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Scripture Memory: Only One Way

VERSE : John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

4 January 2015

8 am & 11am Worship Service
Rev Charles Seet (Called to be Saints, 1 Cor 1:1-9)
6:00 pm Evening Service
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Starting the New Year with Wisdom, Prov 1:1-7, 20-33)

11 January 2015

8 am & 11am Worship Service
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (The Disease of Division, 1 Cor 1:10-17; 3:1-9)
6:00 pm Evening Service
Rev Charles Seet (Two Different Paths, Prov 2)

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LIVE AT PEACE WITH ALL MEN

“Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:17-18)

The Apostle Paul wrote these words to guide believers on how they should live in a midst of a hostile world. As Christians, we are constantly under the scrutiny of unsaved persons as well as of fellow Christians, and we must be careful that our conduct does not betray the high standards of the gospel.

The word ‘provide’ literally means to think carefully of our actions before we do them. The word ‘honest’ literally means ‘beautiful, good, commendable.’ This means that we must be aware of the sensitivities of others: Avoid doing things or making any remarks that would be perceived as offensive or derogatory not just by certain religious groups, but by society as a whole.

We should show others that we are a kind, helpful, accommodating, and considerate civic-minded people. For example, when we have a Christian gathering in homes where our neighbours live in close quarters to us, we should not sing or pray too loud to disturb them. When holding Christian funerals we should not inconvenience the public as far as possible, obstructing their passageway in void decks or during the procession. In summary, we should not do anything that will reflect badly on Christ or the gospel.

Let us be careful to live peaceably with all men, even with those who may have strong disagreements with us on religious or doctrinal matters. While it may not always be possible to attain full harmony in our relations with others, let us at least not be responsible for any disharmony.

But this does not mean that we should seek to have peace at any price. That is why Paul says ‘if it be possible…live peaceably with all men.’ It implies that at times it may not be possible to have peace. Some things just cannot be compromised for the sake of peace. We must retain our distinctiveness in society as Christians if we are to make any impact on it. As Jesus said in Matthew 5:13 – “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”

And so, while we should avoid unnecessary conflict over religious matters, we cannot always avoid it entirely. Therefore whether we like it or not we must expect to face some complaints that what we say or do as Christians is offensive to some people. Oftentimes it is not that what we say is really offensive, but that people are too easily offended. In the early church the message of a crucified Saviour was unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:23). But this did not keep Paul or the rest of the church from preaching Christ crucified to both Jews and Greeks and bringing many of them to salvation.

Sharing the Gospel

Since we have a divine mandate to witness for Christ to people of other faiths, we cannot keep silent. As Christians we must fulfill the Great Commission of preaching the Gospel to every creature. This means that as long as there is no law against evangelism, we should continue to carry out these activities. And as long as there are people who are willing to listen to the gospel in our place of work or school, we must be ready to share it with them.

But how do we do it in an uncompromising and yet sensitive manner? We can learn from the way that the early Christians related to those of other religions. For instance when Paul and Barnabas came to Lystra the people were so impressed by them that they mistook them for their own gods – Jupiter and Mercury. They brought oxen and garlands to do homage to them. Paul tried to stop them. This is what he said: “Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” (Acts 14:15-17)

We notice that Paul did not say very much against the gods whom the Lystrans worshipped. His main emphasis was on who the true God is rather than what their pagan gods were. The only term that Paul used to describe pagan worship was ‘these vanities.’ This brings out the futile nature of pagan worship. Hence we can see how Paul carefully avoided causing unnecessary offense without compromising the truth.

We must therefore share the Gospel in a manner that is not unnecessarily offensive to those of other faiths and yet uncompromising. We cannot win souls by condemning their beliefs or by ridiculing or insulting their worship. We do it rather by speaking the truth in love, with a wise and Spirit-filled use of God’s Word. The key to know what to say and how to say it is to be led by the Spirit of God. And so before you say anything to those of other faiths, pray that the Holy Spirit will put the right words in your mouth and show you how to make the truth known to them in an uncompromising but not unnecessarily offensive manner.

Sharing the Premises

You may recall that after the Court of Appeal decided on 26 April 2011 to overturn the judgment that was given by the High Court on 30 June 2010, we were thankful that we could find closure and move on as a Church to do what is needful. We accepted the outcome of the litigation case well, and took it as God’s sovereign will for us to co-exist with the Far Eastern Bible College within our premises. Subsequent to that, the Court gave directions on working towards an amicable scheme of arrangement for the church and college to co-exist peacefully.

This scheme of arrangement was completed and finalised on 27 November 2014. In it, certain areas in both 9 and 10 Gilstead Road were allocated for the exclusive use of the church and certain areas were allocated for the exclusive use of the college. Other areas were designated for shared use by both parties and with the periods for each to use them fully defined. The details are found in the insert provided in today’s weekly – kindly keep this as a reference to avoid unnecessary conflict.

Let us be very thankful for all that has been allocated to us within this scheme (following 1 Thessalonians 5:18), even though it means having to make adjustments in the various ministries of our church. The implementation of this scheme will take some time to complete as both parties move out of some areas which have been reallocated, and move into other areas that are vacated. In the meantime, let us patiently bear with any inconvenience caused by these movements and exercise due consideration in the joint usage of the premises in order to avoid misunderstandings.

Regarding what the church claimed from the college for using the premises, both parties have agreed to an out-of-court settlement. This concludes the maintenance suit amicably. What remains to be done now is to work out the sharing of the maintenance costs of the premises from now onwards. Please pray that this may be settled well.

May the Lord help us to live peaceably with all men. —Pastor

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ERBL LECTURES (JAN – MAY 2015)

Day             Time                  Course            Lecturer

Mon            7.30-9.30 pm    The OT Historical Books      Rev Charles Seet

Tue             10-12.00 pm     The Doctrine of the Church            Rev Isaac Ong

Wed            10-12.00 pm     Daniel Rev Ho Chee Lai

Thu             10-12.00 pm     Colossians     Rev Colin Wong

                    7.30-9.30 pm    Equipping Lay Leaders       Rev Dr Jack Sin

Fri 10 - 12.00 pm                 Westminster Standards       Rev Isaac Ong

Lectures begin on 12 Jan 15. Please complete registration forms and place them in the box, together with payment

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1) Catechism Class for Easter Baptism on 5 April 2015 commences TODAY at 9.40am at Beulah Room 5-5, and subsequently at Room 2-1.

2) The Prayer Mtg and Evening Service will be held at Beulah MPH henceforth. The hymnal available is the Hymns of Praise.

3) Scripture Memory Verse Review No. 6. A written review exercise of the verses are obtainable at the front counter today. Please submit by 11 Jan 15. Review Nos. 1-5 are also available for those who missed them.

4) Australian Orientation Mtg, 17 Jan 15 (Sat), 1 to 2.30 pm. Maranatha B-P Church, 63 Cranwell Road. Encouragement by: Rev Jack Sin. Others: Info session, fellowship with students back here on school break. Parents of students are also welcome.

5) The Life B-P Church Camp 2015 will be held from 15 to 18 June 2015 at Bintan’s Nirwana Resort Hotel in Indonesia.  Speaker: Dr Carl T Martin. Topic: “Changed into His Image.”  Please book your annual leave early to avoid disappointment.   Online registration begins in Jan 2015.

6) Available at the front counter are: Daily Devotional (The Believer’s Daily Remembrancer) and Scripture Memory Verse booklets.

7) The Family of the late Mdm Sudawati @ Sin A Suat would like to express their heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to Life BP Church and its members for the outpouring of love and concern during her homegoing on 23 Dec 14.

Preaching appointment: Rev Wong in Batam.

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

December 3 & 10 - Holy Living

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 2 Peter 3:11