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Scripture Memory: Habitual Borrowing.
VERSE : Proverbs 22:7 
"The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender."

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

25 August 2013
8 am & 1045 am Worship Service:
Eld Ng Beng Kiong (Cultivating Godliness - Discipline,1 Tim 4:7-8; 2 Tim 2:3,4; 1 Cor 9:27)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Jehovah Rohi: The LORD my Shepherd; Ps 23:1)

1 September 2013
8 am & 1045 am Worship Service:
Rev Charles Seet (Cultivating Brotherly Kindness, 2 Pet 1:7; Rom 12:10; 1 Pet 1:22; 1 Thes 4:9)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Ho Chee Lai (Jehovah Mekeddeshem: The LORD who Sanctifies; Lev 20:8)

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O Day of Rest & Gladness
by Dn Lee Hock Chin

Imagine a society where everyone works 365 days a year with no breaks or holiday, where even Christians have to work on Sundays - we will soon break down physically and mentally. Thank God for Sundays that God has blessed us for our bodily refreshment and spiritual growth.

Many of us worship God on Sundays, but few keep the sabbath day holy. Johannes G Vos wrote "The sabbath situation at present is very bad, and only a genuine true revival together with sound instruction about the obligation of sabbath observance, can reclaim the sabbath and restore it to a place of honour in the modern world."

Today, many of us are not setting apart the sabbath unto God. Some attend the 8am service, satisfied that the worship duty is done, so they can go on with Sunday’s packed schedule of work, sports, studies, classes, buffet, thereby turning Sunday into another ordinary day of work and leisure. God has delivered us from slavery to sin and worldliness, and yet some would return to enslave themselves with more work. No wonder many Christians are physically weary and spiritually weak. Out of love, our Creator and Saviour gave us the sabbath as a blessing for our spiritual and physical enjoyment.

1. What is the principle of the sabbath?

We are to observe one whole day out of seven as a day dedicated to God (Ex 20:9).

2. What does the Hebrew word for "sabbath" mean?

It means "to stop." God told the Israelites to stop their daily work of the past six days, and to rest and worship God on the seventh day (Ex 20:8-9).

3. When did the sabbath principle begin?

a. The sabbath principle began at creation.

• God created us and the world in six days and He rested on the seventh. For six full days we can work and play, and the seventh full day belongs to God so that we may remember Him as our Creator.

• From creation, man has set aside time from his work to worship God (Gen 4:3, 4, 26). Christ entered the synagogue on the sabbath, "as his custom was," to teach the Scriptures (Luke 4:16).

b. God commanded His people to keep the sabbath:

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant,… : For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." (Exodus 20:8-11)

4. Why do we keep the sabbath?

a. Fairness of God allowing us six days (v.9) – six times as much time - for our occupation and recreation and only requiring one day devoted to worship Him;

b. Sabbath is God’s special property (v.10) "But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God." We belong to our Creator, and He has a right claim to our time and life. Therefore the person who breaks the sabbath, by taking it for his own use, has stolen God’s property for himself.

c. Example of God Himself resting on the seventh day after six days of creation (v.11a) as a model for us, not that God was tired or needed rest.

d. Blessing from God for those who keep the sabbath (v.11b);

e. Memorial that God has saved us from sin. In the preface to the ten commandments, God said, I am the LORD your God who delivered you from bondage (Ex 20:2) – therefore, remember your Saviour, and faithfully worship Him. In response, God gave us the first four commandments on the four aspects of true worship: (1) the object of worship [only true and living God], (2) the means of worship [not by visible representation], (3) the attitude of worship [reverential honour of God], and (4) the time of worship [on the sabbath - one day out of seven].

5. Is the sabbath a delight or a burden?

a. It depends on whether we love God. If we love the things of the world, the sabbath command would be a burden. But if we love God, then each earthly sabbath is a sweet foretaste of the greater rest for God’s people (Heb 4:3-6) in the eternal sabbath in heaven.

b. Sabbath is a delightful day (Isa 58:13-14) because we love God and His people and enjoy communion with Him. Psalm 122:1 "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord." Remember the goodness of the Cross of Jesus that frees us from the chains of sin. As adopted sons and daughters of the royal family, the sabbath is a joyful celebration of victory over sin, death and the devil.

6. How is the sabbath to be observed?

First by proper preparation of the heart, and

• Positively, by doing our required duty of holy resting, public and private worship

• Negatively, by not doing secular work and recreations, except works of piety, mercy and necessity.

7. What forms of work are legitimate on the sabbath?

a. Works of piety in church. Jesus taught that priests may legitimately prepare temple sacrifices and the shewbread on the sabbath (Mt 12:5). A modern equivalent would be a pastor preaching a few times on Sunday or deacons directing traffic, teaching Sunday School and collecting offerings.

b. Works of mercy that are done out of compassion for human suffering. Just as we would save a sheep that falls into a drain on the sabbath, Jesus would heal a lame man as it "is lawful to do well on the sabbath" (Mt 12:11-12). Thus, doctors and nurses may care for the sick on the sabbath and a surgeon may operate to save the life of an accident victim.

c. Works of necessity that cannot be postponed or that are essential for man’s preservation. If a house catches fire, the blaze must be put out immediately. Jesus and his disciples went through the corn field plucking and eating corn on the sabbath (Mt 12:1). A girl who helps her mother to wash dishes after dinner on the sabbath does necessary work.

8. How can we prepare ourselves for Sunday?

a. Prepare our hearts during the week to think about the sabbath duties and blessings, so as to cultivate a worshipful mind on Sunday.

b. Complete our secular work/studies so as to be free from unnecessary worries.

c. Choose clothes (for Sunday) that are appropriate for worship - sober and modest - that does not draw unnecessary attention to our body or distract others.

d. Sleep early on Saturday night so that you will be refreshed on Sunday morning.

9. What activities are encouraged on the sabbath?

Besides public and private worship and works of piety, examples of activities that promote spiritual growth are:

• Reading the Bible and Christian biographies, completing Sunday School homework or preparing to teach, telling Bible stories, playing Bible games, watching Christian video;

• Evangelism and fellowship;

• Taking a nap or stroll in the park for physical rest and refreshment.

10. What are forbidden in the fourth commandment?

a. Skipping public and private worship; falling asleep during service (Acts 20:7-9);

b. Unnecessary words, works and thoughts about our secular work, studies or leisure (Isa 58:13-14). Eg. The prophet Nehemiah rebuked the Israelites for treading wine presses and selling merchandise on the sabbath (Neh 13:15-22).

c. Careless performing of spiritual duties (Ezek 33:30-32).

d. Being weary of the sabbath, wishing it were past (Amos 8:5; Mal 1:13) reflects a self-centered heart that finds no joy in spiritual things.

11. When did the sabbath change to Sunday?

a. The resurrection of Christ on Sunday changed the sabbath observance from the seventh day to the first day of the week.

b. It has been said that the seventh day marked a finished creation, and the first day the finished redemption. The sabbath thus reminds us of these two works of God: God instituted the sabbath when He finished the work of creation, and our Saviour Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the first day of the week – the Christian sabbath.

c. The early church worshipped on Sunday (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 16:2). Eusebius, the church historian (AD 263-339), recorded that initially Gentile Christians observed both the Christian sabbath (Sunday) and the Jewish sabbath (Saturday), but later they just kept Sunday worship.

12. How can we prevent sabbath observance from becoming legalistic?

a Check our heart – are we keeping the sabbath out of love for God or out of duty? We do works of piety not to "bribe" God to bless us, but to grow in our intimate relationship with Christ.

b We who love God gladly keep the sabbath as a means to remind us to remain faithful to Him.

Reference:

The Westminster Larger Catechism Commentary, Johannes G Vos, ed. G.I. Williamson.

Ten Commandments - ERBL lecture notes, Pastor Charles Seet.

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GOSPEL SUNDAY

Date: 29th September 2013

Time: 10:45 am

Topic: How Precious is Your Soul?

Speakers:
Rev Tan Soon Yong (English Service)

Rev Tang Chee Keong (Mandarin/Hokkien)

Members are encouraged to invite their friends and relatives.

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1) Migrant Workers Outreach: Please meet in Church at 6.15pm in Rm 1-5 for prayer before setting off to Soon Lee Road Recreation Center at 6.30 pm.

2) Scripture Memory Verse Review No. 4. A written review exercise of the verses is obtainable at the front counter. Please submit by 8 Sep 13.

3) Infant Baptism on Anniversary Sunday, 20 Oct 13. Parents who intend to have their infants baptisedmust register by 1 Sep 13. Please call the Church Office (6594 9399) or email Yin Chan giving child’s name, date of birth and parents’ names and contact.

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