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Scripture Memory: The Light of the World.

VERSE : John 8:12 “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

12 February 2017

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Elder Ng Beng Kiong (Courageous Convictions, Dan 3:1-8)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Bro Joel Seah (How Long, O Lord? Ps 13)

19 February 2017

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Deliverance from Fiery Trials, Dan 3:19-30)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Colin Wong (The Fool’s Heart, Psalm 14)

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MARRIAGE TAKES MORE THAN LOVE

Marriage was designed by God to be a permanent relationship between only one man and one woman that should be entered into “reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God.” However, the prevailing trend today is for couples to enter into marriage without sufficient thought, maturity or preparation. The result is marriages that end up in much unhappiness, strife and eventual break-up.

One common cause for marriage failure comes from the popular notion that love is all that is needed for blissful wedded living. But the love so often portrayed in the media is a self-centred love, based merely on what gratifies the senses. Those who easily “fall in love at first sight” hardly have what it takes to sustain a life-long marriage. Contrary to this, God’s Word teaches that marriage takes more than love. The following ingredients are essential for a successful marriage:

For the Couple: A Common Trust in the Lord

No bond of marriage can ever be complete without the element of spiritual unity. Conflicts will arise whenever husband and wife are not in agreement, especially in matters of faith (2 Corinthians 6:14; Amos 3:3). On the other hand, nothing can be better for building a strong marriage than to have full agreement of the knowledge of God, of trust in God, and of purposeful living for God. Psalm 127:1 – “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it…”

A common trust in the Lord will lead the couple also toward a common obedience to all His commandments, including those that define the duties of the husband and of the wife, as found in Ephesians 5:22-33…

For the Wife: Submission and Reverence

Ephesians 5:22 – “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” This is not a forced submission, since the verse ends with the phrase “as unto the Lord.” The Christian wife submits willingly to her husband in the same way that she would submit herself to the Lord Jesus Christ. She must always recognize the fact that God has given him the leadership role in the marriage, and she should never attempt to usurp this role. “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church.” (v.23)

Wifely submission is not a popular concept today. Some would consider it to be offensive, old-fashioned and even unjust. But it is based on an eternal principle: Adam was formed before Eve (1 Timothy 2:12,13). Thus, whatever era the Christian wife may live in, whether ancient or modern, she is to submit to her husband. This submission is not meant to oppress her or to deprive her of equality with her husband. In the eyes of God, husband and wife are “heirs together of the grace of life” (1 Peter 3:7). Some women have distinguished themselves well in political and commercial leadership. There is no question at all of equal opportunities in these areas. It is only in terms of assigned functions in the Church and the home that men and women are different.

Some would ask whether submission means giving up all initiative and creativity. Not at all. In Proverbs 31:10-31, we see the virtuous wife exercising much initiative within her role of submission, e.g. vv.16-18 – “She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.” Despite all this, she submits fully to her husband, as in vv.11-12 – “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” He has no fear that she will usurp his authority.

There is another injunction that a godly wife should follow: She is to “see that she reverence her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33) This injunction follows the preceding one closely. It clarifies the attitude with which the wife is to submit to her husband. The word translated “reverence” here is the basic word for “fear.” The fear of the wife for her husband is patterned after the fear of the Church for Christ (Ephesians 5:21). It is not a slavish fear, but a holy reverence. The word is used in the Old Testament for the reverence due to God, and the respect which God’s people have for their divinely appointed leader (Joshua 4:1).

In the context of marriage, such reverence will keep the wife from making undue critical remarks about her husband in public. Whatever criticism should be aired only within the privacy of their home. Such reverence will also help her not to dominate her husband through incessant nagging (cf. Proverbs 27:15). It will enable her instead to adorn herself with a meek and quiet spirit, which gives her the greatest attractiveness in God’s sight (1 Peter 3:3,4)! In the case of a wife who becomes a Christian after marriage, such a spirit, accompanied by a transformed life and sincere prayer, can be a powerful means to win her unbelieving spouse to Christ (1 Peter 3:1,2).

But what if the wife has a naturally strong personality, and her husband is naturally gentle or passive? It is not wrong for them to be married to each other, but it is wrong to allow their personalities to lead to a reversal of God’s order for the home. In such a case, both husband and wife need to work harder to maintain that order and to temper their personalities with His help, so that they can obey God’s Word within their marriage.

For the Husband: Headship and Selfless Love

Ephesians 5:23 – “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the saviour of the body.” This shows that the husband must function as the leader in the family. He must fulfill this role by doing things like planning, deciding, organising, delegating, and supervising matters at home. It is his responsibility to ensure the safety of the family, to secure it from danger, to provide for its welfare, and to lead in regular family worship. He must not abdicate this responsibility no matter how busy he may be with his work. Oftentimes, the blame for a reversal of roles in the home lies with the husband who leaves a leadership vacuum that needs to be filled.

It is important to note that the husband’s leadership does not mean that he is to bark commands at home like a military commander, and expect unquestioning obedience to all his dictates. More often the husband leads by giving reasonable requests. As a good leader he also consults his wife, and seeks her views on the course of action to be followed (cf. Philemon 8,9). But they must agree that the final decision rests upon him, and he is answerable for it. This acknowledges that the husband has the final responsibility as the head of the home.

We come now to v.25 which says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.” This is a command from God, and not an option. Christian husbands do not have the choice to love or not love their wives. The Holy Scriptures command them to do this. They must do it. A Christian who does not love his wife in a godly manner is living in disobedience to the Lord. This is a very important matter. If a husband acts as the head of the home, but does not love his wife, then God’s pattern has been destroyed, and the home will not truly be a Christian home.

This godly kind of love does not come naturally. It must be learned. In order to teach us exactly what is meant by the word ‘love,’ this passage makes a very important comparison: The love of a husband for his wife should be modeled on nothing less than the love that Christ has for the Church. Christ has provided the supreme pattern, in order that a husband can know the manner in which he is to love his wife:

Firstly, this love is characterised by commitment. Christ was so committed to the Church that He gave Himself for it. In Christian marriage, love means being firmly committed to one’s own wife, regardless of how one may feel about her. Little irritations and strange habits may change the way he feels about her over time. Feelings may change with time, and may even be hurt with time. But if there is commitment to one another in the marriage relationship, there will be a willingness to forgive, and the husband’s love for his wife will remain strong and steadfast.

Besides commitment there must also be constructiveness in a husband’s love. Christ did everything He could for His Bride. He sanctified and cleansed the Church, removing all her spots and wrinkles. In the same way, the Christian husband ought to do everything he can to be a constructive influence to build up his wife’s life, being sensitive to her many needs – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

There is one good way to tell that you have genuine love for your wife - When meeting her needs are as important to you as meeting your own needs. When God created Eve and brought her to Adam, the first thing he said was, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (Genesis 2:23) Every husband should think of his wife this way. She has become a part of him, and he must therefore take very good care of her.

For All: Dependence on Christ

Thus we have briefly considered the duties of husbands and wives, and seen that marriage certainly takes more than love! Fulfilling these duties is essential for a happy and lasting marriage. However it must be stated that it is not easy to maintain these levels of commitment, constructiveness, submission and leadership in any marriage. Sin has rendered us all imperfect as marriage partners. Many things have gone wrong with marriages in this world ever since sin entered into the world.

The solution lies in having Jesus Christ in one’s life and depending on Him for wisdom and for power to do His will. Husbands and wives can be all that they ought to be through Christ who strengthens them (Philippians 4:13). That is why the most important person in the marriage is not the husband nor the wife, but Christ! Christian Marriage is a relationship involving not two persons, but three – Christ, the husband, and the wife.                                                               —Pastor

 

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NS Talk

Date      : 25 Mar 17 (Sat).

Time      : 9am - 12.30pm (lunch provided).

Venue : Life Mtg Hall

Speakers : Eld Lee Heok Seng & Mr Yeo Hock Seng

Testimonies : Shawn Lim & Ryan Cheung

Register by 18 Mar @ http://lifebpc.com/ns-talk

Enquiries : Contact Rev Quek KK 

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1) Infant Baptism on Easter Sunday, 16 Apr 17. Parents who intend to have their infants baptised must register by 12 Mar 17. Please email church office giving child’s name, date of birth and parents’ names and contact.

2) YAF Retreat 2017. 29 Apr to 1 May at Changi Cove. Theme: Renewed Minds and Transformed Lives. Speaker: Rev JJ Lim. Join us for a time of learning, fellowship & fun! Register at: https://yafretreat2017.wordpress.com/. Contact: Arthur (87213071).

3) Far Eastern Kindergarten Online Registration. 2018 Intake: Pre-Nursery (YOB 2015) & Nursery (YOB 2014)

Priority registration for church members: 1 February to 14 February 2017. Register online at http://fek.qoqolo.com/cos/o.x?c=/ca4q_fek/registration. It will be on a first-come-first-serve basis after 14 February 2017. Please visit our website http://www.lifebpc.com/fekedu/ or call 6251 3676 for more information.

4) Life BP Church Camp 2017 will be held from June 12-15 (Mon-Thu) at Batam Holiday Inn Resort. Do book your annual leave now to join us for a blessed time of fellowship, and exhortations from God’s Word.

 

Preaching appt:  Rev Khoo at Chinese BSF, 7.00 pm and overseas mission from 13-23 Feb.

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