Dear BPCWAians,

Last week, we looked at the church’s role to promote godly worship. In order to promote godly worship, our public corporate worship on Sundays must be biblical. This is a primary role that God requires for His church because of John 4:23. We cannot undermine the importance of this role of God’s church.

Simply because it is a church and it is called a Worship Service does not mean that God accepts the worship, or is present. To the Samaritan woman at the well, Christ drew an important line distinguishing between true and false worship. “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him (John 4:23).” Attending worship is not simply to soothe one’s conscience that one has obeyed the fourth commandment by “attending” a Worship Service on Sunday, even if it is false worship. Attending false worship is futile and wrong. Remember, God seekstrue worshippers. It means that there are false worshippers.

So what is true worship for the true worshipper? God Himself sets the criteria, because He determines what He will or will not accept in the worship. Firstly, true worship is in spirit. This means that true worship can only be offered to God from redeemed children aided by the Holy Spirit. It is not “tongues speaking in the Spirit”. True worshippers offer worship not mindlessly, in form only, but with understanding and from the heart. While worship should be solemn and reverential, this does not mean that it is merely just “keeping up with appearances”, outward and ritualistic. One can be present, sing the hymns, and read the Scriptures. But inwardly, in the heart, you could be rejecting it, or just waiting for the time to pass. Such false worship is hypocrisy and hated by God. Worshipping in the spirit hence means that one must worship God sincerely. Secondly, true worship is in truth. Sincerity alone is not enough. Unbiblical practices, “another” gospel, unbiblical doctrines, and ungodly music fail this criteria and make such worship false worship, even if it is done under a Christian banner. True worship promotes the source of truth, which is the Bible. This means that true worship promotes the faithful preaching of the Word, not the promotion of music and performances. Unlike modern Christianity’s thinking, spirit and truth are not enemies, as if when you slide “up” the truth scale, you slide down on the “spirit” scale. Instead, Christ sets them both on par. You cannot have truth without spirit, and you cannot have true spirit without truth. Everything in worship must have a biblical basis, not to please men, nor to “work up” emotions to get an emotional “high”. Biblical truth gives rise to spirited worship. And a true spirit gives rise to the yearning for biblical truth.

What must BPCWA be like? Why did God set up a light here in BPCWA 31 years ago? So that He when He seeks, He will find true worshippers in it. When BPCWA is obedient to what God requires of His church, we must all rejoice and work in together to fulfil it, because that is what the Head of the Church wants. To do so, recapitulating, (1) BPCWA must have an earnest interest in and reaching out for the salvation of souls. (2) BPCWA must build up Christians through the teaching of God’s Word. (3) BPCWA must be ready and active in the defence of the true faith. (4) BPCWA must have and promote godly worship. And you make up BPCWA. The activities and outreaches of BPCWA must support and be guided by these purposes. They are God’s purposes and we cannot dispense with it as we wish. It must follow the Head’s direction and instructions, not our own zeal or sincerity. Every fellowship group and ministry must know this, and strive for it. Every activity must keep these purposes in mind, when it is being planned for. Every ministry outreach has to consider these purposes as it decides whether to do or not to do something. If we lose track of all these spiritual purposes that God has set, we can be very busy with many social activities, but we may not be fulfilling God’s purposes for a church. Ultimately, the church is for God’s elect, His chosen people, His children, His redeemed. The church is not to be seeker sensitive. It must be a safe haven for the sheep to graze, with green pastures, and still waters. For individuals, families and their children, old and young, BPCWA should be our haven in this earthly pilgrimage, until we reach heaven’s shores. What is selected and allowed in church must always have this in view – is it going to be something that will prepare them to meet God well, to help them be more heavenly focussed and more holy, and finally to hear Him say “Well done, good and faithful servant”?

Will BPCWA continue to be God’s faithful witness in our children’s generation? It first depends on whether we are true to our watch in our generation. Each year, BPCWA must do a self-assessment. May we, for many generations to come, be found faithful “for the Word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:9). But to do that, we must be faithful in our generation. It only takes 1 generation to fail, and the slide can be irreversible. The impact may be in our generation, or it may be in future generations. It will need all fronts to be guarded, and no backdoor left ajar. It may mean that difficult, unpopular decisions may need to be made at times. It will need the watch to be conscientiously consistent. Will you watch together with us in all fronts?

1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Yours in our Lord’s service