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Scripture Memory: Prayer.

VERSE : Philippians 4:6 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

25 September 2016

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Colin Wong (God’s Restful Assurance in Ministry, Acts 18:1-11)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Eld Chia Ah Lak (It is I, Be Not Afraid, Matt 14:22-33)

2 October 2016

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Lee Hock Chin (Trials and Triumphs of the Ministry, Acts 19:1-41)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Wilt Thou Be Made Whole? John 5:1-16)

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HOW SHOULD WE WORSHIP?

In many churches today anything is permitted in worship, including things that are sensational and even bizarre. The audience is hyped up by worship leaders and encouraged to express how much they love Jesus through physical movements.

These trends are gradually coming into conservative churches where worship is deemed to be too somber and boring. The style of worship is changed in order to make it more user friendly to keep people coming back for more every Sunday.

The question that needs to be asked is: What is the objective of worship? Is it meant to deliver an emotionally uplifting experience to worshippers? Is it meant to attract the unchurched to attend church? What is worship primarily supposed to achieve? Doesn’t it have to do with the One we worship?

Worship is meant to bring pleasure and glory to God. A worship service in church should provide a glimpse of the worship that God receives in heaven. There are five principles that can help us to achieve this objective of worship.

1. The Regulative Principle

God not only wants our worship. He wants us to worship Him according to His accepted way. When the Israelites were on their way to the Promised Land, they were warned not to adopt any worship practices of the Canaanites (Deuteronomy 12:29-31). When Nadab and Abihu who were among the first priests of Israel tried to offer incense to the Lord, they were struck dead because they had somehow deviated from the divinely prescribed form of worship (Leviticus 10:1,2).

From this we draw the regulative principle of worship which is stated in the Westminster Confession as follows: “But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture.” (Chapter 21, Section 1)

Therefore the worship service can be improved only if it conforms to the principles for worship as laid down in the whole of Scripture. Modern worship has introduced loud pop and rock music accompaniment for singing. The lyrics may be very biblical, but the rhythm and musical instruments used are very worldly. Some people say that it doesn’t matter what kind of music we use as long as God is being praised through it. But is God pleased with every kind of music?

According to Exodus 32 when the Israelites made a golden calf, they proclaimed their own feast to the LORD, offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And “the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.” (v.6) The sound of their worship was so loud and discordant that Joshua mistook it for the sound of war! (vv.17,18) Although they attempted to worship the Lord in this manner, He was not pleased at all and sent Moses down to stop it.

After the Temple was built in Jerusalem the music used in it was regulated. Only three kinds of musical instruments were allowed – harps, psalteries and cymbals (1 Chronicles 25:1). In contrast to that, pagan worship had no restrictions on musical instruments (cf. Daniel 3:7).

This is why the piano and organ are used to provide musical accompaniment for our worship services. These must be played in a proper way so as not to jazz up the music nor draw attention to themselves by over-flowery playing. String, woodwind and brass instruments are allowed for special occasions as long as the total accompaniment does not overpower the singing of praise. Musical instruments that have very strong worldly associations such as drum sets and electric guitars, and that overpower the singing should never be used in worship.

This is one reason why we do not use some contemporary hymns in our worship. The hymns themselves may sound good and edifying. But they are too closely associated with the drums and electric guitars they were sung with in certain albums or YouTube videos. Songs with strong worldly associations should not be used in worship.

2. The Principle of Holiness

When Nadab and Abihu were struck dead the rest of the priesthood were reminded that God had said, “I will be sanctified in them that come nigh Me…” (Leviticus 10:3). The word ‘sanctified’ means to ‘treat or regard something at holy’. This principle of holiness is also highlighted in 1 Corinthians 11:20-22 where God showed His displeasure on the improper manner of taking the Lord’s Supper by causing those who did it to become weak and sickly, and some even died (v.30).

Worship must be conducted in a manner that sanctifies God and reflects His holiness. The psalmist tells us to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness (1 Chronicles 16:29, Psalm 29:2; and Psalm 96:9.). Holiness is the very essence of God’s character. It is the attribute above all other attributes of God. God is called ‘the holy one of Israel’ no less than 40 times. The angels praise Him saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty.” (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8).

Our worship service must help us to sense how holy God is. It must promote a reverential fear of God in us as Hebrews 12:28-29 tells us, “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.”

3. The Principle of Glorifying God Alone

The worship service is not a place for anyone to impress others with fine singing, verbose praying or eloquent speaking. It is not a performance to showcase one’s talents or piety. How different this is from the Contemporary Christian Music industry that has songs that make it to the top of praise music charts, and where artistes receive prestigious Dove awards, go on world tours and perform in concerts to draw huge crowds and sell their latest praise albums.

In true worship God alone should receive all the glory. Everything must be done unto the Lord, and not unto men. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16) When we sing or provide music accompaniment it is for the Lord to hear – He is our audience. And if we present a special item the lyrics are meant to edify (not entertain) the congregation, but the item itself is rendered for God’s pleasure and approval. That is why no applause is given after a song item presented during worship.

The worship service is also not the place for us to seek our own pleasure. Our focus should be on giving to Him, not getting from Him (cf. Psalm 29:1,2; 96:7,8). Worship is an all-consuming desire to give to God, and it involves the giving of ourselves, our thoughts and our possessions out of sincere love from our hearts. It is true that in God’s presence is fullness of joy and at His right hand there are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11). But we must remember to seek the Giver rather than the gift.

There may be times when you feel that the sermon being preached is not relevant to you at all. But as long as it is what God wants you to hear, receive it with joy and pay close attention to it because God is the end of worship itself, and not just a means to an end.

4. The Principle of Orderliness

God is not glorified by chaos or confusion but by order and beauty. The worship service should therefore be conducted in an orderly and dignified manner (1 Corinthians 14:40). For this reason we have an order of worship, where the various parts of the worship are arranged in a sequence that flows smoothly from beginning to end.

Worship services are arranged in a way that resembles a conversation. First, God speaks to us in the Call to worship. We answer the call with the first hymn and opening prayer. God speaks again through the responsive reading of Scripture. Then we respond by singing the next hymn and giving our tithes and offerings. God speaks through the Scripture reading, and we respond with the pastoral prayer. Then God speaks in greater depth through the sermon. We respond with a hymn. God ends with His parting word in the benediction. Church announcements are made only after this since they are not part of the conversation between God and His people.

Our order of worship is similar to what the Jews use in their synagogue worship. They also have the same elements – prayer, singing, reading and preaching, ending with a benediction pronounced by the rabbi. Our Lord Jesus faithfully participated in synagogue worship every Sabbath day. At times He would read and preach God’s Word during the service (e.g. Luke 4:16-20). By doing this, Jesus has given implicit approval on having an order of worship.

Some feel that having a predictable, methodical order turns worship into a monotonous routine that is repeated every Sunday. But worship can be made meaningful, vibrant and refreshing within the set order. It depends on how well the chairman, organist, pianist, preacher and congregation prepare themselves with prayer and coordinate their roles with one another.

5. The Principle of Active Participation

Each item in the order of service must not be regarded merely as an item to get over with. To some worshippers nothing else matters except the message and everything that comes before it are merely formalities. Hence they habitually come late for service but usually in time to hear the message.

Actually every part of the worship service is important and should be conducted and participated in with as much effort as listening to the message. We should not think that merely going through the motions of standing, sitting, reciting or singing of words has some mysterious power to impart spiritual blessings to us. We must worship God in Spirit and in Truth. (John 4:11) This means putting our hearts and minds to work in worship.

In order to do this, come early to prepare for worship. Before the service begins, meditate quietly on the words of Habakkuk 2:20 (“The Lord is in His Holy Temple - let all the earth keep silence before Him!”) or on Psalm 46:10 (“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”)

From the moment the service begins, get your heart and mind engaged fully in all that goes on. Listen attentively to every word that is said, read or sung from beginning to end, and then understand and meditate on it. And finally, respond to it appropriately from your heart with praise, thanksgiving or a renewed desire to do His will. Sing each hymn with as much passion as your soul can muster!

But let your feelings for God be stirred naturally and not self-induced during worship. God has made us as emotional creatures so that we can love Him with all our heart, soul and mind. If tears start to flow, don’t suppress them. But do not let your feelings get out of control. Keep your thoughts focused on worship, and refrain from doing anything that may distract others from focusing on worship. Remember that public worship is not the same as your own personal worship of God at home where you can express yourself freely.

May the Lord help us all to worship Him in a holy, orderly and loving manner that pleases Him and gives Him all the glory and praise He deserves!                   —Pastor 

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GOSPEL SUNDAY
(English Service)

Date: 30th October 2016      Time: 8 am & 11 am

Topic: “The Sting of Death is Sin”

Speaker: Pastor Tan Soon Yong

Members are encouraged to invite their friends and relatives.

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GOSPEL SUNDAY
(Chinese Service)

Date: 2nd October 2016      Time: 11 am

Topic: Where Can I Find Love?

Speaker: Rev Daniel Khoo
(Hokkien Interpretation)

Members are encouraged to invite their friends and relatives.
(Flyers in Chinese are available at the front counter.)

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Family Seminar by Dr Tedd & Margy Tripp 

Date : 11 to 14 November 2016

Venue : Life Bible-Presbyterian Church 

(9/9A Gilstead Road)

Fees : Lifers – $10 | Non-Lifers – $20

Register at counter outside Sanctuary on 25 Sep; 2, 9 & 16 Oct 

http://www.lifebpc.com/family-seminar 

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1) Scripture Memory Verse Review No. 3. The deadline for submitting the review is 2 Oct 16. Review No. 1-2 are also available for those who missed them. Obtainable at the front counter.

2) “Daily Manna”: Daily Devotional by Rev Isaac Ong (Oct to Dec 2016). Available at the front counter. The same devotions are available online at http://www.calvaryjurong.com/index-4.html.

3) The annual Lively Teens Fellowship Camp will be held on 5-9 Dec 16. All teens who are 11-17 years of age are encouraged to join! More details will be announced when registration opens in Oct.

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

 

Preaching appointment: Rev Khoo at Chinese Evening BSF, 7.00 pm

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