quickly. Other times, victory comes more slowly. God has promised that as we make use of God’s resources, God will progressively bring about change in our lives. We can persevere in our efforts to overcome sin because we know that God is faithful to His promises.

Like Enoch, in Hebrews 11:5, let us also walk and establish a relationship with God for in so doing we will draw strength to overcome sin and live a life that pleases God.

Announcements (16 Mar 14)

 Weekly Announcements  Comments Off on Announcements (16 Mar 14)
Mar 162014
 

Session Meeting: TODAY at 1.30 pm. in the Conference Room.

Stewardship Report 2013: The various Fellowships, Ministry groups and Missions are to send in their reports to the church e-mail nlbpc@singnet.com.sg by 23 March 2014.

Car Decal: Please collect from the office if you have not done so.

1st SAF 2014 Meeting on Sat 22/3 Time: 4 – 6pm. All are welcome! Speaker: Pastor Gabriel Gan @ Chapel Topic: Live in the Spirit. Pot Luck dinner to follow @ Fellowship Hall. Please contact Sis. Lynda Kuan 96709007 to support in terms of the dinner. For additional information, please contact Bro. Ronnie Pang – 81335574 or Bro. Chin Hong – 96348085

Floral Gift:  A few free slots – please fill if you are led of the Lord.

Ps. Nathan will be away for mission in India 24 – 29/3. Please pray for him.

16 Mar 14 – Walk in love

 Weekly Article  Comments Off on 16 Mar 14 – Walk in love
Mar 162014
 

“Walk in love” Ephesians 5: 1 – 5.

By Pr. William Goh

In the opening chapters of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul laid a doctrinal foundation of who we are and what God has done for us. Paul set a standard of our position in Christ according to God’s command so that we may get our Christian walk right. Our position in Christ can be summed up in Ephesians Chapter 1 that God, the Father chose us to be His people, His Son redeemed us from our sins, and the Holy Spirit sealed us. Therefore, we are saved by His grace through faith and we are made alive together with God. Chapter 2 tells us that the Jews and the Gentiles who were Christians are both in the household of God. God revealed His mystery in Jesus Christ with the intent that the church will consist of people from all sorts of background, races, and social status. Both Jews and Gentiles shall come together as children of God. Chapter 3 tells us that God will strengthen our unity through the Spirit. Based on our position in Christ as mentioned in the beginning chapters (1-3), Paul exhorted us by drawing basic practical applications in the chapters following.  The word “therefore” in verse 1 of chapter 4 emphasizes Paul’s encouragement to all the believers to walk worthy of their calling in Jesus Christ.  In the first part of chapter 5, he called all the believers to be followers of God. We want to look at the passage from Ephesians Chapter 5 verses 1 to verse 5.

First of all be a follower of God. In verse 1 we read, Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; The phase “be ye therefore” tell us that we must look at the context. In verses 31 and 32 of Ephesians chapter 4, we read the contrasts of a person’s character before and after he became a Christian. Before we became Christians, we were of our old self. We were once harsh, rude, full of contentions and strife, noisy, backbiters, easily angered, slanderers, and tale bearers.  Today, thank God we have received the gospel, and by the grace of God, we are now a changed person. We put away our old garments and put on new garments. So now as Christians we should be polite and courteous, and we must be kind and helpful. Have you sinned against your brother? Is there any hatred among you? Do not carry grudges with you but be forgiving even as God forgives you when you repent of your sins. Paul exhorts us in the previous chapter to be kind to one another. Learn the example of God. He has been kind to us, and for Christ’s sake forgiven us. Let us therefore be followers of him. The word “follower” in Greek has the meaning of copying, imitating. Christians should imitate God because God is always kind and ready to forgive. How do we learn from God and imitate Him? First of all we must know Him and His ways. Second, we must spend time learning God’s word and praying. God reveals himself to us through the Bible.  It is in God’s word that we know He is holy, He is true, He is love and He is gracious.  God calls us as His children, to walk in love just like Christ loved God and obeyed God His Father.

Secondly, we must display sacrificial love to others. Brethren, we are called to display sacrificial love to others in the same way as Christ who sacrificed his life on the cross for our sins. And hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour. (Eph 5: 2) The Apostle Paul gave up his religious life as a Pharisee when the Lord Jesus Christ saved him while he was on the way to Damascus to persecute Christians. After he was saved, he went around the synagogues of the Jews and began to teach Christ and he became a faithful servant of God. The Apostle Paul in all his life displayed a sacrificial love of Christ to others. Paul also commanded us to be careful of our conduct and speech in verse 3 and 4. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becomes saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. In verse 3, we are told to avoid inappropriate conduct. Having a right conduct will bear a good witness for Christ. In verse 4, we are told to watch our speech. Avoid inappropriate speech such as filthiness, foolish talking or jesting.  Such conversations do not glorify God.

Finally, Paul warned the believers of the consequences of sin. In verse 5a, we read: For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater. Who is a whoremonger, unclean person and covetous man? The whoremonger is a person who is also a fornicator or a prostitute. An unclean person is one who is morally corrupt. The covetous man is a greedy man who is an idolater. The vices are mentioned again in verse 5 – God views them as sins. Therefore do not be partakers with them. (Eph. 5:7)

There is a danger of us falling into such vices if we are not careful. Therefore all Christians need to be on guard. If we walk in the ways of the world, we must be prepared to face the sins of consequences. Paul warns us in verse 5b – “hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” This means that those who commit such sins and refuse to change their ways, they will not be found in heaven. Believers in Paul’s day found it difficult to live differently from the unbelievers surrounding them. They were constantly subject to the evil habits and deeds of the pagans. We face the same problem today in our affluent society that is constantly bombarded by the media’s propagation of evil. The church has difficulty in influencing people to be true followers of Christ and to take a stand for purity. Our problem is not getting people in the world to live like Christians, but getting Christians to stop living like the world.

As followers of Christ, we are to be careful of our conduct and speech and avoid the three vices and the consequences of sin. Let us follow God and walk in love. Let us love God just as Christ loved and obeyed God the Father.

Announcements (09 Mar 14)

 Weekly Announcements  Comments Off on Announcements (09 Mar 14)
Mar 092014
 

Stewardship Report 2013: The various Fellowships, Ministry groups and Missions are to send in their reports to the church e-mail nlbpc@singnet.com.sg by 23 March 2014.

Car Decal: Please collect from the counter set up in the Fellowship Hall.

1st SAF 2014 Meeting on Sat 22/3 Time: 4 – 6pm. All are welcome! Speaker: Pastor Gabriel Gan @ Chapel Topic: Live in the Spirit. Pot Luck dinner to follow @ Fellowship Hall. Please contact Sis. Lynda Kuan 96709007 to support in terms of the dinner. For additional information, please contact Bro. Ronnie Pang – 81335574 or Bro. Chin Hong – 96348085

Easter Children’s Programme Sun 13 April 9.30 – 12 noon @Kindergarten Classroom:  Please pray for Sis Alissa Goh, Bro. James Pang and Sis. Min Wei who are organising the event with Mrs Alice Gan. Please see the inset for more details.

Floral Gift:  A few free slots – please fill if you are led of the Lord.

Fund collected for RHC $9905/=: This sum will be retained till the church is ready to purchase a new hymnal (not RHC because there are copyrights issues).

Session Meeting: NEXT SUNDAY at 1.30 pm. in the Conference Room.

09 Mar 14 – The Love of Christ

 Weekly Article  Comments Off on 09 Mar 14 – The Love of Christ
Mar 092014
 

The Love of Christ

By Rev. S. V. Nathan

“For the love of Christ constraineth us” 2 Corinthians 5:14a.

Introduction:

“When Hudson Taylor was director of the China Inland Mission, he often interviewed candidates for the mission field. On one occasion, he met with a group of applicants to determine their motivations for service. “And why do you wish to go as a foreign missionary?” he asked one. “I want to go because Christ has commanded us to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature,” was the reply. Another said, “I want to go because millions are perishing without Christ.” Others gave different answers. Then Hudson Taylor said, “All of these motives, however good, will fail you in times of testings, trials, tribulations, and possible death. There is but one motive that will sustain you in trial and testing; namely, the love of Christ“. (http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/m/missions_evangelism_witnessing.htm).

The Love of Christ is a central component of Christian belief, theology and practices. That very love is the reason behind everything that we ought to do in our lives. I invite you to take a few minutes to reflect with me on the “Love of Christ”.

  1. I.      The Love of Christ constrains us to love Him above everything (Romans  8:35-39)

When Paul fathomed Christ’s unending love for him, it made him surrender totally to his Master. Hence he says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? (35a), so, who or what shall be able to remove our affection from him? The answer is nothing can separate him from the Love of Christ. Hence Paul suffered and was persecuted in every possible manner, yet he chose to love and serve the Lord until his death, for Christ’s love compelled him. What about us? Can we boldly say that I love Christ above everything in my life?  As C.T. Studd said, “If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”(www.sermonillustrations). Shall we not surrender and sacrifice our life to Him above everything?

  1. The Love of Christ Constrains us to Love one another (Romans 12:10, John 13:34)

Even as our Lord Jesus Christ taught us to love our neighbour as ourselves, he demonstrated this himself when he laid down his life for all. In fact our blessed Lord has outdone all moral systems by laying down His life for everyone, including His enemies. In this He calls upon the disciples to imitate Him and to be ready on all occasions to lay down their lives for each other.

As Christ has loved us freely, notwithstanding all our unworthiness and ungratefulness, we should also love one another, even though we all have our disagreeable ways. Christ loves all his children without any distinction, whether poor or rich, weak or strong, lesser or greater believers. Christ loves us all not only in word, but in deed and in truth. Let us follow His example and love one another fervently with a pure heart, and by love, serve one another. There should not be any distinction or division among the brethren of Christ. Shall we uphold this unity by loving and serving one another?

  1. The Love of Christ Constrains us to reach out to the unreached:

Like Paul, when we understand the depth of our sinfulness and the gracious love of Christ which saved us, we will not live idle. We will be moving and reaching the unreached in the world with the love of Christ. There are many pathetic stories of untold millions in the world who go to hell without knowing the love of Christ, even in our neighborhood. As we know, Asia is one of the most populous continents which hold 60% of the world population. China and India alone has 1/3 of the population in the world. The Chinese Christians comprises 7% while India with just 3.5% (Christian here means all denominations including RC). This means more than 93% in China and 97% in India are unreached with the Love of Christ. Hence we in Asia should do our part in reaching the unreached with the love of Christ.

If Christ had died and saved us from the eternal damnation, how will we not be constrained with the love of Christ to reach the unreached?  Are you not compelled to do something for Him in your life time? C.T. Studd said, “Some wish to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.” (www.sermonillustrations). Should not this be our commitment too?

Conclusion:

Let me conclude with a true story, “Alila stood on the beach holding her tiny infant son close to her heart. Tears welled in her eyes as she began slowly walking toward the river’s edge. She stepped into the water, silently making her way out until she was waist deep, and the water gently lapping at the sleeping baby’s feet. She stood there for a long time holding the child tightly as she stared out across the river. Then all of a sudden in one quick movement she threw the six month old baby to his watery death.

Native missionary M.V. Varghese often witnesses among the crowds who gather at the Ganges. It was he who came to Alila that day when she was kneeling in the sand crying uncontrollably and beating her breast. With compassion he knelt down next to her and asked her what was wrong. Through her sobs she told him, “The problems in my home are too many and my sins are heavy on my heart, so I offered the best I have to the goddess Ganges, my first born son.” Brother Varghese’s heart ached for the desperate woman. As she wept he gently began to tell her about the love of Jesus and that through Him her sins could be forgiven. She looked at him strangely. “I have never heard that before,” she replied through her tears. “Why couldn’t you have come thirty minutes earlier? If you did, my child would not have had to die.”

Each year millions of people come to the holy Indian city of Hardwar to bathe in the River Ganges. These multitudes come believing this Hindu ritual will wash their sins away. For many people like Alila, missionaries are arriving too late, simply because there aren’t enough of these faithful brothers and sisters on the mission field”. (Christianity Today, 1993). Remember what Christ said, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” (Mathew 9:37-38).

If you are constrained by the love of Christ, will you not commit your life to serve Him who saved you from hell? Once “A one-legged school teacher from Scotland came to J. Hudson Taylor to offer himself for service in China. “With only one leg, why do you think of going as a missionary?” asked Taylor. “I do not see those with two legs going,” replied George Scott. He was accepted” (Pillar of Fire, January First, 1983). What is your response? Let this love of Christ move your heart. May our good God bless you with the love of Christ.

Announcements (02 Mar 14)

 Weekly Announcements  Comments Off on Announcements (02 Mar 14)
Mar 022014
 

J.O.Y. Sunday: All youths Sec 1 upwards are welcome to this youth programme @ the Chapel 11.30am. Today’s topic is: “The Healing of the man born blind” John 9:1-41

Stewardship Report 2013: The following Fellowships, Ministry groups and Missions are to send in their reports to the church e-mail nlbpc@singnet.com.sg by 23 March 2014.

  • Fellowships: – YF, YAF, AF, SAF, NBCs
  • Ministries: – Sunday School, AV, Choir, Library, Ushers
  • Outreach: – ROF, New Life Kindergarten, Ju Eng Home, BB and GB
  • Missions

Car Decal: These are being distributed today. Please check the Notice Board for your number and then collect from the counter set up in the Fellowship Hall. Kindly display it on your window screen.

1st SAF 2014 Meeting on 22nd March 2014 Time: 3:00 – 6:00pm. All are welcome! Speaker: Pastor Gabriel Gan @ Chapel Topic: Live in the Spirit. Pot Luck dinner to follow @ Fellowship Hall. Please contact Sis. Lynda Kuan 96709007 to support in terms of the dinner. For additional information, please contact Bro. Ronnie Pang – 81335574 or Bro. Chin Hong – 96348085

New Life Kindergarten 2015 PRE-NURSERY & NURSERY CLASS REGISTRATION FOR CHILDREN BORN IN 2012 & 2011 (NEW STUDENTS) will be held on 4.3.2014 (Tuesday) for children of New Life B-P Church members and siblings of students presently studying in our Kindergarten. Registration Time: 8.00 am to 12.00 pm. More information is on the Notice Board outside the Kindergarten office.

02 Mar 14 – The Meaning and Essence of Biblical Worship

 Weekly Article  Comments Off on 02 Mar 14 – The Meaning and Essence of Biblical Worship
Mar 022014
 

The Meaning and Essence of Biblical Worship

By Rev. Gabriel Gan

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth John 4:24

Scripture enjoins us to worship the Eternal Godhead, existing in the persons of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But what does it mean to worship God?

The English term, worship, comes from the Anglo-Saxon weorthscipe, which was modified to worthship, and finally to worship. It means to “attribute worth” to something or someone. Hence, to worship God is to ascribe to Him supreme worth. Because of who God is and what He does, we attribute to Him the glory that is due His name. Such is the sentiment of Psalm 96:7-9: “Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.” It is the excellent worthiness of God which makes our worship possible, and when we offer Him our praise, prayer and devotion, this is to be the thought which is uppermost in our minds: He alone is “worship-ful”!

Let us now consider some definitions that help us to understand the essence of worship. The following quotations are culled from various writers. One writer describes worship as: “The overflow of a grateful heart, under a sense of Divine favour.” Here the writer has emphasized that worship is a spontaneous thing. It is not something which has to be laboriously pumped up, but that which springs up, and overflows from a heart filled with a sense of the greatness and goodness of God. Another says: “Worship is the occupation of the heart, not with its needs or even with its blessings, but with God Himself.” Here, we see that worship is not about us; it is all about God. Because God alone is worthy of worship and seeks to be worshipped, everything in our worship services should be designed and carried out not to call attention to ourselves, but to call attention to God and to cause people to think about Him.

William Temple, Archbishop of Cantebury (1942-44), in his Readings in St. John’s Gospel, writes: “Both for perplexity and for dulled conscience the remedy is the same: sincere and spiritual worship. For worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose—all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all sin. Yes, worship in spirit and truth is the way to the solution of perplexity and to the liberation from sin.” To Temple, worship is the response of all that we are, to all that God is and does. We do not worship God for what we can get out of it, but because He is worthy of worship. Nonetheless, when we truly worship God, our lives are transformed by His Holy Presence.  The psalmist in Psalm 73 tells us that he was perplexed by the prosperity of the wicked until he went into the sanctuary of God.

Evelyn Hill has defined worship as “the total adoring response of man to the Eternal God, self-revealed in time.” This definition reminds us that worship is personal and passionate, not formal and unfeeling, and that it is our response to the living God, voluntarily offered to Him as He has revealed Himself to us. In his conversation with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well in Sychar, Jesus declared that “the Father” seeks true worshippers who worship Him “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23). The believer comes not to a strange, distant and impersonal God to worship but to One whom he knows and loves as his heavenly Father. This relationship is based on Jesus Christ and his redemptive work on the cross of Calvary. As the beloved apostle puts it: “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12).

The Father loved the world, and gave His only begotten Son. The Son, obedient to the Father’s will, gave Himself as an atoning sacrifice to accomplish our redemption. The Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, convicts the sinner of his need, and leads the soul to trust in the Saviour. There can be no approach to God, no pardon from God, and no worship to God, apart from Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice which bears the sinner’s punishment (2 Cor. 5:21). The more one contemplates the grace, the greatness, the majesty, and the glory of the Triune God, the greater he is lost in wonder, love and praise: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:11).

I trust the above definitions will help us to reflect on how we are doing in our worship. This is the purpose of the new series of sermons on “The Biblical Theology of Worship” which kicks off today. It is my prayer that our worship may be pleasing and acceptable to our Triune God.

My dear friends, who or what do you really worship?