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Scripture Memory: Holy Living.

VERSE: 2 Peter 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.” 

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

 

3 December 2017

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Quek Keng Khwang (Beware of Dogs and Hogs, Matthew 7:6)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Mr Joel Seah (The Joy of Unity, Ps 133)

 

10 December 2017

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Charles Seet (The Key to Answered Prayer, Matt 7:7-11)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Eld Lim Teck Chye (Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, Psalm 139)

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THE CATECHISM CLASS

The word ‘catechism’ is derived from a Greek word which occurs eight times in the New Testament, and means ‘instruct, teach or inform.’ One example is found in Luke 1:3-4: “It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.” (See also Acts 18:25; 21:21,24; Romans 2:18; 1 Corinthians 14:19 and Galatians 6:6.)

Catechism involves giving systematic instruction in the basic doctrines of the Christian faith. It is often done in a question and answer form and was found to be effective in fulfilling the part of the Great Commission where Christ said, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:20) It has also enabled Christians to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” (1 Peter 3:15)

Matthew Henry outlined three basic uses of catechisms:

  1. Hereby the main principles of Christianity, which lie scattered in the Scripture, are collected and brought together; and by this means they are set in much easier view before the minds of men.
  2. Hereby the truths of God, the several articles of Christian doctrine and duty are methodized and put in order.
  3. Hereby the truths of God are brought down to the capacity of those who are as yet but weak in understanding.

The lessons of our catechism class are based on the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechism. They have to do with the basic teachings of the Christian Faith such as the nature and character of God, the origin and consequences of sin, Christ’s work in salvation, the Holy Spirit’s work in salvation, the benefits of salvation in and after this life, the Ten Commandments, the means of Christian growth, and the Sacraments.

Our catechism class is conducted twice a year. If you are seeking baptism, reaffirmation of faith or transfer of membership, please take note that the next catechism class will begin on Sunday, 17 December 2017, and will go on for 14 weeks (with a break on 24 December) until the Easter combined baptismal service on 1 April 2018. An additional lesson will be conducted on 8 April to orientate the new members to the various ministries and areas of service in our church. The classes will commence at Beulah Centre Room 2-1, 9:40 am. Please pre-register by emailing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Baptism is one of the two sacraments ordained by the Lord Jesus to be practised by the Church. It is done to identify oneself publicly with Christ, in His death, burial and resurrection (Galatians 3:27 – “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ,” cf. Colossians 2:12; Romans 6:3,4) and to obey the Lord’s command given in the great commission (Matthew 28:30 – “…baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.”)

Please note that baptism does not save. “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel...” (1 Corinthians 1:17) The dying thief on the cross was not baptised, but he was saved (Luke 23:42,43). The Bible teaches that baptism is only an outward sign of an inward grace. It distinguishes Christ’s disciples from the rest of the world, and comforts them. If you have believed in Christ but have not been baptised yet, will you not obey the commandment of God? “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ ...” (Acts 2:38)

Water is to be used for baptism (Acts 8:36; 10:47). However, Bible-believing Christians differ on the amount of water. Immersion requires a large amount of water, like a pool, lake, river or the sea. Sprinkling, on the other hand, does not require much water and can therefore be easily carried out anywhere – in the desert, in a church, in a home, and at a hospital bed.

In Life Church baptism is done only by sprinkling. There are explicit verses where sprinkling is clearly mentioned in the Bible, and it is associated with the coming of Christ. E.g. Isaiah 52:15 reads, “So shall He sprinkle many nations” (Cf. Ezekiel 36:25). The real origin of baptism is found in the Law of Moses. The Law is full of ceremonial purification rites which the New Testament calls “baptisms.” All purification was done by sprinkling: The sprinkling of water alone, or sprinkling of water and ashes, or sprinkling of oil, or sprinkling of blood. And that is why it is called “diverse washings” or “different kinds of baptisms” in Hebrews 9:10.

When John the Baptist declined to baptise Jesus on the grounds that he himself needed to be baptised by Jesus, Jesus gave him a powerful reason that he could not refuse. Matthew 3:15 – “And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.” What is meant by the reason given, “it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness”? The answer is found in Deuteronomy 6:25 – “And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He hath commanded us.” What law was Christ faithfully obeying at His baptism? It is the one found in Numbers 8:6-7, “Take the Levites from among the children of Israel, and cleanse them. And thus shalt thou do unto them, to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of purifying upon them.” The Levites were the tribe which provided the priesthood of Israel.

Jesus Christ is our Great High Priest (Hebrews 3:1; 4:14; 5:5; 9:11). His baptism was therefore the ceremonial act of His ordination to the priesthood. Before any man could become a priest, he must be sprinkled with water not just by anybody, but by one who is already a priest. John the Baptist, the one who baptised Jesus, was a priest inheriting the office from his father, Zacharias (Exodus 29:9; Numbers 25:13; Luke 1:5,13).

Sprinkling is an apt symbol for Holy Spirit baptism. Cf. Acts 11:15,16 – “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.” The baptism of Cornelius and his family recorded in these verses was obviously symbolic of the Spirit baptism they had received. Since Peter said that the Holy Spirit had fallen upon them, sprinkling, with its application of water downward on a person’s head, supplies the most appropriate symbol of this act.

In most churches, new believers who want to be baptised are required to attend a catechism class as preparation for baptism – to be taught the basic truths of the Christian faith, and to examine themselves and be examined that they have truly received Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour. It also provides ample opportunity for them to clear their doubts and to ask questions on any doctrine they do not understand. Those who were baptised before but not in a true church of Jesus Christ are to be re-baptised before they can be admitted into membership in Life Church.

Parents who wish to have their child baptised are to inform the church office at least six weeks before the baptismal service. If you have been blessed by God with child whom you wish to bring up in the fear and nurture of the Lord Jesus Christ, will you not bring your child to be baptised? We believe that infant baptism is included in the commandment given by Christ, because baptism is a sign of the Covenant that God made with His people. In the Old Testament, the sign of the Covenant was circumcision. This was required not only of believing adults, but also of male infants, born to believing parents, when they are eight days old.

In the New Testament, the sign of the same Covenant has been changed to baptism. And again, this is required of believing adults as well as their infants (both male and female now). The close relationship between circumcision and baptism can be clearly seen in Colossians 2:11,12 – “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”

The reason for both infant circumcision and infant baptism is the same: The scope of influence and blessing of the Covenant of Grace includes the family of the believer. When God chose Abraham, He did so in order that Abraham may instruct his family in the way of the Lord: “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him.” (Genesis 18:19) This passage indicates that God had plans for Abraham’s family and not just for Abraham alone. In the New Testament, the Covenant of Grace still has reference to the believer’s family and not to the believer alone. In his sermon at Pentecost, the apostle Peter said, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:39).

The sign of the Covenant (whether circumcision or baptism) is therefore to be applied to the children of believers, in recognition of this principle. The scriptures confirm that the early church applied baptism to the children of believers, in the household baptisms that are recorded in the New Testament. The word which is translated, “household” normally included children and servants. E.g. The family of Lydia: “And when she was baptised, and her household…” (Acts 16:15); the family of the Philippian jailor: “…and was baptised, he and all his, straightway.” (Acts 16:33); and the family of Stephanas: “And I baptised also the household of Stephanas…” (1 Corinthians 1:16).

Children who have been baptised as infants should seek to reaffirm their faith when they have experienced the saving grace of God in their lives. They will then be allowed to partake of the Lord’s Supper. The normal age for a baptised child to reaffirm his or her faith is 12 years and above, since in most cases, this is the onset of spiritual understanding. To facilitate understanding of the catechism lessons, the teens are taught concurrently by another instructor.

Those who wish to transfer their membership to Life Church from another church are required to attend our catechism class even if they had already been catechised before. This is because the material used for catechism differ from church to church and the same material may be handled differently by each church. We feel that all members of Life Church should be on the same page. Any requests for exemption for valid reasons should be made to the Pastor. These would include those who were members of Life Church before and who wish to have their membership transferred back.                                                                    – Pastor  

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1) Life B-P Church Calendar 2017. Please obtain a copy at the front counter.

2) Life Church Christmas Gathering. 23 Dec 2017, 10am to 1pm (lunch included). “Behold, Jesus Comes” by Rev Quek Keng Khwang. All are welcome.

3)        The EDD is organising a Street Evangelism on

Friday                  :  8th Dec 2017 - 7.30 pm

Saturday       : 16th Dec & 23rd Dec 2017 - 7.00 pm

Please meet in front of ION Orchard.

4)        Catechism Class for Easter Baptism on 1 Apr 2018 commences on 17 Dec 2017 at Beulah Centre Room 2-1, 9.40 am. Please pre-register by emailing to church office or filling up the form available at the front counter. Closing date: next Sunday.

5) YF/YAF Anniversary 2017, 30 Dec, 4pm-7pm, at Beulah MPH. “Be Ye Heavenly Minded” by Rev Colin Wong. All church members, especially previous YF/YAF members, are warmly invited to this anniversary. Dinner will be provided. Contact Jeremiah for any queries.

6) Our condolences to sister Chew Sow Wan on the homegoing of her mother, Mdm Cheong Kwai Kiu (79 yrs old) on 24 Nov 2017.

Preaching appointment: Rev Seet in Batam.

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