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Scripture Memory: The Head of the Church.

VERSE: Colossian 1:18 “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”

 

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

 

10 September 2017

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Charles Seet (The Homicide of the Heart, Matt 5:21-26)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Colin Wong (Walking with a Perfect Heart, Psalm 101)

 

17 September 2017

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Eld Lim Teck Chye (The Lustful Look, Matthew 5:27-30)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Calvin Loh (Forget Not All His Benefits, Psalm 103)

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VICTORY OVER AN UNRULY TONGUE

 

“…the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:8)

 

We use many forms of personal communication every day, including the notes, cards and letters we write, the emails and SMSes we send out each day, and even on-line communication tools like Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. But no form of personal communication is more readily accessible and faster than speech. By writing we can convey our thoughts at a rate of 30 words per minute. Typing is faster: about 50 words per minute. Texting on a mobile phone is just as fast. But speaking can easily achieve 150 words per minute!

 

Studies have shown that both men and women speak an average of 16,000 words a day. If that indicates how much we speak, then let us pay close attention to what God’s Word teaches about it in James 3:1-12.

 

  1. The Awesome Responsibility of Speech

 

When used properly, speech can do marvelous things. Words that are carefully chosen, arranged and uttered have rallied people together, built nations, and brought peace and prosperity. Some of history’s greatest speeches have been recorded for posterity like Churchill’s orations in 1940 that mobilised his battle-weary countrymen to defend England against a German invasion. But speech is a sword that cuts both ways. It has destroyed families, deceived millions of people, incited wars and caused untold misery, death and destruction.

 

That is why James says, “Be not many masters.” (verse 1) This refers to teachers and preachers in the church. Anyone should think twice before aspiring to teach or preach to God’s people because any carelessness on their part will have awful consequences on the church, and will bring much condemnation on themselves. Whatever is said by them will be heard by more people and can therefore hurt more people than others.

 

  1. The Awful Tendency to Sin

 

Sinful speech is so natural to our fallen human nature. In describing the sins of all men Paul said, “Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:  Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” (Romans 3:13,14). James mentions the same thing in verse 2 – “For in many things we offend all.”

 

There is a huge variety of ways to commit sin by what we say: Telling lies or half-truths, making false accusations, giving exaggerated or dishonest reports, boasting, slandering, cursing, backbiting, and flattering, just to name a few. Remember those moments when you lashed out at someone in anger or when you deliberately slanted the truth in your own favour, and then you will realize how difficult it is to bridle your tongue.

 

  1. The Amazing Power of the Tongue

 

In verses 3-6 James compares this little organ to three things: the small little metal piece that is placed in a horse’s mouth to direct its movements, the little rudder at the back of a large ship which can turn it around, and a little fire that can reduce a whole forest to ashes. The point of these illustrations is the same: We must never underestimate the power of our speech.

 

In the next two verses, it is compared to a wild animal that no man can tame. This provides us with an important clue. Notice that it says that no man can tame the tongue. But what is impossible with man is possible with God (Luke 18:27). Man cannot tame the tongue, but God surely can. He alone has the power to subdue your tongue. And so you need His help to tame it and bring it under control.

 

  1. The Ability to Tame the Tongue

 

This comes from two things that God gave to you when you were saved:

 

  1. Regeneration

 

There can be no change in your speech until your heart is regenerated. James poses two rhetorical questions in verse 12 – “Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs?” The answer is of course, No. The only way to change the fruit is to change the nature of the tree itself. In the same manner, the only way to change your speech is to change your heart. This is something that only God can do.

 

After God regenerates the heart it will gradually give rise to a changed life. One of the noticeable signs of change in a new believer is in his speech. It will be increasingly marked by integrity, honesty, truthfulness, godliness, gentleness and love (cf. Luke 6:45).

 

Is your heart truly regenerated? If it is not, then you cannot have victory over your unruly tongue. You must receive a new heart from the Lord Jesus. And when you receive that new heart, you also receive the Holy Spirit to dwell inside it.

 

  1. The Holy Spirit’s Control

 

The Holy Spirit enables you to keep your tongue under control. Galatians 5:16 says, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” The Holy Spirit’s power is available to every born again Christian. As long as you keep walking in the Spirit rather that in the flesh, you have His power to control the unruly tongue. This is because the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 includes temperance, which is self-control. So please be diligent to walk in the Spirit daily. Make it a habit to live under His influence every day.

 

However, walking in the Spirit does not automatically control the tongue, as if you have no part at all to play in controlling your tongue. Without relying on the Spirit’s power you can’t have any victory at all over the unruly tongue. But without doing your part you can’t keep having victory over it. Thus you should still exercise great care over all that you say.

 

  1. The Awareness of Our Need to Control the Tongue

 

Verses 9-12 tell us what happens when we fail to do our part: Sometimes we will bless but at other times we will curse. Out of the same tongue comes both blessing and cursing, both good and evil, both truth and falsehood. If a spring sometimes issues sweet water but at other times bitter water, would you depend on it to supply your drinking water? Probably not. How would you know when its sweetness will turn into bitterness? Therefore, while we walk in the Spirit daily we must also be vigilant about what we say, how we say it and why we say it. Here are three important criteria to apply to everything we say.

 

  1. Be Truthful

 

At the end of verse 14 James tells us to “lie not against the truth.” This is the most important criterion for everything we say, and it has been permanently enshrined in the ninth commandment – “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”

 

Truthfulness may not matter very much to a world that thrives on deceit, where things are not always what they seem, and where the truth is often hidden for selfish reasons. But it matters a lot to us because we are God’s children. If we are not careful in speaking, people will often challenge the truthfulness of our words, and we will end up having to make excuses, retractions and apologies for things we should never have said. If this goes on for too long who will believe what we say anymore?

 

  1. Be Loving

 

Whatever we say must be said in love and not in malice (cf. Ephesians 4:15). Speaking the truth without love can be just as damaging as speaking a lie. It is cold, hard and legalistic. It hurts rather than helps. Paul said that speaking without love would make him just like a ‘sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal’ (1 Corinthians 13:1).

 

This is the reason why we must examine our hearts first before we point out any error or attempt to correct a brother who has sinned. Are we doing it with a heart of love? Without love all the truth that we use to convince him of his sin will not go down well with him. But if there is genuine persevering love, the truth will eventually be received as he realises that he is being helped and not hurt by us.

 

Being loving in what we say must also be applied to what we say about others. Without love, whatever we say about others becomes malicious gossip even if it is true. Love does not hide the truth from those who may be able to help the person we speak about. But love does not broadcast the truth to all and sundry who may use it against him. This is one of the worst things about social media – it brings everyone’s dirty linen into public space. Is this a loving thing to do?

 

So please be very careful when you talk about others. A good rule to follow is this: “If you have nothing good to say about someone, then it is good to say nothing about him.”

 

  1. Be Sincere

 

In relation to speech, being sincere is to mean what you say and to say what you mean. Whatever you say to others should be consistent with what you think about them, without being unloving toward them. The people you talk to should have no reason to suspect that there is some hidden agenda behind what you are saying.

 

Speaking to someone very nicely while cursing and swearing at him inwardly makes you a hypocrite. Jesus warned His disciples, “…Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” (Luke 12:1) Outwardly they called Jesus “Master” or ‘Rabbi’ but among themselves they referred to Him as ‘the Deceiver’. Listen to what God’s Word says about hypocrites: “For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate...” (Job 15:34). We must therefore apply sincerity to everything we say.

 

It is hoped that this article will be taken seriously by everyone who reads it. Now that we have received God’s instruction on this very practical issue, let us resolve to be doers of it. May the Lord help us all to have victory over an unruly tongue.         – Pastor   

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1)        Infant Baptism on Anniversary Sunday, 15 October 2017. Parents who intend to have their infants baptized must register by TODAY. Please email to Church Office by giving the child’s name, date of birth and parents’ names and contact.

2)        Men's Ministry's "All Stress No Rest" by Elder Chin Hoong Chor is on Saturday, 23 Sep, 3pm at Beulah Centre room 2-1. All brothers are welcome.

3)        GSED Trainers Seminar. If you have completed the Two-day Basic GSED Seminar in 2015, 2016 or 2017, you are qualified to attend the above seminar which will be held on 18 October 2017 Wednesday (holiday). The seminar is from 9am to 5pm. Upon completion, you will be awarded GSED TRAINER CERTIFICATE approved by ABWE (Associations of Baptists World Evangelism) USA.

Please register with your FULL NAME and title if any (as you would like your name to appear in the Certificate) at the following URL: https://goo.gl/forms/foyxGoR2xQs6wWDJ3

We look forward to your participation so that you can in turn conduct GSED Basic Seminar on your own or in groups.

4)        Kindergarten Care Centre (KCC) Supervisor urgently required:

  • holds a Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education - Teaching (DECCE-T);
  • holds a valid child first aid certificate (will send for training if needed);
  • Preferably some work experience for 1 to 2 years in a pre-school setting.

Interested, please call: 93676789 (Linda) or 96690781 (Victor) or send your resume to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

5)        Our condolences to: (1) Rev & Mrs Daniel Khoo and family on the homegoing of their sister-in-law, Susanna Tan Joo Kim, on 7 Sep 2017.

(2) Sister Gillian Yeo would like to thank Life Church for their great support and love for her in the recent demise of her father, Mr Yeo Guan Seng, on 3 Sep 2017. Truly John 13:34 was manifested to all during the few days of wake. To God be the glory.

 

Preaching appointments: Rev Khoo at Macedonia BPC, 2.00 pm and Chinese BSF, 7.00 pm.

 

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

September 17 & 24 - Living for Christ

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20