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Scripture Memory: Slothfulness.
VERSE : Proverbs 13:4 
"The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat."

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

14 April 2013
8 am & 1045am Worship Service:
Rev Calvin Loh (Victory over a Judgmental Attitude, Jas 4:11-12)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Charles Seet (Christ Restores His Disciple, Jn 21:1-19)

21 April 2013
8 am & 1045am Worship Service:
Rev Charles Seet (Victory Over Selfish Presumption, Jas 4:13-17)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Colin Wong (Christ, the True Vine, Jn 15:1-11)

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Dear Readers,

LIVING AS CHRISTIANS IN A SINFUL WORLD

I believe you would have noticed with great concern that people are now more open to sin than before. There are so many immoral issues confronting us today that a short 40 years ago, both society and Christians would find it revolting just to know that such sins are being practiced. Now, these sins have become everyday reading material in the local news and we may even know some of the parties involved.

How Should We Regard Sin?

One challenge that we face as Christians is the degree of tolerance by the public and their insistence for tolerance. This call for tolerance has come to a point where anyone standing up against sin will be labeled as unloving, judgmental, narrow minded and out of step with reality. Is the church of Jesus Christ and His disciples unloving, judgmental, narrow minded and out of step with reality?

In this matter, the issue that stands before Christians and the church, whom God calls His beacons of light (Matthew 5:14), is how to deal with sin. Some Christians would advocate tolerance as the chief response, After all, Christians are supposed to love all sinners. Others may be wondering if those issues are really sin and not a personal right and preferred lifestyle. There is also the evergreen accusation that Christians are hypocrites and we need to clean our own house first.

We must have a biblical response to these issues and questions and not "bury our heads in the sand." God has called us to be "the light and salt of the world" and a biblical response and posture by each one of us is essential to living out our faith. It would also be prudent to say that our response will affect the giving of the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:15).

God must be the starting point to answer these questions because in James 4:12 we read, "There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?" God Himself and not man, is the only judge and lawgiver. Only He is worthy, just and righteous. And that enables Him to make laws and dispense judgment for our actions. He is JUST and altogether righteous and He cannot fail. That means that anything that Christians and the church have to say about an issue must ONLY be what God has already said. If we do not accept that only God is the judge and lawgiver, we would usurp God’s rightful place. This is a sinful attitude started by the Devil, followed by Adam and Eve and we are no different from them.

Some examples of those things that God calls sin, as found in Romans 1:22-32, are homosexuality, adultery, greed, pride, and disobedience to parents. These must be understood as such and we should not play down their seriousness by giving them another name or treating them as "no big deal". These are the things that sent us to hell, and knowing that God calls them sin should help us turn to God and cry, "What must I do to be saved?’

How Should We Relate to Those Who Sin?

Christians face another challenge. How do we relate to people who commit these sins and especially to those who do not believe in the Bible and our God?

The Right Focus

In 1 Corinthians 5:12-13, God gave us two important perspectives about judging people. We are told not to judge those that are without, those outside the church but to put away the wicked person from our midst or from within the church. This means we are to let God judge the world and be ever ready to discipline ourselves. Our focus must be our personal purity and integrity and the testimony of Jesus Christ.

If there is a Christian in our midst who commits sin, according to Matthew 18:15-20, we are to reach out to him privately. If he refuses to repent, bring in two or three people who are in the know to try and restore such a brother in Christ. If he still refuses to repent, bring it to the Board of Elders in the hope of restoring him to fellowship with God. If that brother continues to be unrepentant, the Elders need to preserve the purity of the church and discipline him by the removal of such a person from fellowship. Again, it must be done with prayer with the hope of restoring such a brother to God.

Submission to Authority

Let us see how God deals with these two groups of people when they sin in greater detail. Firstly, the church and Christians, in their religious capacity, are not to judge the world like the civil courts. God has ordained rulers, kings and governments to give law and order to the country so as to provide care and protection. The conduct of her citizens and the decisions they make are subject to these laws. When they break the law, they will bear the consequences of their actions. In Singapore, we must count ourselves blessed because the law of God, as written into the conscience of man, is still upheld in our country. In many ways, we are still true to God, in at least the last 6 of the 10 commandments. We, as citizens of this country, will render to "Caesar what is Caesar’s". For us Christians, we are subject to the law of the land, unless they are against God.

We are also subject to the rule of the church because Hebrews 13:17 tells us to obey our Elders who are the undershepherds of the Lord Jesus Christ. They watch over our souls with the Word of God and they are accountable to God who called them to be His undershepherds. The church and all her members must remember that ONLY Jesus Christ Himself is the Chief Shepherd and that He is the head of the church. The Elders are stewards and they do not act on their own whims and fancies. They are not to lord it over the people but to care for them and to be an example to the flock. They are there to do their Lord and Savior’s bidding and continually lead the flock to Jesus Christ. This is a very high and demanding calling for these men and we must continually pray for our Elders.

One of the many benefits that God gives to the church is the Elders who take care of them. It is such a great blessing to have someone spiritual to watch over our souls because when left to ourselves, the deceitful heart of ours will find the opportunity to sin against God. This attitude of submission needs to be cultivated and it starts at home. It is by learning to be subject to our parents and other older members of the family that we learn to submit to the church Elders. Our submission starts at their preaching and teaching of God’s Word faithfully and accurately. When the Word of God is accurately and clearly taught to us, we have a holy duty to God to obey.

At the individual level, I can think of two more things that are required from us in our relationship with people.

Inward Change

In Psalm 1, King David reminded us not to let sin become part of who we are. Have nothing to do with sin and sinful behavior. We must learn to be sensitive to such evil and this starts by taking them out of our thoughts. Christians need to be blameless before God and man, so as not to be hypocrites. The Lord is concerned with the things that are in our hearts and Proverbs 4:23 says, "Keep (guard) thy heart with all diligence; for out of itare the issues of life". To illustrate further, in Matthew 15:18-20, the Lord Jesus said, "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man". After they are saved, Christians need to bask in the grace of God daily to find the hope and purpose they need to carry the cross. To carry the cross is to put to death the old sinful ways and start developing new habits that are pleasing to God.

Truth and Love

The second thing is mentioned in Ephesians 4:15 where we are told to speak the truth in love to both Christian and non-Christians. Whenever this verse is read, it is very easy to zoom in on the "love" part and forget the "truth". They are two sides of the same coin and they do not contradict each other. They actually need each other. In 1 Corinthians 13:6, which is in God’s great chapter and description on what love is, we see that love is also about not rejoicing in iniquity or unrighteousness but in the truth. In Ephesians 4:15, Paul says that loving means speaking righteously and yet caring unconditionally for the other party. There is no contradiction here when we call sin, sin and truth, truth because love rejoices in the truth. It is when we do not follow God’s standard of truth that loves clashes with our actions. God can never contradict Himself. Hence truth and love are never against each other. They only clash when we want to be loved but do not submit to God.

The Christian needs to live righteously according to the Word of God. That is the best posture to maintain in this sinful world and for the preaching of the Gospel in Jesus name. May God help us to be faithful in doing this. —Dn Joel Seah

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)

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Notice of Annual Congregational Meeting Lord’s Day, 28 April 13, at 10.45 am sharp

All members of Life B-P Church are reminded to attend this meeting. The combined English worship service begins at 9.00 am.

Beginning with this year, we will send e-ACM papers to your email address registered with the church office. Members who do not have email accounts will receive the printed ACM papers by mail.

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Vacation Bible School 2013 (5-7 June, Wed to Fri)

"Happiness is the Lord!" (Luke 15:10)

Registration is now open for all N2-P4 children.
Helpers (teachers/logistics/games) are needed. Please avail yourself to serve (Titus 3:8).

Registration forms for children and helpers are available at the front of the Sanctuary. Registration may also be done online at www.lifebpc.com/vbs. Sign up now! Closing date: 12 May.

CONTACT: Russell Indran at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 9188-9980.

Note: VBS Staff briefing at MPH for all helpers on 19 May 2013, 12.30pm to 3pm (lunch provided). Attendance is compulsory.

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YAF seminar on 
Israel: God’s Chosen People
 

How does the history of Israel relate to Bible prophecy and world events? What is God’s Will for Israel in the last days and how does it relate to us? "Come and hear the amazing account of an extraordinary nation that survived 4 major wars after its independence and its people were supposed to be exterminated during the second world war but it is still a significant nuclear power today ."

If you would like to learn more about what God has planned for His people, do join YAF for a seminar by Rev Jack Sin on 20 Apr 13 at Beulah MPH from 3-6pm. Contact: Daniel Wong, 93897007. Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Preaching appointment: Rev Seet at Indonesian Service, 4 pm & Evening Service, 6 pm. Rev Wong at Young Lifers Worship, 10.45 am. Rev Quek at Life Chinese Service, 10.45 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

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