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Scripture Memory: Courage.
VERSE : 
Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

12 August 2012
8 am Worship Service:

Rev Colin Wong (Anna: The Widow Who Served God,Luk 2:36-38)
1045am Worship Service:
Eld Khoo Peng Kiat (Anna: The Widow Who Served God,Luk 2:36-38)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Mark Chen (The Good Shepherd, Ps 23)

19 August 2012
8 am Worship Service:

Rev Calvin Loh (Ruth: How to be a Godly Daughter-in-Law, Ruth 1:16,17)
1045am Worship Service:
Rev Colin Wong (Ruth: How to be a Godly Daughter-in-Law, Ruth 1:16,17)
6:00 pm Evening Service:
Rev Charles Seet (No Security without God, Ps 49)

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DO YOU HAVE SELF-CONTROL?

In our Bibles "self-control" is understood in the word "temperance" or "temperate." It is found altogether five times in the Bible, and it literally means "inner strength."

The first instance is found in 1 Corinthians 9:24,25 in the context of running a race – "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things." This verse explains why we need temperance or self-control – because we are all running a race.

If you have been watching the London Olympics you may be interested to know how the competitors prepare for their grueling events. Above all things, they need to exercise the discipline of self-control. Those who are serious about winning the event prepare for it by going on a strict diet and a regime of exercises, waking up early in the morning to jog or run in the park or stadium. They have to carefully regulate their sleep times and mealtimes, and refrain from doing many things that they used to enjoy, like snacking in between meals. To do all this they need to have the quality of disciplined self-control or temperance.

We who are in Christ also need self-control because we are running a race that deserves our utmost efforts to win. The apostle Paul saw himself in this race, since he said in Philippians 3:12-14 – "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

Let us have the attitude that Paul had since we have been called to run the same race of the Christian life. If we set our minds fully on the goal we are trying to reach, then we would be motivated to be disciplined with self-control. However attaining self-control is no easy task, because…

The Sinful Nature Makes Self-Control Impossible

This can be seen in an interview that Paul had with a Roman governor named Felix, in Acts 24:25 – "And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee." One of the subjects that Paul preached about was temperance. And this made Felix feel very uncomfortable, especially when Paul also mentioned the judgment to come.

History reveals that Felix had an immoral lifestyle. At the time of this interview, he had already divorced and remarried twice. He married Drusila, the daughter of Herod Agrippa, because he lusted after her great beauty. Thus, Paul’s mention of temperance exposed a very raw nerve and made Felix tremble with fear.

Like Felix, many people today realise that they need self-control but lack it. This virtue is alien to man’s sinful nature, although everyone recognises it as a good virtue that they ought to have. Man’s lack of self-control was perhaps expressed most fully in an ancient Greek philosophy called hedonism. Hedonists believed that life is meant to be enjoyed to the fullest. They taught that one should totally abandon all self-control and give himself entirely to a life of pleasure drunkenness, gluttony, indulgence of the flesh and all its lusts.

Today hedonism has returned with a vengeance, because of the growing trend of permissiveness in the world and the emphasis on unbridled freedom of expression. Relaxed censorship in entertainment and increased violence and immorality are the stark evidences of this trend. The limits of decency have been pushed to dangerous levels both online and in books. Whatever rakes in the profits is permitted no matter how shockingly offensive it may be.

While the sinful nature leads people to indulge in illicit pleasures like pornography, vice, and alcoholism, it also causes people to go extremes in their pursuit of legitimate pleasures like eating, sleeping and playing. Whenever no limits are imposed, people generally tend to overdo the things they enjoy most.

A person may engage himself in a pursuit, thinking that he knows exactly when to stop. But when caught up with the thrill of the pursuit, he finds it increasingly difficult to pull the brakes. This scenario is repeated everyday and everywhere. Some would go on a shopping spree while others go on an eating or drinking binge. More often, eyes are glued to a video screen into the wee hours of the morning. Some years ago, a woman in Australia was reported to have watched the movie Titanic more than 100 times and was still going to watch it many more times!

Salvation from Sin Makes Self-Control Possible

Why does the sinful nature cause people to abuse even the good things that God allows them to enjoy? It is because they are controlled by the lusts of the flesh and the lust of the eyes.

If it were not for the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in saving us from sin and giving us regenerated hearts of flesh, we too would not be able to have self-control. The Bible states this in Galatians 5:24 which says "And they that are Christ’s have crucified [i.e. put to death] the flesh with the affections and lusts." It is the power of God alone that enables born-again Christians to crucify the flesh, i.e. to overcome the passions and lusts that used to enslave them.

Many have testified that before they turned to Christ, they could never succeed in giving up vices like smoking, drinking and gambling. But after coming to know Christ they found that they now had the power to quit. And they did not have to resort to using any special programme or method to do this – all because in Christ, their flesh had been crucified.

The power of Christ alone is able to deliver sinners from their slavery to sin and give them the self-control that they need in order to give up bad habits and lusts that have controlled them for years. How wonderful is the Lord’s transforming power!

The Spirit-Filled Life Makes Self-Control Real

However, this does not mean that every Christian will automatically have self-control and have no struggle at all with any sinful habit. The Bible tells us that we need to yield ourselves daily to the Holy Spirit who indwells us. This is brought out in Galatians 5:19-23, which provides a list of nine virtues known as the fruit of the Spirit: "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

Here we see that the fruit of the Spirit includes temperance or self-control. And how are we to bear the fruit of the Spirit? The answer is found in verse 16 – "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." Therefore, the way to develop self-control is to walk in the Spirit. This is a spiritual discipline that must be carried out continually and repeatedly. In Ephesians 5:18 it is called being "filled with the Spirit." It means allowing our lives to be directed, controlled and moved by the Holy Spirit.

As we walk in the Spirit, we will find power from within to resist the urge to indulge in any sinful or harmful pleasure. We will also find the power we need to exercise moderation in enjoying legitimate pleasures that God has graciously given to us to enjoy. This means that we will be able to stop when we should.

Unfortunately even the best of all Christians lapse in this walk: We often ignore the Spirit’s control, and choose to direct our own lives. This causes us to fall into sin. Because of this, we often have to renew our commitment to keep in step with the Holy Spirit. Some may need to do this daily while others may need to do it several times a day. We renew this commitment by turning to God in prayer, acknowledging our failure to walk in the Spirit as He has instructed, and sincerely asking Him to fill us afresh with the Holy Spirit. May we keep walking in the Spirit, so that we may develop more self-control in our lives. – Pastor

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Creation Ministries International (CMI) Seminar

Topics: (1) Creation / Evolution: the Controversy; (2) Dinosaurs & the Most-asked Questions— Answered!

Speaker: Dr Carl Wieland (Managing Diector, CMI Australia; Founding editor of Creation magazine)

Date: Saturday, 22 September 2012

Time: 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Venue: Life B-P Church Sanctuary

Cost: Free. All Are Welcome!

(CMI is a Christ-centred, non-denominational ministry dedicated to upholding the authority of the Bible from the very first verse. More details about CMI are available at www.creation.com)

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1) Infant Baptism on Anniversary Sunday, 21 Oct 12. Parents who intend to have their infants baptisedmust register by 2 Sep 12. Please call the Church Office (6594 9399) or email Yin Chan giving child’s name, date of birth and parents’ names and contact.

2) Notice of Ordination: At the request of the Session of Covenant B-P Church, Australia, the Board of Elders convened an Ordaining Council to examine Mr Mark Chen Chih-Chuan for the purpose of ordaining him as a Minister of the Gospel. As the council has examined him, notice is hereby given that he will be presented for ordination at an ordination service that will be held in Life B-P Church on 16 September 2012. If any person knows any valid reason or impediment why he should not be ordained, he is to inform the Board of Elders immediately, and not later than 19 August 2012. (Please contact Rev Seet at 6594-9380.)

3) Congratulations to Mr & Mrs Mark Chen on the gift of a baby boy on 7 Aug 12.

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