FacebookTwitterRSS FeedPinterest

Scripture Memory: Strength.

VERSE : Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” 

* * *

O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

22 May 2016

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Charles Seet (God Is No Respecter of Persons, Acts 10:25-35)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Peter Tan (The Millstone, Matt 18:1-14)

29 May 2016

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Philip Heng (After Death, What? Heb 9:27; Lk 16:19-28)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Lee Hock Chin (The Forgiving King, Matt 18:21-35)

* * *

MARKS OF TRUE CONVERSION

(ACTS 2:37-38, 41-42, 46) 

There is a widespread tendency to invite people to make easy decisions for Christ, and to assume that they are converted regardless of whether it is supported by evidence. The Bible exhorts us to examine ourselves whether we are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). Are there recognisable signs of true conversion? How can seekers tell if they are truly saved?

1. CONVICTION OF SIN

The first mark of grace is the conviction of sin which leads to true repentance (vv.37-38). The early Christian converts were “cut to the heart” as they felt ashamed of and burdened by their sins and yearned for God’s forgiveness. Is there a broken contrite heart (Psalm 51)? If there has been a cool, intellectual acknowledgement of sin or a momentary emotion accompanied by a formal repentance, we may be doubtful that conversion has really happened. Testimonies which make no mention of sin or repentance or begging God for forgiveness are suspect. There must be a humbling before God, some measure of grief and shame over sin, and tenderness at the Lord’s mercy.

Repentance is a reversal of mind – a turning away from sin and to God for salvation. It involves, first, a turning away from sin, a hatred for one’s sin, and a desire to live a holy life. Secondly, it involves a submission to the Lord as the absolute Ruler of our lives. Christ is not only our Saviour, but He came to be the Lord (master, ruler) of our lives. Many people who claim to be Christians may want eternal life and God’s blessings in this temporal life, but have absolutely no desire to yield themselves to do God’s will. They want the world, and they want Christ. They deny that the lordship of Christ is necessary for salvation. They deceive themselves when Christ Himself states in absolutely no uncertain terms that he who comes to Christ must deny self, take up his cross and follow Jesus.

2. UNDERSTANDING SCRIPTURE

In Acts 2:42, the newly converted continued to have strong attachment to the apostles’ doctrine; they persevered or endured. It is a sure sign of grace when someone is hungry for the Word of God. 1 Corinthians 2:14 tells us that the natural man does not receive the things that are spiritual, because they seem foolish to them. Why? An unsaved person does not have the Holy Spirit and therefore cannot understand spiritual things. But when a sinner is converted, he suddenly finds the pages of the Bible glowing with truth, insight and divine wisdom. The Bible describes a new believer as a baby who demands to be fed the milk of God’s Word and will be hungry and not be satisfied unless he gets fed. Conversely if a person who is baptised but tells me he has no desire to attend Bible study or Sunday School, that is a serious ‘red flag.’

3. THE FAMILY BOND

In Acts 2, the blood of the family of Heaven runs in the veins of true believers as fellow citizens and members of the household of God. However, if a supposed convert prefers the company of his worldly friends, it is a bad sign. One word of caution should be sounded: teens and youths have a natural desire to hang out with their peers in church. It often happens that false converts respond well to “recreational” type of youth fellowship. This possibility would be increased if the young people’s groups place an undue and unspiritual emphasis on recreational activities. Recreation is not synonymous with fellowship. The church is not a social club, but a family of believers who gather for the ministry of the Word, prayer and service.

4. ABILITY TO PRAY

Another clear mark of grace is the practice of prayer. In Acts 2, we see the early believers gathering daily in the study of Scriptures and in prayer. Once converted, they realised they had a Great High Priest in heaven interceding for them. Their hearts are warmed as they unite in prayer and received definite answers to prayer.

The ability to pray is a wonderful sign of grace. A child of God desires to go into God’s very presence crying, Abba Father (Galatians 4:6). A child of God has left behind the petty, selfish and self-centred prayers of the unconverted, and progressed to prayers for power over sin and blessing in witness. They become more concerned about spiritual things such as unconverted relatives than about their own temporal needs. If people profess conversion and yet panic at every trial, it is doubtful that the grace of prayer has been experienced. Older saints may slip away from prayer, to their shame and loss. True believers take their problems to the Lord in prayer with the confidence in, and in submission to, a good loving Father who hears and answers prayer.

5. THE NEW HEART

Acts 2:46-47 describes the converts as having a new, pure and sincere heart. Truly converted people are ready to change their lifestyles to please God. The apostle Paul says, “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). This new heart includes a reverential attitude towards worship of an awesome, Almighty and Holy God (verse 43). The new heart is very careful to obey God.

When so-called converts remain addicted to worldly possessions, ambitions, fashions, rock music, and are completely unmoved when advice is given from God’s Word, we must doubt that the new heart has been received.

Unfortunately, some believers may over the years grow cold in their love for God, and go through seasons of disobedience. This is a serious Spirit-quenching sin that must be repented of.

6. ASSURANCE

The new converts of Acts 2:41-47 possessed a good measure of assurance as they were glad and praising God (vv.46-47). Ephesians 1:13 speaks of the seal of assurance of the Holy Spirit that attests to the believer’s true faith. We should not expect new believers to have great certainty and complete assurance. But they will possess an assurance that they belong to God’s family such as feelings of peace and a sense of wonder at being heirs of Heaven.

7. ATTACKS OF SATAN

Although not mentioned in Acts 2, a true believer will experience attacks of Satan. He will wrestle against “the rulers of the darkness of this world” (Ephesians 6:12). Their struggles against remaining sin, the doubts and fears they feel, and their sense of inadequacy and unbelief rob them of their joy and peace they once had in Christ. Satan will often accuse believers and sow seeds of doubt: “how can you be a child of God if you …” Satan did that to Joshua the high priest in Zechariah 3:1, but Jesus our Great High Priest is our Advocate who defends us and takes away our filth (Zechariah 3:2-5).

The marks of true conversion are: a broken contrite heart arising from conviction of sin, a new understanding of God’s Word, a strong attachment to God’s people, a new ability to pray, a new heart received, a measure of assurance marked by peace and joy, and the experience of spiritual warfare.

                                    —Rev Lee Hock Chin

References for further reading:

Seven Certain Signs of True Conversion, Peter Masters

How Can I Be Sure I’m a Christian? Donald Whitney

* * *

GOSPEL SUNDAY

Date: 29th May 2016   

Time: 8 am & 11 am

Topic: “After Death, What?”

Speakers:

Rev Philip Heng (English Service)

Rev Tang Chee Keong (Mandarin/Hokkien)

Members are encouraged to invite their friends and relatives.

 * * *

Combined Fellowships & NBCs Seminar

How SHOULD WE THEN Live? :
A Consideration of Christian Conduct in Light of Christ’s Coming Again

Speaker: Rev Edward Paauwe

Date: 18th June 2016, 2.30pm - 5.30pm

Dinner is provided.

Closing Date: 29 May 2016

Please register online at http://www.lifebpc.com/combined-seminar

* * *

ERBL Seminar 2016

by Dr John A Battle

Day Lectures: A Biblical Appraisal of the Crucial Contemporary Concerns of the Postmodern Era, Mon-Fri (20-24 Jun), from 8.30am-1pm, Exams (Sat). Audit/Credit: $40/$80

Night Lectures: Biblical Formation & Church Growth, Mon (20 Jun) & Thu (23 Jun), 7.30 pm - 9.30pm. Cost: Free.

* * *

CREATION MINISTRY INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR

Topic: QUESTION EVOLUTION! ARE YOU READY FOR ANSWERS?

Speaker: Dr Mark Harwood

Date: 23 July 2016 (Saturday)

Time: 9.30am – 2.30pm (Lunch provided)

Venue: Beulah Centre MPH

On-line registration: http://www.lifebpc.com/cmi-seminar

* * *

1) Comfort Ministry. Those who can participate in Vigil Visits, drivers, and those able to provide transport, are requested to provide your contact numbers to Sis. Sim Mong Eng, Tel: 97452448.

2) Coffee Corner. 3 more helpers required at 8.30 am. Please contact Daniel Phang .

3) Musicians are needed for vigil services. Please contact Daniel Phang . 

4) Life B-P Church Camp 2016. Church Camp fees payment can be made over 2 Sundays (22May, 29May). Timing is between 9.30-10.45am and after second service, till 1pm.  Location will be at Church Office Level 3 at Beulah Centre.

5) Catechism Class for Anniversary Baptism on 16 Oct 2016 commences on 10 Jul 16 at Beulah Centre Rm 2-1, 9.30am. Please pre-register by emailing church office or filling up the form available at the front counter. Those seeking baptism, reaffirmation of faith and transfer of membership must attend the catechism class. Closing date: 4 Jul 16.

6) Congratulations to Brian and Tiffany Chang on the birth of a baby girl on 19 May 16.

7) Our condolences to Valerie Tan and family on the demise of her father-in-law, Philip Quek Jin Teck on 18 May 16.

 

Preaching appointment: Rev Khoo at Life Chinese Service, 11.00 am.

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

October 15 & 22 - The Cost of Discipleship

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25