Announcements (26 Oct 14)

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Oct 262014
 

Congratulations to all 3 Session Members (Rev. Gabriel Gan, Eld. Yap Chee Kian and Dn. James Goh) who have been elected during last Sunday’s by-election into the Session 2014 – 2017. May the Lord enable them to serve Him effectively.

Reformation Sunday:Thank God that we commemorate the Reformation today. We will show a video during the Sunday School hour at 11.30am. The video is on John Hus, who died singing on 6 July 1415. All Senior Sunday School classes are welcome to the video in the Chapel.

Session Meeting TODAY @1.30pm in Conference Room: All Session members kindly attend.

ROF will distribute flyers to invite the neighbourhood children for its Nov outreach program. Tracting dates are: TODAY, 2/11 and 9/11 from 1.45 – 3.30 pm. Interested, please meet at kindergarten classroom opposite church office.  More info: Dn. James Goh.

Ops Clean-up THIS Sat 1 Nov (9am-12pm)with lunch provided thereafter. Please refer to noticeboard for the area assigned to your Fellowship group or NBC.

Cambodia Mission Trip (14-18/11): Dental & VBS Outreach (in 3 locations). Pray for the salvation of souls and the team of 25 (for safety, good health and God’s empowerment). Sponsors needed to defray expenses for gifts & lunch for children, etc. – please see Dn Ivan.

Combined BP Youth Camp: 15 – 18/12 @ Oldham Hall, ACS (Barker) Theme: The Lordship of Christ Sp: Rev. Isaac Ong Fees: $90/= Closing Date: 30/11. 10 registered so far. Target: 20. All youths – whatever age – are welcome. Register online @ HTTP://CBPYC14.COM/

Teens’ Retreat (28-30/12) Venue: NSRCC Bungalows. Theme: Fantastic Four – Faith, Family, Friends & Foes. Camp Fees: $30 per person. All teens (11-16) are welcome! Sponsors needed – please see Sis. Belinda Kua.Registration begins on 26 Oct & ends on 23 Nov.

26 Oct 14 – The Distinctives of a Reformed Church, Part 1

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Oct 262014
 

The Distinctives of a Reformed Church, Part 1

(Taken from What is a Reformed Church? by Malcolm Watts)

Contributed By Rev. Gabriel Gan

In our day, the term Reformed is used freely and without thought. Great variety exists among churches that claim this title. In many cases, the term means little more than some adherence to the “five points of Calvinism.” The term has lost its great historical richness and depth as the struggles of the Reformation have faded into distant history. The stand taken by the Reformers is virtually forgotten, and many consider it irrelevant today. If, however, we have a true and earnest desire to maintain the faith and fight the adversaries of God’s Word, we would do well to look back to those who so clearly searched the Scriptures and stood firmly for the great truths of the Word of God.

If asked what a Reformed church is, one could give a short biblical answer from 1 Timothy 3:15: “the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” A true church, Reformed according to God’s Word, is the dwelling place of God, maintaining and declaring the truth which He has been pleased to reveal. However, over the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the term Reformed was understood to have at least three quite specific meanings, so it will be helpful to take a brief look at the historic use of the term.

In the 1500s, people first used Reformed to refer to churches that, under the vigorous preaching of the early Reformers, separated from the corrupt Church of Rome. Churches that embraced Luther’s doctrine soon became known as Reformed. In the mid-1500s, the term assumed a new emphasis: It was used to identify the so-called Calvinist wing of the Reformation.The term Reformed evolved further until it came to identify churches that were Puritan in belief and in practice. The Puritan movement inherited Calvin’s theological legacy but expanded his teaching on law, grace, and the covenants. Believing the visible church was still corrupted by the remains of Popery, Puritans sought even more thorough reformation according to the Word of God.

In all the cases considered above, we can see common distinctives between churches that have been called Reformed. It is true that, proceeding historically, the later Reformed churches were more consistent in the outworking of these principles, yet it is clear that these emphases were present in each. Today, when the term is so loosely used, it is important to consider what these common distinctives were, and to understand that these essential attributes of a Reformed church are what make a biblical church.

1)      Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura): A Reformed church must acknowledge Scripture, God’s written Word, as the sole authoritative expression of the divine will for all aspects of church life.

The Reformers believed the Scriptures to be the pure Word of God. As Luther put it, they “ascribe[d] the entire Holy Scripture to the Holy Spirit.” As for Calvin, he too affirmed the total veracity of the Scriptures: “We owe to the Scripture the same reverence which we owe to God, because it has proceeded from Him alone, and it has nothing of man mixed with it.”

For the Reformers, then, and also for the later Puritans, the Bible was infallible and inerrant. They consistently upheld its unique authority over the church’s life and mission. The Puritans sought consistently to apply this principle. Whatever lacked biblical authority they declared to be ungodly and unlawful, and they disowned human inventions and traditions.

2)             God’s Transcendence: A Reformed church emphasizes the divine sovereignty, majesty, and glory, and therefore the great gulf existing between God in His transcendence and man in his sin and misery.

This was the distinctive doctrine of the Reformation. It was present in Luther’s teaching, but it was even more prominent in Calvin’s. Believing Scripture to be the ultimate source of all true knowledge of God, Calvin sought to ascertain exactly what Scripture revealed, and thus he drew aside the veil, as it were, to show us God in all the glory of His being. “Surely,” he wrote, “his infinity ought to make us afraid to try to measure him by our own senses. Indeed, his spiritual nature forbids our imagining anything earthly or carnal of him. For the same reason, he quite often assigns himself a dwelling place in heaven.”

The Westminster divines, with astonishing precision of thought and language, articulated the truth that God really is God. Consider this grand and awesome statement: “God hath all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of himself; and is alone in and unto himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which he hath made, not deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting his own glory, in, by, unto, and upon them: he is the alone foundation of being, of whom, through whom, and to whom, are all things; and hath most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatsoever himself pleaseth.” (to be continued…)

Announcements (19 Oct 14)

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Oct 192014
 

ECM: TODAY at 11.15am. in the Sanctuary.

No Catechism Class/ Sunday School today because of the ECM.

SAF Meeting Sat 25/10 @4- 6.30pm Bro Michael Chua’s Place (Blk. 302 Woodlands St. 31): Sp: Elder Paul Tsao Topic: The Life of Daniel. No transport from church as parking is a problem. Pot Luck dinner: please contact Sis Lynda Kuan . More info, please contact Bro. Ronnie Pang or Bro. Chin Hong.

Session Meeting Next Sunday 26/10 @1.30pm in Conference Room: All Session members kindly attend.

ROF will distribute flyers to invite the neighbourhood children for its Nov outreach program. Tracting dates are from next Sun: 26/10, 2/11 and 9/11 from 1.45 pm – 3.30 pm at kindergarten classroom opposite church office.  Interested, please contact Bro. James Goh at 97461740.

Ops Clean-up on Sat 1 Nov (9am-12pm)with lunch provided thereafter. Please refer to noticeboard for the area assigned to your Fellowship group or NBC.

Cambodia Mission Trip (14-18/11): Dental & VBS Outreach (in 3 locations). Pray for the salvation of souls and the team of 25 (for safety, good health and God’s empowerment). Sponsors needed to defray expenses for gifts & lunch for children, etc. – please see Dn Ivan.

Combined BP Youth Camp: 15 – 18/12 @ Oldham Hall, ACS (Barker) Theme: The Lordship of Christ Sp: Rev. Isaac Ong Fees: $90/= Closing Date: 30/11. Only 7 registered so far. Target: 20. All youths – whatever age – are welcome.Register online @ HTTP://CBPYC14.COM/

Teens’ Retreat (28-30/12) Venue: NSRCC Bungalows. Theme: Fantastic Four – Faith, Family, Friends & Foes. Camp Fees: $30 per person. All teens (11-16) are welcome! Sponsors needed – please see Sis. Belinda Kua.Registration begins on 26 Oct & ends on 23 Nov.

19 Oct 14 – Recounting God’s Grace to Newlife

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Oct 192014
 

Recounting God’s Grace to Newlife

By Eld. Sim Chee Seng

“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1Cor 15:57

Our gracious Lord has preserved Newlife through a period of crisis recently. He has granted us a window period of relative peace and unity to get on with the task of reorganization, consolidation and rebuilding of “what has broken down and to put out the smoldering fires.” God willing, may all Newlifers close ranks, put our hands on the plow and move forward together as one in the Lord. I would like to recount God’s grace to Newlife thus far. “Ebenezer, hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” 1Sam 7:12b.  Let us give glory to Him for various blessings bestowed on us.  Praise the Lord with me for:-

  1. A new session and new pastor. Thank God for raising up a new session to lead the Church forward for the next three years. We thank the Lord that members have voted and endorsed all the candidates who stood for election. Praise the Lord that the election proceeded smoothly without disruption. Thank God that the New Session included two deaconesses. Thank God for Pastor Gan who joined us in the beginning of this year. He will be standing for election at this Extraordinary Congregational Meeting today. Indeed, God’s timing is perfect in that He allowed Pastor Lim to go for his sabbatical leave to the United States.
  1. Increased attendance at prayer meeting. We thank God that Newlifers have heeded Pastor Gan’s exhortation to give attention to prayers. There has been a gradual increase in attendance at the mid-week prayer meetings. The slightly modified format allows more people to pray by the breakout into smaller prayer groups of men and women. A short exhortation from the Bible is given by the chairperson prior to the sharing-request session and actual prayer. “What a balm for the weary, O how sweet to be there. Sweet hour of prayer.”
  1. Greater participation in fellowship groups & NBC. This year we are also seeing an increase in attendance in the various fellowship groups eg. SAF and NBCs. In the coming months, there will be interchurch programs & camp, eg Combined BP Youth Camp, organized for young people to meet between like-minded BP Churches. This will foster a closer relationship between future leaders of the various BP Churches.
  1. Church Family Day and In-Conversation. Thank God for the active participation and lively interaction of members from all 3 congregations at the recently concluded Church Family Day at the Botanical Gardens. It is good and pleasant when brethren come together to rejoice and play. We thank God also for the recently introduced “In Conversation” which was held on 3 separate occasions. This is a platform for dialogue between leaders and members to foster mutual understanding and to “provoke each other unto love and good works.
  1. Mission outreach and giving. This year has been particularly fruitful for New Life. We thank God for opening many doors for mission abroad – in China, Cambodia, India, England and Philippines. We are supporting a Chinese member, Bro. Zhi Yan, from PRC who has enrolled in a Seminary School in China. We are helping Preacher Tann Heng and wife in their mission outreach in Cambodia. A team of 25 enthusiastic New Lifers led by Pastor Gan and Deacon Ivan Lim will be going over there to do Dental treatment and DVBS in November. Pastor Nathan will visit Bro. Manokaran & Bro. Rajesh in Tamil Nadu, India in December. He will conduct a seminar and training for the brethren, and do preaching, evangelism and site visits. Elder Sim & Dn. Emmanuel will lead a team of 22 New Lifers for Dental & Medical Missions and DVBS to the Philippines in December. Praise the Lord for the increased mission giving from the Church and participations of individuals going for missions. We pray, God willing, that we may be a sending Church besides being a giving Church and in His good time, some members in our midst may be called to serve the Lord in full time service locally or in a foreign country.
  1. Relative peace & harmony in the Church. It is a gift from God when brethren can dwell in peace and harmony. Today, we have many examples of families and nations in disarray. We witness constant quarrels, conflicts and wars. The consequences are pain, sorrow and death. By God’s grace, He has delivered us from a difficult period and has protected us from breaking up. We should treasure this period of time (not knowing how long it may last) to build up and edify one another in the body of Christ. Use this opportunity to exhort one another unto love and good works, all the more as we see the imminent return of our Lord. Let us not neglect to obey the Great Commission to make disciples and to keep the Great Commandment to love the Lord supremely and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Praise the Lord for turning our disarray into His design. Thank God for pruning us in order that we may be fruitful. Lord, continue to help us to be faithful to You. We are exhorted to “keep ourselves unspotted in the world” (Jas 1:27b) and to be “holy, set apart for the Lord.” (2 Tim 2:21) We are to do good works that show forth His beauty, love, truth and glory. Therefore, let us not be complacent but let us strive to serve Him with renewed vigor and zeal, confident that He “who has begun a good work in you shall complete it till He comes.” (Phil 1:6)  Our confidence is not in ourselves but in Him who promised. God’s word cannot be broken and His promises are sure. “Not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit saith the LORD.” (Zechariah 4:6b), we shall eventually triumph through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 15:57) Amen.

Announcements (12 Oct 14)

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Oct 122014
 

J.O.Y. Sunday: All youths Sec 1 upwards are welcome to this youth programme @ the Chapel 11.30am. Today’s topic is on Friendship.

Adult Sunday School @ Balcony: Today’s lesson is on “Overcoming the danger of being presumptuous.” All are welcome.

Sunbeam Choir Practice starts TODAY @ 10.50am for the Church Anniversary items.

ECM 19/10: Please remember to come NEXT Sunday for the ECM. If we do not have a quorum, the meeting cannot proceed. There will be English-Chinese Combined worship next week @ 930am.

SAF Meeting Sat 25/10 @4- 6.30pm Bro Michael Chua’s Place. Sp: Elder Paul Tsao Topic: The Life of Daniel. Church mini-van leaves NLBPC at 3:40pm. Pot Luck dinner: please contact Sis Lynda Kuan. More info, please contact Bro. Ronnie Pang  or Bro. Chin Hong.

Ops Clean-up on Sat 1 Nov (9am-12pm) with lunch provided thereafter. Please refer to noticeboard for the area assigned to your Fellowship group or NBC.

Cambodia Mission Trip (14-18/11): Dental & VBS Outreach (in 3 locations). Pray for the salvation of souls and the team of 25 (for safety, good health and God’s empowerment). Sponsors needed to defray expenses for gifts & lunch for children, etc. – please see Dn Ivan.

Combined BP Youth Camp: 15 – 18/12 @ Oldham Hall, ACS (Barker) Theme: The Lordship of Christ Sp: Rev. Isaac Ong Fees: $90/= Closing Date: 30/11. Only 7 registered so far. Target: 20. All youths – whatever age – are welcome.Register online @ HTTP://CBPYC14.COM/

Teens’ Retreat (28-30/12) Venue: NSRCC Bungalows. Theme: Fantastic Four – Faith, Family, Friends & Foes. Camp Fees: $30 per person. All teens (11-16) are welcome! Sponsors needed – please see Sis. Belinda Kua.Registration begins on 26/10 & ends 23/11.

12 Oct 14 – The Spirit of Compromise

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Oct 122014
 

The Spirit of Compromise

By Rev. S. V. Nathan

“Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” (1 Corinthians 5:6b)

Introduction:

         As we draw near to the commemoration of the Protestant Reformation, we would thank God and acknowledge that we are privileged and blessed by the Reformation. The Reformers took a stand against the corrupt practices of the Roman Catholic Church without compromising and brought the Bible into our hands. A reformed and conservative church is called to be a catalyst for the 21st century reformation as we hold forth the Scripture above everything without compromising.

Today, very sadly the church has lost their first love and drifted away without even realizing the dangers ahead. Many Western and traditional churches are example for that.  In this article I want to call your attention to check yourself: are you really standing for God and His Scripture which we received from the 16th Century Reformation as a blessing?  Let us try to understand what the Bible has to say about the Spirit of Compromise:

The Realization (1 Corinthians 5:6b): First of all, we must realize that the Spirit of Compromise is a great tool used by the devil to deviate the church from the Holy Scripture in the name of love, unity and tolerance. In order to make the church an attractive place, and in the name of modernity, anything and everything is OK, as long as you come to the church, that is enough.  It’s also not very popular today to speak out against sin. Have you heard about the pastor who did not want to offend his congregation?  Those who do speak out are said to be uncompromising, legalistic, fanatic and unbalanced. The apostles were all slain or imprisoned for their faith because their message offended many.

 St Paul warns the Corinthian church that a small quantity of leaven or yeast will pervade the entire mass of flour, or dough, and diffuse itself through it all. A single sin indulged in, or allowed into the church, would act like leaven – it would pervade and corrupt the whole church, unless it was removed. On this ground, discipline should be administered, and the corrupt member and practice should be removed. We are also commanded to be “ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope …” (1 Peter 3:15). In other words, we are commanded not only to remain faithful to the Word but to defend it and correct those who are in opposition to it (2 Tim 2:24-25). Hence, Bible honoring and believing disciples are called to safeguard His church – by elevating the Holy Scripture, and should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”(Jude 3).  Therefore our church needs 21st century Reformation and Reformers to stand for His Holy Scripture to uphold above everything. Are you willing to take a stand for the Holy Scripture?

The Requirement (Psalm 119:1): The requirement of the hour is that our Faith and Practice must be in accordance with the Holy Scripture. The Bible makes it clear that God does not condone compromising His standards.  The Psalmist says: “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.” (Psalm 119:1). The word blessed describes people of righteousness; those who are totally submissive to God’s will and wholeheartedly devoted in their relationship to Him. We do not compromise or deviate from His standards but walk only in His path. Thus we hear only God’s voice and we do not yield to or permit any deviation from His Word.

Often, in the name of love and out of the desire to promote unity, many have compromised with the world. For example, the world’s most famous evangelist, Billy Graham, whose personal integrity is impeccable and whose preaching proclaims the gospel, but at the same time, out of a sincere desire to reach the widest possible audience, has often invited men of liberal theology and even Roman Catholics to participate in his crusades. This leaves the impression that there is no substantial difference, theologically or morally, between what Graham proclaims and what these people represent. But our standard always needs to be: “Is it biblical?” not, “Does it work?” Scripture is clear: Any compromise with the world, whether in doctrine, morals, or affiliations, has disastrous consequences. (https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-ten-life-without-compromise-judges). Let us follow the godly examples of the Apostles and Reformers.

The Result (Mat 6:24): We will be faithful and please our God. There was an ancient Greek fable explaining how bats came to live in the dark: There was a war between the beasts of the field and the birds, and when the birds were winning the war, the bat would fly around and say, “I’m a bird. Look at me fly! I’m a bird.” But later, the beasts began to win, so the bat dropped to the ground and said, “I’m a beast. See me crawl! I’m a beast.” Pretty soon, both the birds and the beasts got disgusted with the bat trying to play both sides of the war and together they banished his kind to live in caves and only come out in the dark. Everyone, like this bat, yearns to be accepted. But for the Christian, it is impossible to have the approval of  both the world and our heavenly Father. Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters” (Mat 6:24a). And James 4:4 put it this way:“know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” According to God’s Word, it is impossible for a Christian to enjoy the world sinful pleasures while simultaneously enjoying the peace and assurance that come from a saving relationship with Jesus. Are you trying to please everyone? Let us stand for God and please Him alone.

In conclusion, I am afraid that the little compromise and deviations may lead us to greater compromise and complete destruction which we see in many churches today.  Remember that we are called to be witnesses unto Christ so let our lives portray Christ in our walk and talk. The church is called to make disciples of our Master and not members and worshipers alone. Let the church make more and more disciples – those who are willing to take up the cross and follow Christ and live and proclaim Him without any compromise. 

Announcements (05 Oct 14)

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Oct 052014
 

Children’s Sunday TODAY: The Lord bless all our children! May they grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord! Please pray for the special children’s programme @ Chapel 11.30am. May the Lord draw the children unto Himself.

J.O.Y. Sundayis postponed to next Sunday. Students from Sec 1 to 4 will join their Sunday School classes today.

Adult Sunday School @ Balconyon 5 & 12/10. Today’s lesson is on “Overcoming Gossip.” All are welcome.

Sunbeam Choir Practice starts on 12/10 @ 10.50am for the Church Anniversary items.

ECM 19/10: Please sign for your copy of the Notice of the meeting and Agenda TODAY –– one per family – otherwise the church office will have to mail them to you. Any questions or clarifications relating to the matters in the agenda should be submitted in writing / email to the church office by 10 October.

Ops Clean-up on Sat 25/10 @9am -1pm:  NBCs & Fellowship Groups are to send a representative to see Bro. Steve for clarification and equipment needs after referring to the noticeboard next Sunday.

Cambodia Mission Trip (14-18/11): Dental & VBS Outreach (in 3 locations). Pray for the salvation of souls and the team of 25 (for safety, good health and God’s empowerment). Sponsors needed to defray expenses for gifts & lunch for children, etc. – please see Dn Ivan.

Combined BP Youth Camp: 15 – 18/12 @ Oldham Hall, ACS (Barker) Theme: The Lordship of Christ Sp: Rev. Isaac Ong Fees: $90/= Closing Date: 30/11. Register online @ HTTP://CBPYC14.COM/ All youths are welcome!

Teens’ Retreat (28-30/12) Venue: NSRCC Bungalows. Theme: Fantastic Four – Faith, Family, Friends & Foes. Camp Fees: $20 per person. All teens (11-16) are welcome! Sponsors needed – please see Sis. Belinda Kua.

05 Oct 14 – The Current Use of Legalism

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Oct 052014
 

From the Pastor’s Desk: The Current Use of Legalism

By Rev. Gabriel Gan

The way a person uses words is important because usage determines meaning. If people use a word to mean something different from its historical sense long enough, the meaning of the word actually changes. An example of this process is evident in the translation of 2 Thessalonians 2:7 in the King James Version: “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” When the KJV translators did their work, the verb to let meant to restrain someone from doing something. Four hundred years later it means just the opposite. This process of change in the meaning of legalism is currently taking place.

There are many examples of the contemporary use of the term, but perhaps a few references will suffice. Swindoll defines the concept as “an attitude, a mentality based on pride. It is an obsessive conformity to an artificial standard for the purpose of exalting oneself.”

Notice the way his definition removes the term from a precisely soteriological realm. The historical use described an attempt at justification through keeping the objective standard of the Mosaic law. The new definition moves the concept of legalism into a fog bank of obscurity. It is unclear whether “conformity to an artificial standard” relates to justification or sanctification.

Swindoll goes on to assert that “legalism says, ‘I do this or I don’t do that, and therefore I am pleasing to God.’ ” Whatever a person might wish to call the mistaken notion that a Christian can enhance his status as more accepted in the Beloved than he was at the moment of salvation, this is clearly a different idea from the historical use of legalism (see Newline, 7 Sep 2014).

Swindoll thinks legalism is a mindless and obsessive lifestyle that consists of rote conformity to traditional standards of Christian conduct, with the intent of enhancing a believer’s standing with God. Once again, even though the concept Swindoll describes is deplorable Christian living, it is not legalism. It seems that he is attempting to paint an ugly caricature of the legitimate process of deriving personal standards of Christian conduct from a careful study of the Scripture. He sees only two widely divergent, unbalanced options: (1) live a radically independent, “risky” life controlled by a concept of grace that frees the believer to live apart from rules, or (2) allow oneself to be dominated by a manmade list of do’s and don’ts that is “rigid” and “grim.” Swindoll’s method of argumentation is highly persuasive but, unfortunately, illegitimate. It does not allow for a third, balanced view.

Mark L. Bailey followed Swindoll as president of Dallas Theological Seminary in 2001. In a 1987 article Bailey demonstrates the same confusion about legalism his predecessor manifested. Bailey states, “Originally fought in the arena of salvation, this battle between legalism and license in our century has entered into the arena of sanctification.” Bailey asserts that “all of us at some time or another have had the experience of being under club memberships, church covenants, college rules, or Christian ‘standards of behavior’ that we or someone else would criticize as being legalistic.” He apparently sees no difference between the externalism of the lost Pharisees and the practice of believers through the centuries of church history who have internalized the Word of God and applied the Word in establishing standards of godly behavior.

It is uncertain why various evangelical leaders use the term legalist in reference to fundamentalists. Whether intentionally or not, they use the term as a verbal club to intimidate those who believe in the legitimacy of applying scriptural principles in the development of personal standards of Christian conduct.

A key doctrine since the time of the Reformation, illumination is the action of the indwelling Holy Spirit in the believer’s life whereby the Christian understands the spiritual significance of the Scripture—in contrast to the unsaved person, who sees biblical teaching ultimately as foolishness (1 Cor. 2:6–16). The Holy Spirit uses the Word that He inspired to direct the lives of Christians who rely on Him and study the Bible with a zealous intent to obey. Illumination produces discernment, and discernment must affect the countless choices the believer makes every day. If Christianity is not powerful enough to transform both the inner man and his outward actions, our faith is nothing but a mystical delusion—no different from all other impotent, false religions that have held mankind in bondage for millennia.

            The very heart and soul of biblical Christianity is being threatened by those who redefine the concept of legalism and conclude that grace frees them to live however they wish.

(Adapted from Love, Liberty and Christian Conscience by Dr. Randy Jaeggli, pp. 9-13)