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Scripture Memory: The Cost of Discipleship.

VERSE: Matthew 16:25 “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” 

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

 

29 October 2017

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Charles Seet (Why Pray When God Knows Our Needs? Matt 6:7-8)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Quek Keng Khwang (A Heart for God, Ps 122)

 

5 November 2017

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Charles Seet (A Pattern for Prayer, Matt 6:9-13)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Quek Keng Khwang (The Lord has done Great Things for Us, Psalm 126)

 

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WHAT IS THE REFORMED FAITH?

 

The Reformed Faith is rooted in the 16th Century Reformation when Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses on the doors of the castle church of Wittenberg. John Wycliff, John Hus, William Tyndale, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, John Knox and many others solidified the Biblical doctrines of the Reformed Faith. It is a call to return to the purity of biblical Christianity, to reform the church as well as life.

 

Creeds

The Reformed Faith maintains Creeds as expressions of what it confesses that Scripture teaches. The Creeds of the Reformed Faith comprises the Three forms of Unity i.e. The Heidelberg Catechism (1563); The Belgic Confession (1561) and the Canons of Dort (1618-19). In addition there is also the Westminster Confession and Catechisms (1647). The Creeds are not infallible and do not supersede the Word of God.

 

Soli Deo Gloria

In his book, Back to Basics: Rediscovering the Richness of the Reformed Faith, David Hagopian writes that the Reformed Faith revolves around a sovereign and gracious God who calls us to conversion and into covenant with Him and His people, thus enabling us to worship Him with His people. And to glorify and enjoy Him as we live the Christian life. It emphasizes the sovereignty of God. A believer’s life must be God-centred. His chief purpose of being born into the world is to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31). This spiritual purpose should dominate every aspect of his life.

 

Sola Scriptura

The knowledge of the Sovereignty of God is not derived from men’s revelation but through the revelation of God through His Word. Sola Scriptura means by Scriptures Alone. Only the Bible has the infallible authority to bind the consciences of believers. The Reformed Faith is not only Sola Scriptura but also Tota Scriptura – Scripture alone and entire. It seeks to uphold the Word of God in its infallibility and inerrancy.

  1. The Inspiration of the Scriptures

The Reformed Faith holds to a high view of the Bible’s inspiration. 2 Timothy 3:16 attests to divine inspiration of the Bible. Scripture is breathed out by God and therefore its origin is of God. God enabled and superintended the human writers of Scripture to be agents of this divine revelation (2 Peter 1:21), “so that what they wrote was not only their writing but in a higher sense the very Word of God. The origin of Scripture’s content is found ultimately in God.” (R.C. Sproul) The divine inspiration of the Scriptures by God is the bedrock of its divine authority.

 

  1. The Infallibility of the Scriptures

Divine inspiration means that the Scripture is infallible. According to R.C. Sproul, infallibility refers to its “indefectibility or the impossibility of its being in error. That which is infallible is incapable of failing.” By God’s Spirit working in the human authors, He determined the resulting work.

  1. The Inerrancy of the Scriptures

God cannot err and therefore His God-breathed words cannot err. If God errs, He negates who He is. Sproul says, “Infallibility means that something cannot err, while inerrancy means that it does not err.” The fruit of inerrancy is clarity of Scriptures. If there is a mixture of truth and error in the Scriptures, there would not be any clarity.

  1. The Authority of the Scriptures

The Holy Scriptures is authoritative. Its infallibility and inerrancy will never lead us astray. God’s supreme authority rests on its Word and not the church. The divine authority rests with Him and not with man. God’s Word is all sufficient for every believer. We can rest on its teaching and trust it as the rule of our faith. In every sphere of a believer’s life, he is bound by the supreme authority of the Word of God (Psalm 119:11,105).

 

Solus Christus

The object of our faith is Christ alone. It is only through Jesus Christ and His saving work on the cross that a man can be saved. It is not by foreseen faith, good works or any righteousness of man that a man is saved. Christ’s sacrifice is sufficient to atone for the sins of His elect.

 

Christ alone is our advocate and our great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14). Every believer in Christ is able to come boldly before the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16). He is the sole cause of our salvation. Moreover, He is the sole focus and object of our faith and the only source of truth. Therefore, He is the one on whom we are absolutely dependent for our salvation (John 14:6). It is to our folly and detriment that we place our faith in anything or anyone other than Christ alone.

Sola Gratia

Man’s salvation is by grace alone and is never conditioned upon his good works. The Reformers taught from Scriptures that man is totally incapable of saving himself, and nothing in him desires, understands, or believes the things of God (Romans 3:10-11). And so, apart from grace, he cannot come to God. None seeks after God, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). He is dead in trespasses and only made alive by the Holy Spirit of God (Ephesians 2:1). Man is saved by God’s grace alone and contributes nothing to it. It is monergistic and not synergistic. He merely receives what God has graciously offered. God is never obliged to save anyone. He acts completely by mercy and grace on those who are undeserving.

Sola Fide

We are justified by faith alone (Romans 1:17). Faith is given by God and applied by the Holy Spirit’s work in us (Ephesians 2:8,9). Our righteousness is but filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) and therefore the righteousness we have before God is imputed to us by Christ by His active obedience and passive obedience (Romans 4:3). It is by Christ’s righteousness imputed to us that we are no more condemned before God (Romans 8:1).

We are saved by grace through faith alone, but not through a faith that is alone. Faith alone is the basis for our salvation, but salvation is made evident by our works. We are not saved by anything we do ourselves. Nonetheless, our works are the necessary and visible evidences of our faith. Faith without works is dead (James 2:20). The life of a Christian is to glorify God through holiness and obedience of a sanctified life.

The Covenant of Grace

The Reformed Faith holds on to the Covenant of Grace. The initial covenant God made with mankind was a Covenant of Works (Genesis 2:16,17) where the gift of life with God was based on the obedience of man. The Westminster Confession of Faith states that, “The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works, wherein life was promised to Adam; and in him to his posterity, upon condition of perfect and personal obedience.” (7:2) Because of the sin of Adam and Eve, the Covenant of Works was replaced by the Covenant of Grace (Genesis 3:15). “Man, by his fall, having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second, commonly called the covenant of grace; wherein He freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ; requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved, and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life His Holy Spirit, to make them willing, and able to believe.” (Westminster Confession, 7:3)

However it must be understood that the Covenant of Works did possess the element of grace. God creates us and gives us life – this is already an act of grace. God in His grace rewards man with life if he obeys by not eating the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.

In the Covenant of Works, God made a covenant with unfallen man. But in the Covenant of Grace God made His covenant with Christ as the second Adam and in Him with all the elect as His seed. The only hope that man has is God’s grace. God’s grace is manifested in sending His only begotten Son to be the second Adam to fulfil the Covenant of Works for us perfectly (Romans 5:12-21). The Covenant of Grace is manifested in God’s unilateral covenant with Abraham, Moses and David. The Covenant of Grace is an unbreakable covenant which God established with His people.

Worship

The Reformed Faith maintains the necessity of regular worship each Sabbath in accordance to God’s moral law (Exodus 20:8; Deuteronomy 5:13,14). Worship is not entertainment, but is meant to glorify God (Psalm 96:9). The worship of God must be in spirit and truth (John 4:23,24).

The Reformed Faith adheres to the primacy of the preaching of God’s Word. The preachers are to be called by God to serve in this important position (Romans 10:15). The preaching is to be the central element of worship. It is ordained by God to save sinners and edify saints (Romans 10:14).

The Godly Life

The Reformed Faith holds that a true believer of Christ must have evidence of godly fruit. God has chosen His people unto good works (Ephesians 2:10) and in order that we should be holy and without blame before Him (Ephesians 1:4). There must be no alliance between light and darkness or between the Christian and the world (2 Corinthians 6:14). A Christian should not abuse the grace of God, thinking that if he sins, grace may abound (Romans 6:1).

Missions

The Reformed Faith firmly believes in the calling of the Church to go out into all the world to preach the gospel. Jesus Himself mandated the disciples, and then the Church, to go and teach all nations (Matthew 28:19). Although God has predestinated His elect, He has ordained the faithful preaching of the gospel both within the church and on the mission field.

Christ’s Return

The Reformed Faith looks forward confidently to the soon return of our Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds of heaven (Titus 2:13). The Church should have the urgency to carry out its great tasks faithfully to the end. It must preach the Word; it must evangelize; it must teach the children so that they may be prepared for the evil days which will come upon the Church. And the earnest prayer of the Church is for Christ’s coming: Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20)

Conclusion

The above characteristics of the Reformed Faith are by no means exhaustive. It is by God’s grace that every local church is reformed and always reforming according to the Word of God.

 

Rev Quek Keng Khwang  

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The Jewish Feasts and Their Fulfillment in Christ

Do you know that the Jewish feasts have prophetic significance for us Christians? 

Join us at the Multi-Purpose Hall to hear Stephen Pacht (Director of Jews for Jesus, Switzerland) speak on the Spring and Fall feasts on 11th November 2017. The talk will be held from 10am to 3.30pm. All are welcome.

Please register at http://www.lifebpc.com by 4th November as we need to cater lunch for all attendees 

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

2) Infant Baptism on Christmas Sunday, 24 Dec 2017. Parents who intend to have their infants baptized must register by 19 Nov 2017. Please email Doris Chik by giving child’s name, date of birth and parents’ names and contact.

3) 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: 10 Dec 2017.

4) Combined B-P Youth Camp. Theme: “Steady Steady pom B-P”, 18-21 Dec 2017, at Life B-P Church. Between 15-25 year-old. Please register by 17 Nov at: tinyurl.com/CombinedBpCamp2017

5) Mr Yee Wai Leong is kindly requested to call either Dn Charlie Chan or Dn Heng Shao Sheng .

6) The family of the late Mr Chew Sung Eng (87 years old), who went home to be with the Lord on 22 Oct 2017, would like to thank the Pastors, session and church members for their prayers, love gifts and encouragement during their recent bereavement.

Preaching appointment: Rev Quek at New Life BPC, 9.30 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

November 19 & 26 - The End of the World

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 2 Peter 3:10